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Re: Registration of Slaves Once Sent Free

PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2009 2:33 pm
by bimjim
Speaking from vague memory, I believe most of the slaves once freed stayed where they were and worked for the previous masters. Having nothing of their own, there was not much else they could do...

Emancipation was very slow in becoming a reality, even after it became law. I am sure there are books on it out there somewhere... if you come across some really good ones - good in the way of accurately describing the timelines in the various islands, what really happened, and even the typical transition from slave to citizen I am sure we would all be very grateful for the names and authors.

I would personally prefer NOT to be recommended anything even remotely connected to UWI History Professor Hillary Beckles, an author of "documentary" books I have been warned likes to blend history and fiction to come up with his own preferred version of events. Whether his work should be called "creative history" or "historical fiction" will be determined by future generations.

If you are interested in what happened in each island or in the eastern Caribbean, may I caution against reading about what happened in the North American Colonies - the US and Canada - because their experiences were very different due to the larger land masses (not being isolated islands surrounded by ocean water) and the US not being under British control. The US gained independence in 1776, Emancipation did not happen - in practice - until perhaps the second or third decade after 1800.

And each island, even though governed by one of the Colonial powers of the day (England, France, Spain, Holland) will have had their own unique experiences as well. Jamaica, for instance, had their own violent Maroon rebellion where other islands had relatively peaceful transitions.

Emancipation was not an event which happened over a short time period, as in one day slave, the next day free. It took years to be implemented, and it was perhaps ten years or more between the law being passed in England and being implemented in the British Colonies. The other Colonial nations had differing dates and schedules of Emancipation as well.