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Full text of "A descriptive account of the island of Jamaica: with remarks upon the cultivation of the sugar-cane, throughout the different seasons of the year, and chiefly considered in a picturesque point of view; also observations and reflections upon what would probably be the consequences of an abolition of the slave-trade, and of the emancipation of the slaves"

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I > 












p r 


WI T If 

ILemai-ks upon the Cqltivation of the SucAH-CAifEf 
thxoiighoot the diferent Seafbns of the Year, and chieflj 
^nfidered .in a Pi^arefque Point of View \ 


Dbfervations and Rcfledions upon what would probably be 
the Confequences of an A^olitioh of the Slavet 
TRADE, and of the Emancipation of theStAVES, 


Author of Rimarks oh ibi SituatioH of}Jigroes in Jamaicti* 


f < Un wabi / quod dumm non iUet p'e tuo*** 




Prii^tcd for T, and J, E o e r t o n, fFbitfball^ 





N D 

/ O F 


Between Chrlftmas and the adual 
commencenient of the crop, the negroes 
are chiefly employed in what are called 
odd jobs, and are confequently much di- 
vided. Some are giving the la/t finifh to 
the exterior parts of the cane-fields s fbme 
are cleaning the intervals; and fome, the 
v^reakly ones in particular, are fet in to 
chop the padures, which is commonly the 
lad. thing done upon a plantation, except- 
ibg, perhaps, it be the putting in order and 
fencing-in thofe places that may be fubje<5t 
Vol. II. B to 

( 2 ) 


to the trefpafles of the cattle, in either the 
mountains or the plains. 

In thefc different occupations therie are 
but few objedls that will admit of pidlu- 
refquer defcription; but in the working of 
the roads, which is done moft commonly 
at this particular feafon of the year, and 
generally by hired negroes, which the 
way-wardens have a right to engage at fo 
much a head, and to charge to the neigh- 
bouring cftates according to their feveral 
affeflments — in. the working of the roads, 
I fay, there are many accompanying cir- 
cumAances that cannot fail to flrike. 

When the labourers are afTembled into 
one» group, and full* of animation and of 
fpirit, they all together elevate and let fall 
their hoes, and accompany every ftroke 
with the chorus of contentment : — the ob- 
ferver feems to partake of the general emo- 
tion, and coniiders that as an amufement 
when accompanied by indulgence, which, 


t 3 ) 

\vithbut fencoiiragement^ he would natU- 
rtlly fuppofe to be a h'ardftiip and a toiK 

When they ar<e fcen working in fronts 
and when confequently the adlion of the 
lilnbs is obfervdd to vary with the ftrenglh 
of the body, and the exprcflion of the 
tbuntenance to the weakhefs or the vigour 
of the frarhe • and w^heri the exertions of 
the mtifcles befpeak the age and condition 
of thofe who ,wbrk^ — the lover of liature 
and of art will be delighted with thefe va- 
rieties that prefent themfdVes with (o 
tnuch advantage to the imitations of the 
pencil, and* the labours of the chilfel. 

When they are beheld in the profile, 
iand their uplifted hoes are all gleaming 
together in the air, and their length of 
ihadows is refledted upon the ground; 
when the curvatures of their bodies, and 
the inflexions of their limbs, be obferved, 
and the difference of the fexes in their va- 
rious exertions be contrafted, and the flri- 
king diffimilarity of their make be duly 

B 2 attended 






( 4 ) 

attended tp — ihe pifture which all thefe 
circumftances exhibit, will be found to .be 
not lefs pleaQng perhaps than lingular an'd 

It is amufing to fee them at a little 
diftance when forming a curve according 
to the fweep of the road, when only their 
boes and the upper parts of their bodies 
are perceived emerging from the depth of 
the trench which they are employed to 
drain : the voices of fome are now heard to 
refound from the bottom, and of others 
from an eminence on each fide, of a hol- 
low way; the h'ght burfting upon fome^ 
and the furrounding logwoods overwhelm- 
ing others with a dark and impenetrable 
canopy of fbadc. 

They are now bufy in the midft of a 
river, uplifting mafly fragments of rocks 
to make a fording-place for the wains and 
mules, the bridge having been fwept away 
by the violent defcent of the rains, the ra- 
pidity of the torrents, or the accumulation 




{ 5 ) 

of waters incrcafed by the growing progrefs 
of the ftorm. 

It is pleafant to obfervc th8 current 
breaking againft their arms and legs^ to 
fee the mullets glide 'adown the ftream, 
and to behold the playful refledtions of the 
fun-beams in the water, or upon the rocks, 
the bufhes, and the weeds, which catch 
the light, and reflecfl their different fliadows 
in the dimpling eddies that murmur on 
with a fmooth and drowfy courfe, until 
they are abforbed by the receiving flood 

Every objeil about the plantation, but 
efpecially around the buildings, appears at 
this time of the year to be diVe: and the 
beating of the coppers, the clanking of the 
iron, the driving ofthe cogs, the wedging 
of the gudgeons, the repetition ofthe ham- 
mers, and the hooping of the caflcs, are 
the cheerful precurfors oC the approaching 

B3 It 

( 6 ) 


It muft not be fuppofed that becaiife the 
year hath pafled without a .ftorm, that the 
planter hath not other apprehenfions to 
encounter, and other fears to detain his 
mind in trouble and fufpenfe'; for aU 
though he may have been relieved of the 
moft confequential alarm, and confer 
quently may be juftified in flattering bim*^ 
felf with the well-founded expeftation of 
a favourable harveft,- — ^yet are there many 
difappointments to be dreaded, which his 
care could not conibat, nor his prudence 

The north winds may, from their vio-* 
lence, have broken off, or lodged, his 
canes; the rats may have injured, and the 
dry weather, in particular parts, confumed^j 
them: the worm may have bored intOj^ 
^nd exhaufted, the fap; the Waft may have 
ruined them, or fome other unforefeea 
circuinftances may have diminished their 
yielding, and thus have made them fall 
very (hort in (quantity of produce to what, 
' .' from 



( 7 ) 

from their appearance/ might have been 
reafonably cxpedled. 

More attention and fkill are required in 
the taking off of a crop of fugar than the 
generality of overfeers, who adt upon com- 
mon principles and general rules, are equal 
to. The cultivation of the land is regu- 
lar and methodical; and the cutting of 
the canes, and the manufafture of their 
produce, are more diredled by prefcrip- 
tiqn, than conformable to expediency and ' 

I am convinced that one feventh of every 
crop of fugar is wafted upon fome proper- 
ties bynegleiljj or by a want .of forefight, 
ftrcngth, or induftry; and much of the 
failure of the produce will be confequently 
owing to a delay iff the operations of the 
field, and particularly at that critical period 
when the harveft requires both vigour and 

B4 In 

( 8 ) 

In that part of Jamaica in which I was 
refident, the crops fcldom begin before the 
middle of January ; and they certainly 
ought not to be extended beyond the 
month of May, or the beginnmg of June, 
- .It would, indeed, be better for the negroes, 
the cattle, and the mules, could they be 
completed fome weeks fooner, that the 
produce might be tranfported to the bar- 
guadier before the rains iet in, and thQ 
roads become wet and heavy. 

As March and April are fuppofed to be 
the beft yielding months, every nerve 
fhould be exerted, ' and every power 
awakened to keep the mill at work 
throughout this period; nor do I know 
any feafon of the year in which, if the 
canes be yielding well, that hired labour 
may be called in with equal profit. 

Every affiftance that is given to a fugar^- 
plantation before the canes fhall have 
cfcaped all expedled contingency, muft de- 
pend upon chance for fuccefs; but when 


( 9 ) 

there is a certainty,' ffopj the experience of 
thoie already cut, t^at tli,ey are in a (^s4fi 
of perfeiS^ion, J^ey (hpuW b/e got off with 
as n>uch celerity as p/qilible, fpr ejcppdition 
in the time of harve(^$ ig pf iniinite confe^r 
queiice to the qu^^ity, as \veU as the quan« 
tity, of theproduce. 

Should any delay at this particular time 
be occafioned, a drought might confe* 
quently fupervene, which would make at 
lead a daily, if not an hourly, diminution 
of the crop. 

Should the rains fet in with violence 
before the common period, the difappoint* 
ment would be likewife certain ; but then 
thefe rains will not, like the dry weather, 
fo much aflfcdt the expeftations of the en- 
fuing year. Should the feaibns therefore 
commence thus early, it would be better 
to leave off, for a time, the operations of 
fugar-making, an4 more profitable to em- 
ploy the negroes in planting fucb pieces as 
have been already prepared, in putting in 

• new 


( lO ) 

new land, or in fupplyihg fuch fields as 
h^vc been recently cut; and I have often 
wondered that this laft-^mentioned pradtice 
is not more frequently adopted, as it may 
be not only efFeded with cafe, but without 
a lofs of canes, as the tops of thofe that 
have beea lately feparated, will fully and 
advantageoufly anfwer this particukr pur- 

Although many canes are planted at 
Chriftmas, and from that time to the 
months of May and June, yet very little 
dependence is to be placed upon their pro- 
duftion. It is the plant thar is buried in 
Auguft, September, and Odlober, that 
gives, with tolerable feafons, the moft 
certain return 5 but that return muft ilill 
depend upon a variety of caufes: it mud 
depend ypon the nature and cultivation of 
the foil, > upon the care that is taken of it 
in its early ftate, and the attention that is 
given to it in its progrefs to perfedion; 
upon the proportionate trefpafs it receives 
from cattle or rats, upon the little depre- 

( " ) . 

cktion committed by the negroes -, to the 
judgment with which it (hall be cut and 
taken off the land; and laftly, much muft 
be referred to the fkill, the integrity, and 
the experiencie of the boilers. 

The fugar-cane is perhaps, through all 
its different ftages, the moft uncertain pro- 
du(flion upon the face of the earth; and 
has, as I have already.explained, thegreateft 
number of foreign and local enemies to en- 
counter of any plant that cither contributes 
to the wants, or that adminifters to the 
comforts and luxuries of man. 


When a plant of canes is intended to be 
made u^on new land, it is not the com* 
mon pra<3ice to dig holes (indeed it would 
be impoflible, on account of the impedi* 
ments of the (lumps of trees which remain 
as yet unrotten) as is generally done upon 
thofe pieces which have been already ^cul- 
tivated; but the cudom is to open the 
bofom of the foil, and for the negroes to 
depofit the tops therein as they proceed, 



( 12 ) 


that the grouml may not, when new, be 
too nxuch expofed, and that the prbdudion 
of it, when fre(h, may continue to ratoon 
fts long as poflibk: an advantage of more 
confequence than is generally believed, as 
the labour will be but trifling when com- 
pared to the indu<ftion of a yearly plant, 
and the return of produce will be annually 
and with more certainty given; as the earth 
that is to receive the fall plant will, from 
its firfl: preparation until its produce (hall 
be carted to the mill, take up the period of 
4t leafl: two years, whereas the ratoon 
comes round for the coppers in one. 

The manner obferved in felling wood 
and clearing the land in Jamaica, for either 
proviiions or canes, is exceedingly negli- 
gent and fuperficial: the flumps of the 
trees are commonly left two and three feet 
or CQiore above the fur face of the earth i 
the roots of courfe muft occupy a very 
eoniiderable proportion of that (sn\ which 
cnigbt be othierwife planted; and it will 
require nxany year& before they will rot, 


( 13 ) • 

of coniequence beforje they will admit of 
the plough, or be capable of any other 
mode of cultivation. 

I (hall joft obferve, before I proceed any 
farther in my account of the crop, that 
although the negroes are at that feafon per- 
mitted to eat as many canes as they may' 
choofe, yet is this privilege denied them iri 
the fihld before the actual commencemerit' 
of the barved. 

They are allowed hot liquor from the 
coppers, but are not fuflffered to take (cx^ 
cepting now and theri, as a particular in-* 
dulgence, or in cafe of ficknefs and con^- 
valefcence) any fugar frCwL the coolers or^ 
the hogfheads. 

They arcfometimes given' rum fi^orh the- 
ftills; but as.newfpjrit is particularly un- 
wholefomCy nay, if taken imprudently, ij 
often pe]:nicious>. it would be better if fome" 
other liquor could be fuftitoted in its places 
or fuch at leaft as having loil its fiery par- 

( 14 ) 

ticleSj may have been improvfed by catei 
atid foftened by age. » \ 

A fugar-plantation muft necelTarily havd 
a vatiety of buildings ; and hence at a di- 
ftance it rather appear*s like a fmall towil 
than a contemptible village, inafmuch as 
in the former are fometimes feen fomd 
ftru(9rures of larger dimenfioils than others^ 
whereas in the latter they are uniform iii 
^mplicity, and have no fuperior edifice to 

The overfeer^s houfe is cbmriionly, if 
the fituation of the land veill permit^ ir, 
upon an eminence, and overlooks his 
offices, the ftock-houfe, the hofpital, the 
negro-houfcs, the cooper's, wheelwright'si 
carpenter's, and blackfmith's fhops; and 
laft of all, the works, which confift^of ^he 
mill-houfe, curing-houfe, ftill-houfe, and 
the trafli-houfes, which are in numbei* 
from two to four or five, according to thd 
extent of the plantation^ the refources of 


( '5 ). 

the materials, and the iize of. the build- 

His refidencc confifts, in general, of a 
front and a back piazza, of a hall in the 
centre, and of a bed-chamber at one end, 
and of two other fmaller apartments that 
are taken from the pent-houfb of the 
.gallery behind. Some have more rooms, • 
and fome have lefs: but from the obfer- 
vations which I have had an opportunity 
to make, I think that this defcription may 
be confidered, at leaft in that part of the 
Ifland in which I lived, as the general 

In the offices are comprifed a ftable and 
a corn-houfc, a kitchen, a wafli-houfc, a 
buttery, iand a ftore; with pig-ftics, • a 
poultry-yard, a pigeon-houfe, and in fliort 
every convenience and domeftic accomo- 
dation that indolence may expert, or luxury 
require; ,and all thefe are attended by ne- 
groes, not only fufficient for' common 
wants, but vvho are abfolutely idle from a 


( t6 ) 

tvknt of occupation^ and lethargic from a' 
want of thought. . / 

Of the public and private cobiforts of 
an overfeer, I (hall have occaiioh to fpeak 
hereafter; and when his iituation^ in which 
he hath not any thing to rifk but much to 
gain, (hall be contrafled with that of his 
employer, who has every thing to hazard 
but little to fecure, — fome idea may be 
formed of the relative happinefs of the one, 
a(nd the miferable dependence of the 

The hofpltal for the reception of the 
fickly and weak, is diftinguifhed, as before 
obferved, by the appellation of the Hot- 


houfc; and of its, conduct and abuies much 
may be faid, much has been overlooked, 
and much, too much, I. fear, has been in- 
humanly forgotten. 

Of the fighs that have been breathed, 
of the tears that have been (hed, in private, 
too few, alas! are the notices th&t have been 

taken » 

( 17 ) 

■ • 

taken. The houfe of mortification be« 
comes too often the grave of thought. 
The eye cannot inveftigate the charms of 
nature in darknefs^ nor the foul expatiate 
in the confines of afflidion. 

The natural temper of the mind is fup-> 
ported by the fludtuations of its fears, its 
wi(heS| and its hopes: the profpedls of the 
earth are con trailed by fun(hine and by 
fhade; and the fea is rendered wholefome 
by the viciflitudes of tempefts and of calms : 
the day is the harbinger of night; and 
darknefs precedes the blu flies of the morn. 
Shall man then complain of forrow, when 
afHidion leads to hope; when it is the tefl 

of his virtues, as it will be the reward of 
his end ? 

This building has a narrow piazza in 
front, at the end of which is a fmall apart- 
ment for the nurfe or hot-houfe woman, in 
which are depofited the few medicines that 
are left, upon a plantation, and the different 
and iieceiTary utenfils that ficknefs may 

Vol. IL C require* 

( ^8 ) 

require. Ift the body of the houfe is the 
hall or general dormitory for the weak and 
convalefceht, at the fame time that it lite- 
rally ferves them as a kitchen, a parlour^ 

and all. 


On each fide of this apartment are two 
lefs roomy, in one of which arc platforms 
for the invalids ; and in the other (fhould 
there not be any in the hall, which is fel- 
dom without) is placed a fet of (locks, ill 
\vhich the lame negroes are confined, that 
they may be prevented from rambling at 
night, and that they may confequfently b6 
always at hand to be overlooked and 
drefifed; or in Which the runaways are 
detained for example, or from which 
brought forth to work or puni(hment. 

The better kind of negroes, when in- 
difpofed, are fuiFerecl^o lie-up in their 
own houfes, whither the dodtor repairs to 
vifit them ; and as they comrtonly know, 
or watch, his time of cdrhing, they take 


( 19 ) 


aire to keep themfelves in readiae{$ to 
receive him; though, perhaps, the very 
xnoment that he (hail have mounted his 
horfe and turned his back, they go to work 
in their grounds, or fet off upon a vifit tQ 
iQme diftant plantation* 

Theip are abujfes th^t conflantly happen i 
nor do I fee how the dodtpr or the over«* 
fcer can otherwife prevent them, than by 
recomaie^ing a comntpdiou; and ^n airy 
hpfpital tQ be ereded upon fome healthy 


fpot that may be overlooked by the white 
peoples and I9 whi^ch building there ihould 
be apartments 4eftine4 tp particular pur- 
pofes^ an4 <^t only proper beds for the 
fick and the infirm to repofe themfelves 
iupon^ but tl>f y ihould be provided with 
proper clothes to keep their ho4ies warn^^ 
9iid Should n^t^ ,uppn any account, be inf^ 
fered to w^k amidfl the dews of night. 
Every eftate Aould have its own medi- 
xines^ and be poflefTed of every article of 
iufteoance .^i)d comfort ^at can |help to 

C a . ftr^gthcA 

ftrengthen the weak, or continue the exer- 
tions of the ftrong. 

The negro -houfes are, in general, at 
fome diftancc from the works, but^ not fb 
far removed as to be beyond the fight of 
the overfeer. It is the cuflom now to 
have them built in flrait lines, conftru£led 
with fome degree of uniformity and 
flrength, but totally diverted of trees and 
(hrubs; nor do I think that they are at all 
more mean in general appearance than 
thofe that help to form a vilkge in fome of 
the more fequeftered and needy parts of 
England : they will, I believe, be found to 
be more tight and more commodious. 

I * 

The fowl-houfe and the poultry-yard of 
a plantation will certainly have charms 
for a Dutchman's eye; and I cannot help 
thinking that Nature, in her moft I'ural and 
fimple fcenes, is, while interefting, replete 
with moral pleafure. ^yhatcve^ contri'- 
butes to the delights of common obferva* 
tion, or to the neceflary comforts and the 


( 21 ) 

humble enjoyments of life, are fure to be 
attended ivith fentiment, and cannot fail to 
awaken gratitude: thus the chicken that 
pecks the grain at the cottage-door, or the 
pigeon that fteals the fand from the borders 
of the ocean, are obje£ls of thought; and 
as they intereft our feelings, they become 
entitled to our protection, and deferve our 
hofpitality and friendfbip. 

There are few people who love nature, 
and who take a delight in the fimple ope*' 
rations of life, who are not particularly 
and morally pleafed with the barn, the 
dairy, and the farmer's yard. It is the 
firft enjoyment and the favourite theme of 
thoie who have been long engaged in the 
commerce of cities, or in the purfuits of 
fedentary life, and from which they have at 
length retired, to attend the milk-maid, and 
to defcribe her innocent happinefs when 
draining the milk from her patient cows, 
which cheerfully give their wholeibme 
ftreams, and which, while they chew the 
cud, embalm the morning air with their 
breathing fwects, 

C3 At 

( 22 ) 

At the firft blufli of op'ning dawR 


That gilds the dew-dr.op on the lawn^ 
Shrill chanticleer is heard to. crow, 
High-perchM upon the barley-mow : 
A^aken'd by the lively fotind, 
Hi^ fesCthVy indtet; attend aroimd. 
He fcrapes the earthy nor fcrapes in vain. 
But gallantly extrafts the grain : 
The clucking hens, attending by, 
Now pecking drop the little ^y. 
Or to their downy chickens fhow 
The grain upon the fands below. 

Now on the dove-cote only hear 
What plaintive murmurs reach the car ! 
How bowing, ftrutting, billing, cooing, 
The am'rous pigeons all are wooing ! 
The fparrows too, upon the thatch. 
Their ev'ry-varied motion watch; 
And to the tender impulfe yield. 
Ere hunger calls them to the field. 

The diiferent flieds under which the 
tradefmen labour, are in general uncom- 
monly pidturefque, as are the occupations 
of thofe who are bufied in them i and the 
Varieties they reprefent will very ftrikingly 
admit of that kind of dcfcription in which 
A4naR Oftade fo very particularly e^jcelled. 


{ ^3 ) 

The (hape of the cafk, the adlion of the 
cooper, the different utenfils that are fcat- 
tered about, the blazing fire, tl;ie fleeping 
cur^ the oppofitiQns of light and (hade, 
and the playful refledions that the up-lifted 
tools occafion, would all together contri- 
bute to the formation of a pidluce in his 
very befl and varied flyle. The features 
and complexions of the figures, indeed, 
are very different from thofe which his 
pencil had been ufed to delineate; but in 
point of drefs, and the interior accompa- 
niments of building, and the exterior orna- 
ments of landfcape, and of their objefts of 
docneflic and rural fcenery, — I cannot but 
think them corrcfpondent to his tafte and 

The works in Jamaica in which are 
. manufactured the fugar 9nd the rum, are 
.upon a large fcale, and upon fome planta- 
tions make a very nobje appearance, and 
will require a particular defeription, and a 
very fuccinift explanation of their ufes and 
their ends. 

C 4 Some 

( 24 ) 

Some of thefe buildings admit of pidu- 
refque magnificence, and fwclling upon 
hills, or finking in the vales, will confe- 
quently Arike the beholder with different 

Thefe edifices are of various dimenfions, 
but do not always accord with the powers 
and expedlations of the difi^ercnt eftates. 

Some properties that only make one 
hundred hogftieads of fugar and fifty pun- 
cheons of rum, have conveniencies fuffi- 
cient to manufafturc, and to contain, at 
leaft three times the above-mentioned 
amount of produce; and fome eftates, that 
make a double proportion, have not half the 
appointments of thofe already defcrib^d. 

To cxpence in plantation-buildings, in 
fuperfluous coppers, ftills, and ftores, I 
am, from unprofitable experience, a de- 
cided enemy. I would recommend ne- 
ceflary, but not expcnfive, conveniencies; 


( 25 ) 

for thd't which cannot he with advantage; 
ufed^ it mufl be a difadvantage to have 
repaired ; and repairs without method, 
and alterations without forefight, are fre- 
quently found to coft more than new 
works would have done, if planned by 
fcience, and accompliflied with judg- 

It is difgraceful to fee the wafte of cop- 
pers, of ftills, of mill-cafes, gudgeons, 
grating-bars, and, in (hort, of many other 
plantatioa-utenfils that are fcattered upoft 
feme properties about the works and paf^ 
tures; and yet perhaps the fame lift of 
ftores is annually fent, and of confequence 
the fame expence incurred: it is not fo 
much what is made, as what is faved, that 
forwards independency, and fubftantiates 
the permanent riches of him who pofFeCcs 

The works alone upon fome planta- 
tions have been known to cofl from fifteen 
to twenty thoufand pounds fterling, and 

more I 

( 26 ) 

marej wheia the aoijwiil proiJuw perh^p^ 
has not £3:ceededj upon an average of years^ 
one hundred and fifty hogdieads of fugar; 
fo that in £a<ft they may have coft nearly 
a$ much as the prc^eity^ if Cold> w^^s really 

As the Weft-India Iflands are fo fubjecfl 
to hurricanes, and the fugar-works to fire, 
.the f^rft expence therefore cannot be faid 
to be the laft^ for virh^t may be com<^ 
:pkted £o*day, a« I have found :to my vexa^ 
Aion and lois^ may be overtJUyrncd to-mor* 
4t>w: durability and conv^jeoce ihoiil^ 
lae therefore fludied in preference to Hze 
jand wafte^ 

:lf j^ miH upon the cflste ;be turned by 
-wsater* txd the ftream i^at is to /apply i|t 
she feroaght. from any confidorable diftgace^ 
be conduced acrofs hollow ways, or istvor 
arches, the expbnce and trouble will natu- 
Jially incre^fe w;ith the length of work : a 
(dam. muft be made, land iidod^g^^ er e<%?d» 
rtP4)rAwnt ifee watftf from rittwingr tp wpfte : 

a ftone 

( fi7 ) 

z iloh« gutter muft be Iwiit lor its recep- 
tion ^ and this oiuft Ukewife have a ilaioe 
to turn it off when it is not wwited to faU 
upon the wheel : a back-water trench muil: 
be dug, and troughs of drffbrent kinds 
4nade» and ere<2ed in proper fituations, to 
convey a ftream to the buildings, that 
there may be at all times a Aiffidency to 
ierve the ftill-hoafe, to wa(h U>e coppersi, 
ahd to anfwer the various puxpofes of 
conveniency and cleanlinefs. 

The milUhoufe is generally a iquare 
building, if the mill be turned by water, 
and an odtagon, if worked by mules* The 
former is, for many reafons, more valuable; 
the execution k more regularly great; and 
the faving of the before-mentioned animals 
is an objec): of the utmoft confequence to 
a plantation. 

As there are not any wind-milk in the 
•pari(h of Weftmoreland, and as I have 
ieen but very few of this defcription u£ed, 
J am not competent to fpeak of either 
their convenience or advantage. 


( 28 ) 

. The boiling-houfe and the curing-froufc 
are conne£ted together ; and thofe built in 
the form of a T» ^re/ I think, the moft 
commodious : the horizontal line reprefents 
thefiril; and the perpendicular, the la£):. 
Tn the former there is always a large re- 
ceiver lined with lead; and one is likewife 
frequently placed in the mill-houfc^ to 
^contain the liquor that is exprefied from 
the canes, until fuch time as it (hall be 
wanted in the clarifier. In this copper, 
the largeft in the boiling-houfe, the tem- 
per, or a proportion of flack lime, is given 
•according to the richnefs or the weaknefs 
of ' the juice, and confiilently with the 
nature and the quality of the land upon 
which the canes have grown; a knowledge 
ef 'which it requires attention and expo- 
'rience to obtain. 

Befides the great copper, there are 
three, four, or five others, in gradual, di- 
minution of fize, and redudion of con- 
tents, according to the ftrepgth and' the 
extent of the plantation; and upon fome 

• - of 

( 29 ) 

of which they work/ although not with 
equal profit, from fevcn to twelve, or 
more. Five coppers will certainly do 
more execution in proportion, than teni 
and feven, if well attended and kept con- 
ftantly flufh of liquor, will turn out as 
much fugar in a week as any boiling^i 
houfe need require. 

For an eftate that only makes from one 
hundred to one hundred and forty hotheads 
of fugar, four coppers, provided the clari- 
fier be large, will be found fufficient: for 
a plantation that makes from two to three 
hundred hog{heads, there will not be re^^ 

» * ■ • » » « 

quired more than fix or feven; nor do I 
think that any fingle property, let it be 
even capable of making the double of this 
quantity of produce, can work with fpirit 
and advantage more than ten or twelve. 

A boiling-houfe fifty feet Ipng by 
thirty wide, and a curing-houfe eighty in 
length and of a proportionable breadth^ 
will give fufficicnt room for the manufac- 

( 30 ) 

turc of any reafonable quantity of produce} 
and lowly buildings of timber^ or wattled 
and plaifteredy will anfwer every pgrpofe 
of the plantation, as well as thofe that are 
conftru£ted of more confiderable dimen- 
fions and more weighty materials, an4 
which will be confequently atjtended with 
additional expence. 

In crop*time (he overfeer fhould have 
ft room divided from the curing-^houfe, 
with a window into the bpiling-houie, to 
deep in; and the re^fons are too obvious t^ 
need an explanation. 

I think it of confequence that the ftdce** 
bole (hed, behind the latter of the above- 
mentioned buildings, ihould be more inr 
clofed, and rendered more warm and comi- 
fortable, than they in comnion are, as the 
column of wind that blows through them 
when they are too open and too much ex- 
pofed, is very diftrefling to thofe negroes 
whofe duty it is to make and watch the 


( 3' ) 

fitti ; an inconveniency which migfatt 
without much troable ind expencc^ bo 
eafily aroided. 

The (lili^houfes in general are mora 
lafge^ and crowded with more ciflerns than 
are abfolutely neceflary^ or even wanted. 
Twoj or at the moft» three, good ftilla^ 
and twelve or fixteen large cifterna^ pro^ 
vided they correfpond with the low*-¥riae 
ftill in proportion of gallons^ will anfwer 
the wants, and reward the expe^iatioiiS) of 
the moft ample «ftftte^ 

I do not think that tlx^fe bntklingd are 
in general well calculated to confine tiie 
heat fo necefiary to the fermentation of 
the liquor j but then, if too nrach air be 
excluded^ the operations of rum-mafciiig 
would be ftill more unwholefome than 
they at prefent are. 

That part of the ftill-houfe in which 
the cifterna are placed, is confideraMy 
higher than that in which the ililla are 


( 32 ) 

hung» and the negroes are confequentl/ 
obliged to afcend or defcend by a flight of 
Aeps. One large ciflern is often fet afide 
for the fermentation of the liquor only, and 
another for the reception of the molaifesy 
ivhich the fooner ufed, the better will they 
yield. A large butt for the depofit of the 
low wines is likewife a neceffary appendage 
of this part of the building, as are a dun- 
der-ctftern ahd a tank for the reception 
of the wormSj in, or at the. back of, the 
ftill^houfe, indifpenfable nccqiTaries of this 
part of the works. A rum-bovife is fome^ 
times added; which, if it can be properly 
fecured from fteahh and Erey is; what ought 
not to be difpenfed with. 

* ^ 

When the negroes are fet in to rapi, ^ik} 
to make tight the cifterns with clay, they 
have a fong and chorus that . is pecur 
liar to this labour, which is one. of the 
moil: tedious and the moft heavy upon 
an eftate: and it is inconceivable what 
an immenfe quantity of earth, and how 
long a time it will take to reduce it to a 


( 33 ) 

ibfBcieiit confiftency to prevent a future 
leakage. They work very clofe together^ 
and throw their rammers with the moft re- 
gular cadence ; while their downcait looks, 
the a£tion of their hands and feet, and the 
fwelling exertions of their naked bodies, 
would furnifli the lover of fcience with 
many fine, and manly fubjedts. 

The trafh-houfes are from two to three, 
or four, according to the extent of the 
eftate, and the annual expectations of the 


Some of ihefe are compofed of ftone 
pillars, and of framed roofs; and fome, of 
pods that are funk in the ground, and which 
have common rafters on the top, to fupport 
the thatch with which they are covered. 

As thefe eredibns afe particularly open 
to the intrufion of winds, and are very 
ioften, from carelefTnefs and other caufes, 
fet on fire; it is certainly imprudent to 
"make them large and expenfive, efpecially 

Vol. IL D as 

( 34 ) 

as thofe of fmaller dimenfiond, and more^ 
lOmpie conftruilion, will anfwcr the par- 
pores rather better; for it will he often ne- 
cefTarj, and a/ways prudent^ to have them 
removed from time to time to more elevated 
and dry (ituations^ as the land upon which 
thcfc buildings are conftrufted very foon 
becomes fwampy, from the damps and wet 
which the trafli cannot fail to engender: 
and it is therefore expedient that it (honld 
be, before it is boiifed, as dry,, and ir^ as 
good a condition, as it can po0ibly be. 

Some tra(h-houfes are upwards of one 
hundred feet long, and G^tne not more 
than fifty ; but I am ftrongly in favour of 
thole that are attended, in cafe of accident^ 
with the leafl expence and trouble* 

They fhouldi in. my opinion, be atwaya 
wattled roiarn^d, to prevent the intrufion of 
cattle, and more efpecially that of ftr ag* 
gling negroes, who will often inadvertently 
throw themfelves down upon the traOi^ 
illume their pipes, and drop perhaps a 


( 35 ) 

fparkj and hence occafion a fudden and 
a tremendous conflagration; examples of 
which have frequently happened in my 

Having mentioned the buildings that 
dre neceflafy upon a plantation^ I (hall now 
fuppofe them to be all in readinefs to re- 
ceive the different materials which con- 
tribute to the proceffcs of fugar-making, 
and the diilillation of rum: and it may 
hence be eafily conceived how fanguine 
mud be the expedation of the planter^ 
ho\^ impatient the negfQes, and how adive 
^nd zealous the overfeer who has the in- 
tereft and profperity of his employer at 
heart> and who furveys the golden pro- 
mife of the field with hope, and who 
now beholds the labour, the expence, 
and danger of the former months, about 
to be recompenfed by fine weather, and 
the flattering appearance of a plentiful 

D 1 When 


(36 ) 

When the plaater finds himfelf relieved of 
apprehenfions, he becomes fanguine in the 
difcharge of his contingencies and debts^ 
and is not backward in making promifes 
to his merchant in England, or to the 
ftore-keepers in Jamaica; and however his 
want of punduality may be taxed by the 
illiberal^ the oppreflive, and unfeeling, I 
am inclined to think that when he pro- 
mifed, he mod feriouily meant to perform. 
His difappointments have, therefore, a 
ferious efFeft upon him who trufts: and 
^ha fliall be ultimately found to be the 
greatefl: fufFerer; the merchant, who has^ 
every emolument, and who holds a fecu- 
rity in his lands, that is in value to the 
amount of doable or treble his demand > 
or the planter, whofe property is ti.ed up, 
and who is confequcntly obliged to fubmit 
to every exaction ; it will require impar- 
tiality to inveftig-ate, as well as truth an4. 
juftice to explain. 

1 purpofe to dwell, in the courfc of thefe 
remarks, upon the relative fituations of 


( 37 ) 

both ; and G12M fpeak t»y mind with that 
candor and freedom which it is the duty of 
every man to do, who prefumes to make 
an appeal to the patience and liberality of 
the public; and which will expedl, in the 
place of fenfelefs declamation and idle 
^tomplainty a fair and an bonefl: invefliga- 
Cion of fa£bs« 

Unmoved by infult, and ui^awed by 
power, the man who is confcious of the 
integrity of his intentions, however limited 
may be his means, will look down with 
contempt upon the machinations of mean*^ 
pefs and rapacity ; as a felf-approving con- 
fcience is a fortrefs againft which the bat« 
teries of interefl: and diflimulation, of ex« 
tortion and of fraud, may difcharge their 
noiiy artillery unnoticed and defpifed^ 

If the mind be confcious of peace, the 
bo4y will not dread alarm; as he who is 
not delinquent, will not be apprehenfive 
cf juflicc. 

V ^ O con- 

V 38 ) I 

O confcience ! what an oracle art thou ! 
Deftin'a to lead our wayward thoughts from ill. 
And point our profpeft* to the verge of life. 

The fufpenfe and anxiety of a planter 
is hardly to he conceived when he fpecu-» 
lates in either the alteration of an old, or 
the eredlion of a new mill; when his 
hopes are mingled with his fears; and 
when he contrails hjs future expectations 
of gain with the poffible failure of fuc- 

The moment the flood-gate opens and 
the water defcends, he feels his bofom 
beat with agitation ; every drop becomes 
of confequence, and every revolution pf the 
wheel is obferved with anxiety and intereH;. 
The canes are accumulated bundle upon 
bundle, the ftreani of Jiquor is explored, 
the receiver gauged, and the time it takes 
to fill is critically afcertained. If every 
thing fncceed to his wi(h and expediation^ 
he feels his mind relieved from the mife- 
ries of fufpenfe; l)t regales himfelf with 
his friends, and congratulates hirnfelf upon 


( 39 ) 

, the accoQipIitbment of what has been long 
the painful objet^of his thoughts^ but now 

^ the harbinger of expedition, and the rc- 
dudtion of expence and labour. 

But ihould the water be not fufficient, 
or (hould any impediment arife to obftru<ft 
its pafTage, the dam be carried away, the 
arches fall, or gutter leak, — it is natural 
to fuppofe that his feelings will keep pace 
with the magnitude of the objects, and 
that every exertion will be made to repair 
the breaches, to re-con(lru(9: the conduits, 
and to induce a larger ftream^ that no fu« 
tare failure or difappointment may be ap- 
prehended « 

Of the certain execution of the machine 
there can be but little doubt, as mechanics 
proceed upon too fure a foundation to de- 
ceive the expectations of the artift; but 
then the cogs may break, the gudgeons 
draw, the cafes fplit, the timbers break, 
the rollers warp : and one or other of thefe 
accidents is always liable to happen ; and 

D 4 hence 

( 40 ) 

henee the life of a planter is a continual 
ftate of uncertainty and trouble. 

Though there may be doubt aa to its 
general fuccefs, yet there is fomething ani- 
mating in the trial of a new experiment^ 
whether it be in the cultivation of the 
landj or in the grinding of thofe canes 
which that hod {hall have produced, and 
which the old proprietor, at the qlofe of 
life, attends with as much folicitud? as the 
young man who is only beginning his paf* 
fage through it; nor is it to be wondered 
at, if the mind be in a conilant ilretch in 
thofe latitudes in which fo many contin* 
gencies of climate occur, and from which 
no feafon of the year can be faid to be 
entirely exempt^ 

In every fituation of life, a man ha^ 
fome regular occupation to purfue, or 
fome imaginary calling to atnufe, or to file 
bis attention; and there are thofe perhaps 
\(rhQ are as much delighted with the theory 


( 41 ) 

that leads to ruin, as thofe are wbofe prac-^ 
tice has uniformly concluded to wealth. 

Some difpofitions, as every one muft 
have observed who has had the leaft com*- 
munication with the world, are better cal- 
culated to diflipate, than to raife or aug- 
ment, a fortune. The' man who purfues 
one patient and fteady line of condudti^ 
without turning out of the beaten track 
of interefl, to comfort the afHidions or to 
relieve the wants of his. fellow-creatures, 
is more likely to attain his worldly ends, 
than he who has the weaknefs to facrifice, 
not only his comforts, but his health, to 
promote the happinefs of others^ 

. It feems to be an eftabltfhed maxim, 
that liberality is incompatible with bufi- 
nefs; and it is, moreover, a melancholy 
truth, that friendship is too often funk in 
misfortune; and that he who has formerly 
lived without (hame, and ftill battens upon 
the means of others, will not fcruple to 
injure them without compundion, when 


( 40 

adverfity and the growing mortifications of 
humiliation^ andof want^ and the infirmi** 
tics of life, brought on by oppreffion and 
care, (hall have funk them down to the 
loweft ftate of forrow and defpomiency. 

I fliall leave^ for the prefent, thefn 
gloomy reflections, and fhali turn my de«* 
fcription to more lively concerns;— to the 
negroes who^ having juft: received the 
cheerful fumhions of the overfeer, begin 
to prepare their bills for the commence*- 
ment of the crop; and who, at this time, 
exhibit a fcene of lively intereft, and fome<» 
thing differe.nt from thofe accounts of rural 
labour which fo much contributed to fw6U 
the bulky contents of a former volume: 
and if the reader {hall have the patience to 
wade through the heavy matter of this, it 
will, I fear, be rather a proof of his libe- 
rality and perfeverance, than of his tafte 
and judgment. 


( 43 ) 

There feeiQS to be a pleafing alacrity in 
the negroesi wheti they run, in playful 
mood, acrofs the pafture^ and endeavour to 
ontilrip each other in attaining the grjnd*^ 
ftone, upon which they try the temper of 
their bills: and a pidture of a very lingular 
cail: might be made from the different 
groups of men, women, and children, that 
furround it; and upon which, while one 
is whetting his tools, and others are em- 
' ployed in turning the (haft, the reft rerfiarn 
in eager expedation, and feem to divide 
or anticipate their mutual toil. 

The fituation in which this inftrUnlent^ 
upon fome plantations, is placed^ i^ not 
always barren of pidturefque appearance, 
particularly if it be turned by a part of 
the ftream of water that flows from thb 
gutter that fupplies the mill; and which 
being a bold and a prominent obje<£l, and 
diftinguifhed, however clumfy.the ]>arts, 
by fome kind of architecture, gives an in-* 
tereft to that which might be other wife 
coniidered as iniignificant and tame. 


'( 44 ) 

However mean the' manual operations 
of the negroes may in fome inftances be^ 
yet are there always accompanying cir- 
cumftances to give variety^ and hence to 
render tbem not altogether unamufing. 

A large fweep of arches^ through which 
is let in a profped of the diftant country, 
and that country perhaps embellifhed with 
the moft magnificent and lively fcenes that 
Nature can offer to the regard of the en- 
thufiaft, or to the obfervation of the 
painter, is a common feature in a Jamaica 
landfcape: nor are the objed:s with which 
thefe buildings are commonly furrounded, 
at all deficient in pifturefque variety. 

They are, in fome parts, covered with 
bufhes and with ihrubs; and in others the 
brittle fand-box tree, the whifpering plan- 
tain, the nodding bamboo, or the (lately fig- 
tree, expand their various (hades, beneath 
the gloom of which the herds and flocks 
repofe to avoid the ardour of the mid-day 
rays, to ruminate in cool repofe, and liften 


( 45 ) 

to the murmurs of the cryftal fprlng which 
winds in (lender rills between their feet, 
or flows in irriguous channels acrofs the 

neighbouring plain* 



Sometimes they recline under the arches 
themfelves, and enjoy the dripping waters 
that penetrate through the crevices of the 
walU or now and then (leal out to browze 
the herbage that is fpread around^ until, 
colleded together, they are driven from 
their places of fhelter: the fleers are caught 
and yoked \ the cows, the heifers, ^ and the 
calves, are driven to their pafturage ; and 
the goats and fheep to their accuftomed 
haunts^ The hogs forfake their fties, and 
all around the works appears to be in mo^ 
tion. The negroes leave their hovels^ 
and return again to their labour in the 

Some cattle-pens are furrounded by cot-> 
ton-trees of an immenfe height and pro- 
jeiflion of branches, beneath the fhadows 


^ ( 46 ) 


of which the herds and flocks repofc and 
chew the cttdi while the fun-b^ams at 
noon arc glowing around« aod the v«nti« 
lations of the breeze give freChnefs to 
heati to relaxation vigour^ and fcnfe to 

Sw^eet is the jntirrouif of the rlfiflg brfeeztf 
That gently undulates the tufted trees; 
When ev*ry branch unto the zephyr fighs 
With jioarfe accordance, and with low replies | 
When 1^11 is filent^ iave the tinkling rill. 
Or iheli wide ecchoipg from the diftant hill; 
Or chiming bells tliat warn the patient flocks 
To leave the meadows, and explore the rocks; 

* Beneath the ihades of Which they may repofo^ 
.Kor; dread the vertic fun that ardent glows. 

The contemplative man delights to dwell 

• WberevNature's hand has fcoop'd the vaulted celt^ 
And .where, fromcv'ry drop that hangs arduQdr 
By petrpfa6iipn, into fubftance bound, 

.He draws fome ufef'ul moral to engage 
The youthful ear, or foothe the cares of age^ 

The labourers are now prepared for the 
expedlied harveft: they hold themfelves in 
feadinefs in their refpe&ive houfes to. obey 
the lively fummons: the (hell is beard 


( 47 ) 


with A ilirill alarm to call them forth; iC 
ecchocs among the hillsi and refounds . 
acfofs the plains;. it Teems to fwdl with 
a cheerful blaft, and to ipvit? to profit 
and abundaoce. The overfeer is anxiqua 
to give his orders to commence thqcropi 
he is the firft in the field: the driver fol'^ 
lows with his knotted ftick^ and his whip 
ilung carelefsly acrofs his (houlder: the 
latter walks briikly to the place of labour 2 
the negroes follow $ and he fhows them 
upon what part of the piece to begin. 

The tops of the cane$ are now in a 
conftant tremor 1 the yellow fwarths grir 
flrewed upon the ground ; and vigour and 
difpatch are obferved in every iody, and 
apparent in ^s^y band. 

The driver, with an authoritative voices 
cautionathem to cut the canes clofe^ and 
not to wafte too much of the top; to fe-* 
parate^hofe that^are tainted* and to difcard 
thofe joints that have been injured by the 
rat&: he keeps them in a regular ilring 


( 48 ) 

^fore hlm^ and takes care to chequer thfr 
able with the weak^ that the work may 
not be too light for the firft, nor too heavy 
for the laft. He intimidates fome, and 
encdurages others $ and too often^ perhaps^ 
a tyrant in authority, he impofes upon the 
timid, and fuffers the (lurdy to efcape^ 

There is fomcthing particularly piAu'- 
refque and ftriking in a gang of negroes^ 
when employed in cutting canes upon the 
fwelling projections of a hill; when they 
take a long fweep, and obferve a regular 
difcipline in their work : indeed the fur^^ 
rounding accompaniments of the field af-> 
ford a very Angular and interefting variety* 

As the pieces upon hilly eftates are in 
themfelves uncommonly romantic^ fo are 
the minutias of which they are compofed 
oot lefs various and pleafing. The colour 
of the negroes^ when bending beneath the 
verdant canopies of the canes, and thefe 
foftened by the branching (hadows of the 
majeflic cotton-tree which Hfes in all the 


( 49 ) 

pride of vegetation and of height, from 
the io^ly glen in which its ample roots 
have taken earth, and which defraud the 
minor produds of the glade of genial 
moiftiire and fuftentation, contribute to the 
moving landfcape« 


Behind the cutters are obferved the rows 
of canes that glow with a bright and golden 
yellow ; the tyers proceed, and bind them 
up : the mules now traverfe to colled:^ or 
carry off their heavy loads ; the cattle are 
/pread over the lower parts of the hill, 
and f^A upon the tops that are left be- 
hind, while the wains remain at bottom in 
quiet expedation of that freight which is 
to reward the avarice of the maftcr, by the 
labour of his oxen ; and what this labour 
is, fheir reduced and lank fituation will 
too often, I fear, fufEciently explain. 

The common praftice at the beginning 
of crop, is to fet-in all the able hands for 
one or two days previoufly to the putting 
about the mill, to cut as many canes as 

Vol. II. E. poffible. 

( 5* ) 

pofHble^ that it may continue^ when onic0 
iet in motion, a large and regular weekly 
execution ; which, if the eftate be not well 
handed, and abundant in cattle, it will be 
found very difficult to do« 

Whenever the mill fhall ftand idle for 
want of a fupply of canes, the negroes 
from the works are then fent out to afiift 
the operations of the field : the bufinefs of 
the coppers becomes flagnant ; they get 
cool ; the liquor foddens ; and every delay of 
this kind is of courfe attended with lofs. 

When the mill is therefore put about^ 
it fhould, if poiBble, be kept to fteady 
work ; the feeders and the boilers would 
be then cfonfined to their particular ^pro« 
vinces, and would not lofe their time in 
being alternately ordered from the works 
to the field, and again from the field to 
the works. 

The time of crop, particularly the com« 
mencement of it, exhibits a very lively 


( St ) 

Saftci i pteafing fcene, and tfvery living 
creature feems to be in fpirits and in cx- 
pedation : the negroes ire not only alert 
and cheerful^ but the cattle and the mules^ 
having recovered the fatigues of the plant- 
ihg-lcafon, appear to be ffefli and vigorous i 
nor do they feem to require the encouragfe- 
itl&At of the vdice^ nor to dread the thun- 
def s of the whip; for this inftrument of 
aorredibn in Jamaica, whether it be in the 
hands of the cart-man^ the mule-boy, ot 
thb negfo-driver, is heard^ in either cafe> 
tt> relbuwd «im?)ng the hills ahd upon the 
plains, aftd to awaken the eccboes whercvet^ 
the feveirberatioiis of the laQi (hall pafs* 

There is forAethlng extremely animating 
in the prbfjit^ o^ the roads between thd 
pieces upoh Whk'h the (Mhes are carted^ 
and the mill: the wain th^at is piled up 
with its golden bundles, the flow and 
fteady motion of the oxen, the more 
nimble ftep of the mules, and the feem- 
irtg urgfehcy of their fable drivers, gtve 
ilitereft and variety to' the moving fcehe, 

E 2 and 


( 52 ) 

and which are of courfe augmented ac- 
cording to the numbers of either that pafs 
and repafs upon the refounding and the 
dufty roads. 

When the dry weather is fairly fet in at . 
the beginning of the crop, there begins to 
be a daily diminution of the. verdure of the 
pafturesy and the freQinefs of the canes -, 
the rivers that were lately full to their 
brimsi and overflowing their banks, begin 
now, by flow and perceptible degrees, to 
fubfide; the aquatic plants that fringe^ 
their borders, and which were lately 
ftruggling beneath the inundation, now. 
hold their moifl:ened heads above the 
furface, and fpread forth their fhadowy 
leaves,, and refled; their mafl!es .in » the 
ftream which runs not as yet pellucid ia 
its courfe, but which by degrees ex- 
changes its . yellow tide for the browa 
tranfparency of cryftaK 

It is impoflible to defcribe the rich va- 
riety of the bank's of the riverjs in Jamaica : 


{ SI ) 

the docks that adorn their edges^ are of a 
prodigious and of a very pidtarefque ex- 
paniion; and the depths of green by which 
they are diftinguiflied, afford a very ftri- 
king contraft to the flowing element that 
refle<fts their images upon the depths bc^ 

Some rivers fweep through rocks, and 
drill themfelves a channel through arches 
and through caves: fome are obfcrved to 
divide contiguous mountains; fome, to 
flow with a more hafty courfe; and others, 
to murmur with a lefs noify progrefs; while 
others ftcal gently through the plains, and 
wa(b, with a feeming whifper, the pro- 
jedlipg arches which oppofe, with gentle 
violence, their dimpling lapfe, and upon 
which the man of contemplation looks 
down from the pleaifing elevation, and 
obferves the ripples break upon the bor- 
ders, while he fighs with fenfibility to the 
plaintive murmurs of their fwcetly-flowing 
gpd tranfparent tides. 

( 54 ) 

Here, the broad fig-tree rpars its lofty head | . 
There, the bright mirror of the ftream is fpread. 
Which, amVous of the deep overhanging fhade. 
Delays its courfe until the fun-beams fade* 

The quicfcent appearances of rivers in 
Js^maic^} every attentive admirer pf Nature 
muft have frequently obferveds and v\^hen 
he reclines in penfive thought beneath the 
cn^bowering (h2^dows of the cotton- tree, 
which with all Us penfile withes, and the 
fantaftic weeds that hang apd glow upon 
their extending branches, he feels the 
pleafure of mcUncholy arifc irj his mind, 
frorn a due cooitemplation of the far^ 
rounding, although a confined and i?- 
quedered fcene. 

He obferyes the waters, without a lapfe 
or eddy, now hang with repofe upon the 
neighbouring ftiores. The darknefs of the 
ovcr^hanging foliage that eiccludes thQ 
chferful fun-beams, difpels not from his 
breaft the plaintive thought; and though 
no zephyr (hall ventilate the leaves, and 


( 55 ) 

bear upon its wings his heavy %hs^ yet he 
may drop a tear upon the peaceful element^ 
which, wiU b(j no fcK?^?r Received than 
eternally forgotten. 

He now endeavours to cheer his melan* 
eholyt and treads a filent path through the 
tangkd briars and the matted grafs, and 
behind the ru(hes» the docks, and die 
weeds> tbat- hang with mournful pendence 
over, and juft wet ibeir edges in» the placid 
ftream, until a Aidden ray of light falutea 
his. exit from the gloom» illuminates the 
polished mirror that now appears to move» 
and through which the fifli are feen to dart^ 
or where the fwarming flics occafion fuc- 
ceffive dimples asi it flows, or at a diflance 
reprefent the bubbles that a fullen (bower 
occadons to arife. 

Tbe ftream as^ yet fcarce ripples on the land. 
Though clouds reflefted dance along the ftrand : 
A tranfient zephyr fteals amidft the fhades; 
And juft awaken'd from the neigbb'ring glades^ 
Bears on its balmy wings, to cheer the fenfe, 
A ibow'r of foft, enlivening frankincenfe; 

k 4 When 

( 56 ) 


When lo ! fuccceding ruffles curl the tide. 
Which murm'ring flow, and kifs the river's fide j 
While, in its bright embrace, the flow'xs infold 
Their hues, more rich than if the fands were gold, 
The filver waters, dimpled o'er by flies 
That fhpw like drops of rain, in bubbles rife. 

As he purfues his contemplative walk^ 
and flUl continues to cafl his looks upon the 
varying element, he fees it hurry on its 
courfe as he advances; he qbferves it flow 
along in larger reflexions, which^ as they 
catch the fun, difcover the pebbles that 
fhine like cryflals below, or that appear 
like diamonds in full luflre upon the 
changing furface. 

The waters are now fpread into a deep 
and capacious bafon, in which the mullets 
are feen to fhape their wanton courfe; and 
which reprefent, if great things may de- 
fcend to a comparifon with fmal], the gold 
and filver fifh that curiofity confines withiq 
the tranfparent bounds of a cryfl:al vafe. 

In which the little fportive tribes are fed 
Upon the fweetenM cake, or crumbs of bread. 

( 17 ) 

They are now conftrained in their 
courfe to leave the depth; and urged on 
l)y a fucceeding impulfe, they fpread them« 
Iblves over a (hallow bottom, which for a 
time confines the rufh of waters^ and pre- 
vents its curling precipitation adown the 
white cafcade« 

They now have gained the fummit, and 
feem to paufe for a moment before they 
f ufh amain : down falls at once the accu- 
mulated, heavy, and refounding ftream; 
the waters below feem to dread the im- 
pending fall, and (brink, as it were, from 
the weight of the inundation : the cataraft 
defcends with noife and fury: it forms 
^ tremendous whirlpool underneath, ia 
which up-rooted trees of the moft early 
growth and ponderous fize, are inftantly 
ingulphed, are buried for a time in th^ 
watery grave, and emerge at 1 aft at a con- 
iiderable diftance from their place of de*^ 
fcent, and load with their contents tho 
adjoining banks : it works its way under 

( S8 ) 

4h« rooks, And iofms deep caivf ra$ ^ the 
lx>ttoa» pf the Aream* 

' It now repents of ^e ooife aadl cppf^^o* 
tl^at U has. occafioQ^d, and feems t<» mw-^ 
itmt Uke a frQward child who/e angei^ w 
appeafed^ and who, in flifled hhihberings 
and drowzy murmursi refigns its little 
hreaft ag4n to pea?^* 

The fiver becomes at length confined i 
and roaring Qv«r a bed of rocks^ it rather 
jeiembles a torrent than a Aream. It is 
here, th^t thepatiem ^^ngler i$ feated, and 
obibrves %h^ mpontaio-mullets ^nd the 
calapavres darting by like fudden gleams 
of Ught; his fly is hurried away by the 
Impetuofity Qf the waters; the fi(hes are 
i:^rie4 out of fight, to return no more; 
and the fportfman has time to brood oV'Cr 
the difapppiotment he has fuilained^ 

A$ filence fucceeds to noife, and peace 
to trouble^ fo do the waters now flow on 
m a more gentle courfe; they flowly 


( 59 ) 

wai^dor among the ru^es, aad wUh their 
£re(bejning ripplea s^wake their iighs. 

flad the breeze been withheld^ the buU-ruIh betQ 


We never had heard or the fyrinx or flute. 

The fgregoin^ defcription of a river^ i« 
faithfolly drawn from what I have fre-o 
^uently feen^ as it flows adjoining to % 
tradi of land in which I have fopie lUtlc 


There is a comfort in brooding ovef 
(genes, however diftant, whiqh formerly fed 

the mind with rural impre^^opsi aod whea 
we are driven from themj it reminds us of 
the melancholy Ipfs of friends, from whooi 
misfortune or intereft ha& dUjoined ns, and 
whom^ we are not ever to fee again* 

Every little circumftance that helps to 
ruffle the current of a river, has fome in- 
tereft to arreft the obfervex's eye; a log of 
wood that fails upon the furface of the 
waters, a floating cane, a feather, or 9 


( 6o ) 

ftraw, cannot pafs by without his notice; 
and trifling as thefe objeds may appear^ 
they ftill have intereft enough to excite 
|)is reflexions. 

When he beholds a piece of timber buf* 
feted about by the whirling eddy, by 
which it is now plunged into the abforb- 
ing vortex, now driven up again, and now 
dafhed with fiiry againft the butterefs of 
the bridge, he may naturally refled: upon 
the fltuation of man who is tofl!ed about 

• • • 

by the tempeft, or fwallowed by the ocean^ 
or wrecked againfl: the rocks^ or en- 
gulphed in the fand ; and he may like- 
wife moralize upon his flruggles through 
life, how he has been bandied about by 
difappointment and misfortune, and at 
lafl; hurried out of the world by th'C 
never-ebbing tide of ficknefs and affjic-p 

There appears to me to be fomething 
awfully fublime, and morally inftrudive, 
)n tracing, ip imagination, the progrefs of 

a river 

( 6, ) 

a river from its fource among the moan« 
tains, until it (hall difembogue its con- 
tents into the diftant fea. 

The country through which the Thames 
wanders in its delightful courfe, is rather 
remarkable for the amenity than the 
grandeur of its objedls. No refounding 
catarads oppofe the current of its flream ; 
no fhadowy mountains refle(ft their eleva- 
tions in its waters; no rocks are feen, upon 
its margins, to reprefent the ruins of caflles 
and of caves : the circumjacent fcenes ap- 
pear to borrow their charms from the tran- 
quil temper of the gentle element* and no 
difcordant founds diflurb the quiet of its 
borders ; but in their flead, are daily 
heard, the flocks, the doves, the lark, the 
thru(h, the linnet, and the wren ; and fo 
foon as the night (hall have invited them 
back to the hanging wood^ the nodding 
grove, the bu(hy copfe, or brambles on 
the heath, the nightingales continue the 
rural concert, and breathe their tender la- 
mentations through the night. 

Vol. II. How 

{ (SO 

How very difierent muft be thofe ibefl^i 
Xvhich the borders of the Volga furni(h f 
How numerous muft be the divcrfity o( 
jiattonS) of manners^ and of tongues ! How 
many of the regions unexplored ; and the 
produiftions of the water, and the land, un- 
feen, unnoticed, and undefined ! And if we 
compare their fiiheries with thofe of the 
Thames, and contraft the productions of 
both in all their varieties of value, and of 
fize, from the beluga to the gudgeon, how 
much miuft the one rife in fublimity over 
the more diminutive inhabitants of our 
commercial and quiefcent ftream ! a ftream, 
however, fuperiorly important from its 
commerce, its confequence, and wealth* 

The very idea of interfering a region of 
£o much wildne(s and extent, when com-* 
pared to the Thames, which only waters 
one kingdom, and upon whofe banks one 
language alone is fpoken, is fufficient to 
create reflexions of a particular and in«* 
quiiitive caft. 

How wonderful is the difference between 
the whale and the fprat, the fturgeon and 


( 63 ) 

the minim! and iiow greatly betotfvoltot 
is tbat Power who has varied tiMeiir dnacfti^ 
&ms for the ikfe of man ! 

Some qther piflurefqi^ un^£es which are 
ob£$rvable in the time of c^op^, will fall ia 
ia thek pc<c|>er place^ ki the coorfe oitlMCe 
r^atorl&s. I fhall therefore turii to a de- 
fcription of the procefs of the ean^ fraaa 
the cuttiAg of the field to its depofit at the 
wfaarfi a defcription which heiq^mere]/ 
mechanical^ muft of courfe^. to thofe Aot. 
iffterefted in its maoufafturey be duil gad 
tedious hut winch I anx u^^wilUng to 
ornit^ as it feeofvs to be a comiidive palt^ 
o£ ^y j>r&&nt fuii^ed, and which m^y-. 
not .perhaps be altogether unacceptable l^. 
thofe whofe purfuits and occupatioift hav«. 
not ever led them to the difcUflion of Aichr 
aipUnty although ever;^ one is more or USs 
indtbted to its ufe^ in either its raw^ ot 
in ifis refined aad perfeS: fl^te« [ 



( 64 ) 

As fzA ks the canes are cut, they ard 
thrown afide into different rows; the £\x^ 
gar-canes into one heap, and the rum-canesf . 
into another. A gang of negroes^ not 
equal in ilrength to the cutters, fucceed 
thefe laft, colled them into bundles, and 
tie them with cane- bands together^ that 
they may be convenient to load, and in 
readinefs for the mules, if the land be too 
hilly, which convey them to the carts;* 
but if the elevations be not too ftcep and 
inacceffible, the wains can work upon the^ 
pieces, and in that cafe they go forward 
with their loads to the miU, by which 
Iheans much time is faved, and expedition 
given : and I muft here obferve, that thefe 
animals fo patient and fo induftrious upon 
all occajQons, are generally too much 
worked at the beginning of the crop, and 
more efpecially at night ; nor is there fuf- 
ficient care taken that the pads be well 
ftuffed, the crooks be prevented from cha^ 
fing their fhoulders and backs, and that 
their wounds be carefully and daily exa- 
mined^ as well as dreft. 


( 65 ) 

It !€ of great comfort and confcquence 
likewi/e to the cattle, that their necks be 
not too much rubbed by the friction of the 
. yokes, that the wheels be kept conftantly 
greafed, and that the draught of the wains 
be made regular and eafy, 

• The cattle-men and the mule -boys, thd 
trafti-carriers, the feeders, and the watch- 
men who attend the pens, fhould be all 
allowed warm clothing in crop-time, as a 
pfoteflion againft that cold which the 
former experience upon the hills, and the 
latter about the works, and in their diffe- 
rent chilly fituations at night« 

An Eurbpe^n, who would be almoft dif- 
folved were he to work beneath the vertical 
ardours of a tropic fun, does not always 
confider, when he cxprelTes his furprife that 
the negroes fhould be obliged to labour in 
fiich an intenfity of heat, that the climate 
is congenial to their natural feelings, and 
that the careful benevolence of Providence 
has thickened their fkins, to enable them 

Vol, II. F tQ 

( 66 ) 

to bear what would otherwife be infaf«< 
ferable: he is too apt to judge of their 
conflitutions and feelings by his own^ and 
does not feem to confidcr that, if they were . 
removed to England^ and were obliged to 
abide the pelting of the hail, the fleeces of 
the fnow, or the rfgours of the froft, their 
powers would be u&lcfs, as their exer- 
tions would be numbed ; and that tieir 
(ituation then, from a contraft of the re- 
gion to that in which they were born^ 
would be more deplorable and dangerous 
than its would be^ if obliged to labour 
in the higher latitudes. 

That the real work of the negroes is not 
fo violent, nor continued fo long in the 
day without relaxation^ as that of the pea« 
fants in England, may be collected from 
the interruptions which are occafioned by 
the frequent and heavy continuance of the 
rains which deluge the country for fo many 
afternoons in the year, and from other ac- 
cidental intermifHons of labour^ which may 
jbe derived from cuftom and from climate. 


( ^7 ) 

Their esrertions out of crop^J are feldom 
required for more than thirteen hours in 
the day; and the remainder of the four- 
and-twenty, the generality of them may 
conlider as their own, and may difpofe of 
Ihem in any manner agreeable to their 

Happy would it be for them, and for 
the donieftic comforts of the country, 
eould they be taught, or encouraged to 
take delight in, any fedentary employ- 
ments, when they have fo many vacant 
hour^, in the rainy feafons, that might be 
attended with profit to themfelvcs, with 
ufe to their families, or that might confine 
them, with good-humoured i nduft ry and 
patient retirement to the pleafing care and 
fober management of their children, and 
thence introduce a domeftic leffon of in- 
ternal quiet and fubordination, indead of 
wandering abroad therafclves from planta- 
tion to plantation, making thofe idle and 
worthlefs who naturally look up to them 
for example and for conduft, and thus 

F z import 

( 65 ) 

import drunken nefs and theft, and a ion; 
lift of minor vices that debilitate their con- 
Citations, and lay the foui^d^tion pf im^ 
piety 9 difeafef and death. 

A perfon who has opt beep ufed to the 
labour of negroes in our colonies, woulc} 
be at firft furprifed to obferve in how (bort 
a fpace of time a good g^ng of able^ la- 
bourers will get through a piece of ftanding 
canes, particularly if they be r^toons, aqd 
thofe be rather fhabby, and which are 
commonly the iirfl that are cut at th^ 
commencement of the harveft, as they 
will anfwer full as well as thofe from 
which more produce is expefted, for a 
trial of the mill, the heating of the cop^ 
pers, and as a partial experiment of the 
yielding of the canes. 

This valuable plant requires great care 
and labour to cut : if landing up and well 
trafhed, not fo much as when it is leaning, 
and has more ftraw upon it; and in this ftaie 
a very litUe is required, when com.pared 


( 69 ) 


with what it will demand when chtirely 
lodged and flat upon the grdudd. When il 
happens to b6in this fituation^ it mud; be 
dii^n^umbered of the tra(h; and it is often 
obliged to be dug out of the earth, into 
which the eyes may perhaps have (hot, 
alid from which may have grown out a 
ftumbef of fuckcfs of Confiderable thick-^ 
nefs and length, 

Thefifftcut is made at the top oftho 
plint> if it be hot out of reach tin account 
6f it^ height: ift the latter cafe, the chop 
Is made at the bottom ; the leaves are di* 
tided ffom the ftem; and the latter will 
require, in proportion to its growth, one 
or two feparations befide. 

Some of the tops are carried to the pens, 
where, miied with fait, or inde-ed without 
it, for I have never fouftd it of any ufe, it 
radkes excellent food for the tiiules : what 
afe left upon the piece, will ferve as foddet 
for the cattle. The tfafh remains upon the 
ground, to anfvVef the future purpofes of 
Manure; to preferve the land moift: and 

F 3 cool 

( 70 ) 

cool during the drynefs of the crop, andi 
to prevent the weeds from getting too 
ffiuch , a-bead, . before the young ftoles 
iball have had a clearings and covered the 

So foon as the canes are cu( and tipd^ 
they are. carried upon very hilly and fteep 
eflates, by mules ; upon flat land and eafy 
elevations, by wains: the burdens are de- 
pofited at the front of the mill-houfe,> into 
which two or three weakly or new negroes 
convey them, and where they are placed 
upon a table, or frame, from which the 
feeders can with conveniency remove them, 
and afterwards infert between the canes of 
the mill, by which, and the revolution of 
the rollers, their juice is expreffed. 

The liquor is conveyed through a 
wooden gutter, fome of which are lined 
with lead, to the receiver in the boiling- 
houfe; and from thence, as before ob- 
fcrved, into the clarifier, where it has its 
temper of lime ; it is there fkimmed and 

cleaned i 

( 71 ) 

cleaned; and when fufHciently purified, it 
is handed forward to another copper of 
a proportionable diminution of fize, and fo 
on to the fmaller coppers, and laft of all 
to the teach, where the liquor begins to 
granulate; and from whence, when fufH- 
ciently boiled, it is difcharged into the 
coolers, of which three, that are capable 
ot holding as much fugar as will fill a hog- 
ihead each, that is to fay, as much as will 
receive four or five times the contents of 
the teach, if it be of ninety gallons, are 
as many as will be found necefiary upon 
any plantation that does not work more 
than a fingle fide of coppers ; if both fides 
, be worked, the diflferent utenfils mud be 
confequently doubled. 

Thefe coolers were formerly compofcd 
gf copper; but they are now almoft uni- 
verfally made of wood, and cedar is the 
^efl that can be applied to this purpofc. 

When the fugar is fufiiciently cool and 
^rm to admit of removal, or potting, it is 

F 4 conveyed: 

( 7» ) 

conveyed by bafons of copper, oc by ptilst 
into the curing-^houfe adjoining^ where 
empty hogfheada are placdd upon the 
ranges for its reception. 

The ikimmings, or the dirt and trafh 
tha^t rife to the furface of the cbppers, are 
cOHdu^led to the flill-'hottfe^ where miked 
with dunder, or the fediment of the ftills, 
mqlaifes, water, and oftentimes the juice^ 
of the tainted canes-^it is, with thefe dif^ 
ferent ingredients, commixed and fet, and 
then left in the cifterns to ferment. 

When the fermentation has fubfided, 
the liquor is racked off into the Aill ; and 
when it defcends in fpirit, this firft run- 
ning is called low wines, and is depofiled 
in a large butt cotiflrudted for this parti- 
cular purpofe; from whence it is again 
pafled into another veiTel of fmaller di« 
menfions; and at the next condenfation and 
fall of the vapour, it comes out rum. 


( 73 ) 

The crop of fpirit will depend much 
upon the ftate of the canes^ and the care 
with which thofe that haye been tainted, 
ftiall have been fele£ted : the general average 
is deenied to be one puncheon of rum for 
every two hogfheads of fugar; but that 
ftill-houfe, as I before obferved, and muft 
again repeat, is unfkilfullj managed, or 
negligently attended, or there muft be fomo 
particular property in the cane, or in the 
land upon which it has been cultivated, if 
it do not give a more confidcrable propor- 

The more fugar is regularly made in a 
week, the more fteady will be likewife the 
quantity of rum ; and as the firft is ' the 
principle of the lafl:, and does not admit of 
any defcription but what may be taken, 
from the mechanical procefs of diftillery, 
I (hall return to a further account of the 
manufafture of fugar. 

The time in which it may be faid that 
a hogQiead of fugar is fufiiciently cured, 


( 74 ) 

will depend upon many circumftances i 
upon mofe perhaps than. may be fuppofed 
by thofe who only follow the common 
procefs, and who loiter on from week to 
week, and making y^ith the fame ,cxertions 


the fame quantity pf produce, of the fame, 
ftaple and complexion, with ^h^ fame in- 
^i^erence and inattention, have not ^ com-f 
< petency of praftice, or a refource of ideas, 
to difpover how the crop may be accele^ 
jrated, jhe fugar improvjed^ the Ijibour re-^ 
Ijevedjf or how the mill without ftraining, 
the negroes wijthout toil, or the cattl^ 
without being pufhed, m^ay be kept con- 
tinually at work with moderation ^nd with 

The fugar will cure much fafter in dry 
^han it will in moift, and in moift than it 
will in rainy, weather; and the more air 
is introduced into a curine-houfe (and air 
I fhould prefer to heat), the fooner will i^ 
ibe fit for market: but to fend it down to 
^he barguadier before it is fufficiently d^^yi 
is unprofitable j for the motion of the cart^ 


( 75 ) 

vUl make it give; and hence thofe molafles 
will run» and be wafted, upon the. roads,, 
which might have afliflaed the flill-houfc, 
and have augmented the crop of rum. 
Some fugar will cure in three weeks or a 
month; aQd fom? will not be dry in 
double that time; and th^t which (hall 
appear to be firm while the weather i$ 
dry, will become foft with an alteration of 
the feafbos* 

It was formerly the cuftom, aqd it 
perhaps upon fome plantations at pre^ 
fcnt too much prevails, to have not only 
one or two hair-cloth ftrainers in the 
receiver, but one of wire, between every 
two or three coppers; but this prafticc 
having been found ufelefs, began, fome 
years ago, to be; generally exploded : it 
is an expence and trouble that can, and 
ought, in my opinion, to be difpenfed 
with; for, if the liquor be not properly 
cleanfed in the clarifier, it will bq in vain 
^Q cxpeft its purification in the other ^vef- 
(els through which it (hall paf^. A wicker 


C 7^ ) 

Ittflbet at the entrance of. the rteeivWi ktid 
another to cttdb the fcales of ihe tisoeh/er 
^»j ^bei ifiltfa tlMt may happen to get ibtd 
the ibgar after it is boikd and delive^^d 
ftom the kft copper^ are &« mafty as ai^y 

liDilfiig-hOttfe willfiftd it flfectffary «> «U^^ 
Exptned and la^ur ard too oft^dn aug*- 
ifieiited> »h6i> in faft they ought to hfr 
particularly guarded again ft upon ev6ry 
plantation. As to the broken iraih tbac 
may find its way from the milUhoufe to 
the great copper, that is of Kttlc cobfc- 
queBce; nay, I do not know but it for^ 
wards, in fbme meafurcj the clarificatioA of 
the liquor. 

If the ftrainers be not conftantly kept 
clean, which thofe who ar6 acquainted 
with the natural indolence of the negroes 
will of courfe imagine to be not always the 
tafe, they will require an acidity which, 
when coromunicatcd to the fugar, will be 
^f tictflarly prejudicial at leaft, if it do nti 
abfoluiely prevent its granulation : befides, 
as thefe ftrainecs are Confiderably elevated 


( 77 ) 

fibovc th^ level of the copp«r$i the rtagrocY 
maft ncccilarily be Qb1«ge4 to raifo their 
arms in proportion^ in the delivery of th^ 
liquor ; and hence of courfe the labour will 
be iQcr^afed by the dei^apd of ad(iitianal 
Ar^ngth : wbereaB every pofQble plan ibouU 
be adopted to dimini(hj rather tb^n to in-- 
creafe their bodily eicQrlioa^; and of thi* 
pofltion» if the overfeer do not feel im- 
C9ediate)y the force» the planter ulti(nately 

The ladle with which the fugar is dcU--^ 
vered, being at the extrenaity of a long 
lever, is in itfelf particularly heavy, but 
which, whea full of liquor, muft be con-- 
fequently more (o; and if it require flrength 
and prafkice to forward it, upon a level, 
from one copper to another, even when the 
negroes are juft come upon their fpelU atid 
confequently frefli and vigorous — how di^ 
ftrefling mufi they find it, if the labour be 
increiafed with their weaknefs, and if they 
be obliged, v;hen weary and wrought down^ 

to rai£s an augmented weight to au addi^ 


< ?8 ) 

i ' • • • 

iional height ? and how difcouraging, whefi 
it IS abfolutely known to be a work, not of 

ncceffity, but fupcrcrrogatlon ! 

• ♦ 

As the boilers . at the different 'C6p]>efSi 
^hen fi\x(h, or even partially boiling, ard 
obliged to be upon their feet to attend 
them at leafl: twelve hours out of the four-* 
and-twenty, if there be not a fufficient 
quantity of negroes upon the eftate to 
make up three fpells, and thus rdieve 
them — ^it is faid that they often fufFer 
from the hardnefs of the flotles, or the 
firmnefs of the ground, upon which they 
ftand, and that hence diforders of the legs 
are freqifently induced ; and this fuppofi^o 
tion, I am afraid, is but too well founded* 
If mats were therefore fpread upon the 
ilanding-places by the fide of the coppers, 
and if even temporary feats were fo contri- 
ved as not to interfere with the convenience 
of the work, and upon which they might 
now and then fit down to reft themfelves, 
when the flackncfs of the fire, the want of 
liquor, or any other accidental circumftance 


( 79 ) 

might give a paufc to labour; it mighty 
I thinks be atterided with beneficial con- 


It was formerly the univerfal cuftom to 
introduce curers^ or> thatch-flicks^ about 
fcvcn in number, into. the hogfheads, prc- 
vioufly to the potting of the fugar, ia 
order to form drains for the difcharge of 
the molaffes : the confequenee was^ that 
a hard crufl was.foon formed around the 
fides, and the fyrups were of courfe rather 
confined in the intermediate fpaces^ than 
fufFered to depurate. Thefe flicks are, I 
believe, now almofl entirely exploded ; the 
fugar certainly cures full as well, if not 
better, without them; the molalTes willi 
find their own out-lets; and, let the cafks 
be ever fo tight, they will work, a ready 
way through the crevices and the knots of 
the timber of which they are made; and 
that hogfhead that goes full from the 
plantation, will (land a better chance of 
arriving fo at the barguadier: as, the mo- 
tion of the carts will naturally break the 



( 8o ) 

cruft around the vacant bales which the 
curcfs had occafioned; and of courre^ when 
tb^ become filled up, the cafk cannot have 
the appearance of being. fulK^ 

Some people repack and ram their bog« 
flicads at the barguadier, .by which meand 
the weight of each will be much aug-« 
mented; but then, is there not much 
wafte occafioned by thtis ftarting the pro- 
duce from one to another? Is there not 
much pilferage and trouble obferved in 
this pra^ice ? Is not the grain confiderably 
broken^ and hence the molafles fet a-< 
draining? Are they not more apt to be 
fcrewed^ and injured on board of (hip, than 
4toore light, and hence more iafe, as more 
convenient caiks could poflibly be? 

The common fize of a fugar-*hogfhead 
is forty- two inches in height, and thirty- 
fix acrofs the head; and it is not an eaiy 
matter to make one of thofe dimenfions, 
when well cured and quite full, to con-^ 
tain toore than fifteen hundred weight of 


good ibgat: if fUled with that Which Is 
manufadured upon htlly and dry land, 
it will very feldom turn ottt fo much» 
If therefort two hundred Weight more 
be forced into the caflc^ already full, it 
18 eafy to conceive how much the hoope 
and the ftaves will be ftraincd> and confe*^ 
^quently how liable to be broken in the 
cartage to the wharf> or when fcrewed into 
itbe hold of a ihip« 

We will fuppofe that one hundred tons 
of produce fhall be conveyed from a plan-^ 
tation to market^ in caiks of the common 
fi2e> and (hall be (hipped without being 
opened and filled up. If that quantity be 
jftarted into other hogfheads, the total 
inreight thuft naturally be dimini(hed by 
Wade, theft, and drainage : befides, if this 
pradice be adopted to fave ftaves> hoop?> 
or wharfage, the fappofed gain will be 
found not only trifling, but fallacious; if 
to fave wharfage^ it is true that er^hteea 
hundred weight of fugar will not pay 

Vqx,» IL G more 

( 82 ) 

fnore than fourteen hundred t. but t mvtft 
in fifty . that where it (hall be re-packed^ 
the proportion of the original hundred 
tons will be ultimately found to turn out 
lefs. A planter cannot be deceived in 
his amount of produce^ if he will flrike an 
average of fixteen hundred weight upon 
all his fugar made in the crop. 

Having made many experiments myfelf 
(and experiments in Jamaica are generally 
attended with expence and lofs), I am able, 
in fome meafure, to fpeak from convidlioni 
and I do not know whether tierces, three 
of which ought to contain as much as two 
very large hogftieads, will not deliver their 
contents more free from lofs and damage, 
in England, than cafks of any dimenfion 

The hogsheads fliould be certainly well 
cured, and quite full, before they leave the 
plantation: they fhould be carefully and 
fubftantially made; and if fome additional 


( 83 ) 

hoo'ps were to be added, to make theril 
knor^ compadl aiid ftrong, the planter, as 
Well as the merchant, and the o\^ners of 
veflels, would be gainers by it. 

Some overfeers pot their fugar extremely 
fcold; and fome, on the contrary, com* 
parativcly hot. Both pfadices, I thinks 
are wrong: the heat (hould be moderate 
and eqiial ; and this may be eafily efFedled> 
provided the coolers be of proper number^ 
convenience, and £ze. Cold fugar put 
tipon hot> or hot upon cold, are ihi- 
propel*; Hot do I think the pains thai 
are fometimes taken to varnifh over the 
tops of the bog(heads with that which i^ 
in an almoil liquid ftate, or covering them 
With a wet blanket, are found to be other-* 
wife than deceptive* 

Of the qi;kantity 6f Ibads of canfes that 
Will be fufEcient, when exprefled, to fill 
i hogfliead, the calculations muft bje va- 
rious, and muft depend upon foil, Htua-^ 

G 2 tion. 

( 84 ) 

hoD, ami climate; and, after thefe, npps 
experience^ ilrength and ioduflry. Upo^ 
ftrong> hilly land» they require invariably 
lefs than they do upon the plains where 
the juice is not fo much concoSed, and 
popfequendy not fo ricih : upon the former 
I hay^ known the liquor contained in 
eight cart-loads of canes^ fufficient^ when 
boiled^ to fill a hog(head ; when upoa the 
fiat land of the fame eftate^ it has taken at 
lead; twenty. 

Of the number of gallons of liquor tp 
return fixteen hundred weight otf fugar^ it 
is likewife impoflible to fix a general rub 
of eftimation> as this will likewife depend 
lupon the circumftances above defcribedi 
but then too, as the juice of the canes upon 
hilly land is more rlch^ {q ml), of courftb 
a lefs confiderable number of gallons make 
a hog(head, than what will be found to d6 
upon. flat lands and even upon that of this 
laft defer! ptiouy it mufi: vary according to 
the qualities of the foili the exad; perfect 


( 85 ) 

ttoti In which the caoes ife cut, and the 
celerity and judgment with which the 
liquor is boiled. 

I have known it take up6n fbthe eftate^s 
and in fome years, from three to five thou- 
fand gallons of liquor to make a hogflbead 
of fagar ; and at other times it has hot 
required eighteen hundred; and upon hilly 
land I have known a hogihead of fugat 
made from thirteen hundred gallons, when 
fixteen hundred would have been con«> 
iidered as very extraordinary yielding. In 
proportion as «^ the cafk exceeds eighteen 
hundred gallons of liquor, the yielding 
will become comparatively bad;; and of 
courfe the lefs it takes below this pro*« 
portion, the more favoutable will the 
yielding be; fo that, if the canes at tho 
beginning of the crop do not exceed two 
thblifand gallons, the overf(rer need not 
complain, but may puith forward his bar-* 
veft with the rcafonable hope that the 
canes will dally continue to yield an addi«« 

G 3 tional . 

' ( 

( S6 > 

tional quantity of produce^ with ^ reduc<«^ 
tion of materials. 

The more dry the canes are^ the Icfs 
liqubr will they of courfe yield; but then 
ii will go farther in proportian of fugar; 
I am, however, of opinion, that quantity 
is better than quality; and hence it is, 
that flat eflates make more fer acre th?ii\ 
the hilly lands can dq. 

Upon fome eflates the crop will depend 
qpon the proportion of plants; , and upon 
others, almoft entirely upon ratoons: and 
they will even make more from a fecond 
or third, than they will from the firft ciiti 
and there are others that will hardly bear 
ipore than a plant, inafmuch as the firft 
\v^ill be hardly worth a cleaning. 

Ratoon canes will, upon all proper- 
ties, and in all feafons, generally make 
the beft produce; yet are there exceptions 
(9 this rule. The fugar that is pianu- 


( 87 ) 

fa^ured from plants* if upon ftrong Iand» 
is, I think, of a better grain^ though 
not perhaps of fo fair a complexion as 
that which is producecl from ratoonsi and, 
in confequence of its texture, will be 
more heavy at the barguadier : what the 
latter therefore gains in colour, it is 
known to lofc in weight. 

Of the fpecific yielding of canes, it is 
difficillt to determine, as this will vary 
upon all foils, with the feafons, with the 
cultivation, and with the time of cutting. 

If plant-canes make upon an average 
two hogHieads an acre round, it is un-r 
commonly great yielding; if an hogfhead 
and a half, it is more than one eftate in 
ten will give.; if only one, it may be a 
faving average. ' 

An hogfliead an acre from ratoons, is 

what very few pieces upon an eftate will 

yield : three quarters is a good propor- 

^. G4 tion^ 

{ $8 ) 



tioni and half a h(^(h€ad» I hzr, will be 
above the common medium: and thcie 
proportions^ within my expcrteacc^ I havo 
fcldom kn«wn^ for a numbe^r of ycaraa 
^pon the grofs^ exceeded* 

Some properties have been known ta 
make a hogfhead for evety acre of canes 
that has been cut; but as fuch favorable 
yielding has not come more thah onco 
under my knowledge^ I am difpofed 10 
think it fingular; and I have heard of 
others that have made an hogftiead of fugar, 
and a puncheon of rum, for every flave 
and head of cattle upon the plantation: 
but here I mud obferve, that I have taken 
it upon hear-fay. but have not had an op- 
portunity to fubftantiate (he fadfc. 

Of the value of ^n hog0iead of fugar^ 
much mufl depend upon the quality of the 
produce^ and upon the (ize of the caik; 
sixteen pounds flerling is a good price^ in 
the time of peace; but in that ""of warj^ 
the lit ft muil: be bad» and the laft lightj. 


( 89 ) 

if it do not exceed twenty; and fome have 
been known to reach^ if not to nett» mom 
than double this laft'-mentioned fum* 

If a puncheon of rum (bdl give lefe thaa 
ten pounds^ h is barely a fairing price; but 
daring the laft war^ it frequently produced 
frosi fifteen to twenty pounds and up* 
wards. In war*-tiniC9 Jamaica is the be^ 
market for fugar» and London for ram;: 
in the time of peace, I (faould prefer the 
former for both : the price is not only 
better for the ^vA arricie, and the wafter 
and drainage of the paflage favtid ; but the^ 
feller gains twelve pounds of ftett fogar in 
every hundred Weight, and is likewilb^ 
allowed the value of the caflc 

A planter who is independent (but ireiy 
few are fo)^ who fells his produce in the 
Ifland, and who pays rum for his contin«» 
gencies, proviiions, and ftores, can make 
one hundred ' hog(heads of Jfugar produce 
more than ifs can who is obliged to con*-' 
fign one hundred and £fty to Europe: 


( 90 ) 

and this is a poiition \vhich cannot^ I be-* 
lieve, be controverted. 

Having already been too prolix and too 
minute in my defcription of the produce 
of the cane^ I (hall take the liberty, before 
Idefcribe the continuance and conclufion 
of the crop, and dwell upon the different 
qualities of the land upon which this fin* 
gular plant is cultivated, to take notice of 
jbme images of rural concern which are 
common at that period of the harveft, 
when the operations of fugar*making are 
£air advanced, when the young canes want 
a cleaning, the curing-houfe is become 
6ill^ and the overfeer of confequence fends 
down the produce to the barguadier^ 

At this time the boilers, the feeders, . 
the mule^boys, and the tra(h*carriers, are 
drawn off from the works, and . are fet-in 
to clean, and to pull off the firft trafh from 
the canes, and to put them into fuch order 
a€ not to require any further attention un-i 
til the crop ihall be completely finifhed. 


( 91 ) 

This labour of ^he fieljd has been a1« 
f eady defcribed in thp earlier ftages of the 
cane, in the plantingrfeafon, anci admit 
not of courfeof more variety than has beea: 
there explained^ 

9 r 

» • , * • 

• » 

The wains and mules may be, indeed^ 
occdfionally employed, for a few days after 
the mill is flopped, in carting home the 
rum -canes, or tops for the covering of 
the trafli-houfcs and the negro-huts: the 
mill may be kept occafionally about at 
night, to grind the former, or perhaps 
during the day, fhould there be a fufficient 
quantity to exprefs : and I cannot help 
again enforcing the necefiary obfervance 
qf this pr^^ice. - > 

The coopers are now bufily employed 
in heading-up the hogQieads, making tight 
the puncheons, and rolling the cafks. The 
waggons and the carts are attending at the 
curing-houfe and the ftill-houfe, to receive 
t^eir different loads : the firft of which 
will, in g?nefal carry four hoglheads, or 



/ ( 92 ) - 

6rt ^ncheons, and art dtkWn by tdi 
exefn; fbtlattcF^ tw6 hogflieads, or three 
puncheons^ and »t woj^ked b^ tight ^ for 
«t tbe firft carting-down of tile produce^ 
I fuppofe the roads to be good and "even, 
the cattle ftrong^ and the weather dry and 

There is certainly mueh animation, as 
there is much intereft^ in the profpeift of 
due conveyance of what, in its lail perfec- 
tion in the Ifland, wx anticipalted with fo 
itiiich uncertainty and dread i and theinan^ 
however little inclined to worldly affairs, 
eaiHibt help numbering, in imagination^ 
Ihtt <A&$ tha(t pafs before his eyes, parti- 
cul^ly as he eftipates his means by ihp 
weight of the loads^ and the recurrence 
ciif the journey « 

You now he^ th« heavy wagjg)&A« thuil* 

dering along the roads, and behold tht 

^ unwieldy oxen with a ttiomentat^ txertioii 

iftcrec^ their pace vip&h tht kvel l^d, 

or fee th«ir motion impelled by the f6U 


( 93 ) 

lowing; ImpuTfe adown the gentle depref^ 
iioQ of a hiJiU th« €ha^Q$ r9.ttUng» tlie 
whips ecchoiogf aod thcdmerafhoutmg} 
ffae daft now rifing and afcending in ca-» 
lumnsy and then like a mill: di^pcrfing in 
the ait; while the hories, the herds, aod 
%\kt flocks^ difturbed by the coafafion <^ 
Ibund^ and the approaching uptoar^ food 
acrofs the pa^jluires* and. then cetura and 
^redt their h9ads» as if ia defiance of what 
fo late alarmed them; and again : reclsBe 
their necks, and btow^e the Icasty pa£« 
torageoCthe land, which appears or wfai«Q 
with daft, or of a rullet hue occaiioned bf 
the continued drynefs of the weather^ 


When th^ arrive aft the what::^ atiii the 
eaiks are either rolled into the floree o^ 
jtbedsy or into, a contrement fituation §q4 
the b^ts to receive them, the fcene is va^^ 
dons, IMrely, and amnfing. 

Here (bind the patient onn, and the 
iRtains ot empty or unloading; here ^ heap 
«f logwood, there x pile of boards^ and 


( H ) 

6h on6 fide a mafs of ftaves and diingtcs; 
while in the intermediate fpace betweeil 
that and the fea is tibferved a confufion of 
hogiheads and puncheons rolJing out from 
the different buildings, and by degrees en-** 
cumbering the wharf, which, projefting 
into the water, appears to be a prominfcnt 
feature of the general fcenery : the • fpiral 
mafts of the craft on each fide <Jr rife or fall, 
according to the fwelling or depreflion of 
the fea; while the boats become more aad 
more ftationary> in proportion to the com- 
pletion of their loading ; and thefe fail off 
with a frefli breeze (the waves murmuring 
under, and breaking around their keels) 
to the different vefTels that expe(St them 
in the harbour, or ftand off and on to re- 
ceive the lafl trip of ftores, or to wait 
for their pafifengers in the offing. 


So foon as the firfl beams of the morning 
are obferved to glimmer upon, and to illu- 
minate the waves, the canoes are feen with 
emulation to cut the waters, and appear 
at a diilance like moving dots upon the 
, bofom 

( 95 ) 

bofom of the ocean* They now attain th« 
(hipping, and either make their markets 
on board, or put off again» and are for a 
time loft amidft their (hadowy hulls, and 
at laft appear upon the poliihed expanfc^ 
and by vifible degrees attain the (hore« 
The little veflels are drawn upon the fandt 
and, either protedted by (beds, or covered 
by the gr^en expaniion of the fpreading 
mangrove, refign the produce of the night, 
with which the fiflierman enlivens the 
voluptuary with a difplay of the jew-fi(h, 
the hog-fiih, the fnapper, or the fnouk« 
or contents the more humble appetite with 
the grunt, the mullet, and the fprat« 

The more opulent fifhermen are now 
feen to put forth their large canoes, and 
to (boot the heavy feine with all its mefbes 
into the cove i one iide of which is pro* 
tedled by a tremendous mafs of broken 
rocks, and richly fringed with a variety 
of trees ; or adorned by rampant fhrubs and 
^reading weedS| that begin their fource of 
vegetation in the difierent crevices, and 

Voif, IJ- put 

( 96 ) 

put out and fpread their blofToms and 
their leaves^ in various and fantaftic (hoots, 
acrofs the unequal furfaces; or hang, as 
if enamoured of the quiet and refieifling 
fheets of water that are fpread beneath 
their penfile withes and gay profufion, in 
contraft to the glittering fands that are 
faintly reflected from below. 

On the oppofite (horc, and rifing with a 
gentle fwell from the borders of the ocean, 
is obferved a rich arid (hady bank, adorned 
with groups of trees of enormous height, 
and depth of foliage ; and among their 
tufted branches is plainly diftinguiihed the 
whifpering thatch -tree with its fantaftic 
ftem and pendant leaves, which feem to 
arreft the (zephyrs as they pafs, and to, 
allay, by their gentle afpirations and their 
tremors, the intenfity of heat which the 
fea-breeze, with its firft vifitation, begins to 
remove, and which, foftly ftealing over the 
glajflfy mirror, is feen, by degrees, to rufHe 
its quiefcent furface, and to occafion the 
up^lifted waves to break in (hort and (rc^ 


( 91 ) 

queht tipples upon the beach, tr to beat 
with drowzy murmur again ft, or to wafli 
the bafes oU the jutting rocks that oppofe 
their pafTage to the (hore. 

The bottom of the bay that lis formed 
by the pidurefque projections above de- 
fcribed^ appears a curve, behind which si 
tozd is elevated above the fands. Which 
winds among fhfubs and underwood^ that 
are backed by mountains of an immenfe 
height, and which are romanticly clothed 
wijth a variety of trees, through which no 
fun-beam darts to illume their mafies, and 
to cheer their glooms. The traveller ij» 
now feen to afcend a rifing hill: the eyd 
perceives him at a diftancet he now fol«« 
lows the beaten track through the em- 
bowering lane, in which he is foir a mi- 
nute loff : he turns^ and is obvious again i 
till at laft he difappears, and imagination 
is left to (hape his future journey. ^ 


The cove which I am endeavouring to 

(iefcribe, prefents one of the moft tranquil 

Vol. IL H and 

( 98 ) 

and plcafing fcenes I have ever obfervedj 
and I have had frequent opportunities of 
dwelling upon its varieties, fome of the 
leading features of which I have only 

. There are feveral large rocks that repre- 
fent the ruins of majeftic bridges, and 
which guard the entrance into this am- 
phitheatre of beauty; and it is within 
thefe that I fuppofe the fifhermen to 
uncoil their nets, to fearch for riches, 
where they are fo bountifully given to pa- 
tience and to induftry, in the depths of 
the ocean; and that they perfevere, with 
animation and with fkill, in that occupa- 
tion which not only procures pleafure, is 
it is attended with health, but which like- 
wife rewards their labours with profit and 
abundance^ at the fame time that it admi- 
niflers to the wants and the luxuries of 

There are but few bbjefts in landfcape- 
painting, that are more pleafing than a 


( 99 ) 

f*eep of waters not too extenfive, and irt 
which is plainly marked the curve of thd 
net, the corks of which, as they float upon 
the furfaccj are fecn to rife or fink accoi"d- 
ing to the undulations of the wave, arid ill 
which the meflies are bbfervfed to be re- 
fledted, 'and to cut into angles, as it were^ 
the cryftals of the fea. The appearance 
of the boats from which it is launched^ 
the pidurefque attitudes of their conduc- 
tors, the folemn impreflions of every thing 
around, the rtielahcholy gurgling of the 
fwell that breaks around the keels^ the fe- 
clufion of the cove^ and the tranquillity of 
the ebb or flow, have fuch eflfeds upon the 
lover of Nature, and upon the rnind of 
him who delights in contemplation and 
retirement, as hardly any other pyrfuit cart 
(o particularly and fo pleafingly afford* 

The fubjeA of .fifhing has beeii ia fa- 
vourite with the beii of ancient and modern 
poets 3 and, indeed, every idea that con- 
dudls us to the obfervation of watcr^ in 
cither its quiefcent or ruffled ftate, is at- 

H 2 tended 

( lOO ) 

tended with a kind of melancholy pleafure, 
whether it be indulged in a morning walk, 
while the firft beams of the fun begin to 
dance upon the waves> or whether we ob- 
ferve the moon to filver over the trembling 
bofom of the waters. 

When cv'ning luU^ the zephyr's breath to flcep. 
The boat defcending cuts the placid deep; 
Smooth flows the wave, the prow delibVate glides. 
And a deaf murmur foothes the gurgling tides* 
The breeze, with gentle progrefs, now invades 
The tufted woods, and whifpcrs 'midft their fhades. 
Where, perch'd upon fome branch, or wither'd fpray. 
The fcath'ry tribes attune their matin lay : 
And now th' increafing afpirations reach 
The waves that fcarcely wafli the fandy bcach^ 
But, foon converted into billows, pour 
Their breaking furges on the founding Ihore. 

The firft four lines are taken from one 
of the Carmina Quadragefimalia, a publica- 
tion that is full of variety and claffic beauty; 
and the originals of which, while they fpeak 
for themfelves, will deted: the weakncfs 
with which they have been trariflated. 

<< Cum 

( loi ) 

*< Ctiin zephyrorum omnis rcfidet fub vcfporc flatus^ 
** Lento dcfccndit marmore cymba Icvis. 

<< Sternitur unda iilens late; fola aequore toto 
** Lenia prolabens murmura prora ciet." 

The beginning of the Tenth Cantata of 
Metaftafio, feems very appofite to the ob- 
fervations I have ventured to make. 

** Giala notte s'avvicina: 

<^ Vieni, o Nice, amato bene, 

** Delia placida marina 

** Le frefch' aure a rcfpirar.- 

*< Non fa dir che fia diletto 

" Chi non pona in quelle arene, 
<« Or che un lento zcffiretto 
<* Dolccmentc increfpa il mar." 

The night already draweth near : 
Come then, my Nicey, come, my dear. 
And from the ftill, tranfparent feas, 
Inhale the frefh and balmy breeze. 

Thou canft not tell with what delight 
Th' inviting fands refleft the light. 
How plaintively the zephyrs figh 
To curling billows their reply. 

I can, even at this diftance, ahnofl fancy 
Bayfelf to be walking over the filver fands 

H 3 that 

( J^^ ) 

that glitter upon the fequeftered beach 
above defcribcd; that I obferve in my walk 
the wains defcending from a neighbouring 
hill; and that I behold^ at a little diflance^ 
a romantic and a ruined wharf, that is em- 
bofomed in a rock, and hung over with 
withes and flaunting bowers, to which the 
age and majefty of the overhanging trees 
have given protedion and growth, 

I now obferve the fifherraen, in imagi- 
nation, to thread a path among the brambles 
and the bufties, in queft of fome retired fpot 
upon which' they may repofc and roaft their 
fifh, unfeen by curiofity, and undifturbed 
by noife, except it be the flutter of parrots, 
or of .pigeons, among the branches around; 
or the fcream of the aquatic birds that are 
alternately fwimming, or diving among 
thp rocks ; or of the numerous flocks that 
leave the mountains in the morning, or of 
thofe that come from the diftant feas> to 
rood upon the forefc-boughs by night. 


( 103 ) 

While fomc are faftening their canoes, 
and ftretching their nets upon poles to dry, 
there are others employed in bearing the 
finny loads, and fomc in carrying wood, 
or preparing the fire for the gratifications 
of hunger, the comforts of warmth, or the 
focial converfe that the pipe occafions. 

The ruddy flames are now feen afpiring 
among the bufties ; the adjoining rocks arc 
confcious of the blaze, and the fea returns 
its cheerful luftre. 

There is a fomething in the drawing of 
a feine, that occafions a pleafing impa- 
tience ; and the variety of fiflies, of diffe- 
rent fizes and kinds, that are taken within 
its fweep, cannot fail to intereft our cu- 
rlofity, as well as frequently to excite 
our feelings. 

When a (hoal of mullets is about to be 
inclofed in the net, the fea appears to be 
alive: they dart like lightning from the 
water; they leap over the inclofurc; and 

H 4 having 

( 104 ) 


having regained tljeir liberty, they (hoot 
down into the depths of the ocean. 

The lines are now drawn with gentleneis 
nnd caution: a refinance is felt; a turtle 
is now feen floating upon the farface; ^ it 
plunges again to the fands ; the fi(h of $ 
middling fize are caught in the me(hes ; 
the fmaller fry efcape; the larger fpecies 
are taken out, and brought on fhore; and 
the poor unrefifting turtle is caught at the 
bottom of the feinei and while he lighs io 
captivity, his lufcious weight is doomed to 
fatisfy the unfeeling glutton, or is fent to 
England as a gift to wealth and indepen-t 

I cannot refrain from conveying the ideas 
pf BChwgJrom the fea, to follow and de-* 
fcribe this occupation in the rivers i which 
will, I fear, branch out thefe remarks into 
an inordinate length, and vs^hich may rather 
difguft, than amufe, the patient and liberal 
^ttenuori of my readers. 


( '^5 ) 

From the latter end of February to the 
))eginning of Aprils if the weather fiiall 
have been^ as it cotnmoDly is at this pe-* 
riod» at all dry, the rivers .wiU>be lovir, and 
hence more convenient for fifhing; and 
the manner in which the calapavres are 
taken, as . I have feen it pradiied, prefents 
a very rural and a pleafing pidure. 

A dam is made, before the commence^ 
ment of the fport, acrofs fome particular 
portion of the river, by which it is* known^ 
from experience, that the fi(h muft pafs $ 
and at the bottom of this dam, and at 
gVven diftances, are depofited a number of 
fifh-pots, into which thoie calapavres dart^ 
which do not venture to throw, themfelves 
above the furface of the water. 

The net is launched into the deeper parts 
of the river above, and is gently drawn 
adown the current by the perfevering 
ilrength and labour of the negroes, who 
are, in fome places, obliged to dive, and 
to remain a conf^derable time below, to 


( io6 ) 

clear the weights, when entangled by logs 
of woQcl, or rocks, or weeds; or to draw 
it, with confidcrable fatigue and exertion, 
when fwimming through the deeper ba- 
fons of the ftr^am. Thefe flounce on one 
iide, and thofe diilurb the filence of the 
.banks on the other; while fome remaia 
behind,. to fee that the corks proceed with- 
out impediment, and that the finny tribes 
Aq not efcape their vigilance and toil. 

So foon as they come to a convenient 
fpot to inclofe and take their game, a 
pieafing fcene of contention is obferved: 
the waters are difl:urbed, and the timid in- 
habitants dart here and there: fome efcape 
from the toils, but are perceived, by the eye ' 
of vigilance, and diftruft, to fwim with ve* 
locity through the (hallows which a ledge 
^f rocks has made: they now come to a 
narrow paflfage, in which their flight is 
made uncertain by their fears; when all at 
once, with a fuddcn fl:roke, the gagged 
-harpoon arrefts their courfe, difcolours the 
waters with their blood, and throws them 


( JO? ) 

out the writhing vidims to. a want of 
cunnings and a facrifice to the arts of 

The fifli are ordained to bear their fuf- 
ferings without the fighs or murmurs of 
complaint; and may even teach the phi- 
lofopher this leflbo — to bq refigned and 
mute in death. 

Who can behold, within the filver brook. 
The worm convuls'd upon the barbed hook; 
Or fee, with brutal and with fond defirc. 
The gaudy perch in agonies expire ; 
Or, without tendernefs of mind, behold 
The panting carp refign his fcales of gold; 
And which, when once it has foregone its breathy 
Jlegales the glutton by the pangs of death ? 

^^ The verieft beetle that we tread upon^ 
** In corp'ral fufPrance feels as great a pang 
^* As when a giant (Jies." 

What a fublime idea is this of Shake- 
fpeare! How very pathetic, and how true! 
He felt, he wrote like man; but who can 
Jiumanife the brute ? 


( io8 ) 

The net is now reduced from a large 
iwccp, into an apparent oval : the fiflier- 
men are all attentive; they drag with cau- 
tion : a fi(h is feen to occafion the corks 
a momentary tremor; and down at once 
a diver plunges : the filver fcales of ano- 
ther are juft feen to glimmer in the wa- 
ters; a fecond defcends, and fecures his 
prize: a third is ftruggling in the meflies; 
and a third negro arrefts it by the gills, 
and throws it gafping on the (hore. Some, 
more expert than others, will bring up one 
in each hand; and others will afcend with 
their prey, convulfed in agonies, between 
their teeth: and I have even known a 


fifherman call out to his comrades, to feize 
upon one that was ftruggling beneath his 

The net is clofed, and its contents exa* 
mined : the fmaller fifli, as before defcribed, 
are taken ; the larger have efcaped : the fifli- 
pots are fearched, and in fome are two or 
three enormous calapavres found, which 
were taken in their endeavours to efcape. 


( 109 ) 

The dam is repaired, the pote re-fet, and 
the feine is carried down to a lower part of 
the Aream* 

The river is now Teen to tumble over a 
ledge of rocks^ into the fides of which it 
has drilled a'fucceflion of caverns. The 
negroes dive into, and explore the fubtcr- 
raneous retreats, nor heed the refounding 
catarad that thunders over head, or that 
engulphs them in the hafty vortex below. 

A head is feen to emerge from the depth > 
of waters, and the voice gives a promife of. 
abundance of game: it fuddenly defcends 
again into the noify element, but foon rifes 
with a double confirmation of hope, and 
vigilance is accordingly proportioned to. 
the expectations of fuccefs. 

A fifh is driven from the hole in the 
rock: it afcends the cataract; it cuts its. 
way with precipitation, but its fqales are 
feen: the net is turned to receive him,. 


( It^ ) 

ihould he efcape the aquatic chafe : thi 
negroes dive at once, and follow him ihto 
the depths below: they drive him berii 
and th?y overtake him there: hd endea- 
vours to elude them, but da(hes upon the 
lair> and is fecured and taken. 


The game being now driven froili on* 
part of the river to another, they at lad 
take refuge in a deep and capacious hole^ 
which being encumbered with flumps and 
bulhes, will not admit of the drawi/ig 
of the feine, but which is in cbnfeqiience . 
ilretched out to guard the avenuiss, and to 
prevent a too fudden efcape. , ' ' 

It is in fuch a fituation, that the fkill^ 
the labour, and the perfeverance of the 
negroes^ are •the moft obfervable : and it iS 
amazing how adroit and fuccefsful they are 
found to be. They may be abfolutely faid 
not only to intimidate, but to drive the 
fifhes from their natural element; for if they 
cannot take them by hand from the meihed 


( 1" ) 

of the net| on account of the many obftruc-* 
tions in the holes to which they retreat, 
they will ftill, by perfeverance and alarm, 
expel them from their holds^ and driire 
them into (hallow water, where they may 
he more eaiily purfued and overtaken. 

I have fcen a negro dive into the cham- 
bers of a rock, and in a few minutes bring 
out at lead a dozen mullets, and fome- 
times one in each hand; while others, 
who were not acquainted with the flream, 
could not, with the afliftance of flies and 
nets, even capture a folitary one. 

Of all the diverfions in Jamaica, this 
fpecies of fifliing was that in which I took 
the moil delight, a^ the river in which this 
fport was purfued, prefented at every turn 
fome pleafing or. romantic view. 

In fome places the waters were feen to 
(hine among the branches of the diftant 
trees; in others, to glide with a quick and 



C "2 ) 

fioify courfe between adjcnniog hills; Mfttfe 
here colle<fted in a deep and capacious ba*- 
fon 1 and lower down were feen to preci-^ 
pitate themfelvet in focceffive and re^ 
founding fdlls^ and thus continued to vary* 
their courfe and their appearance, until 
they became almoft ftagnant to the fight> 
and hardly feemed to creep amidft the 
arches of the bridge, or to wafti the rufhes 
and the grafs that grew fpontaneoufly upon 
their borders. 

Not far from the above-mentioned river 
is another very ftrikingly romantic, from 
the blacknefs of its ftream, the mango- 
trees that darken its furface, and the roots 
of which are iingular and fantaflic in their 
growth and appearance; and to add to 
the awful impreffions of the fcene, the 
iformidable alligator is often* obferved to 
fun himfelf upon the banks, or to float 
an apparent log upon the heavy and un« 
wholefome waters. The land through 
which this * lazy current flows^ is cor<> 


( "3 ) 

tifpohdent t6 its fccmingly peftiferoiis cur- 
rent, and is the nurfery and the afylum 
of toads, of fand«flies, and mufquitoes; 
ahd i^ not calculated for the refidence of 
any animals but fuch as are cxpreflive of 
iicknefs and difguft: and yet the aiud-fi{h 
is found in the higheft perfedion, in thi^ 
lethargic flream; and the delicious.crab is 
fattened in thofe moraiTcs with which it is 
on every fide furrounded; Thus Nature^ 
l>enevolent in every thiiljg, vouchfafes to 
make that land which is not fit for thii 
cultivation of man, td produce fponta-» 
ntoully, and in abundance^ not bnly the 
comforts, but the luxuries of life^ 

While the wains art ckri'ying; down the 
produce to the barguadier^ it mky eafily be 
imagined bow many fituations they muil 
pafs, that are beautiful from retirement^ 
delightful fi-om the lapfe of rivers and tb|e 
windings of the roads, magnificent from 
mountains and from rocks^ tretnetidous 
from the roaring of torrents and the head- 

( "4 ) 

long fall of cataradsy or fablime from the 
extremities of diflance> the wafliings of the 
farge/ and the interminable confines of the 

ocean 4 


In fome parts arc obferved temporal^ 
hovels for the logwood-chippers, wboie 
axes are heard to refound from the depths 
of the wood, and who, divided into dif- 
ferent grbups, and traverfing the glooms 
in various directions, prefent a fcene c^ 
buftle and variety, that would not dif«- 
grace a better defcription, nor be unworn 
thy of the fketches of an artift. 

Some are felling the heavy timber, and 
fpme with their bills are lopping the 
branches; while others, fitting upon the 
roots or fiumps, are chipping ofif the bark, 
while their children are fcrambling in 
little parties around them. 

' The huts that are eredled for this pur- 
pofe, are removed from place to pljfce^ 


according to the convenience of labour^ 
and wherever iituatedj have a very fimple 
and rural appearance. On the £des of the 
jrpads are heaped- up the wood as fafl at 
chipped, and where ;it lies in readinefs for 
the waggons and the carts, and with which 

[they ffaould be loaded while the weather 
continues dryi for fofoon as the rains fetr 
in, from the frequency of their journies 
to and from the different wharfs, they 
are very fbon cut up, and not only made 
diftrefHogly heavy, but very often almofi: 

So foon as all the produce ihall be carted 
.down, that is fufEciehtly cured, it be- 
comes neceflkry to pufh on the remainder 
of the crop, while the weather continues 
favourable, and for fear that the canes 
i^ould fufier from drought. 

If the rains do not fet in until the lat^ 
ter end of April, but the country be ia 
the mean time refreshed by temporary 
ihowers, the harveft will, by that tipa^, 

1 2 draw 

( ii6 ) 

draw very near to a conclufionj but if thfc 
feafbns (liould begin about this period^ it 
will be prudent to draw ofF the negroes to . 
the fupply of the old, or a plantation of 
new canes ; which, if compkted with ex- 
pedition, and a few dry weeks fhould fu^ 
pervene, the procefs of fugar-makmg wiJl 
foori be terminated ; and the planter (hould 
think himfelf fortunate in having had {o 
favourable a year. 

If the crop (hall be fioKhed in April, and 
all the following month (hall happen to be 
dry, very little produce will then be left 
upon the ranges of the curing-houfe, or in 
the flill«houfe ; and of courfe the cattle 
will be much relieved, when the rains 
ihall be heavy and continual : and it is ' 
therefore of infinite confequence that the 
mill fhould be put about as early in the 
year as pofllble, that the heavy part of the 
harveft may be finiflied while the weather 
is dry and favourable^ the produce carried 
down while th^ roads are good, and that 
thf canes, as before obferved, may have 


( "7 > 

-an early cleaning. It is certainly better to 
lofe a littld at the beginning of the crop> 
than to ran the rifle of lofing much at the 
end: befides, that eftate which is late in 
its operations one year, will beofconfe- 
quence fomewhat backward the next. 

The prpcefs of fugar-making is certainly 
pleafing when the weather is favourable^ 
and the canes are yielding well: and an 
eftate that makes two hundred hog(heads 
of fugar, in favourable feafons, one year 
with another, ii boiling at the rate of 
fifteen hogfheads a week ; and other pro- 
perties> more or lefs^ according to their 
eontraifUon or extent ; but when the con« 
trary happens, no operation can be more 
dull and tedious. 

When the oxen are creeping with a 
fcarccly-perceptible motion through the 
deep and heavy intervals, or their neckff 
are fhaken and their {boulders wrung by 
the irregular and diftrefling draught of the 
wains through the large and flippery ruts ;. 
Qr when their progrefs is impeded by the 

1 3 imjneofe 

( "8 ) 

immenfe ftones which have hten rolled 
in to pave thofe places that were uncom« 
mon)/ bad, and from which the rains have 
wafhed the mould, and the wheels fa 
conftantly removed them — when they la- 
bour under fuch difadv^ntages as thefe, at 
the rifk of their limbs, if not their lives, 
a few paltry hogflicads of fugar will hardly 
ipake amends for their diHrefs, or for the 
other \oScs that are the confequence of a 
late and tedious harveft. 

At the fetting-in of the rains, every 
thing about the works looks idle, cold, 
and cheerlefs: the negroes are indolent and 
uncomfortable; the mules droop, and th& 
carts are very flow in the depofit of thei^ 
burdens. Sometimes, perhaps, for a whole 
day together, there is only one folitary load 
of canes to be feen at the mill : it often 
waits many hours together for a fcanty 
ibpply: the coppers are not half full of 
liquor; and that perhaps is fobbing over 
a declining fire, or perhaps all but one or 
two are entirely empty, and the boilers 


( "9 ) 

Iptinging abquti or fallen afleep. The fa« 
gar begins to give; the curing-houfe is 
W€^ apd clam my ; the mill-yard is full of 
tra/h and filth; ; and in (hart the face of 
Native^ ajid the works of man^ feem to 
put OA a inelancholy change. 

At this uncomfortable conclufion of the 
liarveft^ aj^d s^midfl: the paufes which the 
de^ay of canes fo conftantly occafions^ there 
are impreffions that awaken the mind to a 
pariicnlar caft of reflection, and in which, 
when contrafted with the lately regular 
and adtivQ fcene, I have very freq^uently 

'J'here is fomething extremely affedt- 
ingj vvh(;n there is but little water upon 
the wheel, in bbferving its revolving 
motion, and in attending to the me- 
lanchply murmur of the rills that gently 
fall from one bucket into anotherj while 
perhaps fomc poor afHid^d mourner is 
heard, in one corner of the mill-houfe« 
pouripg out her complaints in gentle iighs 

1 4 and 

( I20 ) 

and falling tears, in fad refponfes to tho 
lingering drops; and while die reds upon 
her empty bafket, and lives perhaps un- 
friended, unconnedted, and unnoticed, upon 
the plantation, the thoughts of her di- 
ilant country, her connexions, and her 
friends, at once ruih upon her mind, and 
excite her fighs into tempeds, and increafc 
to torrents the gudiing of her tears; for, 
although infenfibility appears to be the 
charafleridic of an African negro, yet are 
there many who have their feelings as ex« 
qiiidtely alive to th^ melting impreHions 
of tendernefs and forrow, as thofe who are 
didinguidied by a better fortune, and have 
not to encpunter the dii^graceful perfecu- 
tron of power, or to bend the neck beneath 
the humiliating depreflion of bondage and 

When the mill is at work at night,, 
there is fomething afFeding in the fongs 
of the women who feed it; and it ap-!, 
pears fomewhat fingular, that all their 
^nesj( if tunes they can be called, are of 

( «« ) 

a plaintive caft. Sometimes you may hear 
OQC foft, complaining voice; and now a 
fecond and a third chime in ; iand prefently^ 
as if infpired by the folemn impreffions of 
night, and by the gloomy objeSs that are 
fuppofed to dwell around^ a full chorus is 
heard to fwell upon the ear, and then to 
die away again to the firft original tone« 

The ftyle of finging among the negroes, 
is uniform : and this is confined to the 
women ; for the men very feldom, except- 
ing upon extraordinary occafions, are ever 
heard to join in chorus. One perfon be- 
gins firft, and continues to fing alone; but 
at particular periods the others join : there 
is noty indeed, much variety in their fongs ; 
but their intonation is not lefs perfedl than 
their tiqiq. 

A moon<^light night upon a plantation 

is remarkably beautiful,, and cauies every 

objeA to aiTume a folemn and a romantic 

appearance. The overfeer's houfe, with 

. the open piazza in front, illaminated by 


t^ r^6 "vky^h play upon the wallss or 
4art tbrQ^gh ^c doors and wIikIqws; tho^ 
i^lfmn and the fpre^^ing ihadqs which 
^ occs^doned by the v^orksi the ref}ea- 
<wes. of the a|BC^c% over which tbiP water 
i§ carried tp th9 milU a» immenfe %-tree, 
\s\i9& top U fdvered with, the pUyfol light* 
who.iS? bfafjiches cecqive apd divide (]bA raySt 
and whofe ma0y (hadows extend for a con^ 
iQd^able diftance upon the ground^ ^nd 
^^ong which a folitary ileer p^irhaps, ha- 
ving brol^en frpoi the pens, or ftrayed from 
tihye fattening pafture^ is juft perceived to 
fiiake.his head, impatient of the mufqm« 
toes that fwarm around — thefe different 
isaages; cannot fail to contribute their ih<» 
tprf^ to the rural icenery, and to fix tha 
ay^' in contpoaplation of the fplendid, or 
in contrail of the gloomy objedts, and to 
fill the mind with the moil awful, the 
moil, fimpk, and the moi^ tender im« 

The contemplative man ia enamoured of- 
t^ghtf aad.whene«[ei? he^dire^s his regard, 


( W3 J 

aod elevates Ihb tbougbts, tg tlut^ 4iffiaii| 
4nd fliupendous vault ia wbldb the ilvei; 
xnodn then rides triuqi^f h^t ia b^ ^coithn 
^nd by her proximity to «4Vtlf ecl|piea> thq 
luftrc of the mere diftaat ttsnf^, ^^ fyte9^ 
a ml of gk>iry over what wouM be» in hcc 
abfence^ the unfeen canopy of nature, aQ4 
the bond of iilence and of fle^p — the con^ 
templative man» I fay, who is ftruck with 
thefe images and tbefe rcfle&ionSj^ cannot 
help looking into his hearty and pouring, 
out his foul in penitence ai)4 hope, in fulj^ 
confidence in the tender mercies, and ia 
patient acquiefcence in t^e ft^dy jufticcA 
of his Maker« 

What impreiEons, on (he contrary, caii 
a fulgent fun and a gaudy day infpire! 

Should the heat he intenfe, every one 
coQdpkins with petulance of the fervor 
of the noon-* tide rays : fhpuld thofe bq. 
^Ipbdcdj^ the f^me fault is found with^ 
obunabiaiion : if the weather co^tinqe 
too long dry, the man of intereft rcjpjoes;. 


( 124 ) 

if too long wet, he ilill is. difcontented: 
tind laftl/j if the feafons (hould be marked 
by temperate yiciffitudes, he then inveighs 
againft the inftability of the climate. In 
ihorty every individual feems to be more 
or lef$ diflatisfied with day : but where is 
he who does not look forward with im*« 
patience to night ? 

The man of gallantry and fa(hion is im- 
patient for the hour that favours fedudtion, 
or that offers him an opportunity to (hino 
in the focieties and public refort of wealth 
and confequence; the moth of the day cx<^ 
changed for the glow-worm of night, or 
rather for the ignis fatuus that fends forth 
a ray to lead to darknefs and de(lruc<» 

The patient hind looks forward to the 
moon-light hour, as the invitation to re- 
pofe, and bleifes thofe friendly beams that 
conduct him on his way, and that enable 
him, without expence or danger, to regain 
his cottage. 


( t2J ) 


The traveller is grateful for tbe be« 
nignity of its beams, nor needs inquiry to 
diredfc him to his inn. 

The philofopher is wrapped in the aw« 
ful contemplation of the fcenes around^ 
and accounts for the filver luftre that 
adorns the groves, the rivers, and the 
lawns, and for the chilly dews that de* 
fcend in pearly mids to refreih the earth, 
and for the genial profufion of which th# 
inhabitants of Lima and of Egypt arc 
under fuch tranfcendent and eternal ob« 

But it is the aftronomer who, above all, 
is interefted in the fublime obfervancc of 
a cloudlefs night, when, forgetting the 
world as a fedfualift, and loft in him- 
felf as a man, he explores the argent lu- 
minary, and confiders it only as a glit- 
tering fpecic of fand in that luminous 
ocean of glowing funs, by which fuch 
myriads of inviiible worlds are fo fiupen-- 


( *^^ ) 


^0y» ib regularly^ aoti £0 li^ciitly irra« 

Hovir fublime is the idea of him who 
holds aa iivtcrcourle with the heavenly 
bodies^ and is even fufficiently aipiring to 
claim in his works, a converle with his 
.Creator; to inveftigate the laws which he 
has impofed, to define his wlfdom, to af^ 
certain his enils, and to aiTert with confi- 
dence that what he has done cannot be 
etherwife:than perfect I 

If fuch an idea be fublime, how bene^ 
volent miift be that Power who has en- 
frufted his fecrets to mad; who has made 
him the partaker of his benefits, and the 
cicpounder of his will ; and who, defcend- 
-iog from thofe tranfcendent heights in 
which his favoured angels dare not look 
«p to the efiFulgency of his rays, has even 
condefcended, from his inordinate goodnefs 
and mercy, to fend down a Vifitor, (hort 
only of himfelf in perfedion, to take upon 
himfdf the fame habits of mifery, with the 


( "7 ) 

difgrace of his conditioh^ to traefa him a 
life of juftice and obcdiettce, that he may 
tafte comfort upon earth, atld thereby fe* 
cufe a promife of bdeffings hereafter* 

But it is the child of forrow who 
ought in an efpecial manner to blefs the 
night that whifpers to his fighs, and that 
Veeps to his tears; that feems to feel 
with .ptty» and to melt at, his afflicv 
ti<}ns, afrd which invites him to filence^ 
^nd calms him to repofe; for the moft 
lieavy fufferings mtift 16fe their force by 
time, and the moft watchful eye ht'ttdzft 
deprefied by fleep* 

The indocent man, however ^wletched 
in the day, may be compbfed aad happy ta 
his flun&bers, for the remembrance of mis^ 
fortunes does not always exiil in dreams-: 
t^t lit the gfuiity wrttch hewarc ho^ 
he dare commit his thoughts to nighty 
tit tlim refled upon tbofe lines which 
fihdjkefpeare has pat into the -mouth-ftf 
Rithard : 


( "8 ) 

*^ O gentle Sleep ! how have I frigfited thee t 
<^ But thou tio more wilt weigh my eye*U<Is dowo^' 
«* Or ftccp my fenfcs in forgetfulnefs !'* 

Let him reHed upon thefe lines^ and tbeA 
commune with his heart, and try if it can 
be at peace^ 

'in lit' 

As I have enumerated the different 
objeds of rural imprefBon, as they arofe 
in my mind while I was defcribing the 
progrefs of the crop, and have ventured 
to intrude the refledUons they occafionedi 
I {ball now fuppofe it to be entirely 
concluded, and that the young canes and 
the ratoons are getting their firft clean-^ 
ing after its termination} that poiibd is^ 
according to cuftom, flrewed over the dif^ 
ferent pieces, for the deftrudtion of the 
rats; and that no one thing concerning 
fttgar-making is left, for the feafon, un- 
done, excepting the remnant of the pro- 
duce that is not fufficiently cured to be 
fent down to the wharf, but which will, 
q{ courfe, be (hipped before the pionth of 
Aoguft. I ihall therefore proceed to a 


( "9 ) 

defcriptton of the plantain*tree ; a pro<« 
du<3:ion which is in general fuppofed to be 
inferior in value^ but is in feme inftances 
fuperior, to the boaded riches of the fa« 
gar- cane. 

I (hall be, I hope, excufcd, if I mi- 
nutely defcribe the nature of this plant, 
the foil and iituation in which it is pre-* 
ferably cultivated and found to thrive, the 
manner in which the land is prepared for 
its reception, and the method in which 
it is inhumed ; the particularities of its 
growth ; its appearance, as well in its early 
as in its progrefGveftate; the ufe to which 
its fruit is converted, when it has attained 
its period of maturity ; and how it turns 
out at laft to profit, as manure. 

All kinds of ground provifions and corn 
are, as well as the plantain, fucoefsfully 
cultivated in the mountains ; but as this is 
done by the negroes in their own grounds, 
««d on thofe days which are given to them 
for this particular purpofe, it does not enter 

Vol. II. K into 

( >30 ) 


into the mafs of plantation-labour : it may 
be however, noticed^ that fome idea maj be 
conveyed of the manner in which they 
confame or employ that time which is 
given to them either for relaxation or 

The humanity of individuals in Eng- 
land^ is too apt to exaggerate the real 
labour and fufferings of the negroes in 
Jamaica; and I ihould be forry^ were I 
even of fufficient confequence, to advance 
one word that could^ in any inftance^ tend 
to the fappreffion of a figh in their par- 
ticular favour* Their condition alone^ in<r 
dependently of any abufes to which a ilate 
of bondage may be fubjedt^ is fufficient to 
awaken the commiferation of the moft 
unfeeling ; but yet let not the tongue of 
Benevolence in too peremptory a manner 
infift^ tha^t ilavery like theirs 19 cut o^ 
from every enjoyments 

Let Companion turn the eye^ with fynt* 
pithy of hearty to thofe thoufahds who 


( iit ) 

V^eep uiider the pangs and dlfgrace of per^ 
jTonal^ and perhaps unmerited, confine- 
ment; Who' lament, iti folitary exclufion, 
the lofs of liberty i Or who are difturbed, 
by noife and blafphemy, from brooding 
bver in quiet forrow, thdfe difappoint- 
inents they have fufFered, or thofe mife^ 
ries they endure* 

If there be twenty thoyfand perfons con- 
fined in the different gaols of the kingdom, 
for debt; and if it be fuppofed that the 
perfonal durance of one has an effe£t upon 
either the means or the eom forts of^ve—^ 
how very great mufj be the annual calcu- 
latioA of mifery ! what afflidion muil be 
felt by families, what defpondency be the 
fate of individuals ! 

Of the numbers that die in the houfes 
of mortification and of fhame, from a bare 
reflection of their condition, the calcula- 
tion is more con fider able than the inte- 
refted and the unfeeling will be inclined 
to fappofe; for if an eftimate were to be 

K 2 made 

f »3« ) 

madepf the braken-hearted alone, inde« 
pcndeoUy of thofe who adually perifli for 
^ want of the common ncceffaries and fup-r 
ports of life, the amount would ihock the 
philanthrophid, as it ought to awaken thcf 
legiflator, to intereft the citizen, and to 
ibame the man. Happy are tbofe^ in fome 
inflances, who are without property, and 
are confequently ignorant of law! Such 
are the p^qfantry in mofl: countries, and. 
fuch are the^i^w/ in all. 

. It is more particularly in England, th^ 
land of boafted freedom^ that one man 
prefum^s to have a fummary right to at-^ 
tach the perfon of another, and to over-^ 
firhelm with fhame and forrow his bene^* 
fadlor and his friend. It is in the power 
of a mean and an infolent creditor^ with- 
out producing an honeft teftimony of his 


debt, to confign to mortification and de-» 
fpair, the life of him who is willing, 
and who would be able, were his means 
fiot fequeftercd to gratify the rapacity of 


( «33 ) 


etliers^ to difcharge his demand with 
punduality and honour. 

The perfon of no one is fafe» who owes 
ten pounds, although he may have a hun- 
dred in his pocket to pay it, if the wretck 
to whom he is indebted this paltry Aim; 
ihali either diflike the cut of his face^ (hall 
have imagined fome perfonal flight, or 
ihall wifli, from an infolent malignity of 
hearty to expofe him to private mortifi- 
cation, and to difgrace him by public 

How feldom do individuals exprefs any 
compailion for thofe who owe them mo-* 
ney! Humanity is buried in intered; and he 
tvho would fquander hundreds of pounds 
to gratify his oftentation and his pride, 
would not give one (hilling to refcue a 
fuffering wretch from want and mifery: 
and there are even numbers among thofe 
who have fubfcribed fo largely towards 

t r 

tile liberation of negroes, who would not 

cancel a debt of fifty pounds, to relieve 

' K 3 a humaq 


( '34 ) 

k human creature, of their pwn religion and 
colour, from the difgr^ce of confinement^ 
and (he confines of defpair. 

By whom are the patient. foldierSj, and 
the much-enduring feamen, pitied ? The 
former are fwept away by the fcythe of 
deathji like cowflips in a field ; and yet no 
one fecms to care whether th?y e^^ii^ed^ or 
they died, 

^ow many thouf^nds of the Ifitter de-« 
fcriptlon of men are annually facrificed tq 
famine and difeafe, without even parta- 
king of individual qommiferation ! and 
wh^t numbers are fsvallowed up by that 
tremendous and voracious element which| 
indignant at the prefumption of (nan, has 
ftrevj^n rocks and quick- fands in his way, 
tp fprewarn hin> of hrs rfifhnefs, tp point 
out his danger, and, thefe negledted^ tp 
convince him of his end ! 

* f 

The late avvful fpe(3acle exhibited ^% 
Yarmputh, muft fijrely copgea| thp t^looc^ 

( '35 ) 

of every man of feeling, who (hall fuffcr 
himfelf to form an idea of the domeftic 
afHidion that muft confequently enfue; 
and yet the imprcffion of the fcene may 
wear away with the hour that produced it; 
and he who was not a witnefs of the de** 
ftru£tion, may not anticipate the miferies 
it has occafioned: nay» although it may be 
in fome inftance^ a public lofs, yet> after 
the firft affefted £gh of furprife (hall have 
evaporated, all future exclamation may be- 
come for ever fuppre(red. 

How feldom does humanity take an in* 
tereft in the labour and confinement of 
the galley^flaves, who, chained to the oar, 
and fcarcely clothed, and barely fed, are 
obnoxious to daily toil and nightly (lench; 
and that covering which protcdls them from 
the beams of day, at the fame time expels 
that air which might help to refrc(h their 
languid bodies, and to cheer their drooping 
mindSv So little is their unhappy fortune 
commiferated, that the inhuman have been 
^metimes known to take pleafure in their 

K 4 fufferings^ 

( '36 ) 

fuiFering!;^ and have tveo beheld witboJU^ 
compundtion their unFemitUng exertiooi 
lead to death. 

How enviable Is the real fituation of a 
good negro, to any of thofe of the above 
defcription ! Thefe laft have not my time 
they C2n call their own; whereas tho 
former has many weeks^ nay monthsi that 
he can apply according to the bdnt of his 
inclinations^ and for which he is not ac- . 
countable to any one* 

, The manufadurer/ the artifan^ and tho 
mecbaniC) cannot be, faid to enjoy ^thcLr 
leifure; for thefe muft work to ward ofFfa* 
txiine j and if they take but ont day in th<» 
week^ excepting Sunday, to tbcns^felvest it 
is considered as a theft upon their familieSi 
aad they will confcquently feel 4i(lreis} 
belides, they are obliged to work every hour 
in the day, and to carry their labour likewise 
into the night; whereas the opcupationt 
of the negro are not fo unremitting^ and,; 
^ep months in the y?ar at leaft^ befof* 

< «37 > 

fix o'clock m the morning, and after feveii 
at night, his pcr(bnal attendance is feldomi 
required, and it is of courfe difpenfed 
with. He has every Sunday throughout 
the year to himfelf, every other Saturday 
cot of crop, two or three days at Chrift-^ 
mas, many days in the rainy feafons, ahd 
afternoons at other times befides : and he 
is frequently laid-up for days, by imagi- 
nary ilLnefs; and in which he is perhaps^ 
too often indulged.' 

Having fcen it aflerted in the public 
prints, that the negroes in the Weft- 
India Iflands are not allowed any fpecific 
^me for relaxation, I have been confe- 
qisently induced to ftate the leifure they 
ad^ually enjoy; and I could likewife enu- 
merate many other indulgences which 
tfeey experience, were I not apprehenfive 
that X might be confidered partial : but I 
muil here take the liberty to enforce, a fe- 
cond time, an obfervation I have before 
inadie; and thofe who intereft themfelves 
fy mvxih in the faie of the Haves, will, I 
. - am 

( *38 ) 

am fure^ excufe me when I aflert that the 
planter mud be a real gainer by every re* 
form that can immediately or ultimately 
tend to the comfort and happinefs of thofe 
upon whofe labour be is dependent for his 
own felicity and wealth ; and he (hould be 
the firft to come forward and enforce every 
benevolent inftitution that can either me- 
liorate their fituations, or foften the appel* 
l^tion^ or fupprefs the rigours of bondage. 

It is now time to return tp my promifed 

The plantain-trees are propagated from 
fuckers that grow out of the parent flem; 
and when they are cultivated upon flat 
land, the holes in which they are iet 
are drawn in ftrait lin^s, and about ten 
or twelve feet afunder. One large plant, 
or two fmall ones, are depofited in each 
bed; between thefe, are induced one or 
two rows of cocos; and between thefe 
again^ is planted corn: and the fame mt^ 


( 139 ) 

thod 18 obferved and pradtifed, wherevei; 
fhe nature of the land (ball be fufficiently 
level to admit of it* 

This valuable produdion will certainly 
in general thrive beft in the mountains^ 
where the frequency of rains^ or the con-*- 
llancy of the dews^ promote its growth, 
and refrefh its vegetation; and the more 
new the land, and the more deep the 
mould may happen to be, the more luxu« 
riantly will it thrive, the more large and 
abundant will be the produce, and the 
longer will it continue without the ne<« 
ceffity of a fecond plantation. 

. The corn will be ripe in about five 
^tenths; the cocos may be defpoiled of 
the e^crefcent roots, or fingers, in feven or 
eight; and the heads, in ten or twelve: but 
ftill the abundance and the perfection of 
the crop will greatly depend upon the time 
in which the plant was made, the nature of 
fhe land, the care that has been taken of 
\\^ and the various feafons by has 


( 14<» ) 

bcea cither rcftramed !n its growth, oi* 
hjought forward to maturity. What 


inakes the coco particukrly valuable, and 
the reafon why it fhould be cultivated in 
preference to any other provifions of the 
country, is the fingular property it has of 
remaining many months uninjured in the 
ground, after it (hall have attained its 
Wtmoft perfedion. 

■ The yam is like wife a very fin« vege- 
table, and of which there are two kinds, 
both cultivated in the fame manner, but 
gathered in at different feafonSt 

The negro yam is rather bitter, and by 
BO means fa fubftantial as the other fpecies, 
whjeh is diftinguilhed by the appellation 
of flower*-y»m, to denote its fuperiority, 

ThtCt ground provi(k)ns will not ke«p 
fo long in the earth, in theiirft: plant, as" 
the coco wills but wheh bn<ce they have 
taken root, they are not eafily eradicated, 
iind hen<:^ furnhih, abottt Chriftmas, to 
i thofe 

( I4t ) 

thofi^ who are i^duftrlpusV a tefaipoParj 
Aipply of wholefoiii6 £pod ; for crfd yairit 
are certainly preferable^ in nutrinient an4 
tafte, to the new. 


This vegetable is raifed from cut€ing9 
of the root; every one of which is planted 
upon a little hillock of earth; and fo foon 
as the (hoots are fufBciently ilrong^ they 
are fupported by fticks, upon which they 
twine and bear a feed, which is likewiib 
ufed for the reproduction of this whole- 
fooie plant. 

The leaves of the cocos are broad and 
fucculent^ and ar« excellent food for hogs i 
whereas thofe of the yam are fmall, and 
i^ot convertible to any uiefol purpofe. 

•• ■ . • ■ • 

The former refemble a bed of docks \ 
the latter^ if the ftick^ be tall^ are not 
in appearance fl]i^ch unlike a diminutive 
hop-ground, when full of leaves. 


( H« ) 

Of the cafTavi/ there are two klhdi^ 
the bitter and the fwect. The fitft li 
poifonous; but when the juice is expreffedf 
it becomes a very wholefome, but in hi 
raw ftate a very infipid, food ; but when 
toa{led> . it is itiore palatable : and fbme 
people, particularly the French^ I am told^ 
prefer it in their colonies to any vege-* 
table whatever: they grind it as fine as 
powder, mix water with it, and ufe it ia 
this flate* 


The fweet cafTavi is cultivated like the 
bitter, from cuttings of the branches; is 
j)ot in the lead deleterious, but is not 
held in the fame eftimation with the 
other. The roots only, of both kinds, 
are the parts that are eaten i and thofe of 
the bitter will remain uninjured in the 
land for many months, if not for years« 
As thefe productions are not Cultivated iii 
large fpots, they have not a piAurefqud 


.( 143 ) 

, The Eboetoyer is raifed with moft ItuC-^ 
cefs in brick-mould land^ upon the banks 
of rivers, and in which foil the produce is 
abundant. It has heads and fingers like 
the coco; is apt to fcratch the mouthy if 
not properly boiled ; but is otherwife an 
agreeable root, and in tade refembles an 
artichoke bottom. 

The fweet potatoe is among the minor 
provifions of the country; and where the 
land is loofe and favourable, its returns are 
very great : and when a large fppt of 
ground is covered with the leaves of this 
vegetable, it makes a verdant and a plea- 
fing appearance. 

The plantain-tree, in point of nutri- 
ment and ufe, is, in the line of provi-^ 
fions, the ftaple of the country ; and is cer- 
tainly one of the moft valuable vegetables 
in the world. From its firft plantation 
until the time it fructifies, is about nine or 
ten months; but its growth and maturity 
will depend a great deal upon the nature 


( J44 ). 

of the foiU the kbdnefs of die fealbhs^ 
and the care which (hall have been taken 
of it in its progrefs to perfeAton. 

I have known the plantain ihoot forthii 
and the fruit become fviU^ according to the 
term adopted by the negroes^ and which 
expreffes the firfl: ilate in which it is fit 
for ufc, in lefs than eleven^ but I believe 
that the average time in which it attains it^ 
will be fonnd to be between fourteen and 
fifteen^ months. 

If it be not gathered^ or cut, when it 
ibdll have arrived at its perfect growth^ it 
will be feen by degrees to lofe its vivid 
appearance, to turn from green to yellow, 
and at laft to become quite ripei in 
which ilate it is a delicious fweetmear^ 
and not unlike the banana in tafte, and 
which tree it refembles in growth and ap- 
pearance, the ftem of the latter being only 
diftingui/hed, independently of its fruit, 
by fireaks and fpots of black. 

A . 


( H5 ) 

The common height of this tree wilU 
i think, be found to be from twelve to 
twenty feet; the leaves fhoot out from 
the centre, are very long and broad ; they 
tremble to every breeze, are (h redded by 
the leaft wind, and they fall a vidim to 
the flighteft blaft. It is pefhaps, through 
all its ftageSj one of the moft beautiful, as 
it is next to the fugar-Cane the moft va* 
luable plant, in the Weft-Indie«* 

From the time that it (hoot^ forth its 
firft leaf, an almoft vifible increafe of ve- 
getation can be daily obfervedi and in 
proportion as the Hem rifes in height, 
and fwells below, the leaves are feen to 
clufter and to expand above. They are 
at firft of a yellowifh green, and fink im- 
perceptibly into darker {hades, until they 
appear, at a little diftance, to be almoft 
black: but when the fruit begins to ripen, 
they arc fccn to change their appear- 
ance, and to verge every day more and 
more near towards a ruifet yellow, until 
they become at laft of the colour, and par- 

VoL. 11. L take 

( h6 ) 

take of the property of ftraw, and arc ufed 
by the negroes as thatch to cover their 

So foon as the fruit (hall be in that ftattf 
which is called fulU the tree^ which beard 
but one bunch at a time^ confiding of 
from thirteen to twenty or thirty plantains, 
is cut down; and being left at the root, 
it gradually decays; and being replehi(hed 
with water, it fupplies with moiflure, and 
ferves as manure, the progeny of fuckers 
that (hoot out around, in proportion to the 
richnefs of the foil, its protedion from the 
trefpafs of cattle, the frequency of (bowers, 
and, more than all, the moderation of the 

Some roots will throw up, and maintain, 
from three or four to fifteen, twenty, or 
even a more confiderable number of fuc- 
cefl5ve plants; fo that, if no accidents of 
dry weather (hall happen to burn them 
up, or hurricanes to break or throw them 
down, they will remain in continual bear- 
ing for a number of years, and will give 


( H7 ) 

more nutriment to the land than they tak6 
from it. 

The interior part of the tree is good 
food for cattle and hogs; and the latter 
will thrive upon the off-fets of the roots^ 
which become almoft as hard as cocos> 
iind may be applied with advantage to the 
purpofe I have jufl defcribed. 

The plantain-trce> when it firft puts 
forth its fruit, is a very beautiful pro- 
duction: it is enveloped io a thick leaf 
x)f a purple colour, which is ftriped with 
a varying ihadow of the fame tint, and 
which, in point of feel, is like the lenfa- 
tion of the finger upon velvet j and which, 
as the produce fwells, is gently difplaced, 
and confequently fhews the nature of its 

In thfe early (late of fruSification, the 
plantains appear to be all compreiTed to<- 
gether in their verdant bed; th«y after- 
wards by degrees expand, and ftand out 

L 2 diftindly 

( H8 ) 

diftindHy feparate from one another. They 
are at firft of a very light green, and be- 
come more and more dark, until they ar- 
rive at that perfedion which is fliort of a 
tendency to ripenef? ; and then, as I before 
obferved, if they be not cut down, they 
will change their colour, and aflun>e that 
of a deep and glowing yellow. 

Of the fruit there arc different fizes: 
thofe that are produced in the mountains 
are the largeft, and are diftihguifhed by 
the negroes under the appellation of horfe 
plantains: the.fmaller kind is called the 
maiden plantain; and this grows in clufters 
like the banana, and is preferable, in point 
of tafte, to thofe of larger dimenfions. 

When the outfide hufk is taken oiF, 
which when boiled makes excellent food 
for fwine, the fruit appears to ,be of a 
whitifli caft, and is, without any further 
preparation, either roafted, boiled, or beat- 
up into a kind of pafte, which the white 
people, as well as the negroes, are ac- 


( H9 ) 

caflomed to eat with pepper pot, under the 
vulgar name of tuna- turn. 


The plantain I fhould fuppofe to be the 
fineft vegetable in the world ; and from the 
partiality with which it has been always 
mentioned by circumnavigators, and even 
in thdfe regions in which the bread- fruit 
abounds, it is natural to fuppofe that it has 
the preference of this highly-vaunted and 
fingular produdion. 

The bread-fruit tree, if it has been intro*^ 
duced, has not yet reached a ftate of frudli- 
fication in Jamaica; and whether or no it 
will thrive in that latitude, or the eilimatioa 
of It will be preferred to that of the plan- 
taini it will, from the nature of its. pro- 
pagation, require fome'^time to determine. 

The tardinefs of its growth, when com- 
pared to the celerity of the vegetation of 
the former ; the quantity of land over 
>vhicb, from its fize and the expaniion of 

L 3 its 


( ^$0 ) 

its branches, it mufl: necefiarity extend; 
the number of years it is known to take 
before it begins to yield; its not bearing 
conilantly all the year around; its fubjec- 
tion to the devaftations of the hurricane* 
by which it may be cither deracinated, 
or its produce be fwept off-^-all thefo 
circumftances combined, very ftrongly in- 
cline me to believe that the plain tain« 
. tree, where it thrives, and is protected from 
the vifitations of the winds, is guarded 
againfl the trefpafles of the cattle, and the 
wanton deflruAion of man, will be ulti- 
mately faid to be the mofl: valuable plant, 
and that upon which may be placed the 
moil certain dependence. 

The plaintain-tree will yield more fruit 
in the fame proportion of ground, will 
fooner recover its growth and bearing after 
the deftru&ive fury of the elements, and 
will equally anfwer in a (late of ruin, and 
after it (hall have acquired perfection, the 
falutary purpofes of fodder and manure. 


( 151 ) 

The matiDer in which the negroes oc<» 
cupy themfelves in their grounds is rather 
an employment than a toil, particularly if 
the wood be felled^ and the land be clear- 
ed : but if they have heavy timber to cut 
down, the labour will be much, and the 
danger will be great; for they often get 
maimed or killed in this precarious opera- 
tion» in which are required not only ftrength 
and fkillj but likewife forefight. 

They generally make choice of fuch 
fpots of land for their grounds as are en- 
compajflfed by lofty mountains ; and I think 
that they commonly prefer the fides of 
hills which are covered with loofe ftones, 
to the bottoms upon which they are not 
fo abundant. Some will have a mixture 
of both, and will cultivate the plaintain- 
tree upon the flat» and their other provi- 
fions upon the rifing ground; and fome 
will purfue a contrary method ; for in the 
choice as well as change of fituation, they 
fcem to be diredted more by novelty and 

L 4 caprice^, 

( 15^ ) 

caprice, than by convenience or expc«- 

Some negrpes will plant, and keep clean^ 
a very large proportion of land ; fome will 
have but little, and will but negligently 
attend to that; and others will not cul- 
tivate any at all, but will entirely depend 
upon the labours of the induftrious, and 
deftroy in proportion to their indolence, 


They prepare their land, and put in their 
different crops on the Saturdays that arc 
given to them, and they bring home their 
provifions at night ; and if their grounds 
be at a confiderable diftance fcom^he plan-r 
tation, as they often are to the amount of 
five or izvtn mijes, or more, the journey^ 
backwards and forwards makes this rather 
a day of labour and fatigue, than of enjoy- 
ment and reft ; but if, on the contrary, 
they be within any tolerable reach, it may 
be faid. to partake of both. 


( »S3 ) 

On Sunday they carry their riches to 
market, for fuch the produce of si good 
ground to an induftrious negro may with 
propriety be called ; and if they have only 
this day in the week^ as is commonly the 
cafe throughout the crop, they muft go 
to the mountains early in the morning to 
fearch for provifions, that they may be in 
time to barter or to vend them at the well- 
known town, and to which they will repair, 
although it (hould be ten, or even a more 
coniiderable number of miles from the 
plantation; and it is afloniihing what im- 
menfe weights they will carry upon their 
heads at this extended diftance, with what 
cheerfulnefs they will undertake the length, 
and with what fpirit and perfeverance they 
will overcome the fatigue, of the journey. 

It mud be obvious to every ope, of what 
advantage it is to have the negro grounds 
as contiguous as pofiible to the eftate ; for 
although to an able negro the extraordi- 
nary diftance of a few miles may not be 


( 154 ) 

e( coniequencet yet to the oid and lofirm^ 
tnd particularly to the children, it is a 
circumftance of prefentt as it may be found 
to be an objed: of future in)portance» 

Some portion of ground adjoining to 
every plantation fhould be fet afide for 
the weakly, and (hould be cultivated for 
the fuperannuated» negroes ; a defcription 
of the human fpecies who, having con- 
fumed the vigour of youth in the fervicc of 
their mailers, are too often neglcded, and 
left a prey to difeafe and want at the clofe 
of life^ or are expeded to depend upon 
their own feeble exertions, or upon the 
fupport of their children and friends, for 
what they are entitled, not only from hu^ 
inanity but juftice,* to receive from the 
band of him whofe means have been aug« 
mented by their induftry and toil. 

The negroes, when working in their 
grounds, exhibit a picture of which it will 
be difficult to give a minute defcription. 

. They 

{ 155 ) 

They fcatter themfclves over the face^ 
fltld form themfelves into diftindt parties at 
the bottom, of the mountains; and being 
confequently much divided, their general 
exertions can be only obferved from a di<« 

If the land be hilly, it is generally bro- 
ken by rocks, or encumbered with ftonijs i 
the firft they cannot diiplace, but the laft 
they gently remove as they proceed in 
their work, and thus make a bed for the 
depoiit of the plantain-fucker and the coco^i 

Upon thefe occafions they move, with all 
their family, into the place of cultivation; 
the children of difFerent ages are loaded" 
with baikets, which are burthened ta 
proportion to their ftrength and age ; and 
it is pleafing to obferve under what con-* 
(iderable weights they will bear themfelves 
up, without either murmur or fatigue* 
The infants are flung at the backs of the 


( '56 ) 

mothers^ and very little incommode them 
in their walks or labour. 

The negro grounds, when highly cul- 
tivated and kept in order^ are very pleating 
to the eye, and have a double intereft upon 
the mind of the obferving and benevolent 
planter, who cannot fail to trace to their 
proper fource the hand of nature that fo 
abundantly fupports the exertions of indus- 
try, and converts to profit the hand of toil. 

When the plantain is cultivated on the 
fide of a hill/ or in the bofom of a glen, 
it is, in fuch a iituation, very fcldom ob- 
vious to the funny rays; but is, on the 
contrary, if not invigorated by frequent 
fhowers, at leaft fuilained by conftant 
dews ; and hence it grows and expands in 
a fuperior pride of ftrength and vegetation. 
The ftem is thick, the leaves are long, 
the fruit is large, the bunch is heavy ; and 
as this beautiful produdion is feen in 
groups in thofe particular fpots congenial 
to its perfedlion of growth, and which 


{ ^57 ) 

commonly is obferved to darken with its 
green umbrellas the defcent of hills, or 
the filent bofom of a foreft-bounded glade, 
it feems to invite the labourer, after the 
fatigues of the day, to Shadows, contem- 
plation, and repofe. 

Very fliort iqdeed is the period of time 
when a fun-beam hovers to difpenfe its 
warmth, and to invigorate the produce of 
thefe retreats; and hence the darknefs of 
the verdure, and the expanlion of the 
glooms: for although vearmth be necefiary 
to every thing of vegetable exiftence, yet 
too much heat will dry up dthe fourccs 
of fecundation, and occafion the fruit to 
wither at leaft, if not to die, 

I have generally obferved that the plan- 
tain-tree flouriflies moft in cockpits, fur- 
rounded by rocks or woods ; and I cannot 
help attributing this obfervation to the 
partial exclufion of tbq vertic rays : and it 
feems to be worthy of notice that the coco 
will thrive, not only in thefc fequcftered 


■> i 

fituations, but like wife under the (hadbwy 
leaves of the valuable produdion above 

The banana and the plantain-tree are 
feen to grow with much luxuriance around 
the huts of the watchmen, whether they 
be fituated upon the mountains, or ob- 
ierved upon the plains ; and they certainly 
contribute much in appearance to the rural 

A pi^turefque hovel at the foot of a 
mountain, in ,the neighbourhood of a rock> 
and at the bottom of which (hall be feen 
to yawn perhaps a romantic cavern ; * a 
finall fpot of ground befide the road, en* 
clofed by penguins, and here and there a 
broken palifado, as if to invite a ray of 
light to dart acrofs the crevices ; a narrow 
and a winding path that leads the enqui- 
ring ftranger to the open wicket of the 
thatch-adorned manfion*; a group of fuH 
and expanfive banana and plantain trees, that 
wave over the ridge, and fhew their green 


( 159 ) 

or yellow fruitt at every afpiration of the 
breeze ; and laft of alU the fhredded leaves 
that look like ribbons fluttering in the air^ 
that ruffle or whifper to the pafling wind i 
are objeifts of rural impreflion in every 
part of this romantic ifland« 

When thefe piAurefque trees are cultt«* 
Tate in large fields upon the plains^ are 
planted with regularity and care^-have beea 
well attended and cleaned; when the feafona 
have been favourable, and they have con«* 
fequently attained that height from which 
the appearance of the fruit .may be fooa 
expe£ted» . it is hardly poflible to concdve 
a profpedit more folemn, gloomy ^ and im- 
preflive, than is exhibited in the ver-« 
dant aides which the fpreading glooms 
occafion, and which at a little diftance 
appear to be a forefl of fhade» over which 
is beginning to defcend the curtain of 

When a walk like this of fifteen ot 
twenty acres is explored at the dawn of 


( i6o ) 

(day, or at the cldfe of the evening beams^ 
which are obferved to pierce the entrance 
of the glooms^ it cannot fail to ftrike the 
contemplative man with reflexion and with 
awe. Whenever he turns himfelf rotind^ 
he obfervcs the embowering canopy ftrctch- 
ing forth its dark recelTes ; he feems to 
wander through the walks of nature im- 
proved by art ; nor does he farther regard^ 
the bluihing fun, now fetting at a di(lance> 
and gilding the avenue in which he rumi- 
nates, than as an object that appears to 
take with regret a laft farewell of lilencc 
and of fhade. 

The wild plantain is a pleaiing ornament 
of the mountain roads ; and it refembles 
in colour and in growth the other fpecies^ 
with this difference only, that it is always 

Sometimes as the traveller winds his 
way between lofty and umbrageous hills, 
he beholds on one fide of the narrow 
path a deep declivity which ruhs fhelving 


ttowh to la bottom rudely fown with bufhes 
and with ftonesj and as the latter create and 
continue ihoifture, the Vegetables in fuch 
iituatiohs ate bbferved to grow and fpread 
with peculiar verdute and luxuriancy. 


In fiich fpots the plants above de- 
fcribed are feen in a peculiar manner to 
flouriib> and to pleafe ; and as they thrive 
moft in groups, and by their approxima- 
tion and the fingular expanfion of their 
leaves not only colled: and imbibe, but 
ireafure up the fhowers that fall, or the 
dews that at tiight dcfcend, they feem, 
although felf-planted, to bid defiance to 
tcmpcfts and to age, and to promife them- 
fclves an eternal fucceffidn of plants from 
the fame parental root. 

This pidturefque produdlion is often feen 
to grow by the fide of a road, at the foot 
of a large and craggy rock, and adjoining 
perhaps to a mountain torrent, which, 
fwelled by the rains and auxiliary rills, 
works on its founding courfe, and either 
overflows, ilndermineft, or deracinates the 

Vol. 1L M different 

( *6* ) 

dii^rent plants that lately grew upon lit 
banks (when it only murmured as a filver 
rill, and wa(hed the poliibed ftones and 
golden fands with its refre(bing waters), 
and hurries them on, until they are eter« 
nally loft in the imbibing fea« 

tn roads like thefe it is by no means 
uncommon to fee immenfe trees, that have 
bfeen diflodged by the tempeft, not only 
block up the path, but bridge the tor- 
rent; and from which it is hardly poflible 
to look down without giddinefs and dread 
upon the depths belowr 

In fituations fuch as thefe many awful 
and fublime (Indies might be made by an 
artifl of a bold and romantic turn of mind, 
refembling that of Reubens, or Salvator 

A narrow road, through which with 
difficulty a cart can pafs, and this worn 
out by the traverfes of wheels, and the 
perfevering induftry of man, at the bottom 


( i«3 ) 

df &n immenib and oveHiartging modit'' 
tfcin^ frifiged with (hrubsj and moft magni- 
ficently fkirted with ti'cts; which raife their 
g^antic -ftehis from the romantic fiifures 
of the difrdpted rock, and feem to fpurri 
ihe angrf torrent iindei'neathj and to \yA 
defiance to the blaft i that receive the de-' 
luge upon their fiimmits, the lightning 
iipon their branches; nor heed the r^per-^ 
^sailive thunder-peals thstt growl arotindj! 
are imagest that zkt often ohferi^ed in tbefit 

s « . > . , 

When the ftorm fubfides; and nature 
ibakes a paufe; the pearly fhowerd ard 
ifaakeri from their leaves, the fiin-beand 
gives its warmth t and they riow ere(5t their 
heads again, the quiet and imperial vsx6-^ 
iiarchs of the foreft ro4nd« 

« . . . , 

On one fide 6f thd road !$ a bold de« 

tiivityj or & tremendous precipice; whiobE 

looks d6«^a to the abiyfs of fildned and 

^i night ; arid beyond which is a fegioiK 

iff rocksi which form th(;mfeke^ into ca-^ 

M £ VerriSi 


( 164 ) 

verns» caftles^ promontories^ cli^s» ^hd 
towers, with here and there a knot of 
trees that feem to ftruggle for a pa0agci 
through the ftony crevices, ot tampanl 
fhrubs that wind acrofs the titited fur£tce»' 
and fhow like ivy that feftoons the arches 
of the time-worn aquedudti or die more 
folemn ornaments of cathedral (hades; 
The fan juft peeps upon the. awful mafTes, 
^nd with a Spreading light irradiates thti 
glooctis ; and thei>^ as if retiring to ob« 
ferve the efFed, and to hang with pleaiure 
upon the magnificent fcenery below, he 
climbs the fartheft heaven, and foems for 
i time ftationary in his vertic height, and 
fpreads his cheerful influence over the 
mountain^ and the plains. 

Over fome of ihcfe gigantic fragments^ 
and flill obvious to the aftonifhed eye/ 
there tumbles down a full cafcade, the 
thunders of which aftound the ear, and 
ieem to (hake the landfcape round. The 
Weight of waters forms a gulph below^ 
and retreating downwards, or afcendin^ 


( i65 ) 

itito fpray» appears to be in continual tu«* 
xnult, wrath, and motion. 

Over many parts of the torrent - that 
is occafioned by this accumulated influx 
of waters, are obferved immenfe and fallen 
trees, over which the fafe*footed goats are 
feen to froUc without fear, nor dread the 
|;iddy chafm that yawns beneath. Some-r 
times they browze in the vallies, or bound 
from rock to rockf and hang in giddy pen- 
dence upon the edge of a precipice, a's if 
they took delight in lookiqg down upon 
the awful glooms below. 


At a narrow part of the road is feen 
a loaded wain that has been cruHied to 
pieces by the mafly fragment of a de- 
fcending rock ; the fable drivers ftand in 
mute af^onifhment at the dreadful acci- 
dent, and hardly feem to know if they 
themfelves have yet efcaped the danger. 
A few draggling negroes, that by chance 
paffing by, are tikewife arfefled at 

M 3 %hi 


( i66 ) 

the obfervation of the mifchief; nor dq 
they for a time ofTer their unavailing 
feryicc. As night draws on, their 11117 
patience, as their exertions, is increafed; 
and the fplendours of the day are now 
\vjthdrawn, that the moon with chafte and 
foletnn l^ht m^y pierce the glooms^ and 
add, with' dews and filence 19 her train^ 
to the impreilive horrors of the midnight 

^The inofi^nfive and fufiering cattle are 
>vith difficulty let loofe to browze, while 
their melancholy conductors illume a firo^ 
and fit in mournful watchfulnefs bewail- 
ing their apprehended fate, nor cheat tho 
lagging night with one afTuafive ilamber. 

« t 

Into fi4ch a landfcape the lover of the 
grand and terrible may introduce a party 
of banditti, who difturb the melancholy 
iilence of the fcene, and, bept upon plun- 
der and inured to blood, drive away the 
pxen» ^nd put their unreiifting attendants 

to death. 

/ ... 


( 16; ) 

To fceoes of horror the retired moun« 
tains in Jamaica are particularly adapted ; 
as are^ on the contrary^ the lowlands and 
the plains, efpecially productive of plea* 
^ng tranquillity and rural delight. 

The farms, or pens as they are deno« 
minated, are replete with paftoral imagery; 
and the appearance of immenfe droves of 
horned cattle, that expatiate at large oyer 
the unbounded pafture, or that are feen to 
browze in the different inclofures, which 
are furrounded by the prickly penguin^ 
or the logwood fences, aiFord a pleafing 
fpe6tacle to him who has not been ufed 
to behold the carpet of nature thus giving 
the means of labour to the induftrious, 
and wholefome provifion to the wealthy. 

Upon one range of land is obferyed aqi 
immenfe quantity of horfes, and of mules, 
from the foal at the fide of its dam, to 
the colt that is impatient of the bit; or 
the mule that is foon to feel the trammels 
yf ^he mill, or the pincfaings of the crook. 

( «68 > 

but wl)ich oow are fecn to« ftoli^ anck tcx 
bound over the refounding fod, to daih 
through the flagnant pond^ to fcQur acrof^ 
the dufty road^ and at laft to bury them* 
felves amidf); the cooling ihadows of the. 

Over another region are fcen to wandcj?, 
the heat-enduring fheep ; and gathered to- 
gether into a fecial flocks they nibble thus^ 
colleftively the level lawn^ which hardly 
feems to afford them a Scanty bite^ but 
upon which they produce their fertile bur- 
thens twice a year, and load the wholcfome 
banquet with their fiefh, which is of a 
very particular and delicate tafte. Of their 
hair indeed no ufe is jpaade ; for eveix 
.Englifli fheep degenerate, and lofe theif 
wool in a (hort period of time in that in- 
temperate climate ; and yet it is remarked 
that the Creole flocks will not thrivQ 
upon the mountains, where the dews are 
frequent, and the air is chill, in any com- 
parifon of advantage with thofc 'that are 
bred and foflered upon the plainSt 


( i69 ) 

Of tlieir coats a kind of camblet miglit 
certainly be made ; but, as the fubordiDaCe 
ideas ot comfort and of ufe are facrificed 
in Jamaica to the manufadlory of fugao 
and of rum, it .will take fome time before 
any reformation can be made in the ope^ 
rations, or the cuftoms, of the country. 

The pen*keepers in Jamaica are gene-^^ 
rally found to be, if not the moft opulent,^ 
at leaf); the mofl independent, of thofe 
who cultivate the foiU Their capitals in« 
deed are not fo large as thofe po0efled 
of fugar-plantatjpns ; but then their rifkt 
9re few, and their loiTes, except in build- 
ings and proviiion-grounds, in confequencc 
pf ftorms, arc very trifling; 

The proprietor who l}ves upon his pen 
has almoft all the material necefiaries, 
and many of the fubordinate comforts of 
life imoiediatdy within his reach \ and I 
do not l^elieve that there are pi^any people 
in any country^ of the fame rank an4 
capital^ that either do, or can afford ta 


< ^70 ) 

entertain with more abundance and hof* 

Their herds will fupply them with 
heef and veal ; both of which, if the paf- 
tare be good, and they are allowed a fuf-* 
ficient time to fatten, would not be at all 
inferior, if the meat .in that climate could 
have the advantage of keeping, to the fame 
provi0ons in England* And I cannot help 
remarking in this place, that I have feen 
as fine cattle in Jamaica as I have ever be-^ 
held in any country | and it feems likewift 
extraordinary, that the breeding and the 
young (lock are in general in very high 
condition, although they are raifed upon 
paflures the feeding of which is fo very 
ihort that a ftranger would hardly think 
they could afford the leail: bite whatever: 
but then the fod is exceedingly thick, 
the grafa of a nutritive quality, ^nd the 
vegetation rapid. 

Upon fome pens there are from two to 
ihrde thoufand horned and other cattle ; 


( 171 ) 

and of the former fpecies there are many 
of confiderable 6it, infbmuch that it is not 
tincommon to fee an ox at the flaughter-* 
houfe that (hall exceed twelve hundred 
weight. The price of working ftecrs is 
from twelve to twenty pounds currency, but 
fomeiimes more, and fometimes lefs ; and 
that of mules, from twenty-five to thirty- 
five per head currency : and when a pen 
can make fuch large returns, it is more eco^* 
nomically produdlive than a fugar-eftate. 

The pen-keeper kills his own mutton 
and pork, both of which are decidedly 
fuperior to the flefti of ftieep and hogs in 
England. The flavour of the firft is mild, 
and pleafant; and that of the laft is equally 
good throughout the year. 

He raifes his own poultry of every kind: 
he has fifli, land-turtle, and crabs, in abun-* 
dance; and every fpecies of wild-fowl, at 
particular feafons of the year, in profufion. 
He has wild-boars and pigeons from the 
iiiountain^ ; and fruity without the ncceC^ 

Voft. 11 • fity 

( «7^ ) 

fity of purchafe, or the pains of culti^ 
Tation. Sugar indeed he muft buy^ ^as 
likewife rum^ if he have not, as many 
have^ a plantation ; and as for other li-^ 
quors^ and the more refined luxuries of 
life, with them his means, his favings and 
economy, may eafily fupply him. A man 
of this defcription is the one in Jamaica 
who is the moft independent, and confer 
quently the moft happy* 

The pens on the mountains, and thofe 
upon lefs lofty elevations, very widely difi^r, 
in profpeffc and appearance^ from thofe 
in the plain s« Upon the former, the 
grafs is oftentimes long and na(h ; and they 
are often fubjedl t6 a dreadful inconve- 
nience^ the want of water ; and when the 
drought (hall be exceflive, and the cattle are 
confequently obliged to be driven to fome 
river at a coniiderable diftance, the mof' 
tality is oftentimes exceflive ; but as it h 
but fbldom that, in fuch fituations, the 
feafons are for a long time withheld, a 
fxiisfbrtune of this kind can only be con-t 


( 173 > 

Hdjsred as an uncommon calamity, jmdaft: 
one that i8 not to be compared to tho 
hurricane that devafts and f^eeps away the 
produdioAs of a fagar-plantatioh. 

Upoil moudtain-land the Guiilea-gra^ h 

Cultivated in preference to that which ia 

flat : it is generally planted in the fpringi 

and at the diftance of fi^ or eight feet i 

it growi confiderably through the rainy 

icafon, and in Odober aiid November it 

blofibms. The cattle ate then turned into 

it, to eat it dpwn; they fhake out thd 

feeds the ftalks become dry, ahd are then 

cut : the flttbble i& confiimed by fire, from 

the vegetative properties of vvhich the 

^oung grafs fprings lip, and in a (bort time 

becooi^ one entire ca^-pet^ the verdure of 

iKrhich has -a very brilli^nt^ and a pleafing 



A piece of Guinea-grafs in the month 
of .November, .when obferved either iipo(| 
the mountains, more gentle elevations, or 
even upon flat land^ affords a variety of 


t m i 

Ibtereftirig fcenes> and which are vaHea 
iccording to fituatiotii titnei and growths 

In a young ftate, when it begins to 
cover the ground^ the colour of the gra{s ii 
l^riiculatly brilliant ; and when the dropi 
of dew harfg trembliiig Upon their penfile 
leaves^ or the filken threads of the coti* 
webs are fpread oVer the veVdant fufface^ 
or when^ broken by the bruihing tread of 
fome ftraggling heifer that had' found ht 
way into the inclofure^ tbey floaty tike 
goflamer^ through the air^ the lover of 
nature cannot help obfervjng with delighi 
thefe incidental changes which chance fcf 
frequently occafionsi 

This prodo^ion^ I thidki appears td 
moft jidvantage when it is in the ftate I 
have juft defcrtbed^ and interefttf more; ai 
adding beauty to a picture^ when it is feeil 
cultivated upon gehtly^fwetliAg hills, whicU 
infenfibly bfe their deprefiions upon' ih« 


( m J 


When a piece of this defcriptioh is 

dotted over by ftraggling trees, or clumped 

in particular fituations by the baftard ce- 

darst which are fingular ornaments of tbtf' 

Jamaica farms, or is darkened by the (toL^ 

dows which are fpread by the deep and 

ipiced leaves of the pimento, it is hardly 

poflible* to conceive any natural fcenery 

more rich and beautiful ; and if there 

be cattle or flieep obferved, or cropping 

the herbage, or recumbent in the glooms» 

thefe living objeAs of rural profit and de«« 

light cannot help giving a double intereft 

to the furrounding fcenery. 

Upon (bipe pens there is but little wa« 
ter for the ufe of the cattle, excepting fach 
as is confined in ponds, and the refources 
of which are often precarious ; but yet I 
have heard it remarked, and I rather think 
with (eeming juftice, that they fatten more 
kindly where they drink of what is (lag«^ 
nant and muddy, than of that which is 
flowing and peUucid. 


C^ thofe that are abundant In water; t 
ihall feleifly out of a number that are blefleil 
with this advantage^ the local beauties o^ 
• particular ohe ; and I fhould hope that 
the defcription will not be ilnpleaiing td 
ifaofe who may not hiave had opportunities ' 
iaf exploring Nature in her mofk fplendid 
icenes» and in her awful and feqoeilered 

I fuppofe myfelf to be ilanding upon a. 
given eminence, and cafting my enraptured 
fight upon the views around. 

On one fide I look down from a verdant 
height upon a level and a beauteous lawn^ 
In which a bubbling fpring^ as^ clear and 
poliihed is the watery brilliant, breaks out 
in fretful murmurs from^a gravelly hill^ 
and winds a flow irriguous channel to the 
neighbouring riVer, which furrounds thi< 
lovely plain ; and with a broad, expanfiv<i 
fweepi inclofes it in three parts rounds 
and then flows on, triumphant in its courfe^ 


( ^17 ) 

and with a full and meandering bed of 
waters divides oppofing hills^ and vifits 
iflahds^ rocks, and arches, in its courie. 

It is pleafant to hear the waters^ when 
with impetuous ru(h they roar upon the 
ftony^bafements, which, when the floods 
have fubiided, appear to form a bridge, 
over which the patient herds and the timid 
flocks may fafely pafs in quefl of a for- 
bidden pafture; and no lefs entertaining to 
obferve^ where the projedion of land ap- 
pears to have fcooped out a tranquil bay^ 
in which the current of the river is re- 
ftrained, and in which are feen innu- 
merable fhoals of filhes 6i various fpecies 
and dimenfions, which dart along the 
flream, or hang in quiet indolence upon 
the tranfparent furface* 

It now forfakes the deepened holes, and 
foftly gurgling over flones and pebbles, ap« 
pears to leave a pavement underneath, over 
which a traveller, when the floods have 

Vol. 11. N fubfided. 

( ^78 ) 

fubfided, may pafs with fafety: on one fide 
of which an immenfe cotton-tree throws 
out its overfliadowing branches, as if m 
friendly iaiutation of the enormous fig- 
trte that rifes indignant over the running 
ftream, and gqards the oppofite pafTage 
of the waters, and difdains to join its 
(hade with that of its gigantic rivah A 
fteep and narrow path, adorned with plan- 
tain-trees on either fide, condadts to the 
fording-place of the river; and thi? filvet 
lapfe feems to glide gently away, and to 
invite, with pleafing murmur, the weary 
traveller and thJ9 fainting deed to tafte the 
cooling beverage as it flows along, and 
fmooths a pafTage for their fafei condu^ 
and convenience. 

Here is fcen, where a verdant ifland 
divides the current, a folitary angler en- 
deavQuring to entrap the mullet; and 
there, underneath the fpreading arches of 
the mahoe, or fiddle-wood, the fifliermen 
are casing the net, or drawing the feine, 


( ^79 ) 

hnd wh^re the barpooner at mght arreftt 
the incautious prey. 

As the eye wanders farther on, and is 
fatiated with the different charms of the 
more contiguous profpeft, it beholds (he 
filver current (hine between the branches 
of the trees, over which the fantaftic rock 
has thrown an imaginary bridge j and be- 
hind which, as if to cover it with grandeur 
and proted: it from the winds, an immenfe 
mountain is feen to rife, and dart its fum-* 
mit into the vapoury clouds; and upon the 
fide of which, and feated^ as it were, upon 
a faddle of one of the minor elevations, a 
folitary manfion, with a furrounding plan- 
tation of bearing trees and ufeful (hrubs^ 
diftinguifhes the abode of iilence and tran- 

The view of the river is now iAtCjTcepted 
by hanging hills, embrowned by (hade, and 
through which the verdant blades of the 
Guinea-grafs appear every now and then 
to catch the fun; and there the tranfparent 

N 2 waters 

( i8o ) 

waters would prattle over the pebbly bpt- 
tomsy or with a melancholy murmur wafh 
the fands; would hang fufpended in the 
darkened pool, or ru(h in torrents to the 
arching rocks» unnoticed and unfeen^ did 
not curiofity with a hafty tread forfake 
the eminence, to reach the plain, and 
fcrambling through the briars and the 
weeds^ again behold its limpid courfe, 
and hang with delight upon the different 
bends which the conftraining banks occa- 

Here is obferved, thropgh the opening 
foliage of two gigantic trees, a rock of a 
confiderable breadth and height, and par- 
ticularly romantic from the broad expan- 
fion of its (hades. Some parts of this tre- 
mendous mafs are rough and craggy, and 
fome have furfaces* as fmooth as if the 
hand of art had chifeled down their white 

Some portions of this feeming quarry 
are flained with the mofl foft and varied 


( i8i ) 

tints^ iand fome appear as white and po- 
ll (hed as the Parian marble^ through which 
the azure veins are feen meandering, until 
they become fo much attenuated as to 
efcape at lad the enraptured fight. 

The light is feen upon fome parts to 
occafion tremulous and quick refledtions; 
and now the ihadows feem to melt into the 
crevices, out of which a variety of creeping 
ihrubs untwine their netted filaments, de* 
cayed by time; or, nouriflied in a more 
genial bed of .vegetation, expand their little 
fibres far and wide, and, like the polypus, 
put forth their pliant fingers to attach 
themfelves to every little excrefcence that 
happens to projed around. 

The tufted weeds hang pendent from 
the fummit; the foreft*trees branch over 
head ; and the ftill pellucid flream re* 
ceives and returns the different images 
above defcribed, and feems to engulph 
the furrounding fcenery in its unfathom- 
able depths below. 

Nj Thcfc 



( l82 ) 

Thefe views were on the fide and at the 
back of the eminence upon which the 
houfe was feated. To the rights tfar pro* 
fpe£t was of a diffident caft. A projcd«> 
ing hill confined the fight, which likewife 
caught a reach of the fame romantic river, 
over whichy as an image of pi£turefque va- 
riety, a wooden gutter conveyed a ftream of 
water from the mountains to the diftant 
mill, which, with the works, the planta- 
tion^buildings, the negro-houfes, and an 
immenfe plain, upon wbich were planted 
twelve hundred acres of canes, and thefe 
bounded by an apparent town below, and 
covered and furrounded by lofty mountains 
above, (but in the varieties of art and nature 
in the front. 

Thefe views, as beautiful as the eye can 
fee, or the imagination form, were the fre- 
quent confolers of my iick and melan- 
choly hours, and ftill convey impreffions 
which once had charms to pleafe, but 
which it would be now a comfort to 
forget i for this property belonged to a 


( |83 ) 

relation and a friend: bot^ alas! the hand 
of death has broken the connexion, and I 
can only lament the untiaiely difTolutioh! 

There i^ ftill a kind of pleafing melan- 
choly ia brooding over the remeaibrance 
of former confidence, in tracing to the 
iburce the ftream of friendlhip, and in 
finding it unpolluted by the faithlefs cur- 
rent of worldly interefl, or domeftic jars. 

Many have been the hours that I have 
hung with complacency and pleafure upon 
thefe fcencs ! have obfervcd the fogs arifc 
from the river, and afpire like fxnoak be- 
tween the branches of the trees, while the 
mind endeavoured to difpel the melan- 
choly thought, by refledling with rapture 
upon the awful images around. 

How delightful is it, when the foul ap- 
pears to be detached from the body, and 
the cogitative powers are awake, to con-* 
template the fublime and the obvious 
wonders of creation in her more fplendid 

N 4 as. 

( i84 ) 

as well as humble ornaments s and thefo 
have a particular, as a folemn impreflion 
upon the mind at nigbt« 

If our thoughts dare not reach to the in- 
veftigation of the heavenly bodies, and fol- 
low the tranfcendcnt genius of the imi- 
mortal Newton among the planets and the 
ftars; yet has Nature given to the moft 
humble abilities, a power to trace, and to 
behold, with pleafure and with gratitude, 
her rural charms. 

The, comforts of melancholy are never 
fo' delightfully enhanced as when the eye 
obferves with filent rapture the trembling 
moon- beams dance upon the waters, or 
when the ear is mournfully amufcd by the 
foft and plaintive murmurs of the pafling 
ftream, which, as its lapfc is haftened or 
impeded, affetfls the auditory nerve with 
different impreffions. 

The current is at one time fo peculiarly 
gentle^ that it is with difficult heard to 


C i85 ) 

^vlli(per upon thc^fandsj but {lioiild i 
heavy rain in the mountains^ and the rapid 
torrents^ conjoin their influence to a^akea 
its coiirfe^ the turbid increafe is heard at a 
diftancci and pouring on its accumulated 
rufli of waters, to gain upon the ear, and 
to deafen at laft with its indignant roar : 
dnd thefe variations of river appearance t 
have often had the romantic pleafure to 
hear Snd to obfcrve* 

There is fomething highly pleafing in 
beholding, from any given fituation, the 
plantation- buildings by night, when the 
moon fhines fplendid in her elevation, and 
there is not any thing to obfcure the 
brightnefs of her rays, except every now and 
then a flitting cloud, whofe filver edges, 
oppofed to the (hadowy vapour behind, 
give a double intereft to the enthuflafoi 
of the obferver, and an additional charm 
to the objedls around* 

The eye cannot help tracing the moving 

pidlure about the works* The wains and 

Vol. IL mules 

( i86 j 

mules depofiting their burthens at tnd 
mill ; the dun appearance of thp negroes 
that carry in the canes, or pafs backwards 
and forwards with the tra{h> and the lights 
of whofe pipes appear like jack*a-lan terns 
obfcured by mift ; the fires that alternately 
brighten or fubfide in the ftoke-hole fhed; 
and the columns of flame and fmoke that 
occafionally afpire through the chimn'^s, 
and which are at a diilance refledted in the 
riyer, or illume the ftream that runs hur- 
rying from the mill; are objects that cannot 
fail to intereft, as well as pleafe. 

'i'he water-wheel is diftindly heard to 
continue its drow2y rotation ; the feeders 
of the mill attune their voices ; the boilers 
call aloud for fuel ; and too often, to awa^ 
ken fentiment and difgrace thefe founds, 
the driver's whip is heard to thunder near 
the buildings, and the fhrieks of pain to 
pierce the ear, and drive companion to 
the heart. 


( iS; ) 

' The fettlernents in Jamaica, inferior to 
the fugar-plantation and the pen, are fo 
numerous^ that it will be difficult to give 
them any other than a general defcrip^ 

The provi&dn-grounds ir> the rnoun* 
tains, or polinks as they are called in the 
Ifland, admit hot of much pidtiirefque va- 
riety. Upon thefe are cultivated, dnd par- 
ticularly upon thofe in Liguanea (a fertile 
trid of ground in the neighbourhood of 
Kingfton), all kinds of fruit and garden- 
ftufF/or coffee, coco, ginger, and other 
minor produ(fitions of the country. 

Some of thefe little fettlements, being 
fituated upon the fides or brows of the 
moft lofty hills, look down upon profpefts 
of immenfe extent and value: fome, in- 
deed, can command almoft entirely the 
circuit of a parifli; and others will take 
in, perhaps, a portion of a county: and 
of thefe bird's-eye views I {hall have a 
better opportunity to fpeak hereafter. 


( i88 ) 

The highland parts of Jamaica are par- 
ticularly abundant in all kinds of tiaiber, 
of which the foft as well as the harder 
fpecies can be often applied to ufe and 
profit; but the grain of the lad is hardly 
to be exceeded in clofenefs and durability 
by the woods of any region upon earth. 

It is needlefs to defcribe the general or 
the individual property of any of the dif- 
ferent forts: it is fufficient in this place to 
obferve, that they fully anfwer the wants 
of the country, without, I believe, but one 
exception; and it is certainly much to be 
lamented that no timber has been yet dif- 
^'^ covered of a proper texture, and a fufficient 

abundance, to anfwer the purpofe of the 
white-oak ftave, of which the rum-pun- 
cheons are always conftrudted. Some par- 
tial experiments have been made of other 
woods; but prejudice has fo much ope- 
rated againft their ufe, or experience con- 
demned their manufacture, that this fpecies 
pf fpcculation is now, \ believe, almofl, if 
not entirely abandoned. 


( i89 ) 

The American war, and the cotifequent 
privation of a liberal fupply.of provifions 
and 0ores from that country » have pointed 
out many refources in both the moun- 
tains and the plains of Jamaica; but which 
the fubfequent peace has made of little 
avail, as the labour in getting planks, 
boards, or buildings-timber, would be ulti-- 
mately attended with more real expence, 
as well as trouble, than the purchafe,. 
however precarious, of thefe different ar- 
ticles would be at the barguadier. The 
ftaves and the heading for the hogfheads 
ibould however be excepted, as they ought 
to be annually fplit upon the plantation : 
upon which likewife the cog-wood for the 
mills, the plank for the coolers, and the 
timber for the low-wine butts, (hould be 
likewife procured. 

The fubordinate trees and (hrubs pecu- 
liar to the climate, more properly belong 
to the province of the botanift, than to the 
defcription pf either the general or partial 
landfcapes of nature; although many of 


( J90 ) 

thcm» particakrly the fruit-trees^ fuch M 
the coconttt/ the paim» the orange, the 
rofe-applci the papa, the plantain, and 
the banana trees; or thofe of lefs ofeful 
fpecies^ the; bamboo, the anotto, the bean 
tree, and other produdttons of this de-* 
fcription and growth; and lail of all, the 
fhrubs of various fize, appearance, and 
beauty (and among this tribe, the coffee 
has the decided pre^emineoce) ; and to 
clofe the lift, thofe plants that creep upon 
efpaliers, and form themfelves into borers 
and £hady walks, fuch as the chota, the 
grenadilla, and the jefiamine, have, one 
.or all, fo^me diftinA or general intereft in 
the rural fcenery. 

Before I entirely relinquifh the fubje<3 
of a fugar-plantation, I muft obferve that 
iince the introdudion and general ufe of 
the plough, the landfcapes of the country 
have received a new turn; and while the 
negroes are at work in planting canes 

upon one given portion of land, the former 

' ' f ts 

( 191 ) 

is employed in digging furrows^ or cane'^ 
holes, upon another. 

No objeQ adds more real ihtereft to the 
charms of landfcape, than the rural ap-* 
pearahce of this machine i that while it 
gives variety to Nature, yet Nature in it» 
ufe does not feem to be in the trammels of 
Art; fo intimately do they aflbciate, and 
fo happily do they accord ! 

Of the ufe of the plough, much may be 
faid of the profit, and much denied: it favea 
labour in fome refpedts, and in others it 
augments it. Where it is hot perfevered 
in, the negroes muft be necelTarily obliged 
to ftock-up, or clear the furface of the foil,^ 
that the fatigue of digging cane-^holes may 
be in fome meafure dimini(hed; and if the 
fods be tough, and the weeds heavy, it is 
an operation that is attended with delay and 

If the plough be ufed fo foon as a given 
portion of land fhall have been manured^ 


( '92 ; 

there cannot be any obftru£tion to its 
work from the grafs . or weeds ; for the 
cattle in the pens will keep down both, 
and prevent their future vegetation. 

So foon as the land (hall be fufficiently 
invigorated, the furface ought to be im- 
mediately turned in ; upon the hills by 
hoe-ploughingy and by the plough upon 
the plains. It is of confequence likewifc 
that the pieces be planted as foon as pof- 
fible after they are holed, that the canes 
may have all the advantage of manure be** 
fore the falts fhall be exhaled by the ar- 
dours of the fun, ^nd that the plants may 
be inhumed before the weeds (hall have 
got a-head, which they will otherwife 
foon do, in confequence of a forced and a 
rapid vegetation. 

That the land will not require fo much 
cleaning after it (hall have been turned up by 
the plough, as it was ufed to do in the ordi- 
nary mode of cultivation, cannot, I think, 
admit of a ihadow of doiibt : it is a faying, 


( 193 ) 

In (bttife inftanccs, of prodigious labotir to 
the negroes, and in a great meafure eradi- 
cates, or keeps down, that fpontaneous 
growth of weeds which have an almoftim- 
inediate vegetation after the rains in Jamaica : 
it helps to enrich^ by the additional num- 
ber of cattle that it requires^ a barren, and 
it helps to loofen a ftiflF foil : it renders the 
juice of the cane more fucculent and rich; 
and gives the produce a better grain and 
colour than it is thought to poflefs in thd 
ordinary modes of cultivation. Whether 
or no the quantity be enhanced, fince if . 
has been fo generally introduced, I will 
not venture to determine ; but that it 
might be made to anfwer better than it 
at pfefent does, cannot, I thinks be eafily 
denied « 

There is but little land in the Ifland^ 
that is cultivated with the fugar-cane^ 
particularly upon thofc eftatcs that have 
been long fettled, that does not require 
manurei and the common methods that 
are adopted, as I before obferved, to render 

Vol. II. O i« 

( 194 ) 

it fertile^ are found to confift in moving 
pens> or dropping dang. 

Upon hilly eftates, the manure is car*- 
ried by mules to the fides and bottoms of 
the hills ; and it is fingular to obferve> 
however feemingly tedious may be the pro- 
cefs, with what expedition a given tiumber 
of acres will be difpatched* 

Upon gentle elevations^ and upon fiat 
land, the pradice of penning over the 
cattle is univerfally, and upon all foils, 
and in all feafons, without any variation^ 

There is not a country in the world in 
which there is more room for agricultural 
improvement, than in the one which I 
am endeavouring to defcribe; but then the 
natural indolence of the inhabitants. muft 
be' removed, their induftry awakened; and 
. a flow and progreflive trial of experiments 
muft be made, under the eye of patience 
and obfervation, before they can fucceed. 



The land ip Jamaica rather wants cul-* 
turc than 'richnefs; nor is the idea, and 
tonfequently the prafticc of keeping it ia 
heart, at all underftood. Cultivation is 
not known as a fcience, but as a rou- 
tine of duty : and hence the dodlrine of 
manure^ and the ufe of the plough, arc 
Only confidered as operations of annual 
recurrence, and not as objedls that may 
either injure or improve; for, if the land 
upon which the canes are planted be too 
much invigorated, they Vvill be too luxu- 
riant to yield returns; whereas if poor land. 
On the contrary* be v\^ell cultivated, the 
produce will not only be good, but may 
be great. 

The lefs the land is turned-up in Ja- 
maica, and expofed to the burning powers 
of the fun, the longer will it preferve its 
humidity, and confequently retain its 
ftrength. In the moft bumble produc- 
tions of the country, it is obfervable that 
they thrive beft in thofe foils which are 
the moft abundant in flint ftoncs; and if 

O 2 they 

♦ » - _. 

(' 10 ) . 

they be heaped around a cofFee-bufli, of 
what maybe called a domeftic (hrub, they 
v/ill certainly maintain, if not increafe the 

How far this idea may be held goo(| 
in Englifti farming, I will not take upon 
me to determine, as the means of fer- 
tility generally lie beneath the furfacei 
whereas in the Ifland above mentioned^ 
neither clay, marl, nor compoft, are ufed 
in the ordinary modes of cultivation, al- 
though it might be reafonably fuppofed 
that an artificial foil would be more 
ileadily produ&ive than the natural one 
which makes the produce run up into 
ineffectual luxuriance. 

A flratum that is made by patient and 
difcerning induftry, will keep the ilaple 
much longer in heart than the invariable 
pradlice of folding-over the land can do 
(where manure is neceirary)^ without any 
difcrimination of mouldy of fituatioo> or 
of climate. 


( 197 ) 

The fcience of farming, I am led, from 
partial experience, to believe, is very little 
underftood in the colonies; for where the 
extreme poverty of the foil, in one in- 
flance, requires experimental culture to 
make it produce; fo does the richnefs of 
fpontaneous vegetation, on the other, by 
giving before it is required, relax the more 
ftubborn, and make abortive the hand of 

Thefe obfcrvations may not be thought 
applicable to the prefent fubjeft; but as 
the land in the Weft-Indies is cultivated 
by negroes J whatever can fuftain the crops, 
without an expofure of the bofom of the 
earth, will confequently contribute to a 
diminution of their labour, and may pof- 
fibly hereafter add, if properly attended 
to, one fcruple to the fcale of that huma^ 
nity which is at prefent balanced, but 
which, it is to be hoped, will very foon 
fink, and continue loaded in tbeir favour. 

O^ The 

( 198 ) 

The plough is now partially, and I 


fhould hope profitably, ufed upon all 
plantations in the Ifland, where the nature 
of the land vi^l admit of its introduction ; 
upon fome it'\eorks in a more general 
manner than upon others; and if it be 
found prudent to adopt it, it muil be of 
courfe imprudent to relinquifh it. I have 
feen it go upon fome of the higheft, I will 
not fay the ftcepeft, hills in Weftmore* 
land; and it is often ufed upon fituations 
of the fame dcfcription in other parts of 
the country; but it muft ftill be confidered, 
that although it may be a faving of labour 
in fome refpedts,' and is certainly a relief 
to the negroes in the more heavy opera-* 
tions of the field, — yet does it increa/e 
their exertions in other inftances. 

In proportion to the extent of its ufe, 
muft be the quantity of cattle kept to 
work it; and in proportion to the quan- 
tity of cattle will be the number of acres 
of land manured, and planted: and this 


C 199 ) 


land the negroes mufl put in; nor would 
the introduftion of any machine, were it 
pofiible to contrive one, that would better 
anfwer the purpofc, be either a faving (as 
this operation is not attended with much fa- 
tigue) of labour, of time, or cxpcnce. The 
proportion of canes being thus increafed, 
and the abfolute neceffity there is that the 
negroes mufi: cut them, an augmentation 
of labour will therefore, in this inflance, 
attend the ufe of the plough : and this 
(next to the digging of cane-holes, as the 
cutters muft continually ftoop or rife), is 
tedious, unremitting, and fevere; nor can 
any mechanic power give relief to, or 
adift, this manual operation. 

The canes, when cut, muft be tied up ; 
the mules and the wains muft be loaded 
and unloaded -, they muft be carried to the 
mill ; they muft be conveyed into the 
mill-houfc; they muft beexprefled; they 
muft be boiled, and their liquor pafs 
through a regular procefs in the curing-i 

O 4 houfe 

( 20O ) 

houfe and the ftill-houfe ; the trafh mud 
be afterwards fpread to dry; h muft be 
houfed; and all tbefe different operations 
muft be performed by negro labour. 

If no more canes fhall be planted^ itt 
confequence of the introdudion of the 
plough^ than were formerly tifed to be 
put in by the ordinary modes of cultiva-* 
tion, it will then certainly be acknow- 
ledged to have given great eafe to the 
exertions of the flaves : but even then^ I 
much doubt whether or no it will be 
the abfolute means of anincreafe of popu- 
lation. This reform, fo congenial with 
humanity as well as intereft^ muft even- 
tually, let what will be faid upon the fub- 
jedt, or whatever fpeculations it may admi| 
of, depend upon the tendernefs and indul- 
gence of the white people, u^nder whofe 
government they, may chance to fall. 

* That the plough fucceeds better upon 
fome land than it does upon others, it 


■ « 

( 201 ) 

would be in yaiti to fubflrailtlate^ as no 
pofition can be more juft ; but whether its 
life be equally profitable upon all fbils, 
will likewUe admit of a doubt. 

The land in Jamaica may be thought to 
be upon fome pieces too loofe^^ and upon 
others too ilifF and adhefive: the plough 
may therefore fucceed better upon the 
laft, than it may be found to do upon tho 

Where the land is light and even^ it may^ 
be holed without" having been previoufly 
ploughed ; but where of a contrary nature, 
the clods (hould be left to pulverize^ or 
the foil be turned up a fecond time; and if 
it were even left fome tioie in fallow, i( 
might ftill turn out to more advantage. 

Whether the canes yield more per acre^ 
ypon land that has been ploughed, or 
upon that which has been cultivated ac« 
cording to the old pradlice, and only holed, 
I believe that it will be very difficult to 

determine 2 


( 202 ) 

determine; as it will like wife be, to afccr- 
tain which method of manuring anfwer^ 
bcft — that of flying pens, or droppin^g 
dung into the holes^ 

Upon the hills I pjrefer the lattei", as I 
(hould likewife upon the plains, were it 
not attended with delay and trouble; for 
upon flat land I have known three or four 
diiFerent kinds of foil in one piece; and to 
invigorate all equally alike, to over-enrich 
the already luxuriant, or not to give fuf- 
ficicnt vigour to the weak and barren, 
are folecifms in huibandry which will with 
certainty defeat the ends of cultivation^ 

In ploughing the hills there is labour 
and lofs of, time; more, I think, than 
would be found in the operations of the 
hoe : and the cattle are great fufferers by 
this praftice. 

Since this inilrument has been intro- 
duced, the crops are acknowledged to be 
much later begun, and longer continued^ 


( 203 ) 

than they were ufed to be; and this i$ 
owing perhaps to their fuppofed facility 
of labour, by which a larger plant, and 
with more eafe, may be accomplifhed. 

In former years, it is notorious, that the 
generality of eftates began to put the mills 
about foon after Chriflmas, and all the 
canes were taken off in the month of 
April-; but now thofe very eftates do not 
commence the operations of fugar-making 
before the latter end of January, or the, 
beginning of the enfuing month; and 
carry on the labours of the boiling-houfc, 
through rain, vexation, and lofs, to the 
end of June, and fome properties even 
until July and Auguft, 

I do not think that the land, when 
ploughed, is fuffered to remain a fufficient 
time in, falj^ow: indeed, where a large 
plant iff to ^be put in, it cannot have 
time to moulder; and for this, and other 
reafons, I would rather have a diminution 
of acres well cultivated, manured, and 


( 202 ) 

determine; as it wUl likewr';,n, with care, 
tain which method of ^jj^bg^ that muft, 
bcft—that of flying ^fl^ be Uightly and 
dung into the hole j^ 

^P0» '^« ^/ value of manure, and the 
ihould I'ke^ing cattle, in this inftance, 
not atter^^^^ ^^^ many of the overfeers in 

diff" ^^'' undoubtedly ignorant. They 

j^ (he common pradlice in every thing 

^^ ^ Jo; and fo far indeed they may be 

jcrsiUy righti as experiment will occa- 

£p trouble, if not expence, and in too 

^^ny instances will be attended with both. 

A farmer in England will be furprifed 
to hear, that from three hundred head of 
cattle, not more than fixty or feventy acres 
of land, upon fome eftates, will in the 
couffe of a year be manured; and this too 
but very flightly, compared t^ the invigo- 
ration that is given to that in England. 

The pradice of folding over cattle at 
^11 times of the year, and upon all foils, is 
highly prejudicial to the firft, and often 


( 205 ) 

*^ the laft ; for in the rainy feafbils 

I'fhing how much live (lock^ 

'^alves^ if penned upon the 

loft by this practice : and I 

-lere give my opinion, although I 

.leve it will be generally fcouted, that 

one half of this proportion of cattle, if 

properly foddered in fmall inclofures, and 

thefe inclofures ihall be well attended, s^nd 

conilantly fupplied with tra{h, and the 

admixture of rich foils and compofts, as ia 

the practice in other countries — it is tny 

private opinion, I fay, that an hundred and 

fifty head of cattle, if thus treated, would 

yield more manure^ and that of a mo^e 

prolific quality, than Joui/e the number^ 

according to the prefeipit practice i(i Ja-f 


There ^re many> t know, vrho yvill call 
out againft trouble: but wh^t is trouble 
compared to expence ? The iaving of cat- 
tle, in the courfe of a few years, WQuId 
enable the planter to purch^fe a fu^ciency 
of negroes tp anfwer every purpofe that 


( 206 ) 

fttay he required from this reformation j 
and while he contributes to the enrichment 
of his land^ he is making likewife an an«^ 
nuai addition to his capital; for it isfolely 
upon the prefervation, or augmentation^ 
of this, that the planter can either confider 
himfelf as independent or affluent. 

Upon an eftate which has two hundred 
negroes, and about the fame number of 
cattle, I do not think it would be proper 
to put in, one year with another, more than 
£xty, or at moft fcventy acres of plants : 
andr^E (hould prefer its being completed 
in the month of November at the very, 
fartheft, as the feafons are feldom favoiir* 
able beyond that period. Upon old land I 
do not think that a fpring plant ever an* 
fwers : it interferes with the crop, it occa- 
iioas additional labour to the fleers and 
mules at the very time that they require reft^ 
after the continual fatigues of the harveft : 
and, befides, the time that muft neceffarily 
be given to this operation, would be better 
employed in cleaning and fupplying the 


( ^207 ) 

young cdnes^ and in planting providons 
and grafs. 

An cftate that cuts fixty acres of plant- 
cancs for fugar, with the fame proportion 
of firft and fecond ratoons^ ought to make^ 
with tolerable feafons, about one hun-* 
dred and fifty hogfheads upon an average^ 
and from eighty to ninety puncheons of 
rum. The ftores from England for fuch a 
property ought not to exceed two hundred 
pounds, nor the proviiion's from Ireland 
one hundred : and of herrings I would 
recommend thirty barrels for every hundred 
negroes; and this would be not only an 
ample, but a generous, fupply. 

If the land be ftiff (and a great portion 
of it in Weftmoreland is of this defcription), 
I do not think that a negro will plough 
more, one day with another throughout the 
feafon, than a quarter of an acre, all inter- 
ruptions of rain and accidents allowed. If, 
therefore, the crop be not finifhed before 
the months of June and July, it may ealily 


( io8 ) 

fee imagined with what careleiThers ahd 
hafte a plant of feventy acres. muft hd 

Where two or three ploughs are fet in> 
particularly upon light and level land^ a 
great deal may he done in a fhort time i 
and indeed, when the fame power is given 
to that of a different texture^ the expedi-^ 
tion of the plant will be confequently acce-a> 

The ufe of the plough is not certainly 
arrived at its period of perfedkion in Ja- 
maica : it is» without doubt» capable of" 
much improvement to the land^with a pro- 
portionate diminution of negro labour i 
and» as the breed of cattle ihall be more 
and more attended to, and an additional 
quantity raifed, its operations will become^ 
if poflible, more general j and it may be 
a meadi of introducing a different mode of 
cultivation, a different fyftem of manure^ 
and may help to turn out riches from the 
land which prejudice to old^cufloms, or an 


Ignorance of agricultural fcience may liave 
fu£fered to lie long buried and unexplored, 

^s an objed in iandfcape, much may be 
faid in its rural praife ; for of its particular 
confequence, when taken in this view^ 
every admirer of nature mufl have feen its 
variety^ and will acknowledge its eifed. 

When this ufeful and ornamental indru- 
ment of hufbandry is obferved to cut a 
regular furrow upon the plains^ it is n6t 
unamuiing to obferve the variety of birds 
of different plumage and defcription that 
follow the fable lines which the (hare occa« 
iions^ and which peck their living food 
from the bofom of the foil; from that 
univerfal parent that gives her childrdh 
fuftenance, and which at lafl, as Pliny 
bbferves, receives them again after their 
diiTolution into her maternal bofom ; and 
which is conftantly giving food to the in- 
duflriouSi or receiving into peace the per*^ 
fecuted and unhappy defcendants of the 
human race« 

Vol. IL P When 

( 2IO ] 

When three or four of thefe rural inrple^ 
ments are ftretching a length of furrows 
upon the barren moor, or flying fands, wc 
cannot help dwelling upon the induftry ^and 
art of men, which can by dint of toil and 
perfeverance oblige the firft to yield abun- 
dance, and compel the lad to turn adhefive^ 
and to put on the face of cultivation. 

When we fee deferts peopled, and dreary 
(rafts of folitude and wafte become the 
habitations of luxury and wealth ; when 
the iilence of nature is converted into the 
busz of commerce, and from the bofom 
of pcEiury and want are found to arife, not 
only competence, but fuperfluity, what a. 
leiTon does it not unfold of the benevolent 
intentions of Providence ! 

The earth is niggard of her gifts, that 

the hand of induftry may briiig them forth ; 

and, however difcouraged we may be by 

the fterile appearance of the furface, yet let 

man refledt, that the mine is buried beyond 

the reach of cultivation, and that in his pro- 


( an ) 

grefs to the refervoirs of ^old and filvtfr, 
he has pafled through many ftrata of earth 
that would have been produdtivc of the 
wants and the comforts of man. 

When the plough is feen to work upon 
the fide of a hill» and the negroes are hoe- 
ploughing thofe parts that are inaccefliblc 
to the labour of cattle; when the exer- 
tionSy the impatience, and the hurry of 
the latter are contrafted with the flow 
and progreflive motion of the former ; one 
would naturally conclude, that the lad 
would turn up more land in an hour 
than the other would complete in a day*.: 
but here there is a flriking proof of the 
advantage of perfevering though tardy 
labour, over the fpirts of animation, and 
the momentary fpirit of toil. 

The intereft which the plough affords 
to a Jamaica landfcape, is very little dif- 
ferent from that which the traveller will 
fee in thofe parts of Europe in which oxen 
are ufcd in preference to horfes. The former 

P 2 are 

( 212 ) 

are more pi&urefque animals in general 
than the latter, and Aiould not^ I thinks 
be too frequently introduced into the fame 
landfcape } or, if introduced, I would not 
always have them in the fame group. The 
horfe gives a feeming fpirit and a motion 
to the rural fcene, and has therefore a 
particular efFefl: as the principal figure in 
a ftorm ; whereas the oxen and the fheep, 
from their quiefcent natures, have a dif- 
ferent interefl in the calm^ 

The bull, the heifer, or the fleer, fcem 
to afTociate uncommonly well with the 
jram, the ewe, the lambkin, and the goat f 
and the afs is likewife a great addition, 
and adds a pleafing variety^ to the piftu-^t 
refque group ; as would likewife a flouch- 
ing and a meagre horfe help to fill up the 
drawing to advantage : but the mettlefome 
ileed, or the bounding colt, would inters 
fere with, and diflurb, the quiet afTemblage, 
and hence will do better in landfcapes of 
animation and bufinefs. 


( 213 ) 

Where horfes arc ufcd in the plough, 
they do not make the pidurefque and rural 
appearance that oxen do : they feem to 
be more formal ; nor can they indeed be 
brought to work^ on account of the nature 
of the foil, in thofe countries that produce 
the greatefl variety of bold and romantic 

If they toil upon the plain, the path 
that is marked out for their progfcfs is uni- 
form and ftrait, and is. only varied perhaps 
by an interfeding baulk or village-diviflon 
in the champaign countries, or by hedges 
in thofe that are inclofed i but where the ' 
oxen labour, the fcene is various, and the 
landfcape different; and the plough, inftead 
of drawing out one length of furrow, is 
feen to defcribc a curve at the bottom of 
the hill i to emerge from, or to dip into, 
a woody glade ; and now to move along 
the fkirts of a hanging wood, within^ the 
hearing of the roaring torrent^ or the 
fplafliings of the white cafcade, 

P I Not 

( 214 ) 

Not but it is pleafing to fee it, when 
worked by horfes, appear every now and 
then^ ai\d come out into the light, as ijt 
were, between the different parts of a bro- 
ken fence; over which the oak, the a(hj 
and the elm, are feen to throw their aged 
branches ; and among the foliage of which 
the folitary wood-gueft is heard to breathe 
its melancholy note, as if in fad refponfes 
to the whiflling hind, that amufes himfelf 
with this vacant mufic, as he cuts out the 
furrows with a regular and perfevering ftep 


• Thefe latter images may be frequently 
obferved in the flat lands of England j 
but the mountains in Jamaica prefent a 
very different profpeft ; for Nature there 
partakes more of the terrors of the fublimc, 
than of the humble pleafures of quiefcent 

The immenfe herds of cattle that are 
conflantly obferved upon the plantations 
in this ifland give a particular intereft to 
the general landfcape$ of the country; and 


( 215 ) 

as thefe are fcen to browze in different 
fitiiationSy and at different periods of the 
day, their removal from one place to another 
will confequently vary the rural profpcdt, 
and prefent forms and images continually 

At noon they are generally conduced to 
ihade; and this is of various kinds, accord-* 
ing to the difpofition, and the growth, of the 
trees by which they arc diftinguifhed. 

The cotton-tree protrudes, when the 
fun is vertical, an immenfe and trembling 
canopy of fhade ; but then it is . not in 
general fo impenetrable as the logwood and 
the bailard cedar, which are of more 
humble growth, but which confequently, 
from their lownefs, and the ncarnefs of 
their maffes, afford a more thick and cer« 
tain umbrage. 

*The minor beauties of landfcape, that 
are found in the inclofed and in the cul- 
tivated farms of England, are very different, 

P 4 ' in 

( 2l6 ) 

in every refpedt, from thofe which arc to be 
obferved, even after the moft fedulous 
attention^ in Jamaica ; the furface of the 
latter, where not cultivated, being over- 
fpread with an indefcribable variety of gau- 
dy, but ufelefs productions, which, from 
the rapid vegetation of the climate, grow 
up with wild and buihy appearances that 
rather load the foil than ferve to adorn it. 

The flowers of the wildernefs, in the 
above-mentioned Ifland, are beautiful, but 
very few fpecies are aromatic : there is 
indeed a kind of wild jeiTamine, that every 
now and then fends forth a mod rich and 
overpowering fragancy.; but the humble 
produdions of the meads in England, fuch 
as the crocus and the daify, the cowflip 
and the violet, have not their counter- 
parts in that latitude : and even the rofe 
does not pofTefs the fame odour and the 
fame beauty ; nor do its leaves double 
in any degree of perfedion compared to 
this lovely apd modefl flower in England $ 
a climate which in a particular manner 


{ 417 ) 

fccms tofofttr the dimiriutive prodiKflions 
of nature, to cover their veftments with 
fplendour, and to fill their cups with 
fwectjj and which affedt the eye and th© 
fenfcs with double chariris, in confequence 
of their appearance at particular feafons. 

When winter 's paft with all its fnow8. 

And zephyrs fpread the wing. 
Beneath the hedge the vi'let grows. 

The early child of fpring. 

Expanding to the funny ray. 

Or fofter'd in the glade. 
It gives its odours to the day, 

Its perfumes to the Ihadc. 

But oh ! when winter (hall return. 

And froft benumb the vale, 
Though flieltcr'd by protefting fern. 

No more her fweets prevail. 

Whereas, in tropic climes, the flbw'r 

That waftes its hues unfeen, 
Proops not beneath the changeful hour. 

But boafts eternal green. 

Although no cflenc'd dew dcfcends 

Upon its humble vcft. 
Yet vermeil leaves, to make amends. 

In pride uninjur'd reft. 

Vol. lU The 

( «8 ) 

The rural obje^s of Nature in Euro«* 
pean climates may be obferved with more 
convenience and fafety than they can in 
warmer latitudes^ in which curioiity may 
lead to danger^ and exercife be followed by 

It«is indeed much to be lamented^ that 
where Nature has poured forth her boun- 
ties with fo profufe a hand, fo few can 
be gathered in proportion to their abun- 
dance; and that fome of the mofl beautiful 
and fplendid of her charms are cpntr^fted, 
as before obferved, with difficulty and 

The filken cobwebs oft invite. 

With dewy pearls inlaid, 
Th* incautious infeft to alight. 

By mimic gems betrayM ; 

But though the mefh fo beauteous flune. 

The fly may poi|f6n bring; 
And thofe foft threads, that feem fo fine. 

May yet conceal the fting« 


( 219 ) 

AFTER the plough, an account o- 
the nature of the foils of Jamaica may be 
like wife expected > but this isfo extremely 
different, and indeed fo infinite is the 
variety, that I (hall only notice thofe that 
are commonly met with in the cultivation 
of the cane« 

Which particular fpecies of mould is 
beft adapted to the propagation of this 
plant, it will be difficult to determine^ 
as this will greatly depend upon fituatioa 
and feafons. 

In the parifli of Vere there is a kind of 
blue mould, which I take to be as rich a 
foil, and of as flrong a ftaple, as any in 
the IHand; and that it is remarkably con* 
genial to the perfedtion of the cane may 
beeafily imagined from its exceffive returns 
when the feafons have been favourable: 


( 220 ) 

but this part of. the country Is more 
fubjed to, and more often experiences 
drought, than any other portion of the 

The canes upon this land will ftand a 
great number of cuts, without the necef- 
fity of a fupply, or replantation ; and the 
produce is as fine as the land is rich. The 
heat is fo intenfe in this particular diflri(^^ 
that a ftrangcr can very fenfibly feel, as he 
rides about the plantations, the refledtion 
of it from the ground; and it is chiefly 
owing, I believe, to the fervour of the 
noon-tide rays, that all the fruits, and of 
the various kinds, are there found in the 
higheft perfedion and flavour* 

As the landfcape is in general flat, but, 
where at all elevated, is covered with the 
cafliaw and the popinax trees, which may 
be almofl: coniidered as the fpontaneous. 
weeds of that region; and as the land is fo 
often parched with drought, the river low, 
and the ftreamdry; it is but fcldom indeed 


( "I ) 

that it prefents any image of pidurefque 
beauty; and even after rains^ when the tor- 
rent (hall tumble from the diflant moun- 
tains» and fwell the bed of the ftream, the 
confequences which it occafions in its full 
and turbid courfe, are thoie of danger and 
defolation^ without putting on any of thofe 
forms that awaken terror, or (excepting 
that of momentary apprehenfion) that par- 
take of the fublime. 

• The foil In the parifh of Saint David is 
miferably poor and barren ; and hence there 
are in it but few plantations; but the fea-- 
tures of Nature are grand, prominent, and 

In this tra£l of land, very few iituations 
will admit of cultivation, the mofl confi- 
derable portion of it being a bed of rocks, 
among which are hardly feen any inha- 
bitants but goats: but at every turn is 
obferved fome lingular appearance of Na-* 
ture; and, as far as retirement and filencc 


( 222 ) 

can delight^ this parifh is not without its 
romantic charms* 

As the traveller purfues his road through 
the gloomy and inhofpitable (hades of this 
ijbny region^ he cannot fail to admire the 
towering rocks and the fpreading trees 
that grow to an immenfe iize from their 
gigantic clefts^ and which, excluding the 
vifitation of the fun-beamfs, produce the 
moft fblemn glens that the eye of contem* 
plation can well behold 5 and while his 
£ght is arretted by the piAurefque folem- 
nity of its glooms, his ear is amufed by the 
melancholy murmur of the woods around. 

What pleafure may not a refledlive mind 
experience from tracing, in idea, the pur- 
fuits and the refources of the feathery in« 
habitants of the grove, when the branches 
are made vocal by their murmurs or their 
fongs; when the leaves are difturbed by 
their paftime, or their quarrels ; or when 
they rife in flocks, and caufe a tremor upon 
the fummits of the trees, and leave their 


( 223 ) 

partners, their ncfts, their young ones, ot 
their eggs behind, to explore the diftant 
vallies or the hills, or to fteal from the 
cultivation of the fields, or the wafliings 
of the beach, their daily food, and hence 
divide the fruits of induflry and the ac«- 
quirements of duty and love, upon their 
return, v^ith their nurfing and expe<^ant 
mates at night ! 

The female, fitting on her neft, 

Obferves her partner fly, 
And with a fond, contented breaft, 

Purfues him through the iky : 
Yet no regret attends his flight. 

Though far his pinions roam ; 
For they, however late at night. 

Are fure to waft him home. 
But now returned, and on the fpray. 

He confolation brings. 
Divides the produft of the day. 

Then Iheltcrs with his wings* 

In retired fituations like lhefc> the gott 
becomes a very interefting objecSk: pid:u« 
refque in itfelf by nature, its habits par- 
take of fcenes that are wild and romantic; 


( 2H ) 

and as it is the principal 6gure in regions 
of ilerility and danger, as it can feed upon 
the moil coarfe and negledted herbage, can 
frolic upon the mofl inacceilible eleva* 
tions, and look down from the mofl: giddy 
heights— it becomes a well-adapted inha- 
bitant of ftony mountains, and the track* 
lefs walle of naked rocks, and jutting 
promontories; and may be even regarded 
with attention and*delight^ in the more 
humble and quiet fcenes of rural ima- 

There is fomething extremely reviving 
to the fight, and animating to the feelings, 
when a traveller all at once emerges from 
the depths of folitude and defolation, and 
colnes out upon the plains of cultivation 
and abundance; when the landfcape takes 
a new turn, and every objedl appears of a 
different hue, and is diverfified by a dif- 
ferent form; when large droves olF cattle 
are feen browzing upon the level paftures, 
and the hills, by which they are fkirted, 
are bending with cane$> or the Guinea* 


t 225 ) 

j^nalTs in bloflbm is ihakingtothebree2e;-^ 
when after traveriing a traft of land with*<* 
cut culture^ a defert without a torrent or si 
fpring, a full river comes pouring down 
from the mountains^ and branched out into 
hunierous irrigations^ refreshes the thirftyf 
land improves the barren, foil ; and at laft 
difcharges its waters with a meandering 
courfe^ and within. the obfcfrver's fight, to 
the fahdy, mar(he6 through which they 
percdlate> or lofe themfelves ixi the deep 
abforbihg fink*holes, from which they re« 
Itidtantly flow it lafti^ and pay their tribute 

to the feai 

Betwedil the parilkes of St. David, and 
Ike notoft eaftern part of St. Thomas in the 
Baft, a great variety 6f country may be 
obfervedi and a confiderable proportion oC 
Whi^b will admit of many various and 
pleafing kkids of landfcape ; the moft ro- 
mantic of whicbi in the neighbourhood 
of Bath, I have already attempted to de^ 

VoL.IL Q^ This 

( 226 ) 

This latter parifh is very abundant in 
water; but then the rivers do not flow 
through fo romantic a country, nor do 
their banks afford fo many pleafing fcenes 
as are obferved in thofe parts which I have 
had more opportunities and leifure to ex- 
plore. : 

Plantain-garden Ri^cr is infinitely more 
ufeful than it will be found, particularly 
upon the plains, to be pidturefque; but 
then it irrigates one of the mcjft fertile parts 
of Jamaica, and enriches a tra<9: of country, 
the foil of which is inexhauflible and fine. 

: Upon its banks are fomc of the bed 
properties in the ifland, and perhaps fomc 
of the moft valuable fingle farms, if I may 
be allowed to call a fugar {plantation by this 
name, in the univerfe ; and as the ftretch 
of didance upon which' thefe fettlemeots 
are placed may be overlooked from the 
neighbouring heigths, it may be eafily fup- 
pofed how much the charms of cultivation^ 


( ^27 ) 

and the fa rpirife of diftancc, may be en- 
hanced by a rcflcdlion of the opulence 
which they annually produce. 

The greateft part of this land is diftin- 
gui(hed by the appellation of brick mould, 
is inexhauflible in point of fertility, is of 
cafy labour, of an even furfacc, and of a 
depth of foil almoft unknown* 

The feafons that refrefti it are in general 
mild and regular, although it has, like 
other parts of the ifland, been of late 
years unfortunately vifited by hurricanes, 
and is fubjed likewife to be fometimes 

In a country that is watered by fo many 
rivers, it is natural to fuppofe that there 
muft be a great variety of falls ; and in 
the rainy feafons thefe fublime and beau- 
tiful objedsare very frequently to be tnet 
with. I have beheld feveral, that have 
had their local charms j and variety and 

0^2 , furprife 

C 228 ) 

lurpriie ftre circumftancea that give an 
additiooalmteireft to every fcene. 

How much more flriking is a cataraA 
that comes, as it were, all at once upon the 
eye, but which the ear had previouily 
taught lis to explore, and which is buried 
in a night of (hade, and encompafled by 
torrents, rocks, and mountains — than one 
that is ieated near a village or a town, 
which is obvious from the ftreet, which 
gives its daily thunders unnoticed, and 
which is totally unadorned by verdure and 
hy fhade. 

Secluflon contributes in a great degrecf 
to the fublimity of rural impreflions y and 
hence it is that the waterfall at Tcrney 
will always ftrike the mind with more 
aftonifhment and grandeur than that tre- 
mendous fall at Tivoli, which is fituated^ 
in the mtdfl: of population, and dif^aced 
by the deformkies of art. 


( 229 ) 

There is fomething awfully fublime in 
beginning a journey at the dawn of day, 
in thofe romantic regions, in which moun- 
tain torrents and cafcades abound ; when 
the eye is arrefted at every turn, and the 
«ar is intereftcd by every found. 

When the traveller firft leaves the plain, 
and beholds the river, that lately flowed 
with a quiet and a dimpling flream, be^ 
gin by perceptible degrees to exchange 
the tranquillity of its waters, and to forego 
a Tandy or a pebbly bottom for a channel 
jchoked up by rocks > when his ear is kept 
attentive by the incefTant falls that fucceec^ 
each other, till at laH: the founds increafing, 
the glooms prevailing, and expedlation 
alive, he fuddenly beholds at the laft ro- 
mantic turn the fronting cataraft difchargc 
its mighty ftrcam, ingulph the fir-trees 
jind the pines, the lofty and umbrageous 
produds of the mountains, and {hake, with 
its unremitting weight of waters, the dark, 
though capacious, amphitheatre that the 
ropj^s gDcl woods have formed around* 

0.3 The 

V 230 ) 

The foil in many parts of St. Jameses 
is uncommonly deep, and fome of the moft 
fertile properties in the parifli are adjoining 
to the fea j a circumftance rather uncom-' 
mpn, and which, as it faves the diftance 
of carriage, is of infinite confequence, and 
they become of courfe in proportion va- 

In the neighbourhood of Montego Bay, 
which is grown into a populous and com-^ 
mercial town^ is a tradt of land that is 
uncommonly favourable to the perfedion 
of the cane ; and one particular eftate ia 
this diftria is fuppofed, in proportion to 
its fize, to make the moft confiderable and 
regular returns of good and even produce 
of any plantation in the Illand; and it is 
really aftonifhing to hear how long this 
plant will continue to ftand, and how 
greatly it will yield without any apparent 
trouble or cultivation. 

In the internal parts of this divifion of 
the Ifland, there are piany hundred acres 


( 231 ) 

together of black- mould land upon a clay, 
and the furface of which is entirely covered 
with loofe- and flinty ftones; and this I 
believe to be the moft durable and pro- 
fitable foiU in all feafons^ that is to be 
met with in Jamaica ; as the canes upon 
it will run up into the mod luxuriant 
ratoons^ and they will (land to cut, and 
will continue to yield well, without much 
care or cleaning, for a confiderable number 
of years: the flints retaining the moiflure, 
fupporting vegetation, and at the fame time 
preventing the rapid growth of grafs and 
weeds. ♦ 

From fome of the elevations upon this 
road, ' particularly from thofe that look 
down upon Montego Bay, and the richly 
cultivated plains around, are to be obferved 
fume very grand and extenfive views. 

As the traveller afcends the hills, and 
beholds the fcenery below hint, his eye 
is loft in the multiplicity of images, in 
the fplendour of the objects, and in the 

0^4 intermi- 

( 23« ) 

interminable ftretch of diftance^ Which 
infcnfibly recedes from the eye, and is at 
laft undiftinguiih^d in the horizon. 

The beach i; broken by a (ucceflio^ of 
bays; and in thofe are dotted a numbet: 
of verdant iflands^ which break the regular 
expanfeoftlie pellucid ocean; in theboibnt 
of which may be feen, refleded * through 
the waves, and peering, as it were, above 
the furface, a various aiTemblage of broken 
rocks, adorned with coral, with leaves, and 
a variety of fubmarine productions; an4 
which, with the neighbouring mangroves^ 
that (brow their dark reflections into the; 
poli(hed mirror, prefent a fcene of uncom* 
mon luftre, and local beauty ; aqd which 
aiTume freih forms and new attra&ions as 
the eye defcends to a level contemplatioi^ 
of their quiefcent charms. 

This view is obfervcd to arrcft the eye 
of every beholder : the plantations on the 
borders of the fea, which breaks into gentle 
curves — the town that appears at a diftan9ei| 

( ^n ) 

iSie hills that back the plaint, and thii 
mountains that fwell above the hilts, pre« 
fent the eye with a profpe£fc of extent 
and foblimity : of extent, upcm ^)iich 
the various objects may be minoWly and 
plearly difcriminated ^ aftd <^ fublimity 
that finks from the grand into the fimple, 
and that is elevated from the (imple into 
the fublime. 

The road from which this view i^ to be 
obferved, is not deficient in pidlurefquc 
beauty. In the declivity of the hill, that 
is darkly (haded by rocks on. one fide, and 
by mafly foliage on the other, is drilled the 
bed of a hoarfe, impetuous torrent ; and 
which, when the waters are out, is ob- 
ferved to tumble in fucccffive, though 
not ftupendous^ falls, and rufliing through 
the adjoining ornaments of underwood 
and (hrubs, is fometimcs feen, and fome- 
times loft; and now the murmurs die 
away, and now they fwell with the breeze, 
pntil at laft they become unheard fron^ 
^jftancc, or filenced by the more noify? 


< 234 ) 

wafiiings of the beach, or theVoarings of 
the furge. 

The road of communication between 
the parishes of St. James and Weftmore- 
land is not diflinguiihed by much variety 
ofview, or exteniion of diflance : it rather 
partakes of that kind of nature that is 
congenial to the miqd of him who is fond 
of contemplation, ind who delights in 
thofe fequeilered and quiet glooms which 
encourage thought, and produce the heart-* 
giving comforts of refledion. 

As far as lofty trees, and their natural 
cpnfequences, expanfive (hades, are plea- 
fing objeds of landfc?ipe, this journey may 
be confidercd^ by the traveller, as abounding 
in both, and to be full of thefe fpecies of 
rural impreffion ; while the winding path, 
the rifing hill, the gentle deprefSbn, the 
trickling ftream, the hollow glen, the ftony 
cavern, and the giddy height, have their dif- 
ferent effeds, and either foothe his thoughts 
by the tranquillity of their appearance, or 



awaken in his mind the ideas of fubh'mity 

and danger* 

In fome divifions of this romantic roady 
and to break the famenefs that would 
otherwife difguft, the ftrangcr's, eye is 
alternately cheered, in a given and inter- 
fering proportion of miles, by the unex- 
pefted appearance of a plantation, which 
for a confiderable length of way engages 
bis attention, and breaks the long-con- 
tinued uniformity of thought : he now 
contrafts the beauties of Nature in a ftatc 
of cultivation and expence, to thofe filent 
retreats which human induftry has left 
unexplored, to thofe woods unconfcious of 
the axe, thofe hills untrodden by the mule^ 
unbrow^jed by oxen, and unenlivened by 
the goat — to thofe plains upon which the 
ftones have been undifturbed, and the bofom 
of which no plough has broken 5 and 
according to the temper of his mind, will 
either prefer profpedls of artificial abun- 
dance to the unavailing impreffions of 
J^ature; or forego the fplendours of the 


( 236 ) 

fisimy pkin, with all hs adornments of 
cultivation and cxpence^ to bury himfelf 
among thofe glooms which are more con* 
genial to the habits of thinkings and which 
afford to feclufion and penury an advantage 
over population and wealth. 

The firft opening that lets in the exten-* 
live and highly-cultivated plain of Weft-^ 
moreland, is Angularly ftriking, as well as 
plealing ^ and there are feveral obJeAs of 
rural obfervation around this given fpot^ 
thatj» independently of the general view» and 
diftindt from the individuality of each 
otfaer^ would much delight and intereft the 
landfcape painter* 

I fuppofe a perfon of this defcription to be 
in a mapner arrefted by the alternate con«^ 
templation of the pbjedts around him; 
that he flops in the midfl of the road^ with 
his pencil in his hand> and wiChes to feledt 
one confined view out of the pleafing 
yariety by which he is furrounded. As yet 
^he extenfive profpeA has not burfl upon 

( ^37 ) 

the fight, but appears over the intervening^ 
bu(hes as a line of diftance, unbroken by: 
any objed, and of courfe undiicriminated 
by any prominent and leading feature. 

As he tarns back» and direds his view 
towards the mountains, he perceives a road« 
' over(hado\¥ed on one iide by lowly hilU 
and ftraggling trees, and on the other a 
walk of plantains and bananas ; and las thA 
eye li6K)ks forward^ and pierce$ inta tlm 
glooms, he beholds a lowly habitation and 
fbm« ruined huts obfeurely fituated at tha 
bottom of a winding path, which feemft 
to fife in perpendicular a&enikitn,. and toi 
meander through the burying woods, lA 
which is every now and then observed ^ 
furtive fun-«beam trembling aqildft th« 
fliades, and (bowing, ohvioua to (he fight«» 
a group of mulea that wind^ under their: 
heavy burthens, their patient and cautious 
way adown the hills, and come out ^t 
laft in pidturefque procefHon upon the con^. 
fined plain that j uft appears to open beloWj^ 
and upon which the waggonsr and the 


( ^38 ) 

livraihs have long remained in pekqeful cX-* 
pedation of their ufeful loads. 

As. he turns to the left, he obfcrves a 
mountain, upon which the magnificent 
Cotton-trees expand their branching arms, 
and protect with their (hadows, the minor 
produdls of the foil below — the plantain - 
tree, that rifes here and there in folitary 
dumpS' — the wide-fpreading- leaves of the 
coco-^and the afpiring tendrils of the 
yam, through which the watchman is 
taking his folitary rounds, and every now 
and then atten[)pts to floop, though bent 
by years and the infirmities of nature^ 
to eradicate the intruding weed, or the 
matted grafs $ and who, after this feeble 
exertion, retires with a flow and a trem- 
bling ftep to his ruftic hovel, from thence 
brings out the embers of his fire, and 
lays the fertile afhes at the root of his 
infant fuckers, which when grown up to 

a fiate of maturity are to fupply his future 


wants, and which he gathers with cheerful 


( ^39 ) 

Indaftry as the fruits of independency, and 
the recompence of exertion. 

Through the different vegetables that 
adorn thefe heights^ is ohferved, in the rainy 
feafons, a pleafing number of petty rills, 
which, brawling over the pebbles and the 
ftones with.which the foil is covered, dif- 
per& themfelves in various channels amidfl: 
the different tufts of vegetation, and form 
in particular parts^ where their lucid ftreams 
are accidentally colle£ted, aferies of flowly- 
winding and fmall cafcades, which, accu« 
xnulating as they proceed, urge on a gentle 
courfe to the bottom of the hill, and from * 
thence flow on in one continued rivulet to 
its fringed brow, from which they prattle ia 
a hafty courfe adown a ilony lane, on both 
fides furrounded by foliage and by fhade, 
until the waters are loft in the porous and 
'imbibing quality of the foil below. 

. A circular bafon, as blue as indigo, and 
as deep as the regions of death, is obferved 
on one fide to receive the extraneous 


{ 440 ) 

Waters, Mi, when fulU to dtfgorge IhtktA 
upon the neighbouring road, from which 
they are hurried down in a tumultuous 
progrefst and over l dtcltning precipice^ 
to the diftant and abfofbing plain. 

A variety of fcenea th^s obvious and 
romantic--=-of retirement within the reach 
of expofnre> of rocks and mountains over^^ 
hanging prccfpiccs, of elevations firming 
Into plains^ of terror exchanged for tran^^ 
quillity, and nattrre enhanced by art-^ 


a variety thus difbriminatedi and th'us be* 
held^ there ar^ but few regions that caii 
fubftantiate j and which, mehoeholy to 
think ! it is not in my poWcr, who havtf 
feen the«n» to dcfcribe^ 

To the parish of Weftmoreland I cannot 
Ibe otfierwife partial than to its rural ima<& 
gery ; and as far as credit can be giveil 
to ocular obfervation^ and allowances madd 
ibr natural experience^ as far as cme in- 
dividxial may obtrude his thoughta oil 
others, and may prefume to didate from 


( 241 ) ' 

his feelings what may be the impreffions 
of others ; I fhall be contented to fix my 
criterion of natural beauty— *of beauty ari« 
iing from tranquillity, of nngnificence pro« 
ceeding from terror^of fublimity occafioned 
by deftruAion— -to that unfortunate region 
which I have fo often contemplated with 
pleafure, and looked upon with difguflj fo 
often obferved fmiling with abundance^ and 
blanked by defolation ; fo often known 
happy, and feen funk to defpair : in which 
I have known dependents converted into 
mailers, fervility exchanged for difdain^ 
obligations returned with ingratitude, and 
confidence rewarded by treachery, a bro- 
ken heart, and the apprehenfions of an 
parly grave. 

Of its foil I (hall llereafter fpeak, and 
with fome ponfidence aif leaft, if not with 
obfervatioh; but (hall previoufly fay, that the 
fea-fide parKhes, to which it is on the left 
and on the right contiguous, are as different 
in mould and appearance as any that are to 
be found in the illand of Jamaica* 

Vol. IL R ^ In 

( 242 ) 

In St. Elizabeth's the land is In commoit 
too barren to. produce in any perfe(9:ioa 
the fugar-cane; but then it is admirably 
adapted to the;, formation of pens, the 
l^eft of which are certainly to be found 
in this parifh, and many of which are 
replete with majeflic fcenery and quiefgent 


' iV kind of red earth prevails throughout 
the public roads of this particular region j 
and as it is only favourably to natural herb« 
age, artificial grafs, and corn and cotton j 
to the growth and perfedion of fuftic, log- 
wood, and the various fpecies of building* 
timber — thefe are therefore found, where 
cultivated, or where they arife in z neg- 
ledled ftate, to attain a proper maturity, and 
to adorn the plains, and to cpver the moun« 
tains, which would otherwife appear to bo 
entirely barren* 


The wild parts are extremely romantic, 
?nd prefent views of a very different ftyle 


( Ui ) 

bt bbmpofition from thofe which I have 
Already defcribed. 

The pimehto-trees are of natural pro^ 
dudtion, and in fome fituations appear to 
thrive extremely well ; although I am led 
to believe that they ard not fo much at- 
tended to as ail article of commerce upoti 
the flat land as they are upon the hills 
and mountains ; and as they groi^ fponta- 
neoufly upon particular foils» aiid fotm, 
when grouped together^ a dark and aromatid 
ihade^ the ftrangcr may repofe under their" 
branches with delight; but when they 
fhow the bloffom^ the fragrance becomes 
almoft painfully difFufe^ in fo much that 
even At a difl[^nce> after a momentary en* 
joymeilt^ it rather becomes an efTence to 
difguft, than a fragrance to pleafe. 

In the faiidy divilions of the pariih, the 
general landfcape appears to be, if I may 
be allowed the expreflion, an ornamented 
defert i for although the herbage be not 

R 2 only 

( 244 ) 


only fhort but fcanty for the pafturage 6^ 
cattle and of iheep, yet are there ihrubi 
without number for the browzing of the 
goats, and (hade and (helter for the Comfort 
and the fafety of other animals. 

In waftes like thefe, the playful thatch 
and the afpiring cabbage- tree arife in pride 
of vegetation, and (hake their leaves in 
ruflling tremor to the concert of the winds 
that murmur round ; or at the firft break- 
ings of the day, when no ftorm impends, 
they {hake off the dew-drops from their 
tufted fummits, and adorn the forefts with 
their waving plumes. 

When the firft zephyrs of the mom awake, 
The thatch is feen his fan-like leaves to fhake ; 
And the tall cabbage bends, on fanda like thefe, 
^ With ruftling tremor to the paffing breeze ; ' 
Or looks indignant from his verdant height. 
And nods his feath'ry crown to ftrike the fighlk 

There are fome cdnfiderable^ and one 
very ufeful river in this parifh ; and whichj 
from the appearance of its waters in par- 

( 245 ) 

ticular places which are darkened by the^ 
overhanging foliage, has obtained the ap«p 
pellation of Black : but this property does 
not by any means preclude it from that 
tranfparency which is obfervable in other 
rivers of the country. 

Of a confined landfcape, I think one 
of a ferene and captivating cad might be 
copied from a particular fituation adjoining 
to this river, whofe waters proceed with 
a deep and tranquil courfe, and which are 
Sheltered in feveral places from the hurtim 
ing fun by trees that appear to form a 
canopy over head of refrefhing and im- 
pervious fhade^ 

A very pidturefque, and the more fo as a 
wooden bridge is feen from the banks to 
divide the current of the ftream, on one 
iide of which the profped: is umbrageous 
9nd dark, and on the right, as if delighting 
in the amenity of the fcene, a ray of light 
is obferved to defcend from the opposite 
|iill» and to hang upon that portion of the 

K 3 watcf$ 

( 246 ) 

Wdters into which the refiedions of th9 
overhanging arches are daily thi;own» an4 
ppon the broken and Shelving borders 
pf which the aquatic plants (hoot forth 
their broad umbrells^s, and covered over 
with the matin dews, appear to glow, when 
irradiated by the fun-beams, like a bed of 
^hanging opals upon a block of eoi^rald^ 

The exit from the wood to the fimplc ancj 
the fpreading arch of communication above 
defcribed, is faiqtly gilded by the mprning 
light, which marks the legs of the pattle, 
?nd which are feen by degrees to receive 
a ilronger lumination as they burft upon 
the view, and catch the rays which brca^ 
in momentary reflcAions round, 

A loaded boat is obfervcd to glide floyvly 
through the arch 5 the herds s^nd flocks are 
driven towards the banks, and defcend in 
fi winding line adown the gentle deprefiions 
pf the hill, which is rough with thiftle$ 
^nd with weeds; and through the open- 
ing which the road occafionS;^ th^ fuqr 


( 247 ) 

beam fteals to irradiate the fcene above 

There is a large tra£fc of land in this 
pari(h that is one continued morafs, and 
whicht not being deemed fit for any fpecies 
of cultivation^ is hardly entitled to any 
def&ription ; and there is an imnienfe ex- 
tent of plains which in the rainy feafons 
is covered with a natural herbage upon 
which fheep are known to thrive and to 
encreafe in great abundance. 

The climate in one particular part of this 
parifh is reckoned the mod reftorative to 
convalefcence of any in the ifland ; and^ 
from the accounts that have been uniformily 
given by thofe who have occafionally re- 
fided there as invalids^ or who have refortcd 
to that fpot upon parties of pleafure, it 
may be imagined that the air is as elaftic 
and as falubrious as any in the world. The 
heat and inconvenience of a tropical fun 
are there hardly diftinguifhed ; and exercife 
m^y be taken without languor upon thofQ 

Jl 4 level 

level plains (which being dotted over with 
innumerable clumps of different trees^ hava 
the appearance of an Englifh park)t at any 
hour of the day, without fafigae# or ap- 
preheniion of danger. 

It is over this trad of land that the eye 
wanders when the traveller defcends May-* 
day-hilU and the confines of which are 
bordered by the ocean. 

In this celebrated view there is diftance, 
but not variety in comparifon to the ex- 
tent. The objedts immediately below the 
eye are too far renK>ved to admit of minute 
parts, and of pidturefque defcription. The 
principal lines of beauty, are on the left- 
hand fide ; and thefe entirely cqnfift of the 
Pedro plains, through which no river flows^r 
and upon which no pond is feen: but 
as foon as the fiat land is gained (that is^ 
flat comparatively ipeaking, to the above 
mentioned, and in feme parts almofi: inac- 
cefiible, heights), there are nlany objeds 
of rural imagery that are Angular in ap- 

( «49 ) 

pe&rancet tod licoce pleafitig fiom their 

Sometimes as the ftranger joufniea on 
between the more painful defcent of the 
hill and the adual plains of St« EIi2a- 
beth^ he is loft in the ihadows of fur- 
rounding rocks and foreft glooms; and 
many of the trees that produce thofe (ha- 
iowSy receive their nourifhment and the 
means of growth in the bofom of theid , 
mzffy fragments ; and fometimes three or 
four at ^ time are feen to ftruggle together 
from the fame fifTure^ and interweave their 
branches overhead, as they unite their ftems 
below ; and of thefe fingular appearances 
* in tvcry put of the ifland, it is hardly 
poffible to del^rribe the variety as well as 


The fcenes obfeirvable among the peift 
of this pari(h are found to vary, inafmucb 
^s many are upon the mountain land^ 
^p(i i|iany upon fhe plains; but thofe which 



( «S0 ) 

partake of both^ on account of the value 
and convenience of provifion-grounds, and 
the advantage of guinea*grafs^ are the mofl: 


Upon both there is a variety of land- 
icapes; but of landfcape not generally 
marked by fuch bold and prominent fea-* 
tures^ as thofe obferved in other parts of 
the ifland ; and however pleafing a good 
and a level road may be^ which wiods 
among an exteniive trad of pafturage^ upon 
which are obferved innumerable herdi and 
flocks of cattle^ and of horfes^ of {heep 
and goats> in various groups and different 
attitudes -, yet as famenefs wiU follow ob-* 
fervation« and that which appeared to be 
a novelty at the beginning of the journey, 
will begin to fatigue at its conclufion,-— 
thefe pidtures by degrees will lofe their 
qSq&, and the imagination will look for* 
ward to other profpedts, although they 
Qiay be only gained by perfeverance and 


( J«5« ) 

That land which is not favourable to 
thecane^ provlfions^ or the artificial graft 
of the country, may ftili be admirably 
well adapted to pafturage ; and of thi9 
there are obvious truths in every part of 
the.iiland. Such a foil indeed, although it 
be not by any means fo valuable as that 
ppon which an annual crop of fugar may 
be gathered^ yet will it be found produdtive 
of cotton, and if properly invigorated will 
not give a fcanty return of corn : but if 
^en the mofl confiderable part of it be fit 
for the cultivation of the cane, yet is not 
that portion of it without its value, which 
^s deftined to the fupport of cattle, or 
that, be it ever fo poor, that can adminiflec 
fio the more humble waqts of a plantation* 

The parifh of Hanover is generally faid 
to be the beft cultivated of any one in the 
jiiland, and is certainly that which for a 
pumber of years has produced the greateft 
quantity of fugar. It is mountainous in 
piatiy pafts, and alnioft hilly in all, and 



( »5« ) 

the monntains and the hills are equally 
planted with canes ; and fuch is the pre^ 
dileAion that is given to it^ that a very 
inconfiderable portion of paflurage is left 
for the ufe of the cattle^ which are oUiged, 
at the expiration of the crop (in which 
they have plenty of fodder)^ to be driven 
to the diidant jpens to recruit^ or fatten «. 
The provifion-grounds are^ ncMwithftand« 
ing^ good and plentiful* 

The foil that prevails moft in this parifli 
IS faid to be a fullers earthy which ap- 
pearst before it is difturbed^ to be veiny like 
marble ; but when worked with the hoe» it 
cuts like foap^ and very much refembles 
in appearance that fpecies of marl which 
is found in the high lands of Sufiblk. It 
is particularly fertile^ and the produce made 
from it is of an admirable quality : if the 
canes however be fuffcred to ftand too long 
upon it, it will be apt to burn, 

As far as a general appearance of cul^ 
tivatipn can t^nd to the beauty of land« 


( *53 ) 

Hcapc, this pariih claims a preeminent 
place among views of this defcription; and 
the conftant fucceffion of elevations and 
dcicent cannot fail to vary the objeds of 
natuit, and to produce a new pidure at 
fvery turn« 

The iea-fide views adjoining to this trad: 
of country are remarkable for the magni^r 
ficence and the beauty of their forms; and' 
the carving bay^ the wooded cove^ the 
fandy beach^ the obvious ferry» the hanging 
hiils^ the dotted hou&s^ and the diftant 
iea, are all objeds of difcriminationj and 
cannot fail to ftrike with wonder aod^ 

The internal pro(peds of the country 
have likewife their variety of charms %, and: 
it is pleafing, from the higheft elevations to 
look down upon thole that fink beneath 
the£ght» and whofe uneven furfaces are 
plttnty diibemed, and whode fides are by: 
dsgrass obferved to be loA in the plains. 


( 254 ) 

To behold for a circumference of thiiti 
the whole face of the country under cul-^ 
fixation, the extreme boundaries on one 
fide (hut in by mountains of inaccef&blo 
height and fublime appearance, and the 
confines of the other infeniibly loft in the 
line of the horizon ; and this intermediate 
view divided into different plantations^ 
upon which are obierved hills riling upoit 
hills, or lofing themfelves inverfely, and by 
degrees finking into the plains--*-the build«^ 
ings fwelling upon the heights, or half loft 
$knd funk in the vallies — the fmoke afptring 
from the works, the cattle driven in herds 
over the winding roads that interiefl: the 
different mountains, and the groups of ne^ 
groes employed in their ufeful avocations ; 
altogether exhibit a grand, a various^ and 
a moving fcene. 

The foil in the parifh of Weftmoreland' 
18 extremely different upon different fitua^ 
tions: upon fome parts the black mould 
upon a clay without flint ftones, and upon 
others covered with flints, prevails ; upoa 



(^55 ) 

otherSf a r^i earth or fmall-fhot foil upoti a 
clay or loom ; the former of which^ if it 
be well manuredt and the feafons (hall 
happen to be favourable^ will fometimes 
yield extremely well ; but the latter, be the 
weather ever fo favourable, will yield but 
little, and that little will perhaps be bad. 

The brick-mould land in this parifh, 
though highly vaunted and highly valued^ 
does not in general anfwer, particularly if 
it be by the fide of rivers, in any expeAed 
proportion of fugar to what many. other 
foils are known to do. The canes are luxu« 
riant, and are apt, and very early in tb« 
year, to fall down i and will confequently 
fucceed much better for plants than fugar; 
This fpecies of earth is rich» but looie ; 
and what is planted in it will fland a long 
time without decay, and the Aaple is not 
eaiily impoverifhed* It throws up , every 
vegetable fubftance with celerity apd vi« 
gour, and is well adapted ' to the plantain^ 
tree, which \% however, from the little 


i 2S6 ) 

tdhdioii of the mouldy very apt to h€ 
lodged with the leaft vnnd^ and to b€ 
dcracmtted by the fmaUeft floods 

Some of the finall-ihot land is hardly 
better for canes than a e^ut mortuumt 
but then it will produce, in the feaibns^ 
a tolerable crop of corn, and at all times 
good pafturage, provided the weather ihall 
not be uncommonly dry. 

The marly lands are exceedingly ca^ 
pricious in their produce, and in pUntt 
the return of fugar is in general very 
noderatei but if there be a good clay 
underneath, and pr<#per care be annually 
taken of the youiig ilioots, tbey will oon« 
tisHie to ftand a fucccfiion of cuts, and will 
yidd better in an old ratoon than if the 
pieces were put hi afreih. This foil is, I 
diiak, more fubjed to the blaft than any 
ether; and the fugar^ 
except it be in feafons particularly favour^ 
able, is of a rery indifferent complesion 


( ^S7 ) 

tind grain. It produces excellent corn and 
grafs, and fome of the inferior kinds of 

Some parts of the pieces in this parifli 
arc fo much covered with flints, that when 
the canes are planted, it is neceflary to 
bring mould from other land to cover 
them ; and it is not uncommon to obferve 
two or three different fpecies of foil in the 
fame field; and hence will arife a difficulty, 
and too often a miftake, in the method 
of cultivation, and in the quantity of 

A great deal of ufelefs labour was for- 
merly beftowed in picking up the flints 
that lay loofe upon the land, and in col- 
lecting them into heaps ; whereas this 
laft pradice not only disfigured it, but 
deprived it of moiflure and fertility : and 
I do not know whether the fame trouble 
that was manifefl; in gathering them to- 
gether, would not be better laid out by 

Vol. II. S ftrewing 

( ^s^ ) 

ftrcwing them again over thofe parts from 
which they were taken. 

Next to cane-land, that foil which pro- 
duces proviiions in the greateft abundance 
is the moft valuable : for hiy ojvn part, 
I fhould at any time affix a more confi- 
derable price to a hundred acres of fine 
provifion-ground, than I (hould to the fame 
quantity, of the beft kind, that is particu- 
larly adapted to the perfcdion of the cane ; 
and I (hould hope that in this pofition I 

am not iingular. 


The prevailing foil in the mountains, 
and that which is moft favourable to the 
propagation of the plantains-tree, the coco, 
and the yam, is a black mould; made rich 
by the decay of leaves and other vege- 
table fubllances, upon a clay, and thickly 
fown with loofe and flinty ftones ; and 
this kind of earth is generally found upon 
the fides of the hills in Weftmorelandi I 
mean in thofe parts in which the feafons 
tre the moft conftant» In the glades, the 


C «59 ) 

mould may vary; but even there a good 
clayey bottom is feldom viranting; and where 
this is found, there is always fertility* 

The value of pafture-land is various i 
a piece of guinea*grafs, well fenced-in 
and watered, is the moft efteemed for 
fattening cattle ; it will fooner give them 
the appearance of plumpnefs : but when 
fed upon this artificial produdion, they do 
not die fo well, to ufe the butcher's term, 
as thofe that are purchafed from the natural 
herbage of the country^ 

The (hort and open paftures are the bed 
feeding places in the rainy feafons, and the 
ruinates after the weather fhall have been 
fome time dry ; nor can any eftate be faid 
to be complete that has not fuch a refource 
as the laft in time of droughts 

Timber land, if it be at no. great diftance 
from the works, is exceedingly valuable; 
more fo, perhaps, than thofe who have 
it in abundance may imagine* Upon old 

S 2 fettled 

( 26p ) 

fettled cftates the more eftimablc kinds 
are become, from that wafte which was 
formerly the cpnfequence of plenty, and 
of latter years from the fpur of diftrefs 
or from pcrfonal avarice, almoft entirely 
fextindl ; and upon thofe plantations, the 
works of which were formerly conftruftcd 
of mahogany, there is hardly a tree to 
be now found for the mcft contradled pur- 

The fubordinate kinds of timber are like* 
wife, from the increafed extenfion of the 
buildings, from the deftrudion of the 
fliorms, and from the continual and necef*- 
fary reparations which they have occafioned, 
extremely curtailed in fize.and contiguity; 
infomuch that many eftates that are en- 
tirely furrounded by mountains, are obliged 
to look for timber at a very coniiderablc 
diflance, and are perhaps conftrained be* 
fides to make a road to carry it out upon 
fome diftant property^ or upon a neigh- 
bouring parifh« 


( 26i ) 

The meaner forts of wood are not with-* 


out their ufe and value j fuch as are proper 
for pods and rails, or fuch- as will fupply 
the negroes with rafters, palifadoes, or 
even firing: and here I cannot help ob- 
ferving one- advantage which they pofTefs 
over the poor of other countries^ for fuel, 
the moft neccffary as well as comfortable 
article of life, they have at hand without 
cxpence, and the procurement of which, 
at lead for their dofheflic wants, is not at- 
tended with much anxiety and toil. I may 
likewifeadd, the bleffings of a houfo with- 
out rent, of clothes and food without pur- 
chafe, and an ample independency of land 
without the renewals of leafe, the rapacity 
of ftewards, the rigours of ejedlment, or 
the grinding inhumanity of an avaricious, 
or the profligate wants of an extravagant 
and unfeeling landlord. 

T^bey know not the heart-breaking hu- 
miliation of being obliged to fubaiit^tp 
haughtinefs and power; and being borri 
to flavery, as the Creole negroes are, they 

S3 do 

( 262 ) 

do not inveigh againft the curfes of de- 

i'bey do not feel the pangs^ of generofity 
abufed, of confidence betrayed; nor are 
their feelings wounded by the f^rpent tooth 
of deep ingratitude, which tears the bofom 
that afforded protedion to weaknefs, and 
comfort to diflrefs. 

Unacquainted with chicanery, that peft 
of fociety, that exterminator of liberal in- 
tercourfe and private peace— that vulture 
which preys uppn the bowels of mifery, 
and which would fooner ftarve itfelf than 
not find the means to deftroy; unacquainted 
with this plague that corrupts the whole- 
fome fountain of juflice, what they therefore 
have, they pofTefs in fafety and in peace. 

The time may come, when humanity 
will afTert her rights, and fet her foot upon 
the neck of villainy % when thofc adders 
that lurk in pufillanimous fafety, and fling 
unfeen, fhall be br<mght out to public chaf- 



( 263 ; 

tifement and open (hame; when the bitter 
refle(5tions of a life confumed in wicked- 
nefs, and the qpbraidings of wealth occa* 
fioned by» and accumulated with, the fighs 
and tears of wretchednefs and want, may 
awaken a death-bed repentance, and open, 
when too late for compunction, the gates 
of horror and the abyfles of defpair. 

Let thofe who have made an unhal- 
lowed ufe of power, and who have con- 
verted the enviable fource of doing good, 
fro.m the chaancl of benevolence, to aug- 
ment the current of collufion and injuftice; 
and who, from the petty motives of perfonal 
intereft, have facrificed where it would have 
been but juftice to fave — let thofe who 
have been aftuated by one or other of thefc 
principles, in time confider that feeling 
extends beyond the grave, and that where 
there has been a worldly iniquity there will 
not fail to be an eternal judgement. 

It may be faid that there would not be 
law, were there not injuftice; but juftice 

S 4 ihould^ 

( 264 ) 

fhould ftill be tempered with mercy ; and 
to this end, a court of equity was created to 
reftrain its rigours, and to protefl: the weak 
from the overwhelming power of the 
ftrong : but the commiffion of a perfonal 
injury, where no moral wrong was intended, 
is often pradifed by inhumanity, Vvhen it 
ought to be difclaimed by law. 

The unconftitutional pradice of arreft 
for debt is a refledion upon the enlightened 
manners of the age, and a reproach to a 
land of freedom ; of this the negro is by 
birth and fituation ignorant, and has hence 
one advantage of which his mailer is 
deprived : and while the latter is open to 
this difgrace, and fubjedt to its inflidions, 
the former lies under its protection, and 
is unacquainted with its terrors, 

Thofe who fuiFer without intentional 
delinquency, have a right to complain ; but 
thofe who defervedly fufFer, ought not to 
fpeak. Where the finger of God puts a 
caveat upon our worldly means, the roan of 


. jrJ' 

( a6s ) 

benevolence will pity, while the interefted 
wretch will only meafure his perfecution 
by his difappointments. 

The iituation of a prifoner for debt is 
the moft deplorable that falls under the 
knowledge of our laws, inafmuch as be 
may be innocent although unfortunate s 
and it often happens that the creditor who 
confines his perfbn, fequefters his means, 
and drives him to defpair, is in fadl the 
the real delinquent, and may have himfelf 
offended thofe laws, by extortion, by ufury, 
and fraud, the current of which he has 
been enabled to turn by the poffeffion of 
thofe means which the other wants } for 
money has been too often found to pur- 
chafe money ; nay, it has likewife happened 
that a man's property, in the hands of 


others, has been ufed as a bribe to his own 

If a perfon, from the principles of hu- 
manity and friendftiip, (hall be fo weak as 
to become a fecurity for another, and this 


( 266 ) 

laft fhall prove a villaini the innocent man 
fuSers, and the guilty efcapes ; and an ad; 
of feelings and a proof of innate goodnefe 
of heart, is often followed with a duration 
cf pangs from which even the felon is 
exempted, and between which there is 
hardly a line of difcrimination to mark the 

A man who fteals, or commits a murder, 
is in a fumniary manner tried> and brought 
to juftice; he is foon condemned^ or as 
loon acquitted ; but the debtor^ whofe dif- 
ficulty of releafement encreafes with con- 
finement, and who perhaps at the moment 
of his arreft was only indebted ten pounds, 
and had twenty to pay it, will find this 
original fum more than doubled or trebled, 
when he hopes for enlargement, and has 
found thofe who were willing to fatisfy 
the firft, but who have not fufficicnt power 
to difcharge the latter fum : and this is 
a hardftiip to which every debtor is more 
or lefs fubjedl. 


( 26/ ) 

' If a man be confcientioufly willing to 

give up all he has for the honed fatisfadioo 

of his legal debts, and it is made to appear^ 

upon the face of his accounts, that he has 

a fufficiency to do it, ought one rapacious 

creditor, whofe demand perhaps, upon an 

equitable fcrutiny, could not be legalized^ 

to obtain and to keep full pofleffion of 

all he has, to the lofs and ruin of the 

liberal and indulgent ? Ought forbearance 

to fuiFer from collufion, and humanity be 

choufed by intereft ? If the debtor have 

not wherewithal, from perfonal or real 

means (and I fuppofe this deficiency to have 

arifen from calamities which could neither 

have been forefeen or prevented, and not 

from extravagance, play, incbxiety, and 

other vices), (hould the debtor I fay, be 

thus circumftanced, ought the creditor to 

have a power, Shylock like, to cut into 

his heart ? Are there wretches in life fo 

dead to nature and to God, as not to 

ihudder at the bare idea of fuch enormity / 

That there are — but here let my voice be 

filent, and let my pen be flilK 


( 268 ) 

Peter the Firft of Ruffia, whom the 
poliflied kingdoms of Europe were pleafed 
to diftinguifli at the outfet of his reign by 
the appellation of Barbarian, enacted fome 
laws for the perfonal protection of his fub« 
jedSy particularly the poorer ranks, which 
would refled: an honour upon a more en- 
lightened age : and let the lover of juftice 
coilipare in this place our inftitutions upon 
this head with his. 


He infifted that lawyers fhould be em- 
ployed at a handfome falary» that 'they 
might execute juftice, give relief to the 
injured, and fupport to the diftreifed, with- 
out any extortionate fee, or independent 
reward ; and they were, obliged, to prevent 
partiality or afFeftion, to determine the dif- 
ferent fuits in rotation, without chicanery 
and without delay. If they were ever con- 
vidled of bribery, or of throwing impedi- 
ments in the forms of law, or were guilty 
of any malpradices which were derogatory 
to that profefiional pradic/c which he 
meant, as being juil, {hould be likewife 


( 269 ) 

tonfidered as honourable, they immediately 
underwent the puni(hment of the knout, 
and were banifhed with rigour and infamy 
to the wilds of Siberia. 

If our laws were to undergo a revifiont 
and were to be made more fafe and bene- 
ficial for the creditor, without the abfolute 
depreflion of him who owes; if the rottea 
branches of the tree were to be lopt off, 
that the ftem of juftice might thence be- 
come more vigorous, what glory would 
not redound to that legal pruner, what 
fecurity would not be given to property, 
and what comfort to real misfortune and 
to unmerited diftrefs ! 

If reftridions were to be putupon credit, 
I mean upon that credit whofe foundation 
as well as fup^rftrudure are thofeof intereft, 
there would confequently and inunediately 
follow a diminution of debt ; and out of 
the thoufands that annually languifh in the 
gloomy maniions of confinement and de<- 
fpair, there are many who are more entitled 
tQ commiferation than deferving of rigour $ 


( 27^ )1 

and who arc not fo morally delinquent M> 
thofe who have betrayed them into con« 
iideDce^ oppofed ufury to their necefiitics, 
and fworn to the a£tual exigence of debts 
which they were confcious to be illegal, 
and thus fly at once in the face of juflice 
and of God. 


That a man who can, but will not, ought 
to be made to pay his debts, is a fyllogifm 
that the worldly man is daily chiming 
through all its poffible changes ; and there 
is not an axiom perhaps of more confc« 
quence to a community, and which ought 
to be more rigoroufly defined : but then 
it does not follow that ufury fhould be 
juftified, and that rapacity Ihould be en« 
titled to favour* 

Any enforcement, be it otherwife ever 
6) rigorous, would be lefs difgraceful and 
vexatious than that which is vainly ex« 
peded to proceed from perfonal dureis i 
a prtftke which does not better, but is 
eventually found to injure the rights of the 
creditor^ ^s the fpirits of the debtor are 


( ^7^ ) 

broken, his labour of courfe fufpended> 
and the only means which he had left, by 
ivhich the payment of his debts could be 
efFeAed, are confequently tied up, and 
rendered inefficient: the one therefore at 
laft lofes what was. originally due, and the 
other langui(hea out a miferable and aa 
unprofitable life in goal, even though the 
plaintiff (hould relent, becaufe be has it 
not in his power to fatisfy the unfeeling 
rapacity of his attorney; and the proofs 
that might be adduced of this aflertionare 
a difgrace to humanity, and a reproach to 
the pra£tice of that country in which the 
fufarjed: is boro to perfoaal freedom, but 
of which it is in the power of a man^ 
from caprice or refentment, in a fummary 
manner to deprive him. 

. Arrefts will be found, I am afraid, to 

proceed more generally from the interefted 

views of the harpies of the law than the 

willing rigour of him who has trufted and 

been deceived ; and even among thofe who 

look for payment in the fufierin^s and 

defpondency of the unfortunate^ are to be 


( 272 ) 

found thofe only who arc of the moft mean 
and infolent charaders^ and whofe ciainis 
perhaps might be. combated by law, and 
overturned by equity : and I think likewife 
that it may commonly be obfervcd, that 
thofe who have been the moft obliged, have 
been ultimately found to be the moft un- 
grateful, — and to have occafioned without 
compundtion, and to have beheld with a 
puiillanimous malignity and triumph, the 
heart-breaking agonies of a benefadtor and 
a friend. 

I am convinced that there are many who 
have died, and who daily continue to pay 
the debt of nature, unvifited of friends, 
iiegleAed by relatives, and unrelieved by 
charity, who have refigned their lives in the 
manfions of (hame and afflidtion with a 
more quiet iand unreproving confcience than 
many of thofe enjoy who have entailed at 
leaft dejedtion upon, if not occafioned 
death to^ their fellow«creatures ; without 
btting thence enabled to fubflantiate any 
good for themfelves, or without having 
fccured it in reverfion to their defcendants. 


0( the mere pettifogger the term is 
fiifficiently difgraceful to point cut its 
praftice ; and wretches of this defcription 
are as much defpifed by the humane aiid 
honourable profeflbr, as if they were of a 
di^erent fpecies, and not more entitled to 
reproach than followed with contempt. 

Of men of charader in the law, it would 
be highly impertinent and unjufl: to fpeak 
in any other terms than in thofe of ad- 
miration and applaufe-— of admiration^ as 
the indifpenfable line of prafticc too often 
opens die road to numberlefs vexations 
and fe?erities» which cannot otherwife be 
avoided than by a confident and perfevering 
clemency^ and an unbiased and confcien- 
tious integrity of heart— of applaufe, as 
the general^ and hence an illiberal^ cenfure 
upon this particular community will not 
always lead men impartially to obferve, 
and to do honour to» the abftradt virtues of 
the man. Thofe therefore, whofe conduft 
is the refult of humanity and juflice, cannot 

Vol. 11. T be 


( 274 ) 

be ipoken of in terms of fufiicient kindnefs 
and refpedt. 

Diflinguidied as this country is now 
acknowledged to be^ and beyond, perhaps, 
any former period, by Judges of talents, of 
candour, of patience and humanity.; and 
indepehdent as they have been made, to the 
glory of the prefent reign, in fituation and 
in trufl ; there is great hope that the af-« 
perities of the law will be gradually worn 
4own, its ftream refined, and courfe made 
clear ; and that the weeds which have long 
delayed its current, and made turbid its 
meanders, may be at length removed, that 
the waters may fhine forth in full tranf- 
jparency and iplendour. 

It is llkewife to be hoped, that the web 
within web, which is as often fpread for 
the innocent as it is for the guilty, and 
which contains the poifon of the infedk 
without its induftry, will in time be bro- 
ken ; and that the infidious machinations 
©f the concealed artificer that extradls, un- 


C ?75 ) 

filkworoi-likef the valuable thi¥a45 frooij 
another's bowels inftead of its ovfn, will b« 
drawn out from bis laboratory^ in \yhich he 
has long continued to work, and crufhed. 
with all his inftruni/6nts of mifchief beneath 
the foot^ to rife and ftiug nojoiorc. 

Thefe tefleftions naturally int(;oduce an* 
other, in which every man who honours 
abilities, and whq values juAice, muft feel 
himfelf in fome meafure afFcded : for of one 
pf the greateft luminaries of the law that 
this country, or perhaps any other, has ever 
beheld, the beams, alas ! are now decli* 
ning: how tenderly impreflive then, and 
bow much to be lamented, muil be the 
fetting of fuch a day 1 

Who can refledt upon the failure of fuch 
abilities to adorn and to improve the va^ 
rious walks of ornamental and bufy life; of 
language fo perfuafive, of elocution fo harr 
monious, and of periods fo refined, without 
recurring to the times of ancient Rome, 
when Cicero either, perfuaded, melted, or 

Vpx. !!• T Z ovcr-p 

( «76 ) 

overpowered his anditory^ by the mellU 
floous incatenatton of his founds^ or the 
tranfcendent weight of his all-powerful 

Who but muft lament the lofs of talents 
ib amiable in fociety, of purfuits fo ho- 
nourable to human nature^ of virtues fo 
interefling and fo ufeful to man^ without 
refieding how difficult it will be to repair 
them ? But^ alas ! fo ungrateful is man- 
kind* that the fun-beams which ihall have 
warmed him to-day, will no fooner fet 
than be forgotten. 

The farewell Epiftle of the Bar to this 
highly-gifted and impartial Judge, than 
which a more honourable appellation is 
not to be found upon the lift of manly 
virtues, will ever remain as an affedting 
memorial of their fenfibiUty, and as an 
amiable record of their refpeft and venera- 
tion ; and even thofe who are not otherw^i^ 
conne<^ed with the profeffion, than ^s it is 
intended to fubftantiate right, and to lead to 


( ^n ) 

peace, cannot help feeling the value of a 
correfpondence which dops equal honour 
to thofe who have adre0ed, and to the 
^ilimable objed by whom their addrefs 
lyas with correfponding fentiments, and an 
overflowing fenfibility^ of heart; fo gra- 
Cfpufly received. 

After the dignifi<;d retreat of fo diilinr 
guf^ied a charader, it is however a publip 
coofolation to finfd the promif? of judicial 
abilities already expand upon that feat from 
which fuch ftreams of eloquence, and depth 
of judgement, were known to flow i apd 
great indeed muft be the merit of him, 
and for ever remembered his talents and 
bis name, who fhall be deemed a proper 
fucceflfor to fill a fl:ation of fuch magnitude \ 
a ftatiQn that requires abilities of various 
Jcinds, and which never appears to fo much 
advantage as when juftice is attemoered by 

If rigour be neceflTarily found, as It muA 
often be, the attendant of juflice, wp ihQul4 

T 3 ftiU 

( 278 ) 

ftil5 confider that man muft be fometimes 
^' cruel, only to be kind;'' for by the ampu- 
tation only of a difeafed limb can the body, 
under particular circumftances, be prefcr- 
ved : the furgeon therefore who betrays 
the weaknefs of compaflion when he is 
employed in the painful execution of his 
office, is incapable of duty, and ultimately 
deftroys thofe members which his fkill was 
called into fave : thus therefore indifcrimi- 
jiate pity, however amiable it may be in a 
private life, would be dangerous in a judge, 
and lead to future enormities, which a calm 
integrity and firmnefs of condudl, might 
in the firft inftance have prevented : for 
individual fuffering (hould always give way 


to the general good. 

The time muft come when the gradual 
decays of nature may awaken alfo the fen- 
timents of regret towards another Lord, 
whofe manly and unremitting integrity of 
heart, both of which were eminently con- 
fpicuous upon a late trying and affefting 
occaiion, have long dignified, and ftill con- 

( 279 ) 

tinue to uphold, another court, in which 
equity appears to be fecurely enfhrined, 
and to which' (when the infirmities of life 
ihall call him away from a public fituation) 
the perfecuted may hereafter look in vain 
for protedlion, the weak for fupport, and 
the injured for redrefs. 

FOR the digref&ons I have lately made, 
I flatter myfelf that I (hall, by fome of 
my readers, ftand excufed ; and that they 
will patiently attend me to thofe further 
defcriptions and remarks which will na- 
turally arife from the fubjed ; and which 
will help to fwell this work, too heavy 
already in matter and in fize, beyond my firfl: 
intention ; but which has in fome meafure 
arifen from the uncertain fituation in which 
the Weft-India iflands at prefent fland, 
9nd upon which fubjedl (however popular 
and humane) it becomes the duty of every 
pne to fpeak, who can throw information 

T A upon 

( a5o ) 



upon it from experience, can corrc€t errors 
from fa(%s^ or who can advance any tlung 
in mitigation of thofe charges of inku* 
manity towards a fellow-creaturCj and of 
impiety towards God, under which tbe • 
fellers, the buyers^ and the potkSbrs of 
ilaves, fo generally and h unjuftly labour. 


Where enormities are pradlifed, and de- 
linquency of heart ftill continues to prevail, 
they (hould be brought out from their 
fecret recefles^ and expofed^ if jnat to chaf* 
tifemeot, at leaft to public (hame ; and ai 
the negroes are fubjed no corporal infiic** 
tions, and too ofien without a cnme $ {q 
ihould the white people, to whom :they 
are to look -up for condad/and leammplc, 
be not exempted from the puniihments of 
impriibnment or fine, where they have beea 
found guilty of a wanton abufe of power, 
and have apportioned their caftigations, not 
to the extent of the offence, but to the 
favage malignity of an wofeeling and a 
rcfeniful heart. 


( «»l ) 

It was my M intention tp 4rRw « Unt 

of feparation between (hie wh^te people aQ4 
the negroes in Jamaica ; hat Afi tbey jare ib 
intimately conne£ted and blended together, 
I iiod it almoft impoflibla to divide thfm : 
as far therefore a^ ihcr§ (tfffxs }o be » 
patoral dependence of on? iupcm the .otb«r^ 
J (hall coniicer tbem as one mafs $ n^ let 
the pride of colour be ofFeniled* wheo I 
obXerv^ that the planter is infipijiely hkh* 
indebted to his flave/ than this latter ia 
un4cr obligation; to him s ^od if the firft 
be humane from interc^^ 9.ndi the laft be 
jnduilrioqs from principje^ I will only $ik$ 
on which fide does the m.ef it ^ie i 

Before I^nter more minutely ifito thi$ fit^ 
duous^ and the more fo as it is 9QW lufiCQms 
an interefting^ fubjedt^ I mufl take leave 
to return to thojfe particulars which claim 
a preference to thofe intended rems^rks ; a^d 
J fhall conf^quently attempt to refiM9te» 
and (if pofCble^ after 6ich a djgreflion aa I 
))ave ventured, to intmdc) to c<»flfi<A what 


( 282 ) 

• ■ 

I now have to fay with what has already 
gone before^ and (hall hope to be more 
regular and confident in what may follow. ' 

In adverting to the different foils that 
are to be met with in the ifland of Ja- 
maica^ there are fome particular kinds to 
which I have not attended^ and which 
indeed do not deferve a minute defcriptioni 
but all thofe have been^ I thinks noticed, 
that are in preference felefted for the cul- 
tivation of the cane, and its various depen- 
dencies ; and I muft beg leave to refer the 
reader to the Intrpducftion, for a general 
and Ipecific valuation of the fugar-planta* 
tion, ?nd for an account of the heavy bur? 
den$ under which its uncertain produce is 
doomed to labour. 

I ihall now proceed, according to a for- 
mer intimation, to make fome curfory 
remarks upon the climate of Jamaica as 
felt by thofe with whom I have happened 
|Q ^)e accjuainted, I may like wife Tpeah 
^ fron^ 

( 283 ) 

from the perfonal experience of many with 
whom I have been more intimately con« 
ne£ted ; and I do not believe that out of a 
given number of people, and for the fame 
feries of years, fewer deaths in pfoportioa 
(an be adduced in any climate. 

For the mortality that happens, which 
IS not by any means fo coniiderable now as 
it was formerly ufed to be, a great many 
reafons may be oftenfibly aligned ; but a 
detail of this fubjeft, independently of my 
incompetency to make it, is inconfiitent 
with my prefent plan, which only affedls 
to treat of vifible appearances, without pre- 
fuming to dive into the caufes by which 
cfFeds have been produced. 

The dread of a feafoning, as it is called, 
has, I think, a vifible efFedt upon the fpirits 
of every ftranger who vifits the country ; 
nor are the Creoles themfclves, upon their 
return from England to their native ifland, 
by any means divefted of this apprehenfion ; 
9hi I rather believe that this impending 


( 2^4 ) 

ttffpr, with the fear of exefcjfe^ and a too 
f^den alteration of diet^ are freqfiently 
{h^e $rft c^ufes that produce hf^gnpr, ai^fl 
lffk^g}^i^y illnefs^ upon thofe whp co^r 
pjfip; and tl??i^, ii? fa<9:, npt (p inucb is 
to be imputeid to the latituide aa jthe <|Iariu 
which that latitude occafions. Too many 
iodc^ fall early yidlms, pn jfe/e otjher h?nd, \ 

to aa immoderate ufe of inflapim^tory 
fod pernicious liquors; apd nunjbeirs peri/h 
at the fir A accefTes of difeafe foj: ]y.%jkt 
^f proper cu&^ and medical atte^otda^c^ : 
wiiereasy iflai^ experienced nur^ be i^ 
time procured^ and prpfeHioijial fkiU ^t 
die commencement of a feyer be in^trof 
dttced, I am apt to think ^th^tpf thi$ qojga- 
plaint a greater proportipn would d ic i^ 
England than would be obferved^ in an 
^cxtoniiye praftice^ to peri(h in Jam^ca i 
but as many people may perhaps dif^r 
from me in xhiis points I (hall reft at pre- 
fcnt fatisfi^d with my own opinion ; for 
, although I can hardly be faid to have had 
any regular health for more than a vfxy 
few months at % time^ for (en or ^lc;vj6a 



( 465 ) 

years in that cbtifttry, yet fbr fiiih a con- 
ftant iiidifpofitibn 1 can affign a caufe ; biit 
with which, as it caniiot intfereft, I (hall 
not prcfume to infult, the ^ttehtioii of the 

The ch'mate of this large and beautiful 
rid^nd is more changeable than thole even 
^ho compare the viciffitudes of northern 
feafohs niay bedilpofed to credit; and who, 
of confequence, calculating the annual re- 
voltitibiis of the feafons through wind an<l 
rain, through funfhiiie and through fogs, 
through fnow and fleet, through tempefts 
and through frofts, will naturally conclude 
that alterations cannot happen in thofe 
regions where the heat is fuppofed to be 
alWayis Intenfe, and the cold is not fufpedted 
ever tO prevail. 

Tt (hould be in this place refisembered 
that the fenfations of cold and heat are only 
relative ioipreilions, and are found to vary 
as much from 'perfdnal ^eelings^, and from 
individual 'cdn(litttlSbti> and froni fituation 


( 296 ) 


tt mountain^ valley^ or plain^ as from any 
precife idea that the philofopher^ or the 
naturalifti may affix (o latitude ; and of this 
aflertion the dif^tcnt regions of the ifland 
I am now attempting to defcribe^ can bear 
a full and authentic evidence. 

The feafonSi oh the fouthern and on thtf 
northern fides of Jamaica^ are almofl as 
oppofite in their periods of harveft^ as are 
their points upon the compafs ; infomuch 
that about the time that the crops are ter- 
minated on the former^ the procefs of fugar*> 
making begins in the latter^ 

In the fame parifhes the heat will vary, 
according to fituation ^nd to foil ; will 
fpmetimes receive coolnefs from the ocean; 
and at other times the breeze that ruffles 
its furface^ and the glare that is occafioned 
by this inconftant element^ will be almoft 

The power of the fun is intenfe at fta, | 

is lefs oppreffive upon the plains^ is niore 



( a«7 ) 

tolers^ble upon the hills, and becomes tcm« 
perate upon the mountains ; but ftill the 
comparifons of heat will greatly depend 
upon the influx of the air which happens 
to be introduced to ventilate thofe fitua* 
tions into which it is admiflible, or frooEi 
which it is, by locality, expelled* 

It is not, however, always that the tops 
of mountains are more cool than the fide« 
of hills I and thefe latter will be fometimet 
found more obvious to the funny rays thaa 
even the plains. The vallies are more ge- 
nerally hot than the level paftures, and 
the open fields; the dales are more fo 
than the vallies % and the dplls would be 
infufferable, from confinement and an ez-« 
clufion of air, did not their particular fitua- 
tions at the fame time defend them from 


the ardours of the vertic fun. 

The heat in Italy and Spain is ofte£^ more 
oppreffive than I have ever felt it in Ja- 
maica; and I think Uiat I have jfuffered 

Vol. II. at 

( 2S8 ) 

as Vfkueh from it ii;^ Switzerlandi and ia^ 
England, in the dog-days (]>articularl3roace 
in an excuriion through the fandy parts, of 
Norfolk), ^ I have ever doae ia the Weftr 
Indies at the mod incleaiQnt feafons. of the 
y^ear ; an4 the cuftom of taking fieflas or 
naps in the afternoon^ .which fo muck 
prevails in the above- nientioned countries, 
U now univcrfally exploded (excepting, by 
old people, who are attached to ancient 
qQ^nnecs, a^d whofe infirmitiea require re*- 
ppfe) in thofe parts of the ItLvckd with 
which. I was at all acquainted* 

* r 

When the north: wind fet-^ in., with. 
regularity, and continues to blow fbf s^ny 
length of time, ther^ are hut fevjr c)i^ 
mates, during this agreeable period^ tbj^ 
can be more pleafant and refre(hing> thu%; 
that which is the fubje^ of thefe pag^.:: 
the fun is not, at that time, immediately 
vertical, and the intenfity of its- rays ii al- 
Ij^yed by flitting clouds and paffing fbowers^ 
which, while they ferve to brace \\p the: 
•innervate fyftem, at the fame titij? exhibit 


( i89 ) 

a tdnftant variety of cfFefts Upon that di- 
vcrfity of landfcapc which in many parts^ 
or indeed all over the ifland^ is obferved 
to glow with fuch vivid and enchanting 

At this particular feafon (he mornings 
fefld the evenings, more efpecially among 
the miountains, are not only temperate, but 
are often cold ; infomuch that a great coat 
is by no means a eumberfome appendage 
of dreft ; nor is a' counterpane an article 
that can be difpenfed with at night j while 
a fire, throughout the day, becomes not 
only a cheerful, hut an ufeful companion « 

I have kriown it fo chilly, even upon 
the plains, and in almofl as hot a fituation 
as any in the liland, at the time of the 
blowing of this wind, that I have found . 
cxercife, folely taken for the purpofe of 
warmth, riot only comfortable, but abfo- 
lutely requifite ; and at this particular fea- 
fon, and indeed at all times of the year, 
cldth coats are worn by the old and infirm. 

Vol. II. U and 

( 2^2 ) 

and are now preferred as drefs by even thd 
healthy and the young; 

There are but few climates that admit 
of Co many changes in a day as that which 
I am now defcribing is found to do in the 
rainy feaibns* Although the mornings be 
chilly^ yet^ from about eight o'clock until 
teujor^ in other words» before the fea«bree2(e 
begins to fet in^ the heat is oftentimes 
almoft fufifocating : but if a peribn happen 
to be upon the fea-beach^ or upon any 
elevation open to its influence^ it is hardly 
pof&ble to conceive any fenfation niore 
reviving than the firfl impreflion of the 
air, which imperceptibly gains ftrength 
by time, invigorates the fpirits^ encourages 
exertion, and difpels that Uftlefihefs and 
languor which would otherwife opprefs la-* 
hour, and melt the body, however inured 
before to induflry and toil* 

The efieds of the fea- breeze', as con- 
nected with the varieties it occafions in 
the landfcapes of the country, are only 


( m ) 

different from the norths in the gentlenefi 
of afpiration : the latter fhake the produce 
tions of theearth with noife and motion ; 
but the former pays its ftated vifits to the 
canes, the plantain-trees, and woods, witH 
a pleafing and a melancholy murmur : tiis 
ruffles the current with eafy ripples, which 
again fubfide into a fmooth and poHfhed 
expanfe as foon as the lafl breathing diei 
away j but t&at, more boifterous in its ap- 
proach, and importunate in its ventilations^ 
conftrains the uplifted waves to da(h with 
fury upon the rocks, or to break with heavy 
billows upon the indignant and refounding 

I have already taken notice of thofe alte- 
rations of the climate v/hich almofi: daily 
happen in the rainy feafons,— the chilly 
da*wn, the interval between that and the 
commencement of the fea-breeze, and the 
fudden effects the laft has when imme- 
diately fucceeding the former : I fhalt 
therefore how mention the other varieties 

U 2 of 

( 294 ) 


of the atmofphere that are conftantly pro- 
duced^ and alternately obferved. 

When the clouds begin to gather, and 
to prepare themfelvcs for the burfting de- 
luge^ the fighings of the breeze difcon- 
tinue, as it were, at once, and a temporary 
paufe enfues. The eye looks with anxiety 
for the iirft flafh ; the ear liftens atten- 
tively to catch the diftant thunder ; and 
the heat, while they are thus brewing the 
ftorm, and the face of nature is darkened 
by their fable and impending (hadows, is 
violent in the extreme : but fo foon as the 
overcharged and burfting mafles begin to 
pour down their watery contents, and the 
(bowers rattle upon the (hingles, and over*- 
flow the plains, — the earth is irradiated by 
momentary and terrific lightnings, the air 
is, in a manner, rent afunder by the deafen* 
ing and inceffant peals which break like 
tremendous artillery around ; the opprefiloa 
of the air begins to be removed, and a 
fudden chill fucceeds^ and by an immediate 


( 295 ) 

contraft very (enfibly affedst and in fbme 
inftances revives, and in others diftrefles, 
the feelings. , 

Should the rains difcontinue after their 
ufttd deibent of one or two hours^ the fun 
again darts forth with a plenitude of rays ; 
the clouds at their departure put on a great 
variety of beautiful and ^aerial forms, and 
breaking among the mountains, and trail- 
ing over their fummits, very frequently 
encounter the water-fpout in their progrefs, 
and difperfe together their contents in thp 

The paftoral world feems to fmile with 
renovated charms ; the trees, without any 
fenfible vifitation of the breeze, difencum* 
ber themfelves at once of their pearly ho- 
nours, which the glowing beams illumi- 
nate, and make appear like (howers of 
defcending gems, which retain their luftre 
in their defcent, but fall at laft to th? 
ground to fhine no more. 

y J If 

( 296 ) 

\ « 

If to the varying pores wp bring the day. 
Stones become gems, which once in darknefs Iay« 
The brilliant only waters on the fight, 
Reflefting back the fun's prolific light. 

After the r,aiqs (hall htave^ fut^fidcd, the 
Veeze wi|l frecjiientjy continue its feeye 
but refrefhing efforts until the evening, 
and at the final departure of the funny rays 
will imperceptibly decline, and die away ; 
and between this time and the fetting-in 
of the land wind, a different fpecies of 
heat will be obferved ; and the patience 
of domeftic fociety will be confequently 
tried by fucceflive flights of cock-roaches, 


winged ants, of fand*flies and mufquitoes, 
the aifaults of which, and the fumigations 
that are vainly ufed to difperfc or to extir- 
pate them, contribute to make an evening 
after rain in that latitude a flate of bodily 
impatience, and of fretful but unavailing 

The land wind in general begins to blow 
fopn after the fea-brceze has difcontinued 
its afpirations ; dnd as it commonly con- 

tinues with freffincfs through the nighty 
it renders th'ofe fituations iii which it 
can gain admittance^ fometinies cool^ and 
always pleafant. 

The heat of the nights in Jamaica^ to 
fpeak from my^ own experience, I do not 
think at all infufFerable ; nor do I recoIIeA 
that, during a refidence of nearly thirteen 
years in the ifland, I was as many times 
incommoded by its oppreflion. A free 
paflage is generally left for the admifllon 
of air ^ huti at fome particular periods^ 
the Venetians are fhut, and a counterpane^ 
and fomttimes a blanket, where before 
rejeded, afe then deemed comfortable at 
Icafti and are by fome people thought ta 
be indifpfenfably necelTary, 

T^'heair IS fo fubtle in fome particular 
fituations; that a flannel waiflcoat cannot 
be' well difpcnfed with ; and the dews in 
the mountains are fo heavy, and the fogs 
fo impenetrably thick, that the lofs of a 

U 4 great 

( 298 ) 

great coat will be fenfibly felt j and the 
different articles of drcfs that the traveller 
has occafion to wear in the mornings be« 
come fo cold and damp as to make the 
fenfation of them uncomfortable to the 
body ; and yet I could never learn that 
tliefe latter circumftances were followed by 
ficknefsy although an cxpofure to xht fyji 
is attended with danger. 

The climate of the mountains is always 
temperate^ compared to that of the plains; 
but even upon thefe it will likewife vary 
according to afpecft ; and indeed a regular 
change throughout all the gradations that 
different latitudes can occaiion in moderate 
regions^ fhort only of congelation^ may be 
fought for, and founds in one or other of 
, the diflridts of Jamaica, from intenfity of 
heat to moderation of warmth, and at laft 
to cold that will chill at leaft, although 
it may not be fufiiciently penetrating to 


( 299 ) 

Whether the mountains or the plains be 
the moft healthy, can be only fuggcfted by 
partial experience ; the population of the 
former being fo very inconfiderable, com«' 
pared to that of the latter, that longevity, 
afcertained by fad, cannot be with fatic- 
fa£tioo determined. 

There are many people who retire at 
particular feafons of the year from low-land 
fituations to thofe that are more elevated ; 
a|id as there are not many who make their 
conftant refidence all the year round upon 
t);ie lajtter, it would be difficult to eftablifli 
that as a fad which may with better reafoa 
be only confidered as conjedure. 

In the rainy periods I fhould prefer the 
mountains, notwithflanding the difficulties 
of accefs, and the inconvenience, if not 
the fatigue, of cxercife: in the time of 
the norths I (hould choofe the plains, as it 
may there be conveniently taken without 


( 300 ) 

Much has been faid of the infalubiitf 
of this particular climate i, and it muft be^ 
canfefled that it has been for years^ aU 
though perhaps not quite fb much as the^ 
£aft«Indies> the grave of Europe : but for 
the mortality that has happened,* and that- 
ftill continues to deftroy the infaabitaifts^ of 
more northern regions, many reafons may 
be adduced, but the inveftigation of which 
more properly belongs to that profefiion to^ 
which the explanation of caufeti and the 
effeds of diforders, whether they b6 the 
confequences of latitude, or whether they 
depend upon other circumftances, can be 
only referred^ 

There are many particularities that are 
obvious in the general conftituti^A of n^M, 
which we all know by experience will vary 
with climate, afTume frefii habit s» fr<:)fl^ an 
exchange of fobd, and take a AiWettM turn 
from an alteration of hours, of exercifcf; of 
occupations and purfults ; and theie (hoUld^ 
be impartially weighed before we ar4^%n^ 


( 301 ) 

the intemperance of aJatitude, when in (dSt 
wc ought to calculate the mortality of ita 
inhabitants by the imprudence of the man« 

Europeans (land in fuch dread of a fea^* 
foning, that they too frequently, upon their 
firft arrival, forego at once their former 
habits of life, and exchange the cuftom of 
good living and of exercife for the more 
pernicious ones of unnecefTary abftemiouf-* 
nefs and deftrudlive repofe, 

ExceiTes are, certainly, in all countries^ 
and at all timeSj to be carefully and unre«« 
mittingly efchewed : but it often bappena 
that nature rather requires a regimen that 
^ill reflore, than one that will debilitate^, 
the animal fyftem ; for the vigour of the 
nerves, when once deflroyed by the fick<- 
nefsj and confequent languor of tropical 
cliipes, will feldom recover their former 
tone; and hence it is that thofe liquors 
that weaken the flomach, fuch as raw and 
new fpirits in particular, engender difor- 
ders of a painful and a fat^l tendency, than 


I • 

( 3®2 ) 

which none has fwept off a more melan-.. 
choly proportion, in a given time, of Eu-» 
ropeans, than the dry cholic, a difeafc 
which is now, in a manner, expelled from 
the country by the fortunate introdudlion, 
and more general ufe, of honeli porter and 
Madeira wine. 

In thofe latitudes in which the animal 
ipirits are fo much depreifed, and the vital 
funftions are fo much weakened by a con-' 
tinuity of heat ; where the wafte of nature, 
occ^fionedj^ as in fome particular fubjedts^ 
by a conflant difTolution of the folids ; 
tvhere fo great a confumption of the fup- 
ports and energies of life are fubjeft to 
fbch conftant difarrangement and decay— 
we are (jonfequently taught by phylipal ex- 
perience, that nothing but fubflantial and 
wholefome diet will reftore the nerves to 
their former tenfion and eladicity ; hence 
diluting liquors, fuch as punchy and wine 
and water, are not reckoned by any means 
fo wholefonie, and they are certainly left 
putritive; than wine and beer, 



' The man who perfeveres in a r^uht 
medium between abftemioufnefs and in-? 
temperance; who does not dread the fua 
by day, nor brave the dews by night 1 
who is convinced that exercife condudls 
to appetite^ and that that, undepraved, i% 
the fymbol of health ; who does not fuffer 
fatigue to overcome his body> nor languor 
to deprefs his mind j who does not encou-* 
rage the little errors and omiffions of his 
negroes to ruffle, to fret, and irritate, his 
difpofition ; and who, more than all, does 
not murmur at the diipenfations of Pro- 
vidence when he fees a valuable flave cut 
off by accident or difeafe — the man, I fay, 
who can thus exercife his philofophy, may 
pafs his life with as much health, and 
attain as vigorous an old-age in Jamaica, 
as the inhabitants can poffibly do in any 
other clime. 

Of men whofe years have been extended 
beyond the common calculations of nature^ 
there are many inftances, among the negroes 
as well as the white inhabitants of that*. 

ifland ; 

HIaAd i atic} t have frequently heard it 
remarked^ that the lives of many people^ 
whofe infirmities would hav6 led in all 
probability to an early grave in Englahdf 
have been prolonged by the genial and 
feflorative warmth of that country. 

The negroes are certainly^ in themfelves^ 
i healthy race of people ; nor are they by 
any means fubje£t to that multiplicity of 
difeafes which (hake, undermine, and at 
Jaft defliroy, the cotiftitutions of the ihha« 
bitants of th^ more frigid regions. Many 
are liable to rheumatic pains : but of 
thofe afHi&ed with the gout, I have not, 
within my own perfonal obfervatian, met 
with one; and I greatly fear that con- 
fiimptions, when they ha'ppen, ar6 ihore 
often tho confequince of inanition, than 
of colds tiegledted, or of a natural tendency 
to this difeafe in the patient and afflicted 

The negroes are certainly better attended 
ID Jamaica> in ficknefs, than" the generality 


( 3^5 ) 

of people in any country which I have had 
the fortune to vifit, and fhort of power 
and opulence, ever are ; and the better fort 
of praditioners in the Ifland, I mean thole 
who have received a regular education, and 
have made furgery and phyfic their ftudy 
and profeflion, are as intelligent and fkilful, 
as patient and humane, as are to be met 
with, among profeflbrs of this ufcful and 
refpe£iable clafs, in any other country* 

If a negro be afflided with a diforder of 
an alarming magnitude, the dodtor, who 
attends the plantation, will continue with 
him to watch the progrefs of the difeafe, 
will diredt, and fee given to him, proper 
medicine and wholefome food ; and will 
not leave him until he ihall have pro- 
nounced the danger over. Some indivi- 
duals indeed have fuch extenfive practice, 
that they cannot always perfonally give 
that ftrid and regular attention that the 
occafion may require : if therefore fubor- 
dinate fkill may not be fuccefsful, yet the 
alacrity of duty is at leaft confpicuous; and 


( 3oS ) 

where a man cxercifcs His profefEdn f6 iUe 
beft of his talenis, and fhbtvs a Willing 
folititadci and difcdvers a humane difpo- 
fition itiwards his pitifent, it is as much as 
joftice can rfequire. 

The plantation dodloi's certainly labour 
under fome afperfiofis which I do not thhik 
they deferve, and are fdbjedt to fome riiOr- 
tifications and difficulties from whrcH a 
liberal profeflion (hould be exempted ; and 
fome ftriftures upon this fubjeft might 
with propriety have fotfnd their way in the 
future courfe of thefc remarks. 

It is very notorious to thofc who have 
long refided' in the Weft-Indies, and who 
are acquainted with the endemial difeafes of 
the country, and who, from a lortjg and d * 
minute obfervation of thofe to which the 
Africans are fubjeft, that many of this 
latter defcription import from their nativd 
climate, diforders which have been long 
contracted, have been negleded, become 
dcfperate, and hence incapable of cure. 


Many are fwept off by contra£dof)8 thus 
imported; fome fall the early vidims to 
It change of climate; and others lay ike 
foundations of death by an inordinate ufc 
6f inflammatory liquors : fome are worn 
down by watchfulnefs and fatigue; and 
many, too many, I fear^ are loft through 
Want bf that common fuflentation^ in the 
dmes of hurricanes and droughty which 
the jttft decree of Providence defigned for 
all, but of which the patient and the hum-^ 
blc are too often deprived by the neglei^ 
or inhumanity of men« 

Of the ihortali^ amon^ the African 
flaves^ much, in this age of public c6m« 
miferation and of private feelings has been 
lately written ; and too tnuch has perhaps 
been £ud« Exaggeration has precluded the 
poffibility of contingencies, and the glow 
of humanity has not fuffered the coolnefs 
of reafon to calculate the- proportionate 
decays of nature ; and there ar^ fome 
people who ieem to think that negroes are 

Vol* IL X exempted^ 

( m ) 

et^ptcd Irom the cohditioiis of humat^ty/ 
and^rvrbiiiM nkvcr dib Weiie -not tlyar deatibs 
ecfiafiohedubjtfatoian criifilty.^ . 

irlmuoh fiasr (as^I dread [the coA&(|uences) 
tiiat aflamlafile.'wiih tofifhoycr i^iiagUMry 
evils: will beget othera of^fericms co^^em^ 
if'tbd errors of idei^l ecKOBmiiTenMapit beiuti 
Hi/t&ne correnSted ijaad ;tl»s^i|Mr|3n^ £k^ 
rify,: an^ ttes feafiWe camfort#,^f tjie^-flgis 

eflmMflibd isponijaiioQr^tp^ lb!|(i<^ 

datipathah l&ai: of :dbckflDiMioii^ withcifti 
argument^ a complaint. of ^gri^i/ianees ix^hers 
they do not exift^ an indifcriminate charge 
cf cf ulsltiei vAnch may ihavef hecA '^e^^ed 
imiwUHdiials^t) b^t wHicllidpiiiQti i»r:%hii 
goatr^imhpKtsdU, ai)d^ofl[db0lilA>i^ldM 
CQalbqueac^s : o£' which ^ wri^lr, prefe. dowl 
Kith accumulated &aboiirjr aqd bring to an 
ntllg gmve atleafl: 450,000 ilaves who iarf 
aleeddf 7 dojtoeilicaled in qux ! i&lQd$« And 
tUsrcwill be^ the confeqUescert^of what I 
ikH^ctdative fenfe of humanily towards . a 
face: .of men .to wikom it isour ihtereflr to 

'( 3^ ) 

be kihdt aild "who probably labour under 
more oppreflion in their native country^ 
and who flumber in the ihades of igno* 
htnce^ when they might be brought forth 
to perfonal protedion^ the peace of do« 
*ineftic Society, and may be inftrufled by 
religion to confider themfelves ^s men« 

There are many fenfible and benevolent 
i>erfbns, who have engaged with an honefl 
sreal in this very popular fervice, who pro« 
JFefs to be Chriftians in theory^ but who 
unludkily do not much contend for the 
*|)rafl:it:e : for the confolatory and the cer- 
tain dependence tipon a future ftate^ which 
Religion caii alone infure^ can never per- 
vade the boftfm of an African in his native 
ibiU to iupport his iridurance there, and 
to teach him a dependence upon his here- 
after : a removal, thet-efore, from thence 
might fecure him comforts of which, from 
%tuatioh/ he muft be at prefent ignorant, 
and hold up thofe which in a future flate 
\nay be everlafting. 

X 2 Jt 

It ha$ been conteodedi that tht pt^^ 
lation of our iflands may be preferved 
without the introdudiou of foteign flakes ) 
and one or two properties have b€»n quoted 
as a corroboration of this fad t but what 
is the partial addudion of three or four, 
to the calculation of one thoufiind and 
fixty-one fugar-eftates, which are now feU 
tied in Jamaica alone ? 

Some fingular circumftances of foil or 
iituation^ and other corresponding caufes, 
might have favoured this increafe; that 
part of the country might not have been 
vifited by hurricanes and droughts, and 
their conftant attendants^ famine and dif- 
eafe; the land might not have requiredi 
mucii cultivation and labour^ and might 
have been incapable of making much prow 
duce, and hence of calling forth muck 
exertion : fo that one exception, that begets 
hypothefis, is fuflPered to (land as a datum 
to fub(&ntiate general fafts< 

C 3" ) 

The accidents alone to which the negroea 
are fubjed, and the good in particular tnon 
than the worthlefa^ would be a melancholy 
bar to the population of the country ; the 
numbers that are annually killed by light- 
nings by the fisll of trees* by the fudden 
rife and rapidity of the torrents, and by 
the numberlefs contingencies to which 
their fituations and expofure at all feafons 
of the year muft make them fubjed, would 
influence in a confiderable manner their 
decreaie |— but when the more heavy ca- 
lamities of the ifland are taken into the 
defcription^ J (hould^hope that fome com* 
pailion would be felt for the planter as well 
as for the flave» as, by the prefervation or 
the loft of the latter, t\ie Jirmer can be faid 
to ftand or fall. 

The negroes that wepe fuppofed to pe^ 
rifli in the different ftorms that happened 
in Jamaica between the years 1780 and 
1787 and by the confequences that fatally 
enfuedy were eftimated at 15,000 (the 
\vhole amount in the illand being 255,700.)! 

5C 5 and 

and the diforders occafioned thereby, the 
ftagnatibn of population in confequence of ^ ' 
inanition, the abfolute want that brought 
fome, and the dcfpondency that hurried 
others, to the grave, together with the 
additional labour that fell upon the ftrong 
in confequence of the inability of the weak, 
might be calculated, without exaggerationt* 
at fcveral thoufands more. 

We will only fuppofe that the negroes^ 
upon feveral of the properties which were 
vifited by this calamity, had been previoufly 
indulged to the utmoft ; that their work 
was not proportionate to their, flrength ^ 
that, out of a principle of humanity alone, 
only one hundred hog(heads of fugar were 
ixiade, whep without exertion they could, 
from corporal powers, and from a fupcr- 
fluity of provifions, and the comforts of 
clothing, have made two : yet in times of 
dearth the whole amount muft be fed^ and 
thus their diftrefles would be proportionate 
to their numbers, and the mortality not 
lightened by the little produce that would 

• be 

hm comparatively made. If therefore jiif 
eflate cannot pr^ferve its population by ^ 
gtycn number of flaves^ how is it to con«t 
tiaue it when one fourth perhaps or m^t9 
{hall be fwept o£F in one year by a calamitji 
ind its confequences* when the fame calar# 
mities and theia^e confequences noiay oc^ 
f:ar^ as was unfortunately the cafe^ and with 
pnly one exception^ for feveral years ? 

, I wonder it hai not been alledged, . that 
it is cruelty in the extreme to bring )hem 
irom their native country^ in which we .do 
not hear that fuch fucceflive ravages have 
been committed by the elements, to expofe 
them to the fury of the winds, and the 
additional terrors? of famine and difeafe id 
another region, m "which they mufl be 
dependent upbnr others for the prefervationi 
pf that life, which in their ;awn would noe 
Hkve beep fubjcft ^o daqgfcrl ^ : . ^ 

Confidiered in thid light,* their !ekile4(bie<-i^ 
jpauiein m^ny Inftenices;. iflnot iii^triofl:, it 
Vvas invol^ntary) cannot helpoilriking the 

X 4 bfcaft 

{ 314 ) 

breaft of the humane with very juft Md 
feeling impreflions : the right of man to 
remove a fellow«*creature from fafetjr^ to 
place him in a iituation of adual danger, 
may here be combated upon the ground of 
natural liberty and perfonal juftice, and 
will certainly triumph over the languajge 
of neceflity ; but here the advocates oi 
humanity appear to be filent, as indeed 
they ihould : — they have a right to arraign 
the mortality occafioned by the cruelty of 
men ; but it is their duty to bend with- 
out complaint to the awful inflidions of 

To continue the cultivation of the Weft« 
India iflands as they now ftand, and to keep 
up their prefent extent of produce, will fcus 
impoffible. without ah importation«-rwith"« 
out an importation thofe Haves thereon will 
gradually diminiibj the crops* of courfb 
decline, and the population^ as the pro* 
duce^ will neccffarily be, in the courfe of 
no inconfiderable npmber of years^ extin A 
and iat an end« 


< 3»J ) 

If t prohibition were to be only impoftd 
upon the African trade for a few years^ 
than which no meafure could gi^e moro 
eficAual relief to the planter, the eyes of 
many would be then opened, which appear 
to be at prefent blind, to the true interefta 
of their country $ and they might then find 
that their humanity began at a wrong end $ 
and that, while they are traverfing fcas 
in queft of fpeculativp philanthropy, num- 
bers of their own condition and colour 
ftand more really in want of that protedioii 
ILt^d fellow-feeling which, from motives of 
pure and unbiased pity, they are anxious 
to extend to (he inhabitants of Africa* 

' If abolition, unconditional, unqualifie4 
abolition fhall take place, our intereft in. 
the Weft-India iijands muft be at an end ; 
ieventy millions of property will wear away 
with time, and be funk at laft ; the Revenue 
will fuffer an annual diminution of three 
millions at leaft ; the price of fugar, which 
is now beconKe a nepeflary article of life» 
mnft he iqun^dfately ea|tanced; diicootent-^ 

< 3«^ ) 

ID^t and di^tisfa^toa a»y difolembp^fh^ 
^ppi9e> frpvn wbioh too l^gc il jfewel hay 
1i«e» Isktdy tOJ-fi i. the neotS^y. of aijlticiofid) 
laxeft may jMi?«]ts (be ibinifter, diifide tbf 
Ipgiflata^e, and diftrefs the people, whp^ 
indignant perhaps at exactions, at: hmne^ 
tirMch wight have b?en |)f9xidod for By 
fcbfifgn refource^ . may become, ^di&ffibdei^ 
to^overnmeot, renounce thdx i^ountry^ and 
take refuge in a heigbbouTing kiftgdoai^ 
v^hicb may pro^t from oar weakoefies and 
fombatf and laftly overpower us with o^ 
pwa Arengtb« 

Next to a^lition» emancripation come9 
^s the fecond innovation upon the lift| 
iJEMT' it is natural to. fuppofe^ that the iame 
ideas of benevolence that will cut off tb^ 
<:ommunication between Africa and the 
Iflands, will extend to the latter ;-*«->and that 
f hie. negroes^ ;aU at once^^ whether they witt 
pt.JiD, or without the addud^ion of any 
proof/ that liberty will make them happ^ 
9re tobe enfranchifed^ atid indepmdent o^ 
^ur and of men» let what will be the 


( ^«7 ) 

iqanfequence to thpfe whofe property thty* 
are^ under whofe government they live^ af)4 
by whoin alone they can be prqteifled aac| 

It feems to be forgotten^ that the colonies 

were planted^ lerere peopled^ and encdu* 

raged ^ by provifional laws ena&ed in theff 

favour by the legiflature of England^ uoder 

the faith and. guarantee of which inap|f 

thoufands of people have emigrated froni 

their native countries^ taken up and pur* 

chafed lands in thofe regiotis^ cleared^ built^ 

fettled^ and planted at their own expencc^ 

depending upon the (hipping of Great- 

^Britain, and of Ireland for fupplies^ and 

freighting thofe vefTels home with a bartejr 

that has opened a new channel of wealthy 

which for a century at leaft has jSowe4 

with one rich and augmenting dream to 

fertilize the mother country. 

Is the national honour to fuffer for the 
fpecuUtion of individuals ? Is the facred 
word of the legiflature to be frittered away 


{ Ji8 ) 

hf Ae diadowy fuggeftioiit of humaoity, 
when the real fubftance of perfonal (zkif, 
ti pcrlbiial proteftion, and the comfortt 
atax ovgbt to flow frpm religion^ ihall bo 

Aboliih emigration ; and then fbe viht^ 
ther there will not be thoofandt of the 
Sritiib fabjeds who will ftand in need of 
employment, and who wfll conie^ocntlj 
irec^uire bread ( 

If thofe who baft left their aatiire land 
io fearch of employment and wealth in di« 
ftant regions, have Ibund their means with 
their induftry inereafes if thofe meant be 
ct|t off when fubftantiated y if that induihy 
he difcburaged when beconie habitual,—^ 
the folly of emigration in the fy^ ^nftance 
will be then apparelit. 

It fliould be confidered, that the lotxfon 
who aci^uires a competence in another 
cquntry/does not draw any wealth from 
his own> at the £^me time that what he 


( 3^9 ) 

taakety or at leaft the greater part of tt^ 

flows back again to enrich tbe parent 

ftreamt and the numbers of people iil 

Gte9^ - Britain (particularly in Scotlahd» 

which feems to be more marked forthft 

-perfevering and fu^cefsful induftry of its 

inhabitants than any .other part of the 

world) who are dttp&ndent ujfkin^ aiid fiip^ 

ported by» the colooiest would perhaps 

ftartle the calculator^ and convince the man 

of refledion> that large portions of land 

have been cleared^ cultivated^ and peopled^ 

by the wealth that has been acquired ia 

the Iflandsi and this UQl toxf be eafily 

afcertained and. proved. 

What wUl be tiw firft confeqtience of 
eni«a<:ii»atioii ? The iodifcriminate facii-^ 
ficej in ill probabiiity, of the vrbite infasi. 
bitatftt i oi- at bcft, fome may be retained 
to ezpUte former fervhude ; the caftoms o^ 
ages will be inverted i and the people of 
■ otiretwd colour and religion will become 
the degraded and the ulelefs flavea of thofe 




( 3«<> ) 


ikiio formerly looked up to* them for ^o^ 
te£kion« food4: and comfarU ^ 



What'wouldi ih the fbcond places be-& 
come of the negroe$ I ^ Driven as tkef 
would be from their native homes; tbeit^ 
liereditaiy grounds^ and ftripped at oncd 
of their perfonal pofie^iions and ddikieftic 
joysr they would fet fire to their houfes^ 
deftroy their provjfion^^ live in open War^ 
andi defiance of each other; and after ha*^ 
Ving exterminated thofe of another colourt 
wonld by degreeis extirpatb fihofe of their 
own ; and thofe few who fhall havd f^- 
Vived.the general mafiacrei moft ultimately 
ftarve; and this gradation of horror^ all 
ibofe who are at all acqtrainted with the 
difpoiition of negroes muftbe coaViaced 
Would eventually follow; 

; There are but few who have ble^ do* 
medicated upon a plantation, who^ when 
h^koftanizfidy do not very foon feel the curiei 
p£ dependence; for that'flate is ampng tbi 



f. ^ f !• ... 


dittely Iaieibis.«hQttre 0d ^r^iu^^ AMlijf 

Ao^donger ;«lk)!i^d the fplAdta4dn« c^Qthfiil 

i|icl jpfbvlfl€ifrfr i aod .:if: c tbiai £rit«l gift^t h* 

tendered at an extended period of lif^j^itHo 

confequende will be foon felt by the anti« 

^fpHifin ii(Pl»^f^ wd &n»iae:r,«o4 if-the 

<d>je<St.iCif >mt(lafoeilrcompaffion bp «veb'aa 

thsxyigooiriof Jile^ Jiisi^ifciedooi inriU giire 

mibe^ itura : A) vHis : manners and purftiitsli 

Imnrn'M' rbdrome ondoleslt/ahd ivorthlei^^ 

anctwiU noiihir wpnk fdr' his family aor 

i^islfclf j'lvitiiloitef .about thie ib^ets/!^et 

dituik^ i pilfer^ /fteaH or imirder, and ^ad 

his :days: at iaft in a work-faoufe, or pay^ 

upon the galtdws the forfeit of his xifirwf 

luntary crimes^ /: :. ui 


( 3i* ) 

1^0 fappofe that tht^ knd in jftrndleat 9t 
toy portioti of it| can be worked by the 
free negroes^ or the |)eop]e of eoleur^ U 
tbfard in the ektieme i as thofe of diis laft 
deicription who hare been flaves^ are gene- 
tally indvlged about the hoofe and offides» 
and have not perhaps been ever once feen to 
labour in the field i and the colour of the 
mulatto, his birth, and education, natu« 
rally exclude him from the poffiUe leverity 
of toil* 

Independently of thefc fuppofitions, diqf 
will be generally found to be either too 
youngs or too old^ for fuph laborious cxer<^ 
tions 2 but were it otherwife the cafe^ the 
want of that fleight which attends the prac«* 
tice of manual labour, and that expofure 
to the heat and cold which ^ are alternately 
experienced in the fame day, would render 
them helplefs in one inftancse,* and inca* 
pable of any fteady imd efficient application. 
la another* 


t 32$ ) 

Hold out what recompcnce you Will to 
free negroes, yet ftill they will not work : 
to make them labour in th& fields would 
be impoflible > when they cannot, but 
with difficulty, be prevailed upon to exert 
themfelves in thofe mechanical trades in 
which they were brought up, notwith- 
ilanding they may earn thereby from five 
to ten fhillings a day« 

I am convinced that there are many 
negroes in Jamaica, and perhaps entire 
bodies of them, upon difFerent^ I will gp 
farther^ and fay upon many^^ nay farther 
fiill^ and fay upon the generality of eftatcs> 
who would not accept of emancipation, . if 
they were to be previoufly informed that 
they muft in confequence refign thofe 
houfes that rwere built by their anceftors, 
forego thofe. grounds that were fettled by 
their forefathers, and which have been 
banded down for years, and become the 
inheritance of the fame family : for negroes 
abfolutely refpedl primogeniture ^vand the 

Vol. II. Y eldcft 

( 3H ) 

eldefl Ton takes an indifputed pofleflion'of 
his father's property immediately after his 
deceafe. And here I muft likewife obferve, 
as I have a pleafure in the fuggeftion^ that 
they are in general attached to their fami* 
lies, that the young will work with cheer-* 
fulnefs to maintain the iickly and the weak, 
and that they are much difpofed to pay to 
age refpeft and veneration. 

In Jamaica there are fuppofed to be 
10,000 free negroes and people of colour, 
which will about average 500 in each 
parilh ; out of which, if there were but 
100 of the latter capable of the cultivation, 
of the foil, or of engaging in plantation 
bufinefs, it would, in my opinion, very faF 
exceed the calculation. What then muft 
be the cultivation of a pari(h coniifting of 
eighty or ninety fugar plantations, bcfides 
one hundred other fettlements, that is ta 
depend upon the manual labour of fuch an 
unfeen proportion, and compared to the 
exertions of 18,000 negro flaves ? 


( 325 ) 

► . ' » 

The confeqnences that would attend 
abolition, would be trifling in their eflfeds 
to thofe which would follow emancipa-. 
tion I and what would happen in fuch a 
Cafe to the white people and to the negroes^ 
has been already foretold^ without the in- 
fpiration of prophecy : nor do I even think 
that an indulgence to the negroes^ as in 
the Spanifh fettlements^ to work out their 
Own redemption^ would bei attended with 
falutary effects in our colonies. . Deluded 
by the found of liberty^ the inconfiderate 
would fcrapc together their laft means to 
purchafe it| and would afterwards lament 
the acquirement of a ffaadow by the lofs 
bf a fubftance : for they would then be 
reduced to a helplcfs ftate ^ they would 
have no houfe to inhabit, no grounds to 
fupply them, no connexions to fupport 
them, no mailer to prote<A them^ and no 
laws to do them juftice. With hopes dif- 
appointed, means fequeftered, and want 
and mifery before their eyes, they would 
give themfelves up >€o bitter but unavailing 
complaints, . might meet j/vith rigour in 

Y 2 pro- 


( 326 ) 


proportion to their fu£ferings> and be glad 
to find that refuge in death which in life 
they had unwittingly forfeited. 

. It would be here natural to exclaim*-^ 
Is there not humanity in the Weft-Indies 
to prevent fo melancholy a fate, fo mife^^ 
rable, fo untimely a diiTolution ? Hu- 
manity can only be meafured by a poffi* 
bility and a knowledge of fufFering : there 
are thofe in all countries who are able, and 
who would be willing, to relieve particular 
objeds ; but as relief is comparative, and 
as in large communities there are thoufands 
who perifli unvifited, as unknown, on ac- 
count of the extent of numbers,— in the 
more confined intercourfe of fociety there 
would of co\irfe be many who, by the fame 
mode of argument, would fufifer, not from 
the want^ . but the impracticability, of re- 

. If emancipation fhall take place, tha^ 
merchant who has lent money to fupport 
the colonies^ upon the faith q{ the legif** 


( 327 ) 

lature of Great-Britain, will fuftcr; the 
planter, whofe capital will be wrenched 
from him, will be ruined ; and thofe thou* 
fands of white people who depend upoa 
both, in various callings and avocations of 
life, will have that life to begin again, and 
at an age too, perhaps, when they are 
become, from difeafe, and the decays of 
nature, incapable of labour i ' and whofe 
hearts will bend with forrow to the grave^ 
to think that their induftry has been thus 
ungratefully rewarded, their dependence 
upon the mother country infulted, and 
that they muft at laft fall martyrs to a 
cruel as an unavailing confidence, or muft 
avoid the horrors of fuch an end, if an 
equitable compenfation be not made for 
their lofles and expences, by becoming a^ 
lail their own executioners^ 

But thoft who fo warmly intereft them^, 
felves in the caufe of the negroes, make 
ufe of another argument— ♦Let fJbem he 
free^ but let the Europeans labour in the 
cultivation of the fields ! But after un* 

Y 3 con- 

( 3^8 ) 

anconditlonal liberty (hall have been givei| 
to the flaves^ what perfonal proteftioD zxff 
the white people to experience ? for it can** 
not be fuppofec} that thofe who are ac« 
tually born to freedom, are to be facrifice4 
at the temple of a fpecuktive deity. 

That the Und in Jamaica can be cul- 
tivated by white people, is a fuggcftion 
that I know not how to reconcile to 
common fe'nfe or reafon ; and feems to be 
one, but the moft impradlicable, of thofe 
fpeculations which have been broached 
upon the prefent fubjeft. The moft in- 
duftrious even, and the moft perfevering 
of thofe who follow mechanical profejQion; 
in the iiland, and who muft be con- 
fequently expofed to the heat of the fun, 
the fatigue of the mountains, and the 
varieties of the feafons, very foon become 
pppreffed by the intemperance of the cli- 
mate, and obferve their fpirit$ decline, | 
their exertions fail, and an encreafing lan- 
guor prevail over their forn^er habits of 

induftry and toil. 


( 329 ) 

Europeans are no farther employed in 
the cultivation of the land than as gardeners 
or ploughmen ; and of thofe defcriptions 
if there was> in my time, one upon an 
average of twenty eftates of the former, 
and of the latter one upon ten, it is as 
much credit as I can confcientioufly give 
to this clafs of labour, as founded upon 
piy own experience* 

If we fliould be even inclined to facrifice 
fa£t to an hypothefis, I muft confequently 
revert to my former argument : What is 
to be done with the negroes ? In what 
iituation are they to be hereafter placed ? 
The Creole flaves will be exempted from 
that tax upon mortality, which obliges 
every individual to labour in his calling; 
they will live a life of idlenefs and danger 
in their own country j and they will look 
triumphantly down upon, and infult the 
manual exertions of thofe whom they for- 
merly considered as their mafters ; and 
whom they would be glad, after fuch a 
reformation ihall have taken place in con- 

y 4 fequence 

C 330 ) 

feqaence of freedom^ to have again a» 
guardians^ protei^ors, and friends. 

To fuppofe that Europeans could cul- 
tivate the land in the iflands^ or negroes 
that of England, would be to acknowledge 
that climate has not any effed upon bodily 
exertions, upon national diflindions, or 
upon endemial feelings. 

But fet all thefe objeAions afide ; how 
is Europe to fufnifh numbers in any pro* 
portion to the wants of the colonies ? How 
and where are they to be furniflied with 
provifions, clothing, and thofe neceflary 
comforts that fhould be always at hand 
to reftore the fick, to fuppprt the con- 
valefcent, and to fuilain the ftrong and 
healthy f 

Unufed to the climate, and the fatigue 
and danger with which labour would be 
attended, they would be fwept off in dread- 
ful proportions before they could be brought 
to colonize j and unacc^uainted with the 



( 331 ) 

management^ and of courfe unfkilful in 
the cultivation of the fields^ their health 
with their fpirits would be effetSually woirn 
down/ and the feeble remnant would at 
laft pine away in languor and difeafe i and 
would turn back their eyes with melan- 
choly^ regret^ or defpondency of hearty as 
the Africans are fuppofed to do, towards 
their native country^ from which, not 
crimes, but a cruel policy, has driven 
them; and may poffibly envy the iituation 
of their unfortunate brethren 9t Botany 
Bay, a more eafy foil and happy clime : 
for where the mifery of the mind is con- 
ne£led with the languor of the body^ it 
may eafily be imagined' how very foon 
thefe enemies of human nature will lead to 

If the colonies were to be; attempted to 
be cultivated by white people, the whole 
population of Great-Britain would be un- 
equal to the objed:, and would in the 
courfe of a century be melted down ^nd 
become extinft : and the caufes that would 


( 33« ) 

j[ubAantistte this bold aflertion^ may be in 
fome meafure divined from the calcula-p 
tions that have been made upon partial 
emigrations^and where attention and plenty 
have not been equal to the afTaults of fick^ 
nefs and defpair, the laft of which has cut 
off more people in the Wefi-Indies than 
plagues or famine^ 

The cruelties that have been pradifed by 
different nations in the profecution of the 
African trade, are of fuch enormity as to 
(hake with horror, and to melt with com-» 
paflion, the bofom of the moft unfeeling j 
but intereil rides triumphant over fuf-^ 
ferings, and owns no monitor but wealth. 

For thefe cruelties the planter is not 
refponfible ; the mifcries therefore which 
he occafiojis, fhould be explored ; and the 
wanton power to infliifl inhuman punifti-? 
ment, (hould be, if not fupprefled, at leaft 
reftrained : but furely, independently of 
benevolence, he cannot be fo blind to his 
own advantage, a? with his humanity to 


( 333 ) 


facrificje his intereA, to mirufe what is t^ 
adminiflcr to his comforts^ and to deftroy 
mrhat is to fubftantiate his ends* 

The negro is the moft valuable title by 
97hich the planter holds his eftate ; he is 
by law confidered as his real property; 
and will he injure himfelf, or fuffer to be 
hurt by others, tiaf, which is to contribute 
to his means ; the preferVation of which 
will help to make him affluent^ and the 
jiccumulated lofs of which muil lead to 

If neither abolition, nor emancipation 
ihall take place, it is hoped that a full an4 
lefHcient reformation may; and under this 
idea there cannot be a douirt but that the 
pegroes may be made as contented and 
as happy^ as their Ideas of contentment 
and happinefs can poflibly extend ; and 
upon a fubjeft upon which benevolence 
has fo free a fcope to exert its virtues. 
It becomes the duty of every one who 
(pither does poffefs, or would be fuppofed 


( 334 ) 

capable ofi feeling, to throw in his mite, 
in augmentation of the general mafs> in 
the hope that thofe ftigmas of cruelty under 
which thofe who live in the community of 
aegro flaves have fo long laboured, may be 
gradually and efficaciouily removed, and 
that the fenfibility which called for re- 
formation may be amply requited by a 
knowledge of its falutary and fuCcefsfuI 



The fympathetic feelfngs that firft point* 
ed to the relief of the flaves, were noble and 
humane; and although they were taken up 
under ideas not altogether warrantable from 
the actual and general experience of bodily 
fufferings; yet, as far as they were meant 
to apply to mental comfort, will always 
fland as ftriking features of the benevolence 
of the times, of the humanity of indivi- 
duals, and of that difpaffionate and per- 
fevering idea of independence, which is 
the fymptom of a great mind i and will 
not fail, in the end, to hand down the pro- 
moters, the fupporters, and thofe who (hall 


( 335 ) 

\kzvt ultimately triumphed in*this fefdrnia^ 
tion» to the kindnefs of the prefent age« 
and to the applaufe of pofterity. / 

It muft depend upon time to ice whc* 
ther or no the promife of fuch fruit (hall 
be matured : the experiment ihould be gra« 
dual^ and fhould advance through the me-- 
dium of obfe^vation and experience^ before 
we determine upon its perfection. If anjf 
additional enforcement can take place of 
comfort or relief to thofc degraded people 
l^hofe (ituations lay them under the com* 
miieration of public opinion, it will be 
one point gained in the calculation of 
future contingencies ; and according to the 
diminution of their fufFerings, will a cor« 
refponding credit be given to thofe whofe 
original ideas, and perfevering fpirit of 
humanity, fhall ultimately give fupport to 
weaknefs, and hardly make perceptible thp 
bonds of flavery. 

If fome man profit by bondage, there 
iftre others to whom it has proved a curfe ; 


atid of thofe white people who die iti Ja* 
xriaica^ and whofe deaths are attributed tdf 
the climate, there are many^ I am conirin* 
cedi who are brought to the gfave by thtf 
difappointment and afflidion which are too 
often the certain confequences of an im« 
provident purchafe of flavcs. 

This part of the fubjefl: very naturallyy 
and^ as it were^ by inference, introdaceg 
an account of the negro-merchant; who 
is often treated with . a rigour that hjS doe9 
BoC deferve, and who has beeH too fre^ 
quently arraigned for cruelties which it 
was not pofllble for him to lieenfe Qi 

There is a great deal of difference be- 
tween the man who enveigles, and him 
whp fells ; the views of the firft feem to 
center in the procurement of a cargo,* and 
thofe of the lad upon its prefervation and 
fale. The merchant who takes up a fhip 
in lamaica, contracfts for it after the ter« 
mination of the voyage, and is corifc- 
quently ignorant of thbfe cruelties by which 


( 3^7 ) 

the negrces were procured^ and of thofd 
difcomforts and hardfliips which they are 
faid^ with too much reafon, to labour ua^ 
der. No tax of inhumanity therefore^ upon 
this fcore^ can be laid upon him : on the 
contrary, as bis intereift is conneded with 
hi^ tendernefs^ that beomes an objcA of 
policy, to which thofe who are not ac-^ 
quainted with the relative fituations of the 
ifeilier and the flavt, wouW affix the appd- 
latieh of fetling; and upon the cheerful 
appearaiyce, and the bodily hea!l9i of the 
latter, the firft kniift de{)tnd for a briflc 
and a profitable fale. 

The good negroes of a favourite country^ 
let the price be what it wilj, a^e in general 
very foon difpofed of; the more indifferent 
ones will not . be pufchafed with muoh 
avidity ; but the extent of credit; and t*^- 
duClion of terms, are ten>ptati0ns ^wMc/h 
fhofe in the Weft- Indies who traffic in 
human flefti can rarely withftand: btf t th dfe 
unhappy fpeftres that are become obj^s 
of commiferation from ficknefi, negfeiSb, 


(33*5 ■ 

thd want, and who perhaps at their de^ 
parture from their native country, atid be-^ 
fore they fell under the inhuman gripe of 
commerce, were vigorous and healthy--^ 
thefe unhappy .creatures, . I had almoft faid 
thefe outcafts . of intereft, are frequently 
reduced to fuch a fituation of bodily mifery 
and mental defpair, that their appearance 
alone, independently of the reflections it 
occaiions, is fufficient to fhock the eye of^ 
human nature, and would excite com* 
paflion to wi(h them, not an extended 
exigence, but an early grave, in which 
they might bury at once themfelves and 
their misfortunes. 

Many of thefe poor wretches, too weak 
for exertion, and reduced by hunger to the 
extremities of life, are feen lying about the 
ftreets without clothing, without food, and 
without compai3ion$ and it mufb furely 
be a flur upon our colonial laws, and a 
iatire upon the humanity of individuals, if 
fuch objeds are left to perifh, unnoticed 
and unlamented. 


( 139 ) 

Some have not kngiiage to exprefs thtit 
.Waots^ and Coa^ are too much exhaufted 
to figh out the treodor; of complaint y but 
hold out» with a wiftful and defponding 
e3r<^ t vifithof ed handi in feeble token of 
their fttfieriiig$i and implore^ but too oftei^ 
ioif>lQfe in vain^ with all the eloquence o^ 
filent (brrow and patient refignation» a drop 
of v^ater^ of a crumb of breads to fuftaia 
their declining bodies in the laft ilruggles 
of hpmanityj and to ward off for a moment 
the impending horrors of deaths 

This noelancholy pi<^ure is by no nieansi 
over-coloured; and the legiflature (hoidd 
certainly interfere in the corrediion of aa 
abu(e fo very obvious ; of an abufe fo dif^- 
gracefu) to the privileges of reafon, and fo 
dilhonourable to that religion;, whofe tenetg 
arc founded in mercy* 

Of the rigorous dealing and perfecurloa 
of the negro^merchanti it is very common 
among all clafles of people in Jainaica to 
complain i but I greatly fear that naore is to 

Z be 

be attributed updn this head ta the impohc*- 
tuality of him "tt^ho buye^ tbaii to the Mvant 
of liberality of hita whO'fclh; * * 

When a man makes thfe-fmrchafe cff a 
Have, he^ouTd haVt the jtfftice to reficf^ 
that he has i>een entrufted With the pra^ 
perty of another ; he Ifholild likewife have 
the liberality to conitder/tha^ the merchant 
muft make good his paynient at homc^ 
whatever difappbintments he may meet 
with from abroad : his credit therpfore, if 

not his charadrer^ is at flake; and a failure 

• • • . . 

of reniittances of confiderablt extent and 
magnitude may fubjedl him<.td jprefent in- 
feonveniency at kaft, if not involvfe him in 
future ruin. 

• ' -' *. 

T V . ' ' . w, 

The extcnfion of twelve or eighteen 
months credit is a tcmptation^to many td 
buy, who in fa(ft ought not to purchafc ; 
and the confequences that will, and that 
ftfiuft generally attend impuntluality, art 
ferious and dcftruftiviCr 

1 X 


( 341 ) 

Tlie concerns of a negro-merchant ard 
£o ex'tenfivcj that partiality would almofl; 
amount to ipjuilice : if therefore the obli* 
gation be not difcharged when due, the 
party is fued» a judgement obtained, and, if. 
a writ of Fenditioni exponas be executed, the 
negro is fold for one.third perhaps of what he 
originally coft; and what feems to be a par- 
ticular hardftiip, the confequcnce, whether 
politic or not, of the priority law, is the 
following practice : If the defendant be 
otherwife indebted, the property of the 
plaintiff will go towards the difcharge of 
fuch judgements as are previous to his; 
although juftice would incline us to think/ 
that the man who fells^ and is not paid, 
has the befl right to a refumption of his 

if a perfon fhall purchafe twenty ne- 
groes, and they (hall originally cofl hind 
fifty pounds flerling per head, it is Aill a 
great chance but he lofe one before the time 
that the firfl payment fhall come round : 
and as new negroes ought to be treatea 

Z 2 * with 

( 34* ) 

With great tendernefs at firfl, the pro^ 
duce of their labour will cdnfeqaently be 
trifling ; while the expence of clothing, 
provifions, tools, and a perfba to attend 
them, independently of the dodor's bill, 
will be very confiderable. They may im- 
port wiih them the diforders of Africa, or 
may contract the fmall-pox io the Iflands; 
by which means many inay be fwept oflT 
before they (hall be feafoned to the cli* 
mate, others may become weakly and dif* 
abled, and feveral of the remaining flaves 
may turn out runaways and rogues. Thefe 
particulars therefore confidered, it m^ 
cafily be imagined how very great the dimi-> 
nution of their value muft be, after fuch 
a lift of contingenfcies. 

I will even foppofc that the parchafer 
fhall have been peculiarly fortunate in their 
fcafonfng; but let him be ever k> fuc-* 
cefsful in this refpeft, I do not think that 
he will be able, with the tiioft unremit^ 
ting attention, and with even a fuperfluity 
cf food,, to preferve and domeflicate, in 


< 343 ) 

three years, more than one out of four who 
ih»\\ turn out a really indudrious and effi* 
cient ilave. 

If therefore at the end of three years 
^e lofe, by a favourable calculation^ five 
negroes out of twenty, he will be however 
obliged to pay^ for this lafl number, al- 
though he fhall only have fifteen remain- 
ing; and, what h flill more mortifying, 
he muft be confcious that he purchafed 
them in health and vigour, and is only now 
the mafler of a remnant, rnany of which 
are reduced by hunger, fome grown worths 
lefs, and do not altogether earn perhaps 
the interefl (6 per cent.) of his debt; al* 
fl;iough he fhall contrive, by the fubtlcties 
and confequent delays of the law, to ftave 
off, as long as pofliblc, the rigorous^exe- 
i:ution of the principal. 

, Of thofe who eflablifh an independency 
by the purchafe of negroes, the calculation 
will not, I believe, amount, if all circum- 
^90C,es be coafidered, to one in five j and I do 

Z 3 firmly 

( 344 ) 

firmly believe, that out of the aftonifliin^ 
numbers of judgements that are annually 
obtained in Jamaica on account of im-» 
pundluality of payment, at leaft fix out of 
feyeh are fubflan dated from a hafiy an4 
improvident purchafe of flaves : and hence 
the ruinous e:ifpences of the law, indepen- 
.dently of the miferics that a ftate of alter- 
cation engenders, muft be added to the 
vexatious lift of the adventurers misfor-r 

• p • 

I know not any meafure that could fa 
cfFedlually tend to the relief of the indebted 
planter, give fo much quiet to his mind^ 
and funfhin^ to ^is views, as a fupprefiion. 
for a few years, of the introdudlion of 
African flaves ; for if they be to be fold^ 
let the terms be what they may^ provided 
pnly that credit and time be given, there 
^ill be always found imprudent and. am^* 
bitipus men to purchafe : and if the owners 
of the foil cannot make fuch acquired pof- 
feffions anfwer, how are t&o/e to fuccced 
who have not land^ and are confequently 


( 345 ) 

• • 1 • • , • . ' 

witbtiut »provifi6ns, excepting fuch as they 
'i^ill be obligisd to procure at an enormous 
•expfence ' in the country, and the refources 
of which are never fure ? 

In the hands of jobbers even, whofc 
means depend upon their health and prer 
ferv^tion, it is amazing what numbers of 
negroes .die, before the former can raife a 
lufficient gang to procure them any profit 
-by a -regular aild fy ftematic ti^airi of in- 
duftry ; and as many of thefe adventurers 
are praftitionef & of phyfic, there feems to 
be fome reafon to conclude that they ought 
to be more fucCefsful than others ; but I 
•w&s not able to learn, during my rfefidence 
in' the Iflahd, that fuch was abfolutely the 
'cafe, ^ ' i . 

f ' • - ' , 

:-• The' pofleflbrs of the old eUabliflled pro- 
•p'erties-in Jamaica, appear to rne to be too 
much ^alarmed at the pending id6a of^h 
•abolition of the flave-tr^de ; an inhibition 
tnat would materially, in- fome inftanccs, 
fcf ve the planter of moderate expectations 

Z 4 and 

< 34<i ) 

to4 hpp^it but which would certainly > i^^ 
the other hand^ help to daoEip the n^an of 
cnterprifei confiderably diminifh the public 
revenue, and not only put a flop to aii 
increafe of cultivation in the Iflandj^ but 
likewife reduce to barrennefs and deferts a 
great portion of that land which is now 
under the cultivation of canes : it would 
occafion additional labour to fall upon thofe 
iSaves who are now in the colonies, and 
which H .would be difficult for the moft 
benevolent inftitutions, and the mo& &<* 
Itttary refprniatipns;^ ever to remove^ 

How far the African negroes may be 
<afFe3ed by the humane interferenoe of the 
BritiQi legiOature in their particular favour^ 
I am not competent to fpeak ; but, if abow 
lition fha}l take place in confequence of 
.the abufes and the etioYovitieswith which 
the traiHc of f^ves is attended; andifeman-* 
^pipation (hall be renpunced as a vifionary 
icheme^ deftru^ive to thofe who were 
meant to heneiit/rom it, dangerous to thp 

Jives of thie white people who are n^w 


X 347 ) 

fettled in the caIonic!6> and ruinous to pwli^ 
Jic aaid private property ; and if, in con^ 
iequeoce of its imprafticability, it (hall bie 
relioquiihiedj it will then be prudent ta 
blend philanthropy with iQtpreftj as it will 
be the triumph of humanity to loofen thofe 
bonds which have been too cloiely tied» and 
which have in coofequeoce too often bruUed« 

Infiitutions may certainly be made ia the 
jcalontes^ to render the aegroes as conteoteA 
:ajQ4 happy as the peafantry are found to be 
Sn Europe; nor do I thidk that fuck 9l 
jeformatlon would be attended with rauck 
delay or trouble : but hpfotfi they can fe^ 
the benefits jof a wiie and equal legiflatioAt 
fome alteration muft be oiade in the n)aa« 
ners and purfuits of thofe by whom they 
M£ at prefent goveracd i and this pofitioa 
liaturally brings me to a defcription of tlw 
inhabitants of the country. . 

In European commusnities there is a chain 

of fubordination^ that defcends from link to 

link; whichi while it prefcrvea the ilrength 

. . of 

( 348 ) 

of the whole, gives eafe and motion to fome 
particular parts ; and which, without con* 
flraint, enfurcs obedience: 'whereas, the 
levelling principle that obtains among thfe 
white people ih Jamaica, entrenches upoa 
thte duties of fociety, and annihilates the 
'bonds of power, and the good effeds of fub- 
ordination* On the other hand, as ilaves are 
thrown at a diftance from the ideas of equa- 
lity, the weight of command docs iiot de- 
-fccnd by perceptible degrees, but falls at 
-once to crufh the timid, and to confound 
4he bold ; although the inflidter of punifh^ 
iment may not perhaps be poflcfled of more 
*feafon, or more fenfe, than the unhappy 
wretch who fuffers, and who, as he canw 
not refifl, is obliged to fuccomb. 

i It is; generally contended,, that negroes 
iiave not the fame ideas that thofe have by 
whom they are governed.: In this they. are 
happy, not having the fame wiflbes to form, 
ithe fame wants to gratify,:^ aod being con- 
v^teatcd with ^ihe polTeilion of thofe goods 
'Which fall isi .their yvay, .without enqoun*- 
1 tering 


terihg^thofe evils with which their feArch 

would be attended, 

-- * • . . 

They know not the defperate alternative 
of crufliing a friend, to (land eredt upon 
bis depreflion^ and to rife into confequence 
from his ruin. They dream not, when 
awake, of riches; and not knowing the 
dangers of wealth, they feel, without per- 
ceiving it,^ the comforts^ of privation. 

A rich man mud depend upon others for 
comfort J a poor man, upoti himfelf : the 
former lives for multitudes; the latter^ for 
a community that is either perfonal, or citr- 

The man of opulence has caufc of dif- 
^apppintment, veication, and ingratitude 
in every thing around him : he is teazed 
by his fervants ; he is mortified by his de- 
pendents; and is perhaps neglefted in the 
hour, of trial, and abandoned in that of 
want, in proportion to the favours which, 
^jh^pf^perity, he hski the inclination and 
V- • ' the 

( 35^ ) 

the power to confer. Of coni^quence; thai 
deduced^ of miferies thus felt^ of mortifi^ 
cations thus indured, the negroes are, from 
fituation as well ds feeling, exeoipted j and 
their fears at lead: are tranfitory, although 
their enjoyments are far from being per«- 
minent : the firft might be removed^ and 
the laft in fome meafure fubn:antiajted. 

If they be but one degree removed from 
vegetable exigence, as it is weakly,, and 
I had almoft faid^ as it has been impiouily 
iuppofedj they are not opprefled , by thp 
weight, nor do they labour under the 
cfieds, of cogitation ; for. the ideas of 
mifery are in a tenfold proportion to thp(p 
of happinefs : and, as they are not made 
•wretched by the pasgs of ao upbraiding 
fibnfciencc, they feem to he fajtisfi^d with 
thofe neceflacies that fupport exiftence. Bvit 
I mufl however confefs, that I pever fioufi^ 
any negroes, eithfcr Creole or African^ whp 
•were gifted yyith the powers of diftipgui/^br 
ing naoraljy, and not from exaipple^j the 
diffenence . helween a good i^ f^n eyU 


( 351 ) 

fl£(io0 i dr whd oould reafim upon tht ne^ 
tfeffity of dependence here, or draw any fes^ 
iible comfort frony thfcir liberty hereafter^ 
As e^ratnple tfa^efore is thepcominent fea- 
ture 6f buotan government^ and as the/ 
i^Jll con feqdenily follow that which they* 
fee before tbem^ bow regalar (hould be tbef 
conduct, and bd^ fteady the government; 
of tboie whom they are taught to look up 
to for imitation, and from whom they are 
to receite the do<%rine of obedience ! 

I abfolutely deny that they arte incapabid 
of mental inftrudtion, and fcientific im* 
^rovtment : on the contrary, I think the 
negroes apt> even thofe imported fron^ 
Africa, and labouring under an ignorance 
cf the nlanners and the lainguage of the 
country, in the acquirement and perfec-^ 
tion of the different trades, and the mechar« 
ificd proceffes to which they are devotedi 
and which, I do infift, they learn with a^ 
much facility and perfeverance as the white 
people do in £afope« i.;; , 


( 352 ) 

- Wh^h WB cbnfider under whom the 
generality of them are educated, if^lbe 
negative rbutinesof thought piay be called 
an education^ :;vre (hall. be. inciint^d to giva 
them credit for what -they knqw, whcn^ 
they have fuch' n^elanchdiy prcffpefts of 
being taught: "iind hen^^e'a deieription of 
the condition to v^hicli they are fubjed^ 
and of thofe people by ; whom it is, im- 
prefied^ * will more fully l^ad to the point 
I aim: at, and help to eflablifli thofe as 
corollaries, which might otherwife be pon-« 
fidered as fpecnlation« 

I t 

^ A great nunf^ber ofthdeflates ro Janiaica 
ire in the hands of mortgagees in poflef«* 
Son ; and tiiefe are commonly found to b^ 
a defcfiptioii of people who call themfelvea 
Weft-i^India merchants. I am* confcious 
tliat I now ftand upoA flippcry ground^' 
that the leafl: . falfe ftep will help to fink 
me, and that ^n abfolute fall will reduce 
me to a fitliation to rife perhaps no more j 
but, as I profefs to fpeak from fadts, I will 


( 351 > 

commend where I can, and. blame ^hete^ 
I ought. 

"The merchsint lends money to the 
planter, provides his Englifli ftores and* 
Irifli provifibns, difpofes of his fugar and 
ram upon dommiffion, and directs the ma^ 
hagementi and receives the profit, of any 
Shipping With which he may be impru- 
dently engaged : I fay, imprudently, be- 
caufe, in an adventure of this kind^ tji^ 
mafter of the (hip, if he be part owner* 

and the nufband, are thofe only who, ia 

*"'* 1^ •*•', • «.» *i, ,.'..' ' 

time 01 pe.ace, can make any interefl: of 
their mone;^. 

* ■ ■ ' i. 

l^^ - .1,.. -'* 

/ ^ A. / . ' ' 

» ., - • • . -J 

The nierchant's commimon is i per centv 
upon infurances, 2 i per cent, upon all 
th« produce v^hich is addreffedto hisfi^fe 
for fale, and | pcrcentii upon what he payfci 
bh in other words, 2 1 per cent, upon fafej 
aod invoices, and | jper cent, upon recei:ptJ 
and payments; He charges intereft at^;'^ 
^r cent, for what he advances : and the 
cuflom to carry the intereft to the principal 


ei^ety yearj aiid thus make it an augtxxentifi^ 

Thok of opulence ^nA punctuality^ vtho 
can aflford to pay ready money for every 
thing they buy^ are a{:ctiftomed to dedudfc 
5 per cent, in the article of fioresi but 
among thofe wha mov^ in a more depen-*^ 
dent fphtiTo no fuch allowance is, made. 

The Iri(h merchant makes a charge of 
2 I per cent, for the exportation of his 
6wn goods 5 a pradice that is fomewhaC 
fihgular^ and which does not leem to be 
founded updn the common and equitabtei 
principles of commerce : and, ^hat is ftill 
'more extraordinary^ the Engljih merchant 
does the fame* 

> A jplanter w|io is indited to fii^ mer^ 
chanty laboirrs under many pcK^oniary mor^ 
tiAcations and di&ppointments $ and, fbould 
the latter be diflrefied by the magnitude of 
the fum advanced^ or by a mode of liviog 
iiiperior to bis means Md fituaf ion in life« 
he muft have recour^ to the pe^uniafy 


( 3SS ) 

aid of ethers, the confequence of which 
has frequently been (if his broker (hall 
happen to be the party to whom he has 
been obliged), that the fugars which he 
has had orders to infure, are fold to dif- 
advantage before their arrival, or the fam-^ 
pies, when purchafed, are averaged at a 
price very far below their real value. 

If the planter fhall have occafioned the 
diftrefs of the merchant, and (hall have 
driven him to the neceffity of fupporting 
at all events his tottering credit, he muft^ 
^s he ought in juftice, to (land to the con- 
fequence; and if his property (hall, on this 
account, be fold to lefs advantage, his con- 
nexion with the latter is fuch, that, how- 
ever be may complain, he knows not how 
to find redrefs. 

If a perfon happen to be connedled with 
a man of refpecftability and credit, it is 
Inotprious that he obtains a much larger 
price for his produce than he would receive 

Vol. II. A a from 

( 3S6 ) 

from one of a difFercnt charadler; and 
if he be even engaged with a needy houfe, 
and to that houfe is not indebted, he will 
ftill find a more favourable return for 
his confignments than if he were encum* 

Where merchants have many correfpon'^ 
dents, it has been too often a practice, I am 
told, to (how famplcs of fugar from different 
eflates, and then to (Irike a general average 
between the good and bad ; a praftice that 
is not founded upon juftice, whatever ex- 
cufc it may have in expediency, or the 
faving of delay and trouble : for fuppofe 
the merchant fliould be himfclf pofleffed of 
a fugar-plaptation, and the produce of it 
were indifferent, compared to that which he 
has upon falc from different properties — 
fuppofe this were the cafe, and he could 
fo far forget honour in intereft, as to 
average his bad with what is better, what 
fufpicion would it not occafion in his cor- 
refpondents I 


( SS7 ) 

It is certainly more to the advantage of 
the planter to borrow money from any 
hand, even although he were to allow for 
it at the rate of 6 per cent, than to take 
it from his merchant at 5, provided he be 
in confequence tied up to confign to him 
his future produce : for when once the 
former becomes indebted to the latter in 
fuch a fum as he would find it difficult to 
raife at a ihort warning upon a Weft-India 
fecurity, from that moment he becomes 
dependeht, and perhaps for life. He gives 
perhaps a pledge that is worth ^20,000, to 
cover a debt of £ 5,000 ; a judgement is 
jobtained, to fecure the priority of all he has;, 
he is ejedted from his e^te ; it falls into 
the hands of the mortgagee in poiTeffion ; 
the crops decreafe, the value of the pro- 
perty finks, and the whole of it is perhaps 
fold at laft to pay off the encumbrance, and 
the creditor purchafes for jT 5,000 what 
was abfolutely worth at leaft double the 
fum: and this is a practice, and a fa(ft 
too well eftabliihed to admit of refuta- 

A a 2 I 

( S58 ) 

t never knew a property fall under tho 
inanagement of mortgagees in pofleffion, 
even where the fum was trifling, and the 
property was large, that was ever redeenie(i : 
and I have the experience of nearly thirteen 
years to enable me to fubftantiate this bold 
aflertion. I have, on the contrary, heard 
of eftates that have been indebted to the 
amount of their value, that have, in nearly 
the fame fpace of time, hot only greatly 
reduced, but entirely expunged, every en- 
cumbrance upon them. 

It is cuftomary with iht liberal creditor 
to fufFer the indebted planter to refide upon 
his mortgaged premifes, to fuperinterid 
the white people, and to direil the cul- 
tivation of the land ; to difpofe of his rum 
to difcharge the contingencies of the coud* 
try, to recommend captains of ihips to 
convey his (lores to the ifland, and to have 
the preference of freight to England, and 
to be indulged with fuch articles and con- 
veniences as th^ plantation affords ; to have 
the liberty to reiide upon it, and iikewiie 


( 359 ) 

to (hare the fame emoluments that an 
attorney would have ; and under fuch a 
compadl the planter may not have much to 
apprehend^ nor the merchant much to fear, 
as confidence is thje bed conne^ive band 
of interefl: ; whereas diifenfion and diftruft^ 
while they four the Pf ind^ wiU ultimately 
conduct to ruin. 

To be, on the other hand, forbidden 
the leaft interference whatever with his 
concerns, to be proceeded agalnft to the 
utmoil remnant of bis means, to be de*« 
prived of common XubfiAence; and, tQ 
jencreafe his moriificatiQn» to behold all 
at once a man become his mafter, whp 
but a few years before \yas contented to 
be his fervant ; all thefe are bitter circum- 
fiances which the planter too often fv^ers^ 
and which it is certainly heart-breaking 
to endure. 

The rapacious and the unfeeling nier<« 
ch^nt is not always fo icrupulous about 

A a 3 the 

( 3^0 ) 

tlie charafter of the agent he employs, a$ 
he is about his obedience. Of his inte- 
grity perhaps he does not require a proof, 
and is equally indifferent whether he has 
been accuftomed to the tiller, or is at all 
acquainted with the nature of the land. 
If he but follow his inftrudtions, and will 
once condefcend to fecond his views upon 
the property^of which he has the diredion, 
he feems to care very little whether the 
proprietor perifh for want, or languifli in 
i prifbn ; and it is a reproach to the prac- 
tice of thus paffing property from one 
hand to the other, to fee the comfort and 
affluence with which fome attornies to 
mortgagees live, while at the fame time 
^the proprietor of the eftate is refufed a 
dwelling upon it, and is ftruggling under 
th6 accumulated miferies of contempt and 

Some attornies are refident at the oppo- 
fitc parts of the ifland to thofe in which 
the properties for which they are engaged 


( 36i ) 

are placed ; fome are merchants^ ibme arc 
dod:ors9 fome are lawyers^ and fome have 
even been indented fervants. 

The relative fituations of merchant and 
planter naturally make them dependent 
upon one another; and if the latter fhall 
have been haraiTed^ diflrefied, and ruined by 
the rapacity of the fornier, yet has the 
lad been,' in many inftances, faVed by the 
friendfhip^and made independent and happy 
by the credit of the fir ft. 

Among thofe defcriptions of people I 
well know that complaints and crimina- 
tion are too often exchanged for confidence 
and fellow-feeling ; and that property can 
never flourifli, when one attempts to in- 
jure what it is the intereft of the otb^r to 
. fave. 

One inconvenience the merchant cer- 
tainly labours under; and as it is a pecuniary 
ipgonvenience, it comes home to his fitua- 

A a 4 tiooji 

fic/h; iti^ cttiHdX fail to ititttkA W ftd 

iitgs, • ' 

* ' t^i f ' • i 

He hazards a portion of his capital, if 
ke have Sftyv «t h* ple^ge^ thti <trc(Kt of 
iiis*'ri*aifteV if h caii t^Jfe . nibtiey ; upent A 
fbfeigfi advdittUre, upon a coutttry ahd^'ftfiFi 
*if the rtatufeund quality of WWcfh hrfi* 
(entirely igrior&fitr he depertd's tfftort ^hd 
ftill and lipbrf tfie condudt of the planter 
iot (he prefervation of his adrance, fot' 
the returns of intereft, antt as a kiftd of 
compenfation for the confignment of his 
goods ; he fufnifhes what^ is rieceflafy for 
the ftfppoit of the plantation, oi* what he 
may ttiOfe in'iihediately require for his da- 
tnertic ufes : their connexion therefore, 
COnfidered In this point of viei*^, appears 
to he tight, ihdi thtir intercfts and mutual 
dependencies fo intimately blended toge*- 
ther^ that the lead difcordance would un-- 
hiilgfe the machine, ahd clog it leaft, if 
hot for ever break, ihe fpfiftgs of aftion; 
and againfl fuch a difunion, it fliould be 
the wifli of both to guard. 


( J63 ) 

If the merchant^ in coftfe^uefice of Im-^ 
pimduality» mifmaoagfrn^M* or vtciom 
habits^ fbould thiok it noec^y lo redeem 
his pledge (bat misfortmMi^ I ihc^ldhop^^ 
the liberal mkid woitM compaEfEoaMe, aod 
the failure of' engagements^ tf impoffible 
for the planter to fulfil tbeoi^ excafe)*--^^ 
I fay» he find it of confeqiience to call ia 
h^i^ money, he mod appoint a^ii agent 
abroad, upon wh4>m be mpft depend Jfor 
jii^icc^j or who^ on the contrary^ be may 
uiCt as is fometimes the qb&, with cither 
inattention, or an imwilHngnefs to perlc- 
cute bis friend : but fo foon as^ he becoixiea 
(in confequence of having foand a perfon 
of lefs fcrupte and delicacy of conduft) 
in polfeflion of the moirtgaged praperties» 
he will foon be able to bribe the fenraot 
to betray the m^after, the dependent to £31^ 
crifice his benefador, and to fecond him 
perhaps in all his ichem(» of inhusnanity 
;ind infult. 

Atncmg thoie who profeflionally a0der« 
take the diretllion of Jatoaica eflates^ and 


( 364 ) 

condud them for their conftituents at 
home^ there are people^ as before obferved^ 
of various defcriptions^ from the igno- 
rant to the intelligent, and from the re- 
iponiible to the dependent. Some z&, from 
principle^ and fome from intered ; fome 
da good, and fome do mifchief : and thofe 
properties are, I think, in general the bell: 
managed, upon which the attornies do 
not reiide; bu( who, acknowledging their 
ignorance of the cultivation of the foil, 
^nd of the various procefles of fugar-ma- 
king, have the modefty and fenfe to depend 
upon the fcientific and the experienced, 
without any other , interference perhaps 
than that of making them refponfible for 
their conduA, and of difcpuraging and 
difcarding the worthlefs, and of rewarding 
and confiding in the meritorious. 

The attorney draws 6 per cent, upon 
the produce of the plantation ; makes an 
allowance, according to its extent and re- 
venues, to a perfon to keejp the books of 
the property, and to do in his ahfence fuch 


( 365 ) 

bufinefs as the ovcrfccr, from a different 
line of occupation, is cither incompetent 
to, or has not leifure to fuperintend. He 
appoints the ovcrfeer, and affixes his falary 
according to his pretenfiohs and his fkill ; 
and among this clafs of people I have feeii 
and been perfonally acquainted with fome, 
that are an honour to their profeffion, and 
Avho would make as refponfible agents as 
thofe by whom they have been, in a fub- 
ardinate capacity, employed. 

The attorney who manages for the pro- 
prietor in England, derives his emoluments 
from the produce of the property, and 
charges 6 per cent, for every thing he 
makes, and every thing he fells j and if 
he be not fcrupulous in his truft, he may 
iikewife draw many other advantages from 
his iituation, which fome have not fcrupled 
to take. He may order the eftates to fup- 
ply him with corn, may dired: their carts 
to carry it; may be from thence fupplied 
with mules for his fervants, and with pro- 
vifions and delicacies for himfelf ; and may 


( 366 ) 

order the attendance t)f any ne«^ 
groes he may prefer, to wait upon him in 
menial capacities : and all this he may do» 
9nd all this is often done, without any 
ceremony or compeniation. 


If he have extenfive concerns, he is fol- 
lowed about the country with a retinue of 
carriages, of fervants, and of horfes, which 
(bake the ground as they thunder along i 
and when he arrives upon the plantation^ 
the command goes forth, to catch and kill ; 
the table is covered with profusion, and few 
are fuffered tq go empty, I had almoft faid 
ioher, away. 

is not a profeffion in the country 
lb much fought after as this ; and if it be 
pot the moA honourable, it is certainljr 
(the mtoA profitable, and that in which i^ 
.often difplaycd the greateft mediocrity of 
talents : for a fituation that individually 
does not either require thought, or infift 
.upon adtion, may be equally exercifed by 
the vacant and ina^ive. The only things 


< 3^7 ) 

required, arc confidtnte and protcftion from 
fiome, an hofpitablc way of life in the 
ifland, a coftly table, a full cellar, and good 
attendance ; and if you have beiides an 
cafy carriage, and an ambling horfc, *• all 
•* the reft (hall be added unto you/' 

The bufinefs of an attorney, when re- 
fiding upon the plantation, is to attend the 
overfeer in a circuitous vifit of the cane 
fields, and to obtain from hhn a calcula* 
tion of what they may produce ; and as 
his emoluments arife from the magnitU(ie 
of the crops, his intereft will point oot llbc 
means of making them productive ; and 
hence the exorbitant expence of hired la- 
bour will be added, to fvi^ell the fift of 
payments under which tlie planter already 
labours, and for which, in feafons of ftorms 
and famine, he may find it very difficult, 
if not impoffible, to provide : the attorney 
"having the means of payment in his own 
hands, may fay '* that charity begins at 
*' home," and provides for his own wants 
before he confiders thofe of his employer. 


( 368 ) 

He makes it a point to be upon good 
terms with the captains of fhips^ and all 
thofe in mort who have an opportunity to 
report favourably of him to his conftitueots 
in England ; and according to the extent 
of his concerns^ will be his confequence^ 
and the refpedt that will be fhown to him 
in the country. 

Of this defcription of peribns there ar^ 
many who hold the fir ft places in the 
community^ and who are independent le-» 
giflators^ ufeful magiftrates^ and men of 
property; and who are befides attentive 
and juft to the intereft of their employers, 
and refpedable both in public and private 
life : but yet I mud flill fay, that I do 
not think even the bed: of them are fo 
fuccefsful in the management of a property 
which they condudt under a mortgagee in 
pofTeiGon^ as when (hey hold the direction 
.under the appointment^ and the confi- 
dence, of the planter alone ; and I mud: 
dill obfervf , that the latter will be in ge- 
neral found to be the bed deward of his 


( 3^9 ) 

ibwn iiffiits, as his own interefl: would be 

fo much blended with his conduct 5 and 

his negroes would more cheerfully obey 

his orders than attend to thofe of Aran- 

gers; and they will go forward with waro^f 

hopes of a redrefs of their complain t8i.it9 

him who is fo much a party in their content ^ 

and welfare, than they would to on? who "f^ 

has not the fame motives to direct him. kM-' 

When a mcrchanjt and a planter {MN^IP^ 
have found it neceffary to enter intp terms 
for their mutual government and i^fety, I 
think it always bad policy, and ruinous to 
both, when the latter is deprived of the 
poffefQon and management of his eftate. 
The former might appoint an attorney to I 

fee his rights afcertained, and that juftice 
be in the iirft inftance done to. his claims 
.^refpeding the confignments, the payment 
of contingencies, and for whatever fums he 
is, from the nature of the connexion, b^-* 
come refponiible : but the a<^ual ppfTefiion 
apd fuperintendence ihould ftill continue 


( 370 ) 

in the proprktiM' of the foil ; for there it 
hardly a fituation <tx>ored^ora>bl& than OM 
of this laft defciriptioaf when he Is <3feliged 
to turn out of his own houfe, witboui any 
proviiioii be»)g mack Sot his wants^ to 
make r^om for a man who vr>as |[)erhq>s 
only the day hefove his ienrairt «nd depen« 


If the creditor could only know the 
fceart-fck miiertes, «nd the negleS: and 
mfuit which the planter fuftainsj wbeti^ in 
conieqtrence of debt^ accumulated 4^ the 
dreadful vifitations thathave descended from 
"itie hand of Cod, or the tmfeeTing -repa- 
city and inhumanity of man ;— if the li- 
gorous could only foel what he^ndupes at 
%eing ejeSed from his home, deprived -of 
his attendants, and flruggUng under •difea^fe^ 
and without a common fuhfiftenge to pfo^ 
Wfc the means of life, he would ftar^ at 
^Ihe power whidi the iawi or an unguarded 
confidence, has given him; ^d would 
tiltimattly find, that ^his vtew^ tif intereft 


(37^ ) 

t>r importance would hardly compenfate the 
reproach with which his rigour would be 

i would recommend it to the planter^ to 
confider how very ferious a thing it is, to 
becotne indebted to a merchant of an illi- 
beral and parfimonious turn of mind ; and 
to be particularly cautious how he entrufts 
him with a fecurity that is of great magni- 
tude compared to a fmall advance. That 
he (hoald be jufl and pundtual, his intereft 
will point out the neceflity, as well as the 
advantage : but it is much better to fufFer 
at once a pecuniary humiliation and di-« 
flrefsy than to behold a weight in continual 
pendencc above him, when he has every 
feafon to think that it will, fome time or 
other, delcend and crufh him. 

The merchant wants no caution to re- 
mind him of his intereft ^ if he meet with 
difappointment, he has recourfe to his fecu- 
rity at iaft ; and by advancing money upon 

Vol. !!• B b pledges 



{ 37^ ) 

pledges of land in Jamaica^ I have never 
heard that one has ultimately been a lofer : 
but the inflances of ruin to the planter 
under fuch bonds have been too frequent 
to require proof. 

It will not^ I hope^ be imagined that I 
tvifli to throw the moft diftant refleftions 
upon merchants of credit and honour : they 
are beyond my reach, and would look 
down with contempt upon him who could 
have the injuftice to revile them. My 
remarks and ftrifturcs therefore will only 
apply to thofe of a different caft ; and to 
them, if any fuch there be, I will not even 
condefcend to make an apology. 

When the proprietor takes upon himfelf 
the management of his own plantation^ 
there are many little circumftances which 
he attends to as objcdts of anwifement, 
which an attorney might poffibly confider 
as irkfome and difgufling ; and who thinks, 
and perhaps wifely, that he very fully dif- 
charges his duty if he fuperintend thcgrofc 


( 373 ) 

of affairs, without entering Into thofe 
minutias which, being trifles, arc better 

The planter is in general too fond of 
trying experiments ; and his private caprice 
cannot fail to injure his public views. If 
a man be clear of debt, and is contented 
with what he has, the community ought 
to think itfelf obh'ged to every individual 
who may make them. He is the only 
perfon who can be injured by the mif- 
carriage ; and by his failure of fuccefs no 
creditor is hurt : but in thofe of a contrary 
defcription, the ftrait road of manage- 
ment will more certainly condud to eafe or 

Every planter entertains a good opi- 
nion of his own management ; and being 
fanguine in his expe<flations, he is of con- 
fequence very frequently deceived. He is 
tempted, in proportion to his expcfta- 
tions, to purchafe negroes and ftock i and 
hence increafes his debts, which were before 

B b 2 oppref- 

( 374 ) 

oppreffive : whereas, if he would be fatisfied 
with what the ftrength and condition of 
his cftate would give him, without clog- 
ging its wheels with unneceflary expence, he 
might be enabled to wipe off annually fomc 
portion of his encumbrances; and when 
the merchant finds that his correfpondent 
provides with punduality for the intereft-, 
and reduces, from year to year, however 
little, the principal fum, his confidence 
will probably increafe, and he may be dif- 
•pofed to make allowances for fcafons of 
hurricanes and droughts. 

As the planter feems to be the fpring of 
action in the Weft-Indies, his manners 
have an efFedt upon thofe of the country. 
Every one pretends to be, more or lefs, a 
man of bufinefs; and trifles appear of confe- 
quence to thofe who are not habituated to 
the pradice of regular and fyflematic occu- 

For the interefted buftles of life, for that 
induftry that begets wealth, and that cir- 


( 375 ) 

ciimfpedion that knows how to keep it, 
there is not a charadler in the world lefs 
adapted than a Weft-Indian. Unfteady in 
thought, and defultory in adion, he knows 
. not how to combine his ideas for ufe, 
Dor to diredl their exertion to a given 
point. His warmth of temper is not fol- 
lowed by a coolnefs of judgement ; but 
then I have feldom known the heat of paf- 
fion condudt him to revenge. Too indolent 
for the exertions of the mind, his body 
feems to partake of its languor; and though 
his fpirits will fometimes lead him to the 
higheft flights of extravagance, yet will 
refledtion often fink him to the loweft dc- 
fpair. His difpofition is, in feme inftances, 
not unlike that of a Frenchman, who is as 
cafily elevated, as foon deprefled. He is 
feldom a mifer, and more often a fpend- 
thrift than barely generous ; and when he is 
impundlual, I fliould rather attribute it in 
many inftances to a want of arrangement, 
and a forefight of cqntingencies, than to 
the failure of an honeft principle, 

Bb3 It 

( 376 ) 

It IS fomewhat fingular, that there is 
hardly an inftance of a Creole who has ex- 
celled in the liberal profeflions, or in works 
of genius : and for this it would be diffi- 
cult to account, ^vere it not in fome man- 
ner apparent from their natural indolence, 
and averfion to one fteady and unremitting 
purfuit. Of one quality they are certainly 
poflefled, and that is hofpitality ; and which 
may, in fome meafure, cover their other 
failings : nor do I think that their generofity 
is often the handmaid of oflentation. 

Their lives are certainly full of vexation 
and trouble : their means depending upon 
the favour of the climate, and the prefer- 
vation of a capital fo liable to incidents and 
mortality, make them look for danger wh«n 
remote, and anticipate misfortunes that may 
not hiappen. They live well while they 
have the means ; and think, perhaps too 
much, upon the entertainment that they 
are to give their friends : and this anxiety 
of making welcome, and of crowding their 
table with profufion, and of drinking, very 


( 377 ) 

frequently, to excefs, is a cuftom that pre^ 
vails too much among all claiTes of people 
in the country. 

The women in Jamaica fuperintend the 
^omeilic affairs, and provide for the ne«* 
ceffaries and comforts of the table. Their 
occupations are always unpleafant, and they 
too often meet with caufes of difguft. In 
that Ifland they fuffer much, fubmit to 
mucb, and lead a life of toil and mifery, 
which the mod commendable patience, and 
the moft amiable refignation, cannot brook, 
though doomed to bear. 

The overfeer has many advantages of 
comfort, which his employer cannot (hare. 
He has few wifhes, and few cares : his pro- 
visions are found him, and thofe he enjoys 
without expence or trouble. His profeflion 
does not fubje<ft him to labour, nor his 
fituation make him refponfible : he may 
be difcharged indeed for mal-praftices, but 
cannot be punifhcd for negled, excepting 

Vol. IL 3 b 4 in 

( 378 ) 

fn cafes of notoriety which call aloud for 
public example. He direds the manage- 
ment of the property, if he ha^e a feniible 
driver and obedient negroes, with cafe to 
himfelf ; and his daily orders r6cur, and are 
executed, without inveftigation, and with- 
out punifliment. If the grofs of bufinefs 
be well attended to, he is not diifficult about 
trifles. He takes his daily rides into the 
cane-pieces, to fee that the wotk goes on 
with regularity and difpatch -, and when he 
is abfent, the book-keepcf attends ; bat 
the driver is the perfon whom he trufts. In 
crop-time he does not continue much in 
the field, but gives his particular attention 
to the works, and takes care thiat the ne- 
groes are not idle, and that they do not 
wafte, or fteal, the produce! Theft re- 
marks apply to a peffon of chafadef and 
diligence; nor have I had any pcrfonal 
connexion with any people of this rank, 
whofe honefl:y I could impeach, or whpfe 
induftry upbxaid* 


* « 

( 379 ) 

Upon fome plantations there are many 
white people engaged -, and the full efta- 
blifhment will be found to confift of the 

overfeer, with a falary from jC-^^^ ^^^" 
ling, to two, three, or more; a diftiller, 
with jC'40 * ^^^ book-keepers, with £.^o 
pr jC-^o > ^ mafon, a carpenter, a black- 
fmith, and perhaps a cooper and a wheel- 
wright, at different rates, from indented 
fervants at £*S^ a year, to jC*^*^^^ ^^ morc^ 
For thefe the overfeer provides ; and thefe 
he directs and fupcrintends in their dif- 
ferent avocations. Upon fome properties 
there is befides a doftor, upon a fixed falary; 
but otherwife he is allowed 5^. currency 
per head for every negro, and finds the 
pedicines himfelf. 

The above is a large eftabliftiment ; and 
the average of eftates in the Ifland are con- 
tented with an overfeer at jC.ioo a year, 
and one, or, at mofl two book-keepers; 
but every white man will (land the pro- 
perty in the full amount of his falary bc- 


( 380 ) 

Where there arc many fervants, there will 
be but little work ; and that which, h ex* 
pcdlcd to be done by many, will be fre- 
quently at laft left undone by one. Be- 
fides, the lower claffes of white people in 
Jamaica are unworthy of confidence and 
power : they are idle, drunken, worthlefs, 
and immoral ; and it is chiefly owing to 
the infamy of tJbeir example, that the ne- 
groes become idle, and turn out thie\'cs and 
villains. Until therefore a reformation 
can be made in the manners of thofe with' 
whom the flaves are fo much conneded, it 
will be impoffible to enad; any falutary and 
efficient inditutions for their better govern- 
ment, for the decency of their condu<ft, 
the improvement of their minds,, or the 
enforcing the comfortable or the moral 
duties of obedience. 

It was my intention to have- been 
more minute in my defcription of the 
manners, occupations, and cuftoms of the 
negroes in Jamaica 5 but as the fate of 


( 38i ) 

the colonies fecms to be now involved in 
the popular queftion of an abolition of 
the flave-trade, I (hall defer n^y obferva- 
tions upon this fubjed:, until the frenzy 
of the moment (hall be abated^ and the 
voice of rcafon (hall allay that tempefl:, 
whith a meafurc fo replete with danger 
cannot fail to excite, I (hall therefore be 
at prefent contented to notice fuch parti- 
culars as may help to explain their com- 
forts ; and (hall leave their fufFerings to be 
infifted upon by thofe who have had more 
occafion than myfelf to pity their misfor- 
tunes, » • 

I (hall be, I hope, excufed if I dwell 
a little upon the feeming mifery of their 
fituations, and then contraft the fubjec** 
tion of their lives with the needy /Wf- 
tendency of the poor of England, 

The idea of flavery, abftradedly con- 
iidered, appears to an £ngli(hman both 
offeniiveand in fuppbr table; and he blindly 


( 382 ) 

attaches a horror to the word, without 
llridly fcanning it^ neceffity or meaning. 

The negroes are flaves by nature ; and 
cuftom and neceflity oblige them to bear 
with patience and rcfignation what by force 
or will they cannot obtain. They have no 
idea of the charms of liberty 5 npr have they 
an education to give them a knowledge of 
its meaning, or any purfuits of ambition 
to make them deiire it : but it may be faidj 
that every human creature has the fame 
original right to the kidd difpofitions and 
benevolent intentions of our Creator : it 
would however fill the world with mifery 
and confufion, had every one the indifcri- 
minate power to enjoy them. All that a 
Weft-Indian can then do^ in a iituation in 
which fortune has placed him to be in 
authority over others of a different com- 
plexion, but perhaps of the fame feelings 
with himfelf, is, to make humanity and 
juftice the rules of his general condudj; 
for it is certainly better, and more con- 


( 383 r* 

fonant to the jDrofeffions of our religion, 
to relax on the fide of mercy, than to be 
rigid on that of power. 

The negroes are clothed and fed at the 
cxpence of the mafter. If they work well, 
and cheerfully, they meet with indulgence; 
if fick, they arc attended with care, and 
relieved with humanity ; as much, per- 
haps, from a principle of policy, as from 
a motive of commiferation. If they obey 
the orders of the overfeer, they feldom fail 
of proper encouragement: if they be worth*- 
lefs they muft expeft corredlion ; and the 
mode of puni(hment in Jamaica is by no 
means fo rigorous as that of the naval and 
military difcipline of England. The com- 
mon hufbandmen, and I had almofi: faid 
the mechanics, in this lafl country, u un- 
dergo greater hardfliips, and bend under 
more afflidlions, than the generality of 
flaves in the former, whofe conditions 'are 
much mifreprcfented by the advocates for 
humanity in Europe. The indolent only, 


( 384 ) 

tnd the ill-difpofed^ encounter puni(h« 
ments ; but this is a £ate that attendi 
people of this defcription in every country. 

Let us no.w confidcr the fituation of a 
needy labourer in England : let us fuppofc 
him incapable of exertion, from the injfir- 
mity of years, or from any conilitutional 
defcd of mind or body. Let us fuppofc 
him to be furrounded by a young, and 
confequently, an helplcfs family 5 with a 
vrife fitting by him, in all the bitternefs of 
foul lamenting the caufe that has deprived 
him of labour, and his family of the means 
of bread. To heighten the fhadows of 
the pidure, let us add to this afHii^d 
group an aged parent, v^^ho is watching 
the dying embers by the chimney fide, and 
joining his fighs and tears to the general 
misfortune. Let us paint, at a diftance, 
by way of back - ground, the figure of 
an inhuman landlord, demanding from 
wretchednefs and want what he cannot 
always obtain from happinefs and wealth j 


( 385 ) 

for how can fuch a family difcharge a 
rent^ and that perhaps an exorbitant one, 
when the common means of fubliftence 
are wanting^ and when induftry itfelf muft 
prove ineffedual ? 

The manners of the negroes, and the 
general appearance of the better kind of 
thei)lack and mulatto flaves^ are by no 
means rude and vulgar : in fome indeed, 
there is a decency, a propriety of beha- 
viour obferved, that would fhame many of 
the lower clafles of the white women ia 
Jamaica, upon the minutiae of whofe lives^ 
and the caft of whofe employment, I have 
been, from motives of delicacy, filent : 
nor would I alarm the feelings of the more 
refped:able, by enumerating purfuits which 
neceffity impoies ; but which, I truft, are 
not always fandtioned by the willing pro- 
penfities of the heart. 

When the negroes alTcmble at Chrift- 
mas, or' upon any extraordmary oqcafion, 


( 3^6 ) 

they equip themfelves with a certaiil dc* 
grcc of elegance. They are particularly 
fond of beads^ coraU glafs, and chains^ 
and with which they adorn their necks and 
vrrifts : they array themfelves in the fined 
Hnen^ in the purchafeof which they betray 
a determined extravagance^ which many 
people may think not at all compatible 
with their i^tuations ; but if the refources 
of a good negro were really afcertained^ 
and the few wants of a bad one known, 
the condition of the firft, and the little 
care of the laft, would remove the flur that 
is cafl: upon humanity, and the tax that is 
laid upon juflice. 

The women take a pride in the number 
of their coats, and are not contented with 
any but what are made from the bed ma- 
terials, of which likewife their hats and 
handkerchiefs are commonly compofed ^ 
and it muil be acknowledged, that their 
tafte in drefs is in perfect correfpondence 
to their dtuation and colour. 


( 58; ) 

They are extremely fond of rhufic ftrtd 
<5ancing; they have good ears, andprefervd 
the moft perfedi tune and time* Their 
mufical inflrunients indeed (theCaramantee 
flutes and the bender excepted, of which 
I have before fpoken (with an omldion 
however of a flender ftick which the player 
of the lafl-mentioned inftrument pre0es to 
the firing a little below his mouth, to gra-» 
duate the vibration), their mufical inftru- 
ments, if fuch they may be called, confift 
of a bonjour, originally taken, perhaps^ 
from a French word, as many have found 
their way by corruption among the negroes; 
a kind of Spanish guitar ; a cotter, upon 
which they beat with flicks ; a gomba, 
which they flrike with their hands ; a 
drum; a box filled with pebbles, which they 
(hake with their wrifls ; and, to clofe the 
account, the jaw-bone of an animal^ from 
which is produced a harfli and difagreeable 
found: and it may eafily be imagined, when 
thefe all together join in chorus, and are 
accompanied by a number of voices, what 
kind of mufic muft affail^ and fill the ear« 

Vol. II. C c Their 

( 383 ) 

Their ftyle of dancing is by no ttieans 
ungraceful ; and the difFereiit groups in 
which they aflemble themfelves upon thefe 
occafions^ would make very pidlurefque fub- 
jtGts for a painter. They generally meet 
before their houfcs^ and fometimes in thd 
paftures under the (hade of trees, where^ 
if allowed, they will continue their favourite 
diverfions from night to morning* 

Their principal feftivals are at their 
burials, upon which occafions they call 
forth all their magnificence^ and difplay 
all their tade ; and the expence with 
which the funerals of the better fort of 
xiegroes upon a plantation are attended, very 
oft^n exceed the bounds of credibility ^ 
and of this pofition many inAances might 
be given. Their bodies lie in ftate ; an 
aflemblage of Haves from the neighbour^ 
hood appears : the body is ornamented with 
linen and other apparel^ which has been 
previoufly purchafed, as is often the cujf- 
tom, for this fol^mn occafion; and all the 
trinkets of the defunA are expofed in the 


( 389 ) 

coffin, and buried in the grave with the 
remains. The bier is lined with cambric 
and with lace ; and when clofed, it is co- 
vered with a quantity of expenfive cloth, 
upon which are fometimes depofited wines 
and otlier liquors for the recreation of the 
guefts, while a hog, poultry, and other 
viands, are offered up as an expiatory facri- 
fice. When the body is carried to the 
grave, they accompany the proceffion with 
a fong; and when the earth is fcattered 
over it, they fend forth a fhrill and noify 
howl, which is no fooner re-ecchoed, in 


fome cafes, than forgotten. 

After this ceremony, which in civilized 
countries is confidered as a melancholy 
t)ne, but of which few traces can be found 
in the fcpulture of a negro, the affeded 
tear is foon dried, the pretended figh is 
foon fupprcfTed, and the face of forrow 
becomes at once the emblem of joy. The 
inftruments refound, the dancers are pre- 
pared; the day fets in cheerfulnefs, and 
the night refounds with the chorus of 

C c 2 con- 

( 390 ; 

contentment ; and the day only rifes to 
awaken in their minds the regret of a 
neceflary departure, and to fummon them 

to their expected work. 


Happy, and in fome inflances enviable, 
}s this (late of infenfibility ! nor will Ae 
be fcandalized who looks into our cathe- 
drals and houfes of mortality, in which 
fo many hundreds are yearly buried with- 
out any accompaniment, but a vacant quef- 
tion, * Who was he ? Poor man 1 1 am forry 
^ for him. It is, alas ! what we muft all 

♦ come to. He is happy in death, and I 

* am as yet content with life.* 

As an evil, few negroes coniider death 
in this light. I never knew one who did, 
or who either dreaded it by anticipation, 
or who was apprehenfive when it was 
hovering near. In oppofition to this fa<%, 
how are we to account for the weaknefs 
of Hallcr and Johnfon ? of two men who 
rendered life valuable by their writings, 
and who taught us, whatever was their 


( 39^ ) 

jcxample, that there was no fear in death 
until it came. Peace to their manes ! and 
let thofe only whofe praflice in this mortal 
ftate has been like theirs, prefume to fay 
how a man, and a philofopher, ought to 

Cc 3 THE 

( 392 ) 


In the foregoing pages I' have defcribedai 
according to my abilities^ what I have 
feen, and what 1 know : and I have given 
an account of the feafons as I have ob- 
ferved them, and of the cultivation of the 
cane and plantain-tree, throughout their 
various ftages, from a long and intimate 
knowledge of their growth ; and I truft, 
that my different remarks upon the country 
and the negroes may be found juft, al- 
though many objcdls of defcription may 
not have been examined with the fame 
attention, nor feen exaftly with the fame 
eyes. f 

When I left Jamaica in the year 1777, 
the country bare the appearance of ap- 
proaching plenty ; the eftates were recover- 
ing, in fome meafure, from that general 
defolatioQ which a fuceeilion of florms had 
unhappily occafioned : but the confequences 


( 393 ) 

of thoie cohvulfions of nature are Aill felt, 
and will for ever deprefs the expectations, 
and ftifle the hopes, of the unfupportcd ; 
who have not had means or credit to renew 
that ftrength and thofe refources which 
brought and famine, and mortality in con* 
fequence thereof, have fo mournfully de- 
prived them : and, ihould the abolition of 
the flavc trade, contrary to humanity in 
fome inftances, and derogatory to policy 
in all, take place, the little they have 
remaining will wear away by degrees, and 
they and their families will be ultimately 
left to ftarve. 

Of what avail is land in Jamaica, with- 
out negroes, and without ftock ? And if 
the foil is to be neglefted from the fpecu- 
lations of humanity alone, the fame idea 
would apply to the labourers of other 
countries, to the free-born Englifhmen, 
and to the European flaves of Poland and 
the Yalteline. 

C c 4 The 

( 394 ) 

The amufements of the negroes betray 
a contentment and independency of mind, 
which I have not often beheld in other 
people I and if we impartially compare 
their employments, after the fetting day. 
commands a remiffion of toil, with thofe of 
the peafantry of other climes, we (hall fee. 
them retire to their houfes with a cheerful 
ficp, and a jocund mind, while the latter 
are obliged to continue their evening anc} 
nodlurnal toil in the painful provifion of 
fuel, and of the other neceflaries of life, 
to fupport a helplefs family, an aged pa- 
rent, or a worthlefs fon. After thefe ftiaU 
have been provided, an unfeeling fleward 
may enter at their doors ; and although the 
rains ihall fpout in torrents through th? 
thatch, and not one corner of the hovel 
ihall be dry; although they (hall have toiled 
from the rifing to the fetting fun, and hav? 
been obliged to work in the night, and to 
Jabour in their drpams ; yet are their remon- 
jlrances negledted, and their niiferies unre? 
lieved : their goods are diftrained ; they arc 
|urned out of door§, and their families wan^ 

( 395 ) 

der vagrants over the face of the ?arth ; 
or end their melancholy days, and broken- 
hearted, in a gaol. 

I have feen the peafantry and the poor 
pf many countries; and, I hope, under the 
idea of obtaining knowledge : I have had a 
perfonal opportunity of knowing their na- 
tural refources, of afcertaining their fic- 
titious wants, and of being made acquainted 
with their ultimate dependence: and upon 
this ground, I am not afraid to advance, that 
I cannot recolledt many fituations, which 
from a fuperiority of local comforts I 
could point out a3 happy, compared to that 
of a good, and of a well-appointed Have : 
and even the very wprft may be protefted, 
fupported, and made contented if they 

The Weft-India Iflands feem, for fome 
years paft, to have been marked by a flue- 
(nation of calamities ; — by the diftrefles of 
foreign war, by the interruption of internal 


( 396 ) 

peace s and thofe properties which the 
enemy has ipared, are now likely to be 
ruined by that country to which they have 
been taught to look up for protections 

The vifitations of the Almighty in 
hurricanes^ in drought« and famine^ the 
fcourges of war, with the deftrudtive ac- 
companiments of martial law, of a remif-* 
iion of induflry, and an augmentation of 
expence, have been misfortunes under 
which their inhabitants have lately bent ; 
and from thofe inflidtions of Heaven, and 
dcpreffions of men, the Iflands are but juft 
recovering, when^ lo ! an innovation is in- 
troduced, to break the bonds of harmony 
and peace, to annihilate that dependency 
which is the chain of focial compadt, and to 
deflroy that obedience which is the cement 
of government, and which, being a relative 
duty in life, connedts, prefcrves, and keeps 
entire and well balanced, that machine 
which the lead: preponderation on either 
iide would injure, or deflroy. 


( 397 ) 

'Three fucceffive years of quiet and abun- 
dance would have helped to inftill freflhi 
fpirits, and to open new hopes, to tbofe 
inhabitants who were lately funk by the 
prcffurc of events ; and who would more 
boldly have ereded their heads^ and looked 
forward to more happy profpe<3:s : a more 
confidential intercourfe would have fub-<- 
fifted in the commercial negociations of 
the country j and the haunts of fociety 
would have appeared again to fmile with 
looks of congratulation^ and the heart to 
have expanded with convivial pleafure and 
hofpitality; and the debtor would have 
looked the creditor in the face with the 
confidence of payment, and importunity 
would have been loft in the willingnefs of 

Such began to be the promife of the 
recovering Ifles, when, lo I a calamity fu- 
perior to any above mentioned ftalks forth 
at large, and confounds at once all ranks 
and defcriptions of people; and which, 
if carried to further cxcefs, will end in 
treachery, famine, or the fword. 


( 398 ,) 

It is not to be fuppofed that any people, 
however they may wifti to be obedient to 
the laws, will tamely fubmit to fee their 
means of exiftence unjuftly torn from them, 
at once, without their confent, and without 
a compenfation : and, after the ftrugglcs 
of America, it could hardly be thought that 
any ideas could enter into the fyflem of 
Britift} politics, that could convert encou- 
ragement into tyranny, and make fpecula* 
lion triumph over expediency, neceflity^ 
and juftice. The tongae of humanity has 
certainly a right to fpeak, and her voice 
(hould be undoubtedly heard ; but the ends 
that are to be obtained by an inquiry into 
abufes, ought to be in confequence of 
abufeg proved, and not barely to be taken 
up upon the fuggeftions, and the tpje dixit 
of any man, or defcription of men. 

If the Iflands be of fuch little confer 
quence to the mother country, why fend 
out troops for their defence, which cannot 
be of fervice ? v/hy ered fortifications that 
vvotfld rnoulder away at the appearance of 


( 399 ) 

an enemy ? why fwell the public burdens, 
and facrlfice the private peace and health of 
individuals, too many of whom have already 
fallen unhappy vidims to the climate ^ 

As the fate of the colonies now hangs by 
a (lender thread, it is the duty of every one 
concerned in their prefervation, to work his 
ideas into the general web, that ftrength 
may be given to the general mafs ; and to 
this end the rotten parts fhould be extracted, 
the weak repaired, and the whole be made, 
if not beautiful, at lead confident : and 
I cannot help wifhing that thofe who are 
pofleffed of more fkill, had had my expe« 
rience in the management of negroes, and 
that the errors I have committed may 
be correded for the future fervice of thofe 
whofe fortune it may be to engage in the 
fame purfuits, and whom I fincerely wi(h a 
more general fuccefs than I have found. 

It was my intention to contrail fome of 
the mofl awful and fubliqae views that I 


( 400 ) 

have feen in other countriest with thofe 
which a long reiideoce in Jamaica^ and a 
conftant obfervation of nature in her moil 
varied forms^ had enabled me to make : 
but from this I was difcouraged by the 
growing fize of the work, which has already 
far exceeded in bulk my original intention. 
I had fully determined however to delineate 
fome of the moil wild and romantic iitua- 
tions of Switzerland^ that had fallen under 
my own obfervation : but here my pre* 
fumption has been happily reilrained by an 
attentive^ and hence a pleafing and inflruc- 
tive, perufal of Mr. Coxt's letters, deicrip- 
tivc of that ilupendous region; and of 
whicb^ feparated as I had unfortunately 
long been frorn all literary inform a tion> I 
had not received any account when the pre- 
ceding pages were committed to the prefs t 
and which letters preclude any defcription 
of thofe fcenes which he has obferved with 
a juil and poetic eye> which he has difcri- 
minated like a painter^ explained like a 
philofopher, and felt like a man, > 


i 4ot ) 

The bay of Port-Ropl may be, witbottt 
degradation, oppofed to that of Naples ; 
for the idea of a town fabmerged beneath 
the waves, and the ruins of which are ftill 
vifible in the depths of the ocean, cannot 
fail to excite ideas of a grand and romantic 
caft ; while the afpiring appearance of Vc- 
fuvius, whofe columns of fmoke are ob«» 
ferved to blacken the clouds, as its erup-* 
tions have devafled the earth, may pour a 
different train of reflexions upon the mind 
of him who, from effedls, may be inclined 
to revert to caufes, and endeavour to explain 
the operations of nature in the deflrudion 
fhe has occafioned. 

I have often thought that a Georgic 
might be compofed from the vari9ua 
feafons of Jamaica, the progreflive labours 
of the negroes^ the tendence of the cattle^ 
the cultivation of the fields, the manufac- 
ture of fugar> and from the various defcrip- 
tions and refledions which they naturally 
cccafion ; and I have not the leaft doubt» 
if the claffic and poetic Mr. Mafon had feea 



( 4oi ) 

that country, that he would have preferred 
a fubjeft Co open to genius, and in which 
tafte and learning might have been ap- 
pofitely applied, to that of Englifli gar- 
dening, which admits of the pleafing indeed, 
the tranquil, and refined j but in which 
the fublimities of inundations, the efFedts 
of thunder, and the dread of ftorms, bear 
no proportion of dcfcriptive imagery. The 
fancy might likewife find many paufes in 
which to introduce the epifode, to infert 
the metaphor, to weep with the affliSed, 
and to rejoice at the punifhment of ty-» 
rant^. ' 

The paftoral world in that region Is full 
of charms, and thefe arc obvious at every 
turn ; nor would the knowledge and prac- 
tice of improvement be without incentives 
to awaken ftudy, and to perfcdl genius. 

The different elements feem to be more 
difcriminated in that country than in any 
other. The fire rages in all the fplendours 
Qf devaftation ; the water pours down from 


( 403 ) 

the clouds- in deluges ; - the inundauons.or 
overwhelm. or hide the earth; while the 
raging fca accumulates, her briny ropun- 
tains, and pours her vengeance on the 
{horcs» The earth is difturbed, and fhaken 
by tremendous heavings; the mountains and 
the rocks are rent afunder, and towns, 
with all their inhabitants, are either fwal- 
lowed up, or are entombed alive ; while 
the air, colle<3:ed into winds, ru(hes forth 
upon the wings of defolation and of death, 
deftroys at once their labours and their 
hopes, and even teaches the infidel to 
know that he is not beyond the reaching 
arm of Almighty vengeance. 

Than the views of Jamaica, and thdfe' of 
England, no impreffions can be more dif« 
fimilar : and if we have not, in the firA 
region, as objeAs of pifturefque beauty, 
the fwclling towec that breads the clouds,, 
and the fteeple whofe angles divide the 
ihowers i if we have not there th^ lofty 
fpire that pierces the mift, or the venera- 

VoL.II. . Dd ble 

( 404 ) 

blc ruin to projcft the fhade ; yet are thert 
other objedh of rural imagery, that may in 
foiiie meafure fupply their place, and that 
may equally intere'ft from the darkneft of 
their mafTes, and the grandeur of thetr 

In leaving Jamaica, t took a melancholy 
farfeweli of a country in wfiich my farittwi 
had very greatly fuffered from tfee repeated 
viiitationsof Heaven, and ill which t much 
Endured in confequence of my own im^ 
prudence. I left mai^y liberal and coo^ 
tiding creditors; fome acquaintances whom 
I (hall ever remember with refped; and 
fome friends and relations virhom I. fhall 
think upon with gratitude, and regard with 
veneration and with ioTe.--^nd tbe& I left 
— for what ? My fituation but too. plainly 
fpeaks ; and he who could hold out one 
hand in pledge of amity, and witii the 
other invite the minifters of ihame and 
for row, may ComctmusB blofli to k^now by 
whom it wae occafioned. 


( 405 ) 

Cut off at once upon my arrival from all 
poffibility of treating with thofe to whom 
I was indebted, and in queft of a change 
of climate to recover a conftitution brokea 
down by ficknefs and affliction ; after having 
left a country in which flavery is efta* 
bliflied by law, I found myfelf a prifoner, 
unheard, and unarraigned, in one in which 
arreft is fanftioncd, though contrary to 
the conftitution, and in which I have 
found that a man, although born to free* 
dom, may become a flave« 


f ^ 


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