Slavery and Revolution


Simon Taylor to Chaloner Arcedeckne, 21 July 1788

By Admms |

The Jamaican assembly’s representative in Britain was the Island Agent, Stephen Fuller, who was responsible for reporting metropolitan developments to the assembly in Jamaica and for promoting the views and interests of the assembly in Britain. The Consolidated Slave Act, passed by the assembly at the beginning of 1788 legislated for the treatment and punishment of enslaved people in Jamaica. Proslavery advocates presented it as evidence of humane reforms in the colony, but critics pointed out the limits of those changes as well as the fact that they law remained a tool in the hands of slaveholding whites that could easily, and often, be ignored. 

[…] I wish that Capt. Watt was arrived, for I sent home by him a copy of the consolidated slave act, and I apprehend when it getts among the people at home, they will then see that slaves are better provided for than any of their poor at home, and are regarded in a very different view to what they are pleased to represent, what would these people say if we were to attempt to rob them of their property and the means of their existence, as they are attempting to do with us, out of a mere party phrensy. I am exceeding happy to hear the Agent has been active, and hope his endeavours will be crowned with success. I have ever since his being first appointed Agent allways been his friend, and constantly voted for him at every appointment. […]

(Vanneck-Arc/3A/1788/19, Simon Taylor to Chaloner Arcedeckne, Kingston, 21 July 1788)