Slike strani



HIS island, commonly called St. Kitt's, is fituated in 62° west longitude and 17° north latitude, about fourteen leagues from Antigua; is twenty miles long and about feven broad; it was difcovered in November, 1493, by Columbus, and named after himself, but was never planted or poffeffed by the Spaniards: it is in reality the oldeft of all the British fettlements in the Weft-Indies, and the common mother both of the French and English fettlements in the Caribbean islands. It was firft fettled by a Mr. Warner and fourteen other perfons in 1623. Mr. Warner, a refpectable gentleman, had accompanied Capt. North in a voyage to Surinam, where he had become acquainted with a Capt. Painton, a very experienced feaman, who fuggefted to him the advantages of a fettlement on one of the Weft-India iflands deferted by the Spaniards, and pointed out this as eligible for fuch an undertaking. Mr. Warner returning to Eu rope in 1620, determined to carry this project into execution. He accordingly failed with the above party to Virginia, from whence he took his paffage to St. Chriftopher's, where he arrived in the month of January, 1623, and by the month of September following had raised a good crop of tobacco, which they propofed to make their ftaple commodity.

Unfortunately, their plantations were deftroyed the latter end of the year by an hurricane; in confequence of which calamity, Mr. Warner returned to England, and obtained the powerful patronage of the Earl of Carlisle, who caused a ship to be fitted out and laden with all kinds of neceffaries, which arrived on the 18th of May following; and thus faved a fettlement which had otherwise died in its infancy. Warner himself did not, however, return till the year 1625, when he carried with him a large number of other perfons. About this time, and, according to fome writers, on the fame day with Warner, arrived D'Efnambuc, the captain of, and about thirty hardy veterans belonging to, a French privateer, which had been much damaged in an engagement with a Spanish galleon; they were received kindly by the English, and remained with them on the VOL. IV. K k ifland,

ifland, from whence, by their united endeavours, they drove the original inhabitants.

After this exploit, these two leaders returned to their respective countries to folicit fuccours, and bringing with them the name of conquerors, they met with every encouragement, Warner was knighted, and, by the influence of his patron, fent back in 1626 with four hundred fresh recruits, amply furnished with neceffaries of all kinds. D'Efnambuc obtained from Cardinal Richelieu, the then minister of France, the establishment of a separate company, to trade with this and fome other iflands. Subfcriptions, however, did not come in very rapid, and the fhips fent out by the new company were fo badly provided, that of five hundred and thirty-two new fettlers, who failed from France in 1627, the greater part perifhed miferably at fea for want of food. The English received the furvivors, and, to prevent contefts about limits, the commanders of cach nation divided the ifland as equally as poffible among their refpective followers. The inland thus continued in the hands of the French and English until the peace of Utrecht, when it was finally ceded to Great-Britain. We are not, however, to fuppofe, that during this period harmony and good-will prevailed; on the contrary, the English were three times driven off the island, and their plantations laid waste : nor were the French much lefs fufferers. Such are the confequences of thofe curfed fyftems or maxims of government, which beget a fpirit of enmity againft all thofe who are of a different nation. After the peace of Utrecht, the French poffeffions, a few excepted, were fold for the benefit of the English government; and in 1783, eighty thousand pounds of the money was granted as a marriage portion to the Princefs Anne, who was betrothed to the Prince of Orange. In 1782, it was attacked and taken by the French, but again ceded to Britain at the peace of 1783.

About one-half of this ifland is fupposed to be unfit for cultivation, the interior parts confifting of many high and barren mountains, between which are horrid precipices and thick woods. The loftieft mountain, which is evidently a decayed volcano, is called mount Mifery; it rifes three thousand feven hundred and eleven feet perpendicular height from the fea. Nature has, however, made a recompenfe for the fterility of the mountains by the fertility of the plains. The foil is a dark grey loam, very light and porous, and is fuppofed by Mr. Edwards to be the production of fubterraneous Vide Hiftory of Weft-Indies, vol. i. p. 429.

fires finely incorporated with a pure loam or virgin mould; this foil is peculiarly favourable to the culture of fugar. In the fouth-west part of the island hot fulphureous fprings are found at the foot of fome of the mountains: the air is, on the whole, falubrious, but the island is fubject to hurricanes.

St. Chriftopher's is divided into nine parishes, and contains four towns and hamlets, viz. Baffeterre, (the capital) Sandy point, Old road, and Deep bay; of thefe, Baffeterre and Sandy point are ports of entry established by law. The fortifications on this island are Charles fort and Brimftone hill near Sandy point, three batteries at Baffeterre, one at Fig-tree bay, another at Palmeton point, and fome others of little importance.

St. Chriftopher's contributes twelve hundred pounds currency per annum towards the support of the governor-general, befides the perquifites of his office, which in war time are very confiderable: the council confifts of ten members; the houfe of affembly of twentyfour reprefentatives, of whom fifteen make a quorum. The quali fication for a representative is a freehold of forty acres of land, or a houfe worth forty pounds per annum; for an elector, a freehold of ten pounds per annum: the governor is chancellor by office, and fits alone on the bench. The jurifdiction of the courts of king's bench and common pleas centers in one fuperior court, wherein juffice is administered by a chief justice and four affiftant judges, the former appointed by the king, the latter by the governor in the king's name; they all hold their offices during pleasure. The office of the chief judge is worth about fix hundred pounds per annum; those of the affiftant judges trifling. The prefent number of inhabitants are eftimated at four thousand white inhabitants, three hundred free blacks and mulattoes, and about twenty-fix thousand flaves.

As in the other British islands in the neighbourhood, all the whitemales from fixteen to fixty are obliged to enlift in the militia; the serve without pay, and form two regiments of about three hundred effective men each: thefe, with a company of free blacks, conftituted the whole force of the ifland before the last war. Since that period, a fmall addition of British troops have, we believe, in general been kept there.

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is fituated about twenty leagues east of St. Chrif topher's, in weft longitude 62° 5', and north latitude 17° 30'. It is about fifty miles in circumference, and is reckoned the largest of all the British Leeward iflands.

This island has neither stream nor fpring of fresh water; this-inconvience, which rendered it uninhabitable to the Caribbees, deterred for fome time Europeans from attempting a permanent esta blifhment upon it; but few, if any, are the obstacles of Nature, which civilised man will not overcome, more especially when intereft fpurs him on. The foil of Antigua was found to be fertile, and it foon prefented itself to the view of enterprifing genius, that by means of cisterns the neceffity of fprings and ftreams might be fuperfeded. Hence, as early as 1632, a fon of Sir Thomas Warner, and a number of other Englifhmen, fettled here, and began the cultivation of tobacco. In 1674, Colonel Codrington, of Barbadoes, removed to this ifland, and fucceeded fo well in the culture of fugar, that, animated' by his example, and aided by his experience, many others engaged in the fame line of bufinefs. A few years after, Mr. Codrington was declared captain-general and commander in chief of the Leeward iflands, and carried his attention to their welfare farther than perhaps any other governor either before or fince has done, and the good effects of his wifdom and attention were foon manifeft.

Antigua, in particular, had fo far increafed, that in 1690, when General Codrington headed an expedition against the French fettlement at St. Chriftopher's, it furnished eight hundred effective men. Mr. Codrington dying in 1698, was fucceeded by his fon Christopher, who, purfuing his father's fteps, held the government till 1704 when he was fuperfeded by Sir William Matthews, who died foon after his arrival. Queen Anne then bestowed the government on Daniel Park, Efq. a man who for debauchery, villany and defpotifm, though he may have been equalled, was certainly never excelled. His government lafted till Dec. 1710, when his oppreffions aroufed

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roufed the inhabitants to refiftance: he was feized by the enraged
multitude and torn to pieces, and his reeking limbs scattered about
the street. An inquiry was inftituted with respect to the perpetra
tion of this act; the people of England were divided, fome looking
upon his death as an act of rebellion against the crown, others
viewing it as a juft facrifice to liberty. The government, however,
after a full inquiry, were fo fully fatisfied of Park's guilty and ille-
gal conduct, that, much to their honour, they iffued a general par
don for all perfons concerned in his death, and, fome time after
wards, fanctioned the promotion of two of the principal perpetra

tors to leats in the council.

The principal article raifed in this ifland is fugar; befides which, cotton-wool and tobacco, is raifed in confiderable quantities, and likewife provifions to a confiderable amount in favourable years.


Crops here are very unequal, and it is exceeding difficult to furnish an average in 1779, there was shipped three thousand three hundred and eighty-two hogfheads and five hundred and feventy-nine tierces of fugar: in 1782, the crop was fifteen thoufand one hundred and two hogfheads and one thousand fix hundred and three tierces; in 1770, 1773, and 1778, there were no crops of any kind, owing to long continued drought. The ifland is progreflively decreating in produce and population. The laft accurate returns to government were made in the year 1774, when the white inhabitants of all ages and fexes were two thoufand five hundred and ninety, and the enflaved blacks thirty-feven thousand eight hundred and eight: feventeen thousand hogfheads of fugar of fixteen hundred weight each, are deemed, on the whole, a good faving crop; as one-half of the canes only are cut annually, this is about an hogfhead to the acre.

Antigua is divided into fix parishes and eleven diftricts, and contains fix towns and villages. St. John's, which is the capital, Par ham, Falmouth, Willoughby bay, Old road, and James's fort; the two first are the legal ports of entry. The island has many excellent harbours, particularly English harbour and St. John's, at the former of which there is a dock-yard and arfenal eftablished by the English government.

The military establishment here is two regiments of infantry and two of militia, befides which there is a fquadron of dragoons and a battalion of artillery raised in the island. The governor, or captaingeneral, of the Leeward inlands, thongh directed by his inftructions to vifit each island within his government, is generally fta



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