I would ask the Chilian people and Government whether they do not now see the injurious treatment pursued towards me—arising from the base impositions then practised upon them, though these have been partly compensated by the present enlightened Government, which, as its recent decision has shewn, is composed of men of a far higher stamp than those with whom I was placed in contact, and, as I have every reason to believe, would redeem the stigma left on the national character by their corrupt predecessors of 1820-23, on fully comprehending the treatment to which I was subjected. That explanation is here truthfully laid before them, enabling them to judge for themselves. I will only add that not a single statement has been made in this narrative which is not based on original documents, the more important of which have been incorporated, the whole being about to be photographed and sent out to Chili, so that, comparing them with their official originals, their authenticity shall be beyond question.
I have said that the ministry which paralysed my operations, and by their ill-disguised mercenary practices overthrew the Supreme Director, O’Higgins, was corrupt, though I have thought it beneath the dignity of historical narrative, more particularly to expose their dishonest practices, of which I was well apprised. I feel, however, that in making such a charge, some proof thereof is incumbent on me, I will therefore in conclusion simply adduce a solitary instance of those practices, so damning, that, unless supported by irrefutable testimony, I might well be deemed a malicious libeller for making accusations otherwise utterly incredible.
It has been proved by the narrative—as indeed it has never been disputed—that the vigilance of the blockade before Callao starved the Spanish garrison out of Lima, and ultimately out of the fortress of Callao, this being the main object of the blockade. Whilst I was thus, as the only means within my power, endeavouring to starve out the Spaniards, the Chilian Ministers were sending corn to be sold, at a thousand per cent, profit, to the blockaded garrison!
To such an extent was this carried, that even Gen. San Martin, aware of the villainy of his pretended supporters in the Chilian ministry, and dreading the result, put me on my guard by writing to me the following letter:—
Haura, Feb. 21, 1821.
My esteemed Friend,
I am expecting information from
you with great
anxiety, and sincerely hope that it may be as favourable as that
which I received in Ancon when I was in similar uncertainty.
The Miantinomo is on her way from Valparaiso, by permission of the Government, to introduce a cargo of corn into Callao! It is most essential at all risks to avert this mischief, for it would be perfect ruin to admit such a cargo under existing circumstances! I have officially given you information on this subject.
The day before yesterday the Andromache
arrived at Huacho;
Capt. Sherriff tells me that in a few days he shall return to Callao.