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dered in thoughtless profusion, without the most flimsy pretext of necessity or expediency. The voice of justice calls loudly for the redress of this grievance. It is the duty of the representatives of the people to apply the proper remedy. No objection is made to the quantum of the sum annually expended on the fortifications; ! the nisapplication of it is the only ground of rational complaint Were they repaired and rendered capable of protecting our defenceJess towns, the money required for their maintenance would be paid without a murmur. No people in the world, who contribute at all to the support of government, are more moderately taxed than the Barbadians; nor would they be dissatisfied at any augmentation of their burthens, were the produce of their taxes faithfully employed in providing for their safety.
" It has been proposed to abandon our forts, or to sell them to the crown, rather than be at the expense of repairing them. Pie tiful economy! Is there a man so lost to every sense of public virtue, as not to contemn the insidious proposal ? So blind as not to see its folly and danger? Or so ignorant as not to be sensible of the necessity of keeping in repair the batteries within the vicinity of the towns, for the protection of the adjacent harbours?" P. 237.
The remarks on the state of the legislation may tend to show some of the causes of dissension between the Assembly and government.
“ Every illiterate possessor of ten acres (of land] is born a legislator, or is at least eligible to a seat in the general assembly, as a representative of the parish in which his freehold lies. In some districts it often happens, that the freeholders are deprived of the power of making a discreet choice, by the difficulty of prevailing on gentlemen of respectability to accept the representation of their parishes
. This inconvenience might, perhaps, be remedied, by imitating the policy of the mother country, and making it no longer necessary that the property of the person elected should be situated in the parish which he represents. In a country, circumscribed within such narrow boundaries, no danger need be apprehended from a dissimilarity of interests, or a want of local attachment; nos are genius and knowledge confined to any particular spot. An inhabitant of Christ Church may be as well, qualified to represent the parish of Saint Lucy, as though he had been born and bred in the vicinity of Pye-Corner. Thus the deficiencies of one parish may be supplied by the talents of another; and the abilities which, for the want of an opportunity to display themselves, remain inert and un. distinguished, may be placed in a sphere of action, in which they may be beneficially exerted for the general welfare.”. P. 242.
On the law passed in 1766, allowing slaves to be sold by auction or "outcry," the author observes :
There is scarcely a law in existence, from whose operation the island has suffered greater injury than this. By the authority given to a rapacious creditor to seize the slaves of his debtor, and to sell
them to the highest bidder, the population of the country has been lessened; its agricultural improvements have been impeded; many respectable fannlies have been reduced to indigence, and many driven into exile. When the labourers are swept away from the plantations, the lands cease to be valuable; the buildings are left to moulder into ruins by a gradual decay; and the fields, whose fertility added to the national wealth, become a barren waste over-run with moxious weeds. Of the slaves thus sold, the rich only can become the purchasers, to the utter extinction of those small estates which, in reality, constitute the real wealth and opulence of the COU!try. It is a gross, though a popular error, to suppose that this transfer of property is attended with no detriment to the state, because the negroes who are removed from one plantation are emplosed on another, Tlie argument might assume a plausible tone, if the real and personal estate went together; the aggregate wealth of the country might then be the same; though it is obvious that the general prosperity would be diminished hy limiting the diffusion of the means of subsistence. Wealth might accumulate in the hands of the rich, but the inferior orders of society, deprived of the means of cultivating their little farms, would be driven from the island to seek security under the shelter of a wiser policy.
It will probably be objected, that these evils do not now exist in their full extent; that there are few attachments made under this, law; and that, in the present prosperous condition of the country, no man is without a bome, or negroes to cultivate his land. But we should not suffer our jurigment to be blinded by prosperity. It is now only thirty years since we witnessed the melancholy verification of the arguments against this law. In the vicissitudes of human affairs, similar misfortunes may be approaching to overwhelm us.
During the American war, when, added to the evils incident to a state of" hostility, the hopes of the industrious planter were frequently frustrated by a series of natural calamities, the fairest portions of the island were desolated and sacrificed to an unwise and iniquitous policy. Afflicted by continued drought, and visited by tribes of vermin more destructive than the locusts and caterpillars of old, Barbadoes was then reduced to a state of comparative poverty ; her soil and her negroes had sunk fifty per cent. below their original value. A total failure of crops, instead of exciting commiseration, sharpened the avidity of the rapacious; and the wretched siaves of the unfortunate debtor were dragged in crowds to the market, and thence transported to cultivate and enrich by their labour those colonies which, at the conclusion of the war, passed into the hands of our enemies. At that season of calamity; the pernicious tendency of the law was made visible as the sun at noon-day. The slaves were sold for less than half their value; the soil remained uncultivated; the original proprietors were ruined, and the junior creditors were defrauded of their just due, by the accunulation of expense, and the rapacity of the provost-marshal. The evil of that day is happily passed. How soon we may be reduced to the same deplorable condition, is known only to that omnipotent Being, by whose providence all things are ordered. It may be prudent to guard against the adverse change; and, in this our
bētter hour, repeal à law, which experience has shown to be so pernicious.
“ The most enlightened writers on the subject of West-Indian concerns, have uniformly condemned this impolitic and inhuman law. In the whole system of colonial slavery, so universally, and often unjustly, censured in Europe, there is none more injurious and oppressive to the negroes than the legal usage of levying upon them, and selling them at auction. It is by far the highest degree of cruelty annexed to their condition. One of the strongest principles of human nature is, that local attachment which man feels for the place of his nativity. The untutored African shares this universal sentiment in common with the civilised European; and the sable creole is no less tenderly attached to the spot on which the careless days of infancy were spent; to the humble tenement which he has cultivated; to the friendly tree, under whose verdant shade he has passed the noon-tide hour; to the peaceful cot, beneath whose lowly roof he, has participated with his wife and his children the few domestic 'comforts which have fallen to his lot. By a barbarous, erroneous policy, the wretched slave is dragged fronı this scene of all his enjoyments; torn from the hallowed spot which contains the remains of the mother whom he revered, the wife that he loved, or the child who was dear to his heart; dispossessed of the little pro-, perty which bestowed on him an ideal importance in the eyes of his fellow-labourers; and sold into a new bondage, into a distant part of the country, under the dominion of an unknown master. Separated from the only consulations which can beguile the rigour of servitude, these wretched victims of avarice and folly often sink into a premature grave.”
P. 333. As Mr. Poyer manifests himself a good subject in general, and a real friend to his country, he has very justly animadverted on the factious parsimony of the Legislative Assembly of Barbadoes, when, in 1778 the island was menaced with invasion, it absolutely refused to assist the governor in putting the country in a proper state of defence; and after some common-place professions of zeal and loyalty,” declared that they 66 would not consent to increase the public burthens."
" That a British legislative assembly should be so perfectly insensible of the blessings of civil liberty, as to hazard its enjoyment by a pertinacious adherence to an erroneous system of economy, and to talk of arming only when the enemy should be at their gate, are facts scarcely credible, were they not authenticated by the minutes of their proceedings, published by their own authority. Nor can it fail to excite the astonishment of posterity, that the representatives of a free people should prefer individual conveniency to the public safety, and risk the whole of their property rather than sacrifice a part for the preservation of the rest. That public virtue, says the elegant Gibbon, which, among the ancients, was denomimated patriotism, is derived from a strong sense of our own interest
in the preservation and prosperity of the free government of which we are members. But among the Barbadians, the only patriotism known, at the period of which we are speaking, seems to have consisted in an opposition to the measures of government, and an endeavour to promote the voluptuous ease of mercenary individuals at the bazard and expense of the country.
P. 387. As a striking contrast to the “entire dereliction of public spirit, which fatally pervades every department of our little state," the noble defence of Lord Macartney at Granada is then cited with merited approbation. Mr. Poyer having witnessed the dreadful bavoc made by the hurricane in 1780, describes its effects with great minuteness and perspicuity; the simple pathos of his narrative is highly affecting, and would do honour to many a more learned writer; his picture is 'lively, natural, and impressive, without any gaudy decoration or colouring. It is estimated that property to the amount of 1,018,9281. sterling was destroyed by it, while more than three thousand persons perished in the ruins. The following contrasted anecdotes will not fail to excite the feelings of the reader. The houses containing the prisoners of war were all levelled to the ground, and their inmates set at liberty. But, -
“ To the immortal honour of Don Pedro de Saint Jago, captain of the regiment of Arragon, and the Spanish prisoners under his direction, let it be remembered with gratitude, that, laying aside all national animosity in that season of calamity, they omitted no service nor labour for the relief of the distressed inhabitants and the preservation of public order.”
“" The humanity of the Marquis de Bouillé should not be forgotten. The Laurel and Andromeda frigates having been wrecked on the coast of Martinico, that magnanimous commander sent thirty-one English sailors, who were all that were saved out of both crews, under a flag of truce to Commodore Hotham, at Saint Lucia, with a letter, purporting that he could not consider in the light of eneinies, men who had escaped in a contention with the elements;. but that they, in common with his own people, having been partakers of the same danger, were, in like manner, entitled to every comfort and relief which could be given in a season of such universal calamity and distress.
“ What a contrast does this act of generosity in a noble enemy afford dito the conduct of Governor Cunninghame! Amid the. general convulsion of the Caribbean Sea, a small Spanish launch, having a few mules on board, sought security from the winds and waves, in Maycock's Bay. The matrosses detained her until the governor's pleasure was known; and his excellency ordered her to be seized as a droit of admiralty, made the crew prisoners of war, and converted the vessel and cargo to his own use.' Thus, what the wretched mariners had saved from the angry elemcuts was torn from
then by the rapacity of a human being, insensible of the tender emotions of pity and compassion!
P, 455. We thilik that the author has rendered an essential service, not only to the whole West Indies, but to this country, in exposing the infamous rapacity of Majorgeneral James Cụnninghame, whose malversations and bad government well deserve public exposition: at the same time, the factious malignity of the Assembly is vot concealed ; and it is declared that, " in the indulgence of their l'esentment, they sometimes lost sight of the welfare of their country." The dispute was originally occasioned by the Assembly, in consequence of the adverse situation of the colony, refusing to allow Governor Cunninghame more than 20001. a year salary, instead of 3000l. as given to his predecessor; and thus, for the paltry sum of 1000l., the governor and Assembly continued in perpetual enmity, and both neglected the permanent interests as well as the external security of the colony. The greediness of Cunninghame to extort illegal fees, and the unparallelled obstinacy of the Assembly in resisting them, occupy a considerable part of this parrative, which we hope will have the effect of warning all future governors -- that, whatever may be che distance or the smallness of their dominions, they will one day or other be brought before the British public, and be rewarded by impartial posterity according to their merits. The government of George Points Ricketts, esq., a native of Jamaica, from 1794 to 1300, and his conduct in pardoning the mulatto Joe Denny, who deliberately murdered a poor white man named Stroud, occasioned the following remarks, which deserve to be generally known, as an example to others.
" Unfortunately for the governor, unfortunately for Barbadoes, his excellency had brought with him, from Tobago, a mulatto woman, who resided at Pilgrim, and enjoyed all the privileges of a wife, except the honour of publicly presiding at his table. His excellency's extraordinary attachment to this sty insidious female was the greatest blemish in his character, and cast a baleful shade over the lustre of his administration. The influence which she was known to possess, produced a visible change in the manners of the free-coloured people, who assumed a rank in the graduated scale of colonial society, to which they had been hitherto strangers; and which the impolicy of subsequent measures and the immorality of the times have contributed to extend and confirm in a degree that cannot be coritemplated without fearful apprehension. A woman of this description, who had been convicted of receiving stolen goods, and codemned to imprisonment, had been lately liberated by the No. 128, Vol. 32. 7.b. 1809.