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Honoring Ancestors in Sacred SpaceThe Archaeology of an Eighteenth-Century African-Bahamian Cemetery$
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Grace Turner

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781683400202

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9781683400202.001.0001

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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: 22 September 2021

An Overview of Bahamian History in Context

An Overview of Bahamian History in Context

Chapter:
(p.11) 1 An Overview of Bahamian History in Context
Source:
Honoring Ancestors in Sacred Space
Author(s):

Grace Turner

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9781683400202.003.0002

English settlers first came to the Bahamas in the mid-seventeenth century. Even at this time there were communities of free people of color on Eleuthera Island and on New Providence. On New Providence lower income blacks created communities on the edges of the capital town of Nassau. In the 1780s, Loyalist refugees from the former American colonies imposed rigid social controls on blacks, but, with the help of British colonial officials, the earlier, less racially stratified social order remained more common. During the nineteenth century significant numbers of Africans were brought to the Bahamas. With the abolition of the slave trade this was the main resettlement location in the western Atlantic for Africans rescued from slave ships. Black troops of the West India Regiments garrisoned the colony’s forts because European troops were devastated by tropical diseases. The economic lot of most former slaves did not improve after emancipation. In the low cash economy employers generally paid wages in kind and not cash. Workers were offered credit but could usually never pay off their debt. By the late 1800s wage-earning opportunities lured many Bahamians to the U.S. and Cuba. These job opportunities increased in the twentieth century.

Keywords:   Bahamas, Nassau, Loyalist refugees, West India Regiments

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