JAMAICA. The staple produce of this the most important of our West India Islands, are sugar, rum, and molasses, which form by far the most important articles of export. The sugar plantations are very numerous and ex tensive, especially in the lower and warmer tracts of the island. On the hills and their declivities coffee is cultivated to a great ex tent. Next to these the pimento plantations supply the most important article of export. Arrowroot, indigo, (which formerly was much more cultivated than at present,) ginger, tur meric, and cacao are also cultivated, as also a little tobacco. Indian corn is universally cul tivated, and yields an abundant produce ; two and even three crops of it can be raised within the year. Guinea corn is cultivated, as are also yams, cassava, sweet potatoes, a few grasses, and a great variety of delicious fruits. The forests contain mahogany, satinwood, cedar, fustie, logwood, bamboo, cocoa, and various other trees.
The horned cattle are very numerous. Tho horses are of a middle size, hardy and active, but only fitted for the saddle and harness. Mules are numerous, and employed on the sugar estates. Sheep, goats, and hogs abound.
All kinds of poultry are raised in the greatest abundance, excepting geese and ducks.
The greatest part of the produce of the southern districts is sent to Kingston, the chief town, and hence exported to Europe or Ame rica. A railway from Kingston to Spanish
Town was completed and opened in ]8I0.
The abolition of slavery, and (twelve years afterwards) the change in the sugar duties, have greatly shaken the prosperity of Jamaica. It was so essentially a protected slave-holding state, that, being now left to its own resources, it is found wanting in the energy which free labour and free competition engender. Its sugar plantations have fallen away, and much of its commerce has gone to Cuba. Attempts are, however, now being made to establish, or rather to increase, the cotton culture. Speci mens have been sent to England within the last twelve months, illustrating the kind of cotton which Jamaica is capable of growing. Tho great experiment has, however, yet to be made : can free-grown cotton be raised as cheaply as slave-grown ? Almostthe whole of the cotton (nine-tenths at least) used in this country, is slave-grown : if Jamaica can raise good cotton by free labour, and derive a remu nerating profit therefrom, it would be a great result.
The British Produce and Manufactures ex ported to Jamaica in 1840 amounted in value to 824,568/.