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that South America should be free, it is the duty of Administration to prepare for the approaching event.
The object proposed is, a free Republic in South America, with her liberty guarantied by England and North America, and a fair and equitable treaty of commerce between the three nations, which would, in effect, though not in form, exclude the rest of the world.
With regard to South America, enough has been said. With regard to North America, Congress, and perhaps still less the President, will not openly appear in the business, because they are a young nation, and will not wish to violate first faiths. But separate states and individuals would embark in the very outset; and the moment matters are advanced so far that a body of Mexicans were in the field, who should call on their northern brethren for assistance, the whole nation would, in their public capacity, formally join in an alliance. The separate states, who would, with the connivance of Congress, first embark, would be the most southerly, Maryland, Virginia, Carolina, and Georgia, between whom and Mexico there is at this hour a channel of communieation open, as Spain, by a miserable error in policy, has allowed several of her young colonists to go for their education to Washington College, in Maryland, and the Romish College, in Philadelphia, and proper care is taken by their tutors and fellow students to instil the boldest principles of liberty into their minds, and show them, in the strongest light, the blessings of freedom, and the degraded state of their country, rendered still more striking by the contrast with North America.
With regard to England, she has the strongest temptation that interest can hold out, in the form of the most unlimited commerce with the richest and idlest nation on the globe. She has the plea of strict retaliation for a similar attack made on her by Spain, and she has the honor and the satisfaction of being the instrument, chosen by Providence, to bring light and liberty to millions of slaves, to induce her to embark in the project. Surely these are strong motives. It remains to consider the mode.
All that can be done in the present state of affairs is to make preparation for future events. It is unnecessary and unwise to do any thing so direct as to alarm Spain, but much may be done short of that. A strong military settlement may, and, if
the principles in this memoir are right, ought to be immediately formed at some of the new discoveries, the Sandwich Isles, the Friendly Isles, or Otaheite, but the first perhaps best. The Island should be well secured with a sufficient garrison, suppose 1,000 men, and well supplied with great quantities of warlike stores. This garrison should be silently and strongly reinforced and always held as an asylum for discontented spirits from the Spanish colonies. The natives might be, with ease, so far cultivated as to be of material use in case of any military operations. The soil and climate are so excellent, in every one of the Islands mentioned, that little difficulty, if any, would be found in substituting the necessary force. They should be sent out, not as a regiment on its turn of duty, but as a military colony of volunteers, selected from the line, who should be, aster a certain time, entitled to their discharge, and to a quantity of land, subject only to a feudal tenure of service on the Island in case of any emergency; and there should, at all times, be kept up among them, as far as could be, a strong military principle, that principle which has held the rock of Malta for ages against the power of the Turkish empire. If this idea be adopted, it should be done speedily, because the occasion on which the force proposed could be serviceable, is probably not very remote, and, by that time, the settlement would have taken such root as to be efficient in forwarding the great object. Supposing a few years elapsed, and a difference arisen between England and Spain, on the ground of what will infallibly occur, illicit commerce with the Spanish colonies in South America. The natives then will have tasted the sweets of even a partial intercourse. By mixing some very honest politics with trade, flying sheets of information on the topics of general liberty and free commerce may be wrapped up in every bale of cloth, and so be disseminated through the continent. The first of our ships that is seized, as seized they certainly will be, unless Spain is totally besotted, gives the signal for war with Spain, and freedom to South America. A force from North America will speedily appear on the borders of Mexico, from England on the Eastern Coast, from the Sandwich Isles upon the Western, bringing supplies of ammunition and stores and officers to the already prepared Spanish colonists. The flash of liberty will run along their chains like the electric fire, from man to man, and from pro
vince to province: the empire of Spain, in South America, tottering and feeble, as at this moment it is, will tumble into ruins at the first stroke; with her colonies, her power, and consequence in Europe, fall for ever, for she has no internal strength. To England she will be a harmless foe; to France an ineffcctual ally, and the family compact is gone forever.
In process of time I was honored with the following letter from Lord Grenville, which closes our correspondence:
66 WHITEHALL, December 17, 1790. • Sir: I have received your letter of the 6th, with its enclo“sure, and am obliged to you for the suggestions which they “ contain. It does not appear to me that, under the circum“ stances now existing, it would be at all desirable that you “should give yourself the trouble of coming over to this King“ dom for the purpose of making any further communications 6 on the subject, although I feel that, under different circum-. “stances, many of the considerations mentioned by you would “ be highly deserving of attention.
“ I am, Sir, &c.
of this letter I shall say no more than that I was very little pleased with it. Nevertheless, as I am a party, I cannot be a fair judge. Hitherto I have abstained from observations, and I shall now preserve the same moderation. It appears that Mexico must owe her liberty to the exertions of more fortunate men than I or my friend Russell. Nevertheless, I shall preserve this book, for I think it curious, and it may in a few years be more so, if the principles laid down, and the conjectures made in it, be verified, as I hope, for the honor of the nature I share in, much more than my private gratification, they may be by the fact.
I could fill the remainder of this book very pleasantly to my own feelings, by philippics against Masters of the Ordnance, Secretaries of State, and Ministers of all descriptions, but I will not - I will go on quietly with my Appendix, in which will appear the germ of my unfortunate plan, which is now deceased, and peace to its ashes.
Cook's Voyage, 4to, Vol. 3d, page 20.—“Kindness of the natives of Owhyhee,” p. 28. Ship timber found by the carpenters, p. 50. “The Sandwich Isles, from their situation and productions, bid fairer for becoming an object of consequence in the system of European navigation than any other discovery in the S. Seas,” p. 103. Owhyhee 28 leagues long, 24 broad, 300 miles round, p. 102. N. E. part of Apoona is low and flat; the acclivity of the inland parts gradual; the whole country covered with cocoa and bread-fruit trees; the sides of the hills clothed with fine verdure, and thinly inhabited, p. 86. The Coast of Woahoo to the N. is formed of detached hills, rising perpendicular from the sea, with ragged and broken summits, the sides covered with wood, and the valleys between them of a fertile and well cultivated appearance. To the S. an extensive bay, bounded by a low point of land to the S. E. which was covered with cocoa nut trees, and off it, a high insulated rock, about a mile from the shore. Between the N. and S. W. apparently good roads, soundings from 20 to 13 fathoms, with a fine river running through a deep valley, the banks well cultivated, and full of villages, the face of the country uncommonly beautiful and picturesque, p. 115. Woahoo the finest Island of the whole groupe; nothing can exceed the verdure of the hills, the variety of wood and lawns, and rich cultivated valleys, all over the face of the country. The climate differs little from that of the West India Islands in the same latitude, but rather more temperate ; thermometer about 80; no hurricanes; p. 118. Provisions in great plenty in Owhyhee ; 60 puncheons of pork at 5 cwt. used ; 60 more for sea-stores, yet no apparent want or deficiency. Population of the Sandwich Isles computed grossly by Cook at 400,000 souls. Atooi about ten leagues in length, a good harbor, though a little exposed to the trade wind; better than those of Teneriffe, Madeira, and excellent water; no wood near enough for ship firing; grass about two feet high,
and fit for hay; soil a reddish brown, stiff and clayey in the higher grounds; fruitful of potatoes, which run to 10, 12, and 14 lbs. weight; weather variable; heat moderate; meat and fish keep well when salted; vegetables principally potatoes, taro, and plantain ; abundance of hogs, dogs, and fish. At Ow. hyhee, plenty of cocoa, bread-fruit, and sugar-cane,
The following Hints and Memorandums were communicated to
me by Mr. Digges, an American, of whom I have already had occasion to speak.
There have been several ineffectual attempts made by the Mexicans to revolt from Spain, but I have heard of none in the Peruvian quarter; yet this last strikes me as the most eligible situation for such an attempt, because there is a larger portion of the people native descendants of America, who keep up a jealousy for their old blood and color. The priests too are not so numerous nor richly stationed as in Mexico, where they have a vast power over the people; and, above all, there is a great part of Peru, particularly about Chili, and near the island of Chiloë that has never been conquered by Spain, and the natives hold them in dislike and defiance. I have been told this by two Spanish friars, who passed with difficulty from Mexico to Congress on a secret mission for revolution, and came to me during my agency for America in London, in 1779 or '80, as well as by an old jesuit by the name of Faulkner, an Englishman, who lived lately at Worcester, and spent twenty years of his life near the Rio de la Plata and Peru, as well as by some of my countrymen who have found their way to Mexico from New Orleans and Kentucky.
I am clearly of opinion that no predatory expedition, for the sake of plunder or territory, will do good. The churches must be held inviolable from insult, and the priests offered every thing. Indeed the priests should be the first objects to get at. Through them it may be easily communicated to the people that the expedition is not meant for conquest or plunder, nor to deprive any one of his property, but merely to shake off the Spanish yoke, and make the people their own masters.