Ada’s Letter


Ada’s Letter

Ada Eyre resolutely refused to comment further about the Jamaican tragedy after her husband’s death. In one sense she didn’t have to because we have a letter she had written to her mother ten days after the start of the rebellion, when still fearing for her own life and that of her children. In it she expressed her feelings about her husband and support for what he was doing:

The insurrection has been very terrible and since the 12th [October 1865] we have been in great and constant anxiety. No one can tell what I have endured because my precious husband, as the Governor of the country, who has been prompt and indefatigable to overcome the rebellion and to punish offenders, is by the rebels thought the one above all others to be sought out and destroyed. It is a thought of anguish to me that he is in such danger, but God in whom he trusts has brought him through hitherto, and my only peace is in committing him to His almighty care….

Even the cold, ungrateful people of Jamaica say that Edward has been the salvation of the country, that the Governor has by his wisdom and promptings and his own energetic example been the means of saving Jamaica….

My poor husband has been an entire slave to duty, and how he has ever borne up under such a pressure of care, anxiety, mental and bodily fatigue I cannot imagine. He never rested. For three days and nights he superintended all the expeditions that went out….

The extreme and devoted zeal my brave and noble husband has shown must be acknowledged by even Jamaica, for had he not acted in the resolute and prompt as well as judicious manner he has done, rebellions would have spread throughout the length and breadth of the land and the slaughter of the white people would have been universal – proof is hourly being evinced that this was a widely planned insurrection and that the massacre of the white and coloured races was determined. [The whites were outnumbered an estimated 50:1].

Ada, too, was brave and noble. She died in 1905, leaving behind their four sons and a daughter. Appropriately, she was laid in the grave beside her beloved husband.