The former were drabby-looking creatures, stained in face with oil and dust, clad in thin, shapeless, cotton dresses and shod with more or less worn shoes. Many of them had their sleeves rolled up, revealing bare arms, and in some cases, owing to the heat, their dresses were open at the neck.
"Eh, no, my dearie," said Elspeth. "That wad be six feet; and I'm not just that tall, though my father was six feet and six inches." "How broad are you, Elspeth, please?" I persisted. "As much as a yard?" "I'm thinking I will be, my dear," said Elspeth, "for it takes the full width of a coloured cotton to cut me a dress-front, and then it's not over-big."
So the Negro forms to-day one of the chief figures in a great world-industry; and this, for its own sake, and in the light of historic interest, makes the field-hands of the cotton country worth studying. We seldom study the condition of the Negro to-day honestly and carefully. It is so much easier to assume that we know it all.
"No; I have asked him, and he knows of nothing. He used some of the dye stuffs of the country, but he said he never heard of anyone wanting to take the dye out of things that had been coloured." "If it were only cotton or cloth," the doctor said, "I have no doubt a very strong solution of soda would take out the greater portion of the dye; but the human skin won't stand boiling water.
That it has, all along, been the established conviction of the public mind, is proved by the chronological series of names I have produced. Thomas Hutchinson, John Eliot, William Bentley, and Josiah Quincy, cover the whole period from Cotton Mather's day to this.
Manufacture of Eri Silk Cloths and Cotton Cloths in the Jaintia Hills. The number of weavers in the district at the last Census was 533. This number in the Census Report is ascribed to the cotton industry, no mention being made of weavers of silk.
It makes the rich richer, and the poor poorer; for, as, according to the creed of the dynasty, capital should own labor, and the labor thus owned can alone successfully produce cotton, he who has must be continually increasing his store, while he who has not can neither raise the one staple recognized by the Cotton dynasty, nor turn his labor, his only property, to other branches of industry; for such have, in the universal abandonment of the community to cotton, been allowed to languish and die.
"The vanity of the bird!" he went on "white kid, above all others! Why, you might have taken a dozen pairs of colored cotton gloves, and no one would have minded in the least; but best white kid oh! shocking! shocking! And look at the state you've made them in! But there what can be expected of a creature that goes wandering about the world visiting what-you-may-call-ems."
The quantity of sugar produced was small compared to that produced on other estates. The cultivation of cotton in Demarara had been abandoned, and that of coffee much diminished, and the people engaged in these sources of production had been employed in the cultivation of sugar.
As I stood there, I could not help laughing at the sight of the crowds of men and women with swollen cheeks, bandaged up in cotton wool and kerchiefs, apparently undergoing excruciating agonies through coming out on so cold a day.