Once Upon a Time

by Emory King

Morning Frost in Belize 1798

I suppose she was born on a morning at the Mosquito Shore as they named her Morning. Her father was William Tucker, an Englishman. She was born in slavery as was her brother and sisters.

She came to Belize in 1786 with the Mosquito Shore people. She met a man named John Clark and Morning Tucker became Morning Clark. They were jointly charged with murder in 1791. The jury let her off as she argued that she was acting under the influence of her husband at the time.

Clark was convicted and ordered to give up all his property, was fined and banished from Belize for life. He soon afterwards died and Morning Clark married a man named John Frost. So she became Morning Frost and got a license to run a grogshop called Frost's Tavern and situated at place called Rogue's Point. (Now the site of the House of Culture, I believe).

Morning attracted a number of unattached girls to the place and Frost's Tavern became a notorious dive. During the war time of 1797 and 1798 the Sailors and Soldiers frequented the place for its good times, bad girls and barroom fights. She was on good terms with many officers. She got a contract to supply the H.M.S. Merlin with wet and dry rations in 1798.

John Frost died and Morning married a British soldier named Rampfdolph How long he stayed with her is unknown.

In 1802 a ship called the Leda wrecked on the reef and the Magistrates ordered the goods salvaged to be sold at public auction for the benefit of the Settlement. Word soon came to the authorities that Morning was buying these goods. When her slaves told the Provost Marshall where to find the stolen goods Morning was arrested.

Later in that day word came that Morning was going to kill her servants. A search of her premises disclosed her servants tied up and in a dory. One man testified that Morning had told him she was going to cut their throats and feed them to the alligators.

At her trial she cursed so often the Magistrates told her they would fine her 4 pistoles for every curse word she uttered. By the end of the trial she owed hundreds of pistoles to the Court.

I suppose she knew so much scandal on each of the Magistrates that they dropped the fine and the case.

Morning died in 1806. Her will showed she did not leave much besides 8 slaves, each one of which was worth more than her plantation at Muscle Creek which was assessed at 25 pounds.

It is interesting to note that one of Morning's sisters was Grace Tucker who married Alexander Anderson and lived on his 20,000 acre property up the Belize River near Roaring Creek.. In July, 1799 Grace sold their sister Bess to John Samuel August who freed her and married her. In 1822 Grace and her young son treated their slaves so badly it almost caused a slave rebellion.