In Leguan 11 estates have received Coolies, from 20 to 30 each; on two, in isolated. parts of the island, there was not the discipline or attention paid to them that existed on the other; determined drunkenness seemed to reign there. I have directed the stipendiary magistrate to remove the people to other estates, if he finds that they still continue unruly and ill behaved.
The long-continued drought has so arrested the labour of the estates, that in general there is little employment for hands On estates whose means are not embarrassed, labour is created in various ways; but where means are limited, the object of the attorneys and managers is to save useless expenditure; labour is there reduced to its minimum; amongst other causes of complaint, that of not being allowed to earn a double task was expressed.
In general where the Coolies are sober, they are remarkably free from sores; when the Coolies were mustered for my inspection, there always appeared with them an old negress, who seemed as anxious about their appearance as the manager; the care of keeping the feet clear of the infesting chigo, is made by both of first necessity.
Of the 11 estates supplied with emigrants, 1O received them in February, one on the ‘25tl1 instant. The attorney of two or three estates of the earlier location has already been entrusted with money earned by these people, to transmit to their friends in India.
Leguan lost more of its labouring population after emancipation in 1838 than many other districts, and its productiveness has therefore diminished greatly; parties now lament their want of foresight in not selling from the beginning, what is now general, lots of land on the estates, which would have prevented the constant withdrawal of the labourers, who purchased land in common either on the river Demerara or on the east coast
The whole island, as well as Wakenhaam, is now covered with hamlets, villages, and free settlements, and many of its former population are now returning; the location of the Coolies, added to a supply of Africans formerly distributed amongst the estates, would have increased the crops this year considerably but for the drought.
(Credit for this article and picture goes to my friend Hans who lives on the Island)