Bought & sold: Scotland, Jamaica, and slavery (paperback)

Luath Press
Kate Phillips
Item Size:
19.8 x 12.9 cm

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This book traces the story of how and why thousands of Scots made money from buying and selling humans... a story we need to own. We need to admit that many Scots were enthusiastic participants in slavery.

Union with England gave Scotland access to both trade and settlement in Jamaica, Britain’s richest colony and its major slave trading hub. Tens of thousands from Scotland lived and worked there. The abolition campaign and slave revolts threatened Scottish plantation owners, merchants, traders, bankers and insurance brokers who made their fortunes from slave-farmed sugar in Jamaica and fought hard to preserve the system of slavery. Archives and parliamentary papers in both countries reveal these transatlantic Scots in their own words and allow us to access the lives of their captives.

Scotland and Jamaica were closely entwined for over one hundred years. Bought & Sold traces this shared story from its early beginnings in the 1700s to the abolition of slavery in the British Empire and reflects on the meaning of those years for both nations today.

About the author, Kate Phillips is a sociology graduate of the University of Glasgow. She became an international social development specialist working in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, where she developed a range of partnerships for social change. Bought and Sold, Scotland, Jamaica and Slavery is her first book.

‘This vitally important book shows that, far from being an innocent bystander, Scotland could hardly have been more deeply involved in the mighty historic wrong of the slave trade’ – The Scotsman