By Trevor Burnard
Eighteenth-century Jamaica, Britain's biggest and most respected slave-owning colony, depended on a brutal procedure of slave administration to take care of its tenuous social order. Trevor Burnard offers unprecedented perception into Jamaica's vivid yet harsh African and ecu cultures with a entire exam of the intense diary of plantation proprietor Thomas Thistlewood.
Thistlewood's diary, saved over the process 40 years, describes in photo aspect how white rule over slaves was once predicated at the infliction of terror at the our bodies and minds of slaves. Thistlewood handled his slaves cruelly even whereas he depended on them for his livelihood. in addition to cautious notes on sugar construction, Thistlewood maintained unique documents of a sexual lifestyles that totally expressed the society's rampant sexual exploitation of slaves. In Burnard's fingers, Thistlewood's diary finds greatly not just in regards to the guy and his slaves but in addition in regards to the constitution and enforcement of strength, altering understandings of human rights and freedom, and connections between social type, race, and gender, in addition to intercourse and sexuality, within the plantation system.
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Additional info for Mastery, Tyranny, and Desire: Thomas Thistlewood and His Slaves in the Anglo-Jamaican World
For that reason, while Thistlewood stumbled upon a gaggle of Barclay’s slaves ﬁshing at a bridge demarcating Thistlewood’s and Barclay’s estates, Barclay’s slaves repelled Thistlewood from a space during which they believed they'd widespread monetary privileges. Thistlewood famous that the slaves have been “very insolent with menaces and Threatenings and so forth refused to head at my Bidding and so on. ” After Thistlewood and his spouse escaped, he mentioned, they have been “glad to ﬁnd our Selves secure away. ” whilst he took issues into his personal arms per week later and whipped “some in their Negroe women,” he famous that “the Negroe males us domestic, with menaces and Impudence. ” basically Thistlewood had interfered with what Barclay’s slaves observed as their workout of familiar financial rights. They have been ready to problem Thistlewood’s violation in their privileges. They complained to Barclay, the major Justice of the Peace within the parish, who instantly faced Thistlewood on their behalf and threatened to whip Thistlewood if he stuck him punishing his slaves back. 86 Thistlewood’s slaves used him in a similar way to guard their financial pursuits whilst different slaves threatened them. Thistlewood frequently intervened to guard his slaves’ estate and individual. He used to be constantly writing letters to different whites asking that slaves who had intruded onto the availability grounds of his slaves be punished. On 6 September 1763, for instance, Thistlewood wrote to Aaron Moﬀat “acquainting him oﬀ greater than Twenty Negroes being visible [to] cross thro’ this property to Windward final Saturday. ” sometimes, slaves handled intruders themselves. On 10 September 1756, for instance, a watchman “Shot and lower” Mr. Mould’s Scotland “with a Machete until he died in Colonel Barclay’s Negroe flooring. ” The slave escaped punishment simply because Thistlewood thought of his activities moderate on the grounds that he was once protecting slave estate from a slave who was once “stealing corn, plantanes and so forth. ” extra frequently, even if, Thistlewood’s slaves referred to as on him to do so opposed to oﬀending slaves. On three July 1759, he rode to a neighboring property to speak with a fellow overseer approximately “Yaw robbing Quasheba oﬀ 7 Bitts worthy of ﬁsh. ” His intervention labored: “[T]hey agreed to make delight. ” in lots of respects, the pursuits of Thistlewood and his slaves coincided, in particular while outdoors slaves made incursions onto property estate that used to be helpful to his slaves. An episode in 1764 unearths the measure to which masters’ and 168 | w e a p o n s o f t h e s t r o n g slaves’ pursuits overlapped. at the afternoon of 18 February 1764, a slave lady, Chrishea, introduced note to Thistlewood that “many Negroes have been ﬁshing within the greenwood ponds. ” Thistlewood armed himself with a cutlass and went with ten slaves looking for the oﬀending slaves. He used to be informed the band of thirty belonging to George Williams’s property had long past “Thro’ the property to the Leeward, Vapouring their Sticks in an Impudent demeanour, and making a song nation and so on. ” seriously “in liquor,” Williams’s slaves had already “robb’d Melia oﬀ her ﬁsh” and beat her and lower her face.