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in aid of the above-mentioned School, includes payments to Four Catechists employed by his Lordship in the Parishes of Clarendon, Portland, St. Mary, and St. Elizabeth.
The deaths of Mrs. Taylor and Mr. Jones ** have been before stated, under the head of “ Missionaries and Students ;” as has also the arrival of Messrs. Collins and Manning.
The Corresponding Committee being deeply impressed with the importance of improving the moral character of the Free People of Colour, cordially embraced such opportunities as offered for extending to them the advantages of religious instruction and education.
Papine, Parish of St. Andrew. Mr. Jones's labours on this Estate met with some interruption by sickness, in February and March. On his recovery, he pursued his work till his demise. At the end of March he wrote
I am happy to inform you that the First Class have gone through the New Testament; and that five of my best Scholars read the Bible to their Parents after the labour of the day. For this beginning I desire to praise the Lord my God. I also hope, that, in a few months, one of my Adult Scholars will be able to undertake the reading of Tracts to the Negroes in their own houses. On the Sabbath-days I read Prayers, and explain the Scriptures to the Adults : they are attentive, with the exception of a few.
Mr. Wildman, the Proprietor, states, the day after Mr. Jones's death
Mr. Trew and Mr. Stainsby were much pleased with the School, and thought the Children improved since they last examined them. The Negroes attend the Service very well, and I trust that an improvement is visible in some of them.
Mr. Tucker succeeded Mr. Jones until the arrival of Mr. Manning in February. Mr. Collins was to have occupied this Station; but a severe attack of fever shortly after his arrival, and his subsequent illness, rendered it necessary to remove him to Salt Savanna for change of air, where his health soon improved.
* Mrs. Jones, the Widow, has returned to this country with her three Children, and arrived in London on the day of the Anniversary
Salt Savanna, Parish of Vere. Mr. and Mrs. Taylor continued to labour with suc. cess among the Slaves on this Estate, till Mrs. Taylor's removal by death: after that event, the number of Scholars rather decreased. Mr. Taylor assembles the Slaves on the Sunday for Divine Worship.
In August, Mr. Wildman, the proprietor of the Estate, says
Mr. Trew visited the School a short time since, and wrote a very favourable report to me of the progress the Children had made, and of the attention paid by the Negroes to Mr. Taylor's instructions.
Respecting the School, Mr. Taylor writes in December
I have about 60 attending daily. I commence about eight in the morning, and continue till near one at noon: at half past two I begin again, and continue till half-past five : at seven the Adults come, and about half-past eight I have done.
And in March, he adds
Mr. Wildman was here a few days since, and distributed 22 Bibles to the Scholars, which was all my stock; and I want about 14 more.
I cannot express what I felt on the occasion, to see about 40 of my Scholars able to read the Bible, who two years since did not know a letter.
He also remarks respecting the Sunday Service
The clothing of the Negroes on the Sunday is much more decent than it used to be: indeed I may say, that when they assemble for worship, they make a very respectable appearFrom 40 to 50 can fluently read the Liturgy.
Low Ground. This is another Estate belonging to Mr. Wildman, to the Negroes on which he has long been desirous of affording the advantages of religious instruction. Mr. Jones some time ago prepared a Boy from this property, to act as an Usher; and, recently, Mr.Tucker has been sent thither, in the hopes that a change of air would benefit his health, while he would be able to promote the instruction of the Slaves. Blue Mountain Valley, St. Thomas's in the East.
The Catechist appointed to this District, as stated in the last Report, is Mr. Richard Harris, a Young
Man of Colour. The Rev.J. M. Trew, the Rector, informed the Committee, in May 1827, that Mr. Harris had already gained access to nine Estates and Plantations heretofore unprovided with any means of religious instruction ; since which no report of his proceedings has been received.
Moore Town, Parish of Portland. At this Station, which is a Settlement of Maroons, Mr. James Tucker was placed, in May of last year, to act under the superintendence of the Rector of the Parish, the Rev. G. Griffiths; “ with a view,” Mr. Trew says, “ to laying the foundation of a Christian Church in that spiritual wilderness.” On this occasion, Mr. Trew further writes to the Secretaries
I cannot for a moment doubt that your own venerable Institution will now, when so favourable an opportunity is presented, come forward to impart to the Maroons the saving knowledge of the Gospel. Indeed, were I asked to point out the most interesting object for the Society's benevolence in this Island, it would be Moore Town; the population of which is as follows: Maroons : Men.
37 Male Children
13 Female Children. 106
539 Slaves, about . .
59 Free Settlers, not Maroons, about. 30
Total . .
628 The above 628 souls must remain, in a great measure, ignorant of the blessings of the Gospel, unless the extreme urgency of their case should excite a feeling of Christian sympathy amongst our Christian Friends in Britain.
Mr. Tucker's health, however, again failing, he was removed to Papine, and subsequently to Low Ground, as before noticed. Mr. David M.Pherson has been since engaged by the Corresponding Committee as Catechist at Moore Town.
Accompong Town, Parish of St. Elizabeth. This is likewise a Settlement of Maroons. The attention of the Corresponding Committee having been recently drawn to this place, they engaged Mr. Sharp as Catechist, and granted a sum to assist in erecting a Building for a School-Room and Chapel.
Pedro Plains, Parish of St. Elizabeth. This District borders on the sea, and contains a large population of Free Persons of Colour. Mr. Trew having promised pecuniary aid, in the name of the Society, to the Rector of the Parish and the Hon. William Rowe, who resided in the neighbourhood, in the event of measures being adopted for supplying the inhabitants with spiritual instruction; Mr. Rowe most laudably came forward, and succeeded in raising money sufficient for the erection of two Buildings, intended to be used as School- Houses and Chapels. Mr. Trew says
It is a very pleasing feature in the case now under consideration, that a considerable part of the money subscribed has been by FREE PERSONS OF COLOUR THEMSELVES, who are now beginning to feel that the advancement of religion and civilization among themselves by no means keeps pace with that amongst the Negroes. This sentiment has been sensibly expressed by many of them to Mr. Rowe; to whom they have evinced their gratitude in the warmest manner.
An account of these people, as well as a just view of the necessity and probable advantages of imparting to them the blessings of Education and Christianity, will be seen from an extract from Mr. Rowe's Letter to the Secretaries, dated Nov. 21, 1827 :
The inhabitants of the Pedro Plains consist of from twelve to fifteen hundred Free Persons of Colour (exclusive of their Negroes, who are also numerous); who, having little opportunity of mixing or associating with those of a better order, are in a state of the most deplorable ignorance, and their course of life the most vicious, the greater part subsisting by plunder. My residence of Belle Vue being in their immediate vicinity, I have had many opportunities of knowing their character and disposition; and from a persuasion that they only wanted instruction and good example to reclaim them from their
present abandoned habits, it occurred to me, after repeated conversations with the leading people among them, that a plan, such as the one submitted to you, might, if car
ried into effect, be productive of the most beneficial results: and so far as it has gone, I have pleasure in saying, the measure has been attended with great success.
Another great advantage, likely to result from the improved condition of the Free Persons of Colour, will be, that the influence they have over the mind of the Negro (which they obtain from being generally persons of some property, and from being more familiar with their manners, customs, language, and domestic economy) will then be exerted for good; whereas, at present, this influence is often exercised for the most mischievous and dangerous purposes. The Free People of Colour also, at present, form the only link between the higher and the lower orders of society.
The Children of more than Sixty Estates, to the number of 2000, have received instruction in Sunday Schools, under the Society. These Schools were much indebted for their efficiency to the labours of Teachers not exclusively connected with the Established Church; but, being now placed under the regulations by which the Schools of the Diocese are conducted, alterations have unavoidably followed which affect the number both of the Teachers and the Scholars. Mr. Dawes has still the superintendence, and has various Assistants under his direction.
We are sorry to report that Mr. Dawes has met with a serious disaster. He was standing on the top of a flight of stone steps six feet high, whence he was precipitated to the ground from one of the supporting beams suddenly giving way, and had his thigh broken. Mrs. Dawes writes, March 10th, that “the fracture is what the doctors call a simple one; and, through mercy, he is going on as well as can be expected.'
By the latest Returns received, the Schools are as follows: