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Full text of "Land use and population in St. Vincent, 1763-1960."

LAND USE AND POPULATION IN ST. VINCENT, 1763-1960 

A CONTRIBUTION TO THE 

STUDY OF THE PATTERNS OF ECONOMIC AND DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGE 

IN A SMALL WEST INDIAN ISLAND 



By 
Joseph Spinelli 



A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE 
COUNCIL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL 
FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF 
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY 



UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 
1973 



^ 



@ 1974 



JOSEPH SPINELLI 



ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 



To the Memory of My Father and My Mother 



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

In the course of this study, I have incurred innumerable 
debts to persons and Institutions who have assisted me in one 
way or another. I can never repay Professor David L. Niddrie 
for his faithful guidance, sharing of experiences, sage advice, 
constructive criticisms, and patience throughout the preparation 
of this work. It was, Indeed, Professor Niddrie who first sug- 
gested to me a study in the former British Caribbean, particular- 
ly in St. Vincent. His knowledge of the Vest Indies opened many 
doors for me and smoothed the path for my initial reconnaissance 
of the area and, later, for a more extensive stay in the island. 
For this impetus and understanding, I remain forever in his debt. 
I wish, in addition, to acknowledge the valuable help and 
encouragement I received from the past and present members of the 
Department of Geography at the University of Florida. 

It is impossible to thank personally the many people in 
St. Vincent and elsewhere in the West Indies who aided me during 
my three visits to the area. Several individuals and institu- 
tions, however, deserve mention for their welcomed contributions 
to my work. Dr. I. A. E. Kirby, Chief Veterinary Office, St. 
Vincent, his wife, Monica, and their two children took me into 
their family life and introduced me to the non-academic side 
of Vincentian society. They made my stay in Kingstown an 



iv 



unforgettable experience. In addition, "Doc" Kirby helped me to 
see and understand the physical environment of St. Vincent to an 
extent uncommon even among many native Vincentlans. For this , I 
am ever grateful. 

Among the others who rendered valuable service, advice, and 
experience, I wish to thank: Miss Grace Malcolm of the Save the 
Children Foundation in Kingstown; Mr. Clifford Williams, formerly 
Acting Chief Surveyor of St. Vincent, and his ever-eager staff in 
the Department of Lands and Surveys; Mr. O'Neil Barrow, Clerk 
of the Legislative Council, St. Vincent; Mr. Ernest Laborde, 
Labor Commissioner, St. Vincent; Christian I. Martin, formerly 
Economist in the St. Vincent Planning Unit; the personnel of the 
Department of Agriculture, the Department of Statistics, the 
Central Housing Authority, the Office of the Registrar-General, 
and the St. Vincent Banana Grower's Association. 

Mr. Joe Brown, who captained the yacht Stella Vega , has 
my gratitude for his kindly allowing me twice to accompany him 
on trips through the Grenadine dependencies. 

For services rendered outside of St. Vincent, I wish to 
thank the staff of the Central Statistical Office in Port-of- 
Spain, Trinidad and Tobago; the members of the United Nations 
Eastern Caribbean Physical Planning Project in St. Ann's Court, 
Barbados; and the Chief Librarian of the Population Research 
Center at the University of Texas at Austin who provided a copy 
of the elusive 1911 census of population for St. Vincent. 



I also wish to thank the Director of the Center for Latin 
American Studies at the University of Florida for a grant-in-aid 
to cover the costs of transportation and housing for the initial 
reconnaissance and later field work in St. Vincent. 

My gratitude to the many Vincentians who freely offered 
information and hospitality during my many trips through the 
countryside will be repaid by my memory of their kindnesses. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 

Page 



Acknowledgments 
List of Tables 
List of Figures 
Abstract 

Chapter I 



Chapter II 





iv 




xli 




xiv 




xvili 


Introduction 


1 


The Problem 


4 


The Working Hypothesis 


7 


Definitions of Terms and Limita- 




tions in the Study 


8 


A Review of the Literature 


9 


Studies of St. Vincent 


10 


Studies of Other British West 




Indian Societies 


12 


General Studies of the West 




Indian Economy and Population 


13 


Summary of the Economic and 




Population Literature 


16 


The Organization of the Study 


17 


Notes to Chapter I 


19 


The Physical Environment 


28 


The Physical Landscape 


28 


The Climate 


34 


The Natural Vegetation 


36 


Soils 


39 


Agricultural Land Capability in 




St. Vincent 


42 


Summary 


43 


Notes to Chapter II 


45 



PART I THE EVOLUTION OF THE ECONOMY 

OF ST. VINCENT 48 

Chapter III The Sugar Industry of St. Vincent, 

1763 to 1838 49 



vii 



TABLE OF CONTENTS (continued) 



Early Settlements in St. Vincent, 

Pre-1763 49 
The Advent of the Sugar Industry, 1764 

to 1800 52 
The Zenith of the Sugar Industry, 

1800 to 1828 63 
The Waning of the Sugar Industry Before 

Slave Emancipation 68 

Summary 76 

Notes to Chapter III 77 

Chapter IV The Sugar Industry cf St. Vincent, 1839 

to 1902 83 

Post-Emancipation Labor Shortages 83 

Free Villages 87 

Land Purchase 89 

Squatting 90 

Labor Supply Problems 91 

Alien Labor Immigration, 1845 to 1880 95 

Portuguese Madeiran Immigration 95 

"Liberated" African Immigrants 96 

East Indian Immigration 99 

The West Indian Encumbered Estates 

Act in St. Vincent 104 
The Sale of Encumbered Estates in St. 

Vincent, 1856 to 1888 106 
The Number of Working Estates in St. 

Vincent, 1854 to 1902 113 

The Demise of the Vincentian Sugar 

Economy, 1854 to 1902 115 

The Sugar Cane Industry 116 

Beet Sugar Competition 120 

Natural Disasters 124 

Epilogue 126 

Summary 128 

Notes to Chapter IV 129 

Chapter V Kajor and Minor Economic Crops in the 

Vincentian Economy 141 

The Arrowroot Starch Industry 141 
Nineteenth-Century Birth of the 

Industry 142 

Market Gluts in the United Kingdom 146 

The Competition of Other Local Crops 147 
The Emergence of the United States 

Market 149 
The Supply Difficulties and Distress 

in the Arrowroot Industry 154 

The Cotton Industry 156 
The Cotton Trade in the Late 18th 

Century 157 
The Cotton Trade in Decline, 

1800 to 1850 163 



TABLE OF CONTENTS (continued) 



The Cotton Industry in the Second 

Half of the 19th Century 164 

The Introduction of Sea Island 

Cotton of St. Vincent 167 

The Early Years of Development 

and the First World War 170 

The Cotton Boom and Slump, 1919 to 

1928 174 

The Great Depression and the 

Second World War, 1929 to 1945 177 
The Demise of the Sea Island 
Cotton Industry in St. Vincent 180 
The Banana Industry 183 

The Early Banana History in 

St. Vincent 183 

The Development of the Modern 

Banana Industry of St. Vincent 187 

The Minor Agricultural Industries of 

St. Vincent 190 

The Cocoa Industry 191 

The Copra Industry 194 

A Review of the Agricultural Economy 197 

The Balance of Trade 200 

Summary 203 

Notes to Chapter V 204 

PART II THE POPULATION OF ST. VINCENT 221 

Chapter VI Population Change in St. Vincent, 

1763 to 1960 222 

An Evaluation of Historical 
Population Data 222 

The Periods of Population Change 

in St. Vincent 224 

Pre-Censal Estimates: The Era of 
Slavery and Apprenticeship 225 

The Era of Alien Labor Immigration, 

1844 to 1881 232 

The Era of Emigration, 1881 to 1931 236 

The Era of Rapid Population Growth, 

1931 to 1960 241 

Population Distribution and Density 252 

Population Distribution in St. Vincent 252 

Population Density in St. Vincent 254 

Percentage Distribution of 

Population 265 

Summary 273 

Notes to Chapter VI 275 



TABLE OF CONTENTS (continued) 



Chapter VII The Composition of Population in St. 

Vincent 284 

The Age Structure 285 

The Age Composition of St. Vincent 286 
The Age Structure, by Sex, for 

St. Vincent 290 
Intra-Island Variations in Age and 

Sex Structure 299 

Variations in St. Vincent's Burden 

of Dependency 314 

The Sex Composition 317 

The Sex Ratio for St. Vincent 317 

Intra-Island Variations in the 

Sex Ratio 322 

The Sex Ratio by Age Group 325 

The Racial Composition 330 
The Historical Racial Composition 

of St. Vincent 333 
Intra-Island Variations in Racial 

Composition 334 

Racial Variations by Age and Sex 335 

The Rural-Urban Composition 337 
The Number and Size of Settlements 

in St. Vincent 338 

The Sex Ratio of Principal 

Settlements 340 

The Occupational Status 346 

The Composition of the Labor Force 346 

Summary 355 

Notes to Chapter VII 358 



Chapter VIII Summary and Conclusions 369 

Problem and Hypothesis 369 

Summary of the Export Economy 370 

The Sugar Industry 370 

The Arrowroot Starch Industry 372 

The Sea Island Cotton Industry 373 

The Banana Industry 375 

Minor Cash Crops 377 

Summary of Population Change 379 

Pre-Censal Estimates 379 

The Era of Alien Labor Immigration, 

1844 to 1881 380 

The Era of Emigration, 1881 to 1931 380 
The Era of Rapid Population Growth, 

1931 to 1960 381 
The Spatial Distribution and 

Density of Population 382 



TABLE OF CONTENTS (continued) 



Summary of the Composition of 
Population 

The Age Structure 
The Sex Composition 
The Racial Composition 
Rural-Urban Residence 
Occupational Status 

Conclusions 



Appendix I 
Appendix II 
Bibliography 
Biographical Sketch 



382 
383 
384 
384 
385 
386 
387 

391 

393 

395 

427 



LIST OF TABLES 



Table 1 Land Capability Class, St. Vincent 

Table 2 Number of Slaves, by Parish, St. 
Vincent, 1819 and 1833 

Table 3 Number of Slaves, by Parish, 
St. Vincent, 1819-1852 

Table 4 Number of Portuguese Madeiran, Liberated 
African, and East Indian Immigrants, by 
Year, St. Vincent, 1844-1880 

Table 5 Estates Sold Through the West Indian 
Encumbered Estates Act, St. Vincent, 
1858-1888 

Table 6 Arrowroot Exports to Principal Markets 
by Volume and Per Cent, 1922-1932 

Table 7 Estimated Percentage Peasant and Estate 

Arrowroot Production, by Crop and Season, 
St. Vincent, 1940-1945. 

Table 8 Average Price per Pound of Arrowroot, 
Decennially, St. Vincent, 1910-1960 

Table 9 Area of Banana Cultivation, St. Vincent, 
1934-1940 

Table 10 Area of Banana Cultivation, St. Vincent, 
1956-1960 

Table 11 Banana Exports as a Percentage of Total 
Exports, St. Vincent, 1950-1960 

Table 12 Components of Population Change, 
St. Vincent, 1735 to 1960 

Table 13 Child-Woman Ratio, St. Vincent 1911-1960 

Table 14 Vital Rates, St. Vincent, 1947-1959 



Page 

44 

73 

85 

97 



190 

228 
246 
249 



LIST OF TABLES (continued) 



Table 15 Population Density, Selected Caribbean 

Countries, 1844-1960 260 

Table 16 Population Densitv, St. Vincent, 

1844-1960 262 

Table 17 Area of St. Vincent 263 

Table 18 Percentage Distribution of Population, 

by Enumeration District, St. Vincent, 
1844-1861 268 

Table 19 Total Age Profile, Kale and Ferrule Coo- 

bined, by 10-year Age Groups, St. 
Vincent, 1S61-1960 288 

Table 20 Dependency Ratio, by Census District, 

St. Vincent, 1911-1960 316 

Table 21 Racial Composition, by Major Census 

District, St. Vincent, 1787-1960 331 

Table 22 Sex Ratio of Principal Towns and 

Villages, St. Vincent, 1844-1960 345 

Table 23 Sex Ratio of Economically Active 

Population, by Major Industrial 
Group, St. Vincent, 1861-1960 348 



LIST OF FIGURES 

Page 

Figure 1 Windward Islands 29 

Figure 2 Physical Features of St. Vincent 31 

Figure 3 Geomorphology of St. Vincent 33 

Figure 4 Natural Vegetation of St. Vincent 37 

Figure 5 Soils of St. Vincent 40 

Figure 6 Plan of St. Vincent, 1764-1807 54 

Figure 7 Sugar Production of St. Vincent, 1815- 

1937 57 

Figure 8 Volume of Vincentian Cocoa and Coffee 

Exports to Great Britain, for Selected 
Years, 1765-1833 59 

Figure 9 London Price of Sugar, 1760-1937 61 

Figure 10 "Carib Country" Estates of St. Vincent 66 

Figure 11 Average Number of Slaves, by Parish, 

St. Vincent, 1819-1852 84 

Figure 12 Distribution of East Indians, by Estate, 

St. Vincent, 1861-1880 102 

Figure 13 Estates Sold In the Encumbered Estates 

Act Court, St. Vincent, 1858-1888 112 

Figure 14 Number of Sugar Estates, St. Vincent, 

1854-1903 114 

Figure 15 Index Numbers of London Sugar Price and 

Volume and Value of Vincentian Sugar 
Exports, 1854-1886 119 

Figure 16 Beet Sugar Exports from France and 

Germany, 1826-1895 121 



LIST OF FIGURES (continued) 

Page 

Figure 17 Value of Sugar and Arrovroot Starch 

Exports, St. Vincent, 1850-1920 125 

Figure 18 Extent of Ash Deposits fron Eruption of 

Soufriere Volcano, St. Vincent, 1902 127 

Figure 19 Value and Volume of Arrovroot Exports, 

St. Vincent, 1830-1960 144 

Figure 20 Annual Value of Chief Exports, as Per- 
centage of Total Exports, St. Vincent, 
1850-1960 145 

Figure 21 Value and Volume of Cotton Exports, 

St. Vincent, 1765-1960 158 

Figure 22 Percentage Distribution of Cotton Imports 
to Great Britain from Kajor Suppliers, 
1786-1883 159 

Figure 23 Volume of British West Indian and United 
States Cotton Exports to Great Britain, 
1780-1815 160 

Figure 24 Average Price of Cotton Imports to Great 

Britain, 1811-1884 161 

Figure 25 Grenadine Dependencies of St. Vincent 165 

Figure 26 Value of Chief Exports, St. Vincent, 

1850-1900 168 

Figure 27 Acreage and Yield of Cotton, St. Vincent, 

1905-1960 171 

Figure 28 Average Annual Prices for Selected Cotton 

Varieties, Liverpool, 1S99-1929 173 

Figure 29 Value of Chief Exports, St. Vincent, 

1900-1960 175 

Figure 30 Total Cotton Acreage and Average Size of 
Farm Unit for Estates and Small Growers, 
St. Vincent, 1920/21-1954/55 178 

Figure 31 Volume of Sea Island Cotton Lint Exports, 

1904/05-1960/61 181 

Figure 32 Value and Volume of Banana Exports, St. 

Vincent, 1932-1960 185 



LIST OF FIGURES (continued) 



Figure 33 Volume of Exports of Cocoa Beans and 

Copra (Coconuts), St. Vincent, 1893-1960 

Figure 34 Value of Cocoa and Copra Exports, St. 

Vincent, 1858-1960 

Figure 35 Percentage Distribution of Chief Exports, 

St. Vincent, Decennially, 1850-1960 

Figure 36 Value of Exports, Imports, and Balance 

of Trade, St. Vincent, 1850-1960 

Figure 37 Distribution of Slaves or Laborers, by 

Estate, St. Vincent, 1833 and 1839 

Figure 38 Population Distribution, St. Vincent, 

1960 

Figure 39 Population Density St. Vincent, 1844-1960 

Figure 40 Major Population Enumeration Districts, 

St. Vincent, 1844-1960 

Figure 41 Age Profile by 10-Year Age Groups, St. 

Vincent, for Selected Census Dates, 
1861-1960 

Figure 42 Index Numbers of Age-Sex Profiles, St. 

Vincent, 1861-1960 (1861 - 100) 

Figure 43 Age-Sex Profile, by 5-Year Age Groups, 

St. Vincent, 1911-1960 

Figure 44 Age-Sex Profile, St. Vincent, 1946 

and 1960 

Figure 45 Age-Sex Profile, by Census District 

St. Vincent, 1871 

Figure 46 Age-Sex Profile, by Census District, 

St. Vincent, 1871 

Figure 47 Age-Sex Profile, by Census District, 

St. Vincent, 1881 

Figure 48 Age-Sex Profile, by Census District, 

St. Vincent, 1891 

Figure 49 Age-Sex Profile, by Census District, 

St. Vincent, 1911 



Page 

193 
195 



253 

257 

264 

266 

289 
291 
294 
297 
300 
301 
302 
303 
304 



LIST OF FIGURES (continued) 



Figure 50 Age-Sex Profile, by Census District, 

St. Vincent, 1921 305 

Figure 51 Age-Sex Profile, by Census District, 

St. Vincent, 1931 306 

Figure 52 Age-Sex Profile, by Census District, 

St. Vincent, 1946 307 

Figure 53 Age-Sex Profile, by Census District, 

St. Vincent, 1960 308 

Figure 54 Sex Ratio, by Major Census District, St. 

Vincent, for the Censuses 1844-1871 319 

Figure 55 Sex Ratio, by Major Census District, St. 

Vincent, for the Censuses 1911-1960 320 

Figure 56 Age-Sex Profile of East Indian Immigrants, 

St. Vincent, 1861-1880 321 

Figure 57 Sex Ratio, by Broad Age Groups, St. 

Vincent, 1891-1960 326 

Figure 58 Sex Ratio, by 5-Year Age Groups, St. 

Vincent, for the Census Years 1911-1960 327 

Figure 59 Racial Composition, by Census Year, St. 

Vincent, 1946-1960 336 

Figure 60 Age-Sex Profile for Selected Racial Groups, 

St. Vincent, 1946-1960 339 

Figure 61 Number of Settlements, by Size, St. 

Vincent, 1861-1891 341 

Figure 62 Size of Principal Towns and Villages, 

St. Vincent, 1844-1960 342 

Figure 63 Location of Principal Settlements, 

St. Vincent, 1960 343 

Figure 64 Percentage Distribution of Labor Force, by 
Age, Sex, and Major Industrial Group, St. 
Vincent, 1946 352 

Figure 65 Percentage Distribution of Labor Force, by 
Age, Sex, and Major Industrial Group, St. 
Vincent, 1960 353 

Figure 66 Major Industrial Groups as a Percentage of 

Total Labor Force, St. Vincent, 1861-1960 354 



xvii 



Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the 

Graduate Council of the University of Florida in Partial 

Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy 



LAND USE AND POPULATION IN ST. VINCENT, 1763-1960 

A CONTRIBUTION TO THE 

STUDY OF THE PATTERNS OF ECONOMIC AND DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGE 

IN A SMALL WEST INDIAN ISLAND 

By 

Joseph Spinelli 

June 1973 

Chairman: Professor David L. Niddrie 
Major Department: Geography 

The purpose of this study of St. Vincent is to recon- 
struct the historical economic and population geography of a small 
West Indian island. It was observed that many of the 20th-century 
problems encountered in St. Vincent were linked directly to past 
conditions in the former British West Indies. The time spec- 
trum for this study extends from 1763 (when Britain acquired the 
Island) to 1960, the date of the latest published census. 

A subsidiary goal of this study is the presentation in a 
single source of a considerable amount of historical data 
gleaned from numerous and sometimes hitherto untapped references, 
many of which may soon pass out of existence from disuse or 
deterioration. 

The problem of concern in this investigation is the rela- 
tionship between fluctuations in the export economy and changes 
in the population. An analysis of the economically "dependent" 



status of the island and the major population changes over nearly 
200 years revealed a pattern suggesting the paramount role of the 
export economy in affecting the rate of population growth and 
changes in the components of demographic composition. 

It was, therefore, hypothesized that the size, distribu- 
tion, and characteristics of St. Vincent's population have been 
affected by variations in the national export economy. A compre- 
hensive analysis of the economy and population between 1763 and 
1960 supports this hypothesis. 

Part I of this study involves a reconstruction of the 
overlapping periods of monocultural cash crop production, be- 
ginning with the sugar industry in the late 18th century. It was 
primarily during the 19th century, however, that sugar production 
was developed and expanded, at first with slave labor, then, after 
emancipation in 1838, by the use of indentured alien laborers- 
Portuguese Madeirans, "liberated" African slaves, and East Indian 

"coolies." The demise of the inefficient muscovado sugar in- 
dustry in St. Vincent followed the entry of subsidized European 
beet sugar into the British market after 1880 and was hastened 
by the twin natural disasters of a hurricane in 1898 and an 
eruption of the Soufriere volcano in 1902. 

It was in the 20th century that St. Vincent experienced 
monocultural production of Sea Island cotton, arrowroot starch, 
and bananas as primary economic activities. Each of these 
activities overlapped its predecessor as it rose quickly to a 



xix 



■ i i Yim - i [ ri Miimiiii --'tiiii^li - -f " f'-T i-r rn -|- ■ ' - - ■ 



position of supreme importance before waning in the face of exo- 
genous market forces. 

Part II traces the demographic changes that reflected 
local and international fluctuations in the primary producing 
industries. With the abolition of the slave trade in 1808, the 
population of St. Vincent grew very slowly, as the effects of 
natural increase were reduced by the mass emigrations of Vincen- 
tians between 1880 and 1931. Thereafter, St. Vincent's popula- 
tion grew rapidly as mortality declined and emigration was 
stifled by international restrictions. 

By 1960, St. Vincent still showed the results of past 
emigrations of males and the more recent high rates of natural 
increase--a low sex ratio and a heavy burden of economic depend- 
ency, concentrated among children under 15 years of age. 
Partly as a consequence of monetary remittances from relatives 
working abroad and the changing attitudes of both sexes toward 
agricultural employment, the labor force shows a low level of 
female participation and a growing proportion of workers enter- 
ing the secondary and tertiary sectors of the economy. 

The results of this economic and population analysis 
demonstrate the lasting effects of shifting patterns of economic 
activity on the rate of population growth and composition. Any 

attempt to improve the demographic situation of St. Vincent must 
take into account the disruptions attendant upon unpredictable 
and sometimes violent fluctuations in the fortunes of cash crop 
export production. 



INTRODUCTION 

The days of laissez falre are at an end for most nations of 
the world. Instead, a degree of planning, prediction, and action, 
based on viable data has become the prime consideration. In the 
last quarter of a century, all West Indian governments and 
institutions have tried to gain an understanding of their 
political, economic, social, and demographic problems before 
going ahead with their individual island plans. Preliminary 
discussions after the Second World War dealt, for example, with 
the concept of a federation of the British West Indian colonies 
and produced numerous analytical statements about the difficulties 
inherent in such a step. It was not long before both scholars 
and politicians realized that inventories of individual problems 
would be required for adequate planning. 

The colonies in the Caribbean area differed in many ways 
each from the other. The larger and more important territories, 
such as Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and British Guiana [now 
Guyana], overshadowed the smaller islands of the Lesser Antilles 
in t">t attention paid to domestic problems. Yet there was no way 
to mold these countries into a unitary political, economic, and 
social framework without talcing into account individual charac- 
teristics. If the colonies were to become one entity, what effect 
1 



vould this have, for example, on population movements from the 
less developed British Caribbean islands to the sore developed 
ones? Would black immigrants be welcomed into nixed societies 
facing their own employment difficulties? Who would speak for 
the needs of the smaller colonies? Would the "rich" grow richer 
in the West Indies at the expense of the politically and 
economically impotent? 

These unanswered questions, together with the rapid growth 
of national self-awareness and self-consciousness, resulted in 
attempts to appraise the contemporary scene, which, however, had 
roots in the past; to understand the present, it was, therefore, 
also necessary to understand the historical sequence of changes 
in the political, economic, social, and demographic variables. 

National economies and population growth quickly became 
popular topics for investigation. It was only natural that the 
larger and more important colonies (those, it was thought, which 
would form the foundation for an intra-Caribbean political 
federation) were most often studied. Attention was directed to 
Jamaica, at the western end of the British Caribbean, to Trinidad 
and Tobago, and to British Guiana, well over a thousand miles 
apart. Considerably less attention, if any, was devoted to the 
smaller Islands between the "giants." That the projected West 
Indian Federation came into being in 1958 and was dissolved by 
1962 Is, in part, a disfunction of these disparate units. The 
larger islands and continental territories went their own 
particular ways leaving a major problem yet to be solved — how 



vere the "Little Eight" to evolve a form of government, a 
rational socio-economic plan, without re-submitting themselves 
to neo-colonlalism and international beggary? 

The present study is an attempt to add to the store of 
information available describing the patterns of change in 
St. Vincent's economy and the resulting changes in population 
variables. Emphasis has been placed on historical trends, of 
paramount importance if the present problems are to be under- 
stood. The fields of economic and population geography are 
thus both served by the historical nature of the investigation. 
As Zelinsky states: "... population geography is, ipso facto , 
historical geography"; the same also applies to economic 
geography. The population geographer becomes, by virtue of 
the type of data sought and utilized, an historical geographer. 

St. Vincent in the Windward Islands of the West Indies 
was selected because it was one of the smaller, "forgotten" 
islands. Little has been written about this island and what 
exists has been either of very early or very late date. The 
broad interval from the end of slavery (1838) until the post- 
World War II era is devoid of any substantive information con- 
cerning the economy, particularly the cash crop export economy, 
or the changes in population. The present study fills in the 
gap and provides a narrative of the economic fluctuations of 
aonocultural production for export and the geography of popula- 
tion change and composition, for two centuries, from 1763 to 
1960. Since few of the studies concerning the former British 
colonial empire In the West Indies trace both the economic and 



demographic changes, it was felc Chat an analysis of St. Vincent's 
past would contribute to the meager fund of historical informa- 
tion available for students of the contemporary scene. 

The Problem 

The problea of concern in this study is the relationship 
betveen fluctuations in the export economy of St. Vincent and 
changes in the factors of population growth and composition. 
Throughout its history, St. Vincent has been a "dependent" 
country— dependent in terns of its main source of revenue and 
the economic burden which its working-age population has had 
to bear. At no tine since St. Vincent becaae a British 
possession, in 1763, has the island been in a commanding or 
influential economic position. Most of its history, at least 
up to 1891, has been one of sugar cane production and export. 

The island was settled and developed as a "sugar island," 
a place where huge profits were to be made by large estate owners. 
Population growth and composition in the 18th and 19th centuries 
were directly linked to the export economy. Labor requirements 
for sugar estates were met by African slave quotas until 1807; 
thereafter, the increase in population and the racial, sex, and 
age composition varied with the fortunes of the leading export 
commodity— sugar. To maintain sufficient workers in the fields 
at low cost, after Emancipation, laws were passed permitting 
foreign laborers to enter under paid work-contracts which bound 
the contractees to work in the sugar industry for specified 
time periods. 



Competing sources of sugar for the European market 
gradually rendered sugar cane production in St. Vincent less 
profitable after the middle of the 19th century. By 1880, 
foreign indentured workers were no longer Imported, as the 
sugar industry in St. Vincent faced a situation where profit- 
ability was restricted to modernized large-scale estates found 
in the larger and less traditional British tropical possessions 
around the world. High rates of absentee-ownership in 
St. Vincent meant that diversification of the economy was slow 
in being established. Sugar production continued to decline 
after the 1870s, so that by 1891, another cash crop— arrowroot 
starch— became the mainstay of the economy. 

What followed in the 20th century were attempts to 
Support the working population by emphasizing several different 
cash crops (arrowroot, Sea Island cotton, and bananas) which 
competed at various times for both labor and land. The true 
"monoculture" of the 18th and 19th centuries was replaced in 
the 20th century by the production of different crops, although 
the importance of the leading two or three commodities over- 
shadowed all of the other economic activities. In a sense, the 
20th century has been characterized more by "overlapping" 
nonocultural activities than by sharply divided epochs. 

The effects of frequent shifts in emphasis from one type 
of cash crop regime to another affected the size, rate of growth, 
and composition of St. Vincent's population. The author was 
struck by the coincidence of population changes attendant upon 
major shifts in the export economy. The problem was one of 



reconciling the broad demographic fluctuations with the 
history of economic fluctuations in the island . Were they 
Independent of each other? Did they occur simultaneously or 
did one precede the other? 

Before describing and explaining the changes in the 
population of the island, it was necessary to reconstruct from 
numerous official and unofficial documents, both published and 
unpublished, the complete economic historical geography of 
St. Vincent. By observing the variations in the population, 
as revealed by the periodic censuses, and the fluctuations in 
the export economy, the author determined that population 
changes were more or less dependent upon the economy. Because 
of St. Vincent's relatively insignificant size and production 
of cash crops, it seemed unlikely that the population could 
dictate what economic activity should be pursued. The massive 
force of the international markets, through the demand for 
particular products has usually influenced the economic 
activities that could be profitably undertaken in St. Vincent. 
It has been the Inability or unwillingness of Vincentian 
growers to change with shifts in demand that seemed to cause 
employment difficulties. Responding to the low wages and the 
lack of sufficiently satisfying Job opportunities in St. Vincent, 
large numbers of Vincentian laborers have emigrated — some 
permanently, others only seasonally — to destinations in the 
circua-Caribbean region, Canada, and the United Kingdom. 



The Working Hypothesis 

The theme of this Investigation is the relation between 
the nature and operation of the Vincentian economy and the 
changing demographic variables. Accordingly, the implied 
hypothesis throughout the following chapters is that the sire, 
distribution, and characteristics of St. Vincent's population 
have been affected by the variations in the national export 
economy. A quantitative testing of the hypothesis cannot be 
predicated, owing to the nature and scope of the historical 
data. If there is to be a quantitative testing of the hypoth- 
esis then the historical statistics must be valid and reliable. 
There is no way to test data gathered as far back as 1763 and, 
in fact, population data assembled before 1946 are probably 
subject to considerable discount. 

The author's intention is to present the broad, general 
patterns of economic and demographic fluctuations, and it is 
assumed that errors in the data, although they may be substantial, 
do not preclude the reconstruction of past events. It matters 
less that the statistics found in historical documents are 
totally reliable and valid than that they permit the researcher 
to observe periods of prosperity and depression in the economy 
and intervals of population change which correspond to the 
economic variations. 

A subsidiary goal of this study is the presentation of 
historical data and facts that may soon be lost to posterity. 
It is felt that future students of West Indian problems should 
not have to undergo the laborious and sometimes disheartening 



8 

task of scouring government archives (which are on the point 
of extinction because minor government officials are uncon- 
cerned with the past) to reconstruct the economic and demo- 
graphic history of St. Vincent. The archives are fruitful 
stores of information and need to be closely examined; the 
present study offers a partial restoration of historical events 
in St. Vincent's past and leaves other students to present 
their efforts at salvaging the history of the island. The 
author feels that a contribution to an understanding of the 
West Indies lies in the presentation of hitherto unavailable 
or widely scattered historical data. 

Definitions of Terms and Limitations in the Study 
In the substantive chapters which follow, the author has 
restricted his analysis to the island called St. Vincent, 
located in the West Indies. During the time period under 

investigation (1763 to 1960), St. Vincent was a crown colony 

2 
of Great Britian. Wherever the name "St. Vincent appears, it 

refers to the main island and its dependencies In the Grenadine 

Islands stretching southward toward Grenada. If there is a 

need to differentiate between the component parts of the colony, 

the terms "main island" and "Grenadine dependencies" (or 

"Grenadine Islands" and "Grenadines") will be used; therefore, 

unless otherwise indicated, the name St. Vincent always denotes 

the entire colony. 

The subject of this study is the export segment of the 

island's economy; the statistics used are the foreign trade 

statistics which measure the chief source of the colony's revenue. 



In a reconstruction of the past, the date of Britain's 
acquisition of St. Vincent (1763) is regarded as the one end 
of the spectrum and the date of the last completed census as 
the other (1960) . Although a population census was taken in 
1970, it has not been published, and, therefore, the decade 
of the 1960s has unfortunately been excluded from the analysis. 
The omission precludes a study of the major changes that have 
occurred with the rapid growth of the banana industry in the 
1960s, although the effects of the first flush of success 
from the banana trade, up to 1960, are discussed. Unfortunately, 
most of the trade data for the 1960s is still unavailable. 
Long delays in publishing statistics in St. Vincent are not 
uncommon, as was indicated for the 1960 census. These con- 
siderations influenced the author in his decision to limit the 
analysis to 1960. 

Finally, throughout this study, the term "the West Indies" 
appears: unless otherwise qualified, the expression refers to 
the former British West Indies (or British Caribbean) and 
includes British Guiana [now Guyana] on the South American 
continent. 

A Review of the Literature 
A review of the literature pertaining to the historical 
economic and population geography of St. Vincent must, of 
necessity, be interdisciplinary because non-geographers have 
contributed most of the research on the British West Indies. 
To understand the evolution of St. Vincent's economic and 
population problems, it is vitally necessary to become acquainted 



10 

with studies of other individual countries in the British 
Caribbean which may serve as models for comparison. A survey 
of the literature reveals a dearth of research aimed at St. 
Vincent and, hence, includes an accounting of related general 
and specific works, with both a contemporary and an historical 
time perspective. 3 

Studies of St. Vincent 

The literature that refers specifically to St. Vincent's 
economic and demographic situation, both in the recent and 
distant past, is almost non-existent. The only comprehensive 
study of St. Vincent's population is Byrne's narrowly demo- 
graphic analysis, which describes trends since 1851, but 
emphasizes changing vital rates in the 20th century and their 
consequences for the future. She makes no attempt to 
correlate major economic and demographic phases except in the 
most general sense. Needless to say, population geographers 
have yet to draw much of their attention to the West Indies; 
most students of West Indian population have been demographers. 

The economic geography of St. Vincent has been analyzed 
in several articles, all confined to the years after 1920; 
none go back to the 18th or 19th centuries. The articles are 
time series pictures of the past and are static in perspective. ' 
No attempt has been made to join the major events of the last 
two centuries into a continuous pattern. Population in St. 
Vincent has been the target solely of scholars of West Indian 
demography and sociology, while the economy has been the focus 
of a few geographers, although both economic and population studies 
of the island are relatively rare. 



Among the available historical references concerned with 
early social, cultural, and economic life in the British West 
Indies, two treat the conditions in St. Vincent at length. 
Mrs. Carnichael's books describe daily social and cultural 
life in St. Vincent under slavery, while Shepard's book is 
valuable for its statistical appendices, which document the 
economic history of the island up to 1829. 

Other valuable sources of general historical information 
are contained in books and articles that have a wider scope, 
and include St. Vincent, among other British colonial posses- 
sions in the 18th and 19th centuries. Most of these are cited 
in the chapters that follow, but important examples include 
Niddrie's study of the 18th century settlement of the "Ceded 
Islands" (Dominica, St. Vincent, Grenada, and Tobago); 
Walters's biography of Valentine Morris (governor of the Island 

when the French seized it in 1779) which provides insight into 

8 

the first two decades of the colony s existence. 

Social conditions in St. Vincent are also described in 



an article by Michael G. Smith, a social anthropologist, who 

9 
leans heavily on Mrs. Carmichael's work. Two books covering 

the period between 1837 and 1859 provide sketches of post- 

Emancipation social conditions among the ex-slave population. 

A statistical work by the noted West Indian demographer, G. W. 

Roberts, provides an invaluable fund of information concerning 

the number of immigrants, their race, the year of their arrival, 

and their destination in the British West Indies, from 1834 to 

1918. Earlier, Roberts published a detailed analysis of the 



12 

causes and size of the "liberated" African immigration to the 
British Caribbean following Emancipation, in which important 
facts are given concerning St. Vincent's share in this labor 

< n 12 

migration. 

Studies of Other British West Indian Societies 

Other countries in the British Caribbean have been more 
carefully studied. Jamaica, because of its relatively greater 
sire and economic stature in British colonial history, together 
with the existence of a corpus of scholars in the Institute of 
Social and Economic Studies, has been the subject of consid- 
erable attention. The most comprehensive population analysis 
of any West Indian territory is found in Roberts's book, The 
Population of Jamaica , which serves as a model for the compar- 
ison of demographic variables of other countries in the 
Caribbean. Much of Jamaica's past resembles St. Vincent's, 
as both suffered from the ill effects of a declining sugar 
industry in the 19th century and lost population through 
emigration, although St. Vincent experienced a much greater 
rate of emigration. The attention given to Jamaica's prob- 
lems, however, is directed more toward the 20th century, 
especially to the post-World War II years, and focuses on the 
disruptions to the economy caused by rapid growth, rural-to- 
urban migration, and the emigration to the United Kingdom in 
the 1950s. Consideration has also been given to the purely 



demographic aspects of population change. Economists, rather 
than geographers have dominated the field of economic analysis 



13 

In Jamaica and have concerned themselves with the 20th century. 

Trinidad and Tobago, as one of the other major island 
countries in the British Caribbean, has had relatively greater 

attention given to its racial problems than to its other 

18 

demographic and economic characteristics. Niddrie has con- 
tributed a substantive geographical study of Tobago, which takes 
account of the physical environment, the historical and present- 
day patterns of land use, and distribution of population, while 

Kingsbury's monograph is a straightforward description of the 

19 

economic geography of Trinidad and Tobago. 

Those who have studied the economy and the population of 
Barbados have, with few exceptions, limited their analysis to 
the mid-20th century and have not considered the historical 

geographic aspects of fluctuations in the national economy and 

20 
changes in population size, growth, and composition. 

Studies of the other former British West Indian colonies 

have a greater representation among geographers, who have 

examined the historical and cultural aspects of settlement and 

21 22 

cultural landscapes, the population in the 20th century, 

23 

and the geography of trade and commerce. Economists, 

sociologists, and demographers have usually considered the 

24 

contemporary situation, with only a few providing an historical 

..* 25 

perspective. 

General Studies of the West Indian Economy and Population 

Among the economic and social studies of general 
application to all parts of the British Caribbean region, 
several are valuable for their descriptions and statistics 



14 



relating to the period of slavery. Ragatz's works documenting 

26 
the decline of plantation slavery and William's interpreta- 
tion of the role of slavery in the development of English 

27 
Industrialization are noteworthy sources. Deerr's volumes 

provide detailed production and price data covering the world's 

28 

sugar Industry, and Beachey's book supplies an excellent 

account of the fortune of the British West Indian sugar 
industry in the last half of the 19th century, including a 

valuable discussion of the West Indian Encumbered Estates 

29 
Act. Other references offer interesting insights into the 

production of sugar cane in the West Indies and the social 

and economic problems which characterized the post-slavery 

30 
era, but nearly all their authors are historians. 

The majority of studies that describe economic conditions 

focus primarily on the post-World War II years, when the 

British colonies were assessing their economic development. 

31 
Some were of a general nature, although most were concerned 

with the contemporary situation of the various primary products 

that formed the foundation of so many West Indian countries. 

32 
The banana trade has been a major subject for analysis, owing 

to its relatively recent establishment in the Eastern Caribbean, 

and it is followed by studies of the other traditional commodity 



become increasingly important in the Caribbean, especially 
after the Cuban revolution and the dissolution of the West 
Indian Federation. The smaller islands have come to consider 

tourism as a source of income mainly because of their inherent 

34 
natural beauty. 



15 



The general studies of West Indian population Include 
those that analyze the cost of slaves, the importations of 
East Indians into the Eastern Caribbean, and the contemporary 
race and color problems which evolved from the hierarchical 
societies of slavery and post-slavery years. 

Roberts, and other scholars, have continued to provide 
a steady stream of articles providing general surveys of the 
demographic problems In the West Indies. In an attempt to 
provide answers to the problems of improving the social con- 
ditions among West Indians, Erickson has examined theories 

that purport to explain population growth in one of the few 

37 
book-length studies of West Indian population. 

Another major center of attention for researchers of 
West Indian problems has been migration. Proudfoot's mono- 
graph on intra-Caribbean movement is one of the earliest to 
deal with this phenomenon. In one of the few geographic 
studies of West Indian demographic problems, Lowenthal analyzes 

the migration streams from the point of origin to show the 

39 
effects on the non-migrating population. A more recent 

type of emigration found in the late 1960s — that of the move- 
ment of young females to Canada as domestic servants — is 

40 

examined by Henry. 

The mass movement of West Indians to the United Kingdom 
following the Second World War, in response to a labor shortage 
in the mother country, and later the collapse of the West 
Indian Federation, bringing to an end the much vaunted dream 
of intra-Federation labor migration, drew attention to the 



16 



"push" and "pull" forces of International migration and the 
problems that developed in Britain with the entrance of 
"colored" workers. 

Lastly, there are the demographic statistical studies 
that are basic to any analysis of West Indian populations in 
the 20th century. Kuczynski produced a detailed survey of pop- 
ulation data, from 1921 to 1946, that encompasses all of the 

former British West Indian colonies and includes a discussion 

, 42 

of each territory s census administration. The Census 

Research Programme, established at the University of West 

Indies in Jamaica, has provided abridged life tables for the 

British West Indies for 1946 and 1951 and complete life tables 

for 1960. In addition, the same organization has estimated 

the age, sex, and migration balance for the years between 

1946 and I960. 43 

Summary of the Economic and Population Literature 

In general, there have been relatively few geographers 
who have studied the former British West Indies, especially 
from an historical economic and population viewpoint. The 
bulk of the work on the region's problems has been contributed 
by economists, demographers, sociologists, and historians, 
who have been more concerned with conditions after the Second 
World War than with those of the past few centuries, although 
the roots of many of today's problems lie in the past. The 
tendency has been toward a regional view when a long time 
perspective is used. An obvious gap in the literature needed 



17 

filling, so that this study is an attempt to describe as fully 
as possible the factors that have shaped and guided the fortunes 
of the export economy and the subsequent variations in 
population sixe, growth, and composition. 

The Organization of the Study 

Preceding the main body of the study, there is a brief 
survey of the physical setting. The main text is divided into 
two parts. In Part I, the economy of St. Vincent is recon- 
structed and described according to the principal export 
commodities. Chapters III and IV describe the establishment, 
growth, and eventual failure of St. Vincent's sugar industry, 
from 1763 to 1902. In Chapter V, the major and minor cash- 
crop Industries that subsequently replaced sugar cane exports 
are examined, starting with the 19th-century expansion of the 
arrowroot starch Industry and ending with the more recent 
success of banana production In the 1950s. 

Part II is concerned with the changing demographic 
situation in St. Vincent. In Chapter VI, there is a discussion 
of the changing size and rate of growth of the population, 
from 1763 to 1960, with the emphasis on the migration that 
has affected the island in the last century and a half. Chapter 
VII examines the composition of the Vincentian population, 
stressing variations in age, sex, race, rural-urban composition, 
and occupational status of the population. Most of this 
analysis is confined to the years included in the censal 
history of the island, from about the middle of the 19th 
century to 1960. 



18 



The final chapter Is devoted to a recapitulation of 
the major economic and population changes in St. Vincent and 
the connections that bind them. 



NOTES TO CHAPTER I 



Wilbur Zelinsky, A Prologue to Population Geography 
(Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1966), p. 27. 

In 1969, St. Vincent passed from Crown Colony status to 
that of an Associated State in the British Commonwealth. The 
Government of St. Vincent is autonomous, with the exception of 
foreign affairs and defense. 

3 See Bibliography at the end of this study for particular 
sources. 

*Joycelin Byrne, "Population Growth in St. Vincent," Social 
and Economic Studies , XVIII, No. 2 (June, 1969), pp. 152-188. 

'George Wright, "Economic Conditions in St. Vincent, B. W. I.," 
Economic Geography , V. No. 3 (July, 1929), pp. 236-259; and Frederick 
Walker, "Economic Progress of St. Vincent, B. W. I. , Since 1927," 
Economic Geography , XIII, No. 3 (July, 1937), pp. 217-234. Also Arlin 
D. Fentem, Commercial Geography of St. Vincent (Bloomington, Ind.: 
Department of Geography, Indiana University, 1961); Robert C. 
Kingsbury, Commercial Geography of the Grenadines (Bloomington, Ind.: 
Department of Geography, Indiana University, 1960); John E. Adams, 
"Conch Fishing Industry of Union Island, Grenadines, West Indies," 
Tropical Science , XII, No. 4 (1970), pp. 279-288. 

Tlrs. [A. C.J Carmichael, Domestic Hanners and Social 
Conditions of the White, Coloured, and Negro Population of the West 
Indies (2 vols.; London: Whittaker, Treacher, and Co., 1833); 
Charles Shephard, An Historical Account of the Island of St. Vincent 
(London: W. Nichol, 1831). 

'David L. Niddrie, "Eighteenth-Century Settlement In the 
British Caribbean," Transactions and Papers, The Institute of 
British Geographers , Publication No. 40 (1966), pp. 67-80; and 
ibid . , "Land Use and Settlement in the Caribbean: A Contribution 
to the Hi storical and Social Geography of the Lesser Antilles with 
Special Reference to the Ceded Islands and in Particular to Tobago," 
(Ph. D. dissertation, Manchester University, 1965). 

"Ivor Walters, The Unfortunate Valentine Morris (Newport, 
England: R. H. Johns, Ltd., 1964). 



•' - - 'I- i- v ii -i iini —ri'jfii t Mill—-- -1 ,._^ — 



20 



Tlichael G. Smith, "Some Aspects of Social Structure in the - 
British Caribbean About 1820," Social and Economi c Studies, I, No. 
4 (August, 1953), pp. 55-79. "" ~ 

Joseph Sturge and Thomas Harvey, The West Indies in 1837 
(London: Hamilton, Adams and Co., 1838); William G. Sevell, Ordlal 
of Free Labour in the B ritish West Indies (2d ed.; London: Sampson 
Low, Son, & Co., 1862). 

1 C. V. Roberts and Joycelin Byrne, "Summary Statistics on 
Indenture and Associated Migration Affecting the West Indies, 
1834-1918," Population Studies . XX, No. 1 (July, 1966), pp. 125-134. 

^•„ W - Roberts, "Immigration of Africans into the British 
Caribbean, Population Studies, VII, No. 3 (March, 1954), pp. 253-262. 

13 G. W. Roberts, The Population of Jamaica: An Analysis of 
Its Structure and Growth fC* m hriH pP| England: •",., Conservation ' 
Foundation at the University Press, 1957). 

G. E. Cumper, "Labor Demand and Supply in the Jamaican 
Sugar Industry, 1830-1950, "Social and Economic Studies, II, No 4 
(March, 1954), pp. 37-86; ibid., "Population Movements in Jamaica, 
1830-1950 Social and Economic Studies . V, No. 3 (September, 1956) 
PP. 261-280; also H. D. Huggins, "Seasonal Variations and Employment 
in Jamaica. ' Social and Economic Studies . I, No. 2 (June 1953) 
pp. 85-115. ' 

^avid Lowenthal, "Population and Production in Jamaica " 
Geographic al Reviev , XLV7.II, No. 4 (October, 1958), pp. 568-571; G. E. 
Cumper, "Preliminary Analysis of Population Growth and Social 
Characteristics in Jamaica, 1943-1960," Social and Economic Studie s 
XII, No. 4 (December, 1963), pp. 393-431; Jack Harewood, "Overpopulation 
and Underemployment in the West Indies," International Labor Rev iew 
LXXXII, No. 2 (August, 1960), pp. 103-137; Colin G. Clarke, "Population 
Pressure In Kingston, Jamaica: A Study of Unemployment and Over- 
crowding," Tr ansactions and Papers, The Institute of British Geo graphers. 

Publication No. 38 (1966), pp. 165-182; G. W. Roberts, "Provisional 

Assessment of Growth of the Kingston-St. Andrew Area, 1960-1970," 
Social an d Economic Studies . XII, No. 4 (December, 1963), pp. 432- 
441; ibid., "Demographic Aspects of Rural Development," Social and 
Economic Studies. XVII, No. 3 (September, 1968), pp. 276-282; also 
G. W. Roberts and D. 0. Mills, "Study of External Migration Affect- 
ing Jamaica, 1953-55," Social and Economic Studies . Supplement to 
VII, No. 2 (June, 1958), p. 126; G. Edward Ebanks, "Differential 
Internal Migration in Jamaica, 1943-60," Social and Economic Stu dies 
XVII, No. 2 (June, 1968), pp. 197-214; R. N. S. Harris and E. S. Steer, 
Demographic-Resource Push in Rural Migration: A Jamaican Case Study," 
Social and Economic Studies, XVII, No. 4 (December, 1968), pp. 398- 
406; Nassua A. Adams, "Internal Migration in Jamaica: An Economic 
Analysis," Social and Economic Studies . XVIII, No. 2 (June, 1969) 
pp. 137-151; W. F. Maunder, "The New Jamaican Emigration, "'social 



^^fci— iiii, i ,■-.■-,!.. - 



21 



and Economic Studies, IV, No. 1 (March, 1955), pp. 38-63; Clarence 
Senior and Douglas Kanley, A Report on Jamaican Migration to Great 
Britain (Kingston, Jamaica: Government Printer, 1955); and Gene 
Tidrick, "Some Aspects of Jamaican Emigration to the United Kingdom, 
1953-1962," Social and Economic Studies , XV, No. 1 (March, 1966), 
pp. 22-39. 

16 

G. J. Kruijer, "Family Size and Family Planning: A Pilot 
Survey Among Jamaican Mothers," West-Indische Gids , XXXVIII, Nos. 
3-4 (1959), pp. 144-150; and G. E. Cumper, "The Fertility of Common- 
law Onions In Jamaica," Socia l and Economic Studies, XV, No. 3 
(September, 1966), pp. 189-202. 

G. E. Cuatper, "Estimates of Jamaican Commodity Trade," Social 
and Economic Studies , VI, No. 3 (September, 1957), pp. 425-431; 
Donald Q. Innis, "The Economic Geography of Jamaica," Revue Canadlenne 
de Ggographie , XVII, Nos. 1-2 (1963), pp. 26-30; Carleen O'Loughlin, 

"Long-Term Growth of the Economy of Jamaica," Social and Economic 
Studies , XII, No. 3 (September, 1963), pp. 246-282; Eric Armstrong, 

Long-Term Growth of the Economy of Jamaica," Social and Economic 
Studies , XII, No. 3 (September, 1963), pp. 283-306; Clive Y. Thomas, 
"Coffee Production in Jamaica," Social and Economic Studies , XIII, 
No. 1 (March, 1964), pp. 188-217; B. S. Young, "Jamaica's Bauxite 
and Alumina Industries," Annals of the Association of American 
Geographers , LV, No. 3 (September, 1965), pp. 449-464; Vernon C. 
Mulchansingh, Trends in the Industrialization of Jamaica (Kingston, 
Jamaica: Department of Geography, University of the West Indies 
Occasional Paper No. 6, 1970); Nassua A. Adams, "Import Structure 
and Economic Growth in Jamaica. 1954-1967," Social and Economic 
Studies , XX, No. 3 (September, 1971). pp. 235-266. 

18 

Jack Harewood, "Population Growth of Trinidad and Tobago in 

the Twentieth Century," Research Papers, Central Statistical Office 
of Trinidad and Tobago , No. 4 (December, 1967), pp. 69-92; M. B. 
Naidoo, "The East Indian in Trinidad: A Study of an Immigrant 
Community," The Journal of Geography , LIX, No. 4 (April, 1960), pp. 
175-181; John P. Augelli and Harry W. Taylor, "Race and Population 
Patterns in Trinidad," Annals of the Association of American 
Geographers , L, No. 2 (June, 1960), pp. 123-138; Judith Ann Weller, 
The East Indian Indenture in Trinidad (Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico: 
Institute of Caribbean Studies, University of Puerto Rico, 1968); 
Colin G. Clarke, "Residential Segregation and Intermarriage in San 
Fernando, Trinidad," The Geographical Review , LXI, No. 2 (April, 1971), 
pp. 198-218; Jack Reynolds, "Family Planning Dropouts in Trinidad 
and Tobago," Social and Economic Studies , XX, No. 2 (June, 1971), 
pp. 176-187; J. S. Campbell and H. J. Gooding, "Recent Developments 
in the Production of Food Crops in Trinidad," Tropical Agriculture . 
XXXIX, No. 4 (October, 1962), pp. 261t270; Frank Rampersad, Growth 
and Structural Change in the Economy of Trinidad and Tobago, 1951- 
1961 (Mona, Jamaica: Institute of Social and Economic Research, 
University of the West Indies, 1964); Clive Y. Thomas, "Projections 
of Cocoa Output in Grenada, Trinidad, and Jamaica, 1960-75," Social 
and Economic Studies , XIII, No. 1 (March, 1964), pp. 94-117. 



22 

19 

David L. Niddrie, Land Use and Population In Tobago , The 

World Land Use Survey, Monograph 3: Tobago (Bude: Geographical 
Publications Lioited, 1961); and Robert C. Kingsbury, Course re ial 
Geography of Trinidad and Tobago (Bloomington, Ind.: Department 
of Geography, Indiana University, 1960). 

20 

Jerome S. Handler, "Slave Population of Barbados in the 

Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth Centuries," Caribbean Studies , VIII, 

No. 4 (January, 1969), pp. 3S-64; David Lowenthal, "The Population of 

Barbados," Social and Economic Studies . VI, No. 4 (December, 1957), 

pp. 445-501; G. W. Roberts, "Emigration from the Island of Barbados," 

Social and Economic Studies . IV, No. 2 (June, 1955), pp. 245-288; 

Janet D. Henshall, "The Demographic Factor in the Structure of 

Agriculture in Barbados," Transactions and Papers. The Institute of 

British Geographers . Publication No. 38 (1966), pp. 183-195; G. T. 

M. Commins, et al., "Population Control on Barbados," American Journal 

of Public Health . LV, No. 10 (1965), pp. 1600-1608; Joycelin Byrne, 

"A Fertility Survey in Barbados," Social and Economic Studies . XV, 

No. 4 (December, 1966), pp. 368-378; ibid .. "A Note on the 1970 

Population Census in Barbados," Social and Economic Studies , XX, 

No. 4 (December, 1971), pp. 431-440; G. Edward Ebanks, "Social 

and Demographic Characteristics of Family Planning Clients in 

Barbados," Social and Economic Studies . XVIII, No. 4 (December, 1969), 

pp. 391-401; Moni Nag, "The Pattern of Mating Behavior, Emigration, 

and Contraceptives as Factors Affecting Human Fertility in Barbados," 

Social and Economic Studies . XX, No. 2 (June, 1971), pp. 111-133; 

G. E. Cumper, "Employment in Barbados," Social and Economic Studies . 

VIII, No. 2 (June, 1959), pp. 105-146; Otis P. Starkey, Commercial 

Geography of Barbados (Bloomington, Ind.: Department of Geography, 

Indiana University, 1961); David Vatts, "Man's Influence on the 

Vegetation of Barbados, 1627 to 1800," Occasional Papers in Geography . 

University of Hull, No. 4 (Hull, England: University of Hull, 1966); 

ibid . . "Origins of Barbadian Cane-Hole Agriculture," British Museum 

and Historical Society Journal . XXXII (1968), pp. 143-151; ibid .. 

"Persistence and Change in the Vegetation of Oceanic Islands: An 

Example from Barbados, West Indies," The Canadian Geographer . XIV, 

No. 2 (Summer, 1970), pp. 91-109. 

David L. Niddrie, "An Attempt at Planned Settlement in St. 
Kitts in the Early Eighteenth Century," Caribbean Studies , V, No. 4 
(January, 1966), pp. 3-11; and Raymond E. Crist, "Static and 
Emerging Cultural Landscapes on the Islands of St. Kitts and Nevis, 
B. W. I.," Economic Geography. XV, No. 2 (April, 1949), pp. 134-145. 

David Lowenthal, "Population Contrasts in the Guianas," 
Geographical Review . L, No. 1 (January, 1960), pp. 41-58; Earl B. 
Shaw, "Population Adjustments in Our Virgin Islands," Economic 
Geography , XI, No. 3 (July, 1935), pp. 267-279; and Barbara Welch, 
"Population Density and Emigration in Dominica," Geographical Journal . 
CXXXIV, No. 2 (1968), pp. 227-235. 



23 

23 

Earl B. Shaw, "St. Croix: A Marginal Sugar^Producing 
Island," The Geographical Review , XXIII, No. 3 (July, 1933), pp. 
414-422; Robert C. Kingsbury, Commercial Geography of the British 
Virgin Islands (Bloomington, Ind.: Department of Geography, Indiana 
University, 1960); ibid., Commercial Geography of Grenada 
(Bloomington, Ind.: Department of Geography, Indiana University, 
1960) ; Arlin D. Fentem, Commercial Geography of Dominica 
(Bloomington, Ind.: Department of Geography, Indiana University, 
1960); ibid . . Commercial Geography of Antigua (Bloomington, Ind.: 
Department of Geography, Indiana University, 1961); Otis P. 
Starkey, Commercial Geography of Hontserrat (Bloomington, Ind.: 
Department of Geography, Indiana Univeristy, 1960); ibid.. , 
Commercial Geography of St. Kltts-Nevis [and Anguilla ] (Bloomington, 
Ind.: Department of Geography, Indiana University, 1961); and 
ibid . . Commercial Geography of St. Lucia (Bloomington, Ind.: 
Department of Geography, Indiana University, 1961). 

24 

Jack Harewood, Population Growth in Grenada In the 

Twentieth Century," Social and Economic St udies, XV, No. 2 

(June, 1966), pp. 61-84; ibid . , "Employment In Grenada In 1960," 

Social and Economic Studies , XV, No. 3 (September, 1966), pp. 

203-238; Carleen O'Loughlin, A Survey of Economic Potential, Fiscal 

Structure and Capital Requirements of the British Virgin Islands 

(Mona, Jamaica: Institute of Social and Economic Research, University 

of the West Indies, 1962); ibid., "The Economy of Antigua," Social 

and Economic Studies , VIII, No. 3 (September, 1959), pp. 229-264; 

ibid . , "Problems in the Economic Development of Antigua," Social 

and Economic Studies , X, No. 3 (September,' 1961) , pp. 237-277; 

ibid . , "The Economy of St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla," Social and 

Economic Studies , VIII, No. 4 (December, 1959), pp. 377-402; ibid. , 

"The Economy of Montserrat," Social and Economic Studies , VIII, No. 

2 (June, 1959), pp. 105-146; ibid . , "Economic Problems of the 

Smaller West Indian Islands," Social and Economic Studies , XI, No. 

1 (March, 1962), pp. 44-56; H. W. O'Neale, "The Economy of St. 

Lucia," Social and Economic Studies , XIII, No. 4 (December, 1964), 

pp. 440-470; A. Kundu, "Rice in the British Caribbean Islands and 

British Guiana, 1950-1975," Social and Economic Studies, XIII, 

No. 2 (June, 1964), pp. 243-281; and ibid., "The Economy of British 

Guiana, 1960-1975," Social and Economic Studies , XII, No. 3 

(September, 1963), pp. 307-380 

25 

G. W. Roberts, "A Life Table for a West Indian Slave 

Population," Population Studies , V, No. 3 (1951), pp. 238-243; 
Ripley P. Bullen, "The First English Settlement on St. Lucia," 
Caribbean Quarterly , XII, No. 2 (June, 1966), pp. 29-35; and 
Jay R. Mandle, "Population and Economic Change: The Emergence of 
the Rice Industry in Guyana, 1895-1915," The Journal of Economic 
History, XXX, No. 4 (December, 1970), pp. 785-801. 



24 
26 



* 4.. u ^ ° eph **«"«. The Fall of thg Planter Class in the 

British Caribbean . 1763-1833 (New York- n~~l "" UMa ln ESS 

— ____-^ . : wujjlojj (.New York. D. Appleton-Century Co., 

27 

Books l!2? SJiJ"?' -^i^H^^lLSlaverx (New York: Capricorn 
J««: 2S). "Plight by The University of North Carolina 

& Hall^S) 066 "' ^^i^DLoLSugar (2 vols,; London: Chapman 

29 

f— in u*o W " Beachev ' IJ^BjltishJ^tlndies Sugar Industry in the 
Late 19th Century (Oxford, ET^dT-la^H^kwe^lJ^^ 

SewnfA W " d B f ""• "Caribbean Sugar-Production Standards in the 
S bv Joh r \ Ei8 ^ enth Centuries," m Merchants and Scholar . 
Press" 1965) R B ( Sb :r U ^, Minn - : "^^^TUnl^o^ , 
Sri!'., r' \ Sherldan « The West India Sugar Crisis and 

SlsSrt XXT 6 N man . Cl ^ l0n ' 1830 - 18 33," The^Journal of Economic 

S,n" "'.VT"' 1961) ' pp - 539-551; Woodvllle 

1838 11"]' rt r ^ Economic Problems in the Windward Islands, 
1838-65, in The C aribbean in Transition , ed. by F M Andic and 

Lo-fo^th" 8 ! <"? TI ^r^^^^ University^ ^uerto^ 
Rico for the Institute of Caribbean Studies, 1965), pp. 234-257- 

Slands ^sILs""^ *?"< ^^ ° f the Brltlsh Wlndw " d 

P P 28-« ™ "p The ^aica n Historical Review . V (May. 1965), 

?8« " c 5 % i ^ d --! Peasant ^velopment in the WeTTlndies Since 

PP 252 §6v 1 s an R d E f"7 l£-^les, XVII, No. 3 (September, 1968), 

MOO-Sl* "\ll \ <' ^ rUiSh WeSt IndleS in DeP^ssion: 
r v cv \ Inter-American Economic Affairs . XII (1958), pp. 3-25- 

blinds " P Tro d ; JTT AgriCulture in th e Leeward and Windward 
islands. Tropical Agriculture. XXIV, Part I, Nos. 4-6 (1947) 

"•, ' ! "" d ° tis P - Stark ey, "Declining Sugar Prices and Land 

^m^^oTn? Lesser AntUles -" E — * c ca^ 

Car^K G T 8e L \ F * Beckford « "Agriculture and Economic Development." 
| aribbean quarterly . XI. Nos. 1-2 (March-June. 1965). pp. 50-63; 

IZiTs %^L 2 a n G ^ltU " Caribbean Trad * Patters." Caribbean 

Studies VI. No 2 (July, 1966). pp. 46-55; Lewis Campbell, 

Production Methods In West Indies Agriculture," Caribbean 
ajarte^lv. VIII, No. 2 (June, 1962), pp. 94-104; GTETcSTper. 
"£•• T ^e Economy of the West^ndies (Kingston, Jamaica: Institute 
fi 1^/?™'° Research, University of the West Indies, 



lQfim- n=^.j t x,,u, ' — m_ -*""» »»*««»n.)f ui cne west lnd 
1960) David L. Nlddrie, "The Caribbean Islands Today " xh e 
Journal of the Institute of Bankers . (June, 1963), pp. l=n 



1-11; Nora 



25 



M. Sif fleet, "National Income and National Accounts," Social and 
Economic Studies , I, No. 3 (July, 1953), pp. 92-104; and Otis 
P. Starkey, Commercial Geography of the Eastern British Caribbean 
(Blooming ton, Ind.: Department of Geography, Indiana University, 
(1961) . 

32 N. W. Simmonds, "The Growth of the Post-War West Indian 
Banana Trades," Tropical Agriculture , XXXVII, No. 2 (April, 1960), 
pp. 79-85; D. E. Kay and E. H. G. Smith, "A Review of the Market 
and World Trade in Bananas," Tropical Science , II, No. 3 (1960), 
pp. 154-165; Derek Townsend, "Green Gold: West Indian Bananas for 
British Tables," Canadian Geographical Journal , LXVII, No. 5 (1963), 
pp. 172-177; Dennis McFarlane, "The Future of the West Indian Banana 
Industry," Social and Economic Studies , XIII, No. 1 (March, 1964), 
pp. 38-93; Melba Kershaw, "The Banana Industry in the Windward Islands, 
Tropical Science , VIII, No. 3 (1966), pp. 115-127; and George L. 
F. Beckford, "Long-Term Trends in Banana Exports: Further Evidence of 
Secular Fluctuations in Tropical Agricultural Trade," Economic 
Development and Cultural Change , XV, No. 3 (April, 1967), pp. 323-330. 

Peter Runge, "The West Indian Sugar Industry," Journal of 
the Royal Society of Arts , CIX, No. 5-54 (January, 1961), pp. 
91-104; George C. Abbott, "The West Indian Sugar Industry, with 
Some Long-Term Projections of Supply to 19 75," Social an d 
Economic Studies , XIII, No. 1 (March, 1964), pp. 1-37; ibid . , 
"The Collapse of the Sea Island Cotton Industry in the West 
Indies," Social and Economic Studies , XIII, No. 1 (March, 1964), 
pp. 157-187; and Dennis McFarlane, "The Foundations for Future 
Production and Export of West Indian Citrus," Social and Economic 
Studies , XIII, No. 1 (March, 1964), pp. 118-156. 

3 T1. J. Pollard, "The West Indian Tourist Industry: Panacea 
for Small Island Development?" Swansea Geog rapher, VIII(August, 1970), 
pp. 15-21; H. Zinder and Associates, Inc., The Future of Tourism 
in the Eastern Caribbean (Washington, D. C: 1969). 

35 Douglas Hall, "Slaves and Slavery in the British West Indies," 
Social and Economic Studies , XI, No. 4 (December, 1962), pp. 
305-318; I. M. Cumpston, "Survey of Indian Migration to British 
Tropical Colonies to 1910," Population Studies , X, No. 2 (1956), 
pp. 158-165; David Lowenthal, "Race and Color in the West Indies," 
Daedalus (Spring, 1967), pp. 580-626; arid ibid. , "The Range and 
Variation of Caribbean Societies," Annals of the New York Academy 
of Sciences , LXXXIII, Art. 5 (January, 1960), pp. 786-795. 

G. W. Roberts, "The Caribbean Islands," Annals of the 
American Academy of Political and Social Science , CCCXVI (1958), 
pp. 127-136; ibid., "Notes on Population and Growth," Social 
and Economic Studies , VII, No. 3 (September, 1958), pp. 24-32; 
ibid;, "Prospects for Population Growth in the West Indies," Social 



26 

and Economic Studies , XI, No. 4 (December, 1962), pp. 333-349; 
George C. Abbott, "Estimates of the Growth of the Population 
of the West Indies to 1975," So cial and Economic Studies , XII, No. 
3 (September, 1963), pp. 236-245; Clarence Senior, "Demography 
and Economic Development," Social an d Economic Studies , VII, No. 
3 (September, 1958), pp. 9-23; Edmund H. Dale, "The Demographic 
Problem of the British West Indies," Scottish Geographical 
Magazine , LXXIX, No. 1. (April, 1963), pp. 23-31; and Harold L. 
Gelsert, The Caribbean: Population and Resources (Washington, 
D. C. : The George Washington University Press, 1960). 

37 

E. Cordon Ericksen, The West Indian Population Problem : 

Dimensions for Action (Lawrence, Kans.: University of Kansas 
Publications, Social Science Studies, 1962). 

Tialcolm J. Proudfoot, Population Movements In the 
Caribbean (Port-of-Spaln, Trinidad: Kent House for the Caribbean 
Commission, Central Secretariat, 1950). 

39 

David Lowenthal and Lambros Comitas, Emigration and 

Depopulation: Some Neglected Aspects of Population Geography," 
Ceographlcal Review , LII (1962), pp. 195-210. 

40 

Frances Henry, The West Indian Domestic Scheme in Canada, 

Social and Economic Studies , XVII, No. 1 (March, 1968), pp. 

83-91. 

41 

Anthony H. Richmond, Immigration as a Social Process: 

The Case of Coloured Colonials in the United Kingdom," Social 
and Economic Studies , V, No. 2 (June, 1956), pp. 185-201; R. B. 
Davison, West Indian Migrants: Social and Economic Facts of 
Migration from the West Ind ies (London: Oxford University Press, 
1962); E. R. Braithwaite, "The 'Colored Immigrant' in Britain," 
Daedalus (Spring, 1967), pp. 496-511; G. C. K. Peach, "Factors 
Affecting the Distribution of West Indians in Great Britain," 
Transactions and Papers, The Institute of Bri t ish Geographers , 
Publication No. 38 (1966), pp. 151-163; and Ibid ., "West Indians 
as a Replacement Population in England and Wales," Social and 
Economic Studies , XVI, No. 3 (September, 1967), pp. 289-294. 

42 

R. R. A. Kuczynski, Demogr a phic Survey of the British 

Colonial Empire , Vol. Ill: The West Indian and American Territories 
(London: Oxford University Press for the Royal Institute of 
International Affairs, 1953). 

43 

Census Research Programme, Life Tables for West Indian 

Populations, 1945-47 and 1950-52 , Census Research Programme Publication 
No. 14 (Kingston, Jamaica: Census Research Programme, University of 
the West Indies, 1966); ibid., Life Table for British Caribbean 
Countries 1959-1961 , Census Research Programme Publication No. 9 
(Port-of-Spain: Central Statistical Office Printing Unit, 1966); 



27 



and Ibid. , Estimates of Intercensal Population by Age and Sex , 
and Revised Rates for British Caribbean Countries , 1946-1960, 
Census Research Programme Publication No. 8 (Port-of-Spain: Central 
Statistical Office Printing Unit, 1964). 



THE PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT 

The setting for this study is the small West Indian 
island of St. Vincent, located in the southern Lesser Antilles 
at latitude 13*N. and longitude 61°\l. (See Figure 1.) Roughly 
elliptical in outline, the "main" island's greatest length is 
18 miles north to south and 11 miles west to east at its 
widest point. Encompassing an area of 133 square miles 
(excluding its Grenadine dependencies), St. Vincent is, 

therefore, the third largest island in the former British 

1 

Windward Islands. This chapter will briefly survey the major 

features of the physical environment of St. Vincent. 

The Physical Landscape 
St. Vincent belongs to a geologically young group of 

volcanic islands constituting the southern arc of the Lesser 

2 
Antilles. This volcanic arc stretches from Saba Island 

(17°N.) at the northern end of the Lesser Antilles to Grenada 

(12*N.) at the southern extreme, skirting the eastern margin 

of the Caribbean Sea. (See Figure 1.) The "main" island of 

St. Vincent is separated from its Grenadine dependencies to 

the south by an ocean trough 3,700 feet deep and from St. Lucia 

to the north by an another channel varying between 1,800 and 

3,100 feet in depth. 3 



29 



IS^ 7 




DOMINICA 



t 






• o£> 






JD 



t) 



.0 



ST. LUCIA 



ST. VINCENT 



<? a- 

'i^GRENi 



FIGURE I 

WINDWARD ISLANDS 

j ' - 



30 

The "main" Island of St. Vincent is composed of the 
exposed surface of a series of submerged volcanoes which have 
developed on a tectonic arc and have been built up from about 
5,000 feet below sea level. The St. Vincent Grenadines 
represent a group of exposed erosional remnants of older 
volcanic formations which have developed on a narrow bank 
now submerged in 100 to 200 feet of ocean. The Grenadines 
are low-lying islets with their highest elevations less than 
1,000 feet above sea level. 

The structure of the "main" island is composed of a 
north-south chain of volcanoes, with the oldest extinct 
remnants situated in the southern half of the island. Today, 
only the Soufriere mountain, which encompasses the northern 
third of the island, remains as an active volcano. It has 
erupted four times in recorded history — in 1718, 1812, 1902, 
and, most recently, in 1971. Although lava is found in 
St. Vincent, it is confined mostly to the older southern half 
of the island, as the more recent Soufriere eruptions appear 

to have been of the explosive variety, discharing scoriae, ash, 

o 

and boiling mud. 

Numerous peaks are found dotting the "main" island's 
central range of mountains, evidencing the volcanic structure 
of the island. From north to south, the main peaks are: the 
Soufriere (4,048 feet); Richmond Peak (3,528 feet); Mt. Brisbane 
(3,058 feet); Grand Bonhomme (3,193 feet); Petit Bonhomme 
(2,481 feet); and Mt. St. Andrew (2,413 feet). (See Figure 2.) 



31 




FIGURE 2 

PHYSICAL FEATURES OF ST. VINCENT 



32 

To the observer, the Soufriere volcano presents the 
classic profile of a young volcano — cone-shaped, with steep 
slopes incised by streams forming knife-edged ridges and deep 
narrow valleys. There is abundant evidence of the recent 
violent activity of the Soufriere. Covering the slopes and 
surrounding coasts is a mantle of ash, scoriae, and large 
ejecta discharged by the 1902 eruption, which, in some places, 
is only lightly hidden by regenerated vegetation. 

The "main" island is heavily dissected and is composed 
of many steep-sided transverse valleys that broaden as they 
approach the coast. In its geologic history, St. Vincent has 
experienced both uplift and submergence. Four epochs of 
eustatic changes in sea level have been discerned, with a 
maximum uplift of 600 feet and a maximum submergence of 700 
feet from present sea level. (See Figure 3.) The island's 
coast, in effect, has fluctuated 1,300 feet in elevation. 

An east-west profile of the "main" island shows a 
Leeward (west) coast much steeper and narrower than the 
Windward (east) coast. Along the Leeward side of the island, 
the topography is characterized primarily by highly dissected 
ridges and valleys extending down to the water's edge, making 
land transportation very difficult on the island's present 
road system. On the Windward coast, however, the relief is 
more gently rolling and land transportation is more easily 
facilitated as steeply sloping roads are absent. 

The Windward coast receives a continuous erosional 
pounding from waves set up by the steady Northeast Trade winds 



33 



y^^L^s. 




Sourer J.P Watson »t ol. . Soil and Lond-Uit Sar»«yi, No V SI. Vinc«nt ,p,7, 



FIGURE 3 
GEOMORPHOLOGY OF ST. VINCENT 



34 



and, therefore, the headlands and bays have been smoothed off, 
Affording poor harbor protection from heavy winds and seas. 
By contrast, the Leeward coast is scalloped with numerous 
deep embayments sheltered from wind and waves. It was on the 
west and southwest coasts, with their many safe harbors for 
sailing ships, as nearly everywhere in the Caribbean, that 
the earliest European settlements were established. 

The Climate 
St. Vincent's climate is tropical, with neither 
oppressively hot days nor uncomfortably cool nights. Despite 
its tropical location (13 degrees north of the Equator), the 
island's weather is influenced by the surrounding marine 
environment which acts to modify daily temperatures. The 

average annual temperature is about 80"F., with average 

9 

monthly maxima of 85°F. and average minima of 71 F. The 

highest daily temperatures, near 90°F., are usually reached in 
the early afternoons during the "wet" season (or "summer"), 
from June to December. Such temperatures, however, are 
ameliorated by the Northeast Trade winds, especially on 
promontories along the Windward coast. In the upper reaches 
of the Leeward valleys, the high temperature and humidity, 
coupled with the lack of breezes, result in oppressive 
conditions for the traveler. 

Variations in rainfall more than in temperature mark the 
change in seasons; "summer" and "winter" correspond to the 
"wet" and "dry" periods, respectively. The average total "wet" 



35 

season rainfall (June through December) is about 67 inches, 
while the "dry" season rainfall amounts to 32 inches. The 
average total annual precipitation for the "main" island is 
approximately 100 inches. 

Precipitation totals vary spatially from an annual 
average of 60 inches along a one-half mile coastal zone 
around the "main" island to over 150 inches in the mountainous 
interior. In the general zone of cultivation, which field- 
work showed to be below 1,000 feet in elevation, rainfall 

12 

annually averages between 80 and 100 inches. 

Owing to their small size and low elevation, rainfall 
is precarious in the St. Vincent Grenadine Islands, and cer- 
tain months may record no precipitation. The island 
dependencies for which data are available generally measure 
about one-half of the rainfall of the "main" island. The 
annual average rainfall for the Grenadines with meteorological 
stations (Bequia, Canouan, and Union Islands) is about 49 
inches. The driest months (February, March, and April) 
average slightly more than 1 inch of precipitation each, 

while the wettest months (June through November) average about 

13 
6 inches each. The low rainfall regime of these islets was 

an important reason why sugar cane was never extensively 

cultivated, making cotton the favored crop because of the 

dry harvesting season. The 'Vet" season on the "main" island 

caused damage to the ripening cotton bolls, and therefore 

cotton was relegated to the drier Grenadines during most of 

the 19th century. 



36 



The Natural Vegetation 

Very little undisturbed climax vegetation is found in 

14 

St. Vincent today. What exists today is located at varying 

elevations above 1,000 feet, well out of the zone of human 
activity. The concentric zonation of rainfall (with the 
heaviest amounts falling in the central highlands) also co- 
incides with the general zonation of vegetation, the only 
exception being the area surrounding the Soufriere volcano. 
(See Figure 4) Most of the land area below the 1,000-foot 
contour has been affected by cultivation and settlement. 
Above that elevation, the natural vegetation is found to be 
in various stages of regeneration and approaching climax stage 
where it has been previously disturbed by natural forces 
(volcanic eruptions and high winds). 

The zones of vegetation are affected, in most places, by 
cltnate, but in some locations, soil and exposure to winds 
are the dominant forces affecting the type of natural plant 
life. Climax forest vegetation is located at elevations above 
2,200 feet, along the central ridge, south of the Soufriere, 
and is referred to as elfin woodland . Low, gnarled, moss- 
covered trees predominate near the extinct volcanic peaks in 
the center of the "main" island. They range in height from 6 
to 33 feet, depending upon the degree of exposure to winds. 
(See Figure 4.) 

Below the elfin woodland, at elevations between 1,600 
and 2,200 feet, hurricane forest (also called palm brake ) 
vegetation is found. (See Figure 4.) The trees, typically of 



L/.n^j^.--- ..- .*.u,*x*lMiu~ 



37 



I RAIN FOREST 
^ ] EVERSREEN SEASONAL FOREST 
W////X SEMI-EVERCREEN SEASONAL FOREST 

J OtCIOUOUS SEASONAL FOREST 
j | EtFIN WOODLAND 
E&Sl SECONDARY FOREST 
PSSgj RALM BRAKE 
X//X SCANT VE6ETATION 



(clbii community*) 



kxjici j.r itiiiMi 




, t«ll »«< UiJUm l.... t .".l '"I-imI,,.! 



FIGURE 4 
NATURAL VEGETATION OF ST. VINCENT 



. - . — Wi l .. l i««imwMiriiir*iiiift l i J 



38 

the palm Prestoea montana variety, form a closed single canopy 
40 feet above the ground. This type of forest seems to be 
a disturbed climax vegetation, resulting from the effects of 
strong winds which topple the larger trees before climax is 
reached. The location of the hurricane forest in St. Vincent 
is on loose, shallow soils on steep slopes, with resultant ease 
of tree uprooting. 

In the next lower vegetation zone, between about 1,000 
and 1,600 feet in elevation, another area of climax vegetation 
is encountered — the lower rcontane rainforest . (See Figure 4.) 
The altitude of this type of rainforest is low enough to avoid 
destruction from high winds and high enough to be out of the 

range of permanent cultivation, although scattered garden 

18 
plots and charcoal -burning pits are sometimes located here. 

Trees form two strata at heights of from 10 to 50 feet and 65 

to 100 feet and are associated with a shrub layer and a ground 

19 
layer of ferns, mosses, and tree seedlings. 

In the lower montane rainforest, nearly all of the trees 
are evergreen. Toward the lower margins, however, semi-ever- 
green begin to appear as the weak dry season is experienced at 
this elevation. 

The wet and dry seasonal changes in St. Vincent become 
sore influential toward the coastline. Near the coasts, 
especially on the Leeward mountain spurs, which are too steep 
for cultivation, deciduous trees are found. (See Figure 4.) 

All of the vegetation on the Soufriere volcano is secondary 
growth, having regenerated from the total destruction of the 



- -_.. -_.. ..: . ^._^ _.,... , 



39 



1902 eruption, when incandescent avalanches burned and buried 

20 
all plant life. Regenerated secondary rainforest is found 

above 1,200 feet, on the steep slopes above permanent culti- 
vation. Trees range in heights froo 50 to 90 feet and decrease 
in size with increasing elevation. At the 2,000-foot level, 
trees are only 10 to 13 feet high and are gnarled by wind on 
exposed ridges. 

Above the 2,400-foot contour on the Soufriere volcano, 
trees are replaced by stunted ferns and grasses (which are 
valued by some Kingstown giftshop owners as tourist items). 
From the 3,000-foot elevation to the highest levels of the 

volcano, distinct alpine and tundra vegetation grow and are 

22 

characterized mainly by lichens. 

Soils 
According to Hardy, Robinson, and Rodrigues, the soils 
of St. Vincent can be classified into four major groups: 

a) Yellow Earths; b) Recent Volcanic Ash Soils; c) Shoal Soils; 

23 

and d) Alluvial Soils. (See Figure 5.) The most extensive 

24 
soil type is the zonal Yellow Earths. These are found on 

the older land in the southern half of the "main" island and 

are deeply weathered, highly leached, acidic, lacking in 

25 

phosphate, and of medium- low fertility. 

Climate is the primary determinant ii the development of 
the Yellow Earths, and the concentric climatic zonation of the 
"main" island, to a large extent, describes the location of the 
soil group. 



~ « ■•rf . >, , ■ r , i wwimaiii , <■ < ,,<...,^,^, w,..»,-a".. .,.■,.-„.... _- ..,„,... ^_ 




So«rc« : J.P. Wation it ol .. Soil ond Land-U»t Surnyt, No 3- St Vinc«nt, p. 1 1. 



FIGURE 5 
SOILS OF ST. VINCENT 



41 

Two phases of Yellow Earths exist in St. Vincent. The 
first, termed High Level Yellow Earths, is found above the 
600-foot contour level and has been formed by the higher rain- 
fall at this elevation and a longer exposure to sub-aerial 
weathering. When the island was formerly submerged, the land 

above the 600-foot contour remained exposed to weathering, 

26 _ 
whereas the area below this level was under water. The 

effect was to create a "younger" and more friable soil below 

the present 600-foot level when the island was subsequently 

uplifted. This younger phase of soil is called Low Level 

27 
Yellow Earths. 

A second major soil group has been classified as Recent 

Volcanic Ash and is confined mainly to the slopes of the 

Soufriere volcano. (See Figure 5.) The azonal soils (lacking 

apparent profile layers) in this group have developed over the 

ash deposits of the volcano, especially the ash of the 1902 

eruption and are coarse and cindery in texture, well drained, 

28 
acidic, and of medium fertility. The heavy rainfall and 

steep slopes of the Soufriere result in rapid erosion of the 
Recent Volcanic Ash Soils. 

Another recognized soil group is called the Shoal Soils, 
which are identified with the Hydromorphic soils formed over 
extinct volcanic cones in the southern and southeastern parts 
of the "main" island. 29 (See Figure 5.) This soil group is con- 
sidered intrazonal , owing to excessive moisture caused by 
locally impeded drainage and becomes sticky in the wet season 
and cracked in the dry season. 



42 

The remaining major soil group includes Alluvial Soils 
and is found most commonly along the valley floors of the 
southern coastal area. Such soils are absent in the northern 
third of the island, near the Soufriere. (See Figure 5.) 
They have developed on parent material deposited by streams 
flowing out of the interior and on local erosional material 
from the adjacent hillsides. Fertility varies according to 
the types of parent material from which the alluvial deposits 
were derived. 

Several minor soils occur but are uncultivable owing to 
their infertility or remote location. These have been 
classified as Aeolian Soils (formed on wind-blown material 
mixed with Yellow Earths), Beach Deposits (mostly black 

volcanic sand without a developed profile), and Skeletal Soils 

> 30 
(unproductive soils of hard rock fragments on steep slopes). 

Agricultural Land Capability in St. Vincent 
The St. Vincent soil survey undertaken in 1957 and 1958 
included a land capability classification, in which the soils 
in the surveyed area were grouped into seven types of capability 
classes for the production of commercial crops, forage plants, 
and forest trees. 31 An indication of the difficulty of 
recommended cultivation in St. Vincent is evidenced by the 
small amount of Class I land. Such land can be farmed without 
limitations, that is, it is relatively level, with deep fertile 
soil, and possesses good physical properties. The degree of 
slope in the "main" island was considered as the main factor in 
assessing land capability, and this factor alone reduces 



43 



St. Vincent's Class I land area to 2,000 acres or slightly 

32 
■ore than 3 per cent of the surveyed area. (See Table 1.) 

By farming land up to 20* of slope (Classes I, II, and 

III land), no more than about one-quarter of the surveyed 

land area is available, and this entails using Class III land 

which suffers greatly from the twin adversities of erosion 

and boulders scattered in the fields. (See Table 1.) In 

general, nearly 75 per cent of St. Vincent's area has been 

33 
classified as marginal for "optimum" land use. Practical 

considerations, however, such as agricultural population 

density and commercial cash crop forces, have necessitated 

the use of much land that otherwise should have remained 

34 

uncultivated. 

Summary 
This chapter has described the physical environment of 
St. Vincent. Owing to the extremely rugged topography in the 
"main" island, a great variety of climatic subtypes, soil groups, 
and classes of natural vegetation are found over relatively 
short distances. Cultivation is restricted, in part, by soil 
fertility and degree of slope of the land and is generally 
confined to the area below 1,000 feet in elevation. Despite 
the spatial differences in land capability, cultivation has 
historically been found at nearly all locations below the 
1,000-foot contour. Foreign demand for particular export 
products has had more of an influence than the suitability of 
the land in determining the specific mix of cash crops produced 
by St. Vincent's agricultural laborers. 



TABLE 1 
LAND CAPABILITY CLASS, ST. VINCENT 



44 



Land Capability Class 



Most Suitable Use 



Acreage 



I. Slope limits 0-5° 

II. Slope limits mainly 
5-20° and some level 
land of less favor- 
able soils 

III. Slope limits 5-20° 
IV. Slope limits 20-30° 



V. No slope limit but 
mainly very steeply 
sloping land (over 
30°) 

VI. No slope limit; shal- 
low soil over hard 
rock 

VII. No slope limit 



Suitable for cultivation 

with almost no limitations 2,000 



Suitable for cultivation 
with moderate limitations 



Suitable for cultivation 
with moderate limitations 

Marginal for cultivation 
due to erosion risk but 
suited to tree crops, 
pasture, and forest 



Severe limitations for tree 
crops, pasture, and forest 



12,000 



2,000 



10,000 



Suitable with only slight 
limitations for tree crops, 
pasture, and forest and 
unsuitable for cultivation 20,000 



6,000 



Dnsuitable for agriculture; 
should be left under natural 
vegetation 6,000 



Source: J. P. Watson, J. Spector, and T. A. Jones, Soil and 
Land-Use Surveys , No. 3: St. Vincent (Part of Spain, 
Trinidad: The Regional Research Centre of the British 
Caribbean at The Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture, 
1958), Table 12, p. 43 and p. 34. 



NOTES TO CHAPTER II 



St. Vincent consists of the "main" island (133 square 
miles) and a string of islet dependencies, the Grenadine 
Islands (17 square miles). The other islands in the former 
British Windward Islands are, in order of decreasing size: 
Dominica (305 square miles); St. Lucia (238 square miles); and 
Grenada, with its Grenadine dependency, Carriacou (133 square 
niles). 

The northern series of islands in the Lesser Antilles are 
geologically older, low-lying, and formed on submerged inactive 
volcanoes, capped with limestone. See: Charles Schuchert, 
Historical Geology of the Antillean-Caribbean Region (New York: 
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1935), p. 746. For a more recent dis- 
cussion of Caribbean geology (particularly the Greater Antilles 
and the northern Lesser Antilles), see: K. M. Khudoley and 
A. A. Meyerhoff, Palcop,eography and Geological History of 
Greater Antilles (Boulder, Colo.: Geological Society of America, 
1971). 

Schuchert, Historical Geology , p. 747. 
*Ibid. 

5 F. R. C. Reed, The GeoloRy of the British Empire (2nd 
ed.; London: Edward Arnold & Co., 1949), p. 253. 



' ibid . Although the last violent eruption was in 1902, 
there were gas emissions in 1945 and more recently, in late 
1971, there was an extrusion of molten rock in the crater lake, 
resulting in the formation of an island over 200 feet high. The 
last time an island was found in the Soufriere's crater lake 
was prior to the 1812 eruption. In the explosive eruption of 
that year, the crater island completely disappeared. For a 
description of the 1971 eruption, see: Harold M. Schmeck, 
"Volcano Worries West Indian Isle," New York Tines , December 20, 
1971; and "Caribbean Volcano is Studied," Tne Times of the 
Americas, December 8, 1971. 



Reed, Geology of the British Empire , p. 253. 



46 



9„ 

Government of St. Vincent, Report on the Department of 
Agriculture for the Years 1962-1964 (Kingstown: Government 
Printing Office, 1968), Appendix II, pp. 78-80. 

10 

Ibid .. Table I, p. 1. 

Janet D. Momsen, Report on a Banana Acreage Survey of 
the Wlndvard Islands (London: Ministry of Overseas Development, 
1969), p. 31. The maximum rainfall in the interior central high- 
lands is unknovn, owing to the absence of meteorological stations. 

12 

J. S. Beard, The Progress of Plant Succession on the 

Soufriere of St. Vincent," Journal of Ecology . XXXIII, No. 1 
(October, 1945), p. 1. 

Report of the Department of Agriculture, 1962-1964, 
Appendix II, pp. 78-80. 

14 

Climax vegetation refers to the last stage in the process 
of plant succession within a stabilized clicatic area. See: 
Vernor C. Finch, et al . , Physical Elecionts of Geography (4th ed.; 
New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1957), p. 410. 

^eard, "Plant Succession," p. 5. J. P. Watson et al.. 
Soil and Land-Use Surveys. No. 3 : St. Vincent (Port-of-Spain, 
Trinidad: The Regional Research Centre of the British Caribbean 
at the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture, 1958), p. 8; 
and J. S. Beard, "The Classification of Tropical American Vegetation- 
Types," Ecology, XXXVI, No. 1 (January, 1955), p. 94. 

About 75 per cent of the hurricane rainforest is made up 
of the palm Prestoea montana . See Beard, "Plant Succession," 
P. A. 

"ibid. 

18 

Ibid., pp. 3-4; also Beard, "Tropical American Vegetation- 
Types," p. 94. 

^•'Beard, "Plant Succession," pp. 3-4. 

2 lb id. , p. 6. 




47 

23 

In addition, several minor azonal soils were recognized: 

Aeolian Soils, Beach Deposits, and Skeletal Soils. See: F. 
Hardy, C. E. Robinson, and G. Rodrigues, Agricultural Soils of 
St. Vincent . Studies in West Indian Soils", No. 8 (Port-of-Spain, 
Trinidad: Government Printer, 1934), pp. 1-4. 

24 

The tern tonal refers to soils whose characteristics are 
determined mainly by the climate in which they developed. See: 
Harry 0. Buckoan and Nyle C. Brady, The Nature and Properties of 
Soil (6th ed.; New York: The Macmillan Company, 1966), p. 298. 

25 

Watson, Spector, and Jones, Soil Survey, St. Vincent , 

pp. 20 and 22-24. 

26 Ibid., p. 21. 

27 

Ibid ., p. 20. 

JO 

Ibid ., p. 27. 
29 Ibid., pp. 20-21 and 27. 
3 Ibld ., p. 21. 

3 1 Ibid ., p. 34. 

32 

There were 58,000 acres of land surveyed out of 

approximately 85,000 acres in the "main" island. 

33 

The specialists who classified St. Vincent s soils in 

1958 distinguished between "optimum" and "practical" land use 
classes. "Optimum" land use recommendations were derived to 
preserve from further destruction the island's soils. "Practical" 
land uses could not be recommended because such considerations 
were economic and sociological rather than "of the land." See: 
Watson, Spector, and Jones, Soil Survey, St. Vincent , p. 37. 



PART I. THE EVOLUTION OF THE ECONOMY 
OF ST. VINCENT 



CHAPTER III 

THE SUGAR INDUSTRY OF ST. VINCENT, 1763 TO 1838 

For nearly two centuries, the economy of St. Vincent has 
folloved a classic path of monoculture, or dependence upon a 
single export crop. Although the island was noted for the variety 
of crops it produced during the earliest era of European occupa- 
tion, the formal acquisition of St. Vincent by Great Britain saw 
a rapid change in the land tenure arrangements and pattern of 
cultivation. Sugar early became the mainstay of the colony and 
laid an indelible imprint on the socio-economic structure which 
persists even to the present day. To understand the economic 
geography of St. Vincent is to understand the early history of 
sugar cane cultivation. What follows is an historical account 
of the settlement of St. Vincent, tracing the succession of 
events leading to the rise of the sugar cane industry and the 
emancipation of slaves. 

Early Settlements In St. Vincent, Fre-1763 
The earliest kncwn inhabitants of St. Vincent were the 
Amerindian Arawaks and Caribs. By the time of Columbus' dis- 
covery of the West Indies, the peaceful Arawaks had been driven 
out of the Lesser Antilles by the more aggressive Caribs. The 
latter, although more adept at fishing and seamanship than the 
49 



50 



agricultural Aravaks, nonetheless engaged In a similar type 
of subsistence economy, with cassava as the staple food crop. 

Among the aboriginals in St. Vincent at the advent of 
early European attempts to settle the island were the so-called 
"Red" and "Black" Caribs. The Red Caribs were apparently the 
Amerindian people who had moved northwards through the Lesser 
Antilles from their cultural hearth in the western part of the 
Amazon basin. Some of St. Vincent's Red Caribs had mated with 
the survivors of an African slave ship from Guinea, forming 
the numerically dominant race of Black Caribs found when 
Europeans first began visiting the island. 

Before Great Britain obtained control of St. Vincent, 
French priests and, later on, a few French planters were known 
to have landed along the Leeward (or western) coast, thus 
beginning the first recorded European settlements. These hardy 
individuals came from Martinique and Guadeloupe with the aim of 

escaping the conventions of metropolitan rule, a phenomenon 

2 
repeated many times during the 16th and 17th centuries. A French 

military expedition, allied with the Red Caribs, tried to subdue 

the Black Caribs of St. Vincent in 1719, and although it failed, 

its members were, nonetheless, invited by the victorious Black 

Caribs to remain. 3 These Frenchmen established their small farms 

along the sheltered west coast near the Red Car lb settlements. The 

Black Caribs, found along the southern and Windward (or Eastern) 

coasts, were more familiar with the British than the French, as 



51 



they had encountered woodcutters from British Barbados who 
periodically came to St. Vincent and St. Lucia to collect timber. 

The recorded history of settlements in St. Vincent is 
sparse for the period between 1719 and 1748, when the Treaty of 
Aix-la-Chapelle was signed, concluding the War of Jenkins' Ear. 
Among the provisions of the 1748 treaty was one confirming the 
neutral status of Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and its 
Grenadine possessions, and Tobago. European nations were to be 
withdrawn from these islands, leaving them in the possession of 
the Caribs. Naturally this provision was difficult to enforce, 
and interpreting the population data estimated by the head of 
the British commission for the sale of lands in St. Vincent at the 
end of the Seven Years' War in 1763, it was largely disregarded 
by the French. 

The Seven Years' War (1756 to 1762) formalized the contin- 
uous rivalries in the West Indies, especially between France and 
Britain. By the Treaty of Paris (1763), the contestants once 
again revised ownership of the Lesser Antillean islands. The 
older, established British sugar islands exerted their power to 
have Guadeloupe and Martinique, captured by the English during 
the war, returned to France, in exchange for French Canada. 
That such a transaction should be suggested indicates the 
political and economic value placed upon the Caribbean sugar 
islands at this historical moment. The English planters had no 
wish to see their monopoly of the home sugar market weakened by 



52 



the introduction of sugar grovn more economically from the 
occupied French islands. This could only lead to lower prices for 
the produce of the more exhausted soils in the older British 
islands. Of the neutral islands of 1748, Britain took possession 
of Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Tobago, now 
called the "Ceded Islands," as its share of the war spoils. 

The Advent of the Sugar Industry. 1764 to 1800 
Immediately after the accession of St. Vincent by the Treaty 
of Paris, Britain declared all land in the island to be Crown 
property and embarked upon a land survey in early 1764. Cognizant 
of the excesses of poor land management in the older British 
islands, the terms of sale of property in St. Vincent and the 
other Ceded Islands were such as would foster a yeomen class of 
farmers. Large estates were to be avoided and speculation checked. 

Land was to be alienated by sale, in fee-simple, to British 
subjects only. The French who numbered about 1,300, along with 

their 2,700 slaves, were permitted to remain on their property 

9 
for a maximum of 40 years but had only leasehold rights. 

As a means of discouraging large estates, the maximum 

acreage limit of a parcel of land was set at 500 acres. The 

conditions of sale were as follows: (1) 20 per cent of the price 

in down payment, (2) 10 per cent each year for the next 2 years, 

and (3) 20 per cent a year for the subsequent 3 years. Each year 

5 per cent of the original size allotment had to be cleared until 

a total of 50 per cent of the area was ready for cultivation. As 



53 



a means of checking speculation, fines were imposed for delays 
in clearing the land according to schedule. In addition, 1 vhite 
man or 2 white women were required for each 100 acres of cleared 
land and, likewise, fines were levied for failure to maintain 
this man-land ratio. In lieu of services from the owners, an 
annual quitrent of 6d per acre was required. 10 As an inducement 
for poor white settlers to take up farming on the island, 800 
acres in each parish were to be allotted to this immigrant class. 
Land for poor settlers ranged in size from 10 to 30 acres and 
was inalienable for at least the first 7 years. 11 

Land parcels were surveyed in 1764 by a very able surveyor, 
John Byres, and were auctioned in England. One very large parcel 
was omitted from the initial auction because of a prior grant. A 
hero of the late Seven Years' War, General Robert Monckton who 
captured St. Vincent and Martinique, was given 4,000 acres on the 
south Windward coast between what is today Biabou Village on the 
north and Stubbs Village on the south, extending inland to the 
headwaters of the rivers flowing down the Mesopotamia Valley. 
(See Figure 6.) Monckton never settled his land but sold it 
instead for £30,000. The auction of land earned for the British 
Treasury £162,854 on the sale of 20,538 acres, an average of 
£7. 16s Od per acre. 12 

As a result of the first sales, no parcels exceeded 500 
acres as a single unit, except the specified land grant which 
was eventually resold . Some buyers bought more than 1 parcel 



54 



Tree* - . e-s r --"*4 ** 6« R*tar« Mwdiw 

• ir«« 

Trad (S>— CtfWMkM te*4 »- i'trr ; . i - •* a 
I7t4. < ce**>** «M^ Ctf.b tw * 1775 

l7«4. e »*-»* tq J*** Kwm»4] « 
■ 7»0 
G»L Et%«r*f*«f'* *»4 p«w 4«t*4 1771 




FIGURE 6 

PLAN OF ST. VINCENT 

1764-1807 



55 



but the largest single land unit sold by the Crown was 471 acres. 
This was purchased by a man named Byres, possibly the chief sur- 
veyor of St. Vincent. While most of the parcels were under 200 
acres each, there were 19 out of a total of 171 allotments 
surveyed for outright sale that were larger than 200 acres in 
extent. J Only 3 of the 114 French leasehold properties were in 



parcels larger than 100 acres, the largest surveyed allotment 

14 
being 135 acres. 

The alienation of St. Vincent's land was accomplished, as 

nearly as possible, according to design. As soon as immigration 

began, however, the trend was toward the agglomeration of land 

into large estates. The more affluent and core successful sugar 

planters began to acquire property from the snail farmers. Xany 

of the early settlers came from the older English islands and 

brought with them a knowledge and determination to reestablish 

themselves as sugar cane growers on virgin soil. 

The early French settlers had planted their lands with a 

variety of commercial and subsistence crops — coffee, cocoa, cotton, 

tobacco, indigo, and ground (food) provisions — but had little 

interest in large-scale sugar cane monoculture in St. Vincent. 

This tendency nay be partly explained by the small-size land parcels 

which the French were accustomed to cultivating in the island. If 

the land were to be cultivated in small fara units, there would 

be much less expense for the new settler than if a large sugar 

cane enterprise were to be undertaken, necessitating costly 

equipment, buildings, and many laborers, in this case, slaves. 



56 

One of the best known historians of the sugar industry, 
Boel Deerr, gives some indication of how rapidly St. Vincent's 
sugar production rose by citing a mere 35 tons of sugar in 1766 
and 1,930 tons in 1770. (See Figure 7.) Throughout the 1770s, 
the total production of St. Vincent fluctuated between 3,130 tons 
in 1774 and 2,049 tons in 1779. Until 1771, all sugar cane culti- 
vation was restricted to the European-held parts of the island. 
The Black Carib reserve lands along the south coast and southern 
Windward coast were, of course, tempting areas for ambitious 
planters who wanted to bring these soils under sugar cane. English 
cultivation before the First Carib War (1772 to 1773) had been south 
of the Yambou River, which divided Monckton's Quarter, the land 
grant unused at this time. (See Figure 6.) This was according 
to the terms of the Treaty of Paris of 1763. An 18th century 
historian, Coke, noted that British resident planters wanted to 
enlarge the area of sugar cane northward beyond the Yambou River, 
even obtaining rights to land grants in formerly Carib regions. 17 
To ensure that the white settlers honored the Carib reserves, 
however, survey lines were laid out along the boundaries, which 
required a road to be constructed into the reserve itself. *" 
Predictably, misunderstandings led to fighting between the English 
and the Caribs over the survey road, compelling the use of 2 British 
regiments from the North American colonies to defeat the Caribs in 
a series of campaigns beginning in 1772 and ending with a peace 
treaty in February, 1773. 

The Treaty of 1773 with the Caribs legalized the land 
seizures beyond the Yambou River. A new reserve for the Amerindians 



■^J— .— . - ,..»-^.-.-,. — ^ . Jm. ■ J ..,., ..-. , .. .. .... . 



57 



I! ! ! 



! ! 



• 


\, 




'■ 


! 




■ 


| 1 






1 






\ 1 


. 




1 j 




. 


> j i 




■ 


<v 1 l 






fr- 1 


■ 




r i 


i 




*-j 


i 




V I 


I 


■ 


L 


; 

! 


- 


1. 


- 


: 


V 1 

' 1 


< 




/ » 






<-J . 




. 


! 






! 1 


■ e 




1 

j 


'" 


) 




I 


i \ 




o 


r \ 




. 2 


11 


. 



1 1 I 







g : I 

'5 * 3 



58 

vas thereafter established approximately 5 miles further north. 
The new boundaries for Carib land Cor the "Carib Country") became 
the Byera River on the Windward coast and a line running from the 
headwaters of the Byera northwest to the upper reaches of the 
Wallibou River on the north Leeward coast. Except for the rela- 
tively level valley lands along much of the Windward coast, the 
greater part of the Carib Country lands encompassed inaccessible 
or mountainous land in the interior, unfit for commercial culti- 
vation. (See Figure 6.) This action silenced the Caribs by 
locating them in the distant reaches of the island, well away 
from the settled estates for the most part. 

In the late 1770s, the lieutenant-governor of St. Vincent, 
Valentine Morris, advocated the free entry of French immigrants 
because of their ability to cultivate a variety of crops, especi- 
ally coffee, successfully on a single holding. Such action was 
an official expression of the intent to encourage small-scale 
farming. Unfortunately, the exhaustion of the old French coffee 
lands in the Leeward valleys, together with the prohibition of 
sales of fresh land to them, forced many discouraged Frenchmen 
to leave the island and seek refuge nearby on the islands of 
St. Lucia, Martinique, and Guadeloupe. 19 As the French departed 
and more land was turned to sugar cane in response to a rise in 
the price of sugar in the London market, the exports of coffee 
and cocoa fell. (See Figure 8.) 

Between 1776 and 1779, the Government further disposed of 
2,156 acres of new land, most grants being less than 100 acres 
in size. 20 Disregarding the new Carib boundaries set down in 



59 




Ul 
111 

Ll 

u. 

o t 

g":S 

o m — 
LU °h« 
■*■ <u< 

ID -ecu 
CD z^ 
— uoQ 

*. I- 
5 wo 

U.CC-1 
OOUi 

UJX 

Z3 

_J 
o 

> 



CD 



Ll o I 



60 



1773, the governor also gave a large tract of land on the 
northwest coast to a Royal American officer to command the 
British garrison guarding St. Vincent against French attack. 

Before the impact of the new sugar lands could be felt in 
St. Vincent's export trade, the American Revolution broke out, 
causing considerable consternation among British merchant 
shippers and affecting the exports of all the British West 
Indian islands. After declaring war on Britain in 1778, France 
seized several British islands, including St. Vincent, in 1779. 
From 1779 to 1783, the island was under French governorship 
during which time land transactions were still carried out as 
though there had been no change of metropolitan control. 22 

Commercial cash crop production during the 1780s is 
obscured by the lack of data, but it can be assumed that the 
troubled times adversely affected production for export (not 
necessarily for local consumption) as did a destructive hurricane 
in 1780. The high price of sugar in London in 1781 was useless 
to Vincentian cane growers under French rule, as their sugar 
could not reach the English market. Local administrative insti- 
tutions, however, remained intact under the governorship of 
France. By 1784, when St. Vincent had returned to British rule, 
the raw sugar price in London had dropped by 50 per cent from 
the 1781 level, reflecting the entrance of stock-piled British West 
Indian sugar into the home market. (See Figure 9.) 



61 



?SS ? 2 




UJ 3 

q; to 

=) u. 

o o 



(900 o 



62 



The effects of the French Revolution (1789 to 1795) 
directly and indirectly assisted the Vincentian sugar economy. 
The French in the Lesser Antilles began propagandizing among 
the Caribs in the British islands, including St. Vincent, assis- 
ting them with arms and officers in their depredations on isolated 
sugar estates. Burning of cane fields and mill works began in 
St. Vincent in 1789 and culminated in a full-scale war in 1795 
between British regular and militia troops and the Caribs. The 
Amerindians with their French leaders succeeded in destroying 

many of the estate mill works on both the east and west coasts 

23 

of St. Vincent before they were finally defeated in 1797. 

There is no doubt that conflict would, in any case, have erupted 
eventually over the planters' desire to use the fertile soils 
of the Windward coast in the Carib Country reserve established 
in 1773. 

Turmoil in the British and French West Indies during the 
1790s led to record prices for raw sugar in London, especially 
as Saint Domingue's (now Haiti) sugar was withdrawn from the 
European market. (See Figure 9.) The successful black rebellion 

in Saint Domingue ruined that island's sugar industry but stimu- 

24 
lated the British sugar industry. This served as an indirect 

support to St. Vincent's sugar economy — a guarantee of renewed 
profits to be made from slave-grown sugar. The direct and major 
factor which brought the Vincentian sugar economy to maturity 
was the confiscation of all Carib lands, particularly the well- 
suited Windward coastal region, along with the physical expulsion 



63 



of uost of the Black Caribs froa the island. The few Indians 
permitted to remain in the colony were relegated to an isolated 
reserve of 239 acres in the Horse Ronde area north of the 
Sallibou River. 25 (See Figure 6.) Thus, by the end of the 
18th century, St. Vincent had opened up for settlement and 
cultivation all available fertile land. Crown lands, generally 
those above 1,000 feet in elevation, remained unalienated. The 
next phase of St. Vincent's economic history, therefore, began 
with the official disposition of the Carib lands in the northern 
part of the island. 

The Zenith of the Sugar Industry. 1S00 to 1828 
From the end of the Second Carib Var in 1797, debate 
ensued amo ng the colonists as to the future use of the valuable 
Carib Country lands. The traditional viewpoint expressed the 
by Governor William Bentinck in 1798 encompassed the sale, not 
the free grant, of these lands to small holders as a hedge 
against the development of large estates. This was envisioned 
as an effective way of populating an empty region rapidly, for 
otherwise the great estates would exclude the many small white 
settlers whom the Government wished to attract in order to estab- 
lish a loyal British community ready to serve in the island's 
defense. 2 ^ Some voices on the other hand opted for the free 
distribution of these lands to the sufferers and veterans (or 
their widows) of the late Indian war. 



64 



It was only after the arrival of a new governor, Henry 
Bentinck,^ 7 In 1802, that disposition of the Carib lands began. 

Ben tine k conveyed the right to "use" — not "own" — 5,262 acres of 

28 
the Windward coast Carib Country to war veterans. The total 

accessible area of the Windward district, later to become most 

29 

of Charlotte Parish, was approximately 16,640 acres. Large 

land allotments were given to prominent planters at "His 
Majesty's Pleasure" after an act in 1804 stripped the Indians of 

all rights to their forcer reserves as a consequence of their 

30 

hostilities. The Crown took possession of, but did not sell, 

the land rights. The 5,262 acres disposed of by 1807 caused a 
domestic crisis when it was learned that an American Royalist 
from Georgia, Colonel Thonas Browne, had been granted 6,000 acres 
of Carib Country lands, stretching from the Byera River in the 
south to the Cayo River in the north, including the area of 7 
large, recently established estates. (See Figure 6.) The 
hapless planters, despite the Government's proclamations to the 

contrary, had hoped to purchase their land outright after 

31 
clearing and cultivating It, but instead were faced with eviction. 

Negotiations between the parties involved and the local Crown 

representatives resulted in Browne receiving only 1,600 acres 

plus an indemnity of £25,000, part of the Treasury's earnings 

from the eventual sale of the occupied lands to their occupiers 

at an average price of £22. 10s Od per acre. The disputed land 

included some of the best sugar cane soil in the island and 



65 



comprised the estates of Tourama (or Turama) , Orange Hill, 
Waterloo, Lot No. 14, Rabacca, Langley Park, Mount Bentinck, 
and Grand Sable (the estate of Colonel Browne and the largest 
single estate on the mainland of St. Vincent.) (See Figure 10.) 

Kearly all the land grants In Charlotte Parish were of 
considerable size, despite the official preference for small 
allotments. By 1819, the average size of the 26 estates in the 

former Carib reserves was 499 acres, ranging from Grand Sable's 

33 
1,600 acres to Cummacrabou s 200 acres. The area below 1,000 

feet in elevation open to cultivation on the island was thus 

Increased by about 52 per cent, from 31,834 acres to 48,474 acres. 

Not all of this land was equal in value, fertility, slope, and 

accessibility, but the additions permitted large-scale sugar 

manufacturing to begin at a time when the smaller estates 

elsewhere on the island were suffering from the economic costs 

incurred in the prolonged struggle of the 1790s with the Caribs. 

Those who could continue shipping their sugar during the late 

1790s found a very favorable market in London; the rest of the 

planters had to absorb their current losses in addition to trying 

to meet the perennial expenses of trusts and annuities set up in 

the early years of the growth of the Vincentian sugar industry. 

The sugar economy, at the point of revitalization after 

the dispersal of new lands in 1802, was faced a few years later 

with the problem of losing its cheap slave labor. In March, 

1807, the English Parliament passed a bill abolishing the slave 



66 




FIGURE 10 

'CARIB COUNTRY" ESTATES OF 
ST. VINCENT 



67 



trade between Africa and the British West Indies. This immed- 
iately increased the cost of producing slave-grown sugar by 
forcing the estate proprietors to look to the welfare of their 
chattel slaves, as only the children of these people could serve 
to replace or enlarge the existing work force. The cost of 
caring for the young dependents until working age was reached 
and the care of adult health required more working capital. 

St. Vincent, nevertheless, sustained its sugar industry 

despite the abolition of the slave trade, although not without 

35 

complaints about the declining profits of muscovado sugar 

in the home market and the rising costs of production attendant 
upon the renewed war with France in 1803. Sugar production 

reached 11,200 tons in 1807, fell to 8,014 in 1809 and was 

again up to 11,270 in 1814 after Britain's 2-year war with the 

United States. These large exports were made possible by the 

38 

contributions of the Carib Country estates. 

From 1814 to 1828, sugar exports were relatively stabilized, 
fluctuating between 10,834 tons in 1820 and 14,403 tons in 1828, 
the peak year of St. Vincent's sugar history. (See Figure 7.) 
Although sugar was by far the most extensively cultivated cash 
crop, there were at the same time smaller farms or parts of 
large estates, mostly in the valleys of the Leeward coast, 
devoted to coffee and cocoa production. J * 

Coffee, the competing beverage drink in Britain with tea, 
was usually burdened by high import duties in the home market 



68 



and in Germany (the principal continental market) where the market 
crashed in 1773, causing an extremely low price for coffee. 
The low coffee price and the defection of many of the French 
farmers led to the reduction of coffee exports from St. Vincent 
after the American Revolutionary War. 

Cocoa, never an extensive commercial crop in St. Vincent 
because of the island's shallow soil and dryness, followed the 
coffee industry in its decline. Both coffee and cocoa were more 
or less restricted to the sheltered Leeward valleys, the domain 
of the early French settlers. The amalgamation of estates through- 
out the island relegated the position of these tree crops to that 
of a minor industry after 1800. 

Cotton, another minor cash crop in the late 18th and 19th 
centuries, was grown in the colony but was confined to the smaller 
Grenadine Islands, a string of low-lying, dry islands to the south 
of the "main" island St. Vincent. Bequia and Kustique islands raised 
sugar and cotton, while Canouan, Union, Mayreau, and Petit St. 
Vincent produced only cotton. (Vide infra Chapter V for a discus- 
sion of cash crops raised in St. Vincent.) 

The Waning of the Sugar Industry Before Slave Emancipation 

The abolition of the slave trade in Great Britain, effective 
in 1808, presaged darker days for the proprietors in St. Vincent 
and the other British sugar islands as popular forces in Great 
Britain turned their efforts to the total eradication of forced 
servitude in the colonies. From the time of Adam Smith's 



69 



Wealth of Nations , the previously unchallenged lobbying influence 
of the West India Committee and its sympathizers began to wane. 
Mercantilism as an economic philosophy was gradually being 
supplanted by the ideas of free trade. British industrial 

capitalism grew as mechanical inventions were developed and 

43 
installed in the burgeoning factory system. 

After the turn of the 19th century, many British West Indian 
sugar planters began facing a period of increasingly diminished 
profits. In fact, as early as 1807, a Government study reported 
that the average British West Indian sugar planter was unable to 
make a profit on his shipments to the home market. Several 
reasons accounted for this situation: (a) imprudent management 
characterized by mounting indebtedness, absentee ownership, and 
the lack of technical innovation; (b) an oversupplied sugar 
market in London and consequent low prices; and (c) the demise of 
the slave trade and the cost of maintaining an adequate work force 
on the estates. 

Absentee ownership, a plague on the proper administration 
of estates and the efficient governing of the colonies, became 
common practice after fortunes were made. Those owners who were 
in no position, physically or financially, to take direct control 
over their estates, very often abandoned them or were forced into 
chancery courts by creditors where receivers were appointed to 
administer what profits (if any) were left. Absenteeism resulted 
in the delegation of administrative responsibility to resident 



70 



attorneys (often called "planting attorneys") or managers, who 
feathered their own nests. Costs and encumbrances weighed 
heavily on the inefficiently producing enterprises so charac- 
teristic of most of the small island economies in the British 
Caribbean. 46 

In the Windward Islands (Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, 
and Grenada) , few Inventions or technical innovations were 
applied on the estates. The cost was often too high and the 
topography of the islands too rugged to permit large-scale 
agricultural practices— a prerequisite for the economic moderni- 
zation of sugar manufacturing. Very few steam engines were 
introduced into St. Vincent to crush the canes, although they 
were available and were being bought and installed on the more 
progressive estates in some British and Spanish colonies of the 
Caribbean. Even the use of the horse-drawn plow was a rarity 
throughout St. Vincent during the 19th century. The short-handled 
hoe employed by field gangs was as advanced as the Vincentian 
planters could or would go toward agricultural improvements. 
Such conservatism was understandable, however, in a society laden 
with the tradition of ancestrally-owned sugar estates. 

After the Napoleonic wars, a flood of cheaper and more 
refined sugar began arriving in the British home market. By the 
Treaty of Amiens in 1802, Spain had ceded Trinidad to Great Britain 
and by the Treaty of Paris in 1814, the Dutch had turned over 
their South American possessions of Demerara, Essiquibo, and 
Berbice to the British. These colonies developed into wealthy and 



71 



efficient producers of sugar, adding to the mounting supplies 
•hipped to the London market. Additionally, the island of 
Mauritius in the Indian Ocean became a large producer of sugar 
after duty on its produce was equalized with that of the British 
West Indies in 1825. These suppliers of refined sugar caused 
the price of sugar in London to collapse, from a war-induced 
peak in 1814 of 97s per hundredweight down to 24s in 1830, a loss 
in value of 76 per cent in 16 years. 

Another factor which diminished the profitability of slave- 
grown sugar in the British West Indies was the abolition of the 
slave trade in 1807. The cessation of the slave trade had increased 
the expenses of running a successful estate, while plantations in 
Cuba and Brazil could still rely on replenishment of their work 
gangs from slave imports. The cost of providing for a slave 

child to the age of 14 years, when adult tasks could be expected 

49 
of him, was £135 for the British Caribbean as a whole. In the 

1780s, a male slave could have been purchased for about £50 

sterling; the average value of a Vincentian slave, from 1822 to 

1830, was £58. 6s 8d sterling. 50 Prices were higher for male 

field slaves than for females, or house servants, but It reveals 

the economic advantage to be gained from importing adult workers, 

ready for the fields. Those sugar producing areas which could 

replenish their slave gangs with fresh slaves were, naturally, 

bound to have this cost factor in their favor. 

To placate the demands of the anti-slavery movement in 

Britain following the abolition of the slave trade, the home 



72 



Government, betveen 1823 and 1826, forced most of the British 
colonies to pass amelioration lavs for the benefit of the slaves 
remaining on the estates. Religious instruction, legalization of 
slave marriages, and the prohibition of cruel and capricious 
punishment, among other measures, were enacted into law by 
unwilling colonial legislatures as a sop to the anti-slavery 
advocates in England. The amelioration legislation in St. 
Vincent, encompassed as the Slave Act of December 16, 1825, 
forbade the use of the slave driver's whip, encouraged slave 
marriages, and admitted testimony from slaves in capital cases. 
The ramifications of such laws, however, were obvious to 
the planters. Complete emancipation of the slaves was only a 
few years away. The record for St. Vincent shows that the total 
number of black, slaves steadily declined from 24,920 in 1812 to 
18,794 in 1833, the last full year of slavery. 53 The attrition 
in numbers of slaves was the result of the higher mortality of an 
aging, predominantly male population without sufficient reproduc- 
tion to compensate for deaths and the periodic manumission of the 
elderly and Infirm from the slave registers. 5 It is evident 
from St. Vincent's court records of manumissions that the estate 
owners anticipated freedom for the black population and hastened 
the transition by releasing their less productive charges. 
Returns from 1819 to 1833 show the change In numbers of slaves 
in the parishes of St. Vincent and the largest dependency in the 
Grenadines, Bequia Island. (See Table 2.) Despite the loss of 



73 



labor from 1819 to 1833—10 per cent for the "main" Island— sugar 
production remained relatively stable until after the peak year of 
1828, when It declined 32 per cent in 5 years. (See Figure 7.) 

TABLE 2 

NUMBER OF SLAVES, BY PARISH, 
SX VINCENT, 1819 AND 1833 



Parish 


1819 


1833 


Per Cent 
Change 


Charlotte 


7,068 


6,729 


- 5 


St. George 


5,616 


4,994 


- 11 


St. Andrew 


1,663 


1,538 


- 8 


St. Patrick 


2,144 


1,654 


- 23 


St. David 


1,828 


1,519 


- 17 


Bequia Island 


1,123 


2,360 


+110 


Total 


19,442 


18,794 


- 3 


The 5 Parishes 


18,319 


16,434 


- 10 


Source: Estates 


Book, p. 235. 







The final blow to St. Vincent and the other sugar colonies 
came on August 28, 1833, when an act of the British Parliament 
abolishing slavery in the colonial empire was passed into law. 
Commencing on August 1, 1834, all forms of forced servitude were 
to cease. The import of this act was that it put a seal on the 
future of sugar production in the smaller British West Indian 
colonies. It was only the wake of wars in Europe and the 



74 



Caribbean, from the time of the black revolt In Saint Domingue 
in 1791, that had sustained British estate agriculture beyond the 
reckoning day. Cane sugar could be produced in many areas of the 
vorld, not only in the Caribbean region, and the continuation of 
slavery in the Spanish and Portuguese possessions in the Western 
Hemisphere, particularly in Cuba, allowed cheaper sugar to be 
shipped to the European markets to undersell British colonial 
sugar re-exported from England. 

With hand labor a vital requirement for the estates, St. 
Vincent's planters could only look with trepidation on the freeing 
of the slaves. In order to soften the blow, a period of 
"apprenticeship" was instituted so that slaves could bridge the gap 
between bondage and freedom. To help the planters adjust to the 
new social and economic order, all adult slaves were, therefore, 
bound by force of law to remain on the property and to furnish 
labor, as directed by a representative of the estate, for 45 
hours a week during a 6-day work week. All work beyond the nor- 
mal schedule of hours was to be compensated for by wages. The 
apprenticeship of ex-slaves was initially set for a 6-year 
duration for praedial hands and 4 years for others, beginning in 
1834. Children under 6 years of age were exempt from these 
regulations at the outset of apprenticeship. During the transi- 
tion period, the workers were to be furnished with lodging, 
clothing, a food allowance, and the use of a provisions ground. 
At any tine before the expiration of the apprenticeship period, 



75 



a worker could purchase his freedom if he possessed enough money 
to pay for his estimated value to the planter. 56 

St. Vincent finally ended its apprenticeship after 4 years, 
on August 1, 1838. It was decided that all laborers, praedial or 
otherwise, were declared to be free after that date. To compensate 
British planters for the loss of their most valued "property," a 
proposed loan of £15,000,000 was eventually negotiated into a 
grant of £20,000,000 to be given to the slave owners in the 
colonies. West Indian planters received £16,639,967 of the total 
indemnity in payment for 673,953 slaves; the average payment was 
approximately £25 per slave, well below the declared value of 
£56 per slave for all West Indian slaves. 

St. Vincent had 22,997 slaves at the last registration in 
1832, valued by the owners at £1,341,492, or approximately £58 
per slave. The compensation to the Vincentian proprietors was 
£592,509, an average of £26 per slave or only 45 per cent of the 
declared worth. Another author presents an analysis of St. 
Vincent's slave population by classes prior to apprenticeship. 
In 1832, 69 per cent were "field slaves" with a compensated 
value of £31 per slave; "non-field slaves" accounted for 13 per 
cent and were worth £30 each; 13 per cent were "children under 
6 years" and were valued at £11; lastly, 5 per cent of the total 
were "aged and infirm," valued at 13 each. 59 

There were 112 estates functioning in St. Vincent and its 
Grenadine dependencies in 1833, with an average number of slaves 
per estate of 205. This ranged from as many as 693 slaves on 



76 



the faaous Grand Sable estate in Charlotte Parish to as low as 
15 slaves on Madame Laroux's cotton estate on Petit St. Vincent 
island at the southern extreme of the Grenadine Islands of St. 
Vincent. 



60 



Summary 
This chapter details the rise of the sugar industry in St. 
Vincent from the date of Britain's acquisition of the island to 
the end of slavery. It records the struggle of the last third 
of the 18th century as St. Vincent experienced 2 wars with its 
aboriginal population. Only after the successful campaigns 
against the Caribs was the colony able to concentrate on the 
monocultural production of sugar. Only 3 years after the official 
amelioration of the life of Vincentian slaves was accomplished 
in 1825, the colony reached its zenith as a sugar producing island 
and began waning. Apprenticeship and emancipation are the last 
major socio-economic events considered in this chapter. 



NOTES TO CHAPTER III 



1 

A French missionary, Pere Labat, recorded meeting another 
French priest in St. Vincent in 1700. See: R. P. Labat, Voyages 
aux Isles de L'Aaerique (Antilles), 1693-1705 , Collection Laque 
Orange Aventures et Voyages (2 vols.; Paris: Edition Ducharte, 
1931), p. 168. 

2 

Sir Alan Burns, History of the British West Indies (rev. 2d 

ed.; London: George Allen & Unwin, Ltd., 1965), pp. 350 and 371. 

3 
Thomas Coke, A History of the Vest Indies, Containing the 
Natural, Civil, and Ecclesiastical History of Each Island: With 
an Account of the Missions (3 vols.; London: A. Paris, 1810), 
II, p. 184. 

4 
Burns, History of the British West Indies , p. 484. 

See Chapter VI for a further discussion of the early 
population history of St. Vincent. 

6 

Burns, History of the British West Indies , p. 489. 

Lovell Joseph Ragatz, The Fall of the Planter Class in the 
British Caribbean. 1763-1833 (New York: D. Appleton-Century , 
1928), p. 113. 

o 
Ivor Walters, The Unfortunate Valentine Morris (Newport, 
Eng.: R. H. Johns, Ltd., 1964), p. 35. 

Q 

Ragatr, Fall of the Planter Class , pp. 113-114. 

1 Ibid . , p. 113. Note: Throughout this study, except where 
noted otherwise, the monetary units used are the English pound (£) , 
shilling (s) , and pence (d) . When all three denominations are 
used, they will be given as follows: £2. 2s 2d, read as 2 pounds, 
2 shillings, and 2 pence. At times, only one of the denominations 
may be used. There are 12 pence in 1 shilling and 20 shillings in 
1 pound. All monetary totals are given as unadjusted values. 

11 

Ragatz, Fall of the Planter Class , p. 113. 



78 



12 
Walters, Valentine Morris , p. 30 

13 

Charles Shephard, An Historical Account of the Island of 

St. Vincent (London: W. Nlchol, 1831), Appendix, Table No. XX, 
pp. lix-lxvii. 

14 

Ibid., pp. lxiv-lxvii. One Frenchman, Heude, had several 

scattered parcels which, added together, gave him an estate of 
153 acres. 

T)avid L. Niddrie, "Eighteenth-Century Settlement in the 
British Caribbean," Transactions and Papers, The Institute of 
British Geographers . Publication No. 40 (1960), p. 78. 

16 

Ibid. , pp. 78-79. 

Coke, History of the West Indies, p. 186. 

18 

Burns, History of the British West Indies , p. 505. 

19 

Walters, Valentine Morris , p. 35. 

^ °Ibld . , pp. 57-58. Governor Morris disposed of this new 
land in 64 grants to 56 persons. French settlers received a 
total of 18 grants. Of these new grants, 37 were under 50 acres 
in size. Only Morris's own grants to himself were larger than 
100 acres in size. He reserved for himself 3 land parcels of 
350, 360, and 500 acres, located in the newly opened Carib lands 
north of the Yambou River. 

21 

This officer was Lieutenant-Colonel George Etherington, 
whose wooded estate was located north of and bounded on the south 
by the Walllbou River on the north Leeward coast. (See Figure 6.) 
It was while using garrison troops to clear his land that 
Etherington allowed a French force to capture St. Vincent in 
1779 without firing a shot. 

22 

A woman with the rank of TJame d honneur in the French 

Palace, Mrs. Martha Swinburne, was granted 20,000 acres of 
unoccupied land. The exact location of this land is not known. 
See: Shephard, An Historical Account of St. Vincent , pp. 48-49. 
The deeds pertaining to the period of French occupation 
are located in the vault of the Registrar-General's office in 
Kingstown, St. Vincent but are not available for public use owing 
to their fragile condition. 



79 



23 

Shepard, An Historical Account of St. Vincent , pp. 48-49. 
Also see: Ebenezer Duncan, A Brief History of St. Vincent 
(4th ed., rev.; Kingstown: Reliance Printer-/, 1967). Much of 
this small monograph has been culled from Shephard's early history. 

Noel Deerr, A History of Sugar (2 vols.; London: Chapman 
& Hall, Ltd., 1950), I, p. 240. Production in Saint Domingue 
dropped from 78,696 tons in 1791 to 8,937 tons in 1801, never to 
recover again until more than a century later. 

25 

This was near Lieutenant-Colonel Etherington 8 estate. 

See n. 21. 

26 

Ragatz, Fall of the Planter Class , p. 223. 

27 

Henry Bentinck, like many governors, succeeded his father, 

William Bentinck. 

28 

Ragatz, Fall of the Planter Class, p. 224. 



Charlotte Parish included about 16,640 acres of land below 1,000 
feet in elevation — the area below the Crown land reserves. This 
is based on an approximation of the area between the Galway River 
(near Blabou Village on the south Windward coast) and West Point 
on the north tip of the island. Today, the area of Charlotte 
Parish below 1,000 feet is approximately 19,360 acres according 
to the author's planimetric calculations. This encompasses the 
additional land between the Galway River and the Yambou River 
south of it. 

30 

Shepard, An Historical Account of St. Vincent, p . 178. 

Ttagatz, Fall of the Planter Class , p. 224. 

3 2 Ibid ., p. 225. 

33 

Shephard, An Historical Account of St. Vincent, Appendix, 

Table No. VI, pp. vi-x. Another valuable reference to the early 
estates is a partially destroyed book with the title page and the 
first 159 pages missing. It contains a listing of the estates in 
each parish, the number of acres and slaves on each estate, and 



80 



the production of each from 1819 to 1824. From 1825 to 1852 
(and In some cases, to 1854), additions are written in by hand. 
The book is in the private possession of Dr. I. A. E. Kirby, 
Chief Veterinary Officer, Department of Agriculture, Kingstown, 
St. Vincent, West Indies. Hereafter this work is cited as 
Estates Book . 

34 

William Law Mathieson, British Slavery and Its Abolition , 
1823-1838 (London: Longmans, Green and Company, Ltd., 1926), 
p. 60. 

35 

Muscovado (or "dirty") sugar is sugar which retains a 
greater or lesser amount of molasses. The inefficiency of 19th 
century sugar technology in St. Vincent and the other smaller 
British West Indian colonies resulted in hot and continuous 
boiling of sugar syrup to evaporate the water and concentrate 
the sucrose. Such a technique often led to an "inversion," 
producing glucose (molasses). The cooled sugar crystals had to 
drain long enough to remove much of the molasses, but too often 
in the rush of making sugar when the canes were ready for har- 
vesting, sugar was packed in hogsheads while still warm and not 
thoroughly drained. Throughout the ocean voyage to the London 
market, molasses would drain out of the casks, causing losses 
of 5 to 16 per cent in the individual shipments. This method of 
production was the cause of the bad name which much of the sugar 
produced in the smaller islands earned. See: R. W. Beachey, 
The British West Indies Sugar Industry in the Late 19th Century 
(Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1957), Chapter III, pp. 61-80, passim . 
For an account of the method of making sugar employed on a 
Vincentian sugar estate, see: Mrs. [A. C] Carmichael, Domestic 
Manners and Social Condition of the White. Coloured, and Negro 
Population of the West Indies (2 vols.; London: Whittaker, 
Treacher, and Co., 1833), I, pp. 106-110. 

36 

Ragatz, Fall of the Planter Class, p. 327. 

Deerr, History of Sugar . I, p. 200. 

38 

J. P. Watson, J. Spector, and T. A. Jones, Soil and Land- 
Use Surveys. No. 3: St. Vincent (Port-of-Spain, Trinidad: The 
Regional Research Centre of the Imperial College of Tropical 
Agriculture, 1958), p. 6. 

39 

The coffee and cocoa estates were located primarily in the 
upper reaches of the Cumberland and Wallilabou River valleys, in 
St. David and St. Patrick Parishes. From the earliest estate 
records available, the Estates Book, it is known that the 



81 



•ubsequent owners of these coffee and cocoa areas were British, 
with no French owners listed, at least as early as 1819. 

J. H. Parry and P. M. Sherlock, A Short History of the 
West Indies (3ed.; New York: St. Martin's Press, 1971), p. 134. 

41 

Imperial Department of Agriculture for the West Indies, 

Reports on the Botanic Station. Agricultural School, and Land 
Settlement Schene. St. Vincent. 1906-07 (Bridgetown, Barbados: 
Imperial Commissioner of Agriculture for the West Indies, 1907), 
p. 33; and Imperial Department of Agriculture for the West Indies, 
Report on the Agricultural Department. St. Vincent, for the Year 
1920 (Port-of-Spain, Trinidad: Imperial Commissioner of Agricul- 
ture for the West Indies, 1921), p. 18. 

42 

L. C. A. Knowles, The Economic Development of the British 

Overseas Empire . Studies in Economics and Political Science, 

London School of Economics and Political Science, Monograph So. 

76 (3 vols.; New York: Albert & Charles Boni, 1925), I, pp. 27-28. 

43 

Eric Williams, Capitalism and Slavery (New York: Capricorn 
Books, 1966; original copyright by the University of North Carolina 
Press, 1944), pp. 126-134. 

44 

Ibid ., p. 15. 

45 

Joseph Sturge and Thomas Harvey, The West Indies in 1837 

(London: Hamilton, Adams & Co., 183S), p. 160. 

Edmund Sturge, West India: Compensation to the Owners 
of Slaves (Gloucester, England: John Bellows, 1893), pp. 5-6. 

47 

F. R. Augier et al . , The Making of the West Indies 
(London: Longmans, Green and Company, Ltd., 1960), p. 131. Also 
see: International Sugar Council, The World Sugar Economy : 
Structure and Policies (2 vols.; London: International Sugar 
Council, 1963), II, p. 19. 

48 

Deerr, History of Sugar , II, pp. 530-531. 

49 

Ragatz, Fall of the Planter Class , p. 337. In Jamaica, 

after the abolition of the slave trace, the cost of raising a 
slave child was £120 sterling. 



82 



50 

"Inter-Colonial Apportionment," unnumbered manuscript page 
at the end of the Estates Book. 



5 ^t 



ithieson, British Slavery , pp. 163-164. 

52 

Shepherd,' An Historical Account of St. Vincent , Appendix, 

Table No. XVIII, pp. xlv-xlvlii, pas sin . 

West Indian Census , 1946, Part H: Census of Population 

of the Windward Islands . Table G, p. xiv. Also see: Estates 
Book , p. 241. The total number of slaves was 16,500 in 1S05 and 
24,920 in 1812. There are no records to show what the total was 
in 1808 when the slave trade was abolished. It seems unlikely 
that the peak year for slavery would have been 4 years after 
the importation of such workers was prohibited. 

54 

According to the "Slave Act of July 13, 1767," anyone 
manumitting a slave was to pay into the Public Treasury the sum 
of £100 currency or £4. 6s 8d sterling. See: The Colony of St . 
Vincent, Blue Book. 1853 , pp. 212-213. 

Williams, Capitalism and Slavery , p. 149. 

56 

Ragatr, Fall of the Planter Class , p. 455. 

"Inter-Colonial Apportionment," in Estates Book . 

58 

Ibid . Also see: Burns, History of the British Vest 
Indies, p. 629, and Augier et al . , Making of the West Indies . 
p. 183. The total number of slaves and the compensation paid 
differs slightly among these three sources. Burns and Augier 
et al . show 22,266 and 22,265 slaves, respectively, for St. 
Vincent. The Estates Book is taken as the correct reference 
because the numbers coincide elsewhere in its pages with those 
in Charles Shephard's historical treatise on St. Vincent published 
in 1831. Most tables In the Estates Book are hand-written with 
great care and exhibit a familiarization with local condition. 

59 

Augier et al . . Making of the West Indies , p. 183. 



CHAPTER IV 

THE SUGAR IKDHSTRY OF ST. VINCENT, 1839 TO 1902 

The period from 1639 to 1902 narks the demise of St. 
Vincent's sugar economy, resulting froa labor supply problems 
and the aounting financial crises among the estates, coupled with 
adverse changes in the world sugar market. What follows is a 
review of the forces resposibile for the failure of the sugar 
cane industry. First, there is an account of the labor situation 
consequent upon emancipation. Secondly, there is a discussion 
of the various Immigrant labor schemes undertaken to alleviate 
the labor situation existing after emancipation. Thirdly, the 
effects in St. Vincent of the West Indian Encumbered Estates Act 
of 1S54 are outlined. Finally, the ultimate ruin of the 
Vincentian sugar cane manufacture is documented. 

Post-Emancipation Labor Shortages 
As the day of slave emancipation in St. Vincent approached, 
there was a slow but steady attrition in the number of workers 
attached to the sugar estates, much as the planters had forecast. 
Frota a total of 14,441 estate laborers (slaves) in 1834, the 
number declined to 11,772 in 1838, a loss of 18 per cent during 
the apprenticeship period. (See Figure 11 and Table 3.) 
83 



84 






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^ CM 

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i 

i 

i 



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85 



TABLE 3 



NUMBER OF SLAVES, BY PARISH, 
ST. VINCENT, 1819-1852 



Tear Charlotte St. St. St. St. Total 
George Andrew Patrick David 



1819 


7,068 


5,616 


1,663 


2,144 


1,828 


18,319 


1820 


6,983 


5,551 


1,622 


2,082 


1,847 


18,085 


1821 


6,973 


5,477 


1,588 


2,026 


1,853 


17,917 


1822 


7,074 


5,394 


1,670 


1,939 


1,857 


17,934 


1823 


6,958 


5,286 


1,601 


1,961 


1,813 


17,619 


1824 


6,985 


5,478 


1,611 


1,972 


1,825 


17,871 


1825 


6,958 


5,438 


1,634 


1,899 


1,824 


17,753 


1826 


6,870 


5,397 


1,612 


1,890 


1,801 


17,570 


1827 


6,975 


5,396 


1,604 


1,881 


1,771 


17,617 


1828 


6,989 


5,439 


1,580 


1,807 


1,680 


17,495 


1829 


6,917 


5,345 


1,572 


1,763 


1,655 


17,252 


1830 


6,859 


5,284 


1,558 


1,747 


1,562 


17,010 


1831 


6,749 


5,197 


1,560 


1,714 


1,598 


16,818 


1832 


6,691 


5,166 


1,541 


1,673 


1,558 


16,629 


1833 


6,729 


4,994 


1,538 


1,654 


1,519 


16,434 


1834 


5,863 


4,466 


1,297 


1,486 


1,329 


14,441 


1835 


5,664 


4,300 


1,195 


1,465 


1,274 


13,898 


1836 


5,389 


4,057 


1,234 


1,432 


1,230 


13,342 


1837 


5,260 


3,865 


1,130 


1,429 


1,202 


12,886 


1838 


3,968 


3,626 


960 


1.294 


1,098 


10,946 



86 



TABLE 3 CONTINUED 



Year 


Charlotte 


St. 


St. 


St. 


St. 


Total 






George 


Andrew 


Patrick 


David 




1839 


2,979 


2,562 


934 


815 


837 


8,127 


1840 


n.a. 


n.a. 


n.a. 


n.a. 


n.a. 


n.a. 


1841 


2,906 


2,555 


880 


756 


880 


7,977 


1842 


2,436 


2,119 


839 


752 


749 


6,895 


1843 


2,499 


2,217 


789 


554 


673 


6,732 


1844 


2,378 


2,223 


637 


664 


717 


6,619 


1845 


2,083 


1,969 


679 


620 


712 


6,063 


1846 


2,769 


1,882 


695 


832 


630 


6,808 


1847 


2,722 


2,093 


700 


604 


654 


6,773 


1848 


2,605 


1,728 


701 


516 


529 


6,079 


1849 


2,079 


1,792 


575 


507 


757 


5,710 


1850 


2,428 


1,747 


694 


550 


751 


6,170 


1851 


2,434 


1,318 


567 


476 


961 


5,756 


1852 


2,702 


1,147 


639 


527 


753 


5,768 



After 1833, the freed slaves were referred to as "laborers. 

This does not include the Grenadine dependencies for which 
complete data were lacking. 

Source: Estates Book , "General Return of the Number of 
Slaves, on the Several Estates in the Island of 
Saint Vincent and its Dependencies, from 1819 to 
1824, both Inclusive [with additions through 
1852]," p. 235. 



87 



The decrease in the potential work force that existed at the end 
of the apprenticeship period was due to the release In 1834 of 
all children under the age of 6 years, the old and Infirm, the 
natural mortality of the estate residents during the 4-year 
transitional period, and manumissions. Regardless of the diminu- 
tion of the estate working population during apprenticeship, the 
output of sugar remained relatively stable, fluctuating between 
9,700 tons and 10,500 from 1833 to 1838. (See Figure 7.) The 
most significant change in the size of the estate labor force and 
the production of sugar, however, appeared immediately after 
emancipation as the freed slaves opted to sever their ties with 
the barracks life of the Vincentian estates and to seek, hopefully, 
a more independent mode of existence. Where and when possible, 
many ex-slaves sought to establish residence in "free villages," 
towns, and small settlements, purchasing provision grounds when 
available and, occasionally, squatting when land could not be 
bought. 

Free Villages 

The laborers who elected to leave estate service generally 
took up residence along the margins of their former estates or 
in nearby towns. It was the creation of new settlements, called 
"free villages," that occupied so many workers after emancipation. 
During the first complete year of freedom (1839) , the number of 
workers who abandoned their estate lodgings was 2,819, a reduc- 
tion in estate residents of 27 per cent from the year 1838 and 



88 



of 44 per cent from 1834. (See Table 3.) Such a downwardly 
fluctuating labor supply persisted through 1849 after which 
there was a recovery. 

It is Impossible to ascertain the exact number of people 
who settled In the "free villages," but it can be assumed that 
many of those abandoning the estates did so. This move, of 
course, did not necessarily free the workers from giving wage 
service to the estates, except for the female ex-slave who 
generally chose less demanding enterprises. By 1844, only 
24 per cent of the island's population was classed as estate 
laborers, that is, resident workers, down from 95 per cent in 
1831. This means that by the time of the first official census 
of St. Vincent in 1844, there were 20,629 Vincentians living, 
if not always working, off of the sugar estates. It should be 
noted, however, that not all of these people resided in free 
villages. 

The first mention of "free villages" in the St. Vincent 
Blue Books was in 1854, when 7,466 people were reported as living 
in villages built since mancipation; the following year this 
figure had increased to 7,965. By 1859, the free villagers 
totalled 8,209 and later, in 1861, there were 12,833. It 
seems unlikely that the free villagers ever surpassed these 
figures before the 1850s. Those not in the new villages were 
In all likelihood in established pre-emancipation towns and 
settlements. 



89 



Land Purchases 

With such a considerable proportion of cultivators living 
outside of the estate system, the sugar industry could easily have 
been ruined within a few years. What saved the planters at this 
time was the inability of the ex-slaves to purchase sufficient 
land to occupy themselves full-time once they abandoned estate 
service. Many farmers had been able to buy marginal plantation 
lands or land the proprietors were financially unable to cultivate, ? 

but as Niddrie points out, such land was often offered at 

it ii 8 

exorbitant prices. Although some small cultivators bought 

land from recently defunct estates whenever possible to gain a 
measure of economic independence, most of St. Vincent's cultivable 

q 

and accessible land was alienated long before emancipation. In 
1854, for example, only 22 persons became registered freeholders 
and this at a time when much land lay abandoned owing to the 
disastrous effect of the Sugar Duties Acts of 1846 and 1848. 
According to the 1861 Census of Population, there were only 
2,287 freeholders of land, out of a population of 31,755 — slightly 
more than 7 per cent of the total population. In view of the fact 
that there were 2,347 whites and 6,553 "colored" at that time, it 
seems unlikely that the black population, which comprised most of 
the labor force, possessed much land. In fact, the proportion 
of Vincentians classed as estate residents had increased from 24 
per cent of the population in 1844 to 33 per cent in 1861. Even 
by combining the categories of "freeholders," "leaseholders," and 
"tenants-at-will" it is possible to account for a mere 14 per cent 



90 



of the 1861 population. Thus, it appears that St. Vincent lost 
«uch less of its permanent estate labor force than did many of the 
other colonies in the British Caribbean. 11 

Squatting 

A constant hindrance to planters' efforts to secure cheap, 
abundant, and dependable labor force throughout the British 
Caribbean after emancipation was the practice of "squatting" on 
unused or marginal estate lands and land held by the colonial 
Government. Whenever a small cultivator was unable to buy a 
parcel of land, he had the option to cultivate illegally land 
which was unused. This was more common in the larger or less 
densely settled colonies, such as Jamaica, Trinidad, Dominica, and 
Tobago, with great areas of unclaimed land in the interior. 12 
Illegal squatting on Government land (Crown land) in St. 
Vincent, although an acknowledged evil in neighboring colonies, 
was not generally practiced. 13 Only occasional instances of 
squatting on Crown lands for the raising of provisions were 
known. The only systematic encroachment on St. Vincent's 
Government lands for the unlicensed purpose of charcoal burning. 14 
In the Grenadine dependencies, however, there was a constant 
complaint of cultivators squatting on abandoned or unused estate 
lands, but the number of laborers resident in these small islands 
reduced its significance to the colony as a whole. 15 

notwithstanding the 84,595 acres of land area in St. Vincent, 
only 43 per cent of it is deemed accessible or alienable (non- 
Crown land), that is, lies below 1,000 feet in elevation. Most 



91 



of this accessible land was already la private hands before the 
small cultivators had an opportunity to buy it or to squat on it. 
The extremely rugged topography would make even provision grounds 
difficult to reach and cultivate if they were located high up in 
the valleys or were on top of the ridge lines. Few farmers, today 
or in the past, have in fact cultivated land above the 1,000-foot 
contour level. 

Labor Supply Problems 

After a brief sojourn away from compulsory work on the 
estates (required during slavery and apprenticeship), many ex- 
slaves began to drift back to their former occupations. Those who, 
in one way or another, had obtained a piece of land, devoted their 
energies to its cultivation, raising arrowroot, sugar cane, cocoa, 

10 

spices, citrus, and, especially in the Grenadines, cotton. 
Generally, however, the Vincentian cultivators had to rely 
periodically upon estate service for supplemental income. The 
most obvious effects of the return to estate labor are revealed in 
the sugar production figures. 

Tunned lately following emancipation, production of sugar 
declined from 9,707 tons in 1838 to 7,595 tons in 1839 and, finally, 
to 5,051 tens in 1840, a record minimum for the first 40 years of 
the 19th century. (See Figure 7.) From 1840 to 1852, sugar 
production gradually increased, rising from 5,051 tons to 8,829 
tons, respectively, a growth of 75 per cent. It is interesting to 
note that an increase of this magnitude was accomplished at a time 
when sugar prices fell by 73 per cent in the same 12-year interval. 



92 



(See Figure 9.) The resurgence of sugar manufacture demonstrates 
that many former field hands were still willing to return to the 
estates, not necessarily to reside, but because of their straitened 
circumstances and the scarcity of good, purchasable land at 
reasonable prices. 

Although the planters had lost their slaves by emancipation, 
they did not fully relinquish their powers to legislate in the 
defense of their labor needs, as all the elected members of the 
St. Vincent House of Assembly were also required to be property 

owners. Vhere possible, they sought ways of forcing the freed 

19 
slaves to depend upon estate service for their livelihood. 

In the immediate post-emancipation years, however, the 

home Government in Britain was able to override the intentions of 

the planters for a more "captive" labor supply by enacting 

"Master and Servant" acts to establish the rights of both parties 

to labor contracts. Companion statutes to the 1833 emancipation 

law were passed in order to guarantee that planters did not 

abuse the right of hiring help. 20 This naturally hindered the 

planters in their recruiting efforts. As an inducement for the 

ex-slaves to commit their labor to the estates, the planters had 

to continue providing lodging, rent-free provision grounds, and 

food allowances (the perquisite formerly given to slaves) in 

return for a daily wage less than the market rate for contract 

21 
employment of non-resident cultivators. Contracts were signed on 

a monthly basis and payment was sometimes delayed for months, 

aggravating the labor situation. A maneuver adopted by Vincentian 



93 



proprietors to obtain more work for a given wage was the setting 
of a "task" rate in place of a daily wage rate, but worker 
dissatisfaction caused this practice to be abandoned. ^ 

Arranging a job for estate work posed a dilemma for both 
contracting parties— employer and employee. When laborers were 
urgently required on the estates — in croptime — they were sometimes 
elsewhere since those who had access to provision grounds were 
busy with their own planting. Likewise, when the small cultivators 
sought extra work out of croptime, they discovered that the estates 
were not hiring. Under the slave system, the dead season — or 
tlempo muerte of all sugar crop areas— after the frantic harvesting 
and grinding of the cane, was taken up with repairs and "make-work" 
odd jobs. Following emancipation, when the estate owners were 
no longer guaranteed the free labor of field hands, they tried to 
reduce their expenses by refusing to hire unneeded help during the 
period between harvesting and planting. ^3 

In order to maintain the monocultural system of sugar cane 
cultivation, an abundant, dependable, and cheap labor force was 
paramount over all other requirements. Warnings were voiced for 
many years before about the need to diversify commercial agricul- 
ture; nevertheless, the proprietors persistently avoided changing 
either their source of income (sugar cane) or the methods they 
used to manufacture the raw muscovado sugar product. ^ Thus the 
aftermath of emancipation saw the crisis deepen for many already 
mortgaged and indebted planters, resident and absentee alike. 



94 



The commitment to sugar cane cultivation with antiquated 
technology and equipment bound the planters symbiotically to their 
ex-slaves. The "never" colonies in the British Caribbean, Trinidad 
and the former Dutch colonies of Berbice, Denier ara, and Esslquibo 
(the last 3 constituted as British Guiana in 1831) had had to face 
emancipation, yet afterwards they attempted to build a modern 
industry around sugar cane by introducing technical innovations. 25 

The perennial outcry throughout the British West Indies 
about the scarcity of willing laborers was not so much a reflection 
of the revulsion the freed slaves had against agricultural work as 
it was a reaction to the extremely low wages offered for such 
employment. Nevertheless, most ex-slaves continued to work 
intermittently in estate agriculture, seeking the greatest 
remuneration for their efforts. 

If a planter in St. Vincent were to survive, however, he had 
somehow to reduce his expenses in order to maintain a given level 
of profit as the price of sugar in the London market fell through- 
out the 1840s. (See Figure 9.) In the absence of alien workers, 
whenever the labor demands of the planters exceeded the immediate 
local supply of willing help, it was impossible for the proprietors 
to reduce wages arbitrarily. Such action would run the risk of 
losing what help existed at croptime. As a result, one frequently 
proposed remedy for the dearth of low-wage laborers was that of 
introducing immigrants in sufficient numbers to help hold down 
wage demands by compelling the small cultivators to compete for 
work. With this thought in mind, the planter-dominated legislature 
of St. Vincent began a series of moves to import alien workers. 



95 



Allen Labor Immigration. 1845 to 1880 
It has been shown that sugar production declined sharply 
In St. Vincent from 1838 to 1840. The subsequent recovery 
coincided with the return of many ex-slaves to estate service and 
the first Importations of alien indentured cultivators. Through- 
out most of the 40 years after 1840, St. Vincent was, in fact, 
able to sustain Its sugar production with the aid of the foreign 
workers who served on the sugar estates during their indenture 
periods. 

Portuguese Hadeiran Immigration 

When the St. Vincent Government sought to obtain an outside 
supply of estate laborers after 1840, it faced a restricted choice 
of labor pools. East Indian immigration into the West Indies was 
suspended from 1839 to 1844, during which time the supply of 
"liberated" African workers ( vide Infra ) was being sent to the 
larger British Caribbean colonies of Jamaica, British Guiana, and 
Trinidad. The only remaining source of potential large-scale 
emigration at this time was Portuguese Madeira, which had agreed 

in 1845 to renew emigration of its citizens after suspending such 

28 
action in 1835. Consequently, the St. Vincent legislature 

enacted a law providing for the acquisition of indentured 

Portuguese Madeirans. ' 

In 1845, the first shipload of immigrant laborers, 254 

Portuguese Hadeirans, arrived in the island to begin their 

Indentured service period. The bulk of the Madeiran immigration 



96 



to St. Vincent occurred between 1846 and 1850, when 1,848 immi- 
grants debarked in Kingstown, making a total of 2,102 indentees, 
including the arrival of the first group in 1845. (See Table 4.) 
An important factor accounting for the large-scale emigration 
from the island of Madeira in this period was a famine in 1846. 
Many went to other colonies in the British West Indies, to 
British Guiana in particular, and to the small islands of Antigua, 
St. Kitts, and Nevis. After 1850, there were no Madeirans 
indentured until the last small group of 8 arrived in 1864. 
Although they were cultivators in Madeira, many of the immigrants 
who remained after the expiration of their service contracts left 
the fields to embark on commercial ventures as shopkeepers.^ 1 

"Liberated" African Immigrants 

Because many of the Madeirans proved unwilling to re-inden- 
ture themselves for agricultural work, the old labor shortages 
recurred, exacerbated even further by the seasonal emigration of 
Vincentian cultivators to the higher-wage areas of Trinidad and 
British Guiana. In addition, island-wide labor riots for higher 
wages broke out in 1847 and 1848. The St. Vincent Government, 
therefore, had little option but to open the door to the importa- 
tion of more workers of African origin, highly prized and much 

32 

sought-after. 

An alternate source of contract laborers for the sugar 
estates of St. Vincent was the growing reservoir of interned 
Africans confiscated from slave ships bound for the Spanish and 
Portuguese colonies in the Americas. From 1839 to 1859, the 



97 



TABLE 4 

NUMBER OF PORTUGUESE MADEIRAN, LIBERATED AFRICAN, AND 

EAST INDIAN IMMIGRANTS, BY YEAR, ST. VINCENT 

1844-1880 



Portuguese 
Madeiran a 



Liberated 



East 
Indian 



1844 


254 


1846-1850 


1,848 


1860 


- 


1861 


- 


1862 


- 


1864 


8 d 


1866 


- 


1867 


- 


1869 


- 


1871 


- 


1875 


- 


1880 


' 



2,110 



809 
94 

119 
14 



1,036 



259 
283 

207 

477 
335 
324 
332 
212 



2,429 e 



a G. W. Roberts and J. Byrne, "Summary Statistics on Indenture 
and Associated Migration affecting the West Indies, 1834-1918, 
Population Studies , XX, No. 1 (July, 1966), Table 3, p. 129. 

Immigration Office, "Register of Immigrants— Africans, "a 
manuscript record of the arrival of liberated Africans, deposited 
in the safety vault of the St. Vincent Registrar-General's office 
in Kingstown. 

c Immigration Office, "Register of Immigrants— No. 1, Indians 
[1861-1880]," a manuscript record deposited in the safety vault of 
the St. Vincent Registrar-General's office in Kingstown. 

Ibid., an unnumbered page following the listing of East 
Indian immigrants . 



C Roberts and Byrne, "Summary statistics," Table 2, p. 129, 
shows a discrepancy in this total. Their figures amount to 2,472. 
The author has used the official count registered in Kingstown 
upon arrival of the East Indian indentees. 



98 



British Royal Navy maintained a cruiser patrol in the sea lanes 
and along the shoreline of the West coast of Africa in an attempt 
to suppress the slave trade, interning captured slave ships at 
Vice-Admiralty or Mixed Commission courts located at Havana, 
Rio de Janeiro, Luanda, Sierra Leone, and St. Helena. Once their 
seizure was declared legal at the nearest appointed court, the 
captured (or "liberated") Africans were impounded for a few months 

at Government expense in the "King's Yard," usually in Sierra 

33 
Leone or St. Helena. 

In the decade after slavery, the expressed need for more 

labor in the British West Indian colonies accorded with the home 

Government's wish to ease the burden of caring for these liberated 

slaves; therefore, as early as 1840, Britain consented to the 

removal — by private interests — of the internees, at their own 

request, to the West Indies under indenture contracts. This 

proved to be unsuccessful, and after 1841, the British Government 

began official supervision and regulation of the movement of 

34 

"liberated Africans. Most of them were assigned to the 3 

largest British West Indian colonies — Jamaica, British Guiana, 
and Trinidad — under the Government approved traffic, but in 1848, 
the smaller British Caribbean colonies requested a share of 
indentured Africans. In order to assist the colonies, suffering 
as they were from a depressed sugar market after the enactment of 
Sugar Duties Acts of 1846 and 1848, Britain agreed in 1849 to 
underwrite the cost of transporting the liberated Africans to the 
West Indies. Two ships dispatched from Sierra Leone to St. Vincent, 



99 



bringing 234 indentured Africans in 1849 and another 575 in 1850. 36 
There were no further consignments of Africans brought to St. 
Vincent for another decade. Finally, in I860, 1851, and 1862, 
3 shiploads totalling 227 internees from St. Helena were landed at 
Kingstown. (See Table 4.) These last indentees were all "2nd 
class" immigrants , that is, under the age of 15 years. ^ 

East Indian Immigration 

The policy of liberated African Immigration could, at best, 
be but a temporary palliative, in view of the powerful influences 
operating in the Atlantic Ocean to destroy the slave traffic at 
its source. For example, the abolition of the slave trade to 
Brazil in 1852 reduced the supply of captured slaves landed at the 
Vice-Admiralty courts to a mere trickle. In any case, the dis- 
patching authorities gave a low priority to St. Vincent's labor 
requests, granting the larger British West Indian colonies, 
throughout, the lion's share of willing indentees. These factors 
forced the colonial Government to seek an alternate source of 
indentured workers. 

Such a pool was already being effectively exploited by 
many sugar growing regions, such as Mauritius and Natal. Certain 
areas of the Indian subcontinent with people to spare were 
yielding up willing, efficient tillers of land eager to be 
indentured overseas. Preparation for the importation of East 
Indian indentured laborers into St. Vincent did not, however, 
begin until 1857, some 7 years after the last shipload of adult 
workers from Africa had debarked in the colony. 



100 



From 1834 to 1844, and again from 1848 to 1851, the Governor- 
General of India had curtailed emigration to the British Vest 
Indies because of mistreatment of the East Indians on the estates 
and irregularities in recruiting practices within India. J Such 
interruptions in the supply of East Indians compelled the West 
Indian planters to depend upon African laborers until regulations 
in British Guiana and Trinidad were revised in 1851, permitting 
the Indian Government to agree to a renewal of emigration to the 
British Caribbean. 

In view of t 

as the supply of liberated Africans declined, St. Vincent had to 
enact laws which would satisfy the Indian Government before 
immigration of the East Indians could begin. Accordingly, several 
acts were passed in 1857, great care being given to formulating 
terms and conditions of contract service for the "coolies." 

According to the terms of indenture, the East Indian indentee 
had to work in the island on an estate for at least 8 years, after 
which time he was given a "certificate of industrial residence" 
indicating the fulfillment of his obligation. He could then ask 
for return passage to his original point of embarkation in India. 
The planters wanted the "coolies" attached as long as possible, 
within the legal indenture term of 8 years, to estate agriculture; 
therefore, Inducements were given for the indentees to serve out 
their terms in the estate fields, rather than have then pay a 

commutation fee to exclude themselves from the final 3-year 

42 

commitment. To prevent the disillusionment of coolies 



101 



assigned to poorly run estates, each lndentee could change his 
estate after the first 5 years of service. It was only after 
the initial 5-year term on an estate that an lndentee had the 
option either to remain in field agriculture or to pay for the 
cosmutation of his last 3 years, thus freeing himself from all 
further contract obligations. 

As an inducement for the East Indians to remain In estate 
service after the termination of their indenture, especially as 
they were "seasoned" and experienced by then, the planter-dominated 
legislature in St. Vincent enacted a law In 1874 that provided for 
a £10 bounty to be given to any East Indian who would relinquish 
his right to a return passage to India and re-indenture himself 

43 

for another 5 years. 

The first shipload of "coolies" arrived in St. Vincent 
in 1861, bringing 259 East Indians from the port of Madras; 
there were 8 additional shiploads between 1861 and 1880, all 
originating from Calcutta. The total number of Indians landed 
in the colony was 2,429 men, women, and children. (See Table 4.) 
Host of the "coolies" were requested by and assigned to the larger 
sugar estates along the Windward coast, including many of the 
Carib Country estates. (See Figure 12 and Appendix I.) 

With the aid of "coolie" labor for the fields and the 
benefits to the colony derived by the enactment of the West 

Indian Encumbered Estates Act in 1856 ( vide infra) , there was a 

45 

renewal of activity in St. Vincent's sugar industry. Although 

the "coolies" were beneficial to the estates, conditions in the 



CAST INDIANS 




Sourc0 : Government GozetTa , 
1861-1880 . 



FIGURE 12 
DISTRIBUTION OF EAST INDIANS, BY ESTATE, 
ST. VINCENT, 1861-1880 



103 



International sugar market after 1874 made muscovado sugar produc- 
tion on Vincentian estates less profitable, resulting in a 
reduced number of East Indians who were willing to re-indenture 
themselves after the expiration of their first contracts. The 
need to keep the "coolies" on the estates was a reaction to 

increasing emigration of native Vincentian and ex-coolie laborers 

47 

to Trinidad in response to higher wages. A warning was issued 

about the scarcity of willing and available estate workers, and 
in order to induce workers in the colony to remain in estate 
agriculture, the Government proposed making unalienated Crown lands 
or waste lands of the plantations available to satisfy what it 
considered to be the cultivators' desire to own property. In 
this way, the Government hoped to maintain the supply of steady 
field workers. 

Having decided to pay the £10 bounty to any "coolie" who 
would give up his right to return passage and re-indenture himself 
for 5 years, the Government, in 1875, persuaded over 400 East 
Indians to accept the bounty and to re- Indenture. Although 
most Indians chose to remain in St. Vincent, approximately 30 
per cent of those arriving since 1861 had emigrated to other 
Caribbean areas by 1875, especially to Trinidad. Only 3 1/2 
per cent of the indentees returned to India, thus, expressing 
their preference for agricultural service in the West Indies to 

serfdom as low-caste or untouchable members of their communities 

50 

in India. Many of these Indians were able to save enough money 

to buy land, once their indentures were completed and to work 



104 



•s casual labor on estates much as the native Vlncentlan 
population had been doing since the end of slavery. 

Nevertheless, the impending depression in the sugar industry 
after the elimination of all sugar duties in 1874 and the general 
scarcity of land which might have afforded an alternative 
livelihood was manifested in a continuing emigration of agricultural 
laborers, including ex-coolies, to higher-paying permanent and 
seasonal employment in Trinidad. Between 1874 and 1878, the 
average annual number of indentured "coolies" remaining on 
Vincentian sugar estates was 1,454, while from 1879 to 1882, the 
average annual employment declined to 837, a decrease of 42 per 
cent. To forestall any large-scale loss of East Indians from 
the island after the completion of their service contracts, a 

law was passed in 1879 aimed specifically at prohibiting the 

52 
Indians from being enticed to other colonies. After 1880, no 

more "coolies" were imported Into St. Vincent because the 

Government was unable to provide sufficient funds for such labor, 

and in any event, the disastrous decline in sugar prices in 1882 

affected the income of the planters so severely that the scheme 

became redundant. 

The West Indian Encumbered Estates Act 
in St. Vincent 

Prolonged depression in the British West Indies, especially 

after the turn of the 19th century, had reduced sugar Industry 

profits, driving many estates into debt and bankruptcy. The 

encumbrances of estates from jointures, legacies, and annuities 



105 



established In more prosperous times had compromised otherwise 
valuable properties. These legal demands on annual net income 
too often left the owners short of working capital, obliging 
them to seek advance loans at interest rates of 5 to 6 per cent 
or more, under consignment of their future crops. Crop consign- 
ment also carried commission charges of 2 1/2 per cent. Purchases 

of goods by the planters or their managers on credit cost another 

54 
5 per cent. These charges, together with Interest payments, 

often exceeded the earning power of estates which ordinarily with- 
out these burdens would have been solvent under unencumbered 
conditions. 

An aggravating factor during the lean years after emancipation 
was the departure of many proprietors from St. Vincent to the 
United Kingdom. One historian of the sugar industry suggests 
that this was not as much of a catastrophe as it seems because 
most estate income was usually spent outside of the individual 
colonies, thus, permanent withdrawal of the owners had little 
direct effect on the supply of capital available for estate 
modernization. The significance of their absence, however, 
must be viewed in the light of the attitudes of the resident 
managers, overseers, or "planting attorneys" who were left to 
operate the enterprises. Naturally, they were more concerned 
with receiving their annual salaries and were less devoted to the 
long-run success of the estates. This created another charge on 
net income. The extent of the depletion of resident owners was 
evident in 1854, when 70 out of 87 of St. Vincent's estates were 



106 



absentee-owned, with 6 resident attorneys managing 64 of them. 
Hanagement of the sugar mills and fields progressively deteriorated 
until many plantations ceased to function, leaving their laborers 
without Jobs. Others continued production, allowing debts to 
mount and seeking multiple mortgages on the property whenever a 
lender (without knowing how many prior liens existed) could be 
induced to risk accepting an unguaranteed lien. 

The Sale of Encumbered Estates in St. Vincent. 1856 to 1888 
Abandonment of property was generally the only feasible 
choice for an indebted owner, since few people would offer to 
buy West Indian estates without a clear title. To clear the 
titles of West Indian properties and expedite their sale and 

eventual return to cultivation, the British Parliament passed 

58 

the Encumbered Estates Act of 1854. Acceptance of the act 

into the West Indian legal system was on a voluntary basis. The 
first British West Indian legislature to enact its own similar 
law was that of St. Vincent, which passed the Encumbered Estates 

CO 

Act in 1856. Such prompt action demonstrated the serious 
straits of estate cultivation in that island. 

An indication of the degree of property abandonment is 
presented in the Blue Book of St. Vincent for the years 1854 
through 1857. There were 82 estates listed by name for these 
years (excluding 5 in the Grenadines) , but only 75 were being 
worked in 1854; 69 were worked in 1855; 62 were worked in 1856; 
and 63 were cultivated in 1857. In 1854, Kingstown District 



107 



(Including St. George Parish, part of St. Andrew Parish and the 
Grenadine dependencies) was acknowledged to have 8 estates 
"formerly cultivated in Sugar, now abandoned," constituting about 
1,500 acres. On his visit to St. Vincent in 1859, William 



number was almost half of what it was in 1819, when 104 estates 
were in production. 

In order to restore abandoned estates and those heavily 
encumbered with debt to sugar cultivation, in compliance with 
the provisions of the Encumbered Estates Act, local commissioners 
were chosen to adjudicate differences over title, ownership, and 
the priority of liens. All court actions were given final uniform 
decisions by a central court in London. To initiate legal action 
for the sale of an encumbered estate, the owner or any creditor 
could petition the Encumbered Estates Court in St. Vincent or 
London. If no objections were raised within a 6-month waiting 
period to hinder the sale, an order for sale was issued. All 
creditors with liens on the property had to file their cases with 
the court's secretary and were put on a priority list for the 
distribution of the proceeds of sale in the order of the filing 
of their claims. 

A disputed legal point in the system of sale of insolvent 
estates was the "consignee's lien." The cyclical nature of 
prosperity in sugar production often forced the proprietors to 
seek advance loans with interest from their merchant agents in 
England. The merchants stipulated that for the duration of the 



108 



loan all plantation produce had to be consigned to them with 
a commission fee and transported in their ships. Legal precedence 
gave the consignee's lien first priority on the assets of an 
estate. As it happened under the Encumbered Estates Act, 
merchant agents would file for the sale of an insolvent estate, 
assured that their claims would be the first met. The depression 
in St. Vincent's sugar industry, in addition to the deteriorated 
conditions of abandoned or mismanaged plantations, reduced the 
■ale value of estates to a fraction of their unencumbered working 
value. Very often, with the support of the consignee's lien, 
merchant agents or their attorneys petitioned the courts for the 
sale of estates and succeeded in buying them for nominal sums. A 
finalized sale guaranteed the purchaser undisputed parliamentary 
title to his property. Disputed titles were thus cleared up, but 
the concentration of ownership in a few hands was intensified, 
a problem left unsolved by the Encumbered Estates Act of 1856 in 
St. Vincent. For example, the firm of D. K. Porter and Company 
in England (and its local representative in the colony, James 
Graham) eventually controlled 20 estates in St. Vincent, most of 
them purchased through the court. 

Once the Encumbered Estates Act was passed in St. Vincent 
and the first sale of an estate under its provisions was completed 
in 1858, it remained in force until 1888 when the last estate was 
sold in the court. Beachey states that there were 30 sales in 
St. Vincent over the 30-year life of the court (with only 3 sales 



109 



through the local court In Kingstown) , while the St. Vincent 

62 
Registrar-General s office records only 21 separate sales. 

Some involved more than a single estate by the sane owner, while 

2 sales involved "moieties" or half shares of an estate. In all, 

63 . 
23 estates were brought to sale in whole or in part. (See 

Table 5 and Figure 13.) 

The first estate sold, Arnos Vale, vas one of the most 
profitable before debt forced its owner to abandon cultivation 
in 1854 and place it in chancery. At the peak of its prosperity 
in 1828, the 454-acre estate produced 341 tons of muscovado sugar 
and employed 307 slaves. It provided an annual income in excess 
of £10,000 at that time. When it was brought to the Encumbered 
Estates Court in 1858, however, it had an accumulated debt of 
£30,000. The sale on November 1, 1858, was for the sum of 
£10,050, the highest price paid for an estate sold under the 
provisions of the court in St. Vincent or in the rest of the 
British West Indies. The sale price was double that of other 
Vlncentian estates sold over the next 30 years. Kost of the 
estates handled by the court were sold during the 1860s when 
there was a desire to restore abandoned or unproductive estates 
to cultivation with a more dependable labor supply in the form 
of East Indian indentured immigrants. The final petitions for 
sale of encumbered estates were filed in 1888, and by the 
following year, the St. Vincent legislature had passed orders 
abolishing the West Indian Encumbered Estates Act upon recommen- 
dation of a Royal Commission sent to investigate conditions 



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112 




FIGURE 13 

ESTATES SOLD IN THE ENCUMBERED ESTATES ACT 

COURT, ST. VINCENT, 1858-1888 



113 



surrounding Immigration practices and abuses under the Encumbered 
Estates Act. 

The Number of Working Estates in St. Vincent, 1854 to 1902 
In 1854, the year when the duty on all sugar shipped to 
British was finally equalized, the number of working estates in 
St. Vincent (excluding the Grenadines) was 77, down from the 
100-odd estates functioning at the end of the Napoleonic wars. 
Within 5 years, this total further decreased to 58 as a result 
of abandonment of unprofitable and indebted plantations occasioned 
by the steady decline in sugar prices in London since 1840. (See 
Figure 9.) As soon as the West Indian Encumbered Estates Act 
was enacted in St. Vincent, the trend of abandonment of property 
was reversed. By 1862, the number of working estates had 
increased to 82, but there still existed 39 plantations abandoned 
from earlier days, or about 1 derelict estate for every 2 in 
operation. 

As the East Indian "coolies" augmented the island's labor 
force after 1861 and more estates changed hands through the 
Encumbered Estates Act Court, there was a final resurgence in the 
sugar industry. The number of working estates expanded to a 
maximum of 97 between 1867 and 1875, marking the high-tide of 
post-emancipation sugar production. (See Figure 14.) 

All duties on sugar imported into Britain were eliminated 
in 1874, resulting in a 34 per cent decrease in the number of 
operating estates within the short space of 3 years. Sugar 



114 



Number 




FIGURE 14 

NUMBER OF SUGAR ESTATES, 
ST. VINCENT, 1854 - 1903 



115 



production was relatively unaffected between 1874 and 1884; 
therefore, It may be postulated that the withdrawal from sugar 
cane cultivation was limited primarily to those marginally-run 
estates which could contribute little to the productivity of the 
Vincentian sugar economy. 

A further deterioration in sugar cultivation occurred after 
1880, when beet sugar flooded the English market, driving prices 
downward and causing a shift in demand from the lower quality 
muscovado sugar of the smaller British West Indian colonies to 
a more refined product. The number of working sugar estates 
thus declined from 63 in 1880 to 33 in 1902, during which time 

a disastrous hurricane and an eruption of the Soufriere volcano 

68 
destroyed most of the sugar mill works. 

The Demise of the Vincentian Sugar Economy , 
1854 to 1902 

The last half of the 19th century witnessed first the 

faltering and finally the dissolution of St. Vincent's sugar 

economy, a scenario duplicated at that time throughout the 

Windward Islands, especially in the neighboring island of 

Grenada. There was obviously no future for the muscovado sugar 

produced in St. Vincent after 1854, as modernization of the 

West Indian sugar cane industry became mandatory for survival. 

With the appearance of beet sugar in the world markets, the 

irreversible decline began. 



116 



The Sugar Cane Industry 

The scramble among the British West Indian colonies for an 
abundant and dependable labor supply following emancipation 
reflected the new, more liberal trade policy patterns in the 
United Kingdom. Nowhere was this made more evident than in the 
rapid decline in political influence of the West Indian 
"establishment," which had to endure radical changes affecting 
colonial sugar production. Between 1836 and 1854, these changes 
served to remove the preferential treatment which British West 
Indian sugar had enjoyed in the home market. 

The effect of all United Kingdom actions was to drive out 
the inefficient, heavily indebted planters in the British 
Caribbean and induce those who still ccmanded sources of 
working capital to rationalize their production. 

The effect of the Sugar Duties Acts of 1846 and 1848 was 
most evident in St. Vincent. The sugar cane crop in 1855 was 
at its lowest level for over half a century. Furthermore, the 
average price of sugar in London in 1854 was at its lowest since 
the acquisition of St. Vincent in 1763. (See Figure 9.) From 
the crest of the last price wave in 1840, when sugar brought 
49 shillings per hundredweight, a new mininum was reached of 
20 shillings, a decline of 59 per cent in 14 years. 

St. Vincent's production, however, fell from a 5-year 
average of 6,900 tons in 1840 to 6,100 tons In 1855, a loss of 
only 12 per cent in volume. '* This decrease in production is 
not as revealing as the decline from the last production peak 



117 



In 1852 to the low point in 1855. This showed a decline from 
8,829 tons to 4,906 tons, or 44 per cent — a more meaningful 
demonstration of the impact of the equalization of duties on 
sugar exported to the United Kingdom. 

Before the East Indian indentured workers began arriving 
in the colony, the sugar industry in St. Vincent was reported to 
be recovering from the depressed conditions resulting from the 
total equalization of sugar duties in 1854. The 15 years after 
1840 had been disastrous, but the intercession of the West 
Indian Encumbered Estates Act Court in the late 1850s restored 
hope to the planters. In 1858, the Blue Book report on agri- 
culture reported that there were no special improvements in 
agriculture but that cultivation "is pursued energetically and 
the aspect of the country as compared with recent years is very 
satisfactory."^ Yet nothing much had changed in the all-important 

73 

sugar technology. 

The reasons for such conservatism are plain to see. The 
old fashioned, open pan method of producing raw muscovado sugar 
was utilized simply because the scale of duties in England after 
1854 favored the cheaper muscovado product, with its high 
molasses content. The more efficiently an estate could refine 

its sugar, the higher its value in the home market, and, hence, 

74 e 

the higher the import duty it had to bear. St. Vincent s 

sugar estates were not large enough to bear the cost of introducing 

the modern equipment and associated technology required for high 

quality refined sugar. Its interests were better served by 



118 



reliance upon the differential sugar duties for protection from 
the more efficient estates in Trinidad and British Guiana. As 
the East Indian "coolies" began working in the fields, a few of the 
■ore favorably located estates did, in fact, introduce the plow 
and horse harrow but nothing more sophisticated was ever envisaged. 

Froo 1864 onwards, production increased through the year 
1866, leveled out from 1867 through 1869, then reached a zenith 
In 1871 that was last duplicated in 1837. (See Figure 7.) After 
the new peak was reached, sugar exports declined, faltering 
cyclically until the death knell for muscovado sugar was sounded 
in the 1880s when subsidized beet sugar drove the price of 
cane sugar down disastrously low. The value of Vincentian sugar 
exports, always sensitive to price fluctuations, declined more 
quickly and definitely than did the quantity . (See Figures 7, 
9, and 15.) 

When all sugar duties were eliminated in 1874, there was 
no hope for the inefficient producers in St. Vincent and else- 
where in the British Caribbean. The confectioners in Britain 
preferred the cheaper semi-refined European continental beet 

sugar or cane sugar from tropical areas outside of the British 

. . 75 
Empire. 

With the international sugar market experiencing steady 

price declines, it would have been to St. Vincent's benefit to 

make a major switch from sugar to another cash commodity, such 

as arrowroot, which had shown a growing importance since 1840. 

( Vida infra Chapter V.) Unfortunately, the extreme concentration 



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120 



of estate ownership by absentee firms and the unwillingness 
of these owners to invest in technical innovations left no 
choice except to continue cultivating sugar cane on the 
estates. This went on until the turn of the century, when 
curtailment of production in the island became unavoidable. 
The effects of an economic depression in England in 1894, a 
hurricane in the island in 1898, and a volcanic eruption in 
1902, literally and figuratively, demolished the industry. 

Beet Sugar Competition 

The most important factor leading to the crippling of 
St. Vincent's sugar industry and all those which in the West 
Indies had failed to keep up with the times, was the rapidly 
growing competition of continental beet sugar during the second 
half of the 19th century. 77 (See Figure 16.) A singular 
motive lay behind the nationalistic European sugar race after 
1850 — the desire to capture an increasing share of the sugar 

market in Britain, the largest sugar consuming market in the 

78 
world at that time. 

Huscovado sugar production in the smaller West Indian 

colonies, such as St. Vincent, although precariously unstable, 

was guaranteed so long as the duties in the United Kingdom 

on foreign-grown sugar favored British colonial Imports. The 

periodic lessening of protection, beginning with the Sugar 

Duties Act of 1846, jolted Vincentian sugar producers but still 

left a margin of profit, which was, in essence, the difference 



121 



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122 



between the cost of producing and selling 1 ton of muscovado 

79 
sugar." 

Production costs were little altered during the period 

80 
of East Indian immigration in St. Vincent. As European 

beet sugar appeared in the British market place, especially 

after the total equalization of duties in 1854, the long-run 

trend was downward. Once the duties were eliminated in 1874, 

the door was open for beet sugar to drive cane sugar from the 

United Kingdom. The complicated arrangements made by the major 

beet sugar producing governments for drawbacks on excise duties 

in their respective countries subsidized, in effect, the 

81 

abnormally low selling price of beet sugar for export. 

Refiners in England using muscovado sugar before 1874 were happy 
to receive the flood of cheaper beet sugar after that date. 
From 1872 to 1875, the price of sugar in London dropped 23 per 
cent, from 26 shillings per hundredweight to 20 shillings. 
Five-year average prices ranged from 23 shillings per hundred- 
weight in 1873, to 21 shillings in 1877, and to 19 shillings 
in 1882. (See Figure 9.) With relatively constant production 
costs, the planters' profit margin could only decline during 
the years of beet sugar competition. 

The impressive growth rates for France, Germany, and 
Austria-Hungary contrasted with the relatively stable growth 
rates of West Indian production. Bounty-assisted beet sugar 
Imports into Britain increased by 281 per cent from 1865 to 1878, 
while British West Indian sugar imports increased by only 9 per 



123 



cent, indicative of the stagnation In the Caribbean sugar 
colonies. St. Vincent was slightly above average, showing a 
15 per cent growth In production over the same period, from 
1865 to 1878— the resurgent period of the Vincentian sugar 
industry. The replacement of colonial cane sugar by beet 
sugar in Britain necesitated a shift in trading patterns for 
the West Indian colonies, so that the United States gradually 
came to be the chief destination of sugar from the British 
Caribbean. 82 

After 1876, German and Austrian-Hungarian beet sugar 
exports to the United Kingdom expanded by the simple expedient 
of altering their export duty from a given weight of the raw 
sugar itself to a given weight of beet roots before extraction 
of the sucrose had taken place. This prompted the German 
and Austrian-Hungarian growers to cultivate beet roots with 
a high sucrose content and the refiners to improve the process 
of extracting the additional sucrose from the crushed beet root. 83 
The effect was to force France to reciprocate by further 
subsidizing its sugar exports to meet this competition. From 
1880, Germany became the leading exporter of beet sugar to 
Britain, coupled with the other European producers who competed 
for the same market. (See Figure 16.) "Dumping" of beet sugar 
began in 1880 and by 1888, there was an increase of 62 per cent 
in imports to the United Kingdom. When the dumping first 
began, British West Indian cane sugar accounted for only 19 per 
cent of the home country's sugar imports. 



124 



The price of sugar in London plummetted from 21 shillings 
per hundredweight in 1880 to 12 shillings in 1887. (See Figure 9.) 
In 1883, St. Vincent went into an irrecoverable decline which 
devastated the Industry, and, apart from a short-lived recovery 
in the 1880s, forever eliminated sugar from the paramount position 
it had held in the economy since 1764. (See Figure 7.) With 
the London price of sugar at or below the cost of production, 
the Vincentian muscovado industry had, therefore, to seek 
another outlet to cushion this depression. By 1887, over 80 
per cent of St. Vincent's sugar exports went to the United 
States, where countervailing duties had so far barred imports 
of European beet sugar. 85 Yet by 1892, arrowroot had superseded 
sugar as the main export commodity in the colony. (See Figure 
17.) For the next 60 years, Vincentian sugar production was, 
in fact, subsidized by the British Government, with output 
fluctuating according to the demand for St. Vincent's other 
primary products— arrowroot, cotton, and bananas. 

Natural Disasters 

Two monumental natural disasters within the space of 
4 years destroyed not only estate works but put the final 
seal on St. Vincent's sugar production as a major export 
enterprise. On September 11, 1898, a hurricane swept over the 
island, killing 288 persons, rendering 30,000 homeless, and 
destroying £225,000 (1898 value) worth of property. 87 Most of 
the sugar and arrowroot works were ruined by the hurricane, 



125 




126 



reducing the number of functioning sugar mills from 54 In 1896 
to 30 in 1898 and the number of estate arrowroot works from 
50 to 35. 88 

On Hay 7, 1902, the day before Mt. Pelee erupted in 
Martinique, killing 40,000 persons, the Soufriere volcano on 
the north end of St. Vincent exploded, killing between 1,300 
and 2,000 people, mainly estate laborers along the Windward 
coast. Much of the fertile land in the northern section of 
the island was covered by volcanic debris and rendered infertile. 
In addition, many of the remaining sugar mills left standing 
after the 1898 hurricane were destroyed. (See Figure 18.) 
These natural calamities marked the tragic end of an 
era. The economic and social forces which had debilitated 
the Vincentian sugar industry since the end of slavery were 
reinforced by the violent forces of nature. The way was cleared 
for monocultural commodities other than sugar to shape the 
economic livelihood of the island. 

Epilogue 

The sugar industry of St. Vincent, buffeted as it was 
by natural disasters and competition from more efficient 
producers, managed to survive into the 20th century, although 
on a greatly diminished scale. Muscovado sugar production in 

the colony continued throughout the First World War, owing to 

89 
the stimulation of a short-lived price increase. 

From 1926 to 1962, St. Vincent's sugar cane industry was 



• - •.. — .- - „ ~ ^...Mruud. - 




FIGURE 18 

EXTENT OF ASH DEPOSITS FROM ERUPTION OF 

SOUFRIERE VOLCANO, ST. VINCENT, 1902 



128 



divided between the manufacture of semi-refined sugar ("dark 
crystals") by a single, modern factory (Mt. Bentinck) and the 
production of molasses syrup by small growers using primitive 
equipment. All of the colony's semi-refined sugar exports 
to the United Kingdom were regulated, after 1932, by annual 
export quotas. 

In spite of improvements made in the industry after the 
Second World War, the island's sugar factory opted to discontinue 
production in 1962, following a long and politically-oriented 
labor strike. The lingering interest in Vincentian sugar 
production in the 20th century was, in effect," a nostalgic 
indulgence. The limited area of the island plus the lack 
of sufficient investment capital to provide a large-scale 
enterprise meant that sugar production could never return to 
its early-19th-century status. 

Summary 
This chapter reviews the plight of the Vincentian sugar 
industry after the emancipation of slaves. It discusses the 
labor problems subsequent to emancipation and the waves of 
alien labor immigration that developed to meet this situation. 
In addition, the effects in St. Vincent of the West Indian 
Encumbered Estates Act are considered. Finally, there is an 
examination of the economic factors leading to the demise of 
the sugar industry, including the elimination of sugar duties 
and the emergence of European beet sugar competition. 



NOTES TO CHAPTER IV 



1 
Estates Book , a table entitled: "An Account showing the total 
number of Slaves annually employed, and quantity of Produce raised 
in the island of St. Vincent and its Dependencies, from 1819 to 
1824, both inclusive" [with annual additions entered through the 
year 1851], p. 241. Another table in the Estates Book entitled: 
"Inter-Colonial Apportionment" shows that St. Vincent was reimbursed 
for 22,997 slaves, while the above-mentioned table shows 18,794 
slaves in 1834. The author attributes the discrepancy to the 
differentiation between agricultural field hands and those employed 
in the towns or as artisans, not directly involved in the production 
of sugar, coffee, cocoa, and cotton. 

TJIlliam G. Sewell, The Ordeal of Free Labor in the British 
West Indies (2d ed.; London: Sampson Low, Son,& Co., 1862), p. 79. 

For these calculations, the author used the estate labor 
force figures for 1844 (6,619) given in Table 3 and the population 
estimate for 1844 (27,248) given in The Colony of St. Vincent . 
Blue Book. 1850 . pp. 134-135. [Hereafter, this reference will be 
referred to simply as Blue Book , with the appropriate year given.] 
For the earliest comparable year before 1844, the estate labor 
force for 1831 was chosen from Table 4 (16,818) and the population 
estimate for the colony for the same year (25,954) from R. R. 
Madden, A Twelvemonth's Residence in the West Indies ( London: 
James Cochrane & Co., 1835), pp. 53-54. 

4 

This figure includes all ages. Using the percentage male 
in the total 1844 population, 46 per cent, the author calculates 
that the number of possible male workers out of the 20,629 people 
living off of the estates must have been less than 9,500. This 
includes male children whose numbers cannot be calculated but 
nust be omitted from the possible "outside" labor force. 

5 

Blue Book, 1854 , p. 155; Blue Book, 1855 , p. 150. 

6 
Sewell, Ordeal of Free Labor , p. 79; Blue Book. 1861 . 

pp. 162-163. 

J. W. Root, The British Vest Indies and the Sugar Industry 
(London: Hazell, Watson and Viney, Ltd., 1899), p. 7. 



130 



8 

David L. Niddrie, "Eighteenth-Century Settlement in the 

British Caribbean," Transaction and Papers, The Institute of 
British Geographers . Publication No. 40 (1960), p. 79. 

9 

Three historians of the West Indies mistakenly place St. 
Vincent among the "underdeveloped" islands following emancipation, 
that is, those islands with plenty of tracts of fertile land still 
not under cultivation when the slaves were freed. As will be 
shown, the interior of St. Vincent was uncultivated because it 
was too rugged and inaccessible. Little good land remained 
unalienated after 1838. See: E. H. Carter et_al . , History of 
the West Indian Peoples (4 vols., 2d rev. ed.; London: Thomas 
Nelson and Sons, Ltd., 1965), IV, pp. 108-115. 

Saint Vincent. Census, 1861 , [Tables] 11 through 16, n.p. 

David L. Niddrie, Land Use and Population in Tobago , The 
World Land Use Survey, Monograph 3: Tobago (Bude, Eng.: Geographi- 
cal Publications Limited, 1961), p. 18; M. G. Smith, Kinship and 
Community In Carriacou (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1962), 
pp. 26-27; Sewell, Ordeal of Free Labor , passim . 

12 

Niddrie, Land Use and Population in Tobago , pp. 25-27; 
Carter et al . , West Indian Peoples , IV, pp. 108-116; Henry H. 
Breen, St. Lucia: Historical, Statistical, and Descriptive 
(London: Frank Cass and Company Limited, 1970; original publica- 
tion by Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1844), p. 309; 
Judith Ann Weller, The East Indian Indenture in Trinidad , 
Caribbean Monograph Series No. 4 (Rio Piedras, P. R. : Institute 
of Caribbean Studies, University of Puerto Rico, 1968), p. xix; 
W. K. Marshall, "Social and Economic Problems in the Windward 
Islands, 1838-65," in The Caribbean in Transition , ed. by F. M. 
Andic and T. G. Mathews (Rio Piedras, P. R. : University of 
Puerto Rico for the Institute of Caribbean Studies, 1965), 
pp. 246-252. 

Tlie earliest discussion of "squatting" in the agricultural 
returns of St. Vincent by the Stipendiary Magistrate authorized 
to investigate this practice states: 

"There is no squatting, if by the term, may be understood 
the occupation and cultivation of Crown land. It is 
Impossible to say whether some of the [estate] Mountain 
lands hired, or cultivated by the labourers [ sic ] in lieu 
of higher wages in accordance with the system of hiring 
which obtain in the Colony, be Crown or private property, 
but there is no such thing as Systematic Squatting. The 
peasantry have no inducement to seek a more independent 
mode of existence and the Colony is too small to admit 



131 



of concealment were such a thing attempted." 

See: Blue Book, 1855 . p. 212. For similar reports, see: Blue 
Book, 1858 , p. 249; Blue Book. 1859 , p. 256; Blue Book, 1861 , 
p. 264; Blue Book, 1863 , p. 268. 

14 

Blue Book. 1855 , p. 212. 



1 5 Blue Book. 1865 , p. 264. 

One reason given for the absence of systematic squatting 
was that 

". . . all the available lands in the Colony have been 
granted or settled and the proprietors are sufficiently 
alive to their own interests to prevent any unauthorized 
occupation. . . . The fertility of Crown Lands is great 
but the inaccessibility and the primeval forest cover 
needed to be cleared makes the risk too great to chance 
losing all if one is evicted." 

See: Blue Book, 1863 , p. 268. 

The higher reaches of the interior have generally been 
recognized as Crown lands, but it was not until 1912 that all 
lands situated 1,000 feet or more above sea level were officially 
reserved by ordinance as Crown lands. The St. Vincent Government 
Gazette, 1912 , p. 249. [Hereafter this reference will be cited 
as Government Gazette , with the appropriate year following it.] 

All of these crops are discussed in Chapter V. 

Marshall, "Problems in the Windward Islands," pp. 247-254. 

One such act passed in St. Vincent in 1838 was entitled 

"An Act to Render null and void all contracts for the 
performance in this Colony of any service or labour 
[ sic ] in Agriculture or in or about the manufacture of 
Colonial Produce which may be entered into in any of the 
other of Her Majesty's possessions in the West Indies." 

See: Acts of St. Vincent, 1855-1860 , p. 168. This refers to an 
act passed on November 16, 1838. 



132 



21 

William Law Mathieson, British Slavery and Its Abolition , 

1823-1838 (London: Longmans, Green and Co., Ltd., 1926), p. 304. 
The daily wage rate (with cottage and provision grounds) in St. 
Vincent during the 1840s was 8 pence. See: F. R. Augier et al. , 
The Making of the West Indies (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 
Ltd., 1960), p. 189. 

In 1850, the monthly wage for praedial labor was 12 
shillings, 6 pence, with cottage and provision grounds. See: 
Blue Book, 1850 . p. 180. The 1865 praedial wage rate was 10 
pence per day. See: Blue Book, 1865 , p. 251. 

In 1839, the comparable daily wage rates in the neighboring 
colonies were: Barbados, 10 pence; Tobago, 8 pence; Dominica, 
4 1/2 pence. All of these included cottage and provision grounds. 
See: The Colonial Magazine , III (September-December, 1840), p. 57. 

A worker in the United States (occupation unspecified) in 
1859 received $1.00 per day. See: Sewell, Ordeal of Free Labor , 
p. 288. The average agricultural worker in England in 1850-1851 
earned 9 shillings, 6 pence per week. See: James Caird, English 
Agriculture in 1850-51 (2d ed. ; London: 1852), p. 512. 

22 

Carter ^t al. , West Indian Peoples , TV, p. 115. By 

paying a task wage, the proprietor could effectively reduce his 
labor costs by one-half or more because many jobs on the estate 
required more than one day to complete. Thus a laborer digging 
cane holes, if his task took 3 days, was paid 8 pence when his 
assignment was completed, not 8 pence per day for the 3 days. 

23 Augier et al. , Making of the West Indies , pp. 191-192. 

24 Marshall, "Problems in the Windward Islands," pp. 236-237. 

25 

International Sugar Council, The World Sugar Economy : 

Structure and Policies (2 vols.; London: International Sugar 
Council, 1963), II, p. 17. A few of the modern innovations 
were steam-driven crushing mills, vacuum pans for low-temperature 
boiling of the sugar syrup, and centrifuges for molasses extraction. 

St. Vincent's planters introduced very few innovations 
because they felt that such additions to the system did not pay 
for the expense involved in modernization. See: Blue Book, 1854 , 
p. 203. 

See n. 21 for a discussion of wage rates. 

G. W. Roberts, "Immigration of Africans into the British 
Caribbean," Population Studies . VII, No. 3 (March, 1954), p. 238. 



133 



28 

Carter, £t_fll. , West Indian Peoples , IV, p. 128. 

29 

On July 9, 1845, the St. Vincent Board of Council and 
House of Assembly passed a law entitled: 

"An Act to appropriate the sum of Money . . . mentioned, 
in payment of Bounty on the Importation of certain 
Agricultural labourers [ sic ] into this Island from the 
Island of Madeira." " ' ' 

This act provided for 1-year indenture contracts, a bounty of 
£4 for each adult worker, and a fund of £2,000 to pay the 
expenses of importation. In 1847, the term of indenture was 
raised to 3 years and the fund was expanded to £4,000. 

30 

G. W. Roberts and J. Byrne, "Summary Statistics on 
Indenture and Associated Migration Affecting the West Indies, 
1834-1918," Population Studies . XX, No. 1 (July, 1966), Table 
3, p. 129. This article is also reprinted by: Central 
Statistical Office, Trinidad and Tobago, Research Papers , No, 4 
(December, 1967), pp. 59-68. 

Another source indicated that the first shipload arrived 
in 1844, but this is unlikely, as the law governing such 
Immigration was not passed until 1845. See: Robert M. Anderson, 
ed., The Saint Vincent Handbook (5th ed.; Kingstown: Office of 
the Vincentian , 1938), p. 35. 

Eric Williams, Capitalism and Slavery (New York: Capricorn 
Books, 1966; original copyright by the University of North 
Carolina Press, 1944), p. 27; Carter, et al . , West Indian Peoples . 
IV, p. 128; and Augier, et al ., Making of the West Indies , p. 197. 
Many of the original Madeiran immigrants to St. Vincent became 
naturalized British subjects following the enactment of "The Aliens 
Naturalization Act of 1866;" today it is possible to trace some 
of these families among the existing merchant class in Kingstown. 

32 

The Council and Assembly of St. Vincent passed an act in 
1849 entitled: "An Act to regulate and make provision for the 
treatment of Liberated African Immigrants." See: Acts of St . 
Vincent, 1855-1860 , p. 222. This law was cited in a later act 
of October 16, 1857, which revised the contract laws for immigrants. 

33 

Roberts, "Immigrations of Africans," p. 237. Also: Johnson 
U. J. Asiegbu, Slavery and the Politics of Liberation. 1787-1861 : 



134 



A Study of Liberated African Emigration and British Anti-Slavery 
Policy (New York: Africans Publishing Corporation, 1969), pp. 23- 
33. 

34 

Ibid., p. 43. 

35 

As early as September, 1840, the St. Vincent Legislative 

Council made inquiries through its London agent to see if the 
home government had given authority for emigration to the West 
Indies from Sierra Leone. A request was made "for the present" 
for 300 laborers and £4,500 was promised for this purpose. No 
Africans were brought to St. Vincent, however, until 1849. The 
Colonial Magazine , IV (January-April, 1841), p. 132. 

36 

Roberts, "Immigration of Africans," Appendix, Table 1, 
p. 259 

37 

By an act passed on October 16, 1857, entitled: An Act 

to alter the Law of Contracts with regard to immigrants and for 
the encouragement of Immigration and for the General Regulation 
of Immigrants," all liberated Africans under the age of 15 years 
who were landed in St. Vincent were to be automatically Indentured 
until they reached the age of 18 years. Blue Book. 1857 , pp. 75- 
76. 

38 

Weller, East Indian Indenture in Trinidad , pp. xxi and 2-3. 

39 

Ibid., p. 123, footnote. The tern coolie was the British 

expression designating any low caste East Indian. In time, it 

was used to refer to all Indians except the highest castes. 

Acts of St. Vincent. 1855-1S60. p. 168. On October 16, 
1857, four important laws were passed in the St. Vincent 
legislature: (1) an act to alter the law of contracts with 
regard to immigrants; (2) an act to levy a tax on exports of 
sugar, rum, molasses, arrowroot, cocoa, and cotton to help 
defray the cost of importing "coolies;" (3) an act to authorize 
the raising of loans to help promote alien workers in the 
island; and (4) an act to appropriate part of the General 
Revenue of the colony for immigration purposes. 

41 

The Immigration Law of 1857 set a minimum indenture term 

of 10 years for East Indians (5 years for other nationalities) , 
but this was reduced to 8 years in 1859. 



135 



42 

Blue Book, 1857 , pp. 75-76. If an East Indian served 
his entire required term under indenture to estates, he was 
given free passage to India. If, however, he paid for the 
commutation of the last 3 years of indenture or worked outside 
of estate agriculture, he had to pay the Immigration Agent 
of St. Vincent £7,5,10 for back passage. 

43 

Government Gazette, 1874 , p. 183. If a coolie received 
his "certificate of industrial residence" but chose to 
re-indenture himself for only 3 more years, he was denied the 
£10 bounty and the free passage to India. 

44 

The percentage distribution of all East Indians indentured 

to estates between 1861 and 1880, hy parish, is as follows: 
Charlotte, 51 per cent; St. George, 29 per cent; St. Andrew, 7 
per cent; St. Patrick, 10 per cent; St. David, 3 per cent. 
Government Gazette for the years 1861 through 1880, passim . 

45 

The benefits from a sustained work force of East Indian 

field laborers was first indicated in the 1865 agriculture 
report, by which time 560 indentees had arrived in St. Vincent: 

"There is improvement in more perfect tillage and field 
work. This is more conspicuous where the proprietors of 
Estates command regular labor. The Asiatic Immigrants 
have generally materially assisted this progressive 
movement." 



See: Blue Book. 1865 , p. 255. 



46 T 



In 1874, Great Britain finally eliminated all duties 
on sugar imported into the home market; thus, as the price of 
sugar dropped, users began substituting the more refined 
vacuum-pan sugar for the lower grade muscovado. See: R. W. 
Beachey, The British West indies Sugar Industry in the Late 
19th Century (Oxford, England: Basil Blackwell, 1957), p. 46. 

The first official indication of a problem of emigrating 
labor was in the minutes of the Legislative Assembly in 1873 
when the Lieutenant-Governor complained of a net loss of 399 
native Vincentian laborers and "coolies" in that year. See: 
Government Gazette. 1874, p. 30. 



136 



49 

Government Gazette, 1875 , p. 55. 

50 

Government Garette. 1376 , p. 69. The author's calculations 

are taken from a table entitled: "Return of the No. of Coolies 

and of the Money expended cm Immigration for this Island during 

the 15 years since the origination of the Immigration Fund." 

The author's calculations were taken from the Blue Books 
for the years 1874 through 1S32, passim . 

52 

This was Law No. 12, of April 21, 1879, entitled: "An 
Ordinance to prevent the unauthorized enlistment and abduction 
of Immigrant Laborers for Foreign parts." Penalties were imposed 
on unauthorized persons "who nay be found enticing Asiatic kai- 
grants, or their descendemts, to leave the Colony for service 
beyond its limits . . . ." See: Blue Book. 1S79 , p. 57. 

53 

As late as 1885, tie Government was forced to sell 
debentures in order to pay off an outstanding debt of £5,000 
in the Immigration Fund. See: Government Gazette. 1SS5 . p. 435. 

54 

Root, British West Indies and the Sugar Industry , pp. 10-11. 

5 5 Ibid ., p. 9. 

^lar shall, "Problems in the Windward Islands," pp. 239- 



The following discussion of the means available for 
disposing of encumbered estates, unless otherwise noted, is 
taken from: Beachey, British West Indies Sugar Industry , 
Chapter I, pp. 1-39, passia . 

Before the Encumbered Estates Act was passed, a mortgagee 
creditor with overdue interest could move onto a defaulting 
estate, but the burden of re— establishing or maintaining 
cultivation then rested with him as the nominal owner. In 
addition, he was responsible for the existing liens on the 
property, which he had no legal right to sell. If a sale was 
forced upon the legal owner, the proceeds generally did not 
satisfy even part of the accumulated claims. A creditor could 
secure a judgment against the personal belongings and goods of 
the mortgagor, but top often there was little against which to levy. 



137 



A "foreclosure bill in Chancery" by a morgagee was a way to 
bring a defaulting estate under a court-appointed "receivor" who 
worked the plantation, if possible, and paid off creditors as far 
as the operating income would provide. After a 12-month receivor- 
shlp and court appraisal of its value, an estate could be offered 
for sale and the proceeds distributed according to a priority 
list of liens; however, receivorship and legal expenses retained 
first priority. Unless a property was extrenely valuable, the 
benefit to creditors from its forced sale under receivorship was 
minimal. See: Beachey, British West Indies Susar Industry . 
Chapter I. 

59 

The St. Vincent Encumbered Estates Act was passed on May 27, 
1856, and was transmitted to England for Royal assent on June 5, 
1856. Amendments and clarifications of the original Parliacentary 
act of 1854 In England delayed official proceedings until 1858 when 
it went into effect in St. Vincent. 

Blue Book, 1855 , p. 196. All the other parishes suffered 
similarly in the depths of the sugar industry's depression. 



TJeachey, British West Indies Sugar Industry , p. 23. The 
present author's investigations uncovered a book of minutes 
entitled: Encumbered Estates, 1858-1882 [with additions to 18SS], 
which included a table entitled: "A Return of the Estates sold 
under 'The Encumbered Estates Act' since they came into force in 
the Island of Saint Vincent, in the year 1856." This table gives 
the date of sale of each estate, the name of the estate, the 
total acreage, the owner before the sale, the petitioner for sale, 
the purchaser, the price paid, and miscellaneous remarks concerning 
the sale. 

63 

This is according to the records in the minutes filed in 
the Registrar-General's office in Kingstown, St. Vincent. 
(See n. 62.) 

64 

Beachey, British West Indies Sugar Industry , p. 5. 



138 



65 

If the present parish boundaries in St. Vincent are used, 
the following is a breakdown of the number of estates sold: 

ENCUMBERED ESTATES SOLD, 1858-1882 



Parish Number of Estates 



Charlotte 9 4,586 

St. George 5 1,340 

St. Andrew 2 933 

St. Patrick ■!■ 28 

St. David 6 1.569 



Source: incumbered Estates, 1858-1882", a 
table entitled: "A Return of the 
Estates," n.p. (See n. 62 above.) 

TJeachey, British West Indies Sugar Industry , pp. 27 and 33. 

67 

Blue Book, 1862 , p. 248. 

68 

Blue Book, 1893 , p. 176; also: Blue Book, 1902 , p. 176. 

69 

International Sugar Council, World Sugar Economy , II, p. 16. 

70 

All of the Windward Islands had suffered production declines 

immediately after the emancipation of slaves, but all regained 
part of their lost position between 1840 and 1884. 

"The 5-year average for production was centered on 1840 and 
1855, Including the production 2 years before and after each 
base year. 

^lue Book, 1858, p. 240. 

nThe Kingstown Police District's agricultural report for 
1859 Indicated, for example, that few innovations in sugar 
manufacture had been utilized and that 

"... planters have generally gone back to old ways of 
making sugar with open pans, etc., which give more profitable 
returns. Tubular Steam Boilers are getting into use (where 
Steam is used), but Steam is not the chief power in this 
district." 



139 



See: Blue Book, 1859 . p. 245; also see Appendix II in this study 
for a map showing the type of power employed by the sugar mills 
in 1854. 

74 

R. W. Beachey, "The Period of Prosperity in the British 
West Indian Sugar Industry and the Continental Bounty System, 
1865-1884," Caribbean Historical Review , II (December, 1951), 
pp. 82-83. 

75 Beachey, British West Indies Sugar Industry , pp. 45-60, 
passin . 

St. Vincent was forced to suffer from adverse price 
movements in the sugar market, but, naturally, the slight 
contribution of Vincentian plantations had no effect on the 
overall price structure in England. The response of Vincentian 
sugar producers usually lagged about 2 years behind the London 
price. This was probably due to the 18-to 24-month growing 
season for the sugar cane. 

^International Sugar Council, World Sugar Economy , II, p. 12. 
The origin of sugar extraction from the temperate climate beet 
root goes back to the experiments of Andreas Sigismund Markgraf 
in 1747 in Germany. All of the major European powers of the 19th 
century encouraged sugar beet cultivation, but it was in France 
where the earliest large-scale production was stimulated by 
Napoleon in 1811 as a maneuver to free the country from dependence 
upon outside colonial sugar imports. France led Germany and 
Austria-Hungary in beet sugar production and exports until the 
early 1850s when Germany matched France's output. The rate of 
growth of production in Austria-Hungary was similar to that of 
France and Germany after 1860, surpassing the former after 1880. 

Beachey, British West Indies Sugar Industry , p. 60. 

From 1871 to 1872, the price of sugar in London was 25 1/2 
shillings per hundredweight, or about £25,10,0 per ton. As long 
as production costs remained less than £25 per ton, a profit 
(on paper, at least) could be made. 

Beachey, British West Indies Sugar Industry , p. 53. 

81 Ibid. , Chapter II, 40-60, passim . Also: Beachey, "The 
Period of Prosperity," pp. 79-99, passim . These two references 
discuss in greater detail the complexities of the sugar beet 
bounties and drawbacks. 



140 



^eachey, British West Indies Sugar Industry , p. 57. 

8 3 Ibid .. pp. 50-51. 

84 

Ibid ., p. 54. 

Report on the Blue Book for 1887. No. 25. St. Vincent 
(London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1888), p. 5. 

86 

Between 1883 and 1892, sugar production declined 58 per 
cent. In 1902, sugar production was down to 262 tons, a decline 
of 97 per cent in the 19 years since beet sugar had flooded the 
British home market. 

87 

Government Gazette. 1898 . p. 333. Also: Report on the 
Blue Book for 1898, No. 281, St. Vincent (London: Eyre and 
Spottiswoode, 1899), p. 16. 

88 

Blue Book. 1901 . p. X-l. 

89 

Caribbean Commission, T he Sugar Industry of the Caribbean . 
Crop Inquiry Series No. 6 (Washington, D.C.: Caribbean Research 
Council, 1947), p. 189. 

90 

Under the British Preference Tariff of 1932, 200 tons of 
sugar could be exported each year to the United Kingdom. In 1933, 
this was increased to 400 tons, and after 1939, the quota was 
500 tons. See: Report on the Agricultural Department, St . 
Vincent. 1932 . p. 20; and Report on the Agricultural Department . 
St. Vincent. 1939 . p. 12. By 1962, the annual export quota was 
1,500 tons. 



-.--■■■ t_---., -■ — ^— >■—.-,. .. i ... >» u;. --. » . - in <»,. »in- «.- r ir , K . 



CHAPTER V 



MAJOR AND MINOR ECONOMIC CROPS IN 
THE VINCENTIAN ECONOMY 



As the Vincentian sugar industry faced the distress of more 
cheaply produced beet sugar competition in the last half of the 
19th century, minor agricultural industries grew in prominence, 
first through the efforts of the small farmers and later, the 
efforts of the econmically depressed estate owners. From the 
time of slave emancipation until the present day, arrowroot, 
cotton, and banana cultivation ebbed and flowed according to the 
varying demand for the leading commercial crops. This chapter 
will document the main factors influencing each of the major and 
minor cash crops which have appeared during and after the rise 
of the sugar cane industry. In addition, there will be an 
examination of the balance of trade over the last 100 years. 

The Arrowroot Starch Industry 
Arrowroot had been raised in many British West Indian islands 
in the past, but, more than any other single crop, it has been more 
closely identified with St. Vincent than with any other area of the 
world. St. Vincent shared the vagaries of sugar cane production 
with all of the British Caribbean territories, but it was unique 
in its dependence upon arrowroot starch for much of its economic 
livelihood throughout most of the 20th century. 
141 



142 

Nineteenth-Century Birth of the Industry 

With the abolition of slavery, the production of cash crops, 
other than sugar cane, gradually took on increasing importance. 
Estate owners committed to sugar cane cultivation devoted little 
of their land to arrowroot if sugar cane could be raised. Only 
on land considered unsuited to sugar cane was arrowroot sometimes 
planted. The small farmers of the island, however, began cul- 
tivating arrowroot for commercial purposes soon after emancipation. 

Some of the earlier statistical returns of St. Vincent 
produce indicate an abrupt increase in the production of arrowroot 
starch during the apprenticeship period (1834 to 1838). Between 
1831 and 1833, the average annual production of arrowroot starch 
had reached 3,200 pounds. Yet by the end of 1834, production 
increased to 25,600 pounds; the average annual production for the 
years of apprenticeship was over 37,000 pounds. 

The first few years of freedom were dislocating for both 
ex-slaves and estate owners, and when both settled down to more 
normal working relationships, arrowroot production increased even 
more rapidly. From 1843 through 1851, production averaged 315,000 
pounds a year. 

After a visit to St. Vincent in 1859, an historian of the 
period remarked how sugar monoculture was being challenged by 
arrowroot, the product of the small proprietors. Although both 
the small cultivators and the estate proprietors contributed to the 
arrowroot harvest, it was the former, less restricted by tradition, 
who were apparently willing to engage in alternative cash crop 
production. Without access to sugar processing facilities, the 



143 

small farmers had to grow a crop that could be sold without any 
need of elaborate and expensive preparation. For this reason, 
arrowroot (in addition to cotton, cocoa, coconuts, and spices) was 
a favorable option open to the Vincent ian fanners. Unfortunately, 
economic diversification was not followed extensively by the large 
planters whose major shift out of sugar production occurred only 
near the end of the 19th century, when little rational choice 
remained. 

Throughout the 1850s arrowroot production increased, although 
it faced periodic gluts in the British market. The starch produced 
was primarily utilized in the English cocoa and silk industries 
(the latter using it as a stiffening agent). After the equal- 
ization of duties on sugar in 1854, more attention was focused on 
arrowroot until the revival of sugar production following the 
enactment in St. Vincent of the West Indian Encumbered Estates Act 
in 1856 and the era of indentured East Indian immigrant labor. The 
removal of all sugar duties in 1874 and the subsequent large-scale 
competition of European beet sugar inevitably led to greater con- 
centration in St. Vincent on arrowroot. (See Figure 19.) 

By 1877, starch exports accounted for 23 per cent of the total 
exports, decreasing slightly during the next few years, but definitely 
reflecting a trend away from sugar manufacture after the dumping of 
beet sugar in the British market by Germany in 1882. From 31 per cent 
of the export earnings in 1886 and 1887, arrowroot starch provided 
52 per cent in 1892, the first occasion when sugar cane exports 
were superseded In value since the British acquired St. Vincent. 
(See Figure 20.) 



144 




u 

So 
o <o 

% 7 

2 ££ 

cc cd 
uj < — 

3 o z 

_j > 



!»! !■ 



»i>'-i»nri»A*i.rii 



145 



I— ooooooooooo 

^OoCDh-Wn^-Kloj — 




146 

Market Gluta in the United Kingdom 

The arrowroot market in the United Kingdom was never large 
enough to absorb all of the starch produced by growers in St. 
Vincent. That which was sold had a reputation for poor quality, 
reflecting, in part, the inefficient manufacturing process of the 
small cultivators. The end-result was a low selling price. 

The 1898 hurricane and the 1902 volcanic eruption sealed the 
fate of large-scale sugar production by destroying its manufacturing 
equipment. Arrowroot, an immediately available catch-crop, filled 
the production gap after these disasters, accelerating the trend toward 
arrowroot manufacture, following the economic panic in Europe in the 
early 1890s. Prior to the hurricane in 1898, there were nearly as 
many estate arrowroot mills as there were sugar mills. In 1892, 
for example, estates operated 61 sugar mills and only 33 starch 
mills; there were 54 sugar mills and 50 arrowroot mills by 1896. 

Arrowroot was unquestionably the foremost export after 1892, 
but local growers were dissatisfied because the weak market in 
Britain led to depressed prices when large shipments were sent. 
Low prices usually discouraged the planting of the arrowroot 
rhizomes which, in turn, would result in a decreased supply after 
a few years. Later, prices would increase slightly, precipitating 
another round of planting, exporting, market gluts, low prices, 
and curtailed production. Furthermore, with many small growers 
competing with the estate producers, the marketing of the annual 
output of starch was made more difficult because of the absence of 
standardized grades. Peasant-produced starch was usually of a low 
quality, while the estates extracted a higher grade product. 9 



147 



The problem of selling many non-standardized grades of 
prepared starch vas additionally compounded by the use of 
separate merchant agents in London who dealt with individual 
exporters in St. Vincent. The small growers, who brought their 
arrowroot rhizomes to the larger estate mills for processing 
had to pay a fee for such services — a point of considerable 
dissatisfaction and contention in itself — and could choose either 
to sell their share to the estate or attempt to market it in 
England themselves through the merchant agent system. Lack of 
large-scale organized efforts before 1910 perpetuated the un- 
stable market conditions in Britain because many individual 
sellers were competing for a limited market, depressing the 

average price for the arrowroot starch below what the estate 

10 
growers thought was remunerative. 

The Competition of Other Local Crops 

It was with considerable relief that the Imperial Department 
of Agriculture for the West Indies (established in 1898) was able 
to report yet another crop to displace arrowroot. The Sea Island 
cotton industry, which had started from scratch in 1903, was 
a boon to the arrowroot growers, for cotton cultivation could 
easily be introduced on to land formerly planted in arrowroot. 
This program ameliorated somewhat the problem of continuous 
overproduction of starch. 11 Nevertheless, the annual exports 
of arrowroot starch to the United Kingdom averaged approxi- 
mately 5,000,000 pounds a year 12 (See Figure 19.) Because of 



148 

relatively stringent soil and moisture requirements, Sea 
Island cotton planting was restricted to lower level coastal 

locations while arrowroot could be, and was, grown extensively 

13 

throughout the island. Such unrestricted edaphic conditions 

could only augment the annual harvest and aggravate the surplus 
burden. 

During the 1909-10 crop season, the first efforts at 
organized marketing occurred when the St. Vincent Arrowroot 
Growers' and Exporters' Association was established. Its purpose 
was to set a minimum price below which it would not sell 
arrowroot starch in the European, Canadian, and United States 
markets. Such a decision was bound to prove a sensible maneuver 
in the short-run, but Its impact was weakened by the unstandardized 
grades of starch produced by the Association. In 1913, for 
example, the Association set a limit of 3d per pound for good 
quality arrowroot starch, which promptly led the many un- 
organized small growers to flood the market in Britain with 
their characteristically low-grade commodity, thus adversely 
affecting the prices for all grades of starch. 

The outbreak of the First World War caused an immediate 
rise in food prices, especially for sugar, as the continental 
European beet sugar industry was disrupted. This prompted 
growers in St. Vincent to reduce acreage planted in arrowroot 
and cotton and to increase the area planted in sugar cane and 
cassava (the latter a substitute for wheat flour in the West 
Indian diet). It Is remarkable what little stimulation was 



U9 



needed to kindle the hopes for a return to large-scale sugar 
production in St. Vincent. After a record value of £95,828 in 
1918, arrowroot exports declined in value and Importance as a 
glutted market and low prices, combined with an unprecedented 
speculative rise In cotton prices at the close of the war, 
induced starch manufacturers to opt for Sea Island cotton cul- 
tivation. (See Figures 19 and 20.) 

Accumulated stocks of starch in Britain following the 
end of the war caused the value of arrowroot exports to drop to 
£21,216 in 1921, a decline of 81 per cent in only 13 years. 
At this time, other markets were therefore sought as an outlet 
for Vincentian stocks. From 50 per cent to 70 per cent only 
of the annual arrowroot output was consigned to the English 
market in the early 1920s, while the remainder went mainly 
to North American customers. 

The Emergence of the United States Market 

Failure to sell the entire annual British consignment 
of arrowroot starch was a direct blow to the Vincentian 
economy because so many farmers were personally affected. 
Unsold stocks in England acted as an inhibitor of further 
arrowroot plantings in St. Vincent, and without alternate 
customers, the island would have to abandon its principal crop. 

Good fortune intervened in 1924 when the United States 
submitted its first large order for starch. As late as 1923, 
only 62,852 pounds of arrowroot starch had been exported to the 



150 

states; the following year, In 1924, 376,843 pounds or 13 per cent 
of the total annual supply of starch vas shipped to the United 
States — a 500 per cent increase in 1 year, (See Table 6.) By 1927, 
the United Kingdom and the United States shared the market almost 
equally. 

TABLE 6 

ARROWROOT EXPORTS TO PRINCIPAL MARKETS, 
BY VOLUME AND PER CENT, 1922-1932 





Year 


Total 


United States 


United Kingdom 




Exports 
(pounds) 


Pound 6 


Per Cent 


Pounds Per Cent 


1922 


3,627,401 


55,088 


2 


1,727,152 


48 


1923 


2,177,182 


62,852 


3 


1,577,372 


72 


1924 


2,952,535 


376,843 


13 


1,952,830 


66 


1925 


3,189,740 


649,977 


20 


2,017,723 


63 


1926 


3,291,553 


914,379 


28 


1,739,054 


54 


1927 


3,195,478 


1,147,096 


36 


1,346,885 


42 


1928 


3,870,420 


1,408,672 


36 


1,933,436 


50 


1929 


3,573 


1,078,093 


30 


1,529,599 


43 


1930 


3,590,348 


1,084,536 


30 


1,496,300 


42 


1931 


3,532,327 


1,980,809 


56 


1,017,193 


29 


1932 


3,704,833 


2,036,728 


55 


1,122,621 


30 




Source: Report 


on the Agricultural Dep 


artment, 1932 


p. 20. 



151 



The expanding market for arrovroot was sustained and strength- 
ened In 1930 by the Government's creation of a statutory body for 
the cooperative marketing of the starch. On December 23, 1930, 
the St. Vincent Arrowroot Growers' Association was established to 

provide for the rational disposal of the supply of starch. All 

15 

arrowroot was to be sold only through this organization. 

An immediate effect of the Government executive decision was 
that of offering to prospective customers, particularly those in 
the United States, a reduced number of quality grades of starch. 
Prior to the establishment of the Arrowroot Grower's Association, 
26 different grades of starch had been sold. Under the control 
of the Association, this number was reduced to 5. Because of the 
guaranteed standardization of quality, therefore, the United 
States placed an order in 1931 for nearly 2,000,000 pounds, an 
increase of 83 per cent over its purchase of the year before. 
(See Table 6.) In 1931, the United Kingdom lost its primary 
position as the leading importer of St. Vincent arrowroot starch 
to be replaced by the United States. The growth of the new American 
market had been rapid — from 13 per cent of the total annual export 
in 1924, its share grew to 30 per cent in 1930 and to 54 per cent 
in 1931. 

Unlike its English counterpart, the American market did not 
face price depressing gluts; instead, it took an increasing pro- 
portion of the output at a growing price. Arrowroot starch pro- 
duction was, essentially, a world monopoly for St. Vincent 



permitting the Arrowroot Growers' Association to quote higher 
prices as demand pressed upon supply and costs of production 
increased. 

When the world economic depression started in 1929, its 
effects were evident in St. Vincent as the value of total exports 
fell 39 per cent from 1928 through 1932. Arrowroot exports suf- 
fered, as did all of the colony's raw material exports, but the 
rate of decline in the starch sector was less than the rate of 
decline for the colony as a whole. Arrowroot starch exports de- 
clined by 30 per cent from 1928 through 1932, while cotton, for 
example, fell 67 per cent in value. In fact, the quantity of 
arrowroot exported declined by only 9 per cent from 1928 to the 
low year of 1931. The volume contraction was cushioned by the 
United States' demand which expanded greatly after 1930. (See 
Figure 19.) 

The slow post-depression recovery of the Sea Island cotton 
industry caused many small cotton growers to shift to arrowroot 
production, an industry, if judged by quantity of output of starch, 
which was essentially an estate enterprise. In 1939, the highest 
recorded export of arrowroot took place, as 11,759,849 pounds 
were sold. The small producers supplied only 29 per cent while 
the large estate growers supplied 71 per cent. A strong 
American demand in the late 1930s compensated for the diminished 
English order resulting from the declaration of war in Europe. 

After the United States' entry into the Second World War, its 
demand for arrowroot slackened. In addition, St. Vincent faced 



133 

deteriorating production conditions through its inability to 
secure adequate wartime shipping space and the high freight 
rates. Labor emigration to Trinidad and the Netherlands 

Antilles severely hampered arrowroot cultivation, as did the 

18 
rising costs of domestic transportation. Arrowroot exports 

declined 56 per cent in volume from 1941 to 1945. 

With wartime conditions in effect throughout the British 

West Indies, the prices of food soared to the extent that many 

Vincentian farmers switched from cotton and arrowroot to food 

crop cultivation, especially to cassava and sweet potatoes, 

which found ready markets in the intercolonial trade of the 

19 
Caribbean. The corresponding share of arrowroot production by 

small cultivators declined throughout the war, indicating the 

attention given to growing food provisions. (See Table 7.) 

TABLE 7 

ESTIMATED PERCENTAGE PEASANT AND ESTATE ARROWROOT 
PRODUCTION, BY CROP SEASON, ST. VINCENT, 1940-1945 

Crop Year Peasant E»tate 

(percent) (per cent) 



1940-41 . . 


29 


1941-42 . . 


27 


1942-43 . . 


20 


1943-44 . . 


20 


1944-45 . . 


19 



71 
73 

80 
80 
81 



Source: Report on the Agricultural Department, 1945 , p. 3. 



154 

Supply Difficulties and Distress in the Arrowroot Industry 

After the conclusion of the Second World War, the American 
demand for arrowroot starch was rekindled and proved to be ex- 
ceedingly strong. Operating with virtual monopoly powers, the 
governing board of the St. Vincent Arrowroot Growers' Association 
was able to raise the unit price of starch with impunity. Through- 
out the late 1940s and the 1950s, the average price increased 
substantially. (See Table 8.) 

TABLE 8 

AVERAGE PRICE PER POUND OF ARROWROOT, 
DECENNIALLY, ST. VINCENT, 1910-1960 



Year 


Value of 

Exports 3 

(£000) 


Quantity of 
Exports 3 
(000 lbs.) 


Average Price 
(pence per lb.) 


1910 


36 




4,797 


1.80 


1920 


47 




3,169 


3.56 


1930 


55 




3,654 


3.61 


1940 


117 




9,723 


2.89 


1950 


238 




7,604 


7.51 


1960 


318 




7,421 


10.28 



a This is a 5-year average figure, centered on the given year. 

Source: Author's calculations taken from totals given in the 
annual reports of the Agricultural Department of 
St. Vincent. 



155 

Nevertheless, the Governaeat and the Association desired 
a greater output to meet the demand in the existing seller's 
market. During the first 2 post-war crop seasons, small farmers 
were offered 50 per cent of the value of material needed by them 
to extend arrowroot cultivation in an attempt to meet the demand. ' 
After the second year of this program, the inducement was 
curtailed as cultivators began making a voluntary switch to 
arrowroot production following a post-war drop in the price of 
ground provisions in the inter-colonial trade area. By 1947, 
approximately 3,500 acres of arrowroot rhizomes were being 
planted. Overall production, however, was still accounted for 
primarily by the more efficient large estates. From 79 per cent 
of the total output in 1946, estate-processed arrowroot increased 
to 87 per cent in 1953. 

Arrowroot's share of total exports increased from 32 per 
cent in 1945 to a zenith of 52 per cent in 1951. (See Figure 7.) 
The United States market, which absorbed approximately three- 
quarters of the annual production of Vincentian arrowroot starch, 
began facing mounting difficulties of supply satisfaction. Small 
farmer production diminished in importance after 1953, as banana 
cultivation made its appearance. The spectacular popularity of 
banana cultivation among the multitude of small growers severely 
hampered the Arrowroot Growers' Association's efforts to maintain 
a satisfactory supply. In the remarkably short time from 1954 
(when the St. Vincent Banana Growers' Association was formed) to 
1957, arrowroot lost its primary position in the export econcay. 



156 



Thereafter, the single large customer in the United States complained 
of Insufficient supplies and constantly rising prices. As late as 
1960 (the terminal date for this study of St. Vincent), the supply 

of arrowroot starch lagged behind a strong demand. By this time, 

21 

the starch industry was on the way to passing out of prominence. 

The Cotton Industry 
Cotton cultivation in St. Vincent has been a persistent 
economic activity throughout most of the recorded history of the 
island. The first French settlers along the Leeward coast and 
those who abided in many of the Grenadine islets to the south 
raised cotton as one of the mixed crops in their agricultural 
schemes. It was not until after Britain's acquisition of St. 
Vincent in 1763 that cotton cultivation waned on the "main" 
island, although it continued for nearly 2 centuries throughout 
the Grenadine dependencies, which were physically ill-adapted to 
sugar cane, coffee, and cocoa. The history of the cotton industry 
revolves around the production of 2 basic types of cotton plants — 
the Marie Galante variety found in the Grenadines and the famous 

Sea Island cotton introduced into the "main" island after the 

22 
beginning of the 20th centyr. Marie Galante cotton never be- 
came a prominent cash crop in the colony's export trade, however, 
it has remained the basic variety of cotton on the dry Grenadine 
islands until the present day. Sea Island cotton became the 
mainstay of the cotton industry within a remarkably short time 
after its introduction and was identified in the 20th century 



157 

with St. Vincent in such the same way that arrovroot had been. 
St. Vincent maintained a monopoly not only on arrowroot but 
also on the world's finest long staple (fiber) luxury cotton. 

The Cotton Trade in the Late 18th Century 

It is common knowledge that the Fremch settlers in the Lesser 
Antilles raised cotton as only one of a variety of cash crops on 
their small farms, but there are no records available to indicate 
how much was actually raised in St. Vincent before the British 
obtained the colony folloving the Seven Years* War. Tvo years 
after the Treaty of Paris, signed in 1763, 13,000 pounds of 
cotton were shipped from St. Vincent to England. This was the 

product of the French leasehold settlers on the Leeward coast of 
the mainland, as the produce from the Grenadines was generally 
shipped out via Grenada in the early years after British admin- 
istration began. 24 By 1770, St. Vincent's cotton exports had 
increased to 64,714 pounds. 25 Production continued to increase 
because of the rapidly expanding demand for cotton in England, 
induced by the cotton machinery inventions and improvements in the 
1760s and 1770s. 26 

General disruptions of shipping between the West Indies and 
Britain during the American War of Independence caused a backlog 
of cotton stocks in the British Caribbean colonies in the early 
1780s. This was followed by a flood of exports after the war, 
resulting in a record shipment from St. Vincent in 1787 of 761,880 
pounds, the zenith in the colony's cotton trade. 2 ^ (See Figure 21.) 
This coincided with the burgeoning cotton exports throughout the 
British West Indies that were eagerly demaoied in the home market. 



158 



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1786- IT96- 1806- 1816- 1826- 1836- 1846- I8S6- 1866- 1876- 1881 1882 1883 
1790 1800 1810 1820 1830 1840 1850 I860 1870 1880 
Sourer Thomoi Elliion, Th. Cotton Trod * of Grid Bntotn. Com Librory of Industrial Cloi.ici, No. II 
(London' Fronk Con ond Company, Ltd., 1 968; lit «d. in 1886), p. 86. 

PT3 British W.lt Indian []]]]] Unit.d StatM |H]]u,dit»rron.on Q 6 "" 11 "" L_J EM ' M "" tL3L 

FIGURE 22 

PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION OF COTTON IMPORTS 

TO GREAT BRITAIN FROM MAJOR SUPPLIERS, 

1786-1883 




160 



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162 

During the period from 1786 to 1790, the British Caribbean supplied 
71 per cent of Great Britain's cotton imports. (See Figure 22.) 
Naturally, the English cotton spinners wanted a guaranteed source 
of the raw fiber and looked to their West Indian territories, but 

this became increasingly less possible as sugar monoculture came 

28 
into prominence in the newer Ceded Islands, and displaced cotton. 

The black revolt in Saint Domingue in 1791 drastically reduced 
shipments of French sugar and cotton to the European continent, 
forcing an increase in the prices of both commodities. Although 
favorable profits existed in both industries, sugar cultivation 
proved to be more remunerative. Sugar cultivation in St. Vincent, 
although temporarily hampered by the Second Carib War (1795 to 
1797), regained its momentum when peace was restored. The in- 
satiable demand for cotton to feed the textile factories in England 
was being met by United States cotton growers who had multiplied 
their cotton plantings along the Sea Islands of South Carolina, 

Georgia, and northern Florida and had obtained higher yields by 

29 
Improving methods of cultivation. The American cotton trade, 

which had started in 1784 with only 8 bales of low quality cotton 

sent to England, reached nearly 500,000 pounds by 1793. In that 

important year, Eli Whitney patented his cotton gin, allowing 

American growers to expand their area of planting greatly beyond 

the narrow strip of land bordering the Sea Islands, for they were 

able to plant and clean the more easily grown Upland variety of 

cotton ( Gossypium hirsutun ) over a much wider geographical area. 

The output from the newly cultivated inland coastal plain along the 

Atlantic seaboard yielded so well that the American cotton trade 

seriously rivalled that of the British West Indies by the end of 



163 



the 18th century. It was impossible for the exhausted soils of 

the older West Indian colonies to continue supporting a cotton 

regimen. In addition, the newer colonies, such as St. Vincent 

and the other Ceded Islands, had invested extensively in sugar 

manufacturing equipment which they were unwilling to abandon, 

31 
especially at a time when sugar cultivation was so profitable. 

There was, in fact, no comparison between the potential for 

expansion in the American South and the small West Indian islands. 

The Cotton Trade in Decline, 1800 to 1850 

After 1800, the British Caribbean cotton trade declined 

steadily as it faced overwhelming competition from the more 

abundant and more cheaply produced cotton of the United States. 

(See Figures 22 and 23.) By 1802, the United States had become 

32 
the largest supplier of raw cotton to the English textile mills. 

Meanwhile, St. Vincent diminished its exports of Marie Galante 

cotton from the highwater mark of over 700,000 pounds in 1787 to 

205,613 pounds at the outbreak of the war between the United 

States and Great Britain in 1812. (See Figure 21.) By the end 

of the first 2 decades of the 19th century, the British 

Caribbean represented a mere 7 percent of Britain's cotton 

imports. (See Figure 22.) 

As the American South expanded its production, prices 

steadily trended downward, from 29 l/2d per pound in 1814 (the 

last year of war between Britain and America) to slightly less 

than 6d per pound In 1829. (See Figure 24.) St. Vincent's exports 

followed a similarly declining curve from 205,613 pounds in 1814 



164 

Co only 86,688 pounds in 1829, a loss of 58 per cent In volume. 
The colony was thus, more than ever, a "sugar island" during 
the 19th century. 

With the coming of slave apprenticeship and emancipation in 
the 1830s, St. Vincent's cotton industry, confined entirely to the 
Grenadine dependencies of Eequia, Hot a Quatre, Hustique, Canouan, 

Mayreau, Union, and Petit St. Vincent (see Figure 25), quickly 

33 
passed from an estate enterprise to a snail cultivator activity. 

Wide fluctuations in cotton production continued after 

emancipation; however, the trend was downward. It is evident from 

the available records of the period, that the nadir of St. Vincent's 

cotton trade (in terms of quantities exported) was reached in 1850, 

when a mere 1,560 pounds of Marie Calante cotton were produced. 

(See Figure 21.) It is not improbable that this decline was the 

result of the extremely low prices of cotton in the Liverpool market, 

the center of cotton buying in England. The price for American 

Upland cotton (the standard against which other varieties were 

judged) in 1845 and 1848 reached slightly more than 4d per pound. 

(See Figure 24.) 

The Cotton Industry in the Second Half of the 19th Century- 

Throughout the remaining 50 years of the 19th century, 
St. Vincent's cotton industry was confined to the Grenadine islands 
of Hustique, Canouan, Mayreau, and Union. Bequia, Hot a Quatre, 
and Petit St. Vincent had abandoned such cultivation by the time of 



165 



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Union r\y o 

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FIGURE 25 

GRENADINE DEPENDENCIES 

OF ST. VINCENT 



166 
Exports of Marie Galante cotton lint followed a trend in 
line with cotton prices in Liverpool. Froa a nadir in exports 
in 1850, St. Vincent gradually expanded its cotton trade in 
the 1850s and, particularly, in the 1860s and 1870s, a direct 
response to the demand created in England during the American 
Civil Var. (See Figures 21 and 24.) Federal blockades of 
southern cotton-shipping ports reduced the stocks of raw cotton 
in England, resulting in the famous Lancashire "cotton famines" 
of the 1860s. Prices sky-rocketed as the English buyers sought 
to obtain cotton from alternate sources, such as India, Egypt, 
and Brazil. 36 The British West Indies made its meager con- 
tribution, but the Caribbean colonies provided less than 0.5 
per cent of Great Britain's imports during the years of high 
prices throughout and after the Civil War in the United States. 

St. Vincent was not unduly disturbed by the vagaries of 
the cotton trade, for it experienced a resurgence of its sugar 
industry in the 20 years following the arrival of the first 
indentured East Indian "coolies" in 1861. Their role in cotton 
cultivation was nil, since all the indentured immigrant laborers 
were assigned to the large sugar estates on the "main" island. 
Marie Galante cotton in the Grenadines was cultivated primarily 
on the shares cropping system (metayage, metayer, or metairie) 
by individual small cultivators and was generally of low 
quality and yield, as most of it was inter-cropped with 
ground provisions. 38 Despite a slight improvement in the 
Vincentian cotton industry between 1860 and 1880, the value of 
cotton exports was relatively insignificant in the balance of trade. 



{ft 

During the best years of the cotton trade in the 1870s, cotton 

exports did not exceed 4 per cent of the total value of St. Vin- 

39 

cent's exports. (See Figure 26.) 

The malaise and severe depression in the sugar industry 
following the elimination of sugar duties in 1874 and the com- 
petition from bounty-assisted beet sugar after 1880 (vide supra 
Chapter IV.) adversely affected the general health of St. Vin- 
cent's export crops, including cotton. Coincidental with the 
growing depression in the sugar industry, St. Vincent's economy 
suffered the ill effects of the British trade depression between 
1875 and 1878. 40 

The remaining 2 decades of the 19th century were years of 
insignificant productivity for St. Vincent's cotton industry. 
The annual value of Marie Galante cotton exports was nominal. 
From £1,260 in 1880, cotton exports declined in value to £279 
in 1900. (See Figure 26.) A destructive hurricane in 1898 
could do little more damage to the industry than had already 
been inflicted a few years earlier by the Lancashire cotton 
milliners' decision to spin finer quality yarns from longer 
staple cotton, unavailable in the British Caribbean before the 

41 
20th century. 

The Introduction of Sea Island Cotton to St. Vincent 

The depressed economic conditions in the British West Indies 
resulting from temperate beet sugar competition in the 1880s lasted 
throughout the 1890s. Great Britain's response was the dis- 
patching of a commission of inquiry, the West Indian Royal Com- 
mission of 1897, to the Caribbean colonies in order to investigate 



168 






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169 

their Individual economies and to make suggestions concerning 
possible alternative economic crops. The need to provide jobs 
for agricultural laborers was paramount at this time, as many 
small farmers had already left their homes to seek employment in 

other higher-paying British colonies in the Rest Indies and in 

42 
several Latin American countries. 

An important outcome of the Royal Commission's recommenda- 
tions was the establishment of the Imperial Department of Agri- 
culture for the West Indies as a research and advisory agency. 
. This organization began its work immediately, and one of its 
earliest proposals was for the experimental planting of cotton 
in the various islands. It had been generally agreed that un- 
less the sugar industries of the West Indies could be rational- 
ized and centralized (an unlikely event), the economic burden 
would have to fall on another commodity. Cotton seemed ex- 
tremely opportune at that time for several reasons: (1) English 
spinners were producing finer yarns which required high quality 
cotton fibers; (2) since 1898, the United States had been con- 
suming more of its own cotton, thus reducing the supply avail- 
able to Britain; (3) the soil and climate in the West Indies 
had proven favorable to cotton more than 2 centuries earlier; 
(4) there were large parcels of abandoned sugar cane land, cleared 
and ready for use; (5) the labor force, if sufficient numbers 
could be obtained, would be lower paid than in the United States; 
(6) the highest quality of cotton — Sea Island — could be easily 
grown in the West Indies; (7) the system of cotton cultivation 
appealed to the large planters because the regimen fitted into 



170 

the estate system; and (8) the estate growers and small cul- 
tivators could engage in an Industry vhich would not neces- 
sitate large capital outlays for equipment and buildings and 

43 
could provide an export within 6 to 8 months after planting. 

In 1900, the first experimental planting of Sea Island 

cotton in the West Indies was undertaken in St. Lucia, while 

experimental cotton was introduced into St. Vincent in the 

1902-03 cotton season. At that time, about 300 acres of land 

in St. Vincent and Bequia Island were seeded with new varieties 

of Marie Galante, American Upland, and a small amount of Sea 

Island cotton. 45 The Sea Island plots proved better in every 

way than the Marie Galante and Upland varieties. In the 

1904-05 season, acreage increased by more than 100 per cent, 

46 
with all the new area being planted in Sea Island cotton. 

(See Figure 27.) Within 8 years, the acreage of Sea Island had 

mushroomed to 5,068 acres, placing the cotton industry in a 

dominant position in the economy. 7 To organize the marketing 

of cotton in the United Kingdom, the Government of St. Vincent 

formed the St. Vincent Cotton Growers* Association in 1905, an 

indication of the Importance of this new crop. 

The Early Years of Development and the First World War 

Prior to the First World War, St. Vincent's Sea Island 
industry relied upon English fears that stocks of cotton for 
the textile Industry would diminish, owing to the growing threat 
from the boll weevil in the United States, the decision of 
American growers to sell more to their own spinners, and the 



171 



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172 

the increasing demand for long-stapled cotton In the auto- 
nobile tire industry. Prices before the war therefore favored 
Sea Island, although competition from its closest competitor, 
Egyptian cotton, tended to keep prices from rising too high. 
(See Figure 28.) 

An unfortunate effect arising out of expanded cotton 
acreages in St. Vincent before the First World War was the 
tendency for cotton yields to decline, especially as the small 
growers took up the crop. High prices, such as existed before 
the war, were more often as not used to provide a greater profit 
at the expense of greater yields per acre. (See Figure 27.) 
This was particularly true after 1910 as greater numbers of small 
cultivators entered the cotton industry. 

At the outbreak of war in Europe in 1914, the prices of 
most commodities in foreign trade declined. Until that time, 
Sea Island was not expected to maintain its high price, but 
the strategic importance of cotton in the airplane construction 
industry was reflected in a rapid increase in its price. 
(See Figure 28.) 

St. Vincent suffered from a poor growing season in 1914 
and high wartime freight charges; therefore, its first wartime 
crop sold badly. Cotton prices throughout the war rose to 
unexpectedly high levels, but they did not match the correspond- 
ing increase in the price of sugar (including the muscovado 
sugar of the West Indies) . A rapid change-over to sugar 

cane cultivation in St. Vincent caused land formerly under 

52 
cotton to be planted in sugar cane. The marked decline in 



173 



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174 



the volume of Sea Island exports in 1916-17 resulted from 
the decision of the estate growers to opt for sugar cane. Since 
they grew 60 per cent of the colony's cotton, their decision 
to abandon cotton temporarily adversely affected the industry's 
earnings. (See Figure 29.) Gradually, however, areas under 
cotton increased once again as prices increased throughout the 
war, owing to the disastrous fall in American Sea Island 
production as the boll weevil continued to spread through the 
Atlantic coast Sea Islands. 

The Cotton Boom and Slump. 1919 to 1928 

After the Armistice in Europe in 1918, a short-lived 
slump in the price of all cottons occurred. Sugar production 
in St. Vincent returned to its pre-war level of low profit- 
ability, but the price slump kept Sea Island acreage from ex- 
panding in 1919. This hesitation together with a poor growing 
season and the ravages of the boll weevil in the United States 
caused yet another speculative fear of short supplies in Britain 
the following year, driving prices up so high that Vincentian 
estate growers and small farmers brought 6,453 acres under Sea 
Island cotton, the largest cotton acreage ever recorded in the 
colony. 53 (See Figure 27.) At the same time, the value of 

the colony's exports reached £178,951, accounting for 60 per 

54 
cent of the total exports for the boom year of 1920. (See 

Figure 29.) 

The deflationary slump following the boom of 1920 caused 
Vincentian growers to reduce their cotton plantings by 54 per 



175 




176 
cent In a single year. (See Figure 27.) Once again, however, 
the collapse of the American Sea Island cotton industry, caused 
by the boll veevil in the Sea Islands of South Carolina, Georgia, 
and the northern coast of Florida as far south as the St. 
Johns River, stimulated an island-wide return to cotton cul- 
tivation until the mid-1920s. 55 This gave the British West 

Indies a virtual monopoly of the world's finest long staple 

56 
cotton. Such a monopoly, however, had value only if there 

was a sustained demand for the product. 

Demand for Sea Island cotton, especially the extra-long 

staple variety found only in St. Vincent (and used in the 

fine lace trade) had been diminishing since 1920. The "fine 

spinners" in England had to seek larger, more dependable 

sources of long staple cotton after the American Sea Island 

trade collapsed during the First World War, and therefore 

began substituting Egyptian cotton (Sakel) for the more costly 

West Indian Sea Island variety. Price, above all else, was 

the main determinant in the decision to shift to the Egyptian 

varieties among the users of long staple cotton. 57 

The slump In the cotton trade after the 1920 boom had 

adversely affected the fashion industry, especially the lace 

users, and indirectly hurt the Vincentian cotton trade, for the 

bulk of St. Vincent's "super-fine" Sea Island cotton depended 

very much on the lace makers in England for sales. It was 

reported that as the fashion industry recovered in the late 

1920s, It did so in the sections of the trade which could use 

the cheaper Egyptian Sakel as a substitue. 58 Compounding the 



177 

situation in St. Vincent's Sea Island industry after the boom 
of 1920 was the growing competition from artificial silk and 
the budding rayon industries. Once again, convenience and 

price were the determining factors in the swlth to sub- 

59 
stitute fibers. 

The gradual price deterioration throughout most of the 
1920s was matched by the general decline in the number and 
area of estates growing cotton in St. Vincent. (See Figure 
30.) Between 1926-27 and 1929-30, the area sown by the large 
estates and the small growers regained constant. The smallest 
difference in these years lay in the average size of the small 
farmers' parcels of land, which fluctuated between 1.2 and 
1.5 acres per farmer. The movement out of cotton by estates 
and small growers alike was a response to improvements in the 
arrowroot industry, as the United States began buying more 
Vincentian arrowroot starch after 1924. 

The Great Depression and the Second World War, 1929 to 1945 

Before the "crash" of October, 1929, the St. Vincent 
Cotton Growers' Association had to make a drastic change in the 
cotton planting season to overcome mountin losses from insect 
and rain damage to ripening bolls of the Sea Island cotton. 
The new "late-planting" period, instituted in 1929, resulted 
in a short-lived reduction in cotton plantings as the small 
farmers feared risking their crops under such an innovative 
program. 61 The success of the new planting season did, however, 
lead to a 1-year revival of the industry before the beginning 
of the world trade depression in 1929. 



178 




179 

When the effects of the economic depression reached St. 
Vincent, both arrowroot and cotton, the chief export crops, de- 
clined in acreage and value in 1931, but in the following year, the 
value of arrowroot exports, assisted by large American purchases, 
recovered and Improved rapidly throughout the depression years, 
reaching a peak In 1939. The Sea Island cotton industry, however, 
entered its worst slump since its beginnings in 1903 and remained 
in a depressed condition until a belated recovery emerged in 1935. 
(See Figure 29.) The long delay between slump and recovery 
caused many estates to switch to arrowroot cultivation, much in 
demand in the United States as a source of starch. (See Figures 
27 and 30.) 

Throughout the world trade depression, the Sea Island cot- 
ton industry was unable to meet the continuing competition from 
Egyptian cotton and artificial silk. To alleviate some of the 
industry's problems, therefore, the West Indian Sea Island Cotton 
Association (W.I.S.I.C.A.) was established in 1933, with the aim 
of restricting output and reducing the unsold stocks accumulating 
in the Liverpool market. 3 Revitalization of the industry after 
1935 was stimulated not only by W.I.S.C.A.'s organized efforts 
both in the West Indies and in Liverpool but, even more important, 
by the gradual rearmament of Great Britain in the late 1930s. 

Much as in the First World War, Sea Island cotton became 
a strategic commodity for the war effort. 64 As soon as Britain 
entered the war, the Ministry of Supply (Cotton Control) negotiated 
contracts with the West Indian growers to purchase their entire 
crops each year at guaranteed prices. St. Vincent's "super-fine" 



180 
variety of cotton commanded the highest price and sold readily. 
Yet in spite of a guaranteed price and market for their cotton, 
Vincentian growers, large and small alike, withdrew land from 
cotton as the war progressed. Three factors caused the reduction 
in cotton acreage: (1) the guaranteed price failed to keep up 
with the mounting costs of production; (2) the unexpectedly high 
prices for food provisions in the inter-colonial trade in the 
southern Caribbean area; 66 and (3) the labor shortages in St. 
Vincent after 1941. 

From a total of 5,486 acres of Sea Island in 1939-40, the 
area decreased to 2,312 acres in 1944-45, a decline of 58 per 
cent in 5 years. (See Figure 27.) Estates threw land out of 
cotton more readily than the small farmers, so that by the end 
of the war, cotton cultivation in St. Vincent was essentially a 
small cultivator activity. (See Figure 30.) 

The Demise of the Sea Island Cotton Industry in St. Vincent 

Following the war, a slump in prices in 1946 caused a further 
reduction in cotton plantings in the island by nearly 50 per cent. 
The improvement in prices between 1948 and 1952, however, re- 
sulted from a new method of disposing of the cotton in the United 
Kingdom and the stockpiling of cotton during the Korean War. 
The period from 1949 to 1952 marked the last prosperous era for 
St. Vincent's Sea Island industry. (See Figures 29 and 31.) 
Although the quantity of cotton lint exported in this 4-year 
period averaged 387,000 pounds a year, it was well below the 
average of 534,000 pounds a year between 1935 and 1940 



181 



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182 

Conditions in the English cotton market and events in St. 
Vincent served to lessen interest in the cotton industry following 
the Korean War. First, the absence of a "futures" market in Sea 
Island cotton made cultivation precarious, as the growers had no 
indication before planting what the price would be. This was not 
a recent phenomenon but had been characteristic of the industry 
since the beginning of the century. Secondly, in 1959, the 
"fine spinners" in England refused even to make forward purchases 
of Sea Island cotton, but decided, instead, to purchase their 
supplies as they needed them and at whatever price existed at the 
time. 71 

Thirdly, the extraordinary development of the St. Vincent 
banana industry after its inception in 1953 quickly captured the 
economic interests of the small growers. Within 3 years after the 
first banana shipments, the value of banana exports exceeded that 
of Sea Island cotton.'' Fourthly, cotton cultivation by the small 
growers was generally less profitable than that of the other major 
export crops. The most attractive crop has usually been the one 
that provided the largest cash sum as quickly as possible after 
harvesting. Bananas fit this requirement better than any other crop 
in St. Vincent, so that by the late 1950s, more and more small 
growers as well as estates had turned to banana cultivation. 

Finally, the Government's Central Cotton Ginnery was com- 
pletely destroyed by fire in 1959. The failure to repair it 
doomed cotton cultivation in the island, as only a lower-value 
seed cotton could be exported. Reaction among cotton growers was 
immediate. Between the 1958-59 and 1960-61 cotton seasons, the 



183 

acreage of cotton in the Island dropped by 90 per cent, from 
2,100 acres to 220 acres. All estates gave up cotton cultivation 

after the fire. (See Figure 27.) By 1960, the industry was no 

74 
longer a major economic enterprise in St. Vincent. 

The Banana Industry 
In the contemporary export economy of St. Vincent, bananas 
are paramount. The rapid development of this late-comer to the 
economic situation in the colony parallels the history of Sea 
Island cotton. From an insignificant beginning, the banana 
industry supplanted its rival industries — arrowroot and cotton — 
in a remarkably short tine. Such success, however, helps to 
conceal several earlier abortive attempts to cultivate bananas 
for export. 

The Early Banana History in St. Vincent 

Banana cultivation was first mentioned as a possible com- 
mercial venture in 1898 as one of the recommendations of the West 
Indian Royal Commission of 1897. Five years later, the first 
experimental banana exports were shipped to the United Kingdom. 
Unfortunately, this meager undertaking was a commercial failure. 

No further Interest was expressed in commercial fruit 
cultivation until the world trade depression of the early 1930s 
reached St. Vincent. In 1932, after a lapse of 30 years, bananas 
were again planted for a trade market, as St. Vincent and Canada 
signed reciprocal trade agreements. At about the same time, the 
Canadian National steaaships replaced the former transport agents 



184 



operating in the southern Caribbean region. Exports froa the 
new Vincentian plantings averaged a mere 430 stems between 1932 
and 1934. (See Figure 32.) 

In 1934, the Government of St. Vincent agreed to the for- 
mation of the St. Vincent Co-operative Banana Association to act 
as the local control and marketing body for bananas produced 
for sale outside of the colony. The Banana Association entered 
into a contract with the Canadian Banana Company (a subsidiary 
of the United Fruit Company) to supply all the Vincentian bananas 
available from 1936 to 1940 (later extended through 1942). 79 

Banana cultivation, however, developed very slowly. By 

the end of 1934, only 230 acres of 'Gros Michel' bananas had been 

80 
planted. Several problems quickly appeared to reduce grower 

interest: (1) the unfamiliarity of the small growers with the 
methods of banana cultivation, hence, a hesitation to plant aany 
of the fruit trees; (2) a scarcity of planting material; (3) 
poor transportation facilities between growers and the shipper, 
which resulted in much bruising of the fruit; and, most in- 
portantly, (4) the appearance of Panama disease in the 'Gros 
Hichel' banana stands, especially in the interior valleys of the 
southeastern Windward coast. 

The area planted to bananas and the quantity of fruit ex- 
ported continued to increase slightly in the following years, 
reaching a maximum of 1,100 acres in 1937 and 1938. (See Table 
9 and Figure 32.) With the outbreak of the Second World War 
in Europe and the diversion of shipping from the Caribbean, 



185 




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186 
St. Vincent's banana industry immediately reflected the change 
through a decline in banana area from 1,100 acres to 500 acres 
by the end of 1939. After the peak year of exports in 1937, 
the value and quantity of fruit shipped to Canada declined, 
slowly at first, then more rapidly as the war and its attendant 
disruptions continued throughout the Caribbean. 

TABLE 9 

AREA OF BANANA CULTIVATION, 
ST. VINCENT, 1934-1940 

Year Acres of Bananas Year Acres of Bananas 



1934 230 1938 1,100 

1935 550 1939 500 

1936 1,000 1940 300 

1937 1,100 



Source: Report on the Agricultural Department , for the 
years 1934 through 1940. 

After completing its contract term in 1942, the Canadian 
Banana Company ceased buying Vincentian bananas and, thus put an 
end to St. Vincent's second unsuccessful attempt to maintain a 
banana industry. (See Figure 32.) In spite of the war-induced 
transportation difficulties, it is unlikely that the banana 
industry would have had any greater success, given the very 
profitable arrowroot production before and after the Second 
World War, the high profits to be made during the war in inter- 
island food trade (mainly with Trinidad) , and the spread of 

82 
Panama disease. 



187 

The Development of the Modern Banana Industry of St. Vincent 

Between 1942 and 1947, there were no banana exports from 
St. Vincent, owing to the external disruptions caused by the war 

and the internal problems of transportation, labor shortages, 

83 

and the spread of Panama disease. In 1947, modest banana 

exports began again, marking the infancy of today's well- 
established fruit industry. It is likely that the banana trade 

between 1947 and 1953 was via St. Lucia A and consisted of 

85 
both 'Gros Michel 1 and 'Lacatan' varieties of bananas. 

As interest was generated in the planting of banana 

"suckers," it became feasible to provide enough fruit to induce 

a Dutch-owned fruit shipper to transport Vincentian bananas to 

market. The company, Geest Industries Limited, agreed, in 1954, 

to purchase the total available export supply in the island, 

guaranteeing, as It were, a market in the United Kingdom for 

the local fruit. One of the contractual provisions, however, 

stated that there had to be a central organization within St. 

Vincent that would carry on negotiations with the transporting 

company. This resulted In the formation of the St. Vincent 

Banana Growers' Association. It was only one of several such 

organizations established throughout the Windward Islands 

(Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and Grenada), all represented 

jointly by membership in a parent body, the Windward Islands 

Banana Growers' Association (WINBAN) . 

In addition to the new trading arrangement, there was a 

switch to a more favorable variety of banana — the 'Robusta' 

strain. 88 "Suckers" (young banana shoots) for new plantings 



188 

In St. Vincent were Imported from St. Lucia and dispersed 
throughout the island, as it was considered more economical to 

begin the new trade with a plant more resistant to Pa nam a 

89 
disease (banana wilt) . 

In the 1950s, large numbers of small farmers experiencing 

a growing stagnation in the Sea Island cotton industry became 

eager converts to bananas. Income derived from an acre of 

bananas was higher than from all other crops and, more significant, 

the fruit could be harvested the year around, thus affording the 

90 
small growers a steady supply of money. The larger estates 

were similarly attracted to this new cash crop. 

The rapid increase in banana acreage attests to the im- 
portance of the industry in the late 1950s. (See Table 10.) 
Production of banana stems for export proceeded at nearly an ex- 
ponential rate through 1957, only 3 years after the Geest trade 
began. 91 (See Figure 32.) 



TABLE 10 

AREA OF BANANA CULTIVATION, 
ST. VINCENT, 1956-1960 3 



Year 


Acr 


es in Bananas 


Year 


Acres in Bananas 


1956 




4,600 


1959 


6,300 


1957 




5,000 


1960 


6,300 


1958 




5,500 







a In 1961 and 1962, there were 6,000 acres and 5,500 acres 
respectively. A period of stagnation had developed and low 
prices prevailed. 



189 



Source: St. Vincent Banana Growers' Association, 
"Banana Production: Cost and Profit," 
Kingstown, St. Vincent, 1962. (Mimeographed.) 



Small growers were characteristic of the banana industry 
as it expanded. In 1958, 85 per cent of all banana growers farmed 
less than 5 acres of land each. Their holdings accounted for 
only 36 per cent of the acreage of bananas and 33 per cent of 
the total production. 92 By 1961, approximately 80 per cent of 
the banana holdings were less than 5 acres in size. The small 

farmers occupied 41 per cent of the banana lands and produced 

93 
only 35 per cent of the fruit. It was therefore obvious that 

the small growers were considerably less productive than the 
larger growers. 

After the initial 4-year surge in production, the banana 
industry reduced Its rate of expansion. (See Table 11.) The 
heady venture into bananas inevitably brought ill-equipped 
farmers into the industry. Many farmers had gone into debt 
to start their fruit fields, so that when falling prices hit 
them between 1958 and 1961, the more inefficient were unable to 
survive. The period between 1958 and 1961 was a time of re- 
trenchment for the industry, as the St. Vincent Banana Growers' 

Association attempted to Improve production by eliminating 

94 
the unproductive and unresponsive growers. 



IABLE 11 



BANANA EXPORTS AS A PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL 
EXPORTS, ST. VINCENT, 1950-1960 



Per Cent of Total Exports 



1950 0.4 

1951 (nominal) 

1952 (nominal) 

1953 0.3 

1954 1.3 

1955 5.6 

1956 14.5 

1957 41.5 

1958 41.5 

1959 48.3 

1960 47.2 

Source: Author's calculations from data in the 
annual Blue Book reports and The Annual 
Trade Report for the Year 1967 . 



The attention focused on the banana industry in the late 
1950s was indicative of the need to supplement the income and 
to provide core employment opportunities for the Vincentian 
work force. The rapid succession of economic reverses which 
developed after 1958 in St. Vincent placed the burden of sup- 
porting the export economy on the banana industry, in much the 

saae vay as the sugar, arrowroot, and cotton Industries had 

95 
done in their more prosperous days. 

The Minor Agricultural Industries of St. Vincent 
Among the many crops which can be raised in St. Vincent, 
only 4 — sugar cane, Sea Island cotton, arrowroot, and bananas — 
have ever figured prominently in the export economy. Many other 



191 

crops have been produced for export, but they have never chal- 
lenged the primary Importance of the 4 chief exports. Examples 
of minor cash crops vhich, in the past, vere given considerable 
attention by the Agricultural Department are cocoa (cacao) 
and copra (sun-dried or kiln-dried coconut "meat") . Cocoa bean 
production has always been a small farmer enterprise, while 
copra has been supplied primarily by the estate system. 

The Cocoa Industry 

Cocoa was originally a second-story tree of the tropical 
rain forests in the upper Amazon basin. It spread to Central 
America where it was used by the Mayas before the Spanish ar- 
rived in the New World. The cocoa tree was subsequently dom- 



esticated and diffused throughout the Caribbean during the 16th 

97 
century. Owing to the time period between planting and the 

first substantial yields (5 to 7 years), the tree had to be 

cultivated by a settled agricultural cocmunity. In all likelihood, 

the French Introduced cocoa into St. Vincent about 1700, when 

the first permanent settlements were started in the deep valleys 

along the Leeward coast. 

In 1765, the first exports of cocoa beans to the United 
Kingdom totalled 30,600 pounds. By 1769, cocoa exports had 
reached 220,100 pounds, a record for more than a century to 
come. Kith the gradual elimination of the small farmers, 
however, particularly the French lease-holders, the cocoa crop 
diminished to insignificance. (See Figure 8.) 

It was not until the sugar industry of St. Vincent began 
its precipitous decline after 1880 that other minor crops 



192 



Increased in economic importance. Even before the West Indian 
Royal Commission of 1897 subaitted its recommendations concerning 
alternative cash crops, cocoa production had returned to the level 
prevailing in 1769. Because of the straitened circumstances of 
the economy in the 1880s, a gradual, more widespread landowning 
class evolved, as non-producing estates and unalienated Crown 
lands were sold in small parcels to laborers after they had been 
surveyed." Many of these new parcels and a few of the older 
estates no longer engaged in sugar cane or arrowroot production 

100 
were planted in cocoa. 

Between 1893 and 1915, the annual potential production of 
cocoa beans was estimated to have been between 200,000 and 
300,000 pounds. Unfortunately, the twin disasters of the hur- 
ricane of 1898 and the eruption of the Soufriere volcano in 
1902 destroyed many trees, thus lowering production below 
200,000 pounds a year from 1898 to 1907. (See Figure 33.) A 
considerable number of destroyed cocoa trees were on land allot- 
ments that were sold by the Land Settlement Scheme (an outgrowth 
of a recommendation of the West Indian Royal Commission of 
1897). Cocoa was one of the chief agricultural crops required for 
planting on the new allotments by the conditions of sale. 

Before the expiration of the 16-year payment period for land 
allotments purchased from the Scheme, the agricultural officers in 
St. Vincent stressed the planting of cocoa, along with cotton, 
coffee, nutmeg, and cinnamon. In 1907, total production of cocoa 
beans for export again exceeded the 200,000 pound level and in- 
creased to a new record of 285,969 pounds. (See Figure 33.) The 
highest value of cocoa exports, however, was in 1915, when £6,962 



193 



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194 

of beans were sold. This amounted to approximately 7 per cent of 
the total exports for that year. Cocoa's percentage share of 
total exports never exceeded this level, and, In fact, was usually 
less than 1 per cent each year. (See Figure 34.) 

With rapid expansion of cocoaplantings in West Africa in the 

20th century, the price of cocoa declined steadily until the 

102 
Second World War, when a slight improvement occurred. St. 

Vincent's production in the 20th century, of course, had ab- 
solutely no infuence on the world price. The quantity produced 
in the island was insignificant in a world context, and the 
quality of the cocoa bean had an extremely poor reputation in the 
United Kingdom before the First World War. J 

The decline of the cocoa industry in St. Vincent began in 
1921, when a hurricane destroyed many trees. The world trade 

depression in the early 1930s caused many cocoa trees to be aban- 

104 
doned because of the low profitability in Vincentian production. 

Between the depression year of 1930 and 1960, cocoa bean exports 

have never exceeded 0.5 per cent of the value of total exports, 

indicating the nominal position of the industry in the island 

economy . 

The Copra Industry 

Copra production in St. Vincent, although an important 
minor industry, has less direct effect on the employment and income 
situation of most Vincentian laborers than any other industry. 
Throughout its 20th-century history, the copra industry has been 
overwhelmingly an estate enterprise, with most of the annual 
production accounted for by the output of a single large 



195 




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coconut plantation encompassing much of the northeast Windward 
coastal area. Coconut trees are found throughout the main island, 
often as windbreaks, but the most important and extensive stands 
are concentrated in a few large estates, most of them located on 
the Windward coast. 

The earliest commercial plantings of coconut trees began 

in 1911, when a few small areas were planted with nuts imported 

105 

from Dominica and St. Lucia. Within 3 years, there were over 

1,000 acres of new stands, totalling more than 2,000 acres throughout 
the entire colony. By 1922, there were 2,500 acres, with over 
50 per cent of than located in the "Carib Country" of the north- 
east. Owing to the favorable price of copra before the trade 
depression of the early 1930s, plantings grew rapidly to some 
5,300 acres. 106 

Some years had to elapse before the coconut palm could yield 
a measurable crop. Consequently, it was not until after the 
First World War that the copra industry made its first important 
contribution to the economy. (See Figures 33 and 34.) In 1920, 
22,644 pounds of copra were exported, valued at £430. Exports 
increased rapidly as more trees came into bearing, so that by 
1932, over 2,000,000 pounds of copra were sold at a value of 
£11,426 — and this occurred in a depression year. 

Exporting dried coconut meat proved less profitable than 
the exporting of whole nuts, so that from 1935 onward, copra 
exports declined while whole nut sales increased. In that year 
alone, 75 per cent of exports were in the form of whole nuts. 
Once the Second World War broke out in Europe in 1939, a world- 
wide shortage of fats caused copra prices to increase. By 1944, 



197 
nearly all of the 10,000,000 nuts produced were used for copra. 
The Industry's greatest contribution to St. Vincent's economy 
was recorded during the war years, when approximately 20 per 
cent of the value of all exports were accounted for by copra 
sales. 108 

Copra production remained relatively stable for over a 
decade following the end of the war. About 10,000,000 nuts were 
gathered each year from 5,000 acres, 90 per cent of the area being 
under estate cultivation. In 1960, copra exports accounted for 
14 per cent of the value of total exports and were declining 
slightly as the banana industry expanded. 

A Review of the Agricultural Economy 
In the preceding chapters, the agricultural economy of St. 
Vincent has been examined from the first year of British admin- 
istration, in 1763, to 1960. The 200-year analysis revealed the 
fluctuating demand for St. Vincent's chief exports. Each of the 
major exports — sugar, arrowroot starch, Sea Island cotton, and 
bananas — developed in a characteristic manner. With the possible 
exception of arrowroot, which was raised on a small scale during 
most of the 19th century, the other major cash crops evidenced a 
remarkably rapid rise to primary status. Usually, a geometric 
rate of increase in exports was maintained for the first 5 to 10 
years after an industry was started, catapulting the particular 
industry to first place in the economy. Thereafter, the rate of 
increase slowed down and fluctuated with demand. (See Figure 35.) 

Economic forces in the world markets have, in effect, 
governed the level of prosperity in St. Vincent. The scarcity 



198 




1850 I860 1870 1880 1890 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 I960 
Sourer Compiled and calculate by tht author from data list* in iht annuo) Blue Book, and trad, r.port.. 



COTTON 
ARROWROOT 
I SUGAR 



OTHER 
COPRA 
BANANAS 



FIGURE 35 

PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION OF CHIEF 

EXPORTS, ST VINCENT, DECENNIALLY, 

1850-1960 



199 

of cultivable land In the small island colony, a consequence of 
the rugged topography of the interior of the "main" island and 
the dryness of the Grenadine possessions, has circumscribed St. 
Vincent's contributions to world trade. The inability to 
increase production of the chief exports rapidly when the market 
was favorable has plagued the economy for 200 years. 

Vincentian sugar planters fared well as long as the West 
Indies maintained its position as the world's leading source of 
sugar. Even if the traditionally conservative planters had 
modernized their estates in the 19th century, it would have been 
impossible for the island's production to have had any effect 
on world trade in sugar. Growers remained captive producers 
of sugar well beyond its economic justification. It was only 
after the depression in the sugar industry, following the elimin- 
ation of sugar duties in 1874 and the large-scale competition 
from beet sugar In the 1880s, that the arrowroot starch industry 
was revitalized. 

In addition to the halting contribution of arrowroot ex- 
ports in the early 20th century, there developed a budding Sea 
Island cotton industry to help buoy up the economy. These 2 
industries superseded the sugar industry in the 20th century. 
Unlike sugar, arrowroot starch and extra-long-staple Sea Island 
cotton were identified specifically with St. Vincent in the world 
markets. 

The limited area of production for these crops contributed 
to the eventual demise of both industries. The high unit prices 



200 

for arrowroot and Sea Island cotton, caused by the failure to 
Increase significantly the yields of the crops, resulted In 
buyers switching to cheaper and more abundant substitutes. 

Fortunately for the Vincentian laborers, favorable economic 
conditions for a banana industry existed in the mid-1950s. 
The new industry served to bolster the lagging economy at a time 
when the arrowToot and Sea Island industries began declining. 

In retrospect, it is obvious that St. Vincent and the other 
small West Indian islands have had to follow in the economic 
wake of the major producers of the world. The struggle to pro- 
vide improved levels of living by means of increasing exports of 
favorably priced commodities depends upon so many extraneous 
factors over which the island has little control. In all 
likelihood, the Vincentian economy will always be confronted 
with serious disruptions in its development, if cash crops 
remain the primary means of production. Flexibility in decision- 
making and action-taking remains the key to economic and 
social stability. 

The Balance of Trade 
The consequences of fluctuations in the external trade 

sector of the Vincentian economy are best revealed by analyzing 

109 
the balance of trade in a time series. (See Figure 36.) 

Before 1879, the muscovado sugar industry provided enough ex- 
ports to maintain a favorable balance of trade, with only a few 
years of adverse trade balances. The positive balance of trade 
between 1861 and 1878 resulted from several factors: (1) the 



201 



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I J 

- : 
\ 1 



202 

revitalization of abandoned and indebted sugar estates through 
the operation of the West Indian Encumbered Estates Court; (2) 
the periodic arrival of indentured East Indian "coolie" workers 
for the sugar estates; and (3) the disruption of trade with the 
United States during the American Civil War, resulting in a 
shortage of Imports. 

With the beet sugar competition in the last quarter of the 
19th century came a reduction in the level of exports and, con- 
sequently, imports. For most of the time after 1880, the balance 
of trade was positive but showed a definite diminishing trend. 
With the hurricane in 1898 came the first large-scale deficit 
in the trade balance, as most growing crops were destroyed that 
year. (See Figure 36.) The volcanic eruption in 1902 further 
reduced the level of exports in the first few years of the 20th 
century. 

The establishment and growth of the Sea Island cotton 
industry brought a slim measure of recovery until after the cot- 
ton boom in 1920. From 1921 to 1960, the annual Vincentian trade 
sector showed a relatively large negative balance. The only years 
with a favorable trade balance were those shortly before and 
after the beginning of the Second World War. The monetary level 
of exports and imports rose after the war, as prices of most of 
the world's manufactured goods increased in response to higher 
standards of living and higher costs of production, especially 
in the industrially advanced nations. (See Figure 36.) Like 
most primary producing countries, St. Vincent has had to face 



203 

an Increase in the cost of imports greater than the price of 
exports, that is, the teras-of-trade have been deteriorating 



110 



Summary 
This chapter has examined the major and minor cash crops 
in the Vincentian economy, particularly in the 20th century. The 
development of the arrowroot, Sea Island cotton, and banana 
industries has been analyzed in order to show how they fluctuated 
in response to outside economic forces. Two minor industries — 
cocoa and copra — were briefly discussed and shown to exhibit 
the same rapid early growth stages as the major industries. 
The concluding section, devoted to a review of St. Vincent's 
balance of trade from 1849 to 1960, showed that, in general, 
St. Vincent enjoyed a favorable balance of trade during the 
19th century and an unfavorable balance during the 20th. 



NOTES TO CHAPTER V 



The Colony of St. Vincent, Blue Book, 1855 , p. 196. 
[Hereafter this reference will be cited as simply Blue Book , with 
the appropriate year given.] The variety of arrowroot rhizome 
grown in St. Vincent is Maranta arundinacea L. 

2 Blue Book , 1856, p. 235. 

Estates Book , p. 241. The author has averaged the annual 
totals given in a table entitled: "An Account showing the total 
number of Slaves annually employed, and quantity of Produce raised 
in the Island of St. Vincent and its Dependencies, from 1819 
to 1824, both inclusive," [with annual additions entered through 
1851.] The first listing of arrowroot production in this refer- 
ence was in 1830. 

Ibid. The absolute quantity of starch produced ranged from 
147,000 pounds in 1843 to 491,000 pounds in 1851. 

William G. Sewell, The Ordeal of Free Labor in the British 
West Indies (2d ed.; London: Sampson Low, Son & Co., 1862), 
pp. 80-81. Also: Blue Book, 1855 , p. 196. A footnote to the 
"Return of Produce" in the Blue Book states: "Arrowroot is cul- 
tivated by the Peasantry extensively from whom no returns can 
be made." 

Sj. K. Marshall, "Social and Economic Problems in the Wind- 
ward Islands, 1838-65," in The Caribbean in Transition , ed. by 
F. M. Andic and T. G. Mathews (Rio Piedras, P. R.: University of 
Puerto Rico for the Institute of Caribbean Studies, 1965), p. 238. 

7 Bermuda arrowroot starch was preferred over the Vincentian 
product and received 2 to 3 times the price per pound, a situation 
under consideration by the exporters in St. Vincent as early as 
1891. See: The St. Vincent Government Gazette , 1891, p. 11. 
[Hereafter this reference will be cited simply as Government Gazette, 
with the appropriate year given.] 

204 



205 



8 

See the Blue Book agricultural returns for the years 

1892 and 1896. 

*The quality "grade" of arrowroot starch is largely 
dependent upon the whiteness of the finished starch. The 
high quality starches have usually been produced on the large 
estates with such advantages as clean water and efficient 
manufacturing processes. See: G. Wright, "St. Vincent 
Arrowroot," Tropical Agriculture , V, No. 7 (July, 1928), p. 165. 
For a detailed description of the grading of arrowroot starch, 
see: W. D. Raymond and J. Squires, "Sources of Starch in 
Colonial Territories, II: Arrowroot ( Maranta arundinacea Linn),' 
Tropical Science , I (1959), pp. 186-187. 

In general, the situation of the arrowroot industry 
before 1910 was considered unsatisfactory, although it was 
better than the nearly defunct sugar industry. See: Raymond 
and Squires, "Sources of Starch," p. 162. 

Imperial Department of Agriculture for the West Indies, 
Reports on the Botanic Station. Agricultural School, and Land 
Settlement Scheme, St. Vincent. 1906-07 (Bridgetown, Barbados: 
Imperial Commissioner of Agriculture for the West Indies, 1907), 
p. 6. [Herafter this series of reports will be referred to as 
Reports on the Botanic Station , with the appropriate year given.] 

1 Reports on the Botanic Station. 1908-09 , p. 12. 



Reports on the Botanic Station , 1912-13, p. 
15. 



20. 



The three primary objectives of this body were: 

1. To acquire and market all St. Vincent arrowroot starch 
intended for export. 

2. To grade, pack, and warehouse arrowroot and make advance 
payments on all starch delivered to the Association's 
warehouses. 

3. To market, by means of voluntary control, the crop more 

• economically than could be done by existing systems and, 
thus, reduce the cost to the consumer. 

See: Imperial Department of Agriculture for the West Indies, 
Report on the Agricultural Department. St. Vin cent, for the 
Tear 1931 (Port-of-Spain, Trinidad: Imperial Commissioner of 



206 



Agriculture for the West Indies, 1932), p. 22. [Hereafter this 
series will be cited simply as the Report on the Agricultural 
Department , with the appropriate year given.] 

16 
The Association was expected to devote time and resources 

to research into the production and uses of arrowroot starch, 

but this duty was never accomplished to the extent it was for 

sugar cane and Sea Island cotton. Additionally, the Association 

depended upon only a few customers, the largest one located in 

the United States. See: Christian I. Martin, "The Role of 

Government in the Agricultural Development of St. Vincent" 

(Master's thesis, Faculty of Agriculture, University of the West 

Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago, 1967), pp. 82-83. 

^Report on the Agricultural Department, 1939 , p. 1. 

18 

Report on the Agricultural Department, 1944 , p. 2. 

1 9 Ibld .„ p. 1. 

20 

Report on the Agricultural Department, 1946 , p. 3. 

21 

A post-script to this study reveals the critical propor- 
tions reached in the arrowroot industry in the early 1960s. In 
1964, the largest American buyer curtailed purchases of arrowroot 
from St. Vincent. Substitute products— potato and corn starch- 
more readily available in the United States were used. It has been 
said that three factors must be considered in selecting starch: 
(1) price, (2) availability, and (3) stability and dependability 
of supply. See: Martin, "Government in the Agricultural 
Development of St. Vincent," p. 82. 

The St. Vincent arrowroot industry failed in all three 
ways to satisfy its customers. The unfortunate circumstances 
that led to reliance on one large buyer proved disastrous when 
that buyer withdrew his orders. Alternative markets were missing, 
causing the Arrowroot Growers 's Association to continue buying 
and stockpiling unsold quantities of the starch. In this 
instance, the monopoly in arrowroot production forced the 
Vincentian economy to suffer from an equally strong reverse 
leverage. Considerable unemployment and distress, partly a 
result of the depression in the arrowroot industry, has plagued 
the island throughout the 1960s. 

22 

Gossypium hlrsutum , variety marie-galante cotton was the 

most common species of indigenous, perennial cotton found in 
the drier Lesser Antilles. It was the most favored commercial 



207 



variety of the 18th and 19th centuries in the French and, later, 
the British West Indies. It was the forerunner of American 
"Upland" cotton planted throughout the American South in the 19th 
century. Gossypium barbadense was the ancestor of the famous 
Sea Island cotton, also indigenous to the Lesser Antilles. 
See: J. B. Hutchinson and S. G. Stephens, "Note on the 'French' 
or 'Small-Seeded' Cotton Grown in the West Indies in the 18th 
Century." Tropical Agriculture , XXI, No. 7 (July, 1944), p. 123; 
also see: Walter H. Evans, "The Origin and Distribution of Sea 
Island Cotton." West Indian Bulletin , IV, No. 1 (1904), pp. 199- 
200. "~ ' 

23 

Lowell Joseph Ragatz, The Fall of the Planter Class in the 
British Caribbean , 1763-1833 (New York: D. Appleton-Century, 
1928), p. 114. 

24 

Ibid . In 1765, Grenada reported exporting 368,032 pounds 
of cotton, but most of this was the product of Carriacou, its 
largest possession in the Grenadines. The southern dependencies 
of St. Vincent— Union, Mayreau, and Canouan Islands— may well 
have shipped their cotton through dealers in Grenada. 

Ibid . Grendada's exports had increased to 1,026,296 pounds, 
which included mostly Carriacou' s output and possibly that of the 
southern Grenadines of St. Vincent. 

Thomas Ellison, The Cotton Trade of Great Britain , Cass 
Library of Industrial Classics, No. 11 (London: Frank Cass and 
Company, Ltd., 1968; 1st ed. was in 1886), pp. 17-21. Hargreaves 
patented his "spinning jenny" in 1770; Arkwright patented his 
"water-frame" in 1769 and his carding machine in 1775. These 
are the more notable early inventions which opened the English 
market for a great influx of raw cotton. 

S. G. Stephens, "Cotton Growing In the West Indies During 
the 18th and 19th Centuries," Tropical Agriculture , XXI, No. 2 
(February, 1944), p. 25. There are no available statistics to 
indicate what the cotton exports of St. Vincent were between 
1780 and 1786 or between 1788 and 1811. Thus, it is assumed 
that 1787 was the highwater mark for the volume of cotton 
exported from the colony. 

An exception to the change-over to sugar production in 
the early years after the Seven Years' War occurred in Tobago 
in 1776 when a plague of ants devastated the sugar crop but left 
the cotton unharmed. As a result, cotton temporarily replaced 



208 



sugar as the staple crop. See: David L. Niddrie, Land Use and 
Population In Tobago , The World Land Use Survey, Monograph 3: 
Tobago (Bude, England: Geographical Publications Limited, 1961), 
p. 17. 

29 

Michael M. Edwards, The Growth of the British Cotton Trade , 

1780-1815 (New York: Augustus M. Kelly, 1967), p. 90. In 1794, 
a new "ridge" system of planting seeds more thickly was introduced. 
Yields in Sea Island cotton (the principal type grown up to 1794) 
went from 100 pounds per acre to 340 pounds per acre, a marked 
advantage over the production on the exhausted soils of the Lesser 
Antilles. 

30 

M. B. Hammond, The Cotton Industry: An Essay in American 
Economic History , Part I: The Cotton Culture and the Cotton 
Trade (New York: The Macmillan Company for the Americam Economic 
Association, 1897), pp. 235-237. 

Edwards, Growth of the British Cotton Trade , p. 79. 

T'igure 23 shows the United States surpassing the British 
West Indies in cotton exported to Great Britain in 1799. 
According to Ellison, Cotton Trade of Great Britain , Appendix, 
Table No. 3, this did not occur until 1802. Most other authorities 
agree with Ellison. 

33 

In the Estates Book , many of the cotton plantations were 

recorded as having been abandoned, particularly in the smaller 
Grenadine islands, a few years before Apprenticeship of the slaves 
began. 

At the same time, sugar prices ranged from 26d to 33d per 
pound. The sugar industry was also in economic difficulties, 
but sugar cultivation still remained more remunerative. 

35 

W. N. Sands, "Results of Experiments in the Cultivation of 
Cotton in the West Indies: St. Vincent," West Indian Bulletin , 
VI (1906), p. 115. 

36 

L. C. A. Knowles, The Economic Development of the British 
Overseas Empire , Studies in Economics and Political Science, 
London School of Economics and Political Science, Monograph No. 76 
(3 vols.; New York: Albert & Charles Boni, 1925), I, p. 131. The 
Lancashire "cotton famines" pushed the rapid development of the 
inland railway system in India as the government sought to connect 
the cotton areas of Central India with the seaports. 



209 



37 

Ellison, Cotton Trade of Great Britain , p. 86. 

38 

Blue Book, 1862, p. 248. 

39 

See the Blue Book for the years 1870, 1872, and 1876. 
These prosperous years for the British cotton trade resulted 
partly from the effects of business interruptions in Europe 
during the Franco-Prussian War (1870 to 1871), when an abnormal 
demand developed for English cotton textiles. See: Ellison, 
Cotton Trade of Great Britain , pp. 106-107. 

40 

Ibid ., p. 108. 

TCnowles, Economic Development of the British Overseas 
Empire , I, p. 132. 

42 

As early as 1873, the Government of St. Vincent issued 
notice of the problem of emigrating labor. Workers were moving 
as far north as Puerto Rico and as far south as Trinidad and 
British Guiana [now Guyana]. With the French attempt to build 
a canal across Panama (1878 to 1889) came an outflow of Vincentians 
to that country. As work came to a halt on the French canal, 
Vincentians began migrating to Costa Rica nearby to assist in 
railroad construction for the infant banana industry. After the 
turn of the century, another stream of migrants moved back to 
Panama as the United States began its canal construction. 

4 ^d. Morris, "Cotton Growing in the West Indies," West 
Indian Bulletin , IV, No. 1 (1904), pp. 29-31. For a brief 
description of the origin and early spread of Sea Island 
cotton, see: Evans, "Origin and Distribution of Sea Island 
Cotton," pp. 199-201. 

as the crop 

is planted in one and harvested early the following year, thus, 
the hyphenated season designation. 

Reports on the Botanic Station. 1903-04 , p. 10. This 
report states that there were 400 acres planted, while the 
following year's report states that only 300 acres had been 
planted. It was also in 1903-04 that a large 3-story cotton 
factory was built on the outskirts of Kingstown (on Richmond 
Hill Estate) and was said to be the most modern of its kind 
in the British West Indies at that time. This indicates the 
great expectations for the success of the cotton industry. 



210 



46 

The Sea Island seed vas specially selected by the Imperial 

Department of Agriculture from supplies in James Island, South 

Carolina, where the finest Sea Island cotton vas grown. See: 

Sands, "Experiments in the Cultivation of Cotton," p. 116. In 

addition to the seed, expert growers from South Carolina were 

hired to demonstrate to the growers in St. Vincent how to produce 

and prepare the long-staple cotton for market. See: William R.^ 

Meadows, "Economic Conditions In the Sea Island Cotton Industry," 

Bulletin of the U.S. Department of Agriculture , No. 146 (September, 

1914), p. 5. 

* 7 Although the value of cotton exports never greatly exceeded 
that of arrowroot before 1927 (except for the boom years in cotton 
in 1920), the phenomenal growth of cotton cultivation caught the 
Imagination of the growers and the Imperial Department of Agriculture. 
From 1908-09 to 1932-33, the cotton industry rated first place in 
the annual reports of the Agricultural Department of St. Vincent. 

48 For a comparison of Sea Island cotton and its nearest com- 
petitor, Egyptian Sakel (Sakellaridis) , see: N. W. Barritt, 
"The Determination of Egyptian Cotton and Its Relation to Quality," 
The Empire Cotton Growing Review , VII, No. 1 (January, 1930), 
pp. 19-29. 

49 When acreage was expanded in the years of early cotton 
cultivation, great amounts of poor or indifferent land were included. 
In years of reduced plantings, the poorer lands were usually thrown 
out of cultivation, raising the average yield. See: K. A. Ballou, 
"St. Vincent Cotton," Tropical Agriculture , VI, No. 10 (October, 
1929), p. 293. 

5 °In January, 1910, the St. Vincent Government initiated a 
"profit-sharing" plan, whereby the small growers sold their seed 
cotton to the Government's Central Cotton Ginnery for a stated 
price and received an immediate payment of 80 per cent of the 
sale price. Later, when the cotton was finally sold in the United 
Kingdom, the growers received their remaining 20 per cent plus any 
bonuses due them. See: Knovles, Economic Development of the Bri tish 
Overs eas Empire , I, p. 132. The first census of small growers in 
1910-11 revealed that there were 824 farmers, 66 per cent of whom 
raised Sea Island cotton. The average size of the small farms 
vas 1.1 acres. See: Report on the Botanic Station. 1910-11, p. 13. 
In the following year, the number of small farmers growing Sea 
Island cotton increased to 1,570, while the average farm size 
remained at 1.1 acres. See: Report on t he Botanic Station, 
1911-12, p. 14. 



211 



51 

John A. Todd, "Twenty-Five Years of Cotton Prices, The 
Bapire Cotton Growing Revlev , XV, No. 4 (October, 1938), p. 279. 



stood and could be repaired. Orange Hill Estate, on the northeast 
Windward coast (in the old "Carib Country"), made the most ex- 
tensive return to sugar during the brief war years. See: Report 
on the Agricultural Department, 1916-17 , p. 22. 

^In 1920-21, there were 2,965 small cotton growers, each 
averaging 0.9 acres per grower. Fifty-two estates cultivated 
3,373 acres. See: Report on the Agricultural Department, 1920 , 
p. 14. " 

The total quantity of cotton lint exported in the 1920-21 
season was 502,308 pounds, an amount unsurpassed until 1937-38. 
The yield was only 95 pounds per acre, down from the initial cotton 
yields in St. Vincent of 174 pounds. This indicates the consequences 
of rapid expansion in acreage using marginal land and poor methods 
of cultivation. See: Report on the Agricultural Department, 1920 , 
p. 14. 

For a description of the early American Sea Island cotton 
industry, see: Meadows, "Economic Conditions in the Sea Island 
Cotton Industry," pp. 1-18; and Works Progress Administration, 
comp., The Story of Sea Island Cotton , State of Florida, Department 
of Florida, Department of Agriculture, Bulletin No. 113 (1941), 
pp. 1-59. 

John A. Todd, "Sea Island Cotton," Tropical Agriculture, VII, 
No. 7 (July, 1930), p. 190. " — 

"Value," in the 1920s and 1930s, was secondary to price in 
selecting the cotton for the "fine spinners" of England. For St. 
Vincent and other British Vest Indian islands to maintain their 
position in the fine lace trade, they had to keep their prices not 
much more expensive than the finest Egyptian cotton. See: Todd, 
"Sea Island Cotton," pp. 190-191; also John A. Todd, "Classification 
of the World's Cotton Crops," The Empire Cotton Growing Review , IX, 
No. 1 (January, 1932), pp. 46 and 52. 

Todd, "Sea Island Cotton," pp. 190-191. 

For a discussion of the growing importance of rayon in the 
English textile industry, see: A. J. Turner, "Cotton and Rayon," 
The Empire Cotton Growing Review , XII, No. 3 (July, 1935), pp. 199- 
207. 



212 

Since the end of the First World War, the tendency had been 
for the snail cultivators, who had received plots of approximately 
5 acres under the Land Settlement Scheme of 1898 (a recommendation 
of the West Indian Royal Commission of 1897), to turn more of their 
relatively poor land over to cotton cultivation. The initial 
supervision of the many small holders in the valieys of the north 
Leevard coast had centered around cash crops such as cocoa, coffee, 
nutmeg, and cinnamon. As long as the landholdings were not paid 
off, the Government had the right to enforce its regulations con- 
cerning the use of the land. However, when the plots were paid 
off, about the time of the First World War, the farmers began the 
monoculture of cotton, which led to serious erosion on the steep 
slopes of the Leeward valley holdings and reduced yields. The switch 
to cotton monoculture was inevitable at that time, owing to the 
lack of processing facilities for arrowroot and sugar manufacture. 
See: Report on the Agricultural Department, 1938 , p. 37; also 
see: J. P. Watson, J. Spector, and T. A. Jones, Soil and Land- 
Use Surveys, No. 3: St. Vincent (Port-of-Spain, Trinidad: The 
Regional Research Centre of the Imperial College of Tropical 
Agriculture, 1958), p. 10. 

The "closed season" was lengthened in 1929, that is, 
planting was delayed from June until September. It was thought 
that by planting cotton late in the year, the damage to the devel- 
oping bolls from the heavier mid-year rains (particularly among the 
north Leevard coast) and insects could be reduced. See: Report 
on the Agricultural Department , 1929, p. 12. 

6 2 Report on the Agricultural Department , 1931, p. 14. 

For a discussion of the West Indian Sea Island Cotton 
Association, see: C. C. Skeete, "The West Indian Sea Island Cotton 
Association: Its Formation and Work," The Empire Cotton Growing 
Review , XIII, No. 3 (July, 1936), pp. 178-185. The Association 
was a direct outgrowth of regional British West Indian discus- 
sions in 1932 into the difficulties of reducing unsold cotton 
stocks in England. It was generally acknowledged at the time 
that the Sea Island problem was one of "under-consunption" 
not "over-production." Cotton spinners were interested in price, 
not value. St. Vincent's cotton was the world's finest, yet it 
had difficulty in selling In England. It became necessary, 
therefore, to reduce stocks in the United Kingdom and at the 
same time prevent another build-up. The Association recommended 
acreage restrictions, but it possessed no authority to enforce 
its recommendations. In the late 1930s, however, most of the 
Sea Island-growing islands (St. Vincent, St. Kitts, Nevis, An- 
guilla, Antigua, Barbados, and St. Lucia) obeyed the Association s 
requests to limit production. The only exception was Mont- 
serrat which felt it had to exceed its quota, owing to the 
primacy of the cotton industry in its economy. 



213 

64 

Sea Island cotton in Great Britain during the rearmament 
va8 used in the manufacture of barrage balloon fabric and, 
thus, sold very easily from 1936 to 1939. See: West India 
Committee, "West Indian Cotton Industry, 1938-39," The Empire 
Cotton Croving Review , XVII, No. 1 (January, 1940), p. 17. 

During the Second World War, 93.5 per cent of St. Vincent's 
Sea Island crop was purchased by the Ministry of Supply at a 
guaranteed price of 25d per pound. The more inferior variety 
of Sea Island, the Montserrat strain (M. S. I.), received 
22 1/2 d per pound. See: West Indian Sea Island Cotton Associ- 
ation, "Sea Island Cotton Industry," Tropical Agriculture , 
XVIII, No. 5 (May, 1941), p. 85. By 1939, St. Vincent had 
perfected its strain of "superfine" Sea Island cotton, called 
V.135, and always received a premium price for it. No other 
cotton-growing island in the West Indies grew this variety, 
owing to its selected adaptation to St. Vincent's climate and 
soils. Barbados grew a similar variety (B. S. I.), but its 
production was nominal during the war. See: J. B. Hutchinson, 
"Agricultural Problems of the West Indian Cotton Industry," 
Tropical Agriculture , XXI, No. 7 (July, 1944), p. 121. 

66 

United States military bases in Antigua, St. Lucia, and 
Trinidad created a strong demand for additional food crops, and 
owing to the emigration of many agricultural workers to these 
construction sites, food supplies throughout the British West 
Indies became dearer. Arrowroot and cotton land was, therefore, 
thrown over to ground provisions. See: Report on the Agricul- 
tural Department, 1942 , p. 2. 

Beginning in 1942, many young Vincentians emigrated to the 
high-wage construction and industrial sites in the southern 
Caribbean area. Vincentians from the Grenadines continued their 
perennial migrations to Trinidad, while workers from the "main" 
island went to Aruba and Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles 
to work for the petroleum refineries. See: Report on the Agri- 
cultural Department, 1943 , p. 2. Their absence put a strain on 
cultivation in St. Vincent, for cotton cultivation, in particular, 
requires an abundance of cheap hand labor for weeding and thinning 
after the crop has been planted. Harvesting, too, demands a 
steady supply of pickers. Unlike most other types of cotton, 
Sea Island cotton bolls ripen at different times and, therefore, 
the fields must be picked over several times. See: Cathy Sparling, 
"West Indian Sea Island Cotton," Caribbean Farming , II, No. 3 
(July-September, 1970), p. 16. 



214 

68 

Small growers accounted for approximately 63 per cent of 
the cotton crop In the 1945-46 season. This vas the reverse of 
conditions during the First World War. In much the same way as 
arrowroot had become less attractive during the Second World War 
to estate growers, cotton cultivation among the planters dwindled. 
This is evident from the cotton yields of both classes of growers. 
In the 1942-43 season, for example, the average yield of cotton 
lint from estate cultivations in St. Vincent was 142 pounds per 
acre, while from the small growers (farms less than 20 acres in 
size), the yield was only 62 pounds per acre. This demonstrates 
that the competition from artificial fibers and Egyptian cotton 
could only be profitably met by increasing the per-acre yield. 
High prices alone could not safeguard the Sea Island industry. 
See: Hutchinson, "Problems of the West Indian Cotton Industry," 
p. 122. 

69 

Until 1946, the Ministry of Supply's Cotton Control was 
obligated to purchase 93.5 per cent of St. Vincent's crop at a 
price which remained fairly fixed during the war. Most Vincentian 
growers considered this price to be too low in view of the high 
cost of labor. See: J. V. Lochrie, "The Empire Cotton Growing 
Corporation In the British West Indies," The Eapire Cotton Growing 
Review , XXXI, No. 1 (January, 1954), p. 28. From 1948 to 1952, 
all cotton sold in the United Kingdom had to be sold to the new 
Raw Cotton Commission in Britain. The Commission graded the 
cottpn it purchased and paid according to quality. St. Vincent's 
V.135 "superfine" variety of Sea Island cotton received the 
highest quotation. Even with the other West Indian cotton pro- 
ducers, however, St. Vincent's trade was insignificant in the 
world picture. Sea Island prices moved sympathetically with the' 
prices of competing long staple cotton supplied in large volume 
from Egypt and the Sudan. During the Korean War, therefore, the 
stockpiling of Egyptian cotton in the United Kingdom caused the 
prices of all high quality cotton to increase. See: George C. 
Abbott, "The Collapse of the Sea Island Cotton Industry in the 
West Indies," Social and Economic Studies , XIII, No. 1 (March, 
1964), pp. 180-183. 

70 

Ibid., p. 185. 



72 

Owing to the high percentage of cotton acreage under small- 
grower control (83 per cent by 1954-55) , the switch to bananas 
had a marked effect on the cotton industry, as land in cotton 
was thrown over to bananas. See: Report on the Agricultural 
Department, 1955 , p . 3 . 



215 

73 

Using 1954 prices, it has been shown that one acre of land 

under various crops yields a gross income as follows: (1) 
bananas, £92; (2) arrowroot, £63; (3) sugar cane, £54; (4) cotton, 
£40; and (5) coconuts (copra), £40. When net profit is considered, 
however, the order of profitability is as follows (excluding 
bananas): (1) cotton, £20; (2) coconuts, £20; (3) arrowroot, 
£15; and (4) sugar cane £10. See: Abbott, "Collapse of the Sea 
Island Cotton Industry," Table 14, p. 180; also: Martin, "Govern- 
ment in the Agricultural Development of St. Vincent," pp. 58-59. 
The order of Importance must be according to the gross income 
per acre, rather than profit per acre, because most of the small 
growers do not price their labor or that of the members of their 
family. They are concerned with the largest lump cash payment 
at the time of sale. See: Abbott, "Collapse of the Sea Island 
Cotton Industry," p. 170. 

74 

As late as 1970, the same problems facing the Sea Island 

cotton industry before 1960 were still being discussed. The 
existing problems today are: (1) competition from Egyptian and 
Sudanese cotton; (2) competition from synthetic fibers, especially 
wash-and-wear fabrics; (3) the unfavorably low prices which have 
persisted since the 1950s; and (4) the lack of labor for hand- 
picking of the Sea Island cotton bolls. See: Sparling, "West 
Indian Sea Island Cotton," p. 16. 

In June, 1898, W. C. Cradwick, the Superintendent of the 
Hope Gardens in Jamaica, visited St. Vincent as a consequence of 
the West Indian Royal Commission of 1897. One of the major 
recommendations of the Commission was the immediate enactment of 
a "land settlement scheme" to supply freehold land plots to the 
unemployed and underemployed Vincentians. Cradwick was responsible 
for visiting all of the estates in the island and evaluating 
them for possible Government acquisition into the settlement 
6cheme. In his evaluation of the economic potential of the 
estates, Cradwick stated that several large ones on the Leeward 
coast (Queensbury, Retreat, Penniston's, Hope, Pembroke, and 
Cane Grove) should not be purchased for the small cultivators to 
use as banana lands, owing to the inability of "primitive" farmers 
to manure and cultivate properly this crop. Estates along the 
less rugged southeast Windward coast (Argyle, Calder, Carapan, 
and Rivulet) were said to be too windy for bananas, while those 
on the more exposed south coast (Villa, Rathomill, Prospect, and 
Belvidere) were too dry. The only favorable banana lands he saw 
were those estates located in the flat, inland valleys along the 
south coast (Belair, Cane Hall, Fountain, and Arnos Vale). See: 
"Report by Mr. Cradwick on a Visit to St. Vincent," proof of a 
report concerning the economic potential of St. Vincent's estates, 
June, 1898. Located in the folder archives of the Office of the 
Clerk of the Legislative Council, Kingstown, St. Vincent, W.I. 



216 

In 1903, an experimental shipment of 5 crates of bananas 
was sent to the United Kingdom. The venture was unsuccessful 
because of the unavoidably excessive handling that preceded 
packing in the island and, especially, the long distance involved 
in transporting the fruit to the home market. See: Reports on 
the Botanic Station. 1903-04 , p. 9. 

77 The Canadian Ottawa Trade Agreements of 1932 were recipro- 
city agreements signed with the British Caribbean colonies to 
stimulate trade between the signatories. See: Sir Alan Burns, 
History of the British West Indies (rev. 2d ed.; London: George 
Allen & Unwin, Ltd., 1965), p. 709. In 1933, the Canadian 
National steamships replaced the Leyland line which served Dom- 
inica and St. Lucia and Elders and Fyffes, serving Trinidad. 
The Canadian service made fortnightly stops at Trinidad, 
Grenada, St. Vincent, New Brunswick and Halifax, Nova Scotia. 
See: E. R. Leonard, "The Banana Trade from the West Indies to 
Canada." Tropical Agriculture , XVIII, No. 12 (December, 1941), 
p. 244. 

78 

The reports from the Agricultural Department and the annual 

Blue Book reports give no indication whether or not the 1932 and 
1933 exports were carried from St. Vincent or, perhaps, trans- 
shipped to St. Lucia for final export. 

7 9 Report on the Agricultural Department, 1934 , pp. 29-30. 

^°Nearly all of the commercial bananas grown in the Carib- 
bean at that time were of the type Musa saplentum L. (Gros Michel). 
See: D. E. Kay and E. H. G. Smith, "A Review of the Market and 
World Trade in Bananas," Tropical Science , II (1960), p. 154. 
An alternative scientific classification of this type of banana 
Is as follows: Musa (AAA Group) 'Gros Michel.' See: N. W. 
Simmonds, Bananas (2d ed.; London: Longmans, Green and Company, 
Ltd., 1966), p. 52. Experts agree that Simmonds 's nomenclature 
is botanically more accurate. See: C. W. Wardlaw, Banana 
Diseases (New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1961), pp. 1-2. 
For a discussion of the cultivation of 'Gros Michel' bananas in 
the West Indies in the 1930s, see: Wilson Popenoe, "Banana 
Culture Around the Caribbean," Tropical Agriculture , XVIII, 
No. 1 (January, 1941), pp. 8-12. This article was originally 
written in Spanish and published in 1936. 

^'h'anama disease or banana wilt (Fusarium oxysporum ) f. 
cubense ) is one of the major drawbacks to the 'Gros Michel' 
banana. See: Simmonds, Bananas , pp. 366-378; Wardlaw, Banana 
Diseases, p. 194. 



217 



82 

Banana cultivation and the export trade in the fruit, 
difficult as it was in the 1930s, vas not impossible. The 
■ost noteworthy statement about bananas to come out of the St. 
Vincent Agricultural Department in the 1930s, in light of what 
happened in the late 1950s, was as follows: 

"It is now quite clear that banana growing will not be a 
sajor industry in St. Vincent and further that conditions 
are such that it can only be successful in small, well- 
sheltered 'pockets' of land in humid valleys." 

See: Report on the Agricultural Department. 1938 . p. 13. 

83 

N. W. Simmonds, "The Growth of Post-war West Indian 
Banana Trades," Tropical Agriculture . XXXVII, No. 2 (April, 1960), 
P. 79- 

84 

In 1953, bananas from St. Vincent were shipped by Messers. 

Antilles Products via St. Lucia. There is no indication whether 

this was a renewal of the Canandian Trade or whether it was a new 

channel of trade with the United Kingdom. In addition, there 

Is no way of ascertaining where the banana exports from 1947 

through 1952 went. It must be presumed that these exports also 

went into the world market after transshipment to St. Lucia. 

See: Report on the Agricultural Department , 1953, p. 12. 

■The clonal designation of the 'Lacatan' banana raised in 
St. Vincent before 1954 is Musa (AAA Group, Cavendish Subgroup) 
'Pisang casak hljau. ' The name 'Lacatan, used initially in 
Jamaica, is actually a misnomer and should only be used to refer 
to the true 'Lacatan' of the Philippine Islands. See: Siaaonds, 
Bananas , pp. 52 and 82. 

86„ 

George Beckford, The West Indian Banana Industry . Studies 

in Regional Economic Integration, II, No. 3 (Mona, Jamaica: 
Institute of Social and Economic Research of the University of 
the West Indies, 1967), p. 11. 

87 

Melba Kershaw, "The Banana Industry in the Windward 

Islands," Tropical Science , VIII (1966), p. 119. The individual 
growers mist register with the St. Vincent Banana Growers 
Association in order to sell their output and must pay a small 
cess for each pound of bananas sold. The Association will collect 
the fruit at its buying stations, pack it, transport it to the 
loading shed in Kingstown, and sell it to Geest. In addition, 
the growers's fields are sprayed against disease, fertilizer is 
offered at reasonable prices, and advice is extended to the growers. 



218 



One designation of this variety is: Robusta (Musa 
cavendishii L.). See: K*y and Smith, "Review of the Market," 
p. 154'. Simmonds uses a sore specific classification: Musa 
(AAA Group, Cavendish Subgroup) 'Robusta.' See: Simmonds, 
Bananas , pp. 52 and 82. 

89 

The antecedent variety in St. Vincent— 'Gros Michel — vas 

especially susceptible to Panama disease, whereas, the 'Robusta' 
variety of Cavendish banana was more resistent ot the banana 
wilt but suffered more froa Leaf Spot (sigatoka) disease and 
bruised more easily. 'Gros Michel' was more easily transported, 
that is, it "travelled' veil. See: Kay and Smith, "Review of 
the Market," p. 154. 

90 

For a comparison of the relative profitability of different 

types of cultivation in St. Vincent, see n. 73. 

^Simmonds, in his analysis of the growth of the different 
banana trades in the Windward Islands, states: "St. Vincent 
shows a reasonably close approximation to geometric increase in 
the early years" [1954 through 1958]. See: Simmonds, "Growth 
of the Post-war West Indian Banana Trades," p. 81. 

'tennis McFarlane, "The Future of the West Indian Banana 
Industry," Social and Economic Studies , XIII, No. 1 (March, 1964), 
p. 55. Part of these statistics are estimates for 1958. 

93 West Indian Census of Agriculture, 1961: Report on the 
Eastern Caribbean, Inciting the Territories of Antigua. Barbados , 
Dominica. Grenada, St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla. St. Lucia. St. Vincent , 
and the British Virgin Islands (Bridgetown, Barbados: British 
Development Division in the Caribbean, 1968), Tables 5 and 6, 
pp. 215-216. 

94 

Report on the Agricultural Department , 1960, p. 3. 

95 

The reverses suffered by the Vincentian economy were: 

(1) the destruction by fire in 1959 of the Central Cotton Ginnery 
and the subsequent collapse of the Sea Island cotton industry; 

(2) a labor strike at the only functioning sugar mill (Mount 
Bentinck), its subsequent closing in 1962 and the ruin of the 
small sugar cane industry; (3) the loss of one of the major buyers 
of arrowroot starch in the early 1960s; and (4) the emigration of 
many laborers to Trinidad during the brief existence of the West 
Indian Federation (1958 to 1962). 



219 



96 

The cocoa referred to is of the genus Theobroma cacao L. 

There is no indication in the literature of the type of T. cacao L. 

raised in St. Vincent. It seems likely that the more recent 

cocoa (from the 1890s) vas the "Trinitario" variety from Trinidad. 

97 

D. H. Orquhart, Cocoa (2d ed.; London: Longmans, Green 

and Company, Ltd., 1961), p. 1 

Ttagatr, Fall of the Planter Class , p. 119 

99 

Blue Book. 1SS7 , p. X-l. In 1SS7, an ordinance was enacted 

that provided for the definition of boundaries between Crown lands 
and private holdings by surveys. This was in anticipation of the 
sale of unused land in the colony. 

100 

Blue Book. ISS3 . p. X-l. Between 1887 and 1896, there 
were 494 parcels of land totalling 2, 744 acres either sold 
outright or secured by annual installment payments. The average 
size of the parcels was 5.9 acres, however, several of the 
purchases were over 100 acres in size, thus, the landholdings 
for the small faraers were considerably less than 5 acres each. 

101 

The Cacao Industry in the West Indies, West Indian 

Bulletin , V (1905), pp. 176-177. 

102 

Organization for European Economic Co-operation, The 

Wain Products of the Overseas Territories: Cocoa (Paris: 
The Organization for European Economic Co-operation, 1956), 
pp. 15 and 17. 

103 

The low quality cocoa bean was the result of lack of 

uniformity of processing. See: Reports on the Botanic Station , 
1908-09 , p. 13. "~ ' 

104 

St. Vincent s soil, unlike Grenada s, is very light and 

offers easy passage of water. This leads to an atmospheric humid- 
ity much less than the rainfall figures would indicate. The 
relatively short dry season (January to March) causes the 
roots of the cocoa tree to suffer from lack of sufficient moist- 
ure, a condition intensified by the constant trade winds. See: 
Report on the Agricultural Department, 1915-16 , pp. 25-26. 



10 



TLeport on the Agricultural Department, 1911-12 , p. 14. 



220 



Report oa the Agricultural Department, 1935 , p. 8. Most 
of the pure coconut stands were located tn the "Carlb Country" 
along the lower slopes of the Soufrlere volcano. 

Report on the Agricultural Department, 1944 , p. 6. 
Three coconuts yield approximately 1 pound of copra. 

108 

In 1943, a record of 24 per cent of total exports was set. 
For the duration of the war, all copra was sold in the West 
Indies, most of it going to Barbados. See: Report on the Agri- 
cultural Department, 1943 , p . 5 . 

109 

The data for a comparison of imports and exports are 

available only after 1848. The annual Blue Book reports from 
1849 to 1960 are utilized as references for the annual trade 
statistics. All monecary trade statistics are given as un- 
adjusted values. 

St. Vincent, St. Vincent, Development Plan. 1966-1970 
(Kingstown: Government Printery, 1966), pp. 9-10. 



PART II. THE POPULATION OF ST. VINCENT 



CHAPTER VI 



POPULATION CHANGE IN ST. VINCENT, 
1763 TO 1960 



In analyzing the historical development of St. Vincent, 
it is necessary to understand the demographic changes that have 
occurred since the island was first acquired by Great Britian. 
Throughout its past, the population of St. Vincent has fluctu- 
ated widely. Migration was the main determinant of population 
change in the 18th and 19th centuries, rather than the natural 
processes of population growth and decline. Between 1763 and 
1960, the rate of net migration was determined, essentially, by 
exogenous, mainly economic, forces. As the local employment 
situation varied, so did the rate of migration, reflecting 
closely St. Vincent's fortunes in foreign commerce already out- 
lined in Chapters III, IV, and V. Population changes which 
resulted from the succession of economic specializations between 
1763 and 1960 are the main theme of this chapter. 

An Evaluation of Historical Population Data 
For the purposes of this study, the population figures 
utilized are those published in the general censuses, in the 
vital registers, and in various printed historical sources 
dealing with St. Vincent and the British West Indies. The 
reliability of the data, especially before 1946, is questionable, 
222 



223 

but given the dearth of demographic studies concerning the 
smaller Caribbean societies, it is only possible to rely on 
what is available. 

Before the Slave Registration Act of 1817, which was 
authorized by the British Government, the population estimates 
of the number of slaves, free "coloureds" [sic], free blacks, 
and whites were, at best, informed guesses. From the time of 
the Treaty of Paris, in 1763, until the first organized census 
of St. Vincent, in 1844, contemporary historians used the 
population "statistics" of colonial governors, of vestry books 
in the parish churches, and estate poll tax registers, all of 
which were, at best, partial rather than comprehensive. For 
example, vital events (births, deaths, and marriages) unsanctioned 
by the clergy were not recorded. It was not until 1864, a 
century after St. Vincent was acquired by Great Britian that an 
act to provide for the total civil registration of all vital 
events was passed. Even this improvement, however, has proved 
faulty in execution up to the present day. 

During the intermediate phase of Apprenticeship (1834 to 
1838), while the slaves were becoming accustomed to their new- 
found freedom, there was no Immediate urgency for population 
enumerations in the island. Following the complete emancipation 
of all slaves, however, a new interest was manifested in 
ascertaining what human resources existed for estate work, for 
labor shortages soon appeared. Among the earliest reactions of 
the local authorities was an amendment to contract work laws 
providing for the importation of indentured laborers from out- 
side the Caribbean area for periods of service varying from 1 year 
initially up to 10 years.* 



224 

In reponse to the growing awareness of a general labor 
shortage throughout the British West Indies, the Secretary of 
State for the Colonies ordered a census to be taken on June 3, 
1844. 5 This enumeration included the first organized island 
census for St. Vincent. Others followed decennially from 1851 
through 1931, with the exception of 1901, when the island was 
still experiencing the ravages and dislocations of the hurricane 
of 1898. The last two reliable and completed censuses were 
those taken in 1946 and 1960; the 1970 enumeration has yet to 
be published as an official document. 

Although the censuses of the 20th century are more detailed, 
they have sometimes suffered from faulty compilation. The 20- 
year lapse between the census of 1891 and that of 1911, with 
the intervening hurricane of 1898 and the Soufriere volcanic 
devastation of 1902, leaves a critical period of time without 
an accurate estimate of population trends. A.s late as 1931, the 
accuracy of census enumeration could be questioned. It is 
apparent that all census information before 1946 is subject to 
some degree of error, nevertheless, the gross figures are used 
with this understanding. The censuses of 1946 and 1960 were 
■ore accurate than any before and more detailed in their content. 

The Periods of Population Change in St. Vincent 
St. Vincent has experienced widely fluctuating rates of 
growth since the tice when French settlers from Martinique and 
Guadeloupe came ashore in 1719. 8 These early white farmers and 
their slaves engaged primarily in the mixed cultivation of 
tobacco, cotton, coffee, and indigo. The declared neutrality 



225 

of St. Vincent under the Treaty of Aix- la-Chape lie, in 1748, did 
not precipitate an exodus of Frenchmen, but probably stabilized 
their numbers until the end of the Seven Years War in 1763. In 
1764, the survey, sale, and settlement of land parcels in 
St. Vincent was initiated for the purpose of establishing an 
English yeoman class in the island. As the sugar industry 
burgeoned into a monocultural economic activity, however, the 
small parcels of land were quickly agglomerated by individuals 
into large estates, thus initiating a rapid expansion of the 
population through the introduction of large numbers of African 
slaves. 10 This marks the beginning of numerous references to 
St. Vincent's population, which will be discussed in chrono- 
logical sequence. 

The periods of population change may be conveniently 
divided into the following: (1) pre-censal estimates: the era 
of slavery and Apprenticeship; (2) the era of alien labor im- 
migration, 1844 to 1881; (3) the era of emigration, 1881 to 
1931; and (4) the era of rapid population growth, 1931 to 1960. 

Pre-Censal Estimates: The Era of Slavery 
and Apprenticeship 

This period includes all population references from the 

earliest in 1735 up to the first official census in 1844. Of 

all the population data analyzed in this study, those before 

1844 are, in all likelihood, the least reliable. The state of 

the art of population enumeration at that time was such that 

little faith can be placed in the estimates as true indicators 

of demographic change. For example, as mentioned above, the 



226 

early registrations of vital processes did not count all births, 
deaths, and marriages unless they were sanctioned by the church. 
In effect, what the late 18th-century registers contained were 
counts of Christian baptisms, burials, and marriages. The 
vital data of unbaptized slaves could have very easily been 
omitted or misrepresented. 

References to population size before Britain's acquisition 
of the colony in 1763 were based on the crudest approximations 
or guesses, as no systematic method existed for accounting for 
the change in numbers of people in the island. The earliest 
official attempt at systematic counting of people was the 
triennial registration of slaves beginning in 1817 and contin- 
uing until 1832. Even these labor enumerations varied in the 
published sources according to who took the count and its 
purpose. Data before 1817 are presented in this study merely 
to provide an unbroken record of estimated population size from 
1735 onward, with emphasis on the period of British occupation 
of St. Vincent. 

The Early Population Estimates . — The earliest published 

reference to population size in St. Vincent was for 1735 and 

12 

varied between 3,800 and 10,000, depending upon the reference. 

The former estimate included no reference to the indigenous 
Carib Indians; the latter omitted the count of whites. Both 
are probably wrong, as Caribs existed in large numbers up to 
1797 when 5,000 were deported to the Bay of Honduras, and white 
French settlers were known to have inhabited St. Vincent as 
early as 1719. 



227 



Population Estimates After British Acquisition . — The 
population estimate for 1763, the year Great Britain obtained 
possession of St. Vincent, was 7,100. (See Table 12.) The 
following year, the number of Inhabitants was estimated to be 
9,518, an increase of nearly 30 per cent in a single year, a 
reasonable growth considering the immediate movement of British 
planters and their slaves from the more exhausted estates in 
Jamaica, the Leeward Islands, and Barbados to the newly opened 
virgin soils of St. Vincent. 

Slave importations into the West Indies increased greatly 
in number after the Ceded Islands (Dominica, St. Vincent, 
Grenada, and Tobago) were settled In 1764, constituting the 
major component of population increase during the era of 
slavery. There was a steady stream of ships landing African 
slaves in the new British islands until the abolition of such 
trade in 1807. 

Slaves in St. Vincent increased by 122 per cent during the 

14 , 

interval from 1764 to 1805, nearly all of which was accounted 

for by regular importations rather than by natural increase 

since the fertility of slaves was extremely low, owing to the 

high sex ratios and high mortality rates. It was only after 

the West Indian slave trade was abolished in 1807 (and enforced 

In the British West Indies in 1808) that plantation owners 

were forced to give consideration to the health of their chattel 

workers because new labor for the sugar estates could now only 

be replaced by children born to black slaves resident on their 

plantations. 



•:: 



I M 1 1 1 1 ii. 



i i 1 1 i ii ii. 



I I > I I I I I ijssssss 



I I I I II I I Is3333! 



I I I I I I I II * "-'-I 



I I I I I I I I 



I I I I I I I I 



I I I I • I ' II „v»*».v 









^^....a. iUlil n-*H-|- M n il 1i l " l «" ll , ~** g "— "■"'" ■«■»■■—■ ■'« ■ - . ..rriMT.. 



Mi 

2i~ 



c^i-i-.-— -,- 



229 



is; 



230 



Despite conflicting reports of the total population of 
St. Vincent after the slave trade was curtailed in 1807, it is 
probable that the island's demographic growth slackened 
considerably. The population estimates for 1805 and 1812, 
which straddle the date of abolition of slave trading to 
St. Vincent, show an absolute increase in the 7-year period of 
8,905, an annual rate of growth of 5.53 per cent, the highest 
on record after the initial colonization in 1764. (See Table 12.) 
With the understanding that the data are questionable, it is 
possible, nonetheless, to theorize that most of this growth 
resulted from slave imports before 1807. 

The St. Vincent legislature was aware of the agitation 
in Britain to end slave trading and sensed its imminent demise. 
This anxiety must have been acute after the "Carib Country' 
lands on the Windward coast were forfeited to the Crown and 
opened to settlement in 1802, requiring the use of many slaves 
to work the new sugar estates. Between 1764 and 1812, the 
average number of African slaves landed in St. Vincent each 
year was 365, while it is recorded that during the first year 
after the opening of the Carib Country lands, 1,540 slaves were 

18 
disembarked in Kingstown. 

After abolition of the slave trade, the annual rate of 

growth of the total population of St. Vincent fell to a nere 

0.13 per cent between 1812 and 1825. (See Table 12.) Since 

the slave population accounted for almost nine-tenths of the 

population in 1812, it is evident that between 1819 and 1833, 

the annual rate of population change was -0.68 per cent. This 



231 



tends to reinforce the idea that slaves were unable to increase 
their numbers by reproduction alone. 

The rapid decrease in the number of ex-slaves between 
1834 and 1844 — a decline of 9,102 or an annual rate of change 
of -8.29 per cent — may be deceptive for two reasons. First, as 
emancipation approached, slave owners apparently began freeing 
unneeded workers. When the Apprenticeship period (1834 to 1838) 
began, persons formerly called "slaves" were termed "labourers" 
[sic ]. The sharp dip in the number of "labourers" was the 
result of immediate freedom granted to children under 6 years 
of age and to the unproductive elderly and infirm. After 1838, 
not all blacks remained on the estates as laborers; therefore, 

the population estimates included only those few thousands who 

19 
opted to live on the estate lands for wages. 

Secondly, a factor affecting the decrease in blacks 

before the onset of Apprenticeship was the age composition of 

slaves. Those who were African-born, if they survived into the 

period of slave registration (1817 to 1832), tended to concentrate 

in the older age groups, adversely affecting the mortality rate, 

at the saae time contributing little to the fertility of their 

population group. A positive rate of growth among the black 

population must be assumed to have appeared around the 1830s, 

as native Vincentian blacks, born after the curtailment of the 

slave trade in 1807, were able to affect the reproduction 

perfoCTBnce of the total population. 



232 

The Era of Allen Labor Immisation, 1844 to 1881 

After Apprenticeship had failed to convert ex-slaves to 
the Joys of plantation labor, there occurred in St. Vincent a 
period of population change which was sarked by the introduction 
of foreigners — a direct response to the unwillingness of the 
newly freed slaves to move Immediately to paid estate work in 
the sugar fields. The intransigence of the plantation owners 
on the issues of wages and perquisites for hired workers and 
their determination to continue the nonocultural production of 
muscovado sugar in the face of growing competition from the 
■tore modern enterprises operating in the West Indies led them 
to seek an abundant and inexpensive supply of foreign inden- 

, , , 21 

tured immigrants. 

Between 1844 and 1880, St. Vincent's population grew from 
27,248 to 40,548. During the same 37 years, some 5,575 inden- 
tured aliens were introduced, so that they and their offspring 
were an integral part of the island's Increase. (See Table 4.) 
The overall rate of population growth in this period was 1.06 
per cent a year, which Bogue defines as a "moderate" rate of 

change. At this rate, the population could be capable of 

23 

doubling in 65 years. 

Three groups of immigrant workers were brought to 
St. Vincent in two separate waves. Between 1844 and 1862, the 
bulk of Portuguese Madeirans and "liberated" Africans arrived, 
totalling 3,138. (See Table 4.) The East Indian indentured 
workers began arriving from time to tine between 1861 and 1880, 
finally reaching a total of 2,429 over the 20-year span. (For 
details concerning immigrant groups, vide supra Chapter IV.) 



233 



1844 to 1851 . — The introduction of the Portuguese 
Madeirans and Africans occurred mostly before the census of 
1851. The inter-censal rate of population growth between the 
first two official population censuses (1844 and 1851) was 
1.43 per cent a year. (See Table 12.) According to Bogue, 

such a rate of growth would be considered "rapid" and would 

24 
double a population in little over 48 years. On an inter- 
censal basis, this was the fastest annual rate of increase 
experienced in St. Vincent before 1946. 

The 2,108 Hadeirans and 809 Africans brought to the 
colony between 1844 and 1851 exceeded the absolute increase in 
population by 37; therefore, it must be assumed that a large, 

undertermined number of native Vincentians left the island to 

25 
seek work elsewhere, especially in Trinidad and Tobago. It 

follows that the addition of these 2,917 immigrant workers 

(amounting to 10.71 per cent of the 1844 population) boosted 

the rate of growth to its high level. Comparable rapid rates 

of growth were found in other Eastern Caribbean colonies at the 

same time. The average annual rates of growth for Barbados, 

St. Lucia, and Grenada were 1.52 per cent, 2.09 per cent, and 

1.74 per cent, respectively. 

1851 to 1861 . — In this inter-censal period, population 
grew from 30,128 to 31,755, an absolute increase of only 1,627, 
or at an average annual rate of 0.53 per cent. (See Table 12.) 
Several reasons may account for this marked decrease in popula- 
tion growth. First, this was a time of crisis in the sugar 



23* 

industry as duties on sugar imported into the metropolitan 
market were gradually equalized, a process fully accomplished 
by 1854. 27 The results of increased competition from other 
producers had dire results on Vincentian sugar. 

Secondly, the number of indentured laborers landed in 
Kingstown was sharply reduced. Portuguese Madeiran immigration 
had ceased after 1850, while a mere 213 Africans were brought 
in, all of them in 1860 and 1861. (See Table 4.) The number 
of East Indians landed amounted to a single shipload of 259. 
In all, there was a reduction of 84 per cent in the amount of 
alien labor imported — from 2,917 to 472. 

Thirdly, a severe cholera epidemic swept the Eastern 
Caribbean Islands in 1854, causing at least 600 deaths in 
St. Vincent. 28 Finally, there was continued emigration of 
Vincentian men to Trinidad and other islands in the Lesser 
Antilles in search of higher paying jobs. Although much of 
the data is estimated information, the combination of reduced 
immigration of foreign indentured workers, increased mortality 
from epidemics, and the loss of local workers through emigration 
provides a logical explanation for the slow growth of population 
during these years. 

1861 to 1871 .— It was during this decade that major 
attempts were made to revitalize the distressed sugar economy 
in St. Vincent. The West Indian Encumbered Estates Act had 
beea passed in the legislature in 1857, Initiating the sale of 
abandoned and indebted estates. (Vide supra Chapter IV.) Over 
half of the sales, however, took place during the years 1861 



235 

29 
to 1871. The demand for field hands grew with the renewed 

sugar production on the plantations, hence, it was in this 10- 
year period that the bulk, of the East Indian indentured workers 
came to the colony. 

From 1861 to 1871, the number of births are estimated to 
be 13,520 and deaths 8,240, resulting in a natural increase of 
5,280. (See Table 12.) Despite the immigration of 1,302 East 
Indian "coolies," the net migration for St. Vincent amounted to 

a loss of 1,347 people, most of whom were in either temporary 

30 

or permanent residence in Trinidad. An average annual birth 

rate of 40.09 per thousand, a death rate of 24.44 per thousand, 
and a rate of net migration of -3.99 per thousand resulted in 
an inter-censal rate of population change of 1.17 per cent, 
more than double the previous rate. 

1871 to 1881 . — In the last decade of the era of alien 
labor immigration, the population of St. Vincent grew from 
35,688 to 40,548, or at an annual rate of 1.28 per cent, slightly 
higher than ii the previous decade. All the vital rates — birth, 
death, and net emigration — increased, although most of the 
growth can be accounted for by an increase in the birth rate, 
from 40.09 per thousand to 42.81. The absolute number of 
estimated births went from 13,520 to 16,320 over a 10-year period. 

Immigration of East Indians continued, but at a reduced 
pace, as the total number disembarked in Kingstown was less than 
in the previous inter-censal period (1861 to 1871) . Only 868 
"coolies" were shipped to St. Vincent — or a reduction of 67 per 
cent. (See Table 4.) In addition, there was a steady ebb and 



236 



flow of seasonal workers between St. Vincent and the neighboring 

31 
colonies, especially Trinidad, Barbados, Grenada, and St. Lucia. 

The Era of Emigration. 1881 to 1931 

The last twenty years of the 19th century and the first 
thirty of the 20th century encompass some of the worst economic 
and natural disasters encountered in St. Vincent. The local 
estate owners found profits in sugar manufacturing greatly 
reduced as a consequence of the higher competitive abilities of 
the European beet sugar producers. By 1900, it, therefore, 
became imperative that other cash crops would have to be produced 
if these estates were to survive. Both Sea Island cotton and 
arrowroot starch quickly became the staple export cash crops 
during this period. 

In contrast to the preceding 40-year period when foreign 
laborers were the dominant element of economic activity, the 
next decades saw so sharp an economic decline that even native 
Vincentians saw fit to depart their island, while East Indians, 
whose last indentures had expired by 1885, quickly moved to 
more promising areas. Laborers had, of course, been emigrating 
sporadically after emancipation, but as economic survival became 
more uncertain, the movement accelerated. 

Population increased from 40,548 to 47,961, an absolute 
growth of only 7,413 in 50 years. The average annual rate of 
change was 0.34 per cent, compared to 1.06 per cent for the 
period 1844 to 1881. The estimated natural increase was 40,420, 
yet the change in total population was only 7,413, indicating 



237 



the extent of emigration. Given the economic and social dis- 
asters of this time interval, it is not surprising that so 
■any people left the island. The small change in total 
population, resulting as it did from the high rates of emigra- 
tion, occurred in spite of marked reductions in mortality for 
the island. 

1881 to 1891 . — It was during this inter-censal decade 
that the domestic sugar industry sustained irreparable damage. 
After 1880, European beet sugar producers began "dumping" their 
subsidized exports in the English market, forcing producers in 
St. Vincent to shut down or abandon their mill works. Economic 
depression in the early 1880s caused widespread unemployment in 
an already troubled economy. The only alternative left for many 
Vincentian men was to seek employment outside of the colony. 

In the period 1881 to 1891, natural increase in 
St. Vincent was 6,450, while the absolute change was a mere 506. 
(See Table 12.) The annual rate of growth had declined from 
1.28 per cent in the previous decade to 0.12 per cent. No 
records exist to indicate how many people left the island or 
how many times they may have gone and returned in this inter- 
censal period, but it is estimated that net migration (a 
residual number) was -5,955, undoubtedly a figure much smaller 
than the total movement over the 10 years. (See Table 12.) 

1891 to 1911 . — This period marks the demise of sugar as 
the leading cash crop and the emergence of Sea Island cotton as 
its dominant replacement. The transition from production of 
one crop to the other, however, was insufficient to stem the 



238 



flow of emigrants. With the disastrous hurricane in 1898 which 
caused 288 deaths and the Soufriere eruption which caused the 
deaths of between 1,300 and 2,000 persons, many unemployed 
laborers were forced to emigrate immediately in order to find 
jobs for the support of their families. Indicative of the 

distress in St. Vincent is the fact that over 60 per cent of 

32 
the working population were unemployed during the 1890s. 

Between 1891 and 1911, there was an absolute increase of 
only 823 persons. Natural increase amounted to 16,490, an 
annual rate of change of 19.88 per thousand. Net migration is 
estimated at -15,667, or at an annual rate of -18.89 per 
thousand, the highest ever recorded by the official censuses. 
(See Table 12.) The result of the continued high emigration was 
an overall annual rate of growth for the colony of 0.10 per cent, 
the least registered since 1844. It is evident that St. Vincent 
was barely able to replace losses from emigration over the years 
1881 to 1911, when the burden of economic transition and ad- 
justment was heaviest. 

19 11 to 1921 . — It was during this inter-censal decade that 
the Sea Island cotton industry became firmly established after 
it had been introduced in 1903. Arrowroot starch production 
vied with cotton as one of the top export commodities in this 
period. Both industries, however, were eclipsed very briefly 
by the resurgence of sugar manufacturing induced by the First 
World War, during which labor was more in demand in St. Vincent 
as estates tried to supply the Allies with tropical cash crops. 



239 



Total population in the island increased between 1911 and 
1921 by 6 per cent, from 41,877 to 44,447. The average annual 
rate of growth was 0.60 per cent, a moderate improvement over 
the 0.10 per cent registered over the previous inter-censal decade. 
(See Table 12.) A natural increase of 8,160 (16,520 births and 
8,360 deaths) was neutralized by a net outflow of 5,590 persons, 
indicating that even with an improved economic situation, 
Vincentians were still seeking better-paying jobs elsewhere. 

Migration continued as a significant factor in population 
change. Throughout the decade of the 1910s, there were numerous 
government notices in the St. Vincent Government Gazette warning 
intending emigrants about the problems they would face when 
proceeding to foreign countries in the Caribbean area and Latin 
America. These were published at a time when Vincentians 
experienced growing immigration barriers and poor worlc conditions 
in the receiving countries. Emigrants from the island were 
moving not only to Trinidad, but also to banana plantations in 
Nicaragua, to sugar estates in Martinique, to railroad construc- 
tion sites in Costa Rica, Venezuela, and Brazil. Panama con- 
tinued to attract — by reputation and not by real job opportunities- 
many migrants from St. Vincent. After 1914, most of the canal 
construction was completed, and the little labor that was needed 
was recruited only by special agents assigned to this task. 

Indeed, most West Indians remaining in the construction zones 

34 

had to be repatriated or had to seek employment in other countries. 

1921 to 1931 . — During this Inter-censal decade, St. Vincent's 
economy was sustained by arrowroot starch production (primarily 



240 



aa estate crop) and Sea Island cotton (grown both by estates 
and soall farmers). The arrowroot Industry suffered more than 
the cotton Industry in the early 1920s as starch glutted the 
English market, causing prices to fall. Cotton production, and 
its attendent demand for field laborers, did not escape un- 
affected as the speculative price rise at the end of World War I 

35 
reversed itself in the early 1920s. Emigration, however, 

still continued, although it maintained approximately the same 

rate as that registered between 1911 and 1921. 

Noteworthy of the period 1921 to 1931 was the added 
significance of reduced mortality as a factor in the population 
change in the colony. The absolute number of births registered 
increased over the preceding decade from 16,520 to 17,660, 
while the average annual crude birth rate remained fairly stable, 
dropping from 38.27 per thousand to 38.22. (See Table 12.) The 
inter-censal number of deaths, however, fell from 8,360 to 8,340, 
even as the total population increased, thus the crude death 
rate declined from 19.37 per thousand to 18.05. The difference 
between the birth rate and death rate (or the rate of natural 
increase) was 20.17 per thousand, up from 18.90 per thousand 
during the 1910s. Net migration maintained approximately the 
saae level (-12.57 per thousand) compared to the preceding 
decade (-12.95 per thousand). 

Migration from St. Vincent to other destinations in the 
Hestern Hemisphere occurred in the 1920s at the same time as a 
labor shortage was reported to exist in the island. Workers 
emigrated to Trinidad, Barbados, the Dominican Republic, and 



241 



Cuba, most In search of employment in the cane fields or in the 
towns as domestic servants, for by now females were moving in 
large numbers to the neighboring British Caribbean colonies. 
It mist be pointed out that the migration stream of Vincentians 
was two-way; that is, a large migration stream in one direction 
(usually outward from St. Vincent) was matched by another large 
stream flowing inward. This was especially true because of the 
seasonal nature of Vincentian migration. The residual effect 
was most often a negative migration balance. 

The absolute change in population between 1921 and 1931 
was 3,514, growing from 44,447 in 1921 to 47,961 in 1931. The 
average annual rate of growth was 0.76 per cent, continuing the 
upturn in population expansion begun in 1921. (See Table 12.) 
While a marked diminution in the incidence of emigration 
accounted for most of the population increase in the 1910s, a 
reduction in the mortality rate accounted for most of the 
growth during the 1920s. St. Vincent, along with much of the 
underdeveloped world at that time, shared in the world-wide 
improvement in disease prevention that was evident after 1920. 

The Era of Rapid Population Growth, 1931 to 1960 

The years between 1931 and 1960 may be considered the most 
Important demographic period of the 20th century for St. Vincent. 
In the 29 years after the census of 1931, St. Vincent experienced 
its most rapid rate of growth since the first official census 
had been taken in 1844. The average annual rate of growth was 

1.72 per cent, considered to be "very rapid growth" (capable of 

39 
doubling the population in a little over 35 years) . This 



242 



noticeable increase in the rate of growth resulted from the 
combined effects of births, deaths, and net migration, each 
contributing an important share in the expansion of total 
population. 

1931 to 1946 . — Two noteworthy events affected the rate of 
population growth in this period. First, the worldwide trade 
depression of the 1930s reduced drastically the value of exports 
of Vincentian arrowroot starch and Sea Island cotton. Because 
all of the Caribbean colonies were suffering economic crises of 
their own, many of the governments enacted strict immigration 

laws to prevent foreign workers from competing with domestic 

40 
laborers for the few available jobs. The effect was to 

reduce greatly, but not eliminate completely, the emigration 

from St. Vincent. 

In most studies of international migration, it is generally 

axiomatic that the "volume of migration flow Is very markedly 

„41 
influenced by economic conditions in the receiving country. 

Similarly, net migration is affected by conditions in the 

sending country. During the 1930s, St. Vincent experienced an 

adverse employment situation that tended to "push" people into 

migration streams, but when all possible destinations were 

undergoing the same economic misfortune, the effect was 

neutralized. When emigrants are unemployed, as they were 

during the Great Depression of the 1930s, they often rttempt to 

return to their places of origin, on the grounds that it is 

42 
better to be unemployed or underemployed at home than abroad. 

In fact, St. Vincent passed The Emigrant Protection Ordinance 



243 



Act of 1924 , which required a deposit of £5 from each prospective 
emigrant before departure, for the specific purpose of repatri- 
ating destitute and unemployed Vincentians who wanted to return 

43 

to the island. 

The second major event of the period between 1931 and 1946 
was World War II. Although arrowroot starch and Sea Island 
cotton production suffered from reduced demand and prices during 
the trade depression of the early 1930s, the arrowroot industry 
was better situated vis-a-vis its market in the United States 
than was the cotton industry with its English market, especially 
as the war started in Europe. Both industries, nevertheless, 
were forced to reduce production as shipping space became scarce 
and labor shortages quickly developed, a consequence of the re- 
newed emigration to other Caribbean colonies. Laborers who 
owned or had access to farmland began planting food crops to 

meet the demand in the Eastern Caribbean colonies, particularly 

44 

in Trinidad. 

The establishment of an American military base in Trinidad 
and the increase in petroleum production there and in the 
Netherlands Antilles created many higher paying jobs for 
immigrants, including Vincentians. Their absence from 
St. Vincent and the concomitant loss of small farmers who found 
it profitable to grow food crops for export created the labor 

shortage that was acknowledged throughout the war years, but 

45 
particularly up through 1943. 

Ear conditions precluded the taking of a census in 

St. Vincent until after the war; therefore, the inter-censal 

period was increased to 15 years. Total population increased 



244 



by 13,686, from 47,961 In 1931 to 61,647 in 1946. The average 
a nn ua l rate of change was 1.67 per cent for the 15-year period, 
sore than double the rate for the previous lnter-censal period. 
(See Table 12.) 

Most of the growth was accounted for by a continuing 
decline In the crude death rate and a sharp reduction in net 
emigration (from -12.57 per thousand in 1931 to -7.06 per 
thousand in 1946). The total number of migrants, however, was 
greater than the result measured by the 1946 census, for the 
inter-censal migration figure only measures the net difference 
between two censuses after births and deaths have been accounted 
for. Absolute net migration for the period 1931 to 1946 is 
estimated to be -5,804. (See Table 12.) In two years alone, 
1941 and 1942, there was an absolute net migration of -3,570, 



which surely did not measure the total number of people who 

46 

moved. Beginning In 1943, the emigrants in Aruba and Curaga 

in the Netherlands Antilles began returning to St. Vincent in 



47 



large numbers as the need for their services became less acute. 

The crude death rate fell from 18.05 per thousand In 
1931 to 16.24 per thousand in 1946, as a consequence of improved 
sanitation and public health operations that were Instituted by 
the recommendations of the West Indian Royal Commission of 
1938-39. The crude birth rate increased from 38.22 per 
thousand in 1931 to 39.95 in 1946, equalling the estimated 
birth rate of the 1860s and 1870s. (See Table 12.) Another 
Indicator of fertility, The Child-Woman Ratio, confirms the 
upturn in child-bearing that occurred In the 1930s and the 
1940s. From a 20th-century low in 1931 of 245 children (under 



245 

5 years of age) per one thousand women of child-bearing age 
(15 through 49 years), the ratio increased to 303 by 1946, a 
19 per cent change in 15 years. (See Table 13.) 

1946 to 1960 . — This last inter-censal period of population 
analysis was the most dramatic over the 116 years of St. Vincent'! 
censal history. The result of rapidly rising fertility rates 
and continuously declining mortality rates was to cause the 
rate of natural increase to expand enormously. Had it not been 
for the ameliorating effects of periodic large-scale emigration, 
the total population of St. Vincent would have been much greater 
than it was at the time of the 1960 census. 

The causes of the population changes evidenced during 
these years appear to be closely linked with the economic 
conditions in the Caribbean and the United Kingdom (which acted 
as a magnet for West Indians as immigration to non-Commonwealth 
areas became more uncertain). St. Vincent underwent changes as 
its small-farmer-based Sea Island cotton industry suffered from 
uncertain market demand and prices in Britain, the chief buyer 
of the cotton. As a consequence, many farmers began to reject 
cotton for bananas, the staple cash crop which appeared in the 
island in 1953. Destruction of the only cotton gin in 
St. Vincent by fire in 1959 effectively eliminated this 
economic activity as a source of employment and income. 

Estate arrowroot production, the mainstay of the economy 
in the early years after World War II, levelled off after 1951 
despite the strong demand in the United States for starch. 
Increasingly, supply in the industry became a major drawback, 



246 



TABLE 13 



CHILD-WOMAN RATIO, ST. VINCENT 
1911-1960 



Census 
Year 


Number of Chil- 
dren, 0-4 years 
of age 


Number of Fe- 
males, 15-49 
years of age 


Child- 
Woman 
Ratio 3 


1911 


3,091 




12,297 




251 


1921 


3,302 




12,740 




259 


1931 


3,349 




13,694 




245 


1946 


4,705 




15,522 




303 


1960 


8,010 




22,121 




362 



Source: Author's calculations from vital statistics given in 
. Table 12. 

The Child-Woman Ratio represents the number of surviving 
births during exactly the 5-year period preceding a census for 
each one thousand females of child-bearing age (15 through 49 
years). The formula used is: 



Child-Woman Ratio - P„ , 

°" 4 . 1,000 

f 
15-49 
P 
where: 0-4 represents the number of children, male and female 
under 5 years of age; f 15-49 represents the number of females 
between the ages of 15 and 49, inclusively. 



247 



even with monopoly prices and concerted government action after 
the war aimed at Inducing more small farmers to plant arrowroot 
rhizomes. By 1960, there was little prospect for expanding the 
supply of arrowroot starch, thus, the largest buyer In the 
United States decided to use substitute starches more readily 
available in America. Once again another source of employment 
in a rapidly growing population was removed. 

One bright event in the period 1946 to 1960 was the timely 
appearance and astonishing growth of banana cultivation in 
St. Vincent. This quick and effective means of earning a 
livelihood was introduced in 1953, at a very propitious time. 
Yet even with the opportunities available in the banana industry, 
Vlncentians followed a familiar path — young adults emigrated in 
search of higher-paying or more satisfactory jobs. 

While the economy of St. Vincent was undergoing radical 
shifts, the population continued to grow very rapidly. Popula- 
tion, which numbered 61,647 in 1946, increased to 79,948 by 1960, 
an absolute increase of 18,301. The average annual rate of 
growth was a record high of 1.85 per cent. (See Table 12) The 
annual rate of growth, however, was considerably less than the 
rate of natural increase over the period 1946 to 1960, which 
averaged 2.97 per cent a year. It was large-scale emigration 
which aided the colony in its attempts to provide sufficient 
satisfactory jobs by reducing the number of job seekers. How 
the economy of St. Vincent could have survived the 20th century 
without the escape valve of emigration is a matter for conjecture. 



248 



An examination of the annual rates of change of the 
components of population growth between 1946 and 1960 reveals 
that demographic pressure was mounting. (See Table 14.) The 
steady rise in the crude birth rate after 1946 was capped by a 
record high of 54.44 per thousand in 1957. At the same time, 
mortality rates declined relatively slowly until 1956 when there 
was an appreciable drop, followed by a marked upturn 2 years 
later. 

The rate of net migration evidenced a rather erratic 
pattern in the years between 1946 and 1960. Between 1947 and 
1959, every year was characterized by a negative rate of migra- 
tion, with the exception of 1951 and 1954. (See Table 14.) Net 
emigration, however, fluctuated from a low of -3.44 per thousand 
in 1953 to a high of -30.28 per thousand in 1958. The late 
1940s and early 1950s were years when many wartime emigrants to 
Trinidad and the Netherlands Antilles returned. So many did 
so, in fact, that in 1951, the rate of net migration was positive 
(14.88 per thousand). Negative net migration occurred for the 
two following years, but again, in 1954, net migration became 
positive as 170 more persons arrived in St. Vincent than departed. 
After 1954, the rate of net emigration continued at a rapidly 
accelerating pace, especially during the years that encompassed 
the historic but abortive attempt at federation among the British 
West Indian governments. 52 In 1958 and 1959, there was a net 
imaigration of over 10,000 West Indians into Trinidad as 
restrictions to labor movements were eased or lightly enforced 
by the Trinidad Government in anticipation of the establishment 



249 



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251 



of the Federation of the West Indies and the location of its 
capital in Trinidad. Nearly all of this immigration was accounted 

j 53 

for by migrants from St. Vincent and Grenada. 

The extent of emigration from St. Vincent is clearly 
indicated by comparing the natural increase in the colony with 
the net migration . Considering the years for which complete 
data are available in this period (1947 through 1959), it is 
evident that the total natural increase amounted to 28,000 
(41,760 births and 13,760 deaths), while net migration was 
-11,220. (See Table 14.) This means that 40 per cent of the 

natural increase in this time interval was neutralized by an 

54 
emigration of Vinceutian workers, both male and female. It is 

obvious that emigration had reduced the rate of growth of the 
population from unprecedentedly high levels to lower but still 
extremely rapid rates. An analysis of the data for 1957, for 
example, when St. Vincent experienced its record high rate of 
natural increase (4.18 per cent a year), shows that the esti- 
mated total population of that year (78,255) would have doubled 
in approximately 17 years if there had been a zero rate of net 
migration. The actual rate of population growth for 1957, 
however, was reduced to 2.20 per cent by the exodus of young 
adults. Using 2.20 per cent as the rate of growth, the total 
population size in 1957 could have doubled in 32 years. Unfor- 
tunately, both contingencies are considered "explosive" growth 
55 



252 



Population Distribution and Density 
In order to gain a better understanding of St. Vincent's 
population geography, it is necessary to look at the spatial 
components of demographic change. Population distribution as 
shown by a dot (or point) nap is one way to visualize the 
spread of population over the surface of an area. In addition 
to this non-quantitative approach, there is a quantitative 
measure used to supplement the description of population con- 
centration — the population density or the number of persons per 
square unit of area. This section will utilize both methods 
to show, as far as possible, the change in the spatial distri- 
bution and concentration of population in St. Vincent. 

Population Distribution in St. Vincent 

One constant in the many changing aspects of St. Vincent's 
demographic history has been the spatial distribution of the 
population. Once the aboriginal Carib Indians were effectively 
removed from their former settlements along the Vindward coast, 
mostly by their forced deportation to the Bay of Honduras after 
the Second Carib War in 1797, the coastal lowlands and interior 
valleys were quickly turned to sugar production. The only way 
of ascertaining the precise distribution of the population in 
the pre-censal years (before 18W) is to map the slave population 
by sugar estates. (See Figure 37.) 

The use of the slave population as the main indicator of 
the spatial distribution of the total population is valid and 
relatively accurate, given the nature of demographic records of 
the 19th and early 20th centuries. The crude estimates of 



253 




254 



population for 1825 (the only year in this period in which the 
racial components of the total population were given) show that 

the slave segments of society accounted for approximately 85 per 

59 
cent of the people. The few thousand whites were located in 

Kingstown or on the sugar estates as owners or managers. Most 

of the "free coloured" [sic ] people were probably situated in 

small villages or in Kingstown as petty merchants. The 

apportionment of slaves in 1833, therefore, is assumed to show 

where most of the black and white population resided. 

As far back as 1833, and perhaps a quarter of a century 
earlier, the bulk of St. Vincent's population was distributed 
along the coastal lowlands over most of the island and up the 
interior valleys of the southern and western sides. (See 
Figure 37.) The ruggedness of the Leeward (western) side of 
St. Vincent necessitated the locating of sugar estate mill works 
(around which the slave quarters were built) far into the 
interior of this part of the island, often with three or more 
small mills in tandem along the same stream. Each one used stone 
and masonry dams to collect water for propelling the cane 
crushers, and within 40 yards of the crushers the slave barracks 
were usually situated. 

Along the Windward (eastern) coast, the estates were 

generally larger and more widely spaced as a consequence of a 

60 _ 
later start in settlement and sugar production. They came 

into existence after the turn of the 19th century, following 
the expulsion of the former Carib residents. The average num- 
ber of slaves per estate on the eastern coast (made up mostly by 



255 



Charlotte Parish) was 236, while the average number along the 
Leeward coast (comprised of St. Andrew, St. Patrick, and 
St. David Parishes) was only 120. St. George Parish, which 
encompasses the capital of Kingstown and the southern end of 
the island, averaged 158 slaves on each estate. 

The extremely dissected interior of St. Vincent, the area 
above 1,000 feet in elevation, was never settled and only in a 
few instances was it ever traversed, and then only for the 
illegal cutting of timber in order to make charcoal. 
Permanent paths did not exist in the interior and only a few 
were used along the slopes of the Soufriere volcano in the 
north, mostly by persons from Chateaubelair on the Leeward side 
who sold their fish in Georgetown on the Windward side. 

The pattern of settlement and population distribution 
between 1833 and 1839 has remained the same as late as 1960. 
An Imaginary latitudinal line across the island bisecting the 
crater lake of the Soufriere serves to delimit the settled from 
the unsettled portions of St. Vincent. On the western, north- 
western, and northern slopes of the volcano, down to sea level, 
are found regions that have had little or no permanent settle- 
ments since the island became a British possession. Only a 
single, isloated estate was established in the northern reaches- 
Fancy Estate, located at the northern tip of St. Vincent. (See 
Figure 37.) 

Although the slaves were emancipated in St. Vincent in 
1838, many were forced by necessity and lack of available 
accessible land near their former estates to remain where they 
were. Even those who squatted on estate mountain Lands or Crown 



256 



Lands still lived in "free" villages established around the old 
estates. Cultivators usually walked to their plots in the 
higher fields, returning in the evening to their village hones 
in the lower valleys. Permanent settlement, therefore, has not 
varied appreciably since emancipation except in St. George 
Parish, where many small farmers began establishing themselves 
in the broad Karriaqua Valley in the last quarter of the 19th 

64 

century. 

The distribution of population according to the 1960 
population enumeration reveals a pattern of dispersion similar 
to the slave distributions of 1833 and 1839. (See Figures 37 
and 38.) Most obvious in the 1960 distribution is the vast 
interior area completely devoid of permanent habitation after 
nearly two centuries. The slopes of the Soufriere, covered by 
ash from the 1902 eruption, and the steeply dissected sides of 
the old volcanic spine of St. Vincent still remain uninhabited. 
The inaccessibility of these regions, especially around the 
Soufriere, is attested to by the absence of an all-weather 
highway along the north coast between Chateaubelair and 
Georgetown. A dirt road connects Georgetown with Fancy Estate 
(a present-day land settlement area) but is subject to flooding 
in the rainy season. Between Fancy Estate and a point just 
north of Chateaubelair (Richmond Beach), there exists a footpath 
over the lower Soufriere slopes that extends down to the sea, 
leaving little in the way of a coastal beach. Sheltered 
harbors are absent along the northern half of the island, which 
most likely accounts for the historical dearth of estate 



257 




•AM OU ALU I 



•co*«creir* 



FIGURE 38 

POPULATION DISTRIBUTION, ST VINCENT, i960 



25S 



activity and population settlements in this part of St. Vincent. 
Most of the sugar exported to Britain in the 19th century was 
first ooved by lighters to Kingstown for later transshipment on 
aerchant vessels. 

The main concentrations of population have been along 
the coasts and the lower reaches of the interior valleys, south 
of Chateaubelair and Georgetown, increasing in density towards 
Kingstown. A rough correlation exists between the 1,000-foot 
contour line and the upper reaches of habitation. (See Fig- 
ure 38.) It was not until 1912 that the Government of 
St. Vincent delimited its Crown Lands as that area above 1,000 
feet in elevation, formally eliminating these lands from 
possible cultivation, with only an occasional sale to small 
farmers. The purpose of this action was to set aside forest 
reserves as a means of protecting the watershed, and was, in 
effect, formal recognition of the precariousness of farming 
far into the interior at high elevations. 

Population Density in St. Vincent 

To obtain a quantitative measure of concentration of 
population, it is possible to determine the "density of popu- 
lation,™ the ratio of persons to unit area. The visual effect 
o( a dot distribution map shows the relative degree of crowding, 
while a density map provides a numerical scale for spatial 
comparisons. The advantage of a numerical representation of 
concentration, however, is dependent upon the size of the unit 
areas used. The smaller the unit area used, the more realistic 
the density figure will be. For St. Vincent, most of the 19th- 
century population data were given only for large administrative 



259 
units such as the parisbes. The smaller enumeration districts 
and sub-districts of the census of 1946 and 1960 do not coincide 
directly with the census units of the 1800s, thus temporal com- 
parisons are restricted to the censuses that used the same pop- 
ulation districts. Only short-run comparisons are possible. 
An examination of population densities in the Windward 
Islands and Barbados shows that St. Vincent fell midway between 
the faster and the slower growing colonies. (See Table 15.) 
The population density used in this inter-island comparison is 
a straight "arithmetical density," that is to say, the area 
used is the total area of each island. 67 The relative position 
of St. Vincent in this array of densities is unaffected by the 
use of total area as the denominator. Both Grenada and Barbados 
started with higher population densities in 1844 and exceeded 
St. Vincent up to 1960. Dominica and St. Lucia, although they 
started with lower densities and remained less crowded than St. 
Vincent, grew fairly rapidly. All Windward Islands grew in 
density, but St. Lucia achieved the greatest increase, in that 
density was 311 per cent higher in 1960 than it had been in 1844. 
Grenada and St. Vincent were second and third, with increases 
over the 116-year period of 207 per cent and 194 per cent, 
respectively. Dominica ranked fourth in increased density 
(165 per cent), while Barbados recorded only an 82 per cent 
gain. (See Table 15.) 

The degree of crowding in St. Vincent increased from 
182 persons per square mile in 1844 to 535 by 1960. The 
larger islands in 1960, Jamaica and Trinidad, had arithmetical 



260 



TABLE 15 



POPULATION DENSITY, SELECTED CARIBBEAN COUNTRIES, 
1844-1960 







Number of 


Persons Per 


Square Mile 




Year 


Dominica 


St. Lucia 


St. Vincent 


Grenada 


Barbados 


1844 


74 


90 


182 


217 


736 


1851 





104 


202 


246 


819 


1861 


82 


114 


212 


240 


920 


1871 


89 


136 


239 


283 


976 


1881 


92 


165 


271 


319 


1,035 


1891 


88 


181 


275 


400 


1,102 


1911 


111 


209 


280 


502 


1,038 


1921 


122 


221 


297 


499 


944 


1931 








321 








1946 


156 


301 


412 


544 


1,161 


1960 


196 


370 


535 


667 


1,340 


Per Cent 
Increase 


165 Z 


311 Z 


194 Z 


207 Z 


82 Z 


1844-1960 













Source: Author's calculations. 



261 

68 
densities of only 236 and 260 per square mile, respectively. 

Barbados is often cited as an ezaaple of one of the world's 
aost crowded places, yet a more refined density figure shows 
that the island's population concentration is not as far ahead 
as the simple "arithmetical density" indicates. 

In St. Vincent, for example, by excluding the area that 
is uninhabitable, under present and past conditions, the 
density increases markedly. (See Table 16.) In 1844, 
St. Vincent's "arithnetical density" was 182 persons per 
square mile, or 25 per cent of the density of Barbados. By 
1960, this had increased to 535 per square mile or 40 per cent 
of that of Barbados. (See Table 15.) The recalculated 
densities for the "main" island of St. Vincent, using as the 
base area only the land below 1,000 feet in elevation , show 
that the "real" density of St. Vincent in 1844 was 339 per 
square mile or 46 per cent of the level of Barbados. By 1960, 
population concentration had increased to a record high of 
1,002 per square mile — 75 per cent as great as that of 
Barbados. (See Table 17 and Figure 39.) The "real" density 
determined above is ouch more realistic in terms of overcrowding. 
When the problem of overpopulation is considered in the Eastern 
Caribbean, St. Vincent must be included as an example of a very 
densely populated island. The "arithmetical density" of 
Barbados is more realistic than that of St. Vincent because a 
greater proportion of the former is accessible for cultivation 
and habitation, and thus its "real" density will not signifi- 
cantly change its status. 



262 



TABLE 16 
POPULATION DENSITY, ST. VINCENT, 1844-1960 



Number of Persons Per Square Mile 

Census Total To ' al Colon ? ,,Maln " Island Grenadine 
Year rZtZZ Below 1,000' Below 1,000' orenadlne 

Population Colony In Elevation In Elevation De Pendencies 



1844 


27,248 


182 


296 


339 


112 


1851 


30,128 


202 


327 


377 


112 


1861 


31,755 


212 


345 


394 


132 


1871 


35,688 


239 


388 


447 


134 


1881 


40,548 


271 


441 


507 


156 


1891 


41,054 


275 


446 


508 


178 


1911 


41,877 


280 


455 


513 


203 


1921 


44,447 


297 


483 


540 


238 


1931 


47,961 


321 


521 


592 


213 


1946 


61,647 


412 


670 


765 


259 


1960 


79,948 


535 


869 


1,002 


294 



Source: Author's calculations 



263 



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POPULATION PER SQUARE MILE 

1,100 




1844 1651 1861 1871 1881 1891 1911 1921 1931 1946 I960 
YEAR 



— DENSITY OF MAIN ISLAND BELOW 1,000 FEET IN ELEVATION 
DENSITY OF MAIN ISLAND AND GRENADINES 

— — - OENSITY OF GRENADINES 



FIGURE 39 

POPULATION DENSITY, ST. VINCENT, 
1844-1960 



265 



The Grenadine dependencies in St. Vincent have increased 
in population concentration more slowly than the "main" island. 
Population on the 17.30 square miles of small islands increased 
in density from 112 per square mile to 294 over the period 
1844 to 1960. (See Table 16 and Figure 39.) 

The "real" density of St. Vincent reflected the periods 
of population growth. (See Figure 39.) A steady increase was 
evidenced from 1844 to 1881, followed by a marked slow growth 
between 1881 and 1921 as the large-scale emigration during 
these years siphoned off "surplus" population. The growth in 
fertility after 1921 and the reduction in mortality and 
morbidity acted as stimulants to greater population size and 
density. Only the Grenadines experienced an absolute decrease 
in density over the 116-year period under examination. 

Percentage Distribution of Population 

The inter-censal changes in the areas of population 
enumeration districts in the "main" island of St. Vincent have 
precluded a simple comparison of historical densities which 
could reveal the numerical and spatial variation in population 
concentration. Only a general picture is made possible by 
the judicious agglomeration of census reporting units from one 
census to another. (See Figure 40.) The percentage distribution 
of population in the various census enumeration districts is 
used to show the relative internal concentration of population 
in the colony. 



266 




267 



1844 to 1861 .— For this period, the political administrative 
parish boundaries were used as census reporting districts, 
thus the census dates 1844, 1851, and 1861 can be compared only 
with each other. (See Figure 40.) The percentage distribution 
of population by parish is the smallest census unit available 
and affords a very general picture. The assumption still holds 
that throughout its historical past the population of St. Vin- 
cent has resided below the 1,000-foot contour line. It is 
apparent that there was relatively little inter-parish change 
in the proportion of population located in the "main" island 
between 1844 and 1861 as there was no more than a 1 per cent 
change between the Individual enumerations. 

The more accessible Windward side of the island 
(Charlotte Parish) contained an average of 28 per cent of the 
total population on 40 per cent of the area of the "main" 
island. (See Tables 17 and 18.) In addition, Charlotte 
Parish had approximately 40 per cent of its total area below 
1,000 feet in elevation. The southern end of the "main" 
island (St. George Parish) contained an average of 40 per cent 
of the population on 15 per cent of the land area. Eighty- 
eight per cent of this southern parish was below 1,000 feet, 
accounting for its high average density of 725 persons per 
square mile compared to 279 per square mile In Charlotte 
Parish. 73 

The three parishes along the Leeward side of the main 
island (Stc Andrew, St. Patrick, and St. David) have In 
historical terms been more difficult to access and more 



263 



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271 



formidable in topography with their characteristic razor-back 
ridges, thus their share of population each averaged 8 to 9 
per cent. Population density declined with increasing distance 
from Kingstown along the Leeward coast, averaging 335 persons 
per square mile for St. Andrew, 279 for St. Patrick, and 206 
for St. David. The Leeward parishes together accounted for 
45 per cent of the "main" island's land areas and had between 
36 per cent and 63 per cent of their area below 1,000 feet, 
the proportion decreasing with increasing distance from 
Kingstown. 

In the Grenadines, population concentration remained 
remarkably stable, varying from 6 per cent of the total 
population in 1844 to 7 per cent in 1946 and 1960. (See Table 
17.) 

1871 to 1891 . — The change in the percentage distribution 
of population between 1871 and 1881 was negligible for the 
Windward and Calliaqua police districts (the census reporting 
units), as each contained about one-quarter of the colony's 
population. (See Figure 17.) The only measurable changes 
occurred in the Kingstown and Leeward police districts. (See 
Table 18.) The East Indian immigration and the later beginning 
of labor emigration were events of these years, both of which 
could explain some of the demographic changes in these districts. 
Between 1861 and 1880, there were 497 East Indians who were 
assigned to estates in the Leeward police district, while only 
111 were sent to estates in the Kingstown district. Emigration 
which began around 1880 could have siphoned off the population 



272 



In the area surrounding the capital, as this was the main 
shipping port of the island. In the Grenadine dependencies, 
the proportion of people remained at 7 per cent of the colony's 
total population. 

Those who organized the census of 1891 rearranged the 
census districts in such a way that neaningful comparisons 
today are sketchy at best. The Windward district still con- 
tained about one-quarter of the population and the southern 
area, encompassing St. George and part of Charlotte Parishes, 
registered 44 per cent of the people. One-fifth of the popu- 
lation was located In the Leeward district. The Grenadines 
still maintained their share of people — a slight increase from 
7 per cent to 8 per cent as a consequence of the large-scale 
migration that affected the "main" island. (See Table 18.) 
Whenever Vincentians emigrated to Trinidad, they usually 
passed by way of the Grenadine Islands and Grenada, then on 
to Port-of-Spain, hence, some attrition in numbers of emigrants 
leaving the "main" island might be expected as they stopped 

temporarily or permanently in the islands along the passage 

► 74 
route . 

1911 to 1960 . — The 20th-century censuses revealed few 

major changes in the percentage distribution of population. 

The censuses between 1911 and 1931 (when comparable enumeration 

districts were used) showed no more than a one per cent inter- 

censal variation for the districts. (See Table 18 and Figure 

40.) In the Grenadines, there remained the usual 8 per cent. 

Although the population districts in the "main" island each 



273 



contained between 21 and 26 per cent of the people, their 
re-drawn boundaries must be taken into consideration, for none 
of them coincided totally with the parish boundaries used in 
the 19th century. Likewise, the enumeration districts drawn 
for the census reports of 1946 and 1960 sub-divided the 
parishes. A valid generalization for the 20th century is that 
the parishes contained approximately the same proportion of 
people as existed throughout the censal periods of the 19th 
century. (See Table 18.) In essence, no major shifts In 
population concentration have developed in the island, despite 
the ebb and flow of migrants. A more precise long-term 
description is impossible, owing to the variations in the size 
of census districts. 

Summary 

There is no question that St. Vincent's population grew 
very rapidly after the British acquired the island in 1763. 
Most of this early growth could be attributed to the expansion 
of the slave population as the lucrative sugar industry 
developed before the cessation of slave trading. According to the 
crude pre-censal population estimates, St. Vincent's population 
grew at a high rate of 2.76 per cent a year between 1763 and 
1812— a rate that doubled the population every 25 years. 

During the era of census taking (1844 to 1960), population 
growth fluctuated from a record average annual high of 1.85 
per cent between 1946 and 1960 to a mere 0.10 per cent between 
1891 and 1911. At the rate of growth experienced during the 



274 



1950s, the island's population could double In about 37 years 
(from 79,948 to 159,896). More remarkable, however, is the 
potential Increase In population that might have resulted had 
emigration not been a constant outlet for population pressure 
on available jobs after the mid-19th century. The rate of 
natural increase fluctuated from an estimated average annual 
low of 0.37 per cent during the 1850s to a high of 2.97 per 
cent during the period 1946 to 1960. At the rate of natural 
increase experienced during the 1850s (assuming a zero rate of 
migration), the doubling time for the population was 187 years, 
whereas, at the rate between 1946 and 1960, the doubling time 
was reduced to 23 years. 

It is apparent that the variations in the dynamic 
components of population change (births, deaths, and migration) 
have been closely tied to economic and social conditions 
inside and outside of St. Vincent. Disruptions in the cash 
crop regime have been matched by large-scale emigrations to 
areas where better employment opportunities were expected but 
not always found. Even when labor shortages occurred in 
St. Vincent (as for example, during the Second World War), 
Vincentians still left the island for higher paying jobs 
elsewhere. The continued high rate of natural increase made 
long-run labor shortages unlikely. A reduced level of fertility, 
extended over a generation, could probably check the flow of 
emigrants by forcing labor wages high enough to compete with 
the perceived opportunities in the neighboring islands. 



NOTES TO CHAPTER VI 



G. V. Roberts, The Population of Jamaica (Cambridge, 
England: The Conservation Foundation at the University Press, 
1957), p. 2. 

XL. R. A. Kuczynski, Demographic Survey of the British 
Colonial Empire , Vol. Ill: The Uest Indian and American 
Territories (London: Oxford University Press for the Royal 
Institute of International Affairs, 1953), pp. 438-439. 

3 
Ibid . , p. 443. This was confirmed by field work in 
St. Vincent in 1967, 1968, and 1970 when the problems of 
incomplete vital statistics registration was encountered. A 
discussion with a visiting United Nations demographic statistical 
officer confirmed the author's observations. 

Registrar- 



General's vault.) n.p. 

Roberts, Jamaica , p. 6. 

The Compiler of Census for this enumeration acknowledged 
the carelessness of the reporters in the performance of their 
duties. See: Report on the Census of Saint Vincent, 1931 
(Kingstown: Government Printing Office, 1931), p. 2. An 
inspection of age-sex distributions for 1911, 1921, and 1931 
shows that the age group 5 through 9 years is unaccountably 
low for all three censuses. The same error in age reporting 
must have been carried over for all of these censuses. 

Although great care and organization went into the 
preparation and execution of the census of 1946, errors have 
appeared. By visual Inspection of the 1946 age-sex pyramid, 
the author observed the common tendency of persons to mis- 
represent their ages. There was a noticeable concentration of 
people who reported their ages in numbers ending in (20, 30, 
40, etc.) and 5 (25, 35, 45, etc.). T. Lynn Smith's "age 
accuracy index" was calculated for the 1946 census and the 
resulting index numbers were 92.85 for males, 93.08 for females, 
and 93 for both sexes combined. A score of 100 indicates per- 
fect age reporting; therefore, the 1946 index numbers reveal 
a considerable error in age reports. For a discussion of this 
index, see: T. Lynn Smith and Paul E. Zopf, Jr., Demography : 

-275 



276 



Principles and Methods (Philadelphia: F. A. Davis Company, 1970), 
pp. 154-155. An additional concern In this study of St. Vincent's 
population is the unfortunate fact that it has taken more than 
10 years for the final reports of the census of 1960 to be 
published and distributed. For an analysis of the accuracy of 
age reporting in the 1960 census, see Chapter VII. The census 
reports prior to 1946 did not include an age breakdown by 
single years, thus the accuracy of the age groups cannot be 
tested, but must be assumed to be less reliable than those in 
1946 and 1960. 

g 

Thomas Coke, A History of the West Indies, Containing 
the Natural, Civil, and Ecclesiastical History of Each Island : 
With an Account of the Missions (3 vols.; London: A. Paris, 
1810), II, p. 184. 

9 
David L. Niddrie, Eighteenth-Century Settlement in the 

British Caribbean," Transactions and Papers, The Institute of 

British Geographers , Publication No. 40 (1966), p. 78. 

Lowell Joseph Ragatz, The Fall of the Planter Class in 
the British Caribbean , 1763-1833 (New York: D. Appleton-Century 
Company, 1928), p. 113. 

In one comprehensive reference, conflicting reports of 
the number of slaves were listed in adjacent tables. For the 
year 1820, for example, one table listed 24,282 slaves, while 
the next table listed 20,582, a difference of nearly 18 per 
cent. No explanation was given for the variations. See: 
Charles Shephard, An Historical Account of the Island of 
St. Vincent (London, 1831), Appendix, Nos. IV and V, pp. iv-v. 

12 

For the various sources of these population estimates, 

see: Coke, History of the West Indies , p. 184; and Shephard, 
Account of St. Vincent , p. iv. 

TJiddrie, "Eighteenth-Century Settlement," pp. 77-78. 

14 

Shephard, Account of St. Vincent , Appendix, No. IV, p. iv. 

37. 

It should be noted that the population estimates listed 
by the author exclude the Carib Indians In the total population 
size because their contributions to the functioning of the 
island's economy were usually insignificant, especially after 
the mass deportation of 5,000 Caribs in 1797 cleared St. Vincent 
of all but a few hundred. 

Ragatz, Fall of the Planter Class , p. 223. 



277 



18 

The average annual Importation of slaves was derived froa 

the figures given by Shephard, Account of St. Vincent , Appendix, 

No. IV, p. iv, and those published in West Indian Census, 1946 ; 

Part H: "Census of the Windward Islands, 9th April, 1946" 

(Kingston, Jamaica: The Government Printer, 1950), Table F, 

p. xiii. Noel Deerr, The History of Sugar (2 vols., London: 

Chapman and Hall, Ltd., 1949), II, p. 279, records 1,540 

slaves disembarked in St. Vincent in the year 1802-1803. 

19 

W. K. Marshall, Social and Economic Problems in the 

Windward Islands, 1838-65," in The Caribbean in Transition , 
F. M. Andic and T. G. Mathews, (eds.), Second Caribbean Scholars 
Conference, Mona, Jamaica, April 14-19, 1964 (Rio Piedras, P. R. : 
University of Puerto Rico for the Institute of Caribbean Studies, 
1965), p. 251. 

20 

Roberts, Jamaica , p. 41. 

ror a discussion of the early post-emancipation labor 
shortages, see Chapter IV in this study. 

uonald J. Bogue, Principles of Demography (New York: 
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1969), Table 2-2, p. 36. 

23 Ibid, 

2 W 

2 5 The Colony of St. Vincent, Blue Book, 1854 , pp. 150-151. 
[Hereafter this source will be cited as Blue Book , followed by 
the appropriate year.] 

26 

Author's calculations made from population totals in 

Roberts, Jamaica , Appendix I, pp. 330-331. 

27 

R. W. Beachey, The British West Indies Sugar Industry 

in the Late 19th Century (Oxford: Basil, Blackwell, 1957), 
p. 44. 

28 

The number of consecrated burials for 1854 was between 

975 and 1,116. The record of burials may have included a 
double counting of burials listed by religious denomination, 
giving the larger number. As many victims were buried quickly 
without the benefit of clergy, the exact toll of the disease 
cannot be determined. See: Blue Book , 1854, pp. 150-151. It 
has also been reported that a yellow fever epidemic occurred 
in 1852, but no indication was given in the blue book reports 



278 



for that year. See: Joycelin Byrne, "Population Growth in 
St. Vincent," Social and Economic Studies . XVIII, No. 2 (June, 
1969), p. 152. 

29 

Of the 23 estates sold under the West Indian Encumbered 
Estates Act, 14 were sold in this inter-censal period. For a 
further discussion of this Act, see Chapter IV in this study. 

30 

The St. Vincent Gove rnment Gazette. 1871 , p. 214. 

[Hereafter this reference will be cited as Government Gazette , 
with the appropriate year following it.] 

This was determined from the Harbor Master's reports 
published briefly between 1874 and 1879 in the Government 
Gazettes for those years. 

Martin, "The Role of Government in the 
Agricultural Development of St. Vincent" (Master's thesis, 
Faculty of Agriculture, University of the West Indies, 
Trinidad, 1967), p. 117. 

33 

Undoubtedly, the havoc of the hurricane of 1898 so depleted 

governmental funds that there was little money or inclination 
to undertake a census enumeration. 

34 

Government Gazette, 1917 . p. 149, and Government 

Gazette, 1921 , p. 291. 

35 

For a detailed analysis of these two industries, see 

Chapter V in this study. 

-"Imperial Department of Agriculture for the West Indies, 
Report on the Agricultural Department, St. Vincent, for the 
Year 1925 (Port-of -Spain, Trinidad: Imperial Commissioner of 
Agriculture for the West Indies, 1926), p. 20 [Hereafter this 
reference will be cited as Report on the Agricultural Department , 
with the appropriate year designated.] 



see: Report of the Registrar-General on the Vital Statistics 
of the Colony for the Year 1925 (Kingstown: Government 
Printing Office, 1926), Table II, p. 12. 

"Malaria in St. Vincent, for example, declined from 26 
reported cases in 1905 to 10 in 1925, then to in 1955. See: 
Report of the Registrar-General on the Vital Statistics of the 
Colony for the Year 1904-05 (Kingstown: Government Printing 
Office, 1905), Table 5, n.p.; Ibid ., 1925, Table 8, p. 8; and 
Ibid ., 1955, Table 7, p. 9. 



U<*» „-..i.l^_. _„ 



279 



Bogue, Principles of Demography , Table 2-2, p. 36. 

There are cany references In the Government Gazettes 
during the 1930s Indicating how countries such as Cuba, British 
Guiana, and the Dominican Republic opposed the immigration of 
alien workers by requiring head taxes or deposits to be paid 
upon entrance. This not only deterred many potential migrants 
from entering these countries but also served to pay for the 
repatriation of a migrant who could find no work or became 
destitute. 

Bogue, Principles of Demography , p. 808. 

Ttonald J. Bogue, "Internal Migration," in The Study of 
Population: An Inventory and Appraisal , ed. by Philip M. 
Hauser and Otis Dudley Duncan (Chicago: University of Chicago 
Press, 1959), p. 502. 

Govermsent Gazette , 1927, p. 7. 

For dlsucssion of the wartime effects on the Vincentian 
economy, see Chapter V in this study. 

Report on the Agricultural Department, 1942 , p. 2. It 
was reported that the main destinations for Vincentians were 
Trinidad and Aruba and Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles. 
See: Report on the Agricultural Department, 1943 , p. 2. 

46 Kuczynski, Deaographic Survey , unuunbered table, p. 2. 

* 7 Report on the Agricultural Department , 1944, p. 3. 

^est India Royal Commission Report [for 1938-1939 ], 
Salter Edward, Baron Moyne, Chairman (London: His Majesty's 
Stationery Office, 1945), pp. 434-436. 



actual births, but deals only with the survivors born in the 
previous 5-year period. Its value is as a relative , not an 
absolute, measure of fertility. See: George W. Barclay, 
Techniques of Population Analysis (New York: John Wiley & 
Sons, Inc., 1958), p. 172. 

50 Edwin P. Reubens, Migration and Development in the 
West Indies , Studies in Federal Economics, No. 3 (Mona, Jamaica: 
Institute of Social and Economic Research, University College 
of the West Indies [1961]), Table 11-14, p. 38. A survey of 
400 Vincentian emigrants, between June, 1959 and September, 



280 



I960, revealed that 55 per cent were 15 to 30 years of age. 

The vital statistics reports for these years were not 
available in St. Vincent. Therefore, the pattern of migration 
for these years must be interpolated by other means. It is 
known that considerable migration to Trinidad occurred at the 
beginning and the end of the censal period 1946 to 1960, and 
St. Vincent was an important contributor to this movement. 
See: Jack Harewood, "Population Growth of Trinidad and Tobago 
In the Twentieth Century," Research Papers, Trinidad and 
Tobago Central Statistical Office , No. 4 (December, 1967), p. 72. 

52 

The first Federation elections were held in April, 1958, 

and the referendum in Jamaica resulting in that country's with- 
drawal from the Federation of the West Indies occurred in 
September, 1961. 

53 

Reubens, Migration and Development , p. 3. Migration to 
Trinidad slackened considerably after the Government of 
Trinidad tightened its immigration policy governing the 
employment of foreign workers. See: Ibid . , p. 32. 

54 

Female migration became more evident as the rate of net 

emigration Increased. In 1946, the sex ratio of registered 

emigrants from St. Vincent was 152 males per 100 females, and 

by 1955, the ratio had decreased to 134. In the same years, 

the sex ratio of registered immigrants to St. Vincent declined 

from 171 to 143. See: Registrar-General's Report, St. Vincent , 

1955 (Kingstown: Government Printing Office, 1957), Table 15, 

p. 16. 

Bogue, Principles of Demography , Table 2-2, p. 36. 

Glenn T. Trewartha, A Geography of Population: World 
Patterns (New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1969), pp. 72-74. 

The population data showing the number of slaves and 
apprentices in St. Vincent are taken from a partially destroyed 
book discovered by and now in the personal possession of 
Dr. I. A. E. Kirby, Chief Veterinary Officer in the St. Vincent 
Department of Agriculture. This book Is hereafter referred to 
as Estates Book . The precise location of the sugar estates, 
many of which were nearly lost to history before Dr. Kirby 
meticulously and painstakingly sought out each estate listed 
in various historical references concerning St. Vincent, were 
taken from the master sugar estate map (scale, 1:25,000) com- 
piled by Kirby. 



281 



^Ihere are no surviving census naps before 1946, thus 
the only feasible way to determine population distribution is 
by using sugar estate slave distributions. Population enumer- 
ation districts before 19A6 were too gross to allow a precise 
examination of the spread of population — most enumeration 
districts were on a parish basis or police district basis, 
both of which result in overly generalized patterns. 

59 For 1825, one reference listed a total of 1,301 whites 
and 2,824 "coloured" [sic]. See: Sb.epb.ard, Account of 
St. Vincent , Appendix, No. IV, p. iv. This total combined 
with the 20,102 slaves listed in the Estates Book results In 
a total population of 24,277 in 1825 of which 83 per cent were 
slaves. See: Estates Book, p. 241. According to the estimates 
for 1825 given in the census of 1946, there were 23,780 slaves 
out of a total population of 27,905, which amounts to 85 per 
cent of the colony's population. See: West India n Census, 
1946, Part H: "Census of the Windward Islands, 9th April, 
1946"|" Table F, p. xiii. In either case, the population 
estimates must be considered approximate, thus it is assumed 
that an overwhelming proportion of St. Vincent's population 
before emancipation was composed of black slaves. 

60 For example, the two largest estates on the Windward 
coast, in 1833, were Grand Sable (693 slaves) and Union (560 
slaves). The two largest estates on the Leeward coast, north 
of St. George Parish, were Richmond (326 slaves) and Rutland 
Vale (227 slaves). See: Estates Book , passim . 



6 W 

62 Ibid. The largest single estate in St. George Parish 
was Arnos Vale (east of Kingstown and now the site of the 
island's airport), with 283 slaves. 

^The illegal encroachment upon Crown Lands (generally 
considered to be the interior of the island) was confined to 
charcoal burning and the temporary cultivation of provision 
grounds in the mountain lands of St. George Parish. See: 
Blue Book 1856 , p. 249. 

M Hany of the island's East Indian descendents became 
small farmers after their Indentures expired. They purchased 
land from the many small estates in the Karriaqua Valley and 
near the town of Calliaqua. See Figure 12 for a map showing 
the distribution of East Indian immigrants between 1861 and 
1880. 



ntttftm- i mrfftT'-ii'-i i ir^.y t« i »- .wm» „ -- r ■ ■■ , . ^- ■ ll -. jaje ^^a CJ — -,...., .■.. -,-■'- ■■ .■•■T-i.-n-.fn-iifi-vM- 



282 



65 

Government Gazette . 1912, p. 249. 

66™ 

The census statistics for the years 1814, 1851, and 

1861 were given on a parish basis. For 1871, the population 
enumeration districts were re-drawn in such a way as to preclude 
the comparison of earlier censuses, as the 5 parishes in the main 
island were divided into 4 census districts with a separate unit 
added for the Grenadines. The census of 1881 used the same census 
districts as those in 1871, but set aside the town of Kingstown 
as a separate unit. In 1891, the census districts coincided with 
"police districts" and were collapsed into 4 major units. For 
the censuses of 1911, 1921, and 1931, census districts were re- 
drawn so that there were 6 districts (5 in 1911 as the Grenadines 
were added to that of the town of Kingstown). The census of 
1946 used the same major enumeration districts but changed their 
names. There were, in addition, 13 sub-districts created. The 
1960 census followed the districts and sub-districts of 1946, with 
only slight variations in boundaries. (See Figure 40.) 

"'Trewartha, Geography of Population , p. 72. 

TJnited Nations, Demographic Yearbook , 1968 (New York: ' 
United Nations, 1969), Table 2, pp. 89-90. 

One of the leading demographic statisticians of the 
West Indies has commented on the high densities found in 
Barbados and the accompanying employment problems. See: 
Jack Harewood, "Overpopulation and Underemployment in the 
West Indies," International Labour Review , LXXXII, No. 2 
(August, 1960), p. 110. 

"\fhen the Grenadine dependencies are included in the area 
below 1,000 feet, the population density for St. Vincent increases 
from 40 per cent of Barbados' s density in 1844 to 65 per cent of 
the density in 1960. 

The "real" density of population calculated by the 
author corresponds closely with the "nutritional density" or 
"physiological density," that is, the more meaningful ratio of 
total population to arable land. See: Trewartha, Geography 
of Population , p. 74. The main island of St. Vincent has 
approximately 48,886 acres of land considered arable. See: 
J. P. Watson, J. Spector, and T. A. Jones, Soil and Land-Use 
Surveys, No. 3, St. Vincent (Port-of-Spain, Trinidad: The 
Regional Research Centre, The Imperial College of Tropical 
Agriculture, 1958), p. 10. The author's measurements show 
that 47,834 acres (74.74 square miles) in the "main" island 



283' 



of St. Vincent are below 1,000 feet in elevation. One 
conclusion is, therefore, that the land below the 1,000-foot 
contour line has been the reservoir of arable land in the colony. 
The "real" density determined by the author is, in effect, the 
same as the "nutritional" or "physiological" density described 
by Trewartha. The revised density figures for St. Vincent 
would have been even greater had the area below 1,000 feet in 
the northern part of St. David Parish been eliminated. For the 
sake of internal consistency, however, the area considered 
inhabitable was confined to all land below 1,000 feet in 
elevation. 

Barbados is a relatively flat, low- lying limestone 
island with its highest point only 1,100 feet above sea level. 
Its suitability for cultivation, especially for sugar cane, 
is evidenced by the fact that about 85 per cent of the total 
area of the island is under cultivation. See: Preston E. 
James, Latin America (4th ed.; New York: The Odyssey Press, 
1969), p. 320. On the other hand, about 57 per cent of the 
total area of St. Vincent's main island is cultivable. See: 
Watson, Spector, and Jones, Soil and Land-Use Surveys , p. 10. 

73 

Population densities have been calculated for 1844, 1851, 

and 1861 as these were the only years when parishes were used 
as census districts. 

74 

As early as 1874, it was reported that periodic large 

emigration to Trinidad occurred, with migrants moving south- 
ward on uncounted sloops for the Grenadines. See: Government 
Gazette , 1874, p. 30. 



CHAPTER VII 
THE COMPOSITION OF POPULATION IN ST. VINCENT 

After the past economic cycles In St. Vincent and the cor- 
responding eras of change in the dynamic components of population 
growth have been recognized, it is possible to analyze the com- 
position of the population in order to determine how demographic 
characteristics have been affected by fluctuations in births, 
deaths, and migration. Changes in fertility have had their effect 
on the youthful cohorts of the population while mortality fluctua- 
tions have affected all ages. The most obvious thread in the 
population pattern, however, has been the considerable impact of 
migration into and out of St. Vincent. The island's strong 
dependence upon a monocultural cash crop regime has forced the 
economy to adapt itself to exogenous economic impulses, which, 
In turn, has led to the creation of large migration streams that 
have left their mark on the population structure. 

It is possible to perceive in some measure the economic and 
social past of the island by observing, for example, the age, sex, 
and racial composition of the population at different times over 
the past 200 years. By sequential analysis, an insight is pro- 
vided into the probable effects of the frequent and violent 
economic wrenchings that have plagued St. Vincent for nearly two 
centuries . 



285 

This chapter will describe and analyze the basic character- 
istics of the population structure as they have varied over space 
and time. Limitations in the data preclude a complete and com- 
prehensive description between 1763 and 1960, necessitating a 
focus on the censal period beginning in 1861. The ideal of de- 
tailed and cross-classified censuses is found, unfortunately, only 
with the enumerations taken in 1946 and 1960. Intra-island com- 
parisons of population data are possible from 1861 to 1960 for but 
a few demographic variables, but they tend to be generalized and 
oftentimes speculative as to meanings and definitions. In fact, 
most 19th century censuses failed to publish useful detailed 
census reports or administrative procedures. 

The primary characteristics examined in this chapter will be 
the "ascribed" or biological characteristics: (1) age; (2) sex; 
and (3) race. In addition, there will be a discussion of the 
rural-urban continuum as applied to St. Vincent. Finally, there 
will be an analysis of the changes observed in the occupational 
status of the population. The purpose of this chapter is thus 
the demonstration of the effects of two centuries of population 
change; the effects are obvious but the causes must be sought out 
through an understanding of historical geography. 

The Age Structure 
The age structure (composition) of a country is a basic 
demographic component in the analysis of population change. Its 
socio-economic structure is reflected in the distribution of 
persons by age groups. The youthfulness of St. Vincent's population 



286 

ia readily apparent from an Inspection of a proportional array 
of age groups. 

The validity of the historical complaint by estate owners of 
labor shortages is confirmed by the "abnormal" under-representation 
of the working age population revealed by age statistics. As will 
be shown below, a definite pattern of age structure emerges from 
a study of the past population profiles. This age structure 
pattern, which economically developed countries such as the United 
States might consider "abnormal" or "unrepresentative," has been 
the "normal" situation for St. Vincent. 

The Age Composition of St. Vincent 

Satisfactory analysis of St. Vincent's changing age structure 

is restricted by the nature of the early statistics. Published 

population data for the slave era and the first quarter of a 

century following the emancipation of the slaves did not include 

a breakdown of population by age. It was only with the census of 

1861 that age was first reported and cross-classified by sex and 

census district. Age statistics were reported by broad age 

groups which make an accurate assessment of reliability and 

2 
validity difficult for the years before 1946. Nevertheless it 

is possible to observe some of the factors that have influenced 

the age composition of St. Vincent's population. 

A comparison of age structure from 1861 to 1960 reveals the 

impact of both migration and fertility over the century. By 

1861, the island had fully absorbed the Portuguese Madeiran 

imoigrations of the preceding 20 years and was just beginning to 

receive the inflow of East Indians. Between 1861 and 1881, the 



287 

age groups under 20 years maintained about the saae percentage 
distribution. (See Table 19.) A noticeable difference occurred 
in the age group 20-29 years in 1881, when the numbers declined 
3 per cent, and in 1891, when there was a further decline of 2 
per cent. These census years marked the end of foreign labor 
immigration and the beginning of steady native emigration as the 
sugar industry suffered the depression brought on by competition 
from European beet sugar. By 1921, there was a decline in the 
percentage of population aged 30-49 years, which included those 
who were near the upper age limit for migration. 

The steady increase in the proportion of population aged 
0-9 years from 1871 to 1891 indicated the impact of the with- 
drawal of persons of potential migration age (15 through 35 or 
40 years). The unexpectedly low concentrations of children under 
10 years of age between 1911 and 1931 is probably the result of 
misstatements of age by respondents or census enumerators. (See 
Figure 41.) None of the archives in St. Vincent allude to any 
historical events that could possible have reduced the number of 

children; in fact, the opposite should be expected, as fertility 

3 

was incipient during the 1920s. The subsequent rapid expansion 

in fertility is evidenced by the large size of the cohort of 
children in 1946 and 1960. Emigration during the Second World 
War and the late 1950s accounted for the decrease in the age 
group 20-29 years. (See Table 19 and Figure 41.) 

It is axiomatic in demographic analysis that approximately 
35 per cent of any population falls in the interval 20 to 44 



TABLE 19 

TOTAL AGE PROFILE, MALE AND FEMALE COMBINED, 

BY 10-YEAR AGE GROUPS, ST. VINCENT, 

1861-1960 



288 



Age 1861 1871 1881 1891 1911 1921 1931 1946 1960 
Group (X) <Z) CO (H tt) (» <*> «> (Z > 



0-9 


28 


27 


29 


30 


22 


26 


24 


31 


36 


10-19 


23 


22 


22 


24 


27 


26 


26 


24 


22 


20-29 


19 


20 


17 


15 


18 


18 


18 


15 


13 


30-39 


12 


12 


12 


11 


10 


9 


11 


11 


9 


40-49 


9 


8 


9 


9 


8 


7 


8 


8 


8 


50-59 


5 


5 


5 


5 


6 


6 


6 


5 


6 


60+ 


5 


5 


6 


5 


9 


8 


8 


7 


7 


Total 


100 


100 


100 


100 


100 


100 


100 


100 


100 



Source: Author's calculations. 



289 



PER CENT 
40 



35 



PER CENT 
40 



35 



30 



25 



20 



I 5 



I 



- 






CENSUS DATE 
1861 


- 


-\ 






^—••—1931 


- 








- \jf 


yv 








- 












- 


- 




v\ 






- 


- 




V 






- 


- 






: S^: 


V 


y<£~ 


- 













30 



25 



20 



0-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60+ 

AGE GROUP 

FIGURE 41 

AGE PROFILE, BY 10-YEAR AGE GROUPS, 

ST. VINCENT, FOR SELECTED CENSUS 

DATES, 1861-1960 



290 

years of age regardless of the proportion of the population at 
the extremes of the life cycle. For St. Vincent, a comparable 
interval of 20 to 49 years of age (the only age interval that can 
be traced back as far as 1861) reveals a change in proportion 
from a maximum of 40 per cent in 1861 to a minimum of 30 per cent 
in 1960, the result of the heavy emigration during the Second 
World War and the years encompassing the abortive move toward 
federation in the British West Indies in the late 1950s. 

The Age Structure, By Sex, for St. Vincent 

A more effective approach to assessing the impact on the 
structure of population by the vital events and migration is a 
comparison of age groups by sex , by which the age and sex groups 
most affected by fluctuations in the demographic variables can be 
readily observed. For a long-term analysis, the age and sex 
structures have been gTaphed by 10-year age intervals for the 
period 1861 to I960. 5 (See Figure 42.) The most striking con- 
clusion to be derived from these distributions (converted to 
index numbers based on the population profile in 1861) is the 
importance of migration, especially during the 20th century. The 
growing emigration of Vincentian males between 1871 and 1891 is 
reflected in lower index values for the prime migration ages 
(20 through 39 years) . The withdrawal of these people from the 
total population boosted the proportional representation of 
children (0-9 years) and the elderly (60 years and older). 

As emigration increased after the demise of the Vincentian 
sugar industry, the age selectivity of migration became more 



291 



NUMBER (■•(■•100) 




INDEX number (ubi-iooi 

200 t 





<»> 




1671 

1881 








— I6tl 












1 








^/^^^y 


Jk 


j-»'~k,> ^4<^- 


I , , , r— 


-, — f 



NOEX NUMBER 11861*100) 



INDEX NUMBER (I86MOO) 




FIGURE 42 

INDEX NUMBERS OF AGE-SEX PROFILES, 

ST. VINCENT, 1861-1960 (1861 = 100) 



292 
apparent. Distortions of the age distribution increased after 
1891, particularly between 1911 and 1921. The latter census 
year recorded the greatest deviation from the age and sex profile 
of 1861, which was most obvious at the age group 30-39 years. In 
part, this indicates the normal aging of early cohorts of emigrants 
whose absence in 1921 is measured by an index number one-half of 
Its corresponding value in 1861. (See Figure 42a and 42c.) The 
fluctuations of index numbers for the age group 0-9 years should 

be cautiously interpreted, for these data, at least for the first 

7 
30 years of the 20th century, are very likely inaccurate. 

The ages for male emigrants were between 20 and 49 years, 
although those who left usually did so at the lower end of this 
age span. Their continued absence, for there were those who 
opted to stay away permanently, reduced the proportion of their 
age group in the total population at later censuses. The greatest 
deviation from the base year profile in 1861 was for those aged 
60 years and older in 1911. (See Figure 42c.) 

Female Vincentians figured much less prominently in emi- 
gration streams during the 19th and early part of the 20 centuries. 
(See Figure 42b and 42d.) There was only a slight deviation from 
the 1861 base year profile during the late 1800s for the female 
age groups. The heavy male losses after 1891, however, expanded 
female representation at all age groups above the age of 9 years 
during the first 30 years of the 20th century. A pattern of 
female emigration emerged as a result of the Second World War, 
especially for women aged 20-29 years. (See Figure 42d.) In 
response to the previous high male exodus (which left a preponderance 



293 

of females In St. Vincent), and the greater willingness of women 
to seek their fortune outside of the Island, the number of female 
migrants Increased rapidly during the late 1950s. Many migrated 
to Trinidad and Tobago at the time of the Federation of the West 
Indies (1958) and later to the United Kingdom (when the Federation 

collapsed in 1962) in hopes of locating, joining their mates, or 

q 
finding employment. 

As already indicated (vide supra page 3) , the "abnormal" 
was the norm for St. Vincent's population structure over most of 
the century after 1861. The high losses of males from emigration 
established a pattern of abnormally low representations of men in 
the prime ages for work and reproduction. Notwithstanding such 
large male migration streams, Vincentian women managed, however, 
to reproduce at a record rate after 1931. By 1960, St. Vincent 
ranked 14th in the world in its general fertility rate (the 
number of births occurring in a year per 1,000 women of child- 
bearing age). This phenomenon lends support to the idea that the 
"abnormal" was institutionalized as the normal in much of the 
country's demographic history. Similarly, two sister islands 

in the British West Indies -St. Kitts and Dominica also 

ranked in the top 15 of the world in level of general fertility 

10 
rate . 

A closer examination of the age and sex pyramids (by 
5-year age groups) for St. Vincent's population for the censal 
years 1911 through 1960 indicates how characteristically narrow 
the age groups were above the age of 15 years. 11 (See Figure 43.) 



294 




295 

The indentation at the 5-9 year age group for the censuses of 1911 
through 1931 points up an unaccountable error, for no extraordinary 
events occurred in these years that would affect this age group 
alone. Had there been disrupting events, the effect would have 
been carried through at succeeding censuses, which was not so. 

Above the youth category (0-14 years of age), there was a 
noticeable constriction of the age groups, especially among 
working-age males. (See Figure 43.) Between 30 and 60 years of 
age, the population pyramids for 1911 and 1921 show a nearly 

vertical face dramatic proof of the consequences of past emigration 

by males. For these two censuses, the female cohorts show the more 
commonly expected stair-step decrease with advancing age. By the 
end of the first quarter of the 20th century, female emigration had 
not been as depleting as that of male departures. 

The incipient growth in fertility, the decline in mortality, 
and the restrictions to free movement in the Caribbean region after 
1921 are revealed by the age and sex profile for 1931. A broadening 
of the age groups above 20 years of age occurred and increased 
throughout the 1930s. (See Figure 43.) The disruptions occasioned 
by the Second World War are partially hidden because of the omission 
of a census in 1941, which might have recorded the changes subse- 
quent to the United Kingdom's entry into the European war. By 1946, 
the effect of the increased fertility of the late 1930s was visible. 
The pyramidal shape is more pronounced, although the male cohorts 
at the adult age groups are still smaller than the corresponding 
female age groups. 



296 

The 1960 age and sex profile reveals how much fertility 
had increased. St. Vincent had assumed a more classical pyramidal 
shape characteristic of economically and socially underdeveloped 

countries an extremely broad base, relatively balanced by sex 

under the age of 15 years . (See Figure 43.) For the ages 15 years 
and older, however, past migrations left more females than males. 

In order to obtain a more precise picture of the age dis- 
tribution after the Second World War, a profile of the population 
broken down by single years has been constructed for the censuses 
of 1946 and 1960 only, since previous censuses failed to provide 
the valuable details inherent in such age distribution collations. 
A noticeable trait in both the 1946 and 1960 single-year population 
pyramids is the unevenness of age reporting. (See Figure 44.) The 
most preferred digit for reporting age in 1946 was for both sexes; 
that is, most of the error in the age statistics was centered in 
the ages 10, 20, 30, and so forth. For males, the second most- 
commonly-preferred digit was 5_ (15, 25, 35, and so forth), while 
for females, it was S, followed by _5. In 1960, males preferred 

and 2 as the digits representing their ages, while females re- 

13 
ported their ages by years ending in 0_ and 8. 

As a result of emigration during the middle years of the 

Second World War, the 1946 age and sex pyramid showed an expected 

decrease in the proportion of the population aged 2 years and 3 

years old. (See Figure 44.) According to this pyramid, the 

world economic depression of the 1930s had relatively little 

effect on fertility in St. Vincent. Most western nations which 

suffered economic distress in the 1930s had concomitant decreases 



l^Umi"- .^r— -■..^, 



f^— . . — .^^.^>- ■■- .,^..^.^^,->_^„.^-'»«Aft^iAMiBfftata^ib 



297 




■ •HnWWriMMrMVi-i*-! ■«..-— ~— ^ , 



298 
In fertility that appeared in population profiles as distortions 
in the form of contractions of the infant age groups. St. Vincent 
reveals few, if any, such effects, as its fertility was in fact 
increasing after 1931. 

The single-year population profile for 1960 reveals the 
effects of rapidly expanded reproduction after 1946. The base of 
the pyramid reached its maximum extent in 1960, as the number of 
births, combined with the heavy emigration in the late 1950s, in- 
flated the proportion of age groups under 15 years. (See Figure 
44.) It is clear that the population of St. Vincent was heavily 
weighted toward females at all ages above the youth category. 

According to the abridged life table for St. Vincent (1950 

to 1952), males should have theoretically exceeded the number of 

14 
females at all 5-year age groups through the age of 50 years. 

Above 50 years, females should have been in the majority as their 

mortality was increasingly more favorable. The 1946 age and sex 

profile, however, shows fewer males than females at all ages above 

15 years. From the life table constructed for the years 1959 to 

1961, it is evident that males should have exceeded females through 

the age of 56 years, but the 1960 population pyramid likewise shows 

a female majority for all ages past 15 years. 

For the island as a whole, it has been demonstrated by 

inspection of the population profiles between 1861 and 1960 that 

heavy emigration of males, especially after 1891, reduced the sex 

ratio at all adult ages and more or less maintained this imbalance 

up to the 1960 census. 



299 

Intra-Island Variations In Age and Sex Structure 

A treatment of comprehensive island-wide statistics fails 
to indicate whether there are marked differences between one part 
of St. Vincent and another. By agglomerating ages into 10-year 
groups, it is possible to analyze a century of age and sex pro- 
files for different parts of St. Vincent, starting with the first 
comprehensive census in 1861. (See Figures 45 through 53.) It 
should be understood, however, that the resultant patterns of 
variations are general because of the broad age groups that must 
be used. Nevertheless, it is instructive to fit the known facts 
of the time to the observed variations. The time-series comparisons 
are best reduced to broad time periods, encompassing events peculiar 
to the individual census dates. 

1861 to 1881- 1 The censuses of 1861 through 1881 recorded 

the effects of the bulk of St. Vincent's post-emancipation immi- 
gration, which included the importation of indentured Portuguese 
Madeirans, "liberated" Africans, and East Indian "coolies." Most 
of the alien laborers served out their indentures on Windward 
coast sugar estates in Charlotte Parish, especially in the "Carib 
Country." 17 The population pyramids for the entire colony over 
these years show relatively little change, but variety among the 
census districts Is apparent, particularly for the town of Kings- 
town and the Grenadine dependencies. (See Figures 45 through 47.) 
In the Kingstown Census District , the age and sex profile, 
even at this early date (1861), revealed the consequences of 
internal migration. Being the only major shipping port and the 
capital of the colony, it attracted young adults, usually female. 



300 



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309 
The age and sex selectivity of internal migration in St. Vincent 
followed an expected pattern, that is, young adults apparently 
coved more readily than older persons, and females dominated the 
migration within the "main" island to Kingstown. It has been 
generally accepted in the migration literature that "females tend 

to travel short distances, whereas males tend to constitute a 

18 
disproportionately large part of the total long-distance migrants." 

The result of internal movement in St. Vincent can be inferred from 

the "bulging" of the young adult age groups, especially among the 

female population. Such a pattern is obvious in the population 

profiles for the censuses between 1861 and 1881. (See Figures 

45 through 47.) 

The preponderance of females in Kingstown may also be 

attributed to the losses of young males who left the island in 

international migration streams. The opposite characteristic 

among internal migrants should show up among International migrants 

who cross national boundaries in their movements males should 

predominate as distance from the point of origin (St. Vincent) 

increases. Emigration, which started slowly during the 1860s, 

increased as the domestic sugar industry experienced reduced. 

demand for its product in Europe in the 1870s and 1880s. As the 

capital was also the chief shipping point and hub of sea-borne 

transportation, it seems very likely that men who left St. Vincent 

probably lived in or near Kingstown prior to their departure, 

therefore, their subsequent absence would so act as to deflate the 

sex ratio among the working-age population. 



310 
Another noticeable feature of the Kingstown age and sex 
structure Is the small proportion of children under 10 years of 
age, compared with the average profile for the colony. (See 
Figures 45 through 47.) The general concept concerning age com- 
position in "urban" areas is that the rapid rural-to-urban mi- 
gration of young adults, in combination with their relatively 

lower fertility, results in a population that has a "deficit" of 

19 
children and a "surplus" of people of working age. 

In the Grenadines Census District to the south, the popula- 
tion profile changed very little from 1861 to the present day. In 
the period between 1861 and 1881, however, its age and sex dis- 
tribution was the most affected of the island's census districts 
by emigration of males. (See Figures 45 through 47.) Between 
the ages of 10 and 49 years, there was a constant loss of men, 
revealed by the vertical age grouping of males. The typical age 
and sex profile should show a decreasing proportion of people at 
succeeding higher ages unless extraordinary events cause distortions 
to appear in the profile. The near equality of the percentage of 
■ales between the ages of 30 and 59 years in 1871 and 20 to 39 
years in 1881 indicates heavy emigration that was highly selective 
of people in the working ages in the Grenadines. (See Figures 46 
and 47.) Vincentians in the dependencies were usually very tran- 
sitory in their working habits, especially in the cane harvesting 
season when they moved to Trinidad to cut cane. Many remained 
in Trinidad, consequently there was a low sex ratio in their 
home islands. 



311 

In the Windward Census District of the "main" Island 
(encompassing most of Charlotte Parish), the age and sex composi- 
tion shows a slight male predominance in the age group 30-39 years, 
for 1871. In the succeeding census, the male predominance had 
shifted to the next older age group, 40-49 years, as might be 
expected. This probably indicates the infusion of the East 
Indians during the period 1861 to 1880, and their concentration 
on the Windward sugar estates. 

1891 to 1931 . The censuses from 1891 to 1931 encom- 
passed one of the most critical periods in St. Vincent's history. 
This time interval spanned the years of massive emigration 
attendant upon the total collapse of the sugar industry, the des- 
tructive hurricane in 1898, and the eruption of the Soufriere 
volcano in 1902. 

The population distribution by age and sex in 1891 clearly 
shows, for the first time, the heavy male losses from emigration. 
A very noticeable contraction of the male age groups between 20 
and 49 years of age appeared in the colony's total profile. (See 
Figure 48.) Whereas in the previous censuses (before 1891), the 
enumeration districts farthest from Kingstown showed the least 
deformation in their profiles, by 1891, all parts of the colony 
evidenced losses of adult males. The indenture contracts had 
expired and without the influx of fresh labor, the adult male 
population diminshed proportionately in size as native Vincentians 
and foreign-born East Indians, who had fulfilled their contracts 
and had opted for cash bounties in lieu of free passage to India, 
began shifting southward to Trinidad and British Guiana [now Guyana], 

21 
some even moving to Venezuela in the early 1890s. 



t-~r-Hrt. a u: .- - >v „ .«.fi . n.V m Ja- i g --J»- - , ^ ^»~:-j- .,. r- fli' — iT — f in tl I ' ■ ■.. ~- . a~*- _ » ■■ ,i ~ .- — --.■■ ■■> -:■ -— - ■ -■■■■■■* — ■ — -"■ ■*■> .--< ia.-me,^«f » 

312 

The capital (the Kingstown Census District ) continued to be 
a nodal point for both internal migrants (mainly females) and pro- 
spective international migrants (mainly males). The town's age 
and sex pyramid maintained a relatively narrow base, indicating 
the lower fertility of town life and the absence of male partners. 
(See Figure 48.) Females continued to outnumber males above the 
age of 10 years. 

The Grenadines Census District , consistent in its transitory 
life style, retained a grossly unbalanced age and sex profile above 
the age of 20 years. (See Figure 48.) 

Inspection of the age and sex pyramids for the censuses 
1911 through 1931 shows that the average profile for St. Vincent 
has been affected by the misrepresentations of ages among children 
under 10 years. (See Figures 49 through 51.) No doubt the massive 
emigration between 1891 and 1911 affected fertility somewhat, but 
an unaccountably small number of both sexes was recorded at the 
age group 5-9 years. This error seems to have been confined to 
the southern census districts that included Kingstown, the sur- 
rounding environs, and most of St. George Parish to the east of 
the capital (called the Calliaqua Census District ). (See Figure 49.) 

If the age group 0-9 years is disregarded, then the con- 
traction of male proportions for all of the census districts may 
be observed. More than ever, St. Vincent became a predominantly 
female society in the years between 1911 and 1921, when the female 
majority was at its peak . (See Figures 49 and 50.) By 1931, there 
was a gradual diminution in the obvious effects from emigration. 
The age and sex distribution for the colony became more "normal" 



-..-^^—I-- -,'^- . . ■ . . .^. — _ 



313 

In its appearance. Females were still In the majority but this 
phenomenon was less noticeable than in 1911 and 1921. (See Figure 

51.) 

1946 to 1960 . Most of the distortions in the age and 

sex distributions between 1891 and 1931 were ameliorated by 1946. 
The population pyramids for 1946 and 1960 show more balance, that 
is, the bases widened as a result of the higher fertility after 
1931. (See Figures 52 and 53.) 

The enumeration districts for the Leeward, Windward, and 
southern regions in 1946 (Western , Eastern , and Southern Census 
Districts , respectively) showed profiles very similar to the 
average for the colony, while those of the Kingstown and the 
Grenadines Census Districts evidenced the greatest deviation 
from the colony's average. (See Figure 53.) 

Each census district in the 1960 census was named for a 
major town or village, although these places were not "urban" 
enough in life style to influence the distribution of population 
in that direction. Only in the town of Kingstown did the abundance 
of females and the relative dearth of children under 10 years of 
age follow the expected pattern of an "urban" environment. This 
confirms the idea that Kingstown has been the only place that 
could be called "urban." The other towns and villages have been 
merely crossroad communities, nodal points on the island's main 
highway. The inhabitants in these places exhibit more "rural" 
than "urban" life styles, as many of them work their fields 
during the day and return to their village homes in the evening. 



*f*m«Tf firm-. 



314 
Variations In St. Vincent's Burden of Dependency 

After a consideration of the broad fluctuations in St. 
Vincent's age and sex composition, it is logical to proceed to 
an understanding of the variations in the "working-age" segment 
of society. People who are "economically active" are usually 
the aain providers for those who are either too young or too 
old to engage in full-time employment; therefore, as the pro- 
portion of one group changes so does the relative burden of 
economic dependence. 

The conventional statistical measure used to determine the 
"burden of dependency" is the dependency ratio , which is a ratio 
of the population outside of the working ages to that inside the 
working ages. The "working ages" are set by universally accepted 
definitions, and for this study they are assumed to include the 
ages 15 through 64 years. The population younger than 15 years 

and older than 64 years of age is, by definition, called the 

22 
"youth" and old age segments, respectively. Owing to the 

nature of the age reporting in the censuses before 1911, it is 

23 
not possible to calculate dependency ratios before then. Com- 
parisons are therefore limited to the census dates 1911 through 
1960. 

Since 1911, there has been an upward trend in the burden of 
dependency for St. Vincent, with a slight decline registered in 
1931. From a minimum in the 20th century of 72 "dependents" 
for each 100 persons of "working age" in 1911, the ratio increased 
to a record high of 115 by 1960. (See Table 20.) Youths accounted 



315 
for 86 per cent of the total dependency ratio in 1911, and vith 
the upward surge of reproductive performance after 1931, this 
increased to 91 per cent by 1960. At the same time, old age 
dependency declined from 14 per cent of the total burden to 9 
per cent. It is apparent that the increase in fertility has 
been most responsible for the added economic load borne by the 
working segment of society. 

Intra-Island Variations in Dependency * Differences in the 

burden of dependency within the island are socially and economically 
important to those having to provide a variety of public services to 
the population. Of the 5 major census regions in St. Vincent, those 
that encompass the southern part of the island (most of St. George 
Parish, including Kingstown) have shown the greatest relative in- 
crease in the level of dependency. The "Southern" Census District 
(east of Kingstown, extending to the border with Charlotte Parish) 
recorded a 91 per cent expansion in its dependency load, going 
from 66 in 1911 to a record high in the 20th century of 132 by 
1960. Of the total dependency burden for this region, the 
youth component grew by 103 per cent. (See Table 20.) 

The second fastest growing region in the level of dependency 
was Kingstown and its suburban area. This region increased its 
dependency load from 55 to 102 dependents per 100 working-age 
people, between 1911 and 1960. Within the limits of the capital 
itself, dependency expanded from 49 to 80. (See Table 20.) 

Throughout the Windward Census District , dependency increased 

by 56 per cent over the half-century after 1911 from 78 to 122. 

Natural increase was apparently slower in the Leeward Census District , 



uTrnffMi 'TMitmriJi fWr'nrtnrnT - 



316 



TABLE 20 



DEPENDENCY RATIO, BY CENSUS DISTRICT, 
ST. VINCENT, 1911-1960 



Census District 



Census Year 
1921 1931 1946 



1960 



Colony of St. Vincent 
Total Dependency Ratio 
Youth Dependency Ratio 
Old Age Dependency Ratio 



Total 
Youth 
Old Age 



Total 
Youth 
Old Age 

Kingstown 
Total 
Youth 
Old Age 

Leeward 
Total 
Youth 
Old Age 



Total 
Youth 
Old Age 



Town of Kingstown 
Total 
Youth 
Old Age 



72 


83 


77 


96 


115 


62 


73 


67 


87 


105 


10 


10 


10 


9 


10 


78 


87 


92 


97 


122 


69 


78 


83 


90 


113 


9 


9 


9 


7 


9 


69 


91 


76 


100 


132 


59 


80 


65 


90 


120 


10 


11 


11 


10 


12 


55 


73 


61 


85 


102 


44 


61 


51 


75 


94 


11 


12 


10 


10 


8 


86 


78 


79 


108 


121 


77 


69 


70 


94 


112 


9 


9 


9 


14 


9 


90 


98 


88 


106 


116 


80 


87 


75 


93 


104 


10 


11 


13 


13 


12 


49 


61 


52 


68 


80 


36 


47 


41 


60 


71 


13 


14 


11 


8 


9 



Source: Author's calculations. 



317 

as total dependency Increased by only 41 per cent — from 86 In 
1911 to 121 in I960. The slowest relative expansion in the burden 
of dependency occurred in the Grenadines Census District , where 
the ratio increased from 90 in 1911 to 116 in 1960. (See Table 20.) 

In general, the proportion of dependent persons increased 
most rapidly in the areas closest to Kingstown. The outlying 
districts, although growing at a fast rate (on an international 
scale) , increased their dependency burdens more slowly than the 
areas along the south coast, where heavy population concentrations 
developed. 

The Sex Composition 
A review of age and sex structures demonstrates that the 
population of St. Vincent remained a relatively "young" population 
over most of its history. In accounting for the rapid population 
growth after 1931, mainly the outcome of high fertility, the 
author has commented on the age distribution of those persons of 
reproductive age, with occasional references to the sex balance 
of age groups. This section will be concerned more specifically 
with the ratio of males to females (the sex ratio ) in an attempt 
to explain how factors such as emigration have altered the 

25 
working-age and old-age population. 

The Sex Ratio for St. Vincent 

For the "main" island and Grenadine possessions, the sex 
ratio has been in a steady decline, at least since the end of 
the slave trade. Given the preponderance of males in the 
slave trade, it is assumed that St. Vincent's sex ratio before 



318 

eman cipation was probably greater than 100 males for every 100 
females. With the end of slave trading and the aging of African- 
born ex-slaves, the sex ratio probably declined as mortality rates 

27 
favored the female population in the older age groups. The 

findings in the first official census in 1844 showed that at that 
time, 36 years after the cessation of slave trading in the British 
West Indies, the Vincentian sex ratio had been reduced to 86 males 
per 100 females. (See Figure 54.) By the Infusion into the pop- 
ulation of indentured alien laborers after 1844, the sex ratio 
began to increase, reaching a peak of 90 in the census years of 
1861 and 1871. This was the highest sex ratio ever measured in 
St. Vincent and was not approached again until 1960, when the 
ratio was 89. (See Figure 55.) 

Little information is available which would permit the 
determination of the sex composition of the Portuguese Madeirans 

and the "liberated" Africans who disembarked in St. Vincent in 

28 
the quarter-century following Emancipation. Records of the 

East Indian "coolie" immigration show that the sex ratio of the 

2,237 indentured workers was 206. 29 The bulk of the East Indians 

were between the ages of 20 and 29 years, and a considerable 

percentage of males were older than 30 years. (See Figure 56.) 

The cessation of alien labor immigration after 1880, coupled 

with incipient emigration of native Vincentlans after the sugar 

industry faltered in the late 1870s, acted to depress the sex 

ratio after 1871. From 89 in 1881, the sex ratio fell rapidly to 

84 in 1891, indicating the start of massive out-migration from 

St. Vincent. So many men left the colony that the number of males 



319 




CENSUS DISTRICT 

CHARLOTTE PARISH 
ST GEORGE PARISH* 
TOWN OF KINGSTOWN 
ST. ANDREW PARISH 
ST. PATRICK PARISH 
ST DAVID PARISH 
GRENADINES 

ST. VINCENT 

FIGURE 54 

SEX RATIO, BY MAJOR CENSUS DISTRICT, ST. VINCENT, 

FOR THE CENSUSES 1844-1871 



320 



gmsua "'strict' 

WINDWARD- "E" 



CALLIAQUA (or 
SOUTHERN)- "D" 



KINGSTOWN and 
SUBURBS-"A" "B" 



TOWN OF KINGSTOWN 



LEEWARD (or 
WESTERN)-"C" 



GRENADINES-"A" "F" 



ST. VINCENT 




FIGURE 55 

SEX RATIO, BY MAJOR CENSUS DISTRICT, ST. VINCENT, 

FOR THE CENSUSES 191 1-1960 



321 




2 CD 



322 

per 100 females reached a record low of 76 in 1921. (See Figure 
55.) Thereafter, the sex ratio reversed itself and began to in- 
crease rapidly as emigrants found the job opportunities overseas 
reduced or non-existent and began encountering stiff immigration 
restrictions at their destinations. 

The world economic depression in the 1930s, which led many 
emigrants to return to St. Vincent, and the increase in fertility 
caused the sex ratio to rise to 83 in 1946. Fourteen years later, 
the sex ratio had reached 89— a ratio only slightly under that of 
a century earlier. (See Figures 54 and 55.) 

Intra-Island Variations in the Sex Ratio 

It is possible, from the sex categorization of the population 

as far back as 1844, to observe the general patterns of spatial 

30 
variations in sex composition for St. Vincent. For the purposes 

of this study, these variations are divided into two sections— the 

19th century and 20th century fluctuations. 

The 19th Century .— In the latter half of the 1800s, St. 

Vincent experienced a considerable amount of internal variation 

in sex composition. In general, all of the Leeward parishes 

(St. Andrew, St. Patrick, and St. David) and Charlotte Parish 

along the Windward coast had sex ratios that were more masculine 

than the colony's average. (See Figure 54.) The highest sex ratios 

were found in the outlying parishes— Charlotte and St. David. The 

latter parish, in fact, registered more males than females in 1851 

and 1861. (See Figure 55.) There is no ready explanation for 

this phenomenon, as few of the indentured immigrants were sent 



323 

to estates in St. David Parish and the unlikelihood that fertility 

,31 
was appreciably higher than elsewhere in the island. The 

Leeward parishes of St. Andrew and St. Patrick usually registered 
sex ratios above the colony's average, except in 1851 for St. 
Andrew and in 1871 for St. Patrick. (See Figure 54.) At no time 
after 1861 was there a sex ratio at or above equality (100) in any 
part of St. Vincent. 

In St. George Parish (at the southern end of the island) and 
in the Grenadine possessions, there were so many more females than 
■ales that the sex ratios for these areas were well below the 
colony's average. As expected, St. George Parish and Kingstown 
had relatively low sex ratios. 

Kingstown never had more than 73 males per 100 females in 
the censal period of the 19th century, and it was not until 1946 
that this level was exceeded. Town life is commonly known to 
attract migrants, and in St. Vincent, those who left the island 
for overseas employment were usually men, while those who were, 
by definition, internal migrants were females moving short dis- 
tances. The age and sex discussion in this chapter revealed that 
■uch of Kingstown's population was composed of young adults, with 
females in the majority at all ages above childhood. 

The more densely populated area of numerous villages and 
settlements in St. George Parish, east of Kingstown, was probably 
the receiving zone for young females who left their homes and 
headed toward Kingstown, the island's primary center of social 
and commercial activity. 



324 

Throughout the Grenadine Islands, fishing and sailing were 

the dominant economic pursuits, even as small estates vere 

32 

abandoned following emancipation. In 1851, the number of males 

per 100 females exceeded the national average for the first and 
only time between 1844 and 1960. Most of the time, the absence 
of the male population, either temporary or permanent, depressed 
the sex ratio to levels considerably under the colony's average. 
This still remains a characteristic of the dependencies. 

The 20th Century . — The censuses taken in this century reveal 
spatial variations similar to those of the previous century. An 

above-average sex ratio for the outlying districts, those com- 

33 
prised of the Windward and Leeward parishes may be observed. 

The essentially estate-oriented economy of the Windward area 

accounts for the above-average sex ratios found there, although 

the ratio between the sexes has been weighted toward the female 

population. 

The Leeward region, lacking towns and villages sufficiently 
large to affect its rural character, might be expected to have a 
higher-than-average sex ratio. Rural life is often conducive to 
out-migration by young females who are faced with an agricultural 
environment and a dearth of males of similar age. 

Reflecting a 19th century pattern, the census districts en- 
closing the southern end of the island tend to have markedly below- 
average sex ratios. This feature had been accentuated in the 
capital, where extremely low sex ratios have been recorded. Before 
1946, the number of males per 100 females remained relatively con- 
stant, fluctuating between 65 and 69. (See Figure 55.) 



325 
In keeping with Its traditional life style, characterized by 
a transitory male population, the Grenadine dependencies registered 
extremely low sex ratios for places lacking large urban settlements. 
The lowest level recorded in the dependencies was 71 in 1911 and 
1921 (the peak periods of emigration). (See Figure 55.) 

A generalization for the 20th century population of St. Vin- 
cent is that the pace of rising sex ratios quickened after 1921. 
The end of massive emigration, induced by the barriers to inter- 
national movements and the growing Importance of arrowroot and 
Sea Island cotton production, combined with a burgeoning fertility 
rate, caused the sex ratio to shift toward the male population. 

There is little hope that the country can equalize its sex 
ratio throughout the Island, given the economic and social forces 
that have "pushed" men to seek overseas employment (even in the 
face of increasing immigration restrictions abroad) and have 

pulled" women into the more attractive "urban" areas, especially 
to Kingstown and the southern coastal communities that have be- 
come tourist havens. 

The Sex Ratio By Age Group 

The final analysis of the sex composition of St. Vincent's 
population is a presentation of sex ratios by age groups to deter- 
mine which ages have been affected the most by emigration. (See 
Figures 57 and 58.) Age groups for the censuses between 1891 and 
1960 have been agglomerated to include the significant cycles of 
life that people pass through from childhood to old age. For 
the purposes of this study, the population under 15 years of age 
was considered to be economically Inactive; the population between 



326 



SEX RATIO 



SEX RATIO 




49 






40 




ctusm 






Illl 


30 




mi 


** 






20 






ii 







I 

ol — 



15-39 40-59 



FIGURE 57 

SEX RATIO, BY BROAD AGE GROUPS, 
ST. VINCENT, 1891-1960 



327 




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-— rm-rnii't iam,n,_ 



128 
15 and 39 years was assumed to be the most migration-prone, those 
between 40 and 59 years of age were considered to be out of the 
■ain ages for migration and reproduction; and the population 60 
years and older was considered to be economically dependent. 34 

Assuming that age statistics before 1946 were imperfect, it 
is true that the estimated long-term trend for sex ratios for the 
"youth" of St. Vincent has been essentially correct. From a 
"perfect" sex ratio of 100 in 1891, the ratio for youths became 
higher at succeeding censuses, to be expected when fertility in- 
creases added large numbers of children to the population, given 
the high sex ratio at birth. (See Figure 57.) 

Between 1891 and 1921. the sex ratio for the migration- 
prone population decreased as large numbers of males continued 
to emigrate as they became of employment age. The end of massive 
emigration by 1921 and the rising fertility rates thereafter are 
revealed by higher ratios of males to females at each succeeding 
census after 1921. (See Figure 57.) 

A close inspection of the age groups over time shows the ex- 
tremely low sex ratios for young adults at all of the census dates 
in the 20th century. By 1921, there were only 63 males for every 
100 females. As already indicated (page 15), the sex ratio should 
not be expected to fall below 100 until after the age of 50 years 
is reached— unless forces other than fertility and mortality are 
at work. In St. Vincent, the extraneous force has been emigration . 
The higher fertility after 1931 and the end of the desperate mi- 
gration streams of the first quarter of the 20th century thus 



_ias auuu. 



329 

boosted the sex ratio of the ages 15 through 39 years to 83 males 
per 100 females. 

The ages 40 through 59 years have been affected the most by 
earlier migrations. In 1891, the sex ratio for this broad group 
was 83; it later fell to 55 in 1931 as old age favored the sur- 
vival of females. The repatriation of emigrants during the 1930s 
and the early post-World War II years caused an increase in the 
sex ratio for this age group, reaching 75 by 1960. (See Figure 57.) 

Losses from early 20th century emigrations is the probable 
reason for the sharp decline in the age group 60 years and older 
after 1931. From a sex ratio of 68 in 1921, the sex ratio dropped 
to 51 in 1960. (See Figure 57.) 

In general, the most significant factor reducing the mas- 
culinity of those age groups above childhood has been the depleting 
effect of out-migration between 1891 and 1921. As the various 
adult age groups matured, losses from movement out of the country 
and the natural disadvantage faced by men vis-a-vis women in 
mortality at advanced ages acted to shift the sex ratio heavily 
in favor of the female population. 

An understanding of St. Vincent's sex composition since 1911 
is revealed by the study of 5-year age group sex ratios. (See 
Figure 58.) In all age groups from 15 years and older, there have 
been greatly reduced sex ratios. This is vivid proof of the 
"feminization" of St. Vincent's population and may help to explain 
why females began emigrating in increasing proportions to Trinidad 
and Tobago and the United Kingdom after 1946 and more recently 
to Canada after 1960. 



330 

The Racial Composition 
One of the many distinguishing characteristics of any pop- 
ulation is its racial or ethnic composition. In St. Vincent, 
Importance has always been attached to the "race," "complexion," 
and "place of birth" of the people. Throughout most of the island's 
18th and 19th century history, this variable was considered a 
valuable indicator of the potential availability of estate laborers, 
as most of the agricultural workers were non-white. Population 
estimates and censal enumerations usually contained a categorization 
of the people by "race" or some other equivalent description. In- 
formation describing the precise census meaning of "race," however, 
is wanting in the enumerations before 1946. In most instances, 
"color" [also "colour"] or "complexion" was the determining vari- 
able. The inconsistency in racial classification makes long- 
term comparisons impossible and only by agglomerating several 

racial or ethnic groups is it possible to sketch the broadly 

. , 36 

changing patterns. 

Given the inconsistency of racial classification, the author 
has chosen to divide the population into 4 groups: (1) black; 
(2) white; (3) mixed; and (4) other. (See Table 21.) The pop- 
ulation recorded as black, Negro, African, or slave (before 1834) 
has been categorized as "black" by the author; those returned in 
the censuses as white or European were assumed to be "white." 
For the progeny of miscegenation — the so-called "coloured" [ sic ] 
population — the term "mixed" was retained. All of the other 
people were entered under the class titled "other," and included 
East Indians, other Asians, and Carib Indians. 



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333 



The Historical Racial Composition of St. Vincent 

As early as 1787, the Island's population was estimated to 
be 13,603, of which 87 per cent were black slaves, 11 per cent 
were white, and the remainder were of nixed parentage, mostly 
offspring of black and white unions. (See Table 21.) By 1805, 
the racial proportions had changed only slightly, with a decrease 
in the white population and a small increase in the black and 
mixed categories. The cessation of the slave trade had little 
effect on the reported proportions of slaves, but there was a 
reversal of position between the white and mixed segments, with 
the latter moving into second place in numbers. (See Table 21.) 
The end of slavery brought an expansion in the proportion 
of mixed and white groups, although the latter have always embraced 
only a small fraction of the total population— never more than 
10 per cent and usually considerably less. The increase in the 
mixed population was at the expense of the black, as revealed by 
the census of 1861. The growth of the white population was the 
result primarily of the influx of some 2,100 Portuguese Madeirans 
between 1844 and 1850. 

As East Indian indentured laborers arrived in the colony 
after 1861, they and their subsequent offspring boosted the 
percentage of the "other" population. The Carib Indians formed 
such a small group that their numbers affected the "other" 
category very little. 

There is a 65-year gap in the racia.1 statistics between 
1881 and 1946, when race was crudely ascertained by a general 



334 



category captioned "complexion." The 1946 and 1960 censuses 

revealed that the vhite population had declined to a nominal 2 

to 3 per cent, while the black, and mixed populations increased as 

a consequence of high fertility. (See Table 21 and Figure 59.) 

It is difficult to say whether the mixed population grew entirely 

by natural increase or by "definition," that is, more people may 

have classed themselves as "mixed" in order to enhance their social 

... 38 
status. 

Intra-Island Variations in Racial Composition 

The meagerness of valid racial data for St. Vincent precludes 
an extensive description of internal variations in this charac- 
teristic. Typically, the pattern has been one of above-average 
proportions of whites in the capital, Kingstown, the chief center for 
government, commerce, and services. The same generalization 
pertains to the mixed population, reflecting an 18th and 19th 
century feature that has been carried over to the 20th century. 

In the last half of the 1800s, the Windward region, with its 
heavy concentrations of indentured Portuguese Madeirans and East 
Indians, had an above-average percentage of people in the "other" 
category, which was mostly accounted for by the East Indians and 
their descendants. On the Leeward coast of St. Vincent and along 
the southern coast, east of Kingstown's suburban area, there have 
been greater-than-average proportions of blacks. Conversely, the 
Leeward coast has usually been under-represented by "whites." 

Very few East Indians or their offspring have chosen to 
settle in the Grenadine Islands; these dependencies have been 



335 



populated predominantly by the black and mixed population, with 
only a token white representation at any one time. (See Table 21.) 

Racial Variations by Age and Sex 

Only brief mention need be made about the age and sex 
composition of the important racial groups owing to the absence 
of such cross-classifications before 1946. It was not until the 
1946 census that the racial categories were reported both by age 
and sex. 

In 1946 and 1960, the essential feature of the non-vhite 
races was their relative youthfulness. The white population, in 
contrast, contained 34 per cent of its total under the age of 
15 years in 1946 and 37 per cent by 1960, considered by Smith 
and Zopf to be in their category of "medium youthfulness." The 
other major racial groups were characterized as having "high 

youthfulness," with more than 40 per cent of their population 

40 
concentrated among children less than 15 years old. (See Figure 

60.) 

St. Vincent's non-white population resembles that usually 
found in most economically and socially underdeveloped countries 
where high fertility results in an overwhelmingly large proportion 
of the population in the economically inactive group under 15 
years of age. In 1946, for example, the mixed, East Indian, and 
black racial groups contained 48, 47, and 43 per cent, respectively, 
of their population under 15 years of age. (See Figure 59.) 
The same groups, in 1960, contained 56, 49, and 47 per cent, 
respectively, of their population in the youth category. Given 



336 










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337 



the precarious economic cash crop history of the colony and 
the heavy burden of dependency, it is easy to understand why 
economic and social advancement may be a long time in arriving. 

Contrasting patterns of "old age" among the various racial 
and ethnic groups of St. Vincent can be discerned in recent 
censuses. Using the categories adopted by Smith and Zopf, who 
divided the world's populations into high , medium , and low old- 
age proportions, using the percentage of population 65 years and 
older as the measure, it is possible to comment on modern 20th 
century trends. 41 The Vincentian white population was of medium 
old age in 1946 (7.7 per cent) and high old age in 1960 (slightly 
above 8 per cent). (See Figure 59.) 

The non-white races were characterized by low old-age 
populations in 1946 and 1960, with none recording an old-age 
proportion above 4.1 per cent in either year. Very likely, this 
resulted from high fertility and the consequent enlargement of 
the younger age groups. 

The Rural-Urban Composition 
Among the major demographic characteristics which describe 
a population (age, sex, race, and place of residence), the rural- 
urban location is important because of the differences noted in 
the dynamic factors of population change and population composi- 
tion between rural and urban people. Ideally, it should be 
possible to cross-classify the changes in vital events and 
population composition by place of residence, but each country 



338 



must face the problem of specifying the criteria that delimit 
"urban" and "rural" areas. Such criteria are not universally 
transferable owing to international differences in the size of 
populations and social and economic conditions.*-' 

St. Vincent did not face up to the problem of rural-urban 
differences until the 1946 census, when a flexible definition 
was agreed upon. The complexities of applying specific limits 
to urban places is much the same as trying to define 
civilization . Accordingly, the categories of "urban" and 
"rural" were not adopted; instead "small towns" were set apart 
from their rural environs if they possessed "certain institutions 
and facilities" (which were, unfortunately, not all indicated in 
the census's administrative report) and had a minimum of 2,000 
inhabitants. 5 

The Number and Size of Settlements in St. Vincent 

The average number of settlements of all sizes can only 
be determined for the census years 1861 through 1891. Over 
this 30-year period, the average number of settlements was 263 
(at each census date) and included towns, villages, estates, 
and isolated house sites. 47 (See Figure 61.) Most of the 
settlements had 50 or less inhabitants, the bulk being micro- 
settlements of less than 10 persons. 

Among larger places with over 500 persons, the trend was 
toward more of these settlements after 1861, during the East 
Indian immigrations. With incipient emigration after 1881, there 
was a slight decline in the number of places with more than 



339 



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FIGURE 60 

AGE-SEX PROFILE FOR SELECTED RACIAL 

GROUPS, ST. VINCENT, 1946-1960 



340 



500 persons. (See Figure 60.) From a total of 6 places with 
more than 500 persons in 1861, the number increased to 16 in 
1881, then fell to 11 in 1891. 

There were very few places with populations greater than 
1,000 in the period between 1861 and 1891. Those that existed 
were: in 1861, Kingstown (5,105); in 1871, Kingstown (5,394) 
and Barrouallie (1,219); in 1881, Kingstown (5,593), Barrouallie 
(1,252), and Georgetown (1,021); and in 1891, Kingstown (4,547) 
and Barrouallie (1,109). (See Figures 61, 62, and 63.) 

The growth of St. Vincent's principal towns and villages 
(Kingstown, Barrouallie, Chateaubelair, Calliaqua, and Georgetown) 
has been erratic, according to the census statistics— a 
phenomenon more indicative of changes in what was considered 
the effective town limits rather than changes in internal 
migration and natural increase. (See Figure 62.) 

Kingstown, the island's primate city, has decreased in 
population size as the surrounding hillsides facing Kingstown 
Bay (outside the town's defined boundaries) have absorbed 
increasing numbers of internal migrants, repatriated emigrants, 
and civil servant families (who benefited from the Government's 
planned efforts to house them on the outskirts of Kingstown). As 
the town has declined in population, so has the "suburban" area 
grown. 

The Sex Ratio of Principal Settlements 

The only ascribed characteristic that is cross-classified 
in the censuses by principal settlement is the sex ratio. Owing 



341 



NUM8ER OF 
SETTLEMENTS 

120 




!P^ 


■ 


o-~— — - 

n i 

0- 1- j- 

o-- L j- 


1 !• 



1 1 1 1 1 1 r 

I- 51- 101- 151- 201- 251- 301- 351- 401- 451- 50H 
50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450 500 



SIZE Or SETTLEMENT 



S<*rL* Carv*S St A* ( 



FIGURE 61 

NUMBER OF SETTLEMENTS, BY SIZE, 
ST VINCENT, 1861-1891 



342 



■uauR 
■opoo 

• poo- 

tfioa- 



1.000 
• 00 



or persons (io«irin»ic k*m) 

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CtDSUS YEHBS 
t— f«= iltlt Boo*. 1851 and cittus afc«fracH. 

FIGURE 62 

SIZE OF PRINCIPAL TOWNS AND VILLAGES. 
ST. VINCENT, 1844-1960 




SANDY BAY 



GEORGETOWN 



COLONAIRIE 
BRIDGETOWN 



KINGSTOWN 



FIGURE 63 

LOCATION OF PRINCIPAL SETTLEMENTS, 
ST. VINCENT, I960 



344 



to the small size of most of the population settlements In St. 
Vincent, their sex ratios have shown considerable fluctuations, 
for the change of a small number of either sex can unbalance the 
overall sex ratio. (See Table 22.) 

Typically, the sex ratios of the larger towns have been 
well below the island's average. Only in the years following 
the Second World War has Kingstown's sex ratio approached the 
island average. Most of the other principal towns evidenced 
contrasting trends in sex ratios, that is, during periods of 
emigration, the sex ratio has increased in some communities 
while in others it has declined. The small towns and villages 
might also be expected to be affected similarly by economic and 
social forces, but, because some of the communities are more 
"rural" than "urban," the trend of sex ratios for these communities 
diverged from that of the more "urban" places. 

A generalization about the spatial variation of sex ratios 
is that the towns in the outlying parishes along the Leeward 
coast (Chateaubelair and Barrouallie) and the Windward coast 
(Georgetown) have experienced higher proportions of males to 
females than those closer to (and including) Kingstown. Sandy 
Bay village, for example, one of the more remote settlements in 
the island, located on the lower northeastern slopes of the 
Soufriere volcano, has recorded the highest sex ratios— 132 in 
1871, 111 in 1881, 116 in 1946, and 100 in 1960. (See Table 22.) 
These are abnormally high sex ratios in any country and cannot be 



345 



TABLE 22 

SEX RATIO OF PRINCIPAL TOWNS AND VILLAGES, 
ST. VINCENT, 1844-1960 



Place 8 



Sex Ratio 



1844 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1911 1921 1931 1946 1960 



Kingstown 

Calliaqua 

Barrouallle 

Chateaubelair 

Georgetown 

Port Elizabeth, 
Bequia 

Sandy Bay 

Colonarie 

Bridgetown 

Marriaqua 

Layou 



66 65 65 73 71 67 69 65 67 75 85 

78 71 78 65 65 82 59 53 63 74 

75 80 75 75 79 94 78 82 73 82 

85 91 81 94 79 75 77 75 84 75 

95 87 84 79 65 85 81 84 84 



89 74 68 74 

87 132 111 87 

64 76 107 106 

73 85 99 69 

80 93 84 

94 87 97 88 



69 72 

- 116 100 

- - - 78 77 

83 97 

76 106 

76 73 77 82 75 



ST. VINCENT 



86 86 90 90 89 86 78 76 79 83 



a The settlements listed in this table are those considered 
"small towns" by the 1960 census administrators, yet many were 
relatively unimportant during most of St. Vincent's history. 



. 346 

readily explained from the available date. As it happens, the 
village is the site of the last remaining Carib Indians and 
depends upon agricultural field labor for subsistence. This 
«ay explain why many men are found there, but it does not account 
for the absence of women. 

The Occupational Status 
In studying the past, present, and future of a population, 
besides the biological or "ascribed" characteristics (age, sex, 
and race), those variables that are influenced by personal choice, 
for example, occupational, educational, and marital status should 
also be included. For the pruposes of this study, only "occupation" 
will be examined, as this characteristic follows closely the 
fluctuations in the economy and indicates how Vincentians have 
earned their living. It has already been demonstrated how the 
age, sex, race, and, to a lesser extent, place of residence, have 
changed over time and space in St. Vincent. The final section of 
this chapter is, therefore, concerned with the examination of the 
changing occupational status of the labor force, reflecting the 
traumatic reversals experienced in 200 years by the domestic 
economy. 

The Composition of the Labor Force 

A common problem encountered in working with West Indian 

census information is the difficulty of classifying occupations 

48 
that have changed in function if not in name. In this study, 

the "occupations" or "professions" listed in the censuses have 



347 



been grouped Into several broad industrial classifications in 
order to reduce the error that might result from an overly-precise 
cataloguing of job types which may have changed considerably 
between 1861 and 1960. All of the occupations in the censuses 
have been assigned to one of three industrial groups: (1) primary 
activities; (2) secondary activities; and (3) tertiary activities. 

The years before 1861 are not included in this analysis 
owing to the absence of occupational data. It is well known, 
however, that during slavery, the West Indian labor forces were 
comprised primarily of African chattel workers who, by authority 
rather than by choice, were forced to provide the needed labor. 
The proportion of slaves in the total population of each slave- 
holding country was, in essence, the "labor force." In St. 
Vincent, for example, it can be assumed that approximately 85 

to 90 per cent of the pre-emancipation population were 

„51 

economically active. 

Between 1861 and 1960, the labor force in St. Vincent 
declined steadily in proportion to the total population. (See 
Table 23.) The end of slavery saw ex-slaves, especially women 
and young children, removed from the economically active 
population, once attendance at field labor was no longer 
compulsory. By 1861, 20,421 persons or 64 per cent of the 
total population were considered gainfully employed. In 
addition, each census after 1861 saw a drop in the proportion of 
people in the labor force so that by 1960, only 29 per cent of 



348 



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350 

the population was economically active in St. Vincent. The ex- 
planation for the decline in the percentage of people working rests 
on the high fertility rates after 1931, as veil as the cumulative 
effects of heavy emigration from 18S1 to 1921 and again during the 
Second World War and the lare 1950s. As some persons were added 
to the population by increased reproduction and others were with- 
drawn through emigration, the size of the laboring population 
fell in relation to the total population, which was growing 
"younger." 

While the total population of St. Vincent increased by 152 
per cent, from 1861 to 1960, the absolute size of the labor force 
grew by only 14 per cent. These statistics clearly point out 
the impact of losses from emigration, but the changing role of 
the female worker in St. Vincent should not be neglected as a 
significant element in this trend. 

The Age and Sex Structure of the Labor Force . — Between 1911 
and 1960 (the only years when the sex of workers was recorded), 
the number of gainfully employed males increased by 58 per cent, 

while that of females declined by 22 per cent (See Table 23.) 

52 

Such a trend is characteristic of other West Indian societies. 

The sex ration of the labor force, from 1911 to 1960, evidenced 
the withdrawal of women from active employment. From 78 males 
per 100 females in 1911, the balance shifted in favor of men, so 
that by 1960, the sex ratio stood at 157. 53 (See Table 23.) 
This occurred, it should be noted, despite the predominance of 
females in the total population. 



35X 

In general, the proportions of each age group In the 
economically active population (for both sexes) declined between 

1946 and 1960. (See Figures 64 and 65.) Youths entered the work- 

54 

lng population at later ages In 1960 than they did In 1946. 

For males In the age group 15 to 19 years, 66 per cent were in 
the labor force in 1946, while only 52 per cent were in the labor 
force in 1960. The percentage of econoaically active females in 
the same age group fell from 48 per cent to 34 per cent. (See 
Figures 64 and 65.) The most economically active age group for 
females was 20-24 years in 1946, when 57 per cent were in the 
labor force, and 35-44 years in 1960, when 47 per cent were 
employed. Typically, males have been much more active in the 
labor force than females, at all ages, despite their numerical 
inferiority. 

The Occupational-Industrial Status . — St. Vincent has alvays 
been a monocultural economy, with most of its work force engaged 
in the primary sector, mainly as agricultural laborers. (See 
Figure 66.) The percentage of the labor force engaged in the 
primary activities remained relatively constant between 1861 
and 1931. The slight increase in primary employment registered 
in 1871 coincided with the introduction of East Indians, while 
the small decline recorded between 1891 and 1911 was associated 
with emigration. Not surprisingly, the cajority of workers in the 
primary sector have been agricultural workers. Between 1911 and 
1921, females were in the majority among agricultural laborers 
owing to the departure overseas of large numbers of males during 
the previous decades. 



352 




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Those vomers Involved in secondary and tertiary occupations 
-aintained their proportional representation in the labor force 
until 1931. Thereafter their representation increased, following 
. shift out of faming by the younger population. Historically, 
carpenters and cabinet makers made up the largest single occupational 
group in the secondary sector (manufacturing and construction). 
The most common occupations found in the tertiary sector (services) 
were those of domestic servants, cooks, and laundresses. These 
were always female occupations. 

An inspection of the data for the age and sex composition of 
the various major industrial categories reveals that the older 
population groups of both sexes have been nore involved in the 
primary sector (mainly agriculture) than in manufacturing and 
construction or the service sector.56 In recent decades> ^ ^ 
worker in St. Vincent has apparently been nore likely to seek 
employment in the secondary or tertiary sectors than in farming. 
(See Figures 64 and 65.) 

If economic diversification is intensified in St. Vincent, 
as has been evident by governmental plans after 1960, more service 
and manufacturing and construction jobs will be created. Those who 
opt to remain in agriculture will likely be the older population. 

Summary 
St. Vincent's population has been and continues to be a 
"young" population. High fertility rates throughout most of its 
history, combined with heavy emigration, have served to reduce 
the average age of the population. Record fertility levels since 



356 

the 1930s have added thousands of children to the population, 
Increasing the burden of economic dependency, owing to the absence 
of much of the Island's working-age population. Economically 
active adults, who have remained at home together with those who 
have returned, disillusioned, to St. Vincent, partly as a result 
of immigration restrictions abroad, have been forced to supply a 
rapidly expanding proportion of children and elderly persons, by 
their own efforts — clearly insufficient to ensure a rising standard 
of living for the entire population, without funds-in-aid from the 
United Kingdom. 

In addition to being "young," St. Vincent's total population 
is "feminine," that is, the sex ratio is low. The selectivity of 
•migration over most of the past century has depleted the male 
population above 15 years of age. Men had left to 6eek jobs over- 
seas when the foundation of the 19th-century economy — the sugar cane 
industry — fell on hard times. Women who had removed themselves 
from the labor force after emancipation were forced to return to 
paid employment before the turn of the 20th century. 

Soon after St. Vincent was settled, the periodic importations 
of black African slaves made the island a predominantly black society. 
Emancipation removed compulsory labor from the economy and saw a 
steadily increasing proportion of offspring from black and white 
population dimished absolutely and proportionately as the mixed 
racial population expanded, aided by the addition of thousands of 
indentured foreign laborers after emancipation. 

Following living habits established by estate work during 
slavery, the emancipated population continued to reside in 



357 



nucleated settlements near the estates. Urban growth as understood 
In the advanced Industrial nations was never present in St. Vincent, 
with the possible exception of Kingstown, which has retained its 
dominant position as the island's primate city. Rural life has 
strongly permeated the villages and towns spotted along the major 
highways. 

A reflection of the rural life style so apparent in St. Vin- 
cent has been the paramount position held by agricultural employment 
as the main occupation. Fluctuating cash crop regimes have all 
depended upon abundant field labor, with resort to female workers 
when males were in short supply. 

By 1960, St. Vincent was facing an uncertain future, as mass 
emigration — the release-valve for population pressure — became less 
feasible. Attention has had to be refocused internally in an 
attempt to cope with a rapid population growth, a precarious 
economy, and a growing dissatisfaction among young adults with 
traditional employment outlets. All events in the succeeding 
decade have been directed to solving a problem shared by the entire 
Third World. It is not, however, the purpose of this study to do 
other than describe and explain the events leading up to the 
threshold of 1960. 



NOTES TO CHAPTER VII 



^Jrban" centers as commonly understood in the economically 
developed nations were lacking in St. Vincent. The problem of the 
rural-urban continuum will be discussed later in this chapter. 

Age was given in 10-year age groups and cross-classified by 
sex. Without early vital statistics records and life tables for the 
19th century, the accuracy of the age reporting cannot be tested. 

It was in 1911 that 5-year age groups were reported and not 
until 1946 that single-year distributions were available. The first 
modern, comprehensive West Indian census was taken in Jamaica, in 
1943. With the census of the Windward Islands, in 1946, and the 
vital statistics records of the early 1950s, the first life table 
for St. Vincent was prepared, using population estimates for 1951 
and the mortality rates for 1950 to 1952. See: University of the 
West Indies, Life Tables for British Caribbean Countries, 1959-61 , 
Census Research Programme, Publication No. 9 (Kingston, Jamaica: 
University of the West Indies, 1966), p.l. 

As indicated in Chapter VI of the present study, there was 
a degree of error present in the 1946 and the 1960 censuses. The 
author used several tests for determining age accuracy for 1946 
and 1960 and found that, surprisingly, the 1946 census was more 
accurate than the 1960 enumeration. Whipple's "index of concen- 
tration" to determine the heaping of reported ages was 114.2 for 
the total population in 1946 (115.3 for males and 113.5 for females). 
According to the 5 categories of accuracy established by Whipple 
in the United Nation's Demographic Yearbook, 1955 , St. Vincent's 
1946 age statistics are classed as "approximate data" (110 to 
124.9 are the outside limits set by Whipple). The index for the 
Windward Islands as a group was 136.7 ("rough data"). For 1960, 
St. Vincent's age statistics are classed as "approximate data" 
but were less accurate than in 1946. The index was 116.9 for the 
colony, 115.2 for males, and 118.2 for females. 

Another test used to test the tendency for reporting ages 
at particular years was "Myer's Blended Method," which derives an 
"index of preference" to show the degree of age heaping. See: 
Robert J. Myers, "Errors and Bias in the Reporting of Ages in 
Census Data," Transactions of the Actuarial Society , XLI, Part 2, 
No. 104 (October, 1940), pp. 395-415. The index of preference 
is the sum of the absolute deviations from 10 per cent for each 
digit (0,1,2, ... 9). A zero Index indicates perfect age 
reporting. In 1946, St. Vincent measured 6.38 for males and 7.38 
for females. This was one of the lowest indices for the West 

358 



359 

Indies in that year. In 1960, the indices were 13.50 for males 
and 10.68 for females, indicating a deterioration in reporting 
ages accurately. See: Oniversity of the West Indies, Life 
Tables, 1959-61 , pp. 2-4. 

Age-sex pyramids vith 5-year groupings for 1911 through 
1931 reveal a consistent pattern of apparent under-enumeration or 
misrepresentation of ages for the population 5-9 years of age. If 
there had been an event that reduced this age group in 1911, it 
should have been reflected in the age group 15-19 years in the 
1921 census and the 25-29 year age group in 1931. This was not 
visible at the succeeding censuses. Whatever error occured was 
consistently present for the 1921 and 1931 censuses. Migration 
would not have affected this age group of children, therefore, it 
must be assumed that the error was in the reporting. 

Donald J. Bogue, Principles of Demography (New York: John 
Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1969), p. 149. 

SThe use of the less precise 10-year age grouping is necessary 
if change over the longest time span possible is to be reviewed. The 
fact that the 1861 census recorded ages only in broad 10-year inter- 
vals forces the investigator to use this approach for a general view 
of the demographic changes in St. Vincent. 

^Part of the increase In the level of the index numbers for 
the age groups 0-9 years and 60 years and older might be due to mis- 
statements of age, as the extremes of the age profile are most 
characterized by this error. The tendency for misstatement of age 
is particularly acute in areas of low economic and social develop- 
ment. See: T. Lynn Smith and Paul E. Zopf, Jr., Demography: Prin- 
ciples and Methods (Philadelphia: F.A. Davis, 1970), p. 152; George 
W. Barclay, Techniques of Population Analysis (New York: John Wiley 
& Sons, Inc., 1958), p. 66. 

7 The age group 5-9 years for 1911 through 1931 is clearly 
under-represented. This was recognized elsewhere but no explanation^ 
was given. See: Joycelin Byrne, "Population Growth in St. Vincent," 
Social and Economic Studies , XVIII, No. 2 (June, 1969), p. 157. 

8 A crude measure of the mass emigration that occurred after 
1891 can be seen from the published estimate of population as of 
April 7, 1901, which was presented in lieu of an official census 
for that year. It was reported that in the intervening censal 
decade, 31,345 departures from St. Vincent and 29,528 arrivals 
were officially registered. This probably included a double count- 
ing of workers who may have come and gone several times in response 
to the annual sugar cane harvesting season in Trinidad and Tobago. 
See: The St. Vincent Government Gazette, 1901 , p. 216. [Hereafter 
this reference will be cited as Government Gazette , with the year 
given.] 



360 



9 

A sample of 400 emigrants from St. Vincent to other Vest 
Indian countries between June, 1959, and September, 1960, revealed 
the following information regarding migration: (a) 81 per cent of 
the emigrants went to Trinidad and Tobago; (b) 60 per cent were 
females; (c) 50 per cent of all emigrants were female "domestic 
servants," "seamstresses," and "school teachers;" (d) 55 per cent 
were between the ages of 15 and 30 years; (e) 29 per cent were 
"urban" inhabitants (a hasty definition that included people who 
lived in the towns or environs of Kingstown, Georgetown, and 
Bridgetown). See: Edwin P. Reubens, Migration and Develop-aent 
in the West Indies , Studies in Federal Economics, No. 3 (Kingston, 
Jamaica: Institute of Social and Economic Research, University 
College of the West Indies, [I960]), Tables 11-13 through U-17, 
p. 38. 

Between 1957 and 1960, there were 2,540 Vincentians who em- 
barked for Britain specifically to seek employment; by 1966, there 
were 7,060 who left for the same reason. See: Annual Report of 
the Saint Vincent Police Force , for the years 1957 through 19C6. 
An indication of the sex selectivity of the migration streaos to 
Britain, which offers a possible insight into St. Vincent's pattern, 
is that in 1955, only 15 per cent of Dominica's emigrants were 
females, whereas, by 1958, 47 per cent were women. By 1960, this 
had fallen to 41 per cent. See: R. B. Davison, West Indian 
Migrants (London: Oxford University Press, 1962), Table 9, p. 15. 

Bogue, Principles of Demography , p. 669. 

Comparisons using 5-year age intervals are possible for 
the censal enumerations from 1911 to 1960. The 1891 census had 
5-year age groups for the population under 20 years of age, but 
not above it. 

12 Unlversity of the West Indies, Life Tables, 1959-61 , pp. 3-4. 

13 Ibid. , pp. 3-4. 

University of the West Indies, Life Tables for West Indian 
Populations, 1945-47 and 1950-52 , Census Research Prograrse, Publi- 
cation No. 14 (Kingston, Jamaica: University of the West Indies, 
1966), Table 19, pp. 20-21. 

15 University of the West Indies, Life Tables, 1959-61 , Table 
13, pp. 56-59. 

The century-long time series analysis of age and sex dis- 
tribution by 10-year age groups is dictated by the age reports in 
the 1861 census. At that time, ages were grouped in 10-year seg- 
ments (0-9, 10-19, ... 60 years and older). Census data after 
1891 have been re-grouped by the author similarly to allow com- 
parisons over time and space. 



361 



17 By 1861, there were 786 persons reported as being born in 
the Madeira Islands, out of a total of some 2,100 who disembarked 
in St. Vincent between 1844 and 1850. Of the foreign-born Hadeirans, 
48 per cent resided in Charlotte Parish, 36 per cent lived in St. 
George Parish (14 per cent in Kingstown), while only 16 per cent 
were scattered along the Leeward coast. Of the 907 blacks born in 
Africa, 39 per cent were in Charlotte Parish, 26 per cent in St. 
George Parish, and the remaining 35 per cent were living in the 
Leeward parishes (especially in St. Andrew and St. Patrick Parishes) 
and in the Grenadine Islands. See: Saint Vince nt. Census, 1861, 
Table No. 8, n.p. 

The census In 1871 showed that of 1,260 persons born in 
India, 44 per cent resided in the Windward Census District (most 
of St. George Parish), 15 per cent were found in the environs of 
Kingstown, and 14 per cent were located in the 3 Leeward parishes. 
See: Government Gazatte, 1871 , Table No. 5, p. 214. 

Bogue, Principles of Demography , p. 764. 

19 Ibid., p. 472. 

20 Few of the Grenadine Islands have been studied as well as 
the island of Carriacou, a dependency of Grenada and the largest 
of the string of islets stretching over the 60 miles between St. 
Vincent's "main" island and Grenada. Carriacou's history, which 
nay be indicative of the work habits of most Grenadine islanders, 
shows that a high percentage of the male population is engaged in ■ 
fishing, sailing, and overseas work and is often absent at any one 
time from their home islands. Most of the men who seek overseas 
work do so in Trinidad and Tobago, the favorite destination for 
emigrants from the southern Windward Islands, both legally and 
illegally. See: M. G. Smith, "The Transformation of Land Rights 
by Transmission in Carriacou," Social and Economic Studies, V, 
No. 2 (June, 1956), p. 104; and ibid ., Kingship a nd Community in 
Carriacou (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1962). 

2 1 Govemment Gazette. 1896 , p. 390. 

22 Although the dependency ratio has universal acceptance 
in concept, there is a variation at the lower end of the "working^ 
ages." Bogue prefers 20 years as the first year of "working age, 
while Barclay and Smith and Zopf use 15 years as the age of employ- 
Bent potential. See, respectively: Bogue, Principles of Demo- 
graphy , pp. 154-155; Barclay, Techniques of Population Analy sis, 
pp. 266-267; and Smith and Zopf, Demography , pp. 166-169. In 
the United States and other economically and socially developed 
countries, 20 years may be reasonable as the beginning of working 
life but in an underdeveloped agriculturally-oriented economy, 



<aiUbU£abdU. Z ^-^. , .l .. -»n, . 1 tli-r .i - i r . t.H «i.J t . ^ ,» .-. -ctWi . w^ i . i l i Tr-i i t 



362 



such as St. Vincent, 15 years seems eore logical. The dependency 
ratio is determined by dividing the sua of the dependent age 
groups ("youth" and "old age") by the "vorking age" population 
and multiplying the result by a constant (100) to express the 
burden of dependency as so many dependents per 100 persons of 
vorking age. This is the total dependency ratio, which is com- 
prised of the "youth" and "old age" dependency ratios. 

2*1 

From 1861 to 1881, age data were presented in 10-year age 
groups. To use 10 years as the mlnlnra working age and 60 years 
as the maximum age is inadequate. Unfortunately, all of the people 
60 years and older were lumped together in one age group. 

^*To gain an idea of the relative burden of dependency in 
other countries, the author calculated the total dependency ratio 
for several nations. In 1965, Sweden (a demographically "old" 
population) had a ratio of 51. The United States had a ratio of 
64 in 1968, and Costa Rica (one of the fastest growing countries 
in Latin America) had a ratio of 107 in 1963. The data used for 
these calculations are found in United Nations, Demographic Year- 
book, 1968 (New York: United Nations, 1969), Table 5, pp. 134-156. 

25 

The sex ratio , the most comaon measure of the relative 

balance between the sexes in a given population is determined by 
dividing the number of males by the number of females in a given 
population and multiplying the result by a constant, usually 100 
or 1,000. In this study, the constant is 100. The sex ratio num- 
ber refers to the number of males per 100 females. 

The earliest published breakdown of St. Vincent's popula- 
tion by sex appeared in the census of 1844. Another early crude 
estimate of population was reported by Valentine Morris, who was 
governor of St. Vincent in 1776. He listed the white population, 
in March, 1777, as 911 men, 126 women, and 1,810 children. The 
sex ratio of the adult white population was, therefore, 723, ex- 
tremely high for a long-time settled area but not out of reason 
for a frontier area. St. Vincent had passed into British possession 
a mere 13 years earlier. See: Ivor Walters, The Unfortunate 
Valentine Morris (Newport, Eng. : R. H. Johns, Ltd., 1964), p. 39. 

27 

Roberts notes that the sex ratio for Jamaican slaves was 

100.3 in 1817 and 96.4 in 1829. By 1844, it had declined further 
to 92.8. See: G. W. Roberts, The Population of Jamaica (Cambridge, 
Eng.: The Conservation Foundation at the University Press, 1957), 
p. 71. 

There were 1,036 "liberated" Africans brought to St. Vin- 
cent between 1850 and 1862, but age and sex information is not 
available for these immigrants. Such information is available, 



miiiiiMrftrnHii j^,-»w-^iii - .vr -n~tm*M±. 



363 



however, for 213 out of 227 Africans disembarked between July 9, 
I860, and April 11, 1862. The sex ratio for these laborers was 
238. All of the Africans were under 15 years of age. See: Immi- 
gration Office, "Register of Immigrants — African," a manuscript 
record of the arrival of liberated Africans, deposited in the 
safety vault of the St. Vincent Registrar-General's office in 
Kingstown. One source indicated that by 1844, 996 Portuguese 
Hadeiran males and 1,069 females had been imported into the colony; 
therefore, the sex ratio was 93. See: The Colony of St. Vincent , 
Blue Book, 1850 , pp. 134-135. [Hereafter this source will be re- 
ferred to as Blue Book , with the appropriate year added.] 

29 

Immigration Office, "Register of Immigrants — No. 1, Indians 

[1861-1880]," a manuscript record of the arrival of East Indians, 
deposited in the safety vault of the Registrar-General's office in 
Kingstown. 

30 

Figure 54 omits the census districts for 1881 and 1891 

because the census reports for these years did not list the age 

and sex composition of the population by parish , as did the previous 

censuses. The enumeration districts for 1881 and 1891 were not 

comparable with the parish boundaries of the earlier censuses. 

A high birth rate tends to inflate the sex ratio because 
all sex ratios at birth are greater than 100, although the negro 
sex ratio is generally accepted as being less than that of the 
white population. The white sex ratio at birth in the 20th century 
is about 105 or 106, while that of the American negro is about 103. 
It has yet to be proved whether the low negro sex ratio at birth 
is due to the biological or social conditions of the mother. See: 
Bogue, Principles of Demography , p. 166. 

32 

In 1819, there were 38 cotton and sugar estates in the 

Grenadine Islands of St. Vincent, employing some 2,500 slaves. By 
1844, only 7 estates were functioning with a total of 282 estate 
workers. See: Estates Book , pp. 214-234. Most of the ex-slaves 
were apparently occupied in non-agricultural employment, despite 
their habit of squatting on abandoned estate lands. See: Blue 
Book , 1858, p. 249. 

Some confusion attends a comparison of census districts in 
the 20th century, as there was no consistency in naming these dis- 
tricts. For the censuses of 1911 through 1931, districts were 
designated by letter ( District A , District B , and so forth), while 
the 1946 census grouped village-centered districts into major 
divisions that were named by the cardinal points ( Western District , 
Eastern District , and so forth). In 1960, major census districts 
were composed of agglomerations of numerous sub-districts and 



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364 



were named according to the major town or village in each major dis- 
trict. The author has re-named the major districts according to 
the more commonly used designations of the past century in order to 
eliminate a multiplicity of names that refer to almost identical 
areas . 

The age groupings used are limited by the amount of d^.ail 
provided in the census reports, particularly in the enumeration of 
1891. At that time, there was no breakdown of ages above 60 years, 
therefore, 60 years was, by necessity, chosen as the lower limit 
of old age dependence in the comparison of sex ratios. Before 1891, 
age data by 5-year age groups for the population under 15 years was 
lacking. The author chose to eliminate the previous censuses from 
the comparison. 

Nearly every country has had to face this problem, as no 
hard and fast rules exist that can be applied uniformly to the cate- 
gorization of people by "racial" groups. The usual method for 
grouping people by race or ethnic background has been to select 
nationally recognized "racial" groups bearing generally accepted 
social distinctions. This practice, unfortunately, makes inter- 
national comparisons over time difficult. See: Bogue, Principles 
of Demography , p. 173. In the United States, for example, people 
of apparently pure "Negro" or mixed Negro and white percentage are 
considered to be "Negro" for census purposes. In St. Vincent, 
there has always been a separation between "African" (Negro, black) 
and mixed or "coloured [sic]." This is usually determined by color, 
reported by a respondent to a census or assigned by the census 
enumerator. See: Population Census, 1960 , Eastern Caribbean Region , 
Volume I, Part A: "Administrative Report" (Port-of-Spain, Trinidad 
and Tobago: Central Statistical Office, 1967), p. 19. 

In the published pre-censal population estimates, it can 
be taken that the caption "slaves" (or laborers after emancipation) 
referred to blacks. The "mixed" or "coloured [sic]" population 
referred to the progeny of white and black sexual unions. The 
Carib Indians have been treated inconsistently, both as "coloured" 
and "black" and were most likely dependent upon the census enumera- 
tor's personal judgment of color or social class. After alien 
laborers entered the population in the post-emancipation years up 
to 1880, racial determination became more complicated, for many 
East Indians were black in complexion and, therefore, categories 
were added to distinguish "race," "complexion," and place ot birth." 
The Portuguese Madeirans were included in the "white" or "European"^ 
population and black and Madeiran miscegenation added to the "mixed" 
segment. The census of 1891 classified the population by "com- 
plexion" and "place of birth" but not by "race," as had been done 
between 1861 and 1881. The early 20th century censuses (1911 
through 1931) omitted entirely "race" and "complexion" and recorded 



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365 

only "place of birth." In the 19th century, "place of birth" could 
have been used to help determine race, for many residents were 
foreign-born (the labor Immigrants). This was useless in the 20th 
century because none of the offspring of the East Indians, Portu- 
guese Madeirans, or Africans had been born in their parent's home- 
land. It was not until the 1946 and 1960 censuses that inter- 
nationally accepted racial classes were used: 

While there has been an appreciable degree of miscegenation, 
the racial groups doubtless retain sufficient identity to 
Justify conformity to international requirements on this 
aspect of the census and therefore a simple racial or ethnic 
classification has been recognized. 

See: Population Census, I960, Eastern Caribbean Region , "Adminis- 
trative Report," p. 19. 

There is no way to distinguish between the East Indians 
who were sometimes grouped with blacks and other times returned 
with the mixed population. The Carib population was similarly 
treated. 

38 

Most West Indian countries, including St. Vincent, have a 

recognizable social class hierarchy based on color, with whites at 
the top and blacks at the bottom, although many exceptions can be 
found. Until recent times, lighter skin color was considered by 
many to be more desirable. See: David Lowenthal, West Indian 
Societies (New York: Oxford University Press, 1972), pp. 81-84; 
ibid., "Race and Color in the West Indies," Daedalus (Spring, 
1967), pp. 580-626; also Lloyd Braithwaite, "Social Stratification 
in Trinidad: A Preliminary Analysis," Social and Economic Studies , . 
II, Nos. 2-3 (1953), pp. 5-175. 

It will be interesting to examine the 1970 census tabulations 
on race to see if the American "Black Power" philosophy of the late 
1960s has had any effect on respondents' self-categorization of 
their race. 

39 

The census of 1891 was the first to record racial groups 

by sex; however, the inconsistency of racial categorization between 
1911 and 1931 renders a long-term analysis impossible. Age and 
sex, by race group, appeared for the first time in the 1946 census. 

40 

Smith and Zopf developed a scale to describe the percentage 
of a total population under 15 years of age based on the percentage 
distribution of 62 countries. A country with less than 32 per cent 
of its population among its youth was characterized as being of low 
youthfulness; between 32 and 39.9 per cent, it was of medium youth- 
fulness; and 40 per cent or more was high youthfulness. See: Smith 
and Zopf, Demography , pp. 168-169. 



M ^ Vt i rilnr i « i 'i . r k n , ~*c«j.^-^^^. .w , - „..^,.,^.>- >.,^„ ■«..!■> ... ■■ ... _,-. ^ : .>.,- r .. ..-^. ......... . — ■>->-■• -*■-,...-..<■■ 



366 

41 

Old-age populations are characterized as low if less than 

5 per cent of the total population is 65 years old or older; medium 

if the proportion is 5 to 7.9 per cent; and high if 8 per cent or 

more are above 65 years of age. See: Ibid., pp. 168-169. 

4 2 Ibld ., p. 73. 

Bogue, Principles of Demography , p. 465. 

I don't know. I can't define it 
in abstract terms — yet. But I think I can recognize it when I see 
it; . . . " See: Kenneth Clark, Civilisation: A Personal View 
(New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1969), p.l. 

The minimum population size of 2,000 was waived if other 
principal criteria applied, for example, "the quality of roads, the 
presence or absence of electric power and adequate water supply." 
Other criteria that helped to define "small towns" were the presence 
of Government offices, court houses, police stations, and cinemas. 
Many times settlements were considered "small towns" at the ex- 
pressed request of the St. Vincent Government. In most cases, 
small town boundaries were arbitrarily delimited as most had no 
legal status. See: Population Census, Eastern Caribbean Region , 
"Administrative Report," pp. 10-11. 

Before 1861, the published census reports did not list 
the size of all settlements. Beginning in 1861 and extending 
through 1891, every population settlement, regardless of size, was 
listed in the census. It was the practice at that tine to assign 
each inhabitant to a named place, which meant that many times the 
named settlement had only 1 or 2 persons. The settlements included 
towns, villages, estates, and "small settlements." 

47 In 1861, there were 251 towns, villages, estates, and small 
settlements; in 1871, there were 268; in 1881, there were 249; and 
in 1891, there were 282. Occasionally neighboring estates or small 
settlements were combined for one census, but not for another. The 
censal totals refer to the absolute number of individual population 
sizes listed in each census report. 

48 Roberts states the case for Jamaica, although it is applic- 
able to all West Indian censuses: 

Changing concepts of the working population, changing de- 
finitions of its major classes, and the persistent attempts 
to fit the essentially simple occupational patterns of the 
Island [Jamaica] into elaborate classifications, more suitable 
to countries on the road to full industrialization, impose 



367 



severe limitations on the available data ... It Is probable 
that not all the occupational categories listed in the Jamaica 
censuses, particularly those of the nineteenth century, cover 
persons continuously engaged in the production of marketable 
goods and services, . . . 

See: Roberts, Jamaica , pp. 85-86. 

49 

The "primary" industrial group includes occupations in agri- 
culture, forestry, hunting, fishing, mining and quarrying. "Secondary" 
industrial occupations include all those relating to manufacturing and 
construction. The remaining occupations — those relating to services 
and commerce — make up the "tertiary" industrial group. In order to 
compare data in 1861 with information in 1960, it has been necessary 
to set up this three-fold industrial classification. 

Hereafter the terms "labor force" (used in the United States), 
"economically active population" (used by the United Nations and the 
1960 West Indian censuses), and "gainfully employed" (used in the 
1946 West Indian censuses) will be used interchangeably. 

As a comparison, 82 per cent of the Jamaican population 
were working at one job or another in 1834. See: Roberts, Jamaica , 
p. 85. 

52 



Ibid ., p. 86. 

With the absence of many men from St. Vincent during the 
Second World War, most of whom were in Trinidad and Tobago and the 
Netherlands Antilles, one might expect more women to be engaged in 
gainful employment; however, the high wages earned outside of the 
colony were remitted to families in St. Vincent who opted to buy 
food rather than raise it. See: Report on the Agricultural De- 
partment, 1944 , p. 7. 

Between 1921 and 1960, the proportion of school age pop- 
ulation (5 through 14 years of age) recorded as not attending school 
declined from 29 per cent to 1 per cent. See: Byrne, "Population 
Growth in St. Vincent," p. 162. 

The marked decline in agricultural laborers returned by 
the 1931 census was acknowledged to be an error on the part of the 
census enumerators who were not thorough enough in their attempts 
to help "the uninformed householder" fill out the schedules. See: 
Report and General Abstracts of the Census of 1931 , p. 6. 



368 

In recent decades, the younger worker In St. Vincent has 
apparently been more likely to seek employment in the secondary or 
tertiary sectors of the economy rather than in farming. This was 
abundantly clear from the author's personal observations while on 
field trips throughout the length and breadth of St. Vincent. Most 
of the farmers encountered in "the bush" were old, many apparently 
past 60 years of age. Their constant complaint was that the young 
disdained manual work in the fields. It was pointed out to the 
author several times by various officials, for example, those in 
the banana industry, that their clerks in the Kingstown headquarters 
could earn more money in farming than in office work, but "white 
collar" jobs had more social appeal and allowed the young workers 
to live in or near Kingstown where social life was more varied. 
For exactly the sase observation, see: David L. Niddrie, Land Use 
and Population in Tobapo , The World Land Use Survey, Regional 
Monograph No. 3 (Bude, Eng.: Geographical Publications, 1961), 
pp. 48-49. 



CHAPTER VIII 
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS 

The purpose of this study of St. Vincent is the reconstruction 
of the historical economic and population geography of a small West 
Indian island. During the initial fieldwork and data gathering 
period, it became evident that many of the 20th-century problems 
were linked directly to 19th- and even 18th-century conditions in 
St. Vincent and the British Vest Indies. It was decided, therefore, 
to review as much of St. Vincent's past as possible in order to 
trace the patterns of economic and demographic change. 

The time spectrum for this study extends from 1763, the date 
of Great Britain's acquisition of St. Vincent, to the latest pub- 
lished census, in 1960. Because of the delay in publishing the 
final results of the 1970 population census and the incomplete 
economic statistics for the 1960s, it was necessary to limit the 
investigation to 1960. 

Problem and Hypothesis 
The problem of concern in this study is the relationship 
between fluctuations in the export economy and changes in the 
variables of population growth and composition of St. Vincent. 
An examination of the economically "dependent" status of the 
island and the major demographic changes over nearly 200 years 
369 



370 

reveals a pattern that suggests the paramount role of the export 
economy in affecting the rate of population growth and changes in 
the variables of demographic composition. 

It was hypothesized that the size, distribution, and charac- 
teristics of St. Vincent's population have been affected by varia- 
tions in the national export economy from the initial British 
exploitation of the island in 1763 up to 1960. The comprehensive 
examination of the econoay and population in the preceding chapters 
supports this hypothesis. 

Summary of the Export Economy 
In Part I of this study, the foundation of St. Vincent's 
export economy— the sugar industry — is traced from its beginning 
in 1763 to its demise after the turn of the 19th century. The 
arrowroot starch, Sea Island cotton, and banana industries are 
then discussed. 

The Sugar Industry 

It was only after the Carib Vars in the last quarter of the 
18th century that St. Vincent's sugar economy could expand to its 
potential. Despite the abolition of the slave trade in 1808, 
St. Vincent succeeded in reaching its highest production in 1828, 
shortly before the apprenticeship and emancipation of slaves 
occurred. 

When the legal institution of slavery ended in 1838, the 
sugar planters were faced with periodic labor shortages, as the 
ex-slaves initially shunned estate work. To meet this problem, 



371 

the St. Vincent legislature approved and funded the direct importa- 
tion of alien agricultural laborers. In the late 1840s, Portuguese 
Madeirans were brought in, along with "liberated" Africans taken 
from slave ships and interned at Crown expense in Sierra Leone 
and St. Helena. 

The burden of maintaining unprofitable or heavily indebted 
sugar estates in St. Vincent resulted in many plantations being 
abandoned after the end of slavery. Even the influx of foreign 
immigrant workers for two decades after emancipation did not cause 
a major recovery In sugar production. This was due in part to the 
equalization of sugar duties in Britain in 1854. The spark, that 
did lead to a resurgence in sugar manufacture in St. Vincent was 
the enactment in 1857 by the St. Vincent legislature of the West 
Indian Encumbered Estates Act. Its purpose was to give a clear 
land title to purchasers of abandoned or bankrupt estates in the 
island. 

Through the actions of the West Indian Encumbered Estates 
Act Court and the recommencement of large-scale immigration in 
1861, this time of indentured East Indian "coolies," the Vincentian 
sugar industry experienced a recovery that lasted until about 1880. 
In 1874, Britain completely eliminated sugar duties on foreign- 
grown sugar, and soon afterwards European beet sugar producers 
began flooding the English market. The brief resurgence of St. 
Vincent's historically inefficient sugar industry was over by 1880. 
Thereafter, sugar exports declined until, by 1892, arrowroot starch 
exports superseded sugar as the primary export. 



372 



The disastrous hurricane In 1898 destroyed many of the re- 
maining sugar mills and was followed In 1902 by the devastating 
eruption of the Soufriere volcano. For all practical purposes, 
it can be said that St. Vincent's sugar industry ended in 1902. 
Although there was a brief flurry of sugar production during the 
First World War, the industry subsisted with only one major mill 
as late as 1960. For many years after 1918, production was often 
only sufficient to fill local demand. 

The Arrowroot Starch Industry 

Arrowroot starch has been produced in St. Vincent throughout 
most of its history. Initially, it was a small-scale slave enter- 
prise until emancipation; thereafter, many ex-slaves began culti- 
vating the arrowroot rhizomes. It remained essentially a small 
cultivator product throughout the 19th century, producing a low- 
quality starch that faced periodic gluts in Britain. 

With the demise of the sugar industry, more estates began 
producing arrowroot, increasing both the quantity and quality 
available for export. Unfortunately, the English market was 
usually saturated, which resulted in frequent price declines. 

In the early 1920s, the United States emerged as a large 
importer of arrowroot and continued to buy increasingly more 
starch until it superseded Britain as the chief consumer of arrow- 
root in 1931. The world depression in the 1930s affected all 
exports froa St. Vincent, but the arrowroot industry, by then 



373 

mostly an estate-grown commodity, suffered the least and recovered 
the most quickly. 

Although arrowroot production declined during the Second 
World War, as large and small growers alike turned to the pro- 
fitable food trade in the Caribbean, it recovered soon after the 
end of hostilities. The labor competition of banana cultivation 
in the mid-1950s, together with a strong United States demand and 
a faltering Vincentian supply of arrowroot starch, caused the 
American buyers to seek substitute starches in the early 1960s 
that provided a more reliable supply at more favorable prices in 
the United States. Throughout most of the 1960s, the period beyond 
the scope of this study, St. Vincent has had to maintain a store 
of several years' supply of arrowroot starch, with the hope of 
eventually selling it and trying to retrieve the lost market. 

The Sea Island Cotton Industry 

St. Vincent's cotton industry has functioned since the earliest 
years of British settlement in the island. Most of the pre-20th 
century activity, however, was restricted to the growing of the 
lower quality Marie Galante variety, usually in the drier Grenadine 
dependencies. The 19th-century sugar era in St. Vincent success- 
fully excluded cotton production from the "main" island, and it 
was not until sugar manufacture declined after 1880 that St. Vin- 
cent's cotton industry was revitalized. 

Depressed conditions in the island in the 1890s led to an 
examination of possible alternative export commodity production 



374 

through the offices of the West Indian Royal Commission of 1897. 
Experimental Sea Island cotton was planted in St. Vincent in the 
1902-03 season and was immediately found to be successful. With 
the United States retaining increasingly larger amounts of cotton 
for its own cotton industry, along with the demand in Great 
Britain for high-quality long-staple cotton, a ready market was 
open for Vincentian Sea Island cotton exports. By 1910, Sea 
Island cotton exports had replaced both sugar and arrowroot starch 
production in the island. 

Despite the war-induced high prices for cotton between 1914 
and 1918, sugar production proved to be temporarily even more pro- 
fitable as shortages in Europe caused many Vincentian estates to 
replant their arrowroot and cotton lands in sugar cane. By 1920, 
however, the ravages of the boll weevil in the Sea Islands of 
Southeastern United States had led to speculative price Increases 
in the world cotton trade. The boom in prices and production of 
Sea Island cotton in St. Vincent was quickly followed by a slump 
in prices and concomitant reduction in Vincentian planting. 

St. Vincent's industry was sustained somewhat in the early 
1920s as the boll weevil continued to destroy much of the United 
States' crop. At the same time, however, Egyptian cotton and 
artificial fibers (silk and rayon) began competing with the 
extra-long-staple Sea Island variety in the English lace trade. 

With uncertain market conditions in Britain, many Vincentian 
growers, both large and small alike, increased their arrowroot 
acreages in place of cotton, especially after the emergence of 



375 

the United States as a major buyer of arrovroot starch In the mid- 
19208. The world economic depression of the 1930s severely affected 
St. Vincent's cotton industry, which suffered a longer period of 
depressed prices and demand than did arrowroot. 

Britain's entry into the Second World War created favorable 
conditions for Sea Island cotton as both the demand and price were 
guaranteed by the British Government. Production and labor costs 
in St. Vincent, however, soon made cotton cultivation precarious 
at the same time as prices for ground provisions increased through- 
out the Caribbean area. Estate growers and small cultivators once 
again withdrew land from the traditional export crops and planted 
food crops for the intra-Caribbean market. 

After the war, cotton production never fully returned to 
pre-war levels, as trading arrangements in Britain were usually 
uncertain and lacked a "futures" market. In addition, the rapid 
growth of banana cultivation in St. Vincent after 1953 caused 
competition for land and labor. Within 3 years, the value of 
banana exports exceeded those of Sea Island cotton. A final blow 
was dealt to St. Vincent's cotton industry by the total destruction 
by fire of the island's only cotton gin, in 1959. Between 1958- 
59 and 1960-61, cotton acreage fell by 90 per cent; thereafter, 
the industry faded as a major economic enterprise. 

The Banana Industry 

Banana production for export has been confined mostly to the 
20th century. Two early attempts to establish this industry failed 
before the end of the Second World War. As a result of the 



376 

recommendations of the West Indian Royal Commission of 1897, bananas 
were planted in 1898, and the first meager shipment to Britain oc- 
curred in 1903. Handling and refrigeration problems caused the 
venture to fail. 

Later, during the years of the world economic depression in 
the early 1930s, banana cultivation was started again, this time 
under contract with a Canadian subsidiary of the United Fruit Com- 
pany. A cooperative banana marketing board was established to 
facilitate the gathering, packing, and shipping of the banana stems 
for the Canadian market. The production contract was to be in 
force from 1936 to 1940 (later extended to 1942) , with the Canadian 
company taking all of the bananas grown in St. Vincent. 

Unforeseen problems, such as the small grower's unfamiliarity 
with banana cultivation, in St. Vincent, a shortage of planting 
material, poor transportation and handling facilities, and especially 
the immediate appearance of "Panama disease" in the 'Gros Michel' 
banana stands soon caused production to decline. In addition, the 
advent of the Second World War caused disruptions in Caribbean 
shipping, and thus banana cultivation faced an uncertain future. 
Although the Canadian company took bananas from St. Vincent up to 
1942, all banana shipments ceased after that year. 

Following the two previous unsuccessful ventures, banana 
cultivation was .gain re-established on a small scale in 1947, with 
most of the fruit transshipped to St. Lucia for re-export to market. 
In 1964, a Dutch-owned fruit shipping company, Geest Industries 
Limited, signed a contract providing for the export of all Vincen- 
tian bananas to Britain. With a guaranteed market, and a new 



377 

strain of banana ('Robusta') planted, the banana Industry succeeded 
In providing a quick, profitable cash crop for the small growers 
and, later, for the estates. In 1956, the value of banana exports 
exceeded that of any other single export commodity and continued 
to increase. Price declines between 1958 and 1961, however, forced 
a rationalization of banana production in St. Vincent, so that 
many inefficient small growers who had hastily engaged in banana 
cultivation between 1954 and 1958 were forced out. 

In the post-1960 period, bananas provided the mainstay of 
St. Vincent's export economy. Numerically, there were more small 
growers (farming less than 5 acres each) than large estate growers 
of bananas in the 1960s, but the estates were more efficient and 
accounted for the largest percentage of banana exports to Britain. 

Minor Cash Crops 

Among the many minor cash crops raised in St. Vincent, two 
stand out— cocoa and coconuts. Cocoa was one of the earliest crops 
in St. Vincent and was grown in the Leeward valleys by the French 
settlers who preceded the British. With the establishment of 
British sugar production in St. Vincent after 1763, and the gradual 
elimination of small farmers, especially the French leaseholders, 
cocoa bean exports diminished to insignificance in the late 18th 
century and throughout most of the 19th century. 

As sugar production declined after 1880, cocoa production 
(among other alternative cash crops) increased. The attempts to 
enlarge the landowning class in St. Vincent in the 1880s resulted 
in a slight resurgence of cocoa tree plantings, particularly on 



^.- -,-i, ,. 



378 



the small Leeward land parcels. Through the efforts of the West 
Indian Royal Commission of 1897, a Land Settlement Scheme was 
established in St. Vincent to increase further the number of small 
landholders on whose parcels cocoa was a mandatory crop. The 
hurricane in 1898 and the Soufriere volcanic eruption in 1902, led 
however, to the destruction or abandonment of many cocoa trees in 
the affected areas. Nevertheless, replanting followed quickly, so 
that the largest quantity of cocoa bean exports occurred in 1907, 
although the highest value of exports was reached in 1915. In the 
latter year, 7 per cent of St. Vincent's export value was accounted 
for by cocoa, a level that steadily declined thereafter. 

Several factors led to the decline of the Vincentian cocoa 
industry after the First World War— a damaging hurricane in 1921, 
the rapid expansion of West African cocoa plantings after 1920 
(resulting in declining prices) , and the world trade depression 
in the 1930s. Between 1930 and 1960, the value of cocoa bean ex- 
ports never exceeded 0.5 per cent of the total value of Vincentian 
exports. 

Copra (sun- or kiln-dried coconut meat) is essentially a 
20th century cash crop in St. Vincent. The first large-scale 
commercial coconut plantings in the island took place in 1911 and 
were expanded in the 1920s and 1930s. Throughout its history, 
copra (and coconut) production has been over-whelmlngly an estate- 
grown product, with the largest acreages found along the Windward 
coast, particularly in the old "Carib Country" in the northeastern 
part of the island. 



z*A:^-~M±.J>£.^-^ .:-**+-* n—. ...„._. -■ J -.^-, .-^„v.-^ 



379 

Most of the coconut products exported from St. Vincent be- 
tveen 1935 and 1960 have not been in the form of copra but rather 
as whole nuts. A shortage of fats during the Second World War 
increased the value of exports to the point where 20 per cent of 
the total value of Vincentian exports was accounted for by coconuts. 
As estates began cultivating more bananas in the 1950s, coconut 
exports declined, so that by 1960, only 14 per cent of St. Vincent's 
total exports were derived from this source. 

Suraaary of Population Change 
In Part II of this study, the change in the rate of population 
growth and the factors of population composition in St. Vincent are 
traced from 1763 to 1960. Emphasis is placed upon the changes re- 
corded during the censal era, beginning with the first official 
census taken in 1844 and ending with the latest published census 
of 1960. The growth of St. Vincent's population is divided into 
4 eras: (1) pre-censal estimates: the era of slavery and apprentice- 
ship; (2) the era of alien labor immigration, 1844 to 1881; (3) the 
era of emigration, 1881 to 1931; and (4) the era of rapid population 
growth, 1931 to, 1960. 

Pre-Censal Estimates 

The earliest population estimate for St. Vincent was for the 
year 1735, when the total was thought to be between 3,800 to 10,000. 
The inhabitants were French farmers and their slaves; the native 
Carib Indians were usually not counted. At the time of Britain's 
acquisition of St. Vincent in 1763, the population was estimated 
to be 7,100. Between 1764 and 1805 (the last estimate before the 



380 

abolition of the slave trade, in 1808), the population grew by 
about 122 per cent, from 9,518 to 18,550, most of which was accounted 
for by the importation of African slaves. By 1825, the last estimate 
before slavery ended, the population had grown to 27,905. 

The Era of Alien Labor Immigration, 1844 to 1881 

With the end of slavery in 1838, the planters in St. Vincent 
became concerned with obtaining an abundant and cheap labor supply, 
as many ex-slaves opted to withdraw temporarily or permanently from 
estate work. As a result of these concerns, the first official 
census was taken in 1844 to ascertain the number of people in the 
colony; the size of the population was estimated to be 27,248. 

The St. Vincent legislature sought to increase the pool of 
laborers by importing indentured agricultural workers. Between 
1844 and 1880, in the order of their arrival, 5,575 indentured 
Portuguese Madeirans, "liberated" Africans, and East Indian "coolies" 
migrated to St. Vincent. There were 3,138 Portuguese Madeirans and 
"liberated" Africans landed between 1844 and 1862 and 2,429 East 
Indians between 1861 and 1880. It was during the latter time 
interval that St. Vincent's sugar industry was partially restored 
by the actions of the West Indian Encumbered Estates Act of 1857. 
The census of 1881 revealed a population of 40,548. 

The Era of Emigration, 1881 to 1931 

The years between 1881 and 1931 encompass some of the worst 
economic and natural disasters in St. Vincent's history. The in- 
creasingly unprofitable monoculture of sugar in the last 25 years 



381 

of the 19th century resulted In a steady emigration of Vincentians 
to other more remunerative destinations In the clrcum-Carlbbean 
region, especially to Trinidad and Tobago. The effect of the 
hurricane In 1898 and the Soufriere eruption in 1902 caused heavy 
emigration; the annual rate of net migration between 1891 and 1911 
was -18.89 per thousand, the highest ever recorded by the official 
censuses. The population losses from emigration were so great 
that population Increased at an average annual rate of only 0.34 
per cent over the years 1881 and 1931, growing from 40,548 to 
47,961. Natural increase was estimated to be 40,420, yet the 
change in the total population in this broad interval was only 
7.413. 

The Era of Rapid Population Growth, 1931 to 1960 

In the interval between 1931 and 1960, St. Vincent's pop- 
ulation experienced its most rapid annual rate of growth in its 
censal history. The rate of growth was 1.72 per cent per year 
over the 29-year period. A combination of the effects of high 
fertility and declining mortality (despite periodic emigration) 
accounted for the "explosive" growth rates after 1931. From 
47,961 persons in 1931, the population grew to 79,948 in 1960. 
This would have been considerably larger had laborers not 
emigrated during the Second World War or during the brief exis- 
tence of the West Indian Federation. For example, between 1947 
and 1959, natural increase amounted to 28,000, while net migration 
amounted to -11,220. This means that 40 per cent of the natural 
Increase was "neutralized" by emigration. Had St. Vincent 



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382 

experienced no emigration and had it grown at the annual rate of 
natural increase for the year 1957 (4.18 per cent), the population 
would have doubled in 17 years. 

The Spatial Distribution and Density of Population 

One of the variables that has changed very little since the 
early 19th century is the spatial distribution of the population. 
Most of the population has been and still is concentrated below 
the 1,000-foot level. The ruggedness of the topography above 
1,000 feet has effectively eliminated these lands from continuous 
exploitation. The main concentrations of population have been 
along the coasts and the lower reaches of the interior valleys, 
south of Chateaubelair on the Leeward coast and Georgetown on the 
Windward coast, increasing in density towards Kingstown. 

The usual calculation of population density (total population 
divided by total area) results in a population density of 182 
persons per square mile in 1844 and 535 per square mile in 1960. 
However, by including only the accessible portions of the "main" 
island of St. Vincent (the area below the 1,000-foot elevation) 
the effective density of population increases from 339 persons 
per square mile in 1844 to 1,002 per square mile in 1960 — a much 
more realistic measurement of crowding in the island. 

Summary of the Composition Of Population 
The variables of population composition analyzed in this 
study are: (1) age; (2) sex; (3) race; (4) rural-urban residence; 
and (5) occupational status. These variables are studied censally 
from 1861 through 1960. 



333 

Age Structure 

In general, the age structure of St. Vincent has been charac- 
terized by Its youthf ulness. Under the age of 20 years, there has 
been relatively little change between 1861 and 1960. In 1861, 51 
per cent of the population was under 20 years of age and In 1960, 
this had Increased to 58 per cent. 

Most of the change in age composition has been confined to 
the younger working-age groups, 20 through 39 years. These are 
the ages most selective of emigrants. Above 40 years of age, 
there has been little fluctuation over the last century. 

When age and sex are taken together, a picture is revealed 
of predominantly young male adults entering the mass emigration 
streams between 1881 and 1931. It was only after the Second World 
War, especially In the late 1950s, that young female adults began 
emigrating, first to Trinidad and Tobago and later, in the early 
1960s, to Great Britain. 

It is safe to say that St. Vincent has been an extremely 
"young" population, the result of both heavy emigration of young 
adults and the high fertility experienced after the 1930s. Con- 
sequently, the economic burden of dependency has been high in the 
island throughout the post-slavery era. From a minimum of 72 
"dependents" (those under 15 and over 64 years of age) per 100 
working-age persons (15 through 64 years of age) in 1911, the 
dependency ratio increased to a maximum of 115 in 1960, with 91 
per cent of the 1960 dependency ratio made up of children under 
15 years of age. 



384 



The Sex Composition 

Throughout its demographic history, St. Vincent has been ex- 
periencing a declining sex ratio (the number of males per 100 
females). This is the result of the very high sex ratios during 
slave days that were reduced after the Importation of slaves was 
abolished in 1808. Thereafter, the higher mortality of the aging 
ex-slaves plus the low fertility rate among the predominantly 
black population caused the sex ratio to fall so that by 1844, 
there were only 86 males per 100 females. 

The period of alien labor Immigration reversed this trend 
briefly, raising the sex ratio to a maximum of 90 in the census 
years of 1861 and 1871. After 1871, the heavy emigration ex- 
perienced for the next half-century once again lowered the sex 
ratio to a minimum of 76 in 1921. The high fertility rates after 
1931 and the world-wide restrictions on migration caused St. 
Vincent's sex ratio to increase from 83 in 1946 to 89 in 1960. 
St. Vincent is, thus, still characterized by its extreme youth- 
fulness and its female sex dominance. 

When the sex ratio by age groups is examined, the effects 
of past sex selective emigrations can be seen. The lowest sex 
ratios registered in the island have been of young adults in 1911 
and 1921. 

The Racial Composition 

Over the 200 years Included in this study, the overwhelming 
majority of St. Vincent's population has remained black (African 



385 

or Negro). This was clearly the result of the period of slavery 
vhen only a relatively few "whites" and "mixed" were found operating 
the sugar estates or working as free men in the towns and villages. 

From a maximum of 90 per cent black population in 1812, this 
proportion declined slowly but steadily as the "mixed" (or "colored") 
segment increased. In 1861, when the East Indians began arriving, 
the black component of the population accounted for 71 per cent of 
the total, while the "mixed" group (which included the East Indians) 
accounted for 20 per cent of the population. Thereafter, as late 
as 1960, these percentages varied only a few percentage points at 
each census. 

The "white" (or "European") population decreased from a max- 
imum of 11 per cent in 1787 to a minimum of slightly more than 2 
per cent in 1960. 

Rural-Urban Residence 

None of the censuses taken in St. Vincent have satisfactorily 
taken account of the sizes of settlement. The terms "urban" and 
"rural" have never been used; instead, in the 1946 and 1960 cen- 
suses, "small towns" were set aside from their rural environs. 
Although this practice was more satisfactory than any previously 
adopted, it still failed to distinguish genuine urban and rural 
characteristics. If settlements possessed "certain institutions 
or facilities" and had 2,000 inhabitants or more, they were 
designated as "small towns" for census purpor.es. 

St. Vincent, in effect, is a "rural" island. The only 
settlement that can be judged "urban" is Kingstown, the capital 



386 

and primate city. Other "small towns" are still agriculturally 
oriented as many residents journey to their fields during the day 
and return to their village homes in the evening. Life in most 
villages is distinctly rural in character. 

Occupational Status 

The analysis of occupational status in St. Vincent describes 
how succeeding generations of laborers have earned their living 
over the past 200 years. From the occupations listed in the 
censuses from 1861 to 1960, it was helpful to group them into 3 
broad industrial categories: (1) primary activities; (2) secondary 
activities; and (3) tertiary activities. 

Although the size of the labor force has increased absolutely 
over the last century, it has decreased proportionately, from 64 
per cent of the total population in 1861 to 29 per cent in 1960. 
Since the end of large-scale emigrations in the first quarter of 
the 20th century, the sex ratio of all the industrial groups has 
shown an increase. The greatest increase was evident in secondary 
occupations (small-scale manufacturing, carpentry, and construction); 
between 1911 and 1960, the sex ratio of this group increased from 
86 to 256, while that of the primary group (agriculture) increased 
from 86 to 177. Although the sex ratio also increased for tertiary 
(service) activities, it was much lower — from 50 in 1911 to 99 in 
1960. Typically, males have been much more active in the labor 
force than females, at all ages, despite their numerical inferiority. 

Between 1861 and 1931, the percentage of the labor force en- 
gaged in the primary sector remained relatively constant; thereafter, 



387 

it declined as more workers entered the secondary and tertiary 
sectors of the economy. Much of this recent change is the result 
of younger workers shifting out of farming. 

Conclusions 

The reconstruction of 200 years of change in St. Vincent's 
population and export economy reveals a close interaction between 
these dynamic forces. Owing to its small geographic size, St. 
Vincent has rarely been in a commanding position to direct the 
course of its economic development. Although a wide variety of 
tropical cash crops can be produced in the island, the exogenous 
influences of world market demand have historically been most 
important in determining the regimen of export commodities. 

Initially, colonized as a "sugar island," St. Vincent was 
forced in the late 19th century to seek alternative cash crops as 
competition from European beet sugar producers and more efficient 
tropical sugar cane producers rendered "muscovado" sugar manufacture 
in the island less profitable. Of the succeeding overlapping mono- 
cultural activities undertaken in St. Vincent (arrowroot starch, 
Sea Island cotton, and bananas), only 2 have been closely identified 
with St. Vincent — arrowroot starch and Sea Island cotton. The 
latter, however, was grown in other islands in the Lesser Antilles 
and in the Sea Islands of the United States. Although it was St. 
Vincent's product that became the world's standard for high quality 
cotton, it, nevertheless, faced price competition from Egyptian 
cotton, reducing the effect of its uniqueness. 



388 

Only arrovroot starch vas known vorld-vide as a Vlncentian 
product that offered the island a measure of monopoly control over 
price. This enviable position, however, vas lost, as supply vas 
usually inadequate to neet demand after the Second World War, 
forcing arrovroot buyers to seek substitute products, thus causing 
severe economic disruptions in the Vlncentian economy. 

Bananas production, the contemporary mainstay of the export 
exonomy, provides an insecure future because nearly all former 
British West Indian colonies, as veil as certain African countries, 
are competitors in this enterprise. So long as a market is 
guaranteed for St. Vincent's bananas, this monocultural activity 
vill provide a livelihood for the island's agricultural labor 
force. If economic distress is encountered in banana production, 
St. Vincent vill be forced to seek a nev cash crop very quickly, 
given the lov level of non-primary economic activities established 
in the island. 

The hypothesis tested in this study stated that the size, 
distribution, and characteristics of St. Vincent's population have 
been affected by variations in the national export economy. From 
the analysis in this study of the population and economy, all 
results suggest that the hypothesis is valid. 

The early British colonial decision to settle St. Vincent 
as a sugar island resulted in a rapid transformation of the pop- 
ulation to an agriculturally-oriented, predo minan tly black 
society. With the emancipation of slaves in 1838, the Immigration 
of alien indentured laborers betveen 1844 and 1880, the seasonal 



389 

and permanent emigrations of Vincentlans between 1880 and 1931, 
and the rapid rate of natural increase after 1931, St. Vincent's 
population has developed its distinctive demographic profile. 

Today, the island is racially black, with a growing 
proportion of mixed offspring and a declining proportion of whites. 
The effects of emigration, following the demise of the sugar 
industry at the turn of the last century, can be observed in the 
age and sex structure. Sex selective emigration has reduced the 
sex ratio to an abnormally low level, while continued high 
fertility and declining mortality has resulted in a so-called 
"population explosion" over the last 30 to 40 years. As a result 
of high rates of natural increase and the effects of past emigra- 
tion losses, the burden of dependency has also "exploded." 

Any further development of St. Vincent must surely take 
into account the large fraction of the population under 15 years 
of age. Most of these are consumers but not yet producers. The 
growing attitude among new entrants into the labor force is that 
agricultural work is less desirable than any other type of 
economic activity. Such a point of view will affect all the 
island's attempts to improve the standard and level of living, 
given past dependence upon monocultural agricultural cash crops 
for export. 

Arrowroot, until recently a Cinderalla status, takes on 
new importance, now that it is to be used in the manufacture of 
"non-carbon" paper for computers. Arrowroot, therefore has 
unlimited possibilities for younger Vincentian farmers. Will they 
be found in the fields cultivating this lucrative crop? Therein 



390 



lies a peculiar dilemma which torments our under-developed world, 
of which St. Vincent is but a nicrocosm! 



APPENDIX I 



APPENDIX I 



ALLOTMENT OF EAST INDIANS, BY ESTATE, 
ST. VINCENT, 1861-1880 



392 



ESTATE 



1861 1862 1866 1867 1869 1871 1875 1880 To- 



Adelphl 
Bellevue 
Colonarie Vale 
Grand Sable 
Langley Park 
Lot 14 

Mt. Bentinck 
Mt. Grennan 
Orange Hill 
Rabacca 
Sans Souci 
Tourama 
Union 
Yambou Vale 



— 29 

30 



12 — 

23 — 



22 
30 
18 
23 



24 



23 

10 

22 — 

34 



109 

74 

71 

23 

60 

103 

15 

15 

108 

146 

101 

138 

140 

22 



Argyle 

Amos Vale 

Belair 

Calder 

Cane Hall 

Carapan 

Glen 

Montrose 

Mt. Pleasant 

Rivulet 



20 



12 
20 
26 
15 
25 
41 
10 

11 
21 



48 
23 
24 
20 



23 



12 — 
23 19 



14 



213 
43 
75 

148 
25 

102 
10 
43 
81 
21 



Cane Grove 
Pembroke 
Queste lie's 



16 23 33 72 

29 14 18 — — 61 

7 — — — — 7 



Mt. Wynne 
Peter's Hope 
Rutland Vale 
Vallilabou 



— — 30 

20 — ~ 

4 — 32 



1 
11 
26 



10 



41 

57 

149 

16 



Richmond 
Rose Bank 



15 



259 301 209 462 294 325 322 211 2,383 a 



Annual Total 

Source: Government Gazette , 1861 through 1880 passim . 



*The total number of East Indians landed in St. Vincent is 2,429, as 
listed in the Immigration Office's "Register of Immigrants - No. 1, Indians' 1 
The difference may be accounted for by death, hospitalization, missing, and 
otherwise engaged in activity out of the estate system. 



APPENDIX II 



394 




APPENDIX H 

TYPE OF SUGAR MILL POWER, 

ST. VINCENT, 1854 



aMMMBBMihiilii nun r-t^ct.^ _. .t^^, _ _^, — ■ . ., .-■■- — -^^i,,,,,. 



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mmmmmmmmm 



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419 



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423 



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424 



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Brewster, Havelock and Thomas, Clive Y. The Dynamics of West Indian 
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The Sugar Industry of the Caribbean. Crop Inquiry Series 



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Hockensmith, R. D. Land Classification in a Caribbean Land Improve- 
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Hackle, Arthur B. and Falck, Jon E. World D?mand for Bananas in 

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425 



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426 

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Theses and Dissertations 

Martin, Christian I. "Role of Government in the Agricultural Develop- 
ment of St. Vincent." Master's Thesis, Faculty of Agriculture, 
University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and 
Tobago, 1967. 

Niddrie, David L. Land Cse and Settlement in C:e Caribbean: A 

Contribution to the Historical and Social Geography of the 
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and in Particular to Tobago . Doctoral Dissertation, Man- 
chester University, Manchester, England, 1965. 



toTntf-Hnwnr-iri i - tw » .. -*, , . — -,■. ■- ■ .,,,.,, .- .- „^^.^-. ,^_»..:jo^w_ ,_-. - „ ^,-i—- r - , ,-i 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 
Joseph Spinelli was born March 12, 1939, In Springfield, 
Ohio. In June, 1957, he was graduated from Springfield Senior 
High School. In June, 1963, he received the degree of Bachelor 
of Science In Business Administration (cum laude ) with a major In 
International Trade from The Ohio State University. Ffom 1963 
until 1966, he was enrolled in the Graduate School at The Ohio 
State University in the Department of Geography. He served his 
first two years of graduate studies as a Mershon Fellow in 
National Security Policy and his third year as a graduate assist- 
ant in the Department of Geography. In September, 1966, he re- 
ceived his degree of Master of Arts with a major in Geography. 
From September, 1966, until September, 1969, he was enrolled 
full-time in the Graduate School of the University of Florida in 
the Department of Geography. He served as research assistant in 
the 1966-67 year and as a National Defense Education Act (Title 
VI) Fellow in Latin American Studies in the 1967-68 and 1968-69 
years. Twice during this period he was engaged in foreign field 
doctoral research in the West Indies. Since September, 1969, he 
has pursued his work toward the degree of Doctor of Philosophy 
while serving as Instructor In the Department of Geography at 
Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio. 



427 



i I a -■-.« — ^-JfU-T. — .-.-v* -, ..f,^«jrf -J>-^. i^ij , rV i fif i ifTHI M TrttrfWr-WUf l T t-* i . ...v « r r. ^ii-, -r ,* min i - tri. --- ■— "■ - -n — ■ 



Joseph Splnelll is a member of Gamma Theta Dpsiloa 
(National Geography Honorary), the Association of American 
Geographers (Southeastern Division and East Lakes Division), 
the American Geographical Society, and the Mid-West Association 
of Latin American Studies. 



r'tii. lifl i n.-i . ., - 



..i,.«.n>. . i it' -i-'-rt^u. -.- -Hteift. ■mriifUVi V flwiii. 



k&GM -j-^jJM^ar^g 



I certify that I have read this study and that, in my 
opinion, it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly pres- 
entation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dis- 
sertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. 



fcfawi d- v«if 



Vie. 



David L. Niddrie, Chairman 
Professor of Geography 



I certify that I have read this study and that, in my 
opinion, it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly pres- 
entation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dis- 
sertation for the degree of DocAor of Philosophy. 




i&4- 



Crist 
fessor of Geography 



I certify that I have read this study and that, in my 
opinion, it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly pres- 
entation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dis- 
sertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. 

Clark I. Cross 

Associate Professor of Geography 

I certify that I have read this study and that, in my 
opinion, it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly pres- 
entation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dis- 
sertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. 




Jojtn Van Dyke Saunders 
Professor of Sociology 

This dissertation was submitted to the Department of 
Geography in the College of Arts and Sciences and to the Graduate 
Council, and was accepted as partial fulfillment of the require- 
ments for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. 

June, 1973 




VMi&'Il JH°mA 



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