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Life after Sugar: an Archaeology of the First Generation Post-emancipation in St. Peter’s Parish, Montserrat

Author(s): Krysta Ryzewski ; John F. Cherry ; Laura McAtackney

Year: 2017

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Summary

In the first generation after emancipation Montserrat and its residents experienced exceptional difficulties. As the society transitioned from a sugar-based economy, former slaves, estate owners, and colonial authorities collectively struggled with the devastating effects of man-made and natural disasters, including a major earthquake in 1843, and a wide range of social, economic, and legal problems. This paper examines archaeological and historical evidence from St Peter’s Parish, the northernmost and, post-emancipation, the most impoverished district on the island. We draw on data from a landscape survey conducted since 2010, and excavations at two structures on Potato Hill that bracket the period of emancipation, contextualized by newly examined Montserratian and Antiguan archives spanning the period 1834-1860. Through a combination of artifactual, landscape, and documentary analysis, we sketch the conditions of life both on and off the plantation during this trying period in Montserrat’s social development.


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Cite this Record

Life after Sugar: an Archaeology of the First Generation Post-emancipation in St. Peter’s Parish, Montserrat. Krysta Ryzewski, John F. Cherry, Laura McAtackney. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435134)


Keywords

Temporal Keywords
19th Century


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 346

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America