|the fleet sets out across the sea|
of the remaining ships there were several groups
- 3 carries Muslims from the south of Spain and Morocco, El Árabe, El moro and El Profeta
- 2 carried Jews escaping from persecution these were Israel and Solomon
- 2 carried catholics who were unhappy with the churches policies in Spain, the ships were the El Jesús and the El San Martín
- 3 for the atheists life away from Spain was becoming more and more inviting! their ships were La Ley which was the largest ship on which Juan sailed, El Pobre and El Futuro
- 2 smaller ships carried christian soldiers and the sons of soldiers who had fought alongside the moors in Spain and now were being hunted down. these were El Mensaje and El Caballero
then when they came to a great bend in the river behind the long spit they decided to set up a settlement. The ships then landed in several places on the western bank of the river the Catholic ships and one of the smaller ships landed on a large island. while the Jews atheists and Muslims all sailed behind another island to set up a camp on the mainland. From this day forth the city of La Ley was established. the catholics took apart their ships and built houses and a church on the island. this was the beginning of La Ley's old district. while in the mouth of a small tributary river the Muslims and Jews took apart their ships setting up a town that would become the major port of La Ley for many hundreds of years to come.
in between them was a large island they named La Isla Rica which would become a neutral meeting place where people of all religions, cultures and backgrounds could meet under the palm trees, it would remain that way until the 17th century when it was built upon by the wealthy, it would remain a place of wealth until the present day.
On the spit La Fuerza was torn to bits by the crew and its passengers, who had to use it all for setting up some houses as there was very few trees there. Fortunately riders from El Caballero which had landed on the island with the catholics had crossed the river and brought the people much building materials from the catholic ships which were surplus from the constructing of the Church. This moment forever made Oronegro a symbol of equality and tolerance, catholic and witch could talk together while Arab and Jew could live in peace.
A few ships were not dismantled, La Ley was the only real warship a grand Carrack and so it remained in case they were assaulted by the locals who had not been sighted and would not be for a few weeks to come, El Mensaje also was left, it was a fast ship and was crewed and with the plentiful supplies which were not even a quarter used up could be spared for a return journey of the craft! El Mensaje set out the next day passing under the aurora once again that night. when they reached Spain they found Columbus had returned and was being celebrated. This worked to their advantage, they went around in secret and gathered more people, mostly catholics who missed the priests who had gone. Also they ran into a British and Italian merchant who were willing to supply many ships in return for their own place in La Ley.
So the second fleet set out.
|a drawing of one of the dhows that was part of the second fleet|
In La Ley the natives had been trading with the settlers for the last few years at first they had been frightened by the strange men, and even more by the fact they spoke different languages to each other, they feared that these were several different tribes which might suddenly fight each other and destroy the forests and plains around them. But after the first month they came mimicking the language they had heard, to the great amusement of the settlers, it was not long before they were able to understand each other and when disease broke in the tribes the settlers helped as best they could to save them, with mixed results but still far better than what happened else where.
In fact the settlers managed to save hundreds, as many of the Muslims had a good understanding of medicine from studying in the great libraries in the Muslim world. this formed a bond between these first tribes and the settlers that would last until La Ley grew so large that the tribes were assimilated into the city.
In 1517 a third fleet from Spain of 15 ships brought the law of the King to the Colony, though shortly after another fleet of ships came from England to bring the law of the English monarch. So began Oronegro's story of Spanish and British co-history. the British decided then that Oronegro was not theirs though they had many settlers there, but Spain was unhappy when they colony said that the king could not control them through force and that he could only rule through advice... the Kings men agreed leaving behind 10 ships full of Conquistadors who were then joined by the British ships and the soldiers on them.
Oronegro would keep this type of hands off government by Spain until the mid 19th century which was the cause of Oronegro's war for Independence in the 1860's. So began the story of Oronegro and on the 15th of November 1555 the Nation was named as such as the Coco plantations of the Natives and settlers produced so much Coco that it replaced gold as currency in La Ley.
in the next installment of Colonisation and expansion we discuss the story of Oronegro in the 16th and early 17th centuries as it starts to establish itself as a strong, democratic power.