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while our enemies have perhaps little less than two or three hundred from Cuba and Hispaniola. This may easily be accounted for. The trade of our enemies is nearly annihilated, of course British privateers would have little chance of making any valuable captures; while our commerce affords to them a prospect of gaining much and losing little.
The merchants of Jamaica, and indeed all its inhabitants, were highly pleased with the conduct of Sir John Thomas Duckworth, during his command on this station. His cruisers were singularly successful in watching and capturing the enemy's armed vessels, and never perhaps were the coasts of this island, in time of war, better protected against these petty depredators. On the admiral's being superseded on this station, the merchants of Kingston, the legislative body, the grand jury of Kingston, and almost every parish in the island, unanimously presented him with addresses, expressive of their sense of the services he had rendered them, and of their regret at the prospect of his approaching departure. One.of his captains in particular (Captain Bissel, of the Racoon sloop) was peculiarly active and successful in capturing, destroying, and terrifying the enemy's privateers and armed craft. The commercial body of the country were not quite so well satisfied with the admiral's predecessor, whose cruisers, they alledged, were seeking for
prizes in ilistant Jatitudes, while the coasts and trade of the island were exposed to the insults and depredations of the enemy. At least, this seemed the public sentiment, and the merchants were not backward in reminding this commander of the losses they had suffered, and the risks to which they were exposed.
The intercourse between the British West Indies and the United States is not only beneficial, but absolutely necessary to the former. The planter cannot do without the staves he receives from America, particularly the white oak staves for puncheons, and the island requires an annual supply of flour, corn, and other dry provisions, and an additional quantity of salted provisions to what the mother country can supply. These provisions the planter obtains at a reasonable rate, and the American importer usually takes rum in payment at the planter's own price. But, allowing that the mother country and her dependencies were competent 10 supply our West India islands with all, or part of those articles, the planter, in such case, would have to drive a most wretched bargain ; for not only would he purchase those articles at a much higher rate than he obtains them for from the United States, but he would have to ship to Great Britain (where his produce is loaded with such heavy duties as to leave him but a miserable return for it) all that rum, &c. which he thus beneficially
disposes of to the American dealer. It has been asserted, that Ireland alone is competent to supply the West Indies with salted provisions, be sides answering the other demands on her for that article. Without questioning the truth of this assertion, however problematical it may appear, it need only to be observed, that the planter, in thus dealing for an article in which there would be no competition, would have to pay a most enormous price for it ;- much more, indeed, in existing circumstances, than he could afford to pay; and thus, of necessity; would the requisite supply be curtailed. But the truth is, the immense quantity of salted provisions (dry beef and pork) consumed in the West Indies could not be supplied from Ireland,
from Ireland, nor could the various other articles of American supply be furnished by the British settlements in Nortli America, the supply from these countries being at best scanty and precarious. The British government having interdicted the importation to the West Indies of American salted provisions in American boitoms,
except in cases of actual cmergency;' to be judged of at the discretion of the governors ; * and the assembly of Jamaica having, in a late able and spirited memorial, complained of this as a great hardship, a brief statement of this affair
The British privy council has since, very properly, taken this discretionary power into its own hands.
may not here be improper. The governor of Jamaica, it is alledged, took up this order of interdiction in a too imperative sense ; he understood actual want; not obvious benefit, to be the point of dispensation ineant in his instructions. The as embly, and the great body of the planters exclaimed loudly against this measure : they represented, that the American salted provision trade was necessary to supply their slaves with an essential requisite of life, and that it opened an advantageous market for their rum, which must either remain a dead commodity on their hands, or be sent to Great Britain, where the excessive heavy duties rendered what was already sent there hardly a compensation for the expense of manufacturing it. To these representations 'the governor remained deaf, not with any ill-natured or sinister design ; for the worst that could be said of his inflexibility was, that he had a little misunderstood the spirit of his instructions, though he acted agreeably to the letter of them. This conduct was, also, in some measure, sanctioned and confirmed by a petition, praying the continuance of the interdiction, which was privately presented to him by a number of opulent merchants of the city of Kingston, who dealt in the Irish trade. The motives by which these gentlemen were actuated were there. fore pretty apparent. Their own private interest, not the public welfare, was the point at issue with
them. So incensed was the assembly at this selfish and unjustifiable interference, when it came to be known, that the petitioners were ordered to attend at the bar of the house, to be reprimanded for a breach of privilege ; and one of them (who was a member of the house) refusing to attend, he was taken into the custody of the serjeant at arms, and obliged, at length, to submit to the required homage.
There was at this time a good deal of sparring between the different branches of the legislature, and on more occasions than that above related. The council usually took part with the governor, , but the general sense of the country sided with its representatives. Colonial politics are some times carried to as great a height of zealous wrangling as in the mother country, though the politicians here have neither foreign relations to
settle, nor a complex and gigantic financial : system to manage, All questions, on which
there is a difference of opinion between the executive and representative bodies, are taken up with zeal, and agitated with warmth, and sometimes virulence. On the expiration of the government of a chics magistrate, valedictory addresses flow in from every quarter, expressive of a sense of his public and political conduct during his administration. Though the officer, of whom we have been speaking, was not so fortunate as to agree in certain political points with the