Jany 2

It pleased God to add a smiling providence to the commencement of another year. I bless thee, my God, that I can look back to the events of the past year with unmixed gratitude, and forward with a lively hope. I could wish to note here some of the mercies recd. but shall have occasion to refer to them in my next letter to the directors.

Mr Cheesewright called & slept here last night on his way home from town.

Lord's Day Jany 5

Having lately baptised all the approved candidates, and the remainder not being ready for my examination, I had a comparative easy day. After the usual services I met the Industry negroes in the chapel. Not half of them present. The young people are getting on with the catechism, tho' slowly; but the elderly Africans among them seem to make no progress. They meet together once a week for the purpose of teaching the catechism, but the teacher himself not being able to read, and dull withal, they cannot be expected to learn much. Not a negro on that plantation can read. We have a girl belonging to it living with us, just beginning to read the testament. As soon as she is big enough to work she will be taken back. The negroes are anxious for her to return that she may teach them. A wet day, but large congregation.

Heard that Mary Ann Hamer, a mulatto girl, daughter of one of our members, had gone, unknown to her mother, to live with a white man in a state of fornication. She was brought up under Mrs Wray, and has been a pretty regular attendant at our chapel till within the last six months. Her manner of dressing lately led me to expect this result. These things, tho' common, are exceedingly grieving, & almost paralize one's exertions on their behalf.

Monday Jan 6

Commenced or rather recommenced the evening school. Only 13 present. We intend it to be on Tuesday evening.

Thur 9

The service was well attended. Text Acts 13.42-47. Being in town today I called at the Secretary's Office to enquire if any answer had yet been given to my petition? The reply was, "No, I have heard nothing about it."

Lord's Day Jany 12

Except that we held our church or communicants prayer meeting in the chapel instead of the School room, on account of growing numbers, and that in the evening I had to attend the funeral of Doctor Fairbairn, nothing more has occurred than is usual on the 2nd Sab. in the month. Dr F. was but two days ill. On Thursday he attended his practice, was taken with the dry belly ache on Friday, and died early this morning. As a doctor he was much respected, being considered pretty skilful and very attentive. He was serviceable to Mrs Smith in the latter part of 1821. In regard to religion he was certainly a Deist. His father died in Berbice about 6 or 8 months ago; one of his brothers died in the Doctor's house about a fortnight back; and another now lies there dangerously ill.

Friday Jan 17

Mr & Mrs Elliot, who came up yesterday, are just gone. Mr E. preached yesterday evening, but I did not hear him, having to attend Mrs S. who had fallen into a swoon. On Tuesday evening we had but a small attendance in the School room. I wondered what was the reason, till yesterday, being in the sick house visiting a woman who is very ill, I saw several of our scholars confined with sores &c.

Lord's Day Jan 19

Opened the new gallery in the chapel for the young people; found it very serviceable for the room it left in the lower part, and for its commodiousness for catechising the children. It will conveniently seat 180 young people, or about 130 Adults. Although it was quite full, the lower part of the chapel was not sufficiently large to admit the congregation. This is encouraging. In the morning I expounded 1 Sam.8 chap. In the afternoon preached on Luke 11.24-26. Many were married, & the Wittenburg people met in class. - Heard that Tonga was accidently killed by a pump striking his head.

Monday 20

Was not a little surprised to see old Polidore, a wicked, tho' self righteous Barbadian. come to beg my pardon for an offence committed yesterday. On closing the morning service, I took occasion to reprove some unknown thieves for stealing some money & a jacket from Romeo. Not wishing to make the whole congregation acquainted with the particulars of the case, I spoke with as much ambiguity as appeared necessary, yet sufficiently plain for the parties concerned to understand. I had no sooner concluded than Polidore vociferated "Its a damned shame; they are damned thieves." I told him if he did not desist I would turn him out of the chapel forthwith. Vexed at the check he recd & feeling his pride hurt, he came to beg my pardon. I told him he was a wicked old man, and that he should beg forgiveness of God, whose presence he had defied. I fear for him. May God change his heart.

Thurs 23

Being a moonlight evening our congn was large. Text Acts 13.48-52. A soreness in my throat & a troublesome cough made preaching very difficult.

Monday Jan 27


Having appointed to preach at Leguan as yesterday, & having recd a note from Mr Elliot on Friday at 3 o'clock saying a boat would start at 3, I went immediately at the hazard of being too late. Arriving there, Mr E. said the boat wd sail on Saturday, at 10 a.m. and introduced me to a Mr Armstrong who had as it were the command or superintendance of the schooner. He promised to let us know the time in the morning and that he would not go without us. But he deceived us, & we lost the passage; not indeed for want of exertion, for we tramped the town till we were wearied out. Having left a letter & 2 silver watches for Captn Crosthwaite of the Brig Steel, the letter containing an order for a mattress, & directions about the watches, I returned home, Mrs S. being with me. On the road a boy held on behind the chaise. I asked who he was. He replied, "I belong to Doctor McTurk." What is your name, said I. He ansd "Sancho". I naturally asked why he did not attend the chapel, telling him he had a soul to be saved from hell. He said his master would not let him attend, for when he heard that Cuffy once went to chapel he put two drivers upon him. Well then since you cannot come to chapel you must take every opportunity of learning to know God in the best way you can: on a Sunday you can go to those estates where there are christian people, and beg them to teach you. Sunday! He exclaimed. Sunday & working day all alike to we people. What do you mean: that slaves must not keep Sunday? No; me no mean so; but the Doctor make we all work on Sunday. Are you house boy? Yes, now the other one is sick the Doctor take me in the house. Well then if you are house boy you often go to town; and when you walk on the road with sensible people you should ask them to teach you the catechism, that you may learn to know who God is. In a prompt but serious tone, he said, "Massa, the Doctor don't like us to know God: one time he heard me say, God knows, and he said, "O, you know God, do you," and he made me eat the soap he was washing with, and gave another boy a horse spur, and made him spur me because I knew God."

And this Doctor is a member of the legislative body! See Tues. Oct.8.

Yesterday we commenced a Sunday School in the new gallery, under favourable circumstances. The gallery was full of children, but not more than about 16 were taught reading, owing to the want of both room & teachers. Both services were well attended. We admitted 3 new members, & one that had been excluded about 6 years.

Wednesday Feby 5


character of Mr Bamfield, a Barbadian


Yesterday evening I reached home quite weary just in time to catechise the people. A good many were present. Last Thursday morning I recd a note inviting me to the funeral of Mrs Johnstone, (Mr Van Cooten's daughter) but having a previous engagement to go to town and to take the first boat and go with Mr Elliot to Leguan, I could not attend, and wrote the old gentleman to that effect. We went aboard Mr Noble's schooner at about 5 o'clock, the weather being very squally. The vessel rolled a good deal, & shipped several heavy seas, which swamped us and obliged us both to go below; nor was I a little sick only. By a quarter to 9 we were safely landed in Mr Noble's house, where we were treated & lodged with great kindness by Mr N who entertained us with several stories or narrations of flagrant injustice & cruelties towards the slaves. Next morning we went to Success & Vrow Anna that our arrival might be known. Having dined at Mr Noble's, we started in the evening to the Elizabeth Ann. Here to our great disappointment we found a new manager, a Mr Bamfield, who had been there but a day or two. Though we had the permission of Mr Frankland, the attorney for the estate, to preach there, yet Bamfield declared there should be no preaching there while he had the management; tho' afterwards he said would allow it, when the estate was put into good order, and not before. A plain confession that he intended to make the negroes work every Sunday, that being the only day we had any intention of preaching to them, & he knew that. When the plantation was in good order he would not only give the negroes the Sunday to attend to preaching, but said he would give them the Saturday to dance, and provide a fidler. He ridiculed religion altogether, said it never was intended for negroes, and that it always made them lazy & rebellious!! We afterwards heard a bad character of him both from Mr Webster, & from Mr Roach. The former told us that after the death of Theophilis Williams, Bamfield endeavoured to get his (Mr Webster's) situation as manager, and actually raised a report (falsely) that he had got it, & hired an overseer or overseers to assist him. His motive for so doing is plain. Mr Roach confirmed this. It being about 9 o'clock P.M. when this altercation occurred, we were obliged to sleep there, but early next morning we walked across the island to the Cane Garden, about 4 miles by the winding road, perhaps not more than 3 in a line. Here we were well entertained by the Manager, Mr Webster, who invited us to stay there, & preach the next morning to their negroes, offering to send a person to inform the negroes in the neighbourhood. Accordingly at 11 on Sunday morning, I preached in the hall of the great house to about 100 persons. The first service of the kind, no doubt, ever performed there, tho' their late master, Mr Williams, had baptised all the adults on the estate!!! Only 2 negroes from the Elizabeth Ann were present, the rest we were informed were at work. My text was 1 Tim.1.15. It was affecting to see the people, especially one woman, who, bathed in tears, said she was glad to hear of a Saviour, for it was hard for a poor slave to be punished in this world & then again in the next. Mr Webster told us there was a negro on the estate that had been baptised by a Roman Catholic priest in Dominica, and that he occasionally called the slaves together of an evening, by ringing a little bell, to teach them what little he knew of religion, and being head driver he made no ceremony of laying the whip on those who refused to attend him. We examined him & found he knew the church catechism, the creed, commandments & part of Dr Watts' 1 catechism.

After a long ride, about 10 miles, we reached the Success, where Mr Elliot preached to about 250 negroes. We dined & slept at Mr Roach's, the manager of Success. In the morning (Monday) we went to the sick house to see a man whom Mr Roach said was distressed by Obeahism. We found him lying on a kind of bed. He had a bad leg, & was very mauger. We asked him what was the matter with him & how his affliction came. He said he felt much pain, but did not know what brought it on. After many words, we got out of him the following story. That he had been watchman, & detected an old man stealing sweet potatoes. He reported this to the manager, & the old man was punished. Vexed at Edinborough (for that was the sick man's name) for informing against him, the old man told him, "You have put pain upon my skin: I will put a pain upon your skin, or pain shall come upon your skin, for true; such as you have never felt yet." Now, said Edinborough, this pain is come upon, such as I never felt before. The old man was called, and he declared he never said those words, nor any others of that meaning; that it was not in his power to hurt any man in that manner. We endeavoured to dissuade the other from his foolish conceit, and left him apparently convinced that his notions were absurd & wicked.

Wishing to cross the river & go to Georgetown by land, Mr Roach kindly offered to put us over in the plantation sloop & to accompany us himself. This branch of the river (for there are 3 branches or channels) opposite Success is about 3 miles over. But desiring to land at St Christopher's, which lies in an oblique direction, 2 or 3 miles nearer the sea, & the wind being against us, tho' the tide was favourable, we had a rough & long passage, near 3 hours. We landed at one o'clock, and by borrowing 2 horses to take us to Met en Meerzorg, & at the latter place a chaise to take us to Ebenezer chapel, from whence we had a chaise (Mr Elliot's) to the ferry, we crossed at near 8 o'clock, & were soon at Mr Elliot's house. Here I slept, or rather lay, for I could not sleep on account of the moschettoes.

Yesterday we called on Mr Frankland to let him know what treatment we recd from his manager, & on Mr Jones, or rather Mrs Jones for Mr J. was from home, to tell him we had been to his estate (Success) and that his manager treated us with much kindness. We gave a look in at the Methodist new chapel. Mr Mortier told us it was 60 feet by 50. It is nearly finished.

Thur. 6

Service was well attended.

Monday Feby 10

Yesterday things went on as usual. So in fact they did the Sunday before with this difference, that some of the male members prayed & Mrs S. read in the morning Henry's exposition of Psa. 23 & at noon one of Kidd's sermons.

Friday May 23

Finding it necessary for my health to take more exercise than I have been accustomed to do, I have not had time to continue my journal as I could have wished: besides, the uncomfortable state of my health has disinclined me for writing. But as it appears to me that serious evils are likely to result from the measures which the Governor is adopting respecting the slaves attending chapel, I think it will not be amiss to note down such circumstances as may come to my knowledge.

While at breakfast this morning I received a communication from the Burgher Captain enclosing a printed Circular from the Governor containing on one side an Extract from a letter of Lord Liverpool as Secretary of State for the Colonies to Governor Bentinck, dated 15 October, 1811; and on the other side a comment written by the Colonial Secretary in the name of Governor Murray explaining it to their own taste. The substance of this comment is to persuade the planters not to allow the slaves to attend chapel on Sundays without a pass, and, in an indirect manner, not to allow them to come at all in the evening; and even on a Sunday to send an overseer with the slaves as judges of the doctrine we preach. The circular appears to me designed to throw an impediment in the way of the slaves receiving Instruction under a colour of a desire to meet the wishes or rather comply with the commands of His Majesty's Government (see the circular among other Govt papers).

Saturday May 24

Many of the slaves, some from a great distance, have been here today to enquire what is the matter that they are not to be allowed to come to chapel; a wrong notion having got among them that none but the whites and the head men among the negroes are to attend. It appears that some of the overseers have been joking and teasing them on the subject. I of course undeceived them; though they were hard to be persuaded, alledging that their managers had given positive orders that none should come to chapel to morrow. But nothing is more likely than that the planters will keep the slaves at home all day in order to read the circular to them, though 10 minutes are sufficient for that purpose. Most of them delight in such excuses of preventing the negroes attending a place of worship.

Lord's Day May 25

Very few people at the morning service, perhaps not more than 50. Our usual number is from 200 to 300. I soon learned the cause. The Burgher Captains McTurk & Spencer, had ordered the managers in their respective districts to wait upon them, with four of the principal negroes from each estate, at 9 o'clock this morning. The planters having been sometime in the house with the Burgher Captain (I speak of McTurk only) the negroes, who had stood outside all the time, were called in. The circular was read to them and they were informed in presence of their managers, that none of the slaves must come to chapel at any time without a pass, nor hold any meetings on the estates for religious purposes without permission from their managers. Mr Spencer, it seems, was very violent with some of the negroes, particularly with Sandy of Nonpareil. He assured Sandy that if he held any meeting on the estate for teaching the catechism, contrary to his manager's will, he might expect to be punished!! Several planters attended the service at noon. Text Rom.8.28.

Lord's Day June 1

Our meeting on Tuesday evening and the public service on Thursday evening last week suffered no diminution in consequence of the new regulation; but our morning service to day evidently did. Not more than a dozen people present besides those belonging to this estate. Quamina & the rest of the principal people of Success were sent to the sea side with a punt to wait the arrival of the Schooner and unload it. They remained there all day for nothing, the Schooner not coming in. The other usual attendants at the morning service could not obtain their passes till 10 or 11 o'clock, consequently could not reach the chapel before 12. Hence but a small part of the congregation could be catechized. Though the chapel was full at noon I missed many old faces, and on making enquiry about them, was told concerning one, that his manager did not like him, and refused to give him a pass; of another, that the manager refused to give her a pass, because, as he told her, old people who could not work could not come to chapel. Thus it will be, I suspect, in a multitude of cases. This is no new sentiment, but it rarely prevented the superannuated attending divine service on a Sunday till now, as no pass was required. Several planters at chapel. Text 1 Cor.1.23.24.

Missing Immanuel from chapel, I inquired of Bristol the reason of his absence, it being a matter of surprise. B. told me he was in the stocks. The reason of his confinement is to be sought in the hatred his manager bears to him. Immanuel is, I believe, a true christian, and is the leading man on the estate (Chateau Margo) among the christians. He has a weekly meeting in his house for prayer, reading the scriptures and teaching the catechism. This is an eye sore to the manager, and renders Immanuel an object of ill-will. But what seems to have vexed this man (Manson) most is Immanuel bringing several of the slaves to chapel to be married, which has in a great measure defeated his wishes respecting some of the young women. The ostensible reason of putting Immanuel in confinement, is, his beating a boy, as Manson says, because he did not or would not bring money to me and this the proprietor, Mr Cuming, affects to believe!

Mr Cheesewright the Methodist missionary, who slept here last Monday night, informed me that the Governor's circular originated with Mr Austin, the minister of the established church. Some of the slaves under Mr Pollard's superintendence went, a few weeks ago, to town with a view of complaining to the Fiscal or to Governor that Mr P. punished them severely for coming to chapel but they went first to Mr Austin with their complaint. I well remember the complaints of the negroes. Mr Austin, it seems, advised the Governor to interfere. No doubt his motive was good; but I apprehend he did not sufficiently consider the subject, or that he was not aware of the artfulness of the parties possessing the power over the slaves.

Monday June 9

Tuesday &Thursday we were attended about as usual, but yesterday mornings service manifested the ill effect of the negroes being required to have a pass. They must wait their managers pleasure. Were all the planters to act upon the Governor's recommendation we should have no congregation of a sabbath morning; but several of them refuse to lay the slaves under such a vexatious restraint. This is the case with Mr Van Cooten, Mr Stewart of Success, Mr Cuming of Chateau Margo, Baron Van Groesteins, Mr Grant of Bachelor's Adventure. We had an immense congregation at noon. Several whites were present professedly as spies. Text Heb. 4.16. Cuffy of Clonbrook told me that his master had given positive orders, that after this day (yesterday) none of the slaves should come to our chapel. He said they earnestly entreated him to let those who were members of the church and had attended for several years continue their attendance; but he was inflexible, and threatened them with severe punishment if they ventured to come without a pass, which the governor's exposition of the law certainly authorized him to inflict.

Lord's Day June 15

The last three Sundays have been marked by a small attendance at the morning service, & an overflowing congregation at noon. It was the same today. Whenshey of Triumph came into the house after the noon service to lament to me her absence from the means of grace for more than two years, her manager not allowing her to attend; and now that he permitted her to come it was only once a fortnight, which prevented her receiving the Lord's Supper. I advised her to be thankful for the liberty she had, and to ask leave to come on sacrament days. She said that would be useless, as she had already more liberty that way than the other negroes of the estate.

Lord's Day June 22

The service on thursday evening was well, perhaps 300 hearers. A fine moon light evening. Isaac of Triumph came in to ask whether the Governor's "new law", as he called it, forbid the slaves meeting together on the estate to which they belong, of an evening for the purpose of learning the catechism? Their manager, he said, had threatened to punish them if they held any meeting. I informed him that the law gave the manager no such power, and that it had nothing to do with that subject. Still I advised them to give it up rather than give offence and be punished, and to take care to ask for their passes early on Sunday mornings and come to the chapel to be catechised. He said the people could never learn the catechism in that way, for the manager would give no more than twelve passes on a Sunday, and it was a long while coming round, and even those 12 he would not give till too late for the catechizing in the chapel. The number of slaves on Triumph according to the Almanack is 176. This may be about the proportion of passes given every Sunday by the planters for the negroes to come to chapel. I have examined many of them, (they are mostly written on one piece of paper) and find this about the average.

It has been very wet to-day, but we had a crowded congregation at noon. Text John 3.14.15.

Lord's Day June 29

Rain, accompanied with thunder, fell in torrents, till near ten o'clock. The congregations were of course smaller than usual. I never heard of so many of our members being sick, as are to-day. To those who work out of doors this weather must be very bad. We had only one white man, a stranger, at chapel. Text John 9.40.

Tues July 1

Not more than a dozen people here this evening. At this I was surprised as we usually have from 50 to 70. I was informed that the greater part of them were sick. The weather has lately been very unhealthy on account of the sudden changes. One hour there is a deluging rain with piercing wind, and the next a sultry heat that almost makes one faint away.

Lord's Day July 6

Though a fine day we have had small congregations. The morning service was particularly so, there being scarcely 6 people from other estates. The negroes of this estate are almost always called by the smacking of the whip to attend to other matters during the morning service. At noon the chapel would have held 200 more than were present. Many are sick. Text 1 Kings 17.18. One white present. Met the Lusignan class.

Monday July 7

Mr Elliot has just left our house. He came up merely to see us, which I regard as a kindness. I was glad to hear that he has at length commenced evening preaching once a week on the coast; on a Thursday evening. It appears the same impediments are thrown in the way of instructing the negroes on the W. Coast, as on the east. And it will be so as long as the present system prevails, or rather exists.

Died here this morning, or at least in the night, Otoo, the boat-captain. It is to be feared he was quite unprepared to meet his Maker.

Tues. 8

Not more than 25 people at the meeting. Many are sick.

Thur. 10

But a small congregation. Text Acts 19.1-7. My cough made it difficult for me to get through the service.

Lord's Day July 13

A fine morning, but at one o'clock, while we were engaged in the service the rain came suddenly & heavily. From the bad state of the chapel many of the people, I in particular, got a wetting. The morning service was badly attended though rather better than last Sunday. At noon we had an overflowing congregation, yet less than two thirds of the members were present at the Lord's supper. Blessed be the Lord, I felt considerable liberty in all the four services of this day; and was encouraged in the collective after the morning service. The people are improving in spelling, though slowly. Many of our members are still sick, & several others were absent from chapel out of compassion to them. The sick have, on many estates, to procure their own food. Strange as this may appear, it is a fact, that if their friends don't provide it for them, they must starve. The manager of this estate tells the sick negroes that as they have money to buy books, they can surely buy themselves food!! The books he alludes to are spelling-books! A negro must really be dangerously ill before he is allowed any thing besides salt fish, and very little of that, as the planters say sick people don't want to eat.

Tues. 15

Mrs De Florimont, and her two daughters, called to take leave of us. They are going to Holland. Mrs D.F. says she is uncertain as to her return to the colony. Hamilton, the manager, came in with them. His conversation immediately turned upon the new regulations which are expected to be enforced. He declared that if he was prevented flogging the women, he would keep them in solitary confinement without food if they were not punctual with their work. He however comforted himself in the belief that the project of Mr Caning will never be carried into effect; and in this I certainly agree with him. The rigors of negro slavery I believe can never be mitigated. The system must be abolished.

About 30 catechumens this evening.

Thur. 17

Being a fine moon-light evening our congregation was large. Text Acts 19.8-12. About noon two negroes on their way from town to Pl. Ann's Grove called to let me know the reason the negroes belonging to the latter place did not come to chapel. Their master (Jacob Rogers) they said would not give them a pass to come. I told them to ask for a pass to go to Mahaica chapel. They said that was given them for two or three Sundays, but afterwards was absolutely refused; and that now they could attend no place of worship. Other negroes belonging to that estate have told me the same thing.

Saturday July 19

Mr & Mrs Cheesewright have just left us. They called here yesterday evening on their way from town. Mr C informs me that the governor & Court of Policy are going to establish a clergyman of the church of England on this coast. Should he be a good minister of Jesus Christ I would rejoice. Such a man as Mr B. would be a curse. I strongly the motive of that Honble body. There are many parts of the colony where a minister is more needed, than on this coast. If it were not for the impediments thrown in our way, I & Mr C. could tolerably well supply the whole coast.

P.S. Had nearly forgot that I wrote to day the following to the Editor of the Guiana Chronicle. "Mr Editor, It cannot have escaped your reflection that the busy tongue of slander often places a man's conduct in so unfavourable a light, that his silence may be construed into a consciousness of guilt. That there are persons sufficiently base to invent and propagate the foulest calumnies to gratify a malicious propensity, and that others are weak enough to believe them, however incredible or absurd, are facts which almost every one's experience abundantly confirms: and certainly mine does, as will appear from what follows.

I have learned from various quarters, that a pretty extensive circulation has been given to a report that I oblige the negroes that attend our chapel to pay a kind of tax, or require them to contribute money or feathered stock. I feel no hesitation in designating this report a gross falsehood, and in contradicting it in the most unequivocal and unreserved manner. Disdaining to acknowledge the obligation of clearing up my conduct to every self constituted inquisitor, I might here close this communication; but for the satisfaction of those who are not the dupes of fiction and prejudice, I add, that the only money which I receive from either bond or free, is the voluntary contributions to the Missionary Society. I say voluntary, because none are required to contribute on any other condition but that of free will, neither are they asked for it but from the pulpit. This money is regularly remitted to the Missionary Society as will appear to any one who will take the trouble of referring to the annual Reports. As to stock contributions, I know of no such thing. I assure you, Mr Editor, if we had no more food than the negroes give us, we should not have one meal in a month."

Lord's Day July 20

A great many people at chapel at both services. At noon, there were at least 100 more than could get in. Four whites present. Mat.5.6. Several of the members came to me to enquire what was the difference between temptation & actual sin, or whether the latter was worse than the former? They were fully satisfied with the answer. I examined some very stupid negroes who want to be baptized. Approved of only two. Was encouraged by the readers.

Tues. 22

About 60 young & old at this evening's meeting.

Friday 25

The service yesterday evening was numerously attended. Text Acts 19.13-20. About half an hour before service Quamina of Success came into the house to enquire if I had heard the report that "the King had sent orders to the governor to free the slaves". I told him I had not heard of it; and that if such a report was in circulation, it must not be believed because it was false. He said he was sure there was something in agitation, and he wished to know what it was. I enquired from whom he had imbibed that fancy. He said that his son Jack heard it last Sunday from Daniel, the governor's servant, who had heard his master talk with some gentlemen about it; and besides several negroes had heard the same thing in town, a month ago. I told him it was likely that some orders had been sent out to the Governor, as the government at home wished to make some regulations for the benefit of the slaves, but not to make them free. This answer scarcely satisfied him.

Monday July 28

Though this morning is very wet, yesterday was a fine day. Our morning service was well attended. Perhaps 400 present. More remained to read than usual, but by employing Romeo and Bill I got through the teaching by 10 o'clock. Afterwards examined a several candidates for baptism, with whom I was well pleased. At 12 o'clock I could scarcely make my way to the pulpit, the chapel & vestry were so full. The people were literally packed, and yet there were at least 100 who could not get in. They did not go away, but sat on the ground outside. There were 9 or 10 whites besides ourselves. Text Acts 24.25. At the church meeting we admitted one.

After service Jackey said he wished to mention to me the case of his mother-in-law. She was a very pious woman, but old and too infirm to walk. She greatly desired to be baptized: but though near Dochfour, where Mr Cheesewright occasionally catechises the negroes, she cannot be baptized because Mr Stewart, her owner, will not give her a written permission, and Mr C. will not baptize without it. He therefore wishes to ask whether I would baptize her in the public road, at any time when I might be passing the plantation where she lives? This he thought the only way she could be baptized. I told him to endeavour to get her to town in a boat and ask some minister there to baptize her.

I had no sooner done talking to Jackey than Billy of Clonbrook came to tell me how uneasy he felt in anticipating the separation of his family. He has lived with Nanny his wife more than 20 years, by whom he has 12 children, and now his wife and children are to be sold at public auction, and may be sent he knows not where. He would not fret so much if he could be sold with them. But his owner won't sell him. Billy, Nanny & their children belong to one family, (the Rogers) and live on one plantn. Last week the Rogers sold from the same palntn a number of negroes, called a family, in which there were 2, Yammie & Cuffy & perhaps Polidore separated from their wives.

Thur 31

Not so many people as usual, having been a wet day. We were well attended on Tuesday between 60 & 70 were here.

Lord's Day Aug. 3

Though wet all last week, yet it was fine today. All the services have been well attended. After the reading, 7 couple were married. At noon there were multitudes of people who could not get in. Text Zech.3.2. In the afternoon I met the Orange Nassau class. Nothing in them to praise. They are inattentive & ignorant. Many of them were absent, some of whom are sick or lame, and others staying at home to procure their sick friends food. They all declare that the manager allows nothing but three boiled plantains to each sick person whatever be the degree of sickness or of whatever age; and that he reckons the plantains to see that they have no more!! Not a bit of fish nor salt. I examined a few candidates for baptism to day, but most of them on Friday eveng.

Tues 5

Mr & Mrs Elliot came to Le Resouvenir. The evening school was well attended.

Wednesday Aug. 6

Just returned from a journey up the coast. I & Mr Elliot set out with a view of going to Dochfour to see whether we could do any thing towards getting the ground of Mr Read. When we had reached Pln Noot en Zuil we were informed Mr R. & his family had gone on a visit to Essequibo. On our return we called on Mr Hopkinson of the John. He bore honourable testimony to the honesty & diligence of those of his negroes who attended our chapel.

Friday 8

Service was well attended yesterday. Mr Cort & Mr Stewart have just been here. Mr Cort's object in calling in was to enquire what is my opinion as to the state of the negroes minds in reference to the rumour among them that they are to be free? I told him I was aware that such a rumour prevailed, but that I knew not the particular state of the negroes' minds on the subject. Mr Cort (and indeed all whom I have heard speak on the subject, agree in this) is of my opinion, that the Colonial government here is acting very imprudently in withholding the necessary information from the slaves, whose minds must, in the nature of things, be greatly agitated.

Lord's Day Aug.10

Not so weary with this day's labours as might have been expected, considering that I have been fully engaged since 7 in the morning till about an hour ago i.e. half past 4. I was grieved to see so many people obliged to remain outside for want of room within. I would gladly enlarge the chapel, but it is too low to admit of enlargement; and to build a new one sufficient to accommodate our congregation would be attended with great expense. We had the painful task of turning from the Lord's table one of our members, on account of her disorderly conduct.

Saturday Aug. 16

Last Monday I & Mrs S. went on a visit to Mr & Mrs Elliot's on the West Coast; and returned yesterday evening. The frequent violent quarrels between Mr & Mrs E. annoyed me very much, & almost make me resolve to break off all communication with them. They are an unhappy couple. Mrs E. seems chiefly in fault. She makes every body about her miserable, and is a scandal to religion. On Thursday evening I preached for Mr E. The congregation was large; though from their own shewing their church is in bad order. The chapel has been enlarged & the additional part furnished with pews, which are rented. There are now about 400 sittings rented. Just before service Mr E. received a summons to appear at the King's house without avoidable delay. We all came up together: he proceeded to wait on the Governor. On his meeting us at the chapel in Cumingsburg he told us he had been roughly treated by His Excy who demanded the reason of his taking money of the negroes for pew rent and excommunicated those who did not pay? For other remarks on this subject, see Journal, Feby 7th 1821 & December 5 of same year.

Sunday Aug. 17

We called to account Dorah, the member whom we suspended from communion last Sunday. She professed sorrow, & promised well. Every thing else went on as usual.

Monday Aug. 18

Early this morning I went to town to consult Dr Robson on the state of my health. It is about 10 months since I had his first advice, during which time, pains and debility have been increasing upon me. I have not indeed been obliged to take to my bed, nor to omit one public service, though it has been difficult sometimes for me to keep about and more difficult to preach. He says cupping and blistering may ease the pain in the side, and allay the cough, but that a change of air alone can afford me any relief. The season being so far advanced he recommends a voyage to Bermuda, or if I could wait 4 or 5 months, to England, as being preferable.