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resistance that it turned back. Drake returned up the coast from the mouth of the Chagres, and at the entrance to Porto Bello (February 7, 1597) died. The planned attack on Panama was abandoned.
On February 7, 1602, William Parker, English, made a raid on Porto Bello and got away with 10,000 ducats of gold and considerable personal property.
Unsuccessful attempts against Panama were made by the pirate Francis L'Olonnais (French) in 1650, but he was
killed while crossing Darien, and by MansPirates- velt (English), who planned first to reduce Morgan and Nata. Toward the close of June, 1668, Henry Others. Morgan and a band of English and French
pirates, took Porto Bello and carried away considerable treasure. On January 6, 1671 he took Fort San Lorenzo at the mouth of the Chagres, and moved thence up the river to Cruces, whence he went overland to Panama and took that city. His raid is referred to under the respective headings, Porto Bello (page 190), Fort San Lorenzo (page 197), and Old Panama (page 179). In 1675, La Sonda (French) attacked Chepo, but was repulsed. In 1678, Burnano (French) captured and sacked Chepo. In 1679, La Sonda and Coxon (English) raided Porto Bello. In the following year Coxon crossed the Darien and from canoes captured some ships off the Pearl Islands. He cruised about the bay, making reprisals on vessels and isolated settlements; and captured Remedios on March 25, but was too weak to attempt Panama. In 1685 Henry Harris duplicated Coxon's journey, and for several weeks worried commerce in Panama Bay. He destroyed Chepo. In the Pearl Islands, on May 28, 1685, he was defeated by Spanish war ships and driven away. In January, 1686, a band of English and French pirates destroyed Alanje in Chiriqui. In June of the same year, Townley, an English captain, captured Los Santos, and procured a large amount of booty. On November 24, 1686, San Lorenzo (Chiriqui) was captured and burned. In 1703, pirates surprised and captured Porto Bello, robbing the inhabitants. In the same year John Raasch with a band of English and cimarrones made an incursion into the Darien region and captured Santa Cruz de Cana in the midst of the mining region. Pirates all through this period hung about the Caribbean coast of the isthmus and waylaid vessels making for Porto Bello, both from the mouth of the Chagres and in the ocean trade.
Not properly in the class of privateers or pirates was Edward Vernon, an Admiral in the English Navy, who made
attacks upon the Spanish dominions in the Vernon's Cam- West Indies and along the Caribbean during paign-Fail- the war between England and Spain (1738– ure to take 1743). Yet his work contributed to the same Panama. end as that of the illegal sea captains; namely,
the driving of commerce from Panama. On November 22, 1739, he appeared off Porto Bello with a strong fleet. During the interval of peace with England the Spanish Governor of Terra Firma had allowed the defenses of the place to become weak, so that Vernon captured the town without much resistance. On March 24, 1740, he took Fort San Lorenzo, and on April 25, 1742, again attacked and took Porto Bello, which he held until June 11. The plan was to join with Admiral Anson, who had sailed around South America, in an attack on Panama from both sides, the latter from the Bay of Panama, and Vernon by land from the rear. The plan miscarried. Vernon's troops sent out towards Panama met everywhere with such stout resistance that they were unable to gain headway. Anson did not arrive to begin the siege; so Vernon evacuated Porto Bello.
In 1741, Vernon attacked Cartagena with a powerful fleet and landing force, and met with the most complete repulse ever given an English fleet on the Spanish Main.
It has been said that both the Spanish and their European enemies on the Spanish Main and in the West Indies
were essentially pirates, since they were actuContraband ated by the same idea, that of becoming rich Trade without working. The broad difference that
is supposed to have existed between Drake and Morgan, and Morgan and the contrabandists of the eighteenth century, is almost purely legal. Drake had letters of marque, Morgan had none; yet both were honored by knighthood. The contrabandists who drove a flourishing trade in Panama lacked the strength to take cities, but they were essentially in the same business as Drake and Morgan; namely, that of evading the trade restrictions placed upon commerce by the Spanish crown.
The contraband trade was popular in Panama, where the King's tax on commerce was heavily felt. Indeed there are many evidences that officials as well as the people connived at it. Jamaica was the West Indian depot, and from there ships put out for the north coast of the isthmus, landing their cargo at the mouth of the Cocle, Veraguas, or other rivers, whence it was packed across on mules to Nata, and thence to the Pacific, a total distance of about 45 miles. A determined effort was made in 1743–1749 to put down this trade. In retaliation, William Kinghills sailed into Porto Bello harbor on August 2, 1744, with a fleet of 40 armed merchantmen under guise of friendliness, for the pècple were just as sorry as he was that the contraband trade was suffering. Once inside, he turned his guns on the city and after doing great damage sailed away.
The war against the contrabandists ended with the taking of their stronghold, Nata, on November 16, 1746, and the hunting down of the chiefs, who were drawn and quartered and their heads exhibited in the plazas of the principal towns in the region. This broke up the illegal trade.
The war on commerce by way of Panama began about 1550, and was waged unceasingly for two hundred years. This
was the principal reason why the route was Desertion of abandoned. But there had been a general dethe Panama. crease in the trade for a century before the Trade Route. abandonment; it had passed its height before
Morgan captured Panama. The main source of wealth, the gold of the Incas, was soon exhausted, and it was more difficult to mine gold than to steal it. The increase in the power of England made it impossible for the Spaniards to maintain their pretense of trade monopoly in the West Indies. In 1655, the Island of Jamaica became an English colony, right in the heart of the Spanish colonial domain. Real industry had never flourished on the isthmus; there was little agriculture, little manufacture; the people lived by trade. When that trade was ended, the country rapidly diminished in importance. Of the abandonment of the Panama route, and its consequences, Sosa and Arce say:
“Peace with England having been signed, and the route by Cape Horn having become frequented by the seaborn trade of Spain with her colonies, the commerce of the galleons by way of the isthmus ceased. This determined the ruin of Porto Bello; began the decadence of Panama, and of other towns in the territory that had lived the unstable lives of traders at the annual fairs, as carriers of merchandise, and as longshoremen. The last of the galleons that sailed from Callao towards the close of 1739 found upon its arrival at Panama that the fleet of Vernon was besieging Porto Bello. It went back with the treasure to Guayaquil, and carried on its business with the Spanish fleet at Cartagena by way of the long and dangerous route from Quito to Bogotá. Trading after this time was carried on by way
of the Cape, considered more easy and less expensive by the mer. chants of Perú and the neighboring colonies.
In the six years—1749-1755—was witnessed the visible decadence of the country when, in contrast with the commercial activity of former times, there came a period of business retrenchment, during which there ensued the exodus from the country of many persons who had lived by means of business derived from the carrying of European merchandise and colonial treasure and products between the ports of the isthmus. After the squadrons of galleons adopted the way around Cape Horn, there arrived at the port of Panama from Pacific-Coast ports scarcely ten or twelve ships a year, and at Porto Bello from Spain and the ports of the West Indies, about the same number in the same length of time. Under these conditions the annual royal taxes did not exceed one hundred thousand dollars, a sum insufficient to meet the urgent necessities of the public service. The prostration of business had reached such a state that in the whole country there did not remain a person who had fifty thousand dollars capital, after the great fortunes of the former epoch had left in search of new fields for investment."
From Decadence to Renascence (1750-1903.)
The milestones in this period are the independence from Spain (1821), the completion of the Panama Railroad, (1855), and the construction of the Panama Canal (1881 to 1914). The first seventy years were quiet ones, in which good officials administered the affairs of the provinces of the Isthmus with forbearance and wisdom, and yet years in which Panama, Porto Bello, and the places nearby were prostrate, because of the abandonment of the trade route. The following ninety years were vexed with internal strife, and Panama garnered in bitterness all of the fruits of its industrial incompetence, its lack of ethnic unity, and its dependence on others for government and protection.
The Audience of Panama was abolished by decree of June 20, 1751, and Terra Firma, as the Isthmus was still called,
was made a Captaincy General under the superGovernment vision of the Viceroy of Bogota. The captains
general governed without internal opposition from this time until 1821, the only political event of importance during that time being the transfer of the viceregency to Panama in 1812 for a year, while the revolutionists in Bogota made residence in that city impossible for the Spanish viceroy. The social movement, in Europe epitomized by the French Revolution, made headway on the Isthmus, although slowly, where “the rights of man” made a varied appeal to the people of four distinct classes. The revolution in Spain, mixed as it was with the claims of
Charles IV and his worthless son Fernando VII to the throne, the interference of Napoleon, and the rise of Republicanism, affected the colonies vitally, because it made the mother country unable to check the revolutionary propaganda in Latin America. Yet Panama remained loyal to Spain, and was the last of the South American colonies to declare independence.
This loyalty was based largly upon incompetence. The lack of ethnic unity* on the Isthmus, of economic independ
ence, distrust of Bogota with whom her revoPanama lutionary destinies must be placed, and the Fiel. presence of strong garrisons, all had an in
fluence on that loyalty, which caused the home government, in 1814, 'to confer upon the Isthmian cities the title of “Faithful.”
It was a dispute between two men of the two first classes, Spaniard and creole, in Bogota on July 20, 1810, that precipitated the first open revolutionary movement in Colombia, although the seed had been sown thirty years before.
The junta that took charge of the Bogota Independence government “in the name of the king" asked
from Panama to join in a movement for home rule, Spain. but the authorities of Panama refused, de
claring their allegiance to Spain, and raising two battalions for the purpose of repelling any attack that the revolutionists might make upon the Isthmus. One of these was sent to Quito and assisted the Government forces in the war against the revolutionists. In January, 1814, an unsuccessful attack was made by the Colombian revolutionists on Porto Bello, and in April, 1819, Gregory MacGregor took
*The passing of the eighteenth century marked at each step a further decadence of the Isthmus, whose ruin was almost total, and the apathy of whose sons
was pitiful, incapable as they were of stemming the tide of econClass omic and social disaster. The chief element in this incapacity Distinction. was the heterogeneous character of the population, and the dis
tinctions and privileges that arose therefrom. Four distinct social groups existed in the colony: European Spaniards; the creoles, sons of the Spaniards but native born; the Indians; and the negroes, both free and slave. For the first were reserved the high political positions, and they also held the better classes of business and certain offices. Public positions of minor importance were held in the cities by the creoles. and later they were able to enter the church, the army, and the law professions, which opened to them other public positions. The population of the interior was composed largely of the poorer creoles who followed agriculture and cattle-raising. The mechanical trades, considered degrading, were carried on by the lower classes, which were the product of the crossing of white, Indian, and negro blood. The mestizos, for instance, were the whites with the negroes, and the zambos of the mulattos with the Indians.
The Indians were engaged especially in farming and small stock-raising, and to the negroes was left the work of mechanics, mine laborers, porters, and domestic servants.-Sosa and Arce.