Abbildungen der Seite

J78o-choly prospect. The devastation pn all sides was terrible—not a building standing—the trees, if not torn up by the roots, stripped of their leaves and branches—the most luxuriant spring changed in one night to the dreariest winter—the few public buildings, notwithstandtheir strength, fallen in the general wreck. The loss of human lives was great even among the whites; but including the blacks was estimated at some thousands. To increase the calamity, most of the living stock on the island, particularly of the horned cattle, perished. An extraordinary instance of the united force of the winds and waves was apparent upon this occasion in the removal of a cannon, a twelve pounder, from the south to the north battery, being a distance of one hundred and forty yards. The truth of this fact and of the others was supported by public documents, transmitted ! td the secretary of state by the governor of the island, | and by gen. Vaughan. Be it mentioned to the honor J and praise of Don Pedro St. Jago, a captain of the regiment of Arragon, and of the other Spanish prisoners at Barbadoes, who were all under his immediate direction, that they acted the kind part of friends, instead of behaving like enemies, or even with indifference, in this season of calamity; and omitted no labor or service \ in their power, for the assistance of the distressed inhabitants, and the preservation of public order.

The islands of St. Lucie, Grenada and St. Vincent, were likewise laid nearly desolate. Most of the ships of war were driven out to sea from St. Lucie, in the beginning of the hurricane. The transports, victuallers, and traders, were dismasted, and generally driven on Jhore. A prize of 18 guns was wrecked on the back

of the island, and all except 17 perished. The Andro- 1780. meda and Laurel of 28 guns each, were lost on the coast of Martinico; none of the officers and but few of the crews were saved. The Deal Castle of 24 guns suffered the same fate. The squadron under admiral Rowley, which convoyed the Jamaica trade on its way to Europe, experienced no less calamity, and sustained still greater loss. The admiral returned to Jamaica with five ships, mostly dismasted and all disabled. The Sterling Castle of 64 guns, was totally lost on the coast of Hispaniola, and only about 50 of the crew saved. The Thunderer, commodore Boyle Walsingham, was undoubtedly swallowed up, no traces of her fate having yet come to light. The Phœnix of 44 guns, Sir Hyde Parker, was wrecked on the isle of Cuba; but her officers and most of her crew were saved. The Barbadoes and Victor sloops of war, with the Cameleon, Scarborough, and La Blanche frigates, became likewise, with a partial or total loss of men and officers, victims to the rage of this merciless season. The French islands appear to have suffered even more than the British, Barbadoes only excepted. At Martinico the public buildings and private houses of Fort Royal town, to the amount of more than fourteen hundred, were blown down, and an incredible number of persons lost their lives. Every house in St. Pierre shared the same fate, and more than a thousand people perished. The numbers lost upon the island, including negroes, is computed at about 9000, and the damage at 700,000 louis d'ors. Sixty-two fail of transports from France, which arrived that morning at Martinico, with stores and 2500 troops m froard, were all driven out to sea, and several were



1780. loft. The Experiment of 50 guns, and the Juno of 40, with some other royal French frigates, were destroyed j and 19 fail of loaded Dutch vessels were dashed to pieces on Grenada. The destruction of people (whites and blacks) at St. Eustatia, was reputed to be between 4 and 5000. A number of houses were blown down and. washed away with the inhabitants into the sea. The pecuniary loss must be very great.

The humanity of the marquis de Bouille affords some relief to these scenes of horror and devastation. He sent 31 British sailors (the remains that were saved of the crews of the Laurel and Andromeda) under a flag of truce to commodore Hotham at St. Lucie, accompanied with a declaration, that he could not consider in the light of enemies, men who had so hardly escaped in a contention with the force of the elements; but that they having, in common with his own people, been partakers of the fame danger, were in like manner entitled to every comfort and relief that could be given, in a season of such universal calamity and distress. He only lamented, he said, that their number was so small, and particularly that none of the officers were saved.

Oft ' The new parliament met on the last of October.

31- The late speaker, Sir Fletcher Norton, having offended the ministry, by exercising too much of an independent spirit, they determined upon choosing another person in his room. Mr. Dunning moved, that Sir Fletcher should be continued. The ministry pretended, that an anxiety for his health was the real cause of moving that a different member might be chosen: but Sir Fletcher, after declaring that he came there with a full determination not to go again into the chair upon any account,


Informed the house that the king's ministers had not »78?» held the smallest previous communication with him upon the subject; that he had been in town three days, and had never been asked whether his health would enable him to continue in the chair, nor had he been applied to directly or indirectly, on the subject of choosing a new speaker. He called upon the ministers to declare, why he was thus disgracefully dismissed. After debates, lord George Germain's' motion for the appointment of Mr. Cornwall was carried by a majority of 203 votes to 134, who supported Mr. Dunning's motion.

The king went the next day to the house of peers, Nor. and delivered his speech to the parliament. In it he'" took notice of the signal successes which had attended the progress of his arms in Georgia and Carolina. These he trusted would have important consequences in bringing the war to a happy conclusion. When the commons were debating upon the address, Mr. Fox reprehended the ministers in the most pointed terms, for having dared to fend orders to officers in all the towns of the kingdom, as well in those where there had not been the smallest proneness to tumult, as in those where it had entirely subsided and quiet was perfectly restored, giving them power to act at discretion, without the authority of the civil magistrate. These orders, he declared, had not been recalled, till almost every election was over. He likewise arraigned the ministers in terms of the utmost severity, for the insult which, he said, had been offered to the navy, and the prejudice done to that service, by the lateappointment of Sir Hugh Pal- User to the government of Greenwich Hospital. The


4,780. address was carried, upon a division, by a majority of Hi to 130.

Major Tyler, who served formerly in one of the American continental regiments, by his irregular pursuit of pleasure, 'occasioned an information to be lodged against himself and Mr. John Trumbull, who was deputy adjutant general with Gates at Tyconderoga in 1776. Tyler escaped: but Trumbull was taken and committed to prison on the 21st of November, being charged with holding a treasonable correspondence with the enemy. When he was re-examined the next day, three letters were produced and read, one to his father the governor of Connecticut, the second from Dr. Franklin's grandson at Passey, where the doctor resides, and the third from a Mr. White of Lyme in Dorsetshire. Mr. Trumbull in his answers to the questions asked him, said, that he arrived in England in the beginning of July j and that the profession he had in view was that of painting, of which Mr. B. West, the historical, painter, could inform the bench fully, as well as of the manner how he usually spent his time. Nothing appeared particularly criminal: but circumstances were such, that the bench conceived he was not entitled to his liberty; they therefore signed his warrant of commitment for New Prison, on account of the unrepaired state of Newgate. Confinement will be his chief suffering j and his relations may dismiss all apprehensions of any further danger to his personal safety.

Some detached pieces of European intelligence will close the present epistle.

Mr. Jay has been laboring at the court of Madrid to effect a treaty between Spain and the United States of

America j

« ZurückWeiter »