Of the River of Plate, or the Silver River.
ABout the yeares one thousand five hundred and two or three, some four or five Captaines undertook a journey to the River of Plate, which containes many Provinces and Countries, which flourish Page 108 with people very rational, and of hand∣some dispositions. In general we can say that they did there commit many horrid mischiefes and execrable murders. But being at a very great distance from those Indians, of whom we have talked more at large, we can relate nothing singular or particular; onely we doe not question, but they do employ themselves in the same works of darknesse as hath been hitherto practised in divers other places; for they are Spaniards still, and many of them the very same who were present at the other Massacres, and having the same intention to become rich and potent, which they can∣not obtaine but by the same courses as they formerly took, following the bloody footsteps of those who have already de∣stroyed and slain so many Indians.
After I had written what I have above mentioned, it hath been related to me for certaine, that they have depopulated and laid waste many Provinces and Kingdoms in those Regions, rendring themselves so much the more exquisite and devilish in their oppressions, slaughters, and mas∣sacres of those people, by how much they are at a farther and more conveni∣ent distance from Spaine; and laying aside all thoughts of Justice, which in∣deed was never practis'd in those Regions of America, as doth sufficiently appeare by Page 109 what we have above writtrn. Among all the Enormities which shall follow after, this one was read in the Councel. A cer∣tain Gouernour had given in charge to his souldiers, that into whatever Village they came that should deny them provisi∣on, that they should there put all the In∣habitants to the sword. Upon which Warrant the souldiers went, and because the Indians would not submit to them as to enemies, fearing rather to come into their sight, then that their Liberality or Store would be defective, they immediatly put to the sword above 5000. of them. A certain number of men also living in peace, offer'd their service to them; they after∣wards were by chance summon'd by the Governour, and because they came not so suddenly as his fury expected, he there∣upon commanded that they should be de∣livered to those Indians that were their e∣nemies. With tears and outcries they be∣seeched him that he would rather permit them to die by their hands, then deliver them up to the mercy of their foes; and when they would not come out of the hou∣ses where they were, they were all torne lim-meale, crying out, and saying, We come in peace to serve you, and you now kill us, may our blood sprinkled upon these walls be a testimony of our unjust death, and of your cruelty. Certainly this was a deed not Page 110 only to be bemoaned, but also to be bewaild and pity'd.