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N E V S.
Nevis lies about feven leagues north of Montserrat, and is fe parated from St. Christopher's by a narrow channel : it makes a beautiful appearance from the sea, being a large conical mountain covered with fine trees, of an easy ascent on every fide, and entirely cultivated. The circumference is about twenty-one miles, with a confiderable tract of level ground all around. The climate in the lower part is reckoned to be warmer than Barbadoes, but it is more temperate towards the fummit. The foil is very fine in the lower part, but grows coarser as we ascend. The productions are nearly the same with those of St. Christopher's, and the average quantity of sugar is four thousand hogsheads of fixteen hundred weight each. The island is divided into five parishes, and it has three pretty good roads or bays, with small towns in their vicinity; Charleston, the feat of government, Moreton bay, and Newcastle. This pleasant island was settled under the auspices of Sir Thomas Warner from St. Christopher's, in the year 1628. His fucceffor, Governor Lake, was considered as the Solon of this little country, in which he disposed of every thing with such prudence, wisdom and justice, as procured him an high reputation with the French as well as English. In the Dutch war they met with some disturbance from the French, but by being covered by an English squadron, the enemy were obliged to defift from their intended invasion, after a smart engage. ment in fight of the island. Sir William Stapleton sometimes refided here, and Sir Nathaniel Johnson constantly, at which time the inhabitants of Nevis were computed at thirty thousand. In the war immediately after the revolution they exerted themselves gallantly, and had two regiments of three hundred men each. In that of Queen Anne they behaved equally well, though they were less fortunate; for the French landing with a superior force, and having inveigled most of their faves, they were forced to capitulate. About four thousand of these llaves the French carried away and fold to the Spaniards, to work in their mines. The parliament, after making
due inquiry into the losses they had sustained, voted them about * third part of the sum in which they had suffered. These losses by war, an epidemic disease, and repeated hurricanes, exceedingly die minished the number of the people. They now, according to Mr. Edwards, do not exceed fixteen hundred whites and ten thousand blacks. All the white men, not exempt by age and other infirmities, are formed into a militia for its defence, from which there is a troop of fifty horse well mounted; but they have no troops on the British establishment. The principal fortification is at Charleston, and is called Charles fort, the governor of which is appointed by the crown, and paid by the inhabitants. There is here a lieutenant-governor, with a council of members, and an assembly composed of three members from each of the five parishes into which the island is divided. The administering of justice is under a chief justice and two affiftant judges. The commodities are chiefly cotton and sugar ; and about twenty fail of Nips are annually employed in this trade.
MONTSERRAT is a very small but very pleasant island, fo called by Columbus from its resemblance to the famous mountain near Barcelona in Catalonia, It lies in west longitude 61° 0', north latitude 16° 15', having Antigua to the north-east, St. Christopher's and Nevis to the north-west, and Guadaloupe lying fouth southeast at the distance of about nine leagues. In its figure it is nearly round, about nine miles in extent every way, twenty-seven in circumference, and is supposed to contain about forty or fifty thousand acres. The climate is warm, but less so than in Antigua, and is esteemed very healthy. The soil is mountainous, but with pleasant valleys, rich and fertile, between them; the hills are covered with cedars and other fine trees. Here are all the animals as well as vegetables and fruits, that are to be found in the other islands, and not at all inferior to them in quality. The inhabitants raised formerly a considerable quantity of indigo, which was none of the best, but which they cut four times a year. The present product is cotton, rum and sugar. There is no good harbour, but three tolerable roads, at Plymouth, Old harbour, and Ker's bay, where they ship the produce of the island. Public affairs are administered here as in the other isles, by a lieutenant-governor, a council of fix, and an assembly, composed of no more than eight members, two from each of the four districts into which it is divided. Its civil history contains nothing particular except its invasion by the French in 1712, and its capture by them again in the late war, at the conclufion of which it was restored to Great-Britain. The wonderful effects of industry and experience, in meliorating the gifts of Nature, have been no where more confpicuous than in these islands, and particu. larly in this, by gradually improving their produce, more especially of late years, fince the art of planting has been reduced to a regular system, and alınost all the defects of foil fo thoroughly removed by proper management and manure, that, except from the failure of seasons, or the want of hands, there is seldom any fear of a crop. VOL.IV. оо
As far back as 1770, there were exported from this island to Great-Britain ene hundred and fixty-seven bags of cotton, seven hundred and forty hogsheads of rum; to Ireland one hundred and thirty-three ditto, four thousand three hundred and thirty-eight hogs. heads, two hundred and thirty-two tierces, two hundred and two barrels of sugar ; the whole valued at eighty-nine thousand nine hundred and seven pounds : and exports to North-America valued at twelve thousand fix hundred and thirty-three pounds. There are a few ships employed in trading to this island from London and from Bristol, and the average of its trade will be seen in the tables annexed. As to the number of inhabitants, according to the most probable accounts, they consist of between twelve and fourteen hun. dred whites, and about ten thousand negroes, though some say not
BARBUDA AND ANGUILLA.
BARBUDA, which belongs entirely to the Codringtan family, and the circumference of which is fix or seven leagues, hath dangerous coafts. It is, perhaps, the most even of all the American islands. The trees which cover it are weak, and not very high, because there are never more than fix or seven inches of earth upon a layer of lime-Itone. Nature hath placed great plenty of turtles here ; and caprice hath occasioned the sending thither of deer and several kinda of
game; chance hath filled the woods with pintados and other fowls, escaped from the vessels after some thipwreck. Upon this foil are fed oxen, horses and mules, for the labours of the neighbouring fet. tlements. No other culture is known there, except that of the kind of corn which is necessary for the feeding of the numerous herds in those seasons when the pasture fails. Its population is reduced to three hundred and fifty flaves, and to the small number of free men who are appointed to overlook them. This private property pays no tribute to the nation, though it be subject to the tribunals of Antigua. The air here is very pure and very wholesome. Formerly, the fickly people of the other English islands went to breathe it, in order to stop the progress of their diseases, or to recover their strength. This custom hath ceased, since some of them indulged themselves in parties of destructive chace.
Must men then be suffered to perish, in order that animals should be preserved? How is it possible, that so atrocious a custom, which draws down the imprecation of almost all Europe upon the sovereigns and upon the lords of its countries, should be suffered, and should even be established beyond the seas? We have asked this question, and we have been answered, that the island belonged to the Codringtons, and that they had a right to dispose of their property at their pleasure. We now ask, whether this right of preperty, which is undoubtedly sacred, hath not its limits ? Whether this right, in a variety of circumstances, be not facrificed to public good? Whether the man who is in poffeflion of a fountain can refuse