Apprentices, were required to work no more than forty-five hours per week without compensation but were paid for any additional labor performed.
They encouraged ex-slaves to legally marry, adopt the nuclear family model, and to take on Victorian gender roles which they believed were they path to achieving respectability and upward mobility. However, planters could use the remanding of apprentices to workhouses as a means of exercising control over former slaves.
Freedpeople could be sent to labor in workhouses for failure to work on the plantations or breaking other duties specified in the Abolition Act. All apprentices' names were to randle gambling placed on a registry that served as documentation of their required service. Duke University Press,xxxvii-xxxviii.
The abolitionists were steadfast in their belief that apprenticeship was merely an extension of slavery. Yet, despite the emphasis on violence, Williams describes how he attempted to resist exploitation through truancy, theft and appealing to magistrates for protection against his masters' abuses.
Tauris, Women, who made up a majority of the field labor population in Jamaica and other colonies, were frequently sent to the workhouses and subjected to the treadmill.
In addition to the slave resistance, Enlightenment thought and evangelism led members of the British public to question the morality of slavery and the slave trade and during the s there was a surge of abolitionist agitation. However, the realization that emancipation would be gradual had a sobering effect.
Freed people were eager to restructure their lives and devote time to family. Duke University Press,xvii. The Jamaica Despatch, a pro-planter colonial newspaper, criticized James Williams and Joseph Sturge and insisted that the narrative was propaganda and its claims unfounded.
Many of these officials were more reluctant to extend extensive rights to the freedmen and women. In return for unpaid labor, ex slaves received food, housing, clothing and medical treatment from their employers though the Act did not specify precise quantities. Sturge organized to have his narrative recorded by an amanuensis and published it in hopes of informing the British public about Caribbean labor conditions and randle gambling widespread support for immediate abolition.
It commenced its investigation on September 20, However, in some regions, colonial officials barred freedmen from acquiring property through legal measures, imposition of high property taxes, and directives that required purchasers to buy substantial acreage which many former slaves could not afford.
Duke University Press,xix. Freed persons who occupied Crown land without authorization were expelled and their provision grounds, used for subsistence or to grow crops for sale, were sometimes burned down or confiscated.
However, freedpeople considered their brother- sister, parent-child relationships equally, if not more important. Some women abandoned plantation fields all together while others simply reduced the time they spent performing wage agricultural labor.