Antigua, slavery and emancipation in the records of a sugar plantation, 1689-1907

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Tudway of Wells Antiguan Estate papers, 1689-1907

Tudway of Wells Antiguan Estate papers, 1689-1907

The Tudway Papers are the most complete surviving records pertaining to an Antiguan sugar plantation. Both in their chronological coverage and subject matter they provide invaluable historical data
Kenneth MorganBrunel University

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The slaves on this Antiguan sugar plantation are listed in this collection's registers

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The Tudway of Wells papers are the most complete surviving private records pertaining to an Antiguan Sugar plantation; due in no small part to the arms-length nature of the plantation's ownership rendering correspondence between owners and managers essential. A combination of statistical ledgers and narrative correspondence yields quantitative and qualitative information to the researcher. The period covered by these records encompasses the un-phased transition of Antiguan slaves from slavery to waged work. In relation to the history of colonialism there are records of how much was paid for slaves, how much was raised through sales of sugar, details of how the operations of the plantation were managed, work regimes, and a virtually complete set of annual accounts for the Parham Plantation from 1689 to 1920. The correspondence between the Tudway family in Britain and their plantation managers in Antigua includes work regimes, health conditions among labourers, and the management practices of attorneys, managers and overseers. The post-1834 content has received little attention over the years, despite its coverage of the post-emancipation societal transition period and the historical significance of this period in setting and entrenching the cultural paradigm from which an independent Antigua would have to emerge. Derived from the online guide by Dr Kenneth Morgan.

Contents

Antigua, slavery and emancipation in the records of a sugar plantation, 1689-1907...

Containing 25,432 pages belonging to 232 documents housed in 6 volumes...

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Volumes

Estate Accounts

The accounts from Tudway of Wells' Antiguan estate covering the period from 1689 until 1874.

Accounts and Pay Lists for the Old Works, New Works and Parham Lodge.

Annual Plantation Accounts, Cash Accounts and Pay Lists for the Old Works, New Works and Parham Lodge. These records are...

Annual Plantation and Estate Accounts

These accounts cover the income and expenditure of the estate from 1849 until 1920. Some years' records are missing but...

Letterbooks and Correspondence from England and Antigua

These letterbooks, covering correspondence between the estate's owners in England and their estate managers in Antigua, span the period from...

Insights

  • These papers include descriptive records of how the plantation worked. Lists of slaves at Parham Lodge are joined by letters from the estate managers to the owner and financial returns.
  • 'Miscellaneous [items] including slave lists' holds registers of slaves' births and deaths from 1817 to 1826. The 'list of slave acquisitions' covers 1748-1767, and the receipts reveal who was buying goods from this estate.
  • 'Letterbooks and correspondence from England and Antigua' describe events affecting the estate. The 9th image in the correspondence from 1834 mentions concerns about slaves being freed.
  • The 'Annual Pay Lists' include names, jobs, days worked and pay. 'Monthly Journals of Works Returns' do include letters from the plantation, though the handwriting is challenging to read.
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