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both parties occasionally led to a cessation of hostilities, sometimes to mutual concessions, but never to amity.
To check the rivalship of the Chinese cinnamon, and to render themselves independent of the King of Kandy, the Dutch adopted means which experience has evinced to have been extremely prudent
The plan they adopted was the cultivation of cinnamon in their own country. Cinnamon began to be cultivated in very small quantity on Ceylon about the year 1765; the propriety and necessity of the measure became more evident; and succeeding circumstances rendered it more and more imperious to extend the cultivation by all the means of which they were in possession. Dr. Thunberg, who visited Ceylon in 1778, informs us, that " by the unwearied exertions of governor Falck, exceedingly large plantations of cinnamon had been formed, and that the shoots of some of the plantations had been already three times barked." He particularly mentions large plantations of cinnamon being cultivated at Sitawake, a place situated near to the Kandian border, and about thirty miles from Colombo, at Grandpass, Merendahu, Matura, and
Governor Falck died in February, 1785; and was succeeded in the colonial government by W. J. Vande Graaf, a zealous promoter of the cultivation of cinnamon. He prosecuted governor Falck's undertaking with zeal, judgment and perseverance. The district or portion of the belt of territory possessed by the Dutch,
which affords good cinnamon, bounded on the north by the Reymel river, a few miles to the northward of Negombo, and on the east by the river Wallaway, near Hambantotte. Beyond these boundaries few cinnamon plants grow; and their bark, when prepared, is not only deficient in the cinnamon odour and flavour, but sometimes bitterish, and unpleasantly tasted. Between these two rivers, but particularly between Negombo and Matura, many extensive fields were cleared, and planted with cinnamon. This must have been a work of infinite labour.
In Ceylon, trees and low brushwood rise with great rapidity, and cover the ground with a dense luxuriance of wood and foliage which is unequalled, except in the richest of the tropical islands. The business appears to have been entered upon with spirit, zealously prosecuted, and conducted with economy.
The labour of clearing and planting the government planta. tions was performed chiefly by the native Cingalese, as personal service. By exciting a rivalship among the native headmen, liberally feeding their vanity with praise, and sometimes conferring high-sounding titles upon a few of them, and occasionally bestowing upon some of the most active a gold chain, a medal, or a silver hilted hanger, the labour seems to have, on their part, been executed with some degree of alacrity. Permanent situations, with a small monthly salary, were given to some of the headmen, who cultivated cinnamon.extensively. Many spots of ground were
planted, particularly in the Aloet Roer Corle, near to Negombo, by granting lands to the natives, who bound themselves and their heirs to plant one-third of the lands with cinnamon, and to guard the plants from being overgrown with brushwood, or destroyed by cattle. For every pingo (60 lb.) of good cinnamon produced on these plantations the owner was allowed two rix dollars (about 3s. 6d. sterling) The shoots were cut, and the bark prepared, by the government peelers.
Severe penalties were inflicted upon persons cutting, or otherwise destroying, cinnamon plants. On conviction, the culprit was severely fined, sentenced to hard labour in chains for a period of years, or banished to the Cape of Good Hope for a term of 25 years. These laws are still in force.
Political altercations between the Colonial Government and the Court of Kandy occurred in 1782, and also in 1792. During these altercations the peeling of cinnamon in the King's territory was greatly interrupted. These interruptions appear to have constantly increased; for we find that, on March 26, 1793, a letter was addressed to the King of Kandy, by order of Governor Vande Graaf, "to inquire if, although no embassy was sent, the King would allow cinnamon to be peeled in his territories." The King's letter in reply stated, "that the peeling of cinnamon in his territories was usually allowed when the Company's ambassadors asked for leave to do it; and that it was in this, and in no other manner, that it could be done."
The Governor declined sending
an ambassador on this occasion, and avows that he entertained fears that leave would not have been granted, and was afraid to risk the chance of a refusal, which might have prejudiced the respectability of the Company. It appears, however, to have been customary to send annually a messenger to the King of Kandy to request permission to cut cinna mon in his territory. To render this petition apparently less supplicatory and degrading, they dignified the bearer with the title of Ambassador, and used, after the treaty of 1766, to make a voluntary offer to the King of Kandy of leave for his subjects to collect salt in the neighbourhood of Chilan and Putlam, as an equivalent for his permission to cut cinnamon. This proposal was generally received by his Kandian Majesty with strong marks of disdain and indignation: on one occasion his reply was, "My subjects shall continue to collect salt on the coast as usual; and you have my permission to cut cinnamon as formerly." These embassies were expensive, and the ambassadors necessitated to submit to the most degrading and humiliating formalities. By the treaty of 1766, the ceremony of kneeling before his Majesty by the Dutch ambassadors was to be dispensed with. Subsequent events rendered it expedient for the Dutch to yield to the renewed request of the king of Kandy to comply with the ancient usages of his court. Neither the expense attending the embassies, nor the indignities offered to the ambassadors, or even the violation of right, would have alone or conjointly operated suc cessfully
cessfully in preventing the customary annual message. The chief cause was, that the Kandian court received all the embassies and presents as a homage due to their monarch, who conducted himself with such an overbearing, haughty demeanour, even while the ambassadors were performing the degrading and abject ceremonies, which inveterate custom had rendered indispensably requisite to approach his presence, that the colonial government became alarmed less the native Cingalese should suppose that they were dependant upon the Kandian court; in fine, that they would entertain the same opinion as the king did himself.
By the year 1793, governor Vande Graaf's exertions in extending the propagation of the cinnamon plant had so far succeeded, that he was enabled to furnish the annual investment from the territory of the company, including the plantations. In a memorial addressed to Gerard Van Angelbeek, his successor, bearing date July 15, 1794, he congratulates him that in future they would not be under the necessity of flattering the court of Kandy any longer.
G. Van Angelbeek's government was short, but destructive to the labours of the two preceding governors in the cultivation of cinnamon. During his government little care was taken to defend it from cattle, or to prevent the plants from being overgrown with creepers and underwood.
Ceylon was reduced by a British force in February, 1796. The cinnamon found in the storehouses was sold by the captors to the
English East India Company for 180,000l. I have not been able to ascertain the number of bales captured by the army. In the latter end of 1797 the quantity of 13,893 bales was brought to England.
Mr. North assumed the government of Ceylon in October, 1798, but was under the control of the governor-general in India until the year 1802.
The English company, like the Dutch, engrossed the exclusive privilege of trading in Ceylon cinnamon: the natives of Ceylon, and all other persons, were debarred from the smallest participation in the commerce of this article. In December, 1798, a regulation was issued by the president in council, Fort St. George, directing that every ship, &c. on board which a quantity of cinnamon above 20 lb. might be found, without authority from government, should be confiscated, with all her cargo; and that for every pound of cinnamon, the quantity being less than 20lb., a penalty of 50 star pagodas shall be paid. This prohibition continues in force.
The same year a number of chalias were sent to the Malabar coast by the Ceylon government to bark and prepare casia. On proceeding to the forests, they discovered the cinnamon - tree growing in great abundance, which they divided into the fanciful sorts, or varieties, that they had been accustomed to do with the cinnamon produced in their own island. Specimens of the prepared bark were forwarded to Ceylon for the inspection of governor North. Mr. Brown, the agent of the East India Company
on the Malabar coast, considered In this memoir we find that he
this a most important discovery. I have not learned that any notice was taken of Mr. Brown's report.
In 1799 the Company exported from Ceylon 5642 bales.
During the same year Mr. Jonville, a French gentleman, who held an appointment in the cinnamon department, addressed a memorial to governor North, wherein he sets forth that he had discovered that a cinnamon plant, when well taken care of, ought to produce 23 oz. of cinnamon every second year; whereas those at present in the Marandhan produce, in the same space of time, no more than four-tenths of an ounce per tree. These comparative calculations appear to have been made in a very unequal manner. The first is most probably the amount of the produce of a choice plant, or bush the second is admitted to be the average produce of each plant in the plantation. No allowance is made for bad soil, although there are many spots in the Marandhan so steril, or otherwise ill adapted for the cultivation of cinnamon, that the plants barely live, become stunted, and never afford cinnamon of a quality fit for the Company's investment.
Governor North, whose desire to promote and to engross the monopoly of the cinnamon trade appears to have been ardent, was evidently much influenced by the misrepresentations and sophistical arguments of M. Jonville. In 1799 he addressed an elaborate memoir respecting the cultivation and trade of Ceylon cinnamon to the Governor-general in council.
had three grand objects in view: first, to obtain a sufficient quantity of cinnamon annually; secondly, at a cheap rate; and, thirdly, to preserve entire the Company's monopoly of this article. The annual consumption of cinnamon throughout the world he estimated at 5200 bales. In suggesting the means of obtaining this quantity he enters into an elaborate calculation, founded on the statements of M. Jonville, to ascertain how much cinnamon the Marandhan plantation could be made annually to produce. The conclusion he draws is, that this plantation alone would yield annually 13,618 bales. In prosecuting this subject, he strongly and precipitately recommends the immediate grubbing up of the cinnamon plants in the Kaderane plantation, and in the innumerable small plantations which were found in the private property of individuals, and eventually the plantations of Ekele and Morotto. The enormous, exaggerated estimation of the eventual produce of the Marandhan plantation, consequential to an improved mode of cultivation, led to unfortunate results, and afford a strong instance of the propriety of much caution being used before a mere speculative theory should be adopted.
Among the causes which induced Govornor North to recommend the uprooting of the cinnamon growing in the plantation of Ekele and Morotto, he mentions their proximity to the sea. His imaginary fears respecting smugling contributed greatly to his
entertaining an opinion that the cinnamon produced in these plantations might be cut, and exported in a contraband manner. In this memoir the annual expense incurred on account of the cinnamon department is estimated at pagodas 30,409 29 52.
It does not appear that Governor North's suggestions were much attended to, or that his recommendations were adopted by the governor in council. The cinnamon was permitted to remain in the plantations which were recommended to be grubbed up, and the Marandhan continued to be cultivated, but with no extraordinary care. The discordant opinions of Governor North and M. Jonville probably contributed to prevent the immediate adoption of any important measure.
In September, 1800, we find M. Jonville, in a memorial addressed to the Governor, strongly recommending the rooting up of all the cinnamon plants, not only in the plantations of Ekele and Morotto, but even in that of the Marandhan, and suggesting the propriety of cultivating the Kaderane plantation alone, which he deems adequate to furnish the usual annual investment.
By the treaty of Amiens, concluded in March, 1802, the Batavian Republic ceded to his Britannic Majesty all their possessions in the island of Ceylon which belonged before the war to the United Provinces. His Majesty's ministers, deeming it prudent to permit the company to continue to enjoy the monopoly of the Ceylon cinnamon trade, entered into an agreement with the directors, which
agreement stipulated that the Ceylon government should furnish to the agent of the company, who was to reside at Colombo, 400,000lb. of cinnamon, or about 4,324 bales of 924 lb. each; for which they engaged to pay at the rate of 38. sterling per lb. What cinnamon happened to be collected beyond this quantity was to be burned; and the company agreed that whenever the cinnamon furnished was disposed of at a higher rate than to afford five per cent. profit, after defraying all expenses, the surplus was to be placed to the credit of the Ceylon government. The company was to be allowed five per cent. upon the value of all cinnamon sold by the Ceylon government for the supply of the markets in India, but none was to be disposed of in India at a rate lower than 5s. per lb. This agreement was concluded for the year 1802; and I am not aware that any very material alteration in the terms of the contract has since been adopted.
The dispatch which announced to the Ceylon government the conclusion of this agreement recommended that the cinnamon plantations should be limited, so as not to produce, one year with another, a quantity larger than that contracted for by the committee; and should the island be able to afford a surplus quantity, the minister recommended that a part of the cinnamon plantations should be converted into cocoanut gardens; and where the soil would permit, into rice grounds. This recommendation appears to have been made in consequence of an erroneous opinion respecting