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

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having done any harm " to the post or to the Indians, evinced no disquiet about
the matter, and no steps seem to have been taken toward protest or further
investigation. V. C.-C, II, g6.

1662. Report of Spanish Council of War.

[Governor Viedma] says that he had sent a person to reconnoitre the settle-
ment and towns which the foreigners have there, who found that on the coast of
Terra Firma (jurisdiction of his Government 20 leagues to windward of the
River Orinoco) there are two settlements; one of 150 Dutch, and another of
280. B. C, I, isg.



1757. Don Jose de Iturriaga.

If they [Dutch] be pcriulttert to-day in Monica, they will pass some other
day to Barima, which flows into the mouth itself. B. C, II, ijy.

1769. Certificate of the Capuchin Fathers.

We certify that by mandate of our Superior and permission of the
Honourable Commandant-(jeneral of the River Orinoco, Don Manuel Cen-
turion, we have passed into Maruca in search of the Indians belonging' to
the Missions of the Capuchin Fathers of Catalonia, and out of regard for the
Postholders we give these presents the 28th day of Februarj-, 1769. B. C, IV, g.

1775. Moruca Postholder.

He [Spanisli Captain] further said that his lord and master would shortly
set a guard in the creek of Weena, called the Barmani, and that the whole of
Maroelilia also belonged to tlie Spaniards, and I thereupon answered that the
river Barima belonged to the Swede, and Weene, as well as Maroekka, to the
Dutch, and they said that it was not so. Same, p. ij8.

[1778]. Council of the Indies.

[The Commandant of Guiana wrote in 1778] between the Guayne and

Moruca (a territory contiguous to the Orinoco, and never occupied by the

Dutch). V. C, li, 278.

1779. Don Jose Felipe de Inciarte.

At a quarter of a league before reaching the aforesaid Dutch post [Moruca]
the rivulet forms a small bay . . . and this bay could serve as a port.

It would be convenient in my opinion to found a town close to tliis bay
or-port, as besides the advantages offered by the produce of the land, the com-
munication which the Dutch have with the Orinoco by means of the inside
branches could be prevented.

The passage of the river Moruca could easily be prevented by erecting a fort
with four or six guns in the aforesaid small bay.

As for protecting the town against the attacks of the Dutch or any other
enemy, this can be obtained by erecting a fort on one of the small heights.

Same, pp. 4JJ-436.

Having embarked and continued up the said Bauruma, [Pomeroou] we
arrived . . . opposite the rancherias of the aforesaid Piache [an Arawak
Indian doctor]. . . . Having asked me, through an interpreter, with what
object I had come to these parts, I told them . . . that my chief reason was
to ascertain whether . . . the Dutch were enslaving them and making Poitos
of them while they had been declared free by our Sovereign. At this reply most
of them became angry and spoke with harshness and contempt of the Dutch, and
reproached me because the Spaniards, although owning the lands, and being
their relatives, did not go thither to settle, and said they wanted to live in a village
with their relatives the Spaniards. Having told them that everything would be
done as they wished, they became very happy. . . . Directly I had looked at
the farms they made me fire a shot at a tree, telling me that it was in token of
having talicn possession of tliose lands in the name of . . . tlie King . . .
for they belonged to him and to no one else. B. C.-C, App., 2j_§.

Boundaries. 09

claims by the spanish-to the pom eroon- moruca


^179- [1897] George L. Burr.

The elaborate reconnoissance ... in 1779 by . . . Inciarte, was
attended by no breach of the peace ; and his report in favor of Spanish
estabUshments on both these rivers, altliough it resulted in a royal order for the
erection of a Spanish village and fort in the Monica at the site of the Dutch post,
seems to have led to no practical results. [Nothing of all this is known to the
Dutch records except the presence of the Spanish party in Pomeroon and Moruca.]
Whatever claims to the river migiit be made hy tlie Spaniards, I cannot
learn that the Dutch were ever actually disturbed in tlie possession of their
post. There was, indeed, as we learn from other sources than the Dutch, an un-
successful Spanish attack on the Post in 1797, while the Colony was in the hands
of the English ; but this was in time of war, V. C.-C, II, log.

1780. King of Spain.

Inciarte is to return ... for the purpose of occupying and settling the
places specified in his . . . Report . . . and making the provisional
fortification which he considered needful, ejecting the Dutch from the Post or
advance guard-house, which they have built on the road of the River Moruca,
. . . If the . . . Governor of Essequibo should complain thereof, the answer
is to be given that the proceedings ... are in accordance with the general laws
and instructions . . . which do not permit such intrusion of foreigners in the
Spanish dominious, for this is the reply that will be given here if any complaints
or claims should be lodged by the States-General of Holland. B. C, IV, 212.

1783. Don Jose Felipe de Inciarte.

As regards the settlement of the eastern part of the Lower Orinoco and the
frontiers of the Colony of Essequibo, for which I hold a commission, I will refer
to what ... I remitted ... to his Excellency . . . de Galvez
. . . the 27th November, 1779 ; but as during the war the French took posses-
sion of the Colony of Essequibo, the Dutch have abandoned the advanced Post
they held on the banks of the River Moruca, which position it is important we
should occupy ... it appears to me . . . advisable to fortify this Post
. . . and to found a village with the Indian natives, who inhabit its vicinity,
and to send two missionaries . . . and in this manner to prevent the inhab-
itants of the said Colony from penetrating into the lands lying between thein
and tlie Orinoco. b. C, V, 20.

1786. Director-General in Essequibo.

Meanwhile there had, . . . been spread a rumour . . . that the
Spaniards had threatened if the tobacco were not restored that they would raid
the [Moruka] Post which they alleged was on their territory.

Same, p. ^5.
1786. Minute on Report of Jose de Abalos.

Placing tlie said . . . fort ... in the same creek of the said River
Moruca to prevent the passage of all hostile vessels, and ejecting the Dutch
from the said Post or advanced guard-house which had been built there. ... If
the Governor of Essequibo should complain of this action he was to reply that he
had proceeded in accordance with the general laws and instructions . . .
which do not permit such intrusions of foreigners in Spanish dominions as
those are. Same, pp. 47-48.



1804. Lieutenant-Governor Myers.

It [colony of Essequibo and Demerara] is separated from Berbice by the
Abari Creek. The boundary with the Spaniards is disputed. According to
Dutch, it is a line running north and south from Cape Brama or Brem ; and ac-
cording to the Spjiniards it is the Morucco Creels, a little to the westward of
Cape Nassau. B. C, V, 186.

1839. R. H. Schomburgk.

The South American Colonies . . . claimed the banks of the Rivers
Moroco and Pomaroon . . . from this point across the savannahs . . .
first south-west and then south-east towards the confluence of the River Cuyuni
with the Massaruni . . . and . . . along the western bank of the Esse-
quibo as far as . . . the Rupununi. B. C, VII, 4,


1637. Governor of Guiana.

If they [Dutch] attain their object in possessing themselves of the Orinoco

and destroying Guayana [Santo Thome] whereby they will become masters of
the best land in the Indies. B. C, I, loy.

1638. Governor of Guiana.

If the enemy should seize this river [Orinoco] they could avail themselves
of food for as many of their fleets as come, and for anything else they might
design. Same, p. loi.

1719. Commandant at Santo Thome to Commandeur in Essequibo.

I beseech you not to allow your soldiers to come to trade with the Indians
of this river [Orinoco], because it is contrary to what has been stipulated,

and a thing which must not be permitted. Same, p. 231.

1734. Commandeur in Essequibo.

His Honour [the Spanish (iovernor, Don Carlos de Sucre] . . . has brought
some troops to the Orinoco, and that he expects ten or twelve barques more
with militia, whereof His Honour informs me, . . . giving as reasons for this
sending of so many troops to these frontiers, that he was persuaded by advices
(received) that the Swedish nation was intending to found a Colony in the
River of IJarima, lying between the Orinoco and your Honours' Post at Wac-
quepo, and he could not persuade himself that the Dutch nation would tolerate
in their neighborhood so proud and haughty a nation as the Swedes.

After the departure of Captain Laurens Brander ( ... in the year 1732,
. . . ), a rumour spread in this Colony that the said Captain Brander would
again return in order to take possession in the River Rarima of a tract of
land which the King of Spain is said to have presented to the deceased
Elector of Ravaria, who was Governor of the Spanish Netherlands, and which
the Elector had again presented to the King of Sweden. B. C, II, jS.




1734. King of Spain.

The . . . President of . . . Santa Fe . . . having communi-
cated . . . with respect to the settlement whicli the Swedes were at-
tempting to make in River Barima, . . . I . . . command that
. . . you take all proper measures to prevent the settlement attempted by the
Swedish nation from being established. B. C, III, 82.

1737. Governor Don Carlos de Sucre.

He [Governor Sucre] finds himself again compelled to have recourse to your
Majesty . . . especially as the northern nations have begun to settle at
the mouth of the river [Orinoco], and sundry families of Swedes are expected to
come and settle in the Caiion of Barima, within the river of that name. This
may result in the loss of those provinces and of that of Caracas, and in the
ultimate blocking of the road to Santa Fe de Bogota. B. C, II, 26.

1758. MiHtary Commandant in Essequibo to Spanish Commandant in Orinoco.

Ke [Director-General in Essequibo] has ordered me to send you the en-
closed map [by M. d'Anville], on which you will be able to see them [the
boundaries of the territory] very distinctly, and these, in accordance with the
inviolable duty of his office, he hopes to be able to maintain. Same, p. ryj.

1760. Judicial Report as to Attack by Spaniards on Dutch settled in Barima.

Since it conduces to the service of God our Lord and of His Catholic Majesty
... to keep the Dutch of the said Colonies [Essequibo and Surinam] by
chastisement within their own possessions (if so be that they hold them
lawfully) and to deter them from pressing into these dominions of the King
through the intersecting rivers. Same, p. 187.

1763. Don Jose Diguja.

Discussion for the last sixty years, about the fortification of this most im-
portant river [Orinoco], so as to prevent its navigation by foreigners, and
secure the whole of these provinces, to which it affords ingress. For this only
three places have been considered adequate, . . . Angostura, . . . the
Island of Faxardo, . . . and the fortress of Guayana. B. C, III, 2g.

1764. British Case.

In 1764 the settlement of Santo Thome was removed to Angostura, on the
Orinoco, above the mouth of the Caroni. The forts, however, remained at the
old site which was treated as the effective frontier of the Spanish posses-
sions. B. C, 16.

1768. Judicial Proceedings.

First notice [of sale]. I ordered . . . the first announcement should be
given of the goods and utensils . . . that were seized . . . from the
foreigners clandestinely settled for commerce and traffic in the creek called the
Creek of Barima, jurisdiction of this province. B. C, III, 168.



(Continued .

1768. Judicial Proceedings.

Declaration of First Witfiess. Francisco Cierto, Captain ... of the
coast-guard which protects the ports of this said province, . . . declared :
That tlic CoJiimaiidaut-fiJeiieral . . . having: received information that
in the creek called the Creek of Barima which is close to the great front of the
River Orinoco and falls into it, sundry Dutch families were established, dis-
pjitched him [Cierto] with instructions to warn them once, twice and thrice to
quit the whole of that territory hecause it belonged to the said province.

B. C, III, 170.

We . . . Centurion . . . and . . . Oleaga . , . having
seen the " Autos " drawn up on the expedition made . . . against the Dutch
foreigners who had unlawfully established themselves, for clandestine trade in
woods and other products, in the Creek of Barima. jurisdiction of this prov-
ince, . . . and in view of the way in which they took to flight without en-
deavoring to defend themselves, leaving their implements . . . and goods
, . . and in view of the sale . . . made of the articles brought back, the
amount thereof being paid into the Royal Treasury . . . we . . . com-
mand that . . . the division and distribution of the total amount of this
matter be carried out in the form and manner following. Saute, p. 1J4.

1769. Royal Accountant in Guayana.

I . . . declare that . . . Captain . . . Cierto, with the two
cruising launches of this river, sent by the said Seiior Don Manuel Centurion,
arrested the foreigners that were established on the Barima Channel, jurisdic-
tion of the same Province, two boats and several tools and agricultural imple-
ments, which . . . were . . . declared confiscated. V.C.,II,j6y.

1 77 1. Don Jose Solano.

The Dutch of Essequibo, who had extended their settlements to the Ori-
noco, and established themselves in the Grand or Ships' Mouth, I have forced
to retreat to their legitimate possessions. B. C, IV, 80.

1784. Captain-General of Caracas.

Settlement should be commenced by Lower Guiana. . . . From here it
will not be diflficult to extend them to the frontier of Essequibo and Demerara,
to restrict the usurpations of the Dutch, . . . and to occupy all the
principal creeks of the Orinoco, with a view of impeding the contraband trade
carried on by them.

If the work of settling the land is begun in the vicinity of Essequibo, and the
proposed fort built there, etc. B C, V, 21.

1786. Anonymous.

An order was given to the Intendente of Caracas, on the 20th October, 1778,
to settle the most suitable places on tlie frontier.

13th April, 1779, he obtained apptoval of the foundation of a village at no
great distance from the banks of the Orinoco, not far removed from the capital
of Guayana, ... On the 9th of March, 1780, all the measures were
approved which he had taken for new settlements (of which, up to this time, not
one has been carried out). Same, p. 46.




1788. British Case.

In a scheme of Governor Marmion of 1788 for the settlement and fortifica-
tion of the frontiers of Guayana, it was proposed to abaiulou the connl ry on the
sontli bank of the Orinoco for twenty leagues upward from Point IJarinia;
and to commence drawing tlie line to be effectively held from tlie Creek of
Curucima, or the point of the chain in the great arm of the Imataka Mountains,
and thence following those mountains to the Cuyuni. B. C, 16.

1788. Don Miguel Marmion.

Taking as chief base the said creek of Carucimea, or the point of the chain
and ridg-e in the great arm of Imataca, an imaginary line will be drawn run-
ning to the south-south-east following the slopes of the ridge of the name which
is crossed by the Rivers Aguire, Arature, and Amacuro, and others, in the dis-
tance of 20 leagues, direct to Cuyuni ; from there it will run on to the Masuruni
and Essequibo, parallel to the sources of the Berbis and Surinama ; this is the
directing line of the course which the new settlements and (ouudatious pro-
posed must follow. B. C, V, 61.

[1821]? Anonymous.

It has already been observed that it is of vital importance to defend the
mouths of the Orinoco, and to this end the first thing to be done is to found a
considerable settlement in the lands in their vicinity. Same, p. 220.



1753. Instructions to Iturriaga.

It appears that we have no reason to doubt that the Rivers Marauon and
Orinoco communicate by means of others intermediary, which flow through the
centre of the Province of Guayana ... as also that such communica-
tion may, some day or other, be prejudicial to His Majesty's dominions, the
King wishes that, . . . you will observe and determine the sites where some
Spanish settlements may be formed, which would hinder that communication
being made use of by foreigners. B. C, II, 86.

1758. Commandant of Guiana.

For the purpose of putting a stop to these prejudicial troubles [arising from
the slave trade], and in order that the good intentions of His Majesty may be
attained, by preventing any extension of the claims which the Dutch are every
day advancing further in this part of his dominions, I ordain and commaud
Don Santiago Bonalde as Commandant, and Don Luis Lopez de la Puente as
Second, to proceed this day to the interior, and ... to the said Island of
Curauuicuru for the purpose of apprehending the said Dutchman [Jacobs], and
any other person that may there be found, . . . and bring them as prisoners,
well guarded, to this fortress. Same, p. jjo.

1758. Governor of Cumana.

Carrying on the unjust traffic of slavery among the Indians, in the dominions
of the King my Sovereign. As this same river €uyuni and all its territory
is included in those dominions, it is incredible that their High Mightinesses
the States-General should have authorized you to penetrate into those dominions.




and still less to carry on a traffic in the persons of the Indians belonging to the
settlements and territories of the Spaniards. I therefore consider myself justified
in approving the conduct of this expedition. B. C, II, idg-iyo.

1758. Counsellor Padilla y Moron.

The Counsellor . . . says that . . . the foreigners [Dutch at
Cuyniii Post] . . . were appreliended, whilst acting as a guard, by order
of the Governor of the Colony of Essequibo, within the limits of the juris-
diction of this Government for the purpose of apprehending fugitive negro
slaves deserting from their masters. Same, p. ijo.

1758. Don Jose de Iturriaga.

It was discovered that the Dutch of Essequibo were coutinning their
usurpations on the River Cuyuni, and although they were dislodged, . . .
we fear they now intend to recover the lost Posts. Same, p. 171.

1758. Nicolas de Castro.

The Commandant of Guiana has sent me ... a letter which you have
written to him, demanding the delivery of the two Dntch prisoners, a negro,
and a Creole, with their children, and of all that was found by the guard in com-
mand there on an island in the River Cuyuni, which is, with its dependen-
cies, a part of the domains of the Xing', my master, and on which these prisoners
publicly kept up an illicit trade in Indian poitos, although it is incredible that their
High Mightinesses should have authorized you to enter the said domains, and
still less to purchase Indians from his villages and territories, in order to make
slaves of them. Sa?ne, p. 179.

1759. Director-General in Essequibo.

The Commandant of Orinoco, . . . maintains, . . that the

River Cuyuni is Spanish territory, and refuses to give back the imprisoned
Postholder, settler, and Creoles. Same, p. 171,

1769. Prefect of Missions.

On the 20th of June, 1766, there arrived at our Mission of Cavallapia negro
and an Indian, slave-buyers, each with a licence from the Governor of Esse-
quibo. . . . They were detained and their canoes taken by the Father of the
Mission, and he then sent them to me by land to the Mission of Guacipati.
. . . I took the passports from them, which are in Dutch, and which I now
inclose. . . . They were taken prisoners by the soldiers. . . . This same
negro, at the end of (17)65, had come again to the Mission of Cavallapi and
Guacipati with a passport. ... I prevented him from going further.

B. C.,IV, 21.

1770. Governor of Cumana.

Accordingly, they daily hinder the progress of the Gospel and the conversion
of the Gentiles, which was especially the case when these Dutch crossed the bor-
ders of tlieir Colony and came to take possession of territory and establish
themselves, for the better security of the above-mentioned traffic, in the domin-
ions of His Majesty, in the neighbourhood of the last Missions on their fron-
tiers. This is shown by the fact that they established, . . . a Post . . .
in the Iliver Cuyuni, in the territory of the Missions, ... for this river
has never belonged, nor been held to belong, to the Colony of Essequibo.

Same, p. 7J.




1770. Commandant of Guiana.

We should restrain withiu their own limits the Butch of Essequibo, Ber-
bice and Surinam, . . . being always on the watch to stop the usurpations
which they are constantly making in tliese our dominions, and which at pres-
ent we cannot prevent, at the same time assuring to the king the possession of this
valuable and extensive country, and in a short time giving to the Crown a valuable
province and many subjects. . . . Nothing is wanting but the help we ex-
pect from your Excellency ... to occupy these eighteen strongholds at
Parinie and the surroundings. B. C, IV, jS.

1771. Commandant of Guayana.

The famous Lake Parima (the centre of these provinces). Same, p. 83.

On the River Parime ... the said officer shall cause a small fort to be
built in some narrow pass or advantageous place, that the guns of the said fort
may close the passage of the river to our enemies. . . . At El Dorado itself,
or some site . . . best fitted to close the entrance of Lake Parime . . .
a stronghold shall be built. Same, p. 98.

Should any European foreigners be found in tliose parts outside the Col-
onies allowed them, as . . . the Dutch on the coast of Surinam, Berbice,
Essequibo, of the Atlantic Ocean, his Majesty's order shall be intimated to them
that they quit those his royal dominions forthwith, and if, after the first re-
monstrances, they do not withdraw to the former settlements allowed them,
abandoning the territory they have usurped, they shall be driven out by force
of arms. Same, p. gg.

1788. British Case.

It is clear . . . that at this date [1788] Marmion treated the junction
of the Uruan and Cuyuni as the limit of the Spanish territory in that direc-
tion, and considered that by holding the mouth of the Uruan the Spaniards
would secure not only all the territory which they then held, but all that they
could hope to settle. B. C, jg-60.

1788. Don Miguel Marmion.

Although all the land which lies beyond the Cuynni up to the sources 01
the Parime and Curaricara, having now been more explored, is found not to be of
nearly such extent as was imagined, it may be expected . . . that it will be
advantageously occupied withiu a few years by the spread of villages and
cattle farms, the breeders extending their enclosures, the planters and settlers
their plantations and the missionaries their reductions; mutually supporting one
another and continuing their settlements on the other side of the Cuyuni in the
great savannahs and margins of the rivers which run to the south.

It is also a reason for not giving the Dutch, who have already too far pene-
trated on the Cuynni, an opportunity, by continually extending their Colony, of
taking possession of those more advanced districts and villages, and of render-
ing it necessary for us to oppose them with forces which would be required
for the defence of the other approaches to the Orinoco. B. C, V, 62.



1792. Don Miguel Marmion.

To the south of Cuyuni and bearing to the east, in the rear of the Dutch
settlements, he [Lopez de la Puente] is to report whether he knows how many

Online LibraryRafael SeijasVenezuela-British Guiana boundary arbitration. Digest of evidence arranged according to subjects → online text (page 12 of 45)