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Death Notice and Obituary of Robert Osborn of Jamaica

Tuesday, April 2, 1878 edition of The Colonial Standard And Jamaica Despatch



April 1st at the Residence of his daughter Mrs. Smith corner of North and King Streets

Robert Osborn,

The friends and acquaintances of the deceased, are requested to attend his Funeral, from the above named Residence to Half-Way Tree Church.

The Funeral will leave at 4 P.M.



It is with deep regret that we record the death, which took place yesterday, of he whose name has been familiar as a household word to three generations in this Colony. Associated with the late Hon. Edward Jordan, Mr. Osborn took a prominent part in the eventful and exciting drama, which terminated after many a stirring scene and striking episode, in the Emancipation of the enslaved population in these West India Islands. Without approving of some of the political measures and movements with which Mr. Osborn and his party were afterwards identified, we freely accord to him and his associates sincere and hearty commendation for their distinguished services in the cause of popular freedom, and with equal readiness we give them credit for honest patriotic purpose and motive in their discussion and advocacy of other less important questions on which there existed the diversity of opinion which is inseparable - and beneficially inseparable - from the conduct of affairs under a free constitutional Government. It was the misfortune of the deceased gentleman, who had done so much to complete the edifice of social and industrial FREEDOM, to live to see the sacrifice on the altar of a miscalled patriotism - of a free political constitution that had come down to us sanctified and endeared by the memories and traditions of more than two centuries. Without giving strong public expression to his feeling regarding the late change of Government, he frequently made known to his acquaintances and friends the humiliation and shame that he felt at the establishment in his native land of a despotic system which demolished all the symbols and safe-guards of local autonomy and public independence.

Mr. Osborn was remarkable for his amiable disposition, his warm genial temperament, his kindly nature, and his lively humour. Though in the course of a long laborious life of 78 years he had passed through trouble, trials, and turmoils which would have deadened the spirit and dulled the intellect of ordinary men, he preserved to the last a freshness of feeling, and vivacity of humor which made him always a most welcome and entertaining companion. It was a treat of no ordinary kind to listen to his clever racy descriptions of bygone scenes, and observe the inimitable dramatic ability which he displayed in replacing as it were on the stage of the PRESENT, the more conspicuous characters of a not inglorious PAST.

ROBERT OSBORN, as hardy, honest actor, and as clever delineator of character, will take his place on this mortal stage no more forever. He has taken part in the last momentous Division, He has rejoined his old comrade and fellow laborer, the Jordon-Osborn Ministry is reunited in as Association which will meet with no other DISSOLUTION. He has gone over to the great MAJORITY, and is now, we trust, in possession of the reward and the victory which are bestowed on all brave and honest workers.

Robert Osborn was born April 5, 1800. He was the son of Kean Osborn, a white planter of Scottish descent, and a colored woman. He started a paper called "The Watchman and Jamaica Free Press" with Edward Jordon in 1829. The "Watchman" became increasingly anti-slavery. In 1832 Osborn won a seat on the Kingston Common Council, and in 1835 he was elected to represent St. Andrew in the Assembly. He remained in the Assembly until it was abolished in 1865.

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