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• Fort Charlotte, St. Lucia, December 16th, 1796. · My dear Mother,—The last letter from • the family is from James, the 4th October. · He desires me never to omit writing by every
packet, but the packet does not come here; . its arrival at Martinique is uncertain, and ' when we hear of it, an opportunity does not always offer of sending from this.
'I am extremely sorry to hear it whispered ' that the ministry have used General Stuart ill, and that he is not to come to this country.
· We expect Sir Ralph daily, but no troops ; •I suppose from all this, that peace is cer'tain. If it is not, you will have bad accounts
of us soon. If we are to have war, nobody 'I know is so capable as General Stuart to « carry it on—if peace, nobody so capable ' of settling the different islands, and giving · administration the necessary information on • the subject.
• My government continues as turbulent as ' ever.
The enemy within would be soon • subdued, was it not for the supplies and
encouragement he is constantly receiving • from without. My means for preventing • this communication are much diminished * by the sickness and mortality which have ' prevailed among the troops. If I succeed ' in keeping this island, under all the dis• advantages I have to contend with, I shall ' think myself very fortunate: nothing short • of such success can compensate for the • vexation of body and mind I have, and * must continue to suffer, whilst our affairs ' in this country remain in their present • state. I was ill, but am perfectly recovered, ' and am so prudent, that there is no fear of
me; besides, the weather is now become ' quite cool, and will continue so, they say for some months.
• I directed two boxes of the best Noyau • to be sent in the convoy from Martinique, • directed to my Father. It is not near so 'good as it was, since the war-brandy and • the other materials cannot be procured; but • it will do to drink my health in till I return ' to you. I do not care how soon this may • be, for if the war here is to be defensive,
* and Guadaloupe not to be attacked, I shall wish most sincerely for peace,
departure from this country. James criticizes my mode of proceeding against my brigands; and my Father coincides with him ; ; . but they know nothing of the state of this country, or of this island. I shall write to you as often as I can, to assure you of my • existence, which, from the accounts you will • hear of this country, is what you will be the most anxious about.
· With kind remembrances to all at home, believe me, my dear Mother, • Your affectionate Son,
· St. Lucia, 18th Jan. 1797.
My dear Father, -General Abercrombie, ! after a very tedious passage, arrived at
Martinique, about a fortnight ago; he sent me your letters, and one from himself, de• siring to see me for a day, if the service ' would permit. I crossed in a sloop of war " the Admiral had sent for me. I stayed one ' day at Fort Royal, and then returned to the
" " Morne Fortuné.” It is impossible for me 'to express the kind manner in which Sir
Ralph received me; he wished, he said, to • know from me the state of St. Lucia, and also ' what were my views; that I had had a long ' spell of St. Lucia, and it was but just to re• lieve me from such fatigue, though it was an • island that required to be watched, and he ' was at a loss, if I left it, who to send in my place. He said that the government of Grenada was vacant; that though it was not in his gift, yet he knew that Mr. • Dundas was so well inclined to serve me,
that if I chose I might have it. The office • of Quarter Master General of the
army was vacant, it would be a permanent situation, and be kept up even in the peace. * If I chose that, he would appoint me to ' it immediately. I told Sir Ralph I had no 'wish to remain in the West Indies at the
peace, but the contrary; I was not there'fore anxious for the government of Grenada
-nor for the situation of Quarter-Master • General, which was, besides, an employ
'ment I did not like. My wish was to be ' employed in any military line during the war, but at the peace to get home. If any. thing was to be carried on I hoped he would • take me with him. In the meantime, I begged he would employ me either at St. Lucia, or wherever he thought I might be * most useful, without regard to any other con* sideration. He said he certainly should em* ploy me if active operations were undertaken. • He was obliged to me for offering to return • to St. Lucia-he was ashamed to allow me,
but he did not know who else to send. He • had wished to serve me, and felt it incum- bent on him to offer me the situations which · he had in his power. If my wish had been ' to remain in this country, either of them ' might have been an object for me. He said, · he thought I was right, however, not to con• tinue in the West Indies after the war—that • he had said everything he could in my favour ' to the Duke of York, who was well inclined " to serve me. He had represented the ne. cessity of not allowing me to remain idle at