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A Tale of Two Plantations - Slave Life and Labor in Jamaica and Virginia

Slave Life and Labor in Jamaica and Virginia

"This book reconstructs the individual lives and collective experiences of some 2,000 slaves on two plantations--Mesopotamia sugar estate in western Jamaica and Mount Airy Plantation in tidewater Virginia--during the final three generations of slavery inJamaica and the USA. It also compares Mesopotamia with Mount Airy to demonstrate the differences between slave life in the British West Indies and slave life in the Antebellum US South. The chief difference was demographic. Mesopotamia had a continually shrinking slave population, with many more deaths than births, which was standard throughout the British Caribbean. Mount Airy had a continually expanding slave population, with many more births than deaths, which was standard throughout the Old South. AtMesopotamia the slaveholders imported their laborers from Africa, worked them to death and replaced them with new Africans, so that family life was perpetually stunted. At Mount Airy, where the slaves were all American-born, the slaveholders sold their surplus people or moved them to distant work sites, so that families were routinely broken up. On both plantations numerous individual slaves are observed in action, a mix of leaders and followers, rebels and conformists. A principal theme is slave motherhood and intergenerational family formation; another is the impact of field labor upon health and longevity. The Mesopotamia people engaged with Moravian missionaries and responded to two major Jamaican slave rebellions, while 218 of the Mount Airy people migrated to Alabama as cotton hands. The book concludes with emancipation in Jamaica and the USA. Never before have two slave communities from differing regions in America been portrayed over a long time period in such full detail"-
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  • Auteur(s) : Richard S. Dunn
  • Uitgeverij : Harvard University Press
  • ISBN : 9780674735361
  • Taal : Engels
  • Uitvoering : Hardcover (ENG)
  • Aantal pagina's : 552
  • Verschijningsdatum : 01-01-2014
  • Afmetingen : 210 x 150 x 22 mm.
  • Gewicht : 419 gr.