• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Title Page
 Preface
 Table of Contents
 Introduction
 Historical Outline
 Geographical Description
 People, Languages, and Religio...
 Climate, Temperature, Seasons
 Natural Phenomena
 Natural Productions
 Animal Kingdom
 Christian Missions
 Back Cover














Group Title: Trinidad, historical and descriptive : being a narrative of nine years' residence in the island, with special reference to Christian missions
Title: Trinidad
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00075406/00001
 Material Information
Title: Trinidad historical and descriptive ; being a narrative of nine years' residence in the Island, with special reference to Christian missions
Physical Description: vi, 120 p. : ;
Language: English
Creator: Gamble, W. H ( William H. )
Publisher: Yates & Alexander
Place of Publication: London
Publication Date: 1866
 Subjects
Subject: Missions -- Trinidad   ( lcsh )
Description and travel -- Trinidad   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00075406
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000589493
oclc - 23453171
notis - ADB8275

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page iii
    Title Page
        Page iv
    Preface
        Page v
        Page vi
    Table of Contents
        Page vii
    Introduction
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
    Historical Outline
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
    Geographical Description
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
    People, Languages, and Religion
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
    Climate, Temperature, Seasons
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
    Natural Phenomena
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
    Natural Productions
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
    Animal Kingdom
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
    Christian Missions
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
    Back Cover
        Page 121
Full Text


















TRINIDAD:
HISTORICAL AND DESCRIPTIVE.









TRINIDAD:


HISTORICAL AND DESCRIPTIVE:

BEING

A NARRATIVE OF NINE YEARS' RESIDENCE IN THE ISLAND.


WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO


CHRISTIAN


MISSIONS.


REV. W. H. GAMBLE -
BAPTIST MISSIONARY. 3 -






PRINTED FOR THE AUTHOR BY
YATES AND ALEXANDER,
CHURCH PASSAGE, CHANCERY LANE, LONDON.
1866,















PREFACE.


IT is now about twenty-two years since the Mission of
the London Baptist Missionary Society was established
in the Island of Trinidad. The Rev. George Cowen was
the first missionary employed in the field. He had
been for some time previously connected with the
schools of the Mico Charity in Trinidad. From his
intercourse with the people, he found that they not only
needed secular instruction, but that still more they
required spiritual enlightenment; hence he was induced
to represent their deplorable condition to the Society
in London.
In the expectation of visiting England, after an
S absence of nearly nine years spent in missionary labour
S in Trinidad, the writer thought it would be serviceable
S to himself, and not uninteresting to the Baptist Churches
I in Great Britain, if he brought together the few facts
which had come under his notice, and jotted down the
results of his experience during the time of his mis-
sionary sojourn in Trinidad.
The following pages are rated very humbly by the
writer, and as no attempt at fine writing or elaborate







vi PREFACE.

detail has been made, so is he conscious that neither
will be found in the succeeding sheets. Matters spoken
of have been treated in a common-sense, every-day
manner, and it is hoped that the book will prove neither
uninteresting nor unprofitable.
Some few years ago, Dr. Devertueil, an M.D. of Paris,
and a native of Trinidad, wrote a book on Trinidad.
To him I cordially confess my indebtedness for several
facts, and a few sentences.

San Fernando, Trinidad,
February, 1865.




















CONTENTS.


CBAP.
INTRODUCTION.
IXIlSTORICAL OUTLINE.
II. GEOGRAPHICAL DESCRIPTION.
PEOPLE, LANGUAGES, AND RELIGIONS
IV. CLIMATE, TEMPERATURE, SEASONS .
V. NATURAL PHENOMENA
VI. NATURAL PRODUCTIONS
VII. ANIMAL KINGDOM
IF HRISTIAN MISSIONS .


PAGE
1
. 15
. 22
. 28
.49
. 54
. 62
. 83
. 97
















TRINIDAD.


INTRODUCTION.
IT is not unknown to many, that the Mission of the
London Baptist Missionary Society in Trinidad has been
established some twenty-two years. The Rev. George
Cowen was the first agent to that island. He was, for
some years, superintendent of the schools of the Mico-
charity in Trinidad. He was a Baptist in principle, as
also was Mrs. Cowen. In the course of his labours
among the people, he found that they not only needed
secular instruction, but that much more, they required
spiritual enlightenment; hence he was induced to
represent -their deplorable condition to the Society in
London. The people of Trinidad,.at that time, had en-
joyed several years of the blessings of freedom; yet
they were far from free from the degradation and immo-
rality which slavery necessarily produces and entails.
Truthfulness, honesty, and chastity were, if not alto-
gether without existence, exceedingly rare; nor is this
to be wondered at, when we remember what slavery in
its essential nature is. Whilst in bondage, the poor







TRINIDAD.


Negro slave consulted only his advantage whether he
should speak truth or falsehood; and honesty was
hardly to be expected when the supply of rations was
often both scanty and bad, whilst virtue was not only
not taught, but its opposite encouraged, both by precept
and example. Marriage, God's ordinance, and which
is honourable in all, was not allowed among slaves-
that was an institution only for free men.
Such being the state of morals during slavery, it
would have been surprising indeed if the people, upon
gaining their liberty, had become truthful, honest, and
chaste. Human nature is the same among all races,
and throughout all ages. The slaves who came out of
Egypt, though guided by a divinely commissioned
leader, were still slaves, and unruly and dissolute they
were. The slaves of the West Indies generally retained
the vices among which they had been born, and in the
practice of which they had lived till their death, whilst
the example of the parents was too faithfully followed
by their liberated children. And even now, though
many years have rolled by, and the second and third
generations occupy their fathers' places, still the vices
of the parents are indulged in by the children. Alas!
that it should be so! Many, not knowing the people
thoroughly, would not, perhaps, imagine that such is
the case; but an intimate acquaintance with the people
of the West Indies, will only show their extreme
laxity of morals.
It is not said, that nothing has been done towards the







INTRODUCTION.


elevation of the people, for much has been done through
emancipation and religion. Marriage is now not only
allowed but enjoined. Concubinage is now, indeed, still
very common; and, what is worse, a kind of double
adultery is very frequent; but they are frowned upon
by most, and denounced by many.
Such, then, being the present condition of things,
much worse was it eighteen years ago, when our brother,
Mr. Cowen's righteous soul was vexed from day to
day, by seeing and hearing the unlawful deeds of the
people. No wonder, then, that he should urgently press
upon the Society, that a labourer should be sent forth
into this field. His earnest appeals did not fail to
move the hearts of the Lord's people in England. The
Committee said, as Pharaoh said to his servants con-
cerning Joseph, "Can we find such a one as this is, a
man in whom the Spirit of God is ?" And they came
to the conclusion that Mr. Cowen himself should be
appointed to labour among the people of Trinidad; and
this he did in an earnest way for about ten years, till
the Lord of the Vineyard called him from toil to rest--
from grace to glory.
Though Mr. Cowen was, doubtless, the chief cause of
the mission being established in Trinidad, another mind
had been thinking of, and another heart had been feel-
ing for, the poor benighted people of Trinidad; and
were I to pass on without making mention of the efforts
of Mrs. Revell, I should be grievously wanting in filial
affection.







TRINIDAD.


Mrs. Revell, a native of England, though for sixteen
years a resident in Amherst, Nova Scotia, left those
northern climes about the "year 1825, and sailed away
to the Islands of the West, and settled in Port of Spain,
Trinidad. Mrs. Revell was in principle, and by profes-
sion, a Baptist. She had, indeed, been baptized by that
eminent and holy servant of Christ, Dr. Rippon, whose
letter, in reference to her baptism, is now in the pos-
session of Mrs. Tuttleby, Mrs. Revell's eldest daughter.
The sudden change from a land of snow to one of
sun, was fatal to Mr. Revell, so that his widow and
family were left dependent upon the Husband of the
widow, and the Father of the fatherless, and her own
strength of mind. My reader may remember the beau-
tiful remark of that intellectual giant, John Forster, in
his Essay on Decision of Character, where he speaks
of an ivy, which, finding nothing to cling to beyond a
certain point, had shot off into a bold elastic stem with
an air of as much independence as any branch of oak
in the vicinity. This is an emblem of what many a
desolate wife and mother, no longer having her husband
to lean upon and cling to, rises equal to the burden
of life, and goes forth into the world's arena to do battle
for herself and her children. Mrs. Revell did this and
successfully; she was a woman of much prayer, of
strong faith, and a lover of her Bible. God had ended
her with a stout heart and a firmness of purpose not
often seen in the softer sex. She entered into services,
and one which, during the course of life, led her to







INTRODUCTION. 0

cross the Atlantic some two-and-twenty times. And, as
she found herself treading the thickly-thronged streets
of London, her mind would revert to Trinidad, and
thoughts would arise, asking her what could be done for
those among whom she dwelt. Moorgate-street was
then as it is now, and thither she wended her way and
entered the mission-house, and urged with no small
warmth and energy, the claims of neglected Trinidad.
Nor did she cease her visits to Moorgate-street, until
Mr. Cowen was .appointed to preach Christ and him
crucified to the inhabitants of Port of Spain. Mrs.
Revell lived to see a growing cause, of which two of her
children were members.
But one missionary was found to be totally inade-
quate to the requirements of the island; hence, in
1845, Mr. and Mrs. Law left London for Trinidad. Mr.
Law took charge, and still occupies, the station in Port
of Spain, the capital of the island, and where the Lord
'has much blessed him, and enabled him to erect a neat
and substantial stone chapel.
When Mr. Law took charge of the station in Port of
Spain, Mr. Cowen removed to the country, and esta-
blished several stations there. The place to which he
removed is called Savannah Grande, a healthy and
beautiful part of the island, being about forty miles
from Port of Spain. In this district he found a large
number of disbanded black soldiers and their families.
They had served in the British army in the last Ameri-
can war; and after its termination, had been located on







TRINIDAD.


crown lands in Trinidad. Five quarries, a little less
than sixteen acres, were given to each head of a family y
to hold for himself and his heirs in perpetuity. The
greater part of these old soldiers had been baptized in
America, and accordingly very readily welcomed Mr.
Cowen among them. Here he laboured till 1853, when
death called him hence. After his decease, Mr. Law
statedly visited the churches, exercising to the utmost
his influence for the best interests of the people. That
influence, however, could not be other than limited,
since the duties of his own station, and its distance from
Savannah Grande, precluded his visits from being either
frequent, or of long duration. The churches were, to
some considerable extent, unavoidably left, in a large
measure, to the control of the native brethren, who,
however zealous and pious they may have been, were
not altogether competent to the duties which thus came
upon them. It was thought that the leaders, guided
by Mr. Law, would be enabled to make progress in the
Lord's vineyard; hence no second missionary was sent
to Trinidad for about four years after Mr. Cowen's death;
nor does it appear probable that a missionary would
have been sent at all, but for the repeated and earnest
solicitations of Mr. Law, who felt that one man was in-
adequate to the work of both town and country stations.
Induced by the representations of Mr. Law, the-Com-
mittee decided upon sending him help. Accordingly,
in the year 1856, the writer was accepted for Trinidad,
and prepared for his departure thither.







INTRODUCTION.


On the 12th of September, 1856, a small vessel was
seen leaving the West India Docks. Its hold contained
the usual general cargo; the cabin was occupied by the
writer, Mrs. Gamble, their two little children-one an
infant of ten weeks old-and a little maid. Once in the
Thames the steam-tug lays hold, and quickly takes us
down the river. Soon the smoke of London, and the
bustle of Blackwall, are left behind, and we are quietly
moving on between winding banks and numerous small
craft, to Gravesend. As we thus commence our voyage,
the heart is full for many loved ones left, perhaps never
to be seen this side Jordan; the mind is full-busy with
the past that is fading away in the distance,-busy with
-the unseen, unknown future, striving in vain to pierce
it. And though thus occupied in heart and mind, the
beauties around are not unnoticed. The day was fine,
and the eye rested calmly upon the green marshes of
Essex; while, on the right bank, a pleasing view of hill
and dale, and field and wood, gladdened and refreshed
us as we gazed upon it. And though hearts were full
and minds were busy, we were happy; friends were with
us who cheered us by their smile and company. Our
little girl was running about, much to her own delight,
at the new objects that met her eyes, though not a little
to her mother's fears, lest she should escape from the
hand of her nurse. Our little Willie nestled upon his
mother's bosom unconscious, and, therefore indifferent,
that he was leaving the land of his birth. We were
happy: we knew that the wide ocean rolled between







TRINIDAD.


us and our future home-but we knew that He
who holds the winds and the waves in his hand was
our Father; and was it not upon His work, and for the
glory of His great name, that we were thus about to cross
the deep? We have passed Gravesend, the steamer
has left us, and henceforth the Mignionette must rely
upon her canvas and favourable winds for the accom-
plishment of her voyage. Night is coming on; the
cabin must be sought; the deck quitted; and then it is
one begins to realize that they are at sea. All is strange
to eye and ear; and, in spite of everything, a sense of
desolation will come over the stoutest heart the first
night at sea. And the first night is generally the most
unpleasant really, as well as fancied. The Channel
navigation requires much skill on the part of the cap-
tain, much work from the sailors, and much patience
from the passengers. Ordinarily, the latter know where
nothing is. All may be there, but how to get at what
is needed is the difficulty. I do not say this was our
case, for we were old sailors; still, from being on shore
many years, we had lost the power of standing firm
when the ground, or rather cabin floor, seemed to move
from under us; and an unpleasant hasty contact with
some non-yielding substance was often the result. As
to sleep, the first night it is next to impossible; the
many little important nothings which conduce to sleep
are not there; probably the body is over-weary, or, at
least, the mind is too much excited, and sleep takes his
flight from us, and our open eyes gaze after him in vain.







INTRODUCTION.


We woo, but he is hard to be won; and, probably, ere
he will consent to visit us, the grey dawn of morning is
appearing. On the over-night you have expressed a
wish to see the sun rise at sea; hence, just as you are
being lulled in the arms of sleep, you hear~the voice of
the kind captain, who, faithful to his promise, awakes
you at your request, to see the sun rise. Mentally wish-
ing you had made no such request, you rise and grope
your way up the stairs to the deck; you look around
and you see nothing but a greyish mist to. the east, and
you ask Where is the sun ? why not yet risen-but wait
a little and you shall see him rise. By this time you
have inhaled a little of the bracing morning air, and
begin to feel refreshed in spite of your want of sleep,
when your attention is called to the changing aspect of
the horizon. The grey lines are becoming tinged with a
brighter hue, and a little above them you now perceive
vast volumes of black clouds that are rolling away from
the bright path of the king of day. But now you see
them no longer, for the whole horizon is changing from
grey to yellow,'and from yellow to red, till the golden
edge appears. You remark how rapidly he rises; yes I
he is as a strong man-he has a race to run; and great
is the distance to be traversed ere his course is com-
pleted, ere he draws the curtains of night around him,
and retires to rest. Now he appears full-orbed, shedding
light and colour and beauty far, far around hih; and
you feel that you have been well repaid, though at the
loss of a morning sleep.







TRINIDAD.


We were soon at home in our little vessel, which
swam the waters bravely. The coast of England was on
our right for several days. Off Brighton we had a good
view, but we did not see much till we came to Ply-
mouth, and iat we looked upon with much pleasure.
Its deep harbour, its men-of-war, guardians of a nation's
peace; but chiefly our attention was attracted to
Eddystone Lighthouse, which rises to a great height.
like an obelisk, from its pedestal of foaming waters.
Truly the mariner may say, as our blessed Lord said to
his disciples, Other men have laboured and ye have
entered into their labours." What would be the sea-
man's life were it not for these faithfullights that teach
him to avoid danger and destruction. Oh, how careful
are mariners to take heed of these lights-would that
they were as mindful of that holy word which is
intended to be a light to their feet and a lamp to
their path.
As we were safely sailing by this beacon one of the
men told me that he was wrecked upon the reef of
rocks which this light is intended to mark. He
was saved by boats from Plymouth, after being in,the
water many hours clinging to a spar for dear life.
The Sabbath morn came, and through the kindness
of the captain, I was permitted to address the crew
upon the deck, under the vault of heaven, the sea
around, and the hills of Devonshire in the far distance.
My soul was moved within me to speak of the common
salvation, and the one Saviour. The captain and my-







INTRODUCTION.


self alternately preached Christ to the ship's company,
for the captain was one who felt it an honour to be
permitted to convey to his men the glad tidings of a
Saviour's love.
Thus days and weeks passed on, our little vessel steering
her course westward. We soon entered the Trade
Winds, and then all was well; for a captain feels, as it
were, on sure ground, when he has got the trades." The
weather was beautiful, the breeze not too strong, and we
had all we could desire. Time in the "trades," is
beguiled among the sailors by setting up the rigging,
tarring the same, painting the boats, mending the old
sails, looking up the stores, and sorting up every odd job,
that Satan may find no mischief for idle hands to do.
While the sailors are thus engaged, the passengers
are busy with the children and books, now and then
taking a passive part in the operations of the crew, or
rising from their somewhat lazy position to see the "log
heaved," to satisfy one's curiosity, as well as to relieve
the undisturbed quiet, and know how many knots she is
going. Occasionally, a scene of excitement is witnessed;
a shoal of porpoises, or of dolphins, are, in the case of
the former, turning most clumsy summersets around
the bows of the vessel, or in that of the latter, though
darting their arrowy forms in the most unlocked for
direction-now here, now there, then yonder-all the
while presenting an engrossing and tantalizing mark
to the harpoon, which is firmly grasped by some strong
hand, and guided by a quick eye, that one of these same







TRINIDAD.


rapid swimmers may make a variety in the cabin fare.
At length, after much excitement, and many attempts
(for dolphins are difficult to strike), one is exultingly
hauled on deck, and there he astonishes the landsmen
by the variety and beauty of the shades of colour he
assumes as he dies gasping for breath. Poor fish .-he
is deprived of the only atmosphere he can breathe in,
and he must die.
Besides the excitement created by dolphins and por-
poises, a shark following in the ship's wake, showing
his dorsal fin, or a number of flying-fishes, help to en-
liven one on ship-board. The flying-fish is a very
pretty little fish in itself, graceful in its flight on the
surface of the waters, and most delicate in its flavour.
They sometimes fly on board, generally at night, at-
tracted by the ship's lights, and in this way a few were
obtained as a relish for one or two mornings. At our
request, one of the officers rigged a sail in a scoop-like
shape, and placed a light in it over the ship's side, to
see if we could not induce some of these sweet little
flying-fish to enter our net. But, though we were un-
successful, it is by the aid of a light that large numbers
of them are caught off the Island of Barbadoes. They
do not fly so far south as Trinidad; so though we have
plenty of fine fish, we have none that fly. It is thought
incredible with some, that fish fly. Well, in the proper
sense of the term, they don't fly; yet through the aid
of a pair of very wide-spreading fins, in proportion to
their size, they shoot through the air swiftly for a hun-







INTRODUCTION.


dred yards, and sometimes, as I have observed, they fly
as high out of the water as to reach the deck of a small
vessel This attempt at aerial navigation is no delight to
them, however pretty it may be for us terrestrial beings
to look upon; for it is in order to escape from their
bitterest enemy, the baracuta, that they are constrained
to leave their -native element, which they could not do
without these extraordinary fins with which they are
provided. The kind Creator either gives to the lower
creation strength to resist, cunning to elude, or velocity
to outstrip their enemies.
Thus then, charmed with the beauties of the vaults
of heaven at night, pleased with the wonders of the
deep, and engaged in efforts to do good by day, the
five weeks of our voyage soon passed by.
On the 17th of October, a man was sent aloft to look
for land, which he saw on the weather bow. We were
consequently a little too far to leeward, so that our yards
were braced aft, and our course altered a point to the
eastward. About six o'clock, we distinctly saw the
Grenadines, a number of small islands running out to
the eastward of Tobago. These we soon cleared, and
then our course lay westward, down between Tobago
and Trinidad. We sat up till twelve o'clock, and saw
Scarborough Light. At six in the morning, look-
ing out of our little port-hole, we saw Point Galero, and
the north coast of Trinidad extending down to the Bocas.
About two o'clock we were opposite the Bocas, and very
soon entered the Gulf of Paria. At five p.m., on the







TRINIDAD.


18th of October, we found ourselves at anchor, when
speedily a boat came off with kind friends ready to
convey us on shore.
Truly grateful were we to our heavenly Father, that
He had protected us, and guided us across the ocean,
and permitted us to arrive in safety and in health at
our destined haven. Mr. and Mrs. Law gave us a
cordial welcome at the mission-house, where we stayed
till our departure for our own sphere of labour.
















4















CHAPTER I.


HISTORICAL OUTLINE
TRINIDAD was discovered on the 31st of July, 1498, by
Christopher Columbus, on his third voyage to the New
World.
On the 31st of July," says Washington Irving in his
Life of Columbus, "there was not above one cask of
water remaining in each ship, when, about mid-day, a
mariner at the mast-head beheld the summit of three
mountains rising above the horizon, and gave the joyful
cry of land. As the ships drew nearer, it was seen that
these three mountains were united at the base. Columbus
had determined to give the first land he should meet the
name of the Trinity. The appearance of these three
mountains, united into one, struck him as a singular
coincidence; and, with a solemn feeling of -devotion, he
gave the island the name of La Tiinidad, which it bears
at the present day." It appears that Columbus first
approached the south-eastern point of the island, and
gave it the name of Purita de la Galera, from the pecu-
liar shape of a rock closely resembling a galley under
sail. This designation was afterwards exchanged for
that of Purita de la Galiota, of similar signification; the
former name now designating the north-eastern point.
Columbus then coasted the southern shore, and entered
the Gulf of Paria, between Point Icacos-which he called
Punta Arenal-and the Wolves' Rocks. On the 2nd of
August he cast anchor to leeward of "El Gallo." To
the pass itself, from its dangerous appearance, he gave
the name of Boca de la Sierpe," or the Serpent's Mouth;







TRINIDAD.


the gulf he called Golfo de la Balena," Golfo Trieste,"
or the Whale's Gulf and the Dull Gulf; and to the
northern entrance that of "Boca del Dragon," or the
Dragon's Mouth.
"Columbus," again says Irving, "was surprised at
the verdure and fertility of the country, having expected
to find it more parched and sterile as he approached the
equator; whereas he beheld groves of palm-trees and
luxuriant forests sweeping down to the sea side, with
fountains and running streams. The shores were low
and uninhabited, but the country rose in the interior,
was cultivated in many places, and enlivened by hamlets
and scattered habitations. In a word, the softness and
purity of the climate, and the verdure, freshness, and
purity of the .country, appeared to him to equal the
delights of early spring in the beautiful province of
Valencia."
Trinidad, however, was for a long time neglected,
probably on account of its proximity to the continent,
which latter must have offered greater inducements to
settlers. It was first populated by a few Spanish
families, who established themselves on the banks of
the river Saint Joseph, and formed the village of San
Jose de Oriena. In 1780 the number of the colonists
did not exceed a few hundreds. About that time, M.
Rome de St. Laurent, a colonist from Grenada, visited
Trinidad, and was much struck with the great capabili-
ties of the island. He, therefore, immediately proceeded
to Caraceas, to propose to the Government a scheme for
procuring a rapid influx of settlers. His views were
adopted, and his plans approved; and a first cedula, or
decree, was granted in the year 1781, by the Court of
Spain, for encouraging immigration. Emigrants from
the French islands, and a few Irishmen, with several
respectable coloured families, then began to form settle-
ments in the island.
In 1783 a second and more explicit cedula was issued,
granting, on certain restrictions, to each white person of







HISTORICAL OUTLINE.


either sex, being a Roman Catholic, a free grant of thirty-
two acres, and half that quantity for every slave that
should be possessed; and to each free coloured person of
either sex half the quantity of land granted to whites,
and, similarly, half the quantity for each slave. Article
Six stipulated that no personal tax should be levied on
the settlers, except an impost of one dollar for each
slave, but this only after the new settler had been ten
years in the colony. They were also exempted from
various other taxes for the same period of ten years.
The total population was, in 1783, 2,765-viz., 126
whites, 295 free coloured, 310 slaves, and 2,032 Indians.
This liberal measure induced a steady influx of popu-
lation from Grenada, St. Lucia, Martinique, Guadaloupe,
and San Domingo, so that in 1798 the population had
increased to 17,718 individuals, of whom 2,151 were
whites, 1,082 Indians, 4,476 free people of colour, and
10,000 slaves. The colony, in the meantime, had rapidly
progressed, being French in everything but government;
in fact,. the French had, in a great measure, superseded
the Spanish language, and all public documents were
published in both languages. Even after the capitula-
tion of the island to the British forces, the French idiom
was preserved, together with that of the conquerors, for
all public purposes, until the year 1823, when the English
language was exclusively adopted.
It appears that it was only in the year 1730 that a
governor was appointed, for the first time, to administer
the affairs of the island, and from that date to the year
1784 thirteen governors successively filled office. In
September, 1784, Don Jose de Chacon entered on the
administration of the colony, and that at a very critical
moment. England being then at war with Spain, a
British expedition, consisting of twenty vessels and about
10,000 men, sailed from Martinique in February, 1797,
under Admiral Harvey and General Sir Ralph Aber-
crombie, to take possession of Trinidad. The island was
defended by five men-of-war and about 2,200 troops.







TRINIDAD.


The issue was, that, without even firing a gun, Trinidad
was surrendered to General Abercrombie upon the terms
of a capitulation. The island was afterwards ceded and
guaranteed in full possession to his Britannic Majesty by
the fourth article of the Treaty of Amiens.
Lieut.-Colonel Picton, aide-de-camp to the General,
was appointed Governor, and may be said to have ruled
the island with a rod of iron, either as sole Governor or
in joint commission with Colonel Fullerton and Admiral
Hood, for a period of six years. The colony has since
been governed by the following officers:-By General
Heslop, from 1802 to 1810; Lieutenant-Colonel Foley
(ad interim), from-1810 to 1813; Sir Ralph Woodford,
from 1813 to 1828; Sir Lewis Grant, from 1829 to 1833;
Sir George Hill, from 1833 to 1841 ; Sir Henry Macleod,
from 1841 to 1846; and by Lord Harris, from 1846 to
1854. Then followed Rear-Admiral Charles Elliot,Robert
Keate, Esq., and now the Hon. J. T. C. Manners Sutton
is the Governor.
Form of Government.-Trinidad is a Crown Colony,
and is governed by a Governor appointed by the Crown,
assisted by a Council of twelve persons, six of them being
the chief civil officers of the government, and six non-
official members, nominated and invited to accept a seat
by the Governor. The Governor has his own and a
casting vote; so that, depending upon the official mem-
bers, he seldom finds himself in a minority, On some
occasions, however, the Chief Justice, Mr. Knox, is inde-
pendent enough in his judgment to vote with the non-
officials. This is considered a very bold step, and exposes
the official to the frowns of the Governor; while, to
counterbalance these, he possesses the smiles of the com-
munity at large.
In most of the West India islands, there are Houses of
Assembly, and these, though far from perfect, are, at least
in good measure, representative. Several efforts have
been made to obtain representative government here, but







HISTORICAL OUTLINE.


as yet the attempts have proved abortive. On a subject
of this kind there is much to be said on both sides; but
it would be advisable to make some change in the mode
of government. We are not, however, very sanguine
that any great alteration will be made for some years at
least; but as the people multiply and grow more en-
lightened, they will scarcely be content to be governed
without having any voice in making the laws which they
are required to obey; nor can it be expected that they
will willingly pay the taxes, in the imposition of which
they are not consulted.
In 1849 Lord Harris introduced a new territorial
division of the island, dividing it into two great sections
-the northern and the southern-each being subdivided
into four counties, each county into two districts, and
each district into wards, according to their population.
The common boundary of the two grand divisions is
formed by a line running from Point Manzanilla west-
ward, and following the course of the River Lebranche;
then along the summits of the Middle Range to Mount
Tamana; thence west-south-west to Montserrat; and
from that point due west to the Gulf of Paria, south of
Point Savanetta.
The four counties in the northern section are-St.
George and Caroni, St. David and St. Andrew.
The four counties in the southern section are-Victoria
and St. Patrick, Mayaro and Nariva.
Thus the country is divided into many wards. The
duties of the wardens are manifold. They have to
collect the taxes, see that the roads and bridges are in
good repair in their wards; from them timber on crown
lands is to be bought; and when the tree is thrown
down, cut up into boards or planks or scantling, not a
piece can be moved without the warden's permit. The
warden is also the district registrar of marriages; and,
by a new ordinance, he is required to marry those who
shall wish him to do so. The salaries of the wardens
vary according to the importance, extent, and amount of
c2







20 TRINIDAD.

population of their ward. At first the wards were very
many, and the salaries small; but lately ward unions
have been made, and a more competent class of persons
appointed, and the salaries have been somewhat aug-
mented.
Throughout the island we have a good constabulary
force. An inspector resides in Port of Spain; the sub-
inspector resides at San Fernando. Besides the ordinary
duties devolving upon the police, they have charge of
the postal arrangements throughout the country. In
the country districts the police station is also the post-
office. In Port of Spain a policeman delivers the letters;
in San Fernando also there is a postman; but in the
country districts letters must be sent for from the station.
The sergeant stationed at each police station is a kind of
post-master, and thus his duties are somewhat increased.
Between town and San Fernando, and all the inter-
mediate stations along the coast, there is a daily post;
while there are but two (and, in some cases, but one)
postal communications during the week with some of
the outlying parts of the island.
Many of the planters are justices of the peace, and on
every estate there is a private constable-an arrangement
very judicious, since many of the estates are far from
the police station, and are, moreover, numerously peopled
by immigrants.
Trinidad is a very peaceable colony. Such a thing as
a riot or outbreak of any kind is very rare. The only
serious one which has occurred of late years was in
1851, when a new law coming into force, which decreed
that debtors' heads should be shaved, the people gathered
in crowds around the Government House and Court-
house, and broke almost every pane of glass in the
buildings. The riot assumed such a serious aspect that
the black troops were called out. The Riot Act was
read, the troops fired on the people, and some three
persons were shot. The yell raised by the mob when
the soldiers fired was something to be remembered.







HISTORICAL OUTLINE.


They had no notion that a shot would be fired, but
when they saw their companions fall, they very quickly
took to their heels, and dispersed. From that day to
the present there has been nothing of a serious nature to
disturb the peace and tranquillity of the inhabitants.
The black troops above referred to were a few compa-
nies of one of the West India regiments. For many
years a few companies of them were stationed in
barracks in Port of Spain; but just lately they have
been finally removed. At St. James there are fine
barracks, though said to be somewhat unhealthy, in
which the left wing of a regiment is quartered, and
these troops are considered sufficient for any emergency
that may arise. At one time, indeed, there was a rumour
of withdrawing the troops altogether; but this was so
contrary to the wishes of the Trinidadians that the pro-
posal has not been carried into effect.
Occasionally a man-of-war comes down from Bar-
badoes, and enlivens the town by the presence of its
officers and crew. Sometimes, though rarely, a foreign
man-of-war drops into the harbour, and compliments the
town with a salute.
The spirit of the Volunteer movement has been wafted
across the western ocean, and now the subject of organ-
izing an artillery corps is seriously discussed in the
public papers. Certainly the town of Port of Spain is
entirely unprotected from an enemy by sea. It lies an
easy and a tempting prey to any privateer.* Should
any such craft enter the harbour of Port of Spain,
send a boat ashore, and demand a million dollars, or
threaten to shell the town, the inhabitants would be
utterly helpless, and must accept one or other of the
terms offered.
It is said, and with truth, that a few guns placed at
Mucarapo Point, and a few more on the banks of the
Caroni, could keep up such a cross fire as would effec-
tually silence any vessel that might make any such
attempt.















CHAPTER II.


GEOGRAPHICAL DESCRIPTION.

TRINIDAD is an island belonging to the group of the
Lesser Antilles. It is situated between 100 3' and
100 50' latitude N., and between 610 1' and 620 4' longi-
tude W. of Greenwich. It is separated from the province
of Cumana, in the Republic of Venezuela, by the Gulf of
Paria, together with the Dragon's and Serpent's Mouths.
In figure it is an oblong, or of a rectangular shape, with
promontories at its four angles, viz., Galera and Galeota
to the eastward, and Mono and Icacos to the westward-
these two latter stretching for several miles towards the
opposite shores of Venezuela, and thus contributing to
the formation of the northern and southern boundaries
of the Gulf of Paria.
The greatest length of the island from N. to S. is from
Grand Matelot to Casa Cruz, 50 miles; average length,
48 miles; greatest breadth, from Galeota to Icacos, 65
miles; average breadth, 35 miles only. The superficial
extent or area is about 2,012 miles, or 1,287,600 square
acres. Trinidad is bounded on the north bythe Caribbean
Sea, on the south by the channel which separates it from
the Delta and Caios of the Orinoco; on the east by
the Atlantic Ocean; and on the west by the Gulf of
Paria.
The island is on the northern coast mountainous and
but little cultivated, while in the south and central
portions, it is level, and to some extent cultivated. The
greater portion of the island, however, is still untouched
by the levelling axe of man. The soil seems to present







GEOGRAPHICAL DESCRIPTION.


three distinctive features. It is sandy in the south, of a
rich black loam in the central parts, and of a reddish
clay in the north. The central portion is that which is
most cultivated and most productive, while as far as can
be ascertained the sandy soil is the least productive.
On the whole, the country presents a flat appearance
to the eye, and in this respect differs from the other
islands of the Caribbean Sea.
On the north coast, running from Point Galero to
Point Monos, is the highest range of mountains. They are
one range, yet present to the eye a series of sugar loaves
meeting at their base. They are intersected by many
valleys running at right angles with the range-that is,
north and south-some of which are so near the level of
the sea, that at a short distance you are led to believe
that they are separated. Between this range of moun-
tains and the Montserrat range, there is a distance of
some twenty miles, somewhat less at the eastern
extremity and rather more at the western. The country
lying between these two ranges is low and flat, especially
on the western shore. It comprises the district of
Caroni, Chaguanas, Couva, and Savanetto. The Caroni
river is the largest river emptying itself into the Gulf of
Paria. It debouches not far from the Port of Spain, and
by raising a sand-bank of considerable length, somewhat
interferes with the navigation of the gulf.
The Chaguanas, Couva, Guaracara, Sipero, and Godi-
neau rivers also empty themselves into the gulf. Most
of these streams are navigable for a short distance inland,
and are ascended by flats (a kind of barge), which take
off the hogsheads of sugar to the vessels lying at some
distance from the shore.
The whole country lying between the northern and
Montserrat ranges may be said to be flat land, and well
adapted for the growth of the cane, with the exception
of a tract called the Grand Savannah. In Chaguanas,
Carapachaima, Couva, and Savanetta, there are many
sugar plantations. From the flatness of the country, this







TRINIDAD.


district has rather an ill name for fever; yet those
who are careful manage to maintain their health and
vigour.
To the south 6f the Montserrat range of hills, there is
no considerable elevation of country; yet it is not flat
like the district above-mentioned, but of an undulating
character.
The Naparimas, a district lying between the Guaracara
and the Godineau rivers, is undulatory, and, for the most
part, consists of as rich a soil as can be found in any
part of the world. It is here that the greatest quantity
of sugar is made. As far as the eye can reach you are
surrounded by a waving sea of green canes at one time
of the year, while at another the green disappears and
gives place to close-shaven, brown stretches, breadths and
belts, studded here and there with works from whose
chimneys volumes of black smoke issue all day long.
To the south and east of this tract of country, the
primeval forests hold undisputed sway, with but a small
patch here and there testifying to the industry of man.
At La Brea and Cedros there are a few -ugar estates, but
the extent of ground they occupy is small, compared with
the miles of forest rejoicing in their unmolested and
virgin beauty.
Thus far we have been speaking of the line of coast
washed by the waters of the Gulf of Paria. These
shores may be likened to the inner edge of a horseshoe,
which, with the coast of Cumana, form the basin which
contains and confines the waters of our gulf.
To the north of the island there are several openings,
called bocas or mouths, formed by small islets rising
out of the sea, between Point Monos and the mainland of
Venezuela. There are three islets, making, of course,
four openings. The first is Monos, the second Huevos,
the third Chacachacarro. Three of these openings are
narrow, difficult, and dangerous of navigation; but the
fourth, Boca Grande, is twelve miles wide, and of course
in it there is sufficient sea-room for all purposes The







GEOGRAPHICAL DESCRIPTION.


tides, however, run very rapidly here, and many a vessel
is carried far to leeward in spite of all that can be done.
Old traders, being forewarned, are forearmed, and gene-
rally manage to thwart the strong will of the perverse
current. My experience of scenery is not very extensive
certainly, but I cannot conceive of anything more awe-
inspiring than to be in a small boat at the base of one of
these lofty, perpendicular islets--the Atlantic waves
rolling around you, striking with their own force and a
peculiar hollow sound against the innumerable rocks
which hurl back their ceaseless assailants in an angry
shower of spray. You feel the motion, you hear the
booming of the waves, and you gaze at the towering,
frowning cliffs above you, and whether you will or not,
you are made to feel your own littleness, and are filled
with solemn awe by what you see and hear.
At the south-western extremity of the island, Point
Icacos, something similar is to be found. Narrow and
dangerous passages separate the island from the Spanish
main. Anyone hearing of the names of these openings
would be at a loss which to choose to enter. One is
called the Dragon's Mouth, that to the north; and the
other is called the Serpent's Mouth-Scylla and Qha-
rybdis these, surely. But a choice has to be made, and
the Dragon's Mouth is the chosen passage for entrance
into the Gulf of Paria. From Point Monos to Point
Galera the land is high and the shore exposed. There
are but few inlets or bays, and none of these can be
deemed secure for shipping.
The eastern coast extends from Point Galera, on the
north to Point Galeota, on the south. It is partly low,
with- shallow waters, and partly bold, with many bluffs
and headlands. The whole extent of coast is, with very
few exceptions, exposed to a heavy rolling surf from the
Atlantic, which may be heard thundering on the shore at
a distance of several miles.
The southern coast stretches from Point Galeota, on
the east, to Point Icacos, on the west. The land is some-







TRINIDAD.


what bluff, and the channel between this line of coast
and the shore of the mainland is shallow, varying from
three to thirty-seven fathoms.
The Gulf of Paria is a beautiful salt-water lake, and
so secure and extensive a harbour that the navies of
Europe and America might ride in safety upon its bosom.
Anchorage may be obtained almost anywhere within the
gulf, the deepest soundings being in the Grand Bocas,
and near the Main.
There are several small islands in the gulf besides
those which form the Bocas. Gaspar Grande is an islet
fully three miles long, and about one and a-half wide in
the centre. It runs east and west, and lies just within
the first Bocas or Monos. At one time this islet and
those which form the Bocas were cultivated, yielding
many bales of good cotton, but now nothing but a few
ground provisions are grown on them.
Nearer to Port of Spain there are seven others-five
in one group nearest to town, off Le Carenage, and a
group of two larger ones off Point Gourde.
These islets are very pretty in themselves, and stud
the gulf very picturesquely. They are also very service-
able, being used as watering places. Each islet has a
house and all conveniences for residence, even though
the islet be no larger than the house; a bathing-place is
constructed, and there we have the means of improving
health and obtaining recreation.
In the Grand.Bocas there is a large island-that is,
large when compared with those just spoken of. It is
called Pata, or Goose Island. At one time it was
inhabited, but now it is the home of the pelican.
Having no water, it is not eligible for permanent
habitation; and by reason of distance it is not convenient
for a watering place. Besides this, it is declared to be
"no-man's-land." The Spaniards claim it as a part of
the province of Cumana; and the English, who say it
belongs to them, do not seem to think it worth troubling
about. Thus it is left to the solitude of its own echoes.







GEOGRAPHICAL DESCRIPTION.


Sometimes when men find Trinidad too uncomfortable
for them to remain in it with safety to themselves, they
will borrow a boat and set off for the Main, and spend
the first night of their flight at Pata without the
slightest apprehension that a fugee warrant will be
presented there.
The islands I have spoken of lie all near the north-
western point of the island, and do not obstruct the free
navigation of the gulf when once within its limits. This
beautiful sheet of water is about thirty miles wide, and
about seventy miles long. The country may be said to
be divided into two sections, formed by three ranges
of mountains-a northern, a central, and a southern
range. The two valleys, formed by these ranges, are
almost of the same form and extent. The northern
range of mountains attain to an elevation of two and
three thousand feet. The southern range is less moun-
tainous, reaching the height of about twelve hundred feet.
The intermediate country in the southern division is
more or less broken and undulatory, while the northern
division is more uniformly level and low.
The whole country presents rather a monotonous
appearance because of the interminable forests by which
it is covered. The population is under a hundred
thousand, while the country is, according to a most
moderate calculation, capable of supporting a population
of three hundred thousand. Were the country under
cultivation, a very different and a much more beautiful
scene would present itself to the eye.















CHAPTER III.


PEOPLE, LANGUAGES, AND RELIGIONS.

THE people of Trinidad number almost one hundred
thousand, of whom about twenty thousand live in and
around Port of Spain. San Fernando, the only other
town in the island, distant from the capital about thirty
miles, contains about six thousand inhabitants. The
remainder are scattered far and wide upon the estates,
in the villages, throughout the whole country.
Many distinct peoples go to make up the population
of Trinidad. There are men from all quarters of the
globe, and with but little exaggeration; it may be said
that, in Trinidad, all the languages of the earth are
spoken.
Representatives of the aborigines are scarcely to be
found, though they may be said to remain in their
descendants born of Indian and Spanish parents. Once
a year the Guaraoons, a tribe of Indians, who live on
the banks of the Orinoco, come in their canoes to the
south-eastern coast, travel along well-known Indian
tracks, and come as far as San Fernando, which is to
them the opposite side of the island. They are a stout
copper-coloured, long-haired people, and some of them
are probably the descendants of Indians, who, in former
years, left Trinidad for the mainland. "The few
aborigines yet remaining in the colony, are leading an
isolated life in the forests, depending for their subsist-
ance upon hunting and fishing, using the bow and
arrow in preference to the fowling-piece, and in short,
retaining their savage, ancestral habits precisely as if







PEOPLE, LANGUAGES, AND RELIGIONS.


the light of civilization, and the sun of Christianity
had never beamed on their lovely Island of Jere. A
few families of Indian descent are still, however, to be
met with in different parts of the island, all speaking
the Spanish language, and having preserved Spanish
habits; fond of smoking, dancing, and all other kind of
amusements, but above all, of the dolce far niente. They
are generally possessors of conucos, that is to say pos-
sessors of a few acres of land, which they cultivate in
provisions and coffee, but particularly in cacao."
Frtn the times of Columbus, many Spanish families
have dwelt in the land. They obtained or brought with
them their slaves. In the year 1783, many came from
the other West Indian islands, from the French as well
as the English*; and indeed the French element displaced
the Spanish, and still remains contesting the English.
The population was slightly increased by a few thou-
sand Africans, delivered by our men-of-war from the
hands of slavers. About 4000 Africans, liberated from
captured slavers, have been added since emancipation;
and some thirty thousand-Asiatics, Coolies, and Chinese
have been imported since the year 1845, when the first
Coolie ship anchored off Port of Spain.
The population of Trinidad, therefore, is a motley
aggregation of Africans, Asiatics, Europeans, and a few
individuals of Indian or American blood, together with
their mixed descendants.
The following table, borrowed from the latest authority
I can find, will give some idea of the population, and its
motley character:-

Natives of Trinidad 40,584
Natives of Africa 8,150
Natives of Europe 1,508
Natives of Asia 4,200
Emigrants from other parts 15,158

69,600







TRININDAD.


The Trinidadians are a tall, well-made.people, rather
showy in their persons, fond of dress, music, and amuse-
ments generally, especially dancing and theatricals.
They have a frank manner about them, but are some-
what fickle, and lack stability of character and firmness
of purpose. The liberated classes and their descendants
cannot be said to have attained to any high standard
Of moral character. If the truth must be told, they are
litigious, and somewhat lax in the principles of honesty.
It does not seem to them anything wrong to take up
articles, to incur debts, even when they see no way of
paying for them. One is led in charity to believe, that
thoughtlessness often leads into actions of this kind.
Fond of dress, and extravagant and lofty in their
notions, they run up bills without reflecting that a day
of reckoning will surely come. That, day does come,
and unable to meet the demands made upon them, the
law is resorted to, and compulsory payment is enforced.
They seem never to say, Well, I cannot afford to buy
this, and must wait till I can," but will get credit to
considerable amount, and as far as can be gathered, be
quite unconcerned as to consequences. It is not from
want of example, that the Trinidadians. are not more
frugal and thrifty; for most of the immigrants, the
Coolies in particular, are saving and frugal. But not-
withstanding example set them, and in spite of the
consequences, the Trinidadians remain as I have de-
scribed them.
In Trinidad we have Africans, but of many different
tribes, speaking different dialects, and with very marked
differences in character.
The Yarrabas are a very fine race of people, tall and
well-proportioned, some' of them with fine intelligent
features, and they appear to value the benefits of civi-
lization and Christianity. They are laborious, usually
working for day wages on estates, but preferring job
work. The women are mostly occupied in petty trade
huckstering; some, also, in the culture of ground provi- .







PEOPLE, LANGUAGES, AND RELIGIONS.


sions; their hises are neat and comfortable, and kept
with tidiness and order. In character they are gene-
rally honest, and in disposition proud, and even haughty;
so that the cases are rare in which a Yarraba is brought
before a magistrate for theft, breach of contract, or other
misdemeanor.
There are the Eboes, and the Congoes, and some other
tribes. The Congoes present a marked contrast to the
Yarrabas, being in stature like boys, and with little or
no strength of character. While the Yarrabas will
dwell in clusters, co-operate with one another, becoming
small holders of land, the Congoes seldom become pur-
.chasers of land, and seldom rise above the cheapest paid
labour. From what is to be seen in Trinidad of the
different African tribes, one would gather that there is
quite as much difference in their physical and mental
capabilities as is to be found among Europeans. The
Yarrabas are obviously, in every sense, a superior peo-
ple to the other tribes we have here. If there are races
in Africa superior to the Yarrabas, they, must be a fine
class of people indeed. But, though there are different
tribes of Africans, yet their whole number is not very
great, and the country would be in a sad condition if
dependent upon them alone for agricultural labour.
In 1845 the first vessel having on board Asiatic
immigrants came to anchor in the harbour of Port of
Spain. There are now about 25,000 to 30,000 immi-
grants in the country. The Coolies are a mild and
industrious race, not so robust as the Africans, but more
steady and obedient, and do not seem to entertain any
dislike to agriculture, They are intelligent, and as
before observed, saving. They are not, however, apt at
learning languages; the African is their superior in that
respect. They are, however, the only reliable labour in
the country. Were it not for their presence and indus-
try in the island, but little sugar would be made. The
Creoles are very willing to be mechanics, stock-keepers,
drivers of mules, boiler-men, wood-cutters, &c., but as







TRINIDAD.


a class, they dislike cutting canes, and dislike much
more the weeding of them. The Coolies do nearly all
the cane-weeding throughout the island, and this of
course is a very important, if not the principal work.
The crop lasts but one-fourth of the year, the other
three-fourths are spent in preparing the canes for cut-
ting. During crop very few hands are idle, but during
the wet season, many Creoles never leave their own
little gardens; so that the chief of the directly agricul-
tural work of the estates is performed by the Coolies.
The Coolies are very abstemious, saving nearly all
they earn, with a view to carrying back their earnings
to their own country, where, with the amount of money
they can save here, they will among their countrymen
be considered very wealthy persons. The Coolies are
very fond of loading the persons of their wives with
abundance of silver ornaments, armlets, sometimes one
on each arm, and sometimes six, or even ten armlets on
each arm, anklets, ear-rings, nose rings, and silver tires
round their necks. Rings on toes and fingers, some-
times, are very numerous. The dress of both male and
female is certainly becoming to them, though at first
there does appear too much of the person exposed.
The men wear, some a turban, but most a small cap of
figured velvet, like a smoking cap, though more in the
shape of a Glengarry than a Turkish cap. A tight-fitting
coloured kind of vest, with an ample capra," or
several yards of cotton, rolled in their own peculiar
manner, around the loins and limbs. The women have
a similar tight-fitting vest, either with a narrow skirt
falling to the ankles, or an abundance of "capra," in
which they enroll themselves; and a number of yards
of cotton, or coloured, pink or green muslin, as a turban
and face cloth. The women have certainly a very grace-
ful mode of wrapping their head-cloth about them, both
so as to protect the head from the sun, their faces from
the gaze of others, and their bosoms from exposure.
The nose-ring, which appears appropriate to a Euro-







PEOPLE, LANGUAGES, AND RELIGIONS. 33

tpean only in the snouts of swine, is not by any means
a disfigurement to a pretty Coolie woman. The ring
is generally of gold or brass, thin, and about as large
as a half-crown, or sometimes a crown-piece in circum-
ference; that which strikes one as most displeasing to
our taste, is the drop of the ear being so widely severed
-two fingers can be easily passed through the opening
made to retain the ear-ring. It is not, moreover, pleasant
to see a woman's teeth covered with a juice precisely like
blood; the beetle-nut is chewed by the women as well as
the men, and it is somewhat offensive to witness the
blood-coloured teeth, and the blood-coloured saliva ex-
pectorated. The Coolies brought to Trinidad are from
all parts of India, of different complexions, habits, lan-
guage and religion.
When it was proposed to obtain labourers from India,
two agents were sent, one to Calcutta, and one to
Madras. The slightest knowledge of the inhabitants of
Hindostan tells us that the people of the two Presi-
dencies are distinct. The Bengalis speak Hindustani
and Bengali, while the inhabitants of the Madras Presi-
dency speak Tamil, a totally different language. When
these people meet in Trinidad, it strikes one as some-
what strange that they have to point to water and rice,
and ask each other what they call it in their language.
So totally different are the languages, the Hindus-
tani and the Tamil, that English has to become the
medium of communication. The difference in the peo-
ple is almost as great as the difference in the languages;
the Coolies from Calcutta proving valuable, steady
labourers, while those from Madras are for the most
part useless. This is accounted for by the fact, that
those who embark from Calcutta have come from the
interior, and have been used to the cultivation of rice
or indigo all their lives. No better labourers than these
prove, can be desired.
The Madras Coolies appear to be, with few excep-
tions, the scum and refuse of the city of Madras-stray







TRINIDAD.


waifs who have* sunk very low in their lives before
they find their way into the hands of the shipping agent.
Some of these, however, make very good house servants,
as butlers and cooks, and some of them turn out good
grooms. One would have thought beforehand, from
hearing the Bengali and the Tamil spoken, that the
former would show much greater aptness in learning
English than the latter, but it is not so. The Tamil-
speaking Coolies speak English very readily, and coh-
sidering all things, very correctly. The Bengalis, on the
other hand, seldom attempt to speak English, except by
translating into their own idiom, and using their owi
syntax. Ghora lahi is Horse bring him," and "Horse
bring him," accordingly we say in speaking to a Bengali.
In reference to immigration, much might be said; a
few words, however, is all I think it necessary to say in
these pages. Immigration, however it may be regarded,
was simply a necessity to Trinidad and some other cane-
growing, sugar-making countries. Without imported
labour, Trinidad must have been given up to the growth
of its own luxuriant climate. Had not indented labourers
been brought into the island under agreement, to work
for a stated time, for a stated and moderate sum, the
estates must have been abandoned; for depending upon
the labour of the emancipated classes, the estates were,
it is true, making sugar, but at a ruinous cost, from the
high rate of wages which it was necessary to pay for
labour, as otherwise none could be obtained. Immigra-
tion was a wise, and the only plan that could be re-
sorted to under the circumstances. And well was it for
the West Indies that the East Indies teemed with an
overflowing population.
Now,though immigrant labour is cheaper than was the
labour obtained before its introduction, yet it is not a very
cheap kind of labour: not that it might not have been
so from the first, and not that it may not become so in
the end, but because partly of extravagance on the part
of those who were employed to carry it out, and partly







PEOPLE, LANGUAGES, AND RELIGIONS.


because of several of the arrangements being unwise and
unnecessary. It no doubt was the strongest inducement
that could be offered to the people of Hindostan to say
to them: "Come with us to Trinidad, and work for five
years, or even ten years, and we will pay you well-give
you a fine house to live in, provide you with a doctor
when you are sick, and at the end of five or ten years
(according to the arrangement made) we will give you a
free passage back to your own country." Perhaps those
who had the hard work of persuading Hindoos to leave
their country and cross the salt seas, found that nothing
short of such favourable terms could prevail upon them
to agree to embark. However desirable, and however
necessary it may have been to obtain labour, still the
pockets, the interests of the employers should have been
a little more attentively considered. Having had so much
difficulty to get the labourers to come, one would have
thought that, at least, they should have been required to-
pay their own passage back, if they would not settle
down permanently in their new country. Experience.
has taught wisdom in this matter, and now a longer
time of service is contracted for-ten years, instead of
five.
Much has been said in the interest of the Coolies, and
a kind of crusade has been attempted by some fond of
knight-errantry, with a view to ameliorate the condition
of the indented Coolie. Having been familiarly ac-
quainted with the working of immigration here for
nearly nine years, I can conscientiously say that a
fairer system for the labourer could not well be devised.
As remarked above, the Coolies have provided for
them good substantial houses, medical attendance, and a
free passage home upon the expiration of their term of
service, or the choice of a bouity instead of a return
passage. They are paid according to the rate of wage in
the quarter at the time, and, of course, according to the
kind of work done. Intheserights, and in many privileges.
they are protected by the magistrates and by the laws.
D2







TRINIDAD.


On the other hand, they are required to work every
day when not sick, and are not allowed to leave the
estate without a written pass, given to them by the
overseer or manager. As a rule, they are well condi-
tioned, happy, and cheerful, having their own rooms,
living comfortably with their wives and children. They
are, moreover, allowed to cultivate a patch of ground, or
(which they much prefer) to keep a cow or a pig. Of
cows the Coolies are very fond, and certainly they know
how to take care of them. It is true that, sometimes, an
irate overseer or driver may strike a Coolie, and so may
any angry man strike another in any country, and irre-
spective of their relative positions ; but there is as much
redress for the Coolie as any one else. On the whole, I
think it may be said that immigration is an advantage
and a blessing both to the Coolies and to those who
employ them, and it would be difficult to say with whom
the greater advantage is to be found.
It is a fact that all the Coolies who are not confirmed
drunkards save money, are well fed, and well clothed;
and it is also -a fact that some have gone back to India
with three hundred, and some with five thousand dollars
hard cash, while many others who remain in Trinidad
become freeholders and shopkeepers. In leaving their
countrythe Coolies have most certainly bettered their con-
dition; and, what is of higher importance, they have
:been delivered, to a great extent, from the intolerable
* yoke and curse of caste, and as a consequence, the Coolies
in Trinidad are in a much better position to receive the
(Gospel, with all its unspeakable blessings, than they are
inttheir own country.
Among the immigrants brought to Trinidad are about
.5A000 Chinese. They are, of course, a distinct people
'from the Coolies. They are not so satisfactory as
labourers; but, upon the termination of their contracts,
-they become shopkeepers, and some of them monied
imen. They are not British subjects, and must reside
twelve years in the country, and take the oath of alle-







PEOPLE, LANGUAGES, AND RELIGIONS.


giance to the crown, before they can become such. In
spite of this and other obstacles they prove themselves
to be a very shrewd, industrious people, and a valuable
addition to the community. In some respects they are
more valuable than the Coolies; for not only do they
rise in the scale of society, but they marry Creole
women (no Chinese women, or very few, having been
brought with them), and settle down permanently in the
country. They assume the European dress, adopt Euro-
pean manners, and live in very respectable style. Some
of their houses are their own property, being elegantly,
not to say extravagantly, furnished. The Celestials are
a peculiar people in their own country; and though
much of their peculiarity is lost by their residence here,
still some of their peculiarities remain. The long plait
of hair growing from the crown of the head is as sacredly
preserved, and as carefully coiled round the head in
Trinidad by the well-to-do Chinaman, as by his brother
Chinaman in the Celestial Empire. It is difficult to
find out why this appendage is so carefully guarded-
but carefully preserved it is: and distressing indeed is it
to the poor unfortunate Chinese who is sent to gaol, and
has to submit to the indignity of having his head
shaved. Not that they are not accustomed to shaving
their heads, for most of them shave the whole of their
heads clean, with the exception of the sacred plait.
They are, as a people, devoid of whiskers, and very few
have either beard or moustache. Some of the higher
class have the very long, thin moustache which is to be
seen represented in the images of mandarins on view
in tea-shop windows.
The native dress of the Chinese has nothing pic-
turesque about it; short wide trousers of blue cotton,
with a kind of short smock-frock of the same material,
form the whole of the dress, crowned, however, by a
circular and conically-shaped hat, which puzzles you to
say whether it is most like one of Bruce's soldiers'
targets, or a part of a bee-hive. They are in shape like







TRINIDAD.


a target, and in material similar to that of which bee-
hives are made, and withal they are serviceable. They
extend wide, and throw a considerable circle of shade
around the wearer, effectually shielding him from
the sun.
The mode in which different nations carry their bur-
dens is curious and amusing. A London porter in-
creases his load by a knot; a Negro puts everything on
his head; a Coolie will carry a load on his .head, but
his child he carries in his own way upon his hip; a
Chinaman seems to be the wisest of burden-bearers.
He has an elastic flattened pole of about five or six feet
long, and at each end of this he will sling a basket
filled with potatoes, a bucket of water, a trunk-indeed,
almost anything-and placing the centre of the stick
upon his shoulder, will start off in a kind of dog-trot,
the spring of the stick keeping time with his step, and
thus momently lifting off the load; and if this does not
relieve him sufficiently, he adroitly slews round his load,
and without stopping or putting it down, shifts it on to
his other shoulder. The loads they carry are very heavy,
and of such weight that it does not seem possible that
they could be carried at all in another way. I have
heard of some Africans boasting that they could pick
up a barrel of flour 2001bs. weight, and put it on their
heads and walk away with itS but it seems to me the
Chinaman surpasses this in the immense load he can
carry.
There are in Trinidad many other peoples, but they do
not call for particular remark. Danes and Germans,
Spaniards and Italians, Scotch and Irish, French and
English, are to be found in Trinidad, with their diver-
sified manners, different languages, and opposing creeds.
.The languages spoken in Trinidad are numerous and
diverse.
The language of government and law is English. The
language of the Creoles of the island is French, not pure
French, but a patois, and one which is dissimilar from all







PEOPLE, LANGUAGES, AND RELIGIONS.


other patois. The nouns, for the most part, are the same
as in good French, but the verbs and particles are sui
generis. A Frenchman, himself, is probably more sur-
prised than one not thoroughly acquainted with French,
at the strange sounds which greet his ear upon first con-
versing with the people of Trinidad. He is led to doubt
his ears; he thinks he is listening to French, but he has
to ask many questions, and to listen attentively before
he can understand all that is said. But those who are
au fait at it, speak higlily of it, and say that it is
very expressive and concise. There are some who think
that the Trinidad patois is worthy of being raised to the
dignity of a language; and it is doubtful whether one
of the most intelligent and learned of the Trinidadians
does not entertain the purpose of writing a grammar
and a dictionary of this dialect. The chief peculiarity
of this tongue is, that the verbs have no inflections
or terminations, but the tenses are made by particles
affixed or prefixed. There is, also, a mixture of Spanish
and Indian words, which makes it more troublesome to
understand. Still no one who knows French is long
perplexed with its difficulties. This is the language
spoken most widely, the lower orders scarcely using any
other, though they can nearly all of them speak English.
But among themselves this patois is the medium of
thought. It is, moreover, the language which the Afri-
can and the Coolie, and. the stranger in general, learns
first, and of course, for the simple reason that he hears
it most frequently spoken. Its vituperative epithets are
numerous and forcible; and I am afraid are the best
known, because the most frequently in use.
Spanish is largely spoken in certain districts and
villages, in which the people are almost entirely of
Spanish descent. In the dry-goods stores as they are
called, the linen-drapers, Spanish is in constant use, for
some of the best customers-the largest buyers-come
from the Main, where Spanish is the only language
in common use. Clerks in stores, therefore, must be







TRINIDAD.


familiarly acquainted with English, French, and Spanish,
and ninety-nine out of a hundred clerks can sell in
these three different languages. Since the Coolies and
Chinese have come into the country, many clerks have
managed to learn to speak a few words of Coolie as they
term it, meaning, of course, Bengali. They can just
manage to count in Bengali, but in the Tamil and
Chinese nothing can be done. These languages are not
very much spoken in buying, for the Chinese and
the Madras or Tamil-speaking Coolies learn to speak
English with much greater ease and quickness than their
languages can be learnt by the people. I have heard some
of the clerks speak some of the African dialects; but
generally there is not much occasion for this, as the
African, especially the Yarriba, is apt in learning lan-
guages. There are a good many Portuguese in the
island, and many of them who speak only their own
language. Any one, however, who is familiar with
Spanish can understand, and be understood by, a Por-
tuguese. There seems to be more difference in the
accent than in the vocabularies or structure of the two
languages, the Spanish being both sweet and sonorous,
while the Portuguese is to foreign ears drawling and
nasal.
The Chinese is, unquestionably, the most difficult of
the languages we have here; and the Chinese certainly
have the advantage of understanding us, while we cannot
hear a word they say. In such a Babel-like country inter-
preters are needed. There are many of them, and much
employment is found them in the courts of law, and in
business transactions. In the public papers French and
Spanish correspondence is to be found; but for some
years past the papers have ceased to appear, their
articles printed in English and French on opposite
pages, as once they did.
Public worship is conducted in three different lan-
guages: in English by the Protestants generally; in
French by the Catholics in their discourses; and in Por-







PEOPLE, LANGUAGES, AND RELIGIONS.


tuguese by one of the Baptist missionaries, and by the-
minister of the Portuguese Free Church,who, with his
people, are refugees from Madeira, who fled that land to-
escape the persecuting hand of popery.
The religions of the country are, among such a mixed
people, many and diverse. The bulk of the people
are Catholics. It is, indeed said, that four-fifths are
Catholics, but this is too large a proportion, since the
introduction of so many heathens. The Spanish and
French speaking part of the population may be regarded
as Catholic to a man. The government, with strange
inconsistency, as it appears to many, pays a large salary
to the Roman Catholic Archbishop, some 1,000 per
annum, and 150 per annum to the parish priests, of
which there are about twenty-four.
In Port of Spain there is a Catholic cathedral. One
cannot say that its size or architecture warrant the lofty
name. It is a building, judging by the eye only, of
some 150 feet long, and about 70 feet wide. At the
west end are two octagonal towers, though not lofty,.
the principal entrance being between them; while, at
the east end, is a large window of stained glass. It is.
capable of holding about 5,000 persons; at least, that is.
the number which is said to be present on special occa-
sions. There is a new edifice in New Town, and a neat
chapel in connection with the convent in the town of
Port of Spain. Throughout the island the churches
of the Catholics make no pretension to architectural
beauty. They are very plain wooden structures, rather
mis-shapen than well-proportioned. These places, how-
ever, whether in town or country, are devoutly and
numerously attended.
The altars are fitted up with tall candlesticks and
candles; images, muslin, crucifixes, and pictures, form
the accessories of worship. The priest intones the mass
in Latin, as in other countries; the people, those few of
them who can read, having their missals in their hands,
one column of the liturgy being printed in Latin, and







TRINIDAD.


the opposite one in French, so that those who can read
French are enabled to follow the priest as he proceeds
-with the service. The salaries of the priests are small,
.150 per annum; but they are largely supplemented by
their fees, obtained from chistenings, marriages, and in-
terments. The scale of charges for funerals varies 'con-
siderably. If a corpse is brought into the church they
are bound to read the service free of charge. From this
they rise to a charge of 50 dols., according to the num-
ber and quality of the crosses carried in the procession,
and the length of the service. Marriages were, a short
time back, frequently solemnized by Catholic priests,
without much, if any, regard to the law or to the ages
and relationship of the parties, or without concerning
themselves about the hour of the day or the night;
some marriages having been even solemnized nearer the
hour of midnight than midday. This state of matters,
together with other causes, led to the introduction of a
new marriage ordinance, which binds very closely all
parties. The penalties attached to the breach of this
law are very severe. Indeed, to send in a false return,
whether intentionally or from mistake, is equally re-
garded and treated as felony. It is somewhat anomalous
and unprecedented, I think, to make a minister of re-
ligion a felon because he has been inadvertent or mis-
taken in his information; but such is the law, and those
who live in a land must obey its laws, until they can
amend or abrogate them.
The Catholics, undoubtedly, exert a powerful religious
influence throughout the country. The genius of the
*Catholic religion is suited to the tastes of the people.
The sensuous service, the robes of the priest, the intoned
liturgy, the offering up of the host, the frequent proces-
sions, the many fete days; all these things are pleasing
to the greater number of the people of Trinidad. The
first communion has many charms for the young girls,
and is certainly agreeable to parental feeling. The con-
fessional is, to most illiterate minds, a means of relief to







PEOPLE, LANGUAGES, AND RELIGIONS.


a burdened conscience, while extreme unction holds a
very high place in the estimation of the people.
Discourses in French are, I think, more frequently
delivered in Trinidad than in other Catholic countries.
What is their precise character I cannot say, but from
all that can be gathered, moral subjects seem to be
most dwelt upon. The Catholics are, for the most part,
devout and attentive to their religion; yet they remain,
and seem to wish to remain, in their own twilight. We
cannot say they have no light; still less can we say
that they enjoy to the full the light of the glorious
gospel of the blessed God. They are most respectful
and obedient to their priests; but this is required of
them as part of their religion. The worship of the
Virgin Mary is the favourite worship, the Catholic
church in San Fernando being dedicated to the "Virgini
Auxiliatrici;". these blasphemous words, as we cannot
but regard them, being painted in large letters over the
front door of the church. How sadly erroneous to sup-
pose that the Virgin is in any way a helper to Christ
or to man in the salvation of immortal souls. But this
and such like, as is well known, is the teaching of the
Romish Church. How much longer is she to be per-
mitted to enthral the minds, and destroy the souls of
men, by her many and pernicious errors? May we not
hope that her power is waning, and that the sceptre
shall soon fall from her hand? In Trinidad the Epis-
copal is the established church as in England. Trinidad
is in the diocese of the Bishop of Barbadoes, who occa-
sionally visits the island. The country is divided into
parishes, in each of which a rector is located, with a
salary of 350 per annum, with a free house and church
fees. There are chaplains for the troops, the hospital,
and the gaol There is an archdeacon, and we have a
rural dean. Some of the parishes are large in extent of
country; and hence there are a few curates and ministers
of particular chapels. There are also a few licensed
catechists. The governing, official, and higher classes are







TRINIDAD.


generally adherents of the Established Qhurch. Even
when the governor is a Dissenter he is expected, and
finds it politic, to attend the services of the state church.
Most of the ministers are from Codrington College, Bar-
badoes; and are generally steady, quiet men, without
any great amount of intellectuality, or high classical
attainment. Some of the ministers of the Episcopal
Church are very worthy and evangelical men, and would
be esteemed in any land; while, of others, not much can
be said in their favour.
Trinity Church is a handsome stone building, stand-
ing in almost the centre of Port of Spain. It has a
steeple, and belfry, and clock. The original tower was
thrown down by an earthquake in 1825. The present
one, of timber, covered with lead, and graceful in its
appearance, was erected about the year 1844. The
English church, as it is called, though not quite so
large as the Catholic cathedral, is certainly the finer
building of the two. Its site is also better. It stands
in a grass-grown enclosure, and is surrounded by a neat
and substantial iron pallisading, while the sister church
has no enclosure, and has the public street running on
either side, making it appear .to worse advantage than
it otherwise would. Throughout the island the churches
of the Establishment may. be said to be superior in
structure, and more symmetrical in their proportions
than those of the Catholic communion; but it must be
remembered that the former were built wholly at the
cost of the Government, while the latter have been
erected by voluntary contributions, supplemented by
monies from the public funds.
The Wesleyans are a somewhat numerous body in
Trinidad. They have some six chapels, two ministers,
a catechist, and- a staff of local preachers. Many of
their members have come from other islands, and have
settled down in Trinidad. Their members are chiefly,
if not entirely, of the middle and lower classes.
The Presbyterians, though perhaps not so numerous as







PEOPLE, LANGUAGES, AND RELIGIONS.


the Wesleyans, are more influential, their congregations
being composed in part of the Scotchmen who are mer-
chants, merchants' clerks, planters, and overseers.
There are some three chapels belonging to them-one in
Town, Grayfriars, one in San Fernando, and one at'Arouca,
a village about twelve miles distant from Port of
Spain. Grayfriars is a commodious substantial build-
ing, standing in a central position in the town, and is
occupied by an intelligent and respectable congregation.
The minister has been among his people almost twenty
years, and is highly and deservedly esteemed by his own
people, and generally much respected by all classes.
The church at Arouca is in a flourishing condition, the
minister being a native of Jamaica, and has been
educated for the ministry in the Presbyterian Theolo-
gical Institution in that island. The congregation
and church is almost entirely composed of coloured
people.
At San Fernando, the Presbyterians have a neat
-chapel, the congregation partly composed" of Scotchmen
.and partly of the coloured people.
Trinidad is a difficult field of labour to the servant of
Christ. There is not only here, as in all lands, the
enmity of the carnal mind, the pleasures of sin, and the
:absorbing interests of this.world, to oppose and defeat
the designs and labours of the servants of Christ; but
Catholicism, Hindooism, Mahomedanism, African super-
stition, general ignorance, and diversity of tongues, all
.combine to make the field a very sterile one indeed.
With God all things are possible; but humanly speak-
ing, the day is far distant ere the many tongues and the
many creeds found in Trinidad will become as one.
The Hindoo and Mahomedan has brought his religion
-with him to Trinidad, and every year the festival of the
Mohurran is observed with much noise and drum-
beating. The toy-like temples are made with much
.care, great skill, and, for poor, people, much money is







TRINIDAD.


expended upon them; the procession is formed, and.
with much noise and rejoicing, these tazzias are carried
to the sea-side, or to the banks of a river, and then
thrown into the water.
The Hindoos have no temple, and none but small
household gods. There are some of the Brahmin caste
among them, and it is revolting to see the way in which
a woman, for instance, will drop down, touch the foot
of this holy Brahmin, and then kiss the hand that has
been in contact with the priest's foot, giving utterance-
to some correct formula. In swearing the Coolies, the
Hindoos, they give them a glass of water to hold, but as.
they know that the water is not the sacred water of the
Ganges, I suspect they-do not feel themselves guilty of
perjury when giving false evidence, which they are very
much 'accustomed to do. The Mahomedan is sworn
upon a copy of the Koran in Arabic, and there is reason
to believe that the Mahomedan feels himself bound to.
speak the truth when so sworn. But as a people the
Coolies are very untruthful; and is it surprising when
we reflect upon the character of their religion ?
The Chinese do not celebrate any religious festival
that I have ever heard, and the only symbol of their
religion is a small bracket fixed up against the side of
the house, on which is placed a burning lamp, a few
Chinese characters being written on red paper, and
pasted above the lamp. Ask anything about this
matter, and the general answer given is, "This for me
religion." As far as can be gathered from observation,
the only things that influence Chinamen to any extent
are opium-eating and gambling. To these vices many
of them are much given, and I know not that any in-
justice would be done if it were said that opium-eating
and gambling make up the religion of many of the
Chinese. These vices have led several of their number
to commit suicide; but as they become more con-
nected with the people of Trinidad, and understand







PEOPLE, LANGUAGES, AND RELIGIONS.


their habits better, they will cease for the most part to.
indulge in these dangerous and costly vices.
In this place I -do not speak of the Baptists, as I have
spoken elsewhere of their operations in Trinidad.
Education in Trinidad is attended to in some good
degree. In Port of Spain there are a model school for-
the training of teachers, a borough council school, a
collegiate establishment, a college under the care of the
Catholics, a convent for Catholic girls, and many private
schools.
Throughout the country there is a system of ward
schools, which seems to work very well. Each ward
has to meet the expense of school-house and school-
master's salary. The average salary for ward school-
masters is about 70. sterling. The schools are for
children of both sexes. There seems to be no attempt
to provide infant schools, and I think that were they
established, niuch good would be done. Dame schools
have their place, which it is not for the good of a com-
munity to dispense with. Female teachers are always
obtained at less expense, and to their care would be
committed the children that are (though sent) too
young to get good at the ward school. From these
ward schools all religious teaching is excluded, the
Government having deemed it best, from the many creeds
of the people, to make the education entirely secular as
far as the Government is concerned. But it must be
added that Wednesday is given, that the ministers of
the various denominations may have an opportunity of
instructing the children of their communion in religious
doctrine. This system has been in operation some few
years now, and considering the mixed character and the
many creeds of the people of Trinidad, would seem to
answer as well as any system that could be devised.
Many persons, however, condemn it, and would if they
could, bring about a change, and go back to the days of
denominational :schools. There does not, however,







48 TRINIDAD.

seem much probability that the Government will make
any change in the ward system of education. And it
must be remembered, that with a community composed
-of many creeds and consisting of representatives of
many nations, it is no easy matter to legislate, either on
the subject of education or any other, without giving
.offence to one party or another.














CHAPTER IV.


CLIMATE, TEMPERATURE, SEASONS.

'THE climate of Trinidad is intertropical. We are not
exposed to the cold blasts of winter, nor are we subjected
to the intolerable heat of the Torrid Zone. Being north
of the Equator, it is to a certain extent similar in its
seasons to England. The hottest month in England is
the hottest month in Trinidad ; the longest day in
England is the longest day in Trinidad. Although we
do not know the soothing pleasures of a summer's
lingering twilight, yet there are about two hours dif-
ference in the length of the day. In June it is light
from five o'clock A.M. to seven o'clock P.M., while in
December it is light only from about six .o'clock A.M. to
.six o'clock P.M. The sweet hours of twilight are not
known in Trinidad, for no sooner has the sun set than a
chilliness is felt, and darkness draws on apace.
The nights, however, may be said to compensate for
-any loss we suffer from the absence of twilight. In
Trinidad the nights are very lovely in the dry season.
From January to June we mostly have clear starlight
or brilliant moonlight. In a clear frosty night it is
very pleasing beneath northern skies to gaze above, and
watch the stars, but in the Tropics the stars are re-
splendent and new constellations are to be seen. The
Southern Cross is there in all its distinctness of outline,
and as it dips, you may, according to the time of year,
know the hour. Venus and Jupiter are beautiful where-
ever seen; but in Trinidad I have seen Venus cast a
distinct shadow on land and water when she has been4







TRINIDAD.


the evening star, leisurely and gracefully following in
the train of the sun. Sweet, indeed, is the influence of
the Pleiades. It is said that they are seven, but it is
difficult to count this number. They seem to be
revolving lights, now shedding their rays and anon
veiling them from view.
Our moonlight nights are brilliant indeed.. The
queen of night shines with a lustrous beauty in this
clime. To say at our full moon "it is as light as day,"
is scarcely a figure of speech. Her influence is very
great on tide and tree-on vegetable and animal life
When the moon is full the tides are very swift, and the
volume of waters great in their flux and reflux. Veget-
able life is stirred to its utmost roots. Trees, vegetables,
and flowers are all considerably influenced by the moon.
Trees felled at the full, with all their sap in them, soon
perish by reason of the insect life brought into being.
And though some may be incredulous, those who have
charge of lunatics assert that their diseases are affected
by the phases of the moon.
But to those to whom health and vigour of mind
and body have been given, moonlight nights are plea-
surable seasons, though not, be it observed, without
some danger to those who receive the light of the moon's.
rays. When the moon is at her full, the dews fall very
heavily, and a perceptible moisture is deposited upon
everything. The dews and cold of moonlight nights are
very apt to generate fever and ague if one is incautious
in remaining in them too long.
The year may be divided into two principal seasons
-the wet and the dry. From January to June it is.
generally very dry, though in some years it is showery
during these months; and whenever this does happen it
is calamitious for the planters, as it is impossible to
make good sugar in bad weather. From June to the
middle of September it is generally very wet, rain fall-
ing so heavily as to swell the ravines, fill the rivers to
overflowing, and sometimes in their flood carrying away







CLIMATE, TEMPERATURE, SEASONS.


large and substantial bridges. For about six weeks-
from the middle of September to the end of October-
we are highly favoured by a most acceptable season of
dry weather, called the Indian summer: this season
being late in the year, when the sun is well north, is a
beautiful and delightful time. In former years, when
cattle mills were in more general use than now, half a
hundred hogheads of sugar or thereabout were generally
made, but now, since steam-engines have been brought
into general use, very few estates trouble to make sugar
at this time.
The months of November and December are
generally very wet and dull months. The days are at
their shortest, and not much can be done. The canes
arrow in October, and during these last two months of
the year the land is soaked, in some places swamped,
and the canes saturated with water. The sun of
January and February, however, soon causes the land to
dry up, and the moisture from the canes to evaporate.
Persons coming from Europe generally complain of
the heat of Trinidad, but after a few months' residence
in the island they cease in good measure to feel its
effects; the system adapts itself to the heat of the
climate, and that which at first occupied much thought
soon ceases to trouble the mind.
The temperature by day in Trinidad ranges from
about 80 to 90. Some months are hotter than others;
June, May, and April are the hottest; September and
October coming next in degree. The nights of Decem-
ber and January are cold enough to make a blanket
acceptable. Before dawn, about four o'clock in the
month of January, it may be said to be positively
cold. After sunset also in this month a chilliness is
felt.
During the day most persons carry a parasol; for in
Trinidad it is not looked upon as at all effeminate for-a
man to carry a large umbrella over his head. It is the
custom of the writer always to carry an open umbrella,
E2







TRENIDAD.


whether on foot or on horseback; cork helmets, Panama
hats, and sombreroes are very good, but not sufficient to
protect the whole person from the sun's fierce rays. It
is quite as essential to protect the spine from the heat
of the sun as the head; indeed I suspect most persons
feel the sun's heat more unpleasant to the back than to
the head.
The West Indies have a bad name for yellow fever
and other diseases. Yellow fever does certainly prove
fatal in some cases, but I am of opinion that with care
and proper attention to food and clothing, and avoiding
excess in the use of stimulants, a man may enjoy life
and live as long in Trinidad as in England. It does
appear that the wear and tear of the constitution is
greater here than in Britain. Men do seem to grow old
more quickly, yet longevity is not rare, and the average
of life is more than equal to that of the large cities in
Europe.
Trinidad may be said to be a healthy island; in cer-
tain localities it is, however, decidedly unhealthy, and
during the prevalence of northerly and westerly winds
much sickness obtains. We have swamps and lagoons,
and low lying districts. Those who live to leeward of
swamps, or in the neighbourhood of lagoons, are cer-
tainly subject to fever and ague, which is often of so
obstinate a character that when once it has taken pos-
session of the system, it refuses to yield to medical
treatment unless the patient removes to some other and
healthier locality." When once this low fever or typhoid
fever gets into the system it is long before the consti-
tution regains its vigour. In many cases, though life
,may be spared for years, mental and physical strength
continuee much diminished. Quinine is a valuable
-medicine in fever, but when taken in large quantities for
;any length of time, its action upon the brain is not a
little injurious.
The .rains in Trinidad are very heavy, and during
some months they fall for many hours in succession, and







CLIMATE, TEMPERATURE, SEASONS. 53F

in the woods sometimes the rains fall for two or more
days continuously; at such times the skies are gloomy
and leaden indeed, and the sun with all his dazzling
glory is entirely concealed from view. So dense are the
clouds at such times that a whole day may pass away,
and not a glimpse of the sun be obtained, and so com-
pletely is he hidden that no one can point out his
whereabouts.














CHAPTER V.


NATURAL PHENOMENA.

ANY one entering the Grand Bocas of Trinidad would feel
at once that the island was at one time part of the
Spanish Main, and he would most probably conclude
that the island was separated by some convulsion of
nature. The conformation of the land, the alternate
mountain and valley, and their same direction, as well
as the geological structure of the island, all point
to, and seem to necessitate, this conclusion. The flora
and fauna are identical, while in Trinidad we have
animals, insects, and vegetation unknown in the other
isles of the Caribbean Sea.
Previous to the separation of the island from the main,
the Gulf of Paria must have been a wide-spreading
lagoon, and one would think, must have been stag-
nant and pestiferous, there being then no outlet;
but now, from the conformation of the gulf, the currents
are very rapid and the waters are very salt, which cir-
cumstances together make the gulf a healthy as well as
a beautiful piece of water. In the animal kingdom we
find the following objects for comparison :-The howling
monkey and weeping ape among quadrumana; the tiger-
cat or ocelot, the gata-melao or taira, and the otter
amongst carnivora; the lapo among rodentia; the tatoo
or cachicame, with the great .and small sloths, among
edentata; the guaroupita amongst ruminantia; and the
pecari amongst pachydermata. In the feathered tribe I
may mention, among numerous species, the vultures papa
and urubu; the crested gavilan (spizaetus ernatus); the







NATURAL PHENOMENA.


campanero and the yacou, with several pigeons; the
macaw, guacharo, the kamichi, and red ibis; also several
ducks, &c. The tribe of reptiles supplies the following
identical species:-The morocoy or land tortoise, the
galapa or river tortoise, among chelonians; the mapipire
and coral snakes, the macaouel and huillia (boas), among
ophidians; the pipa and paradoxal frogs, amongst batra-
chians; the mala (salvater merianee), and a few others.
We have also several fresh-water fish, which are found
on the neighboring main, viz.:-the cascaradura and
guabine; as also some kind of insects, which are not
inhabitants of the other Antilles-among them the
lanthorn and the parasol ants.
The analogy between our flora and that of the penin-
sula of Paria is also well defined. The stately moriche
palm, the useful timite and carata adorn the savannahs
:and woodlands alike of Trinidad and of Venezuela; the
mora tree forms here, as it does there, immense forests;
the poui, the cyp, roble, and copaiba may be reckoned
;among our timber; among our lines, the bauhinia and
bambusa (chusquea), with many orchids.
The limestones, sandstones, loams, clays, and bitu-
minous deposits are identical in the island and the
peninsula.
Upon the pitch deposit we shall have something to
say; but, before speaking of it, we shall briefly describe
the hot-water springs and the mud volcano.
Two mineral springs only have been hitherto dis-
-covered in the island. One of these is in the valley of
Maraccas, at the foot of a high hill, and nearly in the
bed of the St. Joseph or Maraccas river: it is a cold
spring. According to Dr. T. Davey, "it has a strong
smell of sulphuretted hydrogen, and there is a disen-
gagement of gas in bubbles at its surface." The other
mineral spring is also cold.
At Point a Pierre and Cedros there are hot-water
springs. Those at Point a Pierre are considered medi-
cinal, and beneficial to persons suffering from fever and







TRINIDAD.


debility. One of these springs discharges water suffi-
ciently hot to boil an egg; the others are tepid.
The mud volcano of Savannah Grande is a curious
phenomenon. It is, perhaps, more curious than beau-
tiful. Its appearance is that of a level surface of soft
black mud, forming a circle of about 300 feet in dia-
meter. Here and there are several craters, of two, three,
and four feet high, which, at regular intervals of about
a minute's duration, discharge a kind of fluid, black,
cold, and somewhat salt. Craters form, are active, and
become extinct in a few weeks, according to their size;
new ones arising to take the place of the former. At
intervals, altogether uncertain, an explosion is heard,
and, upon visiting the volcano or salsis, a new appear-
ance is presented to the eye: that part which was
formerly a step higher than the other is now a step
lower, or some considerable change has been made. It
need hardly be said that no vegetation grows within the
circumference of the circle formed by the salsis, so that
as you draw near to the spot you know the direction,
by the increased light from the absence of trees. The
space occupied by the salsis is like a large circus or
hippodrome, having low brushwood for its railing and
forest trees for its spectators. As a whole, it is to the
eye no very attractive scene, though, undoubtedly, it is
an object of interest to those who consider it in its
origin and scientific aspect.
Humboldt, in his "Cosmos," speaking of these phe-
nomena, says :-" Salses deserve more attention than
they have hitherto received from geognosists. Their
grandeur has been overlooked, because of the two condi-
tions to which they are subject; it is only the more
peaceful state, in which they may continue for centuries,
which has generally been described. Their origin is,.
however, accompanied by earthquakes, subterranean
thunder, the elevation of a whole district,'and lofty
emissions of flame of short duration. Streams
of argillaceous mud, attended by a periodic development







NATURAL PHENOMENA.


of gas, flow from the small basins at the summit, which
are filled with water. The mud, though usually cold, is
sometimes at a high temperature, as at Damak, in the
province of Samarang, in the Island of Java. The gases
that are developed with loud noise differ in their nature,
consisting, for instance, of hydrogen mixed with naphtha,
or of carbonic acid, or, as Parrot and myself have shown
(in the peninsula of Taman, and in the Volcancitos de
Turbaco, in South America), of almost pure nitrogen.
"Mud volcanoes, after the first violent explosion of
fire-which is not, perhaps, in an equal-degree common
to all-present to the spectator an image of the uninter-
rupted but weak activity of the interior of our planet.
The communication with the deep strata in which a
high temperature prevails is soon closed, and the cold-
ness of the mud emissions of the sales seem to indicate
that the seat of the phenomenon cannot be far removed
from the surface during their ordinary condition."
The most interesting and valuable phenomenon we
have in Trinidad is the Pitch Lake. It is a large tract
of pitch, like a lake, of about a mile in diameter. It is
intersected by a net-work of fissures, caused by the up-
heaving of the pitch. These fissures are, especially in
the wet season, full of sweet limpid water. The centre
of the lake is in a boiling state, while the outer edges,.
upon a wet or sunless day, are sufficiently hard to
allow of man or horse walking over it. It is impossible
to say how deep this immense body of bitumen may
descend-whether it is connected with the interior of
the earth, or whence the heat proceeds which keeps the
pitch in the centre in a semi-boiling state.
"The centre of the lake," says Dr. Deverteuil,-" the
pitch-pot or chaudiere, as it is called-is at all times so
soft that it would be impossible to venture on it without
incurring the danger of being engulphed. There a slow
and constant bubbling and puffing is perceptible, accom-
panied by emissions of gaseous substances and the
throwing up of a yellowish mud, quite cold, and of an







TRINIDAD.


acrid saltness. Over the entire extent the degree of
hardness varies with the intensity of the solar rays. At
early morn the whole surface, excepting the centre, is
hard, whilst at mid-day it becomes so softened as to
retain the impression of the slightest impress. When-
ever any quantity of bitumen has been dug and taken up
from the lake, the excavation soon fills up, and a perfect
level is restored within 24 or 48.hours. The deeper the
digging the quicker the restoration. In the centre entire
trees are sometimes seen emerging to the surface, to be
re-submerged soon afterwards by a slow rotatory move-
ment. Casks placed near that spot to receive bitumen
have also disappeared; and it is reported that strayed
animals, venturing too far, have likewise been swallowed
up in this vortex. It is evident, from the above obser-
vations, that the operation going on in the Pitch Lake
may be compared to the ebullition of a thick substance
in a large boiler. The asphaltum is thrown up by the
active operation of a physical cause constantly at work,
and its upward motion prompted by the laws of hydro-
statics. There is also a perceptible sort of regulating
process. The semi-fluid asphaltum not being cast up by
-any violent agency, partly spreads around and partly
.returns to the mass. Any quantity of it, however, which
:has been left exposed to the action of the sun, is soon
*deprived, by evaporation, of its moisture and petroleum,
and then becomes hardened. The solidity increases
gradually, and by loss from evaporation, the volume of
the substance diminishes, the surface cracks, and crevices
are formed by a regular retraction, as is the case with
clay soils. It is highly probable that the superficies or
superstratum only is of this hardened consistency, and
that at a less or greater depth the bitumen is still soft
or semi-liquid. Neither do I admit the supposition of a
subterranean volcanic action, for bitumen or asphaltum
.belongs to the carboniferous formation; therefore, its
production cannot be different from that of coal or
lignite."







NATURAL PHENOMENA.


A short time since an American company established
-a manufactory for the purpose of extracting oil from the
pitch, both for lighting and lubricating purposes, in
which they succeeded. The establishment is now, how-
ever, abandoned, from the unhealthiness of the locality,
or the delicacy of those who managed it. But this is
not the only purpose to which this inexhaustible reser-
voir of pitch has been applied. Lord Dundonald, when
on the West India station, a few years ago, succeeded in
making water-pipes from the pitch, but they proved a
failure, as it was found impossible to prepare a compo-
sition that could resist atmospheric influences in that
form. Large use, however, is made of pitch for flooring
stores and warehouses. For this purpose it answers
well, being a lasting, a cool, and, in the end, a cheap
flooring. And not only in the island are large quan-
tities used, but vessels are laden with it for various
European ports. Much is shipped to France, where it
is used not only for the manufacture of oil, but is em-
ployed in forming "trottoirs," or side pavements. Pitch
oil is quite cheap in comparison with cocoa-nut oil, and
is fast superseding the use of the latter-pitch oil lamps
being in almost every house, where a few years ago
nothing but cocoa-nut oil was burnt.
In Trinidad we have large natural Savannahs and
large Lagoons.
The savannahs are generally situated near the sea-
board, though not in every case, as from the town may
be seen on the summit of a mountain, to the north, a
large tract devoid of timber- and brushwood, covered
only with grass. The soil of the Grand and Couva
Savannahs is somewhat poor. The Grand Savannah is
an immense tract of level land, of many square miles in
extent, lying low, and near the sea-board. During the
wet season, there are many ponds, ravines, and swamps,
in which are found, among other fish, the famous
casccaradura, of which, if a man eat, it is said he is
,sure to come back to Trinidad, though he go away







TRINIDAD.


many times. In the dry season the brushwood of the
savannah is set on fire, and lights up the sky for miles
round. The hunter does this that he may be rewarded
by a plentiful supply of game. The Government seem
to take no notice of this fiery hunting, probably deem-
ing that no harm, but some good, is done, as there is
a roadway through the savannah, which needs to be
cleared every year, and no way is so cheap or so
effectual as burning. The savannah is of such extent,
and so isolated from the estates by bush and high woods,
that no harm can happen from its yearly burning.
The Couva Savannah is smaller than the Grand
Savannah, yet of considerable length. It lies low, is:
perfectly level, and is kept clear of brushwood. It is
surrounded by estates; and any promiscuous burning
would certainly be attended with most serious conse-
quences. The Couva road runs through it, and the
established church occupies a portion of it. No doubt,
were the soil better, or were good land less plentiful, this
savannah would have been laid under cultivation long ago.
The savannah near Port of Spain is a very beautiful
and valuable pasturage, several square miles in extent.
It is enclosed by a substantial post and iron-rail fence;
and round it runs what is called the Circular Road,
which is much frequented as the fashionable afternoon
drive. This savannah is used as a race-course once
a year, and is equal to any race-course in the West
Indies, and some affirm it to be equal to any. race-course
in the world; its great excellence being its dry nature
and level surface, so that the horses are seen during the
whole race.
Here, too, hundreds of head of stock are to be seen
quietly and securely grazing, though it must be ad-
mitted that during the dry season, the grass becomes
dried up, and the poor animals languish.
Swamps and lagoons are rot uncommon in Trinidad.
The largest lagoon is situate in the Naparimas, between
the rivers Godineau and Sipero. It is of several miles







NATURAL PHENOMENA.


in extent, and lying near to the sea, its waters ebb and
flow with the tide. At high water a canoe can be
paddled along the main courses, and seated in his canoe
the hunter cautiously approaches his game. At low
-water the scene is entirely changed, and presents a most
-unsightly aspect to the eye, and also offends the senses
by the strong and unwholesome effluvium which fills
the air, exhaling under the influence of the sun's rays.
'The lagoon is covered with a thick growth of mangrove,
whose roots form an inextricable net-work. This growth
,of mangrove forms an inexhaustible wood-yard, for as
.constantly as the axe is plied, the vigorous vegetable
life keeps up the supply:
The town of Port of Spain is supplied with fuel from
the mangrove swamps, as no coal is used for culinary
purposes. Mangrove firewood and charcoal supply the
kitchens of the country with fuel
This unwholesome vegetable growth is useful for
.another purpose besides that of supplying us with
&firewood. It is the best defence possible against the
.approaches of the sea. In many parts of the coast the
sea is constantly making inroads upon the land; and
nothing is so effectual to resist its encroachments as
a living sea wall of mangroves. Some declare that the
mangrove not only preserves the soil from the depreda-
tions of the waves, but that it really makes land by
growing out into the sea, and by retaining everything
that once enters the net-work of its roots. I have
.spoken of it as unwholesome; and so productive of
fever do some planters consider it, that they will not
plant it, nor allow it to grow, even though the sea
should wash away some of their land. And when it
*comes to be a question between fever and land in a
country like Trinidad, where land is plentiful and man-
grove fever dangerous, the matter is soon decided: men
dislike fever more than they value land. Hence the
wavelets of the gulf are allowed to frolic with the yield-
ing, though complaining shore.















CHAPTER VI.


NATURAL PRODUCTIONS.

IT is scarcely necessary to mention that Trinidad, in
common with the other islands of the Caribbean Sea,
is a cane-growing and a sugar-making country. Sugar,
indeed, is the staple of the island. It is, however, not
the only one, as Trinidad is famous for its cocao; nor is
its coffee of a bad quality.
The sugar-cane, of course, is the most important plant
cultivated in Trinidad, and upon its growth and upon
the manufacture of sugar from its juice much labour is.
bestowed and many thousands of pounds sterling are
annually expended.
In a tropical climate vegetation is luxuriant and rapid.
The climate and soil unite to reward the labours of the
agriculturist. Were the soil less fruitful or the climate
less genial, more skill would be called into exercise in
the cultivation of the sugar-cane and other vegetable
productions. As it is, the process of cane-planting is.
very simple:-The high trees are thrown down, the wood
corded, that is, dut up into stacks of firewood of a certain
measurement to serve as fuel for the engine fires; the
underbrush is cutlassed and generally burnt. The land
cleared,the process of holing commences,which is nothing:
more than digging with the hoe, holes two feet square, six
inches deep, about four or five feet apart; then two
pieces of the sugar-cane three or four joints in length,
are laid in, and the loose soil drawn over. When this is.
done, the field is planted. In new land, and sometimes
in old land, upon replanting, corn is sown between the







NATURAL PRODUCTIONS.


rows of cane, and as this maize comes to perfection in
about twelve or fourteen weeks, it does not in the least
interfere with the growth of the young cane plants. But
however well cleared the field may have been at the time
of planting, in an incredible short time it is covered with
a crop of weeds, which must be weeded off or they will
retard the growth of the plants. This is done through-
out the island by the hoe, with very few exceptions. In
the valley of Diego Martin I have seen a horse-hoe
or a scarifier at work, but this is a rare sight. On level
lands it would be positive gain to introduce ploughs and
scarifiers, but on hilly, hummocky, undulating land, it
would be impossible to use these implements. Hoeing,
then, is the custom of the country.
A gang of men or women, or both, will go out early in
the morning, and about eleven o'clock will have finished
their task, a task being about five hundred square feet of
weeding. The labourer reaches home about twelve
o'clock, when it is very hot, the sui being almost
vertical, gladly escaping from its heat. His work is done
for that day as far as his employer is concerned (the
word master is not used, as it savours of slavery), and
the rest of the day is spent either in idleness or in
working in his own garden-patch.
Several weedings must be given the young canes, as
many as four, and sometimes five, if you would have
them thick and healthy, and as some plants may fail,
these are supplied. Plants are generally put in during
the last two months and the first of the year. Towards
the close of September the cane begins to arrow. By
October the whole cane district is in full bloom. The
country looks very beautiful, the cream-coloured, feathery
blossom contrasting'prettily with the bright green of the
cane-leaves. It is the nearest approach we have to snow
in appearance, and no better description of the appear-
ance of snow on the ground could be given a West
Indian than to say it was like the canes when in arrow.
In about five weeks the plume falls off, and the naked







TRINIDAD.


stem is left standing erect, and the field might be
imagined full of troops, with arms shouldered and
bayonets fixed. Three months after the arrow drops off,
-crop time commences, and crop is equivalent to harvest.
It is a busy time, and from the same cause here as in
happy England. There is much work to be done in a
limited and an uncertain time. Hence, everything is in
motion. All hands are busy. Men go out early in the
morning with their sharp cutlasses, and mow down the
,canes at a rapid rate. Carts drawn by mules or oxen
are busy carting the cane to the mill-yard, there to be
squeezed either through the rollers of a cattle-mill (the
old plan), or to be crunched or almost pulverised by
passing through the triple rollers of a mill driven by a
steam-engine. The remains of the cane, after the juice
is thus squeezed out, is called magass or megass (the
orthography does not seem to be settled), and serves
when dried in the sun as fuel to boil the juice, or liquor
as it is called, into sugar.
The boiling-house is an important part of the "works."
Several large round iron coppers are hung between two
brick walls, a flue running under the set of five or six
coppers. Into the mouth of this flue the megass is
pushed with a forked stick, and so inflammable is this
fuel that it will keep up a flame extending the whole
length of the flue, causing the liquor in the coppers to
boil furiously. Of course, where there is the greatest
heat there the liquor will boil most quickly, and the
copper that is farthest from the furnace mouth will boil
last, or not at all. The liquor is forced by a pump (called
the liquor-pump),worked by the engine, into the clarifiers.
These are heated by the waste steam conducted into
false bottoms. The liquor, being heated, throws up a
white scum, which is carefully ladled off by a strainer,
which retains the'scum and froth, but allows the liquor
to run through. From the clarifier the liquor is let down
by spouts into the first copper, where the heat is some-
what greater, and more skimmings are taken off, and so







NATURAL PRODUCTIONS.


the liquor is ladled by buckets fixed on to long handles,
the wall being fitted with a rest for the handle of the
bucket, which forms a fulcrum that easily enables the
boiler-man to bale the liquor out of one copper into the
other. The last copper is called the "tache," and there
-the heat is greatest. In this tache the liquor is boiled as
long as the head boiler-man, who mans the tache, thinks
requisite for the kind of sugar he wishes to make. When
the liquor is sufficiently boiled, they "strike," that is,
the boiler-men as quickly as possible bale it out of the
tache into spouts leading into coolers, in which it is
.allowed to remain some forty-eight hours, or less, accord-
ing to circumstances, before potting it, that is, digging it
out of the coolers and carrying it away to the empty
hogsheads which stand ready to receive it in the curing-
house. There the sugar remains some weeks, according
to the time there is to spare, and during this time the
molasses or treacle leaks through the hogshead, and runs.
down the incline of the curing-house floor into the tank
below. It should have been mentioned that when the
liquor is pumped into the clarifiers, a certain quantity of
tenmper-lime is thrown into the heated liquor.
While the liquor is in the clarifiers, the amount of
saccharine matter is ascertained by a saccharometer.
The "yielding," as it is called, differs with the ripeness
or greenness of the cane. When crop first commences
the canes are green, and the yielding is said to be bad;
that is to say, it takes many more gallons of liquor to-
make a hogshead of sugar than when the yielding is good
or the saccharine matter more plentiful. The later in the
crop the riper the cane, so that the nearer the end of
crop the better the yielding. In the beginning of crop
the yielding is bad, and much of the juice is evaporated
in clouds of steam before sugar can be made. Going
into a boiling-house is like taking a vapour bath; the
atmosphere is both moist and heated, and apt to give
cold to those not accustomed to it.
When the sugar is sufficiently cured, that is, the
F







TRINIDAD.


molasses sufficiently drained out of it, the hogshead is-
headed up and carted to the shipping place, shipped, and
after crossing the blue sea, it reaches its destination in
the West India Docks, or whatever other port the vessel
may be bound for.
It will be seen from the above brief description that
the planter is both an agriculturist and a manufacturer.
Now, there is nothing in common between these two-
occupations; they are distinct, and it may be said that
the one occupation is apt to unfit a man for the pursuit
of the other. But however this may be, the manager of
an estate must be equally conversant with the cultivation
of the cane as with the manufacturing of sugar. The-
division of labour is certainly productive of great and
good results, in whatever branch of industry it is carried
out, and one cannot but think that if one class of men
cultivated the cane, and another made the sugar, there-
would be more canes grown, and better sugar made, than
on the present plan. And certainly, under such an
arrangement, more and better sugar would be shipped
at the same outlay. I can imagine some old planter-
reading this, and either being amused at the chimerical
Utopian ideas of the writer, or, more probably, being
vexed and angry at this foolish notion. But whether
planters are vexed or amused at such ideas, the one
thing for the West Indian proprietor is to learn to make
sugar better and at a less cost than has hitherto been
done. It is easy enough to find fault, but difficult
enough to know how to mend matters. Any one familiar
with the West Indies can see many things which make
it so difficult, if not impossible, to manufacture sugar at
a remunerative price. It is astonishing the amount of
elasticity there is in the article. It rebounds and rights
itself in spite of the heavy weight thrown upon. it..
Indeed, it may be questioned whether any other article- *
could stand the pressure that is put on sugar.
The proprietor is generally an absentee, and expects
to live comfortably upon the profits of his sugar estate.








NATURAL PRODUCTIONS. 67

Being an absentee, he has to employ an attorney, the
attorney employs the manager, and perhaps the attorney
is the agent who advances money to carry on the estate.
As attorney, he has a salary, and as banker he gets
interest for his money. The sugar is made, but it is
exported, and export duty, freight, insurance, import duty,
storage, brokerage, &c., &c., has to be deducted before the
net proceeds reach the hands of the proprietor.
Cheap labour seems absolutely necessary, if agricul-
ture is to be remunerative, and this as well elsewhere
as in Trinidad. Seven shillings a week seems a small
sum for a farm labourer with a wife and family to
support, but this I believe is the weekly wage of farm
labourers in some English counties. The pay of the
labourer in Trinidad is from one shilling to fifteen pence
per day during the wet season. In the crop one shilling
and eightpence, two shillings, and two shillings and
sixpence is earned by the labourer. It is true that the
employer finds a house rent free and medical attendance
for his work-people, but even then it cannot be said that
sugar does not pay, because of the cost of labour. I
have already remarked that in the management of
immigration sufficient economy is not exercised, but
admitting that the cost of indented Coolies is somewhat
high, still it is not in this matter that the money is so
much wasted.
Those who have estates free of mortgages or heavy
debt, are their own managers, buy their own supplies,
and sell their produce in the country, seldom fail to clear
their expenses, and, as a rule, they make money. The
markets may be at their lowest, still this class of pro-.
prietors will hold their own, and when prices are good,
they clear hundreds or thousands of pounds sterling,
according to the quantity of sugar they have made.
But, unhappily, these free-men, so to speak, are few; the
greater number of proprietors being merely nominal pro-
prietors. The estates are heavily mortgaged; money has
to be borrowed at the rate of six per cent. (the lowest
F2







TRINIDAD.


taken), or probably at eight per cent.; the supplies are
sent out from home, and to those who hold the mortgage,
or supply the money, the produce must be consigned.
The West Indies are in great disfavour as a country in
which to invest money, and those who own properties
in these islands are generally very anxious to sell, and if
they cannot sell, to make the best arrangements they
can. Something like the following often occurs: -A
proprietor of an estate, or of several estates in Trinidad,
resident in England, has spent so much money upon his
property, and got such poor returns for his outlay, that
he resolves to sell. Perhaps he takes a trip across the
Western Ocean, looks around him, and seeing that
nothing is to be done to mend matters, he offers his
property for sale. There are always plenty of buyers,
but they have no money. What's to be done ? A. offers
to take B.'s property, and pay him off in so many years.
If he can do this the property becomes A.'s, and B. is
satisfied; but should A. be unable to meet his instal-
ments, or otherwise keep to the arrangement, B. must
take over his property, and repeat the experiment, or do
the best he can. Sometimes, by reason of a continuance
of good prices for a series of years (which, however, is a
rare occurrence), and by dint of sound judgment and
great exertion on the part of the nominal proprietor, he
pays for the estate, and it becomes his. That this is done
sometimes, and that by men who have no money, merely
proves what I have already said, that sugar has an
amount of elasticity in it that few other articles have.
In other words, sugar must be a profitable article, if it
can be made to pay, as is sometimes the case, under the
.circumstances above described.
During some years the markets are so good, that in spite
.of the numberless expenses, handsome sums of money fre
realised; but, on the other hand, a bad year, that is, when
the markets are over-stocked and the prices low, large
sums of money are lost. It is my opinion that sugar
can be made to clear all expenses in the worst years, and







NATURAL PRODUCTIOKS.


that sugar will richly remunerate in prosperous years.
Not certainly while the present state of things lasts; but
if such changes as I have indicated were adopted, the
West Indian proprietors of sugar estates would be men
well to do. I am not at all sanguine that these changes
will be readily made. There are too many vested in-
terests concerned; there are so many who derive profit by
the present arrangement, that any change would cer-
tainly be disapproved of.
Cacao is the next important product of Trinidad. It
is altogether different in itself and in its cultivation from
the sugar-cane.
The cacao-tree is a moderate-sized tree, of a dwarfish,
straggling appearance, with a broad fringed leaf. It
grows to some twenty or even to forty feet high. It
requires much moisture and shade, which is obtained from
the shelter of the "bois immortal," a lofty umbrageous
tree, good for no other purpose but the shade it affords.
The cacao-bean grows in pods of an elliptical, conical
form. These pods are about as large* as a man's closed
hand, and instead of hanging from the extremities of the
branches, as most fruits do, they hang on the trunk itself,
connected merely by a short stalk, and from the thicker
branches. The pod has a coarse rind, and is at first green
in colour, changing to dullish mottled purple or chocolate
colour when fully ripe. The pod is divided into quar-
ters, and will contain about a hundred beans.
The cultivator of a cacao estate leads a very quiet life.
The great thing required of him is patience to wait till
the fruit is ripe to be gathered. There is but little for
him to do during the greater part of the year. Weed-
ing, and manuring, and trashing, which occupy so much
time, and cost so much money in the cultivation of the
cane, is not known on the cacao estate. As long as the
trees are kept clear from underbush by the occasional
use of the cutlass, there is little more required in the
way of weeding. Some attention, however, must be paid
to the destruction of certain insects of the genus longi-






TRINIDAD.


cornis, which lay their larvae under the bark, where they
feed upon the tender part of the plant. A species of
woodpecker, as well as squirrels and surmullots, destroy
a large number of pods annually, in order to feed upon
the sweet acidulated pulp which lines the beans, or upon
the beans themselves. The cacao-tree is also very liable
to become covered with parasites, mosses, and lichens.
"The average yield per acre throughout the island is
550 pounds, or two pounds per tree, the maximum being
as much as 1,080 pounds per acre, or four and a-half
pounds per tree. There are two regular crops or pickings
in the year viz., in June and December; there may,
however, be said to be two partial pickings in the in-
tervals. The pods come to maturity within three months
and a half, rain hastening the ripening. They are de-
tached from the tree with a knife or blade of a peculiar
form, attached to the end of a long rod, so as to reach
the highest branches.
"They are afterwards gathered into heaps, and each
pod is opened with a strong knife or short cutlass. The
beans are then taken out, put into baskets, and carried
to the curing-house, there to be cured and dried. Dif-
ferent methods may be adopted in curing and drying the
cacao for the market. According to one method, the
beans are immediately spread out in large flat boxes, or
trays, exposed to the action of the sun, and put under
shelter at night, to be again spread out the next day.
This is repeated till they are sufficiently dried to be put
into bags. This is cacao prepared for the British
markets; it is of a red colour, clean, flinty, heavy, and
bitter-in fact, the worst sample from which to prepare
chocolate. A different method is followed when the cacao
is to be prepared for the French or Spanish markets; it is
then put in heaps, well covered with leaves, and allowed
to sweat or ferment for five, six, or eight days, according
as damp or dry weather may prevail; some persons con-
tend that it is better to allow it to ferment on the spot
where plucked and opened. Sometimes it is placed in







NATURAL PRODUCTIONS


the sun for a few hours before being placed in heaps,
.and this seems to accelerate fermentation; it is after-
wards spread in shallow boxes, or on a drying-floor
prepared for the purpose. This latter plan is preferred
*on the main, and probably with reason, but in no place
is the cacao buried as a preparative to drying, as reported
in some works on the subject. Cacao which has fer-
mented is of a dark colour, light in weight, contains
less of the oily substance, and has no astringency."*
From the above remarks it will be seen that the cacao-
planter is more of an agriculturist, and less of a manu-
facturer, than the sugar-planter. It is true that there is
the drying process, but that is all The article is shipped,
if not exactly as gathered, yet after a simple process of
shelling and drying. The cacao-beans are put in bags,
and shipped, making a very clean cargo when compared
with the sugar in hogsheads. A bag or fanega is
110 pounds weight, sells for about eight or ten dollars,
in past years having risen to fourteen and sixteen
dollars, and one year it fell so low as to be worth only
three dollars per fanega, which price would not cover the
expense of picking and drying, so that the fruit was
allowed to remain on the trees ungathered.
The largest quantity and the best of the Trinidad cacao
is shipped to Spain and France. A considerable quan-
tity is manufactured into chocolate by steam-mills, and
consumed in the island. It is not necessary to say that
thus prepared it is wholesome and nutritious.
The cacao-planter is in a better position in some re-
spects than the sugar-planter, for if the crop of the former
does not fetch so high a price as that of the latter, it
must be remembered that the outlay of the former is
very small compared with that of the latter. A cacao-
planter does not need forty mules, a score of oxen, a
steam-engine, and a boiling-house. A few mules to
crook the cacao, to the drying-shed, with a few hands,


* L. A. A. de Verteuil, M.D., Triidad, &q,







TRINIDAD.


and he has pretty much all he needs to carry on his.
plantation.
On a fine day when the sun is shining, it is agreeable
to walk through a cacao estate, sheltered by the shade of
the trees; but when you have walked through it you have
not seen very much, and altogether a cacao estate is very
quiet and tame after a sugar estate. The one is calm
and reflective, as it were, while the other is stirring and
energetic in its character. Both, however, have their
place, and their products alike minister to the comforts
of man.
Cofee.-The coffee-tree is a small shrub from ten to
fifteen feet high. It is covered with a dark, smooth,
shining foliage, bearing a white blossom, which falls
off and leaves a green berry, which when ripe turns
to bright red or scarlet. Each berry contains two
grains. Like cacao, the coffee-plant thrives best in
Trinidad under the shade of the cacao tree, or bois
immnortel; though, I understand, that in Ceylon, where
some of the finest coffee is grown, no shade is needed.
The amount of coffee exported from Trinidad is quite
inconsiderable, most that is grown being consumed in
the island. It is sold from 7. cents. (3-d.) to 12- cents.
(6-d.) per lb. The cultivation of coffee may be carried
on without much expense, but a large number of hands
become necessary for the gathering in of the berries and
their preparation. The berries are first slightly bruised,
so as to separate the seed from the soft outer husk. They
are afterwards washed, and then dried, when it becomes-
necessary to pass them through a mill, to be winnowed
from the inner husk or parchment, before being packed
for exportation. There are operations too numerous and
expensive to leave a hope for the extension of coffee
cultivation in Trinidad-at least with its present scanty
population. The Asiatic islands and Brazil will, there-
fore, probably long enjoy the privilege they have gained
of supplying the markets of the world with coffee.
Cotton.-Cotton was once extensively cultivated in







NATURAL PRODUCTIONS.


Trinidad, viz., at Mayaro, Guayaguayara, and Chacacha-
cara, and a few individuals then made their fortunes by
its growth and exportation. This cultivation was, how-
ever, afterwards abandoned for the more lucrative pro-
duction of sugar. The soil and climate of Trinidad seem
to be well adapted to the production of cotton of the
best quality, its enemies being locusts and caterpillars.
The cold northerly winds are injurious, causing the pod
to freeze-that is to say, occasioning a blight which
prevents its regular development to maturity.
Since the American war, and the consequent scarcity
of cotton for the Manchester mills, and the rapid and
unprecedented rise in the markets, the cultivation of
cotton has been more attended to, and lands too poor to
produce cane have been laid down in cotton. Trinidad
could produce an immense quantity of cotton, were the
small settlers to turn their attention to its cultivation,
and at even the present prices, 1865, though much lower
than they were, it would give good interest upon the
outlay. To small settlers there would be but little out-
lay, as themselves and families would be able to plant
and pick a good quantity. The weeding of cotton is
simple, it being only necessary to keep down the grass
by the cutlass, the hoe not requiring to be used.
The cotton that has lately been exported from Trini-
dad has netted good prices, proving that if attention
were given to the selection of the seed, and the picking
and ginning of the cotton, the very best article might
be shipped from the island. Some of the estates have
laid down a few acres in cotton, but as yet no consider-
able breadth of land is in cotton. The spirit of enter-
prise is somewhat languid in Trinidad; and it is to be
feared that if cotton is not planted at once, the time of
high prices will pass away, for many countries are put-
ting forth their best energies in the cultivation
of cotton. One result of the American war will most
probably be that England, and indeed the world, will
never again be so helplessly dependent upon America







TRINIDAD.


for this staple as in former years. It is generally
thought, however, that no country will be able to com-
pete with the cotton grown in the valley of the Missis-
sippi, not only because of the quality of the article, but
also because of their facility in water carriage. Be that
as it may, a golden opportunity is presented to tropical
countries, and wise will they be who avail themselves of
it. The American war has not ceased,* and it is difficult
to conjecture when it will cease, and even after it has
come to a close several years must pass away before the
Americans will be at liberty to give their attention to
the growth of cotton.
Cocoa Nuts (Cocos nucifera).-The cocoa-palm thrives
admirably in Trinidad, and is cultivated to great advan-
tage in several districts, either for sale in the nut or for
the manufacture of oil. In a green state, the nuts are
sold at five cents (2-d.) for three nuts; dry, one dollar
per hundred, on the spot. The oil ranges from one
dollar to one dollar fifty cents per gallon. The cocoa-
palm grows best along the sea-shore, in the very sand
of the beach, salt being not only necessary for its
healthy growth, but to its very existence. The whole of
the eastern coast, with Guayaguayara and Icacos, might
be made to produce an immense quantity of cocoa-nuts.
The whole beach from Point Manzanilla to the mouth
of the Guataro, is lined with cocoa-nut palms, which
grew there accidentally, the nuts having been originally
washed on shore from the wreck of some vessel. The
finest specimens are, perhaps, along the Mayaro beach,
some of them being seen to flower at the early age of
three years, which is very unusual indeed-this palm
commencing to bear fruit generally at five or six years'
growth. Its period of full bearing is at eight years and
upwards, when it brings forth a bunch of blossoms every
month, each bunch having nine nuts, on an average, and
some as many as twenty. The fruit of each tree is valued
at one dollar a year. The trees are planted about twenty-


* Written during the American War.







NATURAL PRODUCTIONS.


four feet apart, and require very little or no care. When
arrived at maturity, a cocal or cocoa-nut walk forms an
excellent pasture-ground for sheep, cattle, or any other
grazing animal; poultry, pigs, &c., also fatten wonder-
fully on the cocoa-nut pulp, or the refuse of the nuts
after the oil has been expunged. The almond or pulp
contains, according to Brandi, 25 per cent. of oil; and
the shell 26 per cent. of the pulp. It is calculated here
that thirty-three nuts give one. gallon of oil, the pre-
vailing plan is to give sixty nuts, for which one gallon
of oil is returned. There is an establishment for the
manufacture of cocoa-nut oil on the Eastern coast. The
process of extracting the oil is simple, being cold drawn.
The cocoa-palm has a formidable enemy in the coleop-
tera, an insect which fixes its abode at the base of the
frond, and by degrees penetrates into the central bud
and the very heart of the palm. If not promptly re-
moved, the tree soon withers and dies. So destructive
were the ravages of this insect at Singapore, that the
inhabitants were compelled in consequence to abandon
the cultivation of the cocoa-palm. The insect is de-
stroyed either by using an iron rod hooked at the end,
and by which the hole bored by the insect is thoroughly
probed. or by pouring a strong solution of salt into the
tuft of leaves.
The fruits and vegetables of Trinidad are very fine,
and of many kinds. There are, however, but a few of
the fruits palatable to Europeans on their first arrival.
The orange, the pine-apple, and the banana are some-
what familiar to the palate; but other fruits, such as the
custard-apple, the sappodilla, the mangoe, the pomme-
rose, the sour-sop, &c., are only liked, if at all, after a
time. The fruits are generally sweet and luscious, too
much so for an English palate, and are not at all valued,
for the most part, at first, by those who have eaten of
apples, pears, gooseberries, currants, cherries, raspberries,
strawberries, damsons, egg-plums, &c., the produce of an
English garden.
We have several varieties of melons, musk-melons,







TRINIDAD.


water-melons, &c., which are agreeable and cooling in a
hot country. The granadilla is a very fine fruit, and is
treated in an aristocratic manner. It is a fruit like a
pumpkin in shape, and like a pumpkin in being filled
with seeds. It grows on a vine, which only thrives on
an arbour. The blossom is a violet colour, not unlike
what is here called the passion-flower. The seeds are
taken from the fruit and mixed with wine, ntLtmeg, &c.,
and is considered quite a delicacy. For cooling the
thirsty heated mouth, the water-melon is most agreeable
and wholesome. The musk-melon is a smaller fruit, the
end of which you bite off, squeeze the fruit in your
hand with the opening to your mouth, and you get a
very palatable mouthful.
Grapes of all kinds grow in Trinidad, and would be
much more largely grown than they are were it not for
the parasol ant, which insects are most numerous, vexa-
tious, and destructive-numerous in themselves, vexa-
tious to the garden, and destructive to the vine. These
ants are red-those in the towns ; their county cousins
are black, but whether red or black they carry parasols
over their heads, much to the annoyance of those who
have gardens. They are about half an inch long, with
most formidable mandibles, with which they cut out
half-round pieces of the leaves of the plant they infest,
and having cut out as much as they want, they hoist it
in triumph over their head, and so firmly hold it in their
forceps that you may lift the leaf and they will not
slack their hold. They come in hundreds of thousands,
innumerable, and when all nature is still, when the stars
are shining, they make their attack on the defenceless
plant, and in the morning you .see the skeleton with its
bones picked. After the leaves have been once stripped,
the plant will put forth new ones, but upon a repetition
of the onslaught, is often too weakened to reclothe
itself, and soon pines, and withers, and dies. The reader
will say, why not destroy the ants ? True, gentle reader,.
most willingly would we destroy these night marauders







NATURAL PRODUCTIONS.


if we could; but though a small folk, they are neither
few nor feeble. They are very fond of making their
nests in the foundations of your house, picking out the
mortar, and making for themselves convenient highways
to the township. Hither they bring the leaves of your
roses or your vine for the purpose of feeding their young.
Now, if you are determined to destroy them, you must
also determine to destroy the foundations of your house;
and you have the assurance that though you disturb,
root out, and destroy them in this place, one will
-escape and soon lay out a new colony in another
part of the wall of your house. In the woods they
excavate a quantity of earth from among the roots
of trees, with main thoroughfares and bye-ways, with
underground sewerage and all sanatory arrangements.
Boiling water, powder, fumigation with brimstone, pitch
and puddling, arsenic and other poisons have been tried,
but have most signally failed. Possession is a great
deal in law, and the ants, once in possession of your
garden, are not easily ejected. Should the nest happen
to be away from wall or tree, and you can puddle them,
the work is not at all a trifle; you have to dig down
several feet deep-some four feet, and as many in dia-
meter-and then, when you come to the nest, and pour
in the water and begin to puddle, the ants get infuriated,
and race about and cover the man who is attempting to
bury them alive, and they draw blood wherever they get
at the skin. Indeed, these ants are not attempted to be
destroyed, but are kept out of gardens by means of water
flowing round them in mason-work channels, or they
are kept from single plants by peculiar shaped pitch
vessels filled with water, across which the ants do not
seem to care to venture.
Were it not for these ants, peculiar to Trinidad among
the islands, many more fruits, flowers and vegetables
would be grown than are now cultivated.
The vegetables of Trinidad are equally numerous and
varied as the fruits. We have plantains and yams of







TRINIDAD.


several different kinds, the former growing on tall suc-
culent trees, the latter bulbous roots growing from vines-
which run on sticks. The ants are very fond of the
yam vine, and in consequence, wherever they are it is
useless to plant yams. The English potato will not
grow to perfection in Trinidad. If you plant they will
only run to haulm, but sweet potatoes grow to a
large size, and very easily. The cush-cush is one of
the finest ground provisions that is possible to be eaten.
They are like yams in the manner of their growth,
but their mealy character and their peculiar flavour
must be experienced by eating of them to be known.
Some of them are white in colour, others of a deep
purple, similar to the colour of some kinds of beetroot.
Tanias are very common, and a very wholesome root,
growing not unlike a lily; the young and tender leaves
are picked,. and form a principal ingredient of calaloo
soup. Calaloo and tom-tom, which is green plantain
pounded in a mortar, is a very characteristic dish.
Peas and beans of many different kinds. Pigeon-
peas, instead of growing on a running vine, are found
on a good sized tree-shrub, with stem, roots and
branches. Ochros are, to appearance, exactly like the
hollyhock. In England, if the conical seed-vessel of the
hollyhock were gathered, boiled and eaten, it would be
thought strange, but this is what is done with the
ochros here. They are picked while young, before the
seed-vessel gets hard and dry. They are boiled and
eaten whole, and are to Creoles, or acclimatized Eu-
ropeans, very savoury, and are certainly slimy and
cooling. It is quite common for persons to inveigh
against them the first year of their residence in the
land, and eventually to become very fond of them.
Pumpkins, cucumbers and mellangs, or egg-plants, are
plentiful. Casava is a root indigenous to the island-at
least Columbus found the Indians using it as a principal
article of food. There are two sorts of casava, a bitter
and a sweet, and both are used for food; the sweet is







NATURAL PRODUCTIONS.


merely roasted or boiled the same day it is pulled, or it
will spoil, and is a light and palatable vegetable; the
bitter casava requires some preparation before it can be
eaten. The roots, in shape somewhat like dahlia roots,
are peeled and grated on a large tin grater; the mash
is then washed in many waters, and dried in the sun;
this is called farine, and is white in colour, and not unlike
sago. It is eaten in this state with the gravy of the
dish on the table. From farine large round thin cakes
are made and baked on an iron sheet; these resemble
oatmeal cake, and are a common article of food, espe-
cially among the Spaniards. From the water in which
the grated casava is washed is made a very fine sauce,
highly prized by connoisseurs, and is called casaripe.
The water in which the casava is washed, is a deadly
poison, while the casava is wholesome food. The bitter
casava is called by the Spaniards, manioc.
Indian corn, or maize, is grown to a large extent, and
used for feeding horses, mules and fowls. It is also
ground into meal by large hand-mills, and boiled for
food; when thus prepared, it is called hominy, or corn-
coocoo, and is a somewhat coarse but a wholesome and
nutritious diet. The proportion of fat contained in maize
is considerable, and certainly the people who live upon
it chiefly are both strong and stout.
Two crops of maize are obtained during the year-one
called wet-season, and the other dry-season, corn. Its
return is something marvellous; instead of a hundred
fold, it would be no exaggeration to say that it yields
a thousand fold, for from one grain you get a stock
having two large ears, containing many hundreds each,
and sometimes there are three ears on the stock. It
must be said, however, that corn needs a rich soil, and
very soon makes a poor one; it impoverishes the soil
very quickly, and it is only in virgin soil that it is seen in
perfection. There it will attain to a height of fifteen or
eighteen feet; the leaves and top of the stem, or corn
bush, are the best of fodder for stock; very fattening.







TRINIDAD.


It is, however, necessary to allow the green bush to
quail in the sun before giving it to horses or mules, or
it may give them colic; and sometimes it happens that a
careless groom may kill his master's horse by giving
him green corn-bush. The milk of the young corn it is
that does the mischief, hence, to be perfectly safe, it is
as well to pick off and throw away the young ears
before giving the fodder to the animal. The husks of
the corn are of a soft nature, and when properly dried,
do very well for poor people'skbeds and pillows. Many
who enjoy the sweetest sleep have nothing softer or
better to lie upon than beds made with corn husks. The
substance on which the grains of corn grow are not
wholly useless; they make very good fuel, and are cer-
tainly very cheap and convenient corks; if they are not
good for bottling champagne or ale, they serve remarkably
well to stop a calabash of water or syrup, or occasionally
a bottle of rum, that is not required to be kept too long.
A field or patch of maize is a pretty sight; it is
planted in rows, with generally three plants standing
together; the stem averages about ten feet in height,
has a few broad, flag-like leaves, and when half grown,
a flower shoots up not unlike three ears of English corn
on one stalk. About midway up the stalk, the one, two,
or three ears are seen-pointed, finger-like projections,
-wrapped in many folds of green and silver leafy cover-
ing. As time goes on, these growing ears put forth their
silken, amber-coloured beards, which are not merely
ornamental, but give promise of large ears of ripe corn.
In Trinidad a small quantity of rice is grown; it is
-of a very superior quality, being far sweeter and more
nutritious than the best Carolina rice we get in Trinidad.
It is chiefly grown by the Americans in their own
villages, and is probably from seed brought by the old
soldiers, when they, years ago, came from Carolina.
Supposing the seed to have been brought from South
Carolina, which I think almost certain, it has lost
nothing, but gained much from its culture in Trinidad.







NATURAL PRODUCTIONS.


The Carolina rice is certainly whiter in colour and larger
in grain than that grown here, but it is certainly not
anything like so sweet, or so nutritious, and there is no
doubt that if proper husking-mills were used here, the
Trinidad rice would be equally large and white with
the Carolina. But the people who grow the rice are
poor, and have no mills, but simply and laboriously
separate the husk from the rice by pounding it in a
wooden mortar, thus breaking and discolouring it by
the process.
Rice is like maize, impoverishing to the soil, and this
,not only because of what it takes from the soil chemi-
cally, but by reason of the close shaving given to the
land before it is sown. The people clear the land of
everything, so that a patch about to be sown in rice is
-as clean as if swept with a broom. Some scatter the
*seed, and chop it into the ground with the cutlass,
,others drop a small handful into a hole made by the
point of a cutlass, and no doubt both ways are very
primitive and wasteful, compared with sowing by a
proper drill. But when people have no drill, they do
the best they can. The rice is sown about September,
on lands without regard to their being hilly, or lying low,
.as the rains of September, November, and December
are so heavy and continuous as to give all the moisture
necessary for so water loving a plant as rice. About
January the weather takes up, the rains cease, the sun
shines, and the rice changes its garb of green for one
of gold.
The picking of the rice requires some little skill, and
a considerable amount of patience. The reaper dexter-
ously nips off the stalk with thumb and finger, about
six inches below the grain; continuing this process
until his left hand is full, he then ties it up strongly,
and carries it to the heap. The great thing is to be
careful not to shake the rice, as the precious grain is
ready to drop, and so be lost.
The rice is the most valued of provisions, as it is the







82 TRNIDAD.

only food that will keep all the year round. Left in
the husk on the stalk, piled up in a heap in a corner of
the house, nothing harms it, and it is quite as whole-
some, if not so milky, when a year old,, as the day it
was picked. All other food perishes if kept beyond a
few months. There is a time of the year towards the
end of the dry season, about the months May and June,
when there is nothing to be had but rice. For several
months the gardens have been parched, the corn is now
full of weevils, and nothing is to be had but rice,
unless there is money in hand to buy flour. At this
hungry time of the year (as the people call it), the rice
does good service, hence it is much prized by the people,
and those who are provident will never leave them-
selves without a good supply of this most excellent
food.















CHAPTER VII.


ANIMAL KIN-GDOM.

IN-reference to this subject, a brief account must
suffice. The animals of Trinidad do not embrace any
of the larger species except in the class of reptiles.
There are two kinds of monkeys--the red or howling
monkey, and the sapajou. The former is a large
species and very common, but extremely shy and un-
tameable; even when taken young they refuse food, and
continue moaning day and night till they die of inanition.
The red monkey has a sort of deep resounding yell
(hence the term howling), which it emits previous to
and during rain and thunder-storms; it is eaten in
default of better game, and is even relished by the
mixed-breed Indian and Spanish hunters, and the
conuqueros, who often smoke-dry the flesh entire, as is
their custom with other game.
The sapajou is a small, whitish ape, very common in
the eastern and southern districts. It is very inquisi-
tive, and not only does not flee at the approach of man,
but will remain and examine him with apparent
curiosity; its cries, however, prove that it is really
alarmed at his presence. Like all other sapajous it has
a soft plaintive tone, which has gained for it the name
of the weeping monkey; contrary to the howling species,
it can be rendered remarkably tame, and becomes,.
domesticated in a few days. Cheiroptera bats are very
numerous in Trinidad; some live on fruits, and others
(vampires), by sucking blood not only of animals but of
man. At the island of Gasparillo these vampire bats
02







TRINIDAD.


are so numerous and so blood-thirsty that it is seldom
you can pass a night without your toes, or even your
noise getting bit. The only effectual preventive is light.
If you burn a light, all is well, but should the light go
out from any cause, the bats are sure to bite you; they
cut away a piece of the skin, but so kindly do they
manage this, fanning the place with their wings, that
the bite is seldom felt until the bat has had its fill of
your blood. Some animals are much distressed, and
seriously weakened by loss of blood from the bats con-
stantly sucking them. It is customary to hang up the
prickly bush of the lime-tree, which does to some
extent keep them away.
Carnivora.-The tiger-cat or ocelot (Felis pardalis) is
one of the most beautiful, though not one of the least
ferocious of the feline tribe. When full grown it is
almost four times as large as the domestic cat; they some-
times weigh as much as thirty-three pounds. The ocelot
preys upon all sorts of small animals, is particularly
fond of poultry, and in one night may destroy a dozen
or more. It climbs the highest trees, but when hunted
down, or hard pressed by dogs, it backs against the
trunk of some tree, and keeps its enemies at bay with
its powerful paws. They are generally shot, but some-
times bayonetted,and the hunter who ventures to do this,
with an old spear on the end of a pole, a few feet long,
is not wanting in courage. They are valued for their
skins, which are striped with greyish and blackish
stripes.
As there is a wild cat, so is there a wild dog-Galo
milao (Mustela barbara). This animal is not common,
and its habits are imperfectly known. Like the ocelot,
it can ascend the loftiest trees, and invariably descend-
ing head downwards; it lives upon honey, bird's eggs,
&c., and makes terrible havoc amongst fowls; when
attacked by dogs it defends itself fiercely.
Marsupialia, opossum or manicou (Dedilphis). The
opossum is very common here, and feeds upon fruits,







ANIMAL KINGDOM.


birds, and carcases; it is also a great destroyer of
poultry, creeps into the roosts at night, and ventures
even into towns on its depredations. The manicou is
generally very fat, and its flesh tender, but is not prized
as food except by the lower classes, who consider it
rather a delicacy.
Of rodentia we have squirrels, rats, mice, agoutis,
cloromys acuti, and lapo. The three former of these need
no description. The agouti is a small animal, more like a
tailless rat than anything else I can liken it to. Its ears
are very small, it is fond of housing itself at the roots
of the balata tree, and is used for food, but has not a
very fine flavour. It feeds upon seeds and roots.
Lapo or lape (Caira paca). The lape is not so common
as the agouti, and prefers the high woods. It lives upon
seeds and fruits, burrows in the ground, and when
hunted takes to the water, and often escapes. It is not
unlike a deer, but its feet are paws not hoofs. It is by
far the finest wild meat we have, and indeed to most
persons it is preferable to the best beef or mutton we
can get in Trinidad. The meat when roasted or baked
has a flavour of pork and veal combined, though more
of the latter than the former in taste, and just like veal
in appearance.
Edenta.-Cachecame, armadillo, or tatou (Dasypus).
The tatou haunts the high woods, and subsists partly on
vegetables, partly on insects; it burrows, closes the
entrance of its burrow and ventures out at night;
though not very fleet, the cachecame is not easily caught
by dogs on account of its hard shell. It is much
relished by some and not eaten by others.
Great ant-eater or mataperro (Mymecophaga tridactyla).
It lives in the high woods, sleeping the day out in the
hollows of fallen or in the foliage of green trees, and
crawls about at night in search of food, in obtaining
which it insinuates its long filiform tongue into the
nests of ants; the insects become entangled in the
viscid saliva which covers the tongue, and are then







TRINIDAD.


swallowed in a mass; they also lay their tongues on the
track of the parasol ants and devour immense numbers
of them. The great ant-eater moves very slowly, and
whenever aware of any danger, quickly throws itself on
its back, and in that posture awaits the attack of its
assailants, which it seizes with its powerful arms and
fearful claws; these it plunges into the body of its
enemy, gradually thrusting more and more deeply until
death ensues. Its hold is so tenacious that dogs cannot
disengage themselves from the murderous grip, and must
perish unless promptly relieved; hence its Spanish
name of mataperro, or the dog-killer; it is also called
the sloth, or again, the poor-me-one," from its mourn-
ful night-cry, which the fancy of the peasant has
assimilated to the sound of these words.
Pachy-dermata.-Wild hog, cuenco or pecari (Dyco-
tiles). There are two distinct species of cuencos-one
rather larger than the other; they range in small bands
of five or eight, or in larger of fifty and above; they
haunt the high woods, and the smaller species is parti-
cularly common towards the eastern coast. When
started by the dogs, the pecari takes to flight, but is soon
brought to bay against a tree, or in some hollow, or other
shelter, where it makes a formidable, and often a success-
ful defence with its tusks, frequently wounding, maim-
ing, or killing such as venture within its reach. When
in force and very numerous, they even give chase to the
dogs, and the hunters themselves may be compelled to
seek refuge in the branches of some tree. This animal,
notwithstanding, is easily domesticated, and becomes
much attached to its master. When young, and in good
season and condition, the cuenco is most delicate eating.
Ruminantia.-Deer (Cervus simplia cornis). The
deer is very common in all parts of the island, but par-
ticularly in the neighbourhood of plantations, where it
browses on peas, young maize, the stems and leaves of the
manioc, sweet potato and yam, it also destroys the young
cacao-plants. The deer bears in appearance, size, and







ANIMAL KINGDOM.


habits the greatest resemblance to the roebuck. When
,captured young it is easily domesticated, and may be
.seem tamely following those persons who have the care of
it. The flesh of this animal very much resembles that
-of the European deer. It is either shot from an ambus-
-cade, hunted down by dogs, or caught in an iron trap.
The people have a plan of tying a loaded gun to an ear
of maize or some other attractive bait, and so connect-
ing the trigger, that as the animal eats, the gun goes
off and sometimes kills the animal.
In the country districts an occasional supply of these
wild meats is to be obtained. As I have before re-
marked, the forests stand in their pristine beauty, and
-they form a home for deer, lapos, cuencos, monkeys,
.agouti, tatou (armadillo), land-turtle (morocoi), and other
-animals, which afford a means of wealth and excite-
*ment to the many hunters who leave their homes in bodies
to roam for twenty or thirty miles in these dense forests
.in search of game. Hunting is here no gentleman's
sport, but hard, dangerous, and dirty work. The men
start from home with wires, a kind of knapsack made
of wicker-work, hung upon their backs suspended by
straps round their arms; these contain a cooking
vessel, salt, lucifers, salt pork, and various little matters
.of a culinary kind wherewith to prepare the food they
expect to obtain. They generally have one or more
dogs with them, without whose help not much can be
done. The weapon generally used for hunting cuenco
:and lapo is a bayonet or a sharpened piece of iron (they
:are not very particular) fixed on a pole of some strength
.about eight feet long. Sometimes a gun is found
amongst the party, and sometimes no such thing is in
;their hands.
Arrived at a favourable spot, a caban or bed place
must be erected. This is a simple affair-the work of
a couple hours with the ever-ready cutlass; the material
is at hand; small trees, and the fan-shaped leaves of the
carata palm, soon make a place to sleep in, sheltered






TRINIDAD.


from wind and rain by a leaning roof. I have seen
some of these tents, and really they are strange looking
places for men to pass three or four nights in. A fire
is ever kept burning, both to smoke the meat when the
animal is caught, and to keep away the mosquitos and
sand-flys, which are very tantalising, and but for the
smoke no sleep could be obtained. Fortunately for the
hunter these small folk cannot stand the smoke, while
the men can. The men who go into the woods must be
butchers and curers as well as huntsmen, for if their
game were not cleaned, laid open, the bones almost
separated from the flesh, salted and smoked, all their
quarry would be spoilt and their labour lost; the
object of the hunter being to remain sufficiently long to
enable him to catch, kill, and cure as many cuencos and
lapos as he can carry home in his wire. The wild meat
when thus cured sells from 15c. to 20c., that is, from 7qd.
to 10d. per lb.
During the day the men hunt the cuenco, which is a
somewhat ferocious animal, and when a large band of
them is met, our hunters must beat a retreat, or climb a
tree, or these infuriated hogs will rend them in pieces.
The deer and lape, having no tusks, trust to their speed
for safety, but a dog, or a bramble, or'a gun, often settles
the matter.
As we are now on the subject of hunting, it may be
as well to speak of the sister craft of fishing. Fishing
is a sport that extends from catching minnows in a brook
to harpooning whales in deep seas, at the risk of life.
It is of the latter sport, or rather serious business, we
would speak.
On the islets forming the "bocas," which stand as
sentinels to guard the entrance into the gulf of Paria,
are established several whale fisheries. In search of
health I went as far as these islets, and saw on several
occasions the dangerous work of the whalers. The life
of a whaler is a hard one everywhere, but under a tro-
pical sun it must be excessively fatiguing. They have







ANIMAL KINGDOM.


beautiful double-headed six-oared boats, furnished with
all the appliances necessary for their work, such as
lines, harpoons, hatchets, &c. They start by daybreak,
and roam the waters of the gulf till they spy a whale,
they then follow quickly in pursuit. There is much
caution and skill required to draw silently upon the
unconscious animal lying basking in the sun upon the
surface of the deep. When close upon him a strong
arm drives a sharp harpoon into his soft coat of fat, and
as he feels the prick away he speeds. Now is the time
for strength and skill to be exerted. The men must
pull for dear life. Before, one might suppose that once
the boat is made fast to the whale, the men might lie
on their oars; but not so, unless they pull hard the boat
will be run under by the speed of the whale's swimming.
The man in the bow, who has struck the whale, stands
with axe uplifted ready in a moment to cut the rope in
case of danger, for sometimes the coil gets fouled, or the
fish dives deep, and the rope all runs out; it must be cut,
or the boat would be dragged down with him. Some-
times they have an expedient of a tub to which the rope
is fastened; and when needs be they throw it overboard,
and sometimes are fortunate enough to see it again, and
upon taking possession of it they have the whale fast
once more. But it matters not how deep the fish may
plunge down, he must come up to blow; there is another
harpoon thrust into him, and away he flies again. The
scene now becomes exciting; the men pull hard, the
man at the stern has to use his best skill in steering the
boat, watching any sudden turn of the fish, so as not to
allow the boat to be upset. Again the poor fish rises to
the surface to blow, and another harpoon is driven into
him, and thus he at length becomes weakened from loss
of blood till they can easily despatch him. The whale,
when captured, is slung under the whale-boat that has
taken him; other boats come to the assistance of the
capturers, and with flags hoisted and conch-shells sound-
ing, the whale is towed as quickly as wind and tide will







TRIIDAD.


allow to the fishery. Once there the fish is secured
alongside the shears, and men soon begin to peal off his
jacket of blubber by means of sharp spades. A piece,
say two feet by four feet, is cut off, and hoisted on shore
by winch, cut up into pieces six inches square, and
thrown into the coppers to be boiled down into oil; the
refuse makes famous fuel. But while men are busy
other folks are not idle. Jack Shark is particularly fond
of a slice of whale, and hence he makes it his business
to be there on the spot, though, poor fellow, he often
gets (as I have seen), a cut of the spade instead, and
then his brethren, as he rolls over and over to the
bottom, leave the whale (cannibals that they are), and
straightway commence to dine off their whilom com-
rade. The flesh beneath the blubber is not unlike coarse
beef in appearance, and is much sought after by the
poor fishermen who live near the whale fishery. I
have tasted whale-beef, but cannot say it is very tempt-
ing, though it is not positively uneatable.
After the blubber is cut off, and the valuable bones
extracted, and what meat is wanted taken, the carcase
(an unsightly mass), is towed out.and left for the sharks
and corbeaux, or vultures, to prey upon-the former
beneath, and the latter above. The tide soon carries it
out of the bocas, and nothing more is seen of it.
Juvenile whalers, however, make good use of the car-
case as it is floating away. They surround it in small
fishing canoes, and harpoon the innumerable sharks
which are busily engaged in feasting upon the whale.
As they secure a shark they haul him alongside their
boat, open the entrails, take out the liver, and let the
shark go. I suppose they must die, unless they are so
tenacious of life as to live without livers, as it is said
dogs can live without their spleens. The liver of the
shark is boiled down, and the oil is sold to the chemists,
and retailed as cod-liver oil. I have seen a shark's
liver, and it certainly was of a very healthy colour and
appearance.







ANIMAL KINGDOM.


'To return to the subject of this section, it may be
observed, that in Trinidad we have numerous feathered
tribes. The birds are many, of different sizes, and of
varied plumage. They range from the minute crested
humming-bird to the kamichi, and the king of vultures.
We shall mention only a few of them.
Corbeau. The first thing almost that will probably
strike one on landing in Port of Spain is the corbeau, a
long-legged, good sized black bird (much larger than a
crow.) The probabilities are, that this gentleman in black
will be seen busy in the gutter with some delicate morsel,
upon which he appears so intently engaged as to be per-
fectly indifferent of anything going on around him.
Indeed, the whole tribe of them seem to be quite aware
that they are a privileged class, that-no one can interfere
with them, and.this is so. They are the unpaid scaven-
gers of the whole island, and a law was in force, some
time back, which forbade, under a penalty, the shooting
of them.
In the gulf the pelican and ciseaux-tail will be seen
plying their fishing trade. The pelican is an ugly, grey
bird, with a heavy, clumsy motion in its flight; and it
seems almost ludicrous the way in which they tumble
headlong' into the water to catch their prey. They seem
to have much difficulty in rising from the water, and
make use of their webbed feet to assist them from one
element into the other. They have a long beak about
nine or ten inches, under which is a loose skin like a
bag, which receives the fish until it is swallowed, which
is seldom done till the bird rises on the wing.
The colour is grey, and the spread of the wings may
be about three feet. They congregate on the islets
about the bocas, and build their nests on lonely inac-
.cessible rocks. The ciseaux-tail is much more graceful
-on the wing, its eye must be much keener, as it poises
itself at a much greater elevation than the pelican; and
when it sees a fish the wings are folded, and down
comes the bird with great speed into the water.







TRINIDAD.


There are birds of gayest plumage, birds good for
food, but few song-birds among the birds of Trinidad.
We have parrots and paroquets, and macaws, doves
of several kinds; and all good game. The doves are
common all over the island, and in the early morning,
or as the day is drawing to a close, they are heard
making. their mournful complaints to the surrounding
silence. No other note meets the ear when this is
heard, and to listen to them long, produces sad and
mournful feelings. They are of a pretty, bluish grey,.
and are not easily shot, from their shyness, but are more
commonly caught in traps set for them.
The humming-birds are very pretty in a glass-case;
but their beauty is dazzling, as their gold and emerald
plumage shines in the sun's rays as they flit with
lightning-like velocity from flower to flower, keeping
themselves poised by the rapidity of the movement of
their tiny wings, as, with long bill inserted into the
chalice of the flower, they extract its sweets. They
are caught with hand-nets; and so beautifully shot
are their breasts, that an ingenious bird-fancier makes
brooches with them. They differ much in size and in
beauty of plumage. It is declared by an ornithologist
there, that they live on insects, and not only on the
juice of flowers, as has been supposed. The little house-
bird or sparrow, called by the people here rougnol, is
very common. It builds about the houses, in the spout-
ing and eaves, just as sparrows do in England; but it
is a slighter, more graceful bird than the sparrow, living
chiefly on insects.
The West Indies have rather a bad name for snakes,
serpents, centipedes, scorpions, tarantulas, &c. There
are, indeed, numerous reptiles in Trinidad; but all are
not poisonous. Turtle and morocoys are common, and
are constantly used as an article of food, turtle-steaks
being almost as common as beef-steaks in the markets.
Morocoys, or land-turtle, are easily taken in the woods,
brought to market and sold. Those who buy them







ANIMAL KINGDOM.


generally keep them a week or two, feeding them on
corn-meal, so as to purify and fatten them. Land-crabs
are treated in the same way.
The common iguana, and the mata (Salvator), are
considered by many very good eating; but to Euro-
peans, the idea of eating such crawling lizards is revolting.
Venomous serpents are common in Trinidad, yet not
often do persons get bitten. And those who frequent
the woods, and are most liable to be bitten, are gene-
rally acquainted with effectual remedies. Still deaths
do now and then occur from the bite of a serpent.
Two Africans once teazed and played with a coral-
.snake, believing it to be quite harmless, even being so
foolish as to put its head in their mouths. They were
bitten, and after a few hours they began to grow giddy,
reeling to the ground, and dying in a few-hours. This
coral was about four feet and a half long. Dogs in the
woods, and sometimes horses and mules in the pastures,
fall victims to the bite of the cascabel and mapepire.
The clibi, or cribo, haunts inhabited places, and is
sometimes seen in houses, where, however, it is of some
use in destroying rats. This coluber is very determined,
particularly the black kind, and it has been known to
give battle, and even chase to a man.
The macajuel, whenever irritated, inflates its body,
and then loudly emits a fetid and sickening breath,
which produces a sensation of faintness.
Ameivas are useful in gardens, where they destroy
numbers of mole-crickets. During the whole rainy
season we have abundance of frogs, which keep up an
incessant croaking wherever there is a pool of water.
The concert they make is very strange and noisy to the
ear, but at night, if you take a light, they are silent at
once. The bullfrog has a deep peculiar sound of his
own, while the others vary their note from the highest
falsetto to the deepest bass.
Fishes.-Out of about fifteen different species of fresh-
water fish, only a few are eaten, the others being neg-







TRINIDAD.


elected from their small size. The largest of those eaten
is the guabine (Erythrenus), which is regarded by some
as a great treat, but in reality it is neither a savoury nor
a delicate fish, as it never loses a certain taste of mud,
and is, besides, difficult to eat, owing to its flesh being
crowded with small bones exactly resembling the letter y.
The best fresh-water fish we have in the carcaradura.
During the dry season they are offered for sale, being
chiefly obtained from the ponds of the Grand Savannah.
The common proverb is that "if you have eaten casca-
radura you must die in the country."
From the gulf we gef a good supply of salt-water-
fish. The carangue, the Spanish mackerel or carite,
the kingfish or tassard, the garfish or orphie, and a
smaller species called the calaou; the barracuta are the
most common. All these are very fine eating, but the-
kingfish and carangue are considered the best. Under
the general name of redfish are sold several species of
snappers, redmouths, and sardes, all very good and
delicate. To the above may be added the gruper, the
lebranche, and mullets, and some others. "The dog-
headed eel (Synbrauchus), though, in my opinion," says
Dr. Devertueil, "delicate eating, is rejected from the
table on account of its resemblance to a snake. I con-
fess, however, that the French proverb. La sauce fait
manger le poisson,' is applicable to a number of our fresh
and salt-water fishes. Madeira or Bordeaux wine, for
instance, is the best sauce for crapaud and gruper; king-
fish and snappers are served either boiled or stewed, the
dories fried mainly, as also the mullet; the lebranche-
roasted, with the addition of lime-juice and cayenne
pepper."
Crustacea.-Crabs, crayfish, shrimps, and lobsters are
common, and largely used, especially the crab, for food.
The blue crabs are in some localities so numerous that
they weed the canes, as the people say. Sometimes it is
dangerous to eat crabs, as they may have been feeding
upon the fruits of the manchineel-tree. To avoid danger,







ANIMAL KINGDOM.


they are by the better class kept and fed for a few days.
Poor people, who eat them as soon as they get them, are
sometimes injured by them.
Arachnida spiders are numerous, and some of them
useful in destroying cockroaches and beetles. The crap-
spider (Aranea aviularia) is venomous; it bites severely,
swelling of the part, and fever for about twenty-four
hours being the result.
There are two species of scorpions, known as the grey
and the black; they are both venomous, yet very seldom
does death follow their sting. A fewcases, however, have
been known of infants having died from exhaustion
occasioned by the violent retching produced by the sting
of scorpions, and even adults have been severely affected
and weakened. The toe is often bitten, for the people
generally are barefoot; and when the toe is bitten by
a scorpion, or snake, or centipede, a piece of string is,
tightly tied round it to prevent the poisoned blood from
circulating.
Insecta.-Trinidad is alive with insects. Bete-rouge are
very troublesome to horses and'other animals, thousands
collecting on their heads, and producing much itching.
Ticks infest the cattle and mules turned into the pasture.
An enemy to the tick, and a friend to the animal, is
provided in the merle corbeau (Crotaphagi ani), which
bird is ever found flitting about the heads of the animals
as they graze to feast on the ticks. The best remedy,
however, against these insect-pests is the carapa. oil.
They die after it has been applied a few times to the
parts of the animal where they cling. Chigoes and
mosquitos are very teazing, to new comers especially.
The mosquitos attack the hands, and feet, and face, that
is to say, the exposed parts, the feet not being sufficiently
protected by stockings. The virus of this little, gnat
is so strong that it raises a lump, and produces such in-
flammation and irritation that you cannot refrain from
scratching, till perhaps a wound is the result. The
natives and those long-resident in the country are bitten,




University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs