Pietro Martire d' Anghiera, (Peter Martyr)
"Martyris Angli mediolanensis opera,
babylonica, oceani decas, poemata, epigrammate"
Rare Book & Special Collections
Bequest of Mrs. John Boyd Thacher, 1925
The large island of Hispaniola, today shared by the countries
of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, became the first site for
permanent European settlement in America. And it remained so,
until occupation of the other large islands of Puerto Rico, Jamaica,
and Cuba took place during the years 1508-11. By 1525 a Milanese
humanist at the court of the Spanish crown, Pietro Martire d'Anghiera,
also known as Peter Martyr, reported to his friend Gaspare Contarini
of Venice that the islands of Hispaniola, Cuba, and Jamaica contained
a million persons or more at the time of Columbus, but then, because
of cruel treatment, despair, disease, or infanticide, there were
almost none left.