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Landscapes and plantations on Tobago

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Title:
Landscapes and plantations on Tobago a regional perspective
Creator:
Clement, Christopher Ohm, 1960-
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
xx, 274 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Bricks ( jstor )
Estate planning ( jstor )
Factories ( jstor )
Houses ( jstor )
Parishes ( jstor )
Plantations ( jstor )
Rivers ( jstor )
Slavery ( jstor )
Sugars ( jstor )
Table sugars ( jstor )
Plantations -- Tobago ( lcsh )
Sugar trade -- Tobago ( lcsh )
City of St. Augustine ( local )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Thesis:
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1995.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 259-272).
General Note:
Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Christopher Ohm Clement.

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University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright [name of dissertation author]. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
021984620 ( ALEPH )
AKP2057 ( NOTIS )
33472887 ( OCLC )

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LANDSCAPES AND PLANTATIONS ON TOBAGO:
A REGIONAL PERSPECTIVE















BY


CHRISTOPHER OHM CLEMENT


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY




UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


1995
















Copyright 1995

by

Christopher Ohm Clement
















"A people without a knowledge of their past
history, origin and culture is like a tree without
roots."
Marcus Garvey














ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


Any research project is a cooperative effort involving

not only the researcher, but a host of others. Peter R.

Schmidt served as my committee chair. He reined me in when

I got overly enthusiastic, and provided a sounding board for

my ideas. Peter's principal contribution, however, was his

faith that I would do my part professionally. In addition,

his knowledge of African cultures, both past and present,

made me aware of potential avenues for understanding slave

life on Tobago.

I have been privileged to be associated with Michael E.

Moseley since 1985, when he rescued me from graduate apathy

by agreeing to oversee my master's research. Mike remains

on my committee, and has continued to be both a mentor and

friend during the course of this dissertation. Though I am

no longer directly associated with his Peruvian research,

the direction I have taken on Tobago is largely a result of

Mike's influence. In addition, the technical and analytical

skills I needed to complete the St. David's Archaeological

Survey were built on skills developed under his direction.

Kathleen A. Deagan and William F. Keegan are the

remaining two anthropologists on my committee. Between the

two of them, I had access to a great deal of knowledge about

iv









Caribbean history and prehistory. In addition, Kathy's

commitment to the archaeological record and her insistence

that excavation should only be undertaken in the absence of

other data sources led to a largely survey methodology,

while Bill's positivist epistemology within an economic

framework contributed a great deal to the theoretical

underpinnings of my research.

The final member of my committee, Ralph B. Johnson,

provided a non-anthropological viewpoint, encouraging me to

present my research in a way that could be understood by a

less specialized audience.

Thomas Hales Eubanks, along with Mike Moseley, is the

codirector of the Tobago Archaeological Program. He

developed much of the infrastructural support and contacts

on Tobago that I later tapped into, and has been most

responsible for the continuing ability of Program

researchers to work on Tobago. My research would not have

been possible without the groundwork that he laid. In

addition, he travelled to Tobago on several occasions to

visit me in the field. His timely arrivals at critical

junctures of the fieldwork provided both moral support and

invaluable expertise. Above all, however, Tom introduced me

to Tobago.

David L. Niddrie, though he did not know me, spent

several hours discussing my research, and went so far as to

lend me his field notes from research he undertook on Tobago









in the late 1950s. His in depth knowledge of Tobagonian

land-use practices provided a base-line for much of my

analysis.

Funding for this research came from two sources. The

preliminary study was funded by a research grant from the

Amoco Foundation, Inc., sponsored by Amoco Trinidad Ltd.,

while the bulk of the research was performed under a

National Science Foundation dissertation improvement grant.

Finally, the majority of the excavation at the Courland

estate village was supported by a second Amoco grant. These

were the second and third Amoco grants Program researchers

have received. We greatly value their continued support of

our efforts on Tobago.

Several friends on Tobago were instrumental in this

research, though in less tangible ways. To them I owe a

debt of friendship. George Stanley Beard, and his wife,

Shirley, provided a home and family for much of my stay on

Tobago. Their unfailing good cheer, their willingness to

include me in their lives, and their friendship made

research in a foreign country for extended periods a joy.

Ricarda Solomon also provided a home on Tobago for part of

my stay. In addition, her enthusiasm for my work was

infectious, keeping my own enthusiasm high. She also

introduced me to the Tobago Tropical Riders, who supplied

many hours of diversion on rides throughout the island.









Dexter Harris, of Signal Hill, served as my principal

assistant throughout most of the research. His enthusiasm

was also infectious, as was his willingness to work. Above

all, however, his humor and his ability to put up with my

out-of-place-on-Tobago American impatience is greatly

appreciated. Leon Duncan and James Trim both volunteered

their time during portions of the fieldwork. James showed

me several sites in a short period of time, sites that would

otherwise have taken me weeks to locate. Leon helped

excavate test pits at Les Coteaux Estate, rapidly

accelerating that phase of research.

Excavations at Courland Estate were undertaken with the

help of Dennison Herbert, Vivien Lincoln, Maxson Ramsey,

Dave Webster, Emile Williams, and Roland Williams, all of

Black Rock. Though none had previous experience in

archaeological fieldwork, all learned quickly. Their

constant high spirits more than offset the tedium of

archaeological excavation. Surveying equipment used during

those excavations, as well as the services of a trained

surveyor, were provided through the Tobago House of

Assembly, who thus continued their long-term support of the

Tobago Archaeological Program. Permission to work at the

Courland estate village was granted by Neal and Massey

Corporation, Trinidad. The coarse earthenware ceramics from

the site were analyzed by Jim Peterson.


vii









David Phillips shared his extensive knowledge of local
history and his valuable collection of historic maps and

documents. His library on general Caribbean history is

unequalled on the island, and provided me with reference

materials during my stay on the island. Leo Cooper, Richard

Grant, Clarence Thomas, Mrs. Quashie, Lloyd Joseph, Mr.

Spence, Archie Halifax, and Conrad Price served as local

informants, answering my questions and showing me--or giving

me directions to--sites. Though this list is not

exhaustive, it is indicative of the unfailing willingness of

Tobagonians to help strangers. Throughout my stay on

Tobago, I was never at a loss for someone to talk to.

Though I was only able to visit Trinidad on two

occasions, the help I received there equalled that of

Tobagonians. Keith Laurence, Bridget Brereton, and Selwyn

Carrington, of the University of the West Indies, St.

Augustine, History Department, all discussed various aspects

of my research with me, while Dr. Laurence was instrumental

in getting me access to the William Young manuscripts at the

UWI library. Claire Broadbridge, Director of the National

Museum of Trinidad and Tobago, visited my research sites and

provided encouragement. She also offered housing on

Trinidad should I need it.

Final production of this dissertation has been a long

process, aided along the way by many people. Bryan Page

kindly abandoned his office in the University of Miami


viii









Anthropology Department so that I would have a place to

write, while his colleagues, Ann Brittain, Robert

Halberstein, Edward LiPuma and Linda Taylor have all

provided moral support and occasional guidance. Natasha

Elmslie had an unfailingly sympathetic ear and cheerful

words of encouragement. The Departments of Architectural

Engineering and Geography, University of Miami, allowed me

to use their computers to produce the graphics included in

this dissertation, as did the University of Florida

Department of Surveying and Mapping and the University of

South Carolina Department of Civil Engineering.

While many fellow students at the University of Florida

were important in my graduate career, only four will be

mentioned here. Diego Hay read my first draft and helped me

better understand the economic history of the Caribbean.

Greg Smith's editorial comments on various of my writings,

including the proposal that received the majority of my.

dissertation funding, greatly strengthened my work. Nina

Borremans, because she shared my office for so long,

actively participated in the genesis of many of my ideas

during the earliest stages of my research. Anne Stokes, by

believing in my professional capabilities, has provided

confidence-building support for many years. More

importantly, all are good friends.

Lastly, this dissertation would not have been possible

without the support of those closest to me. My wife,









Maureen E. Vicaria-Clement, put up with a more than six

month separation during our first year of marriage so that I

could conduct fieldwork, and accommodated my long working

hours since I returned to the US. In addition, she

cheerfully worked full-time to support me while I wrote,

while simultaneously pursuing her own graduate career. My

parents, Mug and Jackie Clement, supported me throughout

graduate school. They recognize the value of education, and

never demurred when I was forced to rely on them for moral

or financial support. I hope I can show the same wisdom and

patience to my children that my parents have shown to me.















PREFACE


The government of the Caribbean island of Tobago has

recently embarked on an ambitious plan to develop the island

for tourism. In doing so they enter into direct competition

with more established Caribbean destinations. Although the

present development plan focuses primarily on the "sun and

fun" vacationers that typify Caribbean tourism, the

government recognizes that due to the relatively undeveloped

status of the island the natural environment offers an

additional selling point.

The underdevelopment of Tobago has resulted in the

preservation of a broad variety of archaeological sites on

the island. Most have yet to be systematically explored.

In recognition of the potential value these cultural

resources have for tourism development, the Tobago

Archaeological Program, a joint effort of the Tobago House

of Assembly and the University of Florida Institute of

Archaeology and Paleoenvironmental Studies, was initiated to

conduct archaeological research on Tobago in 1986. The

focus of the Tobago Archaeological Program to date has been

on the remains of the many sugar estates on the island. The

survey results reported here continue that effort. Future









research will focus on additional site types, both

prehistoric and historic.

Sugar estates have been the focus of the Tobago

Archaeological research program because they are the most

visible extant material evidence of Tobago's past. All date

primarily from the mid-eighteenth to the mid-nineteenth

century, and record the colonization of Tobago by the

British in the 1760s, her rise to prominence as the foremost

sugar-producing Caribbean island at the turn of the

nineteenth century, and her gradual fall into obscurity with

the eventual collapse of the Caribbean sugar industry.

Although the island was occupied by the French on two

occasions after British colonization in 1763, for the most

part it remained in British hands. In 1898 it was made a

ward of the neighboring and much larger island of Trinidad,

the two becoming an independent republic in 1962.


xii















TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS .......................................... iv

PREFACE..... .... ..... ...................... .............. xi

LIST OF TABLES............................... .............xvi

LIST OF FIGURES.........................................xviii

ABSTRACT ...................... .............. .............. xix

CHAPTER 1. THE SAINT DAVID'S PARISH ARCHAEOLOGICAL
SURVEY......................... .... .................. 1

Research Goals and Significance...................... 1
Methods ............................................... 5
Organization .............................................6

CHAPTER 2. PHYSICAL ASPECTS OF TOBAGO.....................8

Physical Description ................................ 8
Geomorphology............................ ............10
Topography and Hydrology............................ 14
Climatic Conditions. ................ ..... .18
Epidemiology .............................. ...... 19
Modern Settlement...............................20

CHAPTER 3. FACTORS EFFECTING EARLY COLONIZATION
EFFORTS..............................................24

Early History.........................................24
Sugar ................................................25
Slavery............................................. .32
The Settlement of Tobago............................35
Initial Settlement................................... 38

CHAPTER 4. SUCCESSFUL COLONIZATION..........................40

Introduction.........................................40
Land Sales...................................................41
The Tobago Economy ..................................49
1763-1781................................... 51
1781-1793.. ................................... 56
1794-1800....................... ........... ....63


xiii









CHAPTER 5. DECLINING FORTUNES .............................67

1800-1807 ......................................72
Abolition and Amelioration ..................... 75
Apprenticeship ................................. 81
Emancipation.. .................................. 83
Metayage............ ........ ....... ..........87
Encumbered Estates............................ 93

CHAPTER 6. BACKGROUND TO ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESEARCH..........95

Research Design......................... ........... .96
The Study Area ..................................... 97
Methods......... ................. ........ ......... 99
Summary of Estate Features......................102
Crushing Mills and Power Sources...............103
The Sugar Works............................... 107
Estate Houses.................................114
Estate Villages...............................115
Summary... ... ........ .. .. .... ......... ..9.......... .. 117

CHAPTER 7. RESULTS OF REGIONAL SURVEY...................119

Site Descriptions................................121
Adventure Estate ............................. 121
Amity Hope Estate......... ..................... 132
Arnos Vale Estate .............................134
Castara Downs Estate........................... 137
Courland Estate................. ...............138
Craig Hall Estate.............................138
Culloden Estate.................... ............139
Dunvegan and Providence Estates................141
Franklyn's Estate...........................144
Golden Lane Estate...........*..................145
Highlands Estate................. ..............147
Indian Walk Estate..............................148
King Peter's Estate............................. 150
Les Coteaux Estate..............................151
Lower Quarter Estate...........................151
Mary's Hill Estate ...........................153
Mt. Dillon Estate .............................155
Orange Hill Estate............................. 156
Providence Estate.............................. 156
Runnemede Estate............................. 156
Whim Estate........................ ..... ..... 159
Woodlands Estate............. .................. 161
Additional Structures.........................162
Summary of Regional Survey.........................164


xiv









CHAPTER 8. RESULTS OF INTENSIVE SURVEY.................166

Courland Estate...................................... 166
Previous Research ............................ 169
Additional Research............................. ..173
Area 1................................ ........175
Area 2 .................. ....................... 180
Area 2 Artifacts.............................187
Area 3.........................................194
Les Coteaux Estate ........... .... ............... 194
Orange Hill Estate..................................207
Summary of Intensive Survey........................ 212

CHAPTER 9. A REGIONAL PERSPECTIVE......................217

Constraints to Production and Layout................217
A Model Estate ...................................... 223
The Estate House................................225
The Estate Village............................231
A Dynamic Perspective ................................ 232
Slave Life....................... .......... ....... 236
Free Blacks and Indigenous Inhabitants.............248
Free Laborers ..................................... 250
Conclusion.............................. .... ..........254

REFERENCES CITED.........................................259

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ....................................273















LIST OF TABLES


Table 2-1. Average rainfall in Tobago....................19

Table 4-1. Land sales on Tobago...........................42

Table 4-2. Distribution of land grants ....................43

Table 4-3. Per acre cost of land grants by parish.........47

Table 4-4. Per acre cost of land grants, 1765-1771........47

Table 4-5. Intended disposition of lands, 1765............48

Table 4-6. Cleared lands, 1771-1775......................49

Table 4-7. Cleared lands by parish......................49

Table 4-8. Sugar mills, 1771-1775........................50

Table 4-9. Sugar exports, 1770-1780.......................52

Table 4-10. Cotton exports, 1794-1809......................53

Table 4-11. Island population, 1770-1780..................54

Table 4-12. Island population by parish, 1770-1780........55

Table 4-13. Population statistics, 1780....................57

Table 4-14. Sugar and cotton production, 1785-1789........58

Table 4-15. Estates producing sugar, cotton and indigo
by parish, 1786....................................... 60

Table 4-16. Crop distribution by parish, 1786.............60

Table 4-17. Sugar mills, 1786.............................61

Table 4-18. Island population by parish, 1786.............62

Table 4-19. Population densities and ratios, 1786.........62

Table 4-20. Volume of exports, 1794-1800.................64


xvi









Table 4-21. Income of an idealized estate producing 150
Hhds. (99 tons) of sugar with 200 slaves, 1796-
1798.... .... ....... .................. ..........65

Table 5-1. Income of an idealized estate producing 150
Hhds. (99 tons) of sugar with 200 slaves, 1805-
1807...................... ..... .. .... .......... ..... 68

Table 5-2. Sugar estates in cultivation for various
years ................................................69

Table 5-3. Sugar exports, 1800-1809.....................75

Table 5-4. Change in slave population, 1808-1811...........78

Table 5-5. Sugar exports, 1814-1869, 1872-1888 and 1890-
1891............................... .......... ......... 79

Table 5-6. Per diem pay scale for apprentice labor,
1836............................ ......... ............ 82

Table 5-7. Change in sugar production during first year
of apprenticeship, St. Paul's Parish.................84

Table 7-1. Summary of estate components identified
during the regional survey.......................... 123

Table 7-2. Estate and lot ownership for various years....124

Table 7-3. Summary of St. David's Estates, 1811..........128


xvii















LIST OF FIGURES


Figure 1-1. Tobago Parishes.............................. 2

Figure 2-1. Physical features.............................9

Figure 2-2. Principle geologic structures................11

Figure 2-3. Topographic and hydrologic regimes.............15

Figure 2-4. Principle roads and towns.....................21

Figure 6-1. Providence Sugar Factory, ca. 1830...........109

Figure 7-1. St. David's Parish Estates...................122

Figure 7-2. St. David's Parish Lots......................129

Figure 8-1. Courland Estate.............................. 167

Figure 8-2. Courland Sugar Factory........................171

Figure 8-3. Courland Estate Village and Old Estate
House Complex ............... .................... 176

Figure 8-4. Courland Old Estate House.....................178

Figure 8-5. Courland Estate Village Structures A and B...184

Figure 8-6. Les Coteaux Estate...........................195

Figure 8-7. Les Coteaux Sugar Factory Complex............ 198

Figure 8-8. Les Coteaux Estate House....................201

Figure 8-9. Orange Hill Estate...........................208

Figure 8-10. Orange Hill Estate House.....................213


xviii















Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

LANDSCAPES AND PLANTATIONS ON TOBAGO:
A REGIONAL PERSPECTIVE

By

Christopher Ohm Clement

May, 1995




Chair: Peter R. Schmidt
Major Department: Anthropology



Final colonization of Tobago occurred in 1763 when the

island was ceded to Great Britain by the Treaty of Paris.

Almost immediately, efforts were made to put the land into

sugar production. The survey reported here focused on

locating all extant remains associated with sugar estates in

St. David's Parish, covering an area of approximately 8720

acres (13.6 square miles). These include primarily sugar

factories where muscovado sugar, molasses and rum were

produced, estate houses where the estate owner lived, and

estate villages where the labor used on the estate was

housed. A variety of ancillary structures may also be

present on a given sugar estate.


xix









The survey located remains associated with 20 of the 22

sugar estates extant in St. David's Parish in 1811. These

included 22 sugar factories, 15 estate houses and three

estate villages. Based on these results, a model of

plantation layout was formulated. The principal factor

affecting layout is the location of the sugar factory.

Factories are sited with primary reference to a water source

for rum production and access to transport. Estate houses

are located in peripheral positions overlooking factory

locations. Secondary factors affecting estate house

location appear to be visibility and view, discussed with

reference to internal functions enhancing estate operation,

and external functions enhancing the status of the planter.

The concept of a "premier estate" that produces goods for

sale to other estates is introduced, and preliminary

archaeological and historical criteria by which such estates

can be defined are presented.

Limited subsurface survey and excavation was undertaken

in one estate village. This program was intended to reveal

the internal layout within the village, but met with only

limited success. Sufficient material was recovered,

however, to give a preliminary view of slave life on Tobago,

discussed with reference to the economic history of the

island and with reference to first-hand observations

presented in contemporary, often unpublished, sources.














CHAPTER 1
THE SAINT DAVID'S PARISH ARCHAEOLOGICAL SURVEY


The archaeological survey reported here examines the

settlement pattern of sugar estates within St. David's

Parish, one of seven parishes that make up the Caribbean

island of Tobago (Figure 1-1). These parishes were defined

by survey between 1763 and 1765 (Niddrie 1961) after the

island, whose ownership had been in dispute throughout the

265 years since its discovery by Columbus in 1498 (Archibald

1987:6), was finally ceded to the British by the Treaty of

Paris in 1763 (Ragatz 1963). St. David's Parish covered an

area of 8720 acres (approximately 13.6 square miles) as

originally surveyed (Jefferys 1778). In 1811 22 sugar

estates were in operation within the parish (Young 1812a).



Research Goals and Significance

The central research question addressed by the St.

David's Archaeological Survey is: how did the major

cultural groups occupying Tobago during the period of

British colonial occupation view and utilize the available

landscape? Primarily, these groups consisted of European

planters and African slaves. Each group had different and

largely separate goals and needs rising from their disparate














cultural backgrounds and their dissimilar roles within the

plantation production system. Both groups met these goals

and needs by accessing the available natural environment

using familiar, culturally-derived techniques appropriate to

their African and European backgrounds.

The primary goal of the Saint David's Survey was to

generate a model to account for the patterned arrangement of

sugar estates on Tobago with specific focus on the location

and layout of the structures present on those estates.1

Higman (1988) has presented a model of plantation layout

which forms the departure point for this dissertation. His

research is derived from a collection of 1000 eighteenth and

nineteenth century estate plans in the National Library of

Jamaica showing the internal structure of the mapped

properties. Higman's documentary sources were created

primarily to show estate boundaries and the locations of

buildings and activity areas relative to each other. This

focus on the cultural environment built by the Jamaican

planters was at the expense of detail relating to the

natural environment.2 Higman's analysis is therefore


1 These include primarily estate houses, sugar
factories and estate villages. A variety of other
structures may also be present on an estate.
2 Natural features are incorporated into the Jamaican
plans only when they have direct relevance to the economic
value of the estate. Thus, rivers that supply water to
drive the water wheel are commonly represented while
alternative water sources that may have other uses are
omitted.










limited both by the difficulties early cartographers had

portraying three-dimensional space in a two-dimensional

medium before the advent of contour lines and by the

omission of many natural environmental features. As a

result, his model is of limited utility to anthropologists.

The internal patterning of estates, both within and

between structures and areas, reflects constraints imposed

by the natural environment. Internal patterning is also

affected by the culturally derived preferences of the

planters who built the estates. Without a clear

understanding of the natural constraints to estate layout

cultural preferences are masked by unclear variation

resulting from natural conditions. To understand and

explain cultural preferences a model that better

incorporates environmental constraints is necessary.

This dissertation presents a model of plantation layout

that initially focuses on the natural environment. With

constraints to layout resulting from environmental factors

such as local topography and hydrology understood, it

becomes possible to profitably examine the choices made by

the planters in establishing a particular layout. These

choices reflect both the economic goal of sugar production,

that of amassing funds, and culturally dictated preferences

for one location or layout over another. These include

primarily the selection of estate lands with minimal

impediments to transport and construction of the built











environment to reflect their British heritage and cultural

affiliation.



Methods

The individual methods adopted here are standard

practice for prehistoric and historical archaeologists. As

integrated elements in an overall research design these

methods have not been applied by plantation archaeologists.

The specific methods included:

1--A documents search of primary and secondary
sources to identify sites and their approximate
locations, and to create a historical context
within which the research results could be
understood.3

2--A regional surface survey to physically locate
the material remains of identified sites and the
local environmental contexts within which they
occur. Based on this survey, broad patterns of
site layout are identified and an initial model
formulated.

3--Intensive surface survey at selected sites to
reveal specific variation not accounted for by the
initial model.

4--Limited excavation at an estate village to
recover archaeological data that was not otherwise
available relating to the village's internal
structure.





3 In the course of the documents search data were
encountered which did not have direct relevance to the
research problems addressed. Where these data are not
otherwise available in the published literature or appear in
obscure or rare books they are included in this
dissertation, primarily in tabular format, to increase their
accessibility.











Organization

The structure of this dissertation reflects the methods

employed. The first part, Chapters 2 through 5, is

primarily derived from the documents search. It presents

the historical and environmental context within which the

settlement of Tobago occurred. Chapter 2 describes the

island's physical features, features which constrained

settlement in some areas while encouraging settlement in

others. Chapter 3 addresses the question of why, within the

context of a rapidly developing Caribbean economy, permanent

settlement did not occur on Tobago until the mid-eighteenth

century. Chapters 4 and 5 present an economic history of

Tobago. While several good, book length economic histories

of the Caribbean have been published (e.g. Curtin 1990;

Green 1976; Knight 1978; Ragatz 1963; Williams 1970) only

one focuses specifically on Tobago (Nardin 1969). As it is

in French and has only a limited distribution, Chapters 4

and 5 are presented to familiarize the reader with economic

trends that effected Tobago.

The second part of the dissertation, Chapters 6 through

8, is archaeologically oriented. Although it reflects

information encountered in the documents, particularly

spatial information projected graphically, for the most part

Chapters 6 through 8 present the approach to and results of

archaeological research. Chapter 6 discusses the survey

research design, derived from a materialist theoretical











perspective. Chapters 7 and 8 present the data recovered

during the course of archaeological research--Chapter 7 the

results of the regional survey and Chapter 8 the results of

the intensive survey and limited excavation.

In the final chapter, Chapter 9, synchronic and

diachronic models of estate layout are presented. They are

based initially on a functional interpretation of building

location and layout. In turn, instances where enhanced

function does not appear to be a principal goal of the

builders are specifically defined. In these instances more

speculative cognitive or symbolic explanations are

discussed. Though the recovery of material culture from

subsurface contexts was not a primary goal of this research,

a discussion of the artifacts recovered during excavations

at one estate village is presented.















CHAPTER 2
PHYSICAL ASPECTS OF TOBAGO


Physical Description

The Caribbean island of Tobago is situated at latitude

1115' N and longitude 60040' W, the extreme southeastern

point of the Lesser Antillean island chain. Its closest

neighbor is the island of Trinidad, 18 miles to the

southwest, while the island of Grenada lies approximately 80

miles to the northwest.

Tobago is small, covering an area of approximately 116

square miles (Figure 2-1). The island trends from northeast

to southwest, and is approximately 26 miles long by eight

miles wide at its widest point. A typical width, however,

is more on the order of three to five miles. The most

prominent feature of the island is the dorsal main ridge,

which extends about 13 miles southwest from the northeast

end of the island. Roughly 550 to 580 meters in height, the

ridge is not dominated by any single peak. Rather, there

are several peaks over 520 meters in height distributed all

along the ridge-line. The northern and eastern flanks of

the main ridge slope steeply down to the sea, while to the

southeast they are somewhat less steep. To the southwest,

foothills of the main ridge give way to rolling terrain, and
























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eventually to a relatively flat littoral plain at the

island's extreme southwestern tip at Crown Point.

The British colonization of Tobago was undertaken with

the express intention to create an agricultural economy

based on the large-scale production of crops for export to

foreign markets. At the time of settlement it was widely

recognized that sugar was the most lucrative of these crops.

The configuration of early settlement reflects the perceived

suitability of lands for the production and processing of

cane. In the eyes of the would-be planters, the most

important considerations in the choice of plantation lands

were topographic and, secondarily, hydrologic constraints.

The factors effecting island topography and hydrology rest

on the underlying geologic structure of the island (Figure

2-2).



Geomorphology

The most recent geomorphological studies of Tobago

indicate that the island's current position at the

northeastern corner of the South American continental shelf

is serendipitous. Rather than being closely related to the

South American continent, as Trinidad is, it now appears

that the geologic components of Tobago are petrographically

and geochemically distinct from those of Trinidad, despite

their close proximity (Wadge and McDonald 1985), and that

the two islands are separated by a major fault zone



















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(Robertson and Burke 1989; Speed et al. 1989). Instead,

Tobago is the eastern-most member of an oceanic island

archipelago that formed some 120 million years ago.

Subsequently, tectonic movement resulted in a collision

between this archipelago and the South American continental

shelf. This gradual collision proceeded from west to east,

with Tobago being the last island involved. By a complex

process, then, it, along with the islands of the Dutch

Antilles and several of the Venezuelan possessions, was

accreted to the continental shelf by tectonic drift some 65-

70 million years ago (Snoke et al. 1990b).

While the relationship between Tobago and the rest of

the Lesser Antilles to the north is more uncertain, Tobago

appears to be geomorphologically distinct from the more

northerly members of the island chain. Where the majority

of the Lesser Antillean islands are characterized by

features of recent or current volcanic activity and a

volcanic core surrounded by effluvial skirts sloping gently

to the sea (Niddrie 1961:2), the rocks of Tobago are

primarily a complex intermixture of igneous and metamorphic

origin (Snoke et al. 1990a, 1990b).

The geologic core of Tobago, the basement rocks around

and upon which the island is formed, is composed of three

pre-Cenozoic belts trending east-west and roughly

transecting the island (Snoke et al. 1990b). The oldest of

these belts, the North Coast Schist (NCS), contains rocks of











volcanic origin that were heated, compressed and tilted by

an intrusive group of rocks which had solidified far below

the earth's surface. The NCS forms Tobago's Main Ridge and

the steeply sloping north coast. The plutonic intrusion

caused intensive warping, deformities and fractures in the

NCS, and are the second component of Tobago's three pre-

Cenozoic belts. The plutonic intrusion, together with the

NCS, forms the jagged interior of the island. The intrusion

also uplifted other rocks of volcanic and sedimentary

origin, the Tobago Volcanic Group (TVG), which overlay the

plutonic group. The TVG is the final component of Tobago's

geological underpinnings, and is exposed on the southern

skirts of the island, extending around the southwestern

flanks of the main ridge.

Once Tobago's core had formed, the genesis of a fourth

rock group was initiated by erosion/deposition of existing

rock and by offshore coral growth. The primary component is

coralline limestone, which makes up the coral lowlands that

dominate the southwestern end of the island. The presence

of this formation is indicative of as yet undated tectonic

uplift and/or sea level subsidence (Snoke et al. 1990b).

This may have occurred in two stages, as a terrace is

evident in the coral lowlands at about 20 meters above sea

level (Niddrie 1961:5).











Topography and Hydrology

The four rock groups which form Tobago are

differentially resistant to erosion. In addition, their

resistance to erosion is enhanced or mitigated by their

slope. These factors allow the division of the island into

four topographic and hydrologic regimes (Figure 2-3). As

moisture falls on the island in the form of rain, it forms

rivulets, streams and rivers which carry it to the sea.

Depending on the erosional resistance and slope of the

underlying geological structures, these drainages may be

short and steep or long and gently sloping.

The shortest and steepest drainages exist on the

northern slopes of the main ridge, and run to the Caribbean

Sea. While the NCS which underlies the ridge has a high

erosional resistance, it is steeply sloped. Runoff water is

thus fast moving and creates steep declivities, particularly

in the presence of the localized faulting characteristic of

the NCS. Little southern drifting of the headwaters of

these streams has occurred, an action which would have

lengthened their courses, because at the top of the ridge

the transported water has not yet developed either the speed

or the volume which would allow it to downcut the underlying

structure.

A second topographic and hydrologic regime exists on

the southeastern flanks of the main ridge. Here the

underlying structure consists of the intrusive plutonics and

























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TVG groups. Both erosional resistance and slope are less

acute, resulting in a series of fairly long but deeply

incised drainages. Shelfs of more resistant rock occur at

elevations of about 60 meters above sea level and lower

shelfs cut by wave action when sea level was higher relative

to land surface occur at about 20 and 7.5 meters above sea

level. All cause waterfalls or rapids at these elevations.

In addition to falls and rapids, the rivers and streams of

the southeastern flank are characterized by low-lying,

occasionally broad floodplains as they approach the

southeastern coast. Due to the size of their drainage

basins, all are perennial and subject to frequent and

violent flooding during the rainy season. In contrast,

during the dry months from December to June, the water

courses may not even have sufficient flow to break through

the sand bar barriers erected by wave action at their mouths

(Eubanks 1992:57; Niddrie 1961:4-5). Drainages in this, the

island's southeastern slope, feed and include the Bacolet

River, the East and West Hillsborough Rivers, the

Goldsborough River, the Richmond River, the Argyle River,

and the Louis d'Or River.

The sole member of the third topographic and hydrologic

regime is the Courland River. Arising in the NCS group, the

Courland has managed to break through to the broad, gently

sloping members of the TVG that occupy the area immediately

southwest of the main ridge. While the same shelves that









17

affect the southeastern drainages affect the Courland, the

more gently sloping terrain has resulted in a decreased flow

velocity and a corresponding reduction in river downcutting.

The hills in the Courland drainage area, while still steep,

are thus less high above the river than their counterparts

on the southeastern slope. Decreased slope has also allowed

the river to take on a more meandering aspect than its

counterparts, creating a rolling countryside and reducing

the violence of seasonal flooding (Niddrie 1961:4).

The final topographic and hydrologic regime covers the

coral lowlands at the southwestern extremity of the island.

Almost flat, drainage in this area occurs more by seepage

through the limestone itself, and rather less by surface

runoff. Surface water is scarce during the dry season,

occurring most frequently as springs where underlying TVG

rocks approach the surface. The frequently heavy

precipitation of the rainy season, however, has produced a

system of shallow (ca. 35 ft) valleys throughout the coral

lowlands, providing at least some topographic relief

(Niddrie 1961). The presence of at least two volcanic

"necks" (the more erosionally resistant core of extinct

volcanoes) in the vicinity of the village of Mt. Pleasant

contributes further topographic variety (Eubanks 1992).











Climatic Conditions

The two most important elements of Tobago's weather

patterns affecting cultivation are precipitation and the

velocity and direction of the prevailing winds. As with the

other islands of the Lesser Antilles, Tobago experiences a

very predictable breeze. Blowing on a year-round basis at a

fairly steady 5-12 knots, the breeze is from the northeast

during most of the year. During mid-summer, however,

without losing any velocity it may shift towards the south,

picking up additional moisture, raising humidity and

resulting in at least some rainfall throughout the year

(Niddrie 1961:5-6).

By far the majority of the rainfall, however, is

seasonal. Although the amount of seasonal rain varies

throughout the island (Table 2-1), Tobagonians generally

refer to a wet season running from June to December and a

dry season extending from January to May. Wet season

rainfall usually occurs in the form of heavy convectional

thunder storms of short duration, producing locally violent

winds that last for but a short time. More continuous but

less frequent rains are delivered by frontal systems

accompanying the Intertropical Convergence Zone, and

rainfall of up to one inch per hour has been recorded during

these events. Fortunately for the inhabitants of Tobago,

the island lies to the south of the main hurricane belt.

Although tropical storms and hurricanes do occur, they are









19

rare, and tend to be less destructive than similar storms to

the north. The last major hurricane to impact Tobago was

Hurricane Flora in 1963. Prior to that, one must go all the

way back to 1847 for a storm of similar magnitude, although

smaller storms hit the island in 1780, 1790, 1831, 1891,

1909, 1918, 1928, and 1933 (Eubanks 1992:60-61; Niddrie

1961:5-8).

Table 2-1. Average rainfall in Tobago
Month
Monh Average rainfall (in.)

January 4.8
February 2.8
March 2.3
April 3.7
May 5.6
June 9.2
July 9.6
August 8.8
September 8.9
October 9.1
November 9.4
December 11.4
Total 85.6
After Niddrie 1961:6



Epidemiology

A third consideration for the early planters when

selecting their lands was epidemiological. Tobago's river

valleys tend to be deep, with a corresponding high degree of

humidity, and river and stream mouths are frequently blocked











by wave-borne sand bars in the dry season, creating pools

stagnant water. In both instances, an ideal mosquito

breeding ground is present. Where these features are

coupled with coastal lagoons and mangrove swamps, malarial

and other tropical infections became a real threat. Indeed,

the early planters were highly cognizant of the fact that in

Tobago's tropical climate, death by malaria or other

tropical disease was a very real possibility (Young 1812a).

Although they may not have recognized the disease vector,

they attempted to minimize infection, avoiding high risk

areas by locating in elevated positions where possible.

Settlement pattern reflected these decisions, and in large

part, these patterns persist today (Niddrie 1961:8).


Modern Settlement

Most of Tobago's existing road network has been in

existence since at least the early nineteenth century. The

modern towns and villages, on the other hand, were primarily

founded in the post-emancipation period, after 1838, when

former slaves left the estate villages provided them by

estate owners. Figure 2-4 shows these features.

Today, life on Tobago revolves around the capital town

of Scarborough. The Government is the single largest

employer on the island, and most government offices are

located in the capital. Banks and many small businesses are

located in Scarborough as well. The largest population























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concentration is within the town's environs, while many

other people commute in on a daily basis, using both public

and private transportation.

Though neither compares with Scarborough, two

additional population centers are Roxborough and Plymouth.

Roxborough is located towards the eastern end of the island

on the southeastern coast, and since travel-time to

Scarborough from there is fairly long, it duplicates many of

the services available in the capital. It is likely that it

existed prior to emancipation, at least as a village, though

none of the contemporary maps confirm this.

Plymouth, in contrast, was one of the islands's

earliest permanent settlements (see Chapter 4). Indeed, it

may have been the very first town, as the Dutch settled

nearby as early as 1628 (Boomert et al. 1987:9-10).

Plymouth is located towards the western end of the island,

and is the only major town on the northern coast. Though

travel to and from Scarborough is easier than from

Roxborough, Plymouth too duplicates many of the functions of

Scarborough. Plymouth serves a portion of the burgeoning

tourism industry as well. The luxury tourist hotels are

located nearby, and since at least some tourists do not

bother to rent transport, Plymouth serves as a marketplace

for groceries or other necessary items. Plymouth also

maintains much of the "quaintness" of former times, and many

visitors to the island spend time in the town sightseeing.











Since the development of Crown Point Airport at the

extreme southwestern tip of the island, the area in its

vicinity has been developing rapidly. This area, too,

serves primarily tourists, though of a different kind. The

majority of the island's guest houses--small, inexpensive

hotels offering functional living spaces--are located near

the airport in the villages of Bon Accord and Canaan,

principally in the former. These guest houses attract a

less opulent clientele than the luxury hotels near Plymouth,

and many small businesses have developed to serve them.

Souvenir and grocery shops and stands abound, as do small

restaurants and bars. The village of Buccoo, on Buccoo Bay,

is rapidly being transformed from a fishing village into

something more akin to Bon Accord, primarily due to its

proximity to Buccoo Reef.

The remainder of the villages on Tobago remain largely

unchanged. Most developed at around the time of

emancipation, when freed slaves left the estates to pursue a

livelihood based on peasant agriculture and wage labor on

plantations (Niddrie 1961--see Chapter 5). Villages located

in the interior of the island are primarily agricultural,

while those on the coast support both agriculture and the

local fishing industry. Examples of the former include

Bethel, Les Coteaux and Mt. Pleasant, while examples of the

latter include Castara, Charlotteville and Mt. St. George

(Figure 2-4).















CHAPTER 3
FACTORS EFFECTING EARLY COLONIZATION EFFORTS


Early History

Tobago's early history is complex. From its first

discovery by Europeans in 1498 until its final recapture by

the British in 1804, the island changed hands more

frequently than any other in the Caribbean (Niddrie

1961:42). The colonial flags of England, France, Spain,

Holland, and the Duchy of Courland (modern-day Latvia), as

well as the independent Republic of Trinidad and Tobago,

have all flown over the island at one time or another.

Comprehensive treatments of the early history of Tobago are

available in Archibald (1987), Eubanks (1992) and Lichtveld

(1974). Rather than simply reiterating their discussions,

this chapter presents a broader treatment of events

affecting the early history of Tobago. Foremost among these

was the adoption of sugar cane as the major cash crop of the

Caribbean, with the concomitant reliance on African slaves

as labor. The events which led to the primacy of sugar are

best understood by focusing on Europe, and on European

attitudes towards the Caribbean (Mintz 1985; Wolf 1982).











Sugar

Columbus's voyages of discovery were sponsored by the

Spanish crown, and Spain became the first dominant European

power in the Caribbean and the rest of the New World.

During the earliest period of Spanish supremacy there was a

brief fluorescence of agricultural production in the

American colonies. The Spanish recognized the potential of

sugar very early in their colonization efforts. Cane was

first introduced into Hispaniola by Columbus in 1493 on his

second voyage (Mintz 1985:32). By the mid-sixteenth

century, 40 to 50 sugar factories were in operation on

Hispaniola alone (Las Casas, in Williams 1970:26,519).

While these factories were fairly primitive when compared to

the nineteenth century technology, they produced copious

amounts of sugar (Williams 1970). During the initial period

of Spanish production, however, Caribbean sugar was mostly

sold in the extremely limited New World market, while the

more extensive Old World demand was supplied by the

Portuguese possessions in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic

(Williams 1970).

By the second quarter of the sixteenth century the

attention of the Spanish in the New World shifted away from

agricultural production. After 1520 the goal of Spanish

exploration was primarily the acquisition of precious

metals. Indeed, precious metals were so important to the

Spanish that one Historian states that "...it was gold which









26

determined the location of Spanish settlements, which led to

their concentration on the Greater Antilles and to their

neglect of the Lesser Antilles, except those which had

strategic significance for the protection of the trade

routes" (Williams 1970:24).

Initially, gold was recovered from deposits on

Hispaniola. These were rapidly depleted however, and the

focus of exploration shifted to other Caribbean islands and

to mainland Central and South America. The vast riches of

the Aztec and Inca Empires fired the imagination of

Spaniards (Williams 1970). Many residents of the Caribbean

re-emigrated to the mainland, while new arrivals from Spain

tended to bypass the Caribbean entirely. Interest in the

agricultural potential of the Caribbean declined as a

result. The Spanish colonies on Hispaniola, and

particularly Cuba, became key strategic points for

protecting Spanish gold and silver shipments during the

hazardous initial stages of the Atlantic crossing (Knight

1978).

Spanish dominance of the Caribbean lasted until the

second quarter of the seventeenth century. During this

period of Spanish hegemony no other European power possessed

both the strength and the desire to gain a foothold in the

Caribbean. It was not until the cessation, in 1621, of a

truce between the Spanish and the Dutch that any European

power could successfully challenge Spanish dominance. With









27
the end of the treaty, however, the Dutch quickly moved to

usurp Spanish power. They accomplished this by first

gaining control of the Atlantic sea-lanes. Dutch harassment

and eventual destruction of the Spanish navy opened the way

to settlement of the Caribbean by other European powers

(Parry 1963). The British quickly moved in, settling

Barbados and part of St. Croix (1625), Nevis (1628), Antigua

and Montserrat (1632), and St. Lucia (1638). They, in turn,

were rapidly followed by the French (Martinique and

Guadeloupe) (Knight 1978:37-38). It was also during this

period that European adventurers made the first serious

attempts to settle Tobago (Eubanks 1992:67).

British and French forays into the Caribbean were made

with the intent to establish agricultural colonies (Curtin

1990:77). Despite early Spanish success in cane

cultivation, however, the crop was not immediately adopted

by the British and French colonists. In part, this was

because a market was not immediately available to the

British and the French. Due to the nearly continuous

warfare between the various European powers during the

sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, what little sugar

made it to the British and French home markets was very

expensive. The resulting price put sugar beyond the means

of the majority of the population. It was only with the

initiation of production in the British and French Caribbean

in the mid-seventeenth century that prices began to decline,









28
and popularity of the new commodity began to rise. From its

early beginnings as a tasty but rare condiment on the

European table, the market demand became increasingly

elastic and sugar production rapidly expanded (Mintz 1985).

During the first fifteen to twenty years of

colonization, after an initial period of experimentation

with a variety of crops, it became apparent that tobacco

production offered the most lucrative returns, and the early

successes of the new colonies were largely based on this

crop (Batie 1991). The economic potential of tobacco was

first realized by the British colonists of Virginia. They

first began growing the crop around 1616, and by 1619 a

planter could make profits of up to 200 yearly at a time

when the average laborer in England was making a mere 10

8s. per year (Batie 1991:39). The Caribbean colonists

quickly adopted tobacco cultivation.

The success of tobacco was so great that Europeans

emigrated to the new colonies in large numbers, either to

set themselves up as planters or to work as laborers for a

period of indenture, after which they could hope to be free

to buy land and start plantations of their own.

Predictably, the steady increase in the number of tobacco

planters and laborers soon caused production to outstrip

demand. By 1635 prices were in decline. Though this price

reduction affected all colonists, it was particularly hard

on those in Virginia, where few other crops could be grown.











To protect the colonies from price fluctuations, officials

in Virginia and the Caribbean agreed to increase the price

of tobacco artificially by severely limiting its production

in the Caribbean. The French were coerced by threats of

force into joining in this effort.

With the enactment of this agreement, the economy of

the Virginia colony at least was stabilized. In the

Caribbean, however, production of a new staple crop was

necessarily promoted. Initially, cotton was the dominant

replacement. It grew well in the Caribbean environment, and

the knowledge, technology and labor required for its

cultivation were minimal. In fact, cotton was so suited to

the Caribbean environment that by 1639 prices were dropping,

like those of tobacco had before, because of over

production. By this time, however, the preconditions that

would allow the successful cultivation of cane and

manufacture of sugar had been met (Batie 1991). This

initially occurred in Barbados.

Before sugar cane could be successfully adopted in the

Caribbean as the dominant crop, three preconditions had to

be met. The first preconditions relate, at least

indirectly, to the high cost of the equipment necessary for

sugar production. First, the islands upon which sugar

production occurred had to be safe from foreign attack.

Economically, it was poor practice to invest in sugar

production hardware if that hardware was liable to









30

destruction by foreign invaders. Second, individuals needed

access to sufficient capital to afford the initial

investments in sugar technology. Both of these

preconditions were realized in the Caribbean as a result of

earlier tobacco and cotton production, and by the

intervention of the Dutch.

In the early seventeenth century Britain was in the

depths of a depression and on the verge of civil war, and

many people chose to migrate to the New World. When tobacco

prices began to drop in 1635, British emigrants to the

colonies began to opt for the Caribbean, where a broader

variety of opportunities was available, rather than

Virginia. Barbados was a particularly desirable

destination, as its environment proved to be particularly

suitable for cotton production. Thus, by the time cotton

prices began to fall, Barbados already had a greater

population density than any other colony in the New World.

The sheer numbers of residents, particularly when combined

with Barbados' windward location (Curtin 1990), made the

island reasonably safe from foreign invasion. At the same

time, the success of cotton in Barbados created a sizeable

upper class, an upper class that could afford to risk

capital by investing in the equipment required for sugar

production (Batie 1991).

The final requirement for successful sugar production

was technical knowledge. The production of sugar is a











complex process, particularly in contrast to the relative

simplicity of tobacco and cotton production. With sugar,

aside from simply growing and harvesting the cane, one has

to know how to reduce the cane juice to sugar and molasses,

and how to produce rum. Knowledge of the processes was

fairly commonplace by the late 1630s, but talent

concentrated in other parts of the world. It remained for

the Dutch to import the crucial knowledge.

The Dutch had initiated settlement in the Caribbean

concurrently with the British and the French. However,

rather than choosing to settle arable islands as the British

and French had, the Dutch colonized the smaller, less

agriculturally productive islands of Curagao, St. Eustatius,

St. Maarten, and Saba (Knight 1978:37). Their intention was

to create trade entrep6ts, an activity which, on a larger

scale, had successfully supported the Dutch homeland. The

success of these incipient trading centers, however,

required a viable Caribbean economy. It was therefore in

the Dutch interest to help the other colonists. As part of

their campaign against the Spanish, the Dutch had earlier

taken Portuguese Brazil, challenging the united kingdoms of

Spain and Portugal.1 The Brazilian economy at that time

was dependent largely on sugar, and it was a relatively

simple matter to transport the knowledge of sugar production


During this period the Portuguese and Spanish crowns
were united, and any action against Portugal was an action
against Spain.









32

from Brazil to Barbados (Batie 1991:45); in need of a cash

crop to replace cotton and support the dense Barbadian

population, the island's officials simply looked the other

way. The Dutch, in turn, assured themselves of a ready

market for their goods, foremost of which were African

slaves.


Slavery

Europeans brought African slaves to the New World

shortly after initial settlement. As early as 1502, the

Spanish on Hispaniola began importing Africans (Rout 1976).

This was initially done as an experiment, as the Spanish

were quick to realize that the locally available labor,

decimated by European diseases and debilitating labor in the

fields and mines, was unsuited to the Spanish regime. By

1514, only 23,000 to 30,000 native inhabitants were left on

the island, an island that may have supported up to eight

million inhabitants in 1492 (Borah and Cook 1971-1977; Cook

1981). The Spanish travelled to other islands in search of

additional labor, and these islands, too, were soon

effectively depopulated.

While the enslavement of Africans was certainly

practiced by the Spanish in the New World, it was not until

the introduction of an economy based upon sugar production

that slavery in the Americas reached full maturity. This

initially occurred in northeastern Brazil. During the











period when Spain exercised exclusive control in the

Caribbean and amassed a fortune in gold and silver from the

conquests of Mexico and Peru, Portugal controlled an equally

lucrative empire centered about the Mediterranean Sea and

extending down the west coast of Africa. They also

controlled northeastern Brazil, where they quietly

instituted a plantation economy.

Not surprisingly given their previous experience with

the crop in their Old World possessions, the Portuguese

planters developed a sugar economy in Brazil. As had the

Spanish, they quickly recognized the susceptibility of the

local Native American populations to disease, and their

consequent unsuitability for labor (Rawley 1981). Indeed,

the situation in Brazil was exacerbated by the fact that

Native American slaves could easily absent themselves from

the plantations, fleeing to the interior where they could

re-institute the economic and cultural system that had

supported them in the past (Wagley 1971). Having been

exposed to Europeans and their diseases for decades,

however, and having immunity to a host of other tropical

diseases common to both Africa and the New World, in

Africans the Portuguese had the ideal labor force for New

World plantations. An additional advantage was that

enslaved African had little or no means of escape. As

Eubanks (1992:42) puts it: "they were as alien off the

plantation as they were on it."











When the Dutch conquered Portuguese Brazil in 1630

(Curtin 1990:91), they found a full-blown plantation economy

based on the production of sugar and the enslavement of

Africans already in place. Nevertheless, the Dutch

recognized that without a steady supply of new slaves this

type of economy could not last, since even with their

disease immunities the African population of Brazil was not

self-reproducing. This was due in part to the arduous

working conditions of the plantation regime, and in part to

the skewed sex-ratios of imported Africans--many more males

were imported than females (Curtin 1969, 1979). To ensure

the continued success of their new holdings, the Dutch

seized Portuguese-held African ports on the Gold Coast and

in Angola, securing for themselves a steady supply of slaves

(Curtin 1990).

With access to slaves and with growing entrep6ts in the

Caribbean in need of a viable market, the Dutch were willing

to share their knowledge of sugar production, stolen from

Brazil, with the British colonists on Barbados (Batie

1991:45). The first recorded shipment of sugar reached

England from Barbados in 1643 (Batie 1991:46). In that same

year, production was initiated on the British-held portion

of St. Kitts, and by 1644 the French had begun to produce

sugar on Guadeloupe. The sugar boom was on in the

Caribbean, and the rhythms of sugar production would

eventually dominate almost the entire archipelago.











The Settlement of Tobago2

With the beginning of the industrial revolution, sugar

was rapidly transformed from a luxury good, accessible only

to the rich, to a staple food additive demanded by the vast

European laboring population. It is within the context of

this rapid increase in demand that the eventual settlement

of Tobago is best understood. However, this did not occur

until 1765, 122 years after the initiation of sugar

production on Barbados. The question is, why, with the

feasibility of such a potentially lucrative crop widely

recognized, did Britain, France or Spain not bring Tobago

into sugar production at an earlier date? The answer lies

in a combination of factors, the most important of which is

that it was advantageous for each government to deny access

to Tobago to the others.

During the seventeenth century, when the agricultural

resources of the Caribbean began to thrive, the geo-

political importance of Tobago was recognized. With the

exception of Barbados, Tobago is the most easterly of all

the Caribbean islands. This was an era of sailing ships


2 Care must be taken when thinking of the "settlement"
of Tobago. Tobago was "settled" on numerous occasions prior
to 1763, most notably by the Dutch and the Courlanders in
the 17th century. In addition, while the island had neutral
status from 1748 to 1763, several individuals of various
nationalities maintained permanent or temporary residences
there, primarily for turtling. In this dissertation, the
term "settlement" is used to denote the period of permanent
occupation by British planters engaged in the cultivation of
cash crops.











and, from Tobago, sailing ships catching the prevailing

easterly trade winds could sweep the entire Caribbean island

chain, bringing naval pressure to bear wherever and whenever

the possessors of Tobago pleased. By the same token, ships

from other islands had a difficult time maneuvering to

Tobago in its upwind location. Thus, in the days of sailing

ships Tobago occupied a very strategic position relative to

the rest of the Caribbean. As the economic importance of

the Caribbean increased with the realization of sugar as a

cash crop, so too did Tobago's strategic importance.

Consequently, no European power could afford to have Tobago

colonized by another.

The strategic importance of Tobago lasted throughout

the age of the sailing ship. As late as the beginning of

the nineteenth century the rights to Tobago were still

contested by the French because of its coveted strategic

location. Indeed, French maps of Tobago made during the

1780s, and the road system along the rugged windward coast

that they constructed during their occupation of that period

indicate their preoccupation with Man o' War Bay at

Charlotteville. They envisioned this as a possible naval

depot from which to threaten the rest of the Caribbean, and

its potential drew them back to the island as late as 1803-

1804. The British, too, frequently included details of Man

o' War Bay on their maps (e.g., Jefferys 1765), indicating

that they also recognized this strategic potential.











Strategic location was the major factor which delayed

the occupation of Tobago. Contributing to this was the

incipient nature of cane cultivation and sugar production

and soil fertility on the established islands of the British

and French Caribbean. Following their successful

introduction to Barbados in the mid-seventeenth century,

cane cultivation and sugar production were rapidly

introduced to other British and French islands during the

late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Their

spread was driven by the need to meet an ever-increasing

demand for sugar (Mintz 1985:36), as well as decreasing soil

fertility on long-established plantations, caused by

repeated mono-cropping and the corresponding decline in soil

nutrients (Ragatz 1963). Nevertheless, it took time for

sugar production to spread to all of the land suitable for

cane cultivation, particularly on the larger islands of

Jamaica and French Hispaniola (Haiti), and, to a lesser

extent, Martinique and Guadaloupe. Whatever the cause of

this continuous extension of cane cultivation, sufficient

unoccupied land was available on established islands until

the mid-eighteenth century.

Another factor contributing to the late settlement of

Tobago was the island's topography. As noted in Chapter 2,

Tobago is dominated by a mountainous interior. The sheer

ruggedness of the topography make the main ridge, roughly

two thirds of the island's total area, marginal at best for











sugar production. Transportation, from the cane fields to

the sugar works, and from the sugar works to shipping

points, would have been extremely difficult; maintenance

costs were high, both for the estate roads themselves, and

for the vehicles and the teams used to draw them. In short,

much of Tobago was less well-suited for sugar production

than many other Caribbean islands, and as a result it was

one of the last to be brought on-line. Even during the

height of its sugar production in the early nineteenth

century, Tobago had only 35,134 of its roughly 74,400 acres

occupied by sugar estates (Young 1812a).


Initial Settlement

The strategic location of Tobago, combined with the

availability of land on other islands and the unsuitability

of Tobago's topography for sugar production, acted to delay

the effective settlement of Tobago until the last half of

the eighteenth century. That strategic location was the

most critical factor is evidenced by the fact that when the

Treaty of Paris gave Britain the legal right to settle

Tobago colonization almost immediately began, with a letter

of patent dated 7 October, 1763. By 1765 an initial survey

had been completed which began laying out lots for estates

(Simpson 1765), and on 20 May, 1765, the first estate,

consisting of lots 7 and 8 in St. George's Parish, was sold











to Alexander Stevenson (Nardin 1969:298-299).3 This later

became known as Hope Estate.








































3 There is some contention about the primacy of this
sale. Woodcock (1866:41) says that the first lot sold, lot
1 in St. David's Parish, was sold to James Simpson on 20
March, 1766, while Archibald (1987:107) contends that
Simpson bought this lot at the first land sale in May of
1765.















CHAPTER 4
SUCCESSFUL COLONIZATION


Introduction

Tobago is one of the so-called "ceded islands" acquired

by the British as a result of the Treaty of Paris in 1763

(Ragatz 1963).1 With the acquisition of the ceded islands,

the British parliament imposed two conditions on settlement.

First, in response to concerns that most of the new lands

would remain idle in the hands of speculators, parliament

required steady and large payments on purchased land,

payments that could only be met by immediately putting the

land into production.

(Lands)...should be put up to sale at a price not
less than five pounds per acre of the lands that
were cleared and if the lands were uncleared at a
price no less than one pound sterling per
acre...(the purchaser)...should thereupon pay
down twenty per cent of the whole purchase money
and six pence sterling for every acre of which the
lots should consist for the expense of surveying
the same. ...(O)ver and above the twenty pounds
per cent of the whole purchase money he should pay
down ten pounds per cent of the whole purchase
money within one year from the date of such Bill
of Sale, ten pounds per cent more within the
second year after the date of such Bill of Sale
and twenty per cent within every successive year
until the whole was paid... (CO 101/1:75, in
Nardin 1969:296).



1 The others are Dominica, St. Vincent, Grenada and the
Grenadines.











Second, parliament limited the amount of land that

could be purchased by any individual, in order to limit the

influence of individual planters in the plantocratic lobby:

That no purchaser should be seized in his own name
or names of others in trust for him of more than
five hundred acres in the islands where the lands
lie, ...and if so seized of a greater number,
...that the purchase and grant of so many as
should exceed that number should be void and a
proportionable part of the money paid thereon
forfeited and the lands resumed and again exposed
to sale (CO 101/1:75, in Nardin 1969:296).

Parliament's goal was to guarantee steadily increasing

imports into the mother country without surrendering

additional political power to the planter class. The effect

was to impose twin constraints on Tobagonian planters:

potentially insufficient land coupled with a payment

schedule that could, perhaps, prove insurmountable (Ragatz

1963).


Land Sales

In all, seven land sales were held on the island (Table

4-1). The distribution of the acreage involved in these

sales says much about the perceptions the European colonists

had of the various parts of the island (Table 4-2). The

first lots sold were primarily in St. George's Parish (see

Figure 1-1). St. George's Parish was initially envisioned

as the most acceptable site for a capital town, to be called

Georgetown, by virtue of its proximity Barbados Bay. The

most attractive selling point for Barbados Bay as the











Table 4-1. Land sales on Tobago

Convening Date Acres Sold
19 May 1765 4000
12 May 1766 11,096
1767 14,975
1768 4632
9 April 1769 5183
5 June 1770 10,362
11 May 1771 8160
TOTAL 58,408
After Archibald 1987:107-123

location of Georgetown was its centrality relative to the

rest of the island.

Barbados Bay had the advantage of a central
situation and tendered equal facilities for resort
on business to the people of St. Mary's, St.
Paul's and St. John's (the northeastern portion of
the island),- or to St. Andrew's, St. Patrick's
and St. David's (the southwestern portion of the
island) (Young, in Archibald 1987:117).

In addition to its central location, the area of Barbados

Bay was thought by the original colonists to be less

conducive to the host of tropical diseases known to exist on

the island.

Despite the central location of Georgetown and Barbados

Bay, by the second land sale, buyer attention had shifted

primarily to St. David's Parish (although with the exception

of St. John's Parish land was sold throughout the island).

This shift is attributed to the move by James Simpson to

purchase Courland Estate, at either the first land sale or

early in 1766 (see Chapter 3, note 3, above). Simpson, as




















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the island's Chief Surveyor, possessed a degree of

familiarity with the island beyond that of the other

potential buyers. It appears that they recognized this

advantage, following his lead in this second round of land

sales (Archibald 1987:108).

By the third sale the buyers had further refined their

estimates of the relative merits of the various parishes.

In a trade-off that must have represented a difficult

business decision on the part of the planters, purchases

during the third sale were confined primarily to the nearly

flat parishes of St. Andrew's and St. Patrick's. The

planters were faced with two choices. On the one hand, St.

Andrew's and particularly St. Patrick's Parishes offer few

limitations to transport. Getting the crop from field to

factory, and later getting the finished products--muscovado

sugar, molasses and rum--from the factory to suitable points

for shipment to overseas markets was greatly facilitated in

the flatter parishes. On the other hand, the flat parishes

suffered from a decided lack of surface water. In general,

the streams and rivers of St. Patrick's and St. Andrew's

were too small and too gently sloped to operate water-

powered sugar mills. The lot choices of the third land sale

indicate that early Tobago planters opted for ease of

transport over the advantages of a water-based power supply.

This is a particularly telling point in that

... (o)n the computation of our most intelligent
planters, a 'water mill' adds to the value of the











Plantation one fifth, and one fifth more income
from the proceeds of the crop, never being at a
stand, or even retarded; from the Negroes never
being employed in cutting canes, which eventually
there may be no wind to grind, and the labours be
lost as well as canes, from canes being taken off
in their prime, and at the most seasonable and
convenient moment, with a certainty of immediate
manufacture, and generally from a saving of
produce, time, and labour (Young 1812c:78--
emphasis in original).

One consequence of the preference for land at the

southwestern end of the island was the virtual abandonment

of Georgetown. Although Plymouth was recognized as the best

alternative choice, Scarborough was established as Tobago's

capital city in 1767. According to Young (in Archibald

1987:115-117), the choice of Scarborough as the capital was

a poor one, based more on individual influence than on the

good of the colony as a whole.

The prepondering influence of the Surveyor
General, Mr. Simpson, then Speaker of the
Assembly, prevented the selection of Plymouth
Town; where (as he is reported to have said) I
that establishment of Government and trade would
occasion a concourse of people to disturb his
great plantation in the neighbourhood (ie.
Courland Estate); his slaves would all be
corrupted; the men in Tipplng Houses; and the
women by sailors! The interests of the rich
Leeward planters cooperating or temporizing with
Mr. Simpson, the measure of removing the Sessions
of Legislature from George Town, and the
transferring it to Scarboro; was carried by
personal influence and intrigue... (in Archibald
1987:116).

In the fourth land sale, buyers focused on St. John's

Parish. Since this area was far removed from the newly

established capital at Scarborough and from the preferred

locale of St. Patrick's and St. Andrew's Parishes at the









46

southwestern end of the island, it seems likely that other

factors accounted for this shift. By 1768, most of the

coastal lands in more proximate relation to Scarborough had

been claimed. Rather than choosing inland sites, where

overland transport was difficult, buyers selected coastal

lands where sea transport was possible. This pattern of

purchasing land in St. John's Parish continued through the

fifth round of land sales in 1769.

By the sixth land offering, in 1770, sales were more

broadly distributed, concentrating in St. David's, St.

Paul's, St. John's, and St. Mary's parishes. These may have

been the more inland sites. The seventh and final land sale

was held in 1771. Sales were concentrated in the eastern

three parishes of St. John's, St. Mary's and St. Paul's

parishes.

Table 4-3 documents the prices brought at the land

sales by Parish. Although a brief glance at the table

indicates that the most costly lands were located in St.

John's and St. Paul's parishes, this does not necessarily

reflect accurately the perceived value of lands. Rather,

the table reflects the fact that the later a lot was sold,

the better price it fetched. Table 4-4, showing costs per

acre on a year-by-year basis, confirms this observation.

Indeed, Young notes that:

...the price paid per acre (on a parish-by-parish
basis) are (sic) no criterion of comparative value
of the lands purchased. At commencement of the
adventure the country was little known, and the











Table 4-3. Per acre cost of land grants by parish

Parish Avg. cost per acre (-s)
St. George 2-0
St. David 2-16
St. Andrew 2-2
St. Patrick 1-5
St. Mary 2-19
St. Paul 3-12
St. John 3-12
After Young 1812c:81

Table 4-4. Per acre costs of land grants, 1765-1771

Year Avg. cost per acre (-s)
1765 1-0
1766 1-0
1767 1-10
1768 1-10
1769 2-15
1770 5-17
1771 4-14
After Young 1812c:81

bidders were cautious. In due course the soil was
further examined and better known, it was more
highly appreciated, and in the latter years a
competition raised the price of interior lands
(Young 1812c:81-82).

At the conclusion of the land sales, 57,408 acres had

been sold for plantations, at a total cost of 154,058

(Young 1812c:81). Archibald (1987:123) notes that this

represented 77 percent of all land on the island. When

combined with the 1520 acres reserved for poor settlers and

the 1000 acres reserved for crown usage, the resulting











59,928 acres (Table 4-5) account for nearly 81 percent of

the island's total acreage. The remaining acreage was to be

left in woods "for the preservation of the rains."

Table 4-5. Intended disposition of lands. 1765


Acres Acres Acres
granted reserved Total reserved
for for Poor acres for
Parish Estates Settlers granted Crown
St. Andrew's 3170 450 3620 200
St. George's 11,192 120 11,312 100
St. Mary's 10,447 100 10,547 100
St. Paul's 7558 100 7658 100
St. John's 10,520 450 10,970 200
St. David's 8720 100 8820 200
St. Patrick's 5801 200 6001 100
TOTAL 57,408 1520 58,928 1000


Young 1812b:38

While the Tobago land sales were highly successful,

putting the land into production was a different matter,

requiring substantial clearing operations in Tobago's

densely forested environment. While the data available on

land clearing are sparse, they indicate that clearing

occurred steadily, but unevenly, throughout the island.

Table 4-6 documents clearing operations from 1771 to 1775.

Table 4-7 breaks down clearing operations by parish for the

years 1775, 1786 and 1811. The latter table shows that the

amount of clearing in the rugged parishes at the eastern end

of the island lagged far behind that of the others. By

1786, St. Andrew's Parish could begin to realize its

productive potential while the eastern parishes continued to









49
lag behind. By 1811, St. Patrick's and St. David's parishes

were also nearly completely cleared.

Table 4-6. Cleared lands, 1771-1775

Year Acres cleared
1771 7042
1772 9601
1773 12,451
1774 15,060
1775 17,514
iAter Young 1812c:83

Table 4-7. Cleared lands by parish

Acres cleared
Parish 1775 1786 1811
St. Andrew 2338 2874 2910
St. George 4211 5837 6000
St. Mary 1906 3642 4218
St. Paul 1510 2595 4721
St. John 1320 2778 3570
St. David 2424 5106 8650
St. Patrick 2338 5083 5465
TOTAL 17,514 27,925 35,534
After Young 181a:99, 12c:89 and 92


The Tobago Economy

Tobago differed from all other ceded islands in that it

still remained undeveloped in 1763. Where the other islands

continued to produce the crops they previously had relied

on, Tobago became a sugar colony from the first (Ragatz

1963:40-41). The adoption of sugar cane as the major crop

was abetted by fiscal policies enacted by the British











government which, in the Mercantilist period, levied high

taxes on Caribbean products other than sugar and rum (Nardin

1969:227). In 1770 the first shipment of sugar left Tobago

for England (Archibald 1987:122),2 ushering in a period of

phenomenal growth for the island's sugar industry. The

maturation of this industry was so rapid that in 1799

Tobago, though a relatively small island, exported more

sugar (7,393 tons) than any other British Caribbean colony.

The number of sugar mills on the island during various years

gives a preliminary idea of the rapid development of the

sugar industry (Table 4-8).

Table 4-8. Sugar mills, 1771-1775
Year Water Animal Wind Total
1771 2 18 9 29
1772 3 22 9 34
1773 6 29 15 50
1775 9 52 23 84
lardin 1969:230

Sugar was not the only export of the colony during its

initial years, however. Anxious to meet payments on their

lands, needing to raise more capital, and believing that

even with higher taxes the returns would be adequate, at

least some Tobagonian planters cultivated crops that did not

require additional expenditures for processing equipment


2 Nardin (1969:228) points out that this is the first
official shipment by virtue of its transport directly to
England. He notes that a shipment left Tobago in 1769 as
well, but since it went to England via Barbados, it has not
been noted by other researchers.











(Nardin 1969:227-228). Although not in large quantities,

cotton was produced by 1773 (992 Ibs.),' indigo by 1774

(3273 lbs.), and coffee by 1775 (591 lbs.) (Young 1809:57,

1812a:83). In 1776, pimento, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves

were also produced (Lavaysse 1969 [1820]:348). These

supplementary crops would more than prove their worth during

subsequent years, when sugar production fell short of

expectations.


1763-1781

Table 4-9 documents increasing sugar exports from 1771

to 1780. It is apparent that development did not proceed at

a uniform pace.' During the early years of settlement,

several events, of both a natural and political nature,

impeded economic progress on the island. The first of these

occurred between the years 1776 and 1780 with an infestation

of "sugar ants." This natural plague coincided with the

American revolution, which also dampened trade (Young

1812c:90). Sugar ants were first noted in Grenada in 1770

(John Castles, in Edwards 1819 vol. 1:397). Early in 1776,



3 All weights are given in US units (ie. one pound
equals 16 ounces, one ton equals 2000 pounds).

A variety of production and export figures for sugar
are available in the literature. I have relied primarily on
Deerr's (1949:202) export figures because they are the most
extensive. Where Deerr does not present figures, I have
relied on alternative sources. The reader is cautioned,
however, to differentiate between production figures and
export figures.











Table 4-9. Sugar exports, 1770-1780
Year Sugar exports (tons)
1770 75
1771 198
1772 608
1773 632
1774 1,383
1775 1,551
1776 2,105
1777 614
1778 1,202
1779 696
1780 1,033
After Deerr 1949:202

however, swarms of them appeared on Tobago, first in St.

George's and St. Mary's parishes, but spreading rapidly to

all other parts of the island. The infestation ended

abruptly in 1780, for unknown reasons.5 By that time,

however:

The cultivation of other staples had superseded
that of sugar and the lands and buildings for
grinding the cane, and the boiling and granulation
of its juice could not be suddenly reapplied to
their ancient uses (Young 1812c:91).

During this period, and throughout the first 50 years

of settlement, Tobagonian planters tended to switch emphasis

from sugar to other crops during times of economic hardship.

By far the most important of these crops was cotton. While

only 42,548 lbs. were produced in 1775, two years later,


5 Castles believed that the ants on Grenada were wiped
out by the rains and winds associated with the hurricane of
1770. It may be coincidence, but in October of 1780, the
most violent storm of the 18th century effected Tobago
(Tannehill 1944:145, 240).









53

after the ants had largely destroyed the cane crop (Table 4-

9), a total of 1,693,800 lbs. of cotton were harvested

(Young 1812c:89, 96).' In 1780, Tobago cotton comprised

35.4 percent of all Caribbean cotton imported into Britain

(Nardin 1969:242). Cotton proved to be so successful on

Tobago that significant amounts were produced at least

through 1809 (Table 4-10).7 Cotton was not the only fall-

Table 4-10. Cotton exports, 1794-1809
Year Cotton Exports (lbs.)
1794 413,182
1795 297,409
1796 364,636
1797 66,955
1798 23,591
1799 7,227
1800 8,182
1801 28,182
1802 21,955
1803 24,000
1804 17,455
1805 32,182
1806 26,591
1807 25,500
1808 18,545
1809 31,227
After Woodcock 1966:appendix 1


Nardin (1969:233) disagrees with these figures,
perhaps because he was relying on a different data-base.
For the years 1774 through 1780 he gives cotton production
figures of 96,500, 258,031, 574,800, 731,100, 1,644,600,
1,846,200, and 1,845,600 lbs. respectively.

7 No records for cotton production are available after
1809, but it seems unlikely that production was halted after
that date.











back crop however. Records indicate that indigo, ginger,

dyewood and tumeric were also produced during this first

period of declining sugar production between 1776 and 1780

(Nardin 1969:242; Young 1809:62, 1812a:96). To these crops

can also probably be added coffee, pimento, cinnamon, and

ginger, discussed above.

In contrast to production and export figures, census

data show a steady increase in both the white and black

populations during the earliest years of settlement (Table

4-11). Table 4-12 shows the same data broken down by

Table 4-11. Island population, 1770-1780
Year White Population Black Population
1770 238 3164
June 1771 250 4926
Sept. 1771 284 5124
1772 339 5921
May 1773 416 7396
Oct. 1773 431 7861
1774 367 7694
1775 391 8675
1780 474 10,701
After Nardin 1969:140

parish, and indicates that, as with clearing operations, the

eastern parishes tended to lag behind the western ones in

terms of the number of slaves on the estates. In addition,

by 1773 the white population had already become concentrated

in the town of Scarborough (St. Andrew's Parish), while by

1780 Plymouth (St. Patrick's Parish) had a fairly large













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white population as well. Trends become more apparent

through examination of Table 4-13, which shows that by 1780,

parity in population between parishes, including both white

and black inhabitants, was being approached.


1781-1793

The recovery of the sugar industry from the ant

infestation was dramatically slowed by the first of two

French occupations of the island. From 1781 to 1793

political control of the island was in the hands of the

French, although Tobago's population and culture remained

essentially British (Woodcock 1866:55-58). This was a

period of difficulty for the planters. With the French in

control, loans and other funds were not forthcoming from the

sources traditionally available to the British planters. As

a result, the repairs to the sugar works necessitated by the

forced shut-down during the ant infestation could not be

made (Young 1812c:93-95). During the French tenure, many

sugar works remained idle.

The planters' problems were further increased by the

occurrence of the French and Haitian revolutions during this

period. The French government had far too much on its hands

to worry about a small colony composed primarily of people

loyal to a foreign government. Its response was to leave

Tobago to its own devices. The first French occupation of

Tobago was characterized by a period of self-government and


















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58
self-protection (Young 1812c:95). At least once during this

period, near anarchy reigned. In 1791, in a demonstration

of support for the revolutionary movement in France, the

garrison at Fort King George (called Fort Castries by the

French) rioted. The soldiers burned the capitol town of

Scarborough (renamed Port Louis during the French tenure)

almost completely, leaving only the taverns "which the

drunkards had reserved, probably for their carousals" (Young

1812c:96).

The economy of Tobago suffered as a result of the

French disinterest. Not only was there a marked decline in

sugar production (Table 4-14), but production of all

supplementary crops decreased as well. Young (1812c:95,

101) notes that indigo exports dropped from 25,000 lbs. in

1780, the year before the French took the island, to 10,909

lbs. in 1786, to 3965 lbs. in 1788 and to 3636 Ibs. in 1789.

The decline of cotton was less pronounced (Table 4-14), and

it remained the principal export throughout the first French

occupation (Young 1812c:93-95), much of it probably being

Table 4-14. Sugar and cotton production, 1785-1789

Sugar Cotton
Year (tons) (Ibs)
1785 9,329 32,182
1786 9,158 26,599
1787 9,042 25,500
1788 7,844 18,545
1789 8,118 31,227


f: ter Young 1812a:2 6











exported to Britain (Ragatz 1963:200, 201). Table 4-15

shows the principal products grown on estates during this

period, while Table 4-16 shows land-use patterns. These

data indicate that while cotton production was spread

relatively evenly about the island, sugar was produced

primarily in St. Patrick's and St. David's Parishes.

Indigo, on the other hand, was produced almost entirely in

St. Paul's Parish, on a single estate.

Finally, the difficulties engendered by French rule

were compounded by a major hurricane which struck Tobago in

August of 1790 (Tannehill 1944:146-147). While the

destruction caused by this event is not well documented, it

did destroy 20 vessels and the estate house and sugar works

at Riseland Estate (Woodcock 1866:60-61). A more accurate

picture of the destruction is given by an elderly person to

whom Woodcock spoke in person some seventy years after the

fact. She described the 1790 event as being of the same

magnitude as the hurricane of 1847 (discussed below)

(Woodcock 1866:60).

Trends with positive economic consequences were

apparent during this period as well. In particular, there

was a decreased reliance on traction animals as sugar mill

power sources. Table 4-17 shows a significant decrease in

the number of cattle mills on the island when compared to

1775, while also showing an increase in wind and water

powered mills (see Table 4-8). Since there was also a

















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significant decrease in the total number of mills, it seems

probable that estates relying on wind or water powered mills

were more likely to remain in production.

Population figures for 1786 show that many of the

trends noted for the preceding period (1763-1781) continued

(Tables 4-18 and 4-19). By this time the ratio of whites to

slaves had become even further skewed in favor of the

slaves, indicating the full maturation of Tobago as a

plantation society.8 These figures also give the first

intimation of a developing free colored population. As one


a Table 4-18 also shows a decline in the number of
whites on the island when compared to the 1780 figure (Table
4-12). This may indicate the concentration of acreage into
fewer hands.


Parish Water Animal Wind TOTAL
St.
George 4 4 0 8
St.
Mary 0 1 1 2
St.
Paul 5 2 0 7
St.
John 0 2 1 3
St.
Patrick 0 9 15 24
St.
David 1 5 6 12
St.
Andrew 0 3 7 10
TOTAL 10 26 30 66


"
able 4-17











Table 4-18. Island population by parish, 1786

Parish Whites Free Colored Slaves
St.
George 51 21 1950
St.
Mary 21 9 1135
St.
Paul 30 9 1151
St.
John 40 14 1297
St.
Patrick 50 9 2662
St.
David 71 16 2434
St.
Andrew 141 72 2049
TOTAL 437 149 11,638
ATter Young 1812c:92

Table 4-19. Population densities and ratio, 1786

Ratio of
Density per Density per whites to
Parish km2 (Whites) km2 (Slaves) slaves
St.
George 1.1 43 38.2
St.
Mary 0.5 28 54.0
St.
Paul 1.0 37 38.4
St.
John 0.9 31 32.4
St.
Patrick 2.2 116 53.2
St.
David 2.0 69 34.3
St.
Andrew 10.8 158 14.5
r 1 1


x ter Young 8 2c:92











would expect, they were primarily concentrated in

Scarborough. Few chose to locate in Plymouth, indicating

its decreasing importance as a significant economic base of

operations.


1794-1800

In April of 1793 Tobago was retaken by the British by

force of arms. Sugar soon returned to its pre-eminent

position as the staple export (Table 4-20).' At the same

time, cotton exports drastically declined, and cotton

production was nearly phased out by 1800. Given the success

that Tobagonian planters had with cotton, and the high

esteem with which it was held by the proprietors of

Manchester's cotton mills (Lavaysse, in Nardin 1969:234), it

is difficult to understand why cotton was so readily and

rapidly abandoned. The major contributing factor was the

increasing availability of cotton from other sources,

particularly the United States, which paid significantly

lower duties on cotton at the close of the eighteenth

century than did competing British Caribbean colonies

(Carrington 1987:159; Ragatz 1963:370-371). In addition,

cotton and sugar were harvested in the same months. Thus,

competing timetables made them mutually exclusive (Turnbull,

in Nardin 1969:235).


9 No data is available for the years between 1789 and
1794.











Table 4-20. Volume of exports, 1794-1800

Sugar Cotton
Year (tons) (Ibs.)
1794 4,733 413,181
1795 3,465 297,409
1796 4,358 364,636
1797 4,429 66,954
1798 5,787 23,590
1799 7,939 7,227
1800 5,983 8,181
After Deerr 1949:202; Woodcock 1866:appendix 1

From 1794 to 1801, Tobago's sugar exports rose from

4,733 tons to 6,626 tons. These were the golden years of

the Tobago plantation era, for it was during this period

that the island reached its highest sugar output. Much of

the success of the Tobagonian planters can be attributed to

the near total destruction of the Haitian economy during the

revolution there. "The sudden withdrawal of (Haiti's)

immense supplies of tropical produce from the general

European market occasioned widespread scarcity; continental

buyers hastily turned across the English Channel to fill

their needs" (Ragatz 1963:205). As a result, the price

fetched by sugar in the British market rose rapidly. From

1795 until the end of the century, the price of sugar on the

British market never fell below 50s. per cwt exclusive of

duties (Ragatz 1963:205). Table 4-21 gives an idea of the

















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kinds of profits achievable by Tobagonian sugar planters

during this period.10


10 Even during times of peak sugar production cotton
was never completely abandoned (see Table 4-10). Despite
documentary emphasis on sugar production, Tobago cannot be
characterized by monocropping.














CHAPTER 5
DECLINING FORTUNES


Throughout the first decade of the nineteenth century

sugar prices tumbled. Several factors combined to drive the

price of sugar down until, by 1807, the per unit cost of

production was greater than the market price (Ragatz 1963).

The foremost cause was renewed access to non-British markets

by non-British producers. In the last decade of the

eighteenth century, the British colonies were the primary

suppliers of tropical products to all of Europe. Sugar and

other products were exported to Britain from the Caribbean,

and then re-exported to the continent to meet foreign

demand. As a result, prices for sugar were artificially

high. By the early nineteenth century, foreign production

was again reaching the continental market. The increased

competition caused declining sugar prices. The situation

was further exacerbated by increased production. In short,

what had been a sellers' market rapidly changed into a

buyers' market, hurting planters across the board. Table 5-

1 shows the effect of this decline on the Tobagonian

planters by 1805 (compare with Table 4-21). Of particular

note, the net profit derived from one hogshead of sugar

dropped from a high of 31.17 in 1796 to a low of 1.19 in












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69

1806, a staggering 96 percent decline. By 1807, only 30,537

acres remained in sugar cane on Tobago (Young, in Ragatz

1963:308).

From 1807 onwards, there was a continual struggle on

the part of Tobagonian planters to save their way of life.

Under constant pressure from declining prices, they suffered

a gradual reversal of their fortunes. The island went from

being a jewel in the crown of England to being a colonial

backwater contributing little to the British economy. The

primary events affecting Tobago during this period were the

abolition of the slave trade in 1807, the advent of

apprenticeship in 1834, the emancipation of the slaves in

1838, and the passage of the Encumbered Estates Act of 1854.

Table 5-2 shows the estates in cultivation throughout Tobago

for the years 1811, 1824, 1832, and 1862.

Table 5-2. Sugar estates in cultivation for various years
In cultivation:

Estate Parish 1811 1824 1832 1862
Adelphi St. George's XX XX XX
Adventure St. David's XX XX XX XX
Amity Hope St. David's XX XX XX
Argyle St. Paul's XX XX XX
Arnos Vale St. David's XX XX XX XX
Auchenskeoch St. Andrew's XX XX XX XX
Bacolet St. George's XX XX XX XX
Belle Garden St. Paul's XX XX XX XX
Belmont St. George's XX XX XX XX
Betsey's Hope St. Paul's XX XX XX XX
Bon Accord St. Patrick's XX XX XX XX









Table 5-2 (cntd.).


In cultivation:

Estate Parish 1811 1824 1832 1862
Buccoo St. Patrick's XX XX XX XX
Burleigh Castle St. Andrew's XX XX XX XX
Calder Hall St. Andrew's XX XX XX XX
Campbellton St. John's XX
Cardiff St. Mary's XX
Carnbee St. Andrew's XX XX XX XX
Castara St. John's XX XX XX XX
Cinnamon Hill St. George's XX XX
Charlotteville St. John's XX XX XX XX
Concordia St. George's XX XX XX XX
Courland St. David's XX XX XX XX
Cove St. Patrick's XX XX
Cradley St. George's XX XX XX XX
Craig Hall St. David's XX XX XX XX
Cromstane St. Patrick's XX
Culloden St. David's XX XX XX XX
Delaford St. Paul's XX XX
Dunvegan St. David's XX XX XX XX
Franklyns St. David's XX XX XX XX
Friendsfield St. George's XX XX XX XX
Friendship St. George's XX
Friendship St. Patrick's XX XX XX
Glamorgan St. Mary's XX XX XX XX
Golden Grove St. Patrick's XX XX XX
Golden Lane St. David's XX XX XX XX
Goldsborough St. Mary's XX XX XX XX
Goodwood St. Mary's XX
Grafton St. Patrick's XX XX XX XX
Grange St. Patrick's XX XX XX XX
Greenhill St. George's XX XX XX XX
Hampden St. Andrew's XX XX XX









Table 5-2 (cntd.).


In cultivation:

Estate Parish 1811 1824 1832 1862
Hermitage St. John's XX XX XX XX
Highlands St. David's XX XX XX
Hope St. George's XX XX XX XX
Indian Walk St. David's XX XX XX XX
Invera St. Paul's XX XX XX
Inverarden St. Mary's XX
Kendal Place St. Paul's XX XX XX XX
Kilgwyn St. Patrick's XX XX XX XX
King's Bay St. Paul's XX XX XX XX
Lambeau St. Andrew's XX XX XX XX
Les Coteaux St. David's XX XX XX XX
Lower Quarter St. David's XX XX XX XX
Lowlands St. Andrew's XX XX XX XX
Lucy Vale St. John's XX XX
Lure St. Mary's XX XX XX XX
Mary's Hill St. David's XX XX XX XX
Merchiston St. Paul's XX XX XX
Montpelier St. Andrew's XX XX XX XX
Mt. Dillon St. David's XX XX XX XX
Mt. Irvine St. Patrick's XX XX XX XX
Mt. St. George St. George's XX XX XX XX
New Grange St. Patrick's XX XX XX XX
Nutmeg Grove St. George's XX XX XX XX
Orange Hill St. David's XX XX XX
Orange Valley St. Patrick's XX XX XX
Pembroke St. Mary's XX XX XX XX
Prospect St. Patrick's XX XX XX XX
Providence St. David's XX XX XX XX
Richmond St. Mary's XX XX XX
Riseland St. Andrew's XX XX XX XX
Roxborough St. Paul's XX XX XX XX









Table 5-2 (cntd.).


1812a:71-95.


1800-1807

Declining revenues and the abolition movement

affected planters throughout the British Caribbean. Though

this is not reflected in the production or export figures,

as business men the Tobagonian planters would have been

keenly aware that sugar prices were dropping, that their

political power in Britain was in decline and that their

labor force might be removed from their control in the

future. Following so quickly on the heels of the boom years

of the 1790s, it is unlikely that these realizations did

more than create a background of stress in the minds of the


In cultivation:
Estate Parish 1811 1824 1832 1862
Runnemede St. David's XX XX XX
Shervan St. Patrick's XX XX XX XX
Sherwood Park St. Andrew's XX XX XX XX
Smithfield Unknown XX
Speyside St. John's XX XX XX XX
Spring Garden St. Andrew's XX XX
Studley Park St. George's XX XX XX XX
Telescope St. John's XX XX XX
Trois Rivieres St. John's XX
Unity St. Mary's XX XX XX
Whim St. David's XX XX XX
Woodlands St. David's XX XX XX
TOTAL 80 70 74 65
After Ottley 1950:142-144; Woodcock 18 6:app You


ng


1812a 71-95.











planters, particularly given the other events occurring on

Tobago.

The Tobago slaves may have perceived the trend towards

abolition and eventual emancipation as well. In 1801 they

planned an insurrection, the first on the island since the

very earliest years of settlement. Set for Christmas eve,

the plan was to set fire to canes near each estate house.

When the planters came to fight the fires they were to be

put to death along with the slaves who remained loyal to

them. In short, the system of slavery on Tobago was to be

overthrown and replaced by an Afro-tobagonian government

(Woodcock 1866:72-73).'

Fortunately for the Tobago planters, and unfortunately

for their slaves, the 1801 insurrection was discovered

before it had even begun. Thirty ringleaders were caught,

incarcerated and sentenced to death. At the order of

General Carmichael, commander of the Tobago military

garrison, only one slave was actually hung, however. To

give the impression of a thorough reprisal, his body was

hoisted up the flag staff at Fort King George 30 times, with



As discussed earlier (Chapter 4) three revolts
occurred in 1770 and 1771. While it is likely that others
were planned during the intervening years, apparently none
went beyond the planning stages or came to the attention of
the authorities. Genovese (1979:3) has argued that early
revolts were "restorationist"--designed to secure freedom
from slavery for the participants. Later revolts are
characterize as revolutionary attempts to overthrow the
system of slavery (see also Gaspar 1985:255-258). The 1801
revolt on Tobago certainly falls into this latter category.











a signal gun at each hoist. Believing that all of their

leaders were dead, the revolutionary tendencies of the mass

of slaves were shattered.2

In 1802, by the Treaty of Amiens, Tobago again reverted

to French control, only to be recaptured by the British in

1803 (Ottley 1950:49). From a cultural perspective, little

significance can be attached to this event as it was of such

short duration. In addition, during the French tenure,

British law and the rights of Tobagonians accorded by that

law were maintained. The Tobago legislature was so grateful

that it voted a bonus of 4000 to the French-appointed

governor above and beyond his 3300 salary, the same salary

as that afforded to British governors (Woodcock 1866:54).

The same cannot be said of the economic circumstances

of the Tobagonian planters during and immediately following

the French occupation. Several factors contributed to a

declining economy. First, with the advent of French rule,

exports to Britain, or to any other country but France, were

immediately banned by the new government (Ottley 1950:49).

Table 5-3 shows a sharp decline in sugar exports in 1803,

reflecting the consequences of this ban. Although exports

rose back to their customary level after the British



2 Carmichael's move was interpreted as magnanimous at
the time and has been cited as an example of the generally
good relations which existed between blacks and whites on
Tobago (Woodcock 1866). A more cynical interpreter might
wonder what became of the revenues from the selling off-
island of 29 slaves.











Table 5-3. Sugar exports, 1800-1809

Sugar
Year (tons)
1800 5,983
1801 6,626
1802 7,724
1803 4,706
1804 6,394
1805 7,680
1806 7,412
1807 6,046
1808 6,278
1809 6,456
After Deerr 1949:202

recapture of Tobago, uncertainty about the future status of

the island prompted the passage of "the Limitation Act" by

the British parliament in 1805, limiting economic aid to all

West Indian islands ceded to the French by the Treaty of

Amiens. This hardly reassured the Tobagonian planters and

had the added detrimental effect of "induc[ing] creditors to

sue and mortgagers to foreclose" (Young 1812c:119). As a

result, there was an exodus of planters from the island

(Young 1812c:121), and a brief upsurge of cotton production,

which nearly doubled from 17,454 lbs. in 1804 to 32,182 lbs.

in 1805 (Woodcock 1866:appendix 1).



Abolition and Amelioration

In 1807, the British parliament enacted the Abolition

Act, making the importation of African slaves into the











colonies illegal. This was a devastating blow to Tobago's

planter class. Up until abolition, planters had been

guaranteed a constant supply of labor in the form of steady

slave importation. In the labor intensive environment of a

sugar plantation, slaves were thought to be a necessity.

Their work was arduous and because of the nature of cane

cultivation and sugar production, for much of the year

nearly constant. This took a heavy toll on the labor force,

to such an extent that most plantation slave populations in

the Caribbean were non-reproducing. That is to say, the

death-rate exceeded the birth-rate, so that the slave

population could not be maintained without importation of

fresh slaves from a foreign source. The planters problems

were aggravated by the War of 1812 which brought about a

decline in access to foreign produced provisions (Ragatz

1963:343-344). While this affected the food supply of the

entire population of Tobago, the slaves were by far the

hardest hit.

In response to the abolition of the slave trade, and to

some extent preempting the adverse effect of the war, the

Tobagonian planters took steps to increase the general

health, and thus the birth-rate, of their slaves. From a

sugar production perspective, perhaps the most significant

of these steps was the initiation of an Agricultural Society

in 1807 to increase self-sufficiency and slave nutrition.

Although the society was short-lived, by 1808 triple the











acreage on estates was given over to provisions (Young

1812a:no page number, and in Ragatz 1963:325). As a result,

sugar production declined from 9,741 tons in 1807 (Young

1809:98) to 7,602 tons in 1811 (Young 1812a:99).

Table 5-4 shows that the planter's ameliorative efforts

had little beneficial effect on the slave population. In

four years, despite the efforts of the planters, the overall

decrease in the slave population was 362. In only one

parish, St. Patrick's, was there an increase, and only of

three slaves. One cause of the decrease is apparent through

examination of the Special Returns of 1811 (Table 5-4)--in

all parishes, except St. Patrick's, males outnumber females.

By 1824 the decrease brought about by abolition was even

more marked. Census data given by Ottley for that year

(1950:142-144) show only 10,632 slaves on Tobago's estates,

a decrease of nearly 17 percent since 1811.

A particularly bad year for Tobagonian planters

occurred in 1827, when only 2,739 tons of sugar were

exported (Table 5-5). None of the various histories of the

island account for such a miserable year. A similar

decline, though of a lesser magnitude, occurred on many

other Caribbean islands (Deerr 1949). On most, it can be

accounted for by crop destruction accompanying a major

hurricane that affected all of the Leeward Island group

(Ragatz 1963:375; Tannehill 1944:150-151).
















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Table 5-5. Sugar exports from Tobago, 1814-1869, 1872-1888
and 1890-1891
Year Sugar (tons)
1814 5,383
1815 5,397
1816 6,213
1817 6,179
1818 5,042
1819 5,911
1820 5,321
1821 4,833
1822 5,390
1823 5,045
1824 5,530
1825 4,971
1826 5,384
1827 2,739
1828 5,471
1829 4,047
1830 4,173
1831 5,413
1832 4,827
1833 3,863
1834 3,528
1835 3,450
1836 5,253
1837 4,054
1838 3,198
1839 4,144
1840 2,301
1841 2,150
1842 2,094
1843 2,046
1844 2,201
1845 2,844
1846 1,733









Figure 5-5 (cntd.).


Year Sugar (tons)
1847 3,538
1848 2,388
1849 2,290
1850 1,978
1851 2,283
1852 3,052
1853 2,587
1854 1,983
1855 1,756
1856 2,616
1857 1,525
1858 3,031
1859 2,634
1860 2,299
1861 2,471
1862 3,228
1863 2,122
1864 1,981
1865 2,353
1866 4,035
1867 3,192
1868 2,084
1869 2,641
1872 3,468
1873 3,630
1874 3,882
1875 4,603
1876 3,394
1877 2,924
1878 2,832
1879 2,896
1880 2,970
1881 3,240
1882 2,249
1883 2,270




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LANDSCAPES AND PLANTATIONS ON TOBAGO:
A REGIONAL PERSPECTIVE
BY
CHRISTOPHER OHM CLEMENT
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

Copyright 1995
by
Christopher Ohm Clement

"A people without a knowledge of their past
history, origin and culture is like a tree without
roots."
Marcus Garvey

ACKNOWLE DGEMENTS
Any research project is a cooperative effort involving
not only the researcher, but a host of others. Peter R.
Schmidt served as my committee chair. He reined me in when
I got overly enthusiastic, and provided a sounding board for
my ideas. Peter's principal contribution, however, was his
faith that I would do my part professionally. In addition,
his knowledge of African cultures, both past and present,
made me aware of potential avenues for understanding slave
life on Tobago.
I have been privileged to be associated with Michael E.
Moseley since 1985, when he rescued me from graduate apathy
by agreeing to oversee my master's research. Mike remains
on my committee, and has continued to be both a mentor and
friend during the course of this dissertation. Though I am
no longer directly associated with his Peruvian research,
the direction I have taken on Tobago is largely a result of
Mike's influence. In addition, the technical and analytical
skills I needed to complete the St. David's Archaeological
Survey were built on skills developed under his direction.
Kathleen A. Deagan and William F. Keegan are the
remaining two anthropologists on my committee. Between the
two of them, I had access to a great deal of knowledge about
iv

Caribbean history and prehistory. In addition, Kathy's
commitment to the archaeological record and her insistence
that excavation should only be undertaken in the absence of
other data sources led to a largely survey methodology,
while Bill's positivist epistemology within an economic
framework contributed a great deal to the theoretical
underpinnings of my research.
The final member of my committee, Ralph B. Johnson,
provided a non-anthropological viewpoint, encouraging me to
present my research in a way that could be understood by a
less specialized audience.
Thomas Hales Eubanks, along with Mike Moseley, is the
codirector of the Tobago Archaeological Program. He
developed much of the infrastructural support and contacts
on Tobago that I later tapped into, and has been most
responsible for the continuing ability of Program
researchers to work on Tobago. My research would not have
been possible without the groundwork that he laid. In
addition, he travelled to Tobago on several occasions to
visit me in the field. His timely arrivals at critical
junctures of the fieldwork provided both moral support and
invaluable expertise. Above all, however, Tom introduced me
to Tobago.
David L. Niddrie, though he did not know me, spent
several hours discussing my research, and went so far as to
lend me his field notes from research he undertook on Tobago
v

in the late 1950s. His in depth knowledge of Tobagonian
land-use practices provided a base-line for much of my
analysis.
Funding for this research came from two sources. The
preliminary study was funded by a research grant from the
Amoco Foundation, Inc., sponsored by Amoco Trinidad Ltd.,
while the bulk of the research was performed under a
National Science Foundation dissertation improvement grant.
Finally, the majority of the excavation at the Courland
estate village was supported by a second Amoco grant. These
were the second and third Amoco grants Program researchers
have received. We greatly value their continued support of
our efforts on Tobago.
Several friends on Tobago were instrumental in this
research, though in less tangible ways. To them I owe a
debt of friendship. George Stanley Beard, and his wife,
Shirley, provided a home and family for much of my stay on
Tobago. Their unfailing good cheer, their willingness to
include me in their lives, and their friendship made
research in a foreign country for extended periods a joy.
Ricarda Solomon also provided a home on Tobago for part of
my stay. In addition, her enthusiasm for my work was
infectious, keeping my own enthusiasm high. She also
introduced me to the Tobago Tropical Riders, who supplied
many hours of diversion on rides throughout the island.
vi

Dexter Harris, of Signal Hill, served as my principal
assistant throughout most of the research. His enthusiasm
was also infectious, as was his willingness to work. Above
all, however, his humor and his ability to put up with my
out-of-place-on-Tobago American impatience is greatly
appreciated. Leon Duncan and James Trim both volunteered
their time during portions of the fieldwork. James showed
me several sites in a short period of time, sites that would
otherwise have taken me weeks to locate. Leon helped
excavate test pits at Les Coteaux Estate, rapidly
accelerating that phase of research.
Excavations at Courland Estate were undertaken with the
help of Dennison Herbert, Vivien Lincoln, Maxson Ramsey,
Dave Webster, Emile Williams, and Roland Williams, all of
Black Rock. Though none had previous experience in
archaeological fieldwork, all learned quickly. Their
constant high spirits more than offset the tedium of
archaeological excavation. Surveying equipment used during
those excavations, as well as the services of a trained
surveyor, were provided through the Tobago House of
Assembly, who thus continued their long-term support of the
Tobago Archaeological Program. Permission to work at the
Courland estate village was granted by Neal and Massey
Corporation, Trinidad. The coarse earthenware ceramics from
the site were analyzed by Jim Peterson.
Vll

David Phillips shared his extensive knowledge of local
history and his valuable collection of historic maps and
documents. His library on general Caribbean history is
unequalled on the island, and provided me with reference
materials during my stay on the island. Leo Cooper, Richard
Grant, Clarence Thomas, Mrs. Quashie, Lloyd Joseph, Mr.
Spence, Archie Halifax, and Conrad Price served as local
informants, answering my questions and showing me—or giving
me directions to—sites. Though this list is not
exhaustive, it is indicative of the unfailing willingness of
Tobagonians to help strangers. Throughout my stay on
Tobago, I was never at a loss for someone to talk to.
Though I was only able to visit Trinidad on two
occasions, the help I received there equalled that of
Tobagonians. Keith Laurence, Bridget Brereton, and Selwyn
Carrington, of the University of the West Indies, St.
Augustine, History Department, all discussed various aspects
of my research with me, while Dr. Laurence was instrumental
in getting me access to the William Young manuscripts at the
UWI library. Claire Broadbridge, Director of the National
Museum of Trinidad and Tobago, visited my research sites and
provided encouragement. She also offered housing on
Trinidad should I need it.
Final production of this dissertation has been a long
process, aided along the way by many people. Bryan Page
kindly abandoned his office in the University of Miami
viii

Anthropology Department so that I would have a place to
write, while his colleagues, Ann Brittain, Robert
Halberstein, Edward LiPuma and Linda Taylor have all
provided moral support and occasional guidance. Natasha
Elmslie had an unfailingly sympathetic ear and cheerful
words of encouragement. The Departments of Architectural
Engineering and Geography, University of Miami, allowed me
to use their computers to produce the graphics included in
this dissertation, as did the University of Florida
Department of Surveying and Mapping and the University of
South Carolina Department of Civil Engineering.
While many fellow students at the University of Florida
were important in my graduate career, only four will be
mentioned here. Diego Hay read my first draft and helped me
better understand the economic history of the Caribbean.
Greg Smith's editorial comments on various of my writings,
including the proposal that received the majority of my
dissertation funding, greatly strengthened my work. Nina
Borremans, because she shared my office for so long,
actively participated in the genesis of many of my ideas
during the earliest stages of my research. Anne Stokes, by
believing in my professional capabilities, has provided
confidence-building support for many years. More
importantly, all are good friends.
Lastly, this dissertation would not have been possible
without the support of those closest to me. My wife,

Maureen E. Vicaria-Clement, put up with a more than six
month separation during our first year of marriage so that I
could conduct fieldwork, and accommodated my long working
hours since I returned to the US. In addition, she
cheerfully worked full-time to support me while I wrote,
while simultaneously pursuing her own graduate career. My
parents, Mug and Jackie Clement, supported me throughout
graduate school. They recognize the value of education, and
never demurred when I was forced to rely on them for moral
or financial support. I hope I can show the same wisdom and
patience to my children that my parents have shown to me.
x

PREFACE
The government of the Caribbean island of Tobago has
recently embarked on an ambitious plan to develop the island
for tourism. In doing so they enter into direct competition
with more established Caribbean destinations. Although the
present development plan focuses primarily on the "sun and
fun" vacationers that typify Caribbean tourism, the
government recognizes that due to the relatively undeveloped
status of the island the natural environment offers an
additional selling point.
The underdevelopment of Tobago has resulted in the
preservation of a broad variety of archaeological sites on
the island. Most have yet to be systematically explored.
In recognition of the potential value these cultural
resources have for tourism development, the Tobago
Archaeological Program, a joint effort of the Tobago House
of Assembly and the University of Florida Institute of
Archaeology and Paleoenvironmental Studies, was initiated to
conduct archaeological research on Tobago in 1986. The
focus of the Tobago Archaeological Program to date has been
on the remains of the many sugar estates on the island. The
survey results reported here continue that effort. Future
xi

research will focus on additional site types, both
prehistoric and historic.
Sugar estates have been the focus of the Tobago
Archaeological research program because they are the most
visible extant material evidence of Tobago's past. All date
primarily from the mid-eighteenth to the mid-nineteenth
century, and record the colonization of Tobago by the
British in the 1760s, her rise to prominence as the foremost
sugar-producing Caribbean island at the turn of the
nineteenth century, and her gradual fall into obscurity with
the eventual collapse of the Caribbean sugar industry.
Although the island was occupied by the French on two
occasions after British colonization in 1763, for the most
part it remained in British hands. In 1898 it was made a
ward of the neighboring and much larger island of Trinidad,
the two becoming an independent republic in 1962.
xii

TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS iv
PREFACE xi
LIST OF TABLES xvi
LIST OF FIGURES xviii
ABSTRACT xix
CHAPTER 1. THE SAINT DAVID'S PARISH ARCHAEOLOGICAL
SURVEY 1
Research Goals and Significance 1
Methods 5
Organization 6
CHAPTER 2. PHYSICAL ASPECTS OF TOBAGO 8
Physical Description 8
Geomorphology 10
Topography and Hydrology 14
Climatic Conditions 18
Epidemiology 19
Modern Settlement 20
CHAPTER 3. FACTORS EFFECTING EARLY COLONIZATION
EFFORTS 24
Early History 24
Sugar 25
Slavery 32
The Settlement of Tobago 35
Initial Settlement 38
CHAPTER 4. SUCCESSFUL COLONIZATION 40
Introduction 40
Land Sales 41
The Tobago Economy 49
1763-1781 51
1781-1793 56
1794-1800 63
xiii

CHAPTER 5. DECLINING FORTUNES 67
1800-1807 72
Abolition and Amelioration 75
Apprenticeship 81
Emancipation 83
Metayage 87
Encumbered Estates 93
CHAPTER 6. BACKGROUND TO ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESEARCH 95
Research Design 96
The Study Area 97
Methods 99
Summary of Estate Features 102
Crushing Mills and Power Sources 103
The Sugar Works 107
Estate Houses 114
Estate Villages 115
Summary 117
CHAPTER 7. RESULTS OF REGIONAL SURVEY 119
Site Descriptions 121
Adventure Estate 121
Amity Hope Estate 132
Arnos Vale Estate 134
Castara Downs Estate 137
Courland Estate 138
Craig Hall Estate 138
Culloden Estate 139
Dunvegan and Providence Estates 141
Franklyn's Estate ..144
Golden Lane Estate 145
Highlands Estate 147
Indian Walk Estate 148
King Peter's Estate 150
Les Coteaux Estate 151
Lower Quarter Estate 151
Mary's Hill Estate 153
Mt. Dillon Estate 155
Orange Hill Estate 156
Providence Estate 156
Runnemede Estate 156
Whim Estate 159
Woodlands Estate 161
Additional Structures 162
Summary of Regional Survey 164
xiv

CHAPTER 8. RESULTS OF INTENSIVE SURVEY 166
Courland Estate 166
Previous Research 169
Additional Research 173
Area 1 175
Area 2 180
Area 2 Artifacts 187
Area 3 194
Les Coteaux Estate 194
Orange Hill Estate 207
Summary of Intensive Survey 212
CHAPTER 9. A REGIONAL PERSPECTIVE 217
Constraints to Production and Layout 217
A Model Estate 223
The Estate House 225
The Estate Village 231
A Dynamic Perspective 232
Slave Life 236
Free Blacks and Indigenous Inhabitants 248
Free Laborers 250
Conclusion 254
REFERENCES CITED 259
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 273
xv

LIST OF TABLES
Table 2-1. Average rainfall in Tobago 19
Table 4-1. Land sales on Tobago 42
Table 4-2. Distribution of land grants 43
Table 4-3. Per acre cost of land grants by parish 47
Table 4-4. Per acre cost of land grants, 1765-1771 47
Table 4-5. Intended disposition of lands, 1765 48
Table 4-6. Cleared lands, 1771-1775 49
Table 4-7. Cleared lands by parish 49
Table 4-8. Sugar mills, 1771-1775 50
Table 4-9. Sugar exports, 1770-1780 52
Table 4-10. Cotton exports, 1794-1809 53
Table 4-11. Island population, 1770-1780 54
Table 4-12. Island population by parish, 1770-1780 55
Table 4-13. Population statistics, 1780 57
Table 4-14. Sugar and cotton production, 1785-1789 58
Table 4-15. Estates producing sugar, cotton and indigo
by parish, 1786 60
Table 4-16. Crop distribution by parish, 1786 60
Table 4-17. Sugar mills, 1786 61
Table 4-18. Island population by parish, 1786 62
Table 4-19. Population densities and ratios, 1786 62
Table 4-20. Volume of exports, 1794-1800 64
xvi

Table 4-21. Income of an idealized estate producing 150
Hhds. (99 tons) of sugar with 200 slaves, 1796-
1798 65
Table 5-1. Income of an idealized estate producing 150
Hhds. (99 tons) of sugar with 200 slaves, 1805-
1807 68
Table 5-2. Sugar estates in cultivation for various
years 69
Table 5-3. Sugar exports, 1800-1809 75
Table 5-4. Change in slave population, 1808-1811 78
Table 5-5. Sugar exports, 1814-1869, 1872-1888 and 1890-
1891 79
Table 5-6. Per diem pay scale for apprentice labor,
1836 82
Table 5-7. Change in sugar production during first year
of apprenticeship, St. Paul's Parish 84
Table 7-1. Summary of estate components identified
during the regional survey 123
Table 7-2. Estate and lot ownership for various years....124
Table 7-3. Summary of St. David's Estates, 1811 128
xvii

LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1-1. Tobago Parishes 2
Figure 2-1. Physical features 9
Figure 2-2. Principle geologic structures 11
Figure 2-3. Topographic and hydrologic regimes 15
Figure 2-4. Principle roads and towns 21
Figure 6-1. Providence Sugar Factory, ca. 1830 109
Figure 7-1. St. David's Parish Estates 122
Figure 7-2. St. David's Parish Lots 129
Figure 8-1. Courland Estate 167
Figure 8-2. Courland Sugar Factory 171
Figure 8-3. Courland Estate Village and Old Estate
House Complex 176
Figure 8-4. Courland Old Estate House 178
Figure 8-5. Courland Estate Village Structures A and B...184
Figure 8-6. Les Coteaux Estate 195
Figure 8-7. Les Coteaux Sugar Factory Complex 198
Figure 8-8. Les Coteaux Estate House 201
Figure 8-9. Orange Hill Estate 208
Figure 8-10. Orange Hill Estate House 213
xviii

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
LANDSCAPES AND PLANTATIONS ON TOBAGO:
A REGIONAL PERSPECTIVE
By
Christopher Ohm Clement
May, 1995
Chair: Peter R. Schmidt
Major Department: Anthropology
Final colonization of Tobago occurred in 1763 when the
island was ceded to Great Britain by the Treaty of Paris.
Almost immediately, efforts were made to put the land into
sugar production. The survey reported here focused on
locating all extant remains associated with sugar estates in
St. David's Parish, covering an area of approximately 8720
acres (13.6 square miles). These include primarily sugar
factories where muscovado sugar, molasses and rum were
produced, estate houses where the estate owner lived, and
estate villages where the labor used on the estate was
housed. A variety of ancillary structures may also be
present on a given sugar estate.
xix

The survey located remains associated with 20 of the 22
sugar estates extant in St. David's Parish in 1811. These
included 22 sugar factories, 15 estate houses and three
estate villages. Based on these results, a model of
plantation layout was formulated. The principal factor
affecting layout is the location of the sugar factory.
Factories are sited with primary reference to a water source
for rum production and access to transport. Estate houses
are located in peripheral positions overlooking factory
locations. Secondary factors affecting estate house
location appear to be visibility and view, discussed with
reference to internal functions enhancing estate operation,
and external functions enhancing the status of the planter.
The concept of a "premier estate" that produces goods for
sale to other estates is introduced, and preliminary
archaeological and historical criteria by which such estates
can be defined are presented.
Limited subsurface survey and excavation was undertaken
in one estate village. This program was intended to reveal
the internal layout within the village, but met with only
limited success. Sufficient material was recovered,
however, to give a preliminary view of slave life on Tobago,
discussed with reference to the economic history of the
island and with reference to first-hand observations
presented in contemporary, often unpublished, sources.
xx

CHAPTER 1
THE SAINT DAVID'S PARISH ARCHAEOLOGICAL SURVEY
The archaeological survey reported here examines the
settlement pattern of sugar estates within St. David's
Parish, one of seven parishes that make up the Caribbean
island of Tobago (Figure 1-1). These parishes were defined
by survey between 1763 and 1765 (Niddrie 1961) after the
island, whose ownership had been in dispute throughout the
265 years since its discovery by Columbus in 1498 (Archibald
1987:6), was finally ceded to the British by the Treaty of
Paris in 1763 (Ragatz 1963). St. David's Parish covered an
area of 8720 acres (approximately 13.6 square miles) as
originally surveyed (Jefferys 1778). In 1811 22 sugar
estates were in operation within the parish (Young 1812a).
Research Goals and Significance
The central research question addressed by the St.
David's Archaeological Survey is: how did the major
cultural groups occupying Tobago during the period of
British colonial occupation view and utilize the available
landscape? Primarily, these groups consisted of European
planters and African slaves. Each group had different and
largely separate goals and needs rising from their disparate
1


3
cultural backgrounds and their dissimilar roles within the
plantation production system. Both groups met these goals
and needs by accessing the available natural environment
using familiar, culturally-derived techniques appropriate to
their African and European backgrounds.
The primary goal of the Saint David's Survey was to
generate a model to account for the patterned arrangement of
sugar estates on Tobago with specific focus on the location
and layout of the structures present on those estates.1
Higman (1988) has presented a model of plantation layout
which forms the departure point for this dissertation. His
research is derived from a collection of 1000 eighteenth and
nineteenth century estate plans in the National Library of
Jamaica showing the internal structure of the mapped
properties. Higman's documentary sources were created
primarily to show estate boundaries and the locations of
buildings and activity areas relative to each other. This
focus on the cultural environment built by the Jamaican
planters was at the expense of detail relating to the
natural environment.2 Higman's analysis is therefore
1 These include primarily estate houses, sugar
factories and estate villages. A variety of other
structures may also be present on an estate.
2 Natural features are incorporated into the Jamaican
plans only when they have direct relevance to the economic
value of the estate. Thus, rivers that supply water to
drive the water wheel are commonly represented while
alternative water sources that may have other uses are
omitted.

4
limited both by the difficulties early cartographers had
portraying three-dimensional space in a two-dimensional
medium before the advent of contour lines and by the
omission of many natural environmental features. As a
result, his model is of limited utility to anthropologists.
The internal patterning of estates, both within and
between structures and areas, reflects constraints imposed
by the natural environment. Internal patterning is also
affected by the culturally derived preferences of the
planters who built the estates. Without a clear
understanding of the natural constraints to estate layout
cultural preferences are masked by unclear variation
resulting from natural conditions. To understand and
explain cultural preferences a model that better
incorporates environmental constraints is necessary.
This dissertation presents a model of plantation layout
that initially focuses on the natural environment. With
constraints to layout resulting from environmental factors
such as local topography and hydrology understood, it
becomes possible to profitably examine the choices made by
the planters in establishing a particular layout. These
choices reflect both the economic goal of sugar production,
that of amassing funds, and culturally dictated preferences
for one location or layout over another. These include
primarily the selection of estate lands with minimal
impediments to transport and construction of the built

environment to reflect their British heritage and cultural
affiliation.
5
Methods
The individual methods adopted here are standard
practice for prehistoric and historical archaeologists. As
integrated elements in an overall research design these
methods have not been applied by plantation archaeologists.
The specific methods included:
1—A documents search of primary and secondary
sources to identify sites and their approximate
locations, and to create a historical context
within which the research results could be
understood.3
2—A regional surface survey to physically locate
the material remains of identified sites and the
local environmental contexts within which they
occur. Based on this survey, broad patterns of
site layout are identified and an initial model
formulated.
3—Intensive surface survey at selected sites to
reveal specific variation not accounted for by the
initial model.
4—Limited excavation at an estate village to
recover archaeological data that was not otherwise
available relating to the village's internal
structure.
3 In the course of the documents search data were
encountered which did not have direct relevance to the
research problems addressed. Where these data are not
otherwise available in the published literature or appear in
obscure or rare books they are included in this
dissertation, primarily in tabular format, to increase their
accessibility.

6
Organization
The structure of this dissertation reflects the methods
employed. The first part, Chapters 2 through 5, is
primarily derived from the documents search. It presents
the historical and environmental context within which the
settlement of Tobago occurred. Chapter 2 describes the
island's physical features, features which constrained
settlement in some areas while encouraging settlement in
others. Chapter 3 addresses the question of why, within the
context of a rapidly developing Caribbean economy, permanent
settlement did not occur on Tobago until the mid-eighteenth
century. Chapters 4 and 5 present an economic history of
Tobago. While several good, book length economic histories
of the Caribbean have been published (e.g. Curtin 1990;
Green 1976; Knight 1978; Ragatz 1963; Williams 1970) only
one focuses specifically on Tobago (Nardin 1969). As it is
in French and has only a limited distribution, Chapters 4
and 5 are presented to familiarize the reader with economic
trends that effected Tobago.
The second part of the dissertation, Chapters 6 through
8, is archaeologically oriented. Although it reflects
information encountered in the documents, particularly
spatial information projected graphically, for the most part
Chapters 6 through 8 present the approach to and results of
archaeological research. Chapter 6 discusses the survey
research design, derived from a materialist theoretical

perspective. Chapters 7 and 8 present the data recovered
during the course of archaeological research—Chapter 7 the
results of the regional survey and Chapter 8 the results of
the intensive survey and limited excavation.
In the final chapter, Chapter 9, synchronic and
diachronic models of estate layout are presented. They are
based initially on a functional interpretation of building
location and layout. In turn, instances where enhanced
function does not appear to be a principal goal of the
builders are specifically defined. In these instances more
speculative cognitive or symbolic explanations are
discussed. Though the recovery of material culture from
subsurface contexts was not a primary goal of this research
a discussion of the artifacts recovered during excavations
at one estate village is presented.

CHAPTER 2
PHYSICAL ASPECTS OF TOBAGO
Physical Description
The Caribbean island of Tobago is situated at latitude
11°15' N and longitude 60°40' W, the extreme southeastern
point of the Lesser Antillean island chain. Its closest
neighbor is the island of Trinidad, 18 miles to the
southwest, while the island of Grenada lies approximately 80
miles to the northwest.
Tobago is small, covering an area of approximately 116
square miles (Figure 2-1). The island trends from northeast
to southwest, and is approximately 26 miles long by eight
miles wide at its widest point. A typical width, however,
is more on the order of three to five miles. The most
prominent feature of the island is the dorsal main ridge,
which extends about 13 miles southwest from the northeast
end of the island. Roughly 550 to 580 meters in height, the
ridge is not dominated by any single peak. Rather, there
are several peaks over 520 meters in height distributed all
along the ridge-line. The northern and eastern flanks of
the main ridge slope steeply down to the sea, while to the
southeast they are somewhat less steep. To the southwest,
foothills of the main ridge give way to rolling terrain, and
8

Tobago
Figure 2-1. Physical Features

10
eventually to a relatively flat littoral plain at the
island's extreme southwestern tip at Crown Point.
The British colonization of Tobago was undertaken with
the express intention to create an agricultural economy
based on the large-scale production of crops for export to
foreign markets. At the time of settlement it was widely
recognized that sugar was the most lucrative of these crops.
The configuration of early settlement reflects the perceived
suitability of lands for the production and processing of
cane. In the eyes of the would-be planters, the most
important considerations in the choice of plantation lands
were topographic and, secondarily, hydrologic constraints.
The factors effecting island topography and hydrology rest
on the underlying geologic structure of the island (Figure
2-2) .
Geomorphology
The most recent geomorphological studies of Tobago
indicate that the island's current position at the
northeastern corner of the South American continental shelf
is serendipitous. Rather than being closely related to the
South American continent, as Trinidad is, it now appears
that the geologic components of Tobago are petrographically
and geochemically distinct from those of Trinidad, despite
their close proximity (Wadge and McDonald 1985), and that
the two islands are separated by a major fault zone


12
(Robertson and Burke 1989; Speed et al. 1989). Instead,
Tobago is the eastern-most member of an oceanic island
archipelago that formed some 120 million years ago.
Subsequently, tectonic movement resulted in a collision
between this archipelago and the South American continental
shelf. This gradual collision proceeded from west to east,
with Tobago being the last island involved. By a complex
process, then, it, along with the islands of the Dutch
Antilles and several of the Venezuelan possessions, was
accreted to the continental shelf by tectonic drift some 65-
70 million years ago (Snoke et al. 1990b).
While the relationship between Tobago and the rest of
the Lesser Antilles to the north is more uncertain, Tobago
appears to be geomorphologically distinct from the more
northerly members of the island chain. Where the majority
of the Lesser Antillean islands are characterized by
features of recent or current volcanic activity and a
volcanic core surrounded by effluvial skirts sloping gently
to the sea (Niddrie 1961:2), the rocks of Tobago are
primarily a complex intermixture of igneous and metamorphic
origin (Snoke et al. 1990a, 1990b).
The geologic core of Tobago, the basement rocks around
and upon which the island is formed, is composed of three
pre-Cenozoic belts trending east-west and roughly
transecting the island (Snoke et al. 1990b). The oldest of
these belts, the North Coast Schist (NCS), contains rocks of

13
volcanic origin that were heated, compressed and tilted by
an intrusive group of rocks which had solidified far below
the earth's surface. The NCS forms Tobago's Main Ridge and
the steeply sloping north coast. The plutonic intrusion
caused intensive warping, deformities and fractures in the
NCS, and are the second component of Tobago's three pre-
Cenozoic belts. The plutonic intrusion, together with the
NCS, forms the jagged interior of the island. The intrusion
also uplifted other rocks of volcanic and sedimentary
origin, the Tobago Volcanic Group (TVG), which overlay the
plutonic group. The TVG is the final component of Tobago's
geological underpinnings, and is exposed on the southern
skirts of the island, extending around the southwestern
flanks of the main ridge.
Once Tobago's core had formed, the genesis of a fourth
rock group was initiated by erosion/deposition of existing
rock and by offshore coral growth. The primary component is
coralline limestone, which makes up the coral lowlands that
dominate the southwestern end of the island. The presence
of this formation is indicative of as yet undated tectonic
uplift and/or sea level subsidence (Snoke et al. 1990b).
This may have occurred in two stages, as a terrace is
evident in the coral lowlands at about 20 meters above sea
level (Niddrie 1961:5).

14
Topography and Hydrology
The four rock groups which form Tobago are
differentially resistant to erosion. In addition, their
resistance to erosion is enhanced or mitigated by their
slope. These factors allow the division of the island into
four topographic and hydrologic regimes (Figure 2-3). As
moisture falls on the island in the form of rain, it forms
rivulets, streams and rivers which carry it to the sea.
Depending on the erosional resistance and slope of the
underlying geological structures, these drainages may be
short and steep or long and gently sloping.
The shortest and steepest drainages exist on the
northern slopes of the main ridge, and run to the Caribbean
Sea. While the NCS which underlies the ridge has a high
erosional resistance, it is steeply sloped. Runoff water is
thus fast moving and creates steep declivities, particularly
in the presence of the localized faulting characteristic of
the NCS. Little southern drifting of the headwaters of
these streams has occurred, an action which would have
lengthened their courses, because at the top of the ridge
the transported water has not yet developed either the speed
or the volume which would allow it to downcut the underlying
structure.
A second topographic and hydrologic regime exists on
the southeastern flanks of the main ridge. Here the
underlying structure consists of the intrusive plutonics and


16
TVG groups. Both erosional resistance and slope are less
acute, resulting in a series of fairly long but deeply
incised drainages. Shelfs of more resistant rock occur at
elevations of about 60 meters above sea level and lower
shelfs cut by wave action when sea level was higher relative
to land surface occur at about 20 and 7.5 meters above sea
level. All cause waterfalls or rapids at these elevations.
In addition to falls and rapids, the rivers and streams of
the southeastern flank are characterized by low-lying,
occasionally broad floodplains as they approach the
southeastern coast. Due to the size of their drainage
basins, all are perennial and subject to frequent and
violent flooding during the rainy season. In contrast,
during the dry months from December to June, the water
courses may not even have sufficient flow to break through
the sand bar barriers erected by wave action at their mouths
(Eubanks 1992:57; Niddrie 1961:4-5). Drainages in this, the
island's southeastern slope, feed and include the Bacolet
River, the East and West Hillsborough Rivers, the
Goldsborough River, the Richmond River, the Argyle River,
and the Louis d'Or River.
The sole member of the third topographic and hydrologic
regime is the Courland River. Arising in the NCS group, the
Courland has managed to break through to the broad, gently
sloping members of the TVG that occupy the area immediately
southwest of the main ridge. While the same shelves that

17
affect the southeastern drainages affect the Courland, the
more gently sloping terrain has resulted in a decreased flow
velocity and a corresponding reduction in river downcutting.
The hills in the Courland drainage area, while still steep,
are thus less high above the river than their counterparts
on the southeastern slope. Decreased slope has also allowed
the river to take on a more meandering aspect than its
counterparts, creating a rolling countryside and reducing
the violence of seasonal flooding (Niddrie 1961:4).
The final topographic and hydrologic regime covers the
coral lowlands at the southwestern extremity of the island.
Almost flat, drainage in this area occurs more by seepage
through the limestone itself, and rather less by surface
runoff. Surface water is scarce during the dry season,
occurring most frequently as springs where underlying TVG
rocks approach the surface. The frequently heavy
precipitation of the rainy season, however, has produced a
system of shallow (ca. 35 ft) valleys throughout the coral
lowlands, providing at least some topographic relief
(Niddrie 1961). The presence of at least two volcanic
"necks" (the more erosionally resistant core of extinct
volcanoes) in the vicinity of the village of Mt. Pleasant
contributes further topographic variety (Eubanks 1992).

18
Climatic Conditions
The two most important elements of Tobago's weather
patterns affecting cultivation are precipitation and the
velocity and direction of the prevailing winds. As with the
other islands of the Lesser Antilles, Tobago experiences a
very predictable breeze. Blowing on a year-round basis at a
fairly steady 5-12 knots, the breeze is from the northeast
during most of the year. During mid-summer, however,
without losing any velocity it may shift towards the south,
picking up additional moisture, raising humidity and
resulting in at least some rainfall throughout the year
(Niddrie 1961:5-6).
By far the majority of the rainfall, however, is
seasonal. Although the amount of seasonal rain varies
throughout the island (Table 2-1), Tobagonians generally
refer to a wet season running from June to December and a
dry season extending from January to May. Wet season
rainfall usually occurs in the form of heavy convectional
thunder storms of short duration, producing locally violent
winds that last for but a short time. More continuous but
less frequent rains are delivered by frontal systems
accompanying the Intertropical Convergence Zone, and
rainfall of up to one inch per hour has been recorded during
these events. Fortunately for the inhabitants of Tobago,
the island lies to the south of the main hurricane belt.
Although tropical storms and hurricanes do occur, they are

19
rare, and tend to be less destructive than similar storms to
the north. The last major hurricane to impact Tobago was
Hurricane Flora in 1963. Prior to that, one must go all the
way back to 1847 for a storm of similar magnitude, although
smaller storms hit the island in 1780, 1790, 1831, 1891,
1909, 1918, 1928, and 1933 (Eubanks 1992:60-61; Niddrie
1961:5-8).
Table 2-1. Average rainfall in Tobago
Month
Average rainfall (in.)
January
00
•
February
00
.
CN
March
2.3
April
3.7
May
vo
•
in
June
9.2
July
9.6
August
00
.
00
September
00
•
VO
October
9.1
November
9.4
December
11.4
Total
85.6
After Niddrie 1961:6
Epidemiology
A third consideration for the early planters when
selecting their lands was epidemiological. Tobago's river
valleys tend to be deep, with a corresponding high degree of
humidity, and river and stream mouths are frequently blocked

20
by wave-borne sand bars in the dry season, creating pools
stagnant water. In both instances, an ideal mosquito
breeding ground is present. Where these features are
coupled with coastal lagoons and mangrove swamps, malarial
and other tropical infections became a real threat. Indeed,
the early planters were highly cognizant of the fact that in
Tobago's tropical climate, death by malaria or other
tropical disease was a very real possibility (Young 1812a).
Although they may not have recognized the disease vector,
they attempted to minimize infection, avoiding high risk
areas by locating in elevated positions where possible.
Settlement pattern reflected these decisions, and in large
part, these patterns persist today (Niddrie 1961:8).
Modern Settlement
Most of Tobago's existing road network has been in
existence since at least the early nineteenth century. The
modern towns and villages, on the other hand, were primarily
founded in the post-emancipation period, after 1838, when
former slaves left the estate villages provided them by
estate owners. Figure 2-4 shows these features.
Today, life on Tobago revolves around the capital town
of Scarborough. The Government is the single largest
employer on the island, and most government offices are
located in the capital. Banks and many small businesses are
located in Scarborough as well. The largest population

Figure
Tobago
-4. Principle Roads and Towns

22
concentration is within the town's environs, while many
other people commute in on a daily basis, using both public
and private transportation.
Though neither compares with Scarborough, two
additional population centers are Roxborough and Plymouth.
Roxborough is located towards the eastern end of the island
on the southeastern coast, and since travel-time to
Scarborough from there is fairly long, it duplicates many of
the services available in the capital. It is likely that it
existed prior to emancipation, at least as a village, though
none of the contemporary maps confirm this.
Plymouth, in contrast, was one of the islands's
earliest permanent settlements (see Chapter 4). Indeed, it
may have been the very first town, as the Dutch settled
nearby as early as 1628 (Boomert et al. 1987:9-10).
Plymouth is located towards the western end of the island,
and is the only major town on the northern coast. Though
travel to and from Scarborough is easier than from
Roxborough, Plymouth too duplicates many of the functions of
Scarborough. Plymouth serves a portion of the burgeoning
tourism industry as well. The luxury tourist hotels are
located nearby, and since at least some tourists do not
bother to rent transport, Plymouth serves as a marketplace
for groceries or other necessary items. Plymouth also
maintains much of the "quaintness" of former times, and many
visitors to the island spend time in the town sightseeing.

23
Since the development of Crown Point Airport at the
extreme southwestern tip of the island, the area in its
vicinity has been developing rapidly. This area, too,
serves primarily tourists, though of a different kind. The
majority of the island's guest houses—small, inexpensive
hotels offering functional living spaces—are located near
the airport in the villages of Bon Accord and Canaan,
principally in the former. These guest houses attract a
less opulent clientele than the luxury hotels near Plymouth,
and many small businesses have developed to serve them.
Souvenir and grocery shops and stands abound, as do small
restaurants and bars. The village of Buccoo, on Buccoo Bay,
is rapidly being transformed from a fishing village into
something more akin to Bon Accord, primarily due to its
proximity to Buccoo Reef.
The remainder of the villages on Tobago remain largely
unchanged. Most developed at around the time of
emancipation, when freed slaves left the estates to pursue a
livelihood based on peasant agriculture and wage labor on
plantations (Niddrie 1961—see Chapter 5). Villages located
in the interior of the island are primarily agricultural,
while those on the coast support both agriculture and the
local fishing industry. Examples of the former include
Bethel, Les Coteaux and Mt. Pleasant, while examples of the
latter include Castara, Charlotteville and Mt. St. George
(Figure 2-4).

CHAPTER 3
FACTORS EFFECTING EARLY COLONIZATION EFFORTS
Early History
Tobago's early history is complex. From its first
discovery by Europeans in 1498 until its final recapture by
the British in 1804, the island changed hands more
frequently than any other in the Caribbean (Niddrie
1961:42). The colonial flags of England, France, Spain,
Holland, and the Duchy of Courland (modern-day Latvia), as
well as the independent Republic of Trinidad and Tobago,
have all flown over the island at one time or another.
Comprehensive treatments of the early history of Tobago are
available in Archibald (1987), Eubanks (1992) and Lichtveld
(1974). Rather than simply reiterating their discussions,
this chapter presents a broader treatment of events
affecting the early history of Tobago. Foremost among these
was the adoption of sugar cane as the major cash crop of the
Caribbean, with the concomitant reliance on African slaves
as labor. The events which led to the primacy of sugar are
best understood by focusing on Europe, and on European
attitudes towards the Caribbean (Mintz 1985; Wolf 1982).
24

25
Sugar
Columbus's voyages of discovery were sponsored by the
Spanish crown, and Spain became the first dominant European
power in the Caribbean and the rest of the New World.
During the earliest period of Spanish supremacy there was a
brief fluorescence of agricultural production in the
American colonies. The Spanish recognized the potential of
sugar very early in their colonization efforts. Cane was
first introduced into Hispaniola by Columbus in 1493 on his
second voyage (Mintz 1985:32). By the mid-sixteenth
century, 40 to 50 sugar factories were in operation on
Hispaniola alone (Las Casas, in Williams 1970:26,519).
While these factories were fairly primitive when compared to
the nineteenth century technology, they produced copious
amounts of sugar (Williams 1970). During the initial period
of Spanish production, however, Caribbean sugar was mostly
sold in the extremely limited New World market, while the
more extensive Old World demand was supplied by the
Portuguese possessions in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic
(Williams 1970).
By the second quarter of the sixteenth century the
attention of the Spanish in the New World shifted away from
agricultural production. After 1520 the goal of Spanish
exploration was primarily the acquisition of precious
metals. Indeed, precious metals were so important to the
Spanish that one Historian states that "...it was gold which

26
determined the location of Spanish settlements, which led to
their concentration on the Greater Antilles and to their
neglect of the Lesser Antilles, except those which had
strategic significance for the protection of the trade
routes" (Williams 1970:24).
Initially, gold was recovered from deposits on
Hispaniola. These were rapidly depleted however, and the
focus of exploration shifted to other Caribbean islands and
to mainland Central and South America. The vast riches of
the Aztec and Inca Empires fired the imagination of
Spaniards (Williams 1970). Many residents of the Caribbean
re-emigrated to the mainland, while new arrivals from Spain
tended to bypass the Caribbean entirely. Interest in the
agricultural potential of the Caribbean declined as a
result. The Spanish colonies on Hispaniola, and
particularly Cuba, became key strategic points for
protecting Spanish gold and silver shipments during the
hazardous initial stages of the Atlantic crossing (Knight
1978) .
Spanish dominance of the Caribbean lasted until the
second quarter of the seventeenth century. During this
period of Spanish hegemony no other European power possessed
both the strength and the desire to gain a foothold in the
Caribbean. It was not until the cessation, in 1621, of a
truce between the Spanish and the Dutch that any European
power could successfully challenge Spanish dominance. With

27
the end of the treaty, however, the Dutch quickly moved to
usurp Spanish power. They accomplished this by first
gaining control of the Atlantic sea-lanes. Dutch harassment
and eventual destruction of the Spanish navy opened the way
to settlement of the Caribbean by other European powers
(Parry 1963). The British quickly moved in, settling
Barbados and part of St. Croix (1625), Nevis (1628), Antigua
and Montserrat (1632), and St. Lucia (1638). They, in turn,
were rapidly followed by the French (Martinique and
Guadeloupe) (Knight 1978:37-38). It was also during this
period that European adventurers made the first serious
attempts to settle Tobago (Eubanks 1992:67).
British and French forays into the Caribbean were made
with the intent to establish agricultural colonies (Curtin
1990:77). Despite early Spanish success in cane
cultivation, however, the crop was not immediately adopted
by the British and French colonists. In part, this was
because a market was not immediately available to the
British and the French. Due to the nearly continuous
warfare between the various European powers during the
sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, what little sugar
made it to the British and French home markets was very
expensive. The resulting price put sugar beyond the means
of the majority of the population. It was only with the
initiation of production in the British and French Caribbean
in the mid-seventeenth century that prices began to decline,

28
and popularity of the new commodity began to rise. From its
early beginnings as a tasty but rare condiment on the
European table, the market demand became increasingly
elastic and sugar production rapidly expanded (Mintz 1985).
During the first fifteen to twenty years of
colonization, after an initial period of experimentation
with a variety of crops, it became apparent that tobacco
production offered the most lucrative returns, and the early
successes of the new colonies were largely based on this
crop (Batie 1991). The economic potential of tobacco was
first realized by the British colonists of Virginia. They
first began growing the crop around 1616, and by 1619 a
planter could make profits of up to £200 yearly at a time
when the average laborer in England was making a mere £10
8s. per year (Batie 1991:39). The Caribbean colonists
quickly adopted tobacco cultivation.
The success of tobacco was so great that Europeans
emigrated to the new colonies in large numbers, either to
set themselves up as planters or to work as laborers for a
period of indenture, after which they could hope to be free
to buy land and start plantations of their own.
Predictably, the steady increase in the number of tobacco
planters and laborers soon caused production to outstrip
demand. By 1635 prices were in decline. Though this price
reduction affected all colonists, it was particularly hard
on those in Virginia, where few other crops could be grown.

29
To protect the colonies from price fluctuations, officials
in Virginia and the Caribbean agreed to increase the price
of tobacco artificially by severely limiting its production
in the Caribbean. The French were coerced by threats of
force into joining in this effort.
With the enactment of this agreement, the economy of
the Virginia colony at least was stabilized. In the
Caribbean, however, production of a new staple crop was
necessarily promoted. Initially, cotton was the dominant
replacement. It grew well in the Caribbean environment, and
the knowledge, technology and labor required for its
cultivation were minimal. In fact, cotton was so suited to
the Caribbean environment that by 1639 prices were dropping,
like those of tobacco had before, because of over
production. By this time, however, the preconditions that
would allow the successful cultivation of cane and
manufacture of sugar had been met (Batie 1991). This
initially occurred in Barbados.
Before sugar cane could be successfully adopted in the
Caribbean as the dominant crop, three preconditions had to
be met. The first preconditions relate, at least
indirectly, to the high cost of the equipment necessary for
sugar production. First, the islands upon which sugar
production occurred had to be safe from foreign attack.
Economically, it was poor practice to invest in sugar
production hardware if that hardware was liable to

30
destruction by foreign invaders. Second, individuals needed
access to sufficient capital to afford the initial
investments in sugar technology. Both of these
preconditions were realized in the Caribbean as a result of
earlier tobacco and cotton production, and by the
intervention of the Dutch.
In the early seventeenth century Britain was in the
depths of a depression and on the verge of civil war, and
many people chose to migrate to the New World. When tobacco
prices began to drop in 1635, British emigrants to the
colonies began to opt for the Caribbean, where a broader
variety of opportunities was available, rather than
Virginia. Barbados was a particularly desirable
destination, as its environment proved to be particularly
suitable for cotton production. Thus, by the time cotton
prices began to fall, Barbados already had a greater
population density than any other colony in the New World.
The sheer numbers of residents, particularly when combined
with Barbados' windward location (Curtin 1990), made the
island reasonably safe from foreign invasion. At the same
time, the success of cotton in Barbados created a sizeable
upper class, an upper class that could afford to risk
capital by investing in the eguipment required for sugar
production (Batie 1991).
The final requirement for successful sugar production
was technical knowledge. The production of sugar is a

31
complex process, particularly in contrast to the relative
simplicity of tobacco and cotton production. With sugar,
aside from simply growing and harvesting the cane, one has
to know how to reduce the cane juice to sugar and molasses,
and how to produce rum. Knowledge of the processes was
fairly commonplace by the late 1630s, but talent
concentrated in other parts of the world. It remained for
the Dutch to import the crucial knowledge.
The Dutch had initiated settlement in the Caribbean
concurrently with the British and the French. However,
rather than choosing to settle arable islands as the British
and French had, the Dutch colonized the smaller, less
agriculturally productive islands of Curagao, St. Eustatius,
St. Maarten, and Saba (Knight 1978:37). Their intention was
to create trade entrepots, an activity which, on a larger
scale, had successfully supported the Dutch homeland. The
success of these incipient trading centers, however,
required a viable Caribbean economy. It was therefore in
the Dutch interest to help the other colonists. As part of
their campaign against the Spanish, the Dutch had earlier
taken Portuguese Brazil, challenging the united kingdoms of
Spain and Portugal.1 The Brazilian economy at that time
was dependent largely on sugar, and it was a relatively
simple matter to transport the knowledge of sugar production
1 During this period the Portuguese and Spanish crowns
were united, and any action against Portugal was an action
against Spain.

32
from Brazil to Barbados (Batie 1991:45); in need of a cash
crop to replace cotton and support the dense Barbadian
population, the island's officials simply looked the other
way. The Dutch, in turn, assured themselves of a ready
market for their goods, foremost of which were African
slaves.
Slavery
Europeans brought African slaves to the New World
shortly after initial settlement. As early as 1502, the
Spanish on Hispaniola began importing Africans (Rout 1976).
This was initially done as an experiment, as the Spanish
were quick to realize that the locally available labor,
decimated by European diseases and debilitating labor in the
fields and mines, was unsuited to the Spanish regime. By
1514, only 23,000 to 30,000 native inhabitants were left on
the island, an island that may have supported up to eight
million inhabitants in 1492 (Borah and Cook 1971-1977; Cook
1981). The Spanish travelled to other islands in search of
additional labor, and these islands, too, were soon
effectively depopulated.
While the enslavement of Africans was certainly
practiced by the Spanish in the New World, it was not until
the introduction of an economy based upon sugar production
that slavery in the Americas reached full maturity. This
initially occurred in northeastern Brazil. During the

33
period when Spain exercised exclusive control in the
Caribbean and amassed a fortune in gold and silver from the
conquests of Mexico and Peru, Portugal controlled an equally
lucrative empire centered about the Mediterranean Sea and
extending down the west coast of Africa. They also
controlled northeastern Brazil, where they quietly
instituted a plantation economy.
Not surprisingly given their previous experience with
the crop in their Old World possessions, the Portuguese
planters developed a sugar economy in Brazil. As had the
Spanish, they quickly recognized the susceptibility of the
local Native American populations to disease, and their
consequent unsuitability for labor (Rawley 1981). Indeed,
the situation in Brazil was exacerbated by the fact that
Native American slaves could easily absent themselves from
the plantations, fleeing to the interior where they could
re-institute the economic and cultural system that had
supported them in the past (Wagley 1971). Having been
exposed to Europeans and their diseases for decades,
however, and having immunity to a host of other tropical
diseases common to both Africa and the New World, in
Africans the Portuguese had the ideal labor force for New
World plantations. An additional advantage was that
enslaved African had little or no means of escape. As
Eubanks (1992:42) puts it: "they were as alien off the
plantation as they were on it."

34
When the Dutch conquered Portuguese Brazil in 1630
(Curtin 1990:91), they found a full-blown plantation economy
based on the production of sugar and the enslavement of
Africans already in place. Nevertheless, the Dutch
recognized that without a steady supply of new slaves this
type of economy could not last, since even with their
disease immunities the African population of Brazil was not
self-reproducing. This was due in part to the arduous
working conditions of the plantation regime, and in part to
the skewed sex-ratios of imported Africans—many more males
were imported than females (Curtin 1969, 1979). To ensure
the continued success of their new holdings, the Dutch
seized Portuguese-held African ports on the Gold Coast and
in Angola, securing for themselves a steady supply of slaves
(Curtin 1990).
With access to slaves and with growing entrepots in the
Caribbean in need of a viable market, the Dutch were willing
to share their knowledge of sugar production, stolen from
Brazil, with the British colonists on Barbados (Batie
1991:45). The first recorded shipment of sugar reached
England from Barbados in 1643 (Batie 1991:46). In that same
year, production was initiated on the British-held portion
of St. Kitts, and by 1644 the French had begun to produce
sugar on Guadeloupe. The sugar boom was on in the
Caribbean, and the rhythms of sugar production would
eventually dominate almost the entire archipelago.

35
The Settlement of Tobago2
With the beginning of the industrial revolution, sugar
was rapidly transformed from a luxury good, accessible only
to the rich, to a staple food additive demanded by the vast
European laboring population. It is within the context of
this rapid increase in demand that the eventual settlement
of Tobago is best understood. However, this did not occur
until 1765, 122 years after the initiation of sugar
production on Barbados. The question is, why, with the
feasibility of such a potentially lucrative crop widely
recognized, did Britain, France or Spain not bring Tobago
into sugar production at an earlier date? The answer lies
in a combination of factors, the most important of which is
that it was advantageous for each government to deny access
to Tobago to the others.
During the seventeenth century, when the agricultural
resources of the Caribbean began to thrive, the geo¬
political importance of Tobago was recognized. With the
exception of Barbados, Tobago is the most easterly of all
the Caribbean islands. This was an era of sailing ships
2 Care must be taken when thinking of the "settlement"
of Tobago. Tobago was "settled" on numerous occasions prior
to 1763, most notably by the Dutch and the Courlanders in
the 17th century. In addition, while the island had neutral
status from 1748 to 1763, several individuals of various
nationalities maintained permanent or temporary residences
there, primarily for turtling. In this dissertation, the
term "settlement" is used to denote the period of permanent
occupation by British planters engaged in the cultivation of
cash crops.

36
and, from Tobago, sailing ships catching the prevailing
easterly trade winds could sweep the entire Caribbean island
chain, bringing naval pressure to bear wherever and whenever
the possessors of Tobago pleased. By the same token, ships
from other islands had a difficult time maneuvering to
Tobago in its upwind location. Thus, in the days of sailing
ships Tobago occupied a very strategic position relative to
the rest of the Caribbean. As the economic importance of
the Caribbean increased with the realization of sugar as a
cash crop, so too did Tobago's strategic importance.
Consequently, no European power could afford to have Tobago
colonized by another.
The strategic importance of Tobago lasted throughout
the age of the sailing ship. As late as the beginning of
the nineteenth century the rights to Tobago were still
contested by the French because of its coveted strategic
location. Indeed, French maps of Tobago made during the
1780s, and the road system along the rugged windward coast
that they constructed during their occupation of that period
indicate their preoccupation with Man o' War Bay at
Charlotteville. They envisioned this as a possible naval
depot from which to threaten the rest of the Caribbean, and
its potential drew them back to the island as late as 1803-
1804. The British, too, frequently included details of Man
o' War Bay on their maps (e.g., Jefferys 1765), indicating
that they also recognized this strategic potential.

37
Strategic location was the major factor which delayed
the occupation of Tobago. Contributing to this was the
incipient nature of cane cultivation and sugar production
and soil fertility on the established islands of the British
and French Caribbean. Following their successful
introduction to Barbados in the mid-seventeenth century,
cane cultivation and sugar production were rapidly
introduced to other British and French islands during the
late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Their
spread was driven by the need to meet an ever-increasing
demand for sugar (Mintz 1985:36), as well as decreasing soil
fertility on long-established plantations, caused by
repeated mono-cropping and the corresponding decline in soil
nutrients (Ragatz 1963). Nevertheless, it took time for
sugar production to spread to all of the land suitable for
cane cultivation, particularly on the larger islands of
Jamaica and French Hispaniola (Haiti), and, to a lesser
extent, Martinique and Guadaloupe. Whatever the cause of
this continuous extension of cane cultivation, sufficient
unoccupied land was available on established islands until
the mid-eighteenth century.
Another factor contributing to the late settlement of
Tobago was the island's topography. As noted in Chapter 2,
Tobago is dominated by a mountainous interior. The sheer
ruggedness of the topography make the main ridge, roughly
two thirds of the island's total area, marginal at best for

38
sugar production. Transportation, from the cane fields to
the sugar works, and from the sugar works to shipping
points, would have been extremely difficult; maintenance
costs were high, both for the estate roads themselves, and
for the vehicles and the teams used to draw them. In short,
much of Tobago was less well-suited for sugar production
than many other Caribbean islands, and as a result it was
one of the last to be brought on-line. Even during the
height of its sugar production in the early nineteenth
century, Tobago had only 35,134 of its roughly 74,400 acres
occupied by sugar estates (Young 1812a).
Initial Settlement
The strategic location of Tobago, combined with the
availability of land on other islands and the unsuitability
of Tobago's topography for sugar production, acted to delay
the effective settlement of Tobago until the last half of
the eighteenth century. That strategic location was the
most critical factor is evidenced by the fact that when the
Treaty of Paris gave Britain the legal right to settle
Tobago colonization almost immediately began, with a letter
of patent dated 7 October, 1763. By 1765 an initial survey
had been completed which began laying out lots for estates
(Simpson 1765), and on 20 May, 1765, the first estate,
consisting of lots 7 and 8 in St. George's Parish, was sold

39
to Alexander Stevenson (Nardin 1969:298-299) .3 This later
became known as Hope Estate.
3 There is some contention about the primacy of this
sale. Woodcock (1866:41) says that the first lot sold, lot
1 in St. David's Parish, was sold to James Simpson on 20
March, 1766, while Archibald (1987:107) contends that
Simpson bought this lot at the first land sale in May of
1765.

CHAPTER 4
SUCCESSFUL COLONIZATION
Introduction
Tobago is one of the so-called "ceded islands" acquired
by the British as a result of the Treaty of Paris in 1763
(Ragatz 1963 ).* With the acquisition of the ceded islands,
the British parliament imposed two conditions on settlement.
First, in response to concerns that most of the new lands
would remain idle in the hands of speculators, parliament
required steady and large payments on purchased land,
payments that could only be met by immediately putting the
land into production.
(Lands)...should be put up to sale at a price not
less than five pounds per acre of the lands that
were cleared and if the lands were uncleared at a
price no less than one pound sterling per
acre...(the purchaser)...should thereupon pay
down twenty per cent of the whole purchase money
and six pence sterling for every acre of which the
lots should consist for the expense of surveying
the same. ...(O)ver and above the twenty pounds
per cent of the whole purchase money he should pay
down ten pounds per cent of the whole purchase
money within one year from the date of such Bill
of Sale, ten pounds per cent more within the
second year after the date of such Bill of Sale
and twenty per cent within every successive year
until the whole was paid... (CO 101/1:75, in
Nardin 1969:296).
1 The others are Dominica, St. Vincent, Grenada and the
Grenadines.
40

41
Second, parliament limited the amount of land that
could be purchased by any individual, in order to limit the
influence of individual planters in the plantocratic lobby:
That no purchaser should be seized in his own name
or names of others in trust for him of more than
five hundred acres in the islands where the lands
lie, ...and if so seized of a greater number,
...that the purchase and grant of so many as
should exceed that number should be void and a
proportionable part of the money paid thereon
forfeited and the lands resumed and again exposed
to sale (CO 101/1:75, in Nardin 1969:296).
Parliament's goal was to guarantee steadily increasing
imports into the mother country without surrendering
additional political power to the planter class. The effect
was to impose twin constraints on Tobagonian planters:
potentially insufficient land coupled with a payment
schedule that could, perhaps, prove insurmountable (Ragatz
1963) .
Land Sales
In all, seven land sales were held on the island (Table
4-1). The distribution of the acreage involved in these
sales says much about the perceptions the European colonists
had of the various parts of the island (Table 4-2). The
first lots sold were primarily in St. George's Parish (see
Figure 1-1). St. George's Parish was initially envisioned
as the most acceptable site for a capital town, to be called
Georgetown, by virtue of its proximity Barbados Bay. The
most attractive selling point for Barbados Bay as the

42
Table 4-1. Land sales on Tobago
Convening Date
Acres Sold
19 May 1765
4000
12 May 1766
11,096
1767
14,975
1768
4632
9 April 1769
5183
5 June 1770
10,362
11 May 1771
8160
TOTAL
58,408
After Archibald 1987:107-123
location of Georgetown was its centrality relative to the
rest of the island.
Barbados Bay had the advantage of a central
situation and tendered equal facilities for resort
on business to the people of St. Mary's, St.
Paul's and St. John's (the northeastern portion of
the island),- or to St. Andrew's, St. Patrick's
and St. David's (the southwestern portion of the
island) (Young, in Archibald 1987:117).
In addition to its central location, the area of Barbados
Bay was thought by the original colonists to be less
conducive to the host of tropical diseases known to exist on
the island.
Despite the central location of Georgetown and Barbados
Bay, by the second land sale, buyer attention had shifted
primarily to St. David's Parish (although with the exception
of St. John's Parish land was sold throughout the island).
This shift is attributed to the move by James Simpson to
purchase Courland Estate, at either the first land sale or
early in 1766 (see Chapter 3, note 3, above). Simpson, as

Table 4-2. Distribution of land grants
Parish
Year
1765
1766
1767
1768
1769
1770
1771
Total
St.
George
3500
1900
2700
1000
80
912
1100
11,192
St.
David
500
2900
2100
420
2300
500
8720
St.
Andrew
2960
160
50
3170
St.
Patrick
2596
2915
290
5801
St.
Mary
2700
2300
352
855
1740
2500
10,447
St.
Paul
800
2100
200
448
2550
1460
7558
St.
John
2500
3800
1620
2600
10,520
Total
4000
11,096
14,975
4632
5183
9362
8160
57,408 1
After Young 1812c:81
it»
U)

44
the island's Chief Surveyor, possessed a degree of
familiarity with the island beyond that of the other
potential buyers. It appears that they recognized this
advantage, following his lead in this second round of land
sales (Archibald 1987:108).
By the third sale the buyers had further refined their
estimates of the relative merits of the various parishes.
In a trade-off that must have represented a difficult
business decision on the part of the planters, purchases
during the third sale were confined primarily to the nearly
flat parishes of St. Andrew's and St. Patrick's. The
planters were faced with two choices. On the one hand, St.
Andrew's and particularly St. Patrick's Parishes offer few
limitations to transport. Getting the crop from field to
factory, and later getting the finished products—muscovado
sugar, molasses and rum—from the factory to suitable points
for shipment to overseas markets was greatly facilitated in
the flatter parishes. On the other hand, the flat parishes
suffered from a decided lack of surface water. In general,
the streams and rivers of St. Patrick's and St. Andrew's
were too small and too gently sloped to operate water-
powered sugar mills. The lot choices of the third land sale
indicate that early Tobago planters opted for ease of
transport over the advantages of a water-based power supply.
This is a particularly telling point in that
... (o)n the computation of our most intelligent
planters, a 'water mill' adds to the value of the

45
Plantation one fifth, and one fifth more income
from the proceeds of the crop, never being at a
stand, or even retarded; from the Negroes never
being employed in cutting canes, which eventually
there may be no wind to grind, and the labours be
lost as well as canes, from canes being taken off
in their prime, and at the most seasonable and
convenient moment, with a certainty of immediate
manufacture, and generally from a saving of
produce, time, and labour (Young 1812c:78—
emphasis in original).
One consequence of the preference for land at the
southwestern end of the island was the virtual abandonment
of Georgetown. Although Plymouth was recognized as the best
alternative choice, Scarborough was established as Tobago's
capital city in 1767. According to Young (in Archibald
1987:115-117), the choice of Scarborough as the capital was
a poor one, based more on individual influence than on the
good of the colony as a whole.
The prepondering influence of the Surveyor
General, Mr. Simpson, then Speaker of the
Assembly, prevented the selection of Plymouth
Town; - where (as he is reported to have said) - 1
that establishment of Government and trade would
occasion a concourse of people to disturb his
great plantation in the neighbourhood (ie.
Courland Estate); his slaves would all be
corrupted; the men in Tipping Houses; and the
women by sailors! The interests of the rich
Leeward planters cooperating or temporizing with
Mr. Simpson, the measure of removing the Sessions
of Legislature from George Town, and the
transferring it to Scarboro; was carried by
personal influence and intrigue... (in Archibald
1987:116).
In the fourth land sale, buyers focused on St. John's
Parish. Since this area was far removed from the newly
established capital at Scarborough and from the preferred
locale of St. Patrick's and St. Andrew's Parishes at the

46
southwestern end of the island, it seems likely that other
factors accounted for this shift. By 1768, most of the
coastal lands in more proximate relation to Scarborough had
been claimed. Rather than choosing inland sites, where
overland transport was difficult, buyers selected coastal
lands where sea transport was possible. This pattern of
purchasing land in St. John's Parish continued through the
fifth round of land sales in 1769.
By the sixth land offering, in 1770, sales were more
broadly distributed, concentrating in St. David's, St.
Paul's, St. John's, and St. Mary's parishes. These may have
been the more inland sites. The seventh and final land sale
was held in 1771. Sales were concentrated in the eastern
three parishes of St. John's, St. Mary's and St. Paul's
parishes.
Table 4-3 documents the prices brought at the land
sales by Parish. Although a brief glance at the table
indicates that the most costly lands were located in St.
John's and St. Paul's parishes, this does not necessarily
reflect accurately the perceived value of lands. Rather,
the table reflects the fact that the later a lot was sold,
the better price it fetched. Table 4-4, showing costs per
acre on a year-by-year basis, confirms this observation.
Indeed, Young notes that:
...the price paid per acre (on a parish-by-parish
basis) are (sic) no criterion of comparative value
of the lands purchased. At commencement of the
adventure the country was little known, and the

47
Table 4-3. Per acre cost of land grants by parish
Parish
Avg. cost per acre (£-s)
St. George
2-0
St. David
2-16
St. Andrew
2-2
St. Patrick
1-5
St. Mary
2-19
St. Paul
3-12
St. John
3-12
After Young 1812c:81
Table 4-4. Per acre costs of land grants, 1765-1771
Year
Avg. cost per acre (£-s)
1765
1-0
1766
1-0
1767
1-10
1768
1-10
1769
2-15
1770
5-17
1771
4-14
After Young 1812c:81
bidders were cautious. In due course the soil was
further examined and better known, it was more
highly appreciated, and in the latter years a
competition raised the price of interior lands
(Young 1812c:81-82).
At the conclusion of the land sales, 57,408 acres had
been sold for plantations, at a total cost of £154,058
(Young 1812c:81). Archibald (1987:123) notes that this
represented 77 percent of all land on the island. When
combined with the 1520 acres reserved for poor settlers and
the 1000 acres reserved for crown usage, the resulting

48
59,928 acres (Table 4-5) account for nearly 81 percent of
the island's total acreage. The remaining acreage was to be
left in woods "for the preservation of the rains."
Table 4-5. Intended disposition of lands, 1765
Parish
Acres
granted
for
Estates
Acres
reserved
for Poor
Settlers
Total
acres
granted
Acres
reserved
for
Crown
St. Andrew's
3170
450
3620
200
St. George's
11,192
120
11,312
100
St. Mary's
10,447
100
10,547
100
St. Paul's
7558
100
7658
100
St. John's
10,520
450
10,970
200
St. David's
8720
100
8820
200
St. Patrick's
5801
200
6001
100
TOTAL
57,408
1520
58,928
1000
Young 1812b:38
While the Tobago land sales were highly successful,
putting the land into production was a different matter,
requiring substantial clearing operations in Tobago's
densely forested environment. While the data available on
land clearing are sparse, they indicate that clearing
occurred steadily, but unevenly, throughout the island.
Table 4-6 documents clearing operations from 1771 to 1775.
Table 4-7 breaks down clearing operations by parish for the
years 1775, 1786 and 1811. The latter table shows that the
amount of clearing in the rugged parishes at the eastern end
of the island lagged far behind that of the others. By
1786, St. Andrew's Parish could begin to realize its
productive potential while the eastern parishes continued to

49
lag behind. By 1811, St. Patrick's and St. David's parishes
were also nearly completely cleared.
Table 4-6. Cleared lands, 1771-1775
Year
Acres cleared
1771
7042
1772
9601
1773
12,451
1774
15,060
1775
17,514
After Young 1812c:83
Table 4-7. Cleared lands by parish
Parish
Acres cleared
1775
1786
1811
St. Andrew
2338
2874
2910
St. George
4211
5837
6000
St. Mary
1906
3642
4218
St. Paul
1510
2595
4721
St. John
1320
2778
3570
St. David
2424
5106
8650
St. Patrick
2338
5083
5465
TOTAL
17,514
27,925
35,534
The Tobago Economy
Tobago differed from all other ceded islands in that it
still remained undeveloped in 1763. Where the other islands
continued to produce the crops they previously had relied
on, Tobago became a sugar colony from the first (Ragatz
1963:40-41). The adoption of sugar cane as the major crop
was abetted by fiscal policies enacted by the British

50
government which, in the Mercantilist period, levied high
taxes on Caribbean products other than sugar and rum (Nardin
1969:227). In 1770 the first shipment of sugar left Tobago
for England (Archibald 1987:122),2 ushering in a period of
phenomenal growth for the island's sugar industry. The
maturation of this industry was so rapid that in 1799
Tobago, though a relatively small island, exported more
sugar (7,393 tons) than any other British Caribbean colony.
The number of sugar mills on the island during various years
gives a preliminary idea of the rapid development of the
sugar industry (Table 4-8).
Table 4-8. Sugar mills, 1771-1775
Year
Water
Animal
Wind
Total
: 1771
2
18
9
29
1772
3
22
9
34
1773
6
29
15
50
1775
9
52
23
84
'Jardin 1969:230
Sugar was not the only export of the colony during its
initial years, however. Anxious to meet payments on their
lands, needing to raise more capital, and believing that
even with higher taxes the returns would be adequate, at
least some Tobagonian planters cultivated crops that did not
require additional expenditures for processing equipment
2 Nardin (1969:228) points out that this is the first
official shipment by virtue of its transport directly to
England. He notes that a shipment left Tobago in 1769 as
well, but since it went to England via Barbados, it has not
been noted by other researchers.

51
(Nardin 1969:227-228). Although not in large quantities,
cotton was produced by 1773 (992 lbs.),3 indigo by 1774
(3273 lbs.), and coffee by 1775 (591 lbs.) (Young 1809:57,
1812a:83). In 1776, pimento, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves
were also produced (Lavaysse 1969 [1820]:348). These
supplementary crops would more than prove their worth during
subsequent years, when sugar production fell short of
expectations.
1763-1781
Table 4-9 documents increasing sugar exports from 1771
to 1780. It is apparent that development did not proceed at
a uniform pace.4 During the early years of settlement,
several events, of both a natural and political nature,
impeded economic progress on the island. The first of these
occurred between the years 1776 and 1780 with an infestation
of "sugar ants." This natural plague coincided with the
American revolution, which also dampened trade (Young
1812c:90). Sugar ants were first noted in Grenada in 1770
(John Castles, in Edwards 1819 vol. 1:397). Early in 1776,
3 All weights are given in US units (ie. one pound
equals 16 ounces, one ton equals 2000 pounds).
4 A variety of production and export figures for sugar
are available in the literature. I have relied primarily on
Deerr's (1949:202) export figures because they are the most
extensive. Where Deerr does not present figures, I have
relied on alternative sources. The reader is cautioned,
however, to differentiate between production figures and
export figures.

52
Table 4-9. Sugar exports, 1770-1780
Year
Sugar exports (tons)
1770
75
1771
198
1772
608
1773
632
1774
1,383
1775
1,551
1776
2,105
1777
614
1778
1,202
1779
696
1780
1,033
After Deerr 1949:202
however, swarms of them appeared on Tobago, first in St.
George's and St. Mary's parishes, but spreading rapidly to
all other parts of the island. The infestation ended
abruptly in 1780, for unknown reasons.5 By that time,
however:
The cultivation of other staples had superseded
that of sugar and the lands and buildings for
grinding the cane, and the boiling and granulation
of its juice could not be suddenly reapplied to
their ancient uses (Young 1812c:91).
During this period, and throughout the first 50 years
of settlement, Tobagonian planters tended to switch emphasis
from sugar to other crops during times of economic hardship.
By far the most important of these crops was cotton. While
only 42,548 lbs. were produced in 1775, two years later,
5 Castles believed that the ants on Grenada were wiped
out by the rains and winds associated with the hurricane of
1770. It may be coincidence, but in October of 1780, the
most violent storm of the 18th century effected Tobago
(Tannehill 1944:145, 240).

53
after the ants had largely destroyed the cane crop (Table 4-
9), a total of 1,693,800 lbs. of cotton were harvested
(Young 1812c:89, 96).4 In 1780, Tobago cotton comprised
35.4 percent of all Caribbean cotton imported into Britain
(Nardin 1969:242). Cotton proved to be so successful on
Tobago that significant amounts were produced at least
through 1809 (Table 4-10).7 Cotton was not the only fall-
Table 4-10. Cotton exports, 1794-1809
Year
Cotton Exports (lbs.)
1794
413,182
1795
297,409
1796
364,636
1797
66,955
1798
23,591
1799
7,227
1800
8,182
1801
28,182
1802
21,955
1803
24,000
1804
17,455
1805
32,182
1806
26,591
1807
25,500
1808
18,545
1809
31,227
After Woodcock 1866:appendix 1
6 Nardin (1969:233) disagrees with these figures,
perhaps because he was relying on a different data-base.
For the years 1774 through 1780 he gives cotton production
figures of 96,500, 258,031, 574,800, 731,100, 1,644,600,
1,846,200, and 1,845,600 lbs. respectively.
7 No records for cotton production are available after
1809, but it seems unlikely that production was halted after
that date.

54
back crop however. Records indicate that indigo, ginger,
dyewood and tumeric were also produced during this first
period of declining sugar production between 1776 and 1780
(Nardin 1969:242; Young 1809:62, 1812a:96). To these crops
can also probably be added coffee, pimento, cinnamon, and
ginger, discussed above.
In contrast to production and export figures, census
data show a steady increase in both the white and black
populations during the earliest years of settlement (Table
4-11). Table 4-12 shows the same data broken down by
Table 4-11. Island population, 1770-1780
Year
White Population
Black Population
1770
238
3164
June 1771
250
4926
Sept. 1771
284
5124
1772
339
5921
May 1773
416
7396
Oct. 1773
431
7861
1774
367
7694
1775
391
8675
1780
474
10,701
After Nardin 1969:140
parish, and indicates that, as with clearing operations, the
eastern parishes tended to lag behind the western ones in
terms of the number of slaves on the estates. In addition,
by 1773 the white population had already become concentrated
in the town of Scarborough (St. Andrew's Parish), while by
1780 Plymouth (St. Patrick's Parish) had a fairly large

Table 4-12. Island population by parish, 1770-1780
1770
6/1771
1772
5/1773
10/1773
1775
1780
Parish
W
B
W
B
W
B
W
B
W
B
W
B
W
B
St.
Andrew
28
435
34
743
61
847
122
1130
115
1226
113
1264
126
1515
St.
David
21
371
34
716
43
787
53
979
56
1026
41
1081
62
1737
St.
George
44
710
48
997
71
1202
65
1347
68
1406
70
1591
79
1772
St.
John
14
154
17
202
16
168
28
532
28
532
35
769
30
796
St.
Mary
51
592
38
834
52
984
44
1058
44
992
32
971
38
1017
St.
Patrick
53
624
63
1053
72
1438
64
1522
70
1744
70
2192
96
2741
St.
Paul
15
278
16
381
24
495
40
828
50
935
30
797
43
1123
TOTAL
226
3164
250
4926
339
5921
416
7396
431
7861
391
8665
474
10,701
After Nardin
969:'138

56
white population as well. Trends become more apparent
through examination of Table 4-13, which shows that by 1780,
parity in population between parishes, including both white
and black inhabitants, was being approached.
1781-1793
The recovery of the sugar industry from the ant
infestation was dramatically slowed by the first of two
French occupations of the island. From 1781 to 1793
political control of the island was in the hands of the
French, although Tobago's population and culture remained
essentially British (Woodcock 1866:55-58). This was a
period of difficulty for the planters. With the French in
control, loans and other funds were not forthcoming from the
sources traditionally available to the British planters. As
a result, the repairs to the sugar works necessitated by the
forced shut-down during the ant infestation could not be
made (Young 1812c:93-95). During the French tenure, many
sugar works remained idle.
The planters' problems were further increased by the
occurrence of the French and Haitian revolutions during this
period. The French government had far too much on its hands
to worry about a small colony composed primarily of people
loyal to a foreign government. Its response was to leave
Tobago to its own devices. The first French occupation of
Tobago was characterized by a period of self-government and

Table 4-13. Population statistics, 1780
PARISH
Area
(km2)
Density
per km2
(Whites)
Density
per km2
(Blacks)
Ratio of
Blacks to
Whites
White Growth
Index (since
1770)
Black Growth
Index (since
1770)
St.
Andrew's
13
9.7
116
12.0
450%
348%
St.
David's
35
1.8
50
28.0
295%
468%
St.
George's
45
1.7
39
22.5
180%
249%
St.
John's
42
0.7
19
26.6
215%
517%
St.
Mary's
41
0.9
25
27.0
75%
173%
St.
Patrick's
23
4.1
119
28.5
180%
439%
St.
Paul's
31
1.4
36
26.5
285%
404%

58
self-protection (Young 1812c:95). At least once during this
period, near anarchy reigned. In 1791, in a demonstration
of support for the revolutionary movement in France, the
garrison at Fort King George (called Fort Castries by the
French) rioted. The soldiers burned the capitol town of
Scarborough (renamed Port Louis during the French tenure)
almost completely, leaving only the taverns "which the
drunkards had reserved, probably for their carousals" (Young
1812c:96).
The economy of Tobago suffered as a result of the
French disinterest. Not only was there a marked decline in
sugar production (Table 4-14), but production of all
supplementary crops decreased as well. Young (1812c:95,
101) notes that indigo exports dropped from 25,000 lbs. in
1780, the year before the French took the island, to 10,909
lbs. in 1786, to 3965 lbs. in 1788 and to 3636 lbs. in 1789.
The decline of cotton was less pronounced (Table 4-14), and
it remained the principal export throughout the first French
occupation (Young 1812c:93-95), much of it probably being
Table 4-14. Sugar and cotton production, 1785-1789
Year
Sugar
(tons)
Cotton
(lbs)
1785
9,329
32,182
1786
9,158
26,599
1787
9,042
25,500
1788
7,844
18,545
1789
8,118
31,227
After Young 1812a:2Óé

59
exported to Britain (Ragatz 1963:200, 201). Table 4-15
shows the principal products grown on estates during this
period, while Table 4-16 shows land-use patterns. These
data indicate that while cotton production was spread
relatively evenly about the island, sugar was produced
primarily in St. Patrick's and St. David's Parishes.
Indigo, on the other hand, was produced almost entirely in
St. Paul's Parish, on a single estate.
Finally, the difficulties engendered by French rule
were compounded by a major hurricane which struck Tobago in
August of 1790 (Tannehill 1944:146-147). While the
destruction caused by this event is not well documented, it
did destroy 20 vessels and the estate house and sugar works
at Riseland Estate (Woodcock 1866:60-61). A more accurate
picture of the destruction is given by an elderly person to
whom Woodcock spoke in person some seventy years after the
fact. She described the 1790 event as being of the same
magnitude as the hurricane of 1847 (discussed below)
(Woodcock 1866:60).
Trends with positive economic consequences were
apparent during this period as well. In particular, there
was a decreased reliance on traction animals as sugar mill
power sources. Table 4-17 shows a significant decrease in
the number of cattle mills on the island when compared to
1775, while also showing an increase in wind and water
powered mills (see Table 4-8). Since there was also a

Table 4-15. Estates producing sugary cotton and indigo by parish, 1786
Estates
in:
St.
Andrew
St.
George
St.
Mary
St.
Paul
St.
John
St.
David
St.
Patrick
TOTAL
Sugar
4
5
1
5
3
9
8
35
Cotton
17
21
11
13
14
22
15
113
Indigo
0
1
0
1
0
0
0
2
After Young 1812c:92
Table 4-16. Crop distribution by parish, 1786
Acres in:
St.
Andrew
St.
George
St.
Mary
St.
Paul
St.
John
St.
David
St.
Patrick
TOTAL
Sugar
126
317
150
626
321
1112
986
3458 I
Indigo
0
1
0
46
0
0
0
47
Coffee
0
1
0
1
0
1
0
3
| Cocoa
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
| Cotton
1611
2995
2048
846
1502
2711
2830
14,579
1 Provision
467
777
321
435
428
744
629
3769
1 Pasture
670
1746
1123
641
527
537
638
5882
1 Forest
266
5196
4418
3889
6812
3601
662
24,844
| TOTAL
3,140
11,033
8,060
6,484
9,590
8,707
5,745
49,125
' 1
After Young 1812c:92
CTl
o

61
Table 4-17. Sugar mills, 1786
Parish
Water
Animal
Wind
TOTAL
St.
George
4
4
0
8
St.
Mary
0
1
1
2
St.
Paul
5
2
0
7
St.
John
0
2
1
3
St.
Patrick
0
9
15
24
St.
David
1
5
6
12
St.
Andrew
0
3
7
10
TOTAL
10
26
30
66
After Young 1812c:92
significant decrease in the total number of mills, it seems
probable that estates relying on wind or water powered mills
were more likely to remain in production.
Population figures for 1786 show that many of the
trends noted for the preceding period (1763-1781) continued
(Tables 4-18 and 4-19). By this time the ratio of whites to
slaves had become even further skewed in favor of the
slaves, indicating the full maturation of Tobago as a
plantation society.8 These figures also give the first
intimation of a developing free colored population. As one
8 Table 4-18 also shows a decline in the number of
whites on the island when compared to the 1780 figure (Table
4-12). This may indicate the concentration of acreage into
fewer hands.

62
Table 4-18. Island population by parish, 1786
Parish
Whites
Free Colored
Slaves
St.
George
51
21
1950
St.
Mary
21
9
1135
St.
Paul
30
9
1151
St.
John
40
14
1297
St.
Patrick
50
9
2662
St.
David
71
16
2434
St.
Andrew
141
72
2049
TOTAL
437
149
11,638
After Young 1812c:92
Table 4-19. Population densities and ratio, 1786
Parish
Density per
km2 (Whites)
Density per
km2 (Slaves)
Ratio of
whites to
slaves
St.
George
1.1
43
38.2
St.
Mary
0.5
28
54.0
St.
Paul
1.0
37
38.4
St.
John
0.9
31
32.4
St.
Patrick
2.2
116
53.2
St.
David
2.0
69
34.3
St.
Andrew
10.8
158
14.5
After Young 1812c:92

63
would expect, they were primarily concentrated in
Scarborough. Few chose to locate in Plymouth, indicating
its decreasing importance as a significant economic base of
operations.
1794-1800
In April of 1793 Tobago was retaken by the British by
force of arms. Sugar soon returned to its pre-eminent
position as the staple export (Table 4-20).9 At the same
time, cotton exports drastically declined, and cotton
production was nearly phased out by 1800. Given the success
that Tobagonian planters had with cotton, and the high
esteem with which it was held by the proprietors of
Manchester's cotton mills (Lavaysse, in Nardin 1969:234), it
is difficult to understand why cotton was so readily and
rapidly abandoned. The major contributing factor was the
increasing availability of cotton from other sources,
particularly the United States, which paid significantly
lower duties on cotton at the close of the eighteenth
century than did competing British Caribbean colonies
(Carrington 1987:159; Ragatz 1963:370-371). In addition,
cotton and sugar were harvested in the same months. Thus,
competing timetables made them mutually exclusive (Turnbull,
in Nardin 1969:235).
9 No data is available for the years between 1789 and
1794.

64
Table 4-20. Volume of exports, 1794-1800
Year
Sugar
(tons)
Cotton
(lbs.)
1794
4,733
413,181
1795
3,465
297,409
1796
4,358
364,636
1797
4,429
66,954
1798
5,787
23,590
1799
7,939
7,227
1800
5,983
8,181
After Deerr 1949:202
; Woodcock 1866:appendix 1
From 1794 to 1801, Tobago's sugar exports rose from
4,733 tons to 6,626 tons. These were the golden years of
the Tobago plantation era, for it was during this period
that the island reached its highest sugar output. Much of
the success of the Tobagonian planters can be attributed to
the near total destruction of the Haitian economy during the
revolution there. "The sudden withdrawal of (Haiti's)
immense supplies of tropical produce from the general
European market occasioned widespread scarcity; continental
buyers hastily turned across the English Channel to fill
their needs" (Ragatz 1963:205). As a result, the price
fetched by sugar in the British market rose rapidly. From
1795 until the end of the century, the price of sugar on the
British market never fell below 50s. per cwt exclusive of
duties (Ragatz 1963:205). Table 4-21 gives an idea of the

Table 4-21. Income of an idealized estate producing 150 Hhds. (99 tons) of sugar
with 200 slaves
Year
Export duty
/cwt .*
Merchant
charges/cwt.
Net value
/cwt.
Net value
/Hhd. **
Net income
E-s
E-s
E-s
E-s
E-s jj
1796
0-71
0-22
0-49
31-17
4777-10
1797
0-65
0-22
0-43
27-19
4187-0
1798
0-68
0-22
0-46
29-18
4485-0
Average
0-68
0-22
0-46
29-18
4485-0
One cwt.=l02 lbs.
** One Hhd. = 13 cwts. or 1324 lbs.
After Young 1812c:121
(Tí
in

66
kinds of profits achievable by Tobagonian sugar planters
during this period.10
10 Even during times of peak sugar production cotton
was never completely abandoned (see Table 4-10). Despite
documentary emphasis on sugar production, Tobago cannot be
characterized by monocropping.

CHAPTER 5
DECLINING FORTUNES
Throughout the first decade of the nineteenth century
sugar prices tumbled. Several factors combined to drive the
price of sugar down until, by 1807, the per unit cost of
production was greater than the market price (Ragatz 1963).
The foremost cause was renewed access to non-British markets
by non-British producers. In the last decade of the
eighteenth century, the British colonies were the primary
suppliers of tropical products to all of Europe. Sugar and
other products were exported to Britain from the Caribbean,
and then re-exported to the continent to meet foreign
demand. As a result, prices for sugar were artificially
high. By the early nineteenth century, foreign production
was again reaching the continental market. The increased
competition caused declining sugar prices. The situation
was further exacerbated by increased production. In short,
what had been a sellers' market rapidly changed into a
buyers' market, hurting planters across the board. Table 5-
1 shows the effect of this decline on the Tobagonian
planters by 1805 (compare with Table 4-21). Of particular
note, the net profit derived from one hogshead of sugar
dropped from a high of £31.17 in 1796 to a low of £1.19 in
67

Table 5-1. Income of an idealized estate producing 150 Hhds. (99 tons) of sugar with
200 slaves, 1796-1807
Year
Export duty
/ cwt.
Merchant
charges/cwt.
Net value
/ cwt.
Net value
/Hhd.
Net income ||
£-s
£-s
£-s
E-s
£—s
1805
0-43
0-28
0-15
9-15
i45o-o :¡
1806
0-31
0-28
0-3
1-19
292-10 ¡
1807
0-33
0-28
0-7
4-1
607-10
Average
0-36
0-28
0-8
5-7
780-0
After Young 18l2c:l21
CTl
00

69
1806, a staggering 96 percent decline. By 1807, only 30,537
acres remained in sugar cane on Tobago (Young, in Ragatz
1963:308).
From 1807 onwards, there was a continual struggle on
the part of Tobagonian planters to save their way of life.
Under constant pressure from declining prices, they suffered
a gradual reversal of their fortunes. The island went from
being a jewel in the crown of England to being a colonial
backwater contributing little to the British economy. The
primary events affecting Tobago during this period were the
abolition of the slave trade in 1807, the advent of
apprenticeship in 1834, the emancipation of the slaves in
1838, and the passage of the Encumbered Estates Act of 1854.
Table 5-2 shows the estates in cultivation throughout Tobago
for the years 1811, 1824, 1832, and 1862.
Table 5-2. Sugar estates in cultivation for various years
Estate
Parish
In cultivation:
1811
1824
1832
1862
Adelphi
St. George's
XX
XX
XX
Adventure
St. David's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Amity Hope
St. David's
XX
XX
XX
Argyle
St. Paul's
XX
XX
XX
Arnos Vale
St. David's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Auchenskeoch
St. Andrew's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Bacolet
St. George's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Belle Garden
St. Paul's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Belmont
St. George's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Betsey's Hope
St. Paul's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Bon Accord
St. Patrick's
XX
XX
XX
XX

Table 5-2 (cntd.)
70
Estate
Parish
In cultivation:
1811
1824
1832
1862
Buccoo
St. Patrick's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Burleigh Castle
St. Andrew's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Calder Hall
St. Andrew's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Campbellton
St. John's
XX
Cardiff
St. Mary's
XX
Carnbee
St. Andrew's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Castara
St. John's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Cinnamon Hill
St. George's
XX
XX
Charlotteville
St. John's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Concordia
St. George's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Courland
St. David's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Cove
St. Patrick's
XX
XX
Cradley
St. George's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Craig Hall
St. David's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Cromstane
St. Patrick's
XX
Culloden
St. David's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Delaford
St. Paul's
XX
XX
Dunvegan
St. David's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Franklyns
St. David's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Friendsfield
St. George's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Friendship
St. George's
XX
Friendship
St. Patrick's
XX
XX
XX
Glamorgan
St. Mary's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Golden Grove
St. Patrick's
XX
XX
XX
Golden Lane
St. David's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Goldsborough
St. Mary's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Goodwood
St. Mary's
XX
Grafton
St. Patrick's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Grange
St. Patrick's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Greenhill
St. George's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Hampden
St. Andrew's
XX
XX
XX

Table 5-2 (cntd.)
71
Estate
Parish
In cultivation:
1811
1824
1832
1862
Hermitage
St. John's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Highlands
St. David's
XX
XX
XX
Hope
St. George's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Indian Walk
St. David's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Invera
St. Paul's
XX
XX
XX
Inverarden
St. Mary's
XX
Kendal Place
St. Paul's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Kilgwyn
St. Patrick's
XX
XX
XX
XX
King's Bay
St. Paul's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Lambeau
St. Andrew's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Les Coteaux
St. David's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Lower Quarter
St. David's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Lowlands
St. Andrew's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Lucy Vale
St. John's
XX
XX
Lure
St. Mary's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Mary's Hill
St. David's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Merchiston
St. Paul's
XX
XX
XX
Montpelier
St. Andrew's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Mt. Dillon
St. David's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Mt. Irvine
St. Patrick's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Mt. St. George
St. George's
XX
XX
XX
XX
New Grange
St. Patrick's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Nutmeg Grove
St. George's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Orange Hill
St. David's
XX
XX
XX
Orange Valley
St. Patrick's
XX
XX
XX
Pembroke
St. Mary's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Prospect
St. Patrick's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Providence
St. David's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Richmond
St. Mary's
XX
XX
XX
Riseland
St. Andrew's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Roxborough
St. Paul's
XX
XX
XX
XX

Table 5-2 (cntd.).
72
Estate
Parish
In cultivation:
1811
1824
1832
1862
Runnemede
St. David's
XX
XX
XX
Shervan
St. Patrick's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Sherwood Park
St. Andrew's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Smithfield
Unknown
XX
Speyside
St. John's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Spring Garden
St. Andrew's
XX
XX
Studley Park
St. George's
XX
XX
XX
XX
Telescope
St. John's
XX
XX
XX
Trois Rivieres
St. John's
XX
Unity
St. Mary's
XX
XX
XX
Whim
St. David's
XX
XX
XX
Woodlands
St. David's
XX
XX
XX
TOTAL
80
70
74
65
After Ottley 1950:142-144; Woodcock 186¿:appendix 10; Young
1812a:71-95.
1800-1807
Declining revenues and the abolition movement
affected planters throughout the British Caribbean. Though
this is not reflected in the production or export figures,
as business men the Tobagonian planters would have been
keenly aware that sugar prices were dropping, that their
political power in Britain was in decline and that their
labor force might be removed from their control in the
future. Following so quickly on the heels of the boom years
of the 1790s, it is unlikely that these realizations did
more than create a background of stress in the minds of the

73
planters, particularly given the other events occurring on
Tobago.
The Tobago slaves may have perceived the trend towards
abolition and eventual emancipation as well. In 1801 they
planned an insurrection, the first on the island since the
very earliest years of settlement. Set for Christmas eve,
the plan was to set fire to canes near each estate house.
When the planters came to fight the fires they were to be
put to death along with the slaves who remained loyal to
them. In short, the system of slavery on Tobago was to be
overthrown and replaced by an Afro-tobagonian government
(Woodcock 1866:72-73).1
Fortunately for the Tobago planters, and unfortunately
for their slaves, the 1801 insurrection was discovered
before it had even begun. Thirty ringleaders were caught,
incarcerated and sentenced to death. At the order of
General Carmichael, commander of the Tobago military
garrison, only one slave was actually hung, however. To
give the impression of a thorough reprisal, his body was
hoisted up the flag staff at Fort King George 30 times, with
1 As discussed earlier (Chapter 4) three revolts
occurred in 1770 and 1771. While it is likely that others
were planned during the intervening years, apparently none
went beyond the planning stages or came to the attention of
the authorities. Genovese (1979:3) has argued that early
revolts were "restorationist"—designed to secure freedom
from slavery for the participants. Later revolts are
characterize as revolutionary attempts to overthrow the
system of slavery (see also Gaspar 1985:255-258). The 1801
revolt on Tobago certainly falls into this latter category.

74
a signal gun at each hoist. Believing that all of their
leaders were dead, the revolutionary tendencies of the mass
of slaves were shattered.2
In 1802, by the Treaty of Amiens, Tobago again reverted
to French control, only to be recaptured by the British in
1803 (Ottley 1950:49). From a cultural perspective, little
significance can be attached to this event as it was of such
short duration. In addition, during the French tenure,
British law and the rights of Tobagonians accorded by that
law were maintained. The Tobago legislature was so grateful
that it voted a bonus of £4000 to the French-appointed
governor above and beyond his £3300 salary, the same salary
as that afforded to British governors (Woodcock 1866:54).
The same cannot be said of the economic circumstances
of the Tobagonian planters during and immediately following
the French occupation. Several factors contributed to a
declining economy. First, with the advent of French rule,
exports to Britain, or to any other country but France, were
immediately banned by the new government (Ottley 1950:49).
Table 5-3 shows a sharp decline in sugar exports in 1803,
reflecting the consequences of this ban. Although exports
rose back to their customary level after the British
2 Carmichael's move was interpreted as magnanimous at
the time and has been cited as an example of the generally
good relations which existed between blacks and whites on
Tobago (Woodcock 1866). A more cynical interpreter might
wonder what became of the revenues from the selling off-
island of 29 slaves.

75
Table 5-3. Sugar exports, 1800-1809
Year
Sugar
(tons)
1800
5,983
1801
6,626
1802
7,724
1803
4,706
1804
6,394
1805
7,680
1806
7,412
1807
6,046
1808
6,278
1809
6,456
recapture of Tobago, uncertainty about the future status of
the island prompted the passage of "the Limitation Act" by
the British parliament in 1805, limiting economic aid to all
West Indian islands ceded to the French by the Treaty of
Amiens. This hardly reassured the Tobagonian planters and
had the added detrimental effect of "indue[ing] creditors to
sue and mortgagers to foreclose" (Young 1812c:119). As a
result, there was an exodus of planters from the island
(Young 1812c:121), and a brief upsurge of cotton production,
which nearly doubled from 17,454 lbs. in 1804 to 32,182 lbs.
in 1805 (Woodcock 1866:appendix 1).
Abolition and Amelioration
In 1807, the British parliament enacted the Abolition
Act, making the importation of African slaves into the

76
colonies illegal. This was a devastating blow to Tobago's
planter class. Up until abolition, planters had been
guaranteed a constant supply of labor in the form of steady
slave importation. In the labor intensive environment of a
sugar plantation, slaves were thought to be a necessity.
Their work was arduous and because of the nature of cane
cultivation and sugar production, for much of the year
nearly constant. This took a heavy toll on the labor force,
to such an extent that most plantation slave populations in
the Caribbean were non-reproducing. That is to say, the
death-rate exceeded the birth-rate, so that the slave
population could not be maintained without importation of
fresh slaves from a foreign source. The planters problems
were aggravated by the War of 1812 which brought about a
decline in access to foreign produced provisions (Ragatz
1963:343-344). While this affected the food supply of the
entire population of Tobago, the slaves were by far the
hardest hit.
In response to the abolition of the slave trade, and to
some extent preempting the adverse effect of the war, the
Tobagonian planters took steps to increase the general
health, and thus the birth-rate, of their slaves. From a
sugar production perspective, perhaps the most significant
of these steps was the initiation of an Agricultural Society
in 1807 to increase self-sufficiency and slave nutrition.
Although the society was short-lived, by 1808 triple the

77
acreage on estates was given over to provisions (Young
1812a:no page number, and in Ragatz 1963:325). As a result,
sugar production declined from 9,741 tons in 1807 (Young
1809:98) to 7,602 tons in 1811 (Young 1812a:99).
Table 5-4 shows that the planter's ameliorative efforts
had little beneficial effect on the slave population. In
four years, despite the efforts of the planters, the overall
decrease in the slave population was 362. In only one
parish, St. Patrick's, was there an increase, and only of
three slaves. One cause of the decrease is apparent through
examination of the Special Returns of 1811 (Table 5-4)—in
all parishes, except St. Patrick's, males outnumber females.
By 1824 the decrease brought about by abolition was even
more marked. Census data given by Ottley for that year
(1950:142-144) show only 10,632 slaves on Tobago's estates,
a decrease of nearly 17 percent since 1811.
A particularly bad year for Tobagonian planters
occurred in 1827, when only 2,739 tons of sugar were
exported (Table 5-5). None of the various histories of the
island account for such a miserable year. A similar
decline, though of a lesser magnitude, occurred on many
other Caribbean islands (Deerr 1949). On most, it can be
accounted for by crop destruction accompanying a major
hurricane that affected all of the Leeward Island group
(Ragatz 1963:375; Tannehill 1944:150-151).

Table 5-4. (
Change in slave population,
L808-1811
October Polls
Special returns of
1811
in last three years
Parish
1808
1809
1810
1811
Male
Female
Child
Births
Deaths
Decrease
St.
Andrew's
2184
2200
2238
2120
832
758
530
16 8
170
2
St.
George1s
1966
1947
1921
1966
810
737
419
125
208
83
St.
Mary's
998
983
950
944
369
362
213
55
104
49
St.
Paul's
1523
1464
1566
1579
643
616
320
89
203
114
St.
John's
1454
1436
1418
1448
580
554
314
69
80
11
St.
David* s
3862
3917
3968
4024
1537
1518
969
325
400
75
St.
Patrick's
8119
3137
3082
3058
1120
1186
752
310
307
-3
Attached
15,106
15,084
15,143
15.139
5891
5731
3517
1141
1471
330
Unattached
2180
1850
1657
1532
540
609
383
92
124
32
TOTAL
17,286
16,934
16,800
16,671
6431
6340
3900
1233
1595
362
Young 1812a:
IT

79
Table 5-5. Sugar exports from Tobago, 1814-1869, 1872-1888
and 1890-1891
Year
Sugar (tons)
1814
5,383
1815
5,397
1816
6,213
1817
6,179
1818
5,042
1819
5,911
1820
5,321
1821
4,833
1822
5,390
1823
5,045
1824
5,530
1825
4,971
1826
5,384
1827
2,739
1828
5,471
1829
4,047
1830
4,173
1831
5,413
1832
4,827
1833
3,863
1834
3,528
1835
3,450
1836
5,253
1837
4,054
1838
3,198
1839
4,144
1840
2,301
1841
2,150
1842
2,094
1843
2,046
1844
2,201
1845
2,844
1846
1,733

Figure 5-5 (cntd.)
80
Year
Sugar (tons)
1847
3,538
1848
2,388
1849
2,290
1850
1,978
1851
2,283
1852
3,052
1853
2,587
1854
1,983
1855
1,756
1856
2,616
1857
1,525
1858
3,031
1859
2,634
1860
2,299
1861
2,471
1862
3,228
1863
2,122
1864
1,981
1865
2,353
1866
4,035
1867
3,192
1868
2,084
1869
2,641
1872
3,468
1873
3,630
1874
3,882
1875
4,603
1876
3,394
1877
2,924
1878
2,832
1879
2,896
1880
2,970
1881
3,240
1882
2,249
1883
2,270

Figure 5-5 (cntd.).
81
Year
Sugar (tons)
1884
3,361
1885
2,319
1886
594
1887
2,178
1888
2,012
1890
1,008 !
1891
1,189 ;
After Deerr 1949:202
Apprenticeship
The period between the instituting of apprenticeship in
1834 and the granting of full emancipation to the slaves on
the first of August 1838 was a difficult one for all
Caribbean planters. Apprenticeship marked the end of the
old plantation regime based on slave labor, and instituted a
new regime characterized by a system of labor that was
partially coerced and partially remunerated. On Tobago,
apprentices were required to work a 45 hour week for the
planters (Ragatz 1963). In recompense, they would receive a
wage or a wage and access to housing and provision grounds.
For general labor the wage was set at approximately Is. per
day or 8d. per day plus house and grounds; for drivers the
wage was double that or more; and for artisans (coopers,
smiths, etc.) the wage was Is. 6d. to 2s. per day plus house
and grounds (C0285/42:342). Table 5-6 enumerates this pay
scale for 1836.

82
Table 5-6. Per diem pay scale
for apprentice labor, 1836
Position
Pay (E-s)
Head driver
1-8
Head boilerman
1-8
Mill boatswain
1-8
Mill feeder
1-0
Bagas haulers
0-16
Cane carriers
0-16
Bagas carriers
0-12
Fire men
1-0
Stiller women
0-12
Cart men
1-0
Cart leaders
0-8
Bagas handlers
0-8
Second boilers
1-0
After C0285/42:35y
Many islands experienced labor problems associated with
apprenticeship. Although contemporary documents state that
this was not generally the case on Tobago (C0285/42:361),
exceptions did occur. On Adelphi Estate in October, 1835,
for example, 21 individuals were punished on one occasion
for not coming to work, while on another occasion 33
individuals were punished for not having done enough work
(C0285/42:327) .3 These numbers are all the more
astonishing when one considers that Adelphi Estate employed
only 57 apprentices. Thus, while labor problems were not
3 It should be noted that two individuals, one of whom
was responsible for these punishments, had more complaints
about them brought to the attention of the Governor during
this period than all other estate managers combined
(C0285/42:327).

83
considered to be widespread by the Tobagonian planters, it
appears that at least some apprentices felt it necessary to
strike for better treatment.
Rather than labor problems, reductions in Tobago's
sugar exports during the apprenticeship period were
attributed by the planters to natural and local causes.
Specifically, several periods of drought commenced in 1834,
not ending until 1843 (Niddrie 1961:18). In St. Paul's
Parish, the change in production from 1834 to 1835 amounted
to as much as a 50 percent drop at one estate, while the
average decrease was about 3 percent (Table 5-7).
It is likely that the apprentices were more adversely
affected by the drought than were the planters. Indeed, the
drought may have helped the planters obtain labor because
production in the provision grounds would have been more
difficult and apprentices would have had to rely more on
wages to secure food (Hall 1971:30). Thus, the
predictability of labor, particularly during the harvest,
would have been greatly increased.
Emancipation
On August 1, 1838, all former slaves on Tobago were
given their freedom. While a great deal of thought had been
devoted to the effects this event would bring about, little
actual preparation had occurred. The great fear was that
manumitted slaves would immediately desert the plantations

84
Table 5-7. Change in sugar production during first year of
apprenticeship, St. Paul's Parish
Estate
Percent change
Belle Garden
20
Richmond
20
Speyside
10
Trois Rivieres
10
Kendall
5.5
Roxborough
4
Lure
1
King's Bay
0
Invera
0
Betsey's Hope
0
Pembroke
-50
Glamorgan
-33
Merchiston
-30
Goldsborough
-1
Telescope
-1
Hermitage
-1
AVERAGE
-3
After C0286/42 :361
to pursue a peasant livelihood, particularly during harvest
time when the labor requirements of sugar production were at
their highest (Green 1976:194). One solution would have
been to diversify. Pimento was produced in abundance on
Tobago at the time of emancipation, while the cinnamon and
nutmeg industries were revived (C0285/42:254-256).
Unfortunately, by this time profits from sugar were so
reduced as to virtually preclude experimentation in any
other crop—there was no spare cash to fall back on should
experimentation fail. Governor Lionel Smith expressed the
prevailing opinion when he said "no other pursuit may

85
promise such a profitable return for labor, nor will any
other, I am afraid, be attempted under the persons
representing property, nor until sugar fails"
(C0285/42:256).
Rather than experiment, the Tobagonian planters
preferred to re-invest what surplus funds they had in
infrastructural improvements for sugar production. Shortly
after emancipation, the Tobagonian planters received a total
of £335,627 as remuneration for their freed slaves (Ottley
1950:72). Using this money and whatever else was available
to them, at least some Tobagonian planters upgraded their
milling equipment. Eubanks (1992:201) argues, for example,
that in at least one case an older, less efficient vertical-
roller crushing mill was replaced with a horizontal model of
greater efficiency.
This began a process of intensification whereby
planters would attempt to make up for the loss of labor
through more efficient processing techniques. By 1849, of
63 estates producing sugar on the island, 23 used steam
engines to drive the mills, a significant increase since the
early nineteenth century when only two steam-driven mills
were in operation. In addition, there were 22 water-driven
mills, 13 wind-driven mills, and only five animal-driven
mills (Davy 1971 [1854]:259). Though it is likely that
other modifications were attempted at this time as well,
particularly to the boiling trains, there is no indication

86
that the new boiling technologies then available were
introduced to Tobago. Rather, it appears as though the
major production-enhancement efforts were aimed at
increasing juice-yield per cane, possibly because the new
technologies were more prone to break-down or because the
laborers were not considered competent to run and maintain
the more sophisticated equipment.
Despite the ongoing drought which continued to bring at
least some relief from labor problems, the planters' other
fears were realized: "Since the period of freedom in August
1838, a number of laborers have quitted estates and are
either occupying land on rent or as leaseholders or as
freeholders" (Dowland 1843-1848:21). In the first three
months of freedom, up to 600 laborers left the estates to
take up residence in small hamlets scattered about the
island (Niddrie 1961:43). The exodus continued in the
following years so that by 1846 there had occurred a "rapid
spread of independent settlement throughout the island"
(Governor Reid, in Niddrie 1961:44). Sugar production in
the years following emancipation was at a generally lower
level than it had been as a result (Table 5-5). This trend
did not really become apparent until 1840, however, perhaps
indicating some lag time between emancipation and estate
desertion for the bulk of the former slaves. If so, it
seems possible that this hiatus could have been an
adjustment period during which laborers laid the groundwork

87
for their flight, amassing funds from whatever sources were
available to them, getting building materials together and
selecting lands on which they could settle.
Unlike on many other islands the tendency to "squat" on
estate or crown lands was minimal on Tobago (Niddrie
1961:43). Rather, freed slaves preferred to buy or lease
marginal estate lands where they were made available.
Indeed, making these lands available was probably a good
decision on the part of the individual planters, since it at
least assured them of a potential labor supply close-by.
Despite the labor shortages associated with
emancipation and the substantial decrease in sugar exports
that occurred as a result (Table 5-5), the period
immediately following emancipation was one of amicability
between freed slaves and estate owners (Woodcock 1866:87-
88) .
Metayage
By 1843, continuing labor shortages and drought so
reduced the ability of the Tobagonian planters to produce
sugar that a system of metayage, or labor sharing, was
introduced. Though its success is not readily apparent in
export figures for the following year (Table 5-5), its
advantages were apparently recognized, for it was
permanently established in 1845 (Niddrie 1961:18). In that
year, sugar exports rose to 2,844 tons, the highest they had

88
been since 1839. In the unofficial agreements that
constituted the metayage system, a worker was responsible
for all agricultural operations on a given cane piece,
including clearing, planting and harvesting. That worker
could then enter into agreements with other workers, either
for a share of the sugar or in exchange for labor, to
fulfill those tasks. In payment for the labor, the worker
was allowed to keep half the sugar manufactured. The estate
owner kept the other half in compensation for capital
inputs—he or she owned the land, the carts in which the
cane was hauled to the mill, the stock, and the mill itself,
and was also responsible for paying specialist workers in
the mill (the boilerman, the foreman, and one fireman). In
addition, the worker was allowed to keep a bottle of rum for
every barrel of sugar produced, provided that all the
molasses was used in rum production (Ottley 1950:74-76). By
1857, one-third of the sugar produced on Tobago was
generated under the metayage system (Phillips n.d.iChapter
26). A version of the metayage system was in operation on
Tobago until the 1940s, when the last of the estates
abandoned sugar production.
Hall (1959) argues that the year 1846 was pivotal for
British planters in the Caribbean. In that year parliament
passed the Sugar Duties Act which effectively ended the
protectionism that had characterized British Caribbean sugar
production throughout its history. The economic, social and

89
political consequences of this act have not been documented
for Tobago, but on Jamaica there was a predictable decrease
in the profits available from sugar production (Hall
1959:43). This same decrease was no doubt felt by Tobago
planters as well. The unexpectedly low Tobago export figure
for 1846 (Table 5-5) may reflect an immediate and short term
reaction by Tobago planters. The historical record provides
no information on an environmental perturbation that can
otherwise account for such a dismal export figure,
particularly following the high figure for 1845 and
preceding the even higher figure for 1847. Such and event
cannot be ruled out, however.
The immediate problems facing the Tobagonian planters
were aggravated on a vast scale by the hurricane of 1847,
which struck the island on the night of October 11 (Woodcock
1866:107). The destruction it wrought was amplified by the
complacency of Tobago's inhabitants. On most other
Caribbean islands, the approach of a storm of such magnitude
would have been recognized before its actual arrival.
Forewarned, residents would have done what they could to
prepare. Tobago, however, was thought to be too southerly
to be in the path of hurricanes, and what warnings the
island inhabitants had went unheeded.
John Davy visited Tobago nine months after the
hurricane. Since descriptions of the hurricane are scarce
in the literature, I include his description in full:

90
Eighteen persons were killed by buildings falling
on them; a large number were wounded, of whom
eighteen died. The greater number of the houses
throughout the island were more or less damaged.
Many of them, and some of the most substantial,
were levelled with the ground. The devastation
effected in the native forests was great; stripped
of their leaves, they presented, as described by
an eye witness, a most unnatural wintry
appearance, —and great was the deunage done to the
cocoa nut trees, and the cane crop, at the time
approaching maturity. When I visited the island
in the following July, eight months after,4 marks
of its devastations were everywhere to be seen,
especially in the forests. What was most
remarkable, was the variety of the effect that
these exhibited, and that within a very limited
space; conveying the idea that the air in motion
constituting the hurricane acted in narrow
currents. Thus it was not unusual to see one line
of wood completely overwhelmed, a perfect wreck,
levelled with the ground; while the adjoining
trees had either suffered but little, being
deprived only of a portion of their branches or,
altogether unhurt. The same appearance of partial
action, I was told, was witnessed in the cane
fields, in which I was assured narrow strips were
destroyed, in straight lines two or three feet
wide, the adjoining canes not suffering.5 And
instances of the same, and even more remarkable, I
heard related, as witnessed by individuals. The
Lieutenant-Governor told me, that when the storm
was at its height, and he was obliged to leave his
house, to seek shelter in a cellar below, he
carried a lighted candle the short distance he had
to go, in the open air, and it was not blown out.
This he mentioned, when another not less singular
anecdote was related; —how in a house in which
the books were blown from their shelves, and
scattered about the room, one of the candles that
was burning on a table, in the middle of the room,
was not extinguished. Many other examples of such
partial action were spoken of, —instances of
4 Davy believed that the hurricane struck on November
11, rather than October 11. Thus, eight months later is
July, 1848. Tannehill (1944) cites October 10 as the date.
5 Perhaps explaining why export figures for that year
do not show a marked decline despite the widespread damage
to sugar works (discussed below).

91
frail structures escaping, when strong buildings
adjoining were blown down, —of windows strongly
barred, forced open, when others in the same
house, the shutters of which were fastened only by
a weak bit of cord, remained closed and uninjured.
When the tempest was raging at the NE extremity of
the island, the Barometer at Fort King George was
little affected, though shortly afterwards, when
it was witnessed in its violence there, the fall
of the mercury was considerable—a little more
than half an inch. This I learnt from the Medical
Officer of the station, who watched the instrument
at the time. During the hurricane there was a
veering of the wind, almost in a circle, and the
vortical tendency of the air in motion, I was
told, was well exemplified in the gyration of the
Reindeer steam packet, in the Gulf of Pariah, off
Port of Spain, Trinidad, over part of which island
the hurricane passed; and though with diminished,
not without destructive effect (Davy 1971
[1854]:243-244) .
Ottley (1950:73) adds to the list of devastation. He notes
that throughout the island, sugar factories, churches and
huts were destroyed, there was severe loss of life, several
brigs were driven ashore, the roof of the barracks at Fort
King George was torn off, and the prison walls fell down.6
Woodcock enumerates the destruction:
On the estates, thirty dwelling houses and twenty-
six sugar works were demolished;7 and thirty-one
dwelling houses and thirty-three sugar works
injured. Four hundred and fifty-six of the
laborers' cottages were razed to the ground, and
one hundred and seventy-six greatly damaged. In
Scarborough and its environs one hundred and
twenty-two houses of all descriptions, including
out buildings, were blown down, and eighty-four
much injured (1866:107).
6 Happily, the prisoners were so terrified that none
took the opportunity to effect an escape.
7 Dowland (1843-1848) puts the number of destroyed
sugar works at 32.

92
After the hurricane, Tobagonians banded together to
rebuild. The total loss to property was estimated at
between £85,140 (Ottley 1950:74) and £150,000 (Woodcock
1866:107). In 1848, the crown contributed £5000 towards
rebuilding (Ottley 1950), to which was shortly added a loan
of £50,000, also by the crown, to be administered by Loan
Commissioners appointed by the Governor of Tobago. Only
£20,000 were accepted by Tobago, however. From the
principal, funds of not less than £50 were to be made
available to landed individuals.
Despite the ready availability of cash, only £13,222
were actually advanced for rebuilding (Woodcock 1866:109-
110). A contributing factor to the slow rate of rebuilding
was the financial collapse of the West India Bank almost
immediately following the hurricane (Niddrie 1961:18). It
is highly unlikely that all of the destroyed factories were
rebuilt. Whereas Davy puts the number of functioning sugar
works at 63 two years after the hurricane (1971[1854 ]:259 ) ,
Woodcock shows only 65 by 1862 (1866:appendix 10).
Following emancipation, declines in the tariff and trade
protections for Caribbean sugar, and steadily decreasing
prices, there was an even further loss of confidence in
sugar on the part of Tobagonian planters during the late
1840s.

93
Encumbered Estates
The last gasp for Tobagonian sugar production was
brought about by the enactment of the Encumbered Estates Act
of 1854. Prior to that date, no estate could be sold unless
all mortgages against it were first paid off. The
Encumbered Estates Act altered this policy, allowing the
transfer of titles for encumbered estates irrespective of
their encumbrances. This process could be initiated by the
owner of the estate or by the mortgagers. In addition, the
mortgager could bid an amount up to the amount of the
mortgage, without having to put up any cash.
Tobago applied for encumbered estate courts in 1858.
By 1862, ten estates had changed hands (Phillips
n.d.:Chapter 26). All 16 of the Tobago estates sold under
the Encumbered Estates Act prior to 1868 passed into the
hands of the mortgager (Green 1976:257). All tolled, 50
estates on Tobago were sold under the Encumbered Estates Act
prior to its abolishment in 1893, at a total cost of £35,630
(Phillips n.d.:Chapter 26). The primary beneficiary of the
act on Tobago was Gillespie & Co., which owned seven estates
in St. David's Parish alone by the time of the company's
financial collapse in 1884 (Niddrie 1961:20; Hay 1884:xii-
xiii).
The demise of Gillespie & Co. effectively ended sugar
production on Tobago, though the industry continued for some
years through sheer inertia. In 1889 Tobago was politically

94
subordinated to Trinidad, and in 1898 it became a ward of
that island. No Tobagonian production or export figures are
available after 1891, since Tobago's figures were merged
with those of Trinidad after that date (Deerr 1949:202). At
least five estates were producing sugar as late as the early
1940s, though none was exported. These ceased operation
nearly simultaneously in 1943, when the mill machinery was
sold off as scrap to the US Army for the American war effort
(Richard Grant and Mr. Spence, personal communication).
Today, only a pair of brothers make sugar in any quantities,
using equipment salvaged from abandoned estates and
techniques that have been in use on Tobago since 1763. They
do not refine their product past the wet sugar stage, and
all is sold for local consumption.

CHAPTER 6
BACKGROUND TO ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESEARCH
Historical archaeology has been defined as "...the
study of the processes and interrelationships by which human
social and economic organization developed and evolved in
the modern world" (Deagan 1988:8). The archaeology of sugar
estates is an important part of this study because sugar
estates combine features of both a pre-capitalist
agricultural economy derived from medieval Europe and a
capitalistic mode of production more characteristic of
modern industrialized countries (Mintz 1985; Wolf 1982).
In the broadest terms, a "plantation" is an institution
using coerced labor to produce agricultural goods for sale
to an overseas market (Thompson 1984). In general,
plantations, or estates as I will refer to them, have been
characterized by mono-cropping, the focus on a single crop
to the near exclusion of all others. Insofar as this
implies that the majority of plantation profits are derived
from a single source, it is apt. In Tobago the principal
crop was sugar cane, although other products also played a
prominent role on occasion. From the sugar cane grown on
Tobago, muscovado sugar, rum and molasses were produced for
95

96
consumption in Britain, continental Europe and North
America.
To say that all the land of a given estate was devoted
to the principal crop would be erroneous, however, for the
land was put to a variety of uses. Pastures and paddocks
accommodated livestock; owner's residences were accompanied
by a variety of outbuildings in well-defined yards, possibly
with manicured lawns or formal gardens; villages or barracks
areas housed the labor force; and gardens contributed
foodstuffs to owners and laborers alike. All of these
features are located at specific sites for specific reasons.
Together they create a patterned whole that represents the
adaptations of two distinct cultural groups, planters and
slaves, to a similar but foreign natural environment. The
present research examines estate layout and the natural and
cultural environment on Tobago sugar estates.
Research Design
The research design used in this study is empirical,
and gives primacy to materialist explanations. However, it
attempts to go beyond strict materialism by identifying
areas in which other mechanisms may be involved. Rather
than focus on a single estate, a settlement pattern survey
was undertaken for the present research. Such an approach
has several advantages in the context of the central
research question. The primary advantage is that it allowed

97
the formulation of a general model of estate layout and
location which could then be examined at individual sites.
While a general model explicates and predicts broad
patterns, it often does little to illuminate variation at a
site-specific level. Since site-specific variation is a
function of the same land-use principles that contribute to
overall patterning, the failure of general models to account
for this variation significantly weakens their explanatory
and predictive power. The regional perspective adopted in
this research necessarily included many sites within its
purview. Treated as a whole these sites suggested a model
of landscape utilization. Treated individually the same
sites showed variation that the overall model could not
account for. The overall model was then modified to
incorporate the newly observed variation.
The Study Area
The study area for this project is St. David's Parish
(see Figure 1-1). Since comparison of modern maps with
those of the historic period reveals that the parish
boundaries have not remained static, St. David's Parish is
defined by its original boundaries as surveyed in the early
years of settlement (e.g. Anonymous 1773; Byres 1776).
As a culturally created unit of land, St. David's
Parish is an ideal study area for this research it because
reflects the same concepts of land utilization as the layout

98
of estates. It also contains nearly all of the Courland
River and much of its drainage system. Thus, the parish
served as a definitively bounded unit that also has the
advantage of spanning the three major topographical zones of
Tobago.
St. David's Parish covered an area of 8,720 acres and
was divided into 44 lots by the initial surveys (Jefferys
1794). In 1811, 8,650 acres were occupied or claimed by
estates. However, particularly on the northwest coast,
large tracts remained unimproved, as did some smaller tracts
in the middle portion of the parish. In that year the
parish contained 22 sugar estates and one estate devoted to
stock raising (Young 1812a:91). With two exceptions, these
estates are wholly contained within the parish. The
extrusive portions of the exceptions, Courland and
Runnemede, are included in the study conceptually. However,
as no physical remains were encountered on these estates
outside of the parish boundaries, extrusive portions are not
included graphically (e.g., Figures 7-1 and 8-1—see
following chapters).
Young describes St. David's Parish as follows:
From the year 1765, the very year that the
colonization of Tobago was instituted, St. David's
parish was a favorite ground of adventure, whilst
intermediate to the mountainous, and to the level
division of the island, it seemed to have the
advantages of each. It exhibits the like groves
of fine timber as St. John's to the east, but more
accessible, the main ridge as it here terminates,
dropping gradation, to gentle swells of hill. Its
soil is rich, as that of St. Patrick's to the

99
west, and if its surface is not actually even, to
admit of tillage by the plow, it has other
advantages, which St. Patrick's has not. It has
rivulets to turn its sugar mills, and especially
the fine river of Courland, which for four miles
runs westward on its southern border, then winds
to the north, centrally divides the parish, in its
course to disembarque in Courland bay, and turns
eight watermills ere it reaches the sea.
Eight of the plantations in St. David's
inland have the advantage of easy cartage by the
public high road to Scarborough and to Courland.
Four other plantations lay near the latter bay,
and the plantations eastward drogher [ship by
small coasting vessels] from the small bays of
King Peter's and Arnos Vale (Young 1812a:93-94).
Methods
The methods adopted for this research are standard
techniques. As outlined in Chapter 1, they consisted of a
documents search, regional survey, intensive site survey,
and limited site testing. Fieldwork was undertaken in three
stages. Preliminary fieldwork began in May of 1992 and
lasted for two months. The main body of the fieldwork was
completed between January and June, 1993. Finally, most of
the excavation was undertaken in August and September of the
same year.
The regional survey and the documents search were
undertaken concurrently. The objective of this initial
stage of research was to locate all extant structural
remains within the project area associated with sugar

100
production.1 As the size of the survey tract prohibited a
100 percent sample, sugar factories were assumed to be
closely tied to local hydrology. Initial surface survey
focused on major watercourses. Supplemental information
from historic maps now housed in the Museum of Tobago
History, Fort King George, Tobago, or in the possession of
Mr David Phillips, Prospect Estate, Tobago, and informal
interviews with local informants proved a more effective
means of locating sites. While the information derived from
maps and informants was rarely specific, enough detail was
available to significantly increase the effectiveness of
surface survey techniques.
Following regional survey, intensive surface survey was
undertaken at three sites. Sites were selected when all
major site components were present or likely to be present,
when the integrity of major architectural remains was good,
and when the subsurface archaeological deposits were
apparently intact. Data derived from the regional survey
and from the documents search were used to determine the
suitability of sites for intensive surface survey.
Intensive survey yielded a variety of site-specific
locational and design related data. During the course of
survey, scale drawings of individual structures were
produced. In addition, instrument survey was conducted to
1 These consisted of sugar factories, estate houses
and associated outbuildings. No remains associated with
estate villages were initially identified.

101
precisely locate all structures in geographic space. This
information was transferred to graphic format by plotting
the structures on modern topographic maps. Finally, terrain
analysis, both in the field and on the maps in the
laboratory, was undertaken, producing information not only
on how site elements related to one another, but on how they
related to local terrain features such as hilltops, slopes
and watercourses. Because multiple sites were placed on the
same map, in many cases it was also possible to determine
how site elements at one estate related to site elements at
adjoining estates.
Because estate villages leave ephemeral remains on the
surface (Armstrong 1990; Handler and Lange 1978), following
a subsurface reconnaissance survey a program of limited
excavation was undertaken. Locating and defining the
internal structure of at least one village was seen as an
important part of the overall research objectives as they
were initially formulated. The siting of estate villages
was selected by the planter and reflects his concept of
landscape utilization. Within the village, however, an
entirely different concept of landscape utilization, that of
the African slaves and their descendants, may be apparent
(Higman 1988; Pulsipher 1992). This research was initially
designed to contrast these two world views.
Testing to document the internal patterning of an
estate village included 50 by 50 centimeter shovel testing

102
at a 50 meter interval to determine site boundaries and
additional shovel tests at a 25 meter interval to reveal
artifact variability within the site. Prior to fieldwork,
the intention was to further narrow the shovel test interval
and use artifact densities to preliminarily determine
village layout. However, as many surface features were
present at the site that with initial testing seemed to
represent architectural remains, the program of shovel
testing was abandoned in favor or additional testing at
surface features. The location of each feature was mapped,
and trenching and block excavations were undertaken to
locate individual structures within the site.
Unfortunately, these efforts met with limited success. The
internal patterning of the estate village was only
tentatively defined.2
Summary of Estate Features
A wide variety of features associated with the sugar
estates in the study area were encountered during the course
of fieldwork. In archaeology, a feature can be defined as
any remnant of past human activity that cannot be removed
from its location without disturbing its structural
2 The tested site, Courland village (see Chapter 8)
represents an intensive domestic occupation of a
circumscribed area for at least 80 years. The complexity
revealed by the limited excavation undertaken by this
research indicates that much more extensive testing is
required before the internal patterning present at the site
can be accurately defined.

103
integrity. In the context of this discussion, however,
features include such things as buildings or their remains,
which conform to the above definition, and cast iron
hardware such as a crushing mill or a water wheel associated
with sugar production. Although items in this latter
category can be moved, due to their size and weight such an
undertaking would be unlikely.
The main focus of economic activity on a sugar estate
was at the sugar factory, a complex of buildings where juice
was extracted from the canes and transformed into muscovado
sugar, molasses and rum. In broad outline, a sugar factory
complex consists of a power source, a mill house and a sugar
works. The latter, in turn, consists of a boiling house, a
curing house, a still house, and a worm tank. All of these
features are discussed below.
Crushing Mills and Power Sources
The first stage of sugar production after harvesting
the cane occurs at the mill house. This building houses the
crushing mill which separates the juice from the sugar cane
by crushing the canes between large rollers. The rollers3
are set in an iron frame. In some cases three rollers are
3 The earliest documented crushing mill rollers,
invented in the fifteenth century, were made of wood (Mintz
1985). Later, wooden rollers were encased in iron to
increase their efficiency. By the mid-eighteenth century,
roller construction was entirely of cast-iron (Sitterson
1953). All extant rollers on Tobago are made of iron.

104
set in the frame side-by-side and upright. This is a
vertical roller mill. A later and more-efficient design is
the horizontal roller mill, in which two rollers are set
side-by-side on a horizontal axis, while a third roller is
located on top of the seam between them (Deerr 1950; Eubanks
1992).
Power to drive the mills was derived from a variety of
sources. During the years of peak production, the most
efficient and desirable power source was via a water wheel,
for the reasons discussed in Chapter 4 (above) and due to
their predictable power delivery "...thus fixing the
computation of how much sugar is to be made, in what time,
and when to be shipped so that the merchant vessel to be
freighted may be ready at anchor in the particular bay"
(Young 1812a:213).
In practice, water was diverted from a stream bed into
a canal, and thence to a water wheel which was connected to
the mill by a series of drive shafts and gears. Wheels were
housed in a wheel pit, usually constructed of brick, and
were one of four types. To power an overshot wheel, water
was transported from the canal in a sluice-way to a height
above the top of the wheel, and dropped on the far side.
Because both the weight and the force of the water drove the
wheel, this was the most desirable set up. A backshot wheel
was similar, but the water was dropped on the near side of
the wheel. Only the weight of the water provided power. A

105
breastshot wheel was used when the canal was not higher than
the wheel. In this instance, the water was transported to a
point slightly above the mid-section of the wheel and
dropped. More water was required than for either a backshot
or overshot wheel. Finally, a great deal of water was
required for an undershot wheel, where the force of the
water in its channel, rather than its weight, drove the
wheel (Eubanks 1992). The wheels extant on Tobago today are
all of the overshot type, although the wheel pit for at
least one breast shot wheel has been identified. Backshot
wheels were also probably present in the past.
The most frequently used power source, at least during
the initial years of sugar production, was the wind. To
utilize wind power the crushing mill was housed inside a
windmill. The base of the windmill was constructed of stone
or coral blocks, with bricks used to make design features.
A wooden structure that could be turned to face into or away
from the prevailing breeze was built atop the base.
Initially, the base was low, and hexagonal or circular, with
a tall sail house. As Tobago's trees were cut down, lumber
became more expensive. Eventually, tall, circular windmill
towers of stone or coral, with small surmounting sailhouses,
became the norm. Many of these towers dot the landscape
today.
Where water or wind power was not feasible, cattle
mills were often used. Oxen or other traction animals were

106
yoked to long poles, which in turn were attached to the
crushing mill by drive shafts and gears. The oxen would
circle a track atop a massive circular foundation. The best
preserved example on Tobago is at Englishman's Bay Estate
and was constructed with interior and exterior walls of
stone and brick with rubble fill in the intersticial areas.
It is approximately 15 meters across, and has walls more
than three meters thick at the top. A gap is constructed
into the wall so that the cane juice can run from the mill
to the works. The crushing mill, if it was of the vertical
type, was housed in the center of this structure. If it was
horizontal, it would have been somewhat offset.
In the first years of the nineteenth century, steam
power was introduced to Tobago (Young 1812a:91; Deerr
1950:553). Steam engines were constructed almost entirely
of cast iron parts. The major features included a boiler in
which water was boiled and the steam was raised, various
parts of the engine itself and a heavy flywheel, the
rotating weight of which drove the mill with enough force to
crush the cane. Again, these were attached to the mill with
a system of gears and drive shafts. The remains of several
steam engines are present on the island today. The sites of
many more are identifiable because the engines themselves
sat on and were partially housed by a distinctive brick
structure. Essentially, the top of the engine was exposed
to view, while the lower portion was housed in a brick tank,

107
called a hot well (Deerr 1950:554). Examples of hot wells
on the island are approximately two meters long, 75
centimeters wide and one meter deep.
Occasionally, the type of crushing mill can be
identified in conjunction with the power source even when
the mill itself is not present. The power from a water
wheel is transmitted on a horizontal axis (via the central
axle of the wheel). If it is being used to drive a vertical
mill, beveled gears are required to transfer the power from
the horizontal to the vertical plane. Thus, if beveled
gears are present on a water powered site, the crushing mill
itself was of the vertical type. Known steam engines on
Tobago also transmit power in the horizontal. Although the
situation has not arisen on known Tobago sites, the exact
opposite is the case with cattle mills, which transmit power
on a vertical axis—the presence of beveled gears on a
cattle mill site would indicate that a horizontal mill was
in use. The same cannot be said of windmills, because
beveled gears are required no matter what the mill type to
transfer power from the horizontal axis of the sails to the
vertical drive shaft.
The Sugar Works
The several products of a sugar estate, muscovado
sugar, molasses and rum, are produced in the sugar works.
In general, a sugar factory is composed of three buildings

108
(or rooms): a boiling house, a curing house, and a
distillery. Occasionally these buildings are discontiguous,
but more frequently they are arranged in a linear fashion,
or in such a way that they form a "T", or an "L". Whatever
the arrangement, the boiling house is usually a one story
building, while the curing house and the distillery are two
story buildings.
The following description of the various manufacturing
processes includes operations performed at the crushing
mill. It is derived from Deerr (1950), Eubanks (1992:19-
35), Moreno Fraginals (1976), Scard (1913:61-71), and Wray
(1848:390-412). The numbers in parentheses refer to Figure
6-1, which in turn is derived from a plan view of the
Providence Estate complex as it existed in about 1830
(McTear n.d.:107-108). The complex is T-shaped.
The first step in the manufacturing process is the
extraction of juice from cut cane. During harvest cut cane
is brought to the mill yard (1) on carts or by other means.
Juice extraction is performed by a horizontal crushing mill
(2) driven by a water wheel (3). The extracted juice is
allowed to flow into a clarifying tank (4) where
contaminants are allowed to settle out. Once clarification
has taken place, the juice flows through a gutter or pipe
(5) into the boiling house.
In the boiling house, the juice is allowed to flow into
the first, and largest, of a series of round-bottomed, iron

109
Providence Sugar Factory
ca. 1830
(Upper story after McTear n.d.:107-108)
Upper story
Lower story
@
jj—j) ©o©©©©©©©
©
R
©
©
17
ra iMMMi
U ©©©©©©©©©
O ©©@©@©0©©
1LJI ©©©©©©©©©
14
1 Mill yard
2—Vertical crushing mill
3—Water wheel
4—Clarifying tank
5—Juice pipe
6 Coppers
7—Boiling house floor
8—Temperature control outlets
9—Chimney
10—Cooling and crystalization
tanks
11—Sjammings gutter
12 Strimmings tank
13—Molasses draining
14—Molasses receivers
15—Fermentation vats
16—Stills
17—Worm tank
18—Rum receivers
19—Aging rum
Figure 6—1. Providence Sugar Factory, ca. 1830

110
pans, individually and anomalously called coppers (6), and
collectively referred to as a train. All identified trains
on Tobago are of the type known as jamaica trains, which
contain five coppers. In the first copper, the juice is
heated to the boiling point using bagas, the dried remnants
of crushed canes, after which it is transferred to a second,
slightly smaller copper by boilermen standing on the boiling
house floor (7). The transfer is accomplished using long-
handled ladles. Because copper size is directly related to
the surface area from which liquids in the juice can
evaporate, coppers of progressively decreased size allow
greater control of evaporation during the course of the
boiling process. Beneath the train, the temperature of
individual coppers is carefully controlled by a
sophisticated system of dampers (8) opening into a central
flue connected to a tall chimney (9). A damper is
associated with each copper, and can be opened or closed
singly or in groups to vary temperature at the direction of
the head boiler.
The boiling juice is transferred from copper to copper
until finally it is placed in the fifth and smallest copper,
called the strike pan. In the strike pan, crystallization
begins to occur, at which point the juice is transferred
into cooling and preliminary crystallization tanks (10)
where it is allowed to cool and the crystallization process

Ill
continues. The end result of the boiling process is wet
sugar.
While boiling takes place, a film forms in the coppers
on the surface of the juice. This film, called skimmings,
is removed by the boilermen with their long handled ladles,
and placed in a gutter running alongside the train (11).
The skimmings gutters are easily recognized by evenly spaced
convexities in their walls. The convexities increased the
efficiency of the boilermen overseeing the boiling process
and decreased wastage by providing a convenient place to
pour skimmings with the unwieldy ladles. From the gutter
the skimmings collect in a tank (12) and are later used in
the rum-making process.
Once the wet sugar has cooled, it is placed in casks
which are transferred to the upper floor of the curing house
(13) where crystallization continues. Because the casks
have holes in their bases, the portion of the wet sugar that
does not crystallize drains into receivers below (14). This
drained portion is molasses. It could either be sold as a
finished product or further transformed in the rum-making
process. The crystallized portion of the wet sugar is
muscovado sugar. On Tobago, muscovado sugar was shipped to
British ports where it was further refined and sold as table
sugar.
The rum-making process takes place in the distillery.
The first step involves placing molasses and skimmings in

112
large vats (15), adding yeast, and allowing fermentation to
take place. Once fermentation has occurred, the resulting
alcohol-enriched syrup is transferred to a still (16). As
the syrup is heated in the still, the alcohol is transformed
into vapor which exits the still through a small-diameter
tube at the top. From this tube, the gasses then run into
the worm tube, a convoluted pipe of similar diameter. While
the distal end of the worm tube is connected to the still,
the proximal end protrudes into the interior of the
distillery itself. The convolutions of the worm tube, which
increase its surface area, occur in a worm tank (17), a
water-filled tank that cools the worm tube and thus hastens
condensation.4 The condensed clear liquid that flows from
the worm tube into the distillery is raw rum. It is
collected in a receiver (18) and transferred to wooden
casks. Water is then added to reduce the alcohol content,
and the rum is then allowed to age in the casks prior to
shipping (19). Rum in its pure form is a colorless liquid.
Molasses can be added after distillation to both impart
color and enhance flavor. Aging in casks of certain types
of wood has a similar effect.
It should be noted that the force of gravity was often
used when transferring liquids from place to place in the
4 The worm tank is a massive structure shaped something
like a large bath tub. The interior is lined with plaster,
and the corners are rounded. Worm tanks at sites dating to
the later period of sugar production on Tobago show less
corner rounding than do those at earlier sites.

113
sugar works. Thus, the juice-pipe leading from the
clarifying tank to the coppers was a gravity-feed pipe,
which necessitates that the crushing mill be located at a
higher elevation than the jamaica train. Crushing mills
were often placed on high platforms for this reason.
Gravity was also utilized within the sugar works itself, and
the works were most often built to take advantage of natural
topography. While the illustrated boiling house sits at
ground level, its floor is at roughly the same elevation as,
or slightly higher than, the upper floor of the curing house
and the distillery. This allowed liquids such as skimmings
to flow from the skimmings trough in the boiling house to
the skimmings tank in the upper story of the distillery.
The tendency to use the force of gravity in the sugar,
molasses and rum-making processes frequently allows ready
functional identification of sugar factory components in the
field; crushing mills are generally located at higher
elevations than boiling houses and boiling houses are
generally higher than curing houses and distilleries.
Within the distillery, the still(s) is usually located at
the lowest elevation. This allows fermented molasses to be
gravity-fed to the still. Because the vapor produced in the
still is lighter than air and is under pressure, it travels
upwards under its own impetus from the still and into the
worm tube. The worm tube extends from the top to the bottom
of the worm tank in a series of coils. In the worm tank the

114
vapor is forced downwards through the worm tube by pressure
from the still until cooling and condensation occur. Once
condensation takes place, the resulting rum, a liquid, flows
downwards under the force of gravity into the rum receiver.
Estate Houses
Estate owners lived in large residences, at some
distance from the factory complex. In addition,
the planter's mansion is generally situated on the
highest ground of his estate, not only for
freshness of air and for health, but to command a
view of his negroe village, of the sugar works,
and generally what is doing on the plantation
(Young 1812a:166).
That hilltops were the site-of-choice for estate houses is
mirrored by an old saying still remembered on Tobago today:
"To find massa, look up." The estate house locational model
embodying horizontal and vertical separation from both the
estate village and the sugar factory has been noted as a
pattern throughout the Caribbean (e.g. Armstrong 1990;
Handler and Lange 1978; Higman 1988).
Characteristic construction materials were used at
Tobago's estate houses, often making their sites readily
identifiable. Brick and stone are the predominant
construction materials still extant on estate house sites
today. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, most
researchers have assumed that all bricks were imported to
Tobago as ship's ballast. Young (1812a:103), however, notes

115
that there was a small brick industry on the island by the
early nineteenth century.
Construction techniques applied to estate houses were
also somewhat unique. In general, the houses were of wood,
elevated on a series of brick piers. Often, the piers would
have decorative elements of stone. Access to the houses was
gained by mounting stairs, which were frequently constructed
with one or more graceful brick arches supporting them, and
occasionally with additional elements that were both
structural and decorative.
Many estate houses were completely destroyed by the
hurricane of 1848. Some of these were reconstructed. By
the mid nineteenth century, concrete seems to have replaced
brick as the preferred building material. Some of these
later structures were constructed on piers like their
earlier manifestations (e.g., the Courland new estate house,
discussed below), while others were constructed on solid
foundations (e.g., the Alma estate house in St. George's
Parish). The arched stairway continues to be a prominent
design element in Tobagonian today.
Estate Villages
The final major element of Tobago's sugar estates is
the estate village, which housed the slaves and, later, the
free laborers of the estate. In the locational model
alluded to above, the estate village occupies a position

116
overwatched by the estate house and with access to both the
cane fields and the sugar factory complex. Nevertheless,
estate villages are exceedingly difficult to locate
archaeologically, because they were often built with less
durable materials.
Most estate villages encountered during fieldwork were
located with the aid of historic maps. Higman (1988) argues
against the temptation to reconstruct villages based on such
maps, noting that many maps present only the ideal layout
rather than the real. Research in the Caribbean indicates,
however, that estate villages tend to conform to patterned
layouts that contrast with those of the overall estate. Two
formations appear to be dominant. The earlier arrangement,
most likely, is rigidly aligned rows of slave houses facing
a common lane or road. The purpose of such a layout may
have been to enhance planter control over the slaves through
regimentation and the imposition of European spatial
arrangements (Higman 1988). In other cases, however,
village layout is less rigidly-ordered and consists of
seemingly random clusters of houses. The shift to an
apparently random housing arrangement may reflect the
development of increased internal autonomy on the part of
the laborers as they became better adapted to the estate
regime and life in the Caribbean (Armstrong 1990).5
5 If these "apparently random" arrangements were indeed
generated by the slaves, they were probably not random at
all. Rather, they likely reflected kinship divisions within

117
Young had this to say about the villages of Tobago
during a visit in 1792:
The negro houses throughout Tobago are much
superior to those in St. Vincent's, or even in
Antigua. Mr. Franklyn, junior,6 informs me that
each of his negro's houses has cost him 23
johannes or above forty pounds sterling, including
the necessary labour. These houses are built of
boards, uniform throughout the estate, are about
26 feet long by 14 wide, consisting each of two
apartments, besides a portico or covered walk with
a seat in front, of which a closet at the end is
taken from the portico to form a small kitchen or
store room. The roof is of shingles (in Edwards
1819 vol. 3:277-278; see also Woodcock 1866:65).
Summary
A broad variety of features were present on Tobago
sugar estates. Sugar factories and their various components
were designed for industrial purposes—the manufacture of
sugar, molasses and rum—while estate houses and villages in
contrast were the scene of essentially domestic activities.
During the course of the St. David's Archaeological Survey
many of these features associated with more than 20 sugar
estates were located on the landscape. The following
chapters discuss the results of the survey, focusing
the village, a frequent African organizational practice
(e.g., Beattie 1960; Gibbs 1965; Hart 1982; Middleton 1965).
Alternatively, given the extremely disruptive effect the
slave trade had on the family, they may reflect the tribal
ties or more general linguistic affiliations individual
slaves derived from their specific cultural backgrounds.
6 Possibly, Young is referring to the Franklyn for
which Franklyn's Estate (St. David's Parish, discussed
below) is named. By 1811, however, the Franklyn's owned
Hope Estate in St. George's Parish (Young 1812a:75).

118
initially on a regional perspective followed by more
intensive investigation at selected estates.

CHAPTER 7
RESULTS OF REGIONAL SURVEY
Although the bulk of the regional survey was
accomplished during the first period of research and early
during the second period, regional survey activities were
continued throughout all three periods of fieldwork as
further locational information came to light. Because they
contain the most massive and durable construction, initial
efforts focused on locating sugar factory complexes.
A total of 27 factory complexes or their sites were
located during the regional survey. Of these, 17 were
previously unknown, bringing the total number of known
factory sites on the island to 59. Twenty-two factory
complexes were located in the study area. Three estates,
Adventure, Lower Quarter and Runnemede, contain two factory
complexes each, bringing the number of estates with
associated factory complexes in the study area to 19.
At most of the factory complexes it was possible to
identify the power source driving the cane crushing mill.
In one instance, however, this proved to be impossible
although, most likely given the absence of the more massive
architecture associated with alternative power sources
(discussed below), it was steam driven. The identifiable
119

120
power sources driving the crushing mills of St. David's
Parish ran the gamut of available technologies. The remains
of ten windmill towers,1 nine water wheels and/or wheel
pits, five steam engines, and one cattle mill were
identified. In one case, a water wheel and a steam engine
were adjacent to the same mill, indicating that one was a
back-up for the other.
Locating estate houses was more difficult, because
their method of construction utilized more wood. Thus they
were less massive and less durable factory complexes.
Nevertheless, the remains of 17 estate houses were
identified in the study area, and the possible location of
two others were noted.
Estate villages were located by surface survey and sub¬
surface testing while referring primarily to the Carte
Militaire (Anonymous 1784). The encumbered estates map of
Orange Hill and Amity Hope (Anonymous n.d.) was also used.
The locations of four estate villages were verified, and an
additional five are indicated on the Carte Militaire or by
other sources but were not field checked or were
unsatisfactorily verified.
1 These ten towers were for operating crushing mills.
An additional windmill tower exists on Courland Estate.
Smaller than those designed to house a crushing mill, it
housed a water pump that was used to transfer water from the
Courland River to the Courland estate house and factory
complex.

121
The results of the regional survey are summarized in
Table 7-1 and discussed below. The location of the major
site components encountered during the survey—factories,
estate houses and estate villages—are identified in Figure
7-1.
Site Descriptions
A description of the located archaeological remains
associated with each of the sugar estates in the study area
is presented below. Additional information about each
estate derived from the documentary sources is provided in
Tables 7-2 and 7-3. This information relates to estate
boundaries, ownership, production and population.
Individual land lots in St. David's Parish are depicted in
Figure 7-2.
Adventure Estate
Adventure Estate is located in the western part of St.
David's Parish, and is bordered on the south by the Courland
River and on the northwest by the town of Plymouth. The
terrain consists of gently rolling, low hills. The maximum
elevation is slightly more than 70 meters above sea level
while the minimum elevation approaches sea level.
The remains of two sugar factories are located on what
was once Adventure Estate, one wind powered and one water
powered. Due to preservational and architectural
characteristics and the greater efficiency of water power, I

Figure 7—i.
St. David’s Parish Estates
122

123
Table 7-1. Summary of estate components identified during
Estate
FC
WM
WW
SE
CM
EH
EV
Adventure
2
1
1
1
1
Amity Hope
1
1
1
?
Arnos Vale
1
1
1
1
?
Castara Downs
1
Courland
1
2
2
1
Craig Hall
1
1
1
Culloden
1
1
Dunvegan
?
Franklyn's
1
1
1
Golden Lane
1
1
Highlands
1
1
1
Indian Walk
1
?
?
King Peter's
1
1
Les Coteaux
1
1
1
1
Lower Quarter
2
1
1
1
1
?
Mary's Hill
1
1
1
?
Mt. Dillon
Orange Hill
1
2
1
1
Providence
1
1
?
Runnemede
2
1
1
?
Whim
1
1
1
?
Woodlands
1
1
1
engine; CM=Cattle mill; EH=Estate house; EV=Estate village—
numerals indicate the number of components identified for a
given estate; question marks indicate a probable
identification.

Table 7-2. Estate and lot ownership for various years
Lot
Grantee(s)
1807
1811
1832
1867
1884
Adventure Estate
20
R. Ottley
J. Lowrie
Ottlay heirs
H. Ottley
R. Gordon
Gillespie 4 Co.
21
â– 
•
•
•
•
â– 
22
-
•
.
•
•
•
23
â– 
-
-
-
•
â– 
27
â– 
•
•
•
•
•
Amity Hope E
¡state
5
T. Gibbon
J. Balfour
J. Balfour
Balfour heirs
E. Ellice
Gillespie 4 Co.
6
J. 4 A. Gibbon
•
•
•
•
.
Arnos Vale Estate
24
J. t A. Gibbon
S. Drysdale
Drysdale
Davison 4 Simpson
Kitson heirs
J. Kitson
25
â– 
â– 
•
•
.
•
Castara Downs
Estate
28
W. Hewitt
J. Rosa
P. Murdock
N/A
N/A
N/A
30
W. Lucas
â– 
.
â– 
V. Desvignes
M. Desvignes
(Mt. Dillon)
Courland Estate
1
J. Simpson
R. Petrie
Petrie heirs
G. 4 J. Petrie Reps.
D. Gordon
T. Reid
Craig Hall E
¡state
18
J. Burn
G. Craig
C. Nightman
N/A
N. Desvignes
K. Deavignee
124

Table 7-2 (cntd.)
Lot
Grantee(s)
1807
1811
1832
1867
1884
Culloden Ea
itate
15
P. MacVicar
H. Robertson
McCullogh
M/A
J. Kirk et al.
(Highlands)
J. Kirk
42
G. Forbes
•
-
•
B. Alleyne
Alleyne Heira
Dunvegan Ea
itate
10
(part)
T. Brown
*f. McLeod
McLeod heirs
Ball heirs
S. Isaacs
T. Reid
Franklyn's E
¡state
12
A. Richardson
J. Morrison
J. Morriaon
C. Cray
J. Urquhart
D. McGillivray
13
•
-
â– 
J. Hackatt
(Lea Cotaaux)
J. Hackett
14
â– 
•
.
•
J. Urquhart
D. McGillivray
Golden Lane
Estate
43
R. Farr
W. Lament
G. Morrison
Millie at al.
Trick Tata heira
C. Tan et al.
44
•
•
•
•
•
•
Highlands E
state
17
A. Alexander
J. MacVicar
J. MacVicar
C. Gray
J. Kirk et al.
J. Kirk
125

Table 7-2 (cntd.)
Lot
Grantee(s)
1807
1811
1832
1867
1884
Indian Walk Estate
35
J. Hamilton
J. Hamilton
J. Hamilton
J. Hamilton
McDougall & Mita
Gillespie 4 Co.
40
A. Stewart
•
-
.
•
41
J. Hamilton
•
•
.
•
.
King Peter's
Estate
31
G. Glover
L. Dupres
L. Dupres
N/A
J. Leith
N/A
33
W. Forbes
•
-
•
Unknown
N/A
Les Coteaux
Estate
11
A. Allen
G. Morrison
G. Morriaon
Nylin at al.
J. Hackett
J. Hackett
16
P. MacVicar
•
â– 
•
Kirk et al.
(Highlands) 4
J. Hackett
Kirk
(Highlands) 4
J. Hackett
Lower Quarter
Estate
2
M. Brown
J. Callow
J. Callow
Miss Campbell
R. Gordon
Gillaapia t Co.
Mary's Hill Estate
( 3
J. Macnae 4 F. Young
J. Campbell
J. Campbell
A. Campball
B. Morriaon
Gillaapia 4 Co.
Mt. Dillon Estate
32
M. Glovar
J. Deavignes
J. Deavignaa
Daavignaa halra
J. Leith (Runnemede)
J. 4 B. MacDougall
Orange Hill Estate
4
G. t J. Kaarton
J. Balfour
J. Balfour
Balfour halra
B. Silica
Gillaapia t Co.
7
J. Hamilton
•
•
•
•
•
126

Table 7-2 (cntd.)
Lot | Grantee ( s )
1807
1811
1832
1867
1884
Providence Estate
10
(Part)
T. Brown
J. Anderson
J. Anderson
Davison 4 Simpson
C. Castalia
C. Castalia
Runnemede Estate
36
W. Forbes
C. Irvine
C. Irvine
Irvine heirs
J. Leith
J. 4 B. MacDougall
Whim Estate
8 G. Young
C. Hamilton
C. 4 J. Hamilton J. 4 J. Hamilton O'Neil 4 Simpson Gillespie 4 Co.
Woodlands Estate
38 W. I J. Irvin.
w. Irvin.
W. Irvin.
Doogl»» t Irvin.
J. Kirk
J. Kirk
39
After Hay 1884:xii-xiii; Woodcoc
:Appendix 7, Appendix 10; Young 1809:S
4, 181la:91
127

Table 7-3. Summary of St. David's Estates, 1811
Lands
Euro
peans
Slaves
Produce
Estate
Lots Granted
Acres
Water
Mill?
Owner(s)
Res?
White
Servants
Male
Slaves
Female
Slaves
Child
Slaves
Total
Slaves
Sugar
(Hhds.)
Rum

Adventure
21, 22, 23, 27
350
Yes
Ottley Heir*
No
3
56
59
26
141
110
90
Amity Hope
5, 6
400
No
Balfour
H/A
2
44
38
26
108
90
60
Arnos Vale
24, 25
400
Yes
Drysdale
No
3
65
45
28
138
100
70
Castara Downs
28, 30
300
No
Murdock
Yes
1
23
29
18
70
50
30
Courland
i
500
No
Petrie Heira
No
4
160
166
127
453
300
210
Craig Hall
18
400
Yes
Nightman
Yes
2
25
29
13
67
60
45
Culloden
15, 42
400
Yes
McCullogh
No
2
47
67
41
155
120
70
Dunvegan
Part of 10
200
No
McLeod Heirs
No
2
32
34
28
95
80
60
Franklyns
12, 13, 14
400
No
J. Morrison
No
3
115
75
37
227
170
120
Golden Lane
43, 44
200
No
G. Morrison
Yes
2
37
38
20
95
80
60
Highlands
17
450
Yes
McVicar
Yes
2
51
51
51
153
120
80
Indian Walk
35, 40, 41
500
No
J. Hamilton
No
2
80
72
43
195
160
110
King Peters
31, 33
400
No
Dupres
Yes
i
24
24
16
64
so
35
Les Coteaux
11, 1C
750
Yes
G. Morrison
H/A
5
178
181
119
478
280
220
Lower Quarter
2
300
No
Callow
No
2
72
76
20
168
120
80
Marys Hill
3
300
No
J. Campbell
Yes
2
66
64
48
178
140
90
Mt. Dillon
32
250
No
Devignes
Yes
1
15
29
6
50
40
30
Ht. Grace
26
200
No
D. Campbell
Yes
1
33
40
26
99
Pasture
Orange Hill
4, 7
300
No
Balfour
Yes
4
82
89
62
233
180
120
Providence
Part of 10
350
Yes
Anderson
Yes
4
86
83
30
199
160
100
Runnemede
36
500
Yes
C. Irvine
No
3
88
66
66
220
200
130
Whim
8
400
No
C. C J. Hamilton
Yes
2
79
89
44
212
180
120
Woodlands
38, 39
400
No
W. Irvine
No
3
79
76
80
235
200
140
After Young 1812a:§1

89
Figure 7-2. St. David’s Parish Lots
St. David’s Parish
Lots
(after Niddrie 1966)
Courland River

130
believe the wind powered site to be the older. It is
referred to as Adventure old works.
The most prominent feature of Adventure old works is
the base of a hexagonal windmill tower approximately six
meters in diameter. The remains of a small sugar factory
are located 54 meters away, down a gentle slope trending to
the west. Both are in a very poor state of preservation.
They are located on the end of a low finger ridge
overlooking the modern town of Plymouth, and are adjacent to
a school. Much of the masonry has been carried off for
later building. No hardware associated with sugar
production is present.
The remains of an estate house are located 315 meters
southeast of the old works on the hilltop from which the
finger ridge extends. Very little remains of the estate
house. A dense scattering of rubble consisting of brick,
masonry and a pier fragment is present on the surface, as
are eighteenth and nineteenth century ceramic sherds of
British manufacture. A single copper is present on the
site. No information about the form of the estate house was
recoverable, but a two meter portion of a stone foundation,
oriented to N103E0, may be intact.
The Carte Militaire (Anonymous 1784) shows both the
estate house and the old works. Located slightly south of a
line between the two, and closer to the house, are 18 small
dots that represent individual structures in the estate

131
village. They are arranged primarily in four rows of four,
with two outliers to the east. Despite extremely poor
surface visibility, a light surface scattering of ceramics
similar to those found at the estate house was encountered
in the village area defined by the map. Several additional
structures are shown which are larger than the village
structures, but no evidence of them was found. The area is
currently used lightly as pasture, and is covered by a dense
growth of coarse grasses.
Adventure new works is located 115 meters south of the
estate house, adjacent to the Courland River. The new works
does not appear on the Carte Militaire. However, in Young's
tables (1812a:91) the estate is listed as being water
powered, indicating that Adventure new works was built
sometime between 1784 and 1811. An abandoned road leads
from the estate house to the new works, indicating that they
were occupied concurrently.
Unlike the other components at Adventure Estate, the
new works is in a good state of preservation. It consists
of a wheel pit and adjacent mill house, and an L-shaped
sugar works. The wheel has separated from its attachment to
the mill, but is present, as is the mill itself. The mill
is of the horizontal-roller type. Lettering cast into its
side reads: "A & W Smith & Co. No. 69 Glasgow 1869." The
wheel is an overshot type.

132
Water for the new works was drawn from the Courland
River. Following the north side of the river for a distance
of nearly two and a half kilometers is a masonry-lined canal
which transported water from a diversion dean on the Courland
River to the water wheel at the new works. This is the
longest canal known on the island, and may be up to 90
percent intact. The diversion dam itself is so distant from
the factory complex that it is outside of the estimated
estate boundaries. Rather, the diversion dam is located on
property associated with Arnos Vale estate on the north side
of the river and Mary's Hill estate to the south. Little
remains of the dam, and its form was not determined.
Amity Hope Estate
Amity Hope Estate is in the extreme southwestern
portion of the study area, within an elevated area
characterized by low, rolling hills. The maximum elevation
of the estate property is approximately 210 meters above sea
level while the minimum is 70 meters above sea level. Very
little water is available on the property.
The remains of a single sugar factory complex were
identified on Amity Hope Estate. The remains are located on
a north-south ranging ridgetop, with a sharp drop to the
east and west. Unfortunately, they are on fenced-in private
property. Permission to enter the property was not
obtained. Interviews with local inhabitants indicate that

133
the remains of a windmill tower were present on the
property, but that a modern house has been built atop them.
This was not confirmed. The remainder of the factory
complex was not located.
Local residents also reported the presence of at least
one burial site on a hilltop 150 meters north of the works.
Again, this is private property and permission to enter was
not gained. No other information about the burial site or
sites is available.
The remains of a functionally unidentified complex of
seven buildings that may be associated with Amity Hope
Estate are located some 660 meters north of the works area,
on a dry hilltop in the extreme northwest corner of the
estimated property boundary. The complex has a set of brick
steps, indicative of an estate house, and several
outbuildings and landscape modifications in association.
Most of these are functionally unidentified, and the complex
may have been the site of additional activities, and not
strictly a residential site.
The Carte Militaire (Anonymous 1784) shows a scattering
of structures in the vicinity of the Amity Hope factory
complex. No evidence of these structures was found during
survey, though they may be located in the unsurveyed area of
private property reportedly containing the factory complex.

134
Arnos Vale Estate
Arnos Vale Estate is sometimes referred to in the
documents as John's Hill Estate. A small portion of the
estate property jutting to the south abuts the Courland
River, but the majority of the estate lies to the north of
the river. Three perennial tributaries of the river run
through the estate property. The estate is bordered to the
northwest by the sea, while its maximum elevation is
approximately 150 meters above sea level.
The Arnos Vale factory complex is located in the valley
of a small perennial stream in the southern portion of the
property. Although the boiling house chimney is still
standing, the majority of the intact architectural remains
are visible only on the surface. The worm tank is readily
apparent, however, and possesses well-rounded corners. The
sugar works itself is T-shaped, and had a separate mill
house to the south. Virtually all of the crushing hardware
is still in situ. The mill house sheltered a vertical
crushing mill that is flanked by an overshot water wheel to
one side and a steam engine with an attached boiler to the
other. In the event that the steam engine broke down, water
could be used to drive the mill.
An interesting feature of the Arnos Vale factory
complex is that the top of the water wheel is higher than
the end of the canal that was used to feed it. Although
several stanchions that would have supported a sluice-way

135
are present, getting the water from the proximal end of the
canal to the overshot wheel would have required a
significant head. It is unlikely that this was the method,
since a sharp bend occurs at the end of the canal and the
beginning of the tail race. The remains of a water pump
that could mechanically raise the head are located adjacent
to this junction. The remains of a second boiler nearby
suggest that the pump, too, was steam operated.
Although the canal itself is largely destroyed, its
path can be traced back up to a dam about 450 meters away on
the same stream on which the factory complex is located.
The dam, however, is well inside the estimated boundaries of
the neighboring estate. The dam is a large one,
approximately six meters high by 12 meters wide by 2.5
meters thick at its base, and probably served dual functions
as an impoundment dam creating a large water supply and a
diversion dam transferring water from the stream bed into
the canal. Three outlets are visible in the downstream
facade of the dam. The largest allows water to continue its
flow into the stream bed, and could be opened to prevent
damage to the dam during the rainy season. Immediately to
the right on facing the downstream facade is a second
smaller outlet, which connects back into the main outlet.
When the main outlet was opened, some of the water passing
through could be diverted into the canal, allowing the mill
to be turned even when stream flow was so great as to

136
endanger the dam. A third outlet is located on the right
side of the downstream face of the dam. Roughly the same
size as the second, it was opened to divert water directly
into the canal when the dam was acting in its impoundment
capacity.
Approximately 300 meters north of the works are the
remains of the Arnos Vale estate house. These sit on a high
hilltop overlooking a small valley to the east that leads
down to the works. The remains consist of two short
sections of masonry wall, several brick piers and a set of
brick-arched steps. The form of this structure could not be
determined due to the presence of dense grasses. No
outbuildings were noted, but the Carte Militaire (Anonymous
1784) shows an unlabeled cluster of four buildings on a
hilltop on what may be Arnos Vale Estate. This may indicate
that an estate house complex is present.
Also present on the Carte Militaire (Anonymous 1784),
southeast of the possible estate house complex, is a linear
array of four structures. If the hilltop structures
identify the location of the estate house, then these may
represent the estate village. Extensive surface inspection
of the length of the valley floor to the east of the estate
house and the ridges on either side revealed no evidence of
a village in these locations, however.
Arnos Vale Bay, in the southern portion of the estate,
is mentioned by Young (1812a:93-94) as being a shipping

137
point from which estate products could be transferred to
Scarborough or Plymouth prior to overseas shipment. The
foundation of an historic structure is located on the bay.
This foundation currently supports a beach bar associated
with a luxury hotel. The surrounding area is highly
disturbed by additional construction.
Castara Downs Estate
Castara Downs Estate is located in the extreme
northeast corner of the study area. Bordered by the sea to
the north, it is characterized by extremely steep slopes and
fast-flowing streams. The maximum elevation on the estate
property is approximately 340 meters above sea level.
Due to the extreme steepness of the terrain and an
absence of access routes, little effort was made to locate
structures on Castara Downs Estate. However, an estate
house is indicated in the southwest corner of the property
at the turn of the nineteenth century on a ridge that slopes
steeply down to the sea (Stanford's Geographical
Establishment 1900). Its presence was verified by field
survey. No artifactual materials dating to the period when
sugar was produced on the estate were present adjacent to
the architectural remains, perhaps due to erosion and
continuous reuse through 1900. Alternatively, this
structure may post-date sugar production, although the use

138
of brick in the architecture makes that unlikely. No other
structures were found on the estate.
Courland Estate
Courland Estate is one of the three selected for
further study. See Chapter 8.
Craig Hall Estate
Craig Hall Estate is located in the hilly eastern
portion of the study area. The short southern boundary of
the estate is defined by the Courland River, and a tributary
of the river roughly bisects the property from north to
south, creating some relatively level ground in the southern
quarter of the estate.
The sugar factory complex associated with Craig Hall
Estate is located in the southern half of the property,
adjacent to the perennial stream. The complex is largely
destroyed, and its form was not determined. The only
readily identifiable remains are those of the wheel pit,
indicating a water powered site, and the mill house.
Upslope from the wheel pit is a narrow terrace that may
identify the location of the canal feeding the wheel. If
so, it is high enough to have supported an overshot wheel.
The dam itself was not located. Also present, in an area
somewhat removed from the factory site, are two rollers for
a crushing mill.

139
Approximately 550 meters north of the Craig Hall
factory complex is a hilltop that is the probable location
of the estate house. Few remains of the site are visible
today. A surface collection during a period of 75 percent
surface visibility yielded two brick bats, one sherd of blue
transfer-printed whiteware, several ceramic roofing tile
fragments, and some green glass. At present, the site is
used as a garden, and this activity probably resulted in the
removal of any in situ structural remains. However, one
informant, an elderly gentleman of about 80 who lives about
a hundred meters away, remembers going to the hilltop as a
child to pick mangos off a tree which is no longer extant.
He reports the presence of several brick piers on the site
in his childhood, but does not remember a house ever having
been there.
Culloden Estate
Culloden Estate is located in the center of the
northern part of the study area. The estate is bounded to
the north by the sea, and is primarily composed of steeply
sloping terrain. A perennial stream runs through the
approximate center of the property, while another runs
through the northeast corner, creating rolling hills in a
limited area. The maximum elevation of the estate is
approximately 200 meters above sea level.

140
A sugar factory complex is located in the northern part
of the property in a distinct natural depression adjacent to
a very small stream. The power source for this factory is
undetermined. Young (1812a:91) notes the presence of a
water wheel on the site. Southeast of the factory complex,
about 300 meters upstream, are the remains of a low masonry
dam. A channel is occasionally visible between the works
and the dam, confirming the former presence of a water wheel
at the site. Despite a concerted effort, however, no
remains of such a structure were encountered.
The sugar works itself is unique among those known on
the island. Rather than being T- or L-shaped, the factory
buildings form a rough square. In addition, the chimney
associated with the boiling house is built of coral rather
than the more typical brick.
The Culloden estate house was located some 275 meters
northwest of the factory complex, on a hilltop overlooking
the sea. The remains are nearly obscured by a modern
habitation, and the original layout of the estate house was
not determined. Only masonry remains are present, possibly
a cistern for water storage. The main part of the estate
house was probably on the current site of the modern
structure.

141
Dunveaan and Providence Estates
Along with Providence Estate, Dunvegan Estate shares
lot 10. The border between the two estates is not clearly
defined in the historical record. Based on verbal
information and the location of known archaeological
remains, it is probable that the boundary between the
estates bisects lot 10 on an east-west line. However,
because the boundary is unclear, all remains in lot 10 will
be described herein.
Lot 10 is a well-watered area of steep hillsides. The
maximum elevation in the lot is about 200 meters above sea
level in the northeast corner, while the minimum elevation
is about 20 meters above sea level. The northwest edge of
the lot is defined by a short stretch of the Courland river,
while the Courland's largest tributary, the Providence
River, roughly bisects the lot from east to west.
A sugar factory complex is sited on the south side of
the Providence River, approximately in the center of the
lot. Local informants note that this complex is associated
with Providence Estate. The most spectacular feature of the
complex is a river-spanning triple-arched aqueduct of stone
and brick, approximately 10 to 15 meters high by 15 to 20
meters across, which transferred water from two canals on
the north side of the river to an overshot water wheel on
the south. The wheel itself is no longer extant, although

142
the wheel pit is intact, as is most of an attached, two-
story mill house.
The T-shaped sugar works is detached from the wheel pit
and mill house. Although the boiling house has been largely
destroyed by continued reuse as a sugar manufacturing site
until 1991 (Eubanks, personal communication), the curing
house and still house are mostly intact. In addition,
McTear (n.d.) provides a plan view of the factory drawn
between 1825 and 1830 (see Figure 6-1).
The Providence water wheel was fed by two canals which
intersect on the north side of the Providence River,
opposite the factory complex. One of these canals runs up
the north side of the Providence River to a diversion dam at
the base of a falls some 700 meters upstream. The second
canal runs up the east side of a small tributary that feeds
into the Providence just downstream from the factory
complex. Due to time constraints, it was not feasible to
locate the dam for the second canal.
The Providence estate house was not definitively
located, and is probably wholly destroyed. The most likely
site of the estate house is on a low hilltop immediately
overlooking the factory complex to the west. This location
may be depicted on the Carte Militaire (Anonymous 1784),
though the map is too crude to be positive. The hilltop is
currently the site of a modern habitation. A stockpile of

143
eighteenth and nineteenth century brick is on the property,
though no in situ structural remains were located.
Nor was the Providence estate village located. Based
on the Carte Militaire (Anonymous 1784), small houses were
scattered in the area just south and west of the works, and
along the small tributary to the north. Due to heavy
vegetation, these locations were not verified by field
study.
An historic structure is located at the junction of
Providence and Dunvegan Roads some 800 meters south of the
Providence factory complex, on what may have been Dunvegan
property. The structure has been partially restored and
partially renovated, and is currently occupied as a
residence. Evidence of its historic origins include
eighteenth and nineteenth century brick piers incorporated
into the ground floor, the remains of an iron boiler or
water tank, and the possible base of a brick chimney.
Whether this site was originally residential, industrial or
both is unclear.
Several informants placed the Dunvegan sugar factory
complex at the end of a ridge extending northward from
Dunvegan Road. A church-associated recreation hall was
under construction on this site during the period in which
fieldwork was being conducted. No archaeological evidence
of the factory complex was located. Surficial evidence of

144
it has likely been destroyed by modern construction,
possibly of the recreation hall itself.
Franklvn's Estate
Franklyn's Estate is located in the center of the study
area and is dominated by low, steep hills. The southern and
eastern boundaries of the estate are formed by the Courland
River. The elevation of the estate ranges from a low of 10
meters above sea level to a high of over 100 meters above
sea level.
The Franklyn's sugar factory complex is in very poor
condition. It is located on a steep tributary of the
Courland River coursing down a very narrow valley. The lack
of suitable terrain for building dictated that the
distillery be sited some 50 meters downstream from the
boiling house and curing house. The power for the site was
derived from a steam engine. Young (1809:94) places this
type of power source at the site as early as 1807, making it
one of the first steam engines on the island and in the
Caribbean as a whole (Deerr 1950:553). No hardware
associated with an engine is present. However, the brick
structure that would have partially supported and partially
housed the device is recognizable.
The Franklyn's estate house is located on a hilltop
approximately 250 meters southeast of the factory complex.
The house is still occupied, and has been extensively

145
modified. Two tombs reportedly exist on the estate house
grounds, although these were not visited because they were
on private, fenced-in property.
Golden Lane Estate
Golden Lane is a small estate located in the north-
central portion of the study area. The estate is
characterized by high steep hills and little running water.
The maximum elevation of the estate property is 275 meters
above sea level while the minimum elevation is 130 meters
above sea level.
No evidence of the Golden Lane estate house was
located, although the sugar factory complex was found on a
high saddle and in the valley of a small, unnamed
intermittent stream. This is the site of the modern village
of Mt. Thomas, a later name for the estate, the construction
of which has largely destroyed the works in the valley
itself. The power source for the complex was a cattle mill,
located on the saddle approximately 110 meters south of the
works. Most of the mill structure is obscured under the
junction of the Culloden and Golden Lane-to-Moriah Roads.
About a quarter of the exterior wall of the donut-shaped
structure that supported the cattle driving the mill is
visible on the northwest side of the road.
Also present at Golden Lane Estate is a well, about 50
meters downstream from the works. According to local

146
informants, the well was a principal source of drinking
water for Mt. Thomas residents until its use was superseded
by piped-in water in the 1980s.
Although no other remains associated with Golden Lane
were encountered, the estate is the setting of a Tobago
folktale. The tale presents the legend of "Gang Gang
Sarie," an African woman who flew to Tobago in the late
eighteenth century to find Tom, her betrothed, who was
transported to Tobago at an earlier date by more traditional
means. When Gang Gang Sarie was an old woman and her
husband Tom had died, she decided to fly back to Africa.
Not realizing that, because she had eaten salt, she had lost
the ability to fly, she fell from the silk cotton tree she
had climbed for her take-off and died shortly afterward.
Legend has it that she and Tom are buried side-by-side in a
cemetery that still exists today, in graves marked by
tombstones inscribed with their names. Fifteen additional
stones marking slave burials are reported to be present as
well, as is the tomb of the estate owner of the time,
"Grandfather Peter." The tomb is said to be located
adjacent to the remains of the estate house, while the
stones of the slaves are reportedly placed in four distinct
groups around what was then a marketplace (Bessom 1989:34;
Ottley 1962:24-26).
Unfortunately, I did not come across this tale until
after I had returned to the United States. As a result, I

147
was unable to confirm most of the places and things
described. However, a large silk cotton tree, known
throughout Tobago, is present in the valley below the Golden
Lane sugar factory. A crude sign, placed by the residents
of Mount Thomas, marks the tree:
This silk cotton tree was considered sacred by the
African slaves who believed the spirits of their
ancestors lived in its branches. Obeah men from
all parts of the island came here to perform black
magic rituals, he most famous being Bobby Quashie
of Culloden. This tree is the largest of its kind
on the island and is well known for its many
legends, spanning over 150 years....
Highlands Estate
Highlands Estate is located in the south-central
portion of the study area. The southern boundary of the
estate is formed by the Courland River, where it cuts
through a deeply incised valley. A good-sized perennial
stream bisects the eastern half of the estate, creating a
broad, relatively flat area along part of its course.
Several other perennial and intermittent streams are also
present. The minimum elevation of the property is
approximately 50 meters above sea level in the southwestern
corner, and ranges above 250 meters above sea level in the
north.
The Highlands sugar factory complex is located on the
west bank of the major perennial stream, about 600 meters
upstream of its juncture with the Courland River. Much
sugar-making hardware is present at the site. The complex

148
was powered by an overshot water wheel, on the remains of
which can be read "W & A McOnie & Co. Glasgow 1856." Three
rollers from a vertical mill are also present, as is the
mill freúne. Finally, fragments of a copper or coppers and
the chimney flue door are present.
The works are constructed in a linear fashion.
Although the boiling house is preserved only at the ground
level, the jeunaica train is identifiable along the downslope
wall. The curing house and still house walls are preserved
to a height of about two meters, and were dug into the
ground about three quarters of that depth, making their
bases 1.5 meters lower than the boiling house floor. A worm
tank is visible at the far end of the complex.
Approximately 250 and 400 meters upstream from the works
respectively are the remains of a diversion dam and an
impoundment dam.
Little evidence of the Highlands estate house remains.
According to a local informant, it was located on a hilltop
275 meters northeast of the works. Examination of the
indicated area revealed a single copper and a fragmentary
brick pier. The house that formerly occupied the site was
destroyed by Hurricane Flora in 1963.
Indian Walk Estate
Indian Walk Estate is located in the north-central
portion of the study area in a locale dominated by the

149
western terminus of the main ridge and characterized by
rolling hills. Few running streams are on the property,
whose maximum and minimum elevations are 275 and 165 meters
above sea level respectively.
Some question about the accuracy of the estimated
estate borders is raised by the location of the Indian Walk
sugar factory complex, which exists outside of the extreme
southeastern corner of the estate. The site is located in a
valley, on the south side of a small, intermittent stream.
Due to heavy undergrowth and the poor physical condition of
the site, the form of the works was not ascertained. The
power source is also unknown. Steam is the most likely
source, but modern construction on the ridge overlooking the
works may have obscured a now-destroyed windmill tower.
Young (1812a:91) notes that no water wheel was present at
the site.
At least two brick-arched bridges cross the stream on
which the works is located. On the north side of the stream
is a series of 10 truncated brick piers that may have formed
a bagas shed. Alternatively, but less likely due to their
proximity to the factory complex, these piers may be the
remains of an estate house. No other architectural features
dating to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were
located. However, a large abandoned house of modern
construction is present on the hilltop immediately to the
south of the works. This may be the location of the estate

150
house, now modified beyond recognition or completely
rebuilt.
King Peter's Estate
Located in the northeast corner of the study area, King
Peter's estate is bordered to the west by the sea. The
estate is characterized by very steep slopes and a
precipitous drop to the sea. Only one perennial stream
crosses the property, on an east-west axis.
The sugar factory complex associated with King Peter's
Estate is located almost on the beach of Anse Flamenco Bay,
and is one of the smallest on the island. The walls of the
boiling house are preserved almost completely, and show
evidence of extensive modification. With the exception of a
worm tank, no other buildings normally associated with a
works were found.
According to Young (1809:94), the power source for the
King Peter's crushing mill was steam in 1807, making it,
along with Franklyn's Estate, one of the first estates to
adopt steam power on the island. These are the only two
steam powered mills noted by Young. The location of the
mill and steam engine is defined by two brick piers,
approximately three meters in height, 50 meters inland from
the works. An artificially constructed yard area exists
just to the south of the piers.

151
No structural remains of an estate house were
identified. However, one pearlware and one whiteware sherd
were surface collected on a high hilltop 800 meters
southeast of and 275 meters higher than the factory complex.
An extremely steep, abandoned road leads directly from this
point to the works. The hills to the north of the works
were not examined due to inaccessibility.
Les Coteaux Estate
Les Coteaux Estate is one of the three selected for
further study. See Chapter 8.
Lower Quarter Estate
Lower Quarter Estate, also known as Roselle, is
situated in the southwestern portion of the study area. The
terrain is transitional between the coral lowlands to the
west and south and the more hilly country to the northeast.
The maximum and minimum elevations of the property are 205
meters above sea level at Mary's Hill in the southeastern
corner and 7.5 meters above sea level along the Courland
River, which forms the northern boundary of the estate. In
addition to the river, three perennial streams cross the
property.
Two sugar factory complexes were located on Lower
Quarter Estate. Based on construction and preservational
differences, and confirmed by the Carte Militaire (Anonymous

152
1784), the older one is located on a spur in the east-
central portion of the property. Nearly completely
destroyed, the old factory complex is represented by the
partial base of a windmill tower and, downslope, a surface
scatter of masonry rubble. The layout of the complex was
not determined.
The newer factory is located approximately 400 meters
to the west, on a spur overlooking the largest perennial
stream on the estate. This complex is known as Ogilvie
(Archie Halifax, personal communication), and is in an
excellent state of architectural preservation. Two power
sources were available to the operators. At the southern
end of the works is a boiler and a foundation that would
have housed and supported a steam engine. None of the
engine parts were noted. Upslope from the factory, less
than 50 meters away, is a very large wheel pit. Its size
indicates that it probably housed a breastshot wheel.
The factory buildings are arrayed in a linear fashion,
and the structures are preserved to a height of up to five
meters. The architectural features that make these
buildings look more recent include a worm tank with sharper
interior corners than is the norm and walls that were
constructed with an attempt to make all stones flush.
Two possible estate house locations were identified on
the estate, and it is possible that two existed.
Approximately 125 meters east of the old works is an

153
overlooking hilltop that would have been an ideal location.
Although no structural or artifactual remains were
encountered, the hilltop shows signs of topographic
modification. The Carte Militaire (Anonymous 1784) indicates
a large structure in this approximate site. An artificially
constructed depression is visible that may indicate the
former location of the estate house. A second possible
location is on a hilltop overlooking the new factory some
250 meters to the southwest. Whiteware, green glass and a
few bricks and brick bats, as well as remains associated
with an early twentieth century structure, were surface
collected from the site.
No evidence of an estate village was located. However,
the Carte Militaire (Anonymous 1784) indicates that it may
have been between the old works and the possible estate
house location on the hill overlooking the old works.
Mary7 s Hill Estate
Mary's Hill Estate is adjacent to Lower Quarter to the
west, and occupies a similar topographic situation. The
northern portion of Mary's Hill is composed of terrain
sloping steeply down to the Courland River. The central
portion is occupied by rolling hills flanking the valley of
the Little Courland River. The southern portion rises to an
area of relatively high hills to the south. The maximum
elevation of Mary's Hill is 200 meters above sea level in

154
the southwest corner, while the minimum is 10 to 12 meters
above sea level along the Courland River to the north.
The remains of the Mary's Hill sugar factory complex
were destroyed in 1992 by heavy equipment. A few scattered
chunks of stone masonry mark its location just south of the
Little Courland River. An impoundment and diversion dam is
located some 50 meters upstream from the factory, indicating
that it may have been water powered. This is not confirmed
by Young, however (1812a:91). An alternative or earlier
power source may have been wind. The hexagonal base of a
windmill tower is located on a hilltop a little less than
200 meters to the southwest. A sugar works may have existed
on this hilltop location adjacent to the windmill tower base
at some point, but no surficial remains of it are present
today.
The remains of the Mary's Hill estate house are located
120 meters southwest of the works on an overlooking
hillside. These consist of a series of brick piers standing
up to two meters in height. The site is covered by dense
vegetation, and the layout of the estate house was not
determined. A structure appears in this location on the
1:10,000 series maps (DOS 1962). The house may have been
destroyed by Hurricane Flora in 1963 though no local
informants could confirm this.
The Carte Militaire (Anonymous 1784) shows Mary's Hill
Estate. It depicts the factory complex and the estate house

155
in roughly the positions I have indicated. It also depicts
a series of small structures running around both sides of
the hill on which the estate house is located. These
probably represent the estate village. Due to dense
vegetation and leaf litter, no evidence of this village was
encountered on the surface. Because the area has been
undercut by road construction and is located on a steep
slope subject to erosion, no sub-surface testing was
undertaken.
Mt. Dillon Estate
Mt. Dillon Estate is located at the southwestern
terminus of the main ridge in an area of extreme relief in
the northeastern corner of the study area. Although the
area is drained by the headwaters of the Coffee, Mt. Dillon
and Castara Downs Rivers, three of the short, steep rivers
that drain the north side of the island, surface water is
scarce. The minimum and maximum elevations of the estate
are 160 and 500 meters above sea level respectively.
Several tracks and roads crossing the property are
shown on the 1:10,000 series maps (DOS 1962). Due to the
extreme relief, and in the belief that estate remains would
be associated with the transportation infrastructure,
surface survey was limited to these features where they are
still intact. Although surface visibility on the road and

156
track surfaces was good, no archaeological remains were
encountered.
Orange Hill Estate
Orange Hill Estate is one of the three selected for
further study. See Chapter 8.
Providence Estate
See Dunvegan and Providence Estates, discussed above.
Runnemede Estate
Runnemede Estate is located in the steeply sloping
southwestern terminus of the main ridge, at the eastern end
of the study area. Several small streams cross the
property, and the eastern boundary is formed by the Courland
River, more of a stream here near its headwaters. The
highest elevation on the property is above 375 meters above
sea level in the northeast corner, while the minimum is
roughly 175 meters above sea level along the river.
Two sugar factory complexes were encountered on the
estate. The first, designated Runnemede old works based on
preservational, construction and toponymic features, is
located adjacent to the Courland River. A wheel pit is
present. Based on the height of the canal above it, the pit
housed an overshot wheel. The canal runs for approximately
half a kilometer along the west side of the river, to where

157
a diversion and impoundment dam is located. A brick mill
pad is adjacent to the water wheel. Its size, 1.5 meters by
three meters, indicates that it supported a vertical
crushing mill.
Runnemede old works is an L-shaped complex, small when
compared to other works in the study area. Although two
walls of the boiling house remain standing, the location of
the boiling train is obscured by rubble. The outline of the
combination curing and still house is apparent, and the worm
tank is still extant, although it has been severely impacted
by the roots of several large trees growing from the tops of
its walls. No hardware is present at the site.
Runnemede new works is located approximately 650 meters
to the west, on a small tributary of the Courland River.
The works was steam powered, and virtually all of the
engine, the gears and a large flywheel are in situ. The
layout is nearly identical to that of the Boulton and Watt
mill illustrated in plan and cross-section by Deerr
(1950:554-555). As many as 148 Boulton and Watt mills were
built between 1802 and 1852. At least one was shipped to
Tobago (Deerr 1950:552-553). Although the horizontal
crushing mill has fallen through its foundation, it, too, is
largely intact.
Aside from the presence of the steam engine, many
design features make this a significant site. First, rather
than constructing the damper openings beneath the coppers

158
out of brick in the form of an arch, as was done at all
other known works, the Runnemede new works openings were
supported by cast iron devices. Second, the corners of the
worm tank, similar to those at the Ogilvie works, are
significantly less rounded than is the norm. Finally, a
multi-chambered piece of machinery is present in the remains
of the boiling house. Benjamin's description of the
machinery used in the Julius Robert diffusion process is
much more cogent: "A series of tall cylinders connected by
pipes... filled with thinly-sliced canes and water"
(1880:840). The canes and water are steam heated in the
cylinders to approximately 190c making the sugar diffuse
from the canes into the water. Hydraulic pressure caused by
the process forces the resultant sugar rich solution from
the processor into a receiving pan and muscovado sugar is
rendered by the usual boiling process (Benjamin 1880:840).
Although identification of the remains in the Runnemede new
works as a diffusion processor is not secure, their position
adjacent to the steam engine and the matching description
offered by Benjamin argue strongly for such an
interpretation.
The Runnemede Estate house was not definitively
located, although the most likely location is 900 meters
northwest of the new works, on a high hilltop overlooking
the sea. Brick supports for a cast iron water tank were
found on this site, as were small portions of an in situ

159
masonry foundation protruding from beneath a modern house.
The latter structure has mostly obscured the site.
A single tomb was located on a prominent hilltop just
south of the impoundment and diversion dam. Although the
dates were unreadable, the name Christopher William Irvine
is visible on a slate slab (Ms. Jesma MacFarlane, personal
communication) supported by four pillars marking the tomb.
Irvine owned the estate in 1811 (Young 1812a:91), and was
alive at least as late as 1827 when he was a member of the
Tobago House of Assembly. The entire tomb is surrounded by
intact walls of coral, approximately one and a half meters
high.
Whim Estate
Whim Estate is located at the southern end of the study
area. The northern boundary of the estate is formed by the
Courland River, although surface water within the estate
bounds is scarce. Similar to Mary's Hill to the west,
Whim's topography is characterized by steep slopes leading
down to the river in the north and by a central high ridge.
To the south, the terrain is composed of rolling hills. The
maximum elevation on the estate is 160 meters above sea
level along the central ridge. The minimum is 15 meters
above sea level on the Courland River.
The Whim sugar factory complex is located on a low,
gently sloping hilltop in the southern part of the estate,

160
and has been extensively disturbed by modern house
construction. Although the layout of the works was not
determined, the Whim mill was wind powered. The circular
base of a masonry windmill tower is located less than 50
meters east of the works buildings. It has been
incorporated into a new house, and may have been truncated
by the modern construction. Young (1812a), however, depicts
a windmill associated with Whim Estate, in approximately
this position, in one of the series of watercolors that
illustrate his manuscripts. In the watercolor, only the
base of the structure is of stone. The upper works,
supporting the sails, are of wood. In the right foreground,
a structure associated with the works is identifiable.
The background of the same watercolor shows the Whim
estate house and village. The house is located on a
prominent hilltop, while the village is on the hill slopes
between the house and the works. Field verification reveals
that the watercolor was painted facing northeast. The
estate house was on the hilltop a little more than 400
meters away from the factory, while the village was below
the house, along the drive. This area has been extensively
disturbed by heavy equipment, and no in situ remains were
located on the hill or its slopes. A light surface scatter
of rubble and mid eighteenth to early nineteenth century
ceramics was noted at the site of the estate house.

161
The Whim complex is also depicted on the Carte
Militaire (Anonymous 1784). In this depiction, however, the
estate house is not shown, and the estate village consists
of scattered houses to the southwest of the works. The
presence of a modern village in this area precluded
confirmation of this layout in the field.
Woodlands Estate
Woodlands Estate is located in the north-central part
of the study area characterized by high hills and steeply
sloping terrain. Although the headwaters of several streams
are on the property, none carries a significant amount of
water at this elevation, which approaches 275 meters above
sea level in some areas. In the northwest corner of the
property, 225 meters from the coast, the elevation is less
than five meters above sea level.
The Woodlands sugar works is completely gone today,
replaced by a village cricket pitch. All that marks its
former location is a small brick and masonry dam in the bed
of a small stream feeding the Courland River and a single
cane roller from a crushing mill. According to the
Stanford's Geographical Establishment (1900) map of Tobago,
a works existed on the flat area immediately to the north of
the dam at the time the map was made. This was confirmed by
a local informant, who played in the ruins as a child in the
1960s. An older informant remembers getting wet sugar from

162
the works prior to the 1940s. High on a saddle overlooking
the works site are the truncated remains of a circular
windmill tower. The remains are approximately 200 meters
east of the factory site.
The Woodlands estate house is on a high hilltop
overlooking both the sea and the works site. The crest of
the hilltop, which is 250 meters northwest of the works
site, has been artificially flattened to support
construction. At least two well-preserved but heavily
overgrown concrete foundations are visible there, the larger
of which supported the wooden estate house. The house was
destroyed by Hurricane Flora in 1963. An apiary exists on
the site today, making intensive survey painfully difficult.
As a result, the layout of the house was not determined.
Additional Structures
The remains of at least two masonry foundations are
located adjacent to the beach at King Peter's Bay, in the
north-central part of the study area. This property was not
claimed by any plantation. Young (1812a:93-94) identifies a
shipping point on this bay, and the foundations represent
warehousing for plantation products prior to their being
shipped to Scarborough and Plymouth for taxation and export.
Roads or traces lead directly from King Peter's Bay to King
Peter's Estate, Runnemede Estate and Woodlands Estate. It
is likely that these were the bay's principal users.

163
An island at the mouth of the Courland River was been
tentatively identified as Belle Isle by a local amateur
historian. Belle Isle is listed by Woodcock (1866:Appendix
7) as being in St. David's Parish. The island is created by
seasonal shifts in the river mouth location. During periods
of very high run-off, the river flows directly to the sea
along the southern border of the plot. During more ordinary
periods, however, a meander is created along the eastern and
northern borders.
Belle Isle contains the remains of two circular lime
kilns, each measuring roughly four meters in diameter.
These supplied raw material for the manufacture of mortar
used in the construction of estate buildings. The kilns are
located just off the active beach within 20 meters of each
other, at the northwestern tip of the island.
Approximately 100 meters south of the kilns, also just
off the beach, are the truncated remains of several brick
piers and a brick foundation. Built on a much smaller scale
than estate houses, these ruins probably mark the site of
the property owner's residence. Within the study area it is
unique, being the only probable artisan's residence
identified. It is similar in size and layout to the
several nineteenth century residences in Plymouth that have
been preserved. The owner of Belle Isle is identified by
Woodcock at the time of his writing as T. Macfarlane

164
(1866:Appendix 7). No other mention of Belle Isle was
encountered in the documents.
Summary of Regional Survey -
Twenty-two sugar estates existed in the study area in
1811, covering an average area of 384 acres. These estates
produced an average of 136 hogsheads of sugar and 94
puncheons of rum using 179 slaves. Twelve of the estate
owners lived on the island, while ten of the estates had
absentee owners (Young 1812a:91—see Table 7-3).
Remains were encountered on 21 of the 22 sugar estates
in the study area. These included 22 factory complexes
incorporating the functionally identified remains of 10
windmill towers, eight water wheels or wheel pits, five
steam engines, and one cattle mill. Also identified were 16
estate houses and four estate villages. In several cases,
only a tentative identification was made. These include one
probable steam engine, two probable estate houses and six
probable estate villages. Finally, five additional
structures were identified including two coastal warehouses
that served as shipping points for sugar, rum and molasses
from the interior estates, two lime kilns and a residential
structure associated with the lime kilns.
The sugar factories encountered during the survey were
laid out in a variety of ways including in the shape of an
"L" or a "T," linearly, and as a square. Four sugar

165
factories were discontiguous. With one exception (Courland
Estate, discussed in Chapter 8), all factories were located
adjacent to a water source sufficient to provide water for
rum production. As a result, in areas of high topographic
relief they are generally confined to valley bottoms or
broad vales. In addition, sugar factories were located with
an eye towards transport. This was accomplished by being
close to the coast or near a road with access to shipping
points. In the latter case, because sugar, molasses and rum
were hauled in large, heavy quantities, roads were routed so
as to minimize climbs between factories and the sea.
In contrast to sugar factories, estate houses tend to
be located on elevated landforms. From a functional
perspective, such locations gave access to breezes that both
cooled and promoted health by limiting the insect
population. Estate houses were constructed on elevated,
often decorated piers to take further advantage of their
locations. An elevated situation also provided a good view
of the sugar estate including the factory, and probably the
estate village as well, although too few of the latter were
located by the survey to firmly establish this fact.

CHAPTER 8
RESULTS OF INTENSIVE SURVEY
Although extensive survey throughout St. David's Parish
continued for the duration of fieldwork, greater effort was
devoted to three sites, Courland Estate, Les Coteaux Estate
and Orange Hill Estate. These sites were singled out for
further research based on the availability of historical
maps depicting the sites, the integrity of visible
architectural features, and the apparent integrity of
archaeological deposits. In addition, they utilized the two
most popular power sources to drive their crushing mills,
wind and water. Each site is discussed at length below.
Further information derived from the documentary sources
concerning estate ownership, boundaries, production, and
population is provided in Tables 7-2 and 7-3 (see Chapter
7).
Courland Estate
Courland (Figure 8-1) is the western-most estate in the
study area. Comprised primarily of St. David's Parish lot
1, it also incorporates lots 2 and 41 of St. Patrick's
Parish and covers an area of 500 acres (Young 1812a:91).
Courland Estate is bordered on the north by the Courland
166

Figure 8—1.
Courland Estate
Courland Estate
Courland Rfrar
Secondary itream
Primary road
Secondary road
Struotura
N
7.8m oontouro
167

168
River, on the west by the Caribbean Sea, on the east by
Lower Quarter Estate, and on the south by Grafton Estate,
part of St. Patrick's Parish. The terrain occupied by
Courland Estate consists of low, rolling hills of increasing
steepness towards the eastern border of the estate. The
maximum elevation on the estate is just over 150 meters
above sea level in the extreme southeastern corner. As
previously discussed (Chapters 3 and 4), St. David's Parish
lot 1, the core of Courland Estate, was the first to be
bought at the land sales during Tobago's initial settlement
by the British.
Water on Courland Estate is plentiful. In addition to
the Courland River forming the northern boundary, two
perennial streams cross the property along a southeast-to-
northwest axis. The more northerly of the two probably
contained the most water historically, as it supported at
least one, and possibly two, water wheels during the
nineteenth century (see description of Lower Quarter and
Mary's Hill Estates, Chapter 7), neither of which was
associated with Courland Estate. The southern stream
approximately parallels the southern boundary of St. David's
Parish lot 1. Although much of the watercourse is dry
today, it is spring-fed from a point just inside the lot 1
boundary. Surface water was available at the spring-head
even during the height of the 1993 dry season. While

169
several other watercourses are apparent on the property,
none carries significant amounts of water today.
Previous Research
Eubanks (1990, 1992) conducted survey and limited
testing at the site of the Courland Estate sugar factory
complex, located in the northwest portion of the Estate, in
1989 as part of a development plan for the property. The
following description is derived from Eubanks (1992:176-188)
and from the Laughlin and Associates (1990) development
plan.
The Courland complex contains the remains of three
windmill towers, an estate house, the factory itself, and a
variety of other structures. Of the windmill towers, two
were for crushing cane. One of these has been largely
destroyed, and is now reduced to a circular foundation
approximately eight meters in diameter. The other windmill
tower is somewhat larger, and stands some 80 meters to the
west. It has been converted to a residential structure, and
has a two story addition extending to the south. A third
tower stands approximately 200 meters to the north.
Significantly smaller than the other two, this structure
housed a wind powered water pump that drew water from the
Courland River to supply both the sugar manufacturing
process and the residents of the site.

170
The remains of a second residential structure are
located slightly upslope and some 26 meters northwest of the
converted windmill tower. The building, probably wooden,
was constructed atop piers of brick and cut coral, which are
still extant and stand approximately two meters high. The
structure is typical of eighteenth and nineteenth century
estate houses throughout the island. The dimensions of the
structure were approximately 10 by 15 meters (32 by 48
feet). Later renovations are indicated by the presence of
an arched stairway and additional piers constructed of
concrete. To the back of the structure (ie. to the
northwest) is a light scatter of european refined
earthenwares.
The final major architectural component of the Courland
factory complex is the T-shaped sugar factory itself,
located approximately 65 meters south of the converted
windmill tower. Encompassing some 2690 square meters (8825
square feet), the Courland sugar factory is the second
largest known to exist on the island (Eubanks, personal
communication, May 4, 1994) (Figure 8-2). The long axis of
the boiling house, oriented roughly northwest-to-southeast
and forming the base of the T, measures 27 meters (90 feet)
in length and is nine meters (30 feet) wide. While Eubanks
(1992:182) hypothesizes that the boiling house could have
supported up to two jamaica trains, evidence of only one, in
the form of a strike pan known to have existed in the

171
Courland
Sugar Factory
25 mete
Figure B-2. Courland Sugar Factory

172
extreme southwestern córner of the building, is available.
Today, much of the western wall along which the train(s)
would have run is taken up by a copra drying plant dating to
the mid-20th century. A brick chimney, some 10 to 15 meters
(approximately 40 feet) tall, stands at the northern end of
this wall, on the exterior of the building.
The top of the T-shaped sugar factory, located at the
end of the boiling house furthest from the converted
windmill, is divided into three rooms of roughly equal size
and is one story lower than the boiling house. Together,
the three rooms measure 52.5 meters (175 feet) long by 10.5
meters (35 feet) wide. The two rooms at the eastern end
formed the curing house while the third room, located at the
western end, served as the distillery. Several wall
sections in this portion of the structure are preserved to a
height of two stories. Three circular concrete pads along
the north wall of the distillery room interior supported
fermentation vats, while the rum receiver was located at the
western end of the room. The wormtank is located at the
extreme western end of the structure, and has well-rounded
interior corners.
Several other architectural elements related to sugar
manufacturing are preserved at the Courland factory complex.
Water, pumped from the Courland River by the small windmill
to the north of the site for the sugar manufacturing
process, probably passed through a small pipe. After

173
filling a small tank for household use between the two
larger windmills, overflow was transferred through a narrow,
brick-lined gutter to an angular storage tank midway between
the converted windmill and the factory itself. Just east of
the water storage tank is a circular, gravity fed clarifying
tank for cane juice from the two mills used for grinding
cane. To the west of the water storage tank is a bagas dump
where crushed cane was dried for later burning in the
furnace below the train.
In addition to the architectural elements discussed
above, the remains of several functionally unidentified
structures are present. Three are located just west of the
factory and southwest of the estate house. Eubanks
(1992:188) postulates that these may have been residential
structures occupied by the slave drivers. A fourth
functionally unidentified structure is located south of the
factory buildings and close to the spring-fed stream which
flows along the southwest border of St. David's Parish lot
1. Finally, the remains of two dams that impounded water in
this stream are also extant.
Additional Research
Because it was undertaken as part of a development
project, Eubanks' research was limited to the area
immediately surrounding the Courland sugar factory complex
(Eubanks 1990, 1992). Eubanks was aware, however, that

174
additional elements existed outside of his study area. This
was confirmed by several individuals spoken to by both
Eubanks and myself. None, however, could convey more than a
vague understanding about where, exactly, these elements
were to be found.
As part of the intensive survey of the Courland
property, all available maps were consulted for evidence of
additional structures. The Carte Militaire (Anonymous 1784)
clearly shows eight structures, three of which are circular,
in roughly the location identified by Eubanks as the sugar
factory complex. In addition, it shows the main road from
Scarborough to Plymouth running to the southeast from the
complex, a road which is abandoned and overgrown today. The
map also depicts many structures somewhat to the southeast
of the complex and south of the road. Furthest to the
southeast are two large, rectangular structures accessed by
a short drive leading off from the Plymouth-Scarborough
Road. Just northwest of them, the estate village,
consisting of 25 smaller structures, is indicated. The
structures of the estate village are arranged in several
slightly curved rows oriented roughly parallel with the
Plymouth-Scarborough Road.
A surface and subsurface survey utilizing 50 by 50
centimeter test pits, extensive clearing and intensive
surface inspection was conducted in the area indicated by
the Carte Militaire (Anonymous 1784). The survey

175
successfully located the elements depicted on the map
including the original Plymouth-Scarborough Road, the drive,
the brick and masonry foundation remains of 12 structures, a
tomb, surface indications of 71 possible features, and
domestic refuse dating to the second half of the eighteenth
century and the first quarter of the nineteenth century.
These remains are situated primarily on a finger ridge
located between two now-dry watercourses. Figure 8-3 shows
these various elements, which are discussed below. For the
purposes of discussion, Figure 8-3 is roughly divided into
three areas. Area 1 is defined by the flat upper portion of
the finger ridge. Area 2 is defined by the ridgetop as it
slopes gently to the northwest. Area 3, bounded by a stream
to the south and west and by a narrow, unpaved road to the
north, is southwest of Area 2. The original Plymouth-
Scarborough Road diverges off of the narrow, unpaved road in
the northwestern corner of Figure 8-3, running roughly
southwest along the northeast flank of the ridge. Prior to
crossing the course of a seasonal stream, a drive,
approximately 150 meters in length, skirts the northern edge
of Area 2 before terminating in Area 1.
Area 1.
Area 1 is located in the southeastern quadrant of the
map, and contains the remains of ten structures as well as
the tomb. Of the ten structures (labeled 1-10 on Figure 8-

Figure 8-
Courland Estate Village
and
Old Estate House
Complex
Seocmdary stream
Trace
Abandoned trace
Drive
Structure
Feature
Kxoa-ratlon unit
Structure
exoavatlone
AJ.CJ)
1.6m eontoure
3. Courland Estate Village and Old Estate Houae Complex
176

177
3), eight (numbers 1-8) are oriented to N321&E, as is the
tomb. Structure 1, measuring approximately 16 by 11 meters
(54 by 38 feet), is the largest of the structures in Area 1,
and is located at the termination of the drive (Figure 8-4).
Access to the second story of the structure was gained by a
double-arched brick stairway located adjacent to the long
northwest wall, indicating that Structure 1 functioned as an
estate house. The stairs are offset slightly towards the
northern corner of the building, giving the illusion of
symmetry to anyone approaching up the drive. The remains of
two brick piers flanking the stairway and along the exterior
of the northeast wall indicate that a second story porch may
have marked the front entrance to the building.
The estate house is unlike others on the island in that
it may not have been built atop piers. Rather, much of the
structure is defined by a continuous brick foundation. The
exception is the northeastern quarter of the building, where
brick piers and low masonry walls may have defined an open
room giving out onto a brick-paved veranda at ground level
on the northeast side. The remainder of the first floor
interior, the part defined by continuous foundation walls is
at least partially floored with 26 centimeter square
limestone or marble tiles, and is divided roughly in half by
a brick foundation wall running from the front of the
structure to the rear.

178
Courland Estate
Old Estate House
Double—arched
artairway
Brick EZZZZZZZ3
Masonry i I
5 meters
Figure 8—4. Courland Old Estate House

179
Structure 2 is located approximately 12 meters
southwest of the estate house. Although the basal
foundation of the structure is constructed of masonry, it is
capped by a course of brick at floor level. The entire
interior of the building appears to have been floored with
brick or red ceramic tiles. A brick rubble pile along the
interior of the northwestern wall may indicate the presence
of ovens while the base of a brick chimney is present
abutting the western corner of the building. Based on its
proximity to the estate house, the fire-retardant materials
used in its construction, and the possible presence of
ovens, Structure 2 is tentatively identified as a kitchen.
The remaining eight structures in Area 1 are
functionally unidentified. Structures 3-8 are aligned, like
Structures 1 and 2 and the tomb, to a bearing of N321be,
while Structure 9 is oriented to N194BE and Structure 10 is
oriented to N3152E. While four of the structures are marked
by brick and masonry piers (Structures 5, 6, 8, and 9), the
remainder have continuous foundations primarily constructed
of stone masonry. Of the latter, one (Structure 3) combines
a continuous foundation with brick-and-masonry piers at the
corners, rising to a height of approximately two meters. A
second (Structure 4) has corners constructed of cut-coral
blocks. The dimensions of Structures 3 to 10 range from
four by four meters (13 by 13 feet—Structure 3) to 15.5 by
6.75 meters (50 by 22 feet—Structure 9). A small block of

180
granite, cut on three sides and rough-faced with a hammer
and chisel on the others, is located some eight meters
southwest of Structure 8.
The tomb in Area 1 is located approximately 25 meters
northeast of the estate house. Constructed entirely of
brick, it was at one time surrounded by an ornamental
wrought iron fence, roughly half of which is still in situ.
The upright stone marking the tomb reads:
Sacred
To the memory of
ELIZA MACDOUGAL
second daughter of James McQueen
An affectionate wife
A tender mother
A dutiful daughter
And a kind friend
Who died January 27th 1837
In the 30th year of her age
This stone is erected to her memory
by her afflicted husband
ALEXANDER MACDOUGAL
1837
Portions of three retaining walls are located
approximately eight meters southwest of structure 2. The
walls run perpendicular to the N3212E axis of majority of
the buildings in Area 1. They indicate that the broad, flat
ridge-top to the front of the estate house may have been
landscaped as a formal garden.
Area 2
Area 2 is located roughly in the center of Figure 8-3,
and contains one masonry structure (Structure 11), with a
continuous foundation, measuring 22.25 by 5.9 meters (73 by

181
19 feet). Like most of the structures in Area 1, Structure
11 is oriented to N3212E. It was constructed with a pair of
tanks in the northeastern end with interior dimensions of
three by 1.8 meters (ten by six feet). These may have
served as cisterns. A cut coral water filter was recovered
from a location approximately 25 meters southeast of
Structure 11. A break in the foundation in the southern
corner of the structure indicates the location of an
entryway.
While Structure 11 is prominent within Area 2, the area
is primarily characterized by the presence of many possible
features arrayed in a seemingly random pattern. The
majority are minimally defined by concentrations of five or
more cobbles, bricks and/or ceramic roofing tiles, often
accompanied by bottle fragments and other artifacts, visible
on the surface within a one square meter area. Sixty-eight
such features exist in Area 2.1 In addition, a rectangular
depression measuring approximately four by six meters (13 by
20 feet) was tentatively defined as a feature, while the
base of a brick pier and a coral water filter were also
located. All features were numbered sequentially.
Forty test pits were excavated at 25 meter intervals
within Area 2. The initial research design called for a
tighter interval within this, the main portion of the estate
1 Nine similar features are located in the northwestern
portion of Area 1.

182
village. Given the descriptions of slave housing on Tobago
available in the literature (see Chapter 6), test pits
excavated at an interval of 12.5 meters would have
intersected approximately 25 percent of the structures
within the village area while a 6.25 meter interval would
have intersected nearly every structure. However, due to
the presence of a large number of surface features within
the village and preliminary indications that they
represented intact subsurface structural remains, after
completion of a 25 meter interval shovel testing was
abandoned in favor of a program of trenching and block
excavations. At a 25 meter interval, shovel testing had a
six percent probability of intersecting structures. As a
result, artifact density distribution maps prepared using
the data recovered at this interval shed little light on the
internal patterning present at the estate village.
Limited excavations were undertaken to expose
subsurface remains associated with Area 2. Intact
architectural remains were encountered in two instances, at
Feature 1 and at Feature 38. Surface indications of Feature
1 included a dense deposit of bricks, brick fragments and
angular to sub-angular cobbles in an area of approximately
one square meter. Testing at Feature 1 included seven one-
by-one meter excavation units and four 50 centimeter wide
trenches ranging in length from two to three meters.
Foundations associated with two definite structures and one

183
possible structure were encountered. Designated Structures
A, B and C respectively, these are described below (Figure
8-5).2
The top of the foundation of Structure A was
encountered at a depth of less than five centimeters below
surface and extends to a depth of 30 centimeters. The walls
of the foundation are constructed primarily of poorly
mortared stone, with some bricks and brick fragments
included, while the one corner that was exposed is
exclusively of brick. The average width of the foundation
walls is approximately 15 centimeters, and efforts were made
by the builder(s) to create a uniform face on the exterior.
The structure itself is quite small, measuring only 1.4
meters (4.6 feet) across by 1.8 meters (5.9 feet) long.
This is similar in size to a structure excavated by
Armstrong at the Drax Hall Plantation, Jamaica, estate
village, a structure that was tentatively identified as a
storage shed (Armstrong 1990:112). The long axis of
Structure A is oriented to N2872E. Only three walls are
present; the northwest end of the structure was left open.
The foundation associated with Structure B was
initially encountered at a depth of 10 centimeters below
surface, terminating at a depth of 20 centimeters below
surface. The exposed sections of the foundation are
2 Given the very small portion of the Structure C
foundation exposed by excavation, it is not depicted in
Figure 8-5.

184
Courland Estate Village
Structures A and B
Figure B-5. Courland Estate Village Structures A and B

185
composed of brick and angular to sub-angular cobbles. No
corners were encountered, and the building material used in
their construction is unknown. In conjunction with the
partial excavation of Structure B, probing was undertaken to
determine the shape and size of the structure. Probing
indicates that the foundation measures 9.2 meters by 4.0
meters (30 by 13 feet) and has an interior foundation wall,
which was partially exposed by excavation, dividing it into
two square rooms of equal size. The exterior walls of the
foundation are faced on the outside, while the partitioning
wall is double-faced. The downslope (southwest) foundation
wall is somewhat more massively constructed than the three
upslope walls. The orientation of the long axis of the
structure is N320OE. The remains of Structure B conform
well to a description of slave housing provided to Sir
William Young in a 1792 visit to the island prior to his
Governorship (in Edwards 1819 vol. 3:277-278 and Woodcock
1866:65—see quote, Chapter 6).
The excavated portion of the Structure C foundation
extends northward from the north wall of Structure A.
Structure C was encountered while attempting to determine
the maximum depth of the foundation of Structure A within an
excavation unit measuring one meter east-west by 50
centimeters north-south. As a result, only a 50 centimeter
long portion of the foundation associated with Structure C
was encountered, at a depth of 40 centimeters below surface.

186
Formed by five rounded to sub-rounded cobbles, the
orientation of the exposed portion of the Structure C
foundation wall appears to be roughly north-south. Given
limited time, the intrusive nature of Structure A and the
close proximity of the foundations of both Structure A and
B, no attempt to further expose the Structure C foundation
was made. The basal depth of Structure C was not
determined.
The remains of a possible fourth foundation, Structure
D, were located at Feature 38, approximately 65 meters east
of Structures A, B and C. On the surface, Feature 38
consisted of several angular to sub-angular cobbles and a
green glass bottle-base in an area of less than one square
meter. These remains were located adjacent to a small
boulder. Structure D was very poorly defined; only one
corner and portions of the two adjacent walls were
tentatively identified in a 1 by 2 meter excavation unit and
two 3 by 0.5 meter trenches. Based on these minimal
remains, the orientation of the structure is approximately
N312BE. The overall size of the structure could not be
determined by probing.
The subsurface architectural remains encountered in
Area 2 indicate that it is the former location of the estate
village. The remains are accompanied by many boulders,
ranging in approximate size from one cubic meter to 18 to 20
cubic meters. Pulsipher (1992:26) notes that boulders and

187
large stones are a common feature of estate villages, often
used as outdoor "furniture" by the village inhabitants.
Area 2 Artifacts
Shovel testing in Area 2 yielded 677 artifacts. They
are divided into architectural, European ceramic, unglazed
coarse earthenware, and bottle glass categories.3
Architectural remains, including brick, mortar, slate,
redware ceramic roofing tiles, window glass, and nails, make
up the bulk of the collection (n=195; 28.8%), with brick
fragments being the most common (n=101). However, as the
soil in the village area was a densely compacted clay loam
that required pickaxes to excavate, brick, mortar, slate,
roofing tiles, and window glass were subject to
unintentional breakage during excavation. A more accurate
measurement of the amount of architectural material in the
village may be nails and nail fragments. Fifty-seven nails
and nail fragments were recovered. With the exception of
three, which were unidentifiable, all were square. None
were identifiable as to their manufacturing technique (ie.
hand wrought or machine cut).
Bottle glass makes up the next largest category of
artifact from the village test pits (n=194; 28.8%). Olive
3 Several additional artifacts which do not fit into
any of these categories were also recovered during the test
pit survey. These are discussed as a group below, along
with similarly uncategorized artifacts from other contexts.

188
glass predominated (n=93, including 12 neck fragments),
followed by dark green glass (n=69, including 2 neck and 1
lip fragment) and clear glass (n=27, including 1 lip
fragment). Five fragments of aqua glass were also
recovered.
Ceramics of european manufacture occur frequently in
the collection (n=150; 22.2%). They are dominated by
creamwares of various types (n=77) including plain, feather
edged, molded, royal pattern, blue transfer printed, mocha,
and green shell edged. Plain creamware is predominant
(n=67). Twenty-five pearlware sherds were also recovered.
Blue transfer printed pearlware occurs most frequently
(n=14), followed by plain pearlware (n=7). Two sherds of
hand painted polychrome and one sherd each of annular and
blue shell edged pearlware complete the pearlware
collection. The next most dominant ceramic type in the
collection is whiteware (n=14), dominated by blue transfer
printed whiteware (n=6) but including plain (n=2), black
transfer printed (n=2), hand painted polychrome (n=2), red
hand painted (n=l), and annular (n=l) whitewares.
Stonewares occur infrequently in the collection (n=8). They
include four white salt-glazed sherds (including two barley
patterns), three brown salt-glazed sherds, one scratch blue
sherd, and one fragment of a bellarmine.4 The remaining
4 The bellarmine sherd may be a remnant of the early
colonization attempts of the Courlanders on Tobago in the
vicinity of Courland Bay. No other possible indications of

189
European ceramics from the test pit survey include black and
brown lead-glazed coarse earthenwares (n=7), delfts (n=5),
english porcelain (n=2), faience (n=2), cream colored ware
(n=l), and plain redware (n=l). Eight sherds of
unidentifiable refined earthenware were also recovered.
Twenty-five sherds of unglazed coarse earthenware were
recovered during the test pit survey (3.7% of the total
assemblage). Most were grit tempered (n=18) while the
remainder were sand tempered (n=7). Only one showed
evidence of surface decoration, in the form of broad line
incising. A randomly selected sample of the coarse
earthenware sherds recovered from the test pit survey and
from later excavations (discussed below) was analyzed by
James B. Petersen of the University of Maine at Farmington
Archaeological Research Center. Most of the specimens were
small, and few displayed diagnostic traits such as body
form, rim shape or surface decoration that would allow their
confident definition as either Afro-tobagonian or
Amerindian. The sherds are, however, of local manufacture
as demonstrated by the use of locally available tempering
material including primarily feldspar and quartz.
Additional constituents are also of volcanic origin (e.g.
magnetite). While only one sherd shows evidence of coil
fracturing, it is likely that all were made with this
method. Petersen concludes that all of the sherds are most
this occupation were found.

190
similar to Saladoid ceramics, dating to some time after 600
A.D. (personal communication).
The artifacts recovered from the test pit survey
suggest a mid-to-late eighteenth to early-to-mid-nineteenth
century occupation of the Courland estate village. Applying
South's (1977:217-218) mean ceramic date formula to the
datable European ceramics yields a date of 1811, with
occupation brackets of 1775 to 1825. While the earlier date
is somewhat later than the settlement of Tobago and thus in
keeping with the probable stabilization of settlement at
Courland estate, the later date, based on the presence of
the tomb dating to 1837 (discussed previously) may be
slightly too early. These points are discussed more fully
in Chapter 9.
One hundred thirty-six artifacts were associated with
the interior of Structure A. Roughly a third of the
material was composed of datable European ceramics.
Applying South's (1977:217-218) mean ceramic date formula to
these ceramics yields a date of 1799, with a terminus post
quern of 1795 (transfer-printed pearlware and underglaze
polychrome pearlware). Architectural materials, 27.7% of
the assemblage, included window glass, square nails and nail
fragments, and redware roofing tile. Bottle glass comprised
24.3% of the assemblage, with olive glass predominating.
Finally, several additional items were recovered (see
footnote 3, above).

191
With the exception of those contained within the
Structure A foundation, it is difficult to attribute the
artifacts recovered in this area to individual structures
due to the intrusion of Structure B on Structure C and the
intrusion on both by Structure A. In addition, the lack of
visible soil horizons in the excavations and the similar
percentages of artifact types within arbitrary 10 centimeter
levels indicate that the area has been extensively
disturbed. This results both from natural causes—the soil
of the village area is predominantly clay and thus subject
to the turbatory effects of wetting and drying—and farming.
In general, the artifacts recovered from excavations outside
of the Structure A foundation but within and immediately
surrounding the Structure B foundation are represented in
approximately the same percentages as those encountered
during the test pit survey.
The artifacts from Structure D were not fully analyzed
due to scheduling problems. South's (1977) mean ceramic
date formula applied to the datable European ceramics
recovered from the four units in which Structure D was
encountered yields a date of 1781. A quarter of a Spanish
two real coin was recovered from one of these units.
Bearing the crowned arms of Spain on the obverse and the
arms of Castile and Leon on the reverse, this coin was
minted between 1759 and 1771 (Krause and Mishler 1991:2478).
Also present, but not counted during analysis, were olive,

192
green, clear, and aqua glass, square nails and nail
fragments, ceramic roof tile sherds, a small amount of
slate, window glass, and two sherds of unglazed coarse
earthenware (one sand tempered and one grit tempered)
similar to the Saladoid-like ceramics discussed above.
The "Other" category of artifacts alluded to above
contains primarily unidentified iron fragments. However, it
also contains seven glass beads recovered during excavations
at the Courland estate village. Four of these are type If
beads (Kidd and Kidd 1970). Using the descriptive
categories laid out by Deagan (1987:161) they are simple
drawn beads of medium size with faceted surfaces. One
(black in color) is opaque, while three (two blue and one
red) are translucent.
The remaining beads have not been classified in the
Kidd and Kidd system due to the inaccessibility of the
seminal publication. One is a simple, opaque light blue,
medium sized, nearly round bead with a longitudinal
inconsistency that mars its apparent intended shape.
Microscopic examination reveals parallel striations which do
not align to either axis of the bead. These may indicate
that it is wound, though characteristic elongated bubbles
perpendicular to the axis of the hole were not apparent
(Sprague 1985). A second simple round bead, medium sized
and an opaque blue in color, is likely wound, though patina
and severe pitting makes this difficult to determine. A

193
third bead is opaque red in diaphaneity and color. It is
cylindrical in shape, wound and measures seven millimeters
in length.
An eighth bead, recovered from the interior of
Structure A, is also unidentified. It is an opaque white in
color, and barrel shaped, measuring 11.5 millimeters in
length. Microscopic examination of the bead reveals some
grain to the material, suggestive of porcelain. Sprague
(1985) points out that some glass beads manufactured by the
firing process have a similar consistency and that this
method utilizes a compression technique. As the bead
exhibits a delicate, impressed floral motif infilled with
blue enamel, this is the likely construction technique.
In addition to the beads discussed above, a first model
Brown Bess musket side plate fragment (Peterson 1968:28), a
shanked gilt Tobago Militia uniform button bearing the Latin
motto "Pulchrior Evenit" (She becomes more beautiful), and
four metal wafers were recovered from the Courland estate
village. Two of the wafers are made of tin, and have no
decoration. The other two likely functioned as tokens
representing some fixed monetary value. They are made of
copper and bear the impressed upper-case letters "TB" above
a lower-case "o" or a zero. In addition, the base-and-stem
of a thick-walled clear glass goblet was also recovered from
the interior of Structure A, as were a bone button-back, two

194
shanked copper and gilt buttons, and a copper furniture
tack.
Area 3.
Area 3 is defined by the relatively flat terrain
flanking the finger-ridge to the northeast, which contains
Areas 1 and 2, and is bounded on the south and west by a
spring-fed stream. Eight test pits were excavated in Area 3
at 50 meter intervals. Although all were positive, none
yielded the relatively high frequency of artifacts that
characterized the test pits in Area 2. Likewise, no
possible features were apparent on the surface.
The remains of a single masonry structure with a
continuous foundation, designated structure 12, were
encountered in the southeastern end of Area 3, below the
estate house complex of Area 1. Measuring approximately
10.0 by 4.9 meters (32 by 16 feet), the long axis is
oriented to N3292E. The remains of several hoe blades were
reportedly recovered by a local property owner from the
stream-bank some 10 to 15 meters southwest of Structure 12.
Les Coteaux Estate
Les Coteaux Estate (Figure 8-6) was the largest estate
in St. David's Parish and one of the largest on the island,
covering an area of 750 acres in 1811 (Young 1812a:91). It
is also the only estate in St. David's Parish partially

Les Coteaux Estate
Courland Rtrer
Seoondary atream
Primary read ——
Secondary road
Struotura •
Dam X
7.6m oontoura
195

196
bisected by the Courland River. Located roughly in the
center of the parish, Les Coteaux occupies an area of high
hills and precipitous slopes. The minimum elevation of the
estate is 22 meters above sea level where the river exits
estate property in the south, while the maximum elevation is
220 meters above sea level in the northeast corner.
Despite difficult topography, the estate is well-
watered. In addition to the Courland River, it is crossed
by four low-gradient perennial streams oriented roughly
north-south. The suitability of the estate for planting is
reflected in the fact that it was one of the last in sugar
production, finally abandoned in 1943, according to a local
informant, when the price that milling equipment brought
when sold as scrap metal to support the United States war
effort exceeded the profits from sugar production for local
consumption.
The Les Coteaux crushing mill was water powered. The
dam supplying the mill lies just inside the estate's eastern
boundary. The dam was well engineered, and is largely
intact today. A low, massively constructed feature of brick
and masonry, it is 2.5 meters (8 feet) wide at the base, 13
meters (42 feet) long, and less than 1.5 meters (five feet)
high. Primarily a diversion structure, three openings are
apparent in the face. One accesses the canal on the north
side of the river, while the others operated as outlets to
prevent damage to the structure during periods of high

197
runoff. During drier periods of low runoff, one or both of
the larger outlets could be shut by dropping iron doors into
place along slots in the outlet interiors, creating a pool
behind the dam that generated sufficient pressure to drive
water from the dam to the factory some 700 meters
downstream.
The Les Coteaux sugar factory is located adjacent to
the Arnos Vale Road, on an artificially constructed terrace
immediately overlooking the Courland River. Though there is
room for a more traditional T-shaped, L-shaped or linear
factory complex, the structures comprising the factory are
not contiguous; five separate structures exist (Figure 8-7).
While three are only tentatively identified, the boiling
room and the distillery are readily apparent, as are the
wheel pit and the mill pad.
Based on the size of the mill pad, the crushing mill
was of the horizontal type. It may have been connected to
an overshot or backshot water wheel. Alternatively, a
breastshot wheel may have been in place. Conrad Price
(personal communication) reports that, prior to its 1943
abandonment, the wheel at the Les Coteaux factory was the
largest on the island (much larger, for example, than the
Arnos Vale wheel, an overshot wheel which is still extant
today). With this system, water was piped under the road
between the canal and the factory, to emerge in the back of
the wheel pit at the midpoint of the wheel. Existing

1
Figure 6-7. Les Coteaux Sugar Factory Complex
3
Les Coteaux
Sugar Factory Complex
1—Mill yard
2—Mill pad
3—Wheel pit
4—Coppers
5—Boiling house floor
6—Temperature control
outlets
7—Chimney
8—Cooling and chrystallzation
tank
9—Skimmings tank
10—Curing room
11—Warehouse
12—Still locations
13—Worm tank
14—Bagas shed
?—Indicates probable
identification
ZB matan

199
evidence—including the height of the canal above the
factory, the length of the wheel pit, the presence of a
castiron pipe running under the roadway, and a possible
brick-constructed overflow tunnel and outlet adjacent to the
factory—supports either interpretation.
While the walls of the boiling room are rarely
preserved above a height of about 50 centimeters, enough is
present to reconstruct the floor plan. Covering an area of
137 square meters (450 square feet), the boiling room is not
large by Tobago standards. The layout appears very similar
to that of the Providence Estate boiling room depicted by
McTear (n.d.—see Figure 6-1). Although no coppers are
currently at the site, their locations are identifiable by
the iron bars that partially supported them within the brick
framework of the jamaica train. The locations of the
coppers are included in Figure 8-7.
Northeast of the boiling room are the remains of a well
preserved worm tank, identifiable by its characteristically
massive construction, bathtub shape and plastered interior.
Three short, massive walls protrude from the east side of
the worm tank, forming two alcoves that formerly housed the
stills themselves. A possible wall extends from the west
side of the worm tank as well, and may be the only portion
of the remainder of the distillery preserved on the surface.
According to local informants, the area between the worm
tank and the boiling room was entirely paved with large

200
flagstones when the property was in production. No evidence
of these flagstones was encountered, however.
The three remaining foundations have not been
functionally identified with any great confidence. Just
east of the boiling room are the partially preserved
foundations of two smaller structures. These are
tentatively identified as a curing room and a warehouse in
which the finished products of the estate were stored prior
to shipping. The latter structure is sited at the same
elevation as the boiling room while the former is somewhat
lower. East of the worm tank is a third structure. Long and
narrow, it may have served as a bagas shed where the crushed
cane was dried prior to being burned below the jamaica train
or the stills. As these three foundations do not extend
above ground level, no additional information is available.
The remains of the T-shaped Les Coteaux estate house
(Figure 8-8) are located 440 meters west of the sugar
factory. Situated on a high hilltop commanding a view not
only of the factory site, but of the three additional
structures identified on estate property as well (discussed
below), the hilltop is reached by a short steep drive from
the north. Prior to construction, the hilltop was
truncated, and the fill was dumped behind a series of
masonry retaining walls, forming a platform large enough to
support the estate house. While the top of the T sat
directly atop bedrock, the base extended out over a filled

201

202
area to the east. A second area of fill behind a semi¬
circular retaining wall at the top of the drive provided a
paved place to turn vehicles. A drain is visible at the
southern end of the retaining wall defining this paved area.
The most striking feature of the estate house today,
visible on the approach up the drive, is a tall, gracefully
arched brick stairway. Rising to a height of nearly three
meters above ground level, these stairs gave access to a 1.8
meter wide westward facing veranda that stretched across the
front of the structure, providing a view of the Caribbean
and the sea approaches to Plymouth. From the veranda, one
could enter the elevated main floor of the house at the
center of the top of the T, defined less by standing
architecture than by a 75 centimeter wide channel incised
into the bedrock as a footer for the front wall of the
structure.
The Les Coteaux estate house was supported by a series
of brick-and-stone piers, six of which are extant today.
Because these were exposed to view, the brick and the stone
were arranged in symmetrical decorative patterns on the
interior and the exterior. Standing brick walls at the base
of the T form a large window opening facing to the east.
Two truncated wall fragments 15 meters south of the estate
house may indicate the presence of a kitchen.
No water source is present on the hilltop. Water,
transported by cart or by hand, was stored in cisterns, two

203
of which are present at the estate house location. One,
constructed of coral blocks, is attached to the north side
of the base of the T. The interior measures two meters long
by 1.2 meters wide by 50 centimeters deep. A second
formerly sat just south of the estate house, elevated on two
brick piers, one of which is partially intact. The cistern
itself is still present, having shifted a few meters
downslope. Made of flat cast-iron pieces riveted together
to form a topless box, it measures 2.6 meters by 1.4 meters
and is approximately 75 centimeters deep. Attached to the
side of the cistern is a copper plaque bearing the
inscription "McOnie and Mirrless, No. 121, Glasgow, 1851."
A tomb, marked by a two meter by one meter slab of
igneous stone, is located 75 meters south of the estate
house on a high saddle extending south from the estate house
hill. The area immediately surrounding the tomb sees
significant foot traffic and is heavily eroded, partially
undermining the tomb's structure. The inscription is
unreadable.
Three additional structures were located on the estate.
Three hundred and seventy-five meters northeast of the Les
Coteaux sugar factory are 16 brick and masonry piers on a
gently sloping terrace overlooking the Courland River to the
south. These piers supported a wooden structure measuring
slightly less than eight by 16 meters (25 by 50 feet), with
the principal entryway facing to the west. The long axis of

204
the structure paralleled the east-west contours of the
slope. In a limited surface collection of the area
surrounding the structure, three identical brown salt-glazed
stoneware ink bottles were recovered. Noel Hume notes that
"(t)he vast majority of the ink bottles (of this
type)...were made in the period 1840 to 1890, although some
examples of the class were probably a little earlier"
(1969:79). Given this temporal context, it is likely that
this structure is the one mentioned in a document produced
by the Anglican Church between 1834 and 1838. In a summary
of present and future construction by the church in the wake
of emancipation, under the heading "Buildings proposed to be
erected" is the following item: "No. 4. Les Coteaux, Parish
of St. David - school, 50 x 25 ft - master's house detached,
work in progress" (quoted in Phillips n.d.:chapter 24,
original reference unavailable). The school, also
functioning as a chapel, was to be used for the religious
and secular education of the newly freed slaves (Phillips
n.d.:chapter 24). Burials associated with this structure
were recently moved to the cemetery of the new Anglican
Church in the village of Les Coteaux, located at the corner
of Arnos Vale and Culloden Roads (Conrad Price, personal
communication). No evidence of the detached master's house
was encountered.
The remains of two additional structures are located on
the flat of a low bluff immediately overlooking the Les

205
Coteaux sugar factory. In size and shape, each measures
seven by 19 meters, they are similar to Structure 11 at
Courland Estate, and may have served a similar purpose. The
Les Coteaux structures run parallel to one another along
their east-west oriented long axes, and are separated by a
distance of 25 meters. The southernmost of the two, closest
to the factory, was roofed with ceramic tile, significant
amounts of which are still scattered about on the surface in
the interior of the building.
The area occupied by these two structures is locally
identified as the "grass market." This identification is
borne out by the presence, in the southeast corner of the
southern structure, of an iron, hand-operated machine
designed to compact grasses for bundling. The bundles could
then be used for thatching. A small copper plate on the
side of the bundling machine reads "Ransomes Ipswich.
Patent," while in another area the words "Ransomes 8 May
Patent" are cast into the iron itself. Also cast into each
individual part is a unique identifying label to aid in
reassembly after shipping.
In an effort to learn if the grass market structures
were functionally analogous to an estate village (ie. if
they functioned as barracks), 36 test pits, each measuring
50 by 50 centimeters, were excavated at 25 meter intervals
in the grass market area, extending into the gently rolling
terrain to the west, defined as Area 1 on Figure 8-1. This

206
terrain is broken by several terraces large enough to
support small structures, and is watered by a small, spring-
fed stream to the west and south. Two bits of masonry
construction are present in the southern end of Area 1.
They are associated with the root mass of a fallen tree, and
it is not known whether or not they are in their approximate
original position. Some 200 meters to the west is the base
of the steep slope upon which the estate house remains
stand. Several displaced wall fragments, fallen from the
estate house, are present here, and this may be the source
of the masonry fragments in Area 1.
Though Area 1 is extensively eroded, a well-defined
scatter of artifacts of varying, though never very heavy,
density was recovered. The scatter extends northward to a
broad terrace on the north side of Arnos Vale Road, east to
the grass market, and south and west to the spring-fed
stream. The majority of the sample is composed of domestic
refuse, with European ceramics of the late eighteenth and
early nineteenth century predominant. Significant amounts
of undecorated coarse earthenware were also recovered, as
was architectural debris in the form of square nail
fragments and some brick fragments. A single impressed
copper token identical to those present at the Courland
village (discussed above) was recovered from a test pit on
the broad terrace north of the Arnos Vale Road. These
materials may indicate that Area 1 was functionally

207
analogous to Area 3 of Courland Estate. If so, the area of
the village itself, which should contain much denser
deposits of domestic refuse similar to those in Area 2 at
Courland Estate, was not located. One small fragment of
mortar recovered from a test pit in the flat area between
the two grass market structures indicates that this area saw
little use that resulted in the deposition of archaeological
materials. The functional relationship of the grass market
structures to the rest of Les Coteaux Estate has yet to be
determined.
Orange Hill Estate
Orange Hill Estate (Figure 8-9) occupies the
southernmost portion of the study area. While the northern
third of the estate is characterized by steep slopes and
high hilltops with a maximum elevation of over 200 meters
above sea level, the central part is an upland area of
gently rolling terrain. At the extreme southern edge of the
estate a steeply sloping, convoluted landscape gives way to
the coral lowlands at an elevation of less than 45 meters
above sea level. Water on the estate is scarce. Although
several streams cross the property, none carries a
significant amount of water. Orange Hill Road bisects the
property on an east-west axis roughly at its mid point
Orange Hill Estate is depicted, along with the
neighboring Amity Hope Estate, on a nineteenth century map

Figure B—9. Orange Hill Estate
Orange Hill Estate
ca. 1880
(after Anonymous n.d.; DOS 1962-1963;
Young 1812a)
Seoondary stream -
Primary road -
Structure â– 
208

209
(Anonymous n.d.) made when both estates, worked together at
the time, went into receivership under the Encumbered
Estates Act. While no date is printed on the map, the
estate was before the court in 1868 and 1869 (CO 441/8/8, in
Phillips n.d.). Most of the structures depicted on the map
are recognizable today, as is their relationship to Orange
Hill Road.
The Orange Hill sugar factory complex is located on the
north side of Orange Hill Road, at the western edge of the
property, adjacent to a low rise. Though largely abandoned
today, the area has been significantly modified over the
years. The linear factory building formerly housing the
boiling, curing and still room, however, is still present,
and measures nine by 48 meters (30 by 157 feet). The
structure was modified into a dairy barn in the mid-20th
century after sugar was abandoned in the late 1930s (Leo
Cooper, personal communication). The boiling room is
recognizable at the northern end of the structure by the
filled in damper openings in the exterior facade of the long
western wall. A windmill for cane grinding is shown on the
Encumbered Estates map as well. It is located 77 meters
north of the factory building. The windmill tower is still
extant, and was converted into an equipment storage area for
the cattle operation. The base of this tower measures nine
meters (30 feet) in diameter.

210
Several additional structures are depicted on the
Encumbered Estates map (Anonymous n.d.) in the factory area.
Immediately to the west of the factory building is an
earthen dam across a small stream, creating a small pond.
Water from the pond was pumped to the rum manufacturing
area, located at the southern end of the factory building,
via wind power. Although the foundation of the pump mill is
not present on the surface, the Encumbered Estates map
indicates that it formerly occupied a position 14 meters
south of the factory building. It may have been destroyed
during later modification of the site. In addition to the
dam, pond and pump mill, a bagas shed and an overseer's
house are identified on the map, the former roughly half way
between the windmill tower and the factory in an area now
obscured by a modern concrete foundation, and the latter
about 40 meters east of the factory on a site currently
occupied by a small, concrete block habitation. Finally, 13
"cottages" appear approximately 70 meters east of the
factory complex, in a random layout. A surface examination
in an occupied horse pasture on the low rise east of the
factory building yielded a light scatter of early to mid¬
nineteenth century ceramics. These indicate a primarily
post-emancipation occupation of the village area. The only
architectural remains located on the rise, though not
depicted on the map, are the brick and masonry base of a
hexagonal windmill tower measuring eight meters (26 feet)

211
across. The hollow interior of the structure contains a
square masonry foundation with an exterior dimension of 1.9
meters (6 feet) that functioned as a mill pad.
The located estate village could not be securely dated
to the period of slavery based on surface indications, while
the remains of an early windmill tower indicate that the
area initially functioned as a mill yard and was not given
over to habitation until relatively late in the slave
period. Further investigation would have required
subsurface testing and the removal of the pasture's
occupants. Given the lack of alternative pastures, the
likelihood that the village was occupied primarily by free
laborers rather than slaves, and the presence of other, more
promising village sites, no additional investigation of the
Orange Hill village area was undertaken.
The Encumbered Estates map (Anonymous n.d.) also shows
the estate house, and five ancillary buildings labeled
"offices." The remains of these structures are located on a
low hilltop 430 meters south of the factory complex, and are
reached by a short drive on the south side of Orange Hill
Road. While the remains of the "offices" are fragmentary,
the estate house foundation is largely intact. The wooden
structure it supported was destroyed by a tropical storm in
1989, although it had been previously abandoned (Leo Cooper,
personal communication.). The remains indicate that at
least two structures were built on the same site (Figure 8-

212
10). The earlier structure, constructed on brick piers, was
T-shaped, with the base of the T extending to the southeast.
It was reached by two sets of arched, brick stairways, one
at the front of the house facing the drive and the second at
the rear of the house facing a panoramic view of Scarborough
to the southeast. At a later date, the interstitial spaces
between many of the brick piers were filled with masonry
walls. This new foundation supported a structure measuring
11 by 13 meters (37 by 41.5 feet).
Two cisterns are present at the Orange Hill estate
house, both in the southern corner of the structure. One is
constructed of concrete while the other is made of cast-iron
and is supported on two brick piers.
No other architectural remains were encountered on
Orange Hill Estate. However, a local informant indicates
that a cemetery containing two markers was located at the
distal end of a low ridge extending southwest from the site
of the estate house (Leo Cooper, personal communication).
Though Mr. Cooper showed me the site, no evidence of these
burials is apparent on the surface.
Summary of Intensive Survey
Three estates have been discussed in this chapter,
Courland, Les Coteaux and Orange Hill. They were operated
using the two primary power sources in St. David's Parish,
water and wind. In many respects, they conform well with

213
Orange Hill
Estate House
Figure 8—10. Orange Hill Estate House

214
the pattern laid out by Higman (1988) and generally
confirmed by the regional survey results discussed in
Chapter 7. In particular, Les Coteaux Estate, with its
sugar factory in the Courland River valley bottom and its
estate house on a high hilltop in an overwatching position
matches Higman's model closely. Courland and Orange Hill,
in contrast, present some aspects which are not in
conformance with the model.
The most readily apparent deviation from Higman's model
relates to estate house location, apparent at Orange Hill,
where the estate house is sited at the same elevation or
slightly lower than the sugar factory rather than on the
many hills to the north of the factory which are elevated
above the estate and factory. The chosen estate house
location, in a position overlooking Scarborough, suggests
that other factors may be in operation. Reassessing the
locations of the estate houses discussed in Chapter 7 as
well as those of Courland and Les Coteaux Estates, it
becomes apparent that in addition to accessing prevailing
winds and affording planters a view of the operation of
their own estates, elevated estate house locations provided
views of population centers, neighboring estate houses
(which were also in elevated positions), and semaphore
stations which were maintained by the military for
communications between Fort King George at Scarborough, and
outlying forts, batteries and garrisons scattered about the

215
coast. Finally, shipping in the waters around Tobago were
often visible, even from estate houses located in inland
areas.
The remains of two estate houses were located at
Courland Estate. These appear to have been constructed and
occupied at different times. One, located on a ridge to the
southeast of the factory and flanked by a tomb dating to
1837, conforms well with Higman's model. As this estate
house appears on the Carte Militaire, it was in place by
1784 and is likely the earlier structure. The second estate
house is adjacent to the sugar factory, and thus does not
conform to Higman's model.
While the location of the earlier estate house at
Courland was not unusual, in the context of the regional
survey the presence of several ancillary structures in the
immediate surroundings was aberrant. The remains of seven
of these, oriented to the same direction as the estate
house, exist. While one no doubt functioned as a kitchen,
removed from the estate house itself to decrease the chance
of fire, the function of the other structures is unknown.
Courland, and to a lesser extent Orange Hill, are the only
two estates in the study area that possess such ancillary
structures.
Limited testing was undertaken at the Courland estate
village. In contrast to Higman's model, where villages are
located so as to form a roughly equilateral triangle with

216
the estate house and the sugar factory, the Courland village
is located adjacent to the contemporaneous estate house. In
addition, the structures contained within the village were
constructed on an axis that was identical to the buildings
in the estate house complex. This symmetrical arrangement
is unlikely to have occurred by happenstance, and may be
related to the close proximity between the estate house and
the village.
The deviations from Higman's model summarized here are
discussed more fully in Chapter 9.

CHAPTER 9
A REGIONAL PERSPECTIVE
When planters first encountered the island of Tobago,
they saw not an untamable wilderness but rich and fertile
land ripe for colonization. The land was not uniform,
however. Steep slopes, dense forestation, shipping access,
health concerns, and water availability all tempered the
perceived desirability of individual plots of land. Based
on their perceptions of the positive and negative factors
affecting individual plots—perceptions which were probably
developed less by personal observation and more by word-of-
mouth in the earliest years of settlement—Tobago planters
selected and bought their chosen lots. The rapidity with
which the land was sold reflects the overall attitude that
sugar was a product of enormous potential value and that
Tobago was well suited for the cultivation of cane. The
distribution of lots sold also reflects rapidly changing
ideas about where the lands most suitable for cane
cultivation and sugar production were located.
Constraints to Production and Layout
The initial land sales on Tobago occurred primarily in
the area immediately surrounding Barbados Bay. Selected as
217

218
the site of government by virtue of its geographic
centrality (Young, in Archibald 1987:117), it was soon
abandoned in favor of a more westerly location. The new
site, Scarborough on Rockly Bay, was also centrally located,
though with reference to population rather than geography.
The shift in population towards the west occurred as
planters became increasingly familiar with the island. The
shift was initiated by James Simpson, chief surveyor of
Tobago and the European most cognizant of the potential of
individual land lots.
Simpson bought his property, lot 1 of St. David's
Parish (Courland Estate), some time prior to the second land
sale. Other buyers were quick to follow his lead. During
the second land sale in 1766 St. David's Parish lands were
the most popular. Not all parish lands were sold, however.
Rather, sales were confined primarily to the southern and
western portions of the parish including all or part of what
would become Amity Hope, Orange Hill, Lower Quarter, Mary's
Hill, Whim, Providence, Dunvegan, Les Coteaux, and
Franklyn's (Nardin 1969:Plate IV). These are principally
the lots closest to Barbados Bay. Incidentally, most of
them also border the Courland River.
By the third round of land sales in 1767, attention
shifted to St. Patrick's and St. Andrew's Parishes to the
south. Courland Estate and the estates of St. Patrick's and
St. Andrew's share two commonalities. Most importantly,

219
they have sufficient surface water to support both life and
the rum-making process. Where Courland Estate abuts the
Courland River and contains two perennial streams within its
boundaries, St. Patrick's and St. Andrew's Parishes have
many small but reliable springs. Second, both Courland
Estate and St. Patrick's and St. Andrew's Parishes are
relatively flat, the former as a result of Courland River
deposition (Trinidad and Tobago Ministry of Agriculture and
University of the West Indies 1974) and the latter as a
result of emergent coralline formations (Niddrie 1961).
Significantly, low relief facilitates road construction and
maintenance and simplifies problems of transport of cane to
the factory complex and muscovado sugar, molasses and rum to
legal ports of entry that effect the more rugged portions of
the island.
That ease of transport was the over-riding factor in
selecting plantation lands is borne out by the tendency in
subsequent land sales to first buy land with access to
sheltered bays despite its distance from population centers.
Indeed, ease of transport outweighed the recognized
advantages of access to water power to drive crushing mills
in many instances—Courland Estate and virtually all of the
estates of St. Patrick's and St. Andrew's utilized windmills
to power their crushing mills (Eubanks 1992). Possible
explanations for this apparent inconsistency lie in the
relative design complexity of the two power systems, in the

220
materials used in their construction, and in the maintenance
required for their upkeep.
While the engineering capabilities required to
construct a windmill were considerable, they pale in
comparison to the skills necessary for construction of a
water powered system. Windmills were fairly uniform
throughout the island, though some temporal variation in
their form is present. Because they rely on the breeze to
drive them, the construction of windmills was more or less a
boilerplate operation. While siting to access both wind and
factory is a critical consideration, in the relatively flat
lands where wind powered sites are predominantly located, it
was a fairly simple task. In contrast, each water powered
site is unique, varying in accordance with the nature of the
water course it tapped, the underlying substrate and the
surrounding topography. In conjunction, these factors
effected dam location, canal length, overland entrance and
egress, and factory siting. Where a broad stream like the
Courland River required a dam principally designed for
diversion, small streams required both diversion and
impoundment structures, sometimes constructed as a single
dam but often as separate structures. For stability, deans
had to be constructed on bedrock outcrops, which constricted
the watercourse valley and thus limited the land available
for factory siting and constrained road construction.
Finally, canals had to be long enough to access factories,

221
usually requiring that they cross smaller drainages, a task
accomplished by the construction of small aqueducts.
In terms of materials, those used for windmill
construction were more readily accessible and easier to work
with given the range of skills available on Tobago. Where
the structures associated with water powered systems—the
dam, canal and wheel pit—required stone or brick
construction and necessitated skilled masons, windmills were
made primarily of wood during the first 50 years of
settlement. Though later windmill towers were tall,
circular structures constructed of stone and brick
(Anonymous n.d.), the earliest were primarily wooden
structures (CO 285/13; Young 1812a:103) atop low hexagonal
stone and brick bases such as those at Adventure Old Works,
Mary's Hill and Orange Hill. As late as 1808 there were 64
carpenters enlisted in the Tobago militia, as opposed to
only 10 masons (CO 285/13). Wood was not only easier to
work with, it was a necessary by-product of putting the land
in production in Tobago's heavily forested natural
environment (Niddrie 1961). This fact may be less
significant, however, in that stone was a by-product of road
construction, particularly in the hilly areas dominated by
water powered estates where roads had to be cut into steep
slopes. Bricks were imported in ship's bottoms as ballast,
and were being manufactured on Tobago by the second decade
of the nineteenth century (Young 1812a:103).

222
Both wind and water powered systems, of course, were
subject to general wear and tear brought about by near
continuous use during the harvest season. Repair was no
doubt a nearly constant task. However, where severe damage
to windmills would occur only during tropical storms and
rare hurricanes, seasonal rainfall created freshets in
Tobago rivers and streams, on a year-to-year basis, that
would have significantly damaged water control and delivery
systems with depressing frequency. Affected particularly
would have been dams, canal inlets and aqueducts. In severe
cases, the potential for damage to the water wheel itself
was present.
The planters who initiated agricultural production on
Tobago in the mid-eighteenth century faced not only
environmental constraints, but constraints imposed by the
government as well. Foremost among these was limited
acreage. By the second decade of the nineteenth century,
while not all estates contained the 500 acres or less
mandated by parliament (CO 101/1;75, in Nardin 1969:296),
the large majority did (Young 1812a). Tobago sugar estates,
averaging slightly more than 400 acres (Young 1812a),
occupied significantly less land than did sugar estates of
Jamaica, where the average estate covered just over 1000
acres (Higman 1988:81). As a result, the layout of Tobago
estates was in some ways compacted. For example, where
Higman (1988) cites an average area of seven acres for a

223
sugar factory complex on Jamaica, the St. David's Parish
sample was significantly smaller, on the order of one to two
acres. Such is not the case, however, for the distance
between the various elements of an estate. On Tobago, the
average distance between the estate house and the sugar
factory is 345 meters,1 agreeing well with Higman's
(1988:81) figure of 391 yards (357.5 meters) for Jamaica.2
A Model Estate
As discussed above, the principle factors effecting
sugar factory siting were access to water for rum
manufacture and ease of transport to and from the factory.
Only after these requirements were met was the power source
decided upon, and a factory site chosen. Given an
advantageous location—a stream with sufficient flow
crossing a bedrock outcrop in proximity to a relatively
level area large enough to support a factory complex—water
power was preferred. In the absence of such a location,
windmills were constructed. In only one instance, at Golden
1 This figure is based on the 14 instances in St.
David's Parish in which both the estate house and the sugar
factory were securely identified. It includes the distance
between the Adventure estate house and both the old and new
works.
2 Higman (1988:81) also cites distances of 384 yards
(351 meters) between estate village and sugar works, and 418
yards (382 meters) between village and estate house.
Insufficient data exists on Tobago (only three estate
villages were securely located) to make a meaningful
comparison with this data.

224
Lane Estate, was a cattle mill used in St. David's Parish.
Significantly, it is sited with access to a small stream
providing water for rum manufacture, and to a road sloping
generally downward to the shipping point at Arnos Vale Bay.
Upon selection of a factory site, the layout of the
complex itself was determined. A preference for any one
particular form over others is not present. Of the 22 sugar
factories encountered in St. David's Parish, five are L-
shaped, three are T-shaped, two are linear, four are
discontiguous, and one is laid out as a rough square. In
seven instances, the form of the factory was not determined.
This was an odd finding, given that a T-shaped factory is
probably the most efficient from a production standpoint
(Beckford 1790:28). This form is more compact on the
landscape and requires less travel time between various
areas, reducing transport effort and enhancing supervision.
In an industry stressing production with forced labor, these
should be important concerns (Wray 1848:285). Rather than
worry about form, however, the engineers who designed these
factories and the planters who directed their efforts worked
within the limitations imposed by local topography, ensuring
that the floor of the boiling room was significantly higher
than that of either the curing room or the distillery.

225
The Estate House
The preferred location for an estate house was a
hilltop. Such a location gave access to cooling breezes
that kept the insect population down and also provided the
planter with a commanding view of the sugar factory and the
estate village. These concerns were made explicit in
several contemporary documents (e.g., Young 18123:166), and
are generally accepted by modern researchers (e.g.,
Armstrong 1990; Handler and Lange 1978; Higman 1988).
Construction techniques were adapted to these goals. By
building an estate house on elevated piers, both the view
and the breeze were enhanced. Other concerns may have been
equally important, however, in both the siting and
construction of estate houses.
Orser distinguishes between the "internal and external
functions" of slaves (1988:740). Internally, slaves
provided labor while externally they demonstrated the
purchasing power of the owner. In more general terms,
internal functions enhance estate operation while external
functions enhance the status of the planter in the eyes of
his peers. An internal/external distinction is useful when
discussing estate house location. From an internal
perspective, one result of hilltop locations was enhanced
communication, valuable both for security, in the event of
invasion or revolt, and for economic reasons. In nearly all
cases, the estate houses of St. David's Parish were visible

226
from the established towns of Plymouth and Scarborough, or
from other estate houses. Such siting allowed communication
between locations that were distant from one another by
road. Signal stations, set up by the military on high
hilltops in the interior of the island (Anonymous 1784),
were used to communicate between towns and between the two
forts and 15 batteries guarding the coast (Young 1809:155).
Since the Tobago militia, drawn from townsmen and the
estates (CO 285/13), served many of the batteries, it was
advantageous that the signal stations were also visible from
many of the estate houses. In an extreme case, the station
on top of the 244 meter high French Fort hill was visible
from the probable location of Runnemede estate house, some
eight kilometers to the north. In the event of an emergency
such as a foreign invasion or a slave revolt the European
population of Tobago, though scattered about the island on
isolated estates, could have been informed almost as soon as
the event occurred. As nearly all able bodied European men
served in the local militia, such a system would have been
mandatory for any rapid armed response beyond that of the
regular army garrison. The arrival of friendly ships could
have been communicated in the same manner, enhancing
Tobago's economic ties with Great Britain.
From the perspective of external function, not only
were estate houses visible to one another and to population
centers, they also tended to be oriented in those

227
directions, sometimes at the expense of the planter's view
of the estate. A case in point is Les Coteaux estate house.
While the front of the structure faces west towards the town
of Plymouth, the factory complex is almost due east. Thus,
while physical and economic security was allowed by hilltop
locations, the orientation of estate houses may have
fostered a sense of community between Europeans. In the
isolated environment of a Tobago estate, the sight of a
friendly face was replaced with the view of a neighboring
house. If, in the view of slaves, estate houses garnered an
aura of power as the center of estate authority (Armstrong
1990), their siting also engendered a feeling of solidarity
on the part of planters (Pulsipher 1992).
Because they were exposed to view, great pains were
taken in the design of estate houses. In contrast to the
factories, the preferred estate house design may have been
T-shaped, at least during the period of slavery. Whatever
their form, however, estate houses were symmetrical, while
decorative elements such as arched stairways and designs in
supporting piers were always present. Because they were
less bound than factory buildings by functional
considerations and topographic variation, symmetry and
regularity were considered to be desirable aesthetic
attributes.3 The builder of the old estate house at
3 In this regard, it is interesting than none of the
discontiguous sugar factories identified in St. David's
Parish are visible from the main roads.

228
Courland went so far as to offset the main steps of the
house to one side, thus presenting the appearance of
symmetry as the house was approached. Again using the
internal function/external function dichotomy, symmetry
operated on an external level by reflecting the Georgian
world view of the planters, who thereby reified their ties
with British subjects who did not emigrate to the New World.
The grandeur of the estates houses, expressed in their
elevated design, gracefully arched main stairways and
decorative brickwork on exposed supporting piers, on the
other hand, indicates that estate houses may have been
status symbols, signalling the worth of the owner and his or
her association with the aristocracy. That these signals
were most apparent from the main drive approaching the
houses indicates that they were directed towards other
Europeans rather than towards the slave population, who
could be expected to approach the houses, on those rare
occasions when they did, by a more direct route.
Otto (1984:127) defines a "showplace plantation" as an
estate "where elite travelers could be assured of a
hospitable welcome." Courland fits this description. Its
proximity to Plymouth made it accessible while the position
and political clout of its original owner, James Simpson,
made him a well known figure both on and off the island. At
selected estates, the external "showplace" function may have
been complimented by an internal function as a "premier"

229
estate, manufacturing a variety of supplemental products
used in sugar production but not readily available
otherwise.
The tradesmen—wheelwrights, carpenters, blacksmiths,
barrel-makers, etc.—responsible for manufacturing these
supplemental products were slaves. These slaves were highly
skilled, and they would have been expensive to buy or train.
Not all estates could afford such an investment, however.
Thus only a few estates on the island performed such
supplemental manufacture, making their products available to
other estates for a fee. Courland old estate house is the
only estate house in St. David's Parish that contained a
broad variety of ancillary structures in association. That
supplemental manufacture was engaged in at Courland is a
likely explanation for the presence of these structures.
No documentary records exist on Tobago to confirm this
hypothesis, though support is provided by the fact that only
one estate produced more sugar and rum in 1811 than
Courland. That exception is Betsey's Hope Estate (often
referred to, as it is today, as Louis d'Or Estate) in St.
Paul's Parish which was owned by Sir William Young, then
governor of Tobago and member of a very prominent Caribbean
family owning several additional estates on other islands
(Young 1812a). Prominent individuals are here considered
more likely to own or build "premier estates." The
"offices" at the Orange Hill estate house may also have been

230
the sites of supplemental manufacture rather than offices in
the modern sense, though this could not be confirmed in the
field. The owner of Orange Hill Estate in the late
eighteenth century was William Lindsay, who was appointed
Governor of Tobago in 1794. Thus, he conforms to the
expected station of a premier estate owner.
What are here defined as premier estates also existed
on Antigua. Betty's Hope was established in ca. 1655 and by
1668 had come into the hands of the Codrington family,
eventually becoming their "flagship estate" (Goodwin
1994:100; Pulsipher and Goodwin 1988:1). The Codrington's
were on a social par with Sir William Young of Tobago—where
Young served as the Governor of Tobago, the Codrington
family of Betty's Hope supplied two Governor-Generals of the
British Leeward Islands in the late seventeenth and early
eighteenth centuries. The prestige attached to Betty's Hope
Estate lasted throughout the eighteenth century. It's ca.
1897 preeminent position and the function of a premier
estate were described by an Antiguan laborer many years
after the fact:
Betty was the largest estate on the island and it
would have a good amount of work while the others
would have very little—particularly in the dull
season—for Betty was responsible to carry out the
repairs on the mills and other equipment for some
of the other estates.... The workshop at Betty
was second to none on the island and the best
tradesmen of all kinds was there. Blacksmith
service was one of the most important things back
then and no place could touch Betty's Hope.
Coopering and tanning was also important back then

231
and old Betty was very capable in them things too
(Smith and Smith 1986:87-88).
The Estate Village
The generally accepted location of the estate village
was "in a peripheral but proxemic position to the main
complex" (Lange and Handler 1985:18). At Courland, however,
the village is adjacent to the estate house, indicating that
other factors were in operation.4 These factors relate to
Courland's status as both a showplace and a premier estate.
In this view, it is significant that both the Structure B
and Structure D foundations at Courland estate village were
aligned on nearly the same axis as the majority of the
structures in the estate house complex, reinforcing the
overall symmetry of the whole.
Orderliness, serving both an internal and an external
function, was also an apparent goal of Tobago planters in
the construction of estate villages. Confirming the
description of slave housing provided in Chapter 8, a
description which was borne out by archaeological testing,
is the following: "The negroes inhabit three streets, near
4 The village associated with Orange Hill Estate cannot
be firmly dated to the period of slavery or the founding of
the estate. Although it is depicted adjacent to the factory
on the Encumbered Estates map (Anonymous n.d.), it may have
been moved following the changes in estate layout that
accompanied emancipation. As this discussion is primarily
concerned with village location during the period of
slavery, the Orange Hill village is not included in this
analysis.

232
the plantation to which they are attached: their huts are
built of stone, and covered with slates" (Lavaysse
1820:350). The accuracy of this description is borne out by
limited surface survey of Golden Grove Estate in St.
Patrick's Parish, one of estates referred to in the above
quote. These data indicate that at least some planters
considered orderliness within the estate village to be
important. Internally, orderliness reinforced the
regimented sugar production system and the power of the
planter (Goodwin 1987; Higman 1988; McKee 1992).
Externally, it enhanced the overall pattern of estate
regularity (Pulsipher 1992).
A Dynamic Perspective
The model presented above is static. In reality,
however, sugar estates throughout the Caribbean were
modified on a frequent and regular basis, with modifications
ranging from equipment upgrades (Eubanks 1992) to the moving
of entire estate complexes (Pulsipher and Goodwin 1982).
The estates of St. David's Parish provide several examples
of such modifications.
The earliest archaeologically recognizable modification
occurred at Adventure Estate when a new sugar factory was
built between 1784 and 1807. The old factory is located on
a hilltop in the western portion of the estate (Anonymous
1784) where cane was processed with a wind powered crushing

233
mill. By 1807, however, Young (1809) notes that the mill
was water powered. The water wheel he refers to was
probably located at the site of the new sugar factory
adjacent to the Courland River. The late eighteenth century
was a boom time on Tobago. As sugar profits steadily rose,
more capital became available to Tobago planters. The owner
of Adventure responded to increased capital availability and
the prospect of greater profits by building a new, more
efficient water-powered mill. This necessitated the
relocation of the entire factory complex to its new location
on the Courland River.
A similar economic argument can be used to explain the
presence of steam engines at Franklyn's and King Peter's
Estates by 1807 (Young 1809), as well as the fact that 13
estates were put into sugar production after 1786 (Young
1812c). Planters with insufficient capital to immediately
initiate sugar production, or located on land that was in
some way marginal for sugar production, could fall back on a
variety of crops. Land use figures for Tobago indicate that
during the period of initial settlement by the British,
planters often relied on cash crops other than sugar (Young
1812c:92). Foremost among these was cotton. One of the
major advantages of cotton is that it does not require
extensive capital outlay for processing facilities. Rather,
though it is labor intensive, once labor is available cotton
is inexpensive to produce. Capital from cotton production

234
(or indigo, coffee or cocoa) was then reinvested in sugar
processing equipment. Franklyn's and King Peter's Estates
are poorly suited for wind or water powered mills. Steam,
though experimental at the time, was seen as a viable means
of sugar production in the absence of alternative power
sources. The steam engines that were formerly present at
Franklyn's and King Peter's Estates may have been bought by
the owners as funds became available through the production
of other crops.
From 1807 onwards, the anti-slavery lobby made sugar
production ever more difficult. Despite growing economic
and political pressure on the planters, at least some
continued to reinvest what capital was available to them in
sugar production equipment. Eubanks (1992:199-200) argues
that reinvestment was a response to declining labor in the
period following emancipation. Briefly, machinery upgrades
were primarily directed towards increasing juice-yield per
cane. Production levels were thus maintained despite the
decreasing availability of labor to work the cane fields.
At Arnos Vale, a steam engine was installed adjacent to the
crushing mill to supplement the power derived from the water
wheel, increasing juice-yield per cane from an estimated 61
percent when crushed with a water powered mill to as much as
81 percent when crushed with a steam powered mill (Benjamin
1880:839).

235
At Courland Estate, the estate owner may have gone
beyond upgrading equipment. The Courland old estate house
was occupied at least as late as 1837, when Eliza MacDougal
was laid to rest in the adjacent tomb. Sometime during the
remainder of the nineteenth century, however, a new estate
house was built adjacent to the sugar factory. By placing
himself in such close proximity to the manufacturing
process, the planter would have been able to oversee
production more closely, eliminating the inefficiency that
would have resulted from a poorly supervised work force.
Although the date of this move is not known, it most likely
followed the hurricane of 1847. The Courland old estate
house may have been among the 30 estate houses destroyed by
the hurricane (Woodcock 1866:107), to be subsequently
replaced by a new structure at the new location.
A factor that Eubanks does not discuss, but which may
have contributed to the tendency to reinvest, was an influx
of new immigrants, and presumably new capital, in the period
following the establishment of encumbered estate courts on
Tobago in 1858. Between 1832 and 1867, every estate in St.
David's Parish changed hands (Table 7-2). Based on the
surnames of the owners, this represents not a passing on of
property at the time of death, but the abandonment of sugar
production by the old, established families of Tobago. The
enthusiasm of the newcomers is reflected in the remains of
sugar estates. Of the dated milling equipment encountered

236
during the survey and by Eubanks in 1989, all date to the
mid-nineteenth century. In addition, six of the 10
identified windmills in St David's Parish were probably
constructed during this period as well. Colonial records
written in 1808 (CO 285/13) indicate that only sugar
factories were built entirely of stone or brick, while
windmills were primarily wooden structures on a low stone
foundation. By the late 1860s, however, the standing
windmill tower at Orange Hill Estate had been built
(Anonymous n.d.). About 15 meters tall, it is constructed
entirely of stone and brick, as were most of the other
extant windmill towers in the parish. While the shift to
stone construction may reflect the deforestation of the
island, it certainly dates to the period between 1808 and
the mid-nineteenth century and is indicative of continual
reinvestment during that period.
Slave Life
Archaeological data relating to the life of the Afro-
Tobagonian majority is present in the remains of the estate
villages. Though the research design adopted for this
project was geared more towards recovering spatial data, in
conjunction with ethnohistorical research, several
observations about the lives of slaves and free laborers can
be made.

237
The initial years of settlement were probably the most
difficult time for slaves. In its pristine state, Tobago
was covered in dense forest of predominantly tropical
hardwoods (Niddrie 1961). Before crops could be planted,
the land had to be cleared. This arduous task fell to the
slaves brought to the island during the initial period of
British settlement. The difficulty of clearing was
recognized by the Tobago planters, and they selected their
slaves accordingly. Although the sex ratio among slaves
would decrease rapidly in the following years, in 1771 there
were only 1447 female slaves on the island, as opposed to
3064 males (Young 1812c:83), reflecting the perception on
the part of the planters that males were better suited to
the harsh physical demands of clearing operations.5 Young
goes so far as to attribute "repeated insurrections by the
African slaves" during the early years of settlement, in
part, to the heavy labor of clearing (Young 1812c:84-87).*
He adds the African origins of the vast majority of slaves
and the inexperience of the Europeans in supervising labor
as additional contributing factors.
The debilitating effects of heavy labor on the slave
population were undoubtedly exacerbated by poor living
5 In contrast the working slave population on Tobago
in 1811 (defined as slaves over nine years of age) consisted
of 5891 males and 5731 females (Young 1812a:99).
s Eubanks (1992:74) notes that two insurrections
occurred in 1770 followed by another in 1771.

238
conditions. It is unlikely that the well constructed slave
houses characteristic of later years were built at such an
early date. Given three documented slave insurrections in
1770 and 1771, English merchants were unwilling to recognize
Tobago securities and allow advances against them.
Accordingly, with the permission of parliament, planters
mortgaged portions of their property to the Dutch (Young
1812c). The sooner to pay off their debts, Tobago planters
would have directed their energies in these early years
towards preparing the estates for production rather than
towards the construction of durable slave quarters.
Confirmation of this inference through examination of the
archaeological record is unlikely because early slave houses
would have been constructed of materials with poor
preservational characteristics that would be destroyed by
later activities on the estates.
By 1775 17,514 acres were cleared (Young 1812c:89).
Though clearing undoubtedly continued in the following
years, the pace was slower as more and more slaves were put
to the production of staple crops. Despite economic
hardships for the planters enough money was apparently
available by 1792 to invest in improved housing for at least
part of their labor force (Young, in Woodcock 1866:65).
Structure B at Courland estate village contained two rooms,
each measuring 15 by 13 feet (195 square feet). Resting on
a dry-laid stone foundation, the structure had glazed

239
windows and a ceramic tile roof. The presence of window
glass and redware tiling throughout the site indicates that
other, similar structures were present, though none were
identified during the survey. "Duplex" structures at
Cannon's Point Plantation (Georgia) are thought to have
housed two families apiece, or perhaps two generations of
the same family (MacFarlane 1975; Otto 1984:37), and the
same may be true of the Tobago structure.
The construction and size of Structure B conform well
with descriptions of slave housing in the historic record
for Tobago (Edwards 1819 vol. 3:277-278). The presence of a
continuous stone foundation utilizing larger stones on the
downslope side closely matches Armstrong's description of
excavated slave, apprentice and free-laborer housing on
Jamaica, though the dimensions of individual rooms are
slightly larger at Structure B when compared to Jamaican
slave and free-laborer housing, and slightly smaller than
apprentice housing (1990:101-124). Jamaican structures had
shuttered, rather than glazed windows, however, and
Armstrong makes no reference to tiled roofs, although slate
may have been used to roof cooking areas (Armstrong
1990:174)
For subsistence, Tobago's slaves relied on locally
produced staples, supplemented by imported foodstuffs from
North America. During initial settlement, a period when the
slaves were unfamiliar with their new environment, local

240
production was accomplished by supervised gang labor
(Marshall 1991).7 As slave familiarity with the Tobago
environment increased through time, however, gang production
was replaced by individual and family production in
provision grounds, land allotted by the planter that was
generally poorly suited for sugar production and marginal to
the estate. Provision grounds were supplemented by house
gardens, smaller in size and generally closer to home than
grounds.
Marshall notes that, in general, gardens were created
from the land surrounding the slave houses, but that on
Grenada, lands "contiguous to the Negroe Houses for the
purpose of cultivating gardens" was provided to slaves by
law (in Marshall 1991:51). On Tobago, where care was
apparently taken by planters to construct estate villages
that were pleasing to the european eye, gardens that were
attached to, but not part of, estate villages may have been
preferred. Archaeologically, such areas would be
differentiated from the village itself by a markedly
decreased artifact density. Area 3 at Courland Estate
7 Gang labor was performed by groups of slaves
undertaking like, repetitive tasks throughout the day. It
is contrasted with the "task system" in which individual
slaves were required to perform a set task after which work
was done for the day (Gray 1958). The task system is
generally associated with cotton and rice production in the
Southern United States while gang labor is associated with
sugar production. (See Morgan [1982 and 1983] for an
extended discussion of origins of the task system and the
ramifications of such a form of labor organization.)

241
conforms to this hypothesis, producing just under five
artifacts per shovel test (at a 50 meter interval). In
contrast, Area 2, identified as the village by both the
Carte Militaire and the presence of architectural remains,
produced a much higher artifact density.
In 1808, triple the acreage on estates was given over
to provisioning in response to an embargo on export to the
Caribbean by the United States (Young 1812a:263). Thus,
changing political relationships between outside powers
probably interrupted the supply of imports on a fairly
regular basis, causing hardship among the slaves. During
these periods, Tobago's bounteous natural environment would
have been a source of alternative foodstuffs. Slaves had no
such independent recourse following natural disasters,
however.
By 1811, each slave was allowed "as much fresh and
fertile land for Garden as he can cultivate" (Young
1812a:117).8 According to Young, the land was given in
fact, if not by law, to the slave who worked it. Common law
did not allow provision grounds to be taken back by the
planter without an appraisement by the principal slaves on
the estate indicating what was planted and what was growing.
These had to be paid for by the planter prior to his
repossession (Young 1812a). If Young's assertion was indeed
8 Contemporary documents often use the terms "garden"
and "provision grounds" interchangeably. In this quote,
Young is referring to provision grounds.

242
the case, it reflects a growing slave power-base on the
island. This power-base was derived from the slaves
position as laborers on the estate. While they could not
easily withhold their services without facing reprisals,
they could work at a reduced pace, slowing production and
otherwise disrupting the workings of the estate. An
alternative method of empowerment was practiced by the
slaves who worked at the estate houses in direct contact
with the planter and his family. These slaves—
seamstresses, cooks, washers, etc.— refused to work at any
task but the one they were specifically responsible for.
Thus, a cook would not sew, a seamstress would not wash, and
a washer would not cook (CO 265/16).
Sundays and Thursdays were reserved for working
provision grounds and for marketing. At the market, slaves
sold "pigs, poultry, vegetables and fruits," while they
bought "cottons, trinkets, crockery, soap, and tobacco"
(Young 1812a:104). Indeed, Young contends that the retail
dealers and shops in Scarborough got most of their business
from slaves, while
...a full third of the retail trade in Tobago is
carried on by Mulatto Hucksters, the housekeepers
of Gentlemen, who as sleeping partners in the
business order out their assortment of goods which
are afterwards exhibited for disposal under the
most seductive display and circumstances to invite
and fascinate purchasers (Young 1812a:104—
emphasis in the original).
Marketing was not confined wholly to Scarborough, however:

243
And Miss Kitty, Miss Anna, and Miss Rita,
handsomest of blackgirls, are to be seen vin tour'
on every plantation sitting under a tree near the
mansion house with a Charaib basket before them
containing an assortment for Massa or for Negroe
(Young 1812a:104).
The presence in the Courland estate village of tokens
and a quarter of a two real coin, as well as Young's wording
in the above quotes, hints that Tobago's internal economy
was based at least in part on monetary exchange rather than
wholly on barter. Many planters from throughout the
Caribbean, speaking before parliamentary committees charged
with evaluating the system of slavery in the period 1789 to
1791, testified that slaves were able to accumulate
significant amounts of capital by participating in the
internal marketing system. Young (who was one of those
called to testify before the aforementioned parliamentary
committees), later noted that
it is a fact known from daily experience and
dealing by every resident in Tobago, that a
currency of precious metals as money, whether joes
or dollars or copper pieces called Hampees, is
little, and almost at a stop but when it flows in
with the slaves coming to market from their weekly
sales (Young 1812a:104).
If, as the above quote suggests, slaves were the
principal participants in the Tobago internal economy, they
may have controlled much, if not most, of the cash on the
island. Excavations within the Courland estate village
reveal a diverse slave material culture, but do not
conclusively indicate the origins of these materials. The
preponderance of plain creamware rather than more expensive

244
decorated ceramic types (Miller 1980) indicates that the
ceramics were bought on a budget. While this argues against
the possibility that they are hand-me downs given to slaves
after use by the planter and his family in the estate house,
the presence of more expensive decorated wares may be
explained by such actions. The frequency of plain creamware
may reflect that other ceramics were acquired by planters
for the use of their slaves. The relative absence of
locally made ceramics supports this contention as, being
both cheap and well suited to presumed slave foodways (e.g.,
Ferguson 1992), their frequency would have increased had
slaves acquired their own ceramics.
The character of the deposit within Structure A at the
Courland estate village is anomalous. As discussed in
Chapter 8, fully a third of the materials recovered from
this provenience are European ceramics, as compared to only
slightly more than 22% for the site as a whole. This is
particularly striking in that Structure A is just that, a
structure. Logic would indicate that architectural remains
should increase in such a context. While it could be argued
that much of the Structure A deposit is backdirt derived
from earlier deposits associated with Structures B and C,
such an argument still cannot account for the apparent
under-representation of architectural materials.
Although the function of Structure A was not
determined, its stratigraphic intrusion on Structures B and

245
C argues for a later date. The variety of the material
recovered, including a finely decorated bead, part of a
goblet, two of the three buttons from the site, and a
furniture tack may indicate that the economic status of
Tobago's slaves rose through time. More likely, however,
these materials represent the retention of valued objects.
The mean ceramic date of 1799 (versus 1811 for the site as a
whole) supports this conclusion, as does the increased
presence of transfer printed wares. Twenty-three percent of
the tin enameled ceramics from Structure A are transfer
printed as compared to only 12% from the village site as a
whole.
Construction of Structure A destroyed any firm evidence
of earlier features excavated into the floor of Structure B
or C. Such cache pits were a frequent occurrence at North
American slave sites (e.g., Kelso 1984). That the deposit
associated with the Structure A foundation represents a
later intrusion on one of these pits could also account for
the recovered artifacts. These questions cannot be resolved
without the excavation of a variety of well dated,
undisturbed features from within the village. Such
excavations were not a goal of this research.
Under slavery, Afro-tobagonians labored for the benefit
of the planter. Forcibly taken from their African homelands
and shipped to the new world under inhuman conditions,
slaves arrived in Tobago with few or no material

246
possessions. On arrival, they were sold as chattel and
worked to the limits of their endurance. Despite these
horrendous conditions, they maintained cultural traits that
were distinctly African.9 Modern Tobagonians are immensely
proud of their African heritage, and they often stress it at
the expense of their more recent ancestors, slaves. This
attitude is unfortunate, for it was slaves who kept the
African heritage alive despite their situation. Europeans
were aware of the "African-ness" of their slaves:
Corals and golden ornaments are the mark of the
African, and it yet continues with their Creole
descendants in Tobago. Not a common field Negress
is without her Earrings, and the gold must be pure
(Young 1812a:104).
The beads found in the Courland estate village may be a
most direct reflection of the slaves' African heritage.
Archaeologists have interpreted beads in African-American
sites in a variety of ways. Following South's (1977)
artifact pattern analysis beads have often been classified
as clothing or personal artifacts (e.g., Armstrong 1983;
Otto 1984). Because they have been found at nearly all
excavated slave dwellings beads have been proposed as ethnic
9 While no data are available to support such a
contention, it is likely that the cultural identity of the
slaves was reinforced by their living arrangements. Despite
the fact that some Tobago estate villages appear to conform
to rigidly aligned European-derived patterns, this does not
preclude an internal village organization along more
traditional African lines. As suggested in Chapter 6, these
may have reflected kinship, tribal or linguistic
affiliations. Such a hypothesis would be difficult to test
archaeologically, but discernable remnants of such a pattern
may be present among the modern population of Tobago.

247
markers (Otto 1984). Finally, blue beads in particular have
been viewed as having had symbolic importance for many
African groups, a symbolism that was transferred to the New
World (Stine and Cabak 1994; Cabak and Groover 1994). While
all these interpretations may possess some degree of
validity (Brown and Cooper 1990), the hypothesis that
symbolic value was attached to blue beads, or to beads of
any color, is likely to yield the most important revelations
about African culture in the New World.
Cabak, Stine and Groover (Stine and Cabak 1994; Cabak
and Groover 1994) point out that descriptions of African
bead-use in a symbolic context are widespread in the
ethnographic literature, that blue is the most commonly
occurring bead color on antebellum southern United States
slave sites, and that charms of varying color and made from
a variety of objects including beads were used in the south
to ward off evil spirits. Although Cabak, Stine and Groover
make their argument for the symbolic value of beads
generally and blue beads in particular convincingly, no
archaeological data empirically supports them directly.
Alternative arguments include a color preference based on
other cultural factors and relative availability of color
choices. Availability may be determined by the manufacturer
or by any number of distributors as the bead makes its way
from the source to the ultimate possessor.

248
Perhaps because most bead finds on African American
sites are subjected to pattern analysis despite ethnographic
data and archaeological interpretations that indicate they
may have functioned as more than just clothing or personal
adornment, the archaeological context of beads has not been
critically examined. Brown and Cooper (1990) have
demonstrated that a more enlightened reading of the
associations present in the archaeological record can lead
to more culturally relevant interpretations of African
American sites. Bead contexts must be approached with the
same critical eye before their symbolic attributes can be
successfully argued from an empirical platform.
Free Blacks and Indigenous Inhabitants
The free black population of Tobago, like that of other
British Caribbean islands, was never very large, numbering
only 388 in 1812 (Young 1812a:102). Nearly half lived in
Scarborough and Plymouth, where they performed menial tasks
that were felt to be beneath Europeans, or worked as
itinerant traders on a small scale. The remainder were
scattered throughout the island, but particularly in the
four western parishes of St. George's, St. Andrew's, St.
David's and St. Patrick's, where they had recourse to the
towns. Some women owned small plots containing "villas,
stock, yards, gardens and provision grounds, given to them,
or from time to time bequeathed to these their good and kind

249
housekeepers, by opulent planters deceased" (Young
1812a:96), which they worked with their mates or families.
Other freed slaves operated the fleet of droghers, fishing
or transporting sugar, rum and molasses from shipping points
to the main ports in Scarborough and Plymouth (Young
1812a:104).
During the early years of settlement, when the island
was still largely undeveloped, runaways were a constant
problem for planters. Though unfamiliar with Tobago's
natural environment, these early runaways had recourse to at
least six small villages occupied by Amerindians (Bowen
1779; Jefferys 1794). While the fate of these villages is
unknown, it is likely that they endured as relatively
autonomous entities for quite some time, though the cultural
and ethnic make-up of the groups may have shifted more
towards an African pattern. Young (1812a:104, quoted above)
is quite specific when he refers to the "Charaib baskets"
used by slaves and itinerant traders during the early
nineteenth century to display their wares, while Niddrie
(personal communication) believes that some land lots were
set aside for the use of the native population of Tobago.
He may be correct, as land lot 31 in St. David's Parish was
unclaimed in 1811 (Young 1812a). Jefferys (1765, 1794)
indicates that this was the area occupied by "King Peter's
People" at the time of British settlement.

250
If the Amerindian villages did endure, it is likely
that they supplied a variety of utilitarian implements to
the slave population. The coarse earthenware ceramics
recovered from the Courland estate village may be the
archaeological manifestation of this trade. No evidence of
pottery production by slaves is available on Tobago. Thus,
while the manufacture of coarse earthenwares from Tobago
cannot be firmly linked to slaves and therefore cannot be
properly termed Afro-caribbean wares (Armstrong 1990;
Gartley 1979; Nicholson 1983, 1984, 1985; Petersen and
Watters 1988), their very presence in the Courland estate
village in the absence of evidence that the site was
previously occupied by Amerindian groups dictates that they
be minimally defined as Colono wares (Deagan 1987; Ferguson
1980, 1992).
Free Laborers
Emancipation on Tobago occurred in 1838, following a
period of apprenticeship during which slaves were to be
accustomed to their new responsibilities as free laborers.
That the apprentices were not always willing participants in
this process is indicated by the occurrence of at least two
strikes in 1835.
Emancipation brought great change to Tobago, change
that effected not only the former slaves, but the Europeans
who relied upon them for labor. Mintz (1979) has argued

251
that, following emancipation on islands that had available
land, freed slaves rapidly quit the estates to pursue a
peasant livelihood. On Tobago, this translated into an
early tendency for workers to quit the estates in favor of
small villages, many of which sprang up in the vicinity of
the several churches and chapels built in the years
immediately preceding and following emancipation (Dowland
1843-1848), such as the Anglican chapel at Les Coteaux.
The "flight from the estates" in the months immediately
following emancipation was less of an issue on Tobago than
it may have been on other islands (Niddrie 1961:43). In
part, this is attributed to a clause in the Tobago Abolition
Act requiring planters to provide provision grounds within
three miles of the estate. Those laborers who remained on
the estates and continued to provide their services were
allowed to continue, for a fee, their residence in estate
housing and their use of provision grounds provided by the
estate. They were also provided a wage of 8p per day (in
1849) for the work they performed (Riviere 1972). In the
event that free laborers refused to work on the estate on
which they were housed, they forfeited their right to
housing and provision grounds as well as their pay.
In effect, planters coerced free laborers to stay on
the estates by threats to eject the laborers from their
homes (Riviere 1972). It was a powerful threat, as during
years of occupation slaves had become attached to their

252
villages and after emancipation many believed that village
ownership had passed to them. This belief extended to
ownership of the provision grounds as well (Hall 1971, 1978;
Mintz 1979, 1985).
As on other islands planter efforts to retain their
workforce in conditions similar to those of slavery failed.
Ultimately, the planters' thinly veiled attempts to maintain
the pre-emancipation status quo through coercion alienated
the work force to such a degree that laborer desertion
became increasingly common. On Tobago, the tendency to
desert the estates was apparently enabled less by the
availability of unclaimed land as asserted by Mintz (1979),
and more by the availability of currency. The purchasing
power of the laborers, a purchasing power which began to
develop under slavery, allowed them to buy land rather than
acquire land by other means. Contemporary observers noted
very little squatting on crown lands or uncultivated estate
lands during the post-emancipation era (in Niddrie 1961:43).
The efforts of Tobago's laborers to acquire land were
abetted by planter responses to aberrant climatic conditions
in the immediately pre- and post-emancipation years. The
conditions took the form of a succession of severe droughts
lasting from 1834 to 1843 that seriously affected sugar
production on the island (Niddrie 1961:18). The results of
the drought were greatly exacerbated by the Hurricane of
1847. In an effort to raise capital, as well as retain

253
laborers during this period, Tobago planters were forced to
sell their workers small parcels or larger blocks of land on
the borders of their estates. Though this land was marginal
for cane production, its loss was keenly felt (Niddrie
1961). The fragmentation of estates that resulted was most
prevalent in the Courland River valley, dominated by St.
David's Parish. By 1887, the Courland River valley had been
almost entirely denuded of trees. While the planter efforts
may have successfully raised capital, they also further
enhanced the ability of laborers to pursue an independent
livelihood. By 1842 the planter's efforts to raise capital
by selling land to their laborers had allowed up to 40
percent of the workforce to quit the estates (Riviere
1972:13).
By acquiring land the Afro-tobagonian population of
Tobago acquired the freedom in fact that had been given to
them by law in 1838. Though independently possessing the
means to an adequate livelihood by virtue of their status as
landowners, however, many freeholders continued to
participate in sugar production. By 1853 the number of
freeholds had risen to 2367 from 658 in 1845 (Riviere
1972:16). With fewer laborers to work their fields, the
planters instituted a system of metayage.
The apparent success of metayage on Tobago is attested
to by the fact that it was kept in place until the 1940s,
when sugar production effectively ceased. A local

254
informant, now aged 72, remembered working under a modified
metayage system at Orange Hill Estate as a young man of 15
or 20. He, along with his father and brother, worked a 1.5
to two acre piece of land owned by the estate. The family
was responsible for clearing the field, and for planting,
tending and cutting the cane. To accomplish these tasks,
they would enlist the help of other metayers, after which
the they would help their helpers.
Cane was cut when the landowner informed the men that
the sugar production equipment was available. The metayers
would be paid from the resulting sugar. Depending on how
much work they had done, they could get up to half. In
years that they could afford to pay a rent for the land,
they would get most of the sugar, while giving some to the
estate owner for the use of the milling and boiling
equipment.
Conclusion
This study has attempted to elucidate the functional
aspects of settlement patterning on Tobagonian sugar
estates. Since the appearance of Gordon R. Willey's
pioneering Prehistoric Settlement Patterns of the Virú
Valley in 1953, settlement pattern studies have been a
useful tool in the prehistoric archaeological kit.
Historical archaeologists have also used settlement patterns
to their advantage (e.g., Adams 1990; Lewis 1984; Paynter

255
1982; Warren and O'Brien 1984). Despite the utility of
settlement pattern studies, however, plantation
archaeologists have rarely focused on a regional data-base
during fieldwork, concentrating instead on individual sites.
Only during the analysis stage has comparative data been
utilized.
Plantation archaeologists in the southeastern United
States have focused primarily on questions of plantation
social structure (e.g., Lewis 1985; Orser 1988; Otto 1975,
1977, 1980) and slave lifeways (e.g., Brown and Cooper 1990;
Wheaton and Garrow 1985). In part this reflects the
statement that historical archaeology can make the greatest
contributions through studies of "issues for which there is
simply inadequate documentation" (Deagan 1988:9). Thus,
slaves and their place in the plantation power structure
constitute important subjects because they are rarely
discussed in the historical documents.
Like those of their North American counterparts,
research questions of plantation archaeologists in the
Caribbean have primarily focused on issues relating to
slaves. The most successful efforts have been those which
elucidate African retentions and cultural change in the
slave population. For example, Handler and Lange (1978)
have closely examined these issues with regard to mortuary
patterns on Barbados, while Armstrong (1990) has studied the

256
changes that occurred in slave domestic life with
emancipation on Jamaica.
In addition to its obvious utility for the study of
disenfranchised peoples, historical archaeology can
contribute to our understanding of well documented groups in
ways that history cannot. While documents are an important
source of information, it is axiomatic to say that their
writers had a particular agenda, whether it be personal,
social or political, in mind while writing. As a result,
without careful analysis, documentary sources may confuse
our understanding of history as much as they contribute to
it. Historical archaeologists, because they rely on an
alternative data-base which was produced as an unconscious
byproduct of behavior rather than as a conscious attempt to
influence others, have an independent means of confirming,
negating or interpreting information in documentary sources.
This dissertation has focused primarily on estate owners.
It has demonstrated that estate layout reflects as much
their unstated goals, goals that related to their social
standing in the community and to their economic well being,
as the goals they made explicit in their writings.
Beyond issues of which groups constitute an important
focus of study for historical archaeologists is the issue of
what questions to ask. If studies of "the complex
relationships which bond cultural institutions" are also
valid research issues for historical archaeologists as

257
stated by Cleland (1988:14), then the focus on individual
plantations that has characterized plantation archaeology
should be extended to incorporate groups of plantations.
This dissertation has begun to define the relationship
between neighboring estates by focusing on regional
settlement patterns rather than individual sites. This
approach indicates that on Tobago, while all estate owners
participated in an often lucrative economic enterprise by
producing sugar, molasses and rum for export, only a few
invested in the infrastructure necessary to produce goods
for local consumption. In conjunction with documentary
sources that indicated the higher economic and political
status of these individuals in Tobagonian society, it was
suggested that a hierarchy of estates existed on the island,
as well as on other islands in the Caribbean, and that this
hierarchy may be defined through archaeological techniques
in the absence of historic documentation.
In large part the architectural environment of Tobago
was created by the planters. It was also inhabited,
however, by slaves and later by free laborers of African
descent. Though they had less influence on the
architectural features that make up the most visible portion
of the archaeological record and which were the primary
focus of this research, the archaeological and ethnohistoric
records indicate that, within the context of slavery, slaves
created and maintained a lifestyle that was distinctly

258
different from that of the Europeans. Unfortunately,
settlement pattern studies at a survey level are poorly
suited to the study of these lifeways. Slave-influenced
patterning is most likely to be apparent within their
village areas. Given the poor preservation of above ground
architectural remains in estate villages, extensive
excavation is required to reconstruct village proxemics.
While this dissertation attempted to examine the spatial
patterning within a Tobagonian estate village insufficient
time for excavation severely limited the amount of
information recovered. Though several hypotheses relating
to internal patterning are suggested, without additional
excavation they must remain hypotheses.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Christopher Ohm Clement was born on April 2, I960, in
Hanover, New Hampshire. With the exception of one year
spent at the Robert College Community School, Istanbul,
Turkey, he attended the Hanover public school system until
the end of his first year of high school. The remainder of
his high school years were spent at the Northfield-Mt.
Hermon School.
Mr. Clement matriculated at the Colorado College in
1978. After two years he took a leave of absence, returning
in 1981. His first course upon return was an archaeological
field school in southeastern Colorado, which awakened a
latent interest in archaeology developed during his year in
Turkey, when he lived among the ruins of Constantinople and
visited many classical Greek and Roman sites with his
family. Mr. Clement received his B.A. from the Colorado
College in 1983, majoring in anthropology.
Although he entered the University of Florida intending
to focus on historical archaeology, Mr. Clement was
fortunate to study under Dr. Michael E. Moseley at the
master's level. Working with Dr. Moseley, Mr. Clement began
to look at archaeological data from a regional perspective.
His master's thesis, completed in 1988, examines the effect
273

274
of gradual tectonic uplift and periodic El Niños on a
spring-fed irrigation system in coastal Peru.
In addition to his academic research in Peru and the
Caribbean, Mr. Clement has undertaken fieldwork on a
contractual basis in the Southeast and New England. He is
currently a principal investigator with the South Carolina
Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology Cultural Resource
Consulting Division.

I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as
a dissertation for the deqree of Doctou of Philosot
Petef P.'Schmidt, Chair
Associate Professor of
Anthropology
I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as
a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Michael E. Moseley //
Professor of Anthropology
I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as
a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Iolh
Kathleen A. Deagan \J
Professor of Anthropology
I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as
a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
William F. Keegan
Associate Professor of
Anthropology

1780
1995
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