|DeSoto's Request of the King|
LETTER OF HERNANDO DE SOTO
RESPECTING CONCESSIONS HE DESIRES
SHALL BE OBTAINED FOR HIM AT COURT
VERY MAGNIFICENT SIR:
That which Your Worship is to favour me in is as follows:
Inasmuch as His Majesty has not ceded to Francisco Pizarro more than two hundred and seventy-five leagues by Royal grant, of the six hundred that the said Governor Pizarro holds from Santiago, whence begins his government, to the mines of Callao, which divide his territory from that of Don Diego de Almagro, as will appear by an agreement made between them, must be taken off from the beginning of his government to the town of San Miguel, an extent may be of one hundred leagues, which region, from said town of Panama, supposing now His Majesty should be pleased to grant it to me in government, is the most sterile and unprofitable of that country, although I am of opinion that by way of Quito there is good opening into the interior, whereby to serve His Majesty in the Provinces through which I came.
Your Worship, not being able to get what I have set forth, will try then for the government of Guatemala, with permission to make discovery in the South Sea (ed: the Pacific Ocean), and for the title of Adelantado, with concession from His Majesty of the tenth part of whatever I may at my own cost discover in the sea, and conquer, with patent, and to my successors.
What Your Worship will send to the Senor Comendador, to be negotiated with His Majesty, is as follows:
The mantle of Santiago for Fernan Ponce de Leon, and also for me.
All the Indians of Apportionment which said Hernan Ponce de Leon and I hold by schedule from His Majesty, with other property in lands and houses, in fee simple, and if possible with a title.
Let the government that may be got for me be in perpetuity if possible, and if not, then for the longest term Your Worship may be enabled to secure: And when you shall have acted on these instructions, and discovered where is the best chance of success, you will let me know how I am to treat with these Lords of the Council in the business, and what I am to write to the Senor Comendador, and when.
HERNANDO DE SOTO