BOOK CHAPTER: Rogers and King on Women of Color in 18th Century Saint-Domingue

Dominique Rogers and Stewart King. “Housekeepers, Merchants, Rentières: Free Women of Color in the Port Cities of Saint-Domingue, 1750-1790.” In Women in Port: Gendering Communities, Economies, and Social Networks in Atlantic Port Cities, 1500-1800, edited by Douglas Catterall and Jody Campbell, 357–98. BRILL, 2012.

via Brill:

Vue de l'incendie de la ville du Cap Français, Arrivée le 21 Juin 1793. Vieux style : [estampe] / Peint d'après nature par J.L. Boquet ; Gravé par J.B. Chapuy

Vue de l’incendie de la ville du Cap Français, Arrivée le 21 Juin 1793. Peint d’après nature par J.L. Boquet ; Gravé par J.B. Chapuy as seen at Gallica/BNF

“This chapter explores the economic roles of women of color in the port cities, discussing in particular the unusual set of opportunities and challenges the ports of Saint-Domingue created for the free women of color who resided in them. The author evaluates the social repercussions of the dynamic role played by free colored women, with particular attention to the examples provided by two wealthy widows, Anne Rossignol and Marie Scipion, who both traced their path to Saint-Domingue from Africa, one by way of voluntary migration from Goree and the other by way of forced migration via the transatlantic slave trade. The chapter concludes the case of Saint-Domingue suggests that whether they were comfortable, rich, or more modest in means, Dominguan women of color appear to have been eminently dynamic actors in the economic life and social structure of the colony’s port cities.”

Source: Women in Port | Brill

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