Page images
PDF
EPUB

preceding narrative, that Bolivar exerted hintself in due season, to prevent a resort to this unheard of method of reprisal, but I should be doing him injustice to omit stating, the following important facts. Some time in January last, Bolivar made ano. ther effort to obtain the release of some Creole officers, who were prisoners at Puerto Cavello, and for this purpose, he sent an European Spanish officer, whom he had made a prisoner some time before, with a flag of truce to Puerto Cavello. This officer, advanced from Bolivar's lines to the out posts of Puerto Cavello, and although he then entreated to be permitted to pro. ceed, stating that his own life was at stake on the result of his mission, still he was ordered to balt, until a few minutes after. wards, brought the decision of the commander of the royal forces, at Puerto Cavello (a certain Istuella, who it appears had taken the command, in consequence of Colonel Salomon laviug decamped) which was a refusal to admit the flag of truce, and a most insulting verbal message to Bolivar.

The next day, presented the melancholy spectacle, of four Creole officers being brought out on the ramparts of Puerto Cavello, and there, in the view of Bolivar and his army, they were shot.

The commander of the Royalists, not satisfied with the deliberate murder of these four officers, officially communicated their names, assigning their execution to be a measure of retali. ation, and which he intended to follow up, by the death of every Creole in his possession.

About the time that Bolivar received this official commu. nication, he likewise was informed of the advance of Boves and Rosette, at the head as before observed, of 7 to 8000 negroes, and committing the excesses previously mentioned.

At this time, there were 13 to 1400 European Spaniards in the prisons of Caracas and La Guayra.

Bolivar ('tis said) adopted the resolution to sacrifice the whole of these unfortunate individuals, and sent the necessary orders to that effect, to Caracas and La Guayra. These orders were carried into such literai and prompt execution, that not more than 25 or 30 European Spaniards were spared, and these hold a precarious and miserable existence.

The writer of this, unfortunately with many other foreigners, had occular proof of the slaughter of more than 800 victims at La Guayra; they were conducted in pairs from the dungeons, to a little distance from the gates of the town, and there shot, after which, their bodies were burnt. Many perished by suffocation, as a few days previous to the execution, we saw 40 to 50 dead bodies taken out of the dungeons each day. Thus has terminated, for the present, in Venezuela, this scene of deliberate reciprocal revenge, because it is to be presumed, that as few or n oprisoners remain now on either side, none will be made in future, as a war of extermination is reciprocally proclaimed on both sides-it therefore follows from this statement.

Ist. That the violation of the treaty between Monteverde and Miranda, is the origin of all the present disasters of Venezuela, and as the Cortes and Regency of Spain, have di. rectly approved the perfidy of Monteverde, by solemnly making him captain general of the province, after they knew he had so shamefully violated the treaty in question; consequently, it is never to be expected, that the natives will ever again trust their lives and property to Spanish faith.

2ndly. As the natives are resolved to adopt any alternative, no matter however dreadful, rather than submit to Spaio, it becomes the duty and certainly the policy of Great Britain, to prevent such an alternative taking place, as would involve in general ruin, (and at no distant period) the whole of the West Indies.

3d. Whether the Negroes are incited to insurrection, under the hanners of Ferdinand VII; or are proclaimed free by Bolivar, the effects will be equally the same to Spain. To her the pro. vince of Venezuela is lost for ever, and if Spain is desirous to

retain any of her remaining possessions in South America, she ought to feel grateful to Great Britain, if, hy any m-ans what. ever, she can arrest the destructive flame, before it spread so fai, as to render all future attempts impotent and abortive.

41h, and lastly. The commercial and manufacturing interests of Great Britain, as well as the interests of the civilized world in general, are deeply involved in the fate of South America, and whether it shall become the seat of discord and devastation or of tranquillity and prosperity, may depend on the measures, ad interim, adopted by the British and military chiefs in these seas, and ultimately pursued by the British ministry.

With the same frankness and impartiality, which I have en. deavoured to keep in view in the foregoing detail, I shall con. clude, by stating such measures as I can conceive would be effectual, to check the present alarming state of things in Vene. zuela, and likewise afford time for such future determination, as the British cabinet may find necessary to resolve on.

Ist. That a person or persons should be immediately dis. patched to Caracas, by the British commander in chief, to enquire into the facts I have stated, and if it should be found, that my conclusions are correct, as to the alarming nature of the evils I have suggested, then such persons should be au. thorised to request, and indeed to require of both parties, a suspension of hostilities, until the determination of the British and Spanish governments, should be ascertained.

2d. Whether the previous point is refused or acceeded to by the parties, there should, at all events, be a maritime force sent to La Guayra, with orders to remove the persons and property of the British subjects from the country.

I feel persuaded (and I speak from a personal knowledge of the character and disposition of all the leading natives of the country) that on the part of the present goverment of Caracas, and the people in general, they will cheerfully assent to a suspen. sion of hostilities, and submit their fate to the ulteriour decision of Great Britain, but at the same time, I am decidedly of opi-ion, that if this salutary measure is not adopted, or if Bolivar finds himself incapable of resisting the slaves already in revolt, he will adopt the only alternative left him, to declare the whole of the slaves free, in which case, po force from Europe, much less from Spain, would ever be able to subjugate Venezuela, and the adjoining empire of New Grenada, which two provinces, contain four millions of native inhabitants.

W.D. ROBINSON. St. Thomas, March 18, 1814,

FINIS.

GENERAL INDEX

OF THE

CONTENTS OF THIS VOLUME.

The divisions of the matter, are marked thus f.

Dedicatory Introduction ..'.... from Page 1 to 14
Grounds on which the first discoveries and settlement of

Spanish America was made . . . . . . . . 14 .
Situation of the Indians bettered . ....... 16 .
Natives entitled to a preference of offices ..... 18 ..
Social footing on which the Indians and Negroes were

placed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 29
How Spanish America was incorporated to the crown

of Castile . ............. ib. ..
Why not to be considered as colonies, but kingdoms

entitled to hold Cortes ......... ib. .
Governed by a supreme council, &c. ...... 24 .
Relative footing established on primitive compacts . ib. i
Departure from these compacts. Present race can in-

sist on their re-establishment....... 26 . 27
King, the only bond of political union ..... 27 . 28
Spanish Americans no more colonial vassals than the

subjects of Spain........... 28 . 29
Unjust to consider them colonists, from Spanish proper-

ty being employed in the conquest of the country 29
Spain alone, blameable, for not improving the resources

of Spanish America .......... 31 . 33
Parallel between the colonies of other European powers,

and the ultramarine provinces of Spain . ... 33 . 37
Fatal effects of the viceroys not obeying the king's orders 37 - 42
Picture of the colonial policy of Spain, &c. Hardships

and privations of the Creoles : ....... 42 . 60
Creoles have made some former attempts at redress. · 60 · 62
Former plans of the British government, and its profes-

sions to Spanish America ......... 62 : 70
Projects of Buonaparte on Spain. Her debased sitaation 7) . 74
British treaty with Spain. Its errors ....... 74 · 88

.

.

.

.

. .

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »