European Treaties Bearing on the History of the United States and Its Dependencies to 1648

By Frances Gardiner Davenport | Go to book overview

8.
The Bull Dudum Siquidem (Alexander VI.). September 26, 1493.

INTRODUCTION.

Not long after the interview of March 9, 1493, between Columbus and John II. of Portugal,1 the latter caused an armada to be fitted out to take possession of the lands found by Columbus. A report2 of these hostile preparations having reached the Spanish sovereigns they at once despatched Lope de Herrera to the Portuguese court to request that ambassadors be sent them, and that the caravels should not sail, or Portuguese subjects go to those parts, until it should be determined within whose seas the discoveries lay.

Meanwhile the King of Portugal had sent Ruy de Sande to the Spanish sovereigns to entreat them (among other things) to prohibit their subjects from fishing south of Cape Bojador till the limits of the possessions of both kingdoms should be fixed, and to make these limits the parallel of the Canaries, leaving the navigation south of this line to the Portuguese.3 In the middle of August the Portuguese ambassadors, Pero Diaz and Ruy de Pina, arrived in Barcelona, and an attempt at settlement was made. In the midst of the negotiations the Spanish sovereigns appealed to the Pope, who, on September 26, granted them a fourth bull, which confirmed the bull Inter caetera of May 4,4 extended it so as to secure to Spain any lands discovered by her in her westward navigations, even though they should be in the eastern regions and belong to India, excluded the subjects of all other crowns from navigating or fishing or exploring in those parts, without license from Spain, and revoked all the earlier papal grants to Portugal which might seem to give her a claim to lands not already actually possessed by her in those regions.


BIBLIOGRAPHY.

Texts: MS. Two original manuscripts of the promulgated bull, written on parchment and with the leaden seal affixed, are in the Archives of the Indies at Seville, Patronato, 1-1-1, nos. 2 and 5. A manuscript copy,

____________________
1
See introduction to Doc. 1.
2
The report came from the Duke of Medina-Sidonia. A letter in respect to this from the sovereigns to the duke, dated May 2, 1493, is printed in Navarrete, Viages, tom. II., no. 16, pp. 22-23.
3
Las Casas quotes Columbus as stating that King John "said that there was mainland to the south". J. E. Olson and E. G. Bourne, Northmen, Columbus, and Cabot (1906), p. 326. For these negotiations see Herrera, Historia General, dec. I., lib. II., c. 5; Zurita, Historia, tom. I., lib. I., c. 25; Muñoz, Historia, tom. I., lib., IV., § 26.
4
Doc. 7.

-79-

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