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CHAPTER XV

REPUBLIC OF HONDURAS.
1840-1865.

PRESIDENT FERRERA REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENTS POLITICAL EXECUTIONS PRESIDENCY OF JUAN LINDO NEW CONSTITUTION LINDO OVER THROWN BELIZE HONDURAS TROURLES WITH GREAT BRITAIN BRITISH OCCUPATION OF TIGER ISLAND BOMBARDMENT OF OMOA BAY ISLANDS - -PRESIDENT CABANAS WAR WITH GUATEMALA GUARDIOLA S ASSAS SINATION PROVISIONAL RULES OF CASTELLANOS AND MONTES ALLIANCE WITH BARRIOS UNSUCCESSFUL WAR WITH GUATEMALA AND NICARAGUA MONTES DEPOSED ESTABLISHMENT OF THE REPUBLIC JOSE M. ME DINA CHOSEN PRESIDENT AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION.

THE house of representatives of the Estado Libre y Soberano de Honduras, on the 30th of December, 1 1840, chose Francisco Ferrera president, and he took possession of the office on the 1st of January, 1841. The chamber closed its session on the 6th of March.
It is unnecessary to repeat here the history of Hon duras down to 1844, as it has been given in connection with other sections of Central America. The state
1 He had been the sole candidate, obtaining 3,400 votes, which did not constitute a majority. Ferrera was of obscure parentage, and of inferior He was educated by a reactionary priest named Garin, who, wishing ability. him to become a musician of the parish church at Cantarranas, sent him to Tegucigalpa to take lessons on the violin; but the boy made no progress in that direction, and finally was made sacristan of Cantarranas, which position he held a long time, till the revolutionary movements drew him into military He figured afterward as vicelife, and he began upholding liberal principles.

hating his chief, Joaquin Rivera, because he was a democrat. Now we see the sacristan of Cantarranas made president of the state. Francisco Giiell, Francisco Zelaya, and Santiago Bueso were recognized as his substitutes in the order named. It was also decreed by the chamber that in the event of a vacancy, absolute or temporary, if the substitutes should be unable to assume the executive duties, the latter should devolve on the ministers of state. Montufar, Resena Hist., iv. 191-203- Wells //owe/., 494; Squier s Trav.,
jefe,
ii.

449
(303)

310

REPUBLIC OF HONDURAS.

assembly was installed on the llth of January, with ceremonies more religious than political, as befitted a country where the influence of the church was so over 2 The chamber bepraised Ferrera with as whelming. much gusto as the church had smoked him with incense at the cathedral, and on the 2Gth he was formally declared a benemerito de la patria, and con firmed as a general of division, which rank had been
conferred on

him by the O Government
t/

in

March

1839.

3

Much was said at the opening of the legislative session about peace, but the fact was, that a number of towns were greatly agitated, owing to the heavy
these towns were Texiguat, La Plazuela, and Santos Guardiola was sent against Comayagiiela. and was not successful, though he asserted in a them, The proclamation that he had defeated the rebels. war spread, 4 and Ferrera deemed it expedient to leave the executive office in charge of the ministers for a time, and to personally take command of the forces to Guardiola defeated operate against the insurgents. them at Corpus on the 1st of July, and captured their correspondence, with Rivera, Orellana, and the other

burdens weighing on them, and to the displeasure caused by many citizens having been driven into exile.

Among

leaders.

5

term was approaching
7

Ferrera s he could not be reend, and elected a second time under the constitution of 1839. Elections were held, and arrangements made so that O
its

at Olancho took was soon quelled, and December, which place stringent measures were adopted by Ferrera against 6

An

insurrection of the troops

in

promoters.

Amid

this state of affairs

its

are assured there were 44 te deum masses on that day credited with having, by his energy, wisdom, and disinterested patriotism, saved the state from civil war and anarchy. 4 The govt justly attributed the movement to Ex-jefe Rivera, Orellana, It de Alvarez, Castro, and others, believing the centre of it to be in Leon. manded satisfaction from Nic., but obtained none. 5 The whole was published in El Descubridor, official journal of Hond. Every one of Rivera s letters counselled discipline, moderation, and honorable dealing, so as to save the cause from obloquy 6 Decree of Dec. 13, 1844.
2

We

3

He was

REVOLUTION AND ELECTION.

311

he could continue in power as minister of war with 7 Guardiola had been the chief command of the forces. also dubbed a benemerito, and his friends wished to 8 raise him to the presidential chair, but did not succeed. No candidate obtained the requisite majority,9 and the legislature chose Coronado Chavez president. of Ex-jcfe Rivera, taking advantage of the absence Ferrera with most of his forces in Nicaragua, invaded Honduras for the purpose of overthrowing the exist

The people failed to cooperate with and he was defeated and made prisoner. On the him, 4th of January, 1845, he, with Martinez, Landa, and The Julian Diaz arrived at Comayagua in irons. official journal announced that Rivera was to be tried and punished. He was in fact doomed to the scaffold 10 before he was tried. Guardiola s atrocities in La Union and San Miguel,
ing government.

spoken of in a former chapter, won him additional honors from the subservient assembly of Honduras. He was a second time declared a benemerito, and awarded a gold medal. Chavez, the tool of Ferrera, was not neglected. He was given the title of Padre 11 conscripto de la patria, with an accompanying medal. The assembly closed on the 23d of March, well satisfied
of the
tial

election

site

wisdom of its measures. Another presiden came up, and no one having the requi number of votes, the assembly, January 14,

1847, chose Ferrera,

who

declined the position, and

Juan Lindo was then appointed, Ferrera continuing
7 1 mentioned elsewhere the defeat this year at Nacaome of a Nicaraguaii force by the garrison under Commandant Morales. The credit of this victory was given to Ferrera, who happened to be in the place at the time, by the ministers in. charge of the executive office awarding him a gold medal with the inscription, la heroicidad del General Ferrera en la batalla de Ka-

A

The supreme court had compared him with Alexander, Octavius, Augustus, and Napoleon. The soldiers of Hond. made him a Miltiades, And finally, the official journal pronounced Temistocles, and Demosthenes. him superior to Julius C.esar. Monti ifar, Resena Hist., iv. 570-9. 8 Guardiola was a rough and cruel soldier. 9 His substitutes were Francisco Giiell, Leonardo Romero, and Manuel
caome.
Ernrjj :io
1;)

Vazquez.

11

Rivera, Landa, and Martinez were shot together. Decrees of Feb. 4 and March 19, 184G.

212

REPUBLIC OF HONDURAS.

war minister, with the command of the troops an Guardiola was nexed, which was what he desired. retained in the office of minister of foreign relations,
as

though unfit for it. AYhen the army of the United States was in Mexico, Lindo seemed greatly exasperated thereby; the presi
dent, without first obtaining the sanction of the repre sentatives, issued manifestos, on the 1st and 2d of June, 1847, which were an open declaration of war against

the United States. 12

Lindo desired to control affairs for an unlimited time, and the constitution allowing him only a twoyears tenure, and containing, besides, several clauses 13 constituent repugnant to him, it was doomed.

A

assembly was accordingly called to frame a new char ter, which was adopted at Comayagua February 4.
1848.
14

Lindo continued as president under the new re 15 The legislature had assembled at Cedros on gime.
the 10th of June, 1849,
12

when the

president reported

This proceeding was communicated to the governor of Chiapa for the information of his government. The proclamations were published in Mexico, and probably elsewhere; bxit I am not aware that the American government took any action upon them. /(/., 236-7; Sun of And/mac, Sept. 14, 1847; El Arco Ins, Sept. 22, Oct. 4, 17, 1847; El Jtazonador, Oct. 80, 1847; El
Sonorense,
13

Nov. 12, 1847. It provided for only one chamber, and he wanted another for the aris It recognized freedom of conscience and religion, which to his mind tocracy.

was heresy.
lt contained 114 articles; recognized the people as the source of power and sovereignty. All persons born in the states of Cent. Am. and residing in Hond. were given the privileges of full citizenship. Foreigners might become naturalized. The right of suffrage was given to citizens over 21 years of age who could read and write. The state recognized no other religion than

u

Roman catholic, excluding the public exercise of all others. The govern ment, declared to be popular and representative, was vested in three powers, namely, legislative, executive, and judicial. The executive was placed in charge of a president for four years, and not eligible for two consecutive terms. He appointed his ministers, who had a seat in the legislature. There was a council of state provided, its members being one senator chosen by the gen. assembly, one justice of the supreme court, the minister of the interior,
the
the treasurer, and two citizens elected by the gen. assembly. The assembly was formed of one chamber with 14 deputies, being two for each department, aadthe senate with 7 members. The judiciary consisted of the supreme and lower courts. The supreme court was divided into two sections, of three jus tices each, one to sit in Comayagua, and the other in Tegucigalpa. Each department had a jefc politico at its head. Hond., Constit. de!S48 1-21; Syuicr Cent. Am., 258-65. 15 The next term would begin on the 1st of Feb., 1852.
y

s,

WAR AND

TREATIES.

313

the state at peace, and its relations with the other But he acknowledged states on a satisfactory footing. that his government was harassed by party conten tions. Order had been maintained thus far by a strict impartiality toward the factions, with16the cooperation This was not of some good and influential citizens. to lart long; for on the 12th of February, 1850, Guardiola, deceived by representations of Felipe Jauregui and the aristocrats of Guatemala, in which the British charge, Chatfield, had no little part, made a pronunciamiento at Tegucigalpa, where the govern

ment then was, and Lindo had to fiee. The latter finally entrenched himself at Nacaome, near the bay of Fonseca, and asked for assistance from the govern ments of Salvador and Nicaragua, which under the terms of their confederacy they were bound to afford
Salvador at once sent a considerable force under General Cabanas, and Nicaragua prepared to do the same if necessity required it. Guardiola s movement was not seconded elsewhere. But lie marched against Nacaome, and at Pespire commissioners of Salvador and Lindo made him understand his false position, and an understanding was then had, on the 25th of 17 March, by which he submitted to Lindo s authority.
him.

The treaties of 1783 and 178G between Great Britain and Spain reserved to the latter the sovereignty over Belize, otherwise called British Honduras, granting to the settlers merely the privilege of cutting dye and 8 other woods/ using the spontaneous products of the
Cor. 1st., Aug. 1, 1849; La Union (S. Salv.), June 15, 1849. The following were the terms agreed upon: a general amnesty; the con federate diet was to meet at Nacaome, protected by 200 Salvadorans and as many Nicaraguans at the expense of Hond. and the state assembly also to redress certain alleged grievances; and Jauregui s conduct in Costa R. to be All of which was done. Cent. Am., Mixed. Doc., nos. 29-33, investigated. 36-43, 50-5; S-tlv., Gaceta, March 15, Apr. 4, 18, May 10, 1850; Costa 1?., March 2, 1850; Nlc., Cor. 1st., Apr. 4, May 2, 10, 1850; Guardiola, The chambers on the C.irtaOfic., March 30, 1850; Syuier s Travel*, ii. 182. 29th of June declared Lindo a benemerito de la patria, conferring on him the
17
;
G<ia>ta,

w Nic.,

rank
term.
lb

of general of division for life, from the expiration of his presidential Hond., GacrtaOfic., Aug. 31, 1850. The Spaniards know but little of this region, believing it unhealthy^

314

REPUBLIC OF HONDURAS.
fishing along the coast, repairing their vessels,

soil,

and building houses and stores. The colonists were not to set up any government, either civil or military, construct forts or defences, maintain troops of any 19 kind, or possess any artillery. Governor O Neill of Yucatan made an expedition in 1798 against the English settlers during war beo o o tween the two nations, and destroyed a number of settlements on the Rio Nuevo, but w^as afterward This repulsed by the colonists and slaves of Belize. circumstance was claimed to have given the victors
the right of conquest over the territory occupied by But neither Spain, nor Mexico after her them. independence, recognized that pretension, nor was it admitted by the British parliament. 20 Furthermore, the treaty signed in London, December 26, 1826, be tween Great Britain and Mexico was negotiated on the express condition that the treaty of July 14, 1786, between the Spanish and British crowns should be 21 held valid and observed in all its provisions. There
fore the conclusion we must arrive at is, that the sovereignty over Belize belongs to Mexico and not to Great Britain. Mexico s claim has been recognized by the settlers, when it suited their interests, but they were never equally disposed to abide by the obli 22 Their encroachments gations of the treaty of 1826.
and bad hardly made any attempts themselves to cut wood there. Cancelada, Tel. Alexlcano, 1C4-11, computed at nearly twenty-two million dollars the loss sustained by Spain to 1312, including in. that sum the original cost, and the resulting proiits which had accrued, mostly to the English. 19 They were likewise forbidden to cultivate sugar, coffee, or cacao, or to engage in manufactures; and they were not to supply arms or ammunition to the Indians dwelling on the frontiers of the Spanish possessions. Etpana e
Jit>/l.

Cove)
20

i

io,

July

14, 1780,

in Cent.

Am.

measures body committed in Belize, declared that the crimes could not be punished under British laws, because that territory was not a portion of the United Kingdom. Peniche, Hixt. fid. E*p. y Alex, con Inyl., in Ancona,
Certain acts of that adopted to punish crimes
Hi*t.
21

Parupli., no. 4, 1-7. in 1817 and 1819, in consequence of

Yuc.y iv. 223.

The treaty of with England and
found
22

182G, with the
oilier nations

annexed treaties and conventions of Spain having any bearing on the subject may be

in Alex., Dcredio Intern., i. 437-524. Villiers, Brit. min. in Madrid, asked the Sp. govt in 1835, and again in 183G, to cede to England any right of sovereignty she might have over Brit. Honduras. The request was not granted, but it implied that England

in 1S3G did not consider herself to possess the full sovereignty over Belize.

BELIZE.

315

on Yucatan have continued to the extent that they now hold much more than was conditionally allowed them 23 for wood-cutting by the treaty of 1783.
Affecting to forget that they were entitled merely to the usufruct of the country, the settlers set up as 24 early as 1798 a government, raised troops, built forts,

and exercised every right implying full Alexander Donald, while holding the sovereignty. 25 office of superintendent, on the 2d of November, 1840, set aside the laws and usages of the country, declaring that from said date the law of England should be the law of the settlement or colony of British Honduras, and that all local customs and laws repugnant to the to the prin spirit of the law of England, and opposed 26 In later of equity and justice, should be null. ciples the government has been in the hands of a lieu years tenant-governor, with an executive and legislative council, and the colony has the usual judicial estab
tilled

the

soil,

M

lishment.

27

Villarta, Mexican min. of foreign affairs, refers to Velliers efforts in a note The latter, however, in 1836, claimed of March 23, 1878, to the Brit. govt. a larger extent of territory, including the whole coast as far south as the River Sarstoon, and as far inland as the meridian of Garbutt a Falls on the

Belize River. in Bustamante, Hist. IturUdc, 161; Squier s Travel*, ii. 412-14; J/c/., ii. 306; Alex. Soc. Gtotj., Boletin, 2d ep., iv. 698-710; Annals Brit. Legis., ii. 84; Suarez, Jnfome, 32-6; U. S. Govt Doc., For. Aff. (Mess, and Doc., pt 1, 65-6, pt iii. 360- 1), Cong. 39,
"Details

Jd., Cent.

Am., 582-4, 627-8; Armnyoiz,

Sess. 1.; Id., Fordjii 21, 1378;
24

was was administered by a board of seven magistrates chosen annually. The chief authority was the superintendent, a position, always held by a military officer, combining the duties both of first civil magistrate and commander of the forces. Hendersons Bnt. Hond., 75-9. He entitled himself then her Majesty s superintendent and commanderin-chief in and over her possessions in Hond. 20 M Donald then appointed an executive council. He also assumed control
>2i

i. 656-61, Rd.> Cong. 43, Sess. 1.; Salv., DiarioOfic., Nov. Vozile Mtj., Jan. 31, 1865; Sept. 19, Nov. 1, 1882. The settlement, as it was called, for it had not even the name of a colony, ruled by a code of laws established in 1779 by Sir W. Burnaby. Justice

Ln

of the finances. Not satisfied with the right of veto, he legislated in his own person by proclamation, assuming the right of punishing any one acting The inhabitants protested against his authority or obstructing his mandates. against his usurpation of powers, and appealed to the British government and parliament, obtaining some trifling relaxation. They also petitioned that the government should openly assume the sovereignty, so that they might Their possess their lands without reservation in respect to Spain or Mexico. However, the govt in 18*45, sent petitions did not receive any direct reply. out a chief justice, a queen s advocate, and other judicial appendages. Crotve s
1

Gosprl, 205-6.
27

The

coat of arms of Belize

is

read as follows; Chief dexter-argent

the

316

REPUBLIC OF HONDURAS.

The assumption of sovereignty is not Mexico s only cause of complaint. Since the war of races broke out in Yucatan in 1847, the people of Belize have sold arms and ammunition to the revolted Indians. Early in 1848 the authorities promised that the Indians should not be aided, directly or indirectly; but the 28 The population is mainly promise was not fulfilled. introduced as slaves the rest, excep negro, originally ting a few white men, is a hybrid race resulting from The total intercourse with Europeans and Indians. in 1871 was nearly 25,000, of which there population were probably 1,000 more males than females. 20 Slav ery was abolished by an act of the inhabitants on the 30 1st of August, 1840. The chief product of the country is mahogany, of which some 20,000 tons were exported annually, but Its logwood the demand for it lately has decreased. is much valued, and about 15,000 tons are yearly ex Besides these staples, the country produces ported. other woods of value, and the cahoon or coyal palm in abundance, from the nuts of which is extracted a valuable oil. Sarsaparilla and vanilla are found in the interior. Of domestic animals there are enough
;

union jack, proper.

Chief sinister, on the proper

the chief divided from the

body of the shield by a chevron-shaped partition from the fess of the dexter and sinister base. Points the intermediate space azure a ship with set sails oil the sea, passant proper. Crest, mahogany tree. Motto, Sub umbra
iloreo.

right,
2b

Supporters, negroes; that to the left, with a paddle; the other to the with an axe over his shoulder. Slout n JW., 258. One of the superintendents- -supposed to be Col Faiiuourt had relations
officially

with the ferocious Cecilio Chi, which was
to the Brit,

communicated by
Hist.
Yu<:.,

JViex-ico
iv.

charge, Doyle, March 12, 1849. Ancorut. Yuc., Ej-pox. Gob. Credttos, 98-102. *9 The population about 1804 was set down at not

234;

more than 200 white

The white pop. grad persons, 5JO free colored, and 3,000 negro slaves. In 1S27-8, the pop. was between 5,000 and 0,000; in 1838, ually decreased. 8,000; in 1830, 15,000; in 18G3, 25,000. SyuierxCent. Am., 587 8-, Dunn s Git Jt., 13-14; Oitlionie s Guide, 234; Valois, Mexiqne, 150; Pirns Gate of the. Par., 20. The town of Belize, at the mouth of the river of the same name, generally has 6,000 inhabitants. The dwellings of the wealthy class are large and com fortable. Besides the govt houses, court-house, barracks, and jail, there are several churches, episcopal, methodist, baptist, and presbyterian, and some large and costly lire-proof warehouses. The town has experienced two destruc tive conflagrations, one in 1854 and another in 18G3. Packet Intelligencer, June
37, 1054; Gnat., Gaceta, Sept. 7, 22, 1854;
3l)

1 1

sults.

La VozdeMcj., May 9, 1863. was effected without disturbance, and attended with the happiest Crowes Goxpe.1, 205.

re

ENGLISH COERCION.
for the

317

last fifteen or

The colony during the needs of the people. has been on the downward twenty years

course.

In former times the port of Belize was an entrepot
for the neighboring states of Yucatan, Guatemala, and 31 Honduras, but after the opening of direct trade be

tween those states and the United States and Europe, and the diversion of trade on the Pacific to Panama,
Total tonnage that source of prosperity ceased. and cleared in 1877, exclusive of coasting entered Value trade, 73,974, of which 46,168 were British. in ten years ending in 1877, of imports, 1,781,175; for that year, 165,756, of which 84,540 were from Great Britain. Value of exports for 1877, 124,503, 32 The of which 94,548 went to Great Britain. average rate of duties on imports is ten per cent ad

valorem; machinery,

The

coal, and books entering free, 27,398; for gross amount of revenue for 1863, Public expenditure for the latter year, 1877, 41,488. 39,939.

The relations of Honduras with Great Britain were during many years in an unsatisfactory state, due in a great measure to the schemes of certain officials of the latter government, who pushed ungrounded claims against the former in the furtherance of their plans to gain control of a large extent of the Central American coast. On the 3d of October, 1849, a British war ship at Trujillo demanded the sum of $1 1 1,061, alleged to be due to subjects of her nation. The demand not with, an armed force was landed from being complied her the next day, which occupied the fort and town. The British commander finally accepted on account $1,200 all that the Honduran comandante could pro cure and on reembarking fired a volley. 33
31

**

xiv.
33

Much smuggling was carried on to and from it. Annals Brit. Legis., iii. 368; v. 263; vii. 228; x. 386-7; 391-2; xii. 139-40; The Encydop. Britan., xii. 304; U. S. Comm. Eel, 1863-77, passim. He
5,

Jan.

concluded to proceed to Jamaica for further instructions. EIRevisor, Feb. 16, 1850; IfomL, Gaceta Ofic., Oct. 19, 1849.

318

REPUBLIC OF HONDURAS.

On the southern coast

the British steamship Gorgon,

on the IGth of November, seized the island of Tiger, 84 The authori hoisting the British flag at Amapala. ties of Honduras, after protesting against the act, called the attention of the United States representa tive to the British proceeding, for this island had been 30 It ceded to his government in September previous.

presumed that Chatfield s purpose, among other was to prevent the construction of a canal But Admiral across Nicaragua by Americans.
i.3

tilings,

Hornby, commanding the British naval
Pacific, disapproved of the proceeding,

forces in the

restoring the Honduran flag of twenty-one guns. 36 preliminary convention was entered into at San Jose, Costa Rica, December 29, 1849, between Felipe Jduregui, calling himself commissioner of Honduras, and Chatfield, the British charge d affaires, in nine articles, some of which involved undue responsibility on the part of Honduras. 37 This treaty w as disavowed by her government, March 22, 1850, in a note to Admiral Hornby, declaring that Jduregui had no

men and

removing his under a salute

A

T

authority to make it, and its stipulations being offen sive to the dignity of the state, the legislature would
w Chattield, the Brit, charge, was present at the act. Id., Nov. 30, 1849; seizure The object of the seizur was Stout s Nic., 278; Salo., Gaceta, Feb. 15, 1850. to secure Honduras proportion of the indebtedness of Cent. Am. to Brit, creditors. 3j Under a convention in three articles concluded at Leon Sept. 28, 1849. The cession was for 18 months, and had been made known the same date to all diplomatic agents in Cent. Am. Hond., Gaceta Ojic., Oct. 19, 1849; Uic. ihe corresp. of the govt of Hond. with the Brit. Cor. /*/., Nov. 10, 1849. charge appears in Cent. Am. Correspond., Islade Tirjre, 1-8; Cent. Am., Miscel. Doc., nos. 21, 25, 28; U. S. Govt Doc., Cong. 31, Sess. 2, Sen. Doc. 43, 1-20; //., Cong. 31, Sess. 1, H. Jour., 1739, 1801. 3G JWe., Cor. ht., Jan. 10 and suppl., Feb. 10, 1850. 37 1st. Great Brit, recognized the independ. of Hond. as a sovereign repub lic, pledging her good offices to avert any attempts against that independ. Hond. at this time was a member of a confederacy with Salvador and Nica ragua, and was made to bind herself not to dispose of any portion of her ter ritory before she had definitely settled Brit, claims. 2d. Hond. was to accredit within six months a commissioner in Gnat, to conclude a treaty of friendship, commerce, and navigation with G. Brit. 3d. Hond. recognized the indebted ness of 111,001. 4th. She bound herself to pay that sum in yearly instal ments of $15,000 at Belize. The other articles were of less importance. Salv., Gaceta, Apr. 5, 1850; Hond., Liyeras Observ., 1-10.
t r

FUTILE PROTESTS.

319

never sanction

them. 38

Meanwhile

Honduras had

agreed witli Chatfield to accredit a commissioner to arrange with him for the settlement of British claims. } This was done; and the long and tedious question was finally arranged on the 27th ot March, 1852, Hon 39 duras assuming an indebtedness of $80,000. The debt question was not the only source of dis quietude for Honduras in her relations with Great British officials, on trumped-up pretext^, Britain. usurped and held, during several years, portions of her Donald, superintendent of Belize, occu territory. pied Roatan and other islands belonging to Honduras The Honduran situated in the bay of this name. protested against such usurpation, but no government It does not attention was paid to its remonstrances.

M

appear, however, that

Great Britain was claiming

territorial rights over the Bay Islands, as they were 40 called. Soon afterward, a number of Cayman islanders settled in Roatan, and in the course of a

few years there were about 1,000, when the superin tendent of Belize found a pretext to assume the con In 1849, the islanders applied to Colonel Fantrol. court, then superintendent of Belize, for a regular He promised to comply with their government. wishes, but was unable, and they continued choosing their authorities. At last, in August 1850, the war schooner Bermuda, Lieutenant Jolly commanding, took formal possession of Roatan, Guanaja or Bonaca, Utila, Barbarreta, Morat, Elena, etc., in behalf of the British crown, declaring them a British appendage under the name of Colony of the Bay Islands; against which the acting chief magistrate, William Fitzgib38 Jauregui, March 24, 1850, in a pamphlet issued at Leon, defended his conduct, alleging that he had ample powers. Jtistijic., in Cent. Am. Pampk.,
i.

no.
39

7.

Independent of 1,425 paid for her proportion of Cent. Am. indebted ness to Fiiilay, Hodgson, & Co. of London. HoiuL, Gaceta OJic., Jan. 30, 1853. 40 The British seized Roaban June 3, 1830, driving away the small Central American garrison. Similar attempts have been made since 1743 by British The seizure of 1830 lasted only a short subjects, though unsuccessfully. time, having been disallowed by the British government. Crowe s Gospel, 212; Montufar, Kesena Hist., iii. 4247; iv. 71-5.

320

REPUBLIC OF HONDURAS.

l)on,

name

protested on the 15th of September, 1850, in the 41 of the sovereignty of Honduras. The islands were, in August 1852, under the rule of a lieutenant42

treaty was finally concluded between governor. the queen of Great Britain and Honduras, on the 28th of November, 1859, respecting the Bay Islands, the Mosquito Indians, and the claims of British subjects, which settled the question in favor of the latter 43 Still one more trouble has occurred between power. the two nations, in which the weaker one had to sub mit to the demand of the other at the mouth of her cannon. On the 19th of August, 1873, the war ship
Niobe, Sir

A

Lambton Loraine commanding, bombarded Fort San Fernando of Omoa. 44 The bombardment ceased on the Honduran authorities agreeing to redress 40 With the alleged grievances, and paying damages. other nations of Europe and America excepting the sister states, with which repeated bickerings have occurred, leading sometimes to war Honduras
has
<l

succeeded

in

maintaining

friendly

relations.

46

Whose territorial right is indisputable, he alleged. He based his action on the treaty of April 11), 1850, between the U. S. and Great Britain, under which neulur power was to have colonies or settlements in Central America. The IT. 8. took part in defence of Honduras rights and overthrew the British pretensions. Squier s Cent. Am., u 21-6, 740-8; Democratic 7iVr.
,

xxx. 514
42

r

12.

Trujillo, 13, 1352.

Under a decree of the superintendent of Belize. The comandante of by order of his government, protested against the occupation Sept. Jan. ], Y*l\\. Homl, GacetaOjic., Dec. 15, 1852; El ^ Art. 1. Great Britain recogni/ed the islands to belong to Houd. The Art. 2. The latter pledged herself not to cede them to any other nation. former power recognized as part of Hond. the country till then occupied or possessed by the Mosquito Indians within the frontier of the republic, what ever that frontier might be. La Union deNic., March 9, 1801; Finis Gnte of Further details in connection with the Buy Islands ques{/the Pcic., 412-15.
Si<jlo,

A acion, Nov. 9, .on maybe seen in J3ay Inlands, Queens Warrant, etc.; Dec. 20, 1C50; Diit. Quart. Per., xcix. 270-80; Caicedo, L t. A:n. 70-80. 44 The grounds alleged for this violent action were: lot, That the Brit, vice-consul s residence had been broken into by Hond. troops, and robbed; 2d, That Omoa was sacked by these troops, and goods to the value of HGO,
t
L<i

t

-

COO had been stolen from British, subjects; 3d, That some British subjects had been drafted into the army, and an Englishwoman unjustly imprisoned.
JV>.,

Gaceta, Oct. 25, 1873;

El Porvenir

de,

AVe., Sept. 21, 1873;

A>.,

Scmamd Xic.,

July 2 7, 174.
45 Streber, who commanded the troops accused of these abuses, defends the rights of Honduras in the controversy, i 1 JjXpONic. Doc. Sue. Omoa, 3044, 63-103. 46 She had to settle, in 1850, claims of French citizens, and in 1851 of

PRESIDENT CABALAS.

321

The boundary between Honduras and Nicaragua was
finally
47

agreed upon

in a

convention dated September

]

,

In 1866 the Honduran government entered 1870. into a concordat with the pope for an understanding on
affairs ecclesiastical.

to the presidency for the

President Lindo, having been a third time elected term to begin February 1, on the 25th of November, 1851, a 1852, published manifesto to the people, suggesting the expediency of calling some other citizen to the executive chair, 48 The people pleading at the same time need of rest. took him at his word, and chose Trinidad Cabanas president, who was inducted into office at Comayagua 49 on the 1st of March, 1852, and on the next day in his address to the assembly pledged his word to pur sue a liberal policy in observance of the principles that

had guided him throughout his career. His election was hailed as an auspicious event, and a safeguard 50 The state was against Guatemala s encroachments.
Prussian subjects. Hond., GacetaOfic., Aug. 31, 1850; Jan.
(iactta,
47

15, 1852;

Costa

I!.,

Nov. 10, 1850. Nic. had claimed on the N. E. the river Patuca to its mouth, Hond. claimed the Coco to its mouth. The commissioners agreed upon a compro mise line between those rivers, namely, the summit of the Dilpito Cordillera, from the point where it becomes detached from the main body, which divides the waters running to both oceans; and from the point where it and the line continues eastwaruly to the \vaters of the Atlantic in lat. 15 10 N., and long. 83 15 W. of Greenwich. Nic., Mem. Rel, 1871, 5-7. 48 About this time he was on the Nic. frontier mediating for peace between the belligerents of that state. His efforts proving successful, he was warmly congratulated by his friends on his return. Hond., Gaceta Ojic., Nov. 26, 1851; El tiiylo, Dec. 13, 1851; Cent. Am. Pamph., vii. no. 2. i9 The office had been provis Cabanas, ElPresid...d sus Conciud., 1-0. ionally in charge of Senator Francisco Gomez. El Sirilo, Feb. 21, March 19,
1852.
a Cabanas was of diminutive stature, but of erect mien. He was aged about 50 at this time. His face was pale and mild; his gestures were in keep ing with the intelligent play of his features; his manners gentle, almost womanly, but beneath this placid exterior was a stern, indomitable spirit. After many years of prominence as a leader, during an anarchical period, even his enemies never accused him of selfishness or rancor. Squiers Trav., ii. 177; Well* Hond., 184. Cabanas was a brave soldier, but could not be called a successful general. Perez, a political opponent, speaking of him as the chief of the coquimbo party, says: Mai general, excelente soldado, nunca vencedor, siempre con prestigio, y uno de los mas fogosos promotores de la nacionalidad centro Americana. Mem. Hint. Rev. Nic., 10. The assembly, May 21 1 851, had conferred on him the title of His death soldado ilustre de la patria.
,

HIST. CENT. AM., VOL.

III.

21

I

322

REPUBLIC OF HONDURAS.

and with the other states of Central America, except Guatemala, with which the relations were not harmonious, owing to the usurpa tion by the latter of a portion of Honduran territory on the Copan side. This, with divergence in political principles between the two rulers, soon brought on a 51 bloody war, which has been detailed in a previous
at peace in the interior,
52

chapter.
;

The

fruitlessncss of this contest

prompted

Salvador and Nicaragua to use their endeavors for peace but they proved unavailing. What Guatemala s superior resources failed to accomplish on the field of battle was, however, brought about by means of in
trigue, witJi the cooperation of the party opposed to Cabanas in Honduras, headed by General Santos

Guardiola, which received efficacious aid from Carrera. General Juan Lopez supported the revolutionary movement with 700 men/ 3 and Cabanas was over thrown on the Gthof July, 1855. 4 At last, being unable to cope with the daily increas ing forces of the enemy, lie abandoned the field, and The serviles again took pos retreated to Salvador. 55 The presi session of the government under Lopez. The dential election took place amid this turmoil. state was divided into two factions, one supporting Lindo and the other Guardiola. The friends of Lindo, not feeling certain of success, proposed Lopez as a compromise candidate, he being credited with the
r

occurred Jan. Jan. 29, 1871.
51

8,

1871.

El

Stylo,

June

12,

1851; Nic., Gacetn, Aug. 19, 1851;

Astaburuaga attributes this war to Cabanas attempts to promote an insurrection in Gnat, against his old enemy Carrera. Cent. Am., 70-1. 52 The Guatemalans took the fort and city of Omoa, and carried away all the useful artillery, against the stipulations agreed iipon at the surrender. Well* IJond., 507-8; Gnat., Gaceta, Sept. 16, 23, 1853. 63 This Lopez commanded at Omoa when the place was given up in 1853 to the Guat. Col Zavala, since which he had been suspected of treachery. Wclli Jlond., 515; Coxta R., Gaceta, Jan. 15, 1854; Id., Boletin Ofic., Dec. 30, 1854; Hond., Gaceta Ofic., May 10, 1854, to Feb. 10, 1855, passim; Guat., Gaceta, Nov. 3, Dec. 22, 1854. *He had received no aid from Salv., owing to Carrera having falsely re ported his intention to sell territory to a foreign power. 55 The executive office went, Oct. 14, 1855, into the hands of Vice-president 8. Bueso, who pleading ill health left it in charge of Senator Francisco Aguilar. Guat., Gaceta, Nov. 9, 1855, Feb. 1C, 1850.
f

POLITICAL DESPOTISM.

323

expulsion of Cabanas, but finally abandoned the plan and cast their votes for Guardiola, who assumed the executive office, February 17, 1856, on his return from Nicaragua, where he had been defeated by William Walker Lindo had meantime been in charge
of the government.
56

A system of despotism was now

established, Guardiola being but a satellite of Carrer^. The country at this time was in a distressed condi
tion.

57

Agriculture was neglected, most of the field hands having emigrated. Business of all kinds was There was no available revenue, for at a stand-still. one of its branches was burdened with debt. every The state had a contingent of troops serving in Nica ragua against Walker, supported from a special forced To the credit of Guardiola s administration must loan. be recorded, however, that it secured peace with Gua temala, and a settlement of questions pending with Great Britain. At the end of his term he was rePerez, Mem. Hist. Campaiia Nac., 13. Guardiola was a dark-colored, stout-built, and rather corpulent zambo, a but popular with his soldiers, whom he indulged in every way. He possessed all the vices and was guilty of about all the crimes known to man. When in his cups he would order men to be^shot by way of At the mention of his approach to a town, the inhabitants would pastime. nee to the woods. He was the tiger of Cent. Am. Dunlop s Cent. Am., 237; Wells Homl, 517; Wappiim, Her. und Cent. Am., 306-7. William V. Wells, Explorations and Adventures in Honduras, New York, 8vo, 588 pp., with maps and illustrations, went to Honduras with the object of obtaining from her government leave to work gold placers, and of opening commercial relations. He visited several places, both in Nicaragua and Honduras, which he de scribes quite accurately, together with the manners and customs of their inhabitants. His information on mines and mining is valuable. There are in the work three chapters devoted to history from 1821 to 1857, the ground work of which is mostly from other authors, and one chapter is filled with data on commerce, revenue, debt, etc., and still another treats of coins and Ihe currency, weights and measures, and productions, with illustrations. Portions are evidently style is good, the work readable and instructive. taken from Squier, and the illustrations are mostly identical with those of Squier s States of Central America. The same author gave to the press in^New York, a 12mo, with 316pp., map and portrait, under the title of Walker s Expedition to Nicaragua. This work, as the title implies, is almost entirely devoted to Walker s career in this country, which is justified as well as Here and there he mentions some historical facts on British preten praised. sions in Mosquito, a short resume on Nicaragua, the Nicaragua transit route, and a short review on colonization, commerce, and mining, compiled from several sources. There is no system or arrangement, having been, as the author alleges, written, published, and put in circulation in twenty days, a feat few authors would go out of their way to boast of. But taken all in all, the book is well worth perusing.
57

56

man

of fiendish instincts,

3-24

REPUBLIC OF HONDURAS.

Early in 1861 the government had a differ The see being then ence with the vicario capitular. this ecclesiastic assumed the right of excom vacant, municating the president, whom he accused of perse cuting the church; but the government forbade the publication of his decree, and expelled its author from 58 This difficulty \vas subsequently arranged the state. the metropolitan of Guatemala. Disturbances through 59 occurred at various places, which were brought to an (iid in a short time. On the llth of January, 1862, 60 the president was assassinated. At first it was feared that discord would reiini a^ain. and the other Central American governments prepared to mediate in the 61 interests of peace. Fortunately, good counsels pre vailed, and anarchical tendencies were for a time checked. Guardiola s constitutional successor, Victoriano Caselected.

tellanos,

was in Salvador, and much against his was pushed by Barrios to accept the position.

will

He

repaired to the frontier, and had the oath of office administered to him by the alcalde of the little town of Guarita; which was considered a strange proceed

ing on his part by Senator Jose Maria Medina, who had received the executive office from J. F. Monies, 6 and invited him to the capital to enter upon his
2

offensive

Castellanos concluded soon after an alliance and defensive with Barrios, and at a time when their states were at peace with the other gov ernments of Central America. This step, and the diatribes of the press in Salvador and Honduras
duties.
58 09 60

63

of Jan. 5, 1861. La Union tie Nic., Feb. 2, March 9, May 25, 1861. Chiefly in Nacaome and Choluteca. This deed was said by the Ale., Bolctin Ofic., Jan. 25, March 22, 1862. enemies of Pres. Barrios of Salv. to have been instigated by him. Id., Bolet/n There was no ground for the charge. The govern rtu-h., July 11, 1803. ment of Gnat, proposed to other states to recognize no administration of Hon duras until the criminals, who had been arrested, should suffer punishment.

Decree

Informe Eel, 1802, 24. Nic. despatched P. Zeledon as mediator, but the motives of his gov. were bitterly denounced by the press of Comayagua. 62 Feb. 4, 1802. Nic., Bolctin Ojic. March 22, 1862. 63 Castellanos declined going to the capital, and Medina went to his resi dence and formally surrendered the executive authority to him.
(

ottta
61

/<*.,

,

BRIEF REIGNS.

325

against the governments of Guatemala and Nicaragua, paved the way for fresh troubles in Central America. Castellanos held the government about ten months, nearly all the time in a turmoil ; and at his death was

temporarily succeeded by Jose Francisco Montes, who followed in the footsteps of his predecessor, con tinuing the alliance with Barrios, and hostilities against

Guatemala and Nicaragua. The serviles, assisted by the troops of these two states, being victorious, over threw him, and on the 21st of June, 1863, placed at the head of affairs, as provisional president of the republic of Honduras, the senior senator, Jose Maria 64 Medina, who issued a decree of outlawry against 65 Montes. In December the capital was for a time transferred to Gracias, and on the last day of the same month Medina surrendered the executive office 66 to Francisco Inestroza. On the loth of February of the following year, the presidential election took place, and Medina and Florencio Xatruch appeared to have obtained the popular suffrages, the former 67 for president and the latter for vice-president. Disturbances at Olancho were with little difficulty brought to an end, the rebels being defeated at Tapescos. constituent assembly was convoked and met to reform the constitution, which was done on the 19th of September. 63 On the 29th of October, the constit

A

uent assembly just prior to adjournment appointed
64 This was the result of the defeat of the troops of Salv. and Hond. by the forces of Guat. and Nic. on the plain of Santa Rosa. 65 This decree is signed by Medina as presidente de la reptiblica de Hon duras, July 20, and rescinded Sept. 8, 1863. Ale., Boktin Pueb., Aug. 9, Oct.

9, 1863.
66
67

The

His senatorial term having expired. Nic., Gaceta, Feb. 13, 1864. election of Xatruch was afterward declared unconstitutional, Feb.

26, 1865. Nk., Gaceta, April 1, 1865. 68 Its sittings lasted from Sept. 7th to Oct. 29th. The sovereignty of the people was recognized. The catholic, any other kind of public worship being forbidden, was declared the state religion. The executive authority was vested in a president for four years, with a council of state consisting of his two ministers, one senator chosen by both houses of the assembly, and the chief justice. The legislative power rested in a senate and house of

deputies.
Id.,

The

Nov.

11, 1865;

existing political division of the republic was left unchanged. Camp s Year- Book, 1869, 527; The Am. Cyclop., viii. 790.

326

REPUBLIC OF HONDURAS.
69

provisional president, the date for the elec tion of the constitutional one being fixed on the 1st of December. Another decree of the same date

Medina

granted a full amnesty for all mitted since February 4, 1848.
69

political offences

com

He had

temporarily, pleading

ill

of Crescencio

Gomez.

Saturnine Bogran, C.

The assembly appointed, as Gomez, and Francisco Medina.

health, left the executive in the hands substitutes of Medina,