Archives de William DAVENPORT- II

      Le commerce triangulaire, qui impliquait autant les Africains que les Européens, nécessite pour son Etude, que les archives soient portées à la connaissance du grand nombre.Les relations des Marins et d' autres documents peuvent contribuer à une meilleure connaissance de ce que fut cette  tragédie.

 

Lettre de Captain Peter Potter on 'Badger' at cameroon 22 Nov 1776

Messrs. Wm. Davenport & Co.

Gentlm. the Inclos'd is copy of my Last by Capt. Smale since which I have had but one intire stillstand of Trade for a whole Month they would not so much as let a bunch of Plantins Corn on board to me, they Even made a law amongst themSelves that if any of them offered to sel me a Slave the others would emmediately take all his goods from him destroy all his plantin trees & pul His Houses down this was on account of my not giving them Cowries enough so that I was at last obliged to give them thire full prise else I might have Layn here God knows how long; it is only a week since I got settled with them and have made up my number to one hundred & fourty I have had the misfortune to bury two more Slaves since my last which makes now Five Dead my White People is as before in pritty good health. I likewise have on board four thousand & thirty pound weight of Ivory the Brig Indeavour, Capt. Dwyr Arrived here Nov. 5th in great Distress ocationed through himself & all hands but two being sick I assisted him with my People & Doctor all the time he was here and cutt all his firewood for him for which I received eighty B.s Large Domine. I have drawn on Mr. Davenport for ten pounds twelve shillings & 4 pence in favour of Capt. Dwyr the Value of which I have recd. in 50 B.s fisheyes & 60 B.s flatt Blue Weight 232 lb @ 10d and 2 Dozn. Clapper Bells @ 9s/6d the Gentln. cannot conceive (2) the disadvantage my salt is atented with perticular the Last Flatt Load it is of such a surprising weight nothing can be like it my crews & Capt. Smales was both of a size and yet a B.r of my salt would weigh thirty pound when Capt. Smales would only weigh twenty which makes a third difference & though I keep a fire continually in my salt Rooms every Day for the benefit of areing the Ship & also to make the Salt mesure light yet after all is done there will be a third difference which will be of great determent to my purches. I think it will be the latter end of January or the beginning of Febray before I shall be able to get away from here as Trade is but Slack at the best of times now. I have not trusted one Slaves Goods yet nor doe I intend it as that shall be my last makeshift. My Doctor Complains much about the Ipecguana he sais it is Old & new mixt as he is Obligd. to give thirty greams of It for a dose and then sometimes it will be a long time of working and after all it does not half work them as it should doe he has sent a sample of it home by Capt. Dwyr that the Gentn. may see what sort of stuff it is, so Gentn. I remain wishing you a happy sight of your ship Badger & am Sirs

Your Very Humble servt.

Peter Potter

P.S. I give Capt. Smale a receipt for his long Boat with sails one Mast one cable half worn one Boats Anchor but when we came to look at the sails they was intirely worn out & as much as we could doe any way to make the fore & main sail doe again as to the Jib we was Obligd. to condemn it & make a new one so that if no accident happens her & we haul her up again there will be nothing to account for but the Anchor and Cable we have from ye first of our arrival here been troubled with the Feavour first it was amongst the white People & since till of late it as been amongst the Slaves but with some difficulty & smoking the Rooms, Hold & everywhere with Tarr we have got our selves now pritty clear of it we also made a spike hole in the Ship for to let frish water com continuously in the hold as she is so tite that I though the Bilge water was one thing that created the feavor; there is only three on board now that ails anything & even those ye have now no feavour. I have don a very Bould action where with I am afraid I have offended but the Reason for my so doing when rightly understood I hope will atone for my crime Capt. Dwyr as before mentioned arrived here in great Distress ocationed through sickness and as Mr. Anderson was of no servis to me and himself big'd of me to let him go I have Dischargd him: he was a Man that was Quite useless on board he could carry no command & if I tould him anything at ye Cabbin doore before he got to the main Mast he would have for got it again. the night we lost our foremast we thought he had been overboard but through a strict search after all was over we found him in the Main Top & allways when there was anything perticular to do he would be sick of a disorder that the Doctor altho a very (4) Expearienced young man could not find out - it would take a dale of time to mention everything let it suffice that there is not a Boy on board but I have had more good of them than I have had of him, in short Capt. Dwyr can tell you more of him till I can write: His wages & receipt amounted to twenty-four pounds twelve shillings & 4d, for which I have given him a bill on Mr. Davenport payable at sight. I intend now to make Mr. Evans Chief Mate & advance the other officers accordingly. I have now one hundred & fourty three slaves paid for & ten on board unpaid for.

Nov. ye 24th 1776

Your Humble Servt.

Peter Potter

 

Quelques extraits des livres comptables de Mr William Davenport