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Page:The despatches of Hernando Cortes.djvu/402

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380 LETTERS OP CORTES. establish a town, and give it the name of Coliman, from the province ; and I forwarded him a list of alcaldes and regidores for it. I also directed him to visit the towns and people of those provinces, and bring me a particular description of the country so far as he could obtain a knowledge of it ; which he accordingly brought on his return, together with specimens of pearls that he found. In the name of your Majesty I transferred the population of the villages in these provinces to the new town, where I left a force of twenty-five horse and one hundred and twenty foot. The relation he brought of the country contained information of an excellent harbor which was found on that coast, which afforded me much pleasure, as there are few harbors there ; and he also brought me an account of the lords of the province of Ciguatan, in which there is affirmed to be an island inhabited by women without any men, although at cer- tain times they are visited by men from the main land ; and if the women bear female children they are pro- tected, but if males they are driven from their society. This island is ten days' journey from that province, and many have gone there and seen it.* They also tell me it is very rich in pearls and gold. ; respecting which I shall labor to obtain the truth, and to give your Majesty a full account of it. On my way from the province of Panuco, there met me at a city called Tuzapan two Spaniards, whom to- gether with several natives of the city of Temextitan and others of the province of Soconusco, (which is on the upper part of the coast of the South Sea, towards where

  • California is supposed to be the island referred to, afterwards discovered to

be a peninsula.