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the year 1841, emigration from Barbados to Guiana and Trinidad had reached its height; some mothers left their children with relations who perhaps did not take much care of them; but much more numerous instances occurred where the father of the child emigrated and left the burden of the child to the mother, who, thus abandoned to her own resources, had not the means of providing for its sustenance or attending to its necessities.

Since religious instruction has been more disseminated among the lower classes, the birth of illegitimate children has decreased; nevertheless they are so numerous, that their number would be considered incredible, if the church-registers did not give proof of the fact.

It is ascertained by the most accurate data in Europe, that the mortality is greater among illegitimate children than among such as are born in wedlock. This circumstance prevails no doubt likewise in Barbados, and has assisted to swell the number of deaths among children, which amounts in an average of five years to more than fifty per cent. of the whole number of deaths.

Out of 10,000 deaths in the county of Rutland, 3756 died under twenty years of age; in London, 4580; in Prussia, 4223; in Barbados (if we increase the number from 1000 to 10,000 deaths), 5650, taking an average of five years.

Those versed in statistics are acquainted with the fact, that, comparatively, more boys die in early years than girls. This is likewise the case in Barbados. If the boy has survived his third year, he has perhaps as much chance of reaching an old age as a girl.

In the preceding table the column between the tenth and twentieth year exhibits very low numbers. If we take the average number of the five years, it proves that of 486 individuals who survived the tenth year, only 51 died between the tenth and the twentieth year. Between the twentieth and sixtieth year, the number of deaths are nearly equal in the two sexes; but as women reach a much more advanced age than men, the last column above sixty years of age exhibits a much larger number of females than males. The latter had died off ere they reached their sixtieth year. It appears the climate of Barbados is particularly congenial to the life of the female sex after they have reached their sixtieth year. Few countries in the world can show such high numbers as 113 out of 1000 deaths, where the deceased had reached an age above sixty.

If it were required to produce another proof of the healthy atmosphere, the tables of the Mutual Life Assurance Office of Barbados would afford that instance. The first quinquennial report of the Society states, that since its foundation in 1840 only two deaths occurred. At the end of 1845, seventy-four individuals had their lives assured. The consequence is that this infant Society, which exists only five years, was able to declare a

bonus of three per cent. per annum on the sum of every existing policy.

If a person newly-arrived from Europe were to expose himself to the greatest heat of the sun, and if he were to follow strong exercise, such as he has been accustomed to in Europe, his health no doubt would soon suffer, and the climate prove fatal to him. We are the slaves of fashion and custom, and though our adhesion to them may be contrary to reason and convenience, no votary of the haut ton would venture to transgress against the iron rules prescribed by custom. In lieu of seeing the inhabitants dressed in linen and light summer stuffs, I have seen them walking in heavy frock-coats of a dark colour, as if to attract the heat of the sun the more, and very frequently attired wholly in black broad-cloths. I have regretted these poor slaves of dame la Mode, when they stared at a white linen jacket with looks of contempt and surprise. I do not wish it to be understood that I would pay a formal visit in a jacket, though white as snow; nor should I wish to see that etiquette set aside which the solemn proceedings of religious ceremonies, the deep importance of courts of law and justice, or the legislative sessions render indispensable; but why should we not consult our convenience and health when among acquaintances or attending on the business of every-day life? My experience in the West Indies, varied as it is, has proved to me, that in this respect comfort and health are least studied in Barbados. The inhabitants of the East are much more rational in the manner of dressing their person according to the climate.

Much has been written on this subject in military reports. The English troops in their military coats, made of broad-cloths, and, as it has been the case with fusileer regiments, their head covered with a heavy fur cap, must of course be much more subject to the influence of the heat under the tropics, than the French and Spanish soldier in the West India colonies, who is attired in a light linen dress and his head covered with a light tzshako of felt.

Exercise is especially necessary under the tropics for the preservation of health. That exercise must however be moderate; and newly-arrived Europeans especially should not expose themselves after half-past six o'clock in the morning, and before half-past five in the evening. The air in the morning hours is delicious and balmy, and it appears as if the lungs expanded at that period with greater ease, and inhaled the air with greater delight. Temperance is the first rule to be observed by those who wish to keep their health in a tropical country; next in import is to select an early hour for retiring to rest, and to rise at daybreak. There is no doubt that the early death of many is to be ascribed to intemperance; and this refers chiefly to European troops, who have occasionally suffered in Barbados as much as in any other island. The West Indies were formerly more destructive to the life of the English soldier than now.

From Commissary Sayer's regimental returns, it appears that of 19,676 European soldiers sent by England to the West Indies in 1796, before March 1802, 17,173 died of complaints incidental to the climate.

The opportunities of procuring "white rum" are so great that it is within the reach of every soldier. In the commencement it proves so unpalatable that it is seldom relished. They soon however accustom themselves to it, and prefer it to a healthier beverage. When fresh from the still it is of a most deleterious quality, and it has no doubt received in consequence the vulgar name of "Kill Devil.”

The advice of Sir James Clark to invalids who intend to visit the West Indies for their health, may be applicable to all, and should be impressed firmly upon the memory.

"The proper means to prevent any injurious effects from the increase of temperature, is to live somewhat more abstemiously than usual, and upon less exciting food. The quantity of wine generally drunk should be diminished, be advisable to abstain from wine altogether. Long exposure to or it may the direct rays of the sun should be avoided. Attention to these circumstances, with the use of a little cooling laxative medicine, will generally be all that is necessary on arriving in the West Indies. For some time afterwards, a continuance of the same simple unexciting regimen should be persevered in, so that the system may become habituated to the exciting influence of a high temperature, and until the increased cutaneous secretion, which appears to be one of the principal means employed by nature to enable the living body to bear the heat of a tropical climate without injury, is fully established."

It is much to be wondered at that European physicians, who are acquainted with the even temperature and absence of chilling blasts, do not recommend Barbados as a sojourn for invalids labouring under pulmonary diseases. The splendid steam-packets, which now touch at Barbados every fortnight from Southampton, render an expeditious intercourse with England quite certain. The mode of living is perhaps cheaper in Barbados than in any other island in the West Indies, and the dwellings combine so many English comforts as far as they could be adopted in a tropical country, that if it were not for the palm-trees which surround them, and the balmy air in January and February, when we know that nature "at home" lies in the icy grasp of winter, we should be inclined to ask ourselves, "Are we in England or in a foreign clime?"

The advantages of sea-bathing, for which many arrangements are made at Fontabelle, Hastings and Worthing, are an additional recommendation.

The roads for carriage-drives, or where the strength of the patient permits it, for horse exercise, are excellent; but the greatest advantage to be derived from a residence in Barbados, is the even dry temperature, different from the climate of Madeira and Azores, which is moist and exceedingly variable in its temperature.




POPULATION.—The population of Barbados at the time of the first settlement in 1625, appears to have consisted of thirty persons, who arrived in the ship called the William and John, commanded by John Powell, and landed on the leeward part of the island on the 17th of February 16251.

In 1627, when the Earl of Pembroke obtained a grant of Barbados in trust for Sir William Courteen, the population consisted already of 1858 men, women and children, including Indians?.

A society of London merchants sent, in opposition to the former settlement, Charles Wolferstone with sixty-four settlers to Barbados, who landed on the 5th of July 16283. The relation of the contest for superiority and the ultimate reconciliation of these two parties, belongs more properly to the historical part of my description; it is however of importance to keep in view, that the nucleus of the Barbados population consisted only of thirty individuals, which by immigration and natural increase had already in 1629 increased to from 1900 to 2000 persons.

The fame of the fertility of the island produced not only a larger immigration from England, but the young colony prospered so well, that Ligon reports that at his departure from Barbados in 1650, consequently twenty-five years after its settlement, the inhabitants were able to muster 10,000 men on foot, and 1000 men on horse1. The number of whites at that time were computed to be 50,0003.

The nature of epidemic diseases, and the manifold forms under which they appear in different countries, is a subject of the highest importance, especially when we consider the vast number of our race that are swept from the earth by such diseases. The dreadful visit of the cholera in Asia and Europe, and the millions who fell victims to it, may be taken as an example what ravages such a public calamity causes in a population.

Epidemic diseases have likewise occasionally visited the West Indies,

1 Memoirs of the first Settlement of the Island of Barbados. Extracted from ancient records, papers and accounts taken from Mr. William Arnold, Mr. Samuel Bulkly and Mr. John Summers, some of the first settlers, &c. London, 1743, p. 3.


An account of His Majesty's Island of Barbados and the Government thereof. MSS. This manuscript is apparently a copy of Sir Jonathan Atkins's report made in 1676.

Memoirs of the first Settlement of the Island of Barbados, 'Ligon's History of the Island of Barbados, p. 100.

5 Oldmixon, The British Empire in America, vol. ii. p. 13.

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and although under a different form, their ravages have been at different periods so great that they have materially thinned the population.

Such a disease raged in America and the West Indies in 1647; in Barbados and St. Christopher's, between 5000 and 6000 persons died of it; and Ligon observes in his history, that on his arrival in Barbados, the living were hardly able to bury the dead. The disease was more fatal to men than women in the proportion of ten to one. As if to increase the calamity, there was also a general scarcity of provisions throughout the island'. This historian is not certain whether the disease was to be ascribed to a contagion brought to the island by the shipping, or whether it originated in the island. He inclines to the latter opinion, and ascribes it to the intemperate life of the inhabitants, for which reason he thinks the women were less subjected to its effects. The mortality was much increased by their throwing the dead bodies into "the Swamp" or morass which partly surrounded the town?. From contemporary historians, it appears to have been the yellow fever which raged throughout the West India Islands in 1647-49, and carried off during eighteen months nearly one-third of the inhabitants in the French islands.

Governor Searle, in his return of the military establishment at Barbados taken the 6th of November 1656, and sent to Secretary Thurlowe, states that there were four regiments of foot, consisting of 4500 men, and eight troops of horse, numbering 800, in all a total of 5300 men.

If therefore Ligon's estimate was correct, the disease must have committed very great ravages to reduce the military force to half their former number; but I am of opinion that he overrated greatly the number of its inhabitants, in which I am confirmed by M. de Rochefort, who, in his description of Barbados, observes that the number of white inhabitants amounted in 1646 to about 20,0003.

From that period however it rapidly increased. The fame of the fertility of the island, and the civil war, caused many English to emigrate to Barbados. The emigrants consisted mostly of persons of a peaceable disposition, and when the king's affairs seemed irretrievable, many individuals of rank followed their example. This circumstance gave a certain tone and character to the colonists, which is more evident in their general bearing and manners than in other colonies. It induced Oldmixon to say of Barbados, that there were as many good families in that island as in any of the counties of England1.

In 1676, Sir Jonathan Atkins reported the number of inhabitants in Barbados to be 21,725 whites, and 32,473 negroes5. Oldmixon states

2 Ibid.

1 Ligon's History of the Island of Barbados, p. 21.

3 Histoire Naturelle des Iles Antilles, 2de édition. Rotterdam, p. 26.

4 Oldmixon's British Empire, vol. ii. p. 111.


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Reports of the Lords of the Committee, Supplement to No. 15. For detailed

statistical information of the population at this period, see page 82.

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