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HISTORICAL NOTES

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(August 27, 2004) – Dr. Adrian Fraser

Extract from Letter of June 9, 1806 by Alexander Anderson, Superintendent of the Botanic Garden.

“…The Breadfruit although one of the most valuable productions yet sent them, is neglected and despised, unless by a few persons. {{more}}
They say that negroes do not like it, and will not eat it, if they can get any thing else; but this is not really the case, as I know, and can declare from experience, that the very reverse is the fact, when once they are a little accustomed to it. The fact is, that the planters hate giving it a place on their estates, as they regard it as an intruder on their cane land, and they dislike any other object but canes.
As to futurity, they think nothing of what may be the wants of themselves or negroes three or four years hence. Even their most valuable mill-timber, than which nothing is more daily wanted by them, they are constantly destroying instead of preserving. They import it at an exorbitant rate, and the importation is precarious.
With proper economy and management, there are few necessaries for themselves or negroes, but which might be raised on their own estates, instead of importing them from America, unless it be lumber and probably, even that might be procured, in time, in the back, cool, and mountainous situations…The Black peppers have not yet produced increase; but I have them in plenty, and am trying them in various situations, and can easily multiply them by cuttings;…I send you some more Cloves, the last year’s produce of two small trees.
Next year I expect a produce from several
others…”

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