Indigo Manufacture, French West Indies, 1760s

Click on the image to open a larger version in a new window.
previous image return to thumbnails next image

If you are interested in using this image, please consult Acknowledging the Website.

Image Reference

M. Chambon, Le commerce de l'Amerique par Marseille (Avignon, 1764), vol. 1, plate III, facing p. 366. (Copy in the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University)

Shows slaves engaged in various jobs associated with indigo production. The steps are identified by number in the engraving; an accompanying explanation in the text describes each number. For example, no. 8, "Negre qui porte les plantes d'indigo dans le reservoir dit la trempoire pour les faire pourir" (Negro who carries the indigo plants into the storage tank or steeping trough) ; no. 9, "Negres qui remuent les plantes d'indigo dans la trempoire avec des panniers attachés au bout de perches" (Negroes who agitate/stir the indigo plants in the steeping trough with baskets attached to the end of poles); no. 10, "plantes d'indigo" (vol. 1, p. 573). This image also appears in, and was probably taken from, Denis Diderot, Encyclopédie, ou, Dictionnaire Raisonné des Sciences, des Arts et des Metiers (Paris, 1762), vol. 1; details on this illustration are in the section treating agriculture, p. 11 (Copy in Special Collections Department, University of Virginia Library). A reversed version of this image also appears in Il Gazzettiere Americano (Livorno, 1763), vol. 1, facing p. 101, presumably taken from Diderot.