The Narrative of Cudjoe: In The History, Civil and Commercial, of the British Colonies in the West Indies, Edwards. 1793
Cudjoe (Author)
Cudjoe's narrative was published within a footnote (62-3 of Volume II) in Bryan Edwards's History, Civil and Commercial, of the British Colonies in the West Indies. The footnote also includes another narrative of captivity, Clara's narrative, which precedes Cudjoe's narrative.
First Edition - Dublin, Ireland : Luke White, November 27, 1904
Subjects and keywords
Embedded Narratives
Early Caribbean Slave Narratives
Edwards, Bryan
London, England
University of Michigan
Permanent URL
Date created
Cudjoe. "Narrative of Cudjoe." in The History, Civil and Commercial, of the British Colonies in the West Indies, Bryan Edwards. Dublin: 1793, vol. 2, pp. 63-64.
Copyright date
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The digital edition is freely available for public download and non-commercial redistribution.
Restriction on access
This digital edition has limited access restrictions. View the terms of access at http://ecda.northeastern.edu/
Acquisitions source


Text Document

The Narrative of Cudjoe (1793): A Scholarly Introduction

By: William Bond.

The narrative of “Cudjoe” appears alongside another embedded narrative, “Clara,” in a footnote to Bryan Edwards's 1793 The History, Civil and Commercial, of the British Colonies in the West Indies. The entire footnote can be found on pages 62-4 in Book IV, Chapter III of The History. Cudjoe’s narrative begins in the second paragraph of the footnote on page 63, immediately following Clara’s narrative. Similar to the account offered by Clara to Edwards, Cudjoe’s narrative is retold as an oral history taken down by Edwards. Edwards’ summary of this verbal encounter follows the events of Cudjoe’s initial enslavement “in the kingdom of Asiantee” and his being brought to Jamaica. It is said that Cudjoe related how he was first enslaved at sixteen as a means of “pay[ing] a fine” on behalf of his older brother, who had an affair with the wife of a man named Quashee. Cudjoe was then sold to a “slave-merchant” and “carried...to the sea-coast,” where he was finally purchased by “a Captain Reeder” and brought across the Atlantic to Jamaica. Responding to Edward’s inquiries into practices of enslavement in his home country, Cudjoe explains that as his father had died, his brother had the “power” to sell him into slavery. The narrative also includes statements about the status and treatment of enslaved persons under the Asiantee king.

For further reading, please see Clara's “Narrative of Clara” and Edwards’ History, Civil and Commercial, 1793.

Works Cited

Dierksheide, Christa. Amelioration and Empire: Progress and Slavery in the Plantation Americas (Jeffersonian America). University of Virginia Press, 2014.

Paugh, Katherine. “Yaws, Syphilis, Sexuality, and the Circulation of Medical Knowledge in the British Caribbean and the Atlantic World.” Bulletin of the History of Medicine. Vol. 88, No. 2, 2014.

Pope-Hennessy, James. Sins of the Fathers: A Study of the Atlantic Slave Traders 1441-1807. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1968.

Rucker, Walter C. Gold Coast Diasporas: Identity, Culture, and Power. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2015.

How to cite this scholarly introduction:

William, Bond. “The Narrative of Cudjoe (1793): A Scholarly Introduction." The Early Caribbean Digital Archive. Boston: Northeastern University Digital Repository Service, 2015.