Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Werry hex

affairs, between the two countries, in con- senior Weller would call it, a sonance with the closing article of the ca- traordinary coincidence," the Consul empitulation of Cuba.

It had been contem- barked at the same time, and in the same plated to name some other person ; but the vessel with Mr. Castellon ; and when the British Vice-Consul, learning the fact, latter gentleman expressed his intention of waited upon

the Director, and dwelt strong- stopping for a short time in the United ly upon the circumstance, that Mr Castel States, the former thought it wouldn't be lon had already been in Europe, in a diplo- unpleasant to do so also! This flexibility matic capacity, and upon the necessity of on the part of the Consul extended to tahaving some one at the English Court, ac- king lodgings at the same hotel ; in fact, it quainted with the routine of diplomatic amounted to the closest surveillance. Mr. forms, in order to a favorable termination Castellon merely addressed a note to of his mission. There were some other Washington, but, pending its reception, set considerations put forward, which would sail for Liverpool. provoke a smile, if recounted; but the He presented his credentials in due form, concluding and potential one was worthy of | but his connections with the Goverment that shrewd“ Down Easter,” who appears seems to have been very limited, and, so so often on the comic stage, but no where far as the objects of mission were concernelse. The Government was destitute of ed, of very little effect. To his letters he funds, having exhausted all its available received tardy and unsatisfactory answers. resources, amounting to about $100,000, Meantime, the new claim that the western in the recent brush with Great Britain. boundary of Mosquitia extended to the The Vice-Consul availed himself of this rapids of Machuca was made. circumstance to offer, in case Mr. Castel- Mr Castellon, finding himself unable to lon was appointed, to furnish the Govern- accomplish anything at all satisfactory, ment, wherefrom to defray the expenses prepared to return to Nicaragua. He acof the mission, with a quantity of indigo, cordingly, in the month of July last, had which he had on hand, at a price, but little an interview of leave with Palmerston, exceeding twice its actual value, and to when he was informed that no further distake therefor, certificates of indebtednesscussion could be had with Nicaragua, in from the State, bearing interest at the mo- reference to Mosquito and San Juan. derate rate of two per cent per month! | Palmerston also said to him that “ he was As the British navy had always been at well aware that the United States had hand to enforce the payment of his claims, turned its attention to Central America, and was still ready for any such great na- and had opened communications with the tional service, this arrangement was not respective States; but that Nicaragua unlikely to prove a very “ good specula- must indulge no hopes in consequence; for, tion.” The Government, without means, although he felt disposed to regard the and flattering itself that, by a fair negotia- United States with some consideration, so tion at London, it might regain its rights, far as her own relations were concerned, hesitated for a while, but finally acceded to yet that her opinion, or her influence, was this proposition,--a way of “raising the à matter of small importance, one way or wind,"'--quite as novel as any on record the other, in the policy which Her MajesAccordingly, the Envoy Extraordinary ty's Government had determined on in made ready to start on his mission, while Central America.” Hereupon his Lordthe Vice-Consul packed his indigo. The ship jerked his head contemptuously, and British agents did not probably believe Mr. Mr. Castellon was politely bowed out. Castellon devoted to their interests, but be- A few days thereafter, he received a long lieved him less inveterate, in his hostility, letter from the foreign office, in reply to his than any others which had been named. communications before unanswered, which But to guard against the possibility of de- as it is signed "Palmerston,”and seems to be ception, and fearing that Castellon might intended as a summing up of the British side stop in the United States, the British Con- of the whole Mosquito question, we subjoin it sul at Rialejo received' sudden advices, in extenso. This, then, is the British Exhibit, which demanded his presence in England; and here Great Britain rests her case before and, by a singular conjunction, or, as the the world. It might be allowed to pass to that august jury without one word of comment, tance, involving the highest principles of with the fullest assurance that the verdict international law and justice, resorts to the would be rendered against his Lordship on lowest arts of the special pleader, escapes his own showing. But it contains too much merited justice if allowed to pass without that is false in fact, and unfounded in in- the severest reprehension. The letter folference, to be allowed to pass thus easily. lows. He who, in a case of grave national impor

CHAPTER IV.

BRITISH EXHIBIT OF THE MOSQUITO QUESTION-LETTER OF

LORD PALMERSTON,

FOREIGN OFFICE, July 16, 1849. | they must submit to the loss which may result SIR :- I have the honor to acknowledge the from their own laches, until the Port which receipt of the letter which you addressed to you say is unjustly withheld by Great Britain me on the 23d ultimo, in reply to my letter of shall have been restored to Nicaragua. the 27th of April, relative to the debt due by

Upon these propositions I am prepared to the State of Nicaragua to certain British sub- join issue with you, and will proceed to show jects, holders of bonds of that State.

that the Port of Grey Town does not belong As the question whether the State of Nicar- and never has rightfully belonged to the State agua has a right to include amongst those of Nicaragua. This point once demonstrated, branches of her revenues which are pledged the second and third propositions 'which you for the payment of that debt, custom duties to deduce from the alleged rights of Nicaragua be levied at the port of Grey Town, or in other

to Grey Town, must of course and necessarily words, the question as to the validity of the fall to the ground. alleged right of Nicaragua to the Port of Grey

Now, in the first place, I have to remark, Town,* forms the essential point in your letter that since the people of Nicaragua have never now under consideration, as well as in your occupied any part of the territory of Mosquito preceding letters of the 20th of January, and except Grey Town, which they forcibly took of the 5th and 19th of March last, I will ad- possession of only in 1836, the sole pretence dress myself at once to that question.

upon which the State of Nicaragua can claim In your letter of the 23d ultimo, you say,

a right to Grey Town or to any other part of that by the arguments therein employed, you the Mosquito territory belonged to Spain, and

the Mosquito territory, is the allegation that have shown. 1st. That the Port of Grey Town is now, de jurè, the property of the State that Nicaragua has inherited the rights of Spain of Nicaragua, and has been so ever since Cen

over that territory. But assuming for the pretral America declared itself independent of

sent for the sake of argument that Spain had Spain ; 2dly. That therefore the revenues of rights over the Mosquito territories, how can customs levied at that Port is justly to be in- it be shown that those rights have devolved to cluded in those revenues of the State of Ni- Nicaragua ?. Has Spain ever conferred such caragua, which are pledged for the redemp- rights to Nicaragua by treaty? Certainly tion of the loan which was contracted for in not. Has Nicaragua obtained them by con1826 by the Republic of Central America with quest ? Equally not. The people of Nicara. the House of Barclay & Co.; and, 3dly. That gua revolted, indeed, against the King of Spain the British creditors, are bound to assist the

and obtained by force of arms, and de facto, Government of Nicaragua, in establishing its their practical independence, which, however, claim to Grey Town; and that if they do not so,

I believe, has not up to this day been formally and diplomatically acknowledged by Spain.

But the successful revolt of the people of NiThis is the name which the English have given caragua could give them no right, with referto San Juan de Nicaragua, since its occupation. ence to Spain, except the right of self-govern

a

ment. The very principle upon which their But I deny totally and entirely that Spain revolt was founded, and which the success of had any right to the Mosquito territory, and I that revolt established, goes to forbid them from therefore contend, that there is no inheritance practising towards other nations that kind of whatever, in this respect, which can become oppression from which they had freed them the subject matter of dispute. On the contrary, selves. The fact of their having thrown off the King of the Mosquitos has, from a very the yoke of Spain could give them no right early period in the history of America, been to impose their yoke upon the people of Mos- an independent ruler of a separate territory, quito ; the circumstance that they had succeed and he has invariably been ack nowledged and ed in asserting their own freedom from foreign upheld by the Government of Great Britain. rule, could give them no right to impose their It is quite true that by the convention of 1786 rule upon a people who had always been free, between Great Britain and Spain, Great Briand it is a well known historical fact

, that the tain agreed to withdraw British subjects from Mosquito nation had from time immemorial, the Mosquito territory. But Great Britain did and up to the period of the revolt of Nicar- not by that treaty either acknowledge that the agua been as free as they have continued to Mosquitos were not an independent na:ion, or be from that period to the present day. renounce her protectionship of that nation. But even supposing that this had not been so, On the contrary, the stipulation of the treaty and that the crown of Spain had possessed of 1786 clearly mentions the Mosquitos as a rights of sovereignty over the Mosquito terri- nation distinct from the people living within tory, the people of Nicaragua might as well the Spanish Dominions, and that treaty conclaim a derivative right from Spain to govern tains a stipulation which was an act of proand to be masters of Mexico, New Grenada, or tectorship exercised by Great Britain in favor any of the neighboring States of Central Amer of the Mosquito nation. ica, as to govern and possess by such deriva- In order to understand fully the treaty of tive rights the Mosquito territory, which was 1786, it is necessary to revert to the treaty of never possessed or occupied by the people of 1783. Nicaragua. The people of each of the revolt

It appears

from the 6th article of the treaty ed districts of the Spanish American provinces of 1783, that several English settlements established their own independence and their having been made and extended upon the Spanown rights of self-government within the terri-ish continent, on the pretence of cutting logtory which they actually occupied, but nothing wood or dyeing wood, and Great Britain and

If these revolted provinces had ima- Spain being desirous of preventing as much gined that they acquired by the revolt all the as possible the causes of complaint and misrights of Spain, besides determining among understanding to which this intermixture of each other in what manner those rights British and Spanish wood-cutters gave rise, it were to be apportioned between them, they was thought expedient that the Government must also by necessity have considered them- (Spanish) should assign to British subjects, for selves bound by all the obligations of Spain. the purpose of wood-cutting, a separate and But they neither acknowledged these obliga- sufficiently extensive and convenient district tions nor were called upon by other countries on the Coast of America, and that in considerto adopt them. On the contrary, when their ation of such an assignment, British subjects political existence as independent States was should be restricted from forming settle. acknowledged by foreign countries, they con- ments on any other part of the Spanish territracted severally with those foreign countries, tories in America, whether continental or insuch new treaties as were applicable to their sular, and that all British subjects dispersed in own respective geographical limits and politi- those Spanish possessions, should, within cal conditions, and neither they nor the foreign eighteen months after the exchange of the rapowers with which they treated, ever thought tifications of the treaty, retire within the disof considering them inheritors of any rights or trict specially assigned for their occupation and obligations, rising out of the treaty engagement of the Spanish Crown. However, if It seems, however, that the treaty of 1783 Spain possessed any rights over the Mosquito did not sufficiently accomplish the purpose of territory, and if those rights have descended by preventing complaints and misunderstandings. inheritance to any of the Spanish Republics, | It was found by Great Britain, on the one it would remain to be proved that such rights hand, that the district assigned on the Coast of have devolved upon Nicaragua rather than up- Honduras to British subjects by the 6th article on Honduras, Costa Rica, or New Grenada, and of the treaty of 1783, was too limited in exit is probable that each and all of those three tent, and the enjoyment of it much narrowed States would establish just as good a claim as by the restrictions contained in the article. It Nicaragua, and probably a better one to the was found by Spain, on the other hand, that inheritance of any such rights, if such rights British subjects still lingered in parts of the had existed.

Spanish American territories, and the Spanish

more.

use.

Government found, moreover, that there were Spanish possessions in that quarter would have many British subjects settled in the Mosquito had no frontier, except the tide line of the ocean, territory, to which the treaty of 1783 did not and upon such frontier no Indians could dwell, apply, as that treaty mentioned only the Span- to whom arms and warlike stores could be furish possessions in America, and said nothing nished. It is plain, therefore, that the treaty about Mosquito, and did not require that Bri- of 1786 proves, that the Mosquitos were contish subjects should retire from Mosquito, and sidered by the contracting parties as a nation, it seems that the revenues to Spain suffered separate and independent, and were not acfrom smuggling transactions carried on by knowledged by Great Britain as belonging to British subjects so settled on the Spanish ter- Spain. But that treaty also proves, that Great ritory and in Mosquito.

Britain still sheltered the Mosquitos under her To put an end to these mutual inconve- protection; for while the British Government niences, it was agreed by the convention of agreed, for fiscal reasons, to withdraw from 1786 that a larger extent of territory should Mosquito those British subjects, whose presbe assigned to British subjects on the Coast of ence therein, being a visible symbol of the Honduras, according to new boundaries descri- protectorship of Great Britain, would secure bed in that convention; and it was also agreed the Mosquitos from any act of hostility on the that the enlarged territory so granted should part of the Spaniards, the British Governbe occupied by British subjects with a greater ment exacted from the Government of Spain, latitude of enjoyments than was allowed by as an equivalent security for Mosquitos, an the restrictions of the treaty of 1783; and in engagement not to retaliate upon the people of return, in order to relieve the Spanish Govern- | Mosquito, on account of the co-operation and ment from loss by smuggling, the British assistance which the Mosquitos had afforded Government again bound itself to recall Bri- to the British in the hostilities which had taken tish subjects from the Spanish possessions in place between Spain and Great Britain before America, and also took the new engagement the peace of 1783. This stipulation was a of withdrawing British subjects from the Mos- substantial and effectual act of protectorship quito territory, as well as from the Spanish on the part of Great Britain, acquiesced in and possessions; and the British Government fur- subscribed to by Spain. ther engaged, that British subjects so withdrawn It is demonstrable, therefore, that the converand confined to the ceded district in Honduras, tion of 1786 did not invalidate either the inde. should, in their communications from thencé pendence of Mosquito, or the protectorship of to the Spanish territories, conform to such reg. Great Britain ; but if it had invalidated both, ulations as to custom duties, as the Spanish as between Great Britain and Spain, what Government might think proper to establish would that have been to Nicaragua? or how among its own subjects.

could a convention, which was "res inter alios The manner in which the Mosquito territory acta,” have had any bearing whatever upon is, in the convention of 1786, contra-distin- the rights or pretensions of Nicaragua. guished from the possessions of Spain, which I might well content myself to close here my alone had been mentioned in the treaty of answer to your notes; and having proved a 1783, clearly proves that by the understanding negative, I might abstain from going into a

I of both parties, the Mosquito territory and the proof of the opposite affirmative. Having possessions of Spain were separate and differ- shown that Nicaragua has no claim whatever ent things.

to the Mosquito territory, it would seem unBut any pretension of Spain to rights over necessary for my argument with you, to show the Mosquito territory, of which she had no by any other evidence than the documents possession, could only be founded upon a gen- which you yourself have quoted, that long beeral claim of sovereignty over the whole of that fore Nicaragua came into existence as a State, Central portion of the American Continent. But Great Britain exercised a protectorship over the if that claim existed, Spain could not have ac- Mosquitos, as a separate nation. But, neverknowledged that she had in that part of Amer- theless, even at the risk of making this letter ica any frontiers, except the two oceans; and, needlessly long, I will mention one or two yet by article 14th of the treaty of 1786, the facts which clearly demonstrate that it was so. British Government engages not to allow Bri- At what time and in what manner the contish subjects to furnish arms or warlike stores nection between Great Britain and the Mosto the Indians, in general situated upon the quito Nation first began, is not well known; frontiers of the Spanish possessions; and by but it is certain, and on record, that while thé the immediately preceding mention of the Mos- Duke of Albemarle was Governor of Jamaica, quitos, in the very same sentence, it is suffi- to which office he was appointed in 1687, the ciently clear that they were intended to be in Mosquito Indians made a formal cession of cluded among the number of Indians situated the sovereignty of their country to the King upon the frontiers of the Spanish possessions. of England, and that in consequence of that But if Mosquito had belonged to Spain, the cession, the chief of the Mosquitos, received his

a

appointment as King, by a commission given to , Grey Town, there are, on the contrary, good him by the Governor of Jamaica, in the name and substantial reasons which can be alleged and on the behalf of the King of England. to show, that the rights of the Mosquito ex

Somewhat more than thirty years afterwards, tend southward, as far as the Boca del Toro, namely, on the 25th of June 1720, as appears at which place, the King of Mosquito has, at by the Journals of the House of Assembly of various times, exercised rights, by levying Jamaica, a convention about runaway slaves duties. was concluded between the then Governor of Such being the state of the matter, it can Jamaica, and King Jeremy of the Mosquitos. scarcely be necessary for me to say, that Her

From that time downwards, during the Majesty's Government cannot allow the Govreigns of George 1st, 2d, and 3d, the connec- ernment of Nicaragua to mix up its unfoundtion of Great Britain and the Mosquito contin-ed pretensions to the territory of Mosquito, ued uninterrupted and unimpaired, and at times with the just claims of the British creditors during that period there were British settlers upon Nicaragua ; and any attempt on the part established in the Mosquito territory with a of the Nicaraguan Government to do so would British resident officer, appointed by the Gov- constitute one of those cases of denial of jusernor and Council of Jamaica, on behalf of tice and of notorious injustice, which you the British Crown, to superintend those settlers; yourself admit would entitle Her Majesty's and the Council of Jamaica, in a report to Gov- Government to exercise an authoritative interernor'Dallas, on the 16th of July, 1774, adver- ference in the discussion between the British ting to the inland boundary of the Mosquito bond-holders and the Nicaraguan Government. territory, mention it as running along the In saying this, however, I beg not to be distant mountains," which bound the Spanish misunderstood, as admitting that such an auterritory, a clear proof that Mosquito was a thoritative interference would be proper and leseparate State and did not belong to Spain. gitimate only in such an extreme case, a case But colonial records of the British Government which my respect for the Nicaraguan Governabound with correspondence about the Mos- ment forbids me from considering to be possiquito King and nation, proving not only the ble as between the British bond-holders and strong and constant interest taken by the Brit- that Government. ish Government in their welfare, but the close

But, as in a matter of this kind, it is desiand intimate connection which has uninter- rable that no mistake should be allowed to exruptedly subsisted between Great Britain and ist, I beg to say, that it is quite certain and Mosquito.

indisputable, that, according to international If it be established, as it clearly is, that the laws, the Government of any country is at full Mosquito territory, is

, and for centuries has liberty to take up, according to its own disbeen, a separate State, distinct from the Amer- cretion, in such manner, and at such times as ican possessions of Spain, there cannot be a

it may think fit, any just claim which any of moment's doubt that the Port of Grey Town at the mouth of the river San Juan, belongs ment of any other country.

its subjects may have against the Governto and forms part of the Mosquito territory. I have the honor to be, with the highest conThis can be shown by quotations from numer- sideration, Sir, ous authorities, public and private, official and literary; and so far from shere being any just

Your most obedient humble servant, ground to doubt that the southern extremity of

(Signed) PALMERSTON. the Mosquito territory includes the Port of

CHAPTER V.

ANALYSIS AND REFUTATION OF THE BRITISH EXHIBIT.

It has been said that falsehood circles the our answer to this letter appears long and world, while truth is putting on his boots, or tedious. something to that effect. I liar may make In making the assertion, that Nicaragua an assertion in one sentence, which it may has never occupied any portion of the terrirequire a page to prove to be a falsehood. tory of Mosquito, his Lordship forgets that Our readers must, therefore, pardon us, if | the last claim which he himself has put

« ZurückWeiter »