Running the West Indies: British records from West Indian countries under colonial ruleĀ 

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    Collection Content

    Running the West Indies: British records from West Indian countries under colonial rule is a thematic series contained as a sub-set within the digitized archival content known as British Online Archives (BOA), distributed by Microform Academic Publishers (MAP).  This series includes the following collections:

    Antigua, slavery and emancipation in the records of a sugar plantation, 1689-1907

    This collection provides access to 25,432 pages of Tudway of Wells Antiguan Estate papers, 1689-1907.  MAP states, "The Tudway of Wells papers are the most complete surviving private records pertaining to an Antiguan Sugar plantation; due in no small part to the arms-length nature of the plantation's ownership rendering correspondence between owners and managers essential. A combination of statistical ledgers and narrative correspondence yields quantitative and qualitative information to the researcher. The period covered by these records encompasses the un-phased transition of Antiguan slaves from slavery to waged work. In relation to the history of colonialism there are records of how much was paid for slaves, how much was raised through sales of sugar, details of how the operations of the plantation were managed, work regimes, and a virtually complete set of annual accounts for the Parham Plantation from 1689 to 1920. The correspondence between the Tudway family in Britain and their plantation managers in Antigua includes work regimes, health conditions among labourers, and the management practices of attorneys, managers and overseers. The post-1834 content has received little attention over the years, despite its coverage of the post-emancipation societal transition period and the historical significance of this period in setting and entrenching the cultural paradigm from which an independent Antigua would have to emerge. Derived from the online guide by Dr Kenneth Morgan."

    Canada, America & the West Indies imports and exports to the UK, 1678-1825

    This collection provides access to 22,582 pages of naval office shipping lists from 1678-1825.  MAP reports, "These lists cover a range of ports in and near to the East Coast of the American Continent, from Nova Scotia to Suriname. Commencing with Nova Scotia, they cover New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, Bermuda, Georgia, Florida, the Bahamas, Jamaica, the British Virgin Islands, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Antigua, Montserrat, Dominica, Martinique, Saint Vincent, Barbados, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and Suriname. The naval office shipping lists were compiled by the naval officers in the British colonies in North America and the West lndies and then sent periodically, usually every three months, by the Governor of the colony to the Board of Trade or the Treasury in England. Like other governmental records, they were subsequently deposited in the Public Record Office, London, where they are now to be found."

    Caribbean colonial statistics from the British Empire, 1824-1950

    This collection provides access to 188,844 pages of material from Carribbean Blue Books, 1824-1950.  MAP states, "For the most part these statistical records cover the years from 1839 to 1938, although some records commence from 1824 and others continue until 1950. The records for each colony are prefaced by a brief introduction to that colony. The population returns are published alongside education reports, while grants of land reveal who held the colonial wealth. Imports and exports are joined by prison records which reveal what the crimes were at that time. As these records are published together, the reader can compare the living conditions and access to services across colonies. The imperial statistics in this collection are listed by year for ease of reference. "

    Scottish trade with Africa and the West Indies in the early 18th century, 1694-1709

    This collection provides access to 10,219 pages of Papers of the Company of Scotland Trading to Africa and the Indies, 1694-1709.  MAP states, "The Company of Scotland Trading to Africa and the Indies, better known as the Darien Company, was created by Act of the Scots Parliament on 26 June 1695, receiving royal assent from King William II of Scotland (William III of England), almost 100 years after the 'Union of the crowns'. The intention was for Scotland set up trading colonies around the globe after the model of other European nations at that time, beginning with a settlement on the Darien Isthmus near present-day Panama. This BRRAM collection includes all the principal manuscripts at the National Library of Scotland on the doomed scheme, and complements the earlier published collection of documents held in the archives of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). While the bulk of these papers date from 1696 through to 1707, including copies of the general journals for the Company, the collection also contains certain miscellaneous documents which antedate by two years the legal incorporation of the Company, and others that span the period of its dissolution up to 1709. The quality and variety of financial documents and in the amount of correspondence are remarkable, the bulk dating from the initial period to 1700, culminating in the return of survivors from the second disastrous expedition to Darien. Among the former category are numerous subscription books, dating from 1696. In addition there are account books, detailed cash books and receipts, trading ledgers and promissory notes, the book of the Company's store & warehouse keeper at the port in Leith, together with lists of goods shipped. The minute books and journals of the principal of the Company's committees also survive. The enterprise was motivated by the desire to invigorate an ailing Scottish economy and, at the same time, to compete with the Honourable East India Company, established in England in 1600. However, the massive debts incurred as a result of the collapse of this initiative in 1699 were perhaps the chief factor which drew Scotland into the 'Act of Union' of 1707. As such, these manuscripts are significant not only to the study of British trade with the Americas in the late 17th century, but also the sweeping political and economic changes that gave rise to the forging of Great Britain. In addition, they provide a detailed and comprehensive, yet manageable, record of the systems and processes by which European colonisation and trade might be spread. Accompanied by an online guide to the collection."

    Slavery in Jamaica, records from a family of slave owners, 1686-1860

    This collection provides access to 6,139 pages of Papers relating to the Jamaican estates of the Goulburn family of Betchworth House.  MAP states, "These documents deal with the history of Amity Hall plantation, a sugar estate in Vere Parish, Jamaica, and some associated properties (principally Bogue livestock pen) while they were in the hands of the Goulburn family. Most of the papers concern these properties when they were administered by Henry Goulburn between 1805, after he had attained his majority, and 1856, when he died, though there are also documents relating to the late seventeenth- and eighteenth-centuries. Henry Goulburn was a staunch Anglican and a prominent Tory member of Parliament who was under-secretary in the Colonial Office (1812-21). He never found the time to visit his Jamaican properties but instead oversaw them as an absentee owner. Yet he took a close interest in their economic performance and in efforts to improve the living and working conditions of his slaves as well as their religious instruction. For this reason, the Goulburn papers provide a comprehensive guide to the operation of his Jamaican properties over a period which spans both the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade in 1807 and the subsequent Slavery Abolition Act of 1833, which led to the emancipation of all slaves across the British Empire, including the West Indies. Comprising the entire 304/J series, together with two short files relating to the issue of slavery in the general election of 1826 (304/A1/box 22/7 & /box 23/8), from the collections of the Surrey History Centre, Woking, the manuscripts contained here include letterbooks, extensive loose estate correspondence, accounts, some of the title deeds, land conveyances, wills, letters of administration, mortgages, supply lists, expenditure abstracts, lists of the increase and decrease of stock and slaves, monthly journals of the daily employment of slaves, sales accounts for sugar and rum shipped from Jamaica to London and Liverpool, circulars for the improvement of sugar manufacture, and letters relating to antislavery agitation in Britain. The manuscripts throw light on the management of a sugar estate by attorneys on behalf of an absentee owner, on the work undertaken by slaves and apprentices, and on the social, economic and political context of life in the British Caribbean in the nineteenth century. Accompanied by an online guide to the collection by Professor Kenneth Morgan, Brunel University."

    The West Indies in Records from colonial missionaries, 1704-1950

    This collection provides access to 39,014 pages of West Indies material in the archives of the USPG, 1704-1950.  MAP states, "This missionary work contrasted with the same Society owning slaves in the West Indies. These reports cover both sides of the Society's legacy as it moved from owning slaves to educating the emancipated. As this archive was held by the United Society for the propagation of the Gospel, the 'Letters Sent' are those sent by their head office. The 'Letters Received' are those written by missionaries in the colonies. The plantation covered in 'The Codrington collection' was a charitable gift to the USPG in 1710. It was intended to be a school for educating slaves, but became a source of income and a school for white children. It would take more than a century before black children were educated there. The 'C series' includes letters 'sent' and those 'received', with a focus on Jamaica and Barbados."

    The West Indies: slavery, plantations and trade, 1759-1832

    This collection provides access to 9,122 pages of Jamacian material in the Slebech papers.  MAP states, "This collection comprises a careful selection of documents from the extensive Slebech Estate archives now held in the National Library of Wales and the Pembrokeshire Record Office. They relate chiefly to the interests of Nathaniel Phillips, 1756?-1832, in the West Indies. The collection represents a major resource for research into the social and economic history of West Indies, slavery, plantations and trade. Accompanied by an online guide to the collection by Professor Kenneth Morgan, Brunel University."


    Each collection from the British Online Archive thematic series is sold individually as a one-time purchase.

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