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this tax annually; and every
and his wife (if a married man) saves these (what are called) deficiencies, or to the amount of one hundred and fifty pounds: this tax is chiefly intended to operate as an encouragement to population and matrimony, and to prevent an undue exemption from militia duty. There is also a land tax of sixpence per acre; a stamp tax; a tax on wheel-carriages for pleasure: and others. Some of these, as the stamp tax, &c. it was found necessary to lay on, or augment, subsequent to the Maroon war, in order to facilitate the liquidation of the debt incurred by the expences of
The parochial taxes are, the road tax, for keeping the public highways in repair; the house tax; and some others of lesser note, as the transient tax, paid by transient traders, who are not inhabitants of the parish, or living inhabitants, do not contribute to the other taxes, &c.
There was once a lottery in this island, the highest prize of which was 5,000 dollars; but it was soon dropt. It was a private lottery, the government in this country having not yet, in imitation of a more dignified one, descended so far as to have recourse to so paltry a shift for raising money. Indeed, that contemptible resource may be said to be far beneath the dignity of such a government, and ought to be annihilated : to say the least of it, it is holding out a
legislative sanction to gambling, and fostering a spirit of it, by holding out to the people false and delusive hopes of gain.
The price of labour here is very high, and yet, perhaps, not an equivalent for the liigh price of negroes, the risk of seasoning them to the country when purchased from the African ships, the subsequent risk of losing them by disease or accident, and the expense of taxes, feeding, clothing, &c. &c. Two shillings and sixpence is the usual hire of an able field negro, and five shillings for a tradesman, who is considered as nearly double the value of the former, and, if a skilful mechanic, perhaps even treble. When this high price of labour is considered, together with the much smaller portion of it performed by a negro than the European labourer goes through, and bis inferior skill and activity, it is no wonder that public and other works of any magnitude should be attended with so prodigious an expense. Indeed, there are certain undertakings, (such as canals), which would be utterly impracticable here, were they ever so much wanted, in consequence of this inferiority of the negro labourer in skill, activity, and manual exertion.
As for the salaries of the white tradesmen and others, employed upon the estates and in the towns, these will hereafter be mentioned.
General (now Sir George) Nugent's zealous attention to its improvement.-General remarks on corps of this kind, riflemen, &c.
THE number of regular troops usually stationed in this island is abont two thousand, including a detachment of about two hundred royal artillerists, who are stationed at the different fortifications. The head-quarters of these troops is the seat of government, of course, where the commander-in-chief resides. Small detachments are stationed at the different towns throughout the island, and one whole regiment is placed in the county of Cornwall, the head-quarters of which are, as before said, in that healthy part of the interior, the former scite of the Trelawney Maroon town. Some years ago, a regiment of dragoons (the 21st) was stationed in this island, at the express desire of its legislature, who was at the expense of maintaining it; but, finding this establishment expensive, and the cavalry not so serviceable as was expected in a war carried on in the interior, this regiment was recalled. Beside their usual pay, the troops here have a handsome allowance from the island, which enables
them to subsist more comfortably. Besides the white troops employed in the West Indies, there are eight West India regiments, composed of negro soldiers, commanded by white officers. The embodying and employing of such corps in the West Indies is considered by the inhabitants, and doubtless with much reason, as a very impolitic step. The more perfect these troops might become in their discipline, the more dangerous and formidable they would be, in case of defection (and examples have occurred to prove that their friendship and fidelity is not implicitly to be relied on), in a country to which they are attached by passions and affections not easily eradicated; not certainly to their quondam masters and managers, but to their colour, their fellow bondsmen, their friends, their relatives, their congenial connections. One measure might, if practicable, be embraced, to obviate this threatening evil, without lessening the effective strength of the empire.
If the West India regiments were sent to the East Indies, and an adequate number of Sepoys sent to fill their place in the West Indies, the danger would vanish, and the hazard of loss by mortality, in consequence of the exchange, would be little, as both live under similar parallels of latitude, though in opposite hemispheres.
There is here a tolerably well disciplined militia, and it is pretty numerous considering the
white population. From eight to ten thousand effective men (including about two thousand free browns and blacks, enrolled with the whites, being, on an average, at the rate of an hundred for each parochial regiment) might, upon an emergency, be brought into the field. To most of the regiments is attached a company of artillery, and two field pieces. The Jamaica militia, though it bears that name, is by no means raised in the same manner as the militia in Great Britain, by ballot; but every male here between the age of sixteen and sixty, if not incapacitated by accident or infirmity, or exempted by public official situation, is obliged to enroll himself in it. The term militia is, indeed, somewhat misapplied to this corps; it rather resembles the volunteer corps in the mother country, the only difference between the two arising merely from the circumstance of those who compose the latter having the option of either enrolling themselves as volunteers, or standing the chance of being balloted for as militia-men; for' as to discipline and duty, they are pretty much the same.
A scale of regular and colonial rank is very properly established in the West Indies, in order to prevent disputes, and with a view of transferring commands, in times of danger, to the proper hands. According to this scale, a regular lieutenant-colonel takes the colonial rank of -major-general, and, in actual service, the