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Jamaica Ladies

Female Slaveholders and the Creation of Britain's Atlantic Empire

Christine Walker (author)

ISBN: 9781469658797

Publication Date: Jun 2020

Format: Paperback

Also available as: Hardback  

Offers the first systematic study of the free and freed women of European, Euro-African, and African descent who perpetuated chattel slavery and reaped its profits in the British Empire. Their actions helped transform Jamaica into the wealthiest slaveholding colony in the Anglo-Atlantic world.
£25.50

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Jamaica Ladies is the first systematic study of the free and freed women of European, Euro-African, and African descent who perpetuated chattel slavery and reaped its profits in the British Empire. Their actions helped transform Jamaica into the wealthiest slaveholding colony in the Anglo-Atlantic world. Starting in the 1670s, a surprisingly large and diverse group of women helped secure English control of Jamaica and, crucially, aided its developing and expanding slave labor regime by acquiring enslaved men, women, and children to protect their own tenuous claims to status and independence.

Female colonists employed slaveholding as a means of advancing themselves socially and financially on the island. By owning others, they wielded forms of legal, social, economic, and cultural authority not available to them in Britain. In addition, slaveholding allowed free women of African descent, who were not far removed from slavery themselves, to cultivate, perform, and cement their free status. Alongside their male counterparts, women bought, sold, stole, and punished the people they claimed as property and vociferously defended their rights to do so. As slavery's beneficiaries, these women worked to stabilize and propel this brutal labor regime from its inception.
Illustrations 10 halftones, 5 figures, 7 tables
Pages 336
Dimensions 235 x 155
Date Published 30 Jun 2020
Publisher The University of North Carolina Press
Series Published by the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and the University of North Carolina Press
Subject/s Social groups   History of the Americas   Slavery & abolition of slavery   Gender studies: women  
Christine Walker is assistant professor of history at Yale-NUS College in Singapore.

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