James A. Thome
By J. Horace Kimball
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:2010
Online Publication Date:July 2011
Original Publication Year:1839
Subjects: Regional history after 1500
Published in 1838 by the American Anti-Slavery Society, who had commissioned their investigative tour, Thome and Kimball's Emancipation in the West Indies immediately became an influential abolitionist text. Many anti-abolitionists in America were prophesying major upheaval should slavery be outlawed. Slavery had been officially abolished in the British West Indies in 1827, and the object of the tour was to assess the results there. The islands visited had followed different models ranging from total abolition to a gradual change through apprenticeship until 1838, and the results had proved those who feared abolition wrong. There had been no insurrection or increase in crime, participation in education and religion among former slaves had generally increased, and only the former slave-owners were unhappy about the economic consequences for their estates. The book contains documentary evidence from residents and officials of the islands, describing the effects of emancipation.