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Vol. VI. No. 1.]
LONDON, SATURDAY, JULY 7, 1604.
" When I saw, that anger and violence prevailed every day more and more, and that things
were hastening towards an incurable alienation of our colonies, I felt this as one of tbose few "ments in which decorum yields to a bigber duty. Public calamily is a mighty levelier; “ and Ibere are occasions wben any, even tbe sligbtest, chance of doing gvod, musi be laid bold.
lli, even by tbe most inconsiderable person" Burke's Speech in the House of Commons, March 22, 1775. 1)
(2 TO THE PEOPLE OF THIS KINGDOM, AND
The last twenty years. One measure of ne
cessity bastily conceived and proposed, and ESPECIALLY TO THE MEMBERS OF BOTH HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT,
not lcs» bastily adopted, create's another and
another and another measure of necessity of Are submitted the following observa- false and of tenporary, of accidental, and, tions on the distresses and dispuies which sometimes, of fatal ettict. Thus we live have arisen, and on the consequences which along by shifts and expedients; always in a it is to be feared may uliimately arise, from state of uncertainty if not of danger; gra. the laws and regulations which have, of late dually wearing away the resources of the years, been adopted with respect to our West Cuntry, the confidence of the people and of India Colonies and Colonists in general, and foreign nations, and the very foundations of particularly those of
These refiections apply with peculiar jus. THE ISLAND OF JAMAICA.
tice to the conduct of government with reTo nations as well as to individuals it fre- gard to our West India Colonies and Colo. quently happens when ihreatened with
nisis in general, and particularly those of great and im nedia:e dangers, to overlook, Jamaica, where the planters, in consequence and of course to neglect to provide against, of a series of harsh, or at least, unadvised, others not so near at hand and of slower ap- measurei, especially measures of taxation, proach, but, perhaps, not of less magnitude, have, at last, been reduced to a situation, and much more certain as to their arrival. which, if it has not impaired those sentiOf the truth of this remark ihe present state ments of attachment to the mother country, of this kingdom and the conduct of its go- hitherto so conspicuous in all their actions, vernment furnish unquestionable proof. does certainly threaten to produce that effect. “ Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof,” | With a sincere and most anxious desire to appears always to have been the maxim of contribute towards the preventing of the Mr. Addington as well as of the minister evils which would but too surely result whom he succeeded, and who has now again from such a cause, I have, after long waiting succeeded him. But, as the acting upon in hopes of seeing ihe subject in abler hands, this maxim is utterly incompatible with any ventured to take up the pen, first dismissing attempt at prevention, we have troubles and from my mind, as the reader certainly will dangers of great magnitude constantly falling from his, every consideration of a private or is upon us, like unexpected demands upon party complexion. an improvident and embarrassed
In order to come at a full and fair view of trade. Hence it is that the far greater part thc merits of the case, it will be necessary to of our public measures consists of remedies, go back to the origin of the present comor attempts to remedy : they are generally plaints. We shall, indeed, trace every fibre , brought forward upon the spur of the occa- back to that “ root of all evil," money : the sion : many of them obtain ihe sanctio: of want of money, on the part of the minister, Parliament upon no other ground than that and the unwillingoess or inability (generally of necessity; and we often hear the persons the latter) to pay, on the part of the colo. by whom measures are brought forward tell nists: this is, in fact, now, as it was in the the House, that it is too late to talk about size former fatal quarrel between Great Britain cause from which such necessity has arisen. and her colonies, the chief and the only How of.en this has been, and is likely to be, source of disagreement; for, though the the case need not be pointed out to those providing of a maintenance for the troops who have paid the least attention to the acts necessary to the defence of the Island apthat have been passed, relative to almost pears, for a long time, to have been ihe Every branch of our public affairs, wiibin msin subject of contention; yet it will, at
Jast, become evident, that the extortion of these niggardly conditions were founded, money on the one side, and the preventing was perfecily novel. Jamaica was to de, of such extortion on the other, has con- fray the expense of this additional military stituted and does still constitute the struggle force, because it was demanded in time of between his Majesty's ministers and the peace! Because that part of the empire legislature and people of Jamaica.
was, from its local situation, placed in a The colonists of this Island have ever as- state resembling that of war, it was not to seried their unqualified right to protection, receive aid from ibe mother country, as a internal as well as external, in common with colony, as a part of the empire, but as a fo. the rest of his Majesty's subjects; and, reign country, to whom Great-Britain might, without entering here into the arguments while she remained at peace herself, think that have been used upon this point, we it politic to hire troops! Nevertheless, so may ask, why those colonists should not great and imminent were the dangers, to have a right to such protection, as well as which the colony was exposed, that the the colonists of Nova Scotia, New Bruns- House of Assembly yielded to the condiwick, Newfoundland, and Canada ? Till tions ; but, as they themselves declared at this question be answered by the produciog the time, this whole measure was to be conof some special provision or agreement, sidered merely as an experiment resorted in making an exception with respect to Ja- a moment of danger and for a temporary maica, the right asserted by that island must purpose; and, while they expressly stated, be admitted. And, indeed, though the that the augmentation of the troops at their planters in Jamaica, like the citizens of
expense was not to be considered as a per, Dublin, have, from the first establishment manent establishment, they strongly remonof a military force amongst them, provided, strated against the principle upon which the by their colonial grants, an island-subsist- ministers had made the exaction, still assertence for the King's troops, in addition to ing, in an address to his Majesty, their title their pay, yet such island-subsistence dever to equal protection with the rest of his subought to have been considered in any other jecis. light than that of a free donation, which she In the year 1797 a further augmentation colonial legislature was, at any time, at per
to the force in Jainaica became necessary. fect liberty to with-hold, or to discontinue The mother country was now at war : the altogether. About thirty years ago the ground on which the former dengand had Council and assembly, in a joint address to bren made upon the particular purse of the the King, pledged themselves to continue colony was, of course, removed : it could this allowance to any number of men that not again be proposed to send the British might be sent to them, not exceeding 3000, troops as mercenaries; and yet it was very and to provide for such men barracks, hos- desirable to make the colony pay the whole pitals, and other conveniencies; all which expense of this further augmentation of the colony has most punctually and liberally force, employed for ils defence, certainly, performed, and, the Assembly has even but not more for its defence than for the made recently an addition to the former defence of the navigation, manufactures, and allowances. When the troubles in Saint revenue of Great Britain. To get over this Domingo first began to wear a serious and dificuly; to save a few thousand pounds menacing aspect; application was made here, in order to add them to the millions for an augmentation of the military force. that were expending in sieges and battles The 201h dragoons and three regimenis of for colonies which, if taken, were to be ba-ely fou were sent them, but accompanied surrendered without an equivalent, an exwith the condition that the island should de- pedient was resorted to that reflects very fray all the additional expeu e which should, little honour either on the head or the heart by a consent to this request, be made to the of the persons by whom it was conceived. peace establishment of the kingdom. That The people of Jamaica were informed, that it was not very generous, to say nothing regiments of black slaves would be raised about justice, thus to take advantage of the in, or sent to, the island. More alarmed at dangers and apprehensions of the colonists, this thrcat (for it could be considered as no. no man will, I think, deny; especially when thing else) ihan at all the other dangers by he considers, that the applicatioa was made which they were menaced; foreseeing the at a time when the mother country was in ruinous and horrible consequences that must the full enjoyment of all the advantages of ensue from the eradicating of those opinions peace and of uncommon prosperity, to and the subverting of that local policy, 011 şhich latter the colony of Jamaica largely wbich the authority of ihe wbite inhabitants contributed. The principle-L00, upon which was founded, and had always been supported much more than by superior physical force, commerce by the blessings of peace." the Assembly submitted, as 10 an imperious In answer to the message containing these Decessity, to a devia:jon from the constitu- requests and suggestions the Assembly retional principle which they had constantly asserted their unqualified right to protection asserted, and they proposed, as a substitute as British subjects: they refused to give for these arıned slaves, to give out of the British pay to any troops at all, and expresspurse of ihe colony British pay to 2,000 ed their astonishment that an attempt should European troops. But this arrangement in
have been made to load them with the whole cluded a plan for augmenting the white po- expense of an establishment of 5,000 regu. pulation of the island, and for compensato | lars, in addition to that of their expensive “ ing,” to use the words of the Assembly, colonial militia : they concluded their an“ the immediate expenditure, by adding to swer by stating, that, notwithstanding the " the future security of the country." And, distresses of the planters, and the difficulty it must not be forgotten, that, even with of supporting any additional burdens how. this prospect before them, the consent of ever light, they would consent, in case an the Assembly was not given, until repre- augmentation, raising the establishment to sentations and remonstrances against the 5,000, was made, to provide for the whole obtrusion of the blacks had been tried in 5,000 that sort of subsistence and accom. vain, and until they obtained a positive pro
modation which they were already pledged mise, that no black military establishnient to provide for 3,000 ien.
In consequence should be raised in, or sent to, the island. of ihis refusal the regiment of slaves, for the Notwithstanding this promise, however, the embarkation of which the Governor inform. project of sending black troops 10 Jamaica ed the Assembly he had given directions, was was resumed previous to the resignation of retained in the island, while the 201h regi. Mr. Pitt, and, agrecably to a letter, written ment of dragoons were soon after removed by Mr. Dundas to the colonial agent declar- from it. ing in the strongest terms the resolution of An account of these transactions having government to persevere in its intention, the been communicated by the Governor to Mr. 2d West-India regiment was actually landed | Addington and his colleagues, they seem to in Jamaica previous to the peace, in direct have sought, with great care and assiduity, violation of the condition entered into by the for precedents amongst those official proministers themselves.
ceedings by which the continent of North The preliminaries of peace were commu- America was lopped off from the empire of nicated to the people of Jamaica in com- that sovereign, of whom it was their conpany with a requisition from the mother stant boast, that they were the “ confidential country, that they would take upon them "s servants." The letter of Lord Hobart, the whole expense of maintaining 5,000 wbich appears to be the result of such an European troops! The Assembly was told inquiry, and which was written in Septemby the Governor, that the black regiment ber, 1802, was not communicated to the should immediately be removed out of the House of Assembly till the month of Noisland, and that, in future, no corps of that vember last, and it is sincerely to be wished description should be sent thither, without that the nation may not have to mourn over the concurrence of the House; that the co- the circumstance of its ever having been lunists should be relieved from the expense communicated at all.
His Lordship sets of maintaining the 20th regiment of dra- out, as was the uniform practice with those goons as a permanent establishment; that sages who managed the affairs of the Amie the proposed establishment of 5,000 men rican colonies, just before they ceased 10 would probably be reduced at a future pe- own allegiance to Great Britain, that is, siod by the restoration of good order, and with expressing his Majesty's approbation of subordination in the French islands. And the zeal of the Governor, an expression by no that, seeing that the Assembly had, on a means called for, especially as the paper former occasion, pledged itself to pay 2,000 communicated to the Assembly purports to white troops, the preseni proposition could be“ an extract of a letter from Lord Ho. not be regarded as unreasonable. He re- “ bart." To approve of one party in a disminded them, at the same time, of the ad- pute is to disapprove of the other party; vantages which the colony would derive Therefore it was, in this case, not only iinfrom the establishment of barracks in the necessary, but mischievous, to express the interior parts of it; nor did he forget the King's approbation of the conduct of the great prospect of a much more ready and
Aftor using a little flippancy extensive sale for the produce of the colony, upon the subject of the utterly untenable " from new markets being opened to its ground cakep by the Assembly, and expressing, with a sort of speer, “ a confident the 2,000 men, they expected, a!ter the “ hope" that their time will be more taken above-mentioned compact, to be liable to reup with devising the means of providing the ceive slave regimenes into their colony? No: supply than wiih endeavouring to tind ar- the sending of the slave regiment to Jamaica guments to justify their want of liberality; was a breach of public faith which notbing after this extract proceeds to produce, as can palliate, and it requires no small share grounds of the present application, the bar- of self-confidence in the ministry to expect gain that was driven by the government in that it will speedily be forgotten. The go1791, which bargain, as was before observed, vernor assured the Assembly, in his message was totally destitute not only of generosity of June, 1802, that ihe black regiment but of justice also. It next refers to the “ should be immediately removed," and anbargain of 1797, and, upon the subject of nounced to them “the consent of his Mathe subsequent employment of slave regi- jesty to the wishes of the Assembly, that, ments in Jamaica, it denies that the govern- " in future, no corps of that description ment violated its engagement, because the “ should be sent thisher, without the conministers, in sending those armed slaves, did currence of the House.” Lord Hobart, not insist upon the colony's continuing to in case the Assembly consent to the propopay the 2,000 European troops! The wurds sition of maintaining the European isoops, of the letter are these : “ The measure was repeats this assurance; but, what reliance " adopted under an express declaration on can the Assembly place on such promises, " the part of his Majes!y's ministers that especially when they come through ministers “ they considered the Assembly as no longer who hold the doctrine, that a compact may " bound to their engagement for the pay of
be « dissolved" at pleasure by the will of “ the two thousand men, and from that pe- one of the coutracing parties? Now, indeed, “ riod the provision for this service has been the Assen bly will find a change in the mi" made from Great Britain, thereby dissolve nistry; but, whether their confidence is
ing the compact that had been entered likely to be mich increased there by, is a * into, and noi violating it, as has been in question that will require but little considera" advertantly stated by the Assembly." The tion amongst those who recollect who it was Assembly, in answer to this part of the let- that violated the former compact. In coming ter, so iosulting to common sense. observe, to the remaining parts of the letter of Lord that, “ from an anxious disposition to cul- Hobart, we find its tone begin to soften. “ tivate harmony with the parent state, the The ministers sink in their demands; and " House forbear to comment on the doc- The governor is directed to apply to the As“ trine of dissolving a compact at the plea- sembly for pay and subsistence for brethou. " sure of one of the contracting parties, al- sand men instead of five thousand noen. It " though destructive of all public conii- is added, too, iha: it is not intended to limit " dence, and most alarming to the weaker the military defence of the Island to this " side." This certainly is a doctrine ihat force; but ihe governor is “ to express his was never before heard of in the world; “ Majesty's pleasure, that, upon a full conand who would not accuse ihe Assembly of " sideration of all circumstances, the Island a want of fidelity 10 their trust, if they were “ shall not be called upon for a larger conagain to vote away the money of their con- 6 tribution than that which has been stated." stituents upon the faith of a similar compact It was a musim with a very cuoning and entered into with the same party? The As- famous man of !he other side of the Altan. sembly did not agree to pay the 2,000 Euro- ric, never to give a reason for any thing that pean troops, upon condition that no slave be said or did. Well would it have been jegiments should be raised in, or sent to their for Lord Hobart and his colleagues, if they colony, only wbile they continued to pay had heard of and steadily pursued the advice those troops; but upon condition that their of this cautious philosophier! The governor, alarm, on this account, should be entirely in his message to the Assembly in June, removed, that is, upon condition that, at no 1802, states the great probability of the future time, slave regiments should be sent 5,000 being reduced in number, ai a future amongst them. They very well knew, they period, by ibe restoration of good order and must have known, that a time was likely to subordination in the Frencb islands: then in arrive, when the 2,000 men, in addition to the month of September following comes his tbe former establishment and the militia, / principal, my Lord Hobart, and states 10 this would not bę wanted in Jamaica; when no same Assembly, that the numbers are already longer want they wb81d; of course, be me reduced from five to three thousand men; longer continue but, can be troposed, because—what, do you think? Because, that, if they ceased on this cause to pay " the French army in Saint Domingo has
" been greatly reduced," and because the " weighing its effects and consequences on “ Freneb naval force bas returned from that “ our constitution, and in our acical situa"station to Europe"!!! On the 171h of tion, but accompanied by a threat, that, if June the governor told the Assembly, that “ the deliberate and unbiassed voice of this the restoration of order in the French islands • house declared it inadmissible, we must would enable him to make a reduction in " expect that a body of regimented slaves, the number of their troops ; on the oth of “ introduced in opposition to the unanimous the next September, Lord Hobart, with the “ opinion of the inhabitants, and the cul. governor's message upon the table before “ lected voice of all who are interested in bim, sets down and tells them, that the " the welfare of this island, shall be connumber of troops wanted has been reduced “ tinued in its bosom, the object of universal from five Thousand to three thousand by cir- “ abhorrence; a singular monument of cumstances which render it utterly improba. “ pertinacity in speculative opinions in opble, and a inost impossible, liat the hoped for position to practical and sober experience; restoration of order should take place for a body, contemptible as the means of proseveral years to come! Does any man be- tection, formidable only in the danger of lieve that the Assembly did not see through ". its example, and as an instance of an and despise this paltry device? That they o armed force kept up in the colony, after did not clearly perceive it to have been in- - it has been declared dangerous and unconvented by the ministry as an excuse for sink- "stitutional by the representatives of the ing in their demands, without an appear. people.” To the distance at which the ance of yielding to the Assembly? And, did Assembly of Jamica is, and to their corMr. Addington and Lord Hobart imagine, sequent inability to detect the falsehoods of that the members of the Assembly of J3- the hired eulogists of Mr. Addington's admaica had not pride as well as they? Did ministration, must be attributed their opithey think, that, by reducing the demand 10 nion, that the eulogy which had been be. three-fifths of its original amouni, they stowed on it was “ deserved ;" for, whenshould induce those members to abandon ever the acts of that administration shall the great principle, for which they and their undergo a full and impartial review (not predecessors had so long contended ? Did written by a Doctor balf promised tbe next va. they in good truih believe that those mem- cant bisloprick), it will appear, that, during bers consisted in great part of " live-stock ?" no administration that this country has It would appear so. and that they did not re- known for at least a hundred years past, was gard them as the best kind even of such There ever shown less real moderation, and stock; for, after having endeavoured to certainly never less respect for the constiru. wheedle them with this reduction in the tion. Of the truth of ihis, little, one would amount of the demand, ihe letier concludes hink, could be required to convince those to with expressing a full persuasion that the whom the above-mentioned letter of Lord concurrence of the Assembly will be ob. Hobart had been 'communicated ; for, astained to the extent now préposed, in which suredly, a communication more daringly discase, their wishes respecting the black slave respeciful to every principle of ihe constituregiment are to be acceded to ;
tion of England could not possibly have been Lord Hobart to the Governor, “ if, con- made. The use which both ministries seem
trary to the reasonable expectations of his 10 have jotended the slave regiment for, is, * Majesty's government, the Assembly not to contribute to the defence of Jamaica « should not concur even to that extent, so much as 10 extort other means of defence " the intention of removing ibe black troops from the purse of the colony: just as, in a " must be laid aside!" Upon this part of he conquered city, you send a company at free letter the Assembly express themselves with quarter into the house of bim who refuses becoming indignaiion: “ The House la- his contribution. Wish regard to Mr. Ad"ment," say they, “ that their duty com - dington's ministry, there can be no doubt at " pels them to express their surprise and all as to the motive, and very little, it is to “ concern, that his Majesty's present mi- be feared, as to that of their predecessors, " nisters, whose moderation and respect for who are now again their successors, those of " the constitution have been the subject of them, indeed, who are not the same identi." “ deserved eulogy, should direct to be sub- cai persons. If, however, Mr Dundas's in. “ mitte:l to the loyal inhabitants of this tention was not to extort a coinpromise, not “ island, a proposition of the highest impor- 10 make the Assembly defray the expense of “ tance to iheir constituents and their pos- wbite troops far beyond the number of " terity, not to be discussed on its own me- 2,000 men, but to compel tbe cclony to sub.
rils, not to be rejected or acceded to after init to a permanent establishment of armed
66 but," say's