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Freedom and ResistanceA Social History of Black Loyalists in the Bahamas$
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Christopher Curry

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780813054476

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813054476.001.0001

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Roots and Routes

Roots and Routes

(p.20) 1 Roots and Routes
Freedom and Resistance

Christopher Curry

University Press of Florida

“Roots and Routes” examines the ways in which the world black loyalists left behind profoundly shaped the world they entered as exiles to the Bahamas. As such, it examines the extent to which their war-time experiences in the garrisoned sea-port cities along the Atlantic shaped the social, political, and religious values that they brought to the Bahamas after 1783. It also highlights the unique socio-political conditions in the Bahamas that were encountered by black and white loyalists upon evacuation in 1783. Of central importance is the emergence of the Bahamas as a non-plantation, slave-holding society on the eve of loyalist emigration to the colony. The Bahamas developed on the margins of the British Caribbean imperial design, evident by the fact that the islands remained remote, scarcely settled, under-developed, poorly defended, and unable to produce a dominant export crop. These salient features made the Bahamas an unusual arena in which black loyalist claims to freedom would be contested.

Keywords:   British Caribbean, loyalist emigration, margins, exiles, export crop

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