Selection from   - Rev. James Ramsay,    Essay on the Treatment and Conversion of African Slaves in the British Sugar Colonies (London: James Phillips, 1784)     A surgeon is generally employed by the yea to attend the sick slaves.   His allowance per head varies from fourteen pence to three shillings; in a few instances it rises tp three shillings and six pence sterling, besides being paid for amputations.   Some frugal planters trust to their own skill, and James’s powder and Ward’s pill’ and,..read more

Selection from John Davy The West Indies Before and Since Slave Emancipation (London: W & F G Cash, 1854)   In another island, St. Kitts, the Civil hospital was as much open to censure for opposite qualities, which, even now, I fear, are only partially corrected.   When I visited it was in a very discreditable state; dirty and disorderly and ill provided, more likely to be productive of, that to promote the cure of disease, to increase that to alleviate suffering; and this owning not so much to want of funds, as to neglect and m..read more

Selection from Père Nouveau Voyages aux Isles de l’Amerique 1693-1705 (Paris, 1722) J’allai me proéminer sur le soir aux environs du bourg. Il paraissait par les mesures et les solages des maisons qu’il avait été autre fois bien bâti et fort considérable. Les Anglais l’avaient entièrement détruit, jusqu'à transporter chez eux les matériaux et les pierre de taille et les pierres de taille des encognures. Nos Français avaient déjà rebâti beaucoup de maisons et travaillaient a s’établir comme s’ils eussent été assures d’une paix éternelle...read more

  The British victory in the Seven Years War (1756-1763) had been an expensive one and when it was over Britain decided to maintain an armed force in North America to safe guard its new acquisitions.  The Stamp Act was introduced to meet this cost.  It was a tax on legal documents which would be null and void without it.  However the tax fell heavier on the Caribbean colonies and brought no real benefits to the islands where the military presence was actually reduced.  Moreover the colonists in the islands insisted that..read more

  Why were Forts necessary?   Small colonies like St. Kitts always were in danger of being taken by the enemy especially during wartime.  There had to be a protective force on island at all times to guard both people and property.  Many of these forces were voluntary, as in the Militia but during the Colonial years, the British Government sent out troops of soldiers who occupied the forts.   Names of the Forts   There were four forts in Basseterre stretching along the Bay front and thus providing secur..read more

Hurricanes  Wars were not the only dramatic events to effect the development of Basseterre.  Natural disasters played a very significant roll.The 1642 and 1667 hurricanes destroyed all the houses on the island.  In 1667 French Governor Laurent reported  I hold myself obliged to inform you that this island is in the most deplorable state that can be imagined and that the inhabitants could not have suffered a greater loss, or been more unfortunate except they had been taken by the English.  There is not a house or sugar works standing,..read more


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