This is an extremely important book as it gives a snapshot of British Guiana almost 160 years ago…. in 1853. It is interesting, even with its biased analysis of the colony as viewed by a landowner and colonist.
The writer gives a brief history of the three colonies – Essequibo, Demerara and Berbice – that were combined to form British Guiana now Guyana.
He highlights the difficult geography, drainage and irrigation problems and the shifting coastlines are expalined in detail, and the use of steam pumps for drainage. Many of the same problems of drainage remain to this day.
Most of all he notes the falling production of sugar, coffee and cotton after abolition, and the efforts to recruit workers to fill the labour needs. Workers were recruited from other West Indian islands, Africa, Madeira, China and most of all India.