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with little effective authority, was was convinced of the danger of pro. all that he received till the summer of secuting the scheme. Even if the 1795. The temporary charge of a Irish parliament should be disposed to body of British troops, encamped on adopt it, the disinclination of the peothe road to Rumsey, was entrusted to ple ought to be deemed a sufficient him. Several battalions of French ground for relinquishing it; otherwise emigrants, were, at the same time, we might nourish in delusive security distributed in the neighbourhood of a secret fire, which might ultimately Southampton. A descent upon the consume the vitals of the empire. If coast of Brittany was projected. The he should admit the probability of a emigrants, under the command of change in the disposition of the peothe Comte de Puisaye, and a British ple, he must contend, as the measure detachment, under Major General was to be suspended, that it was at Graham, were embarked for this least imprudent to pledge the British expedition. The unhappy emigrants parliament to specific resolutions, landed at Quiberon to meet destruc- which might be superseded by the tion; but the British troops were car- future relative situation of the coun ried by a storm from the scene of tries." action, and thus escaped.
No sooner, however, was he conLord Moira uniformly considered vinced that the union had become the embarkation of the British troops equally desirable and necessary to for the coast of France as impolitic; Ireland, than he embraced the opporand the result proved that his opinion tunity of expressing that opinion was founded in truth. with the same manly candour that
In adverting to this nobleman's par- had marked his first declaration on liamentary career, we behold the same the subject. In conformity with his uniform subjects for praise. Always sentiments on the necessity of comindependent, always just, always pleting the important undertaking, spirited, he imposed upon himself no after it had once been begun, we find other shackles than those of reason: him opposing every delay which the above the petty spirit of bigotry, he enemies of the measure attempted to recanted an opinion with the same Introduce, in the progress of the act of frankness that he had advanced it, union through the House of Lords. when he felt that it was just, so to do. In the course of 1803, when the As an orator he is regarded as eloquent preparations of the French seemed and impressive; and the wisdom of to indicate their intention of exehis counsels has repeatedly been cuting their threats of invasion, the proved by experience. He very ge- cabinet cast their eyes upon Earl nerally opposed the measures of the Moira, as a fit officer to hold the imPitt administration, both in Ireland portant situation of commander in and Great Britain; and among others, chief in Scotland. His lordship readily that of the union of the former with accepted the charge; and from perthe latter. sonal experience we can add, that he When that grand scheme was first fulfilled its duties in such a manner, agitated in the English parliament, Earl as to leave nothing to be wished; let Moira, in his quality of a British peer, it be considered as no small praise to was strenuous in his opposition to the the superior virtues, talents, and conmeasure, which at that time, he con- ciliating virtues of Lord Moira, that ceived, was adopted and persisted in he was able to extract applause from by the British ministry, contrary to the coid bosoms of Scotchmen. the wishes, and in opposition to the He continued in his command till remonstrances, of a majority of the the change of public affairs that took Irish nation. He declared in his place after the death of Mr. Pitt, when place, in the house of Lords, "that he was called to employments still no one would more heartily concur more important. His majesty was in the proposed measure than him- pleased to appoint him to a seat in self, if it should meet the approbation the cabinet, and also to the master of the greater part of the Hibernian generalship of the ordnance. This community; but as it had excited gene- last he continued to hold with distinfal disgust and vigorous opposition, he guished benefit to the service, until
the agitation of the catholic bill, when he retired from office along with his colleagues.
rank and habits of life. He is capable of entering into the details of business of all sorts with uncommon patience, discernment, and perseverance.
The portrait which accompanies this memoir is a striking likeness, and we anticipate the satisfaction and
ders, to be able to contemplate the fea-
Renewed Enquiry on the late Mr.
Earl Moira is as amiable in private life, as he is eminent in public. His manners are marked by that dignified, yet gracious and winning politeness, which bespeaks true nobility of pleasure that it will give to our reacharacter. Delicacy of sentiment, gallant intrepidity, high honour, and unbounded generosity, have seldom been more conspicuous in any character than in Lord Moira. His courage and fortitude are native to him, and appear in every trying ac tion. Perhaps there cannot be cited a greater instance of that lofty and HROUGH the channel of your fearless gallantry of honour which he Magazine for January 1807, I possesses, than that which he displayed endeavoured to institute an enquiry when he had the honour to attend into the story which had been circuthe Duke of York as his second, in lated with considerable pains, that the the affair with Colonel Lenox. late Mr. Fox had actually employed Colonel Lenox and his second, the himself in writing a history of EngEarl of Winchelsea, in going to the land, or at least, of this country under field, had a post chaise disposed in the reigns of the Stuarts. I had one readiness for escape, in case of any answer only, and that unattended fatal event. Earl Moira, then Lord Rawdon, seems to have thought it unworthy his honour to use such a precaution; but went out to the field with a resolution to abide the consequences, however unfortunate they night be.
with information. My enquiries have since been as effectual as I could possibly make them, in a somewhat extensive connection; for to say the fact, I am actuated by particular motives; but the general result has been a confirmation of my sentiments, exThe tenor of his lordship's familiar pressed in a former number, as above. life has much unaffected dignity in it. The subject, indeed, seemed to have He is an early riser, and his mornings been totally dropt and out of the pubbefore the hour of breakfast are allot- lic recollection, until a few weeks ted to the dispatch of business, to since, an obscure paragraph made its the care of answering letters as he appearance in the back ground, I receives them, and to the benign task think, of that newspaper so well of paying the most gracious attention known to have been under the directo those numberless applications for tion of Mr. Fox and his political patronage or relief, which the reputa- friends, stating, that a history by Mr. tion of his benevolence naturally in- Fox was in the hand of some friend of vites. He keeps house with the libe- his, and would be given to the pubral hospitality becoming an English lic in the unfinished state in which nobleman. His table is splendidly the writer left it. Now surely the and sumptuously served; but he him- writer of such paragraph must posself partakes of its pleasures with ex- sess some information on the subject traordinary temperance. His com- of it, and as he was desirous of anpany usually withdraws from the nouncing the fact, he will probably dining-room to the library; and the be glad of an opportunity of authen evening is then given either to con- ticating it, and of obliging enquirers, versation, or perhaps, by every dif- by a communication of relative cirferent person, to private study. Lord cumstances. I beg leave thus to hold Moira himself has, by reading, by forth the opportunity to him, nor is converse, by an extensive observa- there any thing more probable, than tion of nature and society, acquired that these presents will fall under his a store of knowledge so various, so observation, so extensive is the circle just, and so profound, as to have been formed by the Universal Magazine. very rarely equalled among men of his
CONCISE ACCOUNT of the BAHAMA of rendezvous to our vessels, while the
[Extracted from Harriott's "Struggles through Life."]
French and Spanish homeward-bound ships must pass almost within sight of either the one or the other of them. THESE islands, so long neglected From these ports, our cruisers and by European powers, and unex- privateers may attack them with great plored even by the English settlers advantage, and their prizes be sent, and their descendants, who for more in the course of a few hours, into than a century have been settled there, places of safety, so as to render remay henceforth, on account of their captures in general impracticable. valuable staple, as well as their relative situation, be considered among the more important of our colonies. They extend from 21° to 28° of north latitude, and from 71° 79° of west longitude.
After what has been said, it is easy to conceive to what dangers our Jamaica trade would have been exposed, if the Bahamas had not been restored. But it is not the situation alone that makes these islands of importance to The principal islands are twenty- Great Britain; the extent of our cotsix in number; the smaller islands, ton-manufactures, and the many thouor (as they are called) Keys, amount sand industrious labourers to whom to some hundreds: together, they form they give bread, render the cultivaalmost one continued chain, extend- tion of that raw material an object of ing from Turk's Island to the Grand much national concern; and the exBahama, in a direction nearly north- perience of the productive crops, at west and south-east. The principal the time I visited them, evinced that harbours, at present known, are those the soil and climate of the Bahamas of Uxuma; Nassau, in the Island of were well adapted to the culture of New Providence; and Little Harbour, cotton. at Abaco; but, from the number, extent, and situation, of these islands, it is most probable there are many other harbours equally good with those above mentioned. That of Exuma is by far the best of the three, and they are all formed by one or more keys, or smaller islands, lying in front of the principal island.
The northernmost islands, if more cleared and inhabited by industrious farmers, encouraged thereto from England, are well adapted for raising provisions in abundance for the sup ply of the West-India Islands, and I am inclined to believe would prove healthy, which is more than I think of those to the southward, otherwise than in a comparative degree.
To perceive at one view the importance of these islands to Great Bri. The southern islands are best caltain, for the purpose of protecting our culated for getting rich in a short time, homeward-bound West-India trade in and the northern islands for living time of war, as well as for annoying healthy and confortable; nor do I that of France and Spain, nothing more doubt, but, in the course of a few will be necessary than to look into the years, the farmers in the latter would map, and observe the only two pas- be at much the greatest certainty. In sages by which ships can return to the one, there is a tolerable depth of Europe from ports in the West In- soil to work upon; but, in the other, dies lying to the westward of Hispa- nothing short of actual proof would niola. One passage lies between the have persuaded me to believe these west end of the last-mentioned is- islands were capable of such remark land and the east end of Cuba, by able vegetation as I witnessed. Crooked and Long Islands; the other round the west end of, Chiba, and thence through the strait lying between the coast of Florida and the Islands of Abaco, Grand Bahama, &c. The former of these passages is commanded by Exuma, the latter by New Providence, Abaco, and the other islands to the north-west. These at all seasons afford safe harbours and places UNIVERSAL MAG. VOL. IX.
The natural appearance of these islands is far from being encouraging to the husbandman, who has never before quitted his native soil in Europe. In general they are, either rocky and mountainous, or flat, wet, and sandy: the soil is light and thin, and in most places but sparingly scattered over a white, porous, soft, rock. Of these, the first strata are for B
the most part broken and uncon- claim but little attention; but, so far nected, lying in sheets from three to as opinion may go, from a common six inches thick, and either covering view of things, I conceive there is or covered by a very slight portion of a fine unexplored field for botanilight earth, sometimes both. But, how- cal researches. Fine-apples, oran es, ever little fertility the appearances limes, lemons, guavas, and all the promise, certain it is that the tropical tropical fruits, with coffee, cocoa, plants thrive as well here as in any of and pimento, grow extremely well the West-India Islands. This, possi- here; and there is little doubt but the bly, is in a great measure owing to the climate would be equally favourable rocks themselves: these, from their to indigo, tobacco, and vines: the latvery porous nature, necessarily receive ter are indigenous. I observed them a great deal of moisture, which they growing wild in the woods, in various retain longer than it is possible for places; from which I am of opinion, the soil alone to do in this hot that, it suitable situations for vine. climate; and they certainly yield their yards were sought out, they might be exhalations more sparingly to the rays cultivated to advantage for domestic of the sun. But, whatever may be purposes at least. But their most vathe physical cause, the fact is, that luable production, at present, is cotthe long droughts, with which these ton; and, while that bears any-thing islands are sometimes visited, are by like its present price, it might be imno means so injurious to plants as they prudent to attempt any other staare found to be in most southern ple upon an expensive scale, on those climates; and the cotton, except in the islands where it has been proved to planting-season, requires less mois- grow to such profit. ture than any other plant we are acquainted with.
But this is no reason why those islands, that lie too far to the northIndia corn, Guinea corn, pease, ward for cotton, should not be cultibeans, cabbages, carrots, and sallad, vated for other productions and the are cultivated with little trouble raising of live stock; and, with all due yams, plantains, and bananas, grow deference to my superiors, if these in great abundance; the last articles northerly Bahama-islands (that are so generally wither away in the dry sea- neglected) had been made choice of to son, but spring up again, from the send convicts to, instead of Botany-bay, same roots, for several years sucees- I am persuaded that half the money, sively; by which means, much labour which already has been expended on is saved to the planter. And, if farm- that distant settlement, would before ing were more attended to in these this time have made these islands highislands, (instead of the false pride of ly productive and beneficial to this being called planters,) the negroes, at country, in a variety of ways; while little expence, would be fed much Botany-bay will continue to be an better, without being dependant for eating canker as long as it belongs to supplies from abroad, which is often us. It may be said, we have gone so the case in these and still more so in the other West-India islands.
far in establishing our settlements at New Holland, that they cannot now Dye-woods are found in these is- be given up; yet I should submit, that lands, but at present in no great abun- the convicts might be divided into two dance, and in all likelihood because classes, of better and worse; the betnot sought for. They have a variety ter to be sent to these nearer settleof hard woods, and a small but ex- ments, as a milder punishment, and cellent species of mahogany. Pine of the worse to Botany-bay. a tolerable size, and much harder than that of the continent, is found upon some of the islands, particularly on Abaco. Ship-timber, equal to any in the world, for vessels as large as 200 tons burden, seems inexhaustible on the northernmost islands.
Cotton was first planted in these islands in 1785, ten years before I visited them. It arose from the industry of American loyalists, and had exceeded their own most sanguine expectations. On Exuma, a planter, with no more than than thirty-two slaves, had I acknowledge myself no botanist, made nineteen tons of clean cotton, and therefore in point of judgment worth on the spot upwards of 2000/.
sterling, nearly double the whole va- government, to encourage and divert, lue of the negroes by whose labour it to these islands, the present frequent was made. Upon that and other emigrations to America from this windward islands, people have in ge- country. The better sort of convicts neral been almost equally successful; would supply the new settlers with aud, in many instances, a ton or a ton the necessary help for clearing and and a half has been made by the la- cultivating the land; an aid, which bour of a peasant, his wife, and one cannot be procured in America, nor or two children. Salt also may be any substitute for it, and without aid made, in any quantities, upon many of some kind a man may as well of these islands, particulary on the say he possesses so many thousand Turk's Islands, Exuma, Ragged- acres of land in the moon, as in Kenisland, and at Normon's Pond. tucky, &c. from any advantage he
As many of the Bahama-islands lie may derive from cultivation, beyond within the tropics, it would be super- bare support to his family, which fluous to give an account of their cli- must be done by his own and their mate, which is like that of the West- hard labour.
India islands in general. The same The first European settlement, attemperament prevails also, for nearly tempted in the Bahamas, was by the two-thirds of the year, in the islands English, in 1608, under a patent from which are situated farther north; but, Charles the Second, by which the terfrom Nov. to April, during the pre- ritorial property of these islands was valence of the north-west wind from granted to certain persons, therein the continent, the air of these last- named. Little, however, was done mentioned islands is within a degree or attempted at that time, and the Baor two of frost, and fires are then com- hamas soon after became a haunt for fortable. pirates and robbers, whose depredaIn so temperate a latitude, encompas- tions were facilitated and retreats rensed by the sea, (the air of which is on dered secure by the intricacy of the all hands admitted to be more salubri- navigation, so little known at that ous than that of the continent,) the time. In this state did those islands native adult inhabitants of these is- remain for almost forty years, during lands, together with those who have a great part of which period, a pirate, been long enough to become seasoned named Blackbeard, whose memory is to a hot climate, may fairly be said to still famous there, possessed the power enjoy their health; and their nume- of a petty prince, enriching himself rous families exhibit strong proofs that and his followers by the plunder of the women are prolific, but it must merchant-ships that navigated those be confessed the children look sickly. seas. I have repeatedly been under Yet, on Harbour-island, among fifty- the large tree where he used to sit and eight families, (all natives,) only five determine all matters in question, redifferent sur-names are found, viz. lative to life or property, in the most Roberts, Russell, Saunders, Sawyer, summary way.
and Currie. Of the Roberts alone, To expel these freebooters, Captain there were 19 families, all within three Rogers was sent out, as governor, in degrees of the same common stock the year 1718. He erected Fort Nasor ancestor. The people in this island sau, upon the island of New Proviin particular, are remarkable for their dence, and there fixed the seat of golongevity, which I attribute much to vernment. Since that period, some its northern situation; and thence I sort of governmen has been continued, think it fair to inter, that those islands, and of late has been improved: this it which are still farther north, would wanted. In truth, the proprietors, prove equally healthy. Indeed, were under the grant of Charles II.
gave to make an election for forming a themselves no trouble about it; and new settlement, I should prefer these so little was done, to encourage either to any other of the Bahama-islands, commerce or agriculture in these isor to any of the new richest back lands lands, that until lately they have in America. escaped the attention of the British It would be but a small expense to government, which seemed indiffer