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but he replied that this was under my charge entirely, as I was the one that attended to the supplying of the government by the company."
Gen. Huertas Casts in his Lot.
On the return of Dr. Amaclor from New York, preparations were at once set under way for the crucial period. It was deemed advisable to inform the people of the impending event, and Gen. Domingo Diaz, Dr. Eusebio A. Morales, Don Carlos Clement, and Don Pedro A. Diaz were selected for this mission. Gen. Diaz was appointed in charge of the day fixed for the breaking of relations. The date set was November 4, but as has been previously stated, the news of the despatch of troops from Cartagena induced the junta to advance it a day.
6 Before we knew that it was necessary to prepare at all points," writes Don Arango, "we found occasion to talk with Gen. Huertas, chief of the troops of the garrison. He expressed himself that whether in the position he occupied, or out of it, he was a Panamanian at heart, and was with us. We told him that we did not want to him separated from the command of the Battalion, etc., but knew that the many years he had been among us had gained for him our consideration and affection. Afterwards we had many confidential conversations relative as to what was best to do in executing the secession movement."
"Owing to the foresight of Col. Shaler, the troops comprising the Colombian battalion “Tiradores” from Cartagena were left at Colon, and that he could not say the day he could furnish a special train to bring them over to Panama." The officers of the battalion, Gens. Tovar and Amaya, came over on the forenoon of the 3d. to take command of the Panama garrison.
“We had fixed the hour of 5 p. m.' writes Don Arango, " as the time to imprison the officers, but General Huertas thought it better to postpone this step until 8 p. m.,
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at which time a serenade would be given in front of where they were lodged. Dr. Amador sent my son to advise Gen. Domingo Diaz that the hour had been changed, and found him at the head of the people in Santa Ana Plaza. This chief answered through his brother Pedro Diaz that by no means ought we to postpone the arrest, and advising that he would put himself at the head of the populace and march to the Cuartel. With great foresight General Huertas who knew that the affability which the officers had shown him since their arrival was but covering a tempest that might at any moment burst over his head, solved to end the suspense, and ordered Capt. Marcos A. Salazar to put himself at the head of thirty men and imprison the generals. This was quickly accomplished in the presence of Gen. Huertas himself."
6 Later Governor Obaldia was also arrested and conducted to the police station. From there, accompanied by Commander Valdes, and Col. J. A. Arango, he was escorted to the home of Dr. Amador Guerrero, his friend, and left there as a prisoner.”
Gen. Tovar's Arrival in Panama.
Writing of Gen. Tovar's reception in Panama, the Colon Starlet of December 17, 1903, said:
"He was received by the garrison with the Colombian standard, the military band, and the populace. As the General drove through the streets, there was not lacking any evidence of the best of intentions on the part of the people. But the separatist plot had reached a very striking point by the very presence of the General. It was to nip in the bud, if possible, the secession, that the General had been hurried to the Isthmus, with the first contingent of troops. It was supposed that the Republic would have been declared on the 28th of November amidst the festivities, so the General thought himself in the enemy's camp, and that any attempt at a revolution could be easily crushed. But before the sun had gone down that evening behind the silent sentinel of Mount Ancon, Colombia's rule on the Isthmus had forever ceased. Tovar who had been welcomed that morning under the Colombian flag amid strains of the national hymn of his country, was in the evening a prisoner under the flag of Panama. No wonder that bitter remorse filled his breast as he reflected on the 500 troops he had left behind him at Colon. But whether he had gone overto Panama or not, or whether he had had his troops with him, Colombia must have had to lose Panama, even though there was a sacrifice of blood.”
The "Bogotá” Pays Its Compliments.
At 8 p. m., about three hours after the imprisonment of the generals, the Paymaster of the Bogota, who had assumed temporary command of that boat, by official note advised the Chief of Police that unless the generals were set at liberty inside of two hours from that time he would proceed to shell the city. No attention being paid to the
demand, at the expiration of the time mentioned, he commenced firing. The battery on the Boredas replied at once, and the Bogota retired hastily after firing but two shots, one killing a Chinaman, the only casualty in the entire revolution. The Ch.na..n vas struck while walking along Salsipuedes Street and immediately ceased to take an interest in earthly things. The ball that killed him is now in the possesssion of Mr. H. G. Prescott, having been presented to him by the Minister of War of the Provisional Government.
“Without Hatred and Without Joy.
The manifesto issued by the provisional junta on the eve of separation recites the reasons for the act in the following language:
The transcendental act which by a spontaneous movement the inhabitants of the Isthmus of Panama have just executed is the inevitable consequence of a situation which has become graver daily.
Long is the recital of the grievances that the inhabitants of the Isthmus have suffered from their Colombian brothers, but these grievances would have been withstood with resignation for the sake of harmony and national union, had its separation been possible, and if we could have entertained well founded hopes of improvement and of effective progress under the system to which we were subjected by that Republic. We have to solemnly declare that we have the sincere and profound conviction that all hopes were futile, and all the sacrifices on part useless.
The Isthmus of Panama has been governed by the Republic of Colombia with the narrow-mindedness that in transpore was applied to their colonies by the European nations; the Isthmian people and territory was a source of fiscal resources and nothing
The contracts ..nd negotiations regarding the railroad and the Panama Canal, and the national taxes collected on the Isth
mus have netted to Colombia tremendous sums which we will not detail, not wishing to appear in this exposition which will go down to posterity, as being moved by a mercenary spirit, which never has been, nor is now our purpose. Of these large sums the Isthmus has not received the benefit of a bridge for any of its numerous rivers, nor the construction of a single road between its towns; or a public building, or a single college, and has neither seen any interest displayed in advancing its industries, nor has the most infinite part of those sums ever been applied towards its prosperity.
A very recent example of what we have related above is what has occurred with the negotiations of the Panama Canal which, when taken under consideration by Congress was rejected in a summary manner. There were a few public men who expressed their adverse opinion on the ground that the Isthmus of Panama alone was to be favored by the opening of the cana! by virtue of a treaty with the United States, and that the rest of Colombia would not receive any direct benefits of any sort by that work, as if that way of reasoning, even though it were correct, would justify the irreparable and perpetual damage which would be caused to the Isthmus by the rejection of the treaty in the manner in which it was done, which was equivalent to closing the doors to future negotiations.
The people of the Isthmus in view of such notorious causes have decided to recover their sovereignty, and begin to form a part of the society of the free and independent nations, in order to work out its own destiny, to insure its future in a stable manner and discharge the duties which it is called to do by the situation of its territory and its immense wealth.
To that, we the initiators of the movement effected aspire, and have obtained an unanimous approval.
We aspire to the formation of a true republic where tolerance will prevail, where the law should be the invariable guide of those governing, and of those governed; where effective peace be established which consists in the free and harmonious play of all interests and all activities, and where finally, civilization and progress will find perpetual stability.
At the commencement of the life of an independent nation, wo fully appreciate the responsibilities that State means, but