The Genealogy Page of Jorge Heredia and Heleen Sittig

Alexandre Lindo


1742 - 10 Mar 1812

  • OCCUPATION: Merchant
  • BIRTH: 1742
  • DEATH: 10 Mar 1812, London, England
  • BURIAL: House of the Living, London
Family 1 : Esther Salome
  • MARRIAGE: 21 Aug 1782, Jamaica
  1. +Hannah Lindo

Alexandre Lindo

The Lindo family is and old Sephardic Jewish family originating in Medieval Spain, by then conquered by the Arabs. As Spain was taken back by the Catholic Kings most of the Jews fled Spain to avoid the Inquisition. The emigration pattern of the Lindo forefathers follows the ups and downs of Sephardic Jews along the way of history. The Lindos first tried to avoid persecution by pretending conversion, later they went to Portugal and then to Venice, London and Amsterdam where they practiced again their own religion. Two members of different branches of the family ended up in the West Indies. One of them was Alexandre Lindo, who was in Jamaica by 1765.

Alexandre Lindo was the son of Abraham Lindo (Amsterdam, 1711 - London, 1808) and his wife Marianne (died in London, 1779). He was born in 1742, probably in Paris or Bordeaux, France. He married for the first time in 1769 and had 7 children with his wife Hannah. After her death he married again in 1782. His second wife was Esther Salome, with whom he had 16 more children. Hannah Lindo was the first child in this marriage.

Alexandre started his successful career as a merchant in Jamaica purchasing and distributing the whole cargo of boats. Soon he began a credit business with the local merchants. As his wealth increased he bought large land properties. He managed or alternatively rented to great profit a coffee plantation. Furthermore, he invested in real estate buying strategic areas in Kingston. He had his own well equipped pier which was called "Lindo's wharf". He made a business buying and reselling the goods of captured boats in the Caribbean. In 1775 he entered the lucrative slave trade. By 1793 Lindo & Lake was the largest slave factoring company in Jamaica. By 1796 his house on Tower Street was the largest in Kingston, with 4 two-wheeled and 8 four- wheeled vehicles, and 30 servants. Besides he owned two transatlantic vessels and numerous properties.

In 1795 he moved to London confident that his living was assured by his operations in the West Indies. By 1802 began his turn of fortune. His partner Richard Lake run into enormous indebtness. Back in Jamaica in trying to save what was still to save he even was violently prevented the entrance to his own estate. The final blow was his support of the wrong side in the Napoleonic war. Perhaps out of sympathy for France, the country where he grew up, against odds he decided to finance the French in St. Dominique (Haiti). While Napoleon was losing in Europe the Caribbean colonies were abandoned and Britain easily took St. Dominique in 1803. Alexandre Lindo lost a fortune. He went back to London that year and never returned to Jamaica.

A pale resemblance of what he once was, Alexandre Lindo died in London in 1812. His estate (including 639 slaves) was appreciated at 63,881, his debts at 32,382. In his will and appended codicils his wife Esther, his father Abraham, and ten of his children are mentioned. There is speculation that Hannah Lindo, who married Daniel MacKinlay in 1802, may have been disowned for marrying a gentile. Certainly not all of the children who were not mentioned in his will were dead by then.

Jackie Ranston
The Lindo Legacy
London: Toucan Books, 2000; 144 p.