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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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(p.290) Conclusion
Jamaica Ladies

Christine Walker

University of North Carolina Press

The book concludes in the 1760s, the era when most of the scholarship on Jamaica begins. It uses a unique set of letters written by a Euro-African woman, Mary Rose, to her former paramour and patron, Rose Fuller, to frame a moment of violence and change in the colony. Between 1760 and 1761, enslaved people launched a massive uprising called Tacky’s Revolt on the island. Tacky’s Revolt challenged slaveholder hegemony and threatened British power in Jamaica. Rose occupied a liminal position in colonial society during this moment of crisis. She was a free woman of European and African descent of middling wealth who commanded enslaved people and worked as a rancher to earn additional income. Yet, her authority was fragile and dependent on Fuller’s support. Rose thus foregrounds the precarious position occupied by free and freed women with African ancestry at a moment when some local officials, together with imperial authorities, determined that white solidary was the solution to extinguishing slave insurgencies. The local government sought to limit the material wealth held by free people of Euro-African descent. Yet, this population continued to grow, adding to the diverse group of women who remained deeply invested in slaveholding.

Keywords:   Tacky’s Revolt, Mary Rose, Patronage, Imperialism, Racial regime, British Empire, Interracial sex, Interracial couples, Family, Kinship

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