The History of Cuba, Vol. 1
Excerpt: ...so a fervent wish that the young man might quickly meet with an evil death. As for his own nephew, Francisco de Mazariegos, when he became notorious for gambling, lechery and fighting, he inflicted upon him with his own hands a physical chastisement which was a more than nine days' example to all the other youth of the town. Santiago still being the nominal capital of the island, the new governor thought it incumbent upon him at least to visit it. In fact, he spent nearly the whole year 1557 there, endeavoring to provide it with means of defence against French privateers. He stationed a captain of the army there, with four small cannon, some muskets and pikes, and a supply of gunpowder, urging the citizens to learn to fight so as to defend themselves. Then, in January, 1558, he hastened back to Havana to defend it against raiders who were said to be on their way thither. Five months later a French privateer visited Santiago, took the place without so much as a blow from the cap 194 tain, considered it too small and poor to be worth looting or burning, and sailed away again after collecting only 400 pesos ransom; probably the smallest ransom on record for a capital city! On his return to Havana, Mazariegos showed the value of a military governor for the protection of a city. For six weeks that summer a French squadron of four vessels lay off Havana, without venturing to attack the place, knowing that Mazariegos had mobilized and trained for fighting every able-bodied man in the place, and even some robust and athletic negro women. But the governor was not satisfied with defence alone. He contrived to get word to some Spanish captains at Nombre de Dios, who were going to convoy treasure ships to Spain, with the result that they presently came up unannounced and captured the whole French squadron. Again and again thereafter Havana was menaced, even attacked, but invariably Mazariegos repulsed the enemy, generally with heavy loss to the latter. He...
- 189 x 246 x 8mm | 277g
- 13 Sep 2013
- Illustrations, black and white