Rafael Seijas.

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

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1768. Director-General in Essequibo.

Having also been obligred to remove Pierre Martin, the Postliolder of Cuy-
uni (because the Indians will on no account have a Frenclinian there) as

well as the one in Maroco, I have no one there now but the two assistants.

B. C, ///, 164.

1772. British Case.

This assistance the Akawois again ofifered in 1772 on the outbreak of a
fresh revolt. B. C, pj.

1772. Director-General in Essequibo.

I have never seen any Acuways come to onr assistance Avith arms. They
are good friends, but nothing further. Last week, however, five of them came
down and went to Van der Heyde, saying that their nation would come down
the Denierary to aid us. B. C, IV, loj.

1776. West India Company.

Means of protection will have to be resorted to [to stop slaves deserting] either
by well manning the posts, or by small forts, or by outliers, or all of these,
together with the aid of the free Indians, from whom it seems to this body that
probably the most advantage is to be expected, and whose friendship must
thei'efore be cultivated by all available means, and all causes for offence
avoided. Same, p. 161.

1778. Court of Policy, Essequibo.

The Indians [were] . . . asked ... to accept of the presents.

Sa7ne, p. iSy.

If they have any grievance amongst them, to come forward and make
it known, and that if they are wishful of visiting here, they shall always be wel-
come and be well received. Same, p. 188.

1778. Essequibo Letter.

If they [Dutch] should there [Moruka Post] among the Indians, instead of
flattering them in a friendly way, introduce military rule, and become
feared and dreaded by these last, the Indians who till this day have remained
will forever place themselves at a distance from us. Same, p. igj.

1790. Report of Commissioners on Condition of Essequibo and Demerara.

Since these [Indians] are free-born people, and not to be brought under
subordination, and not always to be won even by money or presents, it follows
that one must in this matter act with circumspection. The service which can
be expected of them must take its origin only in good will and inclination toward
their neighbours, or even in the rudiments of pride ; that is to say, in their consider-
ing themselves honoured by being able to render service to the whites. For this
reason, it should not be looked upon as an act for which we pay them, but
as a favour received from them, in return for which we make them a present as a
remembrance and to foster friendship for the future. And especially must
care be taken that no Indian be ever cheated or ill-treated by a white.

B. C, V, 80-Si.



1733. British Case. j 9

In 1733 the Caribs of Barima • • • had received directions from them '^
[Dutch] to prevent any settlement of Swedes in that district. B. C, 11^.

1734. The King of Spain.

I The Dutch] told the aforesaid [Carib] Indians [in Barima] not to show the
Swedes a j?ood place for their settlement, and they themselves would give them ,
all they required. B. C, III, 81. jl

1746. Commandeur in Essequibo.

They [Caribs] have also expressed a desire to surprise the Mission
[reported to have been founded, by the Spaniards, on the Cuyuni] and level it to
the ground, which I, not without trouble have prevented, because they belong
to our jurisdiction, and all their trade being carried on in the Dutch Colonies, such
a step would certainly be revenged upon us by the Spaniards. It is very perilous
for this Colony to have such neighbours so close by. B. C, II, 46.

1752. Court of Justice.

Some Caribs from the Barima came and complained that one Christian Tonsel
continually tyrannizes over them all, and that he took away their children and
friends as pledges for debts.

Tonsil is sent for, and, . . . reprimanded and ordered to deliver
to the Carib his children, . . . The Caribs being at the same time sharply
admonished not to detain or conceal any slaves belonging to Christians, under
pain of bein^ heavily punished therefor. Same, p. yj.

1755. Director-General in Essequibo.

I have already sent several orders for some of the Arnwaks ... to
come to me in order that I may examine them and send them to the Chiefs
of the Acuways to try and establish peace. ... I have sent orders . . .
everywhere to bring me some Acuways here either by persuasive or forcible
measures, and I have hopes that when I get some to speak to I shall be able to
make peace with them. Same, p. 121.

1755. Arraytana, a Carib Chief.

Performed the journey to Essequibo . . . because I had been summoned
by the orders of my ally, His Excellency, who told me . . . that . . .
the reason why he had summoned me [was] in order to tell me that I must hold
myself in readijiess to come and help him resist the Spaniards.

I asked my ally, his Excellency, for permission to go to Upper Essequibo
\boven Essequibo] in order to make my bread in Masseroeny before my journey
to Essequibo.

Would you not kill those who seek you.? I answered, No; because your
Lord, my ally, only recently forbade me most expressly to do no harm to the
nation, who are his friends or allies. Same, p. 126.

1756. Director-General in Essequibo.
The Carib Chief, Aretanna, . . . appeared in person, in consequence of

my orders sent to liim.

I had charged Adriaen Christiaense . . , to summon the aforesaid
Indian. Same, p. 125.



1758. Prefect of Missions.

The Caribs are deserting them [DiitcliJ because they compel them to fell
large forest trees with great labour. B. C, //, 146.

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

Our Governor has always striven to keep up good relations and friendship
with his neighbours ; you yourself, Sir, have had a convincing proof of this when
he took the trouble to write to you to warn you, as soon as he had received
advice that the Caribs had formed the plan to attack your Missions; which
warning, and his repeated interdictions to tlie Caribs, even accompanied
witli threats, have prevented the execution. Same, p. lyj.

1758. Director-General in Essequibo.

I have ever tried to cultivate the friendship of the Spanish nation, our nearest
neighbors. I have always used all my power to prevent the savage Caribs
doing" tliem the least wrong-. Same, p. iy8.

1767. Director-General in Essequibo.

I received a report from the Post in Cuyuni that the Indians are being bribed
and incited to such a degree that they are unwilling to do the least thing: for
the Postholder, and that when he orders them to go alongside the passing boats
to see whether there are any runaways in them, they obstinately refuse to do so,
and when he tlireatens to shoot upon them they reply that they have bows
and arrows with which to answer. B. C, III, 143.

1768. British Case.

These [Barima] Caribs were so thoroughly under the control of the Dutch
Commandeur that when attacked by the Spaniards and certain Dutch deserters
they did not dare to defend themselves without his permission. B. C, 116.

1769. West India Company (Zeeland Chamber).

We also fully approve of the orders your Honour gave to the Caribs of Barima.

B. C, IV, 2g.

1803. Court of Policy.

Tne vexatious treatment which has been received by the Indians on the
part of the Postholders by demanding labour from them, for which they are not
obliged, neither can they be forced to do, I3- C., V, iSi.


1714. West India Company (Secret instructions).

They shall meet the same as far as possible in a peaceful manner, and seek to
gain the friendship of the natives. B. C, I, 242.

He shall then represent . . . that they have come there as friends, in
order to deal in friendship with those people, and to establish a trade with them.

Same, pp. 242-24J.



1 7 14. West India Company (Secret instructions). l

The aforesaid persons [servants of the W. I. Co.] shall . . . note

, . . with what nation or people they [Indians of the Upper EsseqniboJ

carry on trade, and whether they are free men or vassals of others, and if

the latter, under «hose command they stand.

AVliether it would be possible to take possession in their country, and

whether it would be possible to keep such possession. B. C, I, 243.

1732. Commandeur in Essequibo.

I sent him [Jacobus van der Burg one of the Company's servants] ahoTC the
falls in Essequibo on the 15th October, 1731, with orders to go as far as he pos-
sibly could, to deal with the Indians in a most friendly manner, and further to
see whether he could not induce any Chiefs to come here, so that I might talk
to them myself by means of interpreters. B. C, II, 16.

1740. Court of Policy.

[Granted] to J. la Riviere, to cut a bread-garden in the upper parts of the
Creek Itterbicie without interfering with the Indians. B. C, VII, igi.

1756. West India Company (Zeeland Chamber).

Your action with respect to the Acuways also has our approval, since we are
fully convinced that nothing can contribute more to the safety of the colonies,
than a kind, but at the same time circumspect, treatment of the neig-hbouriug
native tribes. B.C., II, 127.

1763. Director-General in Essequibo.

The Rivers of Pomeroon and Weyni, full of Indians of the Carib, Arawak
and Warouw nations, whose help is always required . . . and who have
also to be kept in a continual sort of subjection in order to prevent the escape
of runaway slaves, and to facilitate their capture. Same, p. 226.

1764. Director-General in Essequibo.

Our Caribs, both from these rivers and even from Barima, have loyally done
their best and are yet doing it, constantly roving about between the two Colo-
nies [Essequibo and Berbice]. B. C, III, 10^.

1765. Director-General in Essequibo.

Nothing has yet been heard of any strangers in the interior, and he has made
such arrangements with the Indians that whoever might turn up would be
immediately seized and sent to the fort. Same, p. J 20,

1767. Director-General in Essequibo.

I told him [the Creole Tampoko] that he must . . . expressly forbid
the Caribs, in my name, to molest our Acuway subjects. Same, p. 142.

ll^^l- West India Company (Zeeland Chambers).

We likewise approve of the hint which you caused to be given in your name
to the Caiibs, namely, that they must not molest the Acuways subject to the
Company. Same, p. Jjo.



1767. Director-General in Essequibo.

He [Moruka Poslholder] shall treat the free Indians friendly and gently,
and not wrong them in any way, nor shall he allow them to be ill-treated,
wronged, or oppressed by any one else, but endeavour as much as possible to
entice them to live at and in the vicinity of the Post.

He shall also make the Indians keep a strict look-out after the runaway red
and black slaves. B. C, III, 134.

1768. Director-General in Essequibo.

Our colonies here on the coast having on the one side restless neigrhhours
who cannot long remain still, and on the other side the Spaniards, who have al-
ready given us and still give us so many reasons for suspicion that we can really
not be careful enough. Same, p. 164.

Now our Caribs of Essequibo and Massaruni will take up arms [against the
Acuways]. Same, p. lyS.

1768. West India Company (Zeeland Chamber).

The friendship of the Carihs, though otherwise to be fostered by all possible
and permissible means, might, instead of being advantageous to the Colony, be-
come very disadvantageous. Same, p. 180.

1768. Director-General in Essequibo.

The Carihs of Barinia . . . complained that some of our deserters with
a party of Spaniards were continually molesting them in Barima and robbing
them of everything. I asked them whether they were not men and had no hands
to defend themselves. They answered " Indeed, they had," but that they did not
know whether they might do so. I replied that they must indeed be careful
to give the Spaniards not the slightest reason for complaint, but that if they
were unjustifiably attacked they might stoutly defend themselves. This pleased
them very much, because 1 had not yet been willing- to grant them so much
liberty. Same, p. 183.

\\ 1769. Remonstrance of States-General.

Caribs [in Mazaruni] (an Indian nation, allies of the Dutch and under their
jurisdiction). B. C, IV, 29.

1769. Director-General in Essequibo.

The nation of the Cai'ibs, my Lords, are looked upon as nobles among the
Indians. It is a very good thing to have them as allies or friends, for they
render excellent services, but they are formidable enemies, capable of more
bravery and resistance than one would think. When their principal or great Owls
come to me, they immediately take a chair and sit down, and will eat and drink
nothing but what I have myself, and they call me by no other name than that of
" mate " or " brother." A good way up the river there are several villages of that
nation which white people have never seen. These are well populated, and the
inhabitants get what they want through those of their nation who deal with us,
We can rely upon them as friends in case of need. Same, p. j.



1769. Director-General in Essequibo.

The chief of the Caribs, who is now here, goes up the river to-day. He has
promised me to attack the murderers of the Postholder, and to hold all his people
in readiness in case we might have need of them. Commandant Backer told
him this morning that he would like to come up the river, and asked him
whether he would then let him be master. He answered, " No ; I am mas-
ter of the Caribs. You can be master of the whites and of the other nations,
and then we can together becomes masters of everything." I let him see one of
the silver ring-collars which I still have, and promised to give it to him, and to
give him some clothes (of which they are very fond) if he behaved well.

B. C.,IV, II.

1772. Director-General in Essequibo.

[The slaves having revolted, IJ immediately sent to my good friends the
Caribs on all sides asking tliem to come to our help, which they did not fail to
do, for they came down from all parts, and as I write they are three hundred
strong on the coast under Councillor Van der Heyde. Same, p. lOj.

1774. Court of Policy in Demerary.

Indians ... of a nation whom we regard as free, and whose help, as-
sistance, and friendship is of such importance to us that your Lordships your-
selves very earnestly recommended us to live in harmony with them but a short
time ago. Same, p. 123.

1775. Memorial to Director-General and Councillors of Essequibo.

Pirates and evil-intentioned persons, who, incited by and allied with the
Spaniards make raids upon our coasts and kill, carry off, and drive away our In-
dians, our protectors, from our verj' Posts and territory. Same, p. i2g.

1778. Director-General in Essequibo.

The chief task of a Postholder consists in trying, by friendly and familiar
intercourse to win over the Indians more and more, and accustom them to us.

Same, p. 1S6.

1779. Journal kept for the Government in Demerary.

The following Indians were presented with commissions as Captains or
Owls of their nation :

Carrouwe, of the Aruwak nation.

Perivuris, Arroywaynyma, Maycoanaree, Morabu, Moraru and Morawarj-, of
the Carib nation.

Abraham and Cloos, of the Warouw nation. Same, p. 2oy.

1785. Director-General in Essequibo.

We must gratify these people [CaribsJ in every respect, for they, on onr side,
are our only resource against the negroes. B. C, V, 36.

I am laying myself out for again winning the friendship of the Indians

again entirely for our nation, notwithstanding manifold evil-treatment in previous
times and manifold changes since 1781. Same, p. jS.



1729. Commandeur in Essequibo.

The Coiuiiiaiidenr lias received divers complaints from the free Indians

dwelling- in the lower portion of this Colony concerning the great tyranny to
which they are subjected by some inhabitants, from which it is to be feared that
if those vexations are not prevented and put a stop to the Indians, following the
example of others, will also leave their dwellings and proceed elsewhere,
thus occasioning great embarrassment here. The Commandeur and Councillors
have, therefore . . . expressly forbid all servants of the Honourable Com-
pany, as well as the respective inhabitants of this Colony, to exercise any or the
least tyranny over the free Indians dwelling in or around this river or further
under the jurisdiction of the Honourable Company, or to employ force in com-
pelling them to work. B. C, II, g.

1748. Commandeur in Essequibo.

The Indians were in the highest state of indignation [against the Spaniards] ;
. . . four of their chiefs were on the point of coming down in order once
more to come and complain to me.

I intend to tell the Chiefs of the Indians when they come to me, that I can
provide no redress for them, and that they must take measures for their
own security. Same, p. 38.

1750. Commandeur in Essequibo.

I have . . . caused the natives to be informed of this [order to arrest
Jan Stok who raided Arinda Post], and caused them to be promised satisfac-
tion, with a request to send their Chiefs, so that they may be personally present.
This some have already assented to, ... I believe, however, that as soon
as they learn of the arrest of this man they will quite return to calmness.

However, to obviate all further misfortunes (for a war with the natives would
be the ruin of the Colony), I think it would be best ... to prohibit until
further orders traffic with the Indians on the Rivers Essequibo, Massaruni, and
Cuyuni. Same, p. dj.

1756. Director-General in Essequibo.

Accusations made against Pieter Marschal concerning the war v/ith the

3Iarschal was declared innocent of the charges, although I, and many
with me, think him really guilty.

He, consequently, returned to his plantation, but on his arrival there the
Acuways . . . appeared again in large numbers, and compelled him, if he
wished to save his life, to take flig'ht as speedily as possible, so that he was
obliged to leave. ... I should by no means advise him to think of returning
to his place, because, whether he be guilty or not guilty, the Acuways would
certainly kill him. Same, p. 123.

1761. Director-General in Essequibo.

Spaniards and Spanish Indians in Cuyuni have been down to the lowest fall,
where your Lordships' indigo plantation is situated, driving all the Indians thence
and even it is said, having killed several. The Indians sent in complaint upon
complaint. Same, p. 201.



1 76 1. Director-General in Essequibo.

So long as I have [held] . . . command here I have embraced every op-
portunity of preventing the Indians from annoying them. B. C, II, 202.

1768. Director-General in Essequibo.

All the Indians have declared that they will liave no French at the Posts,

a troop of more than 100 Warouwans, all well armed, having already arrived at
the Post Maroco, saying that they came to see whether there was a Frenchman
there, and intending to kill him if it were so. B. C, III, 161.

Pierre Martin has come down the river from Cuyuni, the Indians flatly refns-
ing to come and live anywhere near the Post so long- as he is there [he being
a Frenchman]. They will have a Dutchman, they say. Same, p. 162.

1768. West India Company (Zeeland Chamber).

It being hard to catch hares with unwilling hounds, you cannot do otherwise
than accede to the wish of the Indians in Cuyuni and Moruca, and send no
Frenchmen thither as Postholders. Sa7ne, p. iSo.

1785. Governor-General in Essequibo.

I had the honour some days ago to have here some (who were Caribs) who
were very insolent, and in the presence of the negroes said that if they obtain
no presents, tliey, if once again a revolt occurred, would not alone abstain from
helping the whites, but would assist the negroes and murder tJie wliites with
their bananas, salt fish, men ; so much they desired gifts and salempour (clothes),
cotton, knives, mirrors, &c., out of the store-house. B. C, V, 36.


. British Counter Case.

It can be established beyond all question that at the date of the Treaty the
Dutch, to the knowledge of the Spaniards, were in friendship and had made
alliances with the native races of Guiana, especially with the Caribs who

held the country on the east bank of the Lower Orinoco. B. C.-C, 40-41.

1763. Director-General in Essequibo.

Tlie nation of Manoas (called here along the bank Mag-nouws) being dis-
satisfied with the treatment they received from the Portuguese of Brazil, had re-
solved to come to this Colony to make a Treaty of Commerce with us.

B. C, II, 222.

1776. Commandant in Rio Essequibo.

De Bt'sc/iryvi/ige Van Guiana ... by Hartsinck ... in describing
the River Berbice . . . states : —

These rivers and creeks were inhabited by the Arawakas, Warouwas, and
Schotjes . . . and higher up by the Akuwayas and Caribs. . . . We
Iiave made Treaties of Friendsliip witli all these races, and they may not be
sold as staves.

"At the commencement of this century some Captains of the Schotjes were
sent to the Netherlands to conclude Treaties of Peace with our people. They




were well received, and sent back with presents and with clothes and handsome
furnishings. . . . However, . . . in . . . 1672 they owned a
trading house on the River Canje, but they could not withstand the firearms of
the Netherlanders, being compelled to retreat, . . . leaving their coasts to
their conquerors, who thenceforth lived in peace and friendship with the remain-
ing Indians. They left them in an entire freedom, and promised by the Treaty
of Peace that no Caribs of that coast, or Aruwakas, Warauwas, or Akuwayas
should ever be reduced to slavery. B. C, IV, 142-14J.

1776. Director-General in Essequibo.

About the half-free slaves I have repeatedly inquired, but I can nowhere find
proofs that this half-freedom is hereditary.

There must have been made in the old times, a Couveiitioii between the
Europeans and the free Indian natives, of which he, (Hartsinck) also makes
mendon, but of which, likewise, nothing can be found here. Same, p. 14J.

1813. Protector of Indians.

Though my appointment as Protector of the Indians is of no more than three
or four years' standing, yet I have been in the habit of calling, on the behalf of
Government, for the assistance of the Indians at different periods since the year
1795, during which space of time I know of no Treaty or Ag'reement with the
Chiefs of Indian tribes implying anything of the nature of subsidy or tribute ;
nor in my intercourse with these nations was I ever authorized by this Govern-
ment to make any promise of the kind, though I know, from a residence of
thirty-three years in the country, presents were generally made by the Dutch
Government, and as often expected. B. C, V, 204.

1897. George L. Burr.

Tlie treaties of the Dutch West India Company with native tribes are
carefully preserved ; but tliere is none with the Indians of (Guiana No such
treaty is known to the extant records of the Company or to the documents trans-
mitted from the colony. . . . Nor have I found anything in the records to
suggest that the Dutch here ever looked on the Indians as possessing any owner-
ship of land. V. C.-C, II, Sj.

Of treaties with the Indians there is no record. Same, p. SS.


1730. Commandeur in Essequibo.

On the 26th May of last year [1729] I received an unexpected visit from a
French gentlemen named Nicolas Gervais, Bishop of Orran, coming from the