THE TRINIDAD HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Publication No. 179.
The Secretary of State to the Governor of Trinidad.
Source :-Public Record Office. State Papers Colonial
Published by the courtesy of the Master of the Rolls and the
Deputy Keeper of the Public Records.
29th June, 18o1.
The ability and zeal you have uniformly shown in
administering the affairs of the Island of Trinidad and the
honourable testimony borne to your conduct by the
Commander-in-Chief of His Majesty's Forces in the Leeward
and Windward Caribbee Islands on every occasion, have
induced His Majesty to appoint you to the Civil Government
of that valuable Island and I have the satisfaction of
enclosing your Commission and Instructions under His
Majesty's Royal Sign Manual for your guidance in executing
the duties of that office.
I also enclose a copy of my letter to the Lords
Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury by which you will
observe you are to expect instructions from that Board
authorising you to draw for your salary now fixed at
3,000 per annum, from the revenues of the Island.
From the information you have already transmitted
respecting the flourishing state of Trinidad, I have no doubt
that the revenue of the Island will be more than adequate
to the discharge of the civil establishment of its government
and that some surplus will remain applicable to such other
services as may be deemed most beneficial to the joint interest
of this country and the Island.
It will however be necessary that you should transmit
to me as soon as possible a statement of all the civil and
judicial appointments in the Island whether held by foreigners
or by British subjects together with an account of the duty
and salary annexed to each for the information and
consideration of His Majesty.
One of the most material points to which your attention
cannot be too particularly drawn on every occasion as
forming a principal advantage derived to this country from
the possession of Trinidad, is the maintaining a fair trade
with the Spanish Main by relieving it from every difficulty
that may occur and affording it every facility and encourage-
ment your situation and authority can enable you to give.
With this view you will continue to grant passports
and every means consistent with the regulations of the Act
of Parliament herewith enclosed, to such vessels as may be
employed in carrying on the trade from the Port of San Josef.
You may rely upon the strictest orders being given to all
His Majesty's cruisers to respect such passports and to give
every assistance in their power to all vessels possessed of them
and actually engaged under the faith of such an instrument,
in a commercial intercourse with the Spanish settlements
It being judged expedient that no final grants of land
should be made during the war, it is His Majesty's pleasure
that you should not for the present make any such grants
in the Island of Trinidad and you will in framing the report
you are directed to make by the i7th article of your
instructions, take care to specify whether any and what
grants of land have already been made.
I have only further to add that it will be desirable you
should take every opportunity that the situation of the Island
and its intercourse with the Spanish Colonies will afford you,
of obtaining intelligence relative to the real state of these
Colonies so as to enable His Majesty's Government, should
it at any future period feel inclined so to do, to act against
them on grounds previously ascertained to be of a nature
to afford reasonable chance of success.
I have the honour to be,
Colonel Thomas Picton,