[image ALT: Much of my site will be useless to you if you've got the images turned off!]
mail:
Bill Thayer

[image ALT: Cliccare qui per una pagina di aiuto in Italiano.]
Italiano

[Link to a series of help pages]
Help
[Link to the next level up]
Up
[Link to my homepage]
Home

The Life of Miranda

by
William Spence Robertson


[image ALT: An engraved oval head-and‑shoulders portrait of a man in early middle age, wearing early‑19c clothing: a jacket with a rising collar, a ruffled shirt. He is Francisco de Miranda, Venezuelan adventurer and patriot.]

Francisco de Miranda. From a crayon portrait drawn in 1788, presumably by Heinrich Lips von Kloten. In the Lavater collection of portraits, National Bibliotek, Vienna, Austria.

The Author and the Book

William Spence Robertson (b. Glasgow, Scotland, October 7, 1872; d. Urbana, Illinois, October 24, 1955) was one of the founders of the Hispanic American Historical Review; and remains to this day one of the chief experts on the life of Miranda and the history of Venezuela in Miranda's time. Much of the book's value is due to the author's having tracked down Miranda's voluminous papers, which had long been thought lost.

The work is inscribed,

To
The Memory of
Edward Gaylord Bourne

Table of Contents

Preface

ix

Ancestry and Early Life

1

Following the Spanish Flag

11

Tour of the United States

34

Adventures in Europe

59

Miranda Renounces the Spanish King

90

In the French Military Service

120

Experiences in France, 1793‑1797

142

Relations with England and the United States, 1797‑1799

161

New Affiliations and Fresh Financiering

188

Miranda's Last Visit to France

212

Formulation of Plans for the Addington Ministry

221

Hopes and Fears

244

Last Transactions with Pitt

266

Miranda's Attempt to Revolutionize Venezuela in 1806

293

A Climax in English Policy

1

Activities as a Propagandist

28

Essays in Journalism

47

The Return of the Exile

281

Venezuela's Declaration of Independence

102

Problems of the New Nation

125

The First Dictator of Venezuela

145

The Fateful Capitulation of San Mateo

167

Captivity in Spanish Dungeons

196

The Man and His Rôle in History

216

Bibliography

257

Illustrations

Volume I

Francisco de Miranda. From a crayon portrait drawn in 1788, presumably by Heinrich Lips von Kloten. In the Lavater collection of portraits, National Bibliotek, Vienna, Austria

Frontispiece

House of Sebastián de Miranda in Caracas, Venezuela. From a recent photograph. Reproduced by courtesy of senor Vicente Dávila

4

Juan Manuel de Cagigal. Portrait in the Miranda Manuscripts. With an inscription in Miranda's handwriting. In the Academia Nacional de la Historia, Caracas

20

Map Illustrating Miranda's Tour of the United States, 1783‑1784. From The Diary of Francisco de Miranda, edited by W. S. Robertson. Reproduced by courtesy of the Hispanic Society of America

34

The "Tryon Palace," Newbern, North Carolina, from a wash drawing. Reproduced by courtesy of Marshall DeLancey Haywood

36

Reduced facsimiles of cards which Miranda fastened between the leaves of his Diary. From the Miranda Manuscripts

38

George Washington. Painting by Charles W. Peale. In the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia

56

Colonel William S. Smith. Portrait by Gilbert Stuart. Reproduced by courtesy of Mr. Herbert L. Pratt

64

Marquis de Lafayette, as a General of the Old Régime. Lavachez mezzotint. Reproduced by courtesy of Goodspeed's Book Shop, Boston, Massachusetts

66

Empress Catherine II. Anonymous portrait in the Musée de Versailles

72

Map of Spanish America near the end of the Eighteenth Century

90

Thomas Pownall. From Pownall's Thomas Pownall. Reproduced by courtesy of Henry Steven S., Son, and Stiles

96

William Pitt. Painting by Sir Thomas Lawrence. In the National Gallery, London. Mezzotint by G. Turner. In the collection of the British Museum.

100

Map illustrating Miranda's Career in the Military Service of France

126

Francisco de Miranda. Painting by Jean Lebarbier. Engraving by Charles E. Gaucher. In the collection of the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris

132

Maximilien Robespierre. Painting by Pierre Danloux in the Musée de Versailles

142

Napoleon Bonaparte as a General of the French Revolution. Drawing by Jean Guérin. Engraving by Tapinois. In the collection of the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris

150

Empress Catherine II. Portrait by an unknown artist. Lithograph by A. Grevedore. In the collection of the British Museum, London

164

"Consequences of a Successfull French Invasion." Cartoon by James Gillray. From Wright, The Works of James Gillray

172

Alexander Hamilton. Painting by John Trumbull. In the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

180

Bernardo O'Higgins as Supreme Dictator of Chile. Reproduced by courtesy of the Chilean Legation at Washington

196

Miranda as a General of the French Republic. Engraving by François Bonneville. In the collection of the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris

216

Nicholas Vansittart. Portrait by William Owen. In the collection at Christ Church, Oxford University

222

Lord Melville. Painting by Sir Thomas laws, Plane. R. A., in the National Gallery, London. Mezzotint by E. McInnes. In the collection of the British Museum

268

Map of the Captaincy General of Venezuela with the Guianas, 1807. From François de Pons, Voyage à la partie orientalº de la Terra-ferme

294

Henry Knox. Painting by Gilbert Stuart. In the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

296

"General Miranda. An accurate Likeness taken at Barbadoes," June, 1806. from a print in the Ibero-American Library of the late Senhor Manoel de Oliveira Lima, Washington, D. C.

308

Volume II

General Francisco de Miranda. Portrait by an unknown artist. In the Suárez-Costa-Miranda Collection. Villa Selva e Guasto, Florence, Italy. Reproduced by courtesy of Signor Diego Suárez Costa y Miranda

Frontispiece

Sir Arthur Wellesley. Portrait by John Hoppner, R. A., in the National Gallery, London. Mezzotint by W. W. Barney. In the collection of the British Museum

10

"The Spanish Bull Fight, or the Corsican Matador in Danger." Cartoon by James Gillray. From Wright, The Works of James Gillray

24

Simón Bolívar in 1810. Portrait by Charles Gill. From Mancini, Bolívar et l'émancipation des colonies espagnoles." Reproduced by courtesy of Perrin et Cie., Paris

82

Francisco de Miranda. A lithograph. In Marqués de Rojas, El General Miranda. Reproduced by courtesy of Garnier Frères, Paris

102

Design of the union on the flag hoisted by vessels of Venezuela soon after the Declaration of Independence was signed. From a colored sketch sent by Manuel Sanz to Governor Hodgson of Curaçao. In the Public Record Office, London

116

The Signing of the Venezuelan Declaration of Independence. Painting by Martín Tovar y Tovar. In the Palacio de Justicia, Caracas. Engraving by George Profit in El Cojo Ilustrado, July 1, 1911

124

Map illustrating Miranda's Activities in Venezuela

146

Miranda in the prison of La Caracca. Painting by Arturo Michelena. In the Museo Indígena, Caracas. From Ô'Kelly de Galway, Francisco de Miranda. Reproduced by courtesy of Honoré Champion, Paris

208

Antonio José de Sucre. Portrait by Martín Tovar y Tovar. In the Palacio Federal, Caracas. Reproduced by courtesy of Señor Vicente Lecuna

248

Bolívar the Liberator. Portrait by an unknown artist. In the Suárez-Costa-Miranda Collection, Villa Selva e Guasto, Florence, Italy. Reproduced by courtesy of Signor Diego Suárez Costa y Miranda

254

Technical Details

Edition Used

The edition followed in this transcription was the first, © 1929 by The University of North Carolina Press. That copyright, however, was not renewed in 1956 or 1957 as then required by law in order to be maintained. The work is thus in the public domain: details here on the copyright law involved.

Illustrations

The book's illustrations are generally tipped in to accompany the text, with a few exceptions, which I've sometimes moved a little. Their original placement is given in the table above; the links are of course to the actual location in my Web transcription.

For citation and indexing purposes, the pagination is shown in the right margin of the text at the page turns (like at the end of this line);p57 these are also local anchors. Sticklers for total accuracy will of course find the anchor at its exact place in the sourcecode.

In addition, I've inserted a number of other local anchors: whatever links might be required to accommodate the author's own cross-references, as well as a few others for my own purposes. If in turn you have a website and would like to target a link to some specific passage of the text, please let me know: I'll be glad to insert a local anchor there as well.

Proofreading

As almost always, I retyped the text by hand rather than scanning it — not only to minimize errors prior to proofreading, but as an opportunity for me to become intimately familiar with the work, an exercise which I heartily recommend: Qui scribit, bis legit. (Well-meaning attempts to get me to scan text, if successful, would merely turn me into some kind of machine: gambit declined.)

My transcription has been minutely proofread. In the table of contents above, the sections are shown on blue backgrounds, indicating that I believe the text of them to be completely errorfree; a red background would mean that the page had not been proofread. As elsewhere onsite, the header bar at the top of each chapter's webpage will remind you with the same color scheme.

The printed book was adequately proofread. The inevitable typographical errors are all trivial; I've marked them with a dotted underscore like this: as elsewhere on my site, glide your cursor over the bullet or the underscored words to read the variant. Similarly, bullets before measurements provide conversions to metric, e.g., 10 miles.

A number of odd spellings, curious turns of phrase, etc. have been marked <!‑‑ sic ‑‑> in the sourcecode, just to confirm that they were checked.

Any other mistakes, please drop me a line, of course: especially if you have a copy of the printed book in front of you.



[image ALT: On a plain rectangular field, an engraved oval head-and‑shoulders portrait of a man in early middle age, wearing early‑19c clothing: a jacket with a rising collar, a ruffled shirt. The image serves as the icon on this site for 'The Life of Miranda' by William Spence Robertson, Jr.]

The icon I use to indicate this subsite is the frontispiece portrait of Miranda, colorized to the colors of the Venezuelan flag.


[image ALT: Valid HTML 4.01.]

Site updated: 1 Jul 15