ENGRAVING: Scene on a West Indian Plantation -- Slaves Receiving the News of Their Emancipation. Emancipation Day – Friday, 1 August 1834 – was celebrated throughout the British Caribbean at chapels, churches and government-sanctioned festivals, some of which were held under the watchful eyes of hundreds of extra troops. The previously enslaved populations also awoke to a fresh set of concerns. A new raft of law-and-order measures had been introduced. Under the new 'apprenticeships', newly 'freed' people were still expected to remain on the plantations and put in 10-hour days. Absenteeism would result in imprisonment in one of the many new jails (equipped with treadmills) that were being built to contain recalcitrant workers. Additional tiers of 'special officers' and stipendiary magistrates were created to police the changes. 'Apprentices' could still be flogged without redress, females included. The apprenticeship scheme would come to an end only in 1838, after the Anti-Slavery Society, following an inspection tour of the West Indian colonies in 1836, had produced another barrage of pamphlets and petitions.
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