11th July 1836
On viewing the Isd from an eminence, the first remark which occurs is on the infinite number of roads & likewise of forts. The public expenses, if one forgets its character as a prison, seems out of all proportion to the extent or value of the Island. So little level or useful land is there, that it seems surprising how so many people (about 5000) can subsist. The lower orders, or the emancipated slaves, are I believe extremely poor; they complain of want of work; a fact which is also shewn by the cheap labour. — From the reduction in number of public servants owing to the island being given up by the East Indian Company & consequent emigration of many of the richer people, the poverty probably will increase. — The chief food of the working class is rice with a little salt meat; as these articles must be purchased the low wages tell heavily: — the fine times, as my old guide called them, when "Bony" was here, can never again return. — Now that the people are blessed with freedom, a right which I believe they fully value, it seems probable their numbers will quickly increase: if so, what is to become of the little state of St Helena?
Syms Covington Journal
On the 11th, went to Napoleon's Grave, a distance of about two and a half miles from port. This tomb is situated in a valley, WHICH has gardens, houses, etc. The grave is simple for so great a man, having no more than a large oblong stone with no inscription, surrounded in same form by iron railings AND also with wooden railings round the iron ditto leaving a space of about ten to fifteen feet for visitors to walk, and that beautifully green with grass, with the willows and cypresses. Outside the wooden railings is the small beautiful, clear well, where he (NAPOLEON) constantly every morning used to send for water to wash etc. Beautiful, clear water. Here is stationed a non-commissioned officer, an old soldier, to take care that no one injures the above. The willow is strictly forbidden for anyone to touch, but from the cypresses, a small twig is allowed only. At the East end or head of tomb, within railings, is a geranium, planted by Lady Warren (Admiral Warren's wife) and HER daughters; at THE West end or foot are several Cape bulbs, etc. The house IS situated from THE tomb, about a mile, along a ridge of mountains.
Posted by Arborfield at 07:57