British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

5
SAN DOMINGO: INSTRUCTIONS TO GOVERNOR ADAM WILLIAMSON, 7 October 17941

. . . 1st. With these Our Instructions you will receive Our Commission under Our Great Seal of Great Britain, constituting you Our Governor and Commander in Chief in and over such parts of the Island of St. Domingo as now do, or at any time during the continuance of your Government, shall belong unto Us, Our Crown and dignity. In the execution therefore of Our said Commission you are to take upon you the administration of the Government of such parts of the said Island so belonging to Us, as aforesaid, and to do and execute all things belonging to your command according to the several powers and authorities of Our said Commission under Our Great Seal of Great Britain, and of these Our Instructions to you, and according to such further powers and Instructions as you shall at any time hereafter receive under Our Signet and Sign Manual, or by Our Order in Our Privy Council.

2nd. And whereas certain articles of capitulation, copies of which are hereunto annexed, bearing date the third day of September 1793 were signed by Major General Williamson, and Monsieur de Charmilly, duly authorized for that purpose, it is Our will and pleasure that you should fulfil and cause to be fulfilled as far as in you lies, the several stipulations contained in the said articles, as well with respect to those parts of St. Domingo to which the said articles relate, as to all other parts of the said Island, which now are or shall be in Our possession.

3rd. And you are, as soon as convenient after your arrival within your said Government, to choose from amongst the proprietors of the three provinces, of which the same consists, a committe of six persons, who are to assist you in all the details of administration and police conformably to the stipulations in the 5th article of the said capitulation in this behalf. And you are hereby required to consult and advise with the said Commissaries, and in cases of importance, and where you shall judge that Our interests may require it, you are hereby authorized to act contrary to their opinion, calling upon them in such cases to state their opinions in writing, with their reasons for the same, and you are to transmit to one of Our Principal Secretaries

____________________
1
C.O. 319/4, pp. 493-515. Pencil notes on this copy show that it was used for the draft of Macartney's Instructions on his appointment to the Cape (see R.C.C., vol. ii, p. 3). They became the standard form for conquered colonies. Major-General Adam Williamson had served in America and the West Indies before being made Governor of Jamaica in 1790. Overtures were made to him by some San Domingo planters in arms against the French Revolutionary Government for British protection in 1791, but it was not until 1793 that he received discretionary powers from home to send a force to capture the island. Simcoe was sent by Pitt in 1796 with reinforcements. In 1798, however, the island was evacuated.

-83-

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