John Rooney.

The Monroe doctrine assailed; or, England and Venezuela online

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Brooklyn, N. V.

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" I should have been glad to announce some disposition of the Iwundary dispute l>eetween
"Great Britain and Venezuela, touching the western frontier of British Guiana, but the
friendly efiorts of the United States in that direction have thus far been unavailing. This
Government will continue to express its concern at any appearance of foreign encroach,
ment on territories long under the administrative control of American States. The determi
nation of a disputed boundary is easily attainable by amicable arbitration where the rights
of the respective parties rest, as here, on the historic facts, readily ascertainable.''


n i \ io ^


The portion of President Harrison's message relating to the boundary-
dispute between Great Britain and Venezuela was an unmistakable inti-
mation to Lord Salisl)ury that the Monroe doctrine still holds good. The
President, after exi^ressing his regret that the friendly efforts of the Uni-
ted States had failed to settle the question at issue, said : "This govern-
ment will continue to express its concern at any appearance of foreign
encroachment on territories long under the administrative control of
American States;" and he reminded Great Britain that the determination
of a disputed boundary by amicable arbitration is readily attainable,
where, as in the present instance, it is easy to ascertain the historic rights
of both parties. This, translated from the language of diplomacy, means
that England must stop bullying Venezuela. The statesmen of the Court
of St. James should take the hint. — New York Daily /'/•t.s.s'.


The Obder of Bolivar Conferred on Him by VENEZUEiiA.

Banqueted by His Friends.

A dinner was given last Thursday eveniug in honor of Mr.
John Rooney, of Brooklyn, on the occasion of the presentation
to him of the '' Order of the Liberator," by the representative
of the Venezuelan Government. This distinction has been
conferred on Mr. Rooney in recognition of his services in
directing the attention of the American people to the invasion
of Venezuelan territory by Great Britain. Covers were laid
for over a hundred guests. Among those present, were : Gen.
Kerwin, Hon. Napoleon Dominici, Dr. Jos^ Alfonso, Alejandro
Escobar, Leoncio D'Aubeterre, Ramon Bolet, Hon. John

C. McGuire, Eugene Kelly, Hon. Edward Rorke, Hon. James
Rorke, Edward Rorke, Jr., Coroner Alex, Rooney, Hon.
Robert A. Van Wyck, J. S. C. Judge, M. A. Power, Thomas
Cassin, Hon. John A. Milholland, Hon. Arthur J. Heany,
Hon. R. F. Downing, J. Curley, Miles O'Reilly, James
Cassidy, John D. Carroll, Hugh King, John D. Taylor, W.
M. Denman^ Col, James Adair, Wm. Lyman, Daniel Walsh,
P. H. Alexander, Mass.; Frank J. Morrison, Baltimore ; S.
Lenox Treadwell, J. J. O'Connor, Rev. D. J. Hickey, Rev.

D. J. Sheehy, M. J. Dolphin, J. P. Farrell, Hon. Theophilus
Olena, Felix Gallagher, John Berry, Dr. Wm. T, Carmody,
Bernard Leavy, Roderick Robertson aiid others. The dining
hall was handsomely decorated with Venezuelan, American
and Irish fl a At the conclusion of the banquet Gen. M.
Kerwin, who occupied the chair, said :

GEN. KERWIN'S speech.

Gentlemen. — I feel a special pleasure in being present on
this occasion. We are here this evening not only to mani-
fest our friendship and esteem for a worthy citizen , but es-


pecially to express our appreciation of wliat he President of
Venezuela has characteiized in his letter to Mr. Rooney, as
*' services of the most signal merit performed in the cause of
international justice." The honor conferred on our fellow
citizen by the Venezulean Government is bestowed only for
distinguished services, rendered in the cause of right, civiliza-
tion and humanity. With the character of these services
doubtless most of you are familiar. Mr. Rooney has for some
time past taken an active interest in placing before the
American public the true status of the difficulties existing
between the Republic of Venezuela and Great Britain. His
action in this regard was inspired by a double motive, name-
ly : the conservation of American interests by the maintain
ance of the Monroe Doctrine and the prevention of the territ
orial spoil ation of one of our sister American republics at tho
hands of a truculent and rapacious invader.

The significance of England's long continued encroach-
ment on Venezuelan territory has not hitherto been duly
appreciated by the American people. It is, however, to us a
question of vast political and commercial importance — a ques-
tion compared with which ourBehring Sea or Canadian Fish-
eries difficulties scarce rise to the level of serious consideration.
From the first, England's design has been to acquire posses-
sion of the Orinoco Delta, and thus secure the control of the
entire waterways of the South American coiitinent, and the
consequent monopoly of South American trade. And this she
.has attempted and still attempts to accomplish, in the face of
justice, right and that unwritten law promulgated by Presi-
dent Monroe, and reiterated in still stronger language by
President Harrison in his message of this year. And it is a
matter for congratulation both on the ijart of the citizens of
the Unitfed States and of Venezuela that our Government has
expressed itself so forcibly on the question of foreign en-
croachments on her territory. The welfare of our people, the
safety of our Republic, demands that no foreign power should
exercise any jurisdiction on the American Continent, save
that which is now maintained under existing laws. At a time
when we are reaching out for South American trade, and culti-


vating closer relations with the governinents and peoples to the-
south of us, and constructing a waterway across the Isthmus at
a vast expenditure, it would be certainly suicidal for us to per-
mit our only commercial rival and political enemy to gain a
foothold in. South America, especially when such a project is;
accomplished by spoilation and fraud. It should rather ba
our purpose to use all legitimate means to expel all foreign
governments from American soil, whether at the north or the-
south or the centre, and perfect thereby the Monroe doctrine
of America for Americans.

Gen. Kerwin then pi-esented Senor Dominici, Confidential
Agent of Venezuela in New York, who said :


" Having been diily commissioned by the Government of
Venezuela to present to Mr. John Rooney the decoration of
the Order of ' El Busto del Libertador,' I have the honor, in
the name of the Republic which is so ably presided over by
the illustrious Dr. Rainnmdo Andueza Palacio to express to
you the high esteem in which it holds the generous manifesta-
tions of Mr. Rooney regarding the present boundary question^
and the attitude maintained by the Venezuelan Government
against the odious encroachments of Great Britain on Vene-
zuelan territory. Already she holds a large portion of our
territory, and brutally attempts to retain it, in flagrant viola-
tion of the principles of justice, and despite her own promises^
which she so solemnly made. The whole nation of Venezuela^
greatly appreciates your sympathetic and magnanimous
efforts, and appeals to the generosity of this great sister ^Re-
public, which is as noble as it is powerful, for its sympathies
and invaluable support."

Mr. Dominici then invested Mr. Rooney with the Order
amid tumultuous applause. The decoration is very ])eautiful,
and consists of two large badges, one gold and the other
silver. The gold badge is attached to a ribbon of the Vene-
zuelan colors, which is worn round the neck in the place of a
tie, the badge showing in front. The silver badge is worn on
the left breast, and with it is a button of the Venezuelan
Legion of Honor, which is worn like our Grand Army button.


When the applause subsided, Mr. Rooney said :

MR. ROONEY'S address.

The high honor that has been conferred on me by the Gov-
ernment of Venezuela is of such a delicate character that I
feel embarrassed to know in what words I may express my
acknowledgment of it.

I observe that the medals of gold and silver are those per-
taining to the Order of that illustrious patriot and soldier,
General Simon Bolivar, the founder of five of the Republics
of South America, a man whose name will go down the
annals of history, and form a part of that grand galaxy of
noble and illustrious men, whose lives and fortunes have been
conse crated to the cause of civilization and hunaan. liberty.
And while I appreciate the honor of having my name dis-
tinguished by the Order of the Liberator, yet it will ever be
my proud distinction to remember that the Government
which he founded has not deemed me unworthy of becoming
a member of the Society which was organized and established
to perpetuate his name and glorious deeds.

This decoration, so essentially different from the meaning-
less baubles conferred by mona.rchies and despotisms, I, as an
American citizen, can freely and proudly accept, representing
and symbolizing as it does the principles of Republicanism
and National liberty ; and, further, coming as it does from the
Gove, nment of a sister Re]3ublic with which I have never
been associated, and which I nevor had the pleasure of visit-
ng, it is clearly devoid of any suspicion of self-interest of
ieither donor or recipient ; and, therefore, it will be the more
prized by me, and it will consequentlj^ ever remain an honored
heirloom in my family.

Gentlemen : I do not regret, but rather feel proud, if I
have been the instrument of calling the attention of even a
portion of the people of this great Republic to the threatened
spoliation of the territory of our sister Republic of Venezuela
by that universally acknowledged invader of the rights of
weak and defenceless nations — England. And I make bold to
state that should she ever attempt to enforce her pretended
claims to one inch of the s-ocalled disputed territory north of

— IX -

the Esequibo River, slie would raise a storm that would shat-
ter her power from the circumference to the centre.

The bully and the invader are characters that are despised
by the entire American people, whether those characters ap
pear in the person of the individual or the nation ; and the
day for such to interfere with impunity in questions of na-
tional or international importance, or in the internal affairs
of the Republics of this hemisphere is passed.

England entered upon the territory of Venezuela in direct
violation of existing treaties and kept encroaching thereon
until the gold mines of Caratal were discovered in 1858, since
which time she took possession of the territory mentioned
as a highwayman would of the property of his victim.;
and when Venezuela protested England resorted to her old
time policy of i)laying the bully and threatening to bombard
her seacoast cities if Venezuela dared to dispute her right to
the possession of this property.

The Government and people of Venezuela relying on the
justice of their cause and true to their past record for patrio-
ism and bravery refused to be either bullied or cajoled into a
compliance with England's unjust demands ; and they still so
refuse and I mistake the American character if it ever would
permit England to carry out her threat of retaining possession
of this vast and valuable property, including the Orinoco
River — the Dardanelles of the Southern Continent — thereby
giving her absolute control of the entire internal waterways
of South America ; and I say without fear of contradiction
that no Administration, be it either Republican or Democ-
ratic would ever permit the consummation of such an inter-
national outrage on a sister republic. Any attempt on the
part of England to retain this stolen territory would arouse
the American peoj^le to such a degree that before they re-
sumed their avocations they would completely wipe out
every vestige of British power from this continent.

It is my fond wish to see the two great continents of North
and South America at no distant daj^ united in an alliance,
offensive and defensive, to protect the rights of each in a
grand brotherhood of prosi^erous republics whose govern-
ments will consist of their respective citizens, peaceably
managing their own affairs without the need of vast bodies of

— X—

arfned men, kept in klleness, for the subjection and suppress-
ion of every generous and human instinct.

Mr. Dominici: I hope you will accept on behalf of your
Government the assurance of my profound gratitude for this
token of confidence and esteem from the Government of Ven-
ezuela of which you are the bearar; and, in such fitting lan-
guage as you may deem best to use, convey to your illustrious
President and his Cabinet my heartfelt thanks for, and high
appreciation of this distinguished hojior.

The Chairman next proposed the toast. "'The President of
the United States." which Avas responded to by Mr. W. M*
Denman of New York as follows:

Mti. desman's speech.

I am glad that the toast which has been assigned to me is
one that furnishes a subject at once congenial as well as re-
plete with patriotic inspiration. It is said that we ought
to estimate a population not by the worst specimens, but
rather by the bf st it contains, and accordingly if we may i e-
gard the United States by the standard of its first citizen we
have great reason to congratulate ourselves as being the most
intelligent, the most virtuous and the most progressive country
in the world. Benjamin Harrison stands to-day before the
world as a man ^vlio by universal acknowledgment is the fit-
ting occupant of the highest position in the gift of the nation?
and in the years wherein he has so worthily filled the office of
Chief Magistrate the wisdom of his views, the dignity of his
conduct and the gracious utterances of his lips have disarmed
his political opponents and transformed them into enforced
admirers. Let the tongue of scandal assail him and none are
quicker than his partisan adversaries to rise up in his defense
and demand fair play and proper respect. A.lthough this
festive occasion is not the opportune time to dwell in detail
upon the events which have conferred sogreat a lustre upon
his administration, it is right and proper to say that with an
exceptionally able Cabinet of eminent advisers, the names of
some of whom and without disparagement to the othe'"s, that
of James G. Blaine particularly, excite and inspires senti-
ments of the ])urest patriotism, the government of this great


people has never been more ably conducted, nor the proud as-
piration of our citizens of America for Americans been more
manfully vindicated and realized.

The snobbishness that flourishes in the smiles of foreign
aristocrats, and loves, obsequiously, to imitate the manners
and habits of aliens, has received a wholesome check, and we
have at last come to realize that this nation has an arm to
enforce as well as a tongue to plead for right and justice; and
that to be a citizen of the United States of America is as proud
a distinction as that conferred by Rome in the ancient days,
when to be a Roman was greater than a king.

Our thoughts are particularly directed this evening to our
sister Republic of Venezuela whose representative is here
present to place a deserved compliment in the hands of our
friend John Rooney, and it is to me a very great satisfaction
to know that his efforts in behalf of that Republic in oppos-
ing the forcible and wrongful aggression of a foreign power
are all in the line of the bold and unmistakable tone and tem-
per of the utterances and declarations of the President.

Long life to President Harrison and his Cabinet. May
the record of their achievements be the inspiration and pride
of our future historian.

Mr. John J. Rogers, the well.known Brooklyn lawyer, spoke to the
toast of " Ihe South American Republics." The response to this toast
had been assigned to SeTvor Vicente Mayrez, but that gentleman teas un.
voidably absent. Mr. Rogers said :

It is, I assure you, a source of much i^leasure to me, as an
American, to observe the interest and fraternal feeling oa the
part of the Governm.ent and the people of the United States to-
ward the South American Governments and peoples that have
lately been exhibited, and to see the barriers of indifference
to their mutual iiitsresbs removed, that have so long existed
only for the benefit of foreign nations, alien to us in govern-
ment, in feeling, and in interests.

It would, of course, be impossible for me to convey to you
in a few moments talk, in any adequate way, the manifold
reasons for a closer commercial union between the peoples of
this hemisphere, and the advantages tliat all would derive
from such ? reapproachment .

—XII -

It is a matter of regret that hitherto the people of the
United States and those of the South Amercau Republics have
remained in such iguorauce of oue another. True, the peo-
ples of the Southern Continent have always been ardent ad-
mirers of this great and generous and liberty loving Republic
of the North, and we have always manifested a friendly in-
terest in their destinies, from the time when President Mon-
roe proclaimed his immortal doctrine, warning all foreign
Governments to keep their hands off South American Repub-
lics to the present day, when President Harrison, as we see by
his recent message, exercised the good offices of his adminis-
tration, to avert the threatened revolution in Brazil.

An erroneous impression has hitherto prevailed — a senti-
ment sedulously propagated and confidently believed — that
the people of South America were turbulent and revolution-
ary, and were not educated up to the level of constitutional
government. How easily the South Americans could show
the absurdity of that allegation. They could point to the
sacrifices of blood and treasure that they made in establish-
ing their independence ; they could point to the incompara-
ble achievements of Simon Bolivar, the liberator of five Re-
pulics; they conld show that less blood has been shed in South
American revolutions so called, since they threw off the
yoke of Spain, than has been shed in any one of the numer-
ous wars that has taken place in enlightened Europe during
the present century. They might even advert to the fact that
while it cost us people of the United States 800,000 lives and six
thousand millions of money to free our slaves a quarter of a
century ago, the people of the United States of Brazil within
the last two years, freed their slaves — 1,500,000 in number —
and changed from a monarchy to a republic without angry
collision, and passed through two bloodless revolutions. Can
any higher testimony be adduced to the civilization and
developement of the South Americans ? The colonization of
the North and South American continents was accomplished
under salienily different conditions ; and if a rigid comparison
of results were instituted, I confidently believe that South
America would not suffer by the comparison. Here in the
North American continent, for instance, the aboriginal races

— xm—

were exterminated, as so-called civilization sounded its on-
ward march. But wherever the Spaniards settled the native
races were spared ; the invaders intermingled and intermar-
ried with them, and there they are to-day in their millions,
from the Rio Grande to the Straits of Magellan, to attest the
humanity of the Spanish invaders. Why do I mention those
things ? To give you one instance out of many why the
South Americans should not be measured by the standard of
other peoples. In elevating the native races^ their own was
in a degree dragged down, and this largely accounts for the
apparent turbulence of the South American populations in
their political progress.

I hope that the auspicious movement for a closer union .
and understanding of our peoples in this hemisphere will con.
tinue. South America possesses all the bounties of nature,
the sources of untold wealth, a soil bursting with precious
minerals, a Republican form of Government from the centre
to the sea, a progressive and ambitious population ; and it
should be the ardent desrire of all the peoples from, the St.
Lawrence to Cape Horn that those independent peoples
should be united in a moral, political, and com^mercial
solidarity , and advance hand in hand to the accomplishment
of a common and glorious destiny.


who responded to the toast " The United States," delivered an
admirable address. His happy references to, and elucidation
of, the educational facilities presented in this country as con-
trasted with the lack of opportunities for mental advance-
ment in Europe, were timely and well told. "The Monroe
Doctrine" and its application, as between Venezuela and
British encroachments, received especial allusion and justifi-
cation. Mr. Gallagher closed his remarks, complimenting the
honored guest of the evening, Mr, Rooney, and dwelt at con-
siderable leng'th upon his well known love for and services to
the brave little Republic of Venezuela.

Mr. R. F. Downing^ head of the customs brokerage and


forwarding firm of R. F. Downing & Co., of New York, then
responded to the toast : '" Our Conunercial Relations with
Venezuela," Mr. Downing said :

MR. DOWNING'S speech.

A friend at my left has just remarked in a joking mood
"We are the people !" I Believe he is right, not only in the
joking sense, but in the full acceptance of the phrase.
We American people are the people ; no North, no South,
but all Amej'ica bound together in one love of our country,
with hands extended to each other and hearts b' ating to-
gether. Here we have only the warmest feelings for our
Southern sister republics and, while the same feelings will,
.we hope, be extended to us still it has happened that in one
place we felt a little "Chili," Venezuela has shown her feel-
ings in a marked manner by honoring one of our distinguish-
ed citizens in a way that is international and most pleasing
fo us all.

We congratulate the happy recipients, John Rooney.
Some little while ago, while h) a foreign couJitry, I was told
that we may have the friendship of America so long as Europe
has her trade. To exemplify. I was told the story of a mos-
quito and an Irishman

'Ye say that everything was made by Pi-ovidence for a
purpose. Now what on airth was a mosquito made for ? "

" Oh, that's quite plain,'" was the answer. "Mosqiiitos
were made to destroy the germs of malaria."

" Malaria, is it ? Destroy the germ, eh I well " — after
deep consideration — " Well, why don't the baste attend to his
business ?"

That is exactly our j^osition. We are friendly to the
South American Republics; we want closer trade relations
with that grand continent. If so — why on earth don't we
.attend to our business ?

When we really go to work on this subject we can get our
share of this vast trade. Then we can illustrate the story
told me by a darkey up in Westchester County along the
Sound. This old fellow went out to fish. He put a minnow
ne the hook and threw the line in. Then he remembered


that lie had to go off and take a ' Nip.' When he came back
there was a big fish on the hook. ' Little hsh catch big fish;-
big fish catch bigger fish/ mused Sam. So he left the big fish
on the hook, threw it over and went oft' for another 'nip.' A
' friend ' of Sam's came along, saw the line, pulled it ny, and
taking off the big fish put on a little fellow and threw in the
line again. Sam came back and bi-aced himself to pull u[) a
big one. Up came a minnow.

• My Lord,' said Sam, with bulging eyes; ' My Lord, lu^w
he am shrunk I'

So it will be, gentlemen, with the European trade with
South America when we get to working together. When the
Enrol )ean fishermen pull up their trade fish in the near future,
they will exclaim, with bulging eyes, ''Lord, how it am
shrunk I''

The total value of the imports from Venezuela to the

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Online LibraryJohn RooneyThe Monroe doctrine assailed; or, England and Venezuela → online text (page 1 of 4)