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CHA P. reas.-3. Pano da ley, all cotton, about 1000 reas.-4. Pa

no de fio de laa, cotton and worsted, 4 to 5000 reas.-5. Pa-
no de retros, cotton and filk, 6 to 12,000 reas.-6. Pano de
vestir, 3000 reas.

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St. Tho


245. The island of St. Thomas (called by the negroes on the coast Poncas) was discovered by the Portuguefe, in 1465, first settled by them in 1467, and here they have raised a colony which is, or was, very flourishing. It's situation (under the line, and in about 27° of longitude East from Ferro) appeared to the Dutch fo commodious for the trade of the neighbouring coasts, that they took it in 1610, and again 1641; but it was both times retaken by the Portuguese, who foon repaired the almost incalculable damage their enemies did on abandoning it.

246. The chief products are sugar and ginger*. Of


* I do not know that the products of any one of the countries, which I have found it necessary to sketch, have ever been explored and distinctly enumerated. That they have not, would appear from the new discoveries always made, even in the most frequented parts of Africa, when naturalifts happen to visit them. Of this we have an instance, in the following extract from the evidence of A. P. How, Esq. who was in Africa, in 1785 and 1786, in the Grampus ship of war, employed as a botanist, by the British government." The witness has seen cinnamon trees at St. Thomas, at the sea side, about 20 feet high; and, from what he heard, they grew inland to a higher size. From the bark brought down, he concludes there must be a great quantity inland. The cinnamon and callia trees are of different genera; the one belonging to the Laurus, the other the Caffia; but their genera are not quite established. The leaf of the laurus is oblong, nerved, shining, simple. Of the callia, the leaves are bipennate, not unlike the mimosa or fenfitive plant. The witness is not positive that it is the same cinnamon which grows in India; but the bark, leaves and whole structure of the tree are the same as those brought from thence to Kew gardens. He has never been at Ceylon; but has seen the tree, both at Bombay and Cambay, in private gardens, brought as presents from Ceylon. The African cafia is not unlike that which has been seen in the East Indies." See Minutes of Evidence before the House of Commons, 1790, p. 226.


St. Tho.


brown sugar, the common crop is from 6 to 7co charges, of CHA P. which near 100,000 roves, each 32 Portuguese pounds, are annually fent to Portugal. The other products and manufactures of St. Thomas, are different kinds of cotton stuffs, proper for the Portuguese trade on the coast, fruits, particularly that called cola, a nut, in taste like a chesnut, which is advantageously bartered in Angola and Congo, whence it is sent to a great distance inland. Indian corn, millet, caflada, figs, bananas and other tropical produce, grow here in plenty. The sheep and goats are excellent; but the beef is smaller, and not near fo fat, as in Europe.

247. The Portuguese carry to St. Thomas, linens, cam- Imports. blets, serges, brandy, wine, olives, olive-oil, capers, fine flour, butter, cheese, salt, hatchets, bills, copper-kettles and plates, sugar-moulds, pitch, tar and cordage.


248. Of the three first, the Portuguese make so little use Prince's as scarcely to claim an exclusive property in them. Ships of FERNANDO all nations occasionally touch at them for wood and water, ston*AND and to catch turtles.

But at Annabona, the Portuguese ANNABONA trade in cotton, which they gather there in considerable quantities. They also raise hogs, goats, poultry, and fruits.,

249. Except Ascension, which is covered with sand and Eligible for rocks, all these islands offer to Portugal an excellent opportunity of imitating the liberal and humane example of colonization in Africa, which has lately distinguished Great Britain and Denmark.


General re. flections the Portu


and 250. The Portuguese had the advantage of trading to, establishing themselves in, Africa, earlier than any other guese fettle

U 2

modern Africa.

ments in


Their power

CH A P. modern European nation; and that too at a time when

they were actuated by a spirit of enterprize which perhaps
has never been exceeded in any people.
has, indeed, undergone a great, but gradual, declension,
especially on the continent of the East of Africa. Yet such
remains of it are still visible that a respectable modern
writer scruples not to say, that they still possess more valua-
ble territory in Africa, and have brought more of the na-
tives to live in the European manner, than all Christendom

besides. Hence he concludes, that other nations, and the British pro: British in particular, who can furnish Africa with manuca might ex- factures of their own, might make at least as great advances

in the inland trade of that continent, as the Portuguese, guese.

under the disadvantage of purchasing most of the goods they carry to it, from other nations. But this," he obferves, depends on quite other measures than what have ever yet been taken,"

ceed Portu



251. The Canary Islands, as well as those of Madeira and Cape Verd, were known to the ancients. But their accounts of them are indistinct and confused; for they appear to have confounded many islands together, under the general name of the fortunate islands. The Canaries were first known to the Europeans, in the middle ages, between the years 1326 and 1334, by means of a French ship driven among them by stress of weather. In 1403, they were granted by Henry III. King of Castile, to John de Betancour, a Frenchman.—The subsequent conquest of them by

* This sketch is an abridgement from Glas's History of the Canary Iands, London 1764.





the Spaniards, as well as their civil history since, are foreign C HA P. to our purpose.

252. Of the Canary Islands, which are seven in number, Tenerife is the most considerable. It is about 36 leagues Tenerife. in circumference. The latitude of it's centre is 28° 30' N. longitude 16° 25' W. from London.

253. From the varieties of it's soil, climate and exposure, Productions, all the valuable vegetable productions, of temperate and tropical countries, thrive in it.—It's animals are camels, horses, asses, mules, cows, sheep, goats, hogs, rabbets, fowls, geese, ducks, &c.—The island rises on all sides towards the Pike, in it's centre, like a hanging garden, till within league of the clouds, which are not above mid-way up the Pike. But there are no houses any where above three leagues from the sea. The first league from the shore produces vines, the next corn, the third woods of chesnut trees, &c. interspersed with some corn. Beyond these woods, are the clouds which, in fine weather, come down in the evening, and rest on the woods till morning, when they retire about a league. Where the clouds rest in the day, there are many pine-trees, beyond which grows no grass or vegetable, except a shrub called retama. The Pike itself is, properly speaking, a volcanic mountain, of a conical form, fituated on the summit of a very high Island. It is visible in approaching it 40 leagues, and in departing from it 50*.

254. Sainta Cruz, the chief town of Tenerife, may be. Towns, reckoned the capital of all these Islands; for, though the courts, &c. episcopal fee and the supreme courts of judicature are ať Palmas, in Gran Canaria, the Governor General of all the

* The height of the Pike above the sea, according to Dr. Heberden, is 15,396 feit; according to M. Borda, 12,340 feet.




Gran Cana-

CHA P. Canaries, resides at Santa Cruz,which is the centre of the trade

of these Islands with Europe and America, and contains about CANARIES.

7000 inhabitants. Besides Santa Cruz, there are in Tenerife several other considerable towns and villages; for that small

part of the country which is inhabited at all, is extremely Population, populous, the island being computed to contain no less than

96,000 souls. In the large village of Ico, there is a silk matures, wine, sugar. nufacture, especially of stockings, which are sent to the

Spanish West Indies.-From the whole Island, 15,000 pipes of wine and brandy are annually exported.---The Count of Gomera has about 1000 negro flaves employed in Tenerife, in making sugar; which, however, he does not find a profitable business. There are very few other negro flaves in Tenerife, and still fewer in the rest of the islands.

255. This island is about fourteen leagues in length and nine in breath; and, for the excellence of it's air, water and productions, weil deserves the name of the fortunate island. But this must be understood with an exception, for the S. E. wind, which is hot and stifling, and comes fraught with clouds of locusts that destroy every thing green. This calamity, however, happens but seldom, and does not last long; for the earth soon recovers it's verdure. Gran Canaria

is well watered, and almost any thing planted in it will Proportion of thrive. Though it be so mountainous, that not above one arable land. seventh of it's surface is fit for cultivation, it contains more

arable land than Tenerife, Palma, Gomera or Ferro.

256. Much sugar was formerly made in Gran Canaria; but sugar-canes have been abandoned for vines, which are found to be more profitable. The Canary wine is good ; but not equal to that of Tenerife. The prohibition of exporting provisions from this island, and fixing a price on them, is a great check to it's industry, and tends to produce





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