An excerpt from the
Krio Historical Society Journal Volume I
An Examination of Primary Sources
The ‘Senior Service’ of Sierra Leone, 1885
From left to right the photograph depicts: Melvin Victor Dermont Stuart, the Afro-Bahamian head of customs, next to him is Captain J.N. Compton who is standing slightly in front of Mr. Robert Wade, the Freetown jail keeper. In front of Mr. Wade is Dr. Robert Smith, the Assistant Colonial surgeon and scion of a prominent Krio family.2 The elderly white haired gentleman left of Dr. Robert Smith is Thomas George Lawson, the Popo born Chief’s son who was the Government Messenger and Interpreter and mentor to JC.E. Parkes.3 Between T.G. Lawson and C.H. Moseley, (the gentleman in the sunhat who was the Assistant Colonial Secretary), is Reverend John Campbell. Next to Rev. Campbell is the Assistant Postmaster, James Hastings-Spaine, the son of an Aku Recaptive from Hastings4. The tall bearded gentleman next to J.H. Spaine is Daniel Carrol, the Master and Registrar of the Court and the last lawyer to practice without training.5 Next to him in the dashing top hat is John Meheux, the Sheriff of the Colony who was the son of a French trader and a Temne mother.6 Next to Sheriff Meheux is Alfred Revington, Acting Inspector-General of Police. Next to Mr. Revington is T.R. Pakenham, the Assistant Colonial Secretary of the Aborigines branch. The gentleman in the turban is Mohammed Sanussi, Arabic interpreter and writer. The next and final two gentlemen on the right are R.E. Pownall, the Colonial Surveyor and J.C. Gore the Auditor-General. The individual seated on the immediate right of Acting Governor Pinkett is T. Riseley Griffith, the Colonial Secretary and Treasurer. On the left of Acting Governor Pinkett is J.K. Donaldson, the Queen’s Advocate. The gentlemen seated in front of Governor Pinkett are E.J. Cameron, the Assistant Colonial Secretary (seated on the left) and Edwin Adolphus, the Police Magistrate.
1 Reproduced from Arthur Porter, Creoledom: A study of Freetown society, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1963) and individuals identified from Basil Freestone, The horsemen from beyond, (London: Dobson Books Ltd. 1981), p.
2 Dr. Robert Smith was from a distinguished Krio family; his father William Smith was the former Registrar for the Mixed Commissions Court and his father, William Smith Sr was an Englishman from Yorkshire who had served as the senior Judge of the Court .Dr. Robert Smith’s mother was Charlotte Macaulay, the daughter of Governor Kenneth Macaulay (relative of Lord T.B. Macaulay) and a Recaptive mother. Dr. Smith was also the half-brother of Adelaide Casely-Hayford.
3 David E. Skinner, Thomas George Lawson: African Historian and Administrator in Sierra Leone, (California: Hoover Institution, 1980) T.G. Lawson had himself been raised in the household of John McCormack, the Irish timber trader
4 J.H. Spaine was the brother of Canon Samuel Spain who married Elliott in 1882
5 Daniel Carrol was also of Nova Scotian Settler descent; his great grandfather, George Carrol Sr. was among the original Nova Scotian Settlers and was the first to build a stone house in Sierra Leone. Daniel Carrol was one of the first students at the Grammar School and was later on a tutor to Sir Samuel Lewis.
6 John Meheux would die a year after this photograph was taken. His youngest daughter, Nora Meheux would work for Paterson and Zachonis.