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There is enough in the world, and more
than e^ough, to change the kindliest na-
ture to gall.

The frenzied love, too, so powerfully
pictured in these volumes, fresh and unde-
filed, free alike from sensuality and senti-
ment, such as men might have felt when
the world was young, is unhallowed ; and
thus leads our noblest impulses to sympa-
thize with crime. No poetical retribution
can destroy influences like these. The
moral, in fact, in such books, is a sop to
Cerberus, to blind to the effect of a series
of prurient and exciting scenes. The soul
is seared by blasts from hell, and then told
to be strong and fisiil not.

But m Jane Eyre, every thing tends to
the side of virtue. The patient plodding
through long dull years of toil, so difficult
of dramatic representation, is here finely
brought out. As we read, our breasts are
filled with the sombre dogged spirit that
chained the maiden to her outies. When
the mystery is cleared up that makes it
crime for Jane, or the reader, to listen to
words of love, she fiees from its pollu-
tion ; and its voice is no more heard, till
punishment frees the man^s hands, and pu-
rifies his soul. T. C. C.



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The Mosquito Question.



S35



BRITISH ENCKOACHMENTS AND AGGRESSIONS



IN CENTRAL AMERICA.



THE MOSQUITO QUESTION.



(CaiUmued from page 21S.J



[Then followed another grant, compre-
hending all the territory south of the nver
San Jnan to the boundaries of New Grena-
da, including Bora del Toro and Chiriqui
Lagoon. This grant was made in the
same terms with the first. MSS.

Another grant, made Feb. Ist. 1839,
giving, " Little Com Island ; and," says
our author, '' it is possible a keg of rum
would have procured a similar grant of
Mexico or the United States" from the
same royal hands.

The assent of the Mosquito dignitaries
was obtained in form, and each man made
his mark. MSS.]

''These are to certify, that in consequence
of the very low price of tortoise shelly on
which we and our people depend for our liv-
ing, it is entirely out oi our power to pay our
deots, &c. lU therefore, gives us great satis-
faction, &c., that our good king, &c., has, by
Siving a grant of land, freed us from all debts
ue to those traders, &c., &c., &c."
Signed by the Mosquito dignitaries. [MSS.]

[There were other cesoions to other indi-
viduals, covering nearly the entire ^' king-
dom."

When the mtelligence of these proceed-
ings reached Jamaica and the Belize, it ex-
cited great ahtrm among the government
eonspuratoni. Col. M'Donald, the Super-
intendent of Belice, had ^^ his Majesty
Robert Charles Frederick," immediately
brought within his jurisdiction) when every
effort was made to procure a revocation of

VOL. T. no. lU. MSW SBIUB0.



these cessions. But the royal word had
been plighted, or rather his Majesty stood
in too great bodily awe of the Jamaica
traders: the attempt failed. Col. M'-
Donald, however, secured from him the ac-
companying document, which is certainly
a curiosity in regal history.

Here rollows, in the English form, the
"Will of his Majesty the King of the
Mosquito nation," directing, that in the
event of his death, the " afiairs of his king-
dom" should be continued in the hands of
'^ Commissioners, appointed by me, upon
the nomination of His Ezceuency, Col.
M'Donald, Her Majesty's Superintend-
ent," as Regents during the minority of the
heir. Also, that the United Church of
England and Ireland shall be the estab-
lished religion of the Mosquito nation, for-
ever."

Col. M'Donald and the Commissioners,
or Regents, are also made guardians of the
" royiu" children.

In case of the death of CoL M'Donald,
Conmiiasionera are directed to apply to the
Queen of Great Britain to fill the vaoany.

Also a request that her Majesty will
continue to protect the kingdom of Mos-
qiuto as heretofore.

This will was signed by the " king" and
the " judges of the Supreme Court of Hon-
duras " ! n

Under this authority, certainly no better
than that on which ^e Shepherds and
others claimed their large tracts of terri-
tory, M'Donald proceeded to act as

16



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he thought would best promote the ulti-
mate designs of Great Britain. And,
strange to say, the British Government
pretends to regard this document as legal
and bmding, at the same time it sets aside
all others executed by the same savage !

As observed by a Spanish reviewer, the
events which followed were better becom-
ing the pen of Charivari or Punch than that
of history. Perhaps villainy and fraud never
assumed a more ludicrous garb, than in the
subsequent transactions of M'Donald and
his associates.

Of course the Jamaica traders, in their
new character of sovereigns, were not slow
in improving the advantages of their new
position. They sub-divided their terri-
tories, converting their titles into a sort of
transmissible paper, which was negotiated
not only in Jamaica and Belize, but also
on the 'Change of London. The credit of
this paper was, of course, not very high
with those who stopped to inquire into its
origin ; and the standing of the Mosquito
monarch among the potentates of the world
was not particidarly calculated to inspire
confidence. But nevertheless, a consider-
able number of British subjects became in-
volved in the speculation, and talked much
of the Isthmus of Nicaragua, with its Ori-
ental coasts and the probability of the Eng-
lish Government extending its power over it,
of the opening of a ship canal, and the im-
mense value of the lanos on the banks of the
San Juan, &c., &c.

Indeed, so &r was the delusion carried,
that a large sale of the granted lands was
sold to a Prussian company, which pro-
ceeded to establish a colony upon the
coast, at the mouth of Bluefields river,
where a shattered remnant still lingers, the
miserable victims of fraud.

M 'Donald was beset with difficulties.
If the claims of the Jamaica traders were
recognised and protected on the ground of
the proprietors being British subjects, then
their subsequent 3alcs were valid, and half
the grants were already sold to Prussia,
including the mouth of the river of San Juan !
This could not be : it would practioally de-
feat the ultimate designs of the Govern-
ment. There was but one course left,
namely^ to procure the revocation of the
grants i

But the influence of the Jamaica traders
was too great to be encountered at once.



They were left for a second blow; and the
king, although adhering to his own grants
and those of his father, was willing to annul
those granted by his royal ancestors pre-
viously. A Mr. Walker, better known on
the coast as " Pat Walker," who was sec-
retary to M'Donald, proceeded to Mos-
quito soon after, and succeeded in getting
me signature of the king to the foUowing
document :

REVOCATION, NO. I.

Inasmuch as we and our late predecessor,
George Frederic, have been accustomed to
make grants of lands to British subjects in
our dominions, for the purposes and with
the view of cultivating and promoting the
colonization of the rich and fertile soil of
our coasts, in virtuje of which cessions se-
veral British Bubjeets and agricultural com-
panies have taken possession and com-
menced the colonization of said lands ; and,
inasmuch, as we have just received infor-
mation of certain pretenders of distinct
lands of our territories, in virtue of cesmons
made by our predecessors, which lands
have not been cultivated nor their posses-
sion conserved by any agent, &c., and now
a period of more than hm a century having
passed away, the holders of our cessions
and those made by our immediate prede-
cessor having made great expenses to
commence the colonization of said cesaons :

Therefore, be it known, for the satis-
faction of the holders of our cessions and
of those made by our predecessor, George
Frederic, that we annul and make of no
value all the anterior cessions to those made
by our predecessor, in virtne of said an*
terior cessions having become extinct, ac-
cording to the laws of England, by which
we govern ourselves absolutely in all what
concerns real estate, and as no possession
has been taken of said cessions of lands,
and they have not been reclaimed at a due
time,' &c. &c. Cape Gracias a Dios, Maj
23, 1841. (Signed)

Robert Charles Frederic,

Not long after, the " King" had the
donsideration to die. M'Donald, as **• Re^
genty^^ could now act as he pleased. With
the aid of his fkctotum Walker, the follow-
ing document was issued, in the name of
the sambo boy, ** George WiUiam Gar-^
encej^^ the heir of the ^^ Mosquito King-
dom."



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REVOCATION, NO. II.



Inasmacli, as it is notorioas, that almost
all the cessions of land made in the king-
dom of Mosqnito, and, probably, all of
them haye been improperly obtained from
the late Mng, that no ecjuivalent whatever
for them, nor the promised services have
heen lent ; and, inasmuch as many of the
cessionaries have obtained said cessions firom
the late king when he was not in his sound
judgment^ (i, e. drunk*) and as said ces-
sions despoil the successor of the late king
of territorial jurisdiction in his kingdom,
and of his hereditary rights ; and, inas-
much as said cessionaries have obtained
said oesdons, not for the purposes of the co-
lonization and improvement of the country,
hot merely to speculate witli them in Lon-
don and other places :

And, whereas, the greater part of said
cession is actually in &e possession of poor
insolvent men and in real distress, said
cesdonaries never having fulfilled their
duty of occupying said lands, though the
most recent of said cessions bean oate of
July 27, 1841 ; and as the acknowledge-
ment of the validity of said cessions would
be subversive of the just rights of the pre-
sent king, and destructive of the interests
of the country, and may cause to the de-
ceived emigrants greater sufferings even
than those that hitherto they have experien-
ced — Therefore^ it is necessary ^ and con-
venientjbr the security j honor^ and wel-
fare of this kingdom that said cessions he
anmtUed and abolished.

Be it thereupon decreed, that said con-
cessions and titles of lands agreed and ob-
tained previous to the 8th of October 1841,
are forever annulled and abolished, &o.
&c. (Signed)

George William Clarence.

It was most undutiful to hint at the
weakness of his father, but then the little



* At an flfridence of the high regard which the
English of Jamaica had for their own creatures
at well as for their high character, it may be
mentioned, that the '* monarch" was a great
drunkard, and very bmtal in hia habita. He
was leveral times confined in the public jail of
Jamaica for his disorders.
^ His Sottish Majesty, it is said, was induced to
sign bis celebrated '* will ** by the promise of a
liigskead of rum /



sambo, ^^ George WiUiam Clarence j^^ knew
nothing of all this. The entire procedure
being designed by M'Donald to effect the
objects which we have already indicated,
the absolute absorption of the country by
Great Britain. By this bold stroke, M'Don-
ald got rid alike of the Prussians and the
Jamaica traders. They stood in the way
of the designs of the British Government,
and were sacrificed. The Princess Agnes
should have succeeded to the ^' crown," by
the English law, but she had been too
long with thos6 in the Spanish interest to
be trusted ; and, by the decree of M'Don-
ald, the successor was fixed in the male
line ! M'Donald was competent to any-
thing !

The young " Princes" confided to M'Don-
ald, were t^en to England, with the ex-
ception of George William, who wa^ left
in the care of Mr. Walker, now promoted
from the secretaryship of the BeUze to be
universal director, commissioner, agent,
tutor and adviser of " His Mosquito Ma-
jesty," and particularly entrusted with the
care of British interests. He established
himself at Bluefields, where he acted pre-
cisely as he pleased, under liberal verbal if
not written powers from the British Go-
vernment. The plans of the British Govern-
ment were not yet ripe for consummation.
Meantime, Wa^er exerted himself in ex-
citing the avarice of the English people.
The stories of the speculators of 1771 were
revived, and the flaring accounts of the
ousted Jamaica traders duly sworn to.
The importance of the country in a com-
mercial point of view, its resources and
capabilities, all that could excite the cupid-
ity of the English public, were made the
themes of the newspapers of Great Brit-
ain. The prospective canal across the con-
tinent was hinted at, but for obvious reasons,
not dwelt upon with so much unction.

While all this was transpiring, the Cen-
tral American States, to whom the territory
of right belonged, were so much absorbed
by their internal dissensions, carefully fo-
mented b^ M'Donald's and Walker's co-
adjutors in Guatemala and elsewhere, that
they were little able to give attention to
the encroachments that were going on.
Morazan, the last and best President of the
Republic, saw, however, the danger, and
refased to enter into any treaty arrange-
mentB with Great Britidn, until she should



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238



The Mosquito Question.



[March,



oease tampering mik the Indians on the
coast. We have the means <^f knowing
that it was one of his designs, as soon as
internal order oould be restored, to drive
out the intruders by force* This was not
unknown to the British Government, which
hesitated to break openly with tihe Repub-
lic. It was not until that Republic was
dissolved, and the individual States them-
selves weakened by conflicts witli each
other, the consummation which had so long
been wished for, and for which its unscru-
pulous agents had so long labored, that the
British Government disdained a disguise no
longer necessary.

In 1838, after Nicaragua had organised
itself as an independent State, the Con-
sul-General in Central America, Mr. Chat-
field, the worthy co-laborer of Walker and
M'Donald, transmitted a communication
to the Government of Nicaragua, saying
'^ he had received information ^at the Go-
vernment of Nicaragua intended to dispose
of certain lands belonging to the Mosquitos
on the Northern (Atlantic) coast ; that the
Mosquitos were a nation formally recognized
by H. B. M., and that she could not view
with indifference any attempts which Ni-
caragua miffht make to dispose of these
lands." The Government replied that it
had no such intention, but that if it had,
it was a matter which did not concern the
British Consul-General, as the Mosquito
coast belonged to the State of Central
America. Some other correspondence passed
but of no special importance. Nothing
further was said until af^er the will of
" Robert Charles Frederic" was procured
and his grants annulled, when on the lOih
of November 1841, M'Donald addressed a
letter to the Nicaraffuan Government, sta-
ting, ^^that the British Government hadde-
termined to maintain its ancient relations
with its ally the King of the Mosquitos,
whom it recognized as an independent sov-
ereign," and propoGong that a Commis-
sioner should l^ namea to settle the terri-
toiial limits between the ^' Kin^om of
Mosquito" and the Republic of Nicaragua,
and stating also, that, for this purpose, he
had named Patrick Walker and Ri<^rd
Hervey . The Government of Nicaragua re-
plied that it knew no '^ Mosquito kin^om,"
that the wandering Indians living on the
coast of Nicaragua were under the eov-
eroigB^ of tiie RqpuUie, and IbaX it



would be soon enough to enter into any
communication with the gentlemen named
when they should present any credentials
from H. B. M., authorizing tnem to enter
into such relations with the States of Cen-
tral America, together with authentic co-
pies of the treaties of alliance which was
said to exist between Great Britain and the
Mosquito tribe. To this, M'Donald made
no reply. The Consul-General too, was
suddenly silent.

The cause of this silence may be ex-
plained in a few words. In the flush of
his new dignity, conferred by the. " King
of Mosquito" and with a loyiJ desire to vin-
dicate " His Majesty's rights," M'Donald,
in ike preceding July, had placed himself
on board a British vessel of war at Belize,
and started on an exploring expedition
along the Mosquito shore. He vifiited
Boca del Tore and other points at the South-
ward, but seeing but a poor prospect of in-
ducing the citizens of New Granada oc-
cupying the first place to quit it, he rctui fl-
ed with much chagrin, and stopped at San
Juan. Here he attempted to play the sov-
ereign, but was resisted by the collector
of the customs of that port, Colonel
M'Quijano, upon which he seized that offi-
cer, carried hiin on board his vessel, and
set sail from the port. He subsequently
seems to have regarded the step as very
rash, and offered to set Quijano at liberty,
upon his signing certain documents. The
proceedingVoused great indignation through-
out Central America, and each State de-
manded a complete disavowal of the act. In
fact it was regarded as of so flagrant a nature,
and roused so strong a feeling of patriotism,
that a correspondence was at once opened
and preliminary measures taken for a con-
solidation of the States. This alarmed the
British Agents ; the folly of M'Donald came
near overturning their long cherished plans ;
the Republic which they had labored to
overthrow might rise again with new
strength. So M'Donald made a lame ex-
cuse for his act, and all reference to Mo»-
quito rights was carefully avoided until the
roused spirit of the people was again laid,
and until British intr^ues had ag»in invol-
ved them in civil war.

When internal hostilities had commenced
in 1844, and the capital of Nicaragua was
invested by an army, the' British Consul-
General addressed a circular to the Tariovi



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7%« Mosquito Question.



889



States, advifflng ihem that Her Majesty,
Qaeen Victoria, continued to protect her
ancient ally the King ofMosquito, and that
in order to preserve legitimate authority,
promote order, &o. &c , she had named
Mr. Walker, resident Consul on that coast.
On the 10th of July, in that year, this wor-
thy arrived in a British vessel of war at
Bluefields, with his royal charge and one
James Bell, appointed to act as sheriff and
commander during the minority of the re-
gal boy ! He commenced his administra-
tion, and on the 12th of August addressed
a letter to the Nicaraguan Government,
stating that the subjects of the Mosquito
King were interrupted in their lawful busi-
neflB I of gathering turtle-shells, by the
occupation of the port of San Juan, and
other points by the people of Nicaragua !
and adding, that the establishments of Ni-
caragua and Costa Rica upon the coast,
were infractions of Mosquito rights. On
tiie 16th of the same month, Mr. Sheriff
Bell sent a protest against the occupation
of the Port of San J^an by Nicaragua. In
May fof the following year, the Consul-
General, Mr. Chatneld, announced the
important fact, that the young sambo,
George William, had been ''crowned'' at
Belize, and repeated again that Great Bri-
tain had determined to protect her '' ancient
ally."

Upon the 25th of September of the same
year, Mr. Marcelota, the Charge d' Affaires
of Nicaragua, addressed an able letter to



Lord Aberdeen, principal Secretary of State
of Great Britain, calling his attention to the
high-handed proceedings of Walker and
his associates, and informing him that the
port of Bluefields, where that worlhy had
established himself, belonged to Nicaragua.
He appealed to the sense of justice of the
British Government, just as though any
such appeal, unless backed by a thousand
cannon, could have any weight ; Justice
forsooth! Was not the history of India
and China before him.^ As might have
been expected, no answer was returned to
this communication. In the same year,
Don Francisco Castellon was sent Minister
to England, with directions to bring the in-
fractions on Nicaraguan rights before the
British Government in person, and parti-
cularly to protest against the occupation of
Bluefields by Walker, backed by the jiame
and military force of Jamaica. He was
received at London, but no attention what-
ever was paid to his representations.

Meantime, the clouds of war between
the United States and Mexico were gather-
ing.

The English Cabinet feared the result,
and directed all its efforts to secure Cali-
fornia from Mexico, or prevent its falling
into the hands of the United States. The
affairs of Central America were for a time
neglected, much to the tribulation of Wal-
ker and Chatfield, who, nevertheless, neg-
lected no effort to perfect their plans



CHAPTER m.



THE SEIZURE OF SAN JUAN — ^WAR ON NICARAGUA.



Such appears to have been the actual
condition of things up to 1846, when af-
fedrs were ripe for the consummation of the
grand felony which had been so long con-
templated. Our account of the events
which followed, is compiled chiefly from
the official correspondence upon the sub-
ject of the *' Mosquito territory," published
by order of Parliament in the autumn of



ment of 150 pages. It is, of course, to be
understood that such portions only of the
correspondence are published as could be
presented '' without detriment to the pub-
lic interests,'* in which category do not
fall those more confidential passages which
might disclose the real motives and inten-
tions of the Government. But enough ap-
ptors to show by what moral standards the



1848, and comprised in a large folio docu- 1 British Government guages its actions in



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The Mosquito Question.



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qaestions in which its interests are supposed
to be involved.

English intrigues had failed in Mexico,
and it was clear that California would go
to the United States. The contemplated
aggressions in Central America were in-
vested with new importance. The passes
across the continent must be put under
English control. Nothing could be done
with Panama ; New Grenada was a power
too considerable to be trifled with j Eng-
land feared to create another Rosas.

It was under these circumstances, that
the British Government determined that
the time for action had come ; and that now
it must appear in its proper character.
Accordingly, on the 20th of June, 1847,
Viscount Palmerston addressed a note to
Mr. Chatfield, " Her Majesty's Consul-
General" in Guatemala, requesting the
most authentic information which he might
be able to procure " as to the boundary
claimed by the King of Mosquito," and
concluding with the significant paragraph :
*' You will also report whatf in your
opinion^ is the line oj boundary which
Her Majesty'^s Government should insist
upon^ as absolutely essential for the secu-
rity and well-being of the Mosguito
shore V

A dmilar letter was at the same time
addressed to Mr. Walker, " Her Majesty's
Consul-General" in Mosquitia, and to Mr.
O'LeJBiry, British Charge d* Affaires in
New Grenada.

Pending the reception of the information
here requested, and impatient of delays
which might interfere with its purposes, the
British Government applied itself to the
task of searching for additional pretexts to
justify ih& contemplated usurpation. And
upon the 30th June of the same year, Vis-
count Palmerston again wrote to Mr.
Chatfield saying, that "Her Majesty's
Government have carefolly examined &e
various documents and historical records
which exist relative to this subject, and
they are of the opinion that the right of the
King of Mosquito should be maintained as
extending from Cape Honduras down to
the mouu of the river of San Juan."

It will be observed that Palmerston does
not yet venture to say that the rights of
the pretended king really extend or have
the shadow of validity over the territory
indicated; he is of tiie decided opinion,



however, that they " should be maintam-
«£" to that extent ! This letter concludes
by instructing Mr. Chatfield to inform the
respective Central American Governments
of flie opinion arrived at by Her Majesty's
Government, " and to inform them that it
would not view with indifference any at-
tempts to encroach upon the rights or ter-
ritory of the King of Mosquito, who is un-
der the protection of the British Crown."
Similar instructions were sent to Mr.



Online LibraryMaking of America ProjectThe American Whig review → online text (page 42 of 123)