Creole Transformation from Slavery to Freedom: Historical by Douglas V. Armstrong

By Douglas V. Armstrong

An exploration of lifestyles at the Virgin Islands in a particular black group that won its freedom from slavery greater than forty years ahead of emancipation in 1848. Douglas Armstrong seeks to extend our point of view at the range and outcomes of the African Diaspora.

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Additional resources for Creole Transformation from Slavery to Freedom: Historical Archaeology of the East End Community, St. John, Virgin Is

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My use of the term “multifocal” to define the family, kinship, and household structures found in the East End takes into account the dynamic social relations between genders, biological relatives, and socially related persons (through friendship and obligation), involving tremendous flux throughout the life of the many individuals who came and went within a household. The multifocal household did not have a rigid or formulaic structure but consisted of a dynamic flow of people in and out of the household and between households in the community, in support of one another.

Sent two loose bags of cotton to St. Thomas via Coral Bay on Peter DeWint’s bark (SJRB January 1, 1742). Between January and July 1742, the East End lands must have changed hands because on July 3, 1742, Peter DeWint’s bark was carrying three bales of cotton for Mr. ’s widow. In October 1744, Johannes Charles cleared a boat through Coral Bay on the way to St. Thomas with cotton carried on behalf of Madam Creutzer. 2. 2). The East End became even more closely associated with Company management in the 1740s when, after her husband’s death, Madam Creutzer married Jens Hansen (SJA 1755).

It also suggests that by this time land and land ownership issues may have begun to surface. A letter from Governor Hamilton in 1718 suggested that, because of the impact of severe droughts, many of the settlers should be removed to St. Croix or St. Christopher (CSP 1717–1718 no. 14 In describing the population of the island in 1724, the administrators noted that Virgin Gorda was populated by those “who had fled from Barbados and the greater islands for debt, or to avoid the punishment of their crimes, and have since been increased by pirates, who have come in upon acts of Grace, and are married and settled there, whose posterity not knowing the world, remain there and cultivate the ground for a wretched subsistence” (CSP 1724–1725, in Dookhan 1975: 24).

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