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hope remaining to liberty audaciously This document is dated Paris, the outraged by the detestable principles 22d of December, 1797. The proavowed by the French republick. It posal transmitted to Mr. Pitt, for the is the only means of establishing a return of general Miranda to this balance of power capable of opposing country, was acceded to with alacri. the destructive ambition and devas- ty; and the general had a conference tation of the French system.” with that minister in January follow.
5. The fifth article relates to a trea. ing. It accorded with the plans of ty of commerce between Great Bri. Mr. Pitt, at that time, to enter with tain and South America.
promptitude into the scheme pro6. The sixth article stipulates the posed for the emancipation of South opening of the navigation between America. The outline of the prothe Atlantick and Pacifick oceans, by ceedings was fully agreed upon; and, the isthmus of Panama, as well as so far had the preparations advanced, by the lake of Nicaraguay, and the that general Miranda, in a letter to guarantee of its freedom to the Bri- Mr. Hamilton, the much lamented tish nation.
legislator of the United States, dated 7. The seventh article respects the 6th April 1798, thought himself auarrangement of the commerce be- thorized to write in the following tween the different parts of South terms. “ This will be delivered to America itself; proposed to be left you, my dear and esteemed friend, on its present footing, till the assem- by my countryman, don ***** the
blage of deputies from the different bearer of despatches of the greatest e provinces of the continent can ar- importance for the president of the range the terms of their union. United States. He will tell you se.
8. The eighth article points to cretly all you wish to know upon this some project to be devised, of a con- subject. It appears thal the moment nexion between the bank of England of our emancipation grows near, and and those of Lima and Mexico, for that the establishment of liberty over the purposes of mutual support, and the whole continent of the new world of giving England the advantage of is intrusted to us by Proridence. The that command of the precious metals only danger I foresee is the introducwhich the country supplying them tion of the French principles which might bave it in its power to yield. might poison liberty in its birth, and
9. 10. The ninth and tenth articles soon would finally destroy yours. telate to the project of alliance be- Your wishes are in some degree fultween South America and the United filled ; since it is agreed here, that in States. The principal points are the the first instance English troops shall ceding to the United States of the not be employed in the land operaFloridas, the Mississippi being pro- tions, since the auxiliary land forces posed as the most advisable boun- will be only American, whilst, on the dary between the two nations, and other hand, the navy will be entirely the stipulation of a small military British. All is settled, and they are force from the Anglo-Americans, to only waiting for the fiat of your aid in the establishment of their inde- illustrious president to start like pendence.
lightning. With what pleasure have 11. The eleventh article, respect- I heard, my most dear general, ing the islands, states the plan of re- of your appointment in the contisigning all those which belong to the nental army of the United States of Spaniards, excepting only Cuba, the America. Our wishes, it appears, possession of which is rendered ne- are going to be at last accomplishcessary, by the situation of the Ha- ed, and every circumstance convanna commanding the passage from curs now in our favour. May Provithe gulf of Mexico.
dence make us wise enough to use
it in the most advantageous man
in the United States of America, and ner.”
in the island of Trinidad, pressed The proposal was, that North general Miranda, and at last prevailAmerica should furnish 10,000 ed upon himn, to quit his residence in troops, and the British government this country, and make an effort in agreed to find money and ships. But their behalf through the medium of the president Adams declined to America alone. Though the politransmit an immediate answer, and ticks of Britain presented to him, at the measure was, in consequence, the moment, no prospect on her part, postponed.
of active assistance, they appeared, at In the beginning of 1801, during least, to promise the security, that lord Sidmouth's administration, the no body of French, or of Spanish project was again revived. The troops, should cross the Atlantick, to plans of government to be recom confirm the dominion of the enemies mended to the people of South Ame- of Britain. In these circumstances, rica, were considered and approved; he was induced to think that no great even the military operations were force,—that nothing more, in short, sketched and arranged; and the pre- than what might be requisite to imparations far advanced for the expe- pose respect upon the small number dition. The preliminaries, however, of troops in the Spanish garrisons, of the peace of Amiens were signed; and to afford some appearance of seand the measure was put off to a fuo curity to the people, was, in the ture opportuniiy.
known condition of the publick mind, When war was again declared required to effect the revolution ; and against France in 1803, the business at the same time, the disputes subof South America formed one of the sisting between the United States of principal designs of ministers; and America and Spain, respecting Loumeasures were taken to carry it into isiana, afforded him a hope in that effect, the moment that the peace quarter of all the assistance which which still subsisted with Spain the occasion demanded. With a full should be broken. This event did understanding on the part of the gonot occur till 1804, when Mr. Pitt vernment here, and even, as it would was again at the head of administra- seem, with promise of support, he tion. The measure was now prose- proceeded to America ; but on his cuted with zeal. Lord Melville and arrival there, found, to his mortificasir Home Popham were employed in tion, that a compromise on the subarranging with general Miranda the ject of Louisiana had already taken whole details of procedure ;* when place, and that the publick aid of gothe execution was again suspended vernment was not to be obtained. by the affairs of Europe, and by the He was received, however, with cor. hopes and exertions of the third coa. diality and distinction by the presilition.
dent and secretary; and, from various The prospect thus appearing shut quarters, received encouragement to upon them in Europe, the South suppose, that, by private exertions American exiles fiom the provinces and resources, such means inight be of Caraccas and Santa Fée, residing got together, as, with the help of
good fortune, might be adequate to * On this point the reader may derive the enterprise. Though the governsatisfaction, by consulting the trial of sir ment of the United States, from the Ilome Popham; the evidence of lord obvious motive of exculpating themMelville at pp. 153 to 164; and the decla
selves in the eyes of France, thought rations of sir Ilome at pp. 91, 92, 94, 95, 100; and an Appendix note A. See
proper afterwards to disclaim all “Trial of Sir Home Popham," printed for knowledge of the transaction, and Richardson, Royal Exchange, 1807. even to order the prosecution of two
Qurf the persons who appeared to have The part which our country had been principally involved it it-it in this expedition, it is still of some came out upon the trial, to the con- importance to explain. The prosviction of the jury, who thereupon pect of the vast advantages to Great acquitted the parties, that the govern- Britain, from the independence of ment had been privy to all the pro that part of South America, which ceedings of Miranda, and, by never was the object of Miranda's immedi. so much as whispering their disap- ate views, induced the British admi. probation, appeared of necessity, both ral on the station, sir Alexander to him and to his agents, to favour, Cochrane, to enter into a formal stithough they deemed it impolitick at pulation for certain means of operathe time to countenance, his under- tion he was to afford to the undertataking.
king, and certain advantages which The particulars of the expedition were to be yielded to his country in to Caraccas, it is necessary for us return. The governours, both of entirely to pass over. * It failed, fee
tract of an intercepted letter from Don ble as were the means employed in
Dionisio Franco, director of the king's it, chiefly from the intelligence which
revenues at Caraccas, to the governour had been treacherously conveyed to of Cumana. “ Un des hommes," says the Spaniards, and by the miscon- Depons (Voyage à la Terre Ferme, t. ii. p. duct of the American shipmasters, 293]" un des hommes de l'Espagne qui
connoit le mieux les interets de sa nation.” over whom the general had not sufficient control. But it had this in it
“ Caraccas, 16th August, 1806. of benefit, that the careful protection
“ Miranda, despicable indeed, if left
to his private resources alone, will, it of persons and property which Mi
appears to me, give us more to do than randa maintained, removed every sha- what we thought, if supported, as he apdow of prejudice which the industry pears to be, by the English; although the of the Spanish agents had been able assistance they have until now given him
be reduced to the not disapproving only to raise respecting the purity of his
of his enterprise. intentions, and had not the British
“ He effected his landing at Coro with. commanders, who seconded his views,
out any resistance, because the garrison been induced to withdraw their sup of that interesting point, was reduced to port, and to urge the dereliction of 200 fusileers of the militia alone; and al. the enterprise, by the false intelli- though they might have armed more than gence which reached the West In
1000 men, they had no aims for the purdies, of the conclusion of peace by
pose, and in the same case, we find, are
now all the inhabitants of these provinces. lord Lauderdale ; at any rate, had our “ With this information, the captain government lent a very small assist- general of the province has marched with ance, not a doubt can be entertained all the armed force he could collect; but that the province of Caraccas would it will be a month before he can reach have then declared its indepen- will find him already intrenched, and in
in which place, it is probable he dence.t
a situation to make good his retreat. * The principal facts, together with
That, in my opinion, will be the least of the proclamations of general Miranda,
the evils which may happen to us; bedocuments of importance in forming a
cause, if the English give him any assistjudgment of the whole bearings of this
ance, let it be ever so little, and offer affair, may be found in a pamphlet, which
him support, his situation is the most we recominend as containing some cor
advantageous of all those he could have
chosen in all these coasts, as the peninsect information, not to be found any where else, entitled, “ Additional Rca
sula of Paraguana may afford them a situsons for our immediately Emancipating long as they are masters of the sea; and
ation to establish another Gibraltar, as Spanish America.” By William Burke.
it may happen that this spark of fire, that † That this was the opinion of the best
appears nothing, may finish by devouring informed among the Spaniards them the whole continent, &c. selves, appears from the following ex (Signed) “ DIONISIO Franca,"
Trinidad and Barbadoes, allowed the The extraordinary events which general to recruit in these islands, immediately followed the rupture of and even from the militia. But af- the negotiations at Paris, and the reter a little time, the admiral wrote moval from his majesty's councils, to him, that “ by recent instructions which soon succeeded, of the minisreceived from England, he was die ters by whom that negotiation was rected to limit the assistance general conducted, afforded them no opporMiranda was to receive from him, tunity of recommencing any operato protection from the naval force of tions for the emancipation of South the enemy,-10 prevent succours America; and the facility with which being landed,—and to secure his re- they allowed themselves to be drawn embarcation, in the event of his being into the support of the schemes of obliged to leave the shore.” It is conquest, so injudiciously undertaprobable, that the negotiations at ken by sir Home Popham, deranged Paris, in which the ministers were all their views with regard to that then engaged, and their hopes of great object of policy. Of the mepeace, were the sole motives of the morable expedition to Buenos Ayres, reserve which they embraced on this the history is too well known to reoccasion. That they had by no quire any recapitulation in this place. means determined against the great Its effects, with regard to the great plan of emancipation, as some of and salutary plan of liberation, have their enemies have been busy to in- been twofold. It has certainly shasinuate, we are happy to be able to ken, and that violently, the confidence prove, by the succeeding passage of of the American people in the British the same letter. “ I am further di- government. They had been told, rected,” says the admiral, “ to send from the highest authority, that the by a fast sailing vessel, full details views of that government were sole. of the situation in which the conti. ly to aid them in procuring their nent of South America now stands, independence; yet the first army in order that his majesty's ministers they behold, comes both for conquest may finally decide as to the measures and for plunder. However, it has they may lake.” In consequence of the above, he adds, " a schooner at
* A proclamation, transmitted by lord tends captain Dundas of the Ele.
Melville, then secretary of state, and cir
culated on the coasts of Spanish America phant, to Coro, which schooner will
by the governour of Trinidad, in 1797, receive on board your despatches, and calling upon the inhabitants to resist the immediately proceed to England.” oppressive authority of the Spanish governlle concludes by saying: “I think
ment, assures them, “that measures have it proper to give you this early in
been taken to support them by means of
the British naval force, and to supply formation, lest you should be led to
them with arms and anmunition, merely expect a military force to arrive for
to enable them to maintain their commer. your support; a circumstance I am cial independence, without any desire en ignorant of being in the contempla the purt of the king of England, to acquire tion of his majesty's government;
any right of sovereignty over them, or to but, should any arrive, you may de
interfere with their civil, political, or repend on its being forwarded to you
ligious rights ; unless they themselves
should in any degree solicit his protecwithout loss of time." In another
tion.” Let us consider the effect which letter, ten days later, he says: “I this proposal was calculated to make upon wish I could send you five or six re
the minds of the people of South America,
when contrasted with the conduct direct. giments ; and if the negotiations for peace blow off, I do not despair of a
ed to be pursued in the instructions to
the assailants of Buenos Ayres. In the in. force arriving from England, to place structions to general whitelocke (See you in perfect security.”
the documents published in the Apper
had this fortunate effect, that it has course, all idea of using force to degiven us, nationally, a much juster tach her colonies is out of the quesidea than we formerly possessed, of tion. We are not only at peace, but the value of the South American we are in alliance with her. A gtnepopulation. It has turned the pub- rous sympathy with a people conlick curiosity more forcibly toward tending for their independence has that quarter of the world ; and it has had, at least, as much share in produafforded us some precious evidence of cing that alliance, as our common the desire which pervades South hostility to their oppressor. We are America to shake off the yoke of a bound, therefore, by every considerforeign government, and assume the ation of national honour, to abstain, guidance of its own affairs.
while this struggle lasts, from any The men who had succeeded to step which might admit of being power, when general Miranda re. construed into an injury or offence turned to England, were prepared to to our allies. If the Spaniards, thereembark in the scheme with real en- fore, should succeed in repelling their ergy. After various delays, a force invaders, and should remain in peace was at last assembled. And it has and alliance with us, we must re. been oftener than once publickly sta- nounce, of course, all notion of emanted, we believe, with perfect accura- cipating her colonies without her cy, that the expedition which was consent. Incalculably beneficial as prepared at Cork last summer, and such an event would be for us, and which was to be commanded by sir even for Spain herself, and impossi. Arthur Wellesley, was intended to ble as it might be for any efforis of cooperate with Miranda in the long her's long to prevent ils occurrence, projected measure of emancipating still we conceive, that the relations South America ; and, had not the of peace and amity in which we extraordinary revolution which broke should stand with that power, would out in Spain given to those forces a prevent us from interfering to prodifferent destination, it is probable mote it, and tie up our hands from that, by this time, that important attempting to separate from her measure would at length have been those dependencies. upon which she accomplished.
still set a value, although she might We are now once more at peace really derive no benefit from their with the Spanish nation; and, of possession, and might be guilty of
the greatest oppression with regard dís to Whitelocke's Trial, p. 8.] is the following passage.
“ With the force to them. If it were possible, there. above stated, you will proceed to exe
fore, for us to entertain those pleasing cute the service intrusted to you, by the views on the probable issue of the reduction of the province of Buenos Ayres present contest in Spain, to which under the authority of his majesty." In some of our more sanguine country. the next page, he is directed "not to introduce into the government any other
men seem still to adhere, we should change than that which must necessarily only have to say, that we should arise from the substitution of his majes. trust with some confidence, that the ty's authority for that of the king of Spain." same spirit and intelligence which in the instructions likewise to general had been triumphant in Europe, Crauford respecting Chili, he is commanded to make no other changes than rica. And that the amended govern.
would be just and generous in Amethat of placing the country under his majesty's protection and government;" and ment and enlightened councils of told, “ that the form of the former govern. regenerated Spain, would relax the ment is to be preserved, subject only to severity of its control over its rethe changes which the substitution of his mote dependencies, and yield, spon. majesty's authority for that of the king of taneously, to its transatlantick chilSpain may render inevitable.”