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This insult gave great encouragement to the mob : preaching by candle-light became impracticable. This persecution served as a stimulus, and · by the end of the year the Methodists reckoned forty-four members in society. Several people of colour were compelled to quit the connexion. Blacks were forbidden to attend, on pain of corporal punishment.
In February, there were 2800 persons in the society of Methodists in Antigua, and 2000 in the Moravian society.
Early in 1789, Dr. Coke says, “ We again made two visits to Nevis. From this period we may date the introduction of the gospel into the island. At this time we (the Methodists) formed a little class of twenty-one catechumens, and provided for their instruction before our departure, by leaving them to the care of Mr. Owens, one of our missionaries, who was appointed to take upon him the charge of the mission throughout the whole colony."
Dr. Coke landed at Port Royal, in Jamaica, on the 19th of January, 1789. He was the first of that class of men who attempted to make converts in that island; and the following extract is from his own report:4" At this period the form of godliness was hardly visible in Jamaica; and its power, except in some few solitary instances, was totally unknown. The exertions of the Moravian brethren were quite inadequate to the field which lay open before them : iniquity prevailed in all its forms; and both Whites and Blacks were evidently living without hope and without God in the world.”
Dr. Coke preached four times in a gentleman's house in Kingston to small but increasing congregations. The room being too confined, a Roman Catholic gentleman offered him the use of a very large one, which had been a public concert-room. .
. The first evening I preached there,” he says, “ the congregation was considerable, and received the word with great decency and great attention. Whilst I was pointing out to the unregenerate the fallaciousness of all their hopes, and the impossibility of reversing the decree, - Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of heaven,' and seriously inquiring of them, whether they had found out some new gospel as their directory, a poor Negro woman cried out, I am sure you are a new priest.' The second evening, the great room, and all the piazzas round it, were crowded with people. I believe there were four hundred white people present (the largest number of Whites I ever preached to in the West İndies), and about two hundred Negroes, there being no room, I think, for more. After I had preached about ten minutes, a company of gentlemen, inflamed with liquor, began to be very turbulent; till at last the noise increasing, they cried out, • Down
with him, down with him! They then pressed forwards through the crowd in order to seize me, erying out again, - Who seconds that fellow?' on which my new and gallant friend, Mr. Bull, whose house was then my residence, stepped forth between the rioters and me, saying, "I second him against men and devils. A lady also stood up, and reasoned boldly with the rioters on the impropriety of their conduct. They soon afterwards retreated, vociferating, · Down with him, down with him !
“ The spirits of the congregation were so discomposed by this unhappy accident, that I gave out a hymn, and then chose another text, and preached to a serious and attentive audience.
“ Between three and four hundred thousand souls, living chiefly without hope and without God in the world, forbade all supineness; and the attention of many among those who heard, by giving an early promise of a productive harvest, presented an opening which pointed out our path.
“ Four or five families of some property opened their houses, and very evidently their hearts also, to me; and assured me, that any missionaries we should in future send to the island should be welcome to beds, and to every thing their houses afforded.
“ Thus was the work of God begun in the south of Jamaica."
Mr. Wilberforce made the following propositions to the House of Commons:
" That the number of slaves annually carried from Africa to the British West Indies amounted to 38,000. That the probable demerits of the supposed delinquents, as alleged by the advocates for the trade, could not justify, or even sanction, the hardships they endured. That the waste of human life must be dreadfully enormous to require such an annual demand. That the influence which our support of this traffic must have on the minds of the inhabitants of Africa at large must be productive of the most pernicious consequences, and must for ever prevent that social intercourse which might ultimately tend to their civilization.
“ That the injury sustained by British seamen engaged in this inhuman employment was almost beyond calculation. That the fatal consequences attending the transportation of slaves across the Atlantic were such as made humanity shrink with horror. That if this trade were discontinued, Africa presented sources of wealth which might be secured on the ground of honourable commerce, from which we were now totally debarred. That the causes of mortality among the Negroes might be traced to this common source of their calamities. That, with proper attention to their condition, the Negro population might easily be increased in the islands of Barbadoes and Jamaica. That the present system rendered it more profitable for the planter to import Negroes from Africa than to rear an infant in the colony. That these profits were abominable, as they were the price of blood. And, finally, it could be proved that no considerable disadvantage would be experienced ultimately by those who were interested in the trade, if all further importation were prohibited.”
The Baron de Wimpfens carried out and set the first seeds ever sown in St. Domingo of the narcissus, hyacinth, and violet
Table of West India Exports for 1789. Return to the House of
Hhds. of Sugar 13 cwt.
- 12,500 St. Kitt's
3,150 Tortola, &c.
5,450 St. Vincent's
- 15,000 Tobago - - - - - - 5,800
Antigua varies from 2500 to 18,000 hhds.; St. Kitt's, from 8000 to 17,000; Barbadoes, from 6000 to 13,000; whilst Grenada, St. Vincent's, and Tobago, vary only as from 12,000 to 16,000 hhds. average.
The number of slaves annually exported from Africa, as stated by the delegates from Liverpool, were 74,000.. By the British
More of these came from Bonny and New Calabar than any other place.
In February, the inhabitants of Tortola amounted to 1000 Whites, and 8000 coloured people and Blacks.
The population of Santa Cruz was estimated at 30,000 souls.
* Baron de Wimpfens' St. Domingo, p. 141.
Sir W. Young's Common-place Book, pp. 28, 29. Report of the Lords of the Committee, 1789, Part IV. No. 14.
Mr. Hammett, the first Methodist missionary at Tortola, commenced his labours in the Virgin Islands and Santa Cruz this year.
The exports from the French colony of St. Domingo were 47,516,531 pounds of white sugar, 93,773,300 of brown; 76,835,219 of coffee ; 7,004,274 of cotton; and 758,628 of indigo.
The produce of 1787, 1788, and 1789, amounted, on an average, to £4,956,780 sterling.
Mr. Gregg, secretary to the King's commission, and auctioneer, in disposing of the lands in the ceded islands, stated that he had sold 174,000 acres for £620,000, under a covenant for the purchaser to cut down, clear, and cultivate one acre out of twenty every year, till half the uncleared lands shall be cleared, under penalty of paying £5 per annum for every acre neglected.
Of the 106,470 acres of land which Barbadoes is said to contain, there are hardly any not cultivated which are capable of being brought into culture.
in dipos, oso acres no cleari, eleared
of March, the for the 16ted to hold i
In January, the royal order for convoking a general colonial assembly was received at St. Domingo: it appointed Leogane for the place of meeting. The provincial assemblies disapproved of this order, adopted another plan, resolved to hold the assembly at St. Marc, and fixed the time for the 16th of April.
On the 8th of March, the national assembly, in France, voted, " that it never was the intention of the assembly to comprehend the interior government of the colonies in the constitution which they had framed for the mother country, or to subject them to laws which were incompatible with their local establishments: they therefore authorize the inhabitants of each colony to signify to the national assembly their sentiments and wishes concerning that plan of interior legislation and commercial arrangement which would be most conducive to their prosperity.”
On the 28th of the same month, the national assembly passed a decree of instructions for the execution of their decree of the 8th: it consisted of eighteen articles, and contained, among other things, a declaration, “ that every person of the age of twenty-five and upwards, possessing property, or having resided two years in the colony, and paid taxes, should be permitted to vote in the formation of the colonial assembly.” And,“ that the national assembly would not cause any innovation to be made, directly or indirectly,
Coke's West Indies, vol. iï. pp. 112. 398. Parliamentary Papers, 1789, Slave Trade Examination, John Gregg, Esq. Report of the Lords of the Committee, 1789. Edwards, vol. iji. pp. 24, 25. 63.
in any system of commerce in which the colonies were already concerned.”
The Mulattoes, doubting the meaning of the decree, or not being powerful enough to enforce their claims, sent deputies to the national assembly, to demand an explanation of it.
The general assembly met at St. Marc, on the 16th of April: it was composed of 213 members, of whom twenty-four were for the city of Cape François, sixteen for Port-au-Prince, and eight for Las Cayes, most of the other parishes returned two each; and the colony, as far as regarded the Whites, was allowed to be fairly represented.
M. Peynier, the governor-general, with the officers of the army, tax-gatherers, and all the persons belonging to the courts of civil and criminal jurisdiction, beheld with indignation and dread this great and sudden revolution, and the planters were not united among themselves. The provincial assembly of the north counteracted by every means in their power the proceedings of the general assembly at St. Marc; who, on the 28th of May, published a decree, which became the ostensible motive, on the part of the executive, for commencing hostilities: it consisted of ten fundamental positions.
“ 1. The legislative authority, in every thing which relates to the internal concerns of the colony, is declared to reside in the assembly of its representatives.
66 2. That no law be considered as a law definitive,' unless it be made by the assenibly, and confirmed by the King.
" 3. That, in cases of urgent necessity, a decree of the assembly should be considered as a law provisional :' such decree to be sent to the governor-general, who, within ten days, was to cause it to be enforced, or transmit his observations thereon.
66 4. The necessity of the case on which such decree was to depend, to be decided by a majority of two-thirds of the assembly.
66 5. If the governor shall send his observations, a majority of two-thirds confirm the decree, and the governor-general shall immediately enforce it.
“6. No decree shall be enforced in the colony, until the general assembly shall have consented thereto.
617. In cases of pressing necessity, the importation of articles for the support of the inhabitants shall not be considered as any breach in the commercial regulations between St. Domingo and France.
“8. Provided also, that every act executed provisionally, in cases of urgent necessity, shall be sent for the royal sanction. And if the King shall refuse his consent, its execution shall cease.
“ 9. A new general assembly shall be chosen every two years, and none of the members who have served in the former shall be eligible in the new one.
šs 10. The assembly decree, the preceding articles form part of