ti, as has already been intimated, had been almost depopulated by the oppressive colonial policy of Spain. The island had become the home of immense herds of wild cattle, and it was the custom of the smugglers to stop there to provision their ships.
The natives, which were still left, had learned to be skilled in preserving the meat by means of fire and smoke, and they called their kilns "boucans." The smugglers, besides obtaining what they desired for their own use of this preserved meat, established an extensive illicit trade in it. Hence, they obtained the name of buccaneers.
Spanish monopolies were the pest of every port in the New World, and mariners of the western waters were filled with a detestation, quite natural, of everything Spanish.
Gradually, the ranks of the buccaneers were recruited. They were given assistance and encouragement, direct and indirect, by other nations, even in some cases being furnished with letters-of-marque and reprisal as privateers.
The commerce o