Julie Palomba Engl243 Final Paper

Many times these names would be actively degrading

This preview shows page 5 - 7 out of 13 pages.

Many times these names would be actively degrading words such as Monkey, Villain, or even Whore (Burnard, 16-19). Overall the most important takeaway to note from Burnard’s study in terms of slave identity is that name could have tremendous effects on the identity and fate of a black person, especially, for example, a woman, if the assigned job does follow Burnard’s hypothesis of slave name-job link. A female slave who is assigned to work in the owner’s home (assumed by Burnard to be named a more common Anglicized name) would have a comparably better and longer quality of life than one sent to do grueling fieldwork- which would ensure a short lifespan. One interesting way to further delve into the study of slave renaming motivations is to not only look at the primary data, but the souce of the motivation- the slaveowner. Thomas Thistlewood’s diary provides the foremost detail for an unprecedented and shocking entrance into the mind and daily life of a slaveholder in Jamaica. We see the cruelty he inflicts on his slaves, and the unrightfully claimed control that he wields over them. Documented in entries from 1761-2 (as Thistlewood is starting his own plantation), the diary contains a primary source
Image of page 5

Subscribe to view the full document.

6 rarely recorded: Thomas Thistlewood’s records of purchasing and renaming his slaves. The document lists the original African names of his new purchases, along with what he decides to name them, as follows: “six Africans whom he had bought: Coobah (Country name Molia) who would live with Egypt Princess, Sukey, Maria (Country name Ogo), Pompey (Country name Oworia) who would live with Plato, Will (Country name Abasse) and Dick (Country name Sawnno, alias Dowotronny)” (Hall, 126). We infer from his previous character that he has shown in the diary, as well as his subsequent treatment of these slaves, that he does this as a concrete action of showing slaves that they are now his property, stripped of the African identity, and will surrendered control of their identity in general. These names also fall in line with categories Burnard suggested: Anglicized and African diminutives, Place, and Classical. Also relevant are his earlier purchase slaves; “the first slave that he bought Lincoln, after the county in England in which Thistlewood was born. His next slave was named Johnie (a diminutive of a name common in Thistlewood's family)” (Burnard, 12). In turn, Thistlewood’s naming of slaves also falls in line with Burnard’s claims for job placement. In one prime example, Thistlewood writes, “Bought of Mr. Jeremiah Meyler, a Congo girl, 9 or 10 years old, 4 feet and 1 inch high, give 42 pounds cash. Had a receipt, named her Sally, and intend her for a semptress.’” (Hall, 126). We see Thistlewood name the girl Sally, a common Anglican diminutive, with intention for her to be a skilled worker rather than in the fields. This mirrors the slave owner motivations stated by Burnard’s theories of choosing an Anglican name for a female being primed for skilled work. Again, especially for the female, this decision drastically affects her fate and identity.
Image of page 6
Image of page 7
  • Spring '13
  • AdamLewis
  • Metaphor, Gustavus Vassa

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

Get FREE access by uploading your study materials

Upload your study materials now and get free access to over 25 million documents.

Upload now for FREE access Or pay now for instant access
Christopher Reinemann
"Before using Course Hero my grade was at 78%. By the end of the semester my grade was at 90%. I could not have done it without all the class material I found."
— Christopher R., University of Rhode Island '15, Course Hero Intern

Ask a question for free

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern