Register of Midwives 1920

At the beginning of the 20th century, rudimentary health practices were having a serious effect on the survival of new born babies. St. Kitts actually had one of the highest infant mortality rates in the Caribbean, possible the world. In 1913 the Health report had to concede that this was “generally admitted to be one of the more serious blots on our records.” Nanas delivered babies at home. These women would have learnt their skill […]

Edward Gillard’s petition 1743

Our document today is a petition by Edward Gillard to Sir Thomas Shirley, Governor of the Leeward Islands. It is accompanied by a plan, first drawn in 1743, for the lot of land mentioned in the petition. Sir Thomas Shirley was first appointed governor of the Leeward Islands in 1781. In January 1782, when a French Fleet invaded St. Kitts and later Nevis, he realized how badly outnumbered he was and he withdrew the troops […]

Cassava mill

Last month during our Exploring Kittitian History course at the Open Campus, we mentioned cassava. While searching for images for another project, I came across this postcard of a cassava mill. This starchy root crop was a staple in the diet of the Kalinago but it also became an important element in the diet of the enslaved people. Christopher Jeafferson who came to St. Kitts to claim ownership of his father’s plantation at Wingfield in […]

Vic Hills Mayor of Slough 1991

In 1990, Victor Emanuel Hills became the 43rd Mayor of Slough, in England. Previously he had been the first black man to hold the position of Councilor in the borough. Slough was one of the places were Kittitians and Nevisians settled after moving the UK in search of work. Vic Hills was one of them. Hills was born in Newton Ground in 1931 and went to England in 1957 were he found work as an […]

Avondale 1989

I came across this image by accident this week and it made me think of how much Basseterre has changed. It was taken in 1989. It shows the foundation of the old Court House in the foreground and the building which I believe was called Arrindells. It was soon after replaced by the concrete structure of Barker and Kelly’s supermarket and now houses C&C. We would be very grateful to anybody who can share more […]