Sugar Estate, Jamaica,1837

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Image Reference

Le Magasin Pittoresque (1837), p. 49

Depicting a scene but a few years after general emancipation in 1834, this engraving does not appear to be based on an eye-witness sketch. It illustrates a brief article on the production of sugar and the organization of labor on Jamaican sugar plantations, but the source of the information is unclear. The picture shows the sugar mill, and various buildings of the yard, as well as the laborers' houses; in the foreground, a small group of women appear to be washing clothes by the side of a river. In Jamaica, the article notes, a plantation of 360 to 400 hectacres requires 250 "negroes"; each of their houses is surrounded by a garden and is divided into two rooms, one for cooking, the other for sleeping. The organization of gang labor is also briefly described.