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November 1, 2018
9781625343697
English
384
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$90.00 USD
v2.1 Reference
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November 1, 2018
9781625343703
English
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The Slave Master of Trinidad

William Hardin Burnley and the Nineteenth-Century Atlantic World

William Hardin Burnley (1780–1850) was the largest slave owner in Trinidad during the nineteenth century. Born in the United States to English parents, he settled on the island in 1802 and became one of its most influential citizens and a prominent agent of the British Empire. A central figure among elite and moneyed transnational slave owners, Burnley moved easily through the Atlantic world of the Caribbean, the United States, Great Britain, and Europe, and counted among his friends Alexis de Tocqueville, British politician Joseph Hume, and prime minister William Gladstone.

In this first full-length biography of Burnley, Selwyn R. Cudjoe chronicles the life of Trinidad's "founding father" and sketches the social and cultural milieu in which he lived. Reexamining the decades of transition from slavery to freedom through the lens of Burnley's life, The Slave Master of Trinidad demonstrates that the legacies of slavery persisted in the new post-emancipation society.

About the Author

Selwyn R. Cudjoe is professor of Africana studies at Wellesley College and author of V. S. Naipaul: A Materialist Reading.

Review

"The Slave Master of Trinidad is an unbelievably bold book that retells the story of slavery, emancipation, and indentured labor through an account of Burnley's life and work."—Nicholas Draper, author of The Price of Emancipation: Slave-Ownership, Compensation, and British Society at the End of Slavery

"In this fascinating biography of William Hardin Burnley, Selwyn R. Cudjoe presents a figure who was a leading opponent of the abolishment of slavery in Trinidad. This beautifully written and meticulously researched account of Burnley's life unfolds the story of a planter who was born in America, educated in England, and made his fortune in the Caribbean. Measured in tone, this book not only exposes Burnley's public and private racism, but also places his life in context of the greater historical currents of the first half of the 19th century Atlantic world. Cudjoe has written a volume essential to a full understanding of the history of Trinidad."—Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor, Harvard University

"Selwyn Cudjoe's resurrection of William Hardin Burnley is both an invaluable piece of Caribbean and British cultural history and also a work buoyed by perhaps its moving central irony—that the former English slave master Burnley lives again, rescued from oblivion, only because of the intellectual diligence and the generosity of a direct descendant of the very community of people in Trinidad that Burnley lorded over and saw mainly as brainless property. Professor Cudjoe gives us here another judicious, disciplined lesson in the importance of scrutinizing our past, warts and all."—Arnold Rampersad, author of Ralph Ellison: A Biography

"In this well-researched and highly readable narrative there is a puzzle. Despite all his wealth and power William Hardin Burnley was consistently on the losing side in all the great controversies of the time, whether it was flogging female slaves, imposing 'apprenticeship,' educating the black population, freeing the slaves, enfranchising the freedmen, or a dozen other causes which were won because the former slaves themselves would not accept half-measures. Selwyn Cudjoe's engrossing study is a classic."—Robin Blackburn, author of The American Crucible: Slavery, Emancipation and Human Rights

"The dynamic ending of the transatlantic trade system and the processes of slave emancipation in the British West Indies are brought into sharper focus in Selwyn R. Cudjoe's The Slave Master of Trinidad. These events and their impact on the colony of Trinidad are clearly captured in Cudjoe's meticulous biography of William Hardin Burnley, a very powerful figure of this era."—William Julius Wilson, author of More than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner City

"An original work that will appeal to academics, university students, and general readers studying Trinidad and Caribbean history in the late slavery and emancipation periods."—Bridget Brereton, author of A History of Modern Trinidad, 1783–1962

"The Slave Master of Trinidad is a beautifully crafted book about an influential character in our country's history . . . While this book is about Burnley, each chapter allows us to see a moving perspective of different aspects of Trinidadian society over the decades of slavery and beyond. Burnley wrote prolifically and was the subject of much correspondence. We have benefited from these details as a result of Prof. Cudjoe's meticulous research."—The Trinidad Express

"[A]n important contribution to the historiography of nineteenth-century Trinidad . . . it sheds light on the multi-faceted connections between Trinidad and the Caribbean, on the one hand, and the metropolitan power on the other, in the decades before and after Britain's decision to free the enslaved people in its colonial empire."—Tout Moun

"Telling the history of emancipation in Trinidad through this biography highlights planters' resistance to losing their enslaved labor suppy and their ideological and economic arguments for retaining various forms of unfree labor . . . The result is a satisfying history of Trinidad in the era of emancipation."—CHOICE
University of Massachusetts Press

9781625343697 : the-slave-master-of-trinidad-cudjoe
Hardback
384 Pages
$90.00 USD
9781625343703 : the-slave-master-of-trinidad-cudjoe
Paperback / softback
384 Pages
$32.95 USD

Other Titles by Selwyn R. Cudjoe

Beyond Boundaries

Selwyn R. Cudjoe
Feb 2003 - University of Massachusetts Press
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C.L.R. James

edited by Selwyn R. Cudjoe
Mar 1995 - University of Massachusetts Press
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Caribbean Women Writers

edited by Selwyn R. Cudjoe
Nov 1990 - University of Massachusetts Press
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