BE SOURCES AND COMMERCE.
tary galleon, of fifteen hundred tons burden, made an annual trip to the Philippines and returned, the round trip taking about a year. This vessel came from the islands laden with a cargo of baled Chinese goods, which had been obtained from them in exchange for the produce paid into the treasury as taxes from the natives, and was known as the tribute of the Philippines. Returning, this same galleon to the Philippines bore sundry articles of manufacture the colonist needed, some stores, and coin for circulation, principally with the Chinese. This comprised the Spanish commerce with its rich colony for nearly two hundred and fifty years.
Besides this the islands had more or less trade with India and Persia, while still greater traffic was had with China. But no Spaniard was permitted to seek either country for business, and must content himself with buying what was brought his way, and at the price the seller chose to fix.
As it has been stated, these treasure-ships were tempting prey for the corsairs of the southern seas, and many of them fell into the hands of these watchful freebooters. Whenever this