Bahamas Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) must correct one small detail on its company’s history page. They’ve made a mistake on the nationality of the very first Superintendent of the Telegraph Department, Mr. P. H. Burns. He wasn’t an Englishman. He was very much an American. He married a Bahamian, the daughter of a prominent, rich planter.


“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice


Weddings are always spectacular news. What made many of the high society ones noteworthy, was when good matches were made for the daughters of rich men, to eligible bachelors with titles and outstanding professions. In the New York Times of Sunday, November 26, 1893, the wedding announcement of Miss Mary Knowles, daughter of a wealthy Bahamian planter Lewis P. Knowles caught the eye of its readers.

P. H. Burns, the American from Cleveland, despite not being British, held one of the most important government positions in The Bahamas, in 1893. This period marked the historic beginnings of telecommunications for the islands.

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