Chapter III
Spanish Colonization



Francisco de Bobadilla 

Francisco de Bobadilla was born in Spain about 1450. He became a nobleman who served fighting against the Moors when Spain retook their country. His title was Francisco de Bobadilla, Chevalier and Knight. Commander of the Royal Order of Calatrava. Because of his title and service he was favored by the royal family.

Columbus was the governor of the islands and ruled along with his brothers, Bartholomew and Giacomo. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella were hearing many complaints about what was happening on Hispaniola and they sent Bobadilla to the new colony to check up and report. In 1499,  the Queen appointed Bobadilla to replace Columbus as the governor of the Indies.



Bobadilla arrived in 1500 and took over. He arrested Columbus and his brothers and returned them back to Spain in chain which angered the Queen.  In 1502 Nicolás de Ovando y Cáceres replaceBobadilla as governor of Hispaniola. Bobadilla died on the way back home. 

 1502 as the Governor of Hispaniola and was governor till 1509. He brought with him 2,500 spanish people to colonise the islands. This brought heavy violence and genocide. Ovando wanted to remove all the powers of caciques and replace them with the colonising spaniards. In 1502 - the very first year of Ovando, one of the Taino Cacique was killed by a Spanish dog which was let loose on him and when the Tainos objected to these outrages. Ovando rounded up about seven hundred Taínos, put them in the very chief’s bohio, and had them all cutup to death by his followers. Their bodies were then dragged into the plaza and was publicly burned. 

Ovando described indian tribes as “Canibals” and declared them as “prisoners of war”  and marked their faces with G labeling as “esclavos de guerra” (war slaves). Some others were marked with R indicating they were “sclavos de rescate” (ransomed slaves).

He distributed land of the indian tribes to the Spanish colonisers who were allowed authority over those who stayed within their land as vassals so that they could demand tribute and force them into labor.

Caciqe Queen Anacaona

Anacaona became chief of Jaragua after her brother's death. Her husband Caonabo, suspected of having organized the attack on La Navidad (a Spanish settlement on north-western Hispaniola), was captured by Alonso de Ojeda and shipped to Spain. He died during the journey following a shipwreck.


Anacaona | Léogâne, Haiti (1474-1503) was a Taíno cacica (chief), born into a family of chiefs, and sister of Bohechío, chief of Jaragua. Her husband was Caonabo, chief of the nearby territory of Maguana. Her brother and her husband were two of the five highest caciques who ruled the island of Kiskeya (now called Haiti and Dominican Republic) when the Spaniards settled there in 1492. She was celebrated as a composer of ballads and narrative poems, called areítos

During a feast organized by to honor Anacaona, who was friendly to the Spaniards, the Spanish Governor Nicolás de Ovando ordered the meeting house to be set on fire to burn them alive,

 “ In 1502 Governor Ovando requested a meeting with Queen Anacaona, which she kindly accepted.

The meeting evolved into a reception by Anacaona and 84 regional chieftains and other the noblemen of the Xaragua.  During the reception Anacaona and her noblemen were ambushed by the governor and captured. All of the chieftains and noblemen were killed and Anacaona was taken to Santo Domingo, where she was killed by hanging, at the age of 29. Queen Anacaona was fierce and beautiful, a queen of many talents and a symbol of freedom. She was known for her ballets, poetry, plays and ornaments her royal court often displayed. She was the first known woman to be of significance amongst the Tianos, she stood in solidarity with her people to the death; even after being offered a position as a concubine for the Spanish. Anacaona was amongst the first of the Tianos to fight off the Spanish conquerors when they arrived on the Island of Hispaniola, although she was defeated she will always be remembered as a brave warrior and a champion of freedom. Revered by her people because of her fearless actions, and leadership, she is often thought of as a myth rather than an actual historical person.
 Queen Anacaona, we proudly, stand on your shoulders.” J.A. Ward.

 Queen Anacaona was 29 years old when she was hanged.