Antigua July 16th 1810
On Friday night the 22nd of last month, the Americans sloop Unicorn, from Rhode Island bound to Antigua, with Corn & Provisions, was wrecked on the North Reef of Barbuda; the whole of her deck load consisted of Fish, & wood Hoops, was thrown overboard immediately on her striking; the remainder of the cargo has been saved, with the exception of some Corn which got wet; it was sold on Saturday last by public auction; I have deferred writing until the very last moment, in hopes, to inform you of the exact sum it sold for, which has not yet been ascertained; as the Corn & some other things have not yet been delivered; but as nearly as I can calculate, it will be about 1600 pounds currency; I hope the delivery of the whole will be effected today, in which case the salvage will be settled tomorrow, & the money immediately paid to Mr Martin. I am sorry to say Barbuda is not lately had its share of rain, about five weeks since. I was unable to plant some part of my yams, & about 50 Acres of Cotton, the former is doing as well as I could expect considering the dry weather since; but nearly the whole of the Cotton must be planted over again, I have now at least 140 Acres ready for it. I left Barbuda on Wednesday last, since which there has been a good deal of rain in this Island, I hope Barbuda has also had some, if so, the whole of the Cotton & Yams are in the Ground. I have been able to sell but a very small quantity of the last years yams, & that to the Navy, as Cash cannot be got from the Estates in this Island for them, however, as Mr Hodge is in want of provisions for your Estates, & has agreed to take both the Yams & Corn which I may have to spare, I trust it will be the same thing to you; the Corn will be full as much as I before informed you, but that Yams must of course at the season of the year decrease considerably in weight; I have now more Ground prepared for Yams than I had last year, which I hope will do well stocked I shall also pay particular attention to the Cotton. For the first time, since I have been on the Island, we have this year had a second dropping of Lambs, particularly on the North side, & middle of the Island, in the windward, & South sides we have not been quite so fortunate, perhaps owing to the difference of feed; the Cattle are in good order, we have had a very fair proportion of Calves this season, The Man of War occasionally call for Beef and which will I suppose be stopped as soon as the Hurricane months commence. Several of the Negros have lately been attacked with slight Fevers, but they are all I am happy to say doing very well, the Quarters accounts to the end of June should be made up the instant I can get rid of the wreck.
I have the honor to be
your most obedient and humble
(signed) John James
Reference: JJ257 Robson Lowe collection on microfilm 24995, University of Texas at Austin, Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection.