BLTC Press Titles

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My Man Jeeves

P. G. Wodehouse

The Characters of Theophrastus


The Picture of Dorian Gray

Oscar Wilde

Esoteric Buddhism

A. P. Sinnett


by Theodore L. Godet




To his Excellency Colonel Freeman Murray, Governor and Commander-in-Chief, SfC. frc, of Bermuda, or Sowers* Islands.

Sir,—It is with the highest gratification that I avail myself of your kind permission to dedicate this volume to your Excellency—not only as a memento of my personal esteem, but from a conviction that no one can more appreciate any efforts in behalf of this Colony than your Excellency, who has the power of rendering them available.

I have had the pleasure of finding myself encouraged in the publication of this work by numerous subscribers; but to your Excellency I am indebted for many additions to the names that adorn the list.

I have the honour to subscribe myself, with every sentiment of gratitude and respect,

Your Excellency's
Very obliged and humble servant,

T. L. Godet.

Hamilton, Bermuda, 1860.


The aim of this volume is to give an historical account of the origin and progress of the settlement made by emigrants from England in Bermuda, or Somers' Islands, and of the constitutional establishment, internal government, and political system maintained by Great Britain in these Islands. I have also endeavoured to describe the manners and dispositions of the present inhabitants, as influenced by climate, situation, and other local causes; and have offered some observations on the character and genius of the coloured race in this colony.

In these pages will be found a more comprehensive account than has hitherto appeared of the agriculture of these Islands in general, and of their staple commodities, and the various branches of the commerce of Bermuda; pointing out the relations of each towards the other.

On the subject of the character of the coloured inhabitants so much has been said of late by others, that it may be supposed there remains but little to be added by me; it is certain, however, that my views of the character and genius of the coloured inhabitants differ very essentially from the representations that have lately been given in a variety of publications.

From having resided many years in Bermuda—of which place I am a native—I presume to think that I am somewhat better qualified to judge of the influence of climate and situation on the disposition, temper, and intellect of the inhabitants, than some of those writers who have not had the same advantages.

The precarious position of our commerce, and the agitated and morbid condition of our white and coloured population, sufficiently attest the importance of a correct knowledge of the relative circumstances of the two races that compose the people of Bermuda.

I do not attempt to conceal from myself the direct bearing of the observations I have made on the Colonial Government of these islands; for I feel the full responsibility which, under the circumstances of the times, devolves on any one who adventures on " the dangerous precipice of telling unbiassed truth," regardless of the prepossessions of party, or the prejudice of class interests.

Having no personal interest with which that of the community of Bermuda is not identical, I have sought to benefit the colony by a full and fearless development of the truth. In so doing, I feel that I am acting in accordance with the spirit which animates the able representative of her Most Gracious Majesty, and humbly aiding in promoting the interests of Bermuda, and those of Great Britain, so far as the colony is concerned.





Modern Cathay—New highway of nations—Coast scenery— Discovery—Shipwreck of Barbotiere and Henry May—Of Sir George Somers—Extension of charter by King James I. to the Virginia Company—Formation of the Bermuda Company— Colony under Governor Moor—Governor Tucker— Governor Butler—First cultivators of the soil—The black African—The kidnappers—Composition of the first General Assembly—Distinguished emigrants—Edmund Waller—His Battel of the Summer Islands—Is a member of the Long Parliament—Conspiracy, escape, and residence in the Bermudas.

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