By Douglas V. Armstrong
An exploration of lifestyles at the Virgin Islands in a particular black neighborhood that received its freedom from slavery greater than forty years sooner than emancipation in 1848. Douglas Armstrong seeks to extend our point of view at the range and results of the African Diaspora.
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Additional info for Creole Transformation from Slavery to Freedom: Historical Archaeology of the East End Community, St. John, Virgin Is
John, there was never a challenge to the British right of sovereignty to Tortola, Virgin Gorda, and the many small islands that still make up the British Virgin Islands (Dookhan 1975: 2–3; Suckling 1780: 2–3). Because the island was not disputed, there is relatively little in the way of detail concerning early settlement of Virgin Gorda. Governor Codrington’s correspondence suggests that in 1690 “there were fourteen men, a few women, and a few negroes inhabiting the island, and planting cotton which was conveyed in small canoes to St.
To achieve a sharp contrast in his definition of matrifocality Smith focused his attention on the “siblingship and mother-child relations” that he found in his studies of British Guiana (Smith 1956: 151– 159). When scholars began to turn toward gender-based studies and to look more closely at the role of women in society, Smith’s articulated case for matrifocality in the Caribbean was further popularized. Unfortunately, use of the term has tended to mute the importance of the broader social networks that make up a far more dynamic family, kinship, and household structure, thus limiting perspectives on the importance of children, men, the elderly, friends, and community, as well as women, in the Caribbean household.
Johan Jacob Creutzer was an employee of the Danish West Indian Guinea Company, listed in the tax records as a “ship chandler” (SJLL 1728–1739), a retailer of supplies, groceries, and provisions; hence, from Historical Background | 29 the onset of the Danish period on St. John, the East End was utilized for provisioning and probably served as a supplier to the Danish West India Company. The 1728 Land List indicates that Creutzer had thirteen slaves working his land, and that it was officially defined as a cotton plantation (SJLL 1728).
Creole Transformation from Slavery to Freedom: Historical Archaeology of the East End Community, St. John, Virgin Is by Douglas V. Armstrong