THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF TRINIDAD
Publication No. 396.
Sir Ralph Woodford to Earl Bathurst. Arms and Amnunitions
surreptitiously landed here.
Source:-The Red House, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad Duplicate
Published by the courtesy of His Excellency the Governor.
21st August, 1815.
Having some days since discovered that arms and
ammunition had been landed on this Coast from St. Thomas',
the Chief of Police traced them to the Estate of a Corsican at
Point Cedar where they were buried in a Garden. This
last was connected with another Corsican whom I have
thought it necessary to remove from the Island as well as
the Proprietor of the Estate who received the Arms, the
latter named Massiany had been guilty of a similar offence
soon after I arrived, the former was an Emigrant from the
Main Santo Cipriany.
I have in consequence thought it expedient to issue the
proclamation of which a Copy is inclosed and I trust it will
be found to accord with the general Spirit of Your Lordship's
Instruction upon the Subject.
Upon examination it has appeared that the Arms were
procured by Spaniards of Colour and one white, who left
St. Thomas' in an open boat, piratically seized two Spanish,
and a Danish Sloop, rifled the passengers in Crab Island
whither they took them, but aver not to have murdered any,
and then brought one of the Sloops here. I have ordered
her Sale and shall remit the Value to the Governor of Porto
Rico to which the vessel belongs.
I am however much concerned to have to state to Your
Lordship that the small European Garrisons having been
withdrawnl fiomi the military Posts on1 the Opposite Coast
a Saimbo named Caldeion obtained possession of Maturin
(which coimnands tlie Cattle Country and is near Guayana)
on the i3(li instant, and on the g9th the Negroes oflthe Estates
in the neighbourhood of Gui ia took that ]lace, the Spanish
Commanndant alter some resistance being ov\rcpowered by
the negroes was obliged to escape in a boat.
In Major General Croker I have met with every desire
and disposition to assist me on this occasion and the Major
General will renew the Post at Chacachacare forthwith but
the present very reduced State of this Garrison prevents
any detachment being sent towards the Serpent's Mouth,-
At both of which entrances some permanent defence will be
absolutely necessary, in the event of the negroes becoming
permanent Masters of the opposite side of the Gulph: A Post
will also be required at Naparima the richest District of this
Island, and principally inhabited by Coloured French people.
I have therefore written to the Commander of the Forces
upon the Subject and there being no Vessel of War here at
the Moment I have likewise applied to the Admiral for his
I understand that two Bodies of Independents of Three
Hundred Men each are pressing the Garrisons of (CJimana
I have the honor to be,
Your Lordship's Most Obedient & faithful Servant,
&c. &c. &c.