Plantation Slave Settlements in Barbados, 1650s to 1834

2002 (Jerome Handler) “Plantation Slave Settlements in Barbados, 1650s to 1834.” In A. Thompson, ed., In the Shadow of the Plantation: Caribbean History and Legacy (Ian Randle publisher, Kingston, Jamaica),  pp. 121-158.

This paper describes the antecedents of many rural settlements in Barbados; it focuses on some of the major physical and demographic features of slave settlements, particularly on medium- and large size plantations. Changes in some of these features are traced over the almost 200 years of plantation slavery on the island, and the possible influences of Africa or England on village layout and spatial arrangement of houses are considered. Some of the methodological and historical issues in establishing the number of plantation settlements during the slave period and of identifying the sites of former villages and plantation cemeteries in present-day Barbados are also explored. Finally, some of the sociological characteristics of the slave settlements as small communities are considered.

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