By Deryck Scarr

The Indian Ocean islands of Mauritius and Bourbon and their satellite tv for pc colony of Seychelles, jointly referred to as the Mascareignes, have been all plantation colonies, in addition to major naval bases from the 17th to 19th centuries. Scarr makes use of Mauritian, British and French archival assets to check either the placement of slaves, as painted by means of courtroom files specifically, and the psychology of either slave investors and slave owners..

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Extra resources for Slaving and Slavery in the Indian Ocean

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White society's members along with their coloured slave-owning coadjutors lived in fear, then, of breaking, entering, poisoning and murder by that great black majority which special, first instance, and summary court records show as addicted to theft and murder though surely not in proportion to their numbers. Owners were perpetually in fear too of losing slaves by their becoming maroons and then, for a while in the mid 1790s, by their being taken away by misplaced revolutionary philanthropy through the metropole's prohibition, first, of the slave trade, without which the essentially non-self-perpetuating slave population could not be sustained; and then, in February 1794, of slavery itself.

If a woman, you were pampered there, as in the Antilles; you tended to melancholy and extreme jealousy of others of your own gender which nonetheless you covered by demonstrations of intense affection; you could brook no obstacles because they were so far out of your normal experience, you married young, even as young as eleven, according to Charles Grant, and would rapidly replace a defunct husband with a new one? 2 According to the detailed court record you could be very cruel indeed to your slaves, but became penitent perhaps in old age when you might arrange to have them all freed at your death.

A fatal argument between Indian slaves owned by coloured people was reckoned more akin to manslaughter and worth two years in chains for the survivor, Zamore. He was then to be returned to his owner Fran~ois Perembalon. Azor, convicted of murdering another slave, was condemned to die. Azor his namesake who was accused of theft in the Flacq woods was reclaimed by his master after being in prison for six months awaiting more information and was released by the court for the sake of health and justice but was not to leave the island or be sold.

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