Rafael Seijas.

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

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and to occupy, Guiana as a whole. V. C, 221.

-. British Counter Case.

At no time did she [Spain] t.alie formal possession of and occupy Guiana
as a whole ; the acts of the Dutch and the Spaniards wholly rebut any such con-
tention. B. C.-C, IJO.

-. Venezuelan Counter Case.

Spain herself, from first to last, proclaimed her sole right to the whole of
Guiana south of the narrow fringe of Dutch, French and English settlements
along the coast. The Orinoco and the entire coast region as far east as the Es-
sequibo she always regarded as her own. V. C.-C, 2g.

-. [1897] George L. Bun.

Spanish claim, of any formal, official sort, as to the boundary in Guiana, I
have nowliere found in the Diplomatic correspondence preserved in Dutch
archives. . . . The Dutch remonstrances of 1759 and 1769, which alone from
the Dutch side seem to have asked Spanish attention to the question, never re-
ceived a formal answer, V. C-C, II, 20Q.




1615. King of Spain.

It has been understood that in the region of Gnajana the enemy hare made
some settlements in which they are planting a very great quantity of tobacco, and
to which ships go very commonly to be laden therewith, and on the way they
traffic and do all the other injury they are able.

The said Governor is commanded to try to dislodge [them] from there, by
taking from them the said settlements, and by taking the necessary measures to
extirpate the enemy from every point of tliat island on which they have taken
footing. B. C, 1,54.

1637. Don Juan Desologuren.

Each new settlement which they [Dutch] found is a source of present advan-
tage to them, and though it may seem an error of judgment to scatter their
strength in so many places, it is not so in them, because by these means they di-
vert His Majesty's arms and are not molested by his power, as they would be
if their settlements were few, and they can thns advance npon the mainland in
whatever part is most convenient to them. Same, p. jS.

The coasts being as they are, infested with pirates and foreig-n settlements,
it would be rashness for those in authority to send help even if they were com-
manded to do so ; . . . I will not dilate here on the extent to which the
coasts and islands are infested with enemies. Same, p. Si.

1627. Don Pedro de Vivero.

On the mainland in the jurisdiction of this Royal Audiencia and of the

said Government and port of Guayana, English, Irish, and others, with negro
slaves, have established and settled themselves, from Cape North up to the mouth
of the River Orinoco. Same, p. no.

The said pirates want to seize this New Kingdom of Granada, and the
ports and islands of Margarita, Trinidad, and Guayana, in the Government of
Caracas and Venezuela, as they have done in Pernambuco and Brazil and other
ports, which your Royal person and your Royal Council of the Indies have de-
fended with such care and vigilance, so that the said pirates should not seize the
said ports. And those who are therein have foreseen that upon ejecting them
therefrom, they will doubtless proceed to take possession of the said Guayana on
account of the great tobacco trade, the mines of gold and silver and the other
products. Same, p. in.

1638. Royal Audiencia of New Kingdom of Granada.

The Governor of Guayana . . . wrote to us in the month of August of
last year, 1637, that he was besieged by the Dutch enemies who have generally
infested those coasts, . . . representing the injuries that would follow if
these enemies should take possession of those provinces. Same, pp. loj-iod.

1662. Governor of Trinidad.

These [settlements on the Wild Coast] are composed of companies, and many
of them with permission of the States of Holland, and fi'om the way they
divide these lands, they appear to be tlieirs. Same, p. ij2.



1662. Spanish Council of War.

For the said assistance [to Santo Thome and Trinidad] accrues to the defence
of the New Kingdom and of the Province of Barinas, to which parts the enemy
have an entrance through the mouths of the River Orinoco if they become masters
of the said coast. B. C, 1, 160.

1676. Spanish Council of War.

[Spanish claim to all (}niaua.J In view of the time and season, it does not
appear advisable at present to bring the proposed complaint [against a proposed
Dutch colony at Cape Orange between Surinam and the River Amazon] before
the States-General. Same, p. 176.

What the Dutch are now desirous of attempting is more absolute, for their
object [in planting a Colony at Cape Orange] is to increase plantations in the
Indies . . . and to extend them along the coasts of the mainland in order to
get the trade more into their hands, to the serious loss and prejudice of the in-
habitants of those ports, and the evident risli of the Indies bein^ lost through
the numerous settlements which the Northern nations have made in those
provinces. Same, p. 178.

17 yj. Marquis de Torrenueva.

In view of the fact that the Dutch are established within this demarcation
and limits, on the continent of the Province of Guayana, and occupy with their
cities and mills, the territory which stretches from the Orinoco [according to the
map cited below this should read Essequibo] to the before-mentioned Surinam,
a distance of 5°, from 318^° to 3240 of [east] longitude, [according to Delisle's
map of 1 703, U. S. Com. atlas, map J7] . . . The opinion which I gave at
the Council of State in reference to the disputes with Portugal ... in which
is also treated of what may and ought to be done to check . . . the Dutch
on the River Orinoco [Essequibo according to latitude and longitude cited above]
who are trying- by these rivers to establish themselves in our dominions.

B. C, II, 41.

1739. Marquis de San Felipe y Santiago.

The Dntch are establislied on the mainland, to the east of the Great Mouth
of the Orinoco, and in the position marked out in the plan which he has sent. They
are divided into the three Colonies which are called Essequibo, Berbice and Sur-
inam. In order to dislodge them from all these Colonies a large number of
troops and war vessels, well equipped, are necessary, as they are strongly forti-
fied and garrisoned, and especially so in the ancient settlement of Rio de Surinam.

B. C.-C, App., 183.

1743. Marquis de Torrenueva.

Equal attention is due to the object with which the Dutch established them-
selves to the windward of the River Orinoco, in 5^ north latitude, and 325^^
nearly of [east] longitude, according to Delisle [ F. C. atlas, map J7] to leeward
of the Island of Cayenne, and in 6° north latitude, and 320° 40' longitude, with
the two forts with the name " Zeelandeses " between the rivers named Surinam
and Cupenam. And this could be no other than to get nearer to the mouth and
banks of the said [Orinoco] river, and to found thereon plantations, which might
facilitate their traffic with the new kingdom, and enable them to penetrate by that
part to those places and districts which their avarice might dictate until they



made themselves masters of the mouth of the Orinoco, ... it being
necessary to preserve this mouth as a safeguard of that kingdom, it is no less
necessary to restrain the Dutch from approaching its banks either by land or
water, keeping in view with this object the Vth and Vlth Articles of the Treaty
of Peace with that nation of 1648. The mouth of the River Essequibo offers
facilities for carrying out those designs, being situated, according to this
geographer, in 6° 40' latitude, and 318° 10' [east] longitude, and its source in 1°
nearly of north latitude, and 316° of [east] longitude, thus the whole course of the
river forms a large extent of country, ... it contains within its limits tribes
of Indians to be reduced, many who would then serve as a barrier so that the
Dutch might not pass to the west of this [Essequibo] river. B. C, II, 41.

1748. Commandeur in Essequibo.

A wanderer of the name of Pinet having gone up the River Cuyuni . . .
has made report to me that the Spaniards had not yet undertaken the building
of any forts or Missions as had been their intention lower down, but that they
cruelly ill-treated the Indians subject to us, continually taking them by sur-
prise in their dwellings and carrying them off, with their wives and children, to
send them to Florida ; that he had spoken to the Chief of the Spaniards, . . .
but that the latter had replied that the whole of America belonged to the
King of Spain, and that he should do what suited himself, without troubling
about us. Same, p. 38.

1753. Portuguese Secretary of State to Spanish Ambassador.

The project of hindering the Butcli from penetrating, as they have en-
deavored to do, into the heart of the dominions of the two crowns [Spain
and Portugal] . . . appeared as justifiable as it is in conformity with the
law of natural defence . . . that nation . . . reduced within their own
proper limits, cannot subsist on the continent in which up to the present they
have tried to usurp the dominions of others, except by bringing forces from
Europe. Same, p. 82.

1753. Instructions to Iturriaga.

No other means [than giving support to revolted slaves] offers itself to dis-
cover the secret invasions they [Dutch] .are carrying on in our dominions.

Same, p. 86.

In respect that all the territory comprised between the Rivers Maranon
and Orinoco unquestionably belongs to the two Crowns [Spain and Portugal]

any establishment of the other foreigners in that place is to be looked upon as a
usurpation of their rights, and they cannot show that we have formally recognized
that dominion as theirs. Same, p. 87.

Although the two Courts [Spain and Portugal] have not considered it con-
venient to attack them [ Dutch in fiuayana] with open force, nevertheless they are
agreed in the scheme of doing so by intrigue, . . . both nations have re-
solved to take measures to Iicm them in, each on its own side, the Spaniards by
that of the River Orinoco, and the Portuguese by the Maraiion ... in
order that tlicy may not penetrate the interior, seeking better establishments
and a more profitable commerce. Same, p. 88.



1760. Confidential Report to King- of Spain.

In the public report we appear to ignore the place which the rebel negroes
maintain against the Dutch. ... as Spain, by the Peace of Utrecht, is
not bound to luaiiitaiu the Dutch in the said Colony, she may in good con-
science and Christian policy, consent and contribute to their expulsion by the
neg-roes, . . . these negroes . . . are about 30,000 in number, and
though they were only 6,000, that number of resolute spirits would be sufficient
to eject the Dutch from their colonies.

These negroes have retired into the dale left by the small mountain range
which borders the coast on the limits of this province, and runs, ... as far
as Cape North, and thus their territory or colonies lie between the southern
limits of the Dutch, and the northern limits of the French, which they call Cay-
enne, . . . Your Majesty will understand how strong is the territory held by
these men, and how difficult it is for the Dutch to reduce them by force of arms,
and how conducive it would be to your Majesty's interests to acquire it.

B. C.-C, App., 203-206.

1 76 1. Don Jose Diguja.

This Province of (xuayana has as boundaries : On the east, all the coast on
which are situated the Dutch colonies of Esquivo, Bervis, Demerari, Coren-
tin and Surinama; and further to windward, Cayenne, belonging to the
French ; on the north, the banks of the Orinoco, which, separating the Provinces
of Cumana, Barcelona, Caracas, Barinas, Santa Fe and Popayan, forms a half
circle, running back east to seek its head-waters in Parima Lake ; on the south,
the dominions of the Most Faithful King in Brazil, the frontiers of the latter, and
the said Province of Guayana being unknown. V. C, II, SJJ.

1761. Don Jose Solano.

(juayana is the most eastern province of the dominions of your Majesty in
the northern part of South America ; its boundaries are the western ocean on
the east, on the coasts of which (? are the Colonies of tlie French) at the mouth
of tlie Amazon and those of the Dutch at Surinam and Esquivo, near the
Orinoco; on the south, the Portuguese, . . . and on the west and north the
Casiquiari, . . . and this great river [Orinoco]. B. C, II, 204-203.

1769. Prefect of Missions.

The territory of this Mission of tlie Capuchins ... is from Angos-
tura of the Orinoco to the Grand 3Iouth, in a straight line, on botli sides, to

the Marauon or Amazons. This, together with the protest, ... of the
Governor of Essequibo, makes me doubt if it be permitted to us to penetrate to
the interior in future for the purpose of reducing Indians of the before-mentioned
parts, Barima, Moruca, Cuyuni, and even of the coast ; and as it is a matter so
necessary to the practice of the reductions, it appears to me well to lay before
your Majesty my doubt. B. C, IV, 23-24.

1769. Report to Council of Indies.

The Province of Guayana is situated on the other side of the River Orinoco.
Its limits are : —

On the east all the coast on which are the Dntcli Colonies of Esquibon,
Berbis, Mesari, Corentyne, and Surinam, and further to the windward Cayenne,
which belongs to the French ;



On the north, the banks of the Orinoco, which divide the Provinces of Cumana,
Barcelona, Santa Fee, Caracas, Barinas, and Popayan, and form a semi-circle,
bending to the east up to its source in the Lake of Parimas ;

On the south, the dominions of Brazil, the boundaries between which and
the Province of Guayana are unknown, as also is the extent of the interior. This
Province has for its Capital Santo Thome de Guayana. B. C, IV, 4J.

1779. Don Jose de Abalos.

The said Dutch Colony of Essequibo, and the others which the States-
General possess on that coast, are all in general on the banks of the rivers, close to
the sea-shore, and do not penetrate far into the Interior of the country, and,
consequently, at the back of Essequibo and the other Dutch possessions, . . .
the land is in part free from them and only occupied by heathen Indians and
. . . negro slaves, fugitives. . . . The commissioners shall endeavor to occupy
the said lands as appertaining to Spain, their first discoverer, and not after-
wards given up nor occupied at the present time by any other Power,
neither has any other Power a title tliereto. Same, p. /pj.

The occupation of the lands in all these countries must be taken up as part
of the same Province of Guayana, and in the name of the Governor and Com-
mandant thereof as its Chief and Head, by grant and appointment from his
Majesty. Same, p. ig6.

1790. Governor of Guayana.

My care has been compelled by the fact that the Dutch, French and Portu-
guese have occupied the greater part of this vast extent of our territory, and
that from day to day they are advancing their possessions, particularly the
Dutch, by the River Essequibo. B. C, V, 82.


1637. Jacques Ousiel.

The Governor set forth that immediately after the conquest of Tobago he had
resolved to carry his victorious arms against Essequibo, a fort lying in his
province of tluayaua. B. C, I, S6.

1737. Marquis de Torrenueva.

In view of the fact that the Dutch are established within this demarcation and
limits, on the continent of the Province of Guayana, and occupy with their cities
and mills, the territory which stretches from the Orinoco [according to the
map cited below this should read EssequiboJ to the before-mentioned Surinam, a
distance of .'>o, from .'{18^^' to 324° of [east] longitude [according to Delisle's
maj) of 1703, V. C. atlas, pi. Ji\ . . .

The opinion which I gave at the Council of State in reference to the disputes
with Portugal ... in which is also treated of what may and ought to be
done to check the French on the Mississippi and the Dutch on the River Orinoco
[should be Essequibo according to longitude above cited | who are trying by
these rivers to establish tliemselves in our dominions. B. C, II, 41.



1739. Marquis de San Felipe y Santiago.

Your Majesty may order the chief or commander who will be in charge in Ori-
noco to request the Governor of the nearest Diitcli settlement not to advance
further towards the mouths of the Orinoco, and marking out the limits of the
place where they are stationed, to take care that they do not advance further.

B. C.-C, App., iSj.

1760. Confidential Report to King of Spain.

The circuit of Guayana with its two districts, one extending to Essequibo
and Caura, . . . and the other should . . . extend as far as the French
settlements and the Portuguese frontier, both to the South of Guiana, and in
this sense if other Dominions did not, and had not intervened, Guayana would
extend to the mouth of the Amazon, . . . and would be an extensive
island, comprehending what is shown on the general map from the ship's mouth
to the mouth of the Marafion or Amazon.

To return to the extensive district of Guayana belonging to your Majesty's
dominion, . . . the country is wild, with mountains and woods, as far as
Cape North, uncultivated, unknown, and inhabited by innumerable nations of
wild Indians of whom the missionaries of Guayana make use for their villages,
the French for their missions, and the Dutch for labour. Same, p. 20^.

1769. Councillor in Essequibo.

Pedro Sanchos has come from Orinoco with the bad news that in a month
or six weeks two boats will come ... as far as in Pomeroon to carry off
the Indians, and then, I fear, plantations will surely be pillaged ; for this Gov-
ernor sets his boundaries as far as the bank of Oeuo, [in the mouth of the
Essequibo] where James Penning lives. -B- C, IV, 42.

1769. Director' General in Essequibo.

That Governor bragged considerably to this man, and said that the laud
belonged to His Catholic Majesty as far as to the bank of Oene [in the mouth
of the Essequibo], and that he would come and seize those plantations which lay
on Spanish territory. V. C, II, /p/.

1779. Don Jose de Abalos.

The said province of Guayana . . . begins, on its eastern side, to
windward of the outflow of the River Orinoco into the sea on the border of
the Dutch Colony of Essequibo, it shall be one of the first cares ... in mak-
ing the new settlement to go as near as possible to the aforesaid Colony . . .
for founding the first settlement. B. C, IV, ig4-ig§.

1779. Don Jose Fehpe de Inciarte.

Besides the advantages which, in the matter of settlement, maybe expected
from founding on the said hill of Bauruma (Pomeroon), ... the result will
be that with four or five villages the very banks of the River of Essequibo will be

reached, and when this has been done the Dutch will be deprived of communi-
cation, not only with the various tribes of Indians lying to the south of Essequibo
and all the creeks of the Orinoco, but likewise with all the Parime [Barima].

B. C.-C, App., 233-254.



1788. Don Miguel Marmion.

The portion of this country [finiana] belonging to Spain is bounded on the
east by the Dutch Colonies of Esseciuibo, Demerari, Berbis, and Surinam, and
by the French Colony of Cayenne ; on the south by the Portuguese Colonies of
the Amazons and Rio Negro ; and on the west and north by the Upper and
Lower Orinoco. B. C, V, ^2.

1788. Don Fermin de Sancinenea.

The River Essequibo, which is between our possessions and those of the
Dutcli. V. C, III, 400.

1 814. Venezuelan Case.

At the time of the acquisition by Great Britain of the colony now known as
British Guiana, the territories belonging to or that might lawfully be claimed
by the Kingdom of Spain comprised the entire territory between the Oi'inoco
and Essequibo riyers. V. C, 2jj.

1 814. British Counter Case.

It is wholly untrue that at the time of the acquisition by Great Britain of
the Colony now known as British Guiana, the territories belonging to, or that
might lawfully be claimed by the King of Spain, comprised the entire territory
between the Orinoco and Essequibo Rivers. B. C.-C, 141.


. Venezuelan Case.

From the Orinoco to the Essequibo the Spaniards claimed dominion

They also exercised exclusive control there. V. C, ijj.

1 614. Antonio de Muxica Buitron.

It would be well to free our coasts of them [Dutch] entirely, for, from the
River Marailon [Amazon] to the Orinoco there are three or four more [in addition
to the one on the Corentine destroyed in 161 3] of their settlements, and their plan-
tations are very considerable. B. C, I,j6.

161 5. Report of Council to Spanish King.

By allowing Foreign nations so ill-affected to Spain to have settlements in ter-
ritory which belongs to your Majesty, v/e suffer in reputation. Same, p. 44.

1662. Report of Spanish Council of War.

He [Governor Viedma] says that he had sent a person to reconnoitre the settle-
ments and towns which the foreigners have there, who found that on the coast of
Terra Firma (jurisdiction of Iiis Government 20 leagues to windward of the
River Orinoco) there are two settlements; one of 150 Dutcli, and another of
2)S0. Same, p. /jp.

1761. Don Jose Diguja.

In the geographical description . . . by its Governor, . . . Diguja, in 1 761
. . . this Province of (jiuayana has as boundaries: on the east, all the coast
on which are situated the Dutch Colonies of Esquivo, Bervis, Demerari, Corentin,
and Surinama ; and furtlier to windward, Cayenne, belonging to the French ;
on the north, the banks of the Orinoco, which, separating the Provinces of



Cumana, Barcelona, Caracas, Barinas, Sante Fe and Popayan, forms a half circle,
running back east to seek its head-waters in Parima lake ; on the south, the
dominions of the Most Faithful King in Brazil, the frontiers of the latter, and the
said Province of Guayana being unknown. V. C, II, 2yj.

1769. Director-General in Essequibo.

My opinion always has been that they [Spaniards] would gradually acquire a foot-
hold in Cuyuni, and try to obtain the mastery of the river, as they now practically
have done at the end of the past year. But I should as soon have expected Heaven
to fall, as that they, in so high-handed a manner, openly, (as if in open warfare),
in breach of the right of nations, in breach of all Treaties of Alliance with His
Catholic Majesty, should attack us from another side, and have the audacity to
go to work as if they were Sovereigns of this whole coast. . . . They
have captured and taken away all our people that were on the sea-coast. The
Salter of Luyxbergen has luckily escaped them, but his Indians, his vessels, two
large canoes and three single canoes, which he had got by barter, they have taken
away. B. C.,IV, 6-7.


. Venezuelan Case.

Over by the Monica and Pomeroon they [Spaniards] had made their presence

effectively felt, and Spain claimed both of these rivers as her own.

V. C, I OS.
. British Counter Case.

No division, assignment or claim had ever placed Mornka within the

province of the Capuchin Fathers. B. C.-C, Sq.

. [1897] George L. Burr.

From the first Dutch occupation of the Pomeroon, in 1658, down to late in
the eighteenth century, the claim of the Dutch to that river seems to have been
unquestioned. ... In 1769, for the first time, we hear in Dutch records of
a counterclaim : the Spanish Governor of Orinoco is said to have declared
that the territory was Spain's as far as the bank of Oene, in the moutli of the
Essequibo. During the years which followed, though Spain and Holland were at
peace, there was more than one Spanish incursion into the Pomeroon ; but, though
ravages were committed along the coast and Indians abducted from the interior,
there was no attempt actually to take possession of the river. Of the hisiruc-
cion of the Spanish Intendant-General of Venezuela, in February, 1779, for the
occupation and settlement of Guayana," to the borders of the Dutch colony of
Essequibo," the Dutch authorities seem to have known nothing ; but of the
reconnoisance later . . . by . . . Inciarte . . . they knew ; . . .
but the Director-General having assured himself that they were " all gone without