Port-Louis, Island of Mauritius: Office of Auxiliary Commissions of Compensation, 1837.
Unbound. Broadside document. Approximately 8" x 12½". Partially printed and executed in holograph. Old fold lines, else about fine. A form intended expressly to address compensation for slaves freed by the Emancipation Act.
William Harrison Hollier Griffiths, trader in Port-Louis, claims compensation for the loss of his four slaves lost to abolition. The printed form reads: "The amount of Compensation which appears to us to be due to the said... according to the average value of every Negro in each class, is [followed in manuscript]: "95 Pounds 12 shillings eight pence three farthings - 92 Sterling." Signed in manuscript by five Assistant Commissioners. Griffiths created the Mauritius Commercial Bank in 1838, before being named commercial agent for the United States. The bank is the oldest bank south of the Sahara and one of the oldest banks in the British Commonwealth to have preserved its original name.
Mauritius, is an island in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Southeast Africa. Colonized first by the Dutch and then the French, it was ceded to the British after the Napoleonic Wars in 1814, and as such was subject to the abolition of slavery in the Empire in 1835.
An interesting insight into the oddly specific and business-like administration of legal emancipation and compensation, and a rare Mauritius imprint.