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Ministers possess the means, that obliged anew to sustain it in such you may be able to frame your a crisis ; and had not the public enactments according to the cir- mind been promptly turned to its cumstances of the case. It be- own preservation, the Republic longs to the President of the would have been torn in pieces by Councils of State and of the Min- its own citizens. She was pleased istry, to exhibit the transactions of to honor me with her confidence, the last eighteen months; and if a confidence which I was they have not equalled what we bound to respect as the most samight have hoped, they have at cred law. When the country was least overcome the obstacles which on the brink of ruin, could I hesiopposed the march of the admin- tate? istration the turbulent circum The laws, which had been viostances of foreign war and internal lated by the tumult of arms and commotion ; evils which, thanks the dissensions of the people, had to Divine Providence, have yield- lost their force. Already the leed to the influence of mercy and gislative body, knowing the necespeace.
sity of the case, had decreed that Bestow your highest attention a Convention should be assembled upon the origin and progress of to reform the Constitution ; and these disturbances.
already the Convention had deThe commotions which unfor- clared that the reform was urgently tunately occurred in 1826, obliged necessary. So solemn a declarame to return from Peru, although tion, connected with the events I had resolved not to accept the which preceded it, gave a formal Chief Magistracy, to which I had decision against the political combeen re-elected during my ab- pact of Colombia. In opinion sence. Urgently invited to restore and in fact, the Constitution of harmony and avert a civil war, I the 11th year [of the Republic) could not refuse my services to had ceased to exist. the country from which I received The condition of the country that new honor, and the most un- was dreadful, and mine still more equivocal proofs of confidence. so; for I was placed at the mer
The national representation be- cy of opinions and suspicions. gan to consider the causes of the Nevertheless, the diminution of a discord which agitated the public reputation acquired by a long semind; and convinced that they ries of services, in which similar were real, and that thorough mea- sacrifices had been necessary and sures ought to be adopted, they frequent, did not restrain me from submitted to the necessity of call- the performanoe of duty. ing a Grand Convention. This The organic decree which I isbody was installed in the midst of sued on the 27th of August, 1828, party excitement, and as might be ought to have convinced all, that expected, was dissolved without it was my most ardent desire, to being able to agree upon the re- relieve myself from the insupportforms in contemplation. Seeing able weight of unlimited authorthe Republic threatened with à ity, and that the Republic might complete dismemberment, I was again be organized by means of
its representatives. But scarcely and by virtue of an armistice we had I begun to exercise the func- recovered Guayaquil. At length, tions of Supreme Chief, when op- on the 22d of September, the posing elements developed them- Treaty of Peace was signed, selves with the violence of passion which put an end to a war in which and the ferocity of crime. An Colombia defended her dignity attempt was made upon my life : and her rights. civil war
was kindled up : and I congratulate the Congress and the Government of Peru was en- the nation on the satisfactory recouraged by this example, and by sult of affairs in the South; not other means, to invade the De- only because the war is at an end, partments of the South, for pur- but because we have received the poses of conquest and usurpation. most unequivocal demonstrations I do not rely, fellow-citizens, of good-will from the Peruvian upon simple conjecture: unques- Government, - wbich nobly contionable facts and documents con- fesses that we were provoked to firm what I say. War became the war by wicked designs on the inevitable. The army of Gen. part of our enemies. No GovernLamar was defeated at Tarqui in ment has made satisfaction to the most splendid and glorious another, as Peru has to this : for manner by our arms: and the which magnanimity she is entitled forces which remained owed their to our most perfect esteem. preservation to the generosity of Fellow-citizens : If peace has the conquerors. Notwithstanding been concluded with that modethe magnanimity of the Colom- ration which was to be expected bians, Gen. Lamar renewed the between kindred nations, which war, in direct violation of his ought not to have turned their agreement, and commenced hos- consecrated arms against liberty tilities. I again invited him to and their common safety, we also peace; but, in return, he loaded have exercised lenity with the us with calumny and insult. The unfortunate people of the South Department of Guayaquil became who suffered themselves to be the victim of his extravagant pre- implicated in a civil war, or seductensions.
ed by the enemy. It is gratifyDeprived of our military marine, ing to tell you that in terminating opposed by the inundations of the these domestic dissensions, not a rainy season and by other obsta- drop of blood has been sacrificed cles, we had to wait for a favora- to the vengeance of the laws, and ble opportunity to recover the although a gallant General and place. During this interval, a his followers have fallen on the national decision (to use the lan- field of death, their punishment guage of the Supreme Chief of came from the hand of the AlPeru) vindicated' our conduct, mighty, since from ours they and relieved our enemies from the would have obtained mercyadministration of General Lamar. that mercy which we extended to
The political aspect of that Re- the survivors. They are all in the public being thus changed, the enjoyment of liberty, notwithprocess of negotiation was easy; standing their errors.
Too much has the country suf- prerogatives, it is not my business fered by these commotions, which to influence your councils in any we shall always recollect with manner whatever. And besides, pain: and if anything can mitigate it would be irksome to repeat to our sorrow, it is the reflection that the representatives of the people, their origin is in no measure attri- that which Colombia publishes in butable to us, and that we have characters of blood. My sole been as generous with our adver- duty is, to submit without reserve saries as was in our power. The to the laws of the magistrates sacrifice of any delinquents on the which you may create ; and it is altar of justice assuredly grieves my only aspiration, that the will of us; and although the parricide the people may be proclaimed, bas no claim to indulgence, yet respected, and fulfilled by their many of them have received it Delegates. from my hands, and perhaps those
To this end I thought proper who least deserved it.
to invite all the people to express Take for example the scene of their opinions with full liberty and horror which unfortunately I had security, under no other restricto lay before you. Suppose it to tion than those which order and happen as one of those formidable moderation ought to prescribe. chastisements which Providence The invitation has been complied is pleased to give us in the course with ; and you will find in the of our lives, for our correction. petitions which will be submitted It is the duty of Congress to to your consideration, the ingengather sweet fruits from this bitter uous expression of the will of the tree, or at least to remove from people. All the Provinces await under its poisonous shade. your decision; all the meetings
Had I not enjoyed the enviable which have been held for the obprivilege of calling you to repre- ject have been characterized by sent the rights of the people, in regularity and respect for the auorder that, conformably to the thority of the government and the wishes of your constituents, you Constituent Congress. We have might create or meliorate our in- only to regret the extravagance of stitutions, this would be the place the meeting in Caracas, concernto point out to you the fruits of ing which both your prudence twenty years, consecrated to the and wisdom ought to judge. service of the country. But Iought
I fear, not without some founnot even to indicate, what other dation, that when I speak of the citizens have a right to ask of you. Magistrate who is to preside over All can, and ought to submit their the Republic, my sincerity will be opinions, their fears and desires, doubted. But Congress ought to to those whom we have appointed be persuaded that its honor is opto cure society of its confusion posed to thinking of me for this and frailties. L'alone am excluded station, and my own to its acceptfrom exercising this privilege of ance by me. Would you consider citizens, because having called it decorous to devolve this preyou together and defined your cious power upon the same man
who has assigned it to you ? people, avoiding every thought of Could
you, without injury to your considering me necessary to the reputation, give me your suffra- Republic. If ONE MAN were ne
Would not this be equiva- cessary to sustain a State, that lent to my appointing myself ? State would not deserve to exist, Far from you and from me be an and in short could not exist. act so unworthy.
The Magistrate whom yoù seObliged as you are, to consti- lect will doubtless be an Iris of tute the government of the Repub- domestic concord, a bond of fralic, you will find both within and ternal union, a consolation to the without your own body, illustrious parties that are depressed. Around citizens who will fill the Presi- him all the Colombians will rally; dency with glory and advantage. he will fold them in his arms, and All, all my fellow-citizens enjoy form them into one family of citithe inestimable privilege of ap- zens. I will obey this legitimate pearing innocent to the eyes of magistrate with the most cordial suspicion, - 1 alone am stigma- respect; I will follow him as an tised with aspiring after tyranny. angel of peace; I will sustain him Free me, I entreat you, from with
sword and with all my the reproach which awaits me if powers. Everything will add I continue in the occupancy of a energy, respect and submission to post which pever can be exempt the man of your choice. I give from the charge of ambition. Be- you my oath for it, legislators ; I keve me, a new Magistrate is in- promise it in the name of the dispensable to the Republic. The Colombian people and army: the people wish to know if I will ever Republic will be happy, if in accease to command them. The cepting my resignation, you apAmerican States regard me with point to the Presidency a citizen a distrust which may one day dear to the nation : she will lanbring on Colombia evils similar to guish if you insist that I shall rethose of the war with Peru. main in the command. Hear my Even in Europe there are not entreaties : save the Republic : wanting those who fear that I shall save my glory, which is that of discredit
, by my conduct, the glo- Colombia. rious cause of liberty. Ah! what Take the Presidency, which I conspiracies and wars have we respectfully resign into your hands. suffered, in consequence of at- Henceforward, I am only a pritempts upon my authority and vate citizen, ready to defend the person. These misfortunes have country and obey the government; occasioned sufferings to the people my public functions cease forever. whose sacrifices would have been I make a formal and solemn suravoided, if from the first the le- render of the supreme authority gislators of Colombia had not which the national suffrages have compelled me to fill an office which conferred on me. has oppressed me more than war You belong to all the Provinand all its calamities.
ces; you are their most select Show yourselves, fellow-citi- citizens; you have served in all zens, worthy to represent a free public stations; you know the in
terests of the people, both general and local; you desire to regenerate the Republic, which is fail On the 29th Jan. Gen. Paez ing in all the branches of its ad- issued the following proclamaministration.
tion : Let my last act be, to recom VENEZUELIANS! Having made mend that you protect the holy known in November your deterreligion which we profess, — the mination of separating yourselves overflowing fountain of heavenly from the other part of the territory, blessings. The national treasury forming the Republic of Colombia, requires your attention, especially and your desires having been in the system of collection. The complied with, the four departpublic debt, which is the canker ments which divided ancient Venof Colombia, demands of you its ezuela, - Maturin, Venezuela, most sacred rights. The army, Oronoco and Zulia, - have all which has immense claims upon desired the same thing, and have your gratitude, requires a thorough shown the like enthusiasm, not organization. Justice demands one town dissenting. The national codes of laws capable of defending opinion has been manifested with the rights and innocence of free- liberty, and the people of Venemen. All must be created anew; zuela have expressed at once their and it is your duty to lay the true wishes. foundation of prosperity by estab Venezuelians ! Having offered lishing the general basis of our to sustain your constitution, and political organization.
being placed at the head of the Fellow Citizens: I am ashamed army, I protest to you that no to say it — independence is the strange power will invade your only blessing we have acquired, at territory, that the public tranthe expense of everything else. quillity will not be disturbed, and But this gives us opportunity to that I will uphold the national reregain what we have lost, under presentation in full security, in your sovereign auspices, with all order to fix your future destiny, the splendor of glory and liberty. and commence the work of your SIMON BOLIVAR.
prosperity. In speaking with such Bogota, Jan. 20, 1830.
certainty, I am borne out by the On the 22d, General Sucre, opinion of the people and of the President of the Constituent Con- brave and experienced generals, gress, made a reply to the above, chiefs, and officers who form the in which he says that the abdica- army, and who protect the departtion of Bolivar could not be accept- ments, resolved to make the public ed, inasmuch as he had solemnly cause triumph. promised to continue in the exer The publication of Zulia is a cise of the supreme authority, pleasing incident for the Republic, until the Congress should have which increases the integrity of promulgated a Constitution and its territory : and in receiving its named its Magistrates.'
votes, I have saluted them as wor