James Williams

A Narrative of Events

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A teenaged slave-turned-apprentice in nineteenth-century Jamaica recorded his experiences in the British apprenticeship system in this book, which constitutes one of the only autobiographical texts by a Caribbean slave. While working as a laborer at a pimento plantation in the St. Ann parish, James Williams suffered flogging, imprisonment, and other punishments. His narrative reveals the ugly truth behind the apprenticeship system that developed after the outlaw of the British slave trade, which he deems even crueler than the former system of slavery.Written in 1837, James Williams' narrative was an effective tool for abolitionists who sought to end the apprenticeship system. This edition of his historic memoir also contains the entire testimony from the Commission of Inquiry, sponsored by the Colonial Office, which validated the truth of Williams' account.
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