IT HAPPENED IN “TOWN”.........
autodidact John Jacob Thomas (1840-1889) wrote what was
incontrovertibly the most important book by a West
Indian author in all of the nineteenth century: JJ’s
book is titled “Froudacity: West Indian Fables by James
Anthony Froude”. It was a response to Professor J.A.
Froude, who published a racist attack on the West Indies
in an 1888 book called “The English in the West Indies”.
Note the piquant originality of JJ’s book title:
“Froudacity” was coined from Froude and audacity.
Thomas wrote his important book while vacating in
Grenada (St George’s) in 1889; indeed the book was a
revision of a series of articles published by JJ in
Donovan’s Grenada Chronicle newspaper.
J.J. makes a very telling comment about late 19th
century Grenada. He wrote, in part:
who know Grenada and its affairs are perfectly familiar
with the fact that all of all of its chief intellectual
business, whether official( even in the highest degree,
such as temporary administration of the government),
legal, commercial, municipal, educational or
journalistic, has been for years upon years carried on
by men of colour”
made this comment while holding up William Galwey “Lion”
Donovan (1856-1929) as the living prototype of these
intellectually capable Grenadian men of colour.