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1^1 E 31 O I R S 



p K i: s I D i: N I' L I n i: u a t o r 

or TIIK 


AXii or iii^ 










Ex-Ohiff of Ihi' Stt'rt <'f' fl"- Pr'-iitl- Ht l.ifh fitffi', .nul m-n- n riti:t'n of the 1'niied 
SUUrt, Prnfrasitr nf Mitl* rn t.'nniiiii:>.s ■«/ //*» Ctiifi^r m (itnero. A'. York, &'C. 

'' II ii'y a cjiip la vfrilC' ijiii blc&bc 
F.l — <'llo hle^M'ni. 



r * ^ • 



Dutrici Clerk's OJiee. 

Bk it remembered, that on the thirtieth day of June A. D. 1829, in the Fifty 
Thiitl Year of the Independence of the United Stales of America, S. G. Good- 
rich & Co. of the said Uisitrict. have deposited in this Office the Tide of a Book, 
the Ri^t whereof they claim as l^prietora, ui the words following^ to trt/ .- 

" Memoirs of Simon Bolivar, President Liberator of the Republic of Colombia ; 
and of bis principal Generals : Secret history of the Revolution, and an account of 
the events which prece<led it from 1807 to the present time. With an Introduction, 
containing an account of the Statistics, and the present situation of said Republic ; 
Education, Character, Manners and Customs of the Inhabitajits. By H. L. V. Du- 
coudray Holsiein, ex-chief of the staff of the President Liberator, now a citizen ot 
the United Stales, and Professor of Modem Languages in the College at Geneva, 
New- York, &c. 

II n'y a aue la Write qui blessc 
£t — cllc blc^sera. 

In Conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, entitled " An Act 
for the Encouragement of Learning, by securing the Copies ol Maps^ Charts and 
Books, to the Authors and Proprietors of such Copies, during the times therein 
mentioned:" and also to an Act entitled ''An Act supplemental^ to an Act, en- 
titled, An Act for the Encouraeoment of Learning, oy securing the Copies of 
Maps, Charts and Books to the Authors and Proprietors of such Copies during the 
times therein mentioned ^ and extending the Benefits thereof to the Arts of Design- 
ing, EUigraving, and etchmg historical and other prints." 

JNO. W. DAVIS, I <^'"i^£JS"* '^ 

Waitt & Dow, Printeri, 

362 Washington-St....Bo8ton. 



Skctioh 1. Statiatieal account of Colombia, — Geogrmphical divwions and fona- 
«r government of the countries at present comprehended within the limits of Colom- 
bia f Revolution from 1810 to the present time j Extent of territov, number of inhab- 
itants : Debt and revenue ; Forts and fortifications ; Seaports ; Judicial administra- 
tion ; Form of government, slavery, Indians, common schools, colleges, universities, 
fx>adsy rivers, mines, diseases, bunal placert.poor houses and beggars, the clergy; 
Executive influence ; Obstacles to the establishment of a regular emcient free gov- 
«nunent, and jMVspcrity in Colombia. 

Sectioh 2. EducaHon, Mannerg, Habit* and Characteristics. — EducaUoa of the 
' Colombiaas ; their vanity, ambition, contempt of trades and mechanic arts ; classes 
and ranks in society ; marriages, intrigues, and dissoluteness ; Women, their man- 
nen, character, education, dress ; those of Bogota as distiuguished from those of 
Caracas and Cartliagcna ; houses, furniture, luxuries and extravagance : supersti- 
tion, influence of the priests j characteristic habits, traits ; Llaneron, their dress, 
equipments, &c ; Perez, 2^arasa } the Margaritans -, religious ceremonies j former 
punishment for murder and robbery, inslaaee of the public punishment of a young fe- 
male at B^;ota, for an attempt to steal the jewels ofthe image of the virgin Mary. 

MEMOIRS, &c.— Chapter I. 

Causes ofthe present imperfect knowledre, and erroneous opinions respecting tlw 
political eveots ajid leading characters in Colombia. 


Birth of Bolivar, lus family, visit to Europe, marriage. Errors in the biographical 
nketch of his life in Ackerman^s Magazine. 


Events previous to the entry of Bolivar into the regular army of Venezuela , 
first cause of the Revolution at Caracas ; Napoleon's invasion of ^^pain, and its in- 
fluence upon the Spanish co1o!iics ; pro;>itious moment for the Ampricans to rise 
against their oppressors ; policy of the cabinets of St. Cloud and St. James in regard 
to the Spanish colonics — ^years 1807 — '8. 


Situation of Venezuela in 1808 ; arrival of captain-general Emparan, and lieutenant- 
colonel Simon Bolivar, at Laguaira, from Spain ; Lmparan's ndminis'ration ; details 
ofthe revolution at Caracas, 19th April, 1810; Venezuelan Junta ; Spanish regen- 
cy ; conspiracy of Linares j commencement of hostilities ; Marquis ael Toro ; Mi- 
randa's arrival at Caracas ; coii|^ss ; executive power ; patriotic society ; Isle- 
nan conspiracy ', declaration of indeixfndcnce ; military operations of lAiranda ; 
project or a constitution ; situation ofthe republic in 1811— years 1808—11. 


Earthquake at Caracas, and its consequences; particulars of Bolivar's entry in- 
to the army, and of his nomination as gov ernor of Porto Cahello ; capitulation of 
Vitloria : disaolution of the republic ; aifest of Miranda at Laguaira ; anarvhical 
state of Venezuela under the government of Montevorde ; cruelties of tha Spaniards, 
Moatevarde't solemn entry into Caracas — 1812 




Departure of licutenaot-roloncl Bolivar from Caracas to Curacao and Carthage* 
^ na; expedition of Boli\ar a^iii.>t the tSpaui»h in Veuczucla. his entry into Caracas, 
hu nonuiiation a.s Diciatnr — liilJ. 


Piscontcnt of the inhabitants of Venrzuria with the dictatorial government ; con- 
vention hold at t^antra-. ; ski^ni^h of Flora ; execution of l^Ot) Sf»aniards by Boli- 
var ; action of ?<an .Mateo ; sending of deputies to Loudon, by order of the dictator ; 
victory of the patriots — 1U1J^'14. 


Boves ; battle of I.a Puerta, defeat and fli^t of the two dictators ; Caracas in the 
power of the SpanianU ; Bolivar and Marino embark at Cumana ; their reception at- 
Mar^ritn and Cani|>ano, their arrival at Canhagena; memoir justificative; se- 
cret hintory of their conduct at Cartha^na, factious and party spirit in this city \ 
particulars of what happened ui the assembly of the legislative Sody at Carthagena j 
persecution of the author — 1814. 

Situation of New Grenada ; arrival of general Bolivar at the coogresi of Tunja, 
% his reception, his march against Bogota and Carthagena, his stay at Mompox, cor- 
respondence between him and ^^cral Castillo ; BolivaFs secret motives in besieg- 
ing CarthAgena, details of this siege 3 Bolivar embarks for Kingston, in tlie island of 
Jamaicar--I814— '15. 

Consequences of Bolivar's besieging Cartha^na ; situation of New Grenada and 
Venezuela ; Marquis l)e San I^on, and captain-general Cagigal ; death of Boves, 
execution of Ribas, cruelty of Morales, couspiracy of the blacks — 1815. 


Events of Carthagena ; siege of that pbce by Morales -, Bermudes, Ducoudray 
Holstein, Brion ; evacuation of Carthagena and BocaChica — 1815. 


Particulars of the stay of general Bolivar in Aux Cayes ; characteristical anec- 

XIII. . 

Sailing of the expeditionary army under the command of general Bolivar, from 

/ Aux Caves to Margarita ; Naval act'ion on the 2d of Mav, and how general Bolivar 

'^ — behave<i in it ; events in the l.sland of Margarita \ anivai of the expicdition at Caru- 

pano ; characteristic anecdotes of geneinl Bolivar ; the author takes final leave of 

the service ; what happ(?n«( between general Bolivar and him at Aux Cayei, and at 

Port au Prince. Year 1816. 

— ^ Evacuation of Carupano ; skinniah at Ocuroare ; fifth flight of general Bolivar, 
and his retreat to the island of Ilayti \ McGrcgor^s retreat towards BarcelcHia. 


Cause of general Bolivar's recal to the Main \ his arrival at Barcelona ; siege and 
occupation of Barcelona, by the Spaniards \ behavior of general Bolivar at Barce- 
lona— 1816— '17. 


Conquest of the Provinces of Gtiayana by general Piar and admiral Brion \ trial 
and execution of general Piar; Bolivar and Alarino ; Anecdotes — 1817. 

Campaign of 1818 \ foreign legions ; conspiracy against Bolivar's power. 


Bolivar and Sanander : council of government at Angostinti ; Roscio and Torres ; 
situation of both contenfiing parties ; general C rdaneta ami English ; Bolivar's ex- 
pedition against New Grenada : his return to Venezuela ; events at Angostura \ fiin- 
damentallaw of the republic orColombia— 1818— 'ID. 


Events from the proclamation of tlie Fundamental Law of therenublic of Colombia, 
December 1819, until the Annistice between general Bolivar and MoriUo, November 


Renewal of bo^tiliticA ; ManifcAt of funeral dc f .a I'onr ; battle of Caratmbo ; 
conductor La Torre ami Morulch ; IV>fivar at Caracas; sunrciulcr ofrarthapcim, 
Bf aracavbo, and Porto Cabcllo: catire evacuation of tlie Main by the Suanish forces. 


Conduct of the dutch ^vcrnmont m the Island of Curacao a^ the republic of 
Colombia and the S[)aniards ; of the exmMlition a^in^t Porto Rico, and s{K)liations 
committed by the Dutch government of Curacao, under pretence of the criminality of 
general D. II. 

Biographical sketches of Louis Brion, Francisco Pablo de Sanander, and Francis- 
co Antonjo Zca. 

Biographical sketches of general Paez and Arismendy. 


Recapitulation of Facts 3 general Bolivar as he is^ and not as he is commonly be- 
lieved to be. 



The author of these memoirs has been constantly at-* 
tached to the cause of liberty in both hemispheres. He 
served in France during the whole time of the French 
revolution, and was after the year 1 800 attached to the 
particular staff of Napoleon Bonaparte. 

Attracted by the sacred cause of the Spanish Ameri- 
cans, he came to Carthagena, where the government of- 
fered him service, and conferred on him the highest mil- 
itary rank in its power to grant, that of Gefe de Brigada. 
He had the fortune to be commander-in-chief of the forts 
of Boca Chica. What other ser\'ice he rendered in Co- 
lombia will be related in the course of these memoirs. 

He, as one of the chieftains of the Republic, had a 
good opportunity to be well informed of facts, wheth- 
er secret or open, and to study at leisure the char- 
acter and talents of the chiefs, who were his daily 
companions, and many of them his subordinates. He 
particularly admired general Bolivar, with whom he liv- 
ed in such intimacy, that he slept on various occasions 
in the same room with him. 

After he had left this service and retired to private 
life, in which he supported his family by instruction, 


and literary occupations, some friends su^rgested to 
him the idea of writing a history of Colombia, as he 
had l)een an eye witness of so many interesting facts. 
He complied with this suggestion, but, not satisfied with 
his own observations, he consulted many of the most dis- 
tinguished leaders of both parties, (Spaniards and Patriots) 
opportunities for which were frequently offered to him du- 
ring his long residence in Hayti, Curacao, and St. Thom- 
as ; and accordingly he derived from them information 
upon certain facts, to which he had not been person- 
ally knowing. He afterwards diligently and faithfully 
compared the various statements, and adopted what 
seemed to him to be the plain intermediate result. He 
thinks, therefore, he has approached as nearly as possi- 
ble to a correct and impartial relation of facts. He has, 
besides, kept up an active correspondence, collected the 
bulletins, the proclamations, the manifestoes, as well as 
memoirs, both of Spaniards and patriots, and compared 
them with each other ; and lastly, he commenced, and 
has continued to make short notes, after consulting dis- 
tinguished and well informed gentlemen, to whom he 
has been indebted for information. 

He has been occupied in pursuing this subject more 
than five years ; and as these memoirs, now respect- 
fully submitted to the public, contain a great many facts 
hitherto unpublished, the authoi hopes they will not prove 
to be without some interest to the reader. 

Oeneva College February 4ih, 1829. 




Geographical divisions and former government of the countries at 
present comprehended within the limits of Colombia — Rcrolu^ 
Hon from 1810 to the present time — Extent of territory — JN^izm- 
Icr of inhabitants — Debt and revenue — Forts and fortifica- 
tions — Seaports — Judicial administration — Forin of govern- 
ment — Slavery — Indians — Common schools^ colleges^ universi- 
ties — Roads — Rivers — Mines Diseases Burial pi aces 

Poor-houses and beggars — The clergy — Executive influence, 
provincial officers — Obstacles to the establishment of a regular 
efficient free government, and to improvements and prosperity 
in Colombia* 

Tlic Spaniards gave the name Costa o' Tierra Firma to those 
proTinccs which now form the territory of the Colombian re- 
public. By Tierra Firma Del Oriente^ was understood the 
captain-generalship of Venezuela. By Tierra firma Del Occir 
dente was understood the viceroyaity of Acii; Grenada. Under 
the name Tierra Firmn were included the provinces of Vera- 
gua in North America, and of Panama and Darien on the 

Venezuela was governed in the name of the king ot Spain, 
by a captain-general, who presided in the Real Jludicncia, or 
greet council, in civil matters. This officer was invested, 
with great powers, and accountable only to the king, through 


the council of the lnflie<«. He decided in the list instance 
on all legislative, judicial and military afTairs. The ecclesi- 
astical concerns were regulated and conducted by a tribunal, 
composed wholly of ecclesiastics, in which the archbishop 
of Caracas presided. The captain-general had no authority 
to interfere in any manner whatever, with th s tribunal. 

The time of the captain -generaPs remaining in power was 
limited to a period of from four to six years. Very few of 
these governors relumed poor to Spain. 

The captain-generalship of Venezuela was divided into 
eight provinces, and, in IS09, consisted of Cumana, Barcelo- 
na, Caracas, Barinas, Maracaybo, Coro, Guayana and the 
island of Margarita. 

The ancient vice-kingdom of JVew Grenada was governed 
by a viceroy, who presided over the Real Audiencia, and was 
accountable to the king alone, through the council of the In- 
dies, in which the king was supposed to preside. 

New Grenada, in 1809, stood divided into three audien- 
cias, and twenty-two provinces. 

Under the Jiudiencia of Panama^ were the provinces of Vera- 
gua and Panama. 

Under that of Santa Fe de Bosrota^ were the provinces 
Coro, Sinu, Carthagena, S:inta Martha, Mnriquita, Santa 
Fe, Antioquia, Neyva, Popayan, Pamplona, Tunja and Lo- 

Under the Audiencia of Qvito, were the provinces of duita, 
Quijos, Maynas, Atacames, Guayaquil, Cuenta, Loja and Ja- 
en De Bracamoros. 

No intercourse was held between Venezuela and New 
Grenada. A traveller wishing to pass from one to the other, 
was obliged to submit to all those tiresome and humiliating 
formalities required on entering Spain. The government and 
laws were quite different in the two countries, as were the 
character, habits, manners and customs of the inhabitants. 

The Spanish colonial system is so generally understood, 
that it would be superfluous to speak of it here. But the fol- 
lowing particulars of the Philippine Company^ are little koown. 


This was a society of merchants and other wealthy individu- 
als of the province of Biscay in Spain, who purchased of the 
king the privilege of iniportin": and exporting, to and from 
his colonies, merchandise of eveiy description, and of fixing 
the prices of all kinds of produce and merchandise. On the 
Main, neither the captain-general or the viceroy could alter 
any price fixed by the company. Capital punishments were 
ordained against every one who traded with the inhabitants 
without being authorised by the company. The natives were 
forced to sell their produce at the price fixed. The compa- 
ny had armed vessels called Guarda CoUas, employed to pre- 
vent the intercourse with any vessel or individnal not author- 
ised by the company. 

Their net profit was about three hundred percent, and this 
mode of conducting their trade may, alone, serve to show the 
wretched condition of the Main. 

The following are tlie principal revolutions and changes of 
government on the Main, from April 19th, 1810, until Decem- 
ber 1S19, when Venezuela and New Grenada united under 
one government^ which took the name of the republic of Co- 

In Venezuela the Spanish government was changed by a 
revolution which took place at Caracas 19th of April 1810, 
when the captain-general Emparan and the Real Audicncia, 
were arrested, and a provisional Junta was formed under the 
name of'' Junta established for the preservation of the rights 
of His Majesty, the king Ferdinand VII." 

On the 2d of March 1811, the congress of Venezuela open- 
ed their sessions at Caracas. It was composed of the depu- 
ties of the following provinces: Margarita, Caracas, Merida, 
Cumana, Barcelona, Barinas and Truxillo. By an act of July 
5th 1811, congress declared the republic of Venezuela free 
and independent of Spain. On the 21st of December of the 
same year, it sanctioned a constitution which bound the pro- 
vinces together by a federal act, like that of the United States 
of America. But these several provinces being exposed, both 
to internal faction, and invasion from without, were scarcely 

12 nrrmoDVCTion. 

able, •^ptratelr, to l>ear the expense iocarred for their own 
pr^Mrnation, to that the expen^ef of the general goTemment, 
axid the »upport of the army and narr, fell chieflj upon Cara- 
cas. Congress was in a pro«perous state, when the dreadful 
earthquake, to;;ether with the loss of Porto Cabello, and the 
capitulation of Vittc^ia, between general Miranda and Mon- 
teverde, ruined the government, and destroyed the congress 
and republic of Venezuela, (July 1^12.) The coantry was 
left to anarchy, and subjected to the power of the sword. 

^>n the Hth of August 1^14, general Simon Bolirar enter* 
e«i the city of Caracas as conqueror, and assumed the title of 
" /Mriaifjr IjUjtrator fjf the H'est of f^'^enezvela^^^ and established 
an arbitary military government. General San I ago Marino 
ha/1 done the same before, in the provinces of Cumana, Bar- 
celona^ A,c. under the title of " Dictator Liberator of the Pro^ 
vinrfj taut of Carar^u,^^ 

Tim 17th of July IHI4, tfic Spaniards again entered the city 
of Caracas. In consequence of the battle of La Puerta, where 
the two dictator! were beaten by Boves, the Spaniards, short- 
ly after, took posKesKion of the provinces which the two die-* 
tatorx and their troops had evacuated. In the night of the 
21th and 25th of August, the dictators embarked at Cumana. 

Venezuela became again subject to the bayonet, and each 
military chieftain governed despotically the territory occu- 
pied by his troops. 

May .0th 1810, Simon Bolivar, with somo armed men, en- 
tered uj[(ain the territory of Venezuela, (the island of Margari- 
ta,) and assumed the title of " Supreme Chief Captain-Gener^ 
al of the forrei of l^cnezuela and JVcw Grenada ^^^ &,c. <tc. 

On the Gth of July of the same year, he lost that title, and 
Venezuela, when he suddenly embarked at Ocumare, for the 
Dutch island of Buen Ayre. 

On tlie 'Mm December, 1816, general Bolivar landed again 
at Barcelona, and reassumed the title of ^^Svpremc Chief LAb- 
erator of the liepnblic of Venezuela^ Captain Gnjcra/," &c. 
&.C. Ih^liud been called through the powerful influence of 
Admiral Louis Brion ; but under the cxpress^cond^tion that he 


should, upon his arrival, assemble a congress at Barcelona. 
He not only neglected to do so, but he persecuted the mem- 
bers of the congress at Cariaco, May 1817. 

In consequence of general Bolivar^s very unfortunate cam- 
paign in l&iS, against Morillo, the general dissatisfaction of 
the inhabitants of Angostura with that campaign, his manner 
of government, (which was the same as under his Dictator- 
ship at Caracas) and the strong representations of Brion^ Zea^ 
Manuel Torres, Doctor Roscio, Doctor Carll, and other pat- 
riots, the Supreme Chief was compelled^ at last, to assemble 
a Congress at the city of Angostura, under the name of the 
Congress of the Republic of Venezuela. Bolivar was chosen 
President of the Republic; and we shall see, in the proper 
place, in what his power consisted. 

^eiD Grenada was, during that time, the theatre of various 
commotions and changes. A Junta was established at Bogota, 
the 20ih of July, 1810, in which the viceroy presided. Soon 
after the same Junta deposed and arrested their president, 
and exiled most of the members of the Real Audiencia. (as 
the Junta at Caracas did, April 19th, 1810.) 

The Junta, in their manifesto, declared that they no longer 
recognised the authority of the Spanish regency ,*and they in- 
vited the twenty-two provinces to send their deputies to 
Bogota, in order to fix, in a general assembly, the form of this 
new government ; but only during the time of the captivity of 
their beloved and adored King Ferdinand VIL 

The deputies of the provinces Tunja, Pamplona, N^y va, Car- 
thagtina and Antiochia, assembled at the city of Bogota, where 
they concluded, November 27th, 1811, a federal treaty, in 
sixty eight articles, by which congress united the legislative 
and executive powers. But the inhabitants of the province of 
Cundinamarca, disapproved of these articles of union, and 
convoked a general assembly of the deputies of those of the 

^hc name of Santa Fc of Bogota, ^-as from that year, changed to Bogota, and iu 
province called Cundinamarca, 


twcnty-two provinces which had not nnet at Bogota. Thii 
onucmbly took the nnme, El Collegio Electoral Cansiituente. 
They proposed a project of a constitution, which was approv- 
ed in general assembly, April 17th, 1812. This project, id 
twelve great parts, treated of a limited monarchical govern- 

Francisco Naroni. president of the junta in the province of 
Cundinamarca, revolted against Congress. This body not 
confiding in the favorable opinion of the citizens of Bogota, 
suddenly resolved to leave that capital and establish the seat 
of government in the little town of Tunja. This change was 
the origin of a civil war, which began between the leaders 
of congress, and the partisans of Narino, in 1812. 

After many troubles and much bloodshed, the congress at 
Tunja, decreed September lOth, 1814. that an execative 
power called, the Execvtive Council, should be established, 
consisting of three members. 

In November 1814, general Bolivar arrived at Tanja, and 
was promoted to the rank of captain-general of Venezaela and 
New Grenada, and instructed to put an end, bv force of anna 
to these trqiibles. He marched with a strong body of troops 
against B«i^ta, which he subjected without bloodshed, the 
city having no fortrlications and very few troops. 

Congress leturned again to Bogota : but was sooa after 
compelled to dissolve and fly, in consequence of the siege of 
Carthagena, by general Bolivar himself, id the begiaaing of 
1815. By this siege he lost his army, the coo^rress. the strong 
fortress of Carthagena, and the indepeiidciice of Xev Grea- 


From that time the provinces of New Grenada were left bi 
a state of anarchy, each military leader rml tag t^ terhtorj 
occupied by his troops, as he pleased. A*m «Wb geaeral 
Bolivar reconquered New Grenada ia If 19. he esttVshed at 
Bogota, a provisional goveraaBeau oear!% tW saae with his 
dictatorship in Venezuela ia IflJaod 14. 

After all these commvticB* aad chaKees^ Nrw Crtaiaa aad 
Venezuela were at last auttd aader Me fc«enacK: bf a 


decree of the congress at Angostura, called the Fundamental 
LiWy dated, "city of St. Thomis, Angostura, in the province 
of Guayana, December 1 1th, 1819*. This new government 
assumed the title of the Republic of Culombia The funda- 
mental laws was a provisional and unlimited treaty of union 
between the inhabitants of both New Gerenda and Venezuela. 
It was sanctioned by the general congress convened at the 
city Del Rosario De Cuenta, 12th July, 1820.f 

The government of Colombia was declared to be a central, 
and not a federal government; such is the late constitution 
of Colombia. 

In the debates upon the subject, the deputies of Venezuela 
advocated a central government. Those of New Grenada con- 
tended for a federal union. The first opinion was that of gen- 
eral Bolivar, who in hib private conversation at Aux Cayes, 
Barcelona and Angostura, told his friends, that a central gov- 
ernment would give much more force and promptness in the 
execution of the laws. His enemies accuse him of being in 
favor of a central government, in order to preserve in himself 
the power which he would have lost by a federal union. We 
shall see in the course of this work, how far this accusation 
was just. In order that neither party might be deprived of 
an opportunity of expressing their mature opinions on this 
point, an article was inserted in the constitution,^ in these 
words : " After an experiment of ten or more years, shall have 
discovered all the inconveniences or advantages of the pres- 
ent constitution, the congress shall convoke a grand conven- 
tion of Colombia, authorised to examine, (revise) it, or to 
reform it altogether." 

The territory of the Republic of Colombia, extends from 
the mouth of the Orinoco river to the nothern frontiers of 
Peru and Brazil, or to the province of Meynas on the limits of 
the Amazon. 

*3.e Apr^i'lix* Document No. 1. 
tSee Appendix. Document No S. 
t Article ll^l. 


Baron Ilumbodst says, in his '' historical account of a 
voyage to the equinoxial regions of the new continent," that 
the republic of Colombia is, with Mexico and Guatimala, the 
only state in Spanish America which occupies coasts opposite 
to Earope and Asia. From Cape Paria to the eastern extrem- 
ity of thft province of Veragua, were counted 400 maratime 
leagues ; from Cape Burica to the mouth of the river Tumbez, 
were 260. The sea-shore which the Colombian Republic 
possesses on the sea of the Antilles, and on the Pacific ocean, 
is equal in length to the coast from Cadiz to Dantzic, and 
from Ceuta to Jaffa. 

Mr. Bouchon, in his American Atlas, asserts that the Re- 
public of Colombia contained 91,952 square leagues;* others 
say 126,000; and the same author affirmed its population in 
1823 to be 2,785,000 inhabitants, which I think toomany,con- 
sidering that war and emigration have been so long opera- 
ting against these countries, and that the government has 
done so little to encourage the settlement of foreigners in 
the country. 

By another calculation, the population, at the commence- 
ment of 1822 was as follows. 

Whites. Colored. Total. 

In Venezuela, 80,000. 480,000. 660,000. 

In New Grenada, 110,000. 900,000. 1,010,000. 

190,000. 1,380,000. 1,570,000. 
These calculations, differing so widely, were made within 
tlic space of one year. But it is to be noted that a census was 
n«vcr taken under the Spanish government. Each priest 
had his register, in which he inserted christenings, mar- 
riages and burials, and nothing else ; and these were not 
published. The present governmcfit of Colombia has not 
yet taken a census. 

*lii conronnii y to thiii Aiiirlo. tlio pMiornl osiM^nihly was convoked in Colombia, at tbe 
rii«i «'i Df*?. 

t*nH« k«coni( nrticlv in \\» JuftJawtriUai law say*, ihc re|>ubbc containi 115.000 square 


The iiiiances of Colombia are in a very low state, the ex- 
expense greatly exceeding the revenue. The national debt 
is greatly increasing, and the interest of the English loan is 
not punctually paid, as will be shown by documents. By a 
law of congress, dated Bogota June 23d 1824, the territory of 
Colombia is divided into 12 departments, 49 provinces and 
218 cantons. 

The seat of government has been fixed, provisionally, at the 
city of Bogota ; of which the inhabitants of Quito and Cara- 
cas are very jealous. The new city of Bolivar, which, in con- 
formity to article 7th of the fundamental law of Colombia, is 
to be established in a central place, has not yet been estab- 
lished, probably for want of the necessary funds. 

The city of Bogota contained, in 1806, about 80,000 in- 
habitants ; now, not 50,000. Caracas, the same year, had 
36,000, and has now less than 25,000. 

The fortresses in Colombia are Carthagena, and the four 
forts of Boca Chica, to protect the entry of its port at 12 
miles from Carthagena, Santa Martha and Porto Cabello. 
The cities of Maracaybo, Coro, Laguaira, Cumana, Barcelo- 
na, Guayaquil and Pompatar. are in part fortified, having 
forts to protect their harbors. All these are seaports. The 
city of Angostura is fortified, but is not a seaport, being 
situated on the river Orinoco, about 80 leagues from its 

There are other seaports protected by small forts, batter- 
ies or redoubts, as Carupano, Ocumare, Guiria, Juan Griego, 
&c. In the interior, the cities of duito. Pastes, San Fernan- 
do de Apure, San Carlos, &c. which have forts or batteries. 
But the cities of Bogota and Caracas, that are situated in the 
interior, are not fortified. All the merchandise sent to Bo- 
gota, must be embarked on the Magdalena river for Honda, 
where it is loaded upon mules, and, crossing a large chain of 
the Cordilleras, arrives at the beautiful valley of Bogota in 3 
or 4 days. Goods destined for Caracas, are transported with 




more facility. They are carried by land from Laguaira or 
Porto Cabello. 

Bogota is not protected by forts on any side. Caracas is 
protected on the sea side by Laguaira and Porto Cabcllo, and 
on the land side by the fort of La Cabrera, which lies in a 
▼ery narrow defile, enclosed, on one side, by the fine lake of 
Valencia, and on the other, by a high chain of mountains. 

The port and fortress of Carthagena are protected by the 
four forts of Boca Chica. 

The twelve departments of Colombia are divided into pro- 
vinces, cantons, or counties, and parishes. 

Each department has an intendant, entrusted with its ad- 
ministration. The president of the republic appoints him 
for the term of tliree years. There are, besides, two or three 
lieutenant-assessors, lawyers, a secretary-general, and other 
oflicers of the intendancy. Each department has a comman- 
der of the land forces, a major-general, a staff and its oflioers, 
besides the commandants of the different places, of the en<* 
gineers, of the artillery, the inspectors of the artillery, infan- 
try, cavalry, &c. 

Each province, except that where the intendant resides, 
who at the same time is governor, has a governor, and a 
lieutcnant-govcmor-assessor. They hold their oflices for 
three years. The Inst are generally lawyers, and decide the 
oivl causes. Each province has a secretary-general of the 
province and his clerks, a commander of the place, a director 
of the custom house, and other officers. 

Each fliTovince being divided into cantons aiid parishes, 
each of them has its cabildos, or municipal officers, elected 
for one year, but without any salary. 

For the twi^lvo departments of Colombia, there are above 
3(M) |N)Iitirnl judges, who have no fixed salary, or, if any, it 
is n trifle, which is not sufficient for their support.* 

* \ fwt fM*liltro in rnlni«t<'(l with the »lrcisii»n of small civil causes. — Sec the report 
tirOH> M»iirliii> "I ilie iiitiMior. T. M. KotrejK), made to the Congress of Colombia, a»- 
••imIiIimI till iliii iM ol A|iiii, IH^. 


To each canton is a notary who receives no salary. 

The coasts of Colombia arc divided into four maratime 
departments, viz: 

The Ist. department including the coasts of Guayana, Cu- 
mana, Barcelona, and of the island of Margarita : 

2d. Those of Caracas, Coro and Maracaybo : 

3d. Those of Rio Hacha, Santa Martha and Carthagena : 

4th. The territory of Arato, as far as to that of the Ara- 

A commandant-general, an auditor of the marine and other 
officers, arc entrusted with the administration in each of the 
four departments. The president of the republic appoints 
them all. 

The popular representative government of Colombia has 
been superseded by the formal military despotism under Si- 
mon Bolivar, who assumes the title of" Supreme Chief of the 
Republic of Colombia.'*^ Many of the laws passed by the con- 
gress, during the existence of the popular government, still 
remain in force. 

Slavery has been abolished by an act of congress; but the 
act is limited, extending only to those who have borne arms, 
ot are able to pay 200 dollars to the masters. 

The civilized aborigines are in a wretched condition. Un- 
der the Spanish dominion they were the slaves of the priests, 
or the alcaldes. Both were their tyrants, forcing them to 
cultivate a certain portion of land in common. This dis- 
heartened the laborer, and is one cause of the low state of 
agriculture. These slaves merely vegetated, and were so 
miserable, that, with the greatest difficulty, they had paid 
their yearly tax, of from six to nine dollars, which the law im- 
posed upon each male from 18 to 50 years of age. 

October 4th, 1821, congress decreed that all these taxes 
should be abolished, and the Indians have the same rights 
and privileges with the other citizens of Colombia; that they 
should no more ha obliged to work in common; that each 
should have his own lot of ground, and cultivate it as he 


pleased ; and that this partition should be made within Are 

By the law of March 14th, 1822, it was proTided, that in 
each of the seminaries established in the cities of Bogota, 
Caracas and Quito, four young Indians should be admitted 
to the course of studies there pursued, and that two young 
Indians should, in the same way, be admitted into each of 
the colleges of the four other departments. The want of 
funds obliged them to limit the number. Each of these In- 
dians receives a pension of ten dollars a month. Those who 
distinguish themselves' are to be clergymen, or have some 
government offices. 

Besides these christian Indians, there are in Colombia, va- 
rious tribes of savage, heathen Indians. These inhabit Goa- 
gira and its environs, and also the coasts of the rivers Orino^ 
CO, Meta, Amazon^ and other rivers, which water the large 
valleys in the east part of the republic. They are known 
under the name of Indios bravos. 

The inhabitants of the valleys of Casanare, Tuy, Apure, 
Arare, Cumana, Barcelona, &c. were christian Indians, known 
under the name of £#?a/iero«. They are ferocious and cruel, 
but have rendered the greatest services to the republic. 

Public instruction is very much neglected, government not 
having the means of paying good teachers, and the inhabit- 
ants of the counties and parishes being too poor to bear the 
expense of educating their children. Moreover, there can- 
not be found teachers sufficiently able and enlightened, nor 
enough good elementary school books. 

Article XV of the law of the 2d of August, 1821. concern- 
ing the Primary Schools, authorises the executive to establish 
in the principal cities of Colombia, JVormal Schools. These 
are established at Bogota, Caracas and Carthagena. But the 
absolute want of funds and elementary books, and the preju- 
dices against this method, united with the great influence of 
the priests, who are generally attached to old Spanish meth- 
ods, confine this system to learning in prayer books, and cate- 
chisms, too abstract for the entertainment or the conception 


of children. There were primary schools for females, but as 
government had not the necessary means, it was obliged, bj 
the law of July 28th, 1821, to establish these schools in the 
convents of the nuns. But these having represented them- 
selves to be ip want of a great hall, and destitute of means to 
construct it, very few have been yet established. We may 
easily conceive how miserable all these schools must be, 
since, we know how narrow and filled with prejudices of 
every kind, the minds of all those were, who were educated 
by friars and monks in the convents, of both sexes, under the 
Spanish government on the Main. These are at present, gen- 
erally, the instructors of the rising generation. What must 
be the result of such an education ! 

The famous professor Lancaster, after having spent some 
years on the Main, for the purpose of bringing into use there, 
his highly approved method ot teaching, was obliged to leave 
the country, displeased, disgusted and ruined, as he has stated 
in his letters and memoirs, by which we learn, that the twenty 
thousand dollars, granted by Bolivar, have never been paid. 
The colleges and universities are like the primary schools, in 
their infancy — in a vegetating state ; not for want of the best 
intentions in congress, but absolutely for want of the neces- 
sary means. 

The congress, when assembled at Cuenta, ordained by a 
law of June 28th, 1821, that a public college should be es- 
tablished in each province of Colombia. There are such 
colleges in the provinces of Tunja, Ibagua, Medellin, Popa- 
yan, Loja, &c. ; and, besides, government has preserved the 
old colleges, so that the cities of Quito, -Bogota and Caracas, 
have two, and the provinces of Popayan and Merida, one 
each. But all suffer for want of funds to maintain them, and 
to pay good professors. 

In Bogota there is a school of Anatomy for the use of the 

Colombia has four universities, viz : at Quito, Bogota, 
Caracas and Merida. That in Bogota is exclusively for stu- 
dents in thology ; the three others, for students in the other 


branches. Bogota and Caracas bare libraries for the use of 
the students of the colleges and universities ; but they are 
not extensive, and arc composed chiefly of old theological 
works, not conducive to science. Arts, sciences and litera- 
ture, are all in the same state of infancy, and cannot flourish 
until the schools shall be in a better condition. 

The country of Colombia has chains of large and high 
mountains, known under the name of Cordilleras de los An- 
des, which have more than a hundred branches extending 
through the whole republic, so that very many of the roads 
are laid over mountains, impassable by carriages. Over a 
distance of 80 or 90 miles, therefore, travellers must pass, on 
horses or mules, or by water. Mules are safer than horses. 
In the rainy season many roads are so overflowed with water 
that it is dangerous to pass them : the intercourse with the 
interior is then greatly hindered. There are no turnpikes, 
and few bridges or ferries in Colombia. Rivers must be 
crossed by swiming or in small canoes. Here, as every where 
else, the want of means and hands, opposes the necessary es- 
tablishment of turnpikes, bridges &Cy and hinders and em- 
barrasses commerce exceedingly. The chains of mountains 
have in them many dens, affording shelter for bands of robbers, 
who under the name of Guerillas infect, particularly in the 
present times, the departments of Venezuela, Julia, Boyaca 
and others. Travellers and mails go well armed and escor- 

The two largest rivers in Colombia are the Orinoco, and 
the Magdalena, Both these are navigable for ships. Others 
may be navigated by small craft ; the principal of which are 
the Catatumbo or Julia, forming with some others, the large 
lake of Maracaybo, the Atrato, the Cruces, Aranca, Patia, 
Vemccaldas, and there are many others. Congress intended 
to unite several of them, by means of canals, cut from one to 

On the Magdalena and Orinoco rivers, steam boats are now 
tilted for the transportation of passengers and merchandise. 


On the first thcj go from Santa Martha to Mompox, where 
the passengers land ; and with horses or mules, cross lar^^e 
mountains, before they can arrive at the large plain of Bogo- 
ta, the present scat of the Colombian government. On the 
Orinoco, they go from one of its seven principal branches, 
which pours its waters into the Atlantic, to the city of An- 

The provinces of Antochia, Coio, Popayan, and some 
parts of Neyva and Pamplona, furnish gold in grains. Others 
produce silver, iron, copper, fcc. 

Among the maladies which reign in Colombia, are the yel- 
low fever, black vomit and dysentery; but these prevail only 
at certain seasons, and sometimes the two first appear not in 
the course of whole years. Another very grievous and con* 
tagious malady knbwn by the name of el mal de la elefan- 
da (leprousy) exists on the Main. The inhabitants belie; e 
that this plague is incurable, and that it is communicated by 
touching or taking the breath of a leprous person. Such an 
one is consumed by sores and ulcers, which produce poignant 
pains, and destroy the suiferer as soon as the vital parts of 
his body are infected. The eating of too much fresh and salt 
pork, the filthy manner of living, and the burning sun, are 
probably the principal causes of this plague. The Spanish 
government had established, in the island of Boca Chica, in 
the province of Carthagena, a hospital for lepers, where a 
great many of both sexes were treated. To prevent any com- 
munication frotn abroad, they were guarded by a cordon of 
troops, and capital punishment was ordained, for attempting 
to force the guard, or tresspassing on the limits prescribed. 
When Carthagena was declared a republic, its government 
preserved this institution, the more carefully, because this 
province had, in proportion to its population, a greater num- 
ber of leprous persons than any other province in New Gren- 
ada. Whilst I commanded the forts of Boca Chica, I fre- 
quently visited this hospital, then immediately under my 
direction. It was a hard — a horrid duty to visit these 


miserable beings, among whom I found promis'mg youths of 
both sexes, whose parents were wealthy and powerful. It 
was dreadful to see them secluded by force from home and 
society forever, to perish, by long and excruciating pains, in 
misery and despair. I did all I could do to alleviate their 
condition ; but the low state of the funds would not enable 
me to do what I wished, and what was requisite for them. 

The province next to Carthagena, in number of lepers, is 
Socorro. In 1820, the government of Cundinamarca, desired 
that a hospital should be erected for leprous persons, in the 
little town of Curo, where these persons of the province of 
Socorro, Pamplona, Tunja, Casanare, Bogota, Neyva and Mar- 
garita, should be collected and cured. But the funds assign- 
ed were so deficient, in proportion to the great number of 
lepers, that this plague continues to make great ravages in 
these seven provinces, as well as in that of Carthagena. The 
leprosy exists in the provinces of Panama, Choco, Guayana, 
kc, but not to so great a degree as in the eight former pr<^ 

Another less dangerous disease, attacks many of the in- 
habitants of Colombia. It is the wen^ a large swelling under 
the throat ; it is not mortal, but deforms the visage, partic- 
ularly of females. It hinders respiration, and makes chil- 
dren imbecile and stupid. This disease is often to be found 
in the temperate valeys ; but the inhabitants of the Cordille- 
ra mountains, and those of the plains bordering on the rivers 
Magdalena, Meta, Apure, Orinoco, be. are not exempted. 
This malady progresses daily; and will, as is feared, spread 
thfooghout the whole country. 

Various projects have been devised for removing it. But 
tbe want of funds for the payment of professors and practi- 
tioners, and for the buildmg of hospitals has been the princi- 
pal obstacle to so beneficial an enterprise. 

Vacination is introduced into families, and the nicest care 
is taken in the city of Bogota, Quito and Caracas, to preserve 



actiYe virus, to be sent into the provinces where he small 
pox makes its appearance. 

But it is not carried to all the provinces, for want of 
funds. The civil and military hospitals are for the same 
reason, in a miserable condition. 

Many small ciiies and villages have their cemetaries with« 
out, at some distance from them ; whilst at Bogota and other 
great cities the dead are buried in churches and church-yards 
in the centre of the population. 

Houses of refuge for the poor are established in the cities 
of Bogota, Quito, and Caracas, where beggars and vagabonds 
are kept at work for their maintenance. Government has es- 
tablished a fourth house of this kind, in the city of Pamplona, 
which abounds with poor; but all are in a wretched state, 
for want of money ; and beggars are met with in the streets 
of almost every city, town and village in Colombia. But few 
die for want of food, the soil being very fertile, and the pop- 
ulation small in proportion to the extent of territory. The 
mass of the people subsist chiefly upon bananas, rice, fruit, 
and roots, which grow with little or no culture ; and as they 
remain a great part of the day in their hammocks, or stretch- 
ed upon mats, this scanty food is sufllicient, at least to pre- 
vent their starving with hunger. 

The clergy are very numerous in proportion to the peopl® 
over whose minds they hold a vast influence. The highest 
ecclesiastical dignity is that of archbishop. Thereare two; 
one resides at Bogota, the other at Caracas. It has been 
said that a third was to be established at Quito, The treaty 
with the pope, and the declaration which precedes the con- 
stitution of Colombia, that the catholic religion m, and shall be 
the religion of the state, are sufllicient proofs of the influence of 
the clergy. There are ten bishops, viz, at Quito, Cuenca, 
Maynas, Panama, Carthagena, Santa Martha, Merida, Guaya- 
na, Medellin, and Antioquia. The religious and regular orders 
in Colombia, are divided into 3 provinces : Venezuela, Bogo-^ 
ta and Quitp. These provinces administer and govern them- 
selves, independently of each other. The superior, or central 


power acknowledged by each under the Spanish government, 
was the vicar of the orders residing at Madrid, who was him- 
self the immediate dependant of the generalisimo at Rome. 
The impolicy of continuing this communication with Madrid, 
a capital inimical to independence, was suggested to con- 
gress, together with a plan for rendering these regular orders 
altogether independent of Spain by giving them a central 
place in the territory of Colombia, whence they might after- 
wards communicate directly with the Holy Father ; and this 
has been done. The first congress of the republic of Colom- 
bia, which assembled at the city of Rosario de Cucuta, in 
1820, ordered the suppression of all the convents which con** 
tained not, at least, eight monks, and destined their monas- 
teries and other depending buildings, with their property 
and revenue, to the education of youth in public schools. 
In consequence of this order, about three hundred monaste- 
ries of both sexes have been sequestered. 

The establishment of a congress of the republic is essen- 
tial to the freedom of the country, and proves an expansion 
of intellect and information in the county, which, a few years 
ago, could scarcely have been contemplated. But it is to 
be feared, first, that the immense extent of territory may 
greatly weaken, if not annul the guaranty by government, 
of liberty and individual security and peace. In many in- 
stances, a department has one chief, who unites in himself 
the civil and military authority, under the title of Intendant. 
But in some, there is a general, who commands the troops 
in the department, but who, by law, is subject to the inten- 
dant. Now, in some departments, envy and jealousy are found 
to exist between the two, having a pernicious influence 
upon the common welfare. This has been the case in the 
department of Venezuela, whilst Charles Soublette was 
intendant there in 1821, '2, '3. General Paez, who com- 
manded the troops in the department, held Soublette in such 
contempt, that he oile» refused to receive orders from him, 
and to obey any except those which came directly from the 
president, S. Bolivar, or the vice president. Gen. Sanander. 


Paez came one day from Valencia to Caracas for money to 
pay his troops. He went directly, without permitting 
himself to be announced, into the cabinet of the intendant, 
and demanded from Soublette an order on the treasury for 
a certain sum. Soublette answered, in a hesitating manner, 
that be would grant the request with a great pleasure, but 
that the little cash in the treasury was devoted to very 
important purposes, and would be called for in two days. 
Paez turned upon his heeU shut the door with violence, walk- 
ed to the treasurer and ordered him to hand the sum requir- 
ed; and in spite of his remonstrances, forced him to do so, 
and rode off with the money. This rivalry between Soublette 
and Paez, actually prevented the effect of the combined mil- 
itary operations ; and left Morales the power of making such 
progress, after the battle of Carabobo, when every one thought 
the war would be quickly ended. Soublette's administration 
lost the provinces of Coro and Maracaybo, and, as well infor- 
med men have assured me, was the cause of Morales' increas- 
ing his power, and of his stayiqg so long in Maracaybo. I 
am also informed, and, I think it probable, that the coward- 
ice and incapacity of Soublette, were what rendered the 
blockade and siege of Porto Cabello, ineffectual. 

There is in truth no check, I mean constitutional check, 
upon the power of the intendant. These intendants are gen- 
erally military chieftains, used to exercising absolute power, 
which men under arms absolutely require, but which men, as 
citizens, as absolutely forbid. The intendants are under the 
immediate orders of the president, they are named and in- 
stalled by him. He changes, and removes them ; and knows 
beforehand whether congress will approve or disapprove. 
The president-liberatdr is therefore the only power by and 
through whom all is done.* 

* The Prefident Bolivar published, under the date of Bogota, Sith of NoTember, 1826, 
a decree with the following title : ** Decree uniting^ in the (Mpartments and the provin- 
ces the mtlitarr command u the same person entrusted with the civil authority*'' He be- 
gins with the ioUowing introduction : " As it is convenient to the consolidatioo and the 
honor of the republic, to av«id expenses in the present state of the public revenues, 


It is true that, by the representative system the Toice of 
every alien is heard in the hall of the legislative body, which 
gives him an appearence of guarenty for his individual liber- 
ty. But the most important thing is, that the responsibility 
of agents to their principals, be well assured ; and above all 
that of the most powerful and influential agent, viz, the Ex- 
ecutive ; because this power is the soul of the legislative 
body, and is placed between that and the people. 

Experience has shown that the influence of the Executive 
power is able to subdue, to absorb, every other'power, legisla- 
tive and judiciary. But Colombia, having decided against a 
federal system as too weak for her present circumstances,* 
has now no other chance but to pursue the course she has 
marked out for herself 

The central government gives undoubtedly, more strength 
and energy to the executive. But is it likely to render the 
people more prosperous and free ; especially when we 
contemplate the union of such complicated, and often 
jarring elements ? The character of the Venezuelan, and 
his manners, customs, and habits, difler altogether from 
those of the Grenadan; and the laws of one country are at 
variance with those of the other.f The jealousy and hatred 
existing between the inhabitants of the two countries have 
already been the source of great troubles, in Colombia. 
They were, indeed, the cause of the revolution at Valencia, 
Caracas, &c. in 1826, under general Paez. With a federal 
constitution, both Venezuela and New Grenada would have 

which are not i ufficient to cover those of the administration of the republic ; and being 
desirous to put an end to the diflferences which fetter the public ser\'ice, the good admin- 
istration, Sec. I decree, article 1st, that in all the departments where government iudges 
•re necessary, the military and civil power shall be united in the person of the fatter/' 
Sec, See Appendix No. 4. 

•This was the objection of general Bolivar, strongly expressed when the articles of the 
fondamcntal law of the republic were discussed at Angostura, and when a great many of 
the deputies inclined to atlopt the federal system. Some insist that Bolivar's opposition 
Sprung from his fear of losing his supremacy under such a constitution. It is certain that 
ke has retained it to the present time. He is again dictator, by his own decree, of Bo- 
gota, 23d of November, 1826. under the plausible pretext of the civil war, and the dan- 
get of a Spanish invasion. See Appendix No. 5. 

i See flection II. of the character and manners of the inhabitants of Colombia. 



been enabled to establish laws better adapted to their situa- 
tion, to the character and habits of the people of each 
country. With such a constitution, following the bril- 
liant example of these United States, they might have form- 
ed a consistent, and perfect federative union. 

To trace out the several steps, and the manner of proceed- 
ing in the two governments, would afford new and interest- 
ing matter to an impartial enlightened observer, and there 
may be difficulty in deciding between them. The most dan- 
gerous part of the system adopted by Colombia is, that it 
combines local with general agencies, thus accumulating 
excessive power in the hands of a single man. The federal 
system is free from this danger. 

France is now under this concentrated government, and 
so is Colombia. Both may be kept in subjection by the con- 
centration, unless some change take place in the charter of 
the former, and in the constitution of the latter. 

3. The influence and power of the clergy are far too great 
in Colombia. They are members of congress. They hold 
places in all the public offices; in the departments, provin- 
ces, counties and parishes, in the municipalities, as cabildos, 
and as officers in the army and navy, while' they are also 
priests of the parishes. They are paid in preference to others. 
By means of tithes and other contributions, they live a very 
comfortable life, while the people are poor and miserable. 
The catholic religion is that of the state, and the public wor- 
ship of any other is strictly prohibited. Advocates of reli- 
gious toleration are not wanting ; but no actual step has been 
taken towards so beneficial a measure. 

The prohibition of all other religions except the catholic 
is not only impolitic, it is pernicious. It is a phenomenon in 
the history of states, that such an article is found in the 
constitution of a people who declare themselves the friends 
of freedom. This fact alone is sufficient to excite well ground- 
ed fears for the success of sound and rational liberty in Co- 


4. The jealous, enrious, suspicious, egotistic and ambi- 
tious character of the greatest part of their chiefs, will be a 
great obstacle to the freedom and prosperity of the inhabit- 
ants. Observe their early education, their very limited knowl- 
edge, their vanity, their prejudices against foreigners, tbeir 
habits of power increased by 15 years of war, their propen- 
sity to act according to their own arbitary notions, their pas- 
sions, and a judicious observer will see that this picture is 
not over shaded. I speak of the majority of these chiefs, and 
there are not many exceptions. 

4. The finances are so low that none of the public officers, 
are regularly paid. In some parts of the republic there have 
been, and are still, great complaints and dissatisfaction with 
regard to heavy taxes and the multiplicity of contributions.* 
The famous Alcavala^ against which so many complaints were 
made in America, during the Spanish dominion, has been 
abolished, as late as the end of 1827, in Colombia. The pa- 
per money, the vaUs^ the patents, the direct and indirect tax- 
es, the heavy duties at the custom houses, and others were 
so multiplied as to have become a heavy burden to the peo- 
ple of Colombia. 

And in what consists the present system of finance and 
custom houses in Colombia, called the Ravenga System ?f 

'The President Liberator says^ in his decree, dated Bogota, 24lh of November, 1826, 
signed by him and the Secretary of the interior. Joseph M. Resrepro : " As the revenues 
on land or grounds in the diflcrent counties of the republic are not sufficient for the ordi- 
nary expeniies, and it heitig not cont-^merU at the prttent moment to ot'er burden ihf citi- 
zens with netp taxes j which provoke cowtplmnts from every quarter ; I decreet'* etc. See 
Appen<lix No. 6. 

The following will also show the very low state of the finances. The President Libera- 
tor says, in a decree, dated as above : '' 'J*hc {Hiblic revenues l>eing in.«ufficient to cover 
the expenses, so that public credit has lowered, and i* in the greatest danger of being lost 
entirety. I decree," etc. 

t These decrees were 1st, " Of the management and government of the intendnncies , 
and other public offices, in the direction and the administration of the revenues in the four 
departments of Maturin, Venezuela, Orinoco and Julia. Caracas March 8th, 1827.*' 
Signed Simon Bolivar and T. Rafael Ravenga, Secretary of State and General of His 
Excellency the President Liberator. Article 172 says. •*Everj- one, of an industrious 
class, is liable to pay a tax of alcavala, in proportion Co the patent granted him to trade, 
or to exercise any other occupation. Ana the princii>al administrators, their subalterns 
or deputies, are to collect these taxes upon the following tarifT." Here follows a list of 
the different classes, called industria, divided into 33 branches, which were liable to pa- 
tent. The banker, the merchant and the commissionary, for instance, paid a patent of 
400dollar9each. which has been increased to 600, and lately (December 1827) to 1000 
dollars a year. The apothecaries, 200 dollars , the lawyers, phy>ici8ns and surgeons, y 


Both decrees were published during the stay of general Boli- 
var in Venezuela, at the beginning of 1827, and were attri- 
buted to Mr. Ravenga. 

The President Liberator has ordered all duties to be col- 
lected one year in advance, and such has been the urgency 
of this collection, that by his decree, dated Bogota Nov. 
23d, 1826, he enjoins that these taxes be wholly collected in 
December of the same year.* 

The administration, in all branches, is in frightful disorder; 
the natural consequence of the entire want of money. There- 
fore it results that the officers, except those of the treasury, 
are not paid, and most of them, in order to subsist with their 
families, yield to fraud, corruption, and smuggling.f 

This want of every thing prevents the payment of the navy 
and land troops, and hinders the execution of all combined 
operations. A great part of the soldiers were known only 
by their chacos and muskets ; all were in a pitiful condition. 
The officers themselves are badly clothed ; they seldom wear 
epaulettes, and some of them neither shoes nor boots, and 
very seldom have any money. 

In 1822, '23, when Soublette was intendant of the depart- 
ment of Venezuela, hundreds of officers were seen begging 
from house to house, in the streets of Caracas and Laguaira, 
for some assistance ! 

doilsTi. Tbf} ownen of houses pay half a month of the rent received each year. Those 
who inhabit their own houses with their families, are liable to pay five per cent more than 
the turn, at which the rent ofthe house may be ettimaied, if that exceeds 120 dollars. This 
expression, que nt ettime que genariaj is very vague, and subjects all owners of houses to 
the afbitrary decision of any officer the government appoints to estimate them. (See an 
extnci of this long decree, in A ppendix under No. 10. ) The title ofthe 2d decree is. " Of 
the management and government of the maratime custom houses.'' Caracas. Marcn 9th, 
1827. Signed Simon Bolivar and Ravenga, as above. See Appendix No. ll; 

To this decree is annexed the tariff of the entry duties to wbicn merchandise imported 
ioto the seaports is liable — in alphabetical order. On perusing this decree, from which 
its coDlents renders it impracticable to rive an abstract, the reader will be convinced how 
coounerce and industry are liable to suffer by such regulations. 

* Thu decree is entitled, ** Decree to urge the execuUon of the law of May 22d, 1896, 
ia regard to the phblic credit." See Appendix No. 7. 

t The Liberator commences his decree to repress fi'auds in the public revenues, dated 
Bogota, 23d of November, 1826, by sajring, " As frauds exist in the public revenues, and 
are so common and teandalout, and ps it is necessary to put an end to a disorder which 
relaxes morality, and diminishes ao considerably the revenues of the treasury, I have 
judged cooveBient to decree/' ^. See No. 9, in the Appendix. 

32 I!VTB0DUCTI01f. 

The name of battalion or regiment is often given there to 
a collection of armed men that cannot possibly number 200 
fit for action. The, so called, armies of Colombia, are nei- 
ther well instructed, drilled, nor disciplined. The service is 
performed with great carelessness, and desertions to the in- 
terior are frequent ; the natural consequences of the neglect 
with which the soldiers are treated. 

5. The military rules and ordinances in Colombia are those 
of the Spaniards. They are in use both in the navy and 
among the land troops. Their custom house duties are so 
heavy and arbitrary, neither inspiring confidence, nor afford- 
ing encouragement to commerce and industry. 

6. By the ancient colonial system, which was powerfully 
iupported by the clergy, the Spanish crown fearing that the 
Americans might come to feel their strength and know their 
rights, took great care to prevent the growth of industry and 
knowledge in both Spanish Americas. Their immense ig- 
norance, (the growth of the Spanish system,) will greatly re- 
tard the welfare and prosperity of Colombia. 

The apathy of the people, resulting from the climate, and 
from a slavery of 300 years, united with this ignorance., will 
render a speedy introduction of industry, light, and liberal 
feeling, among them, very difEcult. These blessings may, 
perhaps, not be attained until two or three generations have 
passed away. 

Public and private education are extremely defective, where 
they are not totally neglected. Nothing is well learned or 
thoroughly understood. All studies have been very limited, 
and intercourse with foreigners strictly prohibited. 

7. Agriculture, the only road to a flourishing and profita- 
ble commerce, is in the same satne low state with every oth- 
er source of profit or comfort. 

The scarcity of hand, the apathy of the people, and the 
discouragement to foreigners, from settling in the country, 
operating with a government which permits the military to 
commit daily depredations upon the peaceable inhabitants. 


are great discouragements to all industry, to every effort to- 
wards prosperity. 

The fertility of the soil is so great as to produce yearly 
two harvests. But, at present, both harvests afford not half 
as much as one of them did under the Spanish dominion. 
The army, which contains many thousand slaves, absorbs the 
laboring classes. The chiefs, neglecting the order, comfort 
and discipline of the soldiers, think only of increasing the 
strength of their armies by numbers, which they are anxious 
to augment. Their armies are growing more numerous, less 
and less capable of resisting invasion, and more and more 
burdensome and oppressive to the inhabitants. So it happens 
that agriculture is neglected. 

A million of dollars was appropriated to the encouragement 
of agriculture, and assigned by congress to the executive, for 
that purpose. This was part of the loan often millions made 
in England. The history of this loan is well understood; and 
it is not necessary to enquire the fate of the one million. But 
at best, it is, as has been often said, a single bottle of water 
drawn up in a sandy plain. 

8. The judiciary power remains, together with the legisla- 
tive and executive, in one hand, that of the Dictator-libeiator. 
He prefers military tribunals to civil courts ; these are too 
slow for him ; and so his will is the law of the land. 

9. Were the Dictator the great man he has been taken for, 
yet one man cannot be every where, cannot' do every thing. 
Bolivar must necessarily leave to his subalteins the greatest 
part of business in the departments and provinces. There 
are military chieftains, little bashaws, so called, who rule and 
vex the citizens of Colombia by deciding according to tlieitr 
own understanding and will. 

What is to be the result of such a stateof things in Colom- 
bia.'^ Are these people free? Or is their welfare deferred for 
years, perhaps for centuries? Where is protection to be found 
for persons and property ; for the culture of arts and sciences 
for liberal institutions, schools, industry, agriculture, the 
train of blessings necessary to the existence of prosperity and 


freedom ? Were the inhabitants in a worse condition under 
the dominion of Spain, bad as it was, than they are now, un- 
der the bayonets of the Dictator-liberator ? These questions 
will be decided, according to the view that may be taken of 
the subject. 



Education of the Colombians — Their vanity, ambition^ contempt 
of trades and mechanic arts — Classes and ranks in sociity — 
Marriages — Intriguei and dissoluteness — Women, their man- 
ners, character, education — Dress — Those of Bogota as distin- 
guished from those of Caracas and Carthagena — Houses, 
furniture — Luxuries, and extravagance — Superstition — Influ- 
ence of the Priests — Charcteristic habits, traits — Uaneros, 
their dress, equipments, fyc, ; Paez, Zarasa — The Margaritans 
— Religious ceremonies — Former punishment, for murder, rob- 
bery — Instance of the public punishment of a young female at Bo^ 
gota,for an attempt to steal the jewels of the image of the virgin 

The crown of Spain, for the purposeof keeping its subjects 
from the lights and improvements of the modern nations of 
Europe, carefully pr evented their intercourse with all other 
nations, as far as was in their power. The Spanish govern- 
ment labored under the continual apprehension that the 
Americans would become acquainted with their own oppress- 
ed condition, and seek the means of breaking their own 
yoke. The king reserved to himself the exclusive right of 
granting passports to go to the Spanish colonies. Before such 
a passport was granted, a Spaniard was obliged to submit to 
many humiliating examinations and formalities. It was more 
difficult still for a foreigner to obtain such permission, which 


WM granted only to those who were powerfully recommend- 
ed to the kin^i^. 

After the peace of Badojar, France alone wa« permitted to 
send agenis or consuls to the Spanish Americas ; and their 
actions were pretty closely observed. 

A Spanish American, desirous of coming to Spain, was 
obliged to submit to the same formalities as the European \ 
Spaniard who wished U> go to the colonies. The viceroy,; 
and the captain-general only, could give them their pass- 

Capital punishments were ordained against all masters of 
vessels, not Spaniards, who should attempt to enter any har- 
bor in the Spanish colonies, and against all merchants not 
licensed to trade with the colonists. These measures ren- 
dered it impossible for the inhabitants to have intercourse 
with foreigners. 

The clergy felt a deep interest in seconding the views of 
government. Their system to perpetuate the ignorance and 
superstition of the people, procured for themselves the great- 
est temporal advantages. In the pursuit of these they were 
utterly regardless of the spiritual welfare of the people, and 
of their own ! 

The education of youth was therefore much neglected. 
Boys were sent to school at the age of four years, and the 
age was the same for going to a convent. 

Since education to a man is what culture is to a plant, it 
may be proper to enter into some details, to show that such 
education as the greater part of the generation now living in 
Colombia have received, under the Spanish dominion, could 
not possibly form men of knoweldge and of liberal minds. 
This will best inform us what kind of men they are who now 
stand at the bead of the government, and how those power- 
ful chieftains were formed, under whose control the various 
departments are placed, and among whom they are divided. 
There are, it is true, in Colombia, and in other parts of the 
Spanish Americas, men of talents and knowledge ; but they 




arc much more scarce in Colombia than in otbes countries, 
and their political existence is crushed and destroyed by an 
arbitrary military despotism. Where bayonets are the gen- 
eral rulers, liberty, knowledge, civil rights, and all political 
welfare are completely banished. To turn the bayonets 
against the defenceless country and its inhabitants, requires 
neither knowledge nor talents. 

The greatest part of the schools, colleges, and universities 
have been, and still are, in the hands of the clergy, and tbe 
friars. This body of catholic clergy must not be confounded 
with those in other countries. These were full of prejudices 
and had very little knowledge. The friars were not much 
better, and in some cases worse. They filled the heads of 
the school boys with histories of extraordinary and incredible 
miracles, with sketches taken from the lives of their saints. 
The boys learned by rote, and recited a great number of Latin 
prayers, of which they could not know the sense. They were 
taught to sing litanies and masses, and were subjected to ex- 
terior forms of piety. Thus were they formed to early hab- 
its of dissimulation and hypocrisy, under the influence of 
which their heads and hearts remained during life. 

On leaving school, they entered a college, where they 
learned Latin and Greek very superficially. Their memories 
were charged with an obscure and diff^use scholasticism, and 
with some superficial knowledge of geography, history, &c. 
Instead of being taught the principles of true religion, or of 
a sound and pure morality, they were instructed in the difier- 
ent ranks and classes of society ; in the advantages of being 
born a nobleman, or of belonging to families in the service 
of the king, or the church. Their self-love and vanity were 
thus excited and made predominant over every other princi- 
ple and motive. This education was ordinarily finished at the 
age of fifteen or sixteen years. M. Dupons gives a correct 
and minute account of their instruction, in his work, which 
affords the most full information on the sUte of education 
on the Main before the revolution at Caracas. 


Since the revolution of 1810, the new government has, 
however, not had much time or money to devote to the sub- 
ject of education. Though peace has afforded more leisure 
for attention to this subject, they have been deficient in both 
funds and talents, and this deficiency has stood in the way of 
the formation of good primary schools and colleges, and able 
teachers. Will Bolivar establish such institutions? It is very 
doubtful whether he has the power to do so. And with his 
military and absolute government, can he desire that knowl- 
edge should be diffused among the Colombians f 

In Venezuela, to arrive at the title of marquis, count, or 
baron, was the height of human felicity. I have known dif- 
ferent Caraguins to expend large sums of money in getting 
one of these titles from the Spanish government. Others ob- 
tained orders, or stars. In Spain all might be obtained, par* 
ticularly under the corrupt government of Manuel Godoj, 
Prince of the Peace. 

This rage for titles existed not in so high a degree in New 
Grenada as in Venezuela. No title of nobility was known 
there among the natives. The European nobility preserved 
their titles after leaving Spain. In Venezuela there existed 
a Creolan nobility, unknown in New Grenada, under the 
name of Mantuanos, of whom I will speak hereafter. But in 
both provinces, all mechanic trades and employments were 
much despised, and left to colored and black people. The 
honorable occupition of cultivating land, belonged exclusive- 
ly to slaves. In Caracas and in Bogota, no mechanic, even 
now, can be found, who is not a colored or a black person. 
It would be a disgrace to a man of good family to touch any 
of these occupations, or to gain an honest living by his own 
industry. He would like much better to have a brilliant uni- 
form, or a friar's or clergyman's frock, to sing and serve at 
mass in church, or to obtain the title of doctor, that he might 
be regarded as belonging to the highest classes of society. 
He would prefer the laziest life^ to obtaining subsistence by 


This yanity, the effect of early edacation, was the source 
of many dissentions, and of a ridiculous and childish jealousy 
among families. From this each one derived an opinion that 
he was a more important man than his neighbor, and was anx- 
ious to be distinguished by his birth, rank, titles, and wealth. 
This was often the cause of jealousy, envy, and bitter enmity 
between two families, occasioned, by mere trifles. 

The officers of the Spanish government and the clergy saw 
these dissentions with pleasure, and adopted the maxim, Di- 
vide and Govern. The numerous class of lawyers and attor- 
nies joined the two first, because their own subsistence de- 
pended upon lawsuits, which of course they endeavored to 

Before the revolution, society was divided into different 
and very distinct classes. To the first class belonged the 
Royal Audiencia, or highest council of government in civil 
matters, and in which the viceroy or captain-general always 
presided ; and to which belonged the regent, the auditors 
and the judges of the highest court of justice. The govern- 
ors of the different provinces, the generals, the intendant, the 
treasurer, the inspectors of the army, and the colonels, were 
reckoned in this class. It was composed of European Span- 
iards, who were authorised to bear the titles of Excellency, 
or Usted (gentry.) 

The second class comprised the most wealthy and noted 
families of high birth, all Creoles. In New Grenada there 
was no term to distinguish these from other families, and they 
were designated by the phrase, '* he or she is of high birth.** 
In Venezuela, they had a name, that of *^ las familias Mantu- 
anas." This was a kind of American nobility, commonly 
mixed with European blood. 

The third class was formed of the judges of the ordinary 
courts, the municipal, and military officers from the lieuten- 
ant colonel to the second lieutenant, the members of the bar, 
the public notaries, the lower officers of government, that 
were Creoles, the doctors, professors, d:c. 


In the fourth class were reckoned the merchants, the cap- 
italists, or lessees of a lower birth, the bankers, &c. — all 
white. The other classes were formed of men of color and 
black men — ^all free — and Indians and slaves. 

The clergy, regular and secular, belonged to none of these 
classes. They were highly respected, and had their sepa- 
rate jurisdiction, their ecclesiastical council, of which the 
archbishop was president. They had their separate privile- 
ges and were entirely independent of both viceroy and cap- 

I shall here speak only of the customs and manners of the 
highest American class, designated under number 2, as that 
which is distinguished for its wealth and independence. All 
the rest being dependent on the government, or on some of 
the nobles; so that they were obliged to conform to their 
manners, customs and usages. They do not exhibit a cha- 
racter sufficiently prominent, to be worth a drawing. But 
where there is a characteristic difference, I will mention it. 
I will endeavor to compare the character of the Caraguin 
with that of the Grenadan, and particularly with that of the 
inhabitants of Carthagcna, as forming the most prominent 
points of difference ; and will afterwards speak of the Llane- 
ro and the Margaritan. 

The families of Mantuanos in Venezuela were divided, like 
the Grandees in Spain, into different classes ; as Sangre Azul, 
Sangre Mezclada, &c. These classes were formed for the 
purpose of marking distinctions of birth, as, Sangre Azul, 
(blue blood) designated the most opulent Creolan families, 
descended from Spanish ancestors, the first conquerors of the 
country, who had established themselves definitively there, and 
whose children, born in the country, were there established 
from generation to generation. Those of the Sangre Mezcla- 
da, (mixed blood) were of a later date ; and had intermixed 
either with Spanish or Frenchmen. 

It was very common among the Mantuanos for a young man 
to marry as soon as he left college. His parents would con- 
sult together about choosing him a companion for life ; in 


which they regarded chiefly, (and particularly the lady's) birth, 
rank, fortune, and family connexions, as is customary among 
the nobility in Europe. All being settled with her parents, 
she was taken, at the age of 12 years, from the convent ivhere 
she had been placed at four ; and married to a young man of 
the age of 16; frequently to one under that age. It was 
common to And such a couple whose ages put together amount- 
ed to less than thirty. I knew a handsome young lady of 
Mantuana, who, at the age of eighteen bad seren children 
living. Another had a daughter sixteen years old, who ap- 
peared to be the sister of her mother ; who was not over 27 
years of age. Such a couple, without any experience, not yet 
knowing even how to behave themselves, were placed at the 
head of a large household, and surrounded by flatterers, and 
a numerous train of servants, who sought to dupe them. 
Having had neither opportunity nor judgment to know the 
character, each of the other, they believed they were in love, 
because their parents assured them of it. At first all was 
happiness and joy. But they soon began to discover faults; 
and to feel, in the company of each other, a certain vacuity 
and listlessness. They began their diflerences by disputing, 
and then quarrelling ; and ended them by hating each other. 
The husband amused his fancy abroad. The wife consoled 
herself by other means. In this manner they lived, choosing 
separate courses of life, and would have been divorced, but 
for their dread of certain humiliating formalities, which re- 
quire that witnesses shall testify publicly to their dishonora- 
ble private conduct. Their divorce was prevented, only by 
their pride and vanity. 

Whether it is owing to manners and character, a far more 
temperate climate, or whatever cause, marriages are not made 
at so early an age, at Bogota as at Caracas. Here families 
are more united and happy. They are not so ostentatious and 
showy, but their households are more orderly, and they have 
more solid riches. They are less fastidious, and more cor- 
dial in their manner of receiving strangers^ than at Caracas. 


A rich family of high birth in Bogota, seldom expend the 
whole of their annual income, whilst the Mantuanos antici- 
pate theirs, and contract debts. 

Among the Mantuanos in Venezuela, the conduct of mar- 
ried people, in general, has a most pernicious cHect upon 
their children. These must know the irregularity of their fa- 
ther, and the intrigues of their mother. What children learn 
in these schools of vice, they early begin to practise ; even 
before their moral or physical powers approach maturity, 
these boys practice vices which in most other countries, at 
their age, are not attempted. There were to be seen many 
who, by excesses, had lost their vigor, at an age, when oth- 
ers begin to enjoy life. They fall victims to many diseases, 
and their pale and meagre faces were emblems of pain and 
suffering. In the midst of every advantage afforded by birth, 
wealth, and a delightful climate, their health was visibly de- 
clining. These living spectres approach an early grave, de- 
ploring a vicious life ; which is often transmitted from one 
generation to another. 

It is, therefore, not surprising that all travellers who of late 
have visited Colombia, and particularly Venezuela, talk so 
much of the general corruption of manners. Among all the 
rest, Caracas is distinguished. 

It was not strange to hear a lady complimented, in pre- 
sence of her husband, upon changing her guerido (gallant.) 
The husband spoke of his mistress with the same freedom. 
The festivals and holidays, in these countries, afforded con- 
venient occasions for intrigue between the sexes ; as, the 
grand mass of midnight, the evening before christmas, the 
whole time of carnival, the numerous evening meetings in 
honor of the holy virgin, or the saints, &^c. Many passionate 
declarations, verbal, and written, have been made in church- 
es and chapels. I appeal to all who have been in these 
countries. To all this, must be added the private conduct, 
and corrupt principles of priests and monks, who, under the 
mask of religion, have seduced a great many young females/ 

Oa the other side stands the military officer, whose brilliant 



anifonn, and the idea of vigor and courage attached to his 
character, render him peculiarly attractive. By considering 
all these things, one may form a correct opinion of the man- 
ners and customs on the Main. 

Among the clergy in Caracas, the canonicii were distin- 
guished for their wealth and libertinism. Even the monks 
and friars generally kept their mistresses. A friend of mine, 
at Caracas, surprised hi^ young and beautiful mistress with a 
stout and handsome friar. He dared not say a word for fear 
of the friar's vengeance, who would not have failed to do him 
mischief. This discovery, however, cured him of mistresses, 
and be soon after left the countrv. 

The priests in the villages, small towns and boroughs, gen- 
erally have their female housekeepers, and a number of chil- 

Passing one day through Aqua del Pablo, a large village 

in the interior of New Grenada, I rested with my retinue, at 
the house of the priest, with whom I had been acquainted in 
Carthagena, and who expected me to dine with him. His 
house was one of the largest and best in the country, and sur- 
rounded with various other buildings ; proving, at least, great 
ease, if not wealth. I found a large table well provided with 
silver spoons, plates and forks. We sat down gaily and 
dined. After dinner, the officers belonging to my fumily, re- 
tired. I remained alone with the priest, who was a good and 
benevolent man, generally beloved, and a father to his con- 
gregation. He was a patriot, and one of {he most enlight- 
ened persons of the catholic church. He sat with his back 
to the door, and I with my face towards it. After a while, the 
door was cautiously opened, and a beautiful fi^male head ap- 
peared. I rose from my seat to tell her she need not fear, 
and to request her to come in. But the door was hastily shut, 
and she disappeared. The priest asked what had befallen 
mo so suddenly ; I told him what I had seen. '' Oh, said he 
it can be no one but my wife, (mi mvga,) the fool, she was 
anxious to send us some sweet meats made with her own 
hands/* I requested him to call her, but he declined, saying, 


she was not dressed well enough to appear before me. I the^ 
asked, as a favor, to be introduced to her. He laughed at 
my curiosity, as he called it, but, at length, brought her into 
the room. I saw in her a young lady about eighteen years 
of age, well educated, and very amiable. She was the moth- 
er of two beautiful children. I was much pleased with her 
conversation, and particularly with the unassuming manner of 
it. The priest and his wife, as he called her, solicited me to 
stay with them until the next morning, which I declined, with 
reluctance, and only because my duty pressed my return to 
head quarters. 

The houses of the Mantuanos were generally governed by 
an intendant, or major-domo, who has many servants of both 
sexes under his command. As the master and mistress of the 
house considered it beneath their dignity to meddle with 
household affairs, they left every thing to the intendant, who 
received and paid as he pleased. When the master or his lady 
were in want of money, they asked it from him. After a few 
years the intendant became rich, and advanced money upon 
high interest lo his master, who supposed he was using his 
own property. 

The author of Gilblas of Santillane, has not at all over- 
charged the picture he draws of these intendants, and of the 
Spanish viceroy in America — their luxury, corruption, &c. 

The education of young ladies in Caracas was much ne- 
glected. They were taught, but not thoroughly, to read and 
write. They were also taught music and dancing. Playing 
on the guitar, some needle work, and dressing themselves, 
were their favorite and principal occupations. To attend to 
any part of house keeping, would have been considered so far 
below the dignity of a Mantuana, that it would have rendered 
her ridiculous. She occupied herself witlr a little embroidery, 
or reading some book of devotion, or some tale. Such were 
their occupations when they were not at church, at the pro- 
menade, on visits, or at balls. 

The inhabitants of the same class in Bogota were more re- 
served and cautious in society. The fair sex were, in gen- 
eral more modest and timid. The ladies in the capital were 


distin([uishcd by their clear and fine complexion ; commonly 
supposed to be the effect of a temperate climate, and pure wa- 
ter. Some, nevertheless, are found with wens, a disease very 
common in the province of Cundinamarca. Their manners 
are more reserved, sweet and agreeable, and they interest by 
that timid candor which characterises the sex. The ladies 
in Caracas are not so fair in their complexions, nor so re- 
served in their manners. They fascinate by their brilliancy, 
their wit, and their easy manners, by what may be properly 
termed coquetry. The ladies of Bogota improve upon ac- 
quaintance more than those of Caracas. The education of 
the ladies in Bogota was much the best; more strict and more 
solid. The greatest part among the first class, were educated 
in convents of nuns, in schools established expressly for that 
purpose. Such a boarding school house was enclosed within 
the walls of the cloister, but had no communication with it 
and the nuns generally. Three or four nuns were named by 
the abbess to take charge of the school. These directed all 
the economical duties of the boarding school and instructed 
the scholars. One was directicss, whom the others were 
obliged to obey. They were, like their pupils, excluded from 
communication with the convent, and passed through a small 
door to go to church, or to call on the abbess by her order, 
or to pass an evening with the nuns on extraordinary occa- 

The pupils entered, commonly, atthe age of four years, and 
wf?rc not permitted to go out, but by order of their parents at 
the time of their marriage, or completing their education. It 
was very seldom that a young lady obtained permission to go 
out and «ee her parents; but they were permitted to visit her 
at the parlor, surrounded and separated from their children 
by iron grates. This permission must be asked from the ab- 
bess of the convent, and was granted upon condition that one. 
of tlio nuns be present at the interview, at the appointed day, 
and hour. This permission was often refused. 

The pupils were taught to read, write, calculate, (cypher,) 
the elements of history, geography, natural history, chanting 
religious songs, dancing, playing on the piano forte, or the 


guitar, or harp, sewing, embroidery and working clothes. 
They were taught to cook and to make various kinds of sweet- 
meats and cakes. Each of those, more advanced in age, had, 
during her week, the charge of the household. They were 
taught how to govern a family with order and economy; 
things of which the young Caraguin ladies were destitute. 

Those who stayed at home for private education, which sel- 
dom happened at Bogota, were never allowed to go out with- 
out being accompanied by one of their parents, or a trusty 
servant. They were always dressed in black; so that they 
were not distinguishable from the common classes ; but by 
the finer texture of their clothing; or their mantillas (veils) 
garnished with fine watches, or by their diamonds, pearls, or 
their golden chains, at the end of which was suspended, a 
golden or ivory cross, richly garnished with pearls or dia- 

Before the revolution, it was not unusunl to see ladies at a 
ball or other festivals wearing more than 200,000 dollars in 
watches, diamonds, pearls, Slc, in their dresses, without ap- 
pearing to be overloaded. When going to mass, all dressed 
in black satin. Their faces were veiled with costly notched 
mantillas; and the upper parts of their frocks were also gar- 
nished with the same. They wore no hats, but their hair was 
ornamented with costly combs, set with diamonds, pearls, &c. 
They were folloi^ed, often, by 20 or 30 servants of both sexes, 
free and slaves, very neatly dressed ; and each of them carry- 
ing something for the use of their mistress; as books, umbrel- 
las, fans, &c. The husband never accompanied the wife to 
church, either in Bogota, or at Caracas. 

Children were taken to church as soon as they could walk, 
the sons with the father, and the daughters with the mother. 
Mass was said every day ; and on Sundays and holidays, it 
continued from three o'clock in the morning until noon ; and 
during that time, every one had his choice of going at what 
home he pleased, or was most convenient. The military mass 
was at 11 o'clock; at that time the viceroy, or most of those 
who were attached to the Spanish government, attended. 


In New Grenada, there were, among the slaves, more col- 
ored than black people. At Venezuela, it was the reverse. 
In the former, slaves were never permitted to appear abroad 
with shoes or stockings, though the weather there, particular- 
ly in Bogota, is sometimes so cold that ice is found in the 
streets. This custom was begun and continued, for the pur- 
pose of distinguishing slaves from free persons. Thus were 
the slaves constantly reminded of their degraded condition! 
In every other respect, they were perfectly well clothed, 
well fed, and in every other way well treated, and had 
very little labor to perform. The wealthy families had from 
one to two thousand, and more, slaves. Forty or fifty were se- 
lected to serve in the house ; the rest were put to cultivate 
the soil. 

At the public walks, which arc commonly called Alme- 
das, in Bogota the ladies usually rode in coaches ; and here, 
as in all other public places, they were dressed in black. On 
great festival days, the ladies of the governor, generals, or 
other officers, in both capitals, rode out on horseback,* dress- 
ed in Amazonian habits, with the epaulettes, galoons, brodices, 
or other badges distinctive of the rank of their husbands. 
They had a brilliant and numerous retinue. The wife of the 
viceroy, or captain-general, was preceded by a number ofaid- 
de-camp^, and followed by the stafl'and the civil and military 
officers of the government. Their hushands were never with 
them on these occastions. These ladies were addressed 
and spoken of by the titles of their husbands, as, *' Her Ex- 
cellency the Vice Queen, the Captain Generala, the Govern- 
ess, &c." The wife of a colonel is called Ussia, [Siegnora] 
&c. This old Spanish custom is kept up by the Colombians 
of the present day. 

The ladies of Bogota did not wear their black frocks in the 
interior of their hou«es. When at a wedding, a baptism, or 
ball, they wore colored and while dresses ; generally follow- 
ing the newest French fashion. 

* it if commoD for ladies to ride on horseback, throughout the Spanish dominions. 


The ladies in Caracas and Carthagena were dressed in 
black, only when they went to church, or assisted at the pub* 
lie processions. 

The plates, candlesticks, pitchers, and other utensils, were 
of pure silver, or overlaid with gold. A poor man in Bogota 
would have felt himself disgraced without his silver spoon, 
knife and fork. Steaks, pies, fyc^ were set upon the table in 
large golden plates. 

The household furniture was very rich and sumptuous ; and 
when we consider that all their articles w*ere purchased at 300 
per cent profit upon their cost, reckoning transportation and 
exorbitant duties, we may have some idea of the wealth of 
these people. 

The houses of the wealthy classes at Bogota, may properly 
be called palaces. They were built of stone, were large and 
massy, and generally three stories above giound. But Bo- 
gota has suffered greatly by the dreadful earthquake of No* 
vember25th, 1S27. So did Caracas in March, 1812. 

All this wealth, comfort, and agreeable society have now 
disappeared. The greatest part of these distinguished fami- 
lies in Venezuela, and in New Grenada have left the country ; 
and the few that remain, are ruined. The bad administration 
of the chieftains in Colombia^ the party spirit and the civil 
war, operating with other causes already mentioned, have 
Spread anarchy and misery over this beautiful country. 
Grass is growing in the streets and public squares of both 
Caracas and Bogota. The most frequented streets of both 
are full of beggars and miserable wretches, covered with rags, 
vermin and sores, who persecute you at every step, entreat- 
ing, or rather commanding you to give them something ^^por 
Vamor de Dlos,^* The officers and soldiers, generally, were 
badly clothed and fed. The commission of theft, burglary 
and murder during the night, was frequent, and was done 
with impunity. All who have know both cities before the 
revolution, will agree with me, that under the government 
of the dictator liberator, misery and crimes are much more 
frequent than under the Spanish administration. I state these 
facts without any apprehension t)f being thought a friend to 


the Spanish system, or an agent of the "holy alliance," for 
a place in which general Bolivar is far better qualified, than 
he is to be at the head of a Republic ; unless that were com- 
posed of despots and slaves. 

Libertinism is a strong, perhaps the strongest characteristic 
of the Creole. He will spare nothing to obtain the last favor 
from the female he happens to fancy. Luxury in furniture, 
houses, jewels, dress, the table, and mistresses, at Caracas^ 
was most extravagant. 

Their jealousy, vanity and desire to surpass each other, 
was extreme, and before the revolution, had ruined many 
families, I saw one of these Creoles wearing a golden re- 
peater which cost a thousand dollars. Instead of the 12 
numbers, he had upon its face, the twelve letters in his name, 
Juan Elisondo, 

Soon after this watch was received, two neighbors of this 
gentleman sent for similar ones, and paid cash, the same sura, 
for them. 

Creoles of the higher classes are generous, or rather prodi- 
gal of money ; but the common people are very mean and 
sordid, and are readily induced to commit any crime, for 
money, particularly in Cqracas. The higher classes expend- 
ed a great deal to gratify their fancy. Foreigners who ob- 
tained permission to come to the Spanish Americas, obtained 
a good deal of money, in a short time. The most success- 
ful in this way, were the physicians and surgeons, the musi- 
cians, mountebanks, charlatans, rope dancers — all who could 
contribute to amusement and the giatification of fancy. But, 
as Mr. Depons, in his work upon the Main, says, ** a stran- 
ger who tried to be a merchant, or a farmer was exposed, 
to be regarded with an envious eye ; and if he was pros- 
perous, he was persecuted, and many times exposed to lose 
all. It was with much regret that the natives suffered him; 
and they did all they could to reduce him to beggary." At the 
same time the Creole is not destitute of compassion, and it 
seldom happens that a man in want does not receive consid- 
erable relief immediately. I once s^w a gentelman (happen- 


doublons and gave them to a beggar. Five ofus were fftand- 
ing in the street talking together; so that there was no doubt 
ostentation in this act of charity. But, before the revolution 
it was-a rare thing to find a beggar in the streets of Caracas 
or Bogota. If any were found they were taken, by the police 
oScers, to an hrospice^ provided for that special purpose. 
These places were either convents or houses built expressly 
for this purpose, by the charity of private persons. The 
Spanish government did nothing towards such establishments. 
The Creole is devout, superstitious, credulous and igno- 
rant. The ladies of the first class were more so than their 
husbands, many of whom had acquired information by trav- 
elling. The ladicfs have each their own particular saint, to 
whom they are greatly devoted ; always by night and by Bay 
carrying in their bosoms his image, suspended by a golden 
chain. Another image is hung over theirpillow, another un- 
der the looking glass of the drawing-room ; and others, in 
their books of devotion. I have oAen known them to have 
at least a dozen images, of different sorts, of the same saint, 
fixed in different parts of the apartments. Besides these, 
they were well supplied with crosses, holy virgins, and other 
saints, and angels, &lc. The reign of priests and monks, in 
the country was powerful, and their influence is still very 
great. The paUiot chieftains have never dared to be severe 
against any (ffiest, even when he was known to be in enemy 
to their cause. The archbishop of Caracas was known to be 
inimical to the cause; and yet, at Bolivar^s entry into Cara- 
cas, he was not molested ; but during the reign of Bolivar, 
was treated by him with the highest respect. The bishop 
of Carthacena, it is true, was exiled ; but his place was sup- 
plied by his great vicary, known by the title of father Provisor, 
who detested the Patriots ; and who, in August 1814, some 
days after the president of the government of the province of 
Carthagena, the Secretary of the state (himself a priest) the 
general-in-chief, and various distinguished gentlemen of the 
city of Carthagena, were received free masons, ex-communica- 
ted publicly the whole order, by a formal decree afiixed dur- 


ing the night, by his order, to all the church doors of the citj. 
In spite oi this spirit of public opposition, he remained in 
the quiet possession of his office, and has never been troub- 
led on account ofhis political principles, and measures. 

As one of the first cares of the Spanish sovereigns was to 
propagate the Catholic faith in their immense provinces, they 
established tribunals of the Inquisition, successively, in the 
cities of Mexico, Lima and Carthngena. But in the latter 
part of the reign of Charles IV, this formidtibie tribunal was 
not much feared. This influence was exercised, chiefly, to 
watch and keep out of the country all free literary produc-' 
lions ; by them styled philosophical books. 

In the year 1826, a book-seller sent from New- York, vari- 
ous boxes of valuable Spanish books, to Carthagena. Among 
them were some copies of Voltaire's famous Dittionaire philoso' 
phique. The boxes were opened, and by the influence of some 
priests, the greatest part of the books, among which was the 
Dictionary, were refui'ed admittance, and were sent back to 
New York. I have this fact fiom the book-seller himself. 

Don Vicente Pazos, in his letters to Henry Clay, on South 
America, says, that before the revolution in 1810, from Li- 
ma to Monie Video, an extent, including Peru, Chili, and Rio 
de La Plata, of more than three thousand miles, and a country 
of cities, towns, and villages, with many universities, schools, 
courts of justice «S:c, there was but one printiirg press : and 
that a miserable old thing, belonging to the Jesuits of Cor- 

To show to what an extent the superstition of the people 
and authority of those whoso spiritual power they acknow- 
ledge, are frequently carried, I will relate one example fur- 
nished me by the individual who came near being its victim. 
Lieutenant-colonel Callot, a French officer who had served in 
France under Napoleon in the artillery, came, as many others 
did, over to the Main, and served in his rank as an artillery 
officer, in the army of the patriots. 

Becoming much disgusted, he asked his dismission from 
general Urdtnetai with whom he was serTiog. His request 


was refused.' Soon after, he obtained leave to go from the en- 
virons of Tunja to Carthagena where he had some private busi- 
ness to settle. He Ravelled on horseback, with a guido, a 
servant, and a few dragoons, ail well armed. After traA^elling 
a number of days under a burning sun, he arrived at a large 
borough in the interior of New Grenada, called Fa , be- 
fore the largest inn of which he dismounted. As soon as he 
came into the house he was suddenly seized with great pain 
and a violent fever; insomuch that he cried aloud. The peo- 
ple of the inn, put him to bed, and called in their priest, in 
great alarm. This man was versed in the aits of curing; and 
believing the stranger to be in thr» last extremity, came with 
the viaticum. He sat down before the stranger's bed, and 
made various enquiries about his malady ; and then told him 
it was not of a dangerous nature. He ordered the numerous 
bystanders to retire. When all were gone out, he rose from 
his chair, and carefully locked the door. He then resumed 
his seat, and in an interested manner enquired if he was a 
christian ; meaning a roman catholic, which, in these coun- 
tries, the word signifies. Mr. Callot understood him, but an- 
swered not his questicm ; but supplicated for a glass of water. 
The parson repeated thp question in a louder tone. The suf- 
ferer again urgently asked for water. The parson told him 
he should first answer to his God, of whom he was the rep- 
resentative, whether he was a christian.'* The patient under 
the suffering of pain and thirst, (having been born a catho- 
lic,) answered that he was. The parson then opened the 
door; and at his call, some excellent lemonade was brought 
in a short time, which in some measure relieved him. The 
priest then renewed his questions about the disorder; and 
told him he had an Indian, not far from the borbugh who 
could cure him perfectly; but as you are are a christian, add- 
ed he, " it is necessary to confess you before ; and that you 
receive the sacraments, which will be half your cure." The 
colonel replied, saying that this was surely a jest; that the 
{ndian might come and cure him, after which he would con- 
fess himself with great pleasure. No, no, my friend, it is ab- 



solutelj necessarj to begin with the confession, and receiv- 
ing the sacraments. Mr. Callot, seeing his obstinacy, told 
him to go out. The parson jumped frotti his scat in a violent 
passion, saying well sir, as you deny your God, I can give 
you no help, and so saying he went out, shutting the door 
with violence. 

A miserable night lamp was in the room, and he saw what 
they call a Christ, suspended under a small looking-glass, 
upon the wall. Mr. Callot remained some time in a state of 
stupefaction ; then raising his head, he perceived that silence 
reigned through the house. After suffering in this condition 
for about half an hour, with pain and fever, he called as loud 
as he could, for assistance. The duor half opened and a wo- 
man demanded in a harsh and stern voice, what he wanted, 
^'assistance for God*s sake," he answered, '' help, help, for I 
am deadly sick." He spoke in good Spanish ; but the door 
was shut immediately. He received no answer, and silence 
again reigned over the whole house. Notwithstanding frequent 
calls for a glass of water, no one came to him. It was expressly 
enjoined upon his servant, who was very much attached to hini| 
to remain with the people, or he would incur the vengeance of 
the Holy Father, as they called .the pric st. The servant was a 
native of New Grenada ; and was so terrified by these words, 
that he did not dare to go to his mdster^s assistance. The 
priest, in his curse, had distinctly declared that no one, under 
pain of excommunication, slioyld enter the room of 'Mhat 
perverse sinner who denied his Gud." Colonel Callot, at last 
asked, as a great favor, that the landlord would' come to him 
for a minute. After a long time the landlord appeared, half 
opened the door, and harshly demnnded what was wanted of 
liim. '' Gome nearer my friend," said he, " I want to speak 
with you." "What," said tjie landlord, "will you confess 
yourself f Shall I call the reverend father priest! Oh, do so ; 
it would make me happy above any thing." No sir, I do not 

s|>«;ak of confesion, I wish ." " I cannot hear you then,'* 

jud the landlord ; good bye sir, may heaven assist you." 
^ sayifigy he shut the door, and disappeared. The colouel 


in his 'distress made every exertion to move their compassion, 
but in vain.- They absolutely refused to do anything for 

The apprehension of dying in that condition at Inst com- 
pelled him to declare that he would be confessed and take 
the sacrament. The parson came, after four hours absence, 
at II o'clock at night; and the colonel confessed and re- 
ceived the sacraments. All was now changed around him. 
The Indian perfectly cured him, in the followinn^ singular 
manner. He stripped him naked, annointed him with a de- 
coction of indigenous plants, and, laying him on the ground 
upon some blankets^ he handled him Just as a baker kneads 
bread ; so^hat he cried out with pain. The Indian continued 
the operation until his patient was in a proper sweat. He 
then wrapped him in a blanket, and put him to bed. The 
next day the operation was repeated ; and the colonel was 
perfectly cured. When he was quite recovered, he was 
scarcely sutfered to depart. He and the priest became close 
friends, and he w^s treated by all the inhabitants with the 
kindest hospitality. When he insisted on going, and asked 
the landlord for his bill, he was told that so good a christian 
owed nothing. He could not prevail on them to receive any 
thing. On the contrary, at his departure, a mule was laden 
with excellent provisonsand choice fruits for his journey. 

The character of the inhabitants af New Grenada is very 
different from that of those of Venezuela. A striking differ- 
ence also exists among the thirty seven provinces of Colom- 
bia in this respect. The Margaritnns, for example, differ in 
many points from the Lln;»erus ; so do those of Cumana and 
Barcelona, fiom those of Caracas, <tc. 

The Caraguin is much quicker, more p^ulant, and more 
.sanguinary than the man of Bogota. He is also more en- 
lightened. But he is more corrupt, vicious, false, cunning, 
jealous, and inclined to vengeance, than the Grenadan. The 
latter having given his word, will keep it. The Caraguin will 
give his word promptly, and will add protestations, and even 
oaths. And after he has deceived you, he will laugh at your 


credulity. The Caraguin will sacrifice erery thing fof pomp 
and show, and especiaily for a brilliant retinue.* The Gren- 
adan is more modest, more prudent in his expenses, and hat 
far m'>re order, in the interior of his estnhlisliment. The Ca- 
raguin, when observed, w\ll give hanJfiilU of gold to a beggar. 
The other will give secretly, but not profusely, and will enter 
ibto the reelin;j:8 and sulferings of the object of hii charity ; 
while the Caruguin gives, and thinks of him no more. In al- 
molt all the convents of Rogota, there was a house for the 
poor, m:iintuincd by the chaiity of private persons. There 
was besides a large hospital for men, and another for women. 

The Creoles generally are Jealous of all foreigners, and dis- 
like to be commanded by any but their own countrymen. 
They will obey a foreigner, in their necos((ity, but as soon as 
they cease to feel fhei»- need of his services they obey no 
longer; ^nd use every exertion to turn him out. Duty and 
gratitude have little or no weight with them. In Venezuela^ 
where no foreigner has ever betn admitted to the chief com- 
mand, there have been repeated instances of their being dis- 
placed. In New Grenada various foreigners have been en- 
trustrd with distinguished commands ; and have generally 
been perfectly well received and treated ; and still are so. 
The Caraguin, as he hates all foreigners, despises the Grena- 
dan and submits with great reluctance to be commanded by 
him ; and takes every opportunity, in his absence, to render 
him suspected or contemptible. 

Tiie uncultivated and ignorant Llaneros, will admit no 
stranger, extending their aversion to Europeans, Caraguins, 
Grenadans; to every one not born in the plains of their coun- 


The antipathy and hatred existing between the inhabitants 
of Venezuela and New Grenat*a, is strongly expressed, 
though no good reason can be given for them. It is well 
known to have existed for centuries ; •and continues in full 
force to this day. It has produced consequences dreadful to 
the cause of independence ; as I shall show in the course of 
this memoir. The ?ain and proud Caraguin, has never cma* 


ed to defipise and ridicule the more ignorant Grenadan, who, 
whilst he feels his own inferiority, secretly and bitterly hates 
the other the mire on account of it. The native of Caracas 
disiin^^uishes himself by his gesticulations, his continual talk, 
his boasting, and biting wit. He has a sovereign contempt 
for all who arc not born in his own province. It has been 
said by well informed persons, that the Carao:uin has all the 
vices of the native Spaniard, without any of his virtues. 

New Grenada still continues hec laws, customs and piifi- 
leges, as she possessed them before the revolution. Institu- 
tions that would be useful in one of these provinces, might 
be of no avail in the other. A viceroy of Grenada had no 
aiUhority whatever over a captain-general of Venezuela. 
These rulers were as distinct from each other, as were the 
characters and customs of their subjects. Each rendered his 
account to the king, and received orders directly from hint. 

The Colombians have all the manners and customs of the 
old Spaniards, their festivals, civil and religious, their society, 
manner of living, eating and drinking, and dress, laws, insti- 
tutions, &^c, all are like those of the European Spaniards. Iii 
the army and navy of Colombia, the old rules and ordinances 
of the king are strictly followed. A ball must be opened by 
the most elevated in rank of the society, before any one else 
is permitted to dance. They are passionately fond of fight- 
ing-bulls and game-cocks — as .in Spain. Their theatres 
were, like those in Spain, poor and miserable. The fandan- 
go and boleros were and arc still the favorite dances of the 
Colombians, and next to them waltzes, and English country 
dances. Their music is that of old Spain ; and so are their 
concerts. The guitar is the favorite national instrument. 
But in Caracas, they have some good patriotic songs and 
marches, distinguished for harmony and expression ; which I 
have often heard with great pfeasure, 

The character of the province of Carthagena differs greatly 
from that of both Caracas and Bogota. License of manners 
is greater than in either of the two othef provinces; the wo- 
men are generally pale from the insalubrity of the climate. 


the morasfEcs, lakes and stagnant water surrounding the for- 
treu ofCarthagena, with a beaming sun, soon produce putri- 
faction, and cause contagidus and putrid fevers. The water 
they drink, is unhealthy, and of a brackish taste. People of 
fortune alone drink rain water, which is collected in large 
cisterns and sold at high prices. 

The number of poor people and beggars is greater here 
than in any other province of Colombia, in proportion to the 
population. The causes of this are a ruined commerce, the 
oppression of high duties, both of import and export, and the 
absolute sterility of the soil. Under the presidency of Torri- 
ces, in 1812, 13 and. 14, Carthagcna flourished, and was the 
only province where foreigners were received with kindness; 
and were secure and highly respected. But under the inten- 
dancy of general Mariano Montilla, they have been exposed 
to high duties, by his arbitrary and vexatious measures. 
Most owners of foreign vessels a;id others coming from the 
place, have confirmed this fact. 

Besides these putrid fevers, the Carthagenans are affected 
with swollen feel; and above all a kind of pestilential mala- 
dy, called '' el mal de San Lazaro," which 1 have before men- 

The inhabitants of Curthagena, are desirous of imitatating 
the easy and natural jnanners of the Caraguins, and they 
do it in such an awkward manner, that the latter laugh at, 
and despise them. The women do the same, but ihey 
have neither the grac<^, beauty nor wit of those of Caracas. 
The inhabitants of Caracas do n'>t much like those of Bo- 
gota; and ridicule them by mimicking their drawling tone 
and manner of speaking the Spanish language. But they 
hate the Caraguins ; there has, at no time, been a good under- 
standing between them. Ignorance is more prevalent in 
Carthagena, than in Bogota or Caracas. 

I have already spoken of the immense plains of Vene- 
zuela, and their excellent pasture. These plains are gen* 
erally inhabited by converted indians, who are distinguished 
by their cruelty, their cool ferocity, their ignorance, preju« 


dice and superstition. They are known under the general 
denomination of Llancros (pcoj)le of the phiins.) Their fa- 
vorite and exclusive occupation is, and ever has been to take 
care of their numerous flocks and herds, of every description. 
They are half savages; and have multiplied rapidly, by the 
richness of their pasturage and their mode of existence. From 
their childhood, they are accustomed to catch and mount 
wild horses, which run by hundreds u))on the savannas. They 
may almost be said to be born horsemen. 

When at war they are generally armed with a long lance, 
and very often, have neither swords nor pistols. They have 
no regular uniform or boots, or shoes. They have a few 
rags upon their bodies; with a kind of large mameluke pan- 
taloons. All have their blankets (mantas) and many their 
hammocks. I may here be permitted to copy the curious 
and just description of the people, by colonel Hippisley. 

" Sedeno's cavalry (Llaneros) were composed of all sorts 
and sizes, from the man to the boy ; from the horse to the 
mule. Some of the troiops with saddles, very many of them 
without. Some with bits, leather head-stalls and reins ; others 
with rope lines, with a bite of the rope placed over the tongue 
of the horse as a bit ; some with old pistols hung over the sad- 
dle bow ; I cannot call it the pommel, either incased in tiger 
skin, or ox hide holster pipes ; or hanging by a thong of hide ; 
one on each side. As for the troopers themselves, they were 
from thirteen to thirty six or forty years of age. Black, brown > 
sallow complexions, according to the casts of tlieir parents. 
The adults wore coarse large mustachios, and short hair, either 
wooly or black, according to the climate or descent. They 
had a forocious, savage look, which the regiment they appear- 
ed in, did not tend to harmonise or improve. Mounted on 
miserable, half starved jaded beasts, whether horse or mule ; 
some without trowsers, small clothes or any covering, except 
a bandage of blue cloth, or cotton, round their loins, the end 
of which passing between their legs, fastened to the girth, 
Toand the waist; others with trowsers, but without stockings, 

boots or shoes, and a spur generally, gracing the heel on one 



fide ; and some wearing a kind of sandal nnade of hide, with 
the hair side outward. In their left hand they hold their 
reins, and in their right, a pole from eight to ten feet in 
length, with an iron spear, very sharp at the point and sides 
and rather flat ; in shape like our Serjeants halbert. A blank- 
et of about a yard square, with a hole, or rather a slit, cut in 
the centre, through which the wearer thrusts his head, falls 
on each side of his shoulders, thus covering his body, and 
leaving his b^/e arms at perfect liberty to manage his horse, 
or mule, and lance. Sometimes an old musket, the barrel of 
which has been shortened twelve inches, forms his carbine, 
and with a large sabre, or hanger, or cut and thrust, or even 
a small sword, hanging by a leather thong to his side, togeth- 
er with a flat hat, a tyger skin or hide cap, on his head, with 
a white feather or even a white rag stuck into it. Those 
troopers of the legion, of Sedeno, appeared complete and 
ready for action. My picture is a perfect transcript from 
the original, and by no means too highly coloured. 

Paez's cavalry was much superior in point of dress, appear- 
ance, and the management of their horses, but they were not 
uniformly clothed, though none of them are so naked as 
many of Sedeno's legion, but they consist of some without 
boots, shoes, or any body covering except the blanket, which 
is a necessary appendage of the general uniform They wear 
trowsers or loose drawers, and their arms are similar to those 
of the other corps of cavalry. Many of Paez's men are cloth- 
ed in the spoils of the enemy ; and hence are seen in hel- 
mets bound with brass and plated metal ; and large sabres 
with silver hills and buckics. I actually saw one horseman 
whose stirrups were made of silver. 

The Llaneros are active, and even brave, in defending 
their valleys, and in gaining booty ; and the more so when 
general Paez is at their head ; who in their view is the great- 
est hero in the world ; far greater than Napoleon. Because 
Paez was born in their valleys smokes with them, sleeps on 
the ground as they do, in his blanket, eats a banana, drinks 
with them, and speaks their corrupted and savage language. 


In truth Paez is, in every respect, a complete Llancro. 
Their manner of warfare is very like that of the Cossacks. 
Like them, they attack their enemy with loud cries, and 
never in ranged files ; they fly to form and attack again. 
They surround their enemy on all sides, and never suffer him 
to keep them together. They follow an isolated corps, fall 
on its rear and kill their prisoners without mercy. They 
plunder the wounded and fatigued. In fine, in their war, they 
are complete savages. 

It is difficult to subject them to discipline. Their organi- 
zation is, therefore, different from that of any other troops in 
Colombia. They select their officers from among themselves, 
and turn them out at pleasure, sometimes killing them, and 
putting others in their places. They never suffer themselves 
to be commanded by a f^trangcr, some of their own generals 
have been in danger of being killed by them when they were 
suspected of cowardice, or treachery. This was the case 
with generals Sedcno, Roxas, and Monagas. Paez, however 
appeased them, and protected these chieftains. He is their 
supreme commander, and he only is adored by them. They 
care not much for general Bolivar; and, on various occa- 
sions have been heard to say, that they never see him in the 
fire, nor at the head of a charge ; and that he is too far from 
the camp and battle field, to be able to judge for himself how 
the action should be conducted. General Paez embittered 
by the loss of a battle, told general Bolivar, in presence of 
more than 40 officers, that, where Bolivar commanded in bat- 
tle, he caused the loss of it, but that when he himself com- 
manded alone, he had beaten general Morillo, but that under 

Bolivar's orders, battles were lost. 
After Paez, general Zarasa has the greatest authority and 

most influence over the Llaneros. He is brave, intelligent 

and humane, and is, in every respect superior to Paez, who is 

jealous of him. The Spanish chieftains, particularly Morillo, 

have repeatedly attempted to gain him over, but his firm 

character defeated their efforts ; enraged at this they avenged 

themselves upon his wife and children, who were murdered 



The Llaneros have undoubtedly rendered very great servi- 
ces to the republic, and in this long and bloody war have 
distinguished themselves amon;]r all the inhabitants of the 
Main except the Margaritans of whom I shall speak here- 
after. The Llaneros have been constantly and entirely, de- 
voted to the patriotic cause, whilst the people of Caracas, Bo- 
gota and Carthagena, have frequently changed their political 
opinions. This wild race, far more raw and ignorant than 
any other people in Colombia, have nobly adhered to 
the republic. In 1813 they contributed powerfully to the 
success of the Dictator Bolivar, who dislikes Paez, but treats 
him publicly with great regard, for the purpose of managing 
him. The truth is, if Paez had been a ditferent kind of man, 
he might at various times, have displaced Bolivar. Three 
distinct offers have been made him to that eflfect. 

The inhabitants of the small and rocky island of MarjE^arita, 
which forms one of the provinces of Venezuela, had, like the 
Llaneros, their favorite commander. This was general Aris- 
mendy. But he lost his ififlucnce by being too arbitrary with 
his countrymen, the Margaritans. But 1 will speak further of 
the characters and talents, both of Paez and Arismandy in my 
biographical sketches of them. 

The Margaritans are much more cultivated and humane 
than tlie Llaneros. Their maratime coasts enable them to 
carry on a trade, notwithstanding the laws, with the inhabit- 
ants of St. Thomas's, Curacao, &:c. Margarita has many 
small bays where vessels may enter ; and which are not so 
closely watched by the Spanish vessels of the king or the 
company, as the larger ports of Cumana, Barcelona, and the 
larger c'lUv.s belonging to the inhabitants of the plains. In- 
tercourse with foreigners was easier and more frequent at 
Margarita than any where upon the Main. 

It is well known that the Mar2;aritans, since the beginning 
of the revolution (1810,) have been supporters of indepen- 
dence ; and could, never since, be reduced, by ihe most pow- 
erful efforts of the Spaniards^ whilst a great part of the plains 
have been in possession of Boves, Morales^ and Morillo. 


They are true Republicans, industrious, brave, and hospitable. 
If any of these provinces have deserved freedom and inde- 
pendence, Margarita is the first ; and all who have known 
her people will agree with me in this opinion. 

The catholic religion is rendered the more imposing by 
the observance of its followers ; and no city on the Main 
had so many, or so brilliant religious festivals, as Bogota, the 
capital of New Grenada. Caracas, Carthngena, and other 
cities, had the same ceremonies, but in a less imposing style. 
The cause of this difference is to be found in the greater 
wealth and devotion of the people. Bogota being the seat 
of the viceroy, governor of twenty-two provinces, with a nu- 
merous and splendid retinue, and a strong garrison; whilst 
the captnin-general had only eight provinces. Besides, the 
Grenadans are less enlightened, and more rich, numerous, 
and powerful. 

From Lent Monday to Holy Friday, in passion week, there 
was every day a solemn and numerously attended proces- 
sion, which passed through the principal streets and squares 
of the city of Bogota. 

Before 1 close this introduction I will relate an extraordin- 
ary punishment inflicted for robbery, burglary and the like, 
characteristic of the manners, under the late viceroy of New. 
Grenada. Between the condemnation and punishment, two 
or three weeks intervened, that the country people might be 
notified, and witness the punishment. 

A convict was condemned to receive, with a kind of whip, 
long in use among the Spaniards, a certain number of lash- 
es upon his back and posteriors, to remain in prison, or to 
work in the mines, or gallies, a certain number of years, ac- 
cording to the degree and aggravation of the offence. The 
punishment was rigorously inflicted, without regard to age 
sex, or rank. At the appointed hour the criminal was strip- 
ped of all clothing, except a strip of colored cloth about his 
middle, and placed upon an ass with the reins in his hands, 
80 as to present his posterior and back to the executioner; 
his hands and feet were so tied, that tlie renins were in his 


hands. In this position he was taken under a guard of sol- 
diers from the prison to the public square ; the whole halted, 
and the officer read, with great emphasis, the judgment, to- 
gether with the christian and family name of the criminal, 
his name, native place, office, and the names of both his pa- 
rents, and their place of abode. He was then whipped at 
the four corners of the square, and at the corners of the 
principal streets. As the city of Bogota is large, it was 
sometimes more than three hours before the prescribed pla- 
ces were passed, and the number of blows given. In 1805 
this punishment was inflicted in Bogota, under the following 
circumstances. A beautiful girl, 18 years of age, whose pa- 
rents were both European Spaniards, who had received a 
good education, and was much esteemed in Bogota, assisted 
at the festival of the purification of the Holy Virgin, in the 
church of San Francisco. This day, the waxen figure of the 
Virgin was ornamented in an unusually splendid manner, with 
pearls and costly diamonds and surrounded with many hundred 
waxen tapers. The girl, totally blinded by the splendid ex- 
hibition, took the sudden resolution to become possessed of 
the jewels. She afterwards said, in her confession, that the 
idea was given her during he sermon, by satan himself, who 
compeletly succcded in tem|>ting her. She hoped this ex- 
cuse would save her from punishment. She succeeded in 
the following manner : Instead of going out with the crowd 
she absconded in one of the dark corners of the church, be- 
hind a saint. The sexton not doubting but all were gone 
out, extinguished the waxen tapers, went out and locked the 
door. She came out of her corner, and by the light of the 
eternal lamp, so called, which is kept burning in catholic 
churches, she succeeded in despoiling the virgin of her jew- 
el*, and selected them at leisure. 

While she was in the church her parents sought her every 
where, in the most cruel anxiety. Early the next morning, 
the sexton, on entering the church, was astonished to find her 
fast asleep upon one of the steps of the main alter, having 
the jewels in her hand and frock. He hastened back cautious- 


\y shut the door, and made his declaration before a magis- 
trate. She was convicted, the jewels being found upon her. 
It would be in vain to attempt to describe the feelings of her 
parents. They, and the most respectable and wealthy fami- 
lies, even the judges and members of the royal audiencia, 
warmly besought the viceroy to spare her. The parents re- 
peatedly kneeled at his feet, imploring his pity. The vice- 
roy's wife herself interceded. The parents, who were in very 
good circumstances, secretly offered to sacrifice their whole 
property. All was in vain. The viceroy replied that he 
could not alter the laws; that if he prevented their execution 
in the case of an European Spaniard, the natives would have 
reason to be dissatisfied, particularly as the crime was of such 
a horrid nature. Don Antonio Amar was a good and sensi- 
ble man. He pitied all the sufferers, but did not feel himself 
at liberty to relieve them. 

In this case the punishment was inflicted, as in every other 
respect, except that the executioners received a secret order 
to strike lightly. The surrounding crowd of citizens and 
country people was immense, and eye witnesses have assur- 
ed me, that not one was seen to enjoy the spectacle ; bat 
that all were deeply moved. Her sufferings lasted about five 

Her parents went eight days before to Mompox, never to 
return to the place of the shameful punishment of their only 
child. As a special favor, she was released from prison the 
next day, she rejoined her parents, and died of a lingering ill- 
ness two months after. The miserable parents followed her 
to the grave. 

This barbarous punishment exists no longer. A thief is 
now punished with a certain number of stripes, or at the pub- 
lic works. 

After what I have said of the education character and mor- 
ality of this people, the reader may form his own opinion with 
regard to their existing ignorance and prejudices. He may 
DOW also be enabled to judge whether Bolivar and the other 
chieflains of Colombia, can confer on its inhabitantti light 


liberty and freedom. The rulers of Colombia have naturally 
adopted the manners and customs of the Spaniards. But 
they are far less advanced than the latter, not by their own 
fault, but as a natural consequence of the Spanish system, 
which was designed to keep them in darkness and ignorance. 
By means of this pernicious system, the Colombians are, at 
least 150 years behind the people of the United States, in the 
science of government. Experience will prove, whether my 
opinion, advanced in July 1824,* is just. 

* See Atlantic Magazine for July 182^, No 3, published by Ulisis and White in New- 
York, p. 161. 



Causes of the present imperfect knowledge and erroneous opin^ 
tans respecting the political events and leading characters in 

To trace witli justice and impartiality, the history of power- 
ful men who have not yet finished their career, is by no means an 
easy task. Burke says '^ that death canonizes a great charac- 
ter." In tlie political and military life of Gen. Bolivar, many 
traits have already appeared, which give a correct knowledge 
of the character and talents of the Liberator. 

The most extravagant and contradictory opinions, have, at dif- 
ferent times, been given of Gen. Bolivar. Some say : " He is a 
great, an extraordinary man ; a man of transcendent knowledge 
and talents ; the hero of Soutli America ; the benefactor of his 
country ; its Washington ; its Napoleon." Otliers assure us " He 
is the Cromwell, the tyrant, Uje oppressor of his country." Truth 
is rarely to be found in any extreme. 

That such various opinions should have been received of this 
man, is not at all surprising, when we consider that the majority 
of mankind are inclined to admire splendor, power and success, 
and that the more, when the object of tlielr attention is beyond 
their own sphere : Moreover, they blame or approve, according 
to their own interest or feelings. Rarely is their opinion formed 
from the evidence of truth, or with the spirit of impartiality. But 
the defender of freedom and tlie rights of man, naturally attracts 
our attention more and more intensely, by every successful 

The actions of Gen. Bolivar have been considered as being in 

accordance with the wishes of all liberal and enlightened men ; nay, 

with those of every oppressed and enslaved being. His smallest 

successes have given general satisfaction, and every eye has been 



fixed upon him and his proceedings. But without any exact and 
|>ositive knowledge of facts, each individual has fonned of Gen. 
iJolivar, his own idea, in conformity with his own wishes, and with 
his confused and incorrect notions of events on the Main. Pub- 
lic opinion was soon captivated to such a degree, that whatever 
accurately informed and impartial men could say against tlie Lib- 
erator, was disregarded, and treated as mere calumny, or as coming 
from agents of the Holy Alliance, from enemies of the cause of 
freedom, or from rash adventurers. The majority of ilie public 
liave been prevented from judging for tliemselves, and have con- 
tinued to contem])late Gen. Bolivar, as the hero, tlie father, the 
liberator of South America. 

Various causes contributed to form these opinions, in the com- 
mencement of Gen. Bolivar's career : First, — The great difficul- 
ty of procuring exact information from tlie Main, because every 
one possessing it, had his own opinions, his own \iews. Ids own 
interests, while corresjwnding with his friends ; others concealed 
the real state of facts, or circumstances which might enlighten, 
fearing dieir letters might be intercepted or miscarried, or that 
their names should be mentioned by their friends, and so tlieir in- 
terest affected on the Main. 

Secondly, — ^The bulletins and proclamations of the nders in 
Colombia, on many occasions, have been very extravagant and 
partial, as is generally the case with documents of this descrip- 
tion, in every army throughout die world, where war and armies 
have existed. These bullet ins and proclamations have been 
faithfully translated, without comment, without any of the partic- 
ulars which would give a correct idea of the events, and have 
naturally inspired gigantic notions of the power of armies in 
Colombia ; and of the heroic braverj', and of deep military skill of 
the leaders of these armies. Besides, the Spanish language is 
distinguished from all others, by its pomj)ous phrases, which 
give it an agreeable and high sounding expression. The effect 
of the language, too, is enhanced by the Caraguin chnracter, 
which is generally vain and boasting. And so it liappened that 
a skirmisli, in which, in fact, only a lew men were killed or wound- 
ed, was given out as a regular, and bloody battle.* 

• WiM'n I ^a«5 rhirf of ihr staff at ("anipono. on the Main, in May IPlfi. Oon. Polivar, 
tbrn ftntntft*' r/u>/i>t tin* ifpnlilir rf Voin-7urlii. onlonMi a (?.'t;u liniont » rrtlK)iit 73 nwn to 
lake pO!«M'»^i«»" of tilt" > a:i(l tbo littU- frrt of S.Mila !»< ^a. t*li:i h li«'S ufon a hill, 
ami ronininntl" tlir liarf»oi. iNo tunny uas round in it, hut l\»rniy fivo half nakod and 
|ia<llv ann«Ml nuMi ; uihI thrso irtinMl. artrr havini^ twire diMhanr''«l ^ t\%«Milv ftwir |H>un- 






Thirdly, — ^We are in absolute want of a good, detailed, and ex- 
act hisior}', of the events of the revolution, and of the contend- 
ing parties on the Main, from 1810, to tlie present time. It is a 
fact, that the people of the United States know little or noth- 
ing with certainty, of what has passed, and is still passing in Co- 
lombia. Our Gazettes give some accounts, but they are few, 
and exceedingly imperfect. 

The imperfect and erroneous statements which have been pub- 
lished, and the exaggerated proclamations and bulletins have 
chiefly influenced public opinion ; the habit^ too, of thinking 
Gen. Bolivar, a great and extraordinary man, a hero, has been 
growing since 181.3, and has increased to such a degree, that it 
will be a diflicult task to convince men of the exaggeration of their 
ideas, and extravagance of their notions respecting him. 

So far as I am concerned, I am able to declare, that I have nei- 
ther desire nor interest to flatter, or calumniate Gen. Bolivar, I 
vouch for the correctness of all the facts contained in these me- 
moirs, well knowing that this work will obtain only that degree of 
credit with the public which it may appear to merit by its accura- 
cy and candor. 


Birth of Bolivar — Hi^ f"f^ify — f^isit to Europe — Marriage. 
Errors in the biographical sketch of his life in Ackermah*t 

Simon Bolivar was born in the city of Caracas, July 24th, 
1783, and is the second son of Don Juan Vicente Bolivar y Pon- 
te, a militia colonel in the plains of Aragua ; his mother, Dona 
Maria Concepcion Palacios y Sojo; and botli were natives of 

after grr^at rcsislanro, and a heavy fire, the stroner fort of Santa Rosa, by storm. The 
division of (lon. Marino di'ilin^ishod itsolf by its bravrrvan<i coolness," dtc. &.c. The 
fact is that Gen. Piar, with his twenty five m'*n, jump<.'(I over a low wall of this strong 
fort, and found it empty ; the Spanianls had lied as soon as Piar approached, and could 
i>ot have l>een taken or killed, licing already more than four musket shots distant from 


Caracas, and were Mantuanos.* They died ; the first in 1786, 
the latter in 1789. 

Young Bolivar was sent to Spain at the age of 14, in compli- 
ance with the customs of the wealthy Americans of those times, 
who usually spent in one year in Europe, the amount of several 
years income at home ; seeking offices and military decorations, 
that were oiten put up to the highest bidder, under the adminis- 
tration of Manual Godoy, Prince of the Peace. The young 
Americans were likewise accustomed to go to Spain, to complete 
their education, and to pursue their studies in die profession of law, 
physic, or theology ; lor, according to the laws of the times, no 
American was admitted to tlie bar, and allowed to practise in his 
profession in the Universities of old Spain, nor could he exercise 
bis profession at home. Without a diploma from a University in 
Spain, no American could, at least in New Greneda, have the 
honor of being a Capuchin Friar ! But as the object of young 
Simon was, to see the world, and not in any manner to stuoy se- 
riously, he paid little attention to any pursuit, otlier than that of 
pleasure, and of satisfying his desire to witness the different 
Ecenes of life. He, however, devoted some time to the study of 

He was at this period lieutenant in the corps of militia in the 
plains of Aragua, of which his father had been commander. He 
had an elder brother, who died in 1815, and two sisters, who en- 
joyed an annual income of from 40 to 50,000 dollars, the produce 
of several considerable estates, and particularly of an extensive 
HntOy. on which were raised large herds of cattle. These estates 
were at no gruai distiinrc from the city of Caracas; and at one or 
other of tlieni, l)<)livar and his family usually resided. San Ma- 
teo, was, however, the place he always preferred. It was the 
largest of his possessions, where between 1000 and 1500 slaves 
were regularly kept, before the revolution. His residence in the 
valley of Aragua, not far from the lake of Valencia, was beautiful 
and striking. The famous Bovcs destroyed it in 1814. 

tent it, with mj name as chief of the stafT, to the printer/' This hulletin may be found 
in many Gazettes, particulaily iu the Curacao Couraot, July ]8lt>, witii mj name. 
Neither Bolivar nor myself were prr>ent at this skirmii&h. lie remained quietly on board 
Admiral Rrion. I arrive<) in another vessel, a hri^. aAer all ihi« was done. 

fckimetime aflerwards I handtnl to (ten. Bolivar a (lazctte from Baltimore, in which 
was repeated this famous and slon'otis ricto, u, ami in ^»hich t»-af adde<l lhat'<ien. Bob- 
var's army was7()(K>nion stroiiir in infantry, and 3UU0 inca\alr\-. I could mention ma- 
ny other cases of a similar docription. 

* Los Mantuanos, or los familiH> Mnniuanas, were, in Caracas, a kind of nobUity, 
and this is the distinctive title there of lich families ol birth. In Nei» Greneda, the o|Hi- 
lant families, of high birth, were never c ailed Maniuauas ; this distincikm axisted alone 
in Caracas. 


From Spain Bolivar passed into France, and resided at Paris, 
where he remained a number of years, enjoying at an early peri- 
od, all the pleasures of life, which, by a rich young man, with bad 
examples constantly before him, can, there, easily be found. I 
have remarked that whenever Bolivar spoke to me of the Palais 
Royal, he could not restrain himself from boasting of its delights. 
It was on such occasions, tliat all his soul was electrified ; his 
physiognomy became animated, and he spoke and acted with such 
ardor as showed how fond he was of tliat enchanting abode, so 
dangerous to youth. 

His residence in Paris, and especially at the Palais Royal, has 
done him great injury. He is pale, and of a yellowish colour, 
meagre, weak and enervated. 

I have spoken of Bolivar's residence in Paris ; and I ask, if such a 
school could inspire him, or any other young man, WMth an inclination 
for continued, deep, and laborious study ; to that school I apprehend 
it to be in a great measure owing that he cannot attend witl) assiduity, 
to business, for more than two or three hours in a day ; during tlie 
greater part of which he is sitting, or laying down ujwn his ham- 
mock, talking about indifferent matters with his favorites and flat- 
terers. The answer of aids de ca?np on duty, to those who 
wished to speak to him, while he was thus occupied, generally 
was, that he was very much engaged in his cabinet. He scarce- 
ly ever writes at all himself, but dictates, or indicates to his secre- 
tary, what he wishes to have writte i. In consequence, as I appre- 
hendec', of the flattery, to which he had been accustomed since his 
residence in Paris, he is greatly inclined to adulation, and is very 
vain. But in the school where he Jicquire I these two faults, (l 
mean those circles in Paris which call themselves bon touy) he 
learned also the dissimulation to conceal them. 

Bolivar returned in 1802 to Madrid, where he married one ol 
the daughters of Don Bernardo del Toro, uncle of tlie present 
Marquis of this name. His fiither in law, who was born in Caracas, 
resided in Madrid. Bolivar was but 19 years of age, and his 
lady 16. They returned in 1809, to Caracas, and lived in a retired 
manner on their estates. Shortly after, his lady was taken ill and 
died, without leaving any offspring. 

Bolivar acquired, in the course of his travels, that usage of the 
world, that courtesy and ease of manners, for which he is so re- 
markable, and which have so prepossessing an influence upon those 
who associate with him. 

Li the year 1823, Mr. Ackerman published in London, a very 
interesting monthly periodical in the Spanish language, under tlie 
title of " El Mensagero." It is entirely devoted to the aflfairs of 
the new Spanish republics. It contains, among other articles, a 


Biographical Sketch of Gen. Bolivar^ in which tlic author asserts 
thai the young Bolivar, during his residence in Paris, gave himself 
up lo all the possible amusemenls of young men of his age : 
" Still," said the author, " he was assiduous to obtain the dear ob- 
ject he has had always in view, as the accomplishment of all his 
wishes, and his ambition, namely, that of making with eagerness^ all 
possible acquav tan'es which might have been useful to him for the 
emancipation of hi; country ! 

I must beg leave to assert, that shortly before the revolution of 
the 19th April, 1810, at Caracas, the names of Gen. Miranda, 
Don Manual Gual, the Corregidor T. M. Espana, Narino, Fea, 
and others,' appeared on the list of those who declared their inten- 
tion to lil)erate their counlr}' from the Spanish yoke. On tlie me- 
morable day of the 19th April, when the Capt. Gen. Emparan 
was deposed, and his functions perfonned by a patriotic Junta, 
the chiefs of this revolution were the Alcalde [Mayor] Don Martin 
Tobar, Don Francisco Salias, Carlos Manchado, Mariano Montil- 
la, Joseph Felix Ribas, and others ; but the name of Simon Boli- 
var is not among them ; he was at his ease, on one of his estates, 
in the valley of Aragua, and refused to take any part in it, 
although his cousin, Joseph Felix Ribas, labored to engage 
him as an active associate. Shortly after, the Junta gave him hb 
option of a ci\dl or military post, under the new patriotic govern- 
ment. Their offer was refused, and the pressing solicitations of 
his friends and relations were of no avail. Finally, he accepted 
the appointment of a commission to Ix>ndon, with the grade of 
Colonel in the militia. M. Luis Mendez y Lopez, who, during 
several years, was the agent of Venezuela at Ix)ndon, was at this 
time, his colleague in the mission. 

If Bolivar, as staled in Mr. Ackerman's Magazine, had from his 
youth formed the idea of liberatinc; his coniury, he would have 
seized this opportunity of joinins; the chiefs of the revolution, and 
would have accepted a post under the government of the Junta, 
and the Congress : He did neither, ahhough the members of tliese 
two bodies in 1810 and 1 1 , offered him any post that might suit 
his views. On his return from I^ndon, he retired to his estate, 
without taking any part in pu!)lic affairs. 

Mr. Ackerman's Magazine says, secondly, that HoUvrt, from 
the time of the earthquake, came to join Miranda, who had then 
his head quarters at Vittoria, and that he was a colonel in the 
army. This is a mistake. Bolivar was named eight months 6e- 
fore the earthquake, governor of the fortress of Porto Cjibcllo ; 
but he came not to join Miranda at Vittoria. After his secret depart- 
ure from that fortress, and his leaving his garrison in tlie night, 
he dared not appear before Miranda ; because he justly feared that 


he should be tried before a Court Martial, for having secretly in the 
night, together with some of his ofiiccrs, and without leave or or- 
ders, left the strongest place in Venezuela, which Miranda had 
confided to his care. He sent Thomas Montilla, one of the offi- 
cers who embarked with him, to Vittoria, with the news of this 
event, and with iiis excuses to Gen. Miranda ; the ])aruculars of 
which 1 mean to give in their proper place. Bolivar was then 
Lieutenant Colonel in Miranda's staff. 

It is also asserted in the same article, " that the loss of Porto 
Cabello, diminished, in nodiing, Bolivar's influence over tlie army." 
Tliis is anotlier mistake. Soon after the loss of Porto Cabello, 
w^iich, in consequence of Bolivar's secret departure, fell into the 
hands of the Spanish commander, Don Domingo Monteverde, 
(June 1812) tlie republican general Miranda felt so depressed by 
this unexpected loss, that he capitulated with Monteverde at Vit- 
toria, in July 1812. In virtue of the capitulation. Congress, the 
Republic, and the army of VenezAiela, were entirely dissolved, and 
members of each saved themselves as well as they could. What, 
therefore, could be the influence of Bolivar over a disbanded and 
dissolved army ? The author of the biographical sketch, appears 
to be ignorant of a well known fact, viz. the arrest of Gen. Mi- 
randa, at Laguira, by Simon Bolivar, Doct. Miguel La Pena, and 
the militaiy republican governor of Laguira, Lieut. Col. Manuel 
Maria Casas ; and that Lieut. Col. Bolivar embarked soon af- 
ter, whh a passport signed by the Spanish general Monteverde, and 
w^ilh a letter of very high recommendation from the latter, to a 
merchant then at Porto Cabello, with his own brig ready to sail for 
Curacao, requesting, nay, urghig him to receive the Lieut. Col. 
Bolivar on board of I)is vessel.* If, therefore, Bolivar could have 
had, at this time, any influence with the patriotic army, how would 
he, how could he have obtained a passport, and moreover, the 
letter, from the Spanish general in chief ? 

These and many other j)articulars, prove clearly that in a 
great part of the accounts given and published of Bolivar's life, 
the writers have endeavored to attribute to him qualities and mo- 
tives, which he himself had never thought of before. 

All that can be said, with truth and Fmpartiality, of Gen. Boli- 
var's patriotism, is, that it began whh his being at the head of the 
army and tlie government ; or, to speak more plainly ; Gen. Bol- 
var began from IS 13, to be a zealous and ardent patriot, because, 
from January 7 that year, until the present day (July 1828) he 
has not ceased to have, either, the tliree powers, legislative, 

* I have tbese particulara firom the merchant himself. 

IfCXOfU flV BOt4TjUI. 

pxrrtitire nnrf JtHlriary , umt^ in hhnaetf.* or to ioTe. tD C«h cf 
irith tli(^ exm*tifiv«s fifiw^rr the cL'ectii.A oc' all cifil and miStarj 
npiMntiiiMfi I tli^ r^mzr^vi of CokirribU zz*i Peru, hannc been eo- 
liri'ly ^uhiiii***^^' t'* *i^ wIso« of rts President. LiberAU)r or Pro- 
tPi'tor* n^ WfJI ^'^ iiyryMn lucjtH paiiiculariy in the course of dm 


Hi*rHh jfft-titnu to the fniry of Bolirer into the re^lar army of 
I'ttifXuAn — FirMt ratuts of the revolution at Caraea* — JSa- 
^hlfon^0 intfuion of Spain ^ and its influence upon the Spamisk 
rtilonii-% — Propitious movtment for the mimericans to rise 
uimintt thtir oppressors — Poliej of ,he Cabinets of St. Cloud 
imd St*Jnmts*Syin regard to the Spanish Colonies — years 1807 
awl IHOH. 

1 1 will b« niTcsnaiy U) give some account of the state of Europe, 
Mini of tlie Wrst Indies before the revolution; and to shew tiie 
|iriiM(iry causes of a revolution which undermined the colossal pow- 
itr of Sjiiiin, and promised freedom and pros])erity to the Spanish 

Nii|H)lron, the S|Kmish government, and the Holy Alliance, 
liHve roiitriliutcd to pnivoke and foment the bloody war between 
Hpiiiii and its colonics ; and have |>owerfully assisted die latter to 
bci ofiMf free mid indc|)(.'ndcnt : Napoleon, by his invasion ; the 
Htyt'wy and ('orics, by scndinp; to the Main chiefs remarkable 
If II if iioriiMcc or wcjikiH\ss, or for cowardice, duplicity, and cruelty. 
Till' wiMit fif a stciidy and well planned system of moderation, and 
id It |N)licv adapted to these critical circumstances, have done more 
liiirni to Spain than to America. Millions of Americans have sud- 
denly awakened fnnu their lethargy of three hundred years; have 
been forced to defend their property and their lives, and have at 
liiNt Mieceeded in driving their oppressors from their territor}', and 
ill declaring them.selves free and independent. If Spain had 

* 'V\\o fitUimiiiii hiiklttnrni lart^ will imtvr il ; ii« Ihrtator nt Caracas in 1813 and 14; 
«■ ^Uftum* fhtft III liliti, 17. IM. tiii«i 111, in \'<*n(Vii<>la .iihI Now (tn'mila; BsPrtsidffd 
^ihtt,th*t «i| (\iIimiiImii. a« /Sii/r</<>» m iVni nml lUiliva fntni IK'Jll until IH'Jri. And 
MMi«hi. Ii<»ni till* 'iM III >Nom>uiIh'i IH.*fi. umil tlH> pn^MMil day (Jiily ]{):2:>.) h« holds the 
ffiiiiifiif f.i/ |Hi\%«'i III r«tiiM^|Ui>iiri> III llu' conimoliiui^ tii Vt'iii'/ut'la. at Valencia, under 
lliii I'ui liS^M* hiM dccrc«Mlnlc«i lUigota.N'm . 18*Jh, in the Jf^x-m/u-, auKMi|^ tiic docu- 
NMNlU llllili'l ISo. A. J 


adopted more justice and moderation towards her colooies, she 
woiild probably have succeeded in keeping them much longer in 
slavery. Events, related in the course of tliis history, will confirm 
mv assertion. 

The Holy Alliance, and particularly the French government^ 
in coalition with Ferdinand, the Spanish clergy, and the arniy of 
the faith, invaded Spain in order to replace upon the throne Fer- 
dinand, a prince noted for bigotry, bad faith, cruelty, and despo- 
tism. That short-sighted, crowned association were not aware of 
tne consequences of such a step. They were not aware that, by 
ruining Spain, they deprived her of all ability to reconquer her 
colonies. By enslaving eleven millions of Spaniards, they contri- 
buted greatly to enable fifteen millions of Americans to proclaim 
tlieir liberty and independence. A policy worthy of a Metternich 
and a Villele ! 

Before the year 1810, various attempts were made to give inde- 
pendence to America. Tupac Amaru, Jose Antequera, Ubade, 
the brothers Llanzas, and others, were put to a cruel death. All 
similar attempts were suppressed by terror. 

It is an admonisiiing fact, that when tlie propitious moment ar- 
rived to declare their independence, to free themselves from the 
Spanish yoke, without bloodshed, and with little or no sacrifice, 
the Spanish Americans suffered this propitious moment to pass by 
unheeded. They remained loyal, and in careless security. To 
prove my assertions, it will be necessary to give some account of 
the original causes of this eventful revolution. 

In consequence of the treaty of Fontainbleau, 27tli of October, 
1807, between Napoleon and the Prince of the Peace, in tliename 
of Charles IV. King of Spain and India, the French legions crossed 
the Pyrenees, and penetrated to the heart of Spain, under the pre- 
tence of shutting her seaports against the commerce of Great 

The conquest of Spain and Portugal appeared to Napoleon an 
easy task, and the object of one, or at most, of two campaigns. 
Beside the secret wish to create some more kings out of his own 
family, he had undoubtedly formed the plan of extending his domi- 
nion over their colonies in both Americas ; and so to counterba- 
lance the great colonial power of England in the East Indies. 
The weakness of Ferdinand and Charles enabled him to mature 
these views. Some days previous to the departure of the latter 
from Madrid to Bayonne, Prince Murat was named his Lieute- 
nant General of the kingdoms of Spain and India. He, by the 
secret order of his master, sent out one hundred and fifty chosen 
grenadiers, with a colonel, and many artillery and other officers. 
These debarked at Laguira, and passed to Caracas, to remain 



there. They met with a very kind reception from Don Juan 
Casas, the Captain General, and tlie inhabitants. This happened 
in 1808, when the Machiavelian principles of Napoleon were not 
known on tlie Main. 

Napoleon would have succeeded on the Peninsula, if he had 
acted openly, and declared war against Spain and Portugal before 
he entered these countries. His conquests, his victories, and his 
wonderfully brilliant and rapid successes, had excited universal 
admiration. Not only was he admired by the populace ; there 
was fonne*d in his favor a strong and numerous party among the 
most enlightened and liberal men in Spain, who wished to change 
tlieir weak and corrupted government. Na|X)leon, too, was ad- 
mired and cherished by tlie greatest part of die inhabitants of the 
Spanish colonies. His portrait was found in palaces and in huts« 
Woe to those who should have offered to speak against him before 

But Murat's manner of taking possession of the fortresses, parti- 
cularly Barcelona, in Catalonia ; his disuniting tlie royal family ; 
and, as soon as it was known, his favoring the escape of Manuel 
Godoy, Prince of tlie Peace, changed the admiration of the Spa- 
niards into the most bitter hatred. The whole nation rose against 
their oppressors, and Spain, heretofore peaceable and quiet, began 
now to be tlie theatre of a bloody and obstinate war ; tlie horrors 
of which were extended to the immense possessions of the colo- 
nies. The Americans and Spaniards were united in their hatred 
and detestation of Napoleon and his family, and in persecuting 
their agents. 

The Kings Charles, Ferdinand, Joseph, the Emperor of the 
French, and the Juntas, Regencies, and Cortes, now strove to ex- 
tend their influence and dominion over the Spanish colonies. The 
Junta of Seville treated the legitimate and central Junta, assem- 
bled at Cadiz, as a band of fugitives and traitors, and as the autliors 
of all the mischiefs tliat had been brought upon them. Agents 
and commissioners were sent to tlie colonies by the former, with 
manifestoes and proclamations, in which tliey stated that Spain 
recognized their authority, and that the common welfare required 
peremptorily that the Americans should follow the good example. 
The Junta installed by King Ferdinand, before his departure to 
Bayonne, had also sent similar manifestoes and proclamations to 
tlie colonies. The Prince Murat, as Lieutenant General of Spain 
and India, had done tlie same in tlie name of Charles IV. Some 
months afterwards similar proclamations were distributed in the 
colonies in the name of King Joseph and Napoleon. The Junta 
of the Asturias claimed the same autliority, the same submission to 
its decrees, as the other ; and Spanish America was filled with 


manifestoes and proclamations, which only proved that Spain was 
divided into so many factions ; all striving to command. 

The moment was propitious for the declaration of American in- 
dependence. The principal Spanish authorities were disunited; 
Spain occupied by French armies ; King Ferdinand absent and a 
prisoner ; Napoleon, with his brother Joseph, master of the greater 
part of the peninsula ; not a Spaniard able to take the reins of go- 
vernment ; the Spanish administration and finances gone to wreck ; 
her marine ruined ; her troops occupied with the defence of the 
country ; the fortresses and rew troops in the colonies in a bad 
an4 destitute condition — ^how propitious the moment for the colo- 
nies to declare finally their freedom and independence ! 

Was it apathy, or devotion to the mother country, or want of 
good leaders ? or was it generosity that induced the Americans to 
refrain from taking a single step against Spain ? The fact i^, that 
they distinguished themselves by their attachment — ^their enthusi- 
asm for their beloved monarch Ferdinand VII ! and, when the 
Vice Kings and Governors endeavored to distribute proclamations 
from the councils of India or of Castile, in which the Americans 
were admonished to recognize the new King Joseph Napoleon, the 
majority were strongly opposed to the measure. They burnt pub- 
licly, in different places, the proclamations of Napoleon, and drove 
his agents out of the country. 

When at Bayonne, Napoleon constandy kept the Indies in 
view. He sent an armed brig (the Serpent, Capt. B.) from Ba- 
yonne to Laguira, bearing secret instructions, proclamations, and 
other papers, for the Captain General Don Juan de Casas. He 
gave also to the Captain verbal instrucuons. 

The brig touched at Cayenne, and was observed by the En- 
dish frigate Acaste, Captain Deaver, who gave chase. The 
Frenchman arrived in July, 1808. The frigate came some hours 
afterwards. The English captain, observing from his deck the 
French commander going on shore, followed him. Captain 
B. arrived at Caracas about an hour before the English offi- 
cer, and was immediately admitted to the presence of the Captain 
General. Don Juan de Casas received the French captain very 
graciously ; but when the English captain presented himself, he 
was received coldly, and told, in a tone of ill humor, that he had 
come at a bad time, and that he might call again in two hours. 
During this time Captain Deaver walked in the streets of the ca- 
pital, a crowd of people surrounding him. He told them how the 
French government were going on in Spain, and that the Spa- 
niards there were ardently opposed to them. Some hours after- 
wards the French captain observed a change in the manners of 
the inhabitants ; but he persevered in executing his conmiission» 

12 MCMOims or bputab* 

and remaiDing at Caracas. He took lodgings in a public hotel, 
filled with strangers, and began to read to them one of Napoleon's 
manifestoes, directed to the people of Venezuela. After some 
minutes' reading, a Spanish officer caught the paper firom his 
hands, tore it in pieces, and roared out like a roadman, ^' that be 
and his companions in arms would never suffer a French king; 
that tliey were good Spaniards, and faithful to their beloved and 
legitimate sovereign; Ferdinand VII." He spoke and gesticidated 
witti such veliemence, diat all present caught his feelings ; and the 
Frenchman dared not utter a word. 

The news brought by Captain Deaver struck the inhabitants of 
Caracas with astonishment, and excited tlieir deepest indigiAion. 
The people assembled by thousands, and bore in triiunph the por- 
trait of tlieir adored King Ferdinand ; proclaiming that they re- 
cognized Aim alone as legitimate sovereign of Spanish India! 
They placed it with gi eat solemnity in the government House, where 
it was to be seen, illuminated, during the whole night. The people, 
enraged against the French captain, hurried towards his hotel, 
and would have cut him in pieces, if he had not escaped in time, 
and sheltered himself in the house of Don Joachim Garcia Torre, 
who generously ad\ised him of his danger, concealed him, and as- 
sisted liim to depart the same night for Laguira. The English 
captain followed soon after ; and descrying the brig under sail, he 
pursued and took her at sea, not far, however, from tlie coast. 

Napoleon, shortly after Joseph's nomination as King of Spain 
and India, at Bayonne, ordered the great councils of India to send 
circulars to the Vice King and Captain Generals, notifying them, 
in an ofEcial manner, of this nomination. He offered the inhabi- 
tants his powerful support in officers, ammunition, warlike stores, 
&c. if they would declare their independence. He was confident 
that he should easily gain the suffrages of tlie Americans. 

The numerous agents of King Joseph and Napoleon offered 
the Americans independence and great privileges ; such as the. 
continuance of the civil and military officers in their respective 
offices, he. if they would make a treaty witli him, and acknow- 
ledge him king. But in vain. The Americans declined having 
any thing to do with Napoleon or his brotlier Joseph, and perse- 
cuted their agents, some of whom were taken and put to death. 

The failure of these negociations, and the advantageous offers of 
the Emperor and his brother, compared with suhsequent mea- 
sures, afford a proof of the ignorance, mistrust, and versatility of 
this people in their politics. Thice years afterwards, (in I8I1 
and 1812,) they sent deputies to the same Napoleon, imploring 
bis assistance. But it was too late ; the Emperor had too 
much to do at home, and could not attend to the aff^rs of Ameri- 



ca. He was, moreover, displeased with the first refusal of its in- 
habitants, and placed little confidence in^ tlie sincerity and good 
faith of their application.^ 

Napoleon possessed ample power to send to the Main (through 
the United States of America) money, arms, &tc. and a sufficient 
number of experienced oflicers ; and tlie consequences of lefusing 
his powerful assistance, were greatly injurious to the patriots. 
The British government became provoked ; tlie forces of the Spa- 
niards were increased ; the Mexican republic, and the cause of 
liberty in Venezuela and in Grenada, were ruined. Torrents of 
blood were shed in tlie long protracted war, and, in the intervals, 
troubles excited in opposition to a government, under which the 
inhabitants found security at least, and a shadow of freedom and 
felicity, of which they are at present totally depriv.^d. 

The British government, seeing the rapid progress of Napoleon 
in Spain, became apprehensive of her yielding at last. They fear- 
ed, also, that the news of these successes, when received on the 
Main, would give him a predominant parly there liktnvise. They 
saw tlie necessity of strong and speedy measures to prevent these 
evils. They despatched a fast sailing sloop of war to the island of 
Curacao, (at that time in the possession of England,) with orders 
to its Governor, Sir James Cockburn, to depart, without delay, for 
Laguira and Caracas. His secret instructions (which I have from 
good authority) were to employ every imaginable means to dimi- 
nish and destroy the influence of tlie French party. Secondly, 
to watch and prevent this party from getting the upper hand, and 
wresting the colonies from Spain. Thirdly, to endeavor to estab- 
lish a provisional government favorable to King Ferdinand VII, 
without engaging himself in any other concerns relating to the ad- 
ministration and interior affairs of tlie government of tliat country. 

The Captain General, Don Juan de Casas, having been made 
acquainted with tlie intended voyage of the English government, 
came, with a numerous and brilliant, retinue, to Laguira, where 
Sir James, on coming ashore, was met with great solemnity. The 
inhabitants received him with demonstrations of joy and respect, 
and even with regal honors. Public opinion was entirely changed 
in favor of England. The aversion to Napoleon was so great, 
that I saw many gold and silver French coins, which had the bust 
of Napoleon, pierced widi the point of a dagger or knife, and his 
portraits cut in pieces. 

The ringing of bells, the discharge of cannon at the public 
square and the forts of Laguira, announced Sir James's arrival on 

* A friend of mine heard him say, " Jc nc me fie pas trop sur Ics belles paroles de ces 
MesfMunt i je ferai cependant ce que je pourrai poor euz." 


shore; and his passage from Laguira to Caracas was like a tri- 
umph. His entry into the capital was nq^ less solemn than would 
have been tliat oi the King himself. All was joy, bustle, and en- 
thusiasm ; the city was spontaneously illuminated ; dinners, festi- 
vals, balls, &c. succeeded during tlie whole time of his stay ; and 
the exclamations, ^^ Long live our beloved, our cherished Kbg 
Ferdinand VII, and the English, our good and generous allies," 
were heard throughout the streets. The fickle people of Caracas 
were certainly sincere in their joyful reception of Sir James. Af- 
ter some secret interviews, the Captain General published a long 
proclamation, exhorting the inhabitants of Venezuela to recognize 
tiie authority of the new King of Spain and India. This was done 
immediately with loud shouts and the utmost enthusiasm. 

Sir James, highly pleased with Ids reception, returned to Cura- 
cao, and sent a full and detailed report of his mission, to the Brit- 
ish Government. Convinced now, that the Venezuelans, left to 
tJiemsclves, would be perfectly harmless, both to the politics and 
commerce of the English nation ; the British ministry did not 
take much notice of the claims of the patriots ; which they certain- 
ly would have done, in case of any rivalship with, or acceptance 
of the proposals of, Nopoleon. 

All their attention could now be directed to one point, driving 
the French from tlie Peninsula. This would secure the great ob- 
ject of the British government, the extension of their commerce 
to the prejudice of other nations. This alone caused their alli- 
ance witli Spain, arid excited their aversion, their hostility against 
whatever favored tlie independency of the Spaniards in both Amer- 
icas : and the refusal ot Napoleon's offers, left in an insolated 
condition, tlie cause of the independents in Spanish America. 

Since the beginning of tlie revolution, its different governments 
have looked to England, and have put equal trust and confidence 
in her, tliough she never offered to assist them. This proves 
clearly, that in the beginning of their revolution, the Americans 
had not conceived the idea of a separation from Spain. If they 
had, they would have accepted the brilliant offers of Napoleon and 
Joseph, and would never have implored the aid and assistance of 
tlic most faithful ally of the Spanish government. 

The hope of effectual aid from the cabinet of St. James, arose, 
partly from the knowledge of the famous plan of William Pitt, who 
inttMided to render the West India colonies free and independent ; 
and upon the instructions of the British minister of the colonies 
(Dundas) in 1797, to the governor of tl;e island of Trinidad, Sir 
Thomas Pictou, by which the govenimcnt formally engaged to 
0tjpi)ly the Venezuelans witli everj' support, in case they would 
declare tliemselves free and independent. The instructions were 


sent from the island of Trinidad, but had not the expected effect. 
They were even forgotten, until tlie revolution at Caracas, 1810 ; 
when the new Junta, remembering these circumstances, sent Dons. 
Luis Lopez Mendez and Simon Bolivar to London, to request 
assistance. Bqt the British ministry did nothing. On the con- 
trary, they sent orders to their governors in the West Indies, 
to observe tlie strictest neutrality between Spain and her colonies, 
as long as tlie new government should act in the name, and by the 
authority of king Ferdinand. The plan of the minister, William 
Pitt, to render the colonies m the West hidies not belonging 
to England, free and independent, was pernicious and dread- 
ful. Considering the great number of slaves and colored peo- 
ple, who could soon have become masters of the country, it is 
plain that the object of his plan was, not to give freedom and inde- 

Sendence to the inhabitants on the Main, but to ruin the country, 
fearly the same scheme was afterwards put in execution in St. 
Domingo, and the British government took an active part in it. 
The ruin of the West Indies would have conduced gready to the 
prosperity of the vast British colonies in the East Indies. Upon 
such facts did the leaders of independence in Spanish America, 
ground their sanguine hopes of sup])ort from England. 

After Ferdinand ascended the tlironeof Spain (1814) the prince 
regent of England concluded a treaty with him, in which it was 
fomlally stipulated that '' hoping the king of Spain would make 
peace with the colonists ; his royal highness would promise not to 
send the least support to the insurgents, and would employ his best 
exertions to hinder any of his subjects from doing it. 

After the earthquake at Caracas (1812) many inhabitants left 
Venezuela, and embarked in such haste and constemadon, as to 
forget the necessaries of life. The British governments in the 
West Indies offered them not the lea^t support. Many perished 
for want of food. The Congress of the United States, informed 
of their miserable condition, generously hastened to give the ne- 
cessary orders for tlieir supply, and saved the miserable renmant 
from starvation and wretchedness. 

The Spanish Americans, nevertheless, hesitated, in the hope of 
being supported by the British government. Buenos Ayres sent 
in 1814, Don Manuel Sanatea, and the Congress of New Grena- 
da, Don Tomas Maria del Real, to London, with ample powers, 
and an order to conclude an exclusive treaty of commerce, in fa- 
vor of England, for twenty years. All was in vain. The deputy 
Real made, at different times, attempts to obtain a private audience 
of the Bridsh minister of foreign siffairs, but was not admitted. 
Their mission ended with obtaining only license to export, for ready 
cash, and the payment of heavy duties upon them — some arms ! 


Since that time the agents of the new American republics, have 
been tolerated, but not recojrnized in their diplomatic character. 
Don Mcndfz y Ijopnz and Revenga, the former Agent, and the 
latter Charge d'Atihires, of the Republic of Colombia, were im- 
prisoned in London for debts. Don Flurtado, Minister of Colom- 
bia, and lately Charge d'Aflaires at London, was arrested in the 
island of Jamaica, in May, 1828, for a debt of tliree thousand 
pounds sterling, but was released on furnishing bail. 

Such has been the conduct of the British ministry towards the 
Spanish Americans. Rut as soon as these repubhcs had succeeded 
in driving the Spanish forces out of their respective territories, and 
had gained some stability, the British government changed its po- 
licy, and was anxious to recognize, oflicially, their agents and mi- 
nisters. England, by her ambiguous |>olicy, Ifad gained what 
others, and particularly the French government. h?d lost under 
the tco well known Count Villele, to tlie great detriment of the 
commerce of France. 

The British government has been highly applauded as the sa- 
viour and protector of Spain and Portugal ; and also as having 
greatly contributed to the freedom and independence of Spanish 
America. But by developing facts, and closely examining the 
tortuous policy of Lord Casllereagh, when prime minister of Eng- 
land, we shall see that this applause has not been fully merited. 

The situation of England relative to France, in 1808, '9, '10, 
was that of Carthage in relation to Rome. Na|X)leon's continen- 
tal system, supported by his numerous legions and his coUossal 
power, menaced the total ruin of the British commerce and indus- 
try, and even its political existence. The wealth of England, in 
productions and merchandize, could be of no avail without a mar- 
ket. Contraband trade, even in all hs muhiplicity and extent, 
was of very little importance compared with free, active, and di- 
rect commerce. The European ports of Spain and Portugal only 
remained open for England. If Napoleon had conquered tlie 
Peninsula, Europe would have been shut against their direct com- 
merce with her inhabitants. England was driven to a desperate 
game ; all possible sacrifices were employed, not to defiver Spain 
and Portugal only, but principally to preserve these countries for 
the commerce and safety of Britain. 

Napoleon, it is true, was afterwards no more to be feared; but 
a rupture between Great Britain and Spain, in 1814, and for 
which the latter had given more than one cause, would have been 
ver\' favorable to the commerce of the United States of America. 


The neutral system, or rather the tortuous course pursued by 
tliC British government previous to the too short ministry and the 
lamented death of Mr. Canning, has cost millions of dollars, and 


the lives of more than 600,000 souls in America, and has ruined 
the Spanish colonies for a long course of years. But British 
commerce has gained by the' destruction, the misery, and the ruin 
of others ! 

Every well informed politician must remember the active part 
which the British ministry took during the French Revolution ; 
their conduct in the last events in Naples, Savoy, Piedmont, and 
Spain ; as also at .Verona, at Tunis, Algiers, and Tripoli ; in 
Greece, in Brazil, and Buenos Ayres : and time will discover tlie 
policy of the famous Duke of Wellington in regard to Portugal, 
Kussia, and Turkey. 

This neutrality during the civil war of Spain and her colonies, 
has given to England not only wealth and an extensive commerce, 
but the name of having saved and protected tlie new established 
republics ! 

It is just, however, to mention that the English nation highly 
disapproved of these ministerial principles of Pitt and Castlereagh, 
and took an active interest in favor of the independence of tliese 
republics. So did the opposition in both houses of parliament ; 
and this will never be forgotten by any enlightened friend of ra- 
tional and well established freedom and independence. 


Situation of Venezuela in I SOS — Arrival of Capt. Gen. Empa^ 
ran, Lieut. Col. Simon Bolivar, at Laguira, from Spain — 
Enparan^s Administration — Details of trie Revolution at Car- 
racasj I9th April, 1810 — Venezuelan Junta — Spanish Regen^ 
cv— Conspiracy of Linarez— Commencement of Hostilities— 
Marquis del Toro — Miranda^ s arrival at Caracas — Congress — 
Executive Power — Patriotic Society — Islenian Conspiracy — 
Declaration of Independence — Military Operations of Miran- 
da — Project of a Constitution — Situation of the Republic in 
1811. tears 1808—1811. 

After having given a short account of what had passed in Eu- 
rope in relation to Spanish America, and particularly to Venezu- 
ela, it will be necessary to give a general idea of the situation of 
the eight provinces, which, at that time, formed the captain-gen- 
eralship of Venezuela. 


Capt. Gen. Don Juan de Casas was, in secret, in favor of what 
was tlien termed the French party ; .and much inclined to favOr 
the views of Na|)oleon, and his brother Joseph. 

As no vessel, otner than those under Spanish colors, could en- 
ter any seaport belonging to the Spanish crown in America ; and 
as all letters, pamphlets, gazettes, and books, of whatever des- 
cription, coming from Europe, were ordered to be collected, and 
sent directly to the captain general at Caracas, before they could 
l>e delivered to the persons to whom they were directed, under 
heavy penalties upon the master of the vessel on neglect to com- 
ply with the order ; it was easy for the g«.vemor to open the letters, 
to examine the papers and gazettes, and to deliver or suppress, 
what he thought proper. He retained all the proclamations, or- 
ders, iic. coming from the different authorities in Spain (of which 
I have spoken before) in opposition to the I* rench invasion. The 
inhibitants of Venezuela were kept in total ignorance of the events 
in Spain, particularly of the revolution of Araniuez, the escape pf 
Manuel Godoy, of the bloodshed of the 1st May in Madrid, &c., 
until the arrival of the Knglish captain Deaver, m July 1808, men- 
tioned in the preceding chapter. 

Capt. Gen. Casas not havine it in his power to prevent this 
Rnglish oflicer> as he did every Spaniard arriving on the Main, from 
commimicatitiK freely with the inhabitants of Caracas, they now 
became informed of the real Mate of things in Spain. The effects 
of his communicntions, which i have already mentioned, placed the 
captnin general Cifis in a very delicate situation. Moreover, 
some of the most influential men in Caraccs, secretly insinuated 
that he might have been interested in concealing the truth. 

This news made a deep impression on the minds of some few 
liberal and enlightened inhabitants of Caracas, who could not con- 
ceal their fears, that by the crhical and miserable situation of 
Spain, their own cou^itry would be lelt unprotected and help- 
less, in case of a sudden hostile invasion. Their fortresses were 
ill provided, and poorly garrisoned. Their troops were half 
clothed and half fed. The inhabitants were dinded in their po- 
litical opinions ; and the government and its officers were cor- 
nipt and indolent. These persons were connnced that the es- 
tablishment of a good Junta would give more energy and activity 
to the government, and would well suit the time. They ihere- 
for« mn*^* o'li a short memorial, in which they showed the ad- 
vnntnpos of such a measure ; and projwsed that the captain 
general should still retain his auihoritv, and act as president 
of the Junta. They also, therein, formally recognised their 
beloved Ferdinand, as king. They caused this memorial to be 

MBMOimS or BOLfTAB. 19 

circulated among their friends, in order to collect their signa- 

They recommended, first, that measures should be taken at 
once to quell the fears of the inhabitants of Venezuela, respect- 
ing the measures taken by the Spanish government in regard to 
them : Second, that a more effective government should be 
given to the province of Caracas : Third, that efiorts should be 
made to restore the abandoned state of Venezuela. 

Notwithstanding diis plain and frank exposition was necessary 
for the interests of both Venezuela and Spain, and that it was made 
without any intention of changing, or shaking the autliority of the 
captain general, he ordered the arrest of tlie audiors, and of die 
signers of it, and threw diem into prison. But public opinion 
was in favor of the measures proposed by them ; nothing criminal 
appeared in dieir conduct, and they were released. The real 
causes of their release were, the strong remonstrances against 
such arbitrary conduct, and the fear that it might produce serious 
consequences — perhaps a revoluUon. Among tliem were the Mar- 
quises del Toro and Casa Leon, both very wealdiy and influen- 
tial men ; the son of the count de Tobar, and various other young 
gentlemen of the first families in Caracas. 

The arrival of Sir James Cockburn, governor of Curocao, at 
Laguira and Caracas, and the formal recognition of the^auUiority 
of ^ng Ferdinand, relieved the captaiq general from his criucal 
posidon. He saw plainly that die majority was openly in favor of 
the Bourbons, and he changed his policy accotdingly. But the 
members of the great Junta, assembled at Madrid, having receiv- 
ed some hints of Gen. Casas's secret inclination (suspected, rather 
than clearly proved) resolved to send anodier more openly devot- 
ed to their views. 

Meanwhile, Ferdinand being proclaimed king of Spain and In- 
dia, the authority of the captain general was fully established as 
his representative. But his administration was unpopular with 
the inhabitants. 

Such was the situation of Caracas, when on the 24th of March, 
180*^, tliree Spanish men of war, and above twenty transports, 
widi the new captain general, Don Vincente Emparan, the briga- 
dier general Fernando del Toro, the lieutenant colonel Bolivar and 
lady, and a great many civil and military officers and others, ar- 
rived at Liguira. The new governor, some days after his arri- 
val, was solemnly installed in office. Gen. Emparan was a man of 
some talents and knowledge ; he was good, just, and of easy man- 
ners, and very humane. He began by putting in order the finan- 
ces, and the other departments. He embellished Caracas, main- 
a good police, which attended promptly both to neatoaat 


and the security of the streets and public market ; and by his good 
and popular qualities, soon rendered himself beloved and respect- 
ed. His great defects as chief, were, that he was too confident, 
and too obstinately attached to the regency of Spain. 

Soon after his arrival, news reached Caracas, of the flight of 
the Spanish Central Junta from Seville to Cadiz, of its dissoIuttOD, 
and of the nomination of a regency entrusted to govern Spain 
and her colonies. Tliis regency sent a proclamation to South 
America full of flattering promises, in order to gain its inhabitants. 
The same vessel brought tidings of the rapid progress of king 
Joseph in Spain, that tlie regency possessed no more than Cadiz, 
the Villa of Leon, and a pan of Galicia and Catalonia. The inhab- 
itants became convinced diat no reasonable hope could be enter- 
tained of protection from Spain, and of preserving a good under- 
standing with the capuin general Emparan, who surrounded by bad 
counsellors, imperiously demanded a blind submission to every 
thing coming from die regency. They were also conrinced, that 
Cadiz and llie remainder of the Spanish territory would soon be 
forced to submit, and that the regency would then, of course, be 
regarded as an unlawful authority. But as Gen. Emparan was 
active, vigilant, jealous of his authority, and, as yet, very power- 
ful, they could not act openly against him, and were obliged to 
use some stratagem. 

The leaders of the revolution, having fully ascertained the gen- 
eral discontent, which, indeed, was now strongly expressed against 
the governor, fixed upon the Maunday Thursday, 19di April, 1810, 
for f fie execution of their |)lan. Among them were the Alcalde 
[M/'iyorJ of Caracas, Don Martin Tobar, Francisco Salias, Mari- 
ftno Mofitilla, &cc. On tliai day an immense crowd of people 
M^vrt' fis^4:iu\}Ui(\ in order to witness the procession, which depart- 
ed from tint cathedral, and passed through the principal streets of 
l\n' rify. Hefore the procession began, the captain general had 
nniuiuouf'A a council of the Royal Audiencia, at which he always 

On fh^it day the leaders assembled in the public square, with 
fh^if arfriH concealed, determined to strike the blow. They were 
fnff of a niJjjority of the inhabitants, many of the oflicers of the 
f^uf *'Tt\ r^xfinurnl of the line, and nearly the whole battallion of 
vfUf'ifiti r/>ni|K)«ed of 800 chosen men, formed in lines, and 
fb/fi in vt Jilting for the procession ; so that 3000 armed men were 
ji4vt/ ri.f#Nd, and nfady to act at the first signal. 

V^\tf'f} i\it' captain general, having dismissed the royal audien- 
/I'f, f Htftc our ol the ciinpcl to join the procession, with his retinue, 
t^f^t t f''*i*f t^-f'f^ Salias, one of die most determined of the leaders, 
fMH^ UffVfiisd and told him he had a matter of Uie highest import 


tance to reveal, on account of which he requested his excellency 
to go back to the chapel, where he would explain himself before 
the council of the royal audiencia. The general replied, " he 
could not grant him his request at present, because the procession 
was waiting for him, but tliat he would be ready to hear him as 
soon as the procession was ended." — " No, no !" objected Salias 
vehemently, "your excellency cannot delay a moment ; you must 
absolutely hear me, without waiting a single minute." His nu- 
merous companions now exclaimed, all at once, tliat it was a mat- 
ter of the highest importance, which admitted not of the least de- 
lay. During this time, the leaders surrounded the governor so 
closely, that he could not advance a step. One of them, by acci- 
dent or otherwise, coming close upon him, touched his arm ; the 
governor, greatly incensed, treated him very rudely before the 
eyes of his companions. But perceiving tlie mob to increase ev- 
ery minute, he became embarrassed, and at length yielded, and 
ordered the council to reassemble. 

Salias entered the council room alone, and addressed the pres- 
ident Eraparan in tlie following singular manner : — " Your excel- 
lency is an honest man ; your excellency is a respectable and 
worthy magistrate, sincerely devoted to his majesty, our beloved 
sovereign, Don Ferdinand VII ; but your excellency has been in- 
duced to insult publicly one of my friends ; and nobody else could 
have advised you to commit such an act of injustice, but this hyp- 
ocrite, this impostor and miserable auditor, who sits next you," 
(pointing to the Auditor, Vicente Anca, who was really one of the 
most unworthy Spaniards, and generally detested.) The govern- 
or, confused by such language, nevertheless nodded his head at 
every flattering expression of Salias, and protested that he was 
correct in saying that he, the governor, was faithfully attached to 
his beloved king and master, Ferdinand. Anca being his private 
counsellor, to whom he was much attached, and in whom he 
placed the greatest confidence, he attempted to defend the audit- 
or. But Salias interrupted him, and repeating his compliments, 
added, " that he came in die name of more than ten thousand of 
his countrymen, to demand justice, and the immediate arrest of this 
hypocrite ; and that he, Salias, and his friends, had placed such 
confidence in the probity and uprightness of character of the gov- 
ernor, that they were persuaded that his excellency neither would 
nor could any longer suffer that such a notorious enemy of the 
people should be seated at his side," &tc. 

The governor, intimidated by the boldness and firmness of this 
speech, and perceiving that Salias was powerfully supported, ab- 
niptly ordered the arrest of Anca, who tried to speak, but without 

22 MCMonis or boliyab. 

success. He was sent to prison ; passing through the square 
amidst tlie huzzas of an immense* crowd of people. 

Encouraged by this first success, Salias demanded the arrest of 
various other members of the royal audi.'ncia, which was efiect- 
ed in the same manner. During this, some ol the numerous friends 
of Salias entered tlie council room, and surrounded the governor 
and tlie rest of the counsellors, who were forced to submit to the 
wishes of the leaders. They had beforehand prepared a written 
declaration, in form of a decree dr.iwn up in die name of the royal 
audiencia, and its president the captain general Emparan, in which 
was staled, Ist, That he, Don Vincenie Emparan, with all the 
other members of tlie royal audiencia voluntarily abdicated their 
functions, and were resolved to retire from public affairs : 2d, 
That tlie royol audiencia, should be succeeded by a Junta, which 
should take care of the administration and tlie government, &u;.— > 
Each member of the royal audiencia, after signing iiis own destiny, 
was separately confined in hi ^ own house, with liberty to go out of 
tlie country when, and whithersoever he should think proper. 

The new government was proclaimed and installed the same day, 
under tlm name of " Provisional Junta of Venezuela, Conservatrix 
of die rights of his majesty king Ferdinand, VII." As the prin- 
cipal members of this Junta were Don Jose de Las Llamosas, a na- 
tive Spaniard, President and first Alcalde, Don Martin Tobar, se- 
cond Alcalde, Bahazar Padron, Andreas Moreno, and Diego 
Tugo, members. They commenced business by sending the ex- 
captain general Emparan, the Regent, the Auditors, the members 
of the hiii^h court of justice, the ancient Cabildo, and various other 
perwMjH, U) jail ; whence they were sent, by sea, to the United 
StJitiH of America. 

TIm* J«|)ira abolihiied the toll money and dudes in the custom- 
h/;iiM;, tli<' r:i|iitation upon the Indians, and the impositions upon 
fAtiVt>, T!i<*v ocT'.ipied ihciiiseK es with the freedom of commerce 
0ImI Hi! ii;jii'>:i:»l industry. Tliey decreed to give to the provinces 
of <';»r;r: h, and to the British Jlinistry, oflicial informadon of the 
tUi9ti'^*' f>( ji'iviTfuneiil. As soon as this dmnge was known in the 
ttt^^^t if '"i '« ^iin:l»r Junti was iiislailed in each of them. 

T,i ' J I It ■ of a \\ 1.1 1 re:- >: lisjvl, at first, the authority of that 
f^ ( r4f<t: >:; hill h^K>n a ftcrw a rJs, refused to recognise any other 
fiffli^ffif; th''r> ih'«i of the Ronjenry at Cadiz. Tiiis change was at- 
fi^i^Jt*i vttU" iJin-.M-nre of the Eiropcan Spaniards who formed the 
Hy>.frftr> ffi ilt't^ Jntiui. Tiiose of Cninana and Barinas sent depu- 
$^z f'f ( it'-'t J'H, demanding the convocation of a congress, and re- 
ht¥*r^, f// :>/.Li;oi% ledge the supreme auUiority of the Junta in the 


The Spanish governor, at Maracaybo, Don Fernando Millares, 
greatly dissatisfied with what had taken place at Caracas, ordered 
the deputies sent to him by this Junta, with stront: inenances, out 
of his presence. They passed from Maracaybo lo Coro, the gov- 
ernor of which province, Cevallos, arrested and shipped them lor 
Porto Rico, where tliey were put in irons. Tna eunest repre- 
sentations of the English Admiral, Sir Alexander C(>ci)ran, at last, 
effected their liberation. 

Tiie provisional Junta at Caracas, thought proper to notify, ofn- 
cially, the Regency at Ca iz, of the change whicli had tiken place 
i.i tlie government of Venezuela, and decl ired, at tlie same lime?", 
its coriiial wi hrsfor the wrJfirc of the mother country^ and the 
conservation of thv royil liUthorifi/ o the Al tin, fyc. The J.mta 
said nothins: ol submission to the Rfironcy. Tiicir declaration was in 
conformity with the laws of the Lidi ui Codex, in uliifh it in ex])i*ess- 
ly said, '• the Americans shall know no other authority than th it of 
the king, as president of the council of India." As the king was a 
prisoner, the Regency treated this omission as Irgh treason, de- 
serving exemplary punishment. After h iving consulted the great 
council of Castile and that of I idia, they published aj;ainst Vene- 
zuela, a violent Manifesto, dated Cadiz, August 3d ; and they de- 
creed that these provinces should be treated as rebels and revolu- 
tionists, and declared their coasts in a state of blockade, with the 
exception of the provinces of Maracaybo and Coro, whicli formally 
recognised the authority of the Regency, and took no part in the 
revolution of Caracas. 

The Regency, soon after, received despatches from various other 
American Juntas expressing the same sentiments of submission ; 
and some offered to assist the Spaniards in their struggle against 
Napoleon. None declared an intention to seperate from Spam. — 
But meanwhile, none spoke of recognizing the authority of the Re- 
gency. This uniformity of opinion throughout the vast provinces 
of the Spanish colonies, deeply embittered the members of the 
Regency. All proposals of accommodation or negotiation were 
rejected. They talked only of rebellion, and demanded implicit 
and blind submission to their laws and decrees ! 

Civil war was now declared, and, in the public papers of Cadiz, 
the inhabitants of Spanish America (vere treated, by the Regency, 
and at later periods, by the Cortes, as rebels, who must be subdued 
Jiy force of arms. 

Don Ignacio Cortavaria departed from Cadiz for Porto Rico, 
authorised to employ every means to subdue the Venezuelans. — 
He said in one of his proclamations " that the inhabitants of the 
Main should first depose their existing government, and promised 
then to hear every complaint, and to do them justice afterwardi.^^ 


He endeavored, by intrigue, lo induce the clergy of Venezuela 
to send agents in order to spread discord and trouble. In one 
word, he neglected no means to fulfil his commission. 

The Junta of Caracas, soon after, felt the effects of Cortava- 
rias's intrigues. jVlellares, the new captain general, residing at 
Maracaybo, and Ccvallos, governor of Coro, joined him, and ex- 
cited several riotous disturbances. 

A Spaniard living at Caracas, Don Francisco Gonzales de Lin- 
ares, was designated as the leader of the counter-revolution party, 
whose object was to drive out the provisional Junta, and replace 
it with a new one, composed entirely of native Spaniards. But, 
at the decisive moment, Linares hesitated ; instead of giving, at 
midnight, the expected signal, he remained inactive. The conspi- 
racy was detected ; he and a number of his companions were 
arrested without any noise, the same night, and put in irons. 

Hostilities now began, and tlie Junta were obliged to put them- 
selves in a state of defence. The Marquis del Toro was named 
general in chief of the army. Every where, recruits and arms 
were collected, and soon after, the Marquis marched upon Caso- 
ra, to suppress a revolt, and maintain order. After various oper- 
ations and combats of little importance, the campaign of 1810 
was closed, when the news reached Caracas, of the sudden arri- 
val of general Miranda, at the island of Curacao. 

At tbe end of 1810, general Miranda arrived at Curacao, from 
London. He had letters of introduction firom the duke of Cam- 
bridge, and Mr. Vansittart, to the English governor of that isl- 
and. He came under the name of Martin ; and after a short 
residence, he embarked on board of an English vessel for Lagui- 
ra, where he debarked and came to Caracas, in spite of tlie se- 
cret orders of the provisional Junta, to its agents in London, to 
hinder his coming to Venezuela, his native land. Miranda being 
informed of this secret order, changed his name, and came with- 
out any attendants. In giving this secret injunction to their agents, 
the provisional Junta were actuated by a dread of the great tal- 
ents and patriotism of the general. It is said by some that the 
order was given to prove die moderation of the Junta, m regard to 

Miranda was received with great enthusiasm and solemnity ; 
the festivals of ever}' description lasted through many days ; and 
he was every where followed and surrounded by a crowd of peo- 
ple. His influence decided the question of having a Congress ; 
and the provisional Junta, in conformity with this decison, order- 
ed the (rlertion of deputies in each province separately. 

'I'hc Junta, before the convocation of the Congress, had desig- 
nated a conunittce to draw up a project of a ConstitutioD, to be 


submitted to Congress. The majority of that committee agreed 
to propose a federal government ; as best adapted to present cir* 
cumstances. Miranda, who was a member of that committee, 
sent another plan, which he proposed at the time of his expedition 
against Carthagcna in 1800. This plan differed very litde from 
the Spanish mode of governing its colonies. It was, as instructed 
and able men have assured me, adapted to the spirit and character 
of that people. But it created him many euen)ies. As soon as 
he arrived at Caracas, some individuals began to fear his popular- 
ity and influence. But the true friends of a wise and moderate 
liberty, were sincerely attached to him, and publicly disapproved 
of all the intrigues and secret murmurs against him. Miranda 
himself despised them; and, in spite of all opposition, he was 
nominated commander in chief of the land and sea forces, and 
member of the congress, which opened its session, the 2d March, 
1811, under the presidency of Doct. Philip Paul. 

On the 4th of April, the congress appointed three of its mem- 
bers to form the executive power ; but fearing that this executive 
conmiission, composed of Dons Juan Escalona, and Mendoza, 
and the Doct. Bultazar Padron, might make too great encroach- 
ments upon the rights and privileges of the people, the congress 
gave them but very limited power. 

The anniversary of the revolution of Caracas, 19th April, was 
solemnly celebrated by festivals and illuminations. The public 
spirit was excellent. 

But this state of things did not subsist long. After a while, the 
government sunk into indolence, the natural result of a too greatly 
restrained executive power. It had neither authority nor ener- 
gy. The congress was perplexed, and uncertain what means to 
employ in order to give more strength and consistency to its gov- 
ernment. During tliis time, a great number of the European 
Spaniards, dissatisfied with the government, formed a very serious 
conspiracy, known under the name of the conspiracy of the hie- 
not j (men bom in the Canary Islands.) This conspiracy was de- 
nounced in the moment of its explosion : but die people contem- 
plating it, observed at the same time the apathy of tlie members 
of the government; and their confidence in their government 
daily diminished. 

The friends of independence thought the moment favorable for 
action. The situngs of tlie patriotic society were more frequent, 
and its powerful members declared publicly tliat nothing could 
save the country but to declare it free and independent of Spain, 
the impolitic conduct of the Regency and tlie Cortes, afforded 
sufficient reasons for such a declaration ; and the inhabitants of 
Caracas, many of whom were people of color, listened to such a 


question with joy ; because they cooceived bom h, great hopes of 
a more secure and Iionorable existence. The measure was gen- 
eraU J supported ; and some members proposed the question of in- 
dependence, in the congress then assembled. 

Alter long and animated discussions, the questioQ was decided, 
and Vtntzuda was declared to be a Republic^ free and indepen" 
dent of any foreign dominion^ (by a decree of July Sth, ISll.) 
In the manifesto, congress mentioned the persecutions suffered 
during three hundred years, and developed the reasons which de- 
termined them to this resolution, which they declared to be sin- 
cere and irrevocable. 

On the same day the Spanish colors were cut in pieces, and 
exchanged for a three colored flag. The portraits of Charles IV, 
and Ferdinand VII, were taken down, and trailed through the 
streets of Caracas, with the outcry of ^^ Long live the Independ- 
ency ! ^ 

This event greatly discouraged the other conspirators, without 
extinguishbg tlie machinations of the Islenos,who being resolved to 
strike a heavy blow, assembled b great numbers, on the 1 1th of 
July, at 3 o'clock b the afternoon, in one of the suburbs of Cara- 
cas caUed liu Teques^ in order to march thence, united and 
weU armed, against the government. Their design was to put to 
death the three members of the executive power, and the most 
bfluential members of the congress, and to arrest the others, and 
embark, and deliver them to the Regency at Cadiz. They in- 
tended, afterwards, to reinstate the old Spanish government. 

Gen. Miranda hesitated not a moment. He united some armed 
men, and marched against tlie rebels. The government would 
not trust the regular army, knowing that many of them were na- 
tive Spaniards, diey had reason to fear some understanding with 
the rebels. Gen. Miranda, after an obstinate battle, surrounded 
and disarmed them, and confined a great many in gaol. Sixteen 
of the principal ring-leaders were shot b the course of the same 

This conspiracy had various ramifications. The bhabitants of 
Valencia, dissatisfied because congress had refused to grant their 
request to form a separate province, revolted oponly. Miranda 
agab marched against the rebels, and, after great resistance, took 
possession of their city, and condemned ten of the leaders to death. 

Government, strongly supported by the military operations of 
Gen. Miranda, acted with more energy, and inspired confidence. 
The army was in a good state, and strong enough to defend the 
new republic. Commerce began to flourish, and every thing was 
going on well. 

But this happbess was soon dissipated by an event which I 
shall relate b uie next chapter. 



Earthquake at Caracas and its consequences — Particulars of Boli- 
var's entry into the army^ and of his nomination as governor of 
Porto Cabello — Capitulation at Vittoria — Dissolution of the 

Republic— Arrest of Miranda at Laguira — Anarchical state of 
V^enezuela under the government of Monteverde — Cruelties of 
the Spaniards — Monteverde^ s solemn entry into Caracas. 1812. 

The clergy of Caracas, a secret and powerful enemy to the re- 
publican form of government, (because congress had reformed 
many of their oppressive and pernicious privileges) took this occa- 
sion to revenge the supposed insult ; and a great many friars, monks 
and priests, raised their voices and preached in the streets, to the 
terrified people, that this was a punishment well deserved by the 
authors of inno\'ations so impious and criminal. One who was 
present, assured me that he had never before heard such rhetoric, 
from clergymen, the ministers of divinity, of moderation and 
of clemency. The impression was so profound, and the terror so 
genera], that all who had not confessed or received the sacraments 
lor some time past, were now anxious to do so ; others who had 
lived in concubinage, prostrated themselves before the priests in 
church, supplicating to be united in marriage before God. Monte- 
verde had, some time before, increased the number of his corps; 
and, happening to be before Carora on the day of the earthquake, 
he attacked and took it. 

Public confidence was destroyed ; the paper money of the re- 
public, which, before the earthquake, had depreciated, was now 
reduced to nothing ; and the situation of congress became extreme- 
ly difiScult and perplexing ; not less so than when, some time af- 
terwards, Miranda received the news that Porto Cabello had fallen 
into the hands of tlie Spaniards. 

It b proper to insert here, all that I have yet to relate, concern- 
ing Lieut. Col. Simon Bolivar, so as not to interrupt the course of 
events that, in rapid succession, took place, after his arrival, from 
Spain, at Caracas. 

Bolivar retired, with his lady, to San Mateo, one of his country 
places, in the valley of Aragua. He had the misfortune to lose her 
soon after their arrival on the Main. At the beginning of ISl 0, the 
principal leaders of the intended revolution were desirous to see 
Lieut. Col. Bolivar amongst them ; and his cousin J. Felix Ribas, 
offered to sound and gain him over. He was a brave, daring and 
high spirited young man. He was rich also, -and he was intimate 


with Bolivar. As the latter was rich, and his father had great in- 
fluence with the regiment of militia of the plains of Aragua, the 
leaders expected a powerful support in gaining over tlie son, who 
was beloved for his generosity. Ribas had an interview with Boli- 
var, who treated the attempt as a foolish and impracticable one. — 
After various private conversations, Ribas found that Bolivar was 
not to be gained over. The resolution of the 19th April, there- 
fore, was made without Bolivar's participation. During that, and 
the following days, as is known to all who were there at the time, 
he came not at all to Caracas, but staid at San Mateo. 

When the patriotic Junta assembled at Caracas, its members, 
among whom Bolivar had various friends, were anxious to see him 
taking an active part in their new government ; and proposals were 
made to him to choose a civil or a militar}' office, with the assur- 
ance thai his choice should be complied with, but in vmn. He 
declined every office, under the pretext of the state of his health. 
At last the Junta proposed to him a mission to London, with die 
rank of colonel in the militia, and in company with his friend Louis 
Lopez y Mendez. This offer he accepted ; and they both de- 
parted for London in June, 1810. 

'Ilie patriotic Junta hoped, in vain, for the powerful support of 
the British cabinet. The two deputies could obtain notlung, but 
leave to export some arms, at a great price, as I have before re- 
lated. Bolivar much disgusted, after a short stay, left London and 
came with these arms to the Main ; leaving Mendez in London. — 
Shortly after he retired again, and declined all military service un- 
der the orders of the general in chief Marquis del Toro. 

On the arrival of General Miranda, and his nomination as com* 
mander in cliief of the army of Venezuela, he prevailed on Boli- 
var to accept the grade of lieutenant colonel of the staff, in the 
regular army, and the command of the strongest fortress in Vene- 
zuela, Porto Cabello, which is a fine seaport. He assumed this 
command in September, 1811. 

Miranda sent his prisoners of war, regularly, to Porto Cabello, 

I where they were confined in the citadel. In June, 1812, these 

iprisoners revolted. They succeeded in killing their guards, and 

:m taking possession of the citadel, which is separate from the city. 

; Some of Miranda's officers censured Bolivar, because he had not 

\ ^^ J^ carefully enough inspected the guard specially entrusted with the 

'*■ Vc^ ^prisoners, and because he had not promptly rallied his numerous 

Z' garrison, and endeavored to subject ihe prisoners, which, as they 

were unarmed, they said mii^ht easily have been done. Bolivar, 
however, secretly left his post, embarked precipitately with eight of 
his officers (among whom was Thomas Mantilla, a brother of the 
then intendant at Carthagena) and withdrew in the night without the 


knowledge of his garrison. He embarked in an armed schooner, 
commanded by a Danish captain, at that time in the service of Vene- 
zuela, and arrived at day break at Laguira, leaving behind his 
garrison, large magazines of powder, arms, militaiy stores, he, — 
From Laguira he retired to San Mateo, and sent Thomas Mantilla 
to Gen. Miranda to notify him of this event. 

The garrison at Porto Cabello, waiting in vain for orders, saw at 
daybreak, that the commander had departed, and judging that all 
was lost, retired in good order, leaving tlie place to its fate. Mon- 
teverde, though astonished witii the news ol the evacuation, seized 
the occasion and took possession of Porto Cabello. This event 
increased his forces. He had been destitute of every thing, and 
had not a single strong seaport where he could receive the neces- 
sary supplies from abroad. Porto Cabello gave him about 1200 
prisoners of war, now liberated, vast stocks of munitions of war, 
arms, &^. and one of the best harbors in Venezuela. 

When tlie news arrived at Vittoria, the head quarters of General 
Miranda's army, that Porto Cabello was lost, every one was aston- 
ished, and dispirited. Miranda soon felt the effect of this loss. — 
Many of his brave officers left tlie service, and a great number of 
the men deserted. 

Monteverde wrote to Miranda a letter, which the latter sent to 
the congress, and received from them authority to treat with the 
Spanish general. In virtue of die treaty (of the 26th July, 1812, 
ratified at Vittoria) it was stipulated, " 1st, That tlie constitution 
presented by the Cortes to the Spaniards, should be introduced in 
Venezuela, and recognized by its inhabitants. 

2d, That no person, to whatever class or rank he might belong, 
should be persecuted or troubled for his poHtical opinions, and a 
general amnesty was solemnly promised. 

8d, That aU private property should be sacred and respected. 

4th, That any one might leave Caracas and Venezuela, and re- 
tire where he pleased without the least obstruction." 

In consequence of this treaty, Caracas came again into posses- 
sion of the Spaniards. The republican congress was dissolved ; 
and the republic of Venezuela no longer existed ! 

Gen. Miranda passed from Vittoria to Caracas, intending to leave 
the country and embark on board the English corvette Saphire, 
the commander of which, Capt. Haynes, was ready to receive him. 
This circumstance connected with the secrecy of his arrival at Cu- 
racao from London, his assuming the name, of Martin, his letters 
of recommendation from die Duke of Cambridge, and Mr. Van- 
sittart to the Governor of Curacao, (at that time in possession of 
Great Britain,) his constant correspondence with the English gov- 
ernment through Curacao, and his frequent interviews with the 


commanders of English men of war, who delivered him numerous 
letters from England, rendered him suspected ; and many Veou- 
zuelans believed that he had treacherous views against hLs coun- 
try.* His enemies were increased by his own conduct ; and he 
became very nnpopular. He answered various interesting questioiis 
in a dry and short manner. 

He preferred English and French officers to his own country- 
men — saying that these were ignorant brutes, unfit to command, 
and that they ought to learn the use of the musket, before they 
put on their epaulettes &c. 

These circumstances induced his enemies to prevent his voyage 
to England, and were the cause of his arrest. The following 
facts, being little knoTin, deserve to be mentioned here, as colonel 
Bolivar was one of the three, who took a leading part in the arrest. 

In the afternoon of the 30th July, general Miranda arrived at 
Laguira, at tlie house of the militar}' commandant, the republican 
lieutenant colonel Manuel Maria Casas, who, every moment, ex- 
pected to be relieved by a Spanish garrison, which should take 
possession of the city and ports of Laguira, in conformity \nth the 
treaty of Vittoria. Miranda met a great company, and among 
them the English commander of the Saphire, Doct. Miguel Pena, 
civil governor TJefe Politico) of Laguira, and the lieutenant co- 
lonel Simon Bohvar. All the company expected Miranda. He 
arrived, fatigued by the heat of the day, and, after having refresh- 
ed himself, was invited to stay at supper, and to sleep that night 
on shore. Capt. Haynes strongly objected, and urged Mirandm 
to go with him on board, where he \vculd find ever}' comfort, his 
secretary, servants, trunks. &lc. He added tliat he wished to sail 
immediately, that the land breeze would soon rise &:c. But, Boli- 
var, Pena, and Casas told the Captain that tlie General was too 
tired to be able to embark that night, and tliat the land breeze 
arose not until ten o'clock in the morning, so that he might be on 
board in due time. Miranda hesitated ; but he consented to re- 
main. Capt. Haynes took leave, visibly dissatisfied, but promis- 
ing the General to send his boat and take him on board. 

The company sat gaily at suppei ; and Bolivar, no longer fear- 
ing the authority of his commander in chief, commenced an apolo- 
gy upon what had happened at Porto Cabcllo : But Miranda 
would not hear of past events, but talked on indifferent topics, 
with him, and the rest of the company. Miranda, aged and fa- 
tigued, begged leave to retire to rest ; and took an affectionate 
leave of all the three. 

* BlirmiKU wis bora in Caracas 


By order of Casas, a bed was prepared for Miranda in a closet, 
which could not be locked. While he slept, the triumvirate were 
contriving their plan, or rather, the best mode of executing it. 
The plan, as I am well assured, was formed by Doct. Miguel Pe- 
na, a member of the congress, and a great enemy of Miranda. 
The steps of Miranda were carefully watched. Information of his 
being about to embark, as is stated above, being obtained, Doct. 
Pena, on his way from Caracas to Laguira, called on Don T. 
C. at his seat, lying between the two cities, and proposed to him 
to join in the plot, and aid the arrest of Miranda, who, he said, 
was a traitor to his country in signing the treaty of Vittoria. That 
honest man told Pena that the plot was abominable ; and entreat- 
ed him, but in vain, to desist from it. Pena left him in a hasty 
and irritated manner ; and soon after tlie arrest of Miranda, Don 
T. C. was arrested, put in irons, and thrown into one of the dun- 
geons of Laguira. This, he never doubted, was the result of the 
doctor's vengeance. 

Bolivar arrived first, at the house of the commandant Casas» 
where he was some hours after joined by Pena. They communi- 
cated their project to Casas, and he joined them. Miranda had 
yet too many friends to render his arrest practicable in the day 

Capt. Haynes afterwards told some of his friends, from whom I 
had these particulars, that he had a certain foreboding that mis- 
chief would happen to Miranda ; and therefore urged him to eo 
on board ; but that he feared to speak more plainly, lest the om- 
ers should understand him. 

Miranda was arrested in the following manner. Having as* 
certained that the general was sound asleep, the three leaders, af- 
ter a short consultation, determined to seize him that night, and 
give him up to the Spanish commandant Montcverde. Casas,. 
as military commandant at Laguira, ordered a strong detachment 
from the principal guard. This detachment he commanded ta 
surroimd his own house in perfect silence, to suffer no one to pass> 
and to kill any one who attempted to escape. Not a word was 
said of Miranda. When all was ready, Pena, Casas, and Bolivar, 
at two o'clock in the morning, witli four armed soldiers, entered 
the unlocked room of general Miranda. He was in a profound 
sleep. They seized bis sword and pistols, which he had placed 
before him. They then awakened him, and abruptly told him 
to rise and dress lumself quickly, and follow them. Miranda, in 
surprise, asked them why they awakened him at such an early 
hour, it being not yet daylight. Instead of answering the ques- 
tion, they, told him he was a traitor, who deserved to be hanged^ 

33 mxons of BOLiTAm. 

Miranda, unable to resist, dressed himself, and was forced to 
follow. They escorted him to the fort called San Carlos, at some 
distance from Laguira, and situated upon a stroni; hill, where he 
arrived, exhausted from fatigue and chagrin. Having borne all 
the invectives tliey chose to load him with on the road, which he 
was obliged to walk, as soon as tliey were come to the fort, they 
ordered him to be put in irons, and notwithstanding his pathetic 
and ferment expostulations, he was locked in one of the darkest 
dungeons, and treated like the vilest criminal. 

The three chiefs returned, \iitli their guard to Laguira, and the 
same night, despatched an express ^^ith a letter to the Span- 
ish general Monteverde, informing him of the arrest of Miranda. 
This commander was surprised at the intelligence ; but instead of 
ordering the immediate release of Miranda, and so preserving in- 
violate Uie faith of his oi^-n treatv, he received the news with his 
accustomed indifference and apathy, and took no step in favor of 
Miranda, or against him. 

The day after Miranda's arrest, a Spanish column arrived in the 
fort of San Carlos, to relieve the independents. Its commander 
was surprised to find Miranda in irons, and sent him immediately, 
with an escort, back to Laguira, where he was again shut up in a 
dark mephitic prison, made in one of the walls of this place, 
where he remained in irons during several montlis. The Spanish 
commandant Don Francisco Xavier Cer^'eres, who had relieved 
the patriot commander Casas, gave orders to send Miranda to 
Porto Rico. He was thence transported to Cadiz where he re- 
mained in irons, in the fort of La Caraca for some years, and per- 

Such was the miserable end of Gen. Miranda. Without en- 
tering into any political controversy; without enquiring whether 
Miranda was a traitor to his country, (which well informed men 
affirm to have not been the case,) history will demand what right 
Dr. Miguel Pena, Don Maira Casas and Simon Bolivar, had to 
arrest their former chief and superior. That they did so without 
order, information, or participation of the Spanish general in chief 
Domingo Monteverde, is an undoubted fact. 

The earthquake, the weakness of die captain general Millares, 
and the treaty with Miranda, in a short time rendered the midship- 
man Domingo Monteverde, master of a beautiful province, general 
in chief of an army, and sovereign arbiter of about a million of 
souls. Monteverde was weak, apathetick and superstitious. The 
friars, monks and priests, had the greatest influence over him. So 
also bad the Islenos, inhabitants of the Canary Islands, where be 
was bom, and of whom many were established at Caracas, La- 


guira and Valentia. These all, persecuted their enemfes, abused 
their power, and ruined many thousand inhabitants. 

When the particulars of Gen. Miranda's arrest were known at 
Caracas, and it was ascertained that Montevcrdc acquiesced in it, 
all the firiars, monks and Islenos gave aloose to their passions, and 
Venezuela again became the theatre of frightful scenes. The 
following are selected out of thousands of facts. Monteverde had 
with him two favorites, both distinguished by thoir cruel and san- 
guinary conduct. He tolerated, and never punished tlieir most 
daring atrocities. Both were colonels — Joseph Antonanza, and 
Juan Suasola. 

After the treaty of Vittoria, 26th July, 1812, many troops — 
whole corps — ^passed from the republican to the Spanish array, and 
presented diemselvcs to Monteverde, whose head quarters were 
then at Valencia. The 30ih of July, some forty of these soldiers 
came to the Spanish general and offered their services. Monte- 
verde received them whh kindness, and ordered Col. Suasola to 
take an escort and protect them on their road to Caracas, where 
new Spanish corps were to be formed. Suasola was displeased 
at being obliged to leave Valencia, (where it is said he had an in- 
trigue.) He obeyed, however, and selecting a strong detachment 
of men entirely devoted to him, he departed with his charge. 
After some hours march, he ordered a halt, and a circle to be 
formed by his troops, and the patriot soldiers to be placed in the 
centre. He then drew his sword, and in few words, exhorted his 
troops to kill these " d— d rebels," — to follow his example. He 
then fell upon them with his sword, and, assisted by his troops, 
murdered with swords and bayonets, every individual of die re- 
publican soldiers. Not a man of them escaped. 

Suasola, gay and satisfied, returned to Valencia. Monteverde, 
knowing that he could not have made his journey in die short 
time of his absence, enquired in surprise, what was the matter. 
"Oh general," replied Suasola, laughing, "I have found out an 
excellent way to shorten my voyage," giving him to understand by 
an unequivocal sign, that he had murdered the men placed under 
his care. "Oh! very well, very well," said Monteverde, "I did 
not know ; it is well done, very well done." Suasola, it need not 
be told, remained unpunished, and free as before. 

The same Suasola, encouraged by this criminal weakness, en- 
tered, sometime afterwards, the city of Aragua, where the inhab- 
itants came out in solemnity, some distance, to meet and honor a man 
who was known to be one of the favorites of their new comman- 
ds in chief. He arrived at the public square, where refreshments 
were beforehand prepared for him and his troops. After having 
spent merrily more than an hour, he gave a secret order to his troops 



to seize met), women and children, and cut off their ears, and bring 
them to him. Tiiis savage order was executed notwithstandiDg aU 
the cries, supplications and resistance of ttie inhabitants. He cnt- 
dered some trunks to be filled wiih these sanguinary trophies which 
he sent to his companion and friend colonel Antonanzai then gov- 
ernor at Cum ana, with a pathetic letter, requesting him to 
" accept this present as a proof of his zeal in the cause of his be- 
loved king; Ferdinand VII." This conduct was highly praised 
by his friend, and a part of the trophies were sent by him to Ca- 
racas. Some of them he wore in his hat by way of cockade^ and 
painful to relate, his vile example was followed by various inhabit- 
ants of Cumana. But I must add, many did it dirough fear, it 
being the practice of the Spanish troops, to tlu*eaten all who did 
not follow their example. 

The colonel Antonanza, as well as Suasola, committed the 
most barbarous and cruel acts throughout the provinces of Cuma- 
na and Barcelona, in which they commanded. The first having 
heard diat the inhabitants of Araura were distinguished in the last 
war, by their patriotism, and their zeal for independence, resolved 
to punish them in an exemplary manner. In violation of tlie so- 
lemn promise of amnesty, he marched with a numerous body of 
troops upon the city of Araura. Many of the inhabitants, well 
aware of his cruelty, fled hastily, but the greater number remained, 
being assured by his emissaries, that he was coming with specific 
intentions, and diat he would faithfully observe the amnesty. Af- 
ter this a great many persons, particularly women and children, 
came to welcome him, offering whatever their poor and wretched 
circumstances could afford. He took the refreshments, and sudden- 
ly gave orders to murder every man, woman, and child. Of this 
horrid massacre, many circumstances are known, which my pen 
refuses to describe. Antonanza and his troops plundered and 
burnt die city, and Monteverde remained quiet. 

His government was in reality, nothing but the most complete 
and sanguinary anarchy. Each commander of tlie smallest de- 
tachment followed his own will and caprice. The vast territory 
of Venezuela was again the theatre of murders, cruelties, and all 
sanguinary deeds, committed without the consent of Monteverde, 
who, if he heard of them, if some few dared to complain, could not 
afford them any redress, his authority being usurped by these 
chiefs who despised his weakness, and did ever)' diing according to 
their own will and pleasure. 

In consequence of this weakness, not a single arlicle of the trea- 
ty of Vittoria was fulfilled. Each Spaniard or Isleno became an 
accuser or a tyrant ; and the prisons were soon so crowded, that 
at Caracas and Laguira, the commanders were obliged lo 
convert various large bouses into prisons. Want of air and of food 


caused various maladies, and many thousands fell victims to their 

One evening, while a stranger was with Monteverde, upon some 
business, the secretary handed him some papers to be signed. 
He tockj and signed them one after anottier, and handed tliem back 
to the secretary. While tlie latter was in the act of withdrawing, 
Menteverde, in the manner of one waking from a dream, inquired 
their contents, " they contain" answered the secretary with a smile, 
" orders to arrest some mischievous individuals," andjio departed 
with them, without anodicr word from the general in chief. The 
stranger who was on good terms with jVIenteverde could not 
repress his feelings, but, with frankness and warmth, pointed Tout 
the consequences of such proceedings. " What can I do sir," re- 
pKed Monteverde, " to know their crimes, is it not necessary first 
to secure their persons ? afterwards they will be tried and judged !" 
No inquiry was made relative to their supposed crimes, and a 
great many arrested for political opinions, perished miserably in 

Monteverde, anxious to retain his ill acquired authority, consult- 
ed his friend and countryman, the post captain in die navy, Don 
Jose Antonio Tiscar, how he should act in these critical circum- 
stances. The captain advised him to write to his legitimate chief 
the Capt. Gen. Don Fernando Millares, (whose cowardice had 
frightened him from Maracaybo' to Coro, and thence to die island 
of Porto Rico,) inviting him to come and lake into his hands the 
civil authority and the command of tlie army. Such was the weak- 
ness of Monteverde's character, tliat he followed this advice in spite 
of his own wishes and intentions. As soon as Millares received 
this leUer, he hastened to embark with a numerous suite, and land- 
ed at Porto Cabello. Monteverde was then at Valencia ; whence 
he wrote a second letter to Millares, telling him that Venezuela, 
being not entirely pacified, it would be detrimental to the cause to 
instal him at that moment. That all had best remain as it was, for^ 
a short time, when he would put into his hands the power which 
properly belonged to him. He added, that he himself should then 
depart for Spain, where he hoped to be rewarded by the Cortes for 
his zeal and services. 

Millares, believing he should take possession of his new and bril- 
liant charge, without having done any thing to deserve it, came over 
from Porto Rico with a number of civil and military officers, all 
anxious to be employed. Among the latter were the Mareschal de 
Campo de D. T. Cagigal and die brigadier general Ficrro. The 
friends of Millares, of stronger and more courageous minds, advised 
him to march, without delay, to Caracas, where the Spanish gov- 
ernment was ahready established, and to take possession of the of- 


fice which the regency and Cortes had entrusted to himy and not to 
Monteverde. But Millares refused to follow this advice, and pre- 
ferred sending the brigadier Fierro to negotiate with Monteverde, 
and learn definitely his intentions. Fierro arrived at Monteverde's 
head quarters, and had various conferences with him ; but be was 
obliged to return with the simple verbal answer, that Monteverde 
neither could nor would change his last determination not to de- 
liver the command into the hands of the captain general before all 
was pacified. 

MUIarQS humbly submitted to the will of his subaltern, and de- 
parted for Maracaybo, where he waited several months for the ex- 
pected message from Monteverde. Perceiving at last, that he was 
the object of ridicule, he left the Main, and his supposed grandeur, 
forever, and returned, as paymaster (countedor) to Spain. 

As soon as Monteverde was sure that the captain general had 
departed, he proclaimed himself captain genera], and commander 
of the naval and land forces of Venezuela ; and leaving Valencia, 
made his solemn entry into the capital of Caracas, on the 9th Au- 
gust, 1812. 

Before tliis, he issued a proclamation full of the highest promises. 
He said, " Caraguins ! the time has at last come, when you can 
enjoy perfect tranquility and security, from wliich you were driven, 
two years ago, by seduction and crimes. 1 promise — I pledge my 
oatli now to you, that I can, and will protect your felicity. Let us 
forget all that has passed. For my part, I will give you a proof, 
in forgiving your errors, and in maintaining, in all its vigor, the treaty 
of Vittoria, and never shall you have reason to complain of me." 

But, on the very day of his entry into Caracas, the people, botli 
there, and at Laguira, committed the greatest disorders. All stran- 
gers, established in the time of the republic, in both cities, were 
very ill treated ; the mob took all they possessed — plundering their 
houses and stores. Many of them were arrested and thrown into 
prison, whence tliey escaped with the greatest difficulty. 

Such was the anarchical state of Venezuela under the govern- 
ment of Monteverde. Before I close this chapter, I will relate some 
particulars yet unknown to the world, relative to the origin of his 
usurped power. 

When the revolution began, and Emparan was arrested, the re- 
gency appointed Millares, then governor of Maracaybo, captain gen- 
eral of Venezuela. He was proclaimed as such in the provinces still 
in possession of Spain. And when hostilities began, he came firom 
Maracaybo to Coro, where he ordered die sea forces to assemble, 
in readiness to assist him in the military operations. 

Among the officers of the navy was Domingo Monteverde, an in- 
habitant of the Canary Islands, without education, and possessed of 


very litde knowledge ; but ambitious and enterprising. He begged 
leave to come on shore, and presented himself before tlie new 
captain general Millares. He was poor and badly clotlied. The 
genenl received him with a haughty and disdainful air, asking him 
abnipttyy what he wanted. The lieutenant Monteverde answered, 
that he wanted his excellency's permission to raise a corps, of at 
least a thousand men, for the purpose of driving the insurgents out 
of the country, or subjecting them to ilieir duty. Millares, aston* 
isbed at his request, replied ttiat he was an audacious subaltern, that 
he should immediately return to his duty in his vessel, and that he 
must not come again to trouble liim witli such demands, and dis- 
missed him. Monteverde was not intimidated by the ill humor of 
the general, but continued, in such an original kind of way, to re- 
present to him the usefulness of such a corps, that tlie general 
could not help bemg diverted ; and, at length, very graciously grant- 
ed the order so perseveringly sought by the lieutenant, who now 
obtained orders to take from the vessels of the squadron, old mus- 
kets, swords and uniforms, and, in a few days, the new commander 
found himself at the head of 200 vagabonds, who afterwards in- 
creased to the number of as many thousands. 

Such was the origin of the power of Domingo Monteverde ; and 
^e have seen how he afterwards treated his chieftain and bene- 



Depatvre of Lieut. Col. Bolivar from Caracas to Caracao, and 
Carthagena — Expedition of Bolivar against the Spanish in Ve- 
nezuela — His entry into Caracas — Uis nomination as Dictator — 
Year 1813. 

We left Lieut. Col. Bolivar with Doct. Miguel Pera and com- 
mandant Casas at Laguira, after, having arrested Miranda in the 
port of San Carlos. Bolivar returned quietly to his coimtry seat 
where he resumed his usual occupations. But he soon observed 
that vexations and arrests became more and more frequent, so 
that he felt not assured of his own safety. Soon after the entry 
of Monteverde into Caracas, he had an audience of this Spanish 
bonmiander, who received liim most graciously, and expressed to 
'wim his satisfaction that he, Bolivar, had been an instrument in 
/punishing the traitor Miranda, that rebel to his king. He readi- 
ly granted liim a passport to leave die countr}*, and hearing it was 
his wish to go to Curacao, he gave him a letter of strong recom- 
mendation to die same English merchant of whom I have already 
spoken, and who was on his departure from Porto Cabello ; urg- 
ing him to lake Col. Bolivar as passenger in his own vessel. Bo- 
Uvar joined him, and found him on board, ready to sail. As soon 
as Mr. F. L. opened Monteverdc's letter and found that the 
name of tlie bearer was Simon Bolivar, he expressed, in strong 
terms liis disaprobaiion of his conduct towards Miranda, and, with- 
out permitting him to offer a word in reply, ordered him to leave 
the vessel, telling liim that no consideration would have induced 
him to receive him on board. Bolivar attempted in vain, to jus- 
tify himself. He was compelled to leave the vessel and go on 
shore. But, soon afterwards, finding another vessel, he embarked 
with his cousin Joseph Felix Ribas, for Curacao, where he passed 
some time, devoting himself to gambling and other amusements : 
the two cousins, possessing a large amount in gold. After about 
six weeks, tliey left Curacao for Cardiagena, where they were 
well received. 

At that time (1812) Manuel Rodriguez Torrices was president 
of the republic of Cardiagena ; an honest, good, and liberal man ; 


by profession a law)'er ; who received every stranger with kindness. 
He promoted the two cousins Bolivar and Kibas, (who offered 
their services in the republican army under the order of a French- 
man, Peter Labalut) at the instigation of the latter, to the rank of 
colonels. Previous to their arrival, a great number of Caraguins, 
who had served under Miranda at Venezuela, came to Carthage- 
na, and all were anxious to hear news of events in their own coun- 

The colonel Ribas, brave and patriotic, the same who was one 
of the leaders of the revolution in Caracas, inspired them with his 
own zeal and ardor, and proi)osed to them to form an expedition 
against the Spaniards in Venezuela, for the purpose of delivering 
his countr}'men from their yoke. He told them they could not 
fail to be joined by great numbers, as soon as they arrived on the 
frontiers of Venezuela. All the Caraguins, and a number of stran- 
gers who had served under Miranda, received this proposition with 
rapture ; and Ribas immediately proposed Holivar, then a colonel, 
as commander of the expedition. Holivar was not beloved, and 
his vanity, pride, and coldness, rendered him unpopular. He was 
known also to have left his garrison at Porto Cal)ello, and to have 
participated in tlie arrest of their beloved old general Miranda. — 
However, Ribas, who was sincerely attached to his cousin, man- 
aged affairs so well, that they consented at last to name colonel 
Bolivar their commander in cliief, witli the express condition that 
colonel Ribas should be his major general and second in command. 
So did it happen that Holivar was elected. 

These circumstances, trifling as they may appear, wxre the ori-f 
gin of the subsequent grandeur and military power of general Bo-« 
livar ; who, as 1 shall prove by facts, has ever had the fortune td 
profit by the braver}', skill and patriotism of others. When Ribas\ 
was killed, BoHvar fled. Piar conquered Guayana in the absence \ 
of Bolivar, and was condemned to death ; Brion died in poverty 
when Bolivar was at the head of the government ; Paez was victo- 
rious when Bolivar was not with him, and beaten when the latter 
directed tlie operations ; Sucre gained the battle of Ayachucho in 
Peru when Bolivar was sick. ^ 

The plan of an expedition against the Spaniards in Venezuela, 
was immediately communicated to the president of Carthagena, 
who highly approved of it, and authorised such officers as would 
follow Uiis new expedition, to quit the service of that province and 
join it. He gave orders that they should be provided with money, 
^nns, amunition, provisions, transports, he. and persuaded his 
cousin, colonel Manuel Castillo, to join Bolivar, with about 600 
^^ from the garrison of Carthagena, to assist hhn in his enterprise. 


BoEraTy assisted by Ribas, Briceno and others, enlisted about 300 
men, and whh these and colonel Castillo's troops, he departed in 
the beginning of January, 1S13. 

Bui after some days march a dissendon relative to the right to 
command, arose between Bolivar and Castillo, and increased to a 
great height. Colonel Castillo pretended to the exclusive com- 
mand of the troops from Carthagena, because the president had 
entrusted to him the 500 men. Bolivar represented that the same 
president had authorised him to command in chief the whole expe- 
dition. An inveterate hatred, as is well known, has long existed be- 
tween the inhabitants of Caracas or Venezuela, and those of 
Grenada. The former generally despise the latter. This divis- 
ion was soon established between these two parties. The troops 
of Castillo, all Grenadans, and the most numerous party, began to 
insult the Caraguins, who very properly recognised Bolivar as 
commander in cliief of the expedition. The strangers took the 
part of the latter, and every thing foreboded a general and serious 
conflict. It was plainly the duty of Castillo to declare himself un- 
der the orders of Bolivar, and to soothe and appease his troops ; 
instead of which, he suddenly departed, and returned with them 
to Carthagena. He excused his defection by saying that the 
haughty and despotic character of Bolivar could never agree with 
his ; and, strange to relate, this desertion remained unpunished. 

This conduct of Castillo was the ground of bitter and lastmg 
hatred between him and Bolivar, who, as soon as he was informed 
of the nomination of Castillo, as commander in chief of the army 
of Cartliagena, in 1815, warmly remonstrated with the government 
of Carthagena, on the subject, as we shall see hereafter. 

Bolivar remained with about three hundred men, and was so 
discouraged, that he thought to go back to Carthagena, for the 
purpose of obtaining a furtheir supply of troops, fearing that the 
expedition might otlierwise fail entirely. But colonels Ribas and 
Briceno, persuaded him, at length, to pursue his course, at least, 
as far as Bogota, at that time the seat of the congress of New 
Grenada, where, they assured him, tliey should find support. He 
consented, and embarking on the river Magdalena, they arrived 
at the city of Mornpox, where tliey were perfectly well received, 
and supplied with money and provisions, and some hundred re- 
cruits. Besides receiving more troops and large supplies for his 
expedition, Bolivar had tlie satisfaction of being received, with his 
small corps, by the congress at Bogota, with great distinction. 

The inhabitants of New Granada, having heard of the vexations 
and cruelties commited by Monteverde and his subalterns in Venezu- 
ela, were excited to such a pitch of indignation, that Bolivar named 


general, with his cousin J. F. Ribas, met volunteers wherever they 
passed, so that his troops, in a short time increased to the amount 
of more than two tliousand men. Having passed the Andes in the 
provinces of Tunja and Pamplona, he crossed the river Taihira wliich 
separates New Grenada from Venezuela. 

Every circumstance favored the splendid enterprise of general 
Bolivar : the farther he advanced, tiie greater were his resources. 
As soon as he had crossed the river Jaihira, his proclamations, 
spread throughout the country, united many tliousand of his coun- 
trymen, who saw in him their deliverer from destruction and des- 
pair. He was now able to divide his forces into different corps, 
and to detach colonel Briceno to Guadalito for the purpose of or- 
ganizing there a strong body of cavalry, of which he was in great 
need. This was dcme in a short time; for tlie richer classes in 
the neighborhood were so anxious to serve in the expedition, that 
they voluntarily armed, equipped, and mounted themselves, at their 
own expense. 

B :livar marched directly against the enemy, who, by his sudden 
appearance, were surprised, astonished, and discouraged. The 
Spanish army, being composed, as usual, of three fourth's Creoles, 
these deserted by hundreds ; entire corps — battalions — regiments — 
came over to the independents, so tliat Bolivar found but a very 
feeble resistance, wherever he appeared. He beat his enemy at 
La Grita, and took possession of that small place, as he did 
afterwards of Merida and the whole district of that name, and also 
of the province of Earinas. 

The Spaniards having rallied and reinforced themselves, fell sud- 
denly upon the corps of Briceno, and beat him completely. He 
and seven of his officers were taken ; and the governor of Bari- 
nas, Don Francisco Tiscar, ordered them to be shot. Eight of the 
most respectable inhabitants of Barinas, being suspected of having 
assisted colonel Briceno in his organization, were also shot ! From 
that time, the war became much more bloody and murderous. Not 
only was every prisoner shot, but various Spanish chieftains extend- 
ed this system to the peaceable inhabitants, without distinction of 
sex or age ! 

The reason the governor, Tiscar, gave for ordering the death of 
Briceno and his officers, was, their having been the principal insti- 
gators and signers of the proclamation of January loth, 1813; in 
which they declared that they would put to death all Spaniards and 
Islenos (inhabitants of the Canary Islands) that might be taken 

Of that sanguinary document, tlie following are the true causes b 
** Bolivar and his companions, while upon then: march from Cartba- 
gena to Venezuela, heard that the Spaniards and Islenos committed 



the most barbarous acts upon the peaceable inhabitants in Vene- 
zuela, wlio, in virtue of the convention between Miranda and Mon- 
teverde, had confidently resumed their former occupations." It 
will be remembered tliat Monteverde was born in one of the Ca- 
nary Islands. Surrounded, as he was, by numbers of his country- 
men, he was weak enough to concede altogether to their passions, 
and their hatred against all who took an active part in the revolu- 
tion at Caracas. This news so embittered all the Caraguins, com- 
panions in arms of general Uolivar, tliat they published a solemn 
declaration in form of a manifesto, in which they proclaimed the 
*^ war of death" against all the European Spaniards and the Islenos. 
The manifesto was signed by Antonio Nicolas Briceno, (the same 
who was shot at Barinas,) Antonio Rodrigo, Joseph Debraiue, and 
others, all officers under tlie orders of general Bolivar in his expe- 
dition against Venezuela. The Spaniards accused Bolivar of 
signing tliis sanguinary declaration, and said he began tlie proclaiming 
of the " war of death ;" but he never did sign it. To be sure, he 
should not have suffered the publication of a paper, so strongly 
characteristic of the bitterness of both parties. But it is true, on 
the other hand, that the P^uropean chieftains put to death, not only 
various American prisoners of war, but peaceable inhabitants also, 
before the manifesto was published ; and that the officers of gen- 
eral Bolivar, acted in retaliation of what these Spaniards had done 
to their countrymen at Venezuela. Whether such retaliation be 
justifiable or not, is left to the reader. 

We will now occupy a moment with a personage who has beto 
for several years the colleague and rival of general Bolivar ; and 
who has acquired one of those equivocal reputations wliich it is the 
province of history to set in their true light. 

Soon after the conclusion of the capitulation at Vittoria, and when 
the cruchies of the inhabitants of Venezuela had begun, a weak and 
ignorant, but very ambitious young man, assembled about 100 of 
his fellow citizens out of the city, at Cumana, where they held se- 
cret meetings. In these, he excited them to rise against their op— 
pressors, and to arm themselves in favor of liberty and indepen- 
dence. His speech was received witli enthusiasm, and he was 
unanimously named general in chief. This is the military origi 
of San Yago Marino, who, from a student, rose suddenly to th 
station of general in chief of the army of the province of Cumana-^ 
which counted not 150 soldiers. The cmeliies of the Spaniards 
soon brought him many adherents, which were the more attached^ 
to him, as he was of a mild, polite and humane character. He es^ — 
tablished his head quarters at JMaturin. 

As soon as general Monteverde heard of this, he ordered gen— 
eral Cagigal to join him with his strong brigade, appointing the day 


when, and place where, they should form their union, to attack the 
troopsj^posted at Maturin, under general Marino. Monteverde 
took no more than 200 men, and having arrived at the place of ren- 
dezvous, he found neither Cagigal nor liis troops. Monteverde 
anxious for tlie combat, posiiively refused to listen to any prudent 
counsel, and in a fierce tone, gave orders to attack " these traitors 
and rebels." The patriots were six times as strong as he, and ad- 
vantageously posted. After a short conflict, he was totally routed, 
as his officers had predicted. His horse being killed, he would 
have fallen into the hands of the patriots, if the presence of mind of 
a reverend capuchin, named Father Coronel, hadn ot saved him. 
Coronel was fighting bravely at his side ; when the horse fell, he 
seized the general, and, with his nervous arms, witliout dismount- 
ing, placed him u|K)n his own vigorous horse, and made full speed 
from the field of battle. 

When general Cagigal, who arrived 24 hours after the defeat, 
learned how imprudently his commander had acted, his indignation 
was excited. But instead of attacking with his own strong corps, 
an enemy weakened and fatigued by the recent combat, he was 
discouraged, tliought all was lost, and that the whole province of 
Venezuela must become the prey of the patriots. He declared 
publicly, that he would take refuge in the province of Guayana, to 
save himself and his troops. His strange declaration so ex- 
asperated one of his captains, Joseph Thomas Boves, who heard 
it, tiiat, forgetting the respect due to his commander, he boldly 
remonstrated against so base a step. But seeing that the panic of 
his general rendered him incapable of listening to reason, and tliat 
he had resolved at all events, to depart, Boves told him plainly 
and bluntly, that the general would act as he liked, but that, for 
his own part, he was firmly resolved to remain in Venezuela, and 
there combat the enemies of his king and country, as long as one 
of them should exist! Cagigal, seeing that Boves was inflexible, 
authorised him to organise a body of troops, for his purpose, as nu- 
merous as he could collect, and then departed, with a strong escort, 
for the purpose of putting himself in safety in the fortress of 3t. 
Tomas de la Angostura, in the then subdued and quiet province of 

Boves having rallied as many as would follow him, came in 
April, 1813, to the city of Calabazo, where he established his head 
quarters. He soon organised his corps of infantry and cavalry, 
which amounted to about 500 men. This was the origin of that 
famous partizan, who was distinguished afterwards during tlie war, 
by his astonishing activity, bravery and skill, but still more by his 
barbarous cruelty, of which I shall have more than one instance to 


Marino, proud of his little success, now took the title of general 
in chief, and dictator of die eastern provinces of Venezuela. He 
imposed great contributions, established a hixurious mode of living, 
created generals, officers of the staff and others, and a great many 
civil officers. But he had no fixed territory, nor any well instruct* 
ed officers, aud still less had he any well disciplined soldiers. He 
had, as is usually the case, where troops are hasdly raised, a band 
of armed men, without uniforms or instruction. 

During these events in the provinces of Curaana and Barcelona, 
general Bolivar entered the western provinces of Venezuela. He 
was joined by many thousands of his countr}'men, who driven to 
despair by die cruelties of die Spaniards, had no choice but tb 
fight, or pciish. He divided his forces into two strong corps, gave 
the command of one to his major general Kibas, and put himself 
at the head of the other. Both proceeded by forced marches, 
through different roads to Caracas, crossing the department of 
Truxillo and the province of Barinas. Tiie Spaniards were beat- 
en easily at Niquitao, Betioque, Barquisimeto and Barinas. At 
tlie last place, governor Tiscar, like general Cagig^al, thought all 
was lost, and deserted his troops. He fled to St. Tpmasde la An- 
gostura, in the province of Guayana, where, like die other, he found 
himself in safety. 

As soon as general Monte verde was apprised of the rapid pro- 
giess of the patriots, he rallied his best troops at Lostaguanes, 
where general Ribas attacked him soon afterwards. The attack 
had but just commenced, when die greatest part of his cavalry, 
composed of natives, passed over to the patriots and soon decided 
the victory in their favor. Monteverde lost some hundreds of his 
men, and was obliged to shut himself up with the remainder, in the 
fortress of Porto Cabello. 

General Bolivar advanced rapidly upon Caracas, and found very 
litde or no resistance on die part of the enemy, who had concen- 
trated his forces against the column of general Ribas. As soon as 
governor Fierro heard of the approach of general Bolivar, he hasu- 
Ijf assembled a great council of war, in which it was concluded to 
send deputies to Bolivar, proposing a c apitulation. This was made 
and signed at Viiioria, about a year after the famous capitulation 
between general Miranda and Monteverdc. By this treaty Bolivar 
promised that no one should be persecuted for his political opin- 
ions, and that ever)' one should be at liberty to retire with liis pro- 
perty from Venezuela, and go whithersoever he pleased. 

While the deputies were assembled at Vitioiia, governor Fierro, 
seized, like Cagigal and Tiscar, by panic terror, decamped in the 
night time, secretly, and so liasuly that he left, as was aftenvards 
ascertained, a very large amount of silver money. He left abo 


more than 1600 Spaniards, at the discretion of the enemy. He 
embarked at Laguira, and arrived in safety at the little island of 
Curacao. The flight of their governor, of which tlie inhabitants and 
the garrison were not informed, until day break the next morning, 
left the city in the greatest trouble, for he left not a single order. 
The Spanish parly being dissolved, every one was left to provide 
for his own safety. Its principal chiefs, Monteverde, Cagigal, Fier- 
ro and Tiscar, acting in conformity, each to his own will, had all 
placed themselves in safety indeed, but without tlie least union or 
vigor : Monteverde remained in Porto Cabello without sending 
forth any order ; Cagigal remained with Tiscar, at Angostura ; and 
Fierro in the island of Curacao. 

It was therefore an easy task for Bolivar to enter the capital of 
his native land, and to take possession of the greatest part of 
Venezuela. His entry into Caracas, (August 4th, ISliJ,) was 
brilliant and glorious. The friends of liberty, who had suffered so 
severely, surrounded him from every corner of the country, and 
welcomed his arrival with many signs of joy and festivity. The 
enthusiasm was universal, reaching every class and sex of the in- 
habitants of Caracas. The fair sex came to crown their liberator. 
They spread the ground with many flowers, branches of laurel and 
olive, on his passage through the streets of the capital. The 
shouts of thousands were mingled with the noise of artillery, bells, 
and music, and the crowd was immense. The prisons were open- 
ed, and the unfortunate victims of liberty came forth with pale 
and emaciated faces, Hke spectres from their graves. But not- 
withstanding this appalling sight, the people indulged not their sen- 
timents and feelings of vengeance against the autiiors of such cruel 
deeds. They commuted no disorder. No European Spaniard, 
Isleno, friar or priest, was dragged from his hiding place, nor even 
sought for; all were happy, and thought only of rejoicing. 

The entry of Gen. Bolivar into Caracas, was certainly the most 
gratifying event of his whole military career. And notwithstanding 
his enterprise and his victories were greatly facilitated by the aston- 
ishing pusilanimity of his enemies, he deserves great praise for his 
perseverance, and for the conception of such an undertaking, in 
which he sacrificed a considerable part of his fortune, to furnish his 
troops with the means of following him. But here, I cannot omit 
to mention a singular and characteristic trait of tliat vanity of 
which I have already spoken. Previous to his entry into Caracas, 
a kind of triumphaljcarjyas^r^^ which tije. Roman 

OuisuLi used, on returning from a campaign, after an important, 
victory. Their's was drawn by horses; but Bolivar's car was/ 
drawn by twelve fine young ladies, very elegantly dressed in white, V 
mdomed with the national colors, and all selected fix>m the first 

I ( 


fkmllies in Caracas. They drew him, in about half an hour, from 
the entrance of the city to his residence ; he, standing on the car, 
bare-headed, and in full uniform, with a small wand of command 
in his hand. To do this, was surely extraordinary on their part ; 
to suffer it, was surely much more so on his. Many thousands 
were eye witnesses of tlie scene. To them I appeal for the truth 
of this account of it. 

The enthusiasm of tlie inhabitants of Caracas lasted but a short 
time. Bolivar, inflated with his sudden successes, assumed, in the 
capital, after a few day^, the title of " Dic tator and Liberato r of 
the western jrovinces of Venezuela/^ in emulation of Gen. Ma- 
rino, who had taken tlie title of "Dictator of the Eastern Provin- 
ces." The denomination of Eastern and Western, arises from the 
geographical situation of the provinces of Cumana and Barcelona, 
which lie east from Caracas, of which Marino was entire master. 
Bolivar gave the name of "liberating army" to all those troops 
which came with him ; and established an order of knighthood, 
called " the order of the Liberator," which exists to tlie present 
day, with this alteration, that tlie singular, " del Libertador," has 
been changed into " la orden dc los Libertadores" in die plural. 
He established a choice corps of troops, called his body guard, 
expressly and exclusively destined to his personal service, named 
to it a great many officers of the staff and otliers, and was soon 
surrounded with flatterers and sycophants. 

Various true friends of liberty, and of the Dictator's glory, ad- 
\'ised him to assemble a Congress, and to establish a representative 
government, like that of the first congress 'at Caracas. Among 
them was the late admiral of Colombia, Louis Brion, who died at 
the island of Curacao. 1 nii^lit mention various othes. Bolivar 
answered them tliai he wished to consider this advice, but that it 
would be inconvenient, for the present, to assemble a congress. 

Meanwhile he organised his government, in which he united in 
himself, the three powers, legislative, executive, and judicial ; in 
virtue of which, he became absolute master of the liberty, prop- 
erty and lives of his countrymen. He named to oftices, those 
who could flatter him most. This dictatorship was notliing more 
nor less than an absolute, despotic, military government. 

Tlie eight beautiful provinces of Venezuela, were now divided 
between three military chieftains, viz. Gen. Monteverde, com- 
mander in chief of the Spanish forces which occimied the prov- 
inces of Guayana, Maracaybo, and Coro ; Gen. Bolivar dictator 
in the provinces of Caracas, Barinas, and Margai'ita ; and Gen. 
Marino, dictator in those of Cumana and Barcelona. 

Each of these chieftains had hisgovernors, generals, command- 
andants, civil and military oflicers, and troops ; who all lived, 


at the expense of the inhabitants. Each of them raised, armed, 
organized and equiped troops ; issued proclamations, manifestos, 
and decrees. These bulletins were often so inflated and involved, 
that it was extremely diflicult to ascertain their meaning ; and 
what was worse still, they frequently interfered with each other, in- 
somuch that it was impossible to decide which ought to be obeyed. 
To day, a city, town, or village, was occupied by troops of one of 
these chieftains ; to morrow, by tliose of another. The subalterns 
and soldiers were, of course, masters of the inhabitants ; and they 
ordered immediate supplies of money, provisions, and all other 
necesseries. There were no laws, no regulations, no order : bayo- 
nets, and the caprices of each httle armed band of soldiers, so call- 
ed, were, for the time, rulers of tlie citizens. A stronger band 
drove them out, and new vexations, new demands, new provisions, 
were the order of tlie day. This anarchy rendered the inhabit- 
ants of Venezuela so miserable, and so doubtful on which of these 
governments to rely, that many of die most distinguished natives 
realized what tliey could of their fortunes, and embarked with their 
families, in search of another country, where security of person and 
property could be found. The U.iitcd States of America, and 
the West India Islands received many thousands of them. 

It is a curious and astonishing proof of the imherility of gener - 
al Bolivar's character, (of which I shall give more ihan one proof) 
that, powerlul as Tfelhen was, he suffered a young, inexperienced 
and ignorant individual, San Yago Marino, to raise himself to be 
his rival, when he might have brought him to act under his orders. 
This Eastern Dictatorship was nothing but a division of the territo- 
ry of the republic of Venezuela, as already established by the con- 
gress assembled at Caracas, in 181 1. The provinces of Cumana 
and Barcelona, tlien made an integral part of its territory, had been 
always governed by the first congress, like the other provinces of 
Venezuela, (except Guayana, Coro, and Maracaybo) and ought 
never to have been separated from them. This division of power, 
this rivalry between the two dictators, had the worst effects upon 
the welfare of the inhabitants, and upon the righteous cause of Hb- 
erty. It lessened, considerably, tlie strength of each, and increas- 
ed the power of the enemy. It was the cause of tlie extraordin- 
ary duration of the war ; and the loss of the lives of so many human 
beines more. 

When the inhabitants of the other provinces heard of general 
Bolivar's arrival at Caracas, a new hope arose for their deliverance 
and freedom, and numerous volunteers, from all quarters and 
comers, came to offer tlieir services to. the new dictator. 

The funds found in the royal treasury, and those voluntarily of 
fered, united to the revenues, should have been sufficient to 


organise these volunteers into corps, and to discipline tliem, so 
that they should have been able to expel their discouraged and 
diminished oppressors, from dieir territory forever. If general 
Bolivar had possessed coitnnon talents in the arts of war, and for 
civil government ; nay, if he would have followed the advice of 
able and experienced men, it would have been an easy task, in the 
space of three months, to finish this bloody war, and give freedom 
apd happiness to his unfortunate countrymen. 
^ In the month of August, 1813, Bqliygf was far xs\m^ pftFfgJ!^^ 
than any sovereig i now l iving irLthe world, in proportion to the 
country, and the re<;ources of the people. Both sexes, of every 
color and description, (and among thom many Spaniards, Islenos, 
monks and priest ,) were anxious to assist him, who, so solemnly 
promised them freedom and prosperity. The enthusiasm of the 
times, spread its sacred light tiirough the whole countr}' ; it awak- 
ened the indolent inhabitants of those immense stepp'^s and plains, 
known under the name of the Llaneros, who, afterwards, so singu- 
larly distinguished themselves under the orders of Paez, Sedeno, 
Jarasa, Roxas, Monagas, and others. Money, merchandise, hors- 
es, mules, cattle ; even jewel?, pearls, diamonds, golden chains, 
and other ornaments of the fair sex, were offered, with the kind- 
est readiness, to Ik>livar, to assist him in his glorious enterprise. 

Nothing, therefore, was wanting but ability to unite, classify and 
direct these vast materials and resources, and skill and inclination 
to surround himself u iih men of probity, experience, knowledge, 
talents and prudence. To them he might have confided the di- 
rection of the different and complicated branches of his new gov- 
ernment. All these they would have simplified, establishing the 
strictest economy in each department. The most successful, the 
most brilliant results, would have been obtained, and Bolivar him- 
self would have deserved to be compared with Washington. 

But to the great detriment of his country and the cause of free- 
dom, Boliva r r^?j er t<i?d th n nHvirp nf tlm fiionrU rS ratinnal I'lK^irfy 

They advised him to a course of prudence and to the enacdng of 
wise laws, and for the purpose of introducing economy and order 
into his new government. He formed a government of his own, 
such as it was. It consisted of four secretaries of state, one at the 
head of each of the departments, of the interior, of justice and 
mercy, or pardon, [dejusdaa y gracia] of the finances and of 
war. All received their orders and instructions directly from the 
dictator, with whom they wrote in his cabinet, when he had the 
leisure and pleasure to receive them. Every thing was submitted 
entirely to him, and his decision rendered a person the most fortu- 
. nate, or the most wretched being. 


He alone directed all military operations, by sea and land ; is- 
sued proclamations, and made regulations and laws. He united 
in himself all the powers and attributes of an absolute and despotic 
sovereign. Anxious for his authority, he never suffered another 
to decide in any case. Wishing to do all himself, he confused 
every thing, for every thing was done in a hurry. Moreover, Bo- 
livar, like most of his countrynien, loved ease and his pleasures, 
better than exertion. His favorite occupations were, being in tlie 
company of his numerous mistresses, and lying in his hammock 
surrounded by his flatterers. They amused him with their stories, 
and theii satyrical and witty sallies, on absent persons who had 
had the misfortune to displease tlie dictator. Tlie most important 
business was placed and left in the hands of these flatterers, par- 
ticularly of Segnorita Josephine M., his acknowledged mistress, 
who had the greatest influence over him, and who was extremely 
intrigueing and vindictive. I have seen her more than an hundred 
times, and must confess that I could hardly account for the dicta- 
tor's predilection for her. It lasted, however, until 1819. 

These occupations consumed much of his time ; die remainder 
was spent in riding out and in business. Each of his secretaries 
of departments made to him a sununary report of what had been 
transacted in his office, and also a summary proposal of what ought 
to be done. In one word, he wished to imitate Napoleon Bona- 
parte, and was highly pleased when Charles Soublctte told liim, 
in my hearing, at Campano, in May, 1816, tliat he was tlie Napo- 
leon of South America. 

Bolivar's manner of governing was very'-prejudicial in its con- 
sequences. Its defects were soon felt in the army, in tlie navy, 
in every branch of the public administration. The public revenues 
were insufhcient, and the want of money was felt every where. — 
The dictator had expended large sums upon his mistresses and 
his flatterers ; other large sums were employed in the purchase of 
arms, amunition and warlike stores from abroad. But a great part 
was spent upon die companions, flatterers, or relations of the 
dictator. They took die money, departed, and returned no more. 
This want of money was not easily supplied. The measures 
adopted by the dictator to^ procure money, were a greater evil than 
the want of it. These measures justly made him many enemies. 
Amongst others, may be cited the extraordinary taxes, arbitrarily 
laid upon individuals designated by liim, andni demanded at his 
pleasure without order or system. Some one, for example, told 
him that Don N. had sums of money concealed, or that he was an 
Onemy to the common cause. Bolivar immediately sent a detach- 
inent of liis body guards, in the niglit, to the house of N. They 
Surrounded it, and, in die name of the dictator, penetrated sudden- 



]y to his bed chamber, where the officer notified liim that his master 
wanted money, and named a sum to be given into the hands of the 
officer. At another time, the sum demanded, was required to be 
paid within a certain number of days. If the inhabitant, for what- 
ever reason, did not comply, he was put into prison, and harshly 
treated, until, by the help of friends, or in some other way, he ob- 
tained the means of complying with die demands of the dictator. 

When the impartial reader recollects what happened at Laguira 
and Caracas, in April and May, 1827, upon tlie seizure of seme 
American merchants, that they were put into prison because they 
would not pay an extraordinary tax imposed u]K)n them by the 
president Liberator, although they alleged that the govermnent 
owed them a much larger sum which they had advanced, for which 
they held treasury obligations, (vales) and that Bolivar refused 
these, and persisted in demanding their cash ; he will not be sur- 
prised on hearing what the same Bolivar did in 1813, at Caracas. 

Were I to relate all that happened during tlie twelve months of 
the dictatorship of Simon Bolivar, I should form another large 
volume. It will suffice to say, that the anarchy of Monteverde 
gave way to another anarchy more insupportable to the inhabitants 
of Venezuela, because they expected from their countrj'man any 
thing but what he actually brought upon them. 

In August, 1813, the dictator sent a body of troops, under the 
command of colonel Giraldat, to besiege the castle of Porto Ca- 
bello, the same which he himself, as its governor, had deserted a 
year before. General Monteverde, after his defeat at Maturin, had 
shut himself up in tliis place, and he was again defeated by general 
Ribas, at Ix>siaguanes. He was greatly embittered against the 
dictator Bolivar, whom he had so kindly received, and so strongly 
protected, after the active part he had taken in the arrest of gen- 
eral Miranda. Monteverde not only gave a passjx)rt to Bohvar 
and his cousin Ribas, but recommended him strongly to a mer- 
chant of Curacao (Mr. Fr. L ,) who was ready to sail ; being 

fully persuaded that Bolivar would retire and take no further active 
part in this war, he said publicly, that he had been betrayed by the 
dictator, and would have nothing more to do with him. In truth, 
Monteverde never would treat with Bolivar afienvards ; but twice 
sent back his negociators without admitting them, or tlieir letters, 
into his presence. 

The inhabitants of Porto Cabello, were exceedingly exasperated 
against Bolivar, on account of his deserting tliat fortress, while in 
command of it, and learning that he had sent a strong body of 
troops to force them to surrender, they made every effort in their 
power to resist him. They first set an example of resistance to 
the garrison, by organizing and arming themselves at their own ex- 


pense, and by openly declaring that they would make every sacri- 
fice in their power, before they would submit to be placed again 
under the power of that commander. 

The dictator, apprised of what passed in tlie interior of the 
place, gave orders to blockade it by sea and land. But the squad- 
ron could not intercept die five transports from Cadiz with 1500 
chosen troops, under die command oi colonel Salomon, besides a 
great supply of arms, ammunition and other warlike stores. 

Before the arrival of this convoy at Porto Cabello, it directed 
its course towards Laguira, which its commander supposed to be 
stiQ in the possession of the Spaniards ; but general Ribas had 
taken it some time before. He had only 400 men, and these 
poorly equiped and disciplined. He was a skilful, brave and ac- 
tive man. When the squadron was descried, he truly supposed 
them to be Spanish vessels, and immediately ordered tlie Venezu- 
elan, to be exchanged for tlie Spanish colors. This convinced 
the squadron that the place remained under the power of Spain. 
It approached and anchored about half a gun shot from the bat- 
teries of Laguira. The proper dispositions were made to land 
the troops, which consisted of the fine strong regiment of La Gre- 
nada, commanded by colonel Salomon, and of some artillerists. 

Ribas meanwhile had disposed every thing so to receive them 
as to destroy, with one blow, the hopes of the enemy. He set at 
liberty some Spanish officers who had been made prisoners of war ; 
and, among them, the former governor of Laguira, Don Felix 
Marmon. These he compelled to put themselves in full uniform. 
Ribas then made a short and energetic speech to his own troops, 
who were frightened and discouraged by their situation, and be- 
lieved they should all be taken and lost. This speech inspired 
them with confidence, and every one repaired with spirit to his 

Eost. Moreover, Ribas, having with him an intelligent, cunning 
;leno, named Don Jose Antonio Maloni, as soon as the squadron 
had weighed anchor, he sent this man on board, promising him 
great rewards in case of his fidelity, and the success of his strata- 
gem. He instructed Maloni to present himself before the Spanish 
commodore, as the secretary of the Spanish governor, Marmon, 
and to invite him and his principal officers, to do his master the 
honor of coming on shore, and partaking of a dinner prepared for 
them, where the governor was anxious to receive his good 
fiiends and companions in arms. The commodore on hearing the 
name of Marmon, was highly pleased to find that his good old ac- 
quaintance was on shore ; and gave the necessary orders to put 
out the long boat. Meanwhile, colonel Salomon came on deck, 
and examined the place, (Laguira,) with his spy glass. He won- 
dered at seeing so few people on the quay and m the streets, as he 


had been told by some officers on board, that this port was crowd- 
ed with busy people. He communicated his observations to the 
commodore, and advised him to take tlie precaution of first send- 
ing some officers on shore, who might ascertain the true state of 
the place, and return immediately and report it to him. The com- 
modore followed the advice. 

When Ribas saw the boat approaching, he sent the commandant 
Marmon dressed in full uniform, upon the quay, to receive his 
coutrymcn. He had instructed Marmon how to act, and vibat to 
say to the strangers, and had assured him of instant death in case 
of his deviation. He also dressed a number of his own officers, 
on whom he could rely, in Spanish uniforms, belonging to the offi- 
cers who were his prisoners of war, and sent them to accompany 
Marmon, as a kind of staff. He gave them particular orders to 
watch his movements, and to kill him, upon the least suspicious 
action or sign ; and, with these orders, he took care to acquaint 
Marmon. The boat arrived at the quay, but none of the officers 
landed, notwithstanding tlie reiterated and pressing invitations of 
Marmon to them, to come on shore, where he said a good dinner 
waited for tliem at his house, and diat he would send his long boat 
on board the commodore, and bring him to join tlie party. The 
officers replied, only by desiring tlie commander's order, to take 
him on board the commodore, who would be very glad to see him. 
After some other conversations from among tlie crowd assem- 
bled, voices were heard to say " It is a treachery ! " The officers 
pulled instantly from the quay, and arrived in great consternation, 
on board the cominodore. to whom tliey made tlieir re|)ort. The 
batteries of the place, and the surrounding forts, previously pre- 
pared for action by general Ribas, now opened a heavy fire upon 
the squadron, which greatly damaged their vessels, and killed 
about 200 of their iu'mi. 

In one of tiie sorties of the garrison of Porto Cabello, colonel 
Giraldat, commander of the patriots, was killed by a musket shot. 
His death sj)rea(l such terror among his remaining troops, that 
they hastily raised the seige, leaving behind them, their artillcrj', 
ammunition, bag;!;age, kc. 

Considering the deatii of colonel Giraldat as an ordinar}' occur- 
rence of war, every one was surprised, when the dictator Bolivar, 
ordered extraordinary funeral services to be performed in honor of 
him. Many songs (which at the present day) were composed 
in honor of Giraldat, representing him as a most extraorilinary 

Monteverde gave the regiment of Grenada some days rest, after 
its arrival at Porto Cabello. Col. Salomon, on learning the origin 
of the usurped power and grandeur of Monteverde, became jeal- 


ous and offended against a commander whom he considered far 
inferior to himself. This had fatal consequences, for the Span- 
iards in Venezuela. When Monteverde ordered Salomon to put 
his regiment in readiness to join him, that they might march 
their united troops against Bolivar and Urdaneta, who were 
posted at Valencia, Salomon refused to give him a man from the 
corps under his immediate command, and declared publicly that 
Monteverde was not wortliy to give him any order. And such 
was the weakness of Monteverde's character, that, instead of pun- 
ishing him, he condescended in the kindest and humblest manner, 
to beseech him that he would be so good, at least, as to follow 
with his regiment. Salomon consented, but, as we shall see, from 
that time, more heartily despised him. 

Monteverde took from his garrison 600 very badly armed and 
disciplined militia men, and marched them, by the road of Agua 
Caliente, towards Valencia. He was followed by Salomon's regi- 
ment, about 1300 strong, upon which he relied entirely. He ad- 
vanced to Naguanagua, a small village not two leagues distant 
from Valencia, witliout the least rencontre ; but without any care 
whether he was followed by colonel Salomon or not. The dicta- 
tor, apprised of the approach of tlie enemy, gave order immedi- 
ately to evacuate, where he was with the strong division of gener- 
al Urdaneta, and to retire toward the defiles of La Cabrera. 'JTliere 
he entrenched himself. He ordered this hasty retreat, believing 
that all the forces from Porto Cabello were coming together upon 
him. But no sooner was he apprised witli certainty, that it was 
Monteverde with no more than 500 militia men, and that the regi- 
ment of Grenada was vet remaining very quiet at Agua Caliente, 
seven leagues distant from Naguanagua, tlian he came back and 
gave orders to attack Monteverde. The latter not only resisted a 
torce tliree times as strong as his own, but began to repulse them. 
Bolivar was, as usual, at some distance behind, and could not 
therefore rally his troops. But genera! Urdaneta, putting himself 
at the head of his division, attacked and routed the enemy. Mon- 
teverde received a musket shot in the neck, which fractured his 
jaw, and in part caused tlie loss of tlie action. The Spanish gen- 
eral retreated, with tlie remainder of his troops, towards Porto 

Bolivar and Urdaneta, now marched upon the regiment of 
Grenada, which they encountered in a place too narrow to admit 
the display of the whole force, on either side. The Spaniards, 
after some exchange of musketry, drove the patriots back ; but 
Salomon, instead of pursuing his advantage, ordered a retreat. — 
He entered Porto Cabello, with his regiment, on the 6th October; 
and received the well deserved reproaches of Monteverde. The 

54 MENOiai or bqlivar. 

ktter, being unable any longer to command the former, bemg next 
in rank, took command of the Spanisli army. 

Several other actions were fous:ht, which cost many lives on 
both sides, without any important result. Bolivar being informed 
that Monteverde no longer commanded in Porto Cabello, sent a 
new negotiator to colonel Salomon. He chose for this military 
commission, Don Salvador Gauia, spriest. After the usual for- 
malities, the priest was introduced before the council of war, which 
assembled for the purpose. He began a long sermon, as if be had 
been in tlie pulpilt. ^^ What are you doing gentlemen ?" said he, 
*^ would it not be better for you to surrender, and to live in peace 
and quietness, than to expose yourselves to the horrors of a siege, 
during which, you would have to struggle against hunger and all 
kinds of misery," iic, iic. Who would have imagined that such 
a singular and ridiculous speech, delivered to soldiers, iixnild have 
made such an impression upon the officers present, as to gain three 
fourtlis of them in favor of the proposal to capitulate ? But, one 
present, who was commander of the militia, and a merchant at 
Porto Cabello, was so shocked with tlie tliought of capitulation, 
that he rose from his seat, and spoke vehemently against it. He 
ended his speech by saying, that "those who were afraid to defend 
the place, might go whithersoever they pleased to go." He brought 
over the majority to his opinion, and the proposal of the Dictator 
was rejected. The clcrg}'man thought proper to remain, and left 
Bolivar and his cause, and embarked, afterwards, with general 
Monteverde, for the island of Curacao. 

The patriots, after having defeated the Spanish forces under 
Cevallos and Yancs, directed their attention against Boves, who 
had considerably augmented his forces. Since he received tlie 
authority of general Casjisjal, to raise a separate corps, without 
limiting its number, he had assembled a great many slaves, and 
colored vagabonds, had opened prisons, and other places of con- 
finement, had armed them, as well as he could, and had organ- 
ized them in bodies of different arms. It was a confused assem- 
blage of vagabonds and criminals of every description, who engaged 
themselves in the hope of plunder ; in the prospect of committing 
every jx)ssihle crime with impunity. Morales was tlie second in 
command of these troops, which afterwards increased to 8000 
men, and which the Spaniards themselves commonly designated 
by the name of (la division infernale) the infernal di\ision. These 
two chiefs, witli their subahern commanders, Piiy, Rosette, Mar- 
hado, and others, in all their marches, constantly left traces ol' 
blood, and of tlie most barbarous cruellies, of which I will relate 
some shocking instances, in their proper places. 


When Boves left general Cagigal before Maturin, he retired to 
Calabezo, whither Marino went with 1000 men to attack and sur- 
prise him ; confident of destroying tliis new enemy. But Boves, 
with his 500 men, not only repulsed him, but routed him after a 
short conflict, on tlie 13th December, IS 13. 

Boves now took very active measures to augment his forces. 
He levied heavy taxes, and extraordinary contributions upon the 
inhabitants of the surrounding countries, threatening tliem with fire 
and sword, in case of refusal to pay them. He acted as if he had 
been absolute master and commander in chief. He took no ad- 
vice. He entirely disregarded tlie authority of Monteverde, 
whom he considered as a usurper, and despised as a weak man. 
He organised a great number of guerillas, which procured him 
money, men, horses and mules ; and began his operations by at- 
tacking Camacagua, where he made some prisoners. He marched 
upon Vittoria, Rosette, Mumara, and the town of Chaguaramas, 
where he routed the enemy. 

He again established his head quarters at Calabazo, whence he 
sent out different parties, which took possession of the positions of 
Charaguave, in the neighborhood of Caracas. 


Discontent of the inhabitants of Venezuela with the Dictatorial 
Government — Convention held at Caracas — Skirmish of Flora 
— Execution of 1200 Spfiniards by order of Bolivar— Action 
of San Mateo — Sending of Deputies to London by order of the 
Dictator— Victory of the Patriots. 1 8 1 3—1 4. 

The rapid and unexpected success of Boves, and his sudden 
appearance in the neighborhood of the capital of Caracas, the in- 
surrection of various towns and places of the interior not distant 
from Caracas, in favor of the Spaniards, the vexations of the 
agents of the dictator, and his arbitrary measures, by which the 
public misery increased daily, made a very unfavorable impres- 
sion on the minds of the Caraguins. The majority loudly imputed 
the fault to tlie dictator, Bolivar. They accused him of establish- 
ing a military and despotic government, putting the finances into 
the greatest disorder, neglecting to organize and discipline the 
troops, which were in a miserable condition, of having constantly 


Opposed the formation of a Congress, of uniting and zealously re- 
taing the three powers in himself, in spite of the advice of the true 
friends of liberty. 

They complained that he acted as a sovereign and absolute 
master, in following no other law than his own will, and many 
times his caprice. The fair sex, and particularly his favorite mis- 
tress, Segnorita Josephine Ma , commonly called Segnorita 

Pepa, had the greatest influence in many nominations. Many 
young men, relations and friends of tlicse female favorites, and 
who had no otlier merit, obtained grades in the army, and lucra- 
tive offices, in preference to otliers. One of them, Charles Sou- 
blette, had, as I was assured, risen in a very brilliant and rapid 

The dictator was soon apprised of the general dissatisfaction, 
and perceiving his delicate situation, he followed tlie advice of 
some friends in assembling a kind of junta, composed of the most 
influential inhabitants of Caracas, which was held in the convent 
of San Francisco, in the capital, January 1st, 1814. His inten- 
tions were to soothe tlie spirit of discontent, by appearing to com- 
ply with tlie general wish, by establishing a congress, and by 
rendering a favorable account of his administration during the 
dictatorship. He appeared on the 1st of Januar}', 1814, in thb 
well attended assembly, surrounded by a numerous and brilliant 
retinue of his officers, tlie secretaries of state, war, and justice, and 
followed by a strong body guard. The square before the con- 
vent, and the streets through which he had to pass, were occupied 
by the troops. The tliree secretaries read long memoirs, in wliicb 
each one gave an account of tlic transactions of his department. 
After this, the dictator, placed uj)ou an elevated armed chair, 
rose and spoke as follows. 

" Citizens, The hatred vowed to tyranny caused my departure 
from Venezuela, when I perceived my countr}' a second time in 
chains ; and the love of liberty called me back from the distant 
banks of tlie Magdalena. I have overcome all obstacles which op- 
posed my march to liberate my country from the cruUties and hor- 
rors of the Spaniards. My efforts have succeeded ; the colossal 
power of the enemy has been destroyed, &u;. 

" I have consented to accept and keep the supreme power, in 
order to save you from anarchy, and to destroy tlie enemies who 
would have supported the party of tyranny. I have given you 
laws ; I have organized an administration for justice and the finan- 
ces ; finally, I have given you a government. 

" Citizens, I am not the sovereign ; your representatives will 
give you laws. The revenues of the government are not the 
property of those who govern you. Judge now, yourselves, and 


^thout partiality, if I have sought the power to elevate myself 
above you, or if I have lot sacrificed my life, my soul, every minute 
of my time, to constitute you ^ nation, to augment your means, or 
rather to create them." 

^' I now aspire to transmit this power to the representatives 
^which you will choose, and I am convinced, citizens, that you will 
give me leave to resign an office whicb many among you are com- 
petent to occupy ; and my only request is, that you will leave me 
the only honor to which I aspire, that of continuing to combat 
your enemies; then I will never rest until I see liberty established 
in my country." 

This speech was greatly applauded, and various motions were 
made. In one, the orator proposed to erect a statue to the dicta- 
tor, which he had the good sense positively to decline. But 
aoother, Don Hurtado de Mendoza^ the same who was lately sent 
by the president-liberator, minister plenipotentiary to London, and 
vho, in May, 1S2S, was arrested at Kingston, in the island of Ja- 
maica, for a debt, contracted in London, of £3000 sterling, and 
was released upon bail. This person made a long speech, exert- 
ing himself to prove tlie necesnty of leaving the supreme power in 
the hand4 of general Bolivar^ until the congress ol New Grenada 
could meet, and the two great provinces, the latter, and Venezuela 
be united under one government. 

This proposal in direct opposition to the sentiments of the as- 
sembly, was, nevertheless, adopted, because no one dared to op- 
pose it, in die presence of the dictator^ and his powerful retinue. 
Bolivar was therefore confirmed dictator of tlie western part of 
Venezuela, and nothing further was ever mentioned of the convo- 
cation of a congress, nor of any change in the present govera- 

I have translated a great part of the speech of general Bolivar, 
for tlie purpose of making a short comment. This, like the great- 
er part of his speeches and proclamations, contains the same sen- 
timents, and about. the same protestations; all are filled with high 
phrases of devotion to the cause of liberty, and of love and attach- 
ment to his country, of profound submission to the will of the 
people, and above all, of a desire to resign his office, and to enter 
into the common class of simple citizens. From 1814, until the 
present day, (July 1828,) he has oflered his resignation on every 
occasion. But in fact, general Bolivar has never ceased to pos- 
sess the supreme power. A man who firmly resolves to resign 
power, IS always able to do it. What did general Washington i 
und what has the present liberator done from 1812, to the present 


Some well informed persons are con6dent that Bolivar, through 
some friends, suggested to Don Hurtado the idea of making this 
proposal, in tliat assembly, for the purpose of sounding public opin- 
ion. If we compare this fact with what has happened in Angos- 
tura, in Lima, in Bogota, in Carthagena, and now in Ocana« the 
ground of such confidence will be by no means doubted. Gen- 
eral Boli\ar m his last message to the national convention, assem- 
bled at Ocana, in the pvovince of Carthagena, containing four 
closely printed columns of the Gazeta del Gobiemo, dated Bo- 
gota, February 29th, 1828, speaks much more plainly, and gives 
us to understand tliat the military jx)wer is the support of civil 
society. He calls the members of the assembly, the legitimate 
representatives of Colombia, delegates from the people, " that 
sovereign authority of which he is the subject and soldier, and 
resigns into their hands the mace of the president, and the sword 
of the general." He draws a most appalling picture of the disor- 
der, and dangers of the republic. The main suggestions of the 
message, are, that rights and selfish interests were alone heeded, 
but duties forgotten ; that the public credit was threatened with 
utter ruin ; that the government was essentially ill constituted, all 
power being concentrated in tlie legislature ; that the right of suf- 
frage, was too cheap, and too much diffused ; that the juris 

diction of civil authority in military cases ought to be no longer 
tolerated ; tliat the want o( a general system of police pro - - 
duced great confusion, and the grossest abuses ; that the spirit ot_ 
the army was sensibly deteriorated, owing partly to its subjectiooi^ 
to the civil tribunals, whose doctrines are (atal to the strict disci- 
pline, the passive submission and blind obedience, which form th^ 
basis of military power, the support of the whole society ; thac 
subordination and discipline had been greatly relaxed too, by the 
obloquy which was cast upon the head of the party by the writings 
of subaherns, and by the application of political principles to the 
military law, or police ; that the army did not receivehalfits pay ; 
that all the public officers, except those of the treasury, had suf- 
fered the greatest misery and distress ; that Colombia could not 
expect to be regarded or valued by foreign states, unless her in- 
ternal affairs were well managed — in short, that a new destribution 
of power, inexorable laws, were imperatively demanded ; that a 
stronger executive is indispensable ; a firm, vigorous, and just gov- 
ernment is the cry of the country. The liberator finishes this 
long message by representing himself as a simple citizen, no long- 
er distinct from the multitude, and imploring from the convention 
a system under which the laws should be obeyed, the magistrate 
respected, and the people free. 


We see in this remarkable and characteristic document, the se- 
cret wishes of the president-liberator, expressed in very clear and 
distinct terms. But to return to Caracas. 

The dictatorial power was, in consequence of Hurtado's propo- 
sal, continued for the government of those provinces of Venezu- 
ela in the power of Bolivar and Marino. Meanwhile the Span- 
iards gained more ground and greater forces. Among the latter, 
Boves was most formidable, in regard to his skill, his activity and 
audacity. Boves departed, February 1st, with 600 infantry, and 
1500 horse, from Calabezo, surprised the advance guard of the 
patriots at Flores, and put every one of them to the sword. He 
marched afterwards against the corps of general Campo Elias, 
posted near the village of San Juan de los Morros, routed him, 
and killed all the prisoners. Boves was wounded, and forced to 
establish his head quarters in the city of La Vila del Cura. He 
detached from thence two columns, one under the command of 
captain Rosette, and the other under Morales, with orders to 
march upon the city of Caracas. 

The inhabitants of this capital, alarmed at the approach of the 
enemy, raised in the greatest haste, 1000 men, entrusted them 
with the defence of the city, and gave them two field pieces. 

The Spanish division, under Yanes, beaten on the 5th Decem- 
ber at Araura, wa«* totally routed. He retired to Nutrias, and 
from thence to San Fernando de A pure, where he recruited quick- 
ly, so as to be enabled to take the field. He attacked the city of 
Ospino on the 2d of February, and in the midst of the action, a re- 
publican column returning from Jugute, attacked suddenly his right 
flank ; Yanes came up in support of this wing with a company of 
carbiniers, and received two musket balls, which killed him. The 
Spaniards came in disorder, but Calzada took the command, 
rallied them, attacked the enemy, and forced its retreat. 

Calzada established his head quarters, the 1 9th, at Araura. Col. 
Cevallos marched, February 3d, towards Morituco, arrived March 
7th at Tacaraqua, and on the 9th surprised the enemy before Bar- 

Julsmeto, under the command of general Urdaneta, and colonel 
lllapol. They fought bravely, but their position having been 
turned by the regiment of New Grenada, they were beaten, with 
the loss of about 200 men. The Spaniards entered Barquismeto, 
where they committed many cruelties upon the remaining inhabit- 
ants ; Cevallos marched from thence towards Quibor and Tocuyo. 
The dictator Bolivar, having been informed that the Spanish 
chieftains, particularly Boves and Morales, had committed great 
cruelties wherever they passed, and had put to death prisoners, 
peaceable inhabitants, nay even women and children, and all who 
appeared to them not attached to their cause, ordered the arrest of 


til the Spaniards and Islenos settled at Caracas and litgiiairs, and 
published the 8tli of February, 1814, a manifesto, in which he 
announced tlie arrest, and his intention to put ail these individuals, 
together with the Spanish*brisoners of war, to deaths as a retaliation 
for the victims who had fallen by the cruely of the Spaniards. 
He announced the execution of this sentence to be at Caracas and 
Laguaira, the 14th, I5th, and I6th of February. 

This bloody sentence was efTectually executed upon 1253 Span- 
iards and Islenos, prisoners of war, merchants, and others, who 
bad never taken arms against the dictator, and who were establish- 
ed in Curacao and Laguaira. Of these, 823 were shot at Caracas, 
and 430 at Laguaira. These executions lasted the three appoint- 
ed days, without any other trial or judgment. The dictator would 
bear no representation, no entreaty. Nothing could save them. 
Amongst these victims, were men unable to walk by reason of in- 
firmity, or age, many of them being 80 years old, and upwards. 
They were put into an arm chair strongly tied, drawn to the place 
of execution and shot ! — Those who at that lime lived at Caracas or 
in Laguaira, have assured me of this notorious fact. It can also be 
found in a printed manifesto, which the Spanish Junta ordered to 
be published, after ihe evacuation of Caracas by the dictator, (July 
1814,) together with the details of this horrid butchery, and oT 
some very pathetic scenes between tliese victims and their survi- 
ving families. 

Boves soon recovered from his wound, and on the 12th of Feb. 
attacked the patriots under Ribas, not far from Victoria, and was- 
totally routed. In this bloody conflict, neither party kept any 
prisoners ; all were killed after the action. But Ribas, instead ot 
piirsuing his advantage, and endeavoring to destroy the forces of*^ 
Boves, left the command of his troops to colonel Campo Elias^ 
who remained quiet at Valencia, while the general returned to^ 
Caracas. Bolivar, observing with anxiety the rapid progress otf 
the Spaniards, united at Valencia all bis disposable forces, an(V 
marched against Boves on the 19th of Feb. He marched towards 
San Mateo, while a small squadron of armed boats and transports* 
loaded with troops, were passing along the shores of the beautifu 
lake Valencia, to protect the plantations of tobacco, much of wbici 
was raised in this district. 

Boves having promptly rallied his routed troops, with the re 
mainder of his division, marched to San Mateo to meet the dicta 
tor, and while the latter was at his conniry seat, occupied all lb 
surrounding hills. Boves expecting Bolivar to come and attac 
him, was disappointed. The dictator remained quiet in his her 
quarters. He tried to surprise Bolivar, hut was repelled. I 
now made a nut de guerre^ which succeeded. He tried to c 


ceive the patriots in the vallpy, by attacking their posts, which 
were soon supported by the remainder of the troops. By feign- 
ing a retreat, he drew them into an ambush of a strong body of 
cavalry, having black colors at the end of their lances, which fell 
suddenly, with loud cries, upon the rear and wings, while Boves 
assailed them in front. Very few of Bolivar's troops were able 
to escape. The dictator and some of his officers saved their lives 
by the speed of their horses. 

The dictator and his staff were just called to dinner, when the 
attack commenced. A few hours after, Boves and his officers 
entered, gaily, and sat down to the dinner prepared for the former. 
Boves, on leaving San Mateo, burned the house, and destroyed its 
appurtenances. The military operations, on both sides, were di- 
rected with so little order, that continual changes took place in the 
occupation of cities and ground. No one could depend upon con- 
tinuing to possess even a small farm, far less a town or a province. 
Daily skirmishes took place, followed by cruelties upon the de- 
fenceless inhabitants, who were daily in danger of being vexed or 
murdered. To relate all these little actions, which ruined tlie 
country, without any benefit to either of the contending parties, 
would be increasing the pages of this limited work, without any 
advantage to the reader. 1 will, therefore, relate here no trans- 
actions but those of the greatest interest. 

The Spaniards, whose forces increased rapidly, saw the neces- 
sity of having more union in their operations, and particularly of 
having a commander-in-chief. Monieverde having, in conse- 
quence of his wound, embarked from Porto Cabello, for the isl- 
and of Curacao, where he spent, during several months, one hun- 
dred dollars daily, for the expense of his table. This fact alone,* 
affords convincing proof of the vexations and plunder commuted 
on the Main during the command of Monteverde, who had been, 
as I have mentioned, a poor and destitute subaltern. 

General Cagigal received his nomination as captain-general and 
commander-in-chief of the Spanish army, in April, captain-gener- 
al Millares having retired. He arrived from Angostura with a 
numerous retinue, at San Carlos, where Cevallos and Calzada 
were waiting for him with their troops. He took the command in 
chief, ordered large supplies of ammunition and other warlike stores 
from Porto Cabello, also 400 horses from other parts of Venezu- 
ela, and recruited a large number of men. 

Meanwhile, the dictator made an attempt to gain the protection 
of the British government. On tlie 12ih of May, he sent off the 

*I have this fact, from the mUtreM of the boarding boufe at Curacao, where be lived. 


colonels, Linode Clemente, and John Robertson, for London, in 
order to obtain favorable treaties of commerce, and other supports. 
They embarked at Laguaira, in the English frigate Palma, the com- 
mander of which offered them passage. On their arrival at St. 
Thomas's, the Danish governor refused to admit them in their di- 
plomatic character, and they returned to Laguaira and Caracas. 
The dictator occupied with more important concerns, relinquished 
the plan and thought of it no more. 

Laguiara, being besieged by a strong body of Bove's troops, 
general Piar marched in support of the city. The besiegers were 
attacked, and routed with the loss of 400 men ; and were com- 
pelled to raise the siege. 

The Gazette Extraordinary of Caracas, published the 31st of 
May, 1814, stated that, 

" A general artillery salvo, fired at 8 o'clock this morning, an- 
nounced to the inhabitants, the brilliant and decisive victory eained 
by the re|)ublican army over the Spaniards, on the plains of Car- 
abozo. The following is the official account." 

" I have tlie satisfaction to inform your Excellency of the com- 
plete victory of our army over that of Spain, under the command 
of general Cagigal and colonel Cevallos, in this savannas of Cara- 
bozo, at six leagues distance from the city, (Valencia.) Their 
troops have been totally destroyed, with little loss on our side. 
They left on the field of battle, all their artillery, munitions, bag- 
gage, a great many dead, 2000, horses, all that had belonged to 
them, colors, drums, arms, forges, &;c, included. The few re- 
maining soldiers fled in the woods, and w^ere pursued on all sides. 
Sixty or seventy horsemen, with Cevallos, barely escaped ; our 
squadrons pursuing them with ardor, &cc. &lc. 


Head Quarters at Valenaia, 29tli May, 1814." 

From this time, which was the ne plus ultra of the patriot 
achievements under the dictatorship, their star declined, and that 
of Spain once more gained the ascendant. The misfortunes of 
the patriots were the natural result of the inactivity in which their 
leaders indulged, who, instead of pursuing the advantages they 
gained, and making every exertion to destro) the remnant of the 
Spanish forces, particularly by attacking Boves, relied too much 
on their partial successes, and gave the enemy time to recruit, and 
to supply all their losses. 

Moreover, the dictator Bolivar had made himself many ene- 
mies by his haughty manner, his arbitrary conduct, and his contra- 
dictory decress and regulations, given one day and revoked anoth- 


er ; but especiaUy by having never taken a single step towards 
convening a congress, and carefully avoiding every occasion to 
comply with the wishes of a majority of the people. The still 
heavy, extraordinary taxes, and the forced contributions, paid from 
the beginning of his dictatorship, were increased, to defray the pub- 
lic expenses ; commerce and industry being gready reduced by 
the heavy duties paid at the custom house ; and by the protracted 
war, in which the slaves were called to take anns, upon the prom- 
ise of their liberty. 

The army, if such a band of badly clothed, ill armed, and poor- 
ly disciplined men, can be so called, were neither regularly paid, 
fed, nor drilled. Those who belonged to his staff and to his nu- 
merous body guard, were much better treated than the rest. This 
created great jealousy and disaffection among the others. The 
effect was, that when, some months afterwards, the Spaniards again 
took possession of Caracas, Laguaira, Valencia j &;c, thousands of 
these troops passed over to the Spanish army. 

During the inactivity o( Bolivar, the enemy had full time to re- 
pair his losses. Captain-general Cagigal was by no means a good 
military officer, but he was an excellent administrator, a good poli- 
tician, a man of great humanity and feeling, polite and popular — 
and these qualities gained him many partizans. 

After his defeat, he retreated to San Carlos, and Cevallos 
to Barquisimeto ; at which places they both employed their 
utmost exertions to rally their scattered troops, remount their 
cavalry, fcc. 

Such was the state of things in Venezuela, that in spite of daily 
fighting, nothing had been gained by the republicans, for want 
of able and skillful leaders, as will be shown in the following 



Botes — Battle of La Puerta — Defeat and flight of the ttpo Duta- 
tors — Caracas in the power of the Spaniards — Bolivar and 
Marino embark at Cumana — Their reception at Margarita and 
Carvpano — Their arrival at Carthagena — Memoir jvstifica- 
five — Secret history of their conduct at Carthagena — Factions 
and party spirit in this city — Particulars of what happened in 
the assembly of the legislative body at Carthagena — PersecvL- 
tions of the author. Year 1814. 

Among all the Spanish enemies of the dictator, at that time, 
Boves was undoubtedly the most dangerous ; the bravest and raost 

Eowerful. A short account of his life and actions may, perhaps, 
e interesting, 
Joseph Thomas Boves was one of those partizan chieftains, dis- 
tinguished by his activity, audacity, bravery, skill and cruelty, which 
a time of civil war raises from a low station, to the summit of pow- 
er, for tlie terror and the torment of tliose, who unfortunately fall 
within their reach. 

He was a Castilian by birth, and of very low extraction. He 
came to the Main before the revolution, as a serjeant of the ma- 
rine corps, and obtained the command of a gun boat, employed in 
watching the coast, to prevent fraud upon the customs. Instead of 
seizing the smugglers, he was gained over, and'proiected tliem ; and 
being delected and denounced, he was cashiered, and punished 
with some months confinement. He had acquired some money, 
and had began to be a pedlar, travelling from the plains to the 
capital, and back to the plains ; and in this way gained his liveli- 
hood. When the revolutionary war began, his ambition awoke 
and he intrigued so well that he was named captain of militia. As 
such, he accompanied general Cagigal in I SI 3, in his march 
against Maturin, of which an account has been given in a preceding 
chapter.* Many instances of his barbarous cruelty, which ren- 
dered him the terror and the scourge of the Venezuelans, have been 
also related. He received in the action of the 5th December 1814, 
a wound with a lance, and died soon after, a brigadier general. 

•See Chapter VI. 


In the last chapter, some account was given of the condition of 
the contending parties. Amongst tlie Spaniards, Boves was de- 
cidedly the most powerful in numbers and in military daring. His 
infernal division, as the Spaniards called it, was a band of black 
and colored people, who, animated by the hope of plunder and 
the prospect of committing all crimes with impunity, and by the 
highest expectation of reward in case of successs, fought with per- 
fect desperation. 

Boves having speedily united his forces, marched in June, 
from Calabozo against the two dictators, Bolivar and Marino, who 
had foimed their junction at La Puerta, a small place between La 
Villa de Cura and the city of San Juan de Los Morros. The Span- 
iards attacked them the 14th of the same month, routed them com- 
pletely, killed and took from them over 1500 men, seven guns, 
their baggage, &c. Bolivar fled in full speed towards Caracas, 
and Marino to Cumana. Colonel Diego Talon was made prison- 
er, and hanged the day after the batde, in the city of Cura ; more 
than 60 officers were shot by order of Boves. 

By this victory, the latter became master of the beautiful plains 
of Aragua ; he also intercepted the communications of the capital 
with the interior, with the corps which besieged Porto Cabello, 
and with the garrison in the fort of La Cabrera. He marched 
without loss of time against tlie latter, routed a party of patriots, 
and marched upon Valencia, where the independents had fortified 
themselves ; Boves forced them to retire into the principal street, 
which was strongly barricadoed. He left a strong corps to besiege 
them, and marched with the remainder of his division to force 
the patriots to raise the siege of Porto Cabello. These, advised 
of his approach, retreated in the night of the 20th of June, and 
marched towards Ocumare, where they embarked for Laguira. 

Boves entered the fortress of Porto Cabello the 1 st of July, 
where he received the news of his advancement to the grade of 
colonel in tlie Spanish army. On the 2d, he again marched against 
Valencia, with the resolution to order an assault and to force the 
patriots in their entrenchments. They were compelled to surren- 
der by capitulation. He detached two columns to march through 
different roads upon Caracas. One commanded by colonel Ra- 
mon Gonzales marched through Los Cocuisas, where he attacked 
a patriot corps which had retired precipitately towards Los Teques, 
upon Bolivar's sending advice to its commander, general Ribas, 
that the enemy, with a second column, had entered the other road 
and directed its march towards Los Teques. This was the other 
colimm of Boves, led by colonel Mendoza. The colunrn of Gon- 
zales followed its march ahnost to San Pedro, in order to call off 



the attention of the enemy, and in case of need, to assist colonel 

General Ribas, instead of the dictator Bolivar, rallying all the 
disposable forces in the capital, marched at the head of the di- 
vision against Gonzales, who had not 500 men, whilst Bolivar and 
Ribas were more tlian 1200 strong, in order to rout him, and then 
to fall upon the second column and save Caracas. But Bolivar, 
quite discouraged, listened to tlic advice of some weak friends, and 
held various conferences with tlie archbishop, (who, during the 
dictatorship, had remained at Caracas,) to advise with him ^^ wheth- 
er it would not be best to evacuate tlie city and to leave it in the 
power of tlie Spaniards ?" General Ribas was invited to these 
conferences ; he indignandy refused, and preferred putting himself 
at the head of the troops, to consulting a prelate who was general- 
ly known to be secretly in favor of Spain. 

The spirit of the inhabitants was by this time much changed. 
Their confidence in the dictatorial government was of course great- 
ly diminished, by their seeing, that in spite of their great sacrifices 
during a wiiole year, the state of Venezuela still remained misera- 
ble and defenceless ; Caracas having no money, no provisions, no 
ammunition, the army, so called, no clothing, nor good organization 
or discipline. The dictator himself felt it necessary to abandon 
the place, and he did so in great haste. 

Colonel Gonzales, who marched through Viitoria towards And- 
mano at two leagues distance from Caracas, found the remainder 
of the discouraged division of Ribas, which he attacked. Ribas 
himself fought bravely, but his division could not withstand the 
force of Gonzales, and he was obliged to retreat. This excited 
gteat consternation among the inhabitants, who confided in the 
military skill and bravery of general Ribas, rather than in the 

Caracas and Laguira were evacuated in haste, and Bolivar re- 
tired with the remainder of his troops upon Barcelona and Cuma- 
na, ordering die vessels lying in the harbor of Laguira to follow 

The inhabitants of Caracas were again left in the power of the 
Spaniards. Bolivar rcquesved the archbishop to preside in the 
Junta entrusted with the affairs of the city, and left them to 
miserable fate. The Junta sent some deputies to colonel Gonza 
les, commending to him the care of die city and its inhabitants-i^ -s« 
He entered Caracas the 17th July, 1814. 

The Patriots had some hopes in the division of generalUrdanetJ 
and die troops which the dictator might rally in his retreat on Bar- 
celona ; but the former, after having occupied Barquisimeto, ant 


reinforced his division, arrived from TruxiUo, and was attacked 
by colonel CevaUos ; and Bolivar found himself suddenly be- 
sieged and surrounded by the inhabitants of Barcelona and its en- 
virons, who revolted, and declared in favor of the Spaniards. 
They marched against him, with a strong body of cavah-y in the 
retreat upon Cumana and Maturin, whilst a column of the divis- 
ion of Boves pursued and harrassed his rear guard. The dicta- 
tor retreated with his troops to Arguita, not far distant from Bar- 
celona, where Boves attacked and routed him the 8th of August. 
The dictator lost four field pieces, about a thousand muskets, and 
his baggage and more than 1500 men were killed and wounded. 
Bolivar seeing no longer any hope of safety, secretly, in the 
same night, left his troops, and departed with his cousin, general 
Ribas, some aid de camps, and good guides, who conducted him 
through by roads in safety to the city of Cumana, where he ar- 
rived the night of the 24th. He remained a few moments, and 
then immediately embarked on board the Bianchi, where he 
judged himself safe. Marino, with some of his officers, followed 
him soon after. 

General Ribas had in vain employed all his exertions to prevail 
upon the dictator not to despair so soon, but to remain, to rally the 
troops, and to fortify Cumana. He told diem that by embarking, 
they would discourage their countrymen, and ruin the cause of 
liberty. But his expostuhiuons were of no avail ; the two dicta- 
tors were so anxious to depart, tliat they ordered the commander 
of the squadron, Joseph Bianchi, to cut his cables, and to sail 
without the least loss of time. Ribas, and some other officers, 
were highly displeased with tliis departure. They preferred to 
j-emain, and to die in the cause of liberty and independence. 

As soon as Bolivar and Marino arrived at the sea port of Juan 
Griego, in the island of Margarita, the general, Arismendy,' sent 
them word " that he was surprised to find them both coming there 
like fugitives ; and that, if they departed not immediately to join 
their brave countrymen, whom they had left in so cowardly a 
maimer, he would treat tliem like deserters, and shoot them, as 
they deserved." 

As the decided character of general Arismendy was perfectly 
Imown to them both, they thought it not proper to goon shore, and 
departed precipitately for Carupano, a large burrough and harbor 
on the Main, not far distant from Juan Griego. There they met 
<M>lonel Bermudes, who, with some patriots, occupied the fort and 
the burrough. Bermudes astonished to see them, after some con- 
versation, abruptly asked general Bolivar what he had done with 
his troops, where was general Ribas? 6ic. Bolivar, some- 


what confused, answered that he had left them at Cumana. — ^Ber- 
mudes replied, Well, sir, return then, immediately, to join your 
troops ; if not, I will treat you like deserters, and try you before a 
court martial. 

Rebuked and disgraced by their own countrymen and subal- 
terns, and feeling their forlorn situation ; instead of returning to the 
Main, they tried a last essay to put themselves in safety. They 
steered towards Carthagena, where every one w^as astonished to 
see them arrive, the 25th September 1814. 

The cities of Cumana and Barcelona were occupied by the 
Spaniards the 29tli August, and Venezuela fell again uito the pow- 
er of its tyrants. Ribas and Bermudes assembled some troops 
and marched towards Maturin, where they were joined by aU who 
remained faithful to tlic patriots. 

Bolivar and Marino were received at Cathagena in a manner 
beyond their most sanguine hopes. The governor, at that time 
called the president of tliis province, was a generous, honest, and 
enlightened patriot ; all those who have knoii^n Manuel Rodrir 
guez Torrices, will agree with us in saying he was one of the most 
distinguished Grenadans. He received ever)' stranger with great 
attention, and during his being at the head of the government of 
the province, Carthagena was flourisliing, and the only spot on the 
patriotic Main, where security and liberty were to be found. As 
soon as he left the province, to be president of the executive of 
New Grenada, at Bogota, consisting of three members, Carthage- 
na declined in its prosperity and commerce, and became the 
theatre of factions. 

The two ex-dictators were now anxious to excuse their precipi- 
tate flight from Cumana, and published, in the official Gazette of 
Carthagena, of the 30th of September, a kind of justificatorj' me- 
moir, too remarkable and characteristic not to be translated liter- 
ally. It has the following title : — Arrival of Generals Bolivar 
and Marino, and Exposition oftfie motives which obliged them to 
leave Venezuela, and to seek a refuge in JVew Grenada. 

" After the army of Venezuela, under the orders of these two 
officers, had suffered, the 1 4th of June last, at La Puerta, an 
unexpected defeat, in consequence of which, the enemies of Uberty 
remained masters of the fertile plains of Araguaand intercepted the 
communication between the capital, and the cities in the interior, 
with the army of die, east, the besieging corps before Porto Cabel- 
lo, and the fortification of La Cabrera, the fate of the republic was 
decided. The cities in the neighborhood of Caracas, which 
alone supported the struggle, fell suddenly into the power of the 
enemy, and Caracas, insolated, and without resources, even 


deprived of the necessary food, was no longer able to resist the 
cfibrts of the numerous forces which assailed it from all sides. 

**In spite of all these inconveniences, the chiefs were nevertheless 
resolved to defend Caracas, and for this purpose organised, in haste, 
all the forces which they could assemble ; but as the want of every 
thing daily increased, the enemy approached. The enemy, hop- 
ing to be reinforced, appeared to suspend his march, and to assume 
again the defensive, in order to receive them. Gen. Bolivar was 
iM>w forced to order a sortie against the enemy, who had advanced 
Co Antimano, thinking that this division could; not be the principal 
corps of Boves, who was occupied in besieging Valencia. 

** He marched on the 6th July, with his small army, but return- 
ed the same night to Caracas ; all his cavalry and a division of his 
infantry, having been beaten the evening of the same day by a nu- 
merous body of troops, which were, according to the report of eye 
witnesses, more than 2000 men strong, whilst the republican army 
amounted not to 600 infantry and 400 horse. The first, all com- 
posed of recruits, neitlier disciplined nor experienced ; the latter, 
having the same deficiencies, were badly mounted. The worst 
was to find these two bodies, spiritless, without confidence, and 
discouraged by the exaggerated accounts given lliem of the supe- 
rior forces of the enemy, by individuals interested to liinder the 
sortie of the troops. It would have been imprudent to persist and 
to die in the place, without munitions or provisions, when by effect- 
ing a retreat towards the eastern provinces, the army could have 
been reorganised, and put in a state, not only to keep the field, but 
Co reconquer the lost ground, which they would be compelled to 
leave for. the moment. These considerations determined the gen- 
eral in chief to evacuate the capital, and to retire with the troops 
which were in garrison, with all the inhabitants, and what belonged 
to the government, towards the province of Barcelona, where some 
other forces could be assembled. 

** Preparations were begun the 7th July to put in execution the 
proposed plan, but the prodigious number of emigrants which fol- 
lowed the army, whom it was incumbent on us to protect ; the great 
2uantity of baggage which belonged to the army, the want of horse 
>r its transportation, and the very rough and bad roads, offered so 
many difiiculdes and inconveniences, that in spite of all speed, it 
was not possible we could arrive in less than twenty days, at Bar- 

General Marino, dictator of the east of Venezuela, had aires dy 
united in the city of Aragua, on the borders of the plains of Ca- 
lacas, all the troops which could be furnished by the provinces to 
continue the war ; but these recruits were also raised in baste and 


totally undisciplined ; it was therefore necessary to begin to driD 
them before the opening of the campaign. He was occupied with 
disciplining them when he received the advice of the enemy's hav- 
ing taken possession of Chaparro, a village 10 leagues from Aragua. 
The republican army was less than 1 500 men strong in infantry^ 
and 700 cavalry, while the enemy, from the reports received, had 
more than 3000 men of all arms. 

" The republican army protected the city of Aragua, covered 
by the river of the same name, which was at this time of year so 
deep, as to render it impossible to ford it. Gen. Bolivar, relying 
upon these advantages, waited not for the arrival of more troops, 
which were in march to reinforce liim, but principally for cartridges, 
of which he was in great need, when on tlic 17th of August, he 
received a report that liis main guard posted to defend the princi- 
pal post where the river could be crossed, had retired, and that 
the enemy had immediately crossed it. The battalion of chasseurs, 
which was sent to take possession again of the post, missed unluck- 
ily the road, and left a free passage to the enemy, who soon came 
very near to the guards, which protected the entry of the city. 
The action began with a very dreadful and destructive fire of mus- 
ketry, which lasted more than four hours ; but the cartridges of the 
defenders of Aragua, (who had no more tlian 60 thousand,) were 
entirely exhausted, at a moment when the principal corps of the 
enemy (composed of more than five thousand men) was not yet 
come to action. In tliose circumstances, notliing was to be done, 
but to try to save some of the troops by any possible means. Gen. 
Bolivar advanced at the head of a piquet, of cavalry, to open himself 
a road to Barcelona, wliicli, as he was told, was intercepted or- 
dering the remainder to follow in the same direction. But his 
troops were recruits ; having suftered a loss of more than 600 men 
in killed and wounded, a panic terror having seized them on seeing 
such a numerous body of enemies, it was impossible to perform 
this retreat widi order and coolness. Many commanders of bat- 
talions had been killed, which increased the difficulty of the re- 
treat, which was efiected in great disorder upon Barcelona and 
San Mateo. Thus were totally destroyed all hopes of raising 
again tlie forces of the republic of Venezuela. 

" Gen. Bolivar arrived at Barcelona, which he found in insurrec- 
tion. There he united tlie few troops which had taken this road, 
and directed his march towards Cumana, in tlie rear of the fami- 
lies which had emigrated from Caracas. Terror had seized every 
one, and each was tiiinking how best to fly. The troops which had 
perceived the danger, were the first who fled. The confusion 


i^as SO great that of 700 infantry which departed from Barcelo- 
la, there were not 200 men left in a body. 

** As soon as general Marino heard of the loss suffered by the 
army of Aragua, he took some measures for security ; but he saw 
iiimself forsaken by his troops, and even by the commandant of the 
fort of Cumana, who had embarked on board of the squadron, and 
that without the permission of the general, before general Bolivar's 
entry in the night of the 25th August. The unexpected news that 
the perfidious commander of the marine, Joseph Bianchi, had the 
intention to sail that same night, without asking or waiting for leave 
from government, [or speaking more plainly, of general Marino,] 
who had given him the conmiand and the treasury, 'with the small 
quantity of ammunition left, forced the generals of Venezuela to 
embark themselves in order to save their property ! 

" When they arrived at Margarita, and afterwards at Carupano 
on the Main, they found these countries in anarchy, in consequence 
of the seditious views of some military chieftains, who were anxious 
to raise themselves to tlie high station of first magistrates ! 

" After having tried every means of conciliation which prudence 
could dictate, being convinced of the obstinacy of these seducers, 
in order to avert a civil war, which would have been unavoida- 
ble if the two generals had tried to maintain their own dignity* 
in remaining in that country, they adopted tlie moderate res- 
olution of quitting Venezuela, and coming to this capital (Car- 
thagena) to go fartlier on, and take the command of the army of 
general Urdaneta, who occupies the western provinces of Vene- 
zuela, and to co-operate in their way to the complete liberation of 
New Grenada." 

Notice here this justificatory memoir. It is, for those distant 
readers w^ho know nothing about tlie circumstances, very suffi- 
cient, to give a plausible coloring, to a dark, and, in itself, a very 
bad picture. 

Having been perfectly able to examine minutely all the circum- 
stances of the events related in this memoir, and having not the 
least interest to mislead the public, I will truly and faithfully relate 
the facts. 

Credible eye-witnesses of both parties have assured us positively, 
" that tlie column of colonel Gonzales exceeded not 550 men, that 
the second under colonel Mendoza was less." It is therefore 
cautiously said in the memoir : according to the reports ofeye-wit- 
nessesy the division of Gonzales alone was ttoo thousand men strong ! 

* We take leave to ask what sort of dignity can be attribured to any person who 
leaves his post withont permission 7 


They avow that the capital had no provisions; that when they 
took the sudden resolution to defend it, the recruits, raised in haste, 
stood in want of every tiling. — But how came this want ? Bolivar 
and Marino possessed, from August 1813 until July 1814, a large 
part of the provinces of Venezuela; tlie sea ports of Laguira, Cu- 
mana, Barcelona, Ocumare, Carupano, of the Island of Margarita, 
and many others, offered Uiem every facility from abroad ; the 
great enthusiasm of the inhabitants, in the beginning of their honor- 
able enterprise, gave them more than sufficient means to bring it to 
a close. All contributed to facilitate and to consolidate their con- 
quest. Instead of using these powerful means for the benefit of 
their cause, th^y ruined the country by a bad administration and 
arbitrary measures. And when they thought that all these means 
were exhausted, they lost all hopes and strength of mind ; they 
finally put themselves in safety, and left thousands of their coun- 
tr}rmen, who had placed the greatest confidence in them, in misery 
and despair. The precipitate flight of the two dictators would 
have destroyed forever the sacred cause of freedom, if their sub- 
alterns, Ribas, Villapol, Urdaneta, Paez, Piar, Arismendy, Ber- 
mudes, and many others, had not acted better then they did ! And 
when the two latter gave them well deser\'ed reproaches, they 
stigmatized them in the memoir, as seditious men^ who were 
anocious to assume the power of a first magistrate I 

What has happened with the victorious troops at Carabobo ? 
How did they lose the precious time to pursue tlieir victory gained 
over Cagigal and Cevallos ? Why did they leave them time to 
reorganize their forces ? Why not at once fall upon Boves, or at 
least organize Guerillas to harrass and intercept tlie means of their 
enemies ? These had to struggle against public opinion and all 
the difficulties which climate, the nature of tlie territorj', want of 
every tiling, put in their way. Instead of this, Bolivar had all the 
advantages united, which required no more than an ordinary capaci- 
ty to give them a fair direction. The besieging of Porto CabeUo 
was confided to the hands of young men without experience and 
military talents, like Giraldot and d'Aliugar. We have kifown very 
well the latter, and can answer for him, that he was much fitter for 
intrigueS) as he showed at Carthagena in 1815, tlien to command 
fifty men ! 

The siege of Porto CabeUo lasted from August 1813 until July 
1814, and wasted much money and many men, who, however, died 
not in battles, but mostly by maladies and tlie unhealthiness o 
the environs of that fortress. These men, and the money for all the 
necessary warlike stores, could have been much better employe 
any where else, as, moreover, the least check spread such a pani 


through their camp, that thej left cannon, baggage and every thing 
more than once, and raised the siege, which continued to last un- 
til 1824, at which time Porto Cabello was finnally taken by capitu- 

The two dictators began by saying " that the unexpected defeat 
of the 14th June, at La Puerta, dended the fate of the Republic of 
Venezuela I and that the communication between the capital and 
the eastern army^ the corps which besieged Porto Cabello, and the 
garrison •f the fortifications at La Cabrera, was intercepted. And 
they despaired when they publicly acknowledge the existence of 
an army, (that of Marino,) a besieging corps, and a garrison at La 
Cabrera ; when further tliey say, that IJolivar had, on the 6th 
July, 600 infantry and 400 cavalry, and that he determined to 
inarch to the eastern provinces, where the army could have been 
'reorganized and. put xn a state to reconquer the lost ground. And 
"we may ask the reason which compelled the dictator Bolivar to 
return the same evening of the 6th July so quickly to Caracas ? 
"Where left he his 1000 men? It appears by the report of some 
-well informed eye-witnesses, that he acted here by the same mo- 
tives which caused his sudden embarkation at Cumana, at Ocumare, 
(in 1816 ;) his desertion from Porto Cabello, (in 1812 ;) his flight 
from Barcelona, Tin 1817 ;^ his going from Carthagena to King- 
ston in Jamaica, (in 1815 ;) he. he. Moreover, have the Span- 
iards not sufficiently proved that the dictators left behind immense 
means, by which they have carried on the war upon the Main ten 
years longer ? What shall we think of such a confession ? It can 
only mislead strangers totally unacquainted with the want of ca- 
pacity, the ignorance of military operations, and in the administration, 
of these chieftains. 

The dictators complain of the too great quantity of baggage, the 
prodigious number of emigrants, and the want of transports in their 
retreat; May we ask a simple subaltern officer, of the least expe- 
rience, if he would not have burnt or destroyed that prodigious 
fjuantitj of baggage, which opposed the quickness of a retreat on 
similar occasions ? Bolivar would have been then in time to quell 
the insurrection at Barcelona, would have made his junction with 
^larino, whose army was about 2000 men strong, and probably 
liave repulsed, if not beaten, the enemy. And what has been the 
fate of all these emigrants, who put their last hopes upon Bolivar? 
*Xhe memoir says clearly enough, " that it was impossible to per- 
form this retreat with order and coolness." It states further, " ter- 
ror had seized every one, and each was thinking how best to fly." 
The troops which had perceived the danger were the first which 

fled, and we see clearly, that the dictatbr provided himself 



with good guides and horses, aod arriyed with a few officers safe 
at Cumana, &^. From this, can be easily drawn the consequen- 
ces of the miserable fate of these emigrants, of whom the memoir 
speaks not a word, in spite of the great protection promised by the 

What signify the following words : '^ As soon as general Ma- 
rino heard of the loss suffered by the army of Aragua, he took 
some measures for security ?" — ^when, some paragraphs before, it is 
stated, '* that general Marino, dictator of the east of Venezuela, had 
already united in die city of Aragua, all the troops which could be 
furnished by the provinces, to continue the war?'' By these words 
it should appear that Marino left Aragua before tlie attack, or that 
Bolivar came after the retreat of Marino, with his recruits, from 
Aragua to Cumana. And in what consisted these same measures 
for security, taken by Marino? Was it in ordering the ammuni- 
tion to be embarked, which would have been so serviceable to 
Bolivar's troops ? or was it in embarking hastily his trunks and 
baggage, and the money of the public treasury? And what shall 
we say of the singular reason given in their memoir : *' that the 
news of tlie intention of commodore Bianchie to make sail &c. 
compelled the dictators to embark, in order to save their properi^^ — 
of very litde importance is indeed the loss of some two or three 
vessels, and the small sum which is called so pompously the public 
treasury^ in comparison with tlie life, liberty, and prosperity of 
their countrj'men, who placed fuU confidence in the skill, the vir- 
tue, and the bravery of the two dictators, who deserted, in order to 
save such a trifle ! The truth is that tlie only cause of this unex- 
ampled desertion, lay not at all in tlie salvation of that propert}', 
but in themselves, as Ribas and thousands of others did not act 
so prudently^ as Bolivar and Marino did in Curaana. If there was 
something to be saved on board the vessels, Marino was alone 
enough to save it ; but Bolivar, so anxious to be compared with 
the greatest heroes of antiquity, who entered in triumph eleven 
montlis before hito Caracas, who published so many promising 
proclamation — sBolivar, at least, should have remembered that 
posterity will look sharp upon his actions, and place them in their 
proper light. Hut fear is stronger than reason and reflection; and 
Bolivar forgot every thing and embarked. 

That the sacred cause of liberty was not at all extinguished ixm 
Venezuela, and that their flight was very improper, will be seen by 
the events of which we shall speak hereafter. 

We must now enter into some particulars which will throw mor^ 
light upon the character of Bolivar, and show how grateful he wa^ 
to Carthagena, to that little republic, which assisted him so powers 


fully in his first expedition against Monte verde in 1813, and which 
received him with so great hospitality and unexpected honors, in 
September 1814, where Arismendy and Bermudes (both Vene- 
zuelans and his subalterns) had treated him literally as I have re- 
lated. The particulars which follow, make a distinct and char- 
acteristic i^tc^re of the secret history of Simon Bolivar, totally un- 
known, but of which, I vouch for the truth as an eye-witness, 
having served, at that time, in the army of Carthagena. 

When four years since, an article in the American of New York 
appeared, announcing that I was preparing a history of the Repub- 
lic of Colombia, some good frieiid took the alarm, fearing I might 
publish ihe truths and used every exertion to preoccupy public 
opinion against this work, by trying to disparage my private char- 
acter, and services at Carthagena. The article referred to ap- 
peared in the Aurora at Pliiladelphia, about four years ago.* I 
have always despised an anonymous writer in such cases ; tiiere is 
a cowardice in aspersions of this nature against a man, who came, 
as a stranger, to an hospitable and generous country, where alone 
freedom and the sacred rights of mankind are to be found in the 
full extent of their vast signification. After some mature reflection, 
and the suggestion of my friends, I suspected that the article against 
me came from a certain personage at Washington, who was at that 
time a great partizan, and an intimate friend of the brotliers Pin- 
eres at Carthagena, and whom I could, if necessary, name. 

The poor ftfr. M. consul of Colombia at New York, has render- 
ed himself ridiculous, in the eyes of many of my friends, acquainted 
with the transaction in a certain trifle, which showed clearly how 
much he feared me. 

All these obscure manceuvers shall never silence me, nor hin- 
der me from telling and shewing the truth by facts and not in words 
only ; those facts, related by me, who have given my name, and 
can vouch for all I say, will never be erased ; the public and pos- 
terity will best judge them, and not tlie selfish and interested wri- 
ters of some anonymous criticisms. Napoleon used to say, 11 ny a 
^jue la verite qui blesse ! * The more the public shall hear speaking 
against me, the better will it be convinced that this verite les a 
hie se, I declare here that I never will take the trouble to answer 
^my of these attacks as unworthy of me, and my established and 
"well known character. 

* I have never attached any importance to such an attack, and therefore cannot 
precisely tell in what number the article appeared. When I twice pressed the then 
xkUtor of the Aurora, to give mc the name of his correspondent Amertcamu, he never 
^tHtv?ered my letter ! , 


At the time of the arrival of generals Bolivar and Marino at Car- 
thagena, f September 1814) Manuel Rodriguez Torrices was at the 
head of me government of this province, as he had been when 
Bolivar served in 1812 and 1813 as colonel. He was an attorney 
at law, an honest and upright man, with liberal principles and 
very humane and moderate ; but he had a great delect, for a man 
of such high standing ; he was too weak, too i ndolent and too fear- 
ful, and but little fit to govern a province agitated by war and 
factions. This weakness had encouraged, a year before, various 
intriguers to attempt getting tliemselves into the office of president ; 
he hesitated to arrest and to try them before a court of justice. 
At the head of that faction were the brethren Pineres. The elder, 
German, was president of the high court of justice of the province ; 
the second, Gabriel , vice-president of the government of Cartha- 
gena. Botli were without transcendent merit, but since the revo- 
lution have become rich and powerful. They committed great 
vexations, and lived in a high and luxurious way. The soundest 
part of the inhabitants hated and feared them, as being audacious, 
very intrigueing, cunning, vindictive, and as having a strong party 
with tlie mob and all those who had nothing to lose. The presi- 
dent and his fiiends were well aware of these intrigues, but feared 
taking severe measures against them, lest the mob should openly 
take part in their favour, and, revolting, commit great depredations. 
This weakness rendered them of course more audacious. 

Such was the interior state of Cardiagena, when Bolivar arrived 
from Curaana. He immediately united himself very closely with 
these two brothers, because they flattered him greatly, but vaare 
because they were great enemies of Manuel Castillo, the the gen- 
eral-in-chief of the army of tlie province who was a relation and 
and an intimate friend of the president Torrices. 

I have related in a preceding chapter how Castillo behaved with 
Bolivar in 1813, and the reasons on which was aftcnvards ground- 
ed the hatred between tliese two ambitious chieftains. BoU\'ar, 
very vindictive but perfectly dissimulating, was verj' glad to find a 
good occasion to avenge himself against Castillo ; and as the time 
of an election of the president was near, Gabriel Pineres proposed 
confidentially to general Bolivar the oflice of general-in-chief, if he 
would assist him to be chosen president. The latter accepted the 
proposal, with the secret intention, as well informed persons say, 
to put aside Pineres and to name himself dictator of Cartha 
gena, in order to employ all the means which the province had a 
that time, to march a second time against the Spaniards. Thi^^ 
assertion gains much credit, as it is well known by those who knov^^ 
the character of Bolivar, that he would never have consented 


earnest to accept a subaltern rank, after what he had been at Car- 

General Bolivar, on arriving at Carthagena had taken his quar- 
ters at the palace of the bishop, who had emigrated, where Mrs. 
Soublette and her two pretty daughters were established a fortnight 
before Bolivar's arrival. The two sisters, whom I visited various 
times, talked always with the greatest enthusiasm of general Boli- 
var, whom they designated, even then, by the name of poor Si- 
mon, (in lelating to me the events at Caracas, where they had 
formerly resided with their motiier and their brotlier Charles,) and 
to whom they appeared to be uncommonly and tenderly attached. 
The inhabitants of Caracas and Laguira, those of St. Tomas de 
La Angostura in Guayana, and every stranger, who' resided at the 
latter city in 1818 — 19, will confirm this fact, the source, as they 
say, of the high standing of Charles Soublette, the present secre- 
tary general of the president liberator. 

When the two Pineres had settled every thing with general Bol- 
ivar, they had very frequent secret conferences with him and 
their partizans. Marino, and a great many Caraguin officers were 
initiated ; the former living in tlie house of Gabriel Pineres. The 
latter gained about twenty deputies of die most intiigueing and 
noisy class ; and the money which tlie dictators had brought with 
them, served to gain more adherents. 

At that time were assembled at Carthagena more than 800 
strangers, coundng the owners and the crews of privateers. 
Among them Pineres had a strong party, because Torrices had 
laid heavy duties on the prize merchandise, and had limited the 
privateermg business, by which Carthagena subsisted in a great 
measure at that time. Pineres, knowing the persons concerned in 
the privateers were not much satisfied with those restrictions, em- 
ployed every means to ferment this dissadsfaction. One of these 
means was to post up a libel against the existing government, in 
which he said that the majority of tlie strangers were on the side 
of the vice president Pineres ; that they should open their eyes 
upon the vexations and the tyranny of Torrices, and promising 
formally that all would change in their favour, if they would sup- 
port him in the approaching elecUon, &c. 

The police officers seeing these libels on the church doors and 
at be corners of the streets, the next morning, showed them to the 
president and the general-in-chief, Castillo. I was some time pre- 
vious to this event in the service of the army of Carthagena at 
the solicitation of the president and die general-in-chief. They 
could not ofifer me more than the grade of cobnel, in virtue of the 
constitution, by which the Congress of New Grenada sitting at 


Tunja had reserved the exclusive right to name and to confirm all 
the generals ; but as I bad not come to seek any grade, but to 
serve the sacred cause of freedom as I did at the beginning of the 
French revolution, I contented myself with the solemn promise of 
these two gentlemen, to deliver my brevet of general to the pre- 
sident Torrices, who took upon himself to send it to the Congress 
of New Grenada to be confirmed, and I accepted provisionally to 
serve as colonel in this army, until the return of my commission. 
Since then I have hpard nothing more of it. Castillo and hb su- 
perior, general Cortez of Campomanes, were no more at that time 
than colonels, but were called generak. 

The president, Torrices, in seeing this libel, sent immediately 
for the general-in-chief and the corregidor, as chief of the police, 
and communicated to them the paper. Castillo, after some conver- 
tion, suggested the idea of calling on me as a man whom they could 
rely on and consult with. We were intimate, and so he came to 
my house. I had seen the libel and was much better acquainted 
with the facts, than he and the president could be. I assured him 
that the government could count upon the firm resolution of a 
great majority to support it. They departed together to the palace 
^ere Ducoudray repeated to the president Torrices, yet pale and 
agitated, what he had said to Castillo. Ducoudray spoke then 
with some of the owners of the privateers ; amongst them was Mr. 
Charles I. from New Orleans, an enterprising, wealthy, and very 
determined man, who had a great ascendency over the other cap- 
tains of the privateers. He convoked tliem, and, in a short speech, 
persuaded tliem to rally round the existing government, and oppose 
any faction that should try to overthrow it, &tc. This had a very 
good effect, and amongst them was, I must say to their honor, not 
a single dissenting voice. Every measure was taken with the gen- 
eral-in-chief, to whom Ducoudrav was called. The latter was 
named tlic commander of all the strangers residing in the fortress. 
The numerous crews of the privateers were secretly debarked, 
armed, and organized in companies, and divided into the dififerent 
quarters of tlie city, and at the most important posts on the waU, 
at the batteries, he. The day before tlie sitting of the legislature, 
all was in tlie greatest activity. Ducoudray and Castillo went 
about the whole night, busy in \isiting die posts and giving the ne- 
cessary-orders. All tlie captains of privateers, the foreign officers 
and merchants, French, English and German, and the comman- 
ders of a good armed Battalion of coloured French people, can- 
not be too much praised for their exertions to maintain a very se- 
vere discipline amongst such an assemblage of men fi'om different 
countries, and of different colour ; and what is much more to be 


admired, is, that during the two days and three nights of their be- 
ing under arins, not a single excess was committed, not a single 
complaint of disorder was brought before Ducoudray or Castillo. 
The inhabitants of Carthagena will, if they ever see this account, 
confirm what is here stated. Such was the good behaviour of 
these strangers, so generally hated by the Colombians ! Should 
we have seen a thousand of these latter, or of their troops, behave 
so quiedy, as did thpse 800 strangers, on a similar occasion ? 

Meanwhile the brothers Pineres, Bolivar, Marino, and their ad- 
herents, were busily employed in preparing their means to strike 
a decisive blow in the assembly, which was to assemble the next 
morning at eleven o'clock. I was that same evening at the house 
of Bolivar, to visit the Soublette family, and found there a large 
assembly of Caraguins ; but liolivar was busily engaged with the 
Pineres in his private room. I saw going into and out of his cabi- 
net, a great many gentlemen, and amongst them the personage men- 
tioned before, but he remained not a hdf hour in the house. This 
resembled very much one of the most active head quarters, of 
which I have seen some during my military career. I could say 
in truth that the moving in and out of all tliese, not naturally very 
sitting Caraguins, would have filled with awe and fear, any one 
not initiated into the secret, as the presage of some extraordinary 
event, as if the enemy was to besiege the place ; while the palace 
of the president was quiet and deserted, and himself sick, and in 

The following day, Uie representatives of the legislature of the 
province of Carthagena assembled at their usual place, in the 
palace of the now abolished inquisition. All die members were 
present except die president Torrices, who had, during the night, 
a strong fever, the effect of his anxiety of mind. Pineres, his an- 
tagonist, was highly pleased on hearing tiiis news, as it now be- 
longed to him to preside in the assembly. His retinue, as Presi- 
dent on this occasion, assembled at his residence, to escort him with 
great formality to the assembly. Ducoudray arrived with his 
adjutants, a litde later than the appointed hour, and found a very 
large company assembled in the saloons. Don Pineres saw him 
enter, rose from his seat, came to meet him at the door of the sa- 
loon, took him by the hand, and told him very obligingly, they were 
then waiting for him, and that he was welcome; he took his 
hat to put it upon a table. Ducoudray, surprised at such unusual 
attention from the cliief magistrate of the government, suffered it 
not, but threw it himself upon one of the tables. Pineres assigned 
him a seat opposite to himself, near to the open piazza, inquired 
with apparent interest after the state of his health, and obligingly 


reproached him for not having yet called to see him. He asked 
him a number of insignificant questions, but in an awkward man- 
ner, and with a mind very much preoccupied and distracted, look- 
ing at intervals towards the door, and then at the piazza, which 
faced the great square ; his whole behaviour showed clearly great 
uneasiness of mind and anxiety. Neither Bolivar, Marino or any 
of the Caraguin officers, not employed in the army of Carthagena, 
were present. 

Soon after Ducoudray's arrival, they told the vice president, 
Pineres, ^' all was ready to receive him at the assembly. The 
numerous retinue, consisting of the civil and military officers of the 
province, and some distinguished strangers, was obliged to cross 
the public square filled with troops, in order of batde, and paying 
him the usual honors, and with a great crowd of people. Pineres 
appeared to wish to harangue these troops, but CastiUo and 
Ducoudray being on his left and right side, and observing all his 
movements, were ready to oppose such an unusual and dangerous 
step. He appeared to have obser\'ed it, then after having looking 
some minutes at them, he turned abniptly towards general CastiUo, 
who was at his right, and told him Vamos^ Vamo$ I (let us go, 
let us go.) In saying tliese words, he made a motion with his left 
arm, and saluted with the right hand, in which he held his hat, 
being uncovered*. 

As the assembly was a public one, seats were reserved in its 
interior for the general in chief, and tlie other officers, and for 
some distinguished strangers. About half an hour after the open- 
ing of tlie sitting, Gabriel Pineres presiding, one of the represen- 
tatives belonging to the faction, a great friend of Pineres, rose, 
and made a motion to convert the sitting into a secret one, to treat 
and debate upon a subject of the highest consequence, in which it 
was important to leave to the deputies the liberty to speak, without 
being influenced by military authority^ and still less by stran- 
gers f. The president, Pineres, rang immediately his bell ; then 
there were heard various raumiurs among some of the members 
opposed to this strange motion. Some rose to speak, but Pineres 
called to order, and silenced them. He ordered the seijeant at 
arms to invite every one not belonging to the assembly, to clear 
the room, and to close the doors ; that was done, and astonished 
all, as being an unusual and extraordinary measure ; no president 

* I enter into all these details in order to show the character of these rulers in tbnf 
true ILgfat, not by rrasoningj as »o many writers have done, but hu/actt. 

t These were the expressions of I)r. S, The same personage who resided some yeaf» 
ago at Washington, as Minister of Colombia, and who is one of the greattst pwtimv 
and flatterers of the dictator. 


of an assemblj in a free state having the right to take upon him- 
self to put in execution a measure, without having been supported 
by the majority, when a motion of such importance is made. 

Pucoudray, who sat next to Castillo, when he heard tliis strange 
Gusd insulting motion of Dr. S. said to him, laughing, that it was a 
Tony eight pounder directed against them, and remarked to him 
the concert which was visible between Pineres and S. as the for- 
mer silenced with his bell and his cries, every opposing voice. Cas- 
dllo informed him that S. had, the evening previous, very frequent 
and long conferences with the vice-president, and afterwards with 
general Bolivar, and was seen passing three or four times from the 
residence of the one to the other. GenerafDucoudray, as soon as 
be came from the assembly, sent the order to the commander of 
the arsenal to deliver the four brass field-pieces, which he- had 
designated the day before, with their batteries ; ordered a larger 
number of cartridges to be distributed to the different posts, and 
sent word to their commander to be ready at the first signal given. 
Every column had received, the night before, the necessary in- 
dructions, and the most severe orders were given to suppress any 
riotous act, and prevent bloodshed, and to leave the most perfect 
freedom to the deputies. But as the president Torrices had signi- 
fied in his conversation with Ducoudray and Castillo, that his 
friends would be intimidated from acting in his favor, by those of 
the faction, he requested from both, a respectable armed force, to 
support these friends when they should call for assistance. 

While the two generals were on the floor of the assembly, they 
saw enter in the Corregidor, Elias Lopez, being called to the bar 
as the director of the police. The friends of Torrices, well in- 
Tormed that a respectable armed force was ready to support their 
independence, were not to be moved by the hostile attempts of the 
friends of Pineres against the existing government, and a large 
majority voted for Manuel Rodriguez Torrices to be continued as 
president, and another large majority elected Don Juan de Toledo 
as vice-president, so that Gabriel Pineres was entirely excluded. 
Enraged at this defeat, they announced that an armed force was 
assembled, in order to influence the assembly, and moved the 
Corregidor might be called to confirm the fact. He was asked, 
" if it was true that an armed corps of strangers were assembled ? 
by whom commanded ? and upon what authority they acted &c. ?" 

The faction had now good opportunity to avenge themselves 
upon Torrices, in accusing Ducoudray, who acted by the former 
authority of the president, and the general-in-chief. But as Torri- 
ces had not explained to his friends in the assembly, that Ducou- 
dray had received full authority from him to act as he did, the 


decree against him, passed \dthout any opposition. The sub- 
stance of this decree was, that this commander, a stranger j (as 
they designated him,) should be called before the Corregidor, and 
that his trial should commence in twenty-four hours after this ses- 
sion, as having committed an act of high treason against the repre- 
sentitives of the people. To this decree was wanting a litde trifle, 
viz : the sanction of the president, to whom alone the executive 
power was confided. 

In the course of the next morning, general Ducoudray received 
a written invitation from the Corregidor, Elias Lopez, to call at his 
oflSce, where he, the Corregidor, had to communicate to him some 
business concerning the said Ducoudray. As the latter was not 
at all acquainted with the existence of such an accusation, be was 
surprised to receive an invitation of this kind, and told the bearer 
to be so good as to tell the Mr. Corregidor that if he had some com- 
munication of importance to make, and would take the trouble to 
do it personally, or in writing, and call on him, he would receive 
him with pleasure. Some minutes after Ducoudray received 
an official letter from the same Coregidor in which he com- 
pelled him to give a detailed account of his (Ducoudray's) con- 
duct during the night of the 1st and 2d October, and that by 
superior order ! Ducoudray answered him in his letter, " that as 
he did not show any authority superior to him, other than that of 
the president and the general-in-chief, he was very sorry to de- 
cline positively giving to any body else an account of liis conduct, 
demanded through the channel of Mr. Corregidor." 

In receiving this answer, the Corregidor, in a great rage, caUed 
immediately on the president,^ and denounced general Ducoudray 
formally, showing him the letter. When Torrices had under- 
stood the whole affair, he reproached the Corregidor with ha\ing 
acted too rashly, in serving, as an instrument of a faction, which 
had tried to change the government, and assisting tliem to ruin an 
officer, who did nothing except to obey his instructions^ and who 
acted only by his (^president Torrices') ybrma/ authority ! That he, 
the Corregidor, must first begin by impeaching him, the presi- 
dent, before he could take any further steps against tliis officer, fcc. 
The president sent his aid de camp to general Ducoudray and 
communicated to him all that had happened between him, the 
)resident, and the Corregidor, and expressed his satisfaction with 
Ducoudray's services. The Corregidor came some days after to 
)ay a visit to general Ducoudray, and they were, and have since 
emained, very good friends. 

The faction was silenced, and Torrices remained in quiet pos- 
ession of the presidency. 



Sitwxtion ofJVew Grenada — Arrival of General Bolivar at the 
Congress of Tunja—Kis reception— His march against Bogota 
and Carthagena — His stay at Mompox — Correspondence be- 
tween him and General Castillo — Bolivar*s secret motives in 
besieging Carthagena — Details of this siege — Bolivar embarks 
for Kingston in the island of Jamaica. Years 1814-15. 

The twenty-two provinces of New Grenada rose about the same 
time, then, the eight of Venezuela ; and after many commotions fte 
provinces of Casanare, Pamplona, Tunja, Neyva, Popavan, Car- 
thagena, Mariquita, Antiochia, Choco, and Socorro, formed an 
union, and on the 27th November 1811, at Bogota, adopted a 
federal compact in 68 articles ; whereupon a congress was assem- 
bled, which united in itself the legislative and executive power. 
But this compact was not approved of by the leaders, in the pro- 
vince of Cundinamarca, (Santa Fe de Bogota,) which was the 
origin of a long and bloody civil war between Marino, as president 
of tlie latter province, and the congress of New Grenada. 

Bernardo Alvarez had succeeded Antonio Marino, as president 
of the province of Cundinamarca. The former refused obstinate- 
ly to unite his province with the others, notwithstanding congress 
had sent on various occasions commissioners to represent to him 
edl the fatal consequences of his obstinacy. 

These internal divisions had the most fatal consequences on the 
prosperity and liberty of this beautiful and rich country. Out of 
twenty-two provinces, ten only had sent deputies to tlie first 
congress, who removed its residence from Bogota to Tunja, in 
consequence of the ambitious views of its president, Antonio Ma- 
rino, who caused the convocation of some deputies of the other 
provinces not in the possession of the Spanish troops. These pro- 
posed a monarchical constitution in their assembly, held at Bogota, 
3ut without success. Giiito Pastos, Santa Martha, and other pro- 
idnces, remained yet in the power of the Spaniards. The con- 
gress at Tunja had very limited power. Cundinamarca, the rich- 
3st an d most populous province of New Grenada, having refused 
:o join the union, and impeded by its example the union of six 


Such was the internal situation of New Grenada, when general 
Bolivar arrived from Carthagena at Tunja, on the 22d November 
1814, where the congress was then assembled. 

The name of Bolivar was already so generally known, and his 
reputation so highly established, that he was received by congress 
with distinguished honors. The members of this assembly, admired 
in him his successful march from Carthagena to Caracas, a year 
before, and regarded him as a hero, a skilful soldier, and one of 
the greatest patriots on earth. Those few, fullv acquainted with 
the leading circumstances, which united in his iavor to raise him 
to power and fame, those who saw in him an ambidous and selfi^ 
leader, who tried to abuse his power, without having the capacity 
required to sustain such a stauon, were of course silenced by the 
great majority, and dared not oppose the enthusiastic reception of 
general Bolivar. 

^Ve have seen that these leading facts were 1st, the proposal of 
Felix Ribas, to his companions assembled at Carthagena, at the 
end of 1812, to unite to avenge the cruelties of Monteverde and 
his subalterns, committed in Venezuela after Miranda's arrest. 2d, 
Ribas nomination as commander-in-chief of this expedition, no con- 
fidence being placed in his cousin Bolivar, after his having clandes- 
tinely deserted the fortress of Porto Cabello, entrusted to him by 
general Miranda. 3d, How Ribas at last succeeded to prevail 
over his countrymen in obtaining the nomination of colonel Boli- 
var as their commander in his place. 4th, How Bolivar proposed, 
after the defection of colonel Manuel Castillo's forces, to abandon 
the enterprise, and to retreat again to Carthagena, and bow Ri- 
bas, colonel Brizeno, and some few others, persuaded him to 
go forward. 5di, How the cruelties of the Spaniards had driven 
die Venezuelans to despair, who rallied by thousands under the 
standard of their countrymen, Bolivar and Ribas ; how the Creole 
troops, in the beginning of some combats, deserted the Spanish 
colours and joined the patriots ; how Bolivar was borne by the 
force and union of the most favorable circumstances to a fortunate 
grandeur and glory ! 

We have seen further how easy it was for him to force Marino 
to unite, and obey him, and to drive the scattered and discourag- 
ed remainder of the Spanish troops forever out of his country ; to 
assemble a congress, and to give liberty and prosperity to his coun- 
trymen. He did nothing of all this ; his aim was power, absolute 
power, in prosperity, and when the time had arrived to show his 
skiU, courage, and superiority in that adversity which befel him 
after the loss of the battle of La Puerta, he suddenly despaired, 
and left his deceived countrymen in the greatest misery, and em- 


barked hastily at Cumana, anxious to save himself. We have 
seen bow Ribas and others remained, how the two dictators were 
received and treated by Arismendy and Bermudes, &x;. These 
leading facts were totally unknown, or disregarded by the mass of 
the people, who only admired the brilliancy and the rapid success- 
es of Bolivar's entry into Caracas. 

The critical situation of the congress at Tunja, increased by the 
tidings of the formidable expedition preparing at Cadiz, under 
command of general MoriUo, ready to cross the ocean, and to de- 
stroy them. They felt the necessity of acting more vigorously, 
and of being better united. Two measures were adopted as the 
most important and pressing : 1st, to force the president of the 
province of Cundinamarca to unite that province with the con- 
gress ; 2dly, to march against Santa Martha, the only fortified sea- 
port in New Grenada, remaining in the power of Spain. Its pos- 
session was very important for the republic, lying at the mouth of 
the large river Magdalena, which opened the way to the internal 
provinces, and the city of Bogota. 

The arrival of general Bolivar gave a greater activi^ to these 
prmected measures, and he was entrusted with both. Every ex- 
ertion was made to collect troops and to provide for their wants ; 
general Urdaneta was ordered to join Bolivar with his strong divis- 
ion, which retreated after the battle of La Puerta in Venezuela, 
to the city of Cucuta in the interior of New Grenada, and Boli- 
var was proclaimed commander-in-chief of the three forces under 
the tide of captain general of Venezuela and JVew Crrenada. 

He departed from Tunja in December 1814, and marched with 
bis troops against Bogota, to force the president, Alvarez, to join 
and obey the congress. The city was surrounded, and attacked 
by order of Bolivar ; and as some entrenchments made in the 
hurry two years ago, in the. time of a civil war with Marino, were 
almost totally ruined, the inhabitants could not resist, with 
their few armed men, against, at least, two thousand. Bolivar re- 
ceived a deputation from the president, Alvarez, who had ample 
powers to sign a capitulation, which was granted. By it, the prov- 
mce of Cundinamarca consented to join the union, and to obey 
and acknowledge the authority of the congress, with the condition 
that they might enjoy the same privileges as the other provinces, 
which was granted. But notwithstanding this capitulation, signed 
and ratified by Bolivar, he permitted the pillage of a part of this 
beautiful and large city, during forty-eight hours ; a fact notorious 
and known to many eye witnesses oi this strange proceeding ; 
and when Alvarez and many other inhabitants of Bogota made him 
the strongest representations against such a behaviour, he replied 


in an an^ tone, that he was authorized by the laws of war to act 
as he did, because the inhabitants of the citj had resisted his 
troops, and deserved punishment. This act was greatly disap- 
proved of, it being against all laws of war in civilized countries, to 
plunder a city after a capitulation signed and approved by both 
parties. The excesses and cruelties committed, particularly 
against females, were great and horrid, and his troops loaded them- 
selves with gold, silver, and jewels, of every kind ! 

The Junta of Bogota invited congress to assemble again in'their 
city, which invitation was complied with ; and soon afterwards the 
deputies once more assembled in this capital. Congress now had 
means and power to act, and its measures gained more energ}', 
and were more efficient. They made some salutary reforms in 
the administration, and named an executive power of three mem- 
bers, consisting of Manuel Rodriguez Torrices, tlie late president 
at Carthagena, Garcia Rubera, and Manuel Pey, men well known 
for tlieir unfeigned patriotism and talents. The tide of president, 
as leader of the Provincial Government, was changed into that of 
governor, and all the governors of the federal j)rovinces were sub- 
jected to the authority of the congress, and required to give a 
direct account of all that passed in dieir respective provinces to 
the Executive Convention, which had very extended power. 

The union of Cundinamarca and the changes made by cong;ress 
had a very favorable influence upon the' inhabitants of New Gren- 
ada, who were further pleased, as various aggravating laws 
were abolished, and many strangers called to settle amongst theui 
by a decree of congress of the 13tli July 1814, by which protec- 
tion and assistance were promised to them. A manufactor}' of 
arms was established at Antiocliia and another of hats at Bogota. 
The liberty of the press was unrestrained and a great many cler- 
gymen distinguished themselves in the most sacred cause of Uber- 
erty and independence. 

A great many strangers came to establish themselves at Car- 
thagena, where they met wiih a kind reception, and were strongly 
protected by congress, and the provincial government. Odiers 
entered tlie service in their armv. Pierre Labat and Jean Cas- 
tellux were named to command in chief tlie forces of tlie land 
troops, and Luis Aury those of the marine. Ducoudray Holstein 
received the command of the fort of Boca Cliica in ver}' criti- 
cal circumstances, and was at the head of the troops by land and 

In comparing this true and honorable manner of acting by New 
Grenada, with that of the dictators, we regret to say tiiat the gov- 
erimient of the two dictators, Bolivar and Marino, in Venezuela in 


1813 and 1814, was the reverse of the former. The dictators 
lad neither laws nor fixed rules in their republics, so called ; the 
«curity of persons and property depended on their will, and de- 
cree ; the liberty of die press was a mere name ; a single phrase 
^hich an editor would have published in his paper against tlie rulers 
wouM have been punished instantly ; taxes and contributions were 
nereased, and misery, ruin, and death, were the fruits of their 
nemorable dictatorial government. They destroyed what the con- 
gress in New Grenada had created, and the presence of general 
Bolivar, in the latter province, was as pernicious as his appearance 
wBs in Venezuela. 

We have seen already how he acted in Venezuela as dictator ; 
low we will see how far his presence in New Grenada was perni- 
cious to the welfare of the latter. After some stay at Bogota, gen- 
eral Bolivar departed with his troops, and arrived at Honda, where 
arge barges were in readiness to embark them on the river Mag- 
lalena, wliich they descended. He arrived at the beautiful city 
>f Mompox, which was on a large and elevated island in the midst 
>f the river. Its inhabitants were rich, and have distinguished 
hemselves in tiie revolution by their enthusiasm for liberty, and 
heir courage. This spirit extended to the fair sex ; they killed, 
Q one night, 400 well drilled and armed Spaniards, which Morillo 
ent as a garrison, and declared again in favor of freedom and lib- 
jrty. This courageous deed was done by the advice, and the 
larticipation of tlie women at Mompox, in the night of the 16th 
Fune, 1816. 

As soon as the Spanish governor at Santa Martha, general Mon- 
alvo, was informed tliat general Bolivar had descended the river 
t the head of a numerous body of troops, and had arrived at Mom- 
pox, he suspected its destination, and felt very much alarmed. The 
ortress was in a pitiful miserable state fo%defence, badly sup- 
plied, and not having 200 men to defend it. All those well ac- 
[uainted with the miserable state of this fortress, and the bitter 
ecret hatred with which the inhabitants of Santa Martha suffered 
be arbitrary and sanguinary actions of the too well known Montal- 
o, agree in opinion that if general Bolivar had presented himself 
nth his army, as he was ordered to do. the majority of the inhabi- 
ants would have forced the feeble garrison to open to him the 
;ates, and would have received him as their liberator. Montalvo, 
angiiinary and cruel, was a great coward, and had already be- 
poken a French vessel, in which he caused his most valuable ef- 
ects to be embarked secretly, and was ready to fly at the first 
larm. Such was the state of Santa Martha at the arrival of general 
iolivar at Mompox. 


But general Bolivar preferred to sacrifice the welfare of his 
cause, and to forget the sacred engagements taken with the con- 
gress to conquer Santa Martha, as he promised the day before his 
departure fromTunja to various of its members, in order to avenge 
himself of a personal insult, received of colonel Manuel Castillo, 
as I have stated in anotlier chapter, where the latter left him with 
his troops on his march against Venezuela in January, 1813. 

Here are the true particulars of this not much known action of 
general Bolivar, which was the cause of the total ruin of New 
Grenada in 1813. 

The mhabitants of Mompox received Bolivar and his troops 
with open arms, weU persuaded that he was going to take Santa 
Martha, possession of which was highly important for the commerce 
and welfare of the former. This, and his principal officers' assur- 
ances, that such was his intendon, increased the general satisfac- 
tion. Some respectable and weU informed men have assured me 
positively, that such was his first and firm intention, and^it is just 
to mention it here ; but unluckily for him ; and New Grenada, 
general Bolivar has not strength oi character enough to pursue a 
settled plan with vigour and energy ; unless his own personal in- 
terest is particularly concerned. In this latter case he will per- 
form every thing, except feats of personal danger and daring, to 
eain his aim. He prefers circuitous roads and dissimulatioD to 
frankness, or loses his fortitude as soon as he feels himself destH 
tute of assistance, or the weaker party. 

At the head of the municipal!^ (city conunon council) of the 
city of Mompox, was, at that dme, Mr. Celedonio Pineres, as ccmt- 
regidor, or mayor. He was the eldest brotiier of the two Pineres, 
of which Gabriel (vice-president of Carthagena) tried to remove 
Manuel Rodriguez Torrices, the president of tliat government, in 
imion with general I^livar, as I have related before. This Cele-» 
donio Pineres had very frequent opportunities to converse with the 
general, as the latter lived in Iiis house. He communicated Xo 
him all that had happened after his departure from Carthagena, 
where his two brothers, during the absence of Manuel R. Torrices, 
who was galled to Bogota, as one of tlie commissioners of the ex- 
ecutive named by congress, were tr}''ing again to get the upper 
hand. Castillo, at tliat time, with his army at St. Stanislaus and 
Baraquilla, heanng of what was going on in Cartliagena, assem- 
bled his principal officers and proposed to them to march against 
his native place, to restore the legitimate govenior of the province 
to his office, and to re-establish order in Uie public afiairs, having 
received various letters from his friends calling on him and his 
troops for assistance. I was, at this time, widi general Castillo 


»nd intimate with him, so that I was acquainted with all the par- 
ticulars which 1 relate, and could name, if necessary, the friends 
of order which wrote to Castillo. I saw all these letters which he 
communicated to me. In this private council of war, held by 
Castillo, it was determined to march against Carthagena, and to 
defeat the whole faction. This was done very easily, having the 
majority of the inhai)itants on our side, who opened ttie outer land- 
gate, called the half- moon, at two o'clock in the morning, without 
any resistance on the 5tii of January lvS15, and Pineres, Delha- 
gar,* and about twenty others, of the ringleaders, were arrested, 
and put into the prisons of the Inquisition. But general Castillo 
not satisfied, cbndenmcd to dejKDrtation all these leaders, and re- 
mained in quiet possession of (/arthagena, where Juan de Dios 
Amador was elected governor of the province. 

Caledonia proposed now to Bolivar to avenge his brothers, and 
to force Castillo to rccal them and their friend:?. The captain 
general, who hated Castillo mortally, saw a welcome occasion to 
avenge his personal insult, changed his mind, and followed the per- 
fidious suggestions of Caledonia Pineres. Bolivar flattered him- 
self with die hope that the strangers might be now in his favour, 
knowing that they were much displeased with the haughtv man- 
ners, and arbitrary measures of Castillo in Carthagena. He im- 
agined that these strangers, united with the numerous secret 
friends of the banished brother Pineres would leave him no more 
to do than to present himself, with his troops, before the fortress 
of Carthagena, to see its gates opened to receive him. But as he 
could by no means go against Carthagena instead of Santa Mar- 
tha, he consulted with his new friend to find a ])lausible pretext to 
put his army in march. Then general Bolivar, who like the greatest 
part of his counlryinun, the inhabitants of Caracas, is very dissem- 
bling, and very dexterous in finding out various secret means to 
intrigue, and to gain his aim by numerous windings and doublings 
—he openly professed to be a warm patriot, a disinterested soldier, 
who wished for die welfare of bis country, but was always anx- 
ious to save his reputation and zealous to preserve his authority. 
In tlie preservation of diis absolute power lies exclusively^ all tbe 

* Tlii«i DelliagTir was a pro/'-V*' of R"»*»cml Hollvar, \%hon cUctntor at Caracas, and 
commaiiiiod th«> s"u*£:«^ l>cf>n» IWto ('abcllo, and was ono of tlio first who lle<i wlu«u 
Bovft oaine artor iIh' l»nttlo of l.a Pnorta to Porto CuIm'IIo in Juno. 1811. This same? 
Diihajar was a vonnij iuil»rard.'d colonel of !!• \o.irs, wlio trcinMnd cxtrcinciv, when 
Castillo sent one of his oifuMTs with jjnardod men lo arrest him that same nig^it. This 
officer, captain (iarcia; told me aAei'ward, laughing, that he had never seen such cow- 
ardice in a coicmr/ ! 



patriotism of general Bolivar. Here is the pretext of which he 
made use to cover his secret purpose of revenge on tliis occasion. 

He sent an officer (the same Tiiomas Montilla whom he had 
sent to general Miranda in June 1812, aftci liis desertion from 
Porto Cabello) to the government at Carthagena, in order to de- 
mand from it arms, ammunition &lc. of which he was in great 
need, as he pretended, to enable him to carrj' on the siege of 
Santa Martha. This demand greaily surprised the government 
of Carthagena, as its members were well aware that general Boli- 
var was amply provided with all tlie necessarj' means to besiege 
Santa Martha ; it appeared to them strange, too, tliat tlie general 
sent this letter after a stay of about a lortnight at Mompox, and 
that he had not applied in embarking at Honda. More strange 
did it appear to them, how he should not have known as positive- 
ly as they did in Carthagena, the miserable state of Santa Martha, 
and the readiness of its inhabitants to open the gates to him as 
soon as he should present himself witli an imposing number of 
troops. All these considerations together gave rise to many sus- 
picions, and the men best informed, considering the character of 
general Bolivar, suspected " that his real intention was to render 
himself master of Carthagena, to displace Castillo, and to punish 
him, in revenge for the affront received in Januarj' 1813 ; to 
change afterwards the existing government in recalling tlie banish- 
ed bi others, Pineres, and finally to march with tlie troops of Car- 
thas:i»na united with his own, and the means which tliis well fur- 
nishcd fortress could afford him, a second time against Caracas to 
free his native land, and then re-establish his lost dictatorship. 

As >oon as this kiter was rocei\e(l, the general Manuel Castillo 
and the lieutenant colonel Marino Montilla (brotlier of Thomas) 
at that time a bitter enemy to Bolivar, sugzesled to the governor, 
what niiirht be the real intentions of the general. It was, tliere- 
fore, concliided to send an ollicer who could be relied on to gen- 
eral Hoiivar at Mompox. The bearer of these letters was one of 
the ai(i-de-camps of jitMieral Castillo, captain Manuel Davilla. — 
The general wrote in his letter to Bolivar : that he would sup- 
ply him, with pleasure, with all that he wanted ; he would find 
in the magazine at Savanilla, a small fort and sea port at twenty 
leagues distant fn^n Mompox, between that city and Santa Mar- 
tha, all that he demanded, and that he, Castillo, had already de- 
livered the necessary orders to th \X etfect ; he could nevertheless 
assure him positively by all the secret intelligences received from 
Santa Martha, that its inhabitants were waiting for him, and his 
army, and ready to open the gates as soon as he would present 
himself. He added : ** he could easily convince himself of the 


truth, if he would solely advance vnih his troops, as far as the 
banks of the Cienega river," &c. 

The governor Juan dc Dios Amador confirmed, in a separate 
letter, all that general Castillo had stated, and urged Bolivar in a 
very pathetic and strong, but obliging manner to lose not a single 
moment in advancing against Santa Martlia, the inliabitants of wliich 
would receive him as their liberator. 

Captain Davilla met with a very harsh reception in delivering 
his letters^ to general Bolivar, who was still at Mompox. When 
Davilla came back to Carthagena he repeated to various of his 
friends some expressions which were not very polite, nor worthy 
to be used in the ordinary way of conversation. He added that 
various of Bolivar's officers insulted him, and proposed to the gen- 
eral to arrest and treat him as a spy, sent expressly from Cartha- 
gena to examine what was passing in their head quarters ! This 
party spirit, this hatred, this unworthy treatment of an officer in 
mission, deserving at least a civil, though it should be a cr)ol re- 
ception, was communicated fiom the commander-in-chief to the sub- 
alterns, and showed clearly the vindictive character of Bolivar 
against Castillo and all who came from him. Davilla was dismiss- 
ed without any answer ! 

The festivals, balls, dinners, he, at Mompox, of which Bolivar 
is a passionate friend, lasted during the whole time of his stay ; 
and the attack upon Santa Martha was delayed. It appears that 
in leaving Mompox, he had already determined to act hostilely 
against Carthagena ; and in descending the river from Momix)x 
to Magdalena, he gave orders to seize all the armed gun-boats 
which general Castillo had established on the river, to keep the 
communication open between Carthagena, Honda and Bogota. 
He declared the officers to be liis prisoners, and gave the com- 
mand to others chosen out of his army. This manifestly hostile act 
against Carthagena showed clearly his real intentions. 

He debarked his troops at the little fort called Carabano, and 
instead of marching directly against Santa Martha, where all were 
in the greatest consternation, he left it behind and directed his 
march through Baraquilla, Solcdad, St. Stanislaus against Cartha- 
gena. His head-quarters were established at Purbello, four 
leagues from the latter city. Here new festivals and balls, were 
his occupation for a fortnight. 

The inhabitants of Carthagena, anxious to hear from general 
Bolivar, followed his operations and lived in hopes he might act 
in accordance with their wishes, and take Santa Martha. But as 
soon as the news arrived of his hostility against the patriot gun- 
boats belonging to the republic, as soon as* his arrival at Tur- 


bacco was knovni, die general indignation raised to such a degree, 
that they forgot the arbitrar}^ acts of general Castillo, and organ- 
ized iliemselvcs in regular corps to repulse by force of arms, the 
unheard of attempt of general Itolivar against his brethren, against 
thcr cause of freedom and independence. More than six hun- 
dred strangers established at Carthagena rallied round die gov- 
ernment and joined the armed inhabitants, in organizing die 
camp and mounting guards. General Castillo had never 
been so powerful as during the siege of Cardiagcna. Martial law 
was proclaimed, which gave him unlimited power, and each one 
was anxious to prove his devotion to the cause. Many thousands, 
and amongst them die most distinguished ladies in Cardiagcna, 
worked day and night at the fortificauons, erected and enlarged in 
order to put the place in a belter state of defence. 

Soon after Bolivar's departure from Carthagena to Tunja, Du- 
coudray Holstein was ap})ointed commander of the four beauuful 
forts of Boca Chica, which are die kev of New Grenada. These 
forts are at the entry of the sea-j>ort of Carthagena, and lay at 
die month of a very deep and wide canal, four leagues long, by 
which die vessels jiass into the port of the latter place. These 
forts were considered the key of the main, and were a post of 
honor and confidence, in die command of diat oflicer hi a time of 
civil war, in which he served against general Bolivar, and whilst 
Morilla and Morales besieged Carthagena and l^>ca Chica. He 
was fortunate enough to save the foreigners at Carthagena, who 
came to save their lives under the protection of the batteries of 
these forts. He was, therefore, perfucily able to be well inform- 
ed of all secret transactions passing at that time. 

General lk)livar being soon acquainted with what passed in 
Carthagena, and learnin'jj the general indignation felt agahist liim, 
began to fear and feel that he had acted too rashly. But being 
no more than four leagues from Carthagena (at Turbacco) and 
unable to return and attack Santa Martha, and his hostile inten- 
tions against Carthairena being too much divulired, he resolved to 
throw off, as uuich as |X)ssible, his responsibility. He assembled 
a great council of war, and there he spoke a long time, and with 
great warmth, against the government of Carthagena ; and at the 
end of his speech he asked the advice of his ollicers, and sound- 
ed their dispositions to know how he should act in this dilenvnia. 
Not one of these officers opposed the intentions of their com- 
mander, and had vigour of miiul enough to represent the disgrace- 
ful consequences of acting as enemies against a province which 
had always shown patriotisni and zeal for the sacred cause of lib- 
erty, and never given any mouve of disunion or disobedience to 


the congress of New Grenada ! Knowing the secret intentions of 
their commander, these olTicers were all in favor of attacking by 
force of arms, the city of Carlhagena, and of treating its inhabi- 
tants as enemies ! They contributed thus to the destruction of 
liberty in New Grenada, under the most noisy acclammations of 
" long live our Liberator BoUvar, and death to Castillo and liis 
partizans !" 

They marched now directly against Carthagena, but tlie inhab- 
itants of this strong fortress had shut the gales, and full of resent- 
ment against the undeserved hostilities already conmienced by 
Bolivar, in making prisoners die ollicers belonging to Cartliagena, 
in tlie gun boats upon the river jNIagdalena, had spontaneously 
taken arms, resolved to repidse this undeserved aggression. As 
soon as Bolivar's troops appeared, they were received with grape 
shot, and compelled to retreat, and to encamp upon a large hill, 
about a gun shot distance from Carlhagena, where a convent of 
friars, called tlie monks of J\ uestra Senora (h Im Papa dc La 
Candelaritty received him and his troops. After some days, va- 
rious diseases began to spread amongst them, caused in a great 
measure by the want of fresh water. Here I must mention a trait 
of the greatest barbarity, which will give a convincing proof of the 
exasperation of the spirit of party, which reigned at that time 
amongst both patriotic contesting armies ! One of the leaders in 
Carthagena jiroposed, in a council of war, after it was well ascer- 
tained that I3olivar would attack the place, to occupy the Popa, 
that hill on which Bolivar had established his troops, but the other 
objected, on account of the danger of dividing the garrison, already 
small in proportion, to the extent of the fortifications, and the difii- 
culty of supplying these troops with the necesaary provisions, this 
officer yielded to the majority, but being well aware tliat Eqlivar 
had no other chance than to occupy the Popa, he proposed to 
poison the only well on it. This was executed by putting a large 
quantity of corrupted skins of animals, and other materials of a 
similar kind, into this well, which was very deep, with the express 
intention of poisoning its water, and killing those obliged to drink 
it, knowing perfectly well tliat Bolivar and his troops would occupy 
this only post on the Popa. When they arrived, being exhausted 
by the march, the dust, the burning sun, and by thirst, tliey drank 
copiously of diis corrupted water, which soon caused great sick- 
ness amongst them, and of which a great many died in the most 
excruciating pains. They were soon deprived of every kind of fresh 
provisions, which the troops and the inhabitants of the province of 
Cartliagena, all very much exasperated against Bolivar, intercepted 
entirely, whilst tliose of tlie fortress received them daily. 


General Bolivar had with him a single smaU cannon, which he 
ordered to be established as a battery, against a place, provided 
with about 60 guns, of wliich the smallest were twelve pounders ! 
His commander of the artillery, Mr. Collot, /rom whom 1 hare this 
fact, an able and experienced French artillery officer, (who de- 
clined to assist, at the council of war, held at Turbacco, disap- 
proving highly of this hostility against Carihagena,) endeavored to 
make him change by remonstrating against such a measure, as 
highly ridiculous and useless ; but Ik>livar would hear nothing and 
insisted. Lieutenant colonel Collot was obliged to obey, with the 
greatest reluctance. When the order was given to fire upon tlie 
place, die inhabitants of Carthagena said gestingly and in mocke- 
ry : " tliat Bolivar surely must be in need of provisions, and that 
he therefore was obliged to kill some ortalans (which were very 
abundantly found in that part of the environs of Carthagena) to 
give him some provisions !" In one word, this battery^ so caUed, 
not only excited the greatest ridicule amongst all classes of the in- 
habitants, but gave a very contemptible idea of the military dispo- 
sitions and skill of a captain general and commander-in-chief. He 
ordered tiie colors of the province of Carthagena, to be hoisted at 
his head quarters, as if he was already the master of this fortress. 

As soon as the troops of Bolivar were apprised that the water 
in the well of La Popa was corrupted, it was necessary to provide 
from abroad. But, as the spring water in Cartlingena is very 
scarce, and at a great distance, diis water was to be carried on 
horses, mules and asses, esconed by a large number of armed 
men to protect the convoy as:ainst the sallies of the garrison, or the 
attacks of the numerous and armed inhabitants of the neiishbor- 
hood. Bolivar attempted in vain to induce them, by paying large- 
ly, to fetch him every day a fixed quantity of water for his troops. 
Some few consented, but the majority refused his gold and their 
water, and so his troops were obliged to provide for themselves, 
which tired and fatii^iied them verv much. He acted now as if he 
was in tlie enemy's land, arrested a large quantity of merchandise 
going up and down from Carthagena to Bogota, upon the Magda- 
lena river, and sold it for the maintenance of his troops. But, then 
I must render justice to general Bolivar, in saying that he has never 
been an avaricious or money making man ; that he is generous and 
cares little or nothing about money. I have seen him often empty- 
ing his purse and giving his last doubloon to an officer, who asked 
him for some money on account of his salar)% and when he was 
;one, he would turn to me and say, laughingly, " this poor devil 
'le pauvre diable) is more in need tlian I, and diis golden stuff is 
worthless to me. I gave him all that I possessed. '^ 


The true friends of Bolivar endeavored now to represent to him 
the dreadful conseqences of such a siege, and used every exertion 
to make him desist from it ; but he was deaf, and persisted in be- 
sieging the strongest fortress in the present republic of Colombia. 
The government of Carthagena called general Ducoudray Holsteia 
for some important military transaction from Boca Chica to Car- 
thagena; he departed the 16th April, and visited the fortifications 
at the forts of San Felipe and the Cerro by request of the gov- 
ernment. He saw with pleasure that all was in good order, am- 
munitions and provisions plenty, and joy reigning every where ; 
all expressed to him the highest indignation against the ridiculous 
attempt of general Bolivar, who treated his countrymen, his fellow 
citizens, fighting for the same cause, like enemies. So did ihe 
inhabitants of Carthagena, where Ducoudray remained a couple 
of hours, and then returned to his post. No one, of all the inhab- 
itants in Carthagena, or in Boca Chica, was afraid of Bolivar, 
knowing perfectly well that he was unable to take either place ; 
but commerce was totally annihilated by cutting off all intercourse 
between Bogota, the interior provinces of New Grenada and Car- 
thagena. The merchants of Carthagena, Mompox and Bogota, 
appUed in vain to general Bolivar for tlie restitution of tlieir con- 
fiscated property, he replied that he could not do any thing for 
them, and spent the money resulting from these confiscations, 
more than two millions of dollars in value, for his troops. This 
siege lasted until the 20th March, but was reduced to a pure block- 
ade, during which, the diseases and tlie mortality, natural conse- 
quences of the miseries felt by the besieging troops, in their camp 
upon La Popa, increased every day. 

The cruel and sanguinary Spanish general, Montalvo, being nom- 
inated commander-in-chiei of the army, and informed of their civil 
troubles, desired to take advantage of them, and sent two letters 
to the governor of Carthagena, Don Juan de Dios Amador, to 
propose to him to unite his provinces with Spain. The official 
answer of the latter, deserves to be cited here as an account of 
the noble sentiments of its author, and as an unanswerable proof of 
the hostile intentions of general Bolivar against tlie republic of Car- 

These were his words : " We wanted by no means the pro- 
tection which your excellency oflfers us, in your despatches of the 
25th March, and the 15th of the present month, in which you pro- 
pose to end the troubles which exist between us and general Boli- 
var ; and supposing we did want them, we could not at all accept 
them. We prefer rather to perish a thousand times in this strug- 
gle, than to obtain, by such means, a triumph, which would un- 

96 msicoiRs OF boliyab. 

doubtedly cover us with shame, and would end in the destruction 
of our liberty and independence. 

" Your excellency has addressed yourself to our ambition, and 
you expect to gain by our internal troubles, but you are entirely in 
error ; there has licen no division or misunderstanding in regard 
to die cause oi liberty ; no personal consideration, no opinion, no 
private partiality, can ever disunite us. Moreover, when our am- 
bition is invoked, and we arc exhorted to defend oiu* rights, and 
repulse by force of arms, all tliat your excellency would under- 
take to resist, our tyrants, — ^liow could you have thought, we should 
act in so cowardly a manner as to be ever able or disposed to unite 
ourselves with them ? Your excellency might have made us mare 
flattering propositions, which might perhaps have iufluenced us ; 
but having made these, they can be no otlier than very revolting 
in form, and in substance. And who would not be shocked, and 
with reason in hearing that a man like you, who trembles at the 
mere name of Bolivar, dare propose as your excellency does, to 
exhort us to serve as an instrument to save you, and who, at 
tlie same time recommend to us to enter again into slavejy ? What 
impudence, what gross ignorance in attempting to interfere, and 
to offer himself to lake an active part in the differences between 
freemen ; and what is more, with the intention of breaking their 
chains to reduce tliem again to slavery ? 

" Experience should have apprised you, that these haughty 
expressions, which offend us much more by their ridiculous prom- 
ises of pardon, than by their style, do not at all im])ose upon us; 
nor will they intimidate us. You have, therefore, taken a gratuit- 
ous trouble, by aircctini; so much concern, so much interest, and 
so much sorrow for our domestic dissentions. We know, perfect- 
ly, that no country has ever rendered itself independent, without 
expeiicncins: troubles, and convulsions. We endure them, always 
keeping in mind tneir commencement and their end ; and we feel 
that it is necessarv lo make some sacrifices. Thev will end at 
last ; and, if they should not terminate spontaneously, it will be 
our duty to bring them to an end. I^ut what is this to you ? What 
have yon to do with the free and indt pendent counties of New 
Grenada ? Is it to have the empty name of governor of this peo- 
ple, or to he so in reality ? 

" In reccard to the remainder of your excellency's despatches, 
I will submit them to the ronij;ress," kc. 

General Holivar continued to bosiesce Cartha!]:ena, even after 
bavins: received the oilicial news, which the jjovernor transmitted 
him through a messenger, of the arrival of the great expedition 
from Cadiz, at tlie island of Margarita, under the orders of gen- 


eral Morillo (March 25.) The commissioner of the congress of 
New Grenada, the reverend father Marimon, the governor of Car- 
thagena, Juan de Dios Amador, and various others, visited gener- 
al Bolivar at his head quarters of La Popa, and made him the 
most urgent representations upon the dreadful consequences of a 
civil war in such circumstances, and urged him to join his remain- 
ing forces willi tliose of Carthagena, and march united against 
their common enemy. They offered him the command-in-chief, 
ammunition, provisions, and all necessary supplies, to enable him 
to keep the field. But all was in vain ; he replied, he would con- 
sent under one condition, which was that Carthagena should open 
to him the gates, and receive him with his troops into the fortress. 
As his secret intentions were too well known, they feared, not 
without some reason, that once master of the place, he would 
think of notliing else but to avenge himself, and to satisfy his 

All negociations were again broken off, and hostilities renewed, 
notwithstanding the Spanish general Morillo, who arrived at Santa 
Martha, and had debarked a strong body of troops, was already 
in his rear. 

The garrison of Carthagena had made various sorties, but they 
were constantly repelled by the troops of Bolivar. At the begin- 
ning of May, Bolivar at last began to open his eyes, and to con- 
ceive that he could do absolutely nothing against Carthagena. — 
He found himself reduced to the humiliating necessity of sending 
to his enemy, general Castillo, a flag of truce, through which he 
requested an interview with him. This interview was managed 
by the father Marimon, commissioner of the congress, at that time 
assembled at Bogota, who was sent expressly, as soon as this as- 
sembly received the dreadful news of Bolivar's march against 
Carthagena, instead of Santa Afartha. This clergyman, although 
of a weak and timid character, was, nevertheless, a very respect- 
abe man — honest, upright, and an ardent patriot. He consulted 
with the governor and the doctor Pedro Gual, and after some vis- 
its paid by Marimon and doctor Pedro Gual at the quarters of 
general Bolivar, after many conferences on the part oi the two 
former with Castillo, who gave his consent very reluctantly, the 
meeting was at last fixed on the 8th of May. 

At the appointed day, father Marimon conducted general Cas- 
tillo out of the gates of Carthagena, at the foot of La Popa, where 
general Bolivar waited for him in a small private house, chosen 
expressly for this purpose. Their mutual reception was, in the 
beginning, rather cool and stiff, but Marimon prevailed upon 
them to put themselves, at least politically, in good accordaxice. — 



A treaty of peace and friendship was then drawn up, by which 
these two commanders solemnly promised mutually to forget what 
had passed, and to live in good harmony and friendship. General 
Bolivar consented to give the command of liis army to general 
Florencio Palacio, his cousin, and embarked tlie lOtli of Nay on 
board of an English armed brig, with about a dozen of bis officers, 
and departed for the island of Jamaica, without having entered 
the city of Carthagena. 

Before he embarked, he published the following remarkable 
proclamation : — " Soldiers ! Tlie general government of New 
Grenada has put me at your head, to break the fetters of our 
brethren of the provinces of Santa Martha, Maracaybo, Core, and 
Caracas, who groan under their chains. 

" Venezuelans ! — ^It'ou would have returned fo your countrj'^ 
and you, Grenadans, would have remained in yours, crowned wittm 
laurels. But this- felicity, this happiness, has turned totally intc^ 
mischief and unhappiness. Your arms have destroyed no tyrant, 
but have been stained with the blood of your brethren in two 
battles, very different in their aim, and \cry painful to our feel- 
ings. We fought in Cundinamarca (Bogota) in order to obtain a 
re-union ; here (at Carthagena) to obtain mutual co-operation ; 
on both occasions we have been covered whh glorj-. \Ve have 
been generous in both actions ; we have granted ])ardon to the 
vanquished, and given them equal rights, and admitted them oo 
the same footing with ourselves. We have united widi tliose 
who have been against us, to march thus united, and free them 
from slaver}', and save their fortunes and their families. The is- 
sue of the campaign is yet undecided. You will go into tlie ter- 
ritory of the enemy and terniinate it, in disputing with me our 
triumph over tyranny. You, who will devote the reniainder of vour 
days to give freedom to your country, are fortunate ; but I, who 
cannot accompany you, and who am forced to die far from Vene- 
zuela, in distant and foreign lands, in order to establish peace be- 
between you and your countrymen, I am the most unfortunate 
of men. 

" Grenadans and Venezuelans- ! — I am torn away from vou, 
who have been my companions in so many disasters' and batdes, 
to go and live in inactivity, and not to die for my country! Juds^e 
of my sorrows and of the greatness of the sacrifice, which I make 
of my heart, my fortune, and my glor}', in renouncing tiie lionor 
of leading you to victory. The welfare of the army requires it 
imperiously. 1 have not hesitated ; your existence here and mine 
are incompatible with each odier. I have preferred yours ; vour 
and my welfare, that of our bretliren, of my friends, in«fine,'that 



of all, depends on the welfare of the republic. Farewell, fare- 
well ! This 9th May 1S15. 

(Signed) BOLIVAR. 

Here is again one of tliose captivating proclamations which de- 
serves some explanation. General Bolivar commences this address 
with a very singular phrase in saying, " Venezuelans ! — ^j-^ou have 
returned to your country crowned witli laurels ; but tliis felicity, 
this happiness, has been turned totally into unhappinesss and mis- 
chief. Your arms have been stained with the blood of your breth- 
ren," &c. How (may I ask) could tliey return to tlieir country, 
crowned with laurels ? Was it because they had forced a defence- 
less city, as was Bogota, or because tliey suffered it to be pillag- 
ed during forty eight hours ? And who has hindered this felici- 
ty, — who has stained bis arms with the blood of bis brethren ? 
What will be said and thought of such language, after reading tlie 
particulars, unfortunately too true, of the proceedings of general 
Bolivar against Cartbagena ? The dexterity, to say no more of 
it, witli which he tried to make die public, who were ignorant of 
these circumstances, believe that he had sacrificed his existence 
to die welfare of his countrymen, may be called, with great reason, 
an oriental phrase ! After having contributed very actively to 
lose the cause in Venezuela, and then in New Grenada ; after hav- 
ing shed die blood of his innocent countrymen, as patriotic as him- 
itlf; after having desolated the province of Cardiagena, betrayed 
the confidence of the congress, and put die Spaniards in Santa 
Martha, at dieir ease, and procured die means for Morillo to find 
this fortified sea- port, into which he entered with bis troops soon 
afterwards ; after hav ing facilitated the entry of die Spaniards 
into die interior of New Grenada, general Bohvar foresaw per- 
fectly well that all would be lost very soon, and that he might have 
been arraigned and tried for not having followed the instrucdons 
of Congress ! It was for these reasons diat he thought proper to 
save himself and put his person in security, in preference to re- 
maining at die head of his army, to accept the proposals of the 
government of Cartbagena, and to march against the enemy to 
make reparadon for die faults he had committed, and to die a glo- 
rious death, if necessary, in- the defence of his country. But far 
from this, Bolivar em jarked for Jamaica, where he was very safe, 
and distant from danger ! Nobody had forced him to give up the 
command of his army ; on the contrary, the command of the two 
ELrmies, |is I have mendoned, was at his disposal ; but the govern- 
ment refused die admission of his army into the fortress, as very 
umpoliuc and inexpedient, fearing with reason, an unhappy con- 
flict between the two pardes, in the state of animosity of die 

100 MKHOims or bolitar. 

troops of Carthagena, against those under command of general 

Bolivar wished to make it believed by this ad captandum pro- 
clamation, that he was totally innocent, and the victim of some 
secret enemy, or a faction. But there existed no such thing ; 
it was himself only who caused the death of more than a thou- 
sand of his soldiers, the dreadiul consequence of a siege which 
ended with tlie evacuation of Cartliagena, and the destnic- 
tion of the province of New Grenada, and of the liberty of that 
province ! 


Consequences of Bolivar*s besieging Carihagena — Situation of 
Aeir Grenada and Venezuela — Marquis de San Leon and 
Captain General Cagigal — Death of Bovej — Execution of 
Ribas-r- Cruelties of Morales — Conspiracy of the Blacks. 1815. 

General Bolivar's departure gave great power to his rival gen- 
eral, Manuel Castillo, and notwithstanding the iormal promise to 
forget the past, to live in good harmony and friendship, the bitter- 
ness of party spirit and the innate hatred which exists between the 
Caraguin and Grenadan, still continued in its force. The 
chiefs of Bolivar's troops, now under the command of general Flo- 
rencio Palacios, were greatly excited against all who belonged to the 
army of Carthagena, and particularly against its commander, gener- 
al Castillo. 

Bolivar before his departure had appointed his cousin Florencio 
Palacios as his successor, in tlie command of the remaining troops, 
which from 2400 men, were reduced by desertion and malady, 
to about 700 ! Castillo, by the treaty made with Bolivar, had 
bound himself to supply tliese troops with provisions and ammuni- 
tion, of which they weie in need, but with the express condition 
that general Palacios, with his troops, should be put under his (Cas- 
tillo's) command, to which Bolivar was obliged to consent on ac- 
count of the total destitution of his camp. The knowledge of this 
article of the treaty, spread a general dissatisfaction among the 
troops still encamped upon La Popa. Some of the officers in- 
dulged in biting remaiks against Castillo, which were reported 


to him, perhaps a little exaggerated. He was very vain, proud and 
sensitive, and he had flattered liimself that on tlie absence of general 
Bolivar, all would be forgotten, and order and good harmony re-estab- 
lished. He was furious at hearing wiiat had l^een said oi him. But 
I must render die justice to the memory of general Manuel Castillo, 
to say, that all that has been alleged of his being secretly auached 
to the Spaniards, is a pure calumny, and totally witliout foundation. 
His intentions were always pure and upright, in whatsoever concern- 
ed the welfare and freedom of his country. But his ambidon, his 
passions, lost him every diing. All could have been again settled, to 
the sadsfaction of both parties, if he would have listened to die ad- 
vice of friends, who entreated him to send for general Palacios and 
to have a frank and friendly intervew with him. But he refused 
any advice of such a kind, and treated it as being a weakness, and 
too great a condescension. I have known both generals very inti- 
mately ; tlie one was my commander-in-chief, and the odier my 

Castillo, after having heard all that had been said of him and his 
army on the day of Bolivar's embarkation for the Island of Jamaica, 
ordered that the troops of general Palacios should be removed from 
La Popa, and be encamped out of die gates of Cardiagena, in a 
very humid and muddy ground, where nothing was to be found 
except sand and stones. But general Palacios and his officers, 
were shocked much more when they found that tiiis camp was 
close under the batteries of an out-work, called the fort San Felipe, 
so that Castillo could, at the least rebellion, destroy them in a few 
minutes, with grape shot! Every representation against such' a 
revolting and extraordinary measure, from every man of just senti- 
ments, had no effect upon the exasperated feelings of Castillo. He 
refused, peremptorily, to change the ground of their encampment. 
True, the camp was provided with rations, but in an insufficient 
quantity ; permission was however granted to some few of the offi- 
cers to enter Carthagena, to get what they wanted ; but it was refu- 
sed to every non-commissioned officer and private to enter the city, 
and the guards at all the gates and batteries, were reinforced, as 
if there was some fear of a sudden entreprise against the fortress. 

These measures indicated plainly to Palacios and his officers, the 
true sentiments of general Castillo respecting them. Seeing that 
there would be no change, they, in the evening, secretly called a 
council of war, in which it was determined to remove the camp, and 
to retreat to Turbacco, at four leagues from Carthagena, which was 
effected the same night. 

When Castillo heard, the following morning, that Palacios and his 
troops had decamped, and when he received a very energetic letter 


from Palacios, who acquainted him with this resolution, and with 
the motives which had forced him to act as he did, Castillo was 
much more furious. Palacios mentioned in his letter that he was 
always ready to act in union with Castillo, whenever he would 
grant him the promised provisions and ammunition, and also some 
auxiliary troops to march against their common enemy. Tliis last 
circumstance softened his resentment a little, and he felt that he 
had gone too far. He was placed, indeed, in a very embarrassing 
situation, and did not know how to act. Some friends advised him 
to take conciliatory steps, and to begin by sending to these troops 
provisions and ammunition, which he did. He sent the lieutenant 
colonel, Mariano Montilla, with the commandant Stuart, who com- 
manded a battalion of about 400 men, with more provisions, and 
arm*!, fee. to Turbacco, in order to conciliate general Palacios. 
These officers and men were received well enough on their arrival, 
and the warlike stores were immediately distributed among the 
troops of Palacios ; but after this was done, the latter, by a secret 
order, surrounded the battalion of Stuart and summoned them to 
surrender or to be shot. They were tlius forced to obey, if not to 
perish. The non-commisioned officers and privates were deprived 
of their uniforms, and all was taken from tliem; and so, half naked, 
they were obliged to return to Cnnhagena. Palacios retained pris- 
oners the two lieutenant colonels, and some other officers, and 
treated them ill, and like prisoners of war. 

When Castillo received the news of such an uncommon treacberv, 
his indignation was instantly excited; he immediately gave orders to 
arrest all the Caraguin officers which belonged to tliat corps and of 
whom a great many had returned into Cartliagena. They were put 
in prison, and strong patroles were sent out in search of the re- 
mainder ; those who attempted to resiist, were very roughly treated. 
Castillo gave orders to take from them every valuable article, such as 
watches, money, fee. and to search them in the Spanish manner, 
viz : to strip them all naked, and to examine scrupulously every 
part of their clothes, and even their bodies ! 

And who can the reader believe was charged with, and accept- 
ed, such a vile and infamous commission ? It was a lieutenant 
colonel of the garrison, a near relation to Castillo, whom I could 
expose publicly in naming him, if I had not some regard for his 
respectable family, who treated me with great kindness and friend- 
ship. They were treated like the vilest criminals, and shut up day 
and night, widi scanty rations, and in want of necessar}' food and 
even of water. 

When Palacios heard this, he put Montilla and Stuart at liber- 
ty, and as soon as these arrived, the Caraguin officers, were 


released but conducted witli a guard to some vessels which were 
about to sail, and banished to foreign countries, without any regard 
to their future welfare or comfort. The masters of those merchant 
vessels ready to depart, were bound to take a certain number of 
them on board, and all representations against it, were in vain. 
They were compelled to receive, and provide for them, during 
their whole passage. Thus ended the quarrel between Bolivar and 
Castillo, and these facts of which I was an eyewitness, will give a 
convincing proof how strong the enmity was between the two par- 
ties, to which Bolivar was the first to give the impulse, and which 
had the most deplorable consequences upon the welfare and inde- 
pendence of New Grenada. 

General Palacios, it is true, marched from Turbacco against the 
Spaniards, under Morillo, and drove them from the different posts 
which they occupied, on the river Magdalena ; but his forces were 
too weak, and too much in want of the necessary supplies, to be 
enabled to undertake any enterprise of consequence. 

We will see now what was going on in Venezuela, after the de- 
parture of Bolivar. 1 have already given a detailed account of 
the manner in which he left Caracas, and retreated towards Bar- 
celona and Cumana, and with what precipitation he embarked and 
decamped from the latter port. 

The astonishingly precipitate flight of the two dictators, Bolivar 
and Marino, would have lost entirely the cause of independence 
and hberty in Venezuela, if the Spanish leaders had acted with 
more moderation, good faith and justice ; but their system did not 
change at all. The persecutions and cruelties practised upon the 
unfortunate and mucli disappointed inhabitants of Venezuela, left 
them no other choice but to endure them, or to fly, or to take arms, 
and defend their liberty and lives, and repulse tyranny with tlieir 

Since the 7th July 1814, the day of the entry of the Spanish 
troops into Caracas, the Marquis de San Leon was entrusted pro- 
visionally with the civil government (which the Spaniards express 
to be the Gefe politico) of Caracas, and tlie captain general Don 
Manuel Cagigal, with the military department, {Gefe miliiar.) 
Soth were moderate, humane and wise, and desired the welfare 
of the country in their sense, that is to say, they pretended a blind 
submission to the Spanish government, and tried to do as much 
good, or little mischief, as possible. 

The Marquis had only a temporary authority, and Cagigal was 
not firm and courageous enough to suppress, by a vigorous act of 
severity, the cruelties committed in the provinces and at a dis- 


tance from his head quarters, by his subalterns. The former was 
one of the richest inhabitants, and had great influence among all 
classes of people in Venezuela. To him, Caracas was at this time 
indebted for not being destroyed. This is shown by the following 

When the column of colonel Gonzales entered Caracas, on 
the 7th July, the provisional government, the archbishop at its 
head, came to receive them, and requested the colonel to maintain 
order and discipline, assuring him that nothing should be wantine 
for his troops. This column behaved ver}' well. Some days af- 
terwards, a second one arrived, commanded by a man of color, 
named Machado, and composed of colored and black people, free- 
men and slaves, enlisted by Boves in his division. The comman- 
der had been the major domo, or house intendant of the count of 
La Grange, before tlie revolution. As soon as their approach was 
announced to the Junta, its members were afraid that the too well 
known wild and sanguinary character of Machado, might occasion 
the greatest mischief in entering tlie capital. Three of the most 
respectable inhabitants of Caracas, offered to meet them at some 
distance, to compliment them on their arrival, and to assure them 
of being supplied with the necessary provisions, &cc. so that they 
should not have the least pretext to commit any disorders. The 
former master of Machado, Count de Lia Grange, was one of the 
three deputies who met him at a little distance from the tovm. 
Machado, on perceiving them, ordered a halt, and reproached them 
in very strong and hard words, " for having received and tolerated 
so long, the insurgents and their leaders, and that he came now to 
punish the inhabitants of Caracas for their treachery, &:c. &lc. 

The Count de La Grange, helienng himself still to have some 
authoiity upon the mind of his former servant, tried to justify him- 
self and the inhabitants ; but he had not spoke two words, when he, 
and one of his companions, were murdered on the spDt. The third 
deputy escaped by the speed of his hoise, to amiounce this dread- 
ful news to the assembled Junta. 

Machado came soon afterwards at the head of his troops, which 
he put in order of battle, into the public square. He came alone, 
with drawn sword, before the assembled Junta, in wliicli the arch- 
bishop presided, assisted by tlie Marquis of San Leon and others. 
He reproached them, in the same violent language, with their 
treachery, and asked, " where is that traitor Gonzales ? He is a 

d d scoundrel," &:c. The Marquis asked him in a firm and 

stern tone, " what he wanted of the colonel ?" '* I come to cut liis 
throat," answered Machado, brandishing his drawn sword in a very 


menacing manner, so that the archbishop, and the whole assembly, 
were trembling. T^he former told him that colonel Gonzales was, 
at that moment, not present, but if he would wait, he would send 
for him. The Marquis de Casa Leon, indignant at the behaviour 
of such a wTCtch, rose from his seat and advanced close to Ma- 
chado, and asked him in a calm, but firm tone of voice, '' for what 
purpose he spoke to the members of government, to the represen- 
tatives of his king, in such a tone which could not be suffered from 
any of liis subjects ?" He ordered him to return immediately to 
his troops, and assure them that their wants should be supplied im- 
mediately ; but made him responsible for the least mischief which 
they should commit in the city. If he complied not with this or- 
der, he would arrest him, and try him as a disturber of public tran- 
quility, &CC. Machado intimidated in his turn, stammered some 
words of excuse, promised to obey, and kept faithfully his word. 
Thus were the inhabitants of Caracas saved from destruction, by 
the firmness of one man. 

But when general Cagigal w^as named commander-in-chief of 
the Spanish army, in Venezuela, his authority was very limited, 
the natural consequence of his weakness and his fears. Boves and 
Morales, w^ho had been witnesses of his cowardice, and his flight 
from Maturin to Angostura,* who, moreover had had the greatest 
success, when Cagigal was absent, in the credit of which, he could 
not therefore participate, and finding themselves at tlie head of a 
strongdivisionof determined plunderers and vagabonds, who were 
entirely devoted to them, tliey cared litde or nothing about the or- 
ders of their captain-general, and acted entirely at their pleasure. 
Others imitated this example, so that each little subaltern, com- 
manding a small body of armed men, committed the greatest vexa- 
tions, and went unpunished ! Caracas and its environs alone felt 
tlie benefit of the good intentions of general Cagigal and tlie Mar- 
quis de Casa Leon. 

After the departure of the two dictators from Cumana, Ribas, 
Villapol, Bermudes, and otliers, found the means to unite the re- 
mainder of the scattered patriots, and form a corps of about 2000 
men, who fortified themselves at Maturin. They sent some hun- 
dred men to Urcia, not far distant from tlie latter place. Boves 
marched against it, and, on the 5di December, took possession of 
the place, after some resistance. Boves received a blow with a 
lance, and expired immediately. His enraged soldiers murdered 
every one, men, women and children ! 

* Sec particulars, Chapter VI. 



Don Francisco Thomas Morales now took comraand-in-chief of 
this division, and marched directly upon Matnrin, where a great 
many patriots, with their families, and tlie dispersed troops from 
Urica, had retired. He attacked it, on the 11th December, and 
took it, by assault, after an obstinate defence. All were put to 
the sword. Ribas and Bermudes, with some officers, escaped, 
closely pursued by the cavalry of the enemy. 

General Ribas was overtaken, and made prisoner, with ax of 
his officers, on the 20th December, in die valley of Pagua. They 
were disarmed, bound and delivered up to the Spanish commander, 
Manuel Gomez, who sent them to Morales. On the way, they 
suffered very barbarous treatment, which was common among 
the Spaniards at that time. Tliey were put in irons and treated 
like tlie greatest criminals. Soon after dieir arrival at Barcelona, 
where Morales had fixed his head quarters, he ordered them to be 
shot, and not being sausfied with this, the head of Ribas was 
cut off, and sent to Caracas, where, horrible to relate, the Spanish 
troops and the militia were assembled, on the 14th March, to assist 
at, and witness the hanging, of tliis same head of general Ribas, 
in the public square, by the hands of the hangman ! This barbari- 
ty is, 1 believe, one of the most atrocious traits of ferocity of the 
Spanish leaders on die Main. 

Thus perished this young and brave man, of an ardent and 
elevated mind, who deserved a better fate, and who was left in the 
manner I have related before, by his cousin, Simon Bolivar, who 
saved himself viixh Marino. Joseph Felix Ribas, w^s one of the 
first promoters of the revolution at Caracas, and from that time he 
took the most active part in the field of battle, under the orders of 
the commander-in-cliief, tlie Marquis del Toro, whilst B^^livar re- 
mained very peaceably at San Mateo, or in the valley of Tui. He 
and Bolivar were, from tlieir youth, very intimate friends and com- 
panions, and the latter was indebted entirely to Ribas and colonel 
Briceno, as I have related, for the success of his campaign, in 
1813, against Montevcrde. Ribas had tlie greatest ascendancy 
over the fearful mind of Bolivar ; it was he who persuaded Boli- 
var to march fon^ard, after Castillo had left him, in January 1813, 
with his Cardiagenan auxiliary troops ; it was by his skill and 
bravery that Bolivar gained many battles, being favored by un- 
commonly fortunate circumstances, which united to give hun his 
brilliant success. It was Ribas who was against evacuating Cara- 
cas, and who refused posiuvely to assist at Bolivar's conierences 
with the archbishop of Caracas ; it was he, who at last represent- 
ed to the dictator, in warm and strong terms, the dreadful conse- 


quences of his flight from Cumana in 1814, and who refused posi- 
tively to accompany him in his flight, 

Morales acted like a barbarian ; after the death of Boves and 
his success at Urica and Maturin, the most dreadful cruelties were 
committed upon the prisoners, and the inhabitants were murdered, 
the city plundered and burnt. He was proclaimed commander- 
in-chief of all the provinces lying eastward of tlie capital, Caracas 
included ; so that Barcelona, Cumana, &tc. were subjected to him, 
w^hilst Maracaybo, Coro, Barinas, and all the other provinces west- 
ward from Caracas, recognised the autliority of the captain-gener- 
al Cagigal, who dared not oppose an innovation so dangerous for 
the Spanish cause. 

As the division of Boves, now commanded by Morales, was 
composed of about 3000 colored and black people, which were 
collected from among freemen and slaves, who were spread over 
the whole country, tlieir actions and words had the greatest in- 
fluence over this class of people, and various dangerous conspira- 
cies against the whites, were discovered and punished. 

It is useless to give a detailed account of all that happened af- 
ter Bolivar and Marino's embarkation at Cumana ; it will be suffi- 
cient to say that Venezuela was about in the same state of anar- 
chy, and the theatre of the same cruel and sanguinary acts, as un- 
der Monteverde in 1812, and under the dictatorships of Bolivar 
and Marino. 

An impartial and well informed reader will easily perceive that 
Bohvar's appearance in Venezuela in 1813, and his embarkation 
and flight from Cumana in 1814, had a very strong resemblance 
to his arrival at Tunja, and his campaign against Carthagena. In 
the former he succeeded at first in being victorious, but had neith- 
er military skill nor talents enough to drive the enemy entirely out 
of the country, which could have been easily done under any 
leader of ordinary experience and talents. Bolivar's ambition suf- 
fered no advice, no congress, and entirely guided by his own will 
and caprice, he ruined his country. After having plunged it into 
the greatest misery, he left it, embarked, and put himself in safe- 
ty. In New Grenada, congress gave him the best occasion to 
atone for his faults committed in Venezuela ; and I may here al- 
lege, that Urdaneta, or any other chief, might have done much 
better than Bolivar did. His task was easy and glorious ; it was 
to subdue an open and defenceless city like that of Bogota, with 
no, or a very small garrison ; another would not have suffered the 
plundering, during 48 hours, of a part of this fine capital. Bolivar 
did authorise it ! Another would have complied with the strict 
orders of congress, marched against St. Martha without delay, and 


have been received ^th open arms by its inhabitants. The well 
known cowardice and tyranny of Montalvo, with his 200 men, 
could by no means resist such a niunber of soldiers as Bolivar had 
with him. By the occupation of Santa Martha, Carthagena, Savan- 
illa, Rio Hacha, and all the seaports of New Grenada, would have 
been shut agabst the squadron of Morillo ; Carthagena would not 
have fallen a victim to the Spaniards, and congress powerfully 
seconded by the excellent spirit of the people, would have gov- 
erned quietly and wisely, as it did, the new founded republic. 

Bolivar, blind and deaf, listened to the perfidious advices of Cele- 
donio Pineres, and forgot his engagements, his glory, and the wel- 
fiure of a million of countrymen. And, strange to relate, but tor 
true : " when the government of Carthagena gave him a good op 
portunity to redress the faults committed, in offering to entrust bin 
with the command of the troops in that province, with the remain- 
der of his besieging army, and to destroy the (in the beginning) 
small number of Spaniards who landed under Morillo, he preferred 
to secure his own personal safety, and embarked ; pretending that 
he was the victim of a faction," &lc. The reader may judge of 
the real character of that leader, who, wherever he goes, spreads 
confusion, anarchy and blood, when it appears by his curious 
proclamations, as if he was the only sufferer, and the true friend 
of order and liberty ! 


Events at Carthagena — Siege of that place^lyMoriUo'^CaMtmo 
BermudeSy Ducoudrav Ifolstein^ Brion — Evacuation of Car- 
thagena and Boca Chica — Causes of BoKvar^s return. 1S16. 

After having shown the consequences of Bolivar^s departure 
from Venezuela in 1814, and his embarkation at Carthagena in 
May 1815, we must give some account of what passed in the lat- 
ter province, in the absence of general Bolivar, and how it came 
to pass that he returned, after staying more than eight months at 
Kingston, in Jamaica. But for the understanding; of the following 
events, it will be necessary to give a short account of die situation 
of both provinces, of Venezuela and New Grenada, at the time oi 


general Bolivar's leaving ilie first, in August 1814, and the latter, 
in May 1815. 

The situation of the Patriots in Venezuela, was not at all so des- 
perate as the dictator, Bolivar, had represented it, when he era- 
barked at Cumana, in tlie night of the 25di August. There was 
not so good reason as he stated in his memoir, to leave tlie field of 
battle and to take shelter in New Grenada, and to desert the cause 
of his native land. To convince the reader fully that tliis was a 
hasty desertion by die two dictators, I will enter here into sorae 

It is true, that the greatest part of the eieht provinces of Vene- 
zuela were in the hands of the Spaniards, after the battle gained by 
Boves at La Puerta, (June 1814,) but they were not at all subju- 
gated, or their inhabitants in favor of the Spanish government. 
They saw, truly enough, that they had been seduced by the bril- 
liant promises of their countryman, liolivar ; that he had not fulfill- 
ed their expectations, and that he had acted in an arbitrary and 
lyranical manner ; but they were on the other hand fully con- 
vinced that a con2;ress, a wise and republican government, could 
offer them a happier existence, than the cruehies of a Montcverde 
and his subalterns, or of a Boves, Morales, Puy, Rosetta, and 
others of a similar description. The name alone of freedom and 
liberty, was a powerful magnet, wliich had too great attraction, 
to be left and abandoned hasdly ; the cruelties and vexations of 
the Spaniards, on die other hand, offered them no security, no 
other chance than to take arms again, and to drive their oppres- 
sors out of the country, or to die. If therefore Bolivar would have 
followed the sound advice of his cousin Ribas, to remain in Vene- 
zuela, and to suffer the desertion of his colleague, Marino, every 
one woidd have rallied to die standard of the only remaining die 
tator; every one would have had a central point, a single leader, 
who could have given to each of die dispersed columns, a unity of 
acdon, a combined force and success. 

General Ifclivar, who is so fond of a central government, who 
professed loudly, in his last proclamaUons, that the military power 
alone can support a civil and free government, forgot, surely, in 
the night of the 24th of August 1814, and in May 1815, and still 
more, in July 1816, &tc. his favorite principle; if not, he would have 
remained in Venezuela, united his scattered forces, and fought, or 
died, like a hero, in the field of battle. But general Bolivar did 
not show us, at all, these brilliant qualiues. 

Instead of Bolivar and Marino, we see Ribas, Piar, Paez, Ur- 
daneta, Villapol, Yarasa, Sedeno, Monagas, Roxas, and many hun- 
dred brave chiefs, remaining in their country, and fighting for liber- 


ty and independence. These chieftains continued to harrass the 
Spaniards so successfully, and gained daily, more ground and 
forces, that it is a known fact, tliat the Spaniards would have been at 
last driven out of Venezuela, without general Bolivar, if Morillo 
had not arrived in time to support the cause of tyranny and op- 
pression, in its agony. 

Many of these chieftains, of which I know a great number per- 
sonally, have assured me, that if tlie dictator Bolivar would have 
remained, aU would iiave gone better ; all felt the want of imion, 
and an authority which they were already used to recognise. 

Besides the eight provinces of Venezuela, the island of Marga- 
rita, had preserved and supported its libcity and independence, 
from the beginning of the revolution, and destroyed about 2000 
of Morales' best troops, who attempted to subdue, in the beginning 
of 1815, tliis small island, inhabited by a set of brave, industrious 
and determined people, who destroyed, afterwards, about 3000 of 
the best troops under Morillo. This alone may give a proof that 
the cause in Venezuela was not so desperate as Bolivar asserts. 

The inhabitants of Margarita were emulated by the so well known 
Llaneros, (inhabitants of the plains, in the pro\inces of Caracas, 
Cumana, Barcelona and Barinas.) They were in continual war 
with the Spaniards, and fought under Paez, Yarasa, Sedeno, 
Roxas and Monagas, their favorite leaders, with a bravery and 
zeal which did them tlie greatest honor. 

Morillo, with his 10,000 men, arrived, and did great mischief, 
ruined the country, took the pompous title of Pacificator^ and 
caused the destruction of thousands, &^. When all was about lost 
for his cause, he embarked and left a weak chieftain, known for a 
great coward, as his successor, who by his apathy, his cowardice, 
and jealousy of the military skill of Morales, lost the Spanish cause, 
and strange to say, inntatcd the good example of his master and 
benefactor, Morillo, of whom he was a great favorite, because he 
was docile, and submitted to the caprices of his master, and knew 
how to flatter and pay court to him, at the proper time. Dr. AB- 
guel de La Torre embarked, after he had destroyed the cause 
of tyranny on the Main, and took tlie more sure and quiet com- 
mand of the island of Porto Rico, where he found a second An- 
gostura in its capital, St. John. No grape shot or balls would 
trouble him tliere, and he could repose and sleep, as he did in 
Porto Cabello. 

Morillo divided his forces into three strong di\isions, of which 
one was destined to act against Bogota, and the interior of New 
Grenada, another to besiege Carthagena, and the last to reinforce 
the Spanish troops m Venezuela. 


At the latter end of August 1815, arrived the Spanish squadron 
in sight of Cartliagena and Boca Chica. General Castillo, af- 
ter Bolivar's embarkation for Jamaica, and Palacios' departure 
from Turbacco, acted witli very great haughtiness and despotism 
in Carthagena, and took not tlie least vigorous step to put the 
place in a good state of defence. From the 15ih January 1815, 
the day of his entry into Cartliagena, at the head of a part of his 
army, to destroy the faction of Pineres, he remained quiet in his 
large and beautiful residence, near tlie walls of Carthagena, and 
appeared no more at the head of his troops. He occupied him- 
self with festivals and parties, married a young and beautiful lady, 
witli whom, and her sister, he remained regularly at home, was 
very seldom to be seen, received his subalterns in a harsh and 
haughty manner, arrested various commanders unjustly, namely 
tlje commodore Aury, and the general Florencio Palacios, and 
made himself many great enemies. Among them was general 
Ducoudray Holstein, of whom I am compelled to speak more tlian 
I would have done, if what I relate was not a characteristic picture 
of the chieftains on the Main. 

From the time that general Ducoudray had taken the temporary 
command of the strangers, during the sessions of the legislature, 
general Castillo became entirely changed in his manners to the for- 
mer. He became embarrassed, cold and stiff, when he before was 
very intimate and friendly. When we took a ride out, which hap- 
pened almost every afternoon, he was silent and appeared sorrow- 
ful, and when I asked him the reason of it, he said to me, " that 
he had no motive at all to be so." I perceived this change, and 
declined to ride out any more with him. I heard afterwards that 
he felt jealous of me, and the ascendancy which I appeared to 
have over the strangers, and diat he wishc'd to have me out of his 
way, declining to follow a great many of my suggestions, tending 
to introduce more order and discipline among the army, so called, 
of Carthagena, counting less than 2000 men in all. 

I was therefore appointed commander-in-chief of the four forts 
of Boca Chica, which I found in a deplorable situation. I arrived 
in the night, very unexpectedly, and when I rose at day-break, as 
usual, I met with a handsome young man, well dressed, who ap- 
proached me in a respectful manner, and welcomed my arrival, 
saying that the report from the commander in the forts was, that 
nothing had passed worthy of notice. I lived in a large and beau- 
tiful house, called the Commandancia, at some distance from the 
forts, at the entrance of the borough, called Boca Chica. This 
young man was nothing else than the first servant of the Comman- 
dancia, who told me that the former commanders of these forts, 


were in the habit of receiving from him, Lucas, every morning, the 
report from the forts. Astonished at such a disgraceful mode of 
service, I ordered the four commanders of these forts, the major 
and the staff ofHcers, before mc, and established order and disci- 
pline, which had been very much neglected. I understood that 
the ofHcers on duty and guard, left dieir guards under the care oi 
a sergeant, and came, in short jackets, into the viUage, where 
they passed tlie whole night. 

\Vhen Bolivar approached Carthagena, the question was sug- 
gested, whedier I could be trusted to remain, as the commander of 
such an important station as tliat of these forts, which lay as a bul- 
wark at the entry of the port of Carthagena, 12 miles from the 
fortress. Some said I might be in favor of Bolivar, and give up 
to him these forts, but the majority were in my favor, and express- 
ed great confidence that I would be faithful to my duty, and was 
an officer of honor and trust. Martial law was now proclaimed in 
Carthagena, where Castillo commanded, and in Boca Chica, where 
I had united the three powers. As the garrison of the four forts 
was very weak, and unable to do field dut\^, I assembled the inhabit- 
ants of the surrounding islands of Boca Chica, Bam, Passao-Ca- 
ballos, &tc. ; represented to them, in a sliort and earnest speech, 
the situation in which general Bolivar's hostile attack placed us, 
and showed them the necessity of taking shelter, with their fami- 
lies, in tlie forts, and doing military duty, as militia, promising at 
the same time, that not one of them should be pressed, (as was 
the common use,) for the marine ser\'ice, and that they should be 
armed and fed at the* expense of government. They assented 
unanimouslv, and I had about 1500 youns: and brave soldiers more, 
which I organised the same day in difTerent corps and companies. 
I created a company of 150 boys, from 10 to 15 years old, which 
rendered ine great service. Drills with die musket, rifles and 
guns, were regularly established in the forts, and the distribution 
of good rations provided for, a hosi)ital organised, military tribunals 
erected, the marine, including 15 armed vessels systematized, the 
fortifications repaired, the arsenal, workmen, forges, saihnakers, 
fishers, &:c. established, and all was activity, zeal and order, so that 
many thousand strangers, who were witnesses of what passed in 
Boca Chica, were surprised to see such activity and zeal, when 
at Carthagena, all was in great apalliy. 

One Sunday, being at mass, I observed a great bustle amongst 
the congregation, and all the men and boys running, in the midst 
of divine ser\'ice, out of the church. Much surprised, I sent an 
officer to know tlie reason of it, and received tlie report that the 
commandant of the Matricula (or press gang) had arrived from 


Carthagena, in order to press sailors in Boca Chica ; and that, as 
sooa as lliey heard that the colonel lVl;irques ums coming, they 
fled into the mountains and surroundinz; forest, fearinj^ they should 
be pressed. 1 determined immediately to sliow them that I was a 
man used to keep my word, havinij; pledged myself to protect 
them against any service of that kind. 1 stnt for colonel Mar- 
ques, and at the same time ordered tiie inhabitants to return and 
assemble, without arms, before my house ; here, in their presence, 
I asked the colonel what kind of mission he had, and by what or- 
der he came here. He showed me an order from brigadier gen- 
eral Eslava, and general Castillo, to press 80 sailors, of which the 
marine in Carthagena was in great want. I told him I was sorry 
tliat I could not consent to assist him in the execution of such an 
order, having pledged my word that none of these inhabitants should 
be pressed during their services in the forts, and I wrote immedi- 
ately to general Castillo and Juan d^ Dios Amador, the governor 
of the province, the motives of my refusal, and the urgency of be- 
ing faithful in my promises, to inspire that confidence in me 
so highly necessary in civil war, Sec. 1 dismissed colonel Mar- 
ques, who wished to make me some representations, w hich I would 
and could not hear. But he persisting, I was obliged to tell him 
in a tone of authority, that if he did not embark in five minutes, I 
would arrest, and send bin) into one of the forts. I took my 
watch, and gave the necessary orders to put in execution my threat. 
This had the desired effect, and he returned without one man. 

When the inhabitants saw how I protected them, they had th^ 
greatest confidence in me, and served with redoubled zeal. The 
following is an instance of this confidence. 

The governor wrote to me a private very obliging note, ap- 
proving my zeal, my good services, &lc. and ended, by requesting 
me, if I could, to procure him 220 good sailors, for an extraordi- 
nary expedition against some Spanish vessels ready to sail in a 
few weeks from Havana, with one and a half niillions of dollars, 
which he was desirous to intercept. I answered him, that he could 
have 300, and more, without any difficulty. The squadron of five 
armed vessels came some days after, under the command of 
commodore Tono, from Carthagena, to Boca Chica, and the latter 
handed me a polite letter from the governor, in reply to my an- 
swer, full of tlianks and confidence. The procuring of the neces- 
sary provisions, water, &c. took the whole day, and I had a large 
dinner and ball party, to which the officers of the squadron and 
the forts w^ere invited. Tono's first question was, whether the 
sailors were ready, and whether .they were chosen by me ? I re- 
plied no/ With this, he was perplexed and thunderstiuck, and 


he was the whole evening very' uneasy, and came in the middle of 
the ball, at about one o'clock in the morning, with»a very sorrow- 
ful face, to ask me if I had not yet given the necessary orders for 
the sailors, k,c. I replied to him again, I had not ! and that he 
should not be detained a single minute by me. At day-break, 
Tono and myself left the ball room, embarked for the principal 
fort, and ordered the alarm gun to be fired. Soon after, every 
one was at his post. 1 ordered all the sailors from the three other 
forts to come down to San Fernando, where 1 made them acquaint- 
ed that the government was in need of good sailors, to embark for 
about one month, and that 1 had pledged my word they would em- 
bark voluntarily for such a short time. They received my speech 
with acclamations of viva la patria, and said they were ready to 
embark. Tono and all the navy oflicers were astonished, and 
could hardly believe what they heard and saw. I told him to 
choose the best sailors, and every one of tliem embarked cheei^ 

When general Castillo heard all that was doing in Boca Chica^ 
he appeared jealous and uneasy. He came one day to visit me, 
and after having dined with me, appearing to be much pleased 
witli his hospitable reception, he asked how many rations offish were 
dealt out daily. I answered so many. He said in a haughty man- 
ner to me, " that will not do, sir, you must catch more !" I show- 
ed him the ridicule of such a pretension, in stating in a sarcastic 
tone, that I was tlic commander-in-chief of these forts, but not of 
tlic fishes in the sea ! and that 1 could not command these to be 
so good as to fill our nets ! All the bystanders laughed heartily 
at my reply, but not so Castillo ; he stood up in a fury, took his 
sword, and said to nic, I should soon hear more of him. He 
stepped out and ordered the ofliccr of my own guard to arrest 
me, and that 1 should he tried before a court martial, for having 
disobeyed his orders. 1 heard these words, look my uniform and 
sword, and, in his presence, commanded the guard to present anns. 
I then asked them, who commanded here, Castillo or 1? As the 
general made much noise, a grrai many oflicers and privates had 
surrounded my house, and all cried with the guard, " viva nuestro 
rommandante, our father, our coiimiaiKlor-in-chief," and " muere 
Castillo,''^ (perish Castillo.) The general turned pale, and said to 
me, in a faultering voice, that he hoped I would not suffer him to 
bemurdered. 1 immediately commanded silence, and said to the 
enraged soldiers, tliai genera Castillo having come on a visit, I, 
and they, would surely not suficr a breach of hospitality to him; 
and tliat he, Castillo, should embark immediately for Canhagena, 
from whence he came. So ended this ridiculous behaviour, and 


he thanked me very heartily when I handed him into his long-boat, 
safe and uninsuhed. But my ollicers, and those of Carthagena, 
had a long lime been tired of his tyranny and haughty manners, 
and one night came three of the officers of tlie highest rank from 
Cardiagena to Boca Chica, and asked my assistance to arrest Cas- 
tillo and put myself at the head of the troops. I refused positively 
to accept the command of Carthagena, being fully satisfied with my 
station, but consented to displacing Castillo, as having become un- 
worthy, by liis apathy and bad measures, to command us any 

After the refusal of three others, the command was conferred 
upon colonel Bermudes, who belonged to Bolivar's army. He 
arrested Castillo, and began by shooting captain Cespcdes, who 
commanded the guard before the palace of general Castillo, and 
who tried to resist. This cruelly against a young officer, who did 
his duty, was unnecessary, as Bermudes had a stronger guard with 
him, which was sufficient to make^ prisoners of Castillo's captain 
and soldiers, being only 20 men, without killing a young officer, 20 
years old, the only conM)- :iIon of his affiicted father. 

The friends of Bermudes advised him to get himself elected 
dictator, during the whole lime of the siege. A great council of 
war was convoked for tlie 1 Gtli September, to which I received an 
invitation ; but I sent in my place colonel Sala y Busy, the ex- 
chief of tlie staff of Miranda's army, in 1812, who served under 
my orders. 1 had tlie following report from him : . " The council 
was solemn and numerously attended, and after various orators had 
urged the necessity of uniting the forces, and naming general Ber- 
mudes as a temporary dictator, the latter having already risen from 
his seat, to express his thanks and acknowledgments, was inter- 
rupted by a Caraguin, named Garcia de Sena, who was the 
provisional secretary of the war department. He spoke with so 
great vehemcncy against such a step, that Bermudes, being con- 
fused, dared not to speak a single word more. This weakness in 
a commander, on such an occasion, where the public welfare stood 
in danger, made a very unfavorable impression upon the minds of 
the other chiefs, who had conceived a higher opinion of Bermudes. 
From that time, and when Morillo besieged tlie place, the com- 
mander of Carthagena took very insignificant measures to provide 
the place, showed no energy, no activity, no talents, and occupied 
himself with his pleasures ; and so it happened that the city was 
filled with sick and perishing people, who died for want of food. 
Some told him, in vain, that the secret friends of the Spaniards, 
of whom Carthagena had at the imic a large number, had secreted 
flour, rice, and other provisions ; but all was in vain ; he took no 


Step to search the indicated places, but sunk into great apathy.' This 
was SO true, that two hours after the entry of Morrillp's troops into 
Carthageiia, uiiite bread, baked from this same flour, was found 
in abundance, for sale in the streets of the fortress. 

In a time of ci\il war, where the greatest precaution should have 
been taken to fill the pubhc ofiiccs with virtuous and devoted sub- 
jects, it is a too notori us fact, that a great many of the most im- 
portant offices were filled with Spaniards, or secret enemies of the 

In September 1S15, or during the siege of Carthagena, by Mo- 
rillo, were to be found in Carthagena, 1st, a Mareschal de Cauipo, 
a European Spaniard, to whom tlie republic paid his half pay from 
the beginnlnG: of the revolution, who remained quietly durinje: the 
whole siege of Morillo in Carthagena. His name was Don Fran- 
cisco Esquiagva, born in the province of Cataluna, who, notwith- 
standing his being 75 years of age, was yet very vigorous and ac- 
tive ; mixed in all societies, and was well acquainted with all that 
passed in the city ; he gave, every week, a detailed account of tlie 
situation of the fortress, to- the Spaniards, to whom he was entirely 

Such a dangerous man was tolerated, whilst the widow of a 
Spanish colonel, an American, was expelled from Carthagena, 
with her two daughters, because she spoke some insignificant words 
against the patriot leaders in Carthagena ! 

The second Spaniard was brigadier general Antonio Angiano, 
commander of the engineers; 3d, the brigadier Eslava, comman- 
der of the navy ; 4tli, the chief of the staff of the same department, 
captain of a man of war, J. M. Tono ; the three other captains of 
the same rank, were also Spaniards born, and were yet in the ser- 
vice of the republic ; 5th, tliJ chief of the land troops, colonel 
Manuel Cortes, the same who proposed ])oisoning the well of La 
Popa, during the siege of Carthagena by Holivar ; Gth, the com- 
mander-in-chief of the artillery, lieutenant colonel Joseph Hossa, 
and the major Jo-eph Lear, with a dozen other subahern officers; 
6th, the treasurer general Franrisco Ferrer, and his deputy Juan 
de Dios Soionia\ or ; so that the finances of the republic were en- 
tirely in the hands of Spiniards, and at iheir dIs|)Osal ; l^th, the in- 
tend?nt of the army, Antonio Cesjiedes ; ICth, the director of the 
custom house; lllh, the "grand vicar, known under the de- 
nomination of Fnthr Provisory Dr. Bantista Solomayor, the 
same who excommunicated the free masons and others in lbl4. 

Besides tliis list of Spaniards in office, in the small province of 
Corlhiigcna, the richest crmmercial houses, also a gieat many 
private families and individuals, the friars, priests, monks and nuns« 


were secretly devoted to the Spanish cause, and great enemies of 
the repubHcan system. And never did Bermudes take any step 
to watch, or to change these Spanish ofticers, of which a great 
many were known to be in favor of Spain. He never gave the 
least order to send away in lime, all the useless consumers, in a 
place destitute, as he very well knew, of all me^ns of subsistance. 
The fact is, that Bermudes was an ignorant, pnibitious, and indo- 
lent man, totally unfit to command, in such critical circumstances, 
a place of such importance, as was Carihagena. When, at last, 
he sent away some miserable wretches, whom he sent to me, with 
a recommendation to provide for their subsistance, he did it much 
too late, and when, already, 340 persons died every day at Car- 

While Bermudes acted, in the latter place, with great apathy 
and weakness, Ducoudray organised armed gun boats, to take from 
the magazines of the enemy, in the islands of Boca Chica and 
Bara, large quanlites of provisions ; created companies of fisher- 
men, who took daily, under the protection of these boats, a large 
quantity of fish ; supplied Carthagena with provisions ; sent armed 
privateers in search of all that was wanted, and showed every 
where, the first example to his troops, in every kind of danger and 
fatigue. Thousands of foreigners, at that time in Carthagena, will 
confirm tliese well known facts ; when Bermudes, and those chiefs 
concerned in this statement, will try to deny it publicly, and will, 
in order to destroy the impression of truth, make the utmost exer- 
tions to calumniate my actions and services, as this same Bermu- 
des, Charles Soubleite, and otlieis, have done already. I despise 
such attempts, and am sure that the statement of facts, dates, names, 
in my history, and still more the deplorable state of aflfairs in Co- 
lombia, will show how miserably public aflfans have been managed 
in this beautiful country, where nature has done every thing to give 
happiness and plenty to its inhabitants. 

J said that I was always ready to show the example of order and 
submission to discij)line, and of exposure to danger. One day, for 
instance, I ordered a sortie of :*.00 men, from the fort of San Fer 
nando, to repulse some incendiaries, from the vilhge of Boca 
Chica, but could not find more tlian 20 volunteers who w^ould fol- 
low a certain lieutenant colonel, under my orders, in whom no one 
had the slightest confidence. When 1 heard this, I put myself at 
the head of the party, and was immediately followed by more than 
300 men, ordering, peremptorily, the surplus back, to remain in 
the fort. 1 soon drove the enemy back, who took to flight and re- 
turned no more. 


Another dav, havinz dven orders to demolish a battery of no 
use, more tlian J^KX) cannon balls remained piled up in the re- 
doubt. The commander of tlie artilier}', colonel T€>borda, repre- 
sented to me that his artillerists were too much encaged in dbev 
works, and unable to take these balls inio the arsenal. I there- 
upon i.ssued an order, tliat every individual comins to the fort of 
San Fernando, sliould bring one of diese balls, whenever he pass- 
ed tlie draw bridge to come in, without distinction of rank or per- 
son. I underi^tood that this order met with general approba- 
tion, and diat three staff ofhcers alone, said they never would sub- 
mit to an order so degrading to officers of their high standing. 
These having been named to me, I determined to subject them 
inunediutely to the order, as a measure highly recessar}', in the 
present extraordinary circumstances. I sent lor lliem, after having 
mstructed ihc captain of the guard at the draw bridge not to suffer 
even myself to pass, without carrying a cannon ball, and so nobody 
eUe^ in coming into the arsenal of San Fernando, where I had, 
since tlie siege hy Morillo, established my head quarters. I told 
tliese three oilicers that I wanted their advice on some outworks, 
on which the Spanish prisoners were employed. Hanng passed 
tlie bridge with them, I pretended to have forgotten some plans, 
and sent two back lo my cabinet, requesting them to ask my secre- 
tary for those papers. They were in full uniform, as well as my- 
self; and bearing themselves loftily, tliey passed the bridge and tlie 
first centry, who presented arms. The second stopped them 
short, and asked them, respectfully, " if they were not acquainted 
with the general's order?" They answered, "yes, but such an 
order had noihinu; lo do with them." Tiie rentrv told riiem " that 
they were subject to it like any body else ;" they were about to 
force a j)assage, but he presented his bayonet and called for the 
guard. This naturally made a noise, and many hundreds assem- 
bled in a few minutes to know the cause. 1 came, of course, im- 
mediately, and asked the reason of the centry's call. The officer 
of the guard told me, " that the resistance of the two colonels 
agains: the orders given, was the cause of the alarm." " Well, 
gentlc'men," said I, very coolly, '* I will ixo fetch my papers my- 
self, but as tin; commander of the forts has given the order that 
nobody should b(» [)ermitted to enter San Fernando without taking 
one ol these balls into the arsenal, the useful orders of the com- 
mander must be respected, and 1 obey him with pleasure, since 
diey have been given for the welfare and safety of us all." So 
.saying, and without giving Uieni the least reprimand or looking at 
the two officers, I took one of Uiese rusty bullets, and passed the 
gates before die whole guard under arms, and amid huzzas 


of all the bystanders, who took, each one his bullet, and fol- 
lowed me. The officers astonished and ashamed, followed my ex- 
ample, and from that time nobody attempted to resist any order given. 

I could relate a great many other instances, but I am afraid of 
speaking too much of what 1 did. It will suffice to state here, that 
I was the last officer who left the forts, after having protected the 
whole emigration, which came under my batteries, from Cartha- 
gena to Boca Chica, in the afternoon of the 7th December. 

In the meantime, captain l-iouis Brion, afterwards admiral Brion, 
came from I^ndon, with a fine corvette of 24 guns, 14,000 stand 
of arms, and a great quantity of warlike stores, to Boca Chica. 
He fell sick, and I took him into my house, where our acquaint- 
ance was soon changed in intimacy. He spoke to me continually 
of general Bolivar, and regretted much to sec him absent. One 
day an intimate friend of Bolivar arrived from Jamaica, a Dr. Ro- 
driguez, a man whose plain, unassuming manners pleased me 
much. He had frequent ccnversaiion with Brion. They botli lived 
in my large government house. One evening, being in my cabinet, 
captain Brion came in, and asked me if I had any i)ressing busi- 
ness, or was at leisure to hear what he had to communicate. He 
told me that Dr. Rodriguez had just arrived from Carthagena, 
where Bermudes, in consetpience of his apathy, and halfway 
measures, was generally desj)ised ; that they accused him of occu- 

Eying himself more wuh his [)lcasures than with his duty, and that 
e was unworthy to command ; that Carthaceua was in a deplorable 
situation, dirough his fauh, &.c. Brion said to me, after a pause : 
"I know no other man, among all tliese chieftains, but Bolivar, able 
to save tlie place ; at least, he has an acknowledged authority over 
them all, and you and I could assist him much ; then I hope that 
tlie misfortunes he has experienced, will correct his haughty and 
despotical character. Dr. Rodriguez assures me that he is quite 
another man in Jamaica, and tliat he is anxious to return. The Dr» 
came here on his order, and desires much to have a private con- 
versation with you on tlie subject, as you alone are able to support, 
and send for him." 

After five or six conferences between Brion, Rodriguez, and 
myself, the following measures were adopted, to favour general 
Bolivar's return. As Ducoudray possessed the entire confidence 
of all those under his command ; as he had, moreover, many friends 
amongst the most powerful natives, and strangers in the city of 
Cartliagena, he spoke to Dr. Rodriguez, upon the facility of intro- 
ducing Bolivar, and putting him at die head of the government of 
Carthagena, instead of tlie weak and indolent Bermudes. I re- 
quested the Dr. to go again to Cartliagena, and sound, adroitly, 


some persons whom I named to him, and any body else upon whom 
I could rely. He relumed and Ibund my obser\'atioiis correct. 
He s^:id further, that all those persons whom he visited during; his 
three days stay, assured him th it Bermudes had eniircly lost his 
confidence and activity, and that they saw iiim, with sorrow, associ 
ating 100 much with women known to be secretly attached to the 
Spanish cause. This the Dr. repeated to me twice, and said 
he had iieard it from good authority. Brion oiFered to go with 
his five corvettes, to Aux Ciiyes (Hayti) ti get one thousand bar- 
rels of flour, rice, and other provisions, which might enable Car- 
thagena and Boca Chica to support a longer seige, and to come 
immediately oack to Boca Chica, whilst I engaged the fast sailing 
well armed privateer La Papa, whirh wrs one of the armed ves- 
sels under my order, to go for general Bolivar, to Kingston, in Ja- 
maica, and to send Dr. Rodriguez in the vessel with a letter di- 
rected to Bolivar. All was ready in a couple of days, and they 
sailed early in the morning on the 1 1th of November in company 
with three other privateers, commanded by me, to scan h on the 
coast for provisions. 

Dr. Rodriguez received verbal instructions, from me and BrioD ; 
nobody else in Cartliagena or Boca-Chica, had the least idea 
of what was going on. Besides, I handed a letter to the Dr. 
addressed to general Bolivar in French, of which the following is a 
translation : " Dear General, an old soldier of acknowledged 
republican sentiments, with whom you are personally well acquaint- 
ed, and are informed that he has served against yon, invites you 
now to come and place yourself at the head of the government of 
Carthagena, where Berniudes acts with creat weakness and apathy. 
I engage, by the influence which I have here in Ifoca-Chica and 
in Carthagena, to put in execution this change of government with- 
out the least bloodshed, and pledge my life for all the consequen- 
ces. In taking this extraordinary step, I can assure you, candidly, 
that I have no other intention than to save the cause, which is in 
danger of being lost in Bermudes' weak hands. Brion is your 
friend, and Brion alone, has engaged me by showing your charac- 
ter to me in a very diflerent light from that in which I had recei- 
ved it from others. Dr. Rodriguez, who will hand you this letter, 
will explain to you every odier particular concerning this plan, but 
lose not a minute, and come in the si me vessel innnediately. 
Captain Pierrill, who commands the Popa, has orders to take you 
and your friends to Boca Chica. 
Respectfully Yours, 


Dated, Boca Chica, November Uth, 1815." 



General Bolivar was mnch surprised at the sudden arrival of 
Dr. Rodriguez, and much more at my letter, and at all the partic- 
ulars communicated to him by the Dr. Bolivar was so highly pleas- 
ed, that he remained not a day longer in Kingston, but embarked 
with the Dr. and two aid-de-camps, the same evening, to join me 
in Boca Chica. But being under sail, he met with anotlier Cartha- 
genan privateer, the Republican, captain Joanny, who informed 
him that all was lost, that Carthagena and Boca Chica were evac- 
uated by the patriots, and that Ducoudray and the principal patriot 
families were on their way, in ten armed vessels, under tlie -com- 
mand of commodore Louis Aury, directing their course toward Auv 
Cayes (Hayti.) 

General Bolivar thee changed his <Jourse and arrived ten 
days before our squadron at Aux Cayes, and departed from thence 
to tlie ca{)ital of Hayti, Port au Prince, where he was cordially 
received by the president, Alexander Petion. 

It will undoubtedly surprise the reader, that I, who was so decid- 
edly against general Bolivar in September, 1814, had changed so 
suddenly in his favor, in November 1815. But this is not so sur- 
prising, when we consider the circumstances of my personal and 
delicate situation, in a land where I was a stranger, and full of en- 
thusiasm for tlie liberty and freedom of tliis beautiful country. Re- 
cently arrived at Carthagena, I remained more than two months, a 
quiet observer of all that was going on, before I engaged in tlie ser- 
yice of this republic, which was offered rae some days after my ar- 
rival. But having at last consented to serve as Gefe de Brigada 
(colonel) in Castillo's staff, until my nomination as niareschal de 
campo could be confirmed by tlie congress of IJfew Grenada 
which was sent to Tunja by the president Manud> Rodriguez 
and general Castillo, I was in honour bound to support the existing 
government in Carthagena, and obliged to act against the united 
combination of tlic two Pineres with Bolivar as I did, and as I have 
stated in another chapter.* General Bolivar departed from Car- 
thagena to Tuma, and besieged Carthagena ; I being commander 
of the forts of Boca Chica, was naturally obliged to remain faith- 
ful to the established government of Carthagena, and in killing 
general Bolivar in an action (as I said afterwards to himself) \ 
should have done my duty. But Brion's arrival from London, my 
intimacy with him, the wannth with which he represented to me 
the necessity of saving Carthagena in pursuance of his plan, and 

Sec Chapter VII. 


my being fully convinced that this plan was tlie only one to 
save the province, which I alone could effect, considering my 
))osilion at that time, determined me, and 1 would have fulfill- 
ed my new engagement with Bolivar at the peril of my life, if the 
evacuation of Carthagena had not taken place sooner than I and 
Brion expected. Then I was like many others, fully convinced of 
die total incapacity and apathy of Bermudes as commander of Car- 
thagena. I was so fully persuaded that I had formed a wrong 
opinion of Bolivar's character and abilities, and moreover that I saw 
in this rccal of Bolivar the only way to save the republic from de- 
struction, that I acted in conformity to my conviction, and v>ill ne- 
ver deny these steps taken in favour of a man, whom I found after- 
wards, not at all to correspond to tlie ideas I had formed of him. 

1 will say shortly, in closing this chapter, that the distress was so 
great in Carthagena, for want of provisions, that it was resolved to 
evacuate it secretly in the night, without capitulating with a cru- 
el and faithless enemy like Alorillo. This was done, and Louis 
Aury the commodore of tlie squadron, received these unfortunate 
people on board, forced the passage of the canal, which forms the 
entry of the port of Carthagena, from Boca Chica, and all came to 
shelter tliemselves under batteries of the forts which I commanded. 
I was, tlierefore, the last chieftain who remamed, and after all the 
families from Boca Chica were embarked, I came at two oVk)ck 
in the morning of the 8di December, 1815, on boaid the commo- 
dore Aury, where I Joined my family ; and so we left this unhappy 
country, and sailed for tlie port of Aux Cayes. 


Vartirulars of the stay of General Bolivar in Aux Cayes — CAnr- 
actcrisiieal Anecdotes. 

The emigrants from Carthagena, and my family, arrived the 
Gtli of January 151G, at Aux Cayes, after having suffered cruelly 
for want of water and food. Some weeks after, general Bolivar 
arrived from Port au Prince, and came to visit my family. He 
embraced and thanked me in the most obliging manner for my 
letter, and for all that I had intended to do for him, and urged me 
to come and breakfast with him. 


It was in his room, and in presence of Brion, ihat I spoke to 
him as follows : " 1 hope, my dear general, that you will forget 
past events ; that now, being private individuals, in a strange land, 
we shall not act hostilely against each otlier. I served against you, 
and would have certainly wounded and killed you, or you me, if 
we had met together on the field of battle ; but diat was my duty^ 
and so 1 was in honour bound to maintain the existing government 
of Carthagena against you, or any body else," Stc. General 
Bolivar got up, embraced me again, and said to me the most 
obliging diings. He told me then, that the president of Hayti 
had offered him large supplies of every thing for a new expedi- 
'tion against the Spaniards in Venezuela. 

Some days after, he offerred me tlie office of chief of his staff, 
and promised me my grade of mareschal de ca!npo, as soon as we 
should enter upon the territory of Venezuela, saying very oblig- 
ingly, that I deserved it for my past services. He aulliorised me 
to choose my staff-officers, but expressed the wish to admit llie 
lieutenant colonel Charles Soublette, and captain Perez. The 
former is at present the secretary general of the dictator in Colom- 
bia, the latter haviftg occupied tlie same office during Bolivar's 
campaigns in Peru. 

I was charged with the organization of the staff, with forming 
regulations for its officers, and for the administration of the army, 
and proposing candidates to fill the necessary appointments. 

From that time, I had always eight or ten young officers of the 
staff employed daily under my orders, in the house which 1 
occupied during our stay in Aux Cayes. All that I proposed in 
my frequent conversations witli BoHvar, was approved and put in 
execution ; all these measures were intended for the furtlierance 
of our intended expedition, and for forming a good and well in- 
structed body of officers, of which, as I told tlie general frankly, 
we were much in need, he. 

The president, Petion, received Bolivar with great distinction 
when at Port au Prince, and not only granted him large supplies 
in arms, ammunition, &:c. but gave orders to the governor of Aux 
Cayes, general Marion, to assist him in his enterprise. 

Some friends*of general Bolivar advised him to assemble all the 
principal patriots, who had emigrated, and were then at Aux 
Cayes, and submit to them his new enterprise, principally for the 
purpose of being recognised as the commander of the expedition. 
At this assembly were present all the civil and military chiefs, and 
the principal emigrant patriots ; among them, l^rion, 1-^iar, Marino, 
Mc Gregor, Bermudes, myself, the brethren Pineres, tiie inten- 
dant Zea, the commodore Aiiry, he. It v»'as decided — J, to as- 


sist the patriots in Venezuela ; — 2, tliat general Bofivar should 
command tliis expedition ; — 3, that he should unite in himself the 
civil and military autliorities until tlie convocation of a congress ; 
— 4, that the expedition should first sail to the island of Margari- 
ta, and from thence to the Main, he, 

Aury alone was opposed to giving general Bolivar unlimited 
power, and proposed to nominate a commission of three or five 
persons, which should, with general Bolivar, be invested with that 
audiority. The latter spoke witli great wanntli against tlie pro- 
posal, and ended in declaring he should never consent to a divis- 
ion of those powers. Not a dissenting voice having been beard, 
llie articles were agreed to and passed. 

I must mention here that tliese articles were prepared before- 
hand, and already drawn up ; and that general Bolivar was seated 
upon an elevated large armed chair, and the military chieftains 
lower, and on common chairs, on the right and left of the general ; 
opposite to him sat tlie secretary of the assembly, and on his left, 
right, and behind him, all tlie other members, who had been invi- 
ted to the assembly by written hand bills, signed by general Boli- 
var. 1 must confess that this armed chair elevated about two 
feet gave offence to me, and to many others ; besides, it had the 
air of a throne, and a monarchical distinction. This arrangemen 
was prepared by Bolivar, in concurrence with colonel Louis Du- 
rand, a native of Bogota, who came over from London with Louis 
Brion, and who was the principal owner of the fourteen tliousaiid 
stand of arms bought for tlie government of New Grenada, and 
which were fortunately not landed at Boca Chira, but remained 
on board of Brion's cor\'cttc, in wliich came, as 1 have mentioned, 
from Boca Chira to Aux Caves. 

General Bolivar oj)ened tlie session with a long prepared speech, 
in wliicli he attempted to show the necessity of having a central 
government, or a united power in one single person, and he tliere- 
fore requested the assseinbly to name such a one before the ex- 
pedition departed. 

Brion then urc;ed in a few words the necessity of tliis appoint- 
ment, and said tliat general Bolivar was a suitable man for such a 
romhiand, and if the majority were in his favor, as he was sure it 
would be, he would join with his vessels, and employ his means 
and his credit to fit out t!ie necessar}' number of other armed ves- 
sels and transports, witli pronsions, fcc. to assist general Bohvar, 
but no body else ! 

Brion innnediaicly put the question to each of us, and said : 
" Do you ronscnt, ^fjioral Marino, that general Bolivar, as cap- 


tain-general of tlie armies of Venezuela and New Grenada, shall 
be our only commander — ^ycs or no ;" and turned round, naming 
each of us by name ; and so Bolivar was named our commander- 
in-chief, uniting all the powers, of which nothing was before men- 
tioned in a positive and explicit manner, eitlier by Bolivar or Bri- 
on. When the secretary had read the articles, Bolivar requested 
that no one should go out before they were reduced to form, and 
signed by each of us. Article 3d was put, as I have mentioned, 
to which Aury objected, and refused positively to sign that paper. 
This refusal wus die cause of tlie first disunion among tlie chiefs of 
the expedition; and from that time Bolivar was very angry 
with Aury ; and that resentment lasted until tlie death of the 

• Among many traits of the vindictive character of Bolivar against 
Aury, I select the following : Before, and during the siege of 
Carthagena, by Morillo, Aury had made the greatest exertions to 
supply the place with provisions ; he had exposed his person, and 
his own vessels to great danger, and had received on board many 
hundred families at the time of their evacuation of Carthagena, 
and had, in short, rendered the greatest services to tlie republic, 
which owed him a great deal of money for advances made for 
provisions, be. At his arrival at Aux Cayes, he claimed, as 
payment, the property of an armed privateer, tlie Constellation, 
and in his written demand, directed to Fadier Marimon, as the 
commissary general of the congress of New Grenada — the only 
competent autliority which came with us to Aux Cayes, the gov- 
ernor of Cardiagena having remained in Jamaica — said that if they 
would grant him this schooner, he would come witli the tliree oth- 
er armed vessels belonging to him, and would engage four or five 
other owners of privateers to join the intended expedition of gen- 
eral Bolivar. 

As soon as Bolivar was apprised that Marimon had named 
a commission to examine the justness of Aury's demand, and to 
settle it at once, knowing that the commissary of congress was 
greatly in favor of Aur)*^, he sent the next day after his election as 
commander-in-chief, for Father Marimon, and the intendant Zea, 
one of the arbitrators, and reprimanded them very severely in my, 
and commodore Brion's presence, for having meddled in this af- 
fair, annulled tlie just award made in favor of Aury, and tore it 
in pieces, it having been already written, signed, and approved. 
Not satisfied with this, he requested general Marion, the Haytien 
governor of Aux Cayes, to put a guard of Haytien troops on board 


of die Constellation, in order to drive Aury's men from the vessel, 
and take it for himself. 

Aur}*^, greatly surprised, in vain made the most just representa- 
tions, and said aftenvards, that having well known tlie tyrannical 
principles of BoUvar, he had opposed being under his sole order ; 
that he could not endure tliat such a man should be the ruler 
of so many thousands of his brethren. 

The reception of Aury, by Bolivar, at Savanilla, is too well 
known to be repeated here. 

The consequence of this arbitrary act was, that our expedition 
lost, with commodore Aury, moie dian four liundred good sailors, 
and about fifty foreign officers, with eight armed vessels, which 
separated from the expedition, whilst tlie squadron under Brion 
departed without tliem ; full one half of our forces were thus lost 
to us. 

Bermudes, a secret enemy of Bolivar, remained with Aury ; so 
did colonel Ducayla, Coland, Bolivar's ex-coimnander of artillery, 
Garcia, and others. 

Aury, as is known, took tlie Mexican colours, and sailed, sepa- 
rately, from Aux Cayes to the island of Amelia. AU that might 
be said of Aury's subsequent privateering operations, has notliing 
to do with Bolivar's resentment at Aux Cayes ; it is a convincing 
proof, like that of the besieging of Cartliagena, how vindictive and 
irascible is the character of the man who rules over about two 
millions of Colombians at the present day, with more power and 
absoluteness, dinn does the autocrat of Russia, or die Sultan at Con- 
stantinople over his subjects. 

The inhabitants of Aux Cayes were greatly scandalized at the 
indecent quarrels which took place between die patriot chieftains. 
There was a challenge for a duel from the lieutenant colonel Ma- 
riano Montilla to general Bolivar ; another of general Marino 
against commodore Brion ; both were prevented. In the first, I 
was the second of general Bolivar, who chose me, as Brion did in 
that of Marino. The particulars of the first will be related after- 
wards ; the second did not lake place because I told an oflicer to go 
secredy to general Marion and advise him, that he should intcr})ose 
his authority in detaijiing Maiino in his house, as such duels 
were not tolerated by the laws of Hayti ; which he did. Brion 
and myself, accompanied by I^livar, were going to die place ap- 
pointed for rendezvous, when I urged ]k)livaF to redre, as liis pres- 
ence was entirely useless and indecorous ; he fell the strength of 
my arguments, and die more when I assured him I would never 
sujfTer Brion lo be insulted or huit. He relumed to die city. Soon 


after came colonel Valdes, the second of general Marino, to the 
place of rendezvous, telling me, greatly perplexed, tliat the latter 
was arrested by order of ilie Haytien governor, Marion ; and tliat 
the whole affair was known to him. I pretended great disappoint- 
ment ; but was in fact very glad that general Marion had taken the 
hint ; and so anotlier day and place were appointed for a second 

Colonel Valdes, satisfied with my consent to a second meeting, 
left me at a full gallop. When Brion heard from me tliis delay, ho 
was disappointed, and expressed to me his sentiments, in very 
strong terms, against Marino. Before our horses were put in 
readiness, an officer, witli about 20 men of tlie Haytien guard, 
came suddenly upon us, and saying he had orders to arrest us, bade 
us give him our pistols and swords. The grenadiers fixed their 
bayonets, and all resistance would have been in vain. Luckily 
it happened diat I was acquainted widi this officer ; I requested 
him to order away the grenadiers, and promised that I, and my 
friend, would follow him alone, upon parole, which he granted very 
politely. We mounted our horses, and appeared before the Hay- 
tien governor, who after a short, but polite admonition for having 
acted against the laws of tlie country, dismissed us. The affair 
between Marino and Brion was settled in the same evening, in the 
closet of general Bolivar, by die latter, in my and colonel Valdes* 

A third challenge happened between lieutenant colonel Raphael 
Hugo and general Piar ; a fourth, between myself and lieutenant 
colonel Charles Soublette, tlie same who is now general of divis- 
ion and secretary general of the president Liberator, notwithstand- 
ing the known cowardice of die said Charles Soublette. The fol- 
lowing are the particulars of this cuiious and characteristic affair. 

During die evacuation of Carthagena, by the patriots, (Decem- 
ber, 1815,) and their retreat under the batteries of the forts of Boca 
Chica, I remained the last and only commander, who, in virtue of 
the martial law proclaimed since tlic beginning of Morillo's siege, 
had been invested with dictatorial powers. Soublette came from 
Carthagena to Boca Chica, where he wished to meddle with busi- 
ness in which he was not at all concerned. Some of my officers 
reported it to me immediately. 1 came, and repremanding him for 
his intrusion, ordered him to leave the fort of San Fernando and 
embark. He replied not a word, and embarked on board the Con- 
stitution, where I, and my family, came afterwards, it being com- 
modore Aury's vessel. When in sight of the Island of Jamaica, 
the latter desired to go on shore, to procure fresh provisions and 




water, and requested me to take the command of the squadron in 
his absence. Mr. Soublette, akeady much incensed against me, 
attempted to criticise some of my orders, while I was in the 
cabin. My friends told me of the murmurs of said Soublette ; I 
came on deck and reprimanded him again very severely, in pre- 
sence of more than an hundred persons, assembled to whom I ex- 
plained the propriety of my orders, and Mr. Soublette again re- 
ceived this second reprimand \iithout replying a single word. 

Soublette being, like all cowards, oi a ver}*^ vindictive and 
haughty character, could not bear this double public, and well de- 
served reprimand, and said to some of his friends, that I should 
ay for it very dearly. As soon as general Bolivar arrived from 
ort au Prince at Aux Cayes, and I had been entrusted with the 
organization of tlie staff, and the militar}' administration, Soublette, 
who had never commanded four men, was raised, by the favor of 
general Bolivar, to the grade of lieutenant in the staff, and was a 
great favorite of the latter, for some reasons well known to tliose 
acquainted with tlie family connexions of the two handsome sisters 
of said Soublette, of which can be found satisfactory proofs in 
> colonel Hyppisley's account cf his journey to the Orinoco, ed. Lon- 
( don, 1819. Said Soublette, sure now of the protection of gen- 
eral Bolivar, began to say to some of his companions, in my ab- 
sence, ^^ that I had tyrannized much over all tlie Caraguins on board 
of the Consutution, which was, on the part of a stranger, much 
more intolerable, and should be resented by every native of the 
country," &c. He repeated these falsehoods to a great many of 
his countrymen, in order to inspire hatred against me in die minds 
of the Caraguin oflicers, and particularly of general Bolivar, who 
is a Caraguin himself. 

I had heard nodiing of tliese rumors, thus maliciously spread 
against me by Mr. Soublette. One day, being alone witli general 
Bolivar, in his bed chamber, he said to me, hi the course of tlie 
conversation, " Apropos, my dear friend, (we always spoke French 
together, and in these conversations, Bolivar used the term, in 
speaking with me, of "wWo» cher Ami,^^ which die Spaniards use 
much in their intimate conversation in the Spanish language, say- 
ing " Mi Amigo /") do you know that Soublette has made great 
complaints against you and Aury, that you both have not well treat- 
ed the Caraguin officers on board the Constitution." I remember- 
ed, immediately, that Soublette had since been ver}* careful to 
avoid my presence, and what had passed between him and me in 
Boca Chica, and on board of the Constitution. I recounted all 
this, minutely, to Bolivar, who laughed much at the wanmh with 


which I related it ; but I said, at the end of my acconnt to Boli- 
var, "as it is high time to finish all these calumniesof such a young 
fellow, I will give him advice of my intentions, and that in your 
presence." I asked for pen, ink and paper, and immediately 
wrote to Soublette, in Bolivar's own bed chamber, the fallow- 
ing note in French, which Soublette understands passably well : 
" I have just now heard from general Bolivar, that you speak and 
spread falsehoods against me, like a coward, in my absence. I give 
you notice, that if you continue to do so, I will treat you as you 
deserve, and mark your face with my whip wherever I can meet 
you ; such a fellow as you deserves nothing else !" After having 
signed the note, and addressed it to " Mr. Charles Soublette, pre- 
sent," I handed it to general Bolivar, saying : " Here, sir, is my 
reply to such a shameful calumny, read it, if you please." Boli- 
var read the note over, and said I should do well to take care of 
Soublette's vengeance, which might bring discredit on a man of 
my age, and the head of a family." I laughed, and replied, "there 
is not the least danger for me, I know this man much better than 
you do. I am ready, if called upon, to give him, when, and 
wherever he pleases, hereafter, any satisfaction he may choose to 
take !" I called one of the officers on duty, who happened to be 
the lieutenant colonel Pedro Chypia, and ordered him, in presence 
of general Bolivar, handing him my folded, but unsealed note, to 
give it himself y in person, to Charles Soublette ; to seek him at his 
lodgings, or wherever he could find him out, and return to the 
residence of general Bolivar, where I would remain and wait for 
his return. It was about eleven o'clock in the morning, and an 
hour afterwards colonel Chypia returned, and said to me, in Boli- 
var's presence, (where I remained alone with him in his bed cham- 
ber,) that he found Soublette in the street, and that he read my 
note over twice, turning pale and red, and saying not "a single word 
more than " it is good, it is well !" And so it was ; then, I can 
declare, under the most solemn oath, that snid Soublette, after 
having received my note, avoided, very carefully, to meet me in 
the streets, or in any house where he could suspect I frequented. 
This was carried so far, that when Soublette was cautioned at one 
end of a street which I entered, he turned quickly round and pass 
ed into another, so that my aid-de-camps, who were perfectly 
acquainted with the whole transaction, said to me, (who am near 
sighted,) " there comes Soublette." I quickened our pace, in or- 
der to meet him, but they shortly afterwards exclaimed, " he is 
gone into another street; oh, see how fast he goes !" 


As I am spcakins; of Charles So!ibIette, I must s^ve some other 
particulars of him, taken from the books of colonel Hippislejr, wliich 
has the following title : " A narrative of the expedition to the rivers 
Orinoco and Apure, in South America, London, Jolm Murray, 
1819." In a note, page 322, he says, "The council had received 
an addition by tlie presence of the adjutant general of the army, 
just arrived from head quarters, general of division, Charles Soub- 
lette. Of this man, colonel English and the British officers, who 
had been at the last actions, at Villa del Cura and Ordz, spoke 

most degradingly ; the former officer, colonel E , had seen 

him seeking sheher behind a tree, during the action at Ortiz, and 
has reproached him with his cowardice. This Soublette is, how- 
ever, an exception to the general conduct of tlie patriot officers, 
who certainly are not destitute of courage, and is, I believe, the 
only instance of such weakness in tlie land service. General 
Soublette is a ver}' handsome figure of a man ; about twenty-five 
years of age ; tall, thin, and well proportioned ; remarkably neat 
in his dress and appearance ; half cast by birth and complexion ; 
he is about five feet ten inches in height ; rather a handsome and 
European style of countenance ; black hair and large mustachios; 
a smile more than prepossessing ; a general lover, amongst the fe- 
male part of the province*, by whom he is well received, and has 
no disapi)oinmients in affairs of gallantr}' to complain of; he has, 
however, been a martyr to his pleasures, and makes an infamous 
boast of retaliation in this respect." 

At page 334, colonel Ilippisley expresses himself as follows: 
" Soublctto's quarters (at the city of Angostura, in the province of 
Guayana,) are exti?n.sive and in most excellent repair. Tliey be- 
long, as an appendage of his own sister, to his brother-in-law, who 
is a merchant, and keeps a large store on the ground floor under- 
neath. The general-in-cliief, Holivar, is, in common with the rest 
of his countrymen, nuirh attached to women ; and owe, ttro^ or 
three, gemrnlly accompany him on his various marches. Among 
his favorites was SouUettf\i sister ; and when his short season of 
love was expired, the lady, being not only young, but tolerably 
pretty, with a head of llaxen hair, upon which she could tread with 
her feet, became an object of chaste love to the enamored swain, 
who considered it an honor to be married to the mistress of the 
' supreme chief of the republic of Venezuela and New Grenada,' 
and tlie sister of the adjutant general Soublette. And doubly was 
he rewarded r for, on the second visit Bolivar made to Angostura, 
he presented his quondam cht re cmie, with this house as her mar- 
riage pojiion ; the orii^innl ov ncrs not Ixmui; in a situation ever to 


claim it again, as their bones still remain unbiiried among the heaps, 
lying in the interior of the new, yet unfinished,^atliedral," &c. &c. 

At page 468, the same autlior says : " General Soubleiie, die 
adjutant general, I had previously to notice. He is too well 
known, even by the Bridsh, for his Umidity and cowardice, on all 
occasions. He is a native of Caracas ; and Bolivar, when he made 
him a general, did him, as I before mentioned, the additional fa- 
vor, of making his sister his favorite mistress ; an honor of which, 
two of the parties felt proud," &tc. &ic. 

And such a man has been promoted to the rank of chief of the 
staff, general of division, vice-president of the republic of Colom- 
bia, intendant of the department of Caracas, minister of die war 
and navy departments, and, lately, secretary-general of die presi- 
dent Liberator. He is, besides what colonel Hippisley and many 
others say of him, a vile and cunning flatterer of his master, and 
all his well known cowardice and blunders, were excused and 
covered by other good and Aonora6/e. qualities ! 

We will return to Aux Cayes, where I left Charles Soublette, 
avoiding me like a spectre. This anecdote is not alone known by 
all the officers of die staff at diat time, but by a great many of the 
principal inliabitants of Aux Cayes, and general Bolivar himself 
cannot deny this fact — which took place in his chamber, in die house 
of an EngUsh merchant, established in Aux Cayes, Mr. Joseph 
Downie — without stating an untrudi. 

Here follow now the promised particulars of lieutenant colonel 
Mariano Montilla's, challenging Bolivar to a duel at Aux Cayes. 
The lieutenant colonel Montilla, Caraguina, arrived from Jamaica 
at Aux Cayes, in March 1816, to offer his services to general 
Bolivar, in his projected expedition. Some hours after his ar- 
rival, he presented himself, unexpectedly, with commodore Brion, 
before general Bolivar, who had often spoken to me and odiers of 
said Montilla, as a veiy*^ dangerous, intriguing man, capable of doing 
great mischief' — capable de tout bouleversery as he expressed him- 
self in French, in speaking to me of that officer. He spoke in 
very animated terms, and I saw clearly some old hatred was re- 
maiping against him. I heard afterwards of die following circum- 
stances, which had provoked diis hatred. 

Mariano Montilla was one of the first promoters of the revolu- 
tion at Caracas, as I have related elsewhere. He spoke in strong 
terms of Bolivar's refusal to join his cousin Ribas, and was from 
that time not at all on good terms with the former. He came to 
Caracas during the time when Bolivar was dictator of Venezuela, 
but preferred to serve in the army of Marino, the rival of Bolivar, 


and the dictator of the eastern part of Venezuela. Much dissatis- 
fied with Bolivar, and his constant refusal to establish a congress, 
he joined with some others, and tried to turn him out, and make a 
second revolution in favor of a congress and a republican govern- 
ment. This was prevented, and Alontilla escaped and came to 
Carthagena, where he joined Castillo, the rival and enemy of Boli- 
var, when the latter besieged this fortress. Here, he was the coun- 
sellor and friend of general Castillo, and he aftennards turned 
against the latter, and greatly assisted Aury and others to displace 
Castillo and elect Bermudes. Montilla evacuated Caiihagena 
with the other patriots, but seperated himself, remaining at a 
litde port of Jamaica, Savana La Mar, where we stopped two 
days. From thence he proceeded to Kingston, and arrived some 
days after the departure of Bolivar for Boca Chica and Aux 
Cayes. As soon as he heard of a new expedition against the Main, 
and that his friend and protector, Luis Brion, would have the com- 
mand of it, he came to Aux Cayes, and offered, as I have said, 
his services to general Bolivar, who much surprised at his unex- 
pected visit, had, nevertheless, self command enough to receive 
him with that politeness which characterises him. Bolivar had 
some officers with him, so that Montilla could only speak on m- 
difierent topics ; he remained a quarter of an hour, and in taking 
leave, he told Bolivar, lowering his voice, that he wished much to 
have a private conversation with him, and requested he would ap- 

E»int him an hour to have the pleasure to w*ait on him and to meet 
m alone. Bolivar astonished, fixed him, nevertheless, the hour 
of seven o'clock in the evening;, and so they separated. This pass- 
ed in the morning at eleven o'clock. 

I was the whole of that day absent from town, and when I came, 
at about six o'clock in the afternoon, as usual, to visit the general, 
I found him at dinner. 1 declined to dine, but drank a glass of 
wine with Mr. Downie and general Bolivar. I found the latter 
uneasy and thoughtful, and asked him if he was not well, *' Oh 
yes, yes, my dear friend, I am very well, very well ;" which words 
were spoken in French, and with a distracted air and tone. After 
a while, he asked me how late it was ; I answered, in looking at 
my watch, (he having left his in his bed chamber,) it wanted ten 
minutes to seven. He jumped up, and bidding me follow him, 
took his hat and ran down the steps from the dining room into 
the yard, with such haste that I could not follow him in the dark- 
ness. As soon as I had descended, I said to liini, jesiinsc, that he 
was surely very anxious to meet some fine handsome girl. He 
took me by the arm, and only saying ^^ don't talk,^^ he quickened 


his pace, passed the yard door, walked with me very rapidly to 
tlie large square, during which he turned round three or four 
times, like a man who is afraid that somebody might follow him. 
Two of his aid-de-camps, Paez and Chamberlaine, followed a 
good dbtance after us. I was, I must confess, very much sur- 
prised, at such unusual walking and behaviour, but was silent and 
quickened step with him, who kept my arm fast. When we were 
about in the middle of the square, he at last appeared to respire 
more easily, and stopped, asking his aid-de-camps, who joined us, 
if they had not seen Montilla pass ; they answf3red in the negative ! 
what, exclamed I astonished, Montilla, Montilla ; '^ Oh don't speak 
so loud," replied Bolivar, '' I must tell you that Montilla has arrived » 
from Jamaca ; he came this morning and requested me to fix an 
hour to see me in presence of four eyes (entre quatre yeux.) 
I was a litde perplexed and appointed him tlie hour of seven 
this evening. But I shall not, I will not, see that man again ; 
you must know that he is a very dangerous intriguing man, able 
to do great mischief. In order not to meet him 1 quickened my 
steps ; then you know he Uves with Brion.* But let us go to our 
Signorita's \ (this was the house of the lieutenant colonelJuan Val- 
des, whom Bolivar appointed, during his dictatorship, governor of 
Laguira in recompense of certain connexions with his handsome 
wife, (who must not be confounded with colonel Manuel Valdes, 
devoted entirely to Marino, and who was no relation of the for- 

Here we met with the regular coterie, to wit, the intendant Zea, 
some aid de camps of Bolivar and the family Valdes. Valdes sel- 
dom received any company and Bolivar liked not a great assembly 
when he was there. He introduced me as a friend, and I came 
two or three times a week when he was there every day. As soon 
as he had arrived^ he took captain Chamberlain, his aid-de-camp, 
aside, and spoke a few words to him ; the latter took his hat 
and went out. Balivar was sitting in a hammock and had a very 
distracted air, looking constantly towards the door. Zea took 
me aside and asked what was the matter with Bolivar? he re- 
marked that he was not as usual, and so in fact it was. Cham- 
berlain came with a captain, of large mustachios, named Jose Ma- 

*^Tbe bouse of commodore Brion was situated in the |Mih]ic square close by the new 
coflfee house, so that Munlilla was oMigcd to pass a part of the same way, which we 
came, and Bolivar was afraid that Montilla would see and follow us. Therefore he ran 
down the steps, so fast and quickened his pace, imposing silence upon me. He was 
afraid Montilla, determine^ and courageous, would challeDge; or ill-treat him in this pri- 
vmie intenriew. 


ria Hernandez, who saluted us, and was crossing the room with 
Chamberlain, going immediately together into tlie adjoining piazza. 
Bolivar jumped from his hammock and joined them. I stood with 
Zea and some of the ladies of the family in the other comer of the 
pretty large piazza, and heard Bolivar, speaking to Hernandez 
in a low quick voice, and gesticulating much, which is his cus- 
tom when he is talking of some very interesting matter ;- the captain 
appeared to reply, but, at last, he left the general, and went out 
with Chamberlain without wishing any of us a good night. Cham- 
berlain came alone, after a full half hour's absence, to join us 
at the house of Valdes,but without tlie captain ; he spoke a few words 
in the ear of Bolivar in a very low tone, who appeared much pleas- 
ed, and was aftenvards more at his ease. We retired, general Bol- 
ivar, intendant Zea, myself, and the two aid-de-camps, together. 
The general took us, Zea and myself, each by the arm, and said 
in a jesting manner, that he was now well escorted in case Mon- 
tilla should attempt anything against him. We left him at the 
gate of Mr. Joseph Downie's house, and retired. 

At seven o'clock the next morning captain Demarguet, another 
aid-dc-camp of Bolivar, came to my house in a great hurry, and 
requested me, in the name of his general, to come immediately, 
as he had something of importance to communicate to me. I 
hastened to meet him, and found him sitting in his bed, and dress- 
ing himself. He sprang from it and said to me greatly agitated, 
but smiling : my dear friend I am in need of your advice ; be so 
good as to read this letter, and tell me the meaning of it, as I do 
not understand French well enough to know what the writer savs. 
It was a note addressed to general Bolivar, present, and signed 
by Charles La Veaux, a French gentleman with whom I was very 
well acquainted, as he had been a long time estabhshed in Car- 
thagena, where he was the representative of tbe French nadon, 
as Mr. Baxter of the German and Swiss, and Mr. Hyslop of the 
English. Its contents were as followcs : 

Mr. General — Having been chosen by lieutenant colonel Mari- 
ano Montilla, my friend, to enclose you the following: printed inju- 
rious pasquinade against said colonel, signed Jose Maria Heman- 
des, which having been posted up at the corner of tlie public square, 
was brought to him early this morning ; I am directed by him to tell 
you, with reluctance, that he, colonel Montilla, considers this inju- 
rious paper as coming from you^ and not from a man of whose 
existence he had never heard before. Certain past transactions 
between you and my friend, made him more than suspect that no- 
body else except yourself could be the author of this handbill, 


and, therefore, I am authorised to demand for the colonel, the 
usual satisfaction between gentlemen and officers ; please to acquaint 
rae with tlie day, the hour, and the place where your meeting can 
be settled ; but as the stay of colonel Montilla admits of no delay, 
I request you to fix it in the course of to day, or at least to-morrow, 
I have the honour to be &x." Signed Charles La Veaux, Aux 
Caves, March 8th 1816. 

The paper enclosed, was printed in the Spanish language, as 
follows : " To the Venezuelan officers at present residing in the 
city of Aux Cayes : Citizens and countrymen — ^You are advised 
that commandant Mariano Montilla has arrived in this town, and 
applied to have the honour to be admitted among us. All tliose 
who know well the intriguing and dangerous character of this man, 
will, I hope, join me to oppose his admission into the army, &tc. 
Signed T. M. Hernandez, captain of the body guard of his excel- 
lency the captain-general of the armies of Venezuela and New 
Grenada, and commander-in-chief of tlic expeditionary army," 

&C. &LC. 

While I sat down to read these papers, Bolivar was pacing his 
bed chamber up and down, like a man profoundly occupied, and 
stopping before me three or four times, he asked me, at last, what 
I thought of Mr. La Veaux's letter. " I tliink it is a formal chal- 
lenge from Montilla." " What," said he, greatly agitated, " do 
you think so, my dear friend ?" " Yes, to be sure !" I replied. 
" But how came you to receive such a curious challenge ; what 
can be the reason of Montilla's attributing to you such an infamous 
paper. Montilla should have directed the challenge to Hernan- 
dez ! Well, general, be quiet and easy ; I will arrange the whole 
singular business, and will sec La Veaux, and never will I suffer 
tliat you shall be molested by any of your subalterns, on such a 
ridiculous accusation !" He embraced me, highly pleased with 
the warmth of my actions, and called me his best friend. 

I went to La Veaux, and found him not ; I went to Montilla, 
and found these two gentlemen, with the lieutenant colonel of cav- 
alry, Rafael Tugo, in a conversation, which appeared to me to be 
very animated. 

Mr. La Veaux acknowledged that he was the author of the 
letter written to general Bolivar, which the latter left with me, and 
that it was upon the particular request of colonel Montilla, that he 
wrote it. I turned to Montilla and asked him the reason of such 
a procedure against a man who was my commander-in-chief, and 
unable to act in such a base manner against liim. " Oh, said he, 
you know not this man, as I have done for many years ; he ispos- 


itively the author of this paper, and nobody else." These were 
the words of Montilla. 

After a long conversation, I told the two gentlemen, Mr. La 
Veaux and Montilla, that I would never acknowledge Mr. La 
Veaux's letter to be a challenge ; and if they would absolutely chal- 
lenge general I^livar, I declared to them they should fight with 
me and kill me first, before I would suffer general Bolivar's life to 
be hazarded, upon which the safety of so many thousands of us 
depended entirely, he. But being, at the time, fully convinced 
of the innocence of general Bolivar, I oflferred Montilla a written 
declaration, by which the general would be ready to give him an 
hono\irable testimony, enabling him to show it to whoever he 
pleased. Montilla desired that it should be stated in that letter 
expressly, that Bolivar disavowed any participation in the said 
pasquinade. This 1 positively refused, as degrading to the char- 
acter of the general, but engaged to urge him to furnish it from 
Hernandez, as a just satisfaction to him, Montilla. Mr. La Veaux 
interfered and said to Montilla that my proposals were honourable 
and suflicient, and added, it would answer to bring Hernandei 
before him. La Vaux, at his lodgings, to acknowledge that he was 
sorry fr^r having made such a pasquinade against Montilla. To 
this the latter consented ; and I pledged my word to see both 
measures punctually fulfilled ; and the hour of four o'clock in the 
afternoon was fixed, when 1 engaged to bring captain Hemandes 
with me to Mr. La Vaux's. 

I returned to Bolivar's house, whei-e I found him in his bed 
chamber alone, walking to and fro, and looking verj' dejected 
and pale. I related to him minutely my whole conversation, which 
gave him great satisfaction ; but when I came to the last point, the 
intended a|>ology of Hernandez, he jumped from his chair and 
asked me abruptly — " what ! have you consented that I shall pun- 
ish Hernandez, and send him to La Vaux's at four o'clock?" 
" To be sure I liave ; it is absolutely necessary to save your own 
honour, which is deeply compromised by the formal accusation of 
Montilla, who appears sincerely to think that you, and not Her- 
nandez, are the author of this pasquinade ; and therefore it is ne- 
cessary that not the least shadow of suspicion against you should 
remain in his mind." " Yon are correct, my dear friend, it k 
true ; it must done." 

He requested me to make out a letter in French to Mr. La 
Veaux, in reply to his note, in which I gave an honourable tesd- 
mony to colonel Montilla, but without mentioning either the chal- 
lenge or captain Hernandez's pasquinade. 


Bolivar said to me in making this request, that lie did not write 
French well, and that his mind was vexed with such a disgreeable 
business. I did it in his bed chamber, immediately, as Mr. La 
Veaux and Montilla were waiting my return. After having per- 
used my draft, Bolivar appeared highly pleased with it, and sat 
down to copy, sign and seal it. 

Montilla and La Veaux were both satisfied, and so was I. When 
I came back to the general, he said to me in a jesting tone, that 
my engagement to fetch Hernandez to Mr. La Veaux, was n pret- 
ty hard task ! but nevertheless, you are in the right ; it will, it 
must, it shall be done. These last words were spoken in a rash 
and passionate manner, in walking up and down his bed chamber. 
Well colonel (no more mon cher ami) you will be here at four 
o'clock ; I must go and prepare Hernandez before ; he shall be 
here and go with you. 

I arrived a little before four o'clock ; my hand was on the knock- 
er of the general's door, which led from the saloon through a large 
piazza to his bed chamber, being accustomed to go freely out and 
m, without being announced, when colonel Paez, the aid de camp 
on duty, told me not to enter^ requesting me in a low voice not to 
go in, as the general desired me to wait some minutes, having to 
speak with captain Hernandez. This private conversation in a 
matter in which I had undoubtedly some claims to be present, 
struck my mind, and some suspicions arose in regard to the truth 
of colonel Montilla's accusation ; but I had then too great and 
exalted an idea of general Bolivar's character to sufier the least 
impression to remain, and entering the saloon, conversed with some 
officers present. After a while, the general called me out into the 
piazza, bis face being highly colored, and showed me Hernandez 
coming out of the bed chamber with a very harsh look, and his 
eyes fixed to the ground, as a man who contemplated something 
profoundly engraved on his mind. Bolivar whispered me in the 
ear, in French, in going through the piazza into his bed chamber : 
^^J^efaites aucun reproche a Hernandez, je Vai dgafait," (make 
no reproaches to Hernandez, I have done so already.) Hernan- 
dez was in full uniform, but without his sword, with his hat in his 
hand. Bolivar and myself were in civil dress. The general said 
to me, that Hernandez was ready to follow me, when the latter 
stepped hastily forward, put his hat deep over his face, and said, 
Pamos, Vamos ! (let us go.) I followed, a little surprised at his 
behaviour, but being in the street with him, he walked extremely 
fast. " Captain, (said I,) go not so fast, I cannot follow you, it is 
too warm." "Oh yes, yes, it is true ; I beg you pardon, (answer- 


ed he, slackening his pace,) but you would excuse rae if you should 
know all that has happened. No, no, you are a good man, too 
good a man ; but it must be done." He grasped my hand, and 
some tears fell from his cheeks. '^ But captain Hernandez, what 
is the matter with you, are you sick ? what can have happened to 
you ?" Until then, I had treated him with great severity, firmly 
convinced of his being the author of the paper, but now I felt again 
new doubts, and in this uncertamty, I spoke to him with a milder 
tone, and entreated him to open to me his mind, and to fear noth- 
ing in doing so. '' Oh no, oh no ! I cannot, I cannot ! I know 
you are the father of your aid-de-camps, (they said so to their 
companions in arms.) You are good, but — no, no, I cannot speak, 
I dare not speak ;" and so we arrived at Mr. La Veaux's room. 
I told the latter, in French, to be satisfied with any apology he 
should make ; then I pitied Hernandez, who profiered some broken 
and unintelligible words, with which Mr. La Veaux professed 
himself satisfied, and Hernandez was dismissed. I now told Mr. 
La Veaux, who had always been my good friend, and had served 
with distinction in the French army, of the strange behaviour of Her- 
nandez. " Oh, (said he to me,) Montilla is in the right ; you know 
not all; but as you are engaged, and can run a brilliant career with 
your new friend, I will not say any thing else to you. You acted 
in a frank and honorable way, and if Bolivar is not an ungrateful 
man, he must undoubtedly be your friend," &tc. 

The lieutenant colonel Monnlla embarked two days afterwards, 
with Mr. Papagea, a French merchant, established, at the time, 
at Kingston, Jamaica, under the firm of Hardy, Moose & Compa- 
ny. He is acquainted widi Mr. La Veaux, who is now in Mar- 
tinique. They will undoubtedly confirm this statement, which, of 
course, will be denied by Bolivar and Montilla, who are, at pre- 
sent, very good friends. 

Now I must give the key of Montilla's ground of suspicion of 
Bolivar's, Hernandez's and La Veaux's actions and words, which 
the following circumstances will put in a proper light. After the 
action of Ocumare, where Bolivar fled, and, a second time, took 
shelter at Jacquemel and Port au Prmce, came captain Chamber- 
lain, one of his aid-de-camps to Aux Cayes, where I tlien re- 
sided, to see me. After dinner, when he had drunk pretty freely, 
and we were talking together of past times, I asked him if he could 
not give me some account of the challenge sent by Montilla, ani 
of the strange suspicions of the latter, of general Bolivar's be— 
ing the author of the pasquinade and not Hernandez. " To be? 
sure," said he " I can," and so he told me the following facts r 


" After Montilla's first visit in the morning, to general Bolivar, he 
called Chamberlain, and said to him, he wished to get rid ofMon- 
tilla, who was a very dangerous intriguer, and the thought had oc- 
curred to him, to find some of the officers who would sign a paper 
against Montilla, and have it immediately printed. Chamberlain 
proposed Hernandez as the most fit for this purpose ; and the gen- 
eral sending for him, was very much disappointed to hear he was 
out, and would not return that evening. So Bolivar and Cham- 
berlain spoke secretly in the piazza of colonel Valdes' house, and 
then went to Mr. Baillot the printer, (engaged by Bolivar to fol- 
low us,) and to sign the pasquinade already prepared, which was 
printed during the night, and fixed on the diiTercnt corners of the 
streets of the city. When Montilla complained to general Marino, 
the Haytian governor, with one of the- printed bills in his hand, the 
general immediately ordered the only printer in the city, Mr. Bail- 
lot, to be arrested, who declared that he had received the written 
pasquinade, by an aid-de-camp of general Bolivar, with the order 
to print it secretly, and not make known to any one, that it came 
from him. Tliis aid-de-camp was Chamberlain, in whom Boli- 
var had always had the greatest confidence ; he was a native of 
the island of Jamaica, and had served in the British army. So it 
came that colonel Montilla and Mr. La Veaux, highly offended of 
Bolivar's conduct, agreed to challenge him, and to accuse him of 
what was the truth, namely, of his being the author of the pas- 

I have entered bto all these minute circumstances, in order to 
show the true character of Bolivar and his great dupHcity. I vouch 
for the truth of this anecdofe, having been myself one of his dupes, 
and actors in the whole transaction. 

Captain Hernandez was eight days after promoted to the rank 
of major, and in Margarita, two months later, I received the order 
to deliver him a brevet as lieutenant colonel, and so the moudi of 
this officer was closed. 




Sailing of the expeditionary army, under comiMind of General BO' 
livar^from Aux Cayes to Margarita — JSTaval action an the 2d 
May, and how General Bolivar behaved in t^— JSventf in the 
Island of Margarita — Arrival of the expedition at Carupano — 
Characteristic Anecdotes of General Bolivar — 2%e author takes 
final leave of the service — what happened between General 
Bolivar and him at Aux Cayes and at jPort au Prince. Year 

The Hajrtian pvemraent made great advances to general Boli- 
var, in ammunition, provisions and money. President Petion and 
his friend general Boyer, were very favorable to his expedition, 
whilst the corrupt and cunning Inginac, secretary of state, was, as 
I was assured, secretly an enemy to all whites, who had not mo- 
ney enough to gain him over. This despicable man, who is a 
wUte, as has been said, had done more harm to the whites than 
all the colored and black people of Hayti. He is too well known 
to many thousands and unworthy to be mentioned more. 

Louis Brion, promoted to the rank of post captain, did more 
than any of us to fit out the squadron iij a proper way. He was 
named commander of the navy, and employed his great credit and 
the remainder of his large fortune, to enable us to depart fix>m " 
Aux Cayes on the 10th April, 1816. 

But scarcely had we arrived at the island of San Beata, when 
the whole squadron was detained by — a woman ; it was no other 
than Miss Pepa M — , (the Spanish name of Josephine,) the dear 
mistress of general Bolivar. She alone, by her secret virtues, had 
the power to detain the whole squadron and about a thousand men, 
during more than 48 hours, at anchor ! 

The following particulars will explain this curious ajid notorious 
fact. General Bolivar is, like all his countr)Tiien the Caragiiins, 
greatly attached to the fair sex, and has usually with Lim, one, 
two, and more mistresses in his retinue, besides those whom he 
takes a fancy to in passing from one place to another. These 
amours last ordinarily 24 hours or a week ; but Miss Pepa made 
a rare exception to the general's customary habits. 


He had known her since 1813, during his dictatorship, at which 
time she had much influence over him, as I have ah-eady mention- 
ed. When Bolivar arrived from Aux Caves at Port au Prince, 
he found, unexpectedly, the two sisters, Helen and Isabella Soub- 
lette, sisters of the famous general Charles Soublette, which our 
readers know already ; and in Aux Cayes he met mistress Valdes 
and her two daughters, where Bolivar regularly passed the great- 
est part of his time. 

As soon as he was named commander-in-chief, by the assem- 
bly held at Aux Cayes, he wrote to Miss Pepa, who resided with 
her mother and sister at St. Thomas', to come and join him with- 
out delay. He expected them daily with great anxiety, and de- 
tained the departure of our expedition, from one day to another, 
during more than six days. At last commodore Brion, growing 
impatient, declared to him frankly, that it was high time to em- 
bark, and that he would not and could not wait any longer. Bo- 
livar, therefore, was obliged to sail without his mistress, and we 
departed. Before we arrived at the island of La Beata, some 
leagues from Aux Cayes, a fast sailing pilot boat brought the lucky 
tidings to general Bolivar, that his dear Miss Pepa, mother and 
sister, had arrived from St. Thomas' at Aux Cayes. This letter 
caused a bustle on board the whole squadron. Bolivar immedi- 
ately took commodore Brion, (on board of whom, he, general Flo- 
rencio Palacios his cousin, intendant Zea and myself, with the of- 
ficers of the staff, had embarked,) down into the cabin, where they 
remained a long time talking together. Brion was strongly op- 
posed to waiting the arrival of Miss Pepa, with whom he had been 
already well acquainted at Caracas, but the entreaties of general 
Bolivar prevailed at last, and he consented to wait. The com- 
plaisant Paez,^ Anzoatiqui, and Soublette, made a formal toilette, 
put themselves in uniform, and sailed in the fast sailing armed 
schooner, the Constitution, back to Aux Cayes, in search of the 
dear Miss Pepa. They were rewarded for their readiness to com- 
ply with the desires of their master ; Anzoatiqui was promoted to 
the rank of lieutenant colonel, commander of the body guard of 
general Bolivar, and Soublette, adjutant general colonel, attach- 
ed to the staff. 

When I and others of the foreigners heard this curious news, 
we were greatly mortified at such a proceeding, and declared loud- 

* This Paez, who was an aid-dc-camp of general Bolivar, must nof be confounded 
with general Paez, of the Llancros. Tney are not at all related or connected. 


ly that we would leave a commander who compromised the wel- 
fare of so many thousands for such a motive. When Brion heard 
this determmation, he urged me in very strong terms to remain, and 
said to me that if I were to leave the expedition, all the other stran- 
gers would, undoubtedly, follow my example, and he should be 
greatly disappointed at it. His entreaties were so urgent that I, 
at last, yielded^ and promised him to stay ; I pursuaded the others 
to do the same, and not a single foreign officer debarked. But gen- 
eral Palacios, the cousin of Bolivar, with some other Caraguins, 
would not remain any longer, notwithstanding the entreaties of Boli- 
var himself, and were put on shore not far distant from the Haytian 
port of Jacquemel. 

The majority of the officers composing this eocpedttionary army 
very much dissatisfied with being under the control of such 
circumstances, when activity and bravery alone, and not a woman, 
could save the country. From that time Bolivar sunk very much 
in my opinion, and that of others. 

The composition of that expeditionary army which took after- 
wards the title of liberating army^ was as follows : There were 
six generals, nine colonels, forty-seven lieutenant colonels, a chief 
of the staff, three adjutant generals colonels, and eighteen officers 
of the staff; one commandant of the artillery, one intendant gener- 
al, one secre'tary general of the intendancy, and a good number of 
the administration of the army ; one commandant general of the 
cavalry, without taking into the account that each general had his 
aid-de-camps, a secretary, servants, and many their mistresses qp 
wives ; that each adjutant general and each colonel had his adju- 
tant; that the number of majors, captains, and lieutanents amount- 
ed to about 500, and that we had for these epaulets not fifty sol- 
diers. Each lady had either her mother, sisters or some oth- 
er friend male or female, servants, and a good deal of baggage, 
which embarrassed greatly the manoeuvering of the vessels. 
There were besides a number .of families emigrants from Venezu- 
ela, who embarked at Aux Cayes in spite of tlie entreaties of com- 
modore Brion, who was against the admittance of any female on 
board the squadron. When Miss Pepa arrived, she was never 
suffered to come on board of the commodore's vessel where gen- 
eral Bolivar, Zea, and myself, with the staff officers, except Charles 
Soublette, remained. This man, before we departed from Aux 
Cayes, had asked, as a favor fi-om general Bolivar, that he should 
not embark in tlie same vessel where 1 was ; he was ordered on 
board the Constitution, and remained witli Miss Pepa; he never 
came on board of oiir vessel (Uirinii our whole passaJie. in which 


we had the visits of a number of other officers from tlie squadron. 
Miss Pepa arrived at last, on the third day, from Aux Cayes, 
where the Constitution was obliged to remain a whole day ; this 
belle being not prepared to embark. Bolivar made his toilette in 
a superb style, and left our vessel to pay his visit on board the Con- 
stitution, wher^ he remained the whole day and night, and came 
the next morning on board the commodore, who was, as well as 
myself, and the other officers, highly displeased at having lost about 
four days at anchor. 

When we passed the city of St. Domingo, at diat time belong- 
ing to the Spaniards, the whole city was in alarm, believing we 
should attack them ; we saw, from our deck, their bustle, and 
laughed heartily at their fears. 

On the morning of the 2d of May, the squadron being not far 
distant from the three elevated rocks, known by the name of the 
Three Monks (Los Tres FraUes) not far from tlie island of Margari- 
ta, two Spanish men of war, a large brig, and a schooner were sig- 
nalized. As our squadron had no colors at all, Brion ordered the 
Spanish flag to be hoisted on board of each of our vessels, so that the 
enemy believing it was his long expected squadron, took in 
sail and waited for us. But as soon as they perceived their mis- 
take, the captain of the schooner, which was a fine and fast sail- 
ing vessel, pressed sail and left his commander, whose brig sailed 
not so well. Both tried to escape, but too late. Brion changed 
his colours and fired upon them. The brig was soon overtaken by 
our brig a fine and large vessel, armed with eight carron- 
ades and a brass 24 pound swivel. Three fast sailing schoon- 
ers were detached from the squadron in chase of the Spanish 
schooner, which was taken some hours afterwards. It was the 
Spanish royal schooner Rita, with two carronades, 24 pounders, 
six 8 pounders, and one 18 pound swivel ; commanded by the 
captain Don Mateo Ocampo, w ho was mortally wounded in the 
combat. The royal brig was the Inirepido, with 14 pieces of 
eight, and 160 men, sailors and troops, commanded by the briga- 
dier Don Rafael Iglesias^ who was wounded and then killed by 
our men, who took the vessel by boarding. They entered the cab- 
in with drawn swords while the surgeon was dressing his wound, 
and killed him ; the surgeon attempted to appease them and was 
murdered too. Such was the horrid character of this barbarous war* 

Commodore Brion, who fought bravely, received a wound 
which was, fortunately, of no dangerous consequence, and was pro- 
moted, after the action, to the rank of admiral of the republic of 


But how did general Bolivar behave in this pretty hot and close 
action, which lasted more than four hours ? As soon as he heard 
that Brion had ordered the necessary preparations for attack, he 
took me aside and spoke as follows : " 6ut, my friend, do you 
not think that the Spaniards will resist and fig;ht to the last.'' '^ To 
be sure they will," replied I laughing. '^ Well, but/io you tliink 
that our schooner is strong enough to fight alone against these two 
strong vessels, (at the same time looking at them through a spy 
glass,) we arc too distant, and too far in advance, which renders 
it impossible for the remainder of our squadron to support us in 
the action." '^ That is true, (said I,) but we vnU take them by 
boarding ; this is the customary way to force Spanish vessels." 
" What ? by boarding, do you think of such folly ?" (ypensez voui 
tnon cher Ami ? c^ett unefolie!) These were the very expressions 
of general Bolivar to me ! '^ But what is it best for me to do ? do 
you not think that if I were wounded, or killed, our expedition would 
be totally lost, and Brion, the poor Brion, would have expended in 
vain, all his fortune ! I looked up astonished ; it first occured 
to me that he might be jesting ; but when I saw that these strange 

Questions were put to me in earnest ^ I understood him, called 
(rion and said : general Bolivar has made me a just observation 
concerning you, he said tliat he being wounded or killed in the ac- 
tion, you Brion, would lose all your advances, as then the expedi- 
tion would, of course, be disbanded. " Oh the d — d coward," 
said Brion to me in Dutch; (he was a native Dutchman,) " WeB 
general, (turning to Bolivar,) you will be safely placed with the in- 
tendant ^ea, to whom I have assigned a place in our cabin, fin 
which Bolivar, Brion, Zca, and myself slept,) at the entry of the 
powder magazine, to hand tlie necessary cartridges. As Brion 
said these words in an angrj' manner, Bolivar asked him : But my 
dear Brion, do you not think that Ducoudray's observation is just, 
do you not think so ? Oh yes, yes, said Brion, and turned round. 
I was giving the necessary orders to our officers to arm with mus- 
kets and cartridges, when Bolivar came hastily and took me by 
the arm, saying : " Now I have found an excellent place, better 
than to be down in the cabin with old Zea," (who looked, in fact, 
much older than he was, and he was the same man who died as 
minister of Colombia in England.) He showed me the longboat 
which, in armed vessels, is generally fixed over the cabin windows^ 
He jumped in, called Garcia, (his intendant J ordered his pistols, 
and sword, and told him to load two balls in each pistol, which 
Garcia did in my presence, and looking at me and laughing. This 
position which Bolivar chose for himself, was surely the safest place 


in the vessel, then in setting as he did in the longboat, his head 
and whole body was safely protected by die thickness and 
strength of the beam which supports the rudder of the vessel. 
He sat down in the boat, and requested me to take command 
of the officers, which I provided with arms and ammunition, and 
Brion entrusted me witli the command of the volunteers, so 
that I had to survey the whole infantry of about 1 60 armed 
men. A strange contrast between the old and honest Mr. Bal- 
lot, a respectable French gentleman of 64 years of age, taking 
a musket with his young son of 16 years, putting themselves 
voluntarily under my orders, in spite Brion's and my representa- 
tions that they should go down into the cabin, and assist Mr. 
Zea. But both, full of ardour and courage, refused positively, 
and said that this was a {^ost of honor, and that they would not 
have any other assigned to them. In comparing the behaviouj* 
of Ballot, father and son, who ex|)osed, voluntarily, their lives, 
foi the welfare of a country in which they were not born, and to 
which they did not come in order to fight, with that of a military 
chieftain, already famous, by his rank, and now placed at the 
head of an expedition, withdrawing himself in such a curious 
manner, when he should have taken the command of us all ; 
we clearly see this characteristic trait of Bolivar, and an illus- 
tration oi what I must repeat in the course of these memoirs 
of him. Both die Ballot's fought with great courage and cool- 

We suffered much during the very warm action, from the 
musket fire of about a hundred men of the Spanish regiment 
La Corona, who fired from the rigging into our vessel, and 
wounded arid killed about fifty of our officers and men. We 
stood more than an hour at half pistol shot distance from the 
brig, before we could fix the grapples for boarding. When the 
crew saw about a dozen of us on their deck, the batUe began 
to be renewed with more fury ; but when our number increas- 
ed, and their brave commander felt himself to be mortally 
wounded, they lost all hopes ; and about thirty of them strip 
ped off their clothes and jumped overboard, in hopes to save 
their lives by swimming to the Three Rocks which lay a gun 
shot distance from us. 

At this moment, general Bolivar, having all this time been 
sitting very safe behind his beam in the long boat, perceived 
these naked unfortunate men swimming at a very short distance 
from him ; he took his pistol and killed one of them, took the 
second, fired at, but missed another ! 


One day I saw liim walking;, witli a quick step, to and fro 
on deck, absorbed in thought, and melancholy. I came up 
and observed that he continued so a good while, without see- 
ing or hearing any thing tliat passed around us. It was some 
days previous to our navnl engagement. I at last accosted him 
and said with my usual frankness and familiarity to liim : " what 
is the matter wiUi you, my dear general, are you unwell, or 
has something happened !" " Oh no," replied he, " but we 
are approaching tlie island of Margarita, where Arismendy com* 
mands, and I fear this man and liis character ; he is obstinate 
and cruel.'' At that time I was totally unacquainted with what 
had happened between tliese two chieftains in August, IS 14, 
and therefore I made some inquiries about Arismendy, his man- 
ner of acting, and character. '^ Oh tnon cher amiy Arismendy 
is a very dangerous, ambitious man, who governs the island of 
Margarita with great despotism ; he is an absolute brute, with- 
out any education or knowledge, and of low extraction." (I 
must mention here, that Bolivar tliinks much of birth and good 
families, and treated all tliose which were not of high birth, with 
tlie conmion phrase of, — " he is of low extractwn.^^) 

I was, tlierefore, much prejudiced against general Arismen- 
dy ; but when I found in him a plain man, and one much bet- 
ter instructed in militar}' matters than Boli\'ar himself, I was 
quite surprised. I had afterwards long conversations with him, 
which pleased me ; and when some days later, general Bolivar 
made tiie inspection of what Arismendy had done against the 
Spaniards, 1 was highly pleased, and observed that when Boli- 
var asked nie, in an ironical style, what I thought of this or that 
fortification, or battery, or redoubt, and I approved of tliem, 
and expressed the reasons of the construction of tliese works, 
our commander-in-chief was not at all satisiicd with my obser- 
vations. Arismendv, who did not understand French, but ask- 
ed me afterwards to explain to him in Spanish my observations, 
was satisfied, and look me more and more into his favor. 

l^ut as «:eneral Holivar had deserted Venezuela in August, 
1S14, and New Grenada, in May, 1815, it was necessary that 
his autlioritv should be re-established in his native land, by a 
formal and solenm acknowledi^ment of what tlie general assem- 
bly in Aux Caves hod stipulated in his favor. Arismendy was 
easily gained over by various secret conversations which Boli- 
var had with him on the matter, in which tlie former received 
the formal promise, that Bolivar would estahlisli a National 
Confijress at V enezuela, as soon as he should be master of the 


country. This formal promise was given to him, as he had 
given it to us before his departure from Aux Cayes, and so 
Arismendy hesitated not a moment to call a general assembly, 
or Junta in the cathedral of La Villa del Norte, to which all tlie 
officers of our squadron were invited by an order emanating 
from Arismendy and Bolivar. The principal inhabitants of 
the island were assembled, and the clergy, in their sacerdotal 
dresses, were kneeling before the altar, reciting prayers in a 
low voice, for the welfare of the republic. When all were as- 
sembled in church, the mass began, and afterwards the numer- 
ous clergy remained kneeling before the altar in silence and in 
prayers. These religious ceremonies, mixed with politics, were 
generally used by the Spanish leaders ; and their Juntas and 
great assemblies were always held in churches. The patriots 
have continued this custom. 

When the mass was over, general Arismendy delivered a 
long speech, in which he recommended our union, and the ne- 
cessity of having one single chieftain, and related what had hap- 
pened in Aux Cayes, and the election made of general Bolivar, 
whom he now recommended to his army to recognise and obey, 
as he, Arismendy, did. He then approached general Bolivar, 
and delivered him tlie wand of commander-in-chief, (a small 
reed with a golden head,) and proclaimed him solemnly, com- 
mander-in-chief of tlie republic of Venezuela and New Grena- 
da, which were to be re-established. Bolivar then delivered a 
speech, in which he declared his acceptance of the wand of 
commander, which Arismendy had given him up. He conclu- 
ded by promoting a great many of the natives to be officers in the 
land troops, but not a single foreigner belonging to this army 
was promoted, notwithstanding tliat a good many had distin- 
guished themselves, particularly in the action of the second of 

By particular and urgent request of the newly promoted and 
wounded admiral Brion, some lew promotions were made among 
the foreigners belonging to the navy. I was highly displeased 
not to be promoted, when I could say with truth, that I had dis- 
tinguished myself in die combat of the second of May, had taken 
Bolivar's place and the command of our officers, while Bolivar 
sat very safely in his long boat, and out of all danger. Many 
of my friends, among them Brion and Zea, were astonished to 
see me not at the head of these promotions, having seen me at 
the head of the officers and volunteers, and mounting, one of 
the first, to enter the enemy's vessel. Chypia, Martinez and 



Anzoatigui, who were in the action under my ordersj one of 
whom witlidrew himself for fear of the balls, were promoted. 
Charles Soublette, being a mile distant from the battle, on board 
the Constitution with Miss Pepa, was, notwithstandbg, promot- 
ed to the rank adjutant-general-colonel in the staff. But these 
four were natives, and the most servile flatterers of general 

After these promotions, a solemn te deum was sung in hon- 
or of the batde of the second of May, and on the present occa- 
sion under artillery salutes, &c. 

This behaviour of general Arismendy was very honorable to 
him, as it was easy to take general Bolivar's place, at a time, 
where he alone was four times as strong as Etolivar, and when, 
as is generally known, he had much more energy and patriot- 
ism, much more knowledge and personal bravery, than ever 
Bolivar had possessed. Arismendy was well informed that 
Bolivar had treated him in his manifesto, published in Cartlia- 
gena, in September 1814,* as an intriguer and an ambitious 
man, who contrived to take his place ; he knew perfectly well 
the character of Bolivar, his ambition, jealousy, and his des- 
potism as dictator, having been a long time governor of the city 
of Caracas. But Bolivar, since his first interview with Aris- 
mendy on board the Commodore, had captivated the simple 
and plain mind of the governor of Margarita, who saw bis an- 
cient master surromided with vessels and power, and heard his 
brilliant and formal promises to assemble a congress as soon as 
matters were a little settled on the Main, and yielded to his 
promises, as Brion, and many others of us had done before. 

I was, I must confess, highly displeased with all these events, 
and sleeping in the same room with general Bolivar from the 
beginning of our arrival at La Villa del Norte, in the house of 
a Air. Galindo, I reproached him with good reason for not 
ha\'ing kept his promises, so solemnly given to me in Aux 
Caycs, to give me my rank of general, as soon as we should 
arrive in a country of his own, which was free and independent. 
He jumped out of his hammock, and coming near my field 
bed said, taking my hand, that it was not his fault, but that he 
dared not promote any of us strangers, for fear Arismendy and 
other chieltains might be jealous of our promotion, that his au- 
thority was not yet sufficiently established to dare to take such 

* Sec ChapUr VIII. 


a step ; that, nevertheless, he would do so, as soon as wc should 
arrive on tlie Main ; and that then, no consideration should pre- 
vent him from rendering me justice, &lc. fcc. 

I reproached him with Soublette's promotion, known by every 
one as a coward and a vile man, and very much disliked by 
his own countrymen, declaring that after what had passed in 
Aux Cayes with him, I could never admit him to be employed 
in my offices of tlie staff, which were, as usual, established in 
a room opposite to our bed chamber on the same floor ; and 
added that Soublette, in the action of the 2d May, was a mile 
from the battle, on board the Constitution, and had not smelt 
the powder of our own guns, and still less that of the enemy's. 
He gave me a singular reply, in the mouth of a commander- 
in-chief: " I could not pass Soublette in the general promotion 
published this afternoon in the church, he belongs to one of tho 
best families in Caracas, and as I promoted Chypia and Mar- 
tinez to the rank of adjutant-generals-colonels in tiie staff, who 
were younger lieutenant-colonels then Soublette, I was obliged, 
of course, to promote Soublette." 

I saw clearly by this conversation, the weakness of such a 
commander^ appeared satisfied, and having once embarked with 
him, I took patience and remained. 

On the day of his being received as commander-in-chief of 
the armies of Venezuela and Caracas, in the island of Mar- 
garita, he published a proclamation, in which he said, '^ he had 
not arrived to conquer, but to protect the country, and tliat he 
invited the inhabitants of Venezuela to unite and join him, if 
they would be considered by their Liberators as pure and good 
patriots. I have not arrived," continues he, " to dictate laws 
to you, but I advise you to hear my voice, I recommend to you 
union in the government, and absolute liberty for all classes, in 
order that you may not commit any more absurdities and crimes ! 
But you cannot be freemen and slaves at the same time, if you 
form no more than one single mass of the whole population ; if 
you choose a central government — (Simon Bolivar !) if you 
join us, you may rely upon a sure victory." This proclama- 
tion is signed by Bolivar, and dated, '^ Villa del Norte, Island 
of Margarita, May 3d, 1816." 

Here is a new instance of the pompous style of Bolivar's 
proclamations, who repeated his illusory promises as he did in 
1813, and as he has not ceased to do from that time to the 
present day. " Liberators, liberating army, central govern- 
ment, advices,^^ injc. &ic. resounded from one end to the other. 



in all his proclamations. We shall soon see whether the in- 
habitants of Venezuela could rely upon a sure victory, and 
whether he acted as he promised. 

When the Spaniards were apprised of our arrival in the 
Villa del Norte, they evacuated^ on the same night, the capital, 
Villa del Assumption, and the famous Spanish coward, Air. 
Miguel de La Torre, retired precipitately into the forts of Pom- 

At our landing at the port of Juan Griego, Arismendy, Bo- 
livar and I were talking, when I heard suddenly the discharge 
of musketry. I turned round to see what caused this firing. 
Bolivar told me smiling, '^ it is nothing, my dear friend, (speak- 
ing witli me always in French,) general Arismendy has order- 
ed some Spanish prisoners, landed from our squadron, to be 
shot." These unfortunate men were, in landing, tied together, 
while others made a large hole, before which they kneeled 
down and were shot in the back, so that they fell into their 
grave, which was immediately filled with earth. It happened 
that many of them, not receiving deadly wounds, were buried 
alive in this manner. 

When admiral Brion, detained in bed by his wound, heard 
of this, he gave the formal order to suffer no more of the Span- 
ish prisoners to be landed, and saved the lives of about fifty 
Spaniards, who were humanely treated and put to useful em- 
ployments. So should general Bolivar have acted, instead of 
Brion. It would have cost the former no more than a repre- 
sentation to Arismendy to save them ; he only smiled at the 
horrors which I expressed for a barbarous act committed in 
cold blood. 

The next day after his installation as commander-in-chief, 
Bolivar, in his proclamations, and in his official transactions, 
took the following titles : " Simon Ifclivar, general-in-chief, 
captain-general of the li/jrrating armies of Venezuela and New 
Grenada, supreme chief o( the republic of Venezuela, comman- 
der-in-chief of the land and naval forces," &c. kc. kc. with- 
out having conferred upon him the right to name himself su- 
preme chief, which made a very bad impression on all the for- 
eigners who came with us from Aux Cayes. As I had pro- 
mised to Brion to remain, I made my best exertions to quell 
and appease these oflicers, and succeeded. We were absolute- 
ly destitute of every thing ; the small and rocky island of Mar- 
garita was unable to furnish us the necessary provisions ; the 
vessels were in want of rations for the crew, so that each offi- 


cer and private, had a scanty ration, consisting of a little cake 
of Indian meal, not weighing two ounces, called arepa, and two 
small salted fishes, and nothing else ! We, general and staff 
officers, dined with general Arismendy, but our table was sur- 
rounded by at least 50 hungry officers not belonging to the 
staff, who took from our table what they could reach, so tliat 
many of the company rose without being able to satisfy their 
own hunger. There was no money, no clothes, nor any tiling 
but great confusion and misery ! 

The 25th May the squadron departed from Margarita, Brion 
having recovered from his wound, and arrived the 31st before 
the large borough of Carupano, the port ofwhich was protect- 
ed by a fort, called Sta. Rosa, upon which the Spanish colois 
were displayed. I have related in Chapter first, how it was 
taken. The patriots found a fine merchant brig and schooner, 
belonging to the Spaniards, with a rich cargo in each. The 
greatest part of the inhabitants having fled, left theur stores fill- 
ed with provisions and dry goods, which were plundered and 
disappeared in 24 hours. The confusion and disorder were very 
great, and no precaution was taken to distribute any of the pro- 
visions in a regular way, but each one took what he pleased, 
and destroyed or left the remainder. I offered to make maga- 
zines, and station guards and sentries, in order to save them, 
and to distribute regular rations ; but Bolivar told me. laugh- 
ing, '^ that these guards would give tlie first example of taking 
what they chose, and that all would be useless." I was high- 
ly disgusted, and had already, in Margarita, asked my absolute 
discharge from such a service, but remained against my will, 
Bolivar declaring to me in a friendly but positive manner, that 
it was impossible for him to grant me my request. After some 
day's stay at Carupano, I did the same, but was again refused. 

The consequences of this disorder were, that after some 
days we had no provisions, and that some maladies reigned in 
the barracks, where the ordinary filthiness of this people, join- 
ed to the want of sufficient and wholesome food, introduced a 
great many diseases of which a great number died. It would 
have been an easy task for Bolivar to have delivered his coun- 
try, in a short time, if he would have followed my advice ; at 
that time the Spaniards, struck with panic terror at our sudden 
arrival, retired m great haste towards Valencia and evacuated 
the whole of the extensive territory from Carupano to Cariaco 
and Guiria, so that the communication with Maturin by land, 
and through the gulf of Trieste, was entirely left free. I will 


relate here some particulars which passed between general Bo^ 
livar and me, which will give still further illustrations of bis 
talents and character. 

At ray first interview witli Bolivar at Aux Cayes, he pro- 
mised to give me my rank as general, which was due to me, 
liaving sent my commission through the regular channel of the 
president and general-in-chief of the republic of Carthagena to 
the congress of New Grenada, as I have already stated. We 
arrived at Margarita where other officers were promoted, and 
I was passed over, as 1 have mentioned. We arrived at Cam- 
pano, a place laying on the Main, declared free and independ- 
ent by our presence and that of Bolivar. After h aving remmded 
him of his promise already given, and after having said that I 
cared not much about a piece of paper, (meaning my commis- 
sion,) which gave me not a cent of pay, nor any solid advan- 
tages ; I added, tliat it was just I should not be degraded by the 
title of a colonel, when I had deserved my ancient rank, by my 
services at Carthagena, Boca Chica, at Aux Cayes, in the ac- 
tion of tlie 2d May, and since, at Margarita, and here on the 
Main; and, moreover, when I saw that Soublette, whom he 
himself knew to be a coward, ranked witli me, who was an old 
veteran, not only covered with wounds, but deserving, for having 
some claims on account of the services I had rendered, my for- 
mer rank, &:c. &:c. I spoke very warmly and strongly, and 
Bolivar, taking me by the hand, gave me again his forma] pro- 
mise, tliat after the next action, when he could promote others, 
I should be tlic first named. He added so many obliging and 
friendly promises, that I was again foolish enough to rely upon 
his word and remained. 

In my frequent and long conversations with general Bolivar, 
I spoke to him often of die necessity of instructing die officers, 
who were in general very ignorant in the element«iry principles 
of die military art, and proposed to him to establish schools for 
instruction in the dieory and practice of forming depots and to 
drill recruits, a commission to examine the foreign officers who 
wished to enter the service; to be authorised to judge of the 
merits and the talents of die officers in general, of their beha- 
viour in action, in order to recommend them for promotion, 
&.C. I told him frankly thiit nothing was more degrading for 
an officer of honor, than to depend upon favor, flattery and pro- 
tection, or the caprice of one single man, by which talents and 
modesty were often put aside, while intriguers and flatterers, 
cowards and ignoramuses, were advanced and put at the head 

MEMOniS or BOLIVAR. 155 

of men, who knew a thousand times better how to command. 
" And now see," pursued I, growing warm, " that general Mar 
— ^what can he know, how will he command fifty men, is he 
able to do it ?** " Oh; mon cher awt,'^ interrupted general Bo- 
livar, laughing, *'you are perfectly correct, he cannot even 
command ybi/r men.^^ After various conversations upon these 
and otlier military matters, with general Bolivar, he named a 
kind of special council of war, being at Aux Caves, in which 
the military and administrative operations were freely debated. 
It was composed of Brion, Marino, McGregor and myself, Bo- 
livar presiding. A commission was also established, to exam- 
ine the pretensions of the foreign officers, in which I presided, 
composed of generals Piar and McGregor. At the first session 
held in my house, some foreign officers made objections to 
showing their commissions, but I stopped them, saying that we 
were assembled here by special command of general Bolivar, 
and that I would begin by obeying his orders. I immediately 
took from a drawer before me, my commission from the govern- 
ment of Carthagena, and ordered it to be passed round. So did 
Piar and McGregor, and nobody afterwards made the least 
difficulty. But as soon as wc had arrived at the island of Mar- 
garita, every thing was forgotten, and Bolivar alone acted as 
he pleased. 

When at Carupano, where we stayed much longer than I 
expected, I again urged general Bolivar to establish a school 
for tlie instruction of the officers in theory and practice, which 
he at last consented to. I proposed for instructor, a lieutenant 
colonel Schmidt, who had served under my orders at Barcelo- 
na, when I was the commander of the head quarters of the 
raarshall McDonald, duke ofTarentem, governor of tlie citadel, 
&c. He was an able officer and highly pleased with my pro- 
position. General Bolivar authorised me to put on the order 
of the day, " that every officer of infantry should assemble at 
such a place, hour and day fixed in my orders, to receive tlie 
necessary instructions from colonel Schmidt : That those who 
should not comply with the present order, without a well ground- 
ed reason, would expose themselves to be arrested and sent 
for 24 hours to the fort of Sta. Rosa. During several days 
this school was well attended by the officers, of whom a great 
many distinguished themselves by their zeal to learn. I must 
state here once for all, tliat the majority of these young officers 
were good, docile, and wiUing to obey, as soon as they were 
well treated and commauded, and that I never had to complain 


of, or to punish any of them. It would not have been the case 
here, if some invidious, vile indiWduals, had not tried to make 
all my actions, my words and my orders, ridiculous and sus- 
pected, not in my presence, but always in my absence. One 
day colonel Schmidt came to complain that Uie officers began 
to be very neglectful of their duties, and tliat a great many 
came not at aU. I mentioned this to general Bolivar, who au- 
thorised me to renew and sharpen the order; but by and by 
the same neglect was complained of by Schmidt. I said now 
to Bolivar, that it was high time to punish, if we would not lose 
all authority, discipline, &c. He approved, and authorised me 
to act in accordance to the existing order. I entered the next 
day into the large room where the officers were driUed, accom- 
panied by some of my officers, and saw a small number of 
them assembled in comparison of other days, when I came to 
assist at tlieir drills. I asked for the roll, on calling over 
which I found that among about 100, 36 were absent, of 
whom 15 had no excuse at all. I ordered immediately the 
adjutants to arrest and put them for 24 hours in ibe fort, and 
sent a written order to colonel Landaeta, who commanded at 
Sta. Rosa, to give them leave to walk in the fort wherever they 
pleased, but to allow none to go out until the hour of the arrest 
was expired. Enclosed were the names of these officers. I 
re|)ortcd all to general Bolivar, who approved it highly, not- 
withstanding his o\^ii nephew, captain Manuel Palacios, son of 
his sister, was among tlie arrested officers. Bolivar was very 
well satisfied and laughed, sitting in his hammock, when I told 
him that it was necessary to commence with his nephew's pun- 
ishment, as giving to olliers a proof of his impartiality and jus- 
tice. He finished, by approving highly my remarks and orders, 
and I left him well satisfied. This was about 11 o'clock in 
the morning. The same day, at G in the afternoon, arrived 
general Bolivar, witli six or eight officers, at my house, and af- 
ter having saluted me as usual, he took me by tlie arm, in my 
upper piazza, where we were alone, and spoke tlie following 
words to iue : " You will never find out, mon cher ami^ from 
whencQ I came just now. 1 have received a doleful note from 
my nephew Palacios, (which he handed to me for my perusal) 
who is in the fort, who urged me for his, and his companion's 
sake, to come and see him ; I did, and come from Sta. Rosa, 
and can tell you that llicse poor devils (Ics pauvrcs diahle^) 
have requested me, in a very urgent manner, to pardon them, 
and to sot tlicm at liberty, and })romiscd that they will never 


more fail in their duty, &c. I told them that I had not ient 
them to the fort ^ but you ! and that I would promise to go and 
make interest with you for them, and ask you to relieve them 
from their arrest." " What, general," said I, extremely sur- 
prised and shocked to hear him speaking these words, "it ap- 
pears as if / was the only cause of their arrest, and as if / was 
the author of their punishment ! How could you say that it is 
not you who have sent them to the fort, but If Have you 
then not approved highly the daily orders for the army, pub- 
lished by me in your name ? It is then /, who alone have pun- 
ished them, and should you not have said that their punish- 
ment was the natural consequence of tlieir disobeying your or- 
ders. Well, then, I see that I have nothing more to do here, 
I am of no use, when you cannot or will not support tlie au- 
thority given to me, without my request or my intriguing for 
it ; I can remain no longer in a service where I cannot be of 
use," &c. be. I was warm, and spoke fully determined to 
quit forever si^h a disgusting service. But Bolivar again en- 
treated me 90 urgently to remain with him, told me that I should 
be always his good friend, that I was very useful to him, &c. 
be. so diat I embraced him and remained. The prisoners 
were released by a written order, sent by one of my aid-de- 
camps to colonel Landaeta, and Bolivar departed after a full 
hour's stay at my house, very well satisfied. I must confess, I 
was not much satisfied, and took the firm resolution to punish 
nobody, to complain of nobody, and act, for a little while, in a 
very passive way, to see if at last, there would be any alteration 
in our curiously organised, or rather our totaUy unorganised 
liberating army, which counted not 800 men ! 

One day at Carupano I found Bolivar laying in his hammock 
alone, looking melancholy and dejected. His face was unusu- 
ally pale and his eyes sunken. I asked him if he was sick ; 
" Oh no, no, mon cher ami^ (which was always his favorite ternaj 
not at all, but Marino teases me to go with Fiar and twenty of- 
ficers, to Guiria to recruit some more men ; he wants me to 
give him 2000 stand of arms, ammunition and some flecheras, 
(large armed barges) to convoy him along the coast. But you 
know what we have to fear from these two generals ; I am con- 
vinced they will try again to render themselves independent 
from me, which would renew the scenes of 1813 and 1814.* 

• TTic reader will remember that Marino, at that lime, was dictator of the cast and 
Bolivar of the west of Venezuela, and that the first acted entirely indegsndently of the 
latter. We have seen the dreadful consequences of this rivalship. Sec chapter VI, 
and VII. 


I know not indeed, how to act or what to do." If I were in 
your place, I would refuse their request under various preten- 
ces, of which you have so many, and never would I conse A to 
let them be absent from you ; then after what has passed in 
Aux Cayes,* you have certainly to fear that Marino, once de- 
tached from you, would try another time to shake the yoke 
from his shoulders. Brion who came b, heard my last argu- 
ments and confirmed not only what I had said, but spoke in 
much stronger and contemptuous expressions against Marino 
and Piar. Bolivar fiilly convinced and satisfied, pronused to 
follow our advice. 

Admiral Brion had never esteemed Marino, and sud many 
times, that he and I^ar were dangerous enemies to Bolivar. 
Marino indeed, never had been, nor could he be dangerous lo 
the latter, for want of talents and character, as I ^aO fully 
show at tiie trial of Piar ; but united with Piar, who was a cot 
ored man, a native of the island of Curacao, with Brion, he has 
done great mischief to Bolivar. Piar was an able partisan of- 
ficer, brave, active, a secret enemy of Bolivar, ^dx), like Brion, 
hated, in general, the colored men. Piar was the soul of Mari- 
no, and both were bseparable friends, so the much more dan- 
gerous to Bolivar, as Piar, tlie avowed friend of the constitu- 
tion of the first Congress in Venezuela, in 1811, by which the 
colored people enjoyed the same rights as the whites, had often 
and loudly declared, that he wished not to see Bolivar uniting 
in himself alone, the three powers, but to have a Congress and 
good laws. Piar, who had K>iight various brilliant actions against 
the Spaniards, had a great many partisans, and was friendly 
and sociable witli those who belonged to his family, and princi- 
pally with ofiicers of foreign countries, and colored people, 
who ail liked to ser\'e with him in preference to Bolivar, who wzs 
haughty and imperious. The insinuating and polite manners of 
general Marino, rendered him very popular, and he gained a 
great many partisans among the simple and uncultivated people, 
particularly in tlic provinces of Cumana and Barcelona. Both 

* San Jap) Mariuo charf^l a colore<l captain, named Sobic, to find him 900 color- 
ed men, which should form the ^*rm of his body guard, and who should be attached 
entirely to his service, tfobie, who had served under my ordera at Boca Chica, and 
who was a brave and able officer, very much attached to me, came immediatdy to 
accjuaint me with this strange commission ; when I communicated to Bolivar the se- 
cret orders of Marino given to Sobie, he was alarme<t and re<]uested me t<i counter- 
act this plan. I told Sobie to ask Iroui Mariuo .'XX) d(»ubloons, which was the ordina- 
ry en{j^a;;cmcjiit fur oOO men ; Marino ha<l no money, and no all wa^ finished. 


knew perfectly well, that Bolivar hated them, but that he dis- 
simulated tliis hatred ; it was, therefore, very impolitic, even 
dangerous, to suffer the union of the two commanders, and their 
absence, in the position in which Bolivar was placed. 

Recently arrived at Carupano, Bolivar was too confident 
that the inhabitants of Venezuela would again rise in his favor, 
as they did in 1813. But instead of it, they left their proper- 
Xj and houses, and after a fortnight's stay, be could not count 
fifty recruits who came voluntarily to serve under his orders. 
His behavior as dictator, his flight, his abandoning tliem in tlic 
way he did in embarking at Cumana, had lost him their confi- 
dence, and many resolved and good patriots chose to keep at 
a distance from him, or to emigrate. Bolivar, knowing all these 
circumstances, and more, die great influence of Piar with the 
weak and ignorant Marino, should have, at least, retained Piar 
by giving him some honorable occupation ; and he was well 
aware, as I told him, that Marino, without Piar, would have 
never been, by any means, dangerous. 

Brion and myself were highly astonished to hear tliat these 
two chieftains had, at last, persuaded Bolivar to consent to their 
departure, to give them arms, amunition, barges, officers, &c. 
They took with them tlie colonel-adjutant-general Chypia, the 
best engineer officer, and about twenty officers more. When 
I asked Bolivar how he could have granted this permission, he 
said that Marino urged him very much, had promised him to 
send a numerous body of men, and particularly a very good 
battafion of colored people, from the island of*^ Guadaloupe, 
(about 400 men strong) which had, three years before, fought 
in the eastern provinces of Venezuela with great success, known 
in that country under the name of battalion of Guiria^ &c. &M!. 
But as soon as Marino had arrived in Guiria, he proclaimed 
himself general-in-chief, organised his army, Aw staff, named 
chief of the staff, colonel Chypia, and sent not a single man to 
general Bolivar, who was daily urging him in vain to join him, 
or, at least, to send him this battalion of Guiria. Notliing came. 
BoUvar, in fine, was no more joined by Marino nor by Piar. 

I have said that we had a great many officers, and a very 
small number of soldiers. Then the 300 men embarked from 
Margarita with us to Carupano, had their officers, all natives, 
from that island. I one day proposed to Bolivar to give em- 
ployment to these officers, and form a separate corps, which 
should be organised in companies, drilled, armed, 8ic. and em- 
ployed as a guard of our head-quarters. He proposed to form 


of them, at first, no more than one battalion of infantry, and a 
squadron of cavalry. Both proposals were highly approved of 
by general Bolivar. Three days afterwards, I was surprised to 
receive the reports of the commanders of the out posts estab- 
lished around our head quarters, that the commandant N. N. 
had passed with passports of the supreme chief, with such a 
number of officers, to go to such a place. The results of these 
different reports instructed me that five commandants or chiefs 
of a battalion, had absented themselves, with their respective 
officers, in search of recruits. I caUed immediately on the gen- 
eral with these written reports, and asked him if this was done 
by his order ? He replied to me in a very cold and unusually 
dry manner, that having well reflected on the nature of my pro- 
posal, he found it at present inadmissible, and had thought pro- 
per to send tliese officers in search of recruits, and to have 
more forces. I objected to him that this measure might per- 
haps endanger the safety of these isolated officers, knowing well 
that the Spaniards had approached us, as far as San Jose, a 
small village at two leagues distance from our head quarters. 
He said there was no danger to be feared, and the officers went 
ofi!*! This change of mind in general Bolivar was caused, as I 
heard some days afterwards, by a conversation held at his even- 
ing assemblies in Miss Pepa's house, where Bolivar was ordi- 
narily surrounded by his minions and flatterers, Soublette, Pe- 
dro Leon Torres, Anzoatigui, Ferdinand Galindo, and others 
of the same description, in which they criticised the actions, or- 
dei*s, and innovations which I would introduce into their army. 
Soublette, a secret enemy of mine (the reader is instructed al- 
ready for what reasons) distinguished liimself more than any 
one of the rest, and was truly supported by Bolivar's mistress, 
Miss Pepa, and her mother, who could not endure me at all, 
because I had never visited them in Margarita, nor in Carupa- 
no. Bolivar himself told me frequently, in his ordinar}' jesting 
and laughing manner, that he many times took my defence 
against these ladies ! They represented to the general that I 
was of a despotical character, that this stranger would introduce 
ridiculous innovations, to which they would never submit, that 
he, Bolivar, was very good to submit any lon2;er to such coun- 
sel, and the influence which it appeared I had gained over him, 
&c. The others joined in chorus, and so it happened tliat Bo- 
livar, at eleven o'clock in the night, gave tlie order to tlicse 
commandants to depart with their respective officers. They 
committed so many disorders, that they were obliged to come 


back witliout any forces at all, and so. the same disorder remain- 
ed ; nothing was done. 

While we were in the island of Margarita, Bolivar observed 
to me that it appeared the foreign officers, in our service, were 
not satisfied to be with him. I told him frankly, that they had 
no reason to be so, they had no pay, no food, no means of sub- 
sistence ; but, added I, the worst of all is to be commanded by 
young and inexperienced officers, who are generals, colonels 
and lieutenant colonels, and who, by their great inexperience, 
exposed them to lose, not only the battle, but their lives, with- 
out being allowed to make any dispositions, or to give salutary 
advice, kx^. he. 

As I was by office, age, and services, the most elevated, and 
the most in general Bohvar's intimacy, these officers came fre- 
quently to see me, and to ask my advice on different occasions ; 
and so I was very well acquainted with their various claims and 
dissatisfactions. Among them were a great many officers, 
French, English, Germans, Poles, who had served with dis- 
tinction in Europe, and some during 20 and 25 years, and who 
knew twenty times as much as these officers born in the country. 

The just observations of the officers inspired me with the 
idea, to make their services useful in their oxon way^ viz. to 
create a corps of foreign troops, commanded by foreign officers, 
under the name of legion of Venezuela. Shortly after our ar- 
rival at Canipano, I one day found Bolivar in good spirits and 
alone. We talked a great deal on indifferent topics, and after 
a while, I introduced my plan of the creation of a foreign legion 
with tlie necessary amendments and organization, adapted to 
our kind of war, the country, and the resources which we could 
reasonably expect. I said to him, frankly, that our army, so 
called, was nothing more tlian a collection of armed men, very 
iU organized, clothed, drilled, instructed, and not paid at all, 
he. I entered, with my usual warmth and frankness, into all 
the great advantages of having such a corps of men, already 
acquainted with war, able to beat all the Spaniards, who re- 
cruited two-thirds of their soldiers among the natives, and 
finished by proposing to him to make an essay with 1500 men, 
of which 1000 should form two battalions, one of riflemen or 
chasseurs, and the other of grenadiers, 500 divided into two 
squadrons of light cavalry, and two companies of light artillery 
of 100 horse each. These 1500 men could, after a while, be 
increased by mixing natives among them, to a full third, half or 
more, by giving to each company so many more natives, but 


all commanded by experienced commissioned and non-com- 
missioned ybre^n officers. I am certain, added I, that were 
these troops weU commanded and treated, we should have in 
one year, 3000 of them, as each of them could write to his un- 
fortunate countrymen, how well they were among us, and so 
would we be able to finish the war in a very short time, but 
with the express condition that nobody else than you, general 
Bolivar, should have the right to interfere with them. 

General Bolivar heard my long demonstration with unfeign- 
ed pleasure, jumped from his hammock, shook hands with me, 
and said that my plan was so excellent, that we would contmue 
to talk together over a good bottle of Bourdeaux wine, a pres- 
ent from one of the merchant vessels arrived from St. Tbomas\ 
He called Garcia, his intendant, and ordered him to bring the 
wine into bis bed chamber, and to say to his aid-de-camps that 
he would not be interrupted by any one. After having dirinked 
my health, he sat down next to our small table, and said, smil- 
ing : '^ but, mon cher amt, your plan is good, but one trifle is 
wanting." What ? said I. " The money, we have not a cent, 
and are as poor as Job." I said to him that the battalion of 
Guiria having arrived, (which deserted Marmo, and took by 
force some flecheras to come over to us) the same battalion of 
more than 400 colored men, from Guadaloupe, which bad been 
already used to our manner of carrying on the war in this coun- 
try for more than two years, of which I have spoken before, 
we could have, by adding the officers of different nations pres- 
sent, about 500 men already assembled here, that I bad had 
different conversations with colonels Bidot and Boe, of whom 
the fonner had assured me, tliat \vith eight or ten doUars for 
each man engaged, and his passage paid, he would find easily 
between Martinique, Guadaloupe, St. Thomas', St. Barthole- 
mews', &m;., more than 600 men, and that the other 500 would 
be procured, by sending to the United States of America. In 
regard to expenses, Brion, with his credit, could be of great 
use ; he had also a good quantity of merchandise, foimd in the 
two captured Spanish vessels, and in tlie stores left by their 
owners ; the two merchant vessels might be sold ; all of which 
would afford more ilian sufficient means to raise, by exchange, 
the necessary money, without counting a good cargo of mules, 
asses, cacoa, tobacco and other produce of the coimtry, which 
could be collected and shipped. There should be named hon- 
est agents, and able men, with the necessary knowledge of the 
country to which they were to be sent, in order to collect re- 



sources and recruits. Bolivar said I was perfectly correct, 
and the more he heard me, the more he was convinced of the 
practicability of my plan. I proposed to send for admiral Brion, 
who came soon aUer. I had already talked much with Brion 
upon the usefulness of the plan, but he had always expressed 
his fears that general Bolivar would be opposed to it, knowing 
too well his suspicious character, and his general aversion to 
foreigners. He was, therefore, much surprised to hear Bolivar 
so full of praise, in regard to this plan, and offered immediately 
a number of his vessels, aiid his credit, for the execution of the 
plan. We drank another bottle and separated, after having ta- 
ken each of us a part in the execution of the plan. Brion was 
charged with the vessels, and their cargoes ; Bolivar with the 
appointment of the officers, and I with tlie organization of each 
corps, and the general instructions to the agents and recruiting 
officers ; and so we separated, very well satisfied, at a late hour. 
But, in the warmth of my zeal for the prosperity of our enter- 
prise, I committed a great blunder in saying to general Bolivar, 
'^ that if I was not the chief of his staff*, 1 would have desired to 
be the commander of diat legion. These words appeared to 
me to have made a bad impression on the suspicious mind of 
general Bolivar, who treated me afterwards much more coolly, 
even, many times, with great dryness. 

I sat down the same night and drew up fiie outlines of 
my plan, which I presented the next morning to general Bolivar 
at the usual hour of my daily reports. As I entered his bed 
chamber familiarly, and without being announced, I found him 
lying in his hammock, as usual, occupied in reading. When 
he saw me, he hastily placed his book under his pillow, jumped 
out of the hammock to shake hands with me, but a little cooler 
than usual. Surprised to see Bolivar occupied in reading, which 
he never did before, and desirous to know with what book he 
occupied himself, I came nearer to the hammock and took the 
book out from under his pillow, asking him, '^ what he was 
reading ?" He looked a little confused, and answered : " he 
read it to recreate his mind a little !" It was the New Heloise, 
by J. J. Rousseau. 

We spoke now of the usual military concerns during the last 
twenty-iour hours, and I handed him my plan of the legion. 
Bolivar, without even looking at it, folded it and put it under 
his pillow, saying : " well, well, leave it with me, I will look it 
over in the course of to-day or to-morrow, as soon as my time 
will permit." These words pronounced in a cool and dry man- 


ner, gave me a new conviction of Bolivar's very limited talents, 
and of liis not being at all the man able to command for the 
welfare of others. I immediately took leave of him without 
saying a single word more. 

What in fact can be thought of a supreme chief, upon whose ac- 
tivity and skill depended the welfare of so many thousands, pass- 
ing the greatest part of his time in his hammock reading the Nou- 
veUe Heloise, or talking with his flatterers, on trifling topics, or 
passing his time in the house of Miss Pepa, who had no time to 
examine a plan on which depended so gready the success of 
his enterprise, while Brion and myself were busily engaged to 
prepare every thing which had been fixed the evening before. 

I saw the general in tlie evening, the next morning and after- 
noon, and heard not a word of the plan. Meanwhile came 
Brion and all the foreign oflicers to my house to inquire if there 
was any news ; and being myself anxious to finish the business, 
I determined to speak witli tlic general, definitively. I found 
him in his hammock alone and half asleep, and after some in- 
diflcrent words, I asked him abruptly ; " apropos, general, have 
you examined the plan for tlie creation of that legion ?" He 
answered me in a furious manner, and jumping from his ham- 
mock [like a madman : "Foudre Mr. Foreign legion ! Foreign 
legion ! How, mow cher ami, can you tliink of it ? do you know 
the of it ? no, no, no, no legion. These foreign- 
ers would then impose laws on me and control me." Such 
was precisely the reply of general Bolivar, expressed in 
French. While making this reply, he walked the room to and 
firo, evidently in a great pass^ion. I was highly shocked and dis- 
pleased with such an unexpected scene, and approaching to- 
wards him, I took him by the arm, and exclaimed in a firm and 
animated voice, having an upright and clean conscience, " what 
means this Mr. general. You forget, undoubtedly, tliat you 
speak to a foreigner ? And do yon think that with my wliite 
hairs and at my age, I would suffer any man to betray you, or 
you suppose, perhaps, what I can hardly believe, ilial I myself 
should tliink of betraying you ?" He interrupted me here, and 
said in a much more moderate and friendly tone, " Ah mon cher 
ami, you certainly are not a stranger among us, you are one of 
our good citizens, and a man of honor ; you belong to the re- 
public by your services, which are and have been distinguished, 
and by your marriage with a South American lady. I have 
never diought nor meant you, uiy dear friend. Yet," added he, 
in a more passionate tone, " there exist some other ambiuous 


foreigners who are desirous of taking njy place, fsupplanter) 
and who might do it." 

This was alluding to general Piar, who had separated him- 
self with Marino from Bolivar, and chagrined to see that all his 
orders were disregarded by these two chieftains, who neither 
returned nor sent any recruits, he imagined that Piar might 
take his place. 

I represented to him in the strongest terms, that there was 
not the least danger to him, in consenting to the creation of such 
a legion ; that it would, on the contrary, be highly useful to him 
and the cause, he. All was in vain, and BoUvar would never 
more hear of the forming of such a plan. Admiral Brion tried 
also to change his mind, but could not succeed ; the whole plan 
was given up. 

One day while we were ai Carupano, the enemy surprised 
an advanced guard of 40 men of the cavalry, of whom a num- 
ber came wounded, at two o'clock in the morning, to our head 
quarters, giving the alarm of the approach of the enemy. Bolivar, 
hnmediately struck with a panic terror, dressed himself hastily, 
mounted his horse, and rode at full speed to the arsenal, which 
lay close by the port, and the fort of Santa Rosa, so tliat, at the 
first notice of the enemy's approach, he could have tiie chance 
to embark in a few minutes, or shut himself up in the fort. All 
his trunks and baggage were immediately carried from his house 
to the arsenal, where I saw them all collected. During this 
time I took the few disposable cavalry and some officers, and 
directed my course towards the place where this guard had 
been surprised, to reconnoitre tlie enemy, and ascertain the na- 
ture of the danger. I ordered the troops in the head quarters 
to take arms and be ready to march at the first signal to repel 
the enemy in case of an attack. I sawoio one at all, and all 
my reconnoitering parties having joined me, I returned with tlie 
usual precautions to the head quarters. In approaching the 
house of general Bolivar, in order to make him my report, I 
was surprised to find it empty, and dark, I heard from a dra- 
goon, detached by general Bolivar in search of me, that tlie 
commander-in-chief was at the arsenal, witli all his retinue, his 
household, trunks, he. I found him lying in his hammock, 
surrounded by his flatterers, who lay half asleep, half awake, on 
trunks, tables, benches and boards. As soon as I saw among 
them Charles Soublette stretched out on a bench, I could not 
refrain from giving him, in presence of BoUvar and more than 
twenty officers, a very harsh reprimand, because he, being nom- 


inated by the geDeral-in-cbief commandant of the head quar- 
ters, was not at his post at the head of the troops, as he slKHdd 
have been, and not lying on a bench, when the enemy was at- 
tempting to surprise us. Soublette, as usual, said not a single 

I now assured general Bolivar that there was nothing more 
to be feared, as I had doubled the guards at the out posts, and 
ordered all the troops to be ready at the first signal given. I 
escorted general Bolivar with my dragoons, to his old quarters, 
where trunks, baggage and papers were again ordered, and re- 
tired to my own house feeling more and more the strange and 
cowardly behavior of the supreme chief, in every case of danger. 

This was an authentic proof of Bolivar's incapacity to save 
us in case of danger, or to put himself at the head of a body of 
troops to attack the enemy in person, in the last critical mo- 
ment, which he never did, nor ever will do, as all those who 
have been in any action with him, in Venezuela, in New Gre- 
nada, in Peru, will readily attest : I would be understood to 
speak of those persons who are no longer in the service of Co- 
lombia, and who are not dependent upon him by their connex- 
ions with that, so called, republic, and who have nothing to hope 
or to fear from the President Liberator of Colombia. True 
enough, the bulletins and proclamations, drawn up all by him- 
self, or under his immediate inspection, display him as a hero, 
at the head of his troops ; but none of these bulletins are cor- 
rect, nor can they inspire in those who know the character of 
Bolivar, and the composition of his, so called, liberating army, 
any confidence. 

I have already given the autlientic facts, in respect to three 
or four of his bulletins and proclamations, and shown how de- 
ceptive they are to distant people. On examining them close- 
ly, the clouds which surrounded them, and must naturaUy 
exalt the imagination of persons not well acquainted with all 
the circumstances, will at last disappear, and show, in his true 
light, the President Liberator, his actions and his military skill. 

General Bolivar is the same man at the present day, that he 
was in 1816, with the difference, that he is much more \'ain, 
ambitious and bold. But then he has the bayonets in his favor, 
which accounts for many things. 

I was now perfectly convinced that my longer remaining with 
such a commander, would be of no avail. I saw clearly that 
all plans and advice tending to establish order, instruction, drills 
and organization, in a word, any thing like an army, was pow- 


erfuUy counteracted by most of those who surrounded the gen- 
eral, and who were loo much interested to leave every thing in 
statu quOf as being much more convenient to their wishes. My 
intimacy with Bolivar, with whom I was always frank, as a man 
of character and a free man should be, excited the greatest 
jealousy in all, or the greatest part of these natives. I was not 
only a foreigner, but I reprimanded, corrected and punished 
those who did wrong, and Bolivar himself, threw all the blame 
upon me, as I have already shown. Sarcasm and ridicule have 
always had a great influence upon Bolivar, as in general they 
have upon half cultivated and limited minds ; and Soublette, 
poweriully supported by Miss Pepa, was much more at his ease 
in these evening assemblies, called iertuliasj than he is on a 
field of battle, where he has been seen pale, trembling and 
mute ! To these two were joined Miss Pepa, her mother and 
sister, who detested me cordially, for some words spoken pub- 
licly by me, against this family, and who always called me the 
maldito Frances. Pedro Leon Torres, whom I punished once, 
when I was lieutenant colonel and commander of the fort of 
San Jose, in Boca Chica, where I was chief; major Fernando 
Galindo, whom I treated once in Aux Cayes, as he deserved ; 
lieutenant colonel Anzoatigui, whom I reprimanded one day at 
Carupano, and who commanded the body guard of the supreme 
chief, and some others, now made a combination, and tried by 
degrees to create suspicions against me, in the too jealous and 
weak mind of general Bolivar. 

It appeared to me, that from the day I had mentioned the 
wish to command the foreign legion, general Bolivar was no 
more the same man ; his manners were changed ; he did not 
speak to me with the same confidence, with the same frankness, 
it he is at all capable of frankness, of which I have great doubts, 
as I said before. All these reasons, and moreover my impaired 
health, mjured by privations and great exertions of mind, de- 
termined me at last to leave a service, in which (I declare 
it here frankly) no man, who has feelings of self respect and 
personal independence, can consent to remain. I chose, there- 
fore, to write him an official letter, in which I formally request- 
ed him to grant me my final discharge fi*om the army, and that 
I might join my family (wife and children) which I had left at 
Aux Cayes to restore my impaired health. I ordered one of 
my aid-de-camps to deliver it into general Bolivar's own hands, 
and when he came back with the assurance that he had obey- 
ed this my last order, I felt at my ease and cheerful. 

168 mifOiBs or boutab. 

Four days passed before I received bdj answer, during which, 
the general sent me various persons, as the adjutant Brion, the 
intendant Zea, his aid-de-camp Chamberhin, who was always 
greatly attached to me, &c., to make me strong representa* 
tions, and to persuade me to remain, and to revoke my first 
letter. Adjutant general, Jose Martinez, my officers of the 
staff, and my aid-de-camps, and a great many foreigners, tried 
b vain to persuade me ; I remained firm, and answered that 
my health too much required a change of air, and rest* When 
Bolivar saw that nothing could retain me, he sent, at last, my 
absolute dischai^e, in very honorable and flattering terms. 
He bad written it with his own hand, and said, among ocber 
things, that he granted me my request with great regret, (ecrn^ 
dclor^) and saw me departing with reluctance, but that my 
health having declined, he coudd not urge me any longer to 
stay, &c. &c. 

Charles Soublette was named to be my successor, and as 
he dared not to avenge himself upon me, he had the baseness 
to do it upon my too adjutants, Manuel Flores and JosejA 
Martinez. These two young promising officers refused posi- 
tively to serve any more in the staff under Soublette's orders, 
and had requested the general-in-chief to be placed in their re- 
spective ranks, in one of the battalions of infantry. Tliis 
request was represented by Soublette to general Bolivar in 
a false and malicious way, and so he consented that these 
officers should be arrested, and put, for a couple of days, in 
tlie fort of Santa Rosa ; Soublette knowing very well that I was 
attached to them. As soon as I heard what had happened, and 
being now no more in the army, I wrote to general Bolivar a 
very strong letter against the misrepresentations of Soublette, 
and urged hira to put these young odicers at liberty, with which 
general Bolivar complied, and he himself returned me a very 
obliging answer. 

I inquired in vain for an opportunity for St. Thomas' or Aux 
Cayes, and was obliged to remain in Carupano. Two days 
after, Bolivar seeing that his position was very critical, as I had 
told him beforehand, gave orders to evacuate Carupano and to 
embark the same night. I came in the evening to pay a visit 
to admiral Brion ; general Bolivar entered some time after me. 
I stood up from my seat and came to shake hands with him as 
usual. But Bolivar withdrew his hand like a madman, and 
said in a furious tone to mc,^' tliat he would not give his liand 
to a man who deserved to be sliot instantly !" I never saw in 


my life, among the houses of madmen, in Charenton and Bed- 
lam, a figure like our supreme chief, at this moment ! and was 
doubting if it was general Boiivar or some of these madmen, 
deserters from Bedlam, who were before me. As I have 
never feared any man, and as my conscience was very clear 
and quiet, I looked at him some moments, and asked in a firm 
and strong tone, for an explanation of these strange and unin- 
telligible words, and declared to him positively, that he should 
explain himself, and that I feared nothing. He said not a sin- 
gle ivord more to me, abruptly left llie room, jumped upon his 
horse, and rode away. Brion, in reply to my inquiries, said 
to me, I need not care about what he said, as I was no longer 
in his service, and added that Bolivar had been the whole day 
in a very bad temper, having been very much disappointed, by 
the desertion of Marino and Piar, who had left him in a very 
disagreeable position, and maae it necessary for him now to 
evacuate this place, where the Spaniards threatened to attack 
him. And then, added Brion, he is very angry with you for 
having insisted on leaving him, &c. 

I sought Ik)livar every where, but could not find him, and 
Brion said to me, that it would be more prudent to avoid his 
presence, at a moment when his passion was excited, and so 
he brought me, who was of course enraged at such treatment, 
on board of one of his own vessels, the Diana, where the cap- 
tain and officers treated me with the greatest kindness. Having 
not been able to see general Bolivar, I wrote a strong and la- 
conic letter to him, in which, I asked an explanation of this 
strange behaviour to me, and tliat notwithstanding I was no 
more under his command, I would submit to be tried before a 
court martial, and hear what were the charges against me, and 
who was my vile accuser ! That I would remain on board of 
the Diana, one of the vessels belonging to the expedition, and 
not go to St. Thomas, until the sharpest inquiry, from the be- 
ginning to the end of my distinguished service, should be 
made, and that I never could have expected to deserve such 
an indecorous and ridiculous treatment. I gave this letter, di- 
rected to general Bohvar, supreme chief, to Mr. Ballot the 
next morning, to deliver it into the hands of the former, . telling 
him that I waited for an answer. Mr. Ballot gave him the let- 
ter, but he answered me not a single word. 

Some months afterwards, I found myself at Port au Prince, 
where general Bolivar arrived as a fugitive, in September 1816, 
as I will relate in the next chapter. As soon as I beard of hiil 


arrival, I said to my landlord, Mr. Wastenfield, a German and 
a rich and established merchant, and to Mr. Southerland, the 
English agent, that I was very glad of general Bolivar's arrival 
in a country where he did not command, and where I could 
address him on equal terms. I related what had happened at 
Canipano, to tliese two gentlemen, and they approved my resolu- 
tion ; but after a while, Mr. Soutlierland, who feared the con- 
sequences of such a meeting, took me aside and observed to 
me, that general Bolivar, being lodged at his house, he urged 
me, in very obliging terms, to desist from challenging general 
Bolivar ; adding that tlie latter was very much dejected and 
melancholy, and that it would not be generous on my part, to 
pursue a man, who was already unfortunate enough, in such 
circumstances, &:c. I yielded, at Inst, to his representations, 
but refused peremptorily to avoid Bolivar, as both gentlemen 
urged me to do; and insisted on having an explanation, before 
one of them, with general Bolivar, whom I feared not, and bad 
never feared. It was then settled that Mr. Soutlieraland should 
first sec general Bolivar, and make him acquainted with my in- 
tended visit, and see what he said to it. But if he should re- 
fuse, I promised to both, that I would join general Bolivar, 
wherever I could meet him, except in the houses of these two 
gentlemen, Waslenfield, and Southerland. 

The next morning, Mr. Southerland told me that general 
Bolivar would be very happy to see me, (his very expression.) 
I must confess that I was greatly astonished to hear such an 
unexpected answer from general Bolivar, and told them, laugh- 
ing, that hg would not have sent me such a polite message at 
the head of his troops and so I related to them his cowardice ; 
in the naval action of the id of May, of the same year. Mr. 
Southerland told me then, that when general Bohvar heard 
from him of my being here, he changed color and was much 
surprised to hear this news, and told him hastily he would not 
see me by any ''means; but after Mr. Southerland had as- 
sured him, that in spite of my being much irritated against him, 
I had at last yielded to his ( Soutlierland 's) representations, to 
cause no scene in his house, and to consider the general's situa- 
tion, ike. but that I had insisted, peremptorily, on having an 
explanation with him, in regard to the scene that took place at 
Carupano, but widiout intending to insult or to provoke him, 
&CC., Bolivar, who was now fully re-assured, said to Mr. South- 
erland, that he would receive me with great pleasure. 1 went 
immediately and found him walking with his aid-de-camp, 


Dr. Perez, (at that time lieutenant colonel, and now general, 
and his secretar}' general in Peru,) in the large piazza in Mr. 
Southerland's bouse. As soon as I came up the steps, he left 
Perez and came hastily towards me, embraced me with all the 
demonstrations of an unfeigned satisfaction, and the usual ex- 
clamation, " Ah, votis voiloj mon cher ami, (ah, there you are 
my dear friend,) I am extremely happy to see you." He took 
my arm, and I sat with him on the sofa. Mr. Perez, after having 
saluted me, retired. I was, I must confess, more confused 
than general Bolivar, at such a singular reception, and could 
hardly know if it was the same man, Bolivar in Carupano, and 
Bolivar in Port au Prince, or in June and September 1816 ! 
My confusion was the result of a painful conviction of the du- 
plicity of a man of such high standing, who forgot himself 
twice ; in Carupano, by insulting me when he was in power , 
and without giving me any reasons, and in Port au Prince, in 
receiving me with tin's apparent satisfaction, when he was un- 
fortunate and isolated, and well aware tliat I was a man who 
would have called him to account wherever I could find him. 
" I insisted on seeing you," said I to him very earnestly, "to have 
a definitive explanation with you for your strange behaviour to 
me at Carupano. What induced you to ask in such an in- 
decorous manner ?" &tc. He saw clearly, that in speaking, I 
grew a little warm. Bolivar, who sat near to me, took my hand 
again and said, " that Brion had reported to him, that I had 
the intention to displace him, Bolivar, and to give the command 
to admiral Brion ! I jumped up and said, in a contemptuous 
manner, that I could never believe that Brion, who had always 
been very friendly towards me, should have reported such a 
ridiculous calumny ; that my friendship and the frank and plain 
manner with which I had constantly treated him, (Bolivar,) my 
letter written from Boca Cliica, my sending for him at the risk 
of my life, my interfering in Aux Cayes when Montilla chal- 
lenged him, and my zeal for his welfare, should have convinced 
him of the ridiculousness of an accusation, which could have 
never come from Brion, but perhaps /rom somebody else ! But 
supposing it should have come from Brion, could you not con- 
front me privately with the admiral, who was present, and in 
whose house we were together ; and I believe that would have 
been the shortest way. And how could I have acted so fool- 
ishly as to take my absolute discharge first, to lose voluntarily 
my authority, if I had such a plan ; and then act as a madman, 
to eflfect such a conspiracy against you at a lime of my to- 


tal isolation, and being sick ! I spoke rauch more, and with 
warmth ; so that he at last, fiilly convinced of the absurdity of 
such an accusation avowed to me, that it came not from Brion, 
but from somebody else ! But be would never mention his 
name. " It is very true," said he afterwards, " that you have 
always given me proofs of being a sincere friend ; that you 
spoke to me with frankness ; that you acted in your ser\'ice 
like an ancient soldier, and a man of honor ; it b true, it is 
true, I should have considered all this before ; but, tnon cher 
ami, (our whole conversation passed in French, as usual,^ you 
must think no more of it, you know we are not perfect, and 
in saying these words he gave me his hand in sign of recon- 
ciliation. This explanation does honor to general Bolivar, (if, 
as I sup|)ose, it came from his heart,) and was satisfactory to 
me, as I declared to him. He asked me now a great many 
questions concerning my private concerns, useless to repeat 
here, and so we departed s:ood friends, I for Aux Cayes, and 
he, some months later, to tlie Main. 

I have entered in these minute details of the principal facts 
that happened to me, in order to show the tnie character of a 
man, who has acquired such a colossal reputation, little corres- 
ponding to what he is, in regard to heroism, bravery, military 
skill, firmness of character, and talents. I will close this chap- 
ter with another trait, which will show how he always takes 
care to preserve his own baggage, and all that belongs to him. 
I have already proved how he lears being wounded or killed, 
or takes care to have his sacred person perfectly secured. 

When at Margarita, where we slept in the same room, in 
which he had established his oflice, and mine was opposite to 
his, on the same lloor, he came one day into my oflice, to tell 
me to eive the order to all the oflicers bclonsinsr to our armv, 
from the general down to tlie second lieutenant, to take with 
diem no more than a few changes of dress, and to leave behind 
their trunks and luir^agc. I, myself, take no more than six 
changes of clothes, ^c. In conformity to this order, every one 
of us left our trunks in a kind of l)lock house, in tlie Villa del 
Norte. I had three, full of valuable articles, and as the glass 
of my gold repeater was broken, Bolivar told me to leave it 
in one of my trunks, where I could send for them when I should 
be definitively settled. I left also all my papers, certificates of 
services from Europe, correspondence, and other very valua- 
ble documents, &lc. We embarked, and being one day at 
Carupano, on board the admiral, I was astonished to see on 


deck, more then 20 trunks, pretty large and heavy. I asked 
to whom diey belonged, and was surprised to hear from Gar- 
cia, the intendant of general Bolivar, that Uiey were his mas- 
ter's baggage ! I learned from him that the general had given 
him orders to hire mules, and to trans|)ort all his baggage from 
Villa del Norte, to the port of Juan Griego, where we should 
embark, and that he did it tlie night previous to our embarking. 

When I expressed my surprise to general Bolivar some days 
afterwards, on seeing all these trunks in his house, he answer- 
ed me dryly, "that Garcia had embarked them by mistake V^ 

I have related how general Bolivar carried his trunks into 
the arsenal, where he took shelter, when our cavalry guard 
had been surprised by the enemy at Carupano. This station 
was safe for himself and his baggage, dien from the arsenal he 
could in five minutes embark, or take shelter in tlie fort of Santa 

These are facts of which I was an eye witness. And so it 
came to pass, that after the defeat of Soublette at Carupano, 
all our baggage was plundered, the trunks broken open, and all 
was irreparably lost, because general Arismcndy, hearing that 
Bolivar had fled, judged we were all taken or slain, and our 
baggage was distributed among the troops of Margarita. I 
regretted the loss of my watch and my papers ; wrote twice to 
general Arismendy, but received no answer. These were ir- 
reparable losses which I regret to the present time. 


Evacuation of Carupano — Skirmish at Ocumare — Fifth flight 
of General Bolivar, and his retreat to the Island ojHaytt — 
McGregor* s retreat towards Barcelona, 

We have seen how general Bolivar acted in Carupano, how 
jealous he was of his authority, and what were my recompen- 
ses after so many fatigues and disgustful services. The fear of 
general Bolivar that die creaUon of a foreign legion would com- 
promise his authority, shows sufficiently the litUe confidence he 
had in his own merit. Then how could 1600 and more, for- 


eigners, ^ve him the ]aw, (as he said distinctly to me) being m 
his country, surrounded by hb countrymen, and haraig ahready 
his authority established. If Geoige Washington should have 
protested against the landing of so many thousand French troops 
and foreign officers, during the revolutionary war, would it not 
have been prejudicial to him and his country ? How diffinrent- 
ly did he treat these auxiliary foreigners ; but George Wash- 
ington was a nuMj a soldier, a sage ; and Simon Bolivar a lifi- 
putian in every respect in comparison with this great man! 
Should such a man be sufiered to be compared widi Bolivar? 
no, certainly not, as will be sufficiently shown in the course of 
this work. 

Greneral Bolivar is not the only one n^ is jealous of stran- 
gers ; this jealousy is very common among the chieftains of Co- 
lombia, and is, I must say, characteristic of them. Their pre- 
judices, their education, their talents, their ignorance, is the nat- 
ural consequence of the Spanish system to suppress, in the Amer- 
icans, every spark of light and industry. The superficial knowl- 
edge acquired by some among them is regarded as a phenome- 
non, as an extraordinary and remarkable instance, and such a 
man is a hero among them, when he would be a very common 
and ordinary man among civilized and enlightened natioDS, 
where education, intercourse with strangers, industry and liber- 
al institutions, have a daily influence upon the population. The 
ceremonies of the catholic religion, the mtolerance of the great- 
est part of the clergymen, the influence which monks, friars and 
priests have, down to the present day, upon the people, the mis- 
erable condition of public education, the natural apathy of the 
inhabitants, the total want of industry, agriculture, and com- 
merce, united with military despotism, can never give to Co- 
lombia freedom and rational liberty, and are altogether unfavora- 
ble to the production of men of talents and liberal ideas. The 
few existing cannot raise their voices against those of thousands, 
and must necessarily remain silent. Arbitrary arrests, exiles, 
and punishments, are the natural consequences of a military 
government, where bayonets and those who command them, 
rule exclusively. 

Limited talents make an illiberal government, and never can a 
man of character, experience, and knowledge, be suflered by 
such men, because tlicy must naturally fear the consequences 
of his powerful influence over tliose who were under his imme- 
diate care ; and the great difiercnce between tlie two, will ne- 
cessarily, sooner or later, be foiuid out. In time of danger and 


war, they will be consulted, suffered to take tlie command, to 
make dispositions and act ; then here they stand in danger, and 
expose their lives ; but once this danger passed, once in pros- 
perity, they captiously cavil at those actions of yours which have 
saved them, and employ every means to weaken the favorable 
impression made upon their subalterns ; they try to ridicule you, 
whenever and wherever tliey can, and suffer your presence with 
reluctance and difficulty. Tlierefore it results that the thou- 
sands of strangers, who have ser\'^ed in Colombia, could never 
render effective services in a country where their authority had 
been so limited, that it was impossible to act freely and in ac- 
cordance with their talents and experience. It is a fact, that 
the greater part of these chieftains have complained of stran- 
gers, have exiled, punished and ill-treated tliem, alleging tliat 
they had rendered very little or no service. This is the great- 
est injustice ever heard of, as in the course of tliis liistory I will 
prove, that Bolivar, the republic of Colombia, and its chieftains, 
are indebted to strangers, and their powerful support for their 
existence, if not as a free, at least as an independent people. 

Labatut took Santa Martha, 1813, and was obliged to evacu- 
ate it, in consequence of tlie intrigues of his subalterns. He 
was arrested and exiled. Louis Aury saved the evacuation of 
the patriots from Cartliagena. We have seen how Bolivar has 
recompensed him. Ducoudray Holstein was tlie last comman- 
der in Carthagena and protected in Boca Chica many hundred 
families. He was threatened to be shot ! Louis Brion sacrificed 
his large fortune for tlie republic, and was tlie constant support of 
Bolivar, who treated him very harshly at Savanilla. He died 
broken hearted, at Curacao, and so poor tliat he did not leave 
a cent to pay the expenses of his burial ! General Piar, who 
fought bravely in 1814 and 1815, when Bolivar fled from Ven- 
ezuela, and who conquered, in union with Brion, the beautiful 
and rich province of Guayana, was arrested, tried, and shot. 
To whom are the Colombians indebted for their successes in 
1819, in conquering New Grenada ? Was it not to foreign le- 
gions ? Who gained the battle of Carabobo ? was it not the 
Irish legion ? &c. &c. Thousands of these brave men perish- 
ed by misery, and maladies brought on in consequence oi hard- 
ships ; and now the Colombians boast that they have gained their 
independence alone, and without the aid of foreigners. They 
forget past services because they want them no more. 


It is an astonishing fact, that among all these chieftuns of Co- 
lombia, not a single man can be found who deserves the name 
of a great man, a hero, oi an extraordinary man. There ex- 
ists none. Can Simon Bolivar possibly pass for such an one ? 
It has been proved, already, hyfacts^ that he is not, and will be 
still more fully proved. In a time of revolution, when the or- 
dinary distinctions of rank and titles are confounded and the low- 
est citizen can rival any otlier, if he is brave or has talents, we 
search in vain for distinguished characters on the Main. Among 
the military chieftains, we find Pacz, Amismendy and PadiUa, 
who have achieved some distinguished actions ; all the rest are 
very ordinar}' characters, which have gained an undeserved 
name of heroes and skilful men. 

I left general Bolivar ready to embark at Carupano for Ocu- 
mare. The defection of generals Marino and Piar, the want of 
order, regulation, and provisions, produced diseases and mala- 
dies, and a good many of those who came from Aux Cayes, 
and the island of Margarita, with general Bolivar, fell sick and 
died, or left him. The enemy profiting by the faults of Bolhar, 
his want of firmness, activity and talents, increased their forces 
in proportion to tlie declining state of the patriots. The hbtory 
of die campaign of 1816, is substantially tlie same as that of 1813 
and '14, in Caracas, and ended with the flight and embarkation 
of general Bolivar, like the year 1814. 

When general Bolivar saw at last that there was no hope of 
making recruits, or of any support and junction from Marino 
and Piar, lie followed the advice of admiral Brion and e\Ticuat- 
ed Carupano to seek another landing-place more convenient, 
and so it was determined to go to Ocumare, where he could 
find more resources and recruits. They landed accordingly in 
the bay, protected by a little fort of no consequence, and pro- 
ceeded to the village of the same name, Ocumare, where he ar- 
rived the 3(1 July, 1816, with 13 vessels, of which seven only 
were armed. He published the following proclamation : 

"Head-quarters, at Ocumare, July 6, 1816. — Simon Boli- 
var, Supreme Chief, fyc. fyc. to the inhabitants of Ventzuda : 

" An army provided with arms and munitions of war of every 
kind, is on the march, and under my orders, coming to Uberate 

" I will drive out, and exterminate our tyrants, and I will re- 
store you to your rights, your countrj', and give you peace. 
On our part, the killing of the prisoners of war will cease from 

'''^'' - MEMOms OP BOLIVAR. 177 

this instant. We promise to grant a general pardon for those 
who submit, even to European Spaniards. 

" All the troops of the enemy which will join us, will partici- 
pate with us in the advantages and recompenses, which the 
country and its inhabitants can afford. 

" No Spaniard shall be killed, except when he may re- 
sist with his arms in hand. No harm will be done to the na- 
tives, who are found in the army of the enemy. 

" Our unfortunate brethren who are suffering as slaves, are 
from this moment declared free. Nature, rights, and govern- 
ment, reclaim their liberty. In the future will exist in Vene- 
zuela, no more than one class of inhabitants ; all will be citizens. 

" As soon as we have taken possession of the capital, we will 
convoke the people to name their deputies for Congress. Dur- 
ing my march upon Caracas, general Marino will besiege Cu- 
mana ; general riar, supported by general Roxas and Monaga, 
will render himself master of the plains, and march against 
Barcelona, while general Arismendy, with his victorious army, 
will maintain himself in the island of Margarita. 


This proclamation is like those of the same author, viz. drawn 
up to deceive the ignorant, and people living at a distance. The 
army, of which he speaks as being under his order, consisted of 
650 men, of whom not 300 had ever seen a battle, and whose 
officers were a greater part of them totally unfit to command. 

" I shall exterminate our tyrants," says general Bolivar, the 
6th of July ; and the 10th of the same month he was beaten by 
300 men, which Morales and Guero had assembled in haste, 
and fled in full gallop from the field of battle to the bay of Ocu- 
mare, where he embarked fortlie Dutch island of Buen Ayre, as 
I shall relate hereafter. 

" As soon as we have taken possession of the capital, (Cara- 
cas) we will convoke the people to name their deputies to Con- 
gress," says general Bolivar. His sincerity on this occasion is 
doubted by those who know him and his intentions. In 1813, 
he spoke the same language, and did nothing to assemble the 
Congress, when it was in his power ; in 1815 he disobeyed, for- 
mally, the orders of Congress in New Grenada in besieging Car- 
thagena instead of St. Martha ; in 1817, when recalled, the first 
condition of his admission was to convoke a Congress ; it was 
not done ; on the contrary, he broke up the Congress assem- 
bled at Cariaca, and persecuted its members in 1818, and the 


following events in these memoirs will show clearly that he has 
been, and is decidedly against the fonnation of any Congress ; 
and when forced to suffer its existence, he limited its power by 
military display and autliority, so that tlie senate and chamber of 
representatives were no more than nominal^ and the submission 
servants of the President Liberator. 

" While I march against Caracas, general Marino will be- 
siege Cumana; general Piar supported," &c. kx:. This is 
again deception ; when some days previous to his evacuation of 
Canipano, he said to me that he was very sorry to see Marino 
and Piar paying not the least regard to his orders ; and when 
it is known that in consequence of the defection of these two 
chieftains, Bolivar was obliged to evacuate Carupano, &c. 

To any experienced military man, the following reflecticHis 
will give a convincing proof of I Jolivar's weakness and small ca- 
pacity, as a commander-in-chief. Instead of employing every 
means in his power to compel ]Marino and Piar to do their du- 
ty, he approved, in an official manner, their defection, which 
naturally encouraged them to act in an isolated and indepen- 
dent way. Then if Marino, instead of besieging Cumana, had 
joined IJolivar at Ocumarc, the united forces of both would 
have been sufficient to take Valencia, which had not 200 armed 
men to defend it, and to march against Caracas, where there 
were at the time no more than 600 men. The forces of the 
Spaniards were much dispersed and would have fallen an easy 
prey to the pati'iots, who could have destroyed them, isolated as 
they were, one column after another. This success would have 
reanimated the sunken spirit of the inhabitants, not in regard to 
patriotism, but in req;ard to confidence in Bolivar's bravery, mil- 
itary skill and ability to icovcrn them. The actions of the 
dictator, and his flight, gave them disiiust ; and tlierefore Bolivar 
liimself was much discouraged to see, that after more than a 
month's slay at Carupano, not 70 of the inhabitants came to vo- 
lunteer under his orders. On the contrarv, about the whole 
population fled on the approach of Bolivar, and we found de- 
serted houses. The same thing ha))pened at Ocumare, kc. &:c. 

General Bolivar collected, in virtue of his proclamation of 
the Gth of July, some hundred slaves, which were armed, and 
united to his troops. He collected about SOO men, armed in 
haste, but without instruction, uniforms, or discipline. With 
such a band of armed men, called the llbrraiing army, he march- 
ed from Ocumare to Valencia, where, at the time, less than 200 
men were able to resist liim. The possession of Valencia was 


precious to him, being situated between Caracas, tlie plains, 
and the fortress of Porto Cabello, by wliich he could have been 
supplied easily from the plains, where Paez, Zarasa, Roxas, 
Sedeno, he. had always acted bravely and resisted the power- 
ful forces of Morillo. 

Morales arriving at Valencia, heard that general Bolivar had 
debarked at Ocumare. Having with him no more tlian a small 
escort of cavalry, he lost no time in waiting for more troops, 
collected about 200 armed men, and directed his march to- 
wards Ocumare. The major of the militia, Jose Gucro, join- 
ed him with one hundred more, and with this small force he de- 
termined to attack general Ifolivar. He met him on the 10th 
of July not far distant from the village of Ocumare, upon a hill 
which commanded a view of the lake of Valencia. When Mo- 
rales discovered the adv^anced guard commanded by Soublette, 
he put some tirailleurs fimong the trees, unpcrceived by the pa- 
triots, in the bushy hills where they had to pass, and took an ad- 
vantageous position with the remainder, to wait a favorable 
moment to attack. A small skirmish began, which lasted not a 
quarter of an hour, when a deserter from Morales was brought 
before the supreme chief, who acquainted him, that this much 
feared partisan was the person at tlie head of the Spanish troops. 
Soublette, as usual, and as has been stated by eye witnesses, 
fled innnediately on hearing some musket shots; general Holi- 
var, seeing his advanced guard dispersed, lost all presence of I 
mind, spoke not a word, turned his horse quickly round, and/ 
fled in full speed towards Ocumare. Colonel Boe, (brother in! 
law of mareschal Lefebre Dugue of Dantzic, who was in this ac-^ .* , ^ 
tion) related to me afterwards, that Bolivar was so blinded by i /[fi^^ 
fear, that his horse run against Boe's mule, loaded with baggage, ^ "^ ■ -^ 

and precipitated mule and baggage down the hill, without stop- ! 
ping a single moment. He passed the village at full gallop, and j ' 
arrived at last at a place of safety, the bay of Ocumare, two L 
leagues distant from the village of the same name, jumped from f 
his horse, got into a boat, and embarked on board the Diana/-^ 
the same armed vessel which I had left about 3 hours previous 
to his arrival, having found a French captain, (Mr. DuClerk) 
who sailed from Ocumare to St. Thomas', and who treated me 
with the greatest kindness, and offered me a passage, gratis, on 
board his vessel. I had lost (as related,) in Villa del Norte, 
all my baggage, and had only some few changes of clothes, and 
my uniform, without a single cent in my pocket, being at the 
same time sick with an intermitent fever. We were very much 


surprised to see the whole squadron coining after us, under full 
sail, and we were soon joined by them, all steering towards Bo- 
naire laying close by the bay oi Ocumare. Here I heard the 
following particulars : 

Bolivar was so seized by a panic terror, that he arrived with 
only a single aid-de-camp, out of six, who was the lieutenant 
colonel Perez, on board the Diana. Not far distant firom the 
bay, opposite the little fort, was a kind of farm bouse, under the 
roof OI which lay stretched on a mat, the wounded major Pi- 
card, who lost his arm in a surprise (related in the last chapter) 
of the advanced cavalry guard not far from Carupano, and who, 
unable to move, was carried on shore in order to he more com- 
fortable. When he saw Bolivar and his aid-de-camp Peres 
passing close by him at full speed, he called the general, and 
requested him for God's sake to order him to be again carried 
on board ; but the supreme chief did not hear him, or would 
not hear liim, and embarked. Captain Demarquet, another 
Frenclmian, and aid-de-camp of Bolivar, arrived at the bay 
some minutes after Bolivar's being in tlie boat, and urged the 
boatswain to return and take him in ; but tlie general ordered 
him to proceed and put him on board tlie Diana. As soon as 
he was on deck, he directed captain Debouille,* the comman- 
der of this fast sailing armed vessel, and in the absence of ad- 
miral Brion, (on an excursion to the island of Curacao) the 
commander of the squadron, to make the signal to cut their ca- 
bles and to depart, which was done accordingly. They directed 
their course towards the small Dutch Island of Buen Ayre where 
thcv arrived in the afternoon of the lOih of Julv. 

Thus general Bolivar left again his army, and his command, 

and put his person in safety, and this was the jifth time that he 

had done so since 1812. 

j 1st. Lieutenant colonel Bolivar left in June, 1812, the strong 

1 place of Porto Cabello, of which he was governor, and embark- 

I ed clandestinely in the night, with some oiflicers, in consequence 

j of the fear he had of the revolted Spanish prisoners of war, and 

\ retired to San Mateo, leaving his garrison without commander or 

! orders ; in consequence of which, these retired, and the place 

fell into tlie hands of Monte verde.f 

2d. The general-in-chicf, dictator, liberator of the western pro- 
vinces of Venezuela, S. Bolivar, embarked hastily in tlie night 

* I have ibcfc particular!) from captaiii Dubouillc himscir 
t See chapter V. 


of the 25th of August, 1814, at Cumana, and fled withliis col- 
league San Jago Marino, dictator of tlie eastern provinces of 
Venezuela towards Margarita, &tc. He lost all presence of 
mmd, and would not listen to any representation of his cousin 
Joseph Felix Ribas, and others, to remain with them on the 
Main ; he sent for Marino, and as soon as the latter was on 
board, he ordered commodore Bianchi to cut the cables, and 
oflf he sailed. He left Ribas, Villapol, and thousands of his 
countrymen behind, who had placed their confidence in his skill 
and bravery, and sought safety inflight.* 

3d. The captain-general of the armies of Venezuela and New 
Grenada, Simon Bolivar, not having succeeded to take Cartha- 
gena by force of arms, and after having lost, in a miserable po- 
sition, his troops, and the province of New Grenada, embarked 
on board an English brig of war, and left his countrymen, and 
retired in safety to Kingston in the island of Jamaica. 

4th. In the naval action, of 2d May 1816, the supreme chief of 
the Republic of Venezula, retired into the long boat of commo- 
dore Brion's armed vessel, and gave the command to Ducou- 
dray Holstein during the whole time of the action, which lasted 
about four hours.f 

5th. And now, here at Ocumare, where the supreme chief fled 
and sheltered himself from all danger in the island of Buen Ayre. 

When admiral Brion arrival at Buen Ayre, from Curacao, he 
was much astonished to fmd the squadron and general Bolivar 
there, and came immediately on board the Diana, where gen- 
eral Bolivar had remained the whole day in bed, and reproach- 
ed him in very strong terms with his cowardice and desertion, 
and above all, for having given orders to the squadron to fol- 
low him alone, and to leave all his companions without means 
and assistance. This was a well deserved, but humiliating les- 
son, for a man of Bolivar's proud and vain character. But 
here, as every where, when the general was isolated, and in 
misfortune, he was very docile, and endured every thing. 
Brion, now a little cooler, admonished Bolivar to return to the 
Main, and rejoin the commanders on the coast of Cumana and 
Barcelona, and to unite again the patriotic troops. He spoke 
so convincingly to BohVar, that at last he consented to depart 
in the same vessel for the coast of Cumana, while Brion, with 

* Sec chapter VII. 
t See chapter XIII. 


the remainder of his squadron, was going to Margarita to refit 
some of his vessels. 

As soon as general Boli\'ar arrived on the coast of Cumana, 
where lie found IMarino and Piar, these two received him very 
harshly, reproached him with his new desertion at Ocuraare, 
and Piar threatened to try him before a court martial, and to 
have him shot as a deserter and a coward. This last scene 
enraged the vain and vindictive mind of Bolivar so much, that 
he aftenvards was tlie most bitter enemy of Piar, which, as I 
have been assured, was the cause of his subsequent condemna- 
tion. Bolivar found it not prudent to remain, and embarked 
without delay. This essay, and the fear of being treated by 
other chieftains in the same manner, discouraged him so much 
that he ordered captain Devouille (who had received positive 
instructions from the admiral, to remain at the disposal of the 
supreme chief,) to make the port of Aux Caves, in the island 
of Hayti, from whence he had departed some montlis before 
with the sanguine hopes of the most brilliant success ! He re- 
mained a couple of days and re-embarked for Jaquemel, from 
whence he departed by land to Port au Prince, where I had, 
as related, my last intcr\'iew with him. 

I forgot to say, that during the conversation i;%"ith me, he told 
me he had heard that I was going with the expedition of gen- 
eral Mina, who, in fact, had made me several very honorable 
propositions to join his expedition, which came at the time of 
my stay in Port au Prince. I answered general BoKn-ar — ^** I 
will never j;o more with general Bolivar or with general Mina, 
as lonu as there is ncilliur orcranization or instruction, and onlv 
a shadow of an arniv." liolivar said, '*I believe, mow cher 
ami, you will never fort^ct your anricn mttirry 

The president of Hayti, Alexander Pelion, received him 
very coolly, having already been acquainted with a part of his 

Such was the end of an expedition which sailed in ilav 
•^810 from Aux Caves some nionllis befoie, wiiich cost larsre 
iisuins, and promised so brilliant results. This pitiful end must 
Icntirely be attributed to the wrons; measures taken by general 
iBolivar, of which 1 have related some striking particulars. We 
^ave seen that Bolivar had lost, hy his fault — 1st, the forces oF 
iponmiodore Aury, which wore half of the whole strength in ves- 
/sols and men, Ivinc: at that tinio at Aux Caves : Jd, his cow- 
ardice in the action of tho 2(\ of Mav, alienated from him the 
esteem and the confidence of so manv hundreds of his subal- 


terns : 3d, by his weakness in following the perfidious advice 
of his flatterers, he annulled all the sood, which I could have 
done in endeavoring to establish order, instruction and disci- 
pline, in a band of armed men, who called themselves generals, 
colonels and officers, and who had not the least notion of the 
first elements of our art. He was opposed, by the same weak- 
ness and his jealous fears, to consenting to the organization and 
the formation of a foreign legion, which could have had tlie 
most useful consequences. This same weakness of character 
induced him to consent to the departure of Marino and Piar, 
against his owti conviction of having done wrong, and against 
mine and admiral Brion's well grounded advice : 4th, finally, 
to crown all these faults, he lost, in an attack by 300 men, 
when he had more than 800, all his presence of mind, and fled 
with all the speed of his horse, at the first musket shots, and 
galloped 12 miles from the field of battle to tlie bay of Ocumare, 
as if the enemy was at his heels. 

What I have related here of general Bolivar would appear 
impossible and exaggerated ; but it is, unfortunate enough, too 
true and authentic. Hundreds of eye witnesses like me, as 
the inhabitants of Been Ayre, Aux Cayes, Jaquemel, Port au 
Prince, &cc., to whom these fiicts are perfectly known, will con- 
firm and testify to the correctness of my impartial statements, 
if they are not blirfded by self interest, or by fear of a persecu- 
tion, in case of their being setded on the Main or in tlie service 
of Colombia. The Gazettes in the Havana, from July, Au- 
gust and September, 18 IG, give a correct account of what had 
happened in Ocumare, and in which general Bolivar is treated 
with the most contemptuous rigor. There will be found a 
detailed list of all that the Spaniards found in tlie bay of Ocu- 
mare, of debarked arms, ammunitions, the beautiful and new 
print, &£c. All these objects were debarked in order to follow 
Bolivar's troops, and wailing for the transportations by mules, 
were left on shore. Bolivar would not suffer their being re- 

I fear and hope nothing from Bolivar or tlie Colombians ; 
my name is on the title page, and I will, and shall state the 
naked truth, and nothing else, in order to show general Bolivar 
as he is, not by declamations, but by facts. I give him credit 
when he deserves it, and relate his actions and their conse- 
quences, and nothing else. 

Gen. Bolivar, who had received powerful support from the 
Haytian government, has acted very ungratefully to the Hay- 

184 ancMOiRs of boutab. 

tians. Before he came to Canipano, he had sent back the 
Hajrtian captain, named Courtois, who came with his vessel 
from Aux Cayes as a transport ship, and treated him harshly 
and in a haughty manner, on his making him some iust repre- 
sentations. At Canipano, he sent two other Haytian vessek 
back without paying, or consenting to give them any written 
promises to pay their fleet, and forced them to embark i^id to 
quit Carupano, without the least compensation for their voyage. 

This impolitic treatment against the Haytian vessels, and die 
officers which served in the land troops, united with the coo-* 
demnation of general Piar, who was a man of color, and shot 
some years later, at Angostura, made a very bad impreaskm on 
the inhabitants of this hospitable island. 

President Petion, who wns fully acquainted with the treat- 
ment, by Bolivar, of the Haytians, nevertheless did not re- 
proach him in the least, but of course, received him much cool- 
er, and made no great exertions for a man who behaved him- 
self so ungratefully. General Bolivar, in one respect, kept his 
I promise to president Petion, on which express condition the 
atter assisted him so powerfully in his expedition which sailed 
from Aux Cayes, that he, Bolivar, would promise him the 
emancipation of the slaves. This general Bolivar, faithfully 
fulfilled, as I have shown by his proclamations, published in 
Margarita, Carupano and Ocumare. Bolivar did the same 
afterwards with his own slaves, in San Mateo, which did him 

In consequence of the flight of the supreme chief from the field 
of battle at Ocumare, and tlie sailing of all the vesseb from 
tlic said bay, general McGregor united the scattered troops of 
Bolivar's corps, and efiected a retreat along the sea shore, of 
which too much hasbeen spoken that is not worthy to be repeat- 
ed. The fact is, that McGregor had nothing else to do, but 
either to perish or to ad\'ancc as well as he could, until he ef- 
fected a junction of his miserable and harrassed troops with 
general Piar near Barcelona. 

The European Gazctters have described this retreat, io 
which notliing was done that was worth mentioning, like one of 
the most heroic actions of McGregor, and some of them had 
the ridiculous idea of comparing it witli the retreat of Xeno- 
phon and general Moreau. The public is now too well per- 
suaded of the merit of general McCJregor to render any fur- 
ther reflection necessary, in regard to a man wlio is too well 
known and justly appreciated. 



Cause of General Bolivar* s recal to the Main — lEs arrival at 
Barcelona — Siege and occupation of Barcelona^ by the Spaw- 
iards — Behaviour of General Bolivar at Barcelona. — Years 

General Bolivar, whilst in Port au Prince, was the insepara- 
ble friend of tlie hretliren Pineres, whom I have mentioned be- 
fore,* and particularly with Ccladonio, tlie cx-corregidor at 
IVlompox. He regularly spent his evenings with the two sisters 
of Soublette, whose motlier died at Port au Prince. Mr. 
Soutlierland afterwards said to me, " tliat he wondered at find- 
ing in Bolivar notliing extraordinary, nothing to be admired, 
and nothing adequate to the idea he had entertained of liim. 
I do not like," said he, " his great familiarity with every stran- 
ger who is introduced to him. He takes one by the arm and 
walks up and down my piazza with him, as if diey had been 
acquainted for many years.'* I told hun that Bolivar, in. Port 
au Prince, and unfortunate, was altogetlier a difibrent man 
firom the Supreme Chief, on the Main ; where his haughty man- 
ners formed a complete contrast to those he adopted here. 
Various other gentlemen made the same remarks, as Mr. 

General Bolivar, meanwhile, passed his time in a quiet and 
amusing way, at Port au Prince. Admiral Brion was busily 
engaged, endeavoring to persuade tlie chieftains who remained 
in Venezuela, to consent to his recal. Brion was the most sin- 
cere friend Bolivar ever had. He had expended his large for- 
tune and employed all his credit, in fitting out the expedition 
from Aux Cayes, and he placed endre confidence in general 
Bolivar's skill and courage. He was grievously disappointed ; 
but, as he often told me, '^ he knew no other chieftain among 
the natives who possessed a greater reputation, or more authori- 

" See chapter VIIl. 



ty, (whether desen'ed or not,) than general Bolivar. He was 
the only military character who was able to exercise authority, 
sulticitMit 10 unite \\wm all." When I spoke privately to Brion 
of llu! straip^e, even cowardlv conduct of Bolivar, of his weak- 
ncss, and his incapacity for conunand ; he asked me, often^ 
" to whom else would you confide the command ?'' We ex- 
amined once the native chiefs, one by one, and, I confess, could 
find none, who, on tlie whole, we thought preferable to him. 

Under this conviction, admiral Brion was active and ardent 
in favor of Bolivar, and after making great exertions for some 
months, he succeeded in uniting a majority of the chieftains, 
* viz. Arismendy, Paez, Zarasa, Sedeno, Bermudes, Roxas, 
Aloncgas, and others, who consented to recal general Bolivar 
as their commander-in-chief, upon two express conditions. 
1st. That he should assemble a congress. 2d. That he should 
direct the military operations only ; and should not meddle with 
the administration oi the Republic. He consented to comply 
exactly witli tlieir wishes, and prepared to sail in the Diana, 
captain Devouille, for Barcelona, the place appointed to re- 
ceive him. 

Before general Bolivar departed, he communicated to presi- 
dent Petion, the despatches and his recal, and received irom 
him new supplies of warlike stores. 

Bolivar sailed the 25th December 1816, from the Haytian 
port, Jaquemel, on lioard tlie privateer Diana, accompanied 
by three of his aid-de-camps, Perez, Chamberlain and Pala- 
cios, his nephew ; two brothers Pincres, and some others pri- 
vate families, who wished to return to their countrv. He ar- 
rived the 31st of the same month at Barcelona, where the arms, 
munitions of war, and i)rovisions given him by Petion, were 
immediately debarked ; and of which the patriots were in great 

General Bolivar published a proclamation, in which he again 
took the former titles : ** Connnander-in-ohief, Captain-general 
of the armies of ^'enezuela and New Grenada, Supreme Chief 
of the repul)lic,'' Sec. kc. He confirmed his former procla- 
mations respecting the emaneipation of slaves, and offering it to 
those who would serve in the armv. He called a new con- 
gress, and ordered the deputies to assemble at his head quar- 
ters Barcelona. He proclaimed a provi^ional government, of 
which he took the presidency, under the title of *' Supreme 
Chief of the Republic of Venezuela," kc. 


General Arismendy came, the 2(lJanuary 1817, with 300 
men, to join general Bolivar. This is the same Arismendy, 
who, after the flight of the two dictators, Bolivar and Marino, 
from Cumana, in 1814, had treated them as I have related. 
He said, moreover, publicly, in Margarita, on hearing of gen- 
eral Bolivar's flight from Ocumare, " that general Bolivar's 
cowardice was shown too often, and that he ought to be tried 
for it by a court martial, and condemned to be shot." Brion 
not being on the best terms uith the governor of Margarita, 
employed Villaret, the major-general of the navy, in whom 
Arismendy had great confidence, and who succeeded, at last, 
in gaining his assent to Bolivar's recal ; who, though he knew 
Arismendy's character, and what he had said against himself, 
was so delighted at gaining him, that he executed all his great 
power of pleasing, and subjected Arismendy to his wishes, in- 
somuch that the supreme chief, on the 4th January, proclaim- 
ed martial law, and again united tlie three powers in liimself. 

Bolivar was not beloved in Barcelona. He, however, con- 
tinued to prevail on the inhabitants to take arms, and joining to 
them, as many slaves as he could collect, marched on the 5th 
Bgainst the posts of observation of the Spaniards, which they 
had established in the neighborhood of Clarius. On the 9th, 
at the head of about 900 armed men, with a field piece, he 
attacked the Spaniards, under colonel Ximenes, about 500 men 
strong, half of whom were placed in ambush. ^ General i Aris- 
mendy, who is brave, active and skilful, commanded in the 
action, whilst general Bolivar was behind. He sustained tlie 
combat for four hours, but being attacked on his rear and 
flanks, he was conipelled to retire with the loss of his field piece, 
b^SS^gCj arms, fcc. As soon as general Bolivar discovered 
that his troops had fallen into an ambush, from which he was 
at a considerable distance, instead of rallying them and disen- 
gaging Arismendy, he turned his horse, and escaped with some 
of his officers to Barcelona, where he was in safety. A French 
captain, a clored man, Zenon Bouille, who fought bravely at 
the head of his company, was wounded and taken prisoner. 
After having surrendered, he was shot. The papers and plans 
of operations of the patriot chieftains, fell into the hands of the 

When this victory over Bolivar's troops was known in Cara- 
cas, the Spanish inhabitants collected one thousand dollars in 
money, which they sent to be distributed among the non-com- 
missioned officers and privates of colonel Ximenes' troops. 


Government promoted each officer, one grade. The patriots 
have not, in any instance, employed such means for the en- 
couragement of their troops. 

The routed troops of the patriots retired to Texas, and were 
pursued by order of Col. Ximenes. A considerable part of 
* the 300 soldiers from Margarita, and strangers were taken pris- 
oners. The former were pardoned on condition of entering 
into the Spanish service. All the rest were shot. By this ac- 
tion Ximenes opened a communication with Morales. 

The latter having collected more forces, attacked general 
Zarasa, and routed him and some smaller patriot corps; so that 
by the last of January, tlie whole province of Barcelona except 
the capital, came again into possession of the Spaniards. 

San Yago Marino, who acted separately from Bolivar, in his 
native province Cumana, beseiged this capital, where general 
Pardo, who commanded tlicre, attacked hiin. He was repul- 
sed, and forced to retire to his entrenched camp in the savan- 
nas of del Cantaro ; whence he advanced against Cumana. 

General Bolivar immediately gave orders to fordfy at Barce- 
lona, a large building which stands isolated, and formerly serv- 
ed as an hospital. It is called tlie Charity, Various privateers 
arrived there, bringing him officers, men, arms, ammunition and 
provisions, sent by the persevering activity of admiral Brioo. 
Six heavy guns were transported from tlie vessel, and put in 
battery in this house, where he collected some of the routed 
troops and recruits ; so that he was again at the head of a thou- 
sand men, among whom were about 450 strangers, taken from 
the crews of the j^rivateers. 

Wlien general Pascjnal Real, commander in chief of the 
Spanish army, called thc^ Eastern army, heard that general Bol- 
ivar had taken slicker in the Charity, he united the forces of 
colonels Bausa, Ximenes and u;cneral Francisco Thomas Mo- 
rales, in order to atUiek the city of Barcelona, which Boli\'ar 
endcuvoured to delend. But he was compelled to retire into 
the Charity, and from that day (lOdi Felmiary) tlie city of 
Barcelona was closely besieired, and by the strange negligence 
of the Spanish commander, the road to Cumana remained un- 

Urged by Bolivar, Marino came at last, thronsh this unguard- 
ed road, surprised Keal, and forced him to retire. He enter- 
ed Uie citv of Barcelona the 11th February. The 14lh, a 
part of the patriotic army directed its march towards San Ber- 
nardino, where they attacked a part of general Real's troop* 


entreDched in a convent. But lliey were repulsed, and, the 
next day retired to Barcelona. 

The Spaniards attempted to force the entry of the port of 
Barcelona, by sea. They advanced with tlieir squadron of 17 
armed vessels, brigs, schooners, gunboats, iic, and attacked 
(the 18th February) the privateer schooners and the four gun- 
boats posted to defend tliis entry. After a sharp action, the 
Spanish squadron was forced to retire. On the lOtli they again 
returned, and were again repulsed, with great loss. Tlie cap- 
tains and crews of the three privateers were French and North 
Americans in the service of tlie Republic. 

General Real united his scattered troops, and being reinforc- 
ed, marched again towards Barcelona ; and reached Tuacal about 
two miles from the city, where he entrenched himself. 

On tlic 22d, tlie privateer Diana, captain T. Devouille, witli 
5 guns, sailed from the port of Barcelona, and attacked a Span- 
ish royal schooner armed with seven guns, and posted near tlie 
£»rt, to observe what was going on in the patriotic squadron, 
evouille burnt the schooner in view of the whole Spanish 
squadron ; not a vessel of which ventured to her support. The 
Diana lost nothing but half a sail, wliich was burnt ; and she 
pursued her course, unmolested, to the island of Margarita. 

On tlie night of the 28th the Spaniards left their entrenched 
camp without having made an attack upon Barcelona, and re- 
tired towards Caracas. 

The 4th March, the republican gun boats, under the com- 
mand of the post captain, Antonio Dias, with 300 infantry on 
board, attacked a Spanish battery placed upon a hill called tlic 
Moro, near Barcelona. The patriots were greatly annoyed by 
this battery ; and the approach to it was dangerous, it being de- 
fended by 18 Spanish armed vessels. At day break, the fire 
of two of the gun boats commenced against the battery, whilst 
four others coming out of tlie river, attacked the Spaniards with 
such promptitude and vigor, that they thought of nothing but 
evacuating the battery, and the whole coast. The confusion 
of the enemy was without example. The sloop of war Bay- 
lerij and the armed brigs and schooners cut their cables and es- 
caped. The attack of the Indian colonel, Aunario, upon the 
Spanish battery was conducted widi great bravery. His troops 
rapidly mounted the hill, once a rough and broken road, close 
by the shore, and exposed on both flanks to the fire of more 
than a hundred guns. Aunario lost but few of his kinsmen. 


The land troops under general Real, were dispersed or de- 

General Morillo, the Spani^^h commander in chief, had, in 
March, fixed his head quarters at Maracay. When he heard 
of these events, he raved like a madman, and ordered general 
Real to be arrested and confined in the fort Del Colorado, at 
Laguaira. Brigadier general Morales, colonels Uniestieta and 
Guero, and captain Alexo, were also arrested and sent to Porto 
Cabello, as was supposed for cowardice in the attack on Barce- 
lona ; but such was the capricious and tyrannical character of 
Morillo, that he deigned not to inform these officers for what of- 
fence, nor for what length of time they were to be punished. 

Bolivar and Marino, elated with these unexpected successes, 
lost their time in festivals, and indolence. They took no seri- 
ous measures to unite tlieir forces and march against Cumana, 
to clear the coast and the neighbouring valleys, and to drive the 
Spaniards from the provinces of Barcelona and Cumana. Bol- 
ivar, jealous of Marino's inlluence over the inhabitants, declin- 
ed assisting him to besiege Cumana, and insisted on directing 
his operations against Caracas wiiere the otiier had no influ- 
ence. Marino was in favor of besieging Cumana. And so 
it happened that disunion now again broke out between them, 
as it had done in 1813. Marino regarding himself independent 
of Bolivar, at last gave orders to hi« troops to evacuate Barce- 
lona. But hearing that the Spaniards were in march under 
colonel Aldama to attack the place, he encamped not far from 
this city opposite to general Bolivar's entrenched house. 

Marino, a second time, left his conunander in chief; who 
was weak enou2;h to siiiicr it. Bolivar sent various officers to 
pursuade him to return ; ruprcscniinu; to him the danger to 
which both were exposed by acting separately. He always 
answered equivocally. And Bolivar looked for their reunion 
in vain. 

Bolivar was greatly discourajrcd, feeling himself unable, with 
about 1100 men, to resist the force that was advancing towards 
Barcelona. After lli(» arrest of ireneral Real, Morillo ap|X)int- 
ed colonel Juan de Aldama connnandcr of the first division of 
the eastern army, destined to act asjainst Barcelona. This col- 
umn marched on the 2d of April from the environs of Picutu ; 
and on the 5th, took ])ossession of the town, whilst the patriots 
retired towards the entrenched Charily house. As soon as gen- 
eral Bolivar saw the enemy approaching, he clandestinely left 
his post in the night of the 5th and 6ih of April, with a few of- 


ficers and a good giiidc, all well mounted. He told colonel 
Pedro Mariu Freites, tliat he was going in search of more troops, 
and would soon return witli a strong body of armed men. He 
confided to tliis colonel the command of tlie post, during his ab- 
sence. He departed as secretly as he could, and directed his 
course to the plains of Cumana, where he was again in safety. 

On the 6tli, tlie Spanish commander summoned colonel 
Freites to surrender ; and offered him honorable conditions, 
wliich he refused, under the expectation of being soon relieved 
by general Bolivar. He sent the messenger back with a neg- 
ative and spirited answer, to the Spanish camp. On the 7th, 
the Spaniards assaulted the Charity house ; and the garrison, 
after a brave defence, were obliged to surrender. Colonel 
Freites, who was wounded in the action, and the intendant, 
Francisco Esteban Ribas, were put in irons ; all tlie rest, among 
whom were many foreigners, were butchered. The two pris- 
oners, after receiving die usual barbarous treatment from the 
Spaniards, were transported in irons to Caracas, where tliey 
w^ere shot. 

Bolivar, here in Barcelona, renewed the scenes of 1 812 when] 
he escaped from Porto Cabello. A commander of ordinary/ 
skill and talent would not have left 1100 men in a place unfia 
to shelter them against a serious attack : nor would he have left\ 
them with only four days provisions. Nor would a man of in- \ 
tegrity, have left his people under the pretext of obtaining aid, f 
which he knew to be out of his power. Yet were all these! 
things done by the supreme chief in April, 1817, at Barcelona J 

Marino had broken up his camp and retired, leaving Bolivar 
and his countrymen to dieir fate. Any other commander would 
have joined and marched, united with them, against (he com- 
mon enemy. Both Marino and Bolivar behaved here as they 
bad done in Cumana. Each of them being jealous, and ambi- 
tious of command, they botli sought tlieir own security in flight 
and basely deserted die interests of their country. 

General Bolivar, by his flight, abandoned one of his aid-de- 
ramps, who was inidated in many secret ncgociations of his 
master. I mean lieutenant colonel Charles Chamberlain, a 
native of the island of Jamaica, who had been attached to him 
for several years. On this subject 1 will copy a page from 
colonel Hippisley's narrative, p. 466. "At the taking of Bar- 
celona, captain Chamberlain was with him f Bolivar) in the 
rank of lieutenant colonel, widi a regiment. When the general- 
in -chief fled from the place, he directed his friend to continue 

192 HEMOiKs or BOLnrAR. 

in the command, with an assurance that if he held out for three 
days, he would order a strong reinfinrcement up to his relief. 
Chamberlain with difficulty retained it for the period. No re- 
inforcement arriyed ; and knowing the cruelties which the roy- 
alists would inflict on him, he retired to his quarters, and the 
firing of a pistol was to be the signal for opening the barriers. 
The pistol was fired, and a second ; the barrier was opened ; 
the enemy rushed in, and running to his residence, found that 
the same shots, the sound of which gave the token for opening 
the gates, had also given the signal of death to the iU-frted 
Chamberlain and the girl of his heart, whom, to save fiom 
miseries of the worst extreme, from violation and public expo- 
sure, he had first shot, before he placed the second pistol to his 
own head. Deprived of the satisfaction of putting a period to 
the existence ofthe Englishman and his wiie (for a priest had 
previously united them) the royalist commander glutted his dis- 
appomtment and revenge, by severing the bodies into quarters, 
and publicly exposing them on the walls of the fort." 

Without noticing the variance of my own relation firom that 
of colonel Hippisley, as to the taking of the Charity bouse, I 
will only observe, that they coincide respecting the clandestine 
flight of Bolivar firom Barcelona, the promise of a reinfinrce- 
ment at his departure, and the destruction of more than one 
thousand men ! 

As soon as the inhabitants of New Grenada heard ofthe ad- 
vantages gained by the patriots over the Spaniards, th^ began 
to revolt against their oppressors. In the provinces ot Antro- 
chia and Choco, various guerillas were formed, who did great 
' damage to the Spaniards and gained advantages. The prov- 
inces of Quito and Papayan, openly revolted, took arms, and 
drove the Spaniards out of their territory. The patriot gueril- 
las were so strong and so numerous, that they cut off the com- 
munication between Bogota, Cartliagena, and Santa Martha. 
The commerce of these places was nearly destroyed. 



Conquest of the Provinces of Guayana by General Piar and 
Admiral Brion — Trial and execution of General Piar—' 
Bolivar and Marino — Anecdotes. 1817. 

When general Piar heard, in December 1816, that the pro- 
vince of Guayana was confided to colonel Miguel de La Torre ; 
he resolved to march against him, and take this beautiful pro- 
vince by force of arms. He had heard from several officers, 
and had himself witnessed so great a want of firmness and cour- 
age in Torre, that he was satisfied his attack would not long be 
resisted. This, together with a plan proposed to general Boli- 
var when at Aux Cayes, confirmed his opinion that the enter- 
prise would be brilliant, and useful to the republic. 

The following is the plan which was proposed at Aux Cayes. 
General Bolivar received a long letter from colonel Bidot who 
was in the service of the republic in the neighboring plains ; 
stating and explaining a plan for conquering Venezuela, by 
conunencing with Guayana, because that province was rich, af- 
fording great resources, not having suffered by the war ; and 
containing numbers of inhabitants who were secretly opposed to 
the Spaniards ; and would declare for mdependence, as soon 
as general Bolivar should present himself with a thousand men. 
He added, that the security of Morillo the Spanish general-in- 
chief was so great, in regard to this country, that he had left a 
small number of troops to defend it, and that he was confident 
Bolivar would succeed, &ic. This letter was immediately com- 
municated to a number of us, and we were all in favor of colonel 
Bidot's proposal. Piar, with whom I spoke, was one of the 
warmest approvers of the plan. It must have produced the 
happiest effects upon our expedition. Bolivar, however, was 
decidedly in favor of first re-conquering his native country, 
Caracas ; and then, said he, '^ will we march against Guaya- 
na.^ This childish predilection for Caracas, was extremely 
injurious to the cause of mdependence in Venezuela ; Guaya- 
na was deprived of Spanish troops, and contained many who 



were our friends, and were waiting to join us ; it had also sup- 
plies for us, of every kind. A sudden attack upon it, could 
scarcely have failed of succeeding. 1 projyosed to general Bo- 
livar to establish in St. Thomas de La Angostura, its fortified 
capital, a depot for recruits, because the superior numbers of 
the horses, alforded a fine resource for the iormation of a good 
cavalry ; and its navigable rivers, an easy communication abroad; 
with the interior particularly. He preferred going to Carupa- 
pano, a village destitute of resources. If Bolivar could have got 
rid of his injudicious predilection for Caracas, an open and ex- 
hausted city, and have consented to conquer Cumana, as Mari- 
no had proposed, he would not have lost this general and his 
troops, which, in Barcelona, in 1S17, amounted to 1500 men. 
Nor would he have lost this place, nor (by far the greatest loss) 
11 00 brave men. All these losses, certainly resulted from his 
predilection for Caracas. We shall see what fatal consequen- 
ces resulted from it in 1818. 

General Piar, remembering colonel Bidot's letter, conferred 
witli general Sedeno, and proposed to him, to unite their forces, 
and march agaipst Guayana. Sedeno, active, brave, and en- 
terprising, approved highly of Piar's plan, and joined him vnih 
1000 Llaneros, who all had perfect confidence in Piar's skill 
and bravery ; having, for a long time, fought under his orders. 
He collected about 1000 infantry; and 1000 more cavalry 
under Sedeno, and having overcome tlie greatest labors and 
hardships, arrived with tliem, in this fine province tlie 10th of 
March, 1817. Many volunteers joined him, and supplied his 

When g(;neral Miguel de La Torre, the governor of the pro- 
vince, heard of this sudden irruption, he sallied from the fortified 
city of St. Thomas de La Angostura, at the head of 2000 cav- 
alry and infantry, and advanced ninety miles to San Felix. 
Here he found Piar and Sedeno, in order of battle, readv to 
receive him. La Torre had left St. Thomas unprovided with 
any means of defence or supply, and, subaltern-like, had taken 
2000 chosen men, 90 miles from their garrison, and exposed 
himself to be cut off. La Torre, who was in no respect to be 
compared with the mulatto general, as he had called Piar, owed 
his promotion entirely to his Hatter}' and adulation of his mas- 
ter and benefactor, general Don Pablo Morillo. This will not 
be doubted when it is known that after La Torre had lost 
Guayana, as is said, by his cowardice and his wrong measures, 
he was promoted, by Morillo, to the rank of brigadier general ; 


whilst Real, Morales and others, were arrested and punished, 
for not having taken Barcelona. Such partiality surely proves 
the existence of some extraordinary and secret cause. So it 
was, that Morillo appointed this same de La Torre as his suc- 
cessor in the command of the army, and in consequence of it, 
lost the royal cause upon tlie Main. 

The attack was commenced at San Felix, by lieutenant 
colonel Zeuetti, during which, as I have been assured by some 
who were present, colonel de La Torre, though at a good dis- 
tance from the fire, trembled so much as to excite the laugh of 
some of his own officers, at his position on horseback. 'As the 
action proceeded, Zeuetti's example of activity and courage, 
became more and more conspicuous. But La Torre, seeing 
how bravely the battle was fought by the miserable insurgents, 
as he was pleased to call tlie patriots, instead of animating his 
soldiers by advancing to the charge, turned his horse in a con- 
trary direction to that from whence the balls were flying, and 
galloped off with some officers, and about 40 men. They 
directed their course for tlie fortress of La Angostura ; and were 
among the first who brought news of their defeat to the garrison. 
When La Torre's conduct became known to his officers they 
despised him ; and attributed the loss of the battle to his cow- 
ardice. But knowing Morillo's partiality for him, they did not 
dare to speak out against him. 

In spite of La Torre's, decamping, Zeuetti and his troops 
fought bravely, during more than two hours ; when at last, some 
soldiers learned the flight of their governor. This news was 
soon communicated to others. Growing discouraged, they de- 
fended themselves less bravely, and were nearly all killed. 

Of the 2000 men, about 100 escaped. All the rest were 
taken or killed Piar ordered all the prisoners to be shot ; and 
among them the brave colonel Zeuetti. He was commandant 
of Angostura, and was an officer of the Spanish body guard ; 
a man of talents and of a liberal mind. This is satisfactorily 
proved by his having been an aid-de-camp of Ix)uis Lasey, 
captain-general in Catalonia, who was arrested by Ferdinand, 
and butchered, on coming ashore near Palma, the capital of the 
island of Majorca. Who knows not the fate of Lasey and Por- 
tia ? Who can trust a sovereign capable of thus treating his 
bravest soldiers ? 

The battle of San Felix decided the fate of Angostura and 
the province of Guayana. The road was now open for Piar 
and Sedeno, who approached the capital, at half musket shot 


from its walls. The patriots entrenched themselves, so as to 
be protected against the guns of the fortress, but, having no ar- 
tillery, they could not bombard it. The ancient coounander 
of the place, Mr. Fitzgerald, had been arrested, sent to Cara- 
cas, and tried for treason ; but was honorably acquitted, and 
restored to the command of the fortress. He was a sldlfid of- 
ficer, but severe and cruel. He condenmed many of hb sol- 
diers to be shot, upon slight suspicion of treason, which afienat- 
ed from him the greatest part ot the ganrisoo. 

General Piar made various attempts to take the jdaca by 
Buiprise, but was repulsed by the vigilance and bramrof Fits- 

S'ald ; so that he was driven to blockade it. The dty of 
gostura b small, the streets dirty, and the houses of a com- 
mon size, neitlier handsome nor well constructed. TTie city 
lies close by the river Orinoco, partly upon the flat adjoining 
the river, and partly upon a hill, which affiirds a fine proqpect 
over the beautiful river Orinoco and its rich plains. From the 
mouth of the Orinoco toward the interior, Angostura is the on- 
ly port for 80 leagues. It was badly fortified ; and contains 
about 500 houses. General Piar blockaded it so closely that 
nothing could pass either way. Colonel de La Torre having 
left the fortress unprovided, the garrison and inhabitants were 
compelled to live upon horses, mules, 8ec. The governor, 
Fitzgerald himself, paid three dollars for a cat During the 
siege of Carthagena by Morillo, in 1815, a cat was scdd for 
eight dollars, and a dog, from sixteen to twenty dollars ! Very 
many inhabitants and soldiers died for want of food, and more 
than 1500 women and children embarked, to avoid certain 
death. But no man was allowed to absent himself. Notwith- 
standing this misery, Fitzgerald maintained his post, while the 
governor of the province, who should have been the last man 
to depart, deserted his post, and took shelter in the island of 
Grenada. I am assured, that on all occasions where danger 
awaited him, he betrayed his cowardice ; insomuch, that when 
any one in danger appeared uncommonly disturbed, the Span- 
ish officers would say, '^ He has a paroxysm of Miguel de La 
Torre's fever." 

Admiral Brion arrived from Margarita at the mouth of the 
river Orinoco, with his squadron, and contributed powerfully to 
the conquest of Guayana, by forcing the passage of the river, 
which was defended by a numerous flotilla of Spanish armed 
vessels. Captain Devouille, tlie same who distinguished him- 
self before Barcelona, with seven gun boats, forced the pas- 


sage, and destroyed about 20 Spanish vessels of every descrip- 
tion ; and took many others. 

As soon as governor Fitzgerald received the news of the to- 
tal destruction of his squadron, he saw that all hope of defend- 
ing the city any longer, must be given up. Considering the 
sanguinary character of Piar, he did not dare to trust to capitula- 
tion. He divided the small remains of his garrison among differ- 
ent boats and departed with them in the night. He arrived, 
without any loss, at the island of Grenada. 

The 18th of July, 1817, general Piar entered the city of 
Angostura. He found many dead, and many sick, for want of 
food. Even his troops were struck with horror at the sight of 
such misery. 

The city of old Guayana was evacuated the 30th of August, 
and the whole province united to Venezuela. In both cities, the 
Spaniards left large stores of merchandise and of war, and more 
than a thousand prisoners, among whom were the bishop, the 
clergy, many officers and other persons of rank and distinction, 
who were respected and well treated. 

This brilliant and eventful conquest was effected without the 
knowledge or the order of general Bolivar. It was owing en- 
tirely to the courage and exertions of two foreigners, Brion and 
Piar. It resulted in vast advantages to the republic. And 
what was their recompense ? The former died poor and brok- 
en-hearted in Curiaco ; the latter was shot by order of the su- 
preme chief. 

• This latter had lost much of his influence by his desertion 
from the battle field at Ocumare. And it had cost all the great 
exertions of admiral Brion to effect his recal to the Main. 
General Piar was strongly opposed to his recal, and spoke pub- 
licly against him, when Bolivar resumed his former title oi su- 
preme chief, and proclaimed martial law. After his flight from 
Barcelona, he was so retired in the plains, that nobody could 
know with certainty what had become of him. The greatest 
number of the patriot chieftains were averse to Bolivar's assum- 
ing the supreme power, and neglecting the calling of a Con- 
gress. His warmest friends, Francisco Antonio Zea, the for- 
mer members of Congress, and Jose Brion among others, had 
constantly, but in vain, admonished him to keep his word. 
They thought his absence, therefore, a convenient time to con- 
vene a Congress, and that the measure would be best for the 
republic. Brion spoke to Zea, and he to Marino and Aris- 
mendy, and they thought the moment propitious. Marmo, hav- 


ing, at tliat time, (May 1817) established his head quarters at 
Curiaco, tlie 8th of May was fixed on, to assemble in the cathe- 
dral church, a junta, composed of the most respectable inhabi- 
tants of Venezuela, which followed the troops, among whom 
were many members of the first Congress of Caracas. This 
assembly was numerously attended. Admiral Louis Brion, the 
intendant Zea, Jose Cortes Madaniaga, better known under the 
name of tlie Canonic us of Chili, addressed the assembly, show- 
ing the necessity and urgency of establishing a Congress. The 
addresses made to the assembly, were received with unanimous 
approbation. Congress was re-established, and the citizens 
Francisco Xavier Ataiz, Fronc, Alcala, Diego Valenilla, Diego 
Alcala, Manuel G. Zaba, Fronc de Paula Novas, D. B. Lr- 
banija, and Man. Mancyco, were proclaimed members of this 
congress. This election was provisional, in order to give time 
to convoke all the members of the first congress. This body 
was to be legally constituted by the regular elections of the 

The executive was entrusted to Simon Bolivar, Francisco 
del Toro and Franc. Xavier Maiz. The name of the first was 
kept for fear he might appear and disapprove the proceedings 
entirely. (Some doubted the existence of the supreme chief.) 
But the rapid changes of die war, and tlie impossibility of find- 
ing a safe place of meeting, prevented their assembling, and 
after some months fruidess endeavors to that effect, coi^;ress 
was obliged to dissolve and leave the three powers in the hands 
of general Bolivar. 

The idea of convoking this congress, is generally attributed 
to Brion and Zea, who, thouijh nuich attached to lk>livar, saw 
with great pain the powers united in a man so incapable of 
exercising power judiciously, and who so often abused it. 

Hidden as he was in the plains ol Cumana, Bolivar could 
know nothing of these proceedings toward having a congress. 
As soon, however, as he learned what was done, he fell into a 
violent passion, and not only annulled the proceedings, but per- 
secuted the members appointed, es)K»cially the Canonicus of 
Chili, against whom his hatred seemed more particularly di- 
rected. Brion and Zea, who best knew his vindictive char- 
acter, hastened to appease him, by a ))ronipl submission, and 
by assuring hini of their belief that he had been killed, and of 
the necessity of complying with the general wish of the inhabit- 
ants, and the old members of congress, to establish a govern- 
ment. Bolivar appeared satisfied, but from that tune he treat- 


ed them both witli less confidence, and Brion, afterwards, at 
Savanilla, with harshness, as I will relate in the proper place. 
He could not endure Marino, who was implicated in the trial 
of general Piar, and would certainly have suffered, had he not 
saved himself by a timely flight. 

General Paez, in two brilliant actions, with two tliousand 
Llaneros, routed die Spaniards once at Guayabal, where gen- 
eral Calzada had united 3000 men, and tlie second time at 
Calabozo, where Morillo himself commanded, and having lost 
nearly all his forces, retreated precipitately towards Valencia, 
where he arrived with about 300 men, the remains of 2500. 
These two victories of general Paez, in which he destroyed, 
wounded, took and dispersed, about COOO of Morillo's best 
troops, made him die terror of the Spaniards. They were 
discouraged, and treated for the evacuation of Caracas and La- 
guira, tliat they might retire into the strong place of Porto Ca- 
bello. But Morillo, very unexpectedly, received news of the 
arrival of thirty transports, bringing him 3000 men, and a large 
quantity of arms, ammunition, he. He came, himself, in the 
beginning of June, to Cumana, where they had arrived, and 
after some days rest, united them with tlie rest of his troops, 
and marched against jNIarino, who had not moved from Curiaco. 
He attacked and routed him, and taking possession of Cumana- 
coa and Carupano, left garrisons in all diese places and 
returned to Cumana. 

Instead of preparing to march against Paez, Morillo ordered 
the embarkation into the transports of about 4000 men, lately 
come from Spain, under the escort of various armed vessels of 
war, in which he, and a great many staff officers embarked. 
This new expedition was directed against the island of Mar- 
garita ; and in passing the island of Coche, took in tlie troops 
assembled there under the orders of colonel Aldama. 

Morillo could never forget the loss of 3000 men, on his first 
coming from Cadiz, in 1815, when he tliought it would be an 
easy task to subject this small rocky island full of bushy hills, 
where Arismendy fought with bravery and skill. Morales also 
had been beaten before ; so that both Spanish chieftains were 
extremely bitter against these islanders. Before embarking, 
Morillo was heard to declare, '^ that now he would exterminate 
them with fire and sword !" 

The inhabitants of Margarita have done more for the inde- 
pendence of Venezuela, than those of any other province. 
They now destroyed an army of 4000, and after various inci- 

200 mvoimt op bolitar. 

dents, in about a month's continual fighting, succeeded in driring 
them out of the island. 

The further particulars of these three expeditions, will be 
given, when I come to treat, in a separate article, of general 

Morillo, having lost nearly the whole of his 4000 men, in 
this bloody campaign, of about two months, after having burnt 
and destroyed all the houses, farms, trees and cultivation, 
wherever he passed in his retreat, to Juan Griego, where he 
had left his vessels, and having murdered every one that came 
in his way, man, woman and child — his cruelty and rage was 
not satiated. He ordered all those Margaritans, who had fought 
steadily under his banners ; not excepting those who, in his 
expedition, m 1815, had presented themselves under his gen- 
eral promise of Amnesty, to be put to death. They were all 
murdered by his express order. Such are the deeds of Don 
Pablo Morillo, the Pacificator of America, who will be long re- 
membered by the brave inhabitants of Margarita. 

At the end of August, Morillo arrived in the city of Caracas, 
in such ill humor that, for several days, he refused to see amr 
one. The reflection that in two months time, and under such 
critical circumstances, he had lost so many men, reduced him 
to the condition of a madman. He coulcl discover nothing to 
be done for the support of the royal cause upon the Ifam. 
During his absence, Paez had beaten the Spanish generals, 
Calzada and Correo, not far from the city of Saii Fernando de 
Apure. The want of provisions and money, had pioduced 
sickness and desertion. The patriots invested the province of 
Barinas and took possession of its capital, and of the city of 
Guanare, (August 14th,) where they found large stores of 
English dry goods, and, to fill the cup of sorrow, came the 
news of the total loss of the rich province of Guayana, which 
had supplied him with quantities of money, goods, provisions, 
be. It was scarcely any alleviation, that colonel Ximenes had 
attacked and beaten general San Jaeo Marino, the 27th of 
August, and taken the city of Guiria from him by assault, from 
which he fled headlong. The Spaniards murdered men, wo- 
men and children, after having committed the most shocking 

In these critical circumstances, Morillo, on the 23d Septem- 
ber 1817, published at Caracas, with great solemnities, a gen- 
eral amnesty for all who had taken an active part in the patri- 
otic army. He was stupid enough to believe that this amnesty, 


granted under the express condition of " returning under the 
Spanish domination,'' would make a deep impression upon 
the minds of the Americans. But he ought to have been dis- 
couraged by the consideration that the Venezuelans had been 
but too well acquainted with the character of the Spanish chief- 
tains, and particularly with the duplicity, despotism and cruelty 
of Morillo himself. No one confided in his promises. 

While he was occupied with his expedition against Margn 
rita, the patriots were busy in exploring the province of Guay- 
ana, where they found large supplies of every thing ; this pro- 
vince having never suffered by any invasion during tliis civil 
war. As soon as Bolivar heard of this conquest, effected by 
Piar and Brion, two foreigners, his jealousy arose to a high 
pitch, but he dissembled it, and hastened to Angostura. He 
received general Piar most graciously, who naturally of a cold 
and dry character, received his compliments with an air of pride 
and disdain, which made a very bad inipression upon the vain 
and haughty mind of the supreme chief. Piar feeling his own 
superiority in point of military skill and courage, had for sev- 
eral years shown an aversion to general Bolivar. He was ad- 
vanced to be major general, when Marino was the colleague 
and rival of Bolivar, during his dictatorship of tlie eastern pro- 
vinces of Venezuela, in 1813-14. 

Marino, who is of a lively and amiable character, but has 
neither firmness or talents, found in Piar the man he stood in 
need of, and soon advanced liim to the rank of major general, 
and was his devoted friend and second. Piar left himself un- 
der no obligations to Bolivar, whom he knew to be his inferior, 
and at Angostura, putting himself on an equal footing, felt not 
much flattered by the compliments paid him. He was well 
aware too, that they were insincere. 

Bolivar was busily employed at Angostura, upon his favorite 
plan of delivering tlie capital and province of Caracas. He 
therefore formed a plan of a campaign against the Spaniards in 
that province. He sent general Bermudes, witli 400 men, who 
departed the 25th September, with an order to unite with the 
division of Zarasa, whom he found at Chaguaramas. 

Admiral Brion, devoted to the supreme chief, and anxious 
that he should forget the proceedings relative to a congress, 
was busily employed in overseeing the construction of a num- 
ber of gun boat^, to protect the river Orinoco, and facilitate 
the transportation and free intercourse between the inhabitants 


302 nxoiBi or boutab. 

of Angostura and foreign places. These gun boats were well 
manned and sent in perfect order. 

Bermudes, after liaving joined Zarasa, who, with 2000 
horse, (Lianeros,) occupied Caburto and the advanced posts, 
and were extended as far as Fi Ractro, on one, and St. Se* 
bastian, on the other side. Bennudes marched towards Cala- 
bozo and San Carlos, where he united with general Paez. 
General Monagas was ordered to take possession of Barcelona. 
The supreme chief collected a strong body of recruhs in the 
province of Guayana, with which he intended to act in con- 
cert with all tliese forces, against Caracas, an open and 
defenceless city, instead of directing them against Cinnana, 
which the Spaniards had fortified, and against Porto CabeDo ; 
both of these being seaports, and afibrding tlie enemy a strong 
central place, whence he might be supplied, and carry the war 
from east to west, throughout Venezuela. Whereas Caracas 
is neither a fortress or a sea port. But representations against 
his favorite plan, were made in vain. He persisted in hb par- 
tiality for Caracas. He was so certain of soon being in pos- 
session of it, that he said publicly, " the colors of the republic 
shall be hoisted very soon upon the tower of the cathedral of 
this capital." In this conviction, he published the following 
proclamation, directed to tlie inhabitants of the valley of Tuy : 

" Cara^uins ! tlie precious moment decreed by divine pro- 
vidence, ibr tlie total expulsion of the Spanish government, from 
the territory of Venezuela, has at last arrived. The arms of 
the Rej)ublic have iriuniphed every where. We have been 
constantly victorious, from the plains of Casanare to the mouth 
of the river Orinoro. Twenty glorious actions have consoli- 
dated the fate of Venezuela. All the famous chieftains which 
Spain has sent to subject us, have been beaten by our troops, 
except Morillo, who avoids the battle which we seek him to 
offer. Five thousand men protect this rich province, (Guaya- 
na,) five thousand others, under Gen. Marino, are ready to 
march against Cuniana, and to deliver it ! Thousands of brave 
inhabitants of Maturin, commanded bv Gen. Koxas, are readv 
to leceive the Sj)aniards, if they should attack that city. The 
intrepid Gen. IVlunagas harrasses them with his brigade near 
Barcelona. The brave brigade commanded by the worthy 
Gen. Zarasa, two thousand men strong, marched through the 

Slains of Caracas, to deliver its inhabitants subdued by force. 
*he army of Gen. Paez which reminds us of the defeats of 
Calzada, Morillo, Gonin, Lopez, Ramos, Reyes, Gongaha, and 


a great many more, is four thousand men strong. He has 
spread the sparks of liberty over a great part of New Grenada. 
Caraguins ! havinp; delivered Guayana, I re-cross the river 
Orinoco, and will l>e soon in the midst of your capital 
with such a formidable army as has never existed in Venezu- 
ela. The forces of Morillo were reduced to nothing. The 
miserable reinforcement which Capine has brought him lately 
from Spain, (the three thousand armed from Cumana,) is not 
sufficient to take the fort of Pampatic, in the immortal Marga- 
rita. — Caraguins ! despise the power of the Spaniards ; as 
long as we are united we will remain invincible ! 
Head-quarters of Guayana, July 1st, 1826. 


Here is a new instance of Bolivar's deceitful proclamations : 
1st. He says that " twenty glorious actions have consolidated 
the fate of Venezuela." It is notorious that, from the day of his 
re-entering upon the territory of V^enezuela, (31st December 
1816,) tliere had been fought no other glorious action, but the 
two gained by general Paez over Aldama and Morillo, by gen- 
eral Piar over De La Torre, and by colonel Gomez, in INIarga- 
rita, over Morillo ; making in all, four. Perhaps the supreme 
chief includes those which passed at Barcelona under his com- 
mand and alter his flight, or those of Curiaco, Guiria, fcc. under 
Morillo's command. 

2d. He accuses Morillo of avoiding tlie battles wliich he says 
ive seek, fcc. 

3d. These many thousands, to come near the truth, must 
be reduced, at least, one third ; and the remainder forming his 
powerful army, were badly clothed recruits, collected in haste, 
and without organization or instruction. The reader will re- 
collect what I have said in another place, (chapter xiii.) as to 
the instruction and formation of these armies. 

4th. The army of general Paez, which reminds us of the 
defeats of Calzada, Morillo, Gonin, Lopez, Ramos, Reyes, 
Gongona, and many others. This high sounding collection ojf 
names, can deceive none, but those at a distance from the seat 
of war, and have no other means of information but these pro* 
clamations. The victories gained over Calzada and Morillo 
would be truly described, by saying that their antagonist, in a 
regular combat, gained the advantage. All the rest were 
skirmishes, with small bodies of armed men, known under the 
appellation of Guerillas, and among them, some Indian chiefs, 
as is Reyes, who came over to the patriots, after having three 

204 HjEXOiBS or bouvab. 

or four times changed his colors, between the contending par- 
ties. Ho had some sixty or an hundred naked and half armed 
Indians, tliat committed great devastation whererer they came. 
The bands of Guerillas were a little better. Some might have 
1 50 or 200 men, who fled ordinarily, at the first serious attack. 
Such was the character of the Spanish chieftains whose names 
are here so pompously enumerated. 

5th. But tlie following cunning plvase affords the best ex- 
ample of his duplicity : ** Caraguins ! having delivered Gumy- 
ana, / recrossed the river Orinoco." By this certainly be 
means to be understood, that he, general Bolivar, bad defiver- 
ed Guayana. When, in fact, he was about a thousand miles 
distant from the battle field at Guayana, carefully hid in the 
plains of Cumana, after his flight firom Barcelona. 

In his proclamation he names nearly all the clueftains io 
Venezuela, and gives them, or their corps, flattering e|uthets. 
He speaks of having delivered Guayana, and says not a word 
of adiniral Brion or general Piar, the actual deliverers. These 
two were foreigners, and if he had mentioned their names he 
could not have avoided the mention of their glorious actions, 
and their conquest of Guayana. All the rest were natives. If 
he had not used this mode of expression too, he could not have 
used the grand phrase, *< recrossed the Orinoco/* 

This omission of mentioning the names of Brion and Piar, 
in a proclamation of which far the most important topic was 
the delivery of Guayana, shocked them both ; and Fiar ex- 
pressed the bitterness of his feelings in a most sarcastic man- 
ner. His expressions were reported to the supreme chief, 
whose vanity was deeply piqued. But he dissembled as usual, 
and received Piar with the same exterior marks of kindness 
and regard as before. 

General Bolivar was now advised to form a government, and 
to show that he sincerely wished for a republican form, and a 
division of tlie powers. But he had great objections to calling 
a congress, pretending that there would be great difiiculty in 
convening the members during the war, and he named in its 
place a " Supreme Council of the JVationJ*^ 

Bolivar was charged exclusively with the executive, under 
the name of President Supreme Chief. This council vrzs di- 
vided into two sections ; in one, the political section^ (scciione 
politice,) Antonio Francisco Zea presided ; in the 2d, the 
military section, Louis Brion presided. Bolivar was well 
aware of the submission of botli presidents to his wishes, so 


that he again effectuaUy united in himself all the powers of gov- 
ernment. Nothing could be done without his sanction. In his 
absence, messengers were continually on the road between An- 
gostura and his head quarters, with papers to sign, relative to 
one or other department, that of Zea or of Brion. This un- 
controlled power and influence of Bolivar, was said to be tlic 
principal cause of Piar's condemnation. 

I must here relate tliis too famous trial, which excited a great 
sensation at the time. The secret causes of which are not 
known, as they ought to be, for they are characteristic traits in 
the Hfe of the Liberator of Colombia. 

Manuel Piar was born in 1782, at the Dutch island of Cura- 
cao. He was a man of color, and his parents were poor, and 
labored for tlieir subsistence. They nevertheless sent him to 
school, where he learned reading, writing and tlie elements of 
arithmetic ; and nothing more. He was averse to close appli- 
cation, and never would consent to be a mechanic, which was 
too degrading for his vain and proud temper. At the age of 
fifteen, he passed over to the Spanish Main and remained tliere 
a long time before the revolution of Caracas, being in one place 
and anotlier, without any fixed or steady occupation. He came 
to Curacao, where he married a colored woman, who brought 
him a small fortune. But his restless and ambitious temper did 
not suffer him long to remain in Curacao, w^iere his color and 
extraction, kept him from aspiring to rank and fortune. He 
travelled over part of the Antilles islands in search of business 
and fortune, until the time of tlie revolution in Caracas. He 
had left his wife and children at Curacao in the greatest mise- 
ry, while he lived with a young and handsome girl, whom he 
seduced ; and whom he supported on tlie Main, with her pa- 
rents, in a splendid manner. This family were white and of 
good extraction. It is a fact that, during our stay at Carupano, 
he established them in a large store taken from the families who 
had fled at the approach of Bolivar's expeditionary army in 
1816. Wliile he lived in great abundance, he sent not the least 
support to his wife and children. 

At the beginning of the revolution (1810) at Caracas, Piar 
commenced his military career as a non-commissioned officer. 
Miranda had, as I have mentioned, a great predilection for .for- 
eigners who had served ; and preferred them, as officers, to his 
own countrymen, saying, that tlie latter should learn to obey, 
before they could be fit to command. He saw in Piar, an am- 
bitious and courageous young man, and advanced him, by de- 


grees, to the rank of colonel ; whilst Piar, day and night, stud- 
ied military tactics. He distinguished himself on the field of 
batde, acquiring by practice, what was wanting in theory. His 
coolness in tlie hottest fire, his quickness in discerning the fauhs 
of his enemy, and his personal bravery, gained him the confi- 
dence of his subahems, whom he inspired, by his example, 
with fire, and a confidence of certain success. He owed his 
rapid advancement to merit, and not to any intrigue, which he 
always despised. He advanced tlius to the rank of major gen- 
eral, under tlie dictatorship of Maiino, in 1813. Marino hav- 
ing in IS 12, passed to the island of Trinidad, came soon after- 
wards, back to Cumana, where he formed a small corps of 
young men, and named himself dictator of the provinces of Cu- 
mana aud Barcelona, as I have i elated. Piar joined him very 
soon ; and being acquainted with the active part Bolivar had 
taken in the arrest of general Miranda ; for whom Piar felt the 
greatest veneration ; he detested Bolivar for tliis act of cnieky 
and treachery ngainst a defencelees old man. This was the 
first cause of Marino's defection from Bolivar ; Piar having 
gained a complete ascendancy over ttie weak mind of Marino, 
so that Marino could do nothing without Piar. It was Marino 
who persuaded Piar to join Bolivar at Aux Cayes, where they 
lived like brothers ; and were called by Bolivar, the insepara- 
bles. Bolivar at that time spoke to me of Piar as a very dan- 
gerous man, who hated all whites, and saw with great anxiety, 
Marino's intimacy with him. Brion hated Piar, and in speak- 
ing to me of him, used to say, "that mulatto of a general, Piar, 
is a great plunderer and vaejabond." 

Piar, however, was the ahlest commander of them all ; and 
very far superior to Bolivar, not only in personal braver}', but 
in knowledge, of military tactics, and operations. He was so 
beloved by his subalterns, that foreigners particularly, preferred 
general Piar as a leader, to any of the other chieftains. He 
was cold in his manner, but plain ; and attentive to each one of 
them, treating them kindly, and taking the greatest care of 
their general welfare. But his discipline was rigorous ; and he 
never overlooked a fault committed under arms ; not even the 
slightest. His cold, reserved, and often sullen manner, inspir- 
ed iliem with respect and fear ; his personal braverj- and skill, 
with courage and confidence. He constantly supported the 
cause of independence in Venezuela, and many times success- 
fully in 1813 and '14. When the two dictators fled, Piar re- 
mained and fought with good success against the Spaniards. 


The chieftains, and particularly Boves, feared him and Paez, 
more than any other. He was successful in Barinas and Ma- 
turin, and lastly, we have seen that the conquest of Guayana 
was conceived and executed by him ; and this conquest had, 
undoubtedly, the most favorable effect upon the welfare^ of 

Piar was proud of his personal merits, and a firm and warm 
friend of liberty and the republican form of government. He 
had rough and harsh manners, the natural consequences of a 
neglected education, and of a life led in camps. He was nei- 
ther a flatterer nor a courtier. He was greatly attached to 
general Marino, who had distinguished and advanced him. 
Marino's soft and weak mind seemed always to need Piar, who 
at last turned and directed every thing of any unportance that 
Marino transacted. 

Piar, in speaking of Bolivar, often said, that he was a cow- 
ard, and an ignoramus in military operations ; that he deserved 
no command, because he absconded when his presence was 
most needed at the head of his army ; that, indeed, he never 
had been at the head of his army ; that he had never seen him 
at the head of a corps, charging the enemy, and deciding the 
victory ; that, therefore, it happened that Paez had gained so 
many actions, when left to himself ; that the actions of Bolivar 
were gained by others, and not by himself, for that he always 
took care to keep himself at a respectful distance from the shot ; 
that in his proclamations he appears to be at the head of his 
troops ; and lately would appear to have liberated Guayana, 
whilst he had absconded to the plains of Cumana ; and that he 
most ridiculously and contemptibly imitated Napoleon. 

When Bolivar arrived at Angostura, these words of Piar were 
officiously reported to him. But his feelings \vere more hurt, by 
his seeing that he was no longer the object of so much respect 
as he had formerly received wherever he went. He saw him- 
self in a measure deserted, and even despised by those who 
were acquainted with his last flight from Barcelona, by which 
he caused the miserable fate of a thousand men. Piar, who 
was then governor of the j)rovince, commanded of course ; and 
made himself many friends by his bravery ; and also by his 
cordial attention to every one. His house was constantly filled 
with strangers, and his evening parties werfe much more bril- 
liant than those of the supreme chief. This was very natural, 
for general Piar did the honors of his house perfectly well. 
He was attentive to every one, and at his house the guests were 


much more at their ease, tlian in the evening parties of the 
preme chief, where a certain etiquette was observed ; and vAnen 
any man of sense and honor was sure to be disgusted by wit- 
nessing die vile flatteries of such persons as Charles Soublette, 
Anziotigui and others. 

Some biting sarcasms wliich escaped Piar, m full company, 
were the signal for his destruction. 

At that time many men of color were in the service of the 

Gtriots ; and pardcularly in the division commanded by Phr. 
any foreigners, good military men, said loudly that general 
Piar was superior to Bolivar m every thing relating to military 
afiairs, of which the latter was quite ignorant, and that they pre- 
ferred to serve with Piar, rather than under the orders of the 
supreme chief. Admiral Brion hated Piar, and, I lamcmt to 
say, contributed greatly to his destruction. He advised to hb 
arrest and trial before a court martial. When Bolivar, fearing 
the consequences, hesitated long, to take any vigorous measure; 
it was Brion undoubtedly, who decided him to arrest Piar. 
This fact has been affirmed to me by more than twen^ persons 
of rank and credit. Among other words against ^ar, they 
heard him say the following. The question arose who would 
be named president of the court martial ; and Brion being told 
that he probably would be named, said, ^* If I should be named 
the president oi that court martial, I would accept it under one 
condition, viz. that the court martial condenm Piar to capital 
punishment ; he is a mulatto, a vagabond, a man of the lowest 
class, dangerous and mischievous to all whites," &c. These 
persons assured me tiiat Brion, tiiat evening, behaved like a 
madman ; and tiiat he had expressed himself in the same man- 
ner before. With respect to morality, Piar's character was 
equivocal. He was known to be over fond of money ; and to 
raise it as he could. He raised by exactions, a great deal at 
Angostura ; and converted die whole into doubloons. He lov- 
ed luxury of every sort, and was vain and ambitious. 

When his friends informed him that Brion had advised gen- 
eral Bolivar to arrest and try him before a court martial, as a 
colored man who conspired against the whites, and sought to 
overturn tiic existing government ; but that tiie latter had not 
yet decided to follow the advice, fearing the consequences of 
such an arrest, Piar lost his presence of mind and his usual 
bravery. He was conscious of what he had said against Boli- 
var, and knew that Brion was his enemy. In fear of their unit- 
ed power, he took the worst course a man of his standing, and 


in his circumstnnccs, could take. Instead of consulting his 
friends and adherents, and submitting to them his critical situa- 
tion, and forming; a powerful pirty to support him in case of ne- 
cessity, in the first place ; and thou demanding an explanation 
of the supreme chief, and of Brion also, he took all his gold, 
and departed clandestinely in the nii;ht, following the bank oif 
the Orinoco, in search of the means of embarking on board 
some vessel in which he could leave the country. IJolivar had 
surrounded him wiih spies, and. was soon informed of his es- 
cape. He ordered general Sedeno to take a strong body of 
cavalry and pursue him, arrest him, and bring him back to the 
city. Some are confident that Sedeno received a secret order 
to kill him wherev er he could find him ; but this is not certain, 
though Sedeno afterwards told some of his friends that he had 
received suchanoider. But it is certain that Sedeno, with his 
troops, overtook him about six miles from Angostura, and forced 
him to return. On arriving at the city, he was put in the pub- 
lic prison, where the guard was reinforced, many patroles were 
walking the streets with orlers to disperse any groups that 
might assemble to release Piar from prison. But as he had 
commimicated his plan to no one, all his friends were astonish- 
ed at the news of his arrest, and utterly unprepared to defend 
him, otherwise it would have been easy for general Piar to as- 
semble a respectable force a2;ainst any attempt upon his liberty. 
The supreme chief was highly pleased with Sedeno's report 
that he had put Piar into the prison. General Bolivar took no 
rest during the whole nii!;ht, fearing some accident might happen 
to himself; he doubled his guards, and ordered his strong body 
guard to be ready at the first call, lirion, dee|)ly interested 
for the welfare of Bolivar, to whom he had entrusted his large 
fortune, advised him to strike a decicive blow and to condemn 
Piar, in order, as he said, to frighten Marino, Arismendy, and 
others, who were secretly opposed to the usurped power of 
the suoreme chief, and in favor of convening a Congress, that 
by this example he might prevent all future attempts to resist 
his power. This decided Piar's fate, and that the more fully, 
when, after two days, B )livar saw no hostile movement in fa- 
vor of Piar. The fact is, that many thousands were secretly 
indignant at the arrest of Piar; and much more so to see him 
treated like a common criminal ; but there was no leader, 
nothing prepared beforehand. They had no point of union, 
and feared the vengeance of the supreme chief, if they tnade an 
open declaration in favor of their general. Some of them 


have assured me, that they had never thought of the probabD- 
itj of the condemnation of such a man as Piar, who bad ren- 
dered such eminent services to the republic ; and that after his 
condemnation, it was too late to attempt any thing, because 'the 
supreme chief, powerfully assisted by the admiral, had increas- 
ed his forces by means of crews of vessels, and by calling dif- 
ferent dispersed bodies of troops into the town. A council of 
war was immediately assembled over which admiral Brion pre- 
sided, and Charles Soublette was appointed by Bolivar to act 
aeainst Piar. Soublette, the vilest of the vile instruments of 
his master's wishes and orders, had been rapidly advanced, and 
was at this time chief of the staff and major general of the 
army. Soublette, in his long catalogue of accusations against 
Piar, inserted so many and such horrid charges, that the latter 
was highly irritated, and interrupted him vehemently. Calling 
him publicly an impostor and a«vile and imfamous liar, but Sou- 
blette continued hb accusation with the greatest coolness. All 
that Piar said was in vain. His fate was decided beforehand. 
Various false witnesses, bribed by brilliant promises, testified 
under oath, that general Piar had proposed to them to mtmier 
the supreme chief, saying be was a ^rant, a usurper fiic. and 
that Piar was aftf rwards, to proclaim a republican government 
Others testified that general Piar had formed a conspiracy to 
murder all tlie whites, and to establish a republic, of colored 
and black people, of which he, Piar, was to be the president. 

Among these witnesses was the brigadier general Sedeoo, 
the same who assisted Piar in the conquest of Guayana, and 
who, by some altercation between them, was embittered 
against him and had arrested him, as has been mentioned. 
Another wtness was lieutenant colonol Hemandes, Dr. M., a 
surgeon, and various others. The two latter were colored 
men. Piar was astonished at tiie testimony. He said in his 
defence, that if he had intended to murder the supreme chief, 
he should not have wanted the assistance of these witnesses, he 
whose intripidity was well enoigh known to prove the absurdi- 
ty of such depositions. That so many persons were not wanted 
to kill one single man. He said that with regard to the infa- 
mous accusation of the most vile and servile impostor Soublette, 
that he had proposed to murder all the whites, he appealed to 
all tlie foreign officers who had served under him, how kindly 
he had treated them ; and how he had preferred them to any 
others, colored and black officers, and that he had then white 


officers among his aids-de-camp.* That the whole accusation 
was a treacherous and horrible conspiracy against him who had 
served the country with so much distinction and honour. He 
spoke with such strong and convincing eloquence, that the 
whole audience was deeply moved in his favor, and entirely 
convinced of his innocence. But his speech, and the de- 
fence of his council named officially, and pro forma^ were of no 
avail. He was convicted and condemned to be shot on the 
public square, as a conspirator against the security and safety 
of the republic ! A republic then, and now in September 1828, 
existing in the person of the supreme chief, and dictator, 
Simon Bolivar ! Here, as in every instance of any consequence 
general Bolivar has always had the art to identify his person 
with the, so called, republic of a free and independent people. 
But, where is the republic ; where is the freedom and inde- 
pendence of Colombians ? 

In the afternoon previous to the day of general Piar's execu- 
tion. Dr. F. called on him in prison on account of some hun- 
dred dollars tlie former owed him. He was quiet and at ease, 
flattering himself he should not be executed, but banished, 
notwithstanding all tlie Dr. could say against his opinion. He 
grounded his hopes upon tlie great services he had rendered, 
but particularly upon his innocence of the crimes imputed to 
him. He spoke with warmth, and in a firm tone, showing that 
he felt no fear or anxiety. 

The 16ih of October having been fixed for the exerution of 
general Piar, the strongest precautions were taken to prevent 
any trouble. From four o'clock in the morning, the numerous 
troops of the garrison were under arms ; and formed a square 
in the public place. A strong detachment was sent for him to 
the prison. Soon after, he came into the midst of the guard, in 
a kind of great coat, his arms crossed upon his breast. He 
walked firmly to the middle of the square formed by the troops, 
where a chair was placed for his execution. Being come be- 
fore the chair, he urgently requested the officer that he might 
see the supreme chief, for that he had something of great in- 
terest to reveal to him in person. This request was positively 
denied. The officer requested him to sit down. One of them 
approached with a handkerchief to blindfold him, but be would 
not permit it, saying, he could well dispense with such a cere- 

* Colonel Martin, a Polish officer, was his aid-de-camp at this t ime. 


monj ; that be feared not, and never bad feared, to die. But 
when they insisted upon it, he said ; ^* Well, weU, do as jrou 
please." More than twenty- five muskets, close by tlie Ghair, 
were directed against him ; nnd when the officer began to com- 
mand, Piar exclaimed, ^^ Viva la Patria," fell pierced with 
balls.^ The troops and great crowd of people now cried, *^ Viva 
la Patria, Viva la Republica, Viva Justicia ! !" soon after, bis 
body was taken into an unfinished chapel and buried with great 
solemnity, but witliout any other ceremony. 

Thus died Piar, against whom there was no e^dence except 
bis precipitate, and extremely ill judged flight from Angostura. 
His enemies, with some appearance of justice, seised upon this 
and took his life. 

The night previous to Piar's execution the supreme chief 
could not sleep, lie was constantly fearful of some revolution, 
in favor of Piar, notwiil standing the troops being under arms 
and ready to act every moment of tlie time. 

General San lago Marino was implicated in Piar's trial, m 
consequence of what had been done res|)ecting a Congress in 
May 1817, at Cariaco, and at Campano in 1816. He was at 
this time, in the n'eiglibourliood of Cumana. Brion bated and 
despised him, and in speaking of Piar, uttered some threats 
agamst Marino, which alarmed his friends who had before 
known the hostile feeling of both Brion and Bolivar relative to 
him. Those friends immediately despatched a trusty messen- 
ger to Marino, advising him of bis danger; upon wiiich he de- 
parted for the island of Trinidad, where he was safe. 

Some days after the execution of Piar, Bolivar published the 
following proclamation. 

" Soldiers ! Yesterday was a day of mourning for my heart. 
General Piar was executed for his crime « of high treason, 
conspiracy and desertion. A just and legally formed court has 
pronounced sentence upon tiiis unfortunate citizen, who, infat- 
uated with an ardent desire to make his fortune, and to satisfy 
his ambition had formed the plan to bury this country in ruins. 

General Piar had certainly rendered great ser\*ice to this re- 
public, notwithstanding his behaviour has been that of a factious 
man ; his services have been always reasonably rewarded by 
the government of Venezuela. 

Nothing desirable was left to a chief who had attained one of 
the highest ranks in the army : tlie second magistracy would 
have been confided to liim by the absence of general Marino, but 


all this sufficed him not ; he aspired to the supreme command; 
he was plotting the most atrocious plan which could he invented 
by a preverse soul. Soldiers ! he meditated not alone to kin- 
dle a civil war amongst us, but to introduce anarchy, to the 
most inhuman sacrifice of his own brethreu and of his compan- 
ions in arms. Soldiers ! you know thiit freedom and indepen- 
dence are our motto ! Has not mankind recovered their rights 
by the estabhshment of our laws ? Have our arms not broken 
the chains of slavery ? Has not the order been given that na- 
tional property should indiscriminately be respected among you 
all? Has your merit not then been amply recompensed ? Or 
has it not been so at least with justice ? What could general 
Piar desire more for you ? Are you not free, independent, 
respected and honored ? Could Piar promise you greater 
benefits than those ? No, no, no ; Piar wished to dig with his 
own hands, the grave in which he wished to bury the republic, 
in order to destroy the life, the property, and the honour, as 
well as the welfare, and the glory of the brave defenders of 
Venezuela, by destroying its children, its husbands and fathers. 

Heaven has conlemplated this cruel paricide with horror ; 
heaven has given him up to the vengeance of the laws, and has 
not permitted that a man who so greivously offended both the 
divinity and mankind, should sully our terrestrial globe with 
horrid crimes a minute longer. 

Soldiers, heaven protects you and the government, which is 
your parent, and is earnestly watching over your security. Your 
chief, who is your companion in arms, and who has always 
shared at your head, your misery and your dangers, ts well as 
your triumphs, and has placed his confidence in you. Rely 
then upon him, and be persuaded that he loves you more than 
if he was your father or your son. 

Head-quarters of Angostura, October 17th, 1817. 


The hypocrisy and duplicity of general Bolivar's character 
is shown throughout this notorious proclamation in its true light. 
No other man could have had the assurance to say, in the face 
of the world, that the day of general Piar's execution was a day 
of mourning to his heart, when we are acquainted with the cir- 
cumstances of this scandalous act of arbhrary power ; when 
we know that the whole transaction depended on his will, and 
that a single word could have saved this man, whose only crimes 
were, that he was the true friend of constitutional liberty and a 
foreigner. If we inquire what Arismendy and Bermudes did 


against Bolivar, we shall find that these two were much more 
explicit against him tiian Piar was. Arismendy treated the 
dictator as a coward, who deserved death, and declared that 
be would shoot liim as such if he put his foot on shore, (Aug. 
1814.) Bernnules did the same in 1814, at Ocumare; and 
much more in Maturin, in June, 1817. The following are tlie 
particulars of these strangers' transactions. The reader will 
recollect that Bolivar was recalled, in December 1816, from 
Port au Prince, to resume the command of the army, upon the 
express condition that he should assemble a Congress, and con- 
fine himself to the military operations alone. 

By means of martial law being proclaimed, Bolivar again as- 
sumed the supreme power, and destroyed all that w^as done in 
Curiaco by the provisional Con8;ress, installed in virtue of a 
general assembly, held at the Cathedral church on tlie 8th of 
May ; tlie majority of its members being convinced that Boli- 
var was dead. 

This absence of Bolivar was certainly caused by his own 
cowardice ; by his escaping in the night from Barcelona, and 
secreting himself in the plains of Cumana. Hearing that the 
danger was over, he appeared again; and again indulged his 
haughty and despotic disposition, by annulling the transactions 
of Curiaco. Being made acquainted with Piar's conquest of 
Guayana, he passed from Barcelona into that province. In his 
journey he found general Bermudes established with his troops 
at Maturin; and with his usual meanness and impudence, 
thought to gain over l^ermudes, whom he knew to he attached 
to a republican or constitutional icoverinnenl. He was received 
by the latter and his statF, with the most hitter reproaches fir 
his desertion from Barcelona, his ahscondins; to the plains of 
Cumana, and his measures aiicainst the members of the congress 
of Curiaco. Notwithstandini; all this, Bolivar gained over Ber- 
mudes, who is weak, and in truth has no fixed character. As 
they sat dining together (jiiietly, but under a good deal of con- 
straint, Bermudes, who drinks hard, grew warm, and renewed 
his reproaches to Bolivar, treating him as a deserter, a coward, 
and, in short, the lowest of mankind. 

Bolivar would never bear such treatment from his equal, 
much less from his subaltern. Bermudes' passion rose so high 
that he stood up and told l^olivar, he was templed to cut him 
in pieces, and that his recollection of his glorious march from 
Carthagena to Caracas, widi his cousin Ribas, alone restrained 



The supreme chief, trembling like a child, sprung upon his 
horse and decamped as soon as possible, lest Bermudes should 
put his threats in execution, for he knew him to be a cruel, un- 
educated barbarian. 

Bolivar's proclamation of the 17th of October, is the pro- 
duction of a mind triumphant in a bad cause. The impartial 
reader will justly appreciate the charges of Bolivar against his 
victim already slain. The reader will also give due weight to 
his declaration, that he has shared the dangers, as well as the 
triumphs, of his brethren in arms. A moment's recurrence to 
the facts of 1812, at Porto Cabello ; in 1814, at Cumana; in 
1816, in the naval action of the 2d of May; in Ocumare in 
July of the same year; in Barcelona in 1817, &lc. &tc. will af- 
ford a sufficient comment upon this part of his proclamation. 
I have undertaken to show the President Liberator in his true 
light ; and to strip him of the mask with which he has ever 
covered his person and his transactions. 

I must now relate the conduct of San I ago Marino, and make 
the reader belter acquainted with the character of a man, who, 
for a long time, was the equal, and has even been the rival of 
Simon Bolivar ; of the hero of South America ; of the Napo- 
leon ; of the Liberator; and of the father of tlie republic of 

As soon as Marino arrived at Trinidad, he wrote Bolivar a 
letter in a very submissive and supplicating style, in which he 
most humbly entreated him to pardon all his offences, com- 
mitted without his fauh ; he said the pernicious counsel and ad- 
vice of Piar had robbed him of the favor and affection of the 
supreme chief; that he would hereafter follow his guidance 
alone, would never deviate a hair from his duty, and would act 
directly according to the orders of the supreme chief, &c. Stc. 

Bohvar, gratified and exulting, showed this letter to his flat- 
terers, and was himself the first to laugh at and ridicule it. 
He nevertheless pardoned, and most graciously recalled Mari- 
no to his former rank and command, rightly judging tliat Mari- 
no without Piar would never impede him or his views, whatever 
they might be. Marino, on his return, issued the loJowing 
proclamation : 

" San lago Marino, general-in-chief of the armies of the re- 
public, and of that entrusted with the operations against Cu- 
mana, &tc. &tc. to the officers and soldiers composing his di- 
vision. Officers and privates ! my soul is, even now, filled with 
the most appalling sentiments, when I think, that but yesterday. 


neither you or myself were reckoned a part of the great familyi 
who, under the direction of the supreme chief of ihe republic, 
6ght for liberty and independence ! How delightful are the 
sentiments which tiiis day again fill my heart — when I see that 
the government like a good father, relying upon my promises, 
and forgetting all that has passed, receives us again under hs 
protection, and directs me to put myself again at your bead, 
and to command the whole province. (Cumana.) 

Officers and privates ! if by a mischief ever to be regretted, 
we have until now been considered as dissatisBed, and have 
under this character attracted public attention ; it is now, and 
from this moment, our most sacred duty to become a model of 
submission and obedience to the supreme chief! My ancere 
wish is, that the whole universe may be convinced of the sio- 
cerity of our intentions, and find in us the roost faithful sup- 
porters of our government. I sweats by the ashes of so many 
of our famous companions in arms, I swear upon my lionor, and 
upon all that is sacred on earth, that this is now the only fe- 
licity to which I aspire. From you who have always gi\'en'm6 
so many proofs of your love and your devotion, I expect a 
much stronger proof, namely, that you will co-operate to exe- 
cute the orders of the supreme chief. Separated nearly a 
year from government, from the father of the people, and the 
armies, and but just now reincorporated into the large and free 
family of Venezuela, our hearts beat with the most delightful 
sensations for such unexpected good fortune. Long live the 
Republic ! Ix)ng live the Supreme Chief ! Long live Gen- 
eral Bolivar ! 

Head-quarters of San Francisco, January 2r)th, 1918. 

(Signed) SAN lAGO MARINO.'' 

Such language requires no comment. It di:?plays the char- 
acter of the man ; and such are most of tlie Colombian chief- 
tains. This being the fact, the reader will readily discover 
how much, or rather how little, real characler was requisite to 
enable general Bolivar to usurp and hold the supreme power 
during so many years. He will also, I tliink, be satisfied as to 
what must be the disposition of a leader, who can not only suf- 
fer, but encourage, language so disgusting to men of delicacy, 
good sense and honor. 

lUMOI&S OF B0L1?1R. 317 


Campaign of 1818 — Foreign Legions — Conspiracy against 
Bolivar* s power. 

In the beginDing of 1818, the situation of the two belligerent 
parties had entirely changed, in favor of the patriots, owing 
chiefly to the conquest of Guayana. This rich province alone 
afforded more resources to the patriots, than the seven other 
provinces of Venezuela taken together. The friends of inde- 
pendence now conceived the most sanguine hopes of seeing, at 
last, their oppressors driven from the territory, they had sullied 
by their cruelty and barbarity during these last years of war 
and distress. 

I will give here a short sketch of the situation of the royal 
party, that the reader may be enabled to judge whether these 
hopes were well founded, and might have been realised, under 
any other leader of common talents and experience in the act 
of war. Unfortunately for tlie cause of freedom and indepen- 
dence, the districts of Venezuela were in the hands of Bolivar. 
I say unfortunately, because her freedom and independence 
were, by that means, completely lost. The history of this 
campaign is nearly a repetition oi that of Bolivar's dictatorship 
in 1813-14, when, as now, every thing depended on liis exer- 
tions, and all circumstances concurred most favorably to pro- 
d'jce a happy result. Bolivar, by his own fault alone, irrepara- 
bly lost, a second time, the most promising occasion of driving 
the enemy out of Venezuela, and of giving its miserable and 
worn out people, liberty and repose. These reflections will be 
justified by the facts related in this chapter. 

By the disgraceful expedition of Morillo against the island of 
Margarita, he lost about 4000 of his best troops. The folly 
and cowardice of Miguel de La Torre, lost the rich province 
of Guayana, the heart of the royal family. The extensive 
plains, and two thirds of the provinces of Venezuela, were in 
the hands of the patriots, who marched with numerous and su- 
perior forces against the Spaniards. Industry, commerce and 



agriculture, were ruined by taxes, contributions and a continual 
change of masters. Scarcity of hands, and an utter want of 
security, left \he royalists destitute of the means of repairing 
their immense losses tliey had lately suffered. The public 
stores and treasury were empty. The general-in-chief no 
longer enjoyed the confidence once reposed in him. His own 
discouragement deeply affected his troops. This, together with 
the general want of every thing, produced daily desertions. 
Many times, from tliirty to fifty sailors passed over to the patri- 
ots iu one day. 

Notwithstanding all their losses, and the gloomy prospects of 
the royal cause in Venezuela, such is the obstinacy of the Span- 
ish character, that they still determined to persist in their cause, 
and to make ever}' exertion in support of Morillo. European 
Spaniards of the Alain had become averse to the emancipation 
of their country ; not because they did not like freedom, but 
because they saw no leaders in whom they could confide, to 
give them a fixed and good government, in place of the one 
imder which they then existed. We have seen that many na- 
tive Spaniards took an active part in the struggle for indepen- 
dence, and supported their chieftains. But their hatred of 
Bolivar had now become great. It began with his desertion 
from Porto Cabello in 1812; was increaesd by his cruel de- 
cree of February 1814, by which he ordered to be put to death, 
not only those ot their countr}'men who were prisoners of war, 
but peaceable inhabitants, many of whom had never taken any 
part in the existing stnigfrle. From that time hatred took the 
place of that admiration which had been oxcited by his rapid 
and early success in 1813. Rich and poor, therefore, all the 
Spanish families on the Main, rivalled each other, in making 
the utmost sacrifices to put Morillo in a condition to take the 
field, and to commence with renewed vigor the offensive opera- 
tions of this campaign. It is to be lamented that these almost 
superhuman exertions were made in favor of such a man as 
Ferdinand VII, whose name includes all that can be united in 
the persecution of all men of feeling and character, and of whom 
Morillo was a faithful representative. 

In consequence of tliis resolution to resist the numerous 
patriot armies to the last extremity, a general assembly of the 
civil and military authorities of the city of Caracas was called 
together. They met on the 16ih of Januar}* in the capital, and 
canvassed the miserable situation of the royal cause. They 
unanimously resolved !ipon prompt and vigorous measures. 

MfiMOlRIi or BOLIVAR. 319 

They determined to improve the condition of tlieir soldiers, by 
giving them better rations, better pay, and if not the whole ar- 
reais at once, enough to quell their dissatisfaction. Li case of 
desertion, to pay the inhabitants of thg place where the de- 
serter had been enlisted, tlie value of his uniform and accoutre- 
ments, and compel them to furnish another in his place until 
he should be found. Any young man who should arrest a de- 
serter, was declared to be free from service. The cavalry was 
reorganised. All possible means were em|)loyed to re-establish 
confidence, and revive the public spirit. Their exertions were, 
in general, successful. Lari^e voluntary contributions were 
made. Many ladies gave up their jewelry, gold chains, fcc. 
Many rich possessors of land, besides money, gave their har- 
vest, slaves, horses, mules, cattle, ^c. Horses kept for plea 
sure or show, were given to the cavalry. The merchants ol 
fered money, provisions, &tc. &tc. Many persons who were 
present, have assured me that, during several days and nights, 
Caracas and Laguira were complete picturesof besieged cities, 
where were seen vast warlike stores carried upon mules and 

New Grenada afforded no better prospects for the royal cause. 
The viceroy Semano, residing at Bogota, and lately appoint- 
ed to this office, wrote to general Montalvo Torres, governor of 
Carthagena, that " it would be impossible to maintain himself 
any longer in this capital or in the kingdom, one of his divisions 
having been defeated in the plains of Casanare, of which the 
commander and seventeen others only returned to the capital. 
That a second division sent by him to the same plains had met 
with the same fate." General Urdaneta gained tliese two 
victories in October and December 1317. 

The tyranny and cruelties committed by the Spaniards upon 
the inhabitants of New Grenada ; the miserable fate of many 
among the most respectable householders in Bogota, who, 
during the stay of general Morillo, were arrested in their houses, 
and shot by his order, without even a plausible pretext, had 
excited such detestation of the Spanish name, that the fair sex 
were active to do them all the harm in their power. One of 
them procured a detailed list of the Spanish forces in the capi- 
tal, and had the courage to carry it to the patriots at Casanare. 
She wa^ unfortunately detected. The list was found between 
her stocking and shoe ; and she was publicly executed. She 
was deeply lamented by her countrywomen, whose hdtred of 


the Spaniards was greatly increased by this instance of their 

The garrison of Mompox, 400 men strong, was suprised in 
the night, and all put to death by the patriotic inhabitants, 
among whom were many women, who fought bravely, and con- 
tributed much to the success of the enterprise. 

The city of Carthagena, then in die power of the Spaniards, 
was in a kind of uproar. As soon as its inhabitants were ap- 

Kised of general Urdaneta's victory, gained on the 6th of Octo- 
r 1817, over the Spaniards, and that in consequence of it, 
the patriots were in possession of the province of Pamplona, 
the garrison and its cruel and cowardly governor, Moutalvo 
Torres, were terribly alarmed, and forced the inhabitants to 
great contributions, for obtaining provisions of every kind, in 
case of being besieged. The inhabitants were, moreover, em- 
bittered against the tyranny of Montalvo, and that of the presi- 
dent of the criminal court, Cano. Placards had been found 
on the church doors, and in the walls of Carthagena, which, b 
bold and seditious language, pro[X)sed killing the two tyrants of 
the people. In spite of the several requisitions and great re- 
wards offered, the autliors could never be detected. They 
were supposed to have been posted up by some noncommis- 
sioned officers or privates, who were dissatisfied with their 
wretched condition. Numerous patriots were sent day and 
night through the streets of Carthagena, to preserve order and 

Many patriot bands of guerillas were formed in the provin- 
ces of New Grenada, wliich greatly annoyed and distressed ilie 
Spaniards. In Venezuela, they were still more numerous and 

Such was the situation, in both countries, of the roval cause, 
at the end of 1817, and the beginning of 1818, when Bolivar 
commenced his operations against Venezuela. 

After having given to his various divisions the necessar}' or- 
ders to march towards the points intended, general Bolivar de- 
parted with his staff and a numerous body guard, at the end of 
December 1817, from Angostura, and directed his march to- 
wards the rich plains of Apure. He left about 1 SCO men to 
protect the province of Guaj ana, and united his forces (about 
3000 men) to those of generals Paez, Monagas and Sedeno. 
He arrived the 12th of February before the citj' of Calabozo, 
where Morillo had fixed his head quarters. 


When at Sombrero, he published, on the 17tli of February, 
the following proclamation : 

" To the inhabitants of the plains — ^Your tenitory is free 
of the enemy. The armies of the republic have gloriously tri- 
umphed over the Spaniards, from the middle of New Grenada 
to Maturin, and the mouth of the river Orinoco. The armies 
of Boves and Morillo, which before were very numerous, are 
now buried in the fields, consecrated to liberty. The cities of 
Calabozo and San Fernando, have been taken under the pro- 
tection of the republic, and the remainder of the armies of Mo- 
rillo, routed the 12th and 16th January, (by general Paez,) 
flee before us, to seek a shelter in Porto Cabello ; but in vain ! 
soon will they be thrown from them into the sea ! It is impos- 
sible to resist an army of freemen, brave and victorious. Fame 
will guide our steps, and the cruel oppressors of Venezuela be 
forced to surrender or die ! 

Inhabitants of the plains — ^you are' invincible ; your horses, 
lances, and your deserts, protect you against your enemies. 
You must absolutely be independent in spite of the haughtiness 
of Spain. The republican government guaranties your rights, 
your prosperity, and your lives. Unite yourselves under the 
banners oi Venezuela, which is your victorious country. This 
campaign will end with the surrender of tlie capital. You will 
again enjoy peace, industry, and the blessing to be free and 
honest men ; your enemies have deprived you of these advan- 
tages. Be grateful to providence which has given you a wise 
government, much more adapted to the welfare of mankind. 

Head-quarters at Sombrero, 7th of Februarv, 1818. 

(Signed) BOLIVAR." 

The style of this proclamation, is an intended imitation of 
that of Napoleon. The truth is that tlie remainder of the 
armies of IVlorillo, which were flying before his victorious troops^ 
consisted of small foraging parties, which Morillo detached 
from his head quarters, to procure pay for his cavalry. So far 
was Morillo from flying, that, as is notorious, he remained qui- 
etly m his head quarters at Venezuela. That the cities^ of Cal- 
abozo and San Fernando were taken under the protection 
of die republic, is one of the mistakes of. the supreme chief. 
On the 7tli of February, the first was in quiet possession of 
Morillo, who had established his head quarters there. Gene- 
ral BoUvar must have known this fact, for he marched against 
Calabozo, and anived before this little city, no earlier than the 


1 2tIi,/rom whence Morillo had not moved ! San Fernando was 
evacuated by order of Morillo, to concentrate his forces. 
Thus, and no otlierwise, was the place under the protection of 
the republic, 

" The remainder of the armies of Boves and Morillo fly be- 
fore us to seek shelter in the walls of Porto-CabeUo. But in 
vain ; soon will they be thrown into tlie sea." This is an im- 
itation, tliough a poor one, of Napoleon's style. In the most 
important point it fails entirely ; for Napoleon generaly kept his 
word. VVhoever places any reliance upon these proclamations 
will certainly be deceived. The style of them would be a 
matter of little consequence, if they contained the truth only ; 
yet surely this kind of language is beneath the dignity of a true 

The first Bulletin published by the liberating army, dated op- 
posite the city of Calabozo, and signed Charles Soublette, says 
" that the liticrating army commanded by the supreme chief, de- 
parted tlie 31st of Dec. from the city of Angostura, towards the 
plains of Apure and was joined by the division of Gen. Monagas, 
Sedeno, and Paez, and arrived the 12th of February in sight of 
Calabozo, which at that time, w^as the head quarters of the roy- 
al army under the command of general Morillo. There took 
place an engagement in which tlie Spanish army, composed of 
the regiments of hussars, Ferdinandos, half of the infantry, and 
all their light troops were engaged ; tlie regiment of Castillo, who 
fought on the left wing, escaped from tlie general havoc of the 
enemies' armv, bcinii: close l)v tlie citv of Calabozo, which it 
entered. The general Morillo, surprised in the midst of im- 
mense plains, by an army which had marched 300 leagues, was 
completely beaten, the first time he drew his sword in South 
America, without ever atlemptinc; a general battle, or wailing 
for a sinc;le disrhari^e from our infantry. The 2;eneral Morillo 
escaped almost alone from the field of battle, after having been 
saved twice, by two hussars, who parried the strokes directed 
against him by two of our lancers. General Morillo, the proud 
Pacificator of South America, was besieged in the centre of 
Venezuela, in consequence of his own cowardice, and our ex- 
traordinary promptness. Such is the interesting picture of the 
action of Calabozo, presented to the miHtary world. We have 
lost no more than twenty men." 

I shall not consume the readers time in pointing out the fol- 
lies and absurdities, apparent to every military man at least, 


upon the face of this hulletin. The facts are these. When 
the cavalry of the patriots approached near Calabozo, on the 
1 2th of February, they met with a foraging party of seventy or 
eighty men, who had sallied from Calabozo, and made a halt 
before a watering place to water their horses. They had dis- 
mounted, and the horses were without saddle or bridle. The 
men had on tlieir short jackets, and no swords or other arms, 
so that it was impossible to defend themselves. They were all 
killed except two, who jumped upon their horses, and escaped 
into Calabozo, and reported the news to their general, Morillo, 
at his head quarters. During this time general Bolivar de- 
tached 400 men to surprise the grand advanced guard of the 
enemy, which were defeated. This gave time to the troops 
of Morillo in Calobozo, to form,, and not only to resist the patri- 
ots, but to force them to retire. The Spaniards were not 1800 
men strong, whilst the united force under general Bolivar, 
amounted to upwards of 8000 men. 

Morillo, fearing that he should become destitute of provis- 
ions and forage, if he remained any longer in Calabozo, where 
the enemy could easily intercept his convoys, resolved to evac- 
uate it. He took his sick, baggage, stores, and a good many 
of the inhabitants, who chose to follow him ; and placing them 
in the centre of his 1800 men, on the 14th of February, march- 
ed out of the city, directing his course towards Sombrero, in 
presence of the patriots, who had. about 3000 cavalry. He 
was obliged to march through sandy and arid plains, under a 
burning sun, 25 leagues, until he arrived at Sombrero, at the foot 
of a strong chain of mountains. The patriots followed. But 
notwithstanding, this great superiority, did not attempt to attack 
him. This cavalry, far more numerous than his, could have 
acted on these plains with vast advantage. At Sombreo they at- 
tacked him ; and were repelled with the loss of several hundred 
men. They pursued no farther; but retired* towards Calabo- 
zo, where general Bolivar arrived the 22d February ; wh'lst 
Morillo directed his course upon Barbacoa, Camatagua, and 
arrived in March at Ortiz near Villa deCura, where he effected 
bis Junction with Morales, and colonel Lopez, and found him- 
self at the head of 4000 men nearly all infantry. Here he had 
full time to recruit and form his cavalry. General Calzada 
had been posted at Guardazenaga with 1000 men, to observe 
the movements of the patriots. 

General Bolivar, who united with general Paez, Monagas 
and Sedeno, had above 8000 men in Calabozo, took posses- 


sion of San Fernando and Apure, and gave orders to occupy 
tlie province of Barinas. He gave the command of these op- 
erations to general, Paez; while he himself, remabed mactive 
at Calabozo. 

Bolivar left his head quarters, and directed his march to^ 
wards Guadatinasus, San Jose and San Francise de Pimados, 
and joined, the 5th of March, witli the cavalry of geaeral Zarasa 
composed in a great part of Llaneros. On the 7th the patriots 
began their operations against tlie capital, Caracas, and oo the 
22d the valleys of Aragua were occupied by the diflkrent col- 
umns of the patriots, whilst their advanced posts were besiged 
m Cabrera and in Consejo. 

• General Morillo, finding that the city of Ortiz could no km- 
ger furnish him with supplies, departed with most of his troops 
towards Valencia. He detached de La Tora, who had been 
advanced to the rank of brigadier general, to occupy Villa del 
Cura, Vittoria, and Las Cocuisas, where he found no resistance, 
with orders to maintain himself tliere, until further advice. 
Calzada with his troops, 1000 men, occupied San Carlos, and 
colonel Lopez, the city Del Pao. 

General Bolivar, on tlie evening of commencing his decisive 
operations against Caracas, received the unexpected naws that 
general Monagas whom he had detached to supply the fortifica- 
tions of La Cabrera, had been forced to leave thb post not hi 
from Caracas, and to retire towards Cagua. This greatly de- 
ranged his plans. 

Meanwhile general Morillo had redoubled his activity, and, 
supported by the zeal of ilie Spaniards had provided himself 
with many useful warlike stores, had recruited, remounted his 
cavalr}' and united as many forces as he could in so short a time. 
He now thought proper to begin his offensive operations. The 
12th of March, he detached general Morales from Valencia, 
with 3000 men ; following him, on the 13th with 300 cavalry 
and 1000 infantr}'. Morales on the 14th between Guarara and 
San Joaquin, had a little skirmish with a small detachment of 
the many who fled towards the post of La Cabrera, where they 
sallied with the forces under &;eneral Monagas 1500 strong, and 
took a strong position at Tapatapa. Morales attacked and 
routed them. They lost 300 men, baggage, &c. He pur- 
sued and attacked them ac^ain at Villa del Cura, and forced them 
to retreat as far as Boca Chica, two leagues. 

When general Bolivar heard of Monagas' defeat, he imme- 
diately united all the forces, near him, and arrived on the 15th 


with aboul 3000 men in llie camp of iMonag;as, and marched 
with his troops from Boca Chica towards Semen, where they 
encamped. The Spaniards attacked them at two o'clock in 
the morning, but were repelled. A second attack witli the 
bayonet, divided the combat. Bolivar was completely routed, 
and lost more than 1000 men, his artillery, baggage &^c. In 
attacking at the head of his cavahy, Morillo received a slight 
wound, and gave over the command to the new brigadier deLa 
Torre, instead of Morales, who was mareschal de campo. La 
Torre, pursued the remainder of Bolivar's army, attacked him 
the 29th March at Ortiz, and routed him with the loss of 500 
men. Here general Morales distinguished himself in directing 
the charge, whilst La Torre, as I have been well informed re- 
mained at a respectful distance behind. On the Gth of April Bo- 
livar was again beaten at La Puerta, by Calzada and Lopez, 
whom de La Torre had detached in pursuit of him. He lost 
here 600 men killed and wounded ; twelve hundred, including 
the wounded were taken prisoners. The remainder of his ar- 
tillery (two field pieces,) and ol his baggage &tc. were taken ; 
and Bolivar escaped, by the speed of his horse, with a few 
officers. Morillo cured of his wound, soon afterwards joined 
the army and resumed the command. 

After these defeats, Bolivar retired to El Rincon de Los To- 
ros, and there united GOO cavalry and 300 infantry, the re- 
mainder of his forces. Colonel R. Lopez was detached against 
him, surprised his out posts, and, penetrated into the midst of 
his camp, at two o'clock in the morning, killed 400 men, taking 
nearly all the rest. Bolivar had just time to get out of hb 
hammock, mount his horse, and escape in the darkness of the 
night. Colonel Raphael Lopez, the Spanish commander, was 
killed ; so was the patriot colonel Palacios who fought brave- 
ly at the head of his battalion ; which gave Bolivar time to es- 
cape. To complete these defeats of the patriots, colonel Fran- 
cisco Ximens, attacked Marino, at Campano on the 12th March, 
and routed him completely. 

The general La Torre marched May the 2d from San Car- 
los upon the city of Coxede, where he expected to find the 
enemy, but met with the advanced posts of general Paez near 
Camaruco, who, on his part had determined to attack the 
Spaniards at San Carlos. La Torre after having defeated the 
outposts of Paez, marched against him and routed him, not far 
from Coxede. Morales, on the other side, having marched 


226 NExoias of BOUTAm. 

against Bolivar, who had reinforced himself at Calaboio, attack- 
ed and routed him, and retook possession of the city. 

Greneral Bolivar retired towards San Fernando and Apure, 
and recniited from the plains as many Llaneros as he could ; 
and being unmolested during the whole month of May, he had 
time to unite again a sufficient number of cliieftains separated 
at different posts, to do the same. Two strong detachments of 
English troo[)s under colonel Wilson came to join Bolivar at die 
end of May. 

A short account of the difierent corps that came over firam 
Great Britain to the Main, may perhaps be interesting. They 
contributed much to the success of Bolivar's campaigns ; and 
were rewarded with ill treatment, misery, sickness, and death* 

The supreme chief, seeing the behaviour of the battalion of 
Guiria, composed of colored men from Guadaknjpe, of whkk 
I have already spoken, remembered what Brion and I had said 
to him, in lSi6 m Carupano, on the usefulness of foreign le- 

g'ons ; and thought, at last that it would be well to have some 
reign troops with him. He directed his agent in London to 
have an understanding with the English houses to which admi- 
ral Brion and others had written, for the purpose of forwarding 
such a plan. He directed his agent to send as many such 
troops as could be procured. . The character of Bolivar, like 
that of all Caraguins, is, that the moment a project is adopted, 
they are impatient and resdess until it is accomplished ; and 
will hazard every thing for tliat purpose. So it was here with 
Bolivar. But, having no money, no personal credit, no pro- 
duce or merchandise, nothing to give in exchange, he could 
accomplish nothing but by the great exertions, of admiral Brion, 
and by means of promises, and holding out prospects of great 
rewards to such as would come to the Main, and serve a cause, 
which indeed had in itself great attractions. Propositions were 
therefore made to lieutenant colonel Hippisley, an Englishman 
devoted to the American cause, to come over and bring with 
him a number of his countrymen. No money, but great 

Eromises were given to him, and such as he should bring with 
im. Colonel Hippisley, being rich and in good credit, with 
great pains, procured 300 men who were armed, clothed, and 
equiped in England, arrived at Angostura a little after the 
departuie of general Bolivar for the army at the end of 1817. 
But when the men came to see these wretched state of the ser- 
vice, and that the promises made them in England could never 
be realised ; they foimd the condition far worse than in their 


native land ; and made loud and just reproaches to colonel Hip- 
pisley, for having seduced them into this service. He had no 
intention to deceive his men ; he was himself deceived proba- 
bly with the same hopes that induced his men. After some 
months' service, he took his leave, greatly disgusted with the 
military services in Venezuela. His second in command lieu- 
tenant colonel English, remained in England to procure more 
men ; and sent, in detachments of from 100 to 200 each, 
1000 men, to the island of Margarita, and after them, arrived 
there himself. But before his arrival these troops were divi- 
ded into three companies commanded by captains Johnston, 
Mcintosh, and Woodstock. To these were joined about 50 
or 100 men of different European nations, who made this cam- 
paign with general Bolivar ; who committed the great fault of 
distrbuting them among his division, and those of Paez and 
Monagas. This distribution was made as I have been infor- 
med, for fear that they might, if left together, be dangerous to 
Bolivar himself. The foreigners were, greatly displeased and 
discouraged. Thus separated, they would be of but litde 
use ; wliereas 1 00 such men or even, a less number, acting to- 
gether against tiie troops of the royalists, might have been of 
very great service to the republic. Many of them left the 
service disgusted with this and other ill treatment. The re- 
mainder perished miserably for want of food, or fell victims to 
the climate. 

When colonel Hippisley retired, colonel English was ap- 
pointed commander of a second legion, which increased to 
about 2500 men ; among whom were officers of distinguished 
merit. Lieutenant colonel English was advanced, successively, 
to the rank of colonel and brigadier general. He arrived in 
the begining of the year lSi9, at Margarita, where admiral 
Brion received him very handsomely in the port, of Pampatar. 

Colonel Wilson brought some few hundred men, who ser- 
ved in ISIS. He was arrested and took his leave. 

The third legion was called the Irish legion, because it was 
composed chiefly of Irishmen, and commanded by general 
Devereaux a native of Ireland, and son of general Devereaux 
to whom he had been aid-de-camp. His father died and left 
him a hondsome fortune. Young and enthusiastic, he departed 
for Buenos Ayres, where he offered his service in this new 
republic. Not finding what he expected, he did not remain 
long, but came in 1818, and offered his services to general 
Bolivar, with a certain quantity of arms, amunitions and war- 


like stores, upon ad\'antageous conditions, and long terms of 
payment, as he wns authorised to do by his friends in Ireland 
and England. The supreme chief accepted his offers, and this 
encouraged Devereaux to go farther and propose tlie formation 
of a legion in ins native country to be brought here ; and to 
serve under his orders. He had the good fortune to please the 
supreme chief, who authorised him to raise such a legion, con- 
sisting of 5000 men. 

Bolivar told him frankly that he had no money at bis dispo- 
sal. I 'evereaux replied, " that he wanted only an ample com- 
mission from him to act with full powers, and according to cir- 
cumstances for the benefit of Venezuela, with Bolivar's pro- 
mise to approve his transactions in Great Britain, where he 
could obtain what he desired." 

Devereaux arrived in Ireland with the necessary papers. 
Such was the state of tlie people, that, by the hope of greatly 
improving their condition, and by means of his splendid repre- 
sentations and promises,- numbers of his countrymen readily con- 
sented to take service in Venezuela. There had been various 
statements in tlie public papers relative to the manner in which 
he succeeded. He sent, at dilFerent times, about 5000 men 
to Angostura and Margarita, the greater part of whom had 
served belore. He went to London and succeeded there also. 
Among his officers were many, who, being apprised by their 
friends, in St. Thomas and Jamaica, of the miserable condition 
of the service on the Main, refused to eml»nrk. Their number 
increased daily, and it has !)oen reported thnt many endeavor- 
ed to nive up their comiiiissions and get back the money tliey 
had paid for tliein ; hut that Devereaux, apprised of their in- 
tentions, kept out of their way, and hastened the departure of 
the remainder. 

He embarked at Liverpool in the Enirlish brig Ariel^ with 
two ai(i-de-canips, one colonel, one major, one surgeon, one 
chaplain, and twenty two privates. The general had chartered 
tliis briir, under a feiicned name, to transport him and his com- 
panions to their native country, he being a merchant who had 
been shipwrecked. 

Afier sailins; about a fortniirht, havine: taken his ' measures 
well, beforehand, he informed the ca|)tuin and crew, that he 
was the pntriotir e^eneral Devereaux, and ordered the master 
to lake him to Marirarita. On arriving there, he found neither 
his people or ihe necessary provisions. Being told that Brion 
and Montilla were gone, with part of liis men, to Rio Hacha, 


he determined to join them. On arriving before this port, he 
saw tlie Spanish colors hoisted, and his signals were net an- 
swered. He therefore cruised for some days, and not learning 
where admiral Brion was, he sailed to Jamaica to obtain infor- 
mation. As soon as the brig anchored in Port Royal, a guard 
of marine troops came, by order of the governor, to remain on 
board the brig, until the duke of Manchester should determine 
what should be done with her. General Devereaux asked 
leave from commodore Huskinson to go on shore with one of 
his aids, but could obtain permission only for himself. During 
the passage, the ship's crew had revolted three times, and gen- 
erally had behaved very ill. 

General Devereaux left Port Royal in July. He was well 
received at Savanilla, by admiral Brion, but very coldly by 
colonel Montilla. The Caraguins are generally of a jealous 
temper, particularly with rejard to strangers. Montilla's aver- 
sion to them is notorious. The people of Carthagena (where 
he is now, by Bolivar's appointment, intendantand commander- 
ui-chief of three departments,) generally complain of his harsh 
manners, which, I confess, surprised me, when I first met with 
bim, but upon further acquaintance, I found him attentive, po- 
lite and kind. He commanded part of general Devereaux's 
division, which had embnrked with him from Margarita. He 
feared, that by the superior rank of the general, he should fall 
under his command, and particularly refused to submit to his 
orders. Some provocation passed between them, but no duel 
was fousjhi. 

General Devereaux being urgently advised by his friends to 
take no step against Montilla, but to absent himself for a while, 
from the province of Ciirtfiagena ; which he did, and they never 
met afterwards. Alter this difierence with Mondlla, general 
Devereaux departed for congress, which then set at Cacuta, 
and of which general Antonio Nerino was vice-president. 
Though Bolivar conferred upon Devereaux the rank of briga- 
dier general, before his departure for Great Britain, he had 
never served, otlierwise than as aid-de-camp to his lather, and 
was not a military man. But being a handsome and fine look- 
ing man, of great address, wit, intrigue and discernment, he 
easily perceived the character of die supreme chief, aud flat- 
tered him so adroitly as to gain his full confidence, and to ob- 
tain from him full i)ower, with the rank of brigadier general. 
I have been assured that he never actually commanded his le- 
gion, or joined it ; and that he never has had any command 

330 MXMoims OF boutab. 

since he has been in the service of Colombia. He remained 
at Cucuta as a brigadier general. 

After the death of general En^sh, his young and handsome 
widow went to Cucuta, to receive frcm congress the arrears of 
pay due to her husband, and a pension for herself. Some evfl 
minded persons spread a report that she was not the lawful 
wife of the general ; and the vice-president, Narino, called on 
her, with witnesses and an interpreter, in order to ascertain the 
fact. Mrs. English did not understand Spanish, nor Marino a 
word of English. When the interpreter had explained to her 
the motives of Narino's visit, she was shocked, and spoke to 
him in such a manner that he felt deeply ashamed of his com- 
mission, which he certainly ought never to have accepted. 
This singular visit came to the knowledge of Devereaux, who, 
being at Cucuta, immediately wrote a letter toNarino, in strong 
terms, certifying that the lady had been married to general 
English. Still they made objections, and raised difficulties. 
General Devereaux, informed of their unjust proceedings, un- 
dertook her defence, and sent a formal cartel to Narino. The 
latter, indignant that a stranger should dare to question Ami, a 
magistrate of high rank, immediately sent the general to t dark 
wet dungeon, where he was confined as a criminal. He found 
means to apply to congress, and complained bitterly of this 
treatment, demanding a commission of mquiry to examine his 
conduct. This was granted him, and after he had remained 
six weeks in the dungeon, without air or light, or any allowed 
communication from abroad, he was sent, under a strong guard, 
from place to place, until he reached Cardcas. There he was 
ti'ied before a court martial and honorably acquitted in Novem- 
ber 1821. 

The base treatment received by general Devereaux, excited 
in the members of congress so much resentment against the 
vice-president Narino, that they turned him out of his office, 
and put in his place Dr. German Roscio, who had taken great 
interest in general Devereaux. As soon as president BcJivar 
was acquainted with die injustice done to Devereaux, he ap- 
pointed him general of division, or major general, and ordered 
the widow oi general English to be paid. 

We return to general Bolivar, whom we left at San Fernan- 
do de Apure, ready to recommence his offensive operauons 
against Caracas. He took possession of the city of Calabozo 
in June, and gave orders to die different patriot columns, to 
march again upon Caracas. Theu* advanced party reached 


effectively to Ciirayto, five leae;iies from the capital, where the 
inhabitants were in great consternation. But Alorillo, who had 
closely observed all the movements of the patriots, and was 
much better served by his spies, than Holivar, gave orders 
suddenly to attack these separated divisions one after another. 
Bolivar had actually neglected to combine his movements with 
those of his other divisions. The |)atriot divisions were separa- 
ted, routed, deprived of their brilliant successes, and lost all the 
advantages they had gained. They were beaten in nine differ- 
ent actions, at Sombrero, Macaca, La Puerta, El Caymans, 
Ortiz, El Rincon de Los Toros, in tlie Savannas of Coxed e, 
upon the mountains of Los Patos and Nictiros. They lost in 
seventy days more than 5000 men in killed and prisoners. 
Many thousand stand of arms, twelve standards, 7 field pieces, 
more than 3000 horses and mules, a quantity of cattle that 
followed the troops, their amuiiition, baggage &c. They were 
compelled again to leave in the power of the Spaniards, all the 
cities, places on the plains, and the provinces which lay on that 
side 01 the river Orinoco. The supreme chief, leaving the re- 
maining scattered troops to the command of general Paez, re- 
tired in haste to the fortress of Angostura. 

I will give an extract of a letter written and published by 
colonel M. F. P. a native of Caracas, who was in the service 
of V^enezuela, but had leave of absence, for the purpose of re- 
storing his health, in the island of St. Thomas, addressed to 
Mr. F. a merchant in Caracas, dated St. Thomas' July 12th. 
This colonel, a man of talent, knowledge, and military skill, was 
so disgusted with the conduct of Bolivar, that he realized a great 
part of his fortune left the service, and went to live in London. 

" I have waited patiently the result of the last campaign, 
which began at Calabozo. It has been most dreadful, and yet, 
such as might have been expected from the dispositions of 
Bolivar. After having approached the capital, at about six 
leagues distance, he constantly kept himself in such a position, 
as to expose his forces to be beaten in detsiil ; committing, at 
every step, faults, which would have been unpardonable in a 
corporal. In consequence of these dispositions, he had been 
forced to remain on the right side of the Apure, after having 
sacrificed the strong and brave army which the several generals 
had placed under his command. The last news received from 
the Orinoco says, tliat the people begin to open their eyes upon 
this hero. May Heaven grant, that it may, at last, be in our 
power justly to appreciate his merit, his talents and his worth. 


It is astonishing that we sliould not have been able to expel 
t handful of Spanidrds from our country, with a force of more 
than nine thousand men, well armtd, cquiped, and ampl? 
furnished w*ith all the necessaries of war ! But tnis is one of 
the consequences of die confusion and tlie disorder which di- 
lect our operations." 

Whilst general Bolivar was securing his person at Angostiva, 
generals Paez, Bermudes and Marino retired to their respective 
plains. Paez again took possession of the city of Auracia, and 
made himself master of tins pan of the plains, whence be re- 
cruited himself, wiili great activity and success. Marino and 
Bermudes blockaded Cumana, which the Spaniards had fixti- 
fied, and reduced it to great distress. Tlie patriots again took 
possession of Guiria, of Carupaiio, and of all the coasts of the 
gulph of Paria. 

As soon as the inhabitants of Guiria were acquainted with 
the results of this campaign, many of tliem murmured k>udly 
against the supreme chief, t ivc ol tlie most influential men, 
as I have been well infonned, held a secret consultation on the 
subject of turning him out and putting general Paes in hit 
place. All were strongly enough opposed to Bolivar ; but one 
of the five was quite as much opposed to Paez, whom be just- 
ly represented as illherate, and utterly ignorant of civil amirs. 
He said loo, tliat, though Bolivar was by no means fit ibr the 
place, it might be pernicious to displace him at that time, and 
that he might now, after so much loss, probably listen to good 
advice and change his conduct. After warm debates which 
lasted two or three hours, the others yielded to his reasons ; 
and Bolivar remained at the head of the government. This 
he owed to a foreigner, who has never mentioned these par- 
ticulars. I have tliem from two others of the five, one of whom 
is dead, the other is still living. I am acquainted with the 
name qf this foreigner, and know, that at diat time, he held a 
high rank in Angostura. My informants said the change might 
easily have been effected at that time, in spite of Bolivar^s 
strong body guard ; for that the aversion to the supreme chief 
was universal, arising partly from the conde.imaiion of Piar, 
(who left many secret, but warm friends,) but chiefly from his 
conduct in the last campaign. But the dissatisfied had no 
leader, and they knew that the supreme chief had numerous 
spies, so that they dared not to communicate their sentiments one 
to anotlier. 



Bolivar and Sanander — Council of Government at Angostura — 
Roscio and Torres — Situation of both contending parties — 
General Urdanetaand English — Bolivar'* s expedition against 
JSTew Grenada — His return to Venezuela — Events at An- 
gostura — Fundamental law of the Republic of Colombia, 
Years 1818-19. 

The supreme chief, however mortified, appeared with his 
usual retinue, and acted as if nothing adverse had happened. 
Through his emissaries he received the welcome news, tUat 
the inhabitants of New Grenada, oppressed and vexed by their 
Spanish tyrants, waited only for an imposing force, to declare 
their independence, take arms, and join the patriots. General 
Anander, or, as he now signs, Sanander^ the vice-president of 
Colombia, and known to be the greatest opponent of Bolivar, 
was, at that time, in Angostura. He is a native of New Gren- 
ada, where he had many friends, who urged liim to comQ with 
whatever forces, arms, ammunition, inc. he could bring with 
him. He informed die supreme chief, tliat the Spaniards were 
daily harrassed, not only by the victorious divisions of general 
Urdaneta, Valdes and others, but also by the numerous and 
strong parties of Guerillas, which augmented on all sides in 
Grenada. Sanander urged Bolivar to send him with 1000 
men, 3 or 4000 muskets, ammunition and other warlike stores, 
to New Grenada, and to give him the command of the expe- 
dition. But, as the supreme chief had conceived the idea of 
going himself, sooner or later, into this province, and as he was 
always jealous of any who possessed more talent and character 
than himself, so in this instance, as b said, he feared that Sa- 
nander might supplant liim, or at least, do much better than he 
could, and that he took his measures accordingly. The opin- 
ion that he did so, is supported by the following facts : 

At the end of July 181 6, there arrived at Angostura a three 
masted vessel, from London, and a brig from New York, with 
large cargoes of muskets, pistols, gunpowder, swords, saddles, 

234 MEMOIRS or bolivar. 

and cvcrj' description of warlike stores, sufficient for an army. 
The whole was ofTered, on good terms, to general Bolivar, 
who purchased them. When Sanander heard of this, he press- 
ed the supreme chief to Ecrant him 20,000 stands of arms, which 
were needed in New Grenada, together with the necessary 
ammunition, kc. which he offered to have transported safely to 
that province. But Bolivar, on various pretents, (with which 
he is always ready ,^ refused his request, and gave him only 
2000 stands ; he had in the stores, at Angostura, about 50,- 
000 ; of which, aftenvards, at the the time of his marching him- 
self into that province, he took a quantity with him, as well as 
of other warlike stores. By this conduct, as was then with 
good reason believed, he intended to convince the Grenadans, 
Uiat he alone was able to afford the j)owerful assistance they 
were in so great need of. Whatever may have been his mo- 
ti^'e, by refusing to furnish Sanander with sufficient means, he 
certainly delayed the emancipation of this extensive and beauti- 
ful countr}' for one whole year at least. When he lost the 
cause of hberty and independence in 1815, he was e\'idendy 
actuated by a spirit of vanity, ambition and revenge.* And it 
was neither unnatural or unjust to suppose ihat he was now 
actuated by the same kind of spirit. 

General Sanander was now sent to New Grenada with a very 
inadequate supply of aims and warlike stores, far less than the 
Grenadans demanded^ and than might have been, with perfect 
convenience, shared from the vast store of every thing at An- 
gostura. Sanander left Angostura for New Grenada, with bis 
2000 muskets, &:c. acronipanied by the son of general Urdan- 
eta, some other oflirers, and a small escort of soldiers. The 
object of his commission was to unite the numerous bodies of 
Guerillas in favor of the patriots, to assemble them on the fine 
and vast plains of Casanare, to arm, orc;anise and fit them for 
action, and then to march them, united with general Urdaneta's 
strong division, against the capital, Bogota, and to drive the 
Spaniards out of Grenada, and intercept the communication be- 
tween the royalists in tiiis province and those in Venezuela. 
But how wns Sanander to do all this without the necesfarv 
means ? These were withheld from him bv Bolivar. He, 
however, effected more with his limited means, than Bohvar 

'' Sec rlinptrr VIII. 


himself had done in his campaign of 1818, with powerful forces. 
He is brave, ambitious, active and laborious, and speaks and 
writes with facility. He possesses a perfect knowledge of the 
whole face of his native country, which affords great advantages 
in choosing military positions. H[s countrymen placed gi eat con- 
fidence in him. They knew that he had been accustomed 
to hardsiiips, and that by his own personal merit and exertions, 
he had raised himself from the lower class in which he was bora, 
to the rank of a general. His countrymen, therefore, preferred 
him to any other general, particularly to JJolivar, who was not 
liked in Grenada. He was so highly thought of, that his name 
alone terrified and discouraged his enemies. He gained various 
batdes, and fought bravely ; but stained his glory by his cruelty. 
After gaining the battle of Bogota, he ordered 28 generals and 
other officers, who had surrendered themselves prisoners, to be 
shot. And thus he did, after this practice was abolished by 
agreement. By those who were well acquainted with the cam- 
paigns of 1818-19, the emancipation of New Grenada, was at- 
tributed principally to him. Bolivar only finished what Sanan- 
der began, and would have jaccompliseltd a year sooner, had 
not the meansjioen withheld from him by Bolivar. 

After the departure of Sanander from Angostura, the true . 
friends of liberty saw nothing in the established patriot govern- 
ment, upon which they could form a reasonable expectation of 
stability and welfare. Under the administration of the supreme 
chief, the state was like a ship in a stormy sea, without a firm 
and skilful pilot. They looked in vain for energy, activity and 
talent. They saw that his operations were the result of mo- 
mentary impulse. There was a mutability in his actions, which 
showed them that he acted without firmness, skill or system. 

Before his departure from Angostura in 1817, general Boli- 
var established a council of government^ of which he appointed 
Francisco Antonio Zea, president. Mr. Zea (who afterwards 
died, while minister at London,) was undoubtedly an honest 
and upright man ; but he was suffering witti ill health. His 
malady affected his mind, and prevented his acting at all, or 
with die requisite energy. Blindly submissive to the will of the 
supreme chief, he dared to do nodiing without his express con- 
sent. And so it happened, that die most trifling decisions of 
this council of government, at Angostura, were sent to the su- 
preme chief, "wherever he could be found," for his sanction, 
before any step could actually be taken. .General Bolivar, in 
his continual movements, from place to place, often left large 


packets unopened, some were decided upon after a hastj 
glance, and sent back to Angostura. It is impossible (or any 
human being to do cver^ thing ; but Bolivar appeared not to 
have the capacity to know tliis, although he appeared to be 
actually incapable of working in his closet more than three hours 
at a time. Another hindrance to b'jsiness was, that Mr. Zea 
having lived in Spain above twenty years, followed strictly 
the old Spanish principles, habits and manners. It was 
impossible \hat two such men should govern an extenave 
countr}' agitated by passion, civil war, and troubles of every 
kind. The imexpected result of tlie last campaign, was not of 
a nature to inspire confidence in the general. Disappointment 
enhanced tlie general misery. Every branch of tlie adminis- 
tration was in complete disorder, and tlie finances exhausted. 

The government affording no security for a loan from abroad, 
Bolivar had no way left to raise money, but by extraordinary 
and forced contributions. These were imposed, and in a very 
arbitrary manner too, upon the inhabitants of Venezuela. But 
it was hard to procure money in a country where industry and 
commerce were ruined. The few who had money in their 
power, were either Spaniards and secretly averse to the gov- 
ernment, or those who placed no reliance upon the supreme 
chief; so that these forced measures increased the general dis* 
satisfaction. Under these circumstances, the inhabitants of An- 
gostura saw, with a kind of abhorrence, the increasing splendor 
of the household of their supreme chief, his luxur}', his man- 
ner of rewarding his old and new mistresses, his body guard, 
and the numerous oHicers who surrounded him. These were 
his flatterers and spies, and they lived in high style, drawing 
hard uj)on the few and scanty resources left for public use. 

The greatest part of these oflicers were useless to the army. 
Bcinc iicnoranl themselves, they were most of them incapable 
of drillinfic or affordinj; any instruction to the soldiers. Gener- 
ally speaking, they gained their epaulettes and rank, like Soub- 
lette, by flattery and devotion to the supreme chief, who was 
die only source of recornpt^nse and honor. As he had no in- 
struction in military matters himself, he was jealous of every 
foreigner who had the reputation of being well instructed in 
them. Thus it happened, that, at the court of Bolivar, syco- 
phants held the places of the brave, and flatterers, of men of 
skill and talent. Tiic luxury of these oflicers of the household, 
excited great dissatisfaction among the other officers of the 
army, and the more so, because the cowardice of several of 


them had been displayed, as was Soublctte's at Ortiz, and on 
other occasions. The Irish colonel T. who was present, as- 
sured me, that he had never, in his life^ seen so much cow- 
ardice in epaulettes, as Charles Soublette showed at the batde of 
Ortiz. He was so often insulted, and had become so contempti- 
ble at Angostura, that the supreme chief was obliged to inter- 
pose his own authority for the protection of ihis worthy friend. 
The republic of Venezuela was, in fact, a despotic military an- 
archy, like that of 1813-14, so that the supreme chief, had he 
possessed talent, would have been ])uzzled to know where his 
attention was most requisite. He daily received news of de- 
" fections, and reports that the dissatisfaction of the people was 
increasing, and was kept from breaking out, only by their fear 
of the bayonet. At this embarrassing and critical time, unex- 
pectedly arrived a man of sense, talents and character, who 
saved this miserable government and his country from total 
ruin. This man was Dr. German Roscio. 

In order to be understood, I must give here some interesting 
particulars, but very little known. 

The Dr. was a native of Venezuela and had been a distin- 
guished member of the first congress of Venezuela, assembled 
at Caracas in 1811. He was like many otiiers, arrested in Jidy 
1812 at Laguaira, and sent to Cadiz with general Miranda. 
He was put into a dungeon at La Caraca, not far from Cadiz. 
He had friends there by whose assistance, he effected his es- 
cape to Gibraltar. From there he went to London; and 
thence to the United States of America ; where he met Mr. 
Manuel Jones, another Caraguin who lived at Philadelphia, as 
an emigrant from the Main, in a private and retired manner. 
They soon became intimate friends. Mr. Jones died a few 
miles from Philadelphia in 1822 in miserable circumstances ; 
being however at the time, the accredited charge des affaires of 
Colombia. He was sick in his bed during the last three or 
four months of his life, and would have perished with his fami- 
ly, if the necessaries of Hfe had not been furnished to them by 
a number of respectable citizens to whom he was known, 
and who will attest the facts here related. His small salary 
was not paid to him by his government. 

Both Dr. Roscio and Mr. Jones were firm patriots, men of 
superior talents, and of sound knowledge in every branch of 
civil administration, particularly in the department of finance. 
They were competent to form a constitution of government 
adapted to the condition, character, and genius of their country- 

238 MEMOIRS or bolivar. 

men. Both were honest, and their dearest interest was the 
welfare of their country. They saw with deep regret the in- 
auspicious turn which the revohition of Caracas had taken. 
They lamented the fate of Miranda, and justly venerated his 
character and memory. They loudly censured the memory 
of general Bolivar, who had usurped the dictatorial power; 
and seemed determined to retain it, though he possessed 
neither talent, firmness of character, nor dignity, sufficient to 
qualify him for such an office. Notwithstanding their private 
opinion of general lk)livar, tliey determined to use tlieir utmost 
exertions to s:ive their country. They were resolved to con- 
vince him, if possible, of his errors, and bring bim into meas- 
ures conducive to the w^*lfare of their countrymen. 

Mr. Jones being of a feeble constitution, chose to remain in 
Philadelphia, where he could be free and independent ; and, 
being out of the power of the supreme chief, could speak to 
him in plainer, and stronger language, tlian he would be per- 
mitted to use, whilst under his immediate control. He, there- 
fore, determined to commence a correspondence with general 

Dr. Roscio departed alone, and arrived at Angostura in the 
beginning of 181 8, soon after Bolivar marched against Caracas. 
He was the bearer of many letters and papers very interesting 
and important to V^enezuela, but particularly of a very long let- 
ter from his friend Jones to the supreme chief ; flattering the 
vanity of Bolivar, and paying him many compliments upon his 
good intentions, his porseverence, kc. kc. But he frankly 
told the supreme chief that the government, which he had es- 
tablished in Venezuela, was not at all suited to the character of 
its inhabitants, nor to the complicated interests of so extensive 
a republic ; that, moreover, a military government would lead 
to anarchy, which would l>riiig along whh it the ruin of the 
country, and the certain destruction of the man, whoever he 
miiiiht be, that should attempt to support such a covernment. 

I have already said that Jiolivar abhorred the despotic Span- 
ish government, and that he could listen to the advice of en- 
lightened men, and approve of their plans, but that unfortunately 
for hiuiselfand the counlrv, he was surrounded bv vile and is^- 
norant flatterers, to whom he listened, and for whom his atfec- 
tion was so great, that he often acted in compliance with their 
wishes aij:ainst his own conviction.* Jf Bolivar had acted ac- 

* Sec chiipter XIII. 


cording to his own judfonent, even the interest of liis country 
would probably in many instances have been promoted. 

In the absence of general Bolivar, Dr. Roscio was received 
by the president of the council of government, Zea, in the man- 
ner he deserved. During his stay he made many friends ; he 
appears to be one of the editors of, or writers for, the Courier 
of Angostura, a Gazette which was protected by Zea, and for 
which he sometimes furnished articles himself. This concur- 
rence excited a kind of rivalship between tliese distinguished 
men. As the Dr. announced his principles strongly and clear- 
ly, and wrote in a superior style, Zea began to grow jealous of 
him, and to receive him coolly, and to be reserved in ilieir 
conversations. Every one was anxious to be introduced to 
Dr. Roscio, while the house of Mr. Zea became less fre- 
quented. Bolivar, on his arrival, received him as an old ac- 
quaintance, having known him at Caracas in 1811-12. The 
Dr. presented Mr. Jones's letter, which made tlie desired im- 
pression upon the supreme chief. Possessed of an agreeable 
and persuasive eloquence ; and supported by an unsullied re- 
putation, Roscio, in various private conversations with Boli- 
var, spoke with tlie warmth of a feeling heart, in favor of the 
principles advanced in the letter of his friend Jones. He was 
strongly seconded by the doctor, Romon Cadix, and Palacio 
Faxar, men of talents, and respected by the supreme chief. 
The result of these exertions was, that general Bolivar consent- 
ed to convene a Congress. He appeared to be satisfied of 
the necessity of changing Iris measures. But when he came 
to act, he allowed the congress very limited powers only ; still 
reserving to himself the supreme authority. Whether he did 
this in compliance with tlie wishes of his flatterers, or was di- 
rected by his own ambition is uncertain. These probably 
coincided. His new plan, however, evinced a total ignorance 
of the principles of modern republican free governments, and 
of the excellent treatises extant upon the subject. It was of 
course unsatisfactory to .the enhghtened patriots. He had 
drawn out with his own hand, a pretty extensive project of a 
constitution, which he proposed to introduce into Venezuela. 
In this project he proposed to institute a house of Lords, and a 
house of Representatives. The members of the Senate or 
house of Lords, were to have the title of Baron, Count, Mar- 
quis, or Duke &tc. These offices to be held for life, and titles 
to be hereditary. From this plan, obviously in imitation of the 


British constitution ; it is plain that he wished to estabfish a 
permanent aristocracy. 

Bolivar was so enchanted with his plan, that he privately 
communicated the project to the council of government, and I 
regret to say, the presidant Zea highly approved of it. But 
Dr. Roscio, being informed of the project, consulted with his 
friends Cadix and Faxar, and they united in such representa- 
tions to the supreme chief, as brought him, at first to hesitate, 
and then to suspend the execution of his plan. The Dr. im- 
mediately wrote to Jones, stating the plan to him, and he, by 
an eloquent and persuasive letter directed to the supreme 
chief, prevailed with him to reject the aristocratical part of his 

ft was resolved to convene a congress, and Bolivar, a 
second time, had the merit of subjecting his own ardent de- 
sire to the superior wisdom of his friends. These two instan- 
ces, heretofore known to but few persons, render it probable, 
that if Bolivar had chosen for his friends, men of iniormatioa 
and btcgrity, istead of surrounding himself with vile flatterers 
and ignorant and selfish advisers, he would have been a very 
diiierent character. 

Dr. Roscio and others of his ablest and best friends, are 
dead. He appears now to be left to flatterers and ienoraat 
and selfish advisers ; and, if he continues to be so, much longer, 
will destroy himself, or bis country. 

Upon the assembling of the deputies of congress the instala- 
tion of this assembly took place, the 15th February, under the 
most solemn and imposing ceremonies, which it would be 
useless to detail here. Franc. Ant. Zea was elected president, 
and general Bolivar entrusted with the executive power. 

The appointment of this conscress changed the form, but did 
not affect tlie substance of Bolivar's government. Zea, an 
honest and virtuous man, was nevertheless weak and entirely 
devoted, even yet, to the general, who by private intrigue pro- 
cured him to be named president of tlie new congress. Bol- 
ivar knew that Zea was ahogether unable to command the ar- 
my, and that he had not friends and adherents enough to pre- 
tend to govern the republic. The election was made by call- 
ing on the members by name and not by secret balloting ; the 
supreme chief was present. Some 10 or 12 deputies propos- 
ed Mr. Zea, others dared not to oppose the nominadon ; and 
so Mr. Zea was unanimously elected against the secret wish- 
es of many, probably a majority of tliem. 


On this occasion general Bolivar gave a new proof of his 
love of power and distinction. In his proclamation, dated An- 
gostura, February 2()th, he said ; " Tlie general congress of 
Venezuela has taken the supreme power, wliich, until this day, 
you had confided tome ; I have naurncd it to the people, by 
rendering it into the hands of tlieir legitimate rt presentatives. 
The national sovereignty has honored me by puiting into my 
bands the executive power, with the title of Provisional Presi- 
dent of Veneztiela. Venezuelans ! I feel myself unable to 
govern you : 1 have often said so to your representatives, who 
in spite of my well grounded refusal, have forced me to com- 
mand you* 

Soldiers of the liberating army ! my only ambition has al- 
ways been to partake with you tiie dangers which you uicur 
in defence of the republic." 

The name of Congress made a favorable impression upon 
public opinion ; and the new organised government wus power- 
fully sup|>oried by the inhabitants of Venezuela : so thai gene- 
ral B »livar succeeded in collecting an army of from 13 to 
14000 men, which enabled him to act on the ofiensive. 

He received from England, besides the legion of which I 
have spoken, large of arms, ammunition, warlike stores 
&c. Numbers of French, German, Polish, and other officers 
came to Angostura and Margarita, to offer their services, with 
sanguine hopes of advancement and fortune and of enjoying the 
honor of being admitted into the ranks of those who fought for 
the sacred cause of liberty and independence ! General Bolivar 
received them well. His polite and easy manners, when in 
good humor, have fascinated thousands, who were unacquainted 
witl) his profound dissimulation, and his concealed jealousy of 
strangers. But when these foreigners found that they received 
neither pay nor good rations, and were looked upon by the na- 
tive troops, among whom they served, with a jealous eye, while 
they were obliged to traverse marshy or arid plains ; their 
zeal changed to disappointment and dejection.. Many retired 
in a pitiable condition, as the inhabitants of Jamaica, St* Thom- 
as', Curacao &lc. can testify, from 1819 to the present time. 

The great exertions of the patriot commanders, and tlie re- 
viving spirit of the people, excited sanguine hopes that the cam- 
paign of this year would be the last, and that ihe Spaniards 
could now be driven from the country ; and an end be put to 
this distressing war. 



General Bolivar, anxious to efTace the unfibrtimate cam- 
paign of 181 S, conceived for this year an excellent plan, 
which in good hands must have succeeded. He made a dis- 
play of an intention to attack Caracas, and free Venezuela 
from the Spanish yoke. By tLis he induced Morillo to weaken 
New Grenada and concentrate his forces upon this point ; 
whilst Bolivar turning suddenly, united his forces with the nu- 
merous Guerillas, and marched, in different columns, against 

He had sent general Sanander forward to prepare every 
thing, as I have mentioned ; he had revived the public spirit 
by gaining advantages over the enemy ; so that he might easily 
have raised the inhabitants of tliese 22 provinces against their 
oppressors, whom they hated. 

Bolivar, sure of retaining his supreme power, named Zea as 
vice president of the government during his absence, sent gen- 
eral Urdancta and Valdes witii about 20 officers, to the island 
of Margarita, to organise the troops which were there, and de- 
parted Februar}' the 27th, for the army. He had with him a 
numerous and brilliant staff, and 2000 men ! He directed his 
march towards the left shores of the river Araura, to join gen- 
eral Paez, who had about 3000 Llaneros, all mounted. 

General Bolivar named San lago Marino commander-in- 
chief of the corps under Bermudes, Monagas, Zarasa, Roxas, 
and Montes, about GOOO men strong, and ordered him to march 
against Barcelona and Cumana ; and, if tliey should refuse to 
surrender to take diem by assault. These corps marched in 

Besides these forces, the patriots had in the seaports of 
Pompatar and Juan Griego, in the island of Margarita, 12 arm- 
ed vessels, and among them 1 corvette, 4 brigs, and 3 her- 
maphrodite brigs ; the rest were schooners manned with Eng- 
lishmen and Americans. On the Orinoco, eight vessels were 
constructed, consi:}tiiig chiefly of gun boats, well manned and 

Against these forces which threatened his total destruction, 
the Spanish general Morillo, had neglected notliing to put him- 
self in a good state of defence. In January, he departed from 
Valencia at the head of 6()()0 men, and ordered San Fernan- 
do de Apure, where La Torre commanded, and where Moril- 
lo established his head quarters, to be fortified. Soon after- 
wards, general Paez having evacuated tlie city, retired towards 
tlie river Araura, to effect his junction with general BoUvar. 


Morillo moved forward, and established his camp before the 
borough of Caujacal. 

General Morillo hearing that many English troops had al- 
ready joined the patriots, became apprehensive tliat their num- 
bers would become so great, that it would be impossible for 
him to resist them. He, therefore, issued a proclamation direc- 
ted " to the chiefs, officers, and privates of his Britanic Majesty 
actually serving with the insurgents," to induce them to desert to 
the Spanish army. Among other things he said, "the government 
of his Catholic Majesty, and I, particularly, have been informied 
of the manner in which many subjects of his Britanic Majes- 
ty, have been seduced in England by Mendes and other trai- 
tors, to unite their fortune with those who styled themselves In- 
dependents of South America. The revolutionary agents have 
represented to them that there existed a republican government, 
well established laws, armies, and inhabitants who have vol- 
untarily submitted to such a republic. By such illusions many 
have been seduced to leave their coimtry with the intention of 
establishing themselves there and, obtaining as a recompense 
for their services, property, fortune and honor ! But how cru- 
eUy have they been deceived. 

Englishmen! It is to vou that I address myself ; to you 
who already know this famous personage (Simon Bolivar) 
whom you compare in England with a Washington ; but now 
that you have seen this hero of this miserable republic, hia 
troops, his generals, and the crazy fools which compose its gov- 
ernment, you know you have been grossly deceived. You serve 
under the orders of a man who is in every respect very insig- 
nificant and you have united yourselves witli a horde of banditti, 
who are known by their cruel deeds. I know there are many 
Englishmen and otbes Foreigners who have been deceived, 
who cannot separate tliemselves from this unjust cause, for 
want of means : I offer and promise, therefore, to those who 
voluntarily present themselves to tlie army under my command, 
perfect security for their persons, whether they may choose to 
be admitted into the service of his Catholic Majesty or to retire 
to any other country. In either case they shall be in safety. 

General Head-quarters at Achaguas, March 26th, 181S. 


A decree of Ferdinand VII, dated Madrid, January 14th, 
1819, and addressed to the minister of foreign relations, differs 
pretty widely from this proclamation of his representative on the 


Main. His catholic majesty, the protector of liberal opinions, 
and the benefactor of humanity, says, in his decree, " That all 
strangers taken with aiins in their hands, and serving in the 
cause of tiie insurgents, within his possessions, and all who have 
furnished arms for them, shall be condemned to death, and 
their property, bcins; within the jurisdiction of his Catholic ma- 
jesty, shall be confiscated." 

On the 20th of March, general Bolivar united his forces with 
those of general Paez, wlio he made ncquainted with his new 
plan of operations against new Grens^da, requesting the support 
of his cavalr)' of Lhmeros. Paez t(dd him, that he was ready 
to follow hiui, but that he doubted whether his Llaneros could 
be pre\'ailed upon to do so. It is notorious that these Indians 
dislike to fight at a distance from their plains ; and in spite of 
the urgent entreaties, both of Bolivar and Paez, they refused, 
and declared that if force were used to compel them, they would 
desert, and return to their native plains where ttiey were used 
to fi&:ht. 

The two generals were obliged to yield to their refusal, and 
appeased tliem not without dif^culty. This act of insubordina- 
tion, and the consequent total want of cavalry, greatly dispirited 
the troops of general Bolivar. 

Before his departure, he and Paez were attacked by a Span- 
ish coUunn, under colonel Paeira, to whose support the forces 
under Morillo came soon after ; and on the 27th of March, an 
action took place, a little way from Trapiche de La Gamaua, 
where the patriots were beaten. In their retreat they were 
greatly harrassed, the Spaniards followinc them along the right 
bank of the river Araura, durini: the 20th and olbt of March, 
and the 1st and 2(1 of April. General Morillo, in his ofliciiil 
report, ridiculed the disposition of general Bolivar. I!e 
"the want of boats, which were nnlnckilv destroved in the 
river Apure, hindered nic from crossing the Araura, in order 
to finish the destruction of the forces under Bolivar and Paez, 
who were advancing, as they said, to take the capital in two 
days, a nirnor spread by Bolivar, when he departed fioin 
Guayana with his famous reinforcement of Englishmen, &c." 

But Morillo's triunij)h h.sted not long. Bolivar and Paez 
obtained more troops, and marched against Morillo, whose 
head quarters were at Achagnas. They attacked him on the 
15th of April, and after a warm condiat, Morillo wts totally 
routed, with the Inss of about IJOO men, and was compelled to 
retreat, with ilie remainder of liis troops, to Calabozo. The 


colonel Donato Paez, brother of the general, destroyed 36 
Spanish gun boats, and took 18 pieces of cannon of large 

The troops under the Spanish general La Torre, were also 
routed, and compelled to niake their retreat along the plains of 
Aragua, and joined their general-in- chief in Calabozo. The 
consequence of these two victories was the occupation of Ba- 
rinas by the patriots, which opened to them the way into New 

Morillo again united a force, of 6000 men, and attempted to 
invade the plains of Apure, and to avail himself of the absence 
of Bolivar, who had been in the province of Barinas to recruit, 
and to uniie with the English troops, which had directed their 
march towards this point. General Paez cautiously endeavor- 
ed to avoid a battle, and to draw the enen)y into the interior of 
the plains, that he mi2;ht afterwards cut off their retreat. In 
this short cami)aign, Paez manoeuvred with such skill and suc- 
cess, that he harrassnd and even beat various detachments of 
tlie enemy, took and killed more than 1 500 of them, and cut 
off the convoys, provisions, and other aids intended for the ar- 
my of Morillo, who was at last compelled to retreat to the island 
of Achaguas. 

General Bolivar arrived in May, with his troops of foreign- 
ers, at Nutrias, where he allowed them some rest. Paez, with 
about 2000 cavalry and 800 English infantry, observed, and 
besieged Morillo in Achaguas. He even sent strong parties 
towards Calabozo and San Carlos, to observe what was trans- 
acting in this part of the country. 

If lioiivar had possessed ordmary knowledge of the military 
art — if he had iniiied his and Paez's troops with those of Ma- 
rino, he could hiFe destroyed Morillo's forces at a blow. He 
could have cut him off from all means of supply, and forced 
him to hazard an attack, or to perish by famine, or capitulate. 
Iiisiead of this, he only observed the Spaniards in Actiagua, 
without making any attempt against them. When Morillo saw 
this, he united his forces, placed himself at their head, and 
opening his way through the camp of the enemy, arrived with- 
out any considerable loss, in June, at Caracas, whence he im- 
mediately detached two battalions, to reinforce the places of 
Cumana and Barcelona. 

Meanwhile, general Marino reinforced himself daily at the 
Pao of Barcelona, preparing to attack the Spanish colonel Al- 
daina. Bermudes closely besieged Cumana, and Urdaneta 


was destined to act in unison with general English, and the 
English troops arrived with him at Margarita, upon one of the 
points on tlie eastern coast of Venezuela. 

Tl)is expedition, called the expedition of the foreigners, de- 
parted the 13ih ol July, from Margarita, in 25 armed and trans- 
port vessels. On board the squadron were 1400 English and 
Hanoverian troops, and about 1000 sailors commanded, in 
chief, by general Urdaneta. They debarked on tlie coast near 
Barcelona, and after effecting their debarkation, the squadron 
was directed towards Cumana, in order more closely to block- 
ade the place. Marino after having routed colonel Aldaroa, on 
the 12th June, near Mechispeco, joined the forces of Sedeno, 
Zarasa, Monagas, Roxas, Berniudes and Thomas Montilla, 
uniting his own forces with theirs in one encampment near San 
Diego of Caburtica, where the English troops, under Urdan- 
eta, were daily expected. From that time, every one was satis- 
fied that such an imposing force, ol more than 13,000 men 
strong, would be more than sufiicient to conquer Cumana, Bar- 
celona, Caracas, and the whole countrj' of Venezuela. The 
patriot chieftains were so certain of success tliat tliey detached 
2000 men towards Cucuta, in New Grenada, to reinforce gen- 
eral Sanander, (who, at various times, had obtained some troops, 
and more arms,) in order to strengthen and encourage the pat- 
riots, who, since his arrival, had not ceased to join liim, and he 
had already penetrated as far as Sugamosa, not far from the capi- 
tal of Bogota. 

The En*;lish troops, under Urdaneta, instead of uniting with 
the forces of San Iai:;o ilariiio, near Cumana, debarked, as I 
have stated, not far from Barcelona. It has been said, that this 
evil course was ordered by general Rafael l^rdaneta, to avoid 
acting under general Marino, whom he despised, and from act- 
ing under whose orders, he had ever been solicitous to keep 
himself. Urdaneta, too, was jealous of general English, on ac- 
count of his great authority and influence over the English 
troops, who, very naturally, came more ready to obey him than 
Urdaneta. He, therefore, did every thing to counteract him. 
As soon as their debarkation was effected, a strong Spanbh 
column opposed ilieir advance into the interior of the province, 
and having no provisions, they embarked again on board the 
Spanish squadron, the 3d of August. They sailed towards Cu- 
mana, and debarked near it, at Bordones, which tlie Spaniards 
had fortified. General Urdaneta, without waiting for the forces 
under Marino, ordered an attack upon Cumana, where he 


was repulsed by the garrison. On the 8th of August the Eng- 
lish troops attacked with the bayonet, and in four different 
charges, which they made with the utmost bravery, were again 
repulsed with great loss. The greatest part of these heroic 
troops perished afterwards, before a small battery called Agua 
Santa. Part of them fell on the field of battle, and some at 
Maturin, where they retired after their defeat. As this city 
was entirely ruined, they found but scanty means of subsistence, 
and perished miserably for want of food, the efTects of fatigue 
and the climate. General English reiired to the island of Mar- 
garita disgusted with such a service, and particularly with the 
behaviour of Urdaneta towards him and his troops. The squad- 
ron directed its course towards the same island. 

Thus ended this expedition, from which the patriots justly 
expected great success, and in which the English troops were 
uselessly sacrificed, as there is good reason to believe, by the 
ignorance and jealousy of general Urdaneta. 

Among the foreigners who came with general English, was a 
major, named Guillemore, an engineer, and an officer of dis- 
tinguished merit. He directed the fortifications of Santa Rosa, 
a fort which protected the small port of Juan Griego, on the 
island of Margarita, which Morilla could never take, and wiiicb 
caused his entire defeat in this island, as I have already related. 
Major Guillemore was entirely opposed to an attack upon Cu- 
mana, and spoke with warmth and eloquence, to sliow that the 
attack must prove unsuccessful. Urdaneta treated him harshly, 
and, though he was supported by the most reasonable repre- 
sentations of general English himself, Urdaneta obstinately per- 
sisted in ordering the attack. The consequences were as I 
have related. When the result was known, Urdaneta, Bermu- 
des, Marino, and some other native chieftains, had the baseness 
to exclaim loudly against these foreigners, and to call them cow- 
ards. They most impudently imputed to general English the 
mischievous consequences of*^ tlie ignorance and obstinacy of 
general Urdaneta. 

General English was an enthusiast in the cause of civil liberty, 
and was a brave officer. He died of a broken heart, in con- 
sequence of the treatment he received from Urdaneta, and of 
the loss of so many of his brave companions, by the jealousy 
and meanness of the Spaniards. He died at Margarita, desti- 
tute of almost every thing, and lamenting his engagement in 
such a service. Major Guillemore retired, with the same opin- 
ion of the service. 


The patriots succeeded at last in getting possession of Bar- 
celona, on the 5th August. General Urdaneta found no more 
than forty men acting in the fortified charily house. Urdaneta 
and Bermudes, with their united forces of more than 2000 
men, were engaged about two montlis, in getting possession of 
an ill fortified Spanish garrison, posted at a single house rather 
than a fortification, and cons.sting of less than an hundred men, 
and these became destitute of food and munitions of war. 
This fact may afford a pretty just notion of the military skill of 
Urdaneta and Paez. 

Urdaneta ordered the forty Spaniard?, found acting in the 
charily house, to be shot, by way of retaliation, for the following 
Soanish cruelty. When the patriots approached Barcelona, 
lieutenant-colonel Gorin, wiio commanded the Spaniards in tlie 
city, sent a detachment of thirty cavalry, to reconnoitre the ene- 
my, who marched towards the suburbs of the city, without en- 
countering any opposition. Li the night, this detachment sur- 
piised an advanced guard of six men, commanded by a ser- 
geant, and put them to the sword before they could give the 
alarm. They advanced rapidly towards the house where gen- 
eral Urdaneta was sleeping. They surprised his guard, com- 
manded by an English ofEcer, a heutenant, and killed them, 
but spared the officer, whom J hey disarmed and threatened to 
cut in .pieces, if he were not still. They then stuffed a hand- 
kerchief into his mouth, and two Spaniards fastened bim to the 
tails of their horses. Urdaneta was awakened by the noise, 
escaped through a back door of the house, and gave the alarm 
to his troops. The Spaniards were obliged to retire, and de- 
parted at full gallop, so tliat their prisoner was literally torn 
to pieces alive ! 

In June, general Bolivar left general Paez for the purpose 
of penetrating into the heart of New Grenada with a very stiong 
column. He rejoined the latter, and eriaeavored to make him- 
self master of the province of Barinas, in order to cover himself 
on this side. Bolivar found the enemy in the valley of Sania- 
goso, in the province of Tunja. He had 2000 infantr\', of 
which the greater part were European troops, and 500 cavalry. 
The Spanibh general Barasino had about the same number. 
The battle, fought the 1st of July, was warm and obstinate. 
The English, at last, decided the combat, by a vigorous 
charge, which forced the enemy to retire in great disorder. 
Barasino soon reinforced himself, and, on the 23d of ihe same 
month, attacked general Bolivar at Patuuo de Berg, near the 


capital of the province of Tunja. He was defeated a second 
time, with the loss of his artillery, baggage, and many of his 
troops, among whom were his staff oliicers. A considerable 
number of deserters, principally cavalry, came over to the pat- 

General Bolivar proclaimed martial law, in virtue of which 
all the inhabitants of New Grenada capable of serving were 
compelled to bear arms and join his troops, under the penalty 
of capital punishment. His army soon increased to 3000 in- 
fantry and 1000 cavalry. With these he marched towards the 
capital, Bopiota. He found general Bacasino at a large farm 
called the Venta Guernada, sixty miles from the capital. As 
the ground was hilly, and covered with bushes, some of the 
English officers advised general Bolivar to use stratagem, 
which he did successfully. He placed most of his infantry in 
ambush, and ordered his cavalry to gain, unseen, the rear of 
the enemy, so that his battle line presented a front of small ex- 
tent. The enemy made the attack with great bravery ; but at 
this moment the infantry in ambush, and the cavalry, rushed 
forward and attacked his flank and rear. The Spaniards were 
routed with a loss of more than 1000 men, and were not ral- 
lied until they reached Mompox. Tliis battle, of the 7th Au- 
gust, decreed the fate of New Grenada, and was attributed to 
the European troops. 

The viceroy, Snmana, received intelligence of this battle in 
the night of tlic 8th ; and Bogota being an open and defence- 
less city, he gave orders to evacuate it immediately. In the 
morning of tlie 9th, he, with some hundred persons, left the 

His retreat was so rapid, that he arrived at Honda in thirty 
hours ; a journey which usually occupies three days. He left 
at Bogota half a million of dollar^, in silver money. Bolivar 
made his triumphal entry the 12th of August, and ordered the . 
city of Ocana to be taken possession of on the 17th. 

On the 2Sth, the viceroy ariived at Tamburg, and sent ex- 
presses to Morillo to inform him what had happened. He 
also sent general La Torre (the same who behaved so ill at the 
battle of San Felipe, and lost (luayana) with various Spanish 
troops to New Grenada, to take command of the royal forces 
in that province. The Spaniards arriving at Mompox, worked 
day and night to entrench themselves. 

In Venezuela the scene of war was too frequently changed 
to afford any thing interesting to tlie reader. Bloody struggles 



resulted in nothing. The Spaniards driven from one place, oc- 
cupied another. They were routed, and recruited again. The 
case was the same with the patriots. War raged in everj cor- 
ner of Venezuela, without producing any effect, important to 
either party. 

I will now proceed to events which took place in the con- 
gress at Angostura, during the absence of general Bolivar. 
There was in congress a strong party of true patriots and repub- 
licans. These men were disquieted by the devotion of tlieir 
president to the will of Bolivar. This, together with the de- 
cline of his health, led him to refer every measure to hcad- 
3uarters. Much business was left wholly undone. More was 
elayed. The general dissatisfaction had risen already to a 
high pitch. Some members told him frankly, that if he did not 
change his course they must consider it tlieir duty to procure 
his removal and to put another into his place. Some reproach- 
ed him with vile submission to Bolivar. He was just then en- 
gaged in framing a code of hws for the republic, and was un- 
usually regardless of the executive business. He was compell- 
ed to resign, and general Arismendy was elected in his place, 
as vice president of congress, and president of the republic, in 
the absence of general Bolivar. This happened in the month 
of October. 

As soon as Arismendy was in power, he procured a decree, 
•that admiral Brion no longer deserved the con6dence of the 
republic : that he was, therefore, dismissed, and that, in his 
stead his brother in law, commodore Toly was appointed Admi- 
ral. Arismendy ordered Brion before congress to give an ac- 
count of his conduct : and sent to Toly, the ribbon of the order 
of the Libertadores. 

Meanwhile Bolivar succeeded in freeing New Grenada. 
And all the provinces having risen in favor of independence, 
the Spaniards were obliged to retreat and shut themselves up 
in Mompox, which, as well as Santa Martha, and Cartliagena, 
thev had fortified. 

Bolivar, who never lost sight of Caracas, in his usual hasty 
manner, which he mistakes for despatch, settled all business in 
Bogota. He ordained a kind of congress of which he was 
the regulator. He left general Sanander, commander-in-chief, 
and general Anzoatigui, one of his most devoted flatterers, as 
second in command, and directed his march towards Pamplo- 
na, where he arrived the 20th of September, and remained 
about two months, occupied in festivals and balls. 


He departed at last widi about two thousand men, for Gua- 
dalita. About 800 of these deserted. They had been taken 
by force from their families, and were, besides, greatly disgust- 
ed with the imperious manner of this Caraguin Oeneralj as 
diey called Bolivar. 

The general arrived the 3d November at Montical in Vene- 
zuela, where he had directed the patriot chieftains of that pro- 
vince to assemble with their troops. He had with him about 
three millions of dollars, which had been collected from the 
inhabitants of New Grenada, in taxes, and by* forced contribu- 
tions. He is said to have extorted a forma> promise from the 
different authorities in the province, to send him regularly every 
month, a million of dollars. 

The troops, however, were never regularly paid, and the fo- 
reigners became the more dissatisfied when tliey found, that 
instead of being paid to them and others, who had dearly earn- 
ed it, it disappeared, by going into the hands of flatterers, and 
the officers who more immediately surrounded the general. 
These fared sumptuously, whilst the army was straightened for 
want of pay, food, and clothing. Many hundred ol these for- 
eigners were worn down in this march by heat, fatigue, and 
want of food. These were neither carried on, nor left provi- 
ded for, and, of course, perished miserably. 

As soon asMorillo heard of this numerous collection of troops, 
he gave orders to evacuate San Fernando de Apure, united his 
different detachments, and concentrated his forces at San Car- 
los. The Spaniards again lost the province of Venezuela, and 
various families left the country, and embarked at Laguaira 
and Porto Cabello for the West Indies and the United States. 
The patriots had again, in Venezuela, a force of about 9000 
men. Among them were 3000 English, Irish, and Hanoveri- 
an troops, of which many had lately arrived at Angostura and 
Margarita. They now marched towards tlie plains of Calabo- 
zo, so that the head quarters of both were about two days 
march asunder. Every one was now again certain that the 
Spaniards, who had not above 4500 men, and of those, two 
thirds natives, would at last be driven forever out of the terri- 
tory of Venezuela. 

The patriots had nothing more to do than to advance and 
act, and they were sure of success. They knew that the 
Spaniards had lost much of their confidence, that the native 
troops were kept from passing to the other side, only by their 
Spanish officers. But all these advantages, the benefit of the 



country, and the course which general Bolivar pretended to de- 
fend, were overlooked in the sad tidings of the change that had 
taken place at the scat of government. On receiving these des- 
patches Bolivar was thunderstruck. His own personal welfare, 
and the gratification of his personal feelings, had always and 
c) every where been preeminent with him. The cause of free- 
dom was but his tool. Instead of attacking the enemy with 
his 3000 well disciplined European troops, which were dread- 
ed by the Spaniards on the Main, he suffered himself to be 
overcome wiili tRe news of Arismendy's advancement ; and 
in consequence of it, at last, took a resolution, the result of 
which was that tlie war was protracted for 6ve years, and the 
lives of thousands sacrificed to his love of power. 

With tliesc 3000 troops, among whom were his body guard, 
he marched towards Angostura, or rather, against Arisinendy- 
Hc knew that Arisiiiendy, after all that hr.d passed between 
them, would not he his friend ; and there was no prospect of 
his being able to bring Arismendy to be, as Zca had been, his 
devoted minister. He knew too, that Arismendv was a de- 
cided republican, and would probably use all his power to es- 
tablish tlie authority of congress, and to limit the power of the 
supreme chief. He knew also, that Arismendy was a far more 
able military man than himself, and tha^ this was manifested to 
the 'countrj , by his wonderful defence of the island of Marga- 
rita. He knew that Arismendy was a brave, enterprising and 
ambitious chieftain ; and it was pei fectly natural for Bolivar to 
suspect him of a desiirn to obtain the first oflice in the republic. 
Arismendv's conduct and services Iiad made Iiiui nianv adher- 
ents, wliilc Bolivar's cowardice and misconduct left him, as 
support, only liis iinnicdiate dependents and llalierers. In this 
condition, lie felt more anxiety ilian he had ever appeared to 
feel, at any time before. Various persons have assurrod mc, 
that for 24 hours he aj)pearcd like a madman ; speaking to 
none ; looking dejected ; lying in his hammock ; then jumping 
out of it, and pacing his room. 

At last, he decided to leave the command of his remaining 
forces to general Paez, and to march himself, widi his best 
troops, towards Angostura. 

General Bolivar, with his 3000 chosen men, fullv devoted 
to him, arrived, the 14th of November, unexpectedly, at tlie 
seat of government, at Angostura, in the province of Guayana. 
Arismendy, having only about 600 tnen, and these poorly clad, 
armed and disciplined was obliged, of course, to submit to tlie 


imposing force of Bolivar. He was exiled from Guayana and 
ordered to retire to his native island, Margarita. Previous to 
his formal dismission from the service, he was condemned to 
lead a private life, and to come no more upon the Main. 

It was not that Arismendy was less dangerous, in tlie view 
of Bolivar, than Piar had been, tliat his life was spared. But 
he knew that Arismendy had many friends in congress and in 
the army, and tliat the brave spirited inhabitants of Margarita, 
would rise in his defence ; and that the greater part of tlie 
Llaneros were his friends, as they were the friends of republi- 
can government. Bolivar, tlierefore, listened to the advice of 
Dr. Roscio, and ventured not to take the life of Arismendy. 

Mr. Zea was reinstalled President of Congress, and Vice- 
President of the Republic. 

Dr. Roscio, and various otlier true friends of a free republi- 
can government, now united, in representing to general Boli- 
var, the instability of the government he had established ; and, 
after long, earnest and eloquent discussions, at last prevailed 
upon him to consent to the establishment of a congress, upon a 
new and more extensive plan. 

The conquest of New Grenada, except Santa Martha, Car- 
thagena and Mompox, required a national representation. Those 
provinces of Venezuela, which were in the power of the patri- 
ots, were in the same situation. The inhabitants of both were 
anxious to have a congress, and a republican government. It 
was therefore urged to Bolivar to unite these two great provin- 
ces under one congress, and to call the new government, " The 
Republic of Colombia." This memorable act is generally at- 
tributed to the enlightened mind of the deceased Dr. German 
Roscio, of whom I have already spoken. It is entided, " Fun- 
damental Law of the Republic of Colombia." 



Events frani the Proclamation of the Fundamental Law of the 
Republic of Colombia^ December 1819, until the Armistice 
between General Bolivar and MorUlo^. November 1820. 

After having reinstalled Mr. Zea, general Bolivar, on the 
25th December, 1819, left Angostura, with a numerous corps 
of troops, and directed his march toward the plains of Apure. 
He arrived, the 20di of January, at San Fernando de Apure, 
its capital, where he learned that die cause of independence 
was declining in New Grenada. I have stated, that before his 
departure from Santa de La Bogota, general Bolivar settled 
the pending business in his hasty manner. IKs manner has, 
from 1813 to the present day, consisted in pretending to do 
every thing by himself; to be soldier, legislator, and adminis- 
trator. He seems to be unable to understand how his supre- 
macy can be retained in any otlier way. With his very limit- 
ed talents, and constitutional aversion to serious business, his 
way has kept every tiling in confusion, in every department, 
particularly that oi the finances. Agricultuie, commerce and 
every branch of industry, have been kept down and destroyed by 
heavy taxes, charges at the custom house, forced contributions, 
and the like. No ofliccr, civil or military, of whatever grade, 
could count upon receiving his regular salary, or pay. These 
men, of course, let slip no opportunity of defrauding the pub- 
lic, or of taking bribes. Governors of provinces, and all tlie 
military men, who had it in their power, extorted from the peo- 
ple, besides their taxes, a proportional sum for the support of 
their persons, their troops and retinue. What the people were 
unwilling to give, was, very often, taken from them by force. 
The capricious decisions of an individual, united with the vexa- 
tions inflicted by civil and military ofiicers u|K)n die Grenadans, 
who had done so much for Bolivar, and who were entitled to 
better treatment, fell so heavily upon them, that tliey compared 
their present distressed condition, with what it had been under 
the Spanish government. Many of them preferred the latter, 
and deseited, and joined the Spaniards, under La Torre and 


Calzada. Calzada seeing his forces suddenly increased by 
these desertions, again took the offensive, and was preparing to 
march against the capital of Bogota. La Torre, hearing that 
the patriots had retired in haste, from Los Publicos, advanced 
towards the plains of Guarta, to support the movements of Cal- 
zada, and to cut off tlie retreat of the enemy who were in these 
plains. The rapid progress of the Spaniards in Grenada, caused 
great alarm among the members of the provisional government 
established by BoBvar, and preparations were made for retreat- 

General Bolivar heard these tidings while he was in San 
Fernando de Apure. He determined to march again, at the 
head of 4000 men, against the enemy in that province. He 
left his head quarters the 2Gth of January, and directed his 
march towards Cucuta. General Morillo, fearing to be attack- 
ed at San Carlos, had retired towards Valencia, intending to 
get into the strong hold of Porto Cabello, in case of any loss, 
or sudden attack. The departure of Bolivar, with his 4000 
troops, gave him a second opportunity to reinforce himself. 

Meanwhile, general Bolivar was marching towards Cucuta, 
in Grenada. General Paez, entrusted with the chief command 
of the army in Venezuela, established his head quarters at Ma- 
turin, where he collected an army of 12,000 men, in wliich were 
3000 Europeans, chiefly of the Irish legion of Devereaux. 
Contrary to all expectation, general Paez remained at Maturin, 
without attempting to attack Morillo, or even moving against 
him. Morillo, therefore, returned again to San Carlos, where 
he recruited considerable, as he had done before at Valencia. 
The spirit of the Spaniards was raised, by tidings of a formida- 
ble expedition, fitted out by order of the king, at Cadiz, under 
the command of general Henry O'Donnell, (count of Abisbal.) 
This expedition had been ordered, in consequence of the ur- 
gent representations of general Morillo, who had sent pressing 
letters to the king, in which he strongly and truly stated the 
precarious situation of the royal cause in Spanish America. 
General Morillo had received great assistance from the com- 
merce of Barcelona, Cadiz, Malaga, Alicante, kc, which suf- 
fered exceedingly from the war in the colonies. The richest 
merchants of these places, offered the king large sums of mo- 
ney, and support of every kind, if he would send a force suflS- 
cient to put an end to the war at once. This was accepted ; 
and, since March 1819, the greatest preparations were making 
in Spain to that effect. A force of 25,000 men was collected, 


to be divided into two army corps, under the command of 
O^Donnell, one of which was destined to act against Peru ; 
the otlier asainst the Main. 

Tlie royalists in Venezuela, who had seen how Morillo, in 
18 IB, with far less forces, destroyed those of Bolivar, on hear- 
ing tliis news, doubted not the success of their cause. The 
patriots were indebted to colonel Guiroja's revolution in Spain, 
which happened a little after this time, for the destruction of an 
expedition which was destined to forge new chains for the in- 
habitants of the Spanish colonies. 

General Bolivar, pressed on all sides for money, was advised 
to send an agent to London, for tlie purpose of negotiating a 
loan sufficient to enable him to prosecute the war with more 
vigor. He chose tlje ex-vice-president Zea, (whose phce was 
supplied by Dr. Roscio,) and save him full and ample forces. 
He departed in March 1620, for St. Thomas\ whence he em- 
barked (or Lfondon. 

Until the latter end of March 1920, the positions of the two 
armies in Venezuela, afforded nothing important. The opera- 
tions of the patriots, however, afford satisfactory proof oi the 
narrow capacities of tlicir leaders. At Achaguas, general Paez 
had about 4000 men. After Morillo's evacuation of San Car^ 
los, Urdaneta had, at tliis place, 3500 men. Bermudes had, 
at Maturin, IGOO men. Zarasa and Sedeno had 800 men at 
Guebrada Stonda. Monagas and Diego had 1000 men in the 
province of Barcelona, witliout mentioning the numerous guer- 
illas and smaller parlit's of armed patriots, which had no fixed 
camps. In the island of ^Margarita, there were 1200 Irish 
troops, and with Bolivar 4000 chosen men. With all these 
mighty means, they were not able to expel Morillo and his far 
inferior force, from the country at once ; even though he was 
so liatcd, and tlie Spanish name so generally detested. It is 
a fact well known, that Morillo had not at that time, 2000 Eu- 
ropt^an Spaniards at liis disposal, that were able to take the 
field. All the rest of his tioops were natives, and he could 
place but little reliance upon them. He knew they would de- 
sert him upon the first defeat. From this diminutive force 
a deduction must still be made of as many as were necessary 
to the several places held by the Spaniards. In addition to these 
disadvantages, the Spanish colonial finances were deranged, 
the armv were in want of everv thine, and discouraged bv the 
failure of O'DonnelFs expedition. All these circumstances 
united, would have ensured the success of the patriots under 


leaders of ordinary skill and talent. Instead of attacking the 
Spaniards vigorously and at once, they wearied and dis- 
couraged their own troops by marches and countermarches, 
until desertions into the interior became frequent and their troops 
greatly diminished. 

In this campaign general Bolivar committed his usual fault ; 
that of scattering his forces. While he marched with four 
tliousand men towards Cucuta, and ordered general Paez to 
attack Morillo, and get possession of the capital, Caracas, he 
directed a diird expedition against Santa Martha, and accom- 
plished nothing. Some circumstances of this third expedition 
are worthy of remark. 

Ever since the year 1S13, colonel Marino Montillahad been 
one of the greatest enemies of general Bolivar. He served 
against Bolivar in Carthagena, and challenged him to a duel in 
IS 16, at Aux Cayes, as I have related. He had engaged to 
go widi general Mina, in his expedition against the Spaniards 
in Mexico, and was prevented only by sickness. He came to 
Baltimore, and hearing there of the success of the cause, and that 
Bolivar was at the head of the government, he desired several 
of his friends, who were going to the Main, to exert themselves 
to effect a reconciliation between him and the supreme chief. 
He UTOte for the same purpose to his intimate friend, admiral 
Brion, who w:is much attached to him. Montilla, at length 
succeeded, and came over to Angostura, where he had a long, 
and, to him, very satisfactory interview with the supreme chief, 
who advanced him to the rank of colonel. He was sent, soon 
after, to the island of Margarita with 80,000 dollars, to accel- 
erate the sailing of the squadron, and pay arrears. He was 
directed to have an understanding with admiral Brion at Pom- 
patar ; and with general Urdaneta, who was destined to cora- 
mand> in chief, the expedition against Santa Martha. From 
that time, Marino Montilla was entirely devoted to general 

General Urdaneta marched, at the head of 4000 men, from 
San Carlos towards the province of Maracaybo, to act in unison 
with the troops expected from Margarita. The squadron de- 
parted from Pompatar, a seaport of the latter island, in tlTe 
beginning of March, having on board about 1200 men, chiefly 
European troops. They arrived at Rio Hacha the 12th of 
March, and took possession of the place whhout resistance. It 
is a small and poor place, affording no resources whatever. It 
has a small fort, and is an open seaport, not far from Santa 


Martha. Montilla, who commanded these troops, expected to 
be joined by some Indiins from the interior, who had prooiised 
to go with him anjainsi Santa Martha. 

Colonel Montilla departed from Kio Hacha, in April, and 
directed his march towards the valley Dupart, where he ar- 
rived on the 4th, with 1000 English, and 500 Creole troops, 
which had joined him. The latter were furnished with arms, 
brought from Margarita. After some success, colonel Montilla 
was stopped in his further operations, hy a sudden mutiny of 
his English troops. Among the correspondence found in the 
baggage taken from the enemy, was a letter from the governor 
of Santa Martha to the Spanish general Lima, whom Montilla 
had beaten in three successive actions. It was stated in the 
letter, that general L rdaneta was advancing with 3000 men, 
from Ocana, upon Santa Martha, and urged him to join him as 
soon as possible. Montilla, therefore, determined to march 
and join general Urdaneta, but was prevented hy the refusal 
of his English troops to march any further, until all arrears 
were paid them. Montilla used every effort, promising them 
more than their due ; but in vain. ^Fhc insubordination was 
complete, and Montilla was forced to abandon his march, and 
embark on board the squadron, tinder the command of admiral 
Brion, who remained at anchor before Rio Hacha, with 13 
vessels ; having on board six months' provisions, 5000 muskets, 
and a large quantity of ammunition, and other warlike stores. 

The governors of Carthagena and Santa Martha, threatened 
with an attack, took the stronjest measures of defence, and the 
latter sent his wife and children to Havana. 

At this time the Main wiis surprised by news of the revolu- 
tion at Cadiz, effected by colonel Antonio Guirojn, in January 
of the snnie year, IHJO, in consequence of which, the Spanish 
constitution, of ISIJ, was accain introduced, in which the inqui- 
sition and arbitrary power were abolished. This saved the 
cause of inrlependence in the SjKinish colonies ; and tlie for- 
midable expedition under O'Donnel was di^ban(!ed. 

General ^lorillo, who bad placed his hopes in these forces, 
refused, for several days, to speak to any one. At length he 
yielded to necessity, and the constitution was proclaimed with 
great solemnity, in May and June, at Caracas, Laguira, and 
other places in the power of the Spaniards, on the Main. He 
was now confident that the introduction of the constitution into 
the country, would make a favorable impression on the patri- 
ots. He, therefore, published two proclamations ; one of tlie 


king, to Uie inhabitants of the continent in America ; wherein 
he said : " Wliat can you ask more ? Hear the voice of your 
king and your father." The second was from general Morillo, 
to the army, dated Caracas, June Sth, 1S20. 

Morillo sent a circular letter to the different governors of the 
West India Islands, and to the Spanish minister at Washington, 
requesting them to order the insertion in the public papers, of ano- 
ther proclamation from himself, to the emigrants from the Main, 
dated Caracas, June 12th, by which he invites them to return to 
their own country ; and promises oblivion of past, and protection, 
tranquihty and prosperity for the future. "Your security is 
sacred and inviolable ; it is founded upon the will of the king. 
It is in unison with my honor, my word, and my desire !" 

All these proclamations, and the earnest endeavors of the 
king and general, were in vain. They were convinced of the 
duplicity and cruelty of their Spanisli leaders, and Morillo was 
again reduced to depend upon his own means and exertions. 

We have seen how colonel Montilla was obliged to embark 
in consequence of the dissatisfaction of the foreign troops, 
arising from want of pay and subsistence, and from the general 
ill treatment they received. Montilla's hatred against foreign- 
ers, seems to have been greatest against Irishmen. More tlian 
500 left the service, and went to Kingston in Jamaica, where 
the worthy inhabitants rivalled each other in relieving tlie suf- 
ferers, who came among them in a most destitute condition. 
More than a third part of them died in the hospital, in conse- 
quence of fatigues and deprivations, wliich they suffered in the 
service of the patriots. 

This expedition, directed against Santa Martha and Cartha- 
gena, to open a free communication with Bogota, and to get 
command of the river Magdalena, greatly weakened the force 
directed against Caracas and the Spaniards, who had again 
united many troops in tlie centre of New Grenada. It ended 
witli the burning of Kio Hacha, and cost 700 men and a great 
deal of money. 

On the 10th of June, the Colombian squadron, under admi- 
ral Brion, with the remainder of the troops, was near Santa 
Martha. After firing upon the batteries of this fortress, it sail- 
ed towards Savanilla, a small seaport in the neighborhood of 
Santa Martha, consisting of about a dozen huts. The redoubt 
of three pieces of artillery, was immediately taken possession 
of, the Spanish garrison haWng lied with' ut attempting any re- 
sistance. The Colombians landed tlieir few remaining troops, 


expectiDg a large rebforcement, which had been amotmced 
to be coming from the river Magdalena. Colonel MootiUa di- 
rected his march towards Baranquilla, Soledad and St. Stan- 
islaus, where the C!olombians were received with acclamations. 
Many of the inhabitants came to join the troops, and lent their 
aid to put Montilla in condition to besiege Santa Martha,' as 
soon as the Margariu troops should arrive. But he had neith- 
er besieging artillery, nor other materials & for besieging the 
two strongest places in New Grenada. 

Admiral Brion published a proclamation, directed Co the in* 
habitants of Carthagena, in wliich he exhorted them to rise 
against their oppressors, and join the C!olombians. This had 
the desired effect. It roused the spirit of the inhabitants, and 
many hundreds came, and placed themselves under the patri- 
otic banners. 

The conquest of Carthagena was feasible and easy ; ioas- 
much as the inhabitants, harrassed by great and constant vexa- 
tions, had become disgusted with their Spanisli leaders. The 
Spanish authorities disagreed among themselves; some deshred 
an absolute king ; others, the majority, were in favor of the 
constitution. The viceroy, Semano, who had taken shelter 
wittun the walls of Carthagena, and the brigadier general Cano, 
were both arrested, by order of the other Spanish authorities, 
for having opposed the proclamation of tlie Spanish constitu- 
tion. They were dismissed from their places, and others, af- 
terwards, elected in their stead. 

The situation of Santa Martha was like that of Carthagena. 
In these fortresses, as in all the places in the power of the Span- 
iards, there existed three distinct parties among tlie inhabitants 
and tJie Spanish administration ; the friends of independency, 
those of the Spanish constitution of 1812, and the friends of 
the ancient absolute jiower of ilie king. The Spanish brigadier, 
Vicente Sanchez de Lima, who, witli 2700 men, was thrice 
beaten by Montilla and his 800 ; having retired to Santa Mar- 
tha, put himself at the head of the friends of the Spanish 
constitution, and introduced it, in spite of tlie opposition of 
governor Pouas. The anarchical state of the provinces of Car- 
thagena and Santa Martha, gready favored die enterprise of 
Brion and Montilla. 

But, such was the peculiar character of this war, that in the 
whole extent of Colombia, notwithstanding their increased 
moral and physical strength, no decisive operation, nothing of 


important consequence, took place. The incapacity of the su- 
preme chief become, if possible, more apparent. 

Morillo's situation was also precarious and critical. Tlie 
revolution in Spain rendered any efticient reinforcement from 
the mother country, impossible. He was aware that the new 
assembly of the Cortes like those in 181 1, would never consent to 
recognise the republic of Colombia ; and would persist in the 
obstinacy peculiar to the Spanish character. Such recogni- 
zance was demanded by reason, policy and justice. It would 
have put an end to bloodshed and misery. It would have 
given vast advantages to Spain. The miseries of a destructive 
and protracted war, could have been obliterated by a treaty 
of defence and alliance between Colombia and Spain ; and by 
opening a free and profitable commercial intercourse between 
two countries so long and so closely connected. In the gov- 
ernment of tlie colonies, by the King and Cortes of Spain, nei- 
ther liberality nor generous principles existed. 

The total want of money and provisions in the Spanish ar- 
my on the Main ; long and continual marches, and the discour- 
agement of the soldiers, who as well as their officers, could judge 
of their precarious situation, greatly weakened the Spanish for- 
ces. To these were added sickness and frequent desertions. 

Still the Spanish chiefs flattered themse'ves that tlie people 
of Colombia would eventually receive the Spanish constitution, 
and return to their former obedience to the Spanish authorities ; 
whilst the patriots were engaged at the congress, in active and 
zealous efforts, for the discussion and adoption of their own 
constitution by that assembly. On this subject, the following 
letter is worth. attention. It was written by a Spanish chieftain 
to one of his friends at St. Thomas' : 

" Letters from Caracas, Laguira, Cumana, confirm the news 
that two commissaries of the congress at Guayana, Messrs. 
Roscio and Alzura, have presented themselves before the com- 
mander of one of the royal divisions, Arana, asking leave to 
pass to the head quarters (of Morillo) to present a despatch to 
the general-in-chief, which is presumed to contain a proposal 
of this congress to submit to the Spanish government in case of 
the taking of the oath to the Spanish constitution at Caracas. 
This was not done until the 8th June. Commandant Arana 
had refused to let them pass on, but settt the dispatch to gene- 
ral Morillo. 

The patriots are probably anxious to submit and to swear to 
our constitution, by following tlie example of Spain ; to make a 

363 MEM01B8 or BOLITAB. 

virtue of necessity^ which psrhaps, later, it might not be in their 
power lo do." ^liis is a specimen of Spanish vanity and pre- 
sumption. The following facts which ought to be better known, 
explain tlie expressions of tlic writer. 

General Morillo, sensible of his critical situation bad secretly 
sent an agent to general Bolivar to acquaint him with the change 
of government in Spain, and, adrohly, to sound his views and 
designs witli regard to it. In consequence of this private com- 
munication Dr. lloscio and Alzura were sent witli a letter to 
Morillo, witli proper instructions to negociate a treaty of peace. 
But the letter contained not a word relative to submission, nor 
to the acknowledgement of the Spanish constitution. General 
Bolivar, in tiiis letter to general Morillo, grounded his proposi- 
tion contained in it, upon his desire to avoid the further use- 
less effusion of blood, hoping tliat, witli the change of govern- 
ment, the minds of the Spanish leaders might change also. This 
blundering step of Bolivar, produced consequences most mis- 
chievous to Colombia. It was the means of gaining time by 
her enemies, to carry on the war four years longer ; and to tbe 
destruction of at least 20,000 lives. If Etolivar had presump- 
tuously refused to negociate with his faithless and obsunate en- 
emy, and had attacked him with hb powerful forces, u the po- 
sition Morillo then occupied, there can be no doubt but that 
the territory might have been forever cleared of its Spanish 

The first false step of Bolivar was duly appreciated by 
Morillo, and his private council. U|)on the reception of Boli- 
var's letter, he sent two commissioners, brigadier general 
Thomas de Circs, and the adjutant general Jose Domingues 
Diiartc, to Angostura. In June they left Caracas for Laguira, 
whence they emburkcd for the Orinoco, for tlie purpose of 
proposing to the congress !it Angostura tiieir acceptance of the 
Spanish constitution. And, they oiTercd .to general Boli^-ar 
die station and rank of a captain-general, and to the other 
chieftains their rcs))cctive ofTices and rank. But, soon after 
tlie departure of these commissioners, Morillo learned that gen- 
eral Ikilivar was not at Angostura, but in his head quarters at 
Montecal, nor far from him. He, therefore, sent two other 
commissioners, Don Francisco Linaus, and Don Carlos Marha- 
do, with a copy of his K'ttor and proposals. 

Gi'nernl Morillo's Ions: letter was directed to the congress, 
not of Colombia, but of Guavnna. He gives himself the title 
of Pacificator, and speaks ol liberal principals, in virtue of 


which he is autliorised by the king, to dcffuse the blessings of 
peace and reconciliation among a people born Spaniards, &x>. 


At tlie end of this letter, which is dated June 17th 1820, he 
says, " the deputies would submit to the congress the basis of 
this reconciliation. 

The two deputies of Morillo then proposed an Armistice of 
one month ; for general Bolivar the rank of a Spanish captain- 
general, and the conservation of their offices and rank to all the 
rest. The Armistice was granted, notwithstanding that the let- 
ter of Morillo proposed only, that the congress of Colombia 
should acknowledge the Spanish constitution and submit to the 
Spanish government ! 

The congress answered, " Sir, the sovereign Congress extra- 
ordinarily convened to discuss the despatch uf your excellency 
under date of June 17th at your head quarters at Caracas, stat- 
ing that brigadier Don Thomas de Cires and Don Domingo 
Durate have been named to come to this capital in order to soli- 
cit the imion of these countries with the constitutional monar- 
chy of Spain, and that these gentlemen will explain the princi- 
ples of the reconcihation proposed by the nation, resolved, the 
llth of this month, in public session, that the following decree 
should be transmitted by me to your excellency in answer. 
*' The sovereign congress of Colombia desirous to re-establish 
peace, will readily hear all propositions made by tlie Spanish 
government, under the condition that the basis of this peace be 
the recognition of the sovereignty and the independence of 
Colombia. No other shall ever be admitted, which would in 
any way deviate from this basis so many times proclaimed by 
the government and the people of the republic. The presi- 
<ieot has the honor to be he. 

President of the Congress. 

Felipe Delapaine, Secretary. 
At the palace of congiess at New Guayana, > 
July 13th 1820, year lOdi. 5 

Besides these letters written to the congress and to general 
Bolivar, Morillo ordered that the different generals, governors, 
and other Spanish commanders throughout tlie territories of 
New Grenada and Venezuela, should direct letters of tlie same 
kind to the different chieftains of Colombia. 

In this manner a general correspondence was established on 
the whole line, but as the subject of it was the recognition of 

264 MEXonts of bouyam^ 

the Spanish constitution of these Cortes, and their king, with- 
out a word of the republic of Colombia, all discerning men, saw 
that the object of it was to amuse the Colombians, and contin- 
ue the Armistice, whilst 3Iorillo could reinforce himself and 
prepare for a new campaign. The Colombians lost, by it, that 
opportunity of expelling tlieir enemies. 

It is proper to state here, that Morillo acted by the express 
order of the king ; and that he was encouraged, by the advice 
of various Spaniards, living on the Main, who flattered them- 
selves with the hope that the congress, and the chieftains of 
Colombia, tempted by the offer of retaining their rank and titles, 
would gladly accede to their offers. Morillo and his advisers 
were, therefore, surprised and mortified by the answer of con- 
gress ; his advisers particularly ; for his principal object was to 
gain time, and prepare for a new exertion. None of the Span- 
iards, from the king down to the lowest subject, ever, for a 
moment, contemplated acknowledging the republic. 

On the expiration of a month, the Armistice ceased, and the 
war raged with new fury on the part of the Spaniards, who had 
employed the time in gaining strength, and who were exasper- 
ated by the failure of their attempts to procure the acknowl- 
edgement of the Spanish constitution. The Spaniards on the 
Main, supported Morillo with redoubled exertions and zeal. 
The constitutional government excited a national spirit, and 
produced union. The king alone had formerly been the ob- 
ject of every exertion ; by the constitution, every exertion was 
directed, or at least intended to be so, to the benefit of the 
whole Spanish nation. 

Before the negotiations, general Urdaneta having routed 
general Miguel La Torre, marched against the fortified place 
of Maracaybo, and besieged it. The Colombian colonel Cor- 
dova, came from the province of Antiochia, with 600 men, de- 
scended the river Magdalena, and, on tlie 24th of June, took 
the city of Mompox without resistance. He then directed his 
march towards Teneriffa, where he encountered 400 men and 
11 armed gun boats, all which he attacked and beat. The 
gun boats remained in his power. He joined admiral Brion 
and colonel Montilla, at Savanilla, in tlie beginning of July. 
Brion detached vwo of the armed vessels, to go before Cartha- 
gena, and two others against Santa Martha. The patriot 
colonel Lara was in the environs of that fortress with about 2000 
men, whom he had recruited in the province. His communi- 
cation was open with Montilla. 


In June general Holivar with 3000 men, was at Cucuta. 
He advanced to Cuenca, and opened a communication with 

The Gth June Valdes routed tlie Spanish colonel Lopez, in 
the province of Popayan, and its iiihabitants again declared in 
favor of Colombia. 

By the conquest of AFonipox, and the destruction of tlie 
Spanish gun boats, by colonel Cordova, the river Magdalena 
was entirely in iX)ssL'Ssion of the patriots, and the connnunica- 
tion between Haranca, Suvanilla and Baranquilla, as far as Bo- 
gota, were again opc*n to the Colombians ; which greatly facili- 
tated these o|>erations against Santa Martha and Carthagena. 

Colonel ^Iontilla established his head quarters at Baranquil- 
la, three miles from Savanilla, where Brion remained with his 
squadron to assist his further operations. At the former place 
600 volunteers presented themselves, armed and organized. 
This reinforcement put him in condition to direct his march 
against Carthagena, which is about 30 leagiios from Baranquil- 
la. In his march, he was every where received with enthusi- 
asm, and assisted with every tbing. The tyranny and cruelty 
of the Spaniards was so great, that besides many other recruits, 
Montilla was joined by some hundred young men on horse- 
back, who had mounted and equiped themselves at their own 
expense. The ladies joined in the general enthusiasm, and I 
have been well informed that hundreds of them followed the 
troops, in different parts of these marches, on foot, carrying a 
musket for one, handing food to another, to a third water, taking 
the greatest care of the sick ; and animating the soldiers by 
their spirited behaviour, cheerfulness and vivacity. 

As soon as the Spanish governor at Carthagena was inform- 
ed of Montilla's march, he sent to reconnoitre the patriots, a 
detachment of three hundred and thirty men, which was attack- 
ed at Pueblo Nuevo and completely routed. Twenty officers 
and some privates were taken ; the remainder gained Cartha- 
gena, which was destitute of provisions, and, as I have said 
before, divided into factions. Some persons were arrested 
every day, and public feeling was strongly in favor of Co- 

A false rumor which the secret friends of independence in 
Carthagena had spread throughout tlie city, that general Boli- 
var was coming with 12,000 men, so terrified the Spaniards, 
that the ex-viceroy, who continued to reside there, asked as a 

favor, that he might be permitted to embark ; which was grant- 


ed him ; and he left the place togetlier with some monks and 
priests, foreseeing that Carthagena would fall into the power 
of the Colombians. 

During tlie stay of colonel Montilla at Baranquilla, he receiv- 
ed various despatches from the Spanish chieftains ; who, by 
the express order of their general-in-chief Morillo,.made him 
proposals, similar to those they had made to general Bolivar, 
and to the congress of Colombia. Among them was a letter of 
brigadier Don Vicente Manches de Lima' who had been three 
times routed by Montilla and was despised, by his own party, 
for his cowardice. 

Having taken shelter whhin the walls of Santa Martha, he 
published a proclamation full of abuse and insult, against the 
Colombians. He said in it, that Brion and Montilla were rob- 
bers and plunderers, that they had set fire to the village of 
Rio Haclia, kjc. This man, notwitlistanding the cowardly as- 
sertions he had thrown upon the characters of tliese two distin- 
guished chicftains,.had now the impudence to \«Tite (21st July) 
to colonel Montilla, proposing to him to unite v^ith the Span- 
iards and fight witli liim, against the enemies of the king and of 
the Spanish nation. To this Montilla answered, '* I have al- 
readv answered to their Ex. Don Pablo Morillo and Don Pe- 
dro Rien de Porras, who made me the same proposals as you 
have done, in their official letter of the 21st ot tljis month. I 
stated to them that, without considering what the supreme 
government might determine, I would not, for my own part, 
consent to suspend hostilities ; nor enter into any kind of treaty 
which should not in clear and iwsitive terms recognize the in- 
dependence of South America; and that all otlier treaties 
should be rounded upon this basis. 1 repeat the same to you, 
adding that to the education and delicacy of a gentleman, the 
proposal to desert my colors, and become a traitor to my oath 
and my country, is most revolting. I send you enclosed, a 
copy of your proclamation, with such notes and remarks as I 
thought proper to make upon it. Permit me to add,, that he 
who continues an unjust war, who deceives the people, to con- 
ceal bis own weakness, his indolence, his cowardice and his 
numerous defeats, can be no other than a bad soldier, and a 
worse gentleman. 

God and Liberty ! Head quarters at Baranquilla 28th July 

I request the reader to compare this answer with that made 
by the President Liberator to general I-a Torre, dated Chris- 


toval 7th July 1 820, and to judge between them. Mariano 
Montilla is far superior to Simon Bolivar, in patriotism, firmness 
of character, personal bravery, and military skill ; and, this is 
acknowledged by all who know them. 

General Bolivar wrote to Miguel La Torre the following 
letter. " I accept with the greatest satisfaction, for the army 
here, the armistice for the space of one month dating from yes- 
terday, proposed by your exceUency as commander in chief 
of the Spanish army. I am sorry that the commissaries of the 
Spanish government have been obliged to make such a long 
and circuitous route, Stc. kc. 

(Signed) S. BOLIVAR." 

The ingratitude of general Bolivar, as well as his gross igno- 
rance of civil administration, are apparent from his treatment of 
his constant friend and benefactor, admiral Brion. 

When Brion arrived at the seaport of Savanilla, he by a 
proclamation to the foreign powers friendly to Colombia, and 
particularly to those who were friendly to her commercial citi- 
zens, reduced the duties of the custom house from 33 to 25 
per cent. This he did for the purpose of inducing such for- 
eigners to enter there, and establish a commercial intercourse 
with the Colombians. The measure was politic and wise ; 
and met the hearty approbation of every enlightened friend of 
the cause. 

As soon as general Bolivar arrived at Savanilla, and heard of 
the proclamation, he was highly displeased, and fell into a vio- 
lent passion. When admiral Brion attempted to explain his 
motives, and show the great advantage resulting from the 
change, Bolivar refused to hear him, and immediately order- 
ed a military publication, called a bando^ proclaiming by the 
sound of drums, that from that day, the duties should be es- 
tablished upon the ancient footing of 33 per cent. The con- 
sequences of this act were, that he wounded the 'feelings, an'd 
compromised the authority of admiral Brion, (who very sensi- 
bly lelt this public affront,) and caused the suffering and death 
of hundreds of his own people; for these high duties kept out 
vessels, and cut off necessary supplies from the squadron, and 
from the land troops. Misery and want, united with the sul- 
try climate, produced fevers, and other maladies, to which 
many hundreds fell victims. 

General Bolivar went further. He imposed such heavy 
taxes upon the inhabitants of Baranquilla, Soledad, St. Stanis- 
laus ,Baranca, 8cc., who received Montilla with enthusiasm, that 

S68 MSMoims OF BOLnrAB. 

be excited among them general dissatisfaction^ by depriving 
them of aU hope of reimbursement. All tbis was done after 
Montilla bad gone from Baranquilla to Turbacco, wbitber Bo- 
livar came and staid two days. It is his habit to wander from 
one place to another, giving laws, and publishing proclama- 
tions and decrees, altering the existing state of things, general- 
ly for the worse, as at Savanilla. A hasty glance, a report of 
one of bis surrounding flatterers, even a sarcastic reflection, 
have sufficed to change every thing, during his stay of twenty 
four, and sometimes not over twelve hours. He acted thus at 
Baranquilla, Soledad, and St. Stanislaus, tlie inhabitants of 
all which places had made every exertion in favor of Montilla's 
troops as they passed. Montilla had tlie good sense to treat 
them politely, to exact nothing beyond their means, and to de- 
pend on tlieir voluntary kindness. The President Liberator, 
under the pretext of loans, forced them to their utmost eflbrts. 
They of course bore him no good will. 

Montilla, reiving upon die factious state of the interior of the 
Carthagenan iortresses, and those ofSanta Martha, sent colonel 
Lara, with SOO of his corps, against the latter place, while be 
himself marched with the rest to Turbacco, where he waited lor 
reinforcements. This place is four leagues from Carthagena. 

Here Montilla received from general Bolivar various des- 
patches for the governor of Carthagena, brigadier general Ga- 
briel de Torres, again treating of a new arrangement and of 
peace. The officers hearing the proposals were well received, 
but the oflers of Ifelivar were rejected. Letters were several 
times exchanged between Torres and Jlonlilla, to no purpose. 
Bolivar went to Turbacco in Auijusi 1 8J0, and renewed the ne- 
gotiations, but having no success, he departed after a stay of 
two days. 

On ilie 1st of September, the Spanish governor of Cartha- 
gena sent COO men against colonel Montilla, at Turbacco. His 
troops were surpri.sed in the night of the 2d and 3d, and rout- 
ed. Cannon, bai^nrnfre, ammunition, kc. fell into die hands of 
the Spaniards. But among tlie routed troops of Montilla, were 
some fifty Irishmen, who rallied, formed tiiemselves, and rush- 
ed with such vigor ujk)!! the GOO Spaniards, that they killed a 
considerable number, and forced the remainder to retire, leaving 
their new acquisitions in the hands of these heroic Irislmien. 

Carthagena was su))[)licd with fresh provisions, and, among 
other diings, widi GOO barrels of fiour, by the Spanish corvette, 
Ceres ; and was thus enabled to hold out for some time longer. 


Colonel Lara had 800 men, chiefly natives, commanded by 
European oflicers. He directed his march towards the Cinega, 
whither admiral Brion had sent colonel Padilla with forty gun- 
boats, in support of the movements of Lara, who expected re- 
inforcements from the interior of New Grenada. 

Montilla, finding that he conld effect nothing against Cartha- 
gena by remaining at Turbacco, left there a small corps of ob- 
servation, and came in October, with the rest of his troops, to 
join Lara, who was encamped on the borders of the river Cin- 
ega. He had reinforced himself considerably on his march, 
and admiral Brion had sent him all the troops he could spare, 
so that when Montilla again took tlie command, he was at the 
head of about 2500 men. 

Admiral Brion sailed from Savanilla the 19th of October 
with eleven armed vessels, to blockade Santa Martha, whilst 
Montilla and Lara approached it by land. 

Montilla passed the Cienega, attacked Sanchez de Lima, 
and easily routed him, on the 6th of November, at a place call- 
ed Fundation. The action was decided in half an hour. 
Governor Lima was one of the first who fled. He escaped by 
the road to Upar, leaving in the hands of his enemy, his ar- 
tillery, baggage, and 500 of his men. When the governor, 
general Porras, heard of this defeat, he thought no longer of 
defending Santa Martha with his remaining 1500 men, but em- 
barked in great haste, in the niglit of the 8th of November, on 
board of the French schooner Frelon, with all his baggage, and 
came to shelter himself in the stronger fortress of Carthagena. 

After this engagement, colonel Montilla met with little re- 
sistance, and, being vigorously supported by the squadron of 
admiral Brion, he entered Santa Martha on the 11 th of No- 
vember, having lost only a few men. They found large maga- 
zines and warlike stores in the place. 

The occupation of this important fortress was attributed prin- 
cipally to the exertions and activity of admiral Brion, and the 
bravery of colonel Padilla, who commanded the gunboats. 
The latter is the colored man of that name who afterwards 
took the four forts of Boca Chica, (the strong hold of Cartha- 
;ena,) Maracaybo, and, in 1814, Porto Cabello. He is now 
1828) arrested, and in prison at Cartliagena. 

The taking of Santa Martha, which protected the mouth ol 
the large river Magdalena, made the Colombians masters of 
this river, up as far as Honda, and of the road thence by land, 
as far as Bogota, and of all the provinces ofthe interior of New 


Grenada. After this, the fall of Carthagena could not much 
longer be prevented. 

While this was passing at Santa Martha, general Bolivar 
started from Turbacco, up the river Magdalena, to tlie province 
Popayan, and joined generals Sanander and Valdes, who had 
collected a force of from 6 to 7000 men. As long as these 
two generals acted without Bolivar, they were almost constant- 
ly victorious. This is attributed partly to their knowing the 
ground better than their general-in-chief, but principally to their 
being at liberty to act freely and promptly, as circumstances 
required. They had several thousand more men than were 
necessary to drive general Calzada out of that province and 
from the territor}- of New Grenada. General Bolivar^s arrival 
disturbed all. He would follow his own notions in every thing, 
and spurned at all advice. He took command of these supe- 
rior forces, and was beaten in dilTerent actions, and was forced 
to retreat with only 2000 of these troops. He had indeed a 
numerous retinue of emigrants, amounting to above 4000 per- 
sons of both sexes, who fled with him towards the plains of 
Apure in Venezuela. On his arrival there, he complained 
much of the apathy of the Grenadans. His complaints had no 
other foundation hut his hatred, as a Caraguin, against the good 

Eeople of Grenada, whose hatred he had drawn upon himself 
y his forced taxes, levied witliout regard to order or justice. 
The product of these, too, was notoriously squandered upon his 
flatterers and favorites, so that little or nothing remained for the 
pay or support of the army. So discoura:;ed were the troops, 
that Calzada routed ihnin in four several actions : the conse- 
quence of which was the evacuation, by Bolivar's troops, of 
New Grenada. 

The royalJMs not only gained more provinces, but the pub- 
lic oi)inion firncd in their favor, insomuch that guerillas were 
formed, under the command of colonel Santipana, to intercept 
a great quantity of arms, ammunition, provisions, &:c., destined 
for the indepcndetit army ; many of whom too, wore taken 
prisoners. These successes of ^lorillo were consequences of 
Bolivar's entering into nesotiations with his enemies, witliout 
having first laid a foundation for these nei^otiations. 

Meanwhilr general Morillo was not inactive. He came from 
Valencia to Caracas, and raised a new levy of 3000 men, and 
received 100,000 dollars in cash, besides what was delivered 
him, in provisions, uniforms and equipments, to enable him to 


coniiniie the war efficiently. The captain-general of the island 
of Cuba, Cagigal, promised him a similar sum every month. 

General Bolivar, after having made his tour from Savaniila to 
Baranquilla, Soledad, St. Stanislaus and Turbacco, came back 
to San Fernando de Apure ; whence he passed to the province 
of Popayan. General Morillo perceiving that the Colombians 
made no movements, ordered general de La Torre, who com- 
manded the Spanish forces in New Grenada, to march from 
Tunja upon Truxillo, uniting all his disposable forces, to join 
him, for the purpose of attacking general Bolivar. Morillo be- 
ing too weak to attack the Colombians alone, waited the ar- 
rival of de La Torre ; and, meanwhile, on two separate occa- 
sions, gained some trifling advantages over the patriots. In 
spite of the great superiority of the Colombians, in point of num- 
bers, and in regard to public opinion, which was generally in 
favor of independence, and which every where powerfully sup- 
ported them, they dared not to attempt any diing decisive ; 
all remained in this state of suspense. 

Suddenly every one was astonished with news that two ofli- 
cers had arrived at the head quarters of general Morillo, sent 
by general Bolivar, to treat again of peace and friendship. 
This occasioned the more surprise, as the latter had published 
the following proclamation, dated General Head-quarters, at 
Carache, October 14th, 1820. 

" Simon Bolivar, President Liberator, kc. kc. Two pro- 
vinces more have entered into the bosom of the republic. The 
forces of the Liberator have advanced, amidst the blessings of 
die people restored to liberty. Caracas will soon be witness 
to a great act of justice. Our enemies will return to their 
country, and ours will be rendered up to its children. Peace 
or victory will give us the remainder of the provinces of Co- 
lombia. They have offered us peace and a constitution. We 
will reply peace and independence, because this independence 
alone can assure us the friendship of the Spaniards, and to tlie 
people their free will and their sacred rights. Can we accept 
a code from our enemies, and disgrace tlie laws of our country? 
Can we violate the rights of nature, by crossing the ocean, in 
order to unite two countries so distant from each other ? Could 
we confound our interests with those of a nation which had al- 
ways been the instrument of our torments? No, Colombians ! 
No one has to fear the liberating army, which approaches with 
the sole intention to break your chains. She has upon her 
standards the colors of Iris, and desires not to sully the glory 


of her arms by the efiiision of human blood. By order of the 
President Liberator. 


Provisional Seerttary of War J* 

Moreover the province of Cuenca had, sometime before, de- 
clared her independence, and had elected a patriotic Junta. 
In consequence of the expedition sent by the Junta of Guaya- 
quil against Quito, four departments of that province, had alao 
voluntarily submitted to the republican army. The province of 
Rio Hacha had done the same, so that, at that time, 15 pro- 
vinces of New Grenada, out of 22, had already joined the gov- 
ernment of Colombia ; and tlie Spaniards had no more than 
the fortress of Carthagena, and the istlnnus of Panama. 

In Venezuela six provinces out of eight obeyed the laws of 

Such was the situation of this republic, leaving out of consid- 
eration, the numerous armies, die public spirit, the supplies 
from every quarter of Europe, the foreign troops full of zeal lo 
disUnguish themselves, when Bolivar suddenly renewed nego- 
tiations with the Spanish commander-in-chief. In his letter to 
Morillo, he made overtures to him, to terminate tlie South 
American troubles in an amicable way, and invited him to 
send, the 23d of tlie same month, deputies to his head quar- 
ters, with whom he might have a full understanding, and who 
might labor with him at diis great work. 

General Morillo, surprised at r eceiving such a proposal in a 
moment so critical to him, was anxious to accept it, and wrote 
immediately lo Bolivar to that effect. He could not think 
that the proposal had been without some occult motive ; and 
therefore gave strict orders to his subalterns commanding the 
troops, to redouble their activity and vigilance. He soon af- 
terwards moved his head quarters from Valencia to Calabozo, 
tliat he niiglit be nearer to the President Liberator. 

As general IJolivar had offered and required hostages for 
the security of reciprocal good faith ; INIorillo dcsi£:nated Don 
Carrea the civil governor of Caracas, Don Juan Toro alcalde, 
of the same place, and Don Francisco Linares. They left the 
city of Caracas, for Punto Pedregal, where they were to remain 
as hostages during the conferences between Morillo and Bolivar. 

Meanwhile the Colombians moved towards Caracas, and 
took possession of die cities of Truxillo and .Merida, and of Ca- 
rora, a small village, diree days march from Coro. 


November 5th, two officers arrived at the advanced posts of 
the royalists, encainped at Humaraco, not far from the advanced 
posts of general Bohvar. These deputies were the colonels 
Sune and Ambrosco Plazo, who were the bearers of proposals 
of peace and friendship, from the President Liberator. They 
were immediately conducted to the head quarters of general 
Morillo, at Carache, who received them very civilly, and in- 
vited them to spend the day with him. Bolivar had, among 
o^er things, demanded of general Morillo, to send commissa- 
ries to him, at his head quarters. The Spanish commander 
complied with this demand by sending the two Colonibian 
colonels, with the greatest politeness, back to their general. 
But Bolivar, impatient that no commissaries came to him from 
Morillo, sent to the Spanish general new deputies, who arrived 
November 16th, and who anxiously demanded the departure 
of the Spanish commissaries, already named by Morillo. These 
were Don Ramon Couca, Juan Rodriguez del Toro and Fran- 
cisco Gronzales de Linares, who received orders to hasten their 
departure from*Barquisimeto, where they were on the 17th. 

When they arrived at Truxillo, the head quarters of general 
Bolivar, they were received as if they had been conquerers. 
Two treaties were here made with great despatch. One of 
them was an armistice between the two contending parties, 
which bore tlie title of ^^ Armistice between the Spanish and 
patriot armies" It began with the following introduction : 
'* The governments of Spain and Colombia, anxious to finish 
the discords existing between the two parties, and considering 
that the first and most important step to attain this end is a sus- 
pension of hostilities, in order to explain and understand each 
other, have agreed mutuaUy to name commissaries to stipulate , 
and to determine upon an armistice. To this end his excel- 
lency," &c. (here follow the names of the commissaries,) after 
having exchanged their respective powers, dated 22d of the 
present month, (November,) and after having exhibited their 
proposals and the explanations, offered by both parties, have 
agreed, and do agree upon a treaty of armistice, under the 
specified clauses in the following articles : 

Article L Between the two armies, Spanish and Colombian, 
hostilities of every description shall cease from the moment that 
the ratification oi the present treaty shall be published. War 
shall cease ; no hostile act shall be committed between tliem 
during the whole time of the duration of tliis armistice. 

Art. 2. The time of this suspension shall last during six months, 


dating from the day of its ratification ; but as tte prindpal and 
fundaiuental basis of this treaty are the good frith and the sin- 
cere wishes with which both parties are animaied to end the 
war, a prorogation of the term now fixed, may take place for 
80 mucli more time as may be necessary, if tbb term shall have 
expired before the conclusion of the negotiations, which shall 
be commenced ; in case, moreover, of there being a hope of 
brineiog them to a conclusion. 

Ihe treaty consists of 14 articles, in none of which is any 
mention made of recognizing the republic of Cokmbia, or of 
its independence. It was ratified by Bolivar at Truxillo the 
35ih, and by Morillo at Caracbe the 26th of November, 1820. 

The second ureaty made and signed by the same persons at 
Truxillo, November 26di, stipulated to regulate this war upon 
a more humane footing, and in conformity with the rules of war 
among tlie civilized nations of Europe, that prisoners should 
not be put to death, but exchanged, and receive more humane 
treatment, the dead should be buried, kc. kc. These trea- 
ties do honor to the humane feelings of both parties. 

After all was done, the two generals, Bolivar and MoriDo, 
met together, and spent some time in rejoicings and festivals. 
The details of their meetings have been published in many 
newspapers, and are not worth repeating here. 

Tliis measure of Bolivar excited the astonishment of all the 
more enlightened Colombians. They openly declared, that be 
had no right to solicit an armistice wiih an enemy greatly infe- 
rior in force and in resources ; and especially, as he had, a few 
months before, formally declared against any treaty, which sliould 
not expressly admit the independence of the republic. They 
asked among themselves, *Svhat reason could he have for not ex- 
plaining himself upon a matter so interesting to himself, and to 
tlie republic whose representative lie was ? How could he trans- 
gress the resolution of congiess, who, in their letter to Morillo, 
bad declared that no treaty should be made with Spain, before 
the Spanish government acknowledged the independence of 
the Colombian Republic ?'' Some said diat general Bolivar 
had acted here, as he had done every where else, rashly Pud 
precipitately, without consuhing congress, or advising with any 
man. Others finally said, he should have better known the ob- 
stinacy of the Spanish character, and the duplicity of king Fer- 
dinand, than to flatter himself with a foolish hope, that such a 
man would have been able to acknowledge the independence 
of Colombia, as bng as there existed the least hope to subject 


them by the force of arms. The present Spanish squadron 
united under admiral Laborde, in the harbor of Havana, ready 
to attack either Mexico or Colombia, is the best proof of my 

Tiie fact is, that general Bolivar, by acting with this rash- 
ness, brought upon his countrymen new scences of bloodshed 
and war, as will appear from the following chapter. 


Renewal of hostilities — Manifest of General de La Torre — 
Battle of Carabobo — Conduct of La Torre and Morales — 
Bolivar at Caracas — Surrender of Carthngena, Maracayboy 
and Porto Cabello — Entire evacuation of the Main by the 
Spanish forces. 1 82 1-1 824. 

As soon as the amistice was signed, ratified and proclaimed, 
general Morillo hastened to leave his army, and to return to 
Spain, where a rich bride awaited him. He was glad to leave 
a country where he had lost much reputation by his ill admin- 
istration generally, and particularly by his tyranny, cruelty, and 
capricious duplicity, during his command on the Main. This 
(I know not what to call him,) after assuming the title of Paci- 
ficator of South America at Bogota in 1816, ordered some 
hundreds of the most wealthy and respectable inhabitants to be 
shot : In the island of Margarita, he destroyed and put to 
death, hanged and shot, not only men standing upon their de- 
fence, but women and children also ; at Papao, Cabellos, and 
Boca-Chica, where he suffered the criiel Morales to burn an 
hospital of lazorinos. His cruelties were notorious every 

General Morillo signed the armistice, the 26th November, 
and on the 17th of December, he embarked at Porto Cabello, 
for the Havana. He finished his course as he commenced it ; 
in violation of the right of brigadier-zeneral Morales, he named 
for his successor, brigadier-general Miguel de La Torre, who 
was both unskilful and cowardly ; who had lost many battles ; 
and the whole province of Guayana ; and was despised by his 

276 MXMOiBs or BOLiVAm. 

own officers ; whereas Morales, had advanced from a private, 
to become a vigilant, active, and brave commander. Though 
detestably cruel to his enemies, he has been more than once 
seen, while encamped in the midst of his soldiers, giving them 
his own shoes, blanket, even his coat to cover the sick, while 
he lay almost naked upon the ground. The appointment of 
La Torre created jealousy and schism between these two 
chieftains, and finished what Morillo left undone towards the 
destruction of the remaining Spanish army in Colombia. 

The same day that MoriUo left Porto Cabello, for the Ha- 
vana, a squadron of 2 frigates, 1 corvette &Z£. with 4 transports, 
arrived at Laguira from Cadiz ; bringing 6000 muskets, 7000 
uniforms he ; but no troops ; in their stead came 4 commissa- 
ries whom the king had sent to the Main, to pacify it.. They 
had received an express order to conclude a peace upon no 
other basis,* than that the seceders should previously recog- 
nize and obey the constitution of the Spanish Cortes of 1818. 

When these commissaries were informed of the armistice of 
26th of November, they were surprised, and openly expressed 
their dissatisfaction. They immediately spread a rumor that 
10,000 Spaniards were ready to embark from Spain, and that 
in case the commissaries should not be able to effect a pacifi- 
cation upon the terms above mentioned, these troops would im- 
mediately sail for the Main, and join the loyalist troops remain- 
ing there. This rumor made no impression upon the patriots, 
because they knew it to be a fiction. 

General Bolivar perceived at last, that in proposing the ar- 
mistice of the 2Glh of November, he had acted Injudiciously. 
But instead of retrieving; his faults as far as he could, by decla- 
ring that hostilities should re-commence in eight days, if the 
commissaries and La Torre should not send him a formal re- 
cognition of the republic of Colombia, he adopted a crooked 
course, unworthy the chief of such a country as Colombia. 
He subjected himself to the just censure even of La Torre, as 
will appear by the Spanish manifesto, made out in the manner 
of La Torre, who exposed Bolivar's conduct by publishing his 
oflicial letters. The two following documents show what was 
Bolivar's manner of acting : 

The first is a proclamation of general Bolivar to his army ; 
the second to the inhabitants of Colombia. 

*' Soldiers ! Peace should have been the recompense of the 
armistice which is about to expire. But Spain has seen with 
indifference, the painful sufferings which we have experienced 


on her account. The remainder of the Spanish government in 
Colombia, cannot measure their power with that of 25 provin- 
ces which you have delivered from slavery. Colombia ex- 
pects from you its entire emancipation she expects more ; she 
commands you imperiously, in the midst of your victory, to 
fulfil with vigor the duties of your sacred stniggle. I have al- 
ways relied upon your courage, your perseverance ; but from 
your discipline alone 1 expect to have tlie satisfaction of ac- 
quiring new glory which you are on the eve of obtaining. Sol- 
diers ! I hope you will have humanity and compassion even for 
your most bitter enemies. Be the mediators between 
the vanquished and your victoiious arms; and show your- 
selves as great in generosity as you are in bravery. 
Liberating head-quarters at Barinas April 17th 1821. 

(Signed) BOLIVAR." 

The second was as follows, and of the same date and sigua- 
ture : 

" Colombians ! the anxieties of our armies, our unheard of pri- 
vations ; the tears of the people almost expiring, force us again 
to take arms in order to obtain peace by expelling our invad- 
ers. This war, nevertheless, shall not be a war of death, not 
even of rigor ; it shall be a sanctified crusade. We shall fight 
to disarm, and not to exterminate our enemy. We shall strug- 
gle to obtain the crown of brilliant glory," fcc. he. 

If it was true that " the remainder of the Spanish govern- 
ment in America, could not measure its power with 25 free 
provinces," and that " Spain saw with indifference the suffer- 
ings endured by him and his army," why not put an end to 
these sufferings, and those of the countiy, while he had the 
means of doing it in his own hands ? That Colombia had 
" heard with joy the propositions for peace, made by Spain," 
was absolutely false ; she desired peace indeed, but she pre- 
ferred war to dependence, to every tiling but liberty and inde- 
pendence ; and this had been unequivocally expressed by the 
voice of the whole country. It is certain that Bolivar himself 
was the first who proposed an acmistice ; and it is certain that 
he did this at a time when, with his fai superior forces, he 
might easily have destroyed those of the Spaniards. 

Morillo and his king had simply proposed that Colombia 
should acknowledge the Spanish constitution, and to submit to 
her government. Their proposition was plain and unequivo- 
cal. How even Bolivar could propose, first an armistice of 

S78 mxoiBS OF boutab. 

one month, and then nx months, ^tboot elaiming, or eren 
mentioning the acknowledgment of iherepubliCy is an enigma. 
Such is the man who directs the destinies of two millions of 
his countrymen, whom he rule^ whh absolute power, and whom 
be makes daily more slavish and miserable. 

During the armistice, the congress was removed from An- 
gostura to the city Del Rosario de Cucuta, in the department 
of Bogota, and province of Pamplona, as being a more central 
position between Venezuela and New Grenada, there to re- 
main until the new city of Bolivar could be built. 

I will give here some extracts from the manifesto published 
at the expiration, in April, of the armistice, and dated. Head- 
quarters at Caracas, 1821, by brigadier general Miguel de La 
Torre, as general-in-chief oi the Spanish troops in Colombia, 
respecting the continuation of the war. 

For liis introduction, he says : " From the armistice con- 
cluded at Truxillo, and rati6ed by their excellencies, the court 
of Carthagena, and Don Simon bolivar, human prudence might 
have hoped that peace would have reigned again over the 
whole territory of the Main ; that the unjust passions would 
have given way to reason, justice, truth, and to the other vir- 
tues," be. 

*^ The principal motives which had served until now, as a 
pretext, to justify in tlie eyes of the world the troubles in these 
countries, had, fortunately, disappeared. It was no more the 
despot Ferdinand who occupied the throne of Spain, it was no 
more an arbitrary power that disposed of the welfare of the 
Spaniards ; no — it was Ferdinand the Constitutionalist, who 
had voluntarily resigned this odious power, and who bad res- 
tored to the law all its majesty and force. The Spanish mon- 
archy, already spread over the whole world, was no more an 
union of slaves ; the Spaniards were already free." 

" The hopes which my predecessor had conceived, so just- 
ly, to re-establish peace and tranquility, for so long a time lost, 
having vanished, he had nothing left him to do, but to prepare 
again for war, when he received an official despatch from hb 
excellency, the president, dated Cucuta 21st September, by 
which he invited him to new pacific proposals. During this, 
he, the president, accelerated his march under frivolous pre- 
tences, and absolutely contradictory to the proposed object." 

" My predecessor was nevertheless obliged to obey the or- 
ders of his majesty, to neglect no means to restore to this 
eoimtry its lost prosperity. In such a maimer were the con- 


ferences began at Tnixillo, not to treat there of peacef but to 
suspend hostilities, whilst the commissaries of his excellency 
the president, could have departed for the court of Madrid, to 
present their demands and pretentions before the supreme gov- 
ernment of the nation, which alone could decide de6nitely upon 
ttiem. His excellency the president was very well informed 
that my predecessor had no power to do it ; and it was upon 
this informaiion that the ratification of the armistice was ground- 
ed : the contents of this treaty alone -will sufficiently prove this 
fact" &c. 

In this latter assertion general La Torre was perfectly cor- 
rect. In the two documents signed at Truxillo, one may 
search in vain for a passage which would induce the reader to 
think that the republic had been acknowledged by Morillo or 
his commissaries. 

To cite the whole of La Torre's prolix and verlose letter, 
would be useless ; but he cites some letters and facts which are 
strongly against general Bolivar. He accuses him and gene- 
ral Urdaneta of having violated the armistice of January 28th 
in Maracaybo, of which the latter took possession the 8th April 
during the existing treaty, at the head of a strong division, and 
entrenched himself, notwithstanding that hostilities were not to 
commence before the 12th. Before this, Bolivar violated the 
treaty at Barinas, which, he reinforced with a battalion of 
troops. In this memoir were also cited some letters which 
speak strongly against Bolivar, and expose his duplicity. 

After having corresponded and lamented much, general 
Bolivar at last, on the 10th of March, noti6ed La Torre by 
letter, that hostilities' should recommence in conformity to the 
12th article of the treaty, at the expiration of thirty days. The 
war was renewed accordingly. 

After receiving this letter. La Torre left Caracas and went 
to Calabozo, in the beginning of April. He prepared for fight- 
ing, by giving out orders, that his officers, after his example, 
should be confessed and receive the sacraments and abso- 
lution. It is reported, by eye witnesses, that La Torre began 
alre^ady to manifest symptoms of the same fever which attack- 
ed him at the batde of San Felix in Guayana. 

Before La Torre's departure from Caracas, he published 
two proclamations, one directed to the army, the other to the 
few inhabitants remaining under his dominion. Both were 
dated Caracas 23d of March 1821. He made a great dis- 
play of words, without spirit or vigor. The productions wero 

880 «lIOI&8 or BOLITAB. 

characteristic of the man, resembfing more a CopiieftuMRie 
than an address of a commander-m-chief. 

A third proclamation was issued by general Ramon Correa 
T Guevara, captain-general nf Venezuela, the 28th of March, 
m which he told the inhabitants, ** that one sin^ sentiment 
should exist ; one single opinion ; one single cry — the consti- 
tution, the king, or death l^ But notwithstanding this diqihy 
of heroic sentiment, Mr. Correa himself preferred flight to 
death, and set the first example, by returing from Caracas, a£> 
ter having, in imitation of his commander La Torre, duly con- 
fessed himself Correa, while governor of Caracas, left the 
city secretly, in the night of the 14th of May, and Bermudes, 
the next evening, entered the capital, without having 6red a 
musket. He found the city abandoned by all the people of any 
note. They had retired towards Laguaira and Porto CabeDo, 
to live no more under the government of Bolivar. The great- 
est part of these inhabitants embarked for the West Indies and 
the United States of North America. 

The entry of Bermudes into Caracas resembled a funenL 
In the streets were found a mass of miserable wretches, some 
begging a cent for charity. Prostitutes mingled m the ranks 
of the soldiers, amidst the ringing of bells, and the . sound of 
cannon. Bermudes gave a ball, at which, not four ladies of 
distinction were found ; all the otheis were cok>red people or 
blacks. He ordered, under heavy penalties, a general iDumina* 
tion for three nights, gave dinners and festivals, and lived jo- 
vially, at the expense of the ruined inhabitants. Bermudes 
published an appeal to the inhabitants, inviting them to join his 
troops ; and, witli great pains, obtained about 300 blacks of the 
lowest class. Bermudes attempted to raise, by imposition, 
some money for tlie support of himself and his troops, but could 
not obtain so much as 6000 dollars. The rabble broke into 
some stores and plundered tliem, and were with difficulty re- 
strained by the troops. 

In May 1801, the forces of general Bolivar arootmted 
to 15,000 in Venezuela alone. Among these were more 
than 2000 European troops, wliilst La Torre, (by his own 
fault, as is said,) had not GOOO. Well informed persons have 
said, that he relied upon the deceitful promises of Boli\'ar, wlio 
flattered him with hopes of peace, (and this appears from La 
Torre's memoirs,) expecting that the negotiations would end 
in peace, he remained inactive, whilst Bolivar was reinforcing 
himself on all sides. In La Torre's memoirs are found fre« 


quent expressions of his good faith and his love of peace, and his 
unbounded devotion to peaceful mecuares^ (which no one doubt- 
ed who knew his military character.) The feelings of the 
Spanish troops towards their leader, are also to be considered. 
The majoiity of them were displeased at his being their com- 
mander. They said that he was a coward, and that he had 
done nothuig since the first breach of the armistice at Barinos, 
in December 1S20, though from that breach, it was plain that 
Bolivar did not incline to obsen'e the treaty of Truxillo. 

After the action of Carabobo, well informed men asserted, 
that the loss of the Spanish forces in Colombia, was entirely 
the fault of La Torre ; that instead of uniting all his forces in 
tlie little village, he contented himself with the first division, 
consisting of 2500 infantry and about 1500 cavalry, command- 
ed by himself and Morales, whilst Bolivar, who joined Paez at 
San Carlos, had about 6000 infantry, among whom were about 
1100 European troops, (called the British legion,) and 3000 
Llaneros on horseback. 

The village of Carabobo, celebrated for the famous battle 
fought there the 2Gth of June, is situated about half way be- 
tween San Carlos and Valencia, six leagues distant from the 
latter city. There the Spaniards had taken a strong position. 
This position was judiciously choson by Morales, who, in all 
military matters, was, beyond comparison, superior to his com- 
mander. The shape of the ground afforded great advantage, 
or rather a decisive superiority, over any assailant, for if an 
enemy forced a passage in front, they might retire to the next 
position, and so for several steps, disputing every inch of ground 
with advantage, while the assailants, fighting at disadvantage, 
must suffer considerable loss. It is a plain, interspersed with 
hills, of which, the greater part were covered with trees, and 
full of rocks, which defended them on every side. Thirty 
thousand men might manoeuvre on the plain with ease, having 
in front but one defile, and that, the only passage to Valencia. 
The Spaniards confident that their wings were well protect- 
ed, the left wing, moreover, resting upon a deep morass, post- 
ed themselves on the public road. Upon a hill opposite the 
defile, they placed two pieces of cannon and a squadron of 
cavalry on their right wing. In this portion they waited for 
the enemy during twenty days, confident of success whenever 
they should be attacked. 

Bolivar knowing that the welfare of tlie republic depended 
upon this battle, when he taw the enemy's position, wavered 

382 MEMOIRS or bolivar. 

whether to attack tliem or not. He assembled a council of 
war and again proposed an armistice. His subalterns unani- 
mously, and wid) disdain, rejected the proposal.. General 
Marino proposed to turn tlie position of the enemy ; but after 
having discussed and rejected various plans and proposals, the 
majority decided to risk every thing and attack the enemy in 
his strong hold. Against Bolivar's proposal to try another ar- 
mistice, Paez and Beniiudes spoke witli great warmth and in 
strong terms. 

On the 24th of June, die Colombians, about 8000 strong, 
came before the enemy. When Bolivar saw the passage so 
strongly guarded, he again hesitated to commence the attack. 
But Paez and Bermudes warmly insisted upon it. Whilst they 
were discussing the subject, there stood among Bolivar's reu- 
nue, one of his guides, who overheard the conversation. This 
man, who was perfectly acquainted with the country, came near 
the Liberator and told him, in a whisper, that he knew a foot 
path, through which the right wing of the Spaniards might be 
turned. Bolivar knew tlie man well, and after consulting with 
him a short time, secretly detached three battalions of his best 
troops, and a strong column of cavalry under die command of 
general Paez, to follow the guide. This pass was one of the 
most difficult in the country, particularly for the British legion, 
who made part of the column. They were obliged to go sing- 
ly, and their shoes were so cut to pieces by the sharp stones 
that their feet were wounded deeply. These brave men ac- 
tually tore their shirts and made bandages for their feet, to 
enable them to cjo on. They succeeded perfectly, being mask- 
ed by the ^o^e^l, but as soon as the enemy discovered them, he 
was oblic;ed, of course, to direct part of his forces against them. 

The roynl battalion (»f Hencos nearly complete, and consisi- 
ini; of Kuropean Spaniards, at first, intimidated the Colombian 
battalion callc d Ix)s Bravos dc Apurc, which fell back upon 
the British lee;ion. Kncouraged by this success, they advanced 
against tlio legion which they mistook for a Creolian corps, and 
directed a well aimed fire against it, which was well returned. 
Soon after the Spaniards cliarged with the bayonet, and dis- 
covered their mistake by being charged in their turn, with the 
bayonet, by the British legion. This charge was directed with 
such celerity and force, that the Spaniards began to be dis- 
eouragc'd and to giv<i ground. They were at last dispersed, 
and wvve followed bv the Enj^lish bavonets. What remained 
of these Spaniards were nearly all destroyed by a squadron of 


Paez, called the sacred squadron. A squadron of the enemy 
attempted to charge the British legion, but were driven back 
by their well directed fire of musketry, and forced to retire. 

This unexpected disaster upon the rear of the Spanish right 
wing, so disconcerted general La Torre that he lost all presence 
of mind. The confusion was soon spread among tl^e Span- 
iards ; tlieir cavalry dispersed without having made one charge. 
The Spaniards retired precipitately and iu perfect disorder, 
leaving their cannon, train and baggage. General Paez dis- 
played great activity and bravery. He placed himself at the 
head of the cavalry and pursued the Spaniards, but his men 
were so badly mounted, and the horses so fatigued and weak, 
that, though the ground was even, he was not able to break die 
files of the Spanish infantry. If his cavalry had been good, 
not a single Spaniard could have escaped. 

In one of their unsuccessful charges, general Sedeno, colonel 
Plaza, and a black man, who, on account of his bravery, was 
called El Primero, (the first,) were killed. These brave men, 
finding tlieir efibrts to break one of the enemy's infantry lines 
unavailing, precipitated themselves into the midst of the bay- 

In this battle the enemy lost more than 500 men. La 
Torre, with the remains of his forces, shut himself up in Porta 
Cabello. Spaniards, who were eye wimesses, have assured 
me, that he was one of the first who came within the fortress. 
The loss of the Colombians was not great. The English le- 
gion had about 30 killed and 100 wounded. Their comman- 
der received various wounds, of which he died. The Colom- 
bians were obliged to attribute the success of this march to this 
handful of brave foreigners. These received from general 
Bolivar the name of Caraboho. General Paez distinguish- 
ed himself highly ; but Bolivar, though he kept himself as u^al, 
at a respectable distance from the danger, assumed the princi- 
pal glory of the victory, and entered Valencia the same day 
with his troops. 

I have these details from the pen of a foreigner, who, at that 
time, was a superior officer in the service of the republic, and 
who fought in this action, in the British legion. His report 
continues as follows : " This affair, such as it is, will form an 
epoch in the history of Colombia. The two principal actions, 
upon which depended the welfare, or rather the existence of 
Colombia, were undoubtedly gained by the valor of the Euro- 
pean troops in their service, viz, the action at Boyaca, which 

SM MBBonu or bolitab. 

decided die &te of New Grenada, and thisat Carabobo, winch 
■Dade die Cokmbians masters of Venezuela. It u certain that 
diese troops have been rewarded m an ill manner ! Tliere 
exists not, I believe, soldiers more ill treated than those in Co- 
lombia ; badly clothed and fed, exposed to all the inclemen- 
cies of a climate not very healthy, to a scorchhig sun in the 
day time, and to cold and rainv nights. To these must be 
added the forced marches, the fadgucs and the continual move- 
ments of a partisan war. Such a addier must have a veij ro- 
bust coosthution to exist for any length of time, be. 

In the battle of Carabobo, the Spanish mfantry only, 
fought ; and, from the commencement of the action, the two 
Spanish commanders La Torre and Morales, were not united 
in regard to the command, and the plan of operations to be 
pursued. Morales who commanded in chief, the cavalry, 
1 500 strong, well chosen, perfectly well mounted, and able to beat 
the 3000 LJaneros, whose horses, imable to resist one weH 
directed charge, had the baseness not to order a single 
charge ; and to remain a quiet spectator of the destruction of 
the infantry. He was highly displeased at being under the 
command of La Torre, and, as I am well informed, so jealousy 
that he disregarded several orders from the latter to charge 
the enemy. His bitterness and obstbacy were so great, tint 
he heard, unmoved, the most urgent entreaties of trc Spamdi 
cavalry oflicers under his command, to charge, or at least lo 
permit them to charge the enemy, whilst they were in the 
plain. The officers pointed out to him (which he must have 
seen himself) tlie advantageous times and positions for charg- 
ing. But he expressly refused them permission to move. 
When they saw his obstinacy, tliey became discouraged, left 
their ranks, and were followed by their subalterns, without hav- 
ing ' made one charge upon die patriot troops. One single 
SGuadron, which remained, attempted to charge upon the Brit- 
ish legion, but were driven back, as I have stated. The 
Spanish infantiy alone sustained tlic whole battle, viz, 2500 men 
against 7600. 1 have heard from good authority, that if the 
British legion had not been with the Colombians, they would, 
in all probability, have lost tlie battle. The regiment of Va- 
lencia about 600 strong, covered tlie retreat ; and at four dif- 
ferent times, repelled the cavalry of Paez consisting of 3000 
Llaneros, and that in a fine plain, where half the number of 
almost any other cavalry, would have swept the grotmd clean 
of these 600 infantr}% 


The news of this defeat, spread consternation amongst the 
Spaniards. Such was the confusion and terror in the fortress 
of Porto Cahello, that if Bolivar had inarched against the place 
witliout loss of time, he would have got possession of it. iVIore 
than twenty Spanish royalists, whom I saw afterwards at the 
island of Curacao, assured me of this. From that time, above 
20,000 inhabitants of Caracas, Laguira, and Porto Cahello, 
seeing the royal cause upon the Main completely lost, and 
cursing the cowardice and apathy of La Torre, embarked for 
foreign lands. 

After the action at Carabobo, tlie fortress of Porto Cahello 
was so filled with fugitives, that sixteen dollars a week were 
paid for the use of a single room ; and the price of provisions 
rose an hundred fold ! tlie apathy of La Torre excited great 
indignation amongst the most distinguished Spaniards. Of 
this I will cite, from among hundreds, one proof; a letter da- 
ted Porto Cabello June 29th 1821, inserted in tlie Gazette of 

" There has been no great change in the situation of this city 
since my last of the 27th. The unfortunate dissentions between 
La Torre and Morales are continual. The apathy of the first 
is so great that the majority suspect him of treacherj'. He will 
not consent to the desire of the greatest part, that Morales take 
the chief command ; nor will he listen to any solicitations to 
permit him to go out of the place with the 2000 chosen troops 
which remain in it, in order to make a junction with the forces 
of Pereira and Lopez, who have sent express after express to 
him for that purpose. But all is in vain. It appears that he 
fears that Morales, once out of the place, would turn him out, 
and put himself at the head of the army. We have here in 
the place more than 4000 men able to serve, and who would 
enlist themselves with great pleasure, if any body else but La 
Torre should be appointed commander-in-chief. Could you 
beHeve that since he has been in the city he has not ordered 
any efficacious measures to defend tlie place in case of attack. 
Such is in fact the criminal inactivity of La Torre. God grant 
that we may have a change soon !" 

After the batde of Carabobo, general Bolivar published an 
order of the day, under 13th July, informing that he had given 
the name of the battalion of Carabozo to tlie corps before call- 
ed the British legion ; and as colonel Ferrier their commander, 
had died (of his wounds received in the battle of Carabobo) 
various promotions took place in the corps. 


The news of this victory inspired the congress assembled at 
Cucuta, with the liveliest enthusiasm. They immediately 
passed a decree that did honor to their sentiments, and is too 
well know to need insertion here. In speaking of this decree 
I must be permitted, deeply to regret that the glorious deatli of 
colonel Ferrier was not noticed in it. He died at the head 
quarters of the British legion. His merit surely entitled his 
name to a conspicuous place in one of the four columns of a 
paper devoted to the fame of those who fought for the liberty 
of Colombia. I must add that notwithstanding the national 
gratitude decreed by the congress of Colombia, the battalion 
of Carabobo, which, on the 1st of June 1S21, contained above 
a thausand men ; in August 1823, had not fifty men left. The 
rest, except a very few, perished in the country. The last 
commander of the battalion, lieutenant colonel Brandt, in Aug. 
1823, arived from Laguaira, at Caracas, in a pitiable condition, 
his uniform torn in pieces, without a change of clothes, having 
no boots, only a single pair of old shoes ; and not a cent of 
money in his pocket. He was besides, lame and deaf. He 
addressed himself to Charles Soublctte the Intendant of Cara- 
cas, requesting an order for at least a small amount due upon 
his salary for past services. He could obtain nothing. Sou- 
blette was then living in the highest style. Lieutenant colonel 
Brandt for aught that appears, might have perished, but for die 
hospitality of captain Maitland, commander of the Colombian 
brig Pinchita and his officers, who kindly received him on 
board, in the harbour of Curacao. Such is the gratitude of 
Colombia to her deliverers ! Let tlieir conduct towards the for- 
eigners who so ably assisted them in the days of trouble, be 
compared to that of tlie United States towards Steuben, Kos- 
ciusco, and La Fayette. 

Caracas and Laguaira were lost, whilst Torre, with more than 
4000 men, was lying idle, and detested in Porto Cabello. 
Colonel Peregra a brave and enterprising officer, being left to 
his fate by La Torre, was forced to surrender by capitulation. 
This increased the complaints and murmurs againat La Torre, 
who was now hated and despised by all. 

On the 29th of June, in the evening, general Bolivar with 
general Paez and a numerous and brilliant retinue, entered the 
city of Caracas, and ordered the taking possession of Laguaira. 
But he found not a white inhabitant in the deserted streets of 
Caracas. The greatest part of the houses were empty ; many 
of the stores were pillaged ; the streets were filled witli beg- 


gars, and dead bodies. Some miserable negroes cried " Viva 
Colombia, and begged for cents : destruction,' misery and death, 
had taken up their abode in this once nourishing, rich, pop- 
ulous and joyous city. 

Bolivar compared this entry into Caracas witli that of Au- 
gust 1813, and was surprised, and not a little frightened. His 
indignation rose against all who had fled to escape from falling 
again under his dominion. He immediately ordered a procla- 
mation to be published and 6xed to the corners of the principal 
squares and streets, in which he said : " Caracas shall not be 
the capital of a republic ; but the capital of a vast government, 
administered in a dignified manner and worthy of its importance. 
The vice-president of Venezuela, enjoying all the attributes of 
a great magistrate, you will always find a source of justice in 
the centre of the republic, who will spread plentifuly his be- 
nevolence over all the branches of public welfare in your 
country. Caraguins ! be thankful to the ministers of the law, 
who from their sanctuarj' of justice, liave left you a code of 
freedom and equality. 

Caraguins ! lavish your admiration upon tlie heroes who 
have given existence to Colombia. 

Genaral Liberating head-quarters, Caracas, June 30th 1824. 

(Signed) BOLIVAR." 

This great Magistrate whom this great General announced 
to the people of Venezuela as the worthy administrator who 
would spread plentifully his benevolence over all the branches 
of public welfare ; his vice-president of Venezuela, (whose 
title was afterwards changed to that of Intendant) was Charles 
Soublette ! so well did he administer, that, on tliree or four oc- 
casions, the principal inhabitants of Venezuela exclaimed 
against him ; and so diffusive was his benevolence, that, on ac- 
count of his insolence and incapacity, (as has been generally 
said) his protector was obliged to recal him, and to give this 
intendancy to general Tobar. 

In order to remedy in some measure the evils of this gene- 
ral emigration, general Bolivar published the following procla- 

" Caraguins ! The dissatisfaction fell at this moment from 
the general emigration which has followed tlie royal party, has 
caused me the greatest sorrow. Your flight, and the total 
abandonment of your property, could not have been the effect 
of a spontaneous movement ; no — it must have been from fear 
either of the armies of Colombia, or of those of the Spaniards. 


Royalists ! You may rely upon what has been agreed uponv 
as to the regularity of this war ; and upon the policy of the day, 
which holds in detestatbn and horror, the past times when the 
genius of crimes had arrived at its highest pitch ; ahorkmg to 
all sentiments of humani^. Royalists, return to your poaaes- 

Caraguins ! Your emigration is a manifest ofience againit 
the Spanish government, which you think to please and flatter. 
Your fears of the arms of the king, in his terrible reactions, are 
no longer well grounded, because the Spanish chieftains are 
the generals La Torre and Ck>rrea, and no longer Bofves or 

Caraguins ! I know vou are patriots, and you have abandon* 
ed Caracas ; but could you in conscience fly beibre the anns 
of Colombia ? No, no, no ! he. he. 

San Cark)S, July 3d, 1821. 

(Signed) BOLIVAR." 

The stupor of La Torre, discouraged the royal party. All 
who were rich and faithfully attached to the royal cause, emi- 

Cted. Above 24,000 of them, unwilling to hve under either 
Torre or Bolivar, departed for the West Indies, Spain and 
the United States. 

The consequences of Bolivar's indignation at this extraordi- 
nary emigration, were soon felt. Belore he left Caracas he 
conflscated the houses and lands of the emigrants, to a great 
amount, dividing them among his chieftains and courtiers. He 
imposed heavy taxes and contributions upon the few inhabitants 
who had not emigrated, but had lived retired in the country, 
and devoted to tlie royal cause. He adopted tu'o measures 
which greatly increased the misery of the inhabitants. 

1st. The Spanish government had coined a small copper 
money, which was generally known under the name of the pau- 
per's money. It was intended for the benefit of tiiose who were 
poor, whetlier tlicy had become so by the fury of civil war, in- 
ability to labor, or in any other way whatever. This money 
was every where received without hesitation. In Caracas, a 
Spanish dollar is divided into halves, auartcrs and eighths. 
The eighth is called a real. The half ot each real is called 
a medio realj and this was the lowest coin in value. In this 
state of the circulating medium the Spanish government emit- 
ted a copper coin, called quartUlo^ one of which was worth 
half the medio real. Four sob were the value of a quartillo; 
so that the dollar being divided into 32 parts, as many difier- 


ent articles might be bought with it. A poor man, (and the 
poor weie very nnmerous,) therefore, who earned one real a 
day, could buy sixteen different articles for himself and family. 
This poor-money, besides enabling the poor to live, kept down 
the price of the necessaries of life, and thus beneGted both rich 
and poor. An ordinary family might live well with a dollar a 
day, whereas now they can live but poorly with twice that 

When general Bolivar entered Caracas, in June 1823, there 
was above two and a half millions of dollars, of this poor-mo^ 
neifj in circulation, in the capital, and in the province of Cara- 
cas ; and no one hcbitated to receive it. He ordered, by a 
decree, that tliis money should circulate no longer. The price 
of every thing rose immediately, and with it, the public suffer- 
ing ; and that, to such height, that many perished of hunger 
and want. 

2d. The second measure was a decree, as an extraordinary 
war contribution, that die harvests of all the possessions be- 
longing to emigrants, should be collected and put into the 
stores belonging to the government. This was done in such 
hurry and confusion, that in the collection many frauds were 
committed. Such dilapidations attended tlie collection, that, 
from all these productions, not more than a sixth part ever found 
its way into the public stores. He ordered that the land own- 
ers,- who had remained in the country, should, under pain of 
capital punishment, give up their harvests of every kind, and 
deliver them into the public stores. He allowed the owners 
one fifth part only. 

The loss of the batde of Carabobo, and the stupor of La 
Torre in Porto Cabello, spread disgust and consternation among 
the Spaniards on the Main, insomuch that on the 21st Sep- 
tember, 1821, the strong fortress of Carthagena surrendered by 

La Torre was at last removed, and was succeeded by Mo- 
rales ; but it was too late. The strength of the Spaniards, and 
their confidence that they should eventually regain their supe- 
riority, were gone. The expedition of Morales against Coro 
and Maracaybo, served only to prolong the season of war and 
bloodshed. Nothing was produced by it of more importance, 
than that by his usual course of conduct, Charles Soublette 
obtained the nick-name .of Miss, or lady Soublette. Paez and 
Padilla, fortunately for Colombia, retrieved such of her afiairs, 
as had been thrown into confusion, and well nigh bst by the 



timidity and weakness of Soiiblette. Maracaybo, which bad 
been in possession of Moralts since September 1822, fell again 
into the lia:ids of the Cijloiiibians, after a iloody a/d destructive 
naval action, whicli did £;reat honor to tiie intrepidity of hs 
commander, general Padilla. 

Maracaybo surrendered in August 1823, and, soon after^ 
Morales embarked for Havana. He left the country loaded 
whh the execrations of tlie inhabitants, which he deserved by 
bis multiplied barbarities and cruelties. 

Porto Cabello surrendered at last, on the l6thof July 1824^ 
and tliis closed the evacuation of the Main by tbe Spaniards 
No armed enemy was now to be feared. This surrender was 
also the work of Padilla, sustained by general Paez. 


Conduct of the Dutch Government in the Island of Cnraeno 
against the Republic of Colombia and the Spaniard* — Cf 
the expedition against Porto Rico^ and spoliations committed 
bj the Dutch Government of Curacao^ under pretence of 4ke 
criminality of Gineral D. U. 

Since the revolution at Caracas, the island of Curacao had 
been the head cjuarters of the Spaniards. It was rendered 

Srccious to ihein by its fine harbors, and its proximity to the 
lain. Having ^old, ilicy possessed the means of being pro- 
vided with every tiling requisite to carry on the war, and to 
furnish the fortresses and places of Porto Cabello, Laguaira, 
Coro, Maracaybo, Cumana, &:c. with provisions and ammuni- 
tion. The richer classes, members of the government, and 
merchants, were nearly all in favor of tlje Spaniards ; the peo- 
ple were for the patriots. 

In 1822, tliere a|)pearcd an official statement of facts, pub- 
lished bv the Fiscal of Caracas, Mr. IVarverte, and bv the 
president of the court of admiralty at Lncuaira, Mr. Francisco 
Xavier Yanes, in a pan)phlet lorni, with the following title- 
" Exposi'ion of the conduct observed by the Dutch govern — 
meni of Ciuacao, in tlie pendhig war of the repubhc of Colom — 


bia with Spain. — Caracas. From the printing office of John 
Gutienes. lvS22." When this appeared, the governor ol Cura- 
cao, Paulus Ru'loffCantzlaarj whose conscience was not clear, 
made every exertion to suppress it. IJut 1 had friends, who 
provided me a copy, from which I will extract some curious 
facts thtit are little, or not at all known, out of that country. 
From these, and other facts stated in this chapter, I shall show 
the corrupt perverscness of these leaders of a government, 
which Yanes, the president of the court of admiralty, at La- 
guaira, designated by the name of " that gnng called the Dutch 
government of Curacao ;" of which Cantzlaar was at that time 
tlie chief. He said also, that " that gang" had treated the Co- 
lombians like dogs, pariicuhirly after the battle of Carabobo. 
" Here," said he, " are some proofs : The Colombian priva- 
teer, the Valoroso, captain Bernardo Ferreiro, having lost his 
main-mast, in January 1S22, not far from Curacao, was forced, 
in distress, to enter that port, under protection of the laws and 
rights of nations. He was allowed to enter, but, soon after, 
his vessel was seized and illegally condemned under the pre- 
text of rcpris il for two Spanish vessels, taken by the privateer 
Condor, in the territorial juri.sdiciion of Curacao. This pretext 
was false, for the court of admiraltv at Laguaira had proved 
Uiat the two Spanish schooners, Fortuna and Experiencia, 
taken by the piivateer Condor, were seized in latitude 11 
degrees 50 minutes north, and longitude G8 degrees 35 
minutes west, and consecpienily without the waters of Curacao. 
Instead of examining the foit, enquiring of the captain of the 
Valoroso, or advising the govermnenl of Colombia that any re- 
oaration was claimed, the government of Curacao passed at 
vnce all forms used in such cases, and sold tlie vessel at public 

"In the course of Doc. 1818, the privateer brig Irresistible, 
(now called the Venudor,) cruising under the colors of the East 
obore of the river Plata, took vessels, two destined to Porto 
Cabello and Laguaira, one of which was a Spanish, the other a 
Dutch vessel, called Armonia, and belonging to Mr. Theodore 
Jutting, which was retaken by a Duch frigate in her passage 
from Bonair to Los llogues, for Margarita, and restored to 
her owner. As s.)on as this was known in Curacao, the gov- 
ernment publislied a Imiiy ordering all the foreigners to present 
themselves before the Fiscal, who, as soon as he ascertained 
die persons belonging to the Main, ordered them to leave the 
island within eight days. 


" In the year 1819 the CoiombiaD privateer General Eng- 
lish took a Dutch schooner, tlie Intrepida, commandiDg ffom 
Cuchito Curacao, to transport property belonging to the enemy. 
She was taken in tow by the privateer and conducted to one of 
the ports of Margarita for adjudication. There was at that 
time, in the port of Curacao, a Cobmbian privateer cmUed the 
Sosegada, which on the simple demand of George Curiel,* 
owner of tlie Intrepida was immediately sequestered by the 
government of Curacao, by way of reprisal. It was not beibre 
Uiis was done, that complaints were made to the government 
of Colombia asking damages, indemnification and satisfaction, 
tor insults offered the colors of hb Majesty, the king of the 

^^ At the time of the invasion of Coro, a citixen, Joseph 
Amaes, was obliged to shelter himself in the idand of Anibt. 
He took with him a female servant obtained at Coro, not (or 
speculation, but for his own use as a servant. She came from 
the sequestered property of a Spaniard, Don Manuel Cransaks, 
who reclaimed her of the government of Curacao. The latter 
gave an order to seize the servant in tlie house of Amaes, and 
to deliver her to the Spaniard, notwitlistanding that Amaes, ai 
the time, proved her to be his legal propeity. This act of the 
government of Curacao, was, therefore, a plain violation of the 
law of nations. 

After the Spanish commander had taken possession of the 
city of Coro, in virtue of a capitulatuHi made with colonel Go- 
mez, one of his first measures was to seize the slaves and mules 
upon the ncigliboring farms belonging to republicans, who had 
emigrated. These were ordered to be sold in the West In- 
dies, or exchanged for provisions and warlike stores. Whilst 
vessels were preparing to transport them, the Dutch slaves were 
locked up in the prison. When two vessels came from Coro 
to Jamaica, brintring 380 slaves to exchange for provisions, the 
British government ordered tlie vessels to leave the port within 
24 hours. They did so ; and steered for Ha\'ana. 

'^ But in the island of Curiaco all that were bought were ro- 
discriminately admitted ; slaves have been sold there for three 
barrels of codfish each ! 

* This Geoqi^ Ciiriel is a colored man , a meirhant in Curacao enttrrly dcTotedlo 
the Spaniards, as is I'hcfdore Jutting and his two l>rotbcrs Chhslopbcr and WUliajn. 
I'hosc and F^rcderic Liniz, have d>»ue (i^at mischief to Colombia, bv the po«ai1'iil 
support they hare given to the Spaniards. 


•This horrid traffic bein^ now prohibited by all civilized na- 
tions, the government of Curiaco, by permitting it in their ter- 
ritory, have violated the laws of nations, no less than those of 

These facts (and a great many more might be adduced) 
are sufficient to show the avaricious and cruel conduct of the 
government of Curiaco, towards the citizens of the republic, 
who fled from tyranny, and sought shelter in their island. 
^* That government has received into their ports Spanish sub- 
jects and privateers, whilst it has refused, or confiscated those 
ol the republic. It has assisted the Spaniards with provisions 
and munitions of war, in opposition to a cause in which the 
whole human race is interested ; at the same time that it has 

Elundered diose who were devoting their property and their 
ves to the support of that cause. It has moreover, destined 
to hopeless slavery, many human beings, who, by the existing 
laws of their country, as well as by those of nature, were enti- 
tled to freedom. All tliis and much more, has been done by 
the Dutch government of Curiaco, for gold. 

^^ All these facts are inconsistant with a strict neutrality, and 
are, therefore, in violation of the rights of the Colombians. 
Dated from tlie harbor of Laguaira April 1 5th 1822. 

President of the Court of Admiralty.^^* 

In the morning of the 29th October 1823, a prize of a Colom- 
bian privateer came into Curacao to escape from the chase of 
a Spanish armed vessel. The governor, Cantzlaar, ordered 
her to sail immediately. The prize captain, an American citi- 
zen, represented in vain, the danger to which she would be ex- 
posed by going out, and requested a delay of two days, which 
was refused. The captain of tlie Spanish privateer Especu- 
ladora, being at the time in the harbour, and informed of the 
governor's order, sailed out and cruised before the island, to 
take the prize vessel. The coptain's papers were in perfect 
order, and the actual cruising ol the Spanish vessel, afibrding 
a strong additional reason for staying in port, he went again to 
the governor, and told him, that he could not go out without 
losing his few men, himself, and the vessel. About seven 
o'clock in the evening, a guard came on board, the comman- 
der of which, in the name of the governor, ordered the prize 

* Of thia document I have given only a short extract. 

294 MKNoiRs or bouvar. 

captain to weigh anchor and set out without delay. The cap* 
tain and his crew agriin declared (hat they could not submit to 
so unjust an order. Tiiey were compelled, by blows with 
bro;u!s\vords niul muskets : and favored hv the darkness of tho 
nighty escaped the enemy lyin^ in wail for them. 

Such was the conduct of Cantzlaar, that a second memoir 
appeared asaiiist him, sent from Forto Cabello in the month of 
January 1824. I endeavoured, but in vain, lo procure it. My 
friends have informed me, that liiis was more full, strooger 
and better written, than the former. 

Cantzlnnr mny be considered the nt plus vltra of bad gov- 
ernors. He was denounced by the mei chants c;eneral]yy and 
at lenaith removed, to the great joy of the inliabitants. 

Spanish doublons were exchans:ed at Caracas, at the rate 
of twenfy dollars in the current money. Mr. George Curiel, 
a merchant, being obliged to pay eleven thousand dollars in 
current money, sent the value in doublons at the fixed rate of 
twenty dollars, as they were usuilly taken by the receiver gen- 
eral. But Mr. Van Uytrecht told him. that he had received 
an order from the ejovernor, n«»t to receive, from tliat time, a 
doublon, at more than sixteen dollars in current money ; and 
Spanish dollars at only 12. instead of 15, as they had been, 
received. Mr. Curiel complained of the order ; and wished to 
take back his donhloons. This was refused ; and he was giv- 
en to understand that he might have them back, after be had 
pai.i his debt in current monry. It was at that time impossi- 
ble 10 oLtain such a mhu in current nioui'v, without paying very 
hii^ii iiit' ro.>t ; and tiiis Mr. ('uri*l was ((.mpilKd to do. 

This happLMH'd in April lb2>\ ; wlknas ilie .3d of May, then 
next, was the time fixed by the ^ovtnior lor beginning lo 
receive doublons and dollars at the treasury, at the rate spec- 
ified in it. The decree extiied the public hidignalion against 
Cantzlaar ; but it was not revoked. 

In N()vend)er l.^JJ, a seizure was made of some dye-wood, 
cominc; from Maracayho, and bi^lonirini!; to Mr Cmiel. The 
pretext for the si'izuie was that an txad dielara;ion of the 
weit^ht Jjad not bi'.n made at llu? cn>i()m lioiise, the exact 
weij;hl of /oi/r j)i(ces, amonu: ahout (wo //ioM.'«///if/, not liaving 
been declared. Ki'p )il of dils tact bein:: made to the gover- 
nor, he ordered tln' wood to he taktn fioni the vessel, and de- 
posited in the Fi^raTs yard. 'J hen* it was weighed again; 
piece by piece. Two pieces only found lo vary, Curiel 
was permiited lo lake it back. But by the operation, which 


occupied seven weeks, the owner incurred great loss in time 
and expense ; in fact, he was thereby accused of an attempt to 
defraud die govcrntncnt. 

]n February ISi4 Mr. Samuel Lyon, merchant in Curacao, 
had a controversy wiih tlio Fiscal, who is the chief of the po- 
lice, about a vessel wl)ich the police oflicer had neglected to 
visist unul it was so late in tiic duv diat tiie vessel could not 
sail that evening ; Mr. Lyon complained to the governor, who 
ordered the Fiscal himself to examine the officer and report 
to him ! 

The captain of the Spanish privateer Contella, after having, 
in 1821, pillaged many vessels sailing under Dutch colors, and 
belonging to inhabitants of Curacao, and having upon the 
high seas, so ill treated the captain from Curacao, of the Dutch 
merchant schooner Admiral Vander Capellen, that he died in 
consequence of it ; a few days afterwards, had the audacity 
quietly to enter the port of Curacao with his privateer^ He 
was immediately charged, before the governor, with the crim- 
inal transactions, and positive proofs were adduced. The gov- 
ernor was entreated to arrest him, .and detain his vessel until 
satisfaction for his crimes should be made by the Spanish gov- 
ernment. Instead of complying with tliis just demand, he per- 
mitted the vessel to sail out secretly at midnight of the same 
day. It was loudly declared, in Curacao, at the time, that the 
captain obtained his permit to sail, by the power of doubloons. 
The details of this villainous transaction may be found in the 
Gazette of Curacao, No. 41, of the year 1S21. 

During the year 1820 and thence into 1823, of his adminis- 
tration, Cantzlaar issued above one thousand decrees, rules, 
ordinances, &c. These are carefully bound in six enormous 
folio volumes, and are to be seen in the office of the Fiscal, or 
secretary of state. For all purposes of government, they are 
worse than useless. But they are sure proofs of his obstinate 
disposition to vex and harrass tlie small populadon of 2300 souls 
committed to his government. 

Cantzlaar reduced the salaries of the officers of government 
so low, that their families could not be supported by them. 
Many of them were actually forced to ask charity, or to borrow, 
or to seek illicit means of subsistence ; whilst he took care to 
provide himself abundantly with every thing. His master, the 
king of the Netherlands, attributed his reduction of salaries, to 
a spirit of economy, and was so p'eased, that he gave him an- 
nually a gratuity of 8000 patagues, in addition to his salary of 
1800 florins. This king is an honest man, but he knew noth- 


ing of the oppressive system by which the gorernor enhanced 
the misery and desperation of the inhabitants of Curacao. 
Therefore I wrote privately to H. M. the king of the Neth- 
erlands« in April 1824, what I now here repeat publicly : ** that 
his governor of the island of Curacao, Paulus Roeloff Cants- 
laar, abused the name of his master, and disgraced tli« Dutch 
government." Tlie character of Cantzlaar is a compound of 
hypocrisy, despotism, avarice and meanness. He was, of 
course, detested by all who were obliged to have any thing to 
do with him, and obtained the name of '^ the little Jesuit." 

The following are among hundreds of anecdotes current of 

He made a contract with a colored man named Barien to 
furnish him a certain number of flat boat (called puntje) loads 
of stone for building a wall ; at tlie rate of two pata gues per 
canot (one dollar and six pence.) The stone was delivered ac- 
cording to contract. But when Barien called for his money, 
the governor told him some of the boats were not well loaded, 
and that he had not stone enough for his purpose. The other 
replied that he could furnish more boat loads at the same price. 
" Wo, no," said tlje governor " it is better to weigh the stones 
and pay you by the pound." Barien eventually got about half 
his money ; which it is to be remarked, was payable out of the 
public treasury. 

The schout or high constable received every month eight 
patagues, for the purpose of cleaning the prisons, furnishing 
water &lc. In order to receive a good sum at once, he let it 
lie for 10 months, until it amounted to 80 patagues. Can- 
tzlaar decided upon his claim ** that a man who could advance 
80 patagues could advance more," and the constable received 
nothing ! The consequence of this villainy was, that the prison- 
ers were wretched sufferers ; often without a drop of water ; 
which in Curacao is not obtained easily. 

In April 1823, a schooner was lost near Pescaduo, a small 
port of Curacao. Cantzlaar ordered a clerk of the comptroller's 
oflice to go there and take an exact account of the articles sa- 
ved fiom the vessel. Mr. Herman Boyer, after having strictly 
and fully complied with the order, was directed to present a 
bill of the particulars of his expenses ; in this voiage of about 
five miles. The whole amount was about eight reals (50 
cents.) After a fortnight the governor decided, that " as the 
bill was charged too high, he could not make an order for the 
payment." Mr Boyer had a wife and children. Mr. Nie- 

nicoiRS or bolitar« S97 

buhr the comptroller^ ashamed of such meanness, paid his clerk 
from his own |K)cket. 

A young man named Weiss, a clerk in the Fiscal's office, 
having received no salary for about a year, was in want of a 

Ginknife and a small box of wafers, for the use of the office. 
e mentioned it to the Fiscal, but as the governor had given 
strict orders that not a quill should go from the public stores 
without hi3 fiat J Mr. Weiss was obliged to draw up a formal re- 
quest in writins, which was signed by the Fiscal and sent to 
the governor. After ihree days' delay the decision of the gov- 
ernor was sent to the office in writing, '^ that he granted the 
box of wafers, but refused the penknife." 

On Tuesday February 3d, while the governor was in town 
giving; public audiences, as is usual on that day of the week, 
Mr. Elsevier, the Fiscal, who is second in rank and dignity in 
the government of Curacao, was in want of twelve sheets of 
wrapping paper, and a box of sand for his office. He made 
his demand in writing, and signed it. The governor, with his 
own hand, changed the figures 1-2 to 1-4, and then signed his 
fiat '* the Schoui by^acht^ (rear admiral in rank) and governor 
of the island of Curacao, and its dependencies." Upon this the 
Fiscal received six sheets of brown wrapping paper, which cost 
the government of Curacao about three cents. 

This second dignity, the counsellor Fiscal, Mr. Isaac James 
Rammelmann Elsevier, is designated by his favorite words 
" he moot betaalen," (he must pay.) 

The third personage in the island is Mr. Daniel Serurier, 
president of the tribunal of justice ; so called. He is a cor- 
rupt, base, hardened drunkard ; and is the devoted servant of 
thegovemor, and of his clerk Hagunga. 

That the government of Curacao in 1822 — 1824, was ex- 
tremely base, I trust will further appear, from the relation of 
a transaction which excited great sensation at the time, and in 
which I was concerned. The proceedings of this government 
to which I now allude as oppressive, fraudulent and base in the 
extreme, were against myself, Bantista Troine, and Charles 
Frangatt Voyel. The projected expedition against the Span- 
ish island of Porto Rico, the object of which was to render its 
inhabitants /ref and independant of Spain, excited great atten- 
tion and interest. With two brigs, which were intended to form 
part of the force of that expedition, I entered the port of Cu- 
racao in distress. This being a neutral port, I had of course a 
right to protection, by the laws of nations. The brigs were 

398 MUioiu or boutab. 

laden with rich cargoes ; and Cantzlaar and Compogoree, for 
the purpose of laying their hands upon this property, caused me 
to be arrested, while I was in port, and m the conditioa just 
stated. For the purpose of covering this outrage and direct- 
ing the public attendon from it, they and their coadjutors took 
great pains to occupy the columns of various newspapers, with 
udse and calumnious statements reladve to my character, and 
to the objects of the expedition. 1 will give my statement. 

When I took my final leave of the service on the Main, my 
desire was to retire altogether from such scenes as^had engag- 
ed the greater part of my life ; and to devote my time to my 
growing family. With thb view I engaged in literary pursuits 
and gave lessons in various branches, with which m the course 
of my life, I had become sufficiendy acquainted to teach them 
to others. While I was living b this manner, I received, one 
night, at Curacao, a visit from some rich foreigners who were 
well setUed b the island of Porto Rico. l%ey urged me 
strondy, to place myself at the head of a numerous party of 
wealthy bhabitants of that island, for the purpose of expeOing 
the Spaniards from it, and rendering the island free and inde- 
pendent. I had declined various proposals made me to job 
the patriots b Mexico and Buenos Ayres, and I now declined 
this urgent one of these inhabitants of Porto Rico, notwitfastand- 
bg Uiat they assured me, they placed entire confidence b me, 
and in me alone ; and that they would have nothbg to do with 
any other military chieftain. About a month after, m larger 
number of them came to me, and gave me such proofs of their 
spirit and ability to accomplish their purpose, that I consented 
to tlicir proposal. Tiiis happened at the end of die year 1821. 
I removed with my wliole family from Curacao to St. Thomas'. 
There I left them, and came myself to tlie United States, where 
I soon found many enterprising men ready to aid me. 

The ex))cditiun against Porto Rico, was, as yet, a project, 
which could not be realized, until I should liave received all the 
powerful means promised nie. Proceeding with part of my 
vessels, from St. Barts to Laguaira, I encomitercd a heavy 
storm at sea, and was forced to put into the port of Curacao 
with the brigs, the Eonclracht and the Mar}', in a state of dis- 
tress, the IGih of Sept. I8ii. The 23d 1 was arrested by or- 
der of governor Cantzlaar, in the house of Uie Fiscal judge. 
The governor, conscious of the baseness, or rather of the odium 
of the proceeding, exerted himself to Uirow die blame of the 
arrest upon the Fiscal and the tribunal. But the villainy was 


his own. He was indeed influenced by advisers, who were in- 
terested with himself in the spoils they were to gain. I shall 
not detail the villanies of these men ; they are too well known. 
I will say here (what 1 have authentic documents to prove,) 
that Cantzlaar, Elsevier, D. Serurier, Hagunga, Van Spen- 
gler,* and their accomplices, are a gang of villains, to whom 
nothing is sacred, but gold. 

Had I been sailing with an armament to attack Porto Rico, 
the government of Curacao, a neutral power, would have had 
no right to impede me, nor to aid the subjects or allies of Por- 
to Rico in doing so. 

I had committed no offence. I came in distress into the 
neutral harbor of Curacao, and was entitled to such reception 
as is due to a distinguished stranger in a foreign country. I 
had done nothing to forfeit my liberty, nor my right to the hos- 
pitality of the place. My situation was perfectly known to 
Cantzlaar ; he knew well that he had no right to arrest me. 
But, instigated by his own avarice and that of others, he did so ; 
and thus rendered it necessary for the purpose of covering the 
spoliations committed upon the property under my care, to ac- 
cuse and trv me as an offender. Parker, the United States' 
consul, who died afterwards at Curacao, Van Spengler, who is 
now governor of the Dutch island of St. Eustacia, and William 
Prince, the secretary of the government of Curacao, in con- 
junction with those already named, were busy in procuring the 
insertion of false statements relative to me and my affairs in 
many foreign gazettes, and particularly in those oi the United 
States. I could not contradict them at the time, because I did 
not know of their existence. I found afterwards, that they had 
prejudiced the public against me, and the honorable motives 
which had actuated me ; I saw at once, that they were intended 
to justify the robberies of Cantzlaar and his coadjutors. 

Cantzlaar gave orders to institute a cause against me. I 
protested in strong terms against both the arrest and trial, refus- 
ed to answer before the tribunal, and demanded to be inform- 
ed why I was arrested in violation of the rights and laws of na- 
tions. Cantzlaar answered me that the Fiscal had caused my 
arrest ; the Fiscal told me that the governor had done it. 

The governor accused me of an intention to attack the island 
of Porto Rico, and to render it free and independent, after 

* Van Spcnplor is at present, governor of St. Eustai'ia, anti is gmvelv compro- 
iriised in the transactions of a pirate, whose crew has been han&f^ed at St. Ritls. Sec 
ibc re{K>rt of the grand jury, pubhsliud lately, as a proof of my assertion. 

300 mifoiBs or boutab. 

having driven the Spaniards from the island^. But as I had no 
troops nor any means of prosecutine such an expeditioot dns 
ridiculous pretext failed. Most of the European and North 
American gazettes printed in the latter part of the year 1822, 
contam statements of this Porto Rico afiair ; and I believe all 
who have read them, are satisfied that mjr views were upright 
^and honorable. 

The Fiscal, Elsevier, seeing that the governor's accusatioa 
stood no chance of succeedine, set his own genius to work to 
invent another. He brought forth a grave charge of piracy, 
or as he expressed it, iimuiiude ofpiraof. The evidence stat- 
ed in this accusation, m support of this charge, was, that I had 
caused to be printed, in Pniladelphia, various papers filled with 
liberal and republican principles. 

The erand inquisitor Serurier, not satisfied with the finrm of 
either of the above charges, himself put the accusation, upon 
which he afterwards pronounced me guilty and sentenced me 
to death, into the form of a charge of high trtoion agaiiui off 
living iovereigns* This course of proceedii^ carries absurdi- 
ty, outrage and villainy, upon the face of it, and needs no com- 
ment. The lawyers generaUy stood in such fear of the govern- 
or, that, for some time, no one of them dared to imdettake 
my defence. At last, the court, ex officio^ named Mordecii 
Ricardo, a man in whom, alone, I had entire confidence. M. 
Ricardo made a bold and masterly defence. But, as my ac- 
quittal roust have restored to me the brigs and their cargoes ; 
his defence ivailed nothing. My fate was indeed decided be- 
forehand. After tlie bearing was over, my friends, of whom I 
had a great many, and tliose of the most respectable inhabitants, 
camo and congratulated me upon my prospect of speedy re- 
lease. So sure were they that the court would not dare to 
condemn me. During tlie trial, which lasted eighteen months, 
M. Ricardo behaved like a true friend ; and after the sentence, 
which was sent to me in writing, and which I treated, together 
with the court, widi all the ridicule and contempt I was master 
of, he insisted upon an appeal to tlie higher court of Graven- 
hague in Holland. The appeal was denied. He applied a 
second time and was again refused. 

The inhabitants almost universally understood the cause and 
the motives«of the court, so tliat the decision excited general 
indignation. For my part, I kept my pistols and dagger at 
hand, and in order, determined to defend myself to the last ex- 
tremity. When the refusal to grant an appeal was known, the 


f)ublic indignation rose to the highest pitch ; of which Cantz- 
aar, being informed by his spies, sent for the president of the 
court, to come and dine with him ; and directed him to grant 
the appeal. They were seriously alarmed by the excitement 
among the inhabitants ; and wished also for time to make up a 
plausible statement of the case, to be sent to the higher tribu- 
nal. The appeal, therefore, on a third application, was grant- 
ed. I had asserted aloud, in presence of the Fiscal, (in whose 
house I had apartments) his son, and three clerks, that the 
court were a set of robbers ; and tliat ho one would dare to 
execute tlieir ridiculous sentence. 

After my condemnation, I continued to occupy myself with 
my usual pursuits, to receive my friends, and to walk abroad 
as before. I gave out that I would send letters to his highness 
the Sultan at Constantinople, and to the emperor of China, no- 
tifying them of my conviction as a traitor and a conspirator 
against their lives. Hardened and brutish, as Serurier had be- 
come, he could not resist tlic torrent of general ridicule, and 
was evidently mortified. 

Having declared that I would not go in a merchant vessel, 
nor without my family, to Holland, Cantzlaar fitted out the brig^ 
Swallow, a Dutch man-of-war, of 22 guns, for tliat purpose. 
In a few days, having made all necessary preparations, we were 
ready to embark, (Nov. 1823,) when, one morning, the Fiscal 
entered the room where I was at breakfast with my family, 
and told me that he came from tlie governor, who had just re- 
ceived despatches from Holland, in which the minister of the 
colonies ordered the governor to suspend every proceeding 
against me, and by no means to send me to Holland, as this 
afiair was not regarded as criminal, but altogether as political. 
. That J must be treated with all the regard due to my rank and 
education, (an order to the same effect had been given by the 
governor to tlie Fiscal at the time of my arrest, and was in force 
during the proceeding, against me) until his majesty the king 
of the Netherlands had received the advice of his council of 

At last came the decision of the king; which was, that the 
whole of the proceedings against me should be annulled and 
destroyed ; that I should be immediately put at my full liberty, 
and that all my expenses should be defrayed, until I might ar- 
rive at whatever place I should choose to go to with my fam- 


At die time of my departure fifom Curacao, Tarions mmora 
were in circulation ; one was, that the governor, and the whole 
gang had received a very severe reprimand for the whole of 
their proceedings against me. 1 know not the fiict ; but I know 
they deserved it. 

The above is but a sketch of the cause. The principal idb 
for papers) remain in the hands of Cantzlaar, Elsevier and 
Serurier. One of the articles of the sentence at large, was 
that my liberal (I suppose they meant to call them licratioas) 
papers should be burned by the hands of the common bung* 
man, in the public square at Amsterdam fort m Curacao. 

The king of the Netherlands is an honest and upright mn. 
It therefore would become him to institute a full and pailieolBr 
inquiry into the conduct of these men, relative to my trial ; and 
also to inquire why Leonard Si$(arej who had been coimcted 
of altering the ships papers of the Endracht, was suflfered t9 
leave the port of Curacao, unpunished. Mr. Van Spandee, 
the acting Dutch governor of St. Eustacia, as I am well inmm- 
ed, can give the best information on the subject. The or^ 
nal acts, which are kept at fort Amsterdam, will throw li^ on 
the subject. There are also, in my knowledge, facts and evi- 
dence sufficient to satisfy any impartial man, of the cuiniptioB 
of those who originated and carried on the infamous and gronnd- 
less prosecution. These facts and evidence shAll be |mduoed 
whenever (while I am living) H. M. the kmg of the Nedier- 
lands, shall call for them. 


Biofpraphical Sketches of Lovts Brion^ Francisco Pablo de 
Sanander and Francisco wintonio Zea. 

I^uis Brion, of the Order of Liberators, admiral, captain- 
general, and commander-in-chief of the naval forces of the re- 
public of Colombia, was boni in tiic island of Curacao, the 6th 
of July, 17B2. He was one of the most distingirished chief- 
tains of Colombia, liberal, honest and brave, and an ardent pa- 
triot. He was one of the principal supporters of general Boli- 


var, to whom he was, unfortunately for tlic cause of freedom 
and independence, too blindly devoted. His father, Peter 
Brion, was a native of Brabant, and a wealthy and respectable 
merchant. He was a counsellor of the council of state in Cu- 
racao, until his death. His mother, Mary Detrox, was born in 
Luttich. Both came from Holland and established themselves 
in the island of Curacao, where his father's business became 
very important and extensive, and gready enhanced his wealth. 

Louis, who was tlie second son of the family composed of 
two brothers and one sister, was sent, when very young, to Hol- 
land for his educadon, where he completed his classical studies. 
He was placed in tlie office of a notary public for the purpose 
of studying and learning tlie laws. But when die conscription 
came, young Brion waited not to be drawn, but presented him- 
self voluntarily to serve in die foot chasseurs of Holland. When 
the English and Russians made their descent on the coast of 
Holland, under the duke of York, Brion disunguished liimself 
by his bravery. He attracted the attention of his superiors, 
who offered him the grade of an officer, but his parents fearing 
he might become attached to the military life, caused him to 
return to Curacao, where his father employed him in mercan- 
tile business. 

But young Brion was of too active and restless a turn of 
character to be pleased with the life of a setded merchant. 
He wished to make voyages, and to enlarge his knowledge and 
increase his fortune. His father, therefore, granted his request 
to be sent to die United States, for die purpose of studying 
navigation. While he was here for that purpose, his father 
died, and left him a large iortune. Louis bought a vessel, and 
visited various seas and countries, uniting the seaman with the 
merchant; and having made large additions to his fortune, re- 
turned to Curacao in 1S04, where he established himself as a 

The English commodore Murray, having received an order 
from his government to take possession of the Dutch island of 
Curacao in 1805, sent a detachment of from four to five thou- 
sand men, to the east side of the island. These English troops 
debarked near a small fort called Caracas Bay, and took pos- 
session of a hill commanding the fort, where they placed a 
battery and heavy guns, which threatened the destruction of 
the fort. Brion was, that day, accidentally there. As soon as 
he perceived the intention of the English, he sprang upon his 
horse, and came full speed to the capital, which b two large 

. .1 

304 UMaumm » mutab. 

leagues from Caracas Bay. h tbe capital be bad maiij fifiewb 
— aod it was well known there, that not only he was rich and 
active, but also, that be had served with reputatioD in tbe mili- 
tary line. In a few minutes he was joined by above a hundred 
young men ; his friends who armed tbemselvest elected Mm 
their commander, and marched full speed against the English* 
With Brion at their head, they ascended the bill, lAere 
the English had hastily entrenched themselves. Brioo and bis 
friends attacked them with such spirit, that tbe Engliah were 
killed with the bayonet and sword, upon their pieees. The 
batde was turned upon the boats of the Englisb, of 
few escaped to embark ; but all that were not killed 
were destroyed by the fire directed upon the boata ; m tfatt 
not a soul, eventually escaped. 

This heroic deed raised Brioo and his coropanioiu lo die 
highest estimatKHi. On their return to the capital they were 
received with demonstrations of ioy and gratitude. Festivals 
were given in honor of them. But the restless disporitioo of 
Brioo impelled biro again to travel. He bent his way to Lar 
guaira ; and coming to Caracas, was received into the most 
distin^sbed families, and among others, into that of MoooUa, 
in which he soon became an intimate friend. Thb was some 
years previous to the revolution of 1810« at Caracas. From 
that time he became the patron of the eldest soo, Hariaooy 
who, as we have seen, was indebted to him for hb reooDcilia- 
lion with the supreme chief at Angostura in 1819, and bispio* 
motion to the rank of colonel, in the service of bis country. 

At the beginning of tlie revolution in 1810, Brion ofiered 
his services to tiie new republic, and was appointed captain of 
a frigate in 181 1. He accepted die rank, with tbe ccmditioa 
that he should not be subject to strict service, but should be at 
liberty to act independently of any chieftain, with his own ves- 
sel, in his OTvn way. He, in fact, sacrificed his large fortune 
and his credit, for tlie benefit of the cause, and labored inces- 
sandy in its service. He would undoubtedly have done much 
more, had it been in his power to change the ambitious inews 
of general Bolivar, to whom I have heard him a hundred times 
urge the necessity of having, not a congress alone, but a gov* 
emment established upon legal principles, by which the secu- 
rity of persons and property should be insured to the whde 

I heard him speak with great warmth to Bolivar, in favor of 
convening a congress, and adopting a constitution like that of 

mxoiRs or bolitar* 305 

the United States of America, where the federal system had 
been proved to be the best and most in conformity with 
the different laws, customs and character of the people. If 
Caracas and New Grenada had adopted the federal system, 
Bolivar could never have obtained the absolute rule over them 
which he now exercises. Bolivar himself was aware of this ; 
and, therefore, it was, that he rejected the federal system, 
under pretence of its being too weak and slow in its operations. 
A central government has thrown absolute power into his 
bands. And now that he has acquired the habit of reigning 
akme, it will be difficult, probably impossible, to introduce a 
free government, a government of laws, into Colombia, during 
his Me. 

Bolivar soon forgot, or at least disregarded all that Brion 
had done for him, or the cause. The great exertions of Bri- 
on, as noted m these memoirs, met only with ingratitude from 

When I spoke to general Bolivar one evening at Aux Cayes 
in very high terms of Brion, and his great exertions, Bolivar 
said to me, *' you are right, my dear friend ; but we must both 
confess he is a very great fool" — and he laughed heartily. 

Brion could never recover the large sums he advanced ; 
Bolivar put him off by saymg there was no money then, but 
that he should be paid as soon as possible. 

The leading traits in the character of a Caraguin, are vani- 
ty, pride and jealousy. In prosperity he is vain and insolent ; 
in adversity, humble, and ready to listen anxiously to any one 
who is able to relieve him. 

When Bolivar came from Jamaica to Aux Cayes, he had 
not four doublons in his pocket. He found Brion, listened to 
him, and followed his advice. But the supreme chief at Mar- 
garita, and at Carupano, rejected the wise counsel of Brion, 
and followed his own whims. Bolivar, when a fugitive from 
the field of battle at Ocumare, listened to the voice of Brion, 
who joined him at Bonair, and returned to the shores of Ocu- 
mare. Being driven off by Marino, Piar, and Bermudes, and 
treated as a coward by his own countrymen, the stranger Bri- 
on came again to his support, and placed him at the head of 
the government, at the end of 1816. Bolivar again in power, 
disregarded his word given to Brion, and the chieftains of Co- 
lombia, to assemble a congress. When upon Bolivar's disap- 
pearance, and concealing himself in the plains of Cumana, 
Zea, Marino, and others, had assembled a congress, Bolivar, 


the moment it was in his power, annulled their proceedings, 
and fastened again on the supreme power, and reprimanded 
Brion and Zea. Biion being deeply engaged with Bolivar, 
yr^s obliged to submit to his commands. From that time Bol- 
ivar became jealous that Brion might supplant him ; and from 
this jealousy arose the treatment Brion received from him at 

I have been assured, that from the time of the transactioD at 
Curiaco, the admiral was no longer treated by the supreme 
chief as an intimate friend and confidant, as he had ever been 
before that time, and that he felt this coldness very sensdbhr. 
In consequence of that jealousy, which is so strong a trait in 
tlie Caraguin character, Bolivar had to struggle not only with 
Bolivar, but also with Mariano Montilla, and Linode Cle- 

In 1819, Mariano Montilla was sent as colonel from Angos- 
tura to Margarita by the supreme chief, with a large amount of 
money, as has been related. After the taking of Santa Mar- 
tha, where Brion so powerfully sustained the operations of 
Montilla, the jealousy of the latter rose high against Brion, who, 
as admiral, had a right to the command. Montilla, created 
brigadier general, forgot that Brion was his friend and protec- 
tor, and refused to recognise his authority. This gave rise to 
many unpleasant scenes ; and Brion, highly disgusted, retired 
to Maracaybo, where general Linode Clemente was inten- 

The character of Brion was generally rough and haughty, 
and this brought liim into disagreeable collisions with the gen- 
eral. Under so much trouble, his robust constitution was 
shaken, and he became so ill tliat he was obliged to leave his 
squadron. He retired to Curacao in the beginning of 1821, 
in a low state of health, and so poor that the captain of the 
privateer he went in, lent him sixteen doublons. He was so 
dejected and tired of life, that he refused medicine, ate very 
little, and drank what his physician advised him to abstain from, 
after a long and Ungering illness, he died, as he had long de- 
sired, tte 20th of September, 1821, deeply lamented by all 
enlightened and liberal men. 

All the property he left of a vast estate, was not enough to 
pay the expenses of his funeral, which was attended by many 
hundreds of the inhabitants of Curacao. His probity, his gen- 
erosity, and the great services he rendered to Colombia, will 
transmit his name to posterity, and exalt it far above the name 


of any of his persecutors. The congress of Colombia has 
passed various decrees in honor of his memory. 

Francisco Paulo, or Pablo Sanander, of the order .of Libera- 
tors, General of division, vice president of the republic of Co- 
lombia, &c. &c. was born in 1787, at the city of Bogota, at that 
time called Santa Fe de Bogota ; he was born in a low condi- 
tion. His high rank and elevation are the result of his own 
merit. He is brave, active and intriguing, with but little edu- 
cation or fortune. He is the chief of the revolution in which 
he has distinguished himself on various occasions. His ambi- 
tion is not so conspicuous as that of Bolivar ; but they are great 
rivals, and Sanander is far the ablest man, and best qualified 
to be at the head of the government. During tlie four years 
of Bolivar's absence in the soudiern provinces of Colombia, 
and in Peru, general Sanander or vice president, was charged 
with the executive ; and in the whole of this dme there was no 
commotion, no partial insurrection, no civil war. Affairs pro- 
ceeded, if not so regularly as could have been desired, certain- 
ly much better than after Bolivar's return to Colombia. As 
soon as the latter returned, civil war began in Valencia, Cara- 
cas, and Laguaira ; and afterwards at Porto Cabello and Car- 
thagena. It is said not without some foundation, that general 
Bolivar was the secret instigator of these commotions. This as- 
sertion derived credit from the fact that general Paez was on- 
ly not punished, but was continued by the liberator in his rank, 
and in his command. Bolivar indeed convened his ridiculous 
assembly at Ocuna, which was but vapour. Bolivar, with his 
bayonets, gained his point, while Sanander, the constitution, 
and those shadows of tlie republican form, the senate and house 
of representatives, vanished. This was a struggle of the Cara- 
guin against the Grenadan. The weapons of the former were 
bayonets, those of the latter, pen, ink and paper. 

Antonio Francisco Zea, Dr. Jurisprudentiae, ex-intendant, 
ex-president of congress, ex-vice-president of the republic of 
Venezuela, minister plenipotenUary of the republic of Colom- 
bia at London and Paris, kjc, he, was born in 17G8, in the 
city of Bogota. He was one of die first who thought of ren- 
dering his country free and independent of Spain. He had 
devoted his time chiefly to the study of the laws, political econo- 
my, history, and general literature, to all, in short, which con- 
duces to form the mind and mould the heart of a gentleman. 
He devoted himself zealously to the study of botany, of which 
he acquired a profound knowledge. He was one of those rare 

308 MXHOilu or mouwuu 

^n«-. 4« « di«in,*h.d b, *»..l«.*dg.-d 

Zea was the intimate friend of bis oolintiyiiiaiiy 
Narino, a young man of ardent and ambitious character, 
of a leadbg family b Bogota. Narino hated the 
government of Spain, and by his passionate and enemdc 
▼ersation, gained his friend Zea, and about twenty other young 
men of the best families, to unite, for the purpose of exdabg 
the attention of their countrymen to their debased eondkioa, 
and inducbe them to revolt. The imprudent leal of Naiinoi 
however, discovered his plan, and his accomplices. Tbey 
were secretly arrested m the ni^it, by order ot the vioeniy, 
taken under a strong escort to Santa Martha, and e mta a h ad 
for Cadis, (1794.) 

Young Zea baa the |;ood fortune to find powerful friends 
and protecton at Biadnd, where he remained for a long tinie. 
From there be went to France, whither his parents came ahort- 
ly afterwards, to establish themselves at Paris, where thqr vo- 
mained with part of their family. Zea returned to Madrid and 
became the conductor of the Gazette of the court, and of the 
Mercury of Madrid. Soon after, king Charles IV. appointed 
him director of the beautiful botanic garden of that caphaL 

In 1808, Mr. Zea was one of the 85 deputies from Spain, 
convened by order of Napoleon, at Bayonne, to fiurm a 

The new king of Spain, Joseph Napdeon, in wfaoae r 
Mr. Zea entered Spain, named him, soon afterwards, hb pre- 
fect at Malaga, and gave him the decoration of his new order 
of knighthood. But the new prefect shared the fate of his new 
kbg, who, with his good qualities, soon gave way to the cruel 
and cold hearted Ferdinand. 

Mr. Zea returned to France, and resided some years at 
Paris. Part of his family were with liim, and he occupied him- 
self exclusively with science and belles lettres. When, b 1813, 
the congress of New Grenada sent M. M. Gutierres and colond 
Tules Ducan to London, to procure arms, ammunitbn and oth- 
er warlike stores, for the use of tlie patriots, Mr. Zea joined his 
countrymen and rendered them great assistance b their busi- 
ness. But they were principally indebted, for their success, to 
Louis Brion, afterwards admiral of Cobmbia. He was at that 
time in London, and offered his large fortune and extensive 
credit in aid of the object of these patriots. By these means 
they prociured a fine corvette, armed with 28 guns, which 


brought a great quantity of warlike stores, and among them four- 
teen thousand choice muskets, for the use of the patriot army. 
Brion had beforehand made a written agreement with them, 
very fortunately, as one of these deputies attempted, in 1816, 
to deprive him of his property. 

In 1814, Mr. Zea passed from London to Jamaica, where 
he remained until the beginning of 1816. He was joined in 
1815, by general Bolivar, after his siege as;ainst Carthagena.*' 
General Bolivar returned to Aux Cayes, Mr. Zea joined, him 
some weeks afterwards, and was appointed intendant of the 

Mr. ZeB. and admiral Brion, who made their acquaintance in 
London, became firm friends. The former bemg of a sweet 
and accommodating temper, became also the friend of general 
Marino, who was despised by Brion. In 1817, Brion found him- 
self grievously disappointed by general Bolivar, who had made to 
him, Arismendy, Paez and others, a solemn promise, before he 
left Port au Prince, that he would convene a congress. Boli- 
var, under various pretences, eluded their intimations to him to 
keep his promise ; and, by usurping the tide of supreme chief, 
betrayed his determination to continue in the exercise of the 
supreme power. Brion, who loved a constitutional government, 
and hated an usurped military power, spoke frequently with 
Zea, of his disappointment. When, therefore, Bolivar abscond- 
ed from Barcelona, the plains of Cumana, Brion thought the 
moment propitious to the calling of a congress. He spoke on 
the subject to Zea, and Zea to Marino ; and a congress was 
formed at Curacao, which existed a fortnight ; being then dis- 
solved by Bolivar, as before stated. They excused themselves 
to the supreme chief, and were pardoned ; but never regained 
their former standing in his favor. 

In 1817, Mr. Zea was created counsellor of the govern- 
ment of Angostura ; as such he proposed the establishment of 
a gazette, under the tide of the Courier of Angostura, of which 
he was, for a long time, the only conductor. After the arrival 
of doctor Rosina, Mr. Zea was assisted by him. This was the 
first and only official gazette published after the downfall of 
Bolivar's dictatorship in 1814. 

Bolivar, understanding the pliant temper and timid character 
of Zea, appointed him, without hesitation, to the office of vice 

See chapter IX. 


preadent of the republic, to exercise the executive power in 
his abseDCe. We have seen bow Arismendj breed Um to 
resign, and how the latter was turned out by Bolivar, and ZtM, 

Bolivar, knowing that Zea bad left part of his hmHy in Pftris, 
and that he had sure and powerful friends in London, sent him, 
in 1819, as minister plenipotentiaiy to both capitals. As such, 
he was sometimes in England, and then m France, as die bu- 
siness of his mission required. He was never admitted in his 
diplomatic character ; but was well received as a stranger ; 
and, by the friends of the South American cause, with distinc- 
tion. Mr. Zea having been always steady, and discreet in 
principles, Bolivar lioped that the moderate party would be 
animated by him, and that by his influence and exertions, a 
eood understanding between the two contending parties might 
be established. At that time there existed a strong party, so 
far in favor of Spab, that they desired not to drive these who 
were attached to the old government, to despair ; but wished 
for the correction of certain abuses, and made this their 
leading object. This was the plan of the celebrated general 
Miranda, who was so much calumniated in 1811 and '12. AD 
who knew general Miranda, will agree that he was in eveiy 
respect a much worthier man than eeneral Bolivar. Miranda 
was a profound tactician, an intrepid soldier ; a man of great 
ability in civil administration ; disinterested in his views, and 
who never, in the least particular, abused the dictatorial power, 
which was entrusted to him by congress, during several months. 
He attracted to him, men of talents and merit, listened to their 
opinions, and many times rollowed their sugtcestions. Bolivar 
b tlic exact reverse of all this. Colombia will therefore remain 
enslaved and miserable whilst the supreme ciiief remains at the 
head of her imaginary republic ; and her government has, at 
present, no better foundation tlian his moderate talents, and his 
character, — such as it is. 

Tlie negociations, in which Mr. Zea succeeded in London 
are too well known to be noticed here, as well as the attempts 
of Mr. Pedro Gual and Mr. Revenga, to degrade his character 
and his memory. Histor}' has already decided between them 
and the worth v Zea. 

Revenga succeeded Mr. Zea as chaise des afiaires in Lon- 
don ; but met with a very different reception. The first was 
greatly respected apd beloved ; the latter is now one of the 


most devoted partizans of that same general Bolivar, whom, 
according to report, he not long since hated. 

A detail of the negociations respecting the loan, would place 
the candor, ability and honesty of Mr. Zea in the strongest 
light, but such detail would exceed die limits of these sketches. 

On the 26th November, 1822, while acting in England as 
minister of Colombia, Mr. Zea died at Bath ; deeply regretted 
by every upright and enlightened patriot. 

The persecutions that awaited him, if he had lived to return 
to his country, are plainly indicated in the official letter of Pe- 
dro Gual, dated Bogota, 29th September, 1822. 


Biographical Sketches of General Paez and Arismendy. 

Joseph Antonio Paez, of theorder of Liberators, General in 
Chief of the armies of Colombia, Venezuela, iic. be. was 
bom in 1786, m the city of Aragua, of Indian parents of a low 
extraction, whose employment consisted principally in raising 
cattle, and in cultivating some land. For their stations in life 
they were in comfortable circumstances. Young Paez was 
raised amidst the herds of his fathers, and of course received no 
education at all. He took care of the herds, and could per- 
form any operation used upon cattle or horses, with great sicill. 
He understood all the simples used in the cure of all the 
disordeis of herds in that country and knew how to apply 
them. He was master at taming wild horses ; and had great 
bodily strength and agility. He was also extremely patient of 
fatigue of every kind. 

When eighteen years old, he offered himself to make a jour- 
ney from Aragua to the city of Barinas, where his mother was 
born. She had a lawsuit with her family, which had already 
lasted for several yeaYs. After some objections on the part of 
his parents, they consented to his taking the journey, in the 
hope diat it would facilitate their law suit. He set off well 
mounted, armed, and supplied with money. On the road, he 
met with two rogues whom he had known at Aragua, and 


who knew that he had money. They lay in wait to rob bim. 
He was not at all aware of their intentions, and without suspi- 
cion came near them. One of them attempted to seize the 
reins of his bridle, but Paez, who had a vigorous horse, gave 
him the spur and rode off at fuU speed, overtbroi^ring both the 
robber and his horse. The robbers not being so well mounted 
but knowing a foot path shorter than the road, took that, 
and at the end of it upon the road again way laid them 
and endeavored to seize him. When Paez found that 
all his entreaties were vain, he suddenly killed one of the rob- 
bers on the spot; the other fled; neither of them being armed. 
Young Paez, fearing the conseauences of this encounter to 
his iamily and himself, thought it best to return to his parents, 
and inform them what had happened before the other robber 
could have time to denounce him. His parents immediately 
concealed him ; and paid money and gave presents to hush up 
this afiair. They placed their son as an overseer of cattle upon 
the Hato (farm) of a rich and powerful Spaniard in the 
plains, where he remained, occupied only with his service for 
several years. Being large, well formed, supple, vigorous and 
biave he was known for these qualities, and the afikir of 
the robbers being learned in the neighborhood, he became 
greatly beloved on account of it, and his name was famous. 
On the breaking out of the Revoluuon of Caracas, in 1810, Pa- 
ez declared himself in favor of freedom and liberty. And the 
LJaneros placing great confidence in him, he easily persuaded 
them to jom him, and they unanimously called him their chief. 
He chose from among them 150 mounted men : and this com- 
pany soon began to be the terror of the Spaniards.. 

At the death of his mother he inherited her property in Bar- 
inas, which he divided witli his sisters, who had tlien fixed 
their residence in that town. In 1811 tlie Spaniards had 
again taken possession of it, and proclaimed a general amnesty 
for all who should wish to re-enter upon their property, promis- 
ing to reinstate tliem in the possession of tlieir fortunes. Paez 
being informed of this, presented himself well mounted and ar- 
med, before the Spanish commandant of the town, in order to 
Cro6t of the amnesty, and recover his property. As soon as 
e was recognised by the inhabitants, tliey came by hundreds 
to shake hands with and welcome him. But when the Span- 
ish governor heard that he was the famous captain Paez, who 
had done them so much mischief, tliey ran to their arms, and 
raised a cry in the street, for their commander to arrest him, 


and shoot him as a rebel and traitor. This commandant, who 
was aware of the bravery of Paez, and of his ascendancy over 
the inhabitants of Barinas, thought it not prudent to order his 
arrest, fearing such a measure would excite a general rebellion. 
He, tlierefore, appeased his soldiers, and Paez was permitted 
to remain with his arms, and to retire into tlie house of his fam- 
ily. After some days, the governor was informed by his spies, 
that Paez had gone out unarmed, and this would be a good 
time to seize his arms, and then to arrest him. The governor 
approved of the project, and some armed men entered the 
house and took away his sword and pistols. He returned in 
the evening, and finding what had been done, walked to the 
governor's house and told him that he had broken his word. 
He told him he had come to the place, trusting in the good 
faith of his promises. He therefore demanded that his arms 
should he restored to him ; not to be used against the Span- 
iards, but for his personal security. He spoke in so firm a tone, 
and witli such natural warmth, that the governor ordered his 
arms to be restored. At this moment the the whole garrison 
of Barinas impetuously insisted upon his being arrested, and 
confined in irons. He was taken in the night, put in irons, and 
locked up in tiie prison ; where he found about 1 50 prisoners 
of war, and among them his friend Garcia, an officer of great 
strength and courage. Garcia complained to Paez of tlie 
weight of his irons, and of the miserable situation of the pris- 
oners. Paez reproached him with pussillanimity, and imme- 
diately breaking his own fetters, oflFered him an exchange. 
Garcia took heart and ceased complaining. Paez tlien spoke 
in a low but earnest manner to the prisoners exhorting them to 
one common effort for their delivery. This effort was made un- 
der his direction, and before morning their limbs mostly were 
free. When the jailor came to open the door, Paez fell upon 
him, knocked him down, and threatened him with instant death 
if he were not silent. They seized the arms of the guard, broke 
the irons of all that were not yet freed ; and the 150 prisoners 
inarched with Paez at their head, upon the Spanish garrisoiiy 
about 200 strong ; many of whom they killed, and routed the 
rest. Thus was Barinas again set free. 

This exploit being very soon made known to the Llaneros, 
they proclaimed Paez their general. 

He rendered great service to Bolivar in 1813 and 14. He 
was adored by the Llaneros, with whom he distinguished him- 
self in the plains of Apure, Achaguas and Casanare. He be- 


came acquainted with general Piar, from whom he learned 
much ; and, during the absence of Bolivar in 1814, these two 
chieftains fought unitedly, bravely and without interruption. 
They became the terror of Boves, Morales, Cagigal, Yanes, 
Cevallos, and other Spanish commanders. 

In 1820, Paez having fixed his head quarters at Chaguas, 
had under his command, among others, the British legion, com- 
manded by colonel Bossett, about six hundred strong. At that 
time, there were attached to this legion, 3 colonels, 2 lieuten- 
ant colonels, 5 majors, and many supernumerary captains. 
Colonel Bossett was a good officer and highly esteemed by 
general Paez ; who likes foreigners generally, better than does 
Bolivar, or any other Caraguin chieftain. Paez thought highly 
of the English troops ; and used to call them, Mis Amtgos Los 
Inglesis (my friends the English.) Colonel Bossett, however 
was disliked by his own officers and soldiers. They attributed 
to him the miserable state of their rations, their clothes, and 
the want of their pay. Chaguas being a small place, the offi- 
cers and soldiers were crowded together. They had nothingbut 
beef for their rations ; no bread, vegetables, nor spirits. The 
soldiers conspired together and fixed upon St. Simon's day for 
meeting. This day was celebrated throughout Colombia as a 
festival or holiday, because general Bolivar bore the name of 
this saint. 

The heat being excessive in these plains, parade was usually 
deferred until 6 or 6 o'clock at evening, and St. Simon's day 
falling this year on Sunday, and the Saturday before being 
given up to the soldiers, that they might have time to clean 
their arms, the division was excused from parade. 

Notwithstanding this, as soon as the clock struck five, the 
soldiers of the British Legion rushed out of their lodges with 
their arms, and placed ihemsebes in order of battle, crying 
aloud that they would no longer be commanded by their co- 
lonel, that they would prefer any other, even a Creole. The 
officers of the legion immediately repaired to the parade and 
endeavored to pacify them. Among these was a lieutenant- 
colonel, against whom they had taken oflTence, and who, as 
soon as he approached them, received four or five bayonet 
wounds, and was carried ofi* mortally wounded. Colonel Bos- 
sett, hearing what was going on, came before the mutineers well 
anned, and determined to enforce order among them. But as 
soon as he began to speak, the soldiers rushed upon him with 
their bayonets, but were prevented firom doing him any serious 


injury by the efforts of the officers to appease them. General 
Paez being informed of the mutiny, ran from his quarters, with 
his drawn sword in his hand, fell upon the mutineers, killed 
three of them instantly, and broke his sword upon the body of 
a fourth. He then seized some of the most rebellious, took 
them by the strength of his own arms out of their ranks, and 
ordered them to prison. This spirited conduct so overawed 
the mutineers, that they separated, and retired hastily to their 

A young lieutenant, and three soldiers, all English, having 
been denounced as the most seditious, were arrested in the 
night. The lieutenant was innocent of what had passed the 
day before, but was denounced by his enemy the adjutant-ma- 
jor of the legion. The next day he and the three soldiers, 
without any further trial were shot. 

General Paez was an excellent partizan officer, and was 
very useful whilst he confined himself to the plains, where he 
was perfectly acquainted. But when out of these, he became 
dull, and appeared to be in a manner lost. He was several 
times in this state, as the history of the military operations in 
Venezuela will show. 

It must, however, be acknowledged, that of all the Colom- 
bian generals, Paez has uniformly displayed the greatest per- 
sonal bravery, and that in all attacks, he has been at the head 
of his Llaneros, over whom he has acquired unlimited power. 
He divides with them his last cent. They call him uncte and 
father. But as he had no education, and could form himself on- 
ly by his own exertions, he has no accurate knowledge of tac- 
tics, nor indeed of any branch of the military art, of which he 
has more than once been heard to speak with contempt. His 
staff officers are Llaneros, and form his regular society. He 
takes his hammock in the midst of them, and smokes and drinks 
with them. He talks much, and, like most of the Caraguins, 
is vain, proud, and boastful. 

In 1819, general Paez wished to take possession of Guanare ; 
and on his march, found the Spanish lieutenant colonel Duran 
at the head of a detachment of 200 infantry, with whom he was 
retiring towards the hato of La Guaz. General Paez had with 
him 1200 chosen cavalry, all Llaneros, with whom he was ac- 
customed to march, and to whom he gave the name of invinci- 
bles. He instantly charged Duran's little party, crying, " des- 
troy them, cut them in pieces." Duran formed a square, and 
crossing his bayonets, made a successiiil defence against the 


wild attack of the Llaneros. He then, in his turn made a full 
charge upon them, killed many, and routed the rest. Paez 
was obliged to fly ; and escaped with but a small part of his 

His head quarters, since 1813, have been in Valencia ; but 
he has a beautiful country seat not far from Caracas, which be- 
fore the revolution, bebnged to the marquis of San Leon. 
When his time permits him^ he passes some days at this place, 
where he fattens a great many catde, performs operations upon 
his young horses and bulls, prepa^-es medicines for any diseased 
animals, and trims and dresses his horses. He is best satisfied 
when busily engaged in these occupations. A considerable 
part of his time is employed in lying upon his hammock, smok- 
ing, and talking with favorites of his past campaigns. 

He has a great predilecuon for hunting wild bulls, and par- 
ticularly for th e kind of hunt called colear un toro. It con- 
sists in taking a bull by tlie tail, and throwing him upon the 
ground, and is done, particularly by the Llaneros of Veoezuela, 
in the following manner. The hunters are all on horseback, 
each carrying in his hand a piece of red cloth. At the sight 
of this color, ttie bull becomes enraged ; and runs at some one, 
who dexterously throws his cloth, and fastens it upon the horns 
of the bull, in such a manner as to blindfold ^ him. While he 
is roaring and plunging to clear himself of the cloth, the princi- 
pal hunter, who is designated beforehand, seizes the animal's 
tail and fastens an end of a strong rope to it. He then n)akes 
the other end fast to a tree, so that die bull cannot escape. 
He now turns the tail with a strong hand, and with such address, 
that the quick motion the animal naturally makes in turning 
his head towards his captor, is made to assist in throwing him 
flat upon his side. The moment he is got into this position, 
the principal h'jnter hamstrings him with his sabre, and the rest 
pierce him with their spears. The carcass is then dressed and 
prepared for cooking. 

At the battle of Ortiz, in April, 1818, where Bolivar com- 
manded, Paez, with his cavalry, made several successful char- 
ges against the enemy, who, though inferior in number, were su- 
perior in discipline and skill to Bolivar. The general-in-chief 
had so entangled matters and confounded the line, that his in- 
fantry were beaten and nearly destroyed. On this occasion, 
Paez reproached liim personally, and with great freedom and 


At Bolivar's request, Paez covered the retreat, and made 
one or two charges, which saved the remnant of the infantry 
from destruction. Soon after the last charge, which he led 
himself, he retired on one side, and having dismounted, was 
seized with a fit, and lay upon the ground, foaming at the mouth. 
Colonel English, who related ihe circumstance to me, was pre- 
sent. He went up to Paez, hut was warned by some of his 
people not to touch him ; and by no means to disturb the gen- 
eral. " He will soon be well," said they, " he is often so, and 
none of us dare touch him until he is perfectly recovered." 
Colonal English, however, approached, and having sprinkled 
some water in his face and forced a litde down his throat, he 
soon recovered ; and coming to his recollection, he tlianked 
him cordially ; saying tliat he was a little overcome by the fa- 
tigue of the day, having with his lance and his own arm, killed 
thirty-nine of the enemy. He said he felt his illness coming 
on, as he was running the fortieth through the body. The 
bloody lance lay by his side, and he presented it to colonel 
English as a memorial of his friendship and affection. Paez 
soon recovered and joined his legion, and when colonel Eng- 
lish departed, ho presented him with three very fine horses 
from his own stud. 

After the refusal of general Morrillo to give quarter, Paez 
was never known to spate the life of a prisoner. At the battle 
of Calabozo, having been successful in several charges, by 
which he forced the royalists to retreat, he was in the height 
of good humor, when an officer, who had been taken by his 
men, was brought to him. The officer was mounted. The 
general asked him a lew questions, and then directed his m n 
ofbtisiness to do his duty. The Spaniard begged hard for his 
life. "Well," says Paez, " ride to yonder tree," pointing to 
one at some distance, " and when you get there, escape as fast 
as you can, and take care 1 do not come up with you." The 
officer obeyed, and when he arrived at the tree, casting one 
glance behind, commenced his race. Paez pursued and soon 
overtook him. He was just going to strike his lance through 
him, when the officer with some presence of mind said, " gen- 
eral Paez is too noble to take an advantage ; my horse was 
tired ; but if you, general, will give me your horse, and the 
same liberty, I think I could save my life." " Done !" an- 
swered Paez ; and immediately the Spaniard was mounted 
upon his horse. The distance was again pointed out. The 
officer rode to the spot and started afresh. Paez meanwhile 


mounted die jaded horse. He started also, gained ground, and 
m about two miles actually overtook the Spaniard, and pierced 
hitn through with his spear. The case was witnessed by hun- 
dreds; and tlie air rang with the applauses of the sanguinary 

Juan Bautista Arismendy, general of divisbn, of the order of 
Liberators, ex-governor of the island of Margarita, &c. &c. 
was born in 1786 in the island of Margarita, of parents in as 
good circumstances, as tliis sterile spot could make them; 
whose inhabitants subsist upon fishing and navigation. 

Arismendy is one of those men who are said to form them- 
selves, and who become fit for the station they occupy in the 
world, by the force of genius or natural ability. He possesses 
a natural tact or disposition, which no education, though it may 
direct, can ever give. From his youth, he was devoted to 
hunting and fishing. The first formed his coup d'cnl and 
taught him stratagem. Both hardened his body, by exercise 
and privation. His figure is broad, strong, and about five feet 
two inches high. His complexion is tawny and sun burnt. 
His hair is yellow, his eyes are small and piercing, and be b 
probably, the most active chieftain in Colombia. He has re- 
ceived no education and can scarcely read or write. His pen- 
etrating genius, and his insinuating manners, advanced him in the 
army ; and when Bolivar created himself dictator, he appoint- 
ed colonel Arismendy governor of tlie capital, Caracas. In 
this post he distinguished himself by his vexations and cruelties; 
and made himself many enemies. 

In 1814, when Venezuela was in a declining: condition, he 
left Caracas, and went, as briicadier-general and governor of 
the island of Marffarita, into his native countrv. He re-estab- 
lished order in this province, fortified those places which afford- 
ed a g;ood defence, and buih a number of small forts, redoubts 
and batteries. Here he made himself very popular by his 
good and just administration, and acquired a s;reat ascendancy 
over his countrymen ; so that after the battle of La Puerta, 
which was lost bv the dictator in June IS 14, he was absolute 
master of Margarita, where he acted without control ; insomuch 
that when the two dictators, Bolivar and Marino, in IS 1 4 came 
to his island for shelter, he compelled them to depart without 
admitting them even to common hospitality. He was jealous 
of his authority, and determined to hold the supreme command 
of Margarita ; and he knew that Bolivar had a right to com- 
mand him wherever they were together. Bolivar knew well 


the character of Arismendy, an d did not dare to remain. From 
that time, general Arismendy remained in quiet possession of 
his absolute command, and organised and disciplined his army ; 
and administered much better than Bolivar had ever done. 
By his kind reception of foreigners, he attracted many priva- 
teers to the island ; their prizes were sold there ; and com- 
merce flourished under Arismendy's protecting care of the 
merchants and their Interests. He contented himself with a 
moderate income, the product of regular duties, and taxes. 
Margarita was then the entrepot between the Venezulan and 
Grenadan patriots, and the commercial world of die West-In- 
dies, and of the United States of America. 

In March, 1815, general Morillo's mighty expedition arrived 
from Cadiz, at tlie island of Margarita, on the same day with 
that of general Morales, from Guiria. Arismendy and the 
mhabitants of Margarita saw the impossibility of resisting this 
united force ; and therefore accepted the capitulation offered 
them by Morillo. It was clearly stated in the articles of capit- 
ulation that none of the inhabitants should be molested for their 
political opinions. In direct violation of this stipulation, num- 
bers of the most respectable inhabitants were secretly arrested 
in the night. Arismendy himself found means to escape, and 
conceal himself in the mountains. Morillo offered great reward 
to have him taken and delivered up to him ; and strict search 
was every where made for him ; but in vain. 

As he was perfectly acquainted with all the foot-passes in 
the woods and mountains, and as the inhabitants were devo- 
tedly attached to him, he soon succeeded in uniting about fifty 
of the bravest of them, whe determined to drive the Spaniards 
from the island, or die. He lived with them some lime upon 
roots and wild fruits, and the pioduce of hunting. He anima- 
ted their spirits by his conversation and examples, to such a 
degreee, that they promised to follow wherever he chose to 
lead. His first object was to procure arms and ammunition, of 
which his party were entirely destitute. Knowing all the Span- 
ish outposts, he began by surprising one of them, held by a cor- 
poral and four men, Arismendy, and twelve of his men armed 
with clubs and long knives, surprised this port in the night, 
killed tlie five men, and took their arnps and cartridges. Aris- 
mendy proceeded in this manner killing the Spaniards in the 
night and taking their arms and ammunition, for several months. 
Before any assistance could arrive, Arismendy and his men 
were again in the mountains. He continued in this manner to 
weaken the Spanish force, imtil he obtained not only a consid- 

320 xxMOiBs or bolitab. 

erable quantity of arms and ammunition, but manj recruits also. 
His successful enterprises reanimated the fallen spirit of the 

Arismendy, though already enabled to act upon a larger plan 
and with effect, was still in want of every thing, but principally 
of arms and munitions of war. He had noilung to expect 
from the Main, because, after the flight of Bolivar from Cuma- 
na, the remaining patriot chieftains were reduced, like himself, 
to provide for their troops as they could. But the spirit of pat- 
riotism was now so strong in Margarita, that the women joined 
witli their husbands, brothers and friends, in their effiuts agam 
to become free. They voluntarily gave their jewelry, pearls, 
golden earrings, crosses, &c. for the support of the war. They 
made shirts and other necessary clothing for the troops. Axis- 
mendy was unanimously elected supreme chief. Some patriot 
clergj-man offered golden and silver yases of the church, which 
they had taken the precaution to bury and secrete before the 
Spaniards landed. These valuables were secretly sent to Sc 
Tjiomas\ to be exchanged for arms and munitions of war. Aris- 
mendy is very sanguinary ; and now particularly, was extremely 
exasperated against tlie Spaniards. Moriib, who had about 
3()00 men left, k>st nearly aU these by Arismendy's bravery. 
There remained not 600 in the city of Assumption, and the 
forts of Pompatar, when I arrived with general &>Uvar, at this 
island, in May, 1816. The Spanish commander had embark- 
ed and gone to tlie Main, sometime before. 

Arisnicndy constructed long perogues to cwrry from 1 50 to 
200 nuMi, who were armed with suns taken iroro the Spaniards. 
The inhahitants of Margarita, beins: sailors from their earliest 
youth, and very brave, soon filled these boats with their best 
men. Heint; so constructed that sails and rudders could be 
used, they took a great many Spanish vessels by boarding, the 
crews heiiie; armed with muskets, swords, (called manchitas,) 
and lon^ knives. In this way they procured important means 
to cany on the war. They made prizes of gieat value, and 
t(M>k plenty of provisions. The Mar^aritans had never attack- 
ed, or taken any otiicr vessels, than those with Spanish papers, 
and undt r Spanish colors. Arismendy established the strict- 
est order in every thing, and acted with great probity and dis- 
inten^stedncss, living like the soldiers, and among them. The 
public stores were full and well preserved by the commissar 
rie.H. Arismendy organised his little republic much better than 
any of his countrymen had done before. Every one was sads- 


fied and ready to assist him. In a short time he received new 
supplies of muskets and warlike stores. Many privateers came 
to offer their service^ and his seaports were soon fiUed with 

Arismendy now become powerful and well supported, car- 
ried on his attacks more openly. He intercepted a number of 
convoys, and surprised whole corps and destroyed them. He 
erected various forts, redoubts and batteries, that he might have 
different points of attack and defence. Old and young of both 
sexes worked day and night, exposed to the fire of the Span- 
iards, who seeing the spirit of their opposers, lost all courage 
and confidence. General Arismendy pointed out to me vari- 
ous women, who fought like the best of his cannoniers, and 
who took up from the ground a great many balls and grape 
shot that came from the enemy, loaded them into their own 
guns, and returned them to the Spaniards. When Arismendy, 
Bolivar and myself made the circuit of these forts, the former 
assured me, that these women were of the greatest service, by 
animating their friends and relations to fight, and by carrying 
the sick and wounded on their shoulders. They would not 
suffer a man to leave his battery, but brought them food 
and spirits, handed cartridges, and indeed did the work of 
brave soldiers. Whilst they performed these services, they 
were chanting patriotic songs, and that amidst the heaviest fire 
of the enemy. 

During my stay in Margarita, general Arismendy, among 
many instances of the heroism of their women, related to me 
the following : 

The wife of general Arismendy had a rich uncle, who 
had been many years setded at Trinidad, and had often press- 
ed her to come and visit his family. At the end of 1815, she 
suggested to her husbend die plan of going, herself, to Trini- 
dad, to pay the long desired visit, and also for a more import- 
ant purpose, which was to solicit from her uncle, by way of 
loan, a large sum of money for the purpose of aiding the war. 
Her husband refused his consent to her going, and pointed out 
the dangers to which she would be exposed in that time of war 
and trouble, and particularly from the numerous cruising ves- 
sels of the enemy, which then filled the seas, in almost every 
direction from Margarita. She persisted, however, in her pur- 
pose, and at length obtained his consent, and a proper com- 
mission from him, for obtaining the loan. She was young, 

handsome and well educated. She embarked in a small 


schooner, without even a servant, and when she went on board, 
was unknown to any one in the vessel. After sailing some 
davs with a fair wind, the schooner was chased and overtaken 
by a Spanish privateer, and though she sailed under Dutch 
colors, was sent into Porto Cabello. 

As soon as she arrived in tliis city, she was recognised by a 
number of persons, as the wife of general Arismendy, and was 
immediately arrested and put into a dark and damp dungeon 
in tlie citadel. Arismendy, who almost always put his prison- 
ers to death, had spared three Spanish colonels and majors, 
whom he put into one of his forts, that tiiey might serve him as 
hostages, in case of need. The governor of Porto Cabello 
knew tlieir situation. They were beloved by their .superior of- 
ficers, and the governor sent one of his officers to Arismendy 's 
wife, with his word of honor, that she should be immediately 
set at liberty, if she would write a line to her husband, and per- 
suade him to release tlic three Spanish officers, in exchange 
for her. She feared that her husband would be weak enoueh, 
as she expressed it, to consent to the proposal, and she posi- 
tively refused to write. By the urgency of the governor, she 
understood the importance of tliese officers, and told him plain- 
ly that she would not write. She received a number of \'isils 
to the same purpose. At lengtli the governor came himself 
and endeavored to persuade her, but in va'm. They then 
threatened her, but she replied, laughing, that it would be cow- 
ardly to torment a defenceless woman, whose only crime was 
being the wife of a patriotic general. They next employed 
more rigorous U'i^atiDeiit, with rci:ard to her living, hut siill 
treated her respoctrully, and proiuiscd her immediate liberty if 
she would write to her husband to release the officers. At 
length she became vexed with t!ieir importunity, and told the 
officer who came lo lier, that if peueral Arismendy were in- 
formed of their cowardly trealuicnt of her, he would be as mad 
as a tiger, and would put to death thousands of Spaniards, men, 
women and children, all that mii;ln fall into h:s p^wer. That, 
for her part, she was deiermineil never l>) commit so weak and 
vile an act as they recjuired oriici, and that ^Ile would suffer a 
thousand deaths rather tlian attempt to persuade her husband 
to forget his duty. 

During three months she was tror.tod with creat barbarity, 
hut she remained firm, and con^^tantly irave the same answers. 
TIjc Spaniards, at last, finding that nothing could alter her de- 
termination, j)ermitted her to pass the island of Trinidad, fear- 


ing that if her husband should hear of her detention, he would 
do as she predicted. 

Such was tlie wife of general Arismendy, at die age of 23 

General Arismendy now lives retired, at a beautiful country 
seat, not far from Ocumare. 


Recapitulation of Facts — General Bolivar as he m, and not 
as he is commonly believed to be. 

I have shown how general Bolivar acted from 1810 to 1814. 
His campaigns in Peru do not come within my plan ; but they 
are well known, as are also his political transactions, his des- 
potism, and the Bolivian Constitution, which is his own work, 
and by which his principles are fully developed. 

The memoir of the late marquis De Torre Tagle, late pre- 
sident of Peru, which will be found in No. 9 of the Appendix, 
is a remarkable document to show the character oi general 
Bolivar. . The marquis has been represented as a traitor, be- 
cause he stated the truth in a lime when Bolivar's power was 
at a low ebb. The truth,( however, will be re-established ; 
and history will transmit it to posterity. 

In the appendix. No. 10, will be found another document, 
a leaer from Mr. Manuel Vidaurre, one of the most distin- 
guished patriots of Peru, which places the character of Bolivar 
in a just light. I will endeavor to give his portrait. 

General Bolivar in his exterior, in his phisiognomy, in his 
whole deportment, has nothing which would be noticed as 
characteristic, or imposing. His manners, his conversation, 
his behaviour in society, have nothing extraordinary in them ; 
nothing which would attract the attention of any one who did 
not know hiin. On the contrary, his exterior is against him. 
' He is five feet four inches m height, his visage is long, his 
cheeks hollow, his complexion a livid brown. His eyes are of 
middle size, and sunk deep in his head, which is covered thinly 
yith hair, and his whole body is tliin and meagre. He has 

3M MKMOims or boutas. 

the appearance of a man of sixty-five years oIJ. In walking, 
hb arms are in perpetual motion. He cannot walk long, but 
soon becomes fati^ed^ Wherever he eoes his stay is short, 
seldom more than half an hour, and as soon as he returns, his 
hammock is fixed, he sits or lies, and swings upon it after the 
manner of his countrymen. I^arge mustachios and whiskers 
cover a part of his face, and he is very particular in ordering 
each of his officers to wear them, savins: that thev «:ive a mar- 
tial air. This gives him a dark and wild air, particularly when 
he is in a passion. His eyes then become animated, and he 
gesticulates and speaks like a madman, threatens to shoot those 
with wlioin he is an^ry, steps quick across his chamber, or 
flings himself upon his hammock ; then jumps off it, and or- 
ders people out of his presence, and frequendy arrests them. 
There is notliing about them which can inspire respect. When 
he wislies to persuade, or bring any one to his purpose, he 
employs the most seducing promises, taking a man by the arm, 
and walking and speaking with him, as with his most intimate 
friend. As soon as his purpose is attained, he becomes cool, 
haughty, and often sarcastic ; but he never ridicules a man of 
high character, or a brave man, except in his absence. This 
practice of abusing people in their absence, is characteristic of 
the Caraguins generally. The following is extracted from 
colonel Hippisly^s 'Narrative of the Expedition to the rivers 
Orinoco and Apurc, in South America.' London, 1819. p. 

" I had a full opj)()riiip.ity ofs'irvt^ying the genera! (RDlivnr) 
whih; hi; \v;is coiivtr^iiii; wlih raj)tai!i Beire. From what I 
ha'l heard of him, I was led to e\|)ecl in appearance, a very 
diflerent man from the one I s:iw before me. General l*oIi- 
var is a njean lookiim |)ersoiK seeminu;ly, ihotiiih but 3^, (// 
falliot (lire tjui 31 ; parh CuL Hif'piily tji F an ISIS,) about 
50 vtjars of aj^o. He is ahoia Lve feet six inches in height, 
thin, sallow complexion, len;:iMfn«Ml visa2;e, marked with eve- 
ry symptom of anxiety, eare, and I could almost add, despon- 
dencv. He seemed also to have underixone i:;reat latiirne. 
His dark, and accordini; to report, brilliant eyes, were now 
dull and heavy, although I could pve them credit for posses- 
sing njorc fne and animulion, when his frame was less harrass- 
ed. Hlack hair loosly tied hehind with a piece of ribband, 
lar^j nmslarliios, hlack haiidkerchief round his neck, blue 
trowHrr-^, hoots and spurs, rompleU'd his costume. In ray 
eyt.'s he mi^ht have passed for any thing but what he wos. 


Across the chamber was suspended one of the Spanish ham- 
mocks, on which he occasionally sat, lolled and swan g, whilst 
conversing, and seldom remained in the same posture for two 
minutes together," &c. 

General Bolivar occupies himself very little in studying the 
military art. He understands no theory, and seldom asks a 
question, or holds any conversation relative to it. Nor does 
he speak of the civil administration, unless it happens to fall 
within the concerns of the moment. 

I often endeavored to bring him into serious conversation on 
these subjects ; but he would always interrupt me ; * yes, yes, 
mon cher amij I know this, it is very good ; but appropos* — and 
immediately turned the conversation upon some different sub- 

His reading, which is very little, consists of light history and 
talcs. He has no library, or collection of books, befitting his 
rank, and the place he has occupied for the last 6fteen years. 
He is passionately fond of the sex, and has always two or three 
ladies, of which one is the favorite mistress, who follows him 
wherever he goes. 

Dining is an amusement of which he is also passionately 
fond. Whenever he stays two or three days in a place, he 
gives a ball or two, at which he dances in his boots and spurs, 
and makes love to those who happen to please him for the mo- 
ment. Next to this amusement he likes his hammock, where 
he sits, or lolls, conversing or amusing himself with his favorite 
mistress, or other favorites, some of whom 1 have named in the 
course of this work. During tliis time, he is inaccessible to all 

The aid-de-camp on duty says to those who have important 
business to transact with him : ' his excellency is deeply engag- 
ed at present, and can see no one.* When he is out of humor, 
he swears like a common bully, and orders people out of his 
presence in the rudest and most vulgar manner. From his 
habits of life, or rather from his love of pleasure, it happens 
that many pieces of business are heaped together, and leit to 
his secretary, as his decree of Sth March, 1827, fixing the 
custom house duties of Venezuela, which is attributed to Ra- 
venga, and which has destroyed the commerce of the country. 
When he suddenly recollects some business, he calls his secre- 
tary, and directs him to write the letter or decree. This brings 
more to mind, and it often happens that in one day he hurries 
off the work of fifteen or twenty. In this manner it often hap- 


pens that decrees, made on the same day, are in direct oppo- 
sition to each other. 

General Bolivar has adopted the habits and customs of the 
European Spaniards. He takes his siesta, (noon nap) regu- 
larly, and eats his meals like the Spaniards. He goes to tertu- 
lias, (coteries,) gives refudos, and ^Iways dances the first min- 
uet with tlie lady highest iq rank in the company. This old 
Spanish custom is strictly observed throughout Colombia. 

Inasmuch as general Bolivar is the sport of circumstances, 
it is difhcult to trace his character, while, in the same ratio 
does it become less worth tracing. 

Bolivar, in success, differs, not circumstantially alone, from 
Bolivar in adversity ; but he is quite another man. When suc- 
cessful, he is vain, haughty, ill natured, violent ; at the same 
time the slightest circumstances will so excite his jealousy of 
his authority, that he arrests and sometimes condemns to cap- 
ital punishment, those whom he suspects. Yet, under the po- 
liteness of a man educated in the so called beau monde, he, in 
a great measure, conceals all these faults. They appear in 
his fits of passion ; but never then, unless he is sure of having 
the strength on his side, the bayonets at his command. 

When he finds himself in adversity and destitute of aid from 
without, as he often did from 1813 to 1818, he is perfectly free 
from passion and violence of temper. He then becomes mild, 
patient, docile, and even submissive. Those who have seen 
him in the changes of his fortune will agree that 1 have not 
overcharged the picture. 

Tiie dominant traits in the character of general Bolivar, are 
ambition, vanity, thirst for absolute, undivided power, and pro- 
found dissimulation. He is more cunning, and unjlestands man- 
kind better tlian the mass of his counlr}^men ; he adroitly turns 
every circumstance to his own advantage, and spares nothing 
to gain those he thinks will be of present use to him. He is 
officious in rendering tliem little services ; he flatters them, 
makes them brilliant promises ; finds whatever they suggest 
very useful and important, and is ready to follow their advice. 
A tliird person suggests something to him, or he meets with 
some unexpected success. Instantly he resumes his true cha- 
racter, and becomes vain, haughty, cross and violent ; forgets 
all services, and all obligations, speaks with contempt of those 
he had just courted, and if they are powerless, abandons or 
sacrifices tliem, but always manifests a disposition to spare 
those whom he knows are able to resist him. 


At Aux Cayes general Bolivai and I lived very much and 
very intimately togetlier. Our conversation turned one day 
upon general Marino, and he said, laughing to me, " Oh I 
despise Marino. He is a brute and not able to command four 
men." Marino at that instant came in. Bolivar met him at 
the door and embraced him warmly, as a dear friend, and we 
remained together, an hour or more. 

Bolivar represented general Arismendy to me as a man 
widiout an education, and yet as a very intriguing and dangerous 
man. He was evidently afraid of iVrismendy. He remember- 
ed that when he himself, and Marino, came as fugitives to Juan 
Griego, in 1814, Arismendy had prevented his remaining there 
at all, and even theratened violence if he attempted to do so. 
Bolivar had not forgotten this when we came to Margarita after 
the sea fight in May, 1816, and would probably then have 
been afraid to venture himself on shore ; but that Brion who 
on account of his wound had been put ashore, and Lad made 
. such representations to Arismendy as had reconciled him to 
Bolivar, and induced him to come on board our vessel. As 
soon as Arismendy came on board, Bolivar immediately took him 
down into the cabin and conversed widi him for a good while. 
He regained Arismendy by giving him a formal promise to 
convene a new congress, and lay aside his title of supreme 
chief, which was very offensive to the republican Arismendy. 
The latter relying on his word, engaged again to recognise him 
as commander-in-chief. The day after Ari?mendy's formal 
recognition of Bolivar as commander-in-chief, he took again 
the title of supreme chief. And when I told him that Arismen- 
dy would be offended, he said, " never mind, never mind, I , 
care not much for Arismendy, I have gained him over, and he 
will do as I wish ; and tlien he is a brute and sees no further 
than the end of his nose. 

But when, in 1819, at Angostura, Arismendy had compelled 
Zea to leave the place of vice-president, and had taken it him- 
self, Bolivar became so alarmed for his own supremacy, that 
he left his command to general Paez, and marched about 250 
miles with his body guard, against Arismendy, and reinstated 
Zea, witli whom he could indeed do as he pleased. But he 
could, and did only send him back to his former command, at 
Margarita. - 

Whilst general Bolivar stood in need of tlie military skill of 
general Piar, he flattered him highly ; but when he came to 
fear his influence, he sacraficcd him. He would not at that 

338 MEMOIRS or bolitar; 

time have put Piar to death, if he had not been so advised and 
supported by others ; not because he was unwillbg to have 
Piar put out of the way, but because ne would not have dand 
to condemn him. 

In 1826, general Paez openly raised the standard of rebel- 
lion against the lawful authorities ; and he was not <xily not 
punished, but suffered to remain in command, as before, llis 
mipunity, like that of Arismendy was owing to the strength of 
his party. 

General Bolivar's dispositiim with regard to money is die 
reverse of miserly, and he is thoueht by most people to be veiy 
generous. His disposition in this respect cannot be better 
described than by saying that if he had a hundred thousand 
•pounds to day, he might very probably not have a cent tomor- 
row. He very seldom eives money to those that are m want, or 
to those who from debcacy refrain from asking for it, but be 
bestows profusely on his flatterers. 

Hfinf rfll Roliwar V« lu>^n compAied to Napoleon Booapart e. 
Bolivar in his proclamations imitates, or endeavors to imitate the 
st^le of Napoleon. He began with a small body guard and 
afterwards greatly increased it, like Napoleon. He is ambitious, 
absolute, and Jealous of hb command, Uke the other. On public 
occasions be is simply dresed, while all around him is splendid, 
like Napoleon, and he moves quickly from place to {dace 
like him. With respect to military and administradve tal- 
ents, there is no resemblance between them. 

Bolivar, when dictator of Venezuela, ordered the execution 
of 1253 Spaniards and Islcnos, prisoners of war and others, 
who were, in fact put to death in February, 18 14, This v^^s 
done in cool blood, and no entreaties would save them. I have 
mentioned an instance of his want of feeling, which I witnessed 
at the port of Juan Gries;o in May 1814, and another in the na- 
val combat just before.* The first was attended by an additioDal 
circumstance of cruelty ; that the prisoners were compelled to 
dig their own graves ! Admiral Brion was on sliore on account 
of his wound, but as soon as heard of this execution, he sent 
positive orders, that no more prisoners siiould be taken on shore 
even if Bolivar himself ordered it ; and by this means about 
120 lives were saved. 

*S««clmi>ier VII. 


The following fact was related to me, by a respectable eye- 
witness, whom I would name, but for tlie danger of exposing 
him to tlie vengeance of tlie dictator, liberator. The relator, 
at the time he stated the fact to me, I presume, had no thought 
of my writing the history of Bolivar. 

During a small skirmish which general Bolivar had with a 
Spanish detachment, not far from Araure, in 1814, one of his 
officers came full speed and reported to him, that an isolated 
company was attacked in a bushy hill, a mile from his head 
quarters, and that they were in great want of cartridges. 
Twelve soldiers, who heard the report, immediately offered 
themselves to carry the cartridges. Bolivar ordered the chief 
of his staff, Thomas Montilla, to send with each of these sol- 
diers a box of cartridges. But as there was no road at all, they 
were obliged to seek a passage through a very thick forest, 
full of briars and thorns, in order to ascend the hill. After 
having labored to force their tvny until they found there was 
no probability of penetrating farther, they were compelled to 
return to head quarters, with their boxes of cartridges. They 
explained to the dictator the impossibility of going further and 
showed him their clothes, torn in pieces, and their bodies cov- 
ered with blood and wounds. Bolivar, in a furious passion, call- 
ed them cowards, rascals, traitors, &^. and ordered the tlu-ee 
first who arrived to be shot. His major-general, or chief of 
the staff, Thomas Montilla, who is a great favorite, his com- 
mandant of the artillery Joseph CoUat, and various other of 
the surrounding officers of the staff, entreated him to revoke 
his order. The men fell upon their kness and with pathetic 
lamentations entreated him to spare their lives, as they were 
innocent, and fathers of large families. All was in vain. As 
they came into his presence, two or three together, he renewed 
his order ; and the whole twelve were bound and shot. On 
various occasions has Bolivar manifested the same disposition, 
as on this, as I have shown. ^ 

Colonel Hippisley, in his work already cited, says, p. 464, 
" Bolivar would ape the great man. He aspires to be a second 
Bonaparte, in South America, without possessing a single talent 
for the duties of the field or the cabinet. He would be king 
of New Grenada and Venezuela, without genius to command, 
consequence to secure, or abilities to support the elevated sta- 

Scc chanter XII. 



tioQ to wfakh bb ambition most assuredly aspires. In Tictorr, 
in transient prosperity, he is a tyrant, and displays tbe feelings 
.and littleness of an upstart. He gives way to sudden gusts of 
resentment, and becomes, in a moment, a madman, and, (par- 
don the expression,) a blackguard ; throws himself into his ham- 
mock, (which b constantly slung for his use,) and utters curses 
and imprecations upon all around him, of the most dbgusting 
and diabolical nature. In defeat, in danger, in retreat, lie is 
perplexed, harrassed and contemptible, even to liimseif, weigh- 
ed down by disasters, which be has neither skill or strength of 
mind to encounter, lighten or remove. In tliis state he appear- 
ed to me at the retreat to, and from, San Fernando, when he 
looked the image of misery and despair. 

** He has (p. 462) neither talents or abilities for a general, and 
especially for a commander-in-chief. The numerous mistakes 
be has made throughout tlie whole of his campaigns, for the 
last eight years, have nearly desolated the provinces and anni- 
hilated the population. The repeated surprises he has expe- 
rienced from the enemy, (already seven,) prove my assertion, 
and bear me out in declaring tliat any one of them would have 
disgraced a corporal's guard. 

*^ Tactics, movements and manoeuvres, are as unknown to him 
as to the lowest of his troops. All idea of regularity, s\'stem, 
or the common routine of an army, or even a regiment, he is 
totally unacquainted widi. Hence arise all the disasters he 
meets, tlie defeats he suffers, and his constant obligations to re- 
treat whenever opposed to the foe. The victory which he gains 
to day, however dearly purchased, (of vhich his H^t of killed 
ami inissinir, if he calls lor, or keeps siicli deta Is, must evident- 
ly convinee him) is lost tomorrow, by some failure, or palpa- 
ble nei:leet on his part." 

Thus it is that ^^lez was heard to tell Bolivar after the ac- 
tion at \ ilia del Cura, that he would move otFhis own troops, 
and act no more with him in command ; adding, " I never lust 
a haiile wherein I acted by myself, or in a separate command, 
and I ha\e always been defeated when acting in concert with 
vnu and under your orders." The nadve and black troops 
(freed slaves) can, and do dash on, in their native country. 
Y»'l, undei the name of courage, they will rush, without order, 
rei;ularily or discretion, upon the enemy, resolved ai that mo- 
mt'iit to roiHpier, or to die ; and if, in this onset, they are heat- 
en or repulsed, and find ihemseh es ** able to go about'' and to 
ii'tuat, ** the devil take tlie hindermost" appears to be die 


general cry ; for ihey all continue to run until they reach a 
place of safety ; and it is allowed by the royalist troops them- 
selves, that the patriotic army, with Bolivar at their head, was 
never beaten in this respect." " The final slaughter of tlie 
prisoners, after the battle, or during the retreat, is completely 
acquiesced in by Bolivar, who has himself condescended to 
whness this scene of butchery, infamy," &tc. 

These passag