“The State of Decay into which the Island Has Fallen”: Education and Social Welfare on Montserrat after Emancipation

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  • Krysta Ryzewski, Wayne State University, United States
  • John F Cherry, Brown University, United States
  • Laura McAtackney
The social life of the newly created ‘laboring classes’ in the post-emancipation Caribbean has hitherto been relatively ignored across a number of disciplinary perspectives. This state of affairs can be explained through the dearth of documentary evidence that explicitly details the everyday lives of the newly emancipated (preventing historians from easily reconstructing their experiences) and the continuing focus of archaeologists on the ‘Golden Age’ of the plantocracy in previous centuries. This paper argues for the need to bring together a variety of sources to enable researchers to gain a better understanding of this important, transitional time in Montserratian history. Utilizing evidence from archives in the Caribbean, North America and the British Isles, a previously undocumented structure in the marginal north of the island, and local memories of education on Montserrat, this paper illuminates an almost forgotten aspect of the 19th-century laboring classes on the island: the aspiration of education.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Historical Archaeology
Pages (from-to)543-567
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019

    Research areas

  • Caribbean, Education, Montserrat, Post-emancipation

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