Slavery and Revolution


Simon Taylor to Chaloner Arcedeckne, 1 June 1783

By Admms |

Economic prospects for Taylor and Arcedeckne improved with the ending of the war. Taylor laid out his plans for buying more enslaved workers from the next ‘Guinea man’ (slave ship) to arrive from ‘a good’ part of Africa and indicated that slaves from Africa were in much demand across the Caribbean. He noted that the enslaved people living on Arcedeckne’s property were in good health (before commenting on the state of the livestock), and his letter details some of the many tasks and jobs involved in maintaining a sugar estate.

[…] there will not be any danger or your negroes wanting a belly full, and there is plenty for new negroes as soon as any Guinea man from a good country arrives, many ships have been expected but there has as yett but few arrived from their having stopped at St. Thomas’s and there disposed of their cargos for to supply the French and Spaniards […] as soon as negroes come in I must buy as many as I can for you, untill I gett 30 this year, and when I can buy payable in 1785 I must again gett 30 more for there is really plenty of work for them in clearing and billing your pastures which are really foul at the estate, and making fences and planting the rocky parts into Guinea Grass, for it is absolutely necessary to have pasturage as canes, from the looks of your people a man would hardly know them they are so much altered in their looks for the better, the cattle are in good working order but not so fatt as I could wish, the mules are in good order and from every appearance there ought to be a good crop […]

(Vanneck-Arc/3A/1783/19, Simon Taylor to Chaloner Arcedeckne, Kingston, 1 June 1783)