Plantation Jamaica 1750-1850: Capital and Control in a Colonial Economy

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Plantation Jamaica analyses the important but neglected role of the attorneys who managed estates, chiefly for absentee proprietors, and assesses their efficiency and impact on Jamaica during slavery and freedom. Meticulous research based on a variety of sources, including the attorneys' letters, plantation papers and slave registration records, provides rich quantitative and literary data describing the attorneys' role, status, range of activities and demographic characteristics. Higman charts both the extent of absentee ownership and the complex structure of the managerial hierarchy that stretched across the Atlantic. Detailed case studies compare the attorney Simon Taylor's management of Golden Grove Estate in the decade before the American Revolution and Isaac Jackson's control of Montpelier in the years immediately following the abolition of slavery. These examples provide a wealth of information about plantation life and labour, technology, trade, investments and profits. Higman also makes a unique contribution by investigating and describing several topics previously neglected, including the postal service, the history of accounting and the role of attorneys in the British I

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