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14 given e n o u g h . I n fact, every effort which the m a s t e r s m a d e to evade t h e operation of the laws of s u p p l y a n d d e m a n d resulted in their o w n loss. T h e y issued, for e x a m p l e , t h r e a t s of ejectment : t h e y were t a k e n at their word. K n i b b , the n e g r o e s ' pastor a n d protector, b o u g h t estates a n d parcelled t h e m out in free villages, a n d the n e g r o e s l e a r n t t h a t t h e y c o u l d choose w h e t h e r to w o r k for t h e m s e l v e s or for " b u s h a , " a n d t h e y not s e l d o m declared for t h e former.* A g a i n , the m a s t e r s i n d u c e t h e labourers to sign c o n t r a c t s , b y w h i c h t h e y w e r e b o u n d u n d e r a fine to g i v e w o r k w h e n e v e r r e q u i r e d , t h i n k i n g that they could t h e r e b y e n s u r e t h a t " c o n t i n u o u s l a b o u r " + of w h i c h we h e a r so m u c h , b u t w h i c h , u p o n e x a m i n a t i o n , we n o t seldom find to m e a n c o n t i n u o u s w a i t i n g o n t h e master for w o r k a t w h a t t i m e a n d w a g e s he will : b u t as it t u r n e d o u t that the times w h e n their w o r k w a s w a n t e d , w e r e those w h e n it w a s w o r t h m o s t , the l a b o u r e r s took w o r k a b o v e t h e c o n t r a c t price, p a i d the fine, and left t h e m a s t e r s with their c o n t r a c t , b u t w i t h o u t t h e c o n t i n u o u s l a b o u r . A g a i n , t h e proprietors advertised for sale t h e m o u n t a i n lands heretofore cultivated as provision g r o u n d s , t h i n k i n g t h a t their cultivation " r e n d e r e d t h e people i n d e p e n d e n t of estates' l a b o u r for s u s t e n a n c e : " s o m e of these lands the best labourers b o u g h t , t h e r e b y " m a k i n g themselves m o r e i n d e p e n d e n t of daily hire t h a n before :" a n d t h e r e m a i n d e r being t h r o w n out of cultivation, t h e price of provisions r o s e — t h a t of y a m s full one h u n d r e d per cent., a n d t h e result w a s , t h a t all t h e labourers looked for sustenance to p r o v i sion g r o u n d s r a t h e r t h a n to plantation w o r k , because provisions w e r e w o r t h m o r e , a n d w a g e s w o r t h less + L a s t l y , t h e planters tried, b y h e l p of their legal power as j u r y m e n and j u s t i c e s , to m a k e t h e l a w a m e a n s of l o w e r i n g w a g e s ; t h e consequence of w h i c h w a s , t h a t t h e w o r k m e n either refused to w o r k for them a t all, or else, g e t t i n g j u s t i c e from t h e stipendiaries, t h e y l e a r n t to despise as well as to h a t e t h e m , — t o t h i n k t h e m as powerless as unjust. I n s h o r t , t h e result of these unfair a n d unscientific a t t e m p t s to get l a b o u r at too l o w a price, b y m e a n s c o n t r a r y a l i k e to the laws of justice a n d political e c o n o m y , w a s s i m p l y t h a t n o t sufficient l a b o u r was g i v e n at any price a t all : a n d it is in o r d e r to impress u p o n o u r readers this most i m p o r t a n t f a c t — t h a t the diminution of l a b o u r , a n d consequently of p r o d u c e , w a s t h e direct a n d i m m e d i a t e consequence * See Report of Mr. Hill, Secretary of the Stipendiary Justice Department, for account of the origin of the independent villages. Parliamentary Papers p. 15. + Ibid., p.

15.

+

Mr. Lyon's Report, Parliamentary Papers, p. 169.

British philanthropy and Jamaica distress. Reprinted from the «  Westminter Review »  

Ouvrage patrimonial de la Bibliothèque numérique Manioc. Service commun de la documentation, Université des Antilles et de la Guyane. Ville...

British philanthropy and Jamaica distress. Reprinted from the «  Westminter Review »  

Ouvrage patrimonial de la Bibliothèque numérique Manioc. Service commun de la documentation, Université des Antilles et de la Guyane. Ville...

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