This essay uses Ada Ferrer’s book Freedom’s Mirror: Cuba and Haiti in the Age of Revolution as a starting point for revisiting the intellectual project of comparative slavery within the Caribbean. Freedom’s Mirror focuses on neighboring territories—Cuba and Hispaniola—during a time of revolutionary upheaval, when people of varying classes traveled regularly between the two islands, and when even those who did not travel mutually observed the progress of ideas and political and social alliances in multiple places. The author argues that the variety and intensity of the interactions explored in Freedom’s Mirror points to the possibility that, even in more ordinary times, stakeholders in Caribbean slave societies paid substantial attention to political and social developments among their regional neighbors. New studies in Caribbean comparative slavery might well focus more on such themes of mutual observation and interconnection as experienced by slavery-era Caribbean populations, free and enslaved.

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