Belize in the Late 1700s
1754 – The Spanish attack the Belize settlement again. The settlers fled to Black River, but return to Belize the next year. (H) (B)
1763 – In the Treaty of Paris, Britain agreed to have to fortifications on the Central American coast dismantled. However, the Shoremen, as the settlers to the south of Black River had come to be known, and the Baymen refused to acknowledge the treaty. (H:54-55) (B)
1770′s – Logwood decreased in importance, and value, and was replaced by mahogany. Logging has expanded as far south as the Sibun River and Malantee Lagoon, and to the headwaters of the Belize River. There had been a settlement at Haulover Creek (present-day Belize City), but it was abandoned in early 1779 for St. George’s Caye. (F)
1779 – A Spanish force captured St. George’s Caye. Many settlers were taken away, about 300 fled to Roatan and Bonacca. (B) (S)
1783 – In the Treaty of Versailles, Spain affirmed the right of the British to log in Belize, north of the Belize River, but forced Britain to agree to give up the settlements along the Miskito Coast of present-day Nicaragua. This was resisted by the Shoremen. (H:57)
1784 – A British superintendent was located at “Haulover”, which may refer to the same location as Belize City’s Ft. George area (F), or where the present-day Haulover Bridge is located at the mouth of the Belize River where a fort was located.
1786 – In the Convention of London, Spain granted permission to England for the right to log as far south as the Sibun River in exchange for the evacuation of British settlers from the Bay Islands (Roatan) and the Miskito Coast. (H:57) (B) (S)
1787 – As a result of the previous years negotiations in Europe, the British move approx. 540 settlers and 1680 slaves from the Miskito coast to Belize. (B) (S) (H)
1790 – A town called Convention Town was laid out on the south side of Haulover Creek. By 1800, this town was referred to as ‘Belize’. (B)
1798, September 10 – The battle of St. George’s Caye. On this day the settlers decided to stay and fight against a Spanish fleet that had arrived to capture the settlement. The settlers won and it was the last time the Spanish attacked the settlement. Creoles look on this day as the point from which stems the legitimacy of Belize as a political entity, and therefore the Belize Creole as an identity.