Final Days at Betty’s Hope
The afterword chronicles the last days of Betty’s Hope plantation. The abolition of slavery in 1807 emboldened actions of stance and rebellion by the enslaved in the days leading up to emancipation on August 1, 1834. As Afro-Antiguans were freed, a new and uncertain future upended the old established order, displacing Afro-Antiguans who sought new opportunities. Others less fortunate remained on plantations as paid labor during acute labor shortages. This resulted in new forms of pseudo-peonage by plantation managers, and the influx of foreign workers. The declining market for Caribbean sugar finally forced consolidation on Antigua, as Betty’s Hope and other plantations sent their sugar to a central processing sugar factory, which closed its doors in the early 1970s.
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