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The Swedish government established a West India company, with the exclusive privilege of trading to the West Indies, including their new colony of St. Bartholemew. All Swedish subjects were permitted to become subscribers, which entitled them to use the company's warehouses. The directors of the company were chosen by the crown, and all the vessels engaged in the trade must both sail from and return to Stockholm or Gottenburg.
Mr. Dawson, a Liverpool merchant, contracted again with the Spanish government to supply La Guira and the Havaña annually with from 4000 to 5000 slaves. They refused to take females, until an order was obtained that they should take two-thirds males and onethird females, at 150 dollars ahead.
There were not more than 40,000 Negroes in the colonies of Essequibo and Demerary, although 75,000 had been imported in the last forty-two years, exclusive of those brought into the colonies previous to an office being established for entering the number imported, and the Negroes imported by the English settlers, without taking into consideration the number of children which would naturally be born within that period. Mr. Bolinbroke says, 66 I can only account for it thus: Negroes were sold in the years alluded to, from £20 to £40 sterling, at fifteen months credit. From their bearing such a trifling value, I fear they were too frequently sacrificed by hard work and ill-treatment, under an idea that twelve or eighteen months' labour was sufficient to pay the first cost. It is an absolute fact, that the comfort and health of the Negroes was never much considered, until their value, like that of a blood-horse when put in competition with a cart horse, entitled them to better treatment, for fear they should die, as the loss would then be so much the greater.”
Reader, this same Mr. Henry Bolinbroke, from whom the above extract is taken, says, in the same work, p. 116, “ The slave-trade is a universal benefit;" and at p. 107, he says, “ I assert, with confidence and satisfaction, that there is not so much flogging on a West India plantation, as there is obliged to be on board a manof-war, with the cat-of-nine-tails, to preserve order.” As though enforcing discipline among men for whose exertions an officer is re- , sponsible to his country, and overworking men and women from avaricious motives, were similar cases, or the power equally abused. The healthiness of our seamen, and the mortality among the slaves, render the mischievous comparison absurd.
On the 27th of January, the brig Basil, Captain Raphael, arrived at Liverpool from Dominica. In her passage she saved the crew of the Charming Molly, bound from Bermudas to
Brougham's Colonial Policy, book i. sect. 3. p. 498.
Turk's Island; which vessel had foundered three days before when the crew, ten in number, took to their boat, to the stem of which they tied a log of wood, to keep her head to the sea. When Captain Raphael discovered them, they had about a pound of bread and two gallons of water left; of the latter they gave to each other a wine-glass full, thickened with a mouthful of bread, once in twelve hours. The boat being only twelve feet in length, one half of the crew were obliged to lie down in her bottom alternately, while the other half sat along the sides; as, in any other situation, the boat must have been top-heavy. From this situation, and expecting every moment to be their last, they were providentially relieved by Captain Raphael, who brought them to England
Thomas Shirley, Esq. of Oat Hall, Sussex, was appointed governor of the leeward Caribee islands.
Prince William Henry arrived in the West Indies as captain of the Pegasus frigate.
In Barbadoes, there were 16,167 Whites, 833 free people of colour, and 62,115 Negro slaves, this year.
From the custom-house returns to the House of Commons, it appears, that in 1786, Great Britain imported from her West India colonies 1,613,956 cwt. of sugar, from which she derived a revenue of £ 802,268, exclusive of the monies paid for drawback upon the sugars re-exported.
Upon the 20th of October, it blew a hurricane at 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 almost waste the southern coast of Española. 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 2d of September, an alarming hurricane threw the inhabitants of Barbadoes into the utmost consternation. At eleven P.M., when the storm was at its height, a meteor in the S.E. issued from a dark cloud, and spreading its diverging rays to a vast circumference, continued, with unabated splendour,near forty minutes.
In the morning of the 3d, Carlisle Bay was a scene of desolation - not a vessel had ridden out the storm. In the country, great damage was done to houses and crops: many persons were killed in the ruins of their own houses.
Annual Register, 1786, pp. 210. 214. 218. Southey's Life of Nelson, vol. i. p. 68. Coke's West Indies, vol. ii. p.122. Sir W. Young's Common-place Book, p.56.
ada, New Providen. III. c.27;egroes were St. Geport of Nassies specified in and thirty-nihis year
the drove them to and nineteches, which i
St. George's, in Grenada, was made a free port this year.
The Port of Nassau, in New Providence, was declared a free port, for certain articles specified in 27 Geo. III. c. 27.
Thirty thousand eight hundred and thirty-nine Negroes were imported into the French part of St. Domingo, this year.,
In January, Dr. Coke, with three other itinerant methodist preachers, visited Dominica, and preached in the house of a Mrs. Webley; but they only remained a few days upon the island, and did not leave any missionary behind them.
In 1790, Lord Rodney stated, in his examination before the committee of the House of Commons, that the French, in 1787, paid 200 livres a head premium, for every slave imported into St. Domingo and St. Lucia; and 100 for each imported into Martinico and Guadaloupe.
Elias Bascombe, a white man, and a Negro-boy slave, named Mark, the property of Benjamin Webster, Esq. of Grenada, were, on the 16th of August, out fishing in a canoe, when a heavy squall drove them to sea, without either food or water: they were driven to Jamaica, and nineteen days at sea — during all which time they had only two flying fishes, which jumped into their boat, 10 subsist upon. They made a sail of their clothes, and the rainwater caught in it was their only drink. The canoe drifted on shore, near Old Harbour — the Negro-boy lying upon his face, and Bascombe resting his head upon the boy, both naked, and both motionless. They were carried to a neighbouring Negro-hut, and recovered.
St. Domingo.— The French court suppressed the council at Cape François, and vested their authority in the one at Port-au-Prince, which was the ordinary place of residence of the captain-general, the intendant, and the other chief officers of the administration. Seats at this council were also given to officers of the army, and men in office of a lower rank than formerly, to augment their number : so that the minister, in the name of the court, met with less contradiction, and governed the colony with less difficulty.
The inhabitants of the northern province, of which the cape was the capital, were exceedingly enraged at this alteration. They were indignant that the most populous, the richest, and the best-cultivated province, which had consequently the most need “ d'un tribunal en dernier ressort,” should be deprived of it. They were jealous, also,
Colquhoun's British Empire, pp. 357. 373. Edwards, vol. iii. p. 220.
Woodard's Narrative, Lond. 1804, Appendix, No. 9.
that Port-au-Prince should be thus benefited at the expence of the cape, and that the power of the court should be increased in the colony.
A statement of their griefs, signed by 5000 of the inhabitants, was sent to Paris, to the Marquis de Paroi, and M. de Raynaud, to lay before the King.
The intendant took possession of the money arising from a polltax of a dollar a head upon the Negroes, which the parishes imposed upon themselves, to keep the churches in order, and supply the expences of divine worship. It amounted to about 1,500,000 livres annually, and the expenditure was under the controul of the council. The intendant disposed of it in the same manner he did the royal taxes. This seizure augmented the irritation in the north, and many refused to pay the tax. The disobedient were ordered to Port-au-Prince, where one of the wealthiest died : his death was imputed to vexations occasioned by the chef des finances,” and this added fuel to the general animosity.
September the 23d, at Balize, between four and five A.M., a hurricane came on from the N.N.W. About ten, 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 lowlands were overflowed: not a house, hut, or habitation of any kind, on either side the Balize, was left standing more than 500 were thrown down. One hundred persons perished : dead carcasses and logs of mahogany were floating about in every direction. Eleven square-rigged vessels, besides smaller ones, were totally lost.
The field Negroes in Cuba were found, by actual enumeration, to amount to 50,000 in number, Imports of Slaves to British West Indies, from Report of Privy Council - Medium of Four Years.
768 St. Kitt's
102 Nevis, &c.
170 St. Vincent's
1,825 Tobago -
Soirées Bermudiennes, par F. C., 1802, Bordeaux, pp. 30. 33.
Annual Register, 1788, p. 193.
Population of the British West Indian Isles, from Report of the
Privy Council, 1788.
Whites. Free people of colour. Slaves.
10,000 Tortola, &c. &c. 1,200
9,000 Grenada - 996 1,125
23,926 Dominica - 1,236
14,967 St. Vincent's - 1,450 300
1,397 1,050 10,539
Total, 49,762 10,569 465,276 The number of converted Negro-slaves under the care of the Moravian brethren, at the end of this year, was — in Antigua, 5465; in St. Kitt's, 80; in Barbadoes and Jamaica, about 100; in St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John, about 10,000; in Surinam, about 400 – making, in the whole, 16,045.
In August, Dominica was visited by three gales of wind, on the 3d, 23d, and 29th, which destroyed all the vessels at the island. All the barracks and buildings upon Morne Bruce were blown down and destroyed, and several houses in the town shared the same fate.
May the 1st, the Earl of Dunmore was appointed governor of the Bahama islands.
In January, the number of Methodists in society, in Antigua, amounted to nearly 2000.
The first Methodist missionaries landed in St. Vincent's on the 9th of January, 1787, and preached in Mr. Claxton's house, the same evening, to a large congregation. The next evening they preached at Mr. Clapham's, about ten miles from Kingston; and here Mr. Clarke, the missionary, was offered the use of a room for his congregation.
The president of the council also gave him leave to preach in the court house on Sundays. Six or seven of the soldiers stationed on the island were Methodists. The Negroes considered the missionaries as men imported for them, and the commencement of the undertaking was considered by the society exceedingly favourable.
The number of slavès imported into the Grenades was 3693.
Sir W. Young's West India Common-place Book, p. 3.
Coke's West Indies, vol. ï. pp. 253, 254, 255. 438.