The governor of Jamaica had a problem. Powerful colonists were eager to find reliable sources of slave labor for their plantations. Enslaved Africans mostly satisfied this demand, but the supply was never sufficient. Another source of slave labor was also present, however: Native Americans. In the 1660s a clandestine trade emerged between Jamaicans and various native groups on the Central American coast. Parts of the Yucatán Peninsula, the Mosquito Coast, and the Darién in eastern Panamá, where the Spaniards exercised little or no authority, became regular destinations of English vessels. The exchange of beads and knives for local goods such as turtle shells, fowl, corn, and dyewood occasionally included captured natives from the interior. English ship crews took these captives to Jamaica and sold them in slave markets to planters, who apparently found indigenous slaves less costly than Africans and yet better workers. Thomas Modyford claimed to have been trying...
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January 1, 2017
Research Article| January 01 2017
Guest Editor’s Introduction: New Directions in the History of Native American Slavery Studies
Linford D. Fisher
Ethnohistory (2017) 64 (1): 1–17.
Arne Bialuschewski, Linford D. Fisher; Guest Editor’s Introduction: New Directions in the History of Native American Slavery Studies. Ethnohistory 1 January 2017; 64 (1): 1–17. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00141801-3688327
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