Enforced Sojourners under Grey Skies: Black Apprentices in Eighteenth-Century Scotland

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Alan Karras’ excellent work, Sojourners in the Sun, examined Scottish migrants in the Jamaica and the Chesapeake, 1740-1800, who generally went to the transatlantic colonies to make money to enhance or maintain their status in Scotland, to which they intended to return. This paper will examine an opposite flow of people: black slaves sent to Scotland from the West Indies and the North American Colonies to be taught a trade. While it is known of black men and women who came to Scotland as personal servants with their masters from the colonies (most famously, Joseph Knight), this paper will examine a small number of individuals sent from the colonies to be trained in Scotland in a useful trade that would enhance their value in the colonies. A number of such individuals can be found apprenticed in Scotland. This paper, deriving from my continuing research project on black men and women held as slaves in eighteenth-century Scotland, will consider their lives and experiences and the reasons that led their masters to send them to Scotland.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2006


  • Slave, Apprentice, Virginia, Jamaica, James Montgomery, Robert Shedden, Cato, Alexander Mountier, Atlantic Worls


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