Page:A biographical dictionary of eminent Scotsmen, vol 6.djvu/323

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WILLIAM PATERSON. H7


mote it, who was all along Drummond's friend, and concurred with his proposal to send men against the Spaniards at first, and took the patronizing as long as he could conveniently, but with such caution and prudence, as to avoid and prevent animosity and faction, which he saw were unavoidable, threatening the speedier dissolution of this interest, if he should insist on the prosecution of that plea, and in opposition to that spate that was running against Drummond. But now Finab coming, who was Drummond's comrade and fellow-officer in Lorn's regiment in Flanders, he is set at liberty." This was the son of colonel Campbell of Finab, who, with three hundred of his own men, had come out and joined this last party about two months after their arrival. The Spanish troops meantime, from Panama and Santa Maria, conducted through the woods by negroes, were approaching them. They had advanced, to the number of sixteen hundred men, as far as Tubucantee, in the immediate neighbourhood of the colony, when Finab marched against them with two hundred men, and defeated them in a slight skirmish, in which he was wounded. The victory, which at one time would have been of signal service to the colony, was now unavailing ; a fleet of eleven ships, under the command of the governor of Carthagena, Don Juan Pimienta, having blocked up the harbour, and landed a number of troops, who, advancing along with the party which had found their way through the woods, invested the fort. Cut off from water, reduced by sickness, and otherwise dis- pirited, the garrison was loud in its demands for a capitulation, and the council had no other alternative but to comply with it. Finab being laid up at the time with a fever, Veitch conducted the treaty, and was allowed honourable terms. The inhabitants of the colony having gone on shipboard with all that belonged to them, they weighed anchor on the llth of April, 1700, and sailed for Jamaica, after having occupied New Caledonia somewhat more than four months. The Hope, on board of which was captain Veitch, and the greater part of the property, was wrecked on the rocks of Colorades, on the western coast of Cuba. Veitch, however, was dead before this accident happened. The Rising Sun was wrecked on the bar of Carolina, and the captain and crew, with the exception of sixteen persons who had previously landed, were lost. Of the few survivors, some remained in the English settlements, some died in Spanisli prisons; and of the three thousand men that at different periods went out to the settlement, perhaps not above twenty ever regained their native land.

In this melancholy manner terminated the greatest attempt at colonization ever made by Scotland. The conception was splendid, the promise great and every way worthy of the experiment; and but for the jealousy of the English and the Dutch, more particularly the former, it must have succeeded. The settlers, indeed, were not all well selected ; the measures actually pursued fatal to suc- cess ; and, above all, the council were men of feeble minds, utterly unqualified to act in a situation of such difficulty as that in which they came to be placed. Had the wants of the Scottish settlers been supplied by the English colonies, which they could very well have been, even with advantage to the colonies, the first and most fatal disunion, and abandonment of their station, could not have happened ; and had they been acknowledged by their sovereign, the attack made upon them by the Spaniards, which put an end to the colony, would never have been made. Time would have smoothed down the asperities among the settlers themselves ; experience would have corrected their errors in legis- tion ; and New Caledonia, which remains to this day a wilderness, might have become the emporium of half the commerce of the world.