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Dissentions of Spanish America,
An account of the origin and I tish islands from arming the negroes
INTENDED AS A MEANS TO INDUCE THE
Mediatory Interference of Great Britain,
ESTABLISH PERMANENT QUIET AND PROSPERITY,
of the World.
RESPECT PULLY ADDRESSED
&c. &c. &c.
BY WILLIAM WALTON.
PRINTED FOR THE AUTHOR,
PRE FAC E.
THE pages, I have now the honour to lay before the public, were, originally, written for the exclusive object of inducing the British government to ponder on the melancholy situation of Spanish America ; and under a hope of explaining the nature of those unfortunate dissentions between European and American Spain, which had generated into an unnatural and destructive civil war. More than a year ago, they were placed, in a more condensed shape, in a channel, from which some relief was expected; yet, still, the same apathy seemed to reign with regard to this most interesting subject ; and the murders of unoffending thousands were heard, without the corresponding sympathy
so usual to Britons. In the midst of so much languor, and surrounded by misrepresentations, we seemed perfectly insensible to the nature of that war, which had already inundated the Westero hemisphere with blood; nay so much had our policy changed, that we now behold those struggles with contempt, which, lately, we had encouraged and promoted ; and though a road was open to bring relief, consistently with honour, and even with the new engagements England had contracted with Spain, as well as of adding essential resources to that momentous cause, in which we were embarked, we still kept aloof, and feared to interfere in a matter, we seemed not to understand.
A resolve was made to print them, when the indiscriminate massacres in New Spain, had risen to such a height, that they could not be read without the keenest emotion; when a death-war had been declared in Caracas, and when every thing there announced the mutual butchery of prisoners, which afterwards took place. They were sent to press, when, in Venezuela, the slaves had been armed for the murder and pillage of their masters, when the horrors of St. Domingo were there renewed ; and, when the danger pressed heavy on all holders of British property, in the West Indies. They were sent to press, when the chief sections of Spanish
Columbia, had been wrapped in a wide and universal state of civil war and desolation, when a million and a half of its inhabitants had been immolated on the altars of vengeance; when odium was accumulating on the British name; and when, by our coldness, there was every reason to believe, we were about to lose, for ever, our hold on a rich and extensive country, that, otherwise, opened to us the most brilliant prospects. They were printed, in short, when the mass of injustice and the enormities, committed against an unoffending people, were such, as the feeling mind, could, no longer, behold with calmness and self-controul ; and when it became the first duty of humanity, as well as of society, to explain them to a public, both interested and implicated in their fatal consequences, and who never before had an opportunity of judging for itself, or even of fully comprehending the nature of a dispute, which had, already, filled the New World with scenes of horror that outrivalled its conquest.
During their publication, two great political events have occurred, viz. the fall of Buonaparte ; and the return of king Ferdinand, to his throne, after the dispersion of the new Cortes. The first event has, certainly, occasioned some material change in the tenour of my arguments, The rising influence the French were fast gaining in Spanish