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astics the grossest ignorance prevailed. When Captain Cook arrived here, on his passage to observe the transit of Venus across the disc of the sun, he endeavoured to explain the object of his voyage to the viceroy and court, but without effect. All they could understand was, that Cook expected the north star to pass through the South Pole, and was going to look for it. The emigration of the court of Portugal materially altered the face of affairs. The people began to feel their own importance, in proportion with the instruction that was spread amongst them; and while England was fighting their battles on the continent, they had ample leisure to devote their attention to the improvement of the colonies. : A spirit of inquiry, and a desire for information, prevailed. The intercourse with Great Britain contributed to their wishes. Science awoke from its slumber, the arts were cherished, and learning was partially patronized; although still labouring against the bias of superstitious bigotry. Commensurate with the diffusion of knowledge, arose the feelings of independence, and the hopes of freedom. The spark was kindled, nor could all the efforts of power extinguish it; and at this moment we see the empire of Brazil bidding fair to flourish in estimation and glory. Foreign enemies she has none to fear, while all parties are just to themselves and faithful to their prince.
In 1515, the Spaniards sailed up the river Plata, and founded the city of Buenos Ayres. What enticement they could have met with on their first landing, we are at a loss to conjecture. An arid soil, without a tree to be seen, and the coast, near the shore, a loose deep sand, are poor temptations to form a settlement. The only motive for fixing on this spot must have been, a prospect of the great river communicating with the Southern Ocean. But when the Spanish conquests extended to Chili and Peru, the returns became very valuable, consisting chiefly of the gold and silver of those provinces, with hides and tallow. The difficulty of the navigation, the distance of Buenos Ayres from the ocean, and the shoalness of the water approaching the town, long operated to its disadvantage; but eventually these difficulties, though they could not be removed, were in some measure overcome. The aborigines lived in populous towns, and were governed by caciques, who were hereditary and independent of each other. These would, no doubt, have soon driven the Spaniards from their shores, had it not been for the remarkable conduct of the Jesuits, who quitted all civilized society, and penetrating the interior, associated with the Indians, forining them into commonwealths; and, by their address and policy, made a complete conquest over the minds and persons of a people, otherwise savage and barbarous. The immense impost they
VOL. X. PART II.
paid to the government procured them both encouragement and protection; and the capitation tax was gathered without difficulty from upwards of three hundred thousand families, that had yielded to the subjection of the Jesuits, and looked up to thein with an attachment and awe bordering on adoration,
In 1733 the town of Monte Video was built in an advantageous position, on the opposite banks of the river; and, excepting the disputes between the Spaniards and Portuguese, on account of the border settlements, these colonies enjoyed a peaceful tranquillity. A degrading submission and a blind obedience to the ecclesiastical power, appear to have been the leading features of the colonists; and they long continued to be sunk in ignorance and superstition. When the mother country was overrun by the troops of Napoleon, and Spain was leagued with France, the people of Buenos Ayres suddenly aroused themselves from their lethargy, and displayed symptoms of dissatisfaction. In Monte Video, as the inhabitants were chiefly Old-Spainers, they adhered to the cause of their country, but condemned its subjugation. At this moment, a wise policy on the part of England might have led to incalculable advantages. As friends, the English would have been hailed with joy; but the habitual jealousy and pride of the Spawiards was excited when England held out the hand of peace, cased in the iron gauntlet of war. They could place but little confidence in the promises of men whose bayonets were brought to the charge. Resistance ensued, and Monte Video was stormed. The scene of slaughter and plunder was horrible, and those who witnessed it will never have that day erased from memory. Buenos Ayres was next subdued, but the exertions of the Spaniards had taught them that some reliance might be placed upon their own strength; and the British were compelled to abandon it. Still, prompt decision in war, or conciliatory measures of peace, might have brought about the desired purpose. The Spaniards entertained a high sense of English bravery and honour; they would have esteemed us as allies, but never as conquerors; and the struggles for emancipation became hourly more strong. At this period the appointment of a cowardly poltroon, as commander-in-chief, disgusted the army and distracted its councils. Buenos Ayres was again attacked; the brave troops fulfilled their duty, and sustained the high character of Englishmen in the field, to the admiration of the enemy;* but the ill-advised plan, and its
* It is but little known, that a female bore a conspicuous share in the events of the 5th July, 1807. This lady was the wife of Captain O'Gorman, who married her at the Mauritius, and brought the
consequent result, was disgraceful to the British flag, and terminated in withdrawing our troops from the country. The shame of defeat, added to the fascinating manners of the females, induced several hundred of our men to abandon their colours, and enrol themselves in the Spanish cause. Whole companies of artillery, cavalry, and grenadiers, were formed of English deserters; and these materially assisted, among the troops, in hastening the event which afterwards took place..
When the French army was defeated by the English, and Spain shook off the fetters of Napoleon, the colonies once more entered into an amicable treaty with Great Britain, and a commercial intercourse was speedily opened, but the spirit of freedom had gone abroad. The period arrived for action-the Viceroy and Cabilda were deposed, and a change effected without a single casualty, which is the more remarkable from the sanguinary murders that had so recently and repeatedly taken place. The Junta were assembled, and a deputy dispatched to the British court, in the Mutine English sloop of war. From that time civil discord has ravaged Buenos Ayres, but we look forward with expectation, when animosity shall cease, and this province will become a free and powerful state.
The conquest of Mexico by Cortez, and the reduction of Peru and Chili by Pizarro and Almagro, placed nearly the whole of South America under the dominion of the Spaniards; and the immense treasures which these places yielded, offered too powerful a temptation to be resisted by adventurers who had nothing to lose, and every thing to gain. The resistance of the natives was long and arduous; and the history of the wars presents a series of wonderful achievements, and personal bravery, almost surpassing credibility : but European science prevailed, and the Spaniards were fixed in their possessions,
family, consisting of her mother, sister, and brothers, to Buenos Ayres. A previous acquaintance with General Liniers (she was French) was renewed, and scandal was busy in propagating rumours. Few women possessed a more unbounded knowledge of state intrigue, or were better calculated to meet the emergency of the moment. With a masculine mind, her manners were elegant and fascinating, but when provoked, the flash of her eye was terrible, and the thunder of her oratory confounding. Her brothers served on the day of battle, and one of them received the surrender of General Crawford. She herself, habited in the superb dress of an hussar, rode by the side of Liniers, during the contest, animating the Spaniards, and occasionally directing the operations. On the suspension of hostilities, this Amazon galloped through the scene of carnage, put a stop to the work of destruction, and provided for the wounded soldiers of the British army.
After the Spaniards had established themselves at Lima, and along the coast, an intercourse was kept up with the Philippine islands; and a ship, laden with treasure, sailed regularly to and from the port of Acapulco, in Mexico, to Manilla, in the China Sea. These treasure-ships proved too irresistible to pass unnoticed by adverse nations. The Buccaneers were the first who considered themselves entitled to the office of Tellers of the Exchequer for the southern ocean, and the galleon (as she was called) frequently fell into their hands. On the suppression of the Buccaneers, however, the Spaniards enjoyed their traffic unmolested, unless, sometimes, a British vessel hove in sight; and, unable to stand the temptation, borrowed a few of their pieces of eight, without signing a bond for the repayment.
At the close of the summer 1739, a war between England and Spain appeared inevitable ; and the British government, with a similar system of policy to that of a more recent date, (the capture of the Spanish frigates by a squadron under Graham Moore,) prepared to be beforehand with the eneny, and cut off the resources by which he would alone be enabled to support the war. The most eligible plan appeared to be the immediate embarkation of a land force, to co-operate with the naval power, and to attack the crown of Spain in her distant settlements. In pursuance of these sentiments it was determined that Captain George Anson should be appointed commander in chief of an expedition of this nature. Two squadrons were to be fitted out, one for Anson, and the other for the brave Captain Cornewall, (who afterwards fell in the service of his country, while nobly seconding Admiral Matthews, in Lestock's disgraceful action). The squadron under Anson was to receive on board a regiment of foot, and three independent companies of one hundred men each, and then proceed, without loss of time, to attack the Spanish settlements in the East Indies; while that under Cornewall, of equal force, was to sail round Cape Horn into the South Seas, and cruize against the enemy both by sea and land. It was afterwards to join the first at Manilla, and they were to unite their powers for further conquest. The scheme was admirably projected, and had it been carried into execution, must have succeeded in every point. The Spaniards were totally unprepared and devoid of protection, the guns at their forts were honey-combed and dismounted ; indeed, their defenceless condition afforded expectation that a surrender would be made without a struggle at the first appearance of danger. The beneficial commerce carried on at Manilla with the East Indies and China, and its exclusive trade to Acapulco (the returns for which, at the lowest calculation, were estimated at upwards of three millions of dollars per annum, in silver) rendered it an object of peculiar regard and devotion to our gallant tars, who readily exerted themselves to further the design; but great indeed was the disappointment when the orders for equipment were countermanded, and Anson was directed to proceed with his squadron round Cape Horn; and instead of the troops that were first designed to be embarked, they received only two hundred and fifty-nine invalids from the hospitals, and new-raised marines. The crews, moreover, principally consisted of aged and ordinary seamen, unfit for the service on which they were to be engaged. The delays occasioned by these vexatious difficulties, not only retarded the sailing of the expedition, but discovered to the Spaniards its probable destination, and gave them sufficient time to equip a fleet to counteract its designs, and dispatch information to America to put the colonies in a state of defence. Another impolitic measure was the appointment of agent-victuallers in the squadron, who were to carry out merchandise to the amount of £15,000, to speculate on an enemy's coast, and exchange for provisions.
On the 18th September, 1740, Captain Anson, in the Centurion, of sixty guns, and having under his orders the Gloucester and Severn, of fifty guns each ; the Pearl, of forty guns; the Wager, twenty-eight guns; and the Tryal sloop, with two victuallers, sailed from St. Helens. Never was there a squadron worse manned, or sent to sea under greater disadvantages; but this did not deter the active and vigorous spirit of Anson, who hoisted his broad pendant, as Cominodore, on their arrival at Madeira, and then continued his course, narrowly escaping from the Spanish fleet under Don Joseph Pizarro, which had been cruizing to intercept his farther progress. On the 18th December, the ships anchored at St. Catherine's, on the coast of Brazil, and landed their sick to the amount of some hundreds; but through the insolence and treachery of the Governor, they were very poorly accommodated : and after burying great numbers, the sickness rather increased than diminished. Disappointed in their expectations of refreshment, and deprived of the humane and friendly offices of the inhabitants, they were again compelled to embark, with a dreary navigation before them, and in their way to hostile shores, where they could not hope to meet with friendly aid or commiseration. Quitting St. Catharine's, they sailed to Port St. Julian, in Patagonia, where the Tryal was refitted, and the people somewhat refreshed ; and here they gained intelligence that the fleet under Pizarro was in the same seas, and closely in pursuit of them.
On the 7th March, 1741, they passed the Straits of Le Maire, full of eager hope and expectation; the wind was favourable, the weather fine, and they began to fancy their golden