Randy M. Browne offers the most comprehensive account of the lives of enslaved Africans and their descendants in Berbice, part of present-day Guyana, after this colony transitioned from Dutch to British rule. In this relatively little-studied society, slavery rose exponentially before the 1807 British prohibition of the transatlantic slave trade. Thereafter, Berbice experienced policies of “amelioration” of slavery typical of the British Caribbean. What sets Berbice and Demerara apart from the rest of the British Americas was the figure of the fiscal, a legacy of the Dutch legal system that continued under British rule. This fiscal heard complaints of slaves against masters and other enslaved people as well. A body of written slave complaints and protests, exceptional for the British Caribbean and underutilized by historians of the British Americas, constitutes the core of Browne's evidence, alongside more common documents emerging from the...

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