Jamaican Family Search Genealogy Research Library
DIARY OF WILLIAM RHODES JAMES
TRIP TO JAMAICA 1836 TO 1837
[This William Rhodes James was born in Jamaica in 1817. He was the son of Herbert Jarrett James. For the genealogy of this family, covering over 200 years, see the ,Descendants of Richard James, and Richard James 2, the continuation]
Novr 9th Wednesday  [New York]
I have this day engaged myself a berth on board a small brig to sail for Kingston on Saturday next. The passage money is at the exorbitant charge of $75 and the accomodations apparently none of the best, at any rate far inferior to the Liverpool or London line of Packet ships, though the charge exceeds theirs in proportion much. Much excitement is prevailing in town, this being the last 3 days in which the election of presidency will be contested in this city.
December 24th Saturday
In Spanish Town at length, I sit down to recount the intermediate occurrences from the last date to the present time. After a dull week spent in New York I gladly hailed the arrival of Sunday morning on which day it was decided that the Brig Kentucky should positively leave the wharf to enter on her voyage. At 12 o'clock accordingly we unmoored having been obliged to wait 3 hours for the tide as the wind was not strong enough to enable us to make way against it and unfortunately no Steam Boat could be procured to tow us. At 4 o'clock on Monday morning we lost sight of Sandy Hook having been becalmed all night, and from that hour therefore we dated our departure from New York. The wind now blew fresh, grew strong and on Tuesday night from its increase to violence obliged us to sail under double reefed topsails. The vessel was loaded with freight not only below but upon deck also, leaving but a narrow space on each side designed I should conclude from its meanness
rather as an accomodation to the stewards than the passengers. The sea rolled heavy and dandled our bark like a play thing, not much to our gratification. At length one very serious lurch of the Brig proved the insecure storage of deck cargo. The fastenings gave way and the greater part as far as it could go was precipitated to leeward. For a moment the vessel seemed to hesitate but as the cargo was light, she almost immediately righted again. We were nevertheless unfortunate enough to lose 4 casks of water, for being overturned and having no bungs in them the natural consequence was that they got rid of their contents. Towards morning the wind somewhat subsided insomuch as to be no longer alarming, but it still blew fresh and happily exerted its strength in our favour. We were enabled from its propitiousness to continue our direct course and at no mean rate. On our arriving off Cape Hatteras it again increased to violence and obliged us to use caution in double reefing our topsails. We lost nothing however but made considerable way and so continued to do reaching Turks Island in 7 days. We now contemplated making the entire passage to Kingston in 9 days which at the rate we had hitherto been sailing would have been not only practicable but easy. It was not however thus fated - for on nearing St Domingo we found ourselves almost wholly screened from the wind and thus for about 18 hours suffered a calm, making a little way at intervals only. Thursday however saw us in Kingston, which by nautical calculation made our passage one of 10 days, and that is considered remarkably short, and is but very seldom effected. Not arriving in Port till 4 o'clock no business was to be expected that day from the Gentlemen of the Custom House and thereupon I considered it obligatory on me to remain till the following day. Meanwhile I wrote to my father intimating to him my arrival and announcing my intention to be with him the ensuing afternoon,
Not till 13 o'clock on Friday could we get the examination of our boxes attended to - permission was given us to bring them on shore in order that the business might be transacted there instead of the confined quarters of our vessel's crowded deck. Much cause of complaint nevertheless ensued in our being obliged to submit to this troublesome annoyance on an open wharf without any sort of roof or protection whatever from the scorching ardour of the sun - at this particular hour of the day most excessive. A dray was next to be procured to transport the luggage to Spanish Town. I clubbed with two other gentlemen in the arrangement of this affair and after much time and trouble expended in the search of a dray we had the gratification of seeing our valuables at length on the move for their destination, learning that they were likely to attain it in the course of 6 hours. $3.5 was the charge for the load. Our next resort was to Berdoe's Tavern to get something for my stomach's sake, in the language of this quarter a "second breakfast". A little more loitering brought us to the hour at which we had previously agreed to start for Spanish Town, but the absence of one of the party occasioned a considerable delay by no means agreeable to the rest. At length we were off and in due time at our respective destinations. The happiness of meeting between father and son exiled from one another for nearly 14 years is better to be conceived than described - a most pressing embrace evinced the inward joy and satisfaction of each. For a time many were the glances of mingled curiosity and affection reciprocated between the two, till, this first mutual inquisitiveness satisfied, and affection undiminished held its sway in the heart divested of so unnecessary an accompaniment. Since I have been here little worthy of detail has occurred. What forms the business of one date constitutes the engagement of the
next and so in continuance. The heat had been considered uncommon for the season though the last few days have been more temperate. On Sunday morning the 4th of this month I went with my uncle to his brother's mountain, Highgate, lately the property of the Marquis of Sligo. It is 10 miles distant hence and an arduous journey up a rocky mountain not accessible to a vehicle beyond a certain distance, and I think therefore a jaunt thither for a short day hardly worth while. The air is pleasantly moderate and cool and the view from such a commanding height, of course beautiful and extensive. A full view of Port Royal Harbour is enjoyed and ships may be descried to some distance at sea. The whole southern part of the Island is also clearly presented to the eye by the aid of a telescope and the general boldness of its character and peculiar diversity makes it no mean object of attraction. The mountains are magnificent though affording a better aspect from the sea those denominated the 'Blue' rise to the enormous height of 8080  feet above the level of the sea. Clouds are frequently seen below their summits, a sight certainly strange to an Englishman.
January 13th 1837
Without doubt Spanish Town is the dullest place I ever lived in - nevertheless the seat of Government! The auditory of the Parliamentary debates! The chosen spot of the public offices! etc. With the exception of the King's House, there is hardly a building, indeed I know not one in the town that is handsome in its exterior. They are mostly constructed of brick in a plain un-ornamental style with jalousies in the front and sometimes also at the sides. These might perhaps give a comely appearance to the house if the sun did not so quickly extract the varnish from the paint, and give the building an old and shabby
exterior. In all quarters of the town may be seen here and there dilapidated house, unshingled roofs, mouldering walls, streets, exceptionless, without pavements, narrow and uneven and bescattered with loose stones - all things indeed indicative of most careless neglect in the public. The want of society is very sensibly to be felt by an English visitant. The absence of respectable and well conducted schools for the education of youth renders it imperative on parents to export their children to the Mother country and most frequently of necessity their wives also. After their being habituated to English customs and above all English society, it is seldom that the female portion of the family, unless recommended for their health, are willing to return to the land almost forgotten as the place of their nativity, sacrificing the pleasurable society to which they have been accustomed for the purpose of courting anew old alliances and seeking the friendship of fresh acquaintances. Thus then the Island bereft of that feminine race, begotten in its own precincts and nurtured in childhood by its own soil and climate, so necessary to give attraction to and enliven society, pretends not to lay claim to this particular enjoyment.
February 10th 1837
Though this be a month yet included in the winter season of Jamaica, the weather is nevertheless extremely hot. The thermometer in an interior room is now about 80o (2 o'clock). The nights or rather the early morn are happily cool, when as is generally expected, a land wind prevails - but should it happen
extraordinarily that a sea breeze blows at that time we may then anticipate an unusually warm night. I have certainly been surprised at the coldness of the atmosphere in the early hours of the morning. Regularly am I awoken by it inclemency, and in defence compelled to add the additional weight of a counterpane to the lightness of a sheet. This however frequently proves insufficient and I could wish the enjoyment of a blanket. There appears to be no regular season here at which the trees are almost simultaneously deprived of their foliage, as in countries beyond the tropics. But like the cedar tree many seem to dispose of their old vesture and generate a new one at the same period - while others again dispose of the old first and then proceed to create a new one - but my time having been spent almost wholly in a town, and further, in a house, I have not had an opportunity of making that observation which it was my wish to do. Added to this, it does not appear to be a fashionable amusement among West Indians, and to my enquiries therefore for the most part a reply of 'vere nescio' is returned, and I therefore forbear to make them.
February 14th 1837
Perhaps no better proof can be adduced of the expense of labour in this Island when it can be asserted as a fact, that refined sugar imported from England can be purchased at a lesser price in Kingston than that which has undergone the process on its native soil. In other words men find it cheaper to export their sugar to England subject to a duty of 24/- p cwt, to the expence of freight there and freight back, and other incidental charges as porterage etc etc and there to have it refined - than to have the process gone through by their own Estates. This expense of manual labour is I conceive, one great barrier to the improvement of the Island and indulgence in speculation. When a new scheme is broached to a man of cultivating any production that might be conjectured would prove more lucrative, from the present crisis of affairs, than the continuance of sugar cultivation. Oh! he immediately answers, labour is too expensive I couldn't think of it. It is not perhaps that the actual charge for negro hire is so high, being on an average for those employed upon estates 1/8 and 2/1 [and 2/6] per day, that difference of charge being made, sometimes according to the nature of the work they are engaged to perform, or as a distinction between the 1st and 2nd gang, but it is that the effects of their labour are so disproportionate to the value of their pay and the time occupied in earning it - so that probably where you would engage a European for one day you would
be compelled to hire the Negro for two perhaps, though I know not the proportion between the Negroes' and Europeans' capabilities, but should hope it were not quite so extravagant as that.
March 9th 1837 Thursday
On Tuesday again at breakfast time, (having brought forward my subject at sundry times before but without effect), I repeated the enquiry to my father when he would commence preparing for his departure as there would necessarily be a great deal to be done, and the first week in March having now elapsed, I hoped he would consider it no longer a premature question - but I received for my answer that he would think about it one of these days! This was certainly disheartening and I determined thence forward to say nothing more about it, as I saw it was perfectly useless, and till he chose to make up his own mind about the matter, it was a vain thing for me to endeavour to persuade him. But much to my surprise my words appeared to have roused him and put him in remembrance of the short interval there existed between the present moment and the appointed time of his departure. It was however but a feeble effort and little in consequence was done, nor has the effort been renewed, and when it will be is I think a query of as much uncertainty as was previously the conjecture of this first attempt. I have mentioned this in my journal as something remarkable and worthy of notation.
A yam was yesterday brought to us by an old woman as a present which was extraordinary for its length - the distance direct from end to end was 3 feet 4 inches, making no allowance for its curvature, the circumference was about the size of a man's arm. They vary much in respect of growth which is principally dependent on the nature of the soils some are of uncommon length while others are equally extraordinary in bulk, a rare specimen may be seen equal in circumference to a man's body.
The weather for the last three days has been comparatively mild the sun being obscured by clouds which have occasionally refreshed us with a slight sprinkling. The few days previous to that I had been remarking that the heat was more oppressive and as an indication of it instanced the apparently rapid increase of the flies
March 23rd 1837 Thursday
On Tuesday evening last I left Spanish Town to accept the kind invitation of one of my father's most cordial and constant friends Mr Scott, residing at his Penn in the close neighbourhood of Kingston City. The express purpose of my visit was to make one of a party to start on Wednesday midday on an excursion to the Blue Mountains, which being the boast of Jamaica, it maybe easily conceived the project was hailed by me with no slight degree of exultation and looked forward to with a delight increasing in exact ratio with the nearing approach of the crisis when it should be carried into execution. Most unfortunately however as it appeared to mortal comprehension, when the morning of anticipated pleasure dawned, I rose sadly indisposed with a headache, giddiness and nausea at my stomach too truly emblematic of a billious attack. Nevertheless so bent was I upon the adventure that I
flattered myself, or rather endeavoured to do so, and at times with success, into a comparative feeling of tolerable health, persuaded too in my mind, but falsely, that a few hours lapse would certainly find me no longer with a subject or complaint. One and even 2 o'clock arrived and the company to the number of 7 assembled at this critical juncture, whether from excitement of other internal cause, it happened that I was suffering under a strong and most disagreeable sensation of sickness which could not but be perceived by a gentleman with whom I was in converse. He kindly communicated the answers I gave to his interrogatories to a Doctor who formed one of the party - when this gentleman stepped forward and with an air that quickly convinced me was itself characteristic of the medical man, requested to feel my pulse made enquiry into my symptoms and remarked the flushed appearance of my countenance, then summing up the whole prepared to do his duty in giving me his candid but unpalatable advice. Though I had not been aware before what his profession was, this close confab: and the air of confidence he assumed when interrogating me, no longer left me room to doubt. He recommended that I should by no means attempt the excursion but keep myself quiet in the house, for though I had no fever at the time yet as I should necessarily be much exposed to the sun added to the consideration of my being so recently arrived in the Island, he would not pretend to vouch for the consequences should I act in opposition to what he recommended. I am glad to say I was not so headstrong and imprudent as to turn a deaf ear to professional advice, the reasonableness though unpalatableness of which was too evident to my senses though youthful to entertain an idea of rejecting, and I therefore resolved to forgo the pleasure that I had spent many moments in anticipating, and remain quiet inmate of the house. I fear moreover, that circumstanced as I am with so early a prospect of leaving the Island, and such an expedition being rarely undertaken, my first and last opportunity of visiting the Blue Mountain Peak, of altitude 7,700 feet above the level of the sea, has already flitted before me.
It is astonishing, considering the vicinity of this Pen to the City of Kingston, one field only of tolerable dimensions intervening, that so great a difference of temperature should be experienced - so very gradual is the slope hence to the Town and so short is the distance, that it is hardly credible the fact that site of the house is 175 feet above the level of the bottom of Town - that circumstance however and the ex-
exposed nature of the situation to both land, wind and sea breeze must be alleged I presume in explanation of the fact.
On Wednesday morning the Kingston Militia consisting of two battalions and one company of Troopers were inspected by his Excellency the Governor, Sir Lionel Smith. They certainly are by no means superior, if equal, to the St Catherine's Regiment in the performance of their manoeuvres including the firing, though it is said, they are a finer body of men. His Excellency the General however passed the same eulogium on them as he bestowed previously on the St Catherine's Militia, which organized force is the only thing he asserts that in his opinion is creditable to the Island, the roads, streets etcetera, being for the most part far otherwise than worthy of commendation.
March 25th 1837
This morning I went into the city of Kingston the metropolis of the Island, and to put it in its best light I will say that it is unquestionably better than Spanish Town though the seat of government. From its situation as a port more business and activity of course pervades the streets, there are other transactions going forward than what require the privacy of a Solicitor's Office, while in Spanish Town the reverse is more the case. Kingston is also I think cooler than the latter town for two reasons - because, being so near the sea, the breeze from that quarter has of course more immediate and unimpeded access to it - and again, the pavements and pathways for the most part are shaded by piazzas projecting over them from the first story of the houses - so that comparatively speaking you walk in the shade subject only to the glare and heat reflected from the ground. In Spa: Town there is no partial projection of this kind, but if you go out you are exposed to the full ardour of the sun irrespective of course of the occasional umbrage afforded by the houses. About 2 miles from the Town is the Military Camp, generally occupied by one or more detachments of British Regiments. It is certainly by far the most attractive establishment in appearance that I have seen used for that purpose. Not one huge building as in England constitutes the Soldiers Barracks, unmeaning in its exterior and remarkable only for the vastness of its structure, but a range
of edifices occupying considerable extent and detached from one another at convenient intervals, certainly without the useless expense of ornament to recommend them, nevertheless, bearing a comfortable appearance, with piazzas upper and lower projecting from their fronts - in fact as far as their outward aspect would indicate, built, with great consideration for the comfort and happiness of those unfortunate beings who, by fair play or foul, follow the profession of Soldier, and in great adaptation for the nature of the climate - this is the style and character of the Military Quarters as Camp, near Kingston. There are private houses, I will not say mansions, but of decent size and neat exterior, for the commanding Officers, and again an extensive detached building for the accomodation of the minor Officers. They are well supplied with water, brought down by means of pipes from one of the neighbouring mountain rivers. This is necessary the possession of which they have much reason to prize, inasmuch as the adjacent penns suffer much from the want of it, and are obliged for the most part to sent elsewhere to procure it.
20th April 1837
This day exceedingly hot, and the weather very sultry in fact for some days past. The thermometer just now, 1 o'clock, in an inner room stands at 84o - but this is nothing I understand to what we may expect in June. I can only say then I wish I were not to be here at that time for I know not how I shall endure it. My poor father I am sorry to say much the same, he does not appear to make any progress at all scarcely, except that I think his spirits are in a trifling degree better, and he does not answer so frequently in that abrupt and petulant manner that constant suffering seems to have made habitual to him. It appears strange that on alternate days his eye is for the most part more painful and his pulse more rapid, averaging on those
days 104 in the minute.
Wednesday 25th May - 37
Yesterday I had the pleasure of driving Mr Coburn in his private curricle, a very neat turn-out as far as regards horses and harness, to Thetford Hall Pen an extensive property of the kind but unfortunately in Chancery, and Mr C. the appointed Receiver. Not arriving there till late when the sun was nearly at its meridian height and having but little spare time, no opportunity was allowed me for the indulgence of reconnoitring either at and early or late hour, when it would have been a pleasurable occupation - there would however have been nothing further to see than a succession of flourishing grass fields, and herds of fat and lean kine feasting on the luxuriance of the pasture. At about 1/4 past 3, we started again for the purpose of meeting an engagement that we had contracted in the morning, to lunch at Cherry Garden Estate - a short half-hour brought us within hail of it, too well appetized after the severe jolting to which we had been subjected, to resist the importunity of our stomachs, so necessary a control at an intermediate meal in order to do justice to the grander and more expensive preparation of dinner. Our host considering it to be his dinner we were unwillingly obliged to abide the performance of the whole tedious ceremony peculiar thereto, which occupied so much time that we found none left at our disposal for the purpose of visiting the different parts of the Estate and examining the works and machinery employed in the manufacture of the sugar. This was a great disappointment to me as I have much curiosity to be made acquainted with the process, and I know not when such an opportunity may again fall in my way. We arrived at Spanish Town again after dark, but little wiser
though much pleased with the excursion. We have had intermittent showers for some days past, occasionally heavy falls of rain though not of long continuance - by the old stagers the supply is said to be not so abundant as is usually looked for during the seasons, which are this year late.
The weather that we have experienced since I wrote the above obliges me to contradict the statement I there made, respecting the supply of rain not being sufficient to meet the expectations far less wishes of the proprietors both far and near. The season though mild this year has been unusually lasting, and the benefit the country has consequently derived is in a measure to be gathered from the luxuriant appearance that it everywhere presents. From the rapidity of vegetation here, the Guinea Grass has grown to that height in the pastures that the cattle are hardly perceptible as they graze.
My mind has of late been very uneasy from an apprehension that I have now for some time entertained, not from mere nervous timidity but unhappily from sufficient reason, that the dreadful malady which is not my poor father's affliction, is at the present moment and has for some time past been, insidiously possessing itself of me. My first alarm, which may be dated about a month back was excited by a glossy brown patch about the size of a half-penny, which though at that time scarcely discernible on my wrists, I yet knew could not be a mere picture of fancy, though I trusted it would eventually prove to be only the effect of the sun to which I had then recently been more than usually exposed, and in the course of no great length of time totally disappear. But this was a vain hope, I fear not to be realized. This unnatural appearance has been gradually spreading until now it faintly covers the entire back part of my hand, the fingers only excepted upon which it is not yet
decidedly perceptible, though there is a strangeness of look about the extremities of them at the bottom of the nails equally unnatural and unintelligible. On my leg (right) a little above the knee were visible some days ago, four or five small purple spots not much more than specks, and also upon the hip-bone the like peculiarity but a little more extensive. By the application of the flesh brush I have succeeded in dispelling the former, though not so fortunate with the latter. Yesterday I perceived a small red patch just over the right eyebrow this is the first time that I have yet detected anything extraordinary about the face - but this has since disappeared. I really trust that the event will show all this alarm which I cannot but feel even to the affecting of my spirits, to have been false and unnecessary. I am sensibly buoyed up some times when thinking on the subject knowing that it is not the infliction of imperfect man, ever prone to err, but must be the ordination of an all-wise God, who doeth all thing for good.
My father is better and stronger than he was some weeks ago. He has been talking very seriously lately and even planning, not with me but with Mr Scott, about going off the country, a short time must determine the issue, but I anticipate the whole affair will turn out a bubble, in show not mean, in substance nothing. He talks about this vessel and that, when does it sail etc., but, satisfied on these points of enquiry, and it being then left to him only to make up his mind and declare his final determination, he lets time travel, days nothing till the question is directly put to him, when the shortness of the time remaining would render it almost impracticable to make arrangements for embarking if he gave an affirmative reply - or
as seems most frequently to be the case he finds some objection to this vessel and then to that, one is loaded with sugar, and therefore no chance of anything less that a nine weeks passage, this one is sure to be crowded with passengers, and then this one though free from that probable inconvenience is too confined - and this time wears away while he is looking for another and a better opportunity, which opportunity in my humble opinion will never arrive.
August 4th 1837. New York
So far contrary to my expectation and indeed those of every body else my father's long premeditated trip to this country has at length been accomplished. It was abruptly enough determined upon and there I certainly was not mistaken in my calculations. The John W. Cater, Mr Scott informed us on the night of 30th June, would meet with despatch from Kingston on Tuesday the 11th proximo, and on the same night while sitting over the wine, my father being urged by our kind friend not to allow the present opportunity to pass as being the last likely to occur that season, suddenly I well remember ejaculated his consent and orders were immediately given for the securing of two separate state rooms and for the making of every necessary inquiry. So much however did I even then mistrust my father that I thought the execution of the long talked of migration to be as far distant as ever. Nothing of the necessary preparations for so immediate a departure was however commenced upon till the following Monday, when I was set to work in right earnest. We soon perceived that to be ready for em-
embarkation on the following Tuesday would for my father if he did not altogether relinquish the final arrangement of his business and hand it over in statu quo to some body else, be a thing utterly impracticable - by the intercession then of our kind friend Mr Scott, one day's further respite was procured, and by dint of unremitting exertion all things were ready by the appointed time - the winding up of the business only excepted - this however was as far advanced as any body could reasonably dare to expect. On the Wednesday morning about quarter to 5 o'clock, my father and myself seated in the hind part of a double bodied Phaeton with the driver before us, Haughton and Joseph in our own commodious gig, and William, long known as cook and groom of my father's establishment, posted erectly on the back of the old yanky horse, all thus accomodated found ourselves ready to start - in a few short minutes we bid a long farewell to that delectable place, Spanish Town, as we slowly passed over the high bridge at the skirts of it, and last sight of the last building situated at one corner of the 4 cross road. I know not what could have been the reflections of my father as he turned his back upon the town which for six and twenty years had known him as inhabitant, but leaving it as he was with an almost ruined constitution, the effects of so long a residence therein, I can hardly conceive, notwithstanding the attachment that so long an acquaintance therewith is likely to create, that his feelings could have been those of regret, mine were those of unmingled joy and satisfaction. In course of time that is today about half past 7 o'clock, our nags, which we ob-
observe to be most miserable specimens of horseflesh at the first onset, and which subsequent observation has decidedly convinced us of, accomplished the last leg of the journey to our destination. Mr Scott on the steps of his house at the Penn was ready to welcome us, with a remark of course at the lateness of our arrival, and explanation for which was totally unnecessary on our part after directing his attention to the well-conditioned animals in harness before the door. We readily adjourned to the breakfast table, the duties and business of which were soon concluded in consequence of the oppressiveness of the morning which deprived us of any appetite that an early drive might have inspired, together with the little allowance that might be made for the excitement of the occasion. A short time elapsed before we started for Kingston as the dwelling or our kind host occupied a site at the further end of the race course, and took up our quarters protemp: in the lobby adjoining the office of Mr S. Again we quitted and without further stoppage rowed on board. The other passengers were already in the ship, and the breeze springing up, without further delay, the anchor was hoisted, the sails were set and the vessel under weigh moved gently but rapidly through the water to Port Royal. At 4 o'clock the pilot left us and we then considered our voyage begun. The breeze being fair we steered for the leeward passage through the Gulf of Mexico, and with breezes light and variable passed the point of C. Antonio at 10 o'clock am on Monday. On Sunday morning following, July 23rd. we tacked ship and stood direct up the Florida Stream - made 200 miles in 24 hours Latitude 27o51' - Monday - after calm all day between 7 and 8 o'clock pm, sky became very much obscured, thunder and lightning
to a terrific degree succeeded, the latter surpassing any spectacle of the kind I have ever witnessed, with heavy rain followed in about half an hour - the Captain (Crane) however was on deck but the night being uncommonly dark with the exception of the occasional gleams of light every vividly emitted, did not perceive the approach of the squall till it was very nigh, but happily in time to anticipate it, and no damage in consequence was done. We suffered very much on board from the oppressiveness of the heat, the berths being so very confined and the sky lights kept constantly closed over the cabin, that at night we found it hardly tolerable and the perspiration was excessive.
Monday 31st July - at 5 o'clock in the morning took pilot on board - distance from Sandy Hook 40 miles - expecting of course to land that day all of us with one exception decked ourselves out for the occasion - but to our infinite mortification we discovered about mid-day that with so light a breeze as we had, it would be impossible to reach Staten Island the same day in time enough for the Doctor to come on board - finding ourselves becalmed therefore we dropped anchor at the further extremity of the harbour and lay to all night waiting the springing-up of a breeze. Tuesday morning early we again weighed anchor and by dint of constant tacking with a North wind found ourselves in Quarantine Ground about half past 9 o'clock. An Officer of the Customs shortly after made his appearance settled his business with the Captain called over the ship's roll, and left his vacant seat to be occupied by the Doctor who boarded us a little after 10 o'clock,. No person being allowed to quit the ships till after the Dr.
had ascertained the prevailing state of health on board, immediately on his departure the ship's boat was manned with two sailors and the 2nd mate, and closely stowed with half the passengers who were most anxious to put foot on terra firma. The remainder of us waited for its return and after no great trial of our patience joined the rest of out partly already on shore. One small Portmanteau, Carpet Bag or other small package was allowed to us to take on shore, and on our landing at the Wharf at Staten Island was generally subjected to inspection at the Warden's Office. Having been opened however to the view of some or other, employed at the Office in an inferior capacity, immediately as we stepped our of the boat, a repetition of the inconvenience was excused us, and we passed the little square Building appropriated for the examinations with no further interruption than that of receiving our permission to proceed. At 12 o'clock the Steam Boat left Staten Island for Whitehall Wharf at the bottom of N.Y. City and in the course of 35 minutes the interval of 6 or 7 miles was accomplished.
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