One of the most impressive aspects of Jamaican history is the transformation of a society based on slavery into one based on free, educated and tolerant people, within a few short generations. This remarkable transformation was a result both of aspects of the earlier 'slave' society, and of developments which took place after emancipation. The lives of individuals who lived this transformation are therefore of great interest; I will try to tell stories of some of these people.
"While doing research on many topics in Jamaica's history in the period between 1865 and 1944, I frequently come across considerable amounts of information about Jamaicans who never hit the headlines, who were . . . just ordinary Jamaicans. However it is sometimes possible to put together enough information to get a good picture of these men and women and how they lived their lives, which were not, in fact, - 'just ordinary'."