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Lecture | Studium Generale

'The spirit of insubordination rules': Slavery, Abolition and Free People of Colour in the Dutch Bovenwindse Islands of St. Eustatius, Saba and St. Maarten

  • Jessica Vance Roitman
Monday 24 April 2017
Open to all. Free entry. No prior registration required.
Slavery: History and Political Philosophy
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden

In 1848 the enslaved people of St. Maarten instilled such fear of rebellion in colonial officials and planters that they unofficially abolished slavery on the island – 15 years before official emancipation in the Dutch territories. That the Haitian Revolution should be remembered and the  enslaved people of St. Maarten should be relegated to the obscure footnotes of history isn’t surprising given the relative size and importance of the two islands, the differing levels of violence and the fact that Suriname and Curaçao dominate discussions of slavery in the Dutch Caribbean. Yet the Bovenwindse islands were tightly integrated into trans-imperial networks of slavery, marronage, abolition and emancipation. This talk will re-centre the discussion to include these three oft-forgotten islands.

Dr Jessica Vance Roitman is researcher at the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV).

This is the third of seven lectures in our series
Slavery: History and Political Philosophy

This series was organised in co-operation with the Leiden Slavery Studies Association.

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