صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

several instances of people being devoured by sharks at that part of the town; indeed ic is very unsafe to bathe in any part of the fea in the Welt Indies.

The houses, though some are tolerable elegant, built of brick or wood, are very irregular ; the piazza's are in the same manner, fo 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 rarifies so abundantly, that a person passing cannot see the houses nor para sengers, nor can he, but with much difficulty, preserve his eye-light. 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 petry ones, called grog shops, occupied by people of the vilest characters, (rogues and whores) who, like fyrens, attract and delude poor thoughtless failors; in those dens of infamy they riot away their days and nights, drinking new rum, grog, punch, or four porter, so that they are deprived of their senses, and kept in a perpecual state of intoxication 'till they spend all their prize money or wages, and are after. wards plundered of their silver watches, buckles, clothes, &c. and betrayed for small premiuins by their hofts; and in war time trapaned on board men of war, or sold, I may say, so mafters of merchant men, who pay £4, or £5, for every able failor they can procure to go home by the run with them.

ters

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, the spoils of war, plundered from infatuated tars; this is quite common; nay, people of every rank and denomination, to their shame, devote the sabbaths to every kind of vice and dir. fipation; driving like madmen in kitterines, to and from Spanilh Town, round Kingston, to Rochfort, Liguanea, and the beautiful 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 Aock 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 fell to purchase hats, gowns, shirts, trowsars, daucases or shifts, trinkers and paltry baubles, to give a more sable hue to their footy complexions.

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

and

and where the assemblies are held, stands in the middle of the town, 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 side 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 of fice, and all other offices of record are kept.

Port Royal was once the greatest place of trade in the West Indies; but by repeated cala. mities it is reduced to about two hundred houses; it contains the royal navy dock yard for heaving down fhips ; is ten miles from Spanish Town, and fix miles from Kingston; and as it stands on & sandy beach, surrounded by the sea, the inhabitants are obliged to get their fresh water from Rochfort, or Kingston; there are wherries hourly passing and repassing, 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 diftant from Kingston, and contains about six 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, cocoa, pimento, ginger, mahogany, logwood, fuftic and other dye woods. The number of sugar plantations are computed to be one thousand fixty eight, and to make-upon an averageone hundred and fix thousand of Muscovado fugar yearly, and fifty three thousand puncheons of rum; there are about two thousand and twenty pens or farms, and other fetclements, two hundred fifty nine thousand Naves, eighty thousand one hundred cattle, and twenty five thousand white people on the inand.

There are more than one hundred rivers in Jamaica, the most considerable of which are Mina and Cobre; when it rains heavy those swell to an amazing height; the ad of October 1780, when the town of Savana-la-Mar, and the whole county of Cornwall, were almost destroyed by an hurricane and heavy rains, Mina rose about thirty feet high in some places; this I was convinced of after the food 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 feasons, as they are called) set in, and violently fall for several days; sometimes in rapid corrents, composing innumerable rivers and gullies, and in some places laying many low plantations under deluges of water, forcing the inhabirants, like the Egyptians at the overflowing of the Nile, with their faves and live stock, to cake shelter in the

mountains

mountains until the waters abate; these heavy rains are commonly attended with dreadful thunder and lightning, and fometimes 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 souls ! These awful 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 shake, and the mountains nod. I myself once beheld them trembling all round me, and their rocky stupendous tops precipitating their rugged cliffs ; I saw 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, 1692, 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 same day a plantation was removed more than a mile from its former situation. In consequence of such just and infcrutable judge ments of the creator, and judge of heaven and carth, for their.manifold fins and wickedness, an

act

« السابقةمتابعة »