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Jamaica LadiesFemale Slaveholders and the Creation of Britain's Atlantic Empire$
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Christine Walker

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781469658797

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469658797.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Plantations

Plantations

Chapter:
(p.116) 3. Plantations
Source:
Jamaica Ladies
Author(s):

Christine Walker

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469658797.003.0004

Chapter Three explores women’s roles in propelling the growth of Jamaica’s plantation economy. It uses a rare collection of letters authored by a female planter, Mary Elbridge, to explore the varied agricultural activities of women living in the island’s rural regions. This chapter complicates a narrative of plantation slavery that centers on sugar cultivation. Although some women did cultivate sugar, others worked as ranchers, grew pimento, ginger, cotton, and provisions. Regardless of the size of their agricultural ventures, women relied intensively on the labor of enslaved people. This chapter scrutinizes their exploitative, coercive, and violent treatment of captive Africans during the volatile era of the Maroon War. Female inhabitants in Spanish Town, the seat of the colonial government, were especially involved in the livestock industry, and many operated ranches on the outskirts of the town. Altogether, women planters and ranchers contributed to the growth of a symbiotic and incredibly profitable plantation economy.

Keywords:   Jamaica, Sugar plantations, Planters, Maroon War, Women slaveowners, Women planters, Cattle ranches, Livestock, Mary Elbridge, Spanish Town

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