The Journal of Caribbean History: Volume 36, Issue 2

Article 2
Christian Morality in “Heathen” Jamaica: The American Missionary Association and the Case of Dr. Hyde, 1847-1858

Barbara Fuller


In 1838 Jamaica officially abolished slavery. After 1838 several American missionaries went to the island to assist the former slaves in their transition to freedom. Several of these missionaries were a part of the American Missionary Association, a nonsectarian abolitionist organization established in 1846 with missions in various parts of the world. Many missionaries hoped to use Jamaica as a test case for emancipating slaves in the United States. This article focuses on the missionaries and their endeavours in Jamaica between 1847 and 1858. It centers on Dr. Hyde and how his doctrinal and sexual activities polarized the AMA Jamaica Mission.