Catalogue


Slaves and slaveholders in Bermuda 1616-1782 /
Virginia Bernhard.
imprint
Columbia, Mo. : University of Missouri Press, c1999.
description
xviii, 316 p. : ill., maps
ISBN
0826212271 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
Subjects
More Details
imprint
Columbia, Mo. : University of Missouri Press, c1999.
isbn
0826212271 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
3569777
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Virginia Bernhard is Professor of History at the University of St. Thomas in Houston.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2000-03:
Bermuda was part of Colonial British America and within the sphere of colonial plantation economies, though it was not itself a plantation colony. Bernhard compares Bermuda's early Colonial history (1616-1782) with that of Virginia, another tobacco colony, and thereby highlights some of the major differences. Bermuda is tiny and circumscribed; slaves and slave holders were in closer proximity than they were in many large plantation colonies. Bermuda's English settlers and their descendants turned from tobacco to maritime pursuits and became wreckers, smugglers, and seafarers. Further, the slaves could marry and rear families. They appear to have had a high rate of literacy and a high rate of natural increase. All these are unusual features in slave societies of the Americas, but they are not unique. Fruitful comparisons might be made with Caribbean islands where large plantations and strict slave regimes also were absent. The book is potentially useful for comparisons and syntheses, even though it is overloaded with details that are unassimilated into any encompassing hypotheses or generalization. For collections in slavery and the colonial history of the Americas. Footnotes. Upper-division undergraduates and above. R. Berleant-Schiller; emeritus, University of Connecticut
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, March 2000
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Summaries
Main Description
Slaves and Slaveholders in Bermuda, 1616-1782,offers a fresh perspective on the complex relationship between racism and slavery in the often overlooked second-oldest English colony in the New World. As the first blacks were brought onto the islands not specifically for slave labor, but for their expertise as pearl divers and cultivators of West Indies plants, Bermuda's racial history began to unfold much differently from that of the Caribbean islands or of the North American mainland. Bermuda's history records the arrival of the first blacks, the first English law passed to control the behavior of the "Negroes," and the creation of ninety-nine-year indentures for black and Indian servants. When the inevitable reality of slavery took hold in Bermuda, slaveholders realized that they, like their slaves, were not free. Slavery dictated and strained the relationships between whites and blacks, but in this smallest of English colonies it differed from slavery elsewhere because of the uniquely close master-slave relations created by Bermuda's size and maritime economy. At only twenty-one square miles in area, Bermuda saw slaves and slaveholders working and living closer together than in other societies. The emphasis on maritime pursuits offered slaves a degree of autonomy and a sense of identity unequaled in other English colonies. This groundbreaking history of Bermuda's slavery reveals fewer runaways, less-violent rebellions, and relatively milder punishments for offending slaves. Bernhard delves into the origins of Bermuda's slavery, its peculiar nature, and its effects on blacks and whites. The study is based on archival research drawn from wills and inventories, laws and court cases, governors' reports and council minutes. Intended as an introduction to both the history of the islands and the rich sources for further research, this book will prove invaluable to scholars of slavery, as well as those interested in historical archaeology, anthropology, maritime history, and colonial history.
Unpaid Annotation
Slaves and Slaveholders in Bermuda, 1616-1782, offers a fresh perspective on the complex relationship between racism and slavery in the often overlooked second-oldest English colony in the New World. As the first blacks were brought onto the islands not specifically for slave labor, but for their expertise as pearl divers and cultivators of West Indies plants, Bermuda's racial history began to unfold much differently from that of the Caribbean islands or of the North American mainland.
Unpaid Annotation
Slaves & Slaveholders in Bermuda, 1616-1782, offers a fresh perspective on the complex relationship between racism & slavery in the often overlooked second-oldest English colony in the New World. As the first blacks were brought onto the islands not specifically for slave labor, but for their expertise as pearl divers & cultivators of West Indies plants, Bermuda's racial history began to unfold much differently from that of the Caribbean islands or of the North American mainland. Bermuda's history records the arrival of the first blacks, the first English law passed to control the behavior of the "Negroes," & the creation of ninety-nine-year indentures for black & Indian servants. Slavery may have dictated & strained the relationships between whites & blacks, but in this smallest of English colonies it differed from slavery elsewhere because of the uniquely close master-slave relations created by Bermuda's size & maritime economy. At only twenty-one square miles in size, Bermuda saw slaves & slave-holders working & living closer together than in other societies. Additionally, the emphasis on maritime pursuits offered slaves a degree of autonomy & a sense of identity unequaled in other English colonies. This groundbreaking history of Bermuda's slavery reveals fewer runaways, less-violent rebellions, & relatively milder punishments for offending slaves. One anecdote recounts that in 1782, seventy black seamen offered freedom in Boston voluntarily returned to their Bermuda homes. Bernhard delves into the origins of Bermuda's slavery, its peculiar nature, & its effects on blacks & whites. She bases her study on archival research drawn from wills & inventories, laws & court cases, governors' reports & council minutes. Intended as an introduction to both the history of the islands & the rich sources for further study, this book will prove invaluable to scholars of slavery, as well as those interested in historical archaeology, anthropology, maritime history, & colonial history.
Table of Contents
List of Tables and Mapsp. xi
Prefacep. xiii
Acknowledgmentsp. xvii
The First Colonists, White and Blackp. 1
From Servitude to Slaveryp. 49
Too Little Land, Too Many Slavesp. 94
A Living from the Seap. 148
Freedom and Controlp. 191
Families, White and Blackp. 234
Conclusionp. 273
Bermuda-Registered Vessels Bringing Blacks into the Port of New York, 1716-1742p. 279
Bermuda-Registered Vessels Bringing Blacks to Virginia, 1710-1766p. 283
A Note on Bermuda Sourcesp. 287
Works Citedp. 291
Indexp. 307
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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