Clare Hall April 11th 1823
The present Packet has brought me your favor of 18th July you may rest assured that everything shall be conducted on this Estate with the utmost Economy, in one thing I have certainty added to the expense by increasing the Negroes allowance; on your Windward Estates they are all allowed twelve pints of Corn per week, on all others in this neighbourhood they have ten, on this property they had but eight, I now give them ten pints, the Negroes made no complaint because they were allowed in a manner to do what they pleased, Mr Ick told me the reason they had not this allowance of other Estates was they were so near town they could sell grass to help themselves, they are now I am happy to say perfectly content & do their work properly. We have been dreadfully dry some time past, but it is with much pleasure I inform you we had a good shower the day before yesterday, & yesterday morning, also some this morning, I had planted two pieces in the dry weather because I would not (???) the plants, these rains will I hope save them, I am now planting more, and shall have in before night 70 Acres,25 more to plant, 75 of which are well manured the rest shall be if possible, for the next year I shall plant from 25 to 30 Acres of Yams, the same quantity of Eddoes and about 14 Acres of potatoes which if there is weather will be a fair proportion. For the two last weeks I was obliged to stop making Sugar as it began to be a little soft, we commenced again on Monday last, and have now eighteen Hds in the Curing Houses; of very fair Sugar, better I believe than has been made on the Estate for some time, of this Mr Trattle will be the Judge as I shall forward what may be had to him by the first Vessels the Glaphyra & Geo Hibbert (say) from 20 to 30 Hds. I first intended keeping them till I had your orders respecting the debts due from the Estate in this Island, but your last letter mentioning that the first Sugars home would probably bring a good price will induce me to send as many as I can get ready; but then I must be under the necessity of drawing some Bills I have been much pressed for payment of several Accounts by this Packet many of which Mr Ick had engaged to pay on the first of the present month, I shall put them off as long as possible and examine their Accounts narrowly, but such is the poverty of the times in this Island every one is craving for their money. I trust my Accounts this year will be trifling nothing shall be purchased that can be dispensed with; the weather lately has been against us, but having taken care of the late canes I still trust we shall make the quantity of Sugar I mentioned in my former letters, in future I hope to be enabled with the help of Barbuda to manure every piece of Land that may be planted. I have just heard that Mr Blackburns answer to your Bill in Chancery has again arrived in this Island, I can give you no particulars as the boat follows the Packet this afternoon; I suppose it will be bought before the Master immediately, your instructions respecting it I shall be happy to have. Mr Jarvis arrived in the Packet I met him at Bettys Hope on Sunday last. I am sorry to say Mr Osborn has (been? Letter damaged) extremely and dangerously Ill, but am happy to say is now getting better. I was at Barbuda last week we are very dry there I shall go back again in a few days & remain some time as I am endeavouring to put as much more land as possible having for provisions, in future I shall pay attention to your observation respecting the correspondence in the two properties, my family has been at Clare Hall since Christmas, and will remain here till the Hurricane months. I suppose the Glaphyra will sail early in May
Your Most Obedient
(signed) John James
Reference: JJ274 Robson Lowe collection on microfilm 24995, University of Texas at Austin, Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection.