Page:A Picturesque Tour of the Island of Jamaica.djvu/98

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

estates (about 550 head) and for the cattle belonging to the negroes, who have 100 head of breeding cows, besides their produce. The remainder is chiefly woodland, but presents the means of forming more than one additional sugar-estate, for which the soil is very well adapted. At present it affords an abundant supply of timber and of wood for staves and fuel, and an extensive provision ground for the negroes.

An establishment called the Farm has also been formed on a part of it, which is cultivated for the supply of the estates with vegetables and ground provision; where a range of cottages has likewise been built for the convalescent negroes or others, whose health may require rest or particular attention.

The produce of the estates is shipped at a wharf, which forms part of the property at the bottom of the Long Hill, at a distance from Montpelier of about seven miles.

Shettlewood Penn contains 850 acres of guinea grass, 450 acres of common pasture, the remaining 700 are in woodland and negroe provision grounds. The stock consists chiefly of horned cattle, in number about 800; of these 200 are breeding cows. In addition to their produce, there is a large stock fattening for the butchery, by which the neighbouring estates are regularly supplied with fresh beef. On the estates and pen are about 900 negroes.

The properties are under the management of William Miller, Esq. of Falmouth.[1]

  1. The family of Ellis have been settled in Jamaica from the time of its conquest, and possess large properties in other parts of the island. Mr. John Ellis, the elder brother of the proprietor of Montpelier, being owner of Green Castle, Newry, and Nutfield Estates, in the parish of St. Mary, and of a penn in the adjoining parish of St. George, called Fort George; and also jointly with Mr. C. Ellis of an estate and penn (called Caymanas and the Crawle), which are situated on the road from Spanish Town to Kingston near the Ferry.

    The guinea grass, a production of the soil next in importance to the sugar cane, was first sown by an ancestor of these gentlemen. The seed had been sent from Guinea as food for some birds, which had been presented to Mr. Ellis, the Chief Justice of the island, and was sown to insure a supply. But the avidity with which the cattle sought it, induced him to cultivate it on a larger scale. To this accident may be ascribed the introduction of this valuable grass, and probably, in consequence, the settlement of nearly all the north side parishes.

    Recurring to the plate, we will briefly describe the destination of the several buildings. The first on the left is the barracks or residence of the book-keepers; the next the overseer’s house and offices; on the knoll is the hospital; below is the cattle-mill, and next the water-mill, between which a portion of the aqueduct is seen. The next and largest building of the group is the boiling-house, and then the still-house. In the distance are the trash-houses; and above, shaded and partly concealed by groves of cocoa-nut trees and plantations, are the cottages of the negroes. The natural productions which appear in this view, as the mango tree at the end of the still-house, the lofty cabbage tree, the bamboo, and the cotton tree, will be found described in another portion of the work.