The Daily News, November 21, 1997 24
Davis defends belief; disagrees
about destroying V.I. history
On July 3,1848, Gov. Peter Von
Scholten proclaimed "All unfree in
the Danish West Indian Islands are
from this day free. All blacks on the
estates shall continue to make use
of their houses and gardens for
three months from this date, as they
have previously enjoyed. All future
work is to be paid as mutually
agreed on but allowances of provi-
sions, etc. shall cease. Old and
weak, who cannot work, shall, until
further decisions are made. be sup-
ported by the owner."
General Buddhoe mentioned
these words on the day of emanci-
pation. If the people were "not lib-
crated by 4 o'clock," they would
leave no stick nor stone of property
and would not answer for the lives
of the white people."
I support Gov. Roy L. Schnei-
der for this upcoming celebration
of the 150 year anniversary of
physical emancipation in these Vir-
But it was brought to my atten-
tion that Richmond Plantation, a
rare three story greathouse on the
island of St. Croix. was bulldozed
to the ground about two weeks ago.
Tell me, how in the world can
we have a governor talking from
both sides of his mouth telling us
about celebrating 150 years of
emancipation in these islands and
on the other hand, allowing histori-
cal buildings to be demolished?
Some people might say,
"Olasee, you should not talk to the
governor that way, it is disrespect-
Did you think General Buddhoe
was disrespectful to Gov. Peter Von
Scholten when he and his people
demanded their freedom?
In fact. historians say people
shouted in the streets of PFrcdrikst-
ed as Von Scholten's carriage rode
into town. They said, "We must be
free this very moment. We have
been waiting long enough for free-
Like Buddhoo, it takes courage
today for one to stand up for what
he believes in. Personally, I believe
in the protection of these islands
environment and to defend our rich
cultural heritage our ancestors left
for us. This should also include our
historical buildings or archaeologi-
cal sites that tell us about our past
So then, how can I be "out of
place" to address the governor of
the Virgin Islands that preservation
is more important than degradation
of our historical buildings.
D. Hamilton Jackson was put in
... I believe In the protec-
tion of these islands'
environment and to
defend our rich cultural
heritage our ancestors
left for us.
jail becuase he wrote the truth in the
Herald newspaper about the sugar-
cane workers condition on St.
Croix. Because of his stand, we
enjoy the freedom of the press
Therefore, I will not be denied
of my democratic privileges to
write and speak out on issues I feel
that this government is In the
The Richmond Plantation has a
long human and environmental his-
tory from the 1600s to the present.
The land was cleared of its forest
probably by the French to make
way for the establishment of a plan-
However, some historians
believed the Richmond Plantation
was built on French old ruins like
other places on the island, but can't
determine the parcel exact bound-
In 1778, Oxholm map showed
partly cleared agricultural land and
partly shoreline mangrove forest
which was eventually destroyed as
the settlement of Richmond and
surrounding areas developed.
Today, there is no mangrove for-
est on the shore in front of the
power plant. Nonetheless, slaves
worked on the plantation from sun
up to sun down. They born and
buried there and God only knows
probably some got hang on the
Gallows Bay is not too far from
Richmond Plantation which was
famous for hanging slaves. During
the Danish rule, the Richmond
estate was claimed in 1737 by
Gregers Nissen and Adrian Van
A year later, the property was
owned by Richard Roach with his
wife and 15 slaves. The estate grew
cotton and changed ownership sev-
eral times during the 1740s.
Francis Brooks who had the
property with 62 slaves sold it to
Nicholas Tuite a rich Irishman from
Montserrat who combined the prop-
erty with other acres thus forming
253 acre sugar plantation in the
1750s that came to be known as
By the early 1750's, Richmond
was one of the few windmills on St.
Croix with a wooden windmills that
remained in operation through the
From the 1750s to 1772,
Nicholas Tuite owned 587 slaves on
the plantation. Then in 1780 to
1792, Robert Tuite owned 322
slaves on the property. Around
1797 to 1805, Robert Pausett
owned 367 slaves on the estate.
In 1815, Isaac DuBols owned
estate Richmond with 160 slaves.
Eighteen years before the emanci-
pation, Robert Beatty owned the
property with 36 slaves.
The Richmond drama will con.
tinue next week.
Olasee Davs, who has a master
of science degree in range manage-
ment and forestry ecology, is a St
Croix ecologist, activist and writer.