Lady Cochrane is at Huaita, making
shift in the best way she
can. God give you happiness, my friend. Always count on the
sincere esteem of your affectionate
JOSE DE SAN MARTIN.
This testimony from one whose creatures the more influential of the Chilian ministers were, is indisputable, but in the present case their rapacity alarmed even their patron. San Martin is however wrong in attributing the traitorous attempt to the Government collectively—the Supreme Director, O’Higgins, not being capable of such practices as were carried on under his authority—of which this is only one solitary instance. The real perpetrators of these enormities are fresh in the recollection of many Chilenos still living. Yet these were the men who, under the mask of patriotism, originated the most unworthy charges against me, without giving me the slightest credit for having carried on the naval war without national assistance either in money or stores. The present generation of Chilenos are proud of their country, and—as their present excellent President, when awarding me an admiral’s pay for the remainder of my life has stated—desire to reward those illustrious foreigners who assisted them in their struggles for independence—but they have great reason to regret the conduct of those ministers who imperilled that independence, and jeopardised the liberties of Chili for private gain.
It is scarcely necessary to add that not a grain of corn in the Miantinomo, or other vessels similarly despatched, with the exception of one which arrived during my absence, found its way to the starving garrison of Callao. Yet on their arrival I was implored to permit its landing, and on replying that no such treachery to the people of Chili should be carried on before my face, I was coolly asked to stand off during the night from the blockade, that I might not see what was going on! Such was ministerial honesty in the first days of Chilian independence.
The cause of official animosity to me is now apparent. Had I participated in these nefarious practices, or had I accepted the rank, decorations, and estates offered to me by San Martin as the price of my defection from Chili, I should now be rich, however despicable to myself—in place of having long and severely suffered in consequence of my rigorous adherence to the national interests—with the proud consciousness of never having done an act which I desire to conceal.
Recent Address of the President of Chili to the Senate and Chamber of Deputies, recognising Lord Dundonald’s services, and according to him full pay as Admiral for the remainder of his life.
Fellow Citizens of the Senate and Chamber of Deputies,
Towards the end of 1818, when Chili celebrated the first maritime triumph obtained by our squadron in Talcahuano, the gallant seaman Thomas Lord Cochrane, now Earl of Dundonald, and an admiral in the British service, appeared upon our seas, decided to assist the noble cause of our independence.