Magnification shows some of Plymouth’s landmarks. In the center is the War Memorial clock tower flanked by government buildings (partially obscured by cancel in the 1st example). Plymouth was Monserrat’s capital and sole port of entry. It still is the government’s official location, although no one lives or works there -- the world’s only phantom capital. Fire and ash rendered Plymouth uninhabitable. Thankfully, all residents evacuated safely then resettled in the northern part of the island or elsewhere in the United Kingdom.
Monserrat’s stamps remind me of another spooky matter -- a pernicious myth circulating on the internet about atrocities supposedly perpetrated against Monserrat’s early Irish immigrants. Yes, many of them were indentured servants. But allegations that equate their circumstances to horrors endured by African slaves are false, deceitful, and lacking in evidence, according to knowledgeable historians. Montserrat’s 1903 series (#s 12 thru 20) appropriately honors the island’s Irish heritage -- Erin, the female personification of Ireland holding a harp, clinging to a cross, and looking rather prosperous. The image was soon adopted as Monserrat’s coat of arms (1909).
I find the false aggrandizement of white indentured servants’ suffering disturbing, in a chilling sort of way, because some of my own ancestors were indentured servants. One of them married his master’s daughter -- a practice forbidden to African slaves. Although some indentured whites were ill-treated, reparations were commonly available once their servitude was completed. Not so for chattel slaves. For them, suffering was perpetual and hereditary.
Note: the BBC pic (above) is copyright, and is used here for educational purposes.