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AfriGeneas Caribbean Research Forum

[BARBADOS] Planter means...

From: "Ernest M. Wiltshire" murcot@synapse.net
To: CARIBBEAN-L@rootsweb.com


I have come to the conclusion that at least in the case of Barbados
records, the description "Planter" is a code-word for "white". In all my research and perusal of tens of thousands of Barbados records, I have not come across a single instance of a black or coloured person being described as a planter. However, "planter" does not necessarily mean "rich": many of the people so described would have been small
land-holders, or even people who did not actually own the land, but
rented or leased acreage from the wealthy land-holders, on which they
cultivated cane, which at harvest time would then be sold back to the
large growers or directly to the sugar factories.

There were a few coloured families who were extremely wealthy plantation owners (e.g. the Belgraves). I would be very interested to hear if they are ever described as "Planters", or if anyone has found evidence that would prove me wrong.

Ernest M. Wiltshire
Friends of the Barbados Archives
38 Inglewood Place, Ottawa
Ontario, K1Y 4C7, Canada


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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