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Distant freedom"St Helena and the abolition of the slave trade, 1840-1872"$
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Andrew Pearson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781781382837

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781382837.001.0001

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Island Lives

Island Lives

(p.242) Chapter Seven Island Lives
Distant freedom

Andrew Pearson

Liverpool University Press

This chapter narrates the later lives and experiences of the few hundred liberated Africans who settled permanently on St Helena. Although some left of their own accord during the early 1870s others stayed there for life. These Africans came to form a substantial part of St Helena’s community but were, for many years, considered as a separate and inferior part of its society. Their origins, physical appearance, retention of African culture and the failure of many to embrace Christianity all contributed to this situation. Religious and secular education was sporadically in place from the 1840s, and permanently from the 1860s, but most of the former recaptives remained in the lowest tiers of island society. The records about them become increasingly scant as, during the later nineteenth century, the majority intermarried with ‘native’ St Helenians and merged into its general population. Some nevertheless remained apart, retaining a distinct identity through into the 1900s.

Keywords:   African culture, Christianity, Education, Origins

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