A Description and History of the Island of Jamaica, Comprising an Account of Its Soil, Climate, and Productions, Shewing Its Value and Importance as an Agricultural Country, and a Desirable Place of Residence for Certain Classes of Settlers

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G. Henderson, 1851 - Jamaica - 46 pages
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Page 40 - ... this island is found thus advantageous in the furnishing us with such good commodities, so is it no less profitable in the taking off our manufactures and commodities, as well of the product of this kingdom as those from foreign parts. . . . 4. It appears to be a place of no small concernment, for it hath not only subsisted at the beginning but bettered its condition, being settled by an army (the worst kind of people to plant) that have had such grand discouragements from England as want of...
Page 34 - ... Cotton here hath an especial fineness, and is by all preferred before that of the Caribbee Isles. Tobacco is here indifferent good, being esteemed better than that of the Barbados ; but it is not much planted, only a sufficiency to serve themselves, the other commodities being more beneficial. Hides, of which great quantities have been yearly made, and are found to be very large and good. Great store of tortoises are taken on this coast, whose meat (being excellent) they eat ; and their shells,...
Page 35 - Copper they are assured is in this isle, for they have seen the ore, wrought out of a mine here; and by the Spaniards' report the bells that hung in the great church of St. lago were cast of the copper of this island. Silver may probably be here, as well as in Cuba and in the Main ; and the English have been shown where the Spaniards had found a silver mine, behind the mountains west of Cagway. . . . Ginger grows better in this isle than in...
Page 31 - ... neither course would have saved them from bankruptcy, for they were all mortgaged for more than they were worth at the time slavery was abolished and when their staples were protected in the English markets by prohibitory duties. I am also clear that if Jamaica was an American State, she would speedily be more productive and valuable than any agricultural portion of the United States of the same dimensions, and that neither the Emancipation Bill of '33, nor the Sugar Duties Bill of '46, are fatal...
Page 40 - Barbados (which is so little compared to this) yielding about 1o,ooo/. per annum, and employing about 150 or 200 sail of ships yearly. 5. This island being so large and so fertile, it is capable of the receiving those great numbers of people that are forced to desert the Caribbee Isles, their plantations being worn out and their woods wasted ; as likewise those multitudes of vagrants and beggars that are so great a charge and shame to the kingdom, if transported thither, would by their labours live...
Page 39 - ... plantations in America in the very commodities that are proper to their several colonies, and produceth also of its own cocoa, hides, tortoise shells, wood for dyers, gums, drugs and other commodities already treated of; and for fruits, fowl and fish, infinite store, many of which are unknown unto them; likewise such abundance of horses and cows that none other of the English plantations can equalize them. And as this island is found thus advantageous in the furnishing us with such good commodities,...
Page 39 - American territories, so that the Spanish ships coming into the West Indies, and sailing from port to port, either make this isle or may be immediately met by the ships which ply on this coast, which renders it to be of great importance to us as well as to the Spaniards, for all the Plate Fleet which comes from Cartagena steer directly from San Domingo in Hispanoila, and from thence must pass by one of the ends of this isle to recover Havana, which is the common rendezvous of...
Page 19 - ... was a talking among all the cultivators." Ogilby writing in 1671 of his observations in Jamaica and the other West India islands, says : "The ancient inhabitants used two sorts of bread, the one made of stamped roots and the other of corn, which is reaped thrice every year, and grows with such success, that one pint sown yields two hundred. "They had a strange way to make their cazari cakes of the root Juca, which keep good a year. They first pressed out the juice with great weights, which if...
Page 35 - ... probably be here, as well as in Cuba and in the Main ; and the English have been shown where the Spaniards had found a silver mine, behind the mountains west of Cagway. . . . Ginger grows better in this isle than in many of the Caribbee Islands, of which here is sufficiency planted. . . . Pimento, or Jamaica pepper, a spice of the form of East India pepper, very aromatical and of a curious gusto, having the mixed taste of divers spices, grows here in great plenty, wild in the mountains.
Page 20 - ... cultivation is limited to the high midland sections, where it is the chief industry ; but as the crop quickly wears out the soil, either fertilizers or rotation of crops must be resorted to. Ogilby writes : "Since the Spaniards planted ginger on Jamaica, it hath grown there in great abundance. The male plant (for it is divided into male and female) hath generally bigger leaves than the female ; the stalks, which are without knots, have more leaves upwards than downwards, and spread along the...

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