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Distributed for University of Scranton Press

Report on the Island and Diocese of Puerto Rico (1647)

Composed at the request of the Royal Spanish Chronicler of the Indies, Don Diego Torres y Vargas’s Report on the Island & Diocese of Puerto Rico was the first history of Puerto Rico written by a native of the Spanish island colony. Torres y Vargas, a fourth generation Puerto Rican and descendant of Ponce de Leon, records here the history of the Catholic Church in Puerto Rico as well as the political, social, military, economic, and natural history of the island.

            This translation—the first ever into English—includes three historical essays by eminent Puerto Rican and Latino Studies scholar Anthony Stevens-Arroyo and extensive translator notes to guide the reader through the realities of seventeenth-century Puerto Rican culture and society.   

200 pages | 3 maps | 6 x 9 | © 2010

History: Latin American History

Religion: Comparative Studies and History of Religion

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Table of Contents


General Maps

   Puerto Rico and the Caribbean

   Eastern Caribbean

   Towns and Settlements Mentioned in Torres y Vargas

Essay One

“Understanding the Work of Diego de Torres y Vargas”

    Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo

    Map i – Early Settlement of Caparra & San Juan Islet with key bridges

Essay Two

“Soldiers, Heretics and Pirates: The Thirty Years’ War in the Caribbean

    Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo

    Map ii – Attacks by Drake and Cumberland upon the Islet of San Juan

    Map iii – Dutch Attack of 1625 with key engagements

Essay Three

“Who Was Diego Torres y Vargas?”

    Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo

    Genealogy of Diego de Torres y Vargas

Notes on the Text and Translation

    Jaime R. Vidal

    Ana María Díaz-Stevens and Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo

Spanish Text and English Translation (Interfacing pages)

    Jaime R. Vidal

Chronology of the Life of Diego Torres y Vargas

Appendix – “Questions on Chronology”

Sources for the Text



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