THE TRINIDAD HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Publication No. 68.
Letter from Thomas Picton, Governor of Trinidad to His Excellency
Source : Additional Mss. 36870. British Museum. Published
by the courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum.
17th August, 1799.
I have to inform Your Excellency that we have been left
without any Naval Protection, except the Frederick armed
Sloop, since the I3th July, on which day the Victorieux sailed
with the Convoy from Grenada and had the misfortune of
being dismasted. His M. Sloop Gaiete left us a few days
before, and has not since appeared.
In this situation I have received Intelligence from a
quarter deserving much credit, that a considerable body of
Troops, Regulars and Militia, from Caracas, Carthegcna,
Santa Fe and the neighboring Provinces, are assembling for
an Expedition against this Island, at Angostura upon the
River Oronoque, at which Port there are at present collected
a sufficiency of Sloops, Schooners and Launches to transport
from 5 to 6,ooo men ; and this Intelligence is greatly
strengthened by the circumstance of an Embargo being laid
on all vessels at that Port. I have always represented that
quarter as the point from which most danger was to be
apprehended to this Island ; and I think this present
Intelligence is by no means to be treated lightly or neglected.
Your Excellency cannot forget my apprehensions respecting
a part of the Garrison, and about this I cannot be perfectly
tranquil respecting a great portion of the inhabitants (the
French people of colour) whose number and sentiments ranks
them in high degree dangerous.
I have to request that Your Excellency will have the
goodness to make known our situation to the Commanders in
Chief of His Majesty's Naval Forces.
I have the honour,
(Signed) TH. PICTON.