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Simplicity, Equality, and SlaveryAn Archaeology of Quakerism in the British Virgin Islands, 1740-1780$
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John M. Chenoweth

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781683400110

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9781683400110.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021



The History and Archaeology of the British Virgin Islands and Their Meeting

(p.23) Chapter 2 Contexts
Simplicity, Equality, and Slavery

John M. Chenoweth

University Press of Florida

Chapter 2 provides a history of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) themselves and how their unusual place in the colonial process produced a more isolated, poorer set of white colonists than many other Caribbean islands. The marginal agricultural potential of the BVI left them uncolonized longer than most islands and European settlement began there in a haphazard way, with no formal government, church, or other institutions. This left the settlers free to experiment with new social forms, such as Quakerism, the arrival of which is also recounted here. But this isolation also posed challenges and left them in precarious positions. This chapter also introduces the Lettsom family who will be the focus for the study along with their island of Little Jost van Dyke, before describing the archaeological work undertaken to address the project’s questions. The remainder of the volume takes up the themes of simplicity, equality, and peace, shifting between written and archaeological evidence to understand how BVI Quakers understood and enacted these ideas differently than Quakers elsewhere.

Keywords:   British Virgin Islands, History, Lettsom, Quakerism, Colonists, Little Jost van Dyke, Caribbean

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