James Armbrister was the Slave Registrar for the Bahama Islands. He signed off, providing the official seal, on the total number of slaves, in the islands.
In 1819 the Office for the Registry of Colonial Slaves was established in London. Copies of the slave registers complied by its British colonies, including the Bahamas, were sent to this office. Registration generally occurred once every three years. These registers continued through to 1834 when slavery was officially abolished.
Colonial registers played an important part in Britain compiling its slave actuarial numbers. When it was decided on how much each slave was worth to their master, for the compensation exercise at the end of slavery, payment to each registered slaveowner made the process a lot more simplified than one would first imagine.
Slave registration began not long after the transatlantic trade laws, that is, the official liberties for taking Africans from Africa, for the purposes of slavery were rescinded by Britain under The Slave Trade Act 1807, officially An Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade.
BAHAMA ISLANDS 1825
By 1825, there were a number of changes needed to be made to the original 1822 Slave Register. Many deaths, births, sales of slaves (written as exported), manumitted and absconded slave numbers had to recorded.
Amended 1822 tally brought the official number of slaves in the Bahama Islands, owned by those in the Bahama Islands and elsewhere: 10,841.
Between 31st. December 1821 and 1st. January 1825, some 1,135 slaves were exported (sold).
From the amended 1822 Slave Register for the Bahama Islands:
African MALES: 1,398
African FEMALES: 888
Creole MALES: 4,151
Creole FEMALES: 4,404
TOTAL SLAVES: 10,841
Note that Creoles would have been those slaves born in the islands. Africans would have been first generation slaves still bearing a direct, unbroken link to Africa.
1825 SLAVE REGISTRY – POPULATION OF SLAVES ON THE 1st. January 1825
African MALES: 1,057
African FEMALES: 675
Creole MALES: 3,613
Creole FEMALES: 3,939
TOTAL SLAVES: 9,284
SLAVES RUN OR ABSCONDED
Slaves who ran away from their masters.
African MALES: 16
African FEMALES: 10
Creole MALES: 64
Creole FEMALES: 51
TOTAL SLAVES WHO RAN AWAY FROM THEIR MASTERS BETWEEN 1st January 1822 to 1st. January 1825: 141
SLAVES WHO DIED BETWEEN 1st January 1822 and 1st January 1825
African MALES: 120
African FEMALES: 41
Creole MALES: 146
Creole FEMALES: 121
TOTAL SLAVES WHO DIED BETWEEN 1st January 1822 to 1st. January 1825: 428
SLAVES MANUMITTED Between 1st January 1822 and 1st January 1825
Manumitted slaves either bought their freedom or were granted their freedom from their masters.
African MALES: 2
African FEMALES: 5
Creole MALES: 33
Creole FEMALES: 44
TOTAL SLAVES MANUMITTED BETWEEN 1st January 1822 to 1st. January 1825: 84