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rumen was always dry, and distended with half-digested food. The small and large intestines exhibited ANTIGUA.
The animal was seldom seen till the time for active treatment had gone by; but remedies, even when timeously administered, were almost nugatory, and prophylactic measures were found to be of most avail. The mortality was about 30 per cent.
The epidemic, in my opinion, has its origin in the same mysterious atmospheric agency which produces influenza and pestilential cholera. The force of the poison or morbific agent is concentrated upon the alimentary canal; and it is in this respect different from the pleuro-pneumonia epidemic of Europe, for the organs in the chest are but secondarily affected, and there is no cough nor other symptom of disease of the respiratory organs. It resembles more epidemic enteritis, arising from certain unascertained meteorological phenomena, conjointly with localizing causes, such as deficient pasturage after drought, or its acquiring some deleterious element, most probably from the dew which is deposited abundantly during the dry months of the year, and perhaps from the unwholesome state of the pond water at this season, owing to the presence of vegeto-animal matter in a state of decomposition. Whatever may be the cause, this epizootic disease, like pestilential cholera, is exceedingly capricious in the choice of its locality, not unfrequently leaving estates and districts in its line of march untouched, and deviating from its course to seize upon others in no respects differently circumstanced, apparently. There are a few dropping cases still existing in the western districts of the island.
I have, &c.
(Signed) A. NICHOLSON, M.D.
Enclosure 4. in No. 18.
COURT OF QUEEN'S BENCH and GRAND SESSION, Friday 5th June 1857.
The following is the address of his Honour the Chief Justice to the Grand Jury at the opening of
Mr. Foreman and Gentlemen of the Grand Jury,
We are assembled to-day, under a recent Act of the island and the proclamation of his Excellency the Governor, to hold the present session of the court in this place during the unavoidable repair of the court-house. The building does not afford all the accommodation to which you are accustomed, but it is one in which the court has, on a like occasion, been assembled, and in the arrangements your convenience has been consulted as far as circumstances would admit.
The cases which will be submitted for your consideration are not numerous, and will not require lengthened deliberation.
The most serious in point of criminal intent are the charge against a husband for shooting at his wife with intent to murder or do her grievous harm, and setting fire to a dwelling house with inmates therein, but no injury resulted to human life in either case.
In one of these cases the offence is alleged to have been committed on the 6th of March, and the charge was not preferred until the 30th of that month. You will probably find that more than one member of the family was in a state of intoxication; a vice which destroys the peace of families, and too often leads to the commission of other crimes; and, under the circumstances, it will have to be considered whether the parties give a reliable account of what occurred.
There are two cases for cutting and wounding with intent to do grievous harm, preferred under the Act No. 884; one case for assaulting a constable in the execution of his duty; one other charge of assault; a charge of forgery preferred under Acts No. 426 and No. 993; a charge of breaking into a boiling or curing house, and committing larceny therein, under the Act No. 875; five or six cases of larceny of money, bank notes, wearing apparel, and goods; and two cases of obeah.
These cases do not require particular comment, and I have no doubt you will readily dispose of them. When the criminal law shall be amended, and it shall be allowable to present for your information. indictments divested of those technicalities which increase length and unnecessarily occupy time, you will find that your duties may be performed with greater satisfaction to yourselves.
The public attention has recently been directed to a decrease in the population, not arising from emigration. It is certain that, as an old settled colony, providentially unvisited by epidemics, the population has not kept pace with the increase visible in some other long settled communities. The island is occasionally subject to drought, and the want of the blessing of water requires to be provided against by human industry. In every country there is some want different in character from the requirements of another country, which Providence may have ordained to engage the sedulous forethought and provident industry of the inhabitants. Your great want is a more abundant supply of water; and so far as human life is concerned this want could be provided for.
Encl. 4 in
We have conspicuous examples in ancient and modern times of the munificence of individuals in proThe generous Atticus assumed the completion of the curing a supply of water for cities and towns. works for supplying the town of Troas with water, at a charge of more than double the amount granted by the emperor; and a noble Parsee in our days has supplied the city of Poonah with water at his own cost.
By your ancient laws it was required that cisterns should be built on plantations; but since the change of society which rendered that law inoperative there has been no substituted legal provision. The procurement of pure water requires capital and combined labour, which the poor have not, and cannot of themselves bestow; and I should be glad to see a beneficent principle introduced into the ⚫ local legislation in this particular. In Barbados it was found that the supply of pure water for the use The of the police at their stations, in lieu of the water which they had been accustomed to drink, caused their freedom from diseases attributable to the use of impure water from which they had suffered. mortality, therefore, in this island, may be, in some measure, owing to the insufficient supply of good Cleanliness, comfort, wholesome food, and pure water are great preventives to crime; drinking water. and the last want may be supplied in part by legislation and in part by the liberality of the owners of plantations, in causing the erection of tanks or cisterns in connexion with the public buildings and works on plantations.
Your will have the goodness to make your customary visit of inspection to the gaol, in which there are at present 93 prisoners. With reference to their state of instruction, there are 13 who can read and write, 14 who can read only, and 66 who can neither read nor write.
Encl. 5 in
Enclosure 5 in No. 18.
The REPORT of the REGISTRAR-GENERAL of BIRTHS and DEATHS for 1857.
MESSAGE from the GOVERNOR-IN-CHIEF, enclosing ANNUAL REPORT of REGISTRAR-GENERAL of BIRTHS and DEATHS.
KER B. HAMILTON.
THE Governor forwards to the Council and Assembly the report of the registrar-general of births and deaths for the year 1857.
The Governor earnestly recommends this report, containing suggestions for the amelioration of the condition of the people, to the consideration of the Council and Assembly.
The Governor particularly calls attention to the 10th paragraph, in which it is stated, that in comparatively few cases of disease in the rural districts, producing death, has the aid of a medical man been procured. This fact shows the necessity of medical aid being provided for the mass of the people.
Government House, 4th February 1858.
Colonial Secretary's Office, 29th January 1858.
2. I could have wished to collate the results of similar investigation in places where the social con-
3. While it is gratifying to find that upon the whole year the births exceed the deaths by 169, yet in many important particulars the present returns are unsatisfactory.
4. In all countries the mortality among young children, especially infants under the age of one year, is exceptionally large; but instead of the proportion, which is about the average of England, 22 ̊5 or 22 per cent, during the past year it has been in this island, including stillbirths, 34 4 or nearly 34 per cent. And this very high number is remarkable, because if the deaths of infants under one year is subtracted from the total, the mortality among young persons up to the age of fourteen is by no means great, being only 13'8 or 13-8-10 per cent. of the return for the rest of the population.
5. The ratio of still-born children in comparison with the total births is 10 4, or nearly 10 per cent., being distressingly and almost unaccountably in excess of the English proportion, which is 4 ̊5, or 4 per cent.
6. Yet more remarkable is the number of illegitimate births, which is 54 per cent. of the total, as against 6·7-10 per cent. for the whole of England, where in no locality does the proportion exceed 20 per cent. of the whole.
7. The proportions of births and of deaths to the total population of the colony are both larger than those of European countries. The number of births in England is about 3 1-10 per cent. (3.1 per cent.) in this colony it has been 4. 1-5 (4.2). Deaths in England annually average about 1 in 46 of the Both births and deaths are by population, in France 1 in 42, in Russia 1 in 28. Unfortunately this colony exceeds even the largest of these rates, and gives a proportion of 1 in 26, or 3. 8-10 per cent. far the most numerous in the last quarter of the year.
8. The classification of causes of death exhibits an amount of mortality from tubercular diseases and ANTIGUA. affections of the respiratory organs, which may appear surprising to some who have been accustomed to regard a tropical climate as conferring a certain immunity from diseases of this character. The white population, indeed, appear to suffer little from them, as there are but 10 deaths recorded for the year as arising from such causes among this class. But the total number tends to verify the observation made by Dr. Adam Nicholson in the Holberton Hospital Report for the last quarter, that consumption is one of the chronic diseases of this island.
9. "Zymotic diseases" and those of the "organs of digestion " may be considered as comprehensive general, including many species of disease, some indigenous in all parts of the world, and others more specially endemic in the tropics. Therefore we may na urally expect high figures to be found under these heads.
10. It is right to observe that much difficulty has been found, perhaps in the majority of instances in the rural districts, in obtaining authentic information as to the nature of the illness causing death. In comparatively few cases has the aid of a professional man been procured. Of necessity, therefore, the registrars have been left to form their own conclusions from such knowledge as was afforded. But from the mode of classification used, which is that adopted by the registrar-general of England, the registrars have been able to arrive with tolerable accuracy at the class of diseases to which a death was to be attributed, although without the means to decide the peculiar cause.
11. With regard to the general operation of the Registration Act, I have the satisfaction to report that it has been quite as successful as there could have been reason to expect. There has been little difficulty in carrying out its provisions. But few instances, comparatively, have occurred where it has been necessary to enforce penalties for neglect to make returns. And naturally it may be anticipated that when compliance with regulations of yet recent institution shall have become more a matter of course still fewer instances of this kind will occur..
12. It would be advantageous if provision could be made for periodical returns to the district registrars, from the clergy, of baptisms as well as burials. A check would thus be supplied, valuable in many respects. I annex a return of the aggregate baptisms and burials for 1857, from which it will be perceived that a large discrepancy exists between the number of births and that of baptisms. It does not appear, as far as I have the means of judging from the total numbers, that any interments have taken place during the past year after baptism without religious offices, a subject adverted to in the 6th paragraph of the report on the census of 1856; but the additional returns I suggest would afford for the future more complete information on this point.
13. Consideration of the facts disclosed by the returns which are the subjects of my remarks places in a strong light the need which exists for legislative effort to supply medical aid to at least the younger members of the population.
No. 1.—ABSTRACT of TOTAL BIRTHS and DEATHS in each QUARTER of the Year 1857.
UNDER14 1 YEAR
I have, &c.
75 185 25 77 357 120 113
256 30 69
289 87 67 20
422 110 99 17 24 90 82
400 1,068 112 335 1,346 394 366
20 13. 50 41
54 239 225 941 82 323
COPY of a DESPATCH from Governor HAMILTON to the Right Honourable Lord
The Right Hon. Lord Stanley,
I HAVE the honour to transmit a Despatch from the
3. At the end of the year 1857 there was a deficiency of 4937., which has been paid
4. It is admitted that there are not in Montserrat materials for forming a Council and Assembly, and the President suggests the union of the Council and Assembly into one body, or the legislative incorporation of the island with Antigua.
5. The population being divided into a few proprietors of estates and labourers, it is not to be expected that much attention will be given to general subjects requiring legislation. The present constitution has the effect of hindering the progress of the entire community, and the people would enjoy all the rights of local taxation under a Legislative Council partly nominative and partly elective.
Enclosure in No. 19.
Leeward Islands, Antigua,
(Received June 15, 1858.)
I have, &c.
KER B. HAMILTON.
Montserrat, March 29, 1858.
2. With regard to the trade of the island, the returns furnished exhibit on the one hand a slight
3. It must, however, be borne in mind, that the import trade of the colony in the year 1856 exceeded that of 1855 by 6,280l. 8s. 7d., and, contrasting the two years 1857 and 1855, the trade of 1857 exceeded that of 1855 by 5,0791. 2s. 6d.
4 The Act for the imposition of customs duties in this island having been repealed on the 30th July 1856, and a higher rate of land tax levied in their stead, the value of the accompanying returns, for the purpose of forming an exact estimate of the general trade of the island, has been to some extent impaired.
5. The value of the imported articles is returned on these tables by the comptroller of customs as declared to him by the importer at the time of entry; and while on the one hand it may be said, that the circumstance of no duties being chargeable thercon the importer can have no object either in underrating or overstating the real worth of his goods, yet on the other the comptroller, who has likewise to perform the duties of colonial secretary and treasurer, has neither the power nor the means at his disposal for ascertaining whether the cargoes are fully or only partially declared at his office, and from the information given to me on this subject I am inclined to believe that no inconsiderable portion of the present trade of the island is beyond the observation of this officer.
6. The very circumstance of the shipping employed in our trade having in the past year increased 50 per cent. over that employed in the year 1856 incontestably proves the impulse given to the intercourse between this island and the neighbouring communities by the removal of the customs duties, and not only the inhabitants of the town, but a very large portion of the rural population, have availed themselves of the opportunities now at their command of procuring without the intervention of the local shopkeeper their supplies direct from Barbados, where the markets are almost always lower than in either of the more adjacent islands of Antigua and St. Kitts.
7. Of the actual value of this traffic it is impossible to form any accurate data; but it is well known by those engaged in the island trade to be of no slight extent, and has been made the subject of
Encl. in No. 19.