Bought & Sold: Scotland, Jamaica & Slavery

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This book uses two small countries, Scotland and Jamaica, to trace the story of how and why Scots became involved for well over a hundred years in the buying and selling of humans. … We need to own the story and admit that many Scots were enthusiastic participants in slavery. Tens of thousands of Scots spent years working in Jamaica. How did they justify slavery to themselves and to friends and family at home? What part did these Scots play in shaping modern Jamaica, and Jamaica in the history of Scotland? While Scottish abolitionists are often centred in histories of slavery and Scotland, this book also details the complicity and fervour of Scots’ involvement in the slave trade. Several prominent Scottish families owned estates and held slaves in Jamaica, and many more were merchants, traders, bankers, and insurance brokers – on both sides of the Atlantic – who profited off of both the demands of Scots in the Caribbean and the slave-farmed sugar imported into Scotland.

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