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the roads in fuch a manner, that I could not get any more carted to the bay; however, I hope I fhall be able to fend you thirty hogsheads of my own by the Clarendon, Captain Kennedy, who will fail with the convoy from Bluefields against the ft Auguft; alfo forty hogfheads by the fame ship from Clarendon-hall eftate. You will please to order infurance accordingly.
Mr. Sneaking Caution, the manager, tells me, that the cause of the fugars being fo dark, and not having fo good a grain as I would wifh, has been owing to the canes being too ripe, and burning faster than they could be taken off: the laft twenty hogfheads were fo very black, that I thought it best for your intereft to direct him to convert them into rum, which will anfwer very well, for two hogfheads will make one puncheon of rum. You may be affured that no attention of mine fhall be wanting to your concerns in this quarter; Sneaking Caution was ftrongly recommended to me by our mutual friend Doctor Bolus, and he is a fine, active, induftrious young man. As to what you mention refpecting the crops, you will pleafe to obferve, that when Mr. M'Donald was manager, and made three hundred hogsheads yearly, he injured the flaves and cattle materially, and cultivated and impoverished the plantation fo that they never will retrieve again; and though we have made only an hundred hogfheads this year, I hope we fhall make a better crop next year; you will pleafe to obferve, that the long continuance of the draught last year,
affected and the heavy and untimely rains this year, the crop very much; as to what you say respecting your black people, though feveral of them have died lately, it was not for want of attention; for Clyfterpipe, who is Doctor Bolus's brother, is very attentive; there are too many invalids on the eftate, who never would be of any service to you; they are old deformed creatures, of the Auranoutang fpecies, who I do not suppose have any fouls, therefore, as they are an incumbrance to the estate, I have ordered the manager to give them no allowance; as fast as they die I fhall fupply their places by new negroes which will anfwer very well.
I have drawn a bill on you for two thousand pounds fterling, at ninety days fight, in favour of Meffrs. ****** of London, which please to accept; I hope next crop to make you a remittance equal thereto; and that in two or three years fhall be clear of debt, which I long for much, that I may once more return to dear old England.
I am thankful to you for your kind present of Madeira, malmfy, porter, cheese, and hams; they all came to hand in fine order; the Madeira is excellent! Mr. Ahmuty writes me, that it is beft London particular; you will lay me under an additional obligation to order that gentleman to fend me two pipes next year.
I am, with great regard,
Your most humble fervant,
It is quite common for an attorney to keep a favourite black or mulatta girl on every estate, which the managers are obliged to pamper and indulge like goddeffes. Tom Coldweather, a gentleman in Spanish-Town, was attorney for about forty plantations, and had thirty or forty doxys of this kind in keeping: I fuppofe each flattered the debauchee that they waited chafte for his coming. The vanity of female flaves is raised to an unbounded degree to be chofen objects of their mafter, (for they call an attorney their mafter) on which account they are often intolerable infolent to subordinate white men: woe betide a poor overfeer if he affronts one of them!
When an attorney vifits a plantation, he commonly invites a few diffipated gentlemen to spend a few days with him; he fends wines and other neceffaries previously; the only duty he does, is, to take a ride in the cool of the morning or evening with the manager along the pleasant walks or intervals, or round fome of the cane pieces. In the evening the manager is obliged to procure fome of the finest young wenches for the gentlemen; about fun fet they are ordered from the field to wait upon their mafter and his friends; and though this is a pimp-like action, most managers are guilty of it. These poor wretches wash themselves in fome river or pond, brace up their breasts, and meet at the great-house, where they exercise themselves with great dexterity, by dancing in all the varied wriggles peculiar to their
fex; the gentlemen fit in the piazza with their feet extended against the pofts, to keep them from the cramp; againft bed time they are thus properly drilled, and haftened to the different chambers; their black hufbands, or poor bockra partners, being neglected, filently pass thofe nights in difagreeable flumbers, wrecked with jealoufy and torture.
It is very amazing indeed to think how furprisingly nature operates through every pulfe and vein of thofe who are born and nurtured beneath the torrid zone; how far different their paffions and fenfations are from thofe in colder regions; and even men from other countries, when they get innured to the West Indies, how imperceptably, like wax foftened by heat, they melt into their manners and cuítoms. In Europe; Great Britain and Ireland I should fay, it would render a gentleman of fortune odious in the community to take half a dozen ladies of eafy virtue into keeping at once; in those countries frigid lovers trifle away half their time in ftiff formalities and religious ceremonies, whilst children of the fun, fostered and invigorated beneath his cæleftial rays, eternal votaries to the revels of Bacchus and Venus, luxuriously and voluptuously spend their few days and nights in diffipations dear delightful downy lap, whilft African manners and cuftoms are native and congenial to their hearts!
I should have observed to you before, that he' who is chief in the fuperintendency of a plantation in Jamaica, is called an Overfeer; and in the Windward Islands, a Manager; and the Overfeer's Deputies are called Book-keepers; and in the Windward Islands Overfeer's or NegroDrivers; however, when I have occafion to fpeak of either in future, I fhall call them overfeers and book-keepers.
Overfeers all over Jamaica are generally Europeans, and get falaries from 100 to £300 fterling per annum, and are accommodated with comfortable houfes, furniture, &c. and flaves to attend them; they rear (where they are induftriously inclined) abundance of sheep, goats, swine, and poultry, for themselves and their bookkeepers; befides, the proprietors furnish them yearly with falt-beef, Port, butter, flour, split peafe, barley, &c. and fometimes with porter, cheese, and hams; the eftates fupply them with vegetables, corn, fugar, rum, coffee, and chocolate; fo that as to eating and drinking, overfeers and book-keepers live very well; they all mefs together; nor is there fuch diftinction obferved among them as in the West India Islands.
The meanest clafs of adventurers fucceed beft in the planting line; because a man of education, fpirit, or genius, would think himself buried alive, and would fecretly repine and murmur at his fate, to live among an illiberal narrowminded fet of cowfkin heroes; it would be pain