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The mass of testimony at the trial disclosed another important fact, namely, that at no time or place had either the Dutch or English "protected” or assumed to protect or control any Indian tribes outside the immediate limits of the actual settlements. In other words, the alleged "Protectorate of Indians” was a myth, pure and simple.
On the other hand, it is shown by the Seville Archives 2 that the Spaniards, who claimed and exercised jurisdiction over these territories, gathered the more docile tribes of Indians into mission towns and settlements; pursued and chastised those who, having been thus incorporated, ran away;coerced the more fierce and refractory tribes into submission, or drove them out or exterminated them; 4 and forced the Indians to the civilizing effects of steady labor by compelling its performance against their will.5 All this had been done openly and continuously for more than two centuries; yet it nowhere appears, nor has it ever been alleged, that the Dutch or English ever once protested or instituted measures to prevent it. What the Dutch did was to employ the Caribs to kidnap other Indians for the slave market; 6 to make raids for this purpose into territories remote from the Dutch settlements;7 and when these raiders were caught by the Spaniards, to abandon them, without protest or remonstrance, to the tender mercies of their captors. 8
Nor had the relations between the whites and Indians materially changed in 1840. In that year Schomburgk found, in the northwest coast region, what he con
1 Br. Blue Book, 1896; Docs. Washn. Comn., vol. ii. 2 Docs. Washn. Comn., vol. viii. No. ii. 8 Ibid.
4 Ibid. 6 Ibid.
8 Ibid. 7 Ibid. ; also, vol. ii. • That is, the coast region west of the Moroco.
sidered "cruelty and oppression " practised by the Venezuelans against the Indians;? yet it seems never to have occurred to him, nor to the British authorities with whom he conferred, that the English were or ever had been "protectors” of these unfortunate Indians, and therefore competent to interpose in their behalf. On the contrary, both he and the colonial governor saw but one way by which these Indians might be "protected," and that was by so extending the boundaries of the colony as to include the territory which they occupied. At any rate, it was not till after the so-called
Schomburgk line” had been set up, and therefore not till after the Barima region had been included in the British claim in virtue of alleged prior occupation, that any solicitude was manifested for the welfare of the Indians. It was then, for the first time, that the Demarara authorities were directed to “resist
any aggressions upon the Indians” by Venezuela; and the order was expressly limited to Indians living within the new boundaries set up by Schomburgk, and therefore within the assumed territorial limits of the British colony.
Such, in brief outline, was the evidence submitted to the Tribunal of Arbitration. To recount all the collateral facts and corroborative testimony would require volumes. The entire evidence adduced by the contestants constitutes sixteen printed volumes, besides a great number of topographical and historical maps. Copies of all these are accessible to any one who may care to verify the facts herein-above stated.
After its final session at Paris, and, presumably, after a patient perusal of all the evidence, the Arbitration Tribunal announced its decision on the 3d of
1 Parl. Papers, 1840, vol. xxxiv.; Schomb. Rep., Blue Book and Sup plement, 1896.
October, 1899. With respect to boundary, that decision was unanimous; and the divisional line agreed upon is described in Volume II. of the Proceedings, as follows:
Starting from the coast at Point Playa 1 the line of boundary shall run in a straight line to the river Barima at its junction with the river Mururuma, and thence along the midstream of the latter river to its source, and from that point to the junction of the river Hiowa 8 with the Amukaru,* and thence along the midstream of the Amakuru to its source in the Imataka Ridge, and thence in a southwesterly direction along the highest ridge of the spur of the Imataka mountains to the highest point of the main range of such Imataka mountains opposite to the source of the Barima, and thence along the summit of the main ridge in a southeasterly direction of the Imataka mountains to the source of the Acarabisi 6 to the Cuyuni, and thence along the northern bank of the river Cuyuni westward to its junction with the Wenamu,” and thence following the midstream to the Wenamu to its westernmost source, and thence in a direct line to the summit of Mount Roraima, and from Mount Roraima to the source of the Cotinga, and along the midstream of that river to its junction
1 “Duck Point" of recent charts ; also “Guayana Point” in the Sailing Directions for the Hobbs Chart, page 31. It is the northwestern point of entrance to the Waini river, and is about 25 miles east of Mocomoco Point.
2 Variously spelled Mururuiana, Mururuima, and Murunama. 8 Sometimes mispelled Halowa.
Variously spelled Amacura, Amakura, Amacuro, Amacourou, Am. macoura, etc.
Variously called the Imataca Range, the Serrania de Ymataca, and Serrania de Imataca. It is the dividing ridge between the Northwest coast region and the great interior basin of the Cuyuni-Mazaruni.
6 Sometimes designated as a rivulet, sometimes as a river, sometimes as a creek. It is a small stream, navigable only at certain seasons by light canoes.
7 Variously spelled Venamo, Venam, Wenamo, etc. A small, tortuous stream impeded by rapids.
8 Zuruma on some of the old maps.
with the Takutu, and thence along the midstream of the Takutu to its source, thence in a straight line to the westernmost point of the Akarai mountains, and thence along the ridge of the Akarai mountains to the source of the Corentin, called the Cutari river."
As this decision is final, and must be so regarded by both parties, it would be idle and unprofitable to offer any criticisms upon it. That it is a compromise, pure and simple, is manifest; and I am willing to believe that it was prompted by the purest of motives, and by the wisest considerations of expediency. But the question naturally arises, Where, in the treaty, is there any authority for compromises by a tribunal whose functions were expressly and purely judicial? True, the tribunal was the sole judge of the facts, and of the law applicable to the case; and it was fully authorized to “determine" the divisional line.
But there is a wide difference between determining a preexistent de facto or de jure line, and the making of an arbitrary line de novo. For the new line thus set up follows neither historical facts, tradition, or legal precedent; nor is it a conventional line drawn according to the old “middle distance" rule.
Even as a compromise line, granting the power to compromise, its practical utility is open to question. It seems to have been established without much regard to topographical conformation, or to the convenience of the adjacent proprietors. It bisects the island of Barima, cuts at right angles the navigable section of one river, divides the ownership of another, partitions a section of an indivisible delta, and divides the sovereignty of a well-defined tract, the limits of which are plainly marked by natural monuments of rivers and mountains, and which is accessible only through the territory of one of the proprietors. These conditions,