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FOR JUNE, 1811.


Present State of the Spanish Colonies, including a particular Report of Hispaniola, or

the Spanish Part of St. Domingo. By William Walton, junior, Secretary to the Expedition which captured the City of Santo Domingo from the French, and resident British Agent there. 2 vols. 8vo. London. 1810.

BEFORE we opened these vo- description of St. Domingo, and his lumes, we had a sort of presenti second to that of the Spanish setment that the author would begin tlements on the main. We will not with Columbus. And accordingly, pay. Mr. Walton the compliment of his book sets off with the following saying, that we should have bestowsentence: “ It was in the year 1492 ed any extraordinary portion of time that Columbus first undertook his or attention on his book, were the projected discovery of a western subject less important than it really hemisphere, and in his passage ob- is; but, in proportion as the prosserved the variation of the compass. pect becomes more gloomy in the And then Mr. Walton proceeds to old world, our attention is naturally tell us, that this discovery was excited by those little known and founded on « cosmography, astrono- immense regions, which are slowly my, and the theory of the anti- rising into power on the opposite podes !"

side of the Atlantick. We must All the great booksellers keep look to them for commercial rebeginnings ready for all subjects, sources; and we may be compelled with which authors like the present, to look to them for refuge from that little habituated to composition, are tyranny, which is sedulously prepleasingly accommodated. These paring the destruction of its last and beginnings are furnished from West- most obstinate victim. Thus situmoreland and the Scottish universi. ated, we are happy to hear what ties by the gross; and used up, as Mr. Walton has to say upon these occasion requires, for the introduc- subjects. It is not very inuch, nor tion of plain narrative, and the em- very excellent; but we are not in a bellishment of homely sense.

state of knowledge to reject any Having fairly landed Columbus, contribution of this nature. We are Mr. Walton enters upon his subject; glad to get any books now which dedicating his first volume to the relate to New Spain. We shall get

VOL. y.

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better by and by. An oak tree must fortunes having been made in that be first entered by a wedge, before line than in most others, there has it is fashioned by a chisel, or smooth- recently sprung up a third monarch ed by a plane.

in St. Domingo; a certain Philippe The French division of Hispanio- Dos, the elève of Toussaint, late in la contained, in the year 1790, the employment of Christophe, but 497,000 souls; which are reduced, now at war both with Petion and by the wars of Rigaud, Toussaint, him. Seated among the populous and the devastation of the French, and fertile mountains of Mirbalais, to about 100,000. 'General Petion, in the centre of the island, and borlike a king at chess, holds posses- dering upon the Spanish dominions, sion of the south side of the island, he has increased his numbers to at the head of the brown colour; a more than 6000 persons; and hopes man educated in Europe, of prepos- to increase them still more, by the sessing manners, and mild disposi- nature of his defensive system; tion. His revenues arise principally pledging himself never to invade from the rents of confiscated es- his enemy, but only to call his subtates, though these are not inconsi- jects out when his lines are actually derably aided by the export and attacked. While the French division import duties. By means of a gene- of St. Domingo is torn to pieces by ral requisition of all males above the wars of their barbarous and sefourteen years


he musters mibarbarous chiefs, the Spanish part about 9000 men; and has lately in- remains in the most profound peace creased his population, by collect and tranquillity. ing the people of colour who left Spanish St. Domingo. After such a To convey an idea of the aspect of draught of the male population, it this country,” says Mr. Walton, “would

rather require the fancy of the poet, or of may easily be imagined, that the

the painter, than the narrative of the traharvest is left to be gathered by fe- veller; for, to mix the beautiful with the males; the prude, the coquette, the sublime; to depict shores lined with the beldame, the beauty, all set to work; mangrove, often bending under adhering and the whole of one sex reaping, oysters; scattered fields of luxuriant cof. binding, and pulling; while the other fee, bearing flowers to rival the white is cutting, gashing, and charging.

jessamin, and berries the coral cherry;

the cocoa grove; the light coloured cane Christophe, the other king in this

and guinea grass patch, intermixed with long contested game, is in posses: the useful plantain, waving bamboo, and sion of the north side, at the head of cocoa nut; the orange walk, bounded by the black colour; and can bring into tufts of palmettoes; wild shrubbery, in perthe field about 10,000 men. His petual green, confined by the aloes hedge,

or shut in by native forests, covered with fleet is also the most numerous, flowering woodbines of various tints and and consists of two corvettes, nine continual odour, and watered with the brigs, and a few schooners, com- gushing rills, that fall in natural cascades manded by a white admiral. He is from the mountains, crowned with deep, now attempting to increase this for- overhanging woods, interspersed with midable armament, by purchases in plains and natural meadows, grottoes and North America. Though Christophe harmonizing features of nature, might all

abrupt precipices. These diversified, yet is a ruffian in character, and fond of equally swell the scene; but bid defiance governing by the scymitar, the Spa- to the numbers of the one, or the canvass niards seem to consider him as the of the other.” I. 82, 83. lcast formidable neighbour'; and a defensive treaty is said to be in agi- Rains in St. Domingo are perioditation between them.

cal, as in the other islands. Hurri. Kingship being in these times a canes are seldom experienced. The fashionable profession, and larger thermometer rises in the plains to $6°; standing at the same time in the horse sometimes steps on a spreading the mountains at 72°, 6000 feet bed of the sensitive plant, that instantly above the level of the sea. The ve.

droops, as does the loaded corn to a gust getable productions of St. Domingo influence. The tea plant runs wild, but is

of wind, with the suddenness of magical are, the mahogany, a tall, straight, only used as an excellent pectoral. The beautiful tree, with red flowers, and almond shrub has the peculiarity of peroval, lemon-sized fruit. When this fectly affording the taste of that kernel, tree grows in a barren soil, the on mastication; and is used in distilling, grain of the wood is beautifully va

to give to cordials its rival flavour. The riegated; upon rich ground, it is

aloes serve only for fences.” I. 104, 5. pale, open, and of little value. The

Eight leagues from the capital are manchineel tree affords, for furni. the gold mines, known by the name ture, slabs interspersed with beauti. of Buona Ventura. It was here that ful green and yellow veins, like Garay and Diaz found that wondermarble; but the dust of this wood is ful grain of gold, which weighed of so acrid and poisonous a nature, 3600 pesos, equal to 200 ounces. It that the sawyers and carpenters are was found by an Indian woman, and forced to work with gauze masks,

purchased by governour Bobadilla to protect them from its injurious

for the king; but it went down, with effects. St. Domingo produces fus

the ship that contained it, to the tick, lignumvitæ, the bark of which

bottom of the sea. To the south are the natives use for soap; the capa, the mines of Giraba, where several impervious to worms; the dwarfpine, used for candles; braziletto without touching a tool. The Ma

persons have enriched themselves

. wood; the cotton tree, of which beds

roons, who occupy the hills of the and hats are made; the cedar; the

latter place, procure, with the gold sandbox tree, the fruit of which ex. they collect, part of their clothing, plodes with the noise of a pistol; for they have no other trade. Mr. the palm tree, which fattens hogs, Walton once purchased a square and supplies timber houses, hats, bottle of grains from them, containand baskets; the palmetto

tree, ing 45 ounces. All these mines have growing seventy feet high, with a

been closed by a royal decree, and cabbage at the top; the dwarf pal- men stationed at the mouths of the metto, the berries of which are used mines; and all enterprising chrysofor low spirits; sugar, cotton, coffee, philists threatened with the

most excocoa; the calabash, which supplies emplary punishment. St. Domingo the place of Wedgewood's ware; the produces also silver, quicksilver, plantain, the staff of life in the West the loadstone, jasper, porphyry, Indies; the varilla, quassia, sima

agates, antimony, red ochre, and rouba, sarsaparilla, indigo; tobacco, amethysts. In old times, says Mr. turmerick, ginger, and rice plants.

Walton, from Herrera, the mines of

La Vega and Buona Ventura pro“The European, on landing, is struck with the novel and variegated foliage of a

duced annually 460,000 merks of tropical hemisphere. The orange, or gol- gold, besides what was sent away in den apple of the Hesperides; the shad. ornaments. dock grove, and alcoves covered with the creeping granidillo, in flower and bearing “Even now, after the great successive fruit, form, at noon, a delightful shade to ravages and pillages the country has un. enhance the conviviality of a dinner party. dergone, it is not unusual to see a grazier The pomegranate, the sweet smelling or woodcutter come down from the mounacacia, th red and white franchipane, tains, with massive buckles, a round equally ornament the prospect, and per- each, two gold watch chains, and perhaps fume the air.

a poor, silver watch to one, a rosary, “As a matter of curiosity, I cannot but large, double buttons, hat buckle, &c. mention, that, in travelling along the road, which he parades as ornament, and thinks

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