Golden Grove. 7th. March, 1856
Sir! – having just concluded a careful investigation instituted for the purpose of ascertaining how far the members of the Wesleyan Church were implicated in the late disgraceful outrages, I deem it my duty to forward the result of the same for the information of the government.
It may be well to state, that the Wesleyan Church is peculiar in its organization; all our members being under the religious care of the most intelligent persons in our communion, who are termed leaders. The province of the leaders is to instruct the 12 or 20 persons committed to his charge; he is expected to keep a proper weekly account of the attendance of his people, and to report weekly to his Minister, church’s official meeting, the case of the sick, the absent, and the immoral; for which purpose, a ruled paper is given, and renewed as the old ones become filled up. These “Class-papers” may, in a certain sense, be regarded as an index to the moral and religious character of each member.
This brief statement of our usages will enable the government at once to see, that was have a prompt and satisfactory method in these arrangements for ascertaining and detecting any wrong doing in our members. This moral machinery has greatly facilitated our recent investigations on which I now proceed to report.
The City, Georgetown – Mr. Corlett has very carefully gone through a list of 1,200 members in the presence of the ---ers and others, and having made diligent enquiry in every possible way, now reports that “not one of our city members joined in the late outrages.”
East Coast, Friendship, Buxton, and Victoria
- In this locality I am happy to report that where we most feared for our members, we have to report favourably.
Friendship and Buxton
- After calling some 300 names, I found only one at all implicated in these public crimes; and after a lengthened investigation, I am doubtful whether he took any part in the riot. No charge is preferred against him before the Magistrate, but he was reported to us as seen in the crowd. My conviction is, that the reason why none our Church Members at Friendship and Buxton are implicated, in these riots, is, that both Mr. Corlett, and myself with eight other ministers went up the first night of the disturbances to Friendship, and y calling our members together, and urging them to join with us in preserving the public peace they were saved from joining with the violence of the people; at least one Portuguese store was kept from utter destruction by the exertions of the ministers alone. We found one of our leaders on Monday last still suffering from a blow he received in attempting to quell the rioters.
Golden Grove - This village in which I reside was perfectly quiet. The Portuguese shop was untouched and kept open during the whole excitement; and have great pleasure in reporting that the 100 members we have here were all prepared and ready under the leader Mr. Bentick Sancho, well known to the honourable Mr. Porter, to turn out, not to destroy, but to protect the Portuguese shop had the rioters from the other villages attempted to come here on Monday night.
The village was so quiet on Tuesday night that Mr. Bentick Sancho who has considerable influence with the people of Victoria went with his minister to that village to aid him in allaying the excitement.
- In this democratic village not one of our church members took any part in the riots.
Source: Letter of Rev. Wm. Hudson c. March 7, 1856 "the Creole" Saturday, November 29, 1856: page 9