[631] *Admiral Cochrane to General Miranda.

Sir: Whereas you have represented to me that, in carrying into effect the expedition under your command, you have met with some difficulty from the defection of the force you expected to join at St. Domingo; and conceiving it may be mutually advantageous to Great Britain and the provinces of South America, which you are about to attempt to liberate from the dominion of Spain, and having received your statement of the various plans that, from time to time, have been in agitation between you and the British ministry, in all of which the same object has been kept in view, but, from particular circumstances incident to the moment, they have not yet been carried into effect:

In consideration thereof, and judging that I may thereby promote what seems to have commanded the attention of the British government, I agree to support your landing in any part of America between Trinidad and the coast opposite to the island of Aruba, with such a naval force as I can afford, which will be at least a sloop-of-war and two brigs, and perhaps a frigate, if one can be spared from the attention I must necessarily *give to the convoys and protection of the colonies within the district of my command. I do, however, assure you of such further support as it may be in my power occasionally to give, and, should a Spanish naval force arrive in those seas, I will use my best endeavors to prevent them doing any injury. At the same time I am free to confess that, while I grant you such essential support, and the permission you have received to recruit your force here as well as at Trinidad, I do expect that, in the event of your being successful, and any of the proviuces on the main become independent of Spain, that you engage, in their name, to grant to Great [Page 157] Britain positively, and to no other power, (the United States of America excepted, if yon should so incline,) the same privileges of trade as the inhabitants of the said provinces; that is to say, that the vessels belonging to or subject to any other power or state, who are not now giving aid to this expedition, shall not enjoy the same immunities with Great Britain, and that they shall be subject to an additional duty of ten per cent, on all goods that they either import or export over and above that to be paid by Great Britain, and that none of the coalesced powers acting against Great Britain, or that may hereafter become so during the present war, shall be permitted to enter or trade with any of the ports of the said provinces; that this agreement shall subsist and be *enforced until a treaty of commerce shall be concluded between Great Britain and the provinces so liberated from the Spanish government, for which purpose commissioners shall be nominated by each party within twelve months after the definitive treaty between Great Britain and the powers now at war with her shall be signed.

It is further agreed that British subjects shall, in every instance, be assisted by the government of the said provinces in the recovery of their legal and just debts, and that, in security thereof, they shall hold lands, houses, or estates, under the same privileges with the natives of the said provinces; and that they shall be suffered to sell and dispose of the said property, both real and personal, in like manner with them, and that, in so doing, they shall not be subject to any tax, duty, or imposition whatever.

It is also to be understood that consuls or vice-consuls may be appointed to such provinces, cities, towns, &c, as the British government may think proper, enjoying every privilege or immunity now granted to consuls belonging to Great Britain by the most favored nations of Europe.

I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient, humble servant,


General Miranda, &c., &c.