By Richard S. Dunn
Forty years in the past, after book of his pathbreaking publication Sugar and Slaves, Richard Dunn begun a thorough research of 2 thousand slaves residing on plantations, one in North the US and one within the Caribbean. Digging deeply into the data, 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 kinds slavery may possibly take. Dunn’s attractive success is a wealthy and compelling historical past of bondage in very diverse Atlantic international settings.
From the mid-eighteenth century to emancipation in 1834, lifestyles in Mesopotamia used to be formed and stunted by means of lethal paintings regimens, rampant sickness, and dependence at the slave exchange for brand new employees. At Mount ethereal, the place the inhabitants constantly extended till emancipation in 1865, the “surplus” slaves have been bought or moved to far away paintings websites, and households have been oftentimes 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 degree of her bondage, and distinction her harsh therapy with the fortunes of her rebellious mulatto son and smart quadroon granddaughter. We tune a Mount ethereal craftworker via a stormy lifetime of interracial intercourse, break out, and kinfolk breakup. the main points of people’ lives let us to know the whole adventure of either slave groups as they worked and enjoyed, and eventually turned free.
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Additional info for A Tale of Two Plantations: Slave Life and Labor in Jamaica and Virginia
Thus, when Henry Barham died in 1746, his widow, Elizabeth Barham, took over the estate, and Joseph became the putative owner in 1750 when he reached his majority and the full-scale operator six years later at his mother’s death in 1756. Joseph Foster Barham I is a central ﬁgure in our story, the ﬁ rst of the four slaveholders who compiled the records upon which this book is based. Unfortunately, most of his personal papers have not survived, so a great many aspects of his life are unknown. Furthermore, the Jamaica correspondence that he did preserve is very one-sided.
Thomas and instructing them in Christianity— a course of action that would have been impossible in Mesopotamia. Rebecca then married a white missionary, was rescued from jail by Count Zinzendorf, spent twenty years in Germany, and ended up in West Africa. She was a remarkable person, but her adventurous life story sheds little light on West Indian slavery. Mary Walker, by contrast, became a domestic servant to white abolitionists in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts after escaping from her master, grieved from 1848 to 1865 over the loss of her loved ones, and tried hard but failed to recover her mother and children.
Though a great many slaves ran away temporarily, there was very little permanent movement out of the 26 A Tale of Two Plantations estate. Only seven slaves escaped for good, another four chronic runaways were sold for transportation off the island, and twelve mulattoes (all fathered by the white men who managed the estate) were manumitted. A particularly interesting feature of the Mesopotamia population is the gender balance, which kept shifting. A female majority in the earliest Mesopotamia 1727 inventory morphed into parity in 1736 and into strong male dominance in the inventories from 1751 to 1762.
A Tale of Two Plantations: Slave Life and Labor in Jamaica and Virginia by Richard S. Dunn