2081RE: [St.H.Fam.Hist.] Who's that Girl? (Young female slave of Charles De Fountain in 1818)
- Jul 2, 2014
Greg, the Consultations you need to look at are in the BL India Office Records: Shelfmark IOR/G/32/84 1818-1820 Contents: St. Helena: Public Consultations, 21 May 1818 to 7 Feb 1820.
I doubt if you will find much in there – it is far more likely that they will be in the Quarter Sessions book for that date but this is only available on the island. Can’t help on your surmises – it is all guesswork!
Arnold Chaplin's "A St Helena Who's Who" relates the story of Charles De Fountain's 1818 court appearance for beating a young slave girl. Does any member of this group happen to know any more details about the girl? Chaplin says she was "about fourteen" years old, but doesn't give a name. All other mentions I've found seem to be derived from the same text, which, in turn, suggests St Helena Council Minutes for August 24th 1818 as the original source. I've had a bash at tracking these minutes down on the National Archive website, but drawn a blank. Next step is ordering up microfilm of council records, but I thought I'd throw this out here, in case someone happens to know - even if the answer is that the minutes don't give any more detail.
The 1827 register lists a 22-year-old slave called Dolly as owned by a Charles Des Fountain. (She's mentioned incidentally in the record of a slave called John August, (owned by a Captain Simpson) described thus: "Garden labourer and carter a very useful hand [Cohabits with Dolly, slave to Mr Charles Des Fountain. Has 2 free children]"
I'm assuming Charles De Fountain and Charles Des Fountain are the same man, and wondering whether Dolly could be the girl he assaulted. If the age recorded in the register (and my maths!) is correct, Dolly would have been only 12 or 13 in August 1818. I'm open minded though, because of Chaplin's vague "about fourteen".
If anyone can throw any light on this, I'd be very grateful.
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