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Britain had sent a warning to Buenos Aires in 1829, and for a while that government put some distance between itself and the island business enterprise of Luis Vernet, to the latter’s frustration. The lack of obvious support for his settlement from the Argentine Confederation appears to have pushed Vernet into taking matters into his own hands.
In an attempt to impose control over the sealing operations employed around the archipelago’s coasts by American and British vessels, Vernet seized three ships and arrested their captains. Aware of warnings sent him by Britain’s Consul, Woodbine Parish, Luis Vernet chose to seize American ships.
Within a short period of twelve months – December, 1831 to December, 1832 – those acts brought down upon the archipelago the USS Lexington in protection of its citizens, and HMS Clio in protection of British sovereignty.
Vernet had attempted to get Britain interested in his fledgling colony before, without success. In 1831 he lit the fuse that would result in the British return.
The settlement on East Falkland would continue, but without Luis Vernet.