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Full text of "Narrative of a five years' expedition, against the revolted negroes of Surinam, in Guiana, on the wild coast of South America; from the year 1772, to 1777: elucidating the history of that country, and describing its productions ... with an account of the Indians of Guiana, & negroes of Guinea"

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The Bequest of 

Colonel George Earl Church 


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/. G, Stedmdn. 

Tiverton, Devonftiire, 
January 1, 17S6. 



This Work being perhaps one of the most sin- 
gular productions ever offered to the Public, I 
think it right to give the Reader a short sketch 
of what he is going to peruse. — I have endea- 
voured to arrange matters in some degree like 
a large garden, where one meets with the 
sweet-smelling flower and the thorn, the gold- 
bespangled fly and loathsome reptile, the richest 
glowing plumage and the darkest shades ; the 
whole so variegated as to afford, I hope, both 
information and amusement, without racking or 
depressing the spirits, and damping the mind; 
not indeed in the modern pomp and brilliancy 
of style, but in a simple tale, where truth is 
the chief ornament. 

Vol. I. b Here, 


Here, in the different characters of a Com- 
mander—a Rebel Negro— a Planter, and a 
Slave — not onlj tyranny are exposed— but be- 
nevolence and humanity are unveiled to the 
naked eye. Here the Warrior — the Historian — 
the Merchant — and the Lover of Natural Phi- 
losophy, will meet with some gratification; 
w^hile, for having introduced my private adven- 
tures, I must make some apology — but none for 
those of the lovely Slave, who makes not the 
least interesting figure in these pages — as female 
virtue in distress, especially when accompanied 
with youth and beauty, must ever claim pro- 

Upon the whole, perhaps, some allowance 
may be made, when the Reader considers he 
is perusing no romance composed of fiction, 
but a real history, totally unembellished with 
the marvellous; — the production of an Officer, 
whose pen and pencil have alone been employed 
— and ON THE SPOT, a circumstance but very 
seldom met with. 



As to the shocking cruelties that here are so 
frequently exposed, let it suffice to say, that to 
deter others from similar inhuman practices, 
and teach them virtue, was my sole and only 
motive ; w^hile, on the other hand, it must be 
observed that Liberty, nay even too much 
lenity, when suddenhj granted to illiterate and 
unprincipled men, must be to all parties dan- 
gerous, if not pernicious. Witness the O'^ca and 
Saramcca Negroes in Surinam — the Maroons of 
Jamaica, the Canibs of St. Vincent, &c. 

While the Colony of Surinam however is 
reeking and dyed with the blood of the African 
negroes, truth compels me to observe, that the 
Dutch there are not the only guilty ; but that 
to most other nations, and particularly the Jews, 
is owino' this almost constant and diubulical 

Reader, peruse the pages annex'^d with im- 
partiality and with temper— sort the ilowers 
from the weeds— divide the gold skilfully from 

b 2 the 


the dross — and perhaps you may not regret the 
hours you have thus dedicated. — Let it how- 
ever not be understood, that I ever laid claim 
to excellence in writing or drawing; but if the 
plain and manly truth, so often spoken of, 
and so seldom found, are of any avail— I pre- 
sume to hope, that these Volumes are not 
entirely unworthy the attention of a British 




AUCKLAND (Lord) Britifli AmbafTador at the Hague. 
Ac K LAND (Sir Tho. Dyke) Bart. Killerton. 
Anderson (Lady) York. 
AsHMEAD (Wm.) Efq. London. 


Bute (Rt. Hon. Earl of). 

Bristol (Rt. Hon. Earl of). 

Bamff (Rt. Hon. Lord) 6th Dragoons. 

Barrington (Rt. Hon. Lord Vifcount). 

BoYDELL (Rt. Hon. John) Lord Mayor of London. 

Baring (Charles) Efq. Exon. — 5 Copies. 

Barwell ( ) El'q. London. 

Broadley (R. Cailifle) Efq. York. 
Broadley (Ifaac) Efq. Branlingham, Hull. 
Barker (Thomas) Efq. Jamaica. 

Bain ( ) Efq. M. D. Batli. 

Burk (Geo.) Efq. Waddon Court, Devon. 

Batt (J. F.) Efq. Richmond. 

Brown (E. H.) Efq. Richmond. 

Black (John) Efq. of the Hon. Eaft India Company's Service. 



Beslt (Wm.) Efq. Tiverton, Devon. 

Bates (Ralpli) Elq. 6th Dragoons. 

Bastard (John P.) Elq. Kitley, M. P. 

Brown (Wm.) Efq. Wiveiiicombe. 

Bush (Baron de) Commandant at Curasao. 

Bolls (And.) Efq. Capt. in the Dutch Navy. 

Bloys de Treslon (Cor.) Elq. Capt. in the Dutch Na\'y. 

Brom'st ( ) Elq. Briftol. 

Bulguin (Mr. — — ) Briftol. 
Blake (Mr. Wm.) London. 
BouDLER (Mrs.) Bath. 


Canterbury (His Grace the Archbiihop of). 

Chichester (Sir John) Bart. Youllton. 

Chichester (Mrs.) Arhngton. 

Chichester (Mils). 

Chichester (Mifs ]\Iary Macdonald). 

Cholwich (John B.) Efq. Faningdon Houfe. 

Cambridge (R. O.) Efq. Twickenham. 

Cholmley (Nath.) Howlham. 

Cowley (John) Efq. London. 

Campbell (Rt. Hon. Bay) Edinburgh. 

Cholmondeley (G.) Efq. London. 

Croft (John) Efq. York. 

CooKSLEY (J. Sparkes) Efq. Alhburton. 


Dover (Rt. Hon. Lord). 
Douglas (Gen. Robert) Holland. 
DuNTz (Sir John) Bart. Rockbere Houfe. 
Drew (Richard) Efq. Exeter. 
Den'nys (Nicholas) Efq. Tiverton. 
Dowce (Francis) Efq. Richmond. 
Dan by (Wm.) Efq. Swinton. 
Drummond (J.) Elq. M. D. Jamaica. 
DucARKfcLL ^ ) Efq. Exinouth. 



Delaval (E. Hufiey) Efq. London. 

Dickenson (Benj.) Elq. Tiverton. 

DuNSFORD (Mr. Martin) Author of the Memoirs of Tiverton. 

De Graav (Gid. And. D.) Efq. Surinam. 

Des Borgnes (Col. Brifeval) Fourgeoud's INIarines. 


Erving (George) Efq. London. 

EuLER ( ) Efq. for the Library of his Serene Highnefs the Prince 

of Orange. 

FiTZWiLLTAM (Right HoH. Earl). 
Ferrier (Col. Ilay) of His Majefty's Scots Brigade. 

Fredericy ( ) Efq. Governor of Surinam. 

Freeman ( ) Efq. Chute Lodge. 

Freeman (Mrs. Elizabeth) 
Fitzgerald (Mifs) Grange, Ireland. 
FoLLET (Rev. Mr. John) Tiverton. 
Fattet (Mr. Barth. Francois). 
Flower (Mr.) London. 
Flower (Mr, Benj.) Cambridge. 


Guildford (Right Hon. Earl of). 

Gordon (Col. Robert) Deputy Governor at the Cape of Good Hope. 

Graham (John) Efq. M. D. Jamaica. 

Grinstone (Henry) Efq. Wefton. 

Grinstone (Thomas) Elq. Kilnwick. 

Goodwin (G. R.) Efq. Bath. 

Godefrooy (Mrs. Eliz.) Surinam. 

Gray (Mil's Jane) Edinburgh 


Heathfield (Rt. Hon. Lord). 

Habrowby (Rt. Hon. Lord) Sandon, StafFordftiire. 

Hamilton (Sir Alexander) Bart. Retreat. 

HiLDYARD (Sir Robert D'Arcy) Bart. Wineftead, York. 



Hastings (Warren) Eiq. late Governor General of Bengal. 
Hamell (Colonel) Cape of Good Hope. 
Home (Colonel Alexander) His Majefty's Scotch Brigade. 
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Hunter ( ) Efq. M. D. York. 

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Harding (Rev. Mr.) Barnftaple. 

Heathfield (Thomas) Efq. Nutwell. 

Heneman (Gylbert) Efq. Hague. 

Haringman (John) Efq. Admiral in the Dutch Navy. 

Hogg (Jof ) Efq. Tiverton. 

How (J. M.) Efq. Wifcome Park. 

Hartford (Jof) Efq. Briftol. 

HoBROiD (Mrs.) Richmond. 


Incledon (Robert) Efq. Pilton Houfe. 
Incledon (Capt. T.) sd Regiment of Foot. 
Jermain (Thomas) Efq. Briftol. 
Johnson (J. R.) Efq. Jamaica. 


Keates (Rev. Richard) Tiverton. 

KiNCAiD (Patrick) Efq. Exon. 

Knight (Mr. Charles) Knightfbridge. 

Kennedy (H.J.) Efq. Cleves. 

Knollaerdt ( ) Efq. Fourgeoud's Marines. 

Lardner (John) Efq. London. 
Lardner (Richard) Elq. Tiverton. 
Lardner (James) Efq. Axminfter. 
Louis (Mr. Jean) Exon. 

M. Macphebson 



Macphersont (Sir John) Bart, late Governor of Calcutta. 

McQueen (Dundas) Eiq. Edinburgh. 

Macallester Loup (Duncan) Efq. Hague. 

Wacauley (Alex.) Efq. London. 

Macau ley (Angus) Efq. Bath. 

Macleod (Colonel) of His Majefty's Scots Brigade. 

Mackay (John) Efq. London. 

Mackay (Heftor) Efq. War Office. 

Maddison (Thomas) Eli^. M. P. 

Mowbray (Robert) Efq. M. D. Cocka3n-ny. 

Moore (John HartnoU) Efq. Cadeleigh Court. 

Marshall (Mr. Robert) Tiverton. 

Moens (Mr. Adrian) Rotterdam. 

Medlaer (George Crawford) Efq. Fourgeoud'3 Marines. 

NoKTHCOTE (Sir Stafford) Bart. Pine's Houfe. 
Nagle (Jofeph) Eliri. Calverleigh. 
Nagle (David) El'q. Bath. 
NiBBs (J. Langford) Efq. Beauchamp. — 2 Copies. 
Needham (John) Efq. Gray's Inn. 
NooT (Captain) Fourgeoud's Marines. 
Nichols (Rev. INIr.) Richmond. 
Newte (Rev. Mr.) Titcombe, Devon. 
Newte (Thomas) Efq. late Captain in the Hon. Eaft India Company's 

Newbiggen (Mifs Jane) Edinburgh. 


Owens (George) Efq. Tiverton. 


Pepperel (Sir William) Bart. London. 
Palmer (Thomas) Efq. Berkley Square. 
Palmer (William) Efq. London. 
Vol. I. c Plidell 


Plxdell (J. M.) Efq. 6th Dragoons. 

Peach EY (John) Efq. M. P. 

Prince (J. D.) Efq. Holland. 

Perret Gentilly (Major) Fourgeoud's Marines 

Poi-SON (Hugh) Efq. Exniouth. 

Popple (Rev. Mr.) York. 


Ryder (Right Hon. Dudley) M. P. 

RocKBY (Right Hon. Lord) Horton, Kent, 

RiCKETTS (Hon. W. H.) Jamaica. 

RiCKETTS (E. Jarvis) Efq. Jamaica. 

RosENDAAL (CouDtcfs dc) Holland. 

RoLLE (John) Efq. M. P. Tidwell. 

RiDSDALE (G. W.) Efq. 6th Dragoons. . 

RoLLAND (Adam) Efq. Advocate, Edinburgh. 

Robinson (William) Efq. Writer to the Signet,'Edinburgh. 

Robinson (Capt. Thomas) of the Hon. Eaft India Company's Service, 

RiGAUD (P.) Efq. R. A. 

Reynsdorph (Andrew) Efq. Surinam. 

Reay (Henry N.) Efq, Blenliwell, Durham. 


Spencer (Rt. Hon. Lord Henry). 

Strickland (Sir George) Bart. Bointon Houfe, York. — 2 Copies 
Strickland (Lady Eliza Letitia). 
Strickland (Mifp Charlotte) 
Strickland (William) Efq. York. 
Strickland (Capt. Geo.) 8th Regiment. 
Sykes (Sir Chriftopher) Bart. York. 
Small (Major Charles) Ifle of Man. 
Small (Peter) Efq. Montreal, Canada, 
Stuart (Hon. General John). 

Sampson (James) Efq. late His Majefty's Conful General at Morocco. 



SUTTELL (G.) Efq. York. 
Sturgeon (T. W.) Efq. Trowbridge. 

Sm'ale ( ) Efq. London. 

Sheriff (Mv. Robert) Leith. 
Stedman (John) Efq. M. D. Edinburgh. 
Stedman (Capt. Wm. George). 
Stedman (Mil's Catherine) Edinburgh. 
Sharrat (Mr. John) Wahkll. 
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Todd (Mr. John) York.— 2 Copies. 

TozER (Aaron) Ei'q. of the Hon. Eaft India Company's Service. 


Vance Agnew (Robert) Efq. Edinburgh. 
•Van Coeverde (Colonel) Fourgeoud's Marines. 


WiLLOUGHBY DE Broke (Rt. Hon. Lord). 

Westerloo (General) Holland. 

Wemyss (Major) nth Regiment of Foot. 

Wierts (Francis) Efq. Captain in tlie Dutch Navy. 

Winsloe (Thomas) Efq. CoUiprieft. 

WooLERY (R. p.) Efq. Jamaica. 

Williams (Jof) Efq. Jamaica. 

Wyville (Rev. Chrillopher) York. 

White (James) Efq. Counfellor, Exeter, 

Wray (G. Lewis) Efq. Spence Farm. 

Wood (Bevis) Efq. Tiverton. 

Worth (John) Elq. Worth Houfe, Devon. 

Worth (Mrs. Mary) Tiverton. 

Wray (Mrs.) Richmond. 

c 3 Watt 


Watt (Mr.) London. 

Ward LAW (Mrs. Sufan) Edinburgli. 

York (His Grace the Archbifliop of) 
YoRKE (Hon. John). 




Chapter I. Page, l , 

NTRODUCTioN. — Rcvolt among the Negroes in Dutch 


Guiana — An Expedition sets out from the Texe^ — Short 
Account of the Voyage — The Fleet arrives in the River 
Surinam — Reception of the Troops in that Colony- 
Sketch of the Lihahitants, Sfc 

C n A p T E K II. Pas;e 36. 


General Description of Guiana — of the Colony of Surinam 
in particular — Accounts of its earliest Discovery— is 
possessed by the English — hy the Dutch — Murder of the 
Governor, Lord Somelsdyk — The Settlement taken by the 
French and ransomed. 

Chapter III. Page 59. 
First Revolt of the Negroes; Causes thereof — Distracted 
State of the Colony — Forced Peace concluded zcith the 
Rebels — Mutiny of Sailors, Soldiers, ^-c. 



Chapter IV. Page 8 1 , 

Short Interval of Peace and Plenty — The Colomj plunged in 
new Distress hy a fresh Insurrection, and nearly ruined — ■ 
"Review of the Troops for its Defence — An Action zvith 
the Rebels — Gallant Behaviour of a Black Corps — The 
Arrival of Colonel Fourgeoud's Marines. 

Chapter V. Page 93. 

The Scene changes — Some Account of a beautiful Female 
Slave — The Manner of travelling in Surinam — The Co- 
lonel explores the Situation of the Rivers — Barbarity of a 
Planter — IVr etched Treatment of some Sailors. 

Chapter VL Page 114. 

Account of a dreadful Execution — Fluctuating State of 
political A fairs — aS7?o;-^ Glimpse of Peace — An Officer shot 
dead; his whole Party cut to Pieces, and the general 
Alarm revived throughout the Colony. 

Chapter VII. Page 1 40. 

Armed Barges are sent up to defend the Rivers-~-Description 
of the Fortress New Amsterdam — A Cruise in the upper 
Parts of Fvio Cottica and Patamaca — Great Mortality 
among the Troops — View of the Military Post at Devils 



Chapter VIII. Page 187. 

Three Estates burnt, and the Inhabitants murdered by the 
Rebels — Real Picture of Misery and Distress — Specimen 
of a March through the fVoods of Sui'inam — Colonel 
Fourgeoud and the remaining Troops leave Parama- 

Chapter IX. Page 203. 

Some Diseases peculiar to the Climate — Groupe of Negroes 
newly imported going to be sold — Reflections on the Slave 
Trade — The Voyhgefrom Africa^ — Manner of selling them 
in the Colony — Description of a Cotton Plantation. 

Chapter X. Pao;e 225. 

Colonel Fourgeoud inarches to the JVana Creek — Harasses 
the Enemy — Account of the Manicole Tree, with its va- 
rious Uses — March to the Mouth of Cormoetibo River — 
Some Rebels taken — Shocking Treatment of a wounded 
captive Negro. . 

Chapter XI. Page 268. 

The Troops march back to the JVana Creek — The Rebels pass^ 
near the Camp — Pursued without Success — Great Distress 
for JVaitt of Water — Mineral Mountains — The Troops 
arrive at La Rochelle, in Patamaca. 


xviii CONTENTS.~VoL. I. 

Chapter. XII. Page £98. 

Description of the Town of Taramariho and Fo?'t Zelandia 
— Colonel Fourgeoud's March to the River Marawina — A 
Captain wounded — Some Privates shot — Strange Fjxecu- 
tion in the Capital — Account of Fort Somelsdi/k — Of the 
Hope in Rio Comewina. 

Chapter XIII. Page 324. 

A Sugar Plantation described — Domestic Happiness in a 
Cottage — Further Account of Fourgeoud's Operations — 
Dreadful Cruelties inflicted by some Overseers — Instance 
of Resentment in a Rebel Negro Captain. 

Chapter XIV. Page 351. 

Colonel Fourgeoud at Paramaribo — Example of Ignorance 
in a Surgeon — of Virtue in a Slave — of Ferocity in a 
Commander — The Troops re-enter the Hoods — Account 
of Loango Dancing — Uncommon Proof of Fidelity in a 



Chapter XV. Page 393. 

Description of the Indians, Aborigines of Guiana — Their 
Food — Arms — Ornaments — Employments — Diversions — 
Passions — Religion — Marriages — Funerals, <^'C. Of the 
Caribbee Indians in particular — Their Trade mth the 






Introduction.- -^R^Yift/^ nmnng the Negi-oes in Dutch 
Guiana — An Expedition sets out from the Texel — Short 
Account of the Voyage — The Fleet arrives in the Hiver 
Surinam — Reception of the Troops in that Colony- 
Sketch of the InhahitantSy <^-c. 

' I HIE exploring of foreign countries having of late c n a v 

"*• years, and particularly since the recent discoveries 
of the immortal Captain Cook, so generally been the 
object of persons both in private and pubhc situations ; 
and the histories of their labours and pursuits being so 
interesting to the curiosity of the Public, I have ventured 
to offer such observations as 1 have had an opportunity 
of making in a very singular part of the Globe, on which 
few Englishmen have been thrown, either by accident 
Vol. I. B or 

or curiosity. The colony of Surinam, in Dutch Guiana^ 
so far as it is inhabited and cultivated by Europeans near 
the sea-coast, has indeed been known for many years 
past. But the deep inundations, with the impenetrable 
tliickness of the Avoods, have been such constant discou- 
ragements and obstructions to discovery, that but very 
little true information concerning that country hath as yet 
been obtained, except what relates to such objects of com- 
merce as are common to most of the tropical settlements. 
This publication, therefore, is chiefly intended to particu- 
larize such circumstances and events as the necessity of 
penetrating into the interior parts of the country have 
enabled me to make, and forced on my observation. 

The feeling part of my readers, I must hope, will re- 
ceive with some indulgence a work proceeding from an 
officer, who, from his early 3^outh, was debarred in ac- 
quiring perfection, either as a writer or a painter, by his 
military and maritime profession. I nevertheless humbly 
flatter myself that whatever may be found wanting in 
style and elegance, is in some degree compensated by that 
fidelity and correctness, wliich can alone be the work of 
a pen and pencil employed on the spot. With respect 
to a few quaint expressions, and even oaths, as spoken by 
common soldiers^, sailors^ &c. that sometimes unavoidably 
occur in the narrative of this wonderful expedition, 1 
must humbly request the world not to be startled at 
them, not only because the shades of black and white 
1 1 enlivea 


enliven the picture, but because I am determined to write 
truth only, and expose rzce and f oily in their native colours. 
— Come then, 7111/ friends — 

" Together let us beat this ample Jield, 
" Try what the open, what the covert yield ; 
" The latent tracts, the giddy heights, explore 
' ". Of all who blindly creep, or sightless soar : 

" Eye Natures zvalks, shoot Folly as it flies, 
" And catch the manners living as they rise ; 
" Laugh where we must, be candid where we can ; 
" But vindicate the ways of God to man." 


I WILL now boldly launch out on the difficult task.— f 
As the nature, however, of these transactions can only 
be understood by a reference to the occasion Avhich call- 
ed me thither, I feel myself under the necessity of still 
premising a few words upon that subject. 

Every part of the World, where domestic slavery is 
established, may be occasionally liable to insurrection 
and disquiet, more especially where the slaves constitute 
the majority of the inhabitants ; but the colony of St^ 
r'inatn, in Dutch Guiana, has been peculiarly unfortunate 
in this respect. Whether from the shelter which is af- 
forded to the fugitives by the immense forests which 
overspread the most considerable part of this country, or 
whether the government of this settlement be radically 
defective, it is a certain fact, that its European settlers 

B 2 are 

are constantly exposed to the moft violent ravages, and the 
most desperate outrage. Of these circumstances this, is 
not, however, the place for a minute detail. Let it suffice 
therefore for the present, only to observe, that these re- 
peated revolts and insurrections demanded at length the 
most vigorous measures for the restoration of a general 
peace ; and that the accounts transmitted to Holland, in 
the year 1 772, that a considerable body of armed people 
of this description had assembled in the forests, and be- 
came extremely formidable to the colony, determined their 
High Mightinesses the States of the United Provinces to 
send out a sufficient maritime force to oppose the insur- 
gents, and, if possible, to quell the insurrection. 

The British navy had ever been my choice and am- 
)>ition, in which I Avas well recommended ; but the 
fmall hopes of preferment I had naturally to expect in 
time of peace, and my paternal estate being lost just after 
my birth, by accidental misfortunes, induced me to relin- 
quish the hopes of advancement in the sea-service, and 
to accept an ensign's commission, presented me without 
purchase, in one of the Scots brigade regiments in the 
pay of Holland, where Siy Joseph York (late Lord Dover) 
at that period was ambassador from the British court; 
before which nobleman 1 had the honour to take the 
usual oaths of abjuration and allegiance to my King, 
and Country, as registered at the British war-office. — • 
This point I have also thought it right to premise, as 

a duty 

a duty owing to myself, to shew the world in general that 
it was necessity not choice that compelled me to enter 
into a foreign service; though perhaps a more ancient 
and distinguished corps does not exist than the above 
brigade has proved to be, both in this island and on the 


continent, for above two hundred years. 

At the time of the above insurrection I M'as Lieutenant 
in tlie Honourable General Jolin Stuart's regiment; when, 
impressed by the hopes of traversing the sea, my favour- 
ite element, and in som€ measure gratifying my curio- 
sity, in exploring a part of the world not generally 
known; still more by the prosped; of that preferment 
which might be consequent on so dangerous an expedi- 
tion; I instantly solicited admission into a corps of volun- 
teers which was preparing to sail for Gniana, and had 
the honour, by his Serene Highnefs William V. Prijjce 
OF Orange, to be advanced to the rank of Captain by 
brevet*, under Colonel Loins lienrij Fourgeotid, a Swiss 
gentleman, from the Alpine Mountains, Avho was ap- 
pointed our Commander in Chief. 

Having taken the oaths of fidelity on the 12 th of No- 
vember to the new corps, and prepared what was neces- 
sary for the voyage, I bade farewell to my old regi- 
ment, and immediately sailed to the island of Texel, 
where several of our gentlemen were already assembled ; 

* Each officer was permitted to re- Europe, a vacancy being there pre- 
enter his former reg-uieiU, if he fur- ferved for hiui during his abfence. 
^jved the expedition; and returned to 



CHAP, and where, on going ashore, I had nearly perished by the 
boat's shipping a sea, and sinking in the surf. 

The island of JViej-higen was however the spot of ge- 
neral rendezvous: here Colonel Fouigeoud arriving on 
the 7th of December, the volunteers were all assembled, 
to the number of five hundred fine young men; and on 
the morning of the 8th we were formed into seven com- 
panies, and embodied as a regiment of marines. Besides 
the Boi'eas and IVeJieUingxDerf men-of-war, commanded 
by Captains Van de Velde and Crufs, three new frigate- 
built transports were put in commission, carrying ensign, 
jack, and pennant, and armed with from ten to sixteen 
guns, as sloops of war; on board ihefe vessels we embarked 
the same afternoon under a general salute, then took the 
command, and did the duty as in the navy. 

Our departure was not however immediately conse- 
quent on our embarkation. We lay wind-bound in the 
Texel roads for many days, during which time one of our 
young officers, a Mr. HeJJeling, was unfortunately seized 
with the small-pox : this gentleman, in order to pre- 
vent his infecting the ship's company, was ordered on 
shore to a town on the land's end, called the Helder, where 
I conducted him in a pinnace, and where we left him 
behind us; but on my return, the surgeon declaring he 
saw the symptoms of the same disorder on myself, I was 
also immediately ordered to the island of Texel. Hav- 
ing passed a most anxious quarantine in this place, I had 



the good fortune however to escape the loathsome ma- 
lady, and to the Doctor's surprize appeared once more on 
board perfectly well, just before the signal gun was fired 
for the fleet to weigh anchor. This circumstance cannot 
but induce me to wish that those in particular who are 
destined for a rnihtary or a naval life would avail them- 
selves of the art of inoculation, in order to avoid a pain- 
ful anxiety to themselves, and a most dangerous infection 
to their fellow-creatures. 

On Christmas-day our small fleet put to sea, at eight 
o'clock, A. M. with a fresh breeze from E. N. E. in com- 
pany with above one hundred vessels bound for differ- 
ent parts of the globe, and the most beautiful clear wea- 
ther. Having safely got without the soundings, and 
saluted each other with nine guns, Ave kept our course 
down channel, and soon passed the North Foreland, the 
Ijle of Wight, and Fovtland Point ; but here the West- 
ellingwerf, having sprung a leak, was obliged to part com- 
pany, and run into Plymouth for repair. 

The wind now freshened as we approached the Bay of 
Bifcay, where the mate of the vessel directed my particular 
attention to a kind of sea-swallow, commonly distinguished 
by the name of the Storm-bircl*, from its supposed pro- 
perty of foretelling an impending tempest. The colour 
of this bird is a very deep blue approaching to black, 
and enlivened by some variegated tints; its size is about 
that of a large martin or swallow : it is web-footed ; the 

* The SUrmy Petrel of Pennant. 

bill is very long and sharp, and the wings of an extraor- 
dinary length, which enable it to fly very fast, and for 
a considerable time, skimming with incredible velocity 
around the horizon : it subsists entirely upon fish, which 
is probably the cause of its being sensible of the first in- 
dications of whatever may prevent its usual supply of 
food : it then flies along with extreme swiftness, in order 
to avoid the storm ; but if overtaken by it, drops its wings, 
and floats upon the surface of the waves. 

On the following day, January 2d, 1773, the predidions 
of the storm-bird were verified: a heavy gale sprung up from 
N. N. E. by which, off Cape F'umterre, the Boreas and Vi- 
gilance were separated from us. We kept our course during 
the night with double-reefed top-sails, and all the hatches 
laid, which made our men in general very sick. Here I 
ought not to forget that by way of experiment we had slung 
the hammocks athwart ships, and not as usual fore and aft ; 
which method we found however to be both fo roomy and 
convenient,.that it has been since adopted by several other 
vessel '-,, 

On the morning of the 4th we spied a stout ship to 
windward in the offing, bearing straight down upon us. 
Conjedturin^ she might be an Algevine pirate from the 
African coast, and now but two ships out of five, we pre- 
pared to engage her; she however soon proved to be 
the Boreas man-of-war, which had parted cotnpany on 
the 2d. From this date the men were daily exercised at 



the great guns, and by firing at a target suspended from 
the yard-arm. 

On the 1 4th, in the morning-watch, we passed the Tropic, 
when the usual ceremony of ducking the fresh-water sailors 
was ransomed by tipping the foremast men with some 
silver. About this time the Boreas most unluckily lost one 
of her best seamen, the boatswain's mate, whose hand 
slipping by the wet, he pitched from the fore-yard-arm 
into the sea. His presence of mind in calling to the 
captain, as he floated alongside, " Be not alarmed for me, 
** sir," in the confidence of meeting Avith relief, attracted 
peculiar compassion, and even caused some murmuring, 
as no assistance was offered him ; in consequence of which, 
after swimming a considerable time within view, the un- 
fortunate young man went to the bottom. 

We now w^ere got in the tract of the trade winds, which 
blowing continually east, and the weather becoming from 
day to day more temperate, made the voyage exceedingly 
pleasant ; more so by the many dolphins or dorados, which 
beautiful fish seem to take pecuHardelightin sporting around 
thevessels. The rea/ dolphin, which is of the cetaceous kind, 
was anciently celebrated in poetic story on account of its 
philanthropy and other supposed virtues : but to the dorado 
or dolphin of the moderns, this character is far from being 
applicable, this fish being extremely voracious and destruc- 
tive, and is known to follow the ships, and exhibit his sports 
and gambols, not from attachment to mankind, but from 

VoL.L C the 


the more selfish motive of procuring food, particularly on the 
eve of an approaching storm, of which he appears per- 
fectly sensible. The circumstance which chiefly entitles 
the dorado to our attention is, the unrivalled and dazzling 
brilliancy of its colours in the water, the whole of its back 
being enamelled with spots between azure blue and a 
reflecting light sea-green, on a very dark ground, which 
appears as bespangled all over with jewels, and forms a 
most beautiful contrast to the belly, Avhich is of a whitish 
cast ; the fins and tail are of a golden dj'^e : the length of 
this animal is from five to six feet, and its form tapers 
fjom the head towards the tail, which is divided, and ter- 
minates not unlike the shape of a crescent. The head is 
round, and preceded by a kind of snout; the jaws are 
armed with several sharp teeth, and the eyes are remarkably 
large. The scales of the dorado are uncommonly small, 
and it is furnished with a fin, which runs along its back 
from the one extremity to the other. 

Our progress was now daily marked by increasing warm 
weather, which released me from the confinement of a dis- 
agreeable cabin crowded with ofiicers, most of whom had 
never been to sea, and enabled me to pursue my favourite 
amusements, whether of reading above deck, or exercise in 
the rigging. Thus circumstanced I, on the 1 7th, had the hap- 
piness of rendering a most important service to one of our 
young oflftcers, a Mr. du Moulin, who by a sudden roll of the 
vessel was actually thrown over the gunwale. At that mo- 
3 ment 

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ment happening to stand without-board in the main-chains, 
I fortunately grasped hold of him in his fall, which saved 
him, as he could not swim, from inevitable death. 

The entrance into warmer regions gave occasion to an 
observation perhaps not generally known, which (though 
uncouth) must be of great importance to sailors ; namely, 
that between the Tropics, while vermin may remain in the 
head, none can possibly continue to exist in the bedding, 
cloaths, linen, &c. Having humbly apologized for the 
above remark to my delicate readers, I will endeavour to 
describe a curious animal with w^hich these seas abound, 
and which appears to sail on the surface of the waves with 
a side-wind, while by the sailors it is vulgarly called a 
Portuguese man-of-war, and is probably either the Nau- 
tilus or the Argonauta of Linnaeus. This wonderful crea- 
ture, Avhen above water, assumes the shape of an expanded 
fan, decorated with a beautiful red border, while the lower 
extremity is fixed to a shell as thin as paper, or rather 
a kind of boat, which is sunk below or raised above the 
surface of the sea, and guided in any direction, at the plea- 
sure of the animal, by means of six tentacula or limbs, Avhich 
it uses as oars. When these creatures arc touched by the 
hand, they occasion, like the sea blubber or jelly fish, a pain- 
ful tinkling sensation, which continues for several minutes. 

The two following days it blew very fresh, and heavy 
seas washed over the vessel ; during which, while helping to 
put a reef in the main-top-sail for a little exercise, I lost 

c 2 every 


every one of my keys, which dropped from the yard-arm 
into the sea. This trifling accident 1 should never have re- 
lated, had it not proved a very great inconvenience, by debar- 
ring me from coming at my private property, particularly 
since the Avhole ship's company, officers included, lived on 
salt provision alone, a pig and a couple of lean sheep ex- 
cepted, whose legs had been broken by the rolling and 
pitching of the vessel. This manner of living on salt-beef, 
pork, and peas, like common sailors, was introduced by our 
Commander in Chief in order to enure us (he said) to such 
food as we were likely to be alone supplied with in the woods 
of Surinani ; and from the generous motive of regaling his 
American friends with European refreshments — such as 
live sheep, hogs, fowls, ducks, bacon hams, bullocks tongues, 
preserved vegetables, pickles, spices, &c. all of which were 
provided by the town of Amsterdam in profusion. But 
good intentions do not always meet with their rewards ; 
since the worms, without any one's permission, laid hold of 
the greatest part of the dead stock for themselves ; who 
were, for their punishment, together with their plunder, 
thrown overboard into the ocean. Let me add, that, in- 
stead of plate, our mpals were frpquently served up in small 
wooden tubs of not the most cleanly appearance, and only 
once a day ; Avhich negligence, however, I am willing to 
impute to Monsieur Laiirant, the colonel's French valet-de- 
chambre. In short, the scurvy and other loathsome dis- 
orders began to make their appearance ; dejection and low 



spirits took place throughout the ship, while I complained chap. 


aloud, and from that moxne.ut d'dXe \hG good-will which Co- 
lonel Fourgeoud manifested towards me in particular, as will 
be seen throughout the expedition. It is with pain that I 
relate this passage — but no consideration shall prevent me 
from bringing to light particular foibles, as it will ever give 
nie the greatest pleasure to render virtue conspicuous. 

About the 20th of January, we observed great numbers 
of flying fish, the exoccetus voUtans of Linnaeus, which is 
about the size of a herring. The back of this animal is flat, 
and of an olive-brown colour ; the sides and belly of a re- 
splendent silvery white ; the mouth small ; the eyes large ; 
the tail bifurcated; and the scales hard, smooth, and silvery. 
Upon occasion the pectoral fins arc used as wings by this 
fish, yet no longer than while they continue wet, for as soon 
as the moisture is dried, the animal drops back into the sea. 
The surface of these fins is of a golden hue, beautifully va- 
riegated near the edges with spots of azure blue : their 
length is equal to that of the body of the fish ; and its flight, 
which is undertaken in order to avoid the pursuit of the 
dorado, and other large fish, is always straight forward, and 
of short duration, on account of the necessity of repeatedly 
wetting its wings *. These animals are frequently found 

* I have never seen this necessity itseU' cannot endure to be long out 
properly accounted lor: probably of its proper element : either of these 
the mucus which covers the fins or suppositions will account for its drop- 
wings may become so consolidated ping so often as it were involuntarily 
by the heat of the sun, and the action on board ships, and into the mouth 
of the air, that it may impede their of its enemies, the dolphin, dorado, 
motion ; or it may be that the fish &,c. 



on board vessels, and sticking in the shrouds, which is 
probably to be ascribed, not, according to the opinion of 
some, to their seeking a refuge there from the attacks of 
fish or sea-birds, but simply to their flight being obstructed 
by an object, which, as they always fly in a direct line, 
they have not the power to avoid. The fate of this animal 
seems peculiarly severe, as it is the prey both of the scaly 
and feathered creation, and frequently meets its doom in 
that element to which but a moment before it had com- 
mitted itself for protection. 

Becoming extremely low-spirited towards the close of 
our voyage, I now had recourse to daily sea-bathing, and 
to a chearing glass of claret, two ankers of which had 
been provided for each officer, independently of his own 
stock. These means proved efficacious, and I found my- 
self in a few days perfectly recovered from my com- 
plaint. On the 30th the weather became hazy, when the 
ships brought-to and hove the lead in thirteen fathom 
foul water. The following day we passed several large 
black rocks to windward, called The Constables, and cast 
anchor near the Euripice, or Devil's Islands, off the coast 
of South America. The Euripice Islands are situated 
about twenty-four miles from the French settlement of 
Cayenne, bearing N. N, W. in North latitude, five de- 
grees twenty minutes, and consist of a ridge of small 
uninhabited and very dangerous rocks for shipping. Here • 
the current runs constantly from the S. E. to the N. W. 
at the rate of sixty English miles in twenty-four hours : 


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consequently every vessel which happens to pass the mouth 
of the river Surinam must make a considerable circuit in 
order to regain the possibility of entering that river. 

While we remained in this situation, we observed the 
narwhal, or sea-unicorn, and one or two large turtles, 
floating past the ship's side. The former of these is a 
large fish, and very distinguishable by a long spiral ex- 
crescence on its nose, like a tapering twisted rope. The 
one we saw at this time (though some are said to be forty 
or fifty) appeared but six or eight feet in length, and its 
horn about four, which weapon is dreadfully offensive to 
many fishes, especially to the whale ; and when polished 
(either in hardness or whiteness) is considered not to be 
inferior to ivory. The narwhal, which is of the ceta- 
ceous kind, and consequently viviparous, is more fre- 
quently found in cold than warm climates. The female 
is said to be unprovided with that protuberance so re- 
markable in the male. It appears that some authors have 
confounded this animal with the sword-Jish, to which, 
however, it does not prove to have the very smallest 

Another animal, which is called the saw-Jish, carries also 
an offensive weapon. The projectmg bone of this is three 
or four feet long, flat, and both sides armed with strong 
sharp-pointed spikes, which give it somewhat the form of 
a saw ; this saw, which is covered over with the same 
rough, slimy, darkish-coloured skin that covers the whole 



animal, begins to spread itself near the eyes, and thus con- 
tinues spi-eading till it forms the head of a flattish triangular 
appearance, close to which are the two pectoral fins. Above 
the eyes are two large holes, which I apprehend to be the 
organs of hearing, and not, as some suppose, intended by 
nature for the purpose of spouting water. Almost directly 
under them is the mouth, which is something in the form 
of an halt-moon, apparently without teeth, and between 
that and the under part of the spiked saw are the nostrils. 
The body of the saw-fish is not much larger than the head, 
with two strong dorsal fins, the one near the middle, the 
other near the tail, which is partly bifurcated, and raised 
perpendicular, the largest part upwards, without rays. The 
back is covered over Avith a dark slimy skin ; the whole 
forming a very hideous appearance. This fish fights with 
the largest whales, till the sea all around is died with blood, 
seldom quitting its adversary till it has vanquished and 
killed it. I have seen this monster out of the water, and 
its whole length measured about fourteen feet. 

The turtles are divided into two species, and are gene- 
rally distinguished in Surinam by the names of calapee or 
green turtle, and carett. The former of these sometimes 
weighs four hundred pounds, and has a fliattish shell ; but 
the carett is inferior both in size and quality, except with 
respect to its shell, which is more valuable, and of a 
more convex form. Both the calapee and carett deposit 
their eggs, which are very excellent food, in the sand, 




where they are hatched "oy the heat of the sun. The chap. 
manner of taking these animals is by turning them on 
their backs with a handspike, Avhen they are discovered 
on shore, and leaving them in this situation till a conve- 
nient opportunity occurs for carrying them away ; for such 
is the heaviness of their structure, or so languid are their 
powers, that they are utterly unable to turn themselves, 
and effect their escape. They are publicly exposed to sale 
by the butchers in Surinam, like the shambles meat in the 
European markets, and are esteemed the most delicate 
food between the months of February and May. 

On the morning of the 1st of February we now once 
more went under weigh, and kept course in shore till the 
evening, when we came to an anchor off the mouth of the 
river Marawina. This river has occasioned the loss of many 
ships, b}^ seamen fatally mistaking it for the river Surinam, 
to which its entry bears indeed a very great resemblance. 
What renders the first so dangerous are the numerous 
rocks, small islands, and quick-sands with which it is 
croudcd ; besides its being so shallow at high-water mark 
(and even with spring-tides) that all ships of any considerable 
burthen immediately run a-ground, and go to pieces. 

On the 2d, having got our anchor a-peak b}^ day-break, 
we again set sail, keeping course along the coast; when, 
having doubled Braam's Poijit wdth a light breeze, under 
top and top-gallant sails, we finally entered the beautiful 
river Surinam ; and at three o'clock, p. bi. dropped anchor 
before the new fortress called Amsterdam ; and here we 

Vql. I. jD were 


were extremely happy to meet with our friends in the Vigi- 
huice, which vessel (as I have mentioned) had parted eom- 
pany with us, in a gale of wind, on the 2d of January, oft" 
Cape Finisterre, and arrived two days before us in this river. 
Our ships crews now were in the highest flow of spirits^, 
seeing themselves siu'rounded b}^ the most delightful ver- 
dure, while the river seemed alive by the many boats and 
barges passing and re-passing to see us, while groups of 
naked boys and girls were promiscuously playing and 
flouncing, like so many Tritons and Mermaids, in the water. 
The scene was new to all, and nothing was heard but 
music, singing, and cheering on deck, as well as in the 
rigging, from the ideas of happiness which each individual 
now promised himself in ihis> luxmiant flourishing spot, 
while between decks the heat was become insupportable : 
but how miserably these poor fellows were mistaken in 
their reckoning shall soon be seen. 

I mvist indeed acknowledge that nothing could equal 
the delicious sensations with which we seemed intoxicated, 
by the fragrance of the lemons, limes, oranges, and flowerSj 
wafted over from the adjoining plantations that line the 
banks of all the rivers in this ever-blooming settlement, and 
of Mhich charming fruit, &c. large clusters were sent on 
board our ships by Colonel de Ponchera of the colonial 
troops. This gentleman, being the commandant of Fort 
Amsterdam, also saluted the vessels with nine guns from 
the batteries, while with an equal number we returned liim- 
the compliment from the ships. A long-boat, with one 
7 • of 


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of our captains, was aftenvards dispatclied to Paramaribo, chap. 
to announce to the Governor the arrival of the troops in the ,,^^^U*„ 

During our stay in this place the companies frequently 
M-alked on shore, and I accompanied them in their excur- 
sions ; but the pleasure I had flattered myself with, from 
exchanging the confinement of a ship for the liberty of , 
ranging over a delicious country, was damped by the first 
object which presented itself after my landing. This was 
a young female slave, whose only covering was a rag tied 
round her loins, which, like her skin, was lacerated in several 
places by the stroke of the whip. The crime which had 
been committed by this miserable victim of tj'ranny was 
the non-performance of a task to which she was apparently 
unequal, for which she was sentenced to receive two hun- 
dred lashes, and to drag, during some months, a chain 
several yards in length, one end of which was locked round 
her ancle, and to the other was affixed a weight of at least 
a hundred pounds. Strongly affected v.ith this shocking 
circumstance, 1 took a draft of the unhappy sufferer, and 
retained a dreadful idea of the inhumanity of the planters 
towards these miserable subjects to their power. 

The grass in this part of the country was very long and 
coarse, and afforded a harbour to two species of very dis- 
agreeable insects, termed Pattat and Scrapat lice by the 
colonists, which settled on every part of our persons. The 
former of these is so small as to be scarcely visible ; the 

D 2 latter 


latter is something larger, and formed like a crab, and botk 
agree in adhering closely to the skin, and occasioning aa 
intolerable itching. These insects abound most during 
the rainy season ; when tlie best means of avoiding their 
attacks is supposed to be by walking barefoot, as they are 
believed to fasten more easily, and consequently in greater 
numbers, upon tlie cloaths, whence, however, they very 
speedily find their way to the skin. We did not get rid of 
our disagreeable companions till our return to the ship, 
when we washed the affected parts with the juice of limes 
or lemons, which considerably alleviated our troublesome 

On the 3d of March we received a visit from several 
officers of the Society, or West India Company's troops, 
accompanied by a number of other gentlemen, to wel- 
come our arrival in the colony. Nor were they satisfied 
with paying us merely a compliment in words, but re- 
galed us with a large quantity of excellent fruits and other 
refreshments. They came in very elegant barges or tent- 
boats, adorned with flags, and attended by small bands of 
music. The vessels were rowed by six or eight negroes,, 
who were entirely without cloaths, except a small stripe of 
check or other linen cloth, which was passed between their 
thighs, and fastened before and behind to a thin cotton 
string tied round their loins. As the colonists generally 
make choice of their handsomest slaves for this office, and 
to attend them at table, &c. the rowers, who were healthy, 



young, and vigorous, looked extremely Avell, and their 
being naked gave us a full opportunity of observing their 
skin, which was shining, and nearly as black as ebony. 
This scene was, however, contrasted by the arrival of two 
canoes filled with emaciated starving wretches, who cla- 
morously solicited relief from the soldiers, and were ready 
to fight for the possession of a bone. 

The day following our Commander in Chief was visited 
by a Mr. Rynsdorp, who introduced to him two black 
soldiers, manumized slaves, who composed part of a corps 
of three hundred Avhich had been lately formed. These 
men were exhibited by ]VIr. R3'nsdorp as specimens of 
that valiant body which, but a short time before, had most 
gallantly distinguished itself by the protection it had 
afforded to the colony. 

Whilst -we still remained at anchor before the fortress 
Amsterdam, I received a polite invitation from one ]\Ir. 
Lolkens, a planter, to whom I had been recommended, to 
accept the use of his house and table on our arrival at 
Paramaribo, the capital of the colony. 

On the 8th Ave once more went under way, and, after 
the usual ceremonies on both sides on leaving the fortress^ 
sailed up the river Surinam with drums beating, colours 
flying, and a guard of marines drawn up on the quarter- 
deck of each vessel. Having at length reached Parama- 
ribo, we finally came to an anchor within pistol-shot off the 
shore, receiving a salute of eleven guns from the citadel 



Zealandia, which was returned bj all the ships of our small 

After being confined nearly the whole of sixty-three 
days within the limits of a small vessel, and upon an ele- 
ment to which few of the troops had been accustomed, it 
would not be easy to describe the pleasure we experienced 
on finding ourselves once more on land, and surrounded 
by a thousand agreeable circumstances. 

Tlie town appeared uncommonly neat and pleasing, the 
shipping extremely beautiful, the adjacent woods adorned 
with the most luxuriant verdure, the air perfumed with the 
utmost fragrance, and tlie whole scene gilded by the rays 
of an unclouded sun. We did not, however, take leave 
of our wooden habitation at this time, but the next day 
were formally disembarked with a general appearance of 
rejoicing ; all the ships in the roads being in full dress, 
and the guns keeping up an incessant fire till the whole of 
the troops were landed. 

All the inhabitants of Paramaribo were collected to be- 
liold this splendid scene, nor were the expectations they 
had formed disappointed. The corps consisted of neaily 
five hundred young men, (for we had been so fortunate 
as only to lose one during the voyage) the oldest of whom 
was scarcely more than thirty, and the whole party neatly 
cloathed in their new uniforms, and in caps ornamented 
with twigs of orange-blossom. We paraded on a large 
green plain between the town and the citadel, opposite 



lo the Governor's palace; during the course of which chap. 
ceremonies several soldiers fainted from the excessive heat. ^.^^" 
The troops then marched into quarters prepared for their 
reception, Avhilst the oflicers were regaled with a dinner by 
the Governor, which -w'oukl have derived a considerable 
relish from its succeeding the salt provisions, to which we 
had so long been confined, had any contrast been neces- 
sary to heighten our oi)inion of its elegance. But the 
choicest delicacies of America and Europe were united in 
this repast, and served up in silver. A great varietj' of 
the richest wines were poured out with profusion ; the 
desert was composed of the mbst delicious fruits, and the 
company were attended by a considerable number of ex^ 
tremely handsome negro and mulatto maids, all naked 
from the waist upwards, according to the custom of the 
country ; but the other parts of their persons arraj^ed in 
the finest India chintzes, and the whole adorned with 
golden chains, medals, beads, bracelets, and sweet-smelling 

After partaking of this superb entertainment till about 
seven o'clock, I set out in search of the house of Mr. 
Lolkens, the hospitable gentleman who had so obligingly 
invited me to make it my own. I soon discovered- the 
place, but my reception was so ludicrous that I cannot 
forbear relating the particulars. On knocking at the door^. 
it was opened by a young female negro, of a masculind- 
appearance, whose whole dress consisted of a single petti- 


coat, and who held a hghtcd to'jacco-pipe in one hanc]„ 
and a burning candle in the other, which she brought close 
to my face, in order to reconnoitre me. I enquired if her 
master was at home, to which she replied, jjut in a lan- 
guage totally unintelligible to me. I then mentioned his 
name, on Avhich she burst into an immoderate fit of 
laughter, displaying two rows of very beautiful teeth ; and 
at the same time laying hold of the breast-buttons of my 
coat, she made me a signal to follow her. I was much at 
a loss how to act, but went in, and was ushered by the 
gi]"l into a very neat apartment, whither she brought some 
excellent fruit, and a bottle of Madeira wine, which she 
placed upon the table. She then, in the best manner 
she was able, informed me that her masera, with the rest 
of his family, was gone to spend a few days at his planta- 
tion, and that she was left behind to receive an English 
Captain, whom she supposed to be me. I signified that I 
was, and filled her out a tumbler of wine, which I had the 
utmost difficulty to persuade her to accept ; for such is 
the degrading light in which these unhappy beings are 
considered, that it is accounted a high degree of presuujp- 
tion in them to eat or drink in the presence of an Euro- 
pean. I contrived for some time to carry on something 
like a conversation with this woman, but was soon glad to 
put an end to it by recurring to my bottle. 
^ Tired Avith the employments of the day, I longed for 
.spm.e rest, and made a signal to my attendant that I wanted 



to sleep : but my motion was strangelj'^ misconstrued ; for 
she immediatel}^ seized me by the neck, and imprinted on 
my lips a most ardent kiss. Heartily provoked at this 
unexpected and (from one of her colour) unwelcome salu- 
tation, I disentangled myself from her embraces, and 
angrily flung into the apartment allotted for my place of 
rest. But here I was again pursued by my black tormentor, 
who, in opposition to all I could say, insisted upon pulling 
off my shoes and stockings, and in a moment disencumbered 
me of that part of my apparel. I was extremely chagrined 
at her conduct ; though this is an office commonly per- 
formed by the slaves in Suriimm, to all ranks and sexes 
without exception. Nor ought any one to conceive that 
this apparently extraordinary conduct resulted from any 
peculiarity of disposition in the girl ; her behaviour was 
only such as would have been practised by the generality 
of female negro slaves, and what will be found, by all who 
visit the "West India settlements, to be characteristic of the 
whole dark sisterhood. 

Finding in the morning, that my friend, the planter, 
was not returned, I took leave of his mansion, and very 
hospitable servant; and, after visiting the soldiers in their 
new abodes, was conducted, by the quarter-master, to a 
neat habitation appropriated to my use. I found the 
house entirely unfurnished, though not destitute of inhabi- 
tants ; for leaving my Captain's commission, which was 
of parchment, in the window the first night, I had the 

Vol. I. E morti- 


mortification to find, in the morning, that it was devoured 
by the rats. 

Having taken possession of my habitation, my next wish 
was to furnish it properly ; but all cares of this nature were 
rendered unnecessary by the generous hospitality of the 
inhabitants : the ladies supplied me with tallies, chairs, 
glasses, and even plate and china, in great abundance ; 
and the gentlemen loaded me with presents of Madeira 
wine, porter, cyder, rum, and sugar, besides a quantity of 
the most exquisite fruits. Amongst the latter I was par- 
ticularly struck with the shaddock and awara : the former 
of these, which is of a very agreeable flavour, between a 
sweet and an acid, is produced from a tree supposed to be 
transplanted from the coast of Guinea*, by a Captain 
Shaddock, whose name it still retains throughout the 
English West India islands, but is called pompelmoose in 
Surinam. This fruit appears to be of the orange species, 
but is as large as the head of a child of eight or ten years 
old : the skin is extremely thick, of a bitterish taste, and a 
pale yellow or citron colour. There are two species of the 
shaddock, of which the pulp of the one is white, and that 
of the other a beautiful pale red, which may be safely eaten 
in considerable quantities : indeed it is esteemed by the 

Exotic of Cerean dye. 

Sweet acid offspring of an injur'd sky; 

O Shaddock ! ]ike thy country, captive led, 

And doom'd to grace the board her children spread. 



-'y/f/y (>y/u/,/yor/- (\ //y?/ry. 

/.,<ii,l.'n.7'ul'li.f/,c,l /-)Kri",^,ii,l,, ./.J„„n^-im..<:'i\,i,l.r </,<.,./, >'i)-J. 


natives, who are in general remarkably fond of it, as very c n a p. 
salubrious. ^* 

The axzHira, or avoira, which is less remarkable for the 
excellence of its flavour than its beautiful appearance, 
groAvs upon a species of palm-tree, and is of an oval form, 
about the size of an Orlean plum, and of a rich deep 
orange colour, nearly approaching to red. It is much 
esteemed by the negroes, who exercise their ingenuity in 
forming rings out of the stones, which they decorate with 
cyphers, initial letters, and other devices ; then dispose of 
them to the Europeans, who mount them in gold. These 
stones are large, extremely hard, and as black as jet or 
ebony ; but the pulp which surrounds them is very thin. 

This dav, on examining into the state of our remaining 
live stock, such as hogs, sheep, ducks, geese, fowls, and 
turkies, we found them nearly as many in number as when 
we first sailed from Holland : these were all sent to the 
Colonel's povdtry-yard, at the head-quarters ; while we had 
the additional morlification of seeing above sixty large 
kegs with preserved vegetables, &c. and just as many fine 
Westphalia hams (being perfectly rotten) thrown into the 
river Surinam, to feed the sharks. 

I now observed, on the second morning after our land- 
ing, that my face, my breast, and hands, were entirely 
spotted over like the skin of a leopard, occasioned by 
myriads of gnats or musquitoes, which, flying in clouds, had 
kept me company during the night ; though the fatigue 

E 2 from 


c II A P. from my voyage, and the oppressive heat of the climate^ 
had sunk me into so profound a sleep that I was insensible 
of their stings till I perceived the effet^is. These insects 
are inconceivably numerous here during the rainy season, 
and particularly on the banks of creeks or rivers. None 
are secured from their attacks, but they peculiarly infest 
strangers in preference to the natives ; and wherever they 
insert their proboscis, and remain unmolested, they suck 
the blood till they are scarcely able to fly. Every punc- 
ture they make is succeeded by a large blotch, or rather 
tumour, accompanied with an itcliing which is almost in- 
tolerable. The presence of the musquitoes is indicated by 
their buzzing noise, which alone is sufficient to make one 
sweat, and which is so very disagreeable to those who have 
suffered from their stings, as to have obtained for them 
the name of the Devil's Trumpeters. They are, indeed, 
inconceivably troublesome in every respect. The candles 
are no sooner lighted in an evening than they are stuck 
full of them ; all kinds of food and drink are exposed to 
their disagreeable visits, from which even the mouth and 
eyes are not exempted. 

The best cure for their stings is an application of the 
juice of lemons or limes, mixed Avith water, which is also 
a tolerable preservative against their attacks. Immediately 
before shutting the windows, the inhabitants commonly 
burn tobacco in their apartments, the smoke of which oc- 
casions the insects to fly about the room, wlien the negro 



gills unresen'edly tlirow off their petticoats, Avhich is the 
Avhole of their covering, and, running naked about the 
chamber, chase the gnats therewith out at the windows, 
or destroy them. The more dehcate or luxurious amongst 
the natives still employ their slaves in fanning them during 
the whole night, excepting such as have green gauze doors 
to their beds or pavilions ; but the generality of the people 
in Surinam sleep in roomy cotton hammocks, Avhich are 
covered with a very large thin sheet, suspended from a 
tight line immediately over them, something like the 
awning of a ship, which serves, in some measure, to keep 
off these troublesome insects, and the want of which had 
exposed me to be thus stung all over. 

There are also in Surinam a still larger species of gnats, 
or musquitoes, called mawkers, the stings of which are 
extremely painful indeed ; but, as they are much less 
numerous than the former, they are not nearly so trouble- 
some to the inhabitants, and are, consequently, less re- 
marked. — But to proceed : 

On the morning of the 22d, an elderly negro-womarr, 
with a black girl about fourteen, entering my apartment, 
it would be difficult to express my astonishment when she 
gravely presented me her daughter, to become Avhat she 
was pleased to term my wife. I had so little gallantry, 
however, as to reject the offer Avith a loud laugh ; but at 
the same time accompanied the refusal with a small but 
welcome present, with which they appeared perfectly 

satisfied ,^ 


satisfied, and departed Avitb every possible demonstration 
of gratitude and respect. The girls here who voluntarily 
enter into these connections are sometimes mulattoes, 
sometimes Indians, and often negroes. They all exult in 
the circumstance of living with an European, whom, in 
general, they serve with the utmost tenderness and fidelity, 
and tacitly reprove those numerous fai?- ones who break 
through ties more sacred and solemn. Young women of 
this description cannot indeed be married or connected in 
any other way, as most of them are born or trained up in 
a state of slavery ; and so little is the practice condemned, 
that, while they continue faithful and constant to the 
partner by whom they are chosen, they are countenanced 
and encouraged by their nearest relations and friends, who 
call this a lawful marriage; nay, even the clergy avail 
themselves of this custom without restraint; Avitness the 
Rev. Mr. S— dh— s, Mr. T— 11— t, &c. Many of the sable- 
coloured beauties will, however, follow their own penchant 
without any restraint whatever, refusing, with contempt, 
the golden bribes of some, Avhile on others they bestow their 
favours for a dram or a broken tobacco-pipe, if not for 

The hospitality I had experienced on our first arrival in 
the colony was not confined to that time only : I had a 
general invitation to visit, besides his excellency the Go- 
vernor, and Colonel Texier, the commandant, in more than 
twenty respectable families, whenever it suited my conve- 
nience : 


nience : so that, though the officers of our corps had 
formed a regnnental mess, I had seldom the honour of 
their company. One gentleman, a Mr. Kennedy, in par- 
ticular, carried his politeness so far, as not only to offer me 
the use of his carriage, saddle-horses, and table, but even 
to present me with a fine negro boy, named Qiiaco, to 
carry my vimbrella as long as 1 remained in Surinam. The 
other gentlemen of the regiment also met with great civi- 
lities ; and the whole colony seemed anxious to testify their 
respect, by vying with each other in a constant round of 
festivity. Balls, concerts, card assemblies, and every spe- 
cies of amusement in their power, Avere constantly con- 
trived for our entertainment. The spirit of conviviality 
next reached on board the men of war, where we enter- 
tained the ladies with cold suppers and dancing upon the 
quarter-deck, under an awning, till six in the morning, 
generally concluding the frolic by a cavalcade, or an airing 
in their carriages. This constant routine of dissipation, 
which was rendered still more pernicious by the enervating 
effects of an intensely hot climate, where one is in a per- 
petual state of perspiration, already threatened to become 
fatal to two or three of our officers. Warned by their ex- 
ample, I retired from all public companies, sensible that 
by such means 1 could alone preserve my health, in a 
country which has such a tendency to debilitate the human 
frame, thatan European, however cautious to avoid excesses, 
has always reason to apprehend its dreadful effects. 



Dissipation and luxury appear to be congenial to the 
inhabitants of this climate, and great numbers must an- 
nually fall victims to their very destructive influence. Their 
fatal consequences are indeed too visible in the men, who 
have indulged themselves in intemperance and other sen- 
sual gratifications, and who appear withered and enervated 
in the extreme : nor do the generality of the Creole females 
exhibit a more alluring appearance; they are languid, 
their complexions are sallow, and the skin even of the 
young ladies is frequently shrivelled. This is, however, 
not the case with all ; and I have been acquainted with 
some who, preserving a glow of health and freshness in 
their lovely countenance, were entitled to contend for the 
prize of beauty with the fairest European. But, alas ! the 
numbers of this last description are so small, that the colo- 
nists in their amours most usually prefer the Indian negro 
and mulatto girls, particularly on account of their remark- 
able cleanliness, health, and vivacity. For the excesses 
of the husbands in. this respect, and the marked neglect 
which they meet from them, the Creole ladies most com- 
monly, at a very early period, appear in mourning weeds, 
with the agreeable privilege, however, of making another 
choice, in the hopes of a better partner ; nor are they long- 
without another mate. Such indeed is the superior 
longevity of the fair females of Surinam, compared to that 
of the males (owing chiefly, as I said, to their excesses of 
all sorts) that I have frequently known wives who have 
1 3 buried 


buried four husbands, but never met a man in this country 
who had survived two wives. 

. The ladies do not, however, always bear with the most 
becommg patience the slights and insults they thus meet 
with, in the expectation of a sudden release, but mostly 
persecute their successful sable rivals (even on suspicion) 
with implacable hatred and the most unrelenting barbarity ; 
while they chastise their partners not only with a shew of 
ineffable contempt, but with giving in public the most 
unequivocal marks of preference towards those gentlemen 
who newly arrive from Europe ; which occasioned the 
trite proverb and observation in the colony, that the tro- 
pical ladies and the musquitoes have an instinctive pre- 
ference for a newly -landed European : this partiality is 
indeed so very extreme, and the proofs of it so very appa- 
rent and nauseous, that some command of temper is 
necessary to prevent the disgust which such behaviour 
must naturally excite, particularly where the object is not 
very inviting ; nay, it was even publicly reported at Para- 
maribo, that two of these Tropical Amazons had fought a 
duel for the sake of one of our officers. 

I must now mention a word or two of the Governor and 
Colonel Fourgeoud ; when I will endeavour to put an end 
to this long chapter : for, notwithstanding the polite recep- 
tion our whole corps had met v/ith ever since we first land- 
ed in the colony, it was evident to perceive that mutual 
coolness which subsisted between him and our Commander 

Vol. I. • F in 


ill Chief, who indeed gave the first pubhc cause of ani- 
oiosity, on the very day of our debarkation, by drawing 
up his regiment with their backs toward the Govenior's- 

It is easy to conceive that the disgust Avhich so early 
and so reciprocally manifested itself between the above 
two gentlemen, who were both of them our commanders, 
but totally independent of each other, could not but make 
our stay at Paramaribo extremely disagreeable to all the 
officers in our regiment, as well as those of the Society 
corps : the consequence of which was, that, having resided 
but a few weeks in the colony, it Avas thought proper by 
the Governor to acquaint Colonel Fourgeoud, that, " as 
" the rebel negroes seemed no further disposed to disturb 
" the tranquillity of the settlement, its own troops, and 
" the corps of black rangers, were deemed sufficient for 
" its defence ; in consequence of Avhich, Colonel Four- 
" geoud, Avith his marines, no longer being wanted, Avas 
" at liberty to return to Europe whenever he thought 
'1 proper." 

Various v/ere the feelings of pleasure and reluctance 
with which our gentlemen received this news : prepara- 
tions were, hoAvever, made for our departure; but in a fev/ 
days these were again suspended by the inhabitants, who 
clamorously insisted on our staying; when the M'ooding 
and watering the vessels was provisionally stopped, but 
the ships still kept in commission on speculation. It was, 

, during 


during this interval of leisure and uncertainty that I se- 
riously thought of employing myself in writing a short 
history of the colony, and of drawing such objects as I 
thought most suitable to complete my little plan. In 
these designs, besides consulting the best authors on the 
subject, I had the honour to be materially assisted by his 
excellency the Governor', who not only favoured me with 
several manuscripts, but daily furnished me with such a 
succession of animals, shrubs, &c. as 1 was desirous of be- 
ing acquainted with : — thus, independant of that coolness 
Avhich was so evident betAveen these two veteran officers, 
I made it my earnest study and endeavour, if possible, to 
keep friends with both parties ; and, independant of that 
duty which I owed Colonel Fourgeoud, as my Commander 
in Chief, to treat the Governor of the colony with that 
respect which I thought was due to his dignit}^ his rank, 
and his conduct ; and in which motive (though not by all) 
I was steadily supported by the most respectable officers 
in the corps. 

I will now endeavour to fulfil the task I have under- 
taken ; and commence with a general description of this 


P 2 



General Description of Guiana — of the Colony of Surinam 
in particular — Accounts of its earliest Discovery — is pos- 
sessed by the English — by the Dutch — Murder of the 
Governor, Lord Somelsdyk — The Settlement taken by the 
French, and ransomed. 

THE discovery of Guiana, by some called " the Wild 
" Coast," has been long (though Avith uncertainty) 
attributed to the Spanish commander Vasco Nwies, who, 
in the year 1504, after discovering Cuba to be an island, 
landed on the continent of South America, penetrated as 
far as between the rivers Oroonoko and Amazon, and com- 
prehended that country in the extensive tract of land, to 
which, in contradistinction to Cuba and the adjacent 
islands, he gave the name of Terra Firma. 

This country, the length of which is about 1220, and 
the breadth about 680 geographical miles, is situated 
between eight degrees twenty minutes north, and three 
degrees south latitude, and between fifty and seventy de- 
grees twenty minutes west longitude from the meridian 
of London, in the N. E. part of South America. Its boun- 
daries are marked by the rivers Viapary or Oroonoko on 
the N. W. and by the Maranon or river Amazon on the 
S. E. — The N. E. is washed by the Atlantic Ocean ; and 
the 1'iver Negris, or Black river, terminates its extent on 
11 'the 

.(IV /"'I'" 

''^ t L 

\ ''•<: 


1 * ^V /T//.^./' 






> 3*. 



"w./ j/'miA'"K, 



with " Jlnjh''"""^ * 

.'(*!//■ (_'/• Brffi.ffi St,iti,/r .S(//rj: 



.f.Mm,„U .; 

^ f^iiium/'Hiaitr fy 
{'<■/ ^yci/n/n •lilt 
• iifiii Ai'tr frrofia. 

IF/- ri'i//i.;}/iiJ- tif die }^rit''t 

/.,■',: f'u'.i. ;,,.«;„y «■>.«- /.■-,-/./. 


l.m./€-i>. ruMi.'f:./ fl:-ri'.'i},„, fi_, .f. ./,>/m.n;, 


the S. W. which form it into a kind of island, and separate 
it from New Grenada, Peru, and the Brazils. 

Though situated, Hke Guinea, under the Torrid Zone, 
the heats in Guiana are much more supportable than those 
on that part of the African coast. The scorching rays of 
the sun are in Guiana daily tempered by cooling breezes 
from the sea ; while in Guinea the intense heat is increased 
by the wind blowing continually over the land, and in its 
passage traversing numerous sandy desarts. The easterly 
or trade winds, Avhich generally blow between the Tropics, 
are extremely refreshing to the coast of Guiana, between 
the hours of eight or ten in the morning, and six o'clock in 
the evening, when they cease to operate, and a zephyr is 
scarcely ever heard to whisper during the night. These 
winds are succeeded by thick fogs, and vapours exhaled 
from the earth, which render the nights in this country not 
only very chilly, but extremely damp and unhealthy. The 
length of the days and nights in Guiana never varies much 
more than forty minutes during the course of the year, as 
the sun always rises about six in the morning, and sets at 
the same hour in the evening. 

The rainy and dry seasons which divide the year, as 
cold and warm weather divide it in Europe, may be termed 
the winter and summer of this country. There is how- 
ever one remarkable difference between the European 
seasons and those in Guiana, wdiich is, that Guiana has 
annually two winters and two summers, which are distin- 



c H A r. guislied from each other by the appellation of the greater 
and the smaller, not because the rains are less violent in the 
two latter seasons, or the heat less intense, but from an 
opinion which has prevailed, that their period of duration 
is but about half as long as that of the former. This dis- 
tinction however appears to be more imaginary real, 
as far as respects the rainy seasons ; for as these downfalls 
of water orxly take place when the sun is vertical, which it 
is near the line twice a year, and for an equal portion of 
time, the continuance of the rains will probably be equal 
in both seasons. 

The difference between the dry seasons indeed may be 
accounted for from the greater commencing in Surinam at 
the time when the sun is about to cross the equator, in its 
course to the tropic of Capricorn, often in Odober, when a 
continual drought and scorching heat begiji to take place, 
till its return in March. This is succeeded by violent un- 
interrupted rains till June, during which time the sun has 
travelled to the tropic of Cancer, and a short season of 
parching heat again takes place, till about July, which 
is once more followed by incessant rains till October, 
and thus the revolution of the ditferent seasons is com- 
pleted *. 

* I cannot but notice in this place a the sun is vertical at the tropic of Ca- 

strangeenor, into which Mr. Guthrie pricorn ; and describing it as conti- 

hasinadvertently fallen, in dating the nuing till the sun is again vertical at 

commencement of the dry season at Cancer, or from the beginning of Ja- 

the north tropic, from the time when nuary to the latter end of May. 



The continuance of the rains during the time when the 
sun is vertical in this chmate, is necessary to the existence 
of animal and vegetable life, which without these season- 
able refreshments must languish and expire under the fervid 
influence of its rays. But though I have mentioned stated 
periods for the variations of the seasons in Guiana, yet it 
is necessary to remark, that these changes are not uni^ 
formly produced at the same time, but, like the European 
seasons, occasionally vary. The changes are always ac- 
companied by tremendous claps of thunder, and very vivid 
flashes of lightning, which continue during several weekSi, 
and are frequently fatal both to the cattle and inhabitants 
of this country. 

Some parts of Guiana present a barren and mountainous 
aspect, but in general the soil is abundantly fruitful, the 
earth during the whole of the year adorned with continual 
verdure, the trees loaded at the same time with blossoms 
and ripe fruit, and the whole presenting to the view the 
delightful union of spring and summer. This general ap- 
pearance of fertility, particularly in Surinam, may be 
ascribed not only to the rains and warmth in this climate, 
but also toits low and marshy situation, which prevents the 
intense heats from destroying vegetation, and from the 
extreme richness of the soil, particularly in those parts 
which are cultivated by European industry. It must in- 
deed be confessed, that such situations are far from being; 
favourable to health ; but the spirit of gain is a very powerful 



principle, and the certainty of present profit Avill generally 
be considered as a weighty counterpoise to those evils 
which, if ever encountered, appear at a considerable dis- 
tance; and as they are sometimes escaped, may be always 
esteemed as uncertain. 

The uncultivated parts of Guiana are covered with im- 
mense forests, rocks, and mountains ; some of the latter 
enriched with a great variety of mineral substances ; and 
the whole country is intersected by very deep marshes or 
swamps, and by extensive heaths or savannas. The stream 
along the coast flows continually towards the north-Avest ; 
and the whole shore is rendered almost inaccessible from 
its being covered with dangerous banks, quicksands, bogs, 
and rocks, with prodigious bushes, and a large quantity of 
brushwood, which are so closely interwoven as to be im- 

The Spanish, Portugueze, and Dutch, are the only na- 
tions which possess settlements in this part of Terra Firma, 
excepting the small colony of Cayenne, belonging to the 
French, which is situated between the river Marawina and 
Cape Orange. The dominions in Guiana, subject to Spain, 
are situated on the banks of the Oronoque, and those of 
Portugal extend along the shores of the river Amazon. 
The Dutch settlements, which spread along the coasts of the 
Atlantic ocean, and reach from Cape Nassau to the river Ma- 
rawina, are Essequibo, Demerary, Berbice, and Surinam*; 

* See the Map prefixed to this work, 



tlie last of wliicli is the most extensive and valuable, and 
that portion of the Dutch possessions to which the suc- 
ceeding account will be chiefly confined. This industrious 
nation endeavoured, in the year I6.i7, to estal^lish a small 
colony on the banks of the river Poumeron, but in lfi66 
this settlement was demolished by the English. Nor were 
tliey more successful in one which they founded in 1677, 
on the river ^Viapoko or Oyapocko, Avhich was inuiiedi- 
ately invaded and destroyed by the French. 

The Dutch consider the beautiful and once flourishing 
colony of Surinam as extending over the whole of that 
territory which is encircled on the west by the river Kanre 
or Cange, about forty miles from the Corantine, and on 
tlie east by the river Sinamaree. But these limits are dis- 
puted by the French, who confine the boundary of Surinam 
to the banks of the INIarawina, upon which they station a 
military force. 

The principal rivers that belong to this settlement are 
the river Surinam, from which the colony takes its name, 
the Corantine, the Copename, the Seramica, and the Ma- 
rawina. Of those rivers the first oidy is navigable, the 
rest, not excepting the IVIarawina, being, though very long 
and broad, so shallow, and so extremely crowded with 
rocks and small islands, that they are of little consequence 
to Europeans; nor are their banks inhabited except by 
some of (he Indians or natives of the countrj'. The river 
Surinam, Avhose mouth is situated in about six degi'ees 

Vol. I. G north 


north latitude, is, at its entrance, nearly the breadth of 
four English miles, and in depth from sixteen to eighteen 
feet at Ioav- water mark, the tide rising and falling above 
twelve feet ; this breadth and depth is continued from its 
mouth upwards to the distance of eight or ten miles, when 
it divides itself into two branches, windmg to the S. S. E. 
for the length of upwards of 120 miles. All this extent is 
navigable for small craft, but beyond this distance the 
river proceeds directly south ; sometimes in its course sur- 
rounding small islands, and sometimes forming small cata- 
racts. The source of this beautiful river has never yet 
been discovered by Europeans. All large vessels, after 
entering the Surinam, ought to keep rather near the east 
shore ; the opposite side being very full of shoals, as far as 
the town of Paramaribo, which is about eighteen miles 
from its mouth. The other branch into which this large 
river is divided, is named Comewina, and keeps due east 
for about sixteen miles, Avith a depth of about three or four 
fathom at high- water mark ; but, as the tide makes a dif- 
ference of twelve feet, it is not considered as navigable 
for any ships of burthen, though its breadth may be com- 
puted at about two miles. At the distance of sixteen miles 
the river Comewina is again divided into two branches, 
one of which bears the same name to the S. E. for a length 
of above fifty miles, and that of Cottica to the E. S. E. 
for more than forty miles, when this last takes a meandring 
course to the S. S.W. for the distance of twenty-four or 
4 thirty 


•thirty miles. Into all these rivers, the courses of which 
•are not straight but serpentine, are discharged a number 
of ver j i'argie creels or rivulets, the banks of which are in- 
habited by Europeans, and cultivated with sugar, cocoa, 
cotton j and indigo plantations, Avhich form the most de- 
lightful >ptbip6tts that can be imagined to those Avho travel 
by water, the universal mode of journeying in this country, 
as the soil i^ iri general til '^apted for the construction of 
roads ; anil iftsbnie' place's the woods, &c. are absolutely 
impenetrable, a small path of communication between 
Paramaribo and the river Seramica being the only passable 
road that I know of in the settlement. The rivers whose 
banks are uncultivated, such as the Corantine, Copename, 
Seramica, and Marawina, afford but little matter for de- 
scription : it is therefore only necessary to remark, that 
they are generally from two to four miles in breadth, ex- 
ceedingly shallow, and crowded -with quicksands, small 
islands, and rocks, avhich form a number of beautiful cas- 
cades. In the river IVIarawina is frequently found a 
curious stone or pebble, which is known by the name of 
the Marawina diamond, and which being polished, bears 
a very near resemblance to that most valuable gem, and is 
consequently often set in rings, &c. Sec. In all the above 
rivers, without exception, the water rises and falls for more 
than sixty miles from the mouth, occasioned by the 
stoppage of the freshes by the tide ; yet fresh water may 
generally be met Avith about twenty-four or thirty miles 

G 2 fioni 


from the mouths of these rivers for watering the ships. 
The water of the river Surinam is accounted tlie most ex- 
cellent, and is brought by the sailors from as far as the 
Jew Savannah, which is above forty miles from the town 
of Paramaribo. The circumstance most injurious to ships 
in these rivers is, that their bottoms are often affected by 
a kind of water-worm, the ravages of which are the most 
effectually prevented by frequently careening the vessels, 
in order that they may be properly cleaned, scraped, 
caulked, and payed. For that purpose the coal-tar, in- 
vented by the Earl of Dundonald, (for which a j^atent of 
twelve years was granted to him) is greatly preferable to 
any other material which can be applied for this use. 

It is high or low water nearly every six hours and half; 
the spring tides rise regularly twice a month, Avhen the river 
swells to a considerable degree, which, from various cir- 
cumstances, is often of infinite benefit to the planters. 

It may be perhaps expected in this place that I should 
add a few Avords concerning the defence of the above 
rivers, though that is a subject which I purpose to treat 
more at large on another occasion. On the east side of 
the mouth of the river Surinam is a small promontorj^, 
called Braam's Point, which I think originally had been 
named Pram's, or Parham's Point, after Francis Lord 
W'illoughby of Parham,. to whom this settlement was 
granted by King Charles the Second in l6G2, and which 
spot is supposed to be the first on which Loid Willoughby 



landedin 1652, ten years before he obtained the charter 
from his sovereign. This point is not fortified ; but about 
eight miles upwards are two redoubts, one on each side of 
the river, called Leyden and Purmerent, and a little hifher 
up is the new fortress called Amsterdam, built on the 
point of land which separates the two rivers, Surinam and 
Comewina, from each other ; and whose fire, crossing with 
that of the two redoubts, protects the entry of both these 

Near the town of Paramaribo, and about six or seven 
miles from the fortress Amsterdam, is the citadel Avhich 
bears the name of Fort Zelandia, protecting the town and 
all the shipping in the roads ; and about sixteen miles 
from Fort Amsterdam, on Rio Comewina, is a fortress 
called Somelsdyk, which commands the two opposite 
shores, viz. those of Rio Comewina and Rio Cottica. Be- 
sides these, there are military posts on the Corantinc, the 
Seramica, and JMarawina. Next to these is a strong- ffuard 
at the mouth of the Mott Creek, about thirty miles below 
the river Surinam, where a fire-beacon or liohthouse is 
erected on the coast, to warn the ships bound for the river 
that they are past the mouth of the dangerous INIarawina. 
This guard also fires a few guns, to apprize the colony 
when ships are within view and steering for the coast. 
Along the higher parts of the rivers Surinam, Comewina, 
and Cottica, advanced guards are also continually kept, 
to protect the inhabitants from inland invasions by the 



Indians or fugitive negroes. In these fortifications con- 
sists the principal defence of this settlement ; besides a 
small armed bark or guarda-costa, which cruises between 
the river Marawina and Berbice, to give intelligence in 
case of any threatening danger to the colony. 

I had almost forgotten to mention, that a path fortified 
with military posts had been projected, and was actually 
begun, from the upper parts of the river Comewina to the 
river Seramica ; but the plan did not succeed, and the line, 
which is called the Orange-path, is at present in the state 
of a wilderness. 

Having thus described the surface of the country in 
general, with its boundaries, rivers, &c. I shall proceed to 
an account of the earliest discoveries and most remark- 
able revolutions of this once flourishing colony, which 
escaped being visited by the gallant Admiral Rodney in 
the last war. — That part of Terra Firma which is called 
Guiana, or the Wild Coast, and in which lies the colony 
of Surinam, is said by some to have been first found out 
by the justly celebrated Christopher Columbus, in the 
year 1498, whence he was sent home in chains ; though 
others contend that it was not discovered till the year 
1504, by Vasco Nunes, a Spaniard, as was stated in the 
beginning of this chapter. 

In 1595 it was visited by Sir Walter Raleigh, under 
Queen Elizabeth, who also sailed up the river Oronoque 
above 600 miles, in search of the supposed El Dorado, 



and in hopes of discovering the gold mines, of which he 
had the most lively expectations, from samples of a mar- 
casite, which the Spaniards call Madre de Oro *. In 
1634 a Captain Mai'shall, with about sixty English, were 
discovered in Surinam employed in planting tobacco, 
according to the relation of David Piterse de Vries, a 
Dutclmian, who conversed with them upon the spot. In 
1640 Surinam was inhabited by the French, who were 
obliged to leave it soon after, on account of the frequent 
invasions which they justly suffered from the Caribbean 
Indians, for having, like their neighbours the Spaniards, 
treated them with the most barbarous cruelties. In the 
year 1650, this colony being vacant, Francis Lord Wil- 
loughby of Parham, by king Charles the Second's per- 
mission, sent thither one vessel, equipped by himself, to 
take possession of it in the name of his royal master ; a 
little after which he dispatched three vessels more, one of 
them carrying twenty guns. All these were well received 
by the Indians or inhabitants of the country, with whom 
they entered into friendly treaties, and a kind of negocia- 
tion. Two years after this Lord Willoughby went over 
himself, and leaving several good and wholesome laws and 
regulations for the government and defence of the colony, 
returned to England, whence he continued to supply the 

* Of this extraordinary enterprise Bircli, in 1751, among the rest of 

the curious reader may see a full ac- Raleigh's works, printed for Dodsiey^ 

count, written by Sir Walter Raleigh in 2 vols. 8vo. 
himself, as it was published by Dr. 




c II A r. settlement at his own expence with men and anmiuni- 
tion. On the second day of June, 1662, the colonj^ of 
Surinam was granted by charter of Charles the Second 
to Francis Lord Willoughby, and at that lord's desire to 
be divided with Lawrence Hide, second son of Edward 
Earl of Clarendon, for them and their descendants for 
ever : the original record of this charter is to be found in 
the chapel of the Rolls. Li 1664 the English captured 
the New Netherlands, since called New York, from the 

In the year 1665 Surinam was successfull}^ cultivated, 
mostly by planting tobacco. They had also raised above 
forty fine sugar plantations, and erected a strong fortress 
of hewn stone for their defence. It is proper, however, 
to remark, that some suppose these improvements were 
effected by the Portuguese, though at what period is un- 
certain ; while the French strenuously dispute the point, 
and insist that they were the work of IVIonsieur Ponscrt 
de Bretigny, when France had possession of that country. 
However this may be, the fortress is situated about sixteen 
or eio-hteen miles from the mouth of the river Surinam, 
and these industrious settlers found themselves perfcctl}"- 
happy in a small town which they had built under the walls. 
Their felicity was not of long duration ; for in the wars 
between Charles the Second and the United Provinces, 
tJie Dutch having been driven in 1661 from the Brazils 
by the Portuguese, took the colony of Surinam from the 



English in 1 667, under the command of a Captain Abraham 
Criuvon, who was dispatched for that purpose by the pro- 
vince of Zealand, with three ships of war and 300 marines. 
The English commander, William Biam, lost the settle- 
ment of Surinam by surprise, when above 600 of the best 
men in the colony were at work on the sugar plantations. 
This neglect appears from the trifling loss of the Dutch, 
who in storming the citadel had but one man killed. 
They immediatel}'^ planted the Prince of Orange's flag 
on the ramparts, and gave now to this fortress the name 
of Zelandia, and that of New Middleburg to the town of 
Paramaribo, after making the inhabitants, amongst other 
contributions, pay one hundred thousand pounds weight 
of sugar, and sending a number of them to the island of 
Tobago. This event took place in February, and in July 
following the peace was concluded at Breda. But, most 
unluckily for the new possessors of Surinam, it was con- 
cluded unknown to the English commodore. Sir John 
Harman, who in October that same year, having first taken 
Cayenne from the French, entered the river with a strong 
fleet of seven ships of war, two bomb-ketches, &c. and 
retook the colony from the Dutch, killing on this occasion 
above fifty of their men, and destroying nine pieces of 
cannon in Fort Zelandia. The new inhabitants were 
now in their turn laid under contribution, and the Dutch 
garrison were transported as prisoners to the island of 
Vol. I. H At 


At the discovery, in Surinam, that the peace had been 
conchided in Europe between the contending powers, be- 
fore Commodore liarman retook the colony from the 
Dutch, considerable tumult and disorder took place 
among the inhabitants, who knew not whom they ought 
to acknowledge as their lawful sovereign. At length, by 
an order of King Charles, the settlement was ceded to the 
Dutch, in 1669, when twelve hundred of the old inhabi- 
tants, English and negroes together, left it, and went to 
settle on the island of Jamaica. At the close of the suc- 
ceeding war, it was agreed by the treaty of Westminster 
that Surinam should be the property of the Dutch for 
ever, in exchange for the province of New York, which 
accordingly took place in the year 1674; and after this 
period tiie colony of Surinam was never more in the pos- 
session of Great Britain. In 1678, a Mr. Heynsius was 
governor of the colony, and a Captain Lightenburgh 
commander of the troops. 

The Dutch for the first few years enjoyed little satisfac- 
tion in their new possessions, as they were daily harassed 
by the invasions of the Caribbean Indians, to whom they 
were much more obnoxious than the English had been r 
indeed they carried their resentment so far as to murder 
several of the Dutch settlers. In addition to this, the pro- 
vince of Zealand, to which the colony properly belonged, 
being perpetually at variance with the other United Pro- 
vinces concerning the sovereignty of this settlement, and 
3 not 


not being of themselves able to support the great expence chap. 
which was requisite for its preservation and defence, at ^^' 
last resolved to sell the whole to the Dutch West India 
Company ; which they did in the year 1682, for the sum 
of >r, 23,636 sterling, including all the wavlike stores, am- 
munition, «Scc. amongst which were fifty pieces of cannon. 
At the same time they obtained a charter fiom their High 
Mightinesses the States General, exempting them from 
duty for ten years. A few months after this, however, the 
West India Company, notwithstanding the above charter 
of indemnification, finding the other necessary expences of 
the settlement also too great for them, again transferred 
two-thirds of the colony of Surinam, the one to the town 
of Amsterdam, the other to the house of Somelsdyk, at the 
same price for which they had bought it, and these three 
together formed a society, to whom (still under the sanc- 
tion of their High Mightinesses) was some time aftenvards 
intrusted, by a resolution of the States General, the sole 
and entire direction of the affairs of this country. 

Such was the situation of Surinam, and in this manner 
all matters were finally settled, when Cornelius Van Aarsen, 
Lord of Somelsdyk (as being one of the proprietors) Avent 
over with three hundred men, with whom he also took 
some felons sentenced for transportation. At his arrival, 
in 1684, he took the command as Governor General of 
the colony. He then created a court of policy, to assist 
in the administration of justice; with the members of 

11 2 which, 


c II A P. which, as well as v.ith the inhabitants, he lived in a state 
of continual dissension. The consequence was, that they 
sent several complaints against him to Europe, notwith- 
standing he had made a favourable peace with the Carib- 
bee, Warowa, and Arawakka Indians, as well as Avith a 
few run-away negroes, who had been settled at Rio Cope- 
name since the English left the colony. 

This unfortunate gentleman's reign, however, lasted but 
a short space, viz. till the year 1688, when on the same 
day both the Governor and Deputy Governor, Mr. Ver- 
boom, were murdered by their own soldiers, owing, as was 
alleged, to their having not only forced the men to work 
like negroes in digging canals, &c. but also obliged them 
to subsist on very bad and short allowance, which drove 
them to this act of desperation *. — I am sorry to say this 
treatment is too frequently the case in the settlements, as 
I shall afterwards have occasion to prove. Such indeed 
was the confidence of these assassins, that they offered to 
give in their defence, and assign their reasons for commit- 
ting this act of cruelty. 

As the particulars of the assassination are not uninterest- 
ing, I shall beg leave to trespass upon the reader's patience 
by a brief recital of the transaction. 

* Somelsdyk had the character of some domestic misdemeanour, for 

a tyrant ; he was, under the cloak of which he could not produce, espe- 

religion, despotic, passionate, brutal, cially in those days, the smallest 

and cruel ; he even ordered an In- shadow of authority, 
dian Chief's head to be struck off for 



The Governor was walking under a grove of orange- 
trees, near his own house, with Mr. Verboom, when unex- 
pectedly ten or twelve armed soldiers (seemingly drunk) 
accosted them, and immediately insisted on less work and 
better subsistence. The Governor drawing his sword to 
force them back, was instantaneously shot through the 
body in many places, and died upon the spot ; his com- 
panion, on the other hand, received but one wound, and 
did not expire till the ninth day after. This done, the 
rioters, accompanied by several accomplices, marched in 
triumph to Fort Zelandia, which they took without re- 
sistance, and made themselves masters of the gunpowder 
and victualling magazines. After this, the garrison hav- 
ing joined them, they formed a ring, and chose out from 
among them a commander in chief, and several other 
officers, to whom they all swore to be faithful, as also 
to each other, to the last drop of their blood. AVhat is 
very remarkable, is, that their new chief, the very same 
afternoon, ordered the body of the massacred Governor, 
Somelsdyk, to be interred in Fort Zelandia with decency 
and military honours ; and even the great guns were fired 
from the walls, and three rounds with small arms by the 

The magistrates and other inhabitants of Surinam now 
beheld themselves in a most unpleasant situation, and were 
obliged even to enter into a capitulation with the insur- 
gents in the fort, the principal articles of which were, that 


the latter should evacuate Fort Zelandia, for which they 
were to receive a few hundred pounds ; that they were 
then to be permitted to embark on board the transport 
ship Salamander, to quit the colony without molestation, 
and to set sail for what part of the world they should 
prefer: they accordingly, to the amount of above one 
hundred, were sent on board ; but no sooner did they pre- 
pare to weigh anchor for their departure, than the ship was 
boarded by several small vessels, privately armed and 
manned for the purpose. The rebels were compelled to 
surrender at discretion, and a few days after were tried for 
murder and rebellion ; when eleven of the ringleaders were 
executed, three of them were broke alive upon the rack, 
and eight were hanged on the gallows in irons. The rest 
obtained their pardon ; but being no longer to be depended 
on, were gradually discharged from the colonial service, 
when others could be procured to replace them. 

In the following year the widow of Somelsdyk offered 
to transfer her portion in this settlement to King \\ iiiiam 
the Third, but to no purpose ; while a Mr. Scherpen- 
huysen was sent over to Surinam from Holland, with a 
fresh supply of men and ammunition, to take the com- 
mand, in the room of the late Lord of Somelsdyk, as Go- 
vernor of the colony. Mr. Scherpenhuysen, at his arrival, 
finding every thing in the utmost confusion, in order to 
apply the speediest means of redress, established a court 
of justice, which differed from that formed by his predcr 



cesser, GovernorSomelsdyk, in this particular, that the for- 
mer is invested with tiie management of all military and 
criminal affairs, and the latter with that of all civil pro- 
cesses and pecuniary matters. Both of these courts still 
remain, and of both the Governor is always president. 

This gentleman was also very diligent in establishing 
many good laws and institutions ; and had just begun to 
put the colony in a proper state of defence (of which at 
this time it stood greatly in need) against its domestic and 
foreign enemies, when war was declared between France 
and the United Provinces ; and the same year the settle- 
ment of Surinam was attacked by Admiral Ducasse with a 
strong fleet, which, however. Governor Scherpenhuysen 
very courageously beat off, after they had begun to can- 
nonade Fort Zelandia. 

In 1692 Jeronimus Clifford, an Englishman, was con- 
demned to be hanged, (which sentence was changed to 
seven years imprisonment in the fortress Somelsdyk) on 
pretence of having insulted a magistrate who had arrested 
him for debt. On application, however, from the court of 
Great Britain, he was set at liberty in 1695, by desire of 
the King, when he made a demand on the colony of 20,000 
guineas, for damages and false imprisonment ; which being 
refused, his heirs have continued to claim it since 1 700 to 
so late as 1762, but hitherto without obtaining any satis- 

During the succeeding war, which happened in 1712, 




CHAP, the French Commodore, Jaques Cassard, met with the 
same reception from Governor de Gooyer which Ducasse 
had experienced from Scherpenhuysen before Zelandia ; 
but four months after he returned with better success, and 
laid the colony under a contribution for a sum of about 
£. 56,618 sterling. It was on the lOth of October that he 
entered the river of Surinam, with six or eight ships of war, 
accompanied by a number of small vessels, in which fleet 
were embarked 3000 men. The largest ships were Le Nep- 
tune, of 74 guns (on board which he himself commanded), 
Le Temeraire, of 60 guns 

Le Rubis - 

- 56 

La Vestale - 

- 48 

La Parfaite 

- 48 

La Meduse 

- 56 

The 1 1 th Cassard sent a long-boat with a white flag, 
and an officer to treat with the inhabitants for contribu- 
tions, which, if they refused to pay, he threatened to bom- 
bard the town of Paramaribo*. The boat, however, was 

* In the year 1 66j Captain Abra- called The Golden Parinia, or Par- 
ham Cruisen gave the town the name ham Lake, took their names from 
of New Middlebiug; but it was be- Francis Lord Wilioughby of Par- 
fore and after called nothing but ham ; who, as I have mentioned, re- 
Paramaribo, which is said to be the ceived this settlement from Charles 
true Lidian name, and should signify the Second, and was one of the first 
The Spot of Flowers. This is the possessors of this beautiful country, 
general account. But in my opinion Surinam is also called a province by 
not only Parham's Point, but the the Dutch, but mostly known by the 
Para Creek, and the town of Para- name of colony, settlement, 8ic. 
fliaribo, nay, even the great water 



obliged to return on board without any satisfactory answer. 
The river Surinam, just before Fort Zelandia, being above 
a mile in breadth, the Meduse and several flat-bottomed 
vessels with French troops, being favoured by a very dark 
night, found means to sail up beyond Paramaribo Avithout 
being observed by the Dutch, with an intention to plunder 
the sugar and coffee plantations that are situated above 
that toAvn : but on the 15th the besieged prepared two 
large flat-bottomed barges, filled with combustible mat- 
ters, such as old junk, tar-barrels, Sec. and anchored them 
on the other side of the river, directly opposite to the town, 
to which fire being applied, both were set in a blaze, and 
discovered the smallest boats of the enemy as they tried to 
get up the river through the darkness of the night. Thus 
discovered, few escaped without damage from the guns of 
the fort, and those of the trading vessels that lay in the 
roads, who sunk some of the flat-bottomed boats, a great 
part of the crews of which Aveie drow^ned. This stratagem, 
however, did not prevent Cassard's people, who had hasted 
forward, from pillaging and setting on fire the plantations ; 
while he himself, having at last anchored before the town 
of Paramaribo, threw^ above thirty shells into it, and kept 
up a close cannonade, both upon that and Fort Zelandia, 
till the 20th of October, when he sent a second message 
with one of his captains to the Dutch, demanding of them 
finally, whether they would capitulate and pay contribu- 
VoL. I. I tion, 


tion, ^yhich, if they now dared to refuse, he threatened fire 
and destruction to the whole settlement. 

The Dutch finding their ruia inevitable if they persisted, 
demanded three days cessation of hostilities to deliberate, 
which being granted, they at last complied Avith Commo- 
dore Cassard's demands; and accordingly on the £7th, a 
treaty of twenty-four articles being settled between them, 
they paid the demanded contribution of ^. 56,618 sterling 
to the French, principally in sugar, negro slaves, &c. hav- 
ing but little gold or silver in the colony. This was no 
sooner accomplished than the Commodore weighed anchor, 
on the 6th of December, 1712, and with his whole fleet 
left the settlement of Surinam. 



First Revolt of the Negroes ; Causes thereof — Distracted 
State of the Colony — Forced Peace concluded with the 
Rebels — Mutiny of Sailors, Soldiers, ^-c. 


O sooner was this unfortunate colony delivered from chap. 

its external and avowed enemies, than it was at- 
tacked by interna] foes of a more fierce and desperate 

The Caribbean and other Indians had indeed, in for- 
mer times, often disturbed this settlement ; but, as I have 
already mentioned, a peace being established with them, 
after the arrival of Governor Somelsdyk in this colony, they 
have inviolably adhered to it ever since, living in the 
greatest harmony and friendship with the Europeans. 

The revolted negro slaves are the enemies of whom I 
now propose to speak, who for some time diffused a general 
terror over this settlement, and threatened its total loss to 
the states of Holland . 

From the earliest remembrance some fugitive negroes 
have taken refuge in the woods of Surinam ; but these 
were of very small consideration till about the year 1 7^6, 
or 1728, when their hostile numbers were much increased, 
and they had acquired lances and firelocks, which they 
had pillaged from the estates. By the accession of these 

I S arms, 



arms, in addition to their usual weapons, bows and arrows, 
they were enabled to commit continual outrages and depre- 
dations upon the coffee and sugar plantations, as well from 
a spirit of revenge for the inhuman treatment which they 
had formerly received from their masters, as with a view 
of carrying away plunder, and principally gunpowder and 
ball, hatchets, &c. in order to provide for their future 
subsistence and defence. 

These negroes were in general settled in the upper 
parts of the river Copename and Seramica, from the latter 
of which they take the name of the Seramica rebels, 
in distinction from the other gangs which have since 

Several detachments of military and plantation people 
were sent against them, but were of very small effect in 
reducing them to obedience by promises, or extirpating 
them by force of arms. 

In l7iJ0 a most shocking and barbarous execution of 
eleven of the unhappy negro captives was resolved upon, 
in the expectation that it might terrify their companions, 
and induce them to submit. One man was hanged alive 
\ipon a gibbet, by an iron hook stuck through his ribs ; 
two others were chained to stakes, and burnt to death 
by a slow fire. Six women were broken aUve upon the 
rack, and two girls were decapitated. Such was their re- 
solution under these tortures, that they endured them 

without even uttering a sigh. 



" Some Afric chief will rise, who scorning chains, 
" Racks, tortures, flames, excruciating pains, 
" Will lead his injur'd friends to bloody fight, 
" And in the flooded carnage take delight ; 
" Then dear repay us in some vengeful war, 
" And give us blood for blood, and scar for scar." 

And so it actually was in this instance, for this inhuman 
massacre produced an effect very contrary to what had 
been expected. Indeed it so much enraged the Seramica 
rebels, that for several years they became dreadful to the 
colonists ; who no longer being able to support the ex- 
igences and fatigues of sallying out against them in the 
woods, in addition to the great losses which they so fre- 
quently sustained by their invasions, of which they lived 
in continual terror, at last resolved to treat for peace with 
their sable enemies. 

Governor Mauricius, who was at this period at the 
head of the colonv, now sent out a strong detachment to 
the rebel settlement at the Seramica river, for the pur- 
pose of effecting, if possible, a peace so ardently desired. 
This detachment, after some skirmishing with the strag- 
gling rebel parties, at last arrived at their head-quarters, 
where they demanded and obtained a parley. A treaty 
of peace, consisting of ten or twelve articles, m' as actually 
concluded between the different parties in the year 1 749^ 
similar to that which had been made by the English in 
the year 1739, with the rebels in the island of Jamaica. — 



The chief of the Seramica rebels was a Creole negro, 
called Captam Adoe, who upon this occasion received 
from the Governor, as a present, a fine large cane, with a 
silver pummel, on which were engraven the arms of Su- 
rinam, as a mark of their independence, and a preliminary 
to the other presents that were to be sent out the year fol- 
lowing as stipulated by treaty, particularly arms and am- 
munition, on the performance of which the peace was to 
be finally concluded. Adoe presented in return a hand- 
some bow, with a complete case of arrows, which had been 
manufactured by his own hands, as a token that during 
that time all enmity should cease on his side. 

This affair gave great salisfaction to many and indeed 
to most of the inhabitants of Surinam, who now flattered 
themselves that their effects were perfectly secure ; while 
others regarded this treaty as a very hazardous resource, 
and even as a step to the inevitable ruin of the colony. 

I must confess indeed, that, notwithstanding the good 
intentions of Governor Mauricius, nothing appeal's to be 
more dangerous than making a forced friendship with peo- 
ple, who by the most abject slavery and ill usage are pro- 
voked to break their chains, and shake off their yoke in 
pursuit of revenge and liberty, and who by the trust which 
is placed in them have it in their power to become from 
day to day more formidable. 

The insurrection having risen to such a height, the co- 
lonists ought perhaps to have continued to oppose it, while 



they were possessed of the poAver of opposition, not indeed 
from a motive of cruelty, but for the pohtical good of so 
fine a settlement. 

If it appeared that cruelty and ill treatment had driven 
these poor creatures to these extremities, policy, not less 
than humanity, ought to have dictated to the colonists a 
different conduct in future ; but it may be asked, Whether 
it is possible to keep the African negroes in habits of obe- 
dience and industry without the strictest and often the 
severest discipline ? — No. But 1 ask again, Why is it ne- 
cessary to iuilict such inhuman tortures, according to the 
humour and caprice of an unfeeling master, or a still more 
unprincipled overseer ? Why should their reasonable 
complaints be never heard by a magistrate who has it in 
his power to redress them ? Is it because this magistrate 
is a planter, and that he is interested in the arbitrary go- 
vernment of this unhappy race ? — This is too evident. — 
It would, however, be great injustice if I were not to bear 
witness that I have not unfrequently seen the plantation 
slaves treated with the utmost humanity, where the hand 
of the master was seldom lifted, but to caress them ; and 
where the eye of the slave sparkled with gratitude and 

Let us now proceed, and see what were the fruits of 
making peace with the Seramica rebels. 

In (750, which was the year after, the promised presents 
were dispatched to Captain Adoe ; but the detachment 



that carried them were attacked on their march, and the 
whole of the corps murdered on the spot, by a desperate 
negro, called Zam Zam, who not having been consulted 
concerning the treaty of peace, had afterwards put him- 
self at the head of a strong party, and now carried off the 
whole stock of the detachment, consisting of amis, ammu- 
nition, checked linens, canvass cloth, hatchets, saws, and 
other carpenter's tools ; besides salt beef, pork, spirits, &c. 
and kept them as his own private property. Adoe, on 
the other hand, not receiving the presents at the time he 
expected, too hastily concluding he was only to be amused 
with expectation till a reinforcement of troops should 
arrive from Europe to subdue him, renewed his incur- 
sions : by this accident therefore the peace was imme- 
diately broken ; cruelties and ravages increased more 
than before, and death and destruction once more raged 
throughout the colony. 

In 1 75 1 this settlement was in the utmost distress and 
confusion ; when, in compliance with a request of the in- 
habitants, presented to the States General, Baron Spoke 
was sent to Surinam, with six hundred fresh stroops, draft- 
ed from the different regiments in the Dutch service, and 
on their arrival the members of the court were ordered to 
send Governor Mauricius to Europe, to account for his 
proceedings ; who never returned to the colony, having in 
1753. asked and obtained his dismission, after having been 
honourably acquitted. Baron Spoke, who during the ab- 
5 sence 


sence of Mauricius Avas appointed to officiate as Governor, 
found every thing in the greatest disorder, disunion hav- 
ing even arisen between the inhabitants and their rulers, 
to which it was highly necessary to apply the speediest 
means of redress. This application was indeed made by 
the Baron, but he died the year after, and a general dis- 
traction again took place. 

In 1757, the aspect of affairs daily becoming worse, 
(during the administration of a Mr. Cromelyn, who now 
was Governor of this colony) a new revolt broke out in 
the Tempaty Creek amongst the negroes, owing to the 
treatment which they received from their masters. This 
fresh insurrection indeed soon became of the most serious 
consequence. The new rebels joined themselves to six- 
teen hundred of the old fugitive negroes already settled 
in eight difi'erent villages near Tempaty Creek, and after 
repeated battles and skirmishes, the enemy being mostly 
well armed, and in their resistance generally successful, 
the colonists saw themselves once more reduced to sue 
for peace with their own slaves, near Tempaty Creek, 
as they had done in the year 1749 with the rebels of 

During this last revolt, a Captain Mayer, of the Society 
Troops, being tried for cowardice by a court martial, and 
found guilty, was ordered to be shot through the head ; 
he was accordingly led to the place of execution, where, 
after every preparation for completmg the sentence, he 

Vol. I. K Avas 


CHAP, was pardoned by the Governor, who not only shewed him 
^'^" every civihty, but actually preferred him to the rank of 

To evince the absurdity of that prejudice which con- 
siders human creatures as brutes merely because they 
differ from ourselves in colour, 1 must beg leave to men- 
tion a few of the principal ceremonies that attended the 
ratification of this peace. 

The first thing proposed by the colonists was a parley, 
which was agreed to by the rebels ; when the last not only 
desired, but absolutely insisted, that the Dutch should 
send them yearly, amongst a great variety of other articles, 
a quantity of good fire-arms and ammunition, as specified 
in a long list, expressed in broken English, by a negro whose 
name was Boston, and who Avas one of their Captains. 

Governor Cromelyn next sent two commissioners, Mr. 
Sober and Mr. Abercrombie, Avho marched through the 
woods, escorted by a few military, &c. to carry some pre- 
sents to the rebels, previous to the ratification of the peace, 
for which they now were commissioned finally to treat. 

At the arrival of the above gentlemen in the rebel 
camp, at the Jocka Creek, about fifteen miles east of the 
Tempaty Creek, they were introduced to a very handsome 
negro, called Arahij, who Avas their chief, and born in the 
forests amongst the last sixteen hundred that I have just 
mentioned. He received them very politely, and taking 
them by the hand, desired they would sit down by his side 
5 upon 


upon the green ; at the same time assuring them they need chap. 
not be under any apprehensions of evil, since from their 
coming in so good a cause, not one intended, or even dared 
to hurt them. 

When the above-mentioned Captain Boston, however, 
perceived that they had brought a parcel of trinkets, such 
as knives, scissars, combs, and small looking-glasses, and 
forgotten the principal articles in question, viz. gunpowder, 
fire-arms, and ammunition, he resolutely approached the 
commissioners, and demanded, in a thundering voice, 
whether the Europeans imagined that the negroes could 
live on combs and looking-glasses ; adding, that one of 
each was quite sufficient to let them all see their faces, 
while a single gallon of man sanmj, viz. gunpowder, would 
have been accepted as a proof of thdr confidence ; but 
fince that had been omitted, he should never consent to 
their return to their countrymen, till every article of the 
list should be dispatched to them, and consequently the 
treaty fulfilled. 

This expostulation occasioned the interference of a 
negro captain, called Quaco, who declared that these gen- 
tlemen were only the messengers of their Governor and 
court ; and as they could not be answerable for their mas- 
ter's proceedings, they should certainly return to the set' 
tlement without injury or insult, and no person, not even 
he, Captain Boston, should dare to oppose them. 

The Chief of the rebels then ordered silence, and de- 

K 2 sired 


sired Mr. Aberci'ombie to make up a list himself of such 
articles as he, Araby, should specify ; which that gentle- 
man having done, and promised to deliver, the rebels not 
only gave him and his companions leave peaceably to re- 
turn with it to town, but allowed their Governor and court 
a whole jear to deliberate whether they were to chuse 
peace or war, unanimously swearing that during that in- 
terval all animosity should cease on their side ; after which, 
havins entertained them in the best manner their situation 
in the woods afforded, they wished them a happy journey 
to Paramaribo. 

One of the rebel officers, on this occasion, represented 
to the commissioners how deplorable it Avas that the Eu- 
ropeans, Avho pretended to be a civilized nation, should 
be so much the occasion of their own ruin by their inhu- 
man cruelties towards their slaves. " We desire you," 
continued the negro, " to tell your Governor and your 
" court, that in case they want to raise no new gangs of 
" rebels, they ought to take care that the planters keep a 
" more watchful e}^ over their own property, and not to 
" trust them so frequently in the hands of drunken ma- 
" nagers and overseers, who by wrongfully and severely 
" chastising the negroes, debauching their Avives and chil- 
" dren, neglecting the sick, &c. are the ruin of the colony,- 
" and wilfully drive to the woods such numbers of stout 
" active people, wlio by their sweat earn your subsistence, 
" without Avhose hands your colony must drop to nothing; 

" and 


" and to whom at last, in this disgraceful manner, you are 
" glad to come and sue for friendship." 

Mr. Abercrombie now begged that he might be accom- 
panied by one or two of their principal officers to Para- 
maribo, where he promised they should be well treated ; 
but the chief, Araby, answered him with a smile, that it 
was time enq,ugh a year after, v/hen the peace should be 
thoroughly concluded ; that then e^en his youngest son 
should be at their service, to receive his education among 
them, while for his subsistence, and even for that of his 
dependants, he should take the sole care upon himself, 
without ever giving the Christians the smallest trouble. 

After this, the commissioners left the rebels, and the 
whole detachment arrived safe at Paramaribo. 

The year of deliberation being ended, the Governor and 
court sent out two fresh commissioners to the negro camp, 
to bring the so nmch wished-for peace to a thorough con- 
clusion ; which, after much debate, and many ceremonies 
on both sides, was at last finally agreed upon. Presents 
were promised to be sent by the Christians, agreeably to 
the wishes of' the negroes ; while these last, as a proof of 
their affection to the Europeans, insisted that each of the 
commissioners should, during their I'emaining stay in the 
rebel camp, take for his constant companion one of their 
handsomest young women. — They treated them also li- 
berally with game, fish, fruit, and the choicest productions. 



of the forest, and entertained them, without intermission, 
with music, dancing, and repeated volleys. 

At the return of the commissioners, the stipulated pre- 
sents were sent to the negroes at the Jocka Creek, and, 
what is remarkable, under the care of the identical Mr. 
Mayer, who had formerly not dared to fight against them, 
and escorted by six hundred men, soldiers and slaves. 
The pusillanimity of this gentleman, however, appeared 
again on this occasion, and he had nearly undone the 
whole business by departing from his orders, delivering all 
the presents to the rebels without receiving the hostages 
in return. Fortunately Araby kept his word, and sent 
down four of his best officers as pledges to Paramaribo. 
By this the peace was perfectly accomplished, and a treaty 
of twelve or fourteen articles was signed by the white com- 
missioners, and sixteen of Araby's black captains, in 1 76 1 ; 
v;hich ceremony took place on the plantation Ouca, in the 
river Surinam, where all the parties met, this being the 
spot of rendezvous appointed for the purpose, after four 
different embassies had been sent from the Europeans to 
the negroes. 

Signing this treaty alone, however, was still not consi- 
dered as sufficient by the rebel chief Araby and his peo- 
ple. They immediately bound themselves by an oath, 
and insisted on the commissioners doing the same, after 
the manner which is practised by themselves, not trusting 



entirely, they alleged, to that made use of by the Chris- 
tians, which they had seen them too frequently violate. , 
It must indeed be confessed, that the negroes themselves 
are uncommonly tenacious of these solemn engagements, 
as I never heard of an instance, during all the time I resided 
in the colony, of one of them violating his oath. 

The solemnity made use of on this day consisted in each 
party's letting a few drops of blood with a lancet or pen- 
knife from the arm, into a callibash or cup of clear spring 
■water, in which were also mixed a few particles of dry 
earth, and of this all present were obliged to drink, without 
exception, which tliey call drinking each other's blood, 
having first shed a few drops upon the ground by way of 
libation ; when their gadoman or priest, Avith up-cast eyes 
and out-stretched arms, took heaven and earth to witness, 
and with a most audible voice and in a most awful manner, 
invoked the curse of the Almighty on those who should 
first break through this sacred treaty made between them, 
from that moment forward to all eternity. To this solemn 
imprecation the multitude answered Da so ! which signifies 
in their language Amen *. 

"" Then loudly thus, before th' attentive bands, 
" He calls the gods, and spreads his lifted hands: 
" O first and greatest Power, whom all obey, 
" Who high on Ida's, holy mountain sway ; 

* This fact is noticed by the Abbe Raynal, 

" Eternal 


" Eternal Jove ! and yon bright orb, that roll 
" From east to west, and view from pole to pole ! 
" Thou mother Earth ! and all ye living Floods ! 
" Infernal .F//r/e,y, and Tartarean gods, 
" Who rule the dead, and horrid woes prepare 
" Forperjur'd kings, and all who falsely swear ! 
" Hear and be witness." — ■ — — 

" From the same urn they drink the mingled wine, 
" And add libations to the pow'rs divine. 
" While thus their pray'rs united mount the sky, 
" Hear, mighty Jove ! and hear, ye gods on high ! 
" And may their blood, who first the league confound, 
" Shed like this wine, distain the thirsty ground !" 

Homer's Iliad. 

The solemnity being ended, the chief Araby and each of 
his captains (to be distinguished from the inferior negroes, 
as the Seramican chief Adoe had been before in 1749) was 
presented with a fine large cane and silver pummel, on 
Avhich was also engraven the arms of the colony. 

The above-mentioned negroes are called Oucas, after the 
name of the plantation where the peace articles were signed ; 
and by that name they are since distinguished from those 
of Seramica, whom I have already described. 

At this time the charter was renewed to the AVest India 
Company, by their High Mightinesses, for the term of 
thirty years longer (as it had been before in IG70, 1700, 



and 1730) in consideration of a loan of about five million 
sterling, at the rate of six per cent. 

This same year peace was also a second time concluded 
with the Seramica rebels, who were at that time commanded 
by a negro called Wille, instead of their former chief Adoe, 
who Avas dead. But this second peace was unfortunately 
broken by a rebel captain, called Muzinga, who had re- 
ceived none of the presents, which had in fact been again 
intercepted and captured on their way to the chief Wilier 
as they had been formerly on their way to the chief Adoe, 
by the very same enterprising and rapacious plunderer 
Zara Zam, Avith this difference only, that none of the de- 
tachment that were sent with them were now murdered, 
as on the preceding occasion, nor even one single person 

Upon this supposed breach of faith, Captain INIuzinga 
fought most desperately against the colonists ; he gave 
battle face to face, and beat back, at close quarters, above 
one hundred and fifty of their best troops, killing numbers, 
and carrying off all their baggage and ammunition. 

Soon after tWs, however, when the real cause of Mu- 
zinga's discontent was knoAvn, means were found and 
adopted to pacify this gallant warrior, by making hini 
receive and share the presents sent out by the colonists, 
on ari equal tooting with his brother heroes, when peace 
was a third and last time concluded in 1 762, betAveen the 
Seramica rebels and the colony, Avhich has providentially 

Vol, I, L been 



CHAP, been kept sacred and inviolable, as well as that with the 

Ouca negroes, to this day. By their exertions in the field 

they thus obtained their freedom. 

" O Liberty ! thou goddess heavenly bright, 
" Profuse of bliss, and pregnant with delight ; 
" Eternal pleasures in thy presence reign, 
" And smiling Plenty leads thy wanton train. 
" Eas'd of her load, Subjection grows more light, 
'' And Poverty looks cheerful in thy sight; 
" Thou mak'st the gloomy face of nature gay, 
" Giv'st beauty to the sun, and pleasure to the day." 

The hostages and chief officers of both the above- 
mentioned negro cohorts, on their arrival at Paramaribo, 
were entertained at the Governor's own table, having pre- 
viously paraded in state through the town, accompanied 
by his Excellency in his own private carriage. 

By their capitulation with the Dutch, the above Ouca 
and Seramica rebels must yearly receive, as I have men- 
tioned, a quantity of arms and ammunition from the 
colony, for which the Europeans have received in return 
the negroes' promises of being their faithful allies, to de- 
liver up all their deserters, for Avhich they are to receive 
proper premiums, never to appear armed at Paramaribo 
above five or six at a time, and also to keep their settle- 
ment at a proper distance from the town and plantations : 
the Seramica negroes at the river Seramica, and those of 



the Ouca negroes at the Jocka Creek, near the river 
Marawina, where one or two white men, called post- 
holders, were to reside among them, in the quality of 

Both these tribes were supposed, at the period I speak 
of, to amount in all to three thousand, and but a few years 
after, by those that were sent to visit their settlements 
(including wives and children) they were computed to be 
not less than fifteen or twenty thousand. They are already 
become overbearing and even insolent, brandishing their 
silver-headed canes in defiance of the inhabitants, and 
forcing from them liquors, and very often money, and 
reminding them how cruelly their ancestors had murdered 
their parents and their husbands. 

From these circumstances, and their numbers increasing 
from day to day, I must conclude, that should the peace 
be ever broken, these new allies will become the most 
dreadful foes that ever the colony of Surinam can have to 
contend with. 

In 1763 the town of Paramaribo would have been burnt 
down to the ground, had it not been prevented by the 
courage and intrepidity of the sailors, who, at the hazard 
of their lives, without other assistance, prevented a general 

About this time a mutiny broke out on board the outward- 
bound East Indiaman, Neimburgh, commanded by Cap- 
rain Ketell. The crcM', consisting chiefly of French and 

L 2 German 


German deserters, who had been kidnapped in Holland, 
rose in arms against their superiors, and having murdered 
most of the officers and warrant officers, while others were 
put in chains, carried the vessel to the Brazils : there the 
ringleaders went on shore, and being engaged in riot and 
disputation, soon discovered what they were to the Portu- 
guese Governor, in consequence of ^vhich they were all 
taken into custody ; but their accomplices on board sus- 
pecting what had happened, immediately slipped their 
cable, and set sail for the island of Cayenne, where this 
piracy was put to an end ; for the Fi^ench, seizing ship and 
crew, delivered both to the colony of Surinam, where, in 
1 764, seven of the most guilty were executed on board the 
same vessel which they had captured, then at anchor in 
the roads before tlie town of Paramaribo, One of these 
imhappy wretches was decapitated, and six hanged to the 
yard-arm, whose heads were also chopped off and planted 
upon iron spikes on the beach, in a cage made for the pur- 
pose. The others, who had been taken by the Portuguese, 
Avere sent from the Brazils to Amsterdam, after which 
they Avere also executed in Texel roads on board the 
Westelingwerf man of war, Avhich ship was that sent out 
with us from Holland : their bodies were afterwards gib- 
beted in iron harness, and placed for an example along 
the coast. 

This same year also three of the society or cofony sol- 
diers, who had been guilty of mutiny and desertion, were 



executed in Surinam ; but as their case is the most pecuUar chap. 
of its kind that ever happened, I must also beg leave to ^^1!^ 
give some account of the transaction. 

During the time of an insurrection, which happened in 
the year 1 76 1 , among the negro slaves in the colony of 
Berbice, where they had not been treated so cruelly as in 
other colonies, not only a regiment of marines, commanded 
by Colonel de Salse, which nov/ belongs to General Douglas, 
was sent over from Holland to that settlement, but troops 
also from the neighbouring colonies Avere dispatched, in 
order to subdue the revolt. In this design they soon suc- 
ceeded, since the woods in that part, being of small extent, 
are easily penetrated, which prevents the rebels from form- 
ing settlements, and since from the same cause they will 
not serve to conceal them from their pursuers. The con- 
sequence was, that after numbers had been shot dead, and 
others taken prisoners, the rest were forced to surrender at 
discretion, and implore for mercy, or they must have been 
starved to death for want of subsistence. 

During these troubles, it happened that one officer and 
about seventy men, sent from the colony of Surinam, had 
been posted on the banks of the river Corrantine. This 
detachment, together with a part}^ of Indians, who are 
natural enemies to the negroes, but friends to the Euro- 
peans, had one day beaten the rebels in a skirmish, having 
killed several of them, and retaken about the value of 
twenty or thirty pounds sterling in eifects, which the 



negroes had pillaged from the neighbouring estates. The 
officer who commanded this detachment having, however, 
unwarrantably distributed this booty among the Indians 
alone, without givdng a share to his soldiers, disgusted 
them so much that they revolted ; and deserting their 
commander, took their march for the river Oronoque 
through the woods, in hopes of soon falling in with Spanish 
settlements and being relieved : but how miserably were 
these deluded men mistaken, and disappointed in their 
desperate undertaking, by meeting the rebels or bush ne- 
groes on the second or third day of their march ! These, 
notwithstanding the solemn protestations of the soldiers, 
that they Avere come without any evil intention towards 
them, and their intreaties to let them pass by unmolested, 
were suspected of being sent out to spy and betray them ; 
the negroes therefore insisted that they should lay down 
their arms at mercj^ which the deserters having complied 
with, the rebels immediately dressed them in one rank ; 
then having picked out ten or twelve to assist them in 
attending the sick and wounded, repairing their arms, and 
trying to make gunpowder, (in which however they mis- 
carried) they condemned all the others to death, which was 
instantly put in execution, and above fifty of those unfor- 
tunate men were one by one shot dead upon the spot. 

It may well be supposed, that those who were saved 

alive by the negroes must have spun out a very melancholy 

existence among them, and indeed most of them died 

2 within 


within very few months after by ill treatment, hardships, 
and want ; and when the rebels surrendered themselves to 
the Europeans at discreticn, the few remaining miserable 
wretches that were still found alive were directly loaded 
with irons, and sent back from the colony of Berbice to 
Surinam, where three of them were executed in the town 
of Paramaribo, one being hanged, and two broken alive 
upon the rack. One of these miserable wretches was a 
Frenchman, called Reiiauld, who seemed to have imbibed 
the sentiments of the negroes by his residence among them. 
With a truly heroic spirit he comforted his accomplice, 
who was a German, and, tied down by his side, just ready 
to receive the dreadful blows, he exhorted him to preserve 
his courage ; adding, that the voyage of life would soon be 
over, while his own bones were breaking by the executioner 
with an iron bar. 

The ring-leading negroes Avere roasted alive by half 
dozens in a shocking manner, being chained to stakes in 
the midst of surrounding flames, and expired without utter- 
ing a groan or a sigh. The miserable fate of so many 
poor wretches excited great commiseration ; and it is im- 
possible to reflect without the strongest feelings of indig- 
nation on a punishment so shocking to humanity, inflicted 
upon men, the most of whom were drove to misconduct 
by tyranny and oppression. But at the same time I shall 
ever think it my duty to support that the strictest disci- 
phne and subordination (when tempered hi/ justice) is 



absolutely necessary amongst all large bodies of people, of 
whatever class or description, not only for the good of the 
public in general, but as the surest means of avoiding 
severity on the individual (the usual consequence of too 
much lenity) and of being painfully obliged to establish 
good order at last by a perpetual round of reluctant rigour 

and chastisement. WcAvill now leave these sable scenes, 

and point out what happened in the colony of Surinam, 
during its short and flourishing state. 

i^ IL^ CllK^lK. CWIVA XlV^VlliOXi.1.5 



Short Interval of Peace and Plenty — The Colony plunged in 
new Distress by afresh Insurrection, and nearly ruined — 
Review of the Troops for its Defence — j4n Action with 
the Rebels — Gallant Behaviour of a black Corps — The 
Arrival of Colonel Fourgeoud's Marines. 

TN 1 764, gold and silver specie being scarce, cards were chap. 
-■' stamped, to the amount of jT. 40,000 value, which 
passed as cash, at a discount of ten per cent. 

In 1765 a considerable degree of commotion was excited 
in the colony, on account of a free negro woman, called 
Elizabeth Sampson, marrying an European : she was worth 
above jT. 100,000 sterling, inherited from her master, whose 
slave she had formerly been : having addressed herself to 
their High ]\Iightinesses, her request was granted ; and 
accordingly, being christened, she entered into the lawful 
bond of matrimony with a Mr. Zubli. 

In the succeeding year the colorpy was visited b}' an 
earthquake, which however did very little damage. 

In 1769 the whole coast was on fire, from Cayenne to 
Dcmerary : this happened in the dry season, when all the 
forest is parched by the heat, and the underwood choked 
with dried leaves. The flames, which were supposed 
to have been kindled by the neglect of the Indians or 

Vol. I. M rebels, 

rebels, were so violent, that they threatened destruction 
to several estates, and during the night appeared must 
tremendous from the sea ; while the east wind made the 
smoke so thick throughout the day, that one person could 
not see another at the distance of six yards. During this 
time it is not surprising that the smell was almost insup- 

This same year, a quantity of rock crystal was discovered 
in the inland parts of Dutch Guiana. 

In 1 770 the house of Somelsdyk sold its share or por- 
tion of the colony to the town of Amsterdam, for the sum 
of £.63,636 sterling; so that from that period that city 
possesses two-thirds, and the other third still belongs to 
the West India Company, which, as I have already stated, 
form together the society of Surinam. 

The colony now seemed in a prosperous and flourishing 
state, since the concluding of the treaty with the Seramica 
and Ouca negroes, and every thing exhibited an aspect of 
peace and good order. The inhabitants believed their 
persons and effects in perfect security, so that nothing Avas 
thought of but mirth and dissipation, which was soon ex- 
tended to lavishness and profusion. Surinam resembled, 
indeed, a large and beaixtiful garden, stocked with every 
thing that nature and art could produce to make the life 
of man both comfortable to himself and useful to society : 
all the luxuries, as well as the necessaries of life, abounded ; 
every sense was apparently intoxicated Avith enjoyment; 



and, to use the figurative language of a sacred book, 
Surinam was a land that flowed with milk and honey. 

But this delusive felicity lasted not long. The planter, 
too earnest to become immediately opulent, never once 
considered the w^retchedness of the slave ; while drunken- 
ness, luxury, and riot became predominant in the one 
party, the misery of the other proportionably increased ; 
nor did the destruction that so lately threatened them seem 
to have the smallest influence on their minds; at the same 
time the successful example of the Seramica and Ouca 
negroes sen-ed to stimulate the other slaves to revolt, and 
from these complicated causes the colony was again plunged 
into its former abyss of difficulties. The most beautiful 
estates in the settlement, called Plantations, were once 
more seen, some blazing in flames, and others laid in ashes ; 
while the reeking and mangled bodies of their inhabitants 
were scattered along the banks of the river Cottica, with 
their throats cut, and their eftects pillaged by their own 
negroes, Avho all fled to the woods, men, women, and 
children, w ithout exception. 

These new revolters were now distinguished by the name 
of the Cottica Rebels, from the spot on which their hosti- 
lities commenced ; and their numbers aug-mentina: from 
day to day, they soon became as formidable to the settle- 
ment as the Seramica and Ouca negroes had formerly 
been, and in 1 772 they had nearly given the finishing blow 
to Surinam. At that period all was horror and conster- 

M 2 nation — 


nation — nothing but a general massacre was expected bj 
tiie majority of the inhabitants, who tied from their estates, 
and crowded to the town of Paramaiibo for protection. 
In this situation of atfairs, the inhabitants were obhged to 
have recourse to the dangerous resolution of forming a 
regiment of manumitted slaves, to fight against their own 
countrymen. When we consider the treatment which was 
so generally exercised against the slaves of this settlement, 
it must surprise the reader to be told, that this hazardous 
resolution had providentially the desired effect. These 
brave men performed wonders above expectation, in con- 
junction with the Colonial or Society troops, whose strength 
and numbers alone were no longer thought sufficient to 
defend this settlement. But not to rely absolutely on 
such precarious assistance, the society of Surinam made 
application to his Serene Highness the Prince of Orange 
for a regular regiment, and our corps was in consequence 
dispatched in the manner which has been already related. 
As, however, the events which preceded our arrival were 
of the utmost importance, I shall endeavour to lay before 
my readers the most authentic information I Avas able to 

The regular troops from Europe that belong to the 
society of Surinam, were intended to be twelve hundred 
men when complete, divided into two battalions, paid 
partly by the society, and partly by the inhabitants : but 
they can never produce that number in the field, for many 

reasons — 


reasons — such as their either dying on their passage, while chap. 
they are seasoning to the climate, or during their dangerous 
and fatiguing duty ni the Avoods and swamps. Besides 
this number, a reinforcement of three hundred more was 
now sent them from the town of Amsterdam ; but of these 
poor wretches scarcely fifty Avere landed fit for senice ; 
the remainder, owing to the inhumanity of their leader, 
Mr. H., having participated in a fate little better than 
that of the poor African negroes in the vessel of the in- 
human Captain C — gw — d, who, in 17^7, threw 132 living 
slaves into the sea to pei'ish. The unhy[)py creatures, un- 
der the command of Mr. H. were starved and tormented by 
unnecessary severity ; and his lieutenant, unable to continue 
a witness of the tyrannical punishments he inflicted, leaped 
from the cabin window, and terminated his existence. 

The military in Surinam are composed of several very 
good and experienced officers, and well inured to the ser- 
vice, but for their private men I cannot say much ; they 
are, in fact, little better than the outcasts of all nations : 
they are of all ages, shapes, and sizes, and seem by chance 
Avafted together from all the dift'erent corners of the globe. 
NotAvithstanding this, hoAvever, it has often been found 
that they behave Avell in action, and have on many dif- 
ferent occasions, by their bravery, been of infinite service 
to this settlement*. 

* A corps of European chasseurs, or rifle-men, was since added to these 
troops, after the manner of the light infantry in England. 



Here is also a small corps of artillery, being part of the 
twelve hundred, which I must acknowledge to be a very 
fine company in all respects. As for Avhat they please to 
call their militia, they are, a few gentlemen excepted, who 
command them, so strange a collection of ill-disciplined 
rabble, that they can scarcely be mentioned as fighting 

With respect to the new-raised corps of manumitted 
slaves, though in number they amounted but to three 
hundred, they indeed proved ultimatel}' of as much service 
to the colony as all the others put together *. These men 
were all volunteers, and in general stout able young fel- 
lows, selected from the different plantations, the owners of 
whom received for them their full value in money. None 
were accepted but those who were reputed to be of unex- 
ceptionable character. It must, however, be observed, 
that what we Europeans call a good character, was, by 
the Africans, looked on as detestable, particularly by 
those born in the woods, whose only crime consisted in 
revengino- the Avrongs done to their forefathers. I have 
been an ocular witness to astonishing proofs of the fidelity 
of these enfranchised slaves to the Europeans, and their 
valour against the rebel negroes. 

Their chief leaders are three or four white men, called 
Conductors, to whom they pay the strictest obedience: 

* Blood-hounds were also pro- adopted, from the difficulty of their 
posed, to discover and attack the proper training, 8cc. 
rebel negroes in the woods, but never 

2 one 


B/u/c^c Seulr' 

. -^ r.. 


/// // • ^/'ry- (^ re////', <v_/'-V^/////^v; / 



r////2.£^ . 

I.,n,lrn,ri,l'l,.,lml n,crij-,i:i,hv J.J,-!,,,..;;, . .f. Piuii:^ rit,in-l, V,ii;l . 


one or two of these attend them Avhen they set out on any chap. 
enterprise of consequence. Every ten privates have one 
captain, who commands them in the forest by the different 
sounding of his horn, as the boatswain commands the 
seaman by his call, or as the cavalry of Europe are di- 
rected by the sound of the trumpets in the field ; by which 
they advance, attack, retreat, spread, &c. : they are armed 
only with a firelock and sabre. Of both these weapons 
they understand the management in the most masterly 
manner : they generally go naked, in preference, in the 
woods, excepting trowsers, and a scarlet cap, the emblem 
of liberty, on which is their number, and which, together 
with their parole or watch-word, which is orange, distin- 
guishes them from the rebels in any action, to prevent 
disagreeable mistakes. They have, indeed, of late years, 
been farther distinguished by green uniforms. — Thus far 
as to the force of the colony. 

I have already stated, that the newly* revolted rebels, 
called Cotticas, were just preparing to give the finishing 
blow to Surinam ; and I shall now proceed to relate how 
this catastrophe was prevented. 

. These negroes, being commanded by a desperate fellow 
named Baron, had erected a strong settlement between 
the river Cottica and the sea-coast, whence they sallied 
forth to commit their depredations on the plantations in 
the Cottica river, &c. 

I have called this settlement strong, becauBe, like an 



island, it was entirely surrounded by a broad unfordable 
marsh or swamp, which prevented all conununication, 
except by private paths vnider water, known only to the 
rebels, and before which Baron had placed loaded swivels, 
which he had plundered from the neighbouring estates: 
it Avas moreover fenced and inclosed on every side by 
several thousand strong pallisadoes, and was on the Avhole 
no contemptible fortification. To this spot Baron gave 
the name of Boucou or Mouldered, intimating that it should 
perish in dust rather than it should be taken by or sur- 
rendered to the Europeans. He even presumed to suppose 
that it would never be discovered. 

After many marches and counter-marches, however, this 
nest of desperadoes was at last discovered, by the vigilance 
and perseverance of the Society troops, and the black 
soldiers or rangers, by which name I shall for the future 
distinguish them, their service being chiefly like that of 
the rangers in Virginia, who were sent out against the 
Cherokee Indians. Another settlement of the rebels was, 
indeed, Avell known to exist in that corner of the colony, 
known by the name of the Lee-shore, and situated between 
the rivers Surinam and Seramica ; but here the situation, 
by marshes, quagmires, mud, and water, is such, that it 
fortifies them from any attempts of the Europeans ; nay, 
they are even indiscoverable by negroes, so thick and im- 
penetrable is the forest on that spot, and so choked with 
thorns, briars, and every species of underwood. 



From these coverts they sally forth in small parties, 
during the night, to rob the gardens and fields surroiuiding 
Paramaribo, and carry otf the young women, «Scc. In this 
Avilderness a young officer, Lieutenant Freidrecy, was lost 
two or three days and nights, as he went out on a shooting- 
party, and would jDrobably never have been heard of, had 
not the Governor, by ordering a gun to be fired at inter- 
vals, given a signal for him to find his way back, and thus 
restored him once more to his friends. 

As soon as it was determined that the rebels commanded 
by Baron, at Boucon, should be besieged and rooted out, 
a strong detachment of white and black troops were sent 
against them, under the command of the brave Captain 
Meyland, who was to head the first ; and Lieutenant Freid- 
recy, a spirited young officer, with the Conductors, was 
to lead the latter. The detachment, on their arrival at 
the marsh, however, Avere obliged to encamp on its bor- 
ders, not being able to pass through it on account of its 
unfordable depth. 

On the discovery of the troops, the bold negro Baron 
immediately planted a white Hag within their view, which 
he meant not as a token of peace, but of defiance ; and 
an incessant firing instantly took place on both sides, but 
with very little cfCect. 

It was then projected to throw a fascine bridge over the 
marsh, by the troops; but this plan, after several Aveeks 
had been spent in the attempt, and a number of men shot 

Vol. I. N dead 



CHAP, dead while employed upon it, was of necessity laid aside. 
Thus every hope of passing through the marsh into the 
fortress being frustrated, and the food and ammunition 
being considerably lessened, added to the loss of many 
men, affairs were at length arrived at such a crisis, that the 
siege must have been broken up, and the remaining troops 
must have marched back to Paramaribo, had not the 
rajigers, by their indefatigable ellbrts, and (however strange 
to think) implacable enmity against the rebels, found out 
and discovered to the Europeans the under-water paths of 
communication to Boucon, several being shot and drowned 
in the execution of this important service. 

Captain Meyland with the regulars, on this intelligence, 
now forded the swamp on one side, and instantly making 
a feint attack on the fortress, drew Baron with all the 
rebels, as Avas expected, to its defence ; while Lieutenant 
Freidrecy, with the rangers, having crossed the swamp on 
the other side, embraced the opportunity of leaping, with 
his black party, over the palisadoes, sword in hand, with- 
out opposition. 

A most terrible carnage at this time ensued, while several 
prisoners were made on both sides, and the fortress of 
Boucon was taken ; but Baron, with the greatest number 
of the rebels, escaped into the woods, having first found 
means, however, to cut the throats of ten or twelve of the 
rangers, who had lost their way in the marsh, and whom 
he seized as they stuck fast in the s^yamp ; and cutting off 
5 the 


the ears, nose, and lips of one of them, he left him alive 
in this condition to return to his friends, with whom how- 
ever the miserable man soon expired. 

This Baron had formerly been the negro slave of a Mr. 
Dahlbergh, a Swede, who on account of his abilities had 
advanced him to the rank of a favourite, had taught him 
to read and write, and bred him a mason ; he had also been 
with his master in Holland, and was promised his manu- 
mission on his return to the colony. But Mr, Dahlbergh 
breaking his word with regard to his liberty, and sellino- 
him to a Jew, Baron obstinately refused to work, in con- 
sequence of which he was publicly flogged under the o-al- 
lows. This usage the negro so violently resented, that 
from that moment he vowed revenge against all Europeans 
without exception ; fled to the woods, where putting him- 
self at the head of the rebels, his name became dreadful, 
and particularly so to his former master Dahlbergh, as he 
solemnly swore that he should never die in peace till he 
had washed his hands in the tyrajit's blood. 

To those who know how greatly mankind are affected 
by self-interest, it will not appear so extraordinary, as it 
may to a superficial observer, that these black rangers 
should so inveterately engage against their friends and 
countrymen. What will not men do to be emancipated 
from so deplorable a state of subjection ! and this eman- 
cipation was obtained upon more certain and advantageous 
grounds by the consent of the Europeans, than if they had 

N 2 absconded 


absconded into the -woods. Havins; thus once ensaffcd iit 
this service, it is evident tliey must be considered by the 
other party as apostates and ti'aitors of the blackest dye ; 
they must be convinced, that defeat must not only expose 
them to death, but to the severest tortures ; they were 
therefore fighting for something more than liberty and 
life: success was to bring them the most solid advantages, 
miscarriage was to plunge them in the severest misery. 

The taking of Boucon was now greatly spoken of, and. 
deemed a very severe blow to the rebels : both the regu- 
lars and the rangers, indeed, behaved with unprecedented 
intrepidity and courage. Captain Meyland's gallant con- 
duct was most highly acknowledged ; while Lieutenant 
Freidrecy was presented by the Surinam Society with a 
beautiful sabre, a fusee, and a brace of pistols, mounted 
in silver, and ornamented with emblems expressive of his 
merit; besides which, he obtained the rank of Captain. 
It must be confessed, that on this occasion the Avhole de- 
tachment, white and black, without exception, justly met 
with the fullest marks of approbation for their spirited be- 
haviour. — In this state v/ere the public affairs of Surinam j 
when, in i iTi, our fleet dropped anchor before the town 
of Paramaribo 



The Scene changes — Some Account of a beautiful Female 
Slave — The RJanner of travelling in Surinam — The Co- 
lonel explores the Situation of the Rivets — Barbarity of a 
Planter — IVretched Treatment of some Sailors. 


AVING in the first chapters given some account of c ii a p. 
our incorporation, our voyage, our landing, and our ^• 

reception in the colony, in February 1773; and havino- 
described the colony of Surinam, its boundaries, and revo- 
lutions, from its earliest discovery ; I shall now proceed in 
my narrative, by connecting the proceedings of our little 
corps with the general chain of events ; and write precisely 
what I have learned by local and ocular observation. 

Having already stated that from our arrival till February 
S7th we seemed to be landed in Guiana for little more 
than idle dissipation ; I shall now proceed from the same 
date, which was about the commencement of the rainy 
season, wlien our mirth and conviviahty still continued, to 
present to the reader, as a contrast to the preceding scenes 
of horror, a description of the beautiful mulatto maid 
Joanna. This charming young woman I first saw at the 
house of a Mr. Demelly, secretary to the Court of Policy, 
where I daily breakfasted ; and \yith whose lady Joanna, 



but fifteen years of age, Avas a very remarkable favourite. 
Rather taller than the middle iii'/.c, she was possessed of 
the most elegant shape that nature can exhibit, moving her 
well-formed limbs with more than common gracefulness. 
Her face was full of native modesty, and the most distin- 
guished sweetness ; her eyes, as black as ebony, Avere large 
and full of expression, bespeaking the goodness of her 
heart ; with cheeks through Avhich glowed, in spite of the 
darkness of her complexion, a beautiful tinge of Vermil- 
lion, when gazed upon. Her nose was perfectly well 
formed, rather small; her lips a little prominent, which, 
when she spoke, discovered two regular rows of teeth, as 
white as mountain snow ; her hair was a dark brown in- 
clining to black, forming a beautiful globe of small ringlets, 
ornamented with flowers and gold spangles. Round her 
neck, her arms, and her ancles, she wore gold chains, 
rings, and medals : while a shawl of India muslin, the end 
of which was negligently thrown over her polished shoul- 
ders, gracefully covered part of her lovely bosom : a 
petticoat of rich chintz alone completed her apparel. 
Bare-headed and bare-footed, she shone with double 
lustre, as she carried in her delicate hand a beaver hat, 
the crown trimmed round with silver. The figure and 
appearance of this charming creature could not but at- 
tract my particular attention, as they did indeed that of 
all who beheld her; and induced me to enquire from Mrs. 
Demelly, with much surprise, who she was, that appeared 



Zondon. Puhlijfhed Dfc^z'^f^c^, by J.Jbhnron . S^PauU Outrdi lard . 


to be so much distinguished above all others of her species chap. 
in the colony. 

" She is, Sir," replied this lady, *' the daughter of a 
" respectable gentleman, named Kruythoff ; who had, be- 
" sides this girl, four children by a black -woman, called 
" Cery, the property of a Mr. D. B., on his estate called 
" Fauconberg, in the upper part of the river Comewina. 

" Some few years since Mr. Kruythoff made the offer 
" of above one thousand pounds sterling to Mr. D. B. to 
" obtain manumission for his ofl^spring ; which being in- 
" humanly refused, it had such an effect on his spirits, that 
" he became frantic, and died in that melancholy state 
" soon after ; leaving in slavery, at the discretion of a 
<' tyrant, two boys and three fine girls, of which the one 
" now before us is the eldest *. 

" The gold medals, &c. which seem to surprise 3'ou, are 
" the gifts which her faithful mother, who is a most de- 
" serving woman towards her children, and of some conse- 
" qvience amongst her cast, received from her father (whom 
" she ever attended with exemplary affection) just before 
" he expired. 

" Mr. D. B., however, met with his just rcAvard : for 
" having since driven all his best carpenter negroes to the 
" woods by his injustice and severity, he was ruined, and 

* In Surinam all such children go tei's property, should their father be 
with their mothers ; that is, if she is a prince, unless he obtains them by 
in slavery, her offspring are her mas- purchase. 

" obliged 


" o])liged to fly the colony, and leave his estate and stock 
" to the disposal of his creditors ; while one of the above 
" unhappy deserters, a samhoe *, has by his industry been 
" the protector of Cery and her children. His name is 
" Jolycffiur, and he is now the first of Baron's captains, 
" whom you may have a chance of meeting in the rebel 
" camp, breathing revenge against the Christians. 

" Mrs. D. B. is still in Surinam, being arrested for her 
" husband's debts, till Fauconberg shall be sold by execu- 
" tion to pay them. This lady now lodges at my house, 
" where the unfortunate Joanna attends her, whom she 
" treats with peculiar tenderness and distinction." 

Having thanked Mrs. Demelly for her account of Joanna, 
in whose eye glittered the precious pearl of sympathy, I 
took my leave, and went to my lodging in a state of sad- 
ness and stupefaction. However trifling, and like the style 
of romance, this relation may appear to some, it is never- 
theless a genuine account, and on that score I flatter myself 
may not entirely be uninteresting to others. 

When reflecting on the state of slavery altogether, while 
my ears were stunned with the clang of the whip, and the 
dismal 3'ells of the wretched negroes on whom it was exer- 
cised, from morning till night; and considering that this 
might one day be tlie fate of the unfortunate mulatto I 
have been describing, should she chance to fall into the 

* A samboe is between a mulatto and a negro. 



liands of a tyrannical master or mistress, I could not help 
execrating the barbaiity of ]\Ir. D. B. for having with- 
held her from a fond parent, who by bestowing on her a 
decent education and some accomplishments, would pro- 
bably have pi'oduced, in this forsaken plant, now exposed 
to every rude blast without protection, an ornament to 
civilized society. 

I became melancholy with these reflections ; and in 
order to counterbalance, though in a very small degree, 
the general calamity of the miserable slaves who sur- 
rounded me, I began to take more delight in the prattling 
of my poor negro boy, Quaco, than in all the fashionable 
convex'sation of the polite inhabitants of this colony : but 
my spirits were depressed, and in the space of twenty-four 
hours I was very ill indeed ; when a cordial, a few pre- 
served tamarinds, and a basket of fine oranges, were sent 
by an unknown person. This first contributed to my 
relief, and losing about twelve ounces of blood, I recovered 
so far, that on the fifth I was able, for change of air, to 
accompany a Captain Macneyl, who gave me a pressing 
invitation to his beautiful coffee plantation, called Sporkes- 
gift, in the Matapaca Creek. 

Having mentioned tamarinds, I will, before we proceed 
on our journey, embrace the opportunity of introducing 
a short description of them. The tree on Avhich this fruit 
is produced is about the size of a large apple-tree, and is 
very straight, and covered with a brownish-coloured bark; 

Vol. I. O the 


the twigs are slender, arched, and knotty, producing leaves 
and a pod, which will be best known by the annexed re- 
presentation, where A is the leaf of the natural size ; B the 
extremity of the branch ; C the fruit green and unripe ; 
D the pulp, which is brown when in perfection ; and E 
the purple kernels or stones that are inclosed within it. 
The upper part of the leaves are a darker green than un- 
derneath : upon the whole, they form a very agreeable 
shade, on which account the tamarind-trees are frequently 
planted in groves. 

The male and female species bear a remarkable distinc- 
tion in their colour ; that of the first having the deepest 

1 shall not presume to be minute with respect to the 
medicinal qualities of these or any other vegetable in 
Guiana, which are as amply as I believe justly described 
by Dr. Bancroft, in his letters to Dr. Pitcairn, Fellow of 
the Royal College of Physicians in London, except in 
mentioning such efficacy as 1 have found them to possess 
by my own experience, and which consists in the pulp ; 
which when presei'ved is a most delicious refreshment in 
hot climates : it is a laxative, and when dissolved with 
water, makes a very cooling and agreeable beverage, and 
is much recommended in all diseases, particularly in 

We now set out from Paramaribo for Sporkesgift, in a 
tent-boat or barge, rowed by eight of the best negroes 


;y//'/<^ fY^^^' f ^'^/^/^''^v'//'/xv tV^^v^^. 

Lonil,^n,Pi,hli\)1irJ DrcriflTgl. hr J.JohnJ.m St PaiiU iTiriri-A I'.inl. 

7/^^^c^^/i€ G^/a/iey'^S^/^y^i///'/y/^ o7iy/A^'Z^^i^i^e^'Ccr7n//?teM/t''n£^. 

yuyi^re^^^^i/a/i^^i o/ a^ ^e^t^ l^iatf-^, a/ ■ //7//'//A///4>9^/^ ^yOaraey. 

London, Puhh'siud rift-ri-^jifij'j- J.J,*l,nson.S.^Patd> Chun-h Tard. 


belonging to ]\lr. Macneyl's estate ; every body, as I have chap. 
already mentioned, travelling by water in this colony. 

These barges I cannot better describe than by com- 
paring them \yith those that accompany what is usually 
styled the Lord Mayor's Show on the river Thames. They 
are, however, somewhat less, though some are very little 
inferior in magnificence, and are often decorated with gild- 
ing and flags, filled with musicians, and abound in every 
convenience. They are sometimes rowed by ten and even 
by twelve oars, and being lightly built, sweep along with 
astonishing celerity. The rowers never stop, fi-om the 
moment they set out till the company is landed at the 
place of destination ; but continue, the tide serving or not, 
to tug night and day, sometimes for twenty-four hours to- 
gether, singing a chorus all the time to keep up their spirits. 
When their labour is over, their naked bodies still drip- 
ping with sweat, like post-horses, they headlong, one and 
all, plunge into the river to refresh themselves : — 

" The wanton courser thus, with reins unbound, 
" Breaks from his stall, and beats the trembling ground ; 
" Pamper'd and proud, he seeks the wonted tides, 
" And laves in height of blood his shining sides." 

We now passed a number of fine plantations, but I 
could not help taking particular notice of the Cacao es- 
tate, called Alkmaar, situated on the right side in rowing 

2 up 


up the river Comewina, which is no less conspicuous for 
its beauty than for the goodness of its proprietor, the in- 
vahiable lady the widow Godefroy, whose humanity and 
friendship must always be remembered by me with grati- 

At our arrival on the estate Sporkesgift, I had the plea- 
sure to be the spectator of an instance of justice Avhich 
afforded me the greatest satisfaction. 

The scene consisted in Mr. Macneyl's turning the over- 
seer out of his service, and ordering him to depart from the 
plantation in an inferior boat, called a ponkee *, to Para- 
maribo, or wherever he thought proper ; Avhich was instan- 
taneously put in execution. The cause of his disgrace 
Avas having, by bad usage and cruelty, caused the death of 
three or four negroes. His departure was made completely 
joyful to all the slaves by an holiday, w^hich was spent in 
festivity, by dancing and clapping hands on a green before 
the dwelling-house Avindows. 

The overseer's sentence Avas the more ignominious and! 
galling, as at the time of receiving it a negro foot-boy,, 
Avlao Avas buckling his shoes, was ordered back, and he was 
desired to buckle them himself The spirited conduct of 
this planter, the joy of his negroes, the salubrity of the 
country air, and the hospitable manner in which Ave were- 
entertained at his estate, had such an effect on my consti- 

* A ponkee is a flat-bottomed boat of four or six oars, something like a. 
square-toed shoe : sometimes it has a tilt, and sometimes not, 



^ tution and my spirits, that on the. ninth I returned, if not 
recovered, at least greatly benefited, to Paramaribo. But 
I should be guilty of partiality, did I not relate one in- 
stance, which throws a shade over the humanity even of 
my frrend Macneyl. 

Having observed a handsome young negro walk very 
lamely, while the others were capering and dancing, I in- 
quired into the cause of his crippled appearance ; when 
I was informed by this gentleman, that the negro having 
repeatedly run away from his work, he had been obliged 
to hamstring him, which operation is performed by cutting 
through the large tendon above one of the heels. However 
severe this instance of despotism may appear, it is nothing 
when compared Avith some barbarities which the task I 
have undertaken will oblige me, at the expence of my 
feelings, to relate. 

On our return to the town of Paramaribo, the only ncwsr 
that occurred consisted in a few shockins; executions ; also 
that the Boreas man of Avar, Captain Van-de-Velde, had 
sailed for Holland ; and that Colonel Fourgeoud had on 
the eighth, the Prince of Orange's anniversary, entertained 
a large company v/ith a ball en militaire, in the officers' 
guard-room. The music on this occasion consisted of two 
fiddlers only, who had the conscience to make the colonel 
pay one hundred and twenty Dutch florins for rosin and 


About this time 1 was attacked by a distemper called 



tlie imckly heat, by the colonists rootvont. It begins by 
the skin taking a colour like scarlet, (occasioned by a num- 
ber of small pmiples) and itching inconceivably ; under 
the garters, or any place where the circulation is impeded, 
the itching is almost insupportable. 

With this pest all new-comers from Europe are soon 
infested. The cure is to bathe the parts with the juice of 
limes and water, as for the l)ites of gnats or musquitoes. 
The prickly heat is supposed to be a prognostic of good 
health by the inhabitants ; which I have reason to think 
true, since from that period my health and spirits were 
perfectly re-established, and I was once more as happy as 
Paramaribo could make me. 

At this time Colonel Fourgeoud set out with a barge, to 
inspect the situation of the rivers Comewina and Cottica, 
in case the actual service of our troops should soon be 
wanted ; being at his departure saluted by the guns from 
Fort Zelandia, and by those of the ships in the roads. This 
compliment I acknowledge astonished me, after the cool- 
ness which took place, and was now rooted, between this 
gentleman and the governor of the colony. 

As we were still in a state of inaction, I made another 
excursion, with a Mr. Charles Ryndorp, who rowed me in 
his barge to five beautiful coffee estates, and one sugar 
plantation, in the Matapaca, Paramarica, and Werapa 
Creeks ; the description of which I must defer to another 
occasion ; but on one of which, called Schoonoort, I was 
10 the 


the witness to a scene of barbarity which I cannot help chap. 

The victim of this cruelty was a fine old negro slave, 
who having been as he thought undeservedly sentenced 
to receive some hundred lashes by the lacerating whips of 
two negro-drivers, in the midst of the execution pulled out 
a knife, which, after having made a fruitless thrust at his 
persecutor the overseer, he plunged up to the haft in his 
own bowels, repeating the blow till he dropped down at 
the tyrant's feet. For this crime he was, being first re- 
covered, condemned to be chained to the furnace which 
distils the kill-devil *, there to keep in the intense heat of 
a perpetual fire night and day, being blistered all over, till 
he should expire by infirmity or old age, of the latter of 
which however he had but little chance. He shewed me 
his wounds with a smile of contempt, Avhich I returned 
with a sigh and a small donation : nor shall I ever forget 
the miserable man, who, like Cerberus, was loaded Avith 
irons, and chained to everlasting torment. As for every 
thing else I observed in this little tour, I must acknowledge 
it to be elegant and splendid, and my reception hospitable 
beyond my expectation : but these Elysian fields could 

* Kill-devil is a species of rum many Europeans also, from a point 

which is dislilled from the scum and of economy, make use of it, to whom 

dregs of sugar caukh'ons. This is it proves no better than a slow but 

much drunk in this colony, and the fatal poison, 
only spirits allowed the negroes ; 



not dissipate the gloom which the infernal furnace had left 
upon my mind. 

Of the coffee estates, that of Mr. Sims, called Limes- 
hope, Avas the most magnificent, and may be deemed with 
justice one of the richest in the colony. We now once 
more, on the sixth of April, returned safe to Paramaribo, 
where we found the Westerlingwerf man of war. Captain 
Crass, which had arrived from Plymouth in thirty-seven 
days, into Avhich port he had put to stop a leak, having 
parted company with us, as already mentioned, off Port- 
land, in the end of December 1772. This day, dining at 
the house of my friend, Mr. Lolkens, to whom I had been, 
as I have said, recommended by letters, I was an eyewit- 
ness of the unpardonable contempt with which negro 
slaves are treated in this colony. His son, a boy not more 
than ten years old, when sitting at table, gave a slap in the 
face to a grey-headed black woman, who by accident 
touched his powdered hair, as she was serving in a dish of 
kerry. I could not help blaming his father for overlooking 
the action; who told me, with a smile, that the child 
should no longer offend me, as he was next day to sail for 
Holland for education ; to which I answered, that I thought 
jt almost too late. At the same moment a sailor jiassing 
by, broke the head of a negro Avith a bludgeon, for not 
having saluted him Avith his hat. — Such is the state of 
slavery, at least in this Dutch settlement ! 



About this time, Colonel Fourgeoud made a second 
excursion, and now departed with a barge, to explore the 
banks and situation of the river Surinam, as he had before 
done those of Rio Comewina and Rio Cottica. 

At this time died Captain Barends, one of the masters 
of the transports, which were still kept in commission, in 
case they should be wanted for our return to Europe. 
Five or six sailors now Avere buried every day, belonging 
to the merchant ships, whose lamentable fate I cannot 
pass by unnoticed, being actually used worse than the 
negroes in this scorching climate, where, besides rowing- 
large flat-bottomed barges up and down the rivers, day 
and night, for coffee, sugar. Sec. and being exposed to the 
burning sun and heavy rains, and besides stowing the 
above commodities in a hold as hot as an oven, they are 
obliged to row every upstart planter to his estate at a call, 
which saves the gentleman so many negroes, and for which 
they receive in return nothing — many times not so much 
as a mouthful of meat and drink ; palliating hunger and 
thirst by begging from the slaves a few bananas or plan- 
tains, eating oranges and drinking water, Avhicli in a little 
time relieves them from every complaint, by shipping them 
off to eternity. In every part of the colony they are no 
better treated, but, like horses, they must (having unload- 
ed the vessels) drag the commodities to the distant store- 
houses, being bathed in sweat, and bullied with bad language, 
sometimes with blows ; while a fcAV negroes are ordered 
Vol. I. P to 


to attend, but not to work, by the direction of their mas- 
ters, which many would willingly do to relieve the droop- 
ing sailors, to whom this usage must be exceedingly 
disheartening and galling. The planters even employ those 
men to paint their houses, clean their sash-windows, and 
do numberless other menial services, for which a seaman 
was never intended. All this is done to save the work of 
their negroes ; while by this usage thousands are swept to 
the grave, who in the line of their profession alone might 
have lived for many years ; nor dare the West India Cap- 
tains to refuse their men, without incuiTing the displeasure 
of the planters, and seeing their ships rot in the harbour 
without a loading ; — nay, I have heard a sailor fervently 
Avish he had been born a negro, and beg to be employed 
amongst them in cultivating a coffee plantation. 

I now took an early opportunity to enquire of Mrs. De- 
melly what was become of the amiable Joanna ; and was 
informed that her lady, Mrs. D. B., had escaped to Hol- 
land on board the Boreas man-of-war, under the protec- 
tion of Captain Van-de-Velde, and that her young mulatto 
was now at the house of her aunt, a free woman, whence 
she expected hourly to be sent up to the estate Faucon- 
berg, friendless, and at the mercy of some unprincipled 
overseer appointed by the creditors, Avho had now taken 
possession of the plantation and stock, till the whole should 
be sold to pay the several sums due to them by Mr. D. B. 
—Good God ! — I flew to the spot in search of poor Joanna : 

I found 


I found her bathed in tears. — She gave nie such a look — 
ah ! such a look ! — From that moment I determined to be 
her protector against every insult, and persevered, as shall 
be seen in the sequel, — Here, reader, let my youth, blended 
with extreme sensibility, plead my excuse ; yet assuredly 
my feelings will be forgiven me — by those few only except- 
ed — who delight in the prudent conduct of Mr. Incle to 
the hapless and much-injured Yarico at Barbadoes. 

I next ran to the house of my friend Lolkens, who hap- 
pened to be the administrator of Fauconberg estate ; and 
asking his assistance, I intimated to him my strange deter- 
mination of purchasing and educating Joanna. 

Having recovered from his surprise, after gazing at me 
silently for some time, an interview at once was proposed ; 
and the beauteous slave, accompanied by a female relation, 
was produced trembling in my presence. 

Reader, if you have perused the tale of Lavinia with 
pleasure, though the scene admits of no comparison, reject 
not the history of Joanna with contempt. — It now proved 
to be she who had privately sent me the cordial and the 
oranges in March, when I was nearly expiring, and which 
she now modestly acknowledged " was in gratitude for 
" my expressions of compassion respecting her sad situa- 
" tion ;" with singular delicacy, however, she rejected 
every proposal of becoming mine upon any terms. She 
was conscious, slie said, " that in such a state, should I 
*' soon return to Europe, she must either be parted from 

p 2 " me 


" me for ever, or accompany me to a part of the Avorld 
" where the inferiority of her condition must proA^e greatly 
" to the disadvantage of both herseU' and her benefactor, 
" and thus in either case be miserable." In which senti- 
ments Joanna firmly persisting, she was immediately per- 
mitted to withdraw, and return to the house of her aunt ; 
while I could only entreat of Mr. Lolkens his generous 
protection for her, and that she might at least for some time 
be separated from the other slaves, and continue at Para- 
maribo ; and in this request his humanity was induced to 
indulge me. 

On the 30th the news arrived that the rangers, having 
discovered a rebel village, had attacked it, and carried off 
three prisoners, leaving four others dead upon the spot, 
whose right hands, chopped off and barbecued or smoke- 
dried, they had sent to the Governor of Paramaribo, as a 
proof of their valour and fidelity. 

On receiving this intelligence. Colonel Fourgeoud im- 
mediately left the river Surinam, where he still was, and 
on the first of May returned to town, in expectation of his 
regiment being employed on actual service, but there the 
business ended ; and we still, to our utter astonishment, 
were allowed to linger away our time, each agreeably to 
his own peculiar fancy. On the 4th of May the rangers 
however were reviewed in the Fort Zelandia, at which 
ceremony I was present, and must confess that this corps 
of black soldiers had a truly manly appearance : warriors 



M'hose determined and open aspect could not but give me chap. 

the satisfaction of a soldier in beholding them. They here 

once more received the thanks of the Governor for their 

manly behaviour and faithful conduct, particularly at the 

taking of Boucon ; besides which, they were entertained 

with a rural feast, at the public expence, at Paramaribo, 

to which were also invited their families; and at which 

feast several resjiectable people of both sexes made their 

appearance with pleasuie, to witness the happiness of their 

sable friends, the day being spent in mirth and convivialit\% 

without tlie least disturbance, nay even witli decorum and 

propriety, to the great satisfaction of the inhabitants. 

The Westerlingwerf, Captain Crass, now left the river 
also, bound for Holland, but first for tlie colony of De- 
merar3\ Thus both ships of war having sailed without 
us, there was some reason to suppose we were soon to be 
employed on actual service. There were many motixes, 
indeed, for wishing either that this might be the case, or 
that we might speedily be permitted to return to Europe. 
Not only our officers, but our privates, began to tee! the 
debilitatino; effects of the climate, and manv, of that con- 
tinned debauchery so common in all ranks in this settle- 
ment : and as hard labour and bad treatment constantly 
killed the poor sailors, so now our common soldiers fell 
the victims of idleness and licentiousness, and died fre- 
quently six or seven in a day ; whence it is evident to 




C II A P. demonstration, that all excesses, of whatever khid, are 
mortal to Europeans in the climate of Guiana. 

But men ^yill give lessons which they do not themselves 
observe. Thus, notwithstanding my former resolution of 
living retired, I again relapsed into the vortex of dissipa- 
tion. I became a member of a drinking club, I partook 
of all polite and impolite amusements, and plunged into 
every extravagance without exception. I did not, how- 
ever, escape without the punishment I deserved. I was 
seized suddenly with a dreadful fever; and such was its vio- 
lence, that in a few days I was no more expected to recover. 
In this situation I lay in my hammock until the 17 th, with 
only a soldier and my black boy to attend me, and without 
any other friend : sickness being universal among the new- 
comers to this country, and every one of our corps having 
so much to do to take care of themselves, neglect was an 
inevitable consequence, even among the nearest acquain- 
tance. This, however, is a censure which does not apply 
to the inhabitants, who perhaps are the most hospitable 
people on the globe to Europeans. These philanthropists 
not only supply the sick with a variety of cordials at the 
same time, but crowd their apartments with innumerable 
condolers, who from morning till night continue prescribing, 
insisting, bewailing, and lamenting, friend and stranger 
without exception ; and this lasts until the patient becomes 
delirious, and expires. Such must inevitably have been 



my case, between the two extremes of neglect and impor- c ii a p. 
tunity, had it not been for the happy intervention of poor 
Joanna, who one morning entered my apartment, to my 
unspeakable joy and surprise, accompanied by one of her 
sisters. She informed ine that she was acquainted with my 
forlorn situation ; that if I still entertained for her the 
same good o})inion, her only request was, that she might 
wait upon mc till I should be recovered. I indeed grate- 
fully accepted her oiter; and by her unremitting care and 
attention had the good fortune so far to regain my health 
and spirits, as to be able, in a few days after, to take an 
airino; in Mr. Kennedy's carriage. 

CD «- O 

Till this time I had chiefly been Joanna's friend ; but 
now I began to feel I was her captive. I renewed my wild 
proposals of purchasing, educating, and transporting her 
to Europe ; Avluch, though offered with the most perfect 
sincerity, were, by her, rejected once mor-e, with this 
humble declaration : 

" I am born a low contemptible slave. Were you to 
" treat me with too much attention, you must degrade 
" yourself with all your friends and relations ; while the 
" purchase of my freedom you will find expensive, diffi- 
" cult, and apparently ifnpossible. Yet though a slave, 
" I have a soul, I hope, not inferior to that of an Euro- 
" pean ; and blush not to avow the regard I retain for 
" you, who have distinguished me so much above all others 
*' of my unhappy birih. You have, Sir, pitied me; and 

" now» 


" iiow, independent of every other thought, I shall have 
" pride in throwing myself at your feet, till fate shall part 
" us, or my conduct become such as to give you cause to 
" banish me from your presence." 

This she uttered with a down-cast look, and tears drop- 
ping on her heaving bosom, while she held her companion 
by the hand. 

From that instant this excellent creature was mine ; — 
nor had I ever after cause to repent of the step I had 
taken, as will more particularly appear in the course of 
this narrative. 

I cannot omit to record, that having purchased for her 
presents to the value of twenty guineas, I was the next day 
greatly astonished to see all my gold returned upon my 
table ; the charming Joanna having carried every article 
back to the merchants, who cheerfully returned her the 

" Your generous intentions alone. Sir, (she said) were 
" sufficient : but allow me to tell you, that I cannot help 
" considering any superfluous expence on my account as a 
" diminution of that good opinion which I hope yovi have, 
" and will ever entertain, of my disinterested disposition." 

Such was the language of a slave, who had simple nature 
only for her instructor, the purity of v.'hose sentiments 
stood in need of no comment, and these ] was now deter- 
mined to improve by every care. 

I shall now only add, that a regard for her superior 
5 virtues. 


virtues, so singular amongst her cast, gratitude for her par- 
ticular attention to me, and the pleasure of producing to 
the world such an accomplished character under the ap- 
pearance of a slave, could alone embolden me to risk the 
censure of my readers, by intruding on them this subject : 
let this be my apology, and if it be accepted but by few, 
I shall not be inclined to complain. 

In the evening I visited Mr. Demelly, who, with his 
lady, congratulated me on my recovery from sickness ; and 
at the same time, however strange it may appear to many 
readers, they, with a smile, wished me joy of what, with 
their usual good humour, they were pleased to call my 
conquest; which, one of the ladies in company assured 
me, while it was perhaps censured by some, was applauded 
by many, but she believed in her heart envied by ail. — 
A decent wedding, at which many of our respectable 
friends made their appearance, and at which I was as 
happy as any bridegroom ever was, concluded the cere- 
mony ; with which I shall beg leave to conclude a chapter, 
wliich, methinks I hear many readers whisper, had better 
never had a beginning. 

Vol. I. Q 



Account of a dreadful Execution — Fluctuating State of 
political Affairs — Short Glimpse of Peace — A71 Officer shot 
dead ; his whole Tarty cut to Pieces, and the general 
Alarm revived throughout the Colony. 

ON the 21stof May our Lieutenant Colonel, Lantmau, 
died, and a number of our officers lay sick. 
. Instead of gaiety and dissipation, disease and mortality 
now began to rage amongst us ; and the devastation in- 
creased from day to day among the private men, in a 
most alarming proportion. The remains of the deceased 
officer were interred with military honours, in the centre 
of the fortress Zelandia, where all criminals are impri- 
soned, and all field officers buried. At this place I was 
not a little shocked to see the captive rebel negroes and 
others clanking their chains, and roasting plantains and 
yams upon the sepulchres of the dead ; they presented to 
my imagination the image of a number of diabolical fiends 
in the shape of African slaves, tormenting the souls of 
their European persecutors. From these gloomy man- 
sions of despair, on this day, seven captive negroes were 
selected, who being led by a few soldiers to the place of 
execution, which is in the Savannah, where the sailors and 



soldiers are interred, six were hanged, and one broken 
alive upon the rack, Avith an iron bar ; besides which a 
white man was scourged before the Court House, by the 
public executioner, Avho is in this country always a black. 
The circumstance which led me to take particular notice of 
this affair was the shameful injustice of shewing a partiality 
to the European, who ought to have been better informed, 
by letting him escape with only a slight corporal punish- 
ment; while the poor uneducated Afiican for the same 
crime, viz. stealing money out of the Town Hall, lost his 
life under the most excruciating tomients, which he sup- 
ported without heaving a sigh or making a complaint ; 
while one of his companions, with the rope about his neck, 
and just on the point of being turned off, uttered a laugh 
of contempt at the magistrates who attended the execution. 
I ought not in this place to omit, that the negro who 
flogged the white man inflicted the punishment with the 
greatest marks of commiseration. These transactions 
almost induced me to decide between the Europeans and 
Africans in this colony, that the first were the greater bar- 
barians of the two — a name which tarnishes Christianity, 
and is bestowed on them in too many corners of the globe, 
with what real degree of justice I will not take on me to 

Having testified how much I was hurt at the cruelty of 
the above execution, and surprised at the intrepidity Avith 
which the negroes bore their punishment, a decent looking 

Q 2 ' nian 


man stepped up to me. " Sir, (said he) you are but a new- 
" comer from Europe, and know very little about the 
" African slaves, or you would testify both less feeling and 
" surprise. Not long ago, (continued he) I saw a black 
" man suspended alive from a gallows by the ribs, be- 
" tween Avhich, with a knife, was first made an incision, 
" and then clinched an iron hook with a chain : in this 
" manner he kept alive three daj^s, hanging with his head 
" and feet downwards, and catching with his tongue tlie 
" drops of water (it being in the rainy season) that were 
" flowing down his bloated breast. Notwithstanding all 
" this, he never complained, and even upbraided a negro 
" for crying while he was flogged below the gallows, by 
" calling out to him — You man ?—Da hoy fasy ? Are you 
" a man ? you behave like a boy. Shortly after which he 
" Avas knocked on the head by the commiserating sentr}'^, 
" who stood over him, with the butt end of his musket." — 
" Another negro (said he) I have seen quartered alive ; 
" who, after four strong horses Avere fastened to his legs 
" and arms, and after having had iron sprigs driven home 
" underneath every one of his nails on hands and feet, 
" without a motion, he first asked a dram, and then bid 
" them pull aAvay, Avithout a groan : but Avhat afforded us 
" the greatest entertainment (continued he) Avere the fel- 
" loAv's jokes, by desiring the executioner to drink before 
" him, in case there should chance to be poison in the 
" glass, and bidding him take care of his horses, lest any 
11 "of 


, J^. iry/y /f/y/y ^//V/v /'7y Mr .^t/M^ -^ a O^//^^/'.^ 

Lonih^n.ruNi.>luti y3///i:'V/AV<" ■f'fo/iMon.X'J'ujtlr Outixii Yard. 


" of them should happen to strike backwards. As for old chap. 
" men being broken upon the rack, and young women ^^' 
" roasted alive chained to stakes, there can be nothing 
" more common in this colon3^" — I was petrified at the 
inhuman detail ; and breaking away with execrations from 
this diabolical scene of laceration, made the best of my 
way home to my own lodgings. 

On the 24th, having received a supply of provisions 
from Holland, and absolutely doing no service in the co- 
lony, it was universally resolved that we should proceed 
home ; our regiment, notwithstanding its being partly paid 
by the United Provinces, still being exceedingly chargeable 
to the society and the inhabitants, who, in conjunction, 
paid all other expenccs : thus, in the hopes of sailing in 
the middle of June, the transports were ordered a second 
time to wood, water, and make all other necessary prepa- 

I must say nothing of M'hat I felt on this occasion : I 
continued, however, not long in this state of suspense ; 
for the following day intelligence being brought that a 
plantation was demolished, and the overseers murdered 
l)y the rebels, our stay was prolonged a second time, at 
the request of the Governor himself and inhabitants ; and, 
in consequence, the three transports, Avhich had since Fe- 
bruary the 9th been kept waiting at a great expence, were 
finally put out of commission, and the provisions stov/ed 



CHAP, at the head-quarters in a temporary storehouse erected 
^^' for that purpose. 

The minds of the people began now to be quieted, find- 
ing at last that the troops were in earnest preparing for 
actual service, a circumstance greatly indeed to be lament- 
ed as to the occasion, but certainly much better for the 
colony, than to let the regiment linger away an idle life at 

Thus our warlike preparations for some days proceeded, 
and our marines appeared in excellent spirits ; when again, 
on the 7th of June, to our unutterable surprise, we were 
for the third time officially acquainted, that things seem- 
ing quiet, and presuming that tranquillity was at last re- 
established, the colony of Surinam had no farther occasion 
for our services. These fluctuating councils did not fail 
to produce much discontent among the military, as well 
as the inhabitants ; and cabals were formed, which threat- 
ened to break out into a civil contest. 

Some charged the Governor ^vith being jealous of the 
unlimited power which was vested in Colonel Fourgeoud, 
Avho was also by many others blamed as abusing that 
power, and as not treating the Governor with that civility, 
which he might have evinced without lessening his own 
consequence. Thus, while one party acknowledged us 
to be the bulwark of the settlement, by keeping the rebels 
in awe, the Opposition hesitated not to call us the locusts 



of Egypt, who were come to devour the fruits of the c 11 a p. 

Without entering into the merits of the question, it is 
sufficient to say, that our hfe was rendered very uncom- 
fortable, and a great number of us could not help thinking, 
that between the two parties we were but ill treated. This 
same day, while at dinner on board a Dutch vessel in the 
roads, the company were alarmed b}' the most tremendous 
clap of thunder I ever heard in my life. On ovn- side of 
the continent, sevei'al negroes and cattle were killed by 
lightning; while, on the other side, nearly at the same 
time, the city of Guatimala, in Old Mexico, was swallowed 
up by an earthquake, by which eight thousand families are 
said to have instantly perished. 

On the 1 1th, the ships, being taken again into commis- 
sion, were ordered with all possible expedition to prepare 
for our final departure, and every one was making himself 
ready for the voyage. 

Being thus apparently disengaged from military service, 
I received a polite invitation from a Mr. Campbel, who 
was lodged with a Mr. Kerry at my friend Kennedy's, to 
accompany him on a visit to the island of Tobago, where 
I might recruit my debilitated health and dejected spirits. 
His, plan was to return with me by the Leeward Islands to 
Europe. It was, indeed, to me a most agreeable offer, all 
things considered, and I should certainly Avith pleasure 
have accepted it, had not my application to Colonel Fourr 



geoud been prevented by a fresh alarm, which was received 
on the 15th. The substance of this was no less, than that 
an officer of the Society troops had been shot dead by the 
rebels, and his whole party, consisting of about thirty men, 
entirely cut to pieces. So alarming a piece of intelligence 
could not fail to throw the whole colony once more into 
the utmost confusion and consternation. The above gen- 
tleman, Avhose name was Lepper, and only a lieutenant, 
was in a great measure the cause of this misfortune, by his 
impetuosity and intrepidity, totally unregulated by temper 
or conduct * : but as this censure in general terms may 
appear severe, it becomes in some degree incumbent on 
me to relate the particulars. 

The period when this unhappy event took place was 
that which, in the language of the colony, is termed the 
sliort dry season. During this, ]\Ir. Lepper having been 
informed that between the rivers Patamaca and Upper 
Cormootibo a village of negroes had been discovered by 
the rangers some time before, he determined with his small 
party, which was only a detachment from the Patamaca 
post, to sally through the woods and attack them. But 
the rebels being apprized of his intentions by their spies, 
which they constantly employ, immediately marched out 
to receive him ; in his way they laid themselves in ambush, 

* This gentleman formerly be- his antagonist through the heart 
longed to the life-guards in Holland, with his sword in a duel, 
from which he fled, after thrusting 



near the borders of a deep marsh, through which the soldiers 
were to pass to the rebel settlement. No sooner had the 
unfortunate men got into the swamp and up to their arm- 
pits, than their black enemies rushed out from under cover, 
and shot them dead at their leisure in the water, while 
they were unable to return the fire more than once, their 
situation preventing them from reloading their musquets. 
Their gallant commander, being imprudently distinguished 
by a gold-laced hat, was shot through the head in the first 
onset. The few that scrambled out of the marsh upon the 
banks Avere immediately put to death in the most bar- 
barous manner, except five or six, who were taken prisoners 
and carried alive to the settlement of the rebels. The 
melancholy fate of these unfortunate men I shall, in a 
proper place, describe, as I had it since from those that 
were eye-witnesses of it. 

The intelligence had scarcely reached Paramaribo, than 
the whole town was in a tumult ; some parties were so 
vehement that they were ready to tear the Governor and 
council to pieces, for having dismissed Colonel Fourgeoud 
with his regiment ; Avhile others ingenuously declared, 
that if we were intended for no further use than v/e had 
hitherto been, our company might without regret be dis- 
pensed with. All this could not l)ut be exceedingly galling 
to our officers, avIio wished nothing more than to be em- 
ployed on actual service for the advantage of the colon}'. 
On the other side, most bitter lampoons were spread 

Vol. I. R through 


through the town against the Governor and his council; 
libels of such a black and inflammatory nature, that no less 
than a thousand gold ducats were offered as a reward for 
the discovery of their author, with a promise of concealing 
the name of the informer if he required it ; but the Avhole 
was to no purpose, and neither author nor informer made 
their appearance : the general clamour however still con- 
tinuing, the Governor and council were forced a third time 
to petition us to remain in Surinam, and to protect the 
distracted colony. To this petition -we once more conde- 
scended to listen, and the ships were actually a third time 
put out of commission. 

We, however, still continued doing nothing, to the un- 
speakable surprise of every person concerned : the only 
part on duty, hitherto, having consisted of a subaltern's 
guard at the head-quarters, to protect the Chief, his co- 
loxn's, his store-houses, pigs, and poultry, which guard 
regularly mounted every day at half past four o'clock, and 
another on board the transports, until the provisions had 
been stowed on shore in the magazines. This, a few field- 
days excepted, when the soldiers were drilled for porop 
alone in a burning sun till they fainted, comprehended 
the whole of our military manoeuvres. But I perceive the 
reader is already impatient for some information respect- 
ing these two extraordinary men, who, from their inveteracy 
and opposition to each other, as well as from other causes, 
were the authors of these unaccountable and fluctuating 



proceedings; and the outlines of these two characters may 
perhaps assist in unravelling the mystery. 

As the ingredients of flattery or fear make but a small 
part of that man s composition who presumes to give them, 
and who pretends perfectly to have known both, the 
reader may depend on having them painted in their true 
original colours, however strong the shades. 

Governor Nepveu was said to be rather a man of sense 
than of learning, and w^as wholly indebted to his art and 
address for having risen to his present dignity from sweep- 
ing the hall of the Court House. By the same means he 
was enabled, from nothing, to accumulate a fortune, by 
some computed at no less than eight thousand pounds 
sterling annually, and to command respect from all ranks 
of people, no person ever daring to attack him but at a 
distance. His deportment was affable, but ironical, with- 
out ever losing the command of his temper, Avhich gave 
him the appearance of a man of fashion, and rendered his 
influence almost unbounded. He Avas generally known 
by the appellation of Reynard, and Avas most certainly a 
fox of too much artifice to be run down by all the hounds 
in the colony. 

Colonel Fourgeoud was almost exactly the reverse of 
this portrait. He was impetuous, passionate, self-suflicient, 
and revengeful : he was not cruel to individuals, but was 
a tyrant to the generality, and caused the death of hun- 
dreds by his sordid avarice and oppression. With all this 

R 2 he 


c H A P. he was partial, ungrateful, and confused ; but a most in- 
defatigable man in bearing hardships and in braving 
dangers, not exceeded by Columbus himself, which, like a 
true bucaneer, he sustained with the most heroic courage, 
patience, and perseverance. Though unconquerably harsh 
and severe to his officers, he was however not wanting in 
affability to the private soldiers. He had read, but had 
no education to assist him in digesting what he read. In 
short, few men could talk better, but on most occasions 
few could act worse. 

Such were the characters of our commanders ; while the 
opposition of two such men to each other could not fail to 
produce unhappiness to the troops, and operated as a suf- 
ficient cause for the fluctuating state of political affairs in 
this dejected colony. 

As we still continued totally inactive, I am necessarily 
deprived of the pleasure of relating any of our hero's 
warlike achievements. — To relieve the sameness of the 
narrative, I therefore take the liberty of describing one of 
his favourites. — This was no other than a bird called the 
toucan, and in Surinam banarabeck or cojacai, either from 
its bill having some resemblance to that fruit, or from its 
being accustomed to feed on it, and perhaps from both. 
This animal the Colonel kept hopping tame amongst his 

The toucan is not larger than a tame pigeon, and yet 

its beak is no less than six inches in length, if not more. 

11 It 

<.>vx^' tV/ '//<'//// (<) Me ^^"/t^-ca/<Y/f/: 

l.,"i,/,T7i 7'iihitJi-h^if Drr''i*f 7-t}.i h\ .T..r,'h/i.i^n .SH'tntl'f Chur>tyh liufi. 


It is shaped like a jackdaw, carrying its tail almost per- 
pendicular, except when it flies : its colour is black, ex- 
cept a little white under the throat and breast, which is 
bordered with red in the form of a crescent reversed, and 
a few feathers above and under its tail, some white and 
some crimson. The head is large, with a bluish ring 
round the eyes, of which the iris is yellow, and its ash- 
coloured toes are much like those of a parrot. Its remark- 
able beak desei'ves the most particular attention, which is 
serrated, and of a size utterly disproportioned to its body. 
This beak, however, which is arched, is as thin as parch- 
ment, and consequently very light ; it is yellow on the top, 
and on the sides of a beautiful deep orange, inclosing a 
tongue which bears a strong resemblance to a feather. 
The toucan feeds on fruit, especially pepper, and is very 

I shall here also take the opportunity to describe another 
tame bird, which I saw with pleasure at the house of Mr. 
Lolkens, and which I take to be what we call the fly- 
catcher; they denominate it in this country sun-fowlo, 
because when it extends its Avings, which it frequently 
does, there appears, on the interior part of each wing, the 
most beautiful representation of a sun. This bird is about 
the size of a woodcock, and of a golden colour, but 
speckled ; its legs are very long, and also its slender bill, 
which is perfectly straight, and very pointed. With this it 
darts at the flies, while they creep, with such wonderful 



dexterity and quickness, that it never misses the object, 
which seems to constitute its principal food ; and this pro- 
perty renders it both useful and entertaining. This bird 
might, with some degree of propriety, be styled the per- 
petual motion, its body making a continual movement, 
and its tail keeping time like the pendulum of a clock. 

Having described these two contrasts in appearance,' I 
must add, that neither they, nor any of those birds in 
Guiana which are remarkable for their beautiful plumage, 
ever sing Avith any degree of melody, three or four perhaps 
excepted, whose notes are sweet, but not varied. Of these 
I shall speak at a proper opportunity. 

^' For Nature's hand, 

" That with a sportive vanity has deck'd 
" The plumy nations, there her gayest hues 
" Profusely pours. But if she bids them shine, 
" Array'd in all the beauteous beams of day, 
^' Yet, frugal still, she humbles them in song." 

One bird more I shall only mention in this place, which 
may be considered as the rival of the mock-bird, viz. the 
Caribbean wren. This bird, Avhich is called by the Surinam 
colonists Gadofowlo, or the bird of God, probably from its 
familiarity, inoffensiveness, and its delightful music, is 
rather larger than the English wren, which in its plumage 
it much resembles ; it frequently perches upon the window- 
shutters with the familiarity of the robin. From its en- 


chanting warbling, it has been honoured by many with the 
name of the South American nightingale. — But to proceed 
with my narrative. 

On the 21st died Mr. Renard, one of our best surgeons, 
who was buried the same afternoon, a process quite neces- 
sary in this hot country, Avhere putrefaction so instanta- 
neously takes place, and more especially when the patient 
dies of a putrid fever, which is in this country extremely 
frequent. This dreadfid disease first appears by bilious 
vomiting, lowness of spirits, and a yellowish cast of the 
countenance and eyes ; and unless proper remedies be 
immediately applied, the distemper becomes fatal, and 
certain death in a few days is the consequence. The belly- 
hatty, or dry-gripes, by some compared to the Devonshire 
cholic, is also a common complaint in this country, and 
not only causes excruciating pains, but is exceedingly 
dangerous. This also had now attacked a great number 
of our people. As to the causes of this disorder I can 
give no account. The prevailing symptom is an obstinate 
costiveness, which they endeavour to remove by a quan- 
tity of castor oil taken internally, and also injected by 
the rectum. 

It was, indeed, lamentable to observe the state to which 
we were already reduced, from a corps of the finest, 
healthiest young men that ever sailed from Europe, with 
blooming fresh complexions, now changed to the sallow 




CHAP, colour of a drum-head. It was no alleviation of the 
calamity to reflect, that all this waste of life and health 
had been hitherto to no purpose; though some persons 
chose to report, that the whole was no more than a poli- 
tical scheme to have another regiment added to the war- 
establishment in Holland, as Colonel De Salve's marines 
had been before : but to this others gave but very little 

Of the hospitality of the country at least we could not 
complain, since this was actually one of the principal 
sources of our misfortunes, and we were likely in a few 
months to be caressed to death by the civilities of the men, 
and the kindness of the ladies : a circumstance which 
rendered Surinam a real Capua to these brave fellows. 

On the 27th of June, the gentleman-like Lieutenant- 
Colonel Baron de Gersdorph died, much regretted indeed 
by every person ; Avhile the grim King of Terrors, consci- 
entiously beginning at the head of the corps with the field 
officers, could not fail to afford some consolation to the in- 
ferior gentry who succeeded to their places, by the appoint- 
ment of Colonel Fourgeoud, the Commander in Chief, 
"who himself exhibited as yet no symptoms of mortality. 
Major Becquer was now made Lieutenant-Colonel, and a 
Captain Rockaph advanced to the rank of ]\Iajor. 

The European animals that live in this country are no 
less debilitated and diminutive than the human species. 



The oxen, for instance, are very small *, and their beef c u a p. 
not near so delicate as it is in Europe, owing probably to ^^* 
their perpetual perspiration, and the coarseness of the grass 
on which they feed, Avhich is not so good as that of the 
salt marshes in Somersetshire. On the banks of the Oro- 
noque the oxen run wild, and are sold by the Spaniards 
for two dollars per head. A single pieca of read3'-roasted 
beef is often sent from Europe to Guiana as a most valu- 
able and delicate present. The manner of preserving the 
meat for this long voyage, when roasted, is by putting it 
in a block-tin box or canister; then filling up the empty 
space w^ith gravy or dripping till it is perfectly covered 
over ; after which the box must be made fast and soldered 
round about, so that neither air noi- water can penetrate : 
l)y this means, I was told, it may be with safety carried 
round the globe. 

The sheep in this country are so small, that, when 
skinned, they seem not larger than 3'oung lambs in White- 
chapel market ; they have no horns nor avooI, but straight 
hair, and are to an European but very indifferent eating : 
the more so, since all beef, mutton, &c. must be consumed 
the same day that it is killed, which causes it to eat tough, 
wliile keeping it longer exposes it to putrefaction. Neither 
of these animals are natural to Guiana: the breed has 

* This I am astoni&hed to see con- one bullock of Smillifield market 
tradicted by Dr. Bancroft, who sa^'s assuredly weighs down two of the 
they improve in South America^ while largest in Guiana. 

Vol. I. S been 


been imported from the Old Continent. So also was the 
breed of the hog, but with far better success ; for these 
animals, in my opinion, thrive better in South America 
than in Europe. The hogs here are large, fat, good, and 
plentiful ; as in England, they feed on almost every thing 
that is eatable, and on the estates are often fattened with 
green pine-apples, a fruit which grows spontaneously in 
this climate, and of which they are exceedingly fond. As 
for the poultry, nothing can thrive better ; the common 
fowls are here as good and as plenty as in any country, 
but smaller, and their eggs differ in shape, being more 
sharp pointed. A smaller species of the dunghill kind, 
with rumpled inverted feathers, seems natural to Guiana, 
being reared in the; inland parts of the country by the 
Indians or natives. The turkeys are very fine, and so are 
the geese, but the ducks are excellent, being of the large 
Muscovy species, with crimson pearls betwixt the beak 
and the head : these are here juicy, fat, and in great 

After the various delays we had experienced, the reader 
Avill be surprised to learn that the hour of action at last 
arrived, and all the officers and men were ordered to be 
ready at a minute's Avarning to set out on actual service, 
though our little corps was already melted doAvn from five 
hundred and thirty able men to about three-fourths of that 
number, by death and sickness, the hospital being crowded 
by invalids of every kind. The loss of so large a propor- 


tion of men was supplied in a manner tliat will appear 
extraordinary to an European. 

There wei-e two negroes, one called Okera, the other 
Gowfavy, two desperadoes, who had both been rebel cap- 
tains in the colony of Berbice, and who, for taking Atta 
their chief, and delivering him to the governor of that 
settlement, had received their pardon. By these tv/o men 
the most inhuman murders had been committed on the 
Europeans in the year 1762, when the revolt M^as in the 
above colony. These were now admitted as private sol- 
diers in our regiment, and were Colonel Fourgeoud's 
greatest favourites. 

Before we left Paramaribo, I had an opportunity of 
seeing two very extraordinary animals of the aquatic kind ; 
the one Avas in ]\lr. Roux's cabinet of curiosities, and is 
called in the co\o\^y jackee, in Latin, rana piscatrix. This 
fish is about eight or ten inches long, without scales, ex- 
ceeding fat and delicate, as I can testify by experience, 
and is found in all narrow creeks and marshy places. But 
what is extremely remarkable is, that this creature, how- 
ever incredible it may appear, absolutely changes to a 
perfect frog, but not from a frog to a fish, as Merian, Zeba, 
and some random historians (among whom I am sorry to 
name AVestley) have been pleased to assert ; and of this 
truth I was at this time fully satisfied, by seeing the above 
animal dissected, and suspended in a bottle with spirits ; 
•when the two hinder legs of a very small frog made their 

s 2 appear- 


at)pearance, growing inside from that part of the back to 
vhich usually the intestines are fixed. 1 nevertheless 
humbly presume to suppose, in this case, that thejackee 
is neither more nor less than a kind of tadpole, which 
grows to a large size before it undergoes the usual trans- 

The other animal I saw at the house of my friend Ken- 
nedy : this is what Dr. Bancroft calls the toi'porific, and 
others. the electrical eel, and Avhich Dr. Firmyu supposes 
to possess the same qualities with the torpedo. This won- 
derful animal is of a lead-blue colour, formed in a great 
measure like an eel, with one large fin that runs below 
from head to tail, not vmlike the keel of a ship. It lives 
only in fresh water : its length is called b}^ some three 
feet, and by others is asserted to be not less than four or 
five times as much *. When this animal is touched by 
the hand, or any rod of metal or hard wood, it communi- 
cates a shock, the impulse of which produces the same 
effect as electricity ; and Dr. Firmyn has even assured me, 
that the shock of this electrical eel has been communi- 
cated to him through the bodies of eight or ten people,, 
who stood hand in hand for the purpose of trying the 

For my own part, all that I can say concerning this 
animal is, that I saw it in a tub full of water, where it 

* Mr. Greenwood, of Leicester Fields, has told me himself that he killed 
one of eleven feet long. 



appeared to be about two feet long; that I thre^V off my c ii a p. 
coat, and having turned up my shirt-sleeves, tried about ^^* 
twenty different times to grasp it with my hand, but all 
without effect, receiving just as many electrical shocks, 
which I felt even to the top of my shoulder, to the great 
entertainment of Mr. Kennedy, to whom 1 lost a small 
Avager on the occasion. The electrical eel swims forward 
or backward at pleasure : it may be eateii with the greatest 
safet}', and is even by many people thought delicious. 

It has been said, that this animal must be touched with 
both hands before it gives the shock *, but this I mast 
take the liberty of contradicting, having experienced the 
contrary effect : it is also alleged, that they have been 
found in Surinam above twenty feet long, but one of that 
length never 3'et came within the scope of my observation ; 
nor have I ever heard of any person being killed by them, 
according to the account which is given by the same au- 
thor, Alexander Gardon, m.d. f. ii.s. in a letter to John 
Elhs, Esq. dated Charlestown, South Carolina, August 
14th, 1774. 

It is a painful circumstance, that the narrative of my 
travels must so frequently prove the record of cruelty and 
barbarity : but once for all I must declare, that I state 
these facts merely in the hope that it may, in some mode 
or other, operate for tlieir future prevention. Before my 

* Mr. Walsh purchased an electrical eel, which he shewed to many of the 
Royal Society and others, who, all joining hands, felt the stroke. E. 



departure, 1 was informed of a most shocking instance of 
depravity, which had just occurred. A Jewess, impelled 
by a groundless jealousy, (for such her husband made it 
appear) put an end to the life of a young and beautiful 
Quadroon girl, by the infernal means of plunging into her 
body a red-hot poker. But what is most incredible, and 
what indeed will scarcely be believed in a civilized country, 
is, that for this most diabolical crime the murderess was 
only banished to the Jew-Savannah, a village which I shall 
afterwards describe, and condemned in a trifling fine to the 
fiscal or town-clerk of the colony. 

Another young negro Avoman, having her ancles chained 
so close together that she could scarcely move her feet, 
was knocked down with a cane by a Jew, and beaten till 
the blood streamed out of her head, her arms, and her 
naked sides. So accustomed, indeed, are the people of this 
country to tyranny and insolence, that a third Israelite had 
the impudence to strike one of my soldiers, for having 
made water against his garden-fence. On this miscreant 
I took revenge for the Avhole frateinity, by wresting the 
offending weapon out of his hand, which I instantly broke 
into a thousand pieces on his guilty naked pate. 

I nevertheless was just enough to flog another man out 
of the regiment, for picking a Jew's pocket : and, to their 
credit be it mentioned, that so jealous are the Dutch sol- 
diers of what they call a point of honour, that were a thief 
to be knoAvn, and kept in the ranks, the whole regiment 
1 1 would 


would lay clown their arms. This etiquette is of great chap. 


utility, and Avould be no bad practice to be introduced 
into some other armies, where a thief is too often accounted 
as good as another, if he is so fortunate as to be six feet 
hi oh. 

About this time Colonel Fourgeoud issued the following 
orders, viz. that in case it ever happened that two officers, 
or under-officers, of equal rank, the one of the European 
the other of the Society corps, should meet on any mili- 
tary duty, the first should always take the command, 
independent of seniority, imless the latter bore a higher 

We now seriously prepared for victory or death, on 
board the wooden w alls of the Colony, which consisted 
of half a dozen crazy old sugar barges, such as are used 
by the colliers in the Thames, being only roofed over 
with boards, which gave them the appearance of so many 
coffins ; and how well they deserved this name, I am 
afraid will too soon appear by the number of men they 

On the first of July were dispatched, for the river Co- 
mewina, one captain, two subalterns, one serjeant, two 
corporals, and eighteen men. Of this captain, I cannot 
help mentioning a very singular circumstance: the first 
day we landed in this colony, having entered the lodging 
on which he was billetted, his landlady declared she should 
ever pride herself in shewing all the civility in her power 



to eitiier marines or naval officers, as she owed her hfe to 
one of tlieni, M'ho had some years before picked her up 
in an open boat Avith several others, after they had been 
tossed about sixteen days without either compass, sail, or 
provisions, a little sea-biscuit and water excepted, on the 
Atlantic ocean. To avoid circumlocution, this very gen- 
tleman, Vi'liose name was Tulling Van Older Barnevelt, 
proved to be the individual officer who had saved her 
from the jaws of death, as he at that time belonged to 
the navy, being a lieutenant of a Dutch man of war. 

This same day we also dispatched another barge with 
two subalterns, one serjeant, one corporal, and fourteen 
men, commanded by Lieutenant Count Randwyck, to 
the river Pirica ; and in the evening, having entertained 
some select friends in mj' house, I bade farewell to my 
Joanna, to whose care I left my all ; and herself to the 
protection of her mother and aunt, with my directions 
for putting her to school until my return : after Avhich, 
I at last marched on board, with four subalterns, two Ser- 
jeants, three corporals, and thirty-two men under my 
command, to be divided into two barges, and bound for 
the upper part of the river Cottica. — 

Now my Mulatto cast a mournful look, 
Hung on my hand, and then dejected spoke ; 
Her bosom labour'd with a boding sigh, 
And the big tear stood trembling in her eye. 



The above barges were all armed with swivels, blunder- 
busses, &c. and provided with allowance for one month : 
their orders were (that wliicli went to the Jew's Savanaali 
excepted) to cruise up and down tlie upper parts of the 
rivers, each barge having a pilot, and rowed by negro 
slaves, ten of which were on board of each for tiie [)iu-posc, 
and which made my com])1ement, includmg my bhick l)oy 
Quaco, exactly sixty-five, thirty-five of which enibarked 
with myself. ^Vith this ship's company was I now stowed 
in my hen-coop ; while on board of my lieutenant's barge 
the crew consisted of twenty-nine only, and consequently 
Avere less crowded. 

I must take notice that from our first landing in Surinam 
till this time our private men Avere paid in silver coin, 
which the captains had proposed to exchange for card 
money, at the rate of ten per cent, gain for them ; by 
which the poor fellows would have benefited between two 
and three hundred pounds sterling per annum, to buy re- 
freshment : but Colonel Fourgeoud insisted they should 
continue to receive their little pittance in coin, which in 
small sums was of no more value than paper, and 1 
thought unaccountably hard, since this was hurting the 
whole, without profit to one single individual. One thing- 
more I must remark, Avhich is, that all the officers who 
were now proceeding upon duty continued to pay at the 
mess, which cost each captain at tl^e rate of forty pounds ; 
but for Avhich, in his barge, he wns to receive in provi- 
VoL. I. T sions 


sions after the rate of ten pounds (thus he lost thirty 
pounds; and these provisions were salt beef, pork, and 
pease) on an equal footing with the private soldiers, a few 
bottles of wine excepted. But certainly some greater in- 
dulgence was due, and I must say necessary, to officers, 
who were going to be stationed where absolutely no kind 
of refreshment was to be had, being sinrounded by the 
most horrid and impenetrable woods, beyond the hearing 
of a cannon-shot from any port or plantation whatever. 
This was not the case Avith the other barges, Avho were 
stationed in the midst of peace and plenty, being Avithin 
view of the most beautiful estates. We were indeed pitied 
by all ranks without exception ; who foreseeing our ap- 
proaching calamities, crowded my barge with the best 
cornmodities they had to present, which they insisted 
upon my accepting. But the reader will have a better 
idea of the liberality of my benefactors from the fol- 
lowing list, than from any encomiums which I could pass 
upon it : 

24 Bottles of best claret, 6 Bottles of muscadel, 

12 Ditto of Madeira, 2 Gallons of lemon-juice, 

]'2 Ditto of English porter, 2 Gallons of ground coffee, 

12 Ditto of English cyder, 2 Large Westphalia hams, 

12 Ditto of Jamaica rum, 2 Salted bullocks tongues, 
2 Large loaves of white sugar, l Bottle of Durham mustard, 

2 Gallons of Brandy, 6 Dozen of spermaceti candles. 




Erom this specimen the reader will easily perceive, that chap. 
if some of the inhabitants of the colony of Surinam shew 
themselves the disgrace of the creation, by their cruelties 
and brutality, others, by their hospitality and social feel- 
ings, approve themselves an ornament to the human 
species, — With this instance of virtue and generosity, I 
therefore conclude this chapter ; and trust I shall ever be 
found more ready to record the good actions of my fcUow- 
creatures, than to remark their defects. 

T a 



Armed Barges afe'sent tip to defend the Rivers — Description 
of the Fortress New Amsterdam — A Cruise in the tipper 
Parts of Rio Cottica and Pafamaca — Great Mortality 
among the Troops — J^iew of the Military Post at Devil s 

N the third of July, 1773, at four o'clock in the 
morning, the fleet cast off from their moorings, and 
with the ebb tide rowed down as far as the fortress New 
Amstei'dam, where, being wind and tide bound, we dropped 
anchor off the batter}^ 

It may not be improper, in this place, to describe the 
dress of our marines, which was blue turned up with scarlet, 
short jackets, and leather caps. The}^ carried a musquet, 
sabre, and pistols ; a large wallet or knapsack across one 
shoulder, and their hammocks slung over the other. While 
in the woods, they wore trowsers and check shirts, with 
short linen frocks, as most adapted to the climate. 

Having first reviewed both my ships' companies, viz.. 
four subalterns, two Serjeants, three corporals, thirty-two 
privates, two pilots, twenty negroes, and my black boy 
Quaco ; and having placed the arms, consisting of blun- 
derbusses, swivels, &c. stowed the luggage, and slung the 


S-:,"*'' ''^,»?^,-- '"i-'-'i'v ..,' 

'■/ /?rM'u/e\ /u/,/y//^- of LiTi. t^f'fTt/ rc/zxyr/y// ( Y^r//.j 

'-' >■■"-'-' ■■'•■■■'■■■ ■■■^'-' 

2 . Gtn'a'Tioiws House 
1 . Artdlery OtHc^^ 

3 . Victuallmq Office 

4 . Mam Guard 

5 . Infantry OMcers 

6 . Carpenirrj- L odpe 

7 . The Church 

8 . Corn IfuiflmiU 

9 . • ^ccTvlajy's Office 

10. Barracks 

11 . Smiths For^e 

12. 6-rove of Orange Trees 

13 . Gunpot*-der Alatf azote 
i4-.FrG¥h Wa/FT Cistern 
IJ. The Great Floodijate 
16. The Landmq Phice 
J 7. The Great Mud bank 
Id . Ground tor Ftaniums 




7^/eM^S^y^/a^^c^/A^c/(?r/^re/j e^/Z/'y/ . "^n^^i^niY/'n^,i, 

L.mjML.Pu/ilMied Dcc-rj'"i-;yiJ,v J.Joluuon ,S.'l:,u/j thnnii t'.ir.l. 


hammocks, I pemsed my orders, which Avere to cruise up 
and down Rio Cottica, between the Society posts, La 
Rochelle at Patamaca, and Slans Wclveren above the last 
plantation, to prevent the rcliels from crossing the river, 
to seize or kill them if possible, and protect the estates 
from their invasions : in all which operations I ^vas to be 
assisted, if necessary, by the troops of the Society on the 
above posts, with whom I was also to deliberate on the 
proper signals to be given in case of an alarm. 

Having now time and opportunity, I visited the fortress 
called New Amsterdam. 

This fortification was begun in the year 1754, and 
finished in 1747. It is built in the form of a regular pen- 
tagon, with five bastions, being about three English miles 
in circumference, surrounded by a broad fosse, which is 
supplied from the river, and defended by a covert way, 
well palisadoed. Its foundations are a kind of rocky 
ground ; and its principal strength by water a large bank- 
of mud off the point, supported by a strong battery of 
cannon, which prevents even flat-bottomed vessels from 
making any approach in that quarter ; and by crossing the 
fire of the guns with the opposite redoubts, Leyden and 
Purmerent, it protects the entry of both the rivers, Su- 
rinam and Comewina, as I have said before : it has, be- 
sides, powder-magazines and victualling-offices, and is 
well provided Avith all the other necessary buildings for 
tlie use of a strong garrison. There are even a corn wind- 


null, and a cistern which will hold above a thousand 
hoo'sheads of water. This in fact is no more than neces- 
sary ; since, according to my opinion, it Mill take the 
Avhole army of Surinam to defend so large an extent for 
any length of time. Adjoining to the fortress is also a 
large spot of ground, well stocked with plantains, yams, 
&c. in order to feed the Society slaves, M'liich are kept 
liere, at the colony's expence, to work at the fortifications, 
under the inspection of a proper overseer. 

In this fort is generally stationed a small garrison, com- 
manded by an officer of the artillery, which obliges all 
vessels whatever to bring-to, shew their colours, and salute 
them with seven guns each, the compliment being an- 
swered with three guns from the battery, and the hoisting 
of a flag on the ramparts. I shall only add, that this for- 
tress is, on the north-east side, surrounded with bogs and 
impenetrable bushes, and that the spot was, from these 
circumstances, formerly called the Tyger's Hole. 

Having described fort New Amsterdam, I cannot leave 
it without taking notice of some very remarkable fish, 
Avhich are always seen in great quantities near this fortress, 
and which have actually four eyes, swimming constantly 
with two above and two under the Avater. These fishes are 
about the size of a smelt, and swim in shoals with incre- 
dible velocity ; they seem principally to delight in brackish 
water, are accounted no bad eating, and are called coot -eye 
by the inhabitants of the colony. 

1 1 This 


Tliis evening my sentinel being insulted by a row-boat, 
which damned him, and spoke of the whole crew in the 
most opprobrious terms, I immediately manned the canoe, 
and gave chase ; but by the help of hoisting a small sail, 
and the intervention of a dark night, the rogue, who kept 
course towards Biaam's Point, had the good fortune to 
escape my resentment. 

On the fourth of July, in the morning, Ave weighed an- 
chor ; and having doubled the Cape, rowed with the flood 
till we arrived before Elizabeth's Hope, a beautiful coffee 
plantation, where the proprietor, Mr. Klynharas, inviting 
us on shore, shewed us every civility in his power, and 
loaded my barge with refreshing fruits, vegetables, &c. 
He told us that he pitied our situation from his heart, and 
foretold the miseries we were going to encounter, the rainy 
season being just at hand, or indeed having already com- 
menced, by frequent showers, accompanied with loud 
claps of thunder. " As for the enemy," said he, " you 
" may depend on not seeing one single soul of them ; they 
" know better than to make their appearance openl}-, 
" while they may have a chance of seeing you from under 
" cover : thus. Sir, take care to be upon your guard — but 
" the climate, the climate will murder you all. How- 
" ever," continued he, " this shews the zeal of your Com- 
" mander, who Avill rather see you killed, than see you eat 
" the bread of idleness at Paramaribo." — This pleasant 
harangue he accompanied with a squeeze by the hand. 


144 NitRRATIVE or AN 

We tlien took our leave, while the beautiful i\Irs. DutiT, 
his daughter, shed tears at our departure. — Tiiis evening 
we anchored before the Matapaca Creek. 

I here created my two barges men of war, and named 
them the Charon and the Cerberus, b}' which names I shall 
distinguish them during the rest of the voyage ; though 
the Sadden Death and Uilful Murder Avere much more 
applicable, as "will be seen. We now continued rowing 
u]) the river Cottica, having passed, since we entered Rio 
Coniewina, some most enchantingly beautiful estates of 
coffex3 and sugar, v/iiich line the banks of both these rivers, 
at the distance of one or two miles from each other. 

My crew having walked and drcst their dinner ashore 
on the plantation I'Avanture, we anchored, on the evening 
of the 5 th, before Rio Pirica. 

On the following day we rowed 'stili further up the river 
Cottica, and went on shore on the estate Alia. At all the 
above plantations we v.ere most hospitably received, but 
we iiiet with fewer plantations as the ri\'er grew narrower. 

On the 7th Ave continued our course, and having walked 
ashore on the estate Bockkestyne, being the last plantation 
up the river Cottica on the right, except one or two small 
estates in Patamaca, at night we cast anchor at the mouth 
of Coopman's Creek. This day the Charon was on fire, 
but happily it was soon extinguished. 

On the 8tl), we again kept rowing upwards, and at 
eleven o'clock, a.m. cast anchor off the post Slans Wel- 



varen, which was guarded by the troops of the Society. 
Here I stepped on shore, with my officers, to wait on Cap- 
tain Oriiinga, the commander, and delivered three of my 
sick men into his hospital ; where I beheld such a spec- 
tacle of miser}^ and Avretchedness as baffles all imagination : 
this place having been formerly called Devil's Harzcrir, on 
account of its intolerable unhealthiness — a name by which 
alone I shall again distinguish it, as much more suitable 
than that of Slans Welvaren, which signifies the welfare 
of the nation. 

Here I saw a few of the wounded wretclies, who had 
escaped from the engagement in Avhich Lieutenant Lep- 
per, with so many men, had been killed ; and one of them 
told me the particulars of his own miraculous escape : — 
" I was shot, Sir," said he, " with a musquet-bullet in my 
" breast ; and to resist or escape being impossible, as the 
" only means left me to save my life I threw myself down 
" among the mortally wounded and the dead, without 
" moving hand or foot. Here in the evening the rebel 
" chief, surveying his conquest, ordered one of his cap- 
" tains to begin instantly to cut off the heads of the slain, 
" in order to carry them home to their village, as trophies 
" of their victory : this captain, having already chopped 
" off that of Lieutenant Lepper, and one or two more, 
" said to his friend. Sonde go slethij, caba mclcewe Uby den 
" tara dogo tmj tamara ; The sun is just going to sleep, we 
" must leave those other dogs till to-morrow. Upon saying 

Vol. I. U " which, 


which, (continued the soldier) as I la}^ on my bleeding 
breast, with my face resting on my left arm, he, drop- 
ping his hatchet into my shoulder, made the fatal wound 
you see, of which I shall perhaps no more recover. — ■■ 
I however lay quite still. They went aAvay, carrying 
along with them the mangled heads of my comrades, 
and five or six prisoners alive, with their hands tied be- 
hind their backs, of whom I never since have heard. 
AVhen all was quiet, and it Avas very dark, I found 
means, on my hands and feet, to creep out from among 
the carnage, and get under cover in the forest, where I 
met another of our soldiers, w ho Avas less wounded than 
myself; with whom, after ten days wandering, in tor- 
ment and despair, without bandages, not knowing which 
way to proceed, and only one single loaf of black bread 
for our subsistence, we at last arrived at the military post 
of Patamaca, emaciated, and our putrefied vvounds full 
of live worms." 
I gave the miserable creature half-a-crown ; and having 
agreed with Captain Orzinga upon the signals, Ave left this 
pest-house, and stepping on board my man of Avar, roAved 
up till Ave arrived before a creek, called Barbacoeba, where 
Ave once more came to an anchor. 

, On the foUoAving day we continued to row farther up 
the river, till we came before the Cormoetibo Creek, Avhere 
Ave moored the fleet, as being my head station, by Colonel 
Fourgeoud's command. Here Ave saAV nothing but Avater, 
11 Avood, 


wood, and clouds ; no trace of humanity, and consequently 
the place had a most dismal, solitary appearance. 

On the 10th I detached the Cerberus to her station, viz. 
Upper Patamaca ; for which place she rowed immediately, 
with a long list of paroles, according to my orders, but 
which were never of any service. 

We now tried to cook the victuals on board ; our fur- 
nace was a large tub filled with earth, and we succeeded, 
at the expence of having almost scalded one of my men 
to death, and at the hazard of setting the barge once more 
on fire. As we had no surgeon along with us, this office 
fell to my lot ; and, by the help of a small chest of medi- 
cines, I performed so well, that in a few days the scalded 
marine recovered. 

To prevent, however, a similar accident again, I sought 
an opening in the creek above-named, which having found 
not very far from the mouth, I ordered my negroes to build 
a shed, and my men to dress their victuals below it, placing 
sentinels around them to prevent a surprise, and in the 
evening we returned to our station. This cooking we con- 
tinued to perform every day, until the fourteenth, when 
we rowed down to Barbacoeba. 

Here we built another shed on the 15th, for the same 
purpose ; and then, the rain already beating through my 
decks, we rowed down to Devil's Harwar for repair, where 
I put one of my negroes sick in the hospital. 

u 2 On 


On the l6th, I got my deck caulked and payed, and 
sent an account of our arrival to Colonel Fourgeoud. 

On the 17th, we ret\irned to Cormoetibo Creek, having 
lost an anchor among the roots of the mangrove-trees that 
on both sides line the banks of all the rivers in the colony. 
These trees are of two species, the red and the white, but 
the former is that of which I now speak : it rises from a 
number of roots that shew themselves above ground for 
several feet before they are joined together, and form the 
trunk, which is both large and tall ; the bark is grey on 
the outside, but the inside is red, and used for tanning lea- 
ther. The wood is reddish, hard, and good for building 
and other purposes ; but the most remarkable property of 
this tree is, that from its extended branches, and even its 
trunk, descend thousands of ligneous shoots, like the ropes 
of a ship, which dropping to the earth, take root and again 
re-ascend, forming for a great circumference an impene- 
trable thicket, while, like so many props, they keep the 
tree steady in all weathers. The white mangrove is found 
mostly in places moie distant from the water. 

This evening my sentinel, when it was very dark, called 
out tl>at he saw a negro, with a lighted tobacco-pipe, cross 
the Cormoetibo Creek in a canoe. We lost no time in leap- 
ing out of our hammocks ; but were not a little mortified, 
when one of my slaves declared it was no more than a fire- 
fly on the wing — which actually w^as the case. 



These insects arc above an inch long, with a round patch c n a p. 
under the belly, of a transparent greenish colour, -^diich 
in the dark gives a light like a candle : its eyes are also 
very luminous, and by the light of a couple of these flies 
one may see very ^vell to read small print. There is ano- 
ther species, which is smaller, and only to be observed 
when they fly elevated, at which time they appear like the 
intermitting sparks of fire emitted from the forge of a 

On the 18th, having nothing else to do, I shot a bird, 
which is here called a tigri-fordo, or tiger-bird, but which 
I take to be of the heron species ; it is about the size of a 
heron, but of a reddish colour, covered over Avith regular 
black spots, from which it has derived its name : its bill, 
which is long and strait, as also the legs and toes, are of a 
pale green colour, and seem to indicate that it lives upon 
fish: the neck is also long, from which hangs down a kind 
of hoary feathers. On the head, which is small, it has a 
roundish black spot, and its eyes are a beautiful yellow.. 

By a Avater-patrol from the Cerberus I received intel- 
ligence this evening, that the men began to be sickly ; 
and on the following day I was informed, that on the spot 
where we had dressed our victuals, in the Cormoetibo 
Creek, and which is on the rebel side of the river, a 
strong detachment had lately been murdered b^' the enemy. 
I therefore ordered the shed to be burnt to the ground, 
and the meat to be dressed on board the barges. Hers 



CHAP, all the elements now seemed to unite in opposing us ; the 
^^^* water pouring down hke a deluge, the heavy rains forced 
themselves fore and aft into the vessel, where they set 
every thing afloat; the air was infested with myriads of 
musquitoes, which, from sun-set to sun-rising, constantly 
kept us company, and prevented us from getting any sleep, 
and left us in the morning besmeared all over with blood, 
and full of blotches. The smoke of the fire and tobacco, 
which we burnt to annoy them, was enough to choke us ; 
and not a foot-step of land could we find, where we might 
cook our salt provisions in safety. To all this misery may 
be added, that discord broke out between the marines 
and the negroes, with whom, as promises or threats had as 
yet no weight, I Avas obliged to have recourse to other 
means. I tied up the ringleaders of both parties ; and 
after ordering the first to be well flogged, and the latter to 
be horse-whipped for half an hour, after due suspense and 
expectation, I pardoned them all without one lash. This 
had equally the effect of the punishment, and peace Avas 
perfectly re-established ; but to prevent approaching dis- 
ease was totally out of my power. Not all the golden rules 
in Doctor Armstrong's beautiful poem upon health could 
avail in this situation. 

We rowed down on the 20th, till we arrived before the 
Casepoere Creek, in hopes of meeting some relief, but 
Avere equally uncomfortable. So very thick were the 
musquitoes now, that by clapping my tAVO hands to- 


gelher, I have actually killed to the number of thirty- 
eight at one stroke. 

In rowing down to Barbacoeba, we saw one or two 
beautiful snakes swim across the river. In the course of 
our progress Ave occasionally met Avith a little relief, by 
stepping ashore under the shade. I now had recourse 
to the advice of an old negro. — " Caramaca," said I, 
' Avhat methods do you take to preserve your health ?" — 
' SAvim every day twice or thrice, Sir," said he, " in the 
' river. This, Masara, not only serves for exercise Avhcrc 
' I cannot walk, but keeps my skin clean and cool ; and 
'• the pores being open, I enjo}' a free perspiration. With- 
' out this, by imperceptible filth, the pores arc shut, the 
' juices stagnate, and disease must inevitably folloAv." — 
Having recompensed the old gentleman Avith a dram, I 
instantly stripped and plunged headlong into the river. 
I had, however, no sooner taken this leap, than he called 
to me for God's sake to come on board ; Avhicli having 
done Avith much astonishment, he reminded me of the alli- 
gators, as Avell as of a fish Avhich is here called pery. — 
" Both these, Sir," said he, " are exceedingly dangerous, 
" but by following my directions you Avill run no hazard. 
*' You may SAvini entirely naked, only take care that you 
" constantly keep in motion ; for the moment you are 
" quiet, you run the risk of their snapping off a limb, or 
" being dragged to the bottom." 



Having mentioned the alligator, I shall take the libertr 
to offer to the reader (though he cannot but have met with 
some account of this creature in reading different voyages) 
some particulars which I have myself observed, or of Avhich 
I have been informed on the best authority. - 

It is an amphibious animal, and found in most rivers 
in Guiana ; its size is from four to eighteen or twenty 
feet in length ; the tail as long as the body, both of which 
are on the upper part indented like a saw, its shape being 
something like a lizard ; the colour on the back is a yel- 
lowish brown, approaching to black, variegated on the sides 
with greenish shades, the belly being a dirty white ; the 
head is large^ with a snout and eyes somewhat resembling 
those of a sow ; the last immoveable, and guarded each 
by a large protuberance or hSrd knob. The mouth and 
throat, extremel}^ Avide, are beset with double rows of 
teeth, that can snap almost through any bone : it has 
four feet, armed with claws and hard sharp-pointed nails. 
The whole animal is covered over with large scales, and a 
skin so thick that it is invulnerable, even by a musquet- 
ball, except in the head or the belly, where it is most 
liable to be wounded ; its flesh is eaten by the natives, but 
is of a musky taste and flavour, owing it is said to a kind 
of bags or bladders which are on the inside of each limb. 
The alligator lays its eggs on the shore to a great num- 
ber in the sand, where they are hatched by the sun, the 


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L,m,loii,r'ihli.rli,d D,c''j^/iy,ii,t>r .fJolMJoit,, S.'J'auly Oairdil 


males eating the greater portion of them. On land this 
animal is not dangerous, for want of activity, but in the 
rivers, where he is often seen lurking for his prey, with his 
muzzle alone above water, something like the stump of an 
old tree, he is truly tremendous to all that approach him ; 
yet of man, as I have seen, he is afraid, during the time he 
keeps his hands and feet in motion, but no longer. Some 
negroes even have the courage to attack and vanquish the 
alligator in his own element, notwithstanding his violent 
strength and unequalled ferocity, being particularly fond 
of human flesh. 

The difference between the above animal and the croco- 
dile (which is also found in Surinam) consists not merely 
in the name, but in the shape and in the nature also, the 
latter being longer and more slender in proportion, and 
not so ferocious ; the alligator or cayman (as called by 
the natives and negroes) is besides more frequently met 
with than the crocodile, which partly may be the cause of 
its being supposed to be more destructive. I shall only 
add, that in Asia there is a considerable difference to be 
found, upon a nice examination, between the above two 
reptiles, Avhere they are also larger than they are in any 
parts of America. 

Had it not been for an accident, these creatures would 
never have been known by any other name than that of 
crocodile : for had the first navigators seen any thing, 
more resembling their form than a lizard, they would 

Vol. I. X have 


have adopted that which the Indians called them by, viz. 
the cayman ; but the Spanish sailors remarking their great 
resemblance to that little reptile, they called the first of 
them which they saw lagarto, or lizard. When our coun- 
trymen arrived, and heard that name, they called the 
creature a-lagarto, whence is derived the word alligato, or 

The great advantage of such repositories of Natural 
History as the British Museum is, that they enable the 
lover of nature and truth to be satisfied by his own eyes 
of the extraordinary and almost incredible productions of 
nature. In the above-named collection may be seen a 
crocodile, differing in some particulars, but chiefly in its 
dimensions, from the creatures of the same name in other 
parts of India. Though so numerous in Bengal, I never 
heard upon good authority of one much larger than this, 
which measures above twenty-one feet. It was taken in 
the river Indus, but not till it had received on many parts 
of its body several three-pound balls, many of which 
could not penetrate, or produce the least effect against 
his scales. 

As I cannot so easily produce my voucher, I must pledge 
my veracity for another specimen, which I have myself 
seen; which proves to me that there have been some of 
this species of more than twice the size of that which may 
be measured in the Museum. 

At Maestricht, in 1781, I saw the head of a crocodile 



petrified, which had been dug out of Mount Saint Pierre : 
the body of which, by calculation, must have measured 
above sixty feet in length. — Query, When, or how, did 
this animal come the7'e ? Yet there with astonishment I 
beheld it, in the possession of a priest, Avho since sent it to 
Paris as a very great curiosity. 

In Guiana there are said to be lizards of the size of five 
or six feet ; but that species which is here called the iguana, 
and by the Indians the wai/amaca, is seldom above three 
feet long. Prom the head to the extremity of the tail, it 
is covered over with small scales, reflecting very brilliant 
colours in the sun ; the back and legs are of a dark blue, 
the sides and belly of a yellowish kind of green, as also the 
bao- or loose skin which hang-s under its throat. It is 
spotted in many parts with brown and black, and its eyes 
are a beautiful pale red, while the claws are of a deep 
chesnut colour. 

This lizard, like the alligator, has its back and tail in- 
dented, both which are formed into a sharp edge. It lays 
its eggs in the sand, and is often seen among the shrubs 
and plants, Avhere the Indians shoot it with their bows and 
arrows. These people esteem its flesh, which is very white, 
as a great delicacy ; it is sold dear at Paramaribo, and 
bought as a dainty by many of the white inhabitants. This 
creature's bite is extremely painful, but seldom attended 
with bad consequences. 

X 2 But 


But to return to my negro, Caramaca : I acknowledge 
his account at first discouraged me from the plan of daily 
bathing for health ; but finding by following his direction 
that the dangers he represented were to be avoided, I 
resolved to follow it, and derived great benefit from the 
practice as long as I remained in the colony. Tliis negro 
also advised me to walk bare-footed and thinly dressed. 
" Now is the season, Massera," said he, " to use your 
" feet to become hard, by Avalking on the smooth boards 
" of the vessel ; the time may come when you will be 
" obliged to do so for Avant of shoes, in the midst of thorns 
" and briars, as I have seen some others. Custom," 
said he, " Massera, is second nature : our feet were all 
" made alike. Do so as I advise you ; and in the end 
" you will thank old Caramaca. As for being thinly 
" dressed," continued the negro, " a shirt and trowsers is 
" fully suflScient ; which not only saves trouble and ex- 
" pence, but the body Avants air, as well as it does water : 
" so bathe in both Avhen you have the opportunity." — 
From that moment I followed his counsels, to which, be- 
sides being cleanly and cool, I in a great measure ascribe 
the preservation of my life. I now frequently thought on 
Paramaribo, where I enjoyed all the delicacies of life ; 
while here I was forced to have recourse to many expe- 
dients much worse than any savage ; yet should I not have 
repined had any person profited by our sufferings. — But I 




am forgetting the articles of war, viz. implicitly to obey, chap. 
and ask no questions. 

Having, on the 22d, sent my serjeant and one man sick 
to the hospital at Devil's Harwar, we now rowed again to 
the head station before Cormoetibo Creek. 

Here one of my negroes caught some fish, amongst 
which was the torporific eel already described, which he 
dressed and eat with his companions ; the others were the 
peri/ and que-quee : the pery was that mentioned by the 
old slave as dangerously rapacious. This fish is some- 
times near two feet long, of a flattish make, scaly, and 
of a bluish colour; the mouth large, and thick set with 
sharp teeth, Avhich are so strong, and the pert/ so vora- 
cious, that it frequently snaps off the feet of ducks when 
swimming, nay even the toes, the fingers, and the breasts 
of wonien. The que-quee may be called a fish in armour, 
being covered over from head to tail with broAvn coloured 
moveable rings, sliding the one over the other, and joined 
like those of a lobster, which serve for its defence in 
place of scales. This last is from six to ten inches long, 
with a large head and of a roundish shape. Both the 
pery and the que-quee are very good eating. — But 1 must 
for some time lay aside the description, and return to 
my journal. 

The 23d being the day appointed by Captain Orzinga 
and myself for the trial of the signals, at twelve o'clock 
precisely the whole number of blunderbusses and swivels 



were fired at Devil's Harwar on board the Charon, and 
on board the Cerberus, still stationed at Patamaca ; which 
proved to be to no purpose, no person on board either of 
the vessels having been able to hear the report of the guns 
fired by the other. During this, however, I met Avith a 
small accident, by firing myself one of the blunderbusses, 
which I placed like a musquet against my shoulder ; when 
I received such a stroke by its rebounding as threw me 
backward over a large hogshead of beef, and had nearly 
dislocated my right arm. This however it seems was 
owing to my ignorance of the manner of using the blun- 
derbuss, as I have since been informed that all such wea- 
pons ought to be fired under the hand, especially Avhen 
heavy charged ; and then by swinging round the body 
suddenl)^ the force of the rebound is broken, and the 
effect scarcely sensible. I insert this only to shew in Avhat 
manner hea;vy-loaded muscatoons ought always to be fired ; 
especially since, without any aim, the execution from their 
wide mouth is almost equally fatal. 

On the 26th, by a canoe that came down from Pata- 
maca, I received intelligence that the Cerberus was in 
danger of being surprised by the enemy, who had been 
discovered hovering round about her ; and the part of 
the river where she was moored being very narrow, I con- 
sidered her situation as critical. I therefore immediately 
rowed the Charon up before the Pinneburgh Creek ; and 
having manned the yawl, as being the most expeditious, 
1 Avent 


went myself, M'ith six men, to their assistance : but was c n a v. 
agreeably surprised at finding the whole to be a false 
alarm. In the evening we returned back to our station. 
In rowing down I was astonished at being hailed by a 
human voice, which begged me for God's sake to step on 
shore. This I did, with two of my men ; when I was ac- 
costed by a poor old negro woman, imploring me to afford 
her some assistance. It seems she was the property of a 
Jew, to whom belonged the spot of ground where I found 
her, and where the poor creature lived quite alone, in a 
hut not larger than a dog-kennel, surrounded by a wilder- 
ness, with only a few plantain-trees, yams, and cassava, 
for her support. She was no longer of use to work on the 
great estate, and Avas banished here only to support her. 
master's right to the possession, since this spot had been 
ruined by the rebels. Having left with her a piece of salt 
beef, some barley, and a bottle of rum, I took my leave, 
when she offered me in return one of her cats : but this I 
could not accept ; for by this token, I mean upon the 
information of the cats, my negro rowers firmly insisted 
that she must be a Avitch ; which evinces that this super- 
stition is not confined to Europe. 

In this creek, the banks of which on both sides are 
covered with mangrove trees, thorns, and briars, we found 
floating on the surface of the water a kind of large white 
nut, which seemed to have dropped of themselves by ripe- 
ness from the shell. They are sweet, crisp, and exceed- 


ingly good eating ; but I neglected to inquire from what 
tree they had fallen. A kind of water shrub, called the 
mocco-mocco, is here also to be found in great quantities. 
It grows about six or eight feet high, thick at bottom, 
jointed and prickly all the way to the top, where it is very 
small, and divided into three or four large smooth oval 
leaves, which possess almost the quality of blistering by 
their violent adhesion to the skin. 

As we approached the Charon in the evening, I found 
my sentinel fast asleep, Avhich enraged me so much, that 
having quietly entered on board the barge, I fired my 
pistol close to his ear, just over his head, assuring him 
that I would the next time blow it through his brains : 
the whole crew flew to their arms, and the poor fellow 
had nearly leaped into the water. But however it might 
be necessary to threaten in this manner, at a post Avhere 
a surprise might be fatal, it would have been excessive 
cruelty to have executed it in such a situation, Avhere the 
bite of the musquitoes rendered it impossible to reckon 
upon sleep ar, stated times ; and thus the interruption of 
it at one tmie made the approach of it unavoidable at 

We now returned, on the 27th, to Cormoetibo Creek, 
where my negroes, having been ashore to cut wood for 
the furnace, brought on board a poor animal alive, with 
all its four feet chopped off with the bill-hook, and which 
lay still in the bottom of the canoe. Having freed it 


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:.,;i,1i'H ./'iil'/i.'-/icil lhr':s'^'nt):^,lyj..h'lili.m,i.-'::raii>'-l'l>i"^'li R/rf 


from its torment by a blow on the head, I was acquainted c h a v. 
that this was the sloth, called loyaree or heo.ij by the na- 
tives, on account of its plaintive voice. It is about the 
size of a small water-spaniel, with a round head some- 
thing like that of a monkey, but its mouth is remarkably 
large ; its hinder legs are much shorter than those before, 
to help it in climbing, being each armed with three very 
large and sharp claws, by which it holds its body on the 
boughs, but which, as being offensive Aveapons, my ne- 
groes had so cruelly chopped off: its eyes are languid, and 
its voice is squeaking, like that of a young cat. The 
greatest particularity of this creature however is, that its 
motion is so very slow, that it often takes two days to get 
up to the top of a moderate tree, from this it never de- 
scends while a leaf or a bud is remaining ; beginning its 
devastation first at the top, to prevent its being starved in 
coming to the bottom, when it goes in quest of another, 
proceeding incredibly slow indeed while on the ground. 
Some say, that to avoid the pain of exercising its limbs, it 
forms itself into a ball, and drops down from the branches : 
that may be true or not, but this I know to be a fact, that 
it cannot mend its pace. 

Of these animals there are two species in Guiana, viz. 
the Ai and the Unan ; i^ut in Surinam distinguished by 
the names of the Sicapo and Dago luyaree, or the Sheep 
and the Dog Sloth, on account of their hair; that of the 

Vol. I. Y first 


first being bush}^ and of a dirty gre^^ while the otlier is 
lank and reddish-coloured. This last has also but two 
elaws on each foot, and the head is less round than the 
former. Both theser creatures, by forming themselves in 
a clew, have often more the appearance of excrescences 
in the bark, than that of animals feeding upon the foliage, 
which frequently prevents them from being discovered 
by the natives and negroes, who devour their flesh with 

Now came down from Patamaca, on the 2Sth, Lieu- 
tenant Siromer, the conmiander of the Cerberus, in a 
burning fever, and scorched by the sun in an open canoe, 
drinking cold water from the river as his only relief. In 
this situation, a Jew soldier, of the Society post La Ro- 
chelle, accompanied him, with the account that the rebels 
had actually passed the creek two days before, one mile 
above the Zos^ estate, as had been first reported, wi^. march- 
ing from east to west. — He at the same time delivered to 
me a negro woman, with a sucking infant, who had for- 
merly been stolen by the rebels, and had uoav found means 
to make her escape. From below I leceived also the 
news, that Major Medlar had sent to town from the Jew 
Savannah two dried hands of the enemy, killed by the 
rangers; that an officer with ten men and some provisions 
were landed at Devil's Harwar, there to be under my com- 
saand ; and that one of my marines at that place was dead. 



'Rie saiViC dispatches brought an order for me to look out c H a p. 
for a dry spot, and, if possible, to build a temporary store- ^^^' 

I immediately detached my lieutenant, ]\Ir. Ilamcr, to 
take the command of the Cerberus, and having weighed 
anchor, i-owed down till I arrived before the Casepory 
Creek, where we passed such a night as no pen can de- 
scribe: — The sick groaned, the Jew prayed aloud, the 
soldiers swore, the negroes intreated, the women sung, the 
child squeaked, the fire smoked, the rains poured down, 
and the whole vessel stunk to such a deo-ree, that I be^an 
to think myself but little better off than the unfortunate 
persons who were confined in the black hole at Calcutta. 
At six o'clock the next morning, however, the joyful sun 
broke through the clouds, and I dropped down with the 
Charon before Devil's Harwar. 

On the 29th, I delivered my sick officer and five sick 
men, besides my other passengers, for whom I had done 
all that was in my power, but that was very little ; and 
having stowed the newly-arrived provisions in a proper 
place, I once more returned to my dreadful station, where 
1 came to an anchor on the first of August. 

The following day, between the shoivers, we saw great 
numbers of monkies, of which I shot one, and having had 
no fresh meat for a long time, I ordered it to be dressed, 
and eat it with a good appetite. We were at this time in 
a shocking situation, not only wanting refreshment, but 

y 2 the 

the men's clothes and hammocks were rotting from day to 
day, not only from their being almost constantly wet, but 
being also composed of the very worst materials sent from. 

On the third, I received the account that Lieutenant 
Stromer was dead at Devil's Harwar. 

On the fourth, v/e dropped down before the place, to 
bury him directly, in the hope of doing it with decency, 
but Ave were disappointed ; for having contrived to make 
a coffin of old boards, the corpse dropped through it be- 
fore it reached the grave, and exhibited a shocking spec- 
tacle : we nevertheless found means to go through the rest 
of the interment with some decorum, having covered it 
over Avith a hammock by Avay of a pall; then fired 
three vollies with all the troops that had strength to carry 
arms. This being over, I regaled the officers Avith a 
glass of Avine, and once more took a farcAvell of Devil's 

On the sixth, having first Avritten to Colonel Fourgeoud, 
to acquaint him that the rebels had passed above La 
Rochelle, and that I had found a spot for a magazine at 
Barbacoeba, I informed him also of the death of my 
lieutenant, Mr. Stromer ; and recommended my serjeant, 
who had been an officer of hussars, for advancement. 

To give the reader some idea of this spot called Devil's 
HarAvar, I Avill here take the opportunity to describe it. 

Tliis place was formerly a plantation, but is noAv entirely 


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occupied by the military, m^Iio keep here a post, to defend 
the upper parts of the river Cottica, The soil is elevated 
and dry, which makes it the more remarkable that it should 
be so extremely unwholesome, yet such it certainly is : and 
here hundreds of soldiers have been buried. It lies on the 
right side of the river as you go upwards, and had formerly 
a path of communication with the river Pirica, on which 
were a few military guards ; but this is now little frequented, 
and quite overgrown. 

The buildings on Devil's Harwar are all made of the 
pina or manicole-tree ; which tree, and the manner of 
using it for houses, &c. I shall afterwards attempt to de- 
scribe : but now must content myself with only saying, that 
on this post the buildings consist of a dwelling-house for 
the commanding-officer, with four very good rooms ; an- 
other for the subalterns ; a good lodge for the private 
soldiers ; and an hospital for the sick, which is large and 
roomy : but this is no more than is necessary, as it never 
is without inhabitants. There is also a powder and vic- 
tualling magazine, proper kitchens, a bakehouse, &:c. 
besides a well with fresh water. The Society, troops feed 
a flock of sheep, pigs, and poultr}^ at this place, for the 
use only of the hospital : here was also at this time a cow, 
which had been allotted for the rangers after BoeccoAv 
was taken, but the feast had not been kept at this place. 
She had now a calf, and afforded milk for the officers to 
their tea, &c. but for us poor fellows in the barges there 



Mas notliing at all of the kind. I may add, that some of 
the officers had also httle gardens here, which afforded 
them sakid, &c. 

The circumstance which renders Devil's Harwar so un- 
healthy, in my opinion, is the myriads of musquitoes that 
prevent the people from rest, and the multitudes of chigoes 
or sand-fleas which abound in that station. 

On the seventh, I arrived again at Cormoetibo Creek, 
where I resolved to make a landing on the south shore 
at all hazards, for my own soldiers to cook their beef and 
barley ; concluding it as well to be shot by the enemy 
at once, as to be gradually consumed to death on board 
the Charon. It Avas, however, a difficult task to find the 
smallest spot for the purpose, the whole of that shore 
being so very marshy, and over-grown with every kind of 
miderwood, that we could scarcely put our new project 
in execution ; till at last, my negroes having made a tem- 
porary kind of bridge, to step from the yawl upon a small 
speck of dry ground, and having formed a slight shed of 
manicole leaves to keep off the rain, we found means to 
keep in a fire, and were infinitely more comfortable than 
we were on board the Charon. Our danger in this situa- 
tion, however, was certainly greater than in our former 
station ; since an old rebel settlement was not very far 
from this place, which was called Pinneburgh, from a 
neighbouring creek ; though others allege that it obtain- 
ed this name from the sharp pins stuck in the ground, like 



crow-feet, or chevaux de frize, with which the rebels had 
formerly fortified and defended it. Notwithstanding this 
village had been demolished, it was Avell kno^vn that the 
rebels still frequently visited tlie spot, to pick up some of 
the yams and casadas (whicli the ground continued, in its 
uncultivated state, to produce) for a temporary subsistence. 
I was indeed almost absolutely convinced that the rebels, 
who had lately passed above La Rochelle in Patamaca, 
were at this moment encamped at the above spot Piune^ 
burgh, and ready to comuiit some depredations on the 
estates on the river Cottica or Pirica, if not to attack our- 
selves; on this account I always kept double sentinels 
round the landing-place, and gave orders that no men 
should be allowed to speak or make an}' kind of noise while 
on that spot, in order that we might hear the smallest rust- 
ling of a leaf, and so obviate our danger by vigilance and 

On the 8th my other officer, Macdonald, fell sick, but 
refused to be sent to Devil's Harwar, as he would not suffer 
me to be left quite by myself. 

I have said that we had no surgeon, but carried with 
us a parcel of medicines, which consisted of emetics, ca- 
thartics, and powders, of which I knew not the proper 
use. At their desire, however, I daily distributed them 
to the men, who, loading their stomachs with heavy salt 
provisions, and using no exercise, had sometimes occasion 
for art to assist nature. But these briny meals of pork 



CHAP, and beef, Colonel Fourgeoud insisted were much more 
^^^' wholesome food in a tropical country than fresh provi- 
sions ; for, by a most curious theory, he asserted that the 
latter corrupted in the stomach by the heat, whereas the 
otliers underwent a proper digestion. Unfortunately for 
us, there were but few on board either the Cerberus or 
the Charon Avhose stomachs were in a state to digest 
such food. I had also some plasters on board the barge, 
but these were soon expended by the running ulcers, with 
which the whole crew was covered ; aaid this was easily 
accounted for, since in this climate, where the air is 
impregnated with myriads of invisible animalculee, the 
smallest scratch immediately becomes a running sore. 
The best antidote and cure for such complaints in this 
country is lemon or lime acid, but this we had not. The 
next best mode of treatment is never to expose an open 
M'ound, or even the smallest scratch, to the air ; but the 
instant they are received, to cover them with grey paper 
wetted with spirits, or any kind of moisture, so that it 
may stick to the skin. For my own part, no man could 
enjoy a better state of health than I continued to enjo}^ 
wearing nothing but my long trowsers, and checked shirt 
loose at the collar and turned up in the sleeves. Nay, 
even when the sun was not too hot, I stripped all together, 
and twice every day continued to plunge into the water : 
by these means I ^v^as always cool and clean ; I also daily 
used a cheering glass of wine, having first hung it a few 
1 fathoms 


fathoms under water, which rendered it much more cool 
and pleasant. 

During all these hardships, I must not forget the high 
gratification which was afforded us one day by a few mar- 
cusas that we found in this place, which had been left there 
standing ever since the estate, many years ago, had been 
destroyed. There was indeed but one single old tree, I 
should rather say a shrub, for the plant which bears them 
falls more properly under that description. This delicious 
fruit is of an oval form, and of an orange or golden co- 
lour ; the blossom resembling the passion flower. They are 
commonly larger, but some less than a hen's egg, and are 
broken open as one would break an egg ; they are then 
found to inclose an ash-coloured succulent jelly, full of 
small seeds. This is sipped out of the shell, being sweet 
mixed with acid, of an exquisite flavour, and so cool that 
it reminds one of ice marmalade. 

Here we remarked a variety of beautiful butterflies, 
particularly some of an azure blue, which are exceedingly 
large, and between the showers skimmed and hovered 
amongst the green boughs, to which their ultramarine 
hue, brightened by the sun, bore the most enchanting 
contrast : but as I could not catch one of them while I 
staid here, I must defer the farther description to another 
part of the work. 

This evening we heard the sound of a drum, Avhich we 
Vol. I. Z could 


CHAP, could suppose to be no other than that of the rebels ; 
^'" nevertheless we determined to conthme dressing our vie- 
tuals ashore, still keeping on our guard, according to the 
advice of Mr. Klynhams. 

On the 9th Mr. Macdonald was much worse ; however, 
on seeing me receive a letter from Colonel Fourgeoud, 
he seemed to revive, as we all did, expecting now to be 
relieved from our horrid situation. But what was our 
mortification, at reading that we were still to continue 
on this forlorn station ! This letter was accompanied by 
a present of fish-hooks and tackle, to make up for the 
deficiency of other refreshments ; and, indeed, of salt pro- 
visions, which began daily to get both worse and less — 

Timeo Danaeos et dona ferentes. 

The receipt of such unwelcome intelligence made the 
whole crew declare they were sacrificed for no manner 
of purpose ; while the negroes sighed, pronouncing the 
words. Ah ! poty^ backera ! Oh I poor Europeans ! By 
the distribution however of a few tamarinds, oranges, le- 
mons, and Madeira wine, which were by this opportunity 
sent me by my best friend at Paramaribo, I found means 
to impart, not only to my oflScers, but also to my droop- 
ing soldiers, some relief. But this cheering sun-shine 
could not last long : and the day following we were as 
much distressed as ever, when I had once more recourse 
1 to 


to the nimble inhabitants of the forest, and brought down 
two nionkies with my gun from the top of the mangroves, 
where they were sporting in flocks consisting of some 

On the 11th, I sent two men sick to the hospital, and 
the same evening we again heard the drums. On the fol- 
lowing day, at noon, Ave were disturbed by a hurricane ; 
the Charon broke loose from her anchors, and was driven 
ashore, her upper works being terribly damaged by the 
stumps of trees, &c. that hung over the river, while the 
water from the clouds broke in upon us like a torrent, and 
I expected no less than a shipwreck. 

On the 15th the other officer. Lieutenant Baron Owen, 
came doAvn sick from the Cerberus, and at his request I 
ventured to send him down to Paramaribo. I now re- 
ceived another letter from Colonel Fourgeoud, with a little 
money for the men to purchase refreshments, where nothing 
■was to be met with : but not a word intimatinsr that we 
were to be relieved. 

On the 20th I received a feport, that the Cerberus, 
having only four private men left, had retired to the post 
at La Rochelle; and, on the 21st, I sent two of my men 
to her assistance, and ordered her back to her former 

I now was myself at last attacked with a fever, and upon 
the whole felt myself in a truly distressed condition ; de- 

z 2 prived 


prived by sickness of my two only officers, and my serjeant. 
My men upon the three stations {viz. the two barges and 
Devil's Harwar together) melted down to fifteen, from the 
number of forty-two, without a surgeon, or refreshment, 
surrounded with a black forest, and exposed to the mercy 
of relentless enemies ; who must be formidable indeed, 
should they be informed by any means of our defenceless 
situation. The remaining few were, w^ith truth, declaring 
tliey were doomed to destruction; insomuch, that they 
could with difficulty be prevented from mutiny, and from 
proceeding down the river Cottica with the Charon against 
my orders. 

For my own part, I was not altogether free from un- 
easiness. In fact, a few troops from all quarters ought 
to have marched against the enemy, when they crossed 
the Patamaca Creek ; that is, from La Rochelle, Devil's 
Harwar, and the river Pirica ; when, being assailed at once 
from three quarters, the rebels might have been, if not 
entirely routed, at least severely punished for their pre- 
sumption : not to speak of»the happy effect Avhich such a 
check must have had in saving the lives and property of 
those victims, who, after such incursions, are generally 
devoted to their rage. 

On the 23d I felt myself rather better ; and between 
the fits of the fever shot a couple of large black monkies 
to make some broth, to supply the want of fresh provi- 
sions : 


sions : but as the destruction of one of these animals was 
attended with such circumstances, as for ever after had 
ahiiost deterred me from going a monkey-hunting, I must 
beg leave to relate them as they happened : — Seeing me 
on the side of the river in the canoe, the creature made 
a halt from skipping after his companions, and being 
perched on a branch that hung over the water, examined 
me with attention, and the strongest marks of curiosity : 
no doubt, taking mc for a giant of his own species ; 
Avhile he chattered prodigiously, and kept dancing and 
shaking the bough on which he rested with incredible 
strength and agility. At this time I laid my piece to my 
shoulder, and brought him doAv n from the tree into the 
stream ; — but may I never again be a witness to such a 
scene ! The miserable animal was not dead, but mortally 
wounded. I seized him by the tail, and taking it in both 
my hands to end his torment, I swung him round, and 
hit his head against the side of the canoe ; but the poor 
creature still continued alive, and looked at me in the 
most affecting manner that can be conceived, I knew no 
other means to end this murder, than to hold him under 
water till he was drowned, Avhile my heart felt sick on 
his account: for his dying little eyes still continued to 
follow me with seeming reproach, till their light gra- 
dually forsook them, and the wretched animal expired. 
I felt so much on this occasion, that I could neither 
taste of him nor his companion, when they were dressed, 



CHAP, though I saw that thej afforded to some others a dehcious 

VII. , 


That monkies, especially when young, are no bad food, 
may easily be accounted for, since they feed on nothing 
but fruits, nuts, eggs, young birds, &c. ; and indeed, in 
my opinion, all young quadrupeds are eatable : but when 
one compares those which are killed in the woods to those 
filthy and disgusting creatures that disgrace the streets, 
no wonder that they should disgust the least delicate sto- 
mach. As for the wild ones, I have eaten them boiled, 
roasted, and stewed, and found their flesh white, juicy, 
and good : the only thing that disgusted me was, their 
little hands and their heads, which when dressed, being- 
deprived of the skin, appeared like the hands and the 
skull of a young infant. I have already observed that 
there are in Guiana many different species, from the large 
ourang-outang to the very small sarcawinkee. The for- 
mer, however, I never have seen, nor heard described, 
while I Avas in this countr}' ; as for the latter, I shall de- 
scribe him on another occasion, and shall only, for the 
present, give an account of those which 1 met with on 
this cruise. That which I shot the second instant is what 
is called in Surinam micoo : it is nearly the size of a fo;c, 
and of a reddish grey colour, with a black head and very 
long tail. Those I killed on the tenth were indeed ex- 
ceedingly beautiful, and much more delicate when dressed 
than the former : they are called the keesee-keesee by the 


L<'n<irii J'uHi.^t'.t lh:'':-2"^'i-;!i:\.l'yj.jrlin.,'f^n .Si fiiiii^ iytt,i-tit Y,m1 , 


inhabitants, are about the size of a rabbit, and most 
astonishingly nimble. The colour of their body is red- 
dish, and the tail, which is long, is black at the extremity ; 
but the fore-feet are orange colour. The head is very 
round, the face milk white, with a round black patch in 
the middle, in which are the mouth and the nostrils ; and 
this disposition of the features give it the appearance 
of a mask : the eyes are black, and remarkably lively. 
These monkies we saw daily pass along the sides of the 
rivers, skipping from tree to tree, but mostly about mid- 
day, and in very numerous bodies, regularly following 
each other like a little army, with their young ones on 
their backs, not unlike little knapsacks. Their manner 
of travelling is thus : the foremost walks to the extremity 
of a bough, from which it bounds to the extremity of one 
belonging to the next tree, often at a most astonishing 
distance, and with such wonderful activity and precision, 
that it never once misses its aim : the others one by one, 
and even the females, with their little ones on their backs, 
which stick fast to the mother, follow their leader, and 
perform the same leap with the greatest seeming facility 
and safety : they also are remarkable for climbing up the 
Bebees or natural ropes, with which many parts of the forest 
are interwoven. These nebees groAv in such a manner as to 
afford the appearance at first sight of a fleet at anchor. 

The monkies, I am told, have sometimes two young 
ones sucking, like the human species. I have been a wit- 



ness how these animals towards sun-set ascend to the tops 
of the palm-trees, some of Avhich are above one hundred 
feet in height, where they sleep safe in the large diverging 
branches. The keesee-keesee is such a beautiful and deli- 
cate fond creature, that it is by many people kept as a 
favourite, when it wears a silver chain. Besides its mimic 
drolleries, it is remarkable for its good-nature and chir- 
rupping voice, which pronounces peefeeco peeteeco without 
intermission. They are easily tamed, and are taken by 
means of a strong glue made by the Indians, which is 
something like our European bird-lime. 

The other species, of the shooting of which I have just 
given the horrid account, were called by my negroes 
monkee-monkee. The only facts which I can relate farther 
of them is, that they are in size between the two former 
described, and all over black. One circumstance I ought 
not to omit, Avhich is very remarkable, viz. that one morn- 
ing I saw from my barge a monkey of this kind come down 
to the water's edge, rinsing his mouth, and appearing to 
clean his teeth with one of his fingers ; he was first disco- 
vered by one of the slaves, who pointed him out to my great 

Here I shall end the subject for the present, after adding 
that the above animals are sociable, and that they are 
very tenacious of life, as I have shewn. It is almost su- 
perfluous to rnention, that the usual distinction between ' 
what are called monkies and apes, consists in this, that 



the first have all tails, of which the latter are divested ; 
but never having met with in Guiana any of the latter 
description, I believe them more to be the inhabitants of 
Asia and Africa, than of the part of the new world dis- 
tinguished by the name of South America. The monkies 
are often mischievous near the plantations, Avhere they 
commit depredations on the sugar-canes, &c. yet of this 
I but one time have been a witness. 

As I am speaking of the animals found in this part of 
the country, I must not omit the otters here, called tavoits, 
which in the Cormoetibo Creek frequently attracted our 
attention by their disagreeable noise : as they are amphi- 
bious, they live mostly on fish ; they are about three feet 
i^i length, grey-coloured, and all over spotted with white ; 
their legs are short, they are web-footed, and armed with 
five claws ; the head is round, the nose beset with whis- 
kers like a cat ; the eyes are small, and placed above the 
ears ; the tail is very short. This animal moves aukwardly 
upon land, but in the rivers proceeds with great velocit3\ 
In Guiana it is said there is another species of otters, which 
are much larger, but these I never saw- 
Notwithstanding the favourable appearances of the pre- 
ceding day, I was, on the 24th, exceedingly ill indeed, 
not being able to sit up in my hammock, luider which 
the black boy Quaco now lay, crying for his master, and 
on the following day the poor lad himself fell sick ; at the 
Vol. I. A a same 


same time I was also obliged to send three men in a fever 
to Devil's Harwar. As misfortunes often crowd together, 
I received, at this fatal period, the melancholy account 
that the officer, Mr. Ow^er, was also dead, having expired 
on his passage downwards at the Alida estate, where he 
was buried. My ensign, Mr. Cottenburgh, who had since 
gone to Paramaribo, died next ; and for myself no better 
was now to be expected. In the height of a burning fever 
I now lay, forsaken by all my officers and men, without a 
friend to comfort me, and without assistance of any kind, 
except what the poor remaining negro slaves could afford 
me, ))y boiling a little water to make some tea. In this> 
situation the reader may judge of the consolation which 
was afforded me, the very evening when these accumu- 
lated misfortunes seemed to threaten our extinction, by 
the receipt of an order from the colonel, to come down 
with both the barges to Devil's Harwar, where I was again 
to take post on shore, and relieve Captain Orzinga, of the 
Society service, who with his men was to proceed to La 
Rochelle in Patamaca, to strengthen the troops already 
there. Ill as I was, this had such a powerful effect on 
my spirits, that I immediately ordered the Cerberus down 
to the mouth of the Cormoetibo Creek, where she joined 
me that evening. 

On the 26th, we bade farewel to this destructive place ;, 

and having weighed anchor, rowed down as far as Barba- 

9 cceba. 


coeba, during which time a circumstance happened, which 
will probably prove more entertaining than the repeated 
accounts of sickness and deaths. 

As I was resting in my hammock, between the parox- 
ysms of my fever, about half way between Cormoetibo 
and Barbacoeba, while the Charon Avas floating down, 
the sentinel called to me that he had seen and challenged 
something black and moving in the brushwood on the 
beach, which gave no answer; but which, from its size, 
he concluded must be a man. I immediately dropped 
anchor ; and having manned the canoe, ill as I was, I 
stepped into it, and rowed up to the place mentioned by 
the sentinel. Here we all stepped ashore to reconnoitre, 
as I suspected it to be no other than a rebel spy, or a 
straggling party detached by tlie enemy ; but one of my 
slaves, of the name of David, declared it was no negro, but 
a large amphibious snake, Avhich could not be far from 
the beach, and I might have an opportunity of shooting 
it if I pleased. To this, however, I had not the least in- 
chnation, fi'om the uncommon size of the creature, from 
my weakness, and the difficulty of getting through the 
thicket, which seemed impenetrable to the water's edge ; 
and therefore ordered all of them to return on board. The 
negro then asked me liberty to step forward and shoot it 
himself, assuring me it could not be at any great distance, 
and warranting me against all danger. This declaration 
inspired me with so much pride and emulation, that I 

A a 2 deter- 


determined to take his first advice, and kill it m3-self ; prc-^ 
vided he Avould point it out to me, and be responsible for 
the hazard, by standing at my side, from which I swore 
that if he dared to move, I should level the piece at him- 
self, and blow out his own brains. 

To this the negro cheerfully agreed ; and having loaded 
my gun with a ball-cartridge, we proceeded ; David cuf>- 
ting a path with a bill-hook, and a marine following, with 
three more loaded firelocks to keep in readiness. We had 
hot gone above twenty yards through mud and water, the 
negro looking every way Avith an uncommon degree of 
vivacity and attention ; when starting behind me, he called 
out, " Me see snakee !" and in effect there lay the animal, 
rolled up under the fallen leaves and rubbish of the trees ; 
and so well covered, that it was some time before I dis- 
tinctly perceived the head of this monster, distant from 
me not above sixteen feet, moving its forked tongue, while 
its eyes, from their uncommon brightness, appeared to 
emit sparks of fire. I now, resting my piece upon a 
branch, for the purpose of taking a surer aim, fired ; but 
missing the head, the ball went through the body, Avhen 
the animal struck round, and with such astonishing force 
as to cut away all the underwood around him with the fa- 
cility of a scythe mowing grass ; and by flouncing his tail, 
caused the mud and dirt to fly over our heads to a consif- 
derable distance. Of this proceeding however we were- 
not torpid spectators, but took to our heels, and crowded 



into the canoe. The negro now intreated me to renew chap. 
the charge, assuring me the snake would be quiet in a few 
minutes, and at any rate persisting in the assertion that he 
was neither able nor inclined to pursue us ; which opinion 
he supported by walking before me, till I should be ready 
to fire. And thus I again undertook to make the trial, 
especially as he said that his first starting backwards had 
only proceeded from a desire to make room for me. I now 
found the snake a little removed from his former station, 
but very quiet, with his head as before, Ij'ing out among 
the fallen leaves, rotten bark, and old moss. I fired at it 
immediately, but with no better success than the other 
time : and now, being but slightly wounded, he sent up 
such a cloud of dust and dirt, as I never saw but in a 
whirlwind, and made us once more suddenly retreat to our 
canoe ; where now, being heartily tired of the exploit, I 
gave orders to row towards the barge : but David still 
intreating me to permit him to kill the animal, I was, by 
his persuasions, induced to make a third and last attempt, 
in company with him. Thus, having once more disco- 
vered the snake, we discharged both o\u' pieces at once, 
and with this good eftect, that he was now by one of us 
shot through the head. David, who was made completely 
happy by this successful conclusion, ran leaping with jo}--, 
and lost no time in bringing the boat-rope, in order to drag 
him down to the canoe ; but this again proved not a very 
easy undertaking, since the creature, notwithstanding its 



being mortally wounded, still continued to writhe and 
twist about, in such a manner as rendered it dangerous 
for any person to approach him. The negro, however, 
having made a running noose on the rope, and after some 
fruitless attempts to make an approach, threw it over his 
head with much dexterity ; and how, all taking hold of 
the rope, we dragged him to the beach, and tied him to 
the stern of the canoe, to take him in tow. Being still 
alive, he kept swimming like an eel ; and I having no re- 
lish for such a shipmate on boai-d, whose length (notwith- 
standing to my astonishment all the negroes declared it to 
be but a young one come to about its half growth) I found 
upon measuring it to be twenty-two feet and some inches, 
and its thickness about that of my black boy Quaco, who 
might then be about twelve years old, and round whose 
waist I since measured the creature's skin. 

Being arrived alongside of the Charon, the next con- 
sideration was, how to dispose of this immense animal ; 
when it was at length determined to bring him on shore 
at Barbacoeba, to have him skinned, and take out the 
oil, &c. In order to effect this purpose, the negro David 
having climbed up a tree with the end of the rope, let it 
down over a strong forked bough, and the other negroes 
hoisted up the snake, and suspended him from the tree. 
This done, David, with a sharp knife between his teeth, 
now left the tree, and clung fast upon the monster, which 
was still twisting, and began his operations by ripping it 


M&rAx' u/p 

'////■ ,t/-n, 



■.^//r^u., '-^ynaA-, ^^>/ /y /^^j^,!;/^^^ 


i""iiii.r„hi,..ii,.i u,,':z''.,ii,x,iy.r..Mui^n,i;r„ni.ici 


up, and stripjiing down the skin as he descended. Though 
I perceived that the animal was no longer able to do him 
any injury, I confess I could not Avithout emotion see a 
man stark naked, black and bloody, clinging with arms 
and legs round the slimy and yet living monster. This 
labour, however, was not without its use, since he not only 
dexterously finished the operation, but provided me, be- 
sides the skin, with above four gallons of fine clarified fat, 
or rather oil, though there was wasted perhaps as much 
more. This I delivered to the surgeons at Devil's Harwar, 
for the use of the wounded men in the hospital, for which 
I received their hearty thanks, it being considered, parti- 
cularly for bruises, a very excellent remedy. When I 
signified my surprise to see the snake still living, after he 
was deprived of his intestines and skin, Caramaca, the old 
negro, v/hether from experience or tradition, assured me 
he would not die till after sun-set. The negroes now cut 
him in slices, in order to dress and feast upon him, they all 
declaring that he was exceedingly good and wholesome ; 
but to their great mortification I refused to give my con- 
currence, and we rowed down with the skin to Devil's 

Of this species several skins are preserved in the Bri- 
tish and Mr. Parkinson's Museums. It is called by Mr. 
Westley Lyhoija, and Boa in the British Encyclopaedia, 
to which publication I refer the reader for a perfect ac- 
count, and an excellent engraving, of this wonderful crea- 


t-tire, v/hicli in the colony of Surinam is called Ahoma. Its 
length, when full grown, is said to be sometimes forty feet, 
and more than four feet in circumference : its colour is a 
greenish black on the back ; a fine brownish yellow on 
the sides, and a dirty white under the heWy ; the back and 
sides being spotted with irregular black rings, with a pure 
white in the middle. Its head is broad and flat, small in 
proportion to the body, with a large movith, and a double 
row of teeth : it has t\'/o bright prominent eyes ; is cover- 
ed all over with scales, some about the size of a shilling ; 
and under the body, near the tail, armed with two strong 
claws like cockspurs, to help it in seizing its prey. It is 
an amphibious animal, that is, it delights in low and 
marshy places, where it lies coiled up like a rope, and 
concealed under moss, rotten timber, and dried leaves, to 
seize its prey by surprise, which from its immense bulk it 
is not active enough to pursue. AVhen hungry, it Avill de- 
vour any animal that comes within its reach, and is indif- 
ferent whether it is a sloth, a wild boar, a stag, or even a 
tiger ; round which having twisted itself by the help of its 
claws, so that the creature cannot escape, it breaks, by its 
irresistible force, every bone in the animal's body, which it 
then covers over with a kind of slime or slaver from its 
mouth, to make it slide ; and at last gradually sucks it in, 
till it disappears : after this, the ahoma cannot shift its 
situation, on account of the great knob or knot which the 
swallowed prey occasions in that part of the body where 



it rests till it is dio-ested ; for till then it would hinder the 


snake from sliding along the ground. During that time 
the ahoma wants no other subsistence. I have been told 
of negroes being devoured by this animal, and am disposed 
to credit the account ; for should thej^ chance to come 
within its reach when hungry, it would as certainly seize 
them as any other animal. I do not apprehend that its 
flesh, which is very white, and looks like that offish, is in 
any respect pernicious to the stomach. I should have had 
no objection to the negroes eating it till it was consumed, 
had I not observed a kind of dissatisfaction anions the 
remaining marines, who would not have been pleased with 
my giving the negroes the use of the kettle to boil it. The 
bite of this snake is said not to be venemous ; nor do I be- 
lieve it bites at all from any other impulse than hunger. 

I shall only add, that having nailed its skin on the bot- 
tom of the canoe, and dried it in the sun, sprinkling it over 
with wood-ashes to prevent it from corruption, I sent it to 
a friend at Paramaribo, whence it was since sent to Holland 
as a curiosity. 

Plowever extraordinary this account may appear to many 
readers, let them peruse the narrative which is related by 
a gentleman in the island of Ceylon, who saw a tiger killed 
there by a snake he calls the oiiacunda, but in a (juite dif- 
ferent manner, and their wonder will cease. I must add, 
however, that this gentleman's relation is so very marvel- 

VoL. I. B b lous. 


lous, that, notwithstanding Avliat I liave experienced, I must 
confess it very greatly staggered my faith*. 

Tliis business being ended, I also made an end of the 
cruise, by dropping down before the Society post Devil's 
Harwar, in order the next day to assume the command. 

* Doctor Bancroft mentions the can I, without great difficult}-, at- 
power of fascination in the aboma. tribute this quality even to the rattle- 
This I am obliged to contradict. Nov snake. 



Three Estates burnt, and the Inhabitants murdered by the 
Rebels — Real Picture of Misery and Distress — Specimen 
of a March through the Woods of Surinam — Colonel Four- 
geoitd and the remaining Troops leave Paramaribo. 

ON the 27th of August I reUeved Captain Orzinga c 11 a p. 
with his men, and took the command of Devil's ^ ^i^- 
Harwar, having been on board the Charon exactly fifty- 
six days, in the most Avretched condition that can be 
described : but I hoped now to get the better of my com- 
plaint by the help of a few refreshments, such as milk. Sec. 
which could not be obtained in our former situation. The 
Society troops (above one hundred in number) being to 
set off next day Avith my empty barges to La Rochclle, in 
Patamaca, I reviewed my marines, when I found I had 
left out of five officers but two, who were both sick, the 
three others being dead ; I had also only one serjeant, two 
corporals, and fifteen privates, out of fift^^-four healthy 
men, %vho embarked with me on the 2d day of last July. 
This army was not more than sufficient to defend the hos- 
pital (which was crowded with sick), the ammunition and 
victualling magazine, &c. on a spot where lately had been 

B b 2 kept 


kept three hundred soldiers, particularly while the enemy 
were certainly lurking not far off: in consideration of 
which, the Society Captain reinforced me with twenty of 
his men- The next evening he entertained me and my 
two subalterns with a supper oi fresh meat, both roast and 
boiled, to our great comfort and surprise ; but which, to 
my unspeakable mortification, proved to be the individual 
poor cow with her calf, on whom we had built all our hopes 
for a little relief It appeared that one of his sentinels, 
as concerted between them, had shot it by a wilful mis- 
take. Thus did Captain Orzinga, for the sake of a mo- 
mentary gratification, deprive us all of that lasting comfort 
on which we had so much depended, and of which we had 
so much need, being altogether emaciated for want of 
wholesome and nutritive food. 

On the morning of the 2Sth the Society troops rowed 
to Patamaca, when, examining the twenty soldiers they had 
left me, they proved to be the refuse of the whole, part with 
agues, wounds, ruptures, and rotten limbs, and most of 
them next day were obliged to enter the hospital. 

On the 29th, having bastinadoed my late pilot for steal- 
ing from the soldiers, I dispatched the information to Co- 
lonel Fourgeoud, that I had taken post, and acquainting 
him with my weak situation, requested a proper reinforce- 
ment. In the evening two of my men died. 

All thin2;s now beinsr regulated and settled, I thanked 
Heaven in the expectation of getting some rest, being 



still extremely weak ; and with tliese cheering hopes re- 
tired at ten o'clock at night to nij hammock ; but this 
tranquillity was again of short duration, for having scarcely 
•closed my eyes I was awaked by my serjeant, and the fol- 
lowing letter put into my hand, sent by an express from 
the captain of the militia, or bargcrs in Cottica, 

" Sir, 
" This is to acquaint you, that the rebels have burnt 
" three estates by your side, Suyinghej^d, Peru, and L'Es- 
" perance, the ruins of which are still smoking ; and that 
" they have cut the throats of all the white inhabitants 
" that fell in their way. As on their retreat they must 
" pass close by where you are posted, be on your guard. 
" — I am in haste^ 

" Your's, &c. 
(Signed) " Stoeleman." 

Consciovis of my defenceless situation, I immediately 
started up ; and the express who brought the letter hav- 
ing spread the news the moment of his landing, there was 
no necessity for beating to arms, since not only the few 
soldiers Avho were ■\ve\\, but the whole hospital burst out;, 
and several of them, in spite of my opposition, crawling 
on their hands and feet to their arms, dropped dead upon 
the spot. — May I never behold such another scene of 
misery and distress! Lame, blind, sick, and wounded, in 



CHAP, the hope of preserving a wretched existence, rushed upon 
i^J^.^^.^^ certain death ! The\' could on!}', in a word, be compared 
to the distressed army and navy at Carthagena, com- 
manded by tlie British Admiral Vernon, Avhom Thomson 
describes — 

" You, gallant Vernon, saw 

" The miserable scene ; you, pitying, saw 
" To infant weakness sunk the warrior's arm ; 
" Saw the deep-racking pang, the ghastly form, 
" The lip pale quivering, and the beamless eye 
" No more with ardour bright." 


For my own part, I was in a very weakly condition in- 
deed ; however, we continued to lie all night on our arms, 
during which I pressed the messenger to staj^, in order to 
add one to our miserable number, being determined to 
sell our lives as dearly as possible. — But no enemy ap- 
pearing in the morning, we buried the dead in their ham- 
mocks, not having a board to make a coffin on the whole 
•post. In this situation I lost all patience, and had the 
audacity to vrrite to my conmiander, that (besides what 
had happened) my last men stood upon the brink of the 
grave, from hardships and for want of being properly sup- 
ported ; the very waiters of the hospital having deserted 
on the moment of my arrival here, and gone to Parama- 
ribo. Our whole number, indeed, w'as now melted down 
.to twelve men, who were to protect twelve buildings, and 
7 that 


that with no inoie than two very ^'^all cnosts of ammuni-- 
tion, and no retreat for the sick, as the barges were gone 
to-Patainaca, and the last canoe dispatched with my let- 
ter to Colonel Fourgcoud ; for I hvA set adrift that be- 
longing to the express, who ^vas a book-keeper of a neigh- 
bouring plantation, in order to prevent him or any other 
from making their escape. In this situation, I was now 
obliged to convert the slaves into soldiers : these I armed 
with a hatchet, not daring to trust them with a firelock. 
For this whole night we again watched under arms, and in 
the morning found two more of our little party dead on 
the ground. 

I now began real I v to think we were all devoted to 
destruction, while the men, regardless of all order (self- 
preserv^ation excepted) threw out the most bitter invec- 
tives against their persecutor, Fourgeoud, which I could 
not prevent ; nor can I help remarking tiie generalship 
of the rebel negroes, who had kept lying quiet till the 
removal of the Society troops from Devil's Harwar, and 
seized the \ cry iirst day of tlieir departure, convinced of 
its being guarded only by my sick and emaciated soldiers, 
in order to commit their depredations on the Cottica 
estates. They well knew that my force was not sufficient 
to pursue them, nay, hardly to stand in my own defence: 
all this, howx'scr, was but according to my expectation ; 
while, on the contrary, hatl my strength been sutHcient, 
they could never have escaped at least from being cut off 



ill their retreat, especially if the troops in Rio Pirica liad 
acted conjointly with those in Cottica, by patroling the 
path between the two rivers, across which the rebels were 
twice unavoidably obliged to pass. 

.On the 1st of September we waited once more till morn- 
ing, and then buried another of my poor men ; while I yet 
cannot conceive how any one was able to survive such a 
series of toil, in such a debilitated state, and in a tropical 
climate ; 3'et some did, though few. At length, being 
persuaded that the rebels must have past the cordon, with- 
out having thought proper to pay us a visit on their retreat, 
I determined to let the remaining few watch no longer, 
but permit them to die a natural death. At last, in the 
evening, when all was too late, there came down by water 
from the post La Rochelle to our assistance, one officer 
and ten men — I having had but nine left to do the duty 
at the time of their arrival. 

On the 2d another man died ; and I once more reviewed 
my forces, which now amounted exactly to seven marines, 
the few scarecrows of the Society excepted ; however, the 
chance of being massacred by the rebels was at this time 
over, thanks alone to their pusillanimity, or rather their 
hurry ! 

I now received a letter from Colonel Fourgeoud, con- 
doling with me on the loss of so many good officers, ac- 
quainting me that I was to be reinforced ; and that on 
my recommendation my scijeant, Mr. de Cabanus, was 



appointed an ensign ; which gave me pleasure, and took 
place at a very suitable time, since this day my poor en- 
sign Macdonald was sent down very sick to Paramaribo. 
I answered to all this, that I was obliged to him ; adding, 
that while I remained without reinforcement, I could not 
be accountable for what consequences might happen, in a 
place where I was left to defend a whole river Avith none 
but sick people ; and even these without sufficient ammu- 
nition, and hourly expiring for want of proper medicines, 
or a suro-eon to attend them, there beinsj none here but one 
or two surgeon's mates belonging to the troops of the So- 
ciety, who could do little more than occasionally draAV 
blood, and cut off a beard or a corn. 

On the 4th w^e buried another of my marines, and on 
the following day another died; and I had not one now 
remaining who was not ill, or who was not rendered unser- 
viceable, by his feet being swelled with the insects called 
chigoes : these poor men were mostly Germans, who had 
been accustomed to a healthy climate in their own coun- 
try. I began now to be reconciled to putting my last man 
under ground, and almost wishing to leap into the grave 
after him myself; when a barge arrived from Paramaribo 
with the proper reinforcement, ammunition, provisions, 
medicines, a surgeon, and an order from my chief to trace 
out the track of the rebels immediately, on the former 
path of communication called the Cordon, between Cot- 
tica and Perica, and to write him the result of my disco- 

VoL. I. C c veries ; 


veries; he intimated also that he intended to keep his 
magazines at Devil's Harwar, and that I was not to make 
use of the spot I had found out for that purpose at Bar'- 
bacoeba Creek. 

On the 6th I prepared to march myself, having recover- 
ed a little strength, on the grand project of discovery, and 
then placed the ammunition in the magazine. 

As the manner of marching in this country is so very 
different from that in Europe, I shall, before we set out, 
endeavour briefly to describe the nature of these expedi- 

In the first place, in Surinam no such thing is practicable 
as three or even two ranks ; thus there is no marching by 
divisions or platoons ; — but the Avhole party being dressed 
in one rank, face to the right, and every man follows his 
leader, the negro slaves interspersed between the men, in 
order to guard their persons as well as what they carry ; 
and this manner of marching is called Indian file. With 
a detachment of sixty men, consisting of one captain, two 
subalterns, two Serjeants, four corporals, one surgeon, and 
fifty privates, twenty negro slaves at least ought to be em- 
ployed, for the use of whom their masters are paid at the 
rate of two shillings sterling a day by the colony ; and this 
is a much greater expcnce than waggons and horses would 
be, which in this country cannot be employed for military 

The manner of interspersing them amongst the troops 


S) lO Jl 12 13 '/ '->" 

References to tlie above March., 

1 Tiro Xeip-oM iiitii liiH hooks to cf^iat a fath 

V One Coiporal ^- tiro 1'rivatc.i- . to covei- tfic Van 

.'{ One Subiiltttyi , Six Tiirativ. i: one Corpoiul 


y J'/ir CiTf)faT7i or conmiandino OiTicer . 

-' J/ic Oim/eojt . 

.1 Tnn Priidtiv ,to cover the Fowder . 

I -d Xetjro iift/t 1/ JSo.v of Hull Otrtridges ■ 

J . J'lio /'/y'i'ii/ey . 

0' A Net^ro ii'it/i a 3ar of Ball Cartridqes . 

7 . J^ujhl rnviUe.c 

S . One Coiynrii/ . 

.9 . Twelve J'n\\ttej' . 

10 One . >'eri/.-<int 



:i . 
4 ■ 
,) . 

<> . 
7 . 




-I Suho/iiTn Office/' 

Two Pru atc.c . 

Three J,' <p-oe.t- , iri't/i Jfed]eme.c,A'ettl^,i-,^ixe.r, Spatie.'-, Sec . 

Tuo Privates . 

T/ave JSi'eijroe.' ivdh . I'olt Beef, SaltForJc kc . 

Tuc Privates . 

Three jS'etjroe.f , uitfi Bhich Bread . or Husk Bjsiidl . 

One Private 

Tuo Ne^ijroes. with Kill-den'l.orScwliian . 

One Piivatc 

One A'et/r-o, with the Oitplains Provisions . 

One Pn\ate . 

(hie Xcipro . with Proi-isions for tlie tieo Subaltem Officer's. 

One Private . 

Tliree JS^eip'oes to carry the Sick X.- Voimded . 

.Civ Privates. 

One .(et\;eant . 

One Corporal k two Ptii'ote.e. to cover tlic Hear.. .... 





Marks to be cut on the Tree s on a March . 



A + 

-^•r*" Column , Sid). A 
D # 
If^ Cohwni Sub . T> 

•2'^ Bitt)}. Suh.B 
2^ Dem,Sul>.E 

3^ Ditto, Sub. C 
3" DHto , Sub. F. 

T.Cmdtr Soj/pt 

I'/'f/^Vf'/ . //^//y/ ////■(/ ///f //rtv/t ^-Z ' '//t 


London. PiJili.t/icd Ditrj-:' ijp± hvJ.Johii.tmi . STJ'atUs CJiuiv/i yant. 


is as follows : The foremost are generally two negroes, 
with bill-hooks to cut a way, so as to make a practicable 
path, with one corporal and two men to reconnoitre the 
front, and, in case of necessity, to give the alarm ; and 
then one subaltern, six privates, and a corporal, form the 
van. Then follows, at some distance, the corps in two 
divisions ; in the first, one captain, one corporal, twch e 
privates, one surgeon, and two negroes to carry the pow- 
der; in the second, is one serjeant and twelve privates; 
and then again follows, at some distance, the rear guard, 
consisting of one subaltern, one serjeant, one corporal, and 
eighteen privates, with sixteen negroes to carry the medi- 
cines, beef, bread, spades, axes, rum, &c. ; the sick also 
are carried. The three last of all being one corporal and 
two men at a distance, to give the alarm in case of an 
attack, as the others had orders to do in the front ; m hich 
ends the train. 

Every thing being ready, according to the above rules, 
for my small party, which consisted of myself, an officer 
of the Society, Mr. Hertsbergh, one surgeon's mate, one 
guide, two Serjeants, two corporals, forty privates, and only 
eight negro slaves to cut open the passage, and carry the 
baggage, we faced to the right at six o'clock in the morning, 
and sallied forth into the woods, keeping our course directly 
for the Perica river ; and having marched till about eleven 
o'clock on the Cordon, I discovered, as 1 had expected, 
the track of the rebels by the marks of their footsteps in 

c c 2 the 


the mud, by the broken bottles, plantain-shells, &c. and 
found that by appearance it bore towards Pinneburgh, 
already mentioned. 

I had now indeed found the nest, but the birds were 
flown. AVe continued our march till eight o'clock, when 
we arrived at the Society post Soribo, in Perica, in a most 
shocking condition, having Avaded through water and mire 
above our hips, climbed over heaps of fallen trees, and 
crept underneath on our bellies. This, however, was not 
the worst, for our flesh was terribly mangled and torn by 
the thorns, and stung by the Patat lice, ants, and wassi/- 
wassTf, or wild bees. This last is an insect not larger than 
an English blue-bottle fly, and is of a black colour, quite 
different from our bees ; they are never kept in hives, but 
swarm wild in the forest, Avhere they build in hollow treea 
or between the branches ; their nests being sometimes as 
large as an inflated cow's bladder, to which they bear na 
bad resemblance, both in colour and smoothness, except 
in being less regularly oval ; from these abodes (when the 
nest and the branches are inadvertently touched) thousands 
of warriors sally forth ; and this little flying army is ex- 
tremely formidable, pitching always by instinct on the 
eyes, lips, and hair, whence they cannot easily be dis- 
lodged ; their stings generally cause a fever, and swell the 
parts so very much that they occasion blindness for several 
hours ; their honey is of a dark-brown colour, and so is 
their wax, but gummy, being both of little value. 

11 . The 


The worst of our sufferings, however, was the fatigue 
of marching in a burning sun, and the last two hours in 
total darkness, holding each other by the hand ; and hav- 
ins; left ten men behind, some with aoues, some stuno* 
blind, and some with their feet full of chigoes. Being 
in the most hospitable manner received at Soribo by the 
commanding officer, I went to my hammock very ill of a 

On the following morning I felt myself better for my 
night's rest ; but neither myself nor my men were able 
to march back, wherefore the other captain sent a small 
party of his soldiers to pick up the poor marines I had 
lost the day before, and of whom they brought with them 
seven, carried in hammocks tied to poles, each by two 
negroes, the other three having scrambled back to Devil's 

During our stay here I wrote a letter to Colonel Four- 
geovid, couched in such terms as few people in their full 
senses would do to their commanders, viz. that I had 
found the path ; that if I had had support in time I might 
have cut off the enemy's retreat, instead of finding their 
footsteps only ; but that now all was too late, and the 
party all knocked up to no purpose. This letter, I have 
been since told, incensed him, as it is easy to suppose, in 
the highest degree. Being sufficiently refreshed to renew 
my march, we left Soribo on the 9th, at four o'clock in 



CHAP, the morning, and at four o'clock p.m. arrived, after in- 
^^]^ , describable sufferings, at Devil's Ilarwar, covered over 
with mud and blood, and our legs and thighs cut and 
torn by the thorns and branches ; most of the men being 
without shoes and stockings of necessity, Avhile I, who 
had gone tJiis march in the same condition from choice, 
had absolutely suffered the least of the whole party, by 
having inured myself gradually to walk barefooted on the 

At Devil's Plarwar, I now found Lieutenant Colonel 
Westerloo and a quarter-master arrived to take the com- 
mand, his troops not being expected till the next day. 
I was by this circumstance, hoAvever, made exceedingly 
happy, hoping at last to meet with some relief; and hav- 
ing ceded him my written orders, the magazine, hospital, 
«Scc. &;c. I stripped and plunged into the river to wash my- 
self and take a swim, by which (being before much over- 
heated) I found myself greatly refreshed, as Avell as by 
receiving a quantity of fine fruit, Jamaica rum, wine and 
sugar, from Joanna ; — but how did my blood chill, when 
the quarter-master told me, as a secret, that my serjeant, 
one Fowler, having first got drunk with my wine, offered 
violence to this poor woman ; and that he was to be at 
Devil's Harwar next day, when I should see the marks of 
her just resentment on his face ! 

The reader v/ill, I trust, excuse my violence, when I 



tell him, that I vowed immediate destruction to the vil- 
lain : and having ordered a negro to cut twelve bamboo 
canes, I retired like a person deprived of his senses, deter- 
mined to punish him according to his supposed crime. 

On the 10th there arrived two subalterns, with a se- 
cond barge full of men, amraunition, medicine, and pro- 
visions, which having marched into quarters and stowed, 
I sent for the hapless Fowler, whose face being in three 
places wounded, I locked him up in a room, and, Avith- 
out asking one question, broke six of the bamboos over 
his head, till he escaped all bloody out at the window, 
and my resentment gradually abated. He certainly had 
suffered much, but nothing equal to what were my sensa- 
tions, at being still furtlier informed, that Colonel Four- 
geoud had seized all my effects, which he had scaled and 
locked up in an empty store-room, in expectation of my 
decease, which, according to all appearances, migiit be 
looked for ; while my house was given to another, by which 
means I could not procure so much as a clean shirt to 
relieve me from my disgraceful tatters : nevertheless, by 
the hope of going down myself, my spirits were supported. 
The other news, of more importance, was, that the hero in 
person, with most of the troops, had at last left Para- 
maribo ; that he had quartered them partly at Devil's 
Ilarwar, in Rio Cottica, the estate Bellair, in Rio Perica, 
and at the estates Clarenbeek, and Cravassibo, in Rio 



Comewina ; whence, conjunctly Avith the troops of the 
Society and the Rangers, he intended to move in quest of 
the rebels ; that he had also ordered all the barges to be 
relieved at last, and their remaining troops to reinforce the 
above-mentioned posts, Av^hich I must remark was a very 
wise and well-planned regulation. 

From Patamaca we Avere informed, that the rebels, on 
their repassing the river above La Rochelle, had again 
destroyed a small estate, and murdered its proprietor, a 
Mr. Nyboor. 

It was either about this time, or very shortly after, that 
an overseer escaped by the assistance of a negro boy, who, 
desiring him to leap into a canoe, and lie down flat upon 
his belly, leaped himself into the Avater, where, by SAvim- 
ming Avith one hand, and guiding the canoe Avith the 
other, he ferried his master safe over the creek Pata- 
maca, through a shoAver of musquet bullets, the rebels 
firing upon them all the while, but Avithout execution ; 
hoAvever, for this material piece of service, he Avas re- 
compensed the AA-eek after Avith three hundred lashes by 
the same master, only for having forgotten to open one 
of the sluices or flood-gates. — On this act of inhumanity 
I shall make no comment, but proceed to my own miser- 
able situation. Having remonstrated Avith Lieutenant 
Colonel Westerloo on the state of my health, which dis- 
abled me from joining the corps on their march, I 



requested that I might be removed to Paramaribo for the 
chance of recovery ; but this he peremptorily refused to 
allow me, by Colonel Fourgeoud's express command. The 
refusal of so reasonable a request made me almost dis- 
tracted, and agitated my spirits so much, that on the 
morning of the 12th, determined to exchange my wretched 
existence one Avay or other, I insisted on being imme- 
diately removed, or wished for death, which the surgeons 
declared must be the consequence soon, if I was not per- 
mitted to go down, and in the meanwhile I vowed that I 
should attribute my decease to their unprecedented bar- 
barity. A consultation Avas now held on the subject ; and 
at last, not without great difficulties, a boat was ordered 
to row me down to Paramaribo, but no white servant was 
permitted to attend me. Thus leaving the Lieutenant 
Colonel employed in fortifying Devil's Harwar with palli- 
sadoes, where now also was a numerous garrison, I at twelve 
o'clock at noon walked to the water side, supported by a 
negro, on whose shoulder I rested, till I at length stepped 
into the boat, followed by my black boy Quaco, and finally 
left the diabolical spot where I had buried so many brave 

On the 14th, having rowed day and night, at two 
o'clock in the morning, we arrived at the town, extremely 
ill indeed; where, having no residence of my own, I 
was hospitably received at the house of a Mr. De La 

^^01" I- D d Marre, 


Marre, a merchant : this gentleman not only received 
me, but immediately sent a servant for poor Joanna, ^vlio 
was at her mother's, and another for a physician to 
attend me, as my weak and hopeless condition now re- 
quired every assistance that the town of Paramaribo 
could aftbrd. 




Some Diseases peculiar to the CUmate-Group of Negroes 
newhj imported going to be soM-Reflectious on the Slave 
Trade— The Voyage from Africa— Manner of selling them 
in the Colony— Description of a Cotton Plantation. 


EPTEI^IBEPv 1 5th, I found myself in an elegant and c h a p. 
well-furnished apartment, encouraged by the hopes 
given by the physician, caressed by my friends, and sup- 
ported by the care and attention of my incomparable 


A Captain Brant having at this time the command in 
Colonel Fourgeoud's absence, he sent, the morning after 
my arrival, my trunks and baggage, Avhich had been sealed 
up ; but on looking into them, I found I had enemies at 
home as Avell as abroad ; since most of my shirts, books, 
&c. were gnawed to dust by the blatta or cock-roach, 
called cackerlakke in Surinam : nay, even my shoes Avcro 
destroyed, of which I had brought with me twelve pairs 
new from Europe, as they were extremely dear and bad in 

this country. 

This insect, which is of the beetle kind, is here one 
inch and sometimes two inches long, oval, flat, and ot a 
dark reddish colour. By getting through the locks of 

D d 2 t^^iests 


chests or boxes, it not only deposits its eggs there, but 
commits its ravages on linen, cloth, silk, or any thing that 
comes in its way ; by getting also into the victuals and 
drink of every kind, it renders them extremely loathsome, 
for it leaves the most nauseous smell, worse indeed than 
that of a bug. As most West India vessels (especially 
those loaded with sugar) bring them home in great quan- 
tities, I shall say nothing more concerning them, only 
that they are seldom seen to fly, but creep very fast ; and 
that the best, and I think the only way to keep the boxes 
free from them is, to place them on four empty wine 
bottles kept free from dust, which, by their smoothness, 
prevent the insects ascending to get through the key- 
holes, or even the smallest openings in the bottoms ; but 
this precaution had been neglected by my good friend 
Colonel Fourgeoud. I found, however, linen sufficient 
for present use, and by the industry of Joanna I was 
soon provided with a ne^v stock. None can conceive the 
comfort I felt in being properly dressed and shifted ; my 
mental faculties were recruiting apace, and I felt with 
gratitude the blessing of a strong constitution ; but poor 
Macdonald was still ill at Mr. Kennedy's, who had hu- 
manely afforded him an asylum on his return from Devil's 

Having now time, I inquired concerning Fowler's con- 
duct ; when, to my infinite surprise, I was informed that 
he had indeed got drunk, as was reported to me, by which 
5 he 


he bnd fallen amongst the bottles and cut his face, but c ii a p. 
that he never had attempted the smallest rudeness: so '^' 
much indeed was his conduct the reverse of what had 
been reported, that his inebriety had proceeded from his 
resentment at seeing both me and Joanna ill treated, and 
my property transported away against his inclination. I 
was now extremely chagrined at my past conduct, and 
was gently reproved by the cause of it, to whom I promised 
to be Fowler's friend for ever after — and I kept my Avord. 
My fever was now much abated, but I was infested w^ith 
another disorder peculiar to this climate, and which 1 am 
afraid I shall but indifferently describe : it is called in 
Surinam the ring-worm, and consists of long scarlet irre- 
gular spots, particularly on the under parts of the body, 
which increase in magnitude from day to day, unless pre- 
vented by timely application. Those spots are surrounded 
with a kind of hard callous border, and are as troublesome 
by their itching as the prickly heat, or the stmg of the 
musquitoes; and so very infectious is this complaint, that 
if any person seats himself by chance on a chair imme- 
diately after another who has the disorder, he is almost 
certain to be infected with it : it is, I beheve, very difficult 
to get rid of; but the best cure is to rub the spots with a com- 
position of refined saltpetre, benzoin, flower of brimstone, 
and white mercury, mixed with fresh butter or hog's-lard. 
The numerous inconveniences to which the inhabitants of 
this climate are exposed, are almost inconceivable. 




G H A P. Oil the C6th I had a relapse, and was twice bled in one 
day. I was also this morning visited by poor Mr. Hene- 
uian, a young volunteer I have not before mentioned, who 
looked like a ghost, and Avas left sick at Paramaribo to 
manage for himself. 

On the 2d of October I was a little better, and was ex- 
alted from living like a savage, to the temporary command 
of a few troops left at Farainariho, Captain Brant being 
ordered to join Fourgeoud in Rio Comewina ; when the 
colours, regiment's cash, &c. were transmitted to my own 
lodging, and a sentinel placed before my door. 

The first exercise I made of my power was to discharge 
the sour Avine, which had been bought for the sick officers 
as Avell as the men, whom I supplied, from the money now 
in my possession, with good Avholesome claret ; but I was 
sorry not to be able also to exchange the salt beef, pork, 
and pease, that were left at the hospital, for fresh provi- 
sions. This step Avas hoAvever particularly forbidden by 
the commander; Avhile the butter, cheese, and tobacco 
Avere taken away, for Avhich they got one quart of oil 
amongst ten, and their bread reduced to two pounds each 
man for ^ ivhole Aveek. As to the officers, they Avere left 
to shift for themselves, or submit to the same alloAvance, 
notAvithstanding they kept on paying their quota to a regi- 
mental mess, Avhich noAV no longer existed. 

On the 3d, I took the air for the first time on horse- 
back, in company Avith Mr. Heneman, though Ave coidd 


^y/ic ,^/i/i^^ ii ^'//r/A'/r . i ///r ^^m^7yz/>?i • /A/r^///^ 

Lotuion, Publuhfd Df^.'Yf^ij^, bv J. JolmsoTt.Sf Faille CfiunfiTard- 


not ride above three English miles distance out of town, 
on a species of gravel that leads to the Wanica Path, 
which I have already mentioned as communicating with 
the river Seramica, and as the only passable road in the 
colony. During this little ride, which (on account of the 
dry season being commenced) we took at six o'clock in 
the morning, we observed a great number of those large 
and elegant birds, known by the name of macaws, but in 
Surinam called ravens, from their proportion to the par- 
rots, which may be looked upon as a kind of tropical 

The macaws are divided into diiferent species, of which 
I shall only describe two, wishing to say nothing for which 
I have not competent authority, as I am sorry to observe 
too many authors have done, among whom are men of 
genius and learning : some indeed may have erred from 
ignorance or wrono; information, but numbers for the gra- 
tification of vanity have, I fear, been gudty of imposing 
on the too credulous public. 

The blue and yellow macaw is as large as a barn-door 
fowl, with short legs and a crooked bill, like that of the 
common parrot ; the former dai'k coloured, with four 
black claws, two before and two behind ; the latter also 
black, the upper mandible alone moveable. Its tail is 
like a wedge, and consists of a few very long and strait 
feathers. The back of this bird, from the head (the top 
of which is a sea-green) to the extremity of the tail, is a 



most beautiful azure blue, and, underneath, its whole body 
is of a pale orange colour ; round its eyes it is perfectly 
white, interspersed with black rings, composed of very 
small feathers. 

The other is called in Surinam the Amazon macaw. This 
is rather less than the former ; its tail, legs, and bill, are 
formed in the same manner, but the latter is of a dirty 
white ; the head, the neck, and breast of this bird are of 
a bright scarlet, the space round the eyes only excepted, 
where it is white, A\ith black rings; its wings may be said 
to be divided by bars into four colours, being scarlet at 
the top, next green, then yellow and blue, down to the 
extremity of the tail, which in the sun shines with a bril- 
liancy and eft'ect unequalled by art. The macaws fly in 
couples, and have a shrill disagreeable shriek, and bite 
severely ; their bill being very hard and sharp, which is 
of great use to them in climbing : they are easily tamed, 
and may be taught to speak like other parrots. The 
Indians frequently bring them to Paramaribo, Avhere they 
part with them for a bottle of rum, or for a few fish- 

This evening arrived sick, from the head-quarters at the 
estate Crawasibo in Comewina, Colonel Texier, the com- 
manding officer of the Society troops. This gentleman 
had intended to have marched conjunctly with Colonel 
Fourgeoud through the woods, in quest of the rebels; 
but his constitution, already weak, not being able to sup- 

*■ %■« 


^.- ' ...,*' 


lljiiill ' '':i':^!''llll| 

1/ /■/■>//// /y,^'y^'y/-/-t^r/,<'/,/ /////^V(^v^^ ^^ /y- .lo/f/ //"/■•^yyU/Ayrj 



port the regimen of the Conunander in Chief, and to live 
onl}'^ on salt provisions, had begun to flag from the begin- 
ning, till he was sent home to Paramaribo in this drooping 

On the sixth of October the fever had left me, and the 
ring-worms began to abate ; but the misery and hardships 
which I had so lately undergone still had an effect upon 
my constitution, and enormous biles broke out on my left 
thigh, which entirely prevented me from walking. My 
physician, however, ordering me daily to take the air, I 
had an opportunity this day of waiting on his excellency 
the Governor of the colony, by the help of my friend Ken- 
nedy's chaise ; and as I returned homeward, I stopped the 
carriage at the water-side, to behold h group of human 
beings, who had strongly attracted my attention. This 
group I shall circumstantially endeavour to describe. They 
were a drove of newly-imported negroes, men and women, 
with a few children, who were just landed from on board 
a Guinea ship that lay at anchor in the roads, to be sold 
for slaves. The whole party was such a set of scarcely 
animated automatons, such a resurrection of skin and 
bones, as forcibly reminded me of the last trumpet. These 
objects appeared that moment to be risen from the grave, 
or escaped from Surgeons' Hall; and I confess I can give 
no better description of them, than by comparing them to 
walking skeletons covered over with a piece of tanned 

Vol. I. . E e •' And 


" And the Lord caused me to pass by them round about, 
" and behold there were many in the open valley, and lo 
" they were very dry. 

" And he said unto me, Son of Man, can these bones 
•' live? And I answered, O Lord God thou knowest." — 
Ezekiel, xxxvii. ver. 2, 3. 

Before these Avretches, which might be in all about sixty 
in number, Avalked a sailor, and another followed behind 
with a bamboo-rattan ; the one serving as a shepherd to 
lead them along, and the other as his dog to worry them 
occasionally, should any one lag behind, or wander away 
from the flock. At the same time, however, equity de- 
mands the acknowledgment, that instead of all those horrid 
and dejected countenances which are described in pamph- 
lets and newspapers, I perceived not one single downcast 
look amongst them all ; and I must add, that the punish- 
ment of the bamboo was inflicted with the utmost mode- 
ration by the sailor who brought up the rear. 

Having viewed this sad assemblage of my fellow-creatures 
with amazement, I drove home to my lodgings in a state 
of perfect humiliation ; where I noted down, as I could 
learn it from the best authority, both white and black, 
what is really the fate of these people, from the last mo- 
ment of their liberty in Africa, to the present period of 
their slavery in America : and this I shall endeavour to 
relate, preceded by a few of my own unbiassed sentiments 
upon the Slave Trade, which has lately been the object of 



both public and private investigation ; and this, I trust, 
I shall do with that candour and impartiality which not 
only e\ery gentleman, but every man, should think it ne- 
cessary to be possessed of. 

It has been said, Will you, for the sake of drinking rum, 
and sweetening your coffee with sugar, persevere in the most 
unjust and execrable barbarity? — To this it is answered, 
Take care, lest, under the enthusiasm of humanity, you do 
not, at the expence of your neighbour, and perhaps of your 
country, inconsiderately give up your advantages, w^ithout 
the least chance of benefiting or improving the condition 
of those, whom I most heartily join with you in calling our 

After so many volumes which, Avithin a few years, have 
been written on this subject, it may appear great presump- 
tion in me to offer my poor opinion : but I have made it a 
rule, among the various subjects I have mentioned, to dwell 
on those only to which I have Ijcen an eye-witness ; and 
which I am convinced there are few others in this country 
that have seen and so accurately observed. I have seen 
the most cruel tortures inflicted, for submitting to the de- 
sire of a husband, or for refusing the same to a libidinous 
master, and more frequently a rascally overseer : nay, even 
on the most innocent, from the false accusations of a lust- 
ful Avoman, prompted alone by jealousy. I have seen in 
other places, negro slaves as well treated as the most 
favoured servants in England ; and as I have seen some 

E e 2 sailors, 


sailors, soldiers, and apprentices most tyrannically treated 
when under the command of ill-tempered despots, I must 
pronounce the condition of such not to be envied even by 
negroes. If, therefore, so much depends on the disposi-, 
tion or humour of those who are exercising a permanent 
or a temporary power, we must duly consider, before w& 
hastily judge the whole from partial information. 

Cruelty is too often exercised in our plantations; but if 
not so shockingly to human nature as in other countries, 
what are we doing by a sudden emancipation, but turning 
the poor creatures over to more cruel masters ? The 
quantum of sugar, &c. will be had, and must be provided 
by negroes, natives of Africa, Avho alone are born to endure 
labour under a vertical sua. 

The national character of these people, as I have re- 
marked it, where they are as free to act by their own will 
and disposition as in Africa, is perfectly savage ; the twenty 
thousand Ouca and Seramica free negroes have lived sepa- 
rated, and under no controul of Europeans, for a number 
of years, and yet I have never seen any marks of civiliza- 
tion, order, or government among them, but, on the con- 
trary, many examples of ungovernable passion, debauchery, 
and indolence. 

I love the African negroes, and have shewn how sin- 
cerely I have felt for them on many occasions ; and what- 
ever wrong construction may be put on what I have said 
on this subject, I Avish, from the bottom of my heart, that 
7 my 


my Avords could be submitted to the consideration of that 
respectable body the British parliament ; and so far be 
regarded, as to prevent the fatal decision of a total aboli* 
tion of slaAxry till 1800, or the beginning of next century. 
For if such a measure should be rashly enforced, I take 
the liberty to prophesy, that thousands and thousands^., 
both white and black, may repent, and more be ruined by 
it, when the evil can no more be redressed. 

From what I have learned by inquiry, from persons well 
informed on the subject, it clearly appears^ that numbers 
of the negroes offered for sale have been taken in battles,- 
and made prisoners of war ; while many others have been 
scandalously kidnapped, and some others transported for 
offences, &c. ; of all which I shall produce a few examples 
in future. 

These groups of people are marched from every inland 
part, to the factories erected by different nations upon the- 
coast, where they are sold, or more propedy speaking,, 
bartered, like the other productions of their countrj', viz. 
gold, elephants teeth, &c. to the Europeans, for bars of 
iron, firearms, carpenters tools, chests, linens, hats, knives,, 
glasses, tobacco, spirits, &c. Next they are embarked for 
exportation, during which time they, without contradic- 
tion, feel all the pangs that mental or corporeal misery can 
inflict. Being torn from their country and dearest con- 
nectioiis, stowed hundreds together in a dark stinking hold, 
the sexes being separated ; while the men are kept in 




CHAP, chains to prevent an insurrection. In this manner are 
they floated over turbulent seas, not certain what is to be 
their destiny, and generally fed during the passage with 
horse-beans and oil for their whole subsistence. But these 
sufferinps are often alleviated with better food by the 
more humane: so far, that none or few of the cargo die 
during the passage, and the whole crew arrive healthy in 
•the West Indies. I even remember one instance, where 
the captain, mate, and most of the sailors, having expired 
at sea, so that the remaining few could not work the ship 
without the negroes assistance, yet these last having been 
well treated, helped at last to run the vessel on shore, by 
which means they not only saved many lives, but tamely 
and even cheerfully allowed themselves to be fetched and 
sold to any person who would please to buy them. — Having 
made these reflections, I shall now brietl}^ proceed with 
the manner in which the slaves are disposed of 

No sooner is a Guinea ship arrived, than all the slaves 
are Jed ujx)n deck, where they are refreshed with pure air, 
plantains, bananas, oranges, &c. and being properly 
cleaned, washed, and their hair shaved in different figures 
of stars, half-moons, &c. which they generally do the one 
to the other, (having no razors) by the help of a broken 
bottle and without soap. After this operation, one part 
of them is sent ashore for sale, decorated Avith pieces of 
cotton to serve as fig-leaves, arm-bands, beads, &c. being 
all the captain's property; while the others spend the 



day in dancing, hallooing, and clapping hands on board 
the vessel. 

Having sufficiently described their figures after landing, 
we now may suppose them walking along the Avater-side, 
and through the streets, -\\^here every planter picks out 
that number which he stands in need of, to supply those 
lost by death or desertion, and begins to make a bargain 
with the captain. Good negroes are generally valued at 
from fifty to a hundred pounds each. Amongst these, 
should a woman chance to be pregnant, her price is aug- 
mented accordingly ; for which reason I have known the 
captain of a Dutch Guinea vessel, who acknowledged 
himself to be the father, take advantage, with a brutalit}^ 
scarcely credited in the story of Inkle and Yarico, of 
doubling the value, by selling his own offspring to the best 
bidder ; for which however he Avas highly censured by his 

The next circumstance that takes place before the bar- 
gain is struck, is to cause the negroes for sale, one after 
another, to mount on a hogshead or a table, where they 
are visited by a surgeon, who obliges them to make all 
the different gestures, with arms and legs, of a Merry- 
Andrew upon the stage, to prove their soundness or un- 
soundness ; after which they are adopted by the buyer, 
or rejected, as he finds them fit for his purpose, or other- 
wise. If he keeps them, the money is paid down ; and 
the new-bought negroes are immediately branded on the 



breast or the thick part of the shoulder, by a stamp made 
of silver, with the initial letters of the new master's name, 
as we mark furniture or any thing else to authenticate 
them properly. These hot letters, which are about the 
size of a sixpence^ occasion not that pain which may be 
imagined, and the blisters being rubbed directly with a 
little fresh butter, are perfectly well in the space of two 
or three days. No sooner is this ceremony over, and a 
new name given to the newlj^-bought slave, than he or 
she is delivered to an old one of the same sex, and sent to 
the estate, where each is properly kept clean by his guar- 
dian, instructed and well fed, without working, for the 
space of six weeks ; during which period, from living 
skeletons, they become plump and fat, with a beautiful 
clean skin, till it is disfigured by the inhuman flogging of 
some rascally proprietor, or rather his overseer. 

Here I must leave them for some time, and continue my 
narrative, after observing that the negroes are composed 
of diflferent nations or casts, such as the 

Abo, Congo, Loango, Pombo, 

Conia, Gango, N. Zoko, Wanway, 

Blitay, Konare, Nago, &c. &c. 

Coromantin, Riemba, Papa, 

With most of which I have found means to get acquainted, 
and of which I shall speak more amply in another place 
of this narrative. 



On the 10th, the surgeon having lanced my thigh, I 
scrambled out once more to witness the selling of slaves 
to the best bidder. After what has been related, the 
reader may form some judgment of my surprize and con- 
fusion, when I found among them my inestimable Joanna ; 
the sugar-estate Fauconberg, with its whole stock, being 
this day sold by an execution, for the benefit of the 
creditors of its late possessor, Mr. D. B. who had fled. 

I now felt all the horrors of the damn'd. I bewailed 
again and again my unlucky fortune, that did not enable 
me to become her proprietor myself, and in my mind 
I continually painted her ensuing dreadful situation. 1 
fancied I saw her tortured, insulted, and bowing under the 
weight of her chains, calling aloud, but in vain, for my 
assistance. I was miserable, and indeed nearly deprived 
of all my faculties, till restored by the assurances of my 
friend, JNIr. Lolkcns, who providentially was appointed 
to continue administrator of the estate during the absence 
of its new possessors, IMessrs. Passelege and son, at Am- 
sterdam, who bought it and its dependants for only four 
thousand pounds. 

No sooner was he confirmed in his appointment, than 
this disinterested and steady friend brought Joanna to my 
presence; and pledged himself, that in every service 
Avhicli he could render to myself or her, and which he had 
now more in his power than ever, no efl:brts on his side 
should be wanting. This promise I desired him to keep 

Vol. I. r f in 


in remembrance, and accordingly he ever since most nobly 

Being informed that Colonel Fourgeoud had left Craw- 
assibo estate, and entered the woods just above the plan- 
tation Clarenbeck, on his way to the Wana Creek, to try 
if he could fall in with the rebels, I requested, by a letter, 
that I might join him there as soon as I should be reco- 
vered, and having shipped off for the last-mentioned 
estate medicines and such surgeons of ours as had been 
left at Paramaribo, I employed Mr. Greber, the surgeon 
of the Society, on my own authority, and at the regiment's 
expence, to attend the sick officers and soldiers, who were 
left in town, destitute of cash, and now without assistance. 
At the same time I also ordered to be purchased two 
more ankers of the best claret for their support. Thus 
was I determined properly to avail myself of my command, 
which at best could but last a few days longer. 

This evening my friend De La Mara took his depar- 
ture, with his twenty-five free mulattoes, for the river 
Surinam ; he being a captain of the militia, and they be- 
ing infinitely preferable to the European scarecrows. 

I Avas so far recovered as to be able to ride out every 
morning, when the following ludicrous adventure hap- 
pened to me on the road that leads to Wanica. In this 
place a Mr. Van de Velde, boasting how fast his horse 
could gallop, proposed to me to run a race ; to which I 
agreed, allowing him the start at twenty paces distance. 



The start indeed he had, but did not long retain his ad- 
vantange, for my English horse passing him with the ra- 
pidity of a cannot-shot, his galloway sprung, rider and 
all, through a hedge of thick limes, and left poor INIr. 
Van de Velde, not like Doctor Slop, in the dirt, but like 
Absalom, hanging among the branches. 

The horses in Surinam are little better or laroer than 
asses (except those which are brought from North America 
or Holland, the latter of which are generally employed 
for carriages) yet they are useful in the sugar-mills, where 
a number of mules are also employed. These last are 
brought over from Barbary, and sometimes sold as high 
as fifty guineas. None of these animals are indigenous 
to Guiana; but, as many other animals have been im- 
ported, and become the inhabitants of the climate, to save 
unnecessary repetition, I here give the following list of such 
quadrupeds as are not natives of the new continent : 


The Elephant, 


Wild Goat, 




The Rhinoceros, 


Small Guinea Stag, 











Stoat or Ermine 

, Fat Squirrel, 



Garden Squirrel, 




rf 2 



Horse, Genett, Ichneumon, 

Ass, Civet, Jerboa, 

Zebra, Cat, Maki ; and 

Ox, Antelope, several kinds 

Buffalo, Chamois Goat, of Monkies. 

Should the number of this list seem rather great, I in 
that case refer to the celebrated Count de Buffon, whence 
it was extracted. 

On the 18th arrived sick from Devil's Harwar Ensign 
Mathew, one of the officers by Avhom I had been re- 
lieved; and the same day he was folloAved by his com- 
mander and friend. Colonel Westerloo, supported by two 
soldiers. They had ridiculed me for complaining, after a 
confinement of so many weeks on board the barges ; 
while these gentlemen had been out but a few days and 
always on shore, the latter of them having attempted to 
accompany the old Colonel Fourgeoud to Wana (Avhom 
he had joined at La Rochelle in Patamaca) but was com- 
pletely unfitted for proceeding by his very first entry 
into the woods. I was at dinner with a Mr. Day, when 
I saAv him pass by a miserable spectacle, and chusing to 
forget what had passed at Devil's Harwar, and in reality 
having a regard for this gentleman, I started up imme- 
diately and got him a coach, in which I accompanied 
him to his lodgings, where, having placed a sentinel be- 
fore his chamber-door to keep out the rabble, I sent for 

a Doctor 


a Doctor \'an Dam, as well as a Doctor Kissam, an Ame- 
rican, to attend him, forbidding all other communication, 
that of an old negro woman, his man servant, and a 
black boy excepted, and by these means I apparently 
preserved his life. 

On the 20th, Lieutenant Count de Randwyk came 
down also indisposed with Ensign Coene, and at last 
my poor old shipmate Lieutenant Hamer, who had been 
kept at Devil's Harwar near four months, till, overcome 
by disease, he obtained leave to be transported to Para- 

On the 22d, the Governor sent me a cotton twig, which 
I copied ; and as I cannot have a better opportunity, I 
will now proceed to a description of that useful plant, 
which has only been cultivated in Surinam from about 
the year 1735, but not with advantage till about the 
years 1750 or 1752. There are several species of the 
cotton-tree, but I fliall confine myself to that which is the 
most common and the most useful in this colony. This 
species of cotton, which grows upon a tree about six or 
eight feet high, bears before it is a 3'^ear old, and pro- 
duces two crops annually, each of about tAventy ounces 
in weight ; the leaves are something like those of the 
vine, of a bright green, and the fibres of a cinnamon 
colour. The cotton-balls, some of which are as large as 
a small hen's egg, and divided in three parts, grow on a 
very long stalk, and in a triangular pod, which is first 



CHAP, produced by a yellow flower, and when ripe opens of 
itself, and discloses the globular contents as white as 
flakes of snow; in the middle of these are contained 
small black seeds, formed not unlike those that are usually 
found in grapes. The cotton Avill prosper in any of the 
tropical soils, and produces a good profit if the crops are 
not spoiled by a too long rainy season, being cultivated 
with very little trouble and expence : all indeed that is 
required is, to plant the seeds at a little distance from each 
other, Avhen each seed, as I have said, produces the first 
year it is put in the ground. The separation of the seeds 
from the pulp, is the work of one man only, by the help 
of a machine made for the purpose ; after which the cot- 
ton has undergone all the necessary process, and is put in 
bales of between three and four hundred pounds weight 
each for transportation, Avhich bales ought to be well 
moistened at the time of stowing it, to prevent the cotton 
from sticking to the canvass. In the year before my 
arrival in Surinam, near three thousand bales of cotton 
were exported from this colony to Amsterdam and Rot- 
terdam alone, Avhich produced about forty thousand 
pounds sterling. The best estates make tM'enty-five 
thousand pounds Aveight. The average prices have been 
from eight pence to tAventy-two pence per pound. The 
raAv material is spun in the West Indies by a rock and 
spindle, and extremely fine, when by the negro girls it is 
knit into stockings, &c. one pair of Avhich are sometimes 
1 sold 



/.■m,l,ui.ri,/'/i.r/i,,l D.,-ri"i^t)i H .r.,l,.hn.f,in,.i:>r<ml:r iViiinii I'miI ■ 


sold for the price of a Portuguese joe, or sometimes for 
two guineas. The Indians or natives of Guiana make 
very good hammocks of cotton, which they barter with 
the inhabitants of Paramaribo for other commodities. — 
In the annexed plate J is the twig itself, B the pod, 
C the cotton ball, and D the seed, but on a smaller 
scale than nature. I should here also describe the coffee, 
cacao, sugar, and indigo plantations, but must reserve 
them till another occasion, having made it a rule to speak 
of things only as they occur, which is more pleasant to 
myself, and better adapted to diversify my narrative. 

Being now perfedlly recovered, I resolved to join Colonel 
Fourgeoud at the Wana Creek, without waiting his orders, 
and to accompany him on his excursions through the 
forest : in consequence of which, having first cropt my 
hair, as being more convenient in the woods, as well as 
more cleanly, and provided myself with the necessary 
bush-equipage, such as jackets, trowsers, &c. ; 1 waited 
on the Governor to ask his commands; he entertained me 
in a most polite manner, and told me, that what I was 
now going to suffer Avould surpass what I had already 
undergone. I nevertheless persisted in wishing to go 
without waiting an order from the chief, and accordingly 
applied to the magistrates for a boat, and the necessary 
jnegroes to transport me ; which being promised for the 
Bucceeding day, I transferred the colours and regiment's 
cash, with the command of the remaining sick troops, to 



Lieutenant Meyer, the only healthy officer then at Para- 

Indeed the colours, the cash, and the sick soldiers were 
nearly of equal use in Surinam, the first never having 
been displayed except at our landing, the second invisible 
to all except to Colonel Fourgeoud, and the third dying 
away one after another. 



Colonel Foiirgeoud inarches to the JFana Creek — Harasses 
the Enemy — Account of the Manicole Tree, xmth its va- 
rious Uses — March to the Mouth of Cormoetibo River — 
So?ne Rebels taken — Shockins^ Treatment of a wounded 
captive Negro. 

N the 25th of October, being ready to proceed chap. 
upon my second campaign, I repaired to the '^• 
water-side at six o'clock in the evening ; where, instead 
of a tent boat, I found a greasy yawl, with a few drunken 
Dutch sailors, to row nic to an estate in the river Come- 
wina, whence they were going to bring their captain 
back to Paramaribo, and from which place I might, if I 
pleased, beg the rest of my passage upwards, or manage 
for myself in the best manner I was able. I had already 
one foot in the boat, when, reflecting that I was going 
voluntarily on a hazardous expedition, witiiout orders, 
and only from a desire to serve an ungratefid people, I 
repented, and stepped back upon the shore, where, posi- 
tively declaring I would not move in their defence till I 
should be decently transported, should the whole colony 
be on fire, I was seconded by all the English and 
Americans in the town, and a general tumult took place. 
Vol. I. G g The 


Tlie Dutch exclaimed against the expence of a tent-boat 
Avhich would cost them thirty shillings, Avhen they could 
have the other for nothing; wiiile the others declared 
they were a set of mean and parsimonious wretches, 
who deserved not the smallest protection from Colonel 
Fourgeoud's troops. A mob collected, and a riot ensued, 
before Mr. Hardegen's tavern, at the water-side, while 
hats, wigs, bottles, and glasses, fle^v out at his windows. 
The magistrates were next sent for, but to no purpose : 
and the fighting continued in the street till ten o'clock 
at night, when I with my friends fairly kept the field, 
having knocked down several sailors, planters, Jews, and 
overseers, and lost one of my pistols, which I threw after 
the rabble in a passion ; nor would it have ended here, 
had not my friend Mr. Kennedy, who was member of the 
Court of Policy, and two or three more gentlemen whom 
he brought with him, found means to appease the dis- 
putants, by declaring I had been very ill treated, and should 
have a proper boat the next day. 

Having now slept and refreshed myself a few hours, I 
was waited on by four American captains, viz. Captain 
Timmons of the Harmony, Captain Lewis of the Peggy, 
Captain Bogard of the Olive Branch, and Captain Minet 
of the America, who insisted on my refusing any vessel 
whatever from the colony this time, and offering to send 
me up in one of their own boats, manned by their own 
sailors only, to which each would equally contribute. I 



can aver, that notwithstanding the threatening rupture C h a v. 
between Great Britain and her Colonies, which seemed ^ _^' 
then upon the eve of breaking out into open violence, 
nothing could surpass the warm and cordial friendship 
which these gentlemen possessed, not only for me, but 
for every individual that bore a British name, or had 
any connexion with that island ; professing, that they 
still retained the greatest regard for every thing in 
Britain, but its administration. I accepted of their very 
polite proposal ; after which, having received a letter 
from Mr. Kennedy, to be delivered to one of the miUtia 
captains, a Mr. N. Reeder, in the river Comewina, with 
orders to send me farther up in a proper tent-boat ; and 
having arranged matters in such a manner at home, that 
jieither Colonel Fourgeoud nor the cock-roaches could 
injure me, I shook hands with my IMulatto, and at six 
in the evening repaired once more to the water-side, 
escorted by my English and American friends, where, 
having drank a bowl of punch, we separated. I then 
departed for my station, they having hoisted the colours 
on board all their vessels in the road, and at the boat's 
going off saluted me with three cheers, to my great 
satisfaction, and the mortification of the gaping multitude 
by which we were suri'ounded. AVe soon rowed beyond 
tlie view of Paramaribo. 

Being arrived at the fortress of New Amsterdam, we 
were obliged to stop for the return of the tide, to row up 

G g 2 the 


the river Comewina. In this interval, I was genteelly 
entertained with a supper by the Society officers quar- 
tered there ; but at twelve o'clock we got aboard, and 
having rowed all night, I breakfasted with Captain 
Macneyl, who was one of General Spork's captains in 
1751 ; after Avhich we once more set out, and arrived at 
the plantation Charlottenburgh, where I delivered Mr. 
Kennedy's letter to Mr. Rceder, who promised next 
morning to assist me. So much incensed Avas I at the 
usage I had met with at Paramaribo, and so well pleased 
with the English sailors, that I ordered the tars a dinner 
of twelve roasted ducks, and gave them thirty-six bottles 
of claret, being my whole stock, besides a guinea. With 
the ebb tide they took their leave, and rowed down to 
their vessels, as well pleased, and as drunk as wine or 
strong spirits could make them. 

I now pursued my voyage upwards as far as the estate 
Mondesir ; afterwards, having viewed the ruins of the three 
estates, Zuzingheyd, Peru, and L'Esperance, which had 
been burnt when I commanded at Devil's Harwar, I 
arrived at Lepair. Here one of the overseers gave me 
an account of his miraculous escape from the rebels, 
which I shall relate in his own Avords. — " The rebels, 
Sir," said he, " had already surrounded the dwelling- 
house in which I Avas, before I knew of their being in 
the plantation, and Avere employed in setting fire to the 
four corners of it, so that to run out of doors was rushing 



on certain death. In this dilemma I fled to the garret, 
v'here I laid myself flat upon one of the beams, in hopes 
of their dispersing soon, and that I might effect my 
escape before the building should be burnt down ; but in 
this I Avas disappointed, as they still remained ; and at 
the same time the flames encreased so fast, that the heat 
became insupportable in the place where I was, and I 
had no other alternative left, than to be burnt to ilcath, 
or to leap from a high garret window into the midst 
of my exasperated enemies. This last measure, how- 
ever, I resolved upon, and had not only the good fortune 
to light unhurt upon my feet, but to escape without a 
wound, from among so many men armed with sabres and 
bill-hooks. I flew to the river-side, into which I plunged 
headlong; however, not being able to swim, I immediately 
sunk to the bottom ; but (said he) I still kept my full 
presence of mind, and while they concluded me to be 
drowned, found means, by the help of the moco-moco and 
mangi'ove roots, to bring myself not only under cover of 
the impending verdure, but just so far above water with 
my lips as to continue in a state of respiration till all was 
over. Having killed every other person, the rebels 
departed, and I was taken up l)y a boat from my very 
perilous situation." 

On the 30th I arrived at Devil's Harwar, and the fuc- 
ceeding day rowed up the Cormoetibo Creek; where, 
having tied the boat to a tree which overspread it with 



thick branches, we quietly lay dowa to sleep during the 
night; myself and Quaco in the boat upon the benches, 
and the negroes under the seats, except those whom I 
ordered alternately to keep watch, and awake me if they 
heard the least rattling in the woods, forbidding them all 
absolutely to speak or make any noise, lest the rebels, 
Avho were hovering on both sides of the Creek, miglit 
hear and surprize us. As for myself, who was the only 
white person amongst them all, I was confident I should 
not, in such a case, escape their fury. After these pre- 
cautions, we ail lay down and slept soundly, from nine 
o'clock till about three in the morning, at which time 
Quaco and myself were both suddenly thrown down 
from our benches, by the boat all at once heeling upon 
one side, while all the negroes leaped overboard into 
the water. I instantly cocked my pistol, and jumping 
up, asked aloud what was the matter .'* positively deter- 
mined to defend myself to the last extremity, rather than 
be taken alive by so relentless an enemy. For the space of 
a few seconds I obtained no answer, when again the boat 
suddenly rectifying itself (by the motion of which I was 
thrown off my feet) one of the swimming negroes called 
out, " IMasera, da wan sea-cow ;" and to my great happi- 
ness it proved to be no other than the manati, or sea-cow, 
which is called in Cayenne the lamentyti. By the account 
of the negroes it had slept under the boat, which, by the 
creature's awaking, had been lifted up and thrown upon 
1 one 


one side, and again replaced when the manati made its c h a v. 
escape from underneath it. I did not so much as see the 
creature, nor indeed hai'dly had the negro, owing to 
the darkness of the night, Avhich lasted some hours 
after ; but during that time we had no farther inclination 
to rest. At last tlie sun's bright beams began to dart 
through the trees and gild the foliage ; on which we 
cast oflf from our moorings, and continued rowing up 
Cormoetibo Creek (which was now very narrow) till near 
noon, when we discovered a smoak, and at last came to 
the mouth of the Wana Creek, Avhich runs into the 
!Marawina, and Avhich was the place of rendezvous, Avhere 
however the troops were not yet arrived; and opposite to 
which were encamped a few of the rangers, to guard 
the provisions that were Avaiting the arrival of Colonel 
Fourgeoud and his party from Crawassibo, and last from 

One of the rangers having killed a tattu or armadillo, 
called in Surinam capasce, I shall embrace this opportu- 
nity of describing it. — ^This animal is with propriety 
sometimes stiled a hog-in-armour ; its head and ears 
being much like those of a roasting pig, and its whole 
body covered over with hard shells like shields, sliding in 
moveable rings, like those of the qiiee-quee fish already 
mentioned, the one over the other, except on the 
shoulders and the rump, which are covered something- 
like turtle, with one solid mass of unmoveable bone, 



called by some a cuirass and a helmet. Of this creature 
there are many species in Guiana, the largest being 
from the snout to the tip of the tail above three 
feet in length, of a reddish colour, and marked all 
over with hexangular figures. Its eyes are small, the 
tail long and thick at the root, and tapering gradually 
like a carrot towards the point, and is covered over like 
the body with moveable rings. This animal has four 
short legs with four toes, armed Avith two claws on the 
fore-feet, and five on those behind. The armadillo walks 
generally during the night, being seldom seen through 
the day, and sleeps in burrows under grovmd, Avhicli it 
makes with great facility, and in which it sticks so fast 
that the strongest man cannot draw it out, though he 
were to pull its tail with both hands. AVhen attacked 
or terrified, it forms itself into a round ball like a hedge- 
hog, making its cuirass and helmet meet together, in 
Avhicli are enclosed its head, feet, and whole body. 
This creature feeds on roots, insects, fruits, birds, &c. 
and when dressed appeared to me a tolerably good 
dish, though in general by Europeans it is accounted 
no great delicacy ; the Indians are, however, extremely 
fond of it. 

I shall, in this place, also take the opportunity of men- 
tioning the Guiana porcupine, which is frequently called 
here the adjora. This animal, which is from its muzzle 
to the root of ihe tail sometimes three feet in length, is 


ry/i^^f^^^//y/^//<rA//^> ,/-^ll^/iiry /"/ /O/z/t'/z/aJ^. 

I.r'iulnn ./•lilli.'/ii-il IJ, ,:L-":'iyij;;hy ./..r,'/ill.-fll..>'.' I'finl, (liiir. I: ),„;l , 


covered with hard prickles, the feet, the face, and part of chap. 
its tail excepted. These prickles are about three inches ^^^,,_ 1^^ 
long, yellow at the root, a dark chesnut colour in the 
middle, and white at the points ; they are extremely 
sharp, highly polislied, and moveable, serving for the 
creature's defence, which, when irritated, it dresses in 
array, and makes a formidable appearance before its ad- 
versary ; at othor times these prickles lie flat on its back, 
something lik'e the bristles of a hog. The head of the 
porcupine is of a roundish make, and joined to the body 
by a remarkably thick short neck; its eyes are large, 
bright, and placed under the ears, which are very small 
andi round ; it never bites. On each side of its nose it has 
j'jng whiskers, very like the otter or the cat ; its feet are 
shaped much like those of a monkey, Avhich assist it in 
climbing trees to seek for its food, in which its long taper- 
ing tail is also very serviceable, which, like a fifth limb, it 
twists about the branches, and which near the extremity, 
is covered over with hair like the face, the under part near 
the tip only excepted, Avhich is perfectly callous and black, 
as are also the inside of all its feet. The hedge-hog of 
this country is, I think, little difterent from that of the 
old continent, being about eight or ten iiKihes in length, 
covered over with pale yellow prickles, but with hair on 
the face and under the belly, which is rather softer and 
longer than in the hedge-hog of Europe. It has dark 
.torown spots like eye-brows over its eyes, and no ears but 
Vol. I. H h auditory 


c H A P. auditory holes, and five toes with bended claws on each, 
foot; its tail is very short, and its defence consists in form- 
ing itself into a round ball in the manner of the armadillo. 
Its food consists of fruit, roots, vegetables, insects, &c,, 
and its flesh is not disestecmed b}' the Indians or natives 
of the country. 

Colonel Fourgeoud not having yet arrived, I amused 
myself with swimming, and paddling up the mouth of the 
deep Wana Creek, with a canoe; during \\rhich time a 
Mr. Rulagh, one of our officers who was with me, ob- 
served (in the top of a mangrove-tree) a battle between a 
snake and a frog ; and for an additional proof that frogs 
are to be found in trees, I refer the reader to the MontJxly 
Review for March 1785, page 199, where, in the Abbe 
Spallanzani's Dissertation upon Frogs, the Tree Frog is 
particularly mentioned. But finding this animal amongst 
the branches did not so much excite my surprize, as the 
contest between a snake and a frog, which I fliall dis- 
tinctly relate, and in which the poor frog lost the battle. 
Indeed when I first perceived him, his head and 
shoulders were already in the jaws of the snake, which 
last appeared to me about the size of a large kitchen 
poker, and had its tail twisted round a tough limb of 
the mangrove ; while the frog, who appeared to be the 
size of a man's fist, had laid hold of a twig ^vith the 
claws of its hinder legs, as with hands. In this posi- 
tion were they contending, the one for life, the other 
10 for 



for his dinner, forming one straight line between the chap. 
two branches, and thus I beheld them for some time, 
apparently stationary, and without a struggle. Still I was 
not without hope, that the poor frog might extricate 
himself by his exertions ; but the reverse was the case, 
for the jaws of the snake gradually relaxing, and by 
their elasticity forming an incredible orifice, the body 
and fore-legs of the frog by little and little disappeared, 
till finally nothing more Mas seen than the hinder feet 
and claws, which were at last disengaged from the twig, 
and the poor creature was swallowed whole by suction 
down the throat of his formidable adversary, whence he 
was drawn some inches farther down the alimentary 
canal, and at last stuck, forming a knob or knot at 
least six times as thick as the snake, whose jaws and 
throat immediately contracted and re-assumed their for- 
mer natural shape. The snake being out of our reach, 
we could not kill him, as we wished to do, to take a 
further examination. Thus wo left him, continuijig in 
the same attitude Avithout moving, and twisted round the 

On the third of November, one party of the troops 
being arrived, and encamped on the south-west side of the 
Cormoetibo Creek, about one mile above the mouth of 
the Wana Creek, I went with a couple of rangers to pay 
them a visit ; when Major Rughcop, the commanding 
officer, informed me that Colonel Fourgeoud had marched 

H h 2 last 


last from Patamaca in two columns, of which he led the 
one, while the other was hourly expected ; and that the 
rest of the regiment was divided between the rivers Cot- 
tica, Perica, and Comewina, excepting those that wero 
sick in the hospital at Paramaribo. I was now in excel- 
lent health and good spirits ; and in the hopes of being- 
reconciled to Fourgeoud by this voluntary proof of my 
zeal for the service, I retvirned to the rangers' camp to 
wait his arrival. I was indeed well acquainted Avith his 
irreconcileable temper, and at the same time conscious of 
my own wild and ungovernable disposition, when I thought 
myself ill treated ; but soon forgot trifling injuries, and was 
now determined, by my active and affable behaviour, to 
make him my friend if possible. 

At length the wished-for hour arrived ; and being ap- 
prised of Colonel Fourgeoud's approach, I went half a 
mile from the camp to meet him, acquainting him that I 
was come pour participer de la gloire, and to serve under 
his immediate command, which he having answered with 
a boAv, I returned it, and we marched together to the 
rangers' camp. 

The occurrences in this march were the troops tak- 
ing from the enemy three villages, particularly one 
called the Rice Country, on account of the great quan- 
tity of rice wliich was found there, some ripe and some in 
full blossom, which we totally destroyed, after putting the 
rebels to flight. These were comnianded by one Bonny, a 


Cj2v%'- ') Av///,) ,'/ A'r//._/('A//^//;'^, A'/- r/ /f/.u//lf^i/. 

f.,inl,;,.i;,lli.,lml ll,,-'' J J-'i"-'" ■ ■'■' I'.n.l.^ i/iunh l.irl. 


relentless Mulatto, who was born in the forest, and was c n a f. 
quite unconnected with Baron's party, which had lately ^' 
been driven from Boucou. We further learned that they 
had found seven human skulls stuck upon stakes, under 
which lay mouldering the bodies above ground, and part 
of the garments, (as may be seen in the annexed plate) 
and which proved them to be the remains of the unfortu- 
nate Lieutenant Lepper, with six of his unhappy men, most 
of whom being taken alive, had one by one been stripped 
naked by the rebel negroes at the arrival in their village, 
and (for the recreation of their wives and children) by 
Bonny's orders flogged to death. This information we got 
from a rebel woman, who had been made a prisoner by 
Fourgeoud on his march through the above village or rice 
eondre, and whom we treated with every kindness. 

This inhuman conduct in Bonny was directly opposite 
to that of Baron, who, notwithstanding all his threats 
and menaces, it was wx:ll known had sent back to Para- 
maribo ditferent soldiers, whom he might have killed. 
He even assisted in concealing them from his enraged 
accomplices, and furnished them with provisions, per- 
fectly sensible that they were not the cause of the dis- 
turbance. But not a ranger, as I have said before, that 
had the misfortune to fall into his hands could escape his 
ungovernable fury. 

On further conversation, we found that the whole part}^ 
being nearly starved, had conjimctly called out for bread, 



as it was knoAvn that there was plenty in the boxes, but 
that it had been kept back three days, and rice served out 
in its stead. 'J'o suppress this kind of mutiny, the officers 
had rushed in amongst the men with cocked pistols and 
drawn swords, and indiscriminately laying hold of the 
first in their way, had unluckily seized a poor man named 
Skmidt, whom, notwithstanding all the others averred to 
be innocent, they had, for an example to the rest, basto- 
naded between two corporals, till the blood gushed out 
of his mouth like a fountain ; — and thus ended the revolt. 
One of the conductors, named Mongol, disdaining at all 
to serve under Colonel Fourgeoud's command, had left 
him without asking his consent, after which he forsook the 
service entirely. These were the particulars of the march 
in both columns, from Crawassibo in Comewina to the 
"VVana Creek, 

Whilst I was now about noon resting in my hammock 
very contentedly, I was accosted by my friend Lieutenant 
Campbell, who acquainted me, with tears in his eyes, that 
the evening before Colonel Fourgeoud had given to the 
officei"s of the Surinam Society, not only of that brave 
and gallant corps the Scots brigade in the Dutch service, 
but of the British in general, the most unmerited cha- 
racter that could be invented. I immediately started up; 
and having got Campbell's information confirmed, Avent 
to Fourgeoud, and asked him in public the cause of this 
unmanly slander. He replied with a stare, that his 




observations only regarded my petticoat-trovvsers, which I chap. 
wore fo]- coohiess and conveniency, as many British sea- 
men do, and which he had never seen on the mountains 
of Switzerland. But as to the rest of what was said re- 
specting us, he laid it totally to the charge of Mr. Stocbnan, 
captain of the Cottica militia, who Avas absent. Thus I 
could only answer by denouncing, in the severest terms, 
vengeance upon this assassin of our reputation ; and after 
promising to transform my short trowsers into long ones, 
w^e coolly separated. 

An hour however after this, I received a sudden order 
to cross the Cormoetibo River, and be henceforth under 
the command of Major Rughcop, who was with his party 
or column at this time encamped on the south-side at the 
mouth of Wana Creek. " Force is indeed the ruling prin- 
" ciple in military afiairs," says a certain author; and, upon 
the whole, could the ingenious advice given to a commander 
in chief, as published in a late pamphlet, have been read 
by Colonel Fourgeoud, I must have imagined he had 
studied it, sentence after sentence, since nothing could 
better correspond with his general character. 

Being arrived in Major Rughcop's camp, and having 
got a couple of negroes to serve me, the next measure 
was to build a hut, or, more properly speaking, a shed 
over my hammock, to keep me free from the rain and 
the sun ; which was done within the space of one hour. 
As these huts are of very material and of general use in 



tropical marches and campaigns, Avhere no tents can be, 
pitched, and where (as I have seen so many thousands of 
these temporary erections) I will describe the manner in 
which they are constructed, being not only extremely 
curious, but very useful on different occasions — curious, 
because neither hammers nor nails, nor indeed any kind 
of carpenter's tools are required ; a strong cutlass or bill- 
hook being all that is wanted, — and useful, as they are 
instantly raised, and form not only lasting, but the most 
delightful and convenient habitations, with even two stories, 
one above the other, if required. — For these erections 
not more than two articles are wanting ; the first the 
n)anicole, by the French called latanie, and here parasalla, 
or the pine-tree ; and the second the nebees, called by the 
French Imnnes, by the Spaniards bejucos, and in Surinam 

The manicole-tree, which is of the palm-tree species, 
is mostly found in marshy places, and is always a proof 
of a rich and luxurious soil. It is about the thickness of 
a man's thigh, very straight, and grows to the height of 
from thirty to fifty feet from the ground : the trunk, 
which is jointed at the distance of two or three feet, is 
of a light-brown colour, hard externally for the thickness 
of half an inch, but pithy, like the English elder, and 
good for nothing within, except near the top, where the 
wood becomes green, and incloses a delicious kind of 
white fruit, called cabbage, and which, being peculiar to 



all the palm-trees, I fliall on another occasion amply 
describe. On the top of all this the nianicole-trce spreads 
in beautiful oreen bouo'hs, uith leaves hansins; straioht 
downwards like silk ribbons, which form a kind of 
umbrella. The manner of usins; it for buildinG: huts or 
cottages, is by cutting the trunk in pieces of as many 
feet long as you w ish to have the partition high ; for 
instance, seven feet, which pieces are next split into small 
boards, the breadth of a man's hand, and divested of 
their pith}' substance, and then they are fit for immediate 
use. Having cut and prepared as many of these laths as 
you may want to surround the dwelling, nothing remains 
but to lash them in a perpendicular position and close to 
each other to two cross bars of the same tree fixed to 
the corner posts, and the whole is cut and shaped with 
the bill-hook alone, and tied together by the nebees or 
tay-tay, which I think have derived their name from our 
verb to ■ tie, since the English had possession of the 
colony. The nebees are a kind of ligneous ropes of all 
sizes, both as to length and thickness, that grow in the 
woods, and climb up along the trees in all directions ; 
they are so plentiful and wonderfully dispersed, that, 
like the ligneous cordage of the mangrove, they make the 
forest appear like a large fleet at anchor, killing many 
of the trees by mere compression, and entwining them- 
selves with each other to the thickness of a ship's cable, 
without any kind of foliage, which gives them some- 
VoL. I. I i times 


tiiues a wonderful appearance, particularly when ascend- 
ing lofty trunks in a spiral manner to the top, from 
which they next hang down to the earth, take root, and 
re-ascend. Sometimes the thin nebees are so closely in- 
terwoven, that they have the appea?ance of fishing nets, 
and game cannot get through them. These nebees are 
exceedingly tough, and may be used for mooring large 
vessels to the shore. Having only to add, that some of 
the species are poisonous, especially those that are flat, 
grooved, or angular, I shall proceed to the roofing of the 

This is done by the green boughs or branches of the 
same manicole-tree that made the walls, and in the fol- 
lowing manner : each bough, Avhich I can compare to 
nothing so well as to the shape of a feather, and which is 
as large as a man, must be split from the top to the 
bottom in two equal parts, as you would split a pen, 
when a number of these half boughs are tied together 
by their own verdure, and form a bunch ; you next take 
these bunches, and tie them with nebees one above an- 
other upon the roof of your cottage, as thick as you 
please, and in such a manner that the verdure, which 
looks like the mane of a horse, hangs downwards. This 
covering, which at first is green, but soon takes the 
colour of the English reed-thatching, is very beautiful, 
lasting and close, and finidies your house, as I have said, 
without the help of a hammer or nails ; the doors 
10 and 


and M'indows, tables, seats, &c. are niade in the same 
manner, so are the inclosures for gardens, or other places 
for keeping cattle ; and by this conveniency it is that the 
rebel negroes never want good houses, which, if burnt 
to ashes one day, are again perfectly rebuilt the next, 
though they never rebuild them exactly in the places 
where they have once been discovered by Europeans. The 
Indians, instead of the manicoles, generally cover their 
wigwams with las or with trooly, of which I shall speak 
on another occasion. I ought not to forget, that the 
seeds of these trees are contained in a spatha, near the 
top, of thirty or forty knotty fibres, forming a species of 
broom, for which they are used throughout the colony ; 
thus, while the manicole supplies the materials for a 
house, it affords also the means of keeping it clean. 
This tree produces also the cabbage, which, as I have 
said, is found in all the other palm-trees, &c. The hut 
that I now lay under was not built in the convenient man- 
ner above described ; it was not requisite, for the short 
time we generally continued in one place : my habitation 
consisted only of a roof or cover without any walls. The 
manner of erecting these little sheds, which every private 
soldier builds for himself, is simply by planting four forked 
poles in the ground, at such a distance that a hammock 
can conveniently hang between them ; next, to rest two 
short poles, strong enough to support the weight of the 
body in the above forks, the one at the head and the 

1 i 2 other 


other at the feet, to which are fastened the clews of the 
hammock. On the other extremities of these are laid two 
long sticks, and on them again two short ones, and thus 
alternately two long and two short, all which diminish by 
degrees. When the whole is finished, the top must be 
covered with branches from the manicole, exactly as they 
grow, without either splitting or tying them, and as thick 
as the season may require. 

When this temporary fabric is completely finished, it 
will not only keep dry both the inhabitants and their 
boxes, but (by the help of the nebecs) fuzees, swords, 
pistols, &c. may be suspended from the rafters. As I 
have been describing the manicole, I am induced also to 
mention the cocoa-nut tree, as I think it resembles that 
more than any of the palm species. This tree, which is 
so much celebrated, as afibrding to man food, clothing, 
shelter, &c. possesses not, in my opinion, all those qualities, 
but still is well worthy of notice. It grows like the for- 
mer, in a tall jointed trunk, sometimes from sixty to above 
eighty feet high, and is thick in proportion, but seldom 
perpendicularly straight : its bark is of a grey colour ; the 
wood is hard without, but pithy within, hke tlie elder in 
Great Britain ; its branches are larger, and of a deeper 
green, than those of the manicole-tree, but are equally 
divided, with pinnated leaves on both sides, which in the 
other I compared to green ribbons ; but they neither 
hang so straight downwards, nor are the branches regu- 

^A^y.y7u/'/zih<y^if/i4^y^6fC477Zy -^.yy///'^ .^^ree/^. 

London, Pub lijhrd Dr^rL^ij^ J.Johnjon.X' PtilM tYmn^i Tanl. 

■ 2»" 


larly arched, which gives them the appearance of lai-fre 
feathers, and they spring up at the top, in proportion as 
they fade and go off at the bottom : tlie cocoa-tree also 
produces a cabbage at its summit, but is too vakiable to 
be cut down for the sake of a prize so inadequate to the 
loss of its other produce. It bears the nuts when six or 
eight years old, after which period it is never seen with- 
out them ; they grow usually six or eight on one stalk, 
which diverges from the heart of the tree ; they arc the 
size of a man's head, but more conical. The nut, it is w^ell 
known, when divested of its husk, is exceedingly hard, and 
requires a hammer to break it, or to be sawed throuo-h 
the middle to procure the nourishment it affords ; when 
young, this consists of a white liquid, which I can com- 
pare to nothing better than to milk and water mixed with 
sugar, and which is an exceedingly cool and agreeable 
beverage ; but at a riper period this is formed into a 
crisp kernel, which adheres close to the inside of the shell 
for about half an inch thick, while it remains perfectly 
hollow within. This kernel, which has a fine flavour, and 
tastes hke the liquid, is good eating, as most of my readers 
have probabl}^ experienced. 

In the plate annexed, J, is the manicole-tree ; B, the 
trunk split into laths ; C, the nebees to tie them together ; 
D, the leaf split from the top downwards ; and E, the 
same tied into bunches ; F, is the cocoa-nut tree ; G, the 
figure of one of its branches ; //, the cocoa-nut in the 



green husk ; and /, the same divested of that outer sub- 

But to proceed with my narrative. — While Ave conti- 
nued in this station, one morning, being returned from a 
patrole, with twenty marines and twenty rangers, and 
sitting round a species of table to take some dinner with 
the other officers, I was rudely insulted by a Captain 
Meyland, of the Society troops, who, as I said, with 
Lieutenant Fredericy, had taken Boucou, and who was 
Colonel Fourgeoud's countryman and friend. The affront 
consisted in INIeyland's handing round to each a drop of 
claret, he having indeed but one bottle left, and, in an 
impertinent manner, excepting me alone, although I held 
the glass in my hand to receive it. Justly suspecting this 
insult to originate from my commander in chief, rather 
than appear to seek a quarrel, I endeavoured to make an 
apology, telling him, I had inadvertently erred in holding- 
out my glass, not imagining I was to be distinguished 
from the other officers ; assuring him it was not for the 
value of his wine, which I politely relintjuished to my 
next neighbour ; but this concession had no other effect 
than to increase the wrath of my fierce adversary, who, 
apparently mistaking it for pusillanimity, became over- 
bearing and scurrilous, in which he was seconded by all 
the other Swiss and Germans without exception. 1 said 
no more, and having tore away a wing of a boiled bird 
called powese, that stood before me (which bird had 



been shot by one of the rangers) I devoured it with little 
ceremoQ}'-, and left the table, with a determination to 
support my character or die. Thus resolved, I first 
went to the hut of a sick soldier, whose sabre I boiTowed 
(m}"^ o^vn being broken) on pretence of going out to cut a 
few sticks; after this I went in quest of Mr. Meyland, 
and found him contentedly smoking his pipe by the 
water-side, looking at one of his friends who was angling. 
Having tapped him on the shoulder, I hastily told him, 
before the other, that now if he did not fight me that 
instant like a gentleman, I was determined to take revenge 
another way, with the flat of my sabre, where he stood. 
He at first declared that he had only meant a joke, and 
seemed for peace; but perceiving that I persisted, he with 
great sang froid knocked the tobacco-ashes from his 
pipe against the heel of his shoe ; then having brought 
his sabre, we walked together without seconds about half 
a mile into the wood : here I stopt the captain short, 
and drawing my weapon, now desired him to stand on 
his defence ; this he did, but at the same time observed, 
that as the point of his sword was broken off, Ave were 
unequally armed ; and so indeed we Mere, his being 
still near one foot lons-er than mv own ; therefore callins 
to him that sabres were not made to thrust, but to cut 
with, I offered to make an exchange ; but he refusing, 
I dropped mine on the ground, and eagerly with both 
hands endeavoured to wrest his from him, till (as I had 



liold of it by the blade) I saw the blood trickle down all 
my fingers, and I was obliged to let go. I noAv grasped 
my own sabre, with which I struck at him many times, 
but without the least effect, as he parried every blow with 
the utmost facility ; at last, with all his force, he made 
a cut at my head, which, being conscious" I could not 
xvard off by my skill, 1 bowed under it, and at the same 
instant striking sideways for his throat, had the good 
fortune to make a gash in the thick part of his right arm 
at least six inches long, the two lips of which appeared 
through his blue jacket, and in consequence of which 
his right-hand came down dangling by his side. I had, 
however, not escaped entirely unhurt, for his sabre, 
having passed through my hat without touching my scull, 
had glanced to my rig"ht shoulder, and cut it about one 
inch deep. At this time I insisted on his asking my 
pardon, or on firing both our pistols left-handed ; but he 
chose the first, which ended the battle. I now reminded 
him that such Swiss jokes were always too serious to 
Englishmen ; when we shook hands, and I conducted 
him, covered with blood, to the surgeon of his own 
corps, who having sewed up the wound, he went to 
his hammock, and for the space of several weeks per- 
formed no duty. Thus was I reconciled to Captain 
Meyland ; and what gave me the greatest satisfaction, was 
his acknowledging the affront was offered, as finding it 
would be agreeable to Fourgeoud to have me mortified ; 




and indeed ever after this acknowledo;nient we lived in c 11 a p. 
the utmost intimacy. Peace, however, was not yet de- 
creed to be my lot, for that very afternoon I found myself 
under the necessity of challenging two other officers, mIio 
had espoused Meyland's quarrel against me at dinner; 
but in this I had the satisfaction of establishing my 
character without violence or bloodshed, both of the 
gentlemen acknowledged their error; and I became at 
once the favourite of the camp. 

On the 9th of November both columns met, and en- 
camped together on the north side of the Wana Creek, 
near its mouth, where it runs into the Cormoetibo, placing 
advanced guards at both creeks, at one mile distance 
from it ; and this very evening I took the opportunity of 
acquainting Colonel Fourgeoud, that I had nearly cut 
off the head of his beloved countryman in a duel (well 
knowing he must be informed of it by others) ; which 
trespass he was not only pleased graciously to pardon, but 
to tell me with a smile that I was a brate garpn, but in 
those smiles I put no more trust than I Avould in the tears 
of a crocodile. 

My doubts of his friendship were soon confirmed, since 
my only true friend, Campbell, going doAvn sick to Devil's 
Harwar, he would not so nmch as allow the boat or pon- 
kee to wait till I had finished a letter, directed to Joanna, 
for some clean linen ; however, a ranger (of which corps 
I by this time was become a remarkable favourite) found 

Vol. I. K k means 


meaos to enable me to overtake this poor young man in 
a corialla or small canoe, composed of one single piece of 
timber; Avhen, shaking hands with Campbell, we sepa- 
rated with tears, and I never saw him more, for he died 
in a few days after. Colonel Fourgeoud now being de- 
termined to scour the north banks of the Cormoetibo, we 
broke up in two columns, viz. his own first, and that of 
Major Rughcop, to which last 1 still belonged, follow- 
ing; we left behind a strong guard, with the provisions 
for the sick. Before we set out, I shall specify the sub- 
stance of our orders to be observed on a march, as issued 
since by the chief on the 15th of August \774' at Cara- 
vassibo, and which, though nine months after this date, 
(being rather late) are so judicious, that they do infinite 
honour to his Adjutant Captain Van Giurike, who had the 
principal share in their composition : in 

Article I. Quietness and sobriety was strongly recom- 

Article II. On pain of death none to fire without 
receiving orders. 

Article III. Also death to whoever quits or loses his 

Article IV. The same punishment for those who dare 
to plunder while they are engaging the enemy. 

Article V. An officer and serjeant to inspect the dis- 
tribution of the victuals at all times ; and 



Article VI. Each officer to be limited in the number 
of his black attendants. 

The other orders were, " That in case om' marines 
" marched in two or three divisions or columns, they 
" were to mark the trees with a sabre or bill-hook, to 
" give intelligence to each other where they had passed, 
" in the manner noticed on Plate XX. where A, B, and C, 
** denote the marks cut by our first, second, and third 
" division or column, and J), E, and F, the marks made 
" by the several divisions or columns of the troops of the 
" Surinam society ; which marks were to be cut in such 
" trees only as were on the left side in marching. Also 
" when the troops marched over sandy desarts, heaths, or 
" savannahs, they were occasionally to drop small twigs 
" or reeds, tied together in the form of a cross : and in 
" each camp, on the troops leaving it, were to be left a 
" bottle and blank paper ; but if any thing particular 
" should happen, the same to be specified thereon. In 
" case of the troops being attacked on a march, a small 
" entrenchment was to be formed of the baggage-boxes, 
" at the back of which the negro slaves were to lie flat on 
" the ground ; and this entrenchment to be defended by 
" the rear-guard only, while the other troops had orders 
" not to linger on the defensive, but vigorously, with 
" bayonets fixed, to rush in upon the enemy's fire ; 
" nevertheless humanely giving quarter to all such as 
*' should be taken alive, or suiTcnder themselves to the 

K k 2 " troops." 


" troops." These were the stated rules of our future 
mihtary conduct ; but for the present I beg leave to 
observe, that every thing was in the most unaccountable 
hurry and confusion. In this way, however, we proceeded, 
keeping our course toward the mouth of the Cormoetibo 
Creek, each officer provided with a pocket compass, by 
which we were to steer, like sailors, through a dark wood, 
where nothing is to be seen but the heavens, as at sea 
nothing appears but clouds and water: thus those who 
were acquainted with navigation were the best qualified for 
marching, and ran the least hazard of losing themselves in 
a black unbounded forest. But those wretches who most 
deservedly attracted my pity, Avere the miserable negro 
slaves, who were bending under their loads; whose heads, 
on which they carry all burthens, bore the bald marks of 
their servitude ; — the}-^ were driven forward like oxen, and 
condemned to subsist on half allowance, Avhile they per- 
formed double drudgery. In short, to increase our mis- 
fortune, though in the dry season, the rains began to pour 
down from the heavens like a torrent, continuing all night : 
during this deluge (according to Colonel Fourgeoud's 
order) we were all ordered to encamp without huts or 
other covering of any kind, slinging our hammocks 
between two trees, under which, upon two small forked 
sticks, were placed our fire-arms, as the only method 
of keeping the priming-powder dry in the pan ; above 
this piece of architecture did I hang, like IMahomet 



betwixt the two loadstones, Avith my sabre and pistols in chap. 
my bosom, and, in spite of wind and weather, fell most 
profoundly asleep. 

On the 14th, at five o'clock in the morning, I was 
awaked by the sound of Up ! up ! up ! when the rain still 
continuing, the half of the officers and men were sick, 
and I rose from my hammock soaked as in a wash-tub ; 
having secured the lock of my firelock, in miitation of the 
rangers, with a piece of the bark of a palm-tree, and 
swallowing a dram, with a piece of dry rusk biscuit, for 
my breakfast, we again marched on. But I ought not to 
forget mentioning the negroes, who had the whole night 
slept in the water on the ground, and yet were in better 
health than any of the Europeans. Had we now been 
attacked by the enemy, we must inevitably have been all 
cut to pieces, being disabled from resisting with our fire- 
arms, in which not only the priming but even many of 
the cartridges were completely wet ; this might have 
been prevented by having cased and waxed down our 
arms, as is practised by the buccaneers of America; but 
these were trifles not to be thought of: one thing, how- 
ever, now happened which threatened to be no trifle, and 
that Avas, that the provisions were gone, and those we 
expected to meet us in the creek not arrived, having by 
some mistake been neglected. By this accident we were 
now reduced, officers and men without exception, to 
subsist on one rusk biscuit and water for our allowance for 



twenty-four hours, to keep us from starving * : while it 
is to be remarked, that Monsieur Laurant, our hero's 
French valet-de-chambre, who had charge of the provi- 
sion, was blown down to Baram's point, and another time 
sunk with all the provisions ; which produced the imper- 
tinent remark from some of the soldiers, that the devil 
had mistaken him for his master. In the midst however 
of this distress, we were again presented by one of the 
rangers with a large bird, called here boojjy-calcoo, being a 
species of wild turkey ; of this fortunate acquisition it was 
resolved in the evening to make broth, each throwing a 
piece of his rusk biscuit into the kettle, and (standing 
round the fire) beginning to ladle away as soon as the broth 
began to boil, Avhich had another virtue, viz. notwith- 
standing its being put over at six o'clock in the evening, at 
twelve o'clock at midnight the kettle was just as full as the 
first moment we had begun supper, though the broth Avas 
rather weaker I must acknowledge, the heavy rain having 
dashed into it without intermission. During this severe 
storm we were as destitute of huts as the night before, 
but I availed myself once more of my English petticoat 
trowsers, which, loosening from my middle, 1 hung about 
my shoulders, and continuing to turn round before the 
fire (like a fowl roasting on a string) I passed the hours 

"* Tliis rusk biscuit is made of a it, though mouldered, and impreg- 

coarse lye loaf, out in two, and baked nated with woiins, spiders, gravel, 

as hard as a stone ; I often broke it and even broken bottles. 
«ith my fuzee, and was glad to eat 

3 with 



with rather more comfort than my miserable coughing chap. 
companions. All I can say of the bird above men- 
tioned is, that I thought it differed little from the 
common turkeys, which here frequently weigh above 
twenty pounds. 

The largest bird in Guiana is there called Uiyew, and by 
others emu. It is a middle species between the ostrich and 
the cassowary, as I was told, for I never saw one in the 
country : it is said to be about six feet high, from the top 
of the head to the ground ; its head is small, its bill flat, 
the neck and limbs long, the body round, without a tail, 
and of a whitish grey colour ; its thighs are remarkably 
thick and strong, and it has three toes on each foot, while 
the ostrich has but two. This bird, it is said, cannot fly 
at all, but runs very swiftly ; and, like the ostrich, assists 
its motion with its wings : it is mostly found near the upper 
parts of the rivers Marawina and Seramica. When speak- 
ing about birds, notwithstanding few of them sing here 
with any degree of melody, for which the beauty of their 
plumage is thought by some to compensate ; I was, during 
this march, so much charmed Avith two in particular, that 
I was induced to put their sweet notes to music. Those 
of the first 

Rather quick 

The second slow 





CHAP. These notes they sung so true, so soft, and to such proper 
time, that in any other place I should have been inclined 
to believe they were the performance of a human artist 
upon his flute. As I never saw either of those birds but 
imperfectly and at a distance, I can say nothing more 
concerning them, than that they are frequently heard in 
marshy situations. 

On the succeeding morning we marched again through 
very heavy rains, Avhich by this time had swelled the water 
so high in the woods that it reached above our knees, and 
prevented us from crossing a small creek in our way, with- 
out the help of a temporary bridge. 

I prevailed therefore on the rangers, with the help of a 
few slaves, to erect one, which they did in the space of forty 
minutes, by cutting down a straight tree, which fell directly 
across the creek, to this they also made a kind of railing ; 
but still with this our commander Rughcop, whose temper 
was soured by misery, and whose constitution was already 
broken by hardships, was not pleased. He paid the rangers 
for their pains with oaths and reproaches, who, with a smile 
of contempt, left him SAvearing, and crossed the creek, 
some by swimming, and others by climbing up a tree 
whose branches hung over it, from which they dropped 
down on the opposite shore ; in this I folloAved their ex- 
ample : and here we stopped till the arrival of the poor 
trembling and debilitated Major Rughcop, Avith two-thirds 
of his troops as sick as himself. 

I still 


I still continued in perfect health, but I was much stung 
by different insects, and torn by a thousand thorns or 
maccaws, particularly one species, which are strong black 
prickles of several inches long, that break short in the 
wound ; they project like the back of a porcupine, on a 
kind of low or dwarf palm-tree, called the cocareefo, whose 
larse branches diverge from the earth like the fire of a fdzz 
from a bomb. Another inconvenience to be met Avith 
throughout all the low and marshy places in the forest, is 
a kind of roots called matakee, and more vulgarly trumpets, 
on account of the form, resembling the windings of that 
instrument, which rise above ground like nebees, three 
or four feet high, continuing thus to an almost endless 
length, and so thick that, like our brambles, no dog 
can get through them ; over these matakees it is extremely 
difficult to walk, as they every moment catch hold of 
the feet, and frequently trip up the body, unless at every 
footstep care is taken to step clear over them, Avhich for 
short-limbed men is an absolute impossibility. With this 
inconvenience we were troubled throuffhout the whole 
march ; but we had no opportunity of falling in with 
any kind of good roots, vegetables, or fruits for food, 
except a few tnaripas, which are a species of nuts that 
grow on a tall palm-tree, and are very much like the 
avoira that I have already described, only larger, and less 
of an oi-ange colour, the stone and kernel being exactly 
the same. 

Vol. I. LI We 


We marched again with better weather, and arrived 
before noon at Jerusalem, near the mouth of Cormoetibo 
Creek, where I had formerly halted during my cruise. 
Here Colonel Fourgeoud, with his drooping soldiers, was 
arrived just before us ; and here we made our appear- 
ance, in such a shocking situation as will scarcely admit 
of description. It is sufficient to say, that the whole 
little army was exhausted by famine and fatigue, a very 
small number excepted ; while several, unable to walk at 
all, had been carried upon poles by negro slaves in their 
hammocks : and during all this time we had discovered 
nothing. One thing is to be considered, that while the 
old gentleman himself went through all the above-men- 
tioned hardships, (to Avhich he seemed as invulnerable as 
a machine of iron or brass) Ave had the less reason to 
complain of bad usage. In short, having as usual plunged 
in the river, to wash off the mire and blood occasioned by 
the scratches, and having taken a refreshing SAvim, I 
looked round for my negroes to erect a comfortable hut ; 
but in this I was disappointed, as they were employed by 
Mr. Rughcop to build his kitchen, although he had as yet 
nothing to dress in it. This piece of unpoliteness I for 
once overlooked ; and the rangers having made me a 
nice bed of manicole-branches on the ground, (there 
being no trees in the place to sling a hammock) and 
having lighted a blazing fire by the side of it, I lay quietly 
down next to them on my green mattress, where, in a clear 



moonshine night and no rain, I fell sound asleep. But 
about two hours before day-break I awaked, when the 
fire was out, the moon was down, and I almost dead with 
the cold dew and the damp that exhaled from the earth, 
being so stiff and benumbed that I had scarcely strength 
to crawl on hands and feet, and awake one of my sable 
companions ; he, however, having kindled a new fire. 
I recruited so as at six o'clock to be able to rise, but with 
such excruciating pain in one of my sides that I could 
not avoid groaning aloud ; but to prevent Fourgeoud 
and the others from hearing, I hid myself in the skirts of 
the wood ; the pain however still augmenting, I soon was 
prevented from breathing without the greatest difficulty, 
and at last fell down behind the rotten trunk of an old 
cabbage-tree. In this situation I was discovered by one of 
the negro slaves who was going to cut raftei-s, and who, 
supposing me dead, ran instantly back, and alarmed the 
whole camp. I was taken up and carried in a hammock, 
by the care of a Captain Medler, under proper cover, and 
one of the Society surgeons instantly sent for to attend me. 
By this time I was suiTounded by spectators, and the pain 
in my side became so acute, that, like one in the hydro- 
phobia, I tore my shirt with my teeth, and bit whatever 
chanced to come near me ; till being rubbed by a warm 
hand on my side with a kind of ointment, the complaint 
suddenly vanished like a dream, and I felt myself com- 
pletely recovered. 


L L 2 


To prevent a relapse, however, the first use that I made 
of my strength was to cut a cudgel, with which I swore 
to murder the Berbice ruffian, Geusary, who had the 
management of the slaves, if he did not instantaneously 
employ them to build for me a comfortable hut, let who 
Avoukl order the contrary, my life being the dearest thing 
I had to regard ; and following him close at his heels, with 
my cudgel clubbed upon my shoulder, I had the satis- 
faction to be well housed in the space of two hours. I 
must not omit, that Colonel Fourgeoud, during the crisis 
of my illness, had made me an offer of being transported 
to Devil's Harwar ; but this I refused. 

On the 18th the news arrived, that poor Campbell died 
on the preceding day ; and now Major Rughcop him- 
self was sent down extremely ill, being the eleventh sick 
officer during this short campaign. Being now almost 
starving for want of provisions, we were most opportunely 
supplied by a quantity of fish, particularly the Jackee, 
already described as changing to a frog ; and the warappa, 
which is of the same size, and equally good, both being 
very rich and fat ; these fish were so plentiful in the marshes, 
where they were left by the retreating waters, that our 
negroes caught many with their hands, but mostly by 
striking at hazard in the mud with their bill-hooks and 
sabres ; after which, grasping with their fingers, they 
brought up pieces and half fishes in great abundance. 
Another fish they also caught in the cieek, called 




coemma-coemma, which is from one to three feet long, chap. 
exceedinoly sweet, but not near so delicious as the jackee, 
or warappa, which two last the negroes generally smoke- 
dry or barbacue, and which I was glad to eat without 
either bread or salt. The barbacuing consists in laying 
the fish upon twigs of wood above the fire, where, by 
the smoke, they dry to a consistency that gives them 
no disagreeable taste, and will preserve them for several 
weeks together: thus prepared, they require no further 

On the 20tli we detached a captain, Avith twenty pri- 
vates and twenty rangers, to reconnoitre the demolished 
village of Boucou : on the folloAving day Major Rughcop 
died ; and now Colonel Fourgeoud resolved to march him- 
self to Boucou, leaving me the command of four hun- 
dred men, white and black, two hundred of whom were 
sick in their hammocks ; but of that number I transported 
thirty to die at Devil's Harwar, while I sent sixty rangers 
with leave down to Paramaribo. These latter went away 
declaring, that Fourgeoud's operations were only calculated 
to murder his own troops instead of the enemy's. Such is 
the nature of the negroes, that where they know nothing 
is likely to be done, they will not march ; it is indeed ex- 
tremely diflScult to maintain proper discipline among 
them, and when they expect to see the enemy, nothing 
can possibly keep them back. It is amazing to observe, 
with what skill one negro discovers the haunts of another : 



while an European discerns not the smallest vestige of a 
man's foot in the forest, the roving eye of the negro-ranger 
catches the broken sprig, and faded leaf trod flat, without 
ever missing it ; but when he finds the marks of the enemy 
being near, he can then no longer be restrained. This un- 
doubtedly is inconsistent with modern tactics, but indi- 
cates that spirit of liberty, which in antient times alone 
completed the valiant soldier; and such was at this time 
the native and natural spirit of a people, who had but 
yesterday been slaves. 

On the evening of the 21st, I availed myself once more 
of being commandant, by sending two barges for provi- 
sions, the one to La Rochelle and the other to Devil's 
Harwar, which last brought back a box with Boston 
biscuit, sent me from Paramaribo. 

On this day two slaves Avere put in confinement, accused 
of having taken pork from the magazine ; and I was ad- 
dressed by the troops to inflict an exemplary punishment, 
the common soldiers despising the negro slaves, as in their 
imagination greatly below themselves, and stupidly consi- 
dering them as the causes of their distress. Having found 
a large piece of pork in their custody, yet having no 
proof that was sufiicient to establish the theft, I found 
myself greatly at a loss to distribute justice with satis- 
faction to both parties ; the Europeans unmercifully ac- 
cusing, and the poor slaves vindicating their starved 
companions in such a clamorous style, that the whole 
3 camp 


camp M^as in an uproar. The firft persisted that the latter 
had stalen it, and the others that they had saved it from 
their allowance, to take to their families. Affecting, 
therefore, the style of a despotic prince, I ordered first a 
ring to be formed of the plaintiffs, and next the prisoners 
to be let within it, I then, Avith a stern and loud voice, 
commanded a block and a hatchet to be brought. It 
was with heart-felt satisfaction that I found this solemn 
apparatus, and the apprehension that we might commit a 
rash and criminal action, soon dispelled every feeling of 
resentment in the soldiers, and I was implored by the very 
accusers to shew mercy. Obdurately stopping my ear, 
however, to all intreaty from either side, I made a strong 
negro slave take up the hatchet, and instantly chop the 
pork into three equal pieces ; when, giving one share to 
the prosecutors, another to the malefactors, and the third 
to the executioner for having so well done his duty, the 
farce was ended to general satisfaction, and I heard no 
more of robberies or complaints. 

On the 24th in the evening, two officers of the Surinam 
Society troops an'ived from Devil's Harwar, recovered 
from their late indisposition. One of them, calling him- 
self Le Baron de Z — b — h, and being infected with the 
esprii de corps, on his arrival seemed determined to espouse 
Captain Meyland's cause, abruptly alledging, that I had 
disgraced him by epithets unbecoming his dignity. I was 
amazed, and being conscious of my innocence, endeavoured 



to explain the matter in a friendly manner, in which I 
was seconded by a Mr. Rulagli, one of my officers ; but 
the German, instead of being appeased, grew more out- 
rageous, and plainly told me that he insisted on satis- 
faction. I never had less inclination to battle in all my 
life, I therefore left him without a reply, and walked 
towards my hut in the most gloomy mood imaginable. 
It was not long, however, before I felt my indignation 
suddenly re-kindle, when, ariTied with my sabre and 
pistols, I returned, fully determined to end the quarrel in 
the moon-shine. But now, finding the Baron retired to 
his hammock, I dispatched Mr. Rulagh with a summons, 
desiring he would tell him, that if he did not instantly 
turn out to fight me, I should come in, cut down the 
clews of his hammock with my knife, and treat him 
as I thought his pride and insolence deserved. Upon 
this appeared a figure that will never be effaced from 
my memory. 

The Baron was more than the middle size, extremely 
thin and sallow, his meagre visage ornamented with a 
pair of enormous red whiskers under the nose, while a 
white quetie near three feet long adorned his graceful 
back. He Avas in his under-waistcoat, and walked on 
stocking soles, which were black silk, darned with white 
worsted ; these hanging down upon his heels, discovered 
his miserable spindle shanks ; while on his head he wore 
a striped worsted night-cap of all colours, also in many 

holes ; 


holes ; and over his breech his Aalour Avas displayed by 
his colours, which hung out, but the hlazon of which I 
must not attempt to describe. Such was the figure that 
now, with all humiliation, offered to give me a buss, and 
intreated my forgiveness, pretending not to have under- 
stood me ; which last I having granted with a loud laugh 
and a dram of brand}^, he faced about, and by the quick 
step re-entered his den. 

On the £26th Colonel Fourgeoud, with his party, re- 
ttirned from his trip to Boucou, having surrounded three 
straggling rebel negroes unarmed, as they were cutting a 
cabbage-tree for their subsistence. While one of them, 
called Passitp, had escaped, another was taken alive, and 
a third, with his thigh shot to shivers b}^ a slug cartridge, 
was first lashed hands and feet, and thus carried b}' two 
negroes on a pole, in the manner of a hog or a beer- 
barrel, bearing all the weight of his body upon his 
shattered limbs, which were dropping Avith blood, with- 
out a plafter or a bandage to cover the wounds, and with 
his head hanging downwards all the time ; in which man- 
ner the imhappy youth, for he had not the appearance of 
being tAventy, had been brought through thick and thin 
for above six miles distance from the camp, Avhile he 
might just as well have been carried in one of the spare 
hammocks of the soldiers. I Avas shocked and surprised 
at this act of barbarity in Fourgeoud, Avhom I never had 
observed to be cruel in his cooler moments to an indivi- 

VoL. I. M m dual ; 


dual ; indeed I must do him the justice to say, quite the 
reverse, unless he was opposed, as I must own he some- 
times was by me ; but on . this occasion he was so flat- 
tered with this trophy of victory, that every spark of 
feeling and humanity was extinct. The body being laid 
on a table, I implored one of the surgeons, called Pino, 
to dress his wounds ; on which, that he might seem to do 
something, he put just as many round patches as the 
slugs had made holes, declaring he could never recover, 
and singing Dragons pour hoire during the operation. — 
Poor negro ! what must have been his feelings ! The fever 
increasing, he begged for some water, which I gave 
him myself clean out of my hat, when he said, " Thank 
ye, me Masera," sighed, and, to my inexpressible satisfac- 
tion, instantly expired. His companion, called September^ 
was more fortunate, for Fourgeoud, in hopes of making 
some discoveries, regaled and treated him with more dis- 
tinction than he did any of his officers ; while September, 
looking as wild as a fox newly caught, was put in the 
stocks during the night ; and his companion was interred 
by the negro slaves, with those marks of commiseration 
which his unhappy fate demanded from every human 
being. According to their custom, they spread his grave 
with the green boughs of the palm-trees, and offered a 
part of their scanty allowance by way of libation. The 
following day Mr. Stoelman, the militia captain, being 
arrived, to stay one day only in the camp, I took the 



opportunity to remind Colonel Fourgeoud of Avhat he had c h a p. 
told me concerning his unbecomhig insinuations, which I 
begged him now to repeat in that gentleman's hearing, as 
I was determined to have this matter cleared up, and to 
obtain that satisfaction to Avhich I thought myself entitled. 
But the gallant Colonel was not easily brought to proof. — 
He now imputed all the blame to Major Rughcop, who 
was dead, and requested of me to say nothing more about 
it. I left him with contempt, and shook hands with my 
supposed adversary; and then, to his inexpressible surprise, 
told him all that had happened. The consequence was, 
that in less than two hours the captain quitted Fourgeoud 
and Jerusalem in disgust, and was followed by the re- 
maining rangers. 

On the 29th, Captain de Borgnes Avas made major in 
Rughcop's place; but no new subalterns were created, 
Fourgeoud declarina: he had no more materials to fabri- 
cate them with : which in part might be true amongst the 
Serjeants ; but two brave youths, both gentlemen's sons, 
who had entered as volunteers, and gone through every 
danger and fatigue, remained unnoticed in the ranks, the 
one named Sheffer, the other Meyer ; — such ever was, and 
ever will be, too frequently, the consequence of wanting 
friends and fortune. 

" Et genus et virtus nisi cum re vilior alga est." 

M m 2 



The Troops march back to the Wana Creek — The Rebels pass 
near the Camp — Pursued without Success — Great Distj-ess 
for Waiit of Water — Mineral Mountains — The Troops 
arrive at La Rochelle, in Tatamaca. 

N the 30th of November, 1773, the whole of the 
troops broke up together, and leaving Jerusalem, 
we once more marched back to the Wana Creek, but did 
not keep exactly the track that had brought us thither : 
Colonel Fourgeoud, however, revoking his former orders, 
now allowed his remaining party to sling their hammocks 
under cover, of which indeed he, at this crisis, condescended 
to set them the example ; thus Avere we at least more 
comfortably lodged, but, I am sorry to add, not more 
comfortably victualled, while the old gentleman himself 
Avanted for nothing that was good. 

We continued our march for three days successively,, 
with good weather ; but I Avas every night aAvaked out of 
my sound sleep by a sentinel, Avho was sent by the colonel's, 
orders to disturb me, Avith a charge of having whistled or 

On the 3d Ave arrived once more at the Wana Creek.. 
Here, after a fatiguing march, I flattered myself Avith the 



hope of recruiting my exhausted strength and spirits by 
a quiet night's rest ; but was once more awoken, though 
so sound Avas my sleep, that the sentinel was obliged to 
shake me three or lour times by the shoulder. I then 
started up, denying the charge ; but Fourgeoud himself, 
sitting upright in his hammock, now swore, in a tremen- 
dous voice, that he was determined to Jiang and quarter 
whoever should dare to disobey his orders, the dark and 
gloomy woods resounding with his bellowing threats. A 
deadly silence succeeded this storm throughout the camp, 
till I happened to break it, by bursting out into an im- 
moderate fit of laughter, in which I Avas instantly accom- 
panied by so many others, that he began to roar like 
thunder, without being able to distinguish one person's 
voice from another. In this music he was seconded by a 
large toad, called here the pipa, to which monster he ac- 
tually gave shelter in his hut, and which kept croaking 
every night, with such a voice as could only be exceeded 
by Fourgeoud himself, or by that of his countryman, a 
Swisserland bear. jNIorpheus I now invoked to befriend 
me again, but to no purpose, such was the impression 
which these several roarings had left on my mind ; — and 
in this gloomy temper I shall describe this hateful gloomy 
animal, the colonel's dear companion, viz. tlie pipa, the 
largest of all the toads in South America, if not in the 

The pipa is an animal supposed by some to partake of 



both the nature of the frog and the toad. It is the most 
hideous of all creatures upon earth, covered over with a 
dark brown scrofulous skin, very uneven, and marked 
with irregular black spots ; the hinder feet of the creature 
are webbed, and the toes longer than those before : thus 
it can both swim and leap like a frog, in which it differs 
from other toads. Its size is often larger than a common 
duck when plucked and pinioned ; and its croaking, 
which takes place generally in the night, inconceivably 
loud. But what is most remarkable in this monster, is 
the manner of its propagation : the young ones being 
hatched till they become tadpoles in a kind of Avatery 
cells on the back of the mother, in which the embrio's 
existence first commences ; for on the back she is impreg- 
nated by the male, and thence issues this most extraordi- 
nary birth. 

Toads are not venomous, as is generally imagined, and 
are even tameable : as, for instance, ]Mr. Awcott fed one 
for many years, and Colonel Fourgeoud kept his as a 
domestic favourite during the whole time of our campaign 
at Wana Creek ; indeed I myself have since lodged a tame 
frog. That the laft mentioned animals are eatable as far 
as their thighs, I also know by experience : but their taste 
is extremely insipid. 

To return at once to my hammock and journal. — ^The 

croaking of this pipa ; the hammering of another, which 

produces a loud and constant sound of tuck, tuck, tuck, from 

1 1 sun- 


sun-set to sun-rise ', the howling of the baboons ; the hiss- 
ing of the snakes, tigers, &c. ; to which add the growhng 
of Fourgeoud, and sometimes heavy rains into the bargain, 
made the night very uncomfortable and gloomy indeed. 
The rising sun, however, dispelled my resentment ; and 
having taken a sound nap during the day, I was as well 
after it, and as well pleased, as the forest of Guiana could 
make me. 

On the morning of the 4th, I discovered a couple of 
fine powesas on the branches of a high tree near the 
camp, and requested liberty from the chief to shoot one 
of them, which however was bluntly refused me, on 
pretence that the enemy might hear tlie report of my 
rnusquet, though by the way, if it be not a solecism so 
to express myself, they knew better where we were than 
we did ourselves. A little after, however, a large snake 
appearing on the top of another tree, it Avas ordered to 
be shot immediately, whether from fear or antipathy I 
know not. On the discharge of the musquet the animal 
fell to the ground, quite alive, and slided instantly into a 
thicket near the magazine. Upon this occasion I had an 
opportunity of remarking the uncommon intrepidity of a 
soldier, who, creeping in after the reptile, brought it out 
from among the brambles, superstitiously pretending that 
he was invulnerable to its bite. However this may be, 
the snake, which was above six feet long, erected its head 
and half its body successively to attack him, and he as 



often knocked it down with his fist, and at last with his 
sabre severed it in two pieces, which ended the battle ; for 
doing which he Avas regaled bj Fourgcoud with a dram 
of rum. 

Lest I should be accused of introducing a vrord which 
is probably new and unintelligible to my readers, I will 
beg leave to add, that the powesa, or peacock-pheasant of 
Guiana, is a beautiful bird indeed, about the size of a 
common turkey, to which it bears a resemblance both in 
appearance and taste. Its feathers are a shining black, 
except on the belly ; its legs are yellow, and also its bill, 
except near the point, where it is blue and arclied. Its 
eyes are lively and bright, and on its head it is crested 
with a brilliant plume of black frizzled feathers, ^vhich 
give it a noble appearance. These birds cannot fly far; 
and being easily tamed, may be reared for domestic pur- 
poses : at Paramaribo they are frequently sold for more 
than a guinea a-piece. Another bircT peculiar to Guiana, 
called by the French the«ga»?c, and in Surinam camy-cami/, 
I will also take this opportunity to describe. — It is, like the 
former, nearly the size of a turkey, but totally different 
in its formation and plumage ; its body, Avhich has no 
tail, being perfectly the shape of an egg : it is also black, 
except on the back, where it is of a grey colour, and on 
its breast, Avhere the feathers are blue and long, hanging 
down like those of the heron. The eyes are bright, the bill 
is pointed, and of a blueish green, as are also its legs. 


^A^y^QA/^////./y, .yi^v/v;/^ ^v_ /-^///v/, >v//v/.>^////. 

J.cnili'ii . I'iihli..l,,il Jli<-:'-j":'l-lt:^,iyJ..I<'lili.r,'tt X'. Jiilih(7mni,y,ml. 


The vulgar name of this bird in this country is the cjiap. 
trumpeter, on account of the sound it frequently makes, 
which bears some distant resemblance to that of a trum- 
pet, -but M'hence that sound proceeds is not in my power 
to certify : some suppose it is made by the nose. Of all 
the feathered creation this bird is the most tameable, and 
the greatest friend to man, whom it follows, caresses, and 
even seems to protect Avith the attachment of a dog. I 
have seen many of them kept on the estates, where, like 
the powesa, they are reared for domestic uses, and feed 
among the turkeys and other poultry. 

On the 6th I received six gallons of rum from Para- 
maribo, four of which I gave as a present to Fourgcoud. 

About six in the evening Iavo of our slaves, Avho had 
been out to cut manicoles, brought intelligence that a 
gang of rebels had passed not above a mile from the 
camp, headed by a Captain Arico, -with Avhom they had 
spoken on the banks of the Cormoetibo Creek, but coidd 
not tell which way they steered their course, so much 
had they been terrified. On this information we received 
orders to pursue them by break of day; and the next 
morning, at five o'clock, all was ready, and we again 
broke up, leaving a detachment with the stores, and re- 
paired to the spot whence the intelligence procee,ded. 
Here we saw a large palm or mawrisee tree*, floating in 

* The largest of all the palm species. 

Vol. I. N n the 


the river, and moored to the opposite shore by a nebee, 
which plainly indicated that Arico, with his men, had 
crossed the creek, Avhich they do by riding astride on the 
floating trunk, the one behind the other, in which manner 
they are ferried over, (sometimes with women and children) 
by those who are the best swimmers. 

Notwithstanding this plain evidence, the faith of our 
colonel, Fourgeoud, now began to waver, and he averred 
that it was no more than a stratagem of the rebels, who, 
he said, had come from the place to which we supposed 
them gone, and who had only tied the tree across the river 
to deceive us. 

To this opinion neither myself nor the other officers 
could subscribe ; but no arguments would prevail Avith 
him, and we marched directly from them, viz. east, in- 
stead of crossing and pursuing them west, as the rangers 
would certainly have done : thus we kept on till it was 
near dark, though the bread was forgotten, and the 
whole day not a drop of water to be obtained, marching 
through high sandy heaths or savannahs. After inclining 
a httle to the right, we were just upon the point of 
making a camp, when a negro called out that we were 
come to the Wana Creek. This in my ears was a wel- 
come sound ; and giving him a calabash, and the best 
part of a bottle of my rum, I desired him to run to the 
creek, and make me some grog, and this he did ; but the 
poor fellow, never having made grog before, poured in all 




the spirits and but very little water, doubtless thinking, c ii a [' 
that the stronger it was the better; which beverao-e I ^^" 
swallowed to the bottom, without taking time to taste it, 
and I became instantly so much intoxicated that I could 
hardly keep my feet. 

On the 9tli we found ourselves returned to our old camp, 
from a fruitless cruise, Avhen Colonel Fourseoud set the 
captive negro, September, at liberty, who followed like a 
shepherd's dog attending a flock ; but our commander in 
chief Avas indefatigable, and not only crossed and recon- 
noitred the west side of the creek himself, but fillins: our 
knapsacks, we the next morning set out in the same track 
we had kept the eighth, he still persisting that he should 
overtake the enemy. Having thus marched till towards 
dark, avc altered our course, and passed the night in an 
old camp of the rebel negroes, having again passed the 
whole day without water. 

The following day we still proceeded, but neither ene- 
mies nor water were to be found : the men and ofhcers 
now began to be extremely faint, and some were already 
carried in their hammocks. It was by this time indeed 
insufferably hot,, being in the very heart of the dry season. 
In this dilemma we dug a hole six feet deep, in the bottom 
of which a ball cartridge being fired, a little moisture began 
to trickle forth, but so slow and so black, that it proved 
not to be of the least use. 

We still marched on, and encamjied in an old weedy 

N n 2 field, 


field, where the rebels some time before had cultivated 
plantations. During the night it was truly affecting to 
hear the poor soldiers lament for Avant of drink, but to 
no purpose ; for in spite of all this misery, Fourgeoud 
still persisted in going forward even the third day, build- 
ing his hopes on meeting with some creek or rividet to 
alleviate this general distress. In this he was however 
mistaken; for having again, on the 12th, marched over 
burning sands till about noon, he dropped down himself, 
amongst a number of others, a miserable spectacle, for 
want of means to slake their raging and intolerable 
thirst. It was happy that in this situation Ave Avere not 
attacked by the negroes, as it must have been impossible 
to make any resistance, the ground being strewed Avith 
distressed objects that appeared to be all of them in raging 
fevers. Despair now seemed to be impressed even upon 
Fourgeoud's countenance, as he lay prostrate on the earth, 
Avith his lips and tongue parched black ; and in this con- 
dition, though so httle deserving of it, he again attracted 
my pity. 

During all this, some of the soldiers stilt devoured salt 
pork, Avhile others crept on all fours and licked the scanty 
drops of dew from the fallen leaves that lay scattered on 
the ground. I now experienced the kindness of Avhich a 
negro is capable when he is Avell treated by his master, 
being presented by one attending me Avith a large calabash 
of as good Avater as ever I drank in my life ; and this he 
1 5 met 


met with, after unspeakable difficulty, in the leaves oi^ a c ii a p. 
few wild pine-apple plants, from which it was extracted in 
the followino; manner : 

The plant is held in one hand, and a sabre in the 
other, when at one blow it is severed from the root, 
through the thick under parts of the leaves. It is llica 
held over a cup or calabash, and the water flows pure, 
cool, and to the quantity sometimes of a quart from each 
plant. This water has been caught in the time of the 
rains by the channelled leaves of the plant, and conveyed 
to their proper reservoir. Some other negroes found 
means to relieve themselves by the water-mthij, but this 
was not sufficient to assist the dying troops. The water- 
withij is a kind of very thick nebee of the vine species, 
which grows only in very sandy places, this being slashed 
with the sabre in long pieces, and suddenly held to the 
mouth, produces a limpid stream, and affords a pleasing, 
cool, and healthy beverage, of great service in the parch- 
ing forests of Guiana. 

As Providence had graciously sent me this supph"^, I 
could not for my soul resist the impulse of sharing my re- 
lief Avith poor Fourgeovid, Avhose age and natural infirmi- 
ties pleaded greatly in his favovu' ; and who, being now 
refreshed, saw himself at last obliged to return, without any 
further hope of overtaking the enemy. But so exhausted 
w-as the party, that many were carried on long poles in 
their hammocks by the slaves. 



As his last resource, our commander now detached the 
Ijcrbicean negro, Gattsarie, by himself, to try if he could 
bring him any intelligence while we continued our retreat. 
As we returned by our former footsteps, and of conse- 
quence approached the pit we had dug yesterday, I was 
convinced that by this time it must contain clear water. 
I therefore dispatched my boy Quaco to the front, to fill 
one of my gallon bottles before it should be changed to 
a puddle, and this he did ; but being met on his return 
by Colonel Fourgeoud, he with the butt end of his gun 
relentlessly knocked the bottle to pieces, and doubling 
his pace, placed two sentinels at the pit, with orders to 
preserve the water all for himself and his favourites. 
But at this moment subordination being extinguished, 
the two protectors were forced headlong into the pit, fol- 
lowed by several others, who all fought to come at the 
water, which being now changed to a perfect mire, Avas 
good for nothing. Having slung our hammocks in an 
old rebel camp, a dram of kill-devil was distributed to 
each without distinction; but, as I never used this fluid, 
1 offered my share to my faithful negro who had given me 
the water : this being observed by old Fourgeoud, he or- 
dered it to be snatched out of the poor man's hand, and 
returned into the earthen jar ; telling me, " I must either 
" drink it myself, or have none." I was exceedingly ex- 
asperated at this mark of ingratitude, and finding means 



to procure that very evening a whole bottle, I gave it to c n a p. 
the slave. 

Near midnight, accidentally good water was discovered 
— Good God ! what joyful news ! — how sweet the taste ! 
surpassing any wine ; and such as I shall ever gratefully 
remember! — Now all drank heartily, and Fourgeoud 
ordered a warm supper to be boiled for himself, but not 
so much as a fire to be lighted for any other person, for- 
bidding even the cutting of a stick ; thus Avere we forced 
to eat our salt beef and pork 7'aw. However, having tied 
mv small allowance to a string, I hung it quietly over the 
side of his kettle, to have it dressed ; but his black cook 
chancing to drop a log of wood upon another in his eager- 
ness to assist me, alarmed the hero, Avhen I was obliged to 
drop my luncheon into the kettle, and take to my heels. 

The old gentleman now insisting that some person had 
cut sticks against his orders, I quietly stepped up to his 
hammock in the dark, to undeceive him, and softly as- 
sured him that the whole camp was fast asleep ; when he, 
on pretence of not knowing me, suddenly gave a loud 
roar, and, with both his hands, caught hold of me by 
the hair of the head. I escaped, and got fairly under 
cover, while he called, " Fire at him ! fire at him !" to 
the infinite amusement of the whole camp, who lay in 
their hammocks convulsed with laughter. Having found 
out Quaco, I instantly sent him back to l)ring my 
luncheon ; and such was his diligence, that he actually 



CHAP, brought me back a piece of beef at least ten times as 
-\ I . 

large as wliat I had left, with which I had once more 

the satisfaction to regale the poor slaves : and thus ended 

this horrid day. 

The 1 3lh we once more returned to the Wana Creek, 
fatigued be3ond the power of description Avitli these 
fruitless sufierings. 

Here the old gentleman regaled his friends with my rum 
in my presence, and without offering me a single drop. 
Here also I found a letter from the island of Cej'lon in 
the East Indies, where my friend and relation, ]\Ir. 
Arnoldus De Ly, being governor of Poind-de-Gale and 
Maturee, I was invited to come and find my fortune ready 
made, but which for the present my evil stars prevented 
my accepting, as it would have been dishonourable to 
leave the service at this juncture. 

The following day the negro Gausarie returned from his 
expedition, reporting that he had discovered nothing. 

Captain Fredericy, who had marched on the 20th ult. 
with forty men, Mdiife and black, from Jerusalem, not 
having been heard of since, it was apprehended he had 
met Avith some dreadful accident, and, in consequence, 
on the 15th, two captains, two subalterns, and fifty 
men, were dispatched to the river Marawina for some 

The post at the Marawina, which is called Vredenburgh, 
consists of houses surrounded with palisades in a kind of 


^- :*-^-^^ -| 



^A/^^-^:Z(^!i(g<ry^^^/^r^^-^s^^ f/a^/'tzio't/r/a< 

///'/(' "A //// /A-/'€eyC::> //^^y/ ///// ///r///^ u/^ ///.^^4Mx///7y'^'/'e<^4:\ 


square, which are all built of the manicol':>-tree, with which 
the woods of Guiana so much abound. On the outer side 
are a guard and four sentinels, and the fort itself is de- 
fended by several cannon. It is situated in an o}>ening, 
on the banks of the river, where is placed a large flag, and 
where the garrison communicates with the French post on 
the opposite shore, both being situated at but little 
distance from the mouth of the Marawina. To give the 
best idea of this spot, I shall present the reader with a 
view of it, as also of our situation at the Wana Creek, 
which, however beautiful on paper, was a dreadful post 
to many unfortunate sufferers. 

In the annexed Drawing, three camps are distinctly 
exhibited ; those of Colonel Fourgeoud and of the de- 
ceased Major Rughcop, on both sides of the Wana Creek, 
and that which was lately the rangers, directly opposite 
to its mouth. 

The barges, &c. were ordered on the same day to brino- 
up provisions, and take doMn the sick ; but at this very 
time the whole camp was attacked by that dreadful dis- 
temper the bloody flux, which is both infectious and 
epidemical, and daily carried numbers to their grave. An 
emetic, or some other medicine, administered at random, 
were the only relief in our power, as there was not a pro- 
per surgeon on the spot, all of them being engaged at the 
hospitals in Comewina and in Paramaribo. 

Vol. I. O o The 


The poor slaves were peculiarly unhapp}^ who, as I 
have stated, having but half allowance, lived for months 
on the produce of the cabbage-tree, seeds, roots, wild 
berries, &c. and to this circumstance may be attributed 
the first introduction of this dangerous disease into the 
camp. So starved indeed were these wretched negroes,, 
that they tied ropes or nebees about their naked bodies^ 
which is a practice of the Indians when their abdomens 
are shrunk with hunger, as they find by experience, or at 
least fancy, that the pain occasioned by want of food is 
relieved by the compression. I, hoM'ever^ with a few 
others, escaped the infection, but I Avas laid up with a 
miserable bad cold and swelled foot ; which disease is 
called the consaca, and is not unlike our chilblains in 
Europe, as it occasions a very great itching, particularly 
between the toes, whence issues a watery fluid. 

The negroes are very subject to this comj^laint, which 
they cure by applying the skin of a lemon or lime, made 
as hot as they can bear it. 

I have frequently had occasion to mention oor provi- 
sions, viz. salt beef, pork, rusk, biscuit, and water, for our 
allowance, which were dealt out regularly every five or six 
days; the two former having perhaps made the tour of the- 
world, after leaving Ireland, and were even so green, so 
slimy, so stinking, and sometimes so full of worms, that 
at other times they would not have remained upon my 



stomach. But I have not described our furniture. This, 
however, will not occupy much time, as it consisted only 
of a square box or chest for each officer, to carry his linen, 
fresh provisions, and spirits, when he had either. These 
boxes served not only as cupboards, but as chairs and 
tables in the camp. On a march they were carried on 
the head of a negro : I must observe, moreover, that we 
had no lis;ht after six o'clock in the evening, that of the 
moon excepted, when all was solemn and melancholy be- 
yond description. 

I had not so much as a trencher, bason, spoon, or 
fork : for the first and second I made a negro's calabash 
serve me ; a fork 1 Avanted not, and a spoon but seldom : 
instead of that article, therefore, I used a folded leaf, 
agreeably to the practice of the slaves ; and as for a knife, 
each person carried one in his pocket. I at last contrived 
to make a lamp by breaking a bottle ; in which having 
melted some pork, it produced a quantity of oil, and a 
slip of m}' shirt served for a wick. Necessity is prover- 
bially ingenious, and in such a situation every nicety is 
forgotten. Indeed, could I now have had what formerly 
I left upon my plate, I should have ardently thanked 
God for it. 

When speaking of ingenuity, I ought not to forget a 
number of pretty baskets which were made by the negroes 
in the camp, and ^vhich, they having taught me to con- 
struct, I also made to amuse myself, and sent them as 

o o 2 presents 


presents to several friends at Paramaribo. These baskets 
were composed of a kind of strong ligneous cord that is 
found in the bark of the cabbage-tree, and, as Dr. Bancroft 
expresses it, consists of a web-hke plexus, which is divided 
cross-wise in long, hard, polished threads, brown and as 
tough as whalebone. These threads are drawn from it, 
and the filaments or fibres are made use of as withies are 
used in England. For holding fish at ombre or quadrille, 
nothing can be better or more beautiful ; but those that 
are large for holding fruit, vegetables, &c. are quite 
different, and made of a kind of bulrush, called warimbo, 
which is first split and deprived of its pithy substance : the 
thin nebees make also no bad baskets. The negroes here 
besides made curious nets, and even hammocks, of the 
silk grass plant. 

This is a species of wild aloe that grows in the woods : 
the leaves are indented and prickly, and contain longi- 
tudinally very strong and small white fibres, wdiich are 
bruised and beaten to hemp. With this we made ropes 
stronger than any in Europe. These would answer per- 
fectly for the rigging of ships and other purposes, had it 
not been discovered that they are sooner liable to rot in 
the v/et. This kind of hemp is so very much like white 
silk, that the importation is forbidden in many countries, 
to prevent imposition by selling it for the same; and the 
fraud is more difficult to be detected when it is artfully 
mixed with silk. By the Indians this plant is called curetta, 
11 and 


and in Surinam vulgarly Indian soap, as it contains a chap. 
saponaceous, pulpy substance, which answers for washing ^^* 
as common soap, and is emplojxd for that purpose by the 
negroes and many others. Another plant much resembling 
this, is by the black people termed baboon knifee, as it 
sometimes cuts through the skin to the very bone, of which 
I myself had some proofs in this wilderness, but without 
any ill consequence. 

In the manner I have already related the time M'as spent 
during this period, in which the whole camp was destitute 
of stockings, shoes, hats, &c. Colonel Fourgeoud walked a 
whole day barefooted himself to furnish an example of 
patience and perseverance, and to keep the few remaining 
troops from murmuring. In this respect I had fairly the 
advantage of all the compan}^ my skin being (the swelled 
foot or consaca, and a few scratches excepted) perfectly 
whole from my habit of walking thus, Avhile not a sound 
limb was to be found among the rest, whose legs in general 
were broken out in dreadful ulcers, with a discharge of 
pus. I have already in part accounted for this inconve- 
nience, and shall still farther account for it, by observing, 
that while the stockings and shoes of these unhappy people 
remained, they were never otf the feet of many wearers, 
who, after marching through water, mud, and mire, in 
this filthy condition, rested during the night in their 
hammocks, where, in fair weather, before morning this 
filth was dried upon their limbs, and in consequence 



caused an itching and redness on the skin, which bj 
scratching broke out in many places ; these wounds soon 
became scrofulous, and ended in open sores and ulcers, 
which, from the want of care and proper application, often 
changed to mortification and intolerable swellings, by 
which some lost their limbs, and others even their lives 
when they were not saved by amputation. Such wei'e the 
causes, and such the effects of the evils we had to struggle 
with ; but they were far from the whole of our wretched- 
ness, and might be called only the precursors of what we 
had still to undergo. 

At this time a compliment of a fine ham and a dozen 
of port wine being sent me by Captain Van Coeverden, I 
gave all in a present to poor Fourgeoud, Mho was ema- 
ciated with fatigue, except four bottles which I drank 
with the other ofllicers ; and next da}^ the 29th, I had 
the honour to be ordered on .1 patrol with Colonel des 
Bo7-g7ies, and forty privates, ojicc more to Uy if we could 
not take the negroes who had crossed the creek three weeks 

Having dropped down the river Avith a barge, in which 
we lay all night, we landed the following morning, and 
marched N. E. ; after which, being Avithout a compass, 
we soon lost our way, and having crossed a large sand- 
savanna, slung our hammocks in the skirts of a thick 
and obscure wood. On the 31st we again set out the 
same course, in hopes of meeting with the marks of some 




former path cut upon the trees by some of our troops ; chap. 

but were jnistaken, for having got into a marsh, where Ave 

waded till noon up to our chins, at the hazard of being 

drowned, we saw oursehes under tlie necessity of returning 

the same way we came, perfectly soaked and in rags ; 

and after a forced march encamped once more on the 

banks of Cormoetibo Creek,, in such a heavy shower of 

rain during the whole night as I did seldom remember, 

which caused so much confusion and hurry, each striving 

to build his shed, and get under cover first, that I 

got a broken head, but persevering was one of the first in 

slinging my hammock ; above which spreading green 

boughs, and under wliich having Hghted a comfortable 

fire, I fell most profoundly asleep in the middle of 

the smoke, which saved me from the; stings of the mus- 


While speaking of insects, I ought not to forget that 
this evening one of the negro slaves who had been look- 
ing, for dry wood, presented me, to my great surprise, with 
a beetle no less than three or four inches in length, and 
above two in. breadth, called in Surinam the t^fimoceros, on 
account of its proboscis or horn, which is hooked, forked,, 
and thick as a goose -quill ; on tlie head it has many hard 
polished knobs; the limbs are six; the wings are u^rge, 
and the Avhole anin:al is perfectly black, being the largest. 
of all the beetle kind in America, 


In Guiana is also another species of these insects, called 
the cerf-volant, or flying hart, from its exuberances re- 
sembling the horns of a stag; both these beetles fly with 
an uncommon buzzing noise, and are so strong, that but 
very few birds dare to attack them. One of the greatest 
plagues however we met with in the forest, was a fly as 
large as a common bee, the stings of which were almost 
equally powerful ; the negroes call it the cow-Jiy ; this I 
can best I think compare to w^hat is called the hippoboscus 
or liorse-fiy in Great Britain. 

Having slept most soundly for six or seven hours, in spite 
of the rains, the smoke, the nmsquitoes, and my broken 
head, I turned out perfectly refreshed at five, and at six 
we commenced the year 1 774, by marching up along the 
banks of the Cormoetibo till mid-day, when we arrived 
once more at the grand encampment at the mouth of the 
Wana Creek, from, as usual, a fruitless cruise. 

On the 3d, to our joy returned also Captain Fredericy, 
with his party, bringing in a captive negro in chains, 
called Cupido ; and relating that a poor soldier of the 
Society troops, on receiving his pardon, Avhen on his 
knees to be shot, was gone out of his senses. 

Colonel Fourgeoud being finally determined to break up 
* this campaign, sent out a party of sixty men to cruise on 
- the way to Patamaca before him. 

I now washed my shirt, the last I had, in the Wana 
Creek (but was obliged to keep swimming till it was dried 



by the sun) my letter, sent for linen, having never reached 
Paramaribo, and what I had brought with me being torn 
to rags. 

On the 4th of January, at six o'clock in the morning, 
all were ready to decamp. Thus having sent down the 
barges with the sick to Devil's Harwar, we at last crossed 
Cormoetibo Creek, and marched first directly south for 
Patamaca, over steep mountains covered with stones and 
impregnated with minerals. This again contradicts Dr. 
Bancroft's observations, these mountains not being above 
twenty miles from the ocean, though he asserts that no 
hill is to be found at near fifty miles from the sea. In the 
evening we encamped at the foot of a high hill, where we 
found a small rivulet of good water, and a number of 
manicole-trees, the two chief requisites. It is curious, and 
indeed beautiful, to behold, in the space of an hour, a 
green town spring up as it were from nothing, and a little 
after all the fires hghted, on which the men are boiling 
their hard fare, while others are employed in drying their 
cloaths; though, as I have stated, this last was by no 
means a general rule, the greater mimber preferring to let 
them rot on their bodies. 

This night, however, the whole camp was disturbed by 
a diarrhoea complaint, occasioned by drinking the water 
we found here, which indeed was very pure, but was so 
impregnated with minerals, that it tasted almost like that 
of Bath or the German Spa. This is a circumstance 

Vol. I. p p ^vhich 


which 1 think mdicates that these mountains contain 
metals, if the Dutch would go to the expence of searching 
in their bowels. 

On the 5th we marched the same course again over 
mountains and dales, some of which were so excessively 
steep that one or two of the slaves, not being able to ascend 
them loaded, threw down their burdens, and deserted, not 
to the enemy, but found their way to their masters estates, 
where they were pardoned ; while others tumbled doA\ n, 
burthen and all, from top to bottom. 

This evening we found our quarters ready-made, and 
lodged in the a/oaowis or huts that Mere left standing 
when the rice country was destroyed, and Bonny with 
His men put to flight ; in that where I lay I found a 
very curious piece of candle, which the rebels had left 
behind, composed of bees-wax and the heart of a 

Bonny 's own house, where. Fourgeoud lodged, was a 
perfect curiosity, having four pretty little rooms, and a 
shed or piazza inclosed with neat manicole palisades. 

The whole corps appearing on the 6 th excessively fa- 
tigued, Fourgeoud ordered a general day of rest, only 
detaching Captain Fredericy with six men, as he knew the 
country best, to reconnoitre the banks of the Claas Creeky 
a water that issued from near this place in the upper parts 
of Rio Cottica. They were hardly marched when the 
eye of our chief by chance falling on me, he ordered 



me instantly to follow alone, and return with a report of c ir a p. 
what I could discover on the other side the creek. I over- . ^^'_ 
took the party soon, when after a short march we were in 
Avater up to our very arm-pits ; Fredericy now ordered a, 
retreat, but desiring him to wait for me, I took off all my 
cloaths, and with only my sabre in my teeth, swam by 
myself across the Creek, where having ranged the opposite 
shore, and finding nothing, I again swam back, after which 
we all returned to the camp. 

At noon, making my report to Colonel Fourgeoud, he 
was astonished indeed at this desperate action, which in 
fact he had not expected ; but I was not less amazed when 
he took me by the liand, entertaining me with a bottle of 
wine, and ordering Monsieur Laurant to set some bacon- 
ham before me, to find, however incredible it may appear, 
that the one was actually sour, and the other creeping 
with live worms; while my own provisions, now his, which 
were fresh, were withheld me. This meanness so much 
exasperated me, that, starting up, I left Fourgeoud, his 
valet, his wine, and his reptiles, with that contempt which 
they deserved, alleviating my hunger with a piece of dry 
rusk biscuit and a barbacued fish, called warappa, which I 
got from a negro. 

On the 7th of January we marched again ; and this 
day having caught one of those beautiful large hiitterjlies 
of which I made mention during my cruize in the river 
Cottica, I will here attempt to give a more particular 

p p 2 description 


description of it, though I know nothing about their 
names. This fly measured, in the extension of the wings 
from tip to tip, about seven inches ; the colour of both 
the superior and inferior wings is of such a vivid and 
splendid blue, as can only be compared to the azure sky 
in a bright day, to which not the purest ultramarine co- 
loured sattin can approach : the under side is of a lovely 
brown variegated with spots. I cannot help repeating, 
that its skimming and hovering with such a magnitude, 
and such a hue, among the different shades of green, had 
the most enchanting effect. Of the antennae, head, thorax, 
and abdomen, I shall only say that they were dark co- 
loured. This fly, if I mistake not, is, according to the 
division of Linnaeus, of the Danai species. 1 never saAv 
the chrysalite or aurelia ; but the caterpillar, which is of 
a yellowish grey colour, is as thick as a large man's finger, 
and about four inches long. The annexed drawing I have 
improved from one of Miss Merian. Various and innu- 
merable indeed are the butterflies with which the forests 
of Guiana abound ; some people, in fact, who make fly- 
catching their business, get much money by it ; and 
having arranged them in paper-boxes, with pins stuck 
through them, send them off to the different cabinets of 
Europe. Doctor Bancroft mentions, touching them with 
spirits of turpentine as necessary to preserve them, but 
fixing a piece of camphor in the box with the flies is quite 


.**^ -.■<#*<■ 

9i///'r /'///r /y?>///f^/y/// (^iJ^^M^^^^n^'T'tr^^z/^ 

/.,ni,l,<i,.rul-IMr,l />r,-."rr'/;,.;i,/M .l.r,^liii.',>,i X' t\u,U il,i,i;-l, iani. 



This evening we encamped near the Patamaca Creek, chap. 
where the poor negro woman cried bitterly, and scattered 
some victuals and water at the root of a tree by way of 
libation, as being the spot where her husband was interred, 
who had been shot in some former skirmish by the 

Here Captain Fredericy and myself, walking without 
the skirts of the camp in a sandy savannah, discovered 
the fresh footsteps of a large tiger Avith her young, at 
which time they are extremely ferocious : we thought it 
prudent therefore to make a sudden retreat. I measured 
the diameter of the dam's claws printed in the sand, 
which were nearly of the dimensions of an ordinary 

Having marched a few hours longer the succeeding 
morning, we at last arrived at the Society post La Rochelle 
in Patamaca: such a display of meagre,^ starved, black, 
burnt, and ragged tatterdemalions, and mostly Avithout 
shoes or hats, as I think were never before beheld in any 
country. They could be compared to nothing but a gang 
of gypsies, while their leader was not unlike Bampfield 
Moore Carew, and myself at best like the forlorn Crusoe 
in his worst condition, with my only check shirt and the 
one-half of my trowsers, the rest being torn away. Here 
we found a set of poor wretches ready to enter the woods 
which we had just left, and destined to undergo in the 
same manner the severest misery that ever was inflicted 



on sublunary beings. I have already mentioned the prickly 
heat, ring-worm, dry gripes, putrid fevers, biles, consaca, 
and bloody flux, to which human nature is exposed in this 
climate ; also the musquitoes, Patat and Scrapat lice, 
chigoes, cock-roaches, ants, horse-flies, wild-bees, and 
bats, besides the thorns, briers, the alligators, and peree 
in the rivers; to which if we add the howling of the 
tigers, the hissing of serpents, and the growling of Four- 
geoud, the dry sandy savannas, unfordable marshes, 
burning hot days, cold and damp nights, heavy rains, 
and short allowance, the reader may be astonished hoAv 
any pereon was able to survive the trial. Notwithstanding 
this black catalogue, I solemnly declare I have omitted 
many other calamities that we suffered, as I wish to avoid 
prolixity, though perhaps I have been already too often 
guilty of it. I might have mentioned indeed lethargies, 
dropsies, &c. Sec. besides the many small snakes, lizards, 
scorpions, locusts, bush-spiders, bush-worms, and cen- 
tipedes, nay, even flying lice, with which the traveller is 
perpetually tormented, and by which he is constantly in 
danger of being stung; but the description of which cursed 
company I must defer to another opportunity. 

The reader may form some conception of the famished 
state in which we came hither, when I infoim him, that 
the moment of our arrival, observing a negro woman 
sujjping on plantain broth from a calabash, I gave her 
half-a-crown, and snatching the bason from her hands, I 



devoured the contents with a greater relish than I have chap. 
ever tasted any dehcacy before or since during my whole ^^' 
existence. I now observed to Colonel Fourgeoud, how 
pitiable it was, not to regale his remaining soldiers with 
vegetables and fresh beef or mutton, besides providing 
them with hats, stockings, shoes, &c. ; but he replied, 
that Hannibal had lost his army at Capua by too much 
indulgence. In short, he quoted not only Hannibal but 
Horace for his example, according to the advice given m 
a certain pamphlet, 

Ibit eo quo vis qui Zonaiii perdidit ; 

and appeared fully convinced, that no persons will be- 
have so desperately in action as those who are tired of 
their lives. 

On the 11th, the other party which had left Wana the 
day before ourselves, arrived, having, according to custom, 
neither taken nor seen any thing. 

On the 12th, one of the rebels with his wife came to> 
La Rochelle, and smTcndered themselves voluntarily to the- 
commander in chief. This day Fourgeoud acquainted me 
now himself, that I was at liberty to go and refit at: 
Paramaribo when I thought proper. This proposal I 
gladly accepted, and that moment prepared for my 
departure, with some other officers, leaving behind us 
himself and a band of such, scare-crows as would have 



disgraced the garden or field of any farmer in England. 
Among these was a Society captain, named Larcher, who 
declared to me he never combed, washed, shaved, or 
shifted, or even put oflf his boots, till all was rotted from 
his body. At last arrived the happy hour, when, taking 
leave of my tattered companions, I and five more, with 
a tent-boat and six oars, rowed straight down for Para- 
maribo, still in good health and in a flow of spirits, and at 
the very summit of contentment. 

At Devil's Harwar I met a cargo of tea, coffee, biscuit, 
butter, sugar, lemons, rum, and twenty bottles of claret, 
sent me by my friends, directed to La Rochelle, Avhich I 
again, notwithstanding the barbarous usage that I had so 
lately met with, gave all in a present to poor Fourgeoud, 
twelve bottles of wine excepted, which we drank in the 
barge to the healths of our wives and mistresses ; nor could 
I help pitying Colonel Fourgeoud, whose age (he being 
about sixty) and indefatigable exertions claimed the at- 
tention of the most indifferent : for during this trip, though 
but few rebels were taken, he had certainly scoured the 
forest from the river Comewina to the mouth of the Wana 
Creek, dispersed the enemy, and demolished their habita- 
tions, fields, and gardens, and thus cut them off from all 
prospect of support. 

On the evening of the 13th, we supped at the estate 

Mondesire, and thence kept roAving down all night and 

day, shouting and singing till the 15th at noon, when, 

§ the 


the tide serving, we went on shore at the fortress Amster- chap. 


dam ; whence crossing the river, we arrived before Mr. 
De Lamar's door at Paramaribo. I stept ashore among 
a croud of friends, who all flocked round to see and to 
welcome me to town. 

I next sent for my inestimable Joanna, who burst into 
tears the moment she beheld me, not only for joy at my 
still existing (for it had been reported that I was no more) 
but also from seeing my very distressed situation. — ^Thus 
ended my second campaign, and with this I put an end 
to the chapter. 

Vol. I. Q q 


C H A P. XII. 

Description of the town of Faramaribo and Fort Zelandia-— 
Colonel Fourgeoud's march to the river Marawina — A 
Captain wounded — Some Privates shot — Strange Execu-^ 
iiofi in the Capital — Account of Fort Somelsdyk — Of the 
Mope in Rio Comewina. 

E I N G once more arrived at Paramaribo, it will not 
be improper to introduce in this place some account 
of that beautiful town. Before I commence the descrip- 
tion however, I must observe, that being long accustomed 
to walk bare-footed, I could not bear the confinement of 
shoes and stockings for some time, they heated and even 
swelled my feet so much, that, dining on the 1 6th of 
January with my friend Kennedy, I was actually obliged 
to throw them off at his house, whence he was so kind as 
to send me home in his whisky. I have already mentioned 
that Paramaribo is situated on the right side of the beau- 
tiful river Surinam, at about sixteen or eighteen miles 
distance from its mouth. It is built upon a kind of gra- 
velly rock, which is level with the rest of the country, in 
the form of an oblong square, its length is about a mile 
and a half, and its breadth about half as much. All the 
streets, which are perfectly straight, are lined with orange, 


/y///' f'/ /'///• . /(>/r// f>/ RlltfBlliMIV/U).//'^/// M/'y^h'f/r/.\- ///////// //y. Ar^/f //-■ f'/f/ff.u/r , //ff>e 

/v J.J.-hn^.-n SfP,H,/j lYmnA /Ttnt . 



shaddock, tamarind, and lemon-trees, which appear in c h a p. 
everlasting bloom ; while at the same time their branches 
are weighed down with the richest clusters of odoriferous 
fruit. Neither stone nor brick is made use of here for 
pavement, the whole being one continued gravel, not in- 
ferior to the finest garden walks in England, and strewed 
on the surface with sea-shells. The houses, Avhich are 
mostly of two, and some of three stories high, are all 
built of fine timber, a very few excepted ; most of the 
foundations are of brick, and they are roofed with thin 
split boards, called shingles, instead of slates or tiles. 
Windows are very seldom seen in this country, glass being 
inconvenient on account of the heat, instead of which 
they use gauze frames ; some have only the shutters, 
which are kept open from six o'clock in the morning 
until six at night. As for chimnics I never saw one in the 
colony, no fires being lighted except in the kitchens, 
which are always built at some distance from the dwelling- 
house, where the victuals are dressed upon the floor, 
and the smoke let out by a hole made in the roof: 
these timber houses are however very dear in Suri- 
nam, as may be evinced by that lately built by Governor 
Nepven, which he declared had cost him above ^. 1 5,000 
sterling. There is no spring Avater to be met with in 
Paramaribo, most houses have wells dug in the rock, 
which afford but a brackish kind of beverage, only used 
for the negroes, cattle, &c. and the Europeans have 

Q q 2 reservoirs 


reservoirs or cisterns, in which they preserve rain-water for 
their own consumption ; those of nicer taste let it first 
drop through a fiUering-stone into large jars or earthen 
pots, made by the native Indians on purpose, which they 
barter at Paramaribo for other commodities. The inha- 
bitants of this country, of every denomination, sleep in 
hammocks, the negro slaves excepted, who mostly lie on 
the ground ; the hammocks used by those in superior 
stations are made of cotton, ornamented with rich fringe ; 
these are also made by the Indians, and sometimes worth 
above twenty guineas ; neither bedding nor covering is 
necessary, except an awning to keep off the musquitoes. 
Some people indeed lie on bedsteads ; in that case they 
are surrounded, instead of curtains, with gauze pavilions, 
which admit the air freely, and at the same time keep off 
the smallest insect. The houses in general at Paramaribo 
are elegantly furnished with paintings, gilding, crystal 
chandeliers, china jars, &c. ; the rooms are never papered 
or plastered, but beautifully Avainscoted with cedar, Brazil,, 
and mahogany wood. 

The number of buildings in Paramaribo is computed at 
about one thousand fovu' hundred, of which the principal 
is the governor's palace, Avhence there is a private passage 
through the garden which communicates ,witli Fort 
Zelandia. — This house, and that of the commandant,, 
which has lately been burnt, were the only brick buildings 
in the colony. The town-hall is an elegant new building,. 


r.-/uf.>/i,r>ij'/i..-/u./ /)<■.-.'> r^/;_„/./.i jjoiiii..-ou.s.'i',iui:c riauTh r.irj. 

T, Ci'vder Scull'-' 


and covered with tiles ; here the different courts are held, 
and underneath are the prisons for European delinquents, 
the military excepted, who are confined in the citadel of 
Fort Zelandia. The Protestant church, where divine 
worship is performed both in French and Low Dutch, has 
a small spire with a clock ; besides which there is a 
Lutheran chapel, and two elegant Jewish synagogues, 
one German, the other Portuguese. Here is also a large 
hospital for the garrison, and this mansion is never empty. 
The military stores are kept in the fortress, where the 
Society soldiers are also lodged in barracks, wilh proper 
apartments for some officers. The town of Paramaribo 
has a noble road for shipping, the river before the town 
being above a mile in breadth, and containing sometimes 
above one hundred vessels of burtherr, moored within a 
pistol shot of the shore ; there are indeed seldom fewer 
there than fourscore ships loading coffee, sugar, cacao, 
cotton, and indigo, for Holland, including also the Guinea- 
men that bring slaves from Africa, and the North American 
and Leeward Island vessels, which bring flour, beef, pork, 
spirits, herrings, and mackarel salted, spermaceti-candles, 
horses, and lumber, for which they receive chiefly melasscs 
to be distilled into rum. This town is not fortified, but is 
bounded by the river on the S. E. ; by a large savamaah 
on the W. ; by an impenetrable wood on the N. E. ; and 
is protected by Fort Zelandia on the east. This citadel is 
only separated from the town by a large esplanade, where 



the troops parade occasionally. The fort is a regular 
pentagon, with one gate fronting Paramaribo, and two 
bastions which command the river ; it is very small but 
strong, being made of rock or hewn stone, surrounded 
by a broad fosse well supplied with water, besides some 
out-works. On the East side, fronting the river, is a 
battery of twenty-one pieces of cannon. On one of the 
bastions is a bell, which is struck with a hammer by 
the sentinel, who is directed by an hour-glass. On the 
other is planted a large ensjgn-staff, upon which a flag 
is hoisted upon the approach of ships of war, or on 
public rejoicing days. The walls are six feet thick, with 
embrasures but no parapet. I have already spoken of its 

Paramaribo is a very lively place, the streets being 
generally crouded with planters, sailors, soldiers, Jews, 
Indians, and Negroes, while the river is covered with 
canoes, barges, &c. constantlj^ passing and repassing, like 
the wherries on the Thames, often accompanied with 
bands of music ; the shipping also in the road adorned 
with their different flags, guns firing, &c. ; not to mention 
the many groupes of boys and girls playing in the water, 
altogether form a pleasing appearance ; and such gaiety 
and variety of objects serve, in some measure, to com- 
pensate for the many inconveniencies of the climate. 
Their carriages and dress are truly magnificent ; silk em- 
broidery, Genoa velvets, diamonds, gold and silver lace, 
1 1 being 


being daily worn, and even the masters of trading ships 
appear with buttons and buckles of solid gold. They 
are equally expensive at their tables, Avhere every thing 
that can be called delicate is produced at any pi-ice, and 
served up in plate and china of the newest fashion, and 
most exquisite workmanship. But nothing displays the 
luxury of the inhabitants of Surinam, more than the 
number of slaves by whom they are attended, often 
twenty or thirty in one family. White servants are seldom 
to be met with in this colony. 

The current money, as I have already stated, are 
stamped cards of different value, from five shillings to 
fifty pounds : gold and silver is so scarce, that the 
exchange premium for specie is often above ten per cent. 
A base Dantzic coin called a bit, value something less 
than sixpence, is also cuiTent in Surinam. English and 
Portuguese coin are sometimes met with, but mostly used 
as ornaments by the Mulatto, Samboe, Quaderoon, and 
Negro girls. The Negro slaves never receive any paper 
money, for as they cannot read they do not understand 
its value ; besides in their hands it would be liable to many 
accidents, from fire or children, and particularly from the 
rats, when it becomes a little greasy. 

This town is well supplied with provisioiis, Vit. but- 
cher's meat, fowls, fish, and venison. Vegetables in par- 
ticular the country abounds with ; besides the luxuries 
p&euliar to this climate, they import whatever Europe, 



Africa, and Asia can afFoj'd. Provisions, however, are 
excessively dear in general, especially those imported, 
which are mostly sold by the Jews and masters of ships. 
The first enjoy extraordinary privileges in this colony; the 
latter erect temporary warehouses for the purpose of 
trade, during the time their ships are loading with the 
productions of the climate. Wheat flour is sold from four 
pence to one shilling per pound ; butter two shillings ; 
butcher's meat never under one shilling, and often at one 
shilling and six pence ; ducks and fowls from three tq 
four shillings a couple. A single turkey has coit me one 
guinea and a half; eggs are sold at the rate of five, and 
European potatoes twelve for six pence. Wine three 
shillings a bottle. Jamaica rum a crown a gallon. Fish 
and vegetables are cheap, and fruit almost for nothing. 
My black boy, Quaco, has often brought me forty oranges 
for -six pence, and half a dozen pine-apples for the same 
price ; while limes and tamarinds may be had for gather- 
ing. House-rent is excessively high. A small room un- 
furnished costs three or four guineas a month ; and a 
house with two apartments on a floor, lets for one 
hundred guineas yearly. Shoes sell for half-a-guinea a 
pair ; and a suit of cloaths, with silver binding, has cost 
me twenty guineas. 

The wood with which the houses are generally built 
deserves also to be noticed, viz. the Wana, and the Cttppyi 
The Wana is a light durable timber of a coarse grain, and 



does not take the best polish ; it is of a very pale red, chap. 

Y T T 

approaching mahogany, and mostly used for doors and 
cupboards, also for boats and barges. This tree grows to 
a considerable height*. 

The Cuppy-tree resembles the wild chesnut, is hard, 
knotty, and durable; it is sawed into boards, and used to 
enclose the houses for fences, instead of brick and stone 
walls ; the timber is of a brown colour, and takes a good 

For a better idea of this town, I shall refer the reader to 
the annexed plan ; and proceed to give some further 
account of its inhabitants. 

The whites or Europeans in this colony, and who reside 
principally in town, are computed at five thousand, in- 
cluding the garrison. The negro slaves at about seventy- 
five thousand. The military mount guard every morning 
at eight o'clock, in the fortress ; but the safety of the 
town is entrusted to the burghers or militia, who keep 
watch during the night. At six o'clock in the morning, 
and the same hour in the evening, the morning and 
evening guns are fired by the commanding ship in the 
harbour ; at the evening signal, all the flags are instantly 
lowered on board the difterent vessels ; their bells are set 
a ringing, whilst the drums and fifes beat the tattoo 
through the town. The watch is then set, and no negro 

* This Dr. Bancroft, I think, calls the Tetermcr. 

Vol. I. R r of 


of cither sex is allowed to appear in the streets or on 
the river, without a proper pass signed by his owner; 
without this he is taken up, and infallibly flogged the 
next morning. At ten at night, a band of black drums 
beat the burgher, or militia retreat, through the streets of 

At this time the ladies begin to make their appearance, 
who are particularly fond of a titc-ii-iete by moon-light, 
when they entertain with Sherhet, Sangaree*', and wine 
and water ; besides the most unreserved and unequivocal 
conversation concerning themselves, as well as the pecu- 
liar qualifications of their husbands, and the situation of 
their female slaves, Avhom they propose the acceptance of 
to the gentlemen they converse with at so much per 
Aveek, according to their own estimation. Sometimes 
placing half a dozen of them in a row, the lady says, 
" Sir, this is a callebasee, that is a maid, and this is not" — 
thus are they not only unreserved in their conversation, 
but also profuse in their encomiums upon such gentle- 
men as have the honour of their instructive company, 
and whose person or figure meets with their appro- 

They are also rigid disciplinarians, as the backs of 
their poor slaves, male and female, sufficiently testify. 
Thus every country has its customs, and from these 

* Water, Madeira wine, nutmeg and sugar. 



customs exceptions are to be made ; for I have known chap. 
ladies in Surinam, whose deUcacy and poUte conversation 
■would have graced the first circles in Europe. Besides 
the amusements of feasting, dancing, riding, and cards, 
they have a small theatre, Avhere the inhabitants of 
fashion act plays for their own amusement, and that of 
their friends. As they are elegant in their dress, so they 
keep their houses extremely clean. They use the finest 
linen, exquisitely well washed with Castile soap ; its white- 
ness can only be compared to mountain snow, and would 
make the best bleached linen in Europe appear like 
canvass. 'J'hcir parlour floors are always scoured with 
sour oranges cut through the middle, which gives the house 
an agreeable frasrance: the neo;ro girls taking one half in 
each hand, keep singing aloud Avhile they rub the boards. 
Such is the town, and such are the inhabitants of Para- 
maribo, the capital of Surinam ; and the character m ill 
apply to the natives of all the Dutch settlements in the 
West Indies. But to return to my narrative. Being once 
more reconciled to shoes, I visited Colonel AVesterloo on 
board a West-India ship, bound for Holland. This 
gentleman, avIio had relieved me at Devil's llanvar when 
I was ill, was now himself in a most miserable condition, 
having lost the use of his limbs. In this debilitated state, 
it was doubtful whether any thing but the air of his 
native country would recover him. Several oflacers Avere 
now under the necessity of selling their effects to procure 

R r £ a sub- 


a subsistence, not being able either to procure their pay 
or allowance from Fourgeoud. I felt this hard usage the 
less, from, the kindness I experienced from my numerous 

On the 2Sth of January, as I was walking in the morn- 
ing by the river side, I saw a fish brought ashore, that 
deserves to be mentioned for its size and goodness, being 
sometimes near two hundred pounds weight*. It is here 
called grow-munech, or grey friar, and is said to be of the 
cod genus, to Avhich it bears some resemblance in shape 
and colour, the back being a dark olive brown, and the 
belly white ; it was soon cut up into large slices, several 
of which I purchased, and sent as presents to my friends ; 
as it was, in my opinion, even superior to turbot. It is an 
inhabitant of the sea, but is sometimes to be met with in 
the rivers. The negroes here are the only fishermen, and 
are regularly trained up to this profession by their masters, 
who make them pay a certain sum weekly. If they are 
expert and industrious, they soon acquire money for 
themselves, and some even become rich ; but, on the 
contrary, if they are indolent, and do not fulfil their 
weekly engagements, they are certain to be punished very 

This custom is also common to many other trades, and 
by perseverance and sobriety they are actually enabled to 

* Dr. Fcrmyn is Diistaken, when he says this fish weighs but forty pounds. 



live happily. Thus I have known slaves in Surinam, who 
have bought slaves for their own use. Some purchase 
their freedom from their masters, whilst others keep their 
mone}^ preferring to be the slave of an indulgent master; 
being, so long as they continue slaves, free from all duties 
and taxes, which, in case of manumission, they become 
liable to. A particular instance of this kind was a negro 
blacksmith, named Joseph, who being oifered his liberty 
upon account of his long and faithful services, positively 
refused it, chusing rather to be the slave of a worthy 
master. This man had several slaves of his own, kept a 
decent house, with handsome furniture, and some plate ; 
and when visited by his humane master or mistress, enter- 
tained them with Sangaree, port or claret. I must, how- 
ever, acknowledge this to be a very singvdar instance ; and 
observe, that although a few hve comfortably at Para- 
maribo, the greatest number are Avretched, particularly 
those governed by a lady, who have many wales to show, 
but not the smallest indulgence to boast of. 

Among the slaves, those of the class called Quaderoons 
are in general much respected for their affinity to Euro- 
peans ; a Quadei'oon being the offspring of a white and a 
mulatto, and they are very numerous in this colon3\ 

Here one not only meets with the white, the black, and 
olive, but with 

" The Samboe dark, and the Mulatto browji, 
" The Miesti fair *, the well-limb'd Quaderoon." 


* The offspring of aa European and of a Quaderooii, 



These boys are generally placed out to some good trade, 
such as cabinet-makers, silversmiths, or jewellers; M'hilst 
the girls are employed as -waiting-women, and taught the 
arts of sewing, knitting, and embroidery, to perfection : 
they are generally handsome, and take much pride in the 
neatness and elegance of their dress. 

To give the reader a more lively idea of these people, I 
shall describe the figure and dress of a Quaderoon girl, as 
they usually appear in this colony. They are mostly tall, 
straight, and gracefully formed ; rather more slender than 
the Mulattoes, and never go naked above the Avaist, like 
the former. Their dress commonly consists of a satin 
petticoat, covered with flowered gauze ; a close short 
jacket, made of best India chintz or silk, laced before, 
and shewing about an hand-breadth of a fine muslin 
shift between the jacket and the petticoat. As for stock-- 
ino-s and shoes, the slaves in this country never wear 
them. Their heads are adorned with a fine bunch of 
black hair in short natural linglcts ; they Avear a black or 
white beaver hat, with a feather, or a gold loop and 
button : their neck, arms, and ancles are ornamented 
with chains, bracelets, gold medals, and beads. All these 
fine women have European husbands, to the no small 
mortification of the fair Creolians ; yet should it be 
known that an European female had an intercourse with 
a slave of any denomination, she is for ever detested, 
and the slave loses his life without mercy. — Such are 


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/v/^^//// . 

/,,.«./,■/ 2;,l,litl>r,1 n.:-'t"ij..).l.l:y .nJi'hn^.'n.SrP.ti,/^ C/uuti/, I7ir,/ 


the despotic laws of men in Dutch Guiana over the c h a p. 
weaker sex. 

But to change the sul)ject. — The tyranny of our com- 
mander, Colonel Fourgeoud, seemed daily to increase. 
Lieutenant Count Runtwick, who was to proceed for 
Holland with Colonel Westerloo, being sick, was ordered 
to remain in Surinam, for having only said that he had 
been ill treated by him. As a specimen of his justice, I 
will only observe, that all the officers had now subsisted a 
whole year upon a private soldier's allowance of salt pro- 
visions, a few weeks at Paramaribo only excepted. This 
accommodation cost me thirty pounds; but I have already 
mentioned he kept back our money, and why should he 
not our allowance also, it not being the part of a good 
soldier to inquire after trifles ? 

On the 1st of February we, however, received notice 

that henceforth we should pay nothing, provided we could 

fast ; but that if we could not, ten pounds yearly was to 

be the ne plus ultra of the expences for our salt beef 

and pork. 

On the 2d I received intelhgence that Lieutenant 
Colonel Becquer, scorning any longer to partake of 
Fourgeoud's bounty, had suddenly given up the ghost,. 
by which in rotation I became possessed of his vacant 
company. This was some compensation for so much 
trouble and fatigue. But to counterbalance this good 
fortune, a certain lady, whose husband had shewn me 



extraordinary civilities, now made me an offer, which I 
could not with honour accept ; besides, 1 had been sworn 
at Highgate. But persisting in my refusal of her favours 
and golden presents, I at last felt the effects of a woman's 
hatred and revenge. Her husband, who had lately been 
^o much my friend, and whose honour I, in this instance, 
so much respected, was suddenly perverted into a bitter 
enemy. I bore their frowns with resignation, conscious of 
my own rectitude, in not committing a trespass of which 
too many others would have made a boast. Shortly after, 
however, this gentleman again became my friend, even 
more than before this affair happened, having been per- 
fectly undeceived. 

On the 6th, a poor drummer of the Society brought me 
a present of some alligato, or more properly avogato pears 
and oranges, for having supported him, he said, in Holland 
against my servant, Avho had knocked him down. This 
trait of gratitude afforded me more pleasure than the cool- 
ness of my late friend had given me pain. — The avogato 
pear grows on a tree above forty feet high, and not unlike 
a walnut-tree : the fruit, which is about the size and colour 
of a large pear, viz. a pale green, is the most exquisite, 
in my opinion, of any in the colony, or even in the world ; 
the inside is yellow, and the kernel is inclosed in a soft 
rind like a chesnut. The pulp is so salubrious and nutri- 
tious, that it is often called the vegetable marrow, and is 
frequently eaten with pepper and salt : nor can I compare 
11 it 


it to any thing so well as a peach, melting in the mouth 
in the same manner, not so sweet indeed, but incompara- 
bly more delicious. 

The oranges in Surinam are of three different species ; 
the sour, the bitter, and the sweet, all being originally im- 
ported from Spain or Portugal. The sour oranges are an 
excellent cure for sores and running ulcers, so common in 
this climate, but painful in the operation ; for which rea- 
son they are only used for the negroes, who it is supposed 
may bear any thing. The bitter are only used for pre- 
serving : the sweet, which have a luscious taste and exqui- 
site flavour, may be eaten freely, without any pernicious 
effects, which is not the case with that kind called the 
China apples, which I shall afterwards describe. The trees 
that bear all these species are truly beautiful, and never 
without fragrant blossoms or fruit throughout the 3'ear. 

On the l6th, the news arrived that Colonel Fourgeoud, 
with the remaining troops, having marched from La 
Rochelle, had been attacked by the rebels ; and amongst 
others Captain Fredericy, marching in the front, had been 
shot through both thighs. This brave officer, clapping 
both his hands on the wounds, and sitting in water up 
to his breast to conceal the bleeding, and prevent his 
misfortune from discouraging the troops, remained in this 
situation until the surgeon had dressed them, when he was 
carried in his hammock by two negroes. 

Nothing, indeed, could exceed the zeal which both this 
Vol. I. S s officer, 


officer, and Fourgeoud's adjutant, Captain Vangewrike, 
shewed during the whole expedition ; continually upon 
service, whether their constitutions could bear it or not. 
But honour was the only advantage they derived from a 
five years assiduous and extraordinary attendance. In my 
opinion. Colonel Fourgeoud never recompensed them ac- 
cording to their merit ; while he treated the subalterns, 
and even some field officers, worse than ever I did my 

I now made another offer to join him in the woods ; 
but instead of permission, he sent me orders to hasten to 
L'Esperance, in English the Hope estate, as I shall hence- 
forth call it, situated in the upper part of Rio Comewina, 
there to take the command of the whole river during his 
absence ; which being new to me, I repaired to this post 
with the greater satisfaction. 

Having provided myself with a complete camp-equipage, 
and purchased provisions, I was soon ready to depart for 
my new station. But before I leave Paramaribo, I must 
remark, that during my stay there no less than nine 
negroes had each a leg cut off, for running away from 
their masters. This punishment is a part of the Surinam 
administration of justice, and is performed at the desire of 
the proprietor, and was executed by a Mr. Greuber, the 
surgeon of the hospital. During this inhuman operation, 
the poor sufferers very deliberately smoked their pipe of 
tobacco. For this service the surgeon received about six 



pounds a limb : but, notAvithstanding his great abilities, 
four of them died immediately after the operation. A fifth 
destroyed himself, by plucking away the bandages and 
bleeding to death during the night. These amputated 
negroes are common in this colony, and are employed in 
rowing the boats and barges of their masters. Others are 
seen deprived of an arm ; and this is the forfeit for daring 
to raise it against an European. 

I embarked on the 17 th of February for the Hope, in 
the river Comewina, on board a decent tent-boat rowed 
by six negroes, having once more bid adieu to my beloved 
Joanna. In the evening I passed the Sporksgift estate, in 
the Matapica Creek ; the next day I arrived at Arentrust 
in Comewina, having passed the Orelana Creek and the 
fortress Somelsdyk, which is about sixteen miles above Fort 
Amsterdam, and forms the separation between that and 
the river Cottica, commanding the two opposite shores by 
the fire of its cannon. This fortress was built in the year 
1684, by Governor Somelsdyk, whose name it still bears. 
It is built in the form of a pentagon, having five bastions 
mounted with artiller}' ; it has a fosse, and is well pro- 
vided Avith military stores : though it is not large, it is 
well defended, especially by its low and marshy situation. 
Not far above this, to the right, is a fine Creek, called 

On the 19th, about noon, I reached the Hope ; having 
found this river still more charming than the river Cottica, 

s s 2 both 


both being bordered with beautiful estates of coffee and 
sugar, the first of which abounds principally near its mouth. 
About half way up both these rivers are also in each a 
Protestant church, Avhere the plantation people resort to 
hear divine worship: the expence of the parson, &c. being 
paid by the planters. 

The estate L'Esperance, or the Hope, where I now took 
the command, is a valuable sugar-plantation, situated on 
the left side of the Comewina, at. the mouth of a rivulet 
called Bottle Creek, and almost opposite to another creek 
called Cassivinica : the Bottle Creek communicating with 
the Comewina and Pirica, as the Wana Creek does with 
Cormoetibo and Rio-Marawina. 

Here the troops were lodged in temporary houses built 
with the manicole-tree ; but the situation was so low and 
marshy as at spring-tides to be entirely under water. The 
officers were all crowded in one apartment of the same 
construction ; Avhile the planter's fine house, which might 
have been serviceable for the pleasure and health of these 
gentlemen, was made use of by nobody but the overseer 
of the estate. 

About a cannon-shot higher up the river is the estate 
Clarenbeek ; where I went, on the 22d, to examine the 
state of the hospital, and v/here I found the troops more 
disagreeably quartered than at the Hope, owing chiefly 
to the amazing number of rats with which this place was 
infested, destroying the men's clothes and provisions, and 



running over their faces by dozens as they lay in their 
hammocks. The only mode of remedying this horrid in- 
convenience, was to break holes in the bottoms of quart 
bottles, and then string them like beads upon the lashings 
of each hammock, both at head and foot : when this was 
properly done, their pohsh rendered it impossible for the 
rats to reach the canvass. 

Here the crowded hospital aflforded a melancholy spec- 
tacle, by the miserable objects it presented. Humanity 
suffers so much from such scenes, that I felt myself happy 
upon my return to the Hope. My orders here were 
much the same as they had been at Cottica, viz. to protect 
the estates from the enemy : the parole or watch-word was 
regvdarly sent me by Colonel Fourgeoud. One of the 
Berbice negro captains, before mentioned, named Ackeraw, 
here discovered an old decrepid slave called Paulus, be- 
longing to this estate, to be his brother. He acknowledged 
him with cordial affection, and treated him with much 
kindness : the scene of their meeting was of course very 
interesting. In my walks round this plantation, I had an 
opportunity of observing several curious birds, which I 
shall now embrace the opportunity to describe. 

The queese-queedee, so called on account of its note, is 
about the size of a thrush, and of a brown colour, except 
the breast and belly, which are of a beautiful yellow : it is 
very mischievous, and an unwelcome guest upon the plan- 
tations. The wild pigeons are also common here. I shot 



one that was very large, and resembling what is called the 
ring tail pigeon of Jamaica. Its back and sides were of 
an ash colour ; the tail a lead colour ; the belly white ; 
the neck reflecting a changeable green and purple ; the 
iris and feet of this pigeon were red. I have also seen the 
dwarf pigeons here Avalking in pairs. They are about the 
size of an English sparrow, and rather of a lighter colour. 
I take these to be the picui-nhna of Marcgrave. The eyes 
were bright, with a yellow iris, and upon the whole these 
diminutive creatures are very pretty. They are called 
steen-duyjie by the Dutch, because they are frequently 
found amongst stones and gravel. * Turtles are also found 
in Guiana, but seldom near the plantations, as they de- 
light chiefly in the deepest recesses of the forest. They 
build their nests in trees of the thickest foliage, where I 
have found them, and even stroked them with my hand, 
without their attempting to fly away. They are little 
different from those in Europe in point of colour, but 
rather less, and their wings of a more considerable length 
than those of any other dove or pigeon whatever. 

I became daily more charmed with my situation ; I was 
at liberty to breathe freely, and my prospects of future 
contentment promised amply to compensate for my past 
hardships and mortifications. Respected as the prince of 
the river; caressed by the neighbouring planters, who 

* Pr. Bancroft erroneously calls this bird the only dove in Guiana, 



plentifully supplied me Avith presents of game, fish, fruit, 
and vegetables, I was scarcely the same man, and had 
very few wishes unsatisfied. 

One day (the 5 th of March) during my residence here, 
I was surprised by the waving of a white handkerchief 
from a tent boat that was rowing up the river ; when, to 
augment my happiness, it unexpectedly proved to be my 
Mulatto, accompanied by her aunt, who now preferred 
Fauconberg estate, four miles above the Hope, to residing 
in the town ; and to this plantation I immediately accom- 
panied them. 

Here Joanna introduced me to a venerable old slave, her 
grandfather, who made me a present of half a dozen fowls. 
He was grey-headed and blind, but had been comfortably 
supported for many years through the kind attention of his 
numerous offspring. He told me he Avas born in Africa, 
where he had once been more respected than any of his 
Surinain masters ever were in their country. 

It will no doubt appear surprising to many of my 
readers to find me mention this female slave so often, and 
with so much respect; but I cannot speak with indif- 
ference of an object so deserving of attention, and whose 
affectionate attachment alone counter-balanced all my 
other misfortunes. Her virtue, youth, and beauty gained 
more and more my esteem ; while the lowness of her 
birth and condition, instead of diminishing, served to 
increase my afi^ection. — What can I say farther upon this 

subject ? 


CHAP, subject ? — Nothing ; bttt content myself with the conso- 
^^^' lation given by Horace to Phocius, the Roman soldier: 

" Ne sit ancillas tibi amor pudori," &c. 

" Let not my Phocius think it shame 
" For a fair slave to own his flame ; 
" A slave could stern Achilles move, 
" And bend his haughty soul to love : 
" Ajax, invincible in arms, 
" Was captiv'd by his captive's charms. 

" Atrides 'midst his triumph mourn'd, 
" And for a ravish'd virgin burn'd ; 
" What time the fierce barbarian bands 
" Fell by Pelides' conquering hands, 
" And Troy (her Hector swept away) 
" Became to Greece an easier prey. 

" Who knows, when Phillis is your bride, 
" To what high rank you'll be allied ? 
" Her parents dear, of gentle race, 
" Shall not their son-in-law disgrace. 
" She sprung from kings, or nothing less, 
" And weeps the family's distress." 

On the 6th of March I returned to the Hope, loaded 
with fowls, aubergines, brocoli, agoma, and a few Surinam 
cherries. The aubergines are a species of fruit Avhich 



grows in the shape of a cucumber; they are of a purple 
colour without, and white within ; they are cut in slices 
and eaten like salad, sometimes stewed : they are very 
good and wholesome. The leaves of the tree which bears 
this fruit are large and green, covered with a purple- 
coloured down. The agoma is a bitterish vegetable : the 
brocoli as in Europe, but scarce. The cherries are ribbed, 
very sour, and unless very ripe fit only for preserving. 

On the Prince of Orange's anniversary, the 8th of March, 
I invited some company to drink his health, whilst Colonel 
Fourgeoud kept scouring the bushes ; but the sum of his 
operations amounted only to having some of his men shot 
by the negroes, some lost in the woods ; whilst the rebel 
Cupido escaped with all his chains. Of two men he sent 
me for the hospital at Clarenbcek, one was terribly cut 
by the rebels. 

I received a present of a haunch of venison on the 1 7th 
from a Mr. D'Onis ; and one of my slaves presented me 
with a lizard called sapagahi, which is less in size and less 
agreeable food than the iguana, which I have already 
described, and which the Indians call wmjamaka. Of this 
last dainty I did not partake, but gave it to the overseer, 
while with the venison I entertained all my officers. 

Of the deer species there are two kinds ; the stag or 
largest, called the hajew, is about the size of the English 
roebuck, Avith short curvated horns ; the eyes are bright, 
and full of fire ; the tail short ; the hair a reddish brown, 

Vol. I. T t except 


except the belly, which is white. These animals, wliei-v 
pursued, run with amazing strength and velocity. They 
are frequently seen near the plantations, where they com- 
mit great devastations among the sugar-canes ; they are 
often shot by the negro or Indian huntsmen, which the 
planters keep on purpose. Hunting is impracticable as a 
sport to Europeans in this country, owing to the thickness 
of the woods. The deer are sometimes taken alive m 
crossing rivers, which they often take to when over-heated, 
or to escape their enemies. The flesh of this stag is neither 
fat, tender, nor juicy, being much inferior to the European 
venison, though greatly esteemed by the inhabitants of 
Surinam. The other species the negroes call boosee-cahitta; 
the Indians wirrehocerra. These are much smaller, and 
more nimble in leaping ; their colour a yellowish brown 
covered with small white spots ; their eyes lively and 
piercing ; their ears narrow and short ; they have no 
antlers ; their limbs are small, but nervous and strong ; 
and their flesh more delicate than any other venison I 
ever tasted. 

On the 21st, having visited Mi\ and Mrs. Lolkens at 
Eauconberg, we, after dinner, walked to a brick-manu- 
factory, called Appe-cappe, which lies in the neighbour- 
hood, and belongs to Governor Nepveu ; where they make 
as good brick, and as expeditiously, as in Europe. It is 
also a profitable business, not being common in Surinam. 
This I only relate as a proof of the abundant advantages 


oyAcCy^^ay^s^/^ c^r f^Zizy ^>^ ip^/^v/ii'z/^. 


jy/^ ///r/'t/^tn:^/vtz, cr j.y/^zo'/c.zy'e^^/r'^ 

ln,i,l,„i.J'u/>lijAr.l IWVijpi, ^- J- Jchnj,<n ,SS PoilU i'/uirA r,ir 


of this country ; where, moreover, the wood for burning the c ii a p. 
bricks may be had for cutting, if the inhabitants chuse to 
be industrious. We were here, however, so pestered with 
clouds of insects, called monpeira, that I Avas glad to take 
my leave, and return to the Hope. The monpeira are the 
smallest kind of gnats, but equally troublesome with the 
larger species called musquitocs. They fl}-^ so thick and 
close together, that they appear like a cloud of black 
smoke : they are so snmll that numbers of them stick in 
the eyes, whence they cannot be extracted without pain, 
and even danger. 

I always visited by water, having at the Hope an elegant 
tent-boat, with half a dozen negroes at my command, who 
also shot and fished for me. Upon the whole, I was here 
so happy and so much respected, that I could almost havo 
engaged never more to change my situation. 

T t S 



A Sugar Plantation described — Domestic Happiness in a 
Cottage — Further Account of Fourgeoud's Operations — 
Dreadful Cruelties injiicted hi/ some Overseers — Instance 
of Resentment in a Rebel Negro Captain. 

HAVE already said that I was happy at the Hope ; 
but hoAv was my feUcity augmented, Avhen Mr. and 
Mrs. Lolkens came to visit me one evening, and not only 
gave me the address of Messrs. Passalage and Son at Am- 
sterdam, the new proprietors of my Mulatto, but even 
desired me to take her to the Hope, where she would 
be more agreeably situated than either at Fauconberg 
or Paramaribo. This desire Avas unquestionably most 
readily complied Avith by me ; and I immediately set 
my slaves to work, to build a house of manicole-trees 
for her reception. 

In the meantime I wrote the following letter to Messrs. 
Passalage and Son. 

" Gentlemen, 

" BEING informed by Mr. Lolkens, the administrator 
" of the estate Fauconberg, that you are the present 
" proprietors ; and being under great obligations to one 

2 *' of 


" of youi" Mulatto slaves named Joanna, who is the 

" daughter of the late Mr. KruythofF, particularly for 

" having attended me during sickness ; I in gratitude 

" request of you, who are her masters, to let me purchase 

" her liberty without delay : which favour fliall be ever 

" thankfully acknowledged, and the money for her ran- 

" som immediate paid, by 

" Gentlemen, 

" Your most obedient servant, 

" John Gabriel Stedman, 

" Captain in Colonel Fourgeoud's 
" Corps of Marines." 

This letter was accompanied by another from my friend 
Lolkens, who much cheered my prospects by the assurance 
of success. 

Having dispatched these letters to Holland, I had now 
the opportunity of observing the whole process of a sugar- 
plantation ; of which I shall endeavour to give an accurate 

The buildings usually consist of an elegant dwelling- 
house for tlie planter, outhouses for the overseer and 
book-keeper, besides a carpenter's lodge, kitchens, store- 
houses, and stables, if the sugar-mills be wrought by 
horses or mules ; but on the Hope these are not requisite, 
as the wheels move by water, stored in canals during 



the spring-tide by means of sluices, wiiicb being opened 
at low water pour out like a deluge, and set the ma- 
chinery in motion. A sugar-mill is built at the expence of 
four thousand, nay sometimes seven or eight thousand 

A particular description of its construction might be too 
tedious. I shall only observe, that the large water-wheel 
moves perpendicularly, and corresponds with another large 
wheel placed in an horizontal direction, and this again 
acts upon three cylinders or rollers of cast-iron, supported 
underneath by a strong beam, so close together that when 
tlie whole is in motion, they draw in and squeeze as thin 
as paper whatever comes between them. In this manner 
the sugar-cane is bruised, to separate the juice or liquor 
from the trash. 

Those mills that are wrought by cattle are constructed 
upon the same principles, only the horses or mules answer 
the purpose of the horizontal wheel, by dragging round a 
large lever. If the water-mills woz"k the fastest, and be 
the cheapest, yet as they must wait for the tides, they can 
only work part of the day ; whereas the cattle-mills are 
always ready whenever the proprietor finds it convenient 
to use them. Adjoining to the mill-bouse is a large apart- 
ment, also built of brick, in which are fixed the coppers 
or large cauldrons to boil the liquid sugar. These are 
usually five in number ; opposite to these are the coolers, 
which are large square flat-bottomed wooden vessels;, into 



%rhich the sugar is put from the cauldrons to cool before 
it is put into hogsheads, which are placed near the coolers 
upon strong channelled rafters, that receive the melasses 
as it drops from the sugar, and convey it into a square 
cistern placed underneath to receive it. The distillery 
joins this apartment, where the dross or scum of the boil- 
ing sugar is converted into a kind of rum, mentioned 
before, and known by the name of kill-devil. Every estate 
in Surinam keeps a tent-boat and several other craft, for 
the conveyance of tlieir produce ; they have also a covered 
dock, to keep them dry and repair them. 

The sugar estates in this colony contain five or six 
hundred acres; the parts for cultivation being divided 
into squares, Avhere pieces of cane, about one foot long, 
are stuck into the ground in an oblique position, in rows 
straight and parallel. They usually plant them in the 
rainy season, when the earth is well soaked and rich. The 
shoots that spring from these joints are about twelve 
or sixteen months in arriving at maturity, when they 
become yellow, and of the thickness of a German flute,, 
and from six to ten feet in height, and jointed, forming a 
very beautiful appearance, with pale green leaves like 
those of a leek, but longer and denticulated, and Avhich. 
hang down as tlie crop becomes ready for cutting. The 
principal business of the slaves during the growth of the 
canes is pulling up the weeds, which Avould otherwise 

impoverish them. 




CHAP. Some suo-ar estates have above four hundred slaves. 
The expence of purchasing these, and erecting the build- 
ings, frequently amounts to twenty or five-and-twenty 
thousand pounds sterling, exclusive of the value of the 

But to give the reader a clearer idea of the sugar-cane, 
which is supposed to be a native of Guiana, I refer him 
to the annexed plate, where he may view it in the dif- 
ferent stages, though on a smaller scale than nature ; 
A being its first appearance above the ground ; B the 
cane come to half maturity ; C the same with drooping 
leaves, when fully ripe ; D a piece cut off at one end, and 
bnjken off at the other. 

We shall now examine its progress through the mill : 
here it is bruised between the three cylinders or rollers 
through Avhich it passes twice, once it enters, and once 
it returns, when it is changed to trash, and its pithy 
substance into liquid, which is conducted as extracted, 
through a grooved beam, from the mill to the boiling- 
house, where it is received into a kind of wooden 

So very dangerous is the work of those negroes who 
attend the rollers, that should one of their finaers be 
caught between them, which frefjuently hai)pens through 
inadvertency, the whole arm is instantly shattered to 
pieces, if not part of the body. A hatchet is generally 
Jcept ready to chop off the limb, before the working of 


^//-^^-oy/zya /■ (-(///^ . /// /A/ A'///- ^/v//<'vvy// •/A//yrj, 

L.;ulon,rnlh:,-li{,l Dr.-ri-'.'ij,)!, In .LJohiijon Sf I'auU (7,„nf, Y.inl . 


the mil] can be stopped. Another danger is, that should 
a poor slave dare to taste that sugar which he produces 
by the sweat of his brow, he runs the lisk of receiving 
some hundred lashes, or having all his teeth knocked out 
by the overseer. — Such are the hardships and dangers to 
M'liich the sugar-making negroes are exposed. 

From the above wooden cistern the liquor is let into 
the first copper cauldron, filtering through a grating to 
keep back the trash that may have escaped from the 
mill ; here, having boiled some time, and been scummed, 
it is put into the next cauldron, and so on till in the fifth 
or last it is brought to a proper thickness or consistency 
to be admitted into the coolers : a few pounds of lime 
and allum are thrown into the cauldrons to make it gra- 
nulate ; thus it is boiled gradually stronger and stronger, 
imtil it reaches the last cauldron. When it is put into 
the wooden coolers the sugar is well stirred, and scattered 
equally throughout the vessels ; Avhen cold it has a frozen 
appearance, being candied, of a brown glazed consistency, 
not unlike pieces of high polished walnut-tree. From the 
coolers it is put into the hogsheads, which, upon an average, 
will hold one thousand pounds weight of sugar ; there it 
settles, and through the crevices and small holes made in 
the bottoms it is purged of all its liquid contents, which 
are called melasses, and, as I have said, are received in 
an under-ground cistern. This is the last operation, after 
which the sugar is fit for exportation to Europe, where it 

Vol. I. U u is 

is refined and cast into loaves. I shall only farther 
observe, that the larger the grain the better the sugar, 
and that no soil can be more proper for its cultivation 
tlian Guiana, the richness of which is inexhaustible, and 
produces upon an average three or four hogsheads per 
acre. In 1771, no less than twenty-four thousand 
hogsheads were exported to Amsterdam and Rotterdam 
only, wliich, valued at six pounds per hogshead, though 
it has sometimes sold for double, returned a sum of near 
one hundred and fifty thousand pounds sterling, besides 
the vast quantity of melasses and kill-devil ; the first com- 
puted at seven thousand hogsheads, and sold to the 
North Americans for twenty-five thousand pounds ; the 
second, which is distilled in Surinam, and used chiefly 
by the negroes, valued at as much more, which pro- 
duces no less than two hundred thousand pounds per 
annum *. 

The kill-devil is also drank by some of the planters, 
but too much by the common soldiers and sailors, and, 
when new, acts as a slow pernicious poison upon an Eu- 
ropean constitution. On the contrary, it never hurts the 
negroes, but is even necessary and wholesome, especially 
in the rainy seasons, when they are sometimes indulged 
with a single dram per day by their masters, though this 
custom is far from being general. There is no part of this 

* The first sugar was refined anno 1659, 



salutary plant useless ; the chaff refuse, and leaves of the c i; a p. 
cane, being used for manure and fuel. All the estates 
are closely surrounded by the uncultivated forest, whence 
the herds of wild deer often commit very great ravages, 
when the pieces being surrounded by armed negroes, and 
dogs set in to disperse them, they are frequently shot. 
From what I have said upon this subject alone, the reader 
may form an idea of the riches with which this country 
abounds ; which, nevertheless, did not seem to stimulate 
its enemies during the late war to attempt the possession 
of it : but I must say, I doubt whether Surinam, in the 
hands of any other nation than the Dutch, would not cease 
to be of its present consequence, the Hollanders being 
indisputably the most patient, persevering, industrious 
people that inhabit the globe. 

Notwithstanding, however, the immense wealth that the 
West Indies in general afford, it will ever be my opinion 
that the Europeans might live as comfortably, if not more 
healthily, without them ; the want of sugar, coffee, cotton, 
cacao, indigo, rum, and Brazil wood, might be amply 
supplied by honey, milk, wool, Geneva, ale, English herbs, 
British oak, &c. 

And now once more to resume my narrative : — I have 
already mentioned that my slaves were employed in pre- 
paring an house for the reception of my best friend, which 
was about six days in completing. It consisted of a par- 
lour, which also served for a dining-room ; a bed-chamber, 

u u 2 where 


CHAP, where I also stowed my baggage ; a piazza ov shed to sit 
under before the door; a small kitchen detached from 
the house, and a poultry-house, the whole situated on a 
spot by itself, commanding an enchanting prospect on 
every side, and surrounded with paling to keep off the 
cattle. My tables, stools, and benches, being all com- 
posed of manicole boards, the doors and windows were 
guarded with ingenious wooden locks and keys, that were 
presented me by a negro, and were the work of his own 
hands. My house being thus far finished and furnished, 
m^y next care was to lay in a stock of provisions from 
Paramaribo, viz. a barrel of flour, another of salted 
mackarel, Avhich in this country are delicious, they are 
miported from North America ; hams, pickled sausages, 
Boston biscuit ; also wine, Jamaica rum, tea, sugar, a box 
of spermaceti candles ; also two charming foreign sheep 
and a hog, sent me by ]\'Ir. Kennedy from his estate 
Vriedyk, besides two dozen of fine fowls and ducks pre- 
sented me by Lucretia, my Joanna's aunt; while fruit, 
vegetables, fish, and venison, flowed upon me from every 
quarter as usual. 

On the 1 st of April 1 774, Joanna came down the river 
in the Fauconberg tent-boat, rowed by eight negroes, and 
arrived at the Hope: I communicated to her immediately 
the contents of my letter to Holland, which she received 
with that gratitude and modesty in her looks which sjxke 
more forcibly than any reply. I introduced her to her 




new habitation, M'here the plantation slaves, in token of c h a p. 

respect, immediately brought her presents of casada, 

yams, bananas, and plantains, and never two people 

were more completely happy. Free like the roes in the 

forest, and disencumbered of every care and ceremony, 

we breathed the purest ether in our walks, and refreshed 

our limbs in the limpid stream : health and good spirits 

were now again my portion, while my partner flourished 

m youth and beauty, the envy and admiration of all the 


Colonel Fourgeoud now intending to quit the woods, 
and encamp at Magdenberg, a post near the source of the 
ComcAvina, I sent a large barge with provisions, escorted, 
by an officer and twenty men, to that place ; and upon 
reviewing my remaining marines, they did not amount to 
twenty men, besides a small detachment at Calis, near the 
mouth of Cassivinica Creek. Higher up the same creek, 
at an estate called Cupi/, were also posted an officer and a 
few soldiers. 

On the morning of the 4th, I was witness to a very 
wonderful battle between two snakes, the one about 
three feet long, the other no more than fourteen ijiches ; 
when, after a severe contest of near half an hour, d-.tring 
which time the many wrcathings and twistings were truly 
curious, the largest gradually shifting his gripe, at length 
caught the smallest by the head, and absolutely swallowed 
him alive. 



My negro boy about this time throwing out some red- 
hot embers, I was surprized to see the frogs eat them 
with avidity, without receiving any visible danjage from 
the fire, which most probably they had mistaken for the 
fire-fly. I saw another frog in the sugar-mil!, feasting 
•upon a regiment of ants, which are here very numerous, 
licking them up with his tongue as they marched before 
him. Another of these animals slept every day upon 
one of the beams of my cottage, which it regularly left 
every night ; this was called yomho-yomho by the ne- 
groes, from its great power in leaping : it is very small, 
almost flat, a fine yellow, with black and scarlet specks ; 
it is frequently found in the upper stories of houses, 
where it arrives by climbing up the walls. We thought 
it a pretty little animal, and would allow nobody to 
hurt it 

On the morning of the 8 th, between six and seven 
o'clock, wJiilst we were interring one of my serjeants, 
we heard the report of several minute guns towards the 
river Pirica ; in consequence of which, I immediately 
detached an officer and tivelve men to give assistance. 
They returned next day Avith an account that the rebels 
had attacked the estate of Kortenduur^ where, having 
pillaged some powder, the plantation slaves being armed 
by their master, had bravely beaten them back before my 
assistance could be of use. 

A small detachment from Colonel Fourgeoud at Wana 
11 Creek 


Creek arrived at the Hope on the nth, with September, chap. 
the negro prisoner, who related that the rebels had spoken 
to Fourgeoud, and even laughed at him, having over- 
heard him giving his orders, viz. not to fire on them, 
but to take them alive : and that amongst those lost in 
the woods was the unlucky Schmidt, who had lately been 
so unmercifully beaten, and of which he had never yet 

About the 13 th, the spring floods broke down the 
dams, and laid our whole post under Avater, except the 
spot where I had pitched my cabin, which remained 
dry, but unfortunately by this accident the officers and 
men were up to their knees in water. My worthy friend 
Mr. Heneman, the volunteer, arrived at this time from 
Colonel Fourgeoud's camp at Wana Creek, with a fearge 
full of men and ammunition ; he was now entered a 
lieutenant in my company : he informed us, that the 
remaining troops were marching for Magdenberg in 
Upper Comewina, there to go into quarters. This poor 
yoimg man was much emaciated with misery and fatigue, 
I therefore introduced him at his first landing to the 
eare of Joanna, Avho was a most incomparable nurse, and 
under whose care he felt hmiself extremely happy. 

On the 1 4th, Colonel Fourgeoud with his troops being 
arrived at Magdenberg, the officers and privates of the 
Society, and the rangers to the amount of near two hun- 
dred men, were sent down in barges to be stationed on 



different parts of the river Pirica. Some landed at the 
Hope to refresh, and behaved so very disorderly, as to 
oblige nie and ray officers to knock them down by half 
dozens, to keep the peace till they departed the same day, 
after which I dispatched a tent-boat and eight oars to row 
the Commander in chief with some of his favourites to Para- 
maribo, from which place he at last jiermitted the much- 
injured Count Rantwick to sail for Holland. 

On the I6th, the greatest part of the sheep belonging 
to this estate were unfortunately poisoned by eating 
duncane, but mine, amongst some otheis, luckily escaped. 
I am sorry to say I have not particularly examined the 
duncane, as it is called by th« negroes. All that I can 
say is, that it is a shrub with a large green leaf, something- 
like that of the English dock ; it grows spontaneously in 
low and marshy places, and is instant death to whatever 
animal eats of its leaves ; the slaves tlierefore should be 
obliged carefully to root it out from the grass savannas or 
meadows where cattle graze, since sheep and bullocks are 
said to be remaikably fond of it, though contrary to 
nature, as most animals know, it is said, instinctively 
how to distinguish their food from their poison. But 
the sheep in question not being the natural inhabi- 
tants of Guiana, may for that reason be admitted as 
an exception to this general rule. This banefid plant 
had inadvertently been permitted to grow in a negro's 
garden, to Avhich the sheep got access by breaking- 


down the fence, ^vhich occasioned this unpleasant ca- c n a p. 
tastrophe. ^'^^^• 

In this garden I saw several other roots and plants that 
deserve to be noticed. The yamesy, or 3'am, a well-known 
root in the West Indies, delights in a fat soil ; this grows 
in Surinam sometimes to the weight of two or three 
score pounds, and an acre will produce an astonishing- 
quantity * ; its taste is very agreeable, either boiled or 
roasted, easy of digestion, and very Avholesome. The 
inside is of a whitish colour, without it is of a deep purple 
approaching towards black ; its shape is very irregular. 
The yams are cultivated by cutting them in pieces like 
potatoes ; they are planted a few feet distant from each 
other, and in about six or eight months they arrive at 
maturity ; they are known to be fit for use when the top 
or leaves begin to lose their verdure, till then they are of 
a deep green colour, and creep along the grovind like iv}', 
with ligneous shoots. The yam is amongst the principal 
food of the slaves throughout the West Indies, and is 
alone sufficient to supply the want of bread ; also being 
capable of preservation for almost a 3'ear, it is often 
transported, and used upon long voyages, and frequently 
brought to England. Another small root I found here, 
known in Surinam by the name of naapjes, and which is 
eaten in the same manner as the yams, but is infinitely 

* Sometimes from ten to twenty thousand pounds weight. 

Vol. I. X X more 


CHAP, more delicious ; both the one and the other serve here for 
■^'^^' food, as potatoes, carrots, or parsnips do in England. 

The maize or Indian corn, which I also saw in this gar- 
den, grows on high perpendicular stalks, with long pale 
green leaves; the grain is of a shining yellow colour, as 
large as marrow-peas, and closely set together, round ears 
that are the size of the largest European carrot. This 
grain is cultivated in great quantities in Surinam ; it is 
not only used for their poultry and cattle of every 
species, but is also ground into meal, of which the 
Creoles make excellent puddings and cakes, which are 
of a nourishing quality. With this they sometimes eat 
the young pods of the ocro, or althea plant, which grows 
upon a very small shrub, with oblong leaves, and which 
when boiled, as Dr. Bancroft expresses it, are of a muci- 
laginous, slira3% and lubricative texture, which ropy or 
glutinous quality, however disgusting in appearance, 
makes a very rich sauce when properly seasoned with 
Cayenne pepper. 

The same evening that proved so fatal to the sheep, as 
I was walking out with my gun, as usual, I shot a bird 
galled here the subacoo ; it is a species of the grey-heron , 
its bill and legs of a greenish black, and very long, the 
last appearing as if jointed by large scales of a hard and 
horny substance, and the claws on each middle toe are 
denticulated. This bird, though apparently the size of a 
common fowl, was so very light, that an Enghsh house-^ 
S pigeon 

aiiAc scji/pf 

jy'Mar//^///r'// r/ ^/ .yr//u//r- /r/////y>r CV2v?^/£^ 

I.rmloil.l'iil'li.rli„l />,;-rxijy.i:i.l'v J.JrIin.riiii ,.r! lUii/y Clinnh,/ . 


pigeon would have easily counterbalanced it ; when dressed 
we found it to have a fishy flavour. 

I have for some time been happily silent upon the sub- 
ject of cruelty ; and sorry I am, at a time when all 
appeared harmonious and peaceable, to be under the 
necessity of relating sotae instances, which I am confident 
must inspire the most unfeeling reader with horror and 
resentment. The first object which attracted my com- 
passion during a visit to a neighbouring estate, was a 
beautiful Samboe girl of about eighteen, tied up by both 
arms to a tree, as naked as she came into the world, and 
laceiated in such a shocking manner by the whips of two 
negro-drivers, that she was from her neck to her ancles 
literally dyed over with blood. It was after she had 
received two hundred lashes that I perceived her, with 
her head hanging downwards, a most affecting spectacle. 
When, turning to the overseer, I implored that she might 
be immediately vmbound, since she had undergone the 
whole of so severe a punishment ; but the short answer 
which I obtained Avas, that to prevent all strangers from 
interfering with his government, he had made an unal- 
terable rule, in that case, always to double the punish- 
ment, Avhich he instantaneously began to put in execu- 
tion : I endeavoured to stop him, but in vain, he declar- 
ing the delay should not alter his determination, but 
make him take vengeance with double interest. Thus 

X X 2 I had 


CHAP. I had no other remedy but to run to my boat, and leave 
the detestable monster, like a beast of prey, to enjoy his 
bloody feast, till he was glutted. From that day I deter- 
mined to break off all communication with overseers, and 
could not refrain from bitter imprecations against the 
whole relentless fiaternity. Upon investigating the cause 
of this matchless barbarity, I was credibly informed, that 
her only crime consisted in firmly refusing to submit to 
the loathsome embraces of her detestable executioner. 
Prompted by his jealousy and revenge, he called this the 
punishment of disobedience, and she was thus flayed alive. 
Not having hitherto introduced the Samboe cast, I take 
this opportunity, by here representing the miserable 
young woman as I found her to the attention of the 
sympathizing reader. 

A Samboe is between a mulatto and a black, being of 
a deep copper-coloured complexion, with dark hair, that 
curls in large ringlets. These slaves, both male and female, 
are generally handsome, and chiefly employed as menial 
servants in the planters' houses. 

At my return to the Hope, I was accosted by Mr. 
Eibber, the overseer of that estate, who with a woeful 
countenance informed me he had just been fined in the 
sum of twelve hundred florins, abbut one hundred guineas, 
for having exercised the like cruelty on a male slave; 
with this -tlifference, that the victim had died during the 




execution. In answer to his complaint, so far from giving c u a p. 
him consolation, I told him liis distress gave me inex- 
pressible satisfaction. 

The particulars of this murder were as follow : during 
the time that Captain Tulling commanded here, which 
was a little time before I came to the Hope, it iiappened 
that a fugitive negro belonging to this estate had been 
taken upon an adjoining plantation, and sent home, 
guarded by two armed slaves, to ]\Ir. Ebber ; which 
fugitive, durino- the time Ebber was reading; the letter 
that accompanied him, found means to spring aside, and 
again escaped into the forest. This incensed the overseer 
so ihuch, that he instantly took revenge upon the two 
poor slaves that had brought him, tying them up in the 
carpenter's lodge. He continued flogging them so unmer- 
cifully, that Captain Tulling thought proper to interfere, 
and beg for mercy ; but, as in my case, his interference 
produced the opposite eftect : the clang of the whip, 
mixed with their dismal cries, were heard to continue 
for above an hour after, until one of them expired under 
the cruel lash, which put an end to the inhuman ca- 
tastrophe. A law-suit was instantly commei)ced against 
Ebber for assassination. He was convicted, but condemned 
to no other punishment than to pay the afore-mentioned 
hundred guineas, which price of blood is always divided 
between the fiscal and the proprietor of the deceased 
slave ; it being a rule in Surinam, that by paying a fine. 



of five hundred florins, not quite fiily pounds per head, 
any proprietor is at hbertj to kill as many of his own 
negroes as he pleases ; but if he kills those of his neigh- 
bour, he is also to pay him for the loss of his slave, the 
crime being first substantiated, which is very difficult in 
this country, where no slave's evidence can be admitted. 
Such is the legislature of Dutch Guiana, in regard to 
negroes. The above-mentioned Ebber was peculiarly 
tyrannical ; he tormented a bo}- of about fourteen called 
Cadetty, for the space of a whole year, by flogging him 
every day for one month ; tying him down flat on his back, 
with his feet in the stocks, for another ; putting an iron 
triangle * or pot-hook round his neck for a third, which 
prevented him from running away among the woods, or 
even from sleeping, except in an upright or sitting posture ; 
chaining him to the landing-place, night and day, to a 
dog's kennel, with orders to bark at every boat or canoe 
that passed for a fourth month ; and so on, varying his 
punishment monthly, until the youth became insensible, 
walking crooked, and almost degenerated into a brute. 
This wretch was, however, very proud of his handsomest 
slaves, and for fear of disfiguring their skins, he has some- 
times let them off with twenty lashes, when, for their 
robberies and crimes, they had deserved the gallows. 
Such is the state of public and private justice in Surinam. 

* These triangles have three long barbed spikes^ like small grapplings, 
projecting from an iron collar. 



The wretch Ebber left the Hope upon this occasion ; chap. 
and his Inaiiane successor, a Mr. Blenderman, commenced 
his reign by flogging every slave belonging to the estate, 
male and female, for having over-slept then* time in the 
morning; about fifteen minutes. 

The reader will, no doubt, imagine, that such cruelties 
were unparalleled ; but this is not the case, they Avere even 
exceeded, and by a female too. 

A Mrs. S — Ik — r going to her estate in a tent barge, a 
negro woman, with her sucking infant, happened to be 
passengers, and were seated on the bow or fore-part of the 
boat. I'he child crying, from pain peihaps, or some other 
reason, could not be hushed ; Mrs. S — Ik — r, offended 
with the cries of this innocent little creature, ordered the 
mother to bring it aft, and deliver il into her hands ; 
then, in the presence of the distracted parent, she imme- 
diately thrust it out at one of the tilt- windows, where 
she held it under water until it was drowned, and then 
let it go. The fond mother, in a state of desperation, 
instantly leapt overboard into the stream, where floated 
her beloved offspring, in conjunction with which she was. 
determined to finish her miserable existence. In this, 
however, she was prevented by the exertions of the 
negroes who rowed the boat, and was punished by her 
mistress with three or four hundred lashes for her daring 

Colonel Fourgeoud moved on the 20th, with all his 



troops, from IMagdenberg, in order to establish his head- 
quarters neaier the infirmary. His army being in a very 
sickly condition, he fixed upon the estate called Ne\v 
Rosenback, situated between the Hope and the hospital, 
for his encampment. Thither I immediatel}'^ repaired, to 
pa\' my respects to the chief; when I saw the remainder 
of his miserable army landed, and received a further detail 
of the campaign. I have already mentioned Captain 
Fredericy's being wounded ; one man lost by neglect, and 
another cut and disarmed ; the captives running away, 
chains and all ; the hero scoft'ed at, and ridiculed by his 
sable enemies : — I shall now add, that a sick marine was 
left to die or recover by himself; and that one of the slaves, 
by bad usage, had his arm broke. The captive negro 
woman was also gone, never more to return to her con- 
queror, considerably increased in size from her connection 
with the troops, and likely to present a new recruit to her 
dusky monarch. These were the particulars of the last 
campaign. But I must mention the humanity of a poor 
slave, Avho, at every hazard, deserted Fourgeoud to attend 
the dying marine ; and havmg performed the last sad office 
of friendship, returned to receive his punishment, but to 
his infinite surprise was pardoned. 

In justice to Colonel Fourgeoud I must say, that upon 
such expeditions, and in such a climate, many of these 
accidents cannot be prevented ; and that Avhile he killed 
his troops by scores, without making captures on the 



enemy, he nevertheless did the colony considerable sen'Ice, 
by disturbing, hunting, and harassing the rebels, and de- 
stroying their fields and provisions. For, it is certain, no 
negro will ever return to settle in those haunts from Avhicli 
he has been once expelled. Colonel Fourgeoud's partak- 
ing personally in every danger and fatigue at his age, 
must make some amends for the other faults that stained 
his character, and may even serve, in some measure, to 
establish his reputation as a man of patience and forti- 
tude. It would give me infinitely more pleasure to write 
nothing but in his praise ; but truth, and the general 
benefit of mankind, requires, that whilst I display his 
good qualities I also point out his failings, as they may 
serve to correct others, and by these means even his vices 
may be rendered useful. AVhat could be more ridiculous, 
than paying his troops with silver at Paramaribo, where 
paper was just as good ? and now, while in the rivers, 
giving them cards, for Avhich they could not procure a 
yam or a bunch of plantains, Avhile he had whole chests 
of specie in his possession ? But his object was to gain a 
profit of ten per cent, on the pay of the whole regiment, 
and for this he was justly blamed by the corps in general. 

On the 2 1 st, several officers came to visit me at the 
Hope, whom I entertained Avith a fish dinner — amongst 
which Avere the kawiry, the lamper, and macrdy-fisy, all 
Avhich I shall briefly describe. The kaAviry is a small fish 
without scales, the head is large, Avith tAA'O long antennae or 

Vol. I. Y y Avhiskers 


whiskers projecting from the upper jaw, and is ver}'' plen- 
tiful in the rivers. The lamper is a species of the lampern, 
that are caught in the Thames : those of Surinam are not 
large, but very fat, of a round shape, slimy or glutinous ; 
its colour a blueish green Avith yellow spots, except the 
belly, which is Avhite ; this fish, like the salmon, frequents 
both the sea and the rivers. The macrely-fisy resembles a 
mackarel, whence it has its name, only its colour is more 
blueish, and not near so splendid. 

We were very happy, and my guests perfectly satisfied 
with their entertainment. But on the morning of the 22d 
m}'^ poor Joanna, who had been our cook, was attacked 
with a violent fever ; she desired to be removed to Fau- 
conberg, there to be attended by one of her female rela- 
tions, which I complied with. But on the evening of the 
25th she was so extremely ill, that I determined to visit 
her myself, but as privately as possible, as Fourgeoud a\ as 
to visit me at the Hope the next day ; for his satirical jokes 
upon such an occasion I could very well dispense with ; 
and I knew the most laudable motives Avere no protectiori 
against the ungovernable sallies of his temper. 

However difficult the undertaking, as I had to pass close 
to his post, I like another Leander was determined to cross 
the Hellespont ; of which having informed my friend 
Heneman, I set out about eleven at night in my own 
barge, when coming opposite New Rosenback, I heard 
Fourgcoud's voice very distinctly, as he walked on the 
1 1 beach 


beach with some other officers, and immediately the boat 
was hailed by a sentinel, and ordered to come ashore. I 
now thought all was over; but, persisting to the last, I 
told the negroes to answer Killestyn Nova, the name of an 
adjoining plantation, and thus got leave to proceed un- 
molested. Soon after I arrived safe at Fauconberg, and 
found my dearest friend much better. 

But on the 26th, in the morning, mistaking the day-light 
for moon-shine, I overslept myself, and knew not how to 
return to the Hope, as my barge and negroes could noAv 
not pass without being well known to the Colonel. Delay 
was useless ; so out I set, trusting entirely to the ingenuity 
of my slaves, who put me ashore just before we came in 
sight of the head-quarters ; when one of them escorted me 
through the woods, and I arrived safe at the Hope. But 
here my barge soon followed under a guard, and all my 
poor slaves prisoners, with an order from Fonrgeoud for me 
to flog every one of them, as they had been apprehended 
without a pass, while their excuse was that they had been 
out a fishins; for their Massera. 

Their fidelity to me upon this occasion was truly asto- 
nishing, as they all declared they would have preferred 
being cut in pieces, rather than betray the secrets of so 
good a master. However, the danger was soon over, as 
I confirmed what they had said, and added, that the fish 
were intended to regale the hero.; after which I made a 
donation of two gallons of rum among my sable privy- 

Y y 2 counsellors. 


counsellors. This passage, however trifling, may serve as 
a sample not only of European weakness, but of African 
firmness and resolution. 

Notwithstanding my preparation, still Colonel Four- 
geoud did not visit me on the 27th, but the next morning 
Joanna arrived, accompanied by a stout black, who was 
her uncle, and whose arm was decorated with a silver band, 
on which were engraved these words : " True to the Euro- 
" peans." This man, who was named Cojo, having volun- 
tarily fought against the rebels, before his companions, by 
the inhuman treatment of Mr. D. B. and his overseer, had 
been forced to join them. From these he related to us the 
following remarkable story, having a little girl, called 
Tainera, by the hand : — " This child's father," said he, 
" is one whose name is Jolly Coem', the first captain be- 
" longing to Baron's men, and, not without cause, one of 
" the fiercest rebels in the forest, which he has lately shewn 
" on the neighbouring estate of New Rosenback, Avhere 
" your colonel now commands. On that estate one 
" Schults, a Jew, being the manager at that time, who for- 
*' merly was the manager of Fauconberg, the rebels sud- 
" denly appeared, and took possession of the whole plan- 
" tation. Having tied the hands of Schults, and plun- 
" dered the house, they next began to feasting and dancing, 
" before they thought proper to end his miserable existence. 
" In this deplorable situation now lay the victim, only 
" waiting Baron's signal for death, when his eyes chancing 

" to 


to catch the above captain's. Jolly Cceur, he addressed chap. 
him nearly in the following words : — ' O Jolly Cceur, v^^i-^— ^ 
now remember Mr. Schults, who was once your deputy- 
master ; remember the dainties I gave you from my own 
table, when you were only a child, and my favourite, my 
darling, among so many others : remember this, and now 
spare my life by your powerful intercession.' — The reply 
of Jolly Coeur was memorable: — I remember it per- 
fectly well : — ' But you, O tyrant, recollect how you 
ravished my pv or mother, and flogged my father for 
coming to her assistance. Recollect, that the shameful 
act was perpetrated in my infant presence — Recollect 
this — then die by my hands, and next be damn'd.'— 
Saying this, he severed his head from his body w^ith a 
hatchet at one blow ; with which having played at bowls 
upon the beach, he next cut the skin with a knife from 
his back, which he spread over one of the cannon to keep 
the priming dry." — ^Thus ended the liistor}' of ]Mr. Schults; 
when Cojo, with 3'oung Tamera, departed, and left me ta 
go, with an increased impatience, to receive the news, that 
I soon was to expect frons Amsterdam, viz. when the de- 
serving Joanna should be fiee from the villainy of such 
pests of human natvu'e. 

On the 28th, Colonel Fourgeoud arrived about ten 
o'clock with one of his officers, and with the very devil 
painted in his countenance, which alarmed me much. I, 
however, instantly introduced him to my cottage, where 
he no sooner saw my mate, than the clouds (like a vapour 



CHAP, by the sun) were dispelled from his gloomy forehead : 
^^ll 1 and I must confess, that I never saw him behave with 
more civility. 

Her heavenly form 

" Angelic, but more soft and feminine, 

" Her graceful innocence, her every air 

*' Of gesture, or least action, over-aw'd 

" His malice ; and with rapine sweet bereav'd 

" His fierceness of the fierce intent it brought." 


Having entertained him in the best manner we were 
able, and now related the story of the Hellespont, he 
laughed heartily at the stratagem, and giving us both a 
shake by the hand departed to New Rosenback, in good- 
humour and perfectly contented. — Fi'om all the preceding 
circumstances, the above Chapter may be styled the golden 
age of my West India expedition. 



Colonel Fourgeoud at Taramariho — Example of Ignorance 
in a Surgeo'n — Of Virtue in a Slave — Of Ferocity in a 
Commander — The Troops re-enter the Woods — Account 
of Loango Dancing — Uncommo/i Proof of Fidelity in a 


T TAVING delayed his departure to the 29th of April, c ii a p. 
-■- -■- Colonel Fourgeoud now finally rowed down for 
Paramaribo, accompanied by a few of his officers, to re- 
fresh themselves ; of which, in truth, they had great need, 
Mrhile an armed barge kept floating up and down the river, 
and while the remaining emaciated troops (which were 
melted down to a very small number, and unfit, till recruited 
in their constitutions, for any furtlier military service) 
greatly required some rest. Just before the chief's depar- 
ture, he sent me (who now commanded the river) the 
following very cm-ious instructions, which, as a proof of 
his generalship, I cannot help inserting : Amongst others, 
" to ask the planters if the rebels were come to their 
" estates, in which case to attack and drive them away ; 
" but not to follow them, unless I was sure that I cer- 
" tainly should conquer them, and for any miscarriage I 
*' should be called to an account ;" which is, in plain 



English, that " if I sittacked the enemy without success, 
" I must be punished ; and if I did not attack them at 
" all, I was to be called to account for neglect of duty." 
However judicious the other articles 1 had received, I 
could not help thinking the above so very absurd, that I 
immediately returned them back by an officer, and had 
the good fortune (at my request) to get them changed 
into common sense. 

How happy was I at this time in particular, who wanted 
for nothing, and who had such an agreeable partner con- 
stantly near me, whose sweet conversation was divine music 
to my ears, and whose presence banished every languor 
and hardship from my mind ! 

One day, straying with me through a v/atery savanna, 
I shot a bird, which I found to be the spur-winged water- 
hen of Edwards. This beautiful creature is supposed to 
be of the plover kind, with the body about the size of a 
pigeon, being of a deej) cinnamon colour, between red 
and a very rich orange ; the neck and belly are perfectly 
black, the larger feathers of the wings of a bright yellow, 
and armed on each pinion with a short and sharp horny 
spur, which it uses for its defence, as game-cocks use theirs 
in Endaad. It has no tad ; its bill is near two inches in 
length ; its legs are long, and, as well as the bill, are of a 
yellowish green colour ; its toes, especially the hinder ones, 
are of a remarkable length, and seem calculated to support 
its weight iu the mud, where it is most frequently seen, if 


'///f • //////■ //'///ac:// // f///'///r // ^Z f ////// //i^/ . 

///f _//cf./ / // /A//' ."■/ . ////■. 

f UCi?/? 



not wading in the water to seek its food. These birds, 
like plovers, never swim ; the}- have a scarlet crest and 
small pearls (like those of the Muscov}' duck) separating 
the bill from the eyes ; they are always seen in pairs, and 
■when they fly produce an agreeable whistling from their 
throats. The spur-winged water-hen, on account of its 
great beauty, reminded me of another fine bird I lately 
saw upon one of the neighbouring estates, but which I 
had forgotten to mention : this w^as the Guiana curlew, 
here called flamingo, from its great resemblance to the 
famous bird of that name, seen in Canada and many parts 
of North and South America, and which is supposed to be 
of the crane kind, with its body as large as that of an 
European swan. This bird, however, is only the size of a 
small heron ; it has no tail, but a very long neck, and 
long limbs, with four toes : the head is small, and the bill 
also long, round, and arched. The flamingo lays always 
two eggs, which, when hatched, the chickens appear 
black, next grey, then white, as they come nearer ma- 
turity ; and, finally, the whole bird becomes a bright 
scarlet or crimson, some not lighter than the colour of 
blood. They live in society like the storks, and mostly 
on the banks of rivers, or near the sea, where the}' are 
seen in such amazing flocks, that the sands seem dyed 
with vermilion ; these birds, when young, are accounted 
very good eating, and are so tame, that on the planta- 
tions they are freqoently seen walking and feeding 
Vol. I. Z z among 


among the poultry, though fish and animal food they 
generally prefer. 

Thus I daily found some new object to describe, and 
spent the most agreeable hours, constantly accompanied 
by my young mulatto, upon this Elysian plantation — but 
alas ! all at once, in the midst of my hopes, my truly 
halcyon days were blasted, and I v/as almost plunged into 
despair, by receiving the fatal news of the death of IMr. 
Passalao-e at Amsterdam, to whom I had written to obtain 
my mulatto's manumission : and what must certainly re- 
double my distress, was the situation in which she proved 
to be, promising fair to become a mother in the space of 
a few months. It was now that I saw a thousand horrors 
intrude all at once upon my dejected spirits ; not only my 
friend but my offspring to be a slave, and a slave under 
such a government ! — Mr. Passalage, on whom I relied, 
dead — the whole estate going to be sold to a new master 
— I could not bear it, and was totally distracted ; nay, 
must have died of grief had not the mildness of her temper 
supported me, by suggesting the flattering hopes that 
Lolkens would still be our friend. In the midst of these 
reflections, on the evening of the 4th, we heard the 
report of several alarm-guns towards the North East, on 
which, by day-break next morning, I sent a detachment 
to Rio-Pirica, which returned about noon with the account 
of the rebels attacking the estate Merseille, in the ri^er 
Cottica; but that they had been beaten back by the 
3 plantation 


plantation slaves, as they had Ijefore by those of Korten- 
duur. The other news was, that they had ill treated a 
party of poor Indians, suspecting them to have assisted 
the estates in making their defence ; also that at Parama- 
ribo, an insurrection ^^^as discovered amons; the neoroes, 
who had determined to join the rebels, after first having 
massacred all the inhabitants ; that, however, they were 
detected, and the ringleaders executed. 

On the morning of the 6th, Ave again heard several 
musquet-shot in the woods, which apprehending to be 
some European party that had lost their way, I made my 
sentinel answer the signals of distress, by firing his piece 
alternately with theirs, shot for shot, to which I added two 
drums, that kept beating for several hours without inter- 
mission, when the report of their fire-arms gradually ap- 
proached nearer and nearer : and now at length appeared 
a Society serjeant and six privates that belonged to 
Reedwyk in Pirica, and had been lost in the forest for 
three days, nearly starved, without hammocks, meat, or 
drink, excepting water. Having refreshed them in the 
best manner I was able, they all recovered to my very 
great satisfaction, though one of them remained perfectly 
blind for several hours, with the sting of a kind of 
wasps, Avhich are known in this country by the name of 
marohonso ; of which the only thing that I can say is, 
that they are extremely large, live in hollow trees, are 
the strongest of the bee kind, and sting so violently, 

z z 2 that 


that the pain is excruciating, and always occasions a 

Having, on the 12th, swam twice across the river 
Cottica, which is above half a mile broad, I came 
home in a shiver, and next da}' had an intermitting fever : 
by abstaining, however, from animal food, and using 
plenty of acid with my drink, 1 had no doubt of getting 
well in a fcAv days ; the more so, as tamarinds grew here 
in profusion. 

Indeed, on the l6th, I was^ almost perfectly recovered, 
(weakness excepted) when about ten in the morning, as 
I was sitting with Joanna before my cottage, I had an un- 
expected visit from a Mr. Steger, who happened to be 
one of our surgeons. After having felt my pulse, and ex- 
amined my tongue, he declared Avithout ceremony that I 
should be dead before the morroAV, unless Avithout further 
delay I made use of his prescription. I acknowledge the 
sentence staggered me so much that, though at other times 
I never used medicines at all, I instantly SAvalloAved the 
dose, which he had prepared for me in a tumbler, Avithout 
hesitation, but almost as instantly I dropped doAvn on the 

In this manner I lay till the 20th, being four days be- 
fore I came to my senses, Avhen I found myself stretched 
on a mattress in my little house, Avith poor Joanna sitting 
by me alone, and bathed in tears, Avho begged of me at 
that time to ask no questions, for fear of hurting my 



spirits, but who next clay related to me the dismal trans- 
action, viz. that the moment I fell, four strong negroes 
had taken me up, and by her direction placed me where 
I now was ; that the surgeon having put blisters on se- 
veral parts of my body, had finally declared that I was 
dead, and had suddenly left the plantation, when a grave 
and coffin were ordered for my burial on the 1 7th, which 
she had prevented by dropping upon her knees to implore 
a delay ; that she had dispatched a black to her aunt at 
Fauconberg for wine-vinegar, and a bottle of old Rhenish, 
with the first of which she had constantly bathed my 
temples, wrists, and feet, by keeping without inter- 
mission five wet handkerchiefs tied about them, Avhile 
with a tea-spoon she had found means to make me swal- 
low a few drops of the wine mulled ; that I had lain 
motionless during all that time ; while she had day and 
night, by the help of Quaco and an old negro, attended 
me, still hoping for my recovery : for which she now 
thanked her God. To all this I could only answer by the 
tear of sympathy that started from my eyes, and a feeble 
squeeze of my hand. 

I had, however, the good fortune to recover, but so 
sIoAvly that, notwithstanding the great care that was taken 
of me by that excellent young woman, (to whom alone 
I owed my life) it was the 15th of June before I could 
walk by myself, during all which time I was carried on a 
species of chair by two negroes, supported on two poles 



like a sedan, and fed like an infant, being so lame and 
enervated that I was not able to bring my hand to my 
mouth ; while poor Joanna (who had suffered too much 
on my account) was for several days following very ill 

Great was the change from what I had been but so 
shortly before — then the most healthy and most happy in 
body and mind, and now depressed to the lowest ebb, in 
my constitution and my spirits. My friend Heneman, 
who visited me every day, at this time told me that upon 
information he had discovered the medicine which had so 
nearly killed me to be only tartar-emetic and ipecacuanha, 
but in too great a quantity, viz. four grains of the first, 
mixed with forty grains of the latter ; the surgeon having 
measured my constitution by my size, which is above six 
feet. I was so much incensed at this piece of stupidity, 
that on the 4th of June, having drank his Britannic 
Majesty's health in a rummer of Madeira, and the fatal 
surgeon coming to make me a bow, he no sooner put 
his foot on the landing-place, where I was sitting in my 
palanquin or chair for air, than, having previously clubbed, 
one of the poles that carried me, upon my shoulder, I let 
it fall upon his guilty pericranium, my strength being as 
yet too feeble to aim a blow. The poor fellow no sooner 
felt the weight of the pole, than forgetting the rest of his 
compliments, he skipped back into his boat with all expe- 
dition, with Avhich he decamped as fast as the negroes 



could row liim, to our no small entertainment, who saluted chap. 
him with three cheers. 

About this time, while the troops were doing nothing, 
two of the bravest men in the colony, with the rangers, 
entered the woods, viz. Captain Fredericy, and the militia 
captain, Stoelman ; they killed three or four of the rebels, 
and took a few more prisoners, who had been starving for 
want of subsistence ever since Fourgeoud had ransacked 
the surrounding forest, and destroyed their fields. In 
the creek Patamaca also, two rebel negroes, attempting 
to plunder Mr. Winey's plantation, were shot by his 
slaves, who sent their right hands barbacued to Para- 

Being still so weak that T was unfit for any duty, even 
at the Hope, I now surrendered the command of that post 
to the next officer in rank : and expecting that a change 
of air would be beneficial to me, Avith the previous know- 
ledge of Colonel Fourgeoud, I went on a visit to a neigh- 
bouring estate, called Egmond, where the planter. Monsieur 
de Cachelieu, a French gentleman, had given me a most 
hearty invitation, with Joanna, my boy Quaco, and a white 
servant. At this place I v/as extremely comfortable, and 
nothing could be better calculated for my speedy recovery 
than this Frenchman's hospitality and good-humour. How 
inconsistent with this was his injustice and severity to his 
slaves ! For instance, two young negroes, Avho well 
deserved a flogging, by breaking in and robbing their 



CHAP, master's store-house, came off with a few lashes ; while 


two old ones, for a trifling dispute, were each condemned 
to receive no less than three hundred. 

On my asking the cause of this partiality, I was an- 
swered by Mons. de Cachelieu, that the young ones had 
still a very good skin, and might do much work ; whereas 
the old ones had long been disfigured, worn out, and 
almost unfit for any service ; nay, that killing them 
altogether would be a benefit to the estate. — At Arentrust, 
a few plantations lower down, some days before, a poor 
negro was sent with a letter from his proprietor to the 
manager there — this last, not liking the contents, gave 
the messenger four hundred lashes, telling the innocent 
man, at the same time, to carry that for the answer to 
his master. 

But to return to my French host, (who was, in this 
alone excepted, as polite, hospitable, and well-bred a man 
as ever I would wish to converse with) I must mention 
some particulars of his remarkable oeconomy, viz. a West- 
India rabbit, called in Surinam coiiet/ coney, and by the 
Indians puccarara, but properly the agouti, I saw one day 
come roasted to the table. Of this, he and I eat one 
quarter. Next day it made its appearance a la crapodine, 
that is, with salt and pepper on the gridiron. The third 
day the remaining half entered in the form of a French 
fricasee ; and a fourth, the last quarter was converted into 
what i call meagre soup. 



This I relate as a fact ; and though the planter, his chap. 
overseer, his dog, and his two cats, could not weigh 
fourteen stone amongst them all, no family in Surinam 
could be more healthy or contented. — As an instance of 
abstemiousness, the overseer, Mr. Bodewyn, declared that 
he never had fought a battle, fired a nmsquet, mounted a 
horse, or taken any illicit freedom ; though he acknow- 
ledged he was every day dressed and shaved by the soft 
hand of a young negro female. 

Nothing could be better than the oranges and china 
apples that I found on this estate. — The first I have 
already described ; and, though often confounded with the 
latter, it is a very distinct fruit upon the whole. The China 
apples, or Seville oranges, as they are usually called, differ 
in this from the other oranges, that they are more lucid, 
and of a more savoury taste ; that the shell is smoother, 
thinner, and not so deep coloured ; and particularly, that 
while the oranges may be eaten in any quantit}-, without 
pernicious consequences, the immoderate use of the China 
apples is by long experience in this colony found to pro- 
duce very dangerous effects. This fruit being here much 
the same as that which conies from Lisbon, it is supposed 
to have been imported at first (as was the other) by the 
Portuguese or the Spaniards; and it may well be conceived, 
that in those countries, where it drops ripe from the trees 
in golden clusters, it must be incomparably more delicious 
than it can ever be tasted in Great Britain, being sent 

Vol. I. - 3 A thither 


thither green, after which it indeed becomes orange, but 
can never arrive to its proper state of maturity. As for 
the fine fragrance that is diffused through all this colony, 
by the continued groves of orange-blossoms and odorife- 
rous fruits that it produces, it can be more easily con- 
ceived than described. I also found some fine lemons on 
this estate, which however are here thick shelled, but very 
large. There are also a species of sAveet ones, which are 
smaller, and which have, in my opinion, a very insipid 

Plaving mentioned Mons. de Cachelieu's fine fruit, I 
ought not to forget his excellent French wines, which M'ere 
perfectly unadulterated and truly delicious, particularly 
his muscadell. But in spite of all these good things, I 
still continued a valetudinarian, being oppressed with 
weakness and indigestion. Thus, in hopes that exercise 
on horseback might do me good, I determined to take 
leave of my hospitable French friend, and ask leave of 
absence to go for some time to Paramaribo. 

In consequence, on the 9th, Colonel Fourgeoud arriving 
in the river at the estate Crawassibo, and expecting soon 
to renew his manoeuvres, I, on the 10th, wrote him a 
letter for the above purpose, and also for above six months 
pay, which was due to me. I was answered, on the 1 2th, 
not only with a negative to both my requests, which had 
been granted to other officers, but in so truly impertinent 
a style, as I could not, even from himself, have expected — 

I such 


such as calling in question my zeal, though he knew I was 
sick ; and refusing me my own money, or even the proper 
remedies and means of recovering. This incensed me so 
much, that I wrote him a second letter, to let him know I 
was incapable of doing or asking any thing unbecoming 
my character, but on the contrary (ill as I was) ready to 
give him such j^roofs of my honour as should leave him 
no farther room to doubt of it, should he be pleased to 
put it to the proof. This epistle, Aveak and unfit as I was 
for service, I followed in person two days after, with my 
French friend Cachelieu for my companion and voucher, 
who gave me the use of his tilt-barge with eight oars for 
the purpose. 

On our arrival I expected to see Fourgeoud raging with 
resentment, that he would put nie under an arrest, and 
ask an explanation of our last correspondence. But I 
dreaded not the worst that he could do, after the man}' 
trials to ruin me which he had already put in execution, 
and death itself was almost preferable to his cruelty. 

Monsieur de Cachelieu and I, however, were both dis- 
appointed. He not only took us politely by the hand, but 
solicited us to dine with him, as if nothing had happened. 
But this affectation I despised, and refused to accept of his 
invitation with contempt, in which I was followed by the 
French planter. When, in my turn, I enquired for the 
cause of his refusing my request, and sending me so 
strange a letter, this was the answer — That thirty or forty 

3 A 2 of 


c u A p. of the Ouca negroes, who were our alhes by treaty, had 
deceived him, in doing nothing while they had been in the 
woods, and during the time he had been at Paramaribo : 
that he was in consequence determined to push on the war 
with double vigour ; on which account he had not only 
forbidden me to go to town, but had since ordered even 
all the sick officers to come up and to follow the enemy, 
while they had strength or breath remaining, not so much 
as leaving one at Paramaribo to guard the colours and the 
regiment's chest, which had both been left to the care of a 
quarter-master. — This, indeed, was literally the fact ; but 
to this he might safely, and without hurting his conscience, 
have added, the inveteracy of his disposition, with which 
he had determined to persecute me and some others to anni- 
hilation. I ought to mention, that it was not till about 
this time that he issued orders to be observed on a march, 
and that previous to this every thing was performed in 
perfect hurry and confusion, which indeed even afterwards 
Avas too frequently the case. 

Having now been near two months on the estate 
Egmond, where I could not recover, and not being per- 
mitted to go to Paramaribo, I preferred returning back 
again to take the command at the Hope ; where having 
entertained Monsieur de Cachelieu in the best manner 
I was able, this gentleman in the evening returned to his 

At the Hope I found my friend Mr. Heneman (who 



was now made a captain) very sick, with several others. 
All these, as well as myself, Avere left without a surgeon, 
medicines, or money ; while, as I stated before, the 
many hogsheads of wine sent from Amsterdam, together 
with scores of kegs containing preserved vegetables, and 
other fresh provisions, were for ever kept invisible from 
the poor, emaciated, and languishing troops, for whom 
they had certainly been intended by that city. I indeed 
here made one more attempt to recover our property, but 
to no purpose ; money, medicines, wine, and refreshments, 
were all kept back. Thus did we continue to pine and 
lose strength, instead of gaining it. I mean the greatest 
part of us ; as for myself, I had the least cause to com- 
plain, being well attended by Joanna and my servants, 
who the next day all arrived from Egmond at the Hope, 
besides receiving presents, which were as usual sent me 
from all quarters. One additional inconvenience I however 
felt — my feet were infested with chigoes, which I partly 
impute to having, during my illness, worn stockings and 
shoes while at the good Frenchman's estate Egmond. Of 
this troublesome insect 1 have already made some mention, 
as being extremely numerous at Devil's Harwar, but now 
shall circumstantially describe it. 

The chigoe is a kind of small sand-flea, that gets in 
between the skin and the flesh without its being felt, 
and generally under the nails of the toes; where, while 
it feeds, it keeps growing till it becomes the size of a 



large pea, causing no further pain than a disagreeable 
itching ; in process of time it appears in the form of a 
small bladder, in which are deposited thousands of eggs 
or nits, and which, if it breaks, produce so many young 
chigoes, that in course of time create running ulcers, 
which are often of very dangerous consequence to the 
patient : so much so, indeed, that I have known a soldier, 
the soles of whose feet Avere obliged to be cut away with a 
razor, before he could recover ; and some men have lost 
their limbs by amputation — nay even their lives, by having 
neglected in time to root out these abominable vermin. 
The moment, therefore, that one perceives a kind of itching 
and redness more than usual about the feet, it is time to 
begin extracting the chigoe that occasions it : this is done 
with a sharp-pointed needle, at which operation the black 
girls are extremely dexterous, taking every care not to 
occasion imnecessary pain, and to prevent the chigoo or 
bladder from breaking in the wound. The cure is to put 
tobacco-ashes in the orifice, by which in a little time it is 
perfectly healed. Being at this time, as I have just men- 
tioned, infested with the chigoes, Joanna with her needle 
picked twenty-three of these insects out of my left foot; 
which being all hatched under the nails, caused, as may 
be imagined, the most terrible torment, but which I bore 
without flinching, with the resolution of an African negro. 
These are the insects called niquas by the Spaniards at 



On the 2 1 st I received a letter from the Commander in 
chief, not an answer to my last, but orders to send him 
up to the estate Crawassibo (Avhich was at present his 
head-quarters) all the provisions, kettles, axes, &c. that 
could be spared from the Hope, as he was preparing to 
re-enter the woods. I accordingly dispatched them the 
next day : but the supply of victuals was not great; for a 
whole barge, with beef and pork, bound for the Hope, 
had been shipwrecked in the river. 

On the 25 th Mr. Steger, the surgeon who had so 
nearly poisoned me that I could not yet get the better of 
the effects of his ignorance, was discharged from the regi- 
ment, as incapable of his profession. Still, notwithstanding 
my unsettled state of health, as several officers were going 
to join Fourgeoud about this time, and weak as I was, I 
intreated once more to be one of the party. But on the 
morning of the 26th, his adjutant, with another surgeon, 
visiting all the troops that were in Comewina, I was 
deemed totally incapable of supporting the fatigue : in- 
deed so much so, that relapsing on the 29th, I was even 
glad to be superseded in the command of the river by 
the major, Mr. Medlar, who arrived at the Hope this 
day for that purpose. Nevertheless I was condemned 
to linger at this place, while one month at Paramaribo 
might have perfectly recovered me. — I had now nothing 
to do but to continue my drawings, for v/hich the above 
gentleman at that time offered me one hundred crowns, 



but my desire was, if possible, to complete the collection ; 
and when I had the strength, 1 Avalked round the planta- 
tion with my gun. Amongst others, I shot, on the 3d of 
September, a small bird, called kibry-fowlo, on account of 
its continuing in a manner constantly under cover. It 
was about the size of a thrush, and very much the colour 
of a quail, which it also exactly resembled in shape, but 
the limbs were rather longer, and the bill was extremely 
sharp-pointed. This bird is very seldom seen on the wing, 
but runs incredibly fast through the grass and savannas, 
where it hides itself the instant it is perceived. When 
dressed, it Avas as fat as a lump of butter, and as delicious 
as an European ortolan. 

On the 1 Ith of September, Fourgeoud at last broke up 
from Crawassibo, and, with all the able troops he could 
collect (which were now not much more than one hundred) 
he again marched into the forest after the enemy ; having 
previously taken away the post from the Jew Savannah, 
which he placed at the forsaken estate Oranjebo, in the 
very upper parts of Rio Comewina, leaving the river 
Surinam to take care of itself. 

On the 19th of this month in the forenoon, a herd of 
Avild swine, called pingos, (more than two hundred in 
number) having lost their way in the forest, came to the 
Hope, galloping over the plantation, when above a score 
of them were killed by the negroes, who knocked them 
down with their bill-hooks and axes. In Surinam the 


l-//iC' ,'xS/^^ //'/■/ /'/vy; ^'/- /L/// ,^Jpf//- r'/ /y/z/a/zt'/ 

Cj2y;^'_^^^//-y'^; (7r G ///'^XUV^n '-."^/(^Z . 

Limlftt , riihli.thr<l nrcr:i"''f;i):i,hy .f.Jrlui.-;ii .%' I'miLr Cliiinli V.ii;! . 


wild boars are of three species; which I will embrace 
this opportunity to describe — these are the pingos or 
zeiaree above-mentioned, the cras-pingo, and the Mexican 
hog, called the peccary. The pingos are about the size 
of our English small hogs ; they are black, and have 
coarse bristles thinly scattered ; they live in herds of 
sometimes above three hundred, in the thickest parts of 
the forest, and run always in a line, the one closely fol- 
lowing the other ; when the foremost or leader is shot, 
the line is instantly broken, and the whole herd is in 
' confusion ; for which reason the Indians take care (if 
possible) to knock their captain on the head before 
the rest ; after this the others even often stand still, 
stupidly looking at one another, and allowing them- 
selves to be killed one by one, of which I have been a 
witness. They do not attack the human species, nor 
make any resistance at all, like the European wild-boar, 
when wounded, as has been by some authors errone- 
ously asserted. As for their attacking dogs, I can say 
nothing about it, never having had any with me when I 
met them. — The cras-pingos are large, armed vvith strong 
tusks, and their bristles still coarser than the former. This 
large species indeed are very dangerous, as well from their 
strength as their ferocity, attacking any thing that obstructs 
them in their way, especially Avhen wounded. They move 
in the same manner, and in as large herds, as the former, 
but inhabit chiefly the more inland parts of the country. 
Vol. I. 3 B Both 


Both these species, when they hear the smallest noise in 
the forest that indicates danger, stop short in their course, 
form in a close body, and gnash their teeth, preparing 
themselves for defence against the enemy : I am of 
opinion that these are not natural to Guiana, but ori- 
ginally from Africa and Europe. Their flesh is eaten 
with avidity by the natives, and even esteemed by the 
white inhabitants, but is in my opinion dry, hard, and 
unsavoury. — That species which is called the peccary or 
Mexican hog, is alone supposed to be indigenous to 
Guiana, and will not intermix with either the wild or 
domestic hogs. This animal is particularly remarkable by 
having an orifice on the back, which is vulgarly mistaken 
for its navel, and which, being about one inch deep, con- 
tains a stinking fetid liquor, Avhich some compare to the 
smell of musk, but which is so very disagreeable, that the 
instant the animal is killed, the natives take care to cut 
away this part with a knife, to prevent its infecting the 
flesh, which it would soon do, making it so disgusting as 
not to be eatable. The length of the peccary is about 
three feet : it has no tail ; fine limbs, short tusks, and 
yellowish grey bristles, much resembling those of an 
English hedge-hog; on the back they are very long, but 
on the sides and on the belly they are both short and yery 
thinly scattered. This creature has a light-coloured spot 
that comes down from the shoulder on each side the 
breast, something like a horse-collar. Hogs of this species 
1 are 


ave more uncommon in the low and marshy countries than 
in the inland parts, where they prefer feeding amongst the 
mountains and dry savannas. The peccary is easily tamed, 
and in that state harmless and inoffensive, but not so 
stupid as is asserted by the Count de Butfon, who says, 
they know no person, and have no attachment to those 
that feed them ; for Major Medlar had one at the Hope 
that followed him like a dog, and shewed the greatest de- 
light in being caressed by its master. I ought also to 
observe that it is, when irritated, very vicious and mis- 
chievous. They go in large herds as the other species, 
produce many young at a time, and their grunting is 
extremely loud and disagreeable. 

On the morning of the 29th, we again heard the report 
of several guns toward the river Cottica, where it since 
appeared the rebels were a second time beaten back from 
the plantation INIerseille, by the fidelity and bravery of the 
slaves belonging to that estate. 

On the 8th of the succeeding month, we received the 
news, that Colonel Fourgeoud, having discovered and 
destroyed some fields belonging to the enemy (who had 
again kept up a distant conversation with him) and 
having found the mangled remains of poor Schmidt, who 
had been murdered by the rebels, as I related above, was 
once more come with his troops to Magdenberg, Avhere 
he encamped till the eleventh. He then re-entered the 
forest, previously sending to the Hope the sick, and with 

3 B 2 them 


CHAP, them a young officer under an arrest, in order to be 
tried for not being able to undergo the fatigues as well 
as himself. In other words, having been ordered to 
watch two days and two nights, the youth had proved 
unequal to the task, and had dropt asleep under arms, as 
he was sitting on the ground. The climate indeed was 
such that even without these trials nature was often 

The preservation of Fourgeoud's vigour hitherto may,, 
in a great uieasure, be attributed to his continuall}' 
drinking a medicine he called tisan, in large full basons» 
which had a most nauseous taste, and was composed of 
the Jesuits bark, cream of tartar, and stick-liquorice, boiled 
together, which he drank as hot as he could bear it, and 
to which having accustomed his constitution, he could not 
do without it. In this, however, he was followed by none 
of the rest, as they were apprehensive that when this 
should once cease to operate, (which it must at last) all 
other medicines in time of real need would be ineftectual. 
As for my own part, I still continued to be so exceedingly 
weak, that I almost despaired of evermore recovering ; 
while my depressed spirits, on account of Joanna's critical 
and almost hopeless situation, greatly contributed to pre- 
vent the restoration of my health. These alarms were not 
diminished on the 21st, when, being visited by Mr. and 
Mrs. Lolkens at the Hope, this gentleman told me, that 
the whole estate Fauconberg was again transferred, with 



its dependants, since the death of Mr. Passalage ; that chap. 
the new proprietor was a Mr. Lude of Amsterdam, with ^^^' 
whom he had not the smallest interest ; and that there 
was in town a general report that we had both been 
poisoned. This sentence was, however, greatly alleviated 
by the kindness of his lady, who insisted that my Joanna 
should accompany her to Paramaribo immediately ; where, 
at her own house, she should meet with every care and 
attention that her situation could require, till perfectly 
recovered : for this I thanked her in the best manner I 
was able, and poor Joanna wept with gratitude. Havino- 
therefore conducted them as far as their estate Killestyn- 
Nova, where ^ve dined, I took my leave of them and 
Joanna, and bid them all an affectionate farewell for the 

At my return to the Hope, my indignation was scarcely 
to be restrained within the bounds of prudence, when I 
found myself upbraided by my mess-mates for taking care 
of my own offspring : " Do as we do," said they, " Sted- 
" man, and never fear. If our children are slaves, they 
" are provided for; and if they die, what care we, should 
" they be d — n'd in the bargain ? Therefore keep your 
" sighs in your own belly, and your money in your pocket, 
" my boy, that's all." — I repeat this in their own language, 
to shew how much my feeling must have been hurt and 
disgusted with similar consolation. 

The following morning, awaking by day-break in my 



hammock, the first thing that I saw, when looking up, was 
a snake about two yards long, hanging with its head down- 
wards like a rope, and straight above my face, from which 
he was not one foot distance, while his tail was twisted 
round the rafters under the thatch. Observing his eyes 
bright as stars, and his forked tongue in agitation, I was 
so distressed that I scarcely had power to avoid him, 
which however I did, by running out ; after which, I 
heard a rustling in the dry thatch, where the negroes at- 
tempted to kill him, but in vain, he having escaped, and 
thus I cannot say what species he belonged to. Being 
now by myself, and rather startled by this unwelcome 
guest, I shut up my house, and lodged and messed with 
jny friends the Major, Heneman, and Macdonald. 

On visiting my boxes, I now found that great depre- 
dations had been committed by the ants, which are 
throughout all Guiana so very numerous, and of so many 
different species, that once I had a pair of new cotton 
stockings perfectly destroyed by them in one night only. 
Those which frequent the estates are generally small, but 
very troublesome. The only way possibly to keep them 
from the refined sugar, is by hanging the loaf to the 
ceiling on a nail, and making a ring of dry chalk around 
it, very thick, which crumbles down the moment the ants 
attempt to pass it. I imagined that placing my sugar- 
boxes in the middle of a tub, and on stone, surrounded 
with deep water, would have kept back this formidable 



enemy, but to no purpose : whole armies of the lighter 
sort (to my astonishment) marched over the surface, and 
but a very few of them were drowned. The main body 
constantly scaled the rock, and in spite of all my efforts 
made their entry through the key-holes ; after which, the 
only way to clear the garrison is to expose it to a hot sun, 
which the invaders cannot bear, and all march off in a fe\v~ 
minutes. That the ants provide for winter, as not only 
Dr. Bancroft and many others, but even King Solomon, 
reports, is found to be an error by the most modern in- 
vestigation. In Surinam, indeed, there is no winter ; but 
where there is, the ants lie dormant, during which torpid 
state they want no food. 

My friend Captain Van Coeverden, at this time, march- 
ing in tlie woods, suffered a much worse depredation at 
Paramaribo, where not the ants, but the negro-slaves, had 
broken open his boxes, and robbed him of all his best 
effects, and near twenty guineas in money. 

On the 6th, a marine drowned himself, in one of those 
phrenzy fevers which are so common in Guiana. About 
the same time another Society soldier was shot by order of 
a court-martial. Thus perished those men who were spared 
by the climate or the enemy. 

Having written to a Mr. Seifke, to enquire whether it 
was not in the power of the Governor and Council to re- 
lieve a gentleman's child from bondage, provided there was 
paid to its master fuch a ransom as their wisdom should 



CHAP, judge adequate ; I received for answer, that no money or 
interest could purchase its freedom, without the pro- 
prietor's consent ; since, according to law, it was just as 
much a slave as if it had been bom in Africa, and imported 
from the coast of Guinea. This information now perfectly 
completed my misery, and I at last had recom'se to drink- 
ing; which temporary relief, however, only caused my 
spirits to flow higher, in order to make them sink lowe 
after its evaporation. Daring this conflict it happened 
that I was invited Avith the Major to dine, at an estate 
called Knoppemonbo, in the Casavinica Creek, where a 
]\Ir. De Graav, the proprietor, did every thing in his 
power to amuse me, but to no purpose. — ^At last, seeing 
me seated by myself on a small bridge that led to a grove 
of orange-trees, with a settled gloom on my countenance, 
he accosted me, and taking me by the hand, to my asto- 
nishment, pronounced the following words : 

" Sir, I am acquainted by Mr. Lolkens Avith the cause 
" of your just distress. Heaven never left a good intention 
*' unrewarded. I have now the pleasure to acquaint you, 
" that Mr. Lude has chosen me for his administrator; and 
" that from this day I shall pride myself in making it my 
" business to render you any service with that gentkman, 
" as well as the virtuous Joanna, whose deserving character 
" has attracted the attention of so many people, while 
" your laudable conduct redounds to your lasting honour 
** throughout the colony." 



No angel descending from above could have brought c n a p. 
me a more Avelcome message ; and no cruiiinal under 
sentence of death could have received a reprieve with 
greater joy. The weigiit of a mill-stone was removed from 
my labouring breast; and having made M\\ De Graav 
repeat his promise, I felt I should yet be happy. Soon 
after this I was surrounded by several gentlemen and ladies, 
to whom my friend had communicated his generous inten- 
tions. They congratulated me on my sensibility, and on 
having met with so valuable an acquaintance. All seemed 
to partake in the pleasure that I now felt; and the day 
being spent in mirth and conviviality, I returned to the 
Hope, much better pleased than when I left it, where 
next day the whole company was entertained by Major 
Medlar ; nor did we separate, or cease feasting up and 
down the river, till the J 3th, when we once more spent the 
day at Knoppemonbo. 

Here Mr. De Graav, having bought some new slaves, 
gave a holiday to all the negroes on his estate; and here 
I had the opportunity of seeing the diversions peculiar to 
that people : but of these I must reserve the particular 
account to another occasion, and for the present only give 
a short description of the Loango dancing, as performed 
by the Loango negroes, male and female, and not by any 
others ; which consists from first to last in such a scene of 
wanton and lascivious gestures, as nothing but a heated 
imagination and a constant practice could enable them to 

Vol. I. 3 C perform. 


perform. These dances, which are performed to the sound 
of a drum, to which they strike time by clapping of hands, 
may properly be considered as a kind of play or panto- 
mime divided into so many acts, which lasts for some 
hours. But the most remarkable is, that during this repre- 
sentation, the actors, instead of being fatigued, become 
more and more enlivened and animated, till they are 
bathed in sweat like post-horses, and their passions wound 
up to such a degree, that nature being overcome, they are 
ready to drop into convulsions. 

However indelicate the above exhibitions maybe, fashion 
has rendered them no more disgusting than any other diver- 
sions to the European and Creole ladies, who in company 
with the gentlemen crowd about them Avithout the least 
reserve, to enjoy what they call a hearty laugh; while such, 
scenes Avould change an English woman's face from white 
to scarlet. 

That custom and habit give a sanction, and render 
familiar, in some countries, many things which would be 
considered as preposterous in others, is an observation, 
which is more or less verified, in proportion to the variety 
of places which the traveller has visited. An officer in 
the India service has, in a late publication, described the 
variety of attitudes, gestures, looks,^ sighs,, expressions 
of desire, fear, hope, trepidation, and every gradation of 
passion, which is acted by the dancing-girls in the East 
Indies ; and yet, though these young wonien are exerting 



all tlieir faculties for promoting wantonness in the be- c u a p. 
holders, to obtain a living, the whole race of Gentoo 
women are most remarkable for the purest minds of any 
people in the universe *. 

* Not to go so far eastward, it is 
notorious that nearly similar to these 
dances are those which we find prac- 
tised on a part of this continent. 
Tiiey are called fandangos, and ai-e 
said to have been brought from Peru 
to Spain. As I have been favoured 
with a very accurate and curious 
description of them, extracted from 
a coJlectioii of letters of Emanuel 

Martinns, dean of Ahcant, I shall 
venture to insert it as it came to my 
hands, since I doubt not but it may 
afford amusement to some of my 
readers, while I hope the admission 
of it will not be offensive to others; 
it being ray wish and desire to 
please all, by bringing to light 
whatever might otherwise escape 

E. M. I. A. suo. 

I nunc, et veterum morum licen- 
iiam accusa, nostrorum verecundiam 
lauda. Nosti saltationem illam Ga- 
ditanam, obscoenitate su& per omne 
jEVum famosam. At qui hodie ip- 
sammet per omnia hujus urbis com- 
pita, per omnia cubicula, cum incre- 
dibili astantium plausu, saltari videas. 
Nee inter iElhiopas tan turn et ob- 
scures homines, sed inter honestissi- 
mas foaminas, ac nobili loco natas. 

Saltationis modus hoc ritu peragi- 
tur. Saltant vir et fcemina vel bini 
vel plures. Corpora ad musicos 
modos per omnia libidinum irrita- 
menta versantur. Membrorum mol- 

lissimi flexus, clunium motationes, 
micationes femorum, salaci:im in- 
sultuum imagines, omnia denique 
turgentis lasciviae solertissimo studio 
expressa simulacra. Videas cevere 
virum, et cum quodam gannitu, 
crissare fceminam, eo lepore ac vc- 
nustate, ut inepta; profecto ac rusti- 
cte tibi vidcrentur tremula; nates 
Pliotidos Appulcianffi. Interea om- 
nia constrcpunt cachinnis et ronchis. 
Quin spectatores ipsi satyrice atel- 
lanaeque ofxnirfaj furore correpti, in 
ipso simulate iibidinis campo, leni 
quodam gestu nutuque, velitantar ac 

3 C 2 



On the 1 4th I returned to the Hope, Avhere I saw my 
cottage unroofed by a storm ; but Avhich now expecting 
no niore to inhabit, I permitted to go to ruin — 

" The cloud-capt towers, the gorgeous palaces, &c. shall dissolve." 

Be that as it may, I had passed in it the happiest days of 
my whole lifetime. 

On the 26th Colonel Fourgeoud marched once more 
to the Wana Creek ; but having taken the troops from the 
Jew Savannah, the i-ebels availed themselves of their ab- 
sence, and not only pillaged a plantation in the river 
Surinam, but burnt several dwellings in the Creek Casa- 
vinica. From the above river they were bravely pursued 
by a feeble Society-detachment, which chanced to be there, 
but without success ; two soldiers were killed, and Mr, 
Negle their leader, with several others, wounded. The 
Major now broke up the new post formed at Oranjebo, 
which he also dispatched after the enemy ; and having 
ranged a whole week in the forest, also returned without 
any manner of success. These frequent miscarriages evince 
how difficult it is for European troops to carry on a war 
in the forests of South America. 

The 30th of this month being the Anniversary of St. 
Andrew, and now finding myself in excellent spirits, I 
roasted a whole sheep, with which I entertained all the 



officers on the Hope, as well as v.iili a couple of gallons chap. 
of good Jamaica rum in punch, which we drank to the 
healths of all our friends on the old continent. This 
festivity I repeated on December the 4th, on receiving the 
tidings that my Joanna was delivered of a strong and 
beautiful boy. That very morning I dispatched another 
letter to Mr. Lude at Amsterdam, to obtain her manu- 
mission, couched much in the same terms as that which I 
had written to his predecessor Mr. Passalage, only praying 
for dispatch, as I was now uncertain how much longer the 
expedition was to last ; in Avhich request I was again 
seconded by my ncAv friend Mr. De Graav, as I had been 
before by Mr. Lolkens ; after which I entertained the sick 
with a dozen of old Rhenish, received from the former 
gentleman, which had been in his cellar from one thousand 
seven hundred and twenty-six. 

Walking round the plantation the morning of the 10th 
with my gun, I found the whole of the slaves on the estate 
in a mutiny, on account of the cruel usage inflicted by the 
managers : happily for all parties the interference of the 
military soon ended this matter to mutual satisfaction. 
These frequent disturbances, which I have at different 
times mentioned, plainly indicate the inclination of the 
negroes to break out in an open rebellion ; and this would 
certainly have been more often attempted, had they not 
been awed by the troops. The same morning I brought 
home two birds, the one called toreman, the other a species 



of grass-snipe. The ioremm\, or hanaquaw, is a shining 
black bird, as large as a pullet, with grey legs, and a bill 
of a dark brown colour; it is very good eating, and easily 
discovered in the trees (where it perches on the highest 
branches) by its note repeating distinctly the word liana- 
quazv, hanaquaw, at the approach of any person in the 
forest; which has also occasioned tiie name of torema7i, 
and w^hich signifies, in the negro language of Surinam, a 
tale-bearer or a spy ; on this account the rebels in parti- 
cular have an invincible hatred against it. 

The grass-snipe is something less than a woodcock, of a 
beautiful silv^r^-grey colour, and in shape much like the 
snipes of Europe. This bird is mostly found in the 
wet savannahs ; it is very plump, and exquisitely de- 
licate food. 

On the 1 1 th the estate Rectwy k in Pirica was attacked, 
but the enemy was beaten back by the military. 

Colonel Fourgeoud being now again arrived at Mag- 
denberg, and I at last being perfectly recovered, after 
seven months illness, I ventured to propose, by another 
letter to the Commander, that I might accompany him 
on his future excursions in the woods, or go for some 
time to Paramaribo ; but neither the one or the other 
request was yet granted. In this situation I wrote a letter 
to town, to inform my poor friend that I was well, with 
which I went to the river side to look out for a boat, 
and towards noon hailed the tent-barge belonging to 
1 Fauconberg, 


Fauconberg, which was rowino; with the overseer to 
Paramaribo. This was, unfortunately, a new superin- 
tendant ; and not knowing me, he refused to come ashore 
for the message. IIoAvever, seeing the negroes rest upon 
their oars, I took the letter in my teeth, and leaped in- 
stantly into the river to dispatch it, knowing they would 
put me again on terra-jirma. Having thus swam with 
the stream, in my shirt and trovvsers, till I came within, 
two oars length of the boat, I held up the letter in my 
hand, and called out, " Who the devil are you, that re- 
** fuse to take on board a piece of paper.''" When, being 
answered in French, " Je suis Jean Bearnee, paysan de 
" Guascogne, a votre service," I had the mortification to 
see them pull away without a possibility of overtaking 
tljem, or returning. In this distress I had now nothing 
left but to perish, it being impossible to swim against the 
stream, especially as I was incumbered with my cloaths. 
I struggled, however, but sunk twice to the bottom in 
the attempt ; and must inevitably have been drowned, had 
I not caught hold of a projecting paling that was erected 
in the river for the purpose of catching fish. To this I 
remained sticking fast ; when a Dutch carpenter, who 
observed me from tlie top of thesugar-mill, called out, that 
the English captain was trying to kill himself. On this news 
a dozen stout negroes immediately leapt into the riv'er, and 
having dragged me safe on shore (under the direction of my 
good friend Medlar, wbo was inclined to believe the re- 


port) lifted me upon their shoulders to carry me home. 
The disappointment, the danger, the anger, vexation, and 
shame (for there was no contradicting them) had by this 
time wound up my passions to such a height, and made 
such an impression on my spirits, that I became perfectly 
mad, and had almost perpetrated the act of which 1 was 
accused ; since, on crossing over a small bridge, I actually 
gave a sudden twist, and, from their shoulders, threw 
myself with a jerk headlong over the balustrades once 
more into the water. Here a second time I was picked 
up by the negroes ; and now the suspicion being con- 
firmed that I intended suicide, I was put to my ham- 
mock, Avith two sentinels appointed to guard me during 
the night, while several of my friends were shedding 
tears around me. Having, however, drank some mulled 
wine, I enjoyed a sound nap till morning ; when appearing 
calm and perfedly composed, my words, to my great 
joy, began to gain credit, and the apprehensions of my 
companions were dispelled. — Such was the danger to 
which I was exposed by the unkind and inhospitable 
behaviour of this Frenchman, who nearly obliterated the 
memory of this transaction by his many succeeding in- 
stances of unprecedented brutality. The following day, 
however, by one of my negroes and a small canoe, I 
sent my letter to Paramaribo. Seeing now about noon a 
melasses-boat at anchor before the Hope, in which was 
broiling in the sun an English sailor and two negroes, I 



made the first come ashore, and entertained the poor 
fellow with a bowl of punch and a good meal of eggs 
and bacon, to his great surprize, he not having expected 
this kindness, or to be accosted in his own country lan- 
guage at this place. What were this man's grateful ac- 
knowledgments, whose name was Charles Macdonald, 
will be seeh in the sequel of my work. 

A melasses-boat is a barge rowed by two oars, which 
fetches this commodity in large hogsheads from the sugar 
plantations, and delivers it on board the English-American 
vessels for exportation, to be distilled into rum in the 
islands; for which they pay the Dutch, on an average, 
three guineas per hogshead. 

On the l6th another officer arrived from our hero 
under an arrest (the first was a Mr. Geelguin, and this was 
a Mr. Neys), for the crime of contending with the free 
negro Goasary for a bunch of plantains. Both these 
young men were afterwards sent to Europe by Four- 
geoud, in expectation that they would be broke by a 
court-martial; but, after a very short confinement, they 
were honourably acquitted, to the joy of the whole corps, 
and the mortification of this hectoring Swiss. Such was 
the inveteracy of this old gentleman, who had not the 
smallest consideration for the foibles of youth ; and who 
constantly saw the mote in the eye of his neighbour, over- 
looking the beam that appeared so conspicuously in his 
own. As I have been speaking of plantains, I shall take 

Vol. I. 3D this 


this occasion to give some account of a production, which 
in fact, I ought to have described long before. 

Ihis is rather a plant than a tree, as the trunk has nei- 
tiier wood nor bark, but consists of a stamen enwrapped hy 
green vascular husks, succeeding each other in the man- 
ner of an onion, and above ten inches in diameter. These 
husks rise alternately about fourteen feet distance from 
the ground, and form not in branches, but in leaves, that 
spread like an umbrella, about twelve or fourteen in num- 
ber, so as to cover the tallest person. They are of a 
shining sea-green till they fade, and hang down in tatters, 
as their places are supplied by the young ones. From the 
centre of all this there grows a strong stalk, about three 
feet long, and bending downwards by the weight of a 
purple spatha, something like a calf's heart; and on this 
stalk grows the fruit called plantains, in the shape of 
cucumbers, and above one hundred in number, which is 
usually called a bunch. Each tree, or plant, bears but one 
of these bunches at a time. When it is cut down, it is 
speedily supplied by the young shoots, which spring 
from its bulbous root, and which in the space of ten 
months time are ready to undergo the same operation. 
It requires a rich nourishing soil to make it prosper, with- 
out which it never arrives at proper maturity. This fruit 
being divested of its tegument when green, has in the 
inside a pale yellow farinaceous substance, and supplies 
(as 1 have already intimated) the want of bread, when 
1 1 either 


'jy//r ^^/////A//// '>y/'/r, ////y ///r ■ '"^^fz/i^/na^^ 

I.. ,„(,':i.ri,OI,..lial Or,-ri<'i-!,,i .I.V .I..UI,iu;m,.(.i I'ouli- I'Ulinl, 



either boiled or roasted : it has an agreeable taste, and is chap. 


very wholesome ; when the shell becomes yellow the in- 
side is soft, and then may be eaten raw, having much the 
taste of a very ripe pear ; but when arrived at that degree 
of maturity it is only used by way of dessert. 

Another species resembling this, is the banana, which 
only differs from the plantain, in its fruit being less, and 
more oval, and this species is never eaten till it is yellow 
and fully ripe. The former is most useful in point of 
food; but this last, which has the flavour of musk, is 
accounted by far the most delicate. For a more perfect 
idea, however, than I am capable of giving by descrip- 
tion, I refer the curious to the annexed plate ; where A 
is the plantain-tree with its fruit; B the young shoots 
that succeed it; C the fruit in its green tegument; D the 
same, cut through the middle; and E the fruit called ba- 
nanOi in full maturity. In Surinam the first is known 
by the name of banana, and the second goes by that of 

I now, obtaining my friend Medlar's concurrence, took 
a trip on the 18th to Paramaribo; where I found my boy 
bathing in Madeira wine and water*, while his mother 
was happy, and perfectly recovered. Having seen them 

* This, howevei- uncommon it may hospitable Mrs. Lolkens, who gene- 
appear to an European, is often prac- rously presented Joanna with the 
tised in Surinam by such as can af- wine, 
ford it; amongst whicli class was the 

3 D 2 well, 


well, and presented Joanna with a gold medal, that m3^ 
father had given my mother on the day of my birth, also 
thanked Mrs. Lolkens for her very great kindness, I imme- 
diately returned to the Hope, where I arrived on the £2d. 

The poor negro whom I had sent before me Avith a 
letter had been less fortunate than I was, having his 
canoe overset in the middle of the river Surinam, by the 
roughness of the water. With great address, how^ever, 
he kept himself in an erect posture (for this inan could 
not swim), and by the buoyancy and resistance of the boat 
aoainst his feet, he was enabled just to keep his head 
above the water, while the weight of his body kept the 
sunk canoe from moving. In this precarious attitude, he 
was picked up by a man-of-war s boat; who, taking away 
the canoe for their trouble, put him on shore at Parama- 
ribo. He kept the letter, however surprising, still in his 
mouth, and being eager to deliver it, he accidentally ran 
into a wrong house ; where^ being taken for a thief (for 
refusing to let them read it), he was tied up to receive 
four hundred lashes; but, fortunately, was reprieved by 
the intercession of an English merchant of the name of 
Gordon, avIio was my particular friend, and knew the 
negro. Thus did the poor fellow escape drowning, and 
being flogged, either of which he would have undergone, 
sooner than disclose what he called the secrets of his 
masera. — Query, How many Europeans are possessed of 

equal fidelity and fortitude .'' 



Having lately mentioned the mode of catching fish by 
means of a projecting paling, it will probably not be dis- 
agreeable to the reader to have some account of it, parti- 
cularly as on many different occasions it helped me to a 
comfortable dinner. It consists simply of a kind of square 
enclosure, that juts out into the river, surrounded by long 
palisadoes of the manicole-trce, tied very close together by 
nebees. In this fence is a large door, which is left open 
with the flood, and shut at high water, to prevent the en- 
closed fish from escaping; and by this simple contrivance 
the negnjes and Indians frequently catch very large 
quantities. Amongst those taken lately, were the logo~ 
logo and matuary. The first is a species of eel, and is 
sometimes two feet long, and very thick ; dark blue on 
the back and sides, but whitish on the belly : it is ex- 
tremely fat, and very good eating. The other is a small 
sweet fish without scales ; but one thing very remarkable 
is, that in Surinam most fishes, the moment they are out 
of the water, begin to make a noise, not unlike the grunt- 
ing of a small pig : and that fish have hearing (after 
many doubts and disputes) has of late been clearly de- 
monstrated by the most able inquirers into the history of 

Having on the 23d dined at the estate Knoppemonbo, I 
will also mention two birds, which attracted my particular 

* See the account given to the Members of the Royal Society^ by Juhn 
Hunter, Esq; F. R. S. 


attention. The one on account of the very great pecu- 
harity of its nest; it is called in this country lipee-hanuna , 
as supposed to feed much on the ripe bananas. Whether 
this is the mock-bird of Dr. Bancroft, I know not, but in 
some particulars it approaches his description. 

These birds that I speak of had taken possession of a 
large tree near the water-side, which the negroes told me 
they had frequented undisturbed for many years ; they 
were at least above two hundred in number, about the 
size of English thrushes, some were a shining black, 
with the tails and part of the wings of a bright crimson ; 
the others were also black, but their tails and wings of a 
fine yellow colour. The first I was informed Avere the 
males, and the latter the females of the same species : they 
indeed whistled a variety of notes, but neither had that 
melody or imitation of other songsters, which is so gene- 
rally ascribed to the mock-bird, and which, besides, I never 
heard mentioned in Surinam. These birds had their nests 
(above threescore in number) fixed to the extremity of 
the branches, where they were dangling in the wind, 
resembling egg-nets stuffed with hay, of which, indeed, 
they were built; and about the middle of them there was 
a small hole, at which the birds enter and go out. The 
bottom is built wide, and perfectly round; there they lay 
their eggs, and hatch their young ones, while the spiral 
roof protects them from birds of prey, and from the 
weather. But what is of more consequence, the monkeys, 



which arc so numerous in this country, are, by such 
a situation, prevented from destroying them, since the 
branches or twigs from which they depend, though 
strong enougli to support the nests, and what is in them, 
arc too weak to bear the load of more weighty invaders; 
and, for greater security, I may add, they are mostly 
built depending over water.— {See the nests in Plate XLV.) 
The other bud which I shot in returning home, was the 
Surinam falcon or hawk. Its size and shape was like those 
of the same species in England : its colour light brown, 
variegated on the breast and tail with specks of red, 
black, and yellow; its tongue was cloven, its eyes remark- 
ably bright, its legs a citron colour, and its talons armed 
with long and sharp-pointed claws. This bird is exceed- 
ingly destructive to the plantations, committing great 
ravages amongst the poultry, &c. 

But I must once more return to the operations of our 
commander in chief, who having rested a i'ew days at Mao-- 
denberg, again marched, on Christmas-day, with the 
remaining Landful of his men, to the Jew Savannah, whence 
he returned (having seen nothing) back to Magdenbero-, 
with the new title of being himself the wanderino- Jew. 
This did not prevent me and Major Medlar from renewino- 
our solicitations to accompany him in his expeditions; 
but we were still prevented by his going to town, where 
about this time a fresh supply of troops was hourly ex- 


c ji A p. pected to arrive from Europe. At last, however, he gave me 
leave to follow him, with some other officers who were 
actually in want, at a time when fifteen hogsheads of fine 
claret, and fifteen thousand florins in specie, were waiting 
his commands at Paramaribo. 



Description of the Indians, Aborigines of Guiana — Tlieir 
Food — Arms — Ornaments — Employments — Diversions — ■ 
Passions — Religion — Marriages — Funerals, ^-c. — Of the 
Caribbee Indians in particular — Their Trade with the 

/'"\ N the 18tli of January 1774, 1 at last bid farewell to chap. 
^^-^ the Plope, of which I am convinced the reader by ^^• 
this time is as tired as I have been. Thence rowing down, 
I slept at the estate Arentlust, and next day dined at the 
beautiful plantation Catwyk. In this place I had nearly 
ended all my travels ; for Mr. Goetzee, the owner, having 
lent me one of his horses to ride round the estate, the 
animal and I both at once disappeared : a wooden bridge 
over which we passed being rotten, the part under us gave 
■way, and we dropped through into the canal. "With much 
exertion however (being alone) I got ashore, and having 
run to call some negroes, the horse, which stuck in the mud, 
was (though with great difficulty) extricated. 

In the evening I rowed to Paramaribo with the ebb 
tide, which gave me an opportunity of seeing the man- 
groves that line the banks of the river Surinam full of 
oysters, stuck in the branches like fruit, from the water's 

Vol. I. 3 E edge 


c II A P. edge up to high-water mark. These oysters attaching 
themselves to trees as they do to rocks, has given rise to 
the vulgar error that they grow, or vegetate like fruit ; 
but it is not more extraordinary that they should stick 
on any one substance than on another, for many species 
of shell-fish are as commonly found to adhere to ships 
bottoms as to rocks. These oysters, which at some dis- 
tance look like mushrooms, are, indeed, very small and 
trifling ; for one hundred are not comparable to one dozen 
that come from Colchester. In Surinam are also a kind 
of muscles, but these are so small and insipid, that they 
are scarcely worthy of mention. 

The day after my arrival I visited the Governor : as 
also Mr. Kennedy, Mrs. Lolkens, Mrs. De Melley, &c. 
who all congratulated me on my acquaintance with Mr. 
De Graav, and highly honoured me, and approved of what 
I had done for my Mulatto and her infant. 

On the 2 2d, our few remaining troops being mostly at 
Paramaribo, a Mr. Van Eys gave an entertainment to the 
whole corps. 

On the 25th a great number of Indians, or natives, ar- 
rived at Paramaribo ; which afforded me an opportunity of 
seeing and describing this people, who are the aborigines 
of the country. These Indians, who appear the happiest 
creatures under the sun, are divided into many casts or 
tribes, such as the 

1 1 Caribbees, 


7i<- f Uit ^tuip' 

////////// - ''A//////// r/ ///f C//rr/7'f'rr ■_ yaAo?u 

l.m,l,m.riMu!i.,l n.r'i-^ij.y!. fy- .I..h,lu,.vii,Sfr,ml.< Own/i r,mi. 


Caribbees, Arrowouks, 

Accawaus, Taiiras, and 

Worrows, Piannacotaus ; 

besides which, there are many others whose manners are 
unknown to us. All these tribes of Indians are in gene- 
ral of a copper-colour ; while the negroes of Africa, that 
live under the same degree of latitude, are perfectly black. 
This, however inconceivable it may appear, is easily ac- 
counted for, when one considers, first, that the American 
Indians in Guiana are constantly refreshed by the cooling 
sea breeze, or easterly wind, that blows between the tropics ; 
and that those who dwell in Terra-Firma and Peru, on the 
West coast, enjoy that same easterly breeze, still kept cool 
by the great chain of inland mountains over which it 
passes, and which have their summits perpetually covered 
with snow. While the inhabitants of Africa, south of 
the river Senegal, get the same east wind rather heated 
than cooled, by the prodigious quantity of inland, hot, 
sandy deserts over which it passes. 

These are the most probable reasons why the Americans 
are of a copper-colour or red, and the inhabitants of Africa, 
called Negroes, are black, viz. the one being more burnt 
by the sun than the other, and not because they are two 
distinct races of people : since no person who examines 
and reflects, can avoid seeing that there is but one race 
of people on the earth, who differ from each other only 
according to the soil and the climate in Avhich they live. 

3 E 2 - I am 


I am further of opinion, that these aborigines, or In- 
dian nativesj will appear to have still less title to be called 
a distinct people from those of the old continent, when 
we consider the proximity of Russia to North America, 
whence apparently they have emigrated, and hitherto but 
thinly peopled the New World, the Mexicans and a few 
others excepted, till they were butchered by Spanish ava- 
rice and superstition. A happy people I call them still, 
whose peace and genuine morals have not been conta- 
minated with European vices ; and whose errors are only 
the errors of ignorance, and not the rooted depravity of 
a pretended civilization, and a spurious and mock Chris- 

" Lo ! the poor Indian, whose untutor'd mind 

" Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind ; 

" His soul proud science never taught to stray 

" Far as the solar walk, or milky way; 

" Yet simple nature to his hope has giv'n, 

" Behind the cloud-topt hill, an humbler heav'n ; 

•' Some safer world, in depth of woods embrac'd, 

" Some happier island in the wat'ry waste ; 

" Where slaves once more their native land behold,. 

" No fiends torment, no Christians thirst for gold, 

" To be, contents his natural desire, 

" He asks no Angel's wing, no Seraph's fire ; 

" But thinks, admitted to that equal sky, 

" His faithful dog shall bear him company. 

" Go, wiser thou ! and in thy scale of sense 

" Weigh thy opinion against Providence." 



For my part I must say, with Socrates, that this kind of c ii a v. 

• XV 

poverty is alone the truest kind of riches; as those who 
want least approach nearest to the gods, who want no- 
thing. This naturally leads me to the speech of an In- 
dian, in reply to a sermon preached by a Swedish minister 
at an Indian treaty, held at Covestogue, of Avhich the 
principal substance was as folloAvs: 

"Do you then really believe, that we and our fore- 
" fathers are all, as you would teach us, condemned to 
" suffer eternal torments in another world, because we 
" have not been taught your mysterious novelties ? 7\.re 
" we not the work of God ? And can the Almighty not 
" manifest his will without the help of a book ? If this is 
" true, and God is just, then how is it consistent with his 
" justice to force life upon us without our consent,. and 
" then to condemn us all to eternal damnation, because 
" we did not meet with you. No, Sir, we are convinced 
" that the Christians are more depraved in their morals 
" than we Indians, if we may judge of their doctrines by 
" the general badness of their lives." 

There cannot indeed be a more laudable undertaking, 
than the endeavour to engraft divine truths on the pure 
minds of these innocent people, so worthy of instruc- 
tion ; but I fear, and it is too observable, that the 
words of one good man will have but little eiFect, when 
the practice of the far greater number of Moravian 
preachers settled amongst them on the banks of the Sera- 


mica rivers, where they endeavour to convert the negroes 
as well as the Indians, is in direct contradiction to his life 
and precepts. 

All the Guiana Indians believe in God as the supreme 
author of every good, and never inclined to do them an 
injury ; but they worship the devil, whom they call 
YawaJioo, to prevent his afflicting them with evil, and to 
whom they ascribe pain, disease, wounds, and death; 
and where an Indian dies, in order to avert future fata- 
lity, the whole family soon after leave the spot as a jilace 
of residence. 

The Guiana Indians are a perfectly free people, that is, 
they have no division of land, and are without any go- 
vernment, excepting that in most families the oldest acts 
as captain, priest, and physician, to whom they pay a re- 
verential obedience : these men are called Peii or Pa- 
gai/ers, and, as in some civilized nations, live better than 
all others. 

Polygamy is admitted among them, and every In- 
dian is allowed to take as manj' wives as he can pro- 
vide for, though he generally takes but one, of whom 
he is extremely jealous, and whom he knocks on the 
head the moment he receives a decided proof of her 
incontin^ncy. These Indians never beat their chil- 
dren on any account whatever, nor give them any edu- 
cation, except in hunting, fishing, running, and swim- 
ming; yet they never use abusive language to each 



other, nor steal; and a lye is totally unknown among 
them. To which I may add, that no people can be more 
grateful when treated with civility, of which I shall in 
future relate a remarkable instance : but I must not for- 
get that, on the other hand, they are extremely revenge- 
ful, especially when, as they suppose, they are injured 
without just provocation. 

The only vices with which to my knowledge they are 
acquainted, if such amongst them they may be called, are 
excessive drinking when opportunity offers, and an un- 
accountable indolence: an Indian's only occupation, when 
he is not hunting or fishing being to lounge in his ham- 
mock, picking his teeth, plucking the hairs from his 
beard, examining; his face in a bit of broken lookins;- 
glass, &c. 

The Indians in general are a very cleanly people, bath- 
ing twice or thrice every day in the river, or the sea. 
They have all thick hair, which never turns grey, and 
the head never becomes bald; both sexes pluck out 
every vestige of hair on their bodies, that on the head 
only excepted : it is of a shining black, which the men 
wear short, but the women very lOng, hanging over the 
back and shoulders to their middle; as if they had 
studied the scriptures, where it is said that long hair is an 
ornament to a woman, but a disgrace to a man. 

The Guiana Indians are neither tall, strong, nor mus- 
cular: but they are straight, active, and generally in 

a good 



CHAP, a good state of health. Their faces have no expres- 
sion whatever, that of a placid good-nature and con- 
tent excepted; and their features are beautifully re- 
gular, with small black eyes, thin lips, and very white 
teeth. However, all the Guiana Indians disfigure them- 
selves more or less by the use of arnotta or rocow, by 
them called cosowee, and by the Dutch orlean. The 
seeds of the arnotta being macerated in the juice of 
lemon, and mixed M'ith water, and gum that exudes 
from the mawna tree, or with the oil of castor, com- 
poses a scai'let paint, with which all the Indians anoint 
their bodies, and even the men their hair, which gives 
their skin the appearance of a boiled lobster ; they also 
rub their naked bodies with caraba or crab-oil. This, it 
must be allowed, is extremely useful in scorching cli- 
mates, where the inhabitants of both sexes go almost 
naked. One day, laughing at a young man Avho came 
from the neighbourhood of Cayenne, he answered me 
in French, saying, " My skin. Sir, is kept soft, too 
" great perspiration is prevented, and the musquitocs do 
" not sting me as they do you : besides its beauty, this 
" is the use of my painting red. Now what is the rea- 
" son of your painting white?" [meaning powder in the 
hair] " You are, without any reason, wasting your flour, 
' dirtying your coat, and making yourself look grey be- 
*' fore your time." 

These Indians also make use of a deep purple blue, 



which they call tapowripa; but this is purely for or- 
nament, and is absolutely indelible for about nine 
days. It is the juice of a fruit in size like a small apple 
that grows on the lauma tree, and which is bruised and 
macerated in water. With this these people make figures 
on their faces, and all over their bodies, resembling hie- 
roglyphicks, like those that were a few years since called 
d, la Grec in Europe, and are still cut in coal-grates, 
fenders, &c. But for a more correct idea I must refer the 
reader to the annexed plate, vhere the children alone are 
not painted. So very permanently does this paint adhere 
to the skin, that one of our officers, who could not be- 
lieve the fact, having by way of a frolic made a pair of 
enormous whiskers with it on his face, was obliged, to our 
great amusement, to parade Paramaribo with them for 
above a week, and wait till they gradually disappeared. 

The only dress worn by these Indians consists of a . 
slip of black or blue cotton worn by the men to cover 
their nakedness, and called camisa; something like that 
of the negroes. Being wound round their loins, it passes 
through between their thighs, and the ends of it, which 
are very long, they either throw over their shoulders, 
or negligently let them trail on the ground. For the 
same purpose, the women wear an apron of cotton, with 
party-coloured glass beads strung upon it, which they 
call queiou. This covering is of no great size, being 
only about one foot in breadth by ciglit inches in length. 
Vol. I. 3 F ornamented 


ornamented with fringes, and fastened round the waist 
with cotton strings ; but being heavy, though of no 
larger dimensions, it answers all the purposes for which it 
was intended. Many also wear a girdle made of human 
hair round their waist, through which, before and behind, 
they fasten a square broad piece of black cotton, bat 
lighter, and without a train, like the camisa of the men : 
both sexes wearing these belts or girdles so low, that they 
ahuost slide down over their buttocks, and make their 
bodies appear wonderfully long. 

In the inland parts, many Indians of both sexes go quite 
naked, without any covering whatever. The Indian wo- 
men also, by way of ornament, often cut small holes in their 
ears and their lips, in the first of which they wear corks or 
small pieces of light Avood, and through their lips they stick 
tlicrns, and sometimes all the pins they can lay hold of, 
\iith the heads inside against the gums, and the points 
like a beard dangling down upon their chins. Some 
wear feathers throuo;li their cheeks and through their 
noses, though this is but seldom. But the most unac- 
countable ornament in my opinion is, that the girls at 
ten or twelve years old work a kind of cotton garter 
round their ankles, and the same below the knee ; which 
being very tight, and remaining for ever, occasions their 
calves to swell to an enormous size by the time they are 
grown Avomen, and gives their limbs a very odd and 
unnatural appearance. They also wear girdles, bands, 



and bracelets, of various coloured beads, shells, and fifli- 
teetb, about their necks, across their shoulders, or 
round their arms, but generally above the elbow. Upon 
the whole, the Indian women, naturally disagreeable in 
their shapes, with their txies turned inwards, are still 
less attractive by their ornaments. But from this gene- 
ral description I must exempt one cast in particular, 
called Arrowoiiks, whom I shall describe in their proper 

The ornaments of the men consist of croAvns of va- 
rious coloured feathers, or a sash of boars or tygers teeth 
across one shoulder, as a token of their valour and ac- 
tivity. The chiefs of families sometimes wear the skin of 
a tyger, and a silver jilate resembling a croissant, called 
by them a caracoly ; they also frequently have . small oval 
bits of silver in the cartilaginous separation of their noses, 
and sometimes a green or yellow coloured stone. All 
these nations live in the forest, near rivers, and alono- the 
sea-coast, where they are scattered in small villa o^es or 
hamlets. Their houses or wigM'ams, which they call car- 
hets, are built as I have already described those of the ne- 
groes ; but instead of being covered with the leaves of the 
manicole-tree, they are covered with the leaves of rattails 
or jointed canes, here called tas, which grow in clusters in 
all marshy places : but they mostly use trooUes, which are 
leaves that diverge immediately from the root, and are 
no less than twenty fr twenty-four feet in length, and 

3 r 2 from 


from two to three in breadth, and this will for jeai^s 
effectually exclude all inclemencies of weather. 

Their furniture is very simple, but sufficient for their 
wants, consisting of a few black earthen pots of their 
own making ; a few calabashes or gourds ; a few baskets, 
called pagala; a stone to grind, called matta, and another to 
bake their cassava bread ; a fan to blow the fire ; a wooden 
stool or mulee ; a sieve they call manary ; a press to 
squeeze the Avet cassava, called matappy ; and a cotton 
harhmock or net for them to sleep in. 

Besides these, since their intercourse with the Euro- 
peans, many of them are furnished with a hatchet and a 
knife, which last, like a dagger, the Indians always wear 
by their side. But I must not forget that every Indian 
family is provided with a large boat or canoe to carry all 
that they possess when they travel by water, which is not 

The only vegetables cultivated by these people are 
the yams, plantains, and bananas, already described, and 
particularly cassava or manioc. This last is a shrub, 
Avhich grows about three feet high, of a grey colour, 
and knotted ; the leaves are digitated and large, and 
supported by cinnamon-coloured foot-stalks. Of this 
shrub there are two species, distinguished by the appel- 
lation of the sweet and the bitter cassava,, of which the 
roots alone arc for use. These are soft and farinaceous ; 
and in colour, size, and shape, n^ch resemble European 




parsnips. The sweet cassava, roasted in hot ashes, hke c h a £■» 
the green plantains, and eaten with butter, is an agree- 
able and healthy food, tasting much like the chesnut. 
But the bitter cassava, which when raw is the most fatal 
poison both to man and beast, is (however strange it may 
seem) when prepared by fire, not only a very safe food, 
but the most natural bread of the Indians in this coun- 
try, as well as of several Europeans and negroes. The 
manner in which the Indians prepare it is first by grind- 
ing or gi'ating these roots on the matta or rough stone : 
after which they put it in a press, to separate the juice 
from the meal. This press is a kind of long lube, made 
of warirnbo or reeds ; which being hung to a tree, and 
filled with ground cassava, a heavy stone or log of wood is 
fixed to the bottom, the weight of which gradually length- 
ens the tube, which is compressed in proportion, and the 
liquid substance is squeezed through the plated reeds. This 
done, the meal is baked on a hot stone in thin round cakes, 
until it becomes brown and crisp, and then it is a whole- 
some food, that will keep good for half a year; yet I must 
acknowledge that the taste, which by that process becomes 
sweetish, is at the same time extremely insipid. The 
cxtra(5ted water of this root, if not carefully prevented 
by the slaves, is sometimes drunk by cattle and poultry 
on the estates, whom it instantly kills with convulsive 
tortures and sweUing; yet this very liquid, if boiled with 
pepper, butcher's meat, &c. is frequently made use of 



for soup. None should use the cassava root for food 
but such as are perfectly acquainted with' it: many peo- 
ple having befen poisoned, to my knoAvledge, by using 
the one species for the other; the distinction between 
the two consisting chiefly in a tough ligneous fibre or 
cbi'd runnino; throu2;h the heart of the sweet or innocent 
cassava root, which the fatal or bitter has not. The acajou 
nuts are also used by the Indians; and they often bring 
them to Paramaribo, where they are called inginotto. 
The kernels of these nuts are in size and shape very like 
lambs kidneys, and are exceedingly delicate. They grow 
very far inland upon high trees, which having never seen, 
I cannot describe. 

The other food of the Indian consists of sea and land 
turtle, and crabs, called seereeca, which last are seen 
in great quantities in the mud all along the coast 'Of 
Guiana at low Avater. Of these they are extremely fond, 
as also of the river lobsters called sarasara, Avhich are 
here in great abundance. But nothing pleases them so 
much as the iguana or rcayamacca lizards, that I have 
already described: every thing they eat is so highly 
seasoned with Cayenne pepper, that the mere tasting 
of their food excoriates the mouth of an European. 
They use little or no salt, but barbacue their game and 
fish in the smoke, which equally preserves it from putre- 
faction ; and if an Indian has neglected to provide food 
b}' hunting or fishing, his hunger is assuaged by eating 
2 the 


the seeds of the green-heart or the eta tree, or of similar 
productions of the forest. 

Their drink consists of various fluids, such as the 
juice of the coumoo fruit. The couinoo tree is one 
of the smallest of the palm kind. Its seed grows in 
bunches of purple blue berries, resembling grapes, the 
pulp of which thinly adheres to a round hard stone, 
about the size of a pistol bullet. These berries are dis- 
solved and macerated in boiling water; M'hich beverage, 
Avhen mixed with sugar and cinnamon, is frequently used 
by the fair inhabitants: it tastes very much like cho- 
colate. A drink they call piworree is a composition of 
the cassava bread, chewed by the females, and fermented 
with water, when it has something of the taste of ale, 
and will intoxicate. It appears at fii-stvery extraordinary, 
that what has been within the teeth, mixed with the sa- 
liva, and spit from the mouths of others, should be drank 
without loathing by the people of any country: bat 
those who have read Cook's Voyages will find that this 
practice was so common in the islands he discovered, 
that had he not complied with it, his refivsal might have 
fatally offended the inhabitants. - His officers, indeedi, 
did not think it so necessary for them to comply, and 
•tjierefdre ' Excused themselves iVon* the' disgusting draught. 
A bevlerage nearlj^ of the same kind they compose 
from the maize, or Indian corn, which is first ground 
and baked into bread, after which it is crumbled and 
' '" macerated 


c II A V. macerated with water till it ferments like the former, 
''^' and this they call c/ifocoaj-. Another drink called cassirce 
is also much used b}^ these Indians, being a composition 
of yams, cassava, sour oranges, and sugar or treacle, 
well macerated, and fermented with water. ] shall only 
add, that all these beverages are inebriating, if used be- 
yond moderation, which is frequently the case with both 
males and females among the copper-coloured generation 
I am speaking of. This is the only time when they are 
unruly, and when quarrels arise among themselves. 

In pronunciation the language of the Indians in general 
much resembles the Italian, their words being sonorous 
and harmonious, mostly terminating with a vowel, as 
may be observed by the few specimens above. They 
have no calculation of time, a string with some knots be- 
ing the only calendar they are acquainted with. Their 
musical instruments consist of a kind of flute called too- 
too, and made of a single piece of thick reed, on which 
they make a sound no better than the lowing of an 
ox, without either measure or variety. — Another instru- 
ment is also used by them to blow upon, called quarta 
(by Ovid a sirinx; by some poets Pan's chaunter) and 
consists of reeds of different lengths, that are joined to- 
gether like the pipes of an organ, but even at the top, 
which they hold with both hands to the lips, and which, 
by shifting from side to side, produces a warbling of clear 
but discordant sounds, agreeable to none but themselves; 



nor have I seen a better representation of the god Pan chap. 
playing on his chaunter, than a naked Indian among the ^^'' 
A'erdant foUage playing upon one of those reedy pipes. 
They also make flutes of the bones of their enemies, of 
which I have one now in my possession. Their dancing, 
if such it may be called, consists in stamping on the 
ground, balancing on one foot, and staggering round in 
different attitudes for many hours, as if intoxicated. 

The Indians are a very sociable people among them- 
selves, and frequently meet together in a large wigwam 
or caibet that is in every hamlet for the purpose, where, 
if they do not play or dance, they amuse each other 
with fictitious stories, generally concerning ghosts, Avitches, 
or dreams, during which they frequently burst out into 
immoderate fits of laughter. They greatly delight in 
bathing, which they do twice at least every day, men, 
women, boys, and girls, promiscuously together. They 
are all excellent swimmers without exception. Amono- 
these parties not the smallest indecency is committed, in 
either words or actions. 

The employments of the men are, as I have stated, but 
very few, and, indeed, may be comprized in two words, 
hunting and fishing : at both of these exercises they are 
indisputably more expert than any other nation what- 
ever. For the first they are provided with bows and 
arrows of their own manufacturing, the arrows being 
of different kinds for different purposes. The Indian 

Vol. I. 3 G bows 


bows are all made of the hardest and toughest kind 
of ■wood, about five or six feet in length, and Avon- 
derfully well polished; and this is effected by means 
of a stone. In the middle they are Avound round with 
cotton, and strung Avith chords made of silk-grass. The 
arroAvs are generally about four feet long, made of a 
A'ery straight and strong kind of reed, to the end of 
Avhich is fixed a * thin twig about one foot long, to 
balance them; this is armed with a point made of steel 
or of fish-bone, generally barbed. Some of the Indian 
arroAvs are pointed like a lance, others are doubly and 
trebly barbed, and so contiived as to stick in the \vound 
when the reedy part is pulled back. These are used 
mostly for game and fish ; for though they be not mortal, 
they encumber the first, and being buoyant bring the 
latter to the surface, till both are taken. These arroAvs, 
like all others, are stuck with feathers six or scA^en inches 
long. Some arrows have blunted heads instead of points, 
about the size of a large chesnut, like Avhat our ancestors 
called bolts; Avith these they do not kill, but stun the 
macaAvs, parrots, and small monkeys, so that they can 
take them Avith their hands, soon after which they reco- 
A^er, and are sent alive to Paramaribo. Some of the ar- 
rows for killing fish have the 'appearance of a trident, 
three and sometimes five barbed sticks being: fixed to the 
reed instead of one, Avhich enables them to shoot fish 
even at random. A few of the above arroAvs are fre- 
5 quently 


quently dipped in the woorara poison*, which is in- 
stantaneously fatal : but when intent on certain de- 
struction, this people make use of another kind of 
arrow that is not above ten or twelve inches lonsr, 
extremely thin, and made of the hard splintei's of the 
palm-tree bark, having, instead of feathers, one end 
wound round with a tuft of raw cotton, so as to fill up a 
hollow tube made of reed near six feet in leno-tli, throuo-h 
which they blow them with their breath. These little 
implements of death Avill carry to the distance of forty 
paces, and with so much certainty, that the intended 
victims never escape, the points being dipped in the 
woorara poison. As an instance of the dreadful cxTects 
of this poison, I shall only mention a negro woman, who, 
during the late rebellion in Berbice, being slightly 
wounded by a poisoned arrow, not only almost instanth' 
expired, but her sucking infant, though not touched by the 
arrow, lost its life by tasting her milk. 

Their manner of catching fish is much the same as 
I have described at the Hope, by inclosing the entry 
of small creeks or shoal water with a paling, shooting 
them v/ith their tiident arrows, or jwisoning the water 
by throwing in it the roots oi hiarce-\-, in Surinam called 

* The bark of a tree so called, wliieli that gentleman has made to 

mixed with others; but for a verj- par- ascertain its instant fatality. 
ticulardescriptionofthisacute poison, -f This tree is much sought after 

I'ir. of its composition, and of its dire b3' the Indians, who send qiian- 

effects, I refer the reader to Dr. Ban- titles of it to Paramaribo and the 

croft, and the repeated experiments plantations. 

5 G 2 trins'ce- 


tringee-woodo or konamee, by -vvliich the fish become 
stupified, and are taken by the hand, -while they float oa 
the surface of the water; as boys in England, who by 
mixing the Coculus Indicus, or drugs of similar effect, 
with baits which the fish will take, find them soon after 
rise to the surface, whence, if they are not speedily taken, 
they will recover and escape, tlie drugs only stupifying 
them foK a while. These are the only occupations ^df 
the men, except making their furniture, ornaments, ;anfl 

I must not forget that every Indian carries a club, 
Avhich they call apootoo, for their defence. These clubs 
are made of the heaviest wood in the forest; they are 
about eighteen inches long, flat at both ends, and square, 
but heavier at the one end than the other. In the mid- 
dle they are thinner, and are wound about with strong 
cotton threads, so as to be grasped, having a loop to 
secure them round the wrist, as the sword-tassels are 
used by some cavalry. One blow with this club, in 
which is frequently fixed a sharp stone, scatters the 
brains. They are used by the Guiana Indians like the 
tomahawk by the Cherokees, on which, besides other 
hieroglyphical figures, they often carve the number of 
persons they have slain in battle. The manner of fixing 
the stone in the club or apootoo is by sticking it in the 
tree while it is yet growing, where it soon becomes so fast 
that it cannot be forced out ; after which the wood is cut, 
and shaped according to fancy. 



The women are occupied in planting cassava, plan- 
tains, and other roots, besides yams, &c. in dressing 
the victuals, and in making earthen pots, bracelets, 
baskets, or cotton hammocks. Their best baskets are 
called pagala, and are formed of a double matting of 
rushes called warimbo, some white, some brown, be- 
tween which is a separation of tas, or trooly-leaves, 
to keep out the wet. The covering is usually larger 
and deeper than the basket itself, which it altogether 
envelops, and thus makes it stronger; the whole rest- 
ing on two cross pieces of wood fixed to the bottom. 
Their hammocks are woven, which must require a 
considerable portion of time and trouble, being done 
thread after thread, traversing the warp in the manner 
that a hole is darned in a stocking ; after which they are 
stained with the juices of trees according to fancy. 

The Indian girls arrive at the time of puberty befoi'e 
twelve years old, indeed conmionly much sooner, at 
which time they are married. The ceremony consists 
simply in the young man's offering a quantity of game 
and fish of his own catching, which, if she accepts, he 
next proposes the question, " Will you be my wife r" If 
she answers in the affirmative, the matter is settled, and 
the nuptials celebrated in a drunken feast, when a house 
and furniture is provided for the young couple. Their 
women are delivered without any assistance, and with so 
little inconvenience or suffering, that they seem exempt 



CHAP, from the curse of Eve. They go about the menial ser- 
s„^L^ vices for their husbands the day after their delivery; 
then, hoAvever ridiculous and incredible it may appear, 
it is an absolute fact, that every one of these gentlemen 
lie in their hammocks for above a month, groaning and 
grunting as if they had been themselves in labour, dur- 
ing which time all the women must attend them with 
extraordinary care and the best food. This the Indian 
calls enjoying himself and resting from his labour. 
Most of these people esteeming a flat foreliead a mark of 
■ beauty, they compress the heads of their children, it is 
said, immediately after their birth, like the Chactaws of 
North America. 

No Indian wife eats with her husband, but serves him 
as a slave : for this reason they can take but very little 
care of their infants, which, nevertheless, are always 
healthy and undeformed. "When they travel, they carry 
them in small hammocks slung over one shoulder, in 
which sits the child, having one leg before and the other 
behind the mother. For an emetic they use the juice of 
tobacco, Avhich they seldom smoke. 

When the Indians are dying, either from sickness or old 
age, the latter of which is most frequently the cause, the 
devil or Yaicahoo is at midnight exorcised by the peii or 
priest, by means of rattling a calabash filled Avith small 
stones, pease, and beads, accompanied by a long speech. 
This office is hereditary, and by these pretended di- 
■ vines 



vines no animal food, as I have before said, is publicly chap, 
tasted, and yet on the Avhole they live better than all 
the others. When an Indian is dead, being first 
Mashed and anointed, he is buried naked, in a new 
cotton bag, in a sitting attitude, his head resting on the 
palm^ of his hands, his elbows on his knees, and all his 
implements of war and hunting by his side; during which 
time his relations and neighbours rend the air b}^ their dis- 
mal lamentations; but soon after, by a general drunken 
riot, they drown their sorrows till the following 3ear. This 
practice, by the way, bears some affinity to Dr. SmoUet's 
description of a burial in the Highlands of Scotland. At 
the expiration of the year, the bod}^ being rotten, is dug 
up, and the bones distributed to all the friends and ac- 
quaintance, during Avhich ceremony the former rites 
are repeated for the last time, and the whole neighbour- 
hood look out for another settlement. Some tribes of 
Indians, having put their deceased friends in the above 
posture, place them naked for a few days under v»ater, 
where the bones being picked clean by thepiree and other 
fish, the skeleton is dried in the sun, and hung up to 
the ceiling of their houses or wigwams; and this is done 
as the strongest instance of their great regard for their 
departed friend. 

When these Indians travel by land, their canoe, which 
is made of a large tree hollowed by means of fire, is al- 
ways carried along with them to transport their luggage 



across swamps, creeks, and rivers ; it is, like themselves,, 
all over besmeared with arnotta. If they travel in the 
rivers, they generally paddle against the tide, to have a 
better opportunity of shooting such game as they see in 
the trees or on the banks ; whereas, if they went with 
the current, the rapidity of the stream would often make 
them run past it. When travelling on the coast, it fre- 
quently happens that these canoes ship a sea which fills 
them, but no such thing as a shipwreck is heard of: both 
sexes immediately leaping overboard ; then- with one 
hand they hang by the canoe, with the other, and by 
means of calabashes, they throv/ out the water. 

Notwithstanding the Guiana Indians are upon the 
whole a peaceable people, they sometimes go to war 
among themselves, purely for the sake of capturing pri- 
soners, to Avhich they are too much encouraged by the 
Christians, who receive them in exchange for other 
commodities, and make them slaves, which is too fre- 
quently practised. But these kind of slaves are only for 
shew and parade, as they absolutely refuse to work, and 
if at all ill-treated, or especially if beaten, they pine and 
languish like caged turtles, even refusing food, till by af- 
fliction and want they are exhausted, and finally expire. 

The Indians always fight their battles by midnight: 
indeed their contests resemble more a siege than a battle, 
as these broils consist only in surrounding the hamlets of 
their enemies Avhile they are asleep, making prisoners of 



the women, boys, and girls, while they shoot the men chap. 
with poisoned arrows, or with their clubs or apootoos ^^'* 
divide their scidls when they come to close quarters; 
they also scalp their male prisoners, bring home their 
hair, and even their bones, as trophies of war, and 
presents to their Avives, unless they intend to sell them 
to the Europeans at Paramai'ibo. In their open ren- 
counters, which happen very seldom, the bows and 
barbed arrows are their principal weapons of offence; 
with these they often kill at the distance of sixty paces: 
nay, the swiftest bird in its flight, provided it has the 
magnitude of a crow, seldom escapes them. In truth, 
such is the skill of these people at these manly exercises, 
that the best archers at Cressy, Poictiers, and Agincourt, 
must have yielded to their superiority. 

Now with full force the yielding bow he bends, 
Drawn to an arch, and joins the doubling ends; 
Close to his breast he strains the nerve below, 
'Till the barb'd point approach the circling bow. 
Th' impatient weapon whizzes on the wing, 
Sounds the tough bow, and twangs the quivering string. 

Pope's Homer. 

I shall only add farther on this subject, that when these 
Indians go to war they chuse one general commander, 
whom they distinguish by the title of Uill. 

The trade or traffic which the Indians of Guiana carry 
Vol. 1. 3 H on 


« — /- 


CHAP, on with the Dutch consists chiefly in slaves, earthen jars, 
canoes, hammocks, baskets, Brazil-wood, hiaree-roots, 
macaws, parrots, monkeys, balsam capivi, arracocerra, 
caraba or crab oil, and arnotta, for which they receive 
in return checquered cloth, fire-arms, gunpowder, 
hatchets, knives, scissars, different coloured beads, look- 
in o'-o'lasses, fish-hooks, combs, needles, pins, &r,. The 
balsam capivi exudes from the bark of a thick tree that 
grows far inland, with large pointed leaves, bearing a 
fruit like a cucumber. This gum is yellow, hard, and 
transparent, resembling amber; when melted, it has an 
agreeable smell: its uses are for varnish, and to stop diu- 
retic complaints, &c. The gum called arracocerra ex- 
udes from an inland tree also; it is yellow as the former, 
but tenacious and soft; it has a most fragrant smell, and 
is held in great esteem by the Europeans as well as In- 
dians, on account of its efficacy in curing wounds, and 
many other complaints. The caraba or crab oil is made 
by bruising, macerating, and boiling the kernels that 
grow on the crab-tree in brown angular nuts, much about 
the size of a large chesnut ; this oil, which is bitter, be- 
sides anointing the Indians, is used for many purposes 
by the Europeans. The tree grows to near fifty feet 
high, with leaves resembling those of the laurel ; but as I 
neither have seen this nor the two former growing, to my 
knowledge, I can say nothing more concerning them. 
The mawna tree is high, straight, and light brown co- 
I loured ; 


loured ; its leaves are oval ; its nuts resembling nutmegs, c h a p» 
but without either taste or flavour. The gum exuding ^^* 
from its trunk by incisions in the bark is dissolved by the 
Indians in water, and, as I have said, mixed with arnotta 
to anoint them. The castor or palma-christi bush, by 
botanists called the ricinus, is a shrub about four feet 
high, jointed, being covered with large digitated leaves 
on long foot-stalks, viz. both the stem and the branches. 
This shrub consists of the red and the Avhite, and pro- 
duces triangular nuts inclosed in a green husk, which, 
when ripe, turns to brown, and falls otF. From these nuts 
is expressed the castor oil ; in Surinam it is called carrapat 
oil ; it is very like that made of olives, and, as I have 
mentioned before, is much used by the Indians to paint 
themselves with. 

Among all the Indian nations, the Caribs are the most 
numerous, active, and brave. These reside in great num- 
bers near the Spanish settlements, which they often harass, 
in immortal revenge for the inhuman cruelties inflicted 
on their forefathers at Mexico and Peru. They are com- 
manded by a captain, and assemble by the blowing of a 
conch or sea-shell ; they have also frequent battles w^th 
neighbouring Indians ; but what disgraces them above all 
others in Terra Firma is, that however unnatuial it may 
seem, and however much it has been contradicted, they 
are anthropophagi, or cannibals ; at least they most cer- 
tainly feast on their enemies, whose flesh they tear and 

3 n 2 devour 


devour with the avidity of wolves, though this is generally 
supposed to be more from a spirit of revenge than from 
any depravity in their taste. 

~ The Accawaw Indians are few in number, and live far- 
ther distant from the sea than the former. Thouoh like 
these they live in friendship with the Dutch, they are 
both treacherous in administering slow poison concealed 
under their nails, and very distrustful, as they palisade 
the ground round their hamlets with poisoned spikes. 

The Worrow Indians, if not the most cruel, are the 
most despicable of any in Guiana. These are- settled 
along the coast from the river Oronoque to Surinam ; 
they are dark-coloured and extremely ugly ; though 
strong they are pusillanimous, and withal so very lazy 
and indolent, that their poverty will scarcely afford them 
a covering to hide their nakedness, which they often 
supply by the web-like bai'k of the palm-tree. They 
often go quite naked, and are stinkingly dirty ; from 
their sluggish inactivity they are reduced to live mostly 
upon crabs and water. If it should seem strange to 
have called these people happy, let it be recollected that 
their wishes are confined to their enjoyments, and that 
no Indian was ever heard to complain that he was 

The Taiii'as are settled also on the sea-coast between 
Surinam and the river Amazon. These are exceedingly 
numerous, being computed, in this settlement alone, to 



amount to near twenty thousand : they are a very peace- 
able but indolent people, and in many particulars resem- 
ble the JForrows. 

The Piatmacofaus live very far inland, and are enemies 
to the Europeans, with whom they refuse all connection 
or dealings whatever : of this tribe the only thing that I 
can say farther is, that they would murder all the Chris- 
tians in Guiana, if they had an opportunity. 

The only Indian nation within my knowledge now 
remaining to be mentioned are the Arrowouks, my 
favourites ; but as this Chapter is already swelled to' 
a considerable length, I must defer them to another 

opportunity. Thus for the present do I take my 

leave of this happy people, who with the distinctions 
of rank or land (the causes of contention in more en- 
lightened states) are unacquainted ; who know no evil 
but pain and want, with which they are very sel- 
dom afflicted in this ever-verdant, this ever-blooming 
climate ; who, while their wishes are so very limited, 
possess all that they desire in this world : and who, while 
they expect a future state, never give their minds the 
smallest uneasiness, but die in peace ; nay, who seldom 
think upon to-morrow. But while I allow them this 
species of negative happiness, let it not be understood that 
to the contented European I have held up their condi- 
tion as an object of envy. 



For a better idea of their furniture, ornaments, and 
arms, I refer the curious to the annexed plate, where 

N° 1 . is an Indian coriala or canoe, which is gene- 
rally made of one tree. 

2. Paddles in place of oars. 

3. A sieve called manary. 

4. An Indian fan, or way-way. 

5. A stool called rnulee. 

6. A pagala or basket. 

7. A matappy, or cassava press. 

8. An Indian bow. 

9. ArroM's for shooting fish. 

10. A blunted arrow for birds. 

11. Common arrows barbed. 

12. Small poisoned arrows. 

13. The pipe or tube to blow them. 

1 4. A croM'n of various feathers. 

15. An apron called queiou. . 

16. An Indian earthen pot. 

17. An apootoo or Indian club. 

1 8. An Indian cotton hammock. 
] 9. A sash of tigers or wild boars teeth. 
20. A magic shell or gourd 
SI. An Indian flute called too-too. 

22. A flute made of the human bone of an enemj. 

23. An Indian flute or syrinx called quarta. 

24. A stone to grind cassava, called matta. 


l,o,i,l,;,.l'i.l:/M,.l /l,,-1:''/-^i, /.r J.J..Im^-on S/r.,M.- t7ii.r,i, Jjrd. 


N D E X 




AbOMA snake 
Accawaw Indians 
Ai, sloth - •( - 
Amsterdam, fort 
Amazon macaw 
Ants, small 
Animals, foreign 
Arracocerra gum 
Avoira nuts 
Avogato pear 
Auberp-ines ■ ,- 






Balsam capivi . .-; ^ 

Baboon knifefe^r'^;! ' 

^skeeta -'''-' 

Bee, insect 

Bitter brano-e^' ^-"--'" 

Birdfe, ntusical 
Boucol'r town 
Vol. I. 



Boossy-calcoo - p. 254 
Blatta-beetle - 203 
Braam's Point - 44 
Brocoli - - 321 
Brick manufactory 322 
Bullocks - - 129 
Butterfly (azure) 291 

Calapee turtle - 16 
Carett turtle - , 16 

Carribbean wren - 126 
Capasce, animal - C3i 
Camy-camy bird - 272 ' 
Casava (sweet) - 404 

(bitter) - 404 

Carrapat oil - 4 W 

Castor bush - 419 ' 

Caribbee Indians _4j9i 

Cayman - - 1 53 

Crystal " - - 82 

Constable rocks - 14 

Cbmewina river - 42 

Cottica river - 42 

Coot-eye fish - 142 

Cotton tree - 221 

^Cock-roach - 203 

"Cocoa-nut tree - 244 

Cbcareeta tree - 25 7 

' 'Cpemma-cogmma fish 2G 1 

Consaca, ground itch 282 

Corn, Indian - 338 


Coumoo tree 
Cras pingos 
Curlew (red) 
China apple 
Chigoe, insect 



Devil's Islands - 14 

Devils Harwar - 164 
Diamond (MaraM'ina) 43 
Dolphin, or dorado - 9 

Doves (turtle) - 318 

Dog, sloth - 161 

Dry gripes - 127 

Ducks, tame - 130 

Duncane poison - 336 

Dwarf pigeon - 318 


Euripice Islands - 14 

Emu, bird - 255 

Exocoetus volitans 13 

Electrical eel - 132 

Falcon (Surinam) 391 

Flying fish - - 13 



Flycatcher, bird p. 

Flying heart, beetle 

Fire- fly 

Fowls (common) - 






Ground itch 

Grow muneck fish 

Grass snipe 

Green turtle 



Hanaquaw bird 


Hog (common) 


— — (Mexican) 
Hiaree tree 
Heron (grey) 

- (spotted) 





- 382 

- 130 

- 370 

- 338 

- 149 

- 196 

Jackee fish - 1 3 1 

Iguana lizard - 155 

Inginotto - - 406 

Indians (American) 394 

■ Caribbee - 4lS 
Accawaw 420 

■ Worrow - 420 
- Taiiras - 420 

■ Piannacotaw42i 
Indian wheat - 338 


Kawiry fish - p. 345 

Keesce-keesee - 174 
Kibry-fowlo - 368 
Kill-devil - 103 

Lamentyn - 230 

Laniper fish - 345 

Lawna tree - 401 

Lemons - - 362 

sweet - S6^ 

Lizard (Iguana) - 155 

Sapagala 321 

Lipee-banana bird 390 
Lice, common - 1 1 
pattat - 19 

scrapat - 19 

Logo-logo fish - 389 


Marawina river 
— diamond 

Mineral water - p. 

Mawkers, gnats 
Mangrove trees 





white 148 

Marcusa tree 
Macaw (blue and yel- 

Amazon - 
Manicole tree 
Matakee roots 
Maripa tree - 
Maize, Indian corn 
Matuary fish 
Manioc root 
— — bitter 
Mawna tree 
Marobonso-bees - 
Micoo monkey 

on I 


- 355 

- "'1^4 




Mocco-mocco tree 
Monkee monkee - 
Monkey micoo 

keesee-keesee 174 

— (Ourang Ou- 

Monpeira gnat 
Muscles, fish 
Mott creek 

Mexican hog 





Narwhal - - 15 
Nautilus - - 11 
Naapjes, a root - 337 
different na- 
tions - 216 
Nebees, natural ropes 240 
Nests (curious bird) S90 


Ocro shrub 



Ourang Outang 

Orange tree 




Parasalla tree - 240 
Paramaribo town - 29« 
Palmachristy - 4i9 
Palm-tree (avoira) - 27 

-T- cocoa nut 244 

/.,, Palm-tree 


.! .^U 


Palm-tree coumoo p. 


■ nianicole 

maripa - 

Pattat lice 

Petrel, storm bird 
Pery, fish 

Peacock-pheasant - 
Pipa frog 

Pine apple, wild - 
Pigeon (ring-tailed) 


Pingos, wild boar - 



Piannacotaw Indians 
Powesa bird 
Plantation (cotton) 

Prickly heat 
Putrid fever 




oo 1 



Quaderoon - 309 

Que-quee fish - 157 

Queese-queedee bird 3 1 7 

Quail - - 368 


Racasiry gum - 41 8 

Rats - - 25 

Rattans - - 403 

Rhinoceros beetle - 287 

Ring-tailed pigeon 3 1 s 

Ricinus shrub - 419 

Ring worm, disease 205 

Rana Piscatrix - 13 1 

River Surinam - 41 

• Comewina - 42 

■ Cottica - 42 

Seramika - 41 

Copename - 41 

■ Marawina - 17 


Sapagala lizard 

Subacoo bird 


Sarasara lobsters - 

Seereeca crabs 


— unicorn 

— turtle - 
Silk grass 
Somelsdyk fort 
Sour orange 
Surinam river 
Sun fowlo 
Surinam, colony 
Sweet orange 
Scrapat lice 

Stag (bajew) 

■ wirrebocerra 

Spui'-Avinged water 

Snipe (grass) 
Snake (aboma) 


Sloth (sheep) 



Tamarind tree 
Tavous, animal 
Tas rattans 
Taiiras Indians 
Texel Island 
Tiger bird 
Torporific eel 
Toucan, bird 

p. 15 



























Toreman bird 
Tuyew bird 
Turtle doves 

- P 


Troolies, plant 

Tree frog 


Unicorn (sea) 
Unan sloth 

Vreedenburgh fort 


Wassy-wassy bees 
Warappa tish 
^Variml10 reed 
Wana tree 
Wayamaka lizard 
Worrow Indians - 
Water worm 




Wild turkey 


Wirrebocerra stag 
Woorara poison - 
Wieringen Island 
Worms (bush) 





Yams, a root - 337 
Yombo-yombo frog 334 

Zealandia fort - 45 

Directions for placing the Plates. 


Vol. I. 

FRONTISPIECE - - - ^o /ace Title. 

I. ly/r A P of Guiana, &c. - - - facing Page \ 

II. ^^ The Harangus Volans, and Dolphin or Dorado - - lO 

III. View of the Conftable Rocks, and the Saw Fish - - - 14 

IV. A Female Negro Slave in Chains - - - - - l9 

V. The Fruit called Avoira, and Shaddock Apple _ _ - 26 
VI. Map of Surinam --------36 

VII. A Coroniantyn free Negro or Ranger armed - - - 87 

VIII. A Female Mulatto -------- 95 

IX. Sprig of the Tamarind Tree .__.-- 93 

X. A View of the Estate Alkmaar, and Tent Boat - - - 99 

XI. A Negro hung alive by the Ribs to a Gallows - - — 116 

XII. The To wean and the Flycatcher - - - - - - 125 

XIII. A private Marine of Col. Fourgeoud's Corps - - - 140 

XIV. View and Plan of the Fortress called Amsterdam - - - 141 

XV. The Iguana Lizard, and Alligator ----- 152 

XVI. The Ai and Unan Sloth - - 161 

XVII. View of DeviFs Harwar, and the armed Barges - - - \Q5 

XVIII. The Micoo and Keesee Keesee Monkeys - - - 174 

XIX. The Skinning the Aboma Snake, shot by Capt. Stedman - 182 

XX. Order of March through the Woods of Surinam - - 195 

XXI. The Blue and Yellow, and the Amazon Macaw - - - 207 

XXII. Groupe of Negroes imported to be sold for Slaves - - 209 

XXIII. Sprig of the Cotton Tree - - - - - - 223 

XXIV. The Armadillo and Porcupine of Guiana - _ - - - 233 

- XXV. The Skulls of Lieut. Lepper and his Companions - - 237 

XXVI. The jSLinicole and the Cocoa-nut Tree _ - - - 245 

XXVII. The Agame and Powesa, or wild Turkey - - - - 272 

XXVIII. The Post Vreedenburgh, and Encampments at Wana Creek - 281 

xxix'. Azure blue Butterfly of South America ... - 292 

XXX. View of Paramaribo and the Shipping _ - - - 299 

XXXI. Plan of the Town of Paramaribo - _ . - - 301 

XXXII. A Female Quaderoon - - - - -, - - 3iO 

XXXI II. The Baiew and Wirrebocerra Stags of Guiana - - - 322 

XXXIV. The Sugar-cane in its four different Stages . - - - S28 

' XXXV. Flagellation of a female Samboe Slave _ _ - - S39 

XXXVI. The spur-wing'd Water Hen, and Curlew - _ - - 353 

XXXVII. The Pingo and Peccary wild Boar of Guiana - - - 369 

XXXV II I. The Plantain Tree, and the Banana .... - 387 
' XXXIX. Indian Family of the Charribbee Nation - - - - 395 

XL." Arms, Ornaments, &c. of the Indians - - - - 422 

Luke Hansard, printer, near LIncoln's-Inn Fields.