And now for something completely different.
Thomas Gadsden the younger joined the British Navy as a midshipman in 1702, climbing the ladder to the rank of Lieutenant within five years. Discharged on half-pay in 1712, he returned to the sea in the merchant service, trading in various commodities as his father had done before him between the New World colonies and Britain. During this time Barbados would have been a regular port of call and Thomas undoubtedly took advantage of the brisk trade between Barbados and Charlestown (later Charleston) on the mainland of South Carolina.
Thomas established useful contacts in Charlestown and he and his wife Elizabeth moved there permanently, Thomas graduating to the important post of King’s Collector of Customs. Their first three children died in infancy. A fourth child, a son, was born and named Christopher after Elizabeth’s father.
His story is told in numerous sources, among them Godbold and Woody’s Christopher Gadsden and the American Revolution (University of Tennessee Press, 1982). Read my brief account at www.infobarrel.com/Christopher_Gadsden_1724-1805
|Barbados July 2012, coastal view; could be Natal.|
The Great Hurricane of 1831 attempted, though failed, to destroy this replacement edifice built of coral stone. Now officially the Cathedral Church of St Michael’s and All Angels (Diocese of Barbados) it is still in use but in urgent need of restoration. In the churchyard, gravestones – some of very early date - show signs of vandalism, lead picked out of memorial inscriptions.
|East Point Lighthouse, Barbados|
General dilapidation extends to other man-made landmarks, including the lighthouses at Harrison’s Point and East Point.
Despite inevitable concessions to tourism, the scenic beauty of Barbados remains untouched: wide white sands and limpid turquoise sea, palm trees and green fields of sugar cane. This
is not the place to comment on the darker threads in the island's tapestry: pirates and slaves.
Warren Alleyne and Henry Fraser: The Barbados-Carolina Connection (Macmillan, Caribbean 1988)