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anxiety for personal precedency. The spirit of jealousy and disunion soon extended amongst the officers in general ; private pique and quarrelling were the results, more particularly on board the Prince and Emerald. Colonel Hippesley,on his arrival in the West Indies, assumed the rank of Brigadier-general, and had, during the passage, caused every individual, under his command, to take an oath of allegiance to the Independent Government. tion of rank was ill calculated to restore amity or concord; and the general spirit of dissension still continuing, the Governor manifested his displeasure by withdrawing his former attention, and even prohibited several of Colonel Wilson's officers from again proceeding on shore; actually posting sentries upon the beach, for the purpose of enforcing due obedience to his commands.
The Colonels now became desirous of proceeding to the Continent at all hazards, without permitting any further time to elapse for the arrival of information from the seat of hostilities. To this proposal, however, the Supercargoes of the different ships
positively refused acquiescence. They were very properly tenacious of the property intrusted to their
and would not on any account, hear of departing for the Main, without being first perfectly convinced that the finances of the Patriots were in such a state as to enable them to pay, either in money or produce, for the military stores embarked on board their respective vessels. In order to obtain, if possible, satisfactory information on this particular point, as also to learn how far the various unfavourable rumours, so confidently circulated, were or were not well founded, our Supercargo determined on proceeding to Saint Thomas's, for the purpose of having a personal communication with Mr. Molony, an Agent of the Independents, resident at that island. Mr. Ritchie accordingly, at considerable expense, engaged a sloop, and sailed on the 4th or 5th of February. The period which elapsed between Mr. R.'s departure for, and return from, Saint Thomas's, was, as may be well conceived, one of anxious suspense; the fate of the expedition proba
bly depending upon the nature of the information he might procure-his return was therefore awaited with the greatest impatience.
As this event, however, could not be reasonably expected to take place before the expiration of ten days or a fortnight, leave of absence was readily granted to any of the officers desirous of obtaining it, and, amongst others, I availed myself of this indulgence, and gratified my curiosity by visiting the neighbouring island of Saint Martin's, bearing W. S. W. of Saint Bartholomew's, and distantabout thirteen miles. Having procured the necessary passport, I proceeded in an open boat, accompanied by my constant associate Captain
and Lieut. Y— *, of Colonel Hippesley's corps.
When about mid-way, between the two islands, the rapidity of the current, with a contrary wind and heavy sea, compelled us to abandon our course to Marygott, and drift down
* This officer, having proceeded to Angustura, died shortly after his arrival.
to leeward of the island. Evening was now fast approaching, and with it every appearance of tempestuous weather; we however, arrived safe in Great Bay about seven o'clock, in the midst of a heavy gale, with our boat half full of water, and thoroughly drenched by torrents of rain, and the high spray which had been continually dashing over us.
Saint Martin's is in the joint possession of the French and Dutch; and Great Bay, where we had now landed, is the principal town in that quarter of the island belonging to the latter nation. It presented a dreary and comfortless appearance, being, with the exception of a few respectable planters' houses, the most wretched place imaginable. Numbers of poor half-naked negroes surrounded us on the beach, proffering their assistance for conveying our portmanteaus from the boat. On entering the town our first anxiety was to discover an inn, where we could procure refreshment, and change our wet clothes (which are considered more productive of fever than even the natural malignity of the West
India climate); but to our great disappointment, we were informed there was no place of that description in the town. In this unpleasant situation we began to 'despair of even procuring a lodging for the night, when Lieut. Y-> fortunately recollected having been, on a former occasion, introduced to Doctor de Briton, the resident physician at Great Bay, to whose house he conducted us as an only resource. The Doctor was from home, but our friend's easy manner, and good address, soon secured to us every comfort we could desire. Next morning we were so fortunate as to meet with Mr. Cuthbert, the principal planter in the town, and uncle to our supercargo, Mr. Ritchie. Having spent the remainder of the day with this gentleman, we in the afternoon set out for Marygott, accompanied by Mr. Cromoni, proprietor of the lottery estate, who kindly insisted on our remaining at his house during our stay on the island.
I had now the opportunity afforded me. of witnessing the richest production of an highly-cultivated West India'estate, at the