• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Foreword
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 Half Title
 Introduction
 The Darien venture
 Notes
 Bibliography
 Index
 Back Cover






Group Title: Hispanic notes & monographs essays, studies, and brief biographies issued by the Hispanic society of America. Hispanic American series
Title: The Darien venture
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Full Citation
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00081270/00001
 Material Information
Title: The Darien venture
Series Title: Hispanic notes & monographs essays, studies, and brief biographies issued by the Hispanic Society of America. Hispanic American series
Physical Description: ix, 155 p. : front. (port.) plates, fold. map, plan, coat of arms. ; 17cm.
Language: English
Creator: Cundall, Frank, 1858-1937
Publisher: Printed by order of the trustees
Place of Publication: New York
Publication Date: 1926
 Subjects
Subject: Company of Scotland Trading to Africa and the Indies   ( lcsh )
New Caledonia (Colony)   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Frank Cundall
Bibliography: Bibliography: p. 138-141.
General Note: Frontispiece accompanies by guard sheet with descriptive letterpress.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00081270
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: Book digitized and online with permission of the Hispanic Society of America. All rights retained by the Hispanic Society of America.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000125676
notis - AAP1651
oclc - 01576443
oclc - 24184114

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Frontispiece
        Page i
        Page ii
    Title Page
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Foreword
        Page v
        Page vi
    Table of Contents
        Page vii
        Page viii
    List of Illustrations
        Page ix
        Page x
    Half Title
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Introduction
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 12a
    The Darien venture
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 18a
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        Page 28a
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        Page 90a
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        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 134a
        Page 135
        Page 136
    Notes
        Page 137
    Bibliography
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
    Index
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
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        Page 149
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    Back Cover
        Page 156
Full Text


AMERICAN SERIES


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HISPANIC
NOTES & MONOGRAPHS

ESSAYS, STUDIES, AND BRIEF
BIOGRAPHIES ISSUED BY THE
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WILLIAM PATERSON

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THE DARIEN


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FOREWORD


FOREWORD
In the preparation of this work, in
addition to some of the available sources
of information with regard to the
Darien Settlement, use has been made
of hitherto unpublished material in the
manuscript Council Minutes of Ja-
maica, the originals of which are pre-
served in the Colonial Secretary's of-
fice, Kingston, Jamaica, and documents
in the Archives of Sevilla (the latter
kindly translated by Mr. J. L.
Pietersz), both of which are now avail-
able in the West India Reference Li-
brary of the Institute of Jamaica.
The facsimile of the portrait of
Paterson in the British Museum was
published for the first time in Caw's
Scottish portraits in 1902; the so-called
facsimile published in Barbour's A his-
tory of William Paterson and the

HISPANIC NOTES



32974








vi THE DARIEN VENTURE


Darien Company (1907) being a re-
production of a very inexact copy of
the drawing. The plan of the Darien
Settlement, of which a reproduction is
given, was discovered by Dr. Insh in
the Leven MSS., in the Advocates'
Library, Edinburgh, and has been sup-
plied by him; he has also assisted by
kind criticism of the account. To Mr.
H. S. Blair, of the United Fruit Com-
pany, are due thanks for photographs
and the description of the site of the
settlement as it exists to-day.
F. C.

KINGSTON, JAMAICA.
January, 1925.


HISPANIC NOTES











CONTENTS vii


CONTENTS


FOREWORD . . . .

INTRODUCTION

THE DARIEN VENTURE

NOTES..

BIBLIOGRAPHY .

INDEX . ...


PAGE
V





. . . . 37

138

. . . . 143


HISPANIC NOTES


I









ILLUSTRATIONS ix


ILLUSTRATIONS

WILLIAM PATERSON . . . .Frontispiece
Photogravure from a drawing in
the British Museum
PAGE
ARMS OF THE DARIEN COMPANY . 13
From John Scott's Bibliography
FLAG OF THE DARIEN COMPANY . IS
PLAN OF THE DARIEN SETTLEMENT . 29
From a drawing in the Advocates'
Library, Edinburgh
CHART OF THE NEIGHBOURHOOD OF
DARIEN (folded) . . . . . 9
From an Admiralty Chart
POINT ESCOCES . . . . . . . 101
From a photograph
SAINT ANDREW'S CANAL . . . . 135
From a photograph


HISPANIC NOTES





















THE

DARIEN VENTURE


I


I








INTRODUCTION


INTRODUCTION
The Scots as a nation, as Dr. Insh
in his Scottish colonial schemes points
out, took no great interest in the early
colonization of the Western World,
preferring the lives of soldiers of for-
tune on the continent of Europe, and
they certainly received no encourage-
ment to do so from England.
On the other hand the Darien Settle-
ment was not, as is often supposed,
Scotland's first effort at colonization.
The earliest reference dates from
March 1620 when " the Treasurer and
the Companie with the Scottish under-
takers of the plantations in Newfound-
land " petitioned King James to make
the governor of the Settlement, origi-
nally planted by England in New-
foundland, lieutenant of His Majesty.
In 1621 Sir William Alexander,
who desired that as there was a new
France, a new Spain, and a new Eng-


HISPANIC NOTES


I


I











land, there should likewise be a new
Scotland - received from James a char-
ter to hold Nova Scotia under the Crown
of Scotland. The effort, despite the
projector's An encouragement to colo-
nies and the King's order of Baronets
of which the Scots fought shy, was not
very successful and received its death
blow by the surrender of Nova Scotia
by Charles the First in 1632; Scottish
interest being sacrificed to English
foreign policy.
The Scots were conservative in trad-
ing and backward in the fishing indus-
try. When they did emigrate it was,
as a rule, to the Netherlands.
In 1621 Cape Breton was ceded to
Lochinvar, and he published his
Encouragements for New Galloway
four years later, but the scheme met
with no success, the leader of the
settlers, Lord Ochilltree, despite the
fact that Charles made him a denizen
of England, proving no suitable leader.
In 1632 the colony was surrendered


HISPANIC NOTES








INTRODUCTION 5


to the French, and half a century
elapsed before Scottish efforts for the
establishment of a colony in North
America were made, albeit during that
time many individual Scots sought
asylum in the New World, and many
more were transported by the State.
In 1681, a proposal was laid before
the Scots Privy Council to erect a Scots
Colony in America by a Committee of
Scottish merchants which reported in
that year to the Committee of Trade in
the Memorial concerning the Scottish
plantation to be erected in some place
of America, in favour of such a settle-
ment. After reviewing possible sites
they hit on Jamaica " which is one
Island possest be the Englishes but not
on six pairt peopled or inhabited; so its
thought the English for their own
safetie would be content to allow a con-
siderable pairt of that island for a
Scotts plantation which (its thought)
might serve our design."
Finally they suggested that advice


AND MONOGRAPHS








6 THE DARIEN VENTURE


should be taken from Scotsmen already
established in the New World, many
of whom might be ready to remove
themselves to the new Colony. The
spokesman of the Conference, the
Provost of Linlithgow, was in favour
of Cape Florida, the only available
tract of land on the North American
seaboard; and added the opinion that
such a colony would "be a great ease
to the country and void it of very many
both idle and dissenting personss"
In I684 a Scotch Quaker Colony was
established by Robert Barclay of Urie
at East New Jersey, and also a Scotch
Presbyterian Colony by William Dun-
lop at Stuart's Town in South Carolina,
a colony also formed by English dis-
senters; but both were short-lived. The
former, after being joined to West
Jersey, became a Crown Colony in
1702; the latter was destroyed by the
Spaniards from St. Augustine in 1686,
the Scots never having received any
support from the English Colony.


HISPANIC NOTES









THE DARIEN VENTURE 7


THE DARIEN VENTURE

William Paterson, better known per-
haps as the chief projector of the Bank
of England than as founder of the
Darien scheme, was born in April 1658.
He left his native Dumfriesshire for
England in early life; but the years
from 1672 to 1687 are left without
detailed record.
Sir John Dalrymple tells us that
Paterson was educated for the church
and went abroad as a missionary, but he
is hardly to be taken as a trustworthy
authority. From England he found his
way to the Netherlands and thence to
the West Indies, where he spent some
years, a part of the time in Jamaica,
though no reference to the fact has
hitherto ever been made, so far as the
writer knows, by any historian of the
colony. He is said to have become
acquainted with Dampier and Wafer,
from whom he learnt much of the

AND MONOGRAPHS








8 THE DARIEN VENTURE


Spanish Main. In the latter part of
the sixteenth and the early days of the
seventeenth century the bays and islets
on the neighboring coasts by Darien
had formed a favourite hunting ground
for English corsairs on the lookout for
Spanish treasure ships. Here Drake in
1572 had spent some time ere he at-
tacked Nombre de Dios. Here the
Providence Company made an unsuc-
cessful attempt at establishing a trade
in 1633, and here Dampier and his
companions sojourned in 1679..
Both Dampier and Wafer were con-
nected with Jamaica. Wafer came
here originally to see a brother who was
working for Modyford at The Angels,
and then spent some months, in 1679,
as a practising surgeon at Port Royal.
Dampier stayed here also in 1679, and
it is possible that Paterson met them
here in that year. There is reason to
believe that he never saw Darien till
he landed there with his fellow ad-
venturers.


HISPANIC NOTES








THE DARIEN VENTURE 9

Bannister, in his Life, says that Pater-
son was in touch with the West Indies
through his friendship with Sir Alan
Brodrick (later Baron Brodrick and
Viscount Middleton), who belonged
to a family the wealth, ability, and
political activity of which gave them
great influence in Ireland. He was
successively Solicitor-General, Speaker
of the House of Commons, Attorney-
General, Chief Justice, and Lord Chan-
cellor in Ireland. He was also a mem-
ber of the British Parliament where he
had considerable political influence.
His kinsman, William Brodrick, was
Attorney-General in Jamaica at various
periods between 1693 and 1716, and
Speaker of the Assembly in 1711.
Paterson, it is believed, contributed
to the pages of An historical account
of the rise and growth of the West-
India colonies, and of the great ad-
vantages they are to England in respect
to trade, which was published in 1690
under the authorship of Sir Dalby


AND MONOGRAPHS









io THE DARIEN VENTURE


Thomas. It was dedicated to Sir Rob-
ert Davers, a former planter of Bar-
bados who was a supporter of Paterson.
While engaged in trading in the
West Indies, Paterson conceived a
scheme of foreign trade, and in 1686
he visited various towns on the conti-
nent of Europe in an endeavour to get
it taken up, but without success.
As early as October 1688 " four
'English (sic) merchants' had ap-
plied to the Elector of Brandenburg
for an octroi for a new 'American
Company.' The names given by
Walter (Schiick, II, 528) are Heinrich
Bulen, Wilhelm Pocock, William Pat-
erson, and James Schmitten. The only
one of these who is mentioned in the
act of Parliament of June 26, 1695,
incorporating the Darien Company, is
Paterson" (I). He returned to Eng-
land to settle down as a merchant. In
1691 he submitted his scheme for the
Bank of England, which was estab-
lished three years later.


HISPANIC NOTES







THE DARIEN VENTURE z

Meanwhile the people of Scotland
were becoming jealous of England's
colonial trade and desired to participate
in it. The Scottish Parliament passed
several acts in aid of home industries
and foreign trade; and in June 1693
an act for Encouraging Foreign Trade,
which empowered Scottish companies to
trade with any countries not at war
with the British Crown, was drawn up.
When the Scottish Parliament
opened in May 1695 the Marquis of
Tweeddale, the King's Commissioner,
told them "If they found it would
tend to the advancement of trade that
an Act be passed for the encouragement
of such as should acquire and establish
a plantation in Africa or America, or
any other part of the world where
plantations might lawfully be acquired,
his Majesty was willing to declare that
he would grant to his subjects in Scot-
land, in favour of their plantations,
such rights and privileges as he was ac-
customed to grant to the subjects of his


AND MONOGRAPHS








12 THE DARIEN VENTURE

other dominions; " and a bill drafted
by Paterson, who was supported by
Fletcher of Saltoun, erecting the Com-
pany of Scotland trading to Africa and
the Indies, later known as the Darien
Act, quickly became law; but unfor-
tunately the King's demand that all
measures relating to war should be sub-
mitted for his scrutiny before being
touched by the Commissioners and be-
coming law had not been complied
with, and this led William, who was
at the time engaged in war on the con-
tinent, to say later that "he had been
ill-served in Scotland." By the Act
half the capital to be subscribed was
reserved for Scotsmen resident in the
Kingdom, Paterson becoming respon-
sible for the raising of �300,000, the
English moiety, which he obtained in
nine days. But by this time the Lon-
don East India Company had taken
alarm, and in December a committee
of both houses of Parliament waited on
the King to protest against this en-
___ I ____________


HISPANIC NOTES












































ARMS OF THE DARIEN COMPANY








THE DARIEN VENTURE 13

croachment of their privileges, with
the result that, though the Act could
not be recalled, Tweeddale was dis-
missed.
As a counter stroke to the Scots Act
of 1695 establishing the Company of
Scotland trading to Africa, the English
passed a law which prevented public
posts being held in the colonies by any
but natural born subjects of England,
and it was not till 1699 that it was de-
cided that this did not exclude Scotsmen.
The Lords prepared a bill discourag-
ing the subjects of England from en-
gaging in the newly formed Company
and prohibiting English seamen and
shipbuilders from having any part in
the undertaking. The English share-
holders were thus frightened into with-
drawing their support. A similar re-
sult followed when Paterson offered
�200,000 worth of shares in Hamburg.
The King intimated his objection, and
the people withdrew.
The Scots, incensed by this English


HISPANIC NOTES








14 THE DARIEN VENTURE


opposition, decided to aim at a capital
of �400,ooo instead of �300,000.
" From the Pentland Firth to the Sol-
way every one who had a hundred
pounds was impatient to put down his
name." The amount was ultimately
secured; but, in a moment of tempo-
rary enthusiasm, many had subscribed
far more than they could provide calls
for, half the whole circulating capital
of the country being vested in the stock
of the new Company. The people of
Scotland had contributed for the colo-
nization of Darien a larger proportion
of their substance than any other people
ever, in the same space of time, vol-
untarily contributed to any commercial
undertaking.
In defiance of the recently passed
Act in favour of the Bank of Scotland,
which, however, was powerless to pro-
test owing to the great popularity of the
Darien Company in Scotland, Paterson
started a bank, or as he called it " a
fund of credit", in connection with


HISPANIC NOTES








THE DARIEN VENTURE 15

the Company, and bank notes were is-
sued, the bank clients in those days be-
ing all creditors. But the venture was
not a success as the Company needed
all its capital for the furtherance of its
legitimate objects of foreign trade.
When the English effort collapsed,
Paterson with two others went to Scot-
land to help the Directors there, and
his knowledge of foreign trade soon
gained for him a leading part in their
deliberations and debates. Although in
the minds of many, trade to the East
Indies was most strongly desired, it
seems that Paterson had from the begin-
ning been in favour of the West Indies
which he knew, and the Darien scheme
now took shape.
Paterson conceived the Isthmus of
Darien, " this door of the seas, and
the key of the Universe ", as an entre-
p6t for the exchange of goods between
the Western and the Eastern Worlds,
by means of an overland route.
Eastern trade would thus be diverted


AND MONOGRAPHS








16 THE DARIEN VENTURE

from the Cape, and Scotland would
take the place of Holland as the great
mart of the East.
Steps were at once taken to provide
supplies of all kinds for the undertak-
ing, which were stowed in the Com-
pany's warehouse in Miln Square, Edin-
burgh. Ships were built at Hamburg
and Amsterdam, as such building was
interdicted in England, and additional
supplies were secured in Holland on
cheaper terms than Scotland could
offer; Paterson being appointed Direc-
tor to see to these affairs. In this con-
nection, unfortunately, he handed funds
to a friend in London, Smyth by name,
who betrayed his trust and irretriev-
ably damaged Paterson's influence with
the Company.
With the fall of Paterson the idea of
an all-world trading enterprise gave
place to the founding of a colony. In
March 1698 the Company was in a
position to issue a circular announcing
its intention to send an expedition "to


HISPANIC NOTES








THE DARIEN VENTURE 17

settle a colony in the Indies." To
every one who would go was promised
fifty acres of plantable land and a plot
fifty-foot square in the chief town.
Every Councillor was to have double;
but later it was decided that the land
was only to be granted after three
years' settlement. Of the numbers who
offered, twelve hundred were accepted:
of these three hundred were young men
of the best families of Scotland. Sixty
military officers, thrown out of occupa-
tion by the peace of Ryswick, shipped as
civilians. Many of the remainder were,
as in other enterprises of the kind, un-
desirables. The Directors elected seven
Councillors, four of whom were cap-
tains of the ships, and to these sealed
sailing orders were given. They signed
the oath of allegiance to the Company
in July. The fleet consisted of three
ships, St. Andrew (Captain Robert
Pennicook), Unicorn (Captain Robert
Pinkerton), and Caledonia (Captain
Robert Drummond), with a pink,


AND MONOGRAPHS







18 THE DARIEN VENTURE


Endeavour, and the Dolphin, and they
flew the flag of the Company, a golden
sun rising from a blue sea, against a
red sky.
On the 26th of July, in the words of
Sir John Dalrymple, " the whole city
of Edinburgh poured down upon Leith
to see the colony depart, amidst the tears
and prayers and praises of relations and
friends and of their countrymen.
Many seamen and soldiers whose serv-
ices had been refused, because more had
offered themselves than were needed,
were found hid in the ships, and, when
ordered ashore, clung to the ropes and
timbers, imploring to go, without re-
ward, with their companions."
Paterson, the real projector of the ex-
pedition, was not given an official posi-
tion of any kind, but with his typical
generosity he joined it as a volunteer
on the Unicorn, accompanied by his
wife, her maid, and Thomas Fenner,
his clerk. His first act was to suggest to
the commander that an inspection of the


HISPANIC NOTES







































FLAG OF THE DARIEN COMPANY








THE DARIEN VENTURE 19


supplies should be made so that defects
might be made good ere they left. In
reply he was told to mind his own busi-
ness. After they sailed, however, an
inspection was made, and, when it was
too late to put things right, Paterson's
fears were found to be well grounded,
the supplies being both inadequate and
inferior.
In this connection Warburton - in
his fascinating romance of Darien; or,
The merchant prince - writes " Scot-
land was dishonoured by the promoters
of her first and last attempt to found
a colony; William III did not do more
to cause the ruin of the expedition
than these earnest yet dishonourable
men.
On the 29th of August, Madeira was
reached and the Council opened their
sealed orders and secured extra provi-
sions. Here, Paterson was elected in
the place of one of the original council-
lors who had not sailed. Directed by
their orders to make Crab Island, near


HISPANIC NOTES








20 THE DARIEN VENTURE


Puerto Rico, they sailed on the 2nd of
September and on the Ist of October
reached that Island, so called from the
number of land crabs which inhabited
it; it was also the best turtling ground
near St. Thomas, turtles forming an
important source of food supply in the
early days of West Indian colonization.
On opening their second sealed orders
they found that they were directed to
go to Golden Island, in the Bay of
Acla near the Gulf of Darien. On
the following day they went ashore
and took possession of Crab Island in
the name of the Company of Scotland
trading to Africa. In the meantime
Paterson went to St. Thomas to
get pilots for the mainland and intelli-
gence as to the state of affairs at
Darien.
In the Manuscript Journal of Wil-
liam Blathwayt (Auditor-General of
the King's Revenues in the American
Colonies) preserved in the Record
Office, London, we read:


HISPANIC NOTES








THE DARIEN VENTURE 21

" Memorand.
Mr. Richard Frith having Petitioned
for a Grant of Crabb Island lying in
171 Degrees North Latitude in the
West Indies, the same was Referred
as followeth

Whitehall Treasury Chambers
July 3d i688
The Lords Commrs. of his Matys.
Treasury are pleased to Referr this
Petition to William Blathwayt Esqre
who is to Consider the Contents there-
of, and Certify their Lops. whether the
granting the Petrs Request may be of
prejudice to his Maty. or any one els,
and upon the whole matter to give
their Lops. His opinion.
Hen. Guy"

Whereupon Mr. Blathwayt made the
following report.
" May it please your Lops.
I have examined this Petition, and
humbly Report that Sr. Nathaniel

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22 THE DARIEN VENTURE

Johnson Governor in Cheif of the Lee-
ward Islands has, by a letter dated the
20th of February last (an extract
whereof is hereunto annext) Repre-
sented to the Lords of the Committee
for Trade & Plantations the con-
veniency and inconveniency that may
attend the Settlement of Crab Island,
and desiring to receive the directions
of the Committee thereupon Their
Lops. have upon Consideration of this
matter declared their opinion that the
Settlement of this Island may be fit to
be encouraged Provided the Same be
without any Charge to his Maty;
wherein Sr. Nathaniel Johnson will re-
ceive Orders by the next Shipps. And
I do further humbly represent to your
Lops. that in Case of such a Settlement,
It will be necessary that a Governor be
appointed by his Maty. and the Govern-
ment made Subject and accomptable to
that of the rest of the Leeward
Islands, from whence this Island may
receive all necessary assistance upon any


HISPANIC NOTES








THE DARIEN VENTURE 23

attempt or invasion of the Spaniards of
St. John de Porto Rico who by reason
of their neighbourhood and pretensions
will certainly use all possible means to
hinder any Forreigners from Setling
this Island.
Whitehall ioth 1688"

John Lorentz, the Danish Governor
of St. Thomas, sent to assert Den-
mark's right to Crab Island, but those
of the Expedition told him the objec-
tion had come too late. The protest
appears to have been purely academic.
The island was at that time claimed
by the Spaniards, the Brandenburgers,
the French, the Danes, and the Eng-
lish. It was included in 1697 in the
charter of the Danish West India Com-
pany and finally became Danish. In
the autumn of 1699 Benbow went at
the request of the President of Nevis to
St. Thomas to demand why they flew
the Danish flag on Crab Island which
was English. The governor of St.


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24 THE DARIEN VENTURE

Thomas maintained that it was Danish.
In 1772 and 1774 the sovereignty of
Crab Island was again a subject of dis-
pute between England and Spain. It
lately went under the Stars and Stripes,
as one of the Danish Virgin Islands
purchased by the United States of
America.
From St. Thomas, Captain Alison,
one of the oldest privateers then alive
and a former companion of Sharp,
joined the Scots as pilot.
Here Paterson tells us the Unicorn,
in which he sailed, met with "one
Captain Moon of Jamaica, who com-
manded a sloop of about eighty tons.
He was bound from New York to
Curasao with provisions, but by the
way touched att St. Thomas, where he
mett with us. The man I had known
in Jamaica many years before; and we
persuaded him to follow us to the rest
of our ships then riding at Crab
Island." But they could not come to
terms over the goods they offered to

HISPANIC NOTES








THE DARIEN VENTURE 25

Moon, who considered the prices too
high. " But before he went I took an
opportunity to tell him, that by reason
of the stowage in those crowded ships,
he could not now have a sight of the
greatest part of our cargoe; but if he
and his friends would send us a sloop
with provisions from Jama.ica; and also
come himself as s.on,'a he c'uld, did
not doubt but-'h if old dispose of them
to his suffieient 'satisfaction, which he
promised'tjdoe, and had some discourse
thereof- with the rest of 'te.Councillors
before -we parted."
They left Crab Island on the 7th of
October, and on the 3oth the St. An-
drew and the Unicorn anchored in a
"fine sandy bay about three leagues
to the westward of the Gulf of Da-
rien."
When Ferdinand decided to form
colonies on the mainland the Gulf of
Darien was taken as a boundary. The
land to the east as far as Cape de la
Vela was named Nueva Andalucia and


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26


THE DARIEN VENTURE


given to Ojeda, while northwestward
Central America was called Castilla
d'Oro and given to Nicuesa, both
governors being made Viscounts of
Jamaica.
When Charles the Fifth found that
a strait could not be discovered through
thfi Afnerican continent to the southern
; sea:fi'conceived th fd.ea of an artificial
channel, but he wastold. that the ob-
stacles were insuperable, find,',although
' maniy' schemes were proir4�c from
tim to theih, hth!ng was actually done
until recently.
It was from the Gulf of Darien
that Balboa set forth to discover the
Pacific.
Acla was founded by Gabriel de
Rojas in 1514, and fortified in 1516
by Pedrarias Davila, who sixteen years
later abandoned it in favour of Panama.
It was Balboa's base of supplies from
Cuba when he planned to colonize on
the Pacific side of the Isthmus, of
which he had been put in charge, and


HISPANIC NOTES


C
Cf








THE DARIEN VENTURE 27

was the scene of his judicial murder by
Pedrarias Davila.
It was from Golden Island that
Ringrose, Sharp, Dampier, and Wafer,
accompanied by some three hundred
buccaneers, started on their journey
across the Isthmus.
When in 1849 it was seriously pro-
posed to cut a canal through the Isthmus
it was intended that it should run al-
most due south from Caledonia Bay,
the northwest boundary of which is
the Isla de Oro (or Golden Island, or
Santa Catalina).
It was on the Darien coast that the
Scots decided to settle midway between
Porto Bello and Cartagena, two of
Spain's strongholds, and plant a settle-
ment and establish a free trade route
to the Pacific, whereby to Britain would
be secured " the keys of the universe,
enabling their possessors to give laws
to both oceans and to become the arbi-
ters of a commercial world "; and in
his Proposal to plant a Colony in


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28 THE DARIEN VENTURE

Darien, which he prepared in I701
urging a new expedition to Darien,
Paterson recorded his conviction that
a canal was practicable (2).
The long-looked-for Golden Island
at the mouth of the harbour of Acla is
only three miles in circumference. On
the mainland the settlers found friendly
Indians under one Captain Andrews,
who was soon persuaded to forego his
allegiance to the Spaniards and become
an officer of the new Settlement. At
the treaty made between Captain An-
drews and the Scots, the former re-
ceived a pair of pistols and the latter a
piece of turf and a twig, indicative of
what each had to offer. In 1583 Sir
Humphrey Gilbert had taken possession
of Newfoundland by cutting a sod and
accepting a hazel wand.
On a spit of land, somewhat like the
Palisadoes of Jamaica, the adventurers
founded New Edinburgh, intended to
be the capital of the new Settlement,
Caledonia, and defended it with Fort


HISPANIC NOTES









































/


PLAN OF THE DARIEN SETTLEMENT


i








THE DARIEN VENTURE 29

St. Andrew, in which was placed a
battery of sixteen guns. News of the
settlement reached Edinburgh on the
25th of March, 1699. They thus de-
scribed their new home:
" The land on the Peninsula is ex-
traordinary good, and full of stately
trees fit for all uses, and full of pleas-
ant birds, as is also the opposite shoar,
and hath several small springs which
wee hope will hold in the dryest season.
But on the other side there are four
or five fine rivers that never do dry.
This harbour is capable of containing
1ooo of the best ships in the world,
and with no great trouble wharfs may
be run out to which ships of the great-
est burthen may lay their sides and un-
load."
A " Person of eminence and worth
in Caledonia" wrote to a friend at
Boston, New England:
"Our situation is about two leagues
to the southward of Golden Island (by
the Spaniards called Guarda), in the

HISPANIC NOTES








30 THE DARIEN VENTURE


one of the best and most defensible
harbours, perhaps in the world. The
country is healthful to a wonder, inso-
much that our own sick, that were many
when we arrive, are now generally
cured. The country is exceedingly fer-
tile and the weather temperate. The
country where we are settled is dry,
and rising ground, hilly but not high;
and on the sides, and quite to the tops,
three, four or five feet good fat mould,
not a rock or stone to be seen. We
have but eight or nine league to a river,
where boats may go into the South Sea.
The natives for fifty leagues on either
side, are in entire friendship and cor-
respondence with us; and if we will be
at the pains, we can gain those at the
greatest distance; for our neighbour-
ing Indians are willing to be the joyful
messengers of our Settlement, and good
disposition to their countrymen. As to
the innate riches of the country, upon
the first information, I always believed
it to be very great, but now find it goes


HISPANIC NOTES


--








THE DARIEN VENTURE 31


beyond all that ever I thought or con-
ceived in that matter.
"The Spaniards, as we can under-
stand, are very much surprised and
alarmed, and the more that it comes
as a thunderclap upon them, having had
no notice of us until three days after
our arrival, but we have written to the
President of Panama, giving him ac-
count of our good and peaceable inten-
tions, and to procure a good under-
standing and correspondence. If this is
not condescended to, we are ready for
what else he pleases. If merchants
should once erect factories here, this
place will soon become the best and
surest mart in all America both for
inland and over land trade. We want
here sloops and coasting vessels; for
want of which, and by reason we have
all hands at work in fortifying and
fitting ourselves, which is now pretty
well over, we have had but little trade
as yet, and most of our goods are un-
sold. We are here I oo men, and


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32 THE DARIEN VENTURE

expect supplies every day. We have
been exceeding unhappy in losing two
ministers, who came with us from
Scotland; and if New England could
supply us in that, it would be a great
and lasting obligation."
The author of A defence of the
Scots settlement at Darien, 1699, thus
describes their new home:
"The Place where we are fetled is
4 Miles Eaft of Golden Ifland, within
a great Bay. We have an excellent
Harbor, surrounded with high Moun-
tains, capable of holding a thoufand
Sail land-lock'd, and fafe from all
Winds and Tempefts. The Mouth of
the Harbor is about random Cannon-
fhot over, formed by a Peninfula on
the one fide, and a point of Land on
the other. In the middle of the En-
trance there is a Rock three foot above
water, upon which the Sea breaks moft
terribly when the Wind blows hard;
and within the Points there is a fmall
Rock that lies a little under water. On


HISPANIC NOTES








THE DARIEN VENTURE 33

both fides thefe Rocks there's a very
good wide Channel for Ships to come
in: that on the South-fide is three Cables
long, and even Fathom deep; and that
on the North two Cables long. From
the two outermoft points the Harbour
runs away Eaft a Mile and an half; and
near the middle, on the right hand, a
point of Land fhoots out into the Bay:
fo that by raising Forts on the faid
Point, on the Rock in the middle of
the Entrance, and the two outermoft
Points, it will be the ftrongeft Harbor,
both by Art and Nature, that's in the
known World. The Bay within is for
the moft part 6 Fathom Water, and till
you come within a Cable's length of
the Shoar, three Fathom and an half:
So that a Key may be built, to which
great Ships may lay their Sides, and
unload. The Peninfula lies on the left
hand, is a mile and an half in length,
very fteep, and high towards the Sea:
fo that it would be very difficult for
any body to land, till you come to the

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34 THE DARIEN VENTURE

Ifthmus, where there's a fmall fandy
Bay that little Ships may put into, but
is eafy to be fecured by a Ditch and a
Fort. There are several little Rivers
of very good Water that fall into the
Bay; and it abounds fo with excellent
fifh, that we can with eafe take more
than it's poffible for us to deftroy,
having sometimes caught 14o at a
draught: amongft others there be Tor-
to;fes, which are excellent Meat, and
fome of them above 600 weight.
" The Peninfula was never inhabited
and is covered all over with Trees of
various forts, as ftately Cedars, Brafil-
wood, Lignum Vitae, Box-wood,
Fuftick-wood, Yellow Sanders, Man-
fhinel, &c. and the like forts, besides
others whofe names we know not, grow
on the Continent; and we doubt not of
finding out the Nicaragua Wood: we
have found Cabbage Trees, the Fruit
of which eats like Colly-flowers. The
Natives have no Plantation within two
Miles of us."


HISPANIC NOTES








THE DARIEN VENTURE 35


Soon after their settling they sighted
in the offing the Rupert Prize (Captain
Richard Long) which had been sent
out by the English Government as a
spy, with a view to forestalling the
Expedition.
Paterson apparently believed that
Spain had no concern in that particular
district, although he later advocated
taking Spanish West Indian territory
by force of arms. Long, who led the
Scotch to think that his principal design
was to seek for wrecks and to fish,
wrote from Jamaica whither he sailed
soon after, to the Council of Trade
and Plantations: " They are in such a
crabbed hole, that it may be difficult to
beat them out of it. I saw the settle-
ment and order of the Scots, which
appeared modest, and they declared
themselves to me that they would be no
harbourer of pirates, nor invade any
man's settled land, but those that would
disturb them they would grant letters
of reprisal against them."


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36 THE DARIEN VENTURE


On the 5th of December, Sir Wil-
liam Beeston, who had been Governor
of Jamaica since 1692-3, in writing
home to the Council of Trade and
Plantations, said, " The Scotch fleet is
arrived at Darien, into which bay one
of our sloops saw them sail. If they
settle there and are healthy, the noise
of gold (of which there is great plenty
in those parts) will carry away all our
debtors, servants and ordinary people in
the hope of mending their fortunes,
and will much weaken what little
strength we have."
At this time the question of the status
of Scotchmen as British subjects was
brought to a head by the appointment
of Andrew Hamilton as governor of
East New Jersey which was referred by
the Council of Trade to the Attorney-
General to know " whether he being
a Scotchman born be qualified for that
employment ". The Attorney-General
reported that he was a natural-born
subject of England as if he had been


HISPANIC NOTES








THE DARIEN VENTURE 37

born in England. Natives of Scotland
inhabiting with their families in Eng-
land or Ireland were to be accounted
English within the meaning of the Acts
of Trade and Navigation. This was
made known in the colonies.
On the receipt of Long's report the
English Government sent instructions
on the 2nd of January 1698-9 to vari-
ous Colonial Governors which resulted
in Proclamations being issued against the
Darien settlers. That issued by Beeston
in Jamaica, to whom the young colony
chiefly looked for support, runs as given
in Barbour's history (which differs very
much in phraseology from the version
given in the An Enquiry into the mis-
carriage of the Scots Colony and some-
what from the version given in the
Stowe MSS. 305) as follows (3):

" By the Honourable Sir WILLIAM
BEESTON, Kt., His Majesty's Lieuten-
ant-Governor and Commandant-in-
Chief in and over this his Island of

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38 THE DARIEN VENTURE


Jamaica, and over the territories de-
pending thereon in America, and Vice-
Admiral of the same.

A PROCLAMATION.
"WHEREAS I have received com-
mands from His Majesty, by the Right
Honourable James Vernon Esquire, one
of His Majesty's principal Secretaries of
State, signifying to me that His Majesty
is unacquainted with the intentions and
designs of the Scots settling at Darien;
and that it is contrary to the peace
entered into with His Majesty's Allies,
and therefore has commanded me that
no assistance be given them. These
are, therefore, in His Majesty's name
and by command, strictly to command
His Majesty's subjects, whatsoever, that
they do not presume, on any pretence
whatsoever, to hold any correspondence
with the said Scots, nor to give them any
assistance of arms, ammunition, pro-
visions, or any other necessaries what-


HISPANIC NOTES








THE DARIEN VENTURE 39


soever, either by themselves or any other
for them; or by any of their vessels, or
of the English nation, as they will
answer the contempt of His Majesty's
command to the contrary, at their
utmost peril. Given under my hand
and seal of arms this 8th day of April,
I699,and in the eleventh year of our
Sovereign Lord William the Third of
England, Scotland, France, and Ireland
King, and of Jamaica, Lord Defender
of the Faith, etc.
WILLIAM BEESTON."

In Barbados Vernon's letter was read
to the Council, and ordered to be pub-
lished immediately by beat of drum, to
be read in all the churches, and to be
afterwards put up in the public places
of the four towns of the island; and
a similar course was doubtless followed
in Jamaica.
The Proclamation was issued in
Barbados on the 13th of April; in Vir-
ginia on May 2nd; in New York on


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40 THE DARIEN VENTURE

May I5th; in Rhode Island on May
26th; in Massachusetts Bay on June
3rd; in East New Jersey on June Ioth;
in Connecticut on June i8th; in South
Carolina in July; in New Hampshire
on August 5th; in New Providence on
September I2th; and in Maryland on
October oth.
On the 7th of June, Beeston, in
writing to Bellomont, governor of New
York and Massachusetts Bay, said:
"I have received yours of Aug. 18
and April 25, and with the last one
for M. Ducasse, which shall be sent
forward by the first conveyance, though
we have not many thither, for since the
Peace they have forbidded trade with
all but the Spaniards, whom they are
much in love with, supposing them and
their country to be their own as soon as
the King of Spain dies, and the Span-
iards are as fond of them and admit
them to trade and into their ports who
have beating of them for these ten years
past, but to the English, who have been


HISPANIC NOTES








THE DARIEN VENTURE 41


so long fighting for them and spending
their blood and treasure to defend them,
they refuse all civility and common re-
spect, and call 'em ill names because
the Scotch are settled at Darien, which
they will not believe is without the
King's consent or connivance at least,
though I have written to all the Gov-
ernors to assure them of the contrary,
and have issued out a proclamation
that none go near the Scotch or trade
with them nor assist them with provi-
sions nor anything else, and have sent
duplicates of it to the Governors,
nevertheless the French have gotten
such an interest in them by reason of
their Churchmen and religion that they
tell them all is a blind, and that the
English and Scotch are all one people,
and the French have reason if they ex-
pect the Indies, for the Scotch will
then be as great a thorn in their sides
as they are now in the Spaniards'. But,
if it be true I now hear, that a recruit
of three good ships, with 800 men, are

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42 THE DARIEN VENTURE

newly arrived to them, they will not
easily be removed, and they are so well
posted that the admiral of the Barlia-
viento fleet was by land within two or
three miles with 1,500 men but would
not attempt them, but he is reported to
be a modest man, which perhaps was
the reason."
Governor Jeremiah Basse, of the
Jerseys, wrote to the Council of Trade
and Plantations:
" I received yours of Jan. 2 and im-
mediately published enclosed proclama-
tion. These orders arrived very op-
portunely to curb the endeavours of
some gentlemen of the Scotch nation
to promote not only the Scotch interest
in general but that particular settle-
ment which they now call Caledonia.
I almost think it will be needless to ac-
quaint your honour of the settlement of
that party of men you caution us against
on the island Gorda, alias Golden
Island near the coast of Darien, with
the Indian inhabitants of which prov-

HISPANIC NOTES








THE DARIEN VENTURE 43

ince they are entered into a strong con-
federacy. By order of their Council
they have called their settlement Cale-
donia. They have had a skirmish with
the Spaniards in which they came off
victorious. Some proposals for the
settlement of that place are with much
zeal embraced by the Scotch gentlemen
inhabiting the Jerseys who report that
the Caledonians have already raised a
fortification of 150 guns and will give
all manner of protection and encour-
agement to all that shall trade or cor-
respond with them, to which many of
our inhabitants, notwithstanding these
orders, seem so emboldened by their ex-
pectations of the arrival of a gentleman
of their nation to fill the seat of the
Government in these provinces by his
Majesty's special approbation. Nay, to
so great a degree of madness have these
encouragements advanced them that
some of the eminentest of that nation
amongst us in the hearing of myself
and some of my Council asserted that


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THE DARIEN VENTURE


it might endanger a rupture betwixt
these two nations if his Majesty should
interrupt their settlement. The trade
of the Jersies and Pennsylvania seems
to be much in the hands of that nation,
several of them being our principal
dealers and their numbers yearly in-
creasing whilst the interest of our na-
tion seems so much declining. Certain
I am their prosperity in the Plantation
cannot but extremely prejudice the
general interest of our own nation,
impair his Majesty's revenue and in
time give no mean fears of their subjec-
tion to their so much applauded Cale-
donia, which I cannot but say seems by
nature and situation to pretend in time
to be the emporium of trade and riches
of America, a place if it meet with en-
couragement and be suffered to grow
that may in time collect to it riches of
the Eastern and Western Indians, the
one safely transported through the fa-
mous South Seas over the Isthmus of
Darien and the other from the two ad-


*HISPANIC NOTES








THE DARIEN VENTURE


joining Empires of Peru and Mexico."
On the Ioth of July Beeston wrote
to Vernon:
" I have written to your Honour by
this ship already, but she has delayed
longer than was expected. By one of
our vessels that arrived yesterday from
the Spanish Coast I am advised that the
Scotch have wholly deserted their
settlement at Callidonia, and are gone
from thence about 17 days since, but
whither we cannot hear nor guess unless
they are gone to disperse themselves
amongst the Northern Plantations, for
they have not provision to carry them
to Scotland. What should induce them
to so sudden a remove is almost uncer-
tain. It's true the Spaniards had called
the Barliavento Fleet to Cartagena,
and they with the ships that carried
that Governor thither and all other
they could pick up were preparing to
carry a considerable strength against
the Scotch, so that whether the appre-
hension of that force or the proclama-

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46 THE DARIEN VENTURE

tion I put out here, which hindered
them from all manner of supplies from
hence, by which they were almost
starved, was the cause of their remove,
is yet uncertain. But that they are
gone the master of the vessel tells me
that he met three canoes at the Barues,
that came from Callidonia, and had
three Spaniards on them who had been
prisoners with the Scotch and freed by
them when they sailed, and also that
those canoes were laden with iron
crows, shot and other iron tools the
Scotch left behind them, which seems
to indicate that they went away in
haste. Sir, we have just now a report
that the King of Spain is dead."
Bellomont, in writing to the Council
of Trade and Plantations on the 20th
of October 1699, said:
" In the Newspaper called the Fly-
ing Post, London, Aug. I, there is an
article of news, which, if it were true,
would be a reflection on me. It says
that there went five ships at once from


HISPANIC NOTES








THE DARIEN VENTURE 47

hence laden with provisions to the
Scotch at Darien. I have enquired and
find there was only one brigantine be-
longing to one Steel, a merchant in this
town, that went to Nevis with provi-
sions, but not finding a market there
he went to Caledonia. This was be-
fore my coming hither and before the
King's pleasure was known in that mat-
ter. That part of the same article
which says that I, as Governor of
Rhode Island, stopped a ship there that
brought Mr. Daniel MacKay from
Darien or Caledonia and afterwards
suffered her to proceed on her voyage
to Scotland, is as great a mistake. The
thing was thus in fact. A briganteen
belonging to Mr. Oliver, a merchant
of this town, went hence to Jamaica
with provisions, and thence to Cale-
donia. This was long before the King's
orders were sent from England, and for
that reason I advised the Governor of
Rhode Island to release her. She re-
fused to proceed to Scotland, so that


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48 THE DARIEN VENTURE

Mr. MacKay and his companions were
forced to come hither from Rhode
Island and embark on a ship bound to
London."
In May I699 the Spanish Ambassa-
dor to the Court of St. James protested
against the encroachment on the Span-
ish Main.
On the 26th of that month the
Council of Trade and Plantations re-
ported upon the Scotch Settlement upon
the Isthmus of Darien as follows:
" The charter granted to the Scotch
Company contains these three restric-
tions: - either not to plant upon places
inhabitated or, if inhabitated, not with-
out consent of the inhabitants; nor
upon places possessed by any European
Prince or State. The memorial says
that the Scotch Fleet in November,
I698, arrived on the N. side of the
Darien and pitched on a place never
before possessed by the Spaniards. The
whole weight of the controversy turns
upon this. If it was possessed, the de-


HISPANIC NOTES








THE DARIEN VENTURE


scent made by the Scotch is not only a
manifest contravention of the condi-
tions of the Patent but also an open vio-
lation of the Treaty betwixt England
and Spain 1670, Art. VII and VIII. It
is not sufficient to alledge that the in-
habitants invited them, for the Indians
of those parts are a wild sort of people,
subdivided into small clans, and can do
nothing to the prejudice of the supreme
sovereign of the whole country, which
the Spaniard hath from the first dis-
covery claimed to be. The memorial
challenges the Spaniard to prove his
possession. Such a proposal will be en-
tertained by the Spaniard with great
disdain and give, we fear, too just an
offence, that what they call an indis-
putable and uncontravened right,
grounded upon near 200 years prescrip-
tion, and in the enjoyment whereof
they were never disturbed by any Eu-
ropean Prince or State, none of them
having so much as attempted to make
any colonies or settlements of their sub-


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50 THE DARIEN VENTURE

jects in those parts, they should now of
a sudden, after an open invasion, as
they will call it, be required to prove
their title and possession. Besides,
what tribunal can be erected? No
doubt the Spaniards are the best able
to prove the validity of their title, if
they would suffer it to be called into
controversy. But by the printed books
of good authority it appears that they
planted themselves in the Province of
Darien in 1510, very near, if not in
the self-same place, where the Scotch
now are, and that one Enciso, a Span-
iard, first discovered the River called
Darien, and built a town upon it,
which he called St. Maria Antigua,
which was afterwards honoured with
the title of a Bishopric. After Vasquez
Nunez Balboa had discovered the South
Sea, Petreio Davila, then Governor of
the Province of Darien under the King
of Spain, removed the inhabitants from
Sta Maria, 1519, to Panama, alleging
the unhealthiness of the air. And it


HISPANIC NOTES








THE DARIEN VENTURE 51

appears the Province of Darien has
been so divided by the Government of
Spain that all on the one side of the
river was allotted to the Audiencia or
Presidentship of Panama, and the other
side to that of Carthagena. And
though the Spaniards have built several
towns in the Province and afterwards
demolished them and removed to other
places, yet this changing of habitations
amongst private persons was no derelic-
tion of the territorial property of the
Province, but that still remained entire
in the Crown of Spain. And though
perhaps there is not one village in
Darien at present inhabitated by Span-
iards yet they never counted themselves
to have quitted the possession of it, but
only are retired to other habitations
more convenient for health or trade, to
Panama, Portobello and Carthagena,
which places, as the Scotch Memorial
acknowledges, are the extremities which
in a manner environ the Isthmus of
Darien. No subjects of any European


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52 THE DARIEN VENTURE


Prince have ever attempted to plant
any settlement there, not out of igno-
rance of those parts, but solely because
such a thing could not be compassed
without an open rupture with Spain,
who secure their possession of Darien
by their Armadilla or Barlovento
Fleet, which arrives yearly upon that
coast.
" The treasures of Peru are carried
over the South Sea to Panama, and
thence overland by the Province of
Darien to Portobello, so that the Span-
iards will unavoidably be ever jealous
of any neighbourhood which may in
time extend itself to interrupt the com-
munication betwixt the South and the
Northern Seas. And this country is
situated betwixt the two Empires of
Peru and Mexico, and the Spaniards
will never suffer any Europeans to
plant themselves upon the main land
betwixt those two Empires. They
would never permit us so much as to
cut logwood in the Bay of Campeche,


HISPANIC NOTES








THE DARIEN VENTURE 53


upon the coast of Jucatan, lying upon
the same tracte of land, near which, at
a place called Port Royal, there was
lately a small colony of about 300 Eng-
lish, disavowed by the Government of
England, which the Spaniards seized,
destroying many of them upon the
place and carrying others to Mexico,
where they kept them working in
chains upon the fortifications. This
they did lest we should habituate our-
selves on those parts and plant there.
Such is the claim of the Spaniards to
this country that the planting upon
Darien is what will touch them in the
most sensible and vital part, and that
if this design of the Scotch be carried
on it will inevitably in the end involve
his Majesty in such misunderstandings
with Spain as may prove fatal to the
peace and good accord betwixt the two
Crowns."
A number of pamphlets were pub-
lished at this time dealing with the
main question, the right of the Scots to








54 THE DARIEN VENTURE

land and settle at Acla, the main de-
fence being based on the fact that the
Spaniards made no use of the land in
question which belonged to the native
Indians.
Macaulay, who in his History is
somewhat unfair to Paterson, says:
" The governors of the English
settlements put forth proclamations in-
terdicting all communication with this
nest of buccaneers." But they did it
on instructions from home. Even had
they been buccaneers, which they were
not, many of the colonists already in
those waters would have had a fellow
feeling for them, and would have been
ready to trade, as was shown by the at-
tempts that were made in that direction
from Jamaica, although Beeston feared
that the settlement would take away
inhabitants from the colony which it
could ill spare.
By reason of this hostile proclama-
tion, accommodation, too often afforded
to buccaneers, was refused these Scots-


HISPANIC NOTES








THE DARIEN VENTURE 55

men who, acting under a charter from
their King were endeavouring to estab-
lish a peaceful trading colony.
Sir Walter Scott in Tales of a
grandfather truly says that " those who
perished for want of the provisions for
which they were willing to pay, were
as much murdered by King William's
government, as if they had been shot in
the snows -of Glencoe."
Meanwhile, so soon as the Spaniards
at Porto Bello and Cartagena learnt
of the Settlement they prepared to at-
tack it, and to start reprisals against the
English in those seas; and they refused
to Benbow the usual port courtesies be-
cause of this Settlement. The settlers
erected a lookout and hastened on their
battery. They sent their first despatch
home on the 28th of December, by a
trusty sloop (Edward Sands, master)
which was returning to Jamaica after
her cargo of provisions had been sold
to the colonists. The despatch, which
reached the Directors on the 25th of


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56 THE DARIEN VENTURE

March, 1699, represented the Council
as being very pleased with the situation,
the climate, and the soil-a satisfac-
tion which was not borne out by later
experience. They said:
" Here is good hunting and fowling,
and excellent fishing in the bays and
creeks of the coast; so that could we
improve the season of the year just now
begun, we should soon be able to sub-
sist of ourselves but fortifying and
building will lose us a whole year's
planting." And again " Our situation
being incomparable for the Trade of
the Coast, where (besides our Inland
Trade) there is commonly but 2 or 3,
or at most but 8 or o1 days' sail to
the best places of Trade upon the
Coast, and to the outmost considerable
islands adjoining. And we desire that
particular merchants in Scotland, and
elsewhere, may be encouraged to trade
and correspond hither, in which we
hope they will sufficiently find their
account."


HISPANIC NOTES











They asked for two ministers to
supply the place of the two who had
died, and a good engineer. Paterson
had lost soon after landing both his
wife and his clerk by fever. The
Directors issued a proclamation declar-
ing the colony. of Caledonia a free port,
with full liberty of conscience in mat-
ters of religion to all nations.
Meanwhile the Governor of Carta-
gena who had taken alarm at the inva-
sion wrote to the King. The following
hitherto unpublished correspondence is
from the Archives at Sevilla:

I. THE GOVERNOR OF CARTAGENA TO
THE KING
"Sir,
By a Portuguese store-ship that is
leaving here direct to Lisbon I send you
this which is the duplicate of the letters
that Don Bartholme Garrote's despatch
boat, which left here on the 3oth
August, carries - I can only add now
that the diminution of the garrison here,


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58 THE DARIEN VENTURE

through death and sickness continues.
Therefore if there be provision for this
garrison to be one of regular soldiers
it is to the interest of your majesty's
service that recruits should come out
when opportunities offer, not only of
Infantry but of seamen whose business
it should be to know how to navigate.
The people in the ports over there who
man the ships seldom give heed to this,
they only attend to passengers, traders
to whom they sell or grant the favour
of a passage to the Indies and who go
off to the places whither their interests
have brought them, leaving your majes-
ty's ships deserted, rendering useless the
expenses your majesty has incurred on
them and causing the injuries to your
majesty's service that consequently fol-
low of which your majesty is aware
from past occurrences.
"From Jamaica, by Don Santiago
de el Castillo (4); I have news that
one of the ships of the Scots is in that
island; the others, I suppose, are dis-


HISPANIC NOTES








THE DARIEN VENTURE 59


tribute in these parts, therefore it
would be for the good of your majesty's
service to occupy the place these people
abandoned for it is feasible (having
mapped it as they did during the time
they inhabited it) that they may return
with greater strength, especially when
the measures that are taken in America
to repulse any enemy are so costly and
useless, as your majesty will have ex-
perienced in what happened at Panama
with the windward fleet and land
forces opposed to said settlement of
Scots at Dariel where (besides there
being matters of fact) positive proof
will be given to your Majesty by the
protocols the commanders drew up on
useless declarations of malicious person
or persons incapable of advising in mat-
ters of war, as, among many, one, who
states in his declaration that the moun-
tain of El Carreto was mined, whereas
the mountain is more than a musket-
shot distant from the fort the Scots had,
whence the least expert person in the

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60 THE DARIEN VENTURE


art would infer that it was impossible
that the enemy from their fort could
be masters of the mines of that moun-
tain or could handle the powder to
charge it at the right time and explode
it. The impossibilities are so many and
are so well known, for even if it were
practicable to lay a train or a fuse such
a distance it, as well as the powder de-
posited in the mines would become so
damp and wet that the whole thing
would be fruitless. I submit this to
your majesty as one of the minor things
that in this America are wont to block
important matters and cause the writing
of a great lot of paper to those who
direct military affairs.
" By the sloop from Panama yester-
day, the 2nd of October I received a
letter, that I also send to your majesty,
from the Marquis de Villa Rocha with
the attested copy of one from the
Maestro de Campo Carrisoli written
from Dariel in which he informs him
(as your majesty will see) that two


HISPANIC NOTES


I








THE DARIEN VENTURE 61


ships of Scotsmen have returned to the
old spot where they had formerly forti-
fied themselves. From the reply, a copy
of which I also send, your majesty will
see what I have decided in the matter.
I have only to add that yesterday I
despatched the necessary orders for the
same number of troops to enter this
city as I withdrew, until I return from
this expedition. I do not exaggerate to
your majesty how difficult it is to do
this for besides the trouble it costs to
drag these troops to anything that looks
like fighting your majesty lacks every-
thing here.
"I forward to your majesty along
with the letters above referred to those
I have received from the governor of
Pitiguao and the answers I have given
him from which your majesty will ob-
serve that the governors, and particu-
larly this Frenchman with all his offers
and all his compliments, are only seek-
ing a way, be it under the pretext of
driving away Scotsmen from Dariel


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62 THE DARIEN VENTURE


(though hard) or of cleaning these
seas, to get into our ports loaded to the
brim with merchandise.
Cartagena - October 5th 1699
Don Juan Pimienta"


II. LETTER OF THE PRESIDENT
OF PANAMA

" The Maestro de Campo General Don
Juan Pimienta
Most Excellent Sir,
By the attested copy of a letter
which accompanies this Your Excel-
lency will be acquainted with what the
Maestro de Campo Don Luis Carrisoli
announces to me and with what evils
will follow the return of the Scots to
the place they had settled, they finding
it in the same condition in which they
had left it notwithstanding that the re-
peated requests that my clear duty and
solicitude have made to Your Excel-
lency to be pleased to have it demolished


HISPANIC NOTES








THE DARIEN VENTURE 63


should have been sufficient for it to
have been done. As you have not
achieved this in time I make no excuse
for asking Your Excellency, as you
have in that port maritime forces com-
petent to attain the expulsion and chas-
tisement of these enemies, to be good
enough to order such measures as your
good zeal for His Majesty's service
will prompt, so that what imports so
much to the relief of these dominions
may succeed before there is any in-
crease and that what can now be
remedied with ease Your Excellency
will not permit to become impossible
later if the enemy be strengthened by
the reinforcement they expect. I on
my part will co-operate in every way
that my slender forces will allow, up
to yielding the last breath of my life
as a loyal servant of His Majesty. In
order that Your Excellency may be in-
formed of this news and because of its
importance I have ordered His Majes-
ty's sloop to leave to communicate it

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THE DARIEN VENTURE


to you as early as possible and at the
same time directed it to pass by El
Playon and endeavour to ascertain if
the context of the letter above referred
to is correct in every respect so that
Your Excellency may be more fully in-
formed of the state of this affair.
Should Your Excellency determine to
go out to this engagement (which I do
not doubt) and would be pleased to
touch at Portovelo I, on hearing from
you, will come there from this city. I
shall make all possible effort to do this
if the weather permits. Where all are
employed to so good an end we should
succeed, if not in punishing them at
least in attaining their surrender, and
I have the good fortune of sacrificing
my life in service of my King and Lord
carrying out Your Excellency's orders
as occasion will prove. I ask Your
Excellency to be kind enough to give
directions for the sloop to carry the
iron that is in that city on His Majesty's
account when it returns to Portovelo


HISPANIC NOTES


I


� 6 1








THE DARIEN VENTURE 65


as it is needed. God preserve Your
Excellency many years.
" Panama. September the twenty
second one thousand six hundred and
ninety-nine. Your humble servant
kisses Your Excellency's hand.
The Marquis de Villa Rocha"


III. COPY OF LETTER WRITTEN BY
DON LUIS CARRISOLI

"Most Illustrious Sir,
Yesterday the sixteenth instant I
had news from a Spaniard and some
brothers who came from the North
that two large ships of Scotsmen, who
came as reinforcements, had arrived,
and that they are in possession of the
fort of San Andres having landed artil-
lery, that they were cleaning up an
island to build a castle and have told
the Indians that within a month they
expect seven more ships; that as soon
as they arrive they wish to pass to the


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66 THE DARIEN VENTURE


Southern Sea and penetrate these lands
laying them waste, because now they
are not coming to trade but to wage
war. As it may be of importance I
send on this news for it may arrive be-
fore I do. I am leaving here to-day in
Captain Manuel's ship. This is all I
have to bring to the notice of Your Ex-
cellency whom may God preserve for
the protection of this Kingdom.
" Real, September the seventeenth
one thousand six hundred and ninety
nine. Most Illustrious Sir your humble
servant kisses your hand.
Luis Carrisoli."


IV. LETTER OF THE LIEUTENANT OF
PORTO BELLO

" Most Excellent Sir,
My President, Governor and Cap-
tain General of this Kingdom, the
Marquis de Villa Rocha has given me
cause to place myself under your Ex-


HISPANIC NOTES


--~-~








THE DARIEN VENTURE 67

cellency's orders, which I have so much
desired, directing me to despatch his
Majesty's sloop immediately in order
that the lieutenant thereof, Joseph de
Acosta, may deliver a letter to your
Excellency. His Lordship tells me that
the Scots have returned to reside with
full force at el Playon and that he is
informing you of the same so that with
your great zeal and military experience
he may perceive your Excellency's rule
in the punishment that their insolence
deserves. I on my part am ready to
execute whatever orders your Excel-
lency may be pleased to entrust to my
poor ability and to which I shall attend
until I lose the last drop of my blood.
I hope in the Divine Majesty that by
your Excellency undertaking this duty
His Majesty's arms will gain credit and
that this Kingdom will be ever grate-
ful for so great a benefit. May our
Lord permit it and preserve your Ex-
cellency's person as the service of His
Majesty needs.


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68 THE DARIEN VENTURE


Porto Velo. September the twenty
seventh one thousand six hundred and
ninety-nine. I kiss your Excellency's
hand with all respect.
Dionissio de Arttunduaga"


V. REPLY OF THE GOVERNOR OF CAR-
TAGENA TO THE PRESIDENT
OF PANAMA

"Senor President, Marquis de Villa
Rocha.
Sir,
At nine o'clock this morning I re-
ceived your Lordship's letter that His
Majesty's sloop brought, in which you
inform me of the new establishment of
the Scots with the vouching letter of
Don Luis Carrisoli attached. What I
have to say to Your Lordship in reply,
not to detain the sloop, is, that with
His Majesty's ships that are in this Port
and other smaller ones that I may be
able to get together, I am resolved to


HISPANIC NOTES








THE DARIEN VENTURE 69


go in person to reconnoitre the place
named San Andres that your Lordship
mentions. From there I shall inform
your Lordship how I find myself in
order that if your Lordship has in
Portovelo forces to transport you may
send them to me at said place and I
may succeed in clearing His Majesty's
dominions. I shall by every oppor-
tunity give your Lordship such advices
as I may consider proper. The sloop is
taking the iron that was here on His
Majesty's account as you suggest in
your letter. May God preserve your
life many years as I desire.
Cartagena, October the second one
thousand six hundred and ninety nine.
Your humble servant kisses your Lord-
ship's hand.
Don Juan Pimienta."


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I---�------








70 THE DARIEN VENTURE


VI. REPLY OF THE GOVERNOR OF CAR-
TAGENA TO THE LIEUTENANT
OF PORTO BELLO

"Senor Don Dionisio de Artunduaga.
Although I wrote this morning by
the Brigantine replying to the letter I
received by the King's sloop at nine
o'clock I again do so in order that you
may be so good as to forward at once
the accompanying package of letters to
the President and be informed that I
am leaving here within four or five
days. From El Playon I shall send
news of my arrival. I shall be glad
that if necessary, there be in your city
a supply of troops and munitions in
case anything should happen. I do not
doubt there will be, from the zeal of
the President and yourself. God pre-
serve your life many years.
Cartagena, October the second one
thousand six hundred and ninety-nine.
Your servant who kisses your hand.
Don Juan Pimienta."
L _________________________________.


HISPANIC NOTES








THE DARIEN VENTURE 71


VII. TRANSLATION MADE AT CARTA-
GENA ON THE 2ND OCTOBER 1699
BY DON JOSEPH NICOLAS DE
FLORES, SWORN INTERPRETER

"Letter of the Marquis de Rome-
gouvenal
Sir,
Yesterday I learnt by a frigate of
the King that brought me orders from
His Most Christian Majesty that you
were enjoying perfect health which, be-
lieve me, really gives me the greatest
pleasure as I am so interested. I was
about to make sail tonight with my
ships to go away from here but I have
just received a letter from the Presi-
dent of Panama in which he informs
me that two Scotch ships of seventy
guns loaded with troops had disem-
barked at Golden Island where they
formerly were, that they had taken pos-
session of the Fort San Andres, that
they had placed artillery on shore and
that they were working very hard to


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72 THE DARIEN VENTURE

build a fort, and that besides this he
had news that seven more ships were
to come to them loaded with troops and
munitions of war and that this made
him fear that once they were all united
they might make some expedition or at-
tempt against this city to get possession
of it. He therefore asked me on behalf
of the Catholic King to remain here
with my ships to give him all the help
I could and to resist them in case they
should seek to enter this Port. Be as-
sured that I duly answered the letter
he did me the favour to write me and
said that I would stay in this Port as
long as it shall suit the highest interests
of the Catholic King and that I would
sacrifice my ships, my crews and my
person with all my heart only to do
him any service. I have come ashore,
Sir, to see the Governor of Porto Velo
whom I have told that I thought I
was bound to send you advice of this
occurrence so that you on your part may
take the steps that may be convenient


HISPANIC NOTES








THE DARIEN VENTURE 73


to you. A sloop to which I have given
supplies is being despatched to you. By
it I have the good fortune to write to
you and to offer you my ships, my
person and everything that depends on
me. Your Excellency already knows
what I have told you in the name of
the King my Master. I now repeat
it. Let me know if you are embark-
ing in Senor Pereda's ships to oppose
the settlement of the Scots at Golden
Island and the day you are leaving
Cartagena so that I may go ahead of
you in case I am wanted, for I shall
be happy to accompany Your Excel-
lency and have some share in the cap-
ture of these people. Will your Ex-
cellency do me the honour of giving
me news of your health. I ask you,
Sir, to rest assured that I am entirely
Your most humble and obedient servant
The Marquis de Romegoublenal
Porto Velo, the twenty fifth of Sep-
tember one thousand six hundred and
ninety-nine."

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74 THE DARIEN VENTURE


VIII. REPLY OF THE GOVERNOR OF
CARTAGENA TO THE FRENCH MAR-
QUIS DE ROMEGOUBLENAL

"The Marquis de Romegoublenal.
This morning I received your lord-
ship's letter of the twenty fifth of last
month and note the news you give me
about the Scots and your expression of
good feeling towards the service of the
King, my master, which I appreciate.
I am leaving here within four or five
days for the place where the Scots are
and from there will give the necessary
advices and which may seem to me
proper as I am saying in reply to the
President who will inform your Lord-
ship of whatever may occur. God pre-
serve your Lordship many years.
Cartagena, October the second,
one thousand six hundred and ninety-
nine.
Regarding what your lordship tells
me that you were about to sail, pre-
suming that it will in no way be in-


HISPANIC NOTES








THE DARIEN VENTURE 75


convenient to your lordship's interests,
I ask you to get near to el Playon with
your ships towards the spot called
Rancho Viejo where you will doubtless
find me and mine as I have decided to
leave, weather permitting, within two
or three days. I kiss-your lordship'
hand
Your obedient servant
Don Juan Pimienta"


IX. REPLY TO A LETTER FROM
MONSIEUR DUCAS (sic)

"Sir
The Marquis de Romgou gave me
a letter from Your Excellency dated
the seventeenth of July in which Your
Excellency is good enough to favour
me by bidding me welcome and offer-
ing me your ships for the expedition
against the Scots of Dariel, for which
I give you a thousand thanks. I do
not doubt that by this time you will


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--








76 THE DARIEN VENTURE

be informed that they left that place
and of all the other circumstances re-
garding this matter and as to what is
going on here. It is evident and no-
torious, that under the Commission they
bring for pursuing pirates the ships of
His Most Christian Majesty that I have
up to this seen on these coasts do noth-
ing else but trade against the will (I
suppose) of the most Christian King.
I ask Your Excellency to be so good
as to remedy this, hoping that you will
do so on any occasion that may offer
in conformity with the good under-
standing between the Kings our Mas-
ters. I request you to send me tidings,
for in the short time I have been here
I have not had information of any
other piracy than that of trading illic-
itly on these coasts. Supposing there
were pirates I prefer to risk the loss
of a few ships that they may capture
rather than suffer under this pretence
the disorders that have gone on up to
this in the matter of trade. As often


HISPANIC NOTES









THE DARIEN VENTURE 77


as I may have to write to Spain I shall
avail myself of the offers Your Excel-
lency kindly makes me. I do not do
so now because a small vessel belonging
to these coasts is leaving here. If there
be anything in this city in which I can
serve you I shall esteem it immensely
if you employ me in a way that I may
let Your Excellency see that I desire to
be your most obedient servant. Our
Lord preserve your many years.
Cartagena, August the eleventh one
thousand six hundred and ninety-nine.
Your humble servant kisses your Ex-
cellency's hand.
Don Juan Pimienta."


X. LETTER FROM PIMIENTA

"Senor Ducas
Sir. I beg to reply to the letter
Your Excellency was pleased to write
to me on the twenty-sixth of July, hav-
ing already done so to the one the

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78 THE DARIEN VENTURE

Marquis de Romegou delivered to me,
returning you many thanks for what
you favour me with in both and the
offers you make me. I have to say that,
as Your Excellency will now know, the
Scots have left this coast, that there are
no pirates on it and that if there should
be any I have four ships to punish
them. The only thing that troubles us
now are the ships of this port and other
foreign nations that against the agree-
ment and custom of these Kingdoms
come unlawfully to trade and to drain
them of silver. Therefore I ask your
Excellency on your part not to permit
them to come in the way they have
up to now for though with my ships I
could search them all and bring them
to this Port if found with contraband,
which will never have the good effect
that I would desire for the good preser-
vation of our friendship, I know for
certain that the most Christian King
cannot approve of his subjects doing
anything that may be against the estab-


HISPANIC NOTES








THE DARIEN VENTURE 79


lishment of so solid a Peace as that
which has just been concluded, using
such cool pretexts for this said trade
such as saying that they come to look
for pirates where they neither exist nor
are feared. So far as I am personally
concerned, apart from this matter,
Your Excellency may be assured that
I shall be exceedingly happy to find
opportunities in which you may recog-
nize that I wish to serve you and to
have a share in your friendship. God
preserve Your Excellency many years.
Cartagena, September the sixth one
thousand six hundred and ninety-nine.
Your humble servant kisses your Ex-
cellency's hand.
Don Juan Pimienta."

Paterson wrote:
" About the 20th of December, a
sloop arrived from Jamaica, com-
manded by Mr. Edward Sands,
freighted by Captain Moon and Mr.
Peter Wilmot of Port Royal, and a

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80 THE DARIEN VENTURE


part belonged to one Master Robert
Allison, who came from aboard of
Moon's sloop along with us from St.
Thomas Island. This sloop was con-
signed to Mr. Allison, and in his ab-
sence to me. Upon report of her cargo,
the Council ordered Captain Jolly and
Captain Pinkerton to agree with Alli-
son, which agreement was, that they
should have our goods as they cost in
Scotland, and we were in lieu thereof,
to have the sloop's cargo of provisions
as it cost in Jamaica, and, as I remem-
ber ten per cent advance; whereupon
the sloop's provisions were put aboard
one of our ships, and the goods in ex-
change were to be delivered by us to
Captain Moon, who was expected in a
month after."

Later he records,
"Captain Moon arrived, and on
board him his owner, Mr. Peter Wil-
mot, who called for the return of the
provisions we had by Sands; when we


HISPANIC NOTES








THE DARIEN VENTURE 81

came to offer him the goods by our
Invoice, he said he could buy them as
cheap, if not cheaper, in Jamaica, com-
plaining that the Invoice was not a
true Invoice, but the goods were over-
valued above forty per cent. However,
after some clamours the Council agreed
with him for thirty pounds per cent
abatement upon the Invoice; yet he
would not let us have any more of his
provisions at that rate, but parted with
us, complaining that he should be a
loser. It vexed me not only to see
us part with such a parcel of provisions,
but also for the effect it might have
to discourage others, as it afterwards
happened."
Other traders from Jamaica were
Captain Mitchell and Captain Robbins.
" Robbins offered his provisions as soon
as ever he came in, and Mitchell would
also have sold his. Their main design
was about fishing the French wreck at
the entrance of our harbour, of which
the Council acquainted this Court, and


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82 THE DARIEN VENTURE

the provisions were only brought in by
the bye. Our Councillors would not be
persuaded in time to take these provi-
sions and afterwards those purse-proud
fellows, having time to understand our
wants by the murmurs of the people
and other circumstances, took humours
in their heads, and would not part with
their provisions upon any account unless
we could have given them money."
At this time, " in hopes the time of
the strong breeze was over, or at least
much abated, we sent out the En-
deavour Pink, under the command of
Captain John Anderson, and a stock of
some hundred pounds value on board
of her, whereof Mr. Robert Allison
was supercargo. She was to touch at
Jamaica, and go from thence to New
York, and return to us with provisions;
but, after she had beaten about a month,
and not got forty leagues to the wind-
ward, she was forced to return to us
again, after having become very leaky
by the stress she had met with at sea."








THE DARIEN VENTURE 83

Later on the Neptune (Captain
Moon) and another Jamaica sloop
(Captain Mathias Maltman) arrived.
Paterson writes:
" Mr. Wilmot sent a canoe with a
letter to me about some goods he had
left to be disposed of. Whether they
had any other business in, I know not;
but, as I was about to answer his letter,
Pennicook, being president, arrested the
canoe, with all the men that were in
her, being twelve or fourteen. The
pretence was, that. Moon's sloop had
carried away a boy called Skelton, and
all the men stopped. Nay, Moon's sloop
and all his effects was not able to
make satisfaction for this boy of Pen-
nicook's. I did what I could to get
a boat or a canoe to send out, that the
boy might be sent in, and the canoe
released, but an embargo was laid upon
everything, so the sloops were forced to
lie off and on all night for their canoe
and men; and when I saw I could not
prevail for a boat, I endeavoured to


AND MONOGRAPHS











get the men out of the guardhouse.
The next morning early, Captain
Pilkington went in his canoe aboard of
Moon, and told him what was the mat-
ter. By him I sent a letter to Wilmot,
to come ashore and justify himself.
The boy Skelton was brought, and Mr.
Wilmot also appeared; but instead of
accusing Mr. Wilmot of anything
regularly, as I had reason to expect, it
all ended in a little hector and Billings-
gate."
The majority of the Councillors in-
sisted, in spite of Paterson's protests
that she was a British vessel, in taking
two Spaniards and gold off Maltman's
sloop.
" Pilkington and Sands also ac-
quainted us of their receipt of letters
from Jamaica by a sloop they met with
at sea, by which they were very much
threatened for engaging with us, and
upon this desired to be paid what we
owed them, in order to return home.
We gave them such goods as we had,


HISPANIC NOTES








THE DARIEN VENTURE 85


and as much to their satisfaction as
possible; but, after all, there remained
a balance of more than a hundred
pounds sterling to Captain Pilkington,
and above twenty pounds to Captain
Sands. They parted with us the twen-
tieth day of April; and Captain Pil-
kington promised, as soon as he arrived
to send us a sloop with provisions and,
as he could, would follow after with
his family and effects."
In spite of their brave outlook ill-
fortune attended the efforts of the
colony from the commencement.
Jealousy amongst the Councillors, in
which the seamen lorded it over the
landmen, both by sea and land, too
much indulgence of strong drinks, lack
of sloops for trading, unsuitability of
the goods they had to offer, lack of pro-
visions, the hostility of the Spaniards,
sickness, and as a last straw the hostile
English proclamation all tended to
render their attempts at colonization
abortive.
*




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