Narrative of the Circumnavigation of the Globe by the Austrian Frigate Novara Volume III

Narrative of the Circumnavigation of the Globe by the Austrian Frigate Novara Volume III

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Excerpt: ...London, Effingham Wilson, 1858. 95 The French garrison in Tahiti and Eimeo (Morea), including the administrative officials, numbers about 400 men. The Governor receives, besides extras, 1200 pay; the Commandant particulier draws other 800, in addition to which both these officers draw allowances as officers in the Imperial navy (13s. 4d. to 1 per diem.) 96 We had an opportunity while at Papeete of obtaining some particulars of this renowned French penal settlement from the mouth of a person whom no one will be likely to accuse of exaggeration. M. de la Richerie, who, while we were at Papeete, filled the position of Imperial commissary, and is the present Governor of Tahiti, was for four years (1854-57) director of the penal settlement at Cayenne. During the period of his authority the entire population consisted of from 5000 to 6000 prisoners, 1500 garrison, 200 free settlers, and from 16,000 to 18,000 negroes. The expense of keeping on foot this small colony was not less than from 160,000 to 200,000. The mortality among all classes, free as well as prisoners, was perfectly appalling, averaging from 28 to 33 per cent.!! Of 6000 prisoners, 2000 died in one year; out of 36 medical men, 18 died in the discharge of their duties. The number of fever-stricken in the hospital was never less than from 500 to 600!! The director once entered an apartment in which above 250 of the unfortunate political criminals lay on their sick beds. He inquired of the physician in attendance how long they were likely to live? Possibly a year, was the reply. "Depechez-vous donc," said the director, as he turned from the unhappy wretches, who had no resource except the hospital, and, sick in mind and body, longed earnestly for the day which should see their wretched couches vacated for the calm tranquillity of death. M. de la Richerie was of opinion that no political convict lives more than four or five years in Cayenne, and that even the free settler more

Product details

  • Paperback
  • 189 x 246 x 9mm | 295g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236718941
  • 9781236718945