Contentious Liberties: American Abolitionists in Post-Emancipation Jamaica, 1834-1866 by Gale KennyContentious Liberties: American Abolitionists in Post-Emancipation Jamaica, 1834-1866 by Gale Kenny

Contentious Liberties: American Abolitionists in Post-Emancipation Jamaica, 1834-1866

byGale Kenny

Paperback | December 1, 2011

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The Oberlin College mission to Jamaica, begun in the 1830s, was an ambitious, and ultimately troubled, effort to use the example of emancipation in the British West Indies to advance the domestic agenda of American abolitionists. White Americans hoped to argue that American slaves, once freed, could be absorbed productively into the society that had previously enslaved them, but their "civilizing mission" did not go as anticipated. Gale L. Kenny's illuminating study examines the differing ideas of freedom held by white evangelical abolitionists and freed people in Jamaica and explores the consequences of their encounter for both American and Jamaican history.

Kenny finds that white Americans-who went to Jamaica intending to assist with the transition from slavery to Christian practice and solid citizenship-were frustrated by liberated blacks' unwillingness to conform to Victorian norms of gender, family, and religion. In tracing the history of the thirty-year mission, Kenny makes creative use of available sources to unpack assumptions on both sides of this American-Jamaican interaction, showing how liberated slaves in many cases were able not just to resist the imposition of white mores but to redefine the terms of the encounter.

PATRICK RAEL is a professor of history at Bowdoin College and one of the general editors of the Race in the Atlantic World, 1700–1900 series. His books include Black Identity and Black Protest in the Antebellum North and African-American Activism before the Civil War: The Freedom Struggle in the Antebellum North. Rael is an Organizatio...
Title:Contentious Liberties: American Abolitionists in Post-Emancipation Jamaica, 1834-1866Format:PaperbackDimensions:212 pages, 9 × 6.03 × 0.7 inPublished:December 1, 2011Publisher:University of Georgia PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0820340456

ISBN - 13:9780820340456


Table of Contents


Part One
Chapter One: Revivals, Antislavery, and Christian Liberty
Chapter Two: Slavery and Freedom in Jamaica

Part Two
Chapter Three: Religion and the Civilizing Mission
Chapter Four: From Spiritual Liberty to Sexual License
Chapter Five: Cultivating Land, Cultivating Families

Part Three
Chapter Six: Civilizing Domesticity
Chapter Seven: Revival, Rebellions, and Colonial Subordination


Editorial Reviews

A fascinating, in-depth account of conflicts between disparate cultures in the 1800's, Contentious Liberties is highly recommended as an excellent pick for international history shelves.

- Midwest Book Review