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Location notes
We do not know exactly where Walcott lived in Mauritius, so have used the estimate of Port Louis as presumably this is where he arrived.
Date notes
We do not know what date Walcott arrived in Mauritius, but he left WA on 29 March 1837. We have estimated the journey to take about one month. In a Proposal to Governor Darling by James Stirling on 14 December 1826 he estimated it would take 3 weeks to travel from the Swan River colony to Mauritius. [13]
Biographical information
The Perth Gazette reported that on 29 March 1837, Walcott, his wife and two children left Western Australia for Mauritius aboard the Shepherd. [10] It is unclear where he ended up. The Dictionary of Western Australians indicates that Walcott 'Suffered financial misfortune in England & Jamaica. Returned to Eng. to organise his affairs. He & members of his family sailed several times during 1850s. Sold his grants 1840s & ended his days with a son who had pastoral station Champion Bay district "Mininooka".' [7]
Links to slavery
Walcott was owner of the 'Good Hope' sugar plantation, and owner of the St Christopher estate with John Walcott, probably his brother. Good Hope and St Christopher were both within Demerara - today part of what is known as Guyana. On 30 November 1835 John Walcott was awarded £7256 for 134 enslaved people. So James may have bought out his brother in 1826. [1] Slavery heritage of Demerara: Demerara is today part of what is known as Guyana. Some of the earliest settlers of Guyana were Arawak, Carib, and possibly Warao. Although Christopher Columbus sighted the Guyana coast in 1498 and Spain claimed the area, the first Europeans to colonise the land were the Dutch in the late 16th century. In the mid-17th century the Dutch began bringing over enslaved people from West Africa to cultivate sugarcane. From the 1740s, English settlers from Caribbean islands began to move in on the region, first on the island of Wakenaam, then on the coast of Essequibo, followed by Demerara. By 1760, the British were the largest contingent in Demerara. During the Napoleonic wars the British and French in particular fought over the land, but in 1796 the British captured the territories and except for short intervals held 'possession'. In 1831 the British combined Demerara, Essequibo and Berbice to form 'British Guiana'. In 1823 Demerera was the site of one of the greatest uprisings of enslaved people in history: the 1823 Demerara rebellion involved over 10,000 enslaved people and was crucial in the dismantling of Caribbean slave systems. [1]
Attitudes around race
Attitudes around labour
Newspaper article advising of Walcott's impending departure and claims to be sent to George Leake: