William W. Cartwright was elected, as the Member for Cat Island, in the 1949. Cartwright ran as an Independent. He was a one term representative.
Seven years later, in February 1956, when forced to resign in disgrace, William W. Cartwright left as a founding member of the Progressive Liberal Party.
1949 – William Cartwright wins Cat Island seat but defeated candidate wanted to contest results.
Politics in The Bahamas, being such as it was in 1953, led William W. Cartwright, a real estate agent, Cyril St. John Stevenson and Henry Milton Taylor to co-found the very first political party – the Progressive Liberal Party.
The formation of the PLP was an historical milestone. It’s goal, at that time, was to challenge the Bay Street oligarchy, that had controlled all business and politics in the country, basically since the British Loyalist’s incursion into the islands in 1783.
The founding of PLP led to the organisation of the United Bahamian Party. The UBP was headed by Roland T. Symonette, but effectively, the party was controlled by lawyer and deal maker Stafford L. Sands.
The Bahamas now officially had a two party political system, rather than a collection of supposedly independent representatives.
However, by 1956, William W. Cartwright was forced to resign in utter disgrace, from the House of Assembly, relinquishing as well, his hard fought for Cat Island seat.
William Cartwright was accused, by multiple persons, of obtaining funds from them under false pretences. Their intent was to purchase land. Cartwright’a intent was to swindle those who had placed their financial trust in him.
Cartwright was real estate agent, and moreover a Member of the House of Assembly. As such, every faith was extended to him by those who wanted to purchase land in good faith.
Instead, Cartwright was caught selling selling that he was not authorised to. On arrest in March 1956, he was initially represented by lawyer Orville Turnquest.
At trial, Cartwright switched lawyers. Unbeknownst to William at that time, his new lawyer, Lynden O. Pindling would go on to become, the leader of the very political party that Cartwright, Stevenson and Taylor began.
Ironically, Pindling would go on to incredible political fame. Cartwright, on the other hand, would be written out of popular political history.
In total, William Cartwright was convicted of stealing money from almost thirty persons.
William Cartwright stole from many persons. He was sentenced to a year on each of the four counts, to run consecutively. In total, four years in prison.