By Richard S. Dunn
Forty years in the past, after book of his pathbreaking ebook Sugar and Slaves, Richard Dunn started a radical research of 2 thousand slaves residing on plantations, one in North the USA and one within the Caribbean. Digging deeply into the data, he has reconstructed the person lives and collective stories of 3 generations of slaves at the Mesopotamia sugar property in Jamaica and the Mount ethereal plantation in tidewater Virginia, to appreciate the starkly various kinds slavery may take. Dunn’s lovely success is a wealthy and compelling background of bondage in very various Atlantic international settings.
From the mid-eighteenth century to emancipation in 1834, existence in Mesopotamia was once formed and stunted via lethal paintings regimens, rampant illness, and dependence at the slave alternate for brand spanking new workers. At Mount ethereal, the place the inhabitants constantly increased till emancipation in 1865, the “surplus” slaves have been bought or moved to far-off paintings websites, and households have been frequently damaged up. Over 200 of those Virginia slaves have been despatched 8 hundred miles to the Cotton South.
In the genealogies that Dunn has painstakingly assembled, we will be able to 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 song a Mount ethereal craftworker via a stormy lifetime of interracial intercourse, get away, and relatives breakup. the main points of people’ lives let us to know the entire adventure of either slave groups as they worked and enjoyed, and finally grew to become free.
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Additional resources for A Tale of Two Plantations: Slave Life and Labor in Jamaica and Virginia
The seasoned slaves who came to Mesopotamia from Three Mile River, Southﬁeld, Cairncurran, and Springﬁeld between 1786 and 1819 had quite different characteristics from the people who were purchased from the slave ships. They arrived at the Barhams’ estate already formed into family groups, they ranged in age from infancy to seventy-plus, and the sexes were almost evenly balanced (52 percent male). 54 And since they were forced to leave their families and friends at their former plantations, most of them did not want to come to Mesopotamia.
40 But young Joseph, for his part, considered that his time in Jamaica had given him the experience he needed to supervise the family plantations from long distance. He sailed back home in the summer of 1781, but his ship was captured by an American privateer, and he was taken to Boston. ”41 Joseph II never returned to Jamaica. Instead, he settled immediately into a patrician life in England. In addition to his father’s Jamaican estates, he acquired extensive property in Wales from his mother’s Mesopotamia versus Mount Airy: The Demographic Contrast 39 family in 1803.
Sixty-seven of these people reappear on the next surviving Mesopotamia inventory, taken in 1736, and fortytwo on the 1744 inventory; and twenty-two of them show up thirty-ﬁve years later on the 1762 inventory—the ﬁrst Mesopotamia listing to assign ages to the slaves. Mesopotamia versus Mount Airy: The Demographic Contrast 27 Several of Ephraim Stephenson’s slaves were still living at Mesopotamia well beyond 1762. Parry was listed as a driver of a ﬁeld gang in 1727, and according to his 1762 age statement he was then about twentyﬁve years old.