We know almost nothing of the names and the lives of the slaves owned by the former governors of the Bahamas.  From the first British appointed Governor, Woodes Rogers to Governor Balfour, who oversaw the 1834 end of slavery, their slaves have been a mystery. We see a most interesting advertisement in 1788 for a runaway slave once owned by Governor Shirley. Shirley was in charge of the islands from 1760 to 1775.  To see some mention of a slave of a former governor, some thirteen years after he left office, is quite extraordinary.

RUN Away from the Subscriber, a Negro Woman named CLOE; she formerly belonged to Governor Shirley, and is well known about Town. Whoever will secure her in the Public Jail, shall receive Ten Dollars Reward.


Nassau, December 6, 1788

Bahama Gazette