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A History of William Paterson and the Darien Company
By James Samuel Barber formerly Accountant of the Bank of Scotland (1907)


The printed documents and books concerning the Darien Company and the relations to it of its projector William Paterson, while numerous, are widely scattered, and in the following pages an endeavour has been made for the first time to focus their chief information in narrative form.

The story of the flotation of the ill-starred Darien Company, its multiplied disasters, and its tragic collapse, along with that of the chequered career of its projector, forms an interesting episode in Scottish history which should not be allowed to sink into oblivion.

Among the numerous authorities consulted and drawn upon, the following may be particularly named:

1. 'A Defence of the Scots Abdicating Darien; Including an Answer to the Defence of the Scots Settlement there.' Printed in the year 1700. The writer of this tract is understood to have been one Walter Herries, a surgeon on board the first expedition to Darien.

2. 'The History of Darien.' By the Rev. Francis Borland, "sometime Minister of the Gospel at Glassford, and one of the Ministers who went along with the last Colony to Darien. Written mostly in the year 1700, while the Author was in the American regions." 2nd edition. Glasgow, 1779.

3. 'History of the Union.' By Daniel De Foe. London, 1786.

4. ' The Darien Papers.' Edited by Dr Hill Burton for the Bannatyne Club. Edinburgh, 1849.

5. 'The Writings of William Paterson.' By Saxe Bannister, M.A. 2nd edition. 3 vols. London, 1859.

6. ' The Early History of the Scots Darien Company.' By Hiram Bingham, Curator of South American History and Literature at the Library of Harvard University. Three papers in 'The Scottish Historical Review,' January, April, and July 1906.

Edinburgh, April 1907.


Chapter I. William Paterson and the passing of the Darien Company's Act

Chapter II. The capital of the Darien Company

Chapter III. The Darien Company and its bank-note issue

Chapter IV. The company's preparations for the first expedition to Darien

Chapter V. The expeditions to Darien: first expedition

Chapter VI. The expeditions to Darien: first expedition continued

Chapter VII. The expeditions to Darien: Second expedition

Chapter VIII. Restitution of the capital, with interest, to the subscribers of the Darien Company

Chapter IX. William Paterson's indemnity and his last will


Appendix A. Act of the Darien Company June 26, 1695

Appendix B. Declaration by the council of Caledonia - December 28, 1698

Appendix C. Rules and Ordinances by the parliament of caledonia, for the good government of the colony April 24, 1699

Appendix D. Letter J. S. Fleming, F.R.S.E., to 'The Scotsman' - August 5, 1880

Appendix E. Brochure 'The History of Caledonia: or, the Scots Colony in Darien in the West Indies. by a gentleman lately arriv'd.' London, 1699

Appendix F. list op subscribers to the Darien Company, 1696

You can download the complete book in pdf format here!

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