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After the war, McRae settled in Belize, British Honduras. McRae purchased land and continued running a plantation and mercantile business. Since he was never officially pardoned, McRae decided it was too risky to return to the former Confederate States. In May of 1868, McRae's sister, Catherine McRae (Hempstead), and brother, John McRae, visited him in Belize. John, the ex governor of Mississippi, was gravely ill but wanted to see his brother one last time. John died soon after arriving in Belize and was buried there. While in Belize, Catherine met and married Christopher Hempstead, a successful businessman and friend of McRae, who was an exiled Confederate. During 1875, McRae willed all of his property to his sister Catherine until his nieces and nephews from his other sister, Isabelle Armor, were of age. McRae died in February of 1877.

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According to the 1861 census, 25,635 citizens were residing in the colony of British Honduras at that time. Approximately 8000 people were living in the old capital, Belize City.

In 1866, approximately 7,000 new immigrants arrived from the Southern United States. As a consequence, this influx of new residents caused a shortage of dwellings for these new immigrants to live. At that time, old Belize City had only two hotels, one appropriately called 'The Hotel', owned by John Mckenzie, located at the corner of Orange Street and Water Lane according to the book 'Confederate Settlement in British Honduras' (I am not sure if this location is accurate because Orange Street and Water Lane does not intersect) and the very new 'Belize Hotel', owned by Joseph Brackman, located at the corner of Orange Street and Duck Lane.

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Unlike the address of 'The Hotel', the address for the 'Belize Hotel' seems accurate because those two streets actually intersect. Because of the inaccuracy of 'The Hotel's' address, it was difficult to see if this building could still exist. Assuming that the Water Lane address was accurate, the only other intersecting lane to Water Lane would have been Duck Lane. At the Water and Duck Lane intersection, I haven't located any building that would be remotely old enough to be the remnants of 'The Hotel'. One of the key characteristics of a building that would have been built as a hotel around that time would have been bricks. There are no buildings at this intersection made of bricks. Had it been constructed of wood, it would not have survived to tell its tales. History tells us though, that later on a Mr. W. S. Weir did build a hotel at the corner of Water and Duck lanes called 'Southern Hotel', and coincidentally, there is still a very large building owned by the Weirs at this corners, but this building seems to be constructed of concrete and seem to have been constructed at a much later period.

When it came to the 'Belize Hotel' where the streets that were given as its location actually intersect, it was easier to investigate to see if any building at any of the corners of this intersection could possibly be the 'Belize Hotel'. Obviously, there would be up to four possible locations at this intersection. Anyone corner could be the location of the 'Belize Hotel'. My investigation revealed that there is a very well maintained brick building at the North Western corner of Orange Street and Duck Lane (attached Photo). History tells us that any building constructed of bricks in downtown Belize City is likely to be very old and one of our Country's historic assets. Brick buildings in downtown go as far back as 1812 (St. John's Cathedral). How old could the building at the corner of Orange and Duck Lane be? Assuming that the current brick building was the 'Belize Hotel', the hotel would have already been in existence by the time the great Confederate Migration to British Honduras occurred (1866). Therefore, I would estimate that this building would have been built around the 1840's to 1850's and could be a 180 years old.

The need for rooms were in such a great demand that people were placing advertisement in the newspapers seeking boarding at private homes or anywhere they could find a room. Because of the demand, the sleepy little port was transformed into a boom town. Taverns and shops sprang up at every corner, all ready to attend to the needs of the new arrivals.

The demand was so great the three more hotels sprang up. The most expensive of the three, Southern Hotel and Restaurant was owned by Mr W. S. Weir. He charged a whopping $10.00 (B.H.) per week, board included, or $1.50 (B.H.) per day (as advertised on Sept 6th, 1867). The Southern Hotel's biggest competition was The American Hotel, owned by Mrs A. Foote, a recent immigrant herself from St. Mary's Parish, Louisiana. The American's rates were a little better, they were at $9.00 per week and meals went for $.50 (as advertised on October 8th, 1867), a full $.25 less than at the Southern. It was interesting to see that a little competition was alive and well way back then. The third hotel was the Brewer's Hotel also located on Orange Street. Brewer's was owned by an "ex-Confed" from Wilcox County, Alabama. The prices of the Brewer's Hotel is unknown since he did not advertise his rates in the newspaper; however, his hospitality was well known in the states as his customers frequently wrote about his hospitality in their letters sent home.

The current building at the North Western corner of Orange and Duck lane is one of four perfectly preserved brick buildings in downtown. The others are St. John's Cathedral, PKF building and the Channel Five building. Some other buildings that have portions made of bricks are: Pacheco Residence, DFC building by Welworth, Building at the rear of Price and Company, Mike's, Government House, Government House Carriage House, Sikaffey's, Welworth's Store and Eusey House.

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Source: Confederate Settlement in British Honduras pages 48 and 49.


Communuties the ex Confederates settled was at Sittee River, Burrell Boom and and in Toledo Forest Home and Eldridge. I believe the Toledo settlement would have happened after 1866 mass migration. A lot of American Immigrants settled in Punta Gorda and area, and many of them returned to the U.S.

They moved to the Orange Walk district. Just as they move in they move out. The close relation that British Honduras (Blacks) and the white share was against what their beliefs were. Remember this was after the battle of St. George's Caye.

The building at the corner of Orange St and Duck Lane (picture) is presently used for hair products store and storeroom.

The name "Toledo" came from a company called Young Toledo &Company that had huge land holdings in the Seven Hills area of the Toledo district. I believe Young Toledo &Company was British. According to the book Confederate Settlements in British Honduras they were helping out the early confederate settlers with lumber for their buildings. Because of this kind gesture the settlement was renamed the Toledo Settlement in honor of Mr. Philip Toledo of the company. It was called Hatch Colony before. Named after Christopher Hatch of Louisiana who selected the site.

The confederates were looking for a place to continue the practice of slavery as they did in the South. They took off because they didn't like the way slavery business was conducted in Belize.

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1863. U.S. Consul to State Department about the Confederate settlers' in Belize expressing concerns about African American moving to Belize.

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In 1867, following their defeat in the U. S. Civil War, a group of white American ex-confederates migrated to Belize to look for land where they could continue living as they were before the war. They came to Belize at the invitation by the colonial government to settle and jump start agriculture in the district. They bought a large tracts of land at bargain prices from Young, Toledo and Company, which was going bankrupt. Their first settlement was at Cattle Landing before spreading further inland to form the Toledo Settlement, between the Moho River and the Rio Grande of the Toledo District. During those early years, the only other known settlement in the Toledo area was known as "the Carib village of Punta Gorda" where a group of about 500 Garifuna people lived since the 1820s.

For a number of years the Toledo Settlement flourished. At first, plantations of bananas produced sufficient quantities of bananas for shipment to southern U.S. but export of this crop soon proved too risky. The settlement then focused on sugar production. They had 12 sugar estates, each with a sugar mill. By 1890, the settlers (about sixty of them) and their children were prosperous farmers. However, a drastic decline in world market prices of sugar greatly decreased revenues of these settlers to a point of near impoverishment. By the 1890s, most of the white settlers gave up their plan for prosperity in Belize and returned to the U.S. The few who remained turned away from sugar and prospered in the mahogany industry.

by Jeremy A. Enriquez

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The deal offered to the Confederates according to Dr Foster from Alabama 1867. That was how the Toledo Settlement came about. Previously it was called Hatch settlement or "Hatch Colony" by C.A Hatch. The name that still stands is "Cattle Landing."

"The Governor of the Colony, and all the people, everywhere, complimented us with assurances of decided partiality for our Confederate people, to whom the hand of true friendship is now extended in real earnest, to receive us with open arms and warm hearts, The Governor offers all the Crown lands, for actual settlement and occupation, on the following terms : no payment required for the first five years; after that time $1 per acre, annually, for the next five years; but he agrees to appropriate three-fourths of the money for public improvement of the locality for which it was paid. Thus virtually wo get Crown lands for $1 1/4 per acre, on ten years time, without any interest. Most of the balance of the lands are held by the British Honduras Company, and Philip, Toledo & Co.

The British Honduras Company had already agreed to let Mr. Putnam have their lands at fifty cents per acre on five years time, without interest. Mr. Toledo lets us have about 150,000 acres at 37 1/2 cents per acre, on one, two and three years time, without interest. Mr. Mathe lets us have 17,280 acres for $6,000, on one, two and three years, with 6 per cent interest after the first year. These lands are subject to cost of survey and some other expenses. We ask no profit, and have no intention whatever to speculate on our Southern friends."

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by Bilal Morris

The American Confederate Graveyard at the village of Forest Home in the Belize Toledo District has been a startling revelation to many Belizeans who did not know that after the American Civil War ended some of the white confederates sought refuge in Belize.

This crucial piece of Belizean history remains unlock in Belize and it appears that after the white segregationists of the American South lost the American Civil War to the American president Abraham Lincoln's northern army they were granted a safe house by the British colonialists of the former British Honduras in the 1800s.

After Lincoln abolish slavery and united the north and south to form the United States of American (USA), it appears that many of those southern segregationists did not want to remain in a united states of america and sought refuge in many countries across the world. Their determination to hold on to slavery in the American south and to continue practice African chattel slavery was the determining factor for their migration to countries like Belize.

There in the Belizean southern district of Toledo and in the predominant East Indian village of Forest Home, they planted sugar cane as a staple crop of financial production and used many of the East Indian people brought to the former British Honduras by the British colonialists as indentured laborers or servants, as laborers on these sugar cane plantations.

It had also appeared that they used in the labor intensive sugar can farming African slaves or Belizean blacks as they did in the American south during slavery on the cotton plantations. And during the late 1800s many of them had died out from the outbreak of some kind of pandemic or flu that struct their small population and inflicted many deaths among them.

The featured historical documentary produced by Bilal Morris of Belizean Legends, highlights the revealing aspects of their presence in Belize after the American Civil War ended. Many Belizean and American students of history are encouraged to see this feature that can open up new horizons and answers of the American / Belizean connection in the southern district of Belize.


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Some interesting history...

On July of 1849, 938 paid soldiers arrived in the Peninsula hired in the United States by Justo Sierra O'Reilly. These mercenaries of USA came to help the white Yucatecos(Hispanics) to fight against the Yucatec Maya (M�asewal) freedom fighters . They did not succeed in defeating the Maya M�asewal . The Yucatec Maya (M�asewal) against all odds and just with the blessing of Jajal K'uj founded the Maya nation of Noj Kaj Santa Cruz (1849-1901) . The Confederate soldiers were not ready for the kind of figthing the Maya M�asew�al warriors of Noj Kaj Santa Cruz were doing.

Ex Confederate Immigrants help the British to figth against the Maya Yucatec in Belize . In the Battle of Orange walk in 1872 the west indian regiment was aided by Confederate soldiers . Is known that the Confederate soldiers organized along with the British plans to drive out the Maya M�asew�al (Yucatec Maya) of northern Belize . According to Oral stories one Confederate name John Wallace Price was very active in organizing strategies to drive the Maya Yucatec away .

Belize Yucatec Maya

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