CHOLLET - Tobago

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Re: CHOLLET - Tobago

Postby gege1789 » Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:02 pm

Dont know if that can be of any help or it could be way too late.
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Virtual Museum Of trinidad and tobago
GRAVE OF SAMUEL CHOLLET- THIS IS THE SECOND OLDEST TOMBSTONE I HAVE SEEN IN LAPEYROUSE AND ONE WITH A FASCINATING HISTORY SINCE IT COMMEMORATES A SENIOR CIVIL SERVANT WHO WAS DEMOTED FOR CORRUPTION.

Lapeyrouse cemetery in POS is a really amazing place in which to conduct historical research. Epitaphs are wonderful sources of data and the graveyard is truly representative of the melting pot that is Trinidad society- the ornate funeral monuments of wealthy French Creole clans jostle for space with the simple Chinese grave markers and the monolithic obelisks of departed freemasons. On a walk through the place recently I came upon a simple yet striking table-tomb of yellow sandstone crowned with a marble slab. On its side was a marble plaque which read :
‘Sacred to the memory of Samuel Chollet Esq. , Collector of this island and formerly Commissary General of the Windward and Leeward Islands. Death was occasioned by a second paralytic attack similar to the one with which he was seized in Barbados brought on by too intense an application to the duties of the Commissariat from such unwearied functions and conscientious discharge of duty. He was enabled to make a very considerable reduction in the expenditure and to place the same on a permanent footing . He died universally esteemed and regretted on the 13th of May 1814 aged 64 years . An honest man is the noblest work of God’
Not only was the survival of the tomb remarkable, but it was also the second oldest I had seen in Lapeyrouse, and was inscribed in old English script wherein the letter ‘s’ is written as ‘f’. All the more considerable was that Samuel Chollet , by virtue of his post of Commissary General of the Windward and Leeward Islands was a man of great significance indeed. His tomb in a forgotten corner of the tropical graveyard was something worth investigating. After a fair deal of research it turns out that Chollet first appears in the annals of the American Revolution wherein he was a Clerk in the Commissariat of the British Army in Philadelphia where he owned a house which was briefly tenanted to Gen. George Washington. This is around 1770. When the Redcoats lost the war and America became independent, Chollet, who seems to have been transferred to the West Indies where he sat in Barbados as the Commissary General. This was a substantial post indeed since France , Spain, Holland and England were embroiled in a bitter war over territories in the islands which saw some like Tobago change hands as many as 10 times between 1770 and 1815. Samuel would have been responsible for all supply and inventory management, the issuing and terminating of supply contracts. He was also responsible for the maintaining of Army Stores for the colonies, including Trinidad wherein he was inclined to publish regular announcements in the newspapers of the territories. These are some of those same ads which appeared in the Essequibo and Demerary (Demerara) Gazette which was in what is now Guyana:

Commissary-General's Office,
5th May, 1807.
Public Notice is hereby given, that the Contract for the supply of Money for the use of His Majesty's Services within this Command will terminate upon the 24th day of June next, and that Cash will be wanted by the Subscriber for Bills on the Treasury to the amount of L 10,000 Sterling,
to be drawn in suitable sums. Tenders therefore will be received at this Office until the 30th June, Sealed and Marked "Tenders for Bills" and will be opened on the 1st day of July in the presence of the Commander of the Forces, and if approved will be accepted.
Sam. Chollet,
Commissary General.
Saturday, January 24th, 1807.


New Advertisements.
Barbados, 12th January 1807.
The Commissary General as Sole Agent appointed for the purchase of Provisions for His Majesty's Troops, having from the day of his arrival in this Island, and with considerable success, opposed the combinations of Monopolists, who during several Years past have accumulated fortunes at the public Expence, by this Notice invites all Merchants and importers of Provisions and of Lumber, in this and the several Colonies of Surinam, Demerary, Berbice, Trinidad, Grenada, Tobago, St. Vincent's St. Lucia, Dominica, Antigua, and St. Kitts, to inform him with the price, quality and quantity of the several Articles they may at any time wish to dispose of; their offers will then be laid before the Commander of the Forces and answered fairly and impartially.
Government being disposed to grant every encouragement to importations of Provisions and Lumber from the British Colonies of Canada and Nova Scotia, the Subscriber will be ready to treat with the Proprietors or Agents of Cargoes arriving from thence.
(Signed) Samuel Chollet.
Commissary General.


Notice.
The Undersigned has received instructions from Samuel Chollet Esq. Commissary General, to advertise that Government Bills will be exposed for Sale, (sufficient for the Expences for two Months of this Colony and Berbice) on or before the 1st of July next, to be drawn in convenient Sums for the accommodation of the Purchasers, and that the Tenders will on that day be opened before Brig. General Montgomerie, and accepted if the Tenders are approved.
Will. N. Firebrace,
Residt. Commissary.
Demerary, 23d May, 1807.



Fuel Wood.
Wanted for the use of the Garrison at Fort William Frederick. Sealed Proposals for which will be received at this Office until Wednesday the 3d of June, which will be opened in the presence of the Officer Commanding His Majesty's Troops, when the one most advantageous will be accepted.
Security to be required for the due performance of the Contract.
Commissary's Office, 22d May 1807.


New Contracts For Flour.
Notice is hereby given to such Persons as are willing to supply the following Colonies and Islands with Flour of the newest and best quality to the dates set opposite them, respectively, that their Proposals (marked "Tenders for Flour," sealed and addressed to the Subscriber) for Barbados and Trinidad will be received at this Office until the 18th June; for Grenada, St. Vincent, and St. Lucia, until the 18th July; and for Surinam, Berbice, Tobago, Demerary, Antigua, St. Kitt's, and Dominica, until the 27th July; upon which days their said Proposals will be opened in the presence of the Commander of the Forces, and the most advantageous for Government accepted: -
Barbados, from 25th June, 1807, to 23d Feb. 1808.
Trinidad . . . . ditto . . . . . . ditto.
Grenada . . . . ditto . . . . . . ditto.
St. Vincent . . ditto . . . . . . ditto.
St. Lucia . . . ditto . . . . . . ditto.
Surinam . . . . ditto . . . . . . ditto.
Berbice . . . . ditto . . . . . . ditto.
Tobago . . . . . ditto . . . . . . ditto.
Demerary . . . . ditto . . . . . . ditto.
Antigua . . . . ditto . . . . . . ditto.
St. Kitt's . . . ditto . . . . . . ditto.
Dominica . . . . ditto . . . . . . ditto.
The above Contracts are to be entered into upon the following terms, viz. -
1st, Proper security must be given for their performance.
2nd, Payment to be made for the Flour in Government Bills, at 4s. 8d. Sterling per dollar.
3d, No large quantity to be received by the respective Assistant Commissaries than will be equal to the consumption of their Garrisons for three months, or less than two months.
4th, That if any quantity of Flour shall be ordered from England by the Commissioners for Victualling, after its arrival in any of the above Colonies and Islands, the Assistant Commissaries in such place or places, where the same shall arrive will be at liberty to refuse to receive any further supply from the Contractor or Contractors, until such importation of English Flour shall be nearly exhausted. - The supplies of Flour from Europe have hitherto been confined to the Colonies situated on the Coast of Guiana, viz. Surinam, Demerary, and Berbice.
Samuel Chollet,
Commissary-General.
Barbados, 12th May, 1807.
Saturday, the 24th of January.
Barbados, January 2, 1807.
The Commissary General, as sole Agent appointed for the purchase of Provisions for His Majesty's Troops, having from the day of his arrival in this Island, and with considerable success opposed the combinations of Monopolists, who during several years past have accumulated fortunes at the public expence, by this Notice invites all Merchants and importers of Provisions and of Lumber in this and the several Colonies of Surinam, Demerary, Berbice, Trinidad, Grenada, Tobago, St. Vincent's, St. Lucia, Dominica, Antigua and St. Kitt's, to inform him with the price quality and quantity of the several Articles they may at any time wish to dispose of, their offers will then be laid before the Commander of the Forces, and answered fairly and impartially.
Government being disposed to grant every encouragement to importations of Provisions and Lumber from the British Colonies of Canada and Nov Scotia, the Subscriber will be ready to treat with the Proprietors or Agents of Cargoes arriving from thence.
(Signed) Samuel Chollet,
Commissary General.


COMMISSARY GENERAL'S OFFICE. [heading]
Barbados, 27th April, 1807.
Wanted, for the use of His Majesty's Troops in this Island, from 15 to 18,000 lb. weight of Cocoa. Persons willing to make the supply are requested to address Tenders (sealed and marked "Tenders for Cocoa,") to the Subscriber previous to the 4th May, on which day they will be opened in the presence of the Commander of the Forces, and the most advantageous offer for Government accepted.
Samuel Chollet, Commiss. Gen.

Contracts.
Notice is hereby given, that the undermentioned Contracts will terminate upon the days respectively set opposite them:-
English or Irish Salt Provisions - For all the Colonies & Islands, Surinam excepted - 2d June, 1807.
Rice - For all the Colonies & Islands - 24th Sep.
Oats - For all the Colonies & Islands - 24th Sep.
Flour - For Trinidad and Barbados - 24th June.
----- - For Grenada, St. Vincent's & St. Lucia, - 24th July.
----- - For Surinam, Berbice, Demerary, Tobago, Antigua, & St. Kitt's, - 2d August.
----- - For Dominica - 12th Aug.
Sugar - For Trinidad - 1st July.
Cocoa - For Trinidad - 25th June, 1807.
White Lime, - For Barbados - 1st July.
Fuel Wood, Coals, and Candles, - For Barbados - 24th July.
And all persons are requested to pay attention to this public Advertisement; they are likewise informed, that although some of the above Contracts are general, yet there is no reason for their continuing so, unless a Tender, purporting to be a general one, should be made upon more reasonable terms than the individual ones.
Timely notice will be given when any of the said Contracts are to be renewed; and with regard to that of Salt Provisions, Tenders will be received at this Office from this day until the 20th May, at Ten o'Clock in the Morning, when they will be opened in the presence of the Commander of the Forces, and the most advantageous offer for Government accepted. Any information in the Commissary-General's power will be readily given.
Sam. Chollet.
Commissary-General Office,
Barbados, April 20, 1807.

GOVERNMENT BILLS AND PROVISIONS [heading]
Commissary General's Office, Barbados, Nov. 1, 1806. [heading]
Notice is hereby given, that in future all bills for the extraordinary Services of the Army on the Lord Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury, as likewise all those drawn by the Deputy Pay Master General of the forces, will be disposed of in the most fair and impartial manner, through the mode of sealed Tenders, addressed to the Subscriber, at this office, and that previous notice will be given in this Gazette, and those of the other Colonies and Islands, of the amount so to be disposed of.
Notices will also be given by public Advertisements, when Provisions or any Stores may be wanted by the Commissary General for the use of His Majesty's Troops the supplies of which will be made in the like manner.
Those already contracted for by the Acting Commissary General, by order of the Commander of the Forces, will in course be received.
Samuel Chollet,
Commissary General.

Being in such a crucial position, the time was ripe for Chollet to involve himself in a little corruption. The following chapter in American history is written thus

“There was renewed demand for slave-soldiers during the 1793-1815 war in the West Indies. The revolutionary tone during the early part of the war between Britain and France, coupled with serious British military setbacks and appalling casualties among European troops, compelled the British government to rely heavily on blacks. How many were purchased, by what means, and at what cost? According to the historian of the British army, Sir John Fortescue, many British activities during the war in the West Indies were cloaked in secrecy, making a complete understanding of Britain's wartime operations extremely difficult. It is certain that London chose to keep certain
of its more dubious transactions under wraps and therefore away from public examination-particularly hostile political scrutiny. Nurturing the odious trade with large purchases of African slaves at a time of mounting abolitionist sentiment would have been embarrassing, to say the least. The British government's Army Extraordinaries account provided a place in which politically sensitive financial transactions could be hidden. Army Extraordinaries contained large sums of money allocated to cover extraordinary expenses that could not be foreseen and which were in addition to sums voted by Parliament upon annual estimates. The total amount, for instance, voted by Parliament for the army for 1797, was £10,913,000 of which £4,300,000 was for Army Extraordinaries. The fact that this account lacked a periodic parliamentary audit resulted in massive fraud. The system of Army Extraordinaries became so abused that it was eventually abolished in 1836. It is thought that virtually all costs associated with the raising of the West India Regiments were met from funds drawn from this account. This burial ground for dubious financial transactions was not the only place where the accounts of slaves purchased on public account were
recorded. Fortunately, the details surrounding these transactions were diligently recorded in official dispatches between army commanders in the West Indies and the ministers, including Henry Dundas and William Windham. Even George III was privy to the scheme. These records clearly show that from 1795 to 1808, the British government bought an
estimated 13,400 slaves for its West India Regiments at the considerable cost of about £925,000. The average price paid per slave was approximately £70. This was, apparently, substantially above that being paid for new male slaves by civilian buyers. It must be noted here that the number 13,400 does not include an indefinite-but probably considerable-number of additional slaves bought by the British government to perform other military related functions, particularly those carried
out by the quartermaster general's department. It also does not reflect slaves serving in the Royal Navy, nor slaves purchased in Portuguese East Africa as recruits for Britain's Ceylon Regiments. British activities in the Indian Ocean appear to duplicate those in the West Indies. Recorded in one of these dispatches are the names of those commissioned
to provide slaves to the army from 1798-1807. This telltale list even includes the names of two British army officers, the governor of Dominica, Andrew Cochrane Johnstone, and the Commissary General of the British army in the West Indies in 1807, one SAMUEL CHOLLET. The presence of the latter's name is a clear indication of conflict of interest as it was the responsibility of the commissary general to award contracts to prospective suppliers of slaves.”




Possibly because of this corrupt practice of supplying slaves on his own account for the Crown, Chollet was demoted from the post of Commissary General in 1808, to the office of Collector of Taxes for the colony of Trinidad which the British had wrested from the Spanish in 1797. Chollet served under three governors being Sir Thomas Hislop - July 1804 - 27 September 1811 ,Hector William Munro - 27 September 1811 - 14 June 1813 and Sir Ralph James Woodford - 14 June 1813 until, as his tombstone reads, Chollet was carried away by a stroke and buried at Lapeyrouse. His life is an interesting account of a very senior civil servant. It is indeed fortunate that his grave marker and laudatory (though very inaccurate) epitaph have survived and are worthy of preservation for posterity.
gege1789
 
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Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:39 pm

Re: CHOLLET - Tobago

Postby gege1789 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:55 am

Glad if I could be of help. Do visit that Facebook page, I think one of my trinidadian friend is involved in it and could help you further your search in trinidad.

Also found the following page of interest, u may be aware of it already.

cheers and good luck


http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/4/325/
gege1789
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:39 pm


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