late Circuit Justice in the Bahama Islands. A copy of
this publication came to hand some months ago, but it has not been considered necessary to notice it. It is regarded here as a caricature. Ministers of State wince under or laugh over
Punch's cartoons, but do not reply to them. This letter is not an answer to Mr. Powles's production ; such an undertaking would need to be on a scale almost as large as the volume in question, as there are few statements in it of a controversial character that could be allowed to pass unchallenged.
The object of this communication is to correct one "serious allegation" contained in your article, about which the present writer is in a position to speak with authority. You say,— " Men of colour are denied equal justice before the law when their opponents are white, and have even been punished as misdemeanants for daring to enter the house of God by a door reserved for white men."
As an Englishman who has resided in the Colony for fourteen years, and who has at the present time under his care the church at Harbour Island, where the above outrage is supposed to have been committed, may I ask for space in your columns to say three things ?- (1.) If the above were true, since it occurred about twenty years ago, most of the parties to it being deceased or removed, no good could possibly come from its being unearthed. Fancy going back twenty years to show what life in the Bahamas is to-day ! For the last twenty years, we may be sure, no such thing has happened, or Mr. Powles would have reported it.
(2.) The church in question is a very large one, perhaps the largest in the Colony. And not one of its six doors is, or has ever been, "reserved for white men." Persons, irrespective of colour, are accustomed to enter by the door which gives easiest access to their pew. At every service " white " and " coloured " may be seen entering and retiring side by side.
(3.) From information obtained at the office of the Resident Justice here, I find that the men whose cause Mr. Powles champions were punished, not for entering any particular door of the church, but for stamping down the long aisle during the delivery of the sermon, a number of accomplices being congregated outside to see the fun; it WWI an organised attempt to disturb public worship, and the perpetrators were punished accordingly.
Those of us who reside here, native or English, have no fear of a Royal Commission of Inquiry ; and if Mr. Froude's book on the West Indies be at all reliable, it would be easy to prove that our Colony is by far the best-governed member of her Majesty's West Indian Empire.
Our coloured fellow-colonists of good character are uni- versally respected. They occupy some of the highest official positions ; and nowhere could enjoying what they possess or stances.—I am, Sir, &c., Harbour Island, March 28th.. they have a fairer field for for improving their circum-