Friday, 25 October 2013

20 March 1807

Barbuda March 20th 1807


                By the last mail I had the pleasure of receiving your letter of the 7th January, and have to return you my most sincere thanks for the one hundred pounds, which you have been good enough to give me on account of the last wreck;  I have also received great pleasure by your approbation of my exertions on that occasion.  I am extremely happy to hear you have some Bull Dogs coming out, as we are in the greatest want of them, we are so badly off for Dogs at this time that it is impossible to catch a large Cattle where the woods are at all thick, where it is more open, & it is possible to ride, we are enabled to get them by tiring them out with horses but this is a work of great labour; & but seldom practicable, therefore hope the Dogs will arrive soon.  The ploughs I much fear it will not be in my power to use this season, the demand from the Estates for cattle having been large, has taken off the greater part of those I intended to have put to that use; however I shall attempt it if possible; the sloop if the wind is fair will sail tomorrow morning with ten Oxen which will make fifty five sent this season; out of which number I am sorry to say we have had the misfortune to lose three at landing, and four others within a few days after they were on the Estates, at the times they were lost, the vessel had very long & bad passages by which means they must have got bruised.  With respect to the balance of £1756 : 12 : 9 ¾ in the Christmas quarter, I made a tender for some Government Bills by the last Packet but did not get them, altho’ I then offered 198 per cent(?) which was three pounds more than had ever been given, they sold for 200 ¼.  Mr. Besouth has now offered 202 ½, and was when I heard from him in hopes of getting them, which I trust will be the case; good Bills are at Antigua from the late regulations with respect to the payment of the troops becomes  very scarce, and are consequently risen to the present price – I last Monday finished getting in my Corn, which considering the bad season has proved a pretty good crop, about one fifth more than last year, which added to a very large crop of yams, will I hope be much more than I shall want for the supply of the Island, unless the Negroes provisions should fail them much more than they have done for the last two or three years, the weather at this time is severely dry much more as than I have ever seen it.  I have not had a Man of War here since I last wrote you, and have consequently made little or no sales, the fat cattle I shall invariably keep for them if possible – You may rely that I shall be extremely jealous of granting liberty to any parties to visit this Island, Mr. Harman’s was the first request of this kind ever made me, I had no knowledge of him at that time, but Mrs. Harman’s recovery being represented to me depending on a trip to this Island, was the reason for my granting it.  Inclosed is a duplicate of the general statement of the last years accounts, together with the supplies to the Estates; the statement of the Negroes I sent you in my last, but in which there is a mistake of one birth, (a boy) which was born at the time I was in Antigua, making the births of Males eight instead of seven.  The Negroes are very healthy.  I have the Honour to be


                Your most Obedt. Servt.

(signed) John James 

Reference: JJ254 Robson Lowe collection on microfilm 24995, University of Texas at Austin, Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection. 

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