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Journal of the Bahamas Historical Society, Volume 2 (October 1980)

PERSONALITIES: MARY MOSELEY 1878 - 1960
by Ruth Bowe

For over a century and a half the newspaper history in the Bahamas has been closely connected with the Nassau Guardian and the Moseley family, the original founders, owners and editors. The history of the Nassau Guardian began with the arrival of Mr. Edwin Charles Moseley in 1837 from England to assume the Editorship of the Argus.1 However, he declined this position because the newspaper was anti-emancipation and opposed to many of his views. On 23 November 1844 he founded the Nassau Guardian which became the longest lived and most widely circulated newspaper in The Bahamas. In the 1870's there was a growing concern for the survival of the newspaper industry since the community did not require nor could it support three newspapers.2 With this in mind the Moselelys acquired the Bahama Herald3 in 1877, a year before the birth of the Bahamas' outstanding female journalist, Mary Moseley.

Mary Moseley was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Edwin Moseley4 and the granddaughter of the founder and first editor of the Nassau Guardian. She was born into a "newspaper" family and at a very early age she showed a keen interest in journalism and in the newspaper business. She was educated in Nassau at the Church High School (later known as St. Hilda's) and privately tutored.

Upon the death of her father in 1904 Miss Moseley undertook the management and editorship of the Nassau Guardian. It was thought that her new job was only temporary but in fact, along with Bahamian history, it became her life long interest. In 1907 Miss Moseley acquired the actual business from the Estate of the late Percival James Moseley. She worked unstintingly at the helm of the Nassau Guardian for forty-eight (48) years. She finally gave it up in 1952 and afterwards worked in an advisory capacity.

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If you are interested in the full text of the article, you may order this issue of our Journal for B$5.00 plus s&h by contacting the society.

END NOTES

  1. The Argus was founded in 1831 as a result of the dissension against emancipation. It was a bi-weekly under the editorship of Mr. George Biggs. "Newspapers of The Bahamas 1784-1944", Nassau Guardian, Nassau Bahamas 23 November, 1944.
  2. Nassau Guardian "Newspapers of The Bahamas 1784-1944", Nassau, Bahamas. 23 November, 1944.
  3. The Bahama Herald was started in 1849 in opposition to the Nassau Guardian. In 1877 the Nassau Guardian bought the Bahama Herald.
  4. Mr. Alfred Moseley was the defendant in the famous 1892 contempt of court case. He was imprisoned for upholding the principles of freedom of the Press, but later released by the Governor. This was a controversial issue which shook the idea of justice in The Bahamas.