I came across a fascinating book earlier this year entitled Exuma: The Loyalist Years 1783-1834 by W.H.James. It gives an in depth history into the characters who set up their plantations and trading establishments in Exuma along with a little insight into how life in Exuma was for The Loyalists at that time. Amongst the Out Islands, Exuma was considered important and Elizabeth Harbour along with George Town one of the most important harbours in the islands.
This is a poem from the book which I found charming:
Exuma and The Bahamas
- A Loyalist Haven –
“Isles where Columbus first unfurled,
The Spanish flag in the Western world.
Isles where the pirates once held sway,
And scuttled ships off many a cay.
Isles of summer and endless June,
Velvet nights and a golden moon.
Waters of turquoise and lazuli,
Whitest of beaches and sapphire sea.
Isles of romance, story and song,
Of gallant deeds and bitter wrong”.
From the many maps in the book we think that the land on which our house sits was once owned by a Philip Moore. Moore had over 2,000 acres of land on both Great and Little Exuma but appears to have spent the majority of his time in Nassau.
What a perfect paradise of beaches and turquoise seas they picked, however in terms of fertile ground for their farming after a few years the soil was useless causing grief and ruin. It is now our turn to put Exuma back on the map and ensure everyone can enjoy its beauty and charm.