THE new-born republic was not long in finding trouble on its hands. Only six days after the Declaration of Independence, some seventy Canary Islanders and creole royalists, armed and mounted, gathered in Los Teques, a mountain village twenty miles west of Caracas. Carrying a flag with the picture of Fernando and shouting "Viva El Rey! Death to the traitors!" they began a march toward the capital. Within a few hours, however, they were all prisoners of the patriot troops. They were tried quickly and sentenced. Many were exiled, sixteen were shot in the Plaza Mayor. It is claimed that Miranda insisted upon the old Spanish custom of quartering the bodies by way of warning to others, but he was overruled. These were the first castigations of the republic and were used by the Spaniards later as an excuse for their horrible cruelties, which they termed "reprisals."
On the same day, July 11, a more serious uprising occurred in the city of Valencia, the second city of the colony, eighty-five miles back in the Andes. Word reached the capital on the thirteenth and the patriot army, again under the Marqués del Toro, was sent out to subdue the city. Miranda still had not the confidence of the government and, though he had the rank of lieutenant-general, was not given a command. The gouty, easy-going old Marqués was regarded by the youthful element as "wearing better the title of marquis than that of general." He certainly proved the opinion to be true. He foolishly attacked the royalists at the Pass of La Cabrera near Lake