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[On December 11, 1882, a man by the name of Edward Foster, a disgruntled employee of Alexander Feurtado Lumber Company, Port Royal Street, set fire to the premises of his employer. The resulting fire almost destroyed the southern half of Kingston. In The New Jamaica, by Edgar Mayhew Bacon and Eugene Murray Aaron (New York : Walbridge, 1890), the authors describe the devastation as follows:
"Six thousand people were rendered homeless by this conflagration, and a large portion of the business part of the town burned over". Among those businesses affected by the fire was the Gleaner Company itself. Also destroyed were both Jewish synagogues, as a result of which the birth, marriage and death records prior to 1809, of the Sephardic congregation, were completely destroyed, while the death records of the Ashkenazi congregation were also lost.]
The microfilm of the Daily Gleaner and DeCordova' Advertising Sheet begins at January 25, 1883. The following advertisement appears on the first page:
Having been burnt out in the fire of 11th December, the following Departments of the Post Office have had to be established at the premises in East Street, known as "Blundell Hall", viz.:
Control Branch (including offices of the Postmaster of Jamaica, Chief Clerk and Accountant).
The Money Order and Mail Coach Offices and the Returned Letter Branch, also the Inland Telegraph Office.
Postmaster for Jamaica.
In the Cunard Steamer, Alpha, from Halifax: - Mrs. William Duffus; Miss Duffus; Miss Edith Duffus; Master James Duffus; Rev. Mr. Murray; Mr. R. O. Colt; Miss Colt and maid; Mr. R. Colt, Jnr.; Mrs. A. Hill and infant.
In the R. M. C. steamer Para from Colon -- Mrs. A. Boyd; Mr. G. Panton; Mr. D. Dupee; Mr. Brack and wife, and 66 deckers.
In the R. M. C. steamer Para from Southampton -- Mr. Thomas Hiscock; Mr. Hauxwell; Mrs. Franklin and 2 children; Revd. A. Findlay.
For Jacmel -- Miss Le Banc; Miss Rosalie Laraque; Mr. Duval.
On the 24th December last, at St. Andrews, Columbia, of yellow fever, David Charles, son of Abraham and Louisa DeSouza, of this city...
The Governor has been pleased to appoint Thomas William Miller, Esq., to be a Justice of the Peace for the parish of St. Ann.
The Governor has been pleased to appoint D. E. D. Bates, to be an assessor of damage, under Law 46 of 1872, within the district of the Eastern District Court.
The Governor has been pleased to renew for the current year, the licenses granted to the undermentioned pilots -- W. G. Burton, for Lucea; Charles G. Pearce, special license for Montego Bay and Lucea.
In this city on the morning of the 25th inst., the wife of Mr. G. C. H. Lewis of a daughter.
On the 26th inst., at No. 76 King Street, Mrs. William Lundie, relict of the late William Lundie of Aberdeen, in the 46th year of her age.
On the 24th inst., Geraldine Augusta, youngest daughter of Frederick and Esther DeSouza, aged 7 years.
We are pleased to be able to report that Messrs. George Henderson & Co. have, thanks to the able management of Mr. H. Romero, fitted up their old store with sufficient materials to enable them to recommence their printing business.
We understand that Alfred A. Marcus, Esq. of Boston, Mass., has presented to the Spanish and Portuguese Congregation of this city, a scroll of the Law, with a pair of silver bells, silver breastplate, and silver pointer, and an elegant embroidered curtain for the Ark, also an extra pair of handles for scroll, a pointer and mallet of olive wood from the Holy Land. The value of the gift is enhanced from its having been spontaneous, and before any application for aid had been made.
The terrible calamity which has befallen Kingston, and inflicted on all classes a common sorrow, has evoked practical sympathy from abroad, and the inhabitants of the Island, with wonted generosity, have aided promptly and liberally in assuaging, as far as possible, the misery of the direct sufferers by such calamity.
Though heavily taxed, the resources of the public, we are certain, will still be equal to the Special Appeal which it is our sad duty to make. The losses which have fallen on the Jewish community are too well known throughout the Island to need narration. We have the honor to represent the smaller section, known as the English and German Jewish Congregation. Our beautiful edifice in Orange Street, and the minister's residence which adjoined it, have been entirely destroyed. Besides this deplorable loss, other buildings, including the schoolhouse, in which we held a moiety of interest, helped to feed the fury of the conflagration.
Apart from the destruction of our Synagogue, the centenary of which we had hoped in about three years to celebrate, the members of our community, with scarcely any exception, have suffered greatly in their personal interests by the disastrous fire.
Surrounded by such painful difficulties, we ask assistance, and cherish the anxious hope that the cause itself, more than any language that might be employed in advocating it, will plead for the aid that is respectfully solicited to enable us to rebuild our edifice which, for nearly a century, had been dedicated to the worship of God.
Subscriptions will be thankfully received and acknowledged by either of the undersigned:
Isaac Lawton, chairman; H. Stern; George Lyon, Jnr.; E. E. Lewin; Charles Alexander; George Magnus.
Kingston January 29th 1883.
At 120 Duke Street, on the nineteenth inst., the wife of Andrew M. Scott of a daughter.
The annual general meeting of the Jamaica Branch of the British Medical Association was held yesterday at the Public Library. The following are the Office Bearers -- President for the current year -- Dr. Arthur Saunders. President Elect to preside next year - Dr. Stern. Honorary Secretary and Treasurer - Dr. Stern. Members of Council - Drs. Gayleard, Phillippo, Ogilvie, Ross, Pringle, Cargill and F. Saunders.
The following is the Court List for the Supreme Court to open on Monday next:
Re O'Connor DeCordova - Motion to be examined preparatory to being articled.
Re Raynes Andrews - Motion to be examined preparatory to being articled.
Re Andrew Valencia Lemard - Motion to be examined preparatory to admission as a Solicitor.
Re Cleveland A. Dias, a bankrupt. Application for discharge.
Hart, A. J. and al. vs. Hudson, John William - Appeal from order of Judge in Chambers.
Brice, R. H. vs Shearer, Joseph - Appeal by defendant from judgment of Northern District Court.
Subscriptions received to 31st of Jan., £9,664 8s 8d. Amount expended to date including special grants, £3,384 4s 4d. This will leave a balance of £6,280 4s 4d. Yesterday 40 more special grants were made, to the amount of £540. Total number of special cases dealt with to date 119; total special grants £1, 395. Balance to the credit of the fund is further liable for tools and implements of trade.
On the 2nd at No. 44 John's Lane, Samuel Mordecai. Friends and acquaintances are requested to attend. The funeral will move at 8 p.m.
At Passley Garden, Portland, on the night of the 23rd January, 1883, George Merchant Thomson, son of the late Hon. T. C. Thomson. Aged 35 years and 5 months.
One of our fellow-townsmen, Mr. Abraham C. Henriques, now resident in Carthagena, has been appointed Vice-Consul for the U. S. America.
A young man named Emanuel Corinaldi, a shopkeeper at Montego Bay, drowned himself in the Great River, near Montego Bay, on the 28th ult. It appears that he was intrusted with an amount of money to buy produce, and failing to make returns, he committed the act. When the body was recovered a couple of days after, some heavy stones were found in his pockets.
THE FIRE IN JAMAICA
THE GOVERNOR'S DESPATCH TO EARLY KIMBERLEY
The following despatch from the Governor, on the subject of the recent fire at Kingston, has been received at the Colonial Office.
King's House, Jamaica, December 13, 1882
My Lord, -- It was my painful duty yesterday to transmit to your Lordship the following telegram: - "12th. Calamitous fire Kingston yesterday, few lives lost, great destruction of property, almost all business portion of city destroyed, much distress poorer classes, towns-people behave well, relief needed." This conflagration has indeed been a disaster, form the effects of which I fear that it will be long before the city of Kingston recovers. Time has not yet been afforded to obtain much detailed information, but although many buildings and their contents were probably insured, it is to be feared that numerous others were not, and those chiefly the possession of the poorer classes, of whom numbers have been left absolutely shelterless, and their property is totally destroyed, and they will, it is to be feared, in large measure, be thrown out of employment. I annex a map of part of the city of Kingston, in which the area of the fire is described in red ink. With some remarkable exceptions, of which the escape is wonderful, the desolation within this area is complete; to large portions I have seen nothing comparable but the ruins of Pompeii; literally nothing is left but cracked and blackened walls. To anyone acquainted with the city it will be obvious at a glance that it includes the chief part of the shops, stores, and merchants' offices and warehouses of Kingston, with the lanes of small dwellings between. The government buildings and public offices, for the most part placed elsewhere, have been fortunate in almost altogether escaping, but the Ordnance stores and wharf, the property of the Imperial Government, have been entirely destroyed! and the premises of the Colonial Bank have only left of them the quarters of the resident clerk, which are now to be used temporarily as the bank office. Both the Jewish synagogues are burnt, but other places of worship were not within this part of the town, and they are unhurt. The fire began in the middle of the day on the premises of a merchant named Feurtado, just to the eastward of a group of Government buildings -- the Postal Telegraph Office, the Savings Bank, the Treasury, the Supreme Court House, the Town Hall, and the Post Office. Of these the Telegraph Office and the Savings Bank have been burned, though all books and papers have been saved, and the buildings themselves were comparatively of little value. Exertions to protect them were fortunately successful in preserving the most important and more valuable edifices. But the fire spread with marvellous rapidity, to the westward between these buildings and the sea, and, leaping from roof to roof, covered for the most part with old "shingles" frequently as dry and inflammable as "punk", crossed the streets, driven by the strong breeze north-westerly, nearly up to the Jamaica Railway Station and works. Fortunately for these buildings, before it reached that point, the wind changed to the evening land breeze, which, unhappily, set in unusually early and in great strength, and this pushed the conflagration before it down to the sea. It was at this time and during the night that the destruction took place of the Ordnance premises and the wharves and waterside warehouses. I was enabled by personal observation to know, what I believe is generally conceded, that there was no lack of water supply for the hydrants and hose, and that the Fire Brigade did all that was in their power, but it was wholly impossible, with five times their number, to control, in presence of the prevalent high wind, a conflagration which was soon breaking out in half-a-dozen places at once. Attempts, more or less successful, were made, however, by pulling down houses and otherwise, to arrest the progress of the flames, but such agencies were of little avail, though most willing and valuable assistance was rendered by Commodore Purvis and a party of officers and men from Her Majesty's gunboat Foam, who came up from Port Royal, and by officers and men from the garrison at Up-park-camp, by the direction of Major-Gen. Gamble and Col. Wiseman-Clarke. I should add that the deportment of the townspeople, for by far the most part, was surprisingly orderly and quiet during this trying time; and I publicly expressed my sympathy with their distress, and satisfaction at their conduct in an extraordinary Gazette, of which I enclose a copy. Yesterday a meeting was held in Kingston, under the presidency of the Custos of Kingston, Mr. Kemble, to devise the best means or relieving the immediate necessities of the shelterless and those without food. I am not yet in possession of all details of what was done, but I am informed that £600 was subscribed in the room at a not very numerous meeting (so many sufferers being engaged by their own affairs), and I had conveyed authority to Mr. Kemble to state that, besides my own private subscription I would place £500 of public money at the disposal of any committee duly organized at the meeting for the purpose of administering relief, on my personal responsibility, pending a meeting of the legislative council. The usual annual Kingston race meeting was to have taken place yesterday, and the two following days, but by unanimous consent all intention of holding it was abandoned, and all parties interested in the funds and stakes appropriated for this purpose have agreed in a praiseworthy manner to transfer them all to the Relief Committee. Some supplies for immediate use, amounting to nearly £2,000, will thus be furnished, but I fear much more will be required, and probably, in view of the severity and lamentable character of this disaster, charitable assistance from Great Britain will not be lacking in aid of what can be collected on the spot. If your lordship should not object to the publication of this dispatch, doing this may be the means of attracting to the subject the attention of the charitably disposed, and especially of those interested in Jamaica.
I have, etc. (signed)
The Right Hon. the Earl of Kimberley
[On the same page of this issue of the Gleaner was an editorial column headed "From the European Mail", which reported on "the despatch from Sir Anthony Musgrave to the Earl of Kimberley on the subject of the recent fire at Kingston, which was published in the London daily papers on January 6" lists the subscriptions raised in London "to an amount exceeding £1,500, including £500 from the Colonial Bank", but also points out that "had the Governor telegraphed this much [i.e. the extent of the devastation caused by the fire] in the middle of December, and wired what he now writes about charitable assistance from Great Britain, there can be no doubt that a public subscription would have been started before the end of the year, and doubtless by this time a sufficient amount of money would have been received to meet all the necessities of the case ... and if the distress increases in the meantime, Sir Anthony will have no one to blame but himself"]
In the R. M. C. steamer Don for Colon: - Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Pairman and child; Mr. C. A. Frank; Mr. D. E. Carcass; Mr. Louis Garrigues; Mrs. S. D. Gordon and 3 children, and 172 deckers.
At 20 minutes past 4 o'clock this morning, Agnes Susan, daughter of George P. and Eleanor Walsh; aged 7 months.
Mr. Colin Figueroa left as purser on the Atlas S. S. Company's coasting steamer Arran on Saturday last. This gentleman was formerly employed by Messrs. McDowell, Hankey & Co. of this city.
The friends and acquaintances of Mrs. Julia D'Silva, relict of Phineas O. D'Silva are requested to attend her remains from her late residence No. 125 Tower Street, to the place of interment at 4:30 this evening.
At Little Spring Garden, Portland, on the 4th inst., the wife of D. Mortimer Dias of a daughter.
In this city, on the 2nd February 1883, after 3 hours sickness, Ethel, infant daughter of Albert and Ellen Palmes; aged 3 years.
Yesterday at 18 Maiden Lane, Robert Bean.
In the Atlas Co.'s steamer, Alvena, from New York - Mr. & Mrs. E. DeCordova; Mr. & Mrs. W. H. Prince; Mr. & Mrs. Gen. Drezel; Messrs. A. E. Irving; G. A. Irving; C. M. McCabe; Mr. C. C. Goodale; Mrs. Goodale; Miss E. Fray; Miss E. Joseph; Mr. J. T. C. Stirling; Mr. Aaron DeCordova; Mr. Alan McRea.
LAY - CODNER - On 1st inst., at the Holy Trinity Church, by the Revd. Joseph Dupont, assisted by the very Revd. Thomas Porter, V. A., Octavio Jose, eldest son of Armand Lay, of Cuba, to Marie Elizabeth, eldest daughter of John Strong Codner of this city.
The Governor has appointed R. M. Cocking, Esq., to be Superintendent Registrar of Marriages for the parish of St. Mary, in the room of J. A. Hoskins, Esq., deceased.
The Governor has appointed Joseph Solomon Marchalleck, Ivanhoe Hoseph Mordecai, and Edward Graham Kerridge, Esquires, to be Justices of the Peace for the parish of St. Thomas.
The Governor has appointed A. G. Davidson, Esq., Assistant Collector of Taxes, to act as collector of taxes and Parochial Treasurer for the parish of St. James, in the room of A. M. Jackson, Esq., to whom leave of absence has been granted from the 12th instant, and F. B. Bowen, Esq., Treasury Clerk, to act as Assistant Collector in the room of Mr. Davidson.
William Pinnock, a member of the Kingston Fire Brigade, died at the Public Hospital on the 7th inst. The immediate cause of death was dysentery, but deceased has not been well since the day of the great fire, when he overworked himself. He leaves a widow.
Yesterday morning, at Lignumvitae Grove, St. Andrew, Edward Whitehouse Lewis, attorney-at-law. The funeral will move at half-past 4 o'clock this evening to the place of interment at Half-way Tree.
On the 9th inst., at Belle Vue Pen, Harold Alexander, son of Charles Davidson. Aged 20 months.
On the night of the 10th inst., at his residence No. 63 Orange Street, from injuries received at the hands of an assassin, Elias Holstead, a native of Norway, in the 30th year of his age ...
We are much pleased to learn that Mr. O'Connor DeCordova and Mr. Raynes Andrews, have satisfactorily passed the examinations in the several subjects prescribed in the order of the Supreme Court, preparatory to their being articled as Students of Law. Mr. DeCordova is articled to Mr. Advocate Lindo, and Mr. Andrews to Mr. William Andrews, Solicitor, and we wish both young gentlemen every success in prosecuting the studies required to qualify them for the honorable profession which they have chosen. The examiner was Mr. William Morrison, M. A.
In this city on the 9th instant, Mrs. Aug. A. Lindo of a girl.
The friends and acquaintances of Mr. James Clough are requested to attend the remains of his mother, Mrs. Elizabeth Clough, from her residence, No 45 Oxford Street, to the Catholic Cemetery, at half past 4 o'clock this evening.
At Norwood Lodge, St. Andrew, the wife of F. A. Magnus of a son.
We are pleased to announce that Mr. W. R. Phillips, Proprietor of the Westmoreland Telegraph, passed his examination yesterday and was admitted to practice as a land surveyor.
[A lengthy description of the trial of a man named Edward Foster, charged with setting fire to the premises of Mr. Alexander Feurtado, on 11th December 1882. After hearing the evidence of several witnesses, the Jury returned a verdict of guilty. Mr Justice Ker sentenced Foster to imprisonment for life.]
At 89 Duke Street, on 22nd instant, the wife of Z. Brice Feurtado of a son.
Yesterday at the residence of her son, T. Astwood Smith, Sarah Parker, wife of John Smith, Esq., late of Inagua, Bahamas. The funeral will leave Rae Town for Half-way Tree at 4 o'clock this evening.
At St. George's Parsonage, Kingston, on Thursday, the 22nd inst., the wife of the Revd. H. H. Kilburn of a son.
Mr. A. E. Burke who held the position of Consul of Haiti for Kingston, has been appointed Consul General of the Republic for this island.
Yesterday afternoon at 5 o'clock at his residence, 16 Bread Lane, Mr. Robert Cole, (Cooper).
At 12:30 last night, Benjamin Vincent Hall. The funeral will leave his late residence, No. 69 Church Street, at 5 o'clock this evening.
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