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A descent into Hellshire: Safety, security and the end of slavery in Jamaica, 1819–1820

Graham, A; (2020) A descent into Hellshire: Safety, security and the end of slavery in Jamaica, 1819–1820. Atlantic Studies , 17 (2) pp. 184-205. 10.1080/14788810.2019.1637186. Green open access

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Abstract

Historians of slavery in the Americas have focussed on major revolts such as Haiti in 1791 to explain emancipation, and ignored smaller clashes. A close study of one such clash in Jamaica in 1819 between slave runaways in the Hellshire Hills and the colonial state offers a new perspective. Planters used the cooperation of free and enslaved people of colour to carry out a “descent” that destroyed the runaways in the region. Yet the descent cost over £3,000, piling financial pressure onto a slave society that was already overburdened with high rates of taxation and a declining economy. The descent into Hellshire in 1819 is therefore an important example of the more routine and less prominent police operations that appeared to cement the authority of local planters but also gradually and cumulatively undermined the capacity of white planters in the British West Indies to resist imperial pressure for emancipation.

Type: Article
Title: A descent into Hellshire: Safety, security and the end of slavery in Jamaica, 1819–1820
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/14788810.2019.1637186
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/14788810.2019.1637186
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Jamaica, Caribbean, Slavery, Empire, Imperial rule, West Indies
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of History
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10046315
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