the sentence is confirmed, for the king, who knew him
well, esteemed his bravery, and received him again into his service, remitted only a moiety of his fine.
The heir of Melendez had been shipwrecked among the Bermudas; the father desired to return and search among the islands for tidings of his only son. Philip II.
suggested the conquest and colonization of Flor-
ida; and a compact was soon framed and confirmed, by which Melendez, who desired an opportunity to retrieve his honor, was constituted the hereditary governor of a territory of almost unlimited extent.1
The terms of the compact2
Melendez, on his part, promised, at his own cost, in the following May, to invade Florida
with at least five hundred men; to complete its conquest within three years; to explore its currents and channels, the dangers of its coasts, and the depth of its havens; to establish a colony of at least five hundred persons, of whom one hundred should be married men; to introduce at least twelve ecclesiastics, besides four Jesuits.
It was further stipulated, that he should transport to his province all kinds of domestic animals.
The bigoted Philip II.
had no scruples respecting slavery; Melendez contracted to import into Florida
five hundred negro slaves.
The sugar-cane was to become a staple of the country.
The king, in return, promised the adventurer various commercial immunities; the office of governor for life, with the right of naming his son-in-law as his successor; an estate of twenty-five square leagues in the immediate vicinity of the settlement; a salary of two thousand ducats, chargeable on the revenues of the province; and a fifteenth part of all royal perquisites.