The following is a biographical profile on Leigh Isiah Allsion Richardson (1924-2008), Nationalist Leader:
- Leigh Isiah Allison Richardson was born on 26 April, 1924 in Puerto Castillo, Honduras, to Belizean parents Leigh and Egzine Richardson.
- Along with Philip Goldson, George Price, and others, Richardson formed the People’s Committee which later became the People’s United Party in 1950. On 29th September, 1950, Richardson became the P.U.P’s first Chairman.
- In November 1951, Richardson and Philip Goldson, were tried and found guilty of sedition for an article they had published in the BillBoard newspaper in which it was alleged that they were inciting revolution. They were sentenced to twelve months in jail with hard labor.
- Richardson was one of eight persons elected to the Legislative Assembly after semi- Universal Adult Suffrage was enacted in Belize in 1954. His early ministerial responsibilities included the portfolios for Natural Resources and Development Concessions.
- His early efforts and ideas included: more efficient land use and forest regeneration; the expansion of the sugar and coconut industries; and the development of the toursim and cocoa industries. He was also involved with efforts to reacquire land from private landowners for redistribution and development
- Richardson, Goldson and Herman Jex split from the P.U.P. on 27 September, 1956. This was as a result of differing views regarding Belize’s participation in the West Indies Federation.
- After the split Richardson faced almost weekly attacks on his character and credibility by the P.U.P.’s Belize Times Newspaper.
- Richardson and Goldson went on to form the Honduran Independence Party (H.I.P) in October 1956, but unsuccessfully contested the general elections of 1957.
- Belize BillBoard newspaper which was used as the public platform for attacks against Colonialism.
- Richardson gave up leadership of the H.I.P and left Belize in 1958.
- Leigh Richardson was awarded the Order of Distinction by the Government of Belize in September, 2008. He died shortly thereafter in New York on 27 October, 2008.
Images courtesy: Belize Archives and Records Service
How to cite: ISCR/NICH. “Leigh Isiah Allsion Richardson (1924-2008).” Belize’s Heroes, Patriots & Benefactors Exhibit. Retrieved from: [Insert BHA Website URL]
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