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COPY of a DESPATCH from Governor HAMILTON to the Right Hon. Sir
Leeward Islands, Antigua,
I HAVE the honour to forward the Blue Book of Antigua for the year 1857. The past year was not marked by events of any importance to the island; and, indeed, when these occur, they form the subject of correspondence at the time, as has been the case in the present year, and cannot be reserved for remarks in the report accompanying the annual Blue Book.
The total revenue in 1856 was 36,6931., compared with 34,2197. in 1857, showing a decrease of 2,4741.; but such decrease is more apparent than real. The difference on the tonnage and tariff duties, from which sources the revenue of the colony is principally derived, is not more than may at any time be caused by ordinary fluctuations in trade. The excess caused in 1856 by the issue of 3,8231. treasury bills for loans raised to meet temporary exigencies, and the assistance afforded to the revenue in 1857 by 2,693, the sum derived from the sale of military stores, should fairly be left out of any comparison between the two years, and makes the actual decrease 1,3447.
The expenditure for 1857 is in excess of that for 1856. Although part of the increase is caused by the redemption of local liabilities to the extent of 3,150l., yet 3,350l. have been appropriated to the repair of public buildings, and 1,9031. to the support of public institutions, beyond what was required for these purposes in 1856; and an item for education grants of 250l. appears for the first time in the public accounts.
The Acts deserving special notice are the "Education Act," "Law of Evidence,' "Criminal Justice," "Public Health Act," and the Act "for reorganizing the Treasury Department."
This return does not show any increased number of schools, nor any great difference in the number of pupils; but it is the first return since the passing of the Education Act, and time has not been afforded for any decided result from that measure.
Grants are made by the board of education to schools on behalf of which an appli-
The conditions on which such assistance may be obtained are stated by the Education
1. The daily average attendance must not be less than 20.
2. The Christian religion must be taught.
The board may, in its discretion, make grants without reference to the expenditure; but the general rule is, that the board will grant to each school 6d. per head per quarter for each child in average attendance; and in addition to this, one third of the cost of maintaining the school during the quarter.
Annexed is a return from the inspector, of schools receiving aid, and the amount of Enclosure 1. such aid respectively.
The training schools of the Moravian Establishment and Mico Institution, from the principles on which they are conducted, are valuable auxiliaries to education, and diffuse among these colonies a class of teachers who by their religious character and acquirements will work a great benefit among the native population. Having lately visited the Mico Institution, I was much pleased with the efficient mode of instruction, the state of proficiency of the students, and the entire establishment. I enclose a letter from the Enclosure 2. respectable superintendent, Mr. Sidney Stead, with an account of the normal school, and abstract of returns of teachers trained in the institution during the last 20 years.
It would be of advantage to the West Indies if more publicity were given to the nature and value of this institution.
During the year 1857 a murrain prevailed among the cattle on the plantations, which was at first attributed to poison, but that conjecture, on careful inquiry, was shown to be without foundation; and the disease, baffling human skill, is rightly ascribed to atmospheric and other natural causes. The want of sufficient pasture and good water is among the causes. I enclose a report from Dr. Adam Nicholson, M.D., with remarks on the Enclosure 3. progress, symptoms, and pathology of the disease, which are worthy of observation.
Want of Pure Water.
It is surprising that human and animal life is supported in any degree of health in an island in which there is not one running stream, and where art is so little applied in preserving water. This immediately attracts the observation of persons coming to this island; and the chief justice called the public attention to the subject, as connected with the high rate of mortality, in a charge to the grand jury, of which I enclose a copy.
The returns and reports of the registrar-general for 1857 are annexed.
The Right Hon. Sir E. B. Lytton, Bart.
I have, &c.
Enclosure 1 in No. 18.
An ABSTRACT of the RETURNS for the QUARTER ending December 31st, 1857.
Number of Teachers.
Average Number on List.
Average Attendance per Day.
38.75 53.3 35 52.8 34 641 No Return sent into the Board. 71.9 58.8
Average Attendance per Cent.
Number who attended 40 Days.
No Return. Average Attendance under 20.
PRESBYTERIAN AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS.
13 4 0
3.3 3.5 3.7 3.5 3 nearly
Books and Maps.
47 12 0
0 10 0
2 11 1
2 10 0
1 12 0
1 16 4
Enclosure 2 in No. 18.
Your excellency is doubtless aware that the institution offers its advantages equally to all classes of the native population of these islands, without reference to denominational religious profession, state, or condition; the simple requirement from candidates for admission is, that they consent to conform to the "rules and regulations" of the institution, as set forth in the printed circular, a copy of which I enclose. The student provides his clothes and books; the charity provides every other necessary. The average cost of each student for board, washing, and medical attendance will be about 207. per annum, and the gross charge upon the funds of the charity for salaries of teachers, board of students, and other ordinaries will be about 1,000l. per annum. The original cost of the property, and the interest on that cost as an annual rental, I do not notice. There have been other large expenses from time to time for rebuilding, repairing, and enlarging. During the past ten years that I have been agent for the trustees and superintendent of the institution, I have expended in ordinary and extraordinary repairs and alterations about 1,8007. sterling.
The charity provides, on the before-mentioned terms, for fifteen students in regular attendance; and we have them from the three governments of Antigua, Barbadoes, and Demerara. Five years ago it was submitted to the trustees to admit a larger number of students, on the payment of $100 per head per annum, and they consented to receive a number from Demerara on these terms, the government voting the cost as above stated.
The institution is now open for the admission of persons generally on such conditions; and I take the liberty to suggest to your excellency, whether a portion of the grant made by the legislature of this island for educational purposes might not be legitimately and advantageously applied in preparing persons for the duties of teachers for the schools of this island.
Should your excellency deem the institution deserving your favourable notice, or should you be disposed to notice favourably our recent examination, I feel confident such notice would be very acceptable to the trustees of the charity, who, living at such a distance, must rely on the observation of visitors such as honoured us with their presence on Wednesday last. I have taken the liberty to leave the "Visitors Remark Book at Government Office, that your excellency may have the opportunity of expressing an opinion, a copy of which I shall have great pleasure in transmitting to the trustees.
To His Excellency Ker B. Hamilton,
I have, &c. (Signed)
Mico Charity Normal School, Antigua.
The acknowledged importance of a properly qualified agency for carrying on the work of instruction renders it unnecessary to urge the propriety of an establishment for training persons intended for the office of teachers of the young.
The trustees of the Mico Charity have endeavoured to supply this desideratum for the West Indies by the institution of normal schools, the one in this island being designed to train teachers for this and the neighbouring colonies.
How far this normal seminary has succeeded in meeting the wants of the churches of these islands the missionaries who have availed themselves of the benefits of this institution by employing teachers who have been trained here will be best able to testify.
The trustees are anxious that no effort shall be wanting to secure the necessary qualifications for the proper discharge of the duties of the office of teacher. The state of the education and the limited means of those who have hitherto applied to become students in this institution, the utter incapacity of some, and the doubtful results from others, have been serious hindrances to the accomplishment of all that has been wished; the state of wages generally, and the consequent small remuneration which has been offered to teachers in many instances, have operated to exclude the talent which it is desirable to engage; and considering the wants of the church, and the circumstances of these islands, the following qualifications of admission cannot be considered higher than is necessary.
Qualifications of Candidates for Admission to the Mico Normal Institution.
1. Age not to be under 18 nor above 25.
2. Certificate of health, with freedom from bodily and mental infirmity.
3. Recommendation from the person whose religious ministrations the candidate has attended, with reference to disposition, mental ability, and aptitude for usefulness.
4. He must read well, spell correctly, write intelligibly, know how to work the four fundamental rules of arithmetic, and be well acquainted with the outlines of Scripture history.
5. He must engage to continue in the institution for two years, to submit to the discipline thereof, and in all things conform himself to the rules and regulations of the establishment.
6. He must provide himself with books to the amount of about 37. sterling, with a suitable supply of clothes, bedding, bed linen, towels, and eating utensils.
Encl. 2 in
Encl. 3 in
The institution will furnish him with food, lodging, washing, instruction, and medical attendance. The course of instruction will comprise lessons in reading, writing, and arithmetic, English grammar, composition, geography, sacred and secular, history, sacred and secular, with the rudiments of the natural sciences, and vocal music.
Students are required to engage in manual labour within the institution for two hours on each day; the remainder of their time is occupied either in being taught or in teaching on Stow's training system.
At the expiration of two or five years, as may be, from the date of admission, the student, if duly qualified, will receive a certificate of qualification.
And in order to furnish missionaries and others with a guarantee that the work is conducted as its importance demands, the institution is open to daily visitation, on application to the rector, and ladies and gentlemen are hereby respectfully invited to visit the schools.
ABSTRACT of former RETURNS of TEACHERS trained in the NORMAL SCHOOL at BUXTON GROVE,
Enclosure 3 in No. 18.
Males. Females. Total.
Number now in Training.
Antigua, 25th June 1858.
In compliance with the request of your excellency, that I should furnish you with some particulars of the nature and history of the murrain or epidemic among cattle which has been prevailing in the island for more than twelve months, I beg to offer a few remarks on the progress, symptoms, and pathology of the distemper as it presented itself under my own immediate observation, and briefly to state what I have obtained from the testimony of others.
After an unusually protracted rainy season, cold northerly winds prevailed for several months, during which period no rain fell, and the face of the country soon began to assume that arid desiccated appearance which is so characteristic in warm climates, particularly during this drying, scorching wind. At this time catarrhal fever or influenza assumed an epidemic form amongst the human species, and was of an unusually virulent type. At a sugar plantation situated on the north-east part of the island, horned stock began to perish in great numbers, and the symptoms and post-mortem appearances induced the proprietors and others connected with the property to believe that the animals had been poisoned; but neither chemical nor other evidence could be elicited to substantiate the conjecture. Soon after this contiguous estates began to suffer great losses in cattle: mules, sheep, and pigs were affected in like manner; and it was observed that the working and best-conditioned cattle chiefly were attacked by the epidemic. I was present at the dissection of several of these cases, and the appearances in every instance presented the same uniform morbid changes, such as congestion and inflammation of several portions of the alimentary canal, the abdominal cavity was sometimes filled with bloody serum, the liver was generally enlarged, and so was the spleen, which in some instances was completely rotten; the