How did Jamaica grow to become the “crown jewel” of the British Atlantic World?
Part of the answer is that Jamaica’s women served as some of the most ardent and best supporters of the island’s practice of slavery.
Christine Walker, an Assistant Professor of History at the Yale-NUS College in Singapore and the author of the award-winning book, Jamaica Ladies: Female Slaveholders and the Creation of Britain’s Atlantic Empire, leads us on an investigation of female slave holder-ship in 17th and 18th-century Jamaica.
About the Show
Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.
It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.
Ben Franklin’s World is a production of the Omohundro Institute.
Christine Walker, an Assistant Professor of History at the Yale-NUS College in Singapore and the author of the award-winning book, Jamaica Ladies: Female Slaveholders and the Creation of Britain’s Atlantic Empire, leads us on an investigation of female slave holdership in 17th and 18th-century Jamaica.
During our investigation, Christine reveals how England came to possess and colonize Jamaica; Why the voices and lives of women and people of color must be uncovered and recovered to understand how the British Atlantic Empire came to be; And, information about the lives and deeds of Jamaica’s female slaveholders.
What You’ll Discover
- Jamaica as a Spanish colony
- England’s colonization of Jamaica
- Being a “lady” in 18th-century Jamaica
- Why study women and families in 18th-century Jamaica
- How women slaveholders helped to build the British Atlantic Empire
- Recovering the voices of women and people of color in the archives
- Similarities and differences between Jamaican and British North American slavery
- Differences between slavery and indentured servitude
- How women slaveholders participated in violence of slavery
- How Jamaican slavery looked through the eyes of women
- Stabilizing Jamaican society after Spanish rule
- Birth rates in Jamaica
- Why many Jamaican families were formed outside of marriage
- Marriage practices in 17th- and 18th-century Jamaica
- Women slaveholders in 17th- and 18th-century Jamaica
- British Jamaica and mainland British North America
Links to People, Places, and Publications
- Christine Walker
- Christine on Twitter
- Jamaica Ladies: Female Slaveholders and the Creation of Britain's Atlantic Empire
- Hannah Young
- Trevor Burnard
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- Episode 008: Gregory O’Malley, Final Passages
- Episode 036: Abigail Swingen, Competing Visions of Empire
- Episode 070: Jennifer Morgan, How Historians Research
- Episode 236: Daniel Livesay, Mixed-Race Britons & Atlantic Family
- Episode 282: Vincent Brown, Tacky’s Revolt
Time Warp Question
In your opinion, what might have happened if the thirteen British American colonies had followed Jamaica’s lead in accepting and adopting more fluid perceptions of race and gender? How might the development of slavery in the mainland North American colonies have been different?
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