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At 10 P.M. there was a smart shock of an earthquake at Savana-le-Mar when the waters subsided.
The hurricane of Barbados began on the morning of the 10th of October, and continued with little intermission for 48 hours! In the afternoon of the first day, all the ships were driven from their anchors to sea. In the course of the night Bridgetown was nearly laid level with the earth. Daylight presented a scene of desolation seldom equalled: not one house or building in the island, however strong or sheltered, was exempt from damage. Most of the live stock, and 4326 persons perished. The loss which the colony sustained was estimated at £1,320,564, sterling!
Some idea of the violence of the storm may be formed from the fact of a twelve-pounder gun having been moved a distance of 140 yards. Parliament voted £80,000 for the relief of the inhabitants.
The evening of the 9th, preceding the storm, was remarkably calm; but the sky was surprisingly red and fiery; during the night much rain fell. On the morning of the 10th it rained heavily with the wind (which appears to have been the precursor gale) from the north-west. At 10h. P.M., the wind was N.N.W., increasing. The following morning the storm was still raging.
The log of H.M.S. Albemarle appears to be at variance with the above account, with reference to the wind. Reducing it to civil time, we find that, A.M. on the 10th, it was blowing very hard from E.N.E.; at lh. P.M. the wind was N.E.b.N.; at 2h., N.N.E.: and at half an hour after midnight (that is Oh. 30m. on the 11th,) a hurricane, with rain; wind shifted round to the westward. She did not slip from Carlisle Bay until 2h. P.M. on the 10th, at which time, the wind was N.N.E., which is more to be depended upon than the former account.
At Martinique the storm commenced E.N.E., and veered to the south and south-westward.
Many of the other islands suffered, and a great number of vessels were lost. This storm progressed to the north-westward, and it, as well as the hurricane which preceded it on the 3rd, created disaster among the shipping in the Atlantic, far to the northward of the islands. Colonel Reid, c.B., in his admirable work on the “ Law of Storms, ” has given the routes of both these hurricanes, on a chart.
1781.-On the 1st of August, Jamaica was visited by another hurricane, H.M.S. Pelican, Captain Collingwood, was wrecked on the Morant, Cays on the 2nd, whilst the gale continued. This storm is said to have commenced from the southward and veered to the south-east. This veering of the wind would give a south-east course to the meteor, disagreeing with the theory. The south-east wind was probably the “Accession" gale, unless there was a mistake, and we should read “south-east veering to south.” A great number of small vessels were lost, two loaded ships were sunk, and 24 were stranded.
1782.- I find no entry of the hurricane which proved so fatal to Rear Admiral Graves' Squadron (in their passage home from Jamaica,) made
in the annals of the West India Islands; it probably originated in the variable latitudes.
The squadron was composed of the following ships: Ramillies (flag) 74, Canada, Centaur, Pallas, Ville de Paris, 104, Le Glorieux, L'Hector of 74 guns each; L'Ardent, Le Jason, and Le Caton, each of 64 guns; 100 sail of merchantmen. The convoy sailed from Bluefields, on the southern side of Jamaica, on 25th of July, in the latitude of 43° 33' N., and longitude 42° 20' W., the squadron encountered a hurricane from S.W. to N.W.*
The Ramillies, Centaur, Ville de Paris, Glorieux, and L’Hector foundered; with many of the merchant ships. Captain Inglefield, of the Centaur, the master, a midshipman, and a boatswain escaped in the pinnace, and in sixteen days afterwards landed at the Azores,
The fate of the Ville de Paris and Glorieux was ascertained in a very extraordinary way.
A Danish merchant ship from the West Indies, fell in with a fragment of wreck, with a man upon it, who was quite insensible and for some time motionless! His name was Wilson, and he belonged to the Ville de Paris; and as she was foundering he adhered to a part of the wreck, which floated. He saw the Glorieux founder the day before the three-decker sunk.
L'Hector, Captain Bourchin, on the 5th of September had engaged, and beat off, the French frigates L'Eagle and Gloire; the action lasted three hours, and the gallant captain was desperately wounded.
The ship subsequently, was dismasted and lost her rudder, and was very leaky. Indeed, she was so shaken that, part of the orlop fell into the hold. Some of the crew died at the pumps, having been three days without water or spirits.
The ship foundered but happily the crew were rescued on 3rd of October by the Hawke letter of marque, and conveyed to Newfoundland.
1784.-30th of July, Jamaica was visited by a hurricane. During the night every vessel in Port Royal, excepting four, was sunk, dismasted, or driven on shore, and numerous lives lost. The barracks at Up-park camp were blown down, and five soldiers killed; other disasters occurred. The storm began at 8h. 30m. P.M., and continued till past 11 P.M. Two severe shocks of earthquake were felt.
St. Domingo suffered severely from a storm during the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd of August.
1785.—On the 27th of August, Jamaica again suffered from a hurricane.
1786.-On the 20th of October a hurricane passed over Jamaica. The trees were stripped of their leaves, and appeared as if fire had destroyed their verdure. The shores were covered with aquatic birds that had been dashed against the trunks of the mangroves and killed.
In August, a violent storm laid waste the southern coast of Española.
* Meteor moving to the east.
At St. Eustatia, it drove all the shipping to sea, and destroyed most of the small craft in the harbour.
Upon the 10th of September, Guadaloupe was swept by a hurricane, which destroyed most of the plantations, and wrecked three ships in the harbour.
On Saturday the 2nd of September, an alarming hurricane threw the inhabitants of Barbados into the utmost consternation. At 11h. P.M., when the storm was at its height, a meteor in the S.E. quarter, issued up with a dark cloud, and spreading its diverging rays to a vast circumference, continued with unabated splendour nearly forty minutes!
On the morning of the 3rd, Carlisle Bay was a scene of desolation, not a vessel had ridden out the storm. In the country great damage was done to the houses and the crops: many persons were killed in the ruins of their own dwellings.
This year Prince William Henry (afterwards King William the 4th,) arrived in the West Indies in command of the Pegasus frigate.
1787.-September the 23rd, at Belize, Honduras, between the hours of 4 and 5 A.M., a hurricane came on from the N.N.W. About 10h. it shifted to the S.W., and blew with increased violence. At the same time the sea rose and prevented the running off of the land floods. The low lands were consequently overflowed: not a house, hut, or habitation of any kind, on either side of Belize, was left standing; more than 500 dwellings were thrown down. One hundred persons perished; dead animals and logs of mahogany were floating about in every direction, eleven square rigged vessels, besides small ones were totally lost.
This storm was progressing to the W.N.W.
On the 3rd, 23rd, and 29th, of August this year, the island of Dominica was visited by hurricanes, which destroyed all the vessels at the island,
The barracks and all the buildings on Morne Bruce were blown down, and destroyed, and several houses in the town shared the same fate.
1790.-- At Nevis, in August, 20 vessels were driven on shore by a hurricane and completely lost. Mr. Hamilton's sugar works and all the stores were destroyed.
His new mansion, which had been built upon pillars, was lifted up by the wind and removed to some distance, but being well made, did not go to pieces. Mrs. Hamilton, two ladies, and five children, were in the house, and suffered little or no harm! Mr. Hamilton being absent from home, knew not what had happened; but returning in the night, which was excessively dark, and groping for his door, fell over the rubbish left near the spot, and so far hurt himself, that he was confined for a week. An old uninhabited building which stood close to the house, was lifted from the ground, and thrown upon the new habitation; so that they expected every moment to be buried in the ruins of both!
1791.-On the 20th of October, a hurricane passed over Jamaica.
1792.-Upon the 1st of August, several plantations at Antigua were destroyed by a hurricane. Most of the other islands also suffered.
1793. In August St. Christopher's was considerably damaged by a hurricane. On the evening preceding the storm, there were nearly 30 vessels at anchor in the roads, but in the morning none were to be seen, except those stranded at different places along the coast.
1795. On the 10th of August a hurricane passed over Jamaica.
AN EYE TO WINDWARD.
" Time! [is] the corrector where our judgments err'.
The test of truth,*.1-sole philosopher,
If we look back and take even a hasty view of the progress of knowledge and enlightenment of the human mind during past ages, we shall be struck with their slowness. One reason of this gradual development may, perhaps, be traced to the incessant wars which desolated Europe, and which sprang from the ambition and jealous rivalry of princes, rather than from the passions of those whom they governed.
A long interval of peace, which afforded leisure for reflection, has given rise to a considerable advance in general knowledge, and one effect of this augmentation of mental power is, the spurning of the slow hand of innovation.
The tyranny and oppression of absolute monarchs over subjects, whose ignorance and habitude of subserviency kept them from vindicating their natural rights as men,* have been gradually undermined by the force and irresistible increase of the power of knowledge; and the consequence is that, a new order of things has suddenly burst forth: an occurrence which the stubbornness, or the blindness of the former would not, or at all events did not avert, by timely concessions.
That the change may ultimately prove of benefit to the world is to be ardently hoped; but such a great revolution in the sentiments and feelings of millions, cannot be expected to settle down into quietude in a short space of time. It is remarkable, but true, that the art of governing large communities with justice, had not, on the continent, kept pace with the strides which the governed were making in general knowledge: hence the present condition of Europe.
Happily for Great Britain she appears to have been in advance of the nations of the continent in the perfection of her institutions, and especially so with reference to civil liberty, and consequently has been free from those serious agitations which have shaken, and still continue to shake those of other less favoured countries; and whilst we rejoice at this, and hope that her internal tranquillity will be preserved by the good
* Such as are enjoyed in our own happy conntry.
sense of her people, and the wisdom of their rulers, let us not be unmindful of the probability that, at some future day, the jealousy and ambition of those nations whose constitutions are now being remodelled, may induce them to combine for the purpose of humbling her pretensions to the "supremacy of the sea”.
It is true, our immediate neighbour has “preached peace", albeit, with the glove cast down, and the glave drawn; but admitting sincerity, it would appear that the La Martines are but ephemeral! A martial spirit is on the ascendant now; its sphere of action is however, from necessity, confined to home; how long it may be so, who can tell? Such a spirit is a very Proteus, it is capable if assuming all shapes, --a friend to day, tomorrow, perhaps, an enemy,—it is not to be trusted. The principal object of this paper however, is the introduction of an interesting extract from a French author on naval matters, which appears to be worthy of the calmest consideration; for, if the "fas est ab hoste doceri” was not disregarded during the last American war, surely we may now ponder on the words of an old rival, in amity ? We have still a few more remarks to note before giving the extract.
We know that gigantic Russia has a large navy, divided by two points wide apart by sea, but which may be communicated with on land and interval navigation,
The Dutch, Danes, and Swedes, what of them? Have they no remembrances, no jealousy of England's maritime power? The mutation or reciprocal exchange of diplomatic or political courtesies is no proof that envy, and a desire to resent old wrongs, do not exist in one party, whatever may be the feelings of the other. Combined, their squadrons would form a good fleet, the seamen of all are excellent. We may leave out the Spaniard who has little left him but his pride. The Portuguese, naval? they were, but are not. Our trans-atlantic brethren quietly “goa-head” with their monster ships. Would they back us for consanguinity sake "against odds”! It is an important question not answerable, but less weighty, than would they join the odds against us? quite as unanswerable; relationship, no! trade is the tie that would fasten them to neutrality, provided, their old motto was respected; but if we choose to be liberal and careful of our blue-jackets, the Americans will have to breed up their own seamen to man their fleet, ere they can hope to make a show in the line, to any purpose; and that in all probability, would not be before the praries became peopled; and a war against England would probably, too, be the signal for a Black “episode”!
Italy, Greece, Egypt, and Turky, maritime still, but that is all: the spirit of Genoa and Venice has seen its day long ago: Athenian "glory”, dead; how many ages since? The Alexandrian light, (commercial;) Vasco de Gama extinguished; Navarino spoiled the Musselman's conceit; the Cresent! owns no longer a Soliman; "the magnificent of Tyre and Sidon,” ask the fishers; Carthage "the mighty? a watery grave "full five fathoms beneath” the wave! Toulon? aye we are taking care of Malta, the prestige of Aboukir is respected, the name and the deeds of a great man survive the grave. But, nearer home, a voice has sounded amid