Imatges de pÓgina


six years, allowing five hundred to have died. What became of the rest-two thousand five hundred ?-Were they restored to their legal owners?–Why, Sir, they were sent to the Spanish main, and there sold." This is founded on the evidence of a Spaniard, the master or mate of a Spanish launce, who was hanged or burnt ay soon as it was found that he had divulged the secrets of this important and lucrative branch of traffic. Rosette managed the business with great dexterity, and confided very much in the fidelity of this man, consequently was as confounded as if she had been thunderstruck, when she heard that the peculation was no longer an arcana. In this, as in other cases, there was no form of trial observed. Picton, like the famous Justice Twistum of Coventry, hears (as I have already insinuated) only one side of the question, and is ready to condemn even before he hears any part of the trial. Strange he should be so disposed, but he has contracted such a habit of so doing, it is not very likely he will depart from it while he remains in power. I hope for the benefit of my fellow-subjects the period is not far distant when he will be obliged to exclaim:

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* Fate o'er my head suspends disgrace and death."

Rosette imagined that the destruction of the poor Spaniard would obliterate any further knowledge, and restrain inquiry :- the case was otherwise. Two or three independent gentlemen, who were not terrified, though the gallows, which had been constantly occupied lately by both whites and blacks, stared them in the face every day, were stimulated to inquire into this clandestine trade, carried on to the injury of the planters; I mean those planters who did not attend her levee, and approve of his mode of governing. These gentlemen quickly found

the truth of what the unhappy Spaniard advanced ;-the consequence was that they became the victims of oppression in their turn.

I imagine I have now entered far enough into an elucidation of Picton's conduct. Do not think that I take a pleasure in dwelling so long on the dark side of this great man. I wish to God, for his own sake, he had two sides, that I might turn the corner of horrors. After diligent inquiry, I lament my inability to point out a single trạit in his character during the time he has been governor of this island, which a candid writer would deem praiseworthy,--even with his own panders I have been disap, pointed; however, the inclosed panegyric will, I trust, convince you how eager I have been in my researches in order to transmit you any thing that I imagine will tend to shew you the delectable side of his conduct-if he has any* I sincerely hope the foregoing elucidation of his governorship will not lead you to apprehend that my pen is either influenced or prejudiced; I am sure yoų are convinced, nothing would afford me more real satisfaction than to depict a favorable view of him, if it was in my power to embrace a glance so desirable to my feel. ings. As that is totally beyond my practicability, I shall proceed with an inquiry, which I anticipate will be deemed one day or other interesting to my fellow-subjects in Great Britain, and inform them what a portion of their fellow-Britons have endured at this remote distance from the source of justice.--Here let me drop the cur, tain for a while over scenes that bring reviving anguish to my heart.


• Vide Appendix, No. 1.

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Reflections on the Conduct of Governor Picton and the

Inhabitants of Trinidad, at the close of the l'arTheir Hopes of a Change in their political SituationOpposition of the Governor, und an Enquiry into the Causes of it---Détail of the Circunstances respecting an Address to His Majesty on the Event of Peace- Alldress prepared and signed unanimously at a Public Meeting--A considerable Number of British Inhabitants agree to celebrate the cessation of Hostilities by a public Dinner on the 11th of December, 1801, but are prevented by order of the Governor-Messrs. Higham, Shaw, and others; persecuted in consequence of the Address to the King--The former arrested and thrown into Prison-Released, without any Charge or Trial-Reflections on that Transaction-Conversation between Governor Picton and Mr. Higham-The Mlanner in which the Governor intimidated the Inhabitants by boasting of his influence at Homé-Hints respecting the Execution of an Artillery-Man-And an Anecdote in which the Governor asserts that His Majesty's Ministers warranted und approved of that Transaction-Reflections on so strange a Declaration-Events in December 1801 résumed, and concluded,

Head-Quarters, PUERTO DE ESPANA, March 1803. DEAR SIR,

THE violence of Governor Picton has been very conspicuous on many occasions, but never displayed itself more forcibly than at the close of the late war. The

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inhabitants of the unfortunate colony had long igroaned, under the oppressions of their military chief, whose agress: sions were only equalled by the patience and moderation : which supported them. While. Trinidad, during the war, remained yet unconfirmed to the mother-country,i, the colonişts doubted much of the efficacy of complaint, and calmly looked forward to the return of peace, as to-, the happy period of their sufferings. Alas! they were miserably deceived. The mild spirit of conciliation, which calmed the agitations of Europe, brought no peace to Trinidad. : The cessation of hostilities between our :: country and France was, in this island, the declaration of war against reyery British principle; and the moment i which annexed Trinidad to the dominions of our sovereign, decided its unworthy representative to prevent its enjoying whatever is valuable in British protection.

The circumstance of a British governor struggļing to prevent the extension of British laws to a British colony, is so extraordinary, and so totally repugnant to every principle of freedom, that I think I shall be excused for dwelling a little on the causes which produced it, and the violent consequences which resulted to the inhabitants.

For nearly five years Govenor Picton continued in the exercise of almost unlimited power. How he has abused that power, will present to succeeding times an humiliating example of the possible depravity of human nature. Accustomed as he had been to uncontrouled command, in a country where he found every measure, however atrocious, executed with fatal alacrity,—where flatterers are not wanting to applaud the worst of his actions, and where vain ideas of his own importance and power raised themselves daily on the ruins of every manly and honorable sentiment,-in such a situation, it is not to be wondered at that he so much dreaded the approach of laws,

which had power to circumscribe his hitherto unlimited views. This was of itself sufficient to awaken the vigilance and jealousy of ambition :-but this was 'not all. In his eagerness to retain his power, he had overstepped the boundaries of truth, and the moment was arrived when detection stared him in the face. He had frequently declared, in his correspondence with his Majesty's ministers, that the inhabitants "were perfectly satisfied with the existing laws. A contrary declaration from the inhabitants themselves he contemplated with horror. So universal is the estimation of truth, that she is worshiped in appearance by those who secretly violate her! And he, who had proceeded in the commission of the most daring atrocities with a boldness and dicision worthy of a better cause, now trembled at the possibility of being exposed to the world as the mean author of a falsehood!

An account of this unsuccessful struggle of the inhabitants for British laws reached America, and excited in the minds of all reflecting persons a deep regret for the situation of so many free-born colonists, and equal surprise and detestation at the violent opposition of the Go

On my arrival in Trinidad, I commenced an anxious inquiry on the subject of this unprecedented transaction; nor had I much difficulty in it. The sources from whence I drew my information were abundant, the newspapers were still to be found,-original documents were still in possession of some of the persons concerned, and to these I had at all times access,-all the colony knew of the subject,--and I think myself therefore warranted in asserting that the following particulars will be found to be perfectly correct.

When the signing of the preliminaries of peace was announced in Trinidad, the inhabitants, actuated by a spirit of loyalty which diffused itself through all ranks,


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