“Neither here nor there” is an apt phrase to begin this review of the historical literature relating to the isthmus of Panama. Central Americanists consider the isthmus a part of the Gran Colombian region or, perhaps, an economic and political appendage of the viceregal court at Lima, while Colombianists and Peruvianists view Panama as part of a distant periphery or, worse, as one of a series of dictator-dominated banana republics between Mexico and South America. The specifics of Panamanian history have tended to blur the issue. Before the conquest, Panama was sandwiched between Chibcha and Maya cultures, sharing commonalities with both, but part of neither. For most of the colonial period, Panama was directly tied to Peru; during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, it was more or less integrated into New Granada and Colombia. Since achieving independence in 1903, however, Panama has made efforts to distance itself from Colombia, instead becoming a major player in Central American and Caribbean affairs. Given the confusion as to Panama’s proper place in the historiographical tradition of Latin America, scholars of the Gran Colombian region and Central America alike have rarely considered Panama a topic of study.1 Conversely, students of Panamanian history find themselves poised between two larger historical structures, unable to find a home in either, and perhaps not wanting to.2

Nevertheless, there exists a substantial body of literature relating to the history of Panama, though much of it is almost unknown. In the noted “Griffin Guide” of 1971, under the heading “General,” Panama has only 3 citations out of a total of 620, and under the umbrella heading “Colonial Latin America,” only 5 out of 1,646—and some of these only marginally cover the isthmus.3 Because the present political situation in Panama has attracted significant scholarly attention, a review of the Panama bibliography should be even more timely than ever. To be sure, during the next few years there will be a flood of works on Panama, many in the area of current history and political science. I hope that this essay will provide an invitation to the growing number of students of Panama to dig deeper into the literature so that their analyses will benefit from a larger historical perspective.

This study is organized along both chronological and thematic lines. The first part presents a brief overview of guides to archives and documentary collections. The next section, background and conquest-era Panama, notes a selection of the growing bibliography detailing the indigenous culture that existed before 1500 and its collapse in the face of the European onslaught in the early sixteenth century. This section covers the early years of exploration and Panamanian history in general up to about 1540, when the political and economic status of the isthmus changed, moving from a support colony for the conquests of South America to a service-sector player in the transportation of goods and treasure between Spain and Peru. The formal colonial period, or the era of the Carrera de Indias (1540-1739), is discussed in the next section. The fourth part presents an overview of such eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century themes as the readjustment of the economy after the collapse of the Carrera de Indias and the movement for emancipation from Spain.

Sources and Guides

The principal archives that contain material relating to colonial Panama are (a) the Archivo General de Indias (AGI) in Seville and other Spanish archives; (b) the Archivo Nacional de Panamá, in Panama City; (c) the Archivo Nacional del Perú, in Lima; and (d) the Archivo Histórico Nacional de Colombia, in Bogotá. An overview of materials contained in some of these can be found in my 1986 article, “Panamanian Historical Sources.”4 Another excellent starting point is Manuel Gasteazoro’s volume on sources.5 By far, the most important archive for the study of colonial Panama is the AGI, and fortunately there are some useful guides to the thousands of relevant sources there. Two studies by one of Panama’s great historians, Juan Antonio Susto, provide an introduction. First, his Catálogo de la Audiencia de Panamá: Sección V del Archivo de Indias de Sevilla presents a detailed, legajo-by-legajo description of materials, though scholars should be aware that because his work was completed before the reorganization of the archive, his index uses old legajo numbers.6 Second, his Panamá en el Archivo General de Indias: Tres años de labor, less formal than his Catálogo, offers a narrative overview of materials he uncovered during his years in Seville.7 Much of Susto’s work culminated in his multivolume document collection that remains unpublished in the Archivo Nacional de Panamá (which emphasizes political and military history).8 Another useful guide to AGI materials is Manuel Serrano y Sanz, Archivo de Indias y exploraciones del istmo de 1521 a 15349 The Mapas y Pianos section of the AGI provides a rich and colorful source for the study of colonial Panama, containing hundreds of maps of Portobelo, Panama City, Boca del Chagres, and the isthmus in general. Two guides to these maps are Pedro Torres Lanzas, one-time director of the AGI, Relación descriptiva de los mapas, planos, etc. de las antiguas audiencias de Panamá, Santa Fé, y Quito10 and Juan Antonio Susto, Cartografía colonial panameña.”11

Few guides exist for archives and libraries on the isthmus, although the library of the national university holds typescript copies of indexes to documents in the Archivo Nacional covering specific subjects or periods. The Archivo Nacional, however, contains relatively few documents covering the colonial period; it is mainly the repository of materials generated since 1903. The special collection of the former Canal Zone Library-Museum (which contains secondary sources almost exclusively, most dealing with the canal and its construction) holds volumes hard to find elsewhere. Its holdings are described in Subject Catalog of the Special Panama Collection of the Canal Zone Library-Museum.12 The library of the University of Panama also contains numerous secondary works, as well as significant microfilm holdings from the AGI.

Until recently, no collection of documents outlining Panamanian history comparable to those of León Fernández for Costa Rica or the Colección Somoza for Nicaragua had been published, although, as noted above, Susto made an effort in the 1920s.13 Until 1980, the only collection of colonial documents was Manuel M. de Peralta, ed., Costa Rica, Nicaragua, y Panamá en el siglo XVI, but the title is somewhat misleading in that it includes only a few documents concerning Panama.14 The most recent contribution along this line is Carlos Manuel Gasteazoro, ed., La Historia de Panamá en sus textos, which covers not just the colonial era, but all of Panamanian history.15 The documents Gasteazoro has chosen to illustrate the colonial era, however, are already available in other published works (Esquemeling, for example). Even so, because the author has brought together many materials on divergent themes, La historia de Panamá en sus textos is an excellent source for a general understanding of the colonial era. Supplementing the documents, Gasteazoro has authored a lengthy introductory chapter which touches on most of the themes addressed by historians of the Spanish period.

Bibliographies, per se, are rare, except as parts of larger studies: Susto’s Introducción a la bibliografía panameña, 1619-1945 simply lists books that contain bibliographies.16 A bibliography of Susto’s own contributions (mainly newspaper and Revista Lotería articles) is also available.17 A useful but dated and very hard-to-find volume is Manuel Lucena Salmoral, Historiografía de Panamá.18 The most comprehensive general bibliography is Eleanor D. Lanstaff’s contribution to the world bibliographical series, Panama,19 but this article largely supersedes her colonial entries. Another helpful list is found in Gerstle Mack, The Land Divided: A History of the Panama Canal and Other Isthmian Canal Projects, which, as the title implies, includes more listings on modern than on colonial Panama.20 The study is also dated (1944), thus lacking much recent scholarship. A short article assessing research on geography and aboriginal Panama has been prepared by Richard G. Cooke, but it is not limited to Panama.21 Another useful review, again somewhat dated, is Edwin Shook, Jorge Lines, and Michael Olien, Anthropological Bibliography of Aboriginal Panamá.22 Two general overviews of Panamanian geography exist, both dating to the 1940s,23 and works by Louis Guzman24 and Robert Fuson25 provide added insight.

Background and the Conquest

The study of the indigenous cultures of Panama as they existed before the sixteenth century is very difficult if only because of the completeness of the Indian collapse during the conquest. The lack of a large Indian population in modern Panama has encouraged ethnologists and like-minded historians to search elsewhere for regions of study. Archeologists, too, tend to consider Panama a poor provenance. In the last quarter-century, however, more attention has been focused on the isthmus, fueled partly by the success of the few scholars who have been working isthmian ethnohistory for years.

The most important survey of preconquest Panama is Mary Helms, Ancient Panama: Chiefs in Search of Power, which contains an excellent bibliography.26 Based mainly on conquest-era Spanish reports, Helms, a professor of anthropology, paints a vivid picture of late fifteenth-century Panama, noting the relationships between chiefly status and power, regional and long-distance exchange networks, and the acquisition of esoteric knowledge. She has also made an important contribution by attempting to sketch the political borders of the various Panamanian chiefdoms on maps.27 Another useful volume is Reina Torres de Araúz, Panamá indígena.28 Also see her Darién: Etnoecología de una región histórica, which focuses on the poorly studied eastern half of the isthmus.29 Additional general studies have been authored by A. S. Bartlett and E. S. Barghoorn30 and Charles F. Bennett.31

Several regional archeology studies depict the complex material culture and lifestyle of ancient Panamanians. Much of this work was done in the 1940s and 1950s by Samuel K. Lothrop (Coclé: An Archaeological Study of Central Panamá and Archaeology of Southern Veraguas, Panamá).32 Philip Dade’s “Archaeology and Pre-Columbian Art in Panama’’ is another significant contribution, though somewhat at odds with Lothrop’s earlier works which (Dade contends) exaggerate the role of Coclé in the cultural history of ancient Panama.33 John Ladd’s Archaeological Investigations in the Parita and Santa María Zones of Panama is another important regional study.34 If anything, ancient Panama is noted for the high quality of its goldworking, frequently manifested in the form of ornate cast frogs. An excellent work on this topic is Lothrop and Paul Bergsøe, “Aboriginal Gilding in Panama.”35

Another student of ancient Panama who cannot go without special mention is Olga F. Linares. Her well-illustrated Ecology and the Arts in Ancient Panama is, perhaps, the most important overview of archeology of central Panama, demonstrating the ties between environment and cultural achievement and art.36 Her other works reveal a more ethnographic or anthropological perspective (“Adaptive Strategies in Western Panama” and “Plantas y animales domesticados en la América precolombina”).37

Because the study of the indigenous cultures of Panama is so difficult, in that few Indians exist today who can be studied, anthropologal research has centered on the few who do remain; yet this has shed important light on preconquest life. Although there are several Indian groups surviving in Panama, only one—the Cuna of the San Blas Islands on the Caribbean coast of Darién—has been examined thoroughly. Indeed, since 1974, at least eight doctoral dissertations in anthropology have been devoted to Cuna studies.38 Given the official 1980 estimate of a Cuna population of just over 25,000, this means that of new scholars alone, there is one anthropologist doing research on every 3,000 Cuna. Much of this research is devoted to the curious methods by which the Cuna have adapted to the modern world and, accordingly, sheds little light on traditions and practices handed down from ancient times. One study which does provide this insight is Erland Nordenskiold, An Historical and Ethnological Survey of the Cuna Indians.39 Two other important monographs have been written by Clyde Keeler40 and Mac Chapin.41 The most recent work on the Cuna is James Howe, The Kuna Gathering: Contemporary Village Politics in Panama, a rework of his doctoral dissertation.42 Although Howe’s book does not directly deal with preconquest Panama (or for that matter with what light modern Cuna culture sheds on life in ancient Panama), his bibliography is thorough and useful for those interested in further work in this area.

The Spanish conquest of Panama was one of the most brutal episodes in the early sixteenth-century colonizing of the Americas and had a lasting impact on the history of the isthmus. For this reason, and because Panama served the same base-camp role in the conquests of Peru and lower Central America that Hispaniola played in Spanish expansion across the Caribbean, the topic has attracted scholarly attention, though often in the context of wider ranging studies of the conquest era. A case in point is Carl Sauer’s The Early Spanish Main, undoubtedly one of the best surveys of early events (1504-19) in Panama.43 Indeed, of the book’s 17 chapters, 7 are devoted entirely to the isthmus. Another general overview, based largely on the same Spanish reports and contemporary histories as Sauer’s book, is C. L. G. Anderson’s Old Panama and Castilla del Oro.44Old Panama is not a major work of scholarship, but it does synthesize a vast amount of information in narrative form, presenting data difficult to find elsewhere. Slightly more than the first half of Anderson’s book deals with the conquest era; the rest is a useful review of seventeenth-century Panama, particularly pirate attacks. A valuable synthesis is also provided in Abel Lombardo Vega’s more recent Crónica de la conquista del Istmo.45 Another useful overview is Elsa Mercado, El hombre y la tierra en Panamá (siglo XVI) según las primeras fuentes, which contains a large documentary appendix.46

Mario Góngora’s Los grupos de conquistadores en Tierra Firme, 1509-1530: Fisonomía histórico-social de un tipo de conquista is one of the more significant contributions on the history of early Panama, and indeed is one of the late Chilean scholar’s great works.4748 Góngora’s approach—the individual study of 91 conquistadors (presaging Lockhart’s Men of Cajamarca)48—sheds important light on the personal dynamics of the figures of the conquest as well as on events themselves. The volume is all the more important for the student of Latin America as a whole because many of the men involved in Panama before 1530 became significant figures in other regions (Pizarro, De Soto, Pedrarias, etc.).

Two early accounts which are very useful are those by Peter Martyr49 and Pedro Simón,50 both of which present a wealth of data on eastern Panama, Martyr being a major source for the study of the colonizing efforts of Nicuesa. Also strong on the Darién area is Joaquín Acosta’s nineteenth-century history of the conquest of New Granada.51 Navarrete’s 15-volume study of the conquest contains useful information on settlements in the Darién based on letters of Balboa and a relación by Pascual de Andagoya.52 Considerable attention has been given to locating the exact site of the first Spanish settlement in Darién, efforts summarized in a 1943 article by the Colombian geographer and historical cartographer Eduardo Acevedo Latorre which chronicles his personal explorations of the Caribbean coast.53 More recent is James Parsons, “Santa María la Antigua del Darién.”54

Of all the noted individuals that played a role in the conquest and consolidation of Panama, Vasco Núñez de Balboa and Pedrarias Dávila figure most prominently. There are a number of studies on Balboa, many of which are written with a popular audience in mind.55 Three volumes stand out: first is C. L. G. Anderson’s Life and Letters of Vasco Núñez de Balboa, which, as its title implies, presents not only an account of the conquistador’s life, but also a selection of documents from the period;56 second stands Ángel de Altolaguirre y Duvale’s older study, Vasco Núñez de Balboa, which also presents a large documentary appendix;57 last is Kathleen Romoli, Balboa of Darien, a book based on excellent scholarship.58 As for Pedrarias, much of the literature deals with his involvement in the conquest of lower Central America, especially Costa Rica and Veragua.59 An original source which is frequently cited is Andagoya’s Narrative of the Proceedings of Pedrarias Dávila,60 though Pablo Álvarez Rubiano’s Pedrarias Dávila is by far the best biography and also includes an excellent selection of documents.61 All of these works address the political and personal conflict between Pedrarias and Balboa.

In addition to serving as a stepping stone for the conquest of Costa Rica, Panama, as Spain’s first base on the Pacific, launched the exploration and conquest of Peru. Accordingly, much information on early Panama is contained in volumes dealing with Pacific exploration in the early 1530s and the conquests after middecade. Only two studies, however, focus primarily on the role of Panama in the venture—Enrique Otte, “Mercaderes vascos en Tierra Firme a raíz del descubrimiento del Perú” (only a few pages long)62 and Martín Maticorena Estrada, El contrato de Panamá,1526, para el descubrimiento del Perú.63 A study of Panamanian logistical support for Spanish expansion along the Pacific coast—perhaps in the form of a comparative history with Santo Domingo and Cuba serving as additional cases—would represent a major contribution to the history of the early sixteenth-century isthmus and the conquest historiography as a whole. Such a backdrop would, no doubt, provide the best framework for a comprehensive study of Panama before 1540.

The Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries

Studies of colonial-era Panama are most often structured around either economic or military history. This is largely owing to the fact that the reason for Panama’s imperial significance was the isthmian trajín, or the interocean commercial network, and its defense. With few exceptions, other aspects of Panama’s colonial past have been mostly ignored as scholars concentrate on fairs and forts. This imbalance remains despite a growing trend to focus on themes such as population trends and social history.

There are several general works which provide an introduction to the formal colonial era. Juan Sosa and E. J. Arce’s Compendio de la historia de Panamá is a case in point, and also sheds light on the nineteenth century.64 The Compendio, however, is very brief and serves as little more than an outline. Far better is Rubén D. Cariés, 220 años del período colonial en Panamá.65 Cariés notes all the major events of the era, but again the study was not written with the scholar in mind. Insofar as the sixteenth century is concerned, María del Carmen Mena García’s recent La sociedad de Panamá en el siglo XVI is without a doubt the most important study.66 Many chapters deal specifically with the merchant class that developed in Panama City after the conquest of Peru, but her insight and excellent archival research provide a strong foundation for an assessment of isthmian society in general. Sections are devoted to what remained of Indian society and how the black segment of the population grew in importance over time. Mena García also offers useful information on agriculture and mining, though her chapters dealing with economics, like most other studies on Panama, are strongly weighted toward a review of the trajín industry. The volume’s greatest contribution in this regard is a detailed analysis of a 1575 memoria which contains statistical information on the merchant community of Panama City. For this book alone, Mena García must be considered one of the principal researchers working in the area of colonial Panama today.

Another major scholar of Spanish Panama—perhaps the most important of all—is Alfredo Castillero Calvo, currently professor of Panamanian history at the University of Panama. Two of his works can be considered general surveys of the colonial era. The first is La sociedad panameña: Historia de su formación e integración, which covers some of the material included in Mena García’s book, though much briefer.67 Second, “La vida política en la sociedad panameña colonial: La lucha por el poder,” is an excellent account of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century political struggles for control of the audiencia and cabildo in Panama City.68 The article also provides commentary on the functioning of these institutions. In “La vida política,” Castillero Calvo includes an analysis of political factions in Panama in 1618 as an appendix. There is no better overview of the government of colonial Panama than this. The Panamanian treasury, perhaps the most important governmental institution of all, is covered in Mena García’s “La real hacienda de Tierra Firme: Organización y funcionamiento.”69 Some of the actors in colonial government are noted in Manuel María Alba’s “Cronología de los gobernantes de Panamá, 1510-1937,” but this is really no more than a listing.70

The culture of Spanish Panama—arts, letters, architecture, etc.—has not been a topic of in-depth study. The only broad overviews are Rodrigo Miró’s, La cultura colonial en Panamá71 and Aspectos de la cultura colonial en Panamá,72 the latter of which presents four essays on painting, education, and intellectual life. Architecture is addressed in a work by Samuel A. Gutiérrez,73 but no basic work has been written on art and learning. It must be admitted that part of the reason for this is that colonial Panama was not an intellectual or artistic center in Spanish America. However, some insight into what Panamanians accomplished in these areas can be gained from the series of 16 Revista Lotería articles authored by Sosa entitled “Panameños de la época colonial.”74 These consist of a running alphabetical listing of more than one hundred important and influential personalities from the postconquest period through the eighteenth century, with a decided emphasis on the latter. Sosa’s list is at the same time a useful guide to individuals involved in economic and military activities. Panameños, by J. Conte Porras, also provides students with useful biographical information on colonial figures.75

For the rest of colonial Panamanians—those not important enough to leave us their names—there is a surprisingly large body of literature that serves to reveal not only important demographic and settlement trends, but also very real features of daily life in Panama’s cities, towns, and countryside. Three valuable studies on population have been written by Omar Jaén Suárez, the most notable of which is La población del istmo de Panamá, del siglo XVI al siglo XX.76 Each of Jaén Suárez’s books goes beyond the chronological framework of the Spanish period, but each contains essential details on colonial demographics and, especially, population figures for the principal cities. He also outlines the growth of the population along the Pacific coast. Jaén Suárez’s approach is more anthropological than historical, emphasizing the relationship between settlements and ecology.

Closely allied to studies of general population trends are works describing the history of blacks in Panama. Used mainly as slaves on the trajín (repairing roads and running mule trains), blacks played the vital role in colonial Panama that Indians played in Mexico and Peru. They made up then and now an important segment of the isthmian population. A good general study is Roberto de la Guardia, Los negros del Istmo de Panamá.77 The role of free blacks and mulattos is detailed in Castillero Calvo’s Los negros y mulatos libres en la historia social panameña;78 Fernando Romero79 and Armando Fortune80 have also made valuable contributions. The colorful (and often brutal) story of Panamanian cimarrones is told in an excellent article, also authored by Fortune.81 Luis Díez Castillo’s Los cimarrones y los negros antillanos en Panamá presents a brief overview of general themes relating to Panamanian blacks.82 Arturo Guzmán Navarro’s La trata esclavista en el istmo de Panamá durante el siglo XVIII contains a wealth of information on slave imports under the asiento83indeed, Navarro’s book is the best study on blacks in Panama during the eighteenth century.

There are few works devoted to Panama’s various regions. For Veragua and Los Santos, only Castillero Calvo has published important studies.84 A documentary history of Natá is also available.85 The audiencial capital, on the other hand, has been studied somewhat more. Sosa has published two short descriptions of the city, one on Panama la Vieja86 and one on the new city.87 Ernesto Castillero Reyes also authored a brief description of the old city.88 The sixteenth-century Atlantic port, Nombre de Dios (supplanted in 1597 by Portobelo), has been described in Óscar A. Valverde’s “Notas históricas sobre Nombre de Dios.”89 This remains a topic in need of further research. And though three short general studies of Portobelo are available, all are brief, unscholarly, dated accounts, founded on legend rather than historical fact.90

Two very useful introductions to isthmian economic history have been prepared. The first is Castillero Calvo’s Economía terciaria y sociedad de Panamá: Siglos XVI y XVII,91 which offers a wealth of material the author gleaned from the Archivo General de Indias, especially statistics such as taxes collected at the Portobelo fairs, mule prices, cargo costs, etc. Castillero’s reconstruction of the cycles of commerce over the entire colonial period is of vital importance for the study of economic history of the isthmus. The second is the chapter entitled “The Isthmus of Panama” in C. H. Haring’s noted study of colonial commerce.92 Haring, however, only described the functioning of the trajín, offering few figures or hard data on the cycles of commerce. Other studies containing useful data on the structure of trade have been authored by Castillero Calvo,93 Manuel Moreyra y Paz-Soldán,94 and Lawrence Clayton.95 The most significant works that describe actual fluctuations in the isthmian economy through shipping statistics are those of Pierre and Huguette Chaunu96 and, for the post-1650 period, Lutgardo García Fuentes.97 Despite recent challenges to figures presented in these two works by Michel Morineau, they remain the starting point for the study of international commerce as it related to Panama.98 I have synthesized economic trends and figures for the whole colonial period in the early chapters of my “Imperial Panama.”99

Studies specifically devoted to the trajín are generally based on sound scholarship. The Spanish scholar Enriqueta Vila Vilar’s “Las ferias de Portobelo: Apariencia y realidad del comercio con Indias,” indeed, represents one of the highpoints of the historiography of Panama.100 She not only paints a vivid picture of the functioning of the fair system, but offers insight into the perplexing problem of estimating fraud through a comparison of customs declarations at Portobelo and Las Cruces, a midisthmian stopping point. Prior to Vila Vilar’s work, the only study of the Portobelo fairs was Allyn C. Loosley’s 1933 HAHR article.101 Though Loosley has largely been superseded by more recent work, his study still offers an acceptable overview of the functioning of the fair. Unfortunately, it cannot be trusted in detail because it is based on often inaccurate or nonspecific published accounts (Thomas Gage, for example) rather than on archival research at the AGI.

The roads and waterways of the trajín are well traced in Roland Hussey’s “Spanish Colonial Trails in Panama,”102 and John Minter added considerably to the bibliography with The Chagres: River of Westward Passage.103 Some historical archeological work has been done on the roads since the appearance of these two studies, though it remains unpublished. Indeed, a thorough analysis of the complex road system of colonial Panama —together with treatment of the mule industry—would be a major contribution.

By far the theme that looms largest within the bibliography of colonial Panama is military or defense history. A broad overview is presented in the second part of my “Imperial Panama,” which is principally a history of isthmian fortifications.104 For material before the beginning of the seventeenth century, however, students must look principally to archives and published document collections such as those edited by I. A. Wright and Kenneth Andrews.105 It was not until the last decade of the sixteenth century that Spain began to mount a vigorous response to isthmian defense problems. At the heart of this response stood the noted Italian military engineer Juan Bautista Antonelli, whose recommendations shaped the defenses of all Carrera de Indias ports for years to come; his role in Panama is briefly treated in Diego Angulo Íñiguez’s short Bautista Antonelli, las fortificaciones americanas del siglo XVI.106 Angulo Íñiguez, like most other military historians, offers unqualified praise for Antonelli, although his record at Panama was hardly outstanding: all the forts he designed, situated, and built there had severe design flaws, were poorly located from a tactical perspective, and collapsed from construction flaws within a decade of being raised. Perhaps Antonelli’s shining reputation needs to be reassessed in light of more recent research on Panama’s castles, but at least one of his actions was sound. This was moving the north coast port from the poor harbor at Nombre de Dios to Portobelo in the 1590s. Mena García has provided a useful study of the move in a recent article,107 and a review of Portobelo’s forts is contained in Castillero Calvo, “Portobelo: Apuntes para un libro en preparación.”108 Still another is my article, “The Defense of Portobelo: A Chronology of Construction, 1585-1700.”109

The second Panamanian Caribbean defense center, at the mouth of the Río Chagres, is chronicled best in Juan Manuel Zapatero, historia del Castillo San Lorenzo el Real de Chagre,110 which goes a long way toward filling a large void with a spirited narrative and first-hand analysis of the ruins of the fortress.111 Zapatero has also authored an article describing Panama City’s fortifications.112 The financing of all these defense projects was accomplished by means of a generous situado paid by the Lima treasury. Castillero Calvo has presented situado figures in his recent article, “Estructuras funcionales del sistema defensivo del Istmo de Panamá durante el período colonial. ”113

The historiography of seventeenth-century Panama is dominated by studies addressing the 1671 English invasion led by the noted buccaneer Henry Morgan. Indeed, the event was a turning point in Panamanian history that saw, in the end, the relocation of the audiencia capital. Haring’s The Buccaneers in the West Indies in the XVII Century remains the classic account—despite numerous factual flaws—that has the added benefit of providing a general introduction to the whole buccaneer phenomenon.114 The principal primary source on which Haring’s discussion of the Panama events is based is Alexander Esquemeling’s The Pirates of Panama.115 Far and away the best and most recent study is Peter Earle, The Sack of Panama, which represents the only major effort to incorporate new research.116 Earle goes a long way to correct the errors that speckle all other accounts. His book is also the best place to find a detailed discussion of Morgan’s earlier 1668 attack on Portobelo.

The most significant Panamanian contribution to the bibliography of the Morgan invasion is Ernesto J. Castillero Reyes’s three-part narrative published in Revista Lotería.117 The Consejo Municipal de Panamá also sponsored a useful study detailing the move of the capital to its new site below Ancón hill.118 Although other works exist, they generally contain less historical insight than nationalistic bravado.

Morgan’s withdrawal from Panama after only a month’s stay did not signal the end of the buccaneer threat to the isthmus. Indeed, the last third of the seventeenth century represented, if anything, a highpoint of such activity. To date, however, no substantial publications have been offered to chronicle exactly what was going on. Some indication of the level of foreign activity around Panama and the Spanish reaction to it is provided in Guillermo Céspedes del Castillo, “La defensa militar del Istmo de Panamá a fines del siglo XVI y comienzos del XVIII,” which, in its time, was a major contribution.119 Also, Lionel Wafer’s A New Voyage and Description of the Isthmus of America, authored in the late 1670s, offers some insight,120 but the real value of the book is Wafer’s observations of Darién Indians and their life at the periphery of the Spanish republic.

The very last years of the seventeenth century witnessed one of the stranger events in Panamanian history, and one which has been well researched and studied, to wit, the establishment of a short-lived Scottish colony in the Darién. The foundation for the study of the colony (known as New Caledonia) consists of several good document collections. The first to appear was John Burton Hill’s The Darien Papers (1849),121 a volume that has been supplemented by two collections edited by George Pratt Insh.122 General histories include Francis Russell Hart, The Disaster of Darien123 and James Samuel Barbour, A History of William Patterson and the Darien Company.124 The most recent and best survey is John Prebble, The Darien Disaster: A Scots Colony in the New World, 1698-1700, which compares with Earle’s Sack of Panama for its excellent narrative.125 Collectively, these volumes provide information relating to the geography and climate of late seventeenth-century Panama, but on the whole they are more illustrative of the Scotland of the era than of Panama. Indeed, only Prebble attempts to systematically examine the Spanish side of the story.

The Eighteenth Century

The last colonial century witnessed Panama’s fall from an economic and military center of the Spanish New World to a position little higher than a backwater. With the collapse of the Carrera de Indias came economic stagnation, the loss of the audiencia, and a host of other readjustments that marked the decline of Panama vis-à-vis other, more vibrant parts of the empire. Surprisingly, there are a number of excellent publications on eighteenth-century Panama at the same time that seventeenthcentury isthmian history, apart from the British incursions, continues to be strangely neglected. The closest thing to a general overview (again from the perspective of economics and defense history) is Manuel Alberola’s 1975 doctoral dissertation, “Panamá au XVIII siècle (1739-1810): Évolution économique et social d’une zone stratégique de l’empire espagnol,”126 but this does not cover the period of transformation that fell between the turn of the century and the War of Jenkins’ Ear. For the early eighteenth century, one must rely on largely economic studies such as Geoffrey Walker’s Spanish Politics and Imperial Trade, 1700-1789,127 which contains essential material on the Portobelo fairs leading up to 1739, and Celestino Andrés Araúz’s “El contrabando en el Istmo de Panamá y la Nueva Granada, una de las causas del colapso de las ferias en Tierra Firme (1700-1731).”128 The most innovative study of all—and one of the finest entries in the bibliography of colonial Panama—is George Dilg’s doctoral dissertation, “The Collapse of the Portobelo Fairs: A Study in Spanish Commercial Reform, 1720-1740.”129 Dilg not only discusses the problems and themes of early eighteenth-century Panamanian history, but he also presents insightful observations on the larger context that come from extensive research in archives in Seville, Madrid, Toledo, Buenos Aires, and Lima. He skillfully underscores the role of Buenos Aires in the continued economic stagnation of the isthmus and the difficulties facing Peruvian merchants in what by this time had become an unfriendly Panama. He also provides estimates of values of the eighteenth-century fairs themselves. It is surprising that this study has not yet been published.

Defense problems of the pre-1739 period are briefly noted in a short work by Castillero Calvo on the fortaleza Farnesio built in Portobelo,130 while Zapatero’s previously mentioned study of San Lorenzo provides information on the fortifications at Chagres. In addition, a collection of maps has been published that includes hundreds of plans of forts along the Caribbean coast in the Bourbon era.131 Zapatero’s “Expediciones españolas al Darién: La del ingeniero militar Don Antonio de Arévalo en 1761” is also an important contribution to the study of eighteenth-century defense problems. Arévalo’s expedition demonstrated the crown’s continued concern for the defense of what was still a largely unpopulated southeastern half of the isthmus. An appendix contains summaries of reports of population of Indian villages in the region.132 The article also underscores the military ties between Panama and Cartagena, especially strong in the eighteenth century.

The watershed of eighteenth-century Panama was Admiral Vernon’s 1739 invasion and destruction of Portobelo. Indeed, because this event led directly to the final, long-overdue end of the southern leg of the Carrera de Indias, it had even greater long-range implications than Morgan’s attacks had had two generations earlier. The historiography of the affair, however, is not as extensive as that of 1671. The most useful studies are two collections of primary documents. First, James F. King collected a dozen or so Spanish documents from archives in Bogotá in his article, “Documents: Admiral Vernon at Portobelo.”133 Second is the compilation of English documents, Original Papers Relating to the Expedition to Panama, which really deals with Vernon’s second expedition that took place in 1740 shortly before the disaster at Cartagena.134 Taken together, these two collections present a shocking picture of just how poor Spanish defenses of the isthmus were, not only in terms of deficient manpower, skill, and determination, but also in terms of supply problems and general unpreparedness. Moreyra y Paz-Soldán’s short article “La toma de Portobelo por el Almirante Vernon y sus consecuencias económicas” goes beyond a simple telling of the military collapse of the port to note just how significant the loss was for Spanish commercial policy.135

A detailed study of the Panamanian economy in the years after 1739 remains to be written. historians still do not know how much shipping continued between Spain and the isthmus, and between Panama City and Peru, after the Carrera collapse. Castillero Calvo has made a brief study of these shipping figures, but to date the information he uncovered remains unpublished.136 Together with estimates of customs duties in his previously mentioned study (“Estructuras funcionales del sistema defensivo”), it provides evidence for a generally rising trend in the transisthmian economy beginning in the 1760s and lasting until the outbreak of conflict in Europe in the 1790s. One article by Raimundo Pérez Boto, “El auge comercial de Portobelo y Panamá durante la crisis intersecular preindependista (1798-1802),” confirms that even at this late date Panama still had an important role to play in the military and commercial life of the faltering empire.137 However, during the independence era the economy of the isthmus fell into a state of full collapse.

Several useful works that can be classified under the rubric of social history exist covering the eighteenth century. The field of medical history is addressed in Susto’s “Historia de la actividad hospitalaria en Panamá (1514-1924): El Hospital de Santo Tomás de Villanueva.”138 A comprehensive study of the order of San Juan de Dios in Panama would shed considerable light not only on the history of Panama’s medical profession, but on the isthmian church as well; unfortunately, none exists. Yet brief treatment of Panama’s ecclesiastical history is contained in Alberto Osorio, Judaísmo e inquisición en Panamá colonial,139 and some additional information on ecclesiastical affairs is in works by Víctor A. Jiménez 140 and Pedro Mega.141

Omar Jaén Suárez offers a short description of the eighteenth-century capital in his “La ciudad de Panamá en el siglo XVIII: Propiedad y propietarios del intramuros en 1756.”142 For general population history students should refer both to works cited earlier and to the same scholar’s El hombre y la tierra en Natá de 1700 a 1850.143 Castillero Calvo’s “Proceso de desarticulación del régimen de castas en Panamá durante el siglo XVIII” presents interesting observations on still another socioeconomic trend that characterized the last years of Spanish rule.144

During most of the period of conflict leading up to independence in 1821, Panama remained a loyal Spanish colony, and indeed it was a staging ground for military activity in Peru and New Granada. When independence finally did come, it was not characterized by violence, the fortifications of Portobelo and Chagres surrendering without a fight. Two document collections provide a foundation for the study of the era: Fuentes escritas sobre la independencia de Panamá de España. CL aniversario (1821-1971) and Ernesto J. Castillero Reyes, Documentos históricos sobre la independencia del Istmo de Panamá.145 Another general overview is provided by Arnold Freedman’s 1976 doctoral dissertation,146 but the standard work on the topic is Celestino Andrés Araúz, La independencia de Panamá en 1821: Antecedentes, balance, y proyecciones.147 Also insightful are Sociología del arrabal de Santa Ana en Panamá (1750-1850),148 by the French-trained and historically oriented sociologist Alfredo Figueroa Navarro, and Castillero Calvo, “La independencia de Panamá de España: Factores coyunturales y estructurales en la capital y el interior. ”149

The role of Panama as a Spanish base in the wars of independence is explored in Héctor Comte Bermúdez, Los virreyes en Panamá,150 as well as by Freedman. Although this period was generally peaceful on the isthmus, in 1819 a small skirmish occurred in Portobelo when the Scotsman Gregor McGregor attempted to seize the port. The story is told in McGregor’s An Account of the Late Expedition Against the Isthmus of Panama,151 which serves principally as a glorification of the event. A more balanced view is contained in the book authored by McGregor’s lieutenant, M. Rafter.152 The principal secondary treatment of the affair is in Alfred Hasbrouck, Foreign Legionaries in the Liberation of Spanish South America, which paints McGregor as a foolish adventurer.153

An Overview and Future Prospects

Unlike the historiography of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Panama in which issues such as the emergence of a viable Panamanian nationality or the controversy over North American imperialism loom large, the study of colonial Panama has given rise to few scholarly disagreements. Even the potentially volatile issues of colonial economic dependency and how the Panamanian service economy fits into traditional models have failed to spark significant debate. Indeed, most of the works noted in this article are first and foremost descriptive. Only a handful of scholars —Alfredo Castillero Calvo, María del Carmen Mena García, Omar Jaén Suárez, Mary Helms, Enriqueta Vila Vilar, Juan Manuel Zapatero, and a few others—have attempted to move from painter to critic. It is precisely for this reason that they sharply stand out against a largely mediocre background.

Moreover, these scholars mirror the geographical distribution of students of colonial Panama. First, Castillero Calvo of the University of Panama represents the highpoint of a long line of Panamanian colonialists, beginning with Juan Antonio Susto in the 1920s and continuing through Castillero Calvo’s own father, Ernesto Castillero Reyes. Castillero Calvo breaks step from most other present-day Panamanian historians, who look to more recent times as a field of study. Jaén Suárez, a Panamanian geographer-historian along the lines of Carl Sauer, brings to the study of colonial history the interdisciplinary approach that is required for the full study of social history topics.

European scholars—especially those from Spain, France, and England—have recognized since the era of Pedro Torres Lanzas the opportunities offered by Panama’s past for the study of imperial issues. Vila Vilar, the Chaunus, and Zapatero are the most notable examples. Traditionally, these scholars have based their studies on materials held by the AGI, and Zapatero has clearly demonstrated the utility of archives in Madrid for students of the New World. Peter Earle, John Prebble, and Geoffrey Walker, on the other hand, have shown to what extent British archives still hold promise, when carefully and substantially supplemented by materials from Spain.

Mary Helms, George Dilg, C. L. G. Anderson, and I are examples of North American scholars who have made contributions. Anderson was the first U.S. scholar to seriously study colonial Panama. A medical doctor serving in Panama during the construction of the canal in the first decade of this century, Anderson, like so many others who visited the isthmus during those years, returned to the United States and wrote extensively about Panama and its history. Most of the canal-era books on Panama, however, had the canal, its construction, and the glorious work of the United States in the tropics as central foci. Only Anderson’s work touched on the distant past. For many years his was the only book in English that outlined the colonial era.

With few exceptions—Mario Góngora comes to mind—most of the remaining foreign contributions to Panamanian historiography have been made by Colombians. Even so, with the exception of Acevedo Latorre, Colombians interested in Panama’s history have generally worked nineteenth- and early twentieth-century topics, something which is easily understood given Panama’s inclusion in Colombia during those years.

Colonial Panama offers new students a host of research possibilities. After all, the isthmus was one of the vital economic and military zones of the Spanish empire, and events there had repercussions throughout the New World. Accordingly, the isthmus provides opportunities for significant research on imperial Caribbean defense strategy and South American economic history. A careful Chaunu-like study of the Portobelo fairs, for example, would represent a major and innovative approach to understanding the fluctuations of the Peruvian economy during the seventeenth century.

Panama also provides opportunities for the examination of institutional history. It was the seat of an audiencia, and the considerable papers generated by the latter remain largely unstudied. Insight into the operation of cabildos could be gained by looking at the town councils of Panama and Portobelo and the seemingly constant conflict that existed between them. Although the royal treasury has been addressed in some studies, room remains for a quantitative review of caja real documents.

One area still to receive the attention it deserves, and which shows considerable promise, is the land transportation system that tied the Atlantic to the Pacific. The trajín mule industry involved thousands of people ranging from breeders in Central America to esclavos arrieros in Panama and the corn farmers and general agricultural workers of Veragua. Also, as noted earlier, shipping statistics for the Pacific economy remain to be studied; and neither has any work on the transisthmian traffic of slaves to Peru been authored to date.154

The future development of the historiography of colonial Panama naturally depends on attracting new scholars into the field—a difficult task if only because Panamanian history, as emphasized at the beginning of this essay, does not easily fit within any larger regional specialization and may well appear to be of limited scope and significance. In reality, however, in all areas of colonial history, it is very rare to discover so much unstudied material of such a high level of importance.


The point made in the text is reached despite Murdo MacLeod’s contention that southern “Central America”—especially Costa Rica—was an economic appendage to Panama for much of the colonial era. See his Spanish Central America; A Socioeconomic History, 1520-1720 (Berkeley, 1973). On the other end, the Colombianist David Bushnell includes Panama in his undergraduate survey course “The Gran Colombian Nations but only devotes one day per semester of class time to it. The Handbook of Latin American Studies, however, places Panama squarely in Central America.


It should be noted, however, that among scholars studying Panamanian history, Colombians stand more prominently than Central Americans. J. Ignacio Méndez, Colombian-born though now based in the United States, is a case in point.


Charles C. Griffin, ed., J. Benedict Warren, asst. ed., Latin America: A Guide to the Historical Literature (Austin, 1971).


Christopher Ward and Richard J. Junkins, Latin American Research Review, 21:3 (1986), 129-136.


Introducción al estudio de la historia de Panamá I: Fuentes de la época hispana (Panama City, 1956).


Madrid, 1926.


Panama City, 1927.


The collection remains untitled, though I have referred to it as the “Susto Collection” in previous publications. It is bound in 20 volumes, hand-copied by clerks at the AGI in the early 1920s.


Madrid, 1911.


Madrid, 1904.


Boletín de la Academia Panameña de Historia, 1 (1943), 137_199.


Boston, 1964. This is made up of copies of the card catalog of the library. The Panama Collection used to be housed in the Canal Zone Library-Museum, but this became a casualty of the Carter-Torrijos treaty. At last report, plans were being made to turn the collection over to the Archivo Nacional.


Colección de documentos para la historia de Costa Rica, 10 vols. (San José, 1881-1907); Documentos para la historia de Nicaragua, 17 vols. (Madrid, 1954-59).


Costa Rica, Nicaragua y Panamá en el siglo XVI: Su historia y sus límites según los documentos del Archivo de Indias, del de Simancas, etc., recogidos y publicados con notas y aclaraciones históricas y geográficas (Madrid, 1883).


2 vols. (Panama City, 1980). The second volume covers the period 1903-80.


Panama City, 1946.


Margarita Jurado H. and Emilio A. Bernales, “Bibliografía de Juan Antonio Susto Lara,” Revista Lotería, 350-351 (May-June 1985), 132-155.


Panama City, 1967.


Oxford, 1982.


New York, 1944. Not only is the bibliography good, Mack’s book is one of the better general studies of Panamanian history. A Spanish edition was published in Panama City in 1971.


“Current Research—Lower Central America,” American Antiquity, 42:2 (Apr. 1977), 281-283.


San José, 1965.


Ángel Rubio, Atlas geográfico elemental de Panamá (Panama City, 1947) and Manuel María Alba, Geografía descriptiva de la República de Panamá, 2d ed. (Panama City, 1946).


Farming and Farmlands in Panama (Chicago, 1956).


The Savana of Central Panama: A Study in Cultural Geography (Baton Rouge, 1958).


Austin, 1979. Also see Mary Helms and Franklin Loveland, eds., Frontier Adaptations in Lower Central America (Philadelphia, 1976).


I differ with her contention that in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries Panama was far less of a tropical jungle than today. Early Spanish reports make it clear that things have not changed over the centuries.


Panama City, 1980.


Panama City, 1975. She is also the author of “Las culturas indígenas panameñas en el momento de la conquista,” Hombre y Cultura, 3 (1977), 69-96.


Phytogeographic History of the Isthmus of Panama during the Past 12,000 Years (A History of Vegetation, Climate, and Sea Level Change) (Amsterdam, 1973).


Human Influences on the Zoogeography of Panama (Berkeley, 1968).


Memoirs of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, vols. 7, 8, and 9:3 (Cambridge, MA, 1937-38 and 1950).


Ethnos, 37 (1972), 148-167.


Smithsonian Institution, Bulletin 143 (Washington, 1964).


American Antiquity, 26(1960), 106-108.


Ecology and the Arts in Ancient Panama: On the Development of Social Rank and Symbolism in the Central Provinces (Washington, 1977).


World Archaeology, 8:3 (Feb. 1977), 304-319; Revista Panameña de Antropología, 1 (1975), 8-28.


Sandra Smith, “Panpipes for Power, Panpipes for Play: The Social Management of Cultural Expression in Kuna Society” (Ph. D. diss., University of California, Berkeley, 1984); Frances Stier, “The Effect of Demographic Change on Agriculture in San Blas, Panama” (Ph.D. diss., University of Arizona, 1979); Alaka Wall, “Kilowatts and Crisis Among the Cuna, Chocó, and Colonos; The National and Regional Consequences of the Bayando Hydroelectric Complex in Eastern Panama” (Ph.D. diss., Columbia University, 1984); Richard Costello, “Political Economy and Private Interests in Río Azúcar: An Analysis of Economic Change in a San Blas Community” (Ph.D. diss., University of California, Davis, 1975); James Howe, “Village Political Organization among the San Blas Cuna (Ph.D. diss., University of Pennsylvania, 1974); Mac Chapin, “Curing Among the San Blas Kuna of Panama (Ph.D. diss., University of Arizona, 1983); Trude Lowenbach Lawrence, “Physical and Social Deviance: A Study of Health-Related Attitudes, Perceptions, and Practices within a San Blas Cuna Village, Panama” (Ph.D. diss., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1977); Margaret Swain, “Ailigandi Women: Continuity and Change in Cuna Female Identity” (Ph. D. diss., University of Washington, 1978).


Comparative Ethnographical Series of the Ethnografiska Museum, vol. 10 (Göteborg, Sweden 1938).


Land of the Moon-Children: The Primitive San Blas Culture in Flux (Athens, GA, 1956)


Pab Igala: historia de la tradición Kuna (Panama City, 1970).


Austin, 1986.


Berkeley, 1966.


New York, 1911.


Panama City, 1977.


Madrid, 1959.


Santiago, 1962. A short extract has been published (under the same title) in Revista Lotería, 10:119 (Oct. 1965), 56—85, but in it most of the value of Góngora’s longer text is lost.


Austin, 1972.


See books 27 and 28.


Pedro Simón, Noticias historiales de las conquistas de Tierra Firme en las Indias Occidentales, 5 vols. (Bogotá, 1882—92). The original was published in the seventeenth century.


Compendio histórico del descubrimiento y colonización de la Nueva Granada en el siglo decimosexto (Bogotá, 1901).


“Establecimientos de los españoles en el Darién,” vol. 3, section 3, of Martín Fernández de Navarrete, Colección de los viages y descubrimientos que hicieron los españoles desdefines del siglo XV, 5 vols. (Madrid, 1825-37).


“Breve noticia sobre los lugares donde existieron San Sebastián de Urabá y Santa María la Antigua del Darién,” Boletín de historia y Antigüedades, 30:349 (Nov. 1943).


Geographical Review, 50 (1960), 274-276.


A good and recent example is Omar V. Garrison, Balboa: Conquistador. The Soul-Odyssey of Vasco Núñez, Discoverer of the Pacific (New York, 1971).


New York, 1941.


Madrid, 1914.


New York, 1953.


For example, see Ricardo Fernández Guardia, History of the Discovery and Conquest of Costa Rica (New York, 1913).


Clements R. Markham, ed. and trans. (London, 1865).


Madrid, 1944. Another study of the political infighting during the conquest era is Alfredo Castillero Calvo, Políticas de poblamiento en Castilla del Oro y Veragua en los orígenes de la colonización (Panama City, 1972). Michael Lancaster, Pedrarias Dávila (Ph.D. diss., University of Texas, 1965) further elucidates the career of this notable figure.


Mercurio Peruano, 443-444 (July 7-14, 1927), 81-89.


Toulouse, 1966.


Panama City, 1911.


Panama City, 1969.


Seville, 1984.


Panama City, 1970.


Revista Lotería, 356-357 (Nov.-Dec. 1985), 98-148. Political struggles in the early years are also described in Mena García, “El Dr. Francisco Pérez de Robles y las casas reales de Panamá,” Revista Lotería, 356-357 (Nov.-Dec. 1985), 162-171.


Temas Americanistas, 2(1983), 1-7.


Boletín de la Academia Panameña de la Historia, 3:8 (1935), 3-182.


Mexico City, 1950.


Panama City, 1976.


Samuel A. Gutiérrez, Arquitectura panameña (Panama City, 1966).


The Revista Lotería citations for these are: 176 (1970), 76-82; 177 (1970), 62-70; 178-179 (1970), 108-110; 182 (1971), 69-74; 183 (1971), 48-58; 185 (1971), 45-48; 189 (1971), 82-84; 190 (1971), 67-72; 197 (1972), 57-59; 199 (1972), 69-74; 202 (1972), 94-101; 205 (1973), 47-51; 206 (1973), 56-61; 208 (1973), 130-136; 228 (1975), 90-101; and 233 (1975), 49-66.


Panama City, 1978.


Panama City, 1978; Omar Jaén Suárez, Hombres y ecología en Panamá (Panama City, 1981); Análisis regional y espacio derivado—regiones y regionalizatión en Panamá (Panama City, 1974).


Panama City, 1977.


Panama City, 1969.


“El negro en Tierra Firme en el siglo XVI,” Revista Lotería, 3 (1956).


“Orígenes extra-africanos y mestizaje étnica del negro panameño a comienzos del siglo XVII,” Revista Lotería, Feb. 63 (1961).


“Los negros cimarrones en Tierra Firme y su lucha por la libertad,” Revista Lotería, 172 (1970), 32-53; 173 (1970), 16-39.


Panama City, 1981.


Panama City, 1980.


The most significant is his published dissertation, Estructuras sociales y económicas de Veragua desde sus orígenes históricos, siglos XVI y XVII (Panama City, 1967); also see his La fundación de la villa de Los Santos (Panama City, 1971).


Baltasar Isaza Calderón, ed., Documentos y estudios sobre Natá (Panama City, 1972).


Panamá la vieja: Con motivo del cuarto centenario de su fundación (Panama City, 1919). This is a very useful guide to the old city.


La ciudad de Panamá en 1675 (Panama City, 1947).


“Panamá la vieja a medio siglo antes de su destrucción,” Revista Lotería, 245 (July 1976), 50-54.


Revista Patrimonio Histórico, 2:1 (Oct., Nov., Dec., 1978), 115-132.


Ángel Rubio y Muñoz Bocanegra, Portobelo ilustre, boceto de sinfonía histórica (Panama City, 1954); Manuel María Alba C., Portobelo relicario de piedra (Panama City, 1971). Both of these studies are highly inaccurate, as is Ricardo Jaén, Jr., “Portobelo,” Revista Lotería, 174 (1970), 79-85.


Panama, 1980. The only copy I know of in the United States is in the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley.


Trade and Navigation Between Spain and the Indies in the Time of the Hapsburgs (Cambridge, MA, 1918).


América Hispana: Aproximaciones a la historia económica (Panama City, 1983), which strongly emphasizes shipping routes and distances.


Estudios sobre el tráfico marítimo en la época colonial (Lima, 1944), which contains brief treatment of the Portobelo fairs and a listing of flotas of Tierra Firme.


“Trade and Navigation in the Seventeenth-Century Viceroyalty of Peru,” Journal of Latin American Studies, 7:1 (May 1975), 1-21. A full-length study of commercial traffic between Panama and South America in the style of Chaunu remains to be done.


Séville et l’Atlantique, 8 vols in 12 (Paris, 1955-59).


El comercio español con América (1650-1700) (Seville, 1980).


Michel Morineau, Incroyables gazettes et fabuleaux métaux: Les retours de trésors américains d’après les gazettes hollandaises (XVIe-XVIIIe siècles) (Paris, 1985).


Ward, “Imperial Panama: Commerce and Conflict in Isthmian America, 1550-1750” (Ph.D. diss., University of Florida, 1988).


Anuario de Estudios Americanos, 39 (1984), 275-340. The article has been republished in Revista Lotería, 358 (Jan.-Feb. 1986), 39-93.


“The Puerto Bello Fairs,” HAHR, 13:3 (Aug. 1933), 314-335.


Revista de Historia de América, 6 (1939), 47-74. A useful study that places the Panama route in the comparative context of a possible route across Central America is Ursula Lamb and Gary Miller, “Puerto de Caballos, Honduras: An Abandoned Choice,” in Les villes portuaires: Le pouvoir central et les villes d’Europe de l’est de du sud-est du XVe au début de la révolution industrielle (Vienna, 1986).


New York, 1948.


Chaps. 3-8.


I. A. Wright, Documents Concerning English Voyages to the Spanish Main (London, 1932); Further English Voyages to Spanish America, 1583-1594 (London, 1951); Andrews, English Privateering Voyages to the West Indies, 1588-1595 (Cambridge, 1959). Studies on Francis Drake also have useful information, especially Janet Hampton, SirFrancis Drake’s Raid on the Treasure Trains (Westminster, 1954) which describes Drake’s 1572 attack on Nombre de Dios.


Madrid, 1942.


“El traslado de la ciudad de Nombre de Dios a Portobelo a fines del siglo XVI,” Anuario de Estudios Americanos, 40 (1982), 71-102.


Revista Patrimonio Histórico, 2:1 (Oct., Nov., Dec., 1978), 133-200. Another short study is Edwin C. Webster, The Defense of Portobelo (Cristóbal, 1970), which largely serves as a tourist guide to the ruins. Webster did, however, make a valuable contribution by identifying the caliber and location of cannon remaining in the ruins.


“The Defense of Portobelo: A Chronology of Construction, 1585-1700,” forthcoming in Ibero-Amerikanisches Archiv (1989).


Madrid, 1985.


One earlier pamphlet was available: Ernesto J. Castillero Reyes, Grandeza y decadencia del Castillo de San Lorenzo de Chagres (Panama City, 1954), but it is of little use.


“La plaza fortificada de Panamá,” Ibero-Amerikanisches Archiv, NF 2:2 (1976), 227-257.


In III Congreso Venezolano de historia (Caracas, 1979), 349-384.


London, 1910.


Various eds., including New York, 1914. Also see The Present State of Jamaica to which is added an Exact Account of Sir Henry Morgan’s Voyage to Panama (London, 1683), which has no identified author.


New York, 1981.


“Toma del Castillo de San Lorenzo de Chagres por los piratas,” 220 (1974) 73-77; “Odisea a través del istmo hacia Panamá,” 221 (1974), 82-90; “El asalto a la ciudad de Panamá,” 222-223 (1974), 39_49. Another typical study is Octavio Méndez Pereira, Tierra Firme (El tesoro de Morgan) (Panama City, 1940).


Mudanza, traslado y reconstrucción de la ciudad de Panamá en 1673 (Panama City, 1954).


Anuario de Estudios Americanos, 9 (1952), 235-275.


London, 1967.


The Darien Papers: Being a Selection of Original Letters and Official Documents Relating to the Establishment of a Colony at Darien by the Company of Scotland Trading to Africa and the Indies, 1695-1700 (Edinburgh, 1849).


George Pratt Irish, The Company of Scotland Trading to Africa and the Indies (London, 1932) and Darien Shipping Papers Relating to the Ships and Voyages of the Company of Scotland Trading to Africa and the Indies, 1696-1707 (Edinburgh, 1924).


Boston, 1929.


Edinburgh, 1907.


New York, 1968.


University of Paris.


Bloomington, 1979.


Revista Lotería, 342-343 (1984), 90-127.


Indiana University, 1975.


“El fuerte Farnesio en Portobelo,” Revista Lotería, 182 (Jan. 1971), 1-18.


Servicios Geográficos e Históricos del Ejército, Cartografía de Ultramar: Carpeta TV, América Central (Madrid, 1957).


Revista de historia Militar, 9:19 (1965), 49-81.


HAHR, 23:2 (May 1943), 258-282; B. McL. Ranft, ed., The Vernon Papers (London, 1958) also contains useful documents covering the Vernon expedition. The Ranft collection covers the vice-admiral’s entire career.


London, 1744.


Mercurio Peruano, 23:257 (July 1948), 298-329.


“Reflexiones para una historia del comercio y la navegación del período colonial,” paper delivered at the Fourth Venezuelan Congress of History, Caracas, 1980.


Montalbán, 14 (1983), 353-396.


Revista Lotería, 3:34 (Sept. 1958), 30-53.


Panama City, 1980.


“Fundación de la ermita de San Fernando del Quije,” Revista Lotería, 350-351 (May-June 1985), 55-60.


Pedro Mega, comp., Noticias históricas de la iglesia de la Merced, de la antigua y nueva Panamá, y de panameños notables del siglo XVIII y XIX (Panama City, 1946).


Estudios Sociales Centroamericanos, 15 (1976), 33-49 and 16 (1977), 9-22.


Panama City, 1971.


Colloque sur les institutions coloniales dans les Amériques au XVIIIe siècle (Mexico City, 1974).


Panama City, 1971; Panama City, 1930.


“The Independence of Panama and its Incorporation in Gran Colombia, 1820-1830” (University of Florida, 1978).


Panama City, 1980.


Panama City, 1978.


Revista Lotería, 192 (Nov. 1971).


Panama City, 1933.


London, 1821.


Memoirs of Gregor M’Gregor (London, 1820). Also see W. D. Wetherhead, Account of the Late Expedition Against the Isthmus (London, 1821).


New York, 1928.


Frederick Bowser has briefly addressed this theme in The African Slave in Colonial Peru, 1524-1650 (Stanford, 1974).