Mirander and the whip, Gustavia, 1817

On the 22d of November 1817, Kirby, the Sergent of police in Gustavia addresses a report to the Court of Justice.

« Whereas on Sunday last, the negro boy slave Mirander, the property of G.C.ROBINSON, did, with a large piece of wood, strike his sister Nanny, the property of Mrs. Mary CARTY, a blow between the shoulders in the street, and also when Mr. MORIN attempted to arrest him, threatened him with the same piece of wood, and, on being arrested, Mrs. Mary CARTY having by a letter annexed declared that it was by her order that he had so done.

I, therefore, most humbly pray that the said Mirander may be called before the Royal Tribunal and punished, as well for beating Nanny, as for threatening Mr. MORIN, and that Mrs. Mary CARTY may be also called and punished for having given such orders to a slave, and that Mr. CHAPEAU may be heard ».

In her note, Mary CARTY writes : « It was by my request that Maranda should whip my girl Nanny, she is a sister to him, and her behaviour is bad, and he must be let out« 

FSB 186 – the note of Mrs Mary CARTY

This sad story is everyday life in Gustavia during those violent years of slavery.

George Cox ROBINSON is a merchant in Gustavia, born around 1791 in Bermudes. He became a Swedish citizen in 1812.

The first name of the poor boy is interesting to me. In my genealogical database, I have only two occurrences for it. A father and a son. The first name is never written the same. Mirander, Milander, Miranda.

The oldest document I have with this first name, is the manumission, in Anguilla, of a slave named Maranda, by a Jane ROMNEY in 1810.

FSB 285 – Manumission of Maranda – Mirander

We know it, many slaves tend to take their master’s last name.

We have a Miranda / Mirander ROMNEY that dies in Gustavia in 1880. On his death registration, he is said to be 75 years old and born in Anguilla, son of a Mirander ROMNEY and a Procella ROMNEY.

The chances that the father could really be the slave freed in Anguilla in 1810 looks high to me. Like many others, he would have moved to Gustavia, maybe still has as a slave.

Don’t be surprised if the boy in the above story is still a slave then. Most probably, as often, he was not included in the manumission of his father and somehow sold to ROBINSON while his sister was sold to Mrs. CARTY. Probably the Mirander ROMNEY, father, purchased his son Mirander’s freedom later.

I am pretty sure that Mirander ROMNEY is the ancestor of the ROMNEY family of Saint-Barth.

Mirander ROMNEY, the son, is a boatman in Gustavia. He has several children with a Duchess HARRIGAN born in Anguilla around 1818, the daughter of a Sylvester HARRIGAN and a Joan HARRIGAN.

            John William ROMNEY was born around 1839 in Gustavia. We will get back to him a bit later.

            Mary Eliza, born on the 9th of January 1840,

            Gustave Adolphus « Doffy was», born on the 6th of September 1841, he dies here in 1896.

            Isabella was born on the 30th of July 1843,

            Dina, born on the 7th of May 1845,

            James, born on the 12th of September 1849, died shortly after his birth.

            Johanna, born on the 20th of October 1850

            Marie, around 1865

            Elizabeth, on the 18th of March 1868.

It seems that only John William ROMNEY has a descent, at least in Saint-Barth. He is a marine carpenter and lives in Gustavia. He married Ernestine MARDENBOROUGH on the 29th of November 1870. Ernestine was born in Saint-Martin, the daughter of Benjamin and Mary Ann ANDERSEN.

John William and Ernestine will have 9 children with a descent through :

            1-Sarah Albertina Gabriella, born in 1865. She married a James William LAKE or CONNER (he was born in Gustavia, he is to be found under his mother’s last name CONNER) in 1893 (they have at least 3 children)

            2-John or James Augustus, born in 1867. He married Eulalie Rosalie « Roselyn » DOUGLAS born in Anguilla in 1880. They have 5 children, and the Saint-Barth’s ROMNEY family is from that branch.

           3- Evelyne Odalia, born in 1868, she seems to marry an Augustin LAURENT from Basse-Terre and have at least a son.

            4-Oralia Clotilda, born in 1874. She has two children with no known father so they carry her name: Eugene Valentin ROMNEY, born in 1892, and Ulysse Rodolphe ROMNEY in 1897.

                        She then marries William Bernard LAKE (He is under his mother’s last name, but his father is Joseph Edmond GARRIN). They have 3 children under the LAKE last name.

            5-Jean Guillaume or John William, born in 1875. He marries Marie Albertina BEAL (born in Saint-Barth) in 1899, and they have 5 children.


1 réponse

  1. As My siblings and I grew up in St Barth (1967-1983), through 9 years of schooling in Lorient and Gustavia, we were never taught about slavery in St Barth.

    Instead the adults around us, teachers included, insisted that the island’s natural resources were too poor to sustain a slave economy.

    Truth is that truth never sleeps and can’t be silenced for long.

    Thank you for sharing!

    Franck Gréaux
    New Mexico

    Aimé par 1 personne

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