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which, besides, is too great, too excel- was decided, accordingly, that Miranlent and interesting to be spoiled and da should, in their name, again rerendered fruitless for want of caution pair to England, and make such of. in the beginning." After some fure fers to the British government as, it ther correspondence and consulta- was hoped, might induce it to lend tion, the pressure of affairs coopera- them the assistance requisite for the ting with the discouragement offered great object of their wishes. The by Miranda, the flattering project instrument, which was drawn up, and was, for the time, relinquished. put into the hand of their representa
During some years subsequent to tive, as the document 10 the British this occurrence, the matter was sunk government, of the proposals of the in oblivion amid the violent strug- South Americans, is too remarkagles which agitated Europe. Many ble an evidence of the views and plans months had not elapsed when the of the leading members of the South reign of Robespierre began ; and American communities, not to de Miranda, with so many other virtuous serve, at the present moment, the men, were buried in the dungeons of most serious attention. the revolution. Though tried, and 1. The first article states, that the clearly acquitted by the revolutionary Hispano-American colonies, having tribunal, which declared that not a for the most part resolved to proclaim shadow of suspicion attached to him, their independence, were induced to he was still detained in prison, and address themselves to the governescaped the guillotine only by one of ment of Great Britain, in the confi. those accidents by which so many dence she would not refuse them that others were delivered up to it. When assistance which Spain herself, in the he recovered his liberty, under the midst of peace, had not declined exparty that assumed the government tending to the British colonies in after the death of Robespierre, he America. might still have become a leading 2. The second article stipulates man in the revolution, and was offer- the sum of thirty millions sterling, ed the command of an army. His which South America would pay to answer, however, was, that although Great Britain for the assistance rehe had fought for liberty, it was not quired. his purpose to fight for conquest. If 3. The third article states the France would establish a free and amount of the British force which moderate government, retire within was deemed requisite, her ancient limits, and sincerely offer
4. The fourth article it is proper peace to the whole world, he would to present in the words of the docuwillingly contend for her against all
"A defensive alliance her enemies. This remarkable an- between England, the United States, swer rests on as remarkable an au. and South America, is so much rethority; for Miranda had the forti. quired by the nature of things, the tude to enlarge upon the same ideas geographical situation of each of the in a pamphlet, and to publish them three countries, the productions, inat the very moment [1795) in Paris. dustry, wants, manners, and disposi.
About the same time, or a little tion of the three nations, that it is after, Miranda was met at Paris by impossible this alliance should not deputies and commissioners from last a long time; especially if care be Mexico, and the other principal pro- taken to strengthen it by similarity vinces of South America, who had in the political forms of the three been sert to Europe for the purpose governments ; that is to say, liy the of concerting with him the measures enjoyment of civil liberty properly to be pursued for accomplishing the understood. It might even be said independence of their country. It with confidence, that this is the only
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 pro• 6. 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 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 that 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 Providence. 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 have 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. relate 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 establishinent 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 arnıy 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 Provi. the gulf of Mexico.
dence make as 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 prevail. America should furnish 10,000 ed upon him, 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 politra mit 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 mnended 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 forces--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 opportunity.
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 sube of 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 corhopes 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 from the provinces and resources, such means might 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 llome 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 Home 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
of 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 prose viction 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 admiprobation, appeared of necessity, both ral on the station, sir Alexander to him and to his agents, to favour, Cochrane, to enter into a formal sti. though 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 d 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
“ Caracca8, 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 to raise respecting the purity of his
be reduced to the not disapproving only
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 althe enterprise, by the false intelli- though they might have armed more than
1000 men, they had no arms for the purgence which reached the West Indies, 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
it will be a month before he can reach that the province of Caraccas would 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 retreata * The principal facts, together with That, in my opinion, will be the least of
the evils which may happen to us; bethe proclamations of general Miranda, documents of importance in forming a
cause, if the English give him any assist
ance, let it be ever so little, and offer judgment of the whole bearings of this affair, may be found in a pamphlet, which
him support, his situation is the most we recommend as containing some cor
of all those he could have advantageous
chosen in all these coasts, as the penin. rect information, not to be found any where else, entitled, “ Additional Rea.
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) « DIONIS10 Franco".
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 di- 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,o prevent
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 shasinnate, 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 soleof 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 take." In consequence of the above, he adds, “a schooner at. * A proclamation, transmitted by lord tends captain Duodas of the Ele. Melville, then secretary of state, and cir
cuiated on the coasts of Spanish America phant, to Coro, which scbooner 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 governHe concludes by saying: “ I think
ment, assures them, “that measures have
been taken to support them by means of it proper to give you this early in
the British naval force, and to supply formation, lest you should be led to
them with arms and ammunition, merely expect a military force to arrive for
to enable them to maintain their commeryour support; a circumstance. I am cial independence, without any desire on ignorant of being in the contempla- the part 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, giments; and if the negotiations for
when contrasted with the conduct direct. peace blow off, I do not despair of a
ed to be pursued in the instructions to
the assailants of Buenos Ayres. In the inforce arriving from England, to place structions to general whitelocke [Sce you in perfect security."
the documents published in the Appem,