“Members of the Devaux family have owned various lands in St. Lucia at one time or another, but that of Morne Courbaril, at Soufriere, is the only one which remained in the hands of the family for more than two centuries. It seems that no other St. Lucian estate has remained so long in the same family.
In the 1740’s the sugar planters of Martinique suffered a decline in prosperity. Some of them sought to improve their fortunes by selling their sugar estates and establishing coffee plantations, which required less capital expenditure on slaves and on equipment. Several planters moved from Martinique to St. Lucia, which was still largely unoccupied, so that land could be obtained for little more than the cost of clearing the forest and bush.
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