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 dwelling on plantations, one in North the United States and one within the Caribbean. Digging deeply into the records, 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 varied kinds slavery may perhaps take. Dunn’s attractive success is a wealthy and compelling heritage of bondage in very varied Atlantic international settings.
From the mid-eighteenth century to emancipation in 1834, lifestyles in Mesopotamia used to be formed and stunted through lethal paintings regimens, rampant affliction, and dependence at the slave exchange for brand spanking new employees. At Mount ethereal, the place the inhabitants continuously improved until eventually emancipation in 1865, the “surplus” slaves have been bought or moved to far-off paintings websites, and households have been typically 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 level of her bondage, and distinction her harsh remedy with the fortunes of her rebellious mulatto son and smart quadroon granddaughter. We music a Mount ethereal craftworker via a stormy lifetime of interracial intercourse, break out, and family members breakup. the main points of people’ lives allow us to understand the whole 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 great majority of them were males, which did nothing to redress the gender imbalance, but most of these newcomers were strikingly young, aged ten to ﬁ fteen, which suggests that Pool and Barnjum were trying to lower the age level of the population. As with the 1762 inventory, one may question the accuracy of the age estimates for these new Africans, but I reckon that even a Mesopotamia bookkeeper could observe the adolescent growth changes of pubescent boys and girls with some accuracy. A very signiﬁcant age marker for young Africans would be the presence or absence of scars or body marks from tribal pubertal initiation rites that were practiced in West Africa at around age twelve.
Appendix 1 tabulates the population changes under the elder Barham during the years 1762–1789, followed by the changes under his son’s management during the years 1790–1833. The birth and death ﬁgures drive all of the other numbers. 4 per annum). These totals are by no means complete. Though the Barhams’ bookkeepers kept slave birth and death registers, they never reported abortions or miscarriages and only occasionally reported stillbirths, and they seem to have omitted a large number of infants who died within a few hours or days after birth.
It is our ﬁ rst fully articulated description of the Mesopotamia slave community. Daniel Barnjum’s inventory of July 10, 1762, now housed in the Bodleian Library, is the key that unlocks the secrets of the Mesopotamia inventories. When I correlated it with the subsequent Mesopotamia inventories for 1763–1833 and with the previous Mesopotamia inventories for 1727–1761, the Barhams’ slave population was opened to Mesopotamia versus Mount Airy: The Demographic Contrast 33 long-term inspection. But this correlation process required a lot of small mechanical adjustments.
A Tale of Two Plantations: Slave Life and Labor in Jamaica and Virginia by Richard S. Dunn