Gems from the Archives – 22 Infant Desertion

Our document today consists of evidence before the Committee on Child Desertion.  The person being questioned was Neville Palmer, the manager of Caines Estate and attorney for Willetts and Parsons.  An attorney was not a lawyer but a person authorized to act for the owner of the estate. The evidence is significant for what it says as well as what it does not say. Palmer told the Committee that men from the estates that he […]

Gems from the Archives –21 “Savings Bank”

Today we share a page out of the records of the Savings Bank.  This Bank was created after Emancipation, probably in the early 1860s after attempts to organise self-help societies among the former enslaved had failed.  This page from 1865 shows that the depositors were William Thurston and a number of Indian indentured labourers who were identified by a number. The register of these Labourers was lost in the Court House fire of 1982 and […]

Gems from the Archives –20 UBA

Our item today is the earliest surviving police report of a public meeting held by the Universal Benevolent Association or as it was called by its members, The Union. In 1916, in the middle of the First World War and in the face of low wages and attempts to limit emigration to Cuba and the Dominican Republic, Joseph Nathan organized a petition requesting uniform wages for agricultural workers and the regulation by government in setting […]

Gems from the Archives – 19 “Stipendiary Magistrate”

  Today we offer a reflection on motherhood from a time that we hope nobody will ever have to experience again   Justice Room Cayon 25th November 1836 George T Fraser, Manager of Cunningham Estate complains Peggy P A [predial apprentice] on said estate and being sworn states that Defendant is continually in the sick house two weeks out of every month – alternately with herself and child.  She has a mother on the estate perfectly capable […]

Gems from the Archives –18 “demonstration”

We are coming up to the weekend before Labour Day.  The first Labour Day celebrations commemorated the workers’ demonstrations in 1886 in Chicago.  They were demanding an 8 hour day.  It became recognized as an annual event by the Second Socialist International held in Paris in  1869.  In St. Kitts, the Trades and Labour Union and the Workers League first celebrated the event in 1955 and the Union Messenger described it as “a moderate success.” […]