Item description for In Miserable Slavery: Thomas Thistlewood in Jamaica 1750-1786 by D. G. Hall...
In Miserable Slavery: Thomas Thistlewood in Jamaica 1750-1786 by D. G. Hall
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Studio: University Press of the West Indies
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 5.25" Height: 8.25" Weight: 0.85 lbs.
Publisher University Press of the West Indies
ISBN 9766400660 ISBN13 9789766400668
Reviews - What do customers think about In Miserable Slavery: Thomas Thistlewood in Jamaica 1750-1786?
An invaluable insight into West Indian slavery Dec 21, 2006
Thomas Thistlewood, Englishman, came to Jamaica in 1750 to seek his fortune. He started off managing estates and was eventually able to buy his own. Thistlewood died in Jamaica in 1786, leaving a 10,000 page diary of his experiences. Fortunately, historian Douglas Hall edited this diary and brought it to publication. Hall divides Thistlewood's diary and life in Jamaica into eleven chapters. He gives us brief introductions to each chapter, commenting on Thistlewood's life and putting it into historical and cultural context. Hall summarizes much of the diary too; only about half of the book is verbatim. Nonetheless, Hall is a matter-of-fact, unobtrusive, very helpful - and skilled - editor. He gives us little or no analysis or opinion, letting the reader form her own impressions. This is an extremely important account of slavery. Indeed, I can think of nothing like it. In that sense, it is priceless. Unfortunately, it is also hard to say how typical Thistlewood is of estate managers and owners without other accounts to compare. History does come alive in these pages, as it is personalized. We learn a great deal about relations between master and slaves - particularly sexual relations and punishment. We also learn much about relations among whites - what they ate and drank, how they socialized, their service in the militia. Thistlewood gives us a lot of information on sickness as well, particularly of slaves. We learn about the Maroons hunting escaped slaves and staying at his house, the effects of the American Revolution, and the finances of his estate, which were modest. One thing I learned that stood out is how often Thistlewood rented out his slaves as a source of income. If you want to know about slavery, particularly in Jamaica, then In Miserable Slavery is a must read.