gradually began to dwindle in numbers compared to the whites, for although they were retained as household servants, it was found that they were not fitted for manual and agricultural labor, as in the southern colonies. During the first half of the eighteenth century they were still very numerous, and were for the most part of African birth, being fresh from the holds of the Guinea slavers; they were brutal, ignorant savages, and the whites were in constant dread of a servile insurrection. In 1712 this fear was justified, at least partially, for in that year the slaves formed a wild, foolish plot to destroy all the whites; and some forty of them attempted to put it into execution. Armed with every kind of weapon, they met at midnight in an orchard on the outskirts of the town, set fire to a shed, and assaulted those who came running up to quell the flames. In this way they killed nine men and wounded some others, before the alarm was given and the soldiers from the fort approaching, put them to flight. They fled to the forests in the northern part of the island; but the militia, roused to furious anger, put sentries at the fords, and then hunted down the renegade negroes like wild beasts. Six, in their despair, slew themselves; and twenty-one of those who were captured were shot, hung, or burned at the stake.
This attempted revolt greatly increased the uneasiness of the white inhabitants, and was largely