Slaves Planting Sugar Cane, 19th Century - stock photo
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Slaves Planting Sugar Cane, 19th Century

Planting the sugar cane. Image taken from Ten Views in the Island of Antigua, in which are represented the process of sugar making, and the employment of the negroes. From drawings made by William Clark (and others). Originally published, 1823. Sugar became Antigua's main crop in about 1674. West Indian colonists tried to use locals as slaves, but these groups succumbed easily to disease and/or malnutrition, and died by the thousands. The African slaves adapted well to the new environment and thus became the number one choice of unpaid labor. The slaves lived in wretched and overcrowded conditions, and could be mistreated or even killed by their owners with impunity. Great Britain abolished the slave trade in 1807, and all existing slaves were emancipated in 1834. The British West Indies were the islands and mainland colonies in and around the Caribbean that were part of the British Empire.

Science Source / British Library

3900 x 2643 pixels

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