PASCUAL CALLEJAS, JUAN

fl 1775 from Spain


Spanish naval officer, usually referred to as Callejas, was sent to Puerto de la Soledad with stores and provisions towards the end of 1775, as a piloto in command of the brig Santo Cristo del Buen Fin. The following year Governor Francisco GIL sent Pascual to Port Egmont to confirm that the British had abandoned their settlement there, as promised, and to make a plan of the port and the adjacent bays. He found the settlement had indeed been abandoned and was in a sad state, with the doors of the huts and storerooms open and the roofs letting in water, and some of the stores scattered along the shores. He completed the destruction by destroying the big timber tower, the storehouses, barracks and hospital, the ovens and every other building still standing. All the timber was burnt and everything capable of use was rendered unserviceable He also took down from the door of the blockhouse the lead plaque that Samuel CLAYTON had placed there, asserting British sovereignty, and took it back to Puerto de la Soledad, from where Gil sent it to Buenos Aires. Here it was placed among the government archives. When, on 2 July 1806, Buenos Aires was captured by the British, General William Carr Beresford came across the plaque and took it with him back to England. In 1777 Gil once again sent Pascual to Port Egmont and this time he reported that the British had been seen in the area catching and processing seals, suggesting that Spanish territorial jurisdiction was being violated, but the British government assured Spain that these vessels were from the North American colonies.

Authors

Andrew David & Carlos Novi