صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

several instances of people being devoured by sharks at that part of the town; indeed it is very unfafe to bathe in any part of the sea in the West Indies.

The houses, though some are tolerable eleganr, built of brick or wood, are very irregular; the piazza's are in the fame manner, so that a stranger or drunken man, of a dark night, unless he walks in the middle of the street, is liable to get his bones broke; the streets are fandy, and when it blows strong the dust rarisies so abundantly, that a person passing cannot see the houses nor passengers, nor can he, but with much difficulty, preserve his eye-fight. There are some good taverns, coffee-houses, and lodging houses in Kingston, but none so elegant, nor conducted with such regularity, as the one Mark Howard kept, now called the South Sea House; there are also an incredible number of petty ones, called grog shops, occupied by people of the vilest characters, (rogues and whores) who, like syrens, artract and delude poor thoughtless failors; in those dens of infamy they riot away their days and nights, drinking new rum, grog, punch, or sour porter, • so that they are deprived of their fenses, and kept in a perpetual state of intoxication 'till they spend all their prize money or wages, and are afterwards plundered of their silver watches, buckles, clothes, &c. and betrayed for small premiums by their hosts; and in war time trnpaned on board men of war, or sold, I may fay, :0 masters ters of merchant men, who pay £4, or £5, (ot every able failor they can procure to go home by the run with them..

Every one of those grog shop keepers keep a horse and kitterine, that is, a one horse chaise, and on sundays drive about the town and country, like ladies and gentlemen, superbly decorated in fineries j the spoils of war, plundered from infatuated tars; this is quite common; nay, people of every rank and denomination, to their shame, devote the fabbaths to every kind of vice and dissipation % driving like madmen in kitterines, to and from Spanish Town, round Kingston, to Rochfort, Liguanea, and the beautisul village of Halfway Tree, feasting, drinking, gambling, or in the company of lewd mongrel women. Sunday is the greatest market day; the negroes from all parts of the country flock to town, hundreds of them in a gang, carrying with them the product of their grounds; for every negro cultivates a small lot of land for his own use, which they sell to purchase hats, gowns, shirts, trousers, daucases or shifts, trinkets and paltry baubles, to give a more fable hue to their sooty complexions. *

Spanish Town, before-mentioned, is the metropolis, and contains about nine hundred houses, and three thoufand inhabitants of all denominations, and is about thirteen miles from Kingston; the road is quite level, and the best in the istand. The king's house, in which the governor resides,

and and where the aflbmblies are held, stands in the middle of the tovn, is an elegant building; opposite to which there is a pretty little square parade, railed round, where the guards are relieved every morning; on the other fide of the parade, opposite the king's house, there is a row of public buildings, where the supreme courts of judicature are held quarterly, and where the secretary's office, collectors office, marshal's o£» sice, and all other offices of record are kept.

Port Royal was once the greatest place of trade in the West Indies; but by repeated calamities it is reduced to about two hundred houses; it contains the royal navy dock yard for heaving down ships; is ten miles from Spanish Town, and six miles from Kingston; and as it stands on a fandy beach, surrounded by the sea, the inhabitants are obliged to get their fresh water from Rochfort, or Kingston; there are wherries hourly passing and repaffing, between these places; the usual fare for a boat, if hired by one person, is a dollar, but if there are many passengers only two bitts for each*

Montego Bay, next to Kingston for trade, is about one hundred and twenty five miles distant from Kingston, and contains about fix hundred houses; the harbour is large and extended, yet it is hazardous when the north winds blow with any violence. The chief produce for exportation is sugar and rum; there are other commodities the product of Jamaica, such as

coffee, coffee, cotton, cccoa, pimento, ginger, mahogany, logwood, sustic and other dye woods. The number of sugar plantations are computed to be one thoufand sixty eight, and to make upon an averageone hundred and six thoufandof Muscovado sugar yearly, and fifty three thoufand puncheons of rum; there are about two thoufand and twenty peni or farms, and other settlements, two hundred fifty nine thoufand staves, eighty thoufand one hundred cattle, and twenty five thoufand white people on the island.

There are more than one hundred rivers irr Jamaica, the most considerable of which arc Mina and Cobre^ when it rains heavy those swell to an amazing height; the 2.d os October 1780, when the town of Savana-la-Mar, and the whole county of Cornwall, were almost destroyed by an hurricane and he^vy rains, Mina rose about thirty feet high in fume places 1 this I was convinced of after the flood abated, by observing part of a negro hut and other wreck, stuck fast in the branches of a large silk-cotton tree adjoining the river. May and October are commonly the rainy months, at which time the rains, (or seasons, as they are called) set in, and violently fall for several days; sometimes in rapid torrents, composing innumerable rivers and gullies, and in some places laying many low plantations under deluges of water, forcing the inhabitants, like the Egyptians at the overflowing of the Nile, with their slaves and live stock, to take Ihclter in the

mountains * mountains until the waters abate; these heavy rains are commonly attended with dreadsul thunder and lightning, and sometimes hurricanes, which blast the canes through the air like chaff, tear up the largest trees by the roots, level the strongest stores and houses to the ground, and leave not only towns and plantations, but whole parishes waste, and hurry unprepared into eternity hundreds of our unhappy brethren of all colours.—Lord have mercy on their fouls ! These awsul and tremendous dispensations of Providence frequently happen, not only in Jamaica, but all over the West Indies; but when hurricanes are attended with earthquakes, the vallies make, and the mountains nod. I myself once beheld them trembling all round me, and their rocky stupendous tops precipitating their rugged cliffs; I faw the sea rise several feet beyond its usual bounds, and swallow up valuable stores and wharfs; nay, it has been remarked, that the earth opened her greedy womb, swallowed up whole mountains, filled up the course of rivers, and caused rivers to flow where the mountains stood. The 17th of June, 1602, Port-Royal was entirely swallowed up; two thousand lives were lost, and ships now fail over the old town, and anchor amongst the ruins of the houses; the fame day a plantation was removed more than a mile from its former situation. In consequence of such just and inscrutable judgments of the creator, and judge of heaven and earth, for their manifold fins and wickedness, aa

act:

« السابقةمتابعة »