Slavery and Revolution


Simon Taylor to Chaloner Arcedeckne, 18 August 1781

By Admms |

On 1 August 1781, another hurricane hit Jamaica. It was less severe than the hurricanes of 1780, and again much of the damage was in the west of the island. However, as Simon Taylor’s letter mentions, shipping was driven ashore in Kingston Harbour, and there was damage in eastern districts, where Simon Taylor’s Lyssons estate and Chaloner Arcedeckne’s Golden Grove estate were located. Taylor went from Kingston to inspect the damage.

[…] we had a very sever gale of wind which has drove ashore a great many ships that were at anchor at Port Royall some of which are lost and others greatly injured but I can give you no further information of them further than the papers as I sett out for this part of the country as soon as ever the river was fordable and have employed my whole time in going to the different estates I am concerned for and doing what i can to assist the negroes who really want it. It has ruined all the provisions on every estate. The storm last year threw down a great many plantain tress the very dry weather putt those that escaped back so the negroes were obliged to live on ground provisions which were just out as the storm happened and in a few weeks they would have been very well of everywhere with respect to plantains and corn had not this unfortunate matter happened what they are to do now I know not flour is at a most exorbitant price and there are no pease to be had neither is there any ground provisions any where or will be for some time. I was at Golden Grove and your plantain walk and negroe grounds are quite down and very foul and your negroes are weakly indeed and it will require a prodigious deal of work to bring the estate in order […]

(Vanneck-Arc/3A/1781/20, Simon Taylor to Chaloner Arcedeckne, Lyssons, 18 August 1781)