This Afternoon a Sloop sailed for England did not know it ‘till she was under sail, found a great many Ships ready to sail for Europe. Sent the Barbados Bag on Shore by the Postmasters Clerk, waited on the Postmaster and from him got a Chaise to the Governors, Mr Bray and self drank Tea that Afternoon with a Mrs Parkinson and eat a Bit of Supper w:th a Mr OBryan, did not get on board ‘till past 10 o’Clock.
July 22nd Very hot Day and showery, got up very early went on Shore at 11 walked up with Mr Falkingham to his Seat at Constitution almost broiled by the Time reached his House, a poor miserable Being and his Quasheba Wife not a jott better do not like them, from hence got a Chaise to Pilgrim the Governor’s House where I dined, present his Excellency (shou’d rather say her Exc:y) his two Daughters, Capt:n Adlam of Needham’s Fort , a Mr Menzie and Mr Felton the Inspector General of the Customs, drank Tea also there and went off to Supper . This Morning a large Guineaman stood off and on in the Bay, bound down to Jamaica by her wrote Mr Dismore of our Arrival here and inclosed him two Letters from Capt:n Jones and Bull and one for Capt:n Sparre of Spanish Town.
23rd July – Very hot – though showery Weather wind E:st at ENE got up between 5 and 6 o’Clock, finished my Letters and sent them on board the Ship Bridge Town Capt:n Fisher which they tell me is to sail in a Day or two, there were the following Letters for Ant: Todd Esq:r Edw:d Lewis Esq:r Step:n Bell Esq:r with an Inclosed for Mrs Lawrance and one for Doct:r Brag. at 12 went on Shore to Dinner, dined with Mr Bray at Mrs Parkinson’s an agreeable widow, buried her husband since here last voyage an Apothecary in great Business – there were present besides the Lady of the House a Miss ODonnel – a Grecian, of the Kingdom of Ireland, this afternoon thought of sailing but rec:d a Note from Mr Falkingham with Orders not to go ‘till the Morning on account of some Dispatches from the Inspector General I wish’d them both in France or anywhere rather than where they were for Detaining me, however I hope to make up for it among the other Islands.
24th July – very hot and showery weather, at 9 this morning loosed the Foretopsail and fired a gun, in hopes of hastening Mr Felton’s Dispatches, did not receive them and the Mail ‘till near 12 o’Clock, got our Dinner and at one or little after hove up and came to Sea with the Wind at ESE and East very showery dismal looking weather and but little Wind at 4 the Town of Bridgetown Barbados bore NEbN 8 or 9 Miles distant.
Barbados is an Island in the American Seas, one of the Carribees and the Eastermost of all the Windward Islands it is in 12º:58’ North Lattitude and 58°: 50’ W:t Long:de as laid down in most Books but as I have mentioned before in our run from Madeira it is in 60º:00’ Degrees W:t Long:de as we have always experienced it.
The Length is from 28 to 30 Miles – and the broadest part not more than 15 if so much, it is very level or much so in Comparison to most of the other Islands, the North East part they call the Scotland from the high Land thereabout, it is well watered a pretty little River runs down to Bridge Town and empties itself there into the Sea. The Island appears every where like a Garden every spot of it being cultivated and Gentlemens Houses & Sugar works attract your Eyes look which way you please. It is computed there are at least Twenty Thousand Whites & from One Hundred to One Hundred & Twenty Thousand Blacks some say more of each Sort. The Natives are very poor in general but there are a great many Men of large Estate in the Island but the greatest part of these landed men live in England, the Barbadians are proud to a great Degree and their Dialect especially among the lowest Class very little better than that of their Slaves, I think I should know them & a New England Man if was to meet them in the Deserts of Arabia. The next Town of any Note in the Islands is called Spike’s is about 8 or 10 miles to Leeward of St Michael or Bridgetown, there are in all 12 parishes. The Ground or Soil is almost wore out as they do not make so much Sugar by some thousand hhds [*] as formerly, so to have good Crops they must have great Rains and manure it well, which very few of them can afford to do, however this Year I am told they will make 12000 hhds or more. Their Rum is now at this Season very cheap owing to the Americans not taking any from them. This Island feels greatly the Effects of the unhappy Disturbances between Great Britain and her Colonies in short they are almost starving every necessary treble in Price and no Money to purchase great are their Complaints and not I believe without Reason, I have been told that many fine Estates will not have any Crops of Sugar next year being obliged to turn their Cane Lands into Provision ground for their Negroes. There is very little wood in the Island being all cut down, with this Article they are supplyed from Tobago.
Cotton they grow a good deal as much of their Corn Lands are now appropriated to Cotton plantations the Reason of which is I am told from the Ants making such a terrible Devastation among the Canes, these destructive little Vermin were imported in to this Island from Demerara they were at first looked on as very useful to the Estate where they happened to be as they destroyed the Rats and happy were they who could encourage them to settle with them, but the Remedy proved worse than the Disease as when they had no more Rats to kill they then fell on the Stock and at last upon ye Cane, another Insect they have in this Island which is also very destructive to the Cane is called a Borer they bore the Cane thro’ in several places which prevents the Juice from raising up so that the Cane grows dry and hard.
This Island is also very famous for making wet Sweetmeats such as Limes Ginger &c. also Citron water and other Cordials. I do not think they abound much with Fish, what they have in the greater Plenty is the Flying Fish but they are dry, I saw this Time a Red Mullet much like ours in England and had a good deal of the Taste. The Grey Mullet are the best Fish I think they have, many of them in the Fresh water and much such looking Fish as the European Mullet. The poultry is not very good, now scarce and dear, the Galina is by far the best, the Ducks are all of the Muscovy Breed. The Fruits are much the same as in all the other Islands – Pine Apples, Plantanes, Bananas, Guavas, Mamma Apples, Sugar Apples, Melons, Pumkins, Water Lemons, Granadillas, Limes Cocoa Nuts, Paupaus, and several other Sorts – their Roots and Yams and Edoes a kind of a small Sweet Potatoe & they grow a large sort of Challot – Onions & Potatoes were in great Demand. The Sailors sold Onions for 4 Dollars the 100 [lb] a very fine price considering how cheap they got them at Madeira.
Many of the people here seem greatly attached to the Americans, and I suppose could they show themselves would be equally rebellious. The Governor’s House is very pretty and commodious about a mile and half from Town, it is a good Government worth I suppose £4000 a Year or more, the Island pays him £3000 – yearly their Currency, he is not esteemed by the Inhabitants, as no one goes near him but on Business which they cannot avoid, in short he is a poor Being for a Man in such a Station (I was going to say an old woman) it is high Time to superannuate him, the Assembly and him seem to be at Daggers drawing, and the people in general hold him in great Contempt w:ht a Misfortune when such People are appointed Governors. I have often dined with him he keeps a most shabby Table very unlike the Representative of a King of Great Britain. The Inhabitants of this Island are subject to Disorders hardly known in the other West India Islands, the first is what they call the Elephanteosis a scrophulous Disorder, their legs swell or rather grow to an immense Size not unlike the misshapen Leg of an Elephant from w:ch I suppose it takes it’s Name, I have seen them of a most uncommon Size such as you would scarce credit me was I to mention it, no Ranks are excepted from it for [it] attacks Whites and as well as Blacks and many of the Ladies are not exempt from it how terrible. The other Disorder w:ch is also very peculiar to this Island is the Hydrocele what numbers of People you will see ruptured, what can be the Reason. As the People are poor I am too apt to believe they encourage their Negroes to pilfer and rob – never were such set of Thieves as the Slaves of this Island, you cannot venture to stir after Dark but you stand a Chance of being rob’d of your Hat or hankerchief and you may think yourself very well off if you escape so well, surely the Police of the Place must be very bad, you must never venture to let them go off the Deck when they come on board yr Ship if you do you may be certain they will not come up empty handed every Finger is a Fishhook. I will give y:o an instance or two of their Dexterity in stealing, my People the last Voyage went on Shore to sell their little adventures, but not being able to dispose of all their goods the Boatswain gave a Bag of Shoes to the Boatkeep who laid it down by him, a parcel of Negroes presently eyed the Bag and kept swimming round the Boat playing their tricks in the Water, as soon as they found that they attracted the Attention of the Boatkeeper one of them puts his hand over the Boat’s Side and steals the Bag.
This voyage I had given 8 or 10 of the People in the morning Leave to go on Shore with their Things to dispose of. As soon as they landed had a consultation w:ch way to disperse themselves & laid down their Bags. The Negroes instantly eyed the Bags & thought of a Booty, and one of them had the Impudence and Dexterity to carry off a Bag belong:g to Arthur Green which contained 16 pair of women’s Sheff Shoes, Citron, Blue &.c to the value of some pounds, the Fellow vanished immed:ly & never cou’d get the least Intelligence of him or the stollen Goods. This will give you a specimen of their Cleverness in thieving. These fellows are also exceedingly insolent and if you beat them their Owners will immediately prosecute you for it and make you pay pretty dearly for it. The last Evening I came off my People & them were quarrelling when came to the Boat, the Negroes were pelting them with Stones & they had forced one of them into the water & were returning the Compliment, I thought it lucky my coming up, as they woud in all probability have used him rather roughly, as they wanted to hook him with the Boat hook, after I was in the Boat they threw several Stones. I gave them Warning the next Day & told them to take Care against I came again, as I have said before I cannot help thinking but many of their Owners wink at their proceedings, one of these Negroes was put in Jail the morning I came away for robbing the Church of Prayer Books though he cou’d not read you might say he was a religious Rogue.
Carlisle Bay where you anchor is but very poor Ground rocky and apt to rub your Cables your anchor in about 10 f:m Water. The Bay is defended by two Forts one called Needham’s Fort the other Fontabella a very poor Defence against any Sort of a Force, there are no regular Troops & their Militia by what I have heard is a most curious Body of People, they have almost as many Generals and Colonels belonging to it as private men. Thus much for Barbadoes.