Slaves and Missionaries: The Disintegration of Jamaican Slave Society, 1787-1834


On 27 December 1831 a fire on Kensington Estate in St James, Jamaica, signalled the start of one of the largest slave revolts in the Caribbean. Its leaders were also leaders in the mission churches and the independent sects, and their followers expected the missionaries to support them in their bid for wage work and free status. The missionaries, however, sent to save souls from sins in the face of planter hostility, were explicitly committed to neutrality on the slavery issue. This book traces the response of all classes in Jamaican society to mission work, focusing in particular on the dynamic interplay between slaves and missionaries.

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