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continue to look on with indifference, and can their agents still answer, that no case whatever, will warrant their interference ?
In order the better to explain the nature of the war carried on by this black banditti, I here present a copy of one of the commissions given to Captain Joze Rufiño Jorralba, by Boves, one of the chiefs charged with freeing and arming the slaves of the provinces of Caracas. It is translated from the Caracas Gazette, No. 13, for November 29, 1813, and was found on the person of the said Captain Jorralba, when taken a prisoner.
Don Joze Boves, Commander-in-Chief of the
Windward Army, &c. &c. &c. . “ By these presents, I commission Captain Joze Rufiño Jorralba, to collect all persons fit for the public service, and placing himself at their head, that he may pursue and follow up all traitors, and punish them with death; it being well understood, that no more time is to be granted to them, than is necessary to say a creed, in order to recommend their souls to their Creator: and directing, at the same time, that all property taken from such traitors, shall be divided between the soldiers who defend the just and holy cause; and the merit thereby acquired by each individual, shall be recommended to the Commander General of the province; and I further require and charge all commanders of His Majesty's troops, to aid him in whatever may be necessary.”
(Signed) Joze Tomas Boves, Head Quarters, Gayabal,
Nov. 1, 1813.
.: Could it ever have been thought, that the nineteenth century would have witnessed such a commission, given by an individual known only by his crimes, to a captain placing himself at the head of a band of armed negroes ? The traitors, herein alluded to, are the Creoles, the owners of their country, and the objects of Spanish ven, geance from the time of its discovery. The holy cause, is pretty well depicted in the description of Monteverde's entry into Caracas, and as may be collected from the contents of the preceding pages. It amounts to a furious and bloody despotism, trampling on every right, and sporting with human life. I leave my reader to judge of the consequences, of a captain commanding a black band, just freed from slavery, by the incentives of plunder and licentiousness, being empowered over the lives of individuals, scattered over a wide and defenceless country, thus leaving them at his mercy, and their property at his will. Some of these results, are also depicted in Document I. But this is not all. As a refinement of cruelty, those who escape the murdering steel of this black banditti, have their ears or noses cut off, or are marked with the letter F (for Ferdinand) on their faces, in the same manner, as they brand cattle, or as the Dutch brand their slaves at Surinam, on the arm. * What monsters, have not been generated, from this unnatural contention! . And does not this remind us of the horrors of the tomahawk and scalping-knife, which once covered the western frontiers of the United States, with so many
* Letter from a respectable commercial house, daled St. Pierre, Martinique, Jan. 30th, 1814; and confirmed through many other channels.
horrors? Does it not also call to our recollection, the speech made by the venerable Earl Chatham, when Lord Suffolk, then Secretary of State, contended in the House of Peers, for the employment of Indians in the war. “Besides its policy and necessity," his Lordship said, " that the measure was, also, allowable on principle, for that it was perfectly justifiable, to use all the means that God and nature had put into our hands.”
The indignation of Lord Chatham was moved, and he suddenly rose and gave full vent to his feelings, in one of the most extraordinary bursts of eloquence, the pen of history ever recorded." I am astonished,” exclaimed his Lordship, “ shocked to hear such principles confessed; to hear them avowed in this house, or even in this country. My lords, I did not intend to have encroached again on your attention, but I cannot repress my indignation. I feel myself impelled to speak. My lords, we are called upon, as members of this house, as men, as Christians, to protest against such horrible barbarity. That God and nature had put into our hands ! What ideas of God's nature, that noble Lord may entertain, I know not; but I know, that such detestable principles, are equally abhorrent to religion and humanity. What, to attribute the sacred sanction of God and nature, to the massacres of the Indian scalping-knife! to the cannibal savage, torturing, murdering, devouring, drinking the blood of his mangled victims! Such notions, shock every precept of morality, every feeling of humanity, every sentiment of honour. These abominable principles, and this more abominable avowal of them, demand the most decisive indignation. I call upon the right reverend, and this most learned bench, to vindicate the rea ligion of their God, to support the justice of their coun. try. I call upon the bishops, to interpose the unsullied sanctity of their lawn, upon the judges, to interpose the purity of their ermine, to save us from this pollution. I call upon the honour of your Lordships, to reverence the dignity of your ancestors, and to maintain your own. I call upon the spirit and humanity of my country, to vindicate the national character. I invoke the genius of the constitution. From the tapestry that adorns these walls, the immortal ancestor of this noble Lord, frowns with indignation, at the disgrace of his country. In vain, did he defend the liberty, and establish the religion of Britain against the tyranny of Rome, if these worse than Popish cruelties and inquisitorial practices, are endured amongst us. To send forth the merciless cannibal, thirsting for blood !-And against whom? Your Protestant brethren; to lay waste their country; to desolate their dwellings, and extirpate their race and name, by the aid and instrumentality of these horrible hell-hounds of war! Spain, armed herself with blood-hounds, to extirpate the wretched natives of Mexico, but we, more ruthless, loose these dogs of war against our countrymen in America, endeared to us by every tie that should sanctify humanity. My Lords, I solemnly call upon your Lord. ships, and upon every order of men in the State, to stamp upon this infamous procedure, the indelible stigma of public abhorrence. More particularly, I call upon the holy prelates of our religion, to do away this ini. quity; let them perform a lustration to purify their country, from this deep and deadly sin. My Lords, I am old and weak, and at present unable to say more; but my feelings and indignation, were too strong, to have
said less. . I could not have slept this night in my bed, por reposed my head upon my pillow, without giving this vent to my eternal abhorrence of such enormous and preposterous principles.”
And will not the feelings of every Briton, who sees the recital of these horrors, correspond with the above words of Lord Chatham ? Nay, will not the true Spaniard, equally reyolt, on beholding such scenes, and in listening to the enumeration of horrors, which the pen refuses to trace? Not horrors, inseperable from a state of warfare, but enornsities, which nothing but wickedness could invent, or barbarity execute. Enormities, not only committed, but afterwards boasted of. Spanish America, even by the confession of Spanish writers, during its conquest, was the grand repository of plunder, and a monument of ever living crimes. Three centuries afterwards, their recital makes us shudder, and we scarcely believe man could be so degraded. Yet, greater enormities are now committing, and we are still silent. I say greater, because this contest, is between Christians and fellow-citizens. By the general conventions of mankind, the afflictions of war are softened and relieved, but, here they are aggravated by every thing infernal, which the malice of the heart, can suggest. Alas! and for what is not the Spanish government answerable in the con, duct of its agents? Do these ever remember, that when they gain a victory, their banners are crimsoned with the blood of fellow-citizens; and that it is the duty of mo: rality, as well as of religion, to diminish the calamities of war? When the prisoners on both sides, are respect. ively murdered in cold blood, when a war of extermination is thus provoked, when the slaves of a country are