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“This horably wicked action”: abortion and resistance on a Jamaican slave plantation

Citation: Clover, David (2008) “This horably wicked action”: abortion and resistance on a Jamaican slave plantation. Society for Caribbean Studies Annual Conference Papers, 9 . ISSN 1471-2024


Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0

In May 1824, Catalina, also known as Susannah Mathison, an enslaved woman on the Castle Wemyss Estate situated in the parish of St James in Jamaica, successfully induced an abortion, by drinking a herbal tincture. In this paper I examine Catalina’s actions, the context in which these arose, and the reaction of the plantation overseer and manager within their historic context, and within more recent debates and scholarship concerning women’s sexuality, fertility and reproduction as well as claims of resistance and opposition.

Creators: Clover, David and
Official URL:
Subjects: History
Keywords: abortion, slavery, Jamaica, slaves, resistance, Caribbean
Divisions: Institute of Commonwealth Studies
Senate House Library
  • 2008 (published)
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