563

OverviewTranscribeVersionsHelp

Facsimile

Transcription

Show Translation

C U R A C O A.

563

the island, and at the w. extremity, is a good port,
called Santa Barbara ; but the best port is near
three leagues to the ,v. e. of the «. part. The
Dutch send annually from Europe many vessels
richly laden, and carrying merchandise much in
request in every part of America, and this is the
principal cause of the flourishing state of this
colony.

[The Dutch took this island from the Spaniards
in 1632; it was captured by the English in 1798,
and again in 1806, when the conduct of Captain
Brisbane, who had only three frigates under his
command, afforded one of the most wonderful ex
ploits of the British navy. The island, notwith
standing what Algedo remarks, is not oidy barren
and dependent on the rains for its water, but the
harbour is naturally one of the worst in America ;
yet the Dutch have entirely remedied that defect,
they have built upon this harbour one of the
largest, and by far the most elegant and cleanly
towns in the W. Indies. The Dutch ships from
Europe used to touch at this island for intelligence
or pilots, and then proceed to the Spanish coasts
for trade, which they forced with a strong hand,
it having been very difficult forthe Spanish guarda
costas to take these vessels ; for they were not only
stout ships, with a number of guns, but were
manned with large crews of chosen seamen, deeply
interested in the safety of the vessel and the success
of the voyage ; they had each a share in the cargo,
of a value proportioned to the station of the owner,
supplied by the merchants upon credit, and at a
prime cost ; this animated them with an uncom
mon courage, and they fought bravely, because
every man fought in defence of his own property.
Besides this, there was, and still is, a constant in
tercourse between this island and the Spanish con
tinent. 'Cura^oa has numerous warehouses, al-

And the quantities of the principal arlic

ways full of the commodities of Euroi?c and the
East Indies. Here are all sorts of woollen and
linen cloth, laces, silks, ribbands, iron utensils,
naval and military stores, brandy, the spices of
the Moluccas, and the calicoes of India, white
and painted. Hither the Dutch West India,
which was also their African company, snnually
brought three or four cargoes of slaves, and to
this mart the Spaniards themselves yet come in
small vessels, and carry off, at a very high price,
great quantities of all the above sorts of goods ;
and the seller has this advantage, that the refuse of
warehouses and mercers shops, and every thing
that is grown unfashionable and unsaleable in
Europe, go off here extremely well; every thing
being sufficiently recommended by its being Euro
pean. The Spaniards pay in gold or silver, coin
ed or in bars, cacao, vanilla, Jesuits bark, cochi
neal, and other valuable emnmodities. The trade
of Cura^oa, even in times of peace, was said to be
annually worth no less than 500,000/. ; but in
time of war the profit was still greater, for then it
becomes the common emporium of the W. Indies ;
it affords a retreat to ships of all nations, and at
the same time refuses none of them arms and amuiii
tion to destroy one another. The intercourse with
Spain being then interrupted, the Spanish colonies
have scarcely any other market from whence tiiey
can be well supplied either with slaves or goods.
The French come hither to buy the beef, pork,
corn, flour, and lumber, which are brought from
the continent of N. America, or exported from
Ireland ; so that, whether in peace or in war, tiia
trade of this island flourishes extremely.

The official value of the Imports and Exports
of Cura^oa were, in

1809, imports .^241,675, exports 16,696

1810, ^236,181, ^263,996

es imported into Great Britain were, in

Coffee.

Sugar.

Rum.

Cotton Wool.

Brit. Plant.

For. Plant.

Brit. Plant.

For. Plant.

Cwt.

Cwt.

Cwt.

Cwt.

Galls.

Lbs.

1809, f()5

24,48 L

2

106

427,268

1810, 700

29.466

24

230,770

The trade between Gura^oa and St. Domingo
has already greatly fallen off ; first, by means of
supplies trom other parts, especially from Dun
kirk, but principally from the commotions in that
devoted island ; little cultivation is carried on here ;
but as a naval station, Cura 9 oa is pre-eminently
important. Its secure and excellent harbour is
capable of containing and protecting against all

winds, as well as against any hostile force, up
wards of SOO ships of the largest size. All repairs
can be conveniently made. In the time of war, it
may serve as a rendezvous for merchant vessels
bound to Europe, who can always take refuge
here, on account of its situation to windward. A
fleet defeated at sea may find a safe asylum, and
conveniences for refitting ; it is an excellent sta-J
4 c 2

Page Notes

Nobody has written a note for this page yet

Please sign in to write a note for this page