Excerpt from “In the Eye of All Trade” by Michael Jarvis

Juan De Rivera, a Spaniard shipwrecked on Bermuda in 1640, and allowed to wander the island unfettered was struck by the prosperity that Bermudian farmers enjoyed. Each of the island’s 290 households “has it’s own portion of land on which the planter sows tobacco, corn and potatoes” and cassava which they grow “in great abundance….the least competent is able to produce enough to live, for as they have no expenses and no pretentions to pomp and authority, a little store of anything keeps each one independent of the other in time of need.”…

”Everyone breeds [cattle and pigs] and kills them to provide salt[ed meat]; he keeps what he needs for himself and distributes the remainder among his neighbours, who in due time will repay him in kind.” Bermudian women made “rich and delicious fresh butter; and have large quantities of cow’s milk. No one fails to have a good number of chickens and capons, for these birds are raised without any of the care….” Rivera notes that orange trees and lemon trees bearing “very beautiful and large fruit” surrounded most homes, as did “many vineyards and rose trees and countless groves of fig trees.”


Wow, tell me again papa.















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