20 July 1822
BENJAMIN McMAHON spent 18 years working as a bookkeeper and overseer on Jamaican sugar estates before leaving the island in 1837. He was employed on 24 different estates and his autobiography, published in London in 1839, recounts a litany of cruel and inhuman treatments meted out to enslaved people. Here he recounts his experiences on Crawle Estate and Harmony Hall.
11 January 1816
MATTHEW LEWIS is chiefly remembered as the author of the sensational Gothic novel The Monk, published in 1796. He was, however, a slave-owner and inherited two large plantations in Jamaica which he visited twice, in 1815 and 1817. His anecdotal record, Journal of a West Indian Proprietor, is full of vivid descriptions of plantation life – albeit from the perspective of a slave-owner.