Rafael Seijas.

Venezuela-British Guiana boundary arbitration. Digest of evidence arranged according to subjects online

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Theo H. Crook Collection





Of evidence arranged according to


Prepared for Private Use of Venezuelan Counsel

The Evening Post Job Pkinting House, 156 Fulton Street




Chapter I. Geographic features and definitions.

OrinocM> Delta. page

General description i

Military importance of Barima Point 7

Poineroon-Moriica Region 9

Lower Esseqnibo Region 12

Cnynni-Mazaruni Ba.sln.

Definitions 15

Forests 17

Savannas 18

Obstacles to river navigation 20

Routes of travel, actual and proposed 21

Definitions. Amacura 23

Amazons 24

Arabian Coast 24

Barima 25

Cuyuni 25

El Dorado 29

Essequibo 30

—upper 38

Guiana 38

Itabo 40

Manoa 40

Mazaruni 41

Nova Zeelandia 42

Orinoco 42

— as far as 44

— Dardanelles of 44

— near to 45

Quake 46

Spanish Main 46

Terra Firma 46

Wild Coast 46

Chapter II. Dutch Trade and Fisheries.

Dntch Trade —in general.

With the Portuguese 49

Spanish 49

Indians of the coast 51

Indians of the interior 53

Participated in — by Surinam Dutch 56

— by French and others 57

Character as to legal rights.

By permission of Spain 58

Surreptitious, clandestine and illicit 60

Never under a claim of right 63

Nature of trade — for horses 64

- -for various Indian products 66



Chapter 11. Dutch Trade and Fisheries— (Continued).


How carried on 67

Spanish trade to Essequibo 68

Slave Trade.

Slaves— whence and how obtained ^o

— by whom captured and bought 75

— surreptitious character of trade in n

Slavery — cruelties practiced 78

— its status and importance 81

— abolition of by British, its effect 84

Dutch Fisheries 86

Chapter HI. Boundaries.

Claims. By the Spanish — to Guiana as a whole 89

— to Essequibo 94

— to all the coast 96

— to the Pomeroon-Moruca region 97

— to Barima and Orinoco mouth 100

— to Cuyuni, Mazaruni and the interior 103

— basis for, and Spanish views of Dutch claims

to same 106

By the Dutch — to the Pomeroon-Moruca region no

— to Waini 112

— to Barima and Orinoco mouth 115

— to Amacura 117

— to Cuyuni, Mazaruni and the interior 118

— to all the coast 121

— basis for, and Dutch views of Spanish claims to

same 123

By the British — in colonial records, correspondence, etc 125

— in diplomatic correspondence 129

— in ofificial or semi-official maps 132

— in Cases and Counter Cases 135

— alleged basis for 1 37

Admissions. liy the Spanish 1 40

By the Dutch— direct, in general 143

— that Moruca was a frontier post .... 147

— passes required at Moruca 151

— tolls at Moruca 152

— boundaries on the Cuyuni 153

By the British — boundaries on the coast 1 54

— boundaries in the interior 1 58

— customs collected in Moruca 160

— Barima light-house 161

By the Venezuelans 162

Ignorance as to Boundaries -

By the Spanish 163

Dutch 1 64

British 166

Boundaries as inferred from designations used 167

Acts of jurisdiction by one nation passed over without protest by the other 173

Chapter IV. Nature of Spanish and Dutch occupation.


Spanish occupation — its purpose I75

— its methods 1 79

— its influence and results 1 79

— efforts and plans for extension of ;

-expeditions to interior, and establishment of mis-
sions and villages there i8i

-reconnaissances of coast by Inciarte and others . . i86

-plans for Moruca Post and San Carlos de la Frontera 1 87

Dutch occupation— its purpose ; to trade, plunder and plant 190

— its methods ^9-

— its influence and results I93

— its efforts and plans for extension always limited to

trade relations I94

Chapter V. Remonstrances, and meaning of treaties.

Remonstrances and acts or declarations of like nature I95

Meaning of treaties — Truce of 1609 214

—Treaty of Munster, 1648 217

" Utrecht, 1 7 14 -3^

" Aranjuez, 1791 -3-

" London, 1814 233

— Agreement of 1850 233

—Treaty of arbitration, 1 897 240

—Charters of Dutch West India Company 241

— Dutch trading regulations 244

Chapter VI. British Trade and Timber Cutting.

British Trade 245

British Timber Cutting 246

Chapter VII. Indians.

The Indians considered by themselves.

In general "53

Akaways -55

Arawaks ^57

Caribs 261

Makusis 270

Warrows 270

Various tribes unclassified 274

Their relations to the Essequibo Dutch.

Hostility to "76

Independence of, as appears from

—allegations in Cases and Counter Cases 279

— the words, invite, persuade, induce, etc 281

— the words, order, threat, demand, etc 284

— the \Nor As, friend, ally, neighbor, etc 285

— insolence, and demands made, and Dutch treatment of Indian

complaints ..... -°9


Chapter VII. Indians — (Continued).


Treaties with Indians 290

Altitude assumed by the Dutch towards others as to Indian

relations 291

Nature and purpose of Dutch-Indian relations.

Alliances— for hostile purposes, in general 294

— to enslave uncivilized Indians 297

— to enslave Spanish Indians 297

Alliances — for defence of Dutch 3°'

Alliances — for trade, in general 303

— for trade in slaves and capture of runaways 305

— inconstant character of 3°9

Protection given Indians by the Dutch 31°

Creole-Dutch language 3^2

Their relations to the French, English, Snrinam-Diiteh, etc 314

Their relations to the Spanish.

In general 3'^

Hostility to 318

— its cause 320

— its character (rebellion) 322

As subjects — ottradas and compulsory settlement in Missions 324

— punishment of rebels 325

— recognition of the Spanish as masters 326

— obedience to Spaniards 328

— Spanish claim to sovereignty over them 330

Their relations to the British.

Appointment of Indian Captains 332

— by the Indians themselves 334

— by the Dutch and British 335

Protectors of Indians 341

Suppression of Indian slavery and its effect 346

Treaties or agreements with Indians 347

What Indians were controlled 350

Admissions that British did not control 354

Allies and friends, not subjects 358

Attitude towards British sovereignty 362

Their relations to the Venezuelans 363

rresents to Indians.

By the Spanish 364

By the Dutch — origin of 365

— frequency of 366

— character and object of 367

By the British — frequency of 373

— object and character of 376

— to Indians outside the colony 380



-. Venezuelan Case.

The region bouinkMl on the north and nortlieasi by tliet^uHor I'aria
ami tlie Atlantic Ocean ; on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, and by the
divide separatlni!;- the waters of the 3IorHca from the waters of the Waini ;
on Ihe south hy the Iniataca nionnlains; and extendintj thence westward, is a
ireog-ra pineal and political unit, the material occupation of a part of which, by
the nation tirst discovering and exploring it, is in law attributive and constructive
possession of the whole. V. C., 224.

British Counter Case.

This proposition is untrue. Neither geographically nor politically is the
region therein stated a unit, and no possession ever taken by Spain can be con-
strued as giving constructive possession of the whole. B. C.-C, ijj.

The Venezuelan contention as to the geograpliical unity of the so-called
[Orinoco] delta region as defined by them is therefore entirely unfounded.

Sa}nc, p. 12.

-. Venezuelan Case.

The Orinoco Delta Kegion ... is bounded on the north and west
by the Orinoco itself; on the south by a range of hills or mountains, to differ-
ent parts of which have been applied the designations Piacoa ntouutains and
Iniataca mountains : on the east it is separated from the second of the four tracts
above mentioned; first, by a wet savanna diflicult to traverse; and, further
inland, by a tract of while sand, miles in length, white almost as the driven
snow, hot and dazzling to the eyes, diflicult aud even painful to travel over.

V. C, 14.

Inlo the Orinoco, at aud above IJarima point, flow various streams: the
Uarima, Amacura, Arature, Aguire and Imataca.

The Barima, between Mora passage and Barimi point, can hardly be called
an independent stream ; it is rather one of those many channels through which
the Orinoco empties its waters into the ocean. At certain states of the tide the
waters of the Barima flow westward and are discharged into the Orinoco ; at
other states the current is in the opposite direction, the water from the Orinoco
flowing eastward through this same Barima channel, and discharging through
the Mora passage into the sea. This set of conditions, which converts the lower
Barima and the Mora passage into a veritable Orinoco mouth, gives rise to un-
usual conditions in the Mora passage itself. Same, p. ij.




Venezuelan Case.

The Uiver Hariiua Tails iii1«> tlif south side of the thiiMK'o near the most
eastern point of its nioutii. ' • l,v into the 3Iorawliana ; . . . llie current of fresh water which
comes down from the Upper Barima Hows to tlie sea jiarlly through the Barima
mouth and partly through the Morawhana. Same, p. //.



. British Counter Case.

Detinition of the juiiuil limits ol llic doKu ol" tlio Oiiiioco. These are, as
already stated, the liiver Yngio on tlu^ «ost, and on (he caisl, th« main
stream of the Orinoco, flowing south of the Islands of Tortola, Imataka, and
Cangrejo (or Ciab) Island. B. C.-C, //.

[1750.] Anonymous Spanish MS. in Hydrographic Ofifice, Madrid.

From this [Great] mouth [of the Orinoco] it is a passage of one hour across
the sea to the entrance oi the River Barima. B. C.-C, App., /Q4.

1757. Don Jose Felipe de Iturriaga.

IJarima, which llo>vs into the [Orinoco] mouth itself. />. C, //, ijy.

1768. Francisco Cierto.

The Creek of Barima, which is dose lo the great mouth of the River
Orinoco and falls into it. B. C, III, lyo.

1768. Manuel Cubas.

Upon arriving at the mouth of tli any of the creeks included
between that of Barima and the River of Esse^juiljo. Same, p. 2jS.

1788. Don Miguel Marmion.

[The Orinoco] rises and falls once every year; the waters begin to rise
slowly in the month of March, and in the month of August, in which they attain
their greatest height, again subside with the same slowness until February, in

which they remain at their lowest level, between which and its highest point
there is a difference here in the capital of about 14 fathoms.

The rise of the river is favoured by the east winds or breezes w hich prevail for
eight months in the year. B. C, V, jj.

From Carucina [20 leagues more or less up the Orinoco from Toint Barima]
the ridge runs along the same side of the Orinoco with a small tract of meadow
land between the two and of hill country which ends at the River Caroni, where
the range turns to the south. This portion of land has in length the distance
shown, and in breadth, from north to south, twelve leagues, more or less, up to
the town of Oputa where begins the flat tiact of snvannahs which reach to the
Cuyuni and beyond. Same, p. j/.

The south coast of the Orinoco, from the pomt of Barima, 20 leagues more
or less inland, up to the creek of Carucima is low-lying and swampy land.

Same, p. 6j.



i8o3. Major McCreagh.

In fiiloriiijr t!n' Kivcr OriiMK-o by the south-east, generally called the great
channel, Ca|M' Hiiriiiia roniis Hu' soiilh-cast point. IL C, V, lyj.

1839. Wm. Crichton, Suiierintcndcnt of Rivers and Creeks.

1 1) then descended the Wyena to the mouth of the Morocco Creek | Morji
Passasrt'l whit'li iiiay pnuM'rly be toniied a iiumtli of the nariiiia discharging
itself into the Wyenn River within a very short distance of the sea.

B. C, VI, 75.

1841. R. H. Schomburgk.

The River IJarima Tails into the south side of the Orinoco, near the most
eastern point of its mouth and in a direction almost parallel to the coast.

B. C, VII, 33.

1879. ^- ^- i"i Thurn.

The land [between EssequH»o and Orinoco] is chiefly low-lying swamp
and is covered with dense forest ; and though few rivers— the Pomeroon, the
Morooca, the Vani or Guiana, and the Barima, with their tributaries — run
through it to the sea, yet none of these are of any great size, length, or im-
portance. V. C.,JJJ, I JO.

1888. E. F. im Thurn.

In the [Pomeroonj district the rivers form its most important features. These
are :

Rivers. Chief Tributaries.

Pomeroon Arrapiakroo and Issororo.

Morooka Manawarin.

Waini Barrimanni, Moreybo and Barama.

Barima Arooka and Kaitooma.


In addition . . . there is a number of creeks and also . . . of natural,
or partly natural, waterways, liere called itabboos. which connect the rivers the
one with the other, the whole water system thns constitnted formint;- a net-
work which pervades the whole district. The most important part of this
water system forms a sinsjie waterway, consisting partly of rivers and creeks,
partly of itabboos, from the southern extreme of the district, on the Tapacooma
Lake, to its northern e.xtrcme. B. C, VII, 2^3.

1897. Major C. S. N. Grant, R. E.

The delta of the Orinoco ... is bounded on ()ne side by the Vatrre
River, and on the other by what may be looked ii])on as the main stream of the
Orinoco itself, (lowing south of Tortola and Iniataca Islands.

'I'hi' ^eoio^ical formation of the delta projK'r is, I believe, iliilVrent from
tiiat of the coast reirion south of the Orinoco. The former iscomposed of the
debris brought down by the river itself, and is dark in color, the latter is largely
composed of sand, and much ligiiter in appearance. Santc, p. 3.p.

There can be . . . little doubt that all tliis low-lying coast country, ex-
tending from Cape Nassau to the mouth of tlie Amacura, has been built up of
the detritus brought down by the Amazon and the Essequibo and its conlluents,
the Cuyuni and the Ma/eruni, and lliat it has nothing to do with the delta region
of the Orinoco. Same, p. 243.



1897. E. F. im Thuin.

I have been well acquainted with the cUstrict referred to . . . for the last
fifteen years, and . . . ain of opinion llial tliCi slalcnuMils made
ai'O I'orn'd, and tliat the conclusions iorniod hy Major dlrant ai)[>oar to inc to
be sound. B. C, VII, 243.

1897. D. F. Turnbull.

The Orinoco lias a delta on its north side and on its south side consist-
ing- of the usual delta swamp forniati!i. intersected witJi bayous generally
large and deep in proportion to the amount of water which passes through
them, but more or less obstructed by mud banks or bars, and, in the
case of the smaller ones, by fallen trees. . . . On the North side and in
descending the river, the really firm land stops about at the head of Brazo
Macareo ; below that is the delta.

On the south side there is Arm land down as far as Iniataea. It does not
consist of a continuous firm bank to the river, but of a series of spurs which run
out east-northeast from the main Imataca range of mountains. The river runs
to the north of east ; the main Imataca range trends to the south of east, so
that it recedes from the river. These spurs run out obliquely towards the river.
As the general course of the Orinoco is to the east, these spurs approach it
obliquely, and thus serve to keep the river from cutting to the south. IJetween
these spurs there are what one may call bays lilled with river mud more or
less consolidated into swamp or firm savannah.

These spurs which, on the south bank, reach down the river as far as the
town of Imataca, (back of which the main range of the Imataca mountains
trends off more to the south), the ends of these spurs seem to stop further off
to the south and the sort of great natural bay thus left by them has been filled
up with mud and sand, making- the great southern delta of the Orinoco.

V. C.-C, III, 324.

Thus, if a person coming down t!ie river, finds on the south Ijank of the
river more or less firm laud until he gets to Imataca; below that nothing
but delta swamp, largely under water in the wet season, with an occasional bank
of hummock where a few Indians live. The spurs terminate too far back from
the river to be visible. . . .

From the Imataca range a series of spur-like formations run out in an E-N-E
direction towards the Orinoco ; these prevent the river, in general terms, from
cutting away its south bank. Between each of these low ridges there is a
drainage stream which finds its way into the Orinoco; and the lower portion of
each of these streams generally flows through an alluvial, swamp-like region.

Same, p. 323.

Considering now Tniataca town ; It stands on the north slope of the last
end of the spur from the Imataca mountains. This spur is here about 175
feet high. lieyond it however are some low mouth



is al>st)liit,oly uiiioiiiKlct]. The Moniwhanna is simply the largest of many
itabos which exist within the district of the alluvial deposit. . . . The course
of the Morwahanna, at. represented in the atlas delivered on behalf of the Gov-
ernment of the United States of Venezuela, is incorrect. It is there shown as a
single straight reach flowing on from the VVaini into the Barima. As a matter