British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

complained of are to be ascribed principally to the remissness or culpability of their leading members. The root of the evil lies deeper. The fact is, the governments of the smaller islands were formed in times when many of the proprietors lived upon their estates, and the white population was, in some instances, perhaps ten times as numerous as it now is. Of the few white inhabitants who remain, managers, overseers, self-created lawyers, self-educated physicians, and adventurous merchants, with little real capital and scanty credit, compose the greatest part. The acquirements of education, among many of this description of persons, are very unequal to the task of taking a share in the governments. The prevalence of principle, either moral or religious, is also, I fear, not to be fairly calculated from the repetition of the hacknied expressions, of which an ostentatious use is frequently made in addresses, and on all occasions meant to meet the public eye at home.

To collect from such a state of society men fit to be legislators, judges or jurymen, is perfectly impracticable. Individual interest-- personal influence--animosity of party feuds, weigh down the scale of justice, and divert the course of legislative authority into acts of arbitrary and unjustifiable power, cloaked under the semblance, and dignified with the name, of constitutional acts. How such defects are to be remedied is a question which requires much minute investigation, and serious and dispassionate consideration; neither can I yet venture to trouble your Lordship at length with my crude ideas upon so extensive and intricate a subject. I shall therefore confine myself to repeat, what I have already said in a former dispatch, that I apprehend the defects prevailing in the present state of the government of the Leeward Islands, cannot be remedied without a future appeal to the wisdom of His Majesty's enlightened councils at home. . . .


13
BRITISH GUIANA: TERMS OF CAPITULATION, 19 September 18031

Terms of capitulation proposed by the Governor General and the Court of Policy of the colonies of Essequebo and Demarary, and the commanding officers of the sea and land forces of the Batavian Republic in the said colonies.

To Their Excellencies the Commanders in Chief of His Britannick Majesty's sea and land forces off Demarary.


Art. 1st

The laws and usages of the colony shall remain in force and be

____________________
1
C. O. 111/5.

-100-

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