26*] from our firli poffefiion of the ifland, extremely fufpicious of our defigns and proceedings; and this diflike and fear operated lo ftrongly upon them, that fome years before, they had applied to the French go- i/ernor of St. Lucia, for leave to fettle on that ifland. For which ijeafon, thctarrangement propofed by the Englilh government excited the molt general alarm amonglt them.

They now Concluded, that this Ineafure was only the prelude to a defign formed, either for their utter extermination, or for reduc- ing them to a {tate of ilavery; and a report was fpread and believed amongfi them, that the ancient claim of property, which the Eng- liih had pretended in the perfons of their anceiiors, was now to be revived againlt themfelves. In this iituation, they applied to the go- vernor of Martinique for advice and protection; the latter of which he abfolutely refufed, and as to the former, is {aid to have recommend- ed to them a fubmiffion to govern- ment. This advice, however, had no efiefil: upon their conduit. In anfwer to the applications of the Tcommifiioners, they faid, that the Whole ifland was originally their property; that, however, as they had permitted the French to (ettle upon a part of it, their king might difpofe of that part as he pleafed; but that as they were not his (ub- jefts, he had no authority over them, and confequently could not grant or difpofe of the part of their coantryg which they had reierved ‘to themfelves. They concluded, by abloluely refuling to part with iheir lands, or to admit of any ex- tnapnge. '

‘I he cofnmifiiouers, notwithfiantl-


ing, proceeded in making the fur-I vey, and advanced a road into their country. Though the Caribbs ex- prefTed great dilfatisfaélion and re- fentment at this meafure, they feemed very unwilling to proceed to actual violence Their behaviour and countenance became, however; at length f0 alarming, that it was thought necelTary, in the be- ginning of Nlay r769, to fend an officer with forty men to protect the furveyors and their people. This {mall detachment, having taken poi’: in the heart: ofthe Ca- ribbee country, where fome tempo- rary huts had been erected for their reception, found themfelves imme- diately fo eftiecltially furrounded," by a flrong body of well-armed Caribbs, that all communication with their own people, and all means of (ubfifience, were entirely cut ofF, f0 that they were little leis than prifoners. »’The prudence and temper ofthe ofiicer, who confider- ed theinequality of his force, and the extreme tinwillingnefs which the Caribbs had hitherto fhewn, ,0? bringing matters to the laft extre- mity, not only preferved the de- tachment from being cut ofi“, but prevented the imalleft violence from being ofFered on either fide. In the mean time the furveyors and their people were f0 terrified, that they abandoned their work, and were permitted to retire in fafety ; but their huts were demo- lifhed, and the new roads brokeyup," f0 far as time would admit.

The fituation and uncertain fate of the detachment caufed an uni- verial alarm, and the Englilh fet- tlers having taken up arms, and joined the few regular troops that were in the illand, marched imme-

diately to its relief. However. as than . .9,