© copyright 2019 David Chan Smith    


Life in the 17th Century Caribbean

Ligon visited Barbados during the early years of the "sugar revolution"

A facsimile of the 1673 edition of the History of Barbados can now be found here.

Investigate Research that Makes Use of the E-Text

Christina M. Giovas, George D. Kamenov, and  John Krigbaum on scientific evidence and the 1657 Ligon map of Barbados 

Richard Ligon’s History of Barbados (1657) is one of the most important accounts of the Caribbean written in the seventeenth-century. Ligon visited the island during the early years of the “sugar revolution" when a boom in sugar growing led to the development of an extensive plantation economy that relied upon slave labour. His account describes the social structure and economy of Barbados during this pivotal period, and reveals his own values about politics, slavery and wealth.


This e-text, which is in the public domain, was created for use in teaching and for general reading, making this controversial text widely available to a modern audience.


As of June 26, 2014 Edition 5 is now available with minor editorial corrections, additional footnotes, and some layout changes.


If you have comments or updates for the e-text, please email me at dasmith@wlu.ca


Explore my discussion of Richard Ligon in the Journal of the History of Ideas (October, 2017): "Useful Knowledge, Improvement and the Logic of Capital in Richard Ligon’s True and Exact History of Barbados." 

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