Cane cutters in Jamaica c. 1885.
Public domain via Wikimedia.

[ 2 July 1768 ]

On 2 July 1768, Thomas Thistlewood, a sugar plantation overseer in Jamaica, noted briefly in his diary that ‘Hear Stompe, the Mial Man, was burnt alive this evening, and his wife ( Dr. Frazier’s Polly, a mulatto ) hanged.'[1]  Such brutal punishments for suspected witchcraft were a matter of routine under British rule when the victims were mere slaves. Even though Thistlewood was an obsessive diarist detailing the minutiae of plantation life and society, in this instance it seems that no detailed commentary was thought necessary.


  1. Thomas Thistlewood’s Diary 2 July 1768 quoted in James Walvin, The Trader, The Owner, The Slave: Parallel Lives in the Age of Slavery, Jonathan Cape, London p. 132.

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© 2020 Alisdare Hickson All rights reserved

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