Stamps Honour Bermuda Island’s Proud History of Piloting

\"\"By Jonathan Bell

Unveiling the new stamp ‘Piloting in Bermuda’ also launched an exhibit exploring the life of pilot and freed slave Jemmy Darrell.

In speaking at yesterday’s ceremony at the General Post Office in Hamilton, Information Services Minister Neletha Butterfield noted the connection between the 18th century slave who became one of our first Bermudian pilots, and Economy and Trade Minister Kim Wilson one of the many Bermudians descended from Mr Darrell.

Mr Darrell’s skills as a pilot were so impressive that he was able to win his freedom in 1796 from the Governor of the day, James Crawford.

Ms Butterfield said: “The documents on display here shed considerable light on the life of Pilot Darrell. They also give insight into, and ready access to, historical information about Bermuda’s community of slaves and free persons of colour. Highlighting repressive early 19th century legislation that curtailed the economic and legal rights of Bermuda’s black community, the exhibition documents the bold persistence of a group of men, led by Bermudian pilots, in fighting and redressing this legislation through petitions to the Admiralty and to the Secretary of State for the Colonies.”\"\"

The stamp and the archival exhibits, she said, were a joint venture between the Bermuda Post Office and Bermuda Archives.

For the next several months, the main post office will display centuries-old documents from the time of Pilot Darrell.

Ms Butterfield said: “I wish to salute the staff of the Bermuda Archives for assembling this wonderful exhibition, and to express gratitude to the Bermuda Post Office for providing a dedicated space in which members of the public might view these unique manuscripts and images.”(Source-The Royal Gazette online)

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