Sivut kuvina

beacon, seems to say, “Hitherto shalt thou come, and no further;" for it must be a miracle indeed if a ship gets nearer shore than it, for the coral shoals lie thick in every direction in its neighbourhood. It is not often that vessels are wrecked on the North Rock, because careful mariners know the danger of passing Bermuda to the northward, as all books of navigation recommend the south side as being the safest. The shore presents rather a sterile appearance, and even the cedars which have themis fortune to be growing near the water have a dead dingy appearance. The sterility arises from the spray of the sea, the salt from which, acted upon by the sun, causes the grass, &c. to wither and die away. The shore is principally inhabited by fishermen and shipbuilders; the produce of the occupation of the former being the principal sustenance of, and the business of the latter in its various ramifications, affording employment to shopkeepers, mechanics, labourers, and sailors. About midway between the Ferry and the Dock-yard is one of the houses appropriated as a residence for the Governor for the time being; it is scarcely seen from the water; but near it is a hill called Mount Langton, on which is a flag-staff, by which communication is kept up between St. George, Somerset, and the Dock-yard. A few miles beyond this is the residence of the Admiral, King's Hill, or Clarence Lodge. Ireland Island, on which the yard is, is about one mile in length, and perhaps a quarter broad, and is nearly all occupied by the buildings required for the officers, artizans, and for storehouses. The hospital is situated on the highest part of the

[blocks in formation]

island, and is very large and commodious.

The officers' residences are built in the English style, and are very comfortable. The most important work is a breakwater, similar to that at Plymouth. Several hundred convicts are employed on it. The Dockyard is kept in fine order.

The Bermudas are, in fact, the Gibraltar of the West Indies, and Washington was very desirous of annexing them to the Republic, to make them, as he said, “a nest of hornets to annoy English commerce.”

GEOLOGY.-A stone called “Bermuda rock," and peculiar to the place, forms, with few exceptions, the basis of the islands and minor rocks; it is extremely porous—so much so as to be unfit for filtering stones; at first sight it closely resembles loose sandstone, but on minute inspection will be found to consist of a congeries of comminuted shells cemented together, and occasionally including larger and tolerably perfect portions of shells; the layers of this stone are stratified, and the dip varies very much in the direction it takes and the angle it forms with the horizon; the stone is easily wrought with axes and saws, is naturally friable, but becomes harder when exposed to the atmosphere, and changing from a whitish to a bluish grey colour; it is used in the principal buildings; for when covered with cement or lime it is impervious to the rain or damp, and was therefore at one time an article of extensive export to the United States of America.

Lieutenant Nelson says that the whole group is composed of calcareous sand and limestone, derived

from comminuted shells and corals, and the different varieties are associated without any definite order of position, the harder limestones occasionally resting upon loose sand. The arrangement of the beds is often dome-shaped, but in many instances the strata are singularly waved.

The bottom of the basin within the zone of coral reefs is stated to consist of corals, calcareous sand, and soft calcareous mud resembling chalk, and considered by the author to have been derived from the decomposition of Zoophytes.

Under the head of encroachments, he describes the banks of detritus thrown up by the sea, and the progress which, under certain circumstances, the loose sand makes in overwhelming tracts previously fertile. He states that wherever the shrubs and creepers have been destroyed, the sand has spread rapidly, but that it is invariably stopped as soon as it arrives at a plantation or row of trees.

The soil is of a reddish brown colour, and in some places, as at Ireland isle, bearing strong marks of oxyde of iron. Round the coast there are some districts with a strong tenacious blue clay; in others a micaceous, kneadable brick earth; and again, an argillaceous soil, with luxuriant pasturage. There is no other point in the geology worth noticing.

Water is supplied to the inhabitants all the year round from tanks, in which it is collected during the rains.

CLIMATE. The climate is favourable to European health, and may be said to be a perpetual summer. The meteorological register for the year is

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

January 64 66 63 N.W. Cold frequent rain.
February.. 60 63 59 N.E. Ditto.
March. 62 63 61 W. More temperate, gentle breezes.
April 75 76 75 S.E. Warm, and showers.

78 80 77 S.S.E. Sultry, ditto, thunder.
June.. 83 86 84 S.W. Hot, light breezes.
July 77 79 77 E. Ditto, thunder storms.
August 77 79 78 S.E. Sultry, heavy showers.
September 77 79 78 S.W. by W. Hot, frequent ditto.
October.... 178 79 75 N.E. Stormy, heavy rains.
November 69 71 69 N.W. Cold, with heavy rain.
December. 61 65 61 N.E. Ditto, thunder and lightning.

VEGETATION, &c. The cedar grows to a great height in many places, and would seem in several parts to spring from the bare rock; it is used for ship-building; the palmetto is much cultivated for the making of straw hats, but arrow-root seems to be the staple of the island, and machinery has recently been imported for its preparation; coffee, cotton, indigo, tobacco, &c. are grown as good as in the West India islands, as do also all the fine fruits and vegetables of the tropics. There are no wild animals, the feathered tribe is confined to a few varieties, but the sea around teems with fish, viz. the mackerel, mullet, hamlet, hine, grouper, porgy, rockfish, &c., the whale is pursued with great animation, and killed for the sake of his oil and bone.

POPULATION. The latest returns before me of the number of inhabitants are the census of 1822, 1828, and 1831.

[blocks in formation]

By the returns under the Emancipation Act, there were 4203 slaves at the last registry : average value of each, 271. 58.; relative value of all, 114,5271. ; proportion of 20,000,0001. to which Bermuda is entitled, 50,5841.

By a recent census there were in each parish,

[blocks in formation]

St. George 1580 204 267 90 110 220 210 514 587| 1525 Hamilton

1651 139 194 31 45 164 188 324 427 1620 Smiths... 1281 64 130

7 7 106 120 177 257 1265 Devonshire .... 1281 100 1981 17 42 113 124 230 364 1246 Pembroke... 1281 348 491 68 103 310 336 726 930) 1226 Pagets ..... 1281 164 263 24 33 221 245 409 541 1216 Warwick ........

1281 209 311 25 31 158 198 392 540 1256 Southampton . 1281 141 198 18 25 183 256) 342 470 1200 Sandys...........

1507 195 289) 28 34, 350, 325 573 648 1408 Total... 12,424 1564 2341 308 430 1825 2002 3687 4764 11,962 In 1832......

1607 2574 458 610

« EdellinenJatka »