244 A Relation of the Spanilh V ojages

are now depriv‘d by the Indians deferring their Ha- bitations. '

Your Majelty may remember that after a mature examination of this Affair by many learned Men and able Divines, they unanimoufly declar’d, that the Dominion of the Indie: could not be jultly given to private Men, nor difinembefd from your Ma- jelty’s Crown, This Determination was fignified to Fcrdznando Cortcz, with orders t0 put it in €X€CU= tion. Your Majefty was pleas’d on the fame account again to call together an Affembly of Perfons of great Learning and Virtue, who after a long de- bate, declafid that the Spaniards could not lawfully be made Lords of the Indies. After which your hlajeity gave rnoft exprefs Orders to prohibit it, revoking all Grants to the contrary procufid on thofe falfe Accounts and Mifreprefentations that had been given you. Your Majeity commanded the Governor of Florida to put thefe Editts in execution, as may be {till feen by his lnftruétions. Among the principal Articles of thefe Conftitutions, one is‘, That the Drdians ought to be accounted free, and not obliged to any other Services than the refl: of your Majefty’s Subjefls who enjoy their Liberty under your Government: That they ought to pay Tithes to God, unlefs excus’d for fome time, and likewife fuch Tribute to your Majelty as is im- pos’d lawfully, and in proportion to the Goods they poflefs, and the quality of their Land, accord- ing to the realbnable Efiimate of thofe that govern ’em.

If it be defir'd that the Indians fhould be taught the Catholic Faith, and brought to embrace our Cultoms, while they keep up a fort of Government among themfelves, your Majefiy ought not to give them as Slaves to any one ivhatfoever, either for

ever, or for a limited time 5 fcr this would be to ex- pofe