The world changes in the blink of an eye. In the 21st century, we have the luxury of visiting scenes from history in books, film, and documents, with the safety and conveniences of modern life. Join me to examine the lives of our ancestors, imagine their experiences, and connect with their struggles and triumphs.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Barbados Slavery Emancipation

Hartford Watchman
June 2, 1838, Hartford, Connecticut

Extract of a letter from Barbadoes to a commercial house in this city; dated April 30, 1838.

“In my last I alluded to the prospect that slaves, apprentices on this Island, would all be made free on the approaching 1st of August. It is now reduced to a certainty that such will be the case. The Governor, in a special communication to the House of Assembly; some time since, recommended the measure in the most explicit terms. The executive council, on the 17 instant, came to an unanimous vote in favor of it and set forth their reasons, as published in a paper which I send you herewith. Last of all the House of Assembly, on the 24th inst. after having laboriously canvassed the whole Island to obtain possession of the views and feelings of their constituents, appointed a committee, with “instructions to bring in a bill for the entire emancipation of all classes of slavery apprentices, on the first of August 1838.” I doubt whether any measure ever passed in this Island has given such general satisfaction as this. I speak not of the apprentices themselves, of whom there upwards of 80,000 to be restored to their ‘unalienable rights,’ but of merchants, planters, proprietors; from all classes there is a general expression of joy and congratulation.”—New Haven Herald.
Scene on a West Indian Plantation - Slaves receiving the news of their Emancipation
Cassell's Illustrated History of England, . . . 1820-1861 (London: Cassell, Petter, and Galpin, 1863), vol. 3, p. 234