THE TRINIDAD HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Publication No. 232.
Brig. Gen. Maitland to Picton.
Source :-Memoirs of Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Picton, G.C.B.,
&c., including his correspondence, from originals in possession of
his family, &c., by H. B. Robinson. Second Edition revised, with
additions. In two volumes. London : Richard Beniley, New
Burlington Street, Publisher in Ordinary to His .11.Yj.:./ 1836.
August 24th, 1804.
I have seen it asserted in a late publication, that I obtained
the government of Trinidad for you : it appears also that you
have publicly said it was offered to you. On my part I
declare, that you were not indebted for that appointment to
any interest which I made with Sir Ralph Abercromby, for
I made none to that end.
The observation that your knowledge of the Spanish
language was a peculiar advantage to you in that situation,
I certainly have frequently made, and I believe did make
about the time of your appointment ; but whether I made
this remark to Sir Ralph or not (which at this distance of time
I can neither affirm nor deny) of this I am clear that I made
no interest to obtain the government for you.
When it is known that you were in Sir Ralph's suite
(though you held no situation, you lived in his family) from
January, 1796, until your appointment at Trinidad, within
which period you made two voyages with him in his Majesty's
ship Arethusa, Captain Wolley, the one from the West Indies
to England, and the other from England to the West Indies ;
that during these vo- ages you (I may say w ) lived, and even
slept, in the same cabin with the general ; I am persuaded
that no person will Ihesitate to acknowledge that the general
had a thorough opportunity to tormn his own judgment of you,
and that from his opinion, thence formed, is evidently traced
the cause which led him to appoint you to be commandant at
Trinidad : for if this be not just, then it follows, either that
he had formed no opinion of you at all, or that he appointed
you contrary to his own opinion ; which, when applied to the
actions of Sir Ralph Abcrcromby, I believe everybody will
say, in the language of geometricians, is absurd.
I am always, my dear Picton
Yours, with the greatest regard,
Colonel THOMAS PICToN.