Devin Leigh is a PhD Candidate in the History Department at the University of California, Davis. He studies connections between West Africa, the West Indies, and Britain in the eighteenth century. His dissertation is about the lives and works of a generation of British slave owners and slave traders who turned to studying Africa and Africans as a way to resist slave-trade abolition. Devin is interested in why and how this cohort of anti-abolitionist intellectuals developed and deployed their knowledge of Africa and Africans. He came upon "The Jamaican Airs" while researching a section of that project on the historian and slave owner Edward Long. He is grateful for the opportunity to share such a fascinating set of historical materials with the public.
The author would like to thank the following people and institutions, whose support has made this exhibit and its underlying research possible: Mary Caton Lingold, Elizabeth Maddock Dillon, Alanna Prince, David Kirkland Garner, Laurent Dubois, Adolphus Depass, Chris Rawlings, Drusilla Grant, Kathryn Reed-Smith, Jeremy Till, John Smolenski, Ellen Hartigan-O’Connor, Trevor Burnard, Catherine Hall, Sean Gallagher, David Lambert, Joshua Piker, the British Library, the Early Caribbean Digital Archive, Northeastern University, Atlantic Studies: Global Currents, the Association of Caribbean Historians, the National Library of Jamaica, the Early American History Lab at UC Davis, UC Davis Graduate Studies, the UC Davis History Department, and the Hemispheric Institute on the Americas.