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feveral inftances of people being devoured by fharks at that part of the town; indeed it is very unsafe to bathe in any part of the sea in the Weft Indies.
The houses, though fome are tolerable elegant, 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 ftrong the duft rarifies fo abundantly, that a perfon paffing cannot fee the houses nor paffengers, nor can he, but with much difficulty, preferve his eye-fight. There are fome good taverns, coffee-houses, and lodging houfes in Kingston, but none fo elegant, nor conducted with fuch regularity, as the one Mark Howard kept, now called the South Sea Houfe; there are alfo an incredible number of petty ones, called grog shops, occupied by people of the vileft 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, fo that they are deprived of their fenfes, 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 finall premiums by their hofts; and in war time trapaned on board men of war, or fold, I may fay, to maf
ters of merchant men, who pay £4, or £5, for every able failor they can procure to go home by the run with them.
Every one of thofe grog fhop keepers keep a horse and kitterine, that is, a one horse chaise, and on fundays drive about the town and country, like ladies and gentlemen, fuperbly decorated in fineries; the fpoils of war, plundered from infa tuated tars; this is quite common; nay, people of every rank and denomination, to their shame, devote the fabbaths to every kind of vice and diffipation; driving like madmen in kitterines, to and from Spanish Town, round Kingston, to Rochfort, Liguanea, and the beautiful village of Halfway Tree, feafting, 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 fell to purchase hats, gowns, shirts, trowfars, daucafes or fhifts, trinkets and paitry baubles, to give a more fable hue to their footy complexions.
Spanish Town, before-mentioned, is the metropolis, and contains about nine hundred houfes, and three thoufand inhabitants of all denominations, and is about thirteen miles from Kingston; the road is quite level, and the best in the island. The king's houfe, in which the governor refides,
and where the affemblies are held, ftands in the middle of the town, is an elegant building; op
pofite to which there is a pretty little fquare parade, railed round, where the guards are relieved every morning; on the other fide of the parade, oppofite the king's houfe, there is a row of public buildings, where the fupreme courts of judicature are held quarterly, and where the fecretary's office, collectors office, marfhal's office, and all other offices of record are kept..
Port Royal was once the greatest place of trade in the Weft Indies; but by repeated calamities it is reduced to about two hundred houfes; 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 ftands on a fandy beach, furrounded by the fea, the inhabitants are obliged to get their fresh water from Rochfort, or Kingston; there are wherries hourly paffing and repaffing, between thefe places; the ufual fare for a boat, if hired by one perfon, is a dollar, but if there are many paffengers 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 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 fugar and rum; there are other commodities the product of Jamaica, fuch as coffee:
coffee, cotton, cocoa, pimento, ginger, maho gany, logwood, fuftic and other dye woods. The number of fugar plantations are computed to be one thousand fixty eight, and to make upon an average one hundred and fix thousand of Mufcovado fugar yearly, and fifty three thousand puncheons of rum; there are about two thoufand and twenty pens or farms, and other fettlements, two hundred fifty nine thoufand flaves, eighty thousand one hundred cattle, and twenty five thoufand white people on the island.
There are more than one hundred rivers in Jamaica, the most confiderable of which are Mina and Cobre; when it rains heavy thofe fwell to an amazing height; the 2d 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 rofe about thirty feet high in fome places; this I was convinced of after the flood abated, by obferving part of a negro hut and other wreck, ftuck faft in the branches of a large filk-cotton tree adjoining the river. May and October are commonly the rainy months, at which time the rains, (or feafons, as they are called) fet in, and violently fall for feveral days; fometimes in rapid torrents, compofing innumerable rivers and gullies, and in fome places laying many low plantations under deluges of water, forcing the inhabitants, like the Egyptians at the overflowing of the Nile, with their flaves and live ftock, to take fhelter in the mountains
mountains until the waters abate; thefe 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 ftrongest ftores and houfes 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 awful and tremendous difpenfations of Providence frequently happen, not only in Jamaica, but all over the Weft Indies; but when hurricanes are attended with earthquakes, the vallies fhake, and the mountains nod. I myself once beheld them trembling all round me, and their rocky ftupendous tops precipitating their rugged cliffs; I faw the fea rife feveral feet beyond its ufual 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 caufed rivers to flow where the mountains ftood. The 17th of June, 1692, Port-Royal was entirely fwallowed up; two thousand lives were loft, and fhips 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 fituation. In confequence of fuch juft and infcrutable judgments of the creator, and judge of heaven and earth, for their manifold fins and wickedness, an