The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 21, July 1917 - April, 1918

Book Reviews

BOOK REVIEWS
The Early History of Cuba, 1492-1586. By Irene, A. Wright.
(The. Macmillan Company. New York. 1916. 371 pages
with Glossary and Index.)
This book, as the preface states, is the first history of Cuba
written from the original sources. It is divided into, four sec-
tions, corresponding with the same number of periods. The first,
from 1492 to 1524, describes the conquest and early settlement
of the Island by the Spaniards. Some account of the first voy-
ages of Columbus is given, the work of Ovando, at Espafiola is
described, Las Casas' blood-hound episode is revived, and finally
we are given a picture of the early conquest and government of
Cuba by Velasquez. The latter is shown in the unsual unfavor-
able light. With Cuba and the West Indies established as a base
of operations, and weakened by the migration of settlers to tierra
firme, the writer returns to "An Era of Stagnation (1524-1550)."
Four chapters are devoted to the relation of events in Cuba, one
treats of the early Florida expeditions from the viewpoint of
Cuba and another (with XVI the most enlightening in the book)
deals with the social, municipal, agricultural and commercial
development of the Island during this period. Notwithstanding
the title of this section it is possible to see that the Spaniards
were established on a firmer foundation than is suggested, per-
haps, by the term "Pestilence of the Repartimiento."
The third division of the book traces the history of C'ba under
the "French Influence," which, we note, is the author's way of
characterizing the piratic efforts of certain individual Frenchmen
after 1537. Of French hostility there seem to have been two
periods, before and after 1568, the first being manifested by
piracy and annoyance, such as isolated attacks on towns and
fleets, and the second, based on more intense international rivalry,
induced by the failure of the Canadian expeditions. The result
of this period was the fortification of Havana, and the inaugura-
tion of armadas for the protection of the fleets against French
attacks. The occupation of Florida and the career of Men6ndez
de Avila are given briefly from the Cuban viewpoint, with em-

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 21, July 1917 - April, 1918. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101073/. Accessed October 20, 2014.