A PUBLICATION OF GUYANA'S PLANTATION
Newly undertaken by the Right Honorable the Earle of Barkshire (Knight of the most Noble Order of the Garter)
and company for that most famous river of the Amazon in America.
A Publication of Guiana's Plantation
William Jones for Thomas Paine
Transcribed from a facsimile in Early English Books Online
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A Publication of Guyana's Plantation
Newly undertaken by the Right Honorable the Earle of BARKSHIRE (Knight of the most Noble Order of the Garter)
and company for that most famous river of the Amazon in America.
Wherein is briefly showed the lawfulness of plantations in foreign countries; hope of the natives' conversion; nature of the river;
quality of the land, climate, and people of Guyana; with the provisions for man's sustenance and commodities
therein growing for the trade of merchandise; and manner of the adventure.
With an answer to some objections touching fear
of the enemy.
Like as I have watched upon them, to pluck them up, and to root out, and to throw down, and to destroy,
and to plague them; so will I watch over them, to build and to plant them, says the Lord (Jer. 51:28)
He that obeys me shall dwell safely and be quiet from fear of evil (Pro. 1:33.)
Printed by William Jones for Thomas Paine, and are to be sold in Trinity Lane
at the sign of the Horseshoe, 1632.
Having thus briefly touched the several sorts of provisions necessary for man's sustenance, it remains I show the variety of commodities therein growing
for the trade of merchandise, which in short time (by God's assisting our endeavours) may be brought to return great profit to the undertakers.
The first commodity of estimation there growing are sugar-canes, whereof in some parts there are store, which by orderly planting and erecting of convenient
works, for boiling and making of sugars, may (through God's blessing) be returned yearly great profit to the adventurers, as the plantation of sugarcanes made
heretofore in Barbary by the Moors, and since that in
Brazil by the Portuguese may witness.
There is also cotton wool growing of the finest sort, it is a profitable commodity, for making of fustians, calicoes, and candle-wick.
There is a natural hemp, or flax, of great use, it is much like raw silke, and is called of some silk-grass.
There are likewise many commodities for dyers, as namely a red berry called Annatto, which dyes a perfect orange-tawny in silk, and a yellow in cloth, of which
there may be gotten good store every season, for myself with some other setting forth a ship formerly for those parts, (by way of trade) received upon return,
above three thousand weight of the said Annatto, which then bore a good price here, but much better in
the Netherlands, other dyes there are (besides hope of Cochineal),
which at this present I purpose briefly to pass over.
There are likewise found of late, store of nutmegs growing, with their mace, some of which I have received upon return of my foresaid adventure, which no man
(I suppose) but myself can show the like, excepting some gentlemen, which upon request have received some of me, which no doubt may in short time be brought to a more
fuller perfection, by either cropping the old trees and draining the waters from them, or by transplanting the young trees, as by experience is commonly seen,
how that nature is much helped by art and industry.
There is likewise gum plant, lemna, barrata, Guinea pepper, long pepper,
cassia fistula, tobacco, spleen stones, speckled wood, honey and wax.
As for minerals, or mines of metals, it is very likely, this country affordeth many, not only of the basest, but also of the richest, which hereafter may come
to be discovered, if God shall be pleased, which he grant to his glory, and our good, or that otherwise they may ever lie hid.
Now as touching the nature of these people they are generally held harmless, tractable, trusty, and somewhat laborious; in which respect they differ much
from all other Americans, and which is better to be liked in them, there is good hope conceived of their conversion to the Christian faith, for
as the man of Macedonia prayed St. Paul in a vision, to come into Macedonia and help them;
so have some of these poor ignorant souls desired
Captain Charles Leigh, to send into England for some men to teach them to pray; since which, one being converted, and became a Christian,
being at the point of death, desired some of our nation then present, to sing a psalm with him, which being ended, he told them he could not live, &
did withall acknowledge, that he had been a wicked sinner, but did hope that he should be saved by the precious blood of our SaviourJesus Christ;
and moreover, he desired all of them there present, to bear witness that he died a Christian; yea said he, a Christian of England.
A happy work no doubt it were to recover those poor souls out of Satan's snare,
who are taken captive of him at his will; may we not well fear,
that as he murders the body that denies it nourishment when extremity requires it, so doth he no less to the soul of whom nourishment is implored,
and yet he denieth it; was not the Nubians case most miserable, (once a Christian people in Africa when having not able ministers of their own,
they sent to the Abassines their neighbors for teachers, and were denied; did not such deserve worthily the calamity of a perpetual ignorance,
who so uncompassionately slighted the reasonable request of others on the contrary when some of the East Indians sent their ambassadors to
Demetrus Patriarch of Alexandria for teachers to instruct them in the faith of Christ, he willingly condescended thereunto, and lent not only such as
preached true doctrine, but also adorned the same by a holy conversation, so that by their pious diligence, they won many of them to the faith,
which was the crown of their rejoicing: and who knows, but that he that infused such desires
into an inhabitant of the East Indies, may work as powerfully in them of the west, and may likewise bless these as he blessed them with the blessed
light of his most holy word, to which let every faithful Christian say, Amen.
Now seeing that the hope of worldly gain causes most men to adventure in one kind or other, and that the gain conceived of this plantation may prove very profitable
both to the Church of God and all adventurers, it may therefore the better encourage & stir up men of all sorts, to become adventurers herein,
and chiefly such as have received of the Lord both grace, and ability, for the further setting forth of his glory.
And although it cannot be denied but that our nation of late years, has been very forward in settling of diverse plantations beyond the seas,
yet have they not all thereby so much glorified God, as could be wished, nor dealt so faithfully with with some adventurers, as was expected,
which thing no doubt being considered by many, hath been the only cause of keeping them back from being adventurers; and no marvel, if when we consider the persons commonly sent
I speak not of all, but of such only) lives being base and idle here at home, can hardly be expected to be much better abroad in foreign plantations, which to speak truly,
have been no other (for the most part formerly) then common sinks, wherein too many grieved fathers have cast forth their desperate offspring, and the commonwealth her most lawless inhabitants,
such as by their conversations cause the good name whereby they are called to be rather evil spoken of amongst the Gentiles, then otherwise:
by means whereof it hath happened that the heathen have deemed that God as evil as their own, whose servants were worse than themselves, doth not God and nature teach,
that whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap, not grapes of thornes, nor figs of thistles can men expect.
And now, though plants of grace (like fruitful trees) are chiefest to be wished for in all plantations, yet no doubt may civil men be sent in case of want, as nature's flowers for ornament:
I wish therefore that care were had, to send those plants and leave the bad.
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