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in feelings of gratitude for the strenuous and unremitting exertions, made by the friends of humanity in Great Britain, for their emancipation and comfort. During our stay at Saint Bartholomew's, which was nearly five weeks, we experienced many
similar instances of public favour and attention, with the strongest proofs of hospitality and kindness, from numerous private individuals on the island*.
Early in the morning of the day following our arrival at Saint Bartholomew's, a ship hove in sight, beating up for the island; and about ten o'clock had approached close to the harbour, but seemed particularly cautious of entering; intimidated, as we afterwards learned, by the formidable appearance of the English vessels. She, however, shortly after ventured in under Spanish royalist colours, and came to anchor within about a cable's length of the Britannia. This vessel was in the most perfect repair, and upwards of three hundred tons burthen. Her flag naturally excited considerable curiosity to learn the object of her visit; and our anxiety in this respect was speedily gratified by discovering that she was a prize to an Independent privateer brig under the command of Commodore Parker, who put a few men on board with orders to bring her to Amelia island: the Prize-master however thought proper to vary his instructions, and ran her into Gustavia, where he immediately disposed of the cargo, and converted the proceeds to his own private use; and his anxiety to disburthen himself of his charge was such, that he gladly accepted whatever terms were offered ; and sugar, Havannah segars, fc., were to be had from this trust-worthy gentleman for little more than thanks.
* For the kindness and attention experienced on our arrival at Saint Bartholomew's, we were probably in a considerable degree indebted to a very general belief, on the part of the inhabitants, that we were proceeding to the Main, with the approbation and consent of the British Government. How this idea originated, or by whom insinuated, I cannot pretend to say; it is understood, however, that some of the parties who are at present so actively engaged in England, promoting new South American expeditions, encourage the promulgation of a similar belief, for the purpose of giving greater importance and effect to their operations.
This vessel afterwards sailed in company with the Emerald for Grenada, but was, I understood, scuttled in the Caribbean sea, with her anchors, cables, fc., and upwards of twenty thousand dollars' worth of logwood on board.
We had now been upwards of three weeks at St. Bartholomew's, without receiving any intelligence from the Main, on the veracity of which we could place the slightest reli
This dearth of information, and the uncertainty of our future destination, were rapidly exciting feelings of doubt and uneasiness; whilst the reports in circulation relative to the progress of affairs in South America, and general situation of the Patriot cause, were ill calculated to allay the anxiety so universally experienced. In this state of incertitude and deficiency of news, it was at length considered advisable that Colonel Wilson and one of our officers should proceed (disguised as fishermen) in a schooner to Margaritta, and from thence up the Oroonoco to Bolivar's head-quarters at Angostura, for the purpose of apprizing him of our arrival in the West Indies, and of likewise ascertaining the actual state of affairs upon the Main. Colonel Wilson, immediately after performing the object of his mission, was to return to Saint Bartholomew's, where our ulterior proceedings were to be finally arranged. This scheme, however, was unfortunately found impracticable, in consequence of the impossibility of procuring boatmen sufficiently daring to risk their lives in so dangerous an enterprise.
The extreme difficulty and hazard attendant on any attempt to communicate with the Continent, was this day further evinced, by an account received at the island of the indiscriminate massacre of the entire crew of a vessel which had been captured by a royalist brig. The unfortunate ship had, it appears, been concerned in mercantile intercourse with the Independents, whom they had supplied with a quantity of provisions in exchange for a cargo of mules then on board. She was proceeding from the Main to Trinadad, when she fell in with the Spanish cruizer ; and, on inspection of her papers, the nature of the traffic in which she had been engaged being unhappily discovered, the sanguinary captain of the royalist brig considered the offence of sufficient magnitude to justify the above barbarous proceeding.
To devise some other mode of effecting this important communication, now became the primary object of consideration ; but, after much anxious consultation and debate, it was not found possible to discover any channel through which an intercourse could be opened with the Independent Government.
The general feeling of dissatisfaction and uneasiness now became more manifest; and we began seriously to apprehend, that the ideas we had been originally induced to entertain of the nature of our enterprise, were founded upon false or visionary representations of the actual state of affairs in South America.
Every information we could obtain, either from the inhabitants of Saint Bartholomew's, or individuals who had recently arrived from the Main, was of the most dishearten