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Editor's Introduction

This section is a transcription of a set of notes inserted at the end of Draft B (Add MS 12419). It is unclear who authored them, however it seems likely to have been one of James Knight's interlocutors. The page numbers referenced roughly correspond to Draft B. Most contemporary scholars working with James Knight's manuscripts have used later drafts. As far as the project team is aware, these notes have never been used or analysed by contemporary scholars.

CONTENT WARNING: James Knight frequently used racist language and described instances of violence. These notes are particularly violent and include descriptions of individuals taking their own lives and descriptions of physical violence against and among enslaved people of African descent.   



* Note this acct. can bee attest’d by some Gent. now in England, to be matter of fact & several [IW] acct. of Jealousies have often happen’d in that Island

[img. 449, f. 224, recto] In Chap. 6: page 14. You mencon [mention] a Suspicion of the Jews holding a Corispondance with the Wild Negs. since their coming in, Capt. Cajo, and all the rest of the Wild Negs. have been Strictly Examin’d upon that Head, & have all declar’d, they never had any Corispondance with the Jews upon any head wt.soever [whatsoever].

page 16. Instead of saying no White Servt. to be Whipt Naked but by order of a Justice of peace, [IW] if you say, no servt. to be punish’d but by order of a Justice of peace so great is their Indulgence to Servts. &c.

page 18. [IW], if it will not be proper to mention the cause of the Wild Negs. becoming so formidable, which was owing to the Cowardice of our Comon[?] servts. who us’d to be drawn out of the Melitia, and sent in partys after them, and on the first of the Negs. firing on them they us’d to throw down their Arms and ammunition and run away & whether you might not carry it a little further to say the Soldiers did the like; as great part of the Arms of those Negs. proves to be markt[?] with qR [Symbol of Crown above qR] which is matter of fact, as they’re still in their possession

page 20. If it wd. not be proper to mention the 200 Indian men the King Jerimiah sent from the Muskeetoes to help to reduce the Rebellious Negs. under the Comd. of his own Capts. and altho’ they was not so Successful as we wished for, yet they [IW] better than either the Soldiers or our own partys, for they return’d out of the Woods with all their Arms and Ammunition, and some Children, & some few they kill’d but their being more accustom’d to a flat Country; and ours so Excessively Mountainous prevented their doing more Execution, for which service the Country pd. each Man 40/ p Month & the Comes. in proportion which they lay’d out in Beads and other Trinkets, and was carried back to [img. 450, verso] their own Country well Satisfied

P3 If it wd. not be proper to take Notice of 3 or 4 Familys of these Neg. & Mulattoes from their Good Behavr. and having Acquir’d pritty good fortunes, being Indulg’d with a Municiple Law to prevent their own or other Negs. being an Evidence agst. them, & their being admitted to be Naturaliz’d.

page 21. If it not proper to mention, the Deficiency Law, wherein Gentlemen that are absent, are oblig’d to keep 1/3d more of white Men upon their estate than those Gentl. who are present, & is tax’d a Deficiency and a half for his own Absence, which is done to discourage the Gent. from leaving the Island.

page 27. Where you say the Blacks Compose their own Songs which as to the Sence &c. are after the Italian manner; will not meet with a Sneer from the Lovers of fine Musick.

page 28. In mentioning the revengeful tempers of Nego. men, which comes from the Coast of Affrica; Occasion’d by Jealousy; whether it wd. not be proper to mention the true following acct. which happen’d to mu knowledge in St. Elizabeths – Mr. Nicholas Coleman planter had a Nego. Man who was look’d upon as a Valluable Trusty Fellow: & had that consider respect[?] in him, which is not Usually[?] done to Negs. which come from the Coast of Affrica, as to be trusted with a Gun, powder & Shott, and Employ’d as a watch to prevt. any Roberies being comitted upon the Estate, by any of the Neighbouring Negs., This Fellow had fine black Woman to his Wife, which he was prodigeous fond of and begun to Suspect the overseer of the sd. plantation, whose name was also Coleman, had a Criminal Conversation with her, which he loc-[?]

[img. 451, f. 225, recto] Soon found to be Fact and Complain’d to his Master of this Abuse which he Indiscreetly neglected to do him justice in, he also often threatned his Wife that if She did not Dissist from Cuckholding him, he wd. be reveng’d of her and the overseer, but instead of being redress he found his Overseer us’d his with more severity than those Usuall which put him in Execution of the following mallancolly Catastrophe, vizt.

It being Customary for the overseers of each plantation to ride of a Sunday Morning into the Negs. Grounds to see that they’re at Work for themselves, & that no dispute arise amongst them about the Bounds of their several little propertys; he was resolv’d to take an opportunity of destroying the Oversser as he was to pass thro’ a little Wood into the Negos. Grounds, & the Saturday night before he executed this his Bloody Design he made a little Entertainmt. for his Friends, and gave them some of the best fowles for Super he had, & the rest of fowles; Hogs and Cloths he divided amongst them, which they was Surpriz’d at but cd. not [IW] into his design & the Sunday morning following he loaded his Gun with a brace of Balls & went to the Wood where he knew the Overseer was to pass, and observ’d himself behind the root of a large Cotton Tree, in which he had made a Notch to rest his Gun to make a Surer Shot; and as the overseer came by, he Shott him dead upon the Spott, and then imediately run to his Wifes plantation where he knew she was at Work and told her he had kill’d Coleman for keeping of her, and now he wd. kill her, for not taking Warning from him about this Act She prostrated herself at his feet beging for her life, & pleading it was Compultion from the overseer which induc’d her to abuse him so but her pleadings was to no prupose for with an Instrumt. call’d a Bill he kill’d her upon the [img. 452, verso] Spott, and Mangled her Body very much: after which he loaded his Gun with a Brace of Balls, and Endeavour’d to Shoot himself but it missing fire, he had not resolution to attempt it a 2d. time but retired into the Woods, where he was soon after taken, and try’d as is Customary by two Justices and three freeholders, he Confess’d the fact and was no ways sorry for it and sd. he wd. do it again if it was in his power; his Sentence was to be hang’d up in Chains alive, there to Expire and his last moments were repeated of what he had done; but declared if he met Coleman in the other world, he’d still seek revenge. *

page 45. If you think it proper to mencon, as a proof of the Strong Opinion some of the Affrican Negs. dyes possessed of their going to their own Country, especially the Eboes to mencon the following Acct. which happened at Collo. John Hurds’s Estate in the parish of Westmoreland vizt.

About a Dozn. New Negs. Men & Women he had just sent down to his Estate call’d Straboga was perswaded by one Older than the rest to go into a plantain Walk a little distance from the houses and there to hang themselves in order to return to their own Country, and to Spirit ‘em up to this resolution he had got money enough from some of his Country men to buy 3 or 4 Quarts of Rum, and in a few hours after they had got into the plaintain Walk, & drank pritty plentifully of the Rum, thro’ this fellows perswasion they assisted in hanging eachother & he last of all hang’d himself, imediately after it was done who had the Watching of that planting Walk discover’d this Malleveolly Sight & Imediately cutt’em down, one of which had life enough left to recover, who gave this acct. for the reason of their so doing

N13 . . I forgot to mention that at the foot of round hill near Milk river and just upon the high road as you go from the Eastermost to the Westernmost parts of [img. 453, f. 226, recto] The Island, is two Springs of Water impregnate with a good deal of Salt and warm enough to admitt a psons going in to Bath, they fall into two Rocky Basons, form’d by Nature; as if intended for such an Use, and is reckn’d a most prevailing Remedy for all kinds of Tutanious or Seropulous foulnesses about the Body & prodigeous refreshing for Travaillers to Bath in, on their Journeys, as severall Gent. now in England has experienced. If proper care was taken of them, they wd. be very useful for Mankind, but this as well as several other Useful Springs of Mineral Waters are too much neglected in this Valuable Island.

[img. 454, verso]

Some Anecdotes of the Wild Negros & other Negs.    

[img. 455, f. 227, recto] In your former treatise I think it was better to leave out that paragraph relating to the White men being order’d by a Magistrate to be Whip’d on their bare Backs.

In your 2d. Book page 12. The Fences on the road side of Inclos’d Grounds are either Logwood Lymes or pinguins, the two former are very Beautifull, and grows very much like the Quick sett fences here, especially the Logwood, which being more prickley then the Lyme trees, will in 10 Months grow up, & make a fine thick ffence, capable of turning the wildest Beast; in the westermost part of the Island, all their Cane pieces and pasture Lands are Fenced in with it; and a vast deal of waste Ground, not fit either for pasterage or a Manureing, are in the Westermost parts of the Island fill’d with it, it being a very Hardy plant, it plants itself by scattering of it’s own Seed, which being very light is carried at a great distance from it’s growth by the Winds, and will in time be a valuable Branch of the produce of that Island several [IW] of it having already been Ship’d for great Brittain and is allowed to be of a better dye than the Logwood which comes from the Bay of Hudoras, we owe the original of it’s being in Jamaica to Capt. Granger Goodwin of the parish of Westmoreland, whose Brother using the Bay trade and accidentily being there at the time of the Logwood.

[img. 456, verso] Seeding brought here a Handful; but neglecting to plant it till some considerable time afterwards, he found it in appearance destroy’d by Vermen, but Scattering it all in a Small bed made for that purpose five of the seed only came up, which was the original of the greatest[?] part in that Island; & this not above 25 years agoe.

In for 39. mentioning the Devils Race, It’s a mistake in saying the Spray of the Sea Incomodes the Traivellers, for that road is over exceeding high honeycomb roekey hills very Difficult to pass with Horses, and is about 4 Miles in Length, and is divided up some Sandy hills of about one Mile in Length; which make it two Devils-races, which the Horse [IW] the Islands, goes over Surprisingly well without Shoaes, which they are never accustom’d to, and when you go off off this bad piece of road you come upon a narrow Sandy Bay which is 9 miles in Length and lyes between the Sea and a great Lagoon, and when the Sea Breezes, or Easterly Winds blows Hard, passengers are very much annoy’d by the Spray of the Sea, as well as they are by Crossing two rivers which from the frequent Shifting of the Quick Sands which are at the Mouths of them makes it Dangerous Travailing, and will occasion the Inland rode thro’ Clarindons Mountains to be the only road in Use as it’s a much better [img. 457, f. 228, recto] and Shorter and capable of being made a Carriage road; and what heretofore rendred it useless, was its being so infester’d with the rebellious Negs. which is now of an End, as they’re become our Friends.

In page 40. you say Bluefields river is Navigable for 25 miles up which is a very great Mistake, for its but a very small River, which is a very great Mistake, for it’s but a very small River, which Issues out of a very Steap Mountain and Issues with a great Descent and falls within 10 yards of the Sea, upon a Sandy bay; about 20 foot from the Ground and by the means of some wooden Gutters, as much of it as is needfull, is carried by them into the Sea, and by which means the Ships Boats brings their Casks under and fills them under the Spout, which is reackn’d  the best Water for Shipping in Jama. Bluefields Bay is capable of holding a vast number of Shipping, with good Anchorage and abounds with Wood for Fuel, and a great Quantitys of fine large fish, where is chiefly taken with Hook and Line.

Savanna Le Mar is the Harbour for Westmoreland, it’s Navigation is pritty Difficult to get into the Harbour; occasion’d by abundance of Reefs & shoals which lyes about two Miles off the Harbour, but when once the Vessels are in, there’s good Ankerge. ground, and capable of holding many ships, were a Dozn. at least of pritty large Ships yearly Loads for London & Bristol besides a great many Norward[?] [IW], which takes off great Quantitys of Mollases [img. 458, verso] with some Rum and Sugar. About 6 Miles from this Harbour is a town call’d Lucenston, in which is several pritty good Houses, & princely was abundance of Shops, which sold goods of all kinds for the parishioners; but since the resort of so many ships to Savanna La Mar, a good many of the people have removed to that place where they have Built at least 20 very good Houses for the Accomodating of the Gentlemen of the parish as well as Seafaring people, and have built several good Shops and Storehouses.

In page 90, You say too little of the Water with which affords exceeding fine Cool Water and is found in several hilly and rockey parts of the Island [IW] no other warter is to be met with, but this, & that which grows in wild pieces, it is a Spongy Toith, much resembleing the largest part of a Grape Vince, and twists itself about the bodys an [IW] Trees. for at least 20 foot high and by getting it in pieces of 2 or 3 foot in Length and holding it upright, you’ll have flowing from it a fine Draught of well tasted Water, the wild pine also afords a good deal of Water, they somewhat resemble the pine in Shape, without bearing any Frute[?] but much larger, and the leaves Broaders, they’re always found upon the Limbs & forks of large Trees, in the most Rockey and mountainous parts of the Island and a great relief to Travelers and Hunters, those kind of little [IW] holding from about a pint to two Quarts of Water, well tasted [img. 459, f. 229, recto] and are constantly supply’d with Showers of Rain which so frequently falls in the Mountains.

I page 92, instead of Bluefields River, say Cape Boneta River & black River.

Page 93 You mention the Mulletts which was found in Blue hole being so much like the Sea Mullett, You fancy that hole has a communication with the Sea, which is a Mistake, it being so much above the Sea, and the Mountain Mullett which was found there is a peculiar Fish to the Rivers in the Mountain & those [IW], & is not near so large as the Sea Mullett, but is much finer tasted and fatter.

In page 94 You say the Bath Water can Boyl a Chicking, but ‘tis so far from it that it won’t boyl an Egg, neither is the biggest Spout larger then a common mans Wrist, & has nothing of a Calibiate taste & it being so much impregnated with Sulpher, I think it far before our Bath water in Sommersetshire, and Consequently of more Value, in restoring decay’d Constitutions, and recovering those unhappy Libertines who have drank away their Limbs, and have been so Emasuated that their very Voice have fail’d them, yet by being carried in a Hammacar up to the Bath, and a frequent Use of those most Valuable Waters (under very great Illconveniencys for want of proper accomodations) they have in 2 or 3 Months time recover’d their [img. 460, verso] Presten State is a most Surprizing manner; & one very remarkable Circumstance I must take Notice of which was that in those Springs of Bath Water, which are 7 in number, and Spouts out of the Sides of a Rockey Mountain, and falls into a fine Small River of Exceeding good Water, which Glides along the foot of this mountain, and affoards such Uses as other waters are requir’d to do; as bathing &c. during the time the Rebellious Negs. was in possession of those parts of the Island; and particularly the Bath Springs, thay was never known to hurt any persons they mett with at those Springs who came there for their Health they saying ‘twas God made them waters for sick people & they knew better than to hinder Gods people from Using of them.

N3. Please to take notice of the great Earthquakes covering a Suga. work in the year 1692.

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