Nancy Gambier died a free black woman. She certainly earned it. Nancy was wet nurse and nanny to James, Lord Gambier of New Providence.
James, Lord Gambier was born in New Providence, The Bahamas in 1756. He died in England on 19th April 1833. His father was the first Lord Gambier. The western New Providence area known as Gambier was named thus, undoubtedly because he once owned it.
Nancy was born around 1720, in Africa and came to New Providence as a slave. By the time James Gambier came into the world, Nancy would have been in her thirties.
As was customary, she took the last name of the slave master, hence the name Gambier.
A wet nurse was quite a common job in history. Important ladies seldom breast fed or looked after their own children. If a woman was a Lady, married to an important man, she would hire a wet nurse to breast feed the children. This was a common practice throughout European history.
This was a common practice on slave plantations.
Nancy Gambier died Sunday evening 4th FEBRUARY 1810
As was customary practice, Nancy took the last name of the slave master, hence the associative name Gambier.
Age, indubitably played a big factor, in her free status. All of Nancy’s utility, as a slave, had long dissipated by 1810.