Barbuda August 12th 1817
By the second June Packet which arrived at Antigua last week, I had the pleasure of receiving your favor of the 15th June; I am sorry to say that the first of Rawlin’s Bill has not yet reached me, the Courts are now closed till next March, before which time I trust it will be sent; when I will immediately proceed to St Kitts, & do every thing that is possible to recover it: since I have been here I have corresponded two or three times with Governor Probin, & shall make a point of waiting on him whenever I may go to St Kitts, it is his particular desire that I would do so.
It was not my intention of going to Antigua till after the Hurricane months are over, but in consequence of a French Brig from Guadeloupe bound to Bordeaux, with Sugar, Cotton, Coffee, & Rum having been wrecked on the South East end of the Island, on the Night of the second Instant, at which we have been ever since working; I shall be obliged to go in a few days, to settle the salvage. Immediately on her striking which was about ten or eleven O:Clock at Night the Captain & Crew took to their Boat, without taking in a single Sail supposing themselves to be on the Anegada reefs; she was in sight of the Fort, and a signal was made at daylight for a vessel in distress, but from the distant she was, and having the boats to carry over land three miles, & then about ten to row against the wind, it was Noon before I could get on board her, by which time in consequence of the Sails having been left standing her bottom was so much injured that she was nearly full of water, at least as high inside as it was out, I immediately preceded to unbend her sails, & get down her Yards and top masts to make her lay more easy; the next day the Captain and part of the Crew returned, they having been at Antigua, since which we have been endeavouring to save as much of the Cargo is possible, and sending it to Antigua; this morning I sent off the last with the Captain & Crew, and shall follow as soon as I know on what day the sale of it is to take place. Little of the Sugar has been saved as everything but the top Tier was wet & the Sugar washed out, but the Cotton, Rum, and Coffey are all saved, it has been some trouble as I have had every day six miles to ride to the Boats, & then about as many to row to the vessel, I should think that what has been saved will sell for about five or six thousand Dollars.
I am happy to say that since my last we have had some good rains particularly so on Wednesday last (on which day it rained & blew so hard as to prevent our getting on board the wreck) that I have been enabled to plant the whole of my Corn & Cotton, if we have a good season I trust we shall have a good supply; my Yams are looking remarkably well a large quantity of which are planted.
By the ship Francis which left Antigua on the first of this month I have sent to Mr Trattle five Bales of Cotton, as the vessels were employed carrying Sugars, I was not enabled to send it over till 31st July, consequently could not get a The bill of Lading in time to write Mr Trattle, but desired my Agent at Antigua to forward him one under a blank cover by the ship, which he assures me he has done, a duplicate of which I enclose in this. I hope you will not forget the Bull Dogs, we have many very fine Oxen in the woods but cannot get them for want of good Dogs, I have lately been applied to for seventy Head but cannot procure them, as the weather has been so favourable (letter damaged) time past that they will not go to the Pens to water.
Your Most Obedt Humble
(signed) John James
Reference: JJ264 Robson Lowe collection on microfilm 24995, University of Texas at Austin, Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection.