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The action continued from three until eleven P.M., when the Spaniards ran their ships so near the breakers, that it was deemed unsafe to follow them. Two hours more daylight, and the whole Spanish squadron would have been taken.
........... Don P. Garrechoca ......... 36 ......... 300
$80 ......... 600
- Powlett .............
Brodie ............. 60
56 \ each 400 Warwick ............
60 Canterbury .........
60) Oxford ...............
Toll .................. 60 ......... 300
Admiral Knowles gave his prize-money for this action, and for the attack on Port Louis, to the foremast-men of the fleet: it amounted to £6000.
Admiral Knowles blamed some of his captains, and two of them were reprimanded by the sentence of a court-martial : he also fought a duel with Captain Powlet, and was himself, upon his return to England, tried by a court-martial by the captains of his squadron, found guilty of negligence, and reprimanded for not bringing up the squadron in closer order, when he attacked the Spanish fleet off Cuba, and also for not shifting his flag on the Cornwall's being disabled.
The return of the population of Barbadoes for this year, was, 15,252 Whites, 107 free Negroes, and 47,025 Slaves. “Governor Grenville remarked, that the real number of white people was 25,000, and of Blacks 68,000.”
Memoirs of Sir Charles Knowles, Naval Chronicle, vol. i. pp. 114. 286. Smollett, vol. xi. p. 301.
Beatson's Memoirs, vol. i. p. 407 Report of the Lords of the Committee, 1798, Supplement to No. 15.
After many delays and subterfuges, an agreement was signed at Martinico by M. de Caylus and Commodore Holborne, November the 27th, 1749, whereby the French obliged themselves to evacuate the island of Tobago.
M. Maurice, Governor of Surinam, concluded a treaty with the Bush Negroes. Adoe, a Creole Negro, was their chieftain; he agreed to make peace with the governor, but exacted, as one stipulation, a regular supply of powder and fire-arms. The treaty was ratified by an exchange of presents. It appeared afterwards, that Adoe was but a petty chieftain. Another Negro, called Zamzam, still continued to demand contributions.
The exports from Essequibo and Demerary employed eight ships, and consisted of 3579 hhds. of sugar, and one bag of coffee.
The exports from the French in St. Domingo were estimated at £2,200,000, and were supposed to be much underrated at that.
The laws against runaway slaves were increased in severity, in Jamaica, this year. • Now, if a native slave of eighteen years of age, or an imported slave who had been three years resident, ran away, and was absent six months, they were to suffer death, or such other punishment as a majority of the members of the slave-court should think fit to inflict; and harbouring the fugitive was made punishable with death, without the same qualification as in the case of the fugitive himself.
But it was only in the case of a slave's doing so, that it made a capital offence.
Slaves hunting with instruments of death, unless in company with their master, guilty of felony. No slave to carry fire-arms without a ticket, under penalty of such corporal punishment, not extending to life or limb, as two justices shall think meet. A person killing a slave in the fact of stealing or running away, or, in the night, off his owner's estate, or on the road, and refusing to submit, not liable to action or damage for the same.
A slave maliciously poisoning a free person, to suffer death. A slave selling in any public place any other goods than such as belong to his owner, to be whipped.
Beatson's Memoirs, vol. i. p. 416.
Bolinbroke's Voyage to Demerary, p. 344. — Appendix. Long's Jamaica, vol. i. p.526; vol. ii. p.488. Stephen on West Indian Slavery, p. 287.
The legislature of Jamaica passed an act for the encouragement of settlers. " It empowered commissioners to appoint agents in Great Britain or elsewhere, and to contract with white families to come over, and with masters of ships for their passage, and to draw from the island treasury a sum not exceeding £6000 currency per annum.” It enacted, that such families should be lodged and subsisted, until they could be provided with lands or employment. That owners of land conveying in fee-simple to the head of every family twenty acres of good land, within a mile of some inhabited settlement, with four of the twenty planted with provisions, a dwelling-house of £50 value, one Negro of £35 value, and £20 in money, should be entitled to £ 145 for each family; or any owner entering into a bond of £500 to perform this within six months, and in the mean time furnishing the new comers with board and lodging, should be entitled to the £145, with £8 per cent. per annum interest.
- Every person settling a family at his own expence, to have the above sum, and $10 further, for each person of his family.”
Admiral Knowles left the Jamaica station for England. Previous to sailing, he received a letter of thanks from the Assembly, regretting his quitting a command which, they say, “ you have filled with so much glory to the British nation, and such peculiar honour to yourself, and with such signal advantages to trade in general.” Governor Trelawney also bore honourable testimony to his public spirit in a farewell letter.
A treaty was concluded at Madrid between England and Spain, which determined those points that had not been settled at Aixla-Chapelle. The King of Spain engaged to pay in three months, to the South Sea Company of England, £100,000 sterling, as an indemnification for all claims upon his crown by virtue of the Assiento. It was stipulated, that the English should pay no other duties than those which were exacted of them in the reign of Charles II. of Spain; that they should be treated on the footing of the most favoured nations, and continue to enjoy the privilege of taking salt at the island of Tortuga. But there was no article restricting the guarda costas from searching the British vessels on the high seas.
Long's Jamaica, vol. i. p. 428.
Smollett, vol. xii. p. 85.
· The exports from Essequibo and Demerary employed five ships, and consisted of 2529 hogsheads of sugar, and one bag of coffee.
About this year, the Spanish government adopted a new mode of sending home their treasures from Mexico: they appointed register ships instead of fleets — neither their number or time of sailing were made known. “ This uncertainty caused such a variation in the prices of the commodities usually purchased by the French smugglers of Martinico, that they no longer found it advantageous to run the hazard of being taken by the guarda costas, or armed vessels, which were constantly stationed on the coasts of the American territories of Spain to watch this illegal commerce. Thus the trade was finally lost.”
The Guipuscoa Company were all Biscayans, and established cruisers on the coast and posts on the land, to destroy the contraband trade. For this service, ten armed vessels, containing86 guns and 518 men, were employed, and 102 men on shore. The pay of this establishment cost annually 200,000 dollars.
In Jamaica, by act 24. v. 2. 6. slaves having fire-arms in their possession, or bayonet, sword, cutlass, lance, or other military weapon, death, or such other punishment as the justices think fit. 7. Having tickets excepted.
Monsieur Bossu, whose testimony, Mr. Long says, is of great weight, relates, that some French planters “ force their wretched slaves to such hard labour, that they refuse to marry, in order to avoid generating a race of beings to be enslaved to such masters, who treat them, when old and infirm, worse than their dogs and horses. I have seen,” he adds, “ a planter whose name was Chaperon, who forced one of his Negroes to go into a heated oven where the poor wretch expired : and his jaws being shrivelled up, the barbarous owner said I believe the fellow laughs,' and took a poker to stir him up ! Since this event he became the scarecrow among all the slaves, who, when they do amiss, are threatened by their masters to be sent to Chaperon."
The imports into Jamaica from England were rated at £261,728 5s.
The Assembly passed an act, “ that no other payment should
Coke's West Indies, vol. ii. p. 312. Depon's South America, vol. ii. p. 16.
for the future be allowed and deemed a good payment in the law, except in current coin of gold and silver,” “ unless in such cases where both parties might agree for payment in sugars, or other produce of the island."
Also, to prevent the wanton killing of slaves, declaring it felony, and punishable with imprisonment not exceeding twelve months; and for the second offence to suffer death.
The exports from Essequibo and Demerary employed four ships, and consisted of 1445 hhds. of sugar, two bags of coffee, and four bales of cotton.
The court-house at Savannah-la-Mar, in Jamaica, was built this year, for the purpose of holding courts of common pleas, the quarter sessions of the justices of the peace, elections, and parish business.“ Underneath the court-house are the barracks, capable of holding seventy men : a company of regulars constantly do garrison duty.” But the situation is not healthy: a tract of undrained morass land, seven miles in length, lies to windward, which being covered with mangroves, and lying below the level of the sea, cannot well be drained.
By an exact account taken of the quit-rents paid in Jamaica, the quantity of land patented was 1,500,000 acres, and the imports from thence into Great Britain, at a medium of four years, €762,000. “ It was supposed that the planters required a yearly recruit of 2700 mules.” . One hundred and eight families and fifteen artificers were settled in Jamaica, under the encouragement given by several acts of the legislature to new comers, and continued to this year; but many of these families failed - it is said, for want of Negro labourers.
The rate of interest was fixed in Jamaica, by an act of the Assembly, at £6 on Jamaica loans, and £5 per cent. on British loans.
The number of inhabitants upon the Bahamas was estimated at 2486 Whites and Blacks. Governor Trelawney reported, that 307,744 Negroes had been imported into Jamaica from 1702 to 1752.
Long's Jamaica, vol. i. pp. 350. 379. 412. 428. 500. 534. ; vol. ii. p. 492.
Bolinbroke's Voyage to Demerary, Appendix.
Coke's West Indies, vol. i. p. 364.