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Title page for ETD etd-03272009-134230

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Hayden, Erica Rhodes
URN etd-03272009-134230
Title "Before The Poison Had Been Far Spread": An Examination of Punishments Dealt to Slave Rebels in Two 18th Century British Plantation Societies
Degree Master of Arts
Department History
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Jane Landers Committee Co-Chair
Katherine Crawford Committee Member
  • prison reform
  • slave punishment
  • Slave revolts
  • criminal punishment
Date of Defense 2009-03-27
Availability unrestricted
During the 18th century, various slave revolts erupted in the British Empire. These revolts demonstrate differing patterns of punishment that emerged in reaction to these rebellions, and these patterns raise questions on the interpretations and purposes of punishment for slave revolts. This paper utilizes two case studies of British Empire slave uprisings in early 18th century: Antigua in 1736 and Stono, South Carolina in 1739. This paper seeks to explore possible answers to why different patterns of punishment developed, why the punishments’ meanings are important to analyze, and how successful the punishments were in deterring future rebellions. Examination of these questions occurs by analyzing how social standing, the perpetration of violence against whites, cultural perceptions, and the colonial authorities’ need to command power played a role in how people involved in these cases viewed and reacted to punishments.
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