By Douglas V. Armstrong

An exploration of existence at the Virgin Islands in a particular black neighborhood that received its freedom from slavery greater than forty years sooner than emancipation in 1848. Douglas Armstrong seeks to extend our standpoint at the variety and results of the African Diaspora.

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Extra info for Creole Transformation from Slavery to Freedom: Historical Archaeology of the East End Community, St. John, Virgin Is

Sample text

For the East End community the co-occurrence of a major hurricane followed almost immediately by transfer of island administration from the Danish government to the United States had a demonstrable effect that marked the beginning of the end of the coherent group defined here as the East End community. Organization of Presentation Throughout this book, issues pertinent to the cultural transformation of a Creole maritime community are addressed. Part I includes chapters that provide an overview of the historical setting and theoretical context for the study (chapters 2 and 3).

Unfortunately, the nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century St. Johnian population that Olwig used as the focus of her ethnohistorical study was still in the throes of significant social disruption that tore at the fabric of any form of sustained and networked family life. As such, the data for the island as a whole do not provide as clear a delineation of social networks as is available for the East End community. In fact, an assessment of the historical setting (chapter 3) indicates that, with the exception of the East End and other small enclaves, the economic conditions on St.

However, just as each individual had a life trajectory that involved a range of roles from child to adult to aged, each household, or house site, changed over time. New houses were built and old houses replaced, or modified, in cadence with 16 | Creole Transformation from Slavery to Freedom changes associated with each succeeding generation. House design and location underwent change to fit with trends in the social and economic context of the community. I argue that the East End setting was far more consistent with a successful realization of Olwig’s (1981) idealized view of networks of exchange relationships and social reproduction in the explanation of family and community life than can be found elsewhere on St.

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