FHOUM TrE LIBRARY
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T HE present issue is the eighth edition of a work, compiled
with a view to giving in a handy form such particulars con-
cerning the island as may prove useful, chiefly to those who think
of making Jamaica their home, which first appeared under the
title "Jamaica in 1905, a brief handbook of information for intend-
ing settlers and others." The notes for visitors have been some-
Since the publication of the last issue the West Indies have
been brought under public notice, especially in connection with
closer relationship with Canada, federation amongst themselves
and a desire for political advance in the colonies themselves.
Thanks are due to those who have assisted in the compilation
of this edition. Their names are recorded in the text.
Institute of Jamaica,
NATH4N & Co., Ltd.
Wholesale & Retail Dry Goods Merchants.
Specialists in Tropical Clothing.
BOOTS & SHOES
CF EVERY DESCRIPTION
FOR ALL OCCASIONS.
REAL IRISH LINENS, REAL LACES, EMBROIDERY,
SILK HOSIERY, ETC.
Silks, Satins, and all the Latest
G went's All Mool Sergres, Ltonebs, etc.
) LADIES' d GENTS'
!imm 51 -I llI -I lll Hlfl HIll HIll li n
JAMAICA PRODUCE I
BUYERS AND EXPORTERS OF
COFFEE, COCOA, PIMENTO,
SANNATTO, HONEY, GINGER,
SARSAPARILLA, HIDES, ORANGE OIL,
CASSAVA STARCH, GOATSKINS, LIMEJUICE,
JIPPI JAPPA HATS.
S Railway connection between our wharf and the i
Whole Island system enables us to handle pro-
S duce occasionally and speedily, but our wharf
makes for efficient and prompt shipment.
Our sea wall is the only one of commercial
j value in Kingston
AGENTS IN JAMAICA FOR
MOET & CHANDON CHAMPAGNE
W. & A. GILBEY'S WINES & SPIRITS
a J. & J. COLMAN'S MUSTARD AND BLUE
"VULCAN" SWEDISH MATCHES
M. B. FOSTER & SON'S LTD., Bottling of Bass' and (
A. H., RUSE, St. Thomas Bay Rum.
I FRED L. MYERS & SON
I THE SUGAR WHARF,
188 HARBOUR STREET,
j KINGSTON. j
!|wmriMllww!I(|!|iaIimmilla mlfll-.-l n-- l
THE TEMPLE OF'FASHION, Ltd.
83, 85, 85 KING STREET, KINGSTON
Holds the Premier Position with the Stores of Jamaica
Silk Mercers, Drapers, Tailors, Outfitters.
Millinery by Kingston's Expert Milliner.
FAMED FROM THE DAY OF OPENING
-S BOOTS AND SHOES.+----
FOR ALL YOUR NEEDS, WH Y OF COURSE
YOUR STORE" FIRST
THE TEMPLE OF FASHION
THE BEE HIVE
Corner of KING & HARBOUR STREETS.
FOR RELIABLE MERCHANDISE
OF ALL DESCRIPTION.
Gents' and Ladies'
BOOTS AND SHOES.
Millinery and Fancy Goods.
HAND-MADE LACES AND MADEIRA HAND
PF I v W' v 9 I ,.' 1 . . ..
E. D. KINKEAD[
Dispensing Chemist and Druggist
PRESCRIPTIONS DISPENSED AND
Pure Drugs, Patent Medicines,
Perfumery, Confectionery, Teas, etc.
AMERICAN ICED SODA DRINKS OF FINE
FLAVOURED SYRUPS AND ICE CREAM
S20 KING STREET, KIN(
I OPPOSITE BANK OF
NOVA SCOTIA. I
----~--- ---- --~
Prescriptions Carefully and Accurately Disvensed
Chemical Hall Ltd.,
DISPENSING CHEMISTS AND DRUGGISTS.
Pure Drugs, Patent Medicines,
Finest Groceries, Biscuits,
OUR SODA FOUNTAIN
is equipped on the American Style
Soda Drinks of fine flavour. Also
Ices served with whole Assorted
68 KING STREET,
KINGSTON -: JAMAICA.
Contractors to His Majesty's Hospital
Up Park Camp.
Prestige is no Mushroom.
Experience doesn't grow overnight
Quality can't be acquired in a day.
These attributes take years in
the making, We have been at
it since 1900, and our sustained
success proves that we have
These Essential Qualities.
You owe no obligations when you consult us.
Dr. G. W. SCOTLAND,
SIGHT TESTING SPECIALIST,
29 KING ST., KINGSTON,
J. B. VALDES,
70 EAST QUEEN STREET.
(One Door from the Park)
I portrait Work, enlargements,
Copies, vietfus, Groups,
(PLAIN AND COLOURED)
as well as
Transforming Photos into
AMATEUR WORK DONE ALSO.
The Jamaica Tourist Association
In the Jamaica Imperial Association Buildings,
85 BARRY STREET, KINGSTON.
OPEN DAILY, EXCEPT SUNDAYS, 9 A.M. TO 4 P.M.
SATURDAYS 9 A.M. TO 2 P.M.
GUIDE BOOKS, TIME TABLES, HOTEL RATES
and all information in regard to the Island
Official Representative meets all Tourist Vessels at Wharf
during the Season.
CALL OR WRITE!
I I '
The Bank of Nova Scotia
Capital Authorised $75,000,000.
Capital Paid-up $9,700,000.
Reserve Fund $ $19,000,000.
Total Resources $225,306,398.
DECEMBER 31st 1921.
Head Office: HALIFAX, Canada.
General Manager's Office: TORONTO, Canada.
Drafts and Letters of Credit issued available at London
(England,) New York, and all the principal cities
of the world.
Special attention given to the collection of Commer-
cial Bills and the Encashment of Travellers' Cheques.
Tourists may have their Mail directed to the care of The
Bank of Nova Scotia.
BRANCHES IN JAMAICA AT
KINGSTON, MONTEGO BAY, PORT ANTONIO,
PORT MARIA, BLACK RIVER, MANDEVILLE,
SPANISH TOWN, MORANT BAY, SAVANNA-LA MAR,
BROWN'S TOWN, ST. ANN'S BAY AND LINSTEAD.
327 Branches throughout Canada, Newfoundland and
the West Indies. Also at London, New York, Boston,
W. H. Silver, Manager.
KINGSTON, -:- JAMAICA.
n-nfiianniiii ---dm u--.uui---an-aI -
The Kingston Industrial Garage
34-38 CHURCH STREET
| AGENTS FOR-
I FORID 'TR LuCKS
I FORDSON TRACTORS
STo economise and secure reliable service
get a Ford Car.
To solve your transportation problem
get a Ford Truck.
To Modernize and make your farming
a pleasure get a Fordson Tractor.
h.1~1 31.am1rn1 aauinuu~u~ha
The Mutual Motor& Carriage Co.,
LI IVI I'T E 11
S1, 2 3 EAST PARADE,
- Best equipped and most centrally located .
Garage in Kingston.
DEALERS IN AND REPAIRERS OF
; Motor Cars, Carriages, Trucks,
i Waggons, and Harness. i
Agents for-Willys-Overland. Hudson, Essex,
and Studebaker Motor Cars, Garford Motor
Trucks and Goodrich Tires.
SDistributors of The Willys-Light Indepen-
a dent Lighting Plants.
S Full and Comprehensive Stock of all Motorists'
Requisites always on Hand and
Available at Lowest Prices. a
| MOTOR CARS ON HIRE. j
a l -1 E i Ifm il1m1i emIll imD l la
The Buying Power of Great Resources.
Dodge Brothers resources have always made it
possible to purchase materials far in advance of
They have never been obliged to buy at the peak
The price of their Car has always been based
upon this purchasing ability and never on current
Dodge Brothers have always given the Purchaser
the benefit of this saving.
145 HARBOR STREET
Dodge Brothers. Ino. is a Member of the "National Automobile Chamber of Commeree."
U. S. Co.
In All Sizes.
United States Tires are Good Tires.
Kii)stop Industrial Garage,
88 CHURCH STREET, KINGSTON.
PUaARFMtV VAWE-WHIAU HE
"When Better Cars are Made."
The Better Car is here Built by the
NASH MOTORS COF,
Come in and see us it will be our pleasure to serve you.
The advice and Co-operation of our Manager
Mr. Harold Rae, can always be relied on.
RAE BROTHERS, Limited,
90 HARBOUR STREET,
KINGSTON, JAMAICA, B.W.I.
PLEASE SUPPORT /
CABLE Co. Z-
4, o o
St / s LONDON, E.C.
/ 33 Old Broad Street.
A4 Royal Mail
8 Port Royal Street.
CATHARINE'S PEAK, FROM CINCHONA
KINGSTON HARBOUR, FROM CINCHONA
A HANDBOOK OF INFORMATION FOR INTENDING
SETTLERS AND VISITORS WITH SOME
ACCOUNT OF THE COLONY'S
FRANK CUNDALL, F.S.A.
Secretary and Librarian of the Institute of Jamaica.
Ion'rTn YEAR OF ISSUE.
THE INSTITUTE OF JAMAICA.
Agents in London:--H. SOTHERAN & CO ,140 STRAND W.C. &37, PICCADILLYW
ImmsTn rw I ?
WELCOME TO THE TOURISTS.
Here's a welcome to the tourist
On this fair West Indian Isle,
May you find the skies above you
Just one bright eternal smile;
May the mountains and the valleys,
And the climate, and the sea,
Prove as full of balm and beauty
As you fancied they would be.
But remember in your seeking
After pleasure, this one thing:
You will find no more contentment
Anywhere than what you bring.
If you take your pack of troubles
Always with you while you roam,
You might better save your money,
And your time, and stay at home.
So just drop it in the ocean
As you sight this summer port,
And come smiling into harbour
With a heart for any sport.
Just forget the snows and blizzards,
And the worries left behind,
Meet the Eden of Jamaica,
With an Eden of the mind.
From "Sailing Sunny Seas" By Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
1. Geography-Position: Panama Canal: Size: Geology;
Minerals: Mountains: Rivers: Parishes:
Population: Census of 1911: Climate: Hur-
ricanes: Rainfall; Mineral Springs: Bath:
Milk River: Turks and Caicos Islands: Cay-
man Islands. .. .. .. ..
II. Colonization of the Caribbean-Discovery by Columbus:
Leeward and Windward Islands: Greater
Antilles: People: Caribs: Arawaks: Num-
ber of inhabitants: Characteristics: Langu-
age: Religion: Houses: Ornaments: Occu-
pations: Hunting: Industries: Columbus's
names of the various islands: Virgin state:
Botany: Woods: Food plants: Exchange of
plants between old world and new: Animal
life: Iguana: Birds: Mongoose: Snakes:
Fish: Importation of negroes from Africa:
Buccaneers: Ralegh: De Ruijter, Drake,
Hawkins: Struggle for supremacy-Spain,
England, France, Holland: Smuggling:
British Settlements: Rodney's Victory:
Chief Towns: Colonization: Mixed Races. 11
III. Jamaica as a Spanish Colony-Columbus: Source of food
supply: Esquivel: Arawaks: Archives at
Seville: gold: migration to Trinidad: Peter
Martir: Seville: Founding of the Villa de la
Vega: free export: Villalobos, first Abbot:
lack of funds: illicit trading: Pirates: In-
termarriage of colonists: Woods: Pimento:
Quarrels between Governors: Migration to
Guatemala and Honduras: Attack by Penn
and Venables: Ramirez exiled: Ysassi de-
fends island against Doyley, but at length
has to leave: Visits by Preston, Shirley and
Jackson: Hatos: Settlements: Roads: Span-
ish names of rivers and places. .. 27
IV. Jamaica as a British Colony-Capture by the British,
1655: Penn and Venables: Army of Oc-
cupation: Doyley, first Governor: Naviga-
tion Act: Arms of the island: St. Jago de la
Vega: Census of 1664: Earl of Carlisle and
Poynings's Law: Assiento contract: House
of Assembly: Sir Hans Sloane: Earthquake
at Port Royal, 1692: Invasion by DuCasse,
1694: The Beckfords: Troubles with the
Maroons: Smollett: Admiral Knowles:
King's House, Spanish Town: "Petex Pin-
dar": Long and Bryan Edwards, historians:
Wright and Swartz, botanists: Nicaragua
Expedition: Nelson at Port Royal: Rod-
ney's Victory over DeGrasse, 1782: Series
of severe storms: Bligh and Breadfruit;
Balcarres and the Maroons: Abolition of
slave trade: "Tom Cringle's Log": "Monk
Lewis": Belmore and the Amelioration of
the slave population: Negro Rebellion of
1831: Burchell, Denby, Knibb and Phillippo,
Baptist Missionaries: Abolition of Slavery,
1838: First Steamship at Kingston: Philip
Gosse and Richard Hill: Coolie Immigra-
tion: Opening of the Railway, 1845: Political
Unrest: Morant Bay Rebellion, 1865: Crown
Government: Sir John Peter Grant: Estab-
lishment of fruit trade with America, 1868:
Political step in Advance, 1884: Exhibition,
1891: Establishment of the Direct Line,
1901: Closing of Port Royal Dockyard, 1905:
Earthquake 1907: Wireless Telegraphy 1910:
Sugar development: Altruistic institutions:
V. A People in the Making-Various races in the West In-
dies: Caribs, Arawaks, Spanish, English,
French, Dutch, Danish, Africans, East In-
dians, Chinese, Syrians: Increase in popula-
tion: Slavery, Emancipation: Negroes: West
Indies compared with the United States:
"Mean Whites": Physical qualities: Super-
stitions: Absence of Village Life: Housing:
Thrift: Truth: Bravery: The Arts: In-
dustry: Language: English influence: Loy-
VI. Jamaica's Part in the War-West Indians in former Im-
perial Wars: Vote for Defence purposes and
Special laws: Kingston Infantry Volun-
teers: Individual efforts: War Contingent
Committee: Sailing of Contingents: Ja-
maicans on the Isthmus of Panama: Con-
scription: Registration: Employment of
Contingent men in France, Egypt, Mesopo-
tamia and Palestine: West India Committee:
Work of those who stayed in Jamaica: Re-
turn of the Contingents.
VII. Agriculture-Variation in soils and climate: rainfall: In-
dustries: Records of cultivation: Crown
lands: Government Department: Agricul-
tural statistics: Jamaica Agricultural So-
ciety: Agricultural Openings.
VIII. Manufactures, Trade and Commerce-Manufactures: Fin-
ance: Imports: Source of Supply: Exports,
Fruit, Sugar, Rum, Coffee, Dyewoods, Pi-
mento: Minor Products: Distribution of Ex-
ports: Effect of the War: Ground pro-
visions: Extension of Railway: Shipping of
fruit: West India Committee: Shipping C(m-
panies: Future .. ,
IX. EdncatioM-Secondary Education: Examinations: Schol-
arships: Athletics: Compulsory Elementary
Education: Teachers: Inspectors: Statistics
of Elementary Education: Fees: Parish and
District School Boards: Training Colleges:
Technical School: Boy Scouts: Grading of
X. Professional and Social Life-Government: Legislative
Council: Voters Laws: Poor Relief: Offi-
cials: Church: Literature: Medicine: Hy-
giene: Philanthrophy: Music: Fine Arts:
Law: Military: Naval: Taxes: Home Life:
Gardens: Fruits and Vegetables.......
XI. Sports and Pastimes-Horse-racing: Cricket: Lawn
Tennis: Croquet: Golf: Polo: Rifle Shoot-
ing: Football: Shooting of Game: Fishing:
Sketching: Photography. ....
XIII. Notes for
History-Botany: Entomology: Butterflies:
Shells: Amphibia and Reptilia: Mammals:
Visitors-Steamship Communication: Coolest
months in Jamaica: Sea Voyage: Hotels and
Lodging Houses: Meteorology: Clothing:
Invalids: Health Resorts: Food: Jamaica by
Road: Motoring: Cycling: Livery Stables:
Cabs, Tramway, Mail-coaches: Kingston,
Rockfort, Albion, Morant Bay, Bath, Annot-
to Bay, Castleton, Stony Hill, Halfway-Tree,
Port Maria, White River, Moneague, Roaring
River, St. Ann's Bay, Fern Gully, Brown's
Town, Dry Harbour, Drax Hall, Falmouth,
Rose Hall, Montego Bay, Shettlewood, Lucea,
Savanna-la-Mar, Bluefields, Black River,
Lacovia, Mandeville, Balaclava, Malvern,
Alley, Old Harbour, Colbeck Castle, Spanish
Town, Rio Cobre Canal, Mount Diavolo, Blue
Mountain Peak; Jamaica by Railway.
XIV. The Outlook-Influence of the United States: Panama
Canal: The Planters and the Labourers:
Trade with Canada: West Indian Federa-
tion: Improvement in recent years...
XV. Official List-Civil Departments: Privy Council: Legis-
lative Council: Custodes: Chairman of
Parochial Boards and Resident Magistrates:
XVIL Mineral Springs
XVII. Geological History .. ...... ....
XIX. Shipping Companies
XX. Hotels, Lodging Houses and Livery Stables ......
Railway Time Table and Fares ....
XXI. Vessels Entering Ports .............. 172
XXIII. Exports .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 173
XXIV. Agricultural Notes.-I. Penkeeping-Cattle breeding:
Indian Cattle: Dairying: Horse and Mule
breeding: Polo Ponies: Sheep: Dogs: Pigs:
Goats: Poultry: Rabbits .. ........ 175
II. Planting-Bananas: Banana Meal and
Figs: Cassava: Coconuts: Coffee: Coffee in
the Blue Mountains: Ginger: Grapefruit:
Cocoa: Kola: Limes: Logwood: Nutmegs:
Oranges: Pimento: Rice: Rubber: Sisal
Hemp: Sugar and Rum: Tea:. Timbers:
Tobacco: Vegetables: Vegetables: Vine Cul-
ture ......... .... 188
III. Bee-keeping: Silk Culture. .... 208
XXV. Fruits, Vegetables and other Economic Products .. 212
XXVI. The Birds of Jamaica .. ...... .... 214
XXVI. Works of Reference ............. 216
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
Catherine's Peak from Cinchona
Kingston Harbour from Cinchona
From photographs by H. E. Anthony,
of the American Museum of Natural
Jamaica Cony .... .... .... ....
From photographs from life
Dam at Serge Island
From a photograph by N. deMontagnae
Stone Quarry at Knockalva
From a photograph 8
Nelson's Quarter Deck, Port Royal
House of Assembly, Spanish Town
From photographs 34
Munro College, St. Elizabeth
Hampton School, St. Elizabeth
Wolmer's School, Kingston
From photographs 82
Rainfall Map .... ... .... .... 12
Tody .... .... .. .... ....
From Drawings 118
King Street, Kingston in 1844
From Duperly's Daguerian Excursions
King Street, Kingston in 1922
From a photograph by Cleary & Elliott 126
Looking up the Rio Grande from the Sea
Rafting on the Rio Grande
From photographs 128
Map of Jamaica ,,,, ,,., ,,,, At n,
JAMAICA IN 1922.
AMAICA is an island situated towards the north of the Carib-
bean Sea, and in the centre of what the Americans call the
American Mediterranean, i.e., the Gulf of Mexico and the Carib-
bean Sea conjoined. It is the third in size (Cuba and Hispaniola*
being larger and Porto Rico smaller) of the four Greater Antilles,
which probably once formed one island, but possibly were never
connected with the mainland, although some trace a past connection
between Jamaica, Honduras and Nicaragua. The Greater Antilles
consist of a disconnected chain of mountains, of which about two-
thirds of their altitude are now beneath the sea. Measured from
the deep sea plain from which they rise, they exceed any heights in
Europe or North America; and, if their submerged slopes be added,
they must be classed amongst the great ranges of the world. Econo-
mically they are valuable because they are not composed of barren
rock but have cultivable soil up to their very summits. The average
depth of Bartlett's Deep, between Jamaica and the Cayman
Islands, is 18,000 feet. The latitude of Kingston is 17 degs. 57'
north, and the longitude is 5 hours 7 min. west of Greenwich.
Kingston harbour, the finest in the West Indies, has a total area
of about sixteen square miles, of which about seven square miles
have a depth of from seven to ten fathoms. The rise and fall of
the tides around the coasts of the island do not exceed 16 inches.
The result of the completion of the Panama Canal, uniting the
Atlantic with the Pacific, has yet to be seen, as normal conditions
of shipping were upset by the great war. As the invention of
steam navigation altered materially the aspect of marine warfare,
robbing incidentally Barbados of its strategic position as guardian
of the Caribbean, so has the opening of the Panama Canal neces-
sitated the revision of strategic plans, not only in its immediate
neighbourhood but throughout the world. From a strategic point
of view, Jamaica was called by Captain Mahan "certainly the most
important single position in the Caribbean Sea." It is, as a refer-
ence to the map shows, approximately equidistant from the
Yucatan channel, which leads from the Caribbean into the Gulf
of Mexico; from Grey Town, which would be the eastern entrance
of any Nicaraguan canal built between the Atlantic and the Pacific;
from Colon, the eastern entrance of the Panama Canal; from Carta-
gena, the largest and most flourishing mercantile port in the
neighbourhood of the Isthmus, and from the Mona Passage which
*The island containing Hayti and Santo Domingo
JAMAICA IN 1922.
connects the Caribbean and the Atlantic between Hispaniola and
Porto Rico. Its relation to the Windward Passage between Cuba
and Hayti is still closer and more organic. It is 554 miles from
Kingston to Colon. As to the commercial side, it is undoubted
that when the ships of the world begin to traverse the canal the
produce of the Pacific side of the Americas will be carried through
it to Europe, with the United States second only to Great Britain
in commercial navigation. Oil tanks for the supply of ships have
recently been erected at the head of Kingston harbour.
The island of Cuba, now under the aegis of the United States,
is 90 miles to the north of Jamaica; and Cape Gracios a Dios, in
the Mosquito Territory, 400 miles south-west of the west end of
the island, is the nearest part of the continent of America.
Jamaica is 4,207 square miles in extent, having an extreme
length of 144 miles, and an extreme width of 49 miles. It is very
mountainous, especially in the eastern part. The Blue Mountain
Peak, 7,360 feet high, is the highest point in the island and in the
British West Indies. It is only 200 feet lower than the Pico de
Turquino, the highest point in Cuba; but more than one mountain
range in the neighboring island of Hispaniola overtops it by
nearly 3,000 feet; Monte Tina, the highest point in the Antilles,
rising to 10,300 feet high.
In its general geological formation,* the foundation of the
island is composed of igneous and metamorphic rocks, overlying
which are several distinct formations-white and yellow limestone
and carbonaceous shales, some being mineral-bearing.
Iron and copper exist in many parts. Lead, zinc, manganese
and gold are found in small quantities. Mining operations have
been carried on from time to time in upper Clarendon. Through-
out the interior there is a great abundance of good clay suitable
for brick-making and ordinary pottery; and there is a good supply
of lime and ochres both red and yellow, the latter of which might
be made of considerable commercial importance.
The eastern part of Jamaica is much more elevated than the
other portions and has a different formation; coral and yellow
limestones blending with the coast limestones. The southern slopes
of the hills in this part are generally easy, but on the north they
descend abruptly. The north-east coast range which divides the
Rio Grande from the sea, usually known as the John Crow moun-
tains, reaches an elevation of 3,000 feet. These mountains are an
offshoot from the central range, which, from the depression known
as the Cuna Cuna Gap, turns suddenly northward and forms itself
into this plateau. Many of the subordinate ridges of the Blue
*The best works to consult on the geology of Jamaica are: (i) "Memoirs of the
Geological Survey. Reports on the geology of Jamaica. By James G. Sawkins, Lon-
don, 1866." (ii) "The Geology and Physical Geography of Jamaica. By Robert T.
Hill, Cambridge, Mass., 1899." (iii) "The Economic Geology of Jamaica. By F, C,
icbolas, Kingstop, Ja., 1899,"
Mountains vie with the main ridge in elevation, especially the great
ridge starting from Catherine's Peak, and culminating at consider-
able elevations at Newton and Bellevue.
Marble is found in the east end, at Serge Island and at Island
Head and elsewhere.
On the northern side of the island, three great ridges may be
mentioned; one extending through Portland from Blue Mountain
Peak; another, starting from Silver Hill, dividing the Buff Bay
and Spanish Rivers, and the third extending from Fox's Gap in a
north-easterly direction through Hay Cock Hill to Dover. The
only volcanic remains in the island are found on a spur from the
ridge running towards the sea at Retreat, near Hope Bay.
The Hope river almost certainly caused the tract of alluvial
formation now called the Plain of Liguanea, bordering on King-
ston Harbour, which tract continuing west to Old Harbour, is
traversed by the Rio Cobre. This river evidently at different times
traversed the plain of St. Catherine in every direction. At Passage
Fort it is making land at its delta as rapidly as it formerly did at
Hunt's Bay: already the sea is three-quarters of a mile further
off than it was in 1838, and there is no doubt that in the course
of time the whole of Hunt's Bay will be filled up.
St. Mary is well supplied with rivers and is consequently cut
up by ridges; the highest part of this parish is the district of Guy's
Hill (elevation 2,000 feet).
St. Ann is nearly all white limestone; there is a curious basin
near Moneague where the Walton lake appears and disappears
spasmodically, having been much in evidence during 1916-18. In
this parish there are many caves and sink holes. The Cave and
Yankee rivers sink at Greenock estate, and are supposed to run
underground for upwards of 13 miles, and emerge near Stewart
Town as the Rio Bueno
The Clarendon mountains consist chiefly of trap formation.
This parish furnishes the largest continuous upland flat in the is-
land, measuring 132 square miles-traversed by the Rio Minho
and the Milk River. The most prominent mountain in Clarendon
is Bull Head, generally considered the centre of the island.
The formation of Manchester is almost identical with that of
St. Ann-white limestone. It rises gradually from east to west,
where it attains an elevation of 2,900 feet. In this parish, where
yellow limestone is seen, water may be found at no great depth,
notably at Mile Gully and Epping Forest.
Trelawny has a considerable stretch of white limestone. The
Martha Brae river is probably fed by the water drained from the
Cockpit district; it rises in a great volume at Windsor. In the
south-east of this parish is a rich black mould in the trap forma-
tion. The Cockpits, a curious formation of a number of basins
placed in close proximity (which afforded effectual protection to
4 JAMAICA IN 1922.
the maroons* when they were in rebellion more than once), extend
from the south-west of Trelawny through parts of St. James and
The distinctive features of St. Elizabeth are the extensive
swamps: probably the valley from Lacovia to the boundary of
Manchester was once a lake. The Santa Cruz mountains are
parallel with the mountains of Manchester, but not so high. In
both cases the steeper slope is on the western side. The Santa
Cruz mountains form steep cliffs running nearer the coast than
any other mountains in the island. The Black River is navigable
for 25 miles and conveys the produce of a large district to the
The Dolphin Head is a useful landmark for vessels entering
the harbours of Savanna-la-Mar and Lucea.
In the northern part of Westmoreland, in Hanover and in St.
James, good building stone is quarried.
There are numerous savannas, or plains, on the sea-board,
and also a few inland shut in by hills on all sides.
The colony is divided into three counties, Surrey, Middlesex
and Cornwall, and exceeds in area the English counties of the
same names by about the extent of Hampshire. The population
was ascertained by census in 1921 to be 858,118, being an increase
of 26,735 over the enumeration of 1911.
County. Parish. Population. Chief Town. Population.
St. Thomas ...
Surrey St. Andrew ...
'Port Royal ....
SSt. Mary .....
St. Ann . .
Middlesexi St. Catherine ..
St. James .....
Cornwall Trelawny .....
St. Elizabeth ..
Port Antonio ....
Morant Bay .....
Port Royal ......
Port Maria ....
St. Ann's Bay ...
Spanish Town ...
Montego Bay ....
Black River .....
*From the Spanish Cimarron, wild unruly, literally living in the mountain-tops;
from Cima, a mountain-top.
f"ithin a three mile limit,
As in 1911 and 1891, St. Catherine was found to have the
largest number of inhabitants, and (omitting Port Royal) Tre-
lawny has still the smallest. Five parishes, Portland, St. Mary,
Trelawny, Manchester and Port Royal, show a decrease.
Every parish in the island has a fair share of the sea-board, on
which, with four exceptions (Halfway-Tree, Spanish Town, May
Pen and Mandeville), its chief town is situated.
The population of Jamaica, was according to the censuses in
1891, 1911 and 1921, as follows:-
1891 1911 1921
White ................ 14,692 15,605 14,467
Coloured ............... 121,955 163,201 157,166
Black .................. 488,624 630,181 660,250
East Indians ............ 10,116 17,380 18,846
Chinese ................ 481 2,111 3,696
Colour not stated ........ 3,623 2,905 3,693
Total .............. 639,491 831,383 858,118
On comparison it will be seen that in the decade between
1911 and 1921 the White and Coloured population have decreased,
whilst the Black and other inhabitants have increased. During the
decade a much larger increase has occurred amongst females than
The census of 1921 gives a population of 203 to the square
mile. Jamaica is more populous in proportion to its size than
Spain, Turkey, Russia and some other European countries. The
population of Cuba is 49 to the square mile. That of the Republic
of San Domingo is about 31.
The hurricanes of the West Indies, for which they have an
unfortunate notoriety, emerge probably from the region or equatori-
al rains between the lesser Antilles and the African coast, and first
appear in the Windward Islands, moving in a direction between
west and north-west at a rate of about ten or twelve miles an hour,
and recurve to northward and then north-eastward in the neigh-
bourhood of Florida. Their advent is usually announced by a
long swell in the ocean, and a slight rise in the barometer before
the gradual fall. At first the air is calm and sultry, followed by
a slight breeze which soon developed into a gale. Compared with
the storms of temperate regions they are more restricted in area
and more intense in destructive qualities, and their rate of move-
ment is less. They vary in duration and continuity from two to,
in extreme cases, thirty-seven days. The general courses of West,
Indian cyclones vary with the month. An old saying runs:-
"June too soon, July stand by,
August look out you must,
October all over."
6 JAMAICA IN 1922.
A diagram based on a 300 years' record shows, however, that
June is not always too soon, and that in October it is not always
all over. As the season advances, the track of the hurricanes has
a- tendency to shift further west. The north-east tradewind pre-
vails over the Caribbean Sea, but on the south side of Jamaica the
prevailing wind is from the south-east. The continuance of this
wind in the days of sailing ships made communication from the
Lesser Antilles to Jamaica very easy, and communication from
Jamaica to them very difficult. On the shores of the Greater
Antilles the sea breeze blows during the day and the land breeze
at night: the one locally called "the doctor" the other "the under-
taker", from their health-giving and fever-producing qualities. In
the latter case the effects are probably exaggerated. So soon after
the discovery of the western world did navigators become acquaint-
ed with prevailing winds and ocean currents that, Oviedo tells us,
in 1552 two caravels took but twenty-five days in passing from St.
Domingo to the river of Seville; and Drake sailed from Cape
Florida to the Scilly Isles in twenty-three-albeit these were "re-
cord" rather than average passages.
Residents in the West Indies become accustomed to slight
shocks of earthquake but it is only occasionally that they do severe
damage as in the case of Kingston, Jamaica, in 1907. But little is
known at present concerning these at times awful phenomena of
Nature. History tells us that they are sometimes accompanied
by storms and sometimes come in weather all too calm, and the
theory which connects them with meteorological changes is at
present speculative. It seems tolerably certain, however, that those
earthquakes which are not due to volcanic origin are caused by the
formation of geological faults in the earth's crust at a greater or
less distance below the surface.
The annual rainfall of the principal islands of the West Indies
varies from the 118.33 inches of Dominica to the 31 of Antigua.
There is, as a rule, less rain in Kingston than in most of the
other parts of the island, the trade winds being drained of their
moisture by the mountains to the north and east of the city. The
heaviest precipitation occurs in the parish of Portland, which forms
the north-eastern extremity of the island.
There are two principal rainy seasons, namely in May and
October, but there is usually more or less rain all through the
summer months. In the winter months in the neighbourhood of
Kingston the precipitation is very light. The rain usually comes
in heavy showers of only a few hours' duration, and the days
during which the sun does not shine at all are very rare. It is
almost always possible to predict when the rain is coming, as it can
be seen some time before the downpour begins. This is fortunate
for visitors, as a wetting is one of the three things that an unac-
climated person in the tropics must avoid, the other two being ex-
posure to the direct rays of the noonday sun and to the cool night
It should be added that at the same temperature, there is
nearly always far more moisture in the air in Jamaica than there is
in higher latitudes. It follows that the direct heat of the sun is
felt less here than it is at the same temperature in New York or
London; and this accounts to a great extent for the fact that sun-
stroke, which is often fatal in these cities during hot weather, is
practically unknown in Jamaica. The greatest heat recorded in
Kingston is 97.5 on the 9th of August, 1919. During the last
twelve years the greatest fall of rain in Kingston o one day was
8.93 inches, in one month 30.45 ins. and in one year (1909) 68.11
inches: but Kingston has the lowest record of all the rain stations
in the island, barely one-half of the average island's rainfall.
The climatic characteristics of any particular district or alti-
tude are remarkably constant, the changes from season to season
being gradual and very moderate, in striking contrast to the altera-
tions experienced in higher latitudes. Broadly speaking, fine
cloudless mornings, chequered cloud at noon, fine sunny evenings
and bright nights constitute the daily weather with singular regu-
larity all the year round, interrupted only by the rainy seasons
above mentioned. Of course, as in all other countries, there is no
complete exemption here from variable weather as regards rainy
and dry seasons. Thus the usual October wet season in 1900 was
represented only by a few light showers, .while the corresponding
season in the previous year was an exceptionally severe one. Light
showers are not uncommonly experienced through the summer and
winter months. The regular "seasons" (rains) take the form of
heavy tropical downpours, with fine, bright intervals, and are rare-
ly so continuous as to prevent one from taking daily out-door
The accompanying rainfall map is based on observations
taken at 194 different stations from about the years 1870 to 1890
which are in substantial accord with the extended observations to
1909, given in the second edition of the rainfalll Atlas."t
As Maxwell Hall pointed out in his earlier atlas of 1892, the
distribution of the rainfall for the year resembles that of October,
and varies from thirty to thirty-five inches in a few places to over
one hundred inches in the north-eastern division.
There are two stations in the west-central division where the
rainfall is over one-hundred inches, namely Great Valley and
Windsor Forest; and at Brokenhurst, in Manchester, the rainfall
is one hundred inches; the driest stations are on the north-west
and south-eastern shores; and the land from Portland Point to
t"The Rainfall of Jamaica from about 1870 to end of 1909, with maps, by Maxwell
Hall, M.A., F.R.A.S., F.R. Met., S., Kingston, Jamaica, 1911." Consult also "The
Meteorology of Jamaica, by Maxwell Hall, Kingston, Jamaica, 1904."
8 JAMAICA IN 199.
Kingston is also remarkably dry, with strong surface winds from
the south-east. And these dry localities confirm, as it were, the
division of the island into eastern and western rainfall regions by
a central and drier part extending from Kingston to Rose Hall.
In the variation of yearly rainfall the maxima are due as a
rule to excessive "seasons" in May or October. Maxwell Hall traced a
connection between the minima and the solar maxima and minima.
He considered that there is little connection between forest and
rainfall in Jamaica, and that the only parts that might benefit by
afforestation are the large dry districts on the southern shore,
where, however, the increase in rainfall would not be sufficient to
justify the expense of afforestation.
The utility of these maps both to the agriculturists and those
in search of health is sufficiently obvious. If the agriculturist
wants constant and heavy rains, he will find them as a rule in the
parishes of Portland and St. Mary: if he wants heavy summer
rains, he will find them in the west-central parts of the island; if
he wants a moderate rainfall all the year round, he will find it in
the area between Chapelton and Linstead, Albion and Cave Valley.
Not that he will, perhaps secure such rainfall in any one year, but,
taking one year with another for a series of years, he may count
upon the rainfall laid down upon the maps given in the "Rainfall
There are many mineral springs in Jamaica, most of them
possessing valuable qualities for the cure of various diseases and
infirmities of the body. Two of these are particularly famed,
namely, the hot sulphurous spring at Bath, and the warm salt
spring at Milk River. There are public institutions maintained at
both these springs for the benefit of those requiring relief, and at
both institutions steps have recently been taken to increase the
comfort of visitors.
The spring at Bath, in the parish of St. Thomas, is believed
to be the hottest in the island; the temperature at the fountain
head is 126 degs. to 128 F., but the water loses about nine degrees of
heat in the transit to the bath. These waters are sulphuric and con-
tain a large proportion of hydro-sulphate of lime; they are not
purgative, and are beneficial in gout, rheumatism, gravelly com-
plaints, cutaneous affections and fevers.
The bath at Milk River, in the district of Vere, is one of the
most remarkable in the world. It is a warm, saline, purgative
bath, the temperature is 92 degs. F. It is particularly efficacious in
the cure of gout, rheumatism, paralysis, and neuralgia, and also in
cases of disordered liver and spleen. Some wonderful results are
*Much could be done, with capital, to make both Bath and Milk River more
attractive and beneficial to visitors, by the provision of easy access to the baths for
invalids, and the formation of properly equipped hydropathic establishments with
all the modern apparatus and a resident medical officer, and the erection of comfort-
able hostels in the neighbourhood.
DAM\ AT SERGE ISLAND
STONE QUARRY KNOCKALVA
The Spa Spring, or Jamaica Spa, as it is called, at Silver Hill,
in St. Andrew, was formerly maintained as a government institu-
tion, and extensive buildings once existed there, but they are long
gone to decay and the spring is neglected. These waters are chaly-
beate, aerated, cold, tonic, and beneficial in most cases of debility
particularly after fever, in dropsy and stomach complaints.
In the parish of Kingston, at Rockfort, there is a mineral
spring at the sea edge, but it is not believed to be of any specific
medicinal value. In St. Andrew there is a series of springs
which come to the surface at Rock Hall Estate near the Ferry,
and from the source of the Salt River.
In St. Thomas in the East, at Garbrand Hall, there is a series
of warm springs. On the Adam's River, about I of a mile south
of Downer's Hut Gap on the main range, there is a spring which
belongs to the Crown, and at Moffat there is a spring on the
White River, a tributary of the Negro River. In Portland, on the
Guava River, about one mile north of Downer's Hut Gap on the
main range there is a spring which belongs to the Crown. In St.
Ann there is a spring at Windsor, which at one time was very
popular, people coming from all parts of the island to get the
water. In Hanover, there is a Hot Spring at Buxton on the
Cabaritta River. In St. Elizabeth, there is a sulphuric spring at
Lower Works near Black River. In St. Catherine, there is at St.
Faith's in the St. John's district, a spring on "Good Hope," and
another at Manatee Bay. The spring at Port Henderson was once
a favourite bath for the inhabitants of Spanish Town. Analysis
of the principal mineral springs will be found in the Appendix.
Included in the government of Jamaica are the Turks and
Caicos Islands, which geographically form part of the Bahama
Islands, to which they at one time belonged; the Cayman Islands
of coral formation, which lie from 110 to 150 miles north-west of
the west end; the Morant Cays, about 33 miles south-east of the
east end of the island; and the Pedro Cays, about 40 miles south-
west of Portland Point, the most southerly point of the Island.
The inhabitants of the Turks and Caicos Islands (about 5,000
in number) live almost entirely by the salt industry, the salt being
made from the sea by evaporation in salt ponds, which form a
large part of the area of the islands, the bulk of it going to the
United States: the sea around the Caicos Islands produces sponges,
and the conch from which the pink-pearl comes. The Cayman
Islanders, who are in the happy position of having no pauper roll,
live chiefly by turtling and the exportation of phosphates. The Mor-
ant and the Pedro Cays, which are uninhabited, are leased for the
purposes of collecting guano, boobies' eggs and turtle. Turk's Islands
are reached by the steamers which go to and from Jamaica and Hali-
fax and between Jamaica and England. The Ceyman Islanders are
1 JAMAICA IN 19M.
dependent on schooners for communication with Jamaica.
Jamaica and its dependencies comprise a little more than a
third of the area, and contain nearly a half of the population of
the British West India Islands. But Jamaica is only about a tenth
of the size of Cuba, and a seventh of that of Hispaniola.
II.-THE COLONIZATION OF THE CARIBBEAN.
True as it may be that, if Columbus had not discovered the
Western Hemisphere as the result of a definite attempt to reach
the East by a western route, and Cabot had not, with the same
object in view, a few years later reached either Labrador or New-
foundland, that Cabral would have discovered the southern conti-
nent of America by accident in 1500, being blown from his eastern
route across the Atlantic till he struck Brazil, the fact remains
that it was the indomitable Genoese who, by his persistent pursuit
of his life's dream and the thorough investigation which he made
of the islands now known as the West Indies, literally gave a new
world to the old and materially altered its history.
Thanks in great measure to Columbus, Philip II. of Spain
was the first monarch who could boast that the sun never set upon
his dominions. The Philippine Islands (Las Islas del Poniente)
were for the first three centuries of their recorded history (as they
now are) a dependency of America, then of New Spain, now of the
The islands and tracts of land which now form the British
West Indies, scattered as they are over a large expanse of sea, and
interspersed among colonies of other European countries and in-
dependent states, offer, as they always have offered, serious difficul-
ties where questions of government or co-operation are concerned;
and yet, all things considered, life in them all is closely related. Con-
sidering the distance that separates their northern limit from
their southern, their eastern from their western bounds plants,
animals, scenery, persons, houses, clothing are all somewhat simi-
lar, and the marine fauna has something in common with that of
the Pacific, telling of a time when no Isthmus of Panama prevented
the mingling of the two American oceans. From the western
division of British Honduras to Barbados (the most eastern island
of the Caribbean) is some 2,000 miles, and from the north of the
Bahamas to the south of British Guiana it is about the same dis-
tance. These countries-islands in the Caribbean Sea and parts
of the adjacent mainland-that are united under the British flag
represent an area of nearly 120,000 square miles and a population
of nearly 2,000,000 persons.
In size British Guiana easily heads the list; in population
Jamaica takes first place. Some of the West Indian Islands are
amongst Britain's oldest colonies, Newfoundland and Bermuda
(which is occasionally reckoned with the West Indies), however,
being older than any of them.
The Spaniards, with better reason for their designation than
the English, called the whole of the eastern chain of islands from
l JAMAICA IN iO.
St. Thomas to Trinidad, the Leeward Islands, from their exposure
to the prevailing north-east trade-wind, -while they called the
Greater Antilles (Porto Rico, Hispaniola, Cuba and Jamaica),
lying behind them and the small islands off the southern mainland,
the Windward Islands. The English devoted the latter name to
the islands south of Guadeloupe down as far as Grenada, and the
former to those to the north of it. Politically, the division is slight-
ly different. The Leeward Islands comprise the northern group
from Dominica to the Virgin Islands; the latter St. Lucia, St.
Vincent, the Grenadines and Grenada.
When Columbus explored the Antillean Islands and a small
part of the southern continent of America, he found them peopled
by several tribes of natives, of which the most important were
the Caribs and the Arawaks. The former, a fierce, man-eating
people, who have given their name to the Caribbean Islands and
Caribbean Sea, inhabited the mainland in the neighbourhood of
Guiana and the Lesser Antilles. (the Windward and the Leeward
Islands as we now call them); and the latter, a quiet, inoffensive
tribe (as their name "meal-eaters" signifies), resided in the Greater
Antilles, whither they had probably come in prehistoric times from
the southern continent of America. The Caribs had by the last
decade of the fifteenth century driven the Arawaks from the Lesser
Antilles, and would probably, but for Spanish intervention, have
forced them also to leave the larger islands.
As in Hispaniola, the natives of Jamaica were ruled over by
caciques or chieftains. The estimates of historians of the number
of inhabitants in the West Indian islands differ widely. The pious
Las Casas, who on his errands of mercy to the native Indians
crossed the Atlantic no less than sixteen times, says that the island
abounded with inhabitants as an ant-hill with ants, and puts them
down at six millions. But Peter Martyr gives but 1,200,000 to
Hispaniola, and, taking this as a guide, there would probably have
been about 600,000 in Jamaica-or, roughly speaking two-thirds of
its present population. Of these but few were left when the English
took the island in 1655. Until 1895 but few remains had been dis-
covered to testify to the existence of a tribe which not so very long
ago lived by gathering fruits of the land and sea of Jamaica. During
that and following years several collections of Indian remains
were found.* They are scattered fairly throughout the island,
except, curiously enough, the eastern end, and are thickly grouped
in St. Andrew and Vere, and the west end of Westmoreland. They
all supply objects similar in character, and giving evidence of no
very high advance in civilization or the arts; being considerably
below those of Mexico and Peru. They consist for the most part of
petaloid or almond-shaped polished celts of metamorphic or
igneous rocks, found somewhat abundantly all over the island; cir-
*For this subject consult "Aboriginal Indian Remains in Jamaica. By J. E.
Duerden, A.R.C.Sc., Kingston, Ja., 1897."
COLONIZATION OF THE CARIBBEAN.
cular or oval, shallow, unglazed bowls of baked pottery, with but
crude ornamentation, used in the preparation of food, and some
as mortuary vessels for the heads of their chiefs-found here and
there in the caves and on the sites of dwellings; calcedony beads;
stone and a few wooden images and rock-carvings and rock-pic-
tures; and a few shell and flint implements, and occasionally meal-
Judged by the English standard, Indians are short in stature.
The Arawaks of Guiana to-day are described as being of a red
cinnamon in colour. The hair on the scalp is thick, long, very
straight, and very black. The features of the face are strikingly
like those familiarly known as Chinese (Mongolian) and the
expression is decidedly gentle. Physically they are weak, and life
hardly ever exceeds fifty years. The natives of Jamaica-as a
few skulls found from time to time testify-possessed, in common
with other West Indian tribes, the peculiarity of tying boards on
to the foreheads of their children in such a way that the skulls
assumed and permanently retained an extraordinarily flat shape.
Peter Martyr, who heard it spoken, said that the language in
the Greater Antilles was "soft and not less liquid than the Latin,"
and "rich in vowels and pleasant to the ear." Of words of West
Indian origin, those most frequently in use in the English language
are avocado (aguacate pear), barbecue, buccaneer, canoe, Carib,
and its derivative cannibal, guava, hammock, hurricane, iguana,
maize, manatee, pirogue, potato and tobacco.
Columbus has told us of a cacique of Cuba who believed in
a future state dependent on one's actions in this world, but Sir
Everard im Thurm found nothing of the kind amongst the Indians
of Guiana, and it is probable that Columbus's guide from Guana--
hani (Watling Island) only partially understood the caciq:-., or
that Columbus only partially understood his guide. Their h.:;ses
were primative, alike in shape and construction. In Jamaica, they
were probably circular, and were provided with walls of wattle
work plastered with mud, and with a high-pitched roof of palm
leaves; they probably had no windows. The Indians slept in
hammocks. The weapons of the Arawaks of Jamaica and the
other large islands consisted of darts and war clubs; but they
apparently did not possess bows and arrows, which were the form
of weapons prepared by the Caribs, and the use of which gave
them a great advantage over their more peaceful foes.
Ornaments were more worn by the men than the women.
Painting was the simplest form of ornamentation; the colours used
being blue, black,carmine, white and yellow, derived from plants
and earths. They wore necklets of hogs' teeth and stone beads,
crowns of feathers in their heads, aprons of palm-leaves or woven
cotton; and bands round their arms and legs. Their chief occupa-
tions and means of living were hunting and fishing and agricultural
JAMAICA IN 1922.
pursuits, with, in some cases, a certain amount of trading. As
they required nothing more than canoes for travelling on the water,
simple houses to.live in, baskets for domestic purposes, hammocks
for rest, rude weapons of the chase, and implements such as
hatchets and chisels, earthen vessels, and a few ornaments and
articles of dress, these with a few crude rock-carvings, formed the
sum total of their arts and manufactures.
On his first voyage Columbus discovered several of the Bahama
Islands, his first landfall being Watling Island, on October 12,
1492, and skirted the northern shores of Cuba and Hispaniola,
touching only as it were the fringe of the West Indies. On his
second, starting in the following year, he struck Guadeloupe,
skirted the northern islands of the Lesser Antilles (the present
Leeward Islands) and after revisiting Hispaniola and Cuba (this
time on the southern shore) struck south in search of an island
which he was told possessed much gold, and discovered Jamaica
on May 3 in the following year. On his third voyage he discovered
Trinidad, Grenada and Tobago. On his fourth and last voyage he
skirted the Lesser and Greater Antilles from Martinique to Cuba,
visited the Isles of Pines off Honduras, and ran down the coast
of Central America and the Isthmus; and on his return drove his
weather-beaten and worm-eaten caravels aground near St. Ann's
Bay,* Jamaica. During an enforced residence of twelve months
he and those with him would, under ordinary circumstances,
have had ample opportunity of studying the habits and customs
of the natives. But he was too ill in body and worried in mind to
devote much time to descriptive accounts.
Columbus gave to the islands which he discovered names in
honour of his sovereigns, the saints, some towns in Spain, or the
day of discovery; but in some cases the aboriginal names have
survived, such as Cuba, Hayti and Jamaica, and in a French form
Martinique (Matinino). Native names of places still survive in
many cases: e.g. Arima (water), Naparima (no water) in Trinidad;
and Parima, a salt-water lake in British Guiana.
We can without much difficulty picture to ourselves the
appearance of the islands as Columbus saw them, for there are
in many of them tracts of virgin forest and uncleared bush which
must still resemble the features which they presented to their first
explorers, and the humblest form of a house to-day is not, when
viewed from a distance and through trees, very different in out-
ward appearance from the habitations of the aborigines. Seen
from the sea the physical features of the islands were, of course,
what they are to-day. It is probable that in parts, such as the
*Tradition points to Don Christopher's Cove as the site, but its exposed position
is against it, and Columbus more probably sought shelter in the mouth of the Drax Hall
river. Moreover Don Christopher's Cove, as well as the cove with the same name in
St. Mary, was possibly named after Cristoforo Ysassi, the last Spanisb Governor, who
spent much time in the neighbourhood.
COLONIZATION OF THE CARIBBEAN. 15
backwoods of Giliana, Honduras, Dominica and Trinidad, the
trees and undergrowth were as thick as they were in Guadeloupe,
where Columbus tells us some of his seamen lost their way for
days, and this thick growth was conducive to a humid atmosphere
and a less parched appearance in the drier seasons than is seen in
Barbados, Jamaica and Antigua, and other islands where much
clearing has been done in order to cultivate at first cotton, indigo
and tobacco, then sugar, and lastly bananas.
Then, as now, in Jamaica the giant cotton-tree, one of the
few deciduous trees in the island, reared its head above its fellow
trees; and prominent in the landscape were, to name but a few,
the calabash, the-antidote cacoon, with its highly polished seed-
pods, the locust tree, the prickly pear, the allspice-yielding pimento,
the guava, and dildoes and pinguins, still much in evidence. In
the interior were the wild olive, the lace-bark, with its muslin-
like fibre frequently used as a textile, the yacca and the mahoe
(both beautiful cabinet woods), and the mountain guava, while
the seaside-grape with its large decorative leaves and hanging
bunches of dark blue berries, was and is to-day, a prominent
feature on the sea shore.
Then, as now, the scene was made gay by the anatta, with its
rosy coloured flower, and purplish pods; the West Indian ebony,
with its yellow flowers, which burst into bloom after almost every
shower; the pale blue of the lignum-vitae bloom; the golden bronze
of the under surface of the leaves of the star apple tree; the hanging
purple bunches of the bastard cahbage-bark tree: the yellow and
purple portulacas; the yellow "kill-buckra" weed, seen in great
profusion in the plains about Christmas time; the pink shame-
weed; the red and yellow of the Barbados pride; the yellow of the
Jerusalem thorn; the purple pyramid of the mountain pride; and
the brilliant golden candelabra-like spike of the coratoe, or may-
pole, as it is commonly called from the period of the appearance
of its magnificent blossoms; by the various specimens of ipomoea,
with their several blooms of white, yellow, red and purple: the
rose-coloured Jamaica rose; the white trumpet flower; the bright
red Indian shot (the cultivated variety of which is a favourite
with Jamaica gardeners); the blue Jamaica forget-me-not; and
many another brilliantly flowered tree, creeper and shrub. Then,
inore than now even, ferns (of which there are no less than 473
species in Jamaica alone, compared with forty-seven species only
in the British Islands) were a charm in Jamaica sylvan life.
Some native trees, such as mahogany, cedar and logwood, are
found in most of the colonies, Honduras, of course, bearing the
palm for mahogany. The mahoe, yacca and satin-wood are typical
of Jamaica; the balata and cyp of Trinidad, and so on. Others
yield dyes and are useful in cookery and medicine. Amongst the
useful plants was that palm-like plant which is not a true palm--
16 JAMAICA IN 1922.
one of forty species of Carludovica, natives of Central and South
America and the West Indies-from the "straw" taken from young
unopened leaves of which jipi-japa hats are made; and the grace-
ful gru-gru palm then as now fringed the plain; while in Trinidad
the palmistes (called in Jamaica the cabbage-palm) were promi-
nent features in the savannas. Amongst the chief food plants and
fruit-bearing trees were the cassava, the Indian's chief staple of
food; the mammee, with fruit of a russet-brown hue, larger than
an orange; arrowroot, for which St. Vincent is famous; the guava,
the fruit of which made into jelly is world famous; the naseberry,
with a fruit not unlike a medlar both in appearance and taste; and
the pawpaw, with its straight stem, and fruits like pumpkins hang-
ing just beneath the crown of leaves. The genip, a native of Trini-
dad, has since found its way to other islands.
It is thought that the sugar cane, to which the islands owe
much of their prosperity, was introduced by the Spaniards. Of
trees and plants now common in the islands, which we know were
not existing when Columbus landed, may be mentioned the pindar
nut and cherimoya, and the glorious allamanda, which came from
South America; the bougainvillea from Brazil, the jack-fruit, gin-
ger (for which Jamaica is world famous) and woman's tongue,
from the East Indies; the ever-useful and beautiful bamboo, which
flourishes exceedingly in Trinidad, came to Jamaica from the
neighboring island of Hispaniola; the orange, lime, lemon, and
citron were brought by the Spaniards from their own home; coffee,
kola, and akee from tropical Africa; the flamboyant tree (Poin-
ciana regina) from Madagascar; various kinds of yams from Africa
and the East Indies; the cocoa from Polynesia; the shaddock and
hibiscus from China; the cinnamon and mango, now one of the
common trees of the island, which came to Jamaica in 1782 from
India; guinea-grass from West Africa; the nutmeg, rice and bread-
fruit, which was brought into the island in 1793 by "Breadfruit"
Bligh, who possibly also brought the banana, although it was in
the Leeward Islands at the time of the English occupation of
Jamaica; and the plantain was in the island when Blome wrote
in 1672. Logwood has spread from Honduras throughout the
West Indies. It is not certain whether the coco-nut palm was in
Jamaica or not.
That, in the exchange of trees and fruits between the old
world and the new, the gain was not all on the side of the old was
evident to Acosta. In his "Historie Natural y Moral de las Indias,"
a work full of information about the state of the new world at
the close of the sixteenth century, he says: "The Indians have re-
ceived more profit and have bin better recompensed in plants that
have bin brought from Spaine, than in other merchandize, for that
those few that are carried from the Indies into Spaine, grows little
there, and multiply not; and contrariwise the great number that
COLONIZATION OF THE CARIBBEAN. 17
have been carried from Spaine to the Indies prosper well and
multiple greatly;" and it is interesting to note that, of the princi-
pal crops of Jamaica of to-day, that of the pimento is the only one
from an indigenous plant. The indigenous flora of the Bahamas
has contributed no fruits that have proved worthy of cultivation;
and the cultivated fruits are, when compared with those of the
other West Indian Islands, very small in number. There are about
the same number of plants common to the Bahamas and Cuba
as there are common to the Bahamas and the Southern States of
America; including tropical Florida. There are fifty-six plants
peculiar to the Bahamas.
Of animal life in Jamaica, there were amongst the mammals
only the cony (with which Columbus victualled the canoe in
which he sent Mendez from Jamaica to seek help in Hayti),
a mute dog-like animal, which the Indians call alco, of which
no trace exists to-day, and possibly the rat. It is said that
the armadillo (still seen in Trinidad) was once found in
all the islands, and the racoon was in Jamaica as late as Sir Hans
Sloane's visit in 1687. But the opossum and the peccary, though
formerly in the Caribbean Islands, were not known in Jamaica.
The cony, which is very shy and difficult to catch, is now only
seen in the rocky recesses of the mountains of the east end and
occasionally in the interior."
The natives used as food, besides the cony or labba, the
iguana lizard, still seen in Guiana, but almost exterminated by the
mongoose in Jamaica, and probably the mountain crab, which is
still considered one of the delicacies of Jamaica; but it is thought
that they did not eat the flesh of the manatee and only rarely that
of the turtle. The Indians of Guiana to-day, however, include
in their cuisine several kinds of turtle found in the rivers, as well
as the tortoise. There were no horses, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs or
poultry in the islands when Columbus discovered them, all of which
were introduced by the Spaniards at a later date. Wild deer im-
ported into Barbuda still flourish there.
Of bird-life there were the same specimens as we know to-day
only in greater profusion; the blue-mountain duck has, however
become extinct in Jamaica. The parrots were special favourites
with the Indians, who kept them in their huts; but Columbus was
probably exaggerating when he said that flocks of them hid the
sun. Forty-three of the birds of Jamaica are said to be peculiar
to the island. Of these the ringtail pigeon, the bald-pate, white-
wing, white-belly, pea-dove, quail, mountain-witch and mountain-
partridge are very good eating, the ring-tail being considered one
of the island's chief luxuries.
*Live specimens are in the Institute of Jamaica.
tA pair may be seep ir the bir4 collection in the museum of the Institute of
JAMAICA IN 1922.
The humming-birds, for which Trinidad is famous, having no
less than fourteen species, are everywhere favourites for their
beauty and graceful movements, as well as from the fact that they
do not hesitate to hover around the flowering creepers that grow
on almost every dwelling, and occasionally make their nests and
hatch out their young in spots exposed to human gaze. The so-
called nightingale is the best of the Jamaica song birds; the soli-
taire, found only in the high mountains, is known for its melan-
choly note; the ting-ting and savannah blackbird are useful in
picking off ticks from cattle. The whistle of the banana-bird is
heard throughout the island; the swift one sees in and about caves;
the golden swallows of a rainbow-like hue, are precursors of rain;
the frigate-bird, powerful of flight, is seen on the sea-coast, and
the coot on almost every lagoon; canaries and parrots (somewhat
insignificant in appearance) are chiefly seen in St. Elizabeth, the
latter in the higher parts. The canaries are now making their
way eastward and are occasionally seen near Kingston. The
chicken-hawk is feared by all poultry-keepers, the potoo owl is
frequently seen, as are the small ground-doves with their plaintive
cry "come home," and the tody (or Jamaica robin red-breast);
whilst the bird possibly most in evidence, especially near dwellings,
is the johncrow, useful as a scavenger but also dangerous as a
disease carrier, clumsy on the ground, but majestic in flight. The
Jamaica variety has a red head, the Trinidad bird (there called
the corbeau) is all black.
One of the most interesting features in the natural history of
Jamaica and some of the other islands has been the introduction
of the mongoose, which was imported in 1872 to keep down the
rats which were very harmful in the cane-fields. The mongoose
did his work well, but unfortunately he did not stop there. He
then turned his attention to the snakes, lizards, small birds, turtle
eggs, domestic poultry and their eggs, and ground provisions; and
became almost as great a scourge as the rabbits in Australia or the
historic rats of Hamelin. On a few estates they were kept down by
a small reward of so much a head. On one, 1,400 mongoose were
thus killed in eight months. By the destruction of small birds, the
mongoose is said to be the cause of the immense increase of ticks, a
great pest in some parts of the islands, but one that can be, and
now is on many pens, mitigated by constant attention to the clean-
ing of stock; legislature having recently rendered the use of dipping
tanks obligatory. Although the mongoose is not now such a
nuisance as he was a few years since, the history of his introduction
into Jamaica is a warning to any who would lightly upset the bal-
ance of nature in any country.
The popular idea that life in the West Indies is rendered
dangerous by the presence of snakes and other noxious reptiles is
hardly borne out by facts. Snakes, scorpions, centipedes, spiders
COLONIZATION OF.TIHE CARiTBEAN. 19
and other harmful animals do exist; but they are by no means so
prevalent as is commonly supposed. Dwellers in towns rarely
see snakes, and Sir Everard im Thurn states that, though he
carefully observed, he saw only eleven in two months' travel in
the interior of Guiana. In our favoured island there are no veno-
mous snakes at all. On his first voyage to Jamaica, the writer
was regaled with gruesome tales of the dangers from scorpions
and centipedes. During thirty-one years' residence he has never
seen a centipede alive, and has suffered no injury from the com-
paratively few scorpions that he has encountered. In the days
before European occupation, as now, sunset was the signal for in-
numerable insects, crickets, frogs, toads and beetles to lift up their
voices, some very large in proportion to their bodies, and give the
lie to the not infrequently used phrase "stillness of a tropical
night", and for the fireflies and glow-worms to shed their light,
making here and there the landscape to appear a veritable fairy
land. In Jamaica the whistling frog of Barbados, which is very
audible after sundown in parts of lower St. Andrew, is of com-
paratively recent importation.
Then, as now, the sea around the coast held a large supply
of food-fishes, excellent in their way, but lacking for the most part
the flavour of fishes in temperate waters. Chief among the food-
fish of the sea around Jamaica are calipever, snapper, grunt, snook,
kingfish, junefish and cutlas-fish, and most of these are found in
the other islands, while Trinidad boasts of its cascadura, which
once eaten is said by a Creole legend to compel the eater to dwell
in the island or to return to it to die; and Barbados is famous for
its flying-fish. An experiment made in Jamaica in 1898 tended
to prove that neither the sea-bottom nor the supply of fish is con-
ducive to successful fishery operations on a large scale. Large
fossil sponges and other marine growths tore the nets to pieces.
But expert fishermen are of opinion that the fish with which the
Caribbean teems might yet be caught on a large commercial scale.
The mountain mullet, the finest of the river fishes, rivals many
English fish in delicacy. The rivers also produce a kind of cray-
fish, and from their estuaries and lagoons come the oysters which
commonly adhere to the branches of the mangrove, and so may be
said to grow on trees.
During the century and a half of Spanish domination of the
Greater Antilles, almost the whole of the natives were destroyed,
their place being taken by negroes from Africa. The cultivation
of cotton carried on by the natives was developed and the sugar-
cane was introduced. Fruits, as we have seen, were imported, and
a large number of horses, hogs, and cattle were brought from Eu-
rope and increased abundantly. While Cuba, Hispaniola and Porto
Rico were colonized by them in the true sense, Jamaica was used
as a source of supplies for the Spanish plate-fleets, the Spaniards
JAMAICA IN 1922.
being disappointed at the lack of gold; whilst they used Nombre
de Dios, and later Porto Bello, as a warehouse for the treasures
gathered on the main. Indeed, within thirty years of Columbus's
first voyage, Mexico supplanted Hispaniola as the centre of Spanish
America. In Jamaica they had settled, after they had abandoned
Sevilla Nueva on the northside, at the Villa de la Vega (called by
the English first St. Jago de la Vega and then Spanish Town),
established in 1534, a few miles from the coast on which most of
their settlements were placed. Roads ran along the coast and also
across from port to port, but the interior roads at all events were
not good, for a few years later Doyley, the first English governor,
found it better to send his troops by a sea voyage of eleven days
rather than trust to them.
Discovered by Columbus for Spain, given by the Pope to that
country, the islands of the Caribbean and the-peripheral mainland
were at first exploited by the Spaniards for gold, then became the
scenes of buccaneering, and lastly of settlement for agricultural
pursuits. But from the first England disputed the rights of Spain,
and it was Ralegh's dream to make a Greater England. Amongst
the buccaneers, Teach (better known as Blackbeard), whose name
was a source of terror from Cape Hatteras to the Orinoco, was
especially famous in the Bahamas, the early home of pirates, where
Rogers, a converted pirate, suppressed his former comrades in 1718,
as Morgan had done in Jamaica. Blaufelt gave his name, it is
said, to Blewfields, in Nicaragua, while i in Belize some think they
see the name of Wallis Frenchified. In the words of a contem-
porary writer, piracy ruined trade ten times worse than a war.
In the papal division of the world between Spain and Portugal the
former was precluded from holding land in Africa, where the other
European countries colonizing in the West Indies-England,
France and Holland-had territory, and she had perforce to de-
pend for her supply of African slaves for her western possessions
on the Assiento contract. Existence was in those days by no means
easy; it was reported of more than one early settlement that the
living could scarce bury the dead. A modern song-writer makes
the Adventurers sing:-
"We are the men who widen the world;
We sail neathh a flag that's never furl'd,
Storm and shine are the same to we
Who seek our fortunes over the sea!"
Not content with ruining the trade of the West Indies, they
sailed east and carried on their fell work in the East Indies also.
England, France and Holland took possession of those West
Indian islands which had not been settled by Spain. In the early
buccaneering, "cow-killing" days, these three nations were usually
banded together in common hostility to the dominant country in
COLONIZATION OF THE CARIBBEAN. 21
the Caribbean, Spain. Later on, the Dutch dropped out, their
object being not so much the occupation of new lands as to pro-
cure feeders for their markets of Amsterdam and Middelburg, and
then England and France became rivals, and in their quarrels
Spain usually sided with France. Only once (in 1808-14) did she
support England. The British West Indies were partly colonized
by those already on the spot. The spirit of adventure was strong.
Many left Barbados for New England, Virginia, Surinam and
Jamaica, but Willoughby told Arlington that this was taking from
His Majesty's righthand pocket to put into his left.
The Dutch and Danes owned some of the smaller islands; the
Dutch own theirs still. The Knights of Malta for fourteen years
uwned five of the smaller leeward islands, of which St. Kitts was
the most important and Tortuga, later of buccaneering fame, the
most notorious: the United States purchased the Danish islands,
as late as 1917. But the principal struggle lay between the
three powers first mentioned. Drake, who made his fellow-
countrymen familiar with the West Indies, as later explorers have
been the first to tell of untrodden lands at the North and South
Poles, in Africa, and in Asia, conquered San Domingo city. Ralegh
sacked St. Joseph, the Spanish capital of Trinidad. after caulking
his ships at the pitch lake; and first Shirley, and then Jackson
raided Jamaica, but Newport's attempt in 1603 was beaten off.
De Ruijter made his presence felt in the West Indies, although his
attack on Barbados in 1665 failed. Of the early heroes, Drake and
Hawkins lie buried in the blue Caribbean, the one off Porto Bello,
the other off Porto Rico; Prince Maurice, too, lies off Anegada, one
of the Virgin Islands; Morgan and Benbow rest in Jamaica, and
Somers in Bermuda. Major Sedgwick thought that "this kind of
marooning, cruising, plundering and burning towns," though of
long practice, was not honourable for a princely navy.
In colonizing, the Spaniards, seeking only for treasure and not
finding it in the islands in large quantities, preferred the more
metalliferous southern continent. The Dutch took kindly to the
flat lands of Guiana, which reminded them of their own country,
and made of it a second land of dykes and windmills; and issued
prospectuses, which were translated into German, giving glowing
accounts of the money to be made from sugar-growing. They
were traders in the islands, especially in salt, and St. Eustatius to
the north and Curacoa to the south of the Caribbean, became the
common emporiums of the West Indies. The French, with their
native thrift and enterprise, directed their energies to extracting
from the soil its best crops, and set an example in that direction
that it would have been well if other colonists had followed. In
the transit trade between the North American and West Indian
colonies, the Bermudas, ever the home of skilful shipbuilders,
played an important part, and when trade with the West Indies
was forbidden to the United States, these islands became an entre-
22 JAMAICA IN 1922.
pot between the two countries. The Bahamas, under the lords
proprietors, during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth cmn-
tury, were a very nest of buccaneers and wreckers. It has been
said of one of their governors, Trott, that he was a very great rogue,
but that had he been an honest man he would have found himself
very solitary. During Beeston's administration, Jamaica was the
only British colony in America which was not charged with openly
encouraging piracy and illicit trade. Colonial Governors often suf-
fered from a lack of salary and from a lack of instructions from
home and honest men found themselves out of pocket.
On the seas, the question of land ownership was accompanied
by the struggle for trade and consequent naval supremacy. Mar-
vell, who dreamt no' of aviation, wrote:
"Needs must we all their tributaries be,
Whose navies hold the sluices of the sea!
The ocean is the fountain of command,
But that once took, we captive are on land;
And those that have the waters for their share,
Can quickly leave us neither earth nor air."
And Stapleton, Governor of the Leeward Islands pointed out that
Empire in the West Indies turned on the control of the sea.
Spain at first claimed all trade for herself. By the treaty of
Munster (1648) she for the first time conceded to another nation
the right to trade with the West Indies. England, to advance her
naval power by fostering the carrying trade as a nursery for sea-
men, enforced the navigation laws. This caused the capture of
many a foreign ship, reprisals on the part of France and Spain,
and the granting of letters of marque on all sides. These national
feuds were accompanied by private piratical undertakings, and the
buccaneers fattened. The British colonies were instructed to sup-
press piracy, but were denied the necessary naval assistance.
Jamaica's bill for the suppression of piracy was taken as a
model for other colonies, and the British House of Commons passed
an act on its lines.
In the main British politics had little influence on the colo-
nies, and of the Revolution there is little trace in Colonial records.
At first a militia was formed from the white servants, but
many were lost by war, sickness and the attraction of buccaneering,
and recruits were difficult to get. Many of the servants were the
result of "spiriting" in England which in 1670 had reached such
a pitch that the law made the penalty death. Complaints in the
colonies were made against the sending of convicts, or "Newgators".
When in 1660 the Plantation Committee of the Board of Trade
was formed several merchants with large West Indian interests
had seats on it. In about 1679 companies of soldiers, forming the
beginning of an imperial garrison, were first sent to the Planta-
COLONIZATION OF THE CARBBBEAN. 23
tions. Barbados was the first colony, in 1682, to put its militia
into red coats. In the first half of the eighteenth century, smug-
gling, the natural outcome of the Navigation Laws which the
colonies resented, was prevalent in the British colonies, and sub-
ject to violent repression on the part of Spain. The colonies were
only allowed to trade in such commodities as were not produced in
the United Kingdom, and the taxing of sugar and tobacco raised
a howl from the colonies. The well-known case of Robert Jenkins,
master of the brig "Rebecca", who lost his ear on his way from
Jamaica to London, was not unique. Rear-Admiral Stewart. who
then commanded on the Jamaica station, saw that the fault lay
largely with the Jamaica merchants, but the English merchants
made their views felt in Parliament. and Vernon's destruction of
Porto Bello was the result. The President of the Council of the
Indies in Spain said there were faults on both sides. The British
contrabandists should be punished and some of the Spanish Govern-
ors hanged. The Declaration of the Independence of America com-
plicated matters still further. The inhabitants of the United States
would not understand why they should not, as a foreign state, en-
joy the same privileges of trade with the British West Indies, which
had been their right before they revolted; and in this feeling they
had the sympathy of many in the islands, who needed cheap sup-
plies of lumber and provisions for their estates and homes, and a
handy market for their sugar.
It was said of New England in 16:5 "When they trade with
Jamaica, as they do sometimes, they bring home pieces of eight,
plate and pigs of silver." In the West Indies generally pieces
of eight varied in value, and when it was desired to obtain currency
in place of barter (tobacco, sugar, cotton and the like) a difficulty
arose by reason of the variety of coinage forthcoming, and a uni-
form monetary system is as yet unknown in the British West Indies.
At this time loyalists from the Southern States went to the
Bahamas after the Declaration of Independence, the white popula-
tion being doubled and the negro population trebled. Thither they
carried cotton planting with them. Some of them found their way
to Jamaica, and other islands.
So far as Great Britain is concerned, if Scotsmen have been
prominent in colonization, it was men from the west of England
who laid the foundations-Somers, Drake, Ralegh, Grenville. The
English preferred at first, in the main, adventure to cultivation,
and only took to planting and trading when buccaneering ceased
to be profitable. They then, after their fashion, muddled through
to victory and successful colonization-fighting, trading and plant-
ing by turns-and grumbling and growling all the time at their
treatment by the mother country.
As the islands became more settled under the English colonists,
vessels which had at first been equipped for home defence, began
to assume the position of private men-of-war, or privateers; and in
24 JAMAICA IN 1921.
the case of Jamaica they brought into Port Royal, sometimes with
the warrant of the governor, sometimes without, fabulous spoil
from the Spaniards. When it suited the home programme the local
governor was praised for zeal in the Imperial service. When the
Complaints of the Spanish court became too insistent, he was made
a scapegoat and recalled. But the habit of plundering the hated
Spaniard had got into the blood of men who were ill-fitted to lead
a sedentary life; and the steps from authorized privateersman, first
to unauthorised buccaneer, and then to pirate and murderer, were
easy. And no close scrutiny was exercised upon the origin of the
wealth poured into Port Royal, which its owners squandered in
drinking and gaming as quickly as they had gained it. In five
years of the commerce-destroying actions of the early days of the
eighteenth century (1702-07), a great part of which was aimed
at the West Indian trade, France lost 1,346 merchant ships and
England, 1,146, of which 300 were retaken.
Of the British possessions, the earliest to be settled was St.
Iitts in 1623, followed by Barbados, Nevis, Antigua and Montser-
rat. Then came the capture of Jamaica in 1655-the first colony
taken by force from Spain, and the first taken by force by Great
Britain-and the settlement of the Bahamas eleven years later.
A lack of co-operation between the various colonies was sadly evi-
dent and was a hindrance to colonial development. But when Bar-
bados refused much needed aid to the Leewards, Lynch shamed
them by sending assistance from Jamaica.
It is to be feared that Bellomont's charge that the people of
New England "preferred a little sordid gain before the interest of
England"' could not be confined to that colony. A Governor of
Maryland gave the House of Assembly a sermon by the Archbishop
of Canterbury on doing good for posterity, and adjourned them for
twenty-four hours that they might digest it.
It was not till another century had passed that Dominica, the
Virgin Islands and St. Vincent were fully acquired by British
arms. Trinidad and British Honduras became British just before
the close of the eighteenth century, and St. Lucia and Tobago just
afterwards. Thus 180 years were occupied in the shaping of the
British possessions in the West Indies. During that time several
of the islands changed hands with alarming frequency. At times
England had footing in countries owned by France and Spain, such
as Havanna and part of San Domingo, while the fortification and
holding of H.M.S. Diamond Rock, forms a picturesque episode in
the protracted warfare that was waged in the Caribbean in the
Early in the year 1782, England's ownership in the West
Indian islands had reached its nadir-all that was in her hands
being Jamaica, Barbados and Antigua; when Rodney in April, by
his glorious victory over de Grasse, in which he displayed by his
methods of concentration a great advance over previous naval
OOLONIZATION OF THE CARIBBEN. AN
tactics, completely altered the aspect of affairs, and re-established
Britain's dominion in the West Indies, which was finally secured
by Nelson at Trafalgar. During the fearful loss of life and re-
taliatory measures adopted by the combatants, it is pleasing to
note that the West India merchants in London gave an address
and piece of plate to the Marquis de Bouille for humanity when
in charge of former British islands. By the treaty of Paris, Eng-
land restored to France and her allies all the colonies she had taken
in the West Indies except Tobago and St. Lucia; and thus the
extent of England's territory in the West Indies was settled as it
is to-day, with the exception of the relinquishing of her suzerainty
over the Mosquito territory in later times. And in subsequent
years the only change that occurred was the distribution and re-
distribution of various islands under different governorships.
In these conquests and reconquests, seamen have ever played
a prominent part. From the lesus, which Hawkins with uncon-
scious irony used as a slaver, to the Calcutta, flagship of the ad-
miral of the North American and West Indies Squadron, many of
the finest vessels in the British navy have sailed or steamed in the
waters of the Caribbean, and the flags of not a few of England's
most celebrated seamen have waved over it-Drake, Ralegh, Myngs,
Benbow, Pocock, Vernon, Hosier, Ogle, Keppel, Rodney, the Park-
ers, Nelson, Hood, the Rowleys, Duckworth, Cochrane, Popham,
McClintock, of arctic fame, and Cradock who lost his life in the
early days of the great war.
In building their chief towns the Spaniards frequently chose
an inland site-e.g. the Villa de la Vega (the present Spanish
Town) in Jamaica, and St. Joseph in Trinidad. The English, on
the other hand, without exception, have chosen sites of the sea-
board, their main object having been trade and commerce; and,
although fear of the buccaneers at first made the Dutch cultivate
up the river banks in Guiana, the other European colonizers have
adopted the same plan. All based their habitations on those of
their home lands, making only such alterations as climatic condi-
tions required; and the nationality of the builders of West Indian
houses is not far to seek. Every chief town in the West Indies to-
day, no matter what its nationality, is on the sea-coast, and yet
Jamaica, St. Lucia and Grenada are the only colonies which own
ports where ocean-going steamers can lie alongside. In the Lesser
Antilles the ports, in order to secure shelter are on the lee side of
the islands, and the chief towns are hotter than they would be if
they were to windward. Thanks to the Palisadoes, Kingston in
Jamaica has a fine harbour, and is yet exposed to the health-giving
The origin of the West Indian colonies is mixed in character.
Some, like Barbados, were settled by those who felt that England
had no longer room for them: others were acquired 'rather with a
view to annoy an enemy (Cromwell's avowed object in attacking
98 JAMAICA IN M19g.
Hispaniola and in taking Jamaica), and had perforce to be settled
when captured. Owing partly to climatic, partly to geographical
and partly to economic reasons, these colonies have not been colo-
nized in the same spirit as was North America or Australia. There,
families by the thousand have gone and settled and multiplied,
adopting the country as their home. In the West Indies, on the
other hand, heat, inducing lassitude, lack of sport, and other re-
creations dear to the heart of Englishmen, and in many cases in
the past a too-easily acquired wealth, led the proprietors to first
pay frequent visits to the mother country and in rarer cases to
the Northern American colonies, and then to live there altogether.
In the eighteenth century it was said of both French and English
islands alike, that "Every man hurries to grow rich in order to
escape forever from a place where men live without distinction,
without honour, and without any form of excitement other than that
of commercial interest." While living in the colonies, English resi-
dents made their presence felt in the legislative chambers. Sprung,
many of them, from the best families of England and Scotland,
they ill-brooked anything which looked like dictation and were ever
ready to insist on their rights and privileges, salving their con-
sciences with prefatory remarks expressing unbounded loyalty and
affection to the British Crown; and when resident in England they
had considerable influence in the House of Commons, either person-
ally or through their friends. Yet when, colonization achieved, the
time came, with emancipation, for the welding together of a people
from the heterogeneous collection of races gathered together in the
Caribbean-a few native Indians, British (English, Scotch, Irish
and Welsh and their Creole descendants), a few Creole French and
Spanish, African and Creole Negroes and a large number of mixed
race of negro and European blood of varying shades-the absentee-
ism of many proprietors and consequent lessening of interest in
those living on and near their estates, added to the difficulties of a
question already complicated. But as the years roll on absentee
proprietors become fewer and the five or ten acres men whom Cod-
rington in the seventeenth century called "the true strength of
the colonies" increase.
III.--JAMAICA AS A SPANISH COLONY.
Jamaica was the scene of Columbus's longest residence in the
West Indies. He lay, with neglected, worm-eaten vessels, on the
shores of St. Ann for a twelvemonth in 1503-04. The Spaniards re-
mair.d in possession of the island of Jamaica, (or, as they at first
called it, Santiago) for about a century and a half.
While Pizarro was acquiring an empire for Spain in South
America ,and Cortes was conquering the valiant Mexicans, Jamaica,
though on the main route to the Spanish main, was in very large
measure neglected because it afforded no source of wealth, and was
more or less a cause of expenditure, both of men and material, which
would have been regarded as unnecessary had it not been for its
use as a source of food supply, and that the Spaniards felt that
they could not afford to let an alien hold possession.
Part of the domain of Diego Colon, son of Columbus, as
governor of the West Indies, Jamaica was awarded to Nicuesa and
Ojeda jointly as a place whence to draw supplies, and when they
left in 1509, Juan de Esquivel was appointed by Colon as governor,
the first of twenty Spanish governors whose names have been re-
For the purposes of audit it was subservient to the Audiencia
of Hispaniola. The Spanish system of having three keys for the
Royal Chest and trusting none of the three officers (Treasurer, Con-
troller and Factor) was a poor foundation on which to build up
At Columbus's unfortunate suggestion, criminals had been
sent as colonists to the New World on his third voyage, and this
class of people, with needy adventures whose sole aim was the
acquisition of riches, proved no good material out of which to
form a colony. Columbus, too, unhappily, proposed that canni-
bals and prisoners of war should be sent to Spain for the good of
their souls in exchange for cattle, and this expatriation, together
with the cruelties practised on them by the Spaniards in their
greed for gold, soon led to the extermination of the natives, in
spite of the instructions frequently sent by Isabella that they
should be treated kindly. To-day Arawaks only appear in Jamaica
as supporters of the arms of the colony.
Then the fateful step was taken of importing slaves direct
from Africa, whence they had already been introduced into Spain
and Portugal, and an evil legacy was bequeathed to the West
Indies. The direct effects of this bequest were not to be removed
for upwards of three centuries, and the indirect effects are still
all too apparent. There is, of course, always the other side of the
question, that it is difficult to see how the West Indies could have
JA3V-MCA IN 19ft2
been developed without the introduction of enslaved Africans.
Apologists for slavery suggest now, as they did in the stormy days
of Abolition, that negroes fared no worse at the hands of their
West Indian masters than they would have done at the hands of
their savage neighbours in Africa, and even to-day there are,those
who advocate for some of the still undeveloped parts of Afrida
a system which is slavery under another name. But that hardly
seems to settle the matter.
Of the century and a half during which the island was under
the grip of Spain, the history remained until quite recently, locked
up in the archives of that country. Recent research at Seville.
undertaken by Miss I. A. Wright on behalf of the Institute of
Jamaica, has resulted in the transcription of many documents
which throw much light on the Spanish occupation of Jamaica.*
Almost the whole of the natives were destroyed, their places being
taken by negroes from Africa. The cultivation of cotton carried
on by the natives was developed, and the sugar cane was intro-
duced. Fruits, as we have seen, were imported, together with a
large number of horses, hogs and cattle, and increased abundantly:
the island being used as a source of supplies for the Spanish plate-
fleets. But no real attempt was made at colonization, the Span-
iards being disappointed at the lack of gold. As early as 1512,
it was in contemplation to withdraw the colonists and send them
to Cuba, but it soon became apparent that the island would be
useful as a source of food-supply; and as early as 1514 G .ray, the
governor, was ordered to send food to Castilla del Oro. The King
was part owner in some of the ranches.
In 1521 there were many deaths amongst the Indians and
slaves in the island owing to a general pestilence. As late as 1525
a supervisor of the smelting of gold was appointed. In order
to encourage immigration, settlers and their families were to be
exempt from customs or other duties. In that year also Ferdinand
and Isabella adopted-by granting permission to Bastidas to take
settlers from Espanola and Jamaica to settle Trinidad-that
system of robbing Peter to pay Paul, which later was adopted by
the English in their colonization in the Caribbean.
In 1533 Isabella evidenced peculiar interest in the church
which Peter Martir had caused to be founded at Seville. In
the same year an expedition went to the main land "to carry
Christianity to the idolatrous Indians-by force of arms if neces-
sary." It is interesting to be able to settle the doubts which have
hitherto existed as to the reason of the abandonment of Seville
as the chief town of the island. In July, 1534, Ferdinand wrote
to Avila, the auditor' who examined the accounts of the island,
that he had been informed that since the settlement much illness
*These transcripts are in the West India Reference Library of the Institute of
Jamaica. Some of them have been published in "Jamaica under the SpaniardP. By
Frank Cundall and Joeeph L. Pieteraz. 1919."
JAMAICA AS A SPANISH COLONY. 29
was caused because of the swamps and creeks that infected the air
before it reached the town with a bad odour, and the high hills
at the back caused the wind to return to the town impure, and
also that the south side was healthier and also much more con-
venient for shipping to and from Santa Marta, Cartagena, Peru
and Honduras. The King accordingly ordered that at Garay's
request a town should be founded on the south side close to a
sugar-mill which had been commenced at a spot which he had
found to be healthy. And thus 1534, and not 1520 as usually
given, was the date of the foundation of the Villa de la Vega, the
present Spanish Town. Thirty Portuguese citizens, married farm-
ers and labourers, were to be encouraged to settle there.
In 1535 Isabella decreed that the native Arawaks were to be
"assigned" to married colonists rather than to unmarried ones, "so
that they may keep them and teach and instruct them in matters
of our holy faith."
In 1536 the King, on the advice of the arbitrators in the law-
suit, granted to Luis Colon, Jamaica and twenty-five square
leagues of land in the province of Veragua, "with civil and criminal
jurisdiction, high and low, mero mixto imperio," the King retain-
ing supreme jurisdiction. Three years later it was decreed that
the gold and silver extracted in Jamaica should be marked with
the royal arms and the word Jamaica. In 1575 the King issued
an order that the colonists of Jamaica might export to the main-
land free of customs duty "things of their tillage and raising"
for six years, and this concession was later renewed from time to
time till 1602.
In 1581 Villalobos was the first abbot of Jamaica to take up
residence; "previous abbots, most of whom were seculars, had had
more concern in making incomes than in attending to their
duties"-at least so he told the King. The Villa de la Vega then
had one hundred inhabitants (vecinos), a church "built low in the
old style of wood and tiles"; a monastery and two hermitages, St.
Lucy and St. Barbara. There was also a monastery of St. Dominic.
When Villalobos died in 1606 he was buried near the high altar of
the principal church of the Villa de la Vega.
Two years later the King, on appeal from the country on
account of its poverty, granted to it half of the royal dues. Mel-
garejo, who was governor from 1597 to 1607, seems during
that period to have been nearly as much concerned over the
question of his salary as over the welfare of the colony, which
then appeared to be in low water: and he was not backward in the
matter of singing his own praises; winding up by saying that he
had spent all his money in the defence of the island, and begging
that he might be employed elsewhere where "his services may shine
more and he may be able to pay his debts." But he was appre.
JAMAICA IN 1922.
ciated by the colonists who supported his application and this
led, one is glad to learn, to a rise in his salary and to an extension
of his term of office.
Living was costly; Spanish goods had to be purchased at
Cartagena, Habana or Santo Domingo city and there was nothing
to eat but cassava and beef. In spite of that more than four
hundred Spaniards-inhabitants, soldiers, women and children-
came from Porto Rico, 'iaked, poor, terrified," and Melgarejo
lodged more than fifty in his own house. He advocated the send-
ing of a fleet of large sea-going ships-for galleys were of no use
owing to the high winde--for the suppression of illicit-trading.
Soon after his arrival much damage was done to houses and
churches by a hurricane. It is interesting to note that the "safest
and shortest" method of communication with Spain was then by
way of Cartagena.
Melgarejo reported on the illicit trading by Flemings, French
and English: "The French act with both hands: they rob and they
trade." He lived much in fear of the vengeance vowed by a
French corsair, Olivos, whose brother he had killed in repelling an
attack. Added to his troubles he complained that of the 12,000
ducats due to him for the last eight years' service, he had received
less than 3,000, and could get no redress from the officials at
Panama whose duty it was to pay him.
In 1593 the Pilgrim and two other ships, detached from the
fleet of the Earl of Cumberland, captured off America two barks
laden with hides.
In spite of Melgarejo's efforts, his successor Miranda, found
on his arrival in 1607 that Jamaica was much infested by pirates.
Whatever else they did or did not do the Abbots of Jamaica have
earned our gratitude for the descriptive accounts which they sent
home. Following the example of Villalobos the Abbot in 1611
sent a full account. The people were lazy and indolent: there
was only one settled town, the Villa de la Vega: the collegiate
church of the abbacy was nullius Diocesis: the clergy, "born in
the island," were poor like the people: there were two monas-
teries, of St. Dominic and St. Francis: there were 1510 persons in
the island-523 Spaniards (including men.and women), 173 chil-
dren 107 free negroes, 74 Indians (natives of the island), 558
slaves, 75 foreigners. All the Spaniards were from three parent-
ages and were very mixed by marriage. "Nearly the whole year
is taken up in killing cows and bulls only to get the hides and the
fat, leaving the meat wasted." He praises the woods of the
island and suggests ship-building. Lack of prosperity was due to
laziness on the part of the inhabitants and to lack of courage. He
hid his name under the signature "Abb. Jamaycensis."
As early as 1635 the Council of the Indies displayed an
interest in the Pimento industry. In 1638, ships constructed in
JAMAICA AS A SPANISH COLONY. 31
Habana, Campeche, San Domingo, Porto Rico and Jamaica, were
accorded all the privileges of those of Spain.
In June, July and August of 1648. there were many deaths
and much distress by reason of a prolonged drought. A monk
improved the occasion by denouncing the sin of "card-playing i1
high places," to which the governor, Caballero, who was no lover
of the church, retorted by calling him "a liar and a dissolute
monk": he having previously called the abbot, Medina Moreno,
"a garlic-eating clown." Sedeno de Abornoz, who had recently
come to audit the accounts, found Caballero "a great disturbance
to the peace of the island." The abbot excommunicated Caballero.
and the colony was divided into two factions, Caballeristas and
Sedenistas. Shortly afterwards, in a personal scuffle between
Sedeno and Caballero at the Abbot's house, Caballero lost his life.
The Governor caused an enquiry to be held with the result that it
was found that Caballero fell on his own sword. But the deceased
governor happened to be a "maestro titular" of the Holy Inquisi-
tion, and the long arm of that all-powerful body. instigated by his
father-in-law, reached out from Cartagena, seized Sedeno, put him
in chains, hurried him on ship-board and took him, together with
the abbot and his vicar-general, to Cartagena, from the common
gaol of which city he, in 1650, sent home a long and tragic report
of the occurrence. Two years later he was resident in Venezuela,
and in 1655 he sent home a long and interesting account of Ja-
maica, from which we learn that the settlement of Honduras and
Guatemala drained Jamaica of some of its inhabitants.
Betancur, a lawyer of St. Domingo city, was sent by the
Audiencia there to enquire into the cause of the death of Caballero,
but on arrival he found the government placed by the Holy Office
in the hands of the Sergent-Mayor, Francisco de Proenza, who
declined to acknowledge Betancur's authority.
When in May, 1655, Penn and Venables, after their unsuccess-
ful attempt on Hispaniola, attacked Jamaica, Juan Ramirez was
governor, "crippled in hands and feet in a bed." Ramirez was sent
,by the English to Campeche; but died on the voyage. Proenza,
the head of the army, was incapacitated by failing sight, and the
command fell on Cristobal Arnaldo de Ysassi (hitherto always
alluded to by English writers as Sasi), a native of Jnmaica, a
member of an honourable Basque family, and brother to the Bishop
of Puerto Rico, who for some years made a noble effort-aided by
forces sent from Puerto Rico, Cuba, Cartagena, Santo Domingo
and New Spain (Mexico) under the general supervision of Albur-
querque, the governor-general of New Spain, who did all in his
power by.exhortation and support to aid Ysassi-to maintain Ja-
maica, of which he was appointed governor in 1656, for the Spanish
From the despatches he sent home, Ysassi was evidently well
informed as to all the fortifications and forces of the British made
32 JAMAICA IN 1922.
by Duarte Dali (Edward Doyley). Roughly speaking, during the
period of struggle, the Spaniards controlled affairs in the west end
of the island, the English in the east. Many of the fugitive negroes
joined his forces, he promising freedom to those who did well; but
Bayona, the governor of Cuba, was worse than lukewarm in his
supply of men and provisions, and Ysassi's efforts were in vain.
He attributed his defeat at Ocho Rios to treachery, and he asked
Alburquerque to hold de los Reyes the traitor, prisoner. At last
he had to give in, and writing to the King in August, 1660 from
Cuba, Ysassi had to confess that the job was beyond him. He had
played the part of a brave man.
During the period of the Spanish occupation the island was at
least five times visited by Englishmen. In 1568 Sir John Hawkins
in the lesus skirted its south coast. In 1595 Sir Amyas Preston
and George Summers landed. In 1596 Sir Anthony Shirley, the
celebrated traveller, marched inland six miles, and met with "such
poor resistance, that with little or no danger he plundered the
island, burned St. Jago, and was, while he stayed, absolute master
of the whole." He and his companions found it "a marueilous
fertile isle," and they said "we have not found in the Indies a more
pleasant and holsome place." In 1603 the English under Christoph-
er Newport attacked the island, but were beaten off by Melgarejo.
In 1643 an expedition, fitted out in Barbados, chiefly from St.
Kitts, under Colonel Jackson, landed at Passage Fort, and fought
its way to the capital and "plundered it to their no small enrich-
It is estimated that when Jamaica fell into the hands of the
English, the population of the capital was half Spanish and Por-
tuguese or their descendants, and half slaves; but it is a curious
fact that a negro is mentioned as holding the position of priest of
the Roman Catholic Church.
The more important islands of Cuba and Hispaniola, to say
nothing of the rich mines of South America, offered greater attrac-
tions to the Spaniards than did Jamaica, where, then, as now, the
field had to be ploughed before the harvest could be reaped. They-
utilized for their ha.-os or pastures, the low-lying lands on the sea
coast, which had formerly been used by the native Arawaks for
the cultivation of Indian corn and cassava.
Of these halos the principal were, going from east to west,
Morante (the name of which still lives in Morant Bay), Ayala
(Yallahs), Lezama (where Mona now is,) Liguanea (lower St.
Andrew), Guanaboa (the name of which still exists), Guatibacoa
(about Old Harbour), Yama (in Vere), Pereda (Pedro Plains),
El Eado (behind Bluefields), and Cabonico (near Savanna-la-Mar).
They had settlements at the Villa de Vega (as they called
the present Spanish Town); at Caguaya (Passage Fort); at Es-
quivel (Old Harbour, named after the first governor about 1501);
gathough one writer talks of the port of MayqmoQ obviously refer-
JAMAICA AS A SPANISH COLONY. 33
ring to Old Harbour; Guiacanes (apparently Galleon Harbour),
at Parattee (still bearing the same name); at Oristan (Bluefields,
named after a town in Sardinia then subject to the crown of
Spain); at Savanna-la-Mar; at Negrillo, at Melilla (probably in
the north-west corner of St. James);* at Chireras (Ocho Rios),
founded in 1510; Hibanal (somewhere near Buff Bay), at Puerto
Anton (Port Antonio), and at Sevilla Neuva (St. Ann's Bay).
Guayguate and Elvira were both near the north side but cannot now
be identified. They had a look-out on the Cayo de Carena (Port
Roads ran from Sevilla Nueva, along the coast, to Puerto
Anton, and southward-one to the Villa de la Vega, and another
to Esquivel. From Esquivel there was a road to Oristan, and
thence to Melilla, whence it went west to Punta Negrilla.
The Spaniards had explored the island sufficiently to name
approximately many of the rivers-Agua Alta (deep river, now
known as Wag Water), Rio Cobre (copper river), Rio Grande
(large river), Rio Minho (after the river that divides Spain from
the north of Portugal), Rio Bueno (good river), Rio Magno (great
river), Rio Nuevo (new river), Rio de Oro (golden river), Rio
Pedro, Rio Hoja (leafy river, now called Rio Hoe) and Rio Som-
brio (shady river, now iio Sambre) in St. Mary, Rio del Seco
(possibly the Dry River), and lastly Boca de Agua (or waters
meet; now corrupted into the well-known Bog Walk).
Of the names which they gave to the hills we have retained
Mount Diablo and the mountains of Santa Cruz. The Blue Moun-
tains were called Sierras de Bastidas.
In adopting Spanish names, the early English settlers fell
into two errors. They called the Villa de Vega, St. Jago de la
Vega; and they gave to the Point of the Palisadoes the name of
Cagua, which was a corruption of Caguaya, which stood where
Passage Fort now is.
There are but scanty remains of Spanish masonry in the
island; none of great importance. The only known relic of
Spanish Jamaica is the church bell from Port Royal, now in the
Institute of Jamaica.
*There is evidence in favour of sites further east and one seventeenth century
map even puts it at the east end of the north coast.
tSee "Jamaica Place Names." (Institute of Jamaica, Kingston, 1909.)
IV.-JAMAICA AS A BRITISH COLONY.
The space at disposal will only admit of the briefest abstract
of the principal events in the history of the island under British
If Spain utilized criminals in the colonization of her posses-
sions in the New World, some of the men whom Cromwell sent out
under Penn and Venables, to "obtain an establishment in the
West Indies, which is possessed by the Spaniards," in order to put
a check on Spanish arrogance, were little better. One of their
number characterized them as "Hectors and knights of the blade,
with common cheats, thieves, cut purses, and such-like lewd per-
sons;" and, in connection with the cowardice at San Domingo of
Adjutant-General Jackson, who had his sword broken over his
head as an example to others, he stated that, in his opinion, if all
of like nature had been so dealt with, there would not have been
many whole swords left in the army;" and the wife of Venables,
who kept a journal, said, "a wicked army it was, and sent out with-
out arms or provisions." But, after their miserably unsuccessful
attempt to take San Domingo, Penn and Venables, joint com-
manders unfaithful alike to Cromwell and to each other, were for-
tunate enough to find in Jamaica a lot of Spaniards who were ill-
prepared for an attack and had perforce to yield, not, however, be-
fore they had cheated the invaders into letting them get away with
what riches they possessed. For two or three years thereafter a
number of them made efforts to regain their power, but, though
bravely led by Ysassi, they were not sufficiently supported from
Spainish America, and had amongst their numbers traitors to the
cause. The negroes belonging to the Spaniards retreated to secluded
spots in the interior, and became the forerunners of the maroons,
who for years gave such trouble to the authorities by their lawless-
ness. In 1656 Luke Stokes, the governor of Nevis, came with some
1,600 souls and settled at the east end of the island, and Cromwell
with a desire to have Jamaica colonized by a God-fearing people
offered through Daniel Gookin, better known as the protector of the
Indians, special facilities for those who would go from New Eng-
land and settle in the new colony. Some few went, but reports of
its unhealthiness, and fear of Spanish invasion and of revolted
negroes kept many away. The care which Gookin took, however, to
send provisions from New England for the new settlers, paved the
way for the subsequent trade between the northern colonies and
the West Indies.
From that day to this, amidst all the vicissitudes and contests
on sea and land in the West Indies between England and France
and Spain, when the smaller islands, with the exception of Barba-
NFL~\~ \ I L I)CKI;uRF RY.\
HOUSE OF) .\SSEMIBLY, SPA\NISH TOWN
JAMAICA AS A BRITISH COLONY. 5
dos, frequently changed their nationalities, Jamaica has-thanks
probably to Rodney-remained in the possession of the British
Crown; and the history of the influence of the English on the
African race during the period may be perhaps better studied in
Jamaica than in any other island.
Gage, the traveller, whose "English-American" did much to
draw the attention of England to Spain's possessions in the New
World came out in the expedition of 1655 and died in Jamaica.
After a short period of military command, General Doyley was
appointed Jamaica's first civil governor in 1661. In that -year the
principle of the navigation act, passed by Cromwell ten years
earlier aiming at the Dutch carrying trade, was re-affirmed by
Charles II. and this forbidding of the carrying of goods to British
ports in aught but British ships, coupled with the delicate matter
of right of search, of which much has been said of late, was an
endless Fource of conflict between British and foreign vessels fur
many a year to come. The second governor, Lord Windsor.
reached the island on the 11th of August, 1662. He hail
published at Barbados, en route, a proclamation for the encourage-
ment of settlers in Jamaica; and brought with him Jamaica's
magna charta, a proclamation from the king that all born in Ja-
maica of English subjects should be citizens of England, and the
right to make laws, to be in force for two years only unless ap-
proved by the Crown: also a large silver-gilt mace (which has
mysteriously disappeared, but was probably very like the earlier of
two maces in the Institute of Jamaica, if indeed it be not that re-
fashioned), the arms of the island, and a broad seal. He remained
but ten weeks, but during that time he did good organizing work,
and laid the foundation of many of the conditions under which
the planters of Jamaica, by the aid of their slaves, were to reap
fortunes during the next century and a half. Dr. Henry Stubbe,
the second keeper of the Bodleian Library, was here as physician
to the island at that time.
The capital, which was first at Port Royal, was, in 1664,
removed to St. Jago de la Vega, where, in that year, the first
general representative assembly !of the people met. Modyford,
who, like Windsor, had secured the office through the .instrumen-
tality of Albemarle, the new governor, brought 1,000 settlers from
Barbados with him. He was a friend of privateers. In that year,
too, a census of the population was taken, which amounted to 4,205;
but by 1698 the number had risen to 47,365 souls, of whom 40,000
were black. In 1667 some six hundred settlers came from Mont-
serrat whence they had been driven by the French. In 1670, Jama-
ica was formally ceded to England by the treaty of Madrid, and
thus the most pressing need of constant defence against Spanish
attack was removed, and greater encouragement was given to plant-
ing. When Blome wrote in 1672, there were 70 sugar works, 60
indigo-works and 60 cacao-walks in the island, In 1675, twelve
36 JAMAICA IN 1922.
hundred settlers arrived from Surinam, which had been given up
to the Dutch in exchange for New York, and landed at Banister's
Bay, and started sugar planting in St. Elizabeth; the memory of
them still living in the Surinam Quarters.
On his arrival as governor in 1678 the Earl of Carlisle, in
obedience to instructions from the home, bringing forty ready-
made laws and a perpetual bill of Revenue, attempted to force
upon the island the form of legislation prescribed for Ireland by
Poynings's law; the virtual difference between the two systems
being that in one the island made its own laws in accordance with
its own needs and sent them home for approval, and in the other
the laws were made in England and sent out for the approval of
the island. The proposed change the Assembly resisted with might
and main, their late speaker, the Chief Justice of the island, Samuel
Long, being sent to England a State prisoner. After many years of
struggle success crowned their efforts. In 1728 an agreement
was entered into by the ministry of George II. by which, in return
for an annual subsidy granted to the king for the support of the
civil government, full power of legislation was conceded to the
governor with the advice and consent of the legislative council
and house of assembly, subject only to the proviso that any acts
passed should not be repugnant to the laws of England, and to
disallowance within a limited period by the Crown. After this,
for nearly a century and a half-until, in fact, the members of
the Assembly in 1865 surrendered the privileges for which
their forefathers had struggled-the people of.Jamaica enjoyed,
with certain restrictions, the right of making their own laws.
In 1685 convicts of Monmouth's and Argyle's rebellion came
out bound to serve for ten years. Four years later the first
Assiento Company for supplying slaves to the Spanish West Indies
The buccaneers, of whom the chief was Henry Morgan, in his
regenerate days lieutenant-governor of Jamaica, were
"a jollie crewe
of plesante laddes that knewe no feare,
and-little of honestie too."
Morgan himself lies buried on the Palisadoes.
In 1687, the second Duke of Albemarle arrived as governor,
accompanied by Sir Hans Sloane as his private physician. The
Duke had allowance for passage for 100 servants and 500 tons
of goods. He tried to govern with a high hand, quarrelled with the
assembly, and generally did a large amount of harm in a short time,
but died in the following year, his body being taken by his half-
crazy widow to England for internment. Sloane collected 800 plants
most of which were new species. His work on the natural history
pf Jamaica is well known.
On the 7th of June, 1692, Port Royal-then the finest town
JAMAICA AS A BRITISH COLONY. .7
in the West Indies, and one of the richest places in the world, by
reason of treasures brought in by the buccaneers, whose head-
quarters it was and the centre of much debauchery-was almost
totally destroyed by an earthquake, which event led to the
development of the town of Kingston.
In 1694 the island was invaded by the French under Admiral
duCasse with 1,500 troops, but the invaders were driven back by
the Jamaica militia: two years later another French squadron
under de Pointis threatened but did not attack the island; in
1699 Jamaica was forbidden to trade with the ill-fated settlers at
Darien, some of whom came and took up land in the Surinam
quarters. The Darien settlement had been largely formed by officers
and men thrown out of employment by the peace of Ryswick. Eng-
land's jealousy of Scotch trade was its ruin. West Indian govern-
ors were forbidden to assist the young colony which was not, more-
over, viewed favourably in Jamaica. In this year for the first time
Scotsmen were decreed to have the same rights as Englishmen.
In 1702 poor Benbow died at Port Royal of wounds received in
the engagement with duCasse off Santa Marta; he lies buried in
Early in the eighteenth century service in the army here was
by no means popular. "The most hardened criminal could hopa
for pardon if he enlisted for Jamaica."
In 1711 the western part of the island was visited by severe
storm; the parish of Westmoreland alone sustaining damage to the
extent of 700,000. In 1718 coffee was introduced into the island,
and the foundation was laid of an important industry which was
later developed by the immigration of Frenchmen from the then new
republic of Hayti. In 1721, more than 60 years after the conquest,
a printing press, one of the foundations of civilization, was first set
up in the island. Amongst the very few monuments to England's
great men in the Guildhall, London, stands one to a son of
Jamaica-William Beckford, Lord Mayor of London, who earned
the gratitude of the citizens of London by his fearless attitude
towards King George III. when he presented His Majesty with a
remonstrance against abuses. The son of Colonel Beckford and
the father of the author of "Vathek," he was born in Jamaica in
1709, but left the island in 1723, to revisit it only once in 1735
for a year. Beckford inherited great wealth from his father but he
bequeathed more (a million of money and 100,000 a year) to his
son, who, never visiting the island to which he was indebted for his
wealth, squandered in England his magnificent heritage on the
mansion of Fonthill and its collections and earned the obloquy of
Jamaicans by reason of the mean part he played in connection with
the Drax bequest for educational purposes. Beckford is typical
of the class of absentee-proprietors who by their lack of interest
in the country from which they gathered their wealth, undermined
the prosperity which labour on a fruitful soil was toiling to build
88 JAMAICA IN 1 .
up; so that when the storm, resulting from abolition and bounties
came, the structure was unable to withstand the shock: not' but that
other absentee-proprietors have tried to do their duty by their
properties, so far as is compatible with absenteeism.
In 1723, 3,000 acres were purchased by the Government for
settlers and the parish of Portland was formed.
From 1730 to 1734, there were difficulties with the maroons,
the descendants of the negroes belonging to the Spaniards, who had
fled to the wilder inland parts of the island; but in 1738 a treaty
of peace was entered into with them, and settlements were assigned
to them in various parts of the island. About this time Smollett,
who took part in Vernon's ill-fated attempt on Cartagena, the
novelist, then a surgeon's mate in the navy, lived here and married
a Jamaica lady. In 1744 a storm and earthquake did much dam-
age; Port Royal, Kingston and Old Harbour especially suffering.
As showing the value of sugar estates in Jamaica about the middle
of the eighteenth century, it may be mentioned that Simon Taylor,
a very wealthy planter, gave 100,000 (sterling) for Holland in
In 1751 the first almanac printed in Jamaica was produced:
a copy is in the Library of the Institute of Jamaica. In 1753
Judges first went on circuit and five years later the three counties,
Surrey, Middlesex and Cornwall, were formed for judicial pur-
Admiral Sir Charles Knowles, during his governorship from
1752 to 1756, had many quarrels with a section of the assembly
owing to his premature endeavour to change the seat of the gov-
ernment from Spanish Town to Kingston where the Assembly held
four sessions. The law which he forced through the house was
disallowed by the king.
His successor, Henry Moore, who administered the island
from 1756 to 1762 (with a short interval in 1759), did much to
pacify the angry feelings raised by Knowles, and was rewarded
with a baronetcy. He commenced the building of the present
King's House in Spanish Town. Moore was, from 1765 till his
death in 1769, governor of New York; while his successor, William
Henry Lyttelton (afterwards Baron Lyttelton), who was here from
1762 to 1765, relinquished the governorship of South Carolina to
come to Jamaica. In 1754 was founded the Moravian Mission,
which has done much good work quietly for nearly two centuries.
In the face of the volumes of abuse that have from time to
time been hurled at the slave-owning planters it is but fair to
record that in 1765 a bill was twice read in the Assembly limiting
the importation of, slaves, but was withdrawn on the Governor's
saying that he would not give his assent.
"Peter Pindar" was for a time incumbent of a living in Vere.
William Beckford, the cousin of the author of "Vathek", spent
fifteen years (1773 to 1788) on his various estates. His "Descrip-
JAMAICA AS A BRITISH COLONY. 39
tive Account" (1790) was dated from the Fleet prison, a strange
residence for one who could claim kinship with the owner of Font-
hill. His imprisonment was, however, due to shameful treatment
by a friend he had assisted. In 1773 was established the Island
Botanic Garden, which has, with its successor the Department of
Agriculture, been of inestimable value in the development of the
agricultural industries of the colony.
During the latter half of the century Jamaica had either as
natives or visitors a number of men celebrated in letters and science.
Edward Long, the historian of the island (1774), was a great-
grand-son of the patriot, Samuel Long, who, coming out as a lieu-
tenant in Doyley's regiment, rose to be speaker of the house of
assembly and Chief Justice. Bryan Edwards, the well-known his-
torian of the West Indies, came in his youth to Jamaica, where he
resided (with an interval from 1782 to 1787) till 1792, when he
settled permanently in England as a West India merchant. His
history (1793)-which ran through five editions, and was trans-
lated in part into German, Spanish, French and Dutch-was writ-
ten at Bryan Castle, an estate which he founded in Trelawny.
Dr. William Wright, after serving as a naval surgeon under
Rodney, lived for sixteen years-between 1764 and 1785-in Ja-
maica, and wrote on Jamaica medical and botanical subjects. John
Hunter, who is not to be confounded with his more celebrated
contemporaneous namesake, was from 1781 to 1783 superintendent
of the military hospitals. His "Observations on the Diseases of the
Army in Jamaica" (1788) forms an important contribution to the
island's medical literature.
Olof Swartz, the celebrated Swedish botanist, was in Jamaica
in 1784-86, when he discovered many new species of plants.
In 1760 there was a formidable rebellion amongst the slaves
in St. Mary, and about 600 were transported to the Bay of Hon-
duras. The expedition which was sent in 1778 by Governor Dall-
ing of Jamaica against San Juan de Nicaragua is memorable from
the fact that Nelson, who was then in official residence at Port
Royal, took part in it. The expedition suffered severely from
malarial fever, and Nelson only just escaped with his life. Dr.
Thomas Dancer, who lived in Jamaica from 1773 till his death in
1811-12, was chief of the hospital staff on the expedition. He is
best known by his "Medical Assistant" (1801).
In .1775 the congress of the revolting colonies in America
drew up appeals for sympathy and support, addressed to the peo-
ple of Ireland and of Jamaica.
In 1782 Rodney achieved his great victory over De Grasse off
Dominica, and thus saved Jamaica from possible capture. The
Rodney memorial at Spanish Town, by Becon, erected at a cost of
8,200, testifies to Jamaica's gratitude to that great naval com-
mander. The picture of himself and his officers on board the
Formidable, by Pine, is in the Institute of Jamaica.
40 JAtAIOA IN 192U.
Sir Alured Clarke was Lieutenant-Governor during an unfor-
tunate period in the island's history-from 1784 to 1790. He was
at first hampered by a succession of 'severe storms in 1784, 1785,
1786, in the first of which every vessel in Kingston harbour was
either sunk or damaged, and the barracks at Up-Park Camp were
blown down. During this period Jamaica, in company with other
West India islands, protested against the restrictions of trade with
America imposed on them by the mother country, and in 1784 an
impending famine caused Clarke to allow free importation from
the United States for a time. Between 1780 and 1787 no less
than 15,000 slaves died as the result of the scarcity of provisions.
In 1789, was founded the Wesleyan Mission which has done much
for the uplifting of the native population. In 1792 the 20th (or
Jamaica) Light Dragoons was formed.
In 1793 an event of some considerable economic importance to
the island occurred in the arrival of William Bligh with fruit-trees,
especially the breadfruit and the Otaheite and Bourbon sugar canes,
from the south seas. For this he received a vote of one thousand
guineas from the House of Assembly and the gold medal of the
Society of Arts of London; while Sir Joseph Banks received the
thanks of the Assembly for the interest which he had shown in the
botanical life of Jamaica. In 1795-96 there was further trouble
with the maroons. Upwards of 500 were deported to Nova Scotia,
whence they were sent to Sierra Leone.
We gain a good account of the state of the island early in 1795
from a despatch which Lord Balcarres, the newly arrived Lieuten-
ant Governor, sent home:-
"On my arrival in the island of Jamaica in April, 1795, I found a vast assembly
of French emigrants, who had recently fled from the horrors of St. Domingo. They
were composed of all ranks, qualities and colours.
Many of the noblesse of France, numbers of ladies of the highest condition and
consideration, accustomed to every delicacy and luxury, and who had saved nothing
from the general wreck of their fortunes, excepting their menial female slaves, attendant
upon their persons, and a few trusty male domestics, who to save the lives of their
mistresses had endangered their own-these persons formed one class of those un-
A multitude of slaves and of handicraft men of colour, with great numbers of
brown women formed another class.
A third consisted of an immense roll of French prisoners of war of the most
alarming description. These were confined on board of hulks moored near the shore;
among them were bands of incendiaries who had been sent to Jamaica by the French
Directory of St. Domingo, through the medium of the prison-ships; the object of these
people was to introduce themselves by bribery and artifice into the island for the
purposes of destruction, conflagration and revolt; they were furnished with profusion of
gold, and had been too successful in finding the means of effecting their escapes from
those hulks, and getting into the interior of the island.
An attempt had been made on the morning previous to my arrival, to set fire to
the town of Kingston, and the combustible materials were exposed to view. Shortly
afterwards the town of Montego Bay was burnt to the ground. Those circumstances,
with the burning of Philadelphia, proved the system that prevailed with the Directory
of France and her sub-directories at that period.......
Such was the first coup d'oeil which I had of this people at the period of my land-
ing,-the prospective was still more gloomy.
The people of Jamaica had the greatest dread of the consequences which might
eventually befall the island, should a want of success of our army serving in St.
Domingo create the necessity of the numerous French corps falling back upon the
island of Jamaica.
In this situation, and with these sentiments, the legislature of Jamaica would
not discriminate, but passed colonial laws, the effect. of which was the confounding
everything that was noble and deserving with that which was vile and dangerous.
JAMAICA AS A BRITISH COLON. 41
To my understanding the duty imposed upon me seemed difficult, but extremely
obvious. National hono,.' and every sentiment of humanity dictated to me the pro-
priety of protecting wv.th firmness and 'vigour the first class, and keeping a most
vigilant eye on the conduct of the others ....
I had hardly fixed myself in the seat of government, when the apprehensions
which had alarmed me on my arrival, respecting the unfortunate admission of some
of these French emigrants into the interior of the island, proved but too well founded.
by the breaking out of the Maroon Rebellion an event which nearly lost to His
Majesty this most valuable possession of Jamaica."
In spite of all these trodres, in 1803 was sent to England the
largest sugar crop ever shipped from Jamaica.
In 1805 there was great fear of French invasion, and martial
law was declared, but in the following year fear was allayed by
Admiral Duckworth who brought in the prizes captured off San
Domingo, in one of the completes victories on record. The jour-
nal kept by Mrs. (afterwards Lady) Nugent, the wife of the Gov-
ernor from 1801 to 1806, contains an excellent account of the life
of the period, and gives abundant evidence of the strenuous life
which General Nugent and she lived, with its endless round of re-
ceptions, banquets, balls, reviews and interviews. In 1803 the
town of Kingston was incorporated.
When Sir Eyre Coote came out in 1806 as Lieutenant-Gover-
nor, he brought the news that the Imperial Parliament had passed a
law withdrawing the restriction on trade between Jamaica and the
other West India Islands, and the United States, and also that
the African Slave Trade was abolished, which rendered the Ja-
maica planters dependent for their future supply of labour on the
natural increase of the creole negroes, and foreshadowed the total
abolition of slavery. From then till the time of abolition the con-
dition of the slave population was gradually improved, partly
through humane motives in the island, but in great measure through
pressure brought to bear by philanthropists in England; and the
bonds were gradually loosened so that the position of the slaves,
when emancipation came, was very different from that of their
parents at the commencement of the century.
Most residents in, and many visitors to the West Indies, have
read "Tom Cringle's Log" and "The Cruise of the Midge", the
former of which contains unequalled studies of Jamaica life and
character of the early years of the nineteenth century. Michael
Scott, their author, came to Jamaica in 1806 to manage several
estates: in 1810 he entered a business in Kingston the nature of
which compelled him to travel frequently both by sea and road, and
the experience of tropical scenery and nautical life thus gained
formed the basis of the "Log", originally written at Raymond Hall
in the Blue Mountains. After a visit to Glasgow in 1817, he left
the island finally in 1822, and settled at Glasgow, commencing the
publication of "The Log" seven years later in the pages of Black-
Matthew Gregory Lewis, better known from the title of his
most famous work as Monk Lewis, owned Cornwall and other estates
4 jAMAICA IN 19g2.
in Jamaica, which he visited in 1816 and 1818. He died at sea ten
days out from Black River, in the arms of his valet Tita, who was
afterwards present at Byron's death. Lewis had the welfare of his
negro slaves much at heart as is evidenced from a perusal of his
"Journal of a West Indian proprietor." On both sides, his ancest-
ors had interest in the island: and it is curious to note that he
succeeded William Beckford, another Jamaica proprietor, in the re-
presentation of Hindon in the House of Commons. Lewis's princi-
pal acts were the abolition of the lash on his properties, the accept-
ance of negro evidence, an endeavour to supplement manual labour
by mechanical implements, the erection of better hospitals, and
the granting of extra holidays; and he generally did his best-not
without success-to spoil his slaves. So strongly was he impressed
with the evil arising from absent landlordism that in a codicil to
his will he made it a condition of inheritance that the owner of his
estates, whoever he or she might be, should pass three calendar
months in Jamaica every third year. This was not asking much;
and if every Jamaica proprietor had acted in that spirit, much
subsequent trouble would have been prevented. The Duke of Man-
chester was here for a longer period-1808 to 1827-than any other
governor. During his term of office, the Baptist Mission and the
Presbyterian Church were founded, and Jamaica ports were made
free to foreign nations. Bolivar, the Spanish Liberator, visited the
island and nearly lost his life by an assassin's knife. The second
Earl of Belmore was governor from 1829 to 1832. Accompanied by
the Countess of Belmore he arrived on the 20th February, 1829, at a
time when the island was in conflict with the home government on
the subject of the treatment of slaves and religious toleration. Can-
ning's resolutions for the amelioration of the slave population
formed the basis of the instructions which Belmore received. At
this time, one member of the House of Assembly suggested that a
despatch on the subject from England should be burnt by the com-
mon hangman, and another proposed that it should be ignored on
the assumption that the colonial militia could resist the forces of
England; while some went so far as to threaten to transfer their
allegiance to the United States. After protracted negotiations, a
bill acceptable to the home authorities was passed in February,
1831. Islo Morgannwg, the Welsh bard and modern founder of
the Gorsedd, sacrificed a property in Jamaica left him by a brother
rather than obtain money as the fruits of slavery of which he was
a great opponent. And Zachary Macaulay, who came as a lad of
sixteen to Jamaica, obtained on a sugar estate experiences which
coloured his life and made him an ardent abolitionist.
In 1831 the negro rebellion in St. James resulted in damage
to the extent of 666,977, and in the following year the ill-favoured
Colonial Church Union was founded with the object of opposing
Four Baptist ministers stand out prominently in the work of
JAMAICA AS A BRITISH COLONY. 43
the abolition of slavery in Jamaica-Thomas Burchell. Walter Den-
dy, William Knibb and James Mursel Phillippo. These four men
were indefatigable in their endeavours to obtain fair treatment both
in matters of religion and civic life, for the negro race; putting up
with insults and hardships innumerable. Their only fault was
that they were over zealous, and, in preaching equality, forgot
almost entirely the influence of ancestry and surroundings.
In May, 1833 a law was passed by the Imperial Government
which declared that from and after August, 1834, all slaves in the
colonial possessions of Great Britain should be free for ever, sub-
ject to an intermediate state of six years' apprenticeship; this,
however, was shortened to four years, and on the 1st of August,
1838, the total albolition of slavery took place in Jamaica. The
sum of 5,853,975 was awarded to Jamaica slave holders in com-
pensation for the manumission of their property, i.-. upwards of a
quarter of a million of slaves: but much of this money found its
way into the pockets of merchants in London, who held mortgages
on the estates, and did not directly benefit the island.
In 1828, ten years before the abolition of slavery, the export of
sugar was 101,575 hogsheds. In 1848, ten years after it, it had
fallen to 42,212 hogsheds. In coffee the fall was much greater,
from 22,216,780 lbs. in 1828 to 5,681,941 lbs. in 1848. In 1833 a
College of Physicians and Surgeons of Jamaica was established, but
was killed by professional opposition at home. Sir Charles Met-
calfe, while he was Governor (1839-1842), did much to reconcile
differences between the planters and the home government over con-
ditions arising out of Emancipation; his statue in Kingston testi-
fies to the regard in which he was justly held.
In 1837, the City of Kingston, was the first steamship to reach
Jamaica. In this year appeared an important contribution to the
botanical literature of the island in James Macfad\en's "Flora of
Jamaica." Three years later, Joseph B. Kidd, a member of the
Scottish Academy, published his "Illustrations of Jamaica." a
larger and much more inrteitious volume than James Hakewill's
"Picturesque Tour" of 1825: Kidd's subscription price was 20.
Philip Henry Gosse. the well known zoologist. visited Jamaica
in 1844, where he remained 'or eighteen months, and collected and
sent home specimens of manv rare animals. In 1847 he published
his "Birds of Jamaica." and. two years later a folio volume of
plates in illustration. In 1851 he published his "Naturalist's So-
journ in Jamaica," in which he was much assisted by Richard Hill,
one of Jamaica's most talented sons. In his scientific work, Hill
corresponded with Darwin, and through his philanthropic labours
he became acquainted with Wilberforce, Buxton and Clarkson.
An immediate result of the abolition of slavery need was felt
for more labourers, and in 1842 the first batch of East Indian
immigrants arrived from India, but the system did not prove last-
44 JAMAICA IN 19 .
ing. In 1854 the experiment was tried of bringing Chinese, but
without much success, as a large number returned to their native
land. In all 1,152 Chinese were introduced. The question of East
Indian immigration was re-opened in 1858, and again in 1869,
when the recent system of indentured service was established. There
was no importation between the years 1895 and 1899; in the latter
year 615 coolies arrived in one ship. It was a sign of the time that
the majority of them went on to banana plantations instead of sugar
estates as formerly. East Indians who have worked out their inden-
tures frequently start as shop-keepers. They are a law-abiding
people except when jealousy and revenge incite to personal violence.
Up to the end of 1915, 35,933 East Indians have been introduced.
Of these 11,778 returned to India. In 1921 there were 18,846 East
Indians in Jamaica, immigration having been stopped by the In-
In 1845 a railway was opened from Kingston to Angels (north
of Spanish Town), a distance of about fifteen miles.
In 1846 the House of Assembly declared that the action of the
Imperial Government in equalizing the sugar duties on British and
foreign productions had rendered it impossible to continue the in-
stitutions of the colony on their then scale: and during the whole
six years of Sir Charles Grey's administration a war of retrench-
ment was waged. The treasury became bankrupt, and a deadlock
ensued, the Assembly declining to do any business with the Coun-
cil. This state of affairs welcomed Sir Henry Barkly (1853-56)
to the colony. An act for the better government of the island was
passed, by which the governor was authorized to appoint an execu-
tive committee to assist him in the general administration of the
colony; a legislative council, consisting partly of official and partly
of non-offical members, replacing the old council which had been
In 1860 a line of mail-steamers was subsidized to run between
Kingston and New York. This, the first steam communication from
a port of the British West Indies to America, offered facilities for
the shipment of Jamaica fruits, which had hitherto had no market-
able value for exportation; and in 1868 was started the private
fruit trade between Port Antonio and Boston, which, under the
enterprise and perseverance of Captain Baker, proved a great boon
to the island. It has since developed to a marvellous degree.
In 1865, during the government of Edward John Eyre, the
outbreak at Morant Bay occurred, when Baron von Ketelhodt, the
Custos of St. Thomas-in-the-East, and eighteen other colonists were
killed. George William Gordon, merchant, planter, politician and
independent minister of religion, a leader of the people of consider-
able importance, was tried by court-martial and hanged. But Gov-
ernor Eyre was re-called; and, in the following year, Crown Gov-
ernment, under which the governor was armed with almost des-
potic power in the island subject only to home control, was or-
JAMAICA AS A BRITISH COLONY.
ganized under Sir John Peter Grant.
Grant's governorship which extended till 1874, is remembered
for the reduction of the number of parishes from 22 (to which
they had gradually increased) to 14; the formation of the con-
stabulary on the lines of that of Ireland; the reconstruction of the
judicial establishment; the establishment of an island medical set-
vice, a public works department and a government savings bank;
the opening of telegraphic communication between Jamaica and
Havana, by which means it first became possible to send telegrams
from the island to Europe; the extension of educational advant-
ages and postal facilities: the resumption of coolie immigration;
the development of the Rio Cobre water-works; the dis-establish-
ment of the Church of England in Jamaica-all due to his initia-
tive, and also for the foundation of the fruit trade with America
above referred to. Thus his tenure of office was an epoch-making
period in Jamaica history.
Sir Anthony Musgrave (18-82), carried through many use-
ful undertakings-the regulation of coolie immigration, the reform
of legal procedure, the establishment of electric telegraphs and
coastal steamer service, the purchase and the extension of the rail-
way by the government, and the re-organization of the botanical de-
partment. IIe also insisted on the importance of devoting atten-
tion to the minor products of the island, and Jamaica is to-day
reaping the benefit of his policy.
For five years (December 1883 to January 1889), Sir Henry
Wylie Normani controlled the destinies of the colony. His arrival
marked the departure from crown government to some form of
representative government-"a moderate step in advance," as Lord
Derby termed it, in which the representatives of the people had a
substantial amount of power and responsibility in the legislation
of Jamaica, which was the outcome of a deadlock, as no suitable
private person could be found willing to accept the post of nominat-
ed member of the council under Crown Government. Nine mem-
bers of the Legislative Council were henceforth elected by the
people on a franchise all too low; and against the united vote of
six of these nine it was directed that the vote of the official mem-
bers was not to be recorded. This change was not made without
protests that it was no advance at all, that it was in fact a shadow,
not a substance. In 1885 a widespread interest began to be taken in
the decaying state of the sugar industry. In the same year a spon-
taneous movement was inaugurated for forming a volunteer militia,
to do, if need be, in view of military operations in the Soudan,
garrison duty in place of the regular troops which might be called
off the island.
In 1886, a new form of poor-relief was inaugurated, by means
of which the parochial boards administer the funds, under the con-
trol of a central board of supervision. About this time education,
both secondary and primary, received a considerable amount of
46 JAMAICA IN 1922.
attention, due in great measure to the action of the late Archbishop
Nuttall, and the Jamaica Scholarship, tenable at an English uni-
versity, was first awarded in 1887.
The desire for greater railway facilities led to steps being
taken to ensure its extension to Montego Bay and Port Antonio,
with foreign capital. Soon afterwards Norman left to take up the
governorship of Queensland. His career in Jamaica was most suc-
In 1891, under the auspices of the next governor, Sir Henry
Blake, (1889-98), an exhibition was held in Kingston, which did
something towards enlightening the peasant population of the is-
land about other countries, especially the United States and Can-
ada, and towards stirring them up to take an interest in their own
island; as well as bringing Jamaica more prominently to the
notice of American, Canadian and English travellers.
In 1894 the railway was extended to Montego Bay, a distance
of 113 miles from Kingston, and the branch to Port Antonio was
opened in 1896. Forty years ago it took two days, and cost about
10, to drive from Kingston to Montego Bay. To-day, one can
travel in a not uncomfortable third-class carriage, and get there in
a little more than 7 hours, at a cost of 21/-. About this time, too,
much was done to increase the number of roads and bridges in
the island, which assisted materially in the agricultural advance-
ment of the colony. In 1895 the number of elected members was
increased from nine to fourteen, i.e. one for each parish of the is-
land, the number of nominated and official members being at the
same time proportionately increased, four of the nominated mem-
bers not being called up. In the same year, the Jamaica Agricul-
tural Society was formed and an impetus given to the practice of
agriculture on scientific lines by the peasantry.
In 1899-during the governorship of Sir Augustus Hemming
(1898-1904), a period of commercial depression-the four addition-
al nominated members of the Legislative Council were called in to
take their seats, raising the official side of the house to fourteen in
number, thus balancing the fourteen elected members.
In 1901 was established the Imnerial Direct Service between
Bristol and Jamaica, by the quickest ship of whici the passage was
made in 10 days, but the service ceased in 1911 owing to Jamaica's
unwillingness to continue to pay its share of the subsidy, 20,000
per annum. In 1907 occurred the earthquake which caused the
death of about 800 persons in Kingston and loss of property to the
extent of about 2,010,000. After trials in the law courts here and
in England the insurance companies paid 85 per cent of the
amounts insured without assessment. The reconstructed Kingston
bears little resemblance to the old; reinforced concrete having
supplanted the old-time brick buildings with wooden verandahs.
. In 1910 a wireless telegraph station was established, and the
Canadian West Indian Commission visited the island. Of late
JAMAICA AS A BRITISH COLONY. 47
years traae reciprocal relationship and even political union, with
Canada has received increasing attention and has recently formed
the subject of special enquiry, and regular steamship communica-
tion has been established.
After the hurricane of 1912, Co-operative Agricultural Loan
Banks were formed to assist small landed proprietors to recover
from its effects without the aid of government, and a Land Settle-
ment Scheme was later added.
After the war much discussion took place with regard to the
expansion of the sugar industry by means of central factories, and
one such was successfully launched. Between 1839 and 1909, no
less than 573 sugar estates went out of cultivation. The new impe-
tus arising from the shortage of sugar during the war was short-
lived owing to the fall in prices, and in 1921 the Legislature had
to pass a Loan Law to aid sugar growers.
Various institutions have been formed for the improvement
of the people. The Jamaica Imperial Association (1917) aims at
economic, social, agricultural and industrial advance. Citizen
Associations in various parishes aim at similar objects locally, while
the Jamaica League is specially concerned with the well-being of
native Jamaicans. The Young Men's Christian Association has
been established in Kingston, with a branch in Vere; and it is
hoped that ere long the Young Women's Christian Association will
be formed also. The Jamaica Nurses' Union, the Mothers' Union,
the Child Saving League and the Women's Social Service Club all
testify to the increasing interest which women are taking in the
social welfare of the community. Commissions have at times con-
sidered the condition of various diseases, vomiting sickness, yaws,
pellagra, malaria and hookworm, the last-named of which is in the
hands of the Rockefeller Institute.
In 1913 a branch of the railway into upper Clarendon was
opened. But since that date development has been retarded by the
Great War of Jamaica's part in which a brief notice is given in the
next chapter; and by a series of hurricanes which had disastrous
effects on crops; and in the autumn of 1918, Jamaica did not
escape the world-felt effects of the Influenza.
In 1920 high prices were realized for Jamaica produce, but
in the following year depression came, and economy was a matter
of necessity. Towards the close of 1921 a Commission from the
Colonial Office visited Jamaica in order to obtain first-hand in-
formation of the state of affairs.
In a somewhat rapid review of Jamaica History extending
over more than two centuries and a half, the references to many
events have of necessity been of the briefest.
The usual division of histories into dynasties, centuries or
reigns, is at the best sometimes unsatisfactory. In Jamaica the
limits of the epochs seem particularly elusive, affected as they have
been by the developments and the restrictions of industries and
48 JAMAICA IN 1922.
the social condition of the people, touched by waves more or less
faint of British national and foreign policies.
The four political epoch-making events in Jamaica history
are the establishment of civil government in 1661; the abolition of
the slave-trade in 1807; the total abolition of slavery in 1838; and
the surrender of representative government in 1866.
The development of the West Indian Colonies has been severe-
ly handicapped by the ever-shifting condition of the leaders amongst
their peoples. Governors and officials of all sorts remained for a
time only, and too many of the landed proprietors paid but little
heed to the well-being of the slaves or labourers working on their
estates. There has through the long years of Jamaica history, been
but little evidence of the true home-life and village-life which went
far to build up the England of to-day, or must one say yesterday.
It is true to-day as it was when the Earl of Shaftesbury wrote it
nearly two and a half centuries ago, "Nothing can be more ad-
vantageous to the country, nor so much contribute to the growth
and prosperity of the plantations as that men of estates should
settle amongst them." Good administrators, zealous workers, kind-
ly philanthropists, as many of the controllers of Jamaica's destiny
may have been, they stayed here as a rule too short a time to leave
more than a passing impression. And the absence of the element
of a body of leaders of thought and action, always headed by mem-
bers resident in the colony for two or three generations, had too
often its effect or reflection in the lack of continuity of action on
the part of the people, in spite of the fact that many countrymen
of the Bruce have helped to colonize the island.
V.-A PEOPLE IN THE MAKING.
The inhabitants of the British West Indies to-day belong to
varied and widely separated nationalities. The aboriginal Indians
-the Caribs, Arawaks and others-have almost entirely sunk under
the march of civilization; and are now only found in small num-
bers in Dominica, St. Vincent and British Guiana, and, of less pure
descent, in British Honduras and the Virgin Islands. The Span-
iards, by slaughtering these simple-minded folk and supplying
their places by slaves from Africa, laid the foundation of the pre-
dominating element of the present population of the Caribbean.
The European nations which followed the Spaniards-the English,
French, Dutch and Danish-have all played a part in the forma-
tion of the character of these people of African origin. As a re-
sult of the acquisition by Britain of some of the islands and set-
tlements after occupation by other nations, and in a smaller de-
gree, migration from island to island, there are, in some of the
British West Indies, large sections of the population of other than
English and African race. Grenada and St. Lucia show marked
traces of their former French ownership, British Guiana of its
Dutch, and Trinidad of its Spanish occupation and of French im-
migration at the time of the Revolution, which had its echo in the
Western hemisphere. With the emancipation of the negro popula-
tion, the importation of coolie labour, at first from China, later
from India, was considered necessary by the planters, and is still
so considered by many in British Guiana, Trinidad and Jamaica,
although Imperial decision has been given against its continuance.
Thus we have to-day the following races inhabiting the British
West Indies:-A few native Indians, British (English, Scotch,
Irish, and Welsh, and their descendants), French, a few Creole
(i.e., born in the West Indies), Spanish, Creole negroes, labourers
from India, Chinese who in Jamaica are rapidly developing as a
trading class, and the Creole descendants of these Indians and
Chinese, Portuguese, who originally came from Madeira, a few
Syrians who came as traders, and a large number of mixed race of
negro and European in varying shades, from Sambo (three-quarter
black) to those in whom the strain is almost imperceptible, and a
comparatively small number the result of connexions between
negroes and coolies, Indians and negroes, and Europeans and In-
dians. The figures and estimates available give a total of approxi-
mately two million, one hundred thousand inhabitants.
Until recently, except in the Leeward Islands, where there
was a slight decrease between 1891 and 1001, in all the colonies
the population showed an increase, especially in the two great coolic-
importing colonies of British iGuiana and Trinidad; during 1918 a
50 JAMAICA IN 1922.
decrease occurred owing mainly to emigration to Cuba. The in-
crease as shown by the census of 1921 in Jamaica was not as large
as it was anticipated it would be.
Taking the West Indies as a whole, those of African origin are
in a large majority, and it is on their intellectual and moral pro-
clivities and on their capabilities, influenced by conditions not of
their making or within their power, that the future of the islands
in great measure depends.
Some attribute the differences between the Barbadian negro
and his Jamaica cousin to their having come from different parts
of Africa, the one from Sierra Leone, the other from the Kru or
Slave Coast; but there is no evidence in history to show that
special sources were chosen for special islands. Bryan Edwards,
the historian, was probably right when he pointed out that the
similar and uniform system of life to which they were all reduced,
the few opportunities and the little encouragement that were given
them for mental improvement, were circumstances that necessarily
induced a predominant and prevailing cast of character arid dis-
position; and it is more than probable that the small differences
above mentioned are due to the different economic conditions and
the treatment they received. There is no doubt that the negroes
of Martinique and Guadeloupe acquired characteristics from
their French masters which differentiate them from those of the
islands which have been English for two centuries or more.
In the West Indies-unlike the United States, where black
and coloured are synonymous terms when applied to the human
race-the coloured man is considered either to belong to the negro
or to the white man, or to a middle set, according to the degree
of proficiency he attains in education, culture, wealth of influence.
There are many coloured men who rank themselves and are ranked,
as negroes, working shoulder to shoulder with them in the field;
there are other coloured men who sit side by side with their
white brethren on the judicial bench, and attain to high rank in
Church, Politics, Medicine, Law and Commerce; and between these
two comes the great middle class of the British West Indies. The
influence of the cultivated class and their interest in the peasants
and workmen of their own colour is of the greatest importance in
the steady advancement of the people at large; and in this con-
nexion must be mentioned the trained and experienced teachers
who are in constant touch with the children in the schools. The
condition of life which originally produced the coloured man is
gone forever, and his future depends in great measure on himself,
with but comparatively slight interference on the one hand from
the white, and on the other from the black.
The attempts made to found settlements of Europeans as
labourers have been unsuccessful. The unhappy condition of the
"mean whites" in Barbados was proverbial. In Jamaica, experi-
ments were made by Germans from time to time, but the cam-
A PEOPLE IN THE MAKINe. 51
munities became almost always, either dispersed or merged in
the native race. The failure is not to be put down to the heat
entirely; white men can and do perform manual labour in parts
of the West Indies and keep their health. It was in great measure
due to uncongenial surroundings, which too often led and lead to
drir.k and other evils.
So far as Jamaica is concerned, there is a tendency, among
the more enterprising of the rising generation who feel their hori-
zon limited in their native island, to seek a wider field for their
efforts in Panama, Canada and the United States, and latterly in
Cuba. This is perhaps inevitable, and while it robs a colony of
some of her promising citizens, it points to the growth of ambition,
which is a factor in the development of the race. Like the Irish,
Jamaicans often do themselves more justice abroad than they do
at home; and, like the Irish, they go in a large measure where
the mighty dollar draws them, rather than follow the average
Englishman who prefers a competency under the Union Jack to
possible riches under a foreign flag.
Negroes are by nature unready to leave their piece of land,
subject to drought, for places more favourably situated; they are
as a rule, unwilling to leave their homes where employment is
scarce for a parish where labour is in demand; but the high wages
on the Isthmus. and the banana plantations of Costa Rica and
on the canefields of Cuba prove to many irresistible, especially in
the case of overcrowded Barbados, and latterly of Jamaica; and
generally speaking this characteristic of unwillingness to emigrate
is giving way to a desire for betterment.
Physically negroes are not so strong as they seem, partly because
they do not take a sufficiency of nourishing food, and they have
little resisting powers when sickness attacks them. It would be
almost impossible for any people to sleep as they do, in huts often
overcrowded, frequently almost hermetically sealed, and from
which the sun is almost invariably excluded by trees, and not be
unhealthy. It is not true, though it is often stated, that negroes
are immune from yellow-fever; and from statistics it would appear
that they are more subject to malarial fever than white men,
and varoius diseases are painfully evident amongst them. Recent
research has shown that they are very subject to hookworm.
That superstition is still prevalent amo.igst them is unfortu-
ately evidenced by the cases of obeah, or witchcraft, that come
before the courts from time to time, but the cases are becoming
rarer, and superstition is not unknown elsewhere. The eighty-eight
years that have passed since emancipation have not been sufficiently
long to enable ministers of religion and educators to grapple
successfully with beliefs which are the direct inheritance of the
darkest superstition, but when some of its members decline to sit
down to a table of 13 and fancy ill-luck will follow the spilling
of salt, it ill becomes a race with centuries of civilization behind
62 JAMAICA IN 1922.
it to sneer, on account of superstitions, at another which has only
had four generations with opportunities for self-improvement.
For many years after emancipation lack of interest on the
part of local planters, and the omission in some cases to set a
high ideal of life before them, led in many instances to lack of
interest by the people in their own affairs, and an absence of a
right popular feeling in connexion with their own moral and social
well-being; and for those who have faithfully laboured to elevate
the negroes around them it has too often been a hopeless effort
against disinclination to steady labour, a tendency towards predial
larceny, and a lack of morality-the baneful legacy of Africa and
slave-day customs. But of recent years, in Jamaica at all events,
the formation of Citizens' Associations is a hopeful sign that the
people are taking an intelligent interest in their own welfare and
are showing desire for co-operation. The unsatisfactory nature of
the housing accommodation of the poorer classes is a factor in the
unhappily high illegitimacy rate, as it is also undoubtedly respon-
sible for part of the high infant mortality. But this mortality is
also attributable to illegitimacy and to wrong feeding and other
errors in the care of young children.
Bondage taught the slaves to look to their masters for food
'in health, for medicine in sickness, and subsistence in old age; and
it would be too much to expect that the lesson of dependence
should by this time have been entirely eradicated and that of self-
dependence well learnt. In no country in the world, probably do
field labourers and even domestic servants so readily throw up
their work before they have acquired a new job, thus falsifying the
proverb which they have adopted from the Irish, an equally*
thriftless race, which advises one not to throw away dirty water
till one has clean. The needs of the unemployed are few. They
have possibly in some cases, squatted on someone's land, thus
having no rent to pay; few clothes are needed; fuel they
want only for cooking purposes; and food is usually ready to the
hand for the picking. If under these conditions some of them are
indolent and improvident, with a marked disinclination for steady
labour, who shall wonder? Times of disaster, due in most instance
to drought or hurricane, or the result of war conditions, do occur
now and again and generally find such men without any savings to
draw upon; but poverty, as it too frequently occurs in crowded cen-
tres in Europe, made all the more bitter by severe cold, is absolutely
unknown in the West Indies, although there is no doubt that of
recent years the rise of prices due to the war has caused a large
amount of actual poverty amongst many deserving members of
the community, chiefly amongst the wage-earning classes. The ex-
perience of those who went to Europe to fight taught them to ap-
preciate clothing and food, and they are no longer content to
work for wages which previously satisfied them, and the sentiment
has been adopted by their stay-at-home brothers and sisters,
A PEOPLE IN THE MAKINd. 53
Negroes usually spend their money as they get it, and make
no provision for meeting liabilities, but they are not altogether
spendthrifts. When they get high wages they think of their
families. The Jamaicans labouring on the Canal zone or in Cuba
yearly send home considerable sums to those dependent on them,
and when the ideals of civilization have been further evoked by edu-
cation, this thriftlessness will in a measure disappear.
The negro race has at present gone but a short way on the
path of civilization. The individuals are still as children, childlike
in belief and faith. Once gain their confidence and they will trust
implicitly. A cynic might add, as long as it suits them to do so.
If there is one thing they dislike more than another, it is sarcasm.
Many will put up with all the "cussing", as they call blame, that
some masters choose to bestow, but ridicule of any kind they keenly
resent. They too often lack pride in their work. The "can't do
better" one often meets in response to complaint of work ill-done
settles the matter in the negro mind. "Cho; too much boderation,"
which they apply to their own affairs, is of the same stamp. Grati-
tude is, it is to be feared, not a strong point with many of them, al-
though here and there pleasing examples to the contrary occur.
As a people they are inclined to be litigious, and a case in the
magistrate's court, whether as plaintiff or defendant, in the absence
of more profitable forms of amusement, affords recreation. Many
of them dearly love a bargain; and most West Indian shopkeepers
have two prices-one they demand, the other they are prepared to
take, the latter being asked of the intelligent customer.
Schopenhauer says that the English are the only nation which
thoroughly realizes the immorality of lying. It is certain that he
who expects truth from the negro, according to the English standard,
will be disappointed. It is to be feared that hut little improvement
has taken place during the century and a quarter that has elapsed
since Bryan Edwards wrote:-"I think the vice of falsehood is one
of the most prominent features in their character." But there is
certainly a better condition of affairs than that which caused him
to write at the same time:-"Their treatment of cattle under their
direction is brutal beyond belief." Much of their cruelty is due to
pure ignorance and lack of sensitiveness in themselves.
Exaggeration is constantly met with. If a man is hurt they
will say "Him dead"; if an arm is hurt, they will say, "Him han'
bruk." If they feel sorrow they often hide it successfully. A ser-
vant will tell you that a near relation is dead with an also smiling
countenance. They pay little heed to exactness in matters of dis-
tance, age and names. When asked how far it is to a certain place,
the answer is almost invariably, "Not too far," or "Far enough,"
and they will give different dates of their birth, and different forms
of spelling for their names, with the utmost unconcern. They "teef"
small things and articles of food, as an English cook takes her per-
quisites; but,on the whole, domestic servants are honest and faith-
JAMAICA IN I9.
ful. After the earthquake in Jamaica, in many a home household
effects and ornaments had to be stored in the most insecure man-
ner, or were left about, and yet in spite of the fact that many
strange workmen were employed in rebuilding and making re-
pairs, comparatively few things were taken when petty larceny was
very easy. But unfortunately burglary a few years ago began to
make itself unpleasantly noticeable in Kingston and the neigh-
Negroes have perhaps excelled more in acts of bravery called
forth by war than in any other direction. Almost uniformly offi-
cers of black regiments testify to the courage of their troops and
also to their loyalty; and the history of the West India Regiment
is disfigured by but few cases of disturbance occasioned by insub-
ordination. In the recent war the British West Indies Regiment
loyally did their best to forward the cause of the Allies, and when-
ever they were called upon to face fire they did so unflinchingly.
As a race they are certainly not artistic, but they are acquiring
a taste in dress and an appreciation of the pictoral arts that were
wanting a few generations ago, although the discarding of the old
time bandanas aid simple cotton dresses for more elaborate toilettes
is to be regretted. In music they have talent, but they have little
poetry in their nature. They are passionately fond of pretty tunes,
and singing and dancing are amongst their favourite amusements.
The harder they work the more vigorously they sing. Amongst
their many good points may be mentioned a regard for law and
order, cheerfulness, loyalty to those whom they serve, and kindness
to one another. In no country in the world perhaps can women and
children walk about unprotected with less fear of molestation than
in the West Indies, and in trains and tramcars their behaviour is
still better than that of similar classes in more advanced countries,
although some slight deterioration in this respect has recently been
evident-due in a measure to an echo of the world unrest and to
lessons learned by some of them in Europe, whither the war called
them. Cases of drunkenness, though more frequent than they were,
are not excessive, and very little rowdyism is met with; and an
American writer who says that they obey the laws, not out of respect
for the laws themselves, but because they stand in awe of the power
that enforces the law, does them an injustice. Though their cheer-
fulness may be, as some say, in a measure based on a lack of
ambition and indifference to advancement it is pleasant to live with.
They are, in the main, kindly disposed to those in affliction, and
readily and ungrudgingly perform acts of charity and benevolence.
Slavery left a fatal legacy of distrust in many cases on the
part of the employed for the employer. Co-operation between
planter or penkeeper and the labourers is sorely needed, although
here and there-one sees considerate treatment being rewarded by
A PEOPLE IN THE AKING.
cheerful, productive labour. A difficulty in the way of the land
owners renting land to the peasantry is, it is said, the disinclination
of the latter to pay rent regularly.
When well and regularly paid and treated with justice, if not
liberality, by experienced persons, the negroes and coloured working
men of the West Indies behave in a most creditable manner, a special
example of which may be found in the conductors and drivers of
tramcars. In Jamaica they may be seen exercising patience under
irritating circumstances, showing kindness to small children and
infirm persons, and, as a rule, displaying a politeness that it would
be hard to beat in many a country that considers itself far more
advanced. The universal unrest, the aftermath of the great war,
reached the West Indies, but such strikes as arose were not very
serious. There is evidence that the state of affairs, though never
likely to be the same as before the war, is approaching normal.
African languages consist to a large extent in gesture. With
the learning of English from the stolid Anglo-Saxon, gesture has in
great measure disappeared. It is more noticed in the country than
in town, and much more marked when they are talking with one
another than when addressing white men. Negro-English, the
speech of the less educated amongst them, is difficult to understand
when first encountered; and, even when town talk is mastered, that
from the rural negro is far from intelligible to the new-comer; and
many a planter finds it saves time and trouble to address his negro
labourers in their own dialect. Though he does not (as the African
settler does) tell a man to do a thing "one time," he does tell him
to "walk good." The negro is apt to talk things over to himself, and
soliloquies are often heard on the road. Many an Englishman
comes to grief by expecting a negro to grasp a thought as quickly
as he does himself; but this lack of understanding is often due to
a limited vocabulary rather than a lack of sense.
Miss Kingsley, in writing of the West African at home, said:-
"As it is with the forest, so it is with the minds of the natives.
Unless you live among the natives you never get to know them; if
you do this, you gradually get a light into the true state of their
forest mind. At first you see nothing but a confused stupidity and
crime, but when you get to see well, as in the other forests, you
see things worth seeing." Though in the West Indies the West
African forest-mind has passed another stage on the road of civiliza-
tion, the same remarks, to some extent, apply. Some people live
in the West Indies a lifetime without getting beyond the "confused
stupidity." It is to be feared that not all see, or at least see them
continuously, things worth seeing. To those who wish well to the
negro and endeavour to understand him, light comes now and
then; but it is not given to everyone to have the sympathetic power
and patience necessary to elicit the light and turn a blind eye to
the shadows in the case of those who have not yet progressed as far
as some of their brethren in intellectual growth. But during the
5'6 JAMAICA IN 19S.
years which have passed since Miss Kingsley wrote, education on
the part of the negroes and sympathetic interest on the part of the
white people have done something towards removing misunder-
Those, however, who are disappointed in the West Indian
peasant of to-day, are, one would think, unreasonable. They ex-
pect too much of him. Progress is measured as much by the dis-
tance traversed as by the goal reached. When we consider that but
four generations ago negroes were treated like oxen, driven too
often to their work at the whip's end, and purposely kept from all
advance, either in morals or in education, it is a matter of surprise
and promise that they are to-day so far advanced as they are. So
far as the future is concerned, there is no doubt that the bulk of
the people of the British West Indies of African origin will become
what Great Britain helps them to become. They have hitherto been
moulded by British thought and example in a manner in which
neither the Indians nor the Chinese have been moulded. They
readily adopt British habits, customs and dress, while the Indians
and the Chinese cling to their own ways of life.
There is no doubt that those misjudge entirely who believe that
there is any general feeling on the part of the people in favour of
annexation to the United States. Glad as are the people to receive
the dollars which are sent in exchange for native produce, or which
American visitors leave behind them, and anxious as some of them
are not to offend the American market, the people of the West
Indies are as loyal subjects as are to be found in the British Em-
pire; and the negro peasants well know that they are far better off
under the Union Jack than they would be under the Stars and
Stripes. And it is improbable that the West Indians as a body
would welcome federation with Canada.
Loyalty to the Crown, regard for law and authority, confidence
-in trustworthy leaders, good temper, a willingness to learn-all
these form a good foundation on which a happy people may be
VI.-JAMAICA'S PART IN THE WAR.
While in the long period of Empire building before the Great
War the British Colonies were only expected to do what they could
towards their own defence, they at times played a part in Britain's
military enterprises. Men from Barbados and Nevis joined the ex-
pedition of Penn and Venables which captured Jamaica. Just after
the Jamaica militia had defeated the French at Carlisle Bay they
contributed men towards the force which went against Hispaniola
under Wilmot and Lillingston. In the war with Spain in the mid-
dle of the eighteenth century West Indians, as well as men from
New England, co-operated with British troops. Trelawny, the Gov-
ernor of Jamaica, raised and personally commanded a body of men
in the attempt on Cartagena. In the Boer war Jamaica volunteered
military assistance which was, however, not accepted.
On the outbreak of the war in 1914, Jamaica in common with
the other West India Colonies, rose to the occasion. The Legislative
Council met on the 13th of August, and voted 10,000 for De-
fence purposes. A gift of sugar to the value of 50,000 was voted,
and such special laws were passed as circumstances appeared to
demand. The old Jamaica Infantry Militia had been disbanded
in 1906, in the words of Sir Sydney Olivier,* "in the belief that
such a training school for citizens was superfluous in an age of
established peace, and that in any case the populations of the West
Indies could not possibly be of any consequence in any imaginary
war of the then future." A St. Andrew Rifle Corps, formed at that
time, still existed in spite of many difficulties in August 1914: it
was then disbanded, and a new force, the Kingston Infantry Volun-
teers, was created.
On September the 10th, the German merchant supply ship
Bethania was brought into Kingston as a prize by H.M.S. Essex,
and was later condemned as a prize of war.
Individual members of the community went to join the army
on their own account, even negroes going as stowaways. And
many well-known Jamaica families mourn to-day the loss
of sons who early in the war went willingly to lay down
*In an introduction to Lieut.-Colonel Ogilvie's "War Diary of the British West
Indies Regiment" contributed to the 'Jamaica Times' in 1921.
JAMAICA IN I93.
their lives for the Empire. When the fear of German
raiders on the island had been minimized and the ex-
treme need for self-defence was reduced, England expressed
a wish for troops from the West Indies. In April, 1915, Mr. Wil-
liam Wilson started a fund with a view of paying the ex-
penses of those who wished to join the British Army but had not
the means. A War Contingent Committee was formed and the
Legislature subsequently voted the necessary sum for their main-
tenance upon a war footing to the extent of 60,000 per annum
for 40 years; and a sum of 9,964 was raised by private subscrip-
The 8th of November, 1915, is a red letter day in the history
of Jamaica. On that day the first contingent sailed in the Verdalla
to represent the colony in the cause of the Empire and Humanity.
Recruiting meetings were held throughout the island. Three other
contingents left in the following year.
The delay in the departure of the fourth Contingent had so
far been due to a misfortune to the third. The transport carrying
the latter had been caught in a blizzard before her arrival in Hali-
fax. The men had not been supplied with clothing to suit such
conditions, and the ship was not provided with heating apparatus,
and as a result several hundred casualties from frost-bite occurred.
The worst cases were landed in Halifax, while .the transport con-
veyed the balance to Bermuda.
Between the 30th of May and the 8th day of September, 1916,
out of a total of 2,991 men who had left the island for service, 573
were returned as unfit, of which number no less than 391 belonged
to the third Contingent, and were reported to be suffering from
the effects of frost-bite. It might have been expected that an
accident which incapacitated over 35 per cent of the men in one
ship would have seriously affected recruiting. It appears in the
long run to have had very little effect.
While the work was proceeding in Jamaica on the lines indi-
cated above, the Central Recruiting Committee had turned their
attention to another quarter. It had been frequently stated there
were large numbers of West Indians on the Isthmus who desired
to enlist. In February 1916, men had come from Panama at the
expense of residents there, and men had also come from Bocas del
Toro by means of voluntary subscription raised amongst the British
Colony in that place.
With the entrance of the United States into the war it be-
came. possible to enlist men for the British Army in what was
no longer a neutral country. In May, 1917, Lieutenant L. W.
Hitchins was sent to Panama with letters to the British Consul,
Sir Claude Mallet, who gave his hearty co-operation. Be-
tween the beginning of May and the end of Aughst no less
than 2,091 recruits were obtained from the Isthmus and sent to
Jamaica at the expense of the island, the United States Govern-
JAMAICA'S PART IN THE WAR.
ment carrying 750 of this force free on a transport which chance
Yet another factor was at this time at work to assist in the
readiness of men to volunteer for service at the front. The feeling
had been growing that in some cases service was being avoided by
men who were well able to volunteer. Resolutions in favour of
enforced military service had been passed by some Parochial Re-
cruiting Committees. The Hon. E. F. Cox, Member for St. An-
drew, had also proposed in the Legislative Council to introduce
such a measure. Finally on the 7th of March, 1917, the Hon. H.
A. L. Simpson moved a resolution in Council requesting that a
Bill rendering Military Service compulsory be introduced. Ac-
cordingly on the 22nd March, the Attorney General introduced
"A Bill entitled a Law to make provision with respect to Military
Service in connection with the present War". The Bill, which
provided for the registration of every male in Jamaica between the
ages of 16 and 41, passed rapidly through the House and was
assented to by the Governor on the 1st June.
The result of the registration was as follows:
Parish Enlistments Registrations Totals
Kingston ............. 960 11,495 12,455
St. Andrew ........... 687 6,781 9,448
St. Thomas .......... 617 6,262 6,879
Portland ............. 781 7,571 8,352
St. Mary ............. 1,256 12,734 13,890
St. Ana ............. 958 8,422 9,380
Trelawny ............ 508 5,203 5,711
St. James ............ 564 5,306 5,870
Hanover ............. 526 5,068 5,594
Westmoreland ......... 951 8,290 9,241
St. Elizabeth ......... 979 10,152 11,131
Manchester ........... 784 8,243 9,027
Clarendon ............ 770 11,521 12,291
St. Catherine ......... 1,142 15,190 16,332
11,483 122,238 135,601
Owing to an unfortunate lack of unanimity amongst the
West India Colonies themselves, which existed throughout the
war, the proposal that the contingents should be raised in the
various islands and formed into service battalions of the West
India Regiment was not adopted, but several of the officers of
that Regiment commanded the new battalions.
46 JAMAICA IN 19f.
The following table shows the dates of the departure of the
various Contingents with the numbers of officers and men in each:
Contingent Date Officers Men
First 8th November, 1915 12 722
Draft 24th December, 1915 2 53
Second 7th January, 1916 22 1,100
Third 6th March, 1916 25 1,115
Fourth 30th September, 1916 36 726
Fifth 30th March, 1917 30 1,656
Sixth 1st June, 1917 33 1,656
Seventh 20th July, 1917 22 851
Eighth 26th August, 1917 31 1,301
Ninth 2nd October, 1917 18 985
26th May, 1918 12 -
The majority of men who enlisted were between 19 and 25
years of age, but a few were as young as 17 and some as old as 48.
By occupation the majority were given as labourers, cultivators,
carpenters and cabinet makers, clerks, bakers, engineers, smiths
and mechanics, boot and shoe makers, tailors, coachmen and
grooms, masons and builders and printers.
These contingents, to the number of about 10,000 troops,
helped to form eleven battalions of the newly-raised British West
Indies Regiment, which, after suffering from the cold on the voy-
ages home and after receiving training in English camps-too
often under very trying conditions to men from the tropics-did
The majority of the Regiment were employed in France, and
attached to the Heavy Artillery for shell-carrying duties. Two
battalions, the 1st and 2nd, were under General Allenby with the
Egyptian Expeditionary Force. When they had the chance to meet
the enemy in combat in the Jordan Valley they worthily upheld the
reputation gained by the older men of the West India Regiment.
Major Wood Hill, D.S.O.,* who did his utmost to get the whole
of the British West Indies Regiment into the firing line in Egypt
and Palestine, says "No unit in Palestine had a better turnout
by way of battalion transport than the B.W.I's. At one period
a battalion had a hundred and twenty horses and mules, as well as
thirty-six camels, attached to it. After six weeks in the line in the
Jordan Valley, followed by a week's fighting and heavy marching
into the hills of Moab, the regimental transport returned to Jerusa-
lem fit ahd well, and this was due to the men's own fondness and
extreme care of their animals. From boyhood, many of the men
*In "A few Notes on the History of the British West Indies Regiment."
JAMAICA'S PART IN THE WAR.
have learnt to handle mules on the plantations, and this early train-
ing stood them in good stead."
In December 1917 Brigadier-General Armstrong wrote to
Colonel Wood Hill: "I am directed by the Corns Commander to
express his great regret at parting with the Battalion under your
command which since the formation of the 21st Corps has been
attached to it as the Corps Infantry Battalion. During the opera-
tions of the last two months it has shown an excellent spirit and the
duties assigned to it have been carried out very much to the Corps
Commander's satisfaction. The soldierly bearing and smart turn-
out of the Battalion have been maintained under the most trying
circumstances, and the fact that this applies also to detachments
away from your supervision, is most creditable to all ranks....."
"At the beginning of August, 1918"-Major-General Sir E. W.
C .Chaytor says in a despatch-"the 1st and 2nd Battalions British
West Indies Regiment received orders to proceed by march route
from Ludd to the Jordan Valley, a distance of 50 miles, where on
arrival they came under the orders of Lieutenant-General Sir H. G.
Chauvel, K.C.B., K.C.M.G., commanding the Desert Mounted
Corps. On August 11, 1918, the 1st Battalion British West Indies
Regiment relieved a regiment of the 3rd Light Horse Brigade in
the Mussallabe-Abu Tellul sector, and on August 13, the 2nd Bat-
talion relieved a second regiment of the same brigade in the Wadi
Abeid sector which formed the extreme left of the Jordan Valley
defences. From this time onwards until the main offences took
place, the two Battalions of the British West Indies Regiment were
busily engaged in improving the trenches and general defences of
their sectors. Great initiative was displayed in patrolling both by
day and night, and much valuable information was obtained from
prisoners captured by their patrols."
The same despatch gives details of the successive operations
in which officers and men of the B.W.I.R. gained fame and awards.
On September 19, the day of the main attack, the 2nd Bat-
talion British West Indies Reginient was ordered to carry out a
demonstration towards Bakr and Chalk Ridges, with the object
of preventing the enemy from operating against the right of the
XXth Corps. This demonstration, which necessitated an advance
against heavy artillery fire, was carried out with great steadiness
and was completely successful. On the morning of September 20
a detachment of the 1st Battalion British West Indies Regiment
occupied Chalk Ridge, while Grant Hill and Baghait were oc-
cupied by the 2nd Battalion, the enemy having evacuated these
positions during the night. During the same morning and the
following night, a company of the 1st Battalion under Captain
R. J. Craig [British Guiana] came under heavy artillery fire from
the direction of Red Hill [east of the Jordan], which was passed
through with slight casualties,
SJAMAICA IN 1922.
During the following night, the 1st and 2nd Battalions, to-
gether with the New Zealand Mounted Rifle Brigade, moved for-
ward to Khurbet Fusail, and at 3 a.m. on the 22nd September the
1st Battalion B.W.I. were directed on Jisr Ed Damieh with the
Auckland Mounted Rifles to begin the attack on the bridge-head
at that place. The Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment and the
1st Battalion British West Indies Regiment broke through the
bridgehead defences with a spirited bayonet charge and occupied
the high ground commanding the bridge. Small detachments
pressed down to the river under heavy rifle and machine gun fire
and secured the crossing. The fire of the Battalion Lewis guns
was very effective on this occasion against parties of the enemy at-
tempting to cross the river.
While the attack on Jisr Ed Damieh was taking place the
enemy began to concentrate on the west bank of the Jordan in the
neighbourhood of Mafid Jozeleh Bridgehead, thus threatening the
right flank of the New Zealand Mounted Brigade and 1st Battalion
B.W.I. Regiment. The 2nd Battalion B.W.I. Regiment, co-
operating with the 1st Light Horse Brigade, attacked the enemy
at once and forced him back towards the Jordan, till at 6 p.m. he
had been driven back to the neighbourhood of Mellahet Umm Afein,
a mile and a half south of Mafid Jozeleh. The 2nd Battalion
B. W. I. Regiment captured forty prisoners in this action. The
majority of the men who took part in these operations were Ja-
maicans, but all the West Indian islands, British Honduras, and
British Guiana were represented.
Major General Sir E. W. C. Chaytor concludes his report as
"The bearing of these two Battalions was excellent throughout
the period. In the trenches their discipline was of a high standard,
and great enterprise was displayed by their patrols. During the
operations they displayed great steadiness under fire and dash in
the attack, and gave proof of marching power of a high order."
In October 1918, Major Geiferal Sir E.W.C. Chaytor wrote to
Colonel Wood Hill: "Many thanks for the B.W.I. Calendar which is
an interesting souvenir. I regret that your Battalion has left my
command, but hope to be able to see both it and the 2nd Battalion
at an early date -to thank them for the very good work they did
both when holding the trenches in the Jordan Valley and during
the subsequent operations. Outside my own Division, there are
no troops I would sooner have with me than the B. W.I., who have
won the highest opinions of all who have been with them during
our operations here."
Finally Colonel Wood Hill says: "The record of the British
West Indies Regiment shows that 135 men were killed or died of
wounds received in action, and over one thousand died of sick-
ness, mostly pneumonia, chest and lung trouble,
JAMAICA'S PART IN THE WAR.
The wastage due to admissions to hospitals was terrible, and
when the true figures are available, they will be sad reading, and
prove conclusively that the average West Indian is no more able
to stand the rigours and hardships of a European Winter than the
Indian. The war was fought in so many countries with such a wide
range and diversity of climate that it would surely have been pos-
sible to find one theatre of war where West Indians would have
lived and worked to the best advantage.
Those Battalions that carried shells in France did splendid
work, and the men behaved magnificently under shell fire, and
they frequently earned the praise of -heir Corps Commander and
of the Batteries with whom they work ed..... ..
On the signing of the Armistice, there was a general concen-
tration of all B.W.I. Battalions in France and Italy at Taranto.
Here certain regrettable incidents took place, but this is not to
be wondered at when you consider that several thousand healthy
young West Indians were crowded together with little or no work
to do, and all of them with a grievance as regards their pay.
When all the facts are considered, it is a marvel that the men
behaved with so much restraint.. ..
One cannot close these notes without placing on record the
splendid work of the West Indian Contingent Committee. The
success they achieved deserves full credit and the Regiment owes
them a very great debt of gratitude. The life and soul of this
Committee has undoubtedly been Mr. A. E. Aspinall, C.M.G., and
West Indians will never forget what he has done for them."
In November 1918, Major-General Budworth wrote, in the
Field in France, to the Officer Commanding the 7th British West
Indies Regiment as follows:
"General Sir H. S. Rawlinson Bart., G.C.V.O., T.C.B.. K.C.
M.G., commanding 4th Army desires me to convey to you his
appreciation of the great assistance rendered by the 7th B.W.I.
Regt. under your command to the Artillery of the Fourth Army.
By zeal, energy and hard work accompanied by unfailing cheer-
ful endurance of all hardships all ranks of the ith B.W.T. Rgt.
have assisted materially in the victories gained by the 4th Army
over the enemy."
Those who had, through age, duty or other reasons, to stay
at home did what they could to assist. Jamaica, with other West
India Colonies, contributed gifts of money to various funds,
notably the Red Cross, Belgian Relief, Prisoners Aid, King
George's Fund for Sailors, and Queen Mary's Fund.
For three years in succession during the war, the island was
severely handicapped by being subjected to the devastating effects
of hurricanes, to cote with the disastrous results of which special
meetings of the Legislative Council had to be held. In spite of this,
Jamaica sent 50,000 worth of sugar and she also contributed air-
planes and motor ambulances, and supplied the endowment of a bed
64 JAMAICA IN 1922.
in the Star and Garter Home for wounded soldiers. Large ship-
ments were sent of warm garments, produce, sugar, rum, tea, cigars,
cigarettes, fruits and preserves, the distribution of which was seen
to by the West Indian Contingent Committee.
In August 1917 a Home for Children of members of the Ja-
maica Contingents on active war service was established by the
Government at the Rio Cobre Hotel, Spanish Town.
When the troops returned the transports arrived singly and
not several at a time, owing to urgent cables sent to Taranto from
the Recruiting Committee. This was an advantage, as the
shortage of rolling stock on the railway made the conveyance of
men in numbers difficult and caused delay. The arrival of the
boats also was very irregular, some came before, others after, the
time first announced. When the first batch of men belonging to
Kingston, St. Andrew and St. Thomas landed in King-
ston the gaily decorated streets were packed with a cheer-
ing crowd. On that occasion the speeches were delivered
in the Victoria Park, but on subsequent occasions addresses
were made in the Parish Church with vastly increased dignity and
Effect. Possibly as the number of Welcomes increased the en-
thusiasm decreased, but this was offset by the greater expedition
with which as experience was gained, the work was carried out.
In spite of the difficulties the programme as outlined was generally
adhered to and the majority of the men must have reached their
homes within about thirty-six hours of the arrival of the Trans-
port at Port Royal.
Mr. J. H. W. Park, the then Director of Public Works and
Chairman of the Central Recruiting Committee, says at the end of
his report: "The writer would like to say that in his view the
greater number of the men of the British West Indies Regiment
have profited by their experiences both physically and mentally.
Since their return he has had letters from thousands and has prob-
ably dealt personally with hundreds. He has found the men
anxious to better their position and surroundings and willing to
exert themselves in order to do so. He confidently believes these
men will in the future prove a real source of strength to the island
and he feels sure that by their energy they will be an example to
A Central Supplementary Allowances Committee, appointed
in Jamaica in March 1918, undertook the work of reparation
of ex-soldiers, assisting them with regard to civil employment, loans
to acquire land to cultivate or to build a house and the issuing of
free permits to Cuba for those who wanted to go there. The teach-
ing of trades, supplemetary pensions or grants in aid to disabled
men was also undertaken by this committee.
So far as can be ascertained 250 officers and 11,042 non-
commissioned officers and men of the British West Indies Regi-
JAMAICA'S PART IN THE WAR. 65
ment and 381 officers of regiments other than the British West
Indies Regiment went over seas from Jamaica. Eighty-two Com-
missioned officers connected with Jamaica lost their lives, and
1,019 non-commissioned officers and men. One Victoria Cross was
gained; 27 Military Crosses; 5 Distinguished Service Orders; 1
Distinguished Service Cross; 1 Distinguished Service Medal; and
17 Military Medals, besides other distinctions.
Bronze Memorial Tablets, giving the despatch sent by the
Secretary of State for the Colonies at the close of the war, testify-
ing to England's appreciation of Jamaica's assistance, have been
hung in the several Court-houses in the Colony; and three Memo-
rial Crosses in honour of the dead are being prepared in Jamaica
stone and marble, one for each County, to be erected in Kingston,
Spanish Town and Savanna-la-Mar.
Jamaica is remarkable for the great variation in soils and
climate under which agricultural operations are conducted. Gen-
eralizations are therefore apt to be misleading and it is difficult to
lay down any standard conditions of cultivation and management
in any particular branch of tropical agriculture that can be ac-
cepted as of general application to those areas of the island where
any special industry is carried on. In 1920, the average rainfall
for the island was the lowest on record for forty-eight years, and
yet Westmoreland suffered from excessive rain to the great detri-
ment of the sugar industry.
In 1804 when Robertson surveyed Jamaica, he estimated it at
2,724,265 acres, of which 1,914,809 were uncultivated.
For over a century successions of able agriculturists from
England, Scotland and Ireland have emigrated to Jamaica, while
large numbers of young men with enterprise and spirit have come
out as book-keepers to be broken in under the wise training of the
older planters who have mastered all the chief problems of agri-
culture in the island.
The newcomer, therefore, should not expect to find the agri-
culturists of Jamaica backward and inefficient. There has been
an unbroken record of the egregious failure of men skilled in the
agricultural methods of other countries who have come to Jamaica
and tried to cultivate here as they had successfully done in northern
lands. It is significant, for example, that although American
capital has developed on most successful lines the banana industry
of the island, the planters and those who are actually growing the
fruit are almost exclusively Jamaicans or English and Scottish
planters who have had long experience of the country.
In recent years there has been a wide extension of knowledge
and skill among all classes of the agricultural community, and if
there is money to be made the Jamaican will do his best as a planter
to secure it.
During the five years of the Great War the island experienced
a drought and three autumnal hurricanes in succession. The lack
of shipping and the embargo on certain products also contributed
to a check on industry and production. In consequence the agri-
culture of the colony underwent a remarkable change and the
Banana, which had previously represented about 60 per cent of
the exportable produce of Jamaica, fell to a lower position of rela-
tive importance, while other industries such as sugar, rum, coffee,
cacao, coconuts, logwood, fibre, and cattle gained greatly in im-
portance as factors in the agricultural progress of the island. Un-
fortunately this was followed by a very serious drop in the price 9f
sugar which affected the industry most seriously,
Varieties of Land and Climate.-When first erupted from the
ocean the island of Jamaica consisted of pure volcanic material. A
subsidence then took place whereby all but the highest mountains
were immersed in the sea for a prolonged period. A heavy deposit
of calcareous matter derived from marine animal life was then
effected. At a later period the whole mass of the island was again
raised so as to attain the present maximum elevation of 7,388 feet
for the Blue Mountain Peak.
Tropical rains then operated on the superficial limestone de-
posit so as to wash this away altogether in some areas and in others
to carve it out into forms adapted for the quick drainage of the
rainfall. The rivers also scoured out valleys and spread out flats
of rich alluvial deposit.
The most valuable lands in the island, therefore, and those
first taken up by the British settlers have been the alluvial de-
posits for tillage crops and the upland limestones for grazing pur-
poses. The coastal alluvial deposits are, on the whole, the richest
and most productive, except for certain areas of swamp land which
at a future date will doubtless be drained and developed. All the
rich coastal lands are at present in occupation and are planted in
sugar, bananas, coconuts, or furnish rich pastures of Guinea grass.
There remains much land still to be opened up. If this were done
on the lines of townships established in suitable localities, in place
of the old haphazard manner in which small settlers have hitherto
commenced operations, it might be for the improvement of the
The rainfall of the island, as is to be expected from its geo-
graphical position and the central ridge of mountains that runs
approximately from east to west, shows marked differences. The
extreme east end, both north and south, has an ample rainfall. On
the south side the coastal region gradually assumes a semi-arid
character until the region of the Black River is reached when a
favourable and well-distributed rainfall again persists all along
the coast to the northerly point of Montego Bay. From here in
an easterly circuit, marked periods of drought are characteristic of
the climate. These conditions, however, gradually improve until
the region of St. Ann's Bay, whence a favourable rainfall for the
profitable cultivation of all the major crops can be relied on in the
whole coastal region to the extreme eastern end of the island at
As the hills rise up from the plains below, the rainfall also im-
proves and in many cases the greater distance from a port and the
less easy lie of the land for planting operations is more than made
good on an upland site by the more genial climate and regularity
of rainfall. Some of the most valuable soils are on the southern
alluvial plains, e.g., Lower St. Catherine and Vere. Here irriga-
tion has been established and the growth of canes and bananas is
conducted under highly favourable conditions for production,
JAMAICA IN 1922.
Agricultural Industries.-The total area of Jamaica is set at
2,692,587 acres of which 413,440 are level lands. The acreage
alienated from the Crown and vested in individuals or trusts is re-
corded as 2,209,205 acres, of which about one half is under culti-
vation, and the other moiety is in wood and ruinate.
Estates -in Jamaica consist of, in the main, Sugar Estates,
Coffee Plantations, Banana Plantations, on which Cacao is some-
times grown, and pens which are devoted to horses, mules and cat-
The following summary gives
period of forty years at intervals of
sent statistics as per tax returns.
Ground Pro- -
visions .... 51,334
Canes ...... 39,712
Coffee ...... 18,456
Cacao ...... 26
Tobacco ..... 408
Corn ....... 716
Ginger ...... 100
Arrowroot ... 9
Vegetables .. 29
Ground Nuts 2
Agricultural Statistics for a
ten years. The figures repre-
1900 1910 1920
178,707 273,047 302,165
1,268,732 1,218,732 1,239,205 997,311
Grand Total 1,700,481 1,913,217 1,901,012 2,166,002 2,072,054
Crown Lands.-The following table shows the Goy;rnment
lands that are under lease,
Parish Unoccupied Underlease Unpatented Totals.
Acres Acres Acres Acres.
Kingston 110 1,210 1,320
St. Andrew 4.448 313 4,761
St. Thomas 23,922 8 23,930
Portland 72,815 1,120 73,935
St. Mary 1,183 11 1,194
St. Ann 28,734 39 4,335 33,108
Trelawny 43,765 14,307 58,072
St. James 12,711 10 1,700 14,421
Hanover 1,316. 1,316
Westmoreland 2,099 27 2,126
St. Elizabeth 14,781 5,000 5,570 25,351
Manchester 2,530 300 2,830
Clarendon 6,884 5,478 7,300 19,662
St. Catherine 30,356 165 6,200 36,721
Grand Totals 245,654 12,561 40,532 298,747
On the 16th November, 1895, a scheme for the sale of the
Crown Lands to small settlers was brought into operation. Under
this scheme not less than 5 acres nor more than 50 can be sold to
any one person. A deposit of one-fifth of the purchase money for
the land required must be made by the applicant, after which a
survey of the land is made and the applicant is placed in possession,
the remaining four-fifths of purchase money together with the 2
for the cost of survey, being payable in ten years by equal yearly
instalments. If within the period of ten years the purchaser shall
have brought one-fifth of his acreage into good bearing in kola,
coffee, oranges or other permanent crop-producing plants, he is re-
leased from payment of, or is refunded, as the case may require,
one-fifth of the purchase money. The scheme was partly suspended
during recent years owing to the large amount of land that was
out on credit, but on 3rd December, 1914, it was started afresh
under amended rules. Under the new rules Land Boards were
created, and no more than 300 acres are granted to one pur-
chaser, nor less than 5 acres, except in cases specially approved by
the Governor. Up to 31st March, 1921, 4,963 lots, covering 46,933
acres, were sold and put in possession of instalment and outright
-purchasers who had paid 14,852. This excludes 519 lots
covering 5,445 acres taken back from defaullt;u purchasers and
In 1889 when the Jamaica Railway was sold to Mr. Frederick
Wesson and his associates on condition that the existing lines were
extended to Montego Bay and Port Antonio from Porus and Bog
Walk, respectively, the Surveyor-General was charged with the
duty of acquiring lands for the tracks of these extensions. The
To JAMAICA IN 19g2.
tracks are 120 miles long and cover 1,160k acres of land acquired
from 915 landowners, and cost 82,639. 8s.
Under the 34th section of the agreement attached to Law 12
of 1889, the Promoters of the Railway were entitled to one square
mile of Government land for each mile of Railway constructed, and
74,443 acres, or 1161 square miles of land, were conveyed to them,
leaving 2,367 acres, or three and two-thirds sq. miles selected by the
Promoters, and to be conveyed to them on forfeiture. These lands,
which were in the hands of the Administrator-General on behalf of
the Receivers of the West India Improvement Company of New
York, ultimately passed back into the hands of the Government by
purchase at-5s. per acre. A large part of them extends over the
northern portion of the parish of St. Thomas and the southern
part of Portland. All this region consists of virgin lands and is
well watered with numerous springs and rivers. It possesses a most
salubrious climate and ranges from 2,000 to 6,000 feet in height,
and embraces some of the finest coffee land in the island. The geo-
logical formation is chiefly of trappean and metamorphosed series,
and it is of the same character as the once rich coffee lands of the
parishes of St. Andrew and St. Thomas; but as these are getting
worn out that land is the only remaining coffee land of a first class
character in the island.
The following rules for the sale of Crqwn Lands to settlers
were approved by the Governor:
1. A Land Board shall be appointed in each parish in which the Government
owns sufficient Crown Lands to justify its creation. The Board shall consist of the
Member for the Parish, the Chairman of the Parochial Board, the Collector of Taxes,
and two other members to be appointed by the Governor. The Board shall elect its own
Chairman -and the quorum shall be the Chairman and two others. The Board shall for-
ward its recommendations to the Colonial Secretary.
2. The duties of the Board shall be to consider and advise the Government as
to the best means of opening up Crown Lands for settlement and as to the methods
of providing means for making and maintaining roads into such Crown Lands.
3. No more than 300 acres will be granted to one purchaser, nor less than 5
acres, except in cases specially approved by the Governor, nor shall any two grants
of 300 acres be allotted to run continuously and contiguously without such approval.
The Governor will, so far as practicable, adopt the general principle that out of every
block say of 1,000 acres, not more than one block of 300 acres should be sold.
4. The price at which the land will be sold may be learnt at the office of the
Surveyor-General or from the Bailiffs in charge of the different parcels. The value of
land to be sold shall be fixed by the Surveyor-General in consultation with the Local
Land Board with the approval of the Governor.
5. Each applicant for the purchase of land must submit a recommendation
from a person of good standing to whom he is personally known.
6. The Surveyor-General on receipt by him of an application in the form en-
dorsed hereon accompanied by a recommendation and on deposit of one-fifth of the
price of the land shall cause a survey to be made of the quantity of land applied for,
the applicant receiving notice as to the time when the survey will be made. Appli-
cants' lots shall run continuously and contiguously with no blank land between lots,
and possession will not be allowed to any applicant till survey has been made de-
fining the lot purchased.
7. Any application may, however, be refused, and the deposit refunded, by the'
Surveyor-General at any time previous to the delivery to the applicant of the Certificate
mentioned in Rule 10, whether the survey approved by the Surveyor-General mentioned
in Rule 6 entitling the applicant to possession has been made or not; and on tender of
refund of the deposit the application shall be deemed to be withdrawn.
8. On the survey being made and approved by the Surveyor-General, the appli-
cant shall be entitled to possession of the land allotted to him on such survey, subject,
as in Rule 7 and 9, to refund of deposit and cancellation of sale previous to delivery
9. If the applicant shall be dissatisfied with the situation or configuration -of the
land allotted to him on such survey and shall within fourteen days after the survey.
give written notice thereof to the Surveyor-General, or to the Surveyor who made the
survey, or to the Bailiff in charge of the land, he shall be entitled to a refund of one-
half of the amount deposited by him as above and'his application shall be deemed to
10. If such notice shall not be given, the applicant shall on approval of the
survey by the Surveyor-General, be deemed to be the purchaser of and to be in posses-
sion of the land allotted to him on such survey, and as soon thereafter as practicable
a Certificate shall be delivered to him by the Surveyor-General who shall keep a dupli,
cate of such certificate in his Office.
Government Department.-The Government Department of,
Agriculture has its'headquarters at Hope, near the terminus of the.
Electric Cars at Papine.
Some 1800 acres of the old Hope estate are available for the
operations of the department at this centre. The head office is.
situated in Hope Gardens. An experiment station of about 100
acres, where the various economic plants are cultivated and studied,
adjoins the Gardens. A large nursery for the distribution of
economic and ornamental plants is an important part of the estab-
lishment. About 400 acres of grass lands are devoted to the pur-
poses of the Government Stock Farm where herds of pedigree
Jersey, Zebu-Jersey, Guernsey and Red Poll Cattle are maintained.
An English thoroughbred stallion and a Proof Ass are kept at
The main business of the Stock Farm is. the development of
the Dairy Industry of the colony. Milk is delivered twice daily to
public institutions in Kingston.
The Farm School is also established at Hope. Here young
men are trained in practical agriculture and receive a general
training for agricultural pursuits in the colony.
The Department of Agriculture is in charge of the Botanic
Gardens at Castleton and Cinchona, of the Public Gariens in
Kingston, of the plant nurseries in various parishes, and it has re-
cently embarked on a large plantation of 900 acres of Sisal Hemp
at Lititz on the savanna lands of St. Elizabeth.
In 1921 a Stud Farm was established at Grove Place in
Manchester on a pen comprising 3,362 acres of land, a splendid
array of bulls of the best breeds for beef, milk and draught, besides
a thoroughbred stallion and a Kentucky Proof Ass, are here avail-
able for public use at moderate fees.
The Jamaica Railway passes right through Grove Place,
which is thus favourably situated for the use of the public.
A complete and ubiquitous system of inspection for dangerous
diseases of plants is maintained by a staff of four Inspectors who
are constantly employed in watching and treating any cases of
dangerous diseases of plants that arise.
The control of contagious animal diseases is effected through
the services of the Government Veterinary Surgeon.
At the Government Laboratory, which is also situated at
Hope, the scientific work of the Department in Chemistry, My-