Rafael Seijas.

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

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for a pass 7 guilders 10 St., and 5 guilders for a permit to barter or trade in
Indians outside tlie Post, which for some time was not observed, but in 1774 I
again introduced or renewed it by reason of the necessity. B. C, IV, i2j.

1783. Court of Justice.

Whereas, the free Indian Joris, of the Arrowak tribe, formerly residing on
plantation Engelrust, in this river, and formerly at Fort Zeelandia, has con-
fessed to the Criminal Court . . . that he, . . . last year had been to
Orinoque, and on his return journey, on the River Baurom, and in the Creek
Wackepoey, had met . . . Jan Nicolas MuUert.

That while there a dispute arose among them about some goods; . . .
that he (the prisoner) had, . . . shot the said Mullert in the back with a gun, :
who fell to the ground, and was afterwards shot at and killed by another Indian
with an arrow.

Be it enacted, the Court ... do hereby condemn tlie prisoner be to
. . . bound to a pole . . . to be severely whipped with rods, and after-
wards to be branded ; further, to labour in chains for life. B. C, V, S-g.

1783. Dutch Administrator of Essequibo.

The Court having examined . . . the case of Christian Frederick Benja-
min Pieterse, ... do hereby pronounce Judgment, declaring the said C.
F. Benjamin Pieterse to be innocent of the crime laid against him, for having
murdered an Indian named Arowai*. Same, p. 16.

'■ Locality of the crime unknown — perhaps Wakupo.



. Venezuelan Case.

Mission work began with the beginning of Spanish settlement.

V. C, 41.

The Spaniards . . . came to America to conquer the land, to found
an empire, to gather its treasure, to christianize and to civilize its people.

The history of Spanish settlement on the Orinoco is therefore a history, first, of
political control over all the surrounding region, and second, of missionary ac-
tivity and settlement among the Indians.

As to political control, it was general throughout the territory now in dispute.

Same, p. gg.

There was, during the period under consideration (1725-1800) agreat growth
of Spanish population, and spread of mission villages, not only as far as the
Curumo itself, but far into the interior of the Cuyuni-Mazaruni basin, and even
beyond, into the Potaro region and as far as the headwaters of the Siparuni.

Same, p. i^j.

. Venezuelan Counter Case.

That a contrast existed between the conditions of the Dutch and Spanish
colonies is very certain. ... It was a contrast between Dutch fear of extinc-
tion and Spanish power ; between Dutch influence on behalf of barbarism and
Spanish influence on behalf of civilization ; between the final withdrawal of
the Dutch to the mouth of the Essequibo, and the gradual spread of Spanish
settlement over the interior. V. C.-C, 60.

1604. J. Maldonado Barnuevo.

The Indians and half-breeds are an abandoned people, and as to their being
Christians and frequenting the churches and sacraments, — most of them do SO
more from force than from duty, being compelled by those who govern them,

and by the clergy who go to instruct them. B. C.-C, App.,j.

161 5. Duke of Lerma.

Essequibo . . . where there are some persons, from twelve to fifteen
Spaniards, who there till the soil to raise the root of Casavia, from which bread
is made for the Governor of Trinidad and Orinoco. V. C, II, 264.

1682. Tiburcio de Axpe y Zuiiiga.

My greatest desire has been to procure ministers of the Gospel for the con-
version and advancement of the natives abiding in this island (Trinidad) and
in Guayana, all in this jurisdiction, numbering more than twenty-four thousand, and
who communicate with us and serve us for certain small presents that are given
to them through pity. V. C, II, 26g-270.




To the end of achieving the conversion of so many infidels and

heathens, which would greatly redound to the service of God and extend the
doniini(Mjs ot His Majesty, the Indians being aware of the kindness and love
with which the Capuchin Fathers treat them for the purpose of converting them,
there is no doubt that the desired object will be attained ; . . . every year up
to the present, Capuchin friars have arrived from the Province of Catalonia to do
mission work with the friars of the Province of Aragon to Terra Firma in the
Province of Cumana. ^- C., II, 2jo.

I beseech and command said Fathers ... to co-operate to the snbmis-
sion and conversion of the natives of (inayana and the preservation of those
who are settled in the two villages [of Indians of the Pariagotos nation in the
city of Guayana]. Same, pp. 270-271.

His Majesty . . . ordered me, . . . 29th May, 1682, not to permit
personal service, and to attend with care and vigilance to the conversion and
settlement of the Indians, which I did. B. C, I, /pj.

1723. Antonio de Guerrero.

His Majesty's i)rincii)al object being the rednction and conversion of said
heatlien Indians lo our Holy Catholic Faith. V. C.-C, III, ig.

Besides the benefits that those souls . . . derive therefrom the Royal
Crown will have the benefit of the immense number of Indians that can be reduced
and converted to our Holy Faith, great increase in the domains of His Majesty
and considerable revenue for the Royal Exchequer from the effects, fruits and
other products of these countries, taxes that they may pay in time, and the contri-
butions that the converted Indians must pay. Same, p. 20.

1733. Governor of Trinidad.

We shall be gratified if the result be favourable, so that your Reverence may
continue your labour profitably, and that so many souls may not perish in the

blindness of the Devil, in the slavery of the Dutch, or by the tyranny of the
Caribs. B. C.-C, App., /So.

1734. Don Carlos de Sucre.

[There was assigned] to the Rev. Fathers Franciscans, present and future,
for tlie inirpose of establishing- and founding whatever villages of Missions
they might be able in this part of Guayana of the Orinoco, the (district) from
Angostura up lo the banks of this side below the River Cuchivero, in a straight
line drawn from the borders of the said Orinoco to the Maranon or Amazons,
. . . there remaining to the Rev. Capuchin Fatliers, for the purpose of de-
veloping Iheir Missions, the territory and district from the same Angostura
downwards to the grand mouth of the said Orinoco where they will distribuet
whatever Missionaries may come to them. B. C, II, 2j.

1737. Don Carlos de Sucre.

The Indians of the Capuchin Missions of Guayana being useless [as soldiers]
for they have only recently been converted. Same, p. 26.



1745. Council of the Indies.

A letter from Friar Augustin de Olot, Prefect of the said [Capuchin] Missions,
[of Guiana] . . . informs him of its miserable condition in consetiuoncc of the
invasion made by the Eng-Iisli in those parts in the year 1742, when they burnt
two villages of converts and harried the rest ; from which occurrence, and from
the incursion of Carl!) Indians into the same territory, who have likewise pillaged
and ravaged it, a g-reat tnuiult has arisen, and so much restlessness among" the
converts, that in order not to abandon tlieui some of the religious have had
to sacrilice their lives. He begs that eight missionaries from the Province of
Catalonia may be granted him.

The Council, having . . . taken into account that for fifteen years no re-
ligious have gone to Guayana, . . . is of opinion that your Majesty should
be pleased to grant his request. B. C, II, 4J.

1747. Don Jose de Iturriaga.

As in the 90 and more leagues [up the Orinoco] from the mouth of the
Caroni the Caribs hold sway, the navigation is dangerous for those who are not
their friends, or who are not accompanied by a force strong enough to repulse
their attack.

The very many attacks on the Missions, their desolation and destrnctiou,
are proofs of the dislike «'ith which they [Caribs] regard them.

The threats of the Caribs, which some Indians fear, their suggestions, which
perturb others, and the free life of the forest, which appeals to all those recently
settled, are likewise causes of the sudden dispersement which they have been
wont to suffer.

Since the savage and valiant Guipanovis destroyed . . . the new mis-
sion of the rapid above mentioned [Atures] the Fathers have ag-ain estab-
lished it, although at the expense of g-reat labours. Same, p. ^4.

1750. Commandeur in Essequibo.

It is a shame ... for the Dutch, that two nations not to be com-
pared with them for industry, namely, the Portuguese and the Spaniards, who
are situated at the right and the left of these colonies, and who are gioaning un-
der so hard, even slavish, a rule, are owners of so many treasures and so fortu-
nate in their discoveries. Same, p. 66.

1753. Instructions to Iturriaga.

It was considered well, and even necessary, to make an effort to see if it be
possible to pacify and reduce this Carib nation, and bring tliem into our Mis-
sions, by offering them all the inducements possible. Same, p. Sq.

i 1755- Don Eugenio de Alvarado.

I have taken measures on behalf of the Mission of Miamo, and caused some
Caribs from the settlements to mingle with them, in order to see if they can
bring any of them to me, so that I may talk to them of pacification.

Same, pp. 111-112.



1758. Prefect of Missions.

It appears to me that the Dutch were never so eager in their pursuit after
slaves as they are at present, and it is precisely on that account that so little fruit
is obtained in the efforts made to ooiivert the Iiuliaiis and €aril)s; for, being
counselled by the Dutch not to allow themselves to be drawn into the Missions,
they do not like the villages, and, consequently, retire to the forests. It was pre-
cisely owing to these bad counsels that the Indians of the four Missions rebelled
in the year [17] 50. B. C, II, 14Q.

1758. Counsellor Julian Padilla y Moron.

By the said account it is further shown that the [Dutch] soldiers of the guard
did carry on that [slave] traffic, thereby depriving the natives of their natural
liberty, . . . without instructing them in our holy Catholic faith ; in opposi-
tion to His Majesty's commands, as ordered and decreed in various Royal
Decrees, in which His Majesty . . . expressly recoiiimeiuls that the
Indians be well treated, not deprived of their liberty, and receive proper
instructions in our holy faith. Same, p. lyo.

1 761. Don Jose Solano.

The conversion of the infidels being hindered at the instigation of those
who needed them in the woods to carry on their illicit trade. Same, p. 20J.

1763. Don Jose Diguja.

If these missionary communities should be assisted in the manner and form I
have suggested to His Majesty, it is to be hoped that the Guarauno Indians, who
inhabit the swamps at the mouth of the Orinoco, would be pacified and induced
to settle on the dry land, and also that the very extensive Province of Ouayaua
would then be explored and pacified.

Having demonstrated the wretched condition in which the Government was
in 1720, its evident progress in the forty-three years elapsed up to date, and that
it is due to the missionary bodies which are engaged in the evangrelization of
these two provinces, without which the successive and repeated measures of my
predecessors would not have had such acknowledged effect. B. C, III, g.

Men are sometimes witlidrawn from the said [Mission] villages to man
the ships, or for the public works that may be required (they being the only In-
dians thus far subjected thereto). Same, p. 2j.

1788. Don Miguel Marmion.

Gaining on the way the reduction of the increased multitude of wild

Indians, who, finding themselves hemmed in on all sides, would submit by
treaty, and would aid the advancement of the settlement. B. C, V, 62.

Tlie Indians, being an uncivilized and insubordinate people, lovers of their
independence and liberty, which the enemy would undoubtedly offer so as to
attract them to their side, it is to be feared that they would submit cheerfully to
any change which would enable them to escape tlie subjection in wliicli the
Ilelig:iou6 keep them for the purpose of instruction. .same, pp. 111-J12.



1686. King of Spain.

You [Governor of Trinidad] may render all the assistance possible to these
Friars, helping them in such a way as may b^st promote the object of so holy and
important a work, seeing to it that as fast as the Iinlijiiis are sulKliied they
be brought together and incorporated in the Missions and Villages, in order
that tliey may live a political and civil life, you helping the Friars to attain
this object. [/. c., II, 272.

1748. Ignace Courthial.

The King- of Spain grants titles of honour to the private individual who, by
some small gift, draws from the forests a few Indian families to form a village,
which becomes, through the ministry of a priest whom he places there, what is
called a Mission.

He grants, I say, the titles of Marquis and Count, and governments, to
him who founds a town, a city, with 25 or 30 families, merely by furnishing to
each a dwelling u I'Americane, or hut, with a pair of each sort of domestic
animals. B.C., II, 60.

1760. Don Jose de Iturriaga.

I have treated the Caribswith kindness and presents, in order that leaving
their dwellings on the hills, they might come to settle in tlie Missions.

Same, p. iSj.
1763. Don Jose Diguja.

The Missions in charge of the Catalonian Capuchins have been assisted [l)y
the (xovernraent]. B. C, III, 20.

Insurmountable difficulties [are] found in the way of establishing Spanish
settlements in remote places, without first pacifying the Indians inhabiting them,
and . . . after the said Indians are reduced these Spanish settlements are
easily formed. Same, p. 23.

1 77 1. Commandant of Guayana.

They [Missonaries] make use of the Indians, without paying- them, just
as if they were slaves. And they make it appear that they are the defenders of
their Hberty. B. C.,IV, gj.

I knew, and I was assured that there neither were nor are, in this province.
Indians who can he subdued or converted by words and preaching only, and
that force is necessary, as well as presents, to bring them from the forests
and keep them in civilized Christian society. In this work the most active
missionaries employed the European escorts with which they were furnished by
the Governor. Same, p. 117.


. British Case.

The missionaries never had either possession or control of any territory
except the spots actually occupied by the stations. B, C, 160.

1763. Don Jose Diguja.

All my predecessors, . . . were particular in taking measures to insure
the safety and development of these provinces, and ... I have taken no



small number myself, . . . Owing to these measures and those of my said
predecessors, all tlie lauds and ranges of these provinces ai*e traversed with-
out the least risk, and a man can now go alone to and from Guayana without
any fear. Twenty years ago it could not be done without a strong escort. No
foreigners allied to the Caribs are now seen in the said country, nor Caribs, save
those of a settlement. B. C, III, 8.

After the establishment of the . . . Missions, ... the Indians hegan,
under the care of the missionaries, to cultivate the laud on a larger scale
than required for the support of the villages. The surplus was then, as it still is,
supplied to the fortress, . . . but this is furnished, . . . by . . .
villages, . . . inhabited by Indians already educated, whose property is
managed by the missionaries with great order and economy. These natives are
therefore dressed and supplied with necessary implements. Same, p. 22.

1766. Director-General in Essequibo.

It is hard, my Lords, that neighbouring and allied nations should thus seek
to compass tlie ruin of tlieir neighbours upon the frivolous and really ridicu-
lous pretext of bringing- the slaves into the Christian religion.

Same, p. 140.

1 77 1. Commandant of Guayara.

Thus, helping each other, all are benefited, the Indian by the material
reward he receives from tlie industry and religion learned from the
Spaniard, and the Spaniard by the labour of the Indian's hands, which he
rescues from idleness and applies to labour and agriculture. This plan is both
useful and suitable for settling the desert country round this capital, and there
are no wild Indians, except the Guaraunos, for more than one hundred
leagues. B.C.,IV,Sj.

1823. Wm. Hilhouse.

The Jesuits of the Missions, prior to the political disturbances in that quar-
ter, had brought them to such a state of comparative discipline and civiliza-
tion as even to reclaim them from their natural propensities as hunters, and
induce them to cultivate the soil. The superior cultivation of the refugee
Spanish Indians in the Morocco Creek is a proof of this.

Their capacity for discipline was such that they acted in regular bodies in
support of the regular troops in the cause of the Royalists, and their at-
tachment to the Government was such that, on the breaking out of the
trouble, great numbers emigrated rather than acknowledge the growing ascend-
ency of the patriots.

Those that remain regularly take their routine of duty in the patriot militias,
indiscriminately with Europeans and Creoles. B. C, VI, jj.

\2,'\2. Second Fiscal.

Those Spanish Indians located in and about the Slorocco . , . Mr. Hynes
seems most anxious to draw . . . more into the heart of the Colony, as well
on their own account as with the hope that they migiit eventually become the
means of extending Chrislianity and habits of industry and morality amongst
the Indians of our settlements. Same, p. 46.



1834. Wm. Hilhouse.

Spanish Indiaus under Captain Juan. These Indians are concentrated in a
few miles' run of the [Monica] creek, and are nominally Christians, .being
refugees from the Spanish Main. They are the only ones in the Colony pos-
sessed of the least traits of civilization, . . . and are without exception
the most provident, industrious and regularly fed of any of the tribes. . . .
To the credit of these people be it spoken that for twelve or fifteen years, the
period of their first emigration, I have not heard of a single instance of those dis-
graceful atrocities that daily characterize the Colonial tribes, notwithstanding the
Post of Pomeroon. B. C, VI, ^2.


1747. British Case.

In 1747 there was a rumonr ... in the Dutch Colony that the
Spanlai-ds had discovered the sources of the Cuyuni and Massaruni in the cele-
brated Lake of Parinia, and intended to settle and fortify themselves there,
and . . . had . . . brought back with them Indians " fairly
white, and clothed with cotton stuff they themselves had prepared." The best
demonstration of the falsity of this news is that this celebrated lake, and these
fair-skinned and semi-civilized Indians, the dream of Raleigh and his contempo-
raries, had no existence in fact. But this rumour was believed in the Colony,
and was incorporated by Hartsinck in the history which he published.

B. C.,jg-40.

1757. Minutes of a letter respecting boundary between Spain and Portugal in
To establish the frontier between the dominions of Spain and Portng-al

. . . there were formed two divisions of Commissioners, one for the dis-
trict south of the line, and the other for that of the north. Those of the south
w'ere the Marquis de Valdelirios and his people, who started in the year 1751.
. . . Those of the north started at the beginning of 1754, and reached Cumana
on the 9th April of the same year. . . . Four Commissioners from each nation
were sent for the two districts. Those of the North were Don Joseph Itnr-
rlag-a, Don Eugenio Alvarado, Don Antonio Orrutia, and Don Joseph Solano.

Iturriaga was ordered to make certain investigations and surveys whilst he
remained there [at Cumana]. . . . The investigations which had been recom-
mended to him on his journey were these :

To take the most precise notice of all that could conduce to the good govern-
ment of . . . Trinidad and Margarita.

To verify the communications of the Orinoco and the state of the Missions
. . . there, and in the Province of Guiana.

To ascertain . . . the condition of mind of a large number of fugitive
negroes from the Dutch colonies on the coast, to see if they could be brought
over to the faith and service of your Majesty.

To take notice of all that concerned the natural history of the great territory
situated between the Rivers Maraiion and Orinoco, ... for which object
he took with him Pedro Loefiing, a famous Swedish botanist. B. C, II, ij2.



1757. Minutes of a letter respecting boundary between Spain and Portugal iu

Iturriaga [on April 9, 1754], . . . presented the Governor with a Cedula,
in which the latter was ordered that ... he should aid them with all the
means at his command. . . . He presented him, [also], with another order,
. . . and in respect of this order and of that Cedula two disputes were
raised. . . .

Finally, Iturriaga wrote a letter to the Governor telling him that he had under-
stood that he was to give him everything that he had in his district, as the Cedula
expressly stated, and that, on the contrary, the Governor understanding that by
virtue of the same he was not bound to give anything, he had resolved not to say
another word. . . . He sent Don Joseph Blamo to the Isle of Trinidad to
get thirty rowing-boats made, to find Indians who dwell on the River Orinoco,
and to bring the provisions and stores that he could get. B. C, II, ijj.

In the year 1755 Iturriaga made use of the Governor of Trinidad to get
provisions from the French from Martinique, and ... in that year and in
1756 the wliole of the expedition suffered rery great misery aud want, half
its members having died and amongst them . . . Orrutia, . . . Galan,
the botanist Pedro Loefling, and Father Aller, a Jesuit, who went as cosmo-
grapher ; . . . Iturriaga also suffered much injury to his health.

All the unofficial information that has been received condemns his conduct as
that of a lazy man and one of harsh manners, but no report has come to hand in
his defence nor any official letter, nor any letter for his friends or family.

Note. It is i)roved by the letters sent by the Governor that of the 212 men
destined for the service of the expedition, and as substitutes for those at Guiana,
there were only little more than So remaining in the expedition and ten in that
fortress, through the desertion, sickness and death of the others. Same, p. IJ4.

1763. Don Jose Diguja.

In the year 1761 and while inspecting the Missions in that Province, in charge
of the Reverend Catalonian Capuchin Fathers, and upon survey and examination
of the fertile lands occupied by those established inland, away from the banks of
the Orinoco River, ... I had a conference . . . about the importance
of the establishment of one or more Spanish villaares . . . for the safety
and restraint of those of the Missions, and in future as a barrier to the Dutch
Colonies and a defence to the fortress of Guayana. B. C, III, 2y.

In the same Province of Guayana, at corresponding distances, two or three
other bodies of Missions [should] be established, . . . and that the four or
five bodies to be established there should go farther inland from the banks of the
Orinoco to the south, as should be done by the Catalonian Capuchins, thus suc-
ceeding in occupying the countries in the rear of the Colonies of Essequibo,
belonging to the Dutch, and those of Cayenne, occupied by the French.

Same, p. j/.

[Missions should be assisted so that] His Majesty may have a kingdom now
unknown in that extensive province, while so many miserable and docile Indians
will be reduced and brought to the bosom of our holy religion, settled in social