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There were 250,000 Negro slaves in Jamaica, 1400 Maroons, 10,000 people of colour and free Negroes, and 30,000 Whites.
On the 2d of February, a turtler belonging to Montego Bay, Jamaica, was upset in a gale of wind. Captain Samuel Hood, of his Majesty's ship Juno, went in his barge, and saved the lives of three of the crew. One man had been drowned before Captain Hood came up with her. The danger of the attempt was such, that some of the boat's crew hesitated when ordered into the boat. Captain Hood set them the example, saying, “ I never gave an order to a sailor in my life, which I was not ready to undertake and execute myself.”
The house of assembly at Jamaica, the next day, « Resolved, nem. con., that the receiver-general do forthwith remit to the agent of this island the sum of 100 guineas, for the purchase of a sword, to be presented to Captain Samuel Hood of his Majesty's ship Juno, as a testimony of the high sense which this house entertains of his merit in saving (at the manifest peril of his own life, in a violent gale of wind off the port of St. Ann, on the 2d instant) the lives of three men discovered on a wreck at sea, and who must inevitably have perished, but for his gallant and humane exertions.'
Captain M. Russell, in his Majesty's ship Diana, was off Montego Bay, Jamaica, the 1st of November, when the inhabitants apprehended a rising among the Negroes. The committee of safety at St. James sent off to say, they intended to salute the frigate with twenty-one guns, and requested Captain Russell to return the salute with as many as the rules of the service would admit, for the purpose of giving satisfaction to the Whites, and to deter the Blacks from attempts to disturb the public peace.
At day-break, the 21st of June, it began to rain near the Havaña, which continued till half-past two in the afternoon of the following day, with such force as to cause the greatest flood ever remembered in that country. The royal tobacco mills, and the village in which they stood, were washed away, and 257 of the inhabitants killed. In the spot where the mills stood, the water, or a partial earthquake, opened the ground to the depth of forty-five feet, and in one of the openings a river appeared of the purest water. Where the Count Baretto's house stood, was a cavity more than sixty feet deep, from which a thick smoke rose.
Four leagues from thence, the torrent was so great, that none of the inhabitants within its reach escaped. All the crops of corn and growing fruits were carried away.
Three thousand persons, and 11,700 head of cattle, are said to have perished in the flood.
August the 13th, William Woodley, Esq. was appointed governor of the Leeward Caribee islands.
Edwards, vol. i. p. 284.
Naval Chronicle, vol. xvii. pp. 6. 453.
Chief Justice Ottley of St. Vincent, in his examination by the , , , House of Commons, stated, that the slaves in St. Vincent were never & jo married, and that he knew of no haw to prevent a woman being taken from the man with whom she lived, and debauched by a white person. He did not recollect any cases of the kind happening, but they might have done so without his knowledge. It is clear, for the reason he himself assigns, that the domestic happiness of the slaves may have been violated to any extent, without his judicial know
ledge. É. an act of Jamaica, passed this year, the testimony of slaves was admitted, without reserve, against the free Maroons of that island. “The enslaved Negroes, who had often, pursuant to legal requisition and encouragement, been seized and brought home, when fugitives, by these active mountaineers, had certainly here a fair invitation to revenge.” The congregation of Moravians at Basse Terre, St. Christopher's, so, consisted of “624 souls, besides many new people, who came to to beg for baptism.” in the three Danish islands, the want of rain, which had pre- og vailed there for about four years, killed great numbers of the Negroes. From Easter 1790 to Easter 1791, above 240 Negroes were baptised by the Methodists, and upwards of 200 were added to the communicants in that island. }. whole number under the care of the missionaries in the three islands was about 8000. At the close of this year, the two Moravian congregations in: Antigua, at Gracehill and St. John's, consisted of upwards of 7400 } rsons, besides a great number of new people, who constantly attended public worship. The number of missionaries on the island was only five. Henry Botham, Esq. stated, when examined, that “the slaves in the French islands appeared to be better clothed, better fed, and better behaved, than in the British ; and their being well fed is chiefly owing to the French planter putting a great proportion of his estate in provisions.” The British West India islands (Mr. Irving stated) produce annually a greater quantity of sugar and rum than is requisite for the consumption of Great Britain and her immediate dependencies. The extension of the culture of those islands beyond what is necessary for that supply, is not likely to promote the interests of the British empire, because the French sugars are sold by the planters 20 or 30 per cent, cheaper than the British sugars could be purchased in our islands. And it is unwise to push forward by means of bounties, &c. any branch of commerce, which cannot be carried
Stephen on West Indian Slavery, pp. 16.1. 182.
on within 15 per cent. of the prices of other rival countries. The money expended upon West India estates in general does not leave the owner, even after a good crop, more than 6 per cent. If sufficient land was cultivated to supply the Negroes with provisions, it would be attended with advantage to the planters themselves— slaves might be bred to keep up the stock, and the little slaves from seven years and upwards might be useful.” Such were Mr. Irving's opinions when examined before a Committee of the House of Commons.
Translation of an Edict of the King of Denmark, for the Abolition of the Slave Trade carried on by his Subjects; dated at Copenhagen, 16th March, 1792.
“We, Christian the Seventh, by the Grace of God, King of
Denmark and Norway, &c. &c., do hereby make known, that, in consideration of the circumstances attending the slave trade on the coast of Guinea, and the transporting of Negroes, purchased there, to our West India islands; as well as, likewise, because it fully appears that it would be good and serviceable if the carrying of Negroes from Guinea could be avoided, and that our West India islands, in time, could be cultivated by labourers born and trained up on the same, who from their youth might be used to the work, the climate, and their employers — we have caused investigations to be made as to the manner, and how soon, a regulation hereof might be accomplished. “And, in consequence, it appears, beyond a doubt, that it may be rendered possible, as well as beneficial, for our West India islands to do without the purchase of Negroes, after the plantations have been stocked with a sufficient number; a suitable assistance in this case to be made to such of the planters as may stand in need thereof, and due care to be taken to promote marriages between the Negroes, and moral instruction. * In order, therefore, to do away the improprieties that are and have been annexed to our West India possessions, on account of the importation of Negroes, and to the end that the importation of Negroes may in time become altogether extinct, we do hereby make known, command, and require, for the information of every individual, that it is our gracious will, so far as relates to a part of these regulations, and which it is requisite should be immediately made known : — “l. With the beginning of the year 1803, that all traffic in the slave trade by our subjects shall cease on the African coasts, and
elsewhere, out of our possessions in the West Indies; so that, after the expiration of the intervening time, no Negro man or woman, either on the coast or other places, must be purchased for or by any our subjects, or carried on board ships belonging to our subjects, or be imported for sale into our West India islands; and every transaction to the contrary, or against this interdiction, shall, after the above time, be deemed i. “2. In the intervening time, from the present to that of the end of the year 1802, it shall be allowed to all nations, without exception, and under all flags, to import from the coast into our West India islands, male and female Negroes. “3. For the healthy male and female Negroes that shall be imported during the aforesaid time into our West India islands, we do hereby allow, that within one year of their being imported, the following quantities of raw sugar may be exported from the islands to other places in or out of Europe, either in our own or foreign ships, viz. for every full-grown male or female Negro, 2000 lbs.; and for every half-grown the one half thereof, viz. 1000 lbs. without exception in respect to sexes; but for the children nothing. “4. The duty on the importation of slaves fixed by the edict of the 9th of April, 1764, and the 12th of May, 1777, we graciously set aside as to the female Negroes that shall hereafter be imported; and, on the contrary, an additional one half per cent. over and above the present duty, shall be paid on all such sugars as shall be exported to foreign places, in return for male and female Negroes imported. “5. We further declare it our will, that in regard to a proper conduct between the two sexes, the kop tax for female Negroes, and girls who work in the plantations, and are not house Negroes, shall cease from and after the beginning of the year 1795; bot this tax, for the said time, shall be doubled for all plantation Negro men. “6. The exportation of male and female Negroes from our West India islands is strongly prohibited from this time forward, such being excepted from the prohibition as the laws require to quit the same, and likewise such as, in very scarce instances, it may be deemed proper, by our governors-general and government in the West India islands, to suffer to leave the same. “According to which, all and every one have to regulate themselves.” The average of the expences of the government of the island of Cuba, between the years 1788 and 1792, was 1,826,000 piastres,
distributed in the following manner: — Piastres.
- - 146,000
For Santiago de Cuba - - - - 290,000
For the Havafia -
ammamm-mmHumboldt's New Spain, vol. iv. p. 234.
Piastres. Marine expences
740,000 For keeping the fortifications of the Havaña in repair 150,000 “ Purchase money of tobacco from the island of
500,000 Cuba, which goes into Spain”
The average, for the same time, for Porto Rico, was 377,000 For Trinidad
200,000 For the Spanish part of St. Domingo
Upon the 14th of January, Fort Dauphin was surprised by the Mulattoes, and the garrison massacred. All the white inhabitants of Ouanaminte shared the same fate, and in the morning the place was set on fire. At the same time all the sugar-works in the parish, and in Maribarou, canes, mills, and buildings, all were burnt. From six o'clock until noon the fires were blazing.
M. Thouzard, the commandant, was suspected of betraying the fort into their hands, as part of a plan of the royalists to raise the Blacks against the republicans.
At Petit Goave, in St. Domingo, the Mulattoes were masters, and held in confinement thirty four white persons, whom they reserved for vengeance. On the publication of the amnesty, they led them to execution — each was broken alive upon the wheel ; and in the midst of their tortures, the Mulattoes read the proclamation aloud, affecting to consider it as a pardon for the cruelties they were then committing.
In a letter which was sent from the colony to their deputies to the legislative assembly in Paris, it was stated, “ That the people of colour wore the ears of the Whites in their hats instead of cockades; that for their colours they carried a white infant, impaled upon a pike; that they had torn children from their mothers' womb, and given them to the pigs; that they had forced a husband to eat his wife's flesh, after killing her before him; and lastly, that they had sunk a vessel laden with white women, who were trying to escape.”
The commissioners returned separately to France in March and April. Roome was the only one who during their stay had conducted himself with respectability.
In the northern province, the rebel Negroes having destroyed all the provisions on the plain of the Cape, took possession of the surrounding mountains, where they planted provisions by the directions of Jean François.
On the 4th of April, the legislative assembly in France published a decree, containing eleven articles. They declared, that the people of colour and free Negroes in the colonies ought to enjoy an equality of political rights with the Whites; and decreed, that the inhabitants
Soirées Bermudiennes, pp. 105. 151.