The most convenient guide to the sources and literature of the discoveries is in J. N. Larned, Literature of American History, a Bibliographical Guide (1902), 50‑68. Justin Winsor, Narrative and Critical History of America (8 vols., 1888‑1889), II, contains more titles, but comes down only to 1886. The bibliographical notes appended to some of the chapters in H. H. Bancroft, History of Central America and History of Mexico (3 vols., 1882), are very serviceable. Brief but exact references are provided in the Channing and Hart, Guide to the Study of American History (1896), pp81‑87, 92‑94. In Winsor, America, I, i‑xviii, will be found an interesting historical sketch of the earlier and of the more elaborate bibliographies. The literature of the later history of the Spanish colonies listed in detail in the notes to the appropriate chapters in Winsor, VIII. One can best keep abreast of the current European critical literature in this field by following the reviews published in Petermann's Mitteilungen aus Justus Perthes' Geographischer Anstalt; and in the two annuals: H. Wagner, Geographisches Jahrbuch; E. Berner, Jahresbericht der Geschichtswissenschaft.
An excellent general account of the progress of geographical knowledge and of the discoveries will be found in John Fiske, Discovery of America (2 vols., 1892). The second volume of Justin Winsor, Narrative and Critical History of p321 America, embraces the half-century extending from the first voyage of Columbus to the explorations of De Soto and Coronado; the critical chapters and the notes take account of a great mass of literature relating to the subject.
For the special student, Alexander von Humboldt, Kritische Untersuchungen über die historische Entwickelung der geographischen Kenntnisse von der neuen Welt, etc. (Ideler's translation from French to German, 3 vols., 1852), is still very valuable. The German translation is preferable to the French original, as it is provided with a complete index. K. Kretschmer, Die Entdeckung Amerikas (1 vol., with atlas, 1892), is a work of critical scholarship which registers the present state of knowledge of the history of geography. Pre-eminent among the recent general works relating to the discoveries for critical scholarship and wide research is H. Harrisse, Discovery of North America: a Critical, Documentary, and Historic Investigation, with an Essay on the Early Cartography of the New World (1892).
An earlier study of somewhat similar scope and still valuable is J. G. Kohl, A History of the Discovery of the East Coast of North America, in vol. I of the Documentary History of the State of Maine (1869).
Among the general works, Oskar Peschel, Geschichte des Zeitalters der Entdeckungen (2d ed., 1877), is particularly serviceable to the student. The narrative is clear and accurate and the foot-notes are a running guide to the primary sources. Sophus Ruge, Geschichte des Zeitalters der Entdeckungen (1881), is an authoritative general account based on the sources and richly illustrated with portraits and maps. P. Gaffarel, Histoire de la Découverte de l'Amérique, depuis les Origines jusqu'à la mort de Christophe Colomb (2 vols., 1892), devotes his second volume to the career of Columbus and to the discoveries up to his death. It is a work of sound scholarship. S. Günther, Das Zeitalter der Entdeckungen (1901), is a very lucid short account, which admirably summarizes the present state of knowledge. The same is to be said of Carlo Errera, L'Epoca delle Grandi Scoperte Geografiche (1902), which has the additional merit p322 of a full index and well-selected maps and portraits. Luigi Hugues, Cronologia delle Scoperte e delle Esplorazioni Geografiche dall'anno 1492 a Tutto il Secolo XIX (1903), is a very scholarly compendium, embodying the latest knowledge in the form of annals. A similar conspectus with bibliographical notes is given in H. H. Bancroft, Central America, I (1883), 68‑152, coming down to 1540. The most important repository of the facts of the first half-century of the Spanish discoveries is Antonio de Herrera, Historia General de los Hechos de los Castellanos en las Islas y Tierra Firme del Mar Oceano (1728‑1730). This work was based on official documents and reports of explorers, and in regard to the earlier period on the Historia de las Indias of Las Casas. The index is very complete. The English translation (incomplete) by John Stevens is not trustworthy. An epitome of Herrera is supplied in vol. I of T. Southey, Chronological History of the West Indies (1827).
The principal collection of documents relating to the discoveries of the Portuguese is J. Ramos-Coelho, Alguns Documentos do Archivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo, etc. (1892); it covers the period 1416 to 1529. For the study of the Columbian and later Spanish voyages a new epoch was begun by the publication of M. F. Navarrete, Coleccion de los Viages y Descubrimientos, etc. (5 vols., 1825‑1837). Later Spanish collections more comprehensive but by no means so well edited as Navarrete are: Coleccion de Documentos Ineditos para la Historia de España (112 vols, 1842‑1895). The material relating to America in the first 110 vols. is indexed by G. P. Winship in the Boston Public Library Bulletin, October, 1894. Pacheco and Cardenas, Coleccion de Documentos Ineditos Relativos al Descubrimiento, Conquista y Colonizacion de las Possessiones Españolas en America y Occeania, etc. (42 vols., 1864‑1884); vol. XXXIII contains a chronological table of contents. This collection is continued under the title Coleccion de Documents p323 Ineditos de Ultramar. Segunda serie (11 vols., 1885‑1898), in which the contents are arranged topically. The most notable of recent documentary publications is that published by the Italian government, Raccolta di Documenti e Studi (6 parts in 14 vols., 1892‑1896). Further details as to the contents of these collections and as to which of the documents are accessible in English translations will be found in Larned, Literature of American History.
Many interesting narratives of early voyages to America will be found in Hakluyt, Principall Navigations, Voiages and Discoveries of the English Nation (1589 and later eds.). A new edition is in process of publication. Many of the most important of the narrative sources for history of the discoveries have been published in English translations under competent editors by the Hakluyt Society, London. For further details, see Larned, under index headings, "Eden," "Hakluyt," "Kerr," "Pinkerton," and "Purchas." Selected extracts from the early narratives are given in A. B. Hart, American History Told by Contemporaries (4 vols., 1897‑1900), I, chaps. I‑V.
The earliest lives of Columbus are those by his fellow-townsmen Antonio Gallo, Bartolomeo Senarega, and Agostino Giustiniano, of which the first was largely copied by the other two. Their lives are most easily accessible in the original Latin and in English translation in the first volume of Thacher, Christopher Columbus (1903). Next in order of time comes the life by his son Ferdinand, Historie del S. D. Fernando Colombo; nelle quali s'ha particolare e vera relatione della vita, e de fatti dell Ammiraglio D. Christoforo Colombo, suo padre, etc. (1571 and later). The earlier part, prior to 1492, is of uncertain value and authenticity. From 1492 on it is founded on the journals and letters of Columbus. The Spanish original is no longer extant. An English translation was prepared for Churchill, Voyages (1744‑1746), and is reprinted in Pinkerton, Voyages p324 (1808‑1814). Bartolomé de Las Casas, Historia de las Indias (5 vols., 1875‑1876), may be mentioned appropriately with the lives of Columbus, because through Herrera's extensive use of it it has constituted with Ferdinand's Historie the principal source from which later biographers drew until the publication of Navarrete's Viages. Las Casas had papers of Columbus and other explorers which have since been lost. He brings his history down to 1521.
The most famous of the biographies of Columbus is Washington Irving, Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus (1828‑1831), based on Navarrete's documents, Ferdinand's Historie, Las Casas, and Peter Martyr's Decades. His charm of style, his disposition to ignore Columbus's faults, and an occasional imaginative coloring to important scenes have unduly discredited Irving with certain modern scholars. No subsequent life, however, with the exception of Harrisse's, has been more conscientiously based on the primary sources for its narrative of facts. Henry Harrisse, in his Christophe Colomb (2 vols., 1884), greatly advanced Columbian studies by his publication of new documents and penetrating criticism of all sources of information. His work, however, is not so much a narrative of the life of Columbus as a series of "studies in historical criticism," as he entitles it. The next elaborate study of Columbus's life was that of José Maria Asensio, Cristoval Colon, su Vida, sus Viajes, sus Descubrimientos (2 vols., 1891). It is pronounced by Markham to be the best and most complete of the biographies.
The latest study of the discoverer's career is John Boyd Thacher, Christopher Columbus (3 vols., 1903‑1904), in which many of the most important primary sources are reprinted with English translations, photographic fac-similes, etc. Special attention is given to the bibliography of Columbus's own writings, to supposed portraits, his autographs, and to the ultimate fate of his remains. Justin Winsor, Christopher Columbus (1892), puts before the reader the results of the investigations of Harrisse and other specialists touching the various aspects of p325 Columbus's career and the additions to geographical knowledge consequent to his discoveries. The work is richly illustrated.
Of the shorter lives in English the best by far is Clements R. Markham, Life of Christopher Columbus (1892). It is clear and accurate and is based on first-hand study of the sources. After enjoying the exceptional advantage of editing the writings of Columbus for the Raccolta Colombiana, Cesare de Lollis prepared his Vita di Cristoforo Colombo narrata seconda gli ultimi documenti (3d ed., 1895). It is not only a work of original scholarship, but is written with literary skill and feeling. The existing state of expert knowledge and opinion in regard to Columbus is presented in a clear and attractive fashion by Sophus Ruge, Columbus (2d ed., 1902). A bibliography and additional critical notes add to value of the text. Further details as to the biographies of Columbus may be found in Harrisse, Winsor, Markham, and in Larned.
The principal source for the voyages of Columbus are his own writings so far as they have been preserved intact, in epitome, or embedded in historical narratives like the Historie of his son Ferdinand or the Historia de las Indias of Las Casas. The original texts of all the writings of Columbus that could be identified were published by Lollis in the Raccolta Colombiana (1892‑1896). The most important of these writings were edited by Navarrete, in whose collection Las Casas' abridgment of the journal of the first voyage was first published. Translations of this have been published by Kettel, Markham, and Thacher. R. H. Major, Select Letters of Columbus (2d ed. 1890), contains the longer communications descriptive of his voyages. These, as well as a large number of his private letters, will be found in Thacher. Another translation of a considerable body of Columbus's private letters with some other documents was prepared by Dr. José Ignacio Rodriguez and published by p326 the American Historical Association in its Report for 1894. The original texts of many of these private letters first saw the light in La Duquesa de Berwick y de Alba, Autografos de Cristobal Colon (1892). A new volume of these papers appeared in 1902, entitled Nuevos Autografos de Cristobal Colon y Relaciones de Ultramar.
Columbus's journal of the second voyage is not extant, but Lollis tentatively reconstructed its outlines by printing in parallel columns in the Raccolta the narratives in Las Casas and in the Historie of Ferdinand Columbus, both of which closely follow the original, but are in the main independently derived from it. Of these two accounts only Ferdinand's is accessible in English, except in so far as Stevens's translation of Herrera represents the Las Casas narrative.
An important account of the first part of the second voyage is that of Dr. Chanca, a physician on board, translated by Major and by Thacher. Chanca's narrative fell into the hands of Bernaldez, who embodied it in the one hundred and nineteenth and one hundred and twentieth chapters of his Historia de los Reyes Catolicos (unprinted till 1878), adding other information in regard to the later period of the expedition which he derived for Columbus himself. The chapters (CXVIII‑CXXI) in Bernaldez have been translated into English and were published by the Massachusetts Historical Society, Collections, 3d series, vol. VIII (1838).
For the other accounts derived from participants in the voyage, see H. Harrisse, Christophe Colomb, and Thacher. Of the third voyage outward Columbus gave an account in a letter to the king and queen, which is translated in Major. After his return in chains he wrote a letter to the former nurse of Prince Juan, dwelling upon his services and his misfortunes; translations of this letter are given by Major and Thacher. More detailed and much more satisfactory than these letters are the narratives of Las Casas and Ferdinand Columbus based on Columbus's own journal of the voyage. The Las Casas account appears unabridged in English for the first time in Thacher.
p327 Las Casas and the Historie of Ferdinand Columbus are also of the first importance for the fourth voyage. We have in addition a letter of Columbus's describing its incidents, which is extant only in an Italian translation, of which Thacher reprints a fac-simile. English translations will be found in Major and Thacher. Other accounts of parts of the voyage are the Porras and Mendez narratives (in English in Thacher).
The most important source for the history of the diffusion of knowledge of the New World is Guglielmo Berchet, Fonti Italiani per la Storia della Scoperta del Nuovo Mondo. I. Carteggi diplomatici. II. Narrazioni sincrone (Raccolta Colombiana, pt. III, vols. I, II, 1893). The first of these volumes contains every reference to the discovery of the New World in Italian diplomatic correspondence down to 1536; in the second are all the passages in books and manuscripts by Italian writers down to 1550 which refer to Columbus or the discovery of America, excepting Peter Martyr's Decades.
In the absence of the periodical press in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries its place was in part supplied by the literary correspondent. The most noted of these correspondents in Spain was Peter Martyr, of Anghiera, in Italy, near Milan, who lived in Spain from 1488 to 1526, part of the time as apostolic protonotary at the court of Castile. In after life he collected his letters for publication, Opus Epistolarum (1530). The passages in the earlier ones relating to Columbus are excerpted by Thacher and translated into English. Whether they were originally written at the dates ascribed to them and in the exact form in which they were published is open to grave doubt. If certainty as to the date at which Peter Martyr put such and such a fact on record is required, recourse must be had to his narratives of the history of the discoveries, also written in the form of letters to various correspondents. So much of these as subsequently formed the first seven books of his Decades came into the hands of the Venetian Angelo Trivigiane, who translated them into Italian. They p328 were subsequently printed in Venice as Libretto de Tutta la Navigatione de Re de Spagna de le Isole et Terreni Novamente Trovati (1504). Of this earliest history of America but one printed copy has survived to the present day. Thacher gives a fac-simile and also a translation of the text — both for the first time. The Latin original of the first Decade was first published in 1511. As finally completed, Peter Martyr's Decades constitute, as has been indicated, the first history of the New World. The narrative is brought down through the conquest of Mexico. The only complete edition is that edited by Hakluyt in 1587. The first three Decades were translated by Richard Eden, 1555, and the last five by Michael Lok. This English version is accessible in Hakluyt, Voyages, V (ed. 1812). Peter Martyr utilized materials some of which are no longer extant, interviewed explorers and conquerors, and as a member in later life of the Council of the Indies had extraordinary facilities for getting at the truth. His history is an invaluable repository of facts relating to the explorations, and to the customs of the natives.
The next historian in order of time, and one whose wide acquaintance and extensive experience in the New World were supplemented by moderation of judgment, was Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo y Valde, Historia General y Natural de las Indias (first complete ed., 4 vols., 1852‑1855).
For the Cabot literature, G. P. Winship, Cabot Bibliography (1900), is a remarkably complete and thoroughly critical guide. The Cabot documentary material in the original and in English translation is most accessible in G. E. Weare, Cabot's Discovery of North America (1897). The same material is extracted in C. R. Beazley, John and Sebastian Cabot (1898). The contributions of H. Harrisse to the Cabot question are comparable to what he has done to elucidate the life of Columbus. His Jean et Sébastien Cabot (1882) greatly advanced knowledge of the material p329 its critical interpretation. His later John Cabot the Discoverer of North America and Sebastian His Son, etc. (1896), is invaluable to the student of Cabot problems, which have also received penetrating and critical treatment in his Discovery of North America (1892), and his most recent elaborate work, Découverte et Évolution Cartographique de Terre-Neuve (1900). The modern scientific study of the Cabot problem began with Richard Biddle, Memoir of Sebastian Cabot (1831), and the best critical survey of the question in English before the publication of Harrisse's work was Charles Deane's monograph, in Winsor, Narrative and Critical History, III. The principal Cabot documents are also to be found in translation in Markham, The Journal of Christopher Columbus (1893).
The documents relating to the Corte-Real voyages and the critical discussion of them will be found in Harrisse, Les Corte-Real et Voyages au Nouveau-Monde (1883). Harrisse makes a later survey of the same subject in his Discovery of North America. The documents are translated in C. R. Markham, Journal of Columbus (1893).
The documentary material on the voyage of Vasco da Gama has been critically edited by F. Hummereich, Vasco da Gama und die Entdeckung des Seeweges nach Ostindien (1898). The original material has been translated into English, with critical introduction and notes by E. G. Ravenstein, A Journal of the First Voyage of Vasco da Gama, 1497‑1499 (1898). The first great narrative history of the Portuguese discoveries was João de Barros, Decadas da Asia (1553, best ed., 24 vols., 1778‑1788). Barros's work, like that of Herrera, was founded upon documents and contemporary narratives. Barros has never been translated into English, but his history down to 1502 is accessible in a German version by E. Feust (1844).
An important contemporary account of Cabral's discovery of Brazil is that by Pero Vas de Caminha in Alguns Documentos da Torre do Tombo, 108. Chapter LXIV of the p330 Paesi Novamente Ritrovati (1507, reprinted in the Raccolta Colombiana, pt. III) contains the journal of a Portuguese sailor; and another account by the ship's surgeon, Maestre Juan, is noted by Peschel as in F. A. de Varnhagen, Historia Geral do Brazil, I, 423.
For the voyages of Pinzon and Niño the earliest account is that of Peter Martyr in the Libretto (in English in Thacher, Columbus, II). These accounts reappear substantially unchanged in Peter Martyr's Decades. Hojeda's own testimony in regard to his voyage of 1499 and Navarrete's account are translated by Markham, Letters of Amerigo Vespucci (1894). Vespucci's narrative of his first voyage — dated by himself 1497 — is now regarded as an account of this voyage. The fullest account in English of these early secondary voyages is that of Irving, Voyages of the Companions of Columbus (1831), based on Navarrete and Las Casas; the volume is usually published with his Life of Columbus. E. Channing has given a brief critical account in Winsor, Narrative and Critical History, I, chap. III.
A complete bibliography of the Vespucci question and of the name America was prepared by G. Fumagalli for G. Uzielli's new edition of A. M. Bandini, Vita di Amerigo Vespucci (1893). The accepted and the questioned Vespucci letters are critically edited and interpreted by Francisco Adolpho de Varnhagen, Amerigo Vespucci: son Caractère, ses Écrits, sa Vie et ses Navigations (1865). Critical opinion, however, is not agreed in entirely rejecting some of the narratives that Varnhagen declared spurious. The best modern critical discussion of the Vespucci question is that by Hugues, in the Raccolta Colombiana. The earliest detailed hostile criticism of Vespucci's narrative of his first voyage was written by Las Casas. It became generally accessible in Herrera's incorporation of its substance in his history and deeply influenced opinion, although its real author p331 was unknown until modern times. Las Casas' discussion is translated in Markham, Letters of Amerigo Vespucci (1894), which contains in translation the two accepted narratives of Vespucci. Markham's introduction is adverse to Vespucci's claims. Quaritch has published a convenient fac-simile reprint of the original edition of the Soderini letter published in Florence in 1505‑1506 as The First Four Voyages of Amerigo Vespucci (1893). The English translation is more exact than Markham's. Of importance in the history of the Vespucci controversy are Humboldt, Untersuchungen (see index), and Santarem, Recherches Historiques, etc. (1842), accessible in English in E. V. Childe's translation (1850).
An excellent résumé of the diffusion of the name America is L. Hugues, Leº Vicende del Nome "America" (1898). Kretschmer's chapter, "Der Name des Neuen Weltteils," in his Entdeckung Amerikas, also traces the history of the name. Jules Marcou's arguments for a native origin of the name are fully presented in his Nouvelles Recherches sur l'Origine du Nom d'Amérique (1888). His view has won no adherents from among scholars of rank.
The principal source for the Pinzon-Solis voyage of 1508 is Peter Martyr, Decades, II, lib. VII.
The sources for the attempts of Hojeda and Nicuesa to colonize the main-land are the cedula and report of Colmenares, in Navarrete, Viages, III, 116, 386; the narrative of Las Casas, which he based upon a history in manuscript by one Cristobal de la Tovilla, entitled La Barbarica (Las Casas, III, 289); Peter Martyr, Decades, II, lib. I‑III; and Oviedo, Historia General, book XXVII. Detailed modern narratives in Washington Irving, Companions of Columbus; H. H. Bancroft, History of Central America, I; and Arthur Helps, Spanish Conquest in America, I.
Peter Martyr's account of Balboa and the discovery of p332 the Pacific is based on the contemporary reports of Colmenares and Caicedo and the letters of Balboa and others from the isthmus. Navarrete (III, 358, 375) prints two letters of Balboa to the king. Irving's account of Balboa, in his Companions of Columbus, is based on the sources, as is that of Helps, Spanish Conquest in America. The fullest recent narrative is that of H. H. Bancroft, Central America, I. Peter Martyr's account of the Solis voyage to the Rio de la Plata region is based on the reports of survivors.
The original materials for Magellan's voyage occupy Vol. IV of Navarrete. The narratives are translated in Lord Stanley, The First Voyage Round the World (1874). The best modern account is F. H. H. Guillemard, Life of Ferdinand Magellan and the First Circumnavigation of the Globe (1891). For translations of the diplomatic negotiations between Spain and Portugal and of the account of the voyage by Maximilianus Transylvanus, see E. H. Blair and J. A. Robertson, The Philippine Islands, I (1903).
The primary sources for the Spanish explorations of the North-American coast and interior are indicated in the foot-notes to the text, see above, chaps. X‑XII. The following paragraphs are merely supplementary to that material. The best of the earlier accounts of Spanish explorations and attempted colonization of North America is A. G. Barcia, Ensayo Cronologico para la Historia General de la Florida, etc. (1723), arranged in the form of annals covering the years 1512‑1722. It was based in part on unpublished documents.
Among the modern critical accounts of the Spanish explorations of the Atlantic coast and of such Portuguese ones as occurred later than those mentioned in the text of the present work, Harrisse's Discovery of North America is pre-eminent. Next would be placed J. G. Shea's "Ancient Florida," in Winsor, Narrative and Critical History, II. The p333 latest study of the Spaniards in North America is W. Lowery, Spanish Settlements in North America (1901), a work of sound scholarship based on the sources. Lowery's references also offer a useful clew to the monographic literature of his subject. Shea has based his account of Ayllon's attempted colony (Winsor, II) on unpublished material.
For the voyage of Estevan Gomez, Harrisse published a previously unedited contemporary account by the Spanish geographer De Santa Cruz. Peter Martyr's account, too, is primary.
The best modern discussions of the Verrazano question are those of Hugues in the Raccolta and Harrisse in the Discovery of North America. Noteworthy, too, is K. Lechner, in the Globus (1890). The history of the discussion over the authenticity of Verrazano's voyage is narrated by George Dexter, in Winsor, Narrative and Critical History, IV, chap. I. Of the two texts of the Verrazano narrative the one first known was first published by Ramusio, Navigationi, 1556, and this text is the one which Hakluyt translated. The other text was first published by the New York Historical Society in 1841, accompanied by an English translation by Dr. J. G. Cogswell. A critical edition of this second text was included in the Raccolta Colombiana. H. C. Murphy's monograph, The Voyage of Verrazzano (1875), reprints Dr. Cogswell's translation of the narrative, and also translations from Portuguese documents relating to Verrazano, and from Spanish documents relating to the French pirate Jean Florin.
The original of the narrative of the first Cartier voyage was republished by Tross in Paris (1867); that of the second has survived in only one copy which was critically edited by D'Avezac in 1863. These early French explorers are vividly sketched in Francis Parkman, Pioneers of France in the New World (1865 and later).
By the side of Parkman's brilliant narrative of the clash between the French and Spaniards in Florida Shea's equally learned but less highly colored essay deserves to stand in p334 the front rank of the secondary accounts. Paul Gaffarel, La Floride Française (1875), reprints the contemporary narratives. The primary sources are indicated in the foot-notes to chap. XII.
The primary sources for De Soto's expedition will be found in the foot-notes to chap. XI. It is to be remarked in addition that Oviedo's account incorporates material from the diary of Rodrigo Ranjel (see his Historia General, I, 560), not elsewhere preserved. Buckingham Smith's translation of the narratives of the Gentleman of Elvas and of Biedma, together with an English translation of the Ranjel narrative, will be found in E. G. Bourne, Narratives of Hernando de Soto (1904). The Spanish text of the Biedma narrative is in B. Smith, Documentos para la Historia de la Florida (1857). W. Lowery and J. G. Shea in Winsor, Narrative and Critical History, II, are excellent guides to the interpretation of the route and to the literature relating to it.
In regard to the literature of southwestern exploration, G. P. Winship, Bibliography of the Coronado Expedition, is a very valuable guide. It was appended to his edition of all the Coronado documents in English translation, including the original Spanish text, not previously printed, of Castañeda's narrative, published by the United States Bureau of Ethnology, Fourteenth Annual Report (1896). The translations have been revised in G. P. Winship, Journey of Coronado (1904).
The wanderings of Cabeça de Vaca and the reconnoissance of Friar Marcos have been very carefully studied on the ground by A. F. Bandelier, Contributions to the History of the Southwestern Portion of the United States (1890). The chapters in Lowery's Spanish Settlements are furnished with abundant references to the literature. The whole field of southwestern exploration is covered in detail in H. H. Bancroft, History of Mexico (1883), History p335 of the North Mexican States (1884), History of California, I (1884), and History of Arizona and New Mexico (1889).
In addition to the two series of Documentos Ineditos de las Indias and its continuation the Documentos de Ultramar, the Recopilacion de Leyes de los Reynos de las Indias (last ed. 1841) is indispensable to an understanding of the Spanish system. The Politica Indiana of Juan de Solorzano Pereira (1703) is an elaborate treatise on colonial political and religious institutions; it is very useful but trying, owing to the author's rambling and discursive method. Other valuable contemporary descriptions of Spanish colonial organization are Juan Lopez de Velasco, Geografia y Descripcion Universal de las Indias (1574, first published, 1894); and Antonio de Herrera, Descripcion de las Indias Occidentales (1615). Bernard Moses, The Establishment of Spanish Rule in America (1898), is a serviceable exposition of the governmental system. R. G. Watson, Spanish and Portuguese South America (1884), is the best general narrative of the history of colonial South America. Somewhat more inclusive in scope, with a useful bibliography, is A. Zimmermann, Die Kolonialpolitik Portugals und Spaniens (1896).
A. Fabié, Ensayo Historico de la Legislacion Española en sus Estados de Ultramar (1896), is a compendious survey of the colonial legislation for the first half-century. Among the general accounts of the Spanish colonial system the following may be mentioned as particularly serviceable. As an introduction, the fifth chapter of H. H. Bancroft, History of Central America, I; W. Roscher, The Spanish Colonial System (Bourne's ed., 1904); Konrad Häbler, The Colonial Kingdom of Spain, in H. Helmholt, History of the World, I; and E. Armstrong, The Emperor Charles V, II, 90‑113.
There is much that is still valuable in W. Robertson, History of America, book VIII (1777). Of the accounts of the p336 system as it appeared in individual colonies, Alexander von Humboldt, Personal Narrative of Travels (1818‑1829), is pre-eminent for northeastern South America and Cuba, and his Political Essay on New Spain (1811) for Mexico. One of the best pictures of Spanish colonial life is that in F. Depons, Voyage to the Eastern Part of Terra-Firma (1806); compare also R. M. Baralt's description of Venezuela at the end of the eighteenth century in his Resumen de la Historia Antigua de Venezuela (1841). Conditions in New Granada and Peru are described by Jorge Juan and Antonio de Ulloa, Voyage to South America (1758 and later). The dark side of life in Peru and the corruption of political and social life were set forth in strong colors in their confidential report to the king, published eventually as Noticias Secretas de America (1826). Much valuable information as to conditions in Peru early in the eighteenth century is contained in A. F. Frézier, Voyage à la Mer Sud (1717).
Conditions in the Philippines in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries are depicted in E. G. Bourne, "Historical Introduction" to The Philippine Islands, vol. I (edited by E. H. Blair and J. A. Robertson, 1903).
The third volume of H. H. Bancroft, History of Mexico (1883), concludes with a detailed picture of Mexican life and institutions at the end of the old régime. It is, on the whole, one of the best of the general descriptions.
Arthur Helps, The Spanish Conquest in America (1855‑1861), devotes especial attention to the status of the Indians and the introduction of negro slaves. A new edition by M. Oppenheim (1900‑) has valuable additional notes and references. One of the best single volumes on the economic side of the Spanish colonial system is A. de Saco, Historia de la Esclavitud de la Raza Africana en el Nuevo Mundo (1879), a work based upon contemporary materials often unprinted. Saco also published a valuable study of the encomienda system in the Revista de Cuba.
On the mission system, besides the references given above (p305),º may be noted Lowery, Spanish Settlements, 181. Perhaps the most important account of the Jesuit p337 mission work in Paraguay is M. Dobrizhoffer, Account of the Abipones, etc. (1822). E. Gothein, Der Christlich-sociale Staat der Jesuiten in Paraguay (1883), discusses the literature of the Paraguay mission, p32. The missions in California are described in La Pérouse, Voyage autour du Monde (1786), II, 260‑275; in Beechy, Voyage to the Pacific, I, 353‑371; Duflot de Mofras, L'Orégon (1844), I, 261‑279; H. H. Bancroft, California Pastoral (1888).
The earlier regulations of the commerce between Spain and her colonies are set forth in Veitia Linage, Norte de la Contratacion de las Indias Occidentales (1672). Later usages and modifications are described in R. Antunez y Acevedo, Memorias Historicas sobre la Legislacion y Gobierno del Comercio de los Españoles con sus Colonias en las Indias Occidentales (1797), and J. G. Rubalcava, Tratado Historico Politico y Legal del Comercio (1750). The services of the Casa de Contratacion in advancing geographical knowledge and in developing the agricultural resources of the New World are described on the basis of its records by M. de la Puente y Olea, Los Trabajos Geograficos de la Casa de Contratacion (1900).
The relation of the colonial system to Spanish economic life is considered by M. Colmeiro, Historia de la Economia Politica en España (1863), II. The beginnings of the church in Mexico, as well as many other features of Spanish colonial policy, are treated in an illuminating way in J. G. Icazbalceta, "Don Fray Juan Zumárraga, Primer Obispo y Arzobispo de Mexico," Obras, I (1896), and the monographs in the other volumes of his collected works. In addition, L. Alaman, Disertaciones (1844‑1849).
Read Casa de Contratacion instead of "Casa de Contractacion" wherever the latter occurs.
Thayer's Note: I've made the correction thruout the text.
Images with borders lead to more information.
The thicker the border, the more information. (Details here.)
Spain in America
A page or image on this site is in the public domain ONLY
if its URL has a total of one *asterisk.
If the URL has two **asterisks,
the item is copyright someone else, and used by permission or fair use.
If the URL has none the item is © Bill Thayer.
See my copyright page for details and contact information.
Page updated: 7 Jun 16