Tuesday, August 29, 2017
ESCAPE TO THE BONINS
Pedro came home one night, to find his house locked and his wife, Ana, refusing to open the door.
It was Guam in the year 1872.
As Pedro became agitated, demanding that Ana open, a man named Félix jumped out a window. Ana then opened the door, to a screaming Pedro repeatedly shouting, "Where was that man!" "Måno eståba ayo na taotao!" Pedro was screaming so loud that neighbors started to gather outside Pedro's house. The five small children born to the marriage were standing around Pedro, crying their eyes out.
Such a public scandal ensued that the matter was brought before the island government.
It seems many people knew that Ana was carrying on with Félix. Some testified that Félix had claimed to some that he was planning to take off with Ana on his boat and move to the Bonin Islands, in Spanish and Chamorro, the Boninas.
The Bonin Islands were, by the time Félix and Ana were carrying on, under Japanese control. But, prior to that, the deserted island was settled by a mixture of British, American and other European men, along with islanders, male and female, from Hawaii and elsewhere. There was even one Chamorro lady, María de los Santos, married to the American settler Nathaniel Savory. There had been periodic contact between the Bonin Island settlers and the Marianas, and people in the Marianas knew of the existence of these islands to the north. One former Bonin Island resident, Richard Millinchamp, with his son Henry, left the Bonins and settled on Guam.
Félix never got to accomplish his dream. The law found out and forced an end to the illicit relationship he had with a married woman. Pedro and Ana stayed married till death.
NOTE : Although I know, from the documents, the last names of all involved, I am leaving them out. The descendants of these people are alive and well down the street from us. History is not confined to the past. Past events touch us even today.