In 1837, Edwin Charles Mosley, a journalist who had worked at The Times in London, arrived in Nassau to take up his appointment as editor of The Argus.
After the liberal Sir James Carmichael-Smyth became governor in 1829, dissent rose in Nassau over the question of emancipation and in 1931 a pro-slavery section of the community supported George Biggs in the establishment of The Argus in order to promote their anti-emancipation views. Moseley found the semi-weekly’s policies so objectionable that he refused to become its editor.
For the next seven years, he supported his family by becoming a teacher at the King’s School in Parliament Street, which was located in what are now the grounds of the old Royal Victoria Hotel. A number of citizens who shared his anti-slavery views urged him to publish what he referred to as a “journal in a proper manner”. Thus, The Nassau Guardian first appeared on November 23rd, 1844.
On his death, Edwin Moseley was succeeded as editor/proprietor of The Guardian by his son, Alfred Edwin Moseley, who in turn, left the newspaper to his son Percy. Unfortunately, the young Percy did not live very long, and in 1904, his sister Mary, assumed the editor’s chair on a “temporary basis” until a suitable male could be found to edit and manage the publishing business.
With the exception of the World War 1 years which she spent in England working on behalf of West Indian and Bahamian servicemen, Mary Moseley was to remain as editor/proprietor of The Guardian for 48 years. During her absence, her brother Daniel managed the business on her behalf.
The newspaper, during her editorship, was directed to a rather restricted audience, reporting mostly social and political events and its circulation seldom exceeded 300 daily. The proceedings of the House of Assembly were always recorded in great detail and the economic survival of the business depended principally upon the government printing contracts Miss Moseley was awarded through her contacts in the then-power bloc.
Before World War II, Miss Moseley had hoped to turn over the running of The Guardian to her nephew, Doyle Moseley, who lived in Australia. He came to Nassau and worked at the newspaper for a short time before enlisting in The Royal Air Force. Miss Moseley was sadly disappointed when she learned that Doyle had been killed in a raid over France in the early 1940’s.
She became disheartened because there was no member of the family who showed any interest in the newspaper and was therefore receptive in 1952 when approached by a group of Nassau business and professional men who offered to buy The Guardian from her. She died on January 19, 1961 at the age of 81.
The new owners of the paper sought, unsuccessfully in the final analysis, to turn it into a propaganda medium to promote their political philosophies, but, as so often happens when politicians become publishers, the public came to lose respect for The Guardian and its prestige declined.
After the 1967 general election, which brought the Progressive Liberal Party to power, The Guardian’s owners had no further use for it and were happy to accept a bid by John S. Perry, Jr. to acquire a majority shareholding and undertake the publishing of a politically independent newspaper.
Under Mr. Perry’s ownership, the company prospered. Former board chairman, John Perry, published a string of Florida newspapers including the Palm Beach Post. Mr. Perry is widely recognized for his pioneering introduction of computers for automated newspaper production in the composing room. But in recent years, his interests had focused on renewable energy and marine research. In 1984, he founded the $15 million Caribbean Marine Research Centre on Lee Stocking Island in the Exumas.
Then on January 20, 2002, and for the for the first time in more than 30 years, The Nassau Guardian became a fully Bahamian–owned newspaper when John H. Perry sold his 60 percent stake in the company to a group of businessmen, which included its current owners Emanuel Alexiou and Anthony Ferguson.
The employees take great pride in the newspaper and are honored to be associated with such a hallmark establishment. The Guardian is the oldest and largest newspaper in the history of The Bahamas and from its birth in 1844, it is still setting the quality pace for others to follow. Judging by the responses in letters to the editor, the paper is well-respected as the most objective newspaper in this country. The Guardian is indeed a monument in our society and its operative jurisdiction extends to Grand Bahama with the daily publishing of The Freeport News, which is owned and operated by The Nassau Guardian.
The Nassau Guardian's ownership has been "pro-active in the pursuit of freedom of information, inclusive in terms of community coverage, zealous in the protection of editorial independence, and committed to providing the best customer service for our advertisers and readers."