Added: February 6, 2016 – Last updated: February 6, 2016


Author: Edward B. Rugemer

Title: The Harrisons Go To Jamaica

Subtitle: Race and Sexual Violence in the Age of Abolition

Journal: Journal of Family History: Studies in Family, Kinship, and Demography

Volume: 33

Issue: 1

Year: January 2008

Pages: 13-20

ISSN: 0361-1990 – Find a Library: WordCat | eISSN: 1552-5473 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 19th Century | American History: Jamaican History | Society: Rape Myths; Types: Interracial Rape


Link: SAGE Journals (Restricted Access)


Author: Edward Rugemer, Department of History, Yale University

Abstract: »This article explores the intersection of race, the abolition of slavery, and the fear of sexual violence in the correspondence of Robert Monroe Harrison. A white Virginian and career diplomat for the United States, Harrison spent his career in the Caribbean, sometimes joined by his wife, Margaret, and their five children. For many years, Harrison's positions could not maintain the family overseas, but in 1831 he was stationed in Jamaica, Britain's largest slave colony, and the family was reunited. But slave rebellion swept the island in 1831, and Parliament abolished slavery in 1834. Harrison feared that sexual violence against whites would be the inevitable result of black emancipation, and, unable to protect his family, Harrison wrote about his fears to his superiors. Harrison's racial fears characterized those of white men faced with black emancipation across time and space. His correspondence is a valuable if disturbing window into the shaping of racist thought.« (Source: Journal of Family History)

Wikipedia: History of the Americas: History of Jamaica