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JAMAICA.

system of taxation as affecting the mass of the people, which, though just in principle, experience had shown was, when applied to a population circumstanced as that of Jamaica, not only a failure in respect of revenue, but a source of constant irritation and wrong; I may refer more particularly to the arrangement by which the care and maintenance of the high roads and bridges are transferred from parochial boards and local trusts to the Executive Government, who will have the services of three qualified civil engineers at their disposal, and are empowered to raise a considerable loan for the purpose of at once effecting solid repairs and improvements; the current revenues which the law provides being at the same time, it is believed, calculated to provide sufficient means for maintaining the roads in their improved condition under a proper system for that

purpose.

Laws were also passed to enable the Governor to meet in some degree, by means of advances to be repaid by employers, the demands for agricultural labourers of such of the proprietors and lessees of the larger plantations as may find that they cannot altogether depend upon the native supply.

13. These laws were, however, by a misunderstanding in the island as to the precise terms of the conditions upon which immigrants from the East Indies are allowed to be introduced into the West Indian colonies, opposed to the stipulations which the Government of India and Her Majesty's Government consider it necessary to maintain on behalf of the immigrant, and were in consequence disallowed by Her Majesty. There can be no doubt that the local legislature will in its present session obviate these objec tions; and in reliance upon their adopting this course, Her Majesty's Government have given directions that three thousand Coolies shall, if possible. be despatched to the colony without delay.

14. Under the legislation of the session of 1857, reformatories for vagrant and criminal children, and children abandoned by their parents, were also first recognised as deserving of encouragement and of assistance from the public revenue; and I hope that the defective measure which was passed for that purpose will be improved and rendered more beneficial in the present session.

Pensions.

15. The amount of pensions paid out of the revenues of the colony is 5497., it is distributed amongst 20 recipients, the largest rate being (in two cases) 1207., and the lowest 6l., of which there are seven instances. Most of these allowances are for services rendered and injuries and losses sustained in the last slave rebellion.

Population.

16. The last Census was taken in the year 1844, when the population amounted at the lowest calculation to 377,433, of whom 15,776 were Europeans, and the remainder of the African and Europ-African races.

17. Opinions vary as to whether the natural increase has compensated for the ravages of cholera and smallpox, which have occasioned a fearful mortality since the year referred to, while there seems to be no doubt that the ordinary deaths in infancy from the want of medical and maternal care are relatively larger than in most other .countries.

18. The Local Government have proposed to the Legislature, now in session, measures for effecting a fresh enumeration of the population in the year 1859, and for placing medical attendance and medicines within their more easy reach.

Ecclesiastical.

19. The ecclesiastical return shows that in the island there are twenty-two (22) parish churches and seventy-four (74) chapels served by ministers of the Church of England; that these are estimated to contain fifty-two thousand six hundred (52,600) persons, and are reported to be habitually attended by congregations to the extent of thirty-eight thousand four hundred and sixty (38,460). The stipends paid to the clergy amount to about thirty thousand pounds (30,000l.) per annum, of which twentyseven thousand six hundred pounds (27,600l.) are contributed from the island revenue, and the remainder is supplied from a parliamentary fund and other fluctuating resources which are dispensed by the Bishop of Jamaica, and in his absence from the colony, by the coadjutor, Bishop of Kingston. The column headed "dissenting places of worship' is, I regret to perceive, barren of information; but I trust that in the Blue Book for 1858 this defect may be supplied.

29

Education.

20. The following Table shows the number of free schools and schools under the superintendence of the Church of England and other religious denominations, with the number of children returned as attending the same, viz. :

-

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Number
of

Schools.

REMARKS.

The total amount of Exports from the island of
Jamaica is
But from this must be deducted the amount of
British, Foreign, and other Colonial produce
and manufactures which has been imported
into the island in the first instance, and then
exported therefrom

Leaving the actual value of Exports

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L

291

Number

of Scholars
attending.

1,335
8,016

2,187

The number of scholars presents a considerable increase upon the number returned in 1856, which was only 16,389; but I am sorry to think that this more favourable appearance is greatly owing to the return for the present year including schools which were omitted in that of 1856. There are not wanting, however, instances, and I am happy to believe they are far from inconsiderable in number, in which earnestness and energy on the part both of societies and individuals are consistently and systematically brought to bear upon the education of the younger classes of the population. More attention too is, I have reason to believe, paid to the accomplishment of real intellectual advancement and the acquisition of useful knowledge than was the case in the earlier years of the history of the emancipated classes. Those engaged in the instruction of youth have been too apt to be content if they could point to a long roll of attendants at school as a proof of the successful progress of their work.

2,306

2,599

2,920

22. More value, too, is now I think attached to the quality of the education conferred; and if this be so, the extent to which it may be spread may well be regarded as of inferior importance. A really good and abiding impression produced upon the minds of a few will doubtless work out results which, though they may be long deferred, will amply compensate for the delay by their more solid and durable character.

1,065

347

379

Imports and Exports.

23. I transcribe from the Blue Book the following abstract tables of the value of the imports and exports of the year :

21,154

L

S. d.

1,235,496 15 7

52,716 8 3

1,182,780 7 4

JAMAICA.

JAMAICA.

TOTAL VALUE in Sterling of the IMPORTS and EXPORTS of the Colony of JAMAICA from and to each Country in the Year 1857.

Great Britain

COUNTRIES.

BRITISH COLONIES.

North American Colonies
British West Indies

British Settlements, Honduras

FOREIGN COUNTRIES.

Hanse Towns

Madeira

United States

New Grenada
Venezuela

Dutch West Indies

Danish West Indies
Spanish West Indies
Saint Domingo
Guatemala

Sugar
Rum

Coffee

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£

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IMPORTS.

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s. d.
488,150 15 1

94,979 14 8
12,831 18 0

106 10 0

3,799 0 9 496 0 0 221,003 10 3 3,350 11 2 621 6 9

8

1,121 5 5,963 13

0

2,095 6 3
2,630 11 10

797,150 3 5

EXPORTS.

£
S. d.
964,731 19 4

13,099 11 4
13,130 11 5

1,369 16 1

24. If from the value of imports there be deducted the value of British, Foreign, and other Colonial produce re-exported, the result will show the value for consumption at seven hundred and forty-four thousand four hundred and thirty-four pounds (744,4347.) But this being the invoice value, the real trade value may be taken at least two fifths higher, and will thus indicate that a million of money is expended in the purchase of imported articles. The total value of imports for the year 1856 was estimated at nine hundred and sixty-one thousand eight hundred and eighty-six pounds (961,8867.), while it fell in 1857 to seven hundred and ninety-seven thousand one hundred and fifty pounds (797,1507.)

52,250 4 9

154,683 15 6
18,336 19 3

25. The quantities of the principal articles of export stood thus in the years 1856 and 1857 respectively, viz. :—

1856.

Cwts.

4.57,958

Galls. 1,303,902

Lbs. 3,721,740

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1857.

549,662 1,536,779 6,761,075

26. The increase of sugar and rum was, I have no doubt, the effect of the stimulus of high prices inducing extended cultivation; and the augmented export of coffee is generally attributed to the increase of the number of smaller farmers, who cultivate this article upon their own lands and prepare it for market. The necessary processes for that purpose do not demand for their successful conduct and economical result, either the application of capital or the care and science which are essential, if not to the manufacture of the produce of the sugar cane with any profit at all, yet certainly to the attainment of the highest profit of which that manufacture is susceptible.

Shipping.

27. The returns of shipping show a total tonnage of ninety-four thousand eight hundred and seventy-eight (94,878) tons entered at ports in the colony, of which ten thousand and sixty (10,060) tons were in ballast. The tonnage cleared was ninety-two thousand one hundred and three (92,103) tons, of which twenty thousand two hundred and forty (20,240) tons was in ballast, the latter principally to the United States and the Spanish West Indies.

The crews of the vessels engaged in trade with Jamaica, amounted to four thousand six hundred (4,600) souls.

Agriculture.

28. There is little, I fear, to note for the year 1857 in regard to improvement in agriculture. I much question whether implements are so much used as was the case at one period since emancipation, but there is no doubt that far greater economy is observed in plantation management generally. The complaint that labour cannot be procured continuously and at critical periods in the progress of cultivation and manufacture, is very general, and is by no means to be discredited, because it is a fact that in some districts the resident supply is greater than the demand. The people are not disposed to migrate from the districts on which they and their forefathers have lived and settle permanently in other quarters. Even in the least fertile parts they can exist without labouring for hire, and many of them are satisfied with this almost aboriginal condition, so long as they can remain in their hereditary haunts.

29. With very rare exceptions, the adult population have gardens and provision grounds of their own, which demand their care to render them productive by eradicating weeds and otherwise assisting the growth of the various esculents that are the objects of cultivation, at precisely the very periods when the staple crops imperatively call for

similar attention.

30. I believe this thoroughly engrained habit of cultivating lands for the production of food, which formed a prominent feature of the system of slavery in Jamaica, to be the cause of its prostration as an exporting agricultural country, more than any other of the numerous unfavourable circumstances which have marked the history of the island since freedom was declared.

31. It is gratifying to be able to conclude this notice of the principal statistics of the colony during the year 1857, by recording that the returns under the head of gaols and prisoners, show that, although the population amounts to about three hundred and eighty thousand (380,000), one hundred and sixty-two persons was the total number brought to trial for crimes and offences of a felonious character.

The Right Hon. Sir E. B. Lytton, Bart.,

&c.

&c.

&c.

I have, &c.

(Signed) C. H. DARLING.

P.S.-If no objection presents itself to you, Sir, I shall be glad if my despatch No. 131 of the 20th October last, relative to the Cayman Islands, might be regarded as a part or section of this report.

C. H D.

CAYMAN ISLANDS.

COPY of a DESPATCH from Governor DARLING to the Right Honourable
Sir EDWARD BULWER LYTTON, Bart.

(No. 131.) SIR,

King's House, October 20, 1858.
(Received Nov. 20, 1858.)

WHEN I visited the island of Grand Cayman in the month of June last, I ascertained many particulars of the state of the Cayman group, and the condition of their inhabitants. I have since my return obtained additional details, and I beg to submit an abstract of the whole for your information in the following report:

Population.

The

2. The population of the Grand Caymans is at present about two thousand two hundred (2,200), of the Little Cayman about one hundred (100); on the Cayman Brach it is confined to a very few temporary sojourners there; about nine hundred (900) of these are blacks, the remainder, with very few exceptions, of the mixed race. sexes are about equal in number, and the proportion of children under 14 about the same as in other tropical communities. Several hundreds of the inhabitants migrated to the Bay islands shortly after the emancipation of the slaves, there is consequently family connexion between the population of the two groups and frequent intercourse is maintained.

Religious Persuasion.

3. The great majority of the present inhabitants profess to belong to the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. This results from the circumstance that since the death, a few years

JAMAICA.

CAYMAN ISLANDS.

CAYMAN
ISLANDS.

ago, of a clergyman of the Church of England (the Reverend Mr. Sharpe), who was the first minister of religion ever stationed in these islands, and to whose zealous efforts amongst the people abundant testimony was rendered to me, that church seems to have relaxed its care of this portion of its flock; and the Presbyterian Church, principally supported by the mission board of the "United Presbyterian Church" of Scotland, has stepped in and supplied its place.

Missionaries and Schoolmasters.

4. Two missionaries and three trained schoolmasters are maintained in the island mainly by the funds of that society. The annual expenditure of the mission board in aid of churches and schools is about four hundred and thirty pounds (4307.), the local contributions amount only to about fifty pounds (501.)

District Churches and School Houses.

5. The island is divided into five districts, in each of which there is a place of worship. I visited that situated at George Town; it is of the plainest description of architecture and material, and capable of containing about four hundred (400) people. I was informed that the chapel at Bodden Town on the south coast of the island is similar in appearance and construction to that at George Town, but rather more capacious. The other three places of worship are of smaller dimensions. They are all served by the two missionaries stationed in the island; those situated in the more populous districts being of course opened for public worship more frequently than the others. The total membership of the churches is about three hundred and fifty (350), and the number of attendants at public worship is upwards of seven hundred (700). I derive these figures from the Presbyterian Church Mission stationed in Jamaica. Besides the three day schools the average attendance at which is from about one hundred and fifty (150) to one hundred and eighty (180). There are Sabbath schools at the several stations (six in number) which are attended by about five hundred (500) persons, chiefly youths.

6. The schoolroom at George Town is commodious and well supplied with school requisites. It is used also for the holding of the magistrates courts, and for the meetings of the local vestry.

Pursuits of the People.

7. The pursuits of the people are shipbuilding, turtle fishing on the coasts of Cuba and the adjoining cays, breeding cattle, and a small description of horses, with the production of the ordinary tropical fruits. These resources are eked out by wrecking, for which the dangers of the opposite coast of Cuba and of the Grand Cayman itself, which is reef bound except upon a portion of its western shore, afford large opportunities.

Shipping.

8. There are at present twenty-one vessels owned in the island; the vary in tonnage from fifty to twelve (50 to 12) tons, and are manned by crews of from six or seven for the larger, and three for the smallest size..

Ship Building.

9. With the exception of one, which is American, these vessels are all built in the island of Grand Cayman. The timber is mahogany, the growth of the island, of which valuable tree I am informed there is a great abundance; the copper nails are fashioned in the island from metal obtained from wrecks, and are said to be of superior workmanship. The other requisite materials are obtained from Jamaica.

io. A vessel which I saw upon the stocks was commended for model and strength of construction by a naval officer of experience who was with me.

Disposal of Produce.

11. The turtle is disposed of to homeward bound merchant ships from Jamaica; the demand I understand sometimes exceeds the supply. When I was at the Grand Cayman this delicacy could not be procured. Their fruit and tropical vegetables, toge ther with poultry, of which they rear a considerable quantity, also find a ready market on board passing merchantmen, and occasionally Her Majesty's cruisers.

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