« FöregåendeFortsätt »
his place. But there was no such person; the term of the council had expired, and no new elections had been held; and while Morazan was dispersing the wild bands of Carrera, and relieving the Guatimalians from the danger which had brought them to their knees before him, the old jealousies revived, and incendiary publications were issued, charging him with exhausting the country in supporting idle soldiers, and keeping the city in subjection by bayonets.
About the first of July General Morazan considered Guatimala relieved from all external danger, and returned to San Salvador, leaving troops in different towns under the command of Carvallo, and appointing Carlos Salazar commandant in the city. Carrera was supposed to be completely put down; and to bring things to a close, Carvallo published the following
"The person or persons who may deliver the criminal Rafael Carrera, dead or alive (if he does not present himself voluntarily under the last pardon), shall receive a reward of fifteen hundred dollars and two cabellerias of land, and pardon for any crime he has committed.
'* The general-in-chief,
"Guatimala, July 20, 1838. J. N. Caktallo"
But the "criminal" Carrera, the proscribed outlaw, was not yet put down. One by one, he surprised the detachments of Federal troops; and while the city exhibited the fierceness of party spirit, forced loans, complaints of the expense of maintaining idle soldiers, plans to abolish the state government and form a provisional junta, its actual prostration, and the organizing of a Constituent Assembly with M. Rivera Paz at the head, Carrera, with still increasing numbers, attacked Amatitan, took the Antigua, and, barely waiting to sack a few houses, stripped it of cannon, muskets, and ammuni
DEFEAT OF CARRERA. 243
twn, and again marched against Guatimala, proclaiming his intention to raze every house to the ground, and murder every white inhabitant.
The consternation in the city cannot be conceived. General Morazan was again solicited to come. A line in pencil was received from him by a man who carried it sewed up in the sleeve of his coat, urging the city to defend itself and hold out for a few days; but the danger was too imminent; Salazar, at the head of the Federal troops (the idle soldiers complained of), marched out at two o'clock in the morning, and, aided by a thick fog, came upon Carrera suddenly at Villa Nueva, killed four hundred and fifty of his men, and completely routed him, Carrera himself being badly wounded in the thigh. The city was saved from destruction, and the day after Morazan entered with a thousand men. The shock of the immense danger they had escaped was not yet over; on the morrow it might return; party jealousies were scared away; all looked to General Morazan as the only man who could effectually save them from Carrera, and, in turn, begged him to accept the office of dictator.
About the same time Guzman, the general of Quezaltenango, arrived, with seven hundred men, and General Morazan made formidable arrangements to enclose and crush the Cachurecos. The result was the same as before: Carrera was constantly beaten, but as constantly escaped. His followers were scattered, his best men taken and shot, and he himself was penned up and almost starved on the top of a mountain, with a cordon of soldiers around its base, and only escaped by the remissness of the guard. In three months, chased from place to place, his old haunts broken up, and hemmed in on every side, he entered into a treaty with Guzman, by which he agreed to deliver up one thousand muskets, and disband his remaining followers. In executing the treaty, however, he delivered only four hundred muskets, and those old and worthless; and this breach of the convention was winked at by Guzman, little dreaming of the terrible fate reserved for himself at Carrera's hands.
This over, Morazan deposed Rivera Paz, restored Salazar, and returned to San Salvador, first laying heavy contributions on the city to support the expense of the war, and taking with him all the soldiers of the Federal Government, belying one of the party cries against him, that he was attempting to retain an influence in the city by bayonets. Guzman returned to Quezaltenango, and the garrison consisted only of seventy men.
The contributions and the withdrawal of the troops from the city created great dissatisfaction with Morazan, and at this time the political horizon became cloudy throughout the republic. The Marquis of Aycinena, who had been banished by Morazan, and had resided several years in the United States, studying our institutions, by a series of articles which were widely circulated, purporting to illustrate our constitution and laws, hurried on the crisis; Honduras and Costa Rica declared their independence of the general government: all this came back upon Guatimala, and added fuel to the already flaming fire of dissension.
On the 24th of March, 1839, Carrera issued a bulletin from his old quarters in Matasquintla, in which, referring to the declaration of independence by the States, he says: "When those laws came to my hands, I read them and returned to them very often; as a loving mother clasps in her arms an only son whom she
believed lost, and presses him against her heart, so did I with the pamphlet that contained the declaration; for in it I found the principles that I sustain and the reforms I desire.” This was rather figurative, as Carrera could not at that time read; but it must have been quite new to him, and a satisfaction to find out what principles he sustained. Again he threatened to enter the city. All was anarchy and distraction in the councils, and on the twelfth of April his hordes appeared before the gates. All were aghast, but there was no rising to repel him. Morazan was beyond the reach of their voice, and they who had been loudest in denouncing him for attempting to control the city by bayonets now denounced him for leaving them to the mercy of Carrera. All who could hid away their treasures and fled; the rest shut themselves up in their houses, barring their doors and windows, and at two o'clock in the morning, routing the guard, he entered with fifteen hundred men. Salazar, the commandant, fled, and Carrera, riding up to the house of Rivera Paz, knocked at the door, and reinstalled him chief of the state. His soldiers took up their quarters in the barracks, and Carrera established himself as the guardian of the city; and it is due to him to say that he acknowledged his own incompetency to govern, and placed men at the disposition of the municipality to preserve the peace. The Central party was thus restored to power. Carrera's fanaticism bound him to the Church party; he was flattered by his association and connexion with the aristocracy, was made brigadier-general, and presented with a handsome uniform; and, besides empty honours, he had the city barracks and pay for his men, which was better than Indian huts and foraging expeditions; the last, too, being a resource for pastime. The
league had continued since the April preceding my arrival. The great bond of union was hatred of Morazan and the Liberals. The Centralists had their Constituent Assembly, abolished the laws made by the Liberals, revived old Spanish laws and old names for the courts of justice and officers of government, and passed any laws they pleased so that they did not interfere with him. Their great difficulty was to keep him quiet. Unable to remain inactive in the city, he marched toward San Salvador, for the ostensible purpose of attacking General Morazan. The Centralists were in a state of great anxiety; Carrera's success or his defeat was alike dangerous to them. If defeated, Morazan might march directly upon the city, and take signal vengeance upon them; if successful, he might return with his barbarians so intoxicated by victory as to be utterly uncontrollable. A little circumstance shows the position of things. Carrera's mother, an old woman well-known as a huckster on the plaza, died. Formerly it was the custom with the higher classes to bury in vaults constructed within the churches; but from the time of the cholera, all burials, without distinction, were forbidden in the churches, and even within the city, and a campo santo was established outside the town, in which all the principal families had vaults. Carrera signified his pleasure that his mother should be buried in the Cathedral! The government charged itself with the funeral, issued cards of invitation, and all the principal inhabitants followed in the procession. No efforts were spared to conciliate and keep him in good temper; but he was subject to violent bursts of passion, and, it was said, had cautioned the members of the government at such moments not to attempt to argue with him, but to let him have his own