The Dominican Republic

In the stormy history of the island of Hispaniola, where Columbus was buried, American intervention has followed upon Spanish, French and British. A survey of the scene since 1492.

Almost nothing is recorded of the Arawaks, who inhabited Hispaniola at the time of the arrival of Columbus; one century later they were extinct.

Indeed, the history of the island since 1492 gives it some claim to be regarded as one of the unhappiest in the world. Santo Domingo, founded in 1496, is the oldest city of the New World; there, sixteen years later, was begun the cathedral to which the bones of Columbus were subsequently transferred.

Gold was found and no pains were spared to set the Indians to work in the mines and to convert them to Christianity.

The Cross and the gold—already the pattern was establishing itself. Bartolome de Las Casas, the “Apostle of the Indians”, had pity on the natives; but Spanish settlers, who had introduced the sugar cane, would only remain if the newfound lands could be profitably worked.

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