By Barbara Currie Dailey, John Anderson
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Extra resources for Between Slavery and Freedom: Special Magistrate John Anderson's Journal of St Vincent During the Apprenticeship
Before 1834, most slaves accused even of serious crimes such as assault and theft would, if held responsible, have been punished by their owners. During the Apprenticeship, criminal courts heard these cases, a circumstance that would indeed, as Grant testified, have "brought forward to public view" more crimes. And, of course, they came to Anderson's attention in his capacity as police magistrate. New definitions of crime and criminality, with accompanying mechanisms for the identification and punishment of transgressions, had been instituted with, or followed fast on the heels of, the abolition of slavery.
23 His excellent education, and his accomplishments as a scholar, researcher, traveller and author, enabled him to cast a shrewd and knowledgeable eye over the intricacies of St. Vincent's natural and social worlds, and to pen a well-organized and lucid portrait that is of enduring interest and a welcome addition to a sparse body of such primary documents. Of particular importance, of course, is the unique window Anderson offered onto the operation of the Apprenticeship. His observations on this topic - the journal's most extensive and most deliberative sections - permeated the narrative and underpinned his presentation of the other materials.
Anderson's thoughtful and detailed responses to these questions bespoke his commitment to his job and his industry in its discharge, while providing valuable additional information on the workings of the Apprenticeship. His comments ranged widely, not only embracing themes highlighted in his journal, such as crime and policing, but also targeting problems and abuses that his official duties brought to light. 44 He contended that some apprentices had fallen victim to a scheme designed to exploit their labour, because although "a few ply the isle as hucksters, or jobbers of general work .
Between Slavery and Freedom: Special Magistrate John Anderson's Journal of St Vincent During the Apprenticeship by Barbara Currie Dailey, John Anderson