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CHRONOLOGICAL HISTORY

OF THE

WEST INDIES.

1784..

In January, the island of Dominica was restored to the English. Some weeks before the restoration of it, an English regiment arrived from St. Lucia, at Roseau, to take possession of the island, which Du Beaupe, the French governor, refused to deliver up, and ordered the British troops to depart. This their commander refused to do; and he was at last permitted to land at Point Michael, to wait until the French governor had further instructions. Upon this point the English fortified themselves; and in answer to orders from Beaupe, to haul down the English colours, their commander replied, that the country was his master's, whose flag he would defend to the last moment.

On the morning of the evacuation, the English entered the town amidst rejoicing multitudes. Between one and two o'clock, the artillery took possession of the principal fort, marching in as the French marched out, who immediately embarked in boats that were waiting for them. The standard of England was hoisted, and the new governor, John Ord, Esq. landed under a salute from the vessel and fort, amidst shouts of joy and congratulation.

During the government of Duchilleau, sixty out of every hundred head of cattle were destroyed. He established an ordinance, that every English planter should send a beast in his turn to the military hospital ; and if, from bad weather, and the distance, the cattle were not there in time, a party of soldiers were sent out to kill the first beast that fell in their way. Many of the inhabitants' milch

Atwood's History of Dominica, pp. 160, 161. 164. 167, 168.

cows were thus destroyed; for which they were, after a long interval, paid as ordinary beasts. The French destroyed all the fortifications they had built; and, contrary to the eighth article of the treaty of peace, blew up several that were there before they took the island.

No trade had been permitted, except to the island of St. Eustatia; and no less than thirty sugar plantations were abandoned by the proprietors.

Mr. Joshua Steele, of Barbadoes, succeeded in obtaining the Jabour of his Negroes thus :—He gave premiums to any twenty-five Negroes who would undertake to 6 hole for canes an acre per day, at about 964 holes for each Negro to the acre.

All were glad to undertake it, at about three-halfpence sterling a day, and the system of task-work, or the voluntary system, became the general practice of the estate.

France entered into a convention with Sweden, in virtue of which the French were to be admitted to the rights and privileges of the natives in the city and port of Gottenburg, being permitted to build and establish warehouses, for the storing of all manner of goods imported, either from France or America, in the bottoms of either nation, without their being subject to any duties or impositions whatever ; with the farther liberty to the merchants or proprietors, to export all such goods at pleasure, either in French or Swedish bottoms, and upon the same free terms. In return for the advantages expected from these favourable stipulations, France ceded to Sweden, in perpetuity, the full propriety and sovereignty of the island of St. Bartholemew, in the West Indies. The King of Sweden, in order to convert this island to the best account, declared it port.

A Liverpool merchant, of the name of Dawson, contracted with the Spanish government to deliver from 3000 to 4000 slaves at Trinidad, La Guira, and the Havaña, at 150 dollars a head. There was no stipulated proportion of males, females, or children.

Upon the 11th of March, some gentlemen in London, interested in the West India islands which had been taken by the French, voted an address of thanks and a piece of plate to the Marquis de Bouille, as a public testimony of their “ veneration and esteem," for the “ humanity, justice, and generosity so exemplarily displayed by him, in his several conquests and chief command” of the conquered islands.

The exports from Essequibo and Demerary employed twentyfour ships, and consisted of 3980 hhds. of sugar, 703 tierces and 28,078 bags of coffee, and 1883 bales of cotton.

a free

Atwood's History of Dominica, p. 167. Colquhoun's British Empire, p. 361.

Clarkson's Thoughts on Emancipation, 1823.

Annual Register, 1784, p. 183. — 1786, p. 28.
Report of the Lords of the Committee, 1789, Part VI. Spain.

Bolinbroke's Voyage to Demerars, Appendix.

The French government, by a decree of the 30th of August, 1784, expressly forbade any payment to be made for such things as were permitted to be imported from foreign markets, except in syrups, taffia (rum), and coinmodities brought from France. Spain alone granted to its colonies the power of carrying all their productions, excepting cacao, to foreign markets.

“ Civil, social, and religious order was established in Grenada. Stipends were granted, by an act of the Assembly, to five clergymen of the Church of England, of £330 currency, and £60 for house-rent. One of the clergymen was for the town and its environs, in the parish of St. George — three to do duty, by rotation, in the five out parishes, and one at Cariacow. The glebe lands which had belonged to the Roman Catholic priests, while their religion constituted a part of the government, became the property of the crown, and were granted by his Majesty to the legislature of the island, for the better support of the Protestant churches; deducting an allowance for the maintenance of the Roman Catholic priests, who were still paid,” for the pastoral care of the Papists.

A perpetual tax, of eighteen-pence currency per head, was laid upon all slaves in Grenada, to support the clergy.

The number of slaves in Barbadoes, as given in on oath by Mr. Agent Brathwaite, was 61,808.

The number of slaves imported into the Grenades was 1688.

In Grenada, an act was passed, October 18th, 1784, “ for regulating the fees of the clerk of the market, and authorising him to take eighteen pence for every slave he shall flog, whether it be ordered by the magistrate or owner."

The inhabitants voted £20,000 to join the Lagoon to the harbour of St. George's.

On the 29th of June, 150 houses, in the most opulent part of Port-au-Prince, St. Domingo, were destroyed by fire, and the royal magazine reduced to ashes. The damage was estimated at 30,000,000 of francs.

On the three first days in August the island suffered severely from a storm.

Jamaica suffered from a hurricane. Upon the night of July the 30th, every vessel in the harbour, except four, was either sunk, dismasted, or driven on shore, and numerous lives lost; the barracks at Up Park Camp were blown down, and five soldiers killed; the workhouse was destroyed, and ten of its inmates killed or wounded. The storm began at half-past eight P.M., and continued till past eleven P.M. Two severe shocks of an earthquake were felt,

Depon's South America, vol. č. p. 41.

Coke's West Indies, vol. ii. p. 58.
Parliamentary Papers, 1789, Campbell's Evidence.
Report of the Lords of the Committee, 1789, Supplement to No. 15.
Parliamentary Papers, 1790, Lieutenant H. H. Dalrymple's Evidence.
Westminster Magazine, 1784, pp. 499. 501. 555, 556.

His Majesty's ship Janus, Commodore Pakenham, rode out the storm.

The legislature of the Bahama islands, in the twenty-second section of an act passed this year, enacted, “ That the oath of Negroes, Mulattoes, Mustees, or Indians, shall not be good or valid in law against any white person, excepting in matters of debt; and then any free Negro, Mulatto, Mustee, or Indian Christian, shall be allowed to prove her or his account, and sue for the same, in any court in these islands, where the same shall be cognizable.”

Thus these people are allowed to be witnesses, and are to be believed only when they swear for their own advantage. And the rule of exclusion is extended from slaves to the testimony of free persons, if they happen to be Negroes or Mulattoes ! except in respect of freed Negroes, Mulattoes, Mustees, and Indians. Then by the same act, “ the evidence of a slave against them shall be good and valid to all intents and purposes.”

Thus the credibility of evidence is made to depend on the colour of the defendant against whom it is given, and white criminals must escape, when Blacks and Mulattoes would be hanged !

It further states — “ Whereas many heinous and grievous crimes, such as murder, poisoning, burglaries, robberies, rapes, burning and breaking open houses, and other felonies, are many times committed by Negro, Mulatto, Mustee, or Indian slaves, or are many times maliciously attempted by them to be committed ; in which, though by divers accidents they are prevented, yet are their crimes nevertheless heinous, and therefore deserve punishment; and whereas Negro, Mulatto, Mustee, and Indian slaves do many times steal, wilfully maim, kill and destroy horses, cattle, sheep, or other things of the value of six shillings, or above, or are accessary to the committing of such crimes as are before mentioned, which several offenders, for danger of escape, ought not to be long imprisoned, and deserve not, for the baseness of their condition, to be tried by the established laws of England, nor is execution to be delayed in case of their committing such horrid crimes,” therefore, the justices are commanded “ to cause immediate execution to be done.'

“ The average maintenance of a slave, for food and cloathing, in health and sickness, cannot be estimated at less than four pounds sterling per annum.”

Part of an estate called Crab Hole, under Hackleton's Cliff, Barbadoes, slipped in the direction from north to south, several hundred yards. The ground was intersected by fissures, and in places swelled into tumours. Most of the buildings upon Mr. Phillip's plantations were thrown down, or almost ingulphed. A large piece of edoes occupied the site of the house, and brought with it

Stephen on West Indian Slavery, pp. 180. 280. Report of the Lords of the Committee, 1789, Council and Assembly of Antigua.

Annual Register, p. 6, Occurrences.

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