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and skim off the trash; a good handy pump will pour the contents of such a cistern into a gutter, and convey it to the still in about twenty minutes. Good liquor when properly fermented will blaze like weak low wines on the head of the still.
Having shewn the different proportions for mixing of liquors, I shall next shew an easy and exact method of calculating them without measuring the liquors; if the vats or cisterns are equally round or square at bottom and top, lec the exact depth with a rod be taken, and that divided into an hundred equal parts, and marked so on the rod; then if molasses be thrown into a cistern until it is eight of those parts deep, confequently, let it be ever so large, that is eight per cent.; again, if skimmings be put in until it is thirty-eight parts deep, that is thirty per cent. of skimmings ; and if lees be put in till it is sixtyeight parts deep, that will be thirty per cent, of lees, and the rest of water will be thirty-two
Some distillers throw in the sweets at different times, and make such mixtures that keep working on fowly for fixteen, eighteen, or twenty days; but such I am convinced know nothing about distillation; the generality of adventurers in the planting line, who have any hopes of preferment, think attention to the distill-house a menial part of plantership; and when they become cowskin heroes, or managers,
are totally ignorant of instructing their overseers or negroes in so interesting a branch.
The heads of the stills should be well luted ; for negroes are often negligent, and great part of the spirits may evaporate; the worms too should be kept as cool as possible; a Now fire is the best : for if the spirit is hurried, and runs hot, it will not only waste, but will have a disagreeable flavor, something like low wines.
Jamaica rum is reputed the best that is made in the West-Indies, because it is the strongest, and commonly links a bubble of twenty-four; the rum in all the other British iNands might be made equal to that of Jamaica, but it is the fault of the planters in mixing the first runnings of the low wines with the rum, till it only finks a bubble of twenty-fix, twenty-seven, or twenty-eight. Those who wish to have pure good rum for their own use, (such as managers, because they loose nothing by it) rectify even Jamaica rum, by putting two puncheons in the still, mixing it with water and distilling it over again ; the middle part of the runnings is best.
Rum improves vastly in favour, but weakens in strength, by air and frequent wreckings into different vessels. Porter casks, porter, and the dregs of porter, will improve rum ; also tea, and temper lime, about two quarts of the latter to each puncheon ; burnt Muscovado sugar will colour it.
Here let me obferve the vast expence which attends establishing a sugar plantation, supposing keeping only one hundred acres constantly under
The mill, boiling, and curing-houses, and distill-house, with all the conveniencies belonging to them, such as coppers, ftills, vats, cisterns, reservoirs, gutters and pumps, manager's house, stores, &c. &c. will cost about 8,000l.; one hundred and forty Daves will cost about 6cool. more; and if there is not the convenience of water to the mill, and the plantation is far from the shipping-place, there will be forty good mules, and about one hundred oxen, always required on the estate, which will cost about 3000l. and will require a good convenient grass-penn to feed them; finding the Naves in food, and some sort of cloathing, and keeping up their number still as they die, as also that of cattle and mules, and finding plantation implements, is attended with no small expence annually ; say 8,00l.: supposing the plantation and penn to contain three hundred acres, at 301. per acre, (which is very cheap,) they will amount to 9,000l, more ; all which sums amount to 26,000l. at the lowest computation ; (indeed, any sort of good plantation with Naves and stock, &c. will cost 30 or 40,000l.); which sum of 26,000l. at 8 per cent, interest is 20801. which, added to the annual expence, is 28801. Now, supposing the estate to be well managed, and to make upon an average one hundred and fixty hogsheads of good Muscovado lugar yearly,
and to pay
and eighty puncheons of rum, the sugar to net at 15l. sterling per hogshead, and the rum at 121. per puncheon, both will amount to 33601, fterling; from which, deducting the annual
expence, the remainder is 4801. in favour of the planter; which is by no means equal to the risque he runs of hurricanes, droughts, &c. &c. ; so that in my humble opinion, a sugar plantation should be no desirable object for a man to seek after. Any man with four or five thousand pounds may get poffefsion of a plantation, Naves, &c. by compounding
the remainder of the value in annual inftalments, and giving a mortgage by way of security on the estate ; and after he has exhausted all his property thereon, it is taken from him or his heirs in the end, and sold to pay of debts: I say, there is very little difficuty in getting poflefion of an estate, but a great deal to keep it.
I shall next prove clearly, that a grass-penn, or farm, is a better property, and is attended with less trouble and expence than a sugar plantation. Not many years ago,grass-pennswere considered as despicable objects for enterprizing adventurers to hunt after, nor would any man accept the management of one who had any hopes of preferment on sugar plantations, because the salaries and accommodations were equally indifferent;fochacmanagers of grafs penns were considered as friendless; nor would those of sugar plantations, or even the overseers, associate with them; but latterly there has been such improvements all over the country in
thecultivation of Guinea grass, and such emoluments arising therefrom, that managers are as much encouraged on penns as on sugar plantations. Guinea grass will grow on the most fandy desercs or mountains; the method of planting it is as follows:- The ground being prepared by clear. ing it of Ihrubbery and grass against the first of May, and holed at every three or four feet distance, as soon as the seasons set in the grass is taken and planted, six or seven blades in a hole, and in some weeks after cleared and moulded. When three or four hundred acres of land is properly fenced round and divided into different lots, the major part of which is planted with Guinea grass, and when it is properly stocked, it will yield a clear annual profit of 1000l. sterling. Four hundred acres of rough uncultivated land, at rol. per acre; two good English stallions, at 501. each ; fifty breeding mares, at 20l. each; twojack-affes, at 201. each; two bulls, at 151. each ; seventy cows, at 151. each; three hundred sheep, at 20s. each; would be considered a good stock, and annount to 65201.; twenty negroes, at 40l, each; the manager's house and stores, ftables, shades, and pents, suppose to cost 2500l. all which added, is 9820).; but fupposing the whole to cost 12,000l. which is not half the price of a sugar plantation, the interest of which is g60l. A cole will sell for 30, 40, 50, or bol. an ox for 201. a fat sheep for 40s. and after the first four or five years, I should fuppofe a penn of this kind would annually have E 2