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Managing "Property": the colonial order of things within Jamaican probate inventories

Managing "Property": the colonial order of things within Jamaican probate inventories
Managing "Property": the colonial order of things within Jamaican probate inventories
Probate inventories helped to support the established social and economic order in colonial Jamaica. These documents were part of the legal process of winding up an estate after a death and presented an account of personal possessions that had belonged to a decedent. They facilitated the transfer of property to heirs and identified those parts of an estate that were available for the repayment of debts. The inventories contain lists of enslaved people, representing them as a type of “property,” and so these documents form a major part of the archive of Jamaican slavery. This article explores the practices, aims, and assumptions of the people who produced the inventories, developing our understanding of slaveholder culture in the British Caribbean and of the bureaucratic and accounting techniques that facilitated slave management.
Archives, British Caribbean, Jamaica, Probate inventories, Property, Slaveholders
2405-8351
81-107
Petley, Christer
8575b3f5-b694-44a2-a70e-aa715a74381a
Petley, Christer
8575b3f5-b694-44a2-a70e-aa715a74381a

Petley, Christer (2021) Managing "Property": the colonial order of things within Jamaican probate inventories. Journal of Global Slavery, 6 (1), 81-107. (doi:10.1163/2405836X-00601004).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Probate inventories helped to support the established social and economic order in colonial Jamaica. These documents were part of the legal process of winding up an estate after a death and presented an account of personal possessions that had belonged to a decedent. They facilitated the transfer of property to heirs and identified those parts of an estate that were available for the repayment of debts. The inventories contain lists of enslaved people, representing them as a type of “property,” and so these documents form a major part of the archive of Jamaican slavery. This article explores the practices, aims, and assumptions of the people who produced the inventories, developing our understanding of slaveholder culture in the British Caribbean and of the bureaucratic and accounting techniques that facilitated slave management.

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JGS_vol._6.1_PETLEY_AAMS - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 23 November 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 29 January 2021
Published date: February 2021
Keywords: Archives, British Caribbean, Jamaica, Probate inventories, Property, Slaveholders

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 445952
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/445952
ISSN: 2405-8351
PURE UUID: c908dd8e-d5f1-46b3-82a5-9ceb87fbc6ec
ORCID for Christer Petley: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0616-1871

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Date deposited: 15 Jan 2021 17:30
Last modified: 03 Sep 2021 04:01

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Author: Christer Petley ORCID iD

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