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Marquis de Casa-Torres to Lord Archibald Hamilton—3 Jan 1715/16

Letters – Casa-Torres to Hamilton—3 Jan 1715/16

Letter From the Marquis de Casa-Torres To Governor Archibald Hamilton - January 3, 1716. CO 137/12 no.9. [Translated by Alejandro de la Fuente, Kevin A. Yelvington, and Barbara Cruz]. Source: Kinkor's Whydah Sourcebook (2003).


        Most Excellent Sir:

        With a great pain in my heart, I must inform Your Excellency (according to the duties I have as governor and captain-general of this post) the news I have received, and the declarations of different Spaniards, and Frenchmen, there are to be found in the ports of Bahia Onda [Honda] and Marien [Mariel] to Leeward and North, two balandras [sloops] and one paquebot [packet-boat] with more than 300 men and very [well] equipped for war to go to palmar de Ais coast of Florida to search for the treasure which is underwater that was lost in the fleet of Don Juan Esteban of Seville, and that this, declare the said captains of the sloops and packet-boat, they execute with Your Excellency's patents and licenses. I confess that I cannot believe that your Excellency could have given such patents. Being as they are, pirates, they want to believe that Your Excellency has given them licenses to steal. I beg Your Excellency that once he is presented with this letter by Captain Don Juan [Francisco] de Valle [Deputy of Governor Casa-Torres and on the Council of Commerce] (a person of my highest estimation and of complete honor) to give the orders to retire the said sloops and packetboat, and the others that I have been told are making ready. By so doing Your Excellency will fulfill his great duties and will serve his Britannic Majesty, for with your position and your blood you must contribute with all your might to what has been agreed in the glorious peace celebrated between both majesties, Catholic and Britannic. And I, as minister and vassal of the Catholic King, my Lord, I will always be grateful to Your Excellency and whenever the occasion arises I will do the same concerning the whole English nation because we are both obliged, each one of us in his district, to execute and guard what the Kings negotiated. Otherwise, there will be many complaints, death, and setbacks to commerce which, I inform Your Excellency, I will of course (so as not to cause inconvenience for applying the necessary remedy to so much damage as we are aware) report to His Catholic Majesty so he suggests this to His Britannic Majesty through his Royal Hand [Hamilton]. His Britannic Majesty will honor this request, because having happened the tragedy of the loss of the said fleet on our coasts and in our dominions I see no reason for them to come and steal what their owners, who are currently working on its rescue, possess. I hope to deserve the usual attention of your Excellency and that this gentlemen, my envoy, returns quickly, and with your favor, and with his mission accomplished, with news that Your Excellency has given the necessary orders for the retirement of these pirates so that they do not disrupt the current rescue of the bullion. And in this, His Catholic Majesty (God save him) is interested in giving me many orders that will please your Excellency, so that you will know my good will. God save Your Excellency for many years. From Havana January 3, 1716.