Archives Diary: Stephen Fuller Letterbooks

This 2011 blog post from the John J. Burns Library at Boston College describes two eighteenth-century letterbooks held in the Library’s Collection. The letterbooks belonged to Stephen Fuller, a British agent for Jamaica in the late eighteenth century. If you click on the hyperlink towards the end of the blogpost, you’ll go to the finding aid for the Williams Ethnological Collection, of which the Fuller letterbooks are a part. This Collection seems to hold some fascinating primary sources, relating to eighteenth and nineteenth century Jamaica. This would be a great place to start for anyone seeking a Jamaican research topic.

 

John J. Burns Library's Blog

Stephen Fuller Letterbook, Box 27, Williams Ethnological Collection, MS2009-30, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.  These pages are transcriptions of letters regarding Fuller’s application for the position of British Agent for Jamaica. Stephen Fuller Letterbook, Box 27, Williams Ethnological Collection, MS.2009.030, John J. Burns Library, Boston College. These pages are transcriptions of letters regarding Fuller’s application for the position of British Agent for Jamaica.

Time consuming and laborious, hand-written letterbooks were employed to keep a record of correspondence before modern technologies such as photocopiers, scanners and computers became commonplace tools.  As part of the Williams Ethnological Collection, the Burns Library holds two letterbooks that belonged to Stephen Fuller.  Fuller (1716 – 1808) was the British Agent for the Caribbean island of  Jamaica in the late 18th Century, which was under British colonial rule from 1655 until 1962.  Fuller held this post from 1765 to 1795 and these letterbooks cover his correspondence during the years 1762-1773 and 1776-1784. Thus, the books include transcriptions of letters regarding Fuller’s application for the position in the months leading up to his appointment.  Fuller cited…

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Conference: Memory, Migration & Decolonisation in the Caribbean & Beyond, 1804 to the present

Registration is now open for this conference, to be held at Senate House, London, on 23 and 24 May this year. The programme is varied, and encompasses academic presentations, 'roundtable' discussions, and practical workshop sessions. For example, there's a workshop entitled 'Creating Memoirs and Recording Experience' which will focus on how to produce podcasts and write... Continue Reading →

“The Paradise of the World:” conflict and society in the Caribbean

While doing some background research on the indigenous people of St.Vincent, I came across a great online exhibition on the King's College London website. "The Paradise of the World:" conflict and society in the Caribbean" was originally held at KCL in 2011, but is now available as an online exhibition. This is such a great... Continue Reading →

Slavery, Freedom and the Jamaican Landscape | British Library – Picturing Places

The link below will take you to an article written by Miles Ogborn, Professor of Geography at Queen Mary University of London. Jamaican Maroons fought two major wars against the British during the 18th century. With reference to maps and views in the King's Topographical Collection, Miles Ogborn investigates this community of escaped slaves and... Continue Reading →

‘Driver, cold morning:’ A Jamaican sketch by William Berryman

I've mentioned before the Legacies of British Slave Ownership project at University College London, which has been useful for my research. I came across this beautiful sketch on the project's website under the 'documents of interest' section. According to the LBSO research, William Berryman was an English artist who lived in Jamaica between 1808 and... Continue Reading →

Revolutionary Jamaica: Interpreting the Politics of the Baptist War

By Gordon Barnes In the preface to C.L.R. James’s magnum opus and classic text on slave rebellion, The Black Jacobins, James forcefully points out that Saint-Domingue experienced the “the only successful” slave revolt in history.[1] For James, this achievement rests on a dramatic transformation, alteration, or re-articulation of economic and political ideology, specifically in regards […]... Continue Reading →

‘A Parcel of Ribbons’ by Anne M. Powers

A Parcel of Ribbons contains an extraordinary collection of letters, spanning over fifty years, together with Anne Powers' editorial commentary. The Lee letters were preserved by Robert Cooper Lee, a child sailor who left England for Jamaica with a parcel of ribbons to sell in 1749. He returned to England 22 years later a very wealthy... Continue Reading →

A collection of more than 70 historical photographs go on display later this month  in a free exhibition at Rivington Place in London. 'Making Jamaica' explores how a new image of Jamaica was created through photography in the 1890s. The images are being exhibited in London for the first time, and are drawn from the... Continue Reading →

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