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September 20, 2013

Historical Notes

Memorial respecting the Settlement of the Charaib Country in the Island of St.Vincent(With the removal of the Caribs the English planters set their eyes on the exploitation of the lands stolen from the Caribs). Below are excerpts from a memorial dealing with the settlement of the Carib lands.{{more}}

In settlement of the Charaib Country, it is estimated by the most experienced planters, that the 10,074 Acres noted by the late Crown Surveyor, as proper for sugar estates, will require about 9,000 negroes, that in two years the Estates, will be productive, and in three completely settled, then returning annually above 12,000 hogsheads of Sugar, the present duties on which will amount to above £160,000, to which adding those on Rum, on Coffee or accruing from Articles of Export from Great Britain, the addition from this Colony of Net Revenue to the Crown, cannot be estimated at less than £200,000 for each year.

Advantages of increase to the manufactures and trade, to the Commercial Shipping and therewith to the Navy of Great Britain, will be proportionate, and be it remarked, these advantages will be immediately in a greater demand of every article, on the first undertaking of Settlement. On dispersal of the Charaib Lands by public sale (as presumed to be the intention of His Majesty’s Ministers) the amount of Monies to be received and disposable by Government is a subject of further calculation.

On settlement of the leeward part of the Island of St.Vincent in 1765, it appears from the Commissioners Books, that lands proper for Sugar sold at from £23 to £59 the Acre – this however may be considered, as in some measure a reduced price in reference to the real value of the Lands, even at that period; from the great numbers of lots nearly a the same time on Sale in Tobago, in Dominica and in Grenada; but more especially from the Charaibs those possessing one moiety of St.Vincent, and from their ferocious Enmity endangering Settlements in the other.

A much higher price might now be expected, the Charaibs being removed, and the object of Competition narrowed to a small district, under such new and great enhancement of intrinsic value.

But further, since 1765, the richness of the St.Vincent Soil and the reasonableness and salubrity of its Climate have been experienced, whilst the discovery of the Bourbon and other exotic canes, have rendered each acre of Land more productive at least by a third, and of value in proportion – Some of the Charaibs Lands, and especially in the district of Morne Young, are the richest in the Island; under these circumstances £50 per Acre seems a very moderate average price and this on 10,074 will return above £500,000 at disposal of His Majesty’s Government, subject however to sundry expenses of the undertaking.