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count of the Cape Verd Islands, which being ill watered, C HA P. and their rains uncertain, cannot be ranked among the most fertile parts of Africa. But it is not improbable that he visited them during a drought; for Mortimer (in his Commercial Dictionary, Art. Cape de Verd Isles) does not represent them as very miserable habitations. He tells us that, though mere deserts when the Portuguese first settled on them, they now produce several commodities for trade, as raw and dressed hides, oil extracted from tortoises, honey, wax, salt, Turkey wheat, (Indian corn or maize) oranges, lemons, &c. and supply vessels with tame and wild fowls. Cattle are in such plenty, that several ships are employed in carrying them to Brazil, whither they also convey quantities of fish, caught and salted near Cape Verd.—He might have added, that these islands supply the West Indian sugar colonies with great numbers of cattle, asses and mules (See § 60) and that, at Santiago, the inhabitants manufacture cloths of cotton and of silk. They are very beautiful articles, and are commonly called in England, cloths,” a name, however, often applied to Guinea cloths,” or those fabricated by the negroes on the continent of Africa.
238. Colonel Bolts who was at the Cape Verd Islands, in 1781, has obligingly communicated to me the following additional and very interesting particulars.
239. In September and October, ships have often been Harbours. driven on shore in Porto Praya road. In the dangerous season, therefore, it is best to anchor out in 18 fathoms water; so that, in case of a gale, the ship may be sure of clearing the eastern point, called Mulher Branca, or the western,
CHA P. called Tumrosa. Sam Vincent, one of the Ilhas Desertas, X.
has the best harbour in all these islands; and it is capable of CAPEVERD Is LANDS. containing the most numerous fleet of large ships, safe all the
year round. Sam Vincent has the advantage of excellent
air and plenty of good water, but it is uninhabited. Curious 240. The island of S. Antam (improperly called S. Antostones.
nio) formerly belonged to the Duque Infeliz (de Aveiro.) It was rented by that family to an English gentleman, whose agent, one Stephen Spencer, picked up some stones, washed down from the peak of the island, and sent them to England. The lapidaries gave it as their opinion, that the mountain whence they came certainly contained curious, if not precious, stones. All the Illands contain iron ore, often
on the surface. People en 241. The Duque d'Aveiro had partly peopled S. Antam slaved by the Duque d'A- with his own slaves; and, in time, he acquired, or usurped,
a kind of property in the persons of the other inhabitants. The poor, ignorant creatures having submitted to his gradual and artful encroachments on their liberties, their children actually came to consider themselves as the flaves of this usurper and his successors. And fo compleatly were they subjugated at last, that the English agent exported and sold a great number of them. On the fall of the Averio family, however, S. Antam reverted to the crown: and, not above fix months ago (1781) the governor received an order from the court of Lisbon to liberate these oppressed people, who are computed to be about 1000.- The famine which afflicted these islands a few years ago (see $ 235, note) appeared first in S. Antam, and was very feverely felt in that island, 1000 of it's inhabitants having perished by it. In Santiago, 15,000 persons, or about one half of the inhabi tants, lost their lives, in the same distressing period.
242. During the administration of the Marquis de Pom- CH A P. bal, about 10,000 of the inhabitants of the Cape Verd Isands were sent to build the present fortifications at Bissao, where most of them died.
243. There are at Santiago fourteen Emgenhos, or sugar- Sugar-mills. mills, worked by oxen; but only two of them are reckoned good. They make very strong spirits there; but, from a defect of industry and ingenuity, and doubtless of encouragement and capital, neither their sugar nor spirits are sufficiently cheap for exportation. 244. The late governor, Joaquim Salene Saldanha Lo- Whale-fish
ery,Orchella, bo, had a scheme for fitting out vessels at the Cape Verd Isands, for the whale fishery on the Southern coast of Afri- tures. ca; and another for extracting from the Semente da purga * an oil which is excellent for burning, and is free from any bad smell.—The gathering of Orzella, or Orchella, on the coast of these islands, costs not 800 reas per quintal. The medium price of that quantity, at Porto Praya, is 3000 reas, and at Lisbon 19,200 reast.- In these islands, they might raise great quantities of very good cotton, and also of indigo which grows wild every where. But the inhabitants do not cultivate more of either, than what is necessary for the cloths they manufacture, for their trade to the continent of Africa. Colonel Bolts has samples of the following kinds, the first of which is in the greatest demand on the continent, and the rest in the order of the numbers. The prices are those at which they may be respectively bought per piece, at Porto Praya.—1. Pano de agulha, all cotton, about 2500 reas.-2. Pano quadrado, all cotton, about 2000
* Ricinus—Pignon d'Inde. It is believed to be the same plant from which the
C HA 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. Pano de retros, cotton and filk, 6 to 12,000 reas.-6. Pano de vestir, 3000 reas.
245. The island of St. Thomas (called by the negroes on the coast Poncas) was discovered by the Portuguese, 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 loon 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 naturalists 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 fize. From the bark brought down, he concludes there must be a great quantity inland. The cinnamon and cassia trees are of different genera; the one belonging to the Laurus, the other the Caflia; 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 sensitive 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 cassia is not unlike that which has been seen in the East Indies."-See Minutes of Evidence before the House of Commons, 1790, p. 226.
brown sugar, the common crop is from 6 to 700 charges, of CHA P.
247. The Portuguese carry to St. Thomas, linens, cam- Imports.
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, sion AND and to catch turtles. But at Annabona, the Portuguese AnnABORA 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 fand 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.
250. The Portuguese had the advantage of trading to, and establishing themselves in, Africa, earlier than any other guese feitle