Antigua June 14th 1817
Since my last to you of the 21st April I have had the pleasure to receive yours of the fifth March; which I had answered to go by the last Packet, but the Calm weather, & southerly winds prevented my boat from getting to this Island before the mail boat followed the Packet I have therefore thought it useless to send it with this. I have then anxiously looking for the first of Rawlin’s Bills which you mentioned in your letter had been sent to me some weeks before you wrote, but I am sorry to say it has not yet arrived, I have therefore not been able to take any steps in the business for want of it, and the last Courts are now closing for the year; but I trust it will arrive so that we may be ready by the opening of the Courts next Season. I suppose it must have slipped the memory of the Gentleman that was to have sent it.
With respect to the removal of the Negros from Barbuda I had not taken any steps, on receipt of yours I wrote to Mr Osborn stating to him as there will be great objection is on the part of the Negros to leave the Island, that the best method would be for you to give a positive order for a certain number to be removed; in which case your orders must & shall be put into execution; I was in hopes to have seen Mr Osborn before the last Packet sailed, but the state of the weather would not admit of my crossing the Channel without the risk of my being out two or three days, however I am happy to find that he wrote you on the subject. Since I have been here I have made particular enquiries concerning the Bill which has passed the Legislature of this Island, and am happy to find that Barbuda has been taken care of, as far as it was possible to do so; Negros may at all times be brought from that Island to this, and on particular occasions such as wrecks happening, or a Gale of wind doing any damage. Tradesmen are permitted to go there provided a security is given for their again returning to this Island, in fact Barbuda would have been exempted altogether, but it was feared that in case of them intention of sending Negros from Antigua the Law might be evaded by first sending them to Barbuda. Altogether the Bill appears to be merely to prevent diminution of Slaves on this Island, as many have within the last year or two been sent from this to some of the Southern Colonies. The Negros which we shall be able to spare from Barbuda must be very young ones, as at present it is with difficulty in case of the wreck that I can properly man our Boats, which was the reason we did not get to the last two vessels on shore in time to claim a Salvage, they were on the South side, and the boats had to make half the circuit of the Island to get to them, they therefore got off without our assistance; nor will the Negros if sent off young feel the change so much as older ones.
I am happy to say our weather continues favourable, the greater part of my yams are planted, and I am preparing for Corn and Cotton with all expedition. By the ship Killenbeck which sailed early May I sent six Bales of Cotton consigned to Mr Trattle; it was all I had ready at that time, the remainder shall go by the Francis which will sail early in July; it will be about six or eight Bales more by the Bristol Volunteer you will receive six Bales of sheep wool some of it has been on the Island some time and I fear is not very good, but the shepherds assure me it is worth sending; the Bale No 6 is the last taken from the sheep, will therefore be the proper sample, there is also another Bale which was shorn last October but I do not know the Number of it. By the London ships only for Turtle were sent you, two by the George Hibbert and two by the West Indian, I shall send you some by the Bristol Volunteer.
Inclosed you will receive the first’s of six Bills of Exchange. (Viz) two drawn by J:J: Kerin one on Missrs Richard & Thomas Neavis, London for £233: 18:11, the other on Henry Fauntleroy Esqr London for £256: 17:7 three by John Osborn one as Attorney to Willm Ogilvy on Captn Willm Ogilvy RN Edenburgh for £156: 4:6. one as Attorney to William M Frye,on Willm M Frye at Geo: Blackmans Esqr London for £50 and the other as Attorney to Alice Eliot on misters Plummer Barham & Co London for £65: 11:9 lastly one drawn by Wm Shill on Henry Dyatt Esqr London for £30, together making the sum of £792: 12:9 Sterling. You have also enclosed the second of Sir H: W: Martins Bill for £616: 17:4, the first of which was sent you on the 21st April. I hope you will receive them safe. I had requested my Agent here to send you the Barbuda Accounts (letter damaged) the end of December last, I now find they were sent to you (letter damaged) blank cover by the Killenbeck, no notice of the Bills (letter damaged) was taken in these Accounts, they will appear in the next
Your Most Obedient
(signed) John James
Reference: JJ263 Robson Lowe collection on microfilm 24995, University of Texas at Austin, Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection.