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ment, states his belief, that the most respectable, and the most numerous portion of the people of Central America, would have preferred a limited monarchy to the existing republican institutions. We cannot credit this representation; and at any rate, if it be true, and if the views of Arce were opposed to freedom, the patriotic party should have met their opponents in the legislature, instead of in the field; and in a peaceful and temperate manner, shown wherein their liber. ties were invaded, and their rights infringed. And if the Salvadoreños, were truly the friends of liberty, they may impute to their own indiscreet zeal, which included their precipitate appeal to arms, and hurried them into a civil war, the ascendancy of the opposite party. But we have no doubt, that the disturbances are to be ascribed to the extreme ignorance of the people, their vague ideas of liberty, and ignorance of the forms of a free govern. ment; and the hostility of the castes against the white population, who hold the reins of government, ra. ther than to any criminal designs on the part of president Arce.

The project of an oceanic canal through the lake of Nicaragua seems to have been relinquished, at least for the present; from causes inde. pendent of the political troubles in Central America. An attempt was made by a company of merchants of New-York, to obtain a contract

for this canal; and Mr. Edmund Blunt, of that city, went out in 1825, to survey a route for, and to ascertain the practicability of a canal. The jealousy of the public authorities prevented him from commencing his surveys, until the rainy season rendered it unsafe to explore the country. Notwithstanding those difficulties, the examination of a route was undertaken and completed, excepting about 4 miles, when he was attacked by the fever of the country, and compelled to relinquish the survey. Enough, however, was obtained, to prove the feasibility of effecting a water communication between the two oceans; but on account of the extravagant terms offered by colonel De Beneski, and the unsettled state of the country, the project was given up.

This contract was made in June, 1826,between the government of the country, and colonel De Beneski, acting in behalf of Mr. Palmer, of New-York; and ratified by the congress.

But it encountered considerable opposition, even in Central America, where it was justly objected, that the contract was altogether premature. No surveys had been made, on the part of colonel De Beneski, or of the government, of the river St. Juan, the lake, or of the lands intervening between that and the ocean; all which lay in the proposed line of water communication across the isthmus. Nor in fact was any accurate knowledge

of the country possessed by them. Before the contract could be made upon any well founded calculations, all this, and much more, should have been ascertained, in order to judge, whether the construction of the canal was practicable, and its cost. The singular inexpediency of placing such a canal in the hands of foreigners, however friend. ly they, or their nation, might be, was very strongly urged. Still the contract was ratified, but in such terms, as amounted to a virtual rejection of it.

Proposals were also made by Messrs. Barclay, of London, as well as by Mr. Palmer, of New-York. The first stipulated for the exclu. sive privilege of navigating the canal with steam-boats, for thirty years; for the possession of all the tolls, until the capital invested should be reimbursed; and of one half of them for fifteen years afterwards. Add to this, the capital in vested was to be assumed by the nation as a debt, and paid to the

contractors by the government of Central America, unless the profits of the canal should suffice to reimburse the undertakers. It is evident, that the safety of this contract would depend, in a great measure, upon the stability and solvency of the government. The terms of the contract, as concluded with Mr. Palmer's agent, were vastly less favourable to him. He was to have a privilege for steam-boats for only twenty years; and half the tolls for but seven years. The government assumed no responsibility for the expenses of the works. On the contrary, the contracting company was to advance two hundred thousand dollars immediately for fortifications; and to be subject to further advances, without limitation, trusting for repayment solely to the expectation of future profit. It became, of course, impossible to obtain subscribers to the stock on these conditions; and the contract was not performed, as might have been expected.


Colombia.-Government in 1827-Santander's Message-Foreign Rela tions-Treasury-Army and Navy-Capture of Benavides' partyBolivar in Bogota-State of Things in Venezuela-Bolivar at Puerto Cabello-Paez submits-Bolivar at Caraccas-Renounces the Presi sidency-Mr. Watts and Bolivar-State of things in April and MayBustamante's return from Peru-Proceedings at Guayaquil―Third division of the Army-Their views and object-They submit-Bolivar prepares to march against them-His intentions-Congress meets in May-Santander's resignation refused-Speeches in Congress, of Soto and Uribe, concerning Bolivar-His renunciation not accepted-Decree of Amnesty-Re-establishment of public order-Grand ConventionApprehensions entertained of Bolivar-Communication of the city of Panama-Pretended Conspiracy at Bogota-A groundless fabrication-Vindication of Santander-Falsely accused by the Reform Party-Concordat with Leo XII-Insurrection at Guayaquil-Bolivar's message to the Senate-Entry of Bolivar into Bogota-Swears to the Constitution-Proceedings of Congress-Decrees on the Press Earthquake-Concluding Reflections.

Ar the beginning of the year 1827, the executive authority of Colombia, continued to be administered by the vice president, Francisco de Paula Santander, the president and liberator; Bolivar, being exclusively employed in the pacification of the northern departments. The department of foreign relations, and of the interior, was at that time administered by Jose Manuel Restrepo; that of the treasury by Jose M. de Castillo; and that of war, by Carlos Soublette.

In September of the preceding year the department of the marine, having been separated from that of war, had been intrusted to general Lino de Clemente; but on the arrival of Bolivar at Bogota, in November, among the other measures of economy and reform then adopted, the marime was reunited to the department of war, under the administration of Soublette.

According to the existing laws of the republic, the fifth session of congress should have been opened

on the second day of January, and on the same day the functions of the president and vice president would, in the regular course of things have ceased. But the peculiar circumstances of the nation at that time, prevented the assembling of the legislative body until May. In order, therefore, to preserve the go. vernment from absolute disorganization and anarchy, or from some equally deplorable alternative, it was necessary that the existing executive authorities should assume to retain the direction of the government. In the exercise of his extraordinary functions under the constitution, Bolivar had therefore suspended the law, which would have vacated the government at the ordinary period. The vice president, Santander, felt that, amid the perplexing difficulties of the times, he ought not to oppose the dispositions of Bolivar, and thus increase the public disorders. It was considered, also, that his continuance in office, although not qualified anew according to law, was the least illegal course that could be pursued in the actual crisis.

The message of the vice president, and the annual expositions of the several heads of departments, were prepared, for the purpose of being presented to the legislative body at the usual time, although they could not be presented, in fact, until May. These docu

ments are drawn up with more than common care; and enter very fully into the condition of public affairs in Colombia. Before proceeding to narrate the events of the year, we think it well to premise a general account of the state of things at the close of 1826, collected from a source so entirely authentic, as these important statepapers.

Notwithstanding the calamitous effects which the insurrection of Paez had upon the internal condition of Colombia, happily it did not immediately prejudice any friendly relations which previously existed, between the republic and foreign powers. Those governments, which, from their similarity of condition and origin, were the natural allies of Colombia, such as Mexico, and the other Spanish American states, not only maintained towards her the same amicable feelings; but some of them entered into still more intimate union with her, at the congress of Panama. Representatives from Central America, Peru, the Mexican states, and Colombia, assembled there in June, 1826; and although their session lasted but a few days, yet, by assiduously devoting their time to the great objects of the meeting, they completed a treaty of perpetual union, league, and confederation; and several subsidiary conventions, of which the particulars are given by us in another place. Friendly

connexions had also been cemented, with more or less formality, between Colombia and the governments of Brazil, and Rio de la Pla ta; but the negotiations with Chili still continued unfinished, the latter not having yet ratified the conven. tion concluded in 1822, and accepted by Colombia. Nor had any thing occurred to interrupt the good understanding of Colombia with the United States, and Great Bri. tain.

But the commotions in Venezuela had undoubtedly impeded the exertions of England and America, to induce the court of Spain to acknowledge the independence of the patriots. The executive of Colombia had succeeded in persuading the most respectable governments to take interest in their negotiation; and previous to the movement of Paez, it was furthered by weighty arguments, drawn from the growing strength and good order of the republic, and the apparent stabili ty of its republican institutions. These arguments were no longer available; for the Spanish cabinet had naturally recovered its lost hopes of successful invasion; and on hearing of the disorganized state of the nation, could not but anticipate some benefit from the prospect, that Colombia was about to be plunged into a civil war. But the executive relied upon the force of the public sentiment, and the tried valour of the army, for means to

repel any attempted invasion. Ab. sorbed also, as Spain was, by its own domestic cares, and deprived of the important posts of Ulua, Cal lao, and Chiloe, there did not seem to be great danger of immediate hostilities from that quarter.

France had made the same attempt, which we have noticed in the account of Mexico, to obtain for a commercial agent appointed by a subaltern authority, the same rank and privileges which he would have been entitled to, if commissioned by the king himself. The government of Colombia, well aware that such a proceeding was not recognised by the law of na. tions, however desirous to form amicable relations with France, very properly refused its countenance to this disingenuous mode of indirectly obtaining the advantages of a friendly power, without admitting the political existence of the republic.

Previous to the unfortunate events of April, endeavours had been made to place the finances of the republic on a respectable footing; but those disturbances had reduced the public funds to the very lowest degree of depression. The moral force of the law and of the government be. ing relaxed, and the taxes having be come odious, the treasury received no revenue, and the executive was daily called on for payments, in the ordinary course of public expenditure, which it was utterly impossi

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