Sugar, slavery and emancipation: the industrial archaeology of the West Indian island of Tobago
|Authors & editors|
|Publisher||University of Florida|
|Year of publication||1992|
Food (non-cereal) processes > Sugar
|Scope & content||Table of contents and list of figures attached |
The West Indian island of Tobago has a rich cultural heritage with imposing ruins of by-gone military fortifications, towns, villages, estates, agricultural processing plants, mills, factories, and warehouses. Stately architectural monuments encapsulate the times and events that have shaped Tobago's island identity from its seventeenth century European settlements through the social and economic factors that led to the formation of the
Republic of Trinidad and Tobago some 25 years ago. These monuments are unique and irreplaceable historical resources and must be identified, assessed, and catalogued if their conservation or preservation is to be planned and managed.
Systematic survey of Tobago's historic monuments-the vital first step of heritage management-has been underway since 1986. Forty-three complexes of buildings, ruins and archaeological areas have been identified through reconnaissance survey. All of these complexes or industrial archaeological sites were constructed in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. They were constructed to mill sugar cane and produce molasses,
sugar and rum.
Intensive documentary and archaeological investigations have been completed at two of these sugar estate or plantation complexes. One complex had wind-powered sugar mills, a sugar factory min that was later converted for processing copra in the twentieth century, and a number of out-building foundations. The other estate had a water-powered sugar mill, factory min and numerous other features associated with the former operation
of the estate as a sugar plantation.
The survey, mapping and archaeological findings from Tobago are discussed within the context of the development of sugar plantations in the Americas. Additionally, the advancements of sugar manufacturing technology are addressed as those advancements reflect on the layout and operation of Tobago's historic sugar plantations. Labor on the estates, African slaves and later emancipated Africans, are also discussed within the
context of nineteenth century plantation economy.