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horrible and indelible stain on the character of that nation.
At this period Jamaica was doubtless considered as very far inferior in point of importance to either Cuba or Hispaniola; as in truth it would be at the present day, were these islands equally improved and cultivated.
Neither at the time of its conquest by the British, nor for many years after, was the true value of this island at all understood. It was reserved for the enterprizing industry and commercial spirit of the British to render Jamaica, what it is at this moment, the most flourishing, opulent, and productive colony in the American Archipelago. Fifteen years
back St. Domingo, (the French part of Hispaniola), would have disputed with it that title; but that fertile and beautiful region is now a scene of desolation.
The armament that wrested Jamaica from its first European possessors, in 1655, was destined for another enterprise,--the conquest of Hispaniola ; and to the failure of this, England is indebted for this valuable acquisition. So little, however, did Oliver Cromwell appreciate this conquest, or so vexed was he at the miscarriage of the real object of the expedition, that he sent the two commanders (Admiral Penn and General Venables), on their return home, to the tower. It is a curious fact, however, that Jamaica, at this time, produces a greater revepue to the
mother country, than the whole amount of the national revenue in the protector's time.
While the Spaniards were in possession of Jamaica, they derived little or no benefit from it; and
many years elapsed before it became essentially productive to the English. As to the government, it was little better than a military one till some time after the restoration, when another was formed for it of an arbitrary nature. This was nobly and manfully rejected by the inhabitants; and, in consequence, it was new modelled, and made to resemble the constitution of the parent country. Since that period the government or constitution of this island has kept pace with that of Great Britain, undergoing precisely the same changes and amelioration.
Different attempts have been made, both by the Spaniards and the French, to re-conquer this island from the English ; but they were all of a very feeble nature till that grand united expedition of the two powers, which, under the Count de Grasse, was to have gone against it in 1782. That this formidable armament would have succeeded in its object there can be no manner of doubt had not the gallant Rodney, happily at a critical juncture, fallen in with the French fleet, and obtained over it that decisive victory which has immortalised his name. The island, highly
highly grateful for this important and well-timed service, did not fail to pay the most
splendid honours to the brave commander, who had thus rescued it in a inoment of such imminent peril. The anniversary of the 12th of April, 1782, is regularly celebrated with much rejoicing by the most respectable of the inhabitants; and a fine statue, inclosed in a neat elegant temple, has been erected in St. Jago de la Vega, to the memory of the gallant admiral.
Since that time, Jamaica has remained undisturbed by foreign enemies; but in 1795 there arose, within its own bosom, a foe more terrible than
enemy, who threatened to involve it in all the horrors which St. Domingo had so recently suffered. The Trelawney town Maroons, incensed at the mode of punishment which had been inflicted on two of their tribe for a theft they had committed, and being otherwise dissatisfied, took to arms and bade defiance to the whites. It would be superfluous to enter into the particulars of this contest, which have already been detailed by Edwards and Dallas : suffice it to say, that, after a five months' struggle, the Maroons capitulated with the whites, and were subsequently transported to Nova Scotia, and afterwards to the banks of the Sierra Leon in Africa. As the author of this account was, however, present during the whole of this contest, he will offer some observations thereon when he comes to speak of the Maroons. Had this chapter been intended as any thing more
than a short and slight sketch of the history of this island, it would hạve been doubtless proper to have given an account of the various rebellions of the negroes at different times, and chiefly of that which established, by a compact between them and the whites, the independence, or rather freedom, of the Maroons. All this has, however, been related by other writers, and need not therefore be here repeated.
Voyage to Jamaica.- Aspect of the Country.
View of the Interior.--Division into Counties and Parishes.-Towns and Villages, Houses, Bridges, Roads, &c.
AFTER crossing the tropic of Cancer, nothing can be imagined more pleasing than the sweet refreshing gales that waft a ship along to the West Indies. These perpetually blow from one quarter, that is, from east to west, following the sun's motion, and of course driving the vessel before them, except when the sudden and transient squall alters their direction for the moment, Let those who have never crossed the Atlantic imagine to themselves a ship going, with a crowd of sail set, under one of those delightful breezes (called trade winds), at the rate of seven or eight miles an hour; her colours spread, her streamers fivating in the air, the sky clear and serene, the sea of a deep azure blue, lashed into white spray by the vessel before her, and exhibiting the track of her keel behind, called by seamen the wake of the ship; the dolphin and the porpoise gamboling around, the flying-fish sporting in air, emulating the aquatic birds, which are seen hovering about in the latitude of the islands; and, among the rest, the murderous and