Treadmill, Jamaica, 1837


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NW0196

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Captioned, "An Interior View of a Jamaica House of Correction," this illustration shows a scene during the Apprenticeship Period (1834-38); man on left being flogged, in center at bottom, a woman has her hair cut off. Below the title is a message from Jamaica's Governor Lionel Smith to the Jamaican House of Assembly: "The WHIPPING OF FEMALES, you were informed by me, officially, WAS IN PRACTICE; and I called upon you to make enactments to put an end to conduct so repugnant to humanity, and SO CONTRARY TO LAW. So far from passing an Act to prevent the recurrence of such cruelty, you have in no way expressed your disapprobation of it. I communicated to you my opinion, and that of the Secretary of State, of the injustice of cutting off the hair of females in the House of Correction, previous to trial. You have pad no attention to the subject." This engraving (a copy of which is held by the National Library of Jamaica) was first published by British abolitionists in 1837 and distributed separately; it was also bound into some editions of James Williams, A Narrative of Events (London and Glasgow, 1837 and other editions) which described many of the conditions shown in the illustration. For more details on the illustration and its background, see Diana Paton, ed., A Narrative of Events, since the First of August 1834, by James Williams, an Apprenticed Labourer in Jamaica (Duke University Press, 2001), esp. pp. xxxvii-xxxviii, 44. A version of this engraving, clearly a copy of the original, was published in James M. Phillippo, Jamaica, its past and present (London, 1843), facing p. 172.