Lesson 5A

5a. Did ‘the monster’ really die in 1838?

5a. Did ‘the monster’ really die in 1838?

Before 1858 – Rippingille, Alexander [artist]; Lucas, David [engraver]; Moon, Francis Graham [publisher]

What are we learning about?

Drawing upon William Knibb’s famous description of the ‘Monster’ being killed on Emancipation Day 1838, students will be asked to assess the extent to which Knibb’s celebratory remark correlated with the experiences of the Afro-Jamaican worker after 1838. This will include discussion on sthe ‘evidence problem’ at the heart of such a historical enquiry and the techniques historians from below must utilise to make inferences for the evidence available in the archive.

Lesson Objectives

  • To analyse the ‘evidence problems’ at the heart of an enquiry into the conditions of the enslaved / emancipated workers of Jamaica.
  • To make inferences using contemporary sources of evidence.
  • To make a judgement as to the extent and nature of change 1838 brought for the emancipated workers.

PowerPoint Lesson

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Suggested Tasks

  • Task A: Play a game recapping key dates.
  • Task B: Discuss Knibb’s description of emancipation as a turning point.
  • Task C: Make inferences from the collection of sources to evaluate Knibb’s turning point.
  • Task D: Write a paragraph -using sources – that constructs an argument on the extent of change over the period.

Essential Resources

Lesson 5 Notetaker
The notetaker brings together both the key events and a selection of sources for students to use to consider the broad changes and continuities in the conditions of the Black population of Jamaica.

The notetaker includes the following sources:

  • Source A -Historian and Jamaican Slave Owner Edward Long publishes a book about Jamaica entitled – ‘History, Vol. 2’ – in 1774
  • Source B – A pamphlet written by Robert Hibbert Jnr in 1825 entitled ‘Hints to the young Jamaica Sugar Planter’.
  • Source C – Plate depicting a monument to Thomas Hibbert on his plantation Agualta Vale in Jamaica (1820-21)
  • Source D – William Knibb’s memoirs published by J H Hinton (1847) – extracts from events in 1824 & 1838.
  • Source E – Evidence submitted by Thomas Cooper to the Lords Committee on the Condition and Treatment of the Colonial Slaves of Reverend (1833)
  • Source F – 1843 Jamaican Assembly passes Towns and Communities Act (Page 15-16)
  • Source G – An anonymous placard posted on a cotton tree on a main road in Morant Bay on 11 August 1865.
Post Emancipation Exploitation BBC Documentary – Racism : A History

Extra Resources