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Should this be the result of your efforts in the exercise of the supreme national authority, which we all expect with perfect confidence, the vicissitudes of the republic and the troubles which have afflicted your mind, as well as ours, will but have served as a crucible to purify our love for liberty, and for what renders us deserving of it, for the power and stability of Colombia, and for self. We will spare no efforts that may contribute to the tranquil. lity and happiness of Colombia, and to the glory of our government." Finally, to complete the ceremonies of the occasion, the foreign agents and chargés were presented to the Liberator on the 13th, and made suitable addresses of congratulation.
Bolivar was become, then, constitutional president of Colombia; and had taken the oaths of fidelity to the constitution, a step which there is much reason to fear he would not have taken, had he not been fully convinced, by the events of the last spring and summer, that the whole nation, save a few military chiefs, were determined, cost what sacrifices it would, to maintain the liberties of their country to the last moment of their lives. But, notwithstanding the loud indigna tion expressed by so many persons at the alleged designs of Bolivar, he had never, thus far, uttered any denial of the projects imputed to
him he had never disclaimed, he did not now disclaim, the inten tion of forcing the Bolivian code upon Colombia. He continued, therefore, of necessity, an object of suspicion; but, in concert with congress and his associates in the government, he proceeded to exert his efforts to give efficacy to the laws, and to preserve the public tranquillity, until the grand convention should assemble. The decree for calling this great national assembly having been passed and promulgated before he assumed the government, he could not but acquiesce in it, although it was understood that he would have preferred an act, affording greater facilities for the introduction of reform. Doubtful as the expediency of this measure seems to us, yet, perhaps in the actual condition of things, the friends of liberty and of their country, avoided a worse evil, by consenting to all that the honest reformers in Venezuela could ask. It remained for them to fill the convention with men of experience, talents, firmness, and tried republicanism, who might defend the rights of the people skilfully as well as boldly, and defeat the plans of those who sought to establish the Bolivian code, with its perpetual dictatorship. As the most respectable portion of the Venezuelians desired only to change the form of the government into a federal union, in place of the centra
system, it was hoped that they, united with the friends of the existing constitution, would at least constitute a powerful majority in favour of a republican government of some kind, and thus preserve Colombia from the disgrace of becoming a monarchy, under whatever name or pretence the regal authority might be disguised.
Congress having been convened by Santander, for the sole purpose of administering the oaths of office to Bolivar, one of his first acts, after being installed, was to con. tinue that body in session, in order to receive his communications on the subject of the northern depart. ments, and upon the general condition of the republic. Deeming the state of Guayaquil an equally urgent object of attention, Bolivar issued the following singular proclamation, the next day after his entry into Bogota.
"Inhabitants of Guayaquil! The torrent of civil dissentions has hurried you on to your present unhappy condition. You are the victims of the lot which you should have sought to shun at all hazards. You are not culpable, and no people ever is, because the people desire only justice, repose, and liberty;
erroneous or pernicious sentiments ordinarily belong only to their leaders; they are the causes of public calamities. I know you, and you know me, and we cannot fail to understand each other. Let those who seek to mislead you, desist then, that we may embrace once more, like affectionate brothers, under the shade of the laurels, the laws, and the renown of Colombia. "Government House in Bogota, September 11th, 1827.
The next day, Bolivar restored the several secretaryships to the footing upon which they stood previous to his return from Peru, the office of secretary general being abolished. Thereupon, Restrepo, the late secretary general, submitted to congress an elaborate exposition of the proceedings of Bolivar, in the north-eastern departments, all which were sanctioned, confirmed, and continued in force by the following decree, which may be considered as a sort of universal indemnity act, giving the solemnity of law to his dispositions there, and sheltering himself from any subsequent imputation of unconstitutional conduct in this behalf.
Decree continuing in force the Regulations of the Liberator, President in the Departments of the East.*
The Senate and House of Representatives of the Republic of Colombia, in Congress assembled,
In view of the memorial of the se
charged with the functions of secretacretary of state and foreign relations, ry general of the Liberator-Presi
*We have abridged the title of the decree.
dent, under date of the 10th instant, wherein he gives account to congress of the condition of the departments of Sulia, Maturin, Venezuela, and Orinoco; and of the measures taken by the Liberator President, under the imperative necessity of circumstances; and considering,
1. That the general confusion of these departments exacted prompt and efficacious remedies:
2. That the happy re-establishment of the peace and tranquillity of said departments, is principally owing to the measures adopted by the Liberator President, to re-organize them; and the preservation of blessings so precious, is the first duty of congress:
3. That sufficient time has not elapsed, to be enabled to judge by their effects, whether these regulations accomplish all the objects of public utility, which the Liberator President proposed to himself in dictating them:
and good order, and patiently await the meeting of the convention. No political event of any moment occurred in the departments under his command, unless the arbitrary banishment of Rafael Dominguez be considered such an one. person had distinguished himself as editor of the Colibri newspaper in Caraccas, by the freedom of his re. marks on the proceedings of the government; which, as too frequent. ly happens, tended rather to exas. perate party animosity, than pro. mote any useful purpose. Bolivar, on the other hand, anxious perhaps to annihilate the disgraceful publi. cations issued from the press of Cartajena, Caraccas, and other
ART The measures taken by the places, previous to his leaving the
Liberator President in the departments of Sulia, Maturin, Venezuela, and Ormoco, and which are still in force, shall continue to be observed at the di cretion of the executive power; which may modify, and gradually reestablish legal order. conformably to the decree of the 9th of June last, in whole or in part, according as may be deemed convenient, in reference to existing circumstances.
Dated at Bogota, September 24th,
Soon afterwards, the extraordi: nary session of congress terminated, without passing any other laws, which it is very material to our plan to mention. Colombia con#tinued to all appearance tranquil, down to the close of the year. Paez had published a very pacific proclamation in Venezuela, exhorting all persons to maintain unity
northern departments, directed the intendants of the departments, to cause to be collected and burnt, all papers, which appeared during the late period of public excitement, in which individuals were assailed; that everythingcalculated to awaken acrimonious feelings might be bu. ried in forgetfulness, and the de cree of amnesty and oblivion pass. ed by congress, be carried into full effect. We have nothing else to record, except the earthquake, which happened at Bogota, No vember 15th, and produced very extensive and serious injury to public buildings, and many pri. vate dwellings; the whole loss being estimated at several mil. lions.
All men seemed disposed to hope for the best from Bolivar's future conduct. They, who had been his firmest adversaries, began to form a new series of expectations. It was perfectly plain, and had been for nine months past, that if Bolivar would but decidedly express his adherence to the constitution, every vestige of opposition would disappear instantly. He held the means of peace or war in his hands.
This justly celebrated man had once been the idol of the sternest republicans, proud to have him as their head and their champion; and they heartily wished his glory might again be the most brilliant ornament of Colombia. They were far from admitting that his fame had reached its climax, and that there remained no additional laurels for him to gather. They conceived that a noble field was now opened for him, by entering which, he might encircle his name with a purer splendour than it had ever yet worn. This new path to fame consisted in his obtaining a complete triumph over no less a person than the great hero of the south himself, the founder of three nations; the man of his age. Boli. var had triumphed over every thing, even dishonour itself; but
it remained for him to triumph over himself-his own ambitious passions, and his own pernicious projects; to triumph over the intoxication of his prosperity, his power, and the dazzling splendour of his own glory. This was a triumph which freemen would deem it an honour for Bolivar to achieve. He had created three great republics by the impulse of his genius, and the power of his armed right hand ; and it only remained for him, that he should bend his genius and his courage to the empire of the law, the only empire corresponding to his pre-eminent services; that at the head of the nation he should condescend to be the first subject of the constitution, proceeding step by step in the course it prescribed; that he should free himself of the servile and selfish advisers, who sought to make his elevation to supreme power the means of gratify. ing their own ambition, and admit to his private counsel none but such men as Mendoza, Santander, Soublette, Castillo, Restrepo, Varga. ra, and other tried friends of their country and doing all this, he would establish the liberties of Colombia on a foundation of adamant, which the lapse of years could not shake.
Peru.-Bolivar in Peru-Departs in September-His Council-Congress of 1826-Their Address-Decrees thereon-Circular of the_Council-Acts of the Province of Lima-Tarapaca dissents-Other Provinces unanimous for the Bolivian Code-Supreme Court refuses to ratify their Votes-Counted by the Municipality of Lima-Decree of the Council, that the Bolivian Code is adopted, and Bolivar President for Life-He is proclaimed, and the Constitution sworn to-Dissatisfaction-Third Division of the Colombian Army-Lara perceives their Discontent-Conspiracy of the Patriots-Colombian Troops declare against Bolivar-Conduct of the Council-Bustamante's Proclamation-Citizens of Lima renounce the Bolivian Code-Santa Cruz provisional President--Pando--Old Constitution restored-Colombian Troops leave Peru-Congress meets-La Mar chosen President--His Character--Proceedings of Congress-Conclusion.
In the new states of South America, revolution succeeds to revolu, tion with hasty steps; and the history of each year affords some striking example of national vicissitude, as complete as unexpected. One ephemeral government follows after another, rising and falling with strange rapidity, like the waves chasing each other along over the face of the sea, the foremost soon lost in those which hurry on behind it. Constitutions are made, sworn to, and annulled, seemingly, with greater levity, than we, in the sober progress of affairs in the United States, should think
it decorous to make and repeal an ordinary law. The recent revolution in PERU, is a remarkable instance of this; for, of the bloodless changes which have taken place in the south, none, perhaps, has been more memorable, whether for its extraordinary suddenness, for the circumstances attending it, and the consequences which have ensued, or the influence it has exercised, and is likely to exercise, upon contemporary events in the neighbour. ing countries.
Our history of the year 1826, left Peru in the month of September, when Bolivar departed for Co