Digging Holes for Planting Sugar Cane, Antigua, West Indies, 1823

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This record was last updated on 01 Jun 2016

Image Reference

William Clark, Ten Views In the Island of Antigua, in Which are Represented the Process of Sugar Making.... From Drawings Made by William Clark, During a Residence of Three Years in the West Indies (London,1823). Image shown here is from the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University. Also published in Ladies' Society for Promoting the Early Education of Negro Children (London, ca. 1833).

Caption, "Holeing a Cane-Piece, on Weatherell's Estate." Shows first gang of enslaved men and women using long-handled hoes to dig cane holes; others are marking the field for where the holes will be placed. A black driver is supervising the work. Little is known of William Clark although he was probably a manager or overseer of plantations in Antigua. The ten prints in the collection (only 9 of which are shown on this website) are based on his drawings, converted into prints by professional printmakers. All of the prints are shown and extensively described in T. Barringer, G. Forrester, and B. Martinez-Ruiz, Art and Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and his Worlds (New Haven : Yale Center for British Art in association with Yale University Press, 2007), pp. 318-321; the descriptions in the Yale publication are based on Clark's unpaginated text