Debt and a Second Term

To make matters worse, he was imprisoned for debt and spent some years there. Rogers was, however,  eventually absolved of his debts and went on to supply much of the information for a best-selling work (A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pyrates) by one of London's writer-publishers. 

The author may have been Daniel Defoe, but the work was credited to Captain Charles Johnson. 

The book's success did, however, bring Rogers back into the national limelight. In 1726 he successfully petitioned George I for a pension, conveniently backdated to 1721.

Meanwhile, his replacement as governor in the Bahamas was encountering the same difficulties as Rogers had experienced. 

On 28 February 1728, the council in the Bahamas petitioned George II for Rogers's return. A petition the following month from Sir Hans Sloane and other influential supporters sealed the issue, and Rogers received a new commission as governor in December. 

He was back in New Providence in the summer of 1729, with his son William Whetstone Rogers (1717–1735) and daughter Sarah (d. 1743). 

His second term faced internal rather than external challenges centred around taxation and revenue. 

His new assembly met on 30 September that year and passed significant reforms despite resistance from the proprietors' interests led by the assembly's speaker, John Colebrooke. 

Efforts were made to expand the economy by planting cotton and sugar cane, but amid ongoing disputes with Colebrooke's party, Rogers died at Nassau on 15 July 1732 and was buried there. The location of his grave is unknown.


© Ian Hughes 2017