Alexander Bustamante Biography

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Biography Part 1 - Growing up in Jamaica

Alexander Bustamante was born in the rural village of Blenheim, Hanover Parish on 24th February 1884. His birth name was William Alexander Clarke. His father was a white Irish planter named Robert Constantine Clarke and his mother a black Jamaican worker named Mary Clarke (Nee Wilson). By virtue of his grandmother's second marriage (to Alexander Shearer) he is a cousin of Norman Washington Manley and a relative of the once prime minister Hugh Shearer.

Bustamante was an enigmatic and charismatic child. He was also an expert horseman who owned and raced his own horses. Neighboring farmers also sent the young Alexander their horses to tame.

He was educated at Cacoon and Dalmalley schools and supplemented his learning with his own private studies. He was an intelligent child but family funds did not permit him to undertake much formal education. His natural destiny would have been to take an apprenticeship to succeed his father as the plantation overseer. However, this did not appeal to him and he sought his fortune elsewhere.

Next: Working Overseas

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