The West Indies, Before and Since Slave Emancipation: Comprising the Windward and Leeward Islands' Military Command

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John Davy (1790-1868) was an English doctor and brother of the chemist Sir Humphrey Davy. After graduating from Edinburgh University, in 1814 Davy became Inspector General of Army Hospitals, and he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1834. In his capacity as Inspector General, he spent 1845-1848 living in Barbados and visiting other Caribbean Islands. This volume, first published in 1854, describes the society and culture of Barbados and other islands, including Trinidad, Tobago and St Lucia. Based on Davy's notes and observations made while stationed on the island, the book describes in vivid detail the disparities in education, quality of life and behaviour between the freed slaves, indentured servants and plantation owners of Barbados and other islands. Davy's sympathetic account provides valuable first-hand descriptions of the social conditions and tensions which existed after the Emancipation Act of 1834.