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Hugh Fraser

Hugh Fraser of Wakenaam Island, Essequibo, was elected a member of the colony’s College of Kaisers in 1807. When he died in 1812 he had an interest in plantation Marionville on the island, which he owned along with Robert Selkrig. In relation to the purchase of this plantation, Paul Koulen has provided the following information:

The plantation, then known as Met Zorg, was purchased from the widow Clara Booter, then re-married to G. H. Trotz, for 200,000 Dutch Guilders. The plantation has 105 enslaved persons attached to it. Selkrig & Fraser mortgaged the plantation as security for the repayment of the purchase sum to Ms. Booter, over a period of 15 years. The mortgage was cancelled on 18 Jan. 1817, presumably because it was paid off. [Source: NA-NL 1.05.21 Guyana Archives (Dutch Series), AZ.4.21, scans 24 & 25.]

Fraser had two children, named John and Hugh, with the ‘free coloured’ woman Maria Madelaine [or Magdalene] Coulong or Colongue. In 1818 John Fraser, then living in Findhorn, died leaving 2000 guilders to these children [Will of John Fraser]. Maria had seven children in all (Simon, William, James, Mary, Margaret, John, and Hugh) and petitioned for formal manumission [freedom] in 1815 'having lived for upwards of Ten Years in a state of Reputed Freedom' [E&DRG].

In 1817 Maria registered ownership of 13 male and 5 female slaves [T391/510 Entry 550]. Unusually she named the nations to which her African-born slaves belonged: Congah, Cramanti, Longanba, Popah, Mandingo and Eabo.

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