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

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of the Postholder at Moruka also show that planting, boat-building, and
wood-cuttins^r were actively prosecuted in the Pomeroon district, . . .
Mention is also made of residents and woodcutters in the Essequibo, 3Iassa-
runi, and Cuyuni. B. C, 63.

During the British period timber was regularly cut under direction of the
Government in Essequibo, Massaruni and Cuyuni. In 1823 there was a "spar-
cutting place " up the Essequibo. A Petition for timber-cutting rights in Waini
was presented in 1836, which referred to the grant of previous licences in that
river. Much wood-cutting was done in the Pomeroon during the present cen-
tury, giving employment to large numbers of Indians, and those who cut wood
without a licence were liable to be prosecuted by the Postholder and fined.

Sajiie, p. 112.

The timber cutting on the Essequibo, Massaruni, and Cuyuni was eon-
trolled by the Dutch and British Governments. Same, p. 162.

Timber-cutting has been licensed on the Pomeroon, the Morulia, the
Waini and the Barinia by the Dutch and British Governments, and by them
only. Same, p. 163.

1832. [1840] R. H. Schomburgk.

Timber estates in Demerara and Essequibo in 1832.

Whole Colony 9

St. John's Parish 2

Trinity Parish i




1832. G. P. Wishrope.

Tliero is a spar-ciittiiiff place up the Esscqiiibo. Mr. de Brctton, a white
person, lives there. It is a tide above the Buck place where I saw the bo(Hes.
I have known that place of De Bretton's eleven years. . . . Mr. De Bretton is
an Englishman. B. C, VI, 48.

1834. Rev. John Duke.

Further up where there is a juncture of the Pomerooii and the Arapiaoa
I preached ... at Mr. Justice Pickersgiirs wood cutting estahlisliment,
and a little higher up the latter river, baptized two negro children, the property of
a colored gentleman named Alstein, who owns a similar establishment.

B. C.-C, App., 27 s-

1836. British Case.

In 1836 there were many plantations in the Ponieroou besides hoat-lniilding
and wood-cutting- establishments. B. C, 64.

1836. Postholder in Pomeroon.

There are no other settlements [than plantations Dumbarton Castle, Cali-
donia, Chapel, Phoenix Park and Land of Promise] until you arrive at a hoat-
huilding establishment, which is eight hours from the Post [immediately at the
mouth of the Pomeroon on the west bank], and some little distance above that,
there are several MOod-cutting" settlements. B. C, VI, 61.

1838. Governor Light.

There is one wood-cutting- settlement on the Pomaroon which may be con-
sidered as fit for mercantile purposes, and is prosperous. V. C.-C, III, lyy.

1838. Wm. Crichton, Superintendent of Rivers and Creeks.

The . . . Indians settled in the Morocco Creek and . . . the
numerous tribes in the Wyena River, and through to the right bank of the Ba-
rima River, . . . benefit . . . the Colony ... in the labour they
afford as woodcutters on the various establishments of that nature.

B. C.-C, App., 2S3-2S4.

I counted 200 hard wood posts at the entrance of the Creek [Morocco],
which he [Rev. Mr. HermantJ acknowledged were his property. Same, p. 2S4.

1839. R. King, Superintendent of Rivers and Creeks.

There is no flag, flag-staff, ammunition, or arms at the Post [Ampa] belong-
ing to the Colony. There are two cannons said to belong to the former Post-
holder. . . . There is no person at the Post but the Postholder and two

Messrs. Clarke and Smith, Mr. Ansdele, and Mr. Odwiu, also Mr. Breton,
are the only woodcutters on at all a large scale. B. C, VI, 87.

The establishments in the Pomeroon are chiefly boat-building ones, and
troolie establishments. Same, p. 88.



1840. Local Guide of British Guiana.

The inhabited part of the coast extends from the mouth of the Pomeroon
... to the mouth of the Corentyn. . , . The banks of the Essequibo
are inhabited only by a fen scattered wood-cntters, V. C, 168.

1840. R, King, Superintendent of Rivers and Creeks.

March 13.— For cntting: wood on Crown land, having no Ucence. All
pleaded guilty to having cut the wood, but stated that they had permission from
his Excellency the Governor. Fined them ten dollars each. B. C, VI, 8g.

March 15.— Went ... to Tiger Creek, to Messrs. Smith and Clarke's
wood-cutting- establishment. . . . There is another vessel about to proceed
up here to be loaded with wood. Same, p. go.

April 5. — In the Pomeroon.

Proceeded to Mrs. McClintock's place. She had twenty-six Warrows at work,
chiefly at the arnotto cultivation ; also cutting firewood. Same, p. pi.

Mr. George Jeffry has also a large wood-cutting establishment in
Supinaam Creek. There is also a wood-cutting establishment carried on in
Merteens' Creeks by the Messrs. Casely. The two last establishments have saw-
mills attached thereto. Almost all the labour of these establishments is carried
on by Indians. Same, p. 104.

The wood-cutters here [Pomeroon] are Messrs. Pickersgill, Holmes and
Bunbury ; all the labour performed by Indians. Same, p. 10^.

Received a letter from the Postholder in Essequibo, stating that he had seized
thirty-one pieces of Grreen-heart cut above Marshal's Fall in the Massa-
ronny. B. C.-C, App., sgi.

There are no wood-cutting establishments near this [Fort Island] Post.

Messrs. Smith and Clarke woodcutting establishment is near the Post
[Ampa]. There are .also, not far from the Post, Mr. Ansdell's in the Massa-
ronny, and Mr. Breton in the Esseauibo; also a Mr. Odwin high up in the

Most of the establishments [at Pomeroon Post] are Troolie cutters or boat
building. There is no wood as yet brought to the Post by the Indians.

Same, p. sgj.
1841. R. King, Superintendent of Rivers and Creeks.

May 30.— Arrived at the Post in Pomeroon . . . The Postholder . . .
has cut a considerable quantity of wood for sale. B. C, VI, 112.

At the Morocco Mission the Indians are busily engaged cutting timber

for the erection of their chapel.

[At] Mr. Clarke's wood-cutting establishment, [at Post Ampa] . . . four
vessels have been loaded with timber ... for the home market.

Same, p. iij.



1841. W. C. McClintock, Postholder in Pomeroon.

Your reporter, according to instructions received, did . . . employ ten
Indians to cut materials for the repairs of the Post.

The gang . . . cut as many Tacooba posts, 1 2 feet, as paid off all their
expenses, leaving a balance of 400, equal to 400 guilders, if sold in the river, for
the repairs of the Post. B, C, VI, irj.

1 841. A. F. Baird, Postholder at Ampa Post.

May 30. — The barque Spence . . . having completed taking in a load of
timber at Tig:er Creek, weighed anchor . . . and dropped down the river.
June i8th. — Returned to the Post . . . with 5,000 feet W. P. lumber.
June 19th. — Landed the lumber, &c., from the schooner.

B. C.-C, App., 2g4.

1843. Local Guide of British Guiana.

The bauksof the Essequibo are inhabited only by a few scattered wood-
cutters; and above the rapids, which occur about 50 miles from its mouth, there
are no inhabitants except Indians. V. C, III, 406.

1844. A F. Baird, Superintendent of Rivers and Creeks.

To the Industry saw-mill, the property of Mr. George Jeffrey, is attached a
large tract, say about 4,000 acres, . . . [near] Duccalabba Creek. ... On
this land there is no building or cultivation, all the valuable timber has been
cut except spars; there is still abundance of firewood.

The Industry is one of the oldest settlements in the Supenaam River, and was
first established by a Dutchman of the name of Holtz, who erected a wooden
saw-mill. ... A Mr. Kilderman . . . succeeded him. . . . After
his death the Industry was purchased by the late Mr. Hugh Junor, who carried
on an extensive wood-cutting establishment.

George Jeffrey ... a few years after . . . erected the present large iron
mill with two frames capable of driving a double set of saws, at a cost of ^1,750.

A Mr. Henderson was proprietor of the Grampian Hills. He died in 1819 or
20. He had a large gang of wood-cutters.

Indiana is about 22 or 23 miles from the mouth of the Supenaam, and was
first settled by Messrs. George and William Jeffrey, who had to retire that length
into the interior to procure logs for the mill, all the large timber lower down
having been cut away by the former named settlers. B, C.-C, App., 2g8-2gg.

The only wood-cutting establishment in the vicinity of the [Ampa] Post is
that of Mr. Clarke, at Tiger Creek, on the opposite shore. B. C, VI, ijo.

1846. W. C. McClintock, Postholder in Pomeroon.

During the whole of this quarter he was occupied looking after a gang of
Worrow Indians whom he employed to cut hardwood posts with other materials
to paal off the front dam of the post. Same, p, 14J.



1850. [1895] Robert Tennant.

Timber did not comnieiico to be an article of export till 1850, some years
after the cultivation of coffee was discontinued.

All the timber lands belonged to Government, and a "grant" for felling is
to be had on very easy terms— viz., the cost of the sur\-ey and a royalty of a
few cents ... per cubic foot. Nearly all the best timber lands adjoining
the navigable rivers, where the trees can be felled and floated easily down to
market, have been "gone over," but there are hundreds of thousands of
acres in the interior still untouched by the axe, which are virgin forests. . . .
Wood-cutters are paid generally by piece-work. V. C.C., III, 2^6.

1853. W. C. McClintock, Superintendent of Rivers and Creeks.

Was engaged for several weeks . . . getting: the timber intended
for the repairs of the Post dwelling-honse hauled out of the busli,

and also in having as much thereof conveyed to Moruca mouth as . . . [was]

Moruca, where the piles . . . were cut.

Feels himself compelled ... to appeal to his Excellency for . . .
the privilege of cutting the timber and plank on the Crown lands.

B. C, VI, jg3.

Removing large timbers from Upper Pomeroon to Moruca— upwards of 50

The timbers intended for the construction of a lockup, are cut, squared, and
hauled out, but not yet conveyed. Satne, p. 194.

1856. W. C. McClintock, Superintendent of Rivers and Creeks.

According to the instructions . . . from his Excellency the Governor he
felt himself authorized to grant permission to the Indians >vho have paid
money to cut wood for sale, and on the ungranted lands of the Crown, . . .
upon Ciceka, a hill situated on the right bank of Arapico (or Arrapiaco) creek,
one of the principal tributaries of the Pomeroon River. Same, p. 2or.

1879. E. F. im Thurn.

The whole of the western bank of the Essequibo River, which from the
mouth to its first fall, some sixty miles above, is more or less thickly peopled by
British subjects, and from which a large part of the wood used in and ex-
ported from the Colony is obtained. V. C, III, /jj.

1880. E. F. im Thurn.

The timber tract . . . extends toward the interior as far as the lowest
cataracts on the various rivers. Sa?nc, p. 40S.

The forest tract immediately succeeds the timber tract, and ... is
everywhere covered by dense forest, as yet untouched by the wood-cutter.

Same, p. 4og.



1888. E. F. im Thurn.

Nominally no tinihcr is cut in the district, except l)y Indians. The latter
carry down small quantities of timber to the Essequibo coast from the Arapiakroo
and Tapacooma Creeks. Some is also, as I have already stated, cut in the same
places by other than Indians. But there has been no timber ^rant in the dis-
trict, at least for very many years. A very considerable quantity of remarkably
fine cedar was till recently cut from the Barima, and is still cut from the
Amakooroo, but this, practically, has all found its way to Tenezuelau
mai'kets, without benefiting this Colony in any way. B. C, VII, 2^g.

1888. Michael McTurk.

Owins? to the falls on the rivers, only a comparatively small area of
country can be used for timber-cutting, and this space has been cut over
twice, and in some places three times. Same, p. j2o.

The timber trade on the river [Essequibo] has been a little better last
year than the previous one, but the space over which the timber is being cut is
a limited one owing to the short distance upward the rivers are navigable for
timber craft. Same, p. J24.

1889. Michael McTurk.

The timber trade has increased during the past year, and the prices are
greater than they have been for very many years. . . . The illegal cutting
of timber from the ungranted Crown lands still continues. Same, p. 324.

1890. E. F. im Thurn.

No actual step has been taken yet towards the development of a timber
industry in the district. Same, p. 263.

1891. E. F. im Thurn.

There are no legalized w ood-cutting operations carried on in the Nortli-
Western District. A small amount of red cedar has been taken to Georgetown
from the Amakooroo ; but this was nominally, and perhaps really, cut on the
Venezuelan side of that river, and imported into the Colony from there.

Same, p. 2'/^.

No timber is cut except for local use by the Indians. Same, p. 2yg.

1 1892. Michael McTurk.

The timber trade still maintains a precarious existence. Same, p. 331.

The Shipment of greenheart timber from the Essequibo still continues,

and several cargoes have been despatched during the year. Same, p. 333.

1896. Michael McTurk.

During the year a line of rails has been laid and a truck placed on it, across
the portage at Little Matop on the Cuyuni River, for the use of persons taking
their batteaux and stores across on their way to the placers above.

B. C, VII, 336.



1896. Michael McTurk.

The approach to the upper end of the line has been unavoidably left unfinished
owing to the want of material in the shape of timber to complete it. The many
rapids in the Cuyuni, particularly in the immediate neighbourhood of this portage,
renders it impossible, except at very great risk of life and expense, to get timber
from any distance above to the spot. The timber in the locality has been
exhausted. There is suitable timber below, but it is quite impossible to
bring it up against the stream and over the rapids. B. C, VII, jj6.

The timber trade has shown an increase over the previous year.

Greenheart is at present the only timber exported from the Colony. Our
forests contain many varieties of both useful and ornamental woods, but they
are known to few, and rarely made use of.

It is a matter for regret that in a Colony like British Guiana, covered
as it is for many miles inland with dense forests of fine timber, so little is actually
known of the quality of its woods, even by the regular wood-cutters. Attention
is entirely devoted to greenheart, walaba, and a few other kinds of timber used
for export or local consumption, and other kinds are not considered.

Same, p. jj8.


Wood-cutting- licenses in existence March 31, 1897, in county of Essequibo.

Essequibo — Tiger Creek 6

— Bonasika Creek 4

— Scattering 7 — 17

Mazaruni 5

Pomeroon 3

Total 25

V, C.-C, III, 217.




1593. Antonio de Berrio.

Having overrun all the island [Trinidad] and made the description of the
natives that are there, there are found 7,000, and so many Indians married that
they would exceed 35,000 souls. B. C, I, 4.

[1603]. W. Usselinx.

Especially among the clothed Indians residing a few days' journey inland.

Same, p. 2j.

1638. Corporation of Santo Thome.

One grieves for so many women and children, who are here [Santo Thome]
looking for death at the hands of inhuman savages, eaters of human flesh, and
of heretics, enemies of our Holy Catholic faith. Same, p. loj.

1684. Commandeur in Essequibo.

The war which various [Indian] nations there [in Cuyuni] carry on with
one another has been the cause, etc. Same, p. 186.

1688. Jacob De Jonge.

I have been informed by his Excellency the Heer van Sommersdijck, in a
letter of the 5th January, 1688, that since the Indian war was spreading itself
in the neighbourhood, it was advisable for me to proceed to River Essequibo to
help to free that river, . . . The greatest " Owls," or Chiefs, are apparently
on the side of Heer Sommersdijck. Same, p. 206.

1733. Government of Trinidad.

They hinder the propagation of the Catholic faith by their threats and wars,
in which they are continually and exclusively engaged, with the object of eating
human flesh and satiating their cruelty. B. C.-C, App., 177.

1755. Don Eugenio de Alvardo.

There is not merely one celebrated Chief of the Islands of Caroni, but sev-
eral ; the second is, that those of the sources of the Creek Aquire are many, and
of equal reputation and strength. B. C.,II, no.

1756. Director-General in Essequibo.

No Indian's testimony can hold ^ood against that of Christians (a custom
that rests on good grounds, because most of them are not to be trusted, and
many of them can be made to say whatever one wishes for drink, or other con-
siderations.) Same, p. 123.

1788. Don Miguel Marmion.

A great part of this extensive province [Spanish Guiana] is occupied,
especially towards the centre, by divers nations of barbaric Indians, who

are but little known and very difficult to reduce, owing to their wandering life, to
their sheltering themselves in the thickets of their woods and forests, and to their
attachment to, and extreme love of, independence, which they prefer to all the
greater advantages of civilized and rational life. B. C, V, J^-






1790. Don Fermin de Sincinenea.

The numerons tribes of Indians who dwell between the said Essequibo
and the mouths of the Orinoco, already noted, must he loolied upon ^vitli sus-
picion. -6'. C, V, 77.

181 3. D. van Sistema.

The manners of tlie different Indian tribes are mucli the same. Indo-
lence is the prevailing passion. . . . Their residence, in general, is from 12 to
20 miles distant from the river. Same, p. 2i§.

1823. Wm. Hilhouse.

The Indians are, like all uncivilized nations, addicted to drunkenness. The
Warrows the most so, after them the Arawaks, then the Caribisce ; and the most
sober are the Accavvays. B. C, VJ, 2y.

The Indian, though in peaceable times lounging in his hammock and courting
for his presents any hand that will bestow them, becomes, when he paints for
war, a new subject. The only commander he will follow is the man tliat cau
hunt and march througli the bush, swim the flood, and live like him and
with liim. The appointment of persons to this capacity [Protector of Indians]
without these requisites inspires the Indian only with contempt — he despises the
authority, and becomes insubordinate and unmanageable. Same, p. JT.

1846. W. C. McClintock, Superintendent of Rivers and Creeks.

The general unproductiveness of the hig'h lauds of this district after the
first crop compels the Indians to wander about in search of other hills.

Same, p. 14S'

1848. W. C. McClintock, Superintendent of Rivers and Creeks.

The Worrows ... are designated as . . . the hewers of wood
and drawers of water. The Caribs are known as the warriors, the Arrawaks
the aristocracy, and the Accaways, or more commonly called Waikas, the
agriculturists. Same, p. 171.

1849. W. C. McClintock, Superintendent of Rivers and Creeks.

To disappoint the Indian— who is already fickle and suspicious— only tends
to make him still more so. Same, p. 173.

Indians are easily led and willing to obey. Same, p. 176.

1 86 1. W. C. McClintock, Superintendent of Rivers and Creeks.

The Missions, Waramuri and Cabacaburie, have achieved wonders by wean-
ing the Indians, almost completely, of their previous wandering habits.

/)'. C.-C, App., 307.

1888. E. F. im Thurn.

These people [Indians in Pomeroon judicial district] all live in small set-
tlements, usually consisting only of a single family, up the small and obscure
side-creeks. B. C, VII, 237.



. British Case.

The principal Indian tribes inhabiting the territory known as Guiana were the
Caribs, the Akawois or Waikas, the Arawaks, and the Warows or Guaraunos.

B. C, 9.

Next in importance to the Caribs were the Akawois.

No fixed Hmits are indicated for the area of the Akawoi settlement in earlier
times. The tribe was found in the neighbourhood of the Post of Arinda, on the
Essequibo, the Upper Cuyuni, the Demerara, and the Pomeroon. It is probable
that this nation, like that of the Caribs, was nomadic in its habits, and was to be
found scattered throughout the Dutch Colonies of Essequibo, Berbice, and

In the early years of the British occupation the Akawois were described as
the most pugnacious of the Indian tribes, the Caribs, having to a great extent
lost their ascendency and being greatly reduced in numbers. The Akawois
were at that period described as occupying the country between the great fall of
the River Demerara, the Massaruni, and the Upper Pomeroon. Same, p. 10.

1666. Major John Scott.

Matteson . . . had managed a trade 22 yeares for the Spaniard from ye
Citty of St. Thome, in Oranoque, with the Shaliones, Sepoyes, and Occowyes,
[Akaways] whose habitacions are 200 leagues south-west from St. Thome, neare
the mountaines of the sunne. B. C, I, 16S,

The Occowyes [Akaways] Sliawliouns, and Seinicorals are great powerful
nacions, that live in the uplands of Guiana. Same, p. i6g.

l68o. Commandeur in Essequibo.

The Accoways wlio live up country. Same, p. iSj.

1767. Director-General in Essequibo.

E. Athing, . . . faithfully reported all that took place amongst the In-
dians and especially amongst the Acuways living up in Demerary— a quarrelsome
nation which will not endure the least injustice and which is continually at war
with the Caribs. B. C, III, 150.

1776. Director-General and Councillors of Essequibo and Demerary.

Some nation which, according to old custom or their relations with us, it was
not permitted to bring to slavery, such as the Carib, Arrowak, Warrow and
Akowa nations. B. C, IV, 141.

1778. Government Journal at Essequibo.

In Boumeron ... a sort of Akuway nation named Arenakottes.

Same, p. IQO.

The Arenakotte [Akaway] nation which last dwell above in Caroeni, a
branch of the Oronoque, there being still other Arenakottes who dwell in Ciperoeni
above the Post, and do business under the whites. Same, pp. igo-igr.

1778. Court of PoHcy.

A sort of bastard nation of the Acuway Indians called Arenakottes, who
live inland above the Creek of Supinaam. Same, p. ig2.




1802. Commandant of Berbice, Demerary and Essequibo.

The interior of Guyana is inhabited by various tribes of Indians, who are
generally termed " Buks." Those residing nearest the sea ... are the
Arawaak, the Akawye, the Worrows and the Charibbs. But of late ver>' few of
them have made their appearance, and it is to be apprehended that this circum-
stance has arisen from dissatisfaction. It would, however, be better policy to
keep these people in good humour, and . . . their attachment may be secured
at a very small expense. B. C, V, IJ2-J7J.

1 818. Thomas Cathrey, Protector of Indians of Essequibo River.

These people [Akaways] are in general a trading and wandering tribe.
They go every year to the Spanish Savannah and Settlements ; to the Macusse
and Adray nations as soon as their cultivation grounds are prepared and planted.

B. C, VI, 13.
1823. William Hilhouse.

The Accaways are the most warlike of any tribe in the Colony, and, not-
withstanding the smallness of their number, set all the other tribes at defiance.
They elect their own Captains, and acknowledge no Protector, and are particu-
larly repugnant to the interference of white persons in their domestic govern-
ment, or the settlement of whites in their territory. Same, p. 2^.

The Aocaways are of small stature, but capable of bearing great fatigues and
priv'ations. They are a nation of pedlars, carrying on a constant traffic with the
coast tribes and those of the interior. Sa7iie,p. 26.

They are peculiar in treating their women with more kindness than any of the
other tribes. It is true the household, and great part of the field labour, devolves

Online LibraryRafael SeijasVenezuela-British Guiana boundary arbitration. Digest of evidence arranged according to subjects → online text (page 30 of 45)