Rafael Seijas.

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

. (page 17 of 45)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

wish more than belongs to her by justness, ... she is naturally anxious
to settle the boundaries . . . (as well out of political as philanthropical
motives). Same,p.j8.

1842. Earl of Aberdeen.

Her Majesty's Government will send instructions ... to remove the
posts . . . placed by Mr. Schomburgk near the Orinoco. But . . . Her
Majesty's Government must not be understood to abandon any portion of the
rights of Great Britain over the territory which was formerly held by the
Dutch in Guiana. Same, p. 80.

1844. Combined Court of British Guiana.

Mr. Macrae : . . . They are the aborigines of the country, and we in-
herited from them our possessions in this colony. (Mr. Arrindell laughed
aloud.) It appears to have excited the risible faculties of the honorable member,
but I repeat that we do hold our title from them orginally. V. C.-C, III, 181.

Mr. Arrindell : . . . The small portion of land which we occupy was
obtained first by conquest, and then by treaty, and we have nothing to do
with the treaty. Same, p. 184.

1850. Belford Hinton Wilson.

The Ladronera party . . . have had recourse to the old political artifice
of imputing to England a design ... to seize upon the Province of Vene-
zuelan Guayana.

I have considered it right and expedient to give at once a flat denial to
this statement, and to show . . . that it is . . . the very reverse of the

I have explained fully both to President-General Monagas and to the Minister
for Foreign Affairs, . . . that these declarations . . . must not be under-
stood as indicating in the slightest degree an intention on the part of the British
Government to abandon any portion of the rights of Great Britain over the
territory which was formerly held by the Dutcli in Guayana. B. C, VI, 178.

1850. Governor Barkly.

Of the validity of that claim [Schomburgk line] as derived by conquest and
cession from the Dutch, I entertain not the slightest doubt. For were the
historical evidence as to the fortification of Point Barima by that people in the
sixteenth century, and their formation of settlements high up the river altogether
wanting, no one travelling through the country, as I did, and tracing the
still remaining effects of their influence over the Indian population, could
resist coming to this conclusion. Their Chiefs to this day bear the names of



Jan, Hendrick, or the like ; their intercourse with Europeans is still carried
on mainly in the Creole Dutch ; . . . even in their own dialects the Dutch
names for things derived from abroad (rum, gunpowder, &c.,) are incorporated ;
whilst the enormous mango, orange, and other fruit trees, which crown each
rising ground, are all associated with traditions of the same people.

In the State Atlas of Colonel Codazzi . . . the Venezuelan boundary-line
is . . . visionary . . . not merely severing from this Colony Protestant
Missions, for years supported by British liberality, and lands occupied by British
subjects for half-a-century past, but still more strangely including Cartabo Point,
of which the Dutch held uninterrupted possession from the sixteenth century to
the capture by Great Britain, together with thousands of acres in the vicinity,
long ago granted away, as recorded in the archives of this Colony, to Dutch
settlers. B. C, VI, 1S4.

1 85 1. Governor Barkly.

A very erroneous impression has existed, that prior to . . . Schom-
burg:li's survey, no jurisdiction whatever, beyond the Morucca Creek, >vas
claimed by the British . . . but I found abundant evidence to the con-
trary in every step of my journey, . . . even the few Indians ... on
... the Barima itself . . . having, till quite lately, been governed by a
Chief holding his commission from Sir James Carmichael Smyth, who died . . .
several years before that survey was dreamt of. B. C.-C, App., jco.

1887. Lord Salisbury.

The British claim to the . . . southern mouth of the Orinoco (includ-
ing Barima) ... is derived, . . . from ancieiit Treaties witli tlie
aboriginal tribes, and the subsequent cessions from Holland. B. C, VII, ij2.

1893. Earl of Rosebery.

Great Britain claims certain territory in Guayana as successor in title of the
Netherlands, and (by right of conquest as against Spain). Same, p. 143.


. British Case.

The Spaniards recognized the Amakuru or the Barima as being tlic
effective frontier of their possessions.

The Spanisli authorities recognized tlie junctions of the Rivers Uruan
and Curumo with the Cuyuni as being on tlie frontiers of their possessions.

B. C, 7S.

The area over wliicli Dutch trade in Guiana extended ... it can be
shown from Spanish documents . . . was regarded by the Spaniards as
impressed de facto with a Dutch political character. Same, p. S2.

1614. Antonio de Muxica Buitron.

Tliey [Dutch ] liave possessed themselves of the mouths of these two rivers
[Amazon and Orinoco], and are making themselves masters of the produce and
possessions of the natives, which is a serious matter. B. C, I,j6.



1637. Don Juan Desologuren.

Help sent from hereto this end will be more useful under the command of the
said Don Diego Lopez de Escobar than a much larger number sent from Spain,
for the ends to be accomplished are only to be effected by strategem in the settle-
iiieuts and retreats which the enemy possess by right of niig:ht.

B. C, I, 79.

1638. Governor of Caracas.

With many gifts of articles of barter and clothing, which they give to the
Indians, they hold all the country on their side, and being- thus united and in
particular to the Caribs, who are in great numbers. Same, p. loi.

. British Counter Case.

The Settlement of Ponieroon . . . was settled without any opposition
on the part of Spain. B. C.-C, 55.

The Dutch, in 1664, openly stated with regard to the West India Company,
that it had been empowered, and still was empowered, to establish Colonies
and Settlements of people on lands which were not occupied by others. This
position was never questioned by Spain, though the establishment of the
Colony at Pomeroon was . . . clearly brought to the knowledge of the
King. Sa7)ie, pp. 56-57.

In 1676 the Spaniards admitted that the Dutch held the chief portion ot
the coast from Trinidad to the Amazon. Same, p. 58.

No objection to the [second] Settlement at Pomeroon was suggested by
the Spanish Government. Sat/te,p. 60.

1676. Council of War.

Holland . . . resolved to establish a Colony on the coast of the mainland
at Cape Orange, between Surinam and the River Amazon, where they [Dutch]
hold the chief portion of the coast from Trinidad up to this river, with settle-
ments in Barbiche, Sequiebes and Surinamte. B. C, I, 176-177.

174.7. Don Jose de Iturriaga.

By these channels, without entering the sea, one can navigate with small ves-
sels to the blockhouse called the Post, which the Dutch of Essequibo maintain
with three men and two small cannon, 16 leagues from the Colony towards the
Great Ships' Mouth. And it is by this way that the Dutch make their voyages
when they are returning from the Orinoco in small vessels. B. C, II, 53.

1755. Don Jose de Iturriaga.

I consider that in these Missions [Miamo and others] which are more in the
hands of the Dutch than those of their owner, there exist [etc.]. Same, p. 107.

1758. Prefect of Missions.

I answer what is known to all the religious of our Missions, but particularly to
the Fathers President of 3Iiamo, Carapo, and Yuruary, on account of their im-
mediate proximity to the frontiers. Same, p. 146.



1764. [1897] George L. Burr.

The remonstrance at this time [1764] addressed by the Essequibo Governor
to the Governor of Surinam against mentioning in . . . passes the name of
the Barinia lest umbrage be given to the Spaniards, suggests by its silence that
no sHve carry on onr liorse-trade, are nnder the Kin^ of
Spain, as we know by experience from the prohibitions we have already met in
the trade to Orinoco. V. C, II, 68.

1702. Commandeur in Essequibo.

Great mortality of horses in this Colony, there being already almost 100 head
dead through mange and other forms of sickness. That truly is a great loss to the
Colony, the more so since the Spaniards ivill no longer permit any trafiickins:
for horses on their territory. Same, pp. 6S-6g.

1703. Commandeur in Essequibo.

Owing to the present war, no horses are to be had above here as formerly, in-
asmuch as those Indians think they stand under the crowns of Spain and
France, and this trade is thereby crippled. Same, p. 6g.

171 3. Commandeur in Essequibo.

[Order prohibiting trade] causes great regret among the free, who have sev-
eral times complained to me about this, urging that they did not intend to trade
ivithin the territory of the Company, bnt only asked for permission to do so

on Spanish gronnd, such as Orinoco, Trinidad, &c they claim that

. . . they were promised free trade, . . . outside the jurisdiction of the
Company. B. C, I, 2j6.

For a considerable time it has not been possible to carry it [the annatto
and balsam trade] on, because of some dislike which the Spaniards (on whose
territory the copaiba is pnrchased) have taken to our nation. They have also
now been cruising after the Dutch boats which go thither, so that I have not
dared to risk so greatly the Company's wares and other effects.

Tliis trade [in balsam] was permitted to the free, because it took place ont-
side of the Company's district, and was only carried on upon Spanish territory
in the River Orinoco, where the Inhabitants of the Colonies Berbice and Surinam
likewise trade. Same, p. 237.

1 7 14. West India Company.

Althongii Orinoco, Trinidad, A:c., is [«V] nnder the poAver of the Span-
iards, still it also lies within the Charter of the Company, where nobody
has the right to trade except the Company, and those to whom the Com-
pany gives permission to do so, so that it all is the territory of the Company,
although we have no forts there. Same, p. 24J.

1 717. Petition of Free Settlers in Essequibo.

We [free settlers in Essequibo] are restricted in a river, which is out-
side the territory of the Noble Company, where the same has no more power
than a private merchant, which is in Spanish possession.

Y. H. are also aware (or at present we suppose so) that Orinoco is a river
which is actually under the King- or Crown of Spain, which nation is con-
sequently master there. Same, p. 247.



1732. Venezuelan Case.

In 1732 the Swedes conceived a project of settling in the Barima. This
being reported ... to Spain, a royal order enjoined prompt and thorough
resistence . . . and a force of soldiers was gathered for the purpose of
expelling the intruders, . . . tlie dlovernor of Essequibo, . . . not
only made no protest, but furnished supplies to the Spaniards; and the
. . . Company, . . . [upon] a request for instructions, did not so much
as deign to reply. V. C, rjg.

1735- West India Company,

We have decided hereby to give you [Commandeur in Essequibo] express
orders that, . . . you . . . forbid each and every one ... to take
any hand-arms or material of war from the river to Oriuoco, or to any other
places not under tlie jurisdiction of the States-General, ... if any one
be found to do it a second time, that he be banished from the river all the days of
his life.

We order that you henceforth cause to be examined all boats leaving the river
which excite the least suspicion.

Considering that, perhaps, a way might be found for exporting arms from the
Colony without using the river, you must also provide against this as much as
possible ; . . , we . . . authorize and order you to exercise strict super-
vision over all the ships which come into the river.

In case . . . anybody should undertake to export slaves from the river we
order you to forcibly prevent this. B. C, II, ig-20.

1746. Commandeur in Essequibo.

A nation of Indians have come down from Orinoco and have attacketl the
Caribs subject to us in the River Wayui.

I have expressly forbidden him [the " Postholder of Wacquepo and Moruka "]
to set foot upon the Spanish territory — not even to go below the River Wayni
[Weijne]. Same, p. 4^.

1760. Director-General in Essequibo.

Cuyuni is not a separate river like Weyne and Pomeroou (which last has
been occupied by us, and still contains the foundations of your Lordships' fort-
resses). Sa/ne, p. iSj.

1766. Director-General in Essequibo.

I shall write to the Governor of Orinoco concerning the state of affairs in
Barima, which would become an absolute den of thieves, a ragtag-and-bobtail
party of our colonists staying there under pretence of salting, trading, &c.

The west side of Barima being- certainly Spanish territory (and that is
where they are), I can use no violent measures to destroy this nest, not wishing to
give any grounds for complaint; wherefore I think of proposing to the Governor
. . . to carry this out hand-in-hand, or to permit me to do so, or as and in
what manner he shall consider best. B. C, III, iji.

1766. West India Company (Zeeland Chamber).

You told us that the place about Barima, where some scum and offscourings
of folk were staying together and leading a scandalous life, was Spanish terri-



tory, and that you intended to . . . submit some propositions to the Spanish
Governor for the extirpation of that gang. And now you inform us of your hav-
ing sent thither the Postholder of Moruka with positive orders, probably /r^/r/a
antIiorilatc without any concurrence of the aforesaid Governor, . . . and we
cannot quite make this tally with the other. If that place is really Spanish terri-
tory, then you have acted very imprudently and irregularly ; and, on the con-
trary, if that place forms part of the Colony, and you had previously been in error
as to the territory, then you have done very well, and we must fully approve of
your course, as also of the Court's Resolution that henceforth no one shall be at
liberty to stay on the Barima. But if the Court has no jurisdiction in that place,
we see little result from that Resolution : extra territoritim suuiit Jus dicenti
etiivi iinptme non paretur. B. C, III, ijy.

1767, Director-General in Essequibo.

Concerning the matter of Barima and the case of Rose, I shall have the
honour to inform your Lordships tliat we, as well as the Spaniards, regard the
River Barima as the boiiudary division of the two jurisdictions, the east
bank being the Company's territory, and the west bank Spanish.

I have in two consecutive letters given the Governor of Guayana a circum-
stantial account of the matter, and asked him to send some men to help us clear
out this nest.

His Honour did not answer those letters, but sent me a verbal message by
. . . one of the principal colonists of Guayana, that it was impossible for him
to send men on account of the great distance and the lack of boats, (Sec , and that
the best thing would be to let those evil-doers fight it out.

Thereupon I sent the Postholder of Moruka my orders, but was careful to
charge him to avoid the Spanish bank, but that he was not to avoid the islands
lying in the river, because these were uncertain territory. He followed my orders
faithfully, Rose having been apprehended on our shore. Safne,p. 141,

1769. [1897] George L. Burr.

And in the remonstrance to Spain in 1769 the l>utch Government described
its territory as extending, not to the Barima, but only " to beyond the river
Waini." V. C.-C, II, 136.

1769, West India Company (Zeeland Chamber).

The hindrances by them [Spaniards] caused to those of Essequibo, as well in
the fishery on the territory of the Republic as in the nioutli of the River
Orinoco. B. C, IV, 26.

This and the other enterprises of the Spaniards, together with their hindering
the tisliery on onr amt-,p.j6.



1775. Postholder in Moruka.

He [Spanish Captain] . . . said that his lord and master would shortly set
a guard in the creek of Weena, called the Barmani, and that the whole of iMa-
roekka also belonged to the Spaniards, and 1 thereupon answered that the Kiver
IJarima beloiij^eil to the Swede, and Weene, as well as Maroekka, to the Dutch,
and they said that it was not so. B. C, IV, ij8.

. [1897] George L. Burr.

One first finds an explicit claim to the Waini by a division of the West India
Company itself. The Zeeland shareholders, . . . describe the colony as
"crossed . . . by the . . . Bariuia, Waini, Moruca, &c." But, alas, the West
India Company was at strife within itself, and a counter-memorial, ... by
. . . the Amsterdam Chamber . . . scouted such claims that these ad-
joining rivers were a part of the colony of Essequibo. It is even urged by these
hostile critics that the Zeeland Chamber is not at harmony with itself as to the
limits. V. C.-C, II, 114.

The claim to the Barima as boundary, though its mention by Hartsinck in
1770, its recognition on the English map published in 1783 from the observations
of Thompson, and its adoption in 1798 by the map of Bouchenroeder must have
kept it familiar, fluds for loug no further mention in the records. In 1801,
however, the confidential envoy sent to represent the Dutch Council of the Colo-
nies at the elbow of the Dutch plenipotentiary in the Congress of Amiens was
instructed to see that the colonial boundary was there defined at the Barima,
if it could not be fixed at the Orinoco ; but, as he explained to the Council in a
most suggestive letter, he found it unwise to mention the question there. The
negotiations at Madrid suggested by him were never undertaken ; and the only
further mention of the river I have found among Dutch papers is in an unused
and unpublished charter submitted by this returned envoy to his colleagues in
1803, wherein it is proposed that under certain conditions the colonists of Esse-
quibo and Demerara shall be allowed to cut timber in the Pomeroon, the Waini,
and the Barima. Same, p. ijy.



1726. Court of Policy in Essequibo.

Knowing that the said Post [Wacquepo] lies far out of the ordinary course
of boats which come hither through the inland waters, it was his [the Com-
mandeur's] intention to choose a fit place in the River of Marocco to which he