The introduction uses a single document, the 1713 will of Elizabeth Keyhorne, a widowed free woman of African descent living in Kingston who was both a slaveholder and had children who were still enslaved, to illustrate the book’s key themes. In the first half of the eighteenth century, a remarkably diverse group of free and freed women of European, Euro-African, and African descent helped to make Jamaica the wealthiest and largest slaveholding colony in the British Empire. As slaveholders, female colonists augmented their wealth, status, and legal independence on the island. Yet, many, like Keyhorne, maintained complicated and ambiguous relationships with enslaved people.
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