“REFORM IS BECOME OUR ENEMY:” ANGLO-JAMAICAN PLANTERS AND BRITISH IDENTITIES, 1765-1786
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This is a case study of the imperial identity an elite resident planter in late-eighteenth century Jamaica named Simon Taylor from 1765 to 1786. By analyzing sections of Simon Taylor’s correspondence with his business partner and close friend Chaloner Arcedeckne, this thesis uses empirical, quantitative evidence in order to analyze Simon Taylor’s sense of identity, the expectations placed upon him as an imperial subject and his role as a citizen of the British Empire. This thesis argues that Simon Taylor’s British imperial identity came into conflict with his burgeoning creole identity. Simon Taylor, born in Jamaica, was compelled to highlight to Chaloner the ways that he had not devolved into a backwater colonial, but rather had maintained his British imperial identity despite what many of his British contemporaries saw as the potentially subversive cultural influence of African slaves and freed blacks.