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."",,1----SUBVIEESION OF AN…

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.1 SUBVIEESION OF AN ISLAND. A telegram by the Atlantic cable, dated New York, November 15th, 6 p.m., says,—' The Island of Tortola has been submerged. 10,000 lives were lost., The Daily News of Saturday, says,—A calamity as awful as the imagination can conceive has just overtaken one of the British Islands in the West Indies. Tortola has sunk below the level of the sea, and its 8,600 inhabitants have perished. This is all we are told. No details are given, but the announce- ment in its naked absoluteness is far more striking and impressive than any mere accumulation of details could make it. We are left to imagine a destruction from which nothing has escaped. As when a noble ship goes down in the open sea. The probability is that the sinking was sudden, the continent with which the West India Islands are geologically con- nected being liable to similar subsidences. Tortola was the most important of the British Virgin Islands, about seventeen miles long by two wide. It was a mountain mass, broken up in every direction, its highest summit being 1,600 feet above the level of the sea. The island had become a British possession for just two hundred years. It was very near to St Thomas's, where so much damage has just been done by the hurricane, but from this no community of origin between the two disasters is to be inferred. The last official report on Tortola which has been issued is that which was transmitted to the Colonial Office in May, 1866, by Sir Arthur Rumbold, who arrived out as President of the Virgin Islands at the end of the year 1865, succeeding Mr Longden. The population was estimated at 6,441, of whom scarcely a twelfth were whites. The cultivation of sugar, once considerable, had been almost abandoned the island was not adapted for it. The single ridge which formed the island of Tortola was from 8.)0 to 2,000ft. high, with sides so steep that they conld only be cultivated in terraces supported by low stone walls and the coft of carrying canes to the mill would alone make the cultivation of sugar unprofitable at the 1\ present ordinary prices. There were some fertile spots between the ridge and the sea, but of no great extent. The industry of the people was being directed to cotton, of which 35,503 lb. were exported in 1865. The exports amounted in value to £ 8,638 they consisted chiefly of cattle and small stock and cotton. The trade was conducted almost entirely with the Danish island of St. Thomas. The rate of wages was 16s 8d per month for domestic service, Is 3d a day for predial service, 3s a day for trades. The greater part of the soil was owned by negroes, but the land was so much subdivided among them that the value of each particular parcel of land was often not more than from zC3 to 25. The public revenue was about £ 1,900.. There had been an old public debt of about £40,000, but in 1864 the colony compounded ,with the creditors at 2s in the pound, payable by three annual instalments, Of those who made any religious profession, the great majority were Wes- leyans. Forty per cent of the births were illegiti- mate, but the indifference of the West Indian negroes on the subject of chastity prevented the misery and wretchedness generally attending upon illegitimacy in England. There was no great shame attached to the birth of an illegitimate child, and no temptation to conceal it and there was seldom any reluctance in the father to contribute to the support of the child. The Bluebook of the colony for 1865 gave an un- favourable account of the progress of education in Tortola. No children over 12 years of age were admitted into the daily schools of the Church or the Wesleyans, it being desired that they should be then engaged in husbandry; but the Colonial Secretary reported that, in fact, the growing generation was less disposed to labour and more lawless than the pre- ceding, and that every year shewed the labouring population to be fast falling into a state of semi- barbarism. There were 479 children in these daily schools, and perhaps 100 in private schools, not here reckoning the number attending Sunday schools. On a report made in 1864, President Longden mentioned that the Wesleyan ministers refused to baptise ille- gitimate children, and tJMrefore these were all baptised into the Anglican Chuwi. A DARING ADVENTUKK which hardly seems to ba"'o been feloniously intended, occupied the attention of Mr Alderman Lusk at the Mansion Honse for some time on Saturday. A Mr Rogers left a light spring cart, drawn by a high-spirited mare, at his office door. in Lower Thames-street, at about three o'ch ck on Wednesday afternoon. On returning in two or three minutes the vehicle had disappeared, and although men were sent in various directiona nothing could be heard of it. About midnight a boy of 15, named Pritchard, was found in charge of the cart at Shorne, near Gravesend, and four little boys were lying fast asleep inside the cart. Prit- chard says that he got into the vehicle for a ride, and drove towards Deptford, but lost his way. He asked the other boys to have a ride, and all five were nearly famished for want of food. A coat and other things belonging to Mr Rogers were found safe. The prisoner was remanded. THE COXDEMNED FENIANS IN MANCHESTER.—A public meeting was held yesterday (Sunday) morning, on Clerkeuwell-green, for the purpose of adopting a memorial to the Home Secretary, praying for a commu- tation of the sentence of death passed upon the men Allen, Gould, Larkin, and Shore, now lying in New Bailey Gaol, Manchester, and whose execution has been fixed for Saturday nexf. There were between two and three thousand persons present, the majority of whom were apparently respectable mechanics. Several reso- lutions were agreed to, the first of whiuh declared that the Fenian prisoners ought to be regarded as political offenders, not as criminal malefactors whose offence ought to be expiated on the gallows; the second au- thorised a memorial to the Home Secretary in favour of alcommutation of the sentence of death, and expressed an opinion that the clemency of the Crown in the case of the Fenian prisoners would neither be misplaced nor misconstrued; but would move the national conscience to respect the law and compel the people of every grade to repudiate outrages such as were committed by the Fenians. It would obtain for the British government the proud distinction of carrying civilisation to a higher point, and would teach the nation to regard with ab- horrence acts of violence which the Crown mercifully declined to retaliate.' FEARFUL COLLISION.—TWO SHIPS SUNK..—Accounts have been received of a terrible collision at sea between the ships Esmok, 858 tons register, commanded by Cap- tain M'Kerr, of Liverpool, and the French ship Alma, 1,200 tons, belonging to Havre, both sustaining damage to that serious extent that they soon foundered. The Esmok was outward bound to Calcutta with a cargo of salt, having sailed from Liverpool on the 2d November. On the morning of the 6th the captain left the deck in charge of the chief officer, whose watch it was. It was then about half-past four o'clock. Beforo leaving he looked round the horizon and could see nothing hut sky and sea. He did not turn in, but smoked hid pipe before the cabin fire. In about a quarter of an hour he heard a shout on deck of a ship right ahead. He jumped up on deck, and ran to the man at the helm to assist him in getting it over, as the order was to starboard but in- stantly a large ship ran into them between the knight- beads, staving in the bow, and she then dropped along- side and both bumped against each other tremendously, for a gale of wind was blowing and a heavy sea. It was some time before they separated, when it was dis- covered that they had such serious damage as to be both sinking. The Esmok was the first to go down the crew had taken to the boats and made for the French- man, thinking she was safe. They then made for a Dutch vessel, which picked them up, which afterwards made for the Alma, and succeeded in saving her crew. The Alma appears to have had no lights burning; the Esmok had, Both were insured,

!MURDER IN BATTLE.

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