Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

most of the Nicaraguan troops to the mouth It was now the turn of the other side to of the Serapiqui, thirty miles up the river protest, which task was undertaken by San Juan. The force left was wholly in- Captain Ryder, and performed with a very adequate, and offered no resistance to the bad grace. He expressed his belief that landing of Walker and his followers. Ac- “ the proceeding would be considered by cording to the official statement of this the military and naval authorities at Jamaiworthy, he “landed with Captain Ryder ca as a declaration of war against the Queen in his gig, the paddle box boats of the of England and the King of Mosquito.” Vixen following with marines, soldiers, and So Captain Ryder set sail for Jamaica to militia. Having formed in column, they procure counsel and reinforcements, and marched up to the flag-post, and facing bearing most urgent letters from Mr. round displayed into line with great pre- Walker. Captain Ryder made his report, cision and correctness. The Nicaraguan and Captain Loch's ship“ Alarm," with flag was immediately hauled down. The the “Vixen,” bearing a considerable force, Mosquito flag was then run up, and a royal were detailed to return to the theatre of salute was fired while the King proceeded operations. They arrived at Bluefields on from the cutter on shore !” The force then the 5th, and on the 8th at San Juan. The proceded to oust the administrator of cus- Nicaraguan force overpowered by numbers, toms, who made a formal protest, and withdrew to Serapiqui, where, in the dense “Major George Hodgson, Commodore untenanted forest, unprotected by dwellings Little, and Captain Dixon, were severally of any kind, they had constructed a rude installed as Governor, Captain of the Port, breastwork of earth and logs. The posiand Town-Major. Five men of the Blue- tion was a very good one, and in the hands fields Militia were selected to form a police of experienced troops capable of easy defor maintaining order in the town." On fence. Here the Nicaraguans had collectthe 4th, the two vessels, with the Mos- ed about 120 men, some, former residents quito Majesty on board, returned to head quarters at Bluefields.

On the 10th, a party of troops from the Being asked in whose writing the note ap. station at Serapiqui came down the river peared and by whom signed, he said :and turned the table on the new authorities, Mr. W. Scott, Secretary of Mr. Walker, and that

“ The body of the note is the hand-writing of taking the “Governor and Captain of the the signature is in Mr. Walker's hand-writing." Port” prisoners, greatly to their bodily fear, To other inquiries he answered that he had but particularly to the terror of the Gov- never seen or heard of the notes which had been

addressed to the Government of Nicaragua. ernor” whose name, as we have seen, was

“ Being asked if the occupation of San Juan appended to the impudent letter to the had been ordered by the person called “ King of Director of Nicaragua, instructing him to Mosquito," he said : withdraw the establishment at San Juan. It

“ The King is without the mental capacity to

dictate this measure or any other. That Mr. is but just to this worthy, who was but an

Walker bas directed the whole affair; that he had instrument of Walker, to say, that he after- gone to Jamaica in December of the preceding wards solemnly declared that he never saw year, and that, upon his return, had said, that the this document, and that his name had been Governor of Jamaica would send troops to takeSan of San Juan, and the principal part of the of truce, with communications for the Niremainder boatmen in the river, who had caraguan Government. It is immaterial volunteered their services. There were to notice in detail the correspondence which but six regular soldiers besides one or two passed, and which had an overstrained air officers, who had before been stationed at of civility upon both sides. The GovernSan Juan, among the entire number. They ment of Nicaragua declined to make any had one or two rusty cannon, which they apology for its proceedings at San Juan, did not know how to manage, and a varie- asserting that it had done only what was gated assortment of old muskets and fowl. right and proper, but consenting to deliver ing pieces for arms. A large portion had the English prisoners, provided on the other their Machetes, a kind of long heavy knife hand, the Nicaraguan prisoners were releasin common use in these countries. To dis-led.

Juan, but that Bluefields should not be disturbed, forged by Walker. *

and that when he, (Walker) started for San Juan he invited him, (Hodgson) to go along, but not

to be alarmed, as it was merely a walk, (i. e. The following passages, from the records of pleasure trip) but if they (Hodgson and his com. Hodgson's examination, read over and attested by panions) had known the object they would not him, will afford some insight to the proceedings have gone. of Walker and his associates.

Mr. Hodgson also testified that he had on se"Being asked if he had signed the note pre- veral occasions been compelled to sign his namo sented to him and to which the name of " Ĝeo. to documents presented to him, the nature of Hodgson, senior, counsellor. &c.” was appended, which he did not understand. Also that he knew dated Bluefields, 25th October, and notifying the nothing of “British Protection," only so far as he Director to withdraw the Nicaraguan establish had been instructed by Mr. Walker? ment at San Juan, he answered:

The whole testimony is exceedingly amusing. ** He had examined said note and that the sig. | This Hodgson was claimed of the Nicaraguan nature of George Hodgson" was not his, that he Government as a British subject. He was, how. was not in Bluefields at that date, and consequent- ever, the grandson of Robert Hodgson, who, as ly could not have sigued it.

We bave seen, was Colonel in the Spanish service!

It granted also a safe conduct to lodge this force, and resent the insult which Captain Loch, to enable him to approach had been given to Great Britain and Mos- to some of the islands in the neighborhood quito (!!)" by pulling down the Mosquito of Grenada, for the purpose of effecting fag, the English troops, consisting of some pacific arrangement. This, that 260 picked men, under command of Cap- officer was too glad to accept, for besides tain Loch, accompanied by Mr. Walker, the hopelessness of advancing upon the embarked on the 11th. On the 12th populous side of the lake, sickness had althey reached the point, when after an ir- ready reduced his effective force nearly one regular contest, the English landed, put- fourth, and his men were compelled to subting the Nicaraguans to flight. The Ni-sist on beef and plantains alone. Still like caraguan loss was reported by Captain a true Briton, he assumed the air of a Loch, at 20 killed and double that number

conqueror, and so well that he almost conwounded; the English loss, 2 killed and vinced the Nicaraguans that he had them 13 wounded. In the number, however, completely in his power. The upshot of Captain Loch does not include Mr. Walker the whole matter was the nomination of and a boon companion, who were report- S’rs Francisco Castellon, Juan Joseè Zaed to have been accidentally drowned.”vala, and José Ma. Estrada as CommissionMr. Walker's body was found a week or ers, to settle affairs with Captain Loch. two after, with a bullet hole in the breast, They met at the island of Cuba, when horribly mangled by alligators, and was Captain Loch dictated the following extraburied on the spot where it was discovered. ordinary articles : Thus terminated the career of one who had been most active in the unworthy scheme 1st. That the Nicaraguan Government surof fraud which we are relating; and who, render the persons of two British subjects, if he ever possessed any sense of honor or

Messrs. Little and G. Hodgson, taken prisoners rectitude, sacrificed it promptly at the call

by the forces of the State of Nicaragua, on the of men equally reckless with himself, but and that they shall be delivered over to Cap

9th January 1848, from the port of San Juan, too cautious or too cowardly to incur the tain Granville Gower Loch, in this island of odium of their own measures, men, however, Cuba, within twelve hours from the ratification whom history will not fail to consign to the of this treaty. obloquy which they merit.

2d. That a Mosquito flag and other effects Having gone through the usual ceremony taken on the same day and from the same of demolishing the works he had captured, port, be restored without delay, and that a saCaptain Loch pressed forward to the ruined tisfactory explanation be given by the Nicafort of San Carlos at the head of the river, raguan Government for the outrage that the of which he took possession, appropriating commandant of Her Majesty's forces conceives twelve out of the sixteen houses to him: hauling down that of Mosquito under her pro

to have been offered to the British flag, in self and his troops, and with true British

tection. magnanimity, leaving the remaining four to the inhabitants and prisoners. Here he es

Explanation. The Nicaraguan Governtablished himself, sending scouts along the ment were ignorant that the Mosquito flag sparsely populated coast to collect provis- was so connected with that of England, as ions. After a time he dispatched a Mr. that an outrage to it should involve an inMartin to the city of Grenada, under a flag sult to that of Great Britain. They are most anxious to explain that so far from de- , the“ unworthy evidence he had given to siring to excite the anger of that power, it the authorities of Nicaragua,”—and thus is on the contrary their earnest wish to cul- the “ Senior Counsellor of Mosquito," and tivate the most intimate relations with it. late“ Governor of San Juan,” was laid on

the shelf. Capt. Loch next installed Capt. 3d. That the Government of the State of Nicaragua solemnly promise not to disturb Little, as Captain of the Port of San Juan, the peaceful inhabitants of San Juan, under and then set sail for Jamaica, to claim his standing that such an act will be considered promotion. by Great Britain as an open declaration of

When the news of these proceedings arhostilities.

rived in England, the Right Hon. E. J. 4th. That the tariff established in the port Stanley wrote to the Secretary of the Adof San Juan, upon the occupation of the 1st of miralty, commending what had been done, January, 1848, shall be considered in full force, and adding: and that no Nicaraguan custom-house shall be established in proximity to the said port of “Her Majesty's Government are convinced San Juan, to the prejudices of its interests that the good effects of this successful exploit

5th. That the British officer in command will not be confined to the particular question agrees to retire from Fort San Carlos to San

out of which it arose ; but the example thus Juan with all the forces, delivering up the set of what the British navy can undertake hostages, prisoners, and effects now in his pos. and accomplish, will materially assist in session, immediately after the fulfillment of bringing to a satisfactory settlement several the various claims agreed upon in this treaty claims which Her Majesty's Government has

6th. What has been stipulated in this been obliged to make upon some of the Govagreement will not hinder the Government of

ernments of South America, for redress of damNicaragua from soliciting, by means of a Com

ages done to British subjects." missioner to Her Britannic Majesty, a final arrangement of these affairs.

In the summer of the same year Mr. Given under our hands at the Island of Cuba, W. C. Christy, at one time a Member of in Lake Nicaragua, this 7th day of March, in the year of our Lord 1848.

Parliament, a Scotchman, and who, from (Signed)

his suspected leaning towards the “ opposiGRANVILLE G. Loch. tion," it was thought best to provide (Signed)

for," or dispose of,was sent out as JUAN JOSE ZAVALA.

Her Majesty's Consul-General in MosquiFRANCISCO CASTELLON.

tia; and the mantle of Mr. Walker fell JOSE MA. Estrada.

gracefully upon his shoulders. As there The Nicaraguans saved their pride by were neither constitution nor laws, he took refusing to acknowledge the existence of absolute authority upon himself, and, diswhat Lord Palmerston calls “ Mosquito;" daining the ridiculous formality of appearbut, nevertheless, put themselves in British ing to consult the “Mosquito king," propower, so far as any attempt to resume their mulgated regulations, sold lands, and esport at San Juan was concerned, and by tablished rates, under the seal and authoragreeing that all future negotiations must be ity of “Her Britannic Majesty.” He conducted in London, which is the amount wrote letters for the Times, and the Jamaiof the 6th article.

ca papers,

abusive of the Central AmeriAccordingly, Capt. Loch returned with can States, and, in conformity with his inhis forces to San Juan, too glad to get structions, proclaimed that the Mosquito thus easily out of the difficulties

in which he territory extended up the San Juan river, had involved himself.

as far as the Rio Serapiqui. The first exAn emergency had arisen, in conse- citement of power over, he started on a quence of the death of Mr. Walker, but visit to Costa Rica, the Government of Capt. Loch was equal to it. He at once which State,-raised to power by a prowrote to the “ King of Mosquito," that as nunciamento of the soldiers of the Cuartel Mr. Walker was dead, he had named Dr. General,”—was entirely in the English inGreen to be his "principal and only coun- terest, if not English pay; and where sellor, until the pleasure of her Majesty's General Flores, the absconding President Government was known." He also in- of Ecuador,-a notorious stipendiary of structed him not to employ, in any man- England, --was residing. He was coldly ner, Mr. Geo. Hodgson, in consequence of received by the people, but the Govern

a

[ocr errors]

ment were in ecstacies, in consequence of gently; and the British Vice Consul, to his condescension; treated him to dinners; whom the task of making it was confided, and, in a paroxysm of joy and wine, the intimated also to the Government of Nico chief, Castro, "regretted that he had not aragua, that if $100,000 was considered a daughter, so that, after the manner of any object, he had no doubt it might be monarchial Europe, he might firmly cement obtained by a formal relinquishment of the the union between the reigning houses of territory in question,--accompanying the Mosquito and Costa Rica !

intimation with the hint, that the British The bacchanalian bouts in Costa Rica Government might soon be compelled to over, Mr. Christy set out for Nicaragua, insist upon the payment of certain obligawhere he supposed the majesty of his pres- tions, which it had been alledged the State ence might work magical results. Arrived was under to British subjects. at Leon, he forthwith addressed a letter to To understand this subordinate plot fully, the Government, to which the Government it is necessary to mention, that a Mr. Moreplied, declining to have anything to do lina, after due consultation with the British with him, and directing their answer to agents in Nicaragua and Guatemala, had “ Mr. Christy, subscribing himself Her been Minister from Costa Rica to England. Britannic Majesty's Consul-General in The object of his mission is apparent: Mosquito.". To this, Mr. Christy made Great Britain, desirous of avoiding injuring a long and indignant reply, and returned her influence in Costa Rica, by enforcing fortlıwith to San Juan. In passing through her pretensions on behalf of Mosquito, to the river, he observed that the forty miles the eastern coasts of that State, judiciously between the Rapids of Machuca, and the limited her actual and forcible encroachSerapiqui (the then proclaimed western ments to the recognized territories of Niclimit of Mosquito) were fair and fertile, aragua. She did this, relying upon future and he incontinently received new light, in intrigues to extinguish the Costa Rican respect to the

territorial rights” of the title, and lest Costa Rica should become King of Mosquito. This was forthwith alarmed, and affiliate with Nicaragua, from transmitted to the foreign office, and in which State she had kept aloof in the late two months thereafter, it was proclaimed contest, as well as for the purpose of dithat the “ Territory of Mosquito, on the verting the attention of her people from west, extended up the river San Juan, to their own objects, the British agents incited the Rapids of Machuca !—forty miles | the Government of Costa Rica to renew beyond the former limit! A line, drawn obsolete pretensions to a valuable portion from this point, to the claimed point on the of Nicaraguan territory, promising to proriver Roman, takes in part of Lake Nicar- tect them from the superior power of this agua, a portion of the inhabited Nicaraguan State, in case of necessity. This snug ardistrict of Chontales, besides a number of rangement could not, however, be kept the richest mines, and some of the largest entirely secret. It got out, that Costa towns of Segovia, -not to mention a num- Rica was to be placed under British prober of the ruined forts of the Spaniards on tection. The idea elated Castro, the the Rio Segovia, and other streams ! This Chief of Costa Rica, to the highest, who boundary would, therefore, if it could be fancied he saw, in this arrangement, an maintained, greatly promote the “well- indefinite prolongation of his ill-gotten being of the Mosquito kingdom,” to say power, which now appeared to be failing nothing of British interests !

fast. The information reached the United Previous to this, the Government of States, and, meantime, Mr. Molina, having Costa Rica had also received new light as arrived in England, Mr. Bancroft was into its northern limits, and intimated that structed to question him upon this point, its territories extended a hundred miles and to intimate to him, that the United higher up the Pacific coast than had before States could not fail of being interested been pretended, so as to take in the south- against any such proceedings on the part ern shore of Lake Nicaragua and the of any North American republic. Mr. south bank of the river San Juan, inclu- Molina placed his hand upon his heart, and ding the Nicaraguan military station of the declared that the idea had never been enCastillo Viejo. This intimation was made tertained by his Government, and yet he

а

tem.

no way

had already submitted a basis to the British with satisfaction to the low rates establishGovernment for this precise object, which ed by the British officers at San Juan, and was then under “favorable consideration," hints at the necessity of a new fiscal

sysand has since, it is understood, with some

This last reference concerns one modifications, been agreed upon. Never of the objects of Molina's visit to was there a more heinous instance of that England, which was to establish, in conalliterative vice, “diplomatic duplicity,” nection with Castro, a kind of Governwhich seems to bear the same relation to ment Bank, of which he should be the lying, that “extensive defalcation” does to principal officer. The paper adds further, , theft.

that it has advices from Bluefields, and It is well-known that the newspapers of that, “ although the southern limits of the the States of Central America are owned kingdom of Mosquito had not yet been and published by the respective Govern- finally decided, the navigation of the Seraments, and are nothing more than official | piqui river would be in

obstructed,' gazettes, echoing the sentiments of the and that the products of Costa Rica party in power. Freedom of the Press is a should

pass freely through San Juan.” nominal thing; and it is only necessary to

All this is sufficiently significant, apart observe the tone of the Government paper, from all other circumstances, of the actual to learn the disposition of the Government. sentiments and designs of the Costa Rica This understood, the reader will know Government ;—for, in these reflections we what value to place upon the following draw a wide distinction between the governpassages from the official paper of Costa ment of that little State, and its people, who, Rica, published in April following the from the very fact of being frugal and inseizure of San Juan. It will be easy to dustrious, are more ready to put up with a see "how the land lay” in that quarter, bad government, than take the trouble, or and to discover the possibility, if not the risk the turbulence of a revolution. But probability, of the truth of the accusation their forbearance will have an early end, brought by the Government of Nicaragua, unless the Government is sustained by that some of the merchants and other citi- overwhelming influences, from outside. In zens of Costa Rica, had been parties to the this connection, it will not be improper to erents at San Juan, and had contributed, anticipate events a little, in order to show in various ways, to precipitate them, under the duplicity of Molina, and the nature of the connivance of Castro. The paper said: bis negotiations with the British Govern

ment. Soon after the arrival of Mr. Cas* Costa Rica has not witnessed late events tellon in England, (where he arrived early with indifference; but she regards them as past in 1849, as Minister for Nicaragua, for the remedy, and knows how to accommodate herself to the new order of things. Aside from adjustment of the difficulties of that State all questions of right, and waiving all national

with England,) a rumor reached London

that Nicaragua was about attacking Costa pride, (which we, Central Americans, do not know how to sustain,) the occupation of San

Rica. Immediately, and in great haste, Juan, which we regard as a consummated and Palmerston sent for Mr. Castellon, and irremediable fact, and the consequent estab- | earnestly inquired if the rumor was welllishment there of an opulent commercial colo- | founded, -adding, in significant diplomatic ny, will open a new era for the commerce and phrase, that “ Great Britain could not reindustry of Costa Rica. Having been already | gard such a proceeding with indifference, secured the liberty of passage at that port, we shall at once be able to engage in opening the

in consequence of its intimate relations Serapiqui road, and commence the exportation with Costa Rica.” This, it will be underof our products to the Atlantic; we shall at stood, was at about the same time that once proceed to the opening of a route from Molina assured Mr. Bancroft, that his one sea to the other, while the Nicaragua Government never contemplated, for a canal is talked about; and we shall be able to

oment, placing his Government under aspire to rapid growth and unlimited prosper- British protection. ity."

Mr. Castellon, as we have just said, was It continues in this strain, congratula- appointed Minister Extraordinary to Engting the people upon being relieved of the land, in the autumn of 1848, with a view Nicaraguan Custom House duties, refers to the arbitration and final arrangement of

17

[ocr errors]

mom

VOL. V. NO. III.

NEW SERIES.

« ZurückWeiter »