Antigua Octor 15th 1821
By the second August Packet which arrived a few days since I had the honor to receive your letter of the 15th of that month & I particularly regret to find you have reason to complain of my not writing as often as you could wish, I certainly meant to have written by the Apollo & to have sent you the wool, Turtle, Arrow Root &c, which except the Wool was sent by the Percy Hall to London, but the Apollo sailed within three days after I wrote saying I should do so, & certainly much sooner than I expected I was therefore not ready for her, being then engaged getting as much from the Spanish schooner as possible. The Wool I have not hitherto sent having an idea you would rather have it at Bristol than London, & the Apollo was the only ship for the former Port, also being informed that it would not injure by keeping I have also to regret that the weather has been such it was impossible to send off any fat Cattle from Barbuda, nor has there been a single demand for the working Oxen except from your Estates, Bettys Hope has had twenty-two & Skerritt’s twelve; Barbuda working Oxen are not in demand when they are to be got in this Island; I have done all my power to make the most of the Island, but we are so subject to dry weather that every precaution cannot secure a Crop, the two years before the last the first 1818 was dry & the gale of 1819 nearly destroyed all the Corn, the consequence of which was that I was obliged to buy a considerable quantity for the Negroes; last year we were more successful & I think shall have from one thousand to twelve hundred bushels to spare but it has been at so low a rate and I have not thought it advisable to sell any as yet, particularly as Guinea Corn will keep two or three years, at the time I received Robertsons money I forwarded all the Bills I could get, & then owing some money for Corn I thought it advisable to pay for it out of what remained, expecting to get Bills the beginning of August to forwarded to you in its place, but which I have hitherto been disappointed of, but I have no doubt shall be able to do so by the next Packet, by which conveyance you shall also have a Bill for the amount of the wrecks, the proceeds are very trifling compared with the trouble we have had they were all but under the direction of Mr Joshua Kentish Agent to Lloyd’s in the Island who has assured me that I shall have his Bill by the Packet for the Amount. The Rum from the last ship could not be sold here without paying the Colonial duty which would be scarcely double its value. I have therefore determined on shipping your third part to Mr Trattle, your part was 13 Puncheons which I have kept in Barbuda, I suppose it will take one to fill the others up, two I shall keep for the use of the Island, the other ten I shall ship on board the Snow Adelphia, F. Stuart master of 337 tons she is insured at Lloyds and is expected here immediately to load sugars. I have done all in my power to recover Rawlins Bill but without effect he has gone to one of the Dutch Islands taking all is Negroes with them, the whole of the Papers I left with Mr Woodley the Attorney General of St Kitts to do what was possible I shall write him by the first opportunity if you still wish to have the Papers sent home it shall (be?) done. I do assure you I should be most happy to part (with?) a great part of the Negroes, & I think it a pity Mr Osborn will not assist me in sending them to your Estates, as fast as I can find them doing anything wrong they are sent to Bettys Hope, seven able men have been sent lately as you will perceive by the Triennial Return which will be forwarded you together with the Island Accounts to the end of June, by the Adelphia directed to the care of Mr Trattle; the next Packet will be due at Barbuda next Sunday week, the amount of the salvages independent of the Rum is £321:3:3 currency. The Privotes(?) has proved the best to you as they left all her sails, ropes and cables &c behind which will serve your vessels for some time they have already had a good cable & a set of sails each we have as much more canvas left, besides a quantity of rope which will last the vessels at least three years.
I am Sir Your Most Obed Humble
(signed) John James
Reference: JJ272 Robson Lowe collection on microfilm 24995, University of Texas at Austin, Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection.