|From Conversion to Conquest: The Early Spanish Mission in the Marianas|
|MicSem Articles | Historical|
The Mariana Islands were the scene of the earliest and, according to almost all modern histories, the most infamous colonization effort of any European nation in Oceania. On 15 June 1668 a band of six Jesuits, led by Fr Diego Luis de Sanvitores, arrived at Guam, the largest and most populous of the Marianas, to initiate the Christian conquest of the Pacific.(1)
What began as a religious mission to proclaim the gospel of peace soon degenerated into an out-and-out war of military conquest which, as the histories have it, killed off vast numbers of native Chamorros before the missionaries were finally able to make believers out of the few survivors. Historians differ in the role that they assign the Jesuit missionaries in these events, but they agree that Spanish soldiery, which supposedly a century before had massacred large numbers of natives in Mexico and Peru, was again guilty of near genocide in the Marianas. This version of history has become almost axiomatic today, as is exemplified in the statement made in the Pacific Islands Year Book that the Chamorro men ‘were practically all wiped out during the Spanish conquest’.(2)
Local historians are no kinder to the Spanish. Beardsley, who chronicles what he calls the ‘war of extermination’, asserts that ‘under the sharp command of relentless Spanish officers and the stern authority of Padre Solano, Sanvitores’ grim successor, the natives were slaughtered in great numbers whenever there was the slightest pretext for it’.(3) He shows the missionaries and the military authorities working in concert, however their own aims may have differed, to avenge Spanish losses and force the native population to submit to Spanish rule despite the enormous cost in native lives. Carano, who is more temperate in his judgements, nonetheless maintains that the extraordinary population decline by the end of the 17th century ‘was due primarily to the intermittent warfare that continued for a period of twenty-five years’.(4)
It has become as fashionable for Pacific historians today to assume an anti-colonialist bias as it was for those in an earlier age to serve as apologists for the European powers. Such a turn-about is understandable and even laudable both as a corrective to the errors of the past and as an underpinning to the legitimate spirit of national pride that has been sweeping the Pacific in recent years. Yet the biases of our own age make for no better history than do those of a former age. Historians are no closer to the truth when they superimpose such interpretive meanings as ‘war of liberation’ upon the events that took place in the Marianas three centuries ago. To do so is to misunderstand the nature of the hostilities that took place between the Spanish and Chamorros and misread the motivation for Chamorro resistance to Spanish rule. Similarly, the common assumption that the Spanish undertook the deliberate extermination of the Chamorro people by force of arms calls for re-examination. Spanish colonization in the Marianas did result in massive depopulation, to be sure, but such ‘extermination’ as did occur was neither deliberate nor was it accomplished by force of arms. The evils of Spanish colonialism are all too obvious in the case of the Mariana-s; there is no need to indict the Spaniards for spurious sins as well. This article attempts to correct some of the more egregious and longstanding misperceptions of this first European colonial incursion into Oceania.
The field of labour chosen by Sanvitores and his companions was a cordillera of some 15 volcanic islands extending about 700 miles in a neat north-south pattern, islands that Magellan had visited in 1521 and upon which he had bestowed the opprobrious name of Ladrones to memorialize the ‘thieving’ ways of their inhabitants. The Spanish sea captain and explorer, Miguel de Legazpi, had taken formal possession of the Marianas a century earlier, in 1565, but Spain, badly overextended in its empire abroad and soon to be weakened further by its defeat at the hands of England, had neither the inclination nor the resources to install another colonial government in the Marianas. Colonization, as the Spanish monarchy had learned, was an expensive means of asserting national self-importance, especially in lands that lacked spices and precious metals and could offer almost no return on the royal investment. And so the Marianas remained uncolonized and neglected, serving no purpose other than as a watering and provisioning stop for the galleons that made their yearly trade runs from Mexico to Manila.
Many a cleric bound for the Philippine mission on these trade ships had been favourably impressed, during his stopover at Guam, with the possibilities that these islands offered for successful evangelization. Three priests–a Jesuit, a Franciscan and a Dominican–who stopped at Guam briefly in 1582 were enthusiastic enough about prospects to write to their respective superiors, each urging that his own order establish a mission there as soon as possible.(5) A few years later, in 1596, the Franciscan friar Antonio de los Angeles actually disembarked to work among the islanders for a year before his altar supplies finally gave out and he was forced to board another ship for Manila.(6)
In 1601 two more friars, Juan Pobre de Zamora and Pedro de Talavera, undertook another mission in the Marianas a year after the Spanish vessel Santa Margarita, crippled in storms, went aground off the island of Rota.(7)
Juan Pobre and his companion learned that some of the survivors of the Santa Margarita had been killed by the Chamorros, while others were distributed to different islands in the archipelago. During his seven months ashore, Juan Pobre was able to accomplish little and, discouraged by his lack of success, he left by the next ship.
The islands that had captured the fancy of these earlier would-be missionaries captivated the Jesuit Diego Luis de Sanvitores when he visited Guam for the first time in 1662 en route to his assignment in the Philippines. So enthralled was he with the desire to preach the gospel to the unclothed, bronze-skinned people he met that, on his own testimony, he had to resist the impulse to jump ship and begin working among them immediately. As it was, almost from the day of his arrival in the Philippines, the noble-born Spanish priest began to bombard officials in Manila and Madrid with requests to be allowed to begin a mission in the Marianas.(8) Although his pleas to local authorities in the Philippines fell on deaf ears, Sanvitores soon found a powerful advocate of his cause in the person of the Duchess of Aveiro and the Queen Regent of Spain, Mariana of Austria, a devout Catholic who had once vowed to build as many churches as Elizabeth of England had alienated.(9) Mariana immediately lent her blessing and her funds to the enterprise, in return for which she received the compliment of having the islands named for her.
When Fr Sanvitores returned to the Marianas in 1668 at the head of his small band of Jesuits and Filipino lay helpers, it was as the emissary of the Spanish Crown charged by royal decree to convert the Indios to the Catholic faith. The garrison of 31 troops and their commander who accompanied the priests were commissioned to protect the missionaries and were fully subject to the authority of Sanvitores in civil as well as ecclesiastical matters. Half of the soldiers were without firearms and their only cannon were two ancient artillery pieces salvaged from a shipwreck.(10) Although the Jesuits were instructed to report on ‘the useful produce of the land and whether or not there are any minerals there’, the objective of the expedition was as single in purpose as the Spanish patronato system would allow.(11)
It was the queen herself who reminded her viceroy in Mexico on a later occasion that ‘the principal thing to be attended to is the conversion of the natives, and even if only on behalf of one soul any expenditure made in the mission would be well spent’.(12)
Clearly the only conquest that was envisioned as Sanvitores stepped ashore was the spiritual conquest of the islands.
The six Jesuits and their band of Filipino and Mexican lay catechists received a heartening welcome when their ship dropped anchor off the western shore of Guam. The great throng of Chamorros that lined the beach, many of them carrying spears, broke into a chorus of greetings as the priests reached the shore and escorted them to the house of the local chief where the missionaries were offered food and shelter.(13) The Spaniards had landed by chance at Agana, the most populous and most prominent of some 180 pueblos on the island. (What the missionaries called pueblos ranged in size from inland hamlets of perhaps five or 10 scattered houses to coastal villages of as many as 100 or 150 buildings). With over 200 buildings, counting bachelors’ houses and canoe houses, and a population that must have numbered about 1,500, Agana was by far the largest and most influential settlement in the Marianas at the time.(14)
Yet Quipuha, the chief who received the missionaries, held real authority over only one section of the island. Despite its rigid social structure with three distinct classes (nobles, artisans, and landless commoners), Chamorro society was politically fragmented; every island was divided into a number of autonomous districts, each containing several pueblos and ruled by the chief of the senior clan in the area. Warfare and feuding were common as districts vied with one another for prestige, and alliances of convenience between districts were as subject to sudden change as they were in the other areas of Micronesia that lacked centralized authority.(15)
With the blessing of Quipuha, the Jesuits set up their headquarters in Agana and soon erected wooden huts to serve as their residence and temporary chapel. From the start, the new missionaries were the object of general fascination on the island: Chamorro men, who usually wore nothing at all, decked themselves out in palm leaves to sing and dance for them, and virtually the entire population of Agana presented themselves to Sanvitores as candidates for baptism after his first mass on the island. Chiefs came from other districts and even the neighbouring island of Rota to plead that one of the missionaries be allowed to live and work with them. When Sanvitores hesitated out of concern for the safety of his men, the chiefs began quarrelling among themselves as to who would have first pick.(16)
Happy at what he took to be the religious fervour of the native people, Sanvitores immediately dispatched his men on excursions to other parts of the island, and the missionaries set out to baptize children and the sick, catechize adults, and teach old and young the religious songs that Sanvitores had translated into the Chamorro language even before his arrival with the help of an old dictionary and grammar that he had been given in the Philippines.(17)
Sanvitores himself presented a strange picture as he walked from place to place preaching Christian doctrine to any and all who would listen. The gaunt, ascetic-looking priest, then 41 years old, wore a makeshift soutane of plaited palm leaves to replace the threadbare cloth robe that he had brought with him, and he had sandals and conical hat to match. Around his neck he wore a large rosary and he carried a long wooden pole with a crucifix fixed to the top. Sanvitores, who was terribly nearsighted and yet refused to wear his spectacles since he considered them something of a luxury among so poor a people, had to be led along by a rope tied around his waist to avoid bumping into trees and other objects. In a small satchel he carried his only baggage: his breviary, a New Testament, the holy oils, and a supply of holy cards, sugar lumps and biscuits for distribution to children who could recite their prayers and catechism lessons.(18) TheJesuit had made a decision to live as poorly as the people to whom he preached, and his companions soon began to emulate his example. Although they continued to wear more conventional garments than their superior, all of them gave up chocolate and the other European foodstuffs that they had brought with them and would eat only sweet potatoes, shredded coconut and a little fish. Sanvitores even dispensed with the fish, a penance that he good-naturedly claimed was forced on him because he had no teeth with which to chew.(19) If his poverty seemed extreme even to his contemporaries, Sanvitores saw it as nothing more than an expression of the apostolic mission that absorbed him so totally — ‘I have sent you to preach to the poor’.
By all rights, the Spanish and Chamorros should have managed a splendid relationship with one another. The Chamorros were, according to all early accounts, a gentle and hospitable people, who were by European standards extremely tolerant of foreigners as the presence of several castaways among them shows. They had killed and been killed by foreigners before–during the short visits of Magellan and Legazpi in the previous century and after the shipwreck of the Santa Marganta in 1600–but these slayings were largely retaliatory actions, at least as perceived by the Chamorros.(20)
The 50 or so missionaries and soldiers who constituted the original Spanish party in 1668 were governed by an austere priest who was a committed pacifist. Yet despite the missionaries’ initial enthusiastic reception from the Chamorro people and their early successes (they recorded an astonishing 13,000 baptisms in their first year in the Marianas), the Jesuits soon found growing resentment against themselves and their work.(21)
For one thing, they had become unmistakably aligned with Quipuha, their protector and first convert, for the central mission residence was located in Agana and it was to this residence that even those Jesuits working in other districts returned from time to time. Then, too, the Chamorro nobility was beginning to learn that the foreign priests would not abide by the social code that governed the inhabitants of their islands. The missionaries insisted that the dead be buried on church grounds rather than with the bones of their ancestors as Chamorro custom prescribed; they preached that the traditional men’s houses, in which bachelors regularly slept with unmarried women, were evil; and they even persisted in teaching their arcane doctrine to members of the despised low class, frequently even baptizing these people before their social betters. To make matters worse, a Chinese castaway by the name of Choco, who had lived in the Marianas since 1648, began spreading the story that the priests were poisoning people with the water that they poured on their heads at baptism. Whether or not Choco was motivated by jealousy at the growing influence of the priests, as they themselves believed, the fact is that his accusations were gaining currency among the native population. So widespread, in fact, had Choco’s tale become that Sanvitores sought him out and engaged him in a public dispute that lasted three days and ended in Choco’s conversion to Christianity. But the conversion was temporary, and before long Choco was once again maliciously charging the Spaniards with misdeeds of every imaginable kind.(22)
The first real trouble broke out in August 1668, only two months after the arrival of the priests. Sanvitores, who had from the first been waiting for an opportunity to catechize the islands to the north of Guam, finally sent Fr Luis de Morales with a military escort to Tinian to initiate missionary work there. Rumour had it that one of the most prominent chiefs of that island had been visited some years earlier by an apparition of Our Lady, who urged him to aid the victims of a shipwreck; on the strength of this rumour, Sanvitores evidently felt that Tinian was ripe for conversion. In this he was mistaken. The first religious foray into the northern Marianas came to a sudden and violent halt when Fr Morales was ambushed and speared in the leg as he was on the way to baptize a dying man. Five days later, two of the soldiers who had accompanied Morales were killed when the natives who were transporting them in their canoes suddenly turned on them with machetes. At just about the same time, the first outbreak of violence on Guam occurred when another of Sanvitores’ companions, Fr Luis de Medina, was attacked by a hostile mob in a remote village and was beaten so badly that his face was swollen for weeks afterwards.(23)
This initial display of hostility was short lived, even if it did presage what was to come. Within two months Sanvitores brought Morales, now healed of his wounds, back to Tinian, installed him as the first pastor of that island, and spent time preaching to the people of Saipan and Rota. Sanvitores returned to Guam just in time to celebrate the dedication of the new Agana church, an imposing edifice built of stone and lime, and the opening of the Colegio de San Juan de Letran, a boys’ school which had the distinction of being the first educational institution in Oceania. He also witnessed the death of his most influential convert, Quipuha.(24)
When, in July 1669, the Jesuits undertook another missionary expedition to the northern islands of the archipelago, it was Sanvitores himself who went. Once again there was trouble. On Anatahan, one of Sanvitores’ catechists, a native of Malabar who had been shipwrecked in the Marianas 30 years before and was known only by his baptismal name of Lorenzo, was seized by a band of natives angry at the death of a child he had baptized a few days earlier. They stabbed Lorenzo again and again with their bone-tipped spears, gouged out his eyes, and left him in a latrine to die. Sanvitores, who was preaching in a distant village at the time, was allowed to leave unharmed and, after an ineffective attempt to make peace between warring factions on nearby Tinian, he returned to Guam to bring the sad news of Lorenzo’s death to his companions.(25)
The Jesuits had no doubt that Choco’s sinister tales, which had already spread as far as the northern islands, were responsible for the hostility they had met in the last several months. Choco’s calumnies were poisoning the minds of the Chamorros and inflaming a simple and docile people to the point of outright belligerency; consequently, their mission, which had begun so well, was becoming extremely perilous. Recent developments were compelling the Jesuits to re-evaluate their earlier tactics. Sanvitores, the mildest of men, had begun his work fully trusting in the power of love and meekness to convey the message of spiritual peace that he brought the islanders. So convinced was he that ‘conversion should be made with the gentleness of the Holy Gospel and without the noise of arms and military operations’(26)
that he had allowed no forts or military camps to be built and, even after the first Spanish casualties, had forbidden the soldiers to shoot except in self-defence.(27) The murder of Lorenzo and the two soldiers and the assaults on two of his fellow Jesuits persuaded him that sterner measures were needed if the mission was to survive. To put a halt to the warfare on Tinian that threatened his fragile but promising church there, Sanvitores went about Guam preaching what amounted to a crusade. Rallying some of his first Guamanian converts and calling on a handful of Filipino troops to assist him, he returned to Tinian with his small army and succeeded, by threat of arms, in achieving a brittle peace.(28) Then, in a letter to his benefactress, Queen Mariana, he requested an additional 200 Filipino troops to bolster the garrison in the Marianas, a number of skilled laymen furnished with firearms as well as tools, the layover of Spanish ships on a regular basis ‘to carry out punishment and remedy of whatever misfortunes might occur’, and the authorization of the removal of Choco from the island on the next galleon along with a ban on all Chinese and other ‘heretics and infidels’ in the future.(29)
Sanvitores explained that, in the absence of a strong traditional authority system, some means of inspiring fear and restraint was necessary or else the natives would go even further and wipe out all the missionaries. Martyrdom might be a welcome and glorious fate, but it would have the undesirable effect of leaving the inhabitants without preachers and the means of saving their souls.
In point of fact, the next martyrdom was soon to occur. In January 1670, shortly after peace had been restored on Tinian, Fr Luis de Medina returned to nearby Saipan with two Filipino catechists to resume his work. The priest and his companions were rudely treated from the moment they arrived: wherever they went, a ragtag band of Chamorros followed shouting taunts and insults, and women took special pains to hide their infants and keep small children well out of the way of the Christians for fear that they would be baptized. The old rumours were circulating among the inhabitants and a party of natives resolved to dispose of the Spanish priest and his lackeys once and for all. Just two days after his arrival at the island, as the priest was preparing to baptize a sick child, Medina and his assistants were surrounded by 30 Chamorros armed with spears. Before the priest could sidestep, the first spear found its mark, and then blows descended upon him from every quarter. With him died one of his Filipino catechists, Hipolito de la Cruz.(30)
However painful these latest losses might have been to the Spanish priests, they could find some consolation in the fact that this and previous outbreaks of violence had been sporadic and impulsive displays of aggression, perhaps provoked by local feuds, rather than part of a deliberate campaign to exterminate the Spaniards. Moreover, virtually all hostilities had occurred in the northern islands; Guam, the stronghold of the mission, had remained relatively peaceful during the past two years. When open warfare suddenly broke out on Guam in Agana itself late in the summer of 1670, however, the Jesuits could no longer have any illusions about the extent of resentment that had been building up against them and their programme for the conversion of the islands. Popular sentiment had decidedly turned against them and they found themselves engaged in what they conceived to be an all-out struggle for their personal safety and the survival of their mission.
The uprising on Guam began with the murder of a young Spaniard who had gone off into the forest to gather wood to make crosses. When the Spanish commander ordered the arrest and imprisonment of several Chamorros suspected of the crime and had one of the Agana chiefs killed for resisting the order, the villagers became so enraged that they gathered a force of some 2,000 warriors and attacked the mission. The Spanish troops hastily threw up a palisade around the church and rectory, erected two small towers that served as forts, and mounted their pair of ancient cannon in the towers. The 30 soldiers, many of them fighting with only bows and arrows, repeatedly drove off their attackers and even managed to capture the leader of the Chamorro forces, who was soon afterwards released through the intervention of Sanvitores himself. Sanvitores had hoped to dampen passions by this display of generosity, but his overtures for peace as he stood before the hostile army with crucifix upraised were answered with ridicule and a volley of stones. The siege continued for 40 days, with the Chamorros finally hurling flaming spears at the thatched roofs of the Spaniards’ quarters in an effort to burn out the defenders. When this strategy failed and the battle-weary Spanish troops, in a desperate sortie, burst out of their defences and routed the Chamorro forces, the islanders were at last driven to lay down their weapons and seek peace.(31)
The peace was an uneasy one, but it lasted for another year and a half and gave the Jesuits the needed opportunity to reorganize the mission. With the arrival of four additional priests in the summer of 1671, the first new personnel since the founding of the mission, Sanvitores decided to renew attempts to win over the northern islands and assigned new pastors to Tinian and Rota. Guam he partitioned into four parishes, with a church and a pastor to serve each. Meanwhile, in an effort to persuade Spanish authorities in the Philippines and New Spain to provide additional soldiers as a reinforcement for the tiny garrison on Guam, the Jesuit superior sent three Chamorro Christians to Manila to make personal pleas for the protection of the missionaries. Sanvitores’ written request for reinforcements of two years before was only now being approved in Madrid and further bureaucratic stalling in Mexico and Manila was to delay action even longer; when the troops finally arrived in 1674, Sanvitores was already two years in his grave.(32)
The uncertain peace on Guam came to an abrupt and bloody end in late March 1672 when Diego Bazan, a young Mexican whom Sanvitores had recruited in New Spain to join him on the mission, was killed in a distant village that had become a rallying place for those who opposed the Spanish. The chief of this village, exasperated by Bazan’s continual reproaches, ordered his execution. Two of the chief’s henchmen ambushed the 18-year-old boy, cut him to pieces with their machetes, and made their way to Agana where they were creeping up to the rectory to claim more lives when the barking of a watchdog alerted the sentinel and frightened them off. On the very next day, a party of two Filipino catechists and a Spanish soldier whom Sanvitores had sent to carry a message to Agana were ambushed in nearly the same spot that Bazan had been killed. The Spanish soldier was killed immediately, but the two Filipinos, Damian Bernal and Nicolas de Figueroa, fought off the attackers and fled by separate routes, only to be killed by other natives a short time later.(33) Four lives had been taken in two days, and the island was rife with insistent and disturbing rumours of a plot to kill Sanvitores himself.
Within a few days Sanvitores, who had been delayed finishing construction of his new church, set out to join his Jesuit companions at Agana to decide what course of action to pursue in the light of the recent bloodshed. On the journey to Agana, he and his trusted Filipino catechist, Pedro Calangsor, stopped at the village of Tumon to look for a mission helper who had deserted Sanvitores at the first sign of trouble a few days before. Sanvitores never found his frightened assistant, but he did meet a Chamorro noble by the name of Matapang whom he had converted after curing him of an illness that nearly proved fatal. When Sanvitores offered to baptize Matapang’s young daughter, Matapang contemptuously replied that he would do better to baptize the skull in his house and stop killing children. If he did not leave at once, Matapang told him, he would slay the priest with his own hands. With this, the infuriated Matapang stalked away to find men and weapons to help him carry out his threat. No sooner had he disappeared than Sanvitores entered his house and baptized the child. The priest felt that the salvation of the infant was of more consequence than any threat upon his own life; and that even if, out of concern for the child’s soul, he had disregarded the orders of the angry parent, Matapang could probably be placated in time. Sanvitores and his young companion had almost reached the outskirts of the village when Matapang and a friend of his, both of them armed, overtook them. Pedro, refusing to abandon the priest, was the first to die. Sanvitores fell to his knees with his crucifix in his hand and uttered a prayer of forgiveness for his assailants. The two men were on him in an instant; one of them split the priest’s skull with a stroke of the cutlass while the other buried a spear in his heart.(34)
The slaying of Sanvitores was a terrible shock to the Spanish, and the events that followed only added to their consternation. A punitive expedition mounted by the Spanish commander shortly after the murder nearly ended in disaster when the column of soldiers was attacked on both flanks as the men stumbled through the chest-deep waters of the bay. Suffering heavy casualties from poisoned lances as they fought their way back to the road, the Spanish troops were forced to return to Agana frustrated and empty handed. They had burned several houses and canoes along the way, but had killed only one Chamorro while losing three of their own men. Most of the nine hostile villages, encouraged by their successful resistance, carried on intermittent guerilla warfare against the Spaniards for the next several months.(35) Meanwhile, the Jesuit missionaries suffered another demoralizing blow when Fr Francisco Solano, the man elected to replace Sanvitores as their superior, died of tuberculosis inJune 1672, barely two months after he took office. Solano, a kind and even-tempered person who had the respect of soldiers and fellow priests alike, had adopted a conciliatory approach similar to that of his predecessor and had been a restraining force on the quick passions of the Spanish troops.
The next few years brought periodic outbreaks of violence on Guam and even more bloodshed among the missionaries. In February 1674 Fr Francisco Ezquerra and the five Filipino assistants with him were brutally murdered when the priest tried to give the last sacraments to an elderly Chamorro woman. The following year, December 1675, the Jesuit brother Pedro Diaz and two of his lay mission helpers were cut down after he reproached a band of young vandals who had entered the mission school and were causing a loud commotion. The young men were angry at Diaz for persuading one of the favourite habituees of the men’s house to abandon her promiscuous life and enter the mission school. A month later, Fr Antonio de San Basilio was killed with a blow to the head by a native whom he had accused of cheating him in a trading bargain. The next to fall was Fr Sebastiano de Monroy, the victim of native retaliation against the Spaniards for the execution of a chief after a Spanish soldier was found murdered in September 1676. Monroy and six soldiers were on their way to Agana after the outbreak of trouble when they were lured onto the canoe of a chief whom they thought friendly. Once the canoe was well offshore, the Chamorros overturned it and finished off the priest and soldiers with spears and clubs. With the death of Monroy, the first period of martyrdom came to an end.(36)
The mission had suffered terrible losses during its first eight years; six Jesuits and another 15 catechists, most of them Filipinos, had died. And yet there was no dearth of new volunteers for the Marianas mission, many of whom wereJesuits from northern Europe, inspired by the heroic example of Sanvitores and the other early martyrs of the mission. Six Jesuit recruits arrived in 1674 and five more in 1676, with others following every two or three years thereafter.(37)
Spanish policy towards the Chamorro people was becoming more stern as a result of the continuing hostility and bloodshed. Just as Sanvitores, who had been the very essence of meekness, had suddenly taken a practical turn of mind and had begun to insist on adequate military protection after seeing his helper killed on Anatahan, so the missionaries of the mid-70s began to look increasingly to the force of Spanish arms to guarantee the future of the mission. In earlier years there had been very few Spanish punitive raids against the strongholds of rebellious Chamorro leaders, and those actually made were often called off the moment the offending parties asked for peace terms; in effect, the Spanish troops had served as little more than bodyguards for the priests and lay missionaries. Only recently had they begun to take the military initiative by moving out in full strength to punish crimes and to break down pockets of resistance against the missionaries. The missionaries reasoned that unless disaffected Chamorros were made to realize that they could not murder soldiers and missionaries with impunity there would be no end to the mischief they would cause and their respect for the Spaniards could be expected to diminish even further with each passing month. Sanvitores might have shuddered in horror at such an aggressive policy, but his heirs to the mission believed that new times brought new needs.
Damian de Esplana, who arrived as the new military commander of the garrison in 1674 along with the reinforcements that Sanvitores had requested five years earlier, was a strong-willed and bold officer who was well capable of implementing such a policy. Shortly after his arrival, he marched on a village in Guam that had been a notorious refuge for the anti-Spanish element of the Chamorro population and burned it to the ground, sending the inhabitants fleeing to Rota for refuge. Thereafter, he attacked and destroyed five other villages–although with very little loss of life on either side, it should be noted–and so won a deserved reputation for meting out swift and decisive punishment.(38)
His programme of pacification, which was carried on by his successors up to the end of the decade, entailed carrying the battle to the enemy’s homeground until the guilty parties were executed and the rest of the population promised that they would fulfil their Christian duties and refrain from doing anything to hinder the missionaries. His forceful approach was applauded by theJesuits, who were grateful for the relative peace and the renewed vigour of church life during this time.(39)
An important administrative change in the Marianas was made during these years. In 1676 the archipelago received its first governor, who was now invested with the full authority over the civil and military matters that had up to then been exercised by the Jesuit superior of the mission. This transfer of authority meant that the military garrison would for the first time be free from the authority of the missionaries in theory as well as in practice. With the new governor, Francisco de Irrisari, arrived 74 new soldiers, thus increasing the size of the garrison to about 100 men. The troops were quartered in a wooden fort at Agana that had been built in 1671 and reconstructed under Esplana three years later.(40) Shortly after Irrisari’s arrival, this fort and its garrison were attacked by a chief from one of the northern islands who had enlisted the support of several Guamanian villages. The Chamorro forces surrounded the fort and throughout the next few months made several desultory attempts to take it by storm before they abandoned the project altogether due to their heavy losses. For the remainder of his term of office, Governor Irrisari continued Esplana’s policy of attempting to keep the Chamorros in check by a strong show of force at the first hint of trouble and he achieved about the same results: a brief period of relative calm, but at the cost of smouldering resentment among those Chamorros who had been burned out of their homes and awaited the first suitable opportunity to avenge themselves on the Spaniards.
The arrival in 1680 of the new governor, Jose Quiroga, carrying articles of instruction from the Captain General of the Philippines to punish all Chamorro resisters and put an end to the costly rebellions once and for all, represented the final step in the escalation of Spanish military policy in the Marianas.(41)
Quiroga was well chosen for this role. An accomplished military officer whose personal bravery in combat had become legendary, he was also a deeply religious man who had spent several months following his temporary retirement living as a hermit. Unswerving in his principles and extremely demanding of himself and others, he possessed a zeal in carrying out his duty that bordered on the fanatic. It was at the suggestion of Fr Tirso Gonzales, later to become the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, that Quiroga applied for the position of military commander in the troubled Mariana Islands.(42) He and Esplana, the former commander of the garrison in Guam, were to become the major forces in the subjugation of these islands during the decade and a half that followed.
From the very outset Quiroga pursued his own vigorous programme of pacification. Like the commanders before him, he sought out the strongholds of opposition, which he attacked and burned; but he went further than this: he chased the enemy forces into the mountains and pressed the assault until they surrendered their leaders, whom he hanged with great fanfare before the eyes of all. Sometimes, to spare unnecessary slaughter, the villagers handed over the guilty parties at the first sign of Spanish pursuit. Once Guam had been pacified, Quiroga moved his army against Rota, an island that had long served as a hideout for Guamanian rebels with a price on their head. After a brief but successful campaign there, he returned to Guam with 150 fugitives, among them the men responsible for the slaying of Sanvitores and some of the other priests, a few of whom were publicly executed ‘with all the display necessary to instill fear in the pagans’.(43) Not long afterwards, Quiroga led a second expedition to Rota, this time in pursuit of some men who had had the effrontery to burn down a church and rectory in one of the villages on Guam and then, after fleeing to Rota, had begun to prey off the Christian community there. The Spanish troops doggedly followed the offenders up a steep embankment, fighting as they climbed, until they had forced their foes into deep hiding or surrender.(44)
Quiroga was replaced after just one year by Antonio de Saravia, a kindly man who reversed the direction taken by his predecessors and attempted to win over the Chamorros by more humane means. During his short term of office, he called together the principal chiefs to take an oath of allegiance to the Spanish throne, explaining to them that this act guaranteed them equality with the other subjects of the king. The administration of the seven large towns into which Guam had been reorganized was placed in the hands of Chamorro officials, and Spanish craftsmen were sent around to teach the islanders useful trades. The spirit of the people soared, according to the missionaries, and Christianity flourished as it never had before. Fr Luis de Morales, the superior of the mission, could report that most of the people attended mass regularly; Christian marriage before a priest and witnesses had all but completely replaced the traditional ceremonies; families were learning to grow and spin cotton and make clothes so that they could appear modestly in public; and the old houses for unmarried men, with their ever available hostesses, had entirely disappeared on Guam.(45) Saravia’s novel approach to pacification was clearly a success, but the experiment came to a premature end when Saravia died of exposure during a trip to the northern islands in November 1683. Esplana and Quiroga, both of whom were on Guam at the time, resumed authority, Esplana as governor and Quiroga as the commander of the Spanish troops.
With Esplana’s accession to the governorship came a reversion to the former strategy of military conquest and subjugation. In March 1684, Quiroga was sent with an expeditionary force to the northern islands, which had been without missionaries for over a decade now and had been almost totally neglected by previous Spanish administrators during this time.(46)
Quiroga’s forces took Tinian without firing a single shot, but at Saipan they met with strong resistance, which they overran with the help of their artillery and the Chamorro auxilliaries who had joined them in Rota. Even after the heavy losses the defenders sustained, a remnant retreated inland and held out for a while as the pursuing Spanish troops burned villages and crops behind them. Finally they too surrendered, a formal peace was made, and Fr Pierre Coomans was left on the island to become its pastor. While a detachment of soldiers sailed further north to demand the submission of those remote and sparsely inhabited islands, Quiroga began laying plans for the construction of the new fort that he intended to build on Saipan.
With Quiroga and his expeditionary force away in the northern islands, the greatly reduced garrison on Guam presented an inviting target for attack. A village chief by the name of Yura rallied some of the other villages and a number of disaffected individuals to strike at the fort in Agana and wipe out the Spaniards for good. On 13 July, he and a band of men carrying concealed weapons entered the stockade on the pretense of attending mass and attacked the unsuspecting Spaniards. The sentinels were killed, the governor seriously wounded on the plaza, and houses broken into and occupants put to the sword. Two Jesuits were slain and four others wounded in the mele’e. Fr Manuel de Solorzano, the mission superior, was stabbed several times in the head and had a hand severed in the initial attack, but a Chamorro mission assistant sympathetic to Yura supplied the coup de grace with a knife thrust to the throat. Br Balthasar Du Bois, a Dutch lay brother who had spent five years in the mission building churches, also died after having his skull crushed. The 50 surviving soldiers, with the aid of a friendly Chamorro chief and his followers, finally organized themselves enough to drive off the rebels and secure the gates of the stockade. The young native students of the colegio, meanwhile, returned to their homes to bring back weapons to use in the defence of the fort.(47)
News of the uprising spread rapidly through the villages of Guam. By happy coincidence, most of the parish priests were already on their way to Agana to attend a Jesuit meeting when the attack broke out and they arrived safely at the stockade before their own townspeople could turn on them. Only Fr Teofilo de Angelis, the pastor of Ritidian, failed to reach safety. A local chief who harboured a grudge against the priest for insisting that his daughter be properly married in church sent two young men to slay Angelis as he was about to sail to Rota. The assailants seized the priest, threw a rope around his neck, and hanged him from the mast of the canoe, afterwards stripping his body and casting it into the sea.(48) The two Jesuit priests working on Rota also fell victims to the revolt. Fr Augustin Strobach, a missionary from the Bohemian Province, set out for Guam at the first report of the uprising, but was forced to return to Rota under the pursuit of enemy canoes. He soon set out once again, this time to the north to bring word of the uprising to Quiroga, but he was apprehended soon after landing at Tinian and marched several miles inland where he was finally beaten to death. His colleague, Fr Karl Boranga, an Austrian Jesuit, continued his pastoral work on Rota for another month after Strobach’s death before he, too, was slain.(49)
While the Chamorro forces on Guam redoubled their efforts to take the Spanish stockade, the general insurrection spread to Saipan, where Quiroga, still unaware of what had taken place, continued work on the fortification of that island. Only after the detachment of Spanish troops he had left at Tinian had been massacred and his frigate had been set afire did he realize what was afoot. Soon a combined force of natives from Tinian and Saipan launched a massive attack on Quiroga’s men and drove them back into the unfinished fort. Never a man content to fight a defensive battle, Quiroga and a few handpicked soldiers sallied out against the enemy, pressing them so hard that the rebels turned and scattered. For weeks the hard fighting continued until Quiroga finally found an opportunity to slip his men down to the shore where they boarded canoes and sailed to the rescue of the governor and his beleaguered garrison on Guam.(50) The Spanish commander had despaired of the lives of Fr Pierre Coomans and the company of soldiers who had been sent north some months earlier. What Quiroga could not have known was that the Jesuit would survive a plot against him, return to Saipan after losing most of his military escort, and there be seized and murdered.
Upon his arrival at Guam in November, Quiroga found the stockade still unbreached, but the defenders demoralized and exhausted from the fourmonth siege. Casualties had been great, especially during the intense fighting in late July and August, and several of the Filipino soldiers married to Guamanian women had deserted. Governor Esplana, who had once been regarded as the terror of the islands, had become a casualty of a different sort; in the course of the long siege, he had lost his taste for combat and his courage as well, becoming an indecisive and ineffectual leader.(51) In the face of these internal problems, the defenders probably could not have held out against far superior numbers as long as they did without the courageous assistance of their loyal Chamorro militia. Quiroga, however, had lost nothing of his own fearful reputation among the people of Guam, and at the first sight of him and his troops, the insurgents abandoned their positions in panic and took to the mountains for refuge. Again and again in the months that followed Quiroga set out in pursuit of the rebels, burning their towns and executing those whom he captured, until once again peace was established in the islands–the kind of peace that is born of desperation and weariness and sustained by force of arms.(52)
For 10 more years Quiroga loomed as the prominent Spanish figure in the Marianas, serving as governor on two more occasions and commanding the military forces for Esplana the rest of the time. In the summer of 1695, a year before completing his last term as governor, he had the satisfaction of winning one last battle on a tiny island off Tinian where a few stubborn hold-outs had gathered their followers for a final stand against the Spanish. With this victory, the last native opposition to Spanish rule was crushed and the missionaries could work unimpeded in baptizing and instructing the remainder of the population. The conquest of the Marianas was complete.
There is no question that the Spanish conquest, in the end, was far different from that purely spiritual one originally intended by Sanvitores and those who authorized his mission. Yet if the Spaniards were conquerors and colonizers, they were reluctant ones who were drawn into a protracted guerilla warfare to protect the mission to which they had been committed from the very beginning. This concept should not be especially difficult for anyone of our own day to understand, even if not to endorse, given the recent history of French and American engagements in Vietnam. Early Chamorro resistance to the mission and attacks on the missionaries themselves led the Jesuits to abandon the radical pacifist stance that they had initially taken. Soon they sanctioned the use of Spanish troops for punitive raids in the belief that this would act as a deterrent for future violence. When hostilities continued and the authority over the Spanish garrison was transferred to the civil head of state, soldiers were dispatched to break down centres of resistance and destroy property to forestall further violence. Only after 1680 did the Spanish begin to conduct full-scale campaigns against insurgents and execute appreciable numbers of them after their victories. As the contest escalated and the role of Spanish arms became increasingly greater, therefore, the aim of Spanish military forces in the Marianas evolved from the protection of the missionaries in their apostolic work to the outright subjugation of the Chamorro people. The progression in Spanish policy throughout this period was from conversion to conquest–but conquest only in the belief that this was necessary to achieve the Christianization of the people, for the Spanish government’s sole raison d’etre throughout was to support the missionary enterprise.
However high-minded Spanish aims may have been in the Marianas, the period of early conquest and colonization clearly saw an enormous reduction in the Chamorro population, nearly to the point of extinction. Estimates of the size of the Chamorro population at the arrival of the Spanish–including Sanvitores’ reckoning of 100,000 for the whole archipelago–are probably as unreliable as early estimates for other parts of the Pacific.(53)
If we suppose, however, that all of the 180 pueblos on Guam–many of them in reality hamlets with between 40 and 100 people–were inhabited at that time, and we assume an average population of perhaps 125 or 150, then the total population of Guam would have come to about 20,000 or 30,000.(54)
Such information as we possess on settlement patterns in the Marianas suggests that well over half of the entire Chamorro population may have lived on Guam, an island with slightly more than half the total land area of the Marianas and with traditional social prominence over the rest of the group.(55)
The northern islands seem to have been more sparsely populated then as now; only one-fifth of the people of the Marianas today live outside of Guam. All things considered, the population of the Marianas in 1668 very likely fell in the range of 35,000-50,000; a good working hypothesis might be a figure of 40,000. This number, in fact, corresponds to the more conservative population estimates made by visitors in the 18th century and it is in line with the best estimates of pre-contact population for other island groups in Micronesia.(56)
In the first census of the Marianas, taken by the Spanish governor in 1710, the Chamorros numbered only 3,539.(57) Hence, in the 42 years since the arrival of Spanish missionaries and soldiers the population plummeted to less than one-tenth of its original size. It is this enormous decline during the early period of Spanish colonization that has given rise to the supposition that Spanish arms and oppression must have accounted for most of the loss. Yet, there is strong evidence to suggest that this was not, in fact, the case. In the first place, Spanish sources of the day and works that are based on them fail to support the claim that Spanish military action in the islands ever degenerated into the reckless slaughter of large segments of the population. Chamorro loss of life in battle was, by all accounts, light. No more than two or three Chamorros, for example, were killed in any of the military expeditions conducted by the Spanish during the last six months of 1678 and the first six months of 1679, according to the detailed reports of theJesuit mission superior of the time.(58)
Even Quiroga, who was probably responsible for more Chamorro deaths than all the other Spanish commanders combined, does not seem to have killed many people outright. His hardest-fought campaigns in the northern islands appear to have resulted in no more than a handful of deaths among the enemy before their forces scattered or made peace, and his celebrated invasion of Rota in 1680 to round up insurgents responsible for ‘criminal acts’ issued in the execution of only a half dozen men, we are told.(59) Quiroga undoubtedly pressed his attacks much more vigorously than his predecessors, but he made peace with the enemy as soon as he could in accordance with his royal orders, as Gobien is at pains to point out, and he executed only those whom he judged responsible for capital offences.(60)
We have no way of determining the exact number of Chamorros killed by the Spanish, of course, but a close reading of the sources would suggest that the total should be reckoned in terms of a few hundred rather than thousands, much less ten thousands, as some historians seem to suppose.
Everything that we know about Chamorro warfare supports this. Island warfare, despite its elaborate preparations and attendant ceremony, was almost always a hit-and-run affair in which the two armies disengaged after the first few casualties. Gobien writes of Chamorro warriors:
They rarely come to hand-to-hand fighting, and when they do, it is only because they can not avoid it. They are afraid of being hurt and are afraid to shed blood in battle. When two or three men are killed or seriously wounded on one side, the victory is established. The sight of blood causes them to flee and disperse in a moment.(61)
Gobien’s description of warfare in the Marianas is quite consistent with thestyle of fighting that was carried on in most other parts of the Pacific.(62)
There were very few suicidal charges or defiant stands, and there is little reason to believe that Chamorro forces would have behaved any differently in the face of Spanish muskets than they did when facing native spears. Intolerable losses–that is to say, the death of two or three of their own men–would have decided the battle and caused them either to take to the mountains in hiding or to ask for terms of peace from the Spanish.
Moreover, the absence of complaints in missionary letters about excesses of military policy, especially during the 1680s, may be taken as evidence of the lack of cause for such complaint. One would expect to read strong protests in missionary letters against a military policy that was resulting in virtual genocide. Not even theJesuits of the 17th century, notwithstanding all the accusations made against their order for espousing the dubious principle that the end justifies the means, could have honestly believed that the success of their religious mission could be legitimately purchased at the price of the near extermination of the people they were working to save. Indeed, theJesuits protested loudly and publicly on one occasion in the early 1670s when Spanish soldiers precipitously shot two Chamorros.(63) The silence of Jesuits on this matter during later years tends to confirm the conclusion that the numbers of Chamorros killed by the Spanish were in all likelihood quite small.
If the number of Chamorro casualties in the 25 years of intermittent fighting were so low, then what might account for the enormous population decline during that same period? Undoubtedly the answer is the same things that accounted for depopulation elsewhere in the Pacific. It should be noted, first of all, that a population decline of this magnitude, while more severe than that experienced in most islands, was not entirely unparalleled. The population of Kosrae in the Caroline Islands, which numbered at least 3,000 at first contact in the l9th century, fell to 300 in a similar length of time.(64)
It was a host of novel diseases rather than European powder and shot that was responsible for the disastrous fall off in Kosrae’s population. Ponape lost well over half of its inhabitants in a smallpox epidemic in 1854, and two years later Guam suffered the loss of a like percentage of its own people through the ravages of that same disease. May we not suppose that the Marianas, which experienced a very serious outbreak of smallpox in 1688 and an influenza epidemic in 1700, among other scourges, lost far more of its people to pestilence than to war?(65)
Quiroga himself, who continued to live on Guam long after the conquest, attests to this in a letter to the Spanish crown in 1720 complaining of the harshness of the recent governor towards the Chamorro people. Commenting upon the shocking reduction in population and the present state of misery in which the survivors were obliged to live, Quiroga lays the blame on the numerous epidemics that struck the islands and the sickness brought on by the unremitting forced labour to which the people had lately been subjected.(66)
Even if Chamorro losses in battle were far smaller than generally supposed, it is an uncontestable fact that there was intermittent skirmishing for a period of over 25 years. What brought on this extended warfare? The Jesuits blamed Choco and his calumnies regarding baptism for the continuing hostilities while others argued that the Jesuits themselves, through their strong censures of ‘immoral’ native customs, were responsible; but there was probably a good deal more to it than this.(67)
The Spanish had quite unwittingly walked into a political thicket when they first stepped ashore on Guam. There existed a confusing network of alliances among the various independent districts in their constant struggle with one another for power and prestige; moreover, this network was continually changing shape as alliances were refashioned. The Spanish, with the prestige that their muskets and their persons conferred, were a potentially lucrative possession, a force that invited manipulation by Chamorro factions for their own political ends, as so often was the case with later foreign arrivals everywhere in the Pacific. By the same token, they were also an easy target for the enemies of the village or district with which they were identified. As long as the missionaries remained in Agana, their adoptive home, under the protection of Quipuha, they were reasonably secure, but when they began travelling to other districts, they were engaging in a rather risky venture. Even in Agana, after the death of Quipuha, the Spanish were attacked by the townspeople, but this uprising was precipitated by the execution of one of the chiefs of that village; the two subsequent sieges on the fort at Agana in 1676 and 1684 were instigated by leaders from other districts, and warriors from Agana fought on the side of the Spanish.
Kinship ties and political allegiances must, in great part, have determined who sided with whom during the later years of colonization. Documentary sources, of course, are silent on these matters, but they do indicate that a significant minority of the population supported the priests and the Spanish forces. It was the Chamorro people of a neighbouring area who set fire to the village of Upi in 1676 in retaliation for the murder of Fr San Basilio, and it was a local Christian woman who ordered Fr Ezquerra’s slayers to be apprehended and handed over to Spanish authorities in 1674.(68) Two Chamorro chiefs and their followers fought at the side of the Spanish commander in his assault on a heavily defended village in southern Guam in 1679 as well as on numerous other occasions, and the local militia came to the aid of the Spanish more than once when the latter were hard pressed by their enemies.(69) By the 1680s the Spanish recognized the existence of two distinct camps among the native population: those local people, Christian in their sympathies at least, who docilely accepted Spanish authority, and the ‘rebels’, generally from outlying areas on Guam and to the north, who resisted it strenuously. It is not hard to imagine that this increasingly hardening division followed traditional socio-political lines.
If local rivalries and intrigues afforded danger enough for the unwary Spanish, the possibilities of conflict were multiplied greatly by the personal offence that the soldiers and missionaries gave in their dealings with local people. The priests were quick to recognize the unwelcome consequences that impulsive acts by the troops might bring, as when Spanish soldiers shot two Chamorros without cause in 1672, and they took great care to counsel against a repetition of such behaviour.(70) Yet they seemed to disregard their own advice on numerous occasions and paid for it dearly. Each of the killings of missionaries that occurred between 1674 and 1676 is clearly attributable to revenge for an affront suffered by some of the people shortly before: a public scolding, an accusation of cheating, the execution of a chief, and a harsh remonstrance. It is of such insults as these that many a war in the Pacific has been born, and there were undoubtedly many more suchfaux pas throughout the years of early missionary work. Spanish armed retaliation after each outbreak of violence probably only added insult to injury and served to harden the opposition of the aggrieved Chamorro parties. Historians, nonetheless, have persisted in represehting the interrnittent clashes of Chamorros with Spaniards as a nationalistic st;uggle for independence against a foreign colonizer. It is ironic that an early history written by a Jesuit priest, Gobien’s Histoire des Isles Marianas, should have given rise to such misinterpretations and thus lent support to the most vocal critics of the Jesuit mission in the Marianas. In his Thucydidean vein, Gobien composes stirring anti-colonial speeches which he puts on the lips of Chamorro chieftains who rally their people to throw off the Spanish yoke and regain the freedom they had enjoyed before the advent of the European.(71)
Their cause is a noble one, even if doomed, as Gobien portrays it, for they are fighting to preserve their land, their way of life, and their very heritage as a people. If ever there was an imposition of European thought st;uctures on non-European people, this is it. No doubt Europeans, then as now, felt that this is what the Chamorros shouCd have been fighting for, but it is highly unlikely that this is the reason that actually did impel the Chamorros to take up arms. Yet generations of later historians, taking their cue from Gobien, uncritically assume that the hostilities from 1668 on constituted a long war of liberation against the Spanish colonial enterprise, an epic struggle between the forces of oppression and those of freedom. But old myths die slowly, and we may expect a lingering death for this and the other errors that have blurred the fascinating story of the first European venture in Oceania.
Reprinted from The Journal of Pacific History, Volume 17, Number 3, July 1982.
1. The classic source for the history of the early Spanish evangelization and conquest of the islands is Charles le Gobien, Histoire des Isles Marianes, novellement converties a la Relegion Chrestienne (Paris 1701). Gobien’s work, which is based on an early biography of Fr Sanvitores written by Francisco Garcia, is the fullest history of the period and an invaluable source despite its occasional distorted interpretations of events. Gobien’s work was translated into English and serialized for publication in the Guam Catholic weekly,Umatuna Si Yuus (26 July-20 Dec. 1964).
I owe a debt of gratitude to Majorie Driver for bringing to my attention key documents from the wealth of Spanish archival materials in the Micronesian Area Research Center collection. A fine guide to Spanish sources for the period is the chronological and bibliographic survey by Henry Bernard, ‘Les Isles Mariannes, Carolines et Palau: Essai d’lnventaire chronologique des sources historiques avant le XIX siecle’ Monumenta Nipponica, VII (1943), 172-201. Bernard is especially useful as a guide to early missionary letters and reports preserved in the Archivum Romanum Societatis Jesu in Rome.
2. Judy Tudor (ed.), Pacific Islands Year Book (Sydney 1972) 236.
3. Charles Beardsley, Guam: Past and Present (Tokyo 1964), 133.
4. Paul Carano and Pedro Sanchez, A Complete History of Guam (Tokyo 1964), 86.
5. Bernard, op. cit., 178-9.
6. A letter of the governor of the Philippines on this incident is reproduced in Emma Blair and James A. Roberton, The Philippine Islands (Cleveland 1903), X, 262. See also ‘The Account of a Discalced Friar’s Stay in the Islands of the Ladrones’, Guam Recorder, VII (1977), 19-21: and Bernard, op. cit., 180.
7. Marjorie Driver (ed.), ‘Fray Juan Pobre de Zamora and His Account of the Mariana Islands, 1602’, MARC Working Papers, Guam 1982.
8. Oscar Calvo (ed.), The Apostle of the Marianas (Agana 1970), 72-4; Emilie Johnston (ed.), Father San Vitores: His Life, Times, and Martyrdom (Agana 1977), 24-5.
9. Ward Barrett, Mission in the Marianas (Minneapolis 1975), 9.
10. Calvo, op. cit., 171.
11. Royal cedula from Queen Mariana to the Viceroy of New Mexico, 12 August 1671, Mexico City, Archivo General de la Nacion, Reales Cedulas, XII, 85. This document and others which quote from the original decree authorizing the establishment of the Marianas mission are published in Marjorie Driver (ed.), Documentos relativos a’ la Micronesia, MARC Working Papers No. 12 (Guam 1979).
12. Royal decree from Queen Mariana to the Viceroy of New Spain, 12 Nov. 1672, in Driver, op. cit., 59-60.
13. Gobien, op. cit., 72-3; Calvo, op. cit., 117-21.
14. Letter to Lorenzo Bustillo, 26 Apr. 1669, quoted in W. C. Repetti, ‘The Beginnings of Catholicity in the Marianas lslands’, Catholic Historical Review, XXXI (1945-46), 432: Laura Thompson, The Native Culture of the Marianas Islands (Honolulu 1945), 12; Gobien, op. cit., 50-1.
15. William Alkire, Introduction to the Peoples and Cultures of Microncsia (Menlo Park 1977), 22-3; Thompson, op. cit., 12-4.
16. Felicia Plaza (ed.), Sanvitores in the Marianas, MARC Working Papers No. 22 (Guam 1980), 17-22. This work is a translation of four chapters from Francisco Garcia, Vida y martyrio de el venerable Padre Diego Luis de Sanvitores (Madrid 1683).
17. Gobien, op. cit., 73-5; Calvo, op. cit., 137.
18. Calvo, loc. cit., 137, Gobien, op. cit., 99-100.
19. Calvo, op. cit., 123.
20. For a survey of early European encounters with Chamorros see Jane Underwood, ‘Population history of Guam: context of microevolution’, Micronesica IX (1973), 12-14.
21. This figure is cited in Repetti, op. cit., 432, and numerous other sources. See Bernard, op. cit., 183.
22. Carano, op. cit., 66-7; Calvo, op. cit., 127-34.
23. Calvo, op. cit., 129, 135-6; Johnston, op. cit., 32-3.
24. Carano, op. cit., 67-8; L. M. Cox, The Island of Guam (Washington 1917), 32.
25. Barrett, op. cit., 37; Gobien, op. cit., 114-5.
26. Quoted in a dispatch from Queen Mariana to the Viceroy of New Spain, 12 Nov. 1672; see Driver, op. Cit., 52.
27. Calvo, op. cit., 171.
28. Barrett, op. cit, 33-5; Beardsley, op.cit., 128-9: Luis de Ibanez y Garcia, Historia de las Islas Marianas (Granada 1886), 40.
29. Sanvitores’ letter of July 1669 was enclosed in a royal decree to the Viceroy of New Spain, 12 Aug 1671; see Driver, op. cit., 14-8. A slightly altered version of this document is found in Barrett, op. cit.; 38-45 .
30. Gobien, op. cit., 122-6; Beardsley, op. cit., 129; Carano, op. cit., 69.
31. Cox, op. cit., 33; Carano, op. cit., 69-70; Gobien, op. cit., 138-53.
32. See the correspondence between Queen Mariana and the Viceroy of New Spain in Driver, op. cit., 37-41, 49-54.
33. Calvo, op. Cit., 189-93.
34. Ibid., 194-9; Gobien, op. Cit., 164-7.
35. Cox, Op. cit., 33-4; Carano, op. cit., 73-4; Ibanez y Garcia, op. cit., 47-8.
36. The martyrdom of these four Jesuits and their associates is described in detail in Gobien, op. cit, 205-57 .
37. Bernard, op. cit., 186-7.
38. Esplana, who was by all accounts a severe commander, has acquired a blacker reputation than he deserves, at least at this period of history. Although he did burn villages in retaliation for Chamorro crimes there is no evidence to suggest that he exterminated the inhabitants of these villages, as Carano, op. cit., 75 maintains. In the one campaign of Esplana’s that is described in Gobien, the author expressly mentions that only one Chamorro lost his life; see Gobien, op. cit., 218-20.
39. The tribute of one Jesuit missionary to Esplana’s efforts is quoted in Calvo, op. cit., 209
40. Yolanda Delgadillo et al., Spanlsh Forts of Guam (Guam 1979), 7-8.
41. A translation of the articles of instruction to Quiroga is published in Guam Recorder, V (Sept. 1938), 18-20, (Oct. 1938), 14-6.
42. Gobien, op. cit., 277.
43. Ibid. 287.
44. Ibid. 289-92.
45. From the annual report of Fr Morales to Rome, cited in Barrett, op. cit., 54.
46. The best source of information on this eventful period is a lengthy account written by Fr Luis de Morales in 1685, later translated and published by Domingo Abella as Vignettes of Philippines-Marianas Colonial History, No. I (Manila, Mar. 1962). Morales’ report was apparently the principal source used by Gobien in his treatment of this period; Gobien, op. cit., 302-72.
47. Abella, op. cit., 13-6; Cox, op. Cit., 36; Gobien, op. cit., 308-21.
48. Abella, op. cit., 16-7.
49. Gobien, op. cit., 338-50.
50. Abella, op., cit., 29-32, 34-9.
51. Gobien, op., cit., 350.
52. Abella, op. Cit., 37-8; Gobien, op. cit., 371-2.
53. Sanvitores’ initial estimate of 50,000 people on Guam and 100,000 in the entire archipelago is found in Francisco Garcia, Vida y martyrio de el venerable Padre Diego Luis de Sanvitores (Madrid 1683); translated in Guam Recorder, IV (Apr. 1937), 20-21. On the unreliability of early population estimates see Underwood, op. cit., 14-16.
54. Sanvitores notes that the inland hamlets contained ‘six to twenty huts’, including public houses as well as dwellings. Larger coastal villages, containing between 50 and 150 houses, might have had populations of as many as a few hundred, while Agana with its population of perhaps 1500 was by far the largest village. See Alexander Spoehr, Saipan: The Ethnology of a War-Devastated Island (Chicago 1954), 55-7;Alkire, op., cit., 20; Repetti, op., cit., 432.
55. Alexander Spoehr, Mananas Prehisroy: Archaeological Survey and Excavations on Salpan, Tinian and Rota (Chicago 1957), 22-4.
56. Three such estimates, falling between 40,000 and 60,000, are cited in Otto von Kotzebue, A Voyage of Discovery into the South Sea and Beering’s Strait in the Years 1815-1818 (London 1821), III, 79. For a survey of early population estimates, see Laura Thompson, Guam and Its People (Princeton 1947), 32-4, and Underwood, 14-16. Spoehr, an archaeologist who worked in the Marianas some years ago, settles on a ‘conservative guess’ of 40,000-50,000, Spoehr Saipan, 55-6.
57. Underwood, op. cit., 18-21; Spoehr, Saipan, 56.
58. Report of Fr Luis de Morales to the General of the Society of Jesus on events between June 1678 and May 1679, Rome, Archivum Romanum Societatis Jesu: Philippines, XIII.
59. Ibanez y Garcia, op. cit., 57.
60. Instructions issued by Juan de Vargas Hurtado, Captain-General of the Philippines, to Jose Quiroga, 7 Sept. 1680, in Guam Rccorder, V (Sept. 1938), 18. See also Gobien, op. cit., 303, 388.
61. Gobien, op. cit., 54.
62. See, e.g., K. R. Howe, ‘Firearms and Indigenous Warfare: A Case Study’, Journal of Pacfic History, IX
63. Gobien, op. cit., 182-3.
64. Philip Ritter, ‘The population of Kosrae at contact’, unpublished paper, 32-3; Philip Ritter, ‘The repopulation of Kosrae’, PhD thesis, Stanford University (Stanford 1978), 36-55.
65. The demographer Jane Underwood comes to a similar conclusion in her study of population change on Guam; see Underwood, op. cit. 17-18.
66. Letter of Quiroga to Spanish sovereign, 26 May 1720, Seville, Archivo General de Indias, Ultramar: Filipinas, Leg. 561, fl 1515-29.
67. See Spoehr, Saipan, 42.
68. Gobien, op. cit., 273-4; Cox, op. cit., 34.
69. Gobien, op. cit., 273-4.
70. Gobien, op. cit., 182-3.
71. See, e.g., the speeches of the native leaders, Hurao and Aguarin, in Gobien, op. cit., 140-4. 245-7.
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