Scilla, was a 10-year-old slave girl, in New Providence, in 1822. She had been sold off from the estate of one Henry Johnson then deceased. Scilla was bought by merchant Robert Taylor.
Robert Taylor in turn gifted the slave, 10-year-old Scilla to his son, John, registered as a minor (under 18 years old for boys) in 1825. Scilla would become his property to do with as he pleased.
Slaves were property, no matter their age. Property, has always been a measure of wealth and status, irregardless of whatever form it happens to take. The only essential characteristic property needs to embody is that it can accrue and hold value. That value is of course dictated by society at the time.
As for Robert Taylor, slaveowner and merchant of New Providence, he was obviously a man who cared for his children. He, like every attentive father in history, wanted his offspring to have a reasonable economic start in life. Transferring property, even chattel in the form of slaves, while the parent was still alive, was one way to ensuring this propitious economic start.
ROBERT TAYLOR’S SLAVES
Robert Taylor had three children, daughters Elizabeth Aimee Taylor, Aimee Phister Taylor and son John Taylor. He gave them all their very own slave.
Taylor kept 13 slaves. He had another 5 slaves which he disposed of. Two female slaves Mary Ann and Daphney he sold to slaveowner, John George King Podmore, in Jamaica. One male slave named Friday was sold to John Smith of Exuma in 1822. Another slave named Abraham was sold to a John Armbrister Junior, and little Scilla he gave to his minor aged son.
Gifting slaves, as property, was not out of place. This was simply a transfer of wealth or affluence.
When minor children grew up, holding such vessels of value at their disposal, meant wealth accumulation. These slaves could be sold, and any children, these original slaves had, would be counted as an increase in wealth for the soon to be adult slaveowner. Remember that only certain persons in Bahama Island society had political or merchant power.
Elizabeth Aimee Taylor gifted 17-year-old mulatto slave Charlotte
Aimee Phister Taylor (daughter) gifted 13-year-old slave girl Maria
John Taylor (son) gifted 10-year-old black slave girl Scilla