THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF TRINIDAD
Publication No. 332.
Captain Richard Legge, Commanding the Troops in Tobago to the
Secretary of State.
Source :-Public Record Office. State Papers Colonial.
Published by the courtesy of the Master of the Rolls and the
Deputy Keeper of the Public Records.
August 12th, 1764.
Lieutenant Colonel Higginson having done me the honour,
being the eldest Captain with the 62nd Pegiment, to appoint
me to the command of this Island with two companies; as
such I think it my duty to acquaint Your Lordship with the
situation I found tle Island in on my first landing and the
many difficulties 1 am likely to be engaged in.
On my arrival I found no barracks erected, no land
cleared proper for so doing, no shelter for Officers and men
but a few small huts raised up with wild cane and which were
neither wind nor water tight, no provisions in the garrison
but what were found on a strict and careful survey held to
be unfit for men to eat which rendered me under the necessity
of applying to Captain Norwood, Commander of H.M.S.
Acteon stationed here, for a present supply of provisions. I
have given my draft on the Right Honourable the Lords of
the Treasury for the amount thereof, 277 3s. 9d. sterling as
per account transmitted to their Lordships.
The rainy season coming on, myself, officers and men
were seized with fevers and agues to the number mentioned
in the enclosed list (85) and signed by the Surgeon to the
hospital. These considerations led me to a resolution to
employ the remainder of the men in clearing the ground
convenient to erect barracks (a small frame having been left
behind by Captain Borden) and cutting down timber for
building and repairing huts for the men. I am sorry that I
am under the disagreeable necessity of informing Your
Lordship that the men took advantage of mine and my
officers illness in showing an inclination to disobey my orders
in a manner tending to mutiny.
However, ill as we were, I summoned them together and
with them and Captain Norwood's assistance quelled the
mutiny, confined the mutineers and sent off an express to
advise Colonel H;.--n.. at St. Vincent whose instructions
on that head I pursued and which had the desired effect in
restoring good order and discipline.
I embraced the same opportunity to inform Colonel
Higginson of our distressed situation wimh respect to provisions
in an Island which (owing to its being unsettled) affords none
and by reason of having no communication with the rest,
makes it very difficult to be procured.
Colonel Higginson sent me word that the provisions at
St. Vincent were found in the same manner, that he drew a
fresh supply for which lie gave Bills upon the Treasury and
advised me to do the same. I have taken the same method
by sending Lieutenant Morgan over to Barbados in order to
lay in a supply of provisions for six months and have sent with
him two sets of exchanges to be filled up for the payment and
have ordered him to transmit to the Right Honourable the
Lords of the Treasury, the particulars thereof.
The rainy season and the sickness of the garrison obliged
me to employ a great number of Negroes (belonging to
gentlemen waiting here until the Commissioners or Governors
arrival in order to purchase lands) which together with the
expensive article of hiring vessels for want of some intercourse,
the necessity of being obliged to order a supply of medecines
owing to some neglect and many other articles attending an
infant Colony, oblige me to send by Lieutenant Morgan
another set of Exchanges upon the Treasury for six hundred
pounds sterling, for which sum prope; estimates in the
contingent charges of the Government, shall be laid before
I am obliged to avail myself of a Secretary on account of
my state of health which I hope Your Lordship will he kind
enough to allow.
I have the honour to be with the utmost respect, My Lord,
Your Lordship's most obedient and most
Sick Return. 62nd Regiment.
.uly 31st, 1764.
Officers ... ... 3 Women ... 10
Sergeants and Corporals 5 Children ... 6
Privates ... ... 57
The Hospital is too small and in so bad repair as to let in
the wind constantly in every part of it and the rain upon any
slight shower. The sick have neither wine, sugar, vinegar,
fresh meat, sago, salop nor anything to support or nourish them.
There are neither cradles for the sick, nurses, candles, oil
nor utensils of any kind.
Surgeon to the Hospital for the
Forces in Tobago.