Author: Juan Rogel


“In wishing him well, he killed him”; excerpt from Relation of Juan Rogel (ca. 1611)

This excerpt, translated from the Spanish, is from the “Relation of Juan Rogel,” the original manuscript of which was lost but can be found paraphrased by Father Juan Sánchez Vaquero (b. 1548) in his unpublished history, Fundación de la Compañía de Jesús en Nueva España, 1571–1580. Father Juan Rogel, a Jesuit priest born in Pamplona, Spain, in 1519, here tells the story of the Virginia Indian Don Luís de Velasco (Paquiquineo), who accompanied the Spanish in 1561 to Spain, Mexico, and Cuba before returning with a mission to the Chesapeake Bay in an area the priests understood to be called Ajacán.


Letter from Juan Rogel to Francis Borgia (August 28, 1572)

In this letter, translated from the Spanish and dated August 28, 1572, the Jesuit Juan Rogel updates his superior, Francis Borgia, on his trip to bahía de Madre de Dios, or the Bay of the Mother of God, the Spanish name for the Chesapeake Bay. Rogel journeyed to the bay in search of Alonso de los Olmos, a Spanish boy who the year before had survived an Indian attack on the Spanish mission, Ajacán, led by Don Luís de Velasco (Paquiquineo), a Virginia Indian who over the previous decade had visited Spain, Mexico, and Cuba, and converted to Christianity. Borgia died on October 1, 1572, and therefore likely never received the letter.