A True & Exact History of the Island of Barbadoes. . .*
Morden, Map of the western hemisphere (To Captain John Wood . . .), 1688, detail; Barbados in oval
Together with the Ingenio that makes the Sugar, with the Plots of the several Houses, Rooms, and other places, that are used in the whole process of Sugar-making; viz. theGrinding-room, the Boyling-room, the Fillingroom, the Curing-house, Still-house, and Furnaces . . . , 1657. Excerpts.
In 1647, twenty years after the first Englishmen landed on the uninhabited island, Richard Ligon arrived in Barbados, intending only to sell cattle, horses, and other goods before heading to Antigua to establish a plantation. When the ships were delayed by a severe epidemic on the island,Ligon and his colleagues decided to purchase half of a functioning sugar plantation. He remained there for three years, writing the True & Exact History after returning to England.
[W]e found that it was far better for a man that had money, goods, or Credit, to purchase a Plantation there ready furnished, and frocked with Servants, Slaves, Horses, Cattle, Assinigoes, Camels, etc., with a Sugarwork, and an Ingenio [mill]: that to begin upon a place, where land is to be had for nothing but a trivial Rent, and to endure all hardships and a tedious expectation, of what profit or pleasure may arise in many years patience . . . This knowledge was a spur to set on Colonel Modiford, who had both goods and credit, to make inquiry for such a purchase, which in very few days he lighted on, makinga visit to the Governor Mr. Phillip Bell, met there with Major William Hilliard, an eminent Planter of the Island, and a Councilor, who had been long there Jerome Handler / Univ. of Virginia Library and was now desirous to suck in some of the sweet air of England: and glad to find a man likely to perform with him, took him home to his house, and began to treat with him for half the Plantationupon which he lived; which had in it 500 Acres of Land, with a fair dwelling house, an Ingenio placed in a room of 400 foot square, a boiling house, filling room, Cisterns, and Stillhouse; with a Carding house of 100 foot long and 40 foot broad; with stables, Smith’s forge, and rooms to lay provisions of Corn and Bonavist [hyacinth bean, grown for hay]; Houses for Negroes and Indian slaves, with 96Negroes, and three Indian women, with their Children; 28 Nicholas Abbey Plantation House, Barbados, Christians, 45 Cattle for work, 8 Milk Cows, a built of coral blocks in the 1650s dozen Horses and Mares, 16 Assinigoes. . . In this
Excerpted, images added, and some spelling and punctuation modernized by the National Humanities Center, 2006: www.nhc.rtp.nc.us/pds/pds.htm. In Richard Ligon, ATrue & Exact History of the Island of Barbadoes, 1657, 2d. ed. 1673; facsimile edition of 1675 edition published by Frank Cass Publishers, London, UK/Portland, Oregon, 1970. Reproduced by permission. Digital images of the Abbey and Drax plantations courtesy of Jerome Handler and the University of Virginia Library, in The Atlantic Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Americas: A Visual Record, athitchcock.itc.virginia.edu/ slavery/index.html. Complete image credits at www.nhc.rtp.nc.us/pds/amerbegin/imagecredits.htm.
Plantation of 500 acres of land, there was employed for sugar somewhat more than 200 acres; above 80 acres for pasture, 120 for wood, 30 for Tobacco, 5 for Ginger, as many for Cotton wool, and 70 acres for provisions. . . .
Bryn Mawr Library
I only speak thus much thatyou may perceive I had time enough to improve myself in the knowledge of the management of a Plantation of this bulk; and therefore Map of Barbados in Ligon, A True & Exact History, 1657 you may give the more credit in what I am to say concerning the profit and value of this Plantation, which I intend as a Scale for those that go upon the like. . . . It were somewhat difficult to give you an...