THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF TRINIDAD
Publication No. 318.
The Governor of Barbados to the Lords Commissioners of Trade and
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.
April 16th, 1749.
In my dispatches of February gth (which I sent home
express) I had the honour to inform Your Lordships what
usurpations the French nave of late years been making in the
adjacent Islands and particularly of tneir bold attempt to
seize and possess themselves of His Majesty's Island of Tobago.
I transmitted to Your Lordships by the same occasion the
French Governor's proclamation asserting the French King's
right to that Island together with a copy of a humble address
from the Legislative House to His Majesty's sacred Majesty
on this interesting occasion.
I have not as yet had the honour of receiving any of
Your Lordships' commands upon this subject and am without
any letter since Your Lordships' of August 3oth.
However I have thought it my duty not to neglect any
occasion of supplying Your Lordships regularly with the best
information I have been able to procure and for this purpose
I made immediate application to Commodore Holbourne
upon his arrival here, to dispatch a ship thither in order to
make due observations of all that the French may be doing
and on her return to report the same to me so that, in the
discharge of my duty to Your Lordships, I might forthwith
communicate them to you.
And I have now the honour of transmitting to Your
Lordships a transcript of Captain Salt's letter to me on this
occasion by which Your Lordships will perceive that though
their works go on but slow and the spirit of these new settlers
seems to be in some degree abated, yet they still keep up their
pretensions to this Island and upon the whole there are all
the marks of an infant and rising colony.
I have been in hopes of receiving some particular
instructions from His Grace the Duke of Bedford or from
Your Lordships to scrve as a rule for my conduct on this
occasion and I still hope that Your Lordships will think it
necessary to instruct me more fully.
I have nothing so much at heart as pursuing the interest
of His Majesty's service rightly and would not wish to be left
too much at large in a point of this consequence and in the
present conjuncture, left without a thread from Your Lordships
to guide me, I may unhappily err in some point of duty and
so fail of receiving that approbation from Your Lordships
which will ever contribute so much to the satisfaction and
honour of, My Lords,
Your Lordships' most obedient and most humble servant,
Captain Salt to the Governor of Barbados.
April 15lh, 1749.
I have the honour of acquainting Your Excellency that on
the 4th inst. I fell in with the southernmost part ofthe Island
of Tobago and as I ran close ashore observed several Indian
huts in Little Hog Bay and in Hollander's Bay saw a house
and plantation with two Indian huts by the waterside.
At half past two o'clock I anchored in Rockly Bay and
seeing a French flag flying ashore I hoisted my boat out and
went towards it and was very civilly received at my landing
by a guard of six men and a sergeant who led the way to the
Commandant, Monsieur Hurot, who behaved to me with
all possible respect.
After some conference with him, I made the following
observations, viz. ; that they had erected a battery on rising
ground near the waterside on which were four guns, 6 pounders,
mounted and behind was a long slight building containing
apartments for the Commandant and three other officers with
a guard room, about a musket shot to the northward, there
was a platform for three more guns almost finished ; that at
the greatest computation there did not appear to be above 40
white persons at this place, officers and soldiers included, though
they told me there were many more at a place not far distant,
I could neither see any such place nor do I really believe
there were any more thereabouts. They say there is arrived
from Martinico 80 Indians and that there were 4o on the
Island before. I saw a good many of them at this place.
They said that they had some artificers from Martinico
landed at Man of War Bay whom they expected every day
to assist in building houses and that there had been a man of
war there a fortnight ago and they expected another every day.
Being able to gain no further intelligent e here I went on
board and at five in the evening, weighed and turned out of
the bay. On the morning of the 5th I was abreast of La Guira
where Monsieur Grandpere formerly lived. I sent an officer on
shore who soon returned and told me that Grandpere and his
family had left their habitation and there was none to be seen.
On this I bore away for Sandy Point Bay where I anchored
and sent my boat ashore with the Lieutenant. They found
here only 6 men who were employed in turtling.
On the 6th I sent the Lieutenant into Petit Collander
(Li!tle Courland Bay) ; he saw only one house inhabited by
6 turtlers. I likewise looked into Grand Collander (Great
Courland Bay) where I found two small sloops from Martinico
with provisions for the inhabitants and are to carryback timber
and turtles. There is in this place about 30 white people who
are clearing the land for sundry plantations and say that it is
to be fortified soon.
On the 8th I anchored in Man of War bay where finding
no inhabitants I went in the pinnace hoping to get round the
land to Little Hog Bay before mentioned and inform myself
if any French were settled among the Indians there but the
current running too strong and a head sea obliged me to
return on board without effe ting my design.
Being fully satisfied that the above account is nearly if not
the real state of the Island, I made the best of my way to
I am, Your Excellency's
Most obedient and most humble servant,