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« 8. Slaves in whose dwellings runaways are taken, to receive thirty lashes by the hands of the hangman, and to suffer eight days' imprisonment.
í 9. Forbidding proprietors of slaves from leaving their slaves at liberty to work at their pleasure, by means of hire, under penalty of three hundred livres for the first offence; and in case of repetition, the confiscation of the Negro.
“ 10. Proprietors forbid, likewise, to let out their slaves to others but Whites, or resident free persons."
Upon the 13th of May, at half-past eleven at night, a fire broke out at Bridge Town, Barbadoes : it burnt till nine the next morning. Four hundred and forty houses, including the custom-house and other public buildings, were destroyed, the annual rents of which amounted to £16,421, besides a great number of warehouses. The damage was estimated at £300,000 sterling.
Captain Duane, of his Majesty's ship Beaver, proceeded from Antigua' to the Caraccas, and procured the liberation of three vessels belonging to Bermudas, which had been taken by the Spaniards at the Salt Tortugas. The damages were left by Captain Duane to be settled by the courts of Great Britain and Spain.
The city of St. Jago, in Cuba, suffered severely from an earthquake: forty persons were killed.
The provision-grounds and cane-plantations at St. Eustatia were destroyed, on the 21st of September, by a violent hurricane. Several vessels were lost. The salt works at Tortuga were also destroyed by a hurricane, and three French and five Newfoundland vessels driven on shore there.
Upon the 6th of October, five vessels were driven on shore at Dominica in a gale of wind, and upwards of fifty sail at Guadaloupe.
On the 13th, 14th, and 15th of September, all the vessels at Montserrat, and thirteen at St. Kitt's, were driven on shore and lost. At Montserrat, half the town was destroyed, and upwards of two hundred persons reduced to distress, by the torrents from the mountains.
December the 2d, William Hill, Esq. was appointed governor of Tobago, in the room of Alexander Browne, Esq. deceased.
On the 22d and 23d of October, a violent hurricane did considerable damage in the harbour of Pensacola. The Spanish
Annual Register, 1766, pp. 114. 127, 142. 155, 156. 167. — 1767, p. 52.
1 " At Antigua, a free Negro discovered a very rich crimson die, from a preparation of the fruit of the manchineal tree; which, for brilliancy of colour, ex
ceeds any thing hitherto attempted, and is extremely durable.”— Annual Register, 1766, p. 109.
fleet from Vera Cruz for the Havaña and old Spain, consisting of five large register-ships richly laden, were driven ashore in the bay of St. Barnard.
At Grenada, an earthquake destroyed several sugar-works, and threw down the hills in several places, so that it was impossible to ride round the island on horseback.
Upon the 27th of December, another fire nearly completed the ruin of Bridge Town, Barbadoes : it broke out between eight and nine at night, in the store of Messrs. Bedford and Co., and continued burning until the following morning. Several houses and yards full of lumber, coals, &c. were destroyed. Since the former fire, most of the trade was carried on in this part of the town.
At Martinico, upon the 13th of August, a dreadful hurricane began at ten P.M. with a gale from the north-west. At midnight, the shock of an earthquake added to the horrors of the increased hurricane. At three A.M. the gale abated, and at daylight the streets of St. Pierre's appeared covered with ruins. The roads were blocked up with trees blown up by the roots. The rivers had brought down stones of an enormous size; and the shore was covered with wrecks and dead bodies. At five A.M. a water-spout burst upon Mount Peleus, and overwhelmed the neighbouring plains. At six it was quite calm, and the sea smooth. Twenty-eight French and seven English vessels were wrecked, besides twelve passage canoes. Ninety persons were said to have perished, many under the ruins of their own houses, and twice that number were wounded. The writer says, “ The above is a genuine recital of what has happened at St. Peter. In going over the island, we shall find nearly the same calamities, and in some places still worse."
Upon the 9th of June, a violent shock of an earthquake was ---f felt at Kingston, and several other towns in Jamaica.; .
The British parliament passed an act for opening the chief ports of Jamaica and Dominica to all foreign vessels of a certain description. The collectors at the several free ports were instructed to keep regular accounts of the entry of all foreign vessels, and of the bullion which they imported: these accounts were transmitted to England. The Spanish government contrived to get copies of these accounts, and the destruction of many of the persons who had been concerned in transporting the bullion into the English islands was the consequence. Many shocking acts of severity were committed upon them by the Spanish government. Information of this was transmitted to the British ministry, who revoked their instructions.
Annual Register, 1767, pp. 53. 77. 118. 194.
Edwards, vol. i. pp. 295, 296.
An anonymous contributor to the Annual Register of this year says, “ At Cignateo (otherwise called Eleutheria), in the gulf of Bahama, it rains not sometimes for two or three years: so that that island hath been twice deserted, for want of rain to plant it.”
11th February, 1767, the French general and intendant issued an ordinance concerning legacies and freedoms left by will.
« Art. 1. Extracts of testaments, containing gifts of liberty to slaves, to be presented to the governor, accompanied by a requête for obtention of liberty of the slave, to be presented, within three months after opening the will, by the heirs or executors; the will or requête to be deposited in the greffe of the intendance, whether the same be accorded or not, by way of reference.
66 2. All wills since 1757, containing legacies of freedom, ordered to be presented to the governor, by the heirs, executors, or others. If the same be not presented within three months, the slaves destined to be freed, authorized to present requêtes for that purpose.
663. Executors, legatees, or curateurs des beins vacans, who do not conform to the articles before cited, at the expiration of the period, to be fined 500 livres for the benefit of the King, and to pay the expences of the affranchisement.
6 4. For the security of pious legacies, and to provide for the slaves who come within the meaning of the foregoing articles. Notaries receiving wills are ordered to send extracts to the procureur du Roi, in cases of affranchisement, for the purpose of his acting thereon, as well as of his recovering the fine of 500 livres against those who may have acted in opposition to the ordinance.”
An act passed in St. Vincent's, on the 11th of July, declares slaves to be real estate, and widows dowable thereof.
“ Trustees, to prevent the Negroes being sold, may pay the debts, &c. and the estate remain a security for the money, with six per cent. interest.
- Any minister marrying a free person to a slave, to forfeit £50, and the free person to pay the owner of the slave £200.
66 If one slave murders another, the price paid on executing the murderer to be divided between the two owners of the slaves.
Annual Register, 1766, p. 192. Parliamentary “ Further Papers,” 1826, p. 52.
Report of the Lords of the Committee, 1789, Part III. St. Vincent's.
loy any slaotherwiself out, or to
“ Condemned slaves to be appraised by two freeholders before executiones convicted of
66 Slaves convicted of robbery, who were not provided with sufficient allowance by their owners, damage sustained by party robbed to be paid by the public, but nothing to the owners.”
Thus, although the slave is known to be starved, he is to be hanged if he robs, because “ the safety of the island requires such slaves should suffer !"
“ No slave allowed to sell sugar, cotton, or rum, without a written permission from his owner.
“ No person allowed to employ any slave to sell or dispose of any wares or merchandize in shops or otherwise, under the penalty of £5, nor to allow his slave to hire himself out, or to seek for employment of any kind, under the penalty of from £5 to £10.
“ Slaves doing so without their owners' knowledge, to be whipped.
“ No slave allowed to plant any sugar, cocoa, coffee, cotton, or ginger; and if such be exposed to sale, to be deemed stolen goods.
« No white person to take off any pot-hook, ring, or collar from off any slave's neck or legs, without leave of the owner, under the penalty of ten pounds. If a slave does so, he is to be flogged forty lashes.
“ All persons not Whites, fit to go out to trades, to be bound for seven years, by a justice, to any person, if they do not choose for themselves."
Thus, whether a person of colour has or has not occasion to work, still he must do it!
« Any slave-owner allowing his slaves to beat a drum, or empty cask, or gourd, or to blow horns, shells, or loud instruments, for amusement, to forfeit € 20.
66 Slaves found out of their owners' plantations without a ticket, to be whipped.
“ Every slave-owner to search the Negro houses for runaways, every fourteen days, under the penalty of 20s.
“ Any slave remaining in gaol above three months, to be sold.
• No retailer of strong liquors to sell any to slaves, under the penalty of 60s.
“ Any slave, after being one year on the island, run away six months, to suffer death as a felon..
“ If ten slaves run away for ten days, the greatest offender to suffer death.
“ Slaves harbouring runaways, to have for the first offence fifty lashes, for the second 100, and for the third 150 lashes.
or With a warrant from a justice to search for runaways, any Negro's house may be entered by night or by day, and broken open, if admittance is refused.
« Any slave striking a white person, to be publicly whipped, • at his discretion ;' and if the white person be hurt or wounded, the slave to have his nose slit, or any member cut off, or punished with death, at the discretion of any two justices.
« Any slave stealing to the value of £6 currency, guilty of
“ All slaves taken fighting, to be publicly whipped.
Any slave guilty of any crime whereby the life of any white person shall be endangered, to suffer death.
“ Owners of slaves to find each male, once a year, one pair of drawers, and a shirt or close-bodied frock, and every female a petticoat and a shift, or clothing adequate thereto, under the penalty of 15s.
« Slaves to have Christmas day, and the two days next following, as holydays, and no more, in the Christmas holydays. Any person allowing their slaves more, to forfeit £50 currency.
66 Any free person gelding or dismembering a slave, to forfeit not more than £60, or less than £30 currency.
6 Any person manumitting a slave, to pay £100 into the treasury. The treasurer to pay $4 every half-year to such slave out of such money.
- No free Negro or Mulatto shall be owner or possessor of more than eight acres of land, and in no case shall be deemed a freeholder.
- All free Negroes and Mulattoes to choose some master or mistress to live with, that their lives and conversations may be known and observed.”
What an abuse of the word to call this freedom !
“ Any free person of colour striking a White, to be whipped, and imprisoned six months.
" Any white person beating a free Negro or Mulatto, on proof thereof made to any justice, to be bound over to the sessions.
« Every possessor of slaves to keep a white man for every thirty, and a white woman for every fifteen they possess, or forfeit, for default of the former, € 40, of the latter, £ 20.”
The population of Guadaloupe consisted of 85,376 persons.
At Grenada, between six and seven hundred Negroes, who had chiefly deserted from the French inhabitants, and taken possession of the almost inaccessible mountains in that island, by their frequent sallies and desperate cruelties, kept the inhabitants
Coke's West Indies, vol. ii. p. 390.
Annual Register, 1767, p. 88.