This is a steel engraving of people being punished in a ‘house of correction’ in Jamaica in 1837. This print dates from the point at which slavery had been abolished. However, abolition in 1834 did not immediately free those who were already enslaved – they had to endure a further four years known as the ‘apprenticeship’ before emancipation. This engraving is from James Williams’s, Narrative of Events since 1st August 1834, a compilation of evidence about the effectiveness of ending of slavery. Harsh treatment and oppression of the free people continued. This poor treatment of former slaves was a legacy of the period of enslavement that precedes it. A legacy that continued to manifest itself in a variety of ways for centuries.
Issues: A graphic brutal image
© National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, UK
Accession reference: National Maritime Museum, ZBA2546