Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

followed. M. Peynier resumed the reins of government, and sent to the governor of the Havaña for Spanish troops.

M. Peynier and M. Mauduit were anxious to restore the ancient system.

Upon the 12th of October, James Ogé, a Mulatto, landed in St. Domingo, with arms and ammunition for the people of colour. He joined his two brothers, and they exerted themselves in exciting the Mulattoes to revolt. He sent a letter to the governor, reproaching him and his predecessors with the non-execution of the Code Noir, and demanded that its provisions should be enforced throughout the colony. He required that the privileges enjoyed by the Whites should be extended to all without distinction, and de clared himself the protector of the Mulattoes, and his intention of taking arms in their behalf, unless their wrongs were redressed.

He established his camp at Grand Riviere, about fifteen miles from Cape François, and was joined by about 200 followers; who, notwithstanding he cautioned them against shedding innocent blood, proceeded to murder the first white man they met.

At Cape François, the inhabitants proceeded with vigour to suppress the revolt. They soon invested the camp of the Mulattoes, who made less resistance than was expected. Sixty were made prisoners, many were killed, the rest fled to the mountains. Ogé and his brothers took refuge in the Spanish territories.

The white people breathed nothing but vengeance against the Mulattoes, the whole body of whom expected to be proscribed and massacred. They formed camps in different parts, but dispersed upon a conference with M. Mauduit, who was accused of persuading them to postpone their purpose, and of assuring them the King and all the friends of the ancient government were secretly attached to their cause.

In November, M. Peynier resigned the government, and returned to Europe: he was succeeded by M. Blanchelande, who made a peremptory demand of Ogé and his followers from the Spaniards, who delivered them to a detachment of French soldiers in December. Ogé and his companions were lodged in the jail of Cape François.

The deputies who had embarked for France, were received at Brest with shouts of applause, but at Paris the national assembly granted them one audience only, and indignantly dismissed them from the bar: it then decreed, that all the pretended acts of the colonial assembly were utterly null and of no effect ; that the assembly was dissolved, and all its members rendered incapable of being delegated to any future colonial assembly; and that they should continue in France in a state of arrest, until their further pleasure was made known.

[ocr errors]

Edwards, vol. iii. pp. 40. 46, 47, 48. 50. 51. 56.

[ocr errors]

This decree excited surprise and indignation in St. Domingo; and when orders for electing a new colonial assembly were issued, many parishes declared that their representatives were in France, and refused to elect others.

M. Mauduit and his regiment became the objects of popular resentment: they wore the avowed signal of the royal party, a white feather, in their hats, and were considered as enemies to the planters.

The population of the French colony in St. Domingo was estimated at 514,000 souls, exclusive of troops and sailors.

The general receipt of the revenue amounted to 14,673,014 livres.

The northern district, which begun at the river Massacre, ended at Cape St. Nicholas, and included Tortuga, was divided into twenty-six parishes: it contained 11,996 white inhabitants, and 164,656 slaves ; 288 plantations of sugar, 2009 plantations of coffee ; 443 of indigo, and sixty-six of cotton.

The inhabitants of Port-au-Prince were estimated at 14,754, of whom, 2754 were Whites, 4000 free people of colour, and 8000 slaves; and the whole population of the western district amounted to 205,759 — of these, 12,798 were Whites, and 192,961 slaves : it contained 357 sugar plantations, 489 of cotton, 1952 of indigo, and 894 of coffee.

The population of the southern district was estimated at 82,849 souls, of whom 6037 were white, and 76,812 slaves: it contained 148 plantations of sugar, 765 of indigo, 234 of cotton, and 214 of coffee.

In March, the Methodists in Barbadoes succeeded in bringing their riotous opponents before some magistrates, who obliged the offenders to pay the expences of the prosecution, and dismissed them, upon their promising never to disturb the congregation any more. The Methodists amounted to sixty-six in society.

Towards the close of 1790, the Methodists had so far gained a footing in Nevis, that they had found means to procure a chapel.

In May, a mutiny broke out among the French soldiers at Tobago: they beat their officers. Some formed garrisons without any officers, others left the island. The town was set on fire, about two o'clock in the morning. Wooden houses and a high wind spread the conflagration in every direction. Some few magazines which stood to windward were preserved - all the rest of the town was reduced to a heap of ashes. The inhabitants were prevented by the soldiers from stopping the progress of the flames. Every avenue was guarded, and no Negro suffered to enter.

Edwards, vol. iii. p. 57. Coke's West Indies, vol. ii. pp. 149, 150. 174.; vol. iii. pp. 14. 390, 391. 394. 396. 398,

Baron de Wimpfen's St. Domingo, p. 250.

[ocr errors]

In the August following, twenty vessels were driven on shore bu a hurricane, and completely lost.' Mr. Hamilton's sugar-work: with all the stores, were completely destroyed. “ His new map. sion, which had been built upon pillars, was lifted up by the tempes:: and removed to some distance; but being well made, did not go t pieces. Mrs. Hamilton, two ladies, and five children, were in th:house, and suffered little or no harm. Mr. Hamilton being abserc from home, knew not what had happened; but returning i the night, which was excessively dark, and groping for his door fell over the rubbish left on the spot, and so far hurt himselt that he was confined for a week.” “An old uninhabited building which stood close by the house, was lifted from the ground any thrown upon their habitation ; so that they expected every momen to be buried in the ruins of both.

Mr. John Montgomery, a Moravian missionary, who landet upon the island in April, at the close of the year, says

66 But oui greatest grief is, that we have not found one single soul that seeks a Saviour.”

Towards the close of this year, Dr. Coke again visited St. Vincent. In different parts of the island, several hundreds had joined themselves to the societies; but Mr. Baxter, unable to make any impression upon the Caribs, had removed to Kingstown. The French priests at Martinico had persuaded the Caribs that the missionaries were spies, sent by the King of England to explore their land ; and that as soon as they had' finished their discoveries, they would withdraw, and the King would send an army to conquer their country. Mr. Baxter endeavoured to convince the Caribs of the falsehood of these reports; but their continued sullenness convinced him that it was high time to hasten out of the country with Mrs. Baxter.

Upon the 27th of November, Dr. Coke arrived at Grenada. He waited upon General Mathews, the governor; who, after inquiring what doctrines he taught, and by what principles he was governed, declared his earnest wish that the Negroes might be fully instructed in the principles of Christianity. “ Instead of viewing the Methodists as men who opposed the regular establish

Coke's West Indies, vol. ii. pp. 65. 176, 177. 267.

1

| A boat belonging to the Ulysses of against which he defended himself by Glasgow, Captain Campbell, by a sudden sometimes pressing the oar with the whole squall shipped a sea in Montego Bay, by weight of his body upon the shark, and at which she was instantly sunk, and only other times getting to the extremity of the one sailor besides the captain saved : Cap oar, and striking him, by these means he tain Campbell got hold of an oar, and the preserved himself, until he was taken up sailor of a small cask, which he held by some Negroes who had heard his cries. by the bung hole; in this situation Captain The shark was about eleven feet long. Campbell felt a shark touch his feet,

Annual Register, 1790, p. 31.

ment, he considered them as co-operating in the same design;" and Joserved to Dr. Coke, “there will be work enough both for you and the established clergy of the island.”

Dr. Coke promised that a missionary should be forthwith sent to the island.

The Moravian missionaries in Barbadoes had a Negro conregation, consisting of “forty persons baptized.” On Sundays, they had always a numerous auditory of white and black pople.

At the close of this year, the Moravian congregation of baptized Negroes at St. Christopher's had increased to upwards of 400.

Mr. Joshua Steele of Barbadoes, in pursuance of his plans for xettering the condition of his slaves, registered all his adult male slaves as copyholders, and gave them separate tenements of half an acre of land each, descendible to their children on the plantations, bat not to the issue of any foreign wife; and in case of no such heir, to lapse again to the lord, to be regranted. The annual rent was so many dars' labour.

He had previously abolished arbitrary punishment upon his estates, and established a Negro court or jury to keep all in order. His copyholders succeeded beyond his expectation, and the new system altogether tripled the annual net clearance of the estate.

The Methodist chapel “ in Kingston, Jamaica, was completed: it is eighty feet in length, and forty in breadth, and will contain about 1500 persons. It has galleries on three sides, and is built exactly on the plan of our chapel (the Methodists), at Halifax, in Yorkshire. Underneath the chapel we have a hall, which is absolutely necessary in this very hot country, four chambers, and a large school room.”

Most of the plants carried to Jamaica by the Earl of Effingham succeeded beyond his expectation. A number of the Guzerat seeds which failed in Liguanea succeeded, viz. the wheat, barley, Ashmood rice, all the pulse and many others. A polyanthos plant, producing both male and hermaphrodite flowers, strongly resembling an acacia both in its habits and botanical characters, and which had been improperly called a mangosteen tree, thrived finely, and produced abundance of a pleasing subacid fruit.

On the 20th of February, Henry Hamilton, Esq., was appointed governor of the Bermuda islands.

The law courts at Jamaica, which, previous to this year, used to have four terms annually, and began on the last Tuesdays in

Coke's West Indies, vol. i. pp. 291. 420.; vol. ii. p. 132. ; vol. iji. p. 50. Clarkson's Thoughts on Emancipation, 1823. Annual Register, 1790, pp. 40. 56.

[graphic]

February, May, August, and November, were altered, and “a long vacation was introduced from the end of the May term, which concludes about the middle of June, to the commencement of the winter term, which begins on the last Tuesday in November.” Thus, there was only three terms held instead of four.

Lieutenant Henry Hew Dalrymple, of the 75th, in his examination before the committee of the House, stated, that “ A French planter (at Grenada) sent for a surgeon to cut off the leg of a Negro, who had run away. On the surgeon's refusing to do it, the planter broke the leg in pieces with an iron bar, and then the surgeon cut it off. This planter did many such acts of cruelty, and all with impunity. It did not appear to be the public opinion that any punishment was due to him; for though it was generally known, he was equally well received in society afterwards as before.”

With respect to the act passed in Grenada in 1788, Lieutenant Dalrymple states the objection which he heard to its passing was, that it might make the slaves believe that the authority of their masters was lessened; but “ many thought it would be of little use, as it was a law made by themselves against themselves, and to be executed by themselves!”

1791.

1

2

In the beginning of March, sentence was pronounced against James Ogé and twenty-two of his followers, for the revolt in St. Domingo. Twenty, with his brother, were condemned to be hanged. Ogé himself, and his Lieutenant Chavané, were adjudged to be broken on the wheel, and left to die upon it. Chavané suffered not a groan to escape him in the extremity of his torture; but Ogé's fortitude deserted him : he implored mercy, and promised to make great discoveries, if his life was spared. A respite of twentyfour hours was granted him.

He declared (previously swearing to the truth of what he should depose), that in the beginning of the preceding February, if the swelling of the rivers had not prevented it, a numerous body of people of colour would have attacked the Cape; that there were upwards of 11,000 already joined. He gave the names of most of their leaders, who, he said, were assembled in caverns between the “ Crete à Marcan” and the “ Canton du Giromon, in the parish of “Grande Riviere ;” and that he would guide a party to the spot, where the chiefs might be seized; and that, if it were possible for him to obtain pardon, he would expose himself to any danger to arrest them.

Ogé was executed on the following day, and no notice taken of

Parliamentary Papers, 1790, Part II.

Edwards, vol. iii. pp. 50, 51. 221, 222,

« AnteriorContinuar »