Pub. Date:
The University of the West Indies Press
A Historical Study of Women in Jamaica, 1655-1844

A Historical Study of Women in Jamaica, 1655-1844


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In 1974 Lucille Mathurin Mair defended her dissertation, which has since become a classic work in Caribbean historiography and influenced generations of scholars. Through extensive archival work with estate records, legal records, family papers and private correspondence, she sought out the women of Jamaica's past during slavery, women of all classes, all colours, black, brown and white. The work stands as a convincing exposure of women as agents of history-a path-breaking achievement at a time when Caribbean historiography ignored women. From her meticulous research emerged a powerful statement that has shaped subsequent understandings of gendered and cultural relations in Jamaican society: the white woman consumed, the coloured woman served and the black woman laboured.

Over three decades Mair's dissertation became the most sought after unpublished work among students and scholars of Caribbean history and culture. Now available as a published monograph, the work will be more widely available to a new generation of scholars concerned with Atlantic history, slavery, culture and gender. The editors have provided a useful and informative introduction, and the original bibliography in the dissertation is now supplemented by bibliographies detailing Mathurin Mair's subsequent publications, subsequent UWI theses on women or gender, and books, articles and papers on Caribbean gender issues since 1974. Co-published with the Centre for Gender and Development Studies, University of the West Indies, Jamaica.

About the Author:
Lucille Mathurin Mair taught at the University of the West Indies

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9789766401788
Publisher: The University of the West Indies Press
Publication date: 10/28/2006
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 496
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

List of Tables     vii
Editors' Introduction   Hilary McD. Beckles   Verene A. Shepherd     ix
Author's Preface     xxxi
The Female Arrivants, 1655-1770
The Arrivals of White Women     3
The Arrivals of Black Women     41
The Growth of the Mulatto Group     79
Creole Slave Society, 1770-1834
The White Woman in Jamaican Slave Society     101
The White Woman: Legal Status, Family, Philanthropy and Gender Constraints     149
The Black Woman: Demographic Profile, Occupation and Violent Abuse     190
The Black Woman: Agency, Identity and Voice     234
The Mulatto Woman in Jamaican Slave Society     268
Postscript, 1834-1844
The Beginnings of a Free Society, 1834-1844     297
Afterword: Recollections into a Journey of a Rebel Past     318
Population: St James Parish     329
Notes     332
Author's Bibliography     434
Editors' Selected Bibliography     448
Index     475
About the Author     494

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