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Historical geography of the West Indies
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Title: Historical geography of the West Indies
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Davis, Nicholas Darnell
Bryant ( Contributor )
Publisher: Georgetown, Demerara; Argosy
Publication Date: 1891
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Subjects / Keywords: Caribbean
Spatial Coverage: Caribbean
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Funding: Digitized with funding from the Digital Library of the Caribbean grant awarded by TICFIA.
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Resource Identifier: lc - F1608.5 .D26
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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Front Matter
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Title Page
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Timehri
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
    Back Matter
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
    Back Cover
        Page 35
        Page 36
Full Text














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[Reprinted from "Timehri," the Journal of the Royal
Agricultural and Commercial Society.]


The Historical Geography of the West Indies.*

By N. Darnell Davis.

ROM the Clarendon Press there is being issued
a Series of Volumes treating of the Historical
Geography of the British Colonies. In the
first place, in 1887, appeared, an Introduetion, in which
Colonies and Colonisation, Ancient and Modern, were
treated of in a philosophical spirit. Then, in 1888,
followed Volume I. of the Series, dealing with Great
Britain's European Dependencies, her minor Asiatic
Dependencies, and her Possessions in the Indian Ocean.
And now we welcome Volume II, of which our own
West Indies form the subjea. The Series, from its
happy execution, provides a set of standard class-books
for higher grade schools and for colleges throughout the
Empire. It, at the same time, forms a compendium of
hand-books of reference, useful to men of the State at
Home and in the Colonies. Its author is Mr. CHARLES
PRESTWOOD LUCAS, B.A., of Balliol College, Oxford,
and of the Colonial Office, London, who has for some
years served as Private Secretary to Sir ROBERT HER-
BERT, Permanent Under Secretary for the Colonies.
The Library of the Colonial Office contains a large col-
letion of books relating to the Colonies. In these, Mr.
LUCAS has at hand much of the material requisite for his

*A Historical Geography of the British Colonies-Vol. II. The
West Indian Dependencies of Great Britain, by C. P. Lucas, B.A., of
Balliol College, Oxford, and of the Colonial Office, London, Oxford,
at the Clarendon Press, 189o.









4 TIMEHRI.

undertaking. His own Volumes show that he has not
confined himself to printed books: some of which repeat
the errors of prior publications, from which they have
been compiled: but has taken advantage of the facilities
so handsomely afforded by the authorities of the Public
Record Office; .and, by so doing, he has illustrated
the history of the West Indies with some new faAs. It
is of the Volume about the West Indies that this article
will treat.
To West Indians of the old order, who wonder whether
any good thing can come out of Downing Street-being
themselves as ignorant about the Colonial Office, as they
believe the Colonial Office to be ignorant of the Colo-
nies-this Volume will prove somewhat of a surprise.
Here is a member of the Colonial Office staff displaying an
intimate knowledge of these Colonies, and, at the same
time, writing about them, in what may be described as a
truly colonial spirit. That Englishmen who have trans-
planted themselves to the Colonies are Englishmen
still, the author never forgets. One is reminded of
Lord CHATHAM'S "I rejoice that America has resisted !"
when, with regard to the proposed application by the
Home Government, of POYNINGS Law to Jamaica, in
the Seventeenth Century, Mr. LUCAS says:-" Fortu.
" nately the colonists were sturdy enough to withstand
"this inroad on their rights, they refused to accept the
"laws which were submitted to them." He then
says that the case of the Jamaica colonists "was so
"successfully pleaded in England, that in 168o the
" Crown gave way so far as to restore to the Assembly
'its power of making laws, subje& to subsequent appro-
" val or disallowance by the Crown." Could the fiercest









HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY OF THE WEST INDIES. S

denouncer of Downing Street speak more respectfully of
the Declaration of Rights made by Lord WILLOUGHBY and
the Cavaliers of Barbados in i651 : in which, among other
things, they laid down that they were not bound by the
government of a Parliament in which they were not repre.
sented :. than does Mr. LUCAS, who describes it as '" lay-
ing down boldly and broadly the principles of colonial
self-government?" How different this from what the
oldest inhabitants have told us of colonial administration,
when the Secretary-at-War was also Secretary for the
Colonies, and was resentfully called the Secretary-at-War
with the Colonies! Again : although there is a tradition
that a Secretary for the Colonies has, in modern times,
profanely spoken of Demerara as an island, things are
so much improved that no statesman would now-adays
be entrusted with the Colonies, who was so ignorant of
them, and cared so little for them, as that PELHAM,
Duke of Newcastle, who, in the last century, for some
twenty four years was master of their destinies. He
thought Jamaica was in the Mediterranean, and that
New England was an island. Told that Annapolis ought
to be defended, he said "Annapolis Annapolis Oh
"Yes! Annapolis must be defended; to be sure An-
napolis must be defended-where is Annapolis "? Some
one informed this droll placeman that Cape Breton was
an island. He exclaimed "Cape Breton an island.
Wonderful !-Show it me in the Map. So it is, sure
enough. My dear Sir, you always bring us good news.
I must go and tell the King that Cape Breton is an
"island." OXENSTIERN'S apothegm as to the little
wisdom with which the world is governed, was palpably
exemplified in the case of the noble Duke. In our own









6 TIMEHRI.

day, the Colonies are allowed to a great extent to shape
their own destinies, and this of itself preserves them from
the evil results of ignorance. Colonists and Governors
are the contestant parties, in fa&, though iiot always in
appearance i and the Secretary for the Colonies aAs the
part of a beneficent umpire, when called upon to inter-
vene, by the protest of the Elective Members of the
Colonial Council. All the same is it pleasant to our
pride as Colonists, to find our Colonies are being written
about with competent knowledge. The ignorance that
yet prevails in England about British Guiana, whose
territory is as large as Great Britain, is really prodigious.
It was but in the latter part of 1890 that a Colonist, on a
visit to the Old Country, was asked by a clergyman-a
University man-whence he came. Answered, "From
British Guiana" the parson did not know the place.
" Perhaps you may know it by the name of Demerara,
" where the Crystals come from" I said the Colonist, confi-
dently. Ah, there you have me ott of my depth !"was
the rejoinder. The parson lived in Lancashire, in which
is Liverpool, a city which has some trade with British
Guiana. Nevertheless, Mr. LU(CS tells us that Deme-
rara Sugars have a world-wide name."
Besides sketching the history of each Colony, from its
first settlement down to our own day, Mr. LUCAS gives a
separate chapter upon European Colonisation in the
West Indies. In this he has focused the results of the
four centuries which have rolled onwards since the
coming of COLUMBUS. How the English, the French,
and the Dutch, broke up the monopoly of the trade in
the West Indies, which the Spaniards assumed to be all
their own: how the Danes and the Swedes came to have a









HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY OF THE WEST INDIES. f

foothold in the Caribbean Sea: these things will be found
pithily put, in the volume before us. How the islands,
and the colonies on the mainland, were settled, and
changed hands, from time to time, at the sword's point:
how, by treaties, they were restored, or exchanged : are
clearly set forth. Of those fierce aboriginals, the Caribs,
and of their gradual extinaion, one may read herein.
Of white labourers imported to till the fields: of negro
slavery, and of the slave trade: and of the emancipation,
and of coolie immigration, there is something to be
learned. The sugar industry is traced, from its intro-
duCtion into Barbados to its present condition of de-
pression. Any one of these subjects would of itself
form a pleasant theme for discussion. It is not with West
Indian History, however, but with Mr. LUCAS' book, that
we have to concern ourselves.
Besides the History and the Geography of the West
Indies, both of which are pleasantly treated of, the book
describes the various constitutions, from the freeborn
Englishman type existing in Barbados, where, as Mr.
LucAs says, the House of Assembly is next to the
" House of Commons and the Bermudian House of
" Assembly, the most ancient and characeristic Legisla-
" tive Body now existing in the Queen's Dominions,"
down to the Crown Colony system evolved from Martial
Law. The characer of the law in operation in each Colony,
and the manner of its administration, are noted. In this
connexion it may be mentioned that an appeal lies to the
Supreme Court of Jamaica, from a decision of the
Supreme Court of British Honduras: a survival of the.
former state of dependency of the latter, upon the former
Colony. The Finances of the severafColonies receive


_r.t .; -*









TiM9t1RI.


attention, and Education and Religion are not forgotten.
At the end of each chapter is a General Summary, in
which the author endeavours to show the special position
in the British Empire of the particular Colony treated of.
Miniature maps accompany the letter-press. The Map
of Tobago is manifestly defeaive, for, as we read on
page 260, the surface of the island is for the most part
" broken and hilly," a fa& which the limner has failed
to show. The Map of British Guiana bears a Note
atop, in the following words: The Boundary line shown
on this Map, on the West, is the provisional minimum
line adopted by the British Government in 1886, and
usually known as the Schomburgk line. In describing,
in his chapter upon British Guiana, the divisions of the
vast country of Guiana, of which this British Colony
forms part, our author writes: It may be said broadly
" that the Orinoco formed the boundary of Spanish
" Dominion, though not of Spanish Claims, on the North
" Coast of South America, while the Amazon was the
"limit of the Portuguese in Brazil. Between them
" Dutch, French, and English found room to trade and to
" settle, and at the present day all three nations own
" provinces side by side, each of which bears the name
" of Guiana." As regards the Northern Coast of South
America, which was the Spanish Main of yore, Mr.
LUCAS observes that, in tracing British Colonisation
' and the rise of British Colonies in the West Indies,
" the first point to remember is, that here the circle of
"British Expansion interseaed the circle of Spanish
" Dominion."
In reading the book before us, we cannot but find that
these Colonies have much in common, besides the pro-









HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY OF THE WEST INDIES. 9

dufion of sugar. Let us first discuss the weather, that
non-committing topic of conversation. So various are
the figures given of the rainfall of the several Colonies,
that one would question the accuracy of the rain-gauges
used, and the want of uniformity in the conditions of using
them. In Jamaica, the mean annual rainfall is given at
66 inches. In the Leeward Islands, Antigua shows an
S average of 45 inches: Dominica 70 inches. That of St.
Kitts is not stated. The rainfall of Barbados is said to
show an annual average of So inches. In the Windward
Islands, the annual mean of St. Lucia is given as 831
inches, that ot St. Vincent as at least zoo inches', and
that of Grenada as 85 inches. On the windward side
of Tobago, the average annual rainfall is said to be about
65 inches. As regards British Guiana, Mr. LUCAS says,
that the annual rainfall at Georgetown is about 7o, which
is to inches less than he gives to Belize, the capital of
British Honduras. As we have heard that the short
rainy season in British Guiana is said to last three
months, and the long rainy season nine months, its in-
habitants need not be concerned at the higher rainfall
attributed to Barbados.
Colonists of British Guiana will be gratified to find it
noted of their sugars that they were the first West
Indian Sugar to be brought into the English market,
ready for consumption without further refining, and
they have been taken as a standard by Sugar-growers
and Refiners elsewhere." The author has but cold
comfort to give West Indians as regards the bounty
system. Of the present outlook he writes: Of late
the bounty system, which has been adopted by foreign
"governments, has further injured the West Indian









to 'tIMEHR.

" Colonies; and depression is hardly to be wondered at
"in islands, which within a short space of time have
"passed from the phase of protecive duties in their
" own favour, to that of free and open competition with
" the rest of the World, and again to a phase in which
" they are actually handicapped as against foreign coun-
" tries." Himself a rampant Free-Trader, our author,
not unnaturally, betrays a kindly feeling for those pioneers
of Free Trade, the Buccaneers of America. "They
"were savage opponents of all monopoly" says Mr.
LUCAS, and their freebooting was a declaration written
" in fire and blood, of the right and of the advantage of
" Free Trade in the New World" (p. 58). Again, in
treating of the settlement of British Honduras, he
states that, the woodcutters and settlers in early times
" were closely conne&ed with the Buccaneers, and here
"as elsewhere these unlicensed free traders largely
" helped on the building up of the British Empire in the
"West Indies" (p 317). So long as cheapness is to
be worshipped as a fetish, so long must the operations
of the Buccaneers be regarded with respect. They
knew that the argument as to cheapness favoured
the purchase of stolen goods. They worked it out to its
logical conclusion, and found that cheapest of all was it
for them to steal the goods. And what a Bounty
System they had There was another side-to this,
however. The Spaniards could hardly have had the
same appreciation as that entertained by Mr. LUCAs, of
"the right and of the advantage of Free Trade in the
New World." Guilty of over-trading in territory, the
Spaniard's engagements were greater than he could
meet. But, had the Don's power of Protecion been equal




I w


I,-,


HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY OP THE WEST INDIES. II

to his pretensions, Spain had not been, step by step,
evided from the continent of America. The Spaniard
failed, not on account of Protetion, but from the
want of it.
The growing tendency of the British West Indian
Colonies to trade with the United States becomes, year
by year, a palpable fat. This is seen at present, chiefly
in regard to the Sugar exported from the Colonies. As
regards imports, Colonists have long been dependent for
their breadstuffs, tobacco, and some other goods, upon the
United States. Slowly, but surely, manufactured articles
are being added to the list. As the Great Republic de-
velops its manufactures under the agis of a protective
policy, so surely will its people enter upon the business
of supplying these Colonies with dry-goods, and other
merchandize which we at present get from the United
Kingdom. Here is what Mr. LUCAS tells us of these
trade relations-of the Americanisation of our trade, in
faEt. The Bahamas, like the Bermudas, deal mainly
with the United States, send their produce to American
markets, have their mail communication chiefly with
American ports and in winter time welcome numbers
of American visitors to Nassau." The trade of Jamaica
with the States has largely developed since 1883, and,
as regards exports alone, is now greater than the
trade with the mother-country. In 1887-8 the United
States sent in 27.7 per cent. of the imports and took
43.2 per cent. of the exports." In the Leeward Islands
trade is tending more and more to pass" to the United
States. Efforts are, in fad, now being made in that
quarter to develop a trade with the States in tropical
fruits. The imports of Barbados from the United King-









12 TIMEHRI.

dom and the United States "have of late years been
, fairly equal; but, for the last two years, considerably
" more than half the total exports have been taken by the
"United States." The export trade of St. Lucia is
described as being "curiously irregular in its direction,
"varying between the Mother Country and the United
"States." St. Vincent sends most of the arrowroot
exported, to the United Kingdom, and the greater part
of the sugar, to the United States. British Honduras
holds communication with Europe "mainly through the
" United States, though there is a line of British
" steamers running to Belize." We are told that, next
to timber cutting, which is the colony's mainstay, "fruit
"growing for the American market is the most im-
" portant industry of the colony." In i888, the value of
the fruit so sent was more than one-eighth of the total
value of the exports. The trade "has grown with the
" establishment of regular steam communication, British
"Honduras supplying New Orleans just as Jamaica sup-
" plies New York." The United Kingdom and the United
States divide between them five-sixths of the total import
and export trade of the colony, Great Britain still
" taking the larger share." That the exports of Trinidad
and Grenada still tend towards the United Kingdom, is
readily accounted for in the fat that these colonies pro-
duce larger quantities of cocoa, and that the best
markets for cocoa are to be found in Europe. The trade
of Grenada with the Mother Country is said to have,
relatively, reached larger proportions than has that of
any other West Indian colony. The United States
"' contribute a considerable share of the imports, but
" take hardly any part of the exports." In the case of









HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY OF THE WEST INDIES. 13

Tliaidad, but for the attracion of cocoa towards
the English market, there would probably be an excess
in the value of exports to the United States. As it is
the value of the trade with the United Kingdom in x888
was about a million and a half sterling, and that with
the United States, a million. As an indication of the
tendency of trade, in the future, it is noticeable that
the tonnage of ships entering from, and clearing for,
the States, is said to be much larger than that of ships
"trading dire& to Great Britain." Of British Guiana,
Mr. LUCAS says, though the trade with the United
"States seems to be increasing, British Guiana still deals
"mainly with Great Britain. In 1888, 6o per cent of
the imports came from, and 49 per cent of the exports
"were shipped to the mother country. The imports
"from the States in that year were but a third of that
"from Great Britain, while the exports to the American
Markets were 38 per cent. of the whole." As a sup-
plement to these figures, it may be stated that British
Guiana exported in 1889, to the United Kingdom, pro-
duce of the value of 1,287,000, and to the United
States, of the value of 878,ooo. In I89o, such exports
amounted to 937,ooo to the United Kingdom, and to
948,ooo, to the United States. This tendency of the
West Indian Colonies to trade with the United States is
but the inevitable result of the Free Trade policy which
Great Britain has so carefully protected. Should West
Indians accept the logic of fats, this tendency of their
trade may powerfully affect decisions as to future con-
tra&s for Mail communication with the Mother Country.
Hitherto, sentiment on the part of the Colonists has
blinded them on the question of subsidy. They may,









14 TIMEHRI.

hereafter, be more sparing with their sentiment and more
saving with their money: and, the more so, when they
come to realize that the Royal Mail Steamers would
still run, even though the Company had not the Contra&.
Of Fiscal matters there are some fa&s worth noting.
In Trinidad there is an export duty upon Sugar, by way
of meeting the Planters' share of the cost of introducing
agricultural labourers. A similar tax prevailed in
Jamaica up to April last, when it was abolished. A
part of the revenue in the Turks' Islands is raised by a
royalty upon the salt exported. In the Caymans there
is a poll tax, as well as a tax upon cattle. Export duties
have been replaced by a land tax in Antigua and St.
Kitts. Dominica is said to luxuriate in an income tax and
a poll tax. The latter is levied "in commutation for
" labour on the roads, the remains of the old French
" corve." While the finances of Antigua are always
flourishing," and those of Montserrat maintain a
constant equilibrium," those of the other islands of the
Leeward Government give cause for anxiety, as their
resources appear to be more subjea to failure."
Dominica, especially, must be an uncomfortable Colony
to finance for, seeing that between 1883 and 1887, its
revenue fell off by more than 25 per cent., although we
are given the assurance that the island's finances have
recovered somewhat of late. The Virgin Islands are
" weighted with an accumulated deficit." For even the
impecunious Colonies there is, however, hope of securing
an equilibrium, as that produaive source of revenue, the
Excise duty upon Rum, is stated to be only partially
"colle&ed" in the Leeward Islands. The tariff of
Trinidad is said to be higher than that of any other









. HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY OF THE WEST INDIES. 15

SBritish Colony in the West Indies, with the exception of
that of the Turks' Islands. Upon the asphalt exported
from Trinidad, a royalty is paid. St. Vincent revels in
an income tax, and Tobago can boast of a heavy land
tax." With a population of about x,66o,ooo, the British
West Indies: that is to say, the Island Colonies, and
Those of Guiana and Honduras, on the Continent, are
happy in a yearly Public Expenditure of some 2,o80,ooo,
and in an accumulated Public Debt of some 3,16o,ooo.
In the Colonial period of the United States, Colonel
LOVELACE, when Governor of New York, gave expres-
sion to a political nostrum, the latter part of which
appears to find approval with colonists so soon as they
acquire the right to tax themselves. That worthy said :
The method of keeping the people in good order is
severity, and laying such taxes as may give them
liberty for no thought but how to discharge them." So
it was with the North American Colonists. They resisted,
to the death, slight taxation imposed upon them by the
Parent State, and, to resist effectually, they voluntarily
imposed upon themselves the heaviest of taxation. West
Indians are evidently trying to live up to the LOVELACE
ideal.
In the reign of WILLIAM and MARY, the Bishop of
London's Commissary in Virginia, had much trouble
in getting the Attorney General of England to pass
the necessary patent for the establishment of a College
in Virginia. BLAIR, the Commissary in question,
appealed to the unsympathetic lawyer, on the ground
that the College would serve for the education of men
who afterwards should, as clergymen, work for the saving
of souls. Souls 1" exclaimed the Attorney General,








16 tIMiMHRI.

"Damn your souls! Make Tobacco l" So changed are
times now, that, not only do Imperial Statesmen believe
that Colonists have souls, but they are always anxious
that Colonists should receive the advantages of educa-
tion. Let Mr. LUCAS tell us what the schoolmaster
is doing among our neighbours. In the Bahamas,
Elementary Education seems to be duly provided
for, by thirty-six Government free schools besides
others receiving grants in aid: but, apart from private
enterprise, there are no facilities for higher education.
The Colony, however, enjoys the possession of a Board
of Education, a privilege of which British Guiana was
so ruthlessly bereft in recent years. In Jamaica, the
system of grants in aid prevails, but education is said to
suffer much from the want of good teachers. In Grand
Cayman, a dependency of Jamaica, schools are not
wanting." In the Turks' Islands, they actually have an
Education Ordinance, and free unse&arian elementary
schools are supported by the Government. Not-
withstanding that education in the Leeward Islands is
favoured by being under the management of the Federal
Government, it is described as being backward in all
" parts of the Colony." The schools are mostly denomi-
national, receiving annual grants in aid. In higher
education, Barbados is said to stand far ahead of the
other West Indian Colonies. In the Windward Islands,
the State of Education is" somewhat backward." In
Trinidad, Primary Education has from time to time
been *' the subject of heated controversy," as between
Protestants and Roman Catholics. The schools in
Tobago are such as have been established by religious
bodies, and are subsidized by grants in aid from the









S HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY OF THE WEST INDIES. If

Government. The progress of education in that island
is, however, "checked by want of funds and want of
0 regular inspeaion." In British Honduras the grant in
aid system prevails, and the Colony enjoys the ad-
vantage of having a Board of Education, with an Inspec-
tor of Schools to boot. The following is what Mr.
LUCAS has to say of education in British Guiana:-" Of
the whole population of the Colony the large majority
can neither read nor write. Education has not as yet
made striking progress, and the system at present
Sis mainly denominational. There are about 16o
schools in the settled districts, and some half dozen
schools for the Aboriginal Indians. There is also a
i Government College at Georgetown, to which is
attached an annual scholarship, tenable for three
years." The bald statement as to the inability of the
majority to read or write is very misleading. Of that
majority, it is well known to those on the spot that most
of the unlettered have been imported so," from India.
Education has made great progress among the native
born people. In Barbados alone is there to be found a
school, Harrison's College to wit, of the type of the
Aa' rge English Public Schools." There is room, and to
spare, for Industrial Education, throughout the West
'Indies.
Amongst those who call themselves Christians, there
are as many divisions in the West Indies as in other
parts of the Empire. The want of uniformity in religious
'matters would have sorely vexed the soul of that good
.man Archbishop LAUD, with his keen scent for schis-
matics." In order to mend matters in New England,
which had become the receptacle for dissent, His Grace









TIMEHRI.


is said to have entertained the design of sending a Bishop
over them, "for their better Government," and proposed
" to back him with forces to compel, if he were not other-
"wise able to persuade obedience." In our happier
times, when troops are being withdrawn from the Colo-
nies, the more politic course is followed of making grants
of money to the several bodies of Christians, where the
Church of England is itself not disendowed. Notwith-
standing that State-aid has been withdrawn from it
in Jamaica, Antigua, and St. Kitts, the Church of England is
still strong in those Colonies. In Jamaica the Church has
capital funds amounting to 6o,ooo. It shares with
the Wesleyans and Baptists the religious instru&ion of
the Turks' Islands, and looks after the remnant of those
in the Bahamas who do not belong to those two religious
bodies. In British Guiana it is established," as also
in Barbados, where the large majority belong, and
always have belonged," to it. In St. Vincent and
Tobago, about half the population belong to it, and in
Grenada about a third. It holds its own in Trinidad,
where its members are influential though not numerous.
In British Honduras, the numbers of its adherents have
" never been very large." The Presbyterians have a
considerable following in Jamaica, and in British Gui-
ana also, where their Church is established." The
United Presbyterians provide for the religious wants
of Grand Cayman. The Moravians are strong in
Antigua, and considerable in Jamaica. They enjoy a
small grant in Barbados, and have a footing in Tobago
and British Guiana. The Wesleyans and Baptists,
whose Missionaries were the first and most active
" workers amongst the slave population," and whose









HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY OF THE WEST INDIES. 19

i earlier efforts were met by persecution, have established
themselves. They flourish in the Bahamas. In Jamaica,
they rank in importance after the Church of England.
In Turks' Islands they hold a first place. In Barbados
S and British Guiana the Wesleyans receive small grants.
About one third of the inhabitants of St. Vincent come
within their fold. In Antigua, St. Kitts, Grenada and
Tobago, they are considerable in numbers. In British
Honduras, they are the most numerous of the Protestant
denominations. The Church of Rome is predominant in
numbers in the Colonies conquered from France and
Spain, and in Montserrat, where Irishmen settled in large
numbers in old days. Hence it is that, in Montserrat,
the majority of the people are Roman Catholics, and in
Dominica, almost the whole. They are predominant in
numbers in Trinidad, St. Lucia, and Grenada, and form
about half the population of British Honduras. Roman
S Catholicism is almost unknown" in the Bahamas. In
, Jamaica, Roman Catholics, are among the smaller
congregations," and, in Barbados, they form a very
limited body. In British Guiana, with numerous Portu-
guese adherents, they form an important element. With
the continuous flow of immigration from the East Indies,
the religious bodies in the West Indies need never want
work to do, if they do not already find their hands fully
employed with their own flocks. If only as moral teachers,
the several Christian Churches, do much for the wel-
fare of the West Indies.
The recent withdrawal of the troops from some of
these Colonies, with the object of concentrating the
British Forces at St. Lucia, cannot but be regarded as a
right step, however unpleasant it ma be to the places









TIMEHRI.


thereby divested of garrisons. As Mr. LUCAS states,
the strategical importance of St. Lucia caused it to be
fought for fiercely by French and English. RODNEY
set great store upon it; and General NOGUES, one of
BONAPARTE'S officers, in a report to the First Consul,
proposed to transform the island into the Gibraltar of
" the Gulf of Mexico." To give full effect to the pro-
posed conversion of St. Lucia into a place of arms, it
would seem desirable that the Colony should be consti-
tuted into a distinct government, with a military man as
Governor and Officer commanding the troops at the same
time, and with a Lieutenant Governor, as in Malta, to
carry on the civil administration. In such circumstances
Dominica would appear to be a natural adjun& of
the government of St. Lucia. As most of the West
Indian Colonies are now being brought face to face with
the question of Defence, it is pleasant to read the in-
stances mentioned by Mr. LUCAS, of self-reliance in the
past. In the chapter upon The Bermudas, he writes:-
" When the Spaniards in 1 o attacked the salt-rakers
" at Turks' Islands, the Bermudians drove them out,
" unassisted from home, and armed their own vessels to
" proteA the trade in future. Similarly, at a later date,
" ships were fitted out to guard the Islands against French
" privateers." The capture of New Providence, in the
Bzhamas, in 1783, from the Spaniards by an expedition
fitted out at his own expense by Colonel DEVEAUX, and
led by himself, was, indeed, gallantly done. The Bay-
men of Honduras by their brave defence of their settle-
ment in 1798, decided that Honduras should once for
all be a British possession. The Barbadians not only
beat off DE RUYTER in 1665, but have from time to









HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY OF THE WEST INDICES. It

time contributed substantial contingents to expedi-
tions sent against the enemies of England in the
Caribbean Sea. It would be well that the services of
the Colonial Militia should be distinctly brought out in
subsequent editions of the Historical Geography. They
did not escape notice at the time from the military
commanders. Did the Militia fight? asked WASHING-
TON, when news was brought him of the fight at Bunker's
Hill. Told of the stand they had made, he exclaimed,
Then the liberties of the Country are safe. West Indians
have henceforth to rely, in the first place, upon native
swords and native ranks for their defence from foes,
whether foreign or domestic. If our men be but pro-
perly trained, and properly led, there need be no fear,
but that the Militia of our time will fight as well as did
the Militia in the days of our forefathers. They will
thus become an important auxiliary to the British sol-
diers and sailors, who will be soon at hand to succour
them.
While maintaining the general accuracy of the his-
torical portion of the work before us, there are some
statements which we cannot allow to pass unquestioned.
In the first place, as to the true date of the a&ual settle-
ment of Barbados. As will be seen by the statements of
some of those who went out in the ship which carried
the first settlers, it was in the year 1627, that Barbados
was colonised for the first time. Some of those state-
ments are published in the present number of Timehri
(pp. 5z-6o). LIGON leaves the date blank, but OGILBY,
whose work was published in 1671, gives the year 1627.
In many other printed books the same year is given.
The year 1625 is given by the author of the Memoirs of









STil'MEHRl.

the First settlement of Barbados, and by the numerous
pilferers from his work. The error is not the only one
in that book. As a reason for adhering to this latter date,
Mr. LUCAS alleges the alternative name of James Town
given to The Hole, the place where the first settlers
planted themselves. Unfortunately for this theory, the
name of James Town was only given many years after the
settlement. Moreover, it was first called St. James's
Town, from the parish in which it lay. Parishes were
not constituted, in Barbados, until Sir WILLIAM TUF-
TON'S time. Writing on the 3gst of May, 1670, Colonel
ROBERT RICH, who had been an inhabitant of Barbados
for more than eleven years, says :-" The third Road
and Town is lately called St. James's, formerly the
Hall" (sic).* Oldmixon (Vol. II, p. too), says of
The Hole, "It has a regular and handsome church
dedicated to St. James; from whence it is some-
times called Jamestown." Another reason for bring.
ing the date of settlement within the reign of
JAMES I, is found by Mr. LUCAS in the fat that in a
petition, dated the 13th September, 1685, it is alleged
that the island "had its first beginning to be settled
under King JAMES the First." With regard to this it
may reasonably be accepted that the petitioners, like
others after them, considered the landing of Captain
CHARLES LEIGH and his company, from the Olive, in
16o5, as an ad of settlement. Even as lately as in 1891
the Colonial Office List gave the date of the settlement of
Barbados as the year i6o5.
Another statement which must be questioned is
the oftentimes repeated fi&ion that the Earl of Marl.
Ogilby, p. 378.








HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY OF THE WEST INDIES. 23

borough had a patent for Barbados (p. 329). There is
no such grant on record.. The second Earl of Marl-
borough, who prosecuted his own and his father's
claims, never suggested that there was one. What
he did say, and did prove, as Lord CLARENDON
tells us, was, that his father had received a promise ofa
grant of Barbados, and that, on the father's foregoing
his claim, Lord CARLISLE bound himself to pay 300 a
year, from the revenues of Barbados, forever, to the
father and his heirs.t In stating (p. 187), that,
in z649, the negroes were sufficiently numerous to
attempt a rebellion, Mr. LUCAS has fallen into an error,
which it is high time should be exploded. The rebellion
in question was not by negroes, but by white servants.
A reference to LIGON'S History (pp. 43 to 45) will make
this, as LIGON himself would have said, "plain as a
packstaff." It is only on page 46 of his History, that
LIGON begins to treat of the negroes. Papers relating
to the intended rising of the. white servants-for they
were betrayed by one of their fellows before they could
accomplish their purpose-are preserved in the House of
Lords. In the chapter upon Trinidad, Mr. LUCAS, in a
foot note to p. 234, claims for that Colony that, before
"the end of the sixteenth century, Trinidad Tobacco
had made a mark in European markets." In support of
his averment he quotes from Scene a of Ad III, of BEN
JOHNSON'S Every man in his humour, the words,
'Tis your right Trinidado, used by Captain BOBADILL.
But, there were other places of the same name, within
the Spanish West Indies, notably Trinidad in Cuba.
That the island of Trinidad, now a British possession,
t See Life of Lord Clarendon Vol. III., p. 936.









TIMEHRI.


was not the place referred to, seems clear from the faE
that, in the same scene, and in conne&ion with the
tobacco in question, St. Domingo is referred to. When
Captain BOBADILL asks for his match, CASH exclaims,
Would kis match an and eand pipe and all, were at
Sancto Domingo I One cannot but demur to Mr. LUCAS'
description of Jamaica (p. 124) as the great point from
" which British Fleets set out for war or peace in West
' Indian Waters." The historic rendezvous of British
Fleets in the brave days of old was Carlisle Bay,
Barbados. Thence it was that, in 1651, Captain
DENNIS sailed, in command of a squadron of the State's
ships for the reduction of Virginia to the authority of the
Commonwealth. Thence, in 1652, Sir GEORGE AYSCUE
proceeded to the Leeward Islands, to receive the sub-
mission of the colonies of Antigua, Nevis, and St.
Christopher. Thence in 1655, 'His Excellency ROBERT
VENABLES and the Right Honourable WILLIAM PENN'
set forth on their expedition against Saint Domingo,
which resulted in the capture of Jamaica. Thence, in
1667, Sir JOHN HARMAN twice set sail, doing much
damage at Martinique, on the first occasion, and, on the
second, capturing Cayenne and Surinam. Thence did
Admiral BENBOW make sail, once, to suppress the buc-
caneers, and, a second time, to battle with the French.
Thence, on several occasions between 1762 and 1782, did
RODNEY put to sea to fight the foes of England, and notably
so, for that life and death struggle with DE GRASSE, off
Dominica, on the 12th of April 1782, when his glorious
victory not only saved Jamaica as a British Colony, but
enabled Great Britain to secure peace the year after.
From Carlisle Bay in 1778, Admiral BARRINGTON and








HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY OF THE WEST INDIES. 25

General GRANT, sailed for St. Lucia, which they took
from the French after bloody fighting by sea and
land. Thence, in 1793, sailed Admiral GARDNER
and General BRUCE, for the support of the Royal-
ists of Martinique and Guadeloupe. Thence, in 1794,
went forth Sir JOHN JERVIS and General GREY,
on their victorious expedition against the French
in the Leeward Islands. Thence in 1796, Sir HUGH
CHRISTIAN and Sir RALPH ABERCROMBY sailed for the
conquest of St. Lucia. Thence, in 1796 also, Commodore
PARR and General WHYTE, and, in 1803, Sir SAMUEL
HOOD and General GRINFIELD, went forth to receive
the surrender of the Dutch Colonies which now, to-
gether, form British Guiana. Thence, also, Sir ALEX-
ANDER COCHRANE and Sir GEORGE BECKWITH, sailed in
1809, for the conquest of Martinique, and, again, in
18xo, for the conquest of Guadeloupe. From Carlisle
Bay, on the 5th of June 18o5, put to sea Lord NELSON,
in the Vidory, in his eager chase after the allied fleets
of France and Spain, commanded by VILLENEUVE and
GRAVINA. The enemy had almost twice the number
of ships in the English Fleet, but NELSON was in com-
mand of the latter. There was need for hot haste in
pursuit, for the safety of England was at stake. If
VILLENEUVE could but carry out the behests of NAPO-
LEON, then 150,ooo troops encamped in.the neighbour-
hood of Boulogne would cross the Channel in 2,ooo
vessels, lying ready, for the invasion of England. NEL-
SON himself was sure that VILLENEUVE was at Marti-
nique. Misled, by wrong information, he sailed for
Trinidad in quest of the enemy. When news reached
Martinique that NELSON had arrived at Barbados, the









26 TMaHRI.h

French and Spanish Admirals fled forthwith to Europe.
NELSON's name alone affrighted them. He followed
but did not overtake them. But four months later, these
same French and Spanish Fleets, joined by fresh
ships, and NELSON, also reinforced, fought at Trafalgar.
Many another gallant British fleet has set out from
Carlisle Bay, for the performance of glorious deeds.
Such frequent use was made of their island as a place-of-
arms, that the Barbadians, in the charaler of the fly on
the wheel, came to look upon themselves as of the utmost
importance to the Empire. PINKARD tells us that it was
a saying with the Islanders, What would poor old
England do, were Barbados tofbrsake her ?


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