Rafael Seijas.

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

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He expressed to me his intention of making a stay in or about this Colony
and seeing- whether there might not be some means of converting' the Indians
of these lands to Christianity, ... I demonstrated to him tlie impossibility
thereof, and, furthermore, that it was not in my power to grant him such

You will see from the enclosed letter, . , . how that prelate has unhap-
pily been murdered by the Indians in Aguirre. B. C, II, lo-ir.



1746. Commandeur in Essequibo.

The Carib Indians . . . desire to surprise the [new] Mission [in
Cuyuni] and level it to the ground, which I, not without trouble, have pre-
vented, because they belong to our jurisdiction, and . , . such a step would
certainly be revenged upon us by the Spaniards. B. C, II, 46.

1748. Commandeur in Essequibo.

Seeing that all my remonstrances and letters to the Spaniards are of no avail,
and no redress is obtainable, I intend to tell tlie Chiefs of the Indians when
they come to me, that I can provide no redress for them, and that tliej must
take measures for their own security. Then I feel assured that in a short time
no Spaniard will be visible any more above in Cuyuni. I have always, but with
great difficulty, restrained them, and prevented all hostilities by fair promises.

Same, p. ^S.

The Spaniards were beginning to approach more and more up in Cuyuni;
but a war having some weeks ago arisen between the Carib nation and that of
the Warrows, which is carried on very obstinately, this will stop their further
progress, and possibly, if the Caribs obtain the upper hand, they will be driven
somewhat farther away, witliout our liaving- in the least degree to meddle
therewith. V. C, II, loi.

1755. Director-General in Essequibo.

Many of the colonists . . . have requested me to send out an invitation

to the Carib Indians to take the field against the Acuways, but ... I have

not yet decided to do so. B. C, II, 120.

1757. Court of Justice.

Resolved, ... to strictly refuse the Caribs . . . powder and shot
in the event of their coming down, and to request his Excellency to give in-
formation of this rumour [as to the Caribs attacli upon the Mission] as speedily
as possible to the Commandant of Guayana in order to avert all suspicions
which the Spaniards might form with regard to this colony. Same, p. 131.

1763. Director-General in Essequibo.

The Postholder of Arinda has reported . . . that the nation of Manoas (called
here along the bank Magnouws) being dissatisfied with the treatment they received
from the Portuguese of Brazil, had resolved to come to this Colony to make a
Treaty of Commerce with us, and that a strong body had set out with that ob-
ject. Also that the Carib nation, jealous of its trade, . . . had now assembled.
. . . and had lain in ambush for the Manoas in order to prevent their progress.
This caused a sharp fight, in which both sides lost heavily ; but the Caribs were
totally defeated and put to flight. The Manoas . . . postponed their journey
till this year, and sent word to the Postholder that they would come down in such
numbers as to have no fear of the Caribs. On the other hand, the Caribs are
assembling from all sides in order to oppose them, so that it is possible that we
shall this year see one of the bloodiest and most obstinate fights that has probably
taken place in these parts for 100 years or more. I hope the Caribs may j?et
a good Iiidiug, because 1 have always wished to see a few Manoas here.

Same, pp. 222-223.



1765. Director-General is Essequibo.

I had received tidings from Upper Massaruni that the Carib nation was
at war with that of the Actiways, and that the latter had massacred all the
women and children in a Carib village on the Massaruni.

Not without some reason did I fear that we should ag-aiu be mixed up
in this as we were a few years ago, especially through the indiscretion of some
itinerant traders and avaricious settlers, who allow themselves to be drawn into
these quarrels upon the slightest inducement of profit, supporting one or other
of the parties either with arms or with advice, which being discovered by the
other side, always leads to fatal results, and might be of great danger to the
Colony itself.

I . . . set out upon my journey, leaving Commandant Bakker written
instructions ... in case he should be compelled ... to send any sol-
diers there, to give . . . strict orders to act simply on the defensive, and not
to interfere directly or indirectly in tlie quarrels of the Indians.

The . . . Caribs . . . were . . . waiting ... to fall upon
the Acuways, . . . Wherefore he had done all that he possibly could to pacify
the two nations, and had fairly succeeded. B. C, II, iig-120.

1765. West India Company.

We are perfectly at one with your Honour that the restoration of the Post in
Cuyuni is of the highest necessity, and accordingly it was most acceptable to us
to learn finally that Indians had been found to oiFer a helping- hand, provided
an assurance of protection against the Spaniards was griveu them, wliich it
was easy to promise. Same, p. 122.

1765. West India Company (Zeeland Chamber).

In the war between the Carib and Acuway nations, observe a strict neu-
trality, which we agree with you in thinking extremely important.

Saincp, I2j.

1766. Director-General in Essequibo.

We are expecting a bloody battle every day [between the Caribs and Acuways].

I have charg'ed the Commandeur ... to proceed to Upper Demerary
in order to be on the spot, . . . and to take especial care that strict
neutrality is maintained by the citizens. I have further charged him not to
interfere, directly or indirectly, in the matter, nor to help either of the nations in
the slightest manner, and to make an effort, if there be still time, to reconcile the
two parties and prevent bloodshed, through the mediation of the Arawaks, who
are friends of both sides. I have myself succeeded in doing this several times
already, both by persuasion and threats. Same, p. ijj.

I S3 1. A. van Ryck de Groot.

I am a Protector of Indians. If an Indian made complaint to me I should
act as a mediator, not as a Mag-istrate. If the injuring party did not choose
to appear, I should not feel myself authorized to compel him to do so. In their
quarrels I should consider I had nothing to do unless they called on me as
mediator. B. C, VI, 41.



1613. Capt. Melchor Cortes.

The Dutch . . . [in their fort on the Corentine river] (lefonded themselves
courageously with the assistance of the (!arib folli, who likewise fought with
equal courage, until it became evident that they were doing great damage to the
Spanish troops from the fort, owing to the large number of Caribs who were
]ieli>iiig them ; so it was necessary to set fire to the fortress, . . . and when
the fort was burnt out they found inside it six men dead and burnt. And . . .
a very large quantity of booty, axes, knives, cutlasses, and other things, with
which they kept the Carib race at their disposal, whose daughters they used to
marry. . . . Eight [Spaniards] were wounded . . . tlirong'h tlie Caribs
having' fought so valiantly and being so numerous that on all sides they en-
deavoured to prevent the dislodgement of the said Dutch, on account of the great
advantage they derived from them. B. C, I,jj.

161 3. Don Juan Tostado.

In June of 1613 he of Guiana . . . while disarmed and (sailing) for a run
along the coast, encountered the €aribs and riemings. Same, p. j6.

1 61 4. Lieutenant of Guiana.

The insolence and ill-treatment which the Aruacas suffered from the
Flemish and Caribs were such, etc. Same, p. j6.

1614. Don Juan Tostado.

Which comes of their [Carib] strong alliance with the Flemish, always moving
together as they did when they attacked the Aruacas. Same, p. jy.

. British Case.

The Butcli were allied with the Indians ag'ainst the Spaniards of Santo
Thome and Trinidad. B. C, 12.

1614. British Case.

In 1614 the Dntch invested . . . Trinidad in conjunction with tlie

Caribs. Reinforcements and ammunition were sent from Spain with a view to
protecting that island, which was in imminent danger. Same, p. 22.

The English and Dutch allied themselves witli the Carib Indians against
the Spaniards. Same, p. 23.

\6yj. Corporation of Trinidad.

The said town [Santo Thome] has been taken, burnt and plundered by the
enemy, the Dutch and Indian Caribs from the River IJervis, and other tribes
from Orinoco, Amacuro, and Essequibo. The Dutch threaten this Island of
Trinidad with a powerful fleet, and are in league with the numerous Indian
tribes, and with the very natives of this island, who are all risen, the Dutch
being so mixed with the Indians that they marry with the Indian Carib women,
as well as with those of the other tribes.

On the 14th October of this year, 1637, the Governor, Don Diego de Escobar
being in Guiana, the Dutch and the Indian tribes of Aruacas, Caribs, Tibe-
tibes and Nepuyos came in great numbers to this Island of Trinidad.

B. C, I, SS.



1637. Governor of Margarita.

The Dutch enemy, on the 14th October of this year [1637] burned and
sacked the town of San Josepli de Oruna, the principal settlement of the
Spaniards in the said Island of Trinidad, bringing: with them for this purpose
a number of Indians, Caribs, Aruacas, and Neyuyos. B. C, I, go.

1637. Miguel de Morillas.

The Dutch enemy with a number of Indians of the Carib and other
tribes, attacked the said place [Santo Thome] and burned the houses.

The fact was that on the 14th October of this same year [1637] being Wed-
nesday, early in the morning, the enemy [Dutch,] attacked the town of San
Joseph de Oruna in the said Island of Trinidad, with twenty pirogues, bring-iug'
with them a^reat numbers of Carib Indians and Aruacas and Napuyos, the
latter being natives of the Island of Trinidad. Same, p. gi.

All the Aruacas and Caribs were allied with them. Same, p. g2.

1637. Jacinto de Mendoca.

On the 14th October, being St. Calixtus' Day, early in the morning, tlie
enemy came with twenty pirogues, and coming up the Ri\er Caroni, assaulted
the town of San Joseph de Oruna, a settlement of Spaniards on the said Island
of Trinidad, with a great number of Carib Indians and Aruacas and Nepuyos,
who are natives of the same island. Same, p. g2.

1637. Lorenzo Manuel.

The enemy [Dutch] had assaulted the said place of Santo Thome de la
Guayana with a large force of Carib Indians.

On the 14th October of this year [1637], early in the morning, the said
Dutch enemy came up the River Caroni to the Island of Trinidad, with twenty
pirogues, and attacked the town of San Joseph de Oruna, a settlement of the
Spaniards of about twenty-eight or thirty inhabitants, bringing" Avith tlieni a
great number of Indian bowmen, Caribs, Aruacas, and Nepuyos, which latter
are natives of the Island of Trinidad. Same, pp.gj-g4.

An Indian, named Andres, . . . captured at the assault on Guayana,
[Santo Thome] . . . said in Spanish that the enemy had . . . many
men and many tribes of Indians who assisted them. Same, p. g4.

1637. Corporation of Trinidad.

On Wednesday morning, the 14th October [1637], the Dutch, allied with
corsairs of the Carib and otlier tribes, attacked this town [St. Joseph de Oruna

in Trinidad], . . . and burned the town and the principal church, so that
nothing escaped.

He [Andres] is a Spanish-speaking Indian in the service of Captain Cristobal
de Vera, whom the enemy took from Guayana [Santo Thome] when they seized
the place. Same, pp. g4-gS-

An Indian was taken belonging to Cristobal de Vera, speaking Spanish, and
a Christian, called Andres, otherwise Cabeza de Bagre [Fish Head].

Same, p. gg.



1637. Don Lopez de Escobar, Governor of Guiana.

The Dutch arc fortified in Esscquibo, in imioii ivith the Indians their
confederates, who are many, for they collect all the nations of those parts, and
all the coast of Guayana and of Orinoco propose to come and attack the said
town [Santo Thome].

The Indians frequent them [Dutcli trading: sliips] very willingly for the
sake of the considerable articles of barter they give them.

A powerful enemy who is confederated with all the Indians. B. C.,I, loy.

I am informed that tlie Dutch continue to approach nearer to this town [Santo
Thome] and that some of them have settled among the Caribs their allies.

Satiic, p. loS.

1637. Archives of the Indies.

The enemy [Dutch] who came in such strength, combined with the Carib
Indians, and, like robbers, they knew all the entrances so well that they were
not perceived until they knocked at the doors and began setting fire to the houses.

Although the enemy remained for some days in the river, on account of
the preparations which they heard of from the Indians, whom we regarded as
friends but who were much more devoted to them than to us, they did not ven-
ture to come to close quarters. Same, p. Uj.

1638. Governor of Caracas.

Escobar, Governor of Guayana and the Corporation of that city, have informed
me ... of the distress and trouble in which they are placed througli tlie
hostility of the Hollanders, and the Indians and Caribs and other nations
joined with tliem. Satne, p. 100.

1638. Corporation of Santo Thome.

The enemy [Dutch] hold seven towns on this coast, and all the Caribs are
joined with them, and form a league and confederation with the object of de-
stroying us, in order to occupy tliis river [Orinoco].

There are many natives of different tribes, all of whom the Dutch enemy try
to attract with large quantities of articles of barter, which they distribute on all
sides, merely with a view of attaining their object. Same, pp. 103-ioj.

1638. Maldonado.

The number of Christians who meet their death so cruelly at the hands of
these savages [Caribs] will excite sympathy for making this concession, and num-
bers of poor residents will wiUingly go forth for the purpose of having security in
all the coasts and farms, and on this remedy depends their removal from al-
liance with tlie Lutlierans.

This Island of Trinidad has been very frequently visited by the peoples of
different nations, and they have tried to settle the Punta de la Galera situated at
the head of the island, and in order to have greater security in making the settle-
ment, the Dutch have united with the Caril) Indians, and have attacked the
town and killed some Spaniards and sacked it. Same, p. 12^.

1733. Father Bernardo Rotella.

I suppose . . . that, although Taricura is an Indian, and consequently
his speeches might be despised, that he does not speak from himself alone, nor
from confidence in their numbers, but from the certainty of support from the
Dutch. B. C.-C, App., 16S.



1724. West India Company's Account Books.

Goods delivered in payment to 60 Indians wlio liave been at Post Wacqucpo
to serve 00 days ag^ainst the Magenauts. B. C, VII, lyg.

1747. Don Jose de Iturriaga.

Their [Carib] pride and superiority over the other nations keeps them in con-
tinnal movement against them, although they may be very distant, with the
view of slave-raiding", in order to sell tlieni to the iniiabitants of tlie Dutch
Colonies — Essequibo, Berbice, Corentine, and Surinam, B. C, 11,53.

1753. Director-General in Essequibo.

I intend . . . to attack tliem [the Mapissanoe Indians in the upper Esse-
quibo] with the assistance of the Caribs, who have come and offered their
services for this purpose. . . . This will take place much the more easily be-
cause they have also murdered some Caribs and Macusis, who are their nearest
neighbours. Same, p. Sg.

1760. Judicial report of attack by Spaniards upon the Dutch in Barima.

The said Dutch (in Barima) are waiting for a batch of Indians whom they
have ordered to be purchased throug:li their allies, the Caribs, who can go

more freely up this river (Orinoco). Same, p. i8y.

For the purpose of hindering the inhuman traffic of the Dutch with the Carib
Indians, which the latter carry on by the sale of infidels of otlier tribes, whom
they capture in wars or by raids, and sell as slaves to the said Dutch for

small prices. Same, p. iSS.


. British Case.

Other expeditions [to catch slaves] . . . were from time to time organ-
ized, the Caribs never failing- to respond to the calls made upon them.

B. C, p. 95.

161 3. Corporation of Trinidad.

The Flemish and Caribs steal the friendly Indians and carry them to their
settlements to employ them in cultivating tobacco. B. C, 1, 55.

1637. Jacques Ousiel.

On the east side of the island named Punta Galera dwell two nations of
Indians, the one called Nipujosandthe other Arawaks, over 600 able men ; these
are friendly to the Dutch, especially the Nipujos, who are deadly enemies of the
Spaniards ; but the Arawaks occasionally serve the Spaniards in rowing their
canoes, and cannot be relied upon so well. i7. S. Com., II, 87.

1733. Father Bernardo Rotella.

" On my return journey I [Araguacare, Lieutenant-General of the Carib tribe
on the Orinoco,] am going to kill them all ; . . . when I have done this, I am
going to summon my relations from Essequibo, (this is what Taricura calls the
Dutch) and I am coming with them to burn Guayana, for all this Orinoco is



mine, and its inhabitants are my slaves, and so I can give and sell them to
whomsoever I please. I do not wish them to belong to the Spaniards, but that
the Dutch should have them. Do you not see that I bring Dutchmen to my
wars without the people of Guayana saying anything to me, and they continue to
live in my house for one or two years, or as long as they choose ; and they and
the French give me as many muskets and shot as I want, and the Spaniards take
them from me if they see them, for they are very evil, while the Dutch are good,
and give us many presents. I will bring numbers of Dutch, and they will not
leave a white man alive in Orinoco ; and on my return I will kill the Fathers.

B. C.-C, App., 167.

1733. Corporation of Trinidad.

Nothing can be expected from the said Carib tribe save the total ruin of the
entire province of Guiana, for they keep all the other tribes of Indians in a state
of terror, and exhaustion through the slaughter they commit among them ; and
those who are not killed by their hands they sell as slaves to the Dutch of the
adjoining Colonies ; and these Dutch in order to keep up this iniquitous and
base trade with them, give them assistance in arms, ammunition, and men for
use against the Spaniards. Sa?ne, p. 176.

By the offensive and defensive alliance which they [Caribs] have with certain
Dutchmen, to the prejudice of the natural liberty of the Indians, . . . their
objects are directed to the destruction of the other tribes of Indians, uhom
they enslave in order to keep them unJer their dominion, or sell them to
the Dutch, as they are in the habit of doing. Same, p. 177.

1734. Father Joseph Gumilla.

Both nations [Dutch and Carib] come up from the sea to rob and burn the
villages of the Missions and carry off as many captives as they can, and sell
tliem at Essequibo, Berbice and Surinam. -B- C., Ill, S4.

1745. Father Joseph Gumilla.

Besides the profit from slaves the Dutch are moved to keep up their
strong alliance M'ith the Caribs, by the value of the Balsam of Tolu (Aceite de
Maria), and of a species of bixwort found on the Orinoco. To procure these
some Dutch introduce themselves among the fleets of these Indians, painted ac-
cording to the custom of the said savages, by which they encourage them, and
add boldness to the lamentable destruction which they work. Added to which,
many Caribs receive a great supply of arms, ammunition, glass beads, and other
trifles, with the understanding that they are to be paid for within a certain time
with Indians, which they must take prisoners on the Orinoco. And when the
time has elapsed, the Dutch creditors encourage and even oblige the Caribs to
their bloody raids against the defenceless Indians of the Orinoco.

V. C, II, 2g4-2gs.

1747. Commandeur in Essequibo.

I should already long ago have removed and demolished the first fort up in
Cuyuni (which even now is easy of accomplishment on my part through the
Caribs). B. C, II, 49.



1751. Acting Commandeur in Essequibo.

Persik . . . informed me that in the month of January [1751I the Carib
nation made a raid upon three Spanish Missions, and murdered four or five
priests, which caused much disorder and bitter fecHng amongst the colonists
there. B. C, I J, 70.

1753. King of Spain.

The Catalonian Capuchin missionaries of the Province of Guayana have made
known the injuries and ninrders which have been committed in their missions
by certain villages of Caribs belong^ins? to these, through the influence of the
Dutch of Essequibo, as is supposed because they have taken refuge in that
Colony, and because the Governor of it gives them license to make slaves of
all the Indians whom they find. V. C, III, 372.

1753. Instructions to Iturriaga.

No one is better informed than your Excellency of the number and condition
of the Indian Caribs dwelling on the banks of the Orinoco, and of the ravages
tliey liave committed on our Missions, influenced and directed by the
Dutch. B.C.,II,8g.

1754. Director-General in Essequibo.

They [Caribs] have made an alliance witli the Tanacays . . . and
both tog'ether surprised that Mission, [in Cuyuni] massacred the priest and
ten or twelve Spaniards, and have demolished the buildings. Same, p. g6.

1757. Court of Justice.

Councillor Piepersberg having communicated both to his Excellency and to
the meeting that he had been requested by Johannes Neuman, the Postholder
in the Cuyuni, to say that the Caribs there had determined to make a raid
upon and devastate the Spanish Mission situated up in that river.

Same, p. ijo.

1758. Director-General in Essequibo.

It would not be very difficult for me, by making- use of the Caribs, to pay
them back in their own coin and drive them from their present position. But
since the Indians are unwilling to go without having some white men at their
head, ... I shall not think of it without having received express authority.

Same, p. 144.

1760. Don Jose de Iturriaga.

The Caribs in the settlements made repeated journeys to the dwellings in
the woods, obtaining permission from their missionary fathers on the pretext of
bringing to the settlement some of their relatives, and occupied themselves in
the same work [slave-catching] as those in the woods. Some remained there
and others returned to their settlements. Same, p. i8j.

1763. Don Jose Diguja.

He [Governor Sucre] made several expeditions to pursue the Dutch and
other foreigners, who in union with the Caribs used to raid the said provinces
and tlie Orinoco, B. C, ///, 18.



1763. Don Jose Diguja.

The Carlbs and Dutcli, who, by way of the Cuyuni and Mazaruni Rivers, and
on the rear of the said Missions, had attemped to wa^e hostilities agrainst
them [Spaniards], have been harassed; and to prevent this in future several
expeditions have been sent ont, and one of these snrprised a strongrhold, built
by the Dutch on the River Cuyuni, where they had gathered all the Indians of
other tribes captured by the Caribs and sold to them for mere trifles.

B. C, III, 20.

By means of these advanced Missions the Dutch protected by the Caribs,
have been prevented . . . from reaching ... the Cuyuni and the Mas-
saruni Rivers, to commit acts of hostility, to kidnap Indians, . . . and to
make new settlements in the centre of this province. Same, p. 21.

The vigilance of my predecessors was not enough to prevent all the ravages