THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF TRINIDAD
Publication No 417.
The Governor of Tobago to the Secretary of Slate.
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 3rd 1795.
X X X
I have the pleasure to inform Your Grace that the
Corps. (two Black Regiments) is already in a state of
forwardness and discipline, far exceeding my most ar-
I applied lately to Headquarters for leave to pro-
vision the above Corps from the Government Stores
which would have lightened very much the expense of
the establishment to the Colony and have been little
felt by the Government. This permission was however
refused by Sir John Vaughan but when Your Grace con-
siders what a frightful drain these Islands are to the
British Army, that every shower of rain sends many
soldiers to the Hospital, that Regiments are esteemed
lucky which do not lose more than half their men dur-
ing the first twelve months, I flatter myself Your Grace
will agree with me that the Mother Country must be to-
tally blind to its own interests if she does not give
every encouragement to any Colony that shows a dis-
position to provide means for its own defence. Your
Grace will therefore judge of the propriety of instruct-
ting the Commander in Chief to authorise me to allow
the men rations.
Your Grace may perhaps imagine that there may be
danger in arming so many slaves. To instruct new Ne-
groes in the use of firearms would certainly be very
imprudent but the slaves, natives of these Colonies,
acquire a love and attachment for the Island they are
born in and they are affected by its ill or good fort.
une in nearly the same manner as the Europeans.
I hope that Your Grace will not imagine that I pre-
sume to hazard an opinion, I only mean to state such
facts as come to my knowledge and a communication of
which may be for the public service.
Everything is quiet in this Island.
I have the honour to be, My Lord,
Most obedient and most humble servant
The Duke of Portland.