Please note – references are available in the ‘Falkland Islands History pdf’ in the column to the right.
1775 – Britain claims sovereignty over South Georgia following the first landing by Captain James Cook. ” .. Here Captain Cook displayed the British Flag, and performed the ceremony of taking possession of those barren rocks, in the name of his Britannic Majesty, and his heirs forever. A volley of two or three muskets was fired into the air.”
The South Sandwich Islands are also discovered by Captain Cook and named after the 1st Lord of the Admiralty, the 4th Earl of Sandwich.
A Falkland Islands whaling and sealing fleet is established by four New England oil merchants, including Francis Rotch. Sixteen vessels are outfitted at Martha’s Vineyard and instructed to begin whaling off Brazil and rendezvous at Port Egmont, to winter and take seals.
Towards the end of the year, a Spanish vessel commanded by Pascueal Callegas, arrives at Port Egmont. The lead plaque containing the British claim is removed, and taken to Buenos Aires.
“… I find that towards the end of 1775 a Spanish Officer named Callegas in pursuance of these orders visits the remains of our settlement at Port Egmont and discovered there the Inscription left by Captain Clayton upon his quitting the place the year before. This Inscription fully set forth His Majesty’s rights and was on a leaden plate, and was sent by Callegas to Buenos Ayres, where I am told it was carefully preserved until General Beresford took possession of the city, and sent it to England.”
Two whaling vessels captained by William and Jonathon Mooers of London, take a cargo of Elephant Seals from the Falklands to Dunkerque.
1776 – January 1st, William Clayton, the last Military Administrator at Port Egmont, describes the archipelago in a reading to the Royal Society.
February 7th, Ambassador Masserano, complains that English vessels have been seen in Port Egmont; “ … in opposition to the solemn and repeated protestations with which Spain had been assured of the total abandonment of that place.”
March 1st, the wording of the lead plate left behind at Port Egmont, is reported to the Court in Madrid.
April 1st, a suggestion is made in the House of Commons, that convicts should be sent to the Falkland Islands.
The Whale Fishery, etc. Act 1776 extends the bounty system to the Southern Whale fishery
In August, King Charles III of Spain creates the Viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata. “ .. the viceroyalty of La Plata is represented as extending southward to the latitude of 41 degrees; and in the map accompanying it, a line drawn from the Andes eastward to the head-waters of the river Colorado, and down that stream to its mouth in the Atlantic, near the 40th degree, is given as the boundary between the viceroyalty and Patagonia.” [Revolucion Hispano-Americaux 1829 Mariano Torrente]
The Falkland Islands are not included within the new Viceroyalty.
1777 – Captain Cook publishes the Report of his journey, and notes the numbers of seals in South Georgia.
April 1st, Don Pablo Sisur is commissioned to survey the area of Port Egmont. “In his Instructions he was ordered, if he found there any American Vessels, to make to them the before-mentioned intimation, as it was no longer under British dominion; and in case he should find there any English Vessels, he should make the same intimation to them, and further accuse them of a want of good faith.”
Spanish Governor, Francisco Gil de Taboada y Lemos, leaves Puerto Soledad and is replaced by navy lieutenant, Don Ramón de Carassa y Souza.
October 1st, the Treaty of San Ildefonso between Spain and Portugal recognises Portuguese rights to Brazil and reaffirms both the Treaty of Madrid 1750, and the abandonment of the Treaty of Tordesillas 1494.
1778 – a large number of ‘maruading‘ sealers, American and British, are noted by the Spanish at Soledad.
Juan de la Piedra is sent out to explore and found settlements along the coast of Patagonia south of latitude 41 degrees. A settlement is founded on the Rio Negro, and at San Julians.
“Our occupation of the Falkland Islands, in the first instance, and the work shortly afterwards published by Falkner in this country, pointing out the defenceless state of Patagonia, joined to the enterprising character of the British voyages of discovery about the same period, appears to have stimulated the Spaniards, in alarm lest we should forestall them, to examine their coasts, to explore their rivers, and to found settlements, of which every record was concealed from public view, lest the world at large should become better acquainted ..” [Woodbine Parish 1839]
1779 – July 8th, Spain declares war against Great Britain, citing a number of grievances and joining the French in support of the Americans, although she declines a formal alliance with the colonists.
November 22nd, navy lieutenant, Don Salvador Medina y Juan takes command at Soledad.
1780 – Viceroy Vértiz orders the surviving buildings at Port Egmont to be destroyed.
[Note: As the building survive largely intact even today, there is some doubt that the Order was carried out.]
A Spanish fort (presidio) is established on East Falkland island.
1781 – February 26th, Frigate Lieutenant, Don Jacinto Mariano del Carmen Altolaguirre takes command of the presidio on Soledad. He oversees the work of a priest, a Minister of the Royal Treasury, 3 officers, 1 surgeon, 50 soldiers, 43 convicts, 1 bricklayer and 1 baker.
1783 – Spain’s New Settlements along the Patagonian coast are abandoned on the orders of Viceroy Vértiz.
Navy Captain, Don Fulgencio D. Montemayor, takes over at Soledad.
Captain Frost in the General Knox, hunts seals at the Falklands.
1784 – June 28th, Lt. Don Agustín de Figueroa takes over command of the garrison on East Falkland island.
1785 – May 15th, Frigate Captain, Don Ramón de Clairac y Villalonga takes over control of the presido.
1786 – an American sealer, United States, takes 13,000 fur seal skins, and 300 tons of elephant seal oil from the Falklands.
Under An Act for the Encouragement of the Southern Whale Fishery bounties become payable to vessels fishing the Southern Fishery below 35° S.
Lt. Thomas Edgar in the whaler, Hope, surveys Falkland Sound.
“Between the two main islands the sound is from 7 to 12 miles broad; and many of the smaller islands are situated in it. This channel is navigable for ships of any size, and by attending to the best chart, which is that of Lieutenant Edgar, it may be passed through with safety, as all the dangers are there laid down.”
[Note: Edgar sailed with Capt. Cook on his third voyage and Port Edgar is named in honour of his work in 1786. Edgar actually arrived in the Falklands on board a whaling ship, but it was common for the Admiralty to make use of vessels heading in the right direction rather than employing an expensive Royal Navy ship. The whaler would have had a contract dictating its arrangement with the Admiralty.]
May 25th, Lt. Don Pedro de Mesa y Castro takes over at Soledad.
1787 – the British whaling ship Amelia, under Captain James Shields, visits the Falkland Islands.
“In 2 cruizes made by Don Ramon Clairac in 1787, he found in different parts of the Islands, the ship Hudibras, the Shallop Audaz, and the Brig Malplaquet, all English Vessels. They made divers excuses for being there, and were all likewise ordered off.”
In March, the Marquis of Loreta, Don Pedro Meza, reconnoiters the Islands but finds no sign of foreign vessels.
May 15th, Captain Don Ramón de Clairac y Villalonga takes command of the presidio.
1788– British ships visiting the Falklands and South Georgia include the Lucas, under Captain William Aiken, the Intrepid, under Captain John Leard and the Quaker under Shadrick Kearn. Thomas Delano in the Lord Hawksworth leaves South Georgia with a full cargo of seal furs.
April 4th, the sealer, United States, arrives at Dover with 25,000 gallons of oil from the Falkland Islands.
April 10th, Lt. Don Pedro de Mesa y Castro takes command on East Falkland.
April 28th, “By a Royal Order, dated in Aranjuez on the 28th of April, 1788, Instructions were given to foment the Fisheries in the Islands, and to reconnoiter their Establishments, in order not to allow any English to remain, either on Falkland, or any other part.”
July 16th, Captain Leard writes to Charles Jenkinson, Lord Hawkesbury, the President of the Council for Trade and Foreign Plantations suggesting conservation measures for seals around the Falkland Islands and South Georgia. He proposes that a ‘South Seas Company’ be established to regulate sealing and that limits be applied, based upon the age, sex and species of the seals to be taken.
1789 – May 16th, Captain Don Ramón de Clairac y Villalonga returns for his third posting in command of the garrison on East Falkland Island.
December 13th, the Malaspina Expedition visits Port Egmont.
1790 – William Raven in the Jackall, visits South Georgia.
In February, an American Schooner, Peregrine, is ordered away from the Falklands by the Spanish.
June 30th, Lt. Don Juan José de Elizlade y Ustariz takes over at Soledad.
October 28th, Britain and Spain sign the Nootka Sound Convention No.1. Article VI provides that neither party may form new establishments on any of the islands ‘adjacent’ to the east and west coasts of South America then occupied by Spain.
‘Article 6: It is further agreed with respect to the eastern and western coasts of South America and the islands adjacent, that the respective subjects shall not form in the future any establishment on the parts of the coast situated to the south of the parts of the same coast and of the islands adjacent already occupied by Spain; it being understood that the said respective subjects shall retain the liberty of landing on the coasts and islands so situated for objects connected with their fishery and of erecting thereon huts and other temporary structures serving only those objects.’
Article 7: In all cases of complaint or infraction of the articles of the present convention, the officers of either party, without permitting themselves previously to commit any violence or act of force, shall be bound to make an exact report of the affair, and of its circumstances, to their respective Courts, who will terminate such differences in an amicable manner.”
The agreement also contains a ‘Secret Article’; “Since by article 6 of the present convention it has been stipulated, respecting the eastern and western coasts of South America, that the respective subjects shall not in the future form any establishment on the parts of these coasts situated to the south of the parts of the said coasts actually occupied by Spain, it is agreed and declared by the present article that this stipulation shall remain in force only so long as no establishment shall have been formed by the subjects of any other power on the coasts in question. This secret article shall have the same force as if it were inserted in the convention.”
[Note: The Falkland Islands were not 'adjacent', under any definition available in an 18th century Dictionary.]
December 3rd, the Convention is laid before Parliament; “ .. and became the subject of discussion in both Houses. By the friends of the ministry it was extolled and defended in general terms, as vindicating the honor of the nation, … The opposition, on the other hand, contended … that the rights of British subjects had been materially abridged … They observed that, … they were by this treaty prohibited from going nearer than thirty miles to a Spanish territory, …”To remove all possibility,” said that gentleman (Mr. Fox), “of our ever forming a settlement to the south of her American colonies, was an object for which Spain would have been willing to pay a liberal price.” Of the truth of this assertion, there was sufficient proof in the efforts made by the Government of Spain to prevent other nations from planting colonies in the Falkland Islands; from which islands, it may be remarked, both parties to the convention appear to have been excluded by the terms of the sixth article.”
1791 – South Georgia is visited by a Capt. Cook in the London, William Clark in the Sparrow and Christopher Horner in Astrea.
March 1st, Captain Don Pedro Pablo Sanguineto takes command of the garrison at Soledad.
November 22nd, the Spanish Governor of the Falklands is ordered to reconnoiter the Cape Horn and Tierra del Fuego with a frigate and a brig. Governor Elizalde is informed that; “according to the literal tenor of Article VI, the English should not be allowed to fish or construct huts on Coasts which, although desert, may be situated to the north of Territories occupied by Spain, such as the Coasts of Deseado, those of San Jose, and even the Bay of San Julian, and other places in which we may have had occupation or settlements, or which may be accessory to Districts actually occupied.”
Captain Eckstein in the whaler, Sydenham, hunts near the Falkland Islands.
1792 – Thomas Pittman, in the Ann, takes 3000 barrels of Elephant Seal Oil and 50,000 Fur Seal pelts from South Georgia, while the American sealer Benjamin Page, in the Hope, takes a cargo of Fur Seal skins from the Falklands to China.
March 1st, Lt. Don Juan José de Elizalde y Ustariz returns to Soldad to command the garrison.
Relations between France and Britain break down.
1793 – February 1st, Captain Don Pedro Pablo Sanguineto returns to East Falkland for his second tour in command of the garrison there.
In September, Don Juan Latre, patrolling East Falkland in the Spanish Brig, Galvez, sends a warning to the American Brig, Nancy; “ In consequence of the recent Treaties between the Spanish and British Governments, and of the orders I have received from the Commander and Governor of these Islands of Malvinas, it is my duty to inform you that you have no right either to fish or to anchor in the neighborhood of Spanish settlements; as solely the English Royalists are allowed to fish at 10 leagues from the said Establishments … “
September 14th, Lt. Latre discovers 6 more American fishing vessels and 1 French ship. All are ordered away and their huts and gardens destroyed.
American sealing vessels Betsey, Josephus and Swallow hunt at the Falkland Islands. Swallow takes 16,000 Fur Seal skins and a quantity of Elephant Seal oil.
1794 – January 2nd, the Malaspina Expedition returns to Port Egmont where it remains for eighteen days.
[Note: Some reports have Malespina driving away British sealers operating around Port Egmont; others suggest he surveyed the area. Very little has been published to date.]
January 11th, Spain and Britain agree to a mutual abandonment of Nootka Sound.
In April, Lt. Don José de Aldana y Ortega takes command on East Falkland.
May 12th, a map of South America is published by Laurie & Whittle of London; “The Isles of Falkland belong to Great Britain by Right of first Discovery. The English have a Fort & Settlement at Port Egmont in Saunders Island, on the North of the Western Falkland, & the Spaniards have a Fort in the Eastern Isle. As Port Egmont, is a safe and capacious Harbour, It will become of great utility to the British Navy & even to Privateers, in any future war, to annoy the Spanish Trade in the South Sea.”
British sealing ships, Active, Ann, Fox, Kitty, Lively, Lord Hawksbury, Mary, Minerva and Sybil, visit South Georgia during the austral summer.
1795 – Nicholas Vansittart presents a plan to Henry Dundas, British Secretary of War suggesting the overthrow of Spanish colonial rule in South America.
June 15th, Captain D. Pedro Pablo Sanguineto returns yet again to take command of the presidio on Soledad.
1796 – sealers Sally and Young William visit South Georgia. The Sally is wrecked, full complement rescued by Captain Mackay in the Young William.
March 15th, Lt. Don José Aldana y Ortega returns to the Soledad posting.
August 27th, Lt. Don José Aldana y Ortega is promoted to Captain.
October 5th, Spain forms an alliance with France and declares war against Britain.
“The Nootka Sound convention grew out of certain rights on the part of Great Britain, which existed long prior to the formation of that convention. Gentlemen had talked about certain concessions on the part of Spain, certain benefits which had been conceded to England in the Nootka Sound convention; but it would be remembered that that convention was ended by the war of 1796.” (March 9th 1846 Abridgment of the Debates of Congress, from 1789 to 1856.)
“Spain declared war against Great Britain.. since which period, no distinct allusion to the convention of 1790 appears to have been made by either of the parties, in its public acts addressed to, or its engagements concluded with, the other.”
1797 – British forces blockade Spain to cut her off from the American dominions.
February 20th, Lt. Don Luis Medina y Torres takes over on Soledad.
1798 - March 17th, Captain Don Francisco Xavier de Viana y Alzaibar takes command of the presidio.
Sealers Prince Edward and Sybil visit South Georgia. The American ship, Regulator, is wrecked at South Georgia and its cargo of 14,000 Fur Seal pelts is sold to the British ship that rescues the crew.
1799 – in April, Captain Don Luis Medina y Torres returns to East Falkland to take over command of the fort there.
1800 – a British ship, Morse, visits South Georgia, as does the Duke of Kent and the Eliza.
March 15th, Captain Don Francisco Xavier de Viana y Alzaíbar takes command of the Soledad garrison.
Major-General Thomas Maitland, aware of the unused Vansittart plan, proposes an attack on Spanish colonies in South America beginning with Buenos Aires; to secure new markets for British goods.
1801 – responsibility for the Colonies is transferred to the War and Colonial Office.
The Earl Spencer is wrecked off South Georgia. The Favourite from Nantucket hunts at the Falklands.
Bougainville, still believing that the French have superior title to the Falkland Islands, writes to Napoleon urging him to raise the matter during the negotiations with the British leading to the Peace of Amiens.
March 31st, Lt. Don Ramón Fernández y Villegas takes command on East Falkland.
1802 – Captain McLean in the Anna Josepha, en-route from Sydney to Cape Town, stops at West Falkland with the crew suffering from scurvy. James Grant RN notes the presence of American sealers.
January 31st, the American ship, Juno, under the command of Capt. Kendrick stops off at Soledad for the purpose of taking on water. He tells Lt. Villegas that he was advised to do so by the Spanish Consul in the USA. Villegas writes to the Viceroy for advice.
Captain Isaac Pendleton in the Union, maps South Georgia.
March 17th, Lt. Don Bernardo de Bonavía takes over the presidio.
May 4th, the Viceroy responds to Lt. Villegas’ request for advice, telling him to obey his orders and instruct foreign vessels to leave.
1803 – the cost of the penal colony on East Falkland is put at 24,564 pesos.
At the end of February, Lt. D. Antonio Leal de Ibarra y Oxinando commands at Soledad.
1804 – a discussion takes place between William Pitt, Lord Henry Melville and Sir Homes Rigg Popham on the merits of the Maitland plan to attack South America. Popham believes a better plan would be the taking and holding of strategic positions; “The next point from Europe must certainly be Buenos Ayres, and to accomplish this object it will be necessary to have a force of three hundred men ..”
March 21st, Captain Don Bernardo de Bonavía takes command on East Falkland.
1805 – Spanish maps start to refer to the islands as the ‘Malvinas’.
March 21st, Lt. Antonio Leal de Ibarra y Oxinando takes over the presidio.
October 21st, the Battle of Trafalgar severely reduces the capacity of Spain to communicate with its South American colonies
1806 – January, Sir Homes Rigg Popham leads 6000 soldiers in the capture of the Dutch colony at the Cape in South Africa, which is taken without much of a fight.
March 20th, Captain D. Bernardo de Bonavía returns to command the garrison on East Falkland.
June 27th, Popham and General William Carr Beresford, leading some 1,600 troops and marines, attacks and occupies Buenos Aires.
The Viceroy Rafael de Sobremonte, flees to Córdoba, losing his treasury on the way.
July 2nd, the city authorities capitulate and the British marines re-embark, leaving 1,200 troops to hold the city.
The wealthy and political classes welcome the British arrival, but the merchants and poorer groups do not. The fledgling Republican movement is disturbed when Beresford declines to assist them in their cause.
A detailed account of the extent of the Viceroyalty is prepared; “ The recent brilliant acquisition by the British forces under General Beresford and Sir Home Popham of the very important settlement of Buenos Ayres, renders an account of the extensive viceroyalty to which it gives its name doubly desirable. …
If the limits of the work will admit, it is intended next to introduce succinct accounts of such of the adjacent countries, as, though not included in the political denomination of the Viceroyalty of Buenos Ayres, have, nevertheless, natural relations towards it, which make them objects of interest at the present time. …. Peru and Chili on the west; and the unexplored districts of Patagonia to the south ; with the Falkland islands and others, scattered in the Atlantic ocean, on the east; are those alluded to.”
August 10th, Spanish irregular forces, led by a Frenchman, Santiago de Liniers, attack and retake Buenos Aires. The 71st Regiment of Foot lose both their Regimental Colours.
August 12th, Gen. Bereford agrees to surrender, but not unconditionally. Liniers agrees and the British force lays down its arms on the condition that they may return to England.
August 25th, Liniers notifies Beresford that the Cabildo has rejected the terms of the capitulation and will not allow the British troops to leave the United Provinces. Beresford protests. Sir Homes Rigg Popham writes; “The object of this expedition was considered by the natives to apply principally to their independence; by the blacks, to their total liberation: and if General Beresford had felt himself authorized, or justified in confirming either of these propositions, no exertions whatever would have been made to dispossess him of his conquest.”
September 20th, the British force is dispersed amongst the Provinces. Beresford and his officers are detained as prisoners of war.
October, Popham captures the port of Maldonado and awaits reinforcements.
December 13th, an Order from the Treasury is Spain, provides that; “.. for the expenditures and payments we shall consider from now onwards the establishment of Malvinas as a ship sailing and all the employees at that destination as depending on the ship, and the Navy shall have the same accounts in the same way as the ones of the other warships according to their particular and exclusive ordinances”.
1807 – January 5th, Rear-Admiral Stirling arrives at Maldonado to relieve Popham. Stirling besieges Montevideo.
February 3rd, Montevideo is captured in an operation involving some 10,000 British soldiers and marines under the command of General Samuel Auchmuty.
General Beresford effects his escape and returns to England.
March 6th, Sir Homes Rigg Popham is court-martialed for leaving his post at the Cape.
” The court has agreed that the charges have been proved against the said Captain Sir Home Popham. That the withdrawing, without orders so to do, the whole of any naval force from the place where it is directed to be employed, and the employing it in distant operations against the enemy, more especially if the success of such operations should be likely to prevent its speedy return, may be attended with the most serious inconvenience to the public service, as the success of any plan formed by his majesty’s ministers for operations against the enemy, in which such naval force might be included, may by such removal be entirely prevented. And the court has further agreed, that the conduct of the said Captain Sir Home Popham, in the withdrawing the whole of the naval force under his command from the Cape of Good Hope, and the proceeding with it to Rio de la Plata, is highly censurable ; but, in consideration of circumstances, doth adjudge him to be only severely reprimanded, and he is hereby severely reprimanded accordingly.”
May 10th, Lieutenant-General John Whitelocke arrives in Montevideo with orders to; “ .. reduce the Province of Buenos Ayres.”
June 28th, Whitelock lands at Ensenada with 7,800 men and 18 field-pieces.
July 1st, Lt-General Whitelocke defeats Liniers, forcing his retreat, but does not attempt to enter the city. He demands instead that the city authorities surrender.
July 3rd, Whitelock again demands that Buenos Aires surrenders. The reply is short, ”If you want your arms you must come and take them.”
July 5th, Colonel Robert ‘Black Bob’ Craufurd, with a light brigade which includes a battalion of the 95th rifle regiment, enters the city. He is met by a mixed-race militia, bolstered by regular troops and assisted by the local inhabitants. Unused to urban combat, the British suffer heavy losses.
July 6th, Lt.General Whitelocke surrenders to Santiago de Liniers under terms that require the abandonment of Montevideo; “In that very town, the capture of which would have raised me to the heights of military glory if I had been left to myself, I, two days afterwards, found myself in the humiliating situation of a prisoner.” (Craufurd)
September, Whitelock withdraws from the Rio de la Plata, evacuating Montevideo.
“The interior of St. Domingo is light and airy, without much decoration; but it contains objects that swell the beating hearts of Englishmen – the British standards ranged around the dome, the trophies of Beresford’s and Whitelock’s expeditions. Crawford, with part of his division, it will be recollected, took refuge in this church. I have viewed those flags with the most painful recollections, obtained, as they were, not in open fight, but by concealed and inaccessible enemies;and have felt for the fate of my unhappy countrymen, slaughtered, without an opportrunity to retaliate, by those who could not have stood one half-hour before them in a fair field of battle.”
1808 – The ships, Otter and Swan, visit South Georgia.
January 28th, Lt.General Whitelocke is court-martialed; “This is not the Case of an Officer on his Trial by Court Martial for any one particular fact alledged against him, but it is the first Trial by Court Martial, instituted to investigate into the Conduct of a General Officer, having the command of an Expedition against a foreign Province.”
Whitelock is charged with general incompetence but a charge of ‘cowardice’ is rejected by the Judge-Advocate. More seriously, Whitelocke is charged with ceding Montevideo; “ .. tending to the dishonour of his Majesty’s arms, and being contrary to his duty as an officer, prejudicial to good order and military disciple, and contrary to the articles of war.”
In February, Napoleon Bonaparte turns on his Spanish allies and occupies Spain.
March 14th, after 30 days of prosecution evidence, Lt. General Whitelocke commences the presentation of his defence.
March 19th, Charles IV of Spain abdicates in favour of his son.
On being found guilty on all charges but one, Lt. General Whitelock is dismissed.
April, Napoleon takes Charles IV as prisoner to Bayonne, and summons Ferdinand.
May 5th, Charles IV retracts his earlier abdication, and abdicates again, this time in favour of Napoleon.
May 6th, Ferdinand VII agrees to recognise the abdication of his father, and is then forced to renounce his own claim to the Spanish throne. Popular uprisings break out around the country.
June 6th, Napoleon proclaims his brother, Joseph, King of Spain.
August, British troops land in Portugal.
September 25th, Spanish partisans fighting Napoleon form a temporary government, the Supreme Junta, to serve as a surrogate for the absent King.
1809 – January 14th, the Supreme Junta signs a treaty of alliance with Britain.
May 22nd, the Supreme Junta invites representatives from its overseas territories to sit in a Cortes. Invitees include Peru, Buenos Aires and Chile.
July 30th; in the the Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser; “The affairs of the River Plate are unsettled – The French General Liniers, who was the Acting Governor of Buenos Aires had banished most of the principle inhabitants to Falkland’s Islands; but the Spanish Governor of Monte Video, much disgusted by so tyrannical a measure, immediately on receiving the information sent vessels to their relief, and prepared a welcome reception for the exiled patriots at Monte Video, whither they were accordingly removed.”
1810 – January 29th, following military reverses the Supreme Junta dissolves itself and a five person Council of Regency of Spain and the Indies is tasked with pursuing the idea of a Cortes.
At the end of January, Pilot Don Pablo Guillén Martínez takes over command of the garrison on East Falkland from Don Gerado Bordas, who goes to Montevideo to request payment of the wages due to him.March 20th, Rear-Admiral Salazar passes on Bordas’ request to Viceroy Cisneros, who instructs that certified copies of the Treasury Order of 1806 be sent to the Navy Minister at Montevideo.
March 20th, Rear-Admiral Salazar passes on Bordas’ request to Viceroy Cisneros, who instructs that certified copies of the Treasury Order of 1806 be sent to the Navy Minister at Montevideo.
May 20th, Salazar again requests action regarding Commander Bordas’ wages.
May 22nd – 25th, a meeting is held in Buenos Aires to decide the future of the Viceroyalty. Delegates eventually declare for Ferdinand VII, but refuse to recognise the authority of the Council of Regency, but eventually declare for Ferdinand, professing to sustain the provinces in; “the most constant fidelity and adherence to their beloved Ferdinand VII,and his legal successors to the crown of Spain.”.
Buenos Aires Province forms its own, ‘Primera Junta’, with the Viceroy, Baltasar de Cisneros, forced to resign before being exiled.
May 30th, the issue of Bordas’ wages is taken up by Cornelio Judas Tadeo de Saavedra, President of the Primera Junta who countersigns the request, and also asks for the Treasury Order of December 13th, 1806 to be sent to Montevideo.
[There is no indication that Bordas ever got paid. Importantly this procedure is put forward as evidence of the Primera Junta's claim to the Falklands as early as 1810. However, the matter is about who should pay for work completed by January 1810 and it is quite clearly being passed to the Spanish authorities in Montevideo; suggesting that Buenos Aires was not prepared to take responsibility.]
In a reflection of the confusion in Spain, not all the Provinces agree on who to support, and conflict erupts.
Montevideo, staunchly royalist, endorses the Council of Regency, with the result that its Governor, Francisco Javier de Elio, declares himself, Viceroy of the Rio de la Plata, and the capital of the Viceroyalty moves across the river.
June 2nd, La Gazeta de Buenos Ayres is founded by Decree; “the people have a right to know the behavior of their representatives.” The Gazette is to publish official announcements, appointments, notices and decrees.
“Before the revolution there was a printing press in Buenos Ayres, whence issued a weekly newspaper, merely for the purpose of printing and publishing sundry papers and documents for the convenience of the viceroy, and under his sanction entirely. … This press is still continued , and the ministerial paper, called the Buenos Ayres Gazette, issues from it weekly. … The press has never been tolerated with a single day of genuine and manly freedom in Buenos Ayres. Nothing is published but what is flattering to the powers that be:..”
September 18th, a Junta in Santiago (Chile) declares full independence.
September 24th, the new Cortes meets in Cádiz.
1811 – January 19th, Francisco Javier de Elio is confirmed as Viceroy by the Junta of Cadiz, with Buenos Aires declared a rebel city.
February, the rural population of the Banda Oriental rebel against Ferdinand and threaten the Viceroy’s position. Loyal troops are ordered back to Montevideo, including those stationed on East Falkland.
February 13th, the last Spanish Commander, Paul Guillén Martinez, evacuates the garrison from Puerto Soledad. A plate is left in the bell tower with the inscription -
” This island with its ports, buildings, units and quanto contains belongs to the sovereignty of Sr. D. Fernando VII King of Spain and the Indies, Soledad of Malvinas 7 February 1811 – Governor Paul Guillén.”
May 14th, a Junta in Acuncion (Paraguay) declares full independence.
July 5th, a Junta in Caracas (Venezuela) declares full independence.
August 30th, Louis-Antoine de Bougainville dies in Paris. He is given a State funeral on September 7th
November 18th, following defeat at the hand of the rural forces, de Elio returns to Spain, ending the Viceroyalty de la Rio Plata and its administration of Spanish territory around the river, and on East Falkland.
1812 – In January, Francisco Javier de Elio resigns his position as Viceroy de la Rio Plata.
British forces under Arthur Wellesley, advance into Spain.
February 27th, Manuel Belgrano unfurls the first triband flag of light blue and white. The First Triumvirate refuse to accept the new flag, as they rule on behalf of Ferdinand and a flag would be an act of independence.
March 19th, the Cortes in Cádiz promulgates a written Constitution. Article 1: “The Spanish nation is the collectivity of the Spaniards of both hemispheres.”
1813 – February 8th, the British ship Isabella is wrecked off the coast of Eagle Island. The Captain, George Higton, and 5 of the crew set out to get help in one of the ship’s boats leaving the rest of the crew behind.
April 5th, the American sealer Nania finds the marooned British seamen who are unaware that the US and Britain are at war. On finding this out the British crew seize the Nania and maroon Captain Barnard and the American sailors.
October, Napoleon’s forces retreat from the Iberian Peninsular.
1814 – British sealers and whalers, Admiral Colpoys, Diana and Recovery visit the Falkland Islands and South Georgia.
The Provinces of the old Viceroyalty descend into a series of civil and internecine wars that will last until 1876.
January 14th, Charles IV renounces his rights to the Spanish throne in favour of Ferdinand.
March, Ferdinand VII, King of Spain, re-enters his country and takes up his throne. Napoleon abdicates.
May 4th, Ferdinand VII refuses to accept the liberal Constitution of 1812, attempting to reimpose absolute monarchy over Spain, and its dominions in the Americas.
June, Buenos Airean forces under General Carlos Alvear, capture Montevideo.
July 5th, a Treaty of Friendship and Alliance is signed between Britain and Spain.
August 28th, additional Articles are agreed between Spain and Britain, reinstating all Treaties of commerce existent before 1796 but only until new negotiations take place; “Art. 1.—It is agreed that, pending the negociation of a new Treaty of Commerce, Great Britain shall be admitted to trade with Spain upon the same conditions as those which existed previously to the year 1796. All the Treaties of Commerce which at that period subsisted between the two nations being hereby ratified and confirmed.
Art. 3. – His Britannic Majesty being anxious that the troubles and disturbances which unfortunately prevail in the dominions of His Catholic Majesty in America should entirely cease, and the subjects of those provinces return to their obedience to their lawful sovereign, engages to take the most effectual measures for preventing his subjects from furnishing arms, ammunition, or any other warlike article to the revolted in America.”Manuel Belgrano and Bernardino Rivadavia are commissioned to go to Europe, via Rio de Janeiro, to negotiate the establishment of a constitutional monarchy, with a Spanish or English prince as the monarch of a United Provinces.”
["But this article could have related only to the treaties of commerce between the European dominions of the parties; for in the first place, no commerce existed agreeably to treaty, between either party or its colonies and the colonies of the other, before 1796; and moreover, another article in the same Treaty of Madrid provides that, “in the event of the commerce of the Spanish American colonies being opened to foreign nations, His Catholic Majesty promises that Great Britain shall be permitted to trade with those possessions, as the most favored nations.” Thus it would seem that the convention of October, 1790, between Great Britain and Spain, expired in October, 1795, and has not since been renewed; and if that be the case, Great Britain and Spain should each stand with regard to the Falkland Islands, as if it never had been concluded.” Greenhow 1842. ]
Manuel Belgrano and Bernardino Rivadavia are sent to Europe, via Rio de Janeiro, to negotiate the establishment of a constitutional monarchy, with a Spanish or English prince as King of a United Provinces.
In November, Captain Barnard and his crew are rescued by the British whalers, Asp and Indispensable.
December 12th, during heated negotiation preceding the signing of a Treaty of Peace and Amity between His Britannic Majesty and the United States of America, James Bayard, a negotiator for the US, raises the case of the Falkland Islands with Henry Goulbourn; ” Why,” (in a transport of rage,) said Goulburn, “in that case we sent a fleet and troops and drove the fellows off; and that is what we ought to have done in this case.”
I [ John Quincy Adams] said I believed the gentleman’s recollection of the case was not exact; that, as I remembered it, the Spaniards in that case had driven the British off, and Great Britain had insisted upon being restored to the possession, though she immediately afterwards abandoned it, and the claim to the islands themselves.
“Well,” said Goulburn, “we fitted out a fleet and troops, and Spain knew that we would have taken them, and so she chose to give them up.”
1815 – The Norfolk, visits South Georgia. Edmund Fanning, in the sealing ship, Volunteer, leaves a sealing gang at Port Louis with orders to hunt in the area until his return due in 1817.
January 9th, Carlos Alvear is chosen as Supreme Director in Buenos Aires. He instructs Manuel Jose Garcia to negotiate the placing of the United Provinces under British protection. Garcia is entrusted with letters to the British Foreign Minister stating that the United Provinces wished to belong to Britain and accept her laws. The letters also asked for the deployment of troops to restore order.
Garcia arrives in Rio de Janeiro and speaks to the British Ambassador, Lord Strangford. The British Minister will not negotiate as he has already been instructed to act in harmony with Spain on the issue of its revolting colonies.
In May, Belgrano and Rivadavia arrive in Britain but quickly recognise that the Government there will not support their ambitions. A revised plan to interest Charles IV in forming one or more monarchies around the Rio de la Plata also fails.
July 9th, the United Provinces of South America formally declares independence from Spain at the Congress of Tucumán. The final declaration pointed to the refusal of Ferdinand VII to accept the Constitution of 1812, and indicates that any union between the Peninsula and the overseas territories was broken by Ferdinand’s abdication.
July 20th, Belgrano’s triband flag is accepted as the flag of the new nation.
August 14th, General José de San Martín writes to the Governor of the city of San Juan; “On the 31st last month, the Minister of War stated the following to me: “The government is desirous of ending the misery of those who are held in jails, dungeons or other prisons located in the territory of these provinces, as a result of their reprehensible conduct/excesses and to preserve public peace. With the purpose of rendering them useful to the State under the guidance of expert chiefs that shall draw them away from their misplaced past and turn them into honourable citizens that shall serve the common good, His Excellency has decided that you provide that all the persons of the high class that are imprisoned in the jurisdiction under your command sentenced to the jails of Patagones, Malvinas or other places be sent to this capital city, escorted with the strictest surveillance possible, and along with a copy of their respective sentences, including any deserters contempt of court. His Excellency hopes that, driven by the spirit of zeal and philanthropy of that Government, it shall take, without delay, the measures required for the prompt complying of this resolution, circulating them to the lieutenant governors and to any other persons as may be appropriate in the jurisdiction under your command, and has ordered me to convey the message that I have the honour to transmit to you, for its compliance, accountable by the dispatching of the aforementioned individuals.”
1817 – Captain Edes in the sealing ship, Pickering, visits the Falkland Islands.
April 6th, George W. Erving, US Minister to Spain, writes to Secretary John Quincy Adams; “With respect to the colonies, I believe it to be very certain that England has offered her mediation. But here the two governments cannot agree. Spain in the true spirit of her system, insists on their returning to their ancient unqualified allegiance, & her pretensions are still upheld by calculations on the flattering intelligence, true or false, which she every now & then receives from various parts of South America. England besides the reasonable objections which she has to oppose to such absurd & hopeless overtures, cannot find that she has any interest in making them; she does not wish to separate the colonies from Spain, on the contrary; but she desires that the trade to them may be open.”
In August, the British Foreign Minister, Lord Castlereagh, circulates a note to the European Allies; “.. founded upon the previous application from Spain, soliciting the mediation of the allies between her and her Colonies. It proposes that they should undertake the mediation, on condition that Spain should agree to three principles to form the basis of it: 1. A general amnesty to the insurgents. 2. That the South Americans should be admissible to offices and honors equally with the Spaniards. 3. That the Colonies should enjoy a free commerce with other nations, subject to certain suitable preferences in favor of Spain.”
October 29th, General Mason introduces Don Manuel Aguirre to Secretary Adams in Washington; “He gave me a letter to the President, containing the declaration of independence of Buenos Ayres, with an exposition of the motives of that act, written by himself, and two commissions to himself, inclosed in a sealed packet addressed to me. One commission was from the United Provinces of South America (Buenos Ayres), signed by the Supreme Director Puyerredon, styling Aguirre Commissary-General of War, and constituting him agent of the Government near that of the United States.”
As the United Provinces are not recognised by the United States, Adams informs Aguirre that he will not be viewed as a Minister from Buenos Aires, but merely as an Agent.
December 4th, the United States sends out three commissioners, Rodney, Bland and Graham, to ascertain the condition and prospects of the La Plata provinces.
“Mr Bland,… in his report, describes the boundaries of La Plata with great minuteness, .. gives as its southern limit the parallel of thirty eight and a half degrees of south latitude.”
“To the South of latitude thirty-eight degrees and a half, and between the Andes and the Atlantic, as far as the straits of Magellan, is, at present, entirely in possession of the various tribes of Patagonian savages, over whom the colonial Government exercised no authority, nor asserted any claim, other than a right of pre-emption and of settlement in their territory against all foreign nations; to which rights and benefits the independent Government claims to have succeeded.”
December 24th, Secretary John Quincy Adams has a meeting with Aquirre; “.. and I had with him a conference of nearly two hours. He gave me a copy of the Declaration of Independence of Buenos Ayres of 9th July, 1816, and read to me in English a paper urging the acknowledgment of that Government by the United States. I asked him if it was in consequence of any new instructions. He said, No, but in consequence of what had passed in Congress on the subject. His instructions were to urge the recognition of Buenos Ayres as circumstances might occur to favor the demand; but he was expressly instructed not to urge it at the hazard of embroiling the United States with any of the powers of Europe. He told me there were three public agents of Buenos Ayres in Europe one at London, one at Vienna, and the third had been under the guarantee of the British Minister at Madrid, but he believed was now gone to Paris.
The proposals that he had made to Spain were, that the King of Spain s brother, the Infant Don Carlos, should be the sovereign of Spanish South America, but upon two conditions, one, the absolute independence of South America ; and the other, that Don Carlos should go over alone, without any troops.
Spain rejected these proposals, and would hear of nothing but unconditional submission, upon which the Declaration of Independence was made.”
1818 –The Tucumán Congress breaks up, following disagreements between the Unitarians, and the Federales.
March 25th, Henry Clay speaking in Washington, calls for $18,000 to outfit and salary a Minister for the United Provinces. The motion is defeated.
July 25th, John Quincy Adams notes in his diary a visit to see President Monroe; “ He gave me yesterday two letters to read in confidence, as they had been communicated to him. One was from Judge Bland at Buenos Ayres, to J. S. Skinner, the Postmaster at Baltimore, .. Bland’s letter is long, private, and confidential contains much information concerning the state of the country, a decided opinion that they will never again submit to the dominion of Spain, and an opinion equally strong that the Government of the United States ought not at present to recognize that of Buenos Ayres. He has a very bad opinion of Pueyrredon, and still worse of his Secretary of State, Tagle.
Two days ago he had very abruptly asked me to see Mr. Bagot and propose through him to the British Government an immediate co-operation between the United States and Great Britain to promote the independence of South America. I asked him what part of South America. “All South America, and Mexico, and the islands included”; I told him I thought Great Britain was not yet prepared for such a direct proposition; and, entering into details, I immediately found it was a crude idea, which he immediately abandoned.”
In August, the French statesman, the 5th Duc de Richelieu proposes to Ferdinand VII that one of the Spanish princes be crowned at Buenos Aires and offers to take the proposal to the other European powers. Ferdinand refuses.
September, French agents in Buenos Aires report that Manuel Belgrano and the Government there, favour a close political connection with France, and would still prefer a monarchy rather than republicanism.
November 7th, John Quincy Adams, in consultation with President Monroe over the President’s annual Message to Congress, notes in his diary; “ … with regard to the facts relating to the European mediation, some of them had been communicated to us in close confidence by the British Government, and the President could not dilate upon them without giving them a color to charge us with a breach of that confidence. Still less can he enlarge upon the facts in the internal condition of South America which operate against the acknowledgment of the Government of Buenos Ayres, the principal of which is that they pretend to the sovereignty of the whole Viceroyalty of La Plata, while Portugal is in possession of Montevideo, Artigas of the Banda Oriental, Paraguay under other separate government, and the Spanish royalists in five other provinces.”
November 9th, the British Prime Minister, Lord Liverpool, writes; “Mediation between Spain and her Colonies is the most embarrassing question. The last proposition of the new Spanish Minister in London suggested that the commerce of England and other friendly Powers with the Colonies should only be carried on through Spanish ports. This is obviously impossible ..”
December 14th, Mr. De Forrest, an American citizen, presents an application to the US Government for his recognition as Consul-General for Buenos Aires. The application is rejected. Secretary Adams informs him; “That it might be well for him to make known to his Government that if the United States should hereafter acknowledge them, it will be without involving themselves in any question as to the extent of their authority or territory; particularly they will not be considered as taking any part in their questions with the Portuguese, or Artigas, upon the Banda Oriental, or with Paraguay, Santa Fe, or any provinces contesting their authority ; that we should also expect to know whether the independence that we were to acknowledge was complete or partial.”
1818 / 19 – British whalers and sealers, Arab, Anne, Echo, Grand Sachem, Indispensible, King George, Dove, Norfolk, Recovery and Mary Ann, hunt off South Georgia.
1819 – January 14th, Spain announces penalties for any subject of a foreign state who joins the standard of their revolting colonists.
Jose Valentin Gomez is sent to Paris from Buenos Aires empowered; “ to negotiate and make proposals to the Ministry of France to the end of causing the cessation of the hostilities which inundate with blood the Provinces of the Rio de la Plata.”
France attempts to persuade Ferdinand VII to support the idea of a Spanish prince on the throne of a kingdom in the Rio de la Plata area, with the capital at Buenos Aires. Ferdinand maintains his stubborn approach to the whole question.
February 12th, Richard Rush, US Minister to Great Britain has a meeting with Lord Castlereagh on the subject of Spain’s colonies; “ .. he observed, that while Great Britain had, from the first, anxiously desired to see the controversy at an end, and had done her best to effect this desire, it had always been upon the basis of a restoration of the supremacy of Spain;”
Rush informs John Quincy Adams; “… I have learned that the Spanish ambassador at this court, makes frequent and earnest remonstrance’s against the military supplies and assistance which it is notorious are going almost daily from English ports to South America. It seems difficult to reconcile the professions with the conduct of the British cabinet upon this subject; for certainly, lax as the existing laws of England may be in all power to restrain these armaments, it would be easy to strengthen them. “
February 18th, Manuel de Sarratea takes over as Governor in Buenos Aires. A republican, he denounces the monarchist intrigues.
February 19th, Captain William Smith in the merchant brig, Williams, sights Livingston Island, the most northerly of the South Shetland Islands.
An Act of Parliament is passed prohibiting the service of British subjects in the ranks of the revolting Spanish Colonies.
“The Republic of the United Provinces of South America comprehends, with some exceptions, the same territory as the Vice-Royalty of Rio de la Plata, which was established in 1778. It extends from the 16th to the 45th degree of south latitude.” [Letters on the United Provinces of South America, addressed to the Hon. Henry Clay Vicente Pazos Kanki 1819]
In October, Smith returns, lands on King George Island and claims the South Shetland Islands for Britain.
Towards the end of the year, Patrick Lynch purchases the French frigate ‘Braque’ and refits her as a Privateer. She is renamed ‘Heroina’ .
1820 – Captain Smith and the Williams, with a Charter from the Royal Navy, return to survey the South Shetland Islands with Lieutenant Edward Bransfield on board.
January 5th, David Jewett is commissioned Colonel in the service of the National Marines, by Matias de Irigogyen, Minister of War.
January 30th, Smith and Bransfield discover the Antarctic Peninsula.
Patrick Lynch obtains a ‘Corsair’licence for the pursuit of Spanish shipping, from the Supreme Director, José Rondeau permitting his privateer to pursue and capture Spanish ships.
March 21st, Colonel David Jewett, takes command of the Heroina and its crew of 200, and sails after Spanish prey.
“There is scarcely a Buenos Ayrean privateer which has not committed piracy of every description – it appears that at Buenos Ayres itself commissions of Artigas have been sold to the Captains of the Buenos Ayres privateers, who have gone to sea, and used one or the other commission as suited their purposes… There is not a day passes but we hear of new crimes of this description committed under the flag and commission of Buenos Ayres …”
July 11th, in the House of Commons; “ .. on a call for information .., Dr. Lushington argued the broad principle, that England ought to recognize immediately and fully the independence of Buenos Ayres.”
July 20th, Minister Rush writes from London, to Secretary John Quincy Adams in Washington;
“What I have heard is, that, in the month of April, (being subsequent to the establishment of the constitution of 1812,) the agents of Chili, Buenos Ayres and Venezuela, did meet together in this city, … They jointly signed an address to the king of Spain asking that the independence of these countries might be acknowledged. This address was transmitted to Ferdinand through the medium of the duke of San Carlos, then the Spanish ambassador at this court. The reply to it through the same channel was, that no proposition would be listened to that had not for its basis the return of the colonies to their subjection to the mother country.”
On July 27th, in an act of piracy, the Heroina attacks a Portuguese ship, the Carlota, which is en-route to Lisbon. The crew are transferred to a passing ship.
August 19th, some members of the Heroina’s crew mutiny, but the mutiny is put down. Following a swift court-martial, Jewett executes two officers and four sailors for their involvement in the uprising.
October 27th, the Heroina arrives in the Falkland Islands after losing the Carlota, and the 50 men in it, in a storm. Jewett’s ship is in a poor condition, with more than 80 of the 200 crew sick or dead from scurvy.
On November 2nd, Colonel Jewett announces that he has a commission from the United Provinces to take possession of the Islands. He sends letters to the commanders of the various ships scattered around the islands:
“National Frigate Heroina at Port Soledad
Sir, I have the honour to inform you of the circumstance of my arrival at this port, commissioned by the supreme government of the United Provinces of South America to take possession of these islands in the name of the country to which they naturally appertain. In the performance of this duty it is my desire to act towards all friendly flags with the most distinguished justice and politeness. A principal object is to prevent the wanton destruction of the sources of supply to those whose necessities compel or invite them to visit the islands, and to aid and assist such as require it to obtain a supply with the least trouble and expense. As your views do not enter into contravention or competition with these orders, and as I think mutual advantage may result from a personal interview, I invite you to pay me a visit on board my ship, where I shall be happy to accommodate you during your pleasure. I would beg you, so far as comes within your sphere, to communicate this information to other British subjects in this vicinity. I have the honour to be respectfully yours…”
Weddell walks the 7 or 8 miles from his mooring in Port St. Salvador to Port Soledad where the Heroina lies.
“Captain Jewitt received me with great politeness, and not withstanding the mutilated and worn out state of his crew, he assumed an air of power and authority beyond my expectation. He told me his business was to take possession of the Falkland Islands for his government, and that everything necessary for an establishment would be procured from Buenos Ayres so soon as he could purchase a cutter, of which there were several among the islands. It evidently appeared, however, that his principal business was to refresh his crew; for never, since the time of Lord Anson, perhaps, had an instance occurred where the scurvy had been so destructive to a ship’s company. … The complement of men, when the ship sailed from Buenos Ayres eight months before, was 200: they had not now more than 30 seamen and 40 soldiers fit to do duty …
November 6th, Capt. Jewett holds a ceremony; “In a few days, he took formal possession of these islands for the patriot government of Buenos Ayres, read a declaration under their colours, planted on a port in ruins, and fired a salute of 21 guns. .. he had laid claim to the wreck of the French ship .. to the entire exclusion of several vessels which had arrived, bound to New Shetland, (and) he was aware that an authoritative appearance was necessary.”
November 9th, Capt. William B. Orne of the General Knox receives a copy of Jewett’s proclamation.
Jewett makes no attempt to impose any conditions on the ships present in the Islands. Nor is any attempt made to regulate the sealing activities that most the ships there are indulging in.
November 20th, James Weddell sails, leaving Jewett repairing his ship.
6 British ships, the ‘Eliza’, ‘George’, ‘Hetty’, ‘Indian’, ‘Jane’ and ‘Sprightly’ are moored around the Islands, together with 9 U.S. ships.
1821 – February 1st, Colonel Jewett prepares a 13 page report about his journey for the authorities in Buenos Aires, but makes no mention of his claim of the previous November. He also asks for a relief as he is also now sick with scurvy.
Jewett seizes a U.S. ship, the Rampart, on the excuse that it had a cargo bound for Spain.
In March, Captain Guillermo Roberto Mason replaces Jewett as commander of the Heroina.
April, Capt. Mason and the Heroina sail away from the Falkland Islands leaving nothing behind. [ Some texts claim that Jewett and Mason were Governors of the Falkland Islands in 1820/21, however there is no record of any such title being granted to either man. Neither attempted to impose or enforce United Provinces laws and, on their departure, no settlement, or marks of sovereignty, were left behind by either. ]
June 6th, the General Knox arrives back in Salem, Massachusetts, with 5000 seal skins, 600 barrels of oil and a copy of Jewett’s circular.
June 8th, the Salem Gazette reproduces the warning; “National Frigate Heroina, Port Soledad, 9th Nov. 1820: “Sir, I have the honour to inform you of my arrival at this Port, to take possession of these islands, in the name of the Supreme Government of the United Provinces of South America. This ceremony was publicly performed on the 6th day of this present November, and the National Standard hoisted at the Fort, under a salute from this Frigate, in the presence of several citizens of The United States and Subjects of Great Britain, I am, etc. D. Jewett.”
August, the letter appears in a London newspaper and is picked up by the Spanish press.
August 24th, La Gazeta de Buenos Ayres is replaced with another official Gazette by Bernardino Rivadavia; ”… under the direction of the Ministry of Government it will organize and publish an official register, and must include all laws, orders and decrees and acts of a general effect or that demand a circular communication”.
October 6th, all Privateer commissions issued against Spain are annulled by Buenos Aires.
November 6th, a Buenos Aries Tribunal considering the mutiny on board the Heroina, approves Colonel David Jewett’s actions in suppressing it. No mention is made of Jewett’s claim to the Falkland Islands.
November 10th, the news report reaches the United Provinces, and is reproduced in the Buenos Aires Argos newspaper
In December, the South Orkney Islands are discovered and claimed for Britain by Captain George Powell.
British sealers Enchantress, Hetty, John, Pomona, Sprightly, Jane, Beaufoy, Jane Maria, Wasp, Livonia, Robert and Grace hunt at the Falklands.
1822 - March 9th, Joaquin de Anduaga, Spanish Minister to the United States, to John Quincy Adams; “Sir: In the National Intelligencer of this day, I have seen the message sent by the President to the House of Representatives, in which he proposes the recognition by the United States of the insurgent Governments of Spanish America. … what is the present state of Spanish America, and what are its Governments, to entitle them to recognition? Buenos Ayres is sunk in the most complete anarchy, and each day sees new despots produced, who disappear the next. … Where, then, are those Governments which ought to be recognised? where the pledges of their stability? where the proof that those provinces will not return to a union with Spain, when so many of their inhabitants desire it? and, in fine, where the right of the United States to sanction and declare legitimate a rebellion without cause, and the event of which is not even decided ? … I think it my duty to protest as I do solemnly protest, against the recognition of the Governments mentioned, of the insurgent Spanish provinces of America, by the United States, declaring that it can in no way now, or at any time, lessen or invalidate in the least the right of Spain to the said provinces, or to employ whatever means may be in her power to reunite them to the rest of her dominions.
On March 20th, the Heroína is challenged by the Portuguese 44 gun frigate Pérola off Gibraltar. The Pérola manages to approach the Heroína and fires a broadside, ravaging the deck and forcing Mason to surrender. The Heroína is taken to Lisbon. Mason and the crew are tried.
‘Case of the Heroina: The Commander, it appeared in evidence, was a North American of the name of William Robert Mason, and his commission was dated in April, 1820, authorising him only to molest Spanish vessels, enjoining, and imposing on him the obligation to avoid every abuse of his trust, and all irregularities on the high seas which might implicate the Buenos Ayres flag. In his cruize he was directed to overhaul every vessel, both armed and traders navigating under the Spanish flag, and examine their commissions and papers to see if they were legal, and the use made of them, and also to punish all excesses committed against neutral and friendly vessels. The Heroina was fitted out and commissioned as a vessel belonging to the Government of Buenos Ayres. On examination, however, 45 men, composing the crew, spontaneously confessed, that this corvette pursued a system of piracy, robbing all the vessels they could. From the depositions, it appeared, that early in August, 1820, in the latitude of La Isla de Flores, they met a Portuguese vessel, called the Carlotta, bound with a cargo from Bahia to Lisbon, which they captured, after an action of two hours. The crew were put in irons five days, and then sent on board a vessel accidentally met with. The captain of the privateer afterwards had two officers and four sailors shot; and his prize, the Carlotta, was lost in a storm.
Towards the close of 1820, being at the Falkland Islands, an American schooner entered, which they captured, and sent to their consignee at Buenos Ayres. On the 14th June, they captured the Spanish brig of war, Maypu, bound from Lima to Cadiz and armed her to accompany them on their piratical expedition. In the latitude of Cabofrio, they chased the Portuguese brig, Infante Don Sebastian, firing at her, but being unable to come up with her, they chased a Portuguese galley to leeward, and the captain having come on board the Heroina, near Cape St. Vincents, accompanied by a slave, the pirates had the latter hung up to compel him to declare where his master kept his money. on the 12th July, 1821, they captured the Portuguese ship Viscondessa de Rio Sceo, near Bahia, which they took to the island of St. Vincents, conveying on board the privateer the greatest part of the moveable effects, and after selling the hull, they shipped the cargo in the American brig Aligator, and conveyed it to the island of Boa Vista, where it was transshipped on board the brig Hunter of London, for the purpose of going to Buenos Ayres.
Numerous other similar cases are detailed in the proceedings. The privateer and her consort generally made their attacks under the British flag.” (Report in the Morning Chronicle, London, dated Friday, June 7, 1822)
Mason is imprisoned in Portugal for two years before being allowed to return to Buenos Aires.
“A great deal of money was made and lost by speculators, at the time privateering was allowed in Buenos Ayres. The last vessel that sailed was the Heroine (formerly the French Braak), commanded by a North American, named Mason …”
April 22nd, the British brig Romeo arrives in the Rio de la Plata from the Islas Nuevas.
May 2nd, in the House of Commons, a debate on the South American colonies; “Lord Londonderry …, in answer to the questions of Sir James Mackintosh, that whilst this government had neither formally recognized, or entered into any correspondence that would imply a recognition of, these new governments, it had nevertheless considered them as governments de facto; ..”
June 21st, the Spanish Court circulates a ‘Manifesto’ to European Governments and the United States; “His Catholic Majesty, in calling the attention of his august allies towards the dissident Spanish provinces of America, judges it not only useless, but unseasonable, to examine the causes which produced in those countries a desire to separate from the mother country; it is sufficient to his Catholic Majesty to have the consolation that it was not the abuse of power nor the weight of oppression which originated so serious an event; and that only extraordinary circumstances, and the terrible crisis in which Spain saw herself compromised, to free her throne and her dignity from the imminent risk of a foreign usurpation, could occasion a disunion so fatal between the members of one and the same family. … his Catholic Majesty desires ardently to put an end to a situation so painful of anxiety and of uncertainty; and, carrying into execution the beneficent resolutions of the Cortes, has named the respective Commissioners to proceed to the dissident provinces of Ultramar, hear their propositions, transmit them to the Spanish Government, and open a frank and sincere correspondence, which may have for object and end the good of those countries and that of the nation in general…. It is now twelve years since Buenos Ayres, delivered to its own fortune, has toiled in vain to consolidate a Government, and the misery and depopulation suffered by the provinces of Costa-firma have retarded, instead of accelerating their wealth and prosperity. … But it appears only as if a new calamity has taken place, in confirmation of the evils which should have been foreseen ; the insurrection of the American continent has given color and support to the piracy of the seas, and commerce in general begins to suffer from the insecurity and dangers of this immoral and barbarous war, which knows no law but that of sordid interest, and which treats and despoils as enemies the industrious individuals of all nations, indiscriminately…. H. C. M. flatters himself with the greatest satisfaction that, about to establish with the dissident provinces this ample and friendly communication, he will find in the other Governments that circumspect and deliberate conduct that justice prescribes, and that policy recommends, and that sentiments of impartiality and benevolence inspire. The Spanish nation, treating to put an end to a domestic discord, the same inviolable respect which it professes to the rights of other nations inspires it with the just confidence of being treated reciprocally with the same considerations, not being able to suspect, even on the part of the nations who desire to continue in friendship; and harmony with her, any hazarded step which might suppose already resolved the question which the Spanish nation is about to decide as its own, in use of its legitimate acknowledged rights, and which it has never in any manner renounced…
August 3rd, the Adeona, under the command of Captain William Low, sails from the Rio de la Plata for the Falklands.
September 17th, James Weddell departs England in the brig, Jane, bound for the south seas. The Jane is accompanied by the cutter, Beaufoy, captained by Matthew Brisbane.