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AfriGeneas Caribbean Research Forum

British West Indies - Book: "Sugar & Slaves"

If you haven't read it yet, an excellent history book for researchers of the British West Indies is "Sugar and Slaves: The Rise of the Planter Class in the English West Indies, 1624-1713" by Richard S. Dunn. It includes information primarily on the settlement of Barbados, Jamaica, Nevis, St. Christopher, Montserrat and Antigua, and has a number of ilustrations and tables.

From the Preface: "Today these tropical adventurers are seldom mentioned in the same breath with the founding fathers of Virginia and Massachusetts. It is easy to forget that they were members of the same migration as the first Chesapeake and New England colonists, that they settled in the New World at the same time, in the same numbers, for many of the same reasons. They employed similar colonizing techniques and shared similar colonizing experiences....Once [they] learned how to grow sugarcane in the 1640s, they developed a life-style all their own. They turned their small islands into amazingly effective sugar-production machines, manned by armies of black slaves. They became far richer than their cousins in the North American wilderness. They lived fast, spent recklessly, played desperately, and died young...."


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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