Obrázky stránek

ment, overlooked Santa Cruz, and got themselves confirmed, the former as President, the latter as Vice-President of Peru. This is the secret and chief cause of the great animosity and personal hatred which existed between Gamarra and Santa Cruz, and which has led to several years of revolutions and counter-revolutions in Peru, as well as to the wars of Bolivia. In 1829, Gamarra was elected President for four years, and is the only chief magistrate who has retained his office to the end of the term for which he was chosen. Lafuente was at the same time elected Vice-President. During the administration of Gamarra, there were several attempts to revolutionize the country, but they were suppressed. In the year 1831, Gamarra being on the frontiers of Bolivia, with the army, he became suspicious that Lafuente was concerned in some of the movements, and gave orders to seize him. Lafuente had little notice of it, but when the party detached for the purpose arrived at his quarters at night, Señora Lafuente, his wife, bolted the door, to give time for her husband to escape. The officer in command, before going to the apartment, had stationed guards around the square, with orders to shoot any one whom they saw escaping. On arriving at the door of the chamber, he found it bolted, and ordered it to be opened. This was done by Señora Lafuente, after her husband had effected his escape through the window. The officer, eager in pursuit, followed, but mistaking the course of flight, got upon the roofs of the houses, where he was seen by his own soldiers, who, true to their orders, fired and shot him dead. Lafuente, thus saved by the good management of his wife, escaped to Callao, where he found an asylum on board the United States ship St. Louis, then lying in the roads. Thence he went to Chili, and from Chili to Bolivia, where he became reconciled to Santa Cruz, and endeavoured to obtain aid from him to overthrow Gamarra. Another conspiracy is said to have been discovered by Gamarra in 1832, in which Major Rosel was suspected of being the leader. He was then commander of a regiment, and the plot was believed to involve the seizure of the President's person. Some colour is supposed to have been given to this suspicion by the fact that Rosel drilled his men at an unusual hour, and apparently kept them in readiness for active duty. On the 18th of January, while at his quarters in the evening, he was seized, disarmed, tried on the spot, and shot on the following morning. It is believed that this, as well as many other supposed conspiracies, existed only in Gamarra's own fears or suspicions. The summary manner, however, in which he treated all who showed any thing approaching a rebellious spirit, kept the disaffected in subjection. Among other persons, his suspicions fell upon the President of the Senate and acting Vice-President, Manuel Telluria, who was seized, carried to Callao, forced on board a small vessel of war, and transported to Panama. In July, 1833, just at the close of Gamarra's term of office, the convention which had been provided for by the Constitution of 1828, was convoked to meet at Lima, there to amend the constitution. It was still in session when his term expired, on the 20th December, 1833. On the 19th he sent in his resignation to the National Convention, and issued an address to the people, announcing that the wished-for day had arrived when he could retire to private life. This was well known to be insincere, for while he was making these protestations, he was doing everything in his power to secure his re-election. Gamarra had become extremely unpopular, and throughout the country was accused of injustice and tyranny. News of revolts were reaching the capital (Lima) every day, both from the north and south: only a short time before his term expired, he had gone south, to quell one at Ayacucho. At the time of the expiration of his term of office, the electoral college for the choice of a president had not met, in consequence of some informality in the election of its members; and as no constitutional election could be obtained, the Convention, with the sanction of Gamarra, balloted for a provisional president, until the election should take place, and the choice fell upon General Don Luiz Orbejoso, in opposition to Bermudez, who was a creature of Gamarra's, Gamarra himself, by the constitution, not being re-eligible. Soon after Orbejoso was elected, Bermudez, instigated and aided by Gamarra, on a plea of the unconstitutionality of the election, effected a revolution in Lima. This took place on the 18th of January, 1834, when the Convention was dispersed at the point of the bayonet; many lives were lost, and Orbejoso fled to the castle of Callao. The people of Lima on this occasion showed some spirit, and took part in the affray, which was quite unlooked for, as they had generally been in the habit of retiring to their houses, and allowing the contending parties to settle the strife. In a few days they rose upon the soldiers of Bermudez, whom they compelled to evacuate the city and retire beyond the mountains, where they soon after capitulated, and Orbejoso's authority was re-established. Gamarra fled to Bolivia, and was protected by Santa Cruz. During this insurrection, Lafuente again returned to Peru, and, being detected or suspected of intriguing to get himself named President, was banished by Orbejoso. He retired to Chili to await events. In February, 1835, during Orbejoso's absence to the south, General Salaverry, who was in command of the Castle of Callao, revolted, seized upon the government, and declared himself Supreme Chief. In June, he issued a decree appointing a council of state, consisting of twenty-four members, of which he was president, and began to exercise the most despotic authority. Orbejoso had, in the mean time, sent to demand aid of Santa Cruz to suppress the insurrection. The council of government had, during the previous rebellion of Bermudez, invested Orbejoso with extraordinary powers, especially authorizing him to call upon Santa Cruz, President of Bolivia, for aid to quell the insurrection in Peru; but Bermudez had capitulated before Santa Cruz was called upon to act. After the rebellion of Salaverry, Orbejoso assumed those powers. In the mean time, Salaverry continued his acts of cruelty and oppression. Gamarra, always on the watch, now made his appearance, in the hopes of again raising himself to power. He had fled from Bolivia, and had collected about fifteen hundred men, to make war upon Orbejoso, when he issued a proclamation in May, 1835. Salaverry, however, knowing that Gamarra was entirely influenced by interested motives, declared him an outlaw, and prepared to march against him; but on learning that Santa Cruz was marching on Peru with three thousand Bolivian troops, he immediately treated with Gamarra, and they agreed to act together against Orbejoso and his new ally. Before they could unite their forces, Santa Cruz attacked and completely routed Gamarra's troops: he fled almost alone to Lima, where Salaverry soon after arrested him and sent him to Central America, whence he proceeded to Chili, to carry on his intrigues to keep Peru in a state of civil war. Salaverry now marched against Santa Cruz; they met near Arequipa, and the battle of Socabaya was fought, where Salaverry was completely defeated, and taken prisoner while attempting to gain his vessels at Islay. He was immediately tried by a military commission, and with his principal officers shot at Arequipa. The career of Salaverry was short, but unexampled in Peru for its activity and energy. His fate excited no sympathy, for he had committed some of the most barbarous acts, executing persons without trial, upon the slightest suspicion of being disaffected to his authority. Orbejoso, on being reinstated by the aid of Santa Cruz, and the levolt suppressed, called an assembly of the deputies at the town of Sicuani, and set about punishing all who had taken part or served in any manner during the rebellion of Salaverry. The nullification of the treaty with Chili is said to have been brought about by the advice of Gavia del Rio, who was supposed to be somewhat under the influence of Santa Cruz. He made use of the vot. i. Z 37

argument, that it contained stipulations injurious to, and contrary to the true policy of Peru, which was to endeavour to promote a free intercourse with all nations, a policy which outweighed all the advantages that could be derived from the treaty with Chili. In 1836, General Herrera was received as ambassador from Bolivia by Orbejoso, and with General Moran, who commanded the troops, seems to have exerted a great influence over Orbejoso. He entered into an offensive and defensive alliance with Bolivia, which gave all the ascendency to Bolivia, or rather to Santa Cruz, engaging that the Bolivian army should remain in Peru until peace should be established at the north. From this it was evident that Peru was ruled by strangers, and her interests were forgotten. The people, therefore, soon became dissatisfied with the administration of Orbejoso, and when he ordered a new election of deputies, they in many of the towns refused to vote, believing that his real object was to secure himself a re-elec. tion by the Assembly. He dismembered the eight provinces of Peru, by declaring that foul of them should be known hereafter under the name of South Peru, composed of the departments of Arequipa, Ayacucho, Cusco, and Puno. Nothing can be more absurd than the way in which he seems to have conducted the government, and the bombastic and foolish tone of his decrees, wherein he is styled, or styles himself, “Citizen, Don Louis Orbejoso, Great Hero and meritorious General of Divisions, and Grand Marshal of the State of South Peru.” The Assembly of Sicuani met on the 17th March, when it conferred upon Santa Cruz the title of Supreme Protector of South Peru, consisting of the four above mentioned provinces of Arequipa, Cusco, Ayacucho, and Puno. At the same time, every power was given him over the state, as well as the right to convene a legislature as soon as he should think proper. This was virtually extending his power over the half of Peru next bordering on Bolivia, and was the first step towards making him head of both states. The Assembly likewise bestowed great encomiums on the Bolivian army, awarding to them medals and thanks. On Santa Cruz it conferred the title of Invincible Pacificator of Peru; voted that an equestrian statue of him should be erected on the field of Socabaya, and that his portrait should be hung up in their hall, and in all the tribunals and public offices of the republic. The next act was to appoint a committee to wait upon Santa Cruz, to present him with the declaration of independence, and to invest him with the Supreme Protectorate, awarding to him like wise

a salary of thirty thousand dollars a year for the expenses of his exalted situation.

On the 19th, the Assembly approved of the treaty entered into between Orbejoso and Santa Cruz.

The Assembly of Sicuani was but four days in session; and its whole object seems to have been to confer titles and honours on Santa Cruz, instead of looking into the affairs of the state. This must strike any one as having been a ridiculous farce; and it cannot be a matter of surprise that the South Americans should rather be retrograding than advancing, when we look upon acts like these.

On the 3d August, 1836, the Convention of Huara (which had been previously summoned) met. After being organized, it received messages from the provisional President, and the Supreme Protector by his plenipotentiary, who submitted three projects for an organic law for the purpose of uniting Peru and Bolivia under one head. It proposed to form them into the three federative states of Bolivia, North and South Peru, each to have a president, and all to be under the Supreme Protector, who was named for life. The chief difficulty the Convention had to overcome was, whether a successor to the Protector, in case of his death or infirmity, should be named, and whether Orbejoso should be the party. During the pendency of this question, Orbejoso sent word to the Assembly, through the minister, that they might desist from the considering him as a candidate to succeed the Protector. This great difficulty hawng been thus removed, the organic law was passed, organizing the four remaining provinces under the title of North Peru. At the same time, the act that had been passed by the Convention at Sicuani, establishing the state of South Peru, was confirmed. At this session, Orbejoso was made a grand marshal, the pay of that rank was voted to him, and also a clasp for a sword-belt set with diamonds, with one hundred thousand dollars in money. A monument to Santa Cruz in one of the Alamedas in Lima was provided for, with a gold sword inlaid with diamonds, and one hundred thousand dollars to his wife as pin-money. This convention was only in session three days. It may well be imagined what the people of Lima thought of these acts, by the fact that on the 13th August, Orbejoso returned to Lima, without receiving any attentions whatever. Orbejoso had previous to this time adopted the novel plan of chartering (aumdamiento) the government vessels of war, considering they had no longer any use for them; General Freyre, the former director of Chili, who it has been mentioned was banished from that country, and was residing in Lima, engaged the two frigates for the purpose of making a descent on Chili. All the Chilians who had been banished, united with him, and it is believed that Orbejoso favoured and aided the project by money as

« PředchozíPokračovat »