Part 5 out of 6
broken into a hundred little tribes, always at war, and caring little
for religion of any sort or kind. Again, there seems in the Chaco
to have been no means of amassing any kind of wealth, as all the territory
was quite uncultivated and in a virgin state; but, still,
the settlements had existed long enough for cattle to increase.*
Lastly, the incursions of the barbarous tribes were a constant menace
both to the Jesuits and their neophytes. Yet in their indefatigable way
the Jesuits made considerable progress amongst the Chaco tribes,
as both the curious `History of the Abipones' by Father Dobrizhoffer
and the inventories preserved by Brabo prove.**
* The total number of cattle was 78,171, as against
698,353 in the towns of the Guaranis. See Brabo,
`Inventarios de los bienes hallados a/ la expulsion de los Jesuitas',
Appendix, p. 668.
** `History of the Abipones', from the Latin of Martin Dobrizhoffer,
It is a curious circumstance that in the missions in the Chaco
there were negro slaves, though in the Paraguayan missions
they were unknown. In the inventory of the town of San Lucas
appear the following entries, under the head of `Negros Esclavos':
`Justo, que sirve de capataz en el campo; sera/ de edad
de veinte y siete an~os, mas o/ menos segun su aspecto.'
`Item, Pedro, sera/ de diez y seis an~os y es medio fatuo.'
`Item, Jose/ Felix, sera/ de un mes y medio.'
Besides their seven establishments in the Gran Chaco,
they had three establishments in the north of Paraguay
in the great woods which fringe the central mountain range of the country,
known as the Cordillera de M'baracayu. These missions,
called San Joaquin del Taruma, San Estanislao, and Belen,
were quite apart from all the other missions of the Guaranis,
far distant from the Chaco, and removed by an enormous distance
from those of the Order in the Moxos and amongst the Chiquitos,
forming, as it were, an oasis in the recesses of the Tarumensian woods.
These three reductions, founded respectively in 1747,* 1747, and 1760,
were, as their dates indicate, the swansong of the Jesuits in Paraguay.
Founded as they were far from the Spanish settlements, they were quite removed
from the intrigues and interferences of the Spanish settlers,
which were the curse of the other missions on the Parana.
The Tobatines Indians** were of a different class to the Guaranis,
though possibly of the same stock originally. Not having come
in contact until recent years with the Spaniards, and having had
two fierce and prolonged wars with the nearest settlements,
they had remained more in their primitive condition than any of the Indians
with whom the Jesuits had come in contact in Paraguay.
During the short period of Jesuit rule amongst them (1746-1767)
things seem to have gone on in a half-Arcadian way. In San Joaquin,
Dobrizhoffer, as he says himself, devoted eight years of unregretted labour
to the Indians. Most certainly he was one of the Jesuits
who understood the Indians best, and his descriptions of them and their life
are among the most delightful which have been preserved.
He tells of the romantic but fruitless search during eighteen months
throughout the forests of the Taruma by Fathers Yegros, Escandon,
Villagarcia, and Rodriguez, for the Itatines who had left
the reduction of Nuestra Senora de Santa Fe, and had hidden in the woods.
* Though 1747 was the date of the final founding of these reductions,
as early as 1697 about four hundred Indians were discovered
in the woods of the Taruma by Fathers Robles and Ximenes,
and established in the mission of Nuestra Senora de Fe;
but in the year 1721 they all returned to the woods,
a famine and an outbreak of the small-pox having frightened them.
After being again established in a mission, and again having left it,
in 1746, they were established definitely at San Joaquin.
** Dobrizhoffer calls the Tobatines by the name of Itatines.
Charlevoix and others refer to them as Tobatines.
Then, commenting upon the strangeness of all affairs sublunary,
he relates that accident at length effected what labour could not do.
In 1746 Father Sebastian de Yegros, after a search of forty days,
came on the Indians -- as it were, directed by Providence,
or, as we now say, accident. He built a town for them,
and, as Dobrizhoffer says, `assembled them in Christian polity.'
To the new-founded village cattle of every kind were sent,
with clothes -- useful, of course, to those who had never worn them --
axes, and furniture, and lastly a few music masters,* without whose help
those who build cities spend their toil in vain.
* `Account of the Abipones', p. 54.
To the new town (in which the simple-hearted priest remained eight years),
in 1753, came Don Carlos Morphi, an Irishman, and Governor of Paraguay;
and, having stayed five days with Dobrizhoffer, departed,
marvelling at the accuracy with which the new-made Christians
(`Cristianos nuevos') managed their double-basses, their flageolets,
their violins, and, in general, all their instruments,
whether of music or of war.
Modestly, but with prolixity, as befits a virtuous, God-fearing man,
the simple Jesuit relates a special instance of the way in which
he was enabled to work both for his own glory and for the profit of the Lord.
Not far from San Estanislao was situate the forest of M'baevera,
in which grew quantities of trees from which the `yerba-mate'
(Paraguayan tea) was made. To reach it was a work of pain and trouble,
for through the woods a track called a `picada' had to be cut;
the rivers were deep, bridgeless, and had to have branches strewed
along the track to give a footing to the struggling mules.*
* In 1873, when I visited the outskirts of this forest,
the conditions were similar to those which Dobrizhoffer describes,
with the addition that the depopulation of the country,
owing to the recent long war, had allowed the tigers to multiply
to an extraordinary degree, and my guide and myself,
after feeding our horses, had to sleep alternately,
the waker holding the two horses hobbled and bridled.
An expedition having been sent under a certain Spaniard called Villalba
to collect `yerba', came suddenly upon a deserted Indian hut.
As they had started quite unarmed, except with knives and axes
to cut down the boughs, a panic seized them, and, instead of collecting
any leaves,* they hurried back to San Estanislao. No sooner
did Dobrizhoffer hear the news than he set out to find the Indians,
with a few neophytes, upon his own account. Having travelled
the `mournful solitudes' for eighteen days, they came upon no sign of Indians,
and returned footsore and hungry, `the improvement of our patience
being our sole recompense.'
* The whole operation of collecting and preparing the leaves
of the `Ilex Paraguayensis', to make the `yerba-mate', was most curious.
Bands of men used to sally out for a six-months' expedition,
either by land with bullock-waggons, or up one of the rivers
in flat-bottomed boats, which were poled along against the rapid current
by crews of six to twelve men. Arrived at the `yerbal',
as the forest was called, they built shelters, after the fashion of those
in use amongst the larger of the anthropoid apes. Some roamed the woods
in search of the proper trees, the boughs of which they cut down
with machetes, whilst others remained and built a large shed of canes
called a `barbacoa'. On this shed were laid the bundles of boughs
brought from the woods, and a large fire was lighted underneath.
During forty-eight hours (if I remember rightly) the toasting went on;
then, when sufficiently dry, the leaves were stripped from the twigs,
and placed on a sort of open space of hard clay, something like
a Spanish threshing-floor. On this they were pounded fine,
and the powder rammed into raw-hide bags. This concluded the operations,
and the `yerba' was then ready for the `higgling of the market'.
He himself walked all the way, and `often barefoot',
suffering `what neither I can describe nor yet my reader credit.'
The missionary calling has undergone considerable change since 1750.
Hardships which the greater faith or stronger constitutions
of the missionaries of the last century rendered endurable
are now largely fallen out of fashion, and your missionary
seldom walks barefoot, even in a wood, because to do so would give offence,
and bring discredit on the society for which he works.
Though unsuccessful in his search that year, Dobrizhoffer,
not daunted by his barefoot marching, set out again upon the Gospel trail
next spring. After another journey of some twenty days,
during the whole course of which it rained incessantly,
he came on a community of seemingly quite happy sylvans,
whom he proceeded to convert. In the first hut he met with
there were eight doors, and in it dwelt some sixty Indians --
a palm-built, grass-thatched phalanstery, with hammocks slung
from the rude beams, in which `these heathen' used to sleep.
Each separate family had its own fire, on the hearth of which
stood mugs and gourds and pots of rudely-fashioned earthenware.
Naked and not ashamed `these savages', and the men wore upon their heads
high crowns of parrot feathers. For arms they carried bows and arrows,
and the first man Dobrizhoffer saw was holding a dead pheasant in one hand,
and in the other a short bow. In the woods around the phalanstery
was an `amazing' quantity of maize, of fruits of divers sorts, and of tobacco.
From the hives which the wild bees make in hollow trees, they collected honey
in large quantities, which served them (at least so Dobrizhoffer says)
for meat and drink alike.
Their name for the god they worshipped was Tupa, but `of that God
and his commandments they care to know but little.' This sounds ambiguous,
and would appear at first sight as if the confidence betwixt
the creators and their God had been but slight. Perhaps the ambiguity
may be set down to the translator* who turned the Latin
in which the memoirs first were formed into the vulgar tongue.
* `Traduttore traditore', as the proverb says.
A thing remarkable enough when one considers how prone mankind is
to act differently was that, although the Itatines knew an evil spirit
under the name of Ana, yet they paid little adoration to him,
apparently content to know as little of him and his laws
as they did of their God.
Those hapless, harmless folk, as innocent of God and devil, right and wrong,
and all the other things which by all rights they should have known,
as they are said to be implanted in the mind of man, no matter what his state,
seem to have lived quite happily in their involuntary sin.* But Dobrizhoffer,
in his simple faith and zeal for what he thought was right, wept bitter tears
when he thought upon their unregenerate state.
* Charlevoix says, in his `Histoire de la Nouvelle France',
speaking of the Indians in general: `L'expe/rience a fait voir
qu'il e/toit plus a\ propos de les laisser dans leur simplicite/
et dans leur ignorance, que les sauvages peuvent e^tre des bons Chre/tiens
sans rien prendre de notre politesse et de notre fac,on de vivre,
ou du moins qu'il falloit laisser faire au tems pour les tirer
de leur grossie\rete/, qui ne les empe^che pas de vivre
dans une grande innocence, d'avoir beaucoup de modestie,
et de servir Dieu avec une pie/te/ et une ferveur, que les rendent
tre\s propres aux plus sublimes ope/rations de la gra^ce.'
Had more people thought with Charlevoix, and not been too anxious
to draw savages incontrovertibly to our `politesse' (sic) and `fac,on',
and left more to time (`au tems'), how much misery might have been saved,
and how many interesting peoples preserved! For, in spite of the domination
of the Anglo-Saxon race, it might have been wise to leave other types,
if only to remind us of our superiority.
A sycophantic Guarani from the reductions then took up his parable,
and said: `God save ye, brothers; we are come to visit you as friends.
This father-priest is God's own minister, and comes to visit you,
and pray for your estate.' An aged Indian interrupted him,
saying he did not want a father-priest, and that St. Thomas in the past
had prayed sufficiently, as fruits of every sort abounded in the land.
The Indian, in his unsophisticated way, seems to have thought
the presence of a priest acted but as manure on the ground where he abode;
but the Jesuit, almost as simple-minded as himself, took it in kindliness,
and journeyed with the Indian to a large village about three days away.
Arrived there, all the inhabitants of the place sat in a circle
round the missionary. They appeared (he says) in so much modesty and silence
`that I seemed to behold statues, and not live Indians.'
To awaken their attention he played upon the viol d'amore,
and, having thus captured their ears, began to preach to them.
The good priest probably believed all that he said, for, after dwelling
on the perils of the road, he said: `My friends, my errand
is to make you happy.' It did not seem to him that their free life in woods,
in which abounded maize, fruits, and tobacco, with game of every kind,
could possibly have induced content. Content, as Christians know,
comes but with faith, and a true knowledge of the dogma
is above liberty. Kindly, but muddle-headedly, he deplored their lot,
their want of clothes, their want of interest in their God,
their lack of knowledge of that God's commands. Then, coming to the point,
he spoke of hell, and told the astonished Indians that it was quite impossible
for them to avoid its flames, unless, taught by a priest,
they came to know God's law. He then briefly (as he says)
explained the mysteries of our faith. They listened rapt,
except that `the boys laughed a little' when he spoke of hell.*
Nothing more painful than to see a child laughing unconscious of its peril
in the traffic of a crowded street, and we may well believe
that the kind-hearted Dobrizhoffer shuddered at the laughter of these children
when he reflected that had he taken the wrong path,
crossing the marshes or in the woods, the laughers had been damned.
Much more he said to them after exhausting hell, and, to `add weight'
to his oration, presented each of them with scissors, knives,
glass beads, axes, small looking-glasses, and fishing-hooks, for he knew well
that sermons which end in `give me' have but a small effect.
* Hell not infrequently seems to have struck the Indians as a joke,
for Charlevoix relates that when the first missionaries
expatiated on its flames to the Chirignanos, they said,
`If there is fire in hell, we could soon get enough water
to put it out.' This answer scandalized the good priest,
who could not foresee that the flames of Tophet would be extinguished
without the necessity of any other waters than those of indifference.
He says himself quite frankly, `I seemed to have borne down all before me
because I had mingled my oration with a copious largess.'*
Glass beads and looking-glasses have from the time when
the first Christian missionary preached to the Indians
been potent factors in conversion, and still to-day do yeoman service
in the great work of bringing souls to God.
* `Account of the Abipones', p. 74.
Seated around the fire `smoking tobacco through a reed',
and pondering perchance over the mysteries of the new expounded faith,
the `cacique' of the Itatines took up his parable.
`I have' (said he) `conceived an affection for the father-priest,
and hope to enjoy his company throughout my life. My daughter
is the prettiest girl in the whole world, and I am now resolved
to give her to the father-priest, that he may always stay with me,
and with my family, here in the woods.'
The Indians from the missions broke into laughter, after the fashion
of all those who, knowing but a little, think that they are wise.
The `cacique', who knew nothing, was astounded that any man,
no matter what his calling, could live without a wife, and asked the Jesuit
if the strange thing was true. His doubts being satisfied, they fell
discoursing on the nature of the Deity, a subject not easy of exhaustion,
and difficult to treat of through the medium of an interpreter.
`We know' (the `cacique' said) `that there is someone who dwells in heaven.'
This vagueness put the missionary upon his mettle, and he set out at once
to expatiate upon the attributes of God. They seemed to please the `cacique',
who inquired, `What is it that displeases, then, the dweller in the skies?'
Lies, calumnies, adulteries, thefts, all were enumerated,
and received the Indian's assent; but the injunction not to kill
provoked a bystander to ask if it was not permitted to a man to slay those
who attacked his life. He added, `I have endeavoured so to do
since the first day I carried arms.'
`Fanatical casuist' is a stout argument in the mouth of a man
nurtured upon Suarez and Molina, but no doubt it did good service,
and Dobrizhoffer uses it when speaking of the chief. But Dobrizhoffer
did better work than mere theological disputation, for he prevailed upon
eighteen of the Indians to accompany him to the settlement of San Joaquin;
and after having `for some months tried the constancy' of a youth
called Arapotiyu, he admitted him to the sacrament of baptism,
and `not long afterwards united him in marriage according to
the Christian rites.' It is evident that baptism should precede marriage;
but it is an open question as to the duration of the interval
between the two ceremonies, and we may be permitted to wonder whether,
after all, both might not be advantageously dispensed at the same time.
In the case of Arapotiyu the system worked satisfactorily,
for he `surpassed in every kind of virtue, and might have been taken
for an old disciple of Christianity.' Even `old Christians' occasionally,
despite their more laborious induction into the rites and customs
of their faith, have fallen from grace, perhaps from the undue prolongation
of the term between the ceremonies.
In the case of another youth (one Gato) things did not go
so smoothly, for though he, too, by his conduct obtained
both baptism and Christian wedlock, Dobrizhoffer adds without comment,
`not many months after he died of a slow disease.'* The slow disease
was not improbably the nostalgia of the woods, from which
the efforts of the good missionary had so successfully withdrawn him.
* Padre del Techo, in his `History of Paraguay', says of the wood Indians
that `they died like plants which, grown in the shade,
will not bear the sun.'
The labours of the Jesuits in the three isolated missions
in the north of Paraguay* seem to have been as successful
as those in the Chaco were unfortunate. In dealing with
the wild equestrian tribes of the Gran Chaco, the system of the Jesuits
was not so likely to achieve success as amongst the peaceful Guaranis.
That of the Spanish settlers was entirely ineffectual, and has remained so
down to the present day, when still the shattered remnants of the Lules,
Lenguas, Mocobios, and the rest, roam on their horses or in their canoes
about the Chaco and its rivers, having received no other benefits
from contact with the European races but gunpowder and gin.
* San Joaquin, San Estanislao, and Belen.
The Spanish and Portuguese attempt to force new laws on the Indians --
The Indians revolt against them -- The hopeless struggle goes on
for eight years -- Ruin of the missions
The missions in the Chaco and the Taruma, all founded between 1700 and 1760,
the last (Belen) but seven years before the expulsion of the Jesuits
from America, go far towards disproving the allegations of some writers,*1*
that the apostolic energy of the first foundations had decayed,
and that the Jesuits were merely living on the good name of the first founders
in the beginning of the past century. But let the zeal of any class of men
be what it may, if they oppose themselves to slavery and at the same time
are reported to have lands in which is gold, and resolutely
exclude adventurers from them, their doom is sealed.
Both crimes were set down to the Jesuits. Writing in 1784,
or twenty years after the expulsion of his order, Dobrizhoffer refers
to the Indians of the reductions as `being in subjection*2*
only to the Catholic King and the royal Governors, not in dreaded slavery
amongst private Spaniards as the other Indians;' and Montoya, Lozano,
and Del Techo, writing in earlier times, all confirm the statement,
which is also doubly confirmed by the various royal edicts on the subject.*3*
The reports of gold-mines, too, had never ceased, although they had been
repeatedly disproved, and those, together with the stand for freedom
for the Indians, led to the events which finally brought about
the expulsion of the Order from the territories where they had worked so long.
*1* Notably those of Azara.
*2* `Account of the Abipones', p. 15.
*3* As that of Philip V., from the palace of Buen Retiro, December 28, 1743,
and his two letters to the Jesuits of Paraguay. Also the previous edict
obtained by Montoya from Philip II., and by the various additions
on the same head made from time to time to the code
known as `The Laws of the Indies'.
In 1740, Gomez de Andrade, Governor for the King of Portugal
in Rio de Janeiro, being one of those who was convinced
that the reason why the Jesuits guarded their territories so religiously
was that they had mines, bethought him of a plan. His plan,
like most of those conceived on the fantastic reasons
which are called `of State', took no account of sentiment, and therefore,
as mankind are and will ever be a thousand times more influenced by sentiment
than by hard reasoning, was from the first bound of itself to fail.
The colony of Sacramento upon the river Plate had for a hundred years
been the source of conflict between the Spaniards and the Portuguese.*1*
Situated as it was almost in front of Buenos Ayres, it served
as a depot for smugglers; and, moreover, being fortified,
menaced the navigation both of the Parana and Paraguay.
Slavers from England, Holland, and the German ports crowded the harbour.
Arms of all kinds were stored there, and were distributed to all adventurers
who meditated assaults against the crown of Spain. Twice or three times
it had been taken and restored, the Indians of the missions
always rendering most efficient help. At the time of which I write (1740)
it had passed again by treaty under the dominion of the Portuguese,
but still remained a standing menace to the Spaniards.
Gomez Andrade advised the court of Lisbon to exchange it against
the seven reductions*2* of the Uruguay, and thus at once
to secure a country rich in gold and to adjust the frontier
at the river Uruguay. Nothing appears so simple to a statesman
as to exchange one piece of territory for another. A parchment signed
after some international negotiations, and the whole thing is done.
If, though, as happened in this case, one of the territories
contains a population such as that which inhabited the seven towns
upon the Uruguay, and which has conquered the country in which it lives
from virgin forest, and defended it against all comers, it sometimes happens
that the unreasonable inhabitants, by clinging to their homes,
defeat the statesmen's plans. Yet statesmen, once embarked in any plan,
do not stick at such trifles as the affection of a people for its home,
but quietly pursue their path, knowing that that which is conceived
by ministers of State must in the end be beneficial to mankind.
Without this patriotic abnegation of their feelings, no statesmen
would be worthy of the name. Indifference to the feelings of others
is perhaps the greatest proof a public man can give of his attachment
to the State. After negotiations, lasting many years,
in 1750 a treaty was signed between Portugal and Spain agreeing that
the former should give up the Colonia del Sacramento to the Spaniards
in exchange for the seven Jesuit towns upon the Uruguay, and that both nations
should furnish a commission to fix the frontiers of the two nations
on the Uruguay.*3* On February 15, 1750, the Spanish court
sent to the Jesuits of the seven towns to prepare their Indians
to leave their homes and march into the forests, and there found new towns.
*1* Since the discovery of America the Spaniards and the Portuguese
had been in constant rivalry throughout the south-eastern portion.
Their frontier, between what are now Brazil and Argentina, had never
been defined. In 1494 King John II. of Castile concluded a treaty
signed at Tordesillas with the King of Portugal, placing the dividing-line
between the countries two hundred leagues more to the westward
than that of the famous Bull of Pope Alexander VI. (May 4, 1493),
which placed it at one hundred leagues west of Cape Verd,
cutting the world in two from the Arctic to the Antarctic Pole.
From the signing of the treaty of Tordesillas trouble began
in South America between the Powers, as by that treaty a portion of Brazil
came into the power of Portugal.
*2* These were the towns of San Angel, San Nicolas, San Luis, San Lorenzo,
San Miguel, San Juan, and San Borja.
*3* According to the 1913 edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia
(in the article titled "Reductions of Paraguay") this treaty,
signed in secret on 15 January 1750, was a deliberate assault
on the Jesuit Order by the Ministers of Spain and Portugal,
the latter of whom, Pombal, is said to have been responsible
also for the false and libelous `Histoire de Nicolas I.,
Roy du Paraguai et Empereur des Mamalus' (referred to in this chapter)
which was distributed throughout Europe as another attack on the Jesuits.
As anyone familiar with the situation could see that the Indians
would not be happy about the treaty's requirement to abandon their homes,
it was a well-calculated, though detestable, move. -- A. L., 1998.
At that date Francois Retz was General of the Jesuits, and on him devolved
the duty of communicating the orders of the courts of Spain and Portugal
to the Jesuits in the missions of the Uruguay. Father Bernard Neyderdorffer
was the man on whom the Provincial of Paraguay (Father Barreda)
imposed the task of communicating to the Indians the wishes of the two courts.
Though he had lived already thirty-five years in the missions,
and knew the Indians well, and was respected by them as a father,
he seems at first to have shrunk from such a task. When the news was brought
to the towns upon the Uruguay, none of the Indians at first would credit it.
The `caciques' (chiefs) of the seven towns declared that they
would rather die than leave their native place. Nothing was heard
but lamentations and expressions of hatred of the Portuguese,
mingled with denunciations of the Jesuits themselves, who the poor Indians
not unnaturally believed were in league with Spain to sell them
to the Portuguese. But in a little the clamours turned to action,
and, not content with refusing to obey the edict of the two courts,
the Indians broke into revolt. Two most important narratives
of this revolt exist, one by Father Cardiel and one by Father Ennis,
both of whom were witnesses of the events. After considerable negotiations,
which lasted till 1753,*1* the united troops of Portugal and Spain advanced
into the mission territory to arrange the occupation of the ceded towns.
The commissioners of the two nations were, for Spain,
the Marques de Valdelirios, and for Portugal General Gomez Freyre de Andrade,
and both of them appear to have come to America already prejudiced
against the Jesuits. On March 24, 1753, Andrade wrote to Valdelirios,
almost before he could have heard anything definite about
the mission territory, to which they both were strangers,
telling him that opposition was to be expected, and that the Jesuits
were urging the Indians to revolt.*2* The opposition that
the two commissioners so confidently hoped to find,*3*
and which contemporary writers have set forth in its true colours
as but the revolt of ignorant Indians rendered desperate
by being arbitrarily dispossessed of lands which they themselves
had settled and held for almost a hundred years, was fraught
with serious consequences, not only to the Jesuits in Paraguay,
but to the Order throughout the world at large. For years their enemies
had said the Jesuits were endeavouring to set up in the missions
a State quite independent of the Spanish crown. By their own conduct
the Jesuits to some extent had given colour to the report,
for by excluding (in the interest of the Indians) all Spaniards
from the mission territories, it looked as if they were at work
at something which they wished to keep a secret, as no one at that time
deemed it a serious plea to enter into any line of conduct
for the good of Indians, whom in general the Spanish settlers looked upon
as beasts. That it was the best policy they could have possibly pursued
under the circumstances is proved abundantly by the code of instructions
laid down by Don Francisco Bucareli, the Viceroy of Buenos Ayres,
under whose auspices the expulsion of the Jesuits in 1760 was carried out.
In that code occurs the following article:*4* `You will not allow
any strangers, of whatever estate, quality, or condition they may be,
to reside in the town (that is, of the missions), even if they be artisans,*5*
and much less that they deal or take contracts in them
either for themselves or for others, and you shall take especial care
that the Laws of the Indies be executed, and specially those
which are contained in Article 27 of Book IX.;*6* and also
if any Portuguese deserters or other persons of whatever conditions
should come to the towns, you will instantly conduct them to this city,
taking every precaution to prevent their escape.'
*1* Most of the dates of the events subsequent to the cession
of the seven reductions on the Uruguay are taken from
`La Causa Jesuitica de Portugal' (Madrid, 1768), written by Ibanez,
a great enemy of the Jesuits. In it is also an account of the events
in Paraguay between 1750 and 1756, called `Relacion de la Guerra
que sustentaron los Jesuitas contra las tropas Espan~olas y Portuguesas
en el Uruguay y Parana/'. No proof has ever been brought forward
that the Jesuits as a body ever incited the revolt of the Indians,
though undoubtedly Father Tadeo Ennis, a hot-headed priest, stirred up
his own particular reduction to resist. It does not seem likely
that the Jesuits could have thought it possible to wage a successful war
against Spain and Portugal. The dates taken from Ibanez
tally with original letters from the Marques de Valdelirios,
the Spanish boundary commissioner, and others, which are preserved
in the Spanish national archives at Simancas.
*2* Vide `Exc. por los cartas que recibi con los avisos,
y llegada del P. Altamirano, entiendo acabara/ de persuadirse
a que los Padres de la Campan~ia son los sublevados,
sino los quitan de las aldeas sus Santos Padres (como ellos los llaman)
no experimentara/n mas que rebeliones insolencias y desprecios. . . .'
-- Letter quoted by Ibanez (`Causa Jesuitica'), and also preserved
*3* The Marques de Valdelirios, writing to Don Jose de Carvajal
from Monte Video, June 28, 1752 (Simancas, Legajo 7,447), says:
`Estoy cierto de que los padres estan ya en la persuasion
de que el tratado no se ha de dejar de executar.' This being so,
it was evident that the Marquis, at the date of writing, was of opinion
that the Jesuits were not going to oppose the execution of the treaty,
as he goes on to say: `Y es credible que con este desengan~o trabajan
seriamente en la mudanza de sus pueblos.'
*4* The instructions were prepared in 1768 by Bucareli
for the guidance of Don Juan Joseph de Vertiz, his interim successor
in the government of the River Plate, and were delivered to him in 1770
when Bucareli returned to Spain. They are printed by Brabo in his
`Coleccion de Documentos relativos a/ la Expulsion de los Jesuitas',
Madrid, 1872, p. 320.
*5* `Oficiales mecanicos'.
*6* This refers to the same subject, and prohibits any Spaniard
from settling in an Indian town in any part of America.
Still, though their policy was pursued, it did not stop
the opponents of the Jesuits from denouncing that very policy,
both at the cession of the seven towns and at the expulsion of the Order
from America. The commissioners, after innumerable delays,
having found themselves in 1753 at Santa Tecla, a village near the Uruguay,
it becomes necessary to cast a glance at what the Jesuits themselves
were doing, and how they tried to do their duty as they saw it
both to their Sovereign, their Order, and the Indians over whom they ruled.
It seems as if, whilst the superiors of the Order recognised at once
the futility of striving against Portugal and Spain,
some of the inferior members secretly set on the Indians to armed resistance
to the impolitic decree. The council of the province (Paraguay)*1*
assembled at the Jesuit college in Cordoba, composed of Fathers Masala,
Horos, Caballero, Lopez, and Lozano, sent a memorial*2*
both to the Viceroy of Peru and to the High Court of Charcas.
In the memorial they first set forth their loyalty, and then exposed
the deceit to which the ministers of Spain and Portugal had been subjected
by their advisers in America. They pointed out most justly
that the treaty was damaging to both the countries concerned,*3*
and that in regard to the Indians of the seven towns peculiarly unjust.
Both at Charcas and at Lima their memorial (though diffuse)
was favourably received, and a copy remitted to the King and Council
at Madrid. Ibanez, in his `Republica Jesuitica', qualifies the action
of the Jesuits in this matter as a `great crime'. Dean Funes only sees
duplicity of language, but seems to excuse it in the circumstances
in which the Jesuits were placed. Certainly, after efforts
extending over almost two hundred years, it was hard on them
to see seven of their most flourishing missions arbitrarily broken up,
the Indians driven from their homes, and their territory occupied
by those very Portuguese who for a hundred years had been their persecutors.
There was much to say in extenuation, even for `duplicity of language',
when one remembers that the Jesuits alone (no matter how mistaken
their views of treatment may seem to modern eyes) stood out against
the assumption that the Indians were a mere flock of sheep,
who might be driven from their homes on any pretext,
or at the exigencies of ministers at courts who lived ten thousand miles away,
and were completely ignorant of the local circumstances.
Whether the memorial influenced the court of Spain is hard to say;
but it is certain that when, in 1752, the Marques de Valdelirios
arrived in Buenos Ayres, with him came as a commissioner
to fix the boundary between the two nations of the Uruguay
Father Luis de Altamirano, accompanied by his secretary, Rafael de Cordoba,
both members of the Order, and that the Marquis took up his lodging
in the college of the Jesuits. There papers and memorials rained on him:
one came from the Bishop of Tucuman, and one from Don Jaime de San Just,
the Governor of Paraguay, with many others from people of inferior note,
all in the interest of the Company. It appears as if Valdelirios thought
that these memorials were inspired, for his first action
was to publish to the priests of the seven towns the wishes of his government
as to evacuation by the Indians of the territory. This he did
through the prefect of the missions, who seems to have acted in good faith
in his endeavours to carry out the wishes of the Spanish court.
Just at that moment Barreda, the Provincial of Paraguay,
arrived in Buenos Ayres, and Valdelirios asked him his opinion
as to the measures best calculated to insure the treaty
being quietly carried out. Barreda, though all his interests were against
the execution of the treaty, seems to have acted in good faith.
He gave the sensible advice that, as the treaty had been made entirely
without taking into consideration the difficulties of carrying it out,
it could not be held a crime to ask the King for some delay.*4*
He advised consulting three ex-Governors of Paraguay,
who happened to be in Buenos Ayres,*5* and, lastly, that all hurry,
or anything likely to excite the Indians, should be avoided;
for it was possible that they, relying on their numbers and local knowledge,
might be able to give much trouble even to the joint forces of both crowns.
He laid before Valdelirios the condition of the reductions, telling him
that they were fertile and well cultivated,*6* and that this of itself
would incline the Indians against migrating from their lands.
Lastly, he said it was the opinion of the most experienced of the priests
that the Indians would yield neither to arguments nor reason,
for the hatred of the Portuguese had put them quite beside themselves
with fury at the idea of giving up their lands. Valdelirios must have
found himself not in too comfortable a state. Lodged as he was
in the college of the Jesuits, he must have felt that most of the advice
which was so freely tendered him was biassed, and to relieve his mind
he called a council, at which the Provincial Barreda, Juan Escadon,
his secretary, Altamirano, and Rafael de Cordoba appeared. The council
recommended prudence, and, as the majority were Jesuits, pushed their prudence
even beyond Lowland Scotch or north of Ireland limits, for they proposed
to institute a commission which, after three years' investigation,
should report at Buenos Ayres on what it had found out.
Commissions, royal or otherwise, have always been a trump-card
in the hands of governments, since peddling democracy,
with show of noses and the like, came in and put an end
to those good old methods which are as dear to-day to rulers' hearts
as they have ever been since the beginning of the world,
and will be whilst election, battle, fitness, talents, wealth, unfitness,
or any other cause, gives power into the hands of anyone to rule.
*1* Dean Funes, `Ensayo de la Historia Civil del Paraguay', etc.,
tome iii., p. 45.
*2* Dean Funes says `una difusa memoria'; but, then, even though friendly,
churchmen and cats rarely forego a scratch. The proverb has it,
`Palabras de santo, un~as de gato'.
*3* Though Ibanez (`Republica Jesuitica', tome i., cap. i.) says:
`This treaty caused entire satisfaction to all the world
except the English, who feared their commerce would suffer by it
(i.e., by the closing of the Colonia del Sacramento as an entry
for smuggled goods), and the Jesuits.'
Raynal, also an ex-Jesuit, but a man of far higher character
than Ibanez, says (tome iii., lib. 97): `This treaty
met censure on both sides, the ministers in Lisbon
themselves alleging that it was a false policy to sacrifice
the Colonia del Sacramento, the clandestine commerce of which
amounted to two millions of dollars a year . . . for possessions
whose advantages were uncertain and position remote. The outcries
were even stronger in Madrid. There they imagined that the Portuguese
would soon rule all along the Uruguay . . . and from thence penetrate
up the rivers into Tucuman, Chile, and Potosi.'
*4* Quoting the Pope who advised St. Augustine on his first mission visit
to England, to convert the natives to Christianity, to go slowly.
*5* D. Martin de Echaria, Don Rafael de Menedo, and Don Marcos de Lauazabel.
*6* From a letter preserved at Simancas (Legajo 7,447),
written by P. Diego Palacios to P. Luiz de Altamirano,
dated San Miguel, June 20, 1752, it appears that there were
in the territory of the seven towns plantations of `yerba' trees, cotton,
and valuable woods.
Valdelirios, who was not a fool, saw their design, and instantly despatched
Altamirano (1752) to Castillos to meet Freire de Andrade and the Portuguese,
and set about drawing the new frontier line at once.
Altamirano, though a Jesuit, appears (at first at any rate)
to have been anxious that the treaty should be carried out.
In 1752 (September 22) he wrote* from the reduction of San Borja
to P. Mathias Stroner,** ordering all the Jesuits to assist
in carrying out the evacuation of the seven towns. By his advice
Freire de Andrade and Valdelirios met at Castillos, and, after having laid off
some twenty leagues of boundary line, returned respectively
to the Colonia and to Buenos Ayres.
* Archivo de Simancas, Legajo 7,378, folio 17 -- a long and curious letter.
** `Stroner' may have been `Stoner', in which case he must have been
an Englishman. There were few English names amongst
the Paraguayan Jesuits, if one except Juan Bruno de Yorca
(John Brown of York), Padre Esmid (Smith), the supposititious `Stoner',
and the doubtful Taddeo Ennis, who, though said to be a Bohemian,
was not impossibly a Milesian.
But in the missions things were in a state bordering on revolution.
When the letter from the prefect of the missions reached San Miguel,
the Indians assembled outside the church,* and having learned
the situation of the lands to which they were to move, their fury knew
no bounds. They all refused to stir, saying they had inherited their lands
from their forefathers and by the grace of God.** Their example
was at once followed by three more of the towns, and virtually
a state of absolute defiance to the orders of the Spanish crown ensued.
* Dean Funes, `Ensayo de la Historia Civil de Paraguay', etc., book v., p. 52.
** They also said, in a memorial presented to the Marquis of Valdelirios
by the Provincial Barreda, preserved at Simancas (Legajo 7,447),
`That they had voluntarily made themselves vassals of the King of Spain --
despues de Christianarnos, nos hizimos voluntariamente vasallos
de nuestro Catholico Rey de Espan~a para que amparandonos con su poder
fomentase nuestra devota Christiandad.' It was not likely, therefore,
that they would voluntarily become subject to the Portuguese,
their most bitter persecutors.
Just at this moment Altamirano, the commissary, arrived,
and found the state of things most serious.*1* The commissary Altamirano
set to work at once to place before the Jesuits of the seven towns
the danger they exposed themselves to if they refused to help him
to carry out the orders of the crown. Almost immediately on his arrival
he wrote*2* to Don Jose de Caruajal y Lancastre to send more troops,
and to the various priests*3* to destroy their powder,
and cease to manufacture any more.*4* It is most likely that,
if Altamirano had no secret understanding with his brother Jesuits,
his letters must have considerably amazed them, and certainly
they gave offence to the Indians, who declared he could not be
a Jesuit at all. Six hundred Indians, under a chief called Sepe Tyaragu,
marched upon Santo Thome, where Altamirano had taken up his residence,
with the avowed purpose of discussing whether he was a Jesuit or not,
and, if the latter supposition proved correct, of throwing him into
the river Uruguay;*5* but Altamirano did not wait their coming,
and returned precipitately to Buenos Ayres. The commission
which had set out to mark the limits between the countries,*6*
buried in the woods, or marching along the river, was absolutely
unaware of what was going on amongst the Indians till they arrived
in Santa Tecla on February 26, 1753. The first notice that they had of it
was when they found themselves surrounded by a strong force of Indians.
One of the commissaries, Don Juan de Echevarria, is known to have left
a curious account of the proceedings, from which Dean Funes, Ibanez,
and most of the writers on the subject must have copied.*7*
*1* Jose Barreda, the Father Provincial of the missions,
in a curious letter under date of August 2nd, 1753,
tells the Marquis of Valdelirios that he fears not only
that the 30,000 Indians resident in the seven towns may rebel,
but that they may be joined by the Indians of the other reductions,
and that it is possible they may all apostatize and return to the woods.
Brabo, in the notes to his `Atlas de Cartas Geograficas
de los Paises de la America Meridianal' (Madrid, 1872),
gives a synopsis of this letter, which formed part of his collection,
and contained the greatest quantity of interesting papers
on the Jesuits in Paraguay and Bolivia which has ever been
brought together. In 1872, after publishing his `Atlas',
his `Coleccion de Documentos', and his `Inventarios',
he presented his papers (more than 30,000 in number)
to the Archivo Historico Nacional of Madrid. There they remain,
and form a rich mine for dogged scholars who have not passed their youth
on horseback with the lazo in their hands.
*2* Archivo de Simancas, Legajo 7,378, folio 146.
*3* Ibid.: `Que toda la polvora que tengan los curas y misioneros
se queme o se inutilize y pierda hechandola al rio, y que en los pueblos
donde se fabrica, cese luego este labor.'
*4* In another letter, also preserved at Simancas, and dated at Yapeyu,
he complains bitterly of his own suffering on the journey:
`Me moli tanto con el traqueo violento del carreton que no he podido
volver sobre mi.' The roads to the missions seem to have been
as bad as those which produced the historical exclamation,
`O dura tellus Hispaniae!' It is certainly the case that Ibanez,
in his `Republica Jesuitica' (Madrid, 1768), gives a very different
version of the doings of Altamirano; for he says that Rafael de Cordoba,
Altamirano's secretary, `embarked in a schooner called `La Real'
a great quantity of guns and lead for balls, packing them all in boxes,
which, he said, were full of objects of a pious nature. . . .
This,' says Ibanez, `was told me by the master of the schooner
`Jose el Ingles', a man worthy of credence.' This is pleasing to one's
national pride, but, still, one seems to want a little better authority
even than that of `Bardolph, the Englishman'.
*5* Dean Funes, book v., cap. iii., p. 54.
*6* In a most curious letter (preserved at Simancas, Legajo 7,447),
the mayor and council of the reduction of San Juan write to Altamirano
upbraiding him with being their enemy, and tell him that
`St. Michael sent by God showed their poor grandfathers
(`sus pobres abuelos') where to plant a cross, and afterwards
to march due south from the cross and they would find
a holy father of the Company.' This, of course, turned out
as the saint had foretold, and after a long day's march
they encountered the Jesuit and became Christians.
*7* This account seems to have been lost, and a careful search
has not disinterred it from the Maelstrom of Simancas,
that prison-house of so many documents, without whose aid
so much of Spanish history cannot be written.
Historians, like lawyers in conveyancing, catch errors one from another,
and transmit them as truths or titles to posterity. Certain it is
that Echevarria sent for the nearest Jesuit priest to mediate,
and he luckily, or unluckily, proved to be that Father Thadeus Ennis,
who played so prominent a part in the futile rising
which the enemies of the Jesuits have chosen to dignify
with the high-sounding title of the `Jesuit War'.
If Father Ennis really thought the Indians could hold head
to both the Spaniards and the Portuguese, or if he thought
that the rising would draw attention to the injustice of the treaty,
is difficult to say. Whether, indeed, he headed it himself,
or if he merely accompanied the Indians as their spiritual guide,
giving them now and then the benefit of his advice on matters temporal,
after the fashion of the ambitious churchman of all time,*
is now unknown. Whatever his opinions were upon this matter,
Father Ennis showed himself almost from the first irreconcilable.
He refused to meet the commissioners, and in his place
sent a `cacique' (chief) of the Indians, one Sepe Tyaragu,
an official of the reduction of San Miguel. This chief,
seeing the escort of the commission was but small, `put on his boots',**
and took high ground, daring to talk about the rights of man,
of the love of country, and said that liberty consisted in being allowed
to enjoy his property in peace, sentiments which, though admirable enough
in a white man's mouth, for men of colour are but fit for copy-books.
* His `Efemerides', or Journal, printed and mutilated by Ibanez
in his `Republica de Paraguay', gives the best account of the brief `war'
which has come down to us; it is supplemented by
the `Declaracion de la Verdad' of Father Cardiel, which deals with
the misstatements of Ibanez and others against the Jesuits.
In regard to his own share in the war, Padre Ennis says:
`Atque in exercitas curatorem, spiritualem medicum secum ire postulat.'
** `Se puso las botas'.
The `cacique' firmly refused to vacate his lands, and said the King of Spain,
as he lived far away, could not have understood the bearing of affairs
in Paraguay. Such arguments as these, together with
the perhaps offensive tone of the `cacique', had such effect
on the commissioners that, after having threatened him with vengeance,
which at the time they had no power to carry out, they both withdrew
out of the territory.
As Funes*1* well observes, the Spaniards had established themselves
in these parts (the River Plate and Paraguay) to obtain a limitless submission
from the Indians. Any resistance drove them to fury, and excited them
to take revenge. As all the Indians' crime was their unwillingness
to quit the lands on which they had been born, it seemed a little hard
to slaughter them, even before their petition to the King had been refused.
Most probably all had been prepared before, for Valdelirios at once
issued an order, which he had the power to do under a sealed letter
from the King, to the Governor of Buenos Ayres, Andonaegui,
to prepare for war. Active hostilities broke out in 1754, and Father Ennis
has preserved a day-by-day account, written in priestly Latin,*2*
of what took place. After some skirmishes, which at the first
were favourable to the Indians, who took great courage from them,*3*
the first encounter of a serious nature occurred on February 24, 1754.
Quite naturally, the victory was on the side of the best-armed battalions,
and the Indians lost many of their best men, and their largest
piece of ordnance.*4*
*1* Dean Funes, `Ensayo de la Historia Civil del Paraguay',
Buenos Ayres, etc., book v., cap. iv., p. 58.
*2* Luckily Ibanez (`Republica Jesuitica de Paraguay') has not corrected
the many faults of spelling and Latinity into which Padre Ennis fell.
Those, though left in from malice, as Ibanez was a bitter enemy
of the Jesuits, serve to present the man in his habit as he wrote.
However, Ibanez has so much mutilated the text of the journal
that occasionally the sense is left obscure.
*3* `Hoc itaque nuncio laeti altero ac incensi . . . Sacramento expiationis
et pane fortim roborati' (Ennis, `Efemerides').
*4* Cardiel, in his `Declaracion de la Verdad', p. 426, says:
`Lo mismo es 28,000 mil Indios que igual numero de muchachos.'
With varying success the war dragged on for several years,
after the style of the Gaucho warfare in the River Plate
which was common twenty years ago, or that in Venezuela which obtains to-day.
Alternately each party carried off the other's horses,
drove each other's cattle, or, if they caught a straggler,
tied his hands and cut his throat or lanced him, the party who
had lost the man protesting he was `massacred' -- a term in use even to-day
when the party to which one's self belongs sustains reverse.
For the first two years -- for wars in South America till twenty years ago
were to the full as interminable as that of Troy -- Father Thadeus Ennis
kept his journal, faithfully chronicling all that he saw.
Occasionally in a perfunctory way he says his mission
with the revolted Indians was as a priest and physician
to the souls and bodies of his flock; but now and then he sets down
the capture of a convoy of some thirty carts, or the cutting off
some messenger carrying despatches from the Generals. In this
he sees the hand of God (put forth to help his Jesuits*1*),
although he now and then complains the Indians were remiss
in following up any success they had. After the first encounter,
the Indians seem to have employed the immemorial guerilla tactics
which so often waste all the strength of an army which has conquered
in the field. Father Cardiel*2* describes the Indian army,
quoting from the writing of a Spanish officer who served against them,
as quite contemptible. Their cannon were but hollow reeds,
bound round with hide, which could only be fired two or three times,
and carried balls a pound in weight.*3* Some lances and bows and arrows
which they had appeared to him more formidable. Most of them carried banners
with the painted figure of a saint, under whose aegis they deemed themselves
secure from cannon-balls. Their trenches were but shallow ditches,
with a few deeper holes to shelter in, but which, as Cardiel observes,
served many of them for graves, as they were open to artillery,
having been constructed without `an ounce of military art'. The officer adds
that no sooner had the Indians heard the cannon than they fled,
leaving almost nine hundred on the field and losing one-sixth prisoners.*4*
Finally, the officer remarks with disgust that the official
chronicler of the affair `lies from first to last'*5* when he declares
that the Indians could make any resistance against disciplined troops.
With varying fortune the campaign dragged on, until in 1756
the diary of Father Ennis, bad Latinity and all, comes to an abrupt conclusion
at the taking of San Lorenzo, where the stout-hearted priest
was taken prisoner. His papers fell into unfriendly hands,
and were made use of by Ibanez, with the context duly distorted
in various passages, and served as one of the most formidable indictments
against the Jesuits in the expulsion under Charles III.
*1* `Nec tamen resipiscebat et Divinam Nemesim quamquam clare experiebatur
pro causa^ Societatis.'
*2* `Declaracion de la Verdad', p. 404.
*3* In fact, they much resembled those `crakys of warre' which,
with the `tymmeris for helmys', Barbour, in the `Bruce',
takes notice of as the two noteworthy events of a battle
that he chronicles:
`Twa noweltyis that day thai saw,
That forouth in Scotland had bene nane.
Tymmeris for helmys war the tane,
That thaim thoucht thane off gret bewte
And alsua wondyr for to se.
The tothyr, crakys war, off wer,
That thai befor herd neuir er.'
`The Bruce', Booke Fourteene, p. 392.
*4* This was in an action in the year 1756.
*5* `Miente de la cruz a la fecha'.
Although Thadeus Ennis and other Jesuits accompanied the troops,
and no doubt aided much by their advice, the Indians had as a general
one Nicolas Neenguiru, styled in the Gazettes of the time
the King of Paraguay. About this man all kinds of monstrous legends
soon sprang up. One little lying book, entitled `Histoire de Nicolas I.,
Roy du Paraguai et Empereur des Mamalus',* which bears
upon its title-page `Saint Paul',** 1756, especially excels.
In that brief work of but one hundred and seventeen pages,
printed on yellowish paper, and with one of the finest
little vignettes of a basket of fruit and flowers upon its title-page
that one could wish to see, a sort of parody of a Spanish picaresque novel
in duodecimo is set forth with circumstance.
* The Mamalucos, or Paulistas, were, of course, the bitterest enemies
of everything Paraguayan, so that a King had as well been styled
of `Iceland and of Paraguay'.
** If this assumes to be Sao Paulo de Piritinanga in Brazil,
it is not unlikely one of the few books published there
in the eighteenth century, if not the only one. Happy is
the city of one book, especially when that work has
nothing of a theological character in it, even though it lies
from `la cruz a la fecha'.
Nicolas Roubioni is duly born in 1710, in a small `bourgade de l'Andalousie'
bearing the name of Taratos. The name carries conviction from the start,
and pronounced a la francaise, with the accent equal upon
all the syllables, is quite as Spanish as the most exigent of comic operas
could possibly desire. His father, `ancien militaire', left him alone
to educate himself as he best liked. Arrived at eighteen years of age
he runs away to Seville, and after several adventures
in the style of those of Rinconete and Cortadillo, seen through
French spectacles, enters the service of a lady bearing
the well-known Spanish name of Donna Maria della Cupidita.
Under the unnecessary alias of Medelino, and in the capacity of cook,
he becomes the lady's lover as in duty bound. `Chasse' from Seville
by a jealous brother of his love, he flies for refuge to a `bourgade'
(name not chronicled) some seven leagues away. He then becomes a muleteer,
and at Medina Sidonia kills a man, and, forced to flee, repairs to Malaga,
where he lives peacefully ten years. Finding life dull there,
he journeys to Aragon and joins the Jesuits, and from henceforth
his future is assured. After an interval he reappears at Huesca,
and at once falls in love with `une belle espagnole', Donna Victoria Fortini,
whom he courts under the guise of a gentleman of Seville,
returning every night to the convent of the Jesuits
to change his clothes. So great becomes his effrontery
that under the style and title of `Comte de la Emmandes',
he publicly marries `sa belle', the Jesuits either consenting,
or too astounded at the fact to intervene. Things getting hot in Huesca,
he embarks for Buenos Ayres as a missionary, leaving poor Donna de la Victoria
`dans une inquietude mortelle', as she might well have been.
Arrived in Buenos Ayres just at the moment of the cession of
the seven Jesuit towns, he sees his opportunity, learns Guarani
in the brief space of six or seven weeks, and joins the Indians.
They naturally, having been trained to look on every foreigner
outside the Order of the Jesuits as an enemy, receive him as their King.
Under the title of the `Son of the Sun and Star of Liberty' he rules them,
looked on as a God. The brief mendacious chronicle leaves him on the throne,
just after having joined the empire of the Mamalucos to that of Paraguay,
and promising to give the world more of his history when it comes to hand.
By stories such as those contained in the mendacious little book
imprinted at St. Paul, the easy-minded public -- then, as now,
always more easily impressed with lies than with the truth --
was biassed against the Jesuits in Paraguay. Father Dobrizhoffer,*
who knew `King' Nicolas from his youth up, has left a very different
version of his history, in which no Donna della Cupidita or de la Victoria
even remotely flourishes. Nicolas Neenguiru was born
in the township of La Concepcion, of which in after-life he rose
to be the mayor. He married an Indian woman, not `une belle Andalouse',
and Dobrizhoffer says a friend of his, one Father Zierheim,
had him whipped publicly for petty theft when a young man.
At the time (1753) when, in company with another Indian,
one Jose, mayor of San Miguel, he headed the Indian revolt,
he was a man of middle age, tall, taciturn and grave, and not ill-looking,
though marked across the cheek with a disfiguring scar.
At no time was he even a lay brother of the Jesuit Order,
as by their rules in Paraguay no Indians were ever taken
either as lay brothers or as priests. So little was the man feared
by the authorities that, once the Indians' resistance was over,
Nicolas went to the Spanish camp, was quietly heard, dismissed,
and then continued in his office as the mayor of his native place.
The legend sprang from a mistake in Guarani, to which perhaps
a little malice gave its artful charm. In Guarani the word `Rubicha'
signifies a chief, whereas `Nfurabicha' means king. The two,
pronounced by one but ill acquainted with the language sound identical.
Nothing was more likely than that the Indians should call their general
their chief; had they thought really of settling upon a king, it is certain
that they would have chosen one of the family of some well-known chief,
and not an Indian merely appointed mayor by the Jesuits.
But be that as it may, General Neenguiru, though he has left
some interesting letters, which are preserved in the archives of Simancas,
showed no capacity for generalship.** Throughout the course of the campaign
he endeavoured to replace his want of skill by tricks and by intrigues,
but of so futile a nature that they were frustrated and rendered useless
at once. His first endeavour was to gain time, when he found himself
with seventeen hundred men opposed to Andonaegui, Governor of Buenos Ayres,
who had an army well equipped with guns, of about two thousand men.
Neenguiru wrote to Andonaegui, telling him that the Indians
were ready to submit, and then, whilst waiting for an answer,
set about fortifying the position which he held. Warned by a spy,
Andonaegui attacked at once, and drove the Indians from their trenches
like a flock of sheep, taking their wooden cannon, lances, and banners,
and killing thirteen hundred of them.
* `Account of the Abipones', vol. i., p. 32.
** The only man the Indians produced who showed any aptitude as a leader
was a chief called Sepe Tyaragu. At his death in action in 1756
Nicolas Neenguiru succeeded to his post.
A glorious victory, and, as Father Ennis says, `to be expected, and which,
had it chanced otherwise, must have covered the Spaniards and the Portuguese
with shame.' In fact, a victory of the same kind as those
which since that time have been most usual when well-armed European troops
have faced half-naked, ill-armed savages, but which, of course,
reflect no credit on the victor, or, at best, just as much credit
as a butcher rightfully receives when he defeats a calf.
But even after the victory over the Indians of Nicolas Neenguiru
the troubles of the allies were not quite at an end.
The usual dissensions between allies who mutually detest each other
soon broke out, and Gomez Freire, the General of the Portuguese,
only prevented a collision with the Spaniards by considerable tact.
After a short campaign of a few months, the allies entered
the rebellious towns and took possession of them all, with the exception
of San Lorenzo, which continued to hold out. A month or two served
to reduce it, too, and the whole territory of the seven towns
submitted to the power of the joint forces of Portugal and Spain.
The struggle over, Neenguiru was quietly again reinstated
mayor of Concepcion, the bruised wooden cannon duly set up
as monuments, the dead left on the plains and the `esteros'
for the chimangos* and the caranchos** to gorge upon, and, law's due majesty
once more vindicated, the conquerors set about, in 1757, to trace the limits
between the territories of the two Christian Kings.
* `Milvago Chimango'.
** `Polyhorus tharus'. In relation to the word `tharus',
which figures as a sort of scientific (or doggerel) cognomen
to this bird, Mr. W. H. Hudson once pointed out to me that,
like some other `scientific facts', it originated in a mistake.
The Pampa Indian name of the bird is `trare'. Molina (Don Juan Ignacio),
in his `History of Chile', happened to spell the word `thare',
instead of `trare', and then proceeded to make a dog-Latin form of it.
Thus the bird has received its present scientific name.
Most of the seven towns were half deserted, the Indians having fled for refuge
to the woods,* and the commission set to work upon its labours in a desert
which it itself had made. Out of the fourteen thousand Indians who had
inhabited the seven flourishing towns upon the Uruguay but few remained;
yet still the work of pacification and working at the boundary went on slowly,
for from 1753 to 1759 nothing of consequence was done.
In 1760 Ferdinand VI. died, and his son Charles III. succeeded him,
and still the boundary commission worked on hopelessly in Paraguay.
The Jesuits, who had worked unceasingly during the last eight years
to annul the treaty handing the seven missions over to the Portuguese,
at length, in 1761, obtained from Charles III. a treaty annulling
all that had been done, and providing that the seven towns should remain
part of the dominions of the Spanish crown.
* Cardiel, `Declaracion de la Verdad', p. 430: `. . . llego alli despues
de la fuga y desamparo de los pueblos . . . saco a los dos Padres
que estaban muy afligidos por la soledad y alboroto.'
They triumphed; but their triumph added another step towards their ruin,
for the jealousy which they evoked by their persistent fight
raised up much animosity towards themselves in Spain. How great a share
they had in the resistance of the Indians cannot be known with certainty.
Papers preserved in the archives of Simancas charge them
with stirring up the Indians to resist;*1* but they are chiefly
from Valdelirios and others, who, naturally finding resistance,
put it down at once to the Jesuits, whom then, as now, it was the fashion
to abuse. The Indians themselves seem to have been perplexed,
no doubt encouraged by their priests on one hand, and on the other seeing
the commissary Altamirano, himself a Jesuit, calling upon them to submit.
In a pathetic letter written to the Governor of Buenos Ayres,
and dated `en la estancia de San Luis, Feb. 28 de 1756',
Primo Ibarrenda, of San Miguel, says:*2* `This our writing I send to you
that you may tell us finally what is to be our lot, and that you take
a resolution what it is that you shall do. You see how that last year
the father commissary*3* came to this our land to bother us to leave it:
to leave our towns and all our territories, saying it was the will of our lord
the King: besides this you yourself sent us a rigorous letter
telling us to burn our towns, destroy the fields, even pull down our church,
which is so beautiful (`tan lindo'), and saying also that you would kill us.
You also say, and therefore we ask you if it is the truth,
for if it is, we will all die before the Holy Sacrament; but spare the church,
for it is God's, and even the infidels would not do it any harm.'
They go on to say they have always been obedient subjects of the King,
and that it is impossible that his wish could be to injure them --
in fact, the letter of innocent men, half civilized,
and thinking justice, mercy, and right-doing were to be found
with Governors and Kings. Had many of the Jesuits chosen to take the field,
their knowledge of the country and the vast influence that they had
upon the Indians would have made the campaign perilous enough
even for the united military power of Portugal and Spain.
As it was, the miserable war dragged on for eight long years,
and for result ruined seven missions where before the Indians lived happily.
Then, when the fields were desolate, the villages deserted,
and the Indian population half dispersed, statesmen in Spain and Portugal
saw fit to change their minds, to annul the treaty, and to pass
a diplomatic sponge over the ruin and the misery they had caused.
*1* In a letter (Archivo de Simancas, Legajo 7,378, folio 128),
Valdelirios, writing to the governor of Buenos Ayres,
Don Jose de Caravajal y Lancastre, says: `Inagotables son los recursos
de los Padres para que se dilate y no se ratifique el tratado. . . .'
But he gives no proof except that they had sent petitions to the King --
surely a very constitutional thing for them to do.
*2* The letter was written originally in Guarani, and a certified
translation of it exists at Simancas, Legajo 7,385, folio 13.
Position of the Jesuits in 1761 -- Decree for their expulsion
sent from Spain -- Bucareli sent to suppress the colleges and drive out
the Jesuits -- They submit without resistance -- After two hundred years
they are expelled from Paraguay -- The country under the new rule --
The system of government practically unchanged
`No storm is so insidious' (said St. Ignatius) `as a perfect calm,
and no enemy so dangerous as the absence of all enemies.'
This dangerous state of calm without an apparent enemy in sight
was the position of the Jesuits in Paraguay in 1761. By desperate
efforts and intrigues in Spain they had kept their thirty missions
from being mutilated; their influence amongst the Indians
had never been more absolute. The governors of Buenos Ayres and of Paraguay
had tried a fall with them, and the honours of the struggle
were with the Jesuits. They had succeeded in getting put into force
the clauses of the `Laws of the Indies', which kept Spaniards
out of the Indian settlements. Even those sent against them
had been forced to testify to their utility*1* in Paraguay.
But throughout Spain and her enormous empire in America and in the East
perpetual hostility between the Jesuits and the regular clergy had been
going on for years. In every portion of America the Jesuits were unpopular,
the excuse alleged being their wealth and power;*2* but the real reason
was their attitude on slavery. After repeated grumblings of distant thunder,
at length the storm broke, and the decree for the expulsion of the Jesuits
in Spain and her dominions was signed, and the order sent to Bucareli,
Governor of Buenos Ayres, in June of 1767, to put it into force in Paraguay.
The reasons which induced King Charles III. to expel the Jesuits,
mysterious as they were, and locked up a dead secret in the royal breast,*3*
may or may not have been sufficient in Spain, but could in no respect
have held good for Paraguay, where there existed little scope
for court intrigue, and where the Jesuits were far removed from
their fellow Spanish subjects, and occupied entirely with their mission work.
Many and various have been the explanations which historians have set forth
for this decree. Certain it is in Spain this Order had attained
to considerable power, and that in Rome the abler of their Generals
occasionally kept the Popes in mental servitude.
*1* Don Pedro Cevallos, Governor of Buenos Ayres, who was in Paraguay in 1755,
sent there to fight the troops of King Nicolas, found, as he himself says,
`no King, and no troops, but a few half-armed Indians.'
Writing to the King, he says: `Los Jesuitas son utiles en el Paraguay.'
*2* The figures in Chapter VII. serve to show that in Paraguay, at least,
they were not exactly millionaires. In Mexico, Palafox, the saintly
Bishop of Puebla, had set about all kinds of stories as to their riches,
but Geronimo Terenichi, an ecclesiastic sent to Mexico
to examine into the question of the Jesuits and their wealth,
after a year of residence, expressly says `they were very poor,
and laden with debt' (`eran muy pobres y estaban cargados de deudas'):
`Coleccion de los articulos de la Esperanza, sobre la Historia
del Reinado de Carlos III.', p. 435. Madrid, 1859.
*3* They were expressly proclaimed to be `ocultas y reservadas'.
Carlos III., in defence of his `occult' and `reserved' reasons,
said, `mis razones, solo Dios y yo debemos conocerlas'
(`Reinado de Carlos III.', vol. iii., p. 120. Ferrer del Rio,
Madrid, 1856). No doubt Carlos III. satisfied his conscience
with this dictum, but it is permissible to doubt whether the power
alluded to in such a cousin-like manner by the King was equally satisfied.
Some have accounted for the act of Charles III. as being but revenge
for the tumult of Aranjuez under the ministry of Esquilace,*1*
arguing that the Jesuits were in fact the authors of it, and that it was
but the precursor of a plot to dethrone the King and place his brother
Don Luis upon the throne, as being not so liberal in his ideas.
Others, again, have stated*2* that the Jesuits set about a calumny
that Charles III. was not the Queen's son by her husband,
but by a lover whom they said she had. The only reason which seems feasible
is that the King was worked on by the fear that the Order had risen
to too much power, and that if he did not at once take steps the monarchy
would be rendered but a mere appendage of the General of the Jesuits.*3*
*1* This celebrated tumult, generally known in Spain
as `el Motin de Aranjuez', and sometimes as `el Motin de Esquilace',
occurred on Palm Sunday, 1766. The ostensible reason
was an edict of the King (Charles III.) prohibiting the use
of long cloaks and broad-brimmed hats, which had been for long
popular in Spain. The tumult assumed such formidable dimensions
that the Walloon Guards were unable to quell it, but two friars,
Padre Osma and Padre Cueva, in some manner were able to stem
the confusion. The King and the court were so much disturbed
that they quitted Madrid and went to Aranjuez. There is no proof
that the Jesuits had any hand at all in the affair.
*2* Ferrer del Rio, in his history of the reign of Charles III.
*3* Such, at least, several of his letters to the Pope, Clement XII.,
would seem to indicate. It is not impossible that
the strenuous opposition which the Jesuits gave to the Inquisition
may have had something to do with their expulsion. Some of them
went great lengths in their attacks. P. Antonio Vieyra,
the celebrated Portuguese Jesuit, in his `Relac,ao~ Exactissima,
Instructiva, Curioza, Verdadeira, Noticioza do Procedimento
das Inquizic,ois de Portugal' (Em Veneza, 1750), is almost as severe
as Protestant writers have been against the Inquisition.
Particularly does he inveigh against the prison system of the Holy Office
(pp. 3-5, chap. i.). In the last chapter (p. 154), Vieyra calls Saavedra,
the founder of the Portuguese Inquisition, a tyrant,
and in recounting his deeds calls him `tyranno', `cruel', `falsario',
`herege', and `ladram' (a thief), and finishes by asserting
that the tribunal invented by such a man `had its roots in hell',
and that `its ministers could not go to heaven'.
Whether it is sound policy of any government to expel a race, or sect,
or order from its domains, no matter what the immediate exigencies
of the times seem to require, is a moot point. The expulsions of the Jews,
Moriscos, and Huguenots, and the dissolution of the monasteries
in the times of that true Protestant Henry VIII. of ever pious memory,
do not exactly seem to have had the effect upon the countries
where they took place that was at first expected by their instigators.
Expelled by Charles III., the Jesuits to-day in Spain have re-acquired
much of their influence. So that it seems that persecution,
to be effectual, must not stop on this side of extermination,
and this our Lord Protector Cromwell understood full well.
The Viceroy Bucareli* to whom the task of the expulsion of the Order
in the viceroyalty of Buenos Ayres and of Paraguay was entrusted,
was no ordinary man.** Appointed Viceroy of Buenos Ayres
after a distinguished career of public service, he found himself,
almost without warning, and without any adequate forces at his command,
obliged to execute by far the most important and far-reaching task
that had ever fallen to the lot of any Spanish Governor in America
to carry out. But as his services had not been chiefly in America,
he held the idea which at the time was generally received in Europe,
that the Jesuits possessed great wealth, had bodies of trained troops,
and so would resist all efforts at expulsion to the death.
* His full name was Don Francisco de Paula Bucareli y Ursua.
** Brabo (`Coleccion de Documentos', etc.) says of him,
`speaking of the petty jealousies and intrigues which
the decree of expulsion evoked: `En medio de tantas contrariedades,
crimenes y miserias destaca serena la figura de Bucareli,
no solo llevando a cabo con incansable celo su cometido,
si no atendiendo a suplir en la organizacion religiosa,
intelectual y civil los numerosos vacios que dejaba la falta
del absorbente y decisivo influjo jesuitico.'
Full of these visions, says Dean Funes,* he considered the order,
which was transmitted to him from Spain, as involving serious military risk,
and evidently seems to have looked on every Jesuit village
as a strong place of arms. July 22, 1767, was the day he chose,
keeping his design a secret, and preparing to strike in Corrientes, Cordoba,
Monte Video, and Santa Fe, on the same day, or rather night,
for the terror of the Jesuits was so great that he designed
to expel them all by night.
* `Ensayo de la Historia Civil del Paraguay', etc.,
vol. iii., cap. viii., p. 119.
On July 2 two ships arrived in Buenos Ayres bringing the news
that the decree had been put in force in Spain on April 2 with success.
As all the crew of both the ships knew what had happened in Spain,
concealment of his plan became no longer possible. Thus, had the Jesuits
possessed either the wish or the means to make an armed resistance,
they had ample time to stand on their defence.
Nothing was further from their minds, though they had complete dominion
over a territory as large as France, and which contained
a population of over one hundred and fifty thousand souls.*1*
For arms, they had as chief defence some `very long English guns,
with rests if they wished to use them, which were not very heavy,
and had a tolerable range.'*2* These were the preparations
that the Jesuits (who, not in Paraguay alone, but throughout
all the American dominions of the Spanish crown, ruled over
territories stretching from California to Cape Horn)*3* had made,
and they were found alone in the missions of Paraguay, where,
by a special permission of the Kings of Spain, arms were allowed
for defence against the Portuguese.
*1* Funes, `Ensayo de la Historia Civil', etc., vol. iii., cap. viii.
*2* `Tambien en algunos pueblos hay unas escopetas inglesas
muy largas con sus horquillas si se quieren usar
de ellas no son muy pesadas y tienen buen alcance'
(Funes, `Ensayo de la Historia Civil del Paraguay', etc.,
vol. iii., cap. viii.).
*3* There were in the year 1759 throughout the world 271 Jesuit missions,
1,542 religious houses, 61 cattle farms, 340 residences, 171 seminaries,
1,542 churches, and 22,589 Jesuits, whereof 11,293 were priests.
Of the above houses, missions, and churches, the greater portion
were in America (Ferrer del Rio, `Historia del Reinado de Carlos III.',
In the River Plate and Paraguay there were about 400 Jesuits,
of whom 300 were priests. The other hundred, according to Ibanez
(`Republica Jesuitica'), were `mostly poor devils
who were in want of food, and came into the Order for a meal.'
Ibanez rarely spoke the truth, not even when it would have been
expedient to do so; and certainly amongst these `poor devils'
could not have been included Asperger, the writer on Indian medicines,
and other distinguished men who inhabited the Paraguayan missions
as lay brothers.
Bucareli, who seems to have been a timid but honest and upright man,
made his first experiment upon the Jesuits of Buenos Ayres, Cordoba,
and Santa Fe. The colleges in all these places were suppressed
on the same night, and without the least resistance from their occupants.
He who suppresses a religious Order, takes a town or country, or, in fact,
puts into operation any of the forces of the law or military power,
always expects, no matter how exalted be his motives at the start,
to recoup himself from the treasure of the conquered. `Vae victis',
together with the vestments of the church, the plainsong, and the saints,
came as a pagan heritage to the new faith, and has been held as canon law
since Constantine looked at the sky and thought he saw a cross.
Great must have been the disgust of the Governor to find the spoil so paltry,
and not to have the satisfaction even of saying that the Jesuits
had hidden all their gold, as, his own measures having been taken secretly,
they had no knowledge of what was in the wind. In the college of Cordoba,
esteemed to be a mine of wealth, was found only nine thousand dollars,*
which sum Ferando Fabro, the commissioner sent by Bucareli
to take over the effects of the Jesuits at Cordoba, duly chronicles
in his report.
* Dean Funes, `Ensayo de la Historia Civil', etc.,
vol. iii., book v., cap. ix.
But if the college of Cordoba*1* proved a miserable prey,
there still remained the Jesuit missions on the Uruguay and Parana,
with all the riches of their fertile territory, and the enormous wealth
which every Spaniard firmly believed the Jesuits had acquired.
None of the Jesuits, either in Buenos Ayres, Cordoba, Santa Fe,
Corrientes, or Monte Video having made the least resistance,
but having opened wide their doors to the soldiers, who in all the towns
on the same day at two o'clock in the morning came to signify their expulsion
to them, it was only natural to think that the same conduct
would be observed in Paraguay. But Governors and Governments
never seem in the least accessible to common-sense. Almost a year
had passed before he plucked up courage for his dangerous task.*2*
He set about it with more preparation than either Cortez or Pizarro made
for the conquest of Mexico or of Peru. Having embarked for Spain
in the frigate `La Esmeralda' one hundred and fifty Jesuits
from the towns of Cordoba, Buenos Ayres, Monte Video, and Santa Fe,
he prepared to march upon the missions, when a suspicion of resistance
caused him to take precautions which the result proved quite ridiculous.
He sent two hundred of the best of the militia of Asuncion
to occupy the fords upon the Tebicuari,*3* and a body of equal strength
to occupy the port of San Miguel. All these measures being taken
for his safety, the conqueror embarked upon May 24, taking with him
three companies of grenadiers and sixty dragoons. He disembarked
at the town of Salto on the Uruguay, and from thence despatched
Captain Don Juan Francisco de la Riva Herrera to occupy the towns
upon the Parana. Don Francisco de Zabala was sent to seize six of the towns
upon the Uruguay. Bucareli himself, with several hundred men,
marched upon Yapeyu,*4* the southernmost of all the mission towns.
The Jesuits, however, gave no trouble to any of the troops,
and even stopped the Governor from gathering any laurels, however withered,
with which to crown his arms.
*1* The fine library was dispersed, and many priceless MSS. treating of
the discovery and conquest, and of expeditions by the Jesuits
amongst tribes of Indians now extinct, were lost. Nothing seems
to have been preserved except matter which the dispersers thought
might prove incriminating to the Jesuits. It is a well-known principle
to judge and condemn a man, and then to search for evidence against him.
The books were kept in a place known as La Granja de Santa Catalina,
and a man of letters, Dr. Don Antonio Aldao, was charged
to catalogue and remit them to the capital. Dean Funes says
(book v., cap. ix., p. 156) that he complied with his instructions
(`verifico/la felizmente y con arreglo a sus instrucciones'),
but, anyhow, most of the books were lost. It is a common phrase
amongst doctors, `The operation was entirely successful,
but the patient unfortunately succumbed.' Amongst the books
was the celebrated `Monita Secreta', used by Ibanez in his charges
(after the expulsion) against the Jesuits.
*2* Dean Funes (`Ensayo de la Historia Civil', vol. iii., cap. viii.)
seems to have gauged the feelings of the Governor when he says:
`Temblo de susto Bucareli considerando en riesgo una conquista,
que debia aumentar su gloria y su fortuna.' `Su fortuna' is delicious,
and shows your true conqueror's melancholy.
*3* The Tebicuari forms the northern boundary between
the territory of Misiones and the rest of Paraguay. It is a large river,
and in my time (1872-1875) was bridgeless, and had to be crossed
in canoes, whilst the horses swam, or were towed behind the canoes
*4* Yapeyu was the largest of all the missions. The name signifies a chisel
As he advanced from town to town, the priests, on his arrival at each place,
although living in the midst of Indians, some of whom were armed,
and many of whom had served the King of Spain in various wars,
and all of whom looked on the Jesuits almost as gods,
came out and peacefully gave up the keys of all their houses,
and submitted quietly to be made prisoners and be carried off in chains
from the territories which they and their order had civilized and ruled over
almost two hundred years. Seventy-eight Jesuits and their provincials
were sent prisoners to Buenos Ayres, and their places all filled up
with other priests taken from different Orders, and none of whom
had any experience in mission-work. As Dean Funes tartly writes,
the miracle that Bucareli wished, but scarcely dared to hope for,
had taken place. The Jesuits, in Paraguay, at least, by their conduct
in their last public act, most amply vindicated their loyalty
to the Spanish crown. Nothing would have been easier,
depleted as the viceroyalty was at the time of troops,*
than to have defied the forces which Bucareli had at his disposal,
and to have set up a Jesuit State, which would have taxed
the utmost resources of the Spanish crown to overcome.
No doubt the very facility with which Bucareli carried out his plans
confirmed him in his own mind of their expediency, for men in general
are prone to think that right which they accomplish with success.
However, be that as it may, he returned in triumph to Buenos Ayres
on September 16, having expended in his expedition less than four months.
So in a quarter of a year the Jesuits, after more than two hundred
years of rule, were all expelled from Paraguay.
* Bucareli, in a letter to El Conde de Aranda (Brabo, `Coleccion de Documentos
relativos a/ la Expulsion de los Jesuitas', Madrid, 1872),
says in reference to the perils by which he imagined himself surrounded:
`El misero diminuto estado de la tropa, por el atraso
de sus pagas y la falta que encontre/ de caudales en estas cajas,
era una urgencia que me atormentaba.'
They made no fight, nor offered any resistance, letting themselves be taken
as a butcher takes a sheep, and that surrounded as they were
by a population of upwards of one hundred and fifty thousand souls,
cut off by countless leagues from the outside world, defended on three sides
by virgin forests and by marshes hardly passable to European troops.
One word from the Provincial would have set the missions in a blaze.
A word would have brought clouds of horsemen -- badly armed, 'tis true,
but knowing every foot of marsh and forest, all the deep-beaten tracks which
wind in the red earth across the lonely plains, the passes of the rivers,
springs, natural fastnesses, and having the varied knowledge of a country
which of old made Border horsemen and Northumbrian prickers formidable
upon the Scottish marches -- into the field.
The dogged Paraguayan Indians, ancestors of the infantry which,
under Lopez,*1* died so bravely under the fire of the Brazilian guns,
would, in their red cloaks and scanty linen clothes,
have marched from `capilla'*2* and from mission against
the enemies of the `father-priests'. Seventy-eight Jesuits
were marched off to Buenos Ayres, and then shipped off to Europe*3*
to join their fellows, who had been brought together
by the ministers of the most liberal King who ever filled the Spanish throne
from every quarter of the world. Having expelled the Jesuits,
Bucareli was bound by the exigencies of his position
to calumniate them. Perhaps, as an official, hidebound in his belief
in the inalterable right of Governments to commit injustices,
he believed all that he wrote. For the welfare of humanity, one could hope
he knew all that he wrote was false. What hope is there left for mankind
as long as addle-headed, honest men see naught but justice
in whatever order they receive? Better a thousand times a rogue
who knows he is a rogue than a good, well-intentioned, blundering man
quite unaware he is a fool.
*1* This war, undertaken by a fool (Lopez) against enormous odds,
served to show what a people even when in the wrong, and in a bad cause,
can do when it believes itself to be fighting for national liberty.
As a matter of fact, Paraguayan liberty was not threatened
for an instant, and Lopez declared war against both
Brazil and the Argentine Republic out of mere ambition
to be a second Napoleon. His solitary qualifications for the character
were that, like his prototype, he was fat and loved women.
The war commenced in 1865 and finished in 1870, and left the country
almost a desert. So lonely was it, that I have often in those days
seen tigers calmly walk across a road in mid-day,
and a shout or a pistol-shot but little quickened their movements.
*2* `Capilla' was the name given in Paraguay to some of the smaller villages
which had a chapel, the chapel (`capilla') being more important
than the houses.
*3* El V. P. Jose Pignatelli, in his `La Compan~ia de Jesus
en su Extincion y Restablecimento', says that the Paraguayan Jesuits
were all sent to Faenza.
But, still, he had to justify himself either upon his own account
or for the benefit of that posterity to conciliate which
so many public men have paltered with the truth. So his first care
was to extract a letter from thirty Indians whom he chose to dignify
with the title of the mayors of the thirty towns, first having,
as he says himself in a letter to the Conde de Aranda,
the minister of Charles III., dressed them in the Spanish fashion,
and treated them in such a way that they might know how much
their lot had been improved.* The letter, written originally in Guarani,**
bears upon every line of it the dictation of the Governor.
After a fine paragraph of salutations, it goes on to give the King
many and repeated thanks (`muchas y repetidas gracias') for having sent
his Excellency Captain-General Don Francisco Bucareli, `who has fulfilled,
for the love of God and for the love of your Majesty, all the just orders
which your Majesty laid to his charge, aiding our poverty,
and clothing us like gentlemen.' Most people, even the heathen,
like those who help their poverty and clothe them in the garb of gentlemen.
It had not occurred to the poor Indians that the fine clothes
might turn out liveries. The mayors all sign their Indian names,
which seems to give the lie to the accusation that the Jesuits
kept them ignorant. The letter, dated Buenos Ayres, March 10, 1768,
seems to show that the Indians, be they who they might have been,
were not free agents at the time they wrote. The Indians' letter
duly despatched, the Governor indited a report, in which
he fairly and with circumstance reiterates all the old charges
against the Jesuits in Paraguay which the inventive brain of Cardenas
had first conceived; but to them he adds several little touches of his own,
which show he had some observation and an imaginative mind.
* `Carta del Gobernador de Buenos Ayres (Bucareli) al Comte de Aranda'.
Brabo, `Coleccion de Documentos Relativos a la Expulsion de los Jesuitos',
p. 8, Madrid, 1872: `Les hice vestir a la Espan~ola
asistiendolos y tratandolos de modo que conozcan la mejora
de su suerte. . . .'
** Brabo, `Coleccion de Documentos', etc., p. 101. The letter is headed
`I. H. T., Ore Rey Nitu Don Carlos Tercero'.
Amongst his numerous letters to Aranda and to the King,
one dated Buenos Ayres, October 14, 1768,* contains the fullest account
of his proceedings in the missions and of his views (or of what he thought
to be his views) about the work in which he was engaged.
Time was of small account in 1768 either in Paraguay or in Madrid,
so Bucareli relates with some prolixity all that he did,
with comments, movements of troops, regrettable occurrences
-- as when his soldiers let themselves be surprised and lost their horses --
and now and then scraps of morality and theology, which shows quite plainly
that the art of writing maundering despatches is not so new as optimists
may have supposed. Quite in the manner of a modern special correspondent,
he sets down all that he suffered from the weather; that it
rained incessantly, and, marvellous to tell, that after rain the rivers rose,
and gave him difficulty to cross. The roads were bad,
provisions scarce and dear, and now and then wild Indians `massacred'
an outpost of his men, whilst his brave fellows, when God willed it,
occasionally `chastised' the infidel, and by the grace of Heaven
slew no small number of them. Still, in the monstrous farrago of words,
extending to some sixteen pages of close print, he lets us see
he was a man of some capacity, but leaves it doubtful whether
he really thought he was engaged upon a noble work, or if he wrote ironically,
or if his only object was to satisfy his conscience and his King.
But making much of little difficulties is but to be expected
from a leader of an expedition or from a General in the field. Without it,
how could they justify their existence, or prove to the world at large
that they were needed, or but more important than a mere ceremony?**
* Brabo, `Coleccion de Documentos', etc., p. 185.
** Ceremonies, no doubt, have their uses in enslaving mankind. A courtier
once said to a Spanish King, `Your Majesty is but a ceremony yourself.'
When the land troubles were got over, and Bucareli, having arrived at Yapeyu,
embarked upon the river, the very winds proved contrary,
so that it took him many days to arrive at Candelaria, which port he reached
upon August 27, 1768. But before quitting Yapeyu the Governor made
a solemn feast, riding himself before his grenadiers, whose caps, he says,
caused much amazement, the Indians never having seen such headgear
in their lives. The difficulties of his journey over, the Jesuits
dispossessed and sent down-stream to be remitted home, Bucareli in his letter
next deals with questions of religion, about which he shows himself
as well informed as all the Spanish conquerors seem to have been
in the New World. If for the dogma of the faith he was a bar of iron,
for `cold morality', as Scottish preachers of the perfervid type
used to refer to it, he was most keen. The Indians' clothes,
especially the graceful `tupoi' worn by the women, shocked him exceedingly.
It was impossible to touch upon it without an outrage upon modesty.*
Masculine virtue is a most precarious thing, but little, if at all,
more stable than its female counterpart; therefore perhaps the Governor
was right not to expose his soldiers to temptation, so he did well,
as he informs us, in serving out clothes which obscured their charms,
or perhaps hid them quite from view. `Such tyrannies,'**
says the modest Governor, `occasioned many offences against God,
and frequent illnesses and epidemics.' The sentence is a little doubtful
in its meaning, for if a scantiness of women's dress occasioned
illnesses and epidemics amongst the population of a town,
Belgravia and Mayfair should surely be the most unhealthy spots on earth;
though even there, I verily believe, no more offences against God occur
than amongst the Moors, whose women show only their eyes
to the shrinking gaze of easily offended men.
* Letter to Aranda: Brabo, `Coleccion de Documentos', p. 196:
`Y las mujeres en tal extremo, que es impossible demostralo
sin faltar a la modestia.'
** `Semejantes tiranias'.
As in duty bound, Bucareli kept for the end of his despatch
a rehash of all the old charges made against the Jesuits.
They kept the Indians in slavery, would never let them learn Spanish,
and were themselves inordinately rich. The first two accusations
Father Jose Cardiel, in his `Declaracion de la Verdad',
abundantly disproves.* The last the Governor disproves himself;
for had he found much treasure he most assuredly would have made haste
to send it to the King. What he did find, a reference later
to Brabo's inventories will show, and the same source discloses all the wealth
the richest Order in the world, according to their enemies,
took with them in their involuntary journey back to Spain.
All being finished in the missions and the Jesuits expelled,
Bucareli found himself obliged to institute some system
for the government of the Indian population, which he had deprived
both of its spiritual and of its temporal guides.
* P. 222: `Y teniendo presente que por lo que mira a este punto resulta
de los informes que solo hablan estos Indios su idioma natural,
pero que no es prohibicion de los PP. Jesuitos, sino por el amor
que tienen a su nativo lenguage pues en cada uno de los pueblos
han establecido esculas de leer y escriber en lengua espan~ola,
y que por este motivo se encuentra un numero grande de Indios
muy habiles en escribir (dos de ellos etan copiando hora esto
que yo escribo y de mejor letra que la mia).' Also pp. 223-225, etc.
The Jesuits' government having been so bad, according to his own despatch,
the Indians having been kept in such a miserable state, their education
having been so neglected, and, above all, their women having been dressed
in such light attire that Bucareli could not with modesty
even describe their dress, it might have seemed but natural that
he should have evolved some system of government differing in all respects
from that he had destroyed. So far from that, in his instructions
to his interim successor, dated at Candelaria,* August 23, 1768,
he practically followed slavishly all the policy which the Jesuits
had pursued. He ordered Captains Riva Herrera and Bruno de Zavala, to whom
the arrangements were committed, to see that the Indians were instructed
`in the true knowledge of our holy faith', a work which the Jesuits,
whatever might be their faults, had not neglected to insure.
After some platitudes as to the vivifying effects of free and open trade,
and an injunction to his captains to take care the Indian girls
were decorously and virtuously dressed, he launched into a sermon
about honest work, which, as he said, would make the Indians rich,
happy, and virtuous, and alone could ever make a kingdom prosper;
in fact, he used almost precisely similar language to that to-day used
by a European Governor in Africa when about to make a people slaves.
On the whole, however, his instructions were wise and liberal,
and had they been carried out in the same spirit, and with fidelity,
the Indians might have long continued in the same half-Arcadian,
half-Christian state in which the Jesuits left them, and to which
it seems they could attain, but not go farther without exposure
to that vivifying commerce without which nations cannot prosper,
but with which the greater portion of their citizens must remain ever slaves.
* Brabo, `Coleccion de Documentos', etc., p. 200.
The instructions given, he left the missions never to return,
leaving behind him the reputation of an honest man, having made,
as it would appear, no money during his sojourn in their territories.
On October 20, 1768, he wrote from Buenos Ayres to Aranda, telling him that
his work was done, and asking him as a particular favour to implore the King
to give him some employment `out of America, and particularly
not under either the secretaryship or the Council of the Indies.'*1*
Thus it appears that either the work in which he had been engaged
was uncongenial to him, or he mistrusted the future and the Indians
when the Jesuits' sheltering hands had been withdrawn,
and thought the King might blame him for what was sure to come.
One passage in his letter of instructions shows that the antique,
but still current, fashion of going to any length to obtain a country
in which are situated even supposititious gold-mines had its influence
even with such an honest man as Bucareli was. He specially enjoins
upon the officials left in charge `to find out from what quarter
the Indians of those towns extract those pieces of the precious metals which
they sometimes bring to their priests.' So that the fable of the false mines
started by Cardenas, although a thousand times disproved,
still lingered in the minds of those who could not understand
what motive except that of growing rich could cause the Jesuits
to bury themselves in the recesses of the Paraguayan woods. The release
from things American and under the jurisdiction of the Council of the Indies
did not come to Bucareli for almost two more years, during which time
he struggled manfully with the affairs of the Jesuit missions,
repelled the Chaco Indians on one side, and on the other implored for troops
to defend the island of Chiloe against the heretic English, who at that time
appear to have been meditating the advancement of their empire
in the extremest south. One curious letter was reserved
for Bucareli to indite before he quitted Buenos Ayres for the last time.
On January 15, 1770, he sent a long declaration signed by
the celebrated Nicolas Neenguiru and other Indians,
giving an account of the part played by him in the abortive resistance
which he made against the cession of the seven towns. This is the last time
that Nicolas, the `King' of Paraguay and `Emperor of the Mamelucos',
appears in any document as far as I can find. His name at one time
was well known in Paraguay, the River Plate and Spain, and served to father
many lies upon; and at the last, the Jesuits gone, he seems to have turned
against them, and said all that was required by Bucareli to get up his case.
It appears from Bucareli's letter that the family of the Neenguiru
had been well known in the missions from the time of Cardenas.
In 1770*2* we find him shorn of his kingly and imperial dignities,
the mayor of Concepcion in Paraguay, tall, taciturn, with long, lank hair,
and much respected by his brother Indians, who held his stirrup for him
when he got upon his horse. To find him in the humour
to give tongue about the Jesuits was a trump-card in Bucareli's hand,
for if it could be proved that in 1750 they had resisted
the forces of the crown of Spain, the public, always anxious to believe a lie,
would naturally applaud the action of the King in their expulsion
from his territories. Nicolas, who seems to have been but a poor creature
at the best, testified that everything which he had done
as General of the Indians was by the order of Fathers Limp and Ennis,
and that he was a poor Indian who did but that which he was told.
He finished up his testimony with thanks to the good King
for having taken him out of the power of the Jesuits, and kept him
in his post of mayor at Concepcion. In fact, all was the same to him
as long as he was left with his alcalde's staff.*3*
*1* `Y sobre todo, fuera de la America y libre de Secretaria y Consejo
de Indias.' Brabo, `Coleccion de Documentos', etc.:
Letter of Bucareli to Aranda, p. 231.
*2* Brabo, `Coleccion de Documentos', etc., p. 280.
*3* The alcaldes of Indian villages usually have a long cane
with a silver head, like those formerly carried by footmen,
as a badge of their office. In remote places I have seen them,
with their canes in their hands, a battered tall hat upon their heads,
a linen jacket and trousers, and barefooted, riding on an ox,
and thought that they served to maintain the majesty of the law
quite as well as if they had had stuff gowns, horsehair wigs,
and had been seated on a sack of wool.
Upon August 14, 1778, Bucareli sailed for Spain, leaving Don Juan Jose Vertiz
as his successor in the viceroyalty of the provinces of the River Plate.
The missions were all placed under the care of friars of the begging Orders,
chiefly Franciscans, and the system of the Jesuit government
was left unchanged. In 1771, writing from San Lorenzo (el Escorial) in Spain,
Bucareli, who seemed fated never to escape from the affairs of Paraguay,
sends a long constitution for the thirty towns which follows all the Jesuits'
rules of government to the last tittle of their policy. Brabo has preserved
the document, which runs to forty-seven pages of close print in its entirety.
A carefully thought-out and well-conceived digest of a constitution
it most certainly is, and yet it follows to the most minute particular
the policy the Jesuits laid down.
Dean Funes* seemed to see that the flattering of Nicolas Neenguiru
and the other Indian chiefs was an entire affair of artifice,
and that it was but a mere crowning of the victims who were destined
to be sacrificed. It may be that the constitution made by Bucareli
at the Escorial was similarly but a blind to keep the Indians quiet
till the Government had time to exploit them at its ease.
Still, Bucareli in all his actions seems to have been an honest man;
one of those honest, narrow-minded men who have sown more misery in the world
than all the rogues and scoundrels since the flood. Be all that as it may,
his constitution in a thousand ways recalled the Jesuits' polity
in their days of rule. In a former chapter** I have pointed out
a curious instance in which this constitution traverses entirely
statements made by the Jesuits' enemies that their exclusive policy was for
their own ends, and not, as they alleged, for the protection of the Indians.
But there are other instances quite as remarkable which show that the Jesuits
not only had grasped perfectly what the best course of treatment was
for their subjects, but that the official mind of Bucareli,
trained as he was, so to speak, in the strictest sect of Pharisees,
and prejudiced against the Jesuits in every way, yet discerned clearly
as an honest man that the plan they had laid down was the most suitable
for future rulers to pursue.
* Vol. iii., book v., cap. viii., p. 130 (`Ensayo de la Historia Civil
del Paraguay', etc.): `Los Caciques y corregidores que acompan~aban
a Bucareli, habian sido alhagados por todos los artificios de sugestion.
Esto a/ la verdad, no era mas que coronar las victimas,
que se destinaban al sacrificio.'
** Chapter IX.
At the time of forming his constitution he had been gone but scarce a year
from Buenos Ayres, and yet he writes* complaining bitterly of what
was happening in the missions of Paraguay. He points out that all his trouble
will have been in vain `if the Governor and his lieutenants are not stimulated
to address themselves to the service of God and of the King,
with that zeal which everyone should impart to his duty.'
Then, after a puff preliminary of the beauty of freedom, human and Divine,
he sets forth how the Indians are in future to be ruled.
First, as in duty bound, he points out that anything savouring of communism
is against the laws of Heaven and of man; that the Indians
in their semi-communism were really slaves, the industrious
working for the idle, and so forth; that their clothes were scanty;
that they were not allowed to freely mix with Spaniards, and were kept
a race apart. Then like a prudent statesman having made his apologia
`pro existentia sua', and blown off much virtuous steam, he comes to business,
and business, as we know, is the great soberer of theorists,
no matter on what side they theorize.
* Brabo, p. 304.
After the article to which I have referred in Chapter IX. comes this
most curious paragraph, taken in connection with the inalienable right which,
according to himself, the Indians had of free communication
with the outer world:*1* `And because I am informed that many Indians
who have been absent in the army of the Portuguese, and have resided
for lengthened periods in Rio Pardo, Viamont and other parts,
have returned to their towns, you will take care that all these
with their families shall be removed to those (towns) either
in the interior or distant from those frontiers, as it is not convenient
that they should remain on them (the frontiers) or close to them;
and thus you will proceed successively with the Indians who return,
without leaving one, in order to avoid any chance of communication,
which might be most prejudicial.' Surely a satire on
his own abuse of the Jesuits for keeping the Indians mewed up from intercourse
with the outside world. It may be that he had perceived the Indians
were not fit to hold their own; indeed, it is certain he had done so,
for on p. 326 he writes, `It is not convenient to leave them (the Indians)
entire liberty,*2* for it would be in the extreme fatal and prejudicial
to their interests, because the astuteness and sagacity of the Spaniards
would triumph easily over their rusticity.' `Sagacity' is
an ingenious euphuism, and might well be used with good effect
in the like circumstances, when occasion serves, to-day.
But as no single article of any document set forth by any Government
can be straightforward and single in its purpose, and as all laws are made
with an eye upon some party presently in power, after the paragraph
just quoted, on the next page occurs the following sentence
under the head of `Commerce with the Spaniards is to be free'.*3*
`It is laid down that between the Indians and the Spaniards
commerce should be free, in order that mutual dealings
should unite them in friendship.' Therefore to the ordinary mind
it is impossible to make out what really was intended,
and whether commerce was to be free or not. Those little differences apart,
the constitution ran entirely upon Jesuit lines. That semi-communism
which was so prejudicial during the Jesuits' rule was formally re-organized
in chapter iv. of the constitution (p. 343) the instant that their power
was placed in other hands. Even the prohibition to the Spaniards
to enter the Jesuit towns, and reside there, was formally kept up
in chapter iii., with the sole alteration that for three months of the year
they might reside amongst the Indians on certain well-defined conditions
most prolixly set forth. So that it will be seen that,
if the Jesuits did ill, as usual, any ill they did was carefully perpetuated
by their successors, and, quite as naturally, all that they strove to do
in favour of the Indians was most carefully undone.
*1* Brabo, `Coleccion de Documentos', p. 320: `Y porque estoy
informado que muchos Indios de los que se habian ausentado
con las tropas Portuguesas, y que han residido por gran tiempo
en el Rio Pardo, Viamont, y otras partes se han restituido a sus pueblos,
ciudaran . . . de que todos estos con sus families seran traslados
a los mas interiores o distantes de aquellas fronteras
por no ser conveniente se mantengan en ellas o sus inmediaciones,
y asi en lo sucesivo lo ejecutaran . . . con los Indios que se restituyan,
sin dejar alguno, para evitar todo motivo de communicacion
que puede ser muy prejudicial.'
*2* `No conviene dejarles una entera libertad, que seria por extremo
fatal y prejudicial a/ sus intereses pues la astucia y sagacidad
de los espan~oles triumfaria facilemente de su rudeza.'
*3* Brabo, `Bucareli's Instructions', p. 327: `Que el commercio
de los espan~oles ha de ser libre.'
It is the fashion of some to say that history, of whatever nature,
can but be written dispassionately at a period sufficiently removed
from the events of which it treats to have allowed the heat of passion
to evaporate. This is as false as almost every other dictum which men
take on trust, forgetting that to have passed into the proverbial stage
a saying must have been foolish at the start, in order that it
should have got itself commended by the majority of mankind.
The heat of passion never evaporates in regard to events
which at the epoch of their acting caused great controversies.
From writings of contemporaries the coolest-headed take a bias,
in the same way that men unconsciously pass on the microbes of disease
to their best friends. Only from inventories and rolls of court,
State Papers and the like is it possible to get unbiassed matter,
and even then figures, those chief deceivers of mankind,
can be well cooked for or against, according to the bias of the man
who draws them up. Still, when they are drawn up by enemies, they often
quite unwittingly show out the truth. In a letter dated October 30, 1768,
Bucareli sends a list to Aranda of the effects of many of the Jesuits
taken from Paraguay and sent by him to Spain. The list itself speaks volumes
in defence of the Jesuits in Paraguay. Whatever may have been their faults,
the Governor himself (or even Charles III.) could not have charged
upon the captured priests that they had got together a large stock of property
during their mission life.*1* The first upon the list, P. Pedro Zabaleta,
took ten shirts, two pillow-cases, two sheets, three pocket-handkerchiefs,
two pairs of shoes, two pairs of socks, and a pound and a half of snuff.
The others were in general less well set up with shirts,*2* some few
had cloaks, and one (P. Sigismundo Griera) a nightcap; but all of them
had their snuff, the only relic of their luxurious mission life.
Manuel Vergara, their Provincial, testifies in a paper sent with the list
that most of the clothes were taken from the common stock,
and all the snuff. What sort of treatment they endured upon their passage
in the two frigates `San Fernando' and `San Nicolas' is quite unknown,
but certainly their luggage could not have been in the way;
and for their snuff, no doubt they husbanded it with care
during the long two months, which in those days was thought a record run.*3*
In the missions which they had so long tended with such care,
giving their muddle-headed love to the Indians in their Machiavelian way,
all was confusion in the space of six short months.
Dean Funes and Don Feliz de Azara*4* are the only two contemporary writers
who treat of the expulsion of the Jesuits from Paraguay
outside the official world. The Dean, a man of the old school,
was kindly and humane, well educated, and, having been brought up in Tucuman
amongst an Indian population, looked on the Indians in a kindly way
as fellow-creatures, though differing in essential points from races
which had been for centuries exposed to civilization and its effects.
His description of the Indians has for veracity and observation
not often been surpassed. `Those natives*5* (he says) are of a pale colour,
well made, and well set up. Their talent and capacity
are capable of much advancement. Though they lack invention in themselves,
yet are they excellent in imitation. Idleness seems natural to them,
although it may be more the effect of habit than of temperament;
their inclination towards acquiring knowledge is decided,
and novelty has its full effect upon their minds. Ambitious of command,