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who perish from the locked jaw, are immense. The loss has rather diminished in some districts, but has never been materially lessened. It is beyond a doubt, however, that this dreadful malady may be cured by the use of electricity. The spasms which occasion it, may thus be removed, and the parts are thus enabled to perform their proper functions. This simple but efficacious remedy, is to be tried at St. Croix, by its intelligent governor, General Oxholm, on his estates in that island.
There are other disorders to which negroes are subjected, as the horrid disease called the yazes, for which improved modes of treatment have been suggested ; but that is the province of the physician to discuss.
As a means of augmenting the population of our West India Colonies, I now beg leave to suggest a plan which seems to me the most expedient of any hitherto suggested.
In the former paper I mentioned, that in Guzerat a species of grain is cultivated called badgeree, which grows without irrigation, and is the great article of food with the more numerous inhabitants of that country. Its success in the West Indies, where the soil and climate are nearly similar, cannot be doubted. Transport, therefore, not only the grain, but the people who raise, and who consume it. Let them be free West India laborers, and you at once put an end to the distresses of the Colonies. They will thus obtain surplus food and surplus labor, and the decrease to the black population, will no longer be materially fatal to the interests of the planters. To any new plan, objections will of course be started ; but to this proposal they are of little moment. The numbers who live upon badgeree, and other grains of a similar description, are so great, and multiply so fast, that there will be no difficulty in procuring as many laborers as can be required in the West Indies. They bring their own favorite sorts of food with them, and consequently will not feel a change of residence, in the same manner as if they were compelled in that respect to aher their usual habits. The raising their food would require but little labor, and consequently they would have much spare time to be employed in the service of the planters. They would introduce some useful practices from their own country, in regard to the preservation of health, and the uses of various trees and plants, as the Cocoa tree, &c They are more docile than the negroes, and would sooner adopt European improvements: and as they are accustomed to receive wages in their own country, at the rate of only two-pence halfpenny a day, they would consequently raise West Indian productions cheaper than by the labor of slaves.
2. Increased Food.
On this subject I find strong prejudices entertained, against the employment of West Indian Estates, for any other purposes but producing the most valuable articles. A single observation however, from a most respectable correspondent, refutes such doctrines. He states, " The planters of Barbadoes wisely devote a larger proportion of the soil to the raising of provisions than any of the other islands; and consequently, although they remit less to the united kingdoms, than their neighbors, in proportion to their plantations, yet they incur fewer expenses, buying little more of food for their cultivators, than a small weekly proportion of fish from British America."
Others maintain, that ground provisions ought alone to be cultivated in those countries: but this is a hazardous mistake, as appears from the following important extract of a communication on that subject. "Your hints to West India planters merit the most serious attention from that class of people, and if acted upon, will be found productive of much good, to the Islands in particular. In the Colonies of Demerara, &c. they have great variety of provisions, such as plantains, yams, bread-fruit, &c. Their ground is too valuable, and labor too expensive, to raise wheat, as an article of negro food; they don't like it, unless when baked into bread, and this, on plantations, they have not the means of doing. I remember one year that the ground provisions in Demerara failed, and that consequently American flour, of the best quality, was served out to the negroes on the different estates in lieu of plantains, &c. They used itin various ways excepting as bread. The consequence, however, was, a most alarming mortality among them that year. Dysentery carried off many hundreds of them, and the use of flour was supposed to be the cause of it. I think it was the year 1802, or 1803."
Hence it is evident, that ground provisions cannot be entirely depended on, and that some species of grain ought to be cultivated, of which the badgeree is likely to be the most beneficial, from the rapidity of its growth, for if sown in July or August, it will be reaped in September or October, and its wholesomeness is unquestionable.
On the whole, if these ideas are taken up by the West India planters, with that energy that belongs to their character, they may depend on a change of a most favorable nature in their future prospects. In the words of an intelligent friend, " there is no calculation of the general good that would result from an interchange in the improvements of cultivation in our East and West India dominions; and after the wars and desolations which have for so many years produced the distresses of mankind, to what wiser or more useful attentions can our exertions now be turned, than to those of agriculture?"
4, Edgware Road, London, 10th January, 1815. N
N. B. In a communication from one of the most respectable planters in Jamaica, he observes, " That the tastes and prejudices of the negroes cannot be controlled or directed." Hence, however, arises the necessity of introducing a new race of people into those islands, who, possessing milder dispositions, will not be so stubborn. It is likewise a very different case, being compelled to take a new species of food, and seeing others in the same rank in life, living upon that article. If it appears in their case to be nourishing and wholesome, a taste for it may be gradually acquired.
I am glad to find that my correspondent is sending out ploughs and other agricultural implements with confident hopes of ultimate success. For merely stirring the ground, preparatory to the hoes, perhaps " The Grubber," as lately improved in East Lothian, would be of more use than even the plough, unless the ground must be stirred to the depth of from six to eight inches.
There certainly will be some difficulty at first, in the introduction of new grains, and new instruments of husbandry. But rouse a general spirit for improvement, and these difficulties vanish. New modes become fashionable; an emulation is excited who shall succeed best in the new system;—the narrowest minds become expanded; and improvements proceed, in some cases with a rapidity as if they were carried on by magic. Such would be the case in the West Indies in particular, where the planters are distinguished by active and energetic minds.
On Circulation and Coin, and the Means of arresting the progress of our Public Calamities.
The new light, which the experience of modern times has thrown on the principles of circulation and coin, if now acted upon, would probably still relieve us from many of the difficulties to which we are unfortunately subject. It would require a volume to detail these principles at length: I shall endeavour to compress them within the narrowest possible compass, and under distinct heads or maxims.
1. The power and prosperity of a nation, and the amount of its public revenue, principally depend upon an abundant circulation.
This, till of late, was never incontrovertibly proved, but it cannot now be questioned. On the foundation of an abundant circulation, we were enabled to pay enormous taxes;—to borrow sums beyond all former example ;—to carry on, for a series of years, the most extensive wars ;—to subsidise the greater part of the governments of Europe ;—and to resist, and ultimately to conquer, the greatest and most formidable power that modern times have produced; and yet our agriculture, our commerce, and our manufactures, instead of being injured by such exertions, never were in so florishing a state.1 What a miserable reverse has taken place, since our circulation became less abundant! If it should continue deficient, can our revenue be productive, or the means of our public expenditure be supplied?
2. It is of no consequence of what that circulation consists, pro
vided it is accredited.
This maxim is likewise incontestably proved by recent experience. All the great advantages above enumerated, were effected, "by a circulation in paper, not convertible into coin;" and though Bank-notes continue to be our medium of circulation, so far from being depreciated, compared to coin in foreign exchanges, they are now at a premium. Can there be a stronger proof of the solidity of a paper circulation, when established on proper principles?
1 A hundred people may be put to inconvenience, because one individual, ut the head of a chain of circulation, cannot pay one hundred pounds. Enable him to pay that sum, and those connected with him, one after the other, are relieved.
VOL. XIII. Pam. NO. XXVI. 2B
3. The best proof of a sufficiency of circulation is, a moderate rate of interest.
This cannot be too strongly inculcated, and it is easily attainable, where a paper circulation exists, for it can be multiplied, on the foundation of solid property, until interest is reduced to four, or at the utmost, five per cent., which it ought never to exceed. A higher rate of interest, is a bar to every species of public improvement, and must be the source of infinite distress.
4. A paper circulation, however advantageous, ought to represent
This maxim has not hitherto been attended to in this country to the extent that it ought, and thence much mischief has ensued. Persons without property, have been permitted to issue notes, and to force a circulation by means of fraudulent practices. The consequences which must result from such a baseless fabric, were foreseen, and distinctly pointed out; but in vain, Hence thousands have suffered materially, and multitudes been entirely ruined, by the bankruptcy of issuers of country notes, Thence, also, a slur has been thrown on the system of paper circulation, to which, under proper regulations, it is not liable. It would not be difficult to point out means adequate to prevent that fraudulent circulation, which has a tendency to give an inordinate value to the price of commodities, and is, in many other respects, extremely prejudicial.
5 A paper circulation ought to be kept within due limits.
On this principle it is of great importance to have notes issued, eitner by opulent corporations, or by private individuals of undoubted solidity, and not by the state. A paper circulation can then be kept within due bounds, which has never been the case, when issued in the name of the public. The ruinous effects of government issues, form the principal objection to paper circulation; but in this country it has been fortunately obviated by the system we have hitherto pursued.
6. A metallic circulation, instead of enriching, impoverishes a
This is a modern discovery, and one of a most important description. In barbarous times, nothing can pass as a medium of circulation, that is not of intrinsic value, because credit or confi