Antigua October 2nd 1813
I had fully intended leaving the West Indies in this Packet, & meant bringing all the Barbuda Accounts with me, but on the Eleventh of that month in the very severe Gale of wins H: M: Ship Woolwich one of the old 44 Gun ships, but not Armed as of late, together with the Brig Vine of London were Wrecked on the North side of Barbuda, the Brig was laden with Lumber, she is lost but the Lumber is now nearly all on shore, & I am sending it to this Island as fast as possible, it will take some time time to get it all over, & be rather troublesome business. The Captain of the Woolwich had some hopes of getting her off, & had sent to the Naval Yard in this Island for Assistance, the Master ship-wright & Master Attendant have surveyed her & have given their report to Sir Francis Laforey who I saw yesterday & for the conversation I had with him I think he will not attempt getting her off as he thinks the chances of not succeeding, the trouble, work & expense of repairing when got off will be more than her value. I have (Provided?) (all?) the assistance in my power, but she is too large a Ship for me to do any thing with, her own Complement is a bout 120 Men & Boys (??) will be unable to attempt any thing with less than 300 Men, with that few I think if she is not Bulged she might be got off; but one great objection appears to be the improbability of Anchoring her when off, as its rocky Ground a considerable distance from the Reefs; & the whole of her ballast must be taken out, the Sea was so very heavy when she came ashore that she is far in, having not more than 12 or 13 feet water where she now is & she draws 19 feet a draft, the Gale fortunately did not last long or it would have done us a great deal of mischief the Trees were beginning to fall, the vessels we had at Barbuda were all driven on shore, but not hurt as the wind shifted soon after & left them quite dry, we had an immense quantity of rain with it, this is the fourth Blow we have had this season but they have done us no the mischief than the top of one of our Vessels Cables, after parting she went to sea. I was very apprehensive for her safety, but she got to Antigua; this was the Gale in August who being driven off was the reason of your not hearing from me by the last Packet she was then waiting for my Letters. Our young Cotton was injured by the last Wind but I hope it will recover, if it does, I think we may (??) from thirty to fifty Bales which I will thank you to order out with your Antigua stores. I have had some conversation with Admiral Laforey about supplying the Navy with Beef he has promised to write me is as soon as he has seen the Commissioner at English Harbour, he is much dissatisfied with the Contractor for not supplying him good Beef, I told the Admiral my reason for not letting him have Cattle from Barbuda; we have great plenty of Cattle on the Island, should you think of taking either of the Contracts I would recommend the Army as we should then know the exact daily consumption. The short time I have to write you will not allow me to enter into particulars I was not aware of the Boat following the Packet so soon & therefore only left Barbuda Yesterday I will again return tomorrow.
Inclosed I have the pleasure of sending you four Bills of Exchange Viz. two of £226: 2:3 each one of £135: 2:2 & one of £50: 7:6 making together £638: 14: 2 Sterling also the second of the two Bills sent with my last of 29 July one for £150 the other 50£ Sterling which I hope you will receive safe.
Your most Obedient & Humble
(signed) John James
Accessed through Simon Fraser University library