Ovando, the governor of Hispaniola (Haiti), who had exhausted the labour of that island, turned his thoughts to the Bahamas, and in 1509 Ferdinand authorized him to procure labourers from these islands.
At Hispaniola, and war was declared by Spain, who now promised help to Charles II.
The attack on Hispaniola, however, was a disastrous failure, and though a landing at Jamaica and the capture of the capital, Santiago de la Vega, was effected, the expedition was almost annihilated by disease; and Penn and Venables returned to England, when Cromwell threw them into the Tower.
After another reverse on the east side of the Gulf of Darien Ojeda returned to Hispaniola and died there.
In 1508 Nicolas de Ovando, governor of Hispaniola (Haiti) rewarded the services of Juan Ponce de Leon, one of Columbus's companions in 1493, by permitting him to explore the island, then called by the natives "Borinquen," and search for its reputed deposits of gold.
They promised to convey the ignorant savages in their ships to the "heavenly shores" where their departed friends now dwelt, and about 40,000 were transported to Hispaniola to perish miserably in the mines.
The term tobacco appears not to have been a commonly used original name for the plant, and it has come to us from a peculiar instrument used for inhaling its smoke by the inhabitants of Hispaniola (San Domingo).
With it'hie sailed from Palos in Andalusia on the 3rd of August 1492, reached Guanahani on the 12th of October, touched on the coast of Cuba and Hispaniola, established a small post on the latter, and returned to Lisbon on the 4th of March 1493, and thence to Spain.
European plants and animals were introduced into Hispaniola and Cuba, and sugar plantations were set up. But the main object of the Spaniards, who could not labour in the tropics even if they had wished to do so, was always gold, to be won by slave labour.
The adventurers learned "boucanning" from the natives; and gradually Hispaniola became the scene of an extensive and illicit butcher trade.
The small island of Tortuga (north-west of Hispaniola) was seized for this purpose in 1630, converted into a magazine for the goods of the rivals, and made their headquarters, Santo Domingo itself still continuing their hunting ground.
Shortly after the news of the discovery of the New World had reached Spain he was in Seville, and thence found his way across the Atlantic. There he is heard of in 1510 as having taken part in an expedition from Hispaniola to Uraba under Alonzo de Ojeda, by whom he was entrusted with the charge of the unfortunate settlement at San Sebastian.
The first Spanish settlement in Hispaniola spread to the mainland by the adventure of Alonso de Ojeda and Diego de Nicuesa in Darien in 1509.