Las Vegas Spas: 9 Things to Know Before You Go

Languishing at Caesars QUA Baths & Spa

Ah, Vegas and its irresistible and lavish spa choices.

One of the greatest vacations for women, Vegas spas are worth experiencing at least once during your lifetime.   But, since going to a resort-based Vegas spa differs so much from your neighborhood day spa, here are some important tips and tricks to know before you (literally) take the plunge:

  1. Most Vegas spas offer day passes which include access to the free online pokies games, all water and thermal features, a fitness area and locker room, a robe and slippers; it’s often waived when you book a treatment.
  2. Most are open from 6 or 7a.m. until 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. daily – check individual resort websites.
  3. Every personal care amenity you may need is provided, from razors to tampons, lotions and hair dryers, towels and water, even snacks.
  4. Vegas spas accept guests 18 years and older.
  5. Leave your jewelry behind in your room safe.
  6. Leave your cell phone and camera behind.
  7. Don’t leave your swimsuit behind; many single sex areas are bathing suit optional.  And you may not wish to go commando.
  8. When booking treatments, get clarification on cancellation policies.
  9. Expect an 18% to 20% gratuity gets tacked onto your bill.

Super Tip:  In town as a couple or with a bachelorette party?  Many spas offer special treatment.  Just ask and a secret party room may open up for you.

Unless there’s a J. Lo within…shhh.

Been to a Vegas spa?  Add your trip!

How St Helena’s Slaves Gained their Freedom Part 3

Better perhaps to ask the Company to put up the money as a loan to the slaves so that they could purchase their freedom. The owners would have cash in hand to pay wages to the newly free. The newly free would have to work to pay off their loan so indolence would not be a problem. Also, but not stated, the older the slaves got the less their value so if the idea was approved then better do this sooner rather than later.  Most everyone thought this was a good idea – so long as they could value their own slaves. This gleeful idea was turned down flat – it would have to be via a so-called disinterested committee composed of slave owners and Company servants (who of course were also slave owners). They all had to swear on oath that they would act impartially and in Sep 1827 the valuation of the slaves was started. The idea was that the valuation list would be available to everyone and both the owners would know what money they would get and the slaves, what their values were and how much they would have to pay back. 

There was a major drawback of course. The best slaves – the ones that were in their prime, worked hard, behaved themselves and were generally good eggs were going to valued higher and would have to pay back the most money. The less able, the idle, incompetent and generally bad lots would be valued least and would have to pay back less money. Hardly fair. The only way out of this conundrum was to class the slaves as meritorious, class 1, class 2 etc. The real bad lots would not be valued or classed at all and would be at the end of the queue for emancipation. 

The slaves would not be all freed at once – the process would be by lot and take five years and there would be a formula devised so that the highest class of slave would have a better chance of being freed early. The formula/lottery process would also ensure that a particular owner would not find that by luck he lost all his best slaves in any one draw but there would be a cross section across the classes each year. The draw would be biased in favour of the higher classed slave and this was intended to be an incentive for the lower classed ones to get off their backsides. If they moved up to a higher class they would get a better chance of an early freedom. 

The valuation took place for all 890 slaves present on the island. This document exists  and I have transcribed it and it is now available to members on our web site.  It is possible to analyse this data in many ways. I’ve prepared a few slides to show the kind of information that can be obtained from it but it would take another talk to do justice to it. The document states the name of both slave and owner, the slaves age and occupation and some personal details – character, number of children, whether they are married or cohabiting 
Figure 1 below shows a break down of the age distribution of slaves on the island. I thought it quite amazing that all the slaves should know their birthdates (only a few are annotated ‘about’) and this slide shows that some of it was probably guesswork – note the spikes at five year intervals which suggests ages were rounded off.

Fig_1

Fig 1

Figure 2 shows a comparison between the slave age distribution compared to England (1821). Although there were no 0-9 year old slaves (they were all free), the mothers stated how many free children they had so we can use this figure. The demog raphics look (to my untrained eye) very similar. This supports the notion that slavery on the island was no harsher and resulted in the same rates of mortality as an average English person at this time. However there is something strange happening within the 10-19 year old group; the numbers look very high – why should this be?
These children would have been born during the years 1808-1817 so perhaps it was due to a lot of children being born soon after the British Army troops arrived in 1815 – the troops enjoying a field day but not one involving marching and parading!  This happy thought is not born out by the statistics.   The reason for the 10-19 year old peak remains a mystery.

 Fig_2

Fig 2

Figure 3 below shows the average value of men and women slaves by age range. Quite a difference. Up to the age of 50, the value of women slaves varies very little. Men reach a peak at about 30 years of age.

Fig_3

Fig 3

Figure 4 shows the proportion of men and women involved in domestic service. Men were only used as servants or cooks – it was the women who did the nursing, washing and needlework as well as cooking and other domestic tasks. As you can see about 90% of women were domestic and about 30% of men. This can be compared with the West Indies where in towns slightly more than 60% of adult females and slightly less than 20% adult males were employed as domestics. The numbers employed as domestics in rural areas was much less.

Fig_4

How St Helena’s Slaves Gained their Freedom Part 2

Twenty nine of the slaves mentioned their country of origin and this raises the question of the ethnicity of the St Helena slave population at this time.  Two came from Africa (Mozambique), nineteen from different parts of India (including one from Ceylon [Sri Lanka]), seven from Sumatra and one from the West Indies. This is a very small number to be statistically significant but bears some resemblance to the import of slaves into the Cape where roughly equal numbers came from Africa, Madagascar, India and Indonesia (which includes Sumatra).  The names of the slaves give no indication of their country of origin.   India : Bailey, Caesar, Charles (x2), Dick, Dublin, Ellick, Francisco, Franswa, George (x2), John, Juliet, Mercury, Pompey (x2), Tom, Toney;   Sumatra: Cato, Doss, Harry, Hector, Jack, January, London;  Sri Lanka: Tom;  Mozambique: Basto, Toby;  West Indies: March.  Whatever had been their original name they were given new ones by their owners. Giving slaves classical names – Caesar, Mercury, Hector or names of the month – January, March – was typical. 

In 1815 Napoleon arrived on the island – This is not important to my story in itself. However, it did mark a change to the Governance of the island and that did have an impact.  In April 1816 Hudson Lowe arrived and despite all the bad press he has received, he seems to have had progressive views regarding slavery: It is said that when he took his family to church, He would lean on his pew door, and he would never sit down till he had everyone – slaves and all – were accommodated with seats. If he saw a barefoot man – a slave without a seat, he would beckon to him and see him seated.? 
There is little doubt that he was keen on reform and was helped in this by a change to the membership of the Governing Council on the island. The Consultations mention that proposals to abolish slavery went back to the time of Governor Beatson 1808-1813 but had been vetoed by the other members of the Council who maintained a hard line against any changes. More recently Mr Leech, a strong supporter of the status quo had died and Mr Doveton, a man much influenced by Leech had resigned. Their places had been taken provisionally by Sir George Bingham, Commander of the forces on the Island; a man who held strong antislavery views. The balance of power on the Council swung very decisively towards a reforming agenda. The only remaining member of the old Council was Thomas Brooke, a long time East India Company employee who held more traditionalist views. He was not however against change.

A secret letter (secret as they wanted the Directors views before going public) was sent to the Court in London outlining their thoughts. They made a number of points:   There should be a set a date for the start the process;  That the slaves would have to work for their owners for a fixed number of years before being emancipated to defray the cost of their upbringing;  They expressed their deep concern over the present generation of slaves not having their minds prepared for freedom and they were worried that slaves would lose all restraint if there was a general emancipation. Therefore this should be avoided;  That it should be mandatory for young slaves to receive religious and moral instruction so that they would be ready for freedom when they reached a suitable age.  They then went on to make three specific proposals.  First, all slaves born after 31st Dec 1818 be free but apprenticed to their master until they were 18 years (16 for girls); second that owners could emancipate their slaves at any time and be exempt for the 37th article of the slaves laws (£160 surety payment); third, aged and infirm slaves would be looked after by the Company.  These latter two proposals would act as a counterweight to the financial loss the owners would suffer by freeing the children because firstly they would be relieved of the requirement to look after their old and infirm slaves and secondly they could free their slaves without putting up a £160 bond to cover any cost of care if the freed slave became incapacitated.

By good fortune, just after the letter was sent, the 11th report of African Institution fell into Governor’s hands. In it there was a report concerning the Governor of Ceylon – Sir Alexander Johnston.  For many years, Sir Alexander had urged the Dutch inhabitants to adopt some means for the gradual, but effectual abolition of domestic slavery. In consequence of his suggestion the proprietors of domestic slaves came to a resolution, that all children born of their slaves after the 13th of August 1816′, should be free thereby putting an end to domestic slavery, which had prevailed in Ceylon for three centuries.  Lowe must have rubbed his hands with glee. This was a huge lever – surely the good English Christian people of St Helena would not like to be outdone by the Dutch. Without waiting for a response from the Directors he convened a meeting of slave owners. What he said to them is not known but the outcome was just as he hoped. He wrote again to the Directors: “ . . we have the honour to inform you of the unanimous voice of the inhabitants for preventing the perpetuity of slavery on this island”.  He further requested the construction of “a house of correction” and a “hospital for Black and other indigent persons”

It was not until the dynamic General Sir Alexander Walker arrived in 1823 that further steps were taken on the road to the amelioration and abolishment of slavery.  In 1824 he introduced the treadmill for minor misdemeanours to replace the lash.  Interestingly during this year, six slaves took their owners to Court – mostly for ill treatment. The owners were admonished and fined a few shillings – no treadmill for them.  In 1825 General Walker addressed the Horticultural and Agricultural Society and invited them to consider ways and means of abolishing slavery. The idea of the company supporting the aged and infirm seemed to have gone out of the window so the owners were soon going to have the face a situation when the free born children would end their apprenticeships and become truly free and the older slaves would be come an increasing burden on the owners. Slave families would be split into ‘them and us’ with jealousies bound to occur and there would be general discontent all round and life and the universe would go to pot.  These weren’t his actual words but this was the message.

How St Helena’s Slaves Gained their Freedom Part 1

The Friends of St Helena are a charity with the twin objectives of providing information about the island St Helena, including its history, culture, environment and current affairs; andalso to provide practical support to the St Helenian community.

The Society held its Annual General Meeting on the 21st May 2011 at the end of which Dr Andy Pearson gave an update on archaeological discoveries at Lemon and Ruperts Valleys and Colin Fox, author of The Bennett Papers spoke about the events leading up to the emancipation, and the eventual freedom, of St Helena’s slaves between 1792-1840.

Colin Fox has put a complete version of his talk to the Society, where it can be read on their web site www.fosh.org.uk.  The following is a shortened version of that talk (all contact details are listed at end of article): 

In most peoples’ minds as soon as the words ‘Slavery’ or ‘The slave trade’ are spoken, there is an almost automatic association made with Africa and the triangular trade to the Americas. The mind jumps to the pictures of black Africans working under the whip in sugar plantations and in the cotton fields.  However as far as St Helena is concerned, particularly during the period I am speaking of, this picture is entirely false.  Early imports of slaves, certainly in the late 17th century and early 18th century came predominantly from East Africa or Madagascar. As the 18th century progressed and the power and influence of the East India Company spread around the Indian Ocean rim the opportunity to acquire slaves from these areas grew proportionately. 

In the early 19th century there were estimated to be a million slaves in India alone. However the condition of slavery was very different to that experienced by slaves in America and the West Indies – far more akin to serfdom than life on a plantation. I believe that slavery on St Helena, with many of its East India Company servants spending their early lives in the east and with the continuing presence of East India ships calling at the island would have resulted in a slave population with a strong Asian presence and with lives more attuned to the east than to the traditional stereotypical condition of the African slave. 

The year 1792 marked the introduction of a new set of slave laws to the island.  Although these 42 Articles were predominantly concerned with the treatment of slaves by their owners within the confines of St Helena there was one Article that had more far reaching consequences. 
Article 39 said in effect ‘No new slaves to be imported; and every person harbouring or entertaining a new slave to pay fifty pounds, and also the expenses of sending him back to the place to which he belongs.?  This in effect put a stop to the any new slaves being brought to the island and the slave population would only then continue from children born into the condition; a child following the status of the mother.

1807 was of course the year when the momentous bill passed through Parliament that banned the Slave trade throughout the British Empire. As far as St Helena was concerned it had no real impact – the trade to the island having already been abolished 15 years earlier. However, 1807 also marked the date for the formation of the African Institution – an influential group of peers and leading members of society who came together as a pressure group to continue the work of abolishing slavery completely.  The institution published annual reports and one was to have a profound effect on St Helena as I will mention later. 

In 1814, Governor Mark Wilks inaugurated the Benevolent Society.  It was set up to rescue from the trammels of ignorance and vice, the children of slaves, free blacks and the poorer classes of the community.  By 1818 two hundred and twenty one slave children and two hundred and seven free blacks were being educated at six schools.   I believe that this represents about 75% of the black children on the island.  In July 1815, sixty one slaves made a claim for freedom based on a rumour that a slave had been improperly brought to the island 40 years previously.  The Lieutenant Governor John Skelton and a committee investigated these claims over a three month period.  49 claims were rejected because the slave arrived on the island previous to the importation of Slaves having been prohibited; eight claimed freedom because that had been to England. These claims were submitted to Board for legal opinion and the outcome is not known; four claims were upheld and the  slaves were freed 

The St Helena Connection Magazine

The St Helena Connection (incorporating The St Helena Catalogue) is the official news magazine of the Friends of St Helena and is published twice a year, in May and November. 

A detailed index of subjects covered since the first edition in 2006.  Members will also find they can upload and read full copies of every edition by logging into the site with their password and user name and then clicking into an upload icon.  Please see our Membership page for details of how to join our Society.

Articles, notes, and correspondence, including any relevant illustrations, for publication in Wirebird are invited from anyone interested in St Helena and its dependencies, not only from members of the Friends.  Contributions from Saints themselves are especially welcome. 

All items for publication should be sent by e-mail to Ian Mathieson, Editor, The St Helena Connection.

Subscription to The St Helena Connection is included in membership of the society. 

Wirebird: The Journal of the Friends of St Helena

Wirebird: The Journal of the Friends of St Helena is published annually for the members of the Friends.

A detailed index of subjects covered since the first edition in 1990.  Members will also find they can upload and read full copies of every edition by logging into the site with their password and user name and then clicking into an upload icon.  Please see our Membership page for details of how to join our Society.

Articles, notes, and correspondence, including any relevant illustrations, for publication in Wirebird are invited from anyone interested in St Helena and its dependencies, not only from members of the Friends.  Contributions from Saints themselves are especially welcome.  All contributions should be in keeping with the aims of the society, which are “to provide information about the island of St Helena, including its history, culture, environment and current affairs; and also to provide practical support to the St Helenian community.”

All enquiries should be addressed to the editor, Colin Fox, wirebird@fosh.org.uk.

Wirebird can be consulted at

  • The British Library (shelfmark ZK.9.a.9030)
  • Cambridge University Library (class mark L646.c.69)
  • University of Oxford, Rhodes House Library (call number D.R00025)

How to Get Membership to Friends of St Helena

Membership to Friends of St Helena is open to individuals and groups, of any nationality, living in the UK and elsewhere, who support the society’s aims. 

We have moved from a fixed year subscription period  (from the beginning of June through to the end of May the following year) to a moving year subscription whereby the subscription runs for 12 months from the month when the payment was made.  This change was made on the 4th August 2011.  Therefore, all subscriptions paid prior to that date will, as before, need to be be renewed in June 2012.  All subscriptions paid after the 4th August will need to be renewed 12 months after the month of payment.  We intend to give late payers two months leeway to pay their subscriptions before their names are removed from the membership database.

Members attending the Friends of St Helena AGM on the 21st May 2011 voted to increase the annual subscription fee in all countries other than St Helena by £5 per annum.  This vote was taken some time after subscriptions for the year commencing 1st June 2011 had been tendered to members at the old levels.  The increase in subscriptions will therefore not apply to existing members until the following year, commencing 1st June 2012.   

Current subscription rates are therefore as follows:

New Membership Applications:

  • £20 for households living in the UK
  • £10 for households living at St Helena
  • £30 for households living elsewhere
  • £350 for life membership, wherever applicants live

Existing Membership Renewals (up to 31st May 2012 only)

  • £15 households living in the UK
  • £10 for households living at St Helena
  • £25 for households living elsewhere
  • £350 for life membership, wherever members live

We now classify membership on a household basis.  The subscription fee is the same for a given household whether one or more members attend our meetings.  Likewise, our magazines are distributed and members-only website passwords/user names are allocated on a household rather than individual member basis.  Life members are normally classified on the basis of individual members.  All subscriptions must be paid in UK pounds sterling.  Members can pay in one of six ways:

  1. By sending us a cheque made payable to Friends of St Helena .
  2. By sending us a Standing Order, also made payable to Friends of St Helena . 
  3. Via Faster Payment Transfer – transfer funds online from your UK bank into the Friends of St Helena’s bank account, Lloyds Bank, Account Number 00909658, Sort Code 30-95-72.   Members with an overseas bank account can also transfer funds to the Society’s bank account electronically quoting the Friends of St Helena IBAN Code – GB98 LOYD 3095 7200 9096 58 (this includes five space characters) – and our BIC code – LOYDGB21108 (this includes no space characters)
  4. Via Paypal – please click HERE  This is an automated procedure which charges the full amount for new members to Friends of St Helena.  For existing members paying by Paypal please go to  www.paypal.com, log into your Paypal account, select the “Send Money” tab and enter our email addresssubscriptions@fosh.org.uk into the payment form.
  5. For anyone living at St Helena, first deposit your £10 subscription fee at the Bank of St Helena into the account of Edward Baldwin, a/c 22255002.  Second, pleasecontact the Membership Secretary by email or letter advising that you have made the payment and quoting your full postal address at St Helena.
  6. Members without British bank or Paypal accounts can pay through Charity Choice using a credit card.  Although primarily designed to make donations to charities, the subscription fee to join Friends of St Helena can also be paid this way.  Click HERE to make this payment and then email the Membership Secretary that you have made the payment quoting your postal address and telephone number.

Note:  We know one of the most important reasons we lose members is that members have not told us of their change in address.  Please log into the members-only section with your password and user name and click into the “My Details” tag to update your postal address, email address or telephone number.