Joseph Banks Journal
16th September 1768
The most part fine, Clear weather. Punished Henry Stevens, Seaman, and Thomas Dunster, Marine, with 12 lashes each, for refusing to take their allowance of Fresh Beef. Employed taking on board Wine and Water. Wind Easterly.
Joseph Banks Journal
Wheel carriages I saw none in the Island of any sort or kind, indeed their roads are so intolerably bad that if they had them they could scarcely make use of them: they have however some horses and mules, wonderfully clever in traveling upon them, notwithstanding which they bring to town every drop of wine they make upon mens heads, in vessells made of goat skins. The only imitation of a carriage they have, is a board a little hollowd out in the middle, to one end of which a pole is tyed by a strap of whitleather, the whole machine comeing about as near the perfection of a European cart as an Indian canoe does to a boat with this they move the pipes of wine about the town. Indeed I suppose they would never have made use even of this had not the English introd[u]ced vessels to put their wine in which were rather too large to be carried by hand, as they used to do every thing else.
A speech of their late governeur is recorded here, which shews in what light they are lookd upon even by the Portugese, (themselves I beleive far behind all the rest of Europe, except possibly the Spaniards): it was very fortunate said he that this Island was not Eden in which Adam and Eve dwelt before the fall, for had it been so the inhabitants here would never have been induc'd to put on Cloaths; so much are they resolvd in every particular to follow exactly the paths of their forefathers.
Indeed were the people here only tolerably industrious, there is scarcely any Luxury which might [not] be produc'd that either Europe or the Indies afford, owing to the great difference of Climate observable in ascending the hills; this we experien[c]d in a visit to Dr Heberden, who lives about two miles from the town, we left the Thermometer when we set out at 74 and found it there at 66. Indeed the hills produce almost spontaneously vast plenty of Wallnutts, chestnutts, and apples, but in the town you find some few plants natives of both the Indies, whose flourishing state put it out of all doubt that were they taken any care of they might have any quantity of them. Of these I mention some: the Banana tree, (Musa sapientum Linn.) in great abundance; the guava (Psidium pyriferum Linn.) not uncommon; the pine apple, Bromelia ananas Linn. of this I saw some very healthy plants in the provadores Garden; Mango, Mangifera indica Linn. one plant also of this in the same garden Bearing fruit every year; Cinnamon, Laurus cinnamomum Linn. very healthy plants of this I saw on the top of Dr Heberdens house at Fonchiale, which had stood there through the winter without any kind of Care having been taken of them. These without mentioning any more seem very sufficient to shew that the tenderest plants might be cultivated here without any trouble; yet the indolence of the inhabitants is so great, that even that is too much for them; indeed the policy of the English here is to hinder them as much as possible from growing any thing themselves except what they find their account in taking in exchange for Corn, tho the people might with much Less trouble and expence grow the corn themselves. What corn grows here, which indeed is not much, is of a most excellent quality, Large graind, and very fine; their meat also is very good, mutton, pork, and beef more especialy, of which what we had on board the ship was agreed by all of us to be very little inferior to our own; tho we Englishmen value ourselves not a little on our peculiar excellence in that production. The fat of this was white like the fat of mutton, yet the meat Brown, and coarse graind as ours, tho much smaller.
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