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deed, but many people of colour and blacks, free persons as well as Slaves, who were all busily employed in carrying water, and otherwise assisting to extinguish the burning mass. I remained there till the fire was got under (those that were with me assisting), and I never saw people behave better than the free people and Slaves did. It may be truly said, that they saved the city from much damage, for it was in great danger, as the small house in flames was attached to a large carpenter's and joiner's workshop, where was a large quantity of timber and other combustible materials.

They prevented its spreading, however, before the firemen, policemen, or soldiers arrived at the spot; for as to the few whites who were there, they did little or nothing. Had the Slaves and people of colour then been inclined to mischief, they had an excellent opportunity, for there were no armed men to prevent their extending the fire. On the contrary, however, they (and they only, I might say) put a stop to it, and by so doing completely shewed that they were not deserving of the infamous insinuations and dreadful reports, spread abroad to the injury of their characters, as peaceable and obedient subjects and Slaves.

I shall here state an anecdote, to shew that the most noisy and blustering, are not always

the bravest and most daring in times of danger.-Almost adjoining the house on fire, dwelt a skilful son of Esculapius, who was a very suspicious but boasting little personage; being very loud and vociferous against the Negroes, and daily spreading and exaggerating their supposed evil designs, and exposing muskets, pistols, and swords at several bed-room windows, to shew that he was well prepared.

As I had some little acquaintance with the doctor, I knocked at his front-door, intending to accompany him to the house on fire, as thinking he must be anxious to go and render his assistance, the dangerous blaze being so near. No one answering to the knocks in front, I went round to a lane, where were folding doors entering his yard; to my surprise, they were also shut; when I asked a poor white tailor (who, like the man in the fable, was crying and wringing his hands, instead of putting his shoulder to the wheel) if there were any water in the doctor's yard, and why he did not go and carry some to help in extinguishing the fire; he replied, "O yes, sir, there is a plenty there in the well, but I have knocked, and they won't open the gates." Thinking there must be a mistake, or that the family were asleep, I struck the gates several times with an iron bar, and no one answering, I went under the bed-room win

dows, and called out with all my might, imploring them to open the doors and come out, or they would be burnt; at last a brown woman put her head out of one of the windows, and said that there was no water at all in the well, and that they could not, or must not open the door.

I was informed the next day, that there was a plenty of water there, but that the magnanimous doctor was afraid to open the doors; though, had not the very people he feared, exerted themselves to overcome the flames, he would have been burnt out of his dwelling, or have perished in the burning ruins, in less than an hour from the time I called to him, as the fire was at that time very alarming.

In the island of Jamaica, there are about three hundred and forty thousand Slaves, and only twenty-four, or twenty-five thousand white inhabitants, with about the same number of free people of colour, and several thousand free blacks. The efficient or able-bodied men of these three classes of free people, are all armed and trained, as militia, and amount in the whole twenty-one parishes, to about eight or nine thousand men. Independently of these, there are four regiments of the King's troops, which should amount to three thousand men, but on account of the numerous deaths that yearly take place, that

number is never kept up, and for several years past they have not amounted to more than two thousand three hundred, or two thousand four hundred rank and file.-The great disparity of numbers between the Blacks and Whites, would certainly, at first sight, impress one with the idea of great danger to the latter, on the agitation of any change, tending to improve the condition of the former. This might be true if the Slaves had arms to assert their rights; but as it is well known that no Slave is allowed to possess a musket, or any other warlike instrument, what could an undisciplined and unarmed rabble do, if they were to collect together, depressed as they are in spirit and resolution by the bonds they have so long endured? I have no hesitation in saying, that even a company of the island militia, would drive a thousand of them, and that three or four hundred regular troops, would drive ten thousand Negroes before them like sheep, even were they partially armed. how can they collect together? The strictest watch is kept upon their movements, and if a single Negro is found upon an estate to which he does not belong, without a written leave, or pass, from his owner or overseer, he can be placed in the stocks, or taken up and sent to the workhouse, as a runaway (and this is very frequently done), where he is sure of a severe pu


nishment. Whilst they are therefore so strictly watched, and so properly deprived of the use or possession of arms, there is, in my opinion, no great danger from conspiracy or rebellion; for should they, by ill treatment, or from mistaken ideas, be driven to seek their freedom by an insurrection, the experiment would certainly cost them dear, and the chances and result, most assuredly, would be very much against them; for, in the course of two or three days, two or three thousand troops (regulars and militia) could be brought to any part of the island, which number would easily disperse any body of Slaves that could collect together.


Much dissatisfaction is expressed, and a great clamour is raised in the colonies, about the danger and ruin likely to result from the agitation of the question, of emancipation or amelioration, in the House of Commons. monstrance follows remonstrance, and even threats are held out to the mother country, to deter the British Parliament from interfering with the internal legislation of the colonies, as, it is said, the island legislatures are the best judges of what can be granted, and the only ones that have a right to make any alterations for the amelioration of Slavery; and more especially, as they are so very ready and willing to do every thing just and equitable, to make

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