Adolphus, a Tale (Anonymous) & the Slave Son (The Caribbean by William Noy Wilkins Mrs, Anon, Gordon Wilkins Kerr, Lise

By William Noy Wilkins Mrs, Anon, Gordon Wilkins Kerr, Lise Winer, Bridget Brereton, Rhonda Cobham, Mary Rimmer, Karen Sanchez-Eppler

A dramatic nineteenth-century story, initially released within the newspapers of the day, Adolphus strains the adventures of a mulatto son of a black slave girl raped through a white guy.

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Additional info for Adolphus, a Tale (Anonymous) & the Slave Son (The Caribbean Heritage Series)

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131). Belfond is in much the same position; he does know who his father is, and his marked resemblance to him, as well as to the legitimate son whose personal attendant he is, makes his parentage plain, but at the same time invisible, to everyone. Nor are things much easier on the maternal side: Madelaine, Laurine’s mother, is indifferent to her, and looks upon her “as an alien with whom she [has] nothing to do” (p. 133); her experience as a slave has led her to see even her love for her lost husband and their dead children as folly and sickness, which has now passed away and left her caring “for notin’ nor nobody” (p.

Frederick Douglass Wilkins explains in the introduction how her long “sympathy” for “mixed-race”, “free coloured” Trinidadians, and her hatred of the discrimination and “prejudice of caste that keeps the people degraded”, motivate her writing (pp. 99–100). The heroine and hero of her novel, Laurine and the “slave son” Belfond, are just such characters. Wilkins’s most eloquent polemics are addressed to this topic, yet interestingly the novel’s plot has virtually no bearing on issues of racial prejudice.

In northern cities, Irish immigrants and African Americans tended to live in the same poor neighbourhoods and compete for the same ill-paying jobs. 14 But as anti-slavery feeling grew, and grew more respectable, many Irish came to feel this sympathy for the slave as a threat – an alliance between a white Republican elite and black slaves that disregarded the needs of northern white labourers. The charge that agitation against slavery in the South served to mask the exploitative conditions of free labour in the North contains a great deal of truth (Roediger 1991, 133–63).

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