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ments, and whatever else there may be therewith connected at the present time,
be drawn up, and on its conclusion the whole returned to the Fiscal for his
opinion and judgment, and whatever else may be necessary to inform His
Majesty. V. C, II, 429.

1775. Mar. 2. Resolution of States-General.

The West India Company . . . had expected that, after the
repeated representations which at their request the States-General had been
pleased to make to the King of Spain, . . . His 3Ijijesty the King
would at last liave given sudi orders that tliose well-founded complaints
might Iiave been removed ; but that to their sorrow tliey had learned tiiat
all tlie representations made by tlie States-tJeneral had hitherto remained
fruitless. That although no such agreeable prospect was held out to them as
that further remonstrance might attain the desired success, they, however, felt it
had become their duty afresh to bring to their High Mightinesses' knowledge the
new complaints which they had lately received from the Director- General,



Essequibo, not alone with respect to fugitive slaves, but even that the Spaniards
had come under and at the Posts of the said West India Company, and there
had forcibly carried away or killed the free Indians. D. C, IV, ij2.

And it is therefore approved and decided : that copy of the letter aforesaid
shall be sent to . . . their High Mightinesses' Envoy to the Court of Spain,
and that a letter be written to represent this.

That tlieir High Mig-htiuesses had hoped and expected that some atteii-
tiou would have been paid to the numerous complaints from time to time
made of the retention of fugitive slaves, and of the refusal to give them back.

Their High Mightinesses . . . would not, considering the slight regard
which has hitherto been paid to all their representations on this subject, have
again troubled his said Majesty thereon ... but that they are compelled
. . . to make a renewed appeal to His said Majesty, in order that he may be
pleased to at once issue order against such outrages. . . . That the servants
of His said Majesty in the West Indies, not satisfied with affording a place of
shelter for fugitive slaves, have gone so far that they have come even under and
to the Posts of the Colony of Essequibo to carry off by force or to slay all the
free Indians thereabout ; that their High Mightinesses are perfectly persuaded
that His Majesty will not approve, or yet permit, such a mode of action, and
that ... he will give the orders requisite to obviate the consequences which
might possibly spring therefrom.

That undertakings of this nature are so prejudicial and ruinous to the Colo-
nies of the State that they should be compelled to take measures to repulse these
violent acts ; . . . that men cannot refrain from using the means they have at
hand to defend themselves ; and that their High Mightinesses therefore, to pre-
vent all estrangements between officers on either side, request, in the most entirely
friendly and earnest manner, that the necessary precautions may be taken;
. . . that no free Indians may be carried away by violence from, or ill-treated
in, the Colonies of the State, but also that the retention of fugitive slaves may be
effectually prevented. Same, p. ijj.

177$, April lo. Spain's answer to States-General's Resolution of Mar. 2, 1775.

I am obliged to repeat to you that which I said by order of the King, . . .
that a very long time has elapsed since it was decreed in Spanish America that
slaves who became fugitives from Protestant Colonies with the intention of em-
bracing the Catholic religion, should remain free. Wherefore this has been
observed, and is still observed, in all the dominions of the King in these regions,
without any possibility of altering this incontestable practice.

But with regard to the outrag-e which you assure me that Spanish sub-
jects have committed in the Dutch Colonies, in taking by force or killing free
Indians, I must declare to you that these acts of violence have caused the King
much surprise, and that his Majesty has ordered the xMinistry of the Indies to
make the most minute inquiry into the fact, and to proceed to the condign
punishment of the aggressors. Same, pp. ijj-ij^-

1776. West India Company (Amsterdam Chamber).

They were somewhat reluctant to address them-elves in this connection to the
States-General, because the States-General had more tlian once caused repre-



sontations to be made to the Spanish Court upon this subject, but without
result. That however, they thought it best to bring the matter unofficially before
the Ministry at the Hague, and get an expression of its opinion. B. C, IV, 141.

1776. West fndia Company (the Ten).

As regards the petitioners' complaint about the desertion of the slaves
. . . and also of the procedure of the Spaniards . . . the States-General
. . . at various times have given the necessary orders to their Minister at
the Spanish Court to induce His Majesty the Xing' of Spain to cause an end
to be put to the complaint made against the Spaniards.

The representations made having been fruitless, the States-General
. . . adopted a very urgent Resolution but ... all has been fruitless,
and . . . the Spaniards on the Orinoco are acting more and more unreason-
ably and boldly. Sajiie, p. 160.

Of a Treaty with the Court of Spain there is as yet no ground for hope.

Same, p. 161.

1776. Charles Teuffer, Envoy from Essequibo to Orinoco.

After many slaves of the Colony of Essequibo had run away to Rio Orinoco,
a Spanish province, the Council of the Kivor Essequibo resolved to send an
Envoy to the Governor of Orinoco, in order to claim the runaway slaves and

have them delivered up to him. The Council was pleased to honour me with
that commission. Satne, p. lyi.

The Governor . . . received me very graciously . . . He told me
that he was much grieved at his inability to satisfy the demands of our

Court to give back to us the slaves who have come here from our Colonies;
. . . that by the latest orders His Majesty declared free any slave who should
come to place himself under the protection of his domains. Same, p. i/2.

I told him that the States-General had received an answer from Madrid that
his Majesty would give orders ... to return to us our slaves. Don Manuel
told me that such orders had not yet arrived.

All the propositions I made to the General in order to induce him to
give effect to my commission were in vain. He protested to me that, though
he was well aware of the prejudice which our Colonies suffered through the
frequent absconding of our slaves, it was not in his power to remedy it, as he
was not at liberty to act against the orders of the King without the risk of
incurring his displeasure. But he told me that I should in his name assure
our (Governor and the Council that when he arrived in Europe he would not
fail personally to make representations on this subject to His Majesty, and that
if the Company would address itself to his Court he was not doubtful of good
success. He advised me at the same time that we should never make mention
of the Indian slaves ; that he was fully persuaded His Majesty will never consent
to having them sold, because every Indian, of whatever nation he be, was re-
garded as a Spanish subject, and consequently as free and in no way subject to
slavery. Same, p. lyj.



1779. Julian de Arriaga.

In consequence of what was set forth by the Council of the Indies, in a " Con-
sulta " of the 27th October of the past year, in regard to reporting upon the com-
plaints made by tlie Diiteli Minister on acconnt ol" tlie proceedings of tlio
Spaniards of the Orinoco against tlie Colony of Kssequiho, it is necessary
that the documents referring thereto be examined, and it is requested they be
sent to him ; . . . I lierewitli transmit to your Excellency, by command
of the King, the said documents. V. C, II, 433-434.

1780. King of Spain.

Inciarte is to return ... for the purpose of occupying and settling the
places specitied in his annexed Report of the 27th November last, and makiigthe
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. It is to be understood that if the Director or Governor of
Esse(iuil)o should complain thereof, the answer is to be given that the pro-
ceedings in the matter are in accordance with the general laws and instructions
for the good government of our Indies, which do not permit such intrusion of
foreigners in the Spanish dominions, for this is tlie reply that will be given
here if any complaints or claims should be lodged by the States-Cxeneral of
Holland. B.C., IV, 212.

1 78 1. Governor of Guiana to Director-General in Essequibo.

You complained of Mr. Mateo, who, . . . being in the mouth of the river
Essequibo, had taken possession of a httle boat with five negro slaves, . . .
and of another with three negro slaves ; . . . that, furthermore, . . .
some Spaniards, doubtless by compulsion of the aforesaid Mateo, had taken
possession of a small schooner ; . . . moreover, that they have seized another
boat ; . . . which acts your Excellency brought to my notice, in order that I
should command the aforesaid Mateo to depart at once from the aforesaid coast,
and should place at Your Excellency's disposal . . . everything which Mateo or
the Spaniards who were there, may have stolen and carried off . . .

V. C, II, 239.

I make known to Your Excellency that the authority to pass judgment or
decide as to the prizes made by the privateers of this province belongs ex-
clusively to the Intendent-Ueneral tliereof, Don J(»sef de Abalos, residing
in Caraccas, to whose high Court all must address themselves who . . .
have complaints to make. Same, p. 240.

1784. Dutch Ambassador at Madrid.

Having made myself conversant with tlie complaints made anew and in
these days, on account of the West India Company, of the continual and in-
creasing desertion of slaves in Essequibo and Demerara, I spoke .
to the said Minister of State, on the said subject repeatedly, and in the most
emphatic terms, and have placed in his hands a second note relative thereto.
Doubtless this Court will not be otherwise than reluctant to assent thereto.

B. C, V, 22.



1785. Report of Spanish Council of State on Dutch Remonstrance.

The Fiscal has examined the papers put together in this Department in
consequence of a certain Memorial presented to His Majesty by the Dutch Minister,
complaiiiinsi- of the proceedings of the Spaniards established on the Orinoco
against the Dntch Colony of Essequibo. This Memorial was sent confidentially
with a Royal order, dated the loth September, 1769, that it should be examined
as soon as possible by the Council, and His Majesty advised.

To this Memorial was annexed, as a precedent, another file of papers, made
up and laid before His Majesty on the 9th May of the year 1768. B. C, V, jj.

It was agreed on the 6th August, 1774, that the whole should be given to the
precis-writer to make a complete abstract, and this has been done.

At present, the papers call for no steps, for the long- period of more tlian
fifteen years having passed without any fresh demand having been made for
a reply upon this question by the Dutch Minister, it induces one to believe that
that Republic, being better informed of the want of just grounds for the
claim made they have already abandoned it.

It appears that what ought to be done is to wait until future events show
what is the best course. Sa/ne, p. J4.

. Council of the Indies.

In 17()9 tlie Ambassador of Holland appeared, complaining of the pro-
ceedings of the Spaniards established on the Orinoco, against the Dutch
Colony of Esquibo ; presenting in support of his complaint a memorial . . .

in which, supposing that from time immemorial the Republic of Holland was in
possession not only of the Esquibo river, and of many other rivers and streams
emptying into the sea along this portion of the coast, but also of ail the branches
and rivulets emptying into the former, particularly the northern one called Cayoeni
or Coyuni, on whose bank, considered as dominion of the State, they have main-
tained a wooden cabin, guarded by a small vessel manned by some slaves and
Indians, he set forth that a Spanish detachment coming from the Orinoco, had
attacked that Post, and taken many Indians, threatening to return at the first ebb
and visit ... the Maseroni. . . . That . . . afterwards . . .
the Spaniards had constructed two cabins, guarded by many troops and one of
them very near to the cabin on the Cuyuni river, and had begun to take the
Indians on the Maroca, taking possession of a site near the rivulet to the south
of the Weyne, between it and the Powaron, where the Company had had from
time immemorial a trading place belonging, beyond contradiction, to the territory
of the Republic. V. C, //, 274.

That the Spaniards had commenced some time back, to dispute their right to
fish at the mouth of the Orinoco, and in the stretch of territory between the
Marewigni river and the other side of the Wayne, belonging to the State, . . .
and that they had been disturbed in their fishing by force, notwithstanding the long
time they had enjoyed it quietly and peacefully, . . . and, finally, . . .
the Spaniards . . . retained the slaves fleeing from the Dutch establishments.

Same, pp. 274-273.

The Governors of Ouayaua and Cumana . . . reported . . . [jus-
tifying the same]. Same, p. 273.


NATURE-! Continued).

The Council ordered by its resolution of the first of October, 1774, that it
should all be referred to the Relator.

The matter remained in this condition up to the year I7s.>, when, the
brief having been made by the Relator, and the record returned to the Attorney-
General, Don Antonio Porlier, he stated in his reply of May 27th of the same
year that at that time there was no action required, since, more than fifteen
years having passed without any pressure being brought by the Minister of Hol-
land in the premises, it was natural to believe that the Republic, better apprised
of the want of just reasons for the demand it had made, had desisted therefrom.

V. C, II, 27g-28o.

1785. States-General.

Received a dispatcli from the Comte van Rechteren, their High Mightinesses'
Ambassador to tJie Conrt of Spain, . . . making mention, inter alia, of
the receipt of their High Mightinesses' reiterated order relative to the establishing
of a Cartel with the august Court in question for preventing the desertion of
slaves from the Colonies of Essequibo and Demerara to the contiguous ones of
the Crown.

And further, that he had now for almost two years allowed no opportunity
to pass either by speaking or writing, to bring- about the conclusion of a Treaty
of this nature.

That he was steadily put oflF witli favourable promises, and that they, under
all sorts of pretexts, had always avoided, not only to enter upon negotiations, but
also, . . . even to give a wiitten reply. B.C., V,jj.

1841, August 17. Francisco Aranda.

The Government has been informed of a very singular occurrence, namely,
that there was seen and reconnoitered at Point Playaso, near the mouth of the
Cauo Amacuro, a British flag with the Royal ensigns hoisted, near a sentry
box constructed for the purpose, and stationed on a part of the Yenezuelau
territory of wdiich ihe Government has always been in quiet and peaceable

The Government is still ignorant of the motive or object of this incident, as
also whether it proceeded from orders of British authorities, or was the spontane-
ous act of private individuals. At the same time it cannot be indifferent with
regard to an occurrence which manifests the introduction of foreigners into our
territory without the permission or assent of the competent authorities. . . .

Therefore ... I hasten to request you will be pleased to communicate
to me what you may know or consider conclusive to enlig-hten the (Tovernment
on the subject. V. C, III, ig6.

1841, Sept. 3. Francisco Aranda.

The Government has thought proper to appoint a Commission ... to
proceed to Demerara . . . for the purpose of investigating the origin and
design wherewith the British flag and other marks as of possession were planted
at Barima and Amacuro ; to enter into explanations . . . respecting the
limits between Venezuela and the British Colony, and also to make suitable
reclamations and protests in defence of the rights of the Republic.

Same, p. iq6.


NATURE- (Continued).

1844. Mr. Macrae.

Thoy [Indians] are the aborigines of the country, and we inherited from
them onr possessions in tliis colony. (Mr. Arrindell laughed aloud). It ap-
pears to have excited the risible faculties of the honorable member, but I repeat
that we do hold our title from them originally. V. C.-C, III, 181.

1844. Mr. Arrindell.

The small portion of land which we occnpy was ohtalned first I>y con-
quest, and then by treaty, and we have nothing to do with the treaty.

Same, p. 1S4.

1875. Governor Longden.

A colored creole girl . . . was murdered ... in the city of George-
town by another colored Creole, named Thomas (iarrett. Both . . . were
British subjects. . . . The murderer . . . was apprehended in a house
on the banks of the Amacura River. B. C, VJ, 21J.

1875. Venezuelan Consul-General.

Garrett was . . . under the protection ... of the Republic . . .
police ofificers . . . declared him their prisoner in the name of Her Majesty,
the Queen of Great Britain, put him in irons . . . and . . . proceed[ed]
to Georgetown. . . . It is the bounden duty of my government
... to protest, as it does protest. . . . I am ordered by my Govern-
ment to request that your Excellency will please to order . . . that the police
of the Colony shall take back Thomas Garrett to the place where they arrested
him. Same, pp. 214-215.

1875. Governor Longden.

Garrett was tried at the Supreme Court ... in this city [Georgetown]
and . . . sentenced to penal servitude for life. Sa7ne,p. 216.

1884. [1886] Guzman Blanco.

In October, 1884 . . . some English . . . penetrated into places at
all times the property of Venezuela, erected posts, put up placards declaring the
British laws to be there in force, changed some officers of the Republic for others
of their own selection, attempted to put under their orders Venezuelan functionaries,
and promised to return in force to have their ordinances complied with. In fact,
they returned, to proceed with the series of acts begun, without taking- the
least notice of the remonstrances of the Yenezuelan autliorities. Not satisfied
with this, they took away a Commissary of the Republic . . . Robert Wells
... at Amacuro. V. C, III, 236-237.

1885. British Legation at Caracas.

I am directed by her Majesty's Government to draw the attention of that of
Venezuela to the proceedings of the agents of the Manoa Company in certain
districts, the sovereignty of which is equally claimed by Her Majesty's Govern-
ment and that of Venezuela.

Earl (iranville further instructs me to re(|uest tlie Venezuelan (govern-
ment to take steps to prevent tlie agents of the Manoa Company . . . from
asserting claims to, or interfering witli, any of the territory claimed by
Great Britain. '-'^■'"''^•- /• -'•/-'•




1885. British Legation at Caracas.

Her Majesty's Government, in the event of that of Venezuela declining to
move in this matter, would to their great regret, feel themselves under the neces-
sity of adopting measures for preventing the encroachment of the Manoa Com-
pany. V- C, III, 242.

1887. Senor Urbaneja.

The Presideut of the Republic demands from Her Majesty the evacuation
of Venezuelan territory from the mouth of the Oriucvco to that of tlie Poma-
roon, which she. Great Britain, has unjustly occupied with the understanding
that if by the 20th February next, at the meeting of Congress, to whom the
Government is bound to render an account of everything, no reply should be
received or should be negative, the diplomatic relations between the two countries
shall be broken off. B. C, VII, 124.

1887. Jesus Muiioz Tebar and Santiago Rodil.

As it has reached the notice of the Government of the Republic that on the
Amacura, Barima, Guiama, and other river districts, there are at present several
parties who it is said have been appointed Rural Constables by the British
authorities of the Colony, the President of the Republic has also resolved that
these facts be investigated, and that orders be given for the immediate reorgani-
zation of the parishes of the territory situated on the banks of the said rivers.

In view, therefore, of these instructions, and after the preliminary works of
the erection of a lighthouse at Punta Barima had been made, we proceeded to
sur\-ey the Amacura River, the Brazo Barima, the Mora passage, and the Barima,
Aruca, and Guaima Rivers; and, in fact. Sir, we found in the neighborhood of
the Amacura a wooden house thatched with straw, said to have been built
by orders of the authorities of this Colony, and two men who handed us their
precepts as Rural Constables, signed by Michael McTurk, Stipendiary Magistrate.
In the neighborhood of Aruca we were informed there was another Rural Con-
stable. ... In Cubana on the banks of the Guaima River, a missionary, the
Rev. Walter Heard, had some seven years ago built wdth public subscriptions, a
small house that is in actual use as a church and schoolroom.

lu all tliose places . . . we hare protested in the name of Venezuela
ag-aiust such proceeding's, and declared to the inhabitants that all those districts
belong to Venezuela, and not to Her Brittannic Majesty. V. C, III, iSj.

1890. British Foreign Office.

Lord Salisbury has received with great surprise ... the intelligence
of the issue by the Government of Venezuela of two Decrees . . . purporting
to establish Venezuelan Administrations in the district between Point Barima and
the River Pomaroon, and in the neighbourhood of the point where the Cuyuni
debouches into the Essequiho. Such notices can have no practical effect, and
any attempt to put them into execution could only be regarded as an invasion
of the Colony, and dealt with accordingly.

He cannot but regard the publication of the Decrees at the present moment
as entirely inconsistent witli the professed desire of the Venezuelan (iovern-
menttocometo a settlement of pending differences by means of friendly dis-
cussion. B. C, VII, 140.



1890. R. F. Seijas.

Against the British usurpation of our territory ... I hereby
solemnly and publicly protest.

I further declare that tlie (lovernnient of the United States of Venezuela
have already protested, and by these presents do protest, against all and every
act or acts which are known to the Government of the Republic, and named in
the foregoing twelve Articles ; that the Government of Venezuela disowns the
legality which may be imputed to such acts, which are and will always be null,
void, and of no value whatever. B. C, VI, 246.

1893, Confidential Agent of Venezuela.

Territory which Venezuela considers exclusively her own of which she has
been in peaceful possession, and which tlie British Colony has only durinsr the
last few years invaded with acts of jurisdiction, whicli have called forth re-
peated energetic protests from the dJovernment of the Republic.

i am only doing my duty in again protesting most solemnly, in the name
of the Government of Venezuela, against the proceedings of the Colony of
British Guaina, which constitute an invasion of the territory of the Republic.


1896. Richard Olney.

Venezuela's claims and her protests against alleged British usurpation
have been constant and emphatic, and have been enforced by all the means

Online LibraryRafael SeijasVenezuela-British Guiana boundary arbitration. Digest of evidence arranged according to subjects → online text (page 25 of 45)