America and West Indies: Miscellaneous, 1694

Pages 421-423

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 14, 1693-1696. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1903.

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Miscellaneous, 1694

[1694] 1,629. A collection of papers relating to the Island of Martinique, which were captured on a French prize and brought to England.
1,629. I. An analytic table of the population of Martinique, under sixteen heads. It appears that the total population numbered 19,581, the men fit to bear arms 1,110, boys fit to bear arms 641, slaves 12,900. Taken on 8 July, 1694. French. Copy. Large sheet. Endorsed, The original taken in a French prize from Martinique.
1,629. II. A few short comments on the state of the provisions at Martinique. 30 June, 1694. French. Copy. 1 p.
1,629. III. Account of stores of war and ammunition wanting at Fort St. Pierre, Martinique. 8 July, 1694. Signed, Gabaret. Original. French. 1½ pp.
1,629. IV. Copy of No. III.
1,629. V. Account of the new converts in the various parishes of Martinique. 13 March, 1694. Original. French. 1¼ pp.
1,629. VI. A long memoir concerning the naturalisation of one Cornelia L'Hermite, a Dutch woman, and certain questions of property raised thereby. Dated, 25 June, 1694. 30 pp. French. Original.
1,629. VII. Extracts from the treaty concluded between France and the United Provinces at Nimeguen in 1678, and of the declaration of the French King of 9 January, 1685, in favour of Dutch subjects domiciled in French territory. French. 3¼ pp.
1,629. VIII. Monsieur Gabaret to ?. Martinique, 8 July, 1694. "Monseigneur," the English have made several voyages to this Island both for exchange of prisoners and for negotiation of neutrality. Their stay at Fort Royal has always been very short, and M. de Blenac allowed them to go to Fort St. Pierre. Having intelligence that they had examined matters there somewhat minutely, I thought it my duty to ask M. de Blenac for three companies, who quite appreciated my reasons of the same; and I beg that in future the three companies may remain there. At least it will assure the safety of the district and be a great relief to the inhabitants, who, finding themselves disburdened of the heavy guards which they were obliged to furnish in the town, will return with more zest to their ordinary employments. I observed that several had withdrawn to other districts to escape this fatigue. I have informed you before that our entrenchments cannot last, being made of sand and bad wood. The plan of M. Cailus, the engineer, will have shown you plainly the facility and the need for fortifying this quarter; but to carry this out there must be money. I have a fund of 200,000 pounds of sugar gathered from the inhabitants of this district, for which they have given me their bills, but some of them will be dissatisfied. The Intendant has promised me a thousand crowns (écus), which will advance the work greatly, for, having only sugar and little of that, we could have done nothing. If you will direct the revenue in the hands of the Intendants to be devoted to this object, it will be of considerable help, and I beg that you will obtain the King's leave for the escheated property of Demoiselle L'hermite, deceased (as to which no doubt you have been informed) to be applied to the same purpose. Nothing could be more useful for the good and safety of this Colony than the fortification of this district, and I hope that you will give the matter your consideration. I have informed M. de Blenac that I thought it would be well to send back the English prisoners taken by our privateers, and that till then they should be safely guarded and subsisted by us. It will prevent them from examining our defences so closely, and give us an opportunity to see what they are about. But both he and another officer answered that they had no funds to meet the cost of this. When there are ships in this roadstead I take the precaution of dispersing the prisoners, but when there are none I have the vexation of seeing them walk the streets, in anxiety lest they should run off with some vessel, as some of them did two or three months ago. I beg to recall to you my good service to the King. French. A copy made by some clerk who knew no French. 2¼ pp.
1,629. IX. Mons. Cailus to ?. "Monseigneur," two months of continual rain have delayed our work greatly, though I have taken every advantage of favourable intervals. The powder-magazine is vaulted and counter-vaulted, and I hope in a month to advance the victual-magazine to the same stage, when I shall look upon this building as half-finished. This year nearly 15,000 livres will be spent in workmen's wages, of which two thirds could be saved by the establishment of a company of miners, to say nothing of the urgent complaints of the inhabitants, who are the less able to do without artizans since buccaneering has reduced them to a very small number. The entrenchments of Fort St. Pierre being made only of sand and of rotten palisades need repair every six months. The 200,000 lbs. of sugar assigned for the work are not enough even to begin it. The Intendant cut the knot by furnishing 1,000 crowns in coin, and I have come here to consult M. Gabaret as to laying it out speedily. If you wish the plan to be followed, pray appoint a part of the sum granted annually by the King for the Islands to the same. An alien woman named L'hermite has lately died here, and there will be no lack of people to ask for her estate; but for the King's service I would represent that no better fund could be found for the fortification of St. Pierre. It is the largest establishment which the King has in America, and it is of the last importance to place it beyond possibility of insult or surprise as speedily as may be. We ought not to count on our enemies always making the same mistakes, if their errors are so gross as to need little dexterity to repair them and no great force to destroy the work of fifty years in a single day. Signed, Cailus. French. Original. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 5. Nos. 751, I–IX.]