For more than a century and a half the real story of Scotland’s connections to transatlantic slavery has been lost to history and shrouded in myth. There was even denial that the Scots unlike the English had any significant involvement in slavery .Scotland saw itself as a pioneering abolitionist nation untainted by a slavery past. This book is the first detailed attempt to challenge these beliefs.Written by the foremost scholars in the field , with findings based on sustained archival research, the volume systematically peels away the mythology and radically revises the traditional picture.In doing so the contributors come to a number of surprising conclusions. Topics covered include national amnesia and slavery,the impact of profits from slavery on Scotland, Scots in the Caribbean sugar islands ,compensation paid to Scottish owners when slavery was abolished,domestic controversies on the slave trade,the role of Scots in slave trading from English ports and much else. The book is a major contribution to Scottish history,to studies of the Scots global diaspora and to the history of slavery within the British Empire.It will have wide appeal not only to scholars and students but to all readers interested in discovering an untold aspect of Scotland’s past. ; The first ever book-length attempt to strip away the myths and write the real history of Scotland’s slavery past. Written to appeal to a wide audience, it contains many original ,surprising and uncomfortable conclusions. ; List of Figures and Tables; Maps and Images; Contributors; Acknowledgements; Introduction: Scotland and Transatlantic Slavery, T. M. Devine; 1. Lost to History, T. M. Devine; 2. Yonder Awa: slavery and distancing strategies in Scottish literature, Michael Morris; 3. Early Scottish sugar planters in the Leeward Islands c.1660-1740, Stuart M. Nisbet; 4. The Scots penetration of the Jamaican plantation business, Eric J. Graham; 5. ‘The habits of these creatures in clinging one to the other’: Enslaved Africans, Scots and the plantations of Guyana, David Alston; 6. The great Glasgow West India house of John Campbell, Senior and Co., Stephen Mullen; 7. Scottish Surgeons in the Liverpool Slave Trade in the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries, Suzanne Schwarz; 8. Scotland and Colonial Slave-Ownership: the evidence of the Slave Compensation Records, Nicholas Draper; 9. 'The Upas Tree, beneath whose pestiferous shade all intellect languishes and all virtue dies': Scottish public perceptions of the Slave Trade and Slavery, 1756-1833, Iain Whyte; 10. 'The most unbending Conservative in Britain': Archibald Alison and Pro-slavery discourse, Catherine Hall; 11. Did Slavery make Scotia great? A question revisited, T. M. Devine; Conclusion: History, Scotland and Slavery, T. M. Devine; Index.
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Thomas Devine’s impressive team of scholars confirms, individually and collectively, the pervasive and ubiquitous influence of Scots and Scotland on the shaping of Atlantic slavery. This pioneering volume also has a resonance far beyond slavery, underlining the impact of slavery on Scotland itself. Here is a book which ultimately demands a broader reappraisal of modern Scottish history.
- James Walvin, author of Crossings. Africa, the Americas and the Atlantic Slave Trade
Professor Sir Tom Devine is Sir William Fraser Professor Emeritus of Scottish History and Palaeography at the University of Edinburgh. Author and editor of many books on Scottish history and related subjects, he is a Fellow of the British Academy, the Royal Society of Edinburgh and an Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy. In 2014 he was knighted for services to the study of Scottish history and he is the only historian to have been awarded the Royal Gold Medal, Scotland's supreme academic accolade, by the HM The Queen on the recommendation of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.