Life is ‘SOLITARY, POOR, NASTY, BRUTISH, AND SHORT’ so says philosopher Thomas Hobbes in 1651. In January 1837, an African named “Meaho,” wandering around Grant’s Town in search of food, would come to epitomise Hobbes’s admonishment to the world.
During the Coroner’s Inquest, Meaho’s upper body was examined, to establish a cause of death, they found his stomach had been empty for quite some time. There were no other contributing disease factors discovered.
“Meaho” died of starvation on the 5th January 1837, in the midst of many helpless eyes in Grant’s Town. It is not known how many more suffered the same fate of dying in want of food. What this sad tale is indicative of, is a long history of pitilessly unforgiving times.
The plight of many, in Nassau, in 1837, was bordering on precarious at best.
Slavery was brutish, and so were the first few decades after emancipation. Poverty was rife. As more and more Liberated Africans were settled on New Providence, and without some form of employment or apprenticeship, untold numbers were reduced to begging. Emancipated slaves faced the same desperate times. When begging failed, life was poor, brutish and short.
“Meaho” an African, had apparently been wandering around Grant’s Town, in a distressed state, for several days before collapsing in an empty lot.
There he died.