Robertina DINZEY, wife of Carl Johan RIDDERHYERTA, passed away on the 5th of June 1851 in Gustavia. An inventory of her belongings for the succession is done right away and finished at the end of december the same year.
In the last pages of the file, after her belongings, are the debts, in favor and against the estate.
Amongst the debts due to the succession (things are a bit mixed up here, between her owns and the firm’s they had with Edwin RIDDERHERTA) one can see this one, considered as doubtful :
« A claim against Antoine SAPENNE DELISLE Esquire as President of a meeting of the inhabitants of the town, for the hire of a boat placed in the harbour during the quarantine law, for the accomodation of boats arriving from the neighbouring islands, 104 days at 20 cents per day, total 20.80 «
I do not have any more information about the quarantine law in St-Barth, never read about it. Guess it might be related with a smallpox outbreak ? It also looks like the boat for the quarantine was not arranged by the local government, but rather by « some » inhabitants in Gustavia. Antoine SAPENNE DELISLE is an important character at that time, he might have taken up the lead to organise things ? But nobody paid the bill !
Not sure how the quarantine worked back then, but spending 40 days on a « boat » anchored at the entrance of Gustavia harbour, awaiting the authorization to come ashore might have been quite an experience !
I am adding below further interesting notes received from the very knowledgeable Mr Tian UDDENBERG :
« The mostly likely outbreak of disease being referenced by the ‘Quarantine’ is the cholera epidemic that swept the Caribbean from North to South starting at the end of 1849and ending in about 1856.
There is still no comprehensive literature identifying even which islands were affected. My own reading indicates the disease killed hundreds of thousands of people and resulted in major changes to public governance, town planning and sanitation laws in the entire region, regardless of the flag flying on any particular island.
Because my focus is family history research, I can signal the creation of laws around burials and memorials in the British controlled islands.This led to the establishment of public cemeteries, and the requirement for the dead to be buried in these communal places.Prior to the epidemic, in British held islands, burials took place in churchyards and were arranged by social prominence.On private lands outside of towns and cities, burials took place close to individual homes – frequently with adverse effects on the health of survivors.
An example close to St. Barth is on St. Kitts, where the main public cemetery (Springfield Cemetery in Basseterre) was created in 1854-1855 as a public health response to the cholera epidemic. »