Clare Hall March 16th 1823
I am at last enabled to forward you the list of Debts due from this Estate in this Island, amounting to the sum of £3051.1. 11/4 exclusive of £413.13:33/4 for which I had drawn on you to pay taxes & overseers salaries, there may be a few small accounts which have not yet come in but they cannot be to any amount you will observe that the doctors amount forms nearly one half of the amount they appear not to have received any thing for several years, I shall be greatly obliged by receiving your instructions respecting there amounts, & if you would wish me to apply any of the sugar towards their liquidation, I think many of them will be satisfied with receiving part of the amounts, the Doctors I know will. It will therefore be for your consideration what part of the amounts you will allow sugar to be applied to. I have opened new set of Books for the Estate, that the old Accounts may not interfere with mine; & I hope to have them in a more simple form than what are generally kept. We are now very (letter damaged) has been obliged to begin crops, have done but little as yet from want of wind we have made but 51/2 Hds & have about 2 more to make from a piece of 8 acres the sugar is pretty good, & I still hope we shall fall little if anything short(? Damage) of the quantity I mentioned in my two last letters. We had a good shower since I last wrote which enabled me to plant two more pieces, I am preparing all the land I can for provisions & hope to get in sixty or 70 acres of yams, Eddoes, Potatoes etc. I trust if I am enabled to dispense of the sugar in payment of the debts now due, that I shall not have an occasion to draw on you this year except for taxes & overseers salaries, these must be paid in cash many of the Debts will be due on the first of next month, I have no doubt but I shall be able to put many of them off till I hear from you, I am informed that sugar in paying that cash debts would bring about 6 Dollars per 100 pounds & from 25 to 30 per unit more in paying produce debts (the dollar is nine shillings currency), there would then be no 4 ½ per cent duty, no Corks, freight or any store charges - several of the charges in the present accounts I shall be enabled to do away with in future, such as Blacksmiths work, repairing mule harnesses etc, which I shall now get done at Barbuda, I much fear from the falling off of the weather that this Island generally will make little more than it did last year..
I have not been at Barbuda since I last wrote and from the want of wind this last week I have not heard from thence, when the last vessel came over they were getting in the Corn which I find was turning out pretty well, I have ordered a good deal of new (unreadable) to be sent for planting provisions. I shall go over next week, I was anxious to see this Bill fairly a (unreadable) on this Estate. I am
Your Most Obedient Servant
(signed) John James
Reference: Gloucestershire Records Office, Microfilm no.351, Section no.6, D1610 C24
Accessed through Simon Fraser University library