Group Title: The Trinidad Historical Society publication.
Title: Publication
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00080962/00244
 Material Information
Title: Publication
Physical Description: no. : ; 26 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Historical Society of Trinidad and Tobago
Publisher: s.n.
Place of Publication: Port-of-Spain
Publication Date: 1932?-52?
Frequency: irregular
completely irregular
 Subjects
Subject: History -- Periodicals -- Trinidad   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: Trinidad and Tobago -- Trinidad
 Notes
Dates or Sequential Designation: no. 1-1042.
Numbering Peculiarities: Ceased publication.
Issuing Body: Issued 1932-35 by the society under its earlier name: Trinidad Historical Society.
General Note: Reprints of documents relating to the history of Trinidad.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00080962
Volume ID: VID00244
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 45882505

Full Text






5/8/1834-





THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF TRINIDAD
AND TOBAGO.

Publication No. 256.
Duplicate De.spatches ofJ I 34. Extract from the Gazette, Port-of-Spain.
Published by the courtesy of His Excellency the Governor
of Trinidad.
The Gazette, Port-of-Spain Tuesday, August 5th, 1834.
Guard Room of the Artillery Picket, St. Jamc's Road,
5th August, 1834, 2 o'clock a.m.
The fact that the spot from which we date our present
article and other similar ones have been for the last four days
the headquarters of our whole establishment, must be our
apology for not having published our usual number on Friday
last. Friday the never to be forgotten Ist of August, the day on
which (for the first time for centuries) the sun shone forth
on the British West Indies without lighting a single slave
to labour; upon which 850,ooo human beings who had
gone to their rest the previous night suffering under a weight
of slavery and wretchedness insupportable, arose free and
happy and rejoicing at their deliverance from a thraldom
which had from their birth kept them down to the level of
the beast of the field and made the name of Liberty the
bitterest drug in the cup of woe which had hitherto been
their sole inheritance. This or something like this has no
doubt been the strain of most of the public journals issued to
the world at the epoch to which we are referring ; and every
old woman in Great Britain as she sat down to breakfast
that glorious morning ielt the highest gratification at the
thought that she had contributed to the achievement of the
grand victory obtained by humanity and philanthropy over
self-interest on that day. The idea is certainly very pretty,
cheering and poetical. The more the pity then, that it has not
more truth and less twaddle in it. We beg both the journalists
and old women aforesaid to gather from the following detail
of occurrences which have taken place in this Island since
the great and glorious day, the first fruits of thevictory with
which they are so highly delighted.










For some time previous to this great day it had been
plainly expressed by our slaves here that they had not the
slightest intention of working for their masters after the
31st ofJuly. 'Ihe Orders in Council, Ordinances, Proclama-
tions, &c., detailing the grand scheme of Emancipation had been
generally published and explained both by the Government
and by the slave owners and had been as generally laughed at
and rejected by the very persons for whose benefit they were
so humanely concocted. It was decided by them that the
King had freed them right out and that the apprenticeship
was a job got up between their masters and the Governor.
Their masters wcie dam tief the Governor an "Old
Rogue and the King not such a Fool as to buy them
half free when lhe was rich enough to pay for them altogether.
These were the feelings unix ersall and unequivocally expressed
by the slaves xwheice\er the topic of apprenticeship was ventured
upon either by their Masters or the Governor and it was
consequently thought wise to provide some mode of convincing
them of their errors more lorceable than mere explanation
and reasoning and four companies of ;he local Militia were
ordered to hold themselves in readiness to commence permanent
duty. The morning of the 1st of August had scarcely dawned
when the appr]entic'e were found moving into town in numerous
groups and gangs w\\nding their wav to Government House
and long before His Excellency the Gox ernor arrived in town
the Court Yard and surrounding neighbourhood was peopled
by the happy and fr'ee to the number of about four hundred
-who had come to inform His Excellency that they had resolved
to strike work. His Excellency first and afterwards Captains
Hay and McKenzie (Special Justices who had just arrived
from England) explained to them their new condition the
obedience still due by them to their former Masters and the
penalty of disobedience and particularly that which they
incurred by the riotous proceedings they were adopting;
they were not only utterly disregarded but grossly insulted
and openly set at defiance; explanation was drowned by
vociferation ; persuasion was attributed to fear and was
treated with disdain while threats met with contempt. The
mob would listen to none and became more turbulent
and insolent cache) moment. The Militia were requested
to muster and in a space of time scarcely credible
the whole of the Town Corps were under arms and
in a force and state of appointment gratifying to every man
who beheld them. We are sorry that we cannot speak in
the same terms of the Regular Garrison ; we were informed
and we believe it to be strictly true that when Lieutenant
Colonel Hardy was requested by the Governor to bring an
extra Company of the I9gth Regiment into Town he exhibited
a reluctance almost insuperable although well aware of the










anxiety which pervaded every class of the community to
obtain this protection ; making excuses almost too ridiculous
to repeat; such as the want of accommodation in the Main
Guard and the heat of the sun ; ultimately however the Guard
was increased but not without the most ample apologies from
Colonel Hardy to his men for exposing them during twelve
hours to the hardship of sleeping without bedsteads and to
the inclemency of the weather with no other protection than
that to be afforded by quarters clean, spacious and dry with
boarded floor and fire proof roof. You may perhaps fully
account for his reluctance to bring down another full Company
of his men by the confidence which he expressed in a note
to His Excellency the Governor that himself and ten men
would be quite sufficient protection for the Town. We have
heard that the gallant Colonel when in India fought a Bengal
tiger with no other weapon than a bottle of brandy and beat
him off, but as none of the inhabitants of Port-of-Spain
were witnesses of his prowess on that day they could not
on this occasion repose such unbounded confidence in the
Colonel's invincibility. The Negroes continued to swarm the
Government House until a late hour in the evening without
exhibiting the least inclination to return to the Estates to
which they were attached and the Governor upon taking
his departure for his residence was assailed with every kind
of abuse that appai ( nt impunity could I...- 1. The accounts
received from the districts in the neighbourhood of Port-of-
Spain represented that the Estates gangs had ceased work
almost without exception, but not a single instance of violence
was heard of. For the further protection of the Town during
the night pickets and patrols of the Militia Cavalry, Artillery
and Infantry were posted round the Town and gentlemen
totally unaccustomed to and quite unprepared for active
military service submitted without murmuring to quartering
in temporary Guard Rooms neither dry nor spacious without
even the accommodation of barrack furniture and after
being the whole day under arms. After dark the Negroes
dispersed. Saturday produced a repetition of the scenes of
Friday with however a visible increase of insolence in the
behaviour of the Negroes ; The muster around Government
House continued and His Excellency again attempted to
persuade them to return to their work but his efforts were
fruitless ; they first laughed at and then hooted him and
upon His Excellency proceeding to visit the various Picket
Guards the mob followed him quite round the Town with
the same outrageous conduct and the inhabitants began to be
seriously alarmed for the result of the day ; notwithstanding
things were in this state Colonel Hardy withdrew the extra
guard upon some paltry excuse and so little did he value the
safety or good opinion of the Colony that in the afternoon









when the rioters exhibited their greatest strength his men were
seen parading Port-of-Spain upon liberty in the very face of
the Militia who had again been the whole day upon duty
many of them having also been out the previous day and night.
The Magistrates pro(ceded to sit for the trial of the offenders
and seventeent of the most prominent ringleaders were tried
and condemned to stripes and hard labor according to their
various deserts; at live o'clock these men were conducted
to the Jail under an escort of Cavalry and it was hoped that
the apprentices tould be thus convinced that punishment
awaited them and would disperse but it only excited them
and part of the mob followed the escort to the Jail encouraging
the prisoners not to mind their punishment and avowing their
own determination to submit not only to punishment but to
death itself rather than return to work. Captain Hay then
read from the platfo1im of governmentt House the Clause
in the Royal Order in Council declaring the assemblage of
three or more apprentices to be a riot if continued for ten
minutes after notice to disperse and the display of a flag.
It was read by him in both French and English displaying the
King's (olours belonging to the Loyal Battalion M.F. Not
the slightest effect was produced and at the end of twenty
minutes the order was given to the Cavalry and two of tile
Picket Guards of Infantry (which had been recalled from
their out-posts' tt( clear the streets wLhich was directly effected
and withlitul an- accident. The change was made under
lie imnundiatc supcricnendnce of the Special Magistrates
who finding all oilier efforts to disperse the mob unavailing
sanctioned at thi last hour the introduction of military force
thus tar and personally headed the charge. The mob fled
and separated bit the individuals principally women collected
in little knots and still resolutely expressed their determination
not to submit.
During the whole day parties of apprentices had been
coming into town but not a tenth part of those reported
absent from he e states were to be discovered. It was
consequently supposed that they wxerc collecting at some
,pot not yet kinowni with w ile \1iw to coming down in a body
and tlh inhabitants generally ldemandet d that martial law
should be proclaimed. During this and the precious day
the Goctinor liad been almost continually in Council but no
result of their deliberation had been exhibited nor a single
step taken by them for the immediate suppression of the
riots although they were features in the bearing of the rioters
not to be mistaken and sufficiently marked to convince any
man having a grain of sense that a conspiracy existed
amongst tlic agricultural population I oth widely extended
and well conccrtcd. From whatever quarter the gangs of









apprentices came not one cutlass or even beau sticks was
to be seen amongst them, not a single individual was intoxicated
nor was one single act of cither personal violence or robbery
heard of; they had been instructed and well trained in the
most effectual mode of embarrassing a Government especially
one so weak and irresolute as the Governmelt of this Colony
has shown itself. Like the Unionists they had been taught
the power of passive resistance.
It is the first occasion which has yet offered itself for trying
the energies of our Council amnd we take the liberty of informing
the members of it that the whole Town has declared it to be
an incapable and useless body ; all confidence is gone and
although there are members at the Board both able and willing
to meet the prIesent (mntrgecul y yet their mos t determined
struggles to introduce measures sufficiently rigorouss to meet
the demands of the time Iha\e been rendered nugatory on the
one hand by self interests and party policy backed by rank,
and incapacity; on the other by sheer malevolence and
personal cowardice supported by weakness and indecision.
Those among them who have deserved it are known and have
received the warmest gratitude of the public for their unremitted
although fruitless efforts at this crisis and were it not for them
we are thoroughly convinced that the condition now reigning
there would have far exceeded present limits. Sunday
presented a diifercnt scene. Not a country apprentice was to
be found in the streets but the accounts from the country were
all unsatisfactory. Two Councils were held to determine
upon the propriety of declaring martial law for which a
requisition had been presented to the Board signed by all
the Special Magistrates most of the public officers and
influential men and numbers of all other classes of the
community. Like their other deliberations these ended in
rejecting the only measure at all available without being
able to substitute any other in its place. Monday morning
brought a return of the mob whilst our Guard houses were
filled with prisoners stopped during the preceding night.
Several of the Special Magistrates took their seats and about
60 prisoners w erc convicted ; 33 of whom were condemned
to be publicly flogged and to terms of imprisonment and hard
labour. The Militia is still under arms and Colonel Hardy
is preparing and (lioom the fact of eight cart loads of baggage
having passed our Guard) is we presume nearly ready to send
in again the extra Company.
Tuesday 5th Aug., 8 p.m.-Tlhe order Guard turn out "
interrupted lucubrations and we now resume our pen to
detail the proceedings of to-day. The Prisoners condemned
yesterday underwent their punishment this nornling ; 19 in
the Royal Goal and 33 in the Marine Square the Town Corps









of Militia being present under arms. But few of the prisoners
expressed contrition or even asked for pardon and afterwards
although the mob around Government House was not near
so dense still its parts were to be observed scattered about
the neighbourhood. We hope but cannot say we confidently
expect that the example may restore tranquillity ; half the
effect of the punishment was thrown away by not having
been inflicted at any earlier period. We are happy to say
that the account from Naparima and the populous quarters
adjoining are hoNwever most favourable which is universally
attributed to the energy displayed by Captain Burns of the
Igth Regiment (wvho is stationed theic in command of the
Militia and Regular troops and who has also been appointed
Special Justice for that neighbourhood) and by the other
Special Magistrates ; and we trust that our next number
will announce that tranquillity has been restored.
We cannot speak too highly of the readiness and steadiness
and the good-will with which without a moment's warning
the Militia Forc 's went upon and maintained Garrison duty
night and day; the only expression of dissatisfaction that
escaped them \as at Colonel Hardy's not bringing out the
troops under his command when requested to do so and
when he saw the Militi: upon active duty. We hope that he
will immediately send in a requisition for feather beds and
parasols so that neither the heat of the weather nor a hard
floor may hereafter deprive us of their services should they
be required.




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