Bahamian general election, 1833

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General elections were held in the Bahamas in December 1833. They were the first elections in which non-white residents were able to vote, and three non-white candidates were elected to the General Assembly; Stephen Dillet, Thomas Minns and John Deane.[1]

Background[edit]

General elections had previously been held in 1832.[2] However, following a series of confrontations between the General Assembly and Governor Blayney Townley Balfour in 1833 over control of public buildings and the appointment of civil servants, Balfour dissolved the Assembly on 4 December 1833 after the Assembly voted by 21–2 to approve a resolution to withhold funding until the Governor accepted that the Assembly had control.[3] Balfour ordered that elections be held within a fortnight, with the vote in Nassau set for 17 December.[3]

Electoral system[edit]

The elections were the first to be held under the 1833 Act to Relieve His Majesty's Free Coloured and Black Subjects of the Bahamas Islands From All Civil Disability, which gave free non-white men over 21 the right to vote and stand in general elections in the territory, though slaves were still excluded.[4] Although property qualifications still severely restricted the franchise, with only around 4% of the population eligible to vote,[4] several non-white candidates ran in the elections.[3] The 25 members of the Assembly were elected in 13 constituencies ranging in size from one to four seats.[2]

Results[edit]

Constituency Date of election Candidate Votes % Notes
Andros Robert Duncome Elected
John Pinder Elected
Caicos John McIntosh Elected
Crooked Island John Meadows Elected
Eastern District 21 December George Anderson Elected
Conrad Duncome Elected
Eleuthera William Johnson Elected
Robert Millar Elected
William Knowles Elected
Exuma William Farrington Elected
Henry Armbrister Elected
John Meadows Elected
Harbour Island Henry Greenslade Elected
William Vesey Munnings Jr Elected
Hugh Kerr Elected
Long Island Henry Adderley Elected
Nassau 17 December George Wood 77 25.5 Elected
Stephen Dillet 67 22.2 Elected
John Storr 55 18.2 Elected
Robert Butler 55 18.2 Elected
Thomas Saunders 25 8.3
Thomas Forster 22 7.3
Neil M'Queen 1 0.3
San Salvador William Vesey Munnings Sr Elected
Turks Island Henshall Stubbs Elected
Watlings Island & Rum Key Charles Nesbitt Elected
Western District 21 December Thomas Minns 46 50.0 Elected
John Deane 46 50.0 Elected
Source: Hart

Aftermath[edit]

Henry Adderley, the elected member for Long Island, claimed that he had been elected "contrary to his wish and consent", and asked to be excused from the Assembly.[2] The Assembly was opened on 17 January 1834.[5]

In July 1834, several by-elections were held to elect additional members; George Anderson and Thomas Cartwright were elected from Exuma, George Adderly and Benjamin Sims Jr were elected from Long Island, James Malcolm was elected from Harbour Island, and George Camplejohn and Samuel Clutsam were elected from Eleuthera.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dwight C. Hart (2004) The Bahmian Parliament, 1729-2004: Commemorating the 275th anniversary, Jones Publications, p4
  2. ^ a b c d Hart, p39
  3. ^ a b c Hart, pp60–61
  4. ^ a b Hart, pp59–60
  5. ^ Hart, p62