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"Arriving among us at a period the most eventful in the history of the British colonization, selected for the responsible task of reconciling us to a vast and most hazardous change in the constitution of our society, it was but natural that in introducing the new order of things your opinions should come into collision with long-established feelings and habits, and certain that obstacles almost insurmountable should attend the discharge of duties so invidious and onerous; but it has been your Excellency's part, by a firm, temperate and judicious exercise of the great powers entrusted to you, to adjust these differences, to conquer these difficulties, and, by a determined resolution, to promote and enforce among our labouring classes that industry on the continuance of which the success of the great measure of emancipation wholly depends, to adopt the only means by which this colony can be saved from ruin and its inhabitants reconciled to the changes which it has been their lot to encounter."

If we recollect the altercations which took place at the period when Sir Lionel Smith was commanded to prepare the way for the great measures that so closely followed in the years between 1830 and 1840, he must certainly have felt a proud consciousness of having fulfilled his duty, in spite of any misconstruction to which his actions might have been liable at that period. And indeed, in his replies to the two branches of the Legislature, the Governor showed that such was his feeling. He observed to the Council, that whatever differences had on any occasion arisen between him and the members of that body had on his part been long forgotten. "I always respected your right," he said, "to scrutinize my public measures, and, as I feel I had no object at heart but the country's good, I knew that sooner or later you would do me justice." It was however in his reply to the House of Assembly that the sentiments of satisfaction at seeing his efforts to promote the good of the island ultimately acknowledged, became chiefly apparent in the following passages :—

"The position you have placed me in this day, by the honour of the representatives of the colony waiting upon me with this laudatory address, is one I have just reason to be proud of, and I shall cherish the remembrance of the generous spirit which dictated this course with long and earnest gratitude. The aim and the end of all good government should be the people's welfare. A Governor should always be a public man, void of private interests, of partialities, or prejudices, and taking these principles for his common guidance, they will be sure to carry him to a safe haven. It is therefore a proud triumph to me, that your honourable House has recognized my faithful exertions to administer this Government with justice to all classes. Whatever have been the difficulties you have had to contend with, I have always believed that the time would come when you would feel that a Governor is but a humble instrument of higher authority; yet it has never been the design of such authority that he should irritate, by any bitterness of spirit, those who, by the great voice of the people of England, are doomed to risk the rights of property. I advert with sincere pleasure to the integrity of purpose with which the Legislature of this colony has yielded to the national will.

well known that I am a sincere friend to the negroes, but I solemnly declare my opinion, that to insist on industrious habits among them is as essential to their own happiness as it is to your rights. Whenever this principle relaxes from any cause, they must go back in the scale of civilization. The history of the world proclaims that there never yet was a people happy or virtuous without industry."

A few days previous to his departure, a public address from the merchants and other inhabitants of Bridgetown was delivered to his Excellency, bearing nearly one hundred and seventy signatures, and expressing their gratitude for his just government and their regret at his removal. Sir Lionel Smith left Carlisle Bay, with the usual ceremonies, on the 20th of August 1836, and the Honourable John Alleyne Beckles, senior member of his Majesty's Council, was sworn in as Commander of the Colony. The Legislature, on the 17th of August 1836, passed an Act which settled five hundred pounds currency per annum upon his Honour for the period that he should administer the government.

CHAPTER XVI.

OCCURRENCES DURING THE ADMINISTRATION OF SIR EVAN JOHN MURRAY MACGREGOR AS GOVERNOR-GENERAL, FROM 1836 TO 1841.

SIR EVAN JOHN MURRAY MACGREGOR, late Governor of the Leeward Islands, had received his Majesty's commands to assume the government of Barbados. He arrived in Carlisle Bay on the 18th of October 1836, and met the legislative branches on the 25th of that month, when he addressed to them the following speech :

"My Lord Bishop, Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Council, Mr. Speaker and Gentlemen of the Assembly:

"I request your honourable Board and House to be so indulgent as to ascribe solely to indispensable official avocations in my late government, the involuntary delay that incapacitated me from more promptly assuming the administration of this ancient and loyal colony, and of the Windward Islands.

"Mr. Speaker and Gentlemen of the Assembly:

"It will be an object of my solicitude to evince due respect for the constitutional rights of the people, and to cultivate on all occasions the most available relations with your honourable House.

"My Lord Bishop, Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Council, Mr. Speaker and Gentlemen of the Assembly:

"If my position is in some respects exposed to some embarrassments not so seriously affecting in modern times preceding governors, the regret with which this difference may inspire me springs from no selfish source. Although recently landed on these shores, my oath of office has already divested me of the character of a stranger; and as the dutiful representative of a most gracious Sovereign, personally endeared to West Indians, I will not yield to any member of this community in zealously endeavouring to preserve the internal tranquillity and to promote the prosperity of Barbados."

The Council in their reply regretted the existence of any such embarrassment as was alluded to in the Governor's speech, and hoped that a very short time would remove it. They rejoiced at the Governor's identifying himself with the inhabitants of their little island, and no longer considering himself a stranger, and trusted that he might never have cause to regret that his Majesty had been pleased to appoint him his representative in the island.

The Assembly replied on the 1st of November: they thanked his Excellency for his gracious speech, and expressed their satisfaction at the promptitude with which his Majesty had been pleased to appoint a successor to their late Governor Sir Lionel Smith. They availed themselves of this opportunity to express their high sense of the administration by his Honour the President during his Excellency's absence, and observed :—

"The avowal of your Excellency's solicitude to 'cultivate amicable relations with this House' we fully appreciate, and it will be on all occasions our anxious concern to reciprocate and cement this feeling, by giving the most dispassionate and deliberate attention to your Excellency's suggestions, founded, as we feel satisfied they will be, in your Excellency's solicitude to respect the constitutional rights of the people. We must at all times regret what may present to your Excellency during your administration any source of embarrassment, but we shall be found most ready and desirous to obviate or diminish those difficulties when within our legislative control, and to aid by every means in our power your Excellency's endeavours zealously to preserve the internal tranquillity and to promote the prosperity of Barbados."

The legislative and judicial proceedings had hitherto been carried on in the town-hall, which at the same time served as a common jail. We can only ascribe the continuance of this system to the force of custom, it having been so for many years, and to a laudable desire to economize the expenditure of the public funds. A change was not effected until it was found that the whole space which the town-hall afforded was required for

"the accommodation of the prisoners confined therein, and the proper enforcement of prison discipline." An act passed the Legislature in February 1837, authorizing the Commissioners for the repairs of the town-hall to rent a house for the purpose of transacting legislative and judicial business in its halls, and declaring such transactions to be good and valid as if they had been transacted at the late town-hall. This building was called the New Town-hall, while the other was known as the Common Jail. By another act, which passed in the ensuing March, the several Courts of Common Pleas for the precincts of St. James, St. Peter, and St. Andrew, were removed to the new town-hall in Bridgetown. These courts had formerly been held respectively at Holetown, Speightstown, and in the parish of St. Andrew. An effective police force, with an appointment of two additional magistrates, was established in April for Holetown and Speightstown. The strenuous exertions of the representatives of the parishes to which these two towns belonged, in the House of Assembly, greatly contributed to this result.

The chief good which the Act of Parliament for the abolition of slavery (passed in 1833) effected, was the establishment of the great maxim, "that man has no right to possess his fellow-creature as property:" otherwise the apprenticeship was slavery disguised,—it was in fact merely a modification of slavery. It is true the former slaves were, from the 1st of August 1834, under the protection of certain laws, administered by a magistracy specially appointed, and only amenable for their actions to Government; they were admitted to a participation in civil rights, their evidence was now received in all courts of law, they had the disposal of their children and property, but they had no right to dispose of their own labour or to select their own masters. Nor did the system prove satisfactory to the master of the former slaves: it entailed a great expense upon the planter, without giving him a full return for his outlay, and never failed to produce strife and discontent between the master and the labourer. The special magistrates appointed for hearing and adjusting complaints seldom decided to the satisfaction of either the labourer or his employer; and it was generally acknowledged, after having been for a short time in operation, that the whole system was a signal failure. That Barbados presented no results differing from the above observations, will be shown in the subsequent pages.

The information of the death of his Majesty William the Fourth arrived in the latter part of June, and her present Majesty Queen Victoria was proclaimed with the usual solemnities on the 2nd of July 1837.

The hurricane on the 26th of July 1837, although not so destructive as many previous ones, caused the most serious apprehensions for the safety of numerous lives. Upwards of thirty vessels were at anchor in the bay, the crews of which were in the greatest danger: the great exertions of the troops in the garrison assisted principally to rescue the ship

wrecked sailors'.

The efforts of the Governor on the occasion of the storm were no less energetic and prompt. Notwithstanding his delicate health, he exposed himself fearlessly to the storm, encouraging the endeavours made to rescue the crews of those vessels. During the session which succeeded the hurricane the House passed a vote of thanks to the Commander of the Forces, Lieutenant-General Sir Samford Whittingham, "for the prompt and considerate attention in enabling the military to render effectual aid to the civil power during the recent awful tempest;" with which vote were likewise connected the thanks to the troops for their assistance. The General Assembly, in their reply to the Governor's speech, not only recorded their acknowledgment of his services during the late storm, but a special vote of thanks passed on the 17th of October. Baron de Mackaw, the Governor of Martinique, communicated to Sir Evan MacGregor, that, having learned with extreme pain the disaster consequent on the late hurricane, he begged his Excellency to inform him whether any services could be rendered to the sufferers by the commercial body in the French West India islands, by the royal navy on the station, or by himself. The House returned the heartfelt thanks "of the inhabitants of Barbados to his Excellency Baron de Mackaw for his generous and liberal offers, and, while appreciating their full import, they had the gratifying duty to state that the losses in this island had not been so severe as to call for the aid so promptly and generously offered."

Sir Evan John Murray MacGregor opened the new session of the General Assembly on the 2nd of August. In his address he alluded to the demise of his late Majesty William the Fourth, and the accession to the throne of her most gracious Majesty Queen Victoria. The recent visitation of fire and tempest gave his Excellency occasion to advert to the services of the officers and troops of the line, whom the Lieutenant-General commanding the forces ordered in each instance to assist the civil power, and of the officers and men of the militia, and also of many others who had exerted themselves in assisting to preserve life and property. His Excellency thankfully acknowledged the courteous disposition which the Council and Assembly had manifested towards him in their official intercourse ever since his arrival in Barbados.

"The good understanding animating the Legislature," observed the Governor, was for the most part diffused throughout other portions of the community; and on the authority of the special magistrates, already generally obtains, and is happily increasing, I am sure, between employers and the apprenticed population. Your honourable Board and House have lately declared,

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1 Shortly before the tempest a fire had broken out in Bay-street; the prompt assistance of the military mainly contributed to its extinction.

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