The West Indies: Their Social and Religious Condition

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In this book, first published in 1862, Edward Bean Underhill gives an engaging account of a journey to the West Indies on behalf of the Baptist Missionary Society. He visited Baptist churches in Trinidad, Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba and the Bahamas in order to evaluate the religious state of the many congregations that were established there after the Emancipation Act. Underhill emphasizes that the religious and social consequences of the Emancipation for the people of the West Indies cannot be viewed independently of one another. He finds that the islands, on their own terms, have made the best possible use of the freedom obtained. Underhill gives an elaborate and vivid description of his impression of the islands, but his main focus is on Jamaica, which he finds has benefited most of all.