ページの画像
PDF
ePub

66 History es t

sice the real interest of theii country, he was deprived of his honourable employment.

In the year 1710 Arthur carl of Anglesea was appointed joint vicetreasurer of Ireland, and sworn of the privy council. On the death of queen Anne, he was made choice of by king George I. to be one of the lords justices, till he arrived from Hanover; after which he was again made joint treasurer of Ireland, and treasurer at war. On the 9th of February 1701-2, he was elected high-steward of the University of Cambridge, on the decease of the duke of Manchester. He died at Farnborough on the 31st of March, 1737; and was succeeded by his brother's son, Richard Annefley lord AJtham, who married oh the 24th

he Sugar-cane. British' of June 1715, Anne, daughter of capt. John Prest of Monckton, near Biddeford in Devonshire; but she died without issue. ,■" .

Armorial Bearing*.} (Quarterly, first pally of siv, argent and sable ; over al! a bend, gules.

Crest.] On a wrealh, a Moor's head and bust, fide-faced and couped, proper; wreathed about the temples, argent and fable.

Supporters.} On the dexter side, a Roman knight; on the sinister, a Moorish prince, both habited and furnished, proper.

Motto."] Virtutis amort. The love of virtue.

Chief Seats.'] At Blechington in Oxfordshire; Farnborough-place in Hampsture; and Clemoling-park, in the county of Wexford in Ireland.

To the Authors of the British Magazine. Gentlemen,

Though several of your readers may not be very conversant in commercial affairs, yet the subsequent History of the Sugar-cane will doubtless prove agreeable to all. By giving it a place in your Magazine, you will oblige, Yours, &c. S. C.

HISTORY ./ A SUGAR-CANE.

IT is not probable that this plant was much known to the ancients, their facchar, faccaron,saccharon, and isacchar-mambu being more likely the produce of that large prickly reed, which still supplies most of the inhabitants of the eastern provinces of Asia with that delicious juice- which •they call mambii to this day. That plantgrows commonly in those parts of Asia that extend along the eastern seas, and has been always known to supply the inhabitants of those parts

with a pleasant drink, which they have sometimes found intoxicating; but as few vegetable juices are endowed with this quality before they are fermented, and that the other productions of this plant retain no marks of a narcotic nature, we may conclude that the people have not been at all used to ferment this juice; but whether this happened while the liquor was still running from the tree (for we have no reason to imagine it was ever had by any other

means

Mag. History istbt Sugar-cane. 87

means than by incision or tapping); of America, and this plant hnd been or that it had been laid by on pur- introduced and cultivated there, as it pose, is uncertain; it is, however, was, by that time, in-many parts of probable, both from the quantiry and the East Indies, and along the coasts appearance of the saccharof the an- of Africa, w here it now grows almost cients, that it was only the concreted without culture in every rich and feroil and essential salts of that part of tile field.

the juice that continued to dribble The culture of this plant, which from these wounds after the princi- flow employs the principal part of pal drains had been finished, uhich the inhabitants of the southern cohad christalined about the sear, and Jonies of America, and supplies the along the body of the reed; or the most considerable branches of their produce of small quantities of the exports, next deserves our atrenjuice exposed to the more intense tion,

action of the sun .or fire: for the To'succeed well in the culture of gummy appearance and concreted the sugar-cane, and to raise it so as to form with which it has been describ- answer both your labour and expeced, serve alike to prove it of this na- tatinn, the ground you pitch upon tore; and if we consider the various must be rich and deep, the bottom accounts left us by the most exact close, the mould free, and the situaancient writers both of the salt and tion warm; and disposed so, that you juice, we shall certainly have no rea- may expect a moderate share of every son to doubt its being really so. rain or dew that falls, without being The true sugar-cane seems to have too remote from a market or a stiipbeen originally a native of the Ca- ping-place. Your foil thus chose, j nary Islands, and first known to the cleared, and ready for the cane, inhabitants of Europe in the times you must next consider you: strength, of the Romans; for what Pliny re- calculate-justly what quantity of land cords of Juba's account of the For- you may be able to plant annually, tunate Islands, if rightly considered, compute how many acres of canes will undoubtedly leave us but little your strength and conveniences will room to doubt of either. It has not, allow you to manufacture the prohowever, been propagated or known dure of one year with another, and any better among us for many ages divide the manurabfe part of your after; and probably continued so estate accordingly into three, four, until the Spaniards and Portuguese five, or six parts; but you may be began to trade round the coast of more free, where the ground is obAfrica, and had frequent occasions to served to produce a kind plant, and call at those islands; from whence to rattoon well, they first brought this plant into Your land being thus laid out, Spain and Portugal, where it was re- and one of the parts divided into gularly cultivated, as well as in their convenient pieces with proper interforeign settlements. But though so- vals; you begin to hole, and congar had been made from it in many tinue to open the ground gradually parts, especially in Madera, St.Tho- until the planting season, comes on, mas's, and the Canary Islands, they and your mould be well turned. To were but poorly supplied in Europe, have a piece of ground regularly until Columbus made the diseofery holed.as thebest planters are now ob

N z served

88 History as the

served to do, it must be lined cut into oblong squares of about three feet breadth, and each of these marked again with a small piece of slick or twig at every three feet distance; by which means the whole field is soon divided into lefier areas, each containing seven or nine square feet, according to your chosen distances: these are severally dug up, and the mould raised on the banks between them; but you seldom open deeper than four or five inches from the surface.

This plant is propagated by the germ, and people that cultivate it carefully, have spare pieces to supply them with plants in the latter seasons; these are regularly drawn, cut into juncks proportionate to the length of the holes, and placed three' or four parallel to each other, or in a triangle, in the bottom of each; but it is remarkable, that the upperjoints of full-grown canes, or those that are covered by the leaves, and yet soft and tender, answer best for this purpose, and are always used when they plant towards the end of the crop-season. The plants thus disposed are covered from the neighbouring banks, but the mould is seldom raised above two inches over them in any dry and loose foil, the remainder being left to be added occasionally at the different weedings. Jn stiff and clayey lands the holes ought to be somewhat deeper, and a part of the mould upon the banks to be lodged between the plants and bottom, the remainder being employed to cover them to the height of two or three inches, which will always leave the surface of your field level.

The best season for planting the sugar-cane, is about the month of Augusts where the ground is found 3

Sugar cane. British

stiff or chilly; but September and October are observed to answer better where the soil is free and warm, which is generally the case where the mould lies deep over a marly or gravelly bottom; and then you may expect your canes to come in seasonably in the beginning of the second year, which is the hest and usual season for making of sugar. The latter part of this, and the beginning of the ensuing year is generally employed in building of the necessary works and other conveniencies, if these be not already provided; and in the following seasons you hole and plant another part or division of the manurable lands, and prepare all necessaries for boiling early the ensuing season.

But where the ground has been opened and in use, it generally requires more care to answer your expectation ; fallowing and dunging become requisite, though they seldom fail to over-pay the toil; and peculiar care sliould be taken to adapt the manure to the nature of the soil; dung, sand, and mixtures, answer in the different sorts of poorer glebes; and burnings and limehave been always observed to quicken vegetation in chilly loams.

The season being now come, aud every thing in order about the works, the negroes are provided with bills, and ordered into the most forward field to cut canes; this they perform very dexterously, they part the plants pretty near the root, chop off the tops, and leave the stalks in irregular parcels to be collected and tied together by the binders; these are again taken up by others and put into carts, cradles, or other vehicles, to be cariied to the mill, where the juice is expressed by passing them to and fro between three

per

Mag. History es the

perpendicular rollers cased with steel ; this, by a declivity formed in the bridge-tree, is conveyed to the first cistern, and strained in its passage through a basket lined with hair-cioih, but this is seldom regarded in Jamaica. When this is full, the liquor is discharged by a tap placed in the bottom of the cistern, and conveyed by proper spouts or gutters to a large cistern, or immediately to the first clarifier in the boiling-house, where it should be also strair.ed and tempered; the former, however, is seldom regarded in Jamaica, but the latter is always requisite, in the manufacture of sugar, and generally done there by mixing a small quantify of good quick-lime in powder, or some strong lime-water with the juice after it is put into the clarifier; the fire is then raised gradually, and continued in a moderate state until most of the filth and nastiness with which the juices have been charged rises to the top, and is skummcd off by shallow perforated copper skimmers: then it is again strained, by some, through a thick coarse blanket, and boiled to a proper consistence in the adjoining coppers: but during this operation, the fire must be constantly kept very quick, and the liquor shifted gradually, as it thickens, from one copper to another, until it arrives at the smallest, where it is perfected, while the others arc constantly supplied from behind: and as it is apt to swell and boil over the rim of the copper while in a viscid state, it must be kept in constant, and sometimes violent agitation with the skumming or larger ladles, until it begins to granulate.

When the liquor has acquired a due consistence, it is put into broad shallow wooden coolers; after it has

Sugar-cane. 89

obtained a proper and stronger consistence there, it is carried in tubs or other vessels and emptied into pots, barrels, or hogsheads, according to the conveniency or fancy of the planter; these are placed on stanchions underlaid with convenient slanting platforms and cisterns to receive the molasses, which continues to dribble through every hole and crevice for some days; but care is always taken to leave proper vents for the discharge of this glutinous juice, which otherwise would spoil the grain, colour, and consistence of the sugar.

When they have cut as many acres, and manufactured as much of this commodity Es their strength and seasons will permit, they begin to hole, plant, and weed again; but where the soil is rich and kind, this labour is much less, for the suckers that shoot from the roots left in the ground the foregoing season, which are generally called rattoons, grow often so luxuriant and rich, as to contribute much towards the crop of the ensuing year, nay, are sometimts found almost equal to the first plants, and in a very rich soil frequently continue to answer many for years: but in poorer grounds those of the first year only are made into sugar, and the growth of the second serves for plants or is thrown up.

We shall now give some account of the manufacture of rum, another principal commodity obtained from this valuable plant.

In the manufacture of the former commodity, the course and order of the operation prevented our having mentioned the gradual addition of juice, that is constantly supplied in a regular succession from the first clarifier to the last copper, which is hung immediately over the fire-hole,

tha' go History os the

that it may be the more readily managed as occasion requires, without retarding the process in the other coppers, or raising the rarefaction to too great a height; this succession continues until all the liquor of the dSy is boiled off, which hold often until late at night; and then the coppers are charged with water gradually, and the fires extinguished as the liquor is shifted forwards: the coppers are well washed with water the ensuing morning to make them sit for the labours of the day; and the washings discharged into the common spouts or gutters that convey the skimmings oi the juice, by which they arc carried to a proper receiver in the still-bouse.

The general method and portion in which the ingredients that yield this spirit are mi>ied and compounded, is as follows, viz.

Take one third skimmings, one third v ater from the washings, and one thiid cool and clear Ices to warm and.ferment the whole; but though this, with an after addition of a few gallons of molasses, be the general proportion now in use, it may bo varied with good effect by a judicious distiller: when these ingredients are put togdher pretty cool, and well mixed, the fermentation begins soon, and will rise in twenty-four hours to a proper height for admitting the first chaflge of molasses, %vhich is about thiee gallons for every hundred gallons of the wash or liquor; this enriches the mixture, thickens the fermentation, and about four and twenty hours afterwards it is fit for the second and last charge, which is nearly the fame quantity with the first; ; but care must be taken to give it this supply before the

Sugar-cant. British

fermentation abates, for otherwise the liquor will grow sluggish, and never yield a due proportion of spirit. The fermentation falls gradually after the fourth or fifth day, and when the liquor grows fine, and comes to throw up its air bubbles clear and slowly, it is fit for the still, where the spirit is drawn off by a constant equal fire, during which great care should be taken to keep the water cool about the Worm, for the more it is so, the stronger the spirit will be, the more in quantity, and the mellower.

But though this be the common proportion and method of managing the ingredients of which rum is made, a great many planter?, who distill considerable quantities of that spirit yearly, mix tip their liquors in the following manner, and t3ke three parts of water, ohe and £ half molasses, and as much lees: but this requires a long fermentation, which generally continues from ten to twenty days, and yields a great quantity of good spirit: And others who by being weak-handed, neglect, cr accident, happen to have large quantities of bad canes, scald the juice and put it to the fame use; but this ferments sufficiently in about three days, and never affords either a good spirit or a considerable quantity.

The best managers of plantations generally get about two hundred gallons of good common proof rum, for every three hogsheads of sugar; this proportion mtist however vary with the cane; for in some plants the juice is more clammy, and throws off more skimmings and molasses, than that of others.

Seme

« 前へ次へ »