THE GROANS of the PLANTATIONS: OR A True ACCOUNT OF THEIR Grievous and Extreme Sufferings By the Heavy IMPOSITIONS UPON SUGAR, And other HARDSHIPS.

Relating more particularly to the ISLAND of BARBADOS.

LONDON, Printed by M. Clark in the Year MDCLXXXIX.

The GROANS of the PLANTATIONS.

YOƲ have here the Case of the Plantations presented to-your view: which you will find to be most lamentable. You will find, that as the Old Duties upon Sugar did fleece us, so the Addition of the New doth flea us. And you will likewise perceive, that when we treat of these Matters, our Minds are sometimes under great disturbances. There are some things that make even wise Men mad. and therefore We, who do not pretend to that high attainment, must not be wondered at; if in the Anguish of our Souls we let fall some Expressions, that seem little better than Ravings. However we thought it concern'd us to lay open our Condition in any manner. that so the World may know, by what cruel Methods, and by what fatal De­grees, the once flourishing English Colonies have been brought to ruine. But our chief end is to get Relief. which if it cannot be had, (as God forbid but it should); it will yet be some Comfort in our Mi­series, if we obtain Compassion.

IN FORMER times we accounted our selves a part of England: and the Trade and Entercourse was open accordingly. so that Commodities came hither as freely from the Sugar Planta­tions, as from the Isles of Wight or Angle­sey.

But upon the King's Restauration we were in effect made Fo­rainers and Aliens: a Custom being laid upon our Sugars amongst other Forain Commodities. And this was in a higher Proportion than others: that is, above the common Poundage of Twelve Pence in the Pound. For eighteen pence a Hundred, was laid upon Muscovadoes, and five Shillings upon Whites: [Page 2]the common price of the Muscovado Hundred being little above twenty Shillings, and the Whites under fifty.

At the same time the Duty of four and a half per Cent. was extorted from us in Barbados, full sore against our Wills. For it may well be imagined, that we had no mind to burden our own Commodities. The uses of this Duty were pretended and express'd to be; For support of the Government, and for the pub­lick Services of the Island. But the Duty was soon farmed out for Money payable in England. Which Money hath been here paid, and none of the Uses performed, nor any thing allowed towards them. And all the Applications that we have made for it, have been without success. So that we make and repair our Forts and Brest works, we build our Magazines, we buy our great Guns and Ammunition; and are forced to lay great Taxes upon our selves, for defraying these and all other pub­lick Charges. Moreover this four and a half is collected in such manner, that in the Judgment of all that have tryed it, the Attendance and Slavery is a greater burden than the Duty.

Upon the laying these Impositions (the one in England, the other in Barbados) the price of Sugar continued the same: nor could we in the least advance it, either then or any time since. So that we find plainly, that we the poor Planters bear the whole burden of these Duties: and whatever we pay, year after year, by occasion of them; is the same thing in effect, as a Land-Tax upon our Estates.

LET us now consider the proportion of this Tax: and first, what it comes to in Muscovadoes. We will suppose that four pound and an half of this Sugar (which is the Barbados Duty) is there worth but fix pence. This, with the eighteen pence paid in England, makes two Shillings. Since therefore we rec­koned a Hundred of Muscovado at about twenty Shillings; you will say the Duties lie upon the Planter, as a Land-Tax of two Shillings in the Pound.

But this is not a true Reckoning. for if you will reckon right, you must consider; not what is the full Value of such a Hun­dred of Sugar, but what is the clear Profit. For out of this Profit the Planter pays the Duties: that is, by the payment [Page 3]of them his clear Gains are the less by two Shillings in each Hundred. The ordinary clear Profit of a Hundred of Muscova do may be about five Shillings: or hardly so much. for, for one Hundred that yields it, three or four fall short. However, that we may a little flatter and deceive our selves, we will suppose this clear Profit to be fix Shillings. and then the Duties draw two Shillings out of six, and are as a Land-Tax of a Noble in the pound. But if the Sugar yield only two and twenty Shil­lings, the Duty swallows up the whole Profit; if it yield but twenty, the Planter pays the Duty out of his Pocket, and must live by the loss. and there is many a hundred of Sugar sold under twenty.

We have truly said, that the ordinary Profit of a Muscova­do Hundred is but five Shillings. since to clear so much, the Sugar must be sold for five and twenty: which is a full price. For it stands the Planter in twenty shillings: that is, ten the making, and ten the transporting. That the Cask, Fraight, and other Charges of the Transportation, come to ten shillings, for every hundred that comes to England; is known to all Merchants and Factors that use the Trade. And it is as well known to all Planters, that whoever makes Sugar for ten shil­lings a Hundred, shall not get a Groat a day for his Negroes labour: though he reckon nothing for his Land, nor for his great and chargeable Buildings. And these Negroes stand him in near thirty pound a Head, by that time they are seasoned. So that they cannot in truth be afforded, to work at such low and mi­serable Wages.

Thus we see that it is a great Mistake to think, that the old Duties upon Sugar, are but as a trisling Land-Tax of two shillings yearly in the pound. Though even this, in England, would not be accounted a Trifle: it being more than the Tax of seventy thousand pounds a Month, made perpetual. For that month­ly Tax, take one place with another, doth not amount to more than eighteen pence in the pound for the whole year. Where­as our old Duties, as it hath been made out, are as a con­stant Land-Tax of a Noble in the pound: and shear from us a third part of our Estates.

IF THE Impositions be thus heavy upon Muscovado Sugars, they are much worse upon Whites: which pay more than tre­ble the Duty, and seldom reach double the price. Though in reason, it must be confess'd, their price should be treble: con­sidering the Room and the Time they take in Curing, together with the Labour and the Waste. But there is no disputing: we must take for them what we can get.

It was some ease to us for a while, that though our Sugars were so burden'd in England, yet they came free to our Nor­thern Plantations in America. But this did not long continue. For it pleased the Parliament of England to stretch forth their Hands, and to lay them upon us in those remote Parts, they having made an Act, which is dutifully obeyed, That all Sugars that go to the Plantations aforesaid, shall pay the said Duty of eighteen pence and sive shillings, at the Places from whence they are exported. So that now we have no way to avoid any part of the Burden. Which also is a grievous Clog to our Commerce with those Plantations.

The Burden of the Duties paid before Exportation is then most sensible, and seems to press hardest upon us, when the Goods for which we have paid them are lost at Sea. Which sometimes happens before our faces, if the Hurricane catch the Ships before they sail. We therefore thought it not unrea­sonable to expect the same favour, that Merchants (in the like case) have in England and other places, to Ship off the like Quantity Custom free. And we prepared and pass'd an Act for that purpose: which we also transmitted to England. hum­bly hoping, that we should sind no difficulty in obtaining the Royal Assent. But by it we incurr'd very great displeasure: and our Act was not only disallowed, whereby it became of no effect, but we were commanded expresly to repeal it. which we did, with Hearts full of Sorrow.

MOREOVER there are divers things, whereby our Con­dition is made worse than it was in former Times, and which make us less able to bear these Impositions. Of which Things I shall name some sew.

Heretofore we could Ship off our Goods at any Port, or Bay, or Creek; and at any time, either by day or by night. But now since the Kings Restauration we must do it at those Times and Places only, at which the Collectors of the Customs please to attend.

Heretofore we might send our Commodities to any part of the World. But now we must send them to England, and to no Place else. By which means the whole Trade of Sugars to the Streights, (to say nothing of other Places), is lost both to Us and to the English Nation. For by multiplying our Charge, others can undersell us. We hear of a certain old Law in Scotland, Markets, before they might Ship them off. And surely if they had studied seven years, for a Law to destroy their Fishing Trade, they could not have found one more effectual. In the like manner it may be truly affirmed, that the bringing all Sugars to the English Market, hath gone a great way in de­stroying that Trade. As for confining the Plantation Trade to English Ships and English Men, though it be to our particular Loss, (for the Dutch were very benesicial to us); yet we took it in good part, in regard our great and dear Mother of England hath by it such vast Advantages. But that English Ships and English Men should not be permitted to trade to their best con­venience and profit, is a thing we cannot understand. The great End and Design of Trade, as to the Publick, is to get the so­reign Money: and such means should be used, as do most conduce to that End.

Heretofore the things we wanted were brought to us from the Places where they might best be had. But now we must have them from England, and from no other Place. Had we been confined to England only, for those Things that England doth produce, we should have been well contented. But that we must fetch from England the Things that are produced elsewhere, seems very hard. we are sure it makes the Prices excessive to us.

HERETOFORE we might send to Guiney for Negroes when we wanted them. and they stood us in about seven pound a Head. The Account is short and plain. For they cost about [Page 6]the value of forty shillings a Head in Guiney; and their freight was five pound, for every one that was brought alive, and could go over the Ship side. But now we are shut out of this Trade: and a Company is put upon us, from whom we must have our Negroes, and no other way. A Company of London Merchants have got a Patent, excluding all others, to furnish the Plantati­ons with Negroes: some great Men being joyned with them, with whom we were not able to contend. But those great Men might have had some better Exercise for their Generosity, than the pressing too hard upon (we must not say, oppressing) industrious People. And now we buy Negroes at the price of an Engross'd Commodity: the common Rate of a good Negro on Ship board being twenty pound. And we are forced to scram­ble for them in so shameful a Manner, that one of the great Burdens of our Lives is the going to buy Negroes. But we must have them; we cannot be without them, and the best Men in those Countries must in their own Persons submit to the Indignity.

There never want fair Pretences for the foulest Monopolies. But what do they pretend for this? They will tell you, that (to the common Good and Benefit of the English Nation) they can deal with the People of Africa to much better advantage, by being a Company. And so they might, if they could shut out other Nations. But since the Dutch, French, Danes, Swedes, and others, trade thither, and they can shut out none but the poor English; their being a Company, as to their dealing with the Natives, signifies nothing. And it plainly appears, that 'tis not upon the People of Africa, but upon the English Planters in America, that they make their advantage. They will also tell you of the necessity of Forts and Garrisons, and that a Com­pany was therefore necessary. But these might have been made and maintain'd without a Company, by an Imposition upon Negroes sold, or some such Tax, to which the Plantations would cheerfully have submitted.

It may well be imagin'd, (no, it cannot be imagin'd), how the Company and their Agents Lord it over us, having us thus in their power. And if any offer at the Trade beside themselves, they make such Examples of them, that few dare [Page 7]follow them. If they catch us at Guiney, they use us down­right as Enemies. And at home we are drag'd into the Admi­ralty Courts, and condemned in a trice. there is not such spee­dy Justice in all the World. And the word is, that we are found Prize; or condemn'd as Prize. as if we were Forrainers, taken in open War.

They have got a trick of late, to bring Interlopers within the acts of Navigation or Trade: which are the severe Acts about Plantations. But even in this case we are brought into the Ad­miralty, what ever the Law says to the contrary. Nor doth it avail us to plead, that all Offences against Statutes must be tryed by Jury.

The Forfeitures of the Acts before-named (which are never less than Ship and Goods) are given to the King, the Gover­nour, and the Informer. The Governour, in these Matters, sits chief Judge of the Court: I am sure Dutton did in his time. The Company's Agents, who are the Informers, (or some Ser­vant in their behalf) sit with him. and as soon as Sentence is given, they divide the Spoyle. And what ever becomes of the Kings share, we may be sure the Pains takers will not lose theirs. But the while the Kings Subjects in those Parts are in a blessed Condition.

They contemn the Laws against Monopolies: and they tell us, that the Laws of England are not in force among us in this Matter. though they are in all things else, save only where our own Special Laws do make some difference.

Of all the Things we have occasion for, Negroes are the most necessary, and the most valuable. And therefore to have them under a Company, and under a Monopoly, whereby their pri­ces are more then doubled, nay almost trebled; cannot but be most grievous to us. Many an Estate hath been sunk, and many a Family hath been ruin'd, by the highprices they give for Negroes. One would think, that while we were under such a Company, there were little need of Impositions to undo us.

These Duties and these Hardships we have lain under, du­ring the Reign of King Charles the Second. And we have born them as well as we could. But some were not able: and sunk under the Weight. being put out of all Capacity, to pay their [Page 8]Debts, and provide for their Families. For having so many Pressures beside, they could not undergo those Impositions, by which a third part of their Estates was lop't off. Where a Man had threescore pound a year in all the World, and found it little enough, and too little; it was too hard upon him to pay twenty pound a year out of it. Also if a Planter be in debt (as most of us are), so that not a fourth part of his Estate comes clear to him, above the Interest he paies; how is he able to pay a third part in Taxes?

UPON the coming of King James to the Crown, a Parlia­ment being called, We were preparing a Complaint against the Commissioners of the Customs. Who had taken a liberty of late, to our grievous prejudice, to call that White Sugar, which had never been accounted such before, and which was far from that Colour. And whatever They pleased to call Whites, must pay the Duty of five shillings the Hundred.

But we were soon forced to lay aside these Thoughts, to pro­vide against a new Storm that threaten'd. For we were told, to our great Astonishment, that a Project was set on foot to lay more Load upon us: no less then seven Groats a Hun­dred more upon Muscovado, and seven shillings upon Sugars fit for Ʋse. for that was now the word. We saw this tended plainly to our destruction. but the thing was driven on furi­ously by some Empsons and Dudleys about the late King; who did not care how many People they destroyed, so they might get Favour and Preferment for themselves.

Since we were put into the Heard of Forrainers, and paid Duties with them; we hoped we should fare no worse than other Forrainers did. But that the Plantations should be sin­gled out, as the hunted Deer; and the burden upon their Com­modities should be doubled and almost trebled, when all others were untoucht; was matter of Amazement and Consternation. We humbly moved, that if the whole Tax must be laid upon Trade, it might be laid upon all Commodities alike. We said that a small advance upon all the Customs, might serve every purpose, as well as a great one upon some. and that this might be born with some ease, there being so many shoulders to bear [Page 9]it. But they would hearken to nothing of that kind: being resolved and fixt to lay the whole burden upon the Plantations. Which could not but seem very strange to us.

But here lay the Mystery. The Projectors consider'd, that if other Forrainers were hardly used in England, they would car­ry or send their Commodities to other Places. But we poor English Forrainers are compell'd to bring all Hither. and there­fore they thought they could hold Our Noses to the Grind-stone, and make us pay what they pleased.

However they told us, that this new Duty should do us no hurt: in regard it was to be paid by the Buyer. But this we knew to be a meer Mockery. (the Mockery seem'd almost as bad as the Cruelty.) For if an Impost be laid upon the Sugar, who ever pays it, the Planter is sure to bear it. VVhat avails it though the Buyer pays the Duty, if the Seller must presently allow it in the price?

The Brewer hath a certain price for his Beer: and he adds the Excise or Duty to his price: and the Customer pays it. But where the price is uncertain, and a bargain is to be driven, and a Duty yet to be paid; the first word of this bargain will be, who must pay the Duty? And 'tis not not the Appointment of Law, but the Agreement of the Parties, that must decide the question. In Our case, the Buyer will naturally be at this lock: If you clear the Duty, I will give you so much for a Hundred of your White Sugar; if I must pay it, you must have seven shil­lings less. Which is as broad as long.

The Buyer, they say, must pay the Duty. but sure the Sel­ler may pay it if he please. And he will please to pay it, rather then not sell his Sugar. If He will not, there are enow beside that will.

This Duty upon Sugar is the same thing in effect, as a Duty of twelve pence a Bushel would be upon Corn. Though it be said that the Buyer shall pay this, yet the Seller or the Farmer would be sure to feel it, and it would be a heavy Tax upon the Land.

These plain things notwithstanding, and what ever else we could say, the Projectors stood stoutly to it in the Parliament house, that the New Tax upon Sugars should not burden the [Page 10]Plantations. But this was esteemed such barbarous Nonsense, that there was little fear of their prevailing, had not the late King (to our great unhappiness) been so strangely earnest for this Tax. Which yet that Parliament, who then denied him nothing, had never granted, but that some Privy Councellors assured them, in the Kings name and as by his Order; that if the Duty pro­ved grievous to the Plantations, it should be taken off, and be no longer collected.

So the Act passed, and the Plantations are ruin'd. For now we feel, what we certainly foresaw, that the whole Burden of this new Duty lies upon the Plantations. No Chapman will meddle with our Sugars, unless we clear the Duty. Which when we have done, we are so far from being able to advance the price, that it is rather lower than ever it was before. 'Tis not Impositions, but Plenty and Scarcity that rules the Market. And it is found by constant Experience, That where an Impost is laid upon a Commodity in demand, there the Buyer may be brought to bear some part of it. But if the Market be glutted, and the Commodity be a Drug, (as Ours is, and for ever will be); in this case the Buyer will bear no part of the Duty, but the Seller must pay it all.

IT hath been said before, that the cleer Profit of a Hundred of Muscovado Sugar, take one with another, may be about five shillings: or to reckon largely, about six. And you have seen that the old Duties upon that sort are two shillings; and the new, two shillings four pence. So that the Duties do now take four shillings four pence out of six shillings. Which sweeps away above two thirds of our Estates, and lies upon us as an effectual Land-Tax of fourteen shillings in the pound.

To make the Computation another way; We find that what we pay yearly in Duties, is much more then the whole Rent of our Lands. And if this be true (as it is most true) in Barbados, where we reckon our Land at twenty shillings an Acre; it goes to a greater degree in the other Plantations, where Land is much cheaper. But by this means we are wholly stripp'd of our Lands and Freeholds, and are made worse then Rack-Tenants. For [Page 11]we have not the whole profit of our Stocks to live upon; since a good part even of this, must go help to pay our Taxes.

THE ordinary midling price of Muscovado Sugars, hath been reckoned at six and twenty shillings a hundred at most. For as it hath been said, many are sold under twenty. And on the other side if they rise to thirty shillings, they will be adjudged fit for Ʋse: many under that price being so adjudged. In which case they must pay seven shillings a Hundred for the new Duty, beside the old Duties which come to two shillings. If we do but Sun-dry our Sugar, to keep it from running away in its passage home; this pitiful stuff will be adjudged fit for Ʋse, and must pay the seven shillings. But if the Sugars will reach five and thirty shillings, they are sure to be adjudged Whites. And then they pay seven shillings for the new Duty, and five shillings for the old. beside the Duty in Barbados, which in such Sugar comes to neer eighteen pence. Which makes in the whole above thirteen shillings: and for the most part is more then the whole Gains of that Sugar.

Whereas we talk of Sugars adjudged fit for Ʋse, and others adjugded to be Whites; You will ask, where and in what Court are these things adjudged? I answer, In the Court of the High Commissioners. You will say, the Court of High Commission­ers is damned. why then, to speak plainly, we mean the Com­missioners of the Customs: those are Our High Commissioners. And 'tis They that adjudge these Matters, at their discretion.

I know it doth not become us, considering our Condition, to jest at these Matters. But our Miseries make us savage: they make us forget all Rules of Decency.

All other Duties are put in certainty: and so might Ours too. But We only are thought fit to be left to discretion. But how should the Duties upon Sugars be made certain? By let­ting them be according to the value of the Sugars. And if the Officer, or any for him, had liberty to take the Sugars at ten per Cent under the price given in, no man would give an under value.

IN Barbados, we can get but little by making Sugar (though it had none of these Burdens) except we improve it: that is, [Page 12]purge it, and give it a Colour. Others can live by making plain Sugar: We must live by the improved. This is all the help we have, against the disadvantages we ly under: in this we are willing to take Pains, and content to take Time; and in this lies the Planters chiefest Skill. But the Duties fall so terribly upon our improved Sugars, that it doth quite discou­rage and confound us. Our Ingenuity is baffled, and our In­dustry cut up by the roots: here they have us, and there they have us; and we know not which way to turn our selves.

WE can make shift sometimes to put off our fine Sugar to some little Profit, above the Charges and the Duties. But our Course-Clayed (and much of our Sugar is such, for all will not be fine) is quite beaten out of the Pit. We cannot sell it in England but with so great Loss, that it would turn us sud­denly a begging. We are therefore forced to Ship it off for Forrain Markets: half the old Duty (I mean that in England) being allowed us back. But then new Cask must be bought, and new Fraight must be paid, and there are all the Charges of unshipping it and shipping it again, and the half Duty still lyes upon us. So that we are upon very unequal terms with those Sellers of other Nations, who are suffer directly to those Markets. Whereas we are compell'd to bring these Sugars first to England, where we cannot sell them. which makes our Condition most lamentable. Moreover the Forrain Markets are glutted as well as Ours: and there also we meet with new Duties and Impositions. For other People have learn'd by the Example of England, to load us without Mercy. Up­on the whole Matter; the Sugars we thus Ship off, do turn for the most part to a poor and miserable account.

THE Projectors did pride themselves in the drawing of the New Act: as a thing of great Art and Skill. whereas of all that ever were drawn, it is the most foolish. This is not spoken, to reflect upon the Wisdom of the Parliament that past the Act, but upon the Projectors Folly that drew it. Their Folly lies in this, that they make so much ado about nothing. So ma­ny confounded turnings and windings, Bonds to be given and [Page 13]taken up again, other things to be done and undone; and all to make an appearance of obliging the Buyer to pay the Duty, which is not effected in any measure, nor ever can be. But in the mean while, all these things lick Money from the Planter. For the Officers will have their Fees for every thing they do. And if any thing should be ordered to be done without Fee, it would never be done. Also by this means the Facture is made so uneasy, so troublesome, so vexatious and slavish; that none care to meddle with our Commissions. Heretofore our Commissions were courted: but now they go a begging. One good thing there is in the Projectors Contrivances, that by means of them we have some Time for payment of the Duties. But if they had given us the Time, and kept all the rest to themselves, leaving us to pay the Duty directly and the plain way, without so much as naming their Consumptioner; they had done us a Courtesy.

THESE heavy Duties have been exacted from us, not only with extremity of Rigour, but also with manifest Injustice and Oppression. As we can particularly make it out, when ever we are called to it.

We have been in the hands of Men without Mercy: who de­lighted in the Calamities of the People; and who would wil­lingly have seen the whole Kingdom of England, in the same mi­serable Condition that the Plantations are in. Our Sufferings were but a Prelude to the French Government: Or, as a lead­ing Card. Of which Government it is an essential part, that People in general pay all they are worth in Taxes.

We made our humble Applications several times to the late King, and laid our Distresses before him. But he was not pleased to take off our Burdens or any part of them, nor to give us the least Ease or Mitigation. One time we were referr'd to the Commissioners of the Customs: amongst whom (to our com­fort) we might find our Friends the Projectors. Another time we were told by a Great Minister of State (who was a princi­pal Projector likewise, and who was to give us our Answer) That it was very undecent, not to say undutiful, to tax the King with his Promise. When as we had only said in our submissive Pe­tition, [Page 14]That we had been encouraged to Address to his Majesty, by the gracious Expressions he had been pleased to use in Par­liament, concerning his Plantations.

WE cannot now be at the Charge to procure and keep White Servants, or to entertain Freemen as we used to do. Nor will they now go upon any terms to a Land of Misery and Beg­gery. So that our Militia must fall: and we shall be in no Capacity to defend our selves, either against a Forrain Enemy, or against our own Negroes.

In the mean time our poor Slaves bear us Company in our Mones, and groan under the burden of these heavy Impositi­ons. They know that by reason of them, They must fare and work the harder. And that their Masters cannot now allow them, and provide for them, as they should and would.

IT is no wonder if Planters break (as now they do every day) since they ly under such heavy Burdens. We send our Bills to England, designing they should be paid out of the produce of the Sugars we send with them. But the clear Profit of our Su­gars being swallowed up by the Impositions; Our Bills are not paid, but come back Protested; and our Debts remain and in­crease upon us. And at last our Estates are torn in pieces to pay them, and will not do it.

Most of Us Planters are behind hand, and in debt. and so we were, before the Impositions gave us their helping hand. For there is no place in the World, where it is so easy to run into debt, and so hard to get out of it. But now these heavy Imposi­tions do so disable us, that we can by no means contend with In­terest, but must sink under it. Heretofore we endeavour'd to work out our Debts; but now we must work to pay our Taxes.

MANY that had good Estates four years ago, are now worse then nothing, and in a starving Condition: these heavy Impo­sitions having quite undone them. It were a Mercy to take away our Lives, rather then leave them to us with so much bitterness. They that have Puppies or Kitlings, more then they are willing to keep; choose rather to drown them, then to let them perish misera­bly for want of Sustenance. And those poor little Creatures find so [Page 15]much pity, that when they must live no longer, People take care to give them an easy Death. But we poor Planters cannot have that favour. It is our hard lot to live, depriv'd of the Com­forts and Supports of Life.

What have we done, or wherein have we offended, that we should be used in this manner? Or what strange Crime have we committed, to make us the Object of so great Severities? And how have we incurred the displeasure of England, our great and dear Mother? The very Sense of our dear Mothers displeasure (though the direful Effects had not followed), and the very Thought that we are grown hateful to her, is worse then death it self. Had we been in the hands of our Enemies, and They had set themselves to crush and oppress us; it had been in some measure to be born, because we could expect no better. but to be ruin'd by those, by whom we hoped to be che­rish't and protected, is wholly unsupportable.

THESE things notwithstanding, our Hearts continue as firm to England, as if all were well with us. Nor can any Usage lessen our Obsequious Devotion to our dear and native Country. We renounce the Doctrine of Grotius, That Colonies owe an Obser­vance to their Mother Country, but not an Obedience. It is Obedience as well as Observance, that we owe eternally to Eng­land; and though our dear Mother prove never so unkind, we cannot throw off our Affection and Duty to her. We had ra­ther continue our Subjection to England, in the sad Condition we are in; then be under any others in the World, with the greatest Ease and Plenty. No Advantages can tempt us to heark­en to any such thing: nor can move in the least our stedfast Loyalty. in this matter we shall stop our Ears, even to the wi­sest Charmers. Nor shall we only not affect such a Change, but we shall likewise oppose it to the uttermost of our power. Up­on such an occasion, we shall cheerfully expose our selves to hardships and dangers of every kind; and fight for our Drudgery and Beggery, as freely as others do for their Liberties and For­tunes. Nay though it were represented to us, that our setting up for our selves were never so feasible and beneficial; yet we should loathe that Liberty, that would rob us of our dependence upon our dear native Country.

WE, and those under whom we claim, have (without any Assistance from the Publick) settled these Plantations, with very great Expence and Charge, with infinite Labour, with Ha­zards innumerable. and with Hardships that cannot be exprest. And now when we thought to have had some fruit of our Indu­stry, we find our selves most miserably disappointed. Our Mea­sures are broken, and our Hopes are confounded, and our For­tunes are at once ruined, by Pressures and Taxes which we are not able to bear. Is all our Care and Pains come to this? and is this the End and Upshot of all our Adventures? Have we gone so many hundred Leagues, and hewed out our Fortunes in another World; to have the Marrow suck'd out of our Bones by Taxes and Impositions? Had these things been foreseen, it had cool'd the Courage of our most forward Adventurers. They would never have gone so far, to be made Rogues of by those that staid at home. They would have thought it more advisa­ble to sit by the Fire side, and to sleep in a whole Skin.

Many of us have our Estates by purchase: and we thought we had purchased Estates, but now they prove just nothing. though most commonly we laid out upon them all we had, and all that we could borrow.

Some of the Plantations, 'tis true, came to England by Con­quest. But must the Conquerors themselves be look't upon as a conquered People? It were very strange, if those that bring Countries under the Dominion of England, and maintain the possession, should by so doing lose their own English Liberties.

In former daies we were under the pleasing sound of Privi­ledges and Immunities. of which a free Trade was one. though we counted That, a Right and not a Priviledge. But without such Encouragements, the Plantations had been still wild Woods. Now those things are vanisht and forgotten: and we hear of no­thing but Taxes and Burdens. All the Care now is, to pare us close, and keep us low. We dread to be mention'd in an Act of Parliament; because it is alwaies to do us Mischief.

We hear that the People of Carolina go upon the making of Silk: which surely is one of the best Commodities in the World. and the Design seems very hopeful. But it were but fair to let them know before hand, That when they have brought their matters to any perfection, there will be ways found to leave [Page 17]them not worth a Groat; and to make them miserable Drudges and Beggers, even as We are. It will then be time for them, to be improved to the advantage of England.

The Improvement of the Plantations to the advantage of Eng­land sounds so bravely, and seems to the Projectors a thing so plausible; that they would have it believed to be their chief Aim and End, in all that they do against us. And then they think they talk very wisely, when they talk of Improving the Planta­tions to the advantage of England. Just as a Landlord would improve his Mannor, by racking his Lands to the utmost Rent. or as the Masters of Slaves, improve and contrive their Labour to their own best advantage. But it is our misery and ruin to be thus improved. And so it would be to the Counties of Wales, or any English Counties, to be improved to the advantage of the rest.

THE CERTAIN Charges of a Sugar work are so great, and the Casualties so many; that it were no easy matter to bear up against them, though there were no other Pressure. The ve­ry hanging of our Coppers and Stills is a great constant Charge. It comes often to be done; and every one of them that is new hang'd, doth cost us one way or other at least three pound. Be­side, they are perpetually burning out and spoyling: and the buying of new ones comes to a great deal of Money.

We must have yearly some hundred pairs of Sugar-Pots and Jarrs. Every hundred pair doth cost neer ten pound; and we must fetch them several Miles upon Negroes Heads.

The Wear of our Mills (to say nothing now of the Tear, which is casual) is also a continual Charge to us. And if a Mill be to be new built, and made perfect in all its parts, it costs neer five hundred pound.

The Fraight of every Servant that we have from England is five pound: and their Cloths and other Necessaries come to lit­tle less. Which Fraight and Charges the Masters of Ships will be allowed for them, if they are brought over upon the Ships account. Their Time may not be above five years, and is com­monly but four.

We must have a great many Horses, and (in Barbados) we scarce breed any. The Fraight of a Horse from England (with his Hay and Water) is ten pound. and a great hazard of losing him by the way.

He that hath but a hundred Negroes, should buy half a dozen every year to keep up his stock. And they will cost, as it hath been noted, about twenty pound a Head.

A good Over seer will have a hundred pound a year. Some give a great deal more. There are others also that must have great Salaries, and we cannot be without them.

The ramassing the vast quantities of Dung we must use, the carrying it to the Field, and disposing it there; is a mighty Labour, which in effect is Charge. An Acre of ground well dress'd, will take thirty load of Dung: and he that hath two Wind mills, must plant yearly neer a hundred Acres.

We carry Mould and Cane-Trash, or any thing that is pro­per, into our Cattle Pens, and into our Still-Ponds; to turn all into Dung. We take all ways and means for the raising of Dung; and we rake and scrape Dung out of every Corner. Some save the Urine of their People (both Whites and Blacks) to increase and enrich their Dung.

We make high and strong Walls or VVears to stop the Mould that washes from our Grounds: which we carry back in Carts or upon Negroes heads. Our Negrees work at it like Ants or Bees.

Moreover the Charge of our Militia is exceeding great upon us. In Barbados, every twenty Acres must find a Footman, and every forty Acres a Horseman. So that an Estate of five hun­dred Acres sends five Horsemen and fifteen Foot. which is more then is done here by the greatest Peer in England. Perhaps this may seem incredible; but it is most true. for our Law is expresly so, and it is strictly executed. Also every one that keeps a Horse, must serve on Horseback; and every other Housekeeper must serve on foot. Otherwise our Militia could not rise (as it doth) to six Regiments of Foot and two Regiments of Horse; beside a Life-Guard for the Governour, of a hundred Gentlemen. and all this, in a Place no bigger then the Isle of Wight. It must be added, that the other Plantations have as great a Share of this [Page 19]Burden: that is to say, in proportion to the value of their Estates though not to the Quantity of their Land. And we are forced to be thus upon our Guard, and to strain our selves in this man­ner; our All lying at stake, our Enemies being near us, and our Friends (if we have any) being far from us. But we in Barbados have a Charge extraordinary in this Matter. for all that serve in Our Militia must appear in Red Coats. This was put upon us by Dutton when he was Governour. He would have it; and made us insert it in our Act of Militia. And it hath driven many a poor House keeper from off the I sland.

IF the constant Charge of a Plantation is terrible, the Casual­ties do not come behind. For let a Planter be never so careful, he must by open to many and various Accidents: and like Job's Messengers, one in the neck of another, his People will bring him Tidings of continual Losses and Disasters.

We cannot say that Horses and Cattle are much more casual with us, then they are in other places. only our loss is the great­er, in regard they cost us much dearer. But our Canes, on which we rely and which are our Estate, are too often burnt down before our faces when they are ready to cut. They are then like Tinder: and if a Fire get amongst them, a whole Field of them is consumed in a few Minutes. Also our Boyling-hou­ses and Still-houses are very subject to Fire.

Sometimes we suffer by extreme Droughts, and sometimes by continual violent Rains. And a sudden Gust will tear or maim our Windmills. But if a Hurricane come, it makes a desolation: and puts us to begin the World anew. The damage it does the Planter is sometimes so great, that the pro­fit of divers years must go to repair it.

Our Negroes, which cost us so dear, are also extremely casual. When a man hath bought a parcel of the best and ablest he can get for money; let him take all the care he can, he shall lose a full third part of them, before they ever come to do him service. When they are season'd, and used to the Country, they stand much better. but to how many Mischances are they still subject? If a Stiller slip into a Rum-Cistern, it is sudden death: for it stisles in a moment. If a Mill-feeder be catch't by the finger, his whole body is drawn in, and he is [Page 20]squeez'd to pieces. If a Boyler get any part into the scalding Sugar, it sticks like Glew, or Birdlime, and 'tis hard to save either Limb or Life. They will quarrell, and kill one another, upon small occasions: by many Accidents they are disabled, and become a burden: they will run away, and perhaps be never seen more: or they will hang themselves, no creature knows why. And sometimes there comes a Mortality amongst them, which sweeps a great part of them away.

When this happens, the poor Planter is in a hard condition: especially if he be still indebted for them. He must have more Negroes, or his Works must stand, and he must be ruin'd at once. And he cannot procure them without contracting new Debts; which perhaps he shall never be able to work out.

These are some of the Charges and Casualties that attend Plantations. It would be too tedious to number them all; and they are hardly to be numbered.

IF OUR Empsons and Dudleys had duly consider'd these things, they would have laid aside their inhumane Project a­gainst the poor Plantations. But they consider nothing, but how they may do most mischief.

These are the Men that will perswade Princes, that it is a more glorious Conquest to crush their own Subjects, then to subdue-an Enemy.

These Men seem to be trying Conclusions, whether they can so far provoke us, as to make us desperate. And as much as in them lyes, they would make the very Name of England hatefull to us. But there is no danger. For we shall bear whatsoever is laid upon us, with the most submissive patience; and nothing can make us forget or lay down our love, to the English Name and Nation.

They would make our Great and Dear Mother, England, to be so cruel and unnatural, as to destroy and devour her own Children.

They would put us in the dismal Condition of those that said, being opprest by a hard Master; Subjectos nos habuit tanquam suos, & viles ut alienos. We are commanded as Subjects, and we are crusht as Aliens. Which Condition is the most dismall and horrid, that people can be under.

They would use us like Sponges: or like Sheep. They think us fit to be squeezed and fleeced; as soon as we have got any Moisture within us, or any Wooll upon us.

These Egyptian Tax masters would bring us into the Stare of Villenage. They would make us the Publique Vilieins. They would have us work and labour, to pay the Publique Taxes, as far as it will go.

They would make meer Gibeonites of us: hewers of Wood, and drawers of Water. And tho these things must inevitably bring us to desolation and destruction, what do the Projectors care?

But although we are designed by the Projectors to be made perfect Villeins, yet they should remember, that even Villeins must not be misused too much. We are told out of old Law Books, that 'tis Wast for the Tenant to misentreat the Villeins of the Mannor, so that they depart from the Mannor, and depart from their tenures. And in another place; Destruction of Villeins by tallage is adjudged Wast. In which Cases the Writ says; Quod fecit Vastum, destructionem, & exilium. Surely in our Case, there is a plain destruction by Tallage.

The names of old Empson and Dudley are infamous and odi­ous to this day. And they were hang'd for their Villianies Yet they ruin'd men but singly, and one by one. How much higher Gibbets, and how much greater detestation, do these men deserve, that have destroyed whole Countreys?

A Quack pretending great Skill, makes a Woman give her Child Arsenick: he facing her down, that Arsenick is not poy­son. the Child is kill'd, and the Quack is hang'd. Even so our dear Mother hath seen a Cup of deadly Poyson, given to her Children the Plantations: these men (who would be thought great Quacks in Trade) giving the highest assurances that the Drench should do no harm: by which means the Plantations are murder'd and destroyed. And shall not these Men be hang'd? Some think they deserve it better, then all that have been hang'd at Tyburn this twice seven years.

THE Projectors might think, in the Naughtiness of their hearts, that many would favour this Project against us, for their [Page 22]owne Ease: and would be willing, or at least content, to have the Plantations bear the whole Burden. Not caring how heavy the burden lay upon others, so they could shift it off from themselves. But this is a thing of so great baseness, that we are very confident, it cannot enter into the heart of any English man, the Projectors themselves excepted. At least there is no English Parliament but will put it far from them. They know that they are entrusted to do equal and righteous Things. They know that the raising of Money is one of the most important things in a State. If it be done equally, though the burden be heavy, yet it is born with cheerfulness. If otherwise, it oc­casions furious Discontents, and at last brings all to Confusion. When a Government falls once to shifting and sharking, (par­don the expression, I hope we are not concern'd in it'); it is a great sign that that Government will not stand. No Society of Men can stand without equal Justice, which is the Lady and Queen of all the Vertues. If the equal dividing the common Booties, be necessary to Pirates and Buccaneers; the equal di­stribution of publique Burdens, is much more to a State.

But it is the Projectors base sharking Principle to make Ine­quality in these Matters: and to get Ease to themselves by laying the burden upon others. The Writer of these Papers heard one of them say (it was, after that the late Parliament had been so liberal: I forbear his Name, I would not put that Brand upon him): but he said Vauntingly, in his drink; We have given the King several Millions of Money, and I shall not pay six pence towards it. And yet he was a great landed Man. which also made the saying the less become him.

The Projectors chief skill is to fall upon the weakest, and make Them pay all. But then why do not they persuade the Western men, since they can out-vote the Northern, to make them pay all the Taxes, themselves paying nothing? Or why do they not single out a few Counties, which by the com­bining of the rest against them, may be made to pay Taxes for all the rest? The six Western Counties (for now the Dice are turn'd against Them) are in value above two Millions yearly. So that a Tax of two thirds (such as the Plantations now bear) would amount yearly to thirteen hundred thousand [Page 23]pounds. And if this were kept constantly upon them, all the rest of the Kingdom needed to pay nothing. But perhaps these things might cost a great deal of Noise. They might there­fore, to go a smoother way, direct their Projects against Widows and Orphans, and Heirs within age. If these were tax'd, well towards the value of their Estates, it would-be a great Ease to the rest of the Kingdom.

BUT our Masters the Projectors think they have a great ad­vantage over us, in regard we have none to represent us in Parliament. 'Tis true, we have not: but we hope we may have them. It is no disparagement to the Kingdome of Portugall, rather it is the only thing that looks great; that in the as­sembly of their Estates, the Deputies of the City of Goa have their place, among their other Cities. But at present we have them not and what follows? Must we therefore be made meer Beasts of burden? It is not long, since the Bishoprick of Durham had any representatives in Parliament. But we do not find, that before they had this Priviledge, they were in the least over-laid with Taxes. Also there are now divers Counties that have but few Members in comparison. Essex hath but eight: whereas Cornwall, which is of much less value, hath a­bove forty. But because they have not half their proportion of Members, must an advantage be taken against them, to make them pay double their proportion of Taxes?

THEY have a Saying Beyond Sea of Us English Men, that we will not let others live by us. The Saying is false: but if it were never so true, sure it would not hold among our selves, but is only in relation to Strangers. To be cruel to and among our selves, would be a Cruelty without Example. Even Wolves and Bears spare their own Kind; nor is there to be found so fell a Monster in Nature, as to deny his Bro­ther Monsters their Means of living. What do the Projectors take us to be? Are we not of your own number? are we not English Men? Some of us pretend to have as good English Bloud in our Veins, as some of those that we left behind us. How [Page 24]came we to lose our Countrey, and the Priviledges of it? Why will you cast us out?

SUPPOSE a Quantity of Land were gain'd here out of the Sea, by private Adventurers, as bigg as two or three Counties. (Never say that the thing is impossible; for we may suppose any thing.) Suppose also, that people went by degrees from all parts of England, to inhabit and cultivate this New Coun­try. Would you now look upon these people as Forrainers and Aliens? Would you grudge at their Thriving and Prospe­rity, and ply them with all the methods of Squeezing and Flee­cing? Would you forbid them all forrain Trade; and so bur­den their Trade to England, that their Estates should become worth nothing? Would you make them pay the full value of their Lands in Taxes and Impositions? It cannot be thought that you would do these things. rather you would esteem the Country a part of England, and cherish the People as Eng­lish Men. And why may not the Plantations expect the like Kindness and Favour? If the thing be duly weighed, They also are meer Additions and Accessions to England, and Enlargements of it. And our case is the very same with the case supposed. Only herein lies the difference, that there is a distance and space between England and the Plantations. So that we must lose our Country upon the account of Space. a thing little more then imaginary: a thing next neighbour to nothing.

The Citizens of Rome, though they lived in the remotest Parts of the World then known, were still Roman Citizens to all Intents. But we poor Citizens of England, as soon as our backs are turn'd, and we are gone a spit and a stride; are presently reputed Aliens, and used accordingly.

IT is a great wonder that these Projectors never took Ireland to task. They might there have had a large Field for their squeezing and fleecing Projects. And they might have found out wayes, to skim the Cream of all the Estates in Ireland. But what is it they could have done in this Affair? the an­swer is, that they might have thought of several good things. In the first place, Nothing to be brought to Ireland, or carried [Page 25]thence, but in English Ships, navigated by English Men. The next thing had been, to consider, what things those People had most occasion for: and to put those Things under a se­vere Monopoly. which also must be in the Conduct and Man­agement of a Company here in England. Then care should be taken, that what ever is carried out of Ireland, be brought directly to England and to no place else: and what ever that Country wants, be had only from England. By which means, England would be the Staple, of all the Commodities import­ed thither, or exported thence. There is also another thing, which is by no means to be forgotten: and that is, That the Commodities they send into England may be under such Im­positions, as may drink up the whole Profit.

These are some of the VVaies for Improving Ireland to the advantage of England. Nor can any thing hinder their Exe­cution; in regard those People are in our power, as well as the Plantations, and subject to the Laws of England when we please to name them. But you will say; These things make up such a Devillish Oppression, as is not to be endured. Tru­ly it must be confesst, that the things may seem something hard. But yet there is no Oppression in the case. For all these things, and divers more of the like nature, do the Plantations ly under.

The Projectors think they have been very merciful to us, in that the new Duties are to continue but eight years. They might tell a Man as well, that in pity and tenderness to him, they will hold his head under water but half an hour, or keep him but a Week without Victuals: that is, long enough to destroy him. For the Plantations will be certainly ruin'd with­in that time, if these Burdens ly upon them: some few per­haps excepted, who had Money beforehand, or have Estates in England. And these also must be involved in the general Ruine.

HITHERTO WE have given some account of our de­plorable Condition. But to afflict us yet more, we are told that we deserve no better usage, in respect of the great [Page 26]hurt and damage we do to England: as all new Colonies do. But then it had been more prudent, and likewise more just and merciful, rather to prevent the settling of the Plantations, then to ruine them now they are settled. The least signification that they were not pleasing, would have kept people at home. People would never have ventured their Estates and Lives, and undergone such Labours; to get the ill will of those, whose Favour they valued. Had this been the opinion alwaies con­cerning Colonies, it might pass for a Mistake in Judgment. But when We, who had all encouragement at first, shall as soon as we have got something, be accounted pernicious to our Coun­try; we have reason to doubt, that this is only a pretence to oppress us, and not a real belief or sentiment.

If a new Country should now offer, no question but free leave would be given to make a Settlement, and all due En­couragements granted. We must not say that the People in this case would be decoyed and trapann'd and chous'd and chea­ted; these are not fit words to be here used. but they would find, that they had miserably deceived themselves. For by that time they were warm in their Houses, and had got things a­bout them; the Projectors would be upon their bones: and these new Favourites would be esteemed pernicious, and used accordingly, as well as the rest of the Plantations.

BUT WE are very sure, that this Opinion concerning us (if any be really of it) is a great Mistake: and that the Plantations are not only not pernicious; but highly beneficial and of vast advantage to England.

We by our Labour, Hazards, and Industry, have enlarged the English Trade and Empire. the English Empire in America, what ever we think of it our selves, is by others esteemed greatly considerable.

We employ seven or eight hundred English Ships in a safe and healthy Navigation. They find less danger in a Voyage to our Parts, then in a Voyage to Newcastle. And as the Ships come safe, so the Men come sound. Whereas of those that go [Page 27]to the East-Indies, half the Ships Company (take one Ship with another) perish in the Voyage.

It did the Seamens hearts good, to think of a Plantation Voyage: where they might be merry amongst their Friends and Countrymen, and where they were sure of the kindest Recep­tion. While we had it, we thought nothing too good for them. But now their beloved Navigation is gone. For by destroy­ing the Plantations, it could not be, but that the Navigation to them must be destroyed likewise: or at least made good for nothing. Which, to them, is the same thing as destroying. We are so pinched our selves by the Impositions, that we are forced to pinch all those, with whom we are concern'd. And our Trade is become so hard and so bare a pasture, that it starves every thing that relates to it. And in particular, we cannot now afford the Seamen, that liberal Fraight which we did for­merly. We would willingly do reason to our good Friends the Seamen, and give them a fair and full price for the transporta­tion of our Goods; but we are not able.

The Seamen did well foresee, that they should feel the ill consequence of our new Burdens. And we have good Assurance, that while the thing was brewing, they had thoughts of ma­king humble and earnest Addresses to keep them off. But the swiftness of the Projectors motion prevented their design.

And what followed upon the laying the new Taxes? Tru­ly such a slight of the English Seamen in the late Reign, as never was known. They plainly deserted the English Service. Of which there was no cause so visible, as the spoiling that Navigation which was most dear to them. So that it plainly appears, that by the Sufferings of the Plantations, the Naviga­tion doth highly suffer; whereas while they are permitted to be in a tolerable Condition, they are a great advance to the Navigation of England.

LET us now consider the further advantages of Trade. though the building, repairing, fitting and furnishing so many Ships, and the finding Cloths and Victuals for the Seamen, is a considerable Trade of it self. But moreover, there is hardly [Page 28]a Ship comes to us, but what is half loaden at least (many of them are deep loaden) with English Commodities.

Several Scores of Thousands are employed in England, in fur­nishing the Plantations with all sorts of Necessaries. and these must be supplied the while with Cloths and Victuals, which employs great numbers likewise. All which are paid, out of Our Industry and Labour.

We have yearly from England an infinite Quantity of Iron VVares ready wrought. Thousands of Dozens of Howes, and great numbers of Bills to cut our Canes. many Barrels of Nails; many Sets of Smiths, Carpenters, and Coopers Tools; all our Locks and Hinges; with Swords, Pistols, Carbines, Muskets, and Fowling Pieces.

VVe have also from England all sorts of Tin-ware, Earthen­ware, and VVooden-ware: and all our Brass and Pewter. And many a Serne of Sope, many a Quoyle of Rope, and of Lead many a Fodder, do the Plantations take from England.

Even English Cloth is much worn amongst us; but we have of Stuffs far greater Quantities. From England come all the Hats we weare; and of Shoos, thousands of Dozens yearly. The white Broad cloth that we use for Strainers, comes also to a great deal of Money. Our very Negro Caps, of Woolen-yarn knit, (of which also we have yearly thousands of Dozens) may pass for a Manufacture.

How many Spinners, Knitters, and Weavers are kept at work here in England, to make all the Stockings we wear? Woollen Stockings for the ordinary People, Silk Stockings when we could go to the price, Worsted Stockings in abundance, and Thread Stockings without number.

As we have our Horses from England; So all our Saddles and Bridles come from England likewise. which we desire should be good ones, and are not sparing in the price.

The Bread we eat, is of English Flower: we take great Quan­tities of English Beer, and of English Cheese and Butter: we sit by the light of English Candles; and the Wine we drink, is bought for the most part with English Commodities. Ships bound for the Plantations touch at Madera, and there sell their Goods, and invest the Produce in Wines.

Moreover we take yearly thousands of Barrels of Irish Beef: with the price whereof those people pay their Rents, to their Landlords that live and spend their Estates in England.

'TIS strange we should be thought to diminish the People of England, when we do so much increase the Employments. Where there are Employments, there will be People: you can­not keep them out, nor drive them away, with Pitchforks. On the other side, where the Employments faile or are want­ing, the People will be gone. they will never stay there to starve, or to eat up one another. Great numbers of French Protestants that came lately to England, left us again upon this account. It was their Saying; We have been received with great Kindness and Charity, but here is no Imployment.

However it is charged upon the Plantations (and we can be charged with nothing else), that they take People from England. But doth not Ireland do the same? It may be truly said, that if the American Colonies have taken thousands, Ireland hath taken ten thousands. Yet we cannot find, that people were ever stopp'd from going thither, or that ever it was thought an Inconvenience. You will say the Cases are different: in regard the Plantations are remote; whereas Ireland is neer at hand. and our people that are in Ireland can give us ready Assistance. In answer hereuuto it is confess'd, that where Co­lonies are neer, the Power is more united. But it must be confess'd likewise, that where the Colonies are remote, the Power is farther extended. So that These may be as useful one way, as Those are another way. It concerns a Generall to have his Army united. but may he not detach part of it, to possess a Post at some distance, though it be of never so great advantage? It is plainly an advantage, to have a Command and Influence upon remote Parts of the World. Moreover the remote Colonies of America are much more advantageous to England in point of Trade, then is this neer one of Ireland. For Ireland producing the same things, takes little from us, and also spoiles our Markets in other places. Nor doth it furnish us with any thing, which before we bought of Forrai­ners. But the American Plantations do both take off from Eng­land [Page 30]abundance of Commodities; and do likewise furnish England with divers Commodities of value, which formerly were im­ported from forrain Parts. which things are now become our owne: and are made Native. For you must know, and may please to consider, That the Sugar we make in the American Plantations (to instance only in that) is as much a native Eng­lish Commodity, as if it were made and produced in England.

But still you will say, that we draw People from England. We confess we do, as a Man draws Water from a good Well. Who the more he draws in reason, the more he may: the Well being continually supplied. Anglia puteus inexhaustus, said a Pope of old in another sense, that is, in matter of Mo­ney. But in matter of People it is likewise true; That Eng­land is a Well or Spring inexhausted, which hath never the less Water in it, for having some drawn from it.

You will say yet further, that the Plantations dis-people England. But this we utterly deny. Why may not you say as well, that the Roman Colonies dispeopled Rome? which yet was never pretended or imagined. That wise and glorious State, when ever there was a convenience of settling a Colony, thought fit to send out thousands of people at a time, at the Publick Charge. And wise Men are of opinion, That as the Roman Empire was the greatest that the World hath yet seen; so it chiefly owed its Grandeur to its free emission of Colonies.

And whereas the Kingdoms of Spain may seem dispeopled and exhausted by their American Colonies; if the thing be well examin'd, their Sloth and not their Colonies hath been the true Cause. To which may be added the Rigour of their Go­vernment, and their many Arts and Waies of destoying Trade.

But what will you say to the Dutch? for They, we know, have Colonies in the East-Indies. Do these exhaust and depo­pulate Holland, or at least are they a Burden and an Inconve­nience? The Dutch themselves are so far from thinking so, that they justly esteem them the chief and main foundation of their Wealth and Trade. Their East-Indy Trade depends upon their East-Indy Colonies; and their whole State in effect, that is, the Greatness and Glory of it, depends upon their East-Indy [Page 31]Trade. Moreover as their Wealth and Trade increases, their People increase likewise.

They have also some Places in the West-Indies: which they prize not a little. How do they cherish Suranam, though it be one of the basest Countries in the World? And their Island of Quaracoa (Carisaw we pronounce it) they are as tender of, as any man can be of the apple of his Eye. Also their repeat­ed Endeavours to settle Tabago do sufficiently evince, that they would very willingly spare some of their People, to increase their share in the Sugar Trade. But for a further proof of their Sentiment in these Matters; we may remember, that in the heat of their last War with France, they sent their Admiral De Ruyter with a great Force, to attempt the French Sugar Islands in America. which they would not have done, had they not thought them highly valuable. But the French King was as mindful to keep his Islands, as they were to get them: and he took such order and had such Force to defend them, as ren­der'd the Dutch Attempts ineffectual. Thus the French and Dutch, while all lay at stake at home, were contending in the West-Indies for Plantations; which our Politicians count worth no­thing, or worse then nothing. You'll say, this same French Court, and these Dutch States, are meer ignorant Novices, and do not know the World. Perhaps not so well as our Politicians: But however something they know.

Many have observed that France is much dispeopled by Tyran­ny and Oppression. But that their Plantations have in the least dispeopled it, was never yet said nor thought. And That King sets such a value upon his Plantations, and is so far from think­ing his People lost that are in his Plantations; that he payes a good part of the Fraight, of all those that will go to them to settle: giving them all fair Encouragements besides.

If Colonies be so pernicious to their Mother Country, it was a great happiness to Portugall, that the Dutch stripp'd them of their East-India Colonies. And surely they feel the difference: but it is much for the worse. Lisbon is not that Lisbon now, which it was in those days. And did not the recovery of Brasile (though that Trade be now low) in some measure sup­port them, with the help of Madera, the Western Islands, and [Page 32]some other Colonies; Portugall would be one of the poorest places upon Earth.

BUT still you persist in the opinion, that the Plantations do more hurt then good, and are pernicious to England. Truly if it be so, it were your best way to shake them off, and cleerly to rid your hands of them. And you must not be averse to this motion. For if you cry out that the Plantations do hurt, and yet are not willing to part with them, it cannot be thought that you are in earnest. You will say, this should have been done sooner. But if 'tis fit to be done, 'tis better done late then not at all. Have the Plantations robbed you of your People already? Let them rob you no more. A man will stop a leake in his Vessell, though some be run out.

We of the Plantations cannot hear the mention of being cast off by England, without regrett. Nevertheless if it must be so, we shall compose our Minds to bear it. and like Children truly dutifull, we shall be content to part with our dearest Mo­ther, rather than be a burden to her, But though we must part with our Country, yet we would not willingly part with our King: and therefore, if you please, let us be made over to Scotland. We are confident that Scotland would be well pleased to supply us with People, to have the sweet Trade in Exchange. And we should agree well with them: for we know by Experience that they are honest Men and good Planters. They would now be as busy as Bees all Scotland over, work­ing merrily for the Plantations. And England the while might keep her People at home: to pick strawes, or for some such other good work. though some of them, 'tis doubt, would make the Highway their way of Living. And now Scotland would be the Market for Sugar: where our Friends of England would be welcome with their Money. We should be glad to meet them there, and should use them well for old acquaintance. But what would be the Effect of these things? The Effect would be; that in a very few years, the value of Lands in England would fall a fourth part, if not a third: and the Land in Scotland would be more than doubled. It were therefore better to acknow­ledge, [Page 33]according to truth, that the Plantations are greatly be­neficial; and to keep the Plantations.

There is one main advantage by the Plantations which hath not been sufficiently explained: and that is, that we have now di­vers good Commodities of our own, which before we had not. which doth very much conduce to the enriching of England. For it is agreed by all that pretend to understand Trade, that a Country doth then grow rich, and then only, when the Com­modities exported out of it are more in value then those that are imported into it. This proportion between the Importation and the Exportation is called the Balance of Trade. and there is no way in the World for a Country to grow rich by Trade, but by setting this Balance right, and by sending out more than it takes in. Some other Tricks and shifts there are, which make shew of doing great Matters: but they prove idle and frivolous, and signifie just nothing. A Country, in this respect, is in the same Condition with a private Man that lives upon his Land. If this Man sells more than he buys, he lays up money. If he buyes more than he sells, he must run in debt, or at least spend out of the quick stock. And where the Bought and the Sold are equal, he hath barely brought both Ends to­gether.

It is therefore most evident, that the increasing of Native Com­modities brings in Riches and Money. since it makes the Expor­tation greater, or at least the Importation less. And it is as evident, that the Plantations give England a great increase of Native Commodities. Cotton, Ginger, Indico, and Sugar, (to omit other things) are now the Native Commodities of England. We may insist a little further upon Sugar, as being the most considerable. Heretofore we had all our Sugars from Portugall: and it is computed, that they cost us yearly about four hundred thousand pounds. Now that great Leak is stopp'd: and we hardly buy any Portugall or Brasile Sugars, being plentifully sup­plied by our own Plantations. But moreover; beside what we use our selves, we export as much Sugar to other Coun­tries, as brings us in yearly near the same summe. So that the [Page 34]Plantations, by this one Commodity, do advance near eight hundred thousand pounds a year, (the one half in getting, the other in saving), to turn the scale of Trade to the advantage of England.

WHY should England grudge at the prosperity and wealth of the Plantations; since all that is Ours, She may account her own? Not only because we are really a part of England (what ever we may be accounted) as it is taken largely; but also because all comes to this Kingdom of England properly so cal­led, these two and fifty Shires. By a kind of Magnetick Force England draws to it all that is good in the Planrations. It is the Center to which all things tend. Nothing but England can we relish or fancy: our Hearts are here, where ever our Bo­dies be. If we get a little Money, we remit it to England. They that are able, breed up their Children in England. When we are a little easy, we desire to live and spend what we have in England. And all that we can rap and rend is brought to England. What would you have? Would you have more of a Cat than her Skin?

WE have made it out, in the former parts of these Papers, what Multitudes of People the Plantations employ here in Eng­land. It is easily said, that if there were no such thing as Plantations, those People might be otherwise employed. And some Men will talk of the Fishing Trade, and the Linnen Trade, and other projects of the like nature. But they would do well to contrive a way, how the People imployed in them may make wages. For unless they do that, they do nothing. There is nothing more easy then to find out unprofitable Em­ployments. But those that are profitable are already over­stock't: and people can hardly live one by another. And there­fore the Plantations ought in reason to be valued, since they give profitable Employments to so many thousands of People. whereas the Fishing Trade and the Linnen Trade will not turn to profit.

IT IS now time that we put an end to this sad Discourse. Having made it appear, that the Plantations are brought to a miserable and ruinous Condition; and that they have not deserved this hard Usage, considering the many and great Ad­vantages they bring to England.

We have laid before you such a Series of Calamities, as are not easy to be parallell'd. And we think our patient Submis­sion under them is almost without Example. But we must beg pardon of all good Men, if we cannot be in Charity with those cursed Projectors, by whom our Livelyhoods (which is in ef­fect our Lives) have been torn from us with so much Inhu­manity.

But hath our dear Mother no Bowels for her Children, that are now at the last Gasp, and ly struggling with the pangs of Death? Will She do nothing to deliver us from the Jaws of Death? We cannot despair, but that she will yet look upon us with an Eye of Mercy. However we desire it may not be ill taken, that we have eased our Minds by recounting our Sor­rows. Let us not be denied the common liberty and privi­ledge of Mankind, to groan when we dy. Let not our Com­plaints seem troublesome and offensive; but be received with Compassion, as the Groans of dying Men.

FINIS.

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