THE TRINIDAD HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Publication No. 233.
Lieut.-Col. Louis Mosheim to Colonel Picton.
Source :-Memoirs of Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Piclon, G.C.B.,
&c., including his correspondence, fom originals in possession of his
family, 6c., by H. B. Robinson. Second Edition revised, with
additions. In two volumes. London : Richard Bentley, Newz
Burlington Street, Publisher in Ordinary to His Majesty. 1836.
October ist, 1805.
Having had the honour of serving under your command
in the Island of Trinidad in the years 1798 and 1799-periods
the most critical, duriniv which your vigilance, activity, and
wise measures preserved that valuable colony-I could not
help reading with the utmost astonishment and surprise,
" A Statement of Letters and Documents respecting the
affairs of Trinidad, &c." I must declare the same in one
particular instance to be "' a statement of the most base and
malicious falsehood ; and firmly persuade myself that, after
a just and candid investigation, the whole will appear in its
true merits, as having been brought forward purposely to
create amongst an ignorant public an unfavorable impres:,ion
concerning your acts of government, which unquestionably
will stand the most rigid ordeal.
I allude to number 83-Colonel Fullarton's answer to
Colonel Picton's address, page 172-where it is said, The
various expeditions against Guiria, Point-a-Pierre, and
Carussano, on the river Guarapuchy, were merely predatory
enterprises to procure mules and cattle, and to. punish
individuals Nwho had incurred Colonel Picion's resentment ".
Also page I1, in a note The chief object of these
expeditions was to phlnder cattle from the unoffcnding
inhabitants for his own cemolument ".
1 ha\i(: been tlie officer whom you ordered to embark with
a detachment of ian hundred men, to disperse several armed
bodies collected and assembling on the opposite coasts of the
Gulf, at (Guiia, thc River Guarapuclhy, &c."
I sailed on board of his Majesty's ship Invincible, Captain
Cavlcy, in company with his Majesty's sloop Zephyr,
Captain Champain ; my instructions ordering me to disperse
all armed bodies along the coast assembled for the purpose
of invasion, and of preventing Spanish launches to proceed
to Port-of-Spain ; enjoined the strictest attention to order
and discipline, and to cultivate the goodwill of the inhabitants
along the coast. And I do hereby most solemnly declare,
that not the lcas:t act of depredation or irregularity has been
committed by this expedition, which effected several landings
along the coast. The first disembarkation which took place
at Guii ia, was made with all necessary precautions not
knowing xlha resistancc wNe should meet with : Captain
Cavley was ('c en so obliging as to order a party of marines
to proceed with me on shore. Finding, however, the enemy
dispersed, and the inhabitants coming in crowds to receive
us as flicnds, the troops were re-embarked the very same
evening, and in our subsequent visits on shore we were only
attended by small parties of about fifteen or twenty men.
This, therefore, sir, was no predatory enterprise, it was
undertaken, ao all others, for the protection of a very valuable
trade with the Spanish Main, and for the security of the
Island of Trinidad.
I foi bear saying more, regretting much the worthy captain
then c ommaniding his Majesty's ship Invincible being dead,
and therefore not to be referred to on the occasion. I am
convinced that the respectable naval officers under whose
protection, assistance, and direction these expeditions did sail
--Captain Champain, Captain Dickson, &c. ; Major Laureal
of the I uth West India Regiment; Captain Frauchessin of
Sir (.i .1I Green's light intliatry volunteers--will all concur
will mei in declaring it a base and malicious falsehood ",
wlin it is avierd that their chief object was plunder and
I ha\ c the honour to be, with the greatest respect,
Your very faithful and obedient servant,
Ls. MOSHEIM, LIEUT.-COL.
Co1ineil Tlwhoai Picton, &c.,
t, 1.dl ,.id ,iOrc' t.