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A bull was accordingly issued, dated May 2, 1493, ceding to the Spanish sovereigns the same rights, privileges, and indulgences, in respect to the newly discovered regions, as had been accorded to the Portuguese with regard to their African discoveries, under the same condition of planting and propagating the Catholic faith. To prevent any conflicting claims, however, between the two powers in the wide range of their discoveries, another bull was issued on the following day, containing the famous line of demarcation, by which their territories were thought to be clearly and permanently defined. This was an ideal line drawn from the north to the south pole, a hundred leagues to the west. of the Azores, and the Cape Verde Islands. All land discovered by the Spanish navigators to the west of this line, and which had not been taken possession of by any Christian power before the preceding Christmas, was to belong to the Spanish Crown; all land discovered in the contrary direction was to belong to Portugal. It seems never to have occurred to the Pontiff, that by pushing their opposite careers of discovery they might some day or other come again in collision and renew the question of territorial right at the antipodes.

In the meantime, without waiting for the sanction of the court of Rome, the utmost ex

ertions were made by the sovereigns to fit out a second expedition. To insure regularity and despatch in the affairs relative to the New World, they were placed under the superintendence of Juan Rodriguez de Fonseca, Archdeacon of Seville, who was successively. promoted to the sees of Bajadoz, Palencia, and Burgos, and finally appointed patriarch of the Indies. He was a man of family and influence; his brothers Alonzo and Antonio were seniors, or lords, of Coca and Alaejos, and the latter was Comptroller-General of Castile. Juan Rodriguez de Fonseca is represented by Las Casas as a worldly man, more calculated for temporal than spiritual concerns, and well adapted to the bustling occupation of fitting out and manning armadas. Notwithstanding the high ecclesiastical dignities to which he rose, his worldly employments seem never to have been considered incompatible with his sacred functions. Enjoying the perpetual though unmerited favor of the sovereigns, he maintained the control of Indian affairs for about thirty years. He must undoubtedly have possessed talents for business, to insure him such a perpetuity of office; but he was malignant and vindictive, and in the gratification of his private resentments, not only heaped wrongs and sorrows upon the

most illustrious of the early discoverers, but frequently impeded the progress of their enterprises, to the great detriment of the Crown. This he was enabled to do privately and securely by his official situation. His perfidious conduct is repeatedly alluded to, but in guarded terms, by contemporary writers of weight and credit, such as the Curate of Los Palacios, and the Bishop Las Casas; but they evidently were fearful of expressing the fulness of their feelings. Subsequent Spanish historians, always more or less controlled by ecclesiastical supervision, have likewise dealt too favorably with this base-minded man. deserves to be held up as a warning example of those perfidious beings in office, who too often lie like worms at the root of honorable enterprise, blighting, by their unseen influence, the fruits of glorious action, and disappointing the hopes of nations.


To assist Fonseca in his duties, Francisco Pinelo was associated with him as treasurer, and Juan de Soria as contador, or comptroller. Their office, for the transaction of Indian affairs, was fixed at Seville; extending its vigilance at the same time to the port of Cadiz, where a custom-house was established for this new branch of navigation. Such was the germ of the Royal India House, which after

wards rose to such great power and importance. A correspondent office was ordered to be instituted at Hispaniola, under the direction of the Admiral. These officers were to interchange registers of the cargoes, crews, and munitions of each ship, by accountants who sailed with it. All persons thus employed were dependants upon the two comptrollersgeneral, superior ministers of the royal revenue, since the Crown was to be at all the expenses of the colony, and to receive all the emoluments.

The most minute and rigorous account was to be exacted of all expenses and proceeds; and the most vigilant caution observed as to the persons employed in the concerns of the newly discovered lands. No one was permitted to go there either to trade or to form an establishment, without express license from the sovereigns, from Columbus, or from Fonseca, under the heaviest penalties. The ignorance of the age as to enlarged principles of commerce, and the example of the Portuguese in respect to their African possessions, have been cited in excuse of the narrow and jealous spirit here manifested; but it always more or less influenced the policy of Spain in her colonial regulations.

Another instance of the despotic sway main

tained by the Crown over commerce, is manifested in a royal order, that all ships in the port of Andalusia, with their captains, pilots, and crews, should be held in readiness to serve in this expedition. Columbus and Fonseca were authorized to freight or purchase any of those vessels they might think proper, and to take them by force, if refused, even though they had been freighted by other persons, paying what they should conceive a reasonable price. They were furthermore authorized to take the requisite provisions, arms, and ammunition, from any place or vessel in which they might be found, paying a fair price to the owners; and they might compel, not merely mariners, but any officer holding any rank or station. whatever, whom they should deem necessary to the service, to embark on the fleet on a reasonable pay and salary. The civil authorities, and all persons of rank and standing, were called upon to render all requisite aid in expediting the armament, and warned against creating any impediment, under penalty of privation of office and confiscation of estate.

To provide for the expenses of the expedition, the royal revenue arising from two thirds of the church-tithes was placed at the disposition of Pinelo; and other funds were drawn

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