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fell into the hands of the English, who had lost about 500 men killed and wounded.'
Sixteen French privateers are reported to have been taken in the West Indies this year.?
Steele's Naval Chronologist.
1 The following is the list of the Fleet with Lieutenant General Sir Ralph Abercrombie, K.B.
at the recapture of St. Lucia, on the 25th May, 1796.
Rear Admiral Sir H. C. Christian, K. B.
Captain James Bowen.
- T. Drury.
T. M. Russel.
C. S. Davers.
H. L. Ball.
M. H. Scott.
S. G. Warner
G. F. Ryves.
J. C. Searle.
A. S. Burrowes.
Lt. H. Hamstead.
Hon. D. Douglas.
Lt. W. Champain.
• French Ships taken in the West Indies. La Perçante, of 26 guns, was taken in February, off Puerto Plata in St. Domingo, by
Captain the Honourable C. Carpenter, in the Intrepid, 64. The Marsouin, of 26 guns, was taken by Captain L. Skynner, in his Majesty's ship
Beaulieu, 44. L’Alerte, of 14 guns, was taken off St. Domingo, by Captain J. Bingham, in his
Majesty's ship Sampson, 64. La Volcan, of 12 guns, was taken by Captain A. F. Evans, in the Spencer, 18, May 4th,
off Bermuda, after a close action of one hour and a quarter. L'Atheniene, of 14 guns, was taken May 8th, off Barbadoes, by Captain Winthorp, in the
Albicore, of 16 guns. La Renommée, 44, was taken July 12th, off St. Domingo, by Captain T. Drury, in the
Upon the 19th of January, a party of Spaniards crossed the Orinoko to attack the outpost at Moroko, the most remote point of the colony of Essequibo. It was defended by Captain Rochelle and a party of Dutch troops, who had entered into the British service upon the capture of the colony. The attack was made in the night; but the Spaniards were observed before they landed, and the whole force at the post was under arms to receive the assailants, who boldly rushed forward; they were soon defeated : some were killed, some wounded, others driven into the river, a few escaped in their boats. Of the Dutch, Captain Rochelle and nine soldiers were wounded, some of them mortally.
The Methodists in Grenada were 115 in connexion; of whom only three were Whites, in May, 1797.
In December, the Methodists in St. Bartholomew's in society were 109 Blacks, twenty people of colour, and one white man.
Pinckard's Notes, vol. iii. p. 249.
Coke's West Indies, vol. ii. p. 84.
L'Eliza, schooner, of 10 guns, was taken October the 18th, by Captain H. Evans, in the
Fury, of 16 guns. La Cerf Volant, of 18 guns, was taken November the 1st, off $t. Domingo, by Captain
H. Ricketts, in his Majesty's ship Magicienne, 32. L'Africaine, 18, was taken December the 3d, off St. Domingo, by Captain J. Cook in
the Quebec, 32. La General Leveau, of 16 guns, was taken December 10th, off St. Domingo, by Captain Watkins, in the Resource, 28, and Captain Otway, in the Mermaid, 32.
Dutch Vessels. Thetis, of 24 guns, and Zee Meeuv, of 12, were taken at the surrender of Demerary,
April 23d. The "Thetis was afterwards sunk at Demerary, and the Zee Meeuv lost. The Batave, of 12 guns, was taken July 6th, off Barbadoes, by Captain A. S. Burrows, in the Roebuck, 44.
Spanish Vessels taken. El Galgo, of 18 guns, with 80,355 dollars on board, was taken by Captain Fellows, in the Alarm, 32, November 23d, off Grenada.
British Ships lost in the West Indies. Salisbury, of 50 guns, Captain W. Mitchell, was lost May 13th, on the Isle Arache,
St. Domingo; crew saved. La Sirenne, 16, Captain D. Guerin, was lost in the Bay of Honduras, and all her crew,
in August. The Cormorant, of 16 guns, Captain T. Gott, was blown up October 14th, at Port-au
Prince, and only twenty men saved. The Bermuda, of 18 guns, Captain T. Maxtone, was supposed to have foundered in the
gulph of Florida in September, and all her crew to have been lost. The Malabar, 54, Captain T. Parr, foundered October 10th, in coming from the West
Indies; crew saved. The Berbice schooner, J. Tresahar, was driven on shore at Dominica, in November :
crew saved. The Undaunted, 40, Captain R. Winthorp, was lost upon the Morant Keys, August 27th ;
crew saved. The Narcissus, 20, Captain P. Fraser, was lost October 3d; crew saved.
Captain Ogilvy, in his Majesty's ship Thunderer, on the Jamaica station, destroyed the Hermione French frigate of forty-four guns.
On the night of the 6th of April, the boats of his Majesty's ships Magicienne and Regulus entered the harbour of Cape Roxo (Puerto Rico), and captured, sunk, and burnt thirteen sail of square-rigged vessels and schooners, the whole in the port (except a Danish ship), and destroyed two batteries of two guns each, six and four pounders, at the entrance and head of the harbour, without the loss of a man.
Upon the 22d of March, Captain Pigot, in his Majesty's ship Hermione, anchored within half a mile of several small vessels at anchor under a battery near the west end of Puerto Rico. The fire from the battery was soon silenced. Captain Pigot says, “I sent the boats, under the directions of Lieutenants Reid and Douglas, to take possession of the vessels; and though they were aground, and a small fire of musketry kept up by the enemy, they brought them all out but two, which were sunk, and I am happy to say without a man being hurt. The following day I sent the boats, under the direction of Lieutenant Reid, to land, and endeavour to spike and dismount the guns, which they effected without loss. The enemy had, on our first appearance, taken the sails of the vessels away, and otherwise dismantled them. I set fire to them all but a brig.” Three were French privateers, and the others their prizes; in all fifteen sail.
From a return made to an order of the House of Commons, May 5th, 1806, it appears that the British sugar colonies, in 1797, exported 1,636,681 cwt. of sugar, 4,279,164 gallons of rum, 114,947 cwt. of coffee, and 6,918,153 lbs. of cotton.
“ The seas were so covered with English cruizers that no Spanish vessels could depart from their ports without the certainty of being taken; all trade with America ceased in consequence.
On the 18th of November, 1797, the Spanish government, for the first time, gave permission to neutral vessels, whether sent from Spanish or foreign ports, to trade with Spanish America. It was provided that the articles introduced should not be of the class prohibited, and they were to be subject to the duties prescribed in the regulation of 1778, in the same manner as if the adventurers sailed from the mother country, and returned to some port of Spain.” |
Annual Register, 1797, p. 99.
Depon's South America, vol. ii. p. 49.
1 “ Bahamas.-An act to consolidate and bring into one act the several laws relating to slaves, and for giving them further protection and security; for altering the mode of trial of slaves charged with capital of fences; for suspending the several acts and
other purposes." Assented to the 11th of May, 1797, by the governor, John Forbes.
T his act enacts, that "no slave shall be turned away by reason of such slave being rendered incapable of labour.
The following extract from General Abercrombie's dispatches contains the particulars of his attack upon Puerto Rico :
Annual Register, 1797, p. 97.-Abercrombie's Dispatch.
habitants once in every year, for the purpose of raising a sum for the maintenance of Negroes, who have been left by the deaths or removals of their proprietors, or who have been manumitted without any suitable provision being made for their maintenance.
« Every master or owner of slaves shall give them two suits of clothes every year, under penalty of 501., and shall instruct them in the Christian religion.
“ No slave to be mutilated.
“No court or justice to pass any sentence whereby any slave shall be directed to be mutilated.
“ Any person killing a slave, or causing the same to be done, shall be considered murderers.
“ Persons anywise ill-treating slaves sub. ject to be indicted in the general court, &c.
“ No slave shall receive more than twenty lashes at any one time, or for any one crime, &c.
“ Owners of slaves committing them to gaol, the provost-marshal authorised to receive them, and to have four shillings a day for his trouble.
“ Affixing iron collars, with projecting bars, on the necks of slaves, unlawful.
« Christmas Day, and the two fol. lowing days, to be allowed every slave as holidays.
“ Overseers absenting themselves on Christmas holidays, without leave, to forfeit 5l. per day.
« An account of the deaths and births of slaves on each plantation to be given in upon oath to the church wardens annually.
“ If neglected, the penalty of 501. to be stopped out of his wages.
« No slave shall leave his owners planta tion without a ticket from him.
“ No Negro shall hunt cattle or other animals with cutlasses, guns, or other arms.
« Free Negroes giving false passes to or harbouring slaves, to suffer loss of freedom or other punishment.
“ White persons guilty of the same offence, to suffer fine and imprisonment.
« No ticket to be granted to a slave for more than one month.
« Slave absconding, notice thereof to be given within fourteen days.
" Runaway slaves not to be bought or
“ The punishment of slaves, who shall run away for six months, not to extend to life or limb.
“ If they are absent more than that time, to be transported for life, or suffer other punishment, not extending to life or limb.
“ Slaves harbouring runaways, to suffer fine and imprisonment.
“ Slaves taking up runaways, to be rewarded, not exceeding three pounds.
“Slaves being ten days absent, and found eight miles from their plantation, to be deemed runaways.
“ Free persons apprehending runaways, to be entitled to twenty shillings, over and above two shillings a mile for the first five miles, and one shilling per mile afterwards.
“ Slaves taking or killing another in actual rebellion, to be rewarded with five pounds for killing, or ten pounds for taking any such slave; and also with a blue cloth coat, with a red cross on the right shoulder.
“ Persons killing slaves in the execution of this act, to give immediate information, under a penalty of one hundred pounds.
“ Persons apprehending slaves, to send them to proper places.
“ The gaoler to advertise once a month the names of runaway slaves in his custody.
« Gaolers to provide good and wholesome provisions for the slaves in their custody, under the penalty of ten pounds.
" Runaway slaves, after being advertised twelve months, to be sold at public auction.
“ Gaoler not to work or lend any runaway slave.
“ Slaves making their escape from confinement, to be punished by whipping, not exceeding fifty lashes.
" If the slave escapes through the gaoler's neglect, the gaoler or other officer to forfeit twenty pounds.
“ The owner to be paid the full value for any slave killed in defence of his country.
“Any person that shall suffer more than twelve strange slaves to assemble, and beat their drums, or blow their horns upon his land, to forfeit fifty pounds, if he does not endeavour to prevent it. Civil and military officers may enter into any place whatever, to disperse such assembly.
“Slaves concealing arms or ammunition
« On Monday the 17th of April, we made the island Puerto Rico, and came to an anchor off Congrejos Point. The whole north side of this island is bounded by a reef, that it was with much difficulty that a channel was discovered, about three leagues to the eastward of the town, through which his Majesty's sloops Beaver and Fury, with the lighter vessels, passed into a small bay, in which the troops on the next morning were disembarked, with little opposition from about 100 of the enemy, who were concealed in the bushes at the landing place. In the afternoon of the same day, the troops advanced, and took a position very favourable for our numbers, with our right to the sea, and our left to a lagoon, which extends far into the country. The artillery was brought up without loss of time, and every preparation made to force a passage into the island on which the town of Puerto Rico is situated.
Annual Register, 1797, p. 97. Abercrombie's Dispatch.
“ Slaves striking, or offering any violence to any white person, to suffer death.
“ Slaves mixing any poison, with intent to give it, shall suffer death.
« Slaves, having fraudulently in their possession fresh meat, or above five pounds of horse or mule's flesh, to be whipped, not exceeding thirty-nine lashes; if more than forty-eight pounds of such fesh be found in their possession, the punishment not to extend to life or limb.
“ Slaves stealing cattle to be punished with death.
“ Any free Negro aiding any slave to escape, to be transported.
« White persons to forfeit one hundred pounds for the same offence.
“ No slave to carry about for sale any dry goods.
“ No slave to retail any spirituous liquors.
“ No slave to play dice, cards, or other gaming.
« Upon complaint made of any rob. beries, &c. to any justice of the peace, to issue his warrant.
“ Not less than two justices and five freeholders shall constitute a court for the trial of Negroes.
“ All executions to be performed in some public place, and the mode to be, hanging by the neck, and no other.
“ Slaves giving false evidence, to suffer the same punishment as the person con victed
~ The gaoler to receive all his fees from the public treasury.
“ A record of the trials of slaves to be kept by the clerk of the peace.
* Constables to attend trial of slaves,
“ Jurors summoned to forfeit six pounds for non-attendance.
“ No trial to be had until notice be given to the owners, &c. of slaves.
“ Slaves sentenced to death to be valued by the jury, and paid for out of the public treasury.
“ Slaves returning from transportation to suffer death.
“When any slave cannot be taken by warrant, a copy thereof to be served on the owner, who shall forfeit one hundred pounds for detaining or concealing such slave.
“ All persons that have been slaves and made free, to be tried in the same manner as slaves.
“ Offences committed by slaves, below felony, to be determined before two magistrates.
“Runaway slaves to be committed to goal.
“ In all cases where power is vested in the justices and vestry, such power shall be executed by justices where no vestry on the out islands, or by the vestry, if no justices thereon.
“ Forfeitures and penalties, not being otherwise dirccted, if not exceeding twenty pounds, to be recovered in a summary way, before two magistrates, and if above twenty pounds, in the general court.
« This act to be in force two years from the passing thereof, and from thence to the end of the next session of the general assembly, and no longer. “ Assented to the 11th May, 1797.
“ John FORBES." Parl. Papers, B. pp. 3. 6, 7. 10. 12.