« AnteriorContinuar »
In the August following, twenty vessels were driven on shore by a hurricane, and completely lost. Mr. Hamilton's sugar-works, with all the stores, were completely destroyed.
66 His new mansion, which had been built upon pillars, was lifted up by the tempest, 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 on the spot, and so far hurt himself, that he was confined for a week.” An old uninhabited building which stood close by the house, was lifted from the ground and thrown upon their habitation; so that they expected every moment to be buried in the ruins of both.
Mr. John Montgomery, a Moravian missionary, who landed upon the island in April, at the close of the year, says
66 But our greatest grief is, that we have not found one single soul that seeks a Saviour.'
Towards the close of this year, Dr. Coke again visited St. Vincent. In different parts of the island, several hundreds had joined themselves to the societies; but Mr. Baxter, unable to make any impression upon the Caribs, had removed to Kings
The French priests at Martinico had persuaded the Caribs that the missionaries were spies, sent by the King of England to explore their land; and that as soon as they had finished their discoveries, they would withdraw, and the King would send an army to conquer their country. Mr. Baxter endeavoured to convince the Caribs of the falsehood of these reports; but their continued sullenness convinced him that it was high time to hasten out of the country with Mrs. Baxter.
Upon the 27th of November, Dr. Coke arrived at Grenada. He waited upon General Mathews, the governor; who, after inquiring what doctrines he taught, and by what principles he was governed, declared his earnest wish that the Negroes might be fully instructed in the principles of Christianity. “ Instead of viewing the Methodists as men who opposed the regular establish
Coke's West Indies, vol. ii. pp. 65. 176, 177. 267.
1 A boat belonging to the Ulysses of against which he defended himself by Glasgow, Captain Campbell, by a sudden sometimes pressing the oar with the whole squall shipped a sea in Montego Bay, by weight of his body upon the shark, and at which she was instantly sunk, and only other times getting to the extremity of the one sailor besides the captain saved : Cap oar, and striking him, by these means he tain Campbell got hold of an oar, and the preserved himself, until he was taken up sailor of a small cask, which he held by some Negroes who had heard his cries. by the bung hole; in this situation Captain The shark was about eleven feet long.
ment, he considered them as co-operating in the same design;" and observed to Dr. Coke, “ there will be work enough both for you and the established clergy of the island.”
Dr. Coke promised that a missionary should be forthwith sent to the island.
The Moravian missionaries in Barbadoes had a Negro congregation, consisting of “forty persons baptized.” On Sundays, they had always a numerous auditory of white and black people.
At the close of this year, the Moravian congregation of baptized Negroes at St. Christopher's had increased to upwards of 400,
Mr. Joshua Steele of Barbadoes, in pursuance of his plans for bettering the condition of his slaves, registered all his adult male slaves as copyholders, and gave them separate tenements of half an acre of land each, descendible to their children on the plantations, but not to the issue of any foreign wife; and in case of no such heir, to lapse again to the lord, to be regranted. The annual rent was so many days' labour.
He had previously abolished arbitrary punishment upon his estates, and established a Negro court or jury to keep all in order. His copyholders succeeded beyond his expectation, and the new system altogether tripled the annual net clearance of the estate.
The Methodist chapel “ in Kingston, Jamaica, was completed: it is eighty feet in length, and forty in breadth, and will contain about 1500 persons. It has galleries on three sides, and is built exactly on the plan of our chapel (the Methodists), at Halifax, in Yorkshire. Underneath the chapel we have a hall, which is absolutely necessary in this very hot country, four chambers, and a large school room.”
Most of the plants carried to Jamaica by the Earl of Effingham succeeded beyond his expectation. A number of the Guzerat seeds which failed in Liguanea succeeded, viz. the wheat, barley, Ashmood rice, all the pulse and many others. A polyanthos plant, producing both male and hermaphrodite flowers, strongly resembling an acacia both in its habits and botanical characters, and which had been improperly called a mangosteen tree, thrived finely, and produced abundance of a pleasing subacid fruit.
On the 20th of February, Henry Hamilton, Esq., was appointed governor of the Bermuda islands.
The law courts at Jamaica, which, previous to this year, used to have four terms annually, and began on the last Tuesdays in
Coke's West Indies, vol. i. pp. 291. 420.; vol. ii. p. 132. ; vol. iii. p. 50. Clarkson's Thoughts on Emancipation, 1823. Annual Register, 1790, pp. 40. 56.
February, May, August, and November, were altered, and “ a long vacation was introduced from the end of the May term, which concludes about the middle of June, to the commencement of the winter term, which begins on the last Tuesday in November." Thus, there was only three terms held instead of four.
Lieutenant Henry Hew Dalrymple, of the 75th, in his examination before the committee of the House, stated, that “ A French planter (at Grenada) sent for a surgeon to cut off the leg of a Negro, who had run away. On the surgeon's refusing to do it, the planter broke the leg in pieces with an iron bar, and then the surgeon cut it off. This planter did many such acts of cruelty, and all with impunity. It did not appear to be the public opinion that any punishment was due to him; for though it was generally known, he was equally well received in society afterwards as before.”
With respect to the act passed in Grenada in 1788, Lieutenant Dalrymple states the objection which he heard to its passing was, that it might make the slaves believe that the authority of their masters was lessened; but “ many thought it would be of little use, as it was a law made by themselves against themselves, and to be executed by themselves!”
In the beginning of March, sentence was pronounced against James Ogé and twenty-two of his followers, for the revolt in St. Domingo. Twenty, with his brother, were condemned to be hanged. Ogé himself, and his Lieutenant Chavané, were adjudged to be broken on the wheel, and left to die upon it. Chavané suffered not a groan to escape him in the extremity of his torture; but Ogé's fortitude deserted him : he implored mercy, and promised to make great discoveries, if his life was spared. A respite of twentyfour hours was granted him.
He declared (previously swearing to the truth of what he should depose), that in the beginning of the preceding February, if the swelling of the rivers had not prevented it, a numerous body of people of colour would have attacked the Cape; that there were upwards of 11,000 already joined. He gave the names of most of their leaders, who, he said, were assembled in caverns between the 66 Crete à Marcan” and the “ Canton du Giromon, in the parish of “Grande Riviere;" and that he would guide a party to the spot, where the chiefs might be seized; and that, if it were possible for him to obtain pardon, he would expose himself to any danger to arrest them.
Ogé was executed on the following day, and no notice taken of
his confession. The persons before whom it was made were members of the council of the northern province, and devoted to the ancient system. The planters at large declare, that the royalists in the colony, and the philanthropic and republican party in the mother country, made them the victims of their desperate factions, and that General Blanchelande kept that a secret, which, if published, would have saved the colony. On the 3d of March, Le Fougueux and Le Borée, two ships of the line, arrived from France with troops; who, upon their landing, refused all intercourse with Mauduit's regiment. In consequence, the latter took the white feather from their hats, and gave their commander to understand that he had lost their confidence. Mauduit told his grenadiers, that he was willing, for the sake of peace, to restore to the national troops the colours he had taken from them, and deposit them himself, at the head of his regiment, in the church, where they were usually kept ; but he added, that he depended upon their affection to protect him from personal insult. The next day, the ceremony took place. At the moment Mauduit restored the colours, one of his own soldiers cried out, that “he must ask pardon of the national troops on his knees" Mauduit started back with indignation, bared his bosom to their swords, and fell pierced by a hundred wounds. These soldiers were afterwards sent prisoners to France. In May, the claim of the free Mulattoes was brought forward by the Abbé Gregoire in the national assembly, who, on the 15th of that month, enacted, “that the people of colour resident in the French colonies, born of French parents, were entitled to, as of right, and should be allowed the enjoyment of all the privileges of French citizens; and among others, to those of having votes in the choice of representatives, and of being eligible to seats both in the parochial and colonial assemblies.” Upon the passing of this decree, the deputies from the colonies signified their intention to decline any further attendance. On the 30th of June, the intelligence of this decree, arrived at Cape François. No words can describe the rage and indignation of the white colonists. They had in their first general assembly, which met on the 16th of April, 1790, decreed, that in future no harder duty should be required of the people of colour than from the Whites; and that the harsh authority exercised over them by the royal army officers was oppressive and illegal; but now, when they were to have a vote in framing the laws by which they were to be governed, the Whites unanimously determined to reject the civic oath, or suffer the innovation. The national cockade was every
where pulled down, and a motion made in the provincial assembly, to hoist the British standard instead of the national colours. The inhabitants proceeded to elect deputies for a new general colonial assembly. One hundred and seventy-six members met at Leogane, on the 9th of August, and declared themselves the general assembly of the French part of St. Domingo, and resolved to hold their meeting at Cape François, appointing the 25th of August as the day for opening the session. So great was the agitation of the public mind, that M. Blanchelande found it necessary to pledge himself to suspend the execution of the obnoxious decree, whenever it should come out to him properly authenticated : thus proving that his authority in the colony was at an end.
Alarmed at these proceedings, and dreading a general proscription, the Mulattoes collected in armed bodies, in different places, and on the morning of the 23d of August, before day-break, the inhabitants of the town of the Cape were called from their beds, with the intelligence that the Negroes in the neighbouring parishes had revolted, and that the work of death was begun. Sudden and numerous arrivals of persons who had with difficulty escaped the massacre, were dreadful confirmations of the truth of the report. It was the Negroes of the parishes Du Limbe and De l’Acul: they approached within a league of the town of the Cape. The buildings and canefields were every where in flames, and the conflagrations were visible from the town. They lasted nearly three weeks, the houses in the town, and the vessels in the road, were covered with the lighter particles of the burning canes. Human nature revolts at the detail of the horrible outrages committed, however firmly convinced that the sum of miseries which could be borne by one generation would still leave a larger mass of misery upon the side of the avengers lunatoned for
The governor, at the request of the general assembly, took the command of the national guards, and sent the women and children on board the ships. There were a considerable number of free Mulattoes in the town, the whole of whom would have been murdered by the lower class of Whites, if the governor had not vigorously interposed. A body of them sallied out, attacked the insurgents, killed several, and brought in eighty prisoners.
M. Touzard, with a detachment, strengthened by a party of seamen, marched to attack a body of about 4000 of the rebel Negroes, at the plantation of a M. Latour. Many were destroyed; but their numbers increased in a centuple proportion to their losses, and M. Touzard was obliged to retreat. Had he been followed to the town, it might have been burnt without difficulty.
The governor, determined to act solely upon the defensive, fortified the roads and passes leading to the town. Troops, with