African-Scottish families

African-Scottish families

A North East Story: Scotland, Africa and Slavery in the Caribbean

This exhibition has been organised by an Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire Bicentenary Committee to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Britain’s outlawing of the African slave trade in 1807. It follows on from a service of commemoration and a series of public lectures sponsored by the Committee in 2007.

Many of the commemorative events in the UK in 2007 explored the big history of transatlantic slavery and the fight of British and African activists to end it. This exhibition seeks to show how that big history links to the history of North East Scotland.

Table of Contents

  • Slave names
  • Colour consciousness in the Caribbean
  • John Shand and Frances Brown
  • Frances Batty Shand
  • Jonathan Troup

Few Scottish women went to the Caribbean. Their menfolk had relationships instead with women of African origin or descent. Thousands of children were born from these interracial relationships.

The men almost never married their African partners, although sometimes a man would buy the freedom of his enslaved lover. If he did not, he would have no rights over his children. By law, a child born to an enslaved woman belonged to the woman’s owner, regardless of who the father was.

Often it was the custom for the children to use their father’s surname. If they were born free and had a fairly light skin colour, their fathers often sent them to Scotland for education.

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