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to stir up the Indians to greater activity in the dye trade. In reporting this to the company, the Commandeur expressed the hope that his action would be approved, in which case (but not otherwise) he proposed to establish an “outliership" there. Should his action not be approved, then the "outrunner's visits," as also the “little shelter,” would be abandoned. 2
His action was never approved; nor was his suggestion as to a permanent outliership ever considered. 3 On the contrary, he was severely reprimanded for transcending his authority; his financial honor was impeached; his commercial common sense discredited; and even the bad grammar of his official letters was mercilessly criticised. Soon afterwards he was dismissed from the service, although he had never again alluded to the subject of the proposed Barima “post.” 5 Neither did his successor, nor the directors of the company ever once allude to it. Nor do the muster rolls of the company's employés (complete from 1691 to 1703) show the existence of any “post," "fort,” or other Dutch establishment on or anywhere near the Barima, from its mouth to its source. Moreover, the
? company's payrolls, and those of the Essequibo Colony (both complete from the year 1700 on) never once mention a Barima “post," or anything like it.8
Such was the only foundation for the claim, so persistently repeated since Schomburgk's time, that the
1 Docs. Washn. Comn., ii. pp. 150, 161, 172, 257. 2 Docs. Washn. Comn., ii. pp. 155-159, 160–169.
4 Docs. Washn. Comn., i. p. 268 ; ii. pp. 164–169, 170-172, 181, 182; Netscher, pp. 372–374. 5 Ibid.
6 Ibid. 7 Docs. Washn. Comn., ii. pp. 192-199.
Dutch once had a "post,” or a “fort," or a "settlement,” or a "plantation," or a something implying permanent occupation at or near the mouth of the Barima river! And we have already seen that the persistently-repeated claim, that the Dutch once occupied the interior basin of the Cuyuni-Mazaruni, never had any better foundation than the fact that some Dutch slave-traders were once driven out of there by the Spaniards, under assertion of title, and that the Dutch government, by acquiescing, conceded title to Spain.
Under these circumstances, presumptive title to both tracts as wholes was with Venezuela as the legal successor of Spain, and the burden of proof lay with the adverse claimant.
Having failed to prove her title by occupation, England was thrown back upon her claim to title in virtue of exclusive political control ; and this she sought to establish by the alleged maintenance, first by the Dutch, and subsequently by the English, of “Protectorates of Indians" in the uninhabited districts of those tracts.
It is difficult to understand how a claim predicated on such grounds could be seriously considered by a judicial tribunal. A protectorate, as we have seen,2 implies statehood on the part of the protected; and it is established when the protection is secured by engaging to perform certain service, or to pay certain tribute for service performed. It can exist by treaty only between organized bodies politic, the compact differing from ordinary treaties only in so far as it creates a difference in the dignity of the contracting parties. * It cannot exist where one of the parties is a tribe of nomadic savages;? because they are not organized bodies politic, and the lands over which they roam, or which they occupy, are res nullius until taken into possession by some civilized state. Protectorates by treaty may and do exist where one of the parties to the contract is a semi-barbarous state, as, for instance, in some parts of Asia; but it is none the less an organized body politic, and its lands no longer open to occupation. Not so with the savages of the American continent. At no time since the discovery of the continent by Europeans, have the Indian tribes, the native occupants of the soil, been treated as states. As organized political communities, international law knows nothing of them. They have no sovereign power. They cannot even convey their right of occupancy without the sanction of the sovereign power. Any deed or treaty made or entered into by them to that effect is null and void ab initio ; and any attempt by another power to intrude into the territory occupied by them, or any attempt to interfere with or control them, has always been considered such an act of aggression as would justify war.2 Any treaty, therefore, by either Holland or England with these savage tribes, would have been a legal nullity; and any protectorate established over them by either, would have been a casus belli.
1 Supra, chaps. xxiii. and xxiv. ? Supra, ibid. 8 Vattel, bk. i. chap. xvi. § 192 4 Toid.
But even if this were not true, the acts of the parties themselves as alleged, and the facts as proven, show that neither Holland nor England ever had a protectorate of Indians in the disputed territories. Neither of them ever had the form of a treaty with any tribe of those Indians; or, if they did, it was never once produced. Nor is there any circumstantial evidence that such a treaty or treaties ever existed. Briefly, the facts are these:
1 Vattel, bk. i. chap. xvi. § 192.
2 Vattel, bk. i. chap. vii. § 81; Phillimore, $ 258; Twiss, Law of Nations, chap. viii.; Calvo, Le Droit Int., § 281; 5th Peters' Reps., i. p. 18; 8th Wheat. Reps., pp. 543-573; 6th Cranch, 87, 142; Parl. Papers (1845), vol. xxxiii.; also of 1844, vol. xiii. See also Despagnet, Essaisur les Protectorates.
Towards the middle of the seventeenth century, when the sugar industry began to be profitable, the Dutch planters on the coast and on Essequibo estuaries were in great need of slave labor. They wanted more "red slaves,”1 but they particularly wanted to prevent the escape of fugitive negro slaves to the wilderness. 2 For these purposes they employed the Carib Indians to kidnap and bring into the colony Indians of the more docile tribes. Sometimes these Indian slaves were taken from the frontier Spanish missions, sometimes from the intermediate country, but always from beyond the regions adjacent to the Dutch settlements.3 For the “red slaves,” or piotos (as they were called), thus brought in, the Dutch would pay the Caribs so much per head on delivery; and they also paid them so much per head for every runaway negro slave they brought back alive, or so much per hand for the right hand of every one they killed. 4 On several occasions, the Caribs and other tribes inhabiting the wilderness between the Dutch and Spanish settlements were employed by the Dutch against the “bush negroes,
1 Indians that had been kidnapped by Dutch traders and sold as slaves to planters on the coast.
2 The negro slaves imported from Africa often fled in great numbers to the wilderness and were difficult to reclaim.
8 Docs. Washn. Comn., ii. p. 243; vol. viii. No. ii. pp. 1-35 et seq.; Timehri, x. 14, 15; ii. 348, 349.
4 Ibid. See Governor van 's Gravesande's letters to the Dutch West India Company. In such cases the hands were nailed to posts about the plantation as a warning to the negro slaves.
5 Runaway negro slaves banded together in the dense forests near the frontiers of the Dutch settlements, often becoming a terror to the planters on the coast and river estuaries.
especially in times of slave insurrections, and were paid for their services in rum and trinkets. 1
When the slave trade ceased, the Dutch, and afterwards the English, sought to conciliate these savage tribes, and to keep them from raiding the feeble Essequibo settlements, by periodical“ presents” to the chiefs and their adherents. But both declared, again and again, that this was done to buy peace of the savages, of whose strength and ferocity the colony was in constant dread, and not as an obligation in virtue of any prior contract or agreement. 4
Up to 1831 these relations between the whites and Indians had not changed. The British colonial authorities neither claimed nor exercised jurisdiction or con. trol over the Indians in the territories west of the old de facto line of 1768. This fact was very clearly brought out in the course of a trial of an Indian for murder by a British colonial court in May of that year. The jurisdiction of the court had been challenged on the ground that the murder took place beyond the limits of the colony. The sworn testimony adduced was that there were “no white settlers" above the first or lower Cuyuni falls, and "only two or three” between those falls and the Mazaruni junction; 6 that some Indians also lived between those falls and the junction;7 and that the murder took place in this region (i. e., below the falls), and therefore within British jurisdiction. On this testimony, the court decided that it had jurisdiction;' the plain implication being that it had none above the falls.
1 Docs. Washn. Comn., vol. ii. 2 Ibid. ; Br. Blue B., 1896 (Vénez). 8 Ibid. 4 Br. Blue Book, 1896; Docs. Washn. Comn., vol. ii. 6 Ibid. App. pp. 168–177. Ibid.
7 Ibid. 8 Ibid.