Institute for the Study of Slavery

Private Revolutions and Reinventions: Becoming 'Free' and the Perils of Freedom in Jamaica, 1756

Wednesday 25th November 2020 (18:00-19:00)
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Historical black and white illustration of Leonard Parkinson, captain of the Maroon slaves' rebellion. He is wielding weapons and is turning away from the viewer as though in action.

A virtual Q&A with Dr Sheryllynne Haggerty on her research paper as part of Black History Month + (BLM beyond BHM)

Registration for this event is now live via the Eventbrite link above. 

Burnard and Garrigus recently recast the sugar-slave paradigm as a modern capitalist ‘plantation’ machine. They also demonstrated that Jamaica was at a turning point at the middle of the eighteenth century. The island was at the height of its power as an imperial colony - but also vulnerable, because a major slave uprising in 1760, Tackey’s Rebellion, was to shake the planter elite to its core.

This paper comes from a wider project based on a unique caché of letters written from Jamaica in 1756. It sheds light on everyday life in Jamaica at this important juncture in Jamaican history. In particular it will outline the various ways in which enslaved people became ‘free’ in 1756, and the problems that might be associated with gaining and living that ‘freedom’. Evidence comes from the cache of letters on which the wider project is based, as well as manumission records, the Journals of the House of Assembly, manuscript collections in Britain and the Jamaica Courant. Manumission, whether by the actions of the enslavers, the enslaved, or their families form the bulk of the evidence, but there is also evidence in 1756 of enslaved people running away, including to the Maroon communities.

Sheryllynne Haggerty

Associate Professor and Reader in Economic and Business History, Faculty of Arts, University of Nottingham, UK

About Sheryllynne

Sheryllynne is the the co-founder of the Institute for the Study of Slavery (ISOS). She specialises is in the area of eighteenth-century traders and the economy of the first British empire - both formal and informal. Complementing this is an interest in networks of people, credit and goods and the lives of men and women who facilitated this trade.

She is presently working on a Leverhulme Funded book project entitled Ordinary People, Extraordinary Times: Living the British Empire in Jamaica, 1756. 

She is Principal Investigator on the Scott Trust-Funded project exploring any links with historical slavery of John Edward Taylor (founder the Manchester Guardian in 1821), as well as with his associates, their investments and business activities. 

Sheryllynne is also a member of the Working Group for the UoN and NTU project: Nottingham Universities and Historical Slavery.

Booking is now live via the Eventbrite link at the top. 

Institute for the Study of Slavery

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD