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Working the DiasporaThe Impact of African Labor on the Anglo-American World, 1650-1850$
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Frederick C. Knight

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780814748183

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814748183.001.0001

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In an Ocean of Blue

In an Ocean of Blue

West African Indigo Workers in the Atlantic World to 1800

(p.87) 4 In an Ocean of Blue
Working the Diaspora

Frederick C. Knight

NYU Press

This chapter focuses on indigo production in West Africa and the Anglo-American colonies. British American indigo production had shifted over time, developing first in Barbados and Jamaica in the seventeenth century and later in South Carolina in the 1740s, with each of the colonies depending on Africans to develop and process the crop. The chapter illustrates the connections between Anglo-American colonies and their reliance on African labor by looking specifically at the Lucas estate in South Carolina. This set of plantation sites was established by a West Indian planter and became a nursery of indigo production, tended by slaves from Africa and the Caribbean. As was true of cotton and tobacco, Africans knew how to raise and process indigo, skills that fostered the development of that crop.

Keywords:   indigo production, Lucas estate, crop development, indigo workers, African labor

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