24ANTIQUES1-popup                                      Felling Mahogany – Honduras

The following are Jersey men connected with Honduras as a follow on from the notes of the previous post, the countries chief trade was mahogany which employed slaves. Mahogany and logwood was shipped from Honduras to London, Jersey, and occasionally to other ports in Europe.

Jersey mahogany & logwood imports for 1833 87 and 71 tons and for 1834 71 and 27 tons.

 John Jean in his “Tales of Jersey Tall Ships” mentions early connections with the “Tyral” of 200 tons, with Captain Michel Dupré being at Honduras in 1766. Captain Jean Collas in 1768 made at least one voyage to Honduras with the Boston built “Triton” of 155 tons owned by a John Brunet.

Ten years later in 1778 the “Venus” owned by Richard De Carteret, master Jean Collas was taken by an American Privateer when returning to Jersey from Honduras.

1786 James Poingdestre writes from Honduras to John Fiott regarding the shipping of wood to Great Britain and the purchasing of a boat. Captain Poingdestre in command of the “Harriot” of 150 tons arrived back in Jersey from the Colony in 1789 with another fine cargo of mahogany destined for London. September 1792, and March 1793 saw the same vessel at London from the Colony, in June that same year the “Harriot” was taken by the French only to be retaken and sent into Liverpool. In July she left London for Belize, and returned in the beginning of October.

Report in the Honduras Gazette papers arrived with the “Ocean” dated August 18th 1826 with London merchants John and James Poingdestre having attended a meeting for a call for a memorial to the Earl of Bathurst (Secretary for War and the Colonies) who had been involved in putting forward proposals on the treatment of slaves. Thomas Pickstock shipped Mahogany to the merchants (1817). John and James dissolved the partnership by mutual consent. In 1834 John Poingdestre a merchant living in Guilford Street shot himself in Tivoli Gardens, and died within half an hour, there was no apparent reason for him taking his life (Spectator)

 Captain Elias De Ste Croix went to Honduras with the “Betsy” in 1786, later there was to be a partnership between De Ste Croix and Poingdestre. Aaron De Ste Croix lived at the “Limes” Green Street, he was a shipbuilder and owner, ropemaker and Jurat of the States, he married Jeanne D’Auvergne and they had three sons: Philip 1798-?, Francis 1799-?, and John 1801-?.

 In 1832 P. F. & J De Ste Croix owned the following vessels “D’Auvergne” 440 tons, “Ste Croix” 413 tons, “Ceres” 250 tons (1827 loaded Honduras with mahogany), “Calista” 203 tons (1827 loaded in Honduras for Jersey, Pallot ( and 1852 Honduras to Jersey with mahogany and rosewood), “Crusader” 127 tons.

The 1834 Slave Registers (available on Ancestry.com) have Robert Miller a mulatto age 40, a mahogany cutter owned by Philip Francis and John De Ste Croix.

On the 1851 census we find Philip De Ste Croix, 53 a shipowner living in London, and Jean De Ste Croix 50 a shipowner living at “Homestill” Green Street, St Helier.

The “London Gazette” 19th November, 1861 mentions Jersey merchants Philip and Francis De Ste Croix trading as P & F De Ste Croix and Co. merchants and mahogany cutters and a claim to be entitled in fee simple to – lands in Honduras situated on the River Sarstoon.

Francois Valpy in charge of the “Ceres” returned to Jersey from Honduras in 1809. In 1810 Philip Valpy in charge of the “Nelson” having left Honduras was attacked by a French Privateer and Valpy and one of the crew were killied, the vessel did eventually make its way back to Jersey. In 1828 Francois Valpy was a Lieutenant of the Honduras Militia, First Company – Blacks. He signed petition against the former Superintendent Colonel George Arthur to the Secretary of State Earl Bathurst Honduras 24th July, 1822. The 1829 Honduras almanac mentions Francis Valpy & Co. and the company flag yellow and blue halves.

George Le Geyt is mentioned in the following: March 1827 the death of his daughter Martha. 1829 named on legislative list of Honduras. Parliamentary Papers on a report on the Portuguese schooner “Carlota” also known as the “Mosquito” a slaver, Miguel Paulo master was signed George Le Geyt master builder in December, 1836. The Slave Register has Le Geyt owning several slaves in Honduras. The 1851 Jersey census has his wife Elizabeth living in Great Union Road with son Philip 6 born Jersey and daughter Ann 11 born Honduras, Elizabeth is recorded as Captain’s wife. The property is now known as Belize house. Philip the son later owned a property in Beach Road called Belize alongside Honduras.

Frederick Alexandre born Jersey 1809 died New York 1899 he chose a career at sea and took command of his first vessel aged 21. When about twenty-eight years old, the young captain settled in New York City, establishing a small commission house in South Street, paying at first as annual rental the sum of $25.  In 1842 he  established a line of sailing vessels between New York and Honduras, and subsequently between New York, Vera Cruz and South America.  In this enterprise he succeeded so well that, in 1867, he sold the sailing vessels, substituted steamers, and for nineteen years carried mails, freights and passengers between New York, Havana and Mexico.

WaterlowBritishHonduras-144-ArmsColony-9-1-53_zps74f504a3Honduras armourial said to have been designed by Thomas Pickstock

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