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4 - Enslavement, Banishment, and Penal Transportation

from Part I

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 January 2022

Clare Anderson
Affiliation:
University of Leicester
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Summary

Chapter 4 analyses the banishment and penal transportation of enslaved people in the British Caribbean. The first part of the chapter shows the links between punitive mobility and the management of colonial labour. Magistrates sentenced and resold enslaved runaways, rebels, and lawbreakers to colonies like Puerto Rico, Cuba, and St Thomas. They also instigated mass banishments and transportations following so-called conspiracies and plots, and revolts, including to British settlements and colonies in Honduras, Sierra Leone and Australia. Such sentencing became a key element of the larger question of legal reform, following the abolition of the slave trade in 1807, the reform of the ‘Bloody Code’ in England in the 1820s, and the amelioration of enslavement (c. 1823-38). The second part of the chapter constructs a detailed narrative of the penal transportation of a group of over one hundred enslaved rebels following the Barbados Rebellion of 1816, via Honduras to their final destination, Sierra Leone. It views their journey as an allegory for a slave voyage in reverse, analysing the layers of connection between and the multi-directional circulations associated with enslavement, imperial governmentality, penal transportation, and other forms of colonial bondage and repression.

Type
Chapter
Information
Convicts
A Global History
, pp. 100 - 132
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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