June 30 (June 20, o.s.)

Jamaica: The Council, under the leadership of President John White and meeting on the ship Richard and Sarah in the harbor of Port Royal, drafts a letter to the Lords of Trade and Plantations, the government body in England with authority over the colonies, describing the predicament of the island in the wake of the earthquake on June 7 and asking for ships, men and armaments to help in the recovery and defend against the French.

Mexico: The special court convened to try those arrested in connection with the rioting on June 8, having already dealt with most of the suspects, convicting most and sentencing some those accused of the most serious offenses to death but also acquitting many who were swept up in the indiscriminate raids of the first few days after the riot, begins the trial of the closest thing the authorities have found to a ringleader, an Indian shoemaker named José de los Santos. Santos has been named by several eyewitnesses, particularly Spaniards who witnessed the riot but didn’t take part and have been eager to cooperate with the authorities, as leading the rioters and exhorting them to kill the Spaniards, whom he is quoted as frequently calling “cukolds.” He is a memorable figure, missing one eye and disabled in both legs; he walks on his knees. He also has a reputation as a troublemaker with a sharp tongue and there are persistent rumors among other shoemakers that he killed his mother. He is therefore an easy target for the authorities to try as a leader of the riot, and the prosecutors can easily assemble the kind of careful, well-attested case against him that they prefer but that has been impossible with any of the other suspects in the riots, who have been convicted quickly on the evidence largely of possession of stolen goods and confessions extracted under torture.

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Published in: on June 30, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments Off on June 30 (June 20, o.s.)  
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