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View of part of the shipping in Colon-Panama.
Isthmian-American 4 PRR News Agency & Advertising Bureau. A Bienkowski
Patterson did not give up his plan without a further effort, and endeavored to plant another colony, this time on the Pacific Ocean and away from Panama, but acting under orders from Spain, Lieut. General D. Juan Diaz Pimiento, Captain-General of the province, took the necessary steps to prevent it.
TROUBLE WITH INDIANS, 1710-90.
The period from 1710 to 1790 was principally marked by frequent battles between the Spaniards and the Indian tribes of the Darien. Early in the century, Catholic missionaries from Spain founded several places in this region, but in 1719 the savages rose and destroyed them all. In 1740, Lieut. General D. Dionisio Martinez de la Vega entered into a treaty of peace with the Indians, and soon after the Viceroy of Santa Fe, Don Sebastian de Eslava, and the Governor of Panama, acting in conjunction sent out four Jesuit priests, two to the north, and two to the south, in the Darien region, and these founded Yaviza, a town located on the Chucunaque River, the largest affluent of the Tuira, or Tuyra, the principal river in the Darien emptying into the Pacific. Yaviza to-day is an outpost on the forbidden frontier of the Darien Indians. To this point travelers can go with safety, but a further journey inland would be exceedingly risky. Although Yaviza is located fifty miles or so from the coast, tide water does not end for several miles past the town.
Notwithstanding the efforts of the Jesuit priests to obtain a foothold in this region, it was not long after before the Indians planned an uprising and the missionaries had to flee for their lives. In 1784, forts were established
on the Sabana, Chucunaque and Tuira Rivers; also on the coast of the Gulf of San Miguel, but six years later upon conclusion of another treaty with the Indian chiefs, these were abandoned. Since then the Indian tribes of that region have been more or less independent, the Government of Colombia having exercised only a nominal rule over them. The Republic of Panama to date has also been content to leave them to their own devices. On one occasion the Colombian Government sent a force of 500 men against them, but this expedition was defeated.
The only other incident in Isthmian history during the eighteenth century worth relating, was the landing of a band of desperadoes and cutthroats on the Caribbean coast, near Porto Bello, made up of the scum of several nations, These at once commenced assaulting and robbing wherever possible, and finally crossed the Isthmus to the Pacific, where they were hunted down and scattered. Some were taken to Cartagena and executed; others died at the hands of the Indians, and still others sought refuge in the caves of San Blas, where they subsisted by fishing. A few of these later started plantations, but they were a restless lot ever keen for desperate deeds, and they soon got into trouble with the Indians who rose against them in 1758, and killed ninety of them. The rest left the country immediately after.
INDEPENDENCE FROM SPAIN, 1821.
The provinces of Panama and Veraguas that posed the Isthmus from 1719 to 1821, and which formed a part of the Virreinate of Santa Fé, were among the last to be emancipated from the power of Spain, despite
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the fact that the decisive battle of Royacá, which made an end forever to Spanish dominion in Colombia, had been fought and won by Simon Bolivar over two years before, namely, August 7, 1819. This was due to the large armed force maintained by Spain on the Isthmus. The forts of San Lorenzo and Porto Bello were well garrisoned, while the city of Panama was at all times kept in a state of perfect defence.
To the little town of Los Santos, capital of the province bearing the same name, belongs the honor of making the first open manifestation for liberty, and this was brought about in the following way: In 1819, a small club was formed in Panama, consisting of influential citizens, for the purpose of carrying on a secret revolutionary propaganda. Agents were sent to the interior towns. to organize other societies for the fomenting of a revolutionary sentiment among the population. The little society at Los Santos became so enthusiastic that it boiled over, and
One day the members turned out en masse public demonstration in favor of freedom.
and made a
Early in 1821, Gen. Juan de la Cruz Murgeon rived at Panama, having been appointed by the Spanish Government to the post of Captain-General and President of Quito. He was further promised the post of Viceroy of Santa Fé, if he could recover control of two-thirds of the Virreinate. This he very soon saw was impossible, and on October 22nd of the same year embarked for Quito to exercise his title of President, leaving in command of the provinces on the Isthmus, Lieut.-Col. José de Fábrega, whom he then promoted to the grade, of Colonel.
Col. Fábrega was Isthmian born, and when he saw that he was to be the arbiter of the fate of the Isthmus, he resolved to throw in his lot with his liberty-aspiring Countrymen. Thereupon, a general meeting of all the civic corporations, military and church organizations in Panama was called, and on November 28, 1821, before a large and enthusiastic crowd, the independence of the Isthmus from Spanish mis-rule became an accomplished fact. Fábrega himself, was an interested spectator of this
Some of the Spanish troops still remaining loyal to the Crown, debated amongst themselves their future course of procedure, but realizing the helplessness of their position, without a commander, with enemies on every hand, and without hope of reinforcements,, they decided prudence. the better part of valor, and laid down their arms. was independence gained without the shedding of a drop of blood. Isthmian history came near to repeating itself eighty-two years later when the independence of the RePublic of Panama was attained, with the loss of but one life, that of a Chinaman.
The same year that the Isthmus threw off the yoke of Spain, Simon Bolivar termed "The Liberator" sent over a force under Gen. Montilla from Cartagena to assist the local patriots, but upon their arrival found that the