1Throughout the sixteenth century the Portuguese dominated this trade in human cargo.  Their first market for slaves was the sugar plantations of Brazil.  The English plantations became a market around 1650 with the development of the sugar plantation in Barbados. By this time, the Portuguese and the Dutch, who had competed with them, were in decline. England was thus able “to break into the Guinea Trade on her own behalf.” See William D. Phillips, Jr., Slavery from Roman Times to the Early Transatlantic Trade (Minneapolis:  University of Minnesota Press, 1985), 173-185.

2The growing dominance of sugar to the Jamaican economy meant that by 1720 she had overtaken Barbados as the leading sugar-exporting colony to Britain, and by 1750 she “became the largest sugar producer in the English West Indies.” David W. Galenson, Traders, Planters , and Slaves; Market Behaviour in Early English America (New York:  Cambridge University Press, 1986), 7.

3Robin Blackburn, The Overthrow of Colonial Slavery 1776-1848. (New York:  Verso, 1988), 8. 

4Edward Long, for example, only saw the enslaved’s free time on a Sunday afternoon as “being uselessly dissipated in idleness and lounging…” Edward Long, History of Jamaica, New ed., vol. 2, Book III, Chap. V, Sect. II, Distributive and Munerary (London:  Frank Cass and Company, Ltd., 1970), 492.

5Roderick A. McDonald, The Economy and Material Culture of Slaves; Goods and Chattels on the Sugar Plantations of Jamiaca and Louisiana (Baton Rouge:  Louisiana State University Press, 1993), 26.

6John F. Campbell, “Always Free.” Master's Thesis, University of Cambridge, 1997), 36-38.

7This belief of the enslaved in their right to their own free space, even in the midst of Caribbean ‘chattel’ slavery, is discussed under the heading of ‘ideological clarity.’ For a full explanation of the concept, see John F. Campbell, “Always Free.(Master's Thesis, University of Cambridge, 1997), 79-83.

8Martin Klein and Paul E. Lovejoy, "Slavery  in West Africa," in The Uncommon Market: Essays in the Economic History of the Atlantic Slave Trade, eds. Henry A. Gemery and Jan S. Hogendorn, (New York:  Academic Press, 1979), 183. 

9Thornton’s point concerns the extensive and influential role of slaves as stewards of the master’s business and recognition of kinship ties and autonomy that acknowledged the right of enslaved personhood, even within the context of worker/master subordination. John Thornton, Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1400-1680 (New York:  Cambridge University Press, 1992), 74.


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August 2000