This has been an eventful day in the history of the Beagle. At 10 oclock in the morning the Minister for the present military government came on board & begged for assistance against a serious insurrection of some black troops. Cap FitzRoy immediately went to ashore to ascertain whether it was a party affair, or that the inhabitants were really in danger of having their houses ransacked. The head of the Police (Damas) has continued in power through both governments, & is considered as entirely neutral; being applied to, he gave it as his opinion that it would be doing a service to the state to land, our force.
Whilst this was going on ashore, the Americans landed their boats & occupied the Custom house. Immediately the Captain arrived at the mole, he made us the signal to hoist out & man our boats. In a very few minutes, the Yawl, Cutter, Whaleboat & Gig were ready with 52 men heavily armed with Muskets Cutlasses, & Pistols. After waiting some time on the pier Signor Dumas arrived & we marched to a central fort, the seat of Government. During this time the insurgents had planted artillery to command some of the streets, but otherwise remained quiet. They had previously broken open the Prison & armed the prisoners.
At sunset the boats were sent on board & one returned with warm clothing for the men to bivouac during the night. As I had a bad headache, I also came & remained on board. The few left in the Ship, under the command of Mr Chaffers, have been the most busily engaged of the whole crew. They have triced up the Boarding netting, loaded & pointed the guns, & cleared for action. We are now at night in a high state of preparation so as to make the best defence possible, if the Beagle should be attacked. To obtain ammunition could be the only possible motive.