An excellent review of slavery in the Caribbean by Moorbey’z Blog. How could slavery thrive in an environment where slaves outnumbered slave owners by 10 to 1 or sometimes 100 to 1?
‘Freeing a Slave from the Slave Stick Jamaica’ circa 1876. From the International Mission Photography Archive, University of Edinburgh. Courtesy USC Digital Library
It is no surprise that the whip is synonymous with New World slavery: its continual crack remained an audible threat to enslaved workers to keep at their work, reminding them that their lives and bodies were not their own, and that they should maintain (outwardly at least) a demeanour of dutiful subordination to their overlords. The whip was a cruel and effective instrument of torture – part of the brutal technology that kept the productive machine of plantation America at work. Nowhere was this more obvious than on the islands of the Caribbean. By the middle of the 18th century, these were the most valuable parts of the British empire, and the large island of Jamaica, with its huge sugar plantations and brutal slave regime, was the…
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