The patriarch & half of the travelers died of malaria
During the family’s so
Dowryless upon arrival, their daughter, aspiring to be bourgeois,
Became the local governor’s fifth wife.
The governor begrudgingly moved his new mother-in-law
Into the governor’s mansion.
It was already unusual enough to have a Negrofamily live in the area.
What’s it like to be a new fifth mother
In a strange land?
Her mulatto grandson became the
And she was nanny-in-chief.
Her child-rearing style was more allowing, but would never permit
A raised hand.
Her daughter, for her part, enjoyed being bourgeois.
Certain influential members of the territory’s legislative leadersh
Disapproved of what went on in the governor’s mansion.
When congress reconvened after a long holiday,
They ordered an investigation of the fifth wife’s life.
They stationed a suspiciously silent guard in her hallway.
And subpoenaed the governor to a hearing, under the pretension
That he was behind in paying territorial taxes, & suspected insincerity in his local deity worship.