Imágenes de páginas

Spain and the other provinces of America, when circumstances would admit, is provided for and continually held out."—" Under the first government of the patriots many, who had offended the reigning party, which was at times the Carreras, and at other times the Larrains with O'Higgins at their head, were banished to the other side of the mountains, and in consequence of these internal divisions a principal portion of the patriot forces of Chili, under the command of the present Director, which had made a stand at the town of Rancagua, were there attacked and defeated by the royalists on the 2d day of October 1814, after which the remnant of the patriot forces, with all who could, and deemed it prudent, fled in every direction over the Andes. This defeat of Rancagua closed, what is called, the first epoch of the patriot government. Chileno refugees and exiles of all parties rendezvoused at Mendoza. General San Martin, who was then there, made common cause with O'Higgins and the Larrain faction, and undertook to reorganize an army from these motley and shattered materials. He procured arms and a reinforcement of about two thousand free negroes from Buenos Ayres. O'Higgins was made brigadier general, but almost all the other officers of the army were either citizens of Buenos Ayres or commissioned and appointed from thence. There was no Chileno officer in it, higher than a captain, except O'Higgins. This army thus composed, amounting in number to about four thousand, was led over the Andes by General San Martin through the passes of Putaendo and Patos. With some skirmishing in the pass of Putaendo, but without any material loss the whole arrived safe in the valley of Aconcagua near the city of St. Filipe, and pushing forward toward Santiago, it was met by the royal army under the command of Marco at the foot of the Cuesta, which enters into the valley of Chacabuco. A battle ensued on the twelfth of February 1316, Marco was captured and his whole army cut to pieces or made prisoners. Thus the patriots regained Chili. O'Higgins was made Supreme Director, as he says in his manifesto, by the voice of the capital and the state but every one will perceive that this army, at least, had its influence in the appointment.

"This army has been occasionally divided; its parts have been distinguished by various names; it has sustained many losses and been often recruited; but it has received no aid from abroad: it

has been supported and strengthened altogether in Chili: it is now called the united army of the Andes.' As it fell back on the approach of the royal army under the command of Osorio it was said to have sat down at Caucha-rayada nine thousand strong. Ít may have then consisted of that number: but on the night of the nineteenth of March last it was attacked by the royal army, panic struck, and almost totally dispersed. It rallied again in the valley of Santiago. The royal army under Osorio came up, the troops of which, composed principally of veterans from Spain, had been transported by the way of Cape Horn to Lima, and thence to Conception, and with some Chilotes and other auxiliaries of the country, was about five thousand strong. The rallied patriot army could not have exceeded according to any account six thousand men, almost all raw troops or militia, except the Buenos Ayres neThe royalists had a decided advantage of the ground and twelve pieces of artillery more than the patriots. In this situation the two armies met about ten miles to the southeast of the city of Santiago on the plains of Maypu, and early on the morning of the fifth of April a most desperate conflict commenced. The royalists charged fiercely, the negro troops* flinched, but the Chilenos, the militia no less than the rest, animated by one invincible fervour of patriotism, with shouts of Vive la Patria, carried all before them sword in hand or at the point of the bayonet. The field was literally strewed with heaps of slain. The combat continued with various fortunes until late in the afternoon. It is said, that, for the numbers engaged, there never was a more obstinately contested combat, or a more bloody battle, fought in any part of the world. Of the royal army half were found dead or wounded on the field, and all the rest made prisoners. The loss sustained by the patriot

* In order to explain the way in which negro troops came to be employed, it is necessary to state, that one of the last acts of the Assembly of Buenos Ayres was to manumit the offspring of all slaves after February 1813, and to emancipate all slaves brought into the territory after that period. Slave holders were obliged to deliver every third slave for the ranks of the republican army. On this occasion many were manumitted on condition they served during the war, and two regiments, called Liberti and officered by whites, were formed of them.

army is estimated at about fifteen hundred. The victory of Maypu has completely confirmed the independence of Chili."*

"The Supreme Director of the state.

"Force has been the supreme reason, which, during upwards of three hundred years, has maintained the new world under the necessity of reverencing, as a dogma, the usurpation of its rights and seeking therein the origin of its most important duties. It was evident that a day would come, when this enforced submission would cease; but in the mean time it was impossible to anticipate it: the resistance of the inferior against the superior, stamps with a sacrilegious character, his pretensions and serves only to discredit the justice, upon which they are founded. For the 19th century was reserved the spectacle of hearing innocent America claim her rights, and show, that the period of her sufferings could continue no longer than that of her debility. The revolution of the 18th September of 1810, was the first effort Chili made towards accomplishing these high destinies, to which she was called by time and nature. Her inhabitants have given since proofs of the energy and firmness of her will, scorning all the vicissitudes of war.

"But the actual circumstances of the war, not permitting the convocation of a national Congress to sanction the public votes, we have ordered that a register should be opened, in which all the citizens of the state might declare for themselves, free and spontaneously, their votes for the urgent necessity of the government proclaiming immediately the independence or for delaying it, or for the negative; and having found, that the generality of the citizens have irrevocably decided by the affirmative this proposition, we have thought proper, in the exercise of the extraordinary power, with which we have been vested by the people for this particular case, to declare solemnly in their names, in the presence of the Almighty, to make known to the great confederation of mankind, that the continental territory of Chili and her adjacent islands form, in fact and right, a free, independent and sovereign state, and are forever separated from the monarchy of Spain, and fully qualified to adopt the form of government most convenient to their inter


"Given at the Directorial Palace of Conception on the 1st January

1818, signed with my hand and countersigned by our ministers and secretaries of state for the department of state, treasury and


"BERNARDO O'HIGGINS. "Miguel Zanartu, Ilipolito De Villegas, Jose Ignacio Zenteno."

Before closing this narrative, we take an opportunity to extract, from a letter of Mr. Forbes, a well written account of the death of the last surviving Carrera, who was shot in 1821.

"Among the important events, which have occurred on this side of the mountains, I must not omit to notice the total destruction of the party of Jose Miguel Carrera, and the public execution of that active and extraordinary man. On the 4th of this month, Carrera was shot on the public square at Mendoza; he died with the most heroic courage, asking the only favour of his conquerors, that he might be buried in the same grave with his two brothers, who were shot in the same city on a former occasion. It would be well for humanity, if the story of the event stopped here; but I again have to state another act of savage ferocity; the murdered body of this brave and distinguished man was shockingly mutilated, his head was cut off and exposed in the square of Mendoza, his right arm was sent to the governor of Cordeva, and his left to the punta San Luis. When these particulars were known here, they excited a sentiment of horror; and it has even been said, that if this victim of the ferocity of their half savage brethren at Mendoza had been sent to this place, even his life would have been probably spared. Carrera, by his great personal resources, had proved the most dangerous enemy of the present state of things in these provinces, and had San Martin failed in Peru, and Carrera had survived that failure, he would have menaced the tranquillity of Chili: thus his death is a great event for the present rulers here, although the manner of it may be very revolting to more civilized breasts.""


The conclusion of the year 1821, left little doubt of the ultimate fate of all the Spanish provinces. The deputies of Colombia to the Cortes in Spain that year insisted at once on independence, and would not assent to any engagement upon any other basis, while those of Mexico were authorized to forego an acknowledgment, and do not appear even to have aspired to it.* We insert in this note a plan of con

"ART. 1. There shall be three sections of Cortes in America, one in the north and two in the south. The first shall be composed of 56


federation, proposed to the Cortes by the Mexican deputies themselves. But what credulity to expect to treat with

the deputies of all New Spain, including the internal provinces of Guatimala; the other two sections shall comprehend-the one New Granada and the provinces of Terra Firma; the other Peru, Buenos Ayres and Chili.

"ART. 2. These sections shall unite, at the time appointed by the constitution.

"ART 3. The capitals where these sections shall, for the present, unite, are the following. The section of New Spain in Mexico, that of New Granada and Terra Firma in Santa Fe, and that of Peru, Buenos Ayres and Chili in Lima.

"ART. 4. There shall be in each of these divisions a delegation to exercise, in the name of the King, the executive authority.

"ART. 5. These delegations shall each be composed of one person, named by the will of his Majesty, selected from amongst men of the most transcendent talents, without excluding the members of the royal family. This delegate shall be removable at the pleasure of his Majesty, and shall only be responsible for his conduct to his Majesty and the general Cortes.

"ART. 6. There shall be four departments of the interior,-of finance, of justice, of war and marine.

"ART. 7. There shall be three sections of the supreme tribunals of justice, composed of a president, eight ministers and an attorney general.

"ART. 8. There shall be three sections of the council of state, each composed of seven individuals, but the legislative sections may, at pleasure, reduce their number to five.

"ART. 9. The commerce between the peninsula and America, shall be considered as interior from one province of the monarchy to another; and, consequently, the Spaniards of both hemispheres shall enjoy in them the same advantages as their respective natives.

“ART. 10. They shall, likewise, reciprocally enjoy the same civil rights and equal eligibility to employments and public offices as their respective natives.

"ART. 11. New Spain and the other countries, comprehended in the territory of their legislative section, oblige themselves to deliver to the peninsula, the sum of two hundred millions of reals in the space of six years, which shall commence on the 1st of January 1823.

"ART. 12. New Spain and the other territories, comprehended in her legislative section, likewise bind themselves to contribute to the navy expenses of the peninsula with forty millions of reals annually.

« AnteriorContinuar »