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we are at length absolved from the con- events, and by a regard for our own ditional oath which we had taken, and happiness. now take upon us the august sove. Although we foresee the difficulties. reignty which we are called here to ex- which may attend our new situation, ercise. . .
and the obligation which we contract But as our glory consists in esta- by the rank which we are about to ocblishing principles consistent with hu- cupy in the political order of the world; man happiness, and not erecting a par.. and, above all, the powerful influence tial felicity on the misfortunes of our of ancient forms and habits by which fellow, mortals, we hereby proclaim (to our regret) we have been hitherto. and declare, that we shall regard as affected yet we also know, that a friends and companions in our destiny, shameful submission to them, when it and participators of our happiness, áll is in our power to shake them off, those who, united by the ties of blood, would prove more ignominious to our. language, and religion, have suffered selves, and more fatal to posterity, than oppression under the ancient establish- our long and painful servitude. : It ments, and who shall assert their inde. therefore becomes our indispensable pendence thereof, and of any foreign duty to provide for our security, liberpower whatsoever; engaging that all ty, and happiness, by an entire and who co-operate with us shall partake essential subversion and reform of our in life, fortune, and opinion; declaring ancient establishments. and recognizing not only these, but . Wherefore, believing, for all these those of every nation, in war enemies, reasons, that we have complied with in peace friends, brethren and fellowa, the respect which we owe to the opicitizens..
nions of mankind, and to the dignity In consideration, therefore, of these of other nations with whom we are solid, public, and incontestable mo- about to rank, and of whose friendly tives, which force upon us the necessi- intercourse we assure ourselves, ty of reassuming our natural rights, We, the représentatives of the conthus restored to us by the revolution federated provinces of Venezuela, inof human affairs, and in virtue of the voking the Most High to witness the imprescriptible rights of every people justice of our cause, and the rectitude to dissolve every agreement, conven- of our intentions; imploring his divine, tion, or social compact, which does assistance to ratify, at the epoch of our not establish the purposes for which political birth, the dignity to which alone all governments are instituted, his providence has restored us, the arwe are convinced that we cannot and dent desire to live and die free, and in ought not any longer to endure the the belief and the defence of the Holy chains by which we were connected Catholic and apostolic religion of Jesus with the government of Spain ; and Christ, as thie first of our duties in we do declare, like every other inde. We, therefore, in the name, by the pendent people, that we are free, and will, and under the authority which determined to hold no dependence.on we hold for the virtuous people of Ve. any potentate, power, or government, nezuela, do solemnly declare to the than we ourselves establish ; and that world, that these united provinces are, we now take among the sovereign na- and ought to be, from this day forth, tions of the earth the rank which the in fact and of right, free, sovereign, and Supreme Being and Nature have as. independent states ; that they are absigned to us, and to which we have solved from all allegiance and depenbeen called by the succession of human dence on the crown of Spain, and of
VOL. IV. PART II,
those who now call, or may hereafter Gabriel de Ponte, for Caracas. call themselves its representatives, or Juan Jose Maya, for San Felipe. agents; and that, as free, sovereign, Luis Jose Cazorla, for Valencia. and independent states, we hold full Dr Ticente Unda, for Guanare. power to adopt whatever form of go. Francisco X. Yanes, for Ataure. vernment may be deemed suitable to Ferando Toro, for Caracas.. the general will of its inhabitants : to Martin Torar Ponte, for St Sebastian. declare war, make peace, form allian. Juan Toro, for Valencia. ces, establish commercial treaties, de Jose Angel Alamo, for Barquisimeto. fine boundaries, and regulate naviga. Francisco Hernandez, for St Carlos. tion, and to propose and execute all Linode Clemento, for Caracas. other acts usually made and executed
Province of Cumana. by free and independent nations; and Francisco X. Marez, for Capital. for the due fulfilment, validity, and Jose G. Aloala, for Capital. stability of this our solemn declaration, Juan Bermudez, for Sur. . we mutually and reciprocally pledge Mariano de la Eova, for Norte. and bind the provinces to each other, Province of Barcelona. . our lives, fortunes, and the honour of Francisco de Miranda, for Pao. the nation.
Francisco Policarpo Ortiz, for So Done at the federal palace of the Diego. Caracas, signed with our hands, and
Province of Barinas. sealed with the great seal of the pro- Juan N. Quintana, for Achaguas. vincial confederation, and countersign. Ignacio Fernandez, for Capital. ed by the secretary to the congress as. Ignacio Ramon Brizeno, for Pedraza. sembled, on the 5th day of July, in Jose de Sata Y. Busy, for S. Fernanthe year 1811, and in the first of our do de Apure, independence.
Jose Luis Cabrera, for Guanacito.
Ramon Y. Mendez, for Guasdualito. Representatives.
Manuel Palacio, for Mijagual. . J. Ant. Rodrigues Dominiques, Pre. Province of Margarita. · sident of Nutrion, in the province Manuel P. Maneyro, for Margarita. of Barinas.
Province of Merida. Luis Ignacia Mendoza, Vice-President Antonio Nicolas Brizena, for Merida.
of Obispos, in the province of Ba. Manuel V. Maya, for Grita.
Province of Truxillo.
Juan P. Pachece, for Truxillo. Isidora Antonia Lopez Mendez, for Villa of Aragua and Province of Caracas.
Barcelona. Juan G. Rosio, for Calabozo. Jose Maria Ramirez Felipe F. Paul, for St Sebastian.
A true copy (L. S.) Francisco X. de Ustariz, for St Se.
FRANCISCO IZNARDI, Sec. bastian. Nicholas de Castro, for Caracas. Fernando de Penaever, for Valencia.
Decree of the Supreme Executive. Gabriel Perez Pagola, for Villa de Or.
Federal Palace of Caracas, pino.
July 8th, 1811. Salvador Duegado, for Nirgua.
By the executive power of the conEl Marquis del Toro, for Tocuyo. federation of Venezuela, it is ordained, Juan Antonio Diaz Aagote, for Villa that the above declaration of indepen.
de Cura. . . . . . dence be published, carried into effect
and be of full authority throughout. 6. Allcontracts, bargains, and agreethe states and territories of this confe- ments, which have been made in regard deration.
to rents, dues, &c. between those callCHRISTOVAL DE MENDOZA, Presi. "ed lords and vassals, shall be considerdent pro-tem.
ed as contracts between one individual JUAN DE ESCALONA.
and another. BALTAZAR PADRON.
7. The privileges called exclusive, MIGUEL JOSE SANZ, Secretary of privative, and prohibitive, and having State.
the same origin as seigniories, such as CARLOS MACHADO, Grand Chan. those of the chase, of fishing, of ovens, cellor.
mills, water-courses, forests, &c, are JOSE TOMAS SANTANA, Secretary abolished; the free use of them remainof Foreign Affairs.
ing to the inhabitants, in conformity to the municipal laws established in every
township. Decree of the Spanish Cortes with re. 8. Those who have purchased the gard to Seigniories, August 5th.. above prerogatives for a valuable con
sideration, shall be repaid such capital • The general and extraordinary cor. as appears in the deed of purchase ; tes of the kingdom, desirous of remo- and those who enjoy them as a reward ving the obstacles which may have for great and acknowledged services, been opposed to the good government, shall be indemnified in another way. increase of population, and prosperity 9. The nation will acknowledge and of the Spanish monarchy, decree : pay these capital sums when they are
1. That henceforth all jurisdictional ascertained in the proper courts, and seigniories, of whatever class and con- will pay an interest of 3 per cent. dition, shall be incorporated with the upon them, till the capital is liquidanation.
2. The appointment of all magis. 10. At whatever time the possesstrates, and other public functionaries, ors shall present their claims, they shall be proceeded in, by the same or shall be heard, and the nation will be ders, and in the same manner, as in bound by the result of them, as is spethe townships of royal jurisdiction. cified in the preceding article. · 3. All public employments of the 11. Henceforward no one can call above description remain suppressed himself lord of vassals, exercise jurisafter the publication of the present diction, appoint judges, or exercise any decree.
of the claims and privileges compre4. The words vassal and vassalage hended in the present decree; and he are abolished; and all payments, whe- who does so, 'shall lose the right of ther real or personal, which owe their indemnification in the cases that have origin to a jurisdictional title, with the been specified. exception of those that proceed from The present decree shall be commu. free contract in the exercise of the sa- nicated to the Council of Regency, cred rights of property.
who shall take the necessary measures 5. The territorial seigniories remain for its due execution, causing the same henceforward in the class of other to be printed and circulated. rights attached to private property, if not of such a description, that, by
their nature, they ought to be incorpo. Note transmitted by the Hon. Henry vted with the nation.
Wellesley, the English Minister, to
Don Eusebio de Bardaxi y Azara, tary command of Lord Wellington ; first Secretary of State.
that the Spanish army was to be placed
under English officers; and, in a word, “ Most Excellent Sir, I have hi- withdrawn from subordination to the therto abstained from calling the aţ. Spanish military authorities, in order tention of the Spanish government to to form an army truly British. To the rumours and writings which have the British government is also attrifor some time been circulated in Cadiz, .buted the design of sending to Cadiz in the belief that my forbearance and a reinforcement of troops, sufficient to moderation might disarm those who take possession of this city and island, have endeavoured to weaken the bonds , and retain it in the name and possesof friendship and confidence, which so sion of his Britannic Majesty. happily, and with so many advantages ' “ Considering the sacrifices which to the cause, have hitherto subsisted Great Britain has made in support of between Great Britain and Spain. the Spanish cause; considering her But the papers that have been pub- repeated declarations of the conduct lished, as well as the reports that have which she has resolved to observe with been circulated, have at length become respect to the Spanish colonies, some so injurious to the British good name of which have been published in the and character, and so adapted to pro- gazette of the regency; considering mote the interest of the enemy, and the decisive proof which she has just sow dissensions between the allied na. given of her disinterested views, by tions, that I should be wanting to the offering her mediation between Spain duties, of my charge, and to all the and the colonies which have refused to sentiments of an Englishman, anxious acknowledge the authority of the mofor the happy, issue of this glorious ther country ; I ought to be far from and interesting cause, if I could look being under the necessity to refute with indifference on the unjust and un- charges such as those contained in this founded calumnies which are daily ac- paper. In fact, it was necessary that cumulated against my country.
we should find ourselves in a situation " To give a specimen of the terms so criticalas that in which wearereduced n which these assertions are conveyed, to the narrow bounds of this place, the and which originate, as it appears to salvation of which depends on harmony ime, from a certain class of persons, I and good understanding, so indispenthink it will be sufficient to request sable at all times, but especially at this your excellency to read the subjoined critical moment, to consent to suffer paper, in which are imputed to my the hưmiliation of vindicating the hosovereign, to his government, and to nour of my country, attacked as it has 'the British nation, intentions destitute been by publications, the malignant of honour and justice,and of good faith, tendency of which is sufficiently apand entirely subversive of all the prin- parent. Desirous, however, to pre. ciples upon which Great Britain has serve, without the least alteration, the come forward to aid the cause of the sentiments of respect and esteem with Spanish nation. But the complaints which the two nations are mutually and imputations contained in this pa. animated, I consider myself as under per, relative to the conduct of Great an obligation to deny, in the most Britain, rumours noticed in the month positive and solemn manner, in the of March last, are again revived, name of his Britannic Majesty, that of that the Spanish provinces bordering on his government, and that of the whole Portugal were placed under the mili- British nation, all the imputation of
views of aggrandizement, or territorial Spanish nation once conceive the intenacquisition, either in Europe or Ametions of the English nation to be such rica, at the expence of the Spanish na. as the injurious suspicions which therus tion. With the same positiveness, I mours and writingscirculated throughdeny that there is any foundation for out this city are calculated to inspire. the interpretation given to the notes." I have the honour to reiterate to which I presented in the month of your excellency the assurances of my March last, suggesting that the Spa- distinguished consideration. . .': nish provinces on the borders of Por- . (Signed) “H. WELLESLEY." tugal should be placed under the tem. To his Excellency Senor Don Euseporary authority of Lord Wellington; · bio de Bardaxi y Azara. .. as by this no more was intended than to authorize him to derive from them
ANSWER. the military supplies which they were capable of furnishing. I, in like man. .“ Sir,-Without loss of time, I ner, solemnly affirm, that neither my presented to the council of regency sovereign nor his government had any the note which your excellency was intention to render themselves masters pleased to transmit to me on the 5th of Cadiz ; and that if any reinforce. instant, as well as a copy of the paper ments were sent to this city, it was lately printed and published in this solely and exclusively in order to contri- city. His excellency, fully impressed bute to the defence of this important with what your excellency has been position, and preserve it to the crown pleased to state concerning the maliof Spain.
cious rumours which have been for “ Lastly, I repeat what on many some time so industriously circulated occasions I have declared to your ex. in these parts, has ordered me above cellency, that Great Britain, in taking all things to declare, that, believing part in this contest, had no other view, himself as much interested as your exthan to assist the glorious efforts of cellency in discrediting reports and the Spanish nation to recover its liber writings which can in the least degree ty and independence; and that she offend the respect and decorum due to persevered in it without any idea of his Britannic Majesty, his government, her own aggrandizement, or any ex and the English nation, he will' most clusive advantage which she might de- willingly hasten to publish the note of rive from the unfortunate circumstances your excellency, with this reply ; well to which the Spanish nation has been persuaded that their publication cannot reduced; but solely to contribute to fail to undeceive the incautious, who the expulsion of the enemy, and the have allowed themselves to be seduced re-establishment of the integrity and by people who intend to destroy the independence of the Spanish monarchy. friendshipand amity which happily, and · « In conclusion, most excellent sir, without the least interruption, subsists I earnestly entreat your excellency between the two allied nations; and will be pleased to present, with the without which, neither union nor con. least possible delay, this note to the cord can subsist between their respec. Council of Regency; and I think tive governments. myself obliged to demand from the " In regard to the imputations to Spanish government, that all proper which your excellency refers in your publicity may be given to it, in order note, considering them as injurious to to prevent the serious consequences the august sovereign as to the governwhich must inevitably result, should the ment of the British nation, they can