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and skim off the trash, a good handy pump will pour the contents of fuch a ciftern 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 fhewn the different proportions for mixing of liquors, I shall next fhew an easy and exact method of calculating them without meafuring the liquors; if the vats or cifterns are equally round or fquare at bottom and top, let the exact depth with a rod be taken, and that divided into an hundred equal parts, and marked fo on the rod; then if molaffes be thrown into a ciftern until it is eight of those parts deep, consequently, let it be ever fo large, that is eight per cent.; again, if fkimmings 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 fixtyeight parts deep, that will be thirty per cent, of lees, and the rest of water will be thirty-two per cent.
Some diftillers throw in the fweets at different times, and make such mixtures that keep working on flowly for fixteen, eighteen, or twenty days; but fuch I am convinced know nothing about diftillation; the generality of adventurers in the planting line, who have any hopes of preferment, think attention to the diftill-house a menial part of plantership; and when they become cowskin heroes, or managers,
are totally ignorant of inftructing their overfeers or negroes in fo interefting a branch.
The heads of the ftills fhould be well luted; for negroes are often negligent, and great part of the fpirits may evaporate; the worms too should be kept as cool as poffible; a flow fire is the best: for if the spirit is hurried, and runs hot, it will not only waste, but will have a disagreeable flavor, fomething like low wines.
Jamaica rum is reputed the best that is made in the Weft-Indies, because it is the strongest, and commonly finks a bubble of twenty-four; the rum in all the other British islands might be made equal to that of Jamaica, but it is the fault of the planters in mixing the firft runnings of the low wines with the rum, till it only finks a bubble of twenty-fix, twenty-feven, or twenty-eight. Thofe who wish to have pure good rum for their own ufe, (fuch as managers, because they loofe nothing by it) rectify even Jamaica rum, by putting two puncheons in the ftill, mixing it with water and diftilling it over again; the middle part of the runnings is best.
Rum improves vaftly in flavour, but weakens in ftrength, by air and frequent wreckings into different veffels. Porter cafks, porter, and the dregs of porter, will improve rum; alfo tea, and temper lime, about two quarts of the latter to each puncheon; burnt Mufcovado fugar will colour it.
Here let me obferve the vaft expence which attends establishing a fugar plantation, fuppofing keeping only one hundred acres conftantly under canes. The mill, boiling, and curing-houses, and diftill-house, with all the conveniencies belonging to them, fuch as coppers, stills, vats, cifterns, refervoirs, gutters and pumps, manager's house, stores, &c. &c. will cost about 8,000l.; one hundred and forty flaves will cost about 60001. more; and if there is not the convenience of water to the mill, and the plantation is far from the fhipping-place, there will be forty good mules, and about one hundred oxen, always required on the estate, which will coft about 3000l. and will require a good convenient grafs-penn to feed them; finding the flaves in food, and fome fort of cloathing, and keeping up their number ftill as they die, as alfo that of cattle and mules, and finding plantation implements, is attended with no finall expence annually; fay 8,00l.: fuppofing 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 fums amount to 26,000l. at the lowest computation; (indeed, any fort of good plantation with flaves and stock, &c. will coft 30 or 40,000l.); which fum of 26,000l. at 8 per cent. intereft is 20801. which, added to the annual expence, is 28801. Now, fuppofing the eftate to be well managed, and to make upon an average one hundred and fixty hogfheads of good Mufcovado fugar yearly,
and eighty puncheons of rum, the fugar to net at 151. fterling per hogfhead, and the rum at 12). per puncheon, both will amount to 33601. fterling; from which, deducting the annual expence, the remainder is 480l. in favour of the planter; which is by no means equal to the rifque he runs of hurricanes, droughts, &c. &c.; fo that in my humble opinion, a fugar plantation, should be no defirable object for a man to feek after. Any man with four or five thousand pounds may get poffeffion of a plantation, flaves, &c. by compounding to pay the remainder of the value in annual inftalments, and giving a mortgage by way of fecurity on the eftate; and after he has exhausted all his property thereon, it is taken from him or his heirs in the end, and fold to pay off debts: I say, there is very little difficuty in getting poffeffion 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 lefs trouble and expence than a fugar plantation. Not many years ago, grafs-penns were confidered 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 fugar plantations, because the falaries and accommodations were equally indifferent; fo that managers of grafs penns were confidered as friendlefs; nor would thofe of fugar plantations, or even the overfeers, affociate with them; but latterly there has been fuch improvements all over the country in
thecultivation of Guinea grafs, and fuch emoluments arifing therefrom, that managers are as much encouraged on penns as on fugar plantations. Guinea grafs will grow on the most fandy deferts or mountains; the method of planting it is as follows:-The ground being prepared by clearing it of fhrubbery and grass against the first of May, and holed at every three or four feet distance, as foon as the seasons fet in the grafs is taken and planted, fix 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 grafs, and when it is properly ftocked, it will yield a clear annual profit of 1000l. fterling. Four hundred acres of rough uncultivated land, at 10l. per acre; two good English stallions, at 501. each; fifty breeding mares, at 201. each; two jack-affes, at 201. each; two bulls, at 151. each; feventy cows, at 151. each; three hundred sheep, at 20s. each; would be confidered a good stock, and amount to 6520l.; twenty negroes, at 401. each; the manager's house and ftores, ftables, fhades, and penns, fuppofe to coft 2500l. all which added, is 98201.; but fuppofing the whole to cost 12,000l. which is not half the price of a fugar plantation, the intereft of which is 960l. A colt will fell for 30, 40, 50, or 60l. an ox for 201. a fat fheep for 40s. and after the first four or five years, I fhould suppose a penn of this kind would annually have E 2 forty