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“ The governor represented, that the Whites had decreased since the last accounts owing to a malignant fever in 1755 ; that the Negroes had increased, from the great importations in 1755."
In St. Kitt's, there were 321 more white women than men.
The population returns for the Bermudas state the number of inhabitants at 6402 Whites and 4900 slaves.
The population of Tortola consisted of 1263 Whites, and 6121 Blacks. Their sugar, cotton, and great part of their rum, they remitted to England. The rest of their rum, and all their molasses, they bartered with the Americans for provisions.
“ The provincial court” appointed for the ease and benefit of the merchants and the people in general, “ by the management of some few self-interested individuals, became an engine of injustice and oppression to the people, as may be collected from the minutes of their proceedings in the secretary's office at Tortola.
6 Nothing appeared to be of sufficient importance to revive the sinking credit of the inhabitants, but the establishment of some permanent laws, which should give at once security to property, and enable the creditor to recover his just demand, where honour and virtue had not a sufficient efficacy to discharge the obligation.
« On these considerations, the “ virtuous colonists' began to entertain serious hopes that the British government would place them on an equal footing with the neighbouring islands, by establishing among them constitutional courts of justice, and by giving them a civil government which would rescue them from their dependent state; and a formal request was made accordingly. From a compliance with this request, they promised themselves a revival of their wounded credit, and a discharge of their public debts.”
These requests to the British government were made in 1756.
The exports from Essequibo and Demerary employed three ships, and consisted of 1918 hhds. of sugar, eight tierces of coffee, and three bales of cotton.
The inhabitants of Jamaica, about this time, began to erect, in the town of St. Jago de la Vega, or Spanish Town, “ an immense pile of spacious apartments,” calculated to contain, under one roof, the assembly-room, or house of commons, the speaker's chamber, the court-house, and jury-room, on the upper story; and on the ground floor, suitable offices for the secretary of the island, the provost marshal, the register of the court of chancery, and the clerks of the crown and of the courts of law. “Such a
- Smollett, vol. xii. pp. 466, 467. Coke's West Indies, vol. i. p. 339. ; vol. iii. pp. 98. 100. quoting Suckling's Hist. Tortola.
Bolinbroke's Voyage to Demerary, Appendix.
vast undertaking necessarily made but a slow process, the sums requisite to complete the whole being paid in by instalments; so that it was upwards of thirty years before it was entirely occupied.”
The seeds of the Barbadoes cabbage-tree were first introduced into Jamaica by Governor Knowles, who, on the 27th of January, was permitted, by his Majesty, to resign the government of that island, agreeable to his request.
The imports from England into Jamaica were rated at 348,720 4s. 9d.
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A committee of the House of Commons, appointed to examine papers from Jamaica, came to the resolution, that a certain resolution of the Assembly of Jamaica, dated October the 29th, 1753, implying a claim of right in that Assembly to raise and apply public money without the consent of the governor and council, was illegal, repugnant to the terms of his Majesty's commission to his governor of the said island, and derogatory of the rights of the crown and people of Great Britain; that the six last resolutions, taken in the same day, proceeded on a manifest misapprehension of the King's instructions to his governor, requiring him not to give his assent to any bill of an unusual or extraordinary nature and importance, wherein his Majesty's prerogative, or the property of his subjects, might be prejudiced, or the trade or shipping of the kingdom any ways affected, unless there should be a clause inserted, suspending the execution of such bill until his Majesty's pleasure should be known; that such instruction was just and necessary, and no alteration of the constitution of the island, nor any way derogatory to the rights of the subjects of Jamaica.
Captain Wellard, in his Majesty's ship Assistance, chased two privateers and their prize into Tiburon Bay, St. Domingo : they sought protection under a battery of five guns; but Captain Wellard towed in the Assistance, and on the 21st of November burnt the two privateers, sunk their prize, and dismounted all the guns in the battery. One of the privateers carried eighteen guns.
His Majesty's ship Greenwich, of fifty guns, Captain Roddam, was, on the 18th of March, captured by a squadron under the command of M. de Beaufremont, consisting of five sail of the line and some frigates. The Greenwich was cruizing on the Jamaica station.
Coke's West Indies, vol. i. p. 372. Gent. Mag., Feb. 1756, p. 83.
Mr. Cromelyn succeeded to the governorship of Surinam. He pursued the system adopted by his predecessors, of pacifying the Bush Negroes by occasional presents.
The exports from Essequibo and Demerary employed three ships, and consisted of 1594 hogsheads of sugar.
The population of Barbadoes is stated at 16,772 Whites; 63,645 slaves.
Arrêt of the Conseil Souverain of Martinique, 7th of November, 1757:
« Slaves who hire themselves, and found acting in contravention to the dispositions of the arrêt and regulations of 1733 and 1749, to be confiscated; half of value to be paid to the informer, other half to the public.
6 All proprietors of slaves convicted of having hired their houses or chambers to slaves, condemned to pay a fine of 500 livres.
66 Keepers of public houses, as well as free Negroes and Mulattoes, are forbid to give a lodging or shelter to slaves, even with their masters' permission, excepting slaves bearing their masters' orders, under penalty of 5000 livres."
In this year, Captain Thompson was a midshipman on board his Majesty's ship Stirling Castle, and landed at Tobago, “where the Europeans had as yet no settlement.” He says, “ having wandered into the woods in search of wild oranges, he was surprised by the discovery of a hut, the inhabitant of which, a venerable-looking man, addressed him in French; and, to his astonishment, declared he had resided twenty-one years in that solitary situation, having scarcely any communication with a human being. The Indians, he said, would sometimes call at his hermitage, when hunting, give him part of their game, and shave his beard off with their knives; but he had never paid attention enough to their language to converse in it. He had been a priest in Martinico; but advancing some tenet which gave offence, he was seized in the night, and transported to Tobago. Offers were made to convey him to Europe, which he declined, observing that he was perfectly reconciled to his situation, and happier than he could be in any other."
October the 21st, Captain Forrest, in his Majesty's ship Augusta, in company with the Dreadnought, Captain Suckling, and Edinburgh, Captain Langdon, cruizing off Cape François, in St. Domingo, attacked four sail of the line and three frigates, from that port, under the command of M. de Kersin. Captain
Bolinbroke's Voyage to Demerary, p. 344.- Appendix.
Parliamentary “ Further Papers," 1826, p. 48.
Smollett, vol. xii. p. 234.
Forrest engaged them two hours and a half, and succeeded in forcing them to return into port, with the loss of 600 men in killed and wounded. The English were also obliged to return to Jamaica.
After repairing his damages, Captain Forrest, in the Augusta, was dispatched by Admiral Cotes, to cruize off the island of Gonave for two days, and then to join him off Cape Nicholas. The Augusta proceeded between Gonave and Española with Dutch colours Aying, and disguised with tarpaulings. Captain Forrest observed seven sail standing to the westward, and hauled from them, to avoid suspicion, till it was dark, when he made all sail after them, and at ten P.M. he came alongside one of them, and threatened to sink her if she gave any alarm ; and putting thirty-five men on board, and taking out her crew, hemade sail after the rest, and at daylight was in the middle of their fleet, at all of whom he began to fire, as he could get his guns to bear. They returned the fire for some time: at last the Marguerite, Solide, and Theodore struck their colours. These being secured, were afterwards used in taking the Maurice, Le Grand, La Flore Brilliant, and Mars. Thus by a well-conducted stratagem, a whole fleet of nine sail were taken by a single ship in the neighbourhood of four or five harbours, in any one of which they would have found immediate shelter and protection. The prizes were all richly Jaden and arrived safe at Jamaica
: The Assembly of Barbadoes voted 100 pistoles to purchase a sword, to be given to Captain Middleton of the navy, for his exertions in protecting the trade, and destroying seventeen privateers.
In consequence of a petition from the inhabitants of the island of Guadaloupe to the court of France, M. Peyssonel, a physician, was sent to enquire into the nature of the leprosy that had broken out in that island: it first made its appearance about twenty-five or thirty years before. The apprehension of being infected with this disease, occasioned very great alarm among all the inhabitants. They became suspicious of each other. The complaints and enmities which charges of infection occasioned produced great disturbance. Various petitions were presented to the commandants and intendants, demanding an universal inspection of all persons suspected of labouring under this disease, in order that those found infected might be removed into lazarettoes, or places at a distance from all communication with others. M. Peyssonel found the infected persons most anxious to conceal it. The greater number pretended that the rats had eaten off their toes, or that they had once burnt themselves. Smollett, vol. xii. pp. 236. 239, 240. Annual Register, 1758.
Beatson's Memoirs, vol. ii. p. 42.
The 13th of May, 1758, Arrêt du Conseil Souverain of Martinique:
“ Art. 6. Two registers to be kept in each parish, in which to be inserted the baptism and marriages of slaves."
Till this year, all causes of more than 40s. throughout the island of Jamaica, were tried at St. Jago de la Vega. This year, an act was passed dividing the island into three circuits, in each of which assizes to be held three times a year.
In February, at Bridgetown, Barbadoes, 120 houses were destroyed by fire.
The exports from Essequibo and Demerary employed two ships, and consisted of 8597 hogsheads of sugar.
In March, Captain Tyrrel, in his Majesty's ship Buckingham, in company with the Cambridge, another of the line, demolished a fort in Grandance Bay, Martinico, and destroyed four privateers riding under its protection.
Letter from Captain Tyrrel to Commodore Moore. “ Agreeable to your orders, I sailed on Thursday night from St. John's road; the next morning I got between Guadaloupe and Montserrat, and gave chase to a sail we espied in the N. W., which proved to be his Majesty's sloop Weazle: upon inquiry, having found that she had not met his Majesty's ship Bristol, I ordered Captain Boyles to come on board for directions as to his farther proceedings.
“ While his orders were writing out, we discovered a fleet of nineteen sail W.S.W., standing to the S.S.W., upon which we immediately gave chase with all the sail we could possibly crowd. About two o'clock we discovered that they were convoyed by a French man-of-war of seventy-four guns, and two large frigates. About half an hour after two, the Weazle got so close as to receive a whole broadside from the seventy-four gun ship, which did her little or no damage. I then made the signal to call the Weazle off, and gave her lieutenant orders not to go near the seventy-four gun ship or the frigates, as the smallest of the latter was vastly superior to him in force. By following this advice, he could not come to fire a shot during the whole action ; neither, indeed, could he have been of any service.
Parliamentary “Further Papers,” 1826, p. 48. Long's Jamaica, vol. ii. p. 11. Annual Register, 1758, pp. 96, 97. Bolinbroke's Voyage to Demerary, Appendix. Sinollett, vol. xii. p. 299. Capt. Tyrrel's Letter, Annual Register, 1759, p. 61.
Naval Chronicle, vol. x. p. 559.