Slavery and Revolution


Simon Taylor to Chaloner Arcedeckne, 24 February 1783

By Admms |

Taylor argued that admitting sugar into Britain from St Kitts, which had been conquered by France, at an equal duty to sugar from British territories would provide a vent in the metropole for French sugar. His threat to stop growing sugar appears to have been a symptom of his anger, rather than a serious proposal, although Jamaican planters did seek to make their estates more self-sufficient in some regards in the years after the American Revolution, particularly with regard to food production.

I expected from the time that I heard of the bill passing to admit St Kitts sugars being imported into England lyable to the same duties as from this island Antigua and Barbados that the most iniquitous use would be made of it, which I now see has come to pass, and I do not doubt but that they will also pass the other bill you mention, for there seems to me to be a determined resolution to ruin the remainder of our islands & to drive them into rebellion, for my own part I do not intend in future to open another acre of land to raise any article that is taxable at home, but to raise cattle, provisions, and cotton which in case of need may be spun and made into a coarse cloth, for the covering of my negroes, and to endeavour to have as little to do with the mother country as possible.

(Vanneck-Arc/3A/1783/9, Simon Taylor to Chaloner Arcedeckne, Kingston 24 February 1783)