Family Puigcérda, August 7th, 1494

I Ignaci Puigcérda have much to report.  The expulsion of Jews from the the empire has had some effects on the salt trade here on Ibiza. A considerable number of merchants were Jewish, and while Genoese creditors are also financing Aragon and Isabella, they do not seem so interested as to protect these minority merchants working with them. While it is sad to see friends be expulsed, some are converting, but they are under watch by the authorities to make sure they are keeping with the Christian faith. There are even rumors of a Jewish underground movement.[1] May God bless them. One of the unforeseen consequences of these merchants leaving is the increase of acquisitions of other trade materials. For the rest of us that are still trading we have a bit larger share of all the trade going on on the island. Which is a good thing too, considering we just heard news of a man discovering a route to the Orient by sailing west into the Dark Sea.[2] This has hampered some of our overall trade, but we are grateful for our services to still be required by the Genoese and this partnership is better than independent trade. Their convoys have proven to be a blessing against the pirates off the Barbary coast. I fear that with the opening of these new trade routes going west to the Orient that our trade might start slowing here on the island. Perhaps I should think about taking my profits and investing them in one of these ventures, It is worthy of discussion with my friends and my creditor from Genoa. I will bring my son along with me this time, after turning 17 last month he is coming close of age to start understanding finances and business.

[1] Renee Levine Melammed, A Question of Identity: Iberian Conversos in Historical Perspective (New York, New York: Oxford University Press 2004), 141-142.

[2] Johann Georg Kohl, A popular history of the discovery of America from Columbus to Franklin (London: Chapman and Hall, 1865), 45.


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