Rafael Seijas.

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

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tation along the creeks and landing-])laces which are out of the way and un-
known : . . . seeing that . . . it is forbidden ... to suffer or per-



mit foreigners to exercise the freedom of establishing themselves in these
dominions by establishing new colonies, . . . we . . . declare that the
said Dutch . . . must forfeit the implements and other things which they
were found to possess, . . . and that they be devoted to the Royal Treasury.

B. C, III, 173-174-

1769. Ex-Prefect of Missions.

The most Reverend Father is persuaded that at the present time, under pretext
of Ashing-, they [Dutch] wish to establish themselves freely with their boats in
the mouths of the Orinoco, to re-establish and facilitate the clandestine ship-
ment of ninles from Guarapiche and Guaruapo, and tobacco from Barinas, hides
and other products of the Spanish Provinces, with which they used to benefit
their Colony considerably when the Orinoco with its creeks was not so well
guarded as now ; which new measure and want of commerce, is the real cause
of the decay of Essequibo and of the resentment of Mr. Olravesande, the chief
trader and always the most interested in the illicit commerce of the Colony.

B. C.,IV,49.

1776. Charles Teuffer.

I . . . asked him, [Commandant of Guiana] whether there was not a
way of establishing some trade between the two Colonies. He told me that this
was . . . strongly prohibited, . . . and that he could not give permission
thereto. After a long conversation he said to me that it had stood with us alone
to keep up a better understanding, and that, although he had been unable
openly to give permission as regarded commerce, matters might have been
arranged to the satisfaction of both sides. Same, p. i/j.

1 791. Captain-General of Caracas.

It could be learned if the Dutch of Essequibo and Demerari sustain suspi-
cious intercourse with the Indians of the margins of the Orinoco, and whether
they supply them with arms and ammunition. V. C.-C, III, 1^2.



. British Case.

From the end of the sixteenth century the Dutch constantly and of rig-ht,

traded to the coast of Guiana between the Orinoco and the Amazon. B. C, 78.

From the early part of the 17th century the Dutch, and since their acquisition
of the Colony the British, controlled the trade of the whole district now in
dispute. -^-awt', p. iig.

Trade was carried on by the Dutch systematically and as of right along the
courses of all these rivers. Satne, p. 162,

1757. Director-General in Essequibo.

Complaints having been repeatedly made by the Commandant of Orinoco,
concerning the evil conduct in Barima of the traders, or wanderers, as well
from Surinam as from here, I have written circumstantially to the ad interim
Governor there, Mr. I. Nepven, whose reply is awaited daily.

B. C, II, 131-132.




1769. Secretary of State for the Indies.

It is necessary for rne to ask information ... in order that His Majesty
may be informed of the extension of those boundaries and about the rigfht
claimed \)j the [Dutcli] Republic to the fishery at the entrance to the River
Orinoco— a tiling: as new to me as that the Carib tribe of Indians is conceived
of as the ally of the Dutch. V. C, III, 3S1.

1772. Director-General in Essequibo.

A new Governor has arrived in Orinoco. ... I hope that he will not be
such a Turk as his predecessor. With the latter there was not the least chance
of getting anything out of the Orinoco, and he even forbade the usual salting in
the mouth of the river, and set a strong watch to prevent it. If the present one
shows a little more tractability, as the former ones did, I will soon take advantage
of it ; there must now be abundance of cattle there. B. C, IV, loj.

1897. George L. Burr.

Van Meteren points out: The United Netherlands . . . endeavored . . .
gradually to open a commerce with the West Indies, without seeking to make
any conquests there, but rather to win the friendship of the Indians and to pro-
tect them against the Spaniards, . . . and thus to come into traffic with
them. V. C.-C, II, 48-


1693. Venezuelan Case.

In or about 1693 the Dutch began the trade in horses up in Cuyuni— a
trade which could only have been carried on with the Spaniards ; and this trade
was continued through the remaining years of the 17th century. V. C, gi.

By 1693 . . . the Essequibo Dutch were travelling six weeks up from
Kykoveral to the savannas of the Cuyuni to buy horses.

This trade in horses in the Cuyuni continued without restriction until 1702.
In that year the Spaniards prohibited it ; and though it was attempted to be kept
up by the Dutch, they were compelled to abandon it altogether by 1707.

Same, p. 104.

. British Counter Case.

The horses appear to have been brought by the Dutch from the Indian
tribes on the Upper Orinoco, and possibly from some Spaniards in the same
region. B. C.-C, 02.

The prohibition of the trade in horses was against their being brought
from the Upper Orinoco to the Cuyuni, and did not rest on any control of the
latter river. Same, p. 69.

1699. Official Diary at Kijkoveral.

August 17, 1 1699I This morning a goodly parcel of trading wares was given
to the old negro traders, so that they may set out for the Upper Cuyuni to-mor-
row to procure some horses by barter.

August 18, This morning the negro traders set out for the Upper Cuyuni, in
order to procure some horses, &c., by barter. B, C.-C, App., 52.



1699. Official Diary at Kijkoveral.

October 17, [1699]. Two Caribs also arrived from the Upper Cuyuni, bring-
ing tidings that the old negro traders who had set out from the Fort on the 17th
August for the purpose of piircliasing horses, had not set out from the dye
store until the 20th September, on account of a lack of Indians, and having to
wait for the bread baking. B. C.-C, App., 60.

1700. Official Diary at Kijkoveral.

January 23, [1700]. About 4 o'clock in the afternoon there appeared here
some of the Company's horse-kopers with the brother of the free planter Pieter
Tollenaar, also licensed, and having been out for that business, reporting that
they had obtained for the Honourable Company ten animals. Same, p. S2.

February 15, [1700], Pieter ToUenaer, the free planter, arrived here from
Cuyuni, where he had been looking out for the horse-kopers, but after staying
there two or three times twenty-four hours, and not seeing any signs of them, he
had come back. Savie, p. 86.

February 17, [1700J. About 7 o'clock this morning the horse-kopers arrived
here with four horses for the , . . Company, . . . also with four for
the plantation " Hoog en Droogh."

February 21, [1700J. In the forenoon there arrived the Company's horse-
kopers, whose paddlers, having been paid their wages, again set out up the
river in order to fetch the remaining horses down. Same, p. Sj.

March 14, [1700] There arrived here from the Upper Cuyuni the Company's
old negro traders Anthonij and Ceesje, bringing wiih them three horses, and
reporting that one had died on the way. Same, p. go.

September 12, [1700] . . . Some old negro horse-dealers, as well as
some white ones, also arrived to speak to the Commandeur concerning the jour-
neys they were about to commence ; . . .

September 13, The above-mentioned old negro traders came here again,
and trading wares for the purchase of the above-mentioned merchandize were
given and dealt out to them.

September 14, The aforesaid horse-dealeis came here, and after having been
recommended by the Commandeur to take good care of everything, they took their
leave and set out on their journey. Same, p. 114.

1 701. Court of Policy.

The horses from above are not being any longer brought down as for-
merly, and this might get still worse in case of war. V. C, II, 68.

1706, British Counter Case.

Horses appear to have been obtained np-country in Cuyuni in 1706, al-
though the trade seems to have subsequently fallen into the hands of the Eng-
lish, who supplied better animals. B. C.-C, 66.

1706. Commandeur in Essequibo.

Councillors and Master Planters of this Colony of Essequibo,

Are hereby informed by the order of the Governor that if any of you are

inclined to have some horses fetched from the Upper Cuyuni, you should get

your men and trading wares, etc., ready and come next Friday the loth of this

month to speak to his Honour the Governor thereupon. B. C.-C, App., /jp.



1707. [1897] George L. Burr.

In October, 1707, the commandeur complained that they [horses] could no
longer be got thus from above so conveniently and in such quantity as need re-
quired. It is the last mention I have found of the imixu'tation of horses by
this route. V. C.-C, II, /jj.

1723. Commandeur in Essequibo.

I likewise intend to send in the coming May, 1723, two buoy-canoes to Ori-
noco, to get from there liorses for the Company. V. C, II, jg.

1 73 1. West India Company (Zeeland Chamber).

We have little fear that the English would bring no horses, if you did not also
buy from them what they had intended to sell in the river ; moreover, you are well
aware that it is far more advisable for the Company to foster the trade to Ori-
noco with the Spaniards than to favor this dealing: with the Eug'lish.

Same, p. Sj.
1 74 1. Court of Policy.

The scarcity and lack of horses being taken into consideration, it was resolved
that the respective plantations should send to Aguirre in order to barter for
horses, and that the trading wares therefore be advanced out of the Company's
stores. B. C, II, jj.


. . Venezuelan Case.

Dutch trade into the interior. . . . Between 1680 and 1693, this trade

seems to have been with the Indians and confined principally to hammocks,

balsam and other Indian products. V. C, go.

. British Case.

[Before 1648J the Dutch carried on a large trade in anuatto dye, . . .
obtained from the Indians, with whom the Dutch [were] ... in alliance
and friendship during this period. B. C, ij.

1683. Commandeur in Essequibo.

I am sorry about the low price of the annatto dye and sugar ; I shall . . .
attempt to buy the dye from the natives at the lowest price possible witliont
risk, and to impress them, . . . with the danger of ruin to that trade.
. . . if one did not proceed with caution . . . they . . . would plant
no dye-trees hereafter. This would be the death blow to that trade.

V. C, II, 43-44.

1700. Official Diary at Kijkoveral.

February 6, [1700] . . . About 4 o'clock in the afternoon there appeared
here the negro trader Lieven, who had been sent out to Penony, bringing, in re-
turn for the trading wares taken with him, three parcels of provisions, twenty-
seven baskets of bread, twenty-seven quakes of annatto dye, and no more.

B. C.-C, App., S3.

1 701. Ofificia] Diary at Kijkoveral.

January 8, [1701J. There appeared here the Company's negro serv'ant
Samuel Stoffelsen, to whom some trading wares were dealt out with which to
go up in Cuyuni and collect some cattle and rare birds.

Same, p. IJ3.



17 lo. British Counter Case.

In 1 710 . . . trade for balsam was continued with Orinoco.

B. C.-C, 67.

1739. Marquis de San Felipe y Santiago.

With which [slave trade] are united other branches of commerce they have
held with tlie Caribs iu balms those countries produce, such as maraiia or
copaiba, carapa, auatto, cotton, hammocks, birds, wild animals, and a small
number of horses. B. C.-C, App., 1S2.

1750. Anonymous.

The trade they conduct with the aforesaid Indians and Spaniards is, iu
substance, that the Dutch couTey for the consumption of the people of the
river, white and blue cloths, Rouen linen, coarse britannias, white holland,
striped stuffs for gowns, other common cotton goods and some hats ; a large
quantity of brandy, some white wine and implements, axes, picks, hatchets and
cutlasses. And for the smugglers of the interior they convey spices, especially
cinnamon and cloves in cases ; fine new hats of good quality and first class white
ones ; velvets, silks, some lace, pieces of britannias and hollands, medium and fine ;
wa.x, flour, and wine. What the Dutch take back is money (usually in gold),
tobacco from Barinas, mules, a few heifers ; and a small amount in hides, bal-
sam of copaiba, hammocks, and other similar goods. Same, p. ipj.

. [1897] George L. Burr.

The products mainly sought by this trade were such as could be furnished
by the Indians, . . . alone : the dyes and oils and precious woods of
the forests — annatto . , . letter-wood, carap oil, balsam copaiba.

V. C.-C, II, 82.


1724. Governor of Cumana.

News was frequently sent me that many foreigners, the Dutch from Surinam,
came to these places trading, in vessels, and penetrated more than 100
leagues up the Orinoco, and more than 30 above Angostura, the Fathers
lamenting the trade carried on with the Caribs, the sale of tools, stuffs, wine,
spirits, guns, and other arms, which they exchanged for a large number of Indian
slaves. V.C.,II,2So.

1750. Anonymous.

The vessels engaged in this ti'ade (except in that of mules) are in general
medium-sized schooners of small draught, armed with swivel guns, blunder-
busses, muskets and pistols, carrying from twelve to sixteen men besides the
Aruac Indians who act as rowers. Barges and launches also go up with car-
goes worth from five to seven or eight hundred pesos ; but of their trade no accu-
rate estimate can be formed, as it is greater in some years than others, but I think
it amounts to ten or twelve of them going up yearly from Essequibo, and two or
three from the other colonies.

For shipping mules bilanders are used (since schooners and barges are
only able and accustomed, to take six, eight, or ten at most).

B. C.-C, App., ipj.


HOW CARRIED ON-(Continued).

1766. Director-General in Essequibo.

These Postliolders (at Arinda) receiving little salary, their only profit consists
in buying and exchanging Indian slaves, hammocks, cotton, &c., which, on
coming down . . . they sell to the planters. B. C, IV, 140.

. [1896] James Rodway.

Posts were established in the Essequebo from the time of its first occupation ;
in fact, the early settlements were nothing more or less than posts. As such they
were centres where bartering: witli the Indians of a ivide area on every side
was carried on. . . . The first Postholders were traders and very little more.
... To reach new markets these posts were at great distances from the centre
of the colony. V. C, III, 337.

• [1897] George L. Burr.

The means employed to this end [trade] by the colonial authorities were of
two sorts, which must be clearly distinguished. . . . First, the agents,
whom they called outrunners. These . . . scoured, by canoe or on foot,
the whole country, stirring up the Indians to bring in tlieir wares and
barter them at the fort or themselves carrj ing into the wilderness the trinkets
for exchange, and bringing back the Indian produce. ... In addition to
. . . outrunners . . . they came also to have their outliers.

V. C.-C, II, 82.

It was somewhat more than half a century after the beginning of the colony
when a beginning was made of this new method. . . . It is clear that these
posts were few, definite, constant. . . . five were all. The location of these
posts did not, indeed, always remain the same. . . . Yet each quarter had
but its single post ; however, for strategic or other reasons its site might vary, its
relation to the colony remained the same. Same, pp. S3-84.


. Venezuelan Case.

Before the middle of the eighteeth century the Spaniards themselves were
beginning to take this [Orinoco] trade into their liands. By this time, too,
and perhaps long before, these Spanish traders were making their way into the
Dutch colony via the Cuyuni.

The Orinoco authorities found it easy to favor their own people in this com-
petition by merely enforcing against the Dutch traders the Spanish laws and thus
making the Orinoco too hot for them. Both to avoid this danger and to lessen
the risk of smuggling on their own side, the Dutch West India Company and the
Essequibo government made it, from the middle of the i8th century, their settled
policy to transfer this trade to Spanish hands.

From about 1761 on, the trade was exclusively in the hands of the Spaniards ;
and from this time forward one scarcely hears of Dutch traders to the Orinoco ;
the current was all the other way ; and the Spaniards were induced to come to
the Essequibo to sell their products there.

By 1794 the Governor-General, though himself a son of the colony, was seem-
ingly ignorant that this trade had ever been in other than Spanish hands.

By the end of the century the former trade relations of the Dutch with the
Barima had become a mere tradition. V, C, 112-114.



, [1897] George L. Burr.

Prior to the middle of the eighteenth century this trade was carried on mainly
by the Dutch. But from 1761 it became the settled policy of the Company and
of the colonial authorities to transfer the coiuluct of this trade to the Span-
iards. So successful were they that from this time forward one scarcely hears of
Dutch traders to the Orinoco. V. C.-C, II, S6-S7.

. British Counter Case.

The inclosure in the communication of the Duke of Lerma (161 5), . . .
is the only indication that the Spaniards ever did more than visit Esseqniho
for trade. For this purpose they depended on the goodwill of the Arawak
Indians; but these became hostile in 1618, and . . . the visits of the Span-
iards to Essequibo were finally put an end to in 1619. B. C.-C.,ji.

1746. West India Company.

It might perhaps be that the Spaniards, who are very clearly acting secretly
in the matter, are through those people seeking trade with those of Esseqniho

which it would be better to cultivate than to ruin. B. C, II, 46.

1748. West India Company.

It gave us especial pleasure to learn . . . how by the zeal you have
shown the trade of tlie Spaniards in the river of Esseqniho begins to develop
more and more, and we hope that all further means will be put in operation to
make it flourish there to perfection. Same, p. jd,

1748. Commandeur in Essequibo.

Business with the Spaniards begins to grow better as time progresses,
. . . I shall try, as far as lies in ray power, to encourage the trade and to ad-
vance it, and as far as possible to make it general. Same, p. j/.

1749. Commandeur in Essequibo.

Some profit ought at times to be made out of the Spaniards, . . . many
Spaniards come and go out of the river without coming under my observation ;
. . . this occurring at the instance of some of the principal (planters), and
also in order not to frighten away the Spaniards, I have until now con-
nived somewhat at this. Same, pp. 60-61.

1750. Report of Committee on Commandeur's Report.

The Committee, were of opinion that ... in view of the increasing
Spanisli trade, it was not unlikely that a reasonable profit might be made by it,
especially so if it could be brought about that the Spaniards no longer, as hereto-
fore, has usually happened, tarried with their wares and articles of trade among
the private settlers living up the [Essequibo] river, but came with them farther
down and as far as to the fort. Same, p. 68.

1752. Secretary in Essequibo.

It is very agreeable to me that my idea regarding the not allowing the Span-
iards to trade overland in cattle with this Colony has your Honours' appro-
bation. Same, p. /j.



1 761. British Counter Case.

The Dutch Director-General, in . . . 1761, . . . considered . . .
it was best to send fewer no boats to the Orinoco, and to compel the Spaniards
to come to the Essequibo.

The Court of Policy reported that the [Orinoco] trade was a mere bagatelle,
and also risky and precarious, particularly as England and Spain were said again
to be at war, and Orinoco would probably soon be ruined for many years to
come. Consequently the trade was purposely suspended by the Dutch.

B. C.-C, 80.

1761. Director-General in Essequibo.

I have always imagined that it was best for our inhabitants to send few or no
boats to Orinoco, and so compel the Spaniards to come here with their mer-
chandize ; in this way our people would not be exposed to the least danger, and
the arrangement began to work very well. B. C, II, ig8.

1 761. West India Company (Zeeland Chamber).

Concerning the trade which is carried on from the Colony to Rio Orinoco.
We beg you to consider whether it might not be possible, and more profitable for
the Company, to direct this trade into such channels that it must be carried on
from Orinoco to Esseqnibo, by the Spaniards ; whereas it now, on the contrary,
takes place from Essequibo to the Orinoco. Same, p. 202.

1764. Director-General in Essequibo.

The Spaniards . . . come here [to Essequibo] with mules, cattle, to-
bacco, hides, dried meat. B. C, III, iii.

1766. Director-General in Essequibo.

The Spaniards who had come hither with tobacco, hides, and other
things, all have to pass his [Postholder of Moruka] door, and some of them rest
at his place. Same, p. ijg.

1776. Director-General in Essequibo.

The Portuguese are trading above in the river as the Spaniards here
below. B. C, IV, 176.



1699. Official Diary at Kijkoveral.

September 18, [1699]. Jotte the old negro, has set out for the Upper Maza-
runi ... to bring down four or five slaves.

September 22, [1699]. In the afternoon Jotte, the old negro, arrived from
Mazaruni. . . . bringing with him four female slaves, two children, and a
boy. B. C, I, 216.

1724. Governor of Cumana.

As soon as I arrived in this Government . . . news was frequently sent
to me that many foreigners — the Dutch from Surinam and Berbice — came to
these places trading, in vessels, and penetrating more than 100 leagues up the
OriiMH'i*, and more than 30 above Angostura, the Fathers lamenting the trade



carried on with the Caribs, the sale of tools, stuffs, wine, spirits, guns, and
other arms, which they exchanged for a large number of Indian slaves.

B. C, III, 78.

1727. Court of Policy.

On the i6th September last [1726I Jan Batiste arrived here from Orinoco
and brought with him 200 stoops of balsam, two female slaves, and one child.

B. C, II, 6.

1733. Commandeur in Essequibo.

The outrunner, Yan der Bnrg", who has been among the tribes up in Esse-
quibo for more than a year altogether in order to trade, sent me in September
last one Creole, with two slave women and some copaiba balsam, writing that
he would himself come down in November. Same, p. 16.

1734. King of Spain,

In the [Barima] creek ... a Carib Chief . . . said . . . the
whites of Guayana, . . . hindered him taking the Indians of the nations of
the Orinoco and selling them to tlie Dutch. B. C, III, Si.

1734. Father Joseph Gumilla,

Both nations [Butch 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
them at Essequibo, Berbice and Surinam.

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.

Same, p. 84.

\72,7- Commandeur in Essequibo.

Among the outgoing cargo are two half-kegs of fine dye, taken in exchange by
Van der Burg up in Essequibo, where the necessary buildings have been made
and a post established to extend trade through those regions, if possible, to the
Amazon. ... in view of the slave trade and the production of fine dye, this
post remains of much importance, since, small as is this beginning, we become
acquainted among the Indians further inland, and this trade may by degrees
become considerable. B. C, II, 24-2^.

1739. Marquis de San Felipe y Santiago.