PoWI Archives - POS Gazette July 20, 1847

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Port of Spain Gazette, Tuesday, July 20, 1847, p. 3

There has been considerable commotion among the planters to stop the ruinous consequences of taking away their Portuguese laborers, they having discovered that emmisaries (sic) have been sent from St. Kitts to entice them away under promises of such wages as it is impossible for any planter to pay - The people of St. Kitts in pursuing such a mode of replenishing their labour are disgracing themselves and adopting a line of conduct that one would not expect from them - There is now in harbour the sloop Princess Alice of Nevis owned by a notorious fellow of the name of Braser who has nearly depopulated Nevis and St. Kitts by the same vessel in carrying away their laborers to Trinidad; and such is the agent assisted by a renegade Portuguese, employed to entice away the Portuguese laborers from this island. - Our neighbours seem to have lost sight of the heavenly admonition to "do as they would be done by." His Excellency has been under the necessity of issuing a proclamation to put in force the Passengers Act so as to guard against the fatal effects which may follow the overcrowding of these worse than slave traders, for although the Princess Alice is only 22 tons, and consequently not allowed to carry more than 13 persons at one time, there were, exclusive of her crew and other passengers, fifty Portuguese ready to embark in her. We must revert again to the disgraceful conduct of the people of St. Kitts. This Island was the first to import the Portuguese and that too at a time when their success was problematical - For this purpose great sacrifices were made and large sums extended (upwards of £5,000 sterling) for their introduction, while St. Kitts, either from the want of means or energy or both, looked on with apathy, and now meanly seeks to take advantage of the energy and enterprise of our planters and the resources of the Island, by a clandestine abstraction of our laborers and that too through the instrumentality of the most unprincipled agents. We trust that Sir J. Campbell will feel it his duty to represent this matter in its proper light to the Governor in Chief, so that His Excellency may bring it to the notice of Earl Grey, who is decidedly the best Secretary that ever had charge of the Colonial Office, and who is doing every thing in his power to restore the prosperity of these colonies, and who will not we feel very certain, permit their welfare to be sacrificed at the shrine of cupidity.

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