Download A Tale of Two Plantations: Slave Life and Labor in Jamaica by Richard S. Dunn PDF

By Richard S. Dunn

Forty years in the past, after ebook of his pathbreaking booklet Sugar and Slaves, Richard Dunn all started a thorough research of 2 thousand slaves dwelling on plantations, one in North the US and one within the Caribbean. Digging deeply into the files, he has reconstructed the person lives and collective studies of 3 generations of slaves at the Mesopotamia sugar property in Jamaica and the Mount ethereal plantation in tidewater Virginia, to appreciate the starkly assorted types slavery may perhaps take. Dunn’s beautiful success is a wealthy and compelling heritage of bondage in very various Atlantic global settings.

From the mid-eighteenth century to emancipation in 1834, lifestyles in Mesopotamia used to be formed and stunted through lethal paintings regimens, rampant affliction, and dependence at the slave exchange for brand spanking new employees. At Mount ethereal, the place the inhabitants continuously accelerated until eventually emancipation in 1865, the “surplus” slaves have been offered or moved to far-off paintings websites, and households have been sometimes damaged up. Over 2 hundred of those Virginia slaves have been despatched 8 hundred miles to the Cotton South.

In the genealogies that Dunn has painstakingly assembled, we will hint a Mesopotamia fieldhand via each level of her bondage, and distinction her harsh therapy with the fortunes of her rebellious mulatto son and shrewdpermanent quadroon granddaughter. We tune a Mount ethereal craftworker via a stormy lifetime of interracial intercourse, get away, and kinfolk breakup. the main points of people’ lives permit us to understand the whole event of either slave groups as they worked and enjoyed, and eventually turned free.

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Extra info for A Tale of Two Plantations: Slave Life and Labor in Jamaica and Virginia

Example text

So when he returned to England in 1751, he set about looking for missionaries who could minister to his Jamaica slaves. Back home, Joseph Foster Barham was much affected by the preaching of Moravian brother John Cennick. And he fell in love with Dorothea Vaughan, a devout woman with extensive property in Wales who shared his religious values. Barham and Vaughan joined the Moravian Church, or Unitas Fratrum, a central European radical Protestant sect that maintained a small outpost in England and a very active program of overseas evangelism.

Like many of my colleagues, I was drawn to the subject by the Black Freedom movement and by Winthrop Jordan’s White over Black, published in 1968. 33 There was also much initial discussion as to whether Europeans enslaved Africans primarily because they were racists or because this grossly exploitive labor system was cost-effective. In retrospect, this debate seems beside the point, since racism justified exploitation, and the two attitudes became so intertwined that scarcely anyone in Europe or white America ventured to question the enslavement of African people until the mid-eighteenth century.

The mixed record of these twenty-one Africans would be repeated in future years when other groups of replacement slaves were brought to Mesopotamia. Before leaving Jamaica, Joseph Foster Barham was sufficiently concerned about the high slave turnover at Mesopotamia that he ordered the managerial staff to compile annual slave inventories so that he could keep track of changes in the population. Starting in December 1751, the bookkeepers prepared a lengthy inventory at the close of each year and sent it to him in England.

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