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PERO: The Life of a Slave in Eighteenth-Century Bristol Paperback – 1 Apr 2004
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"It is the pain-staking reclamation of these forgotten lives which constitutes the most significant aspect of this book." -- The Regional Historian, Autumn 2004
Pero was an enslaved man, born in the West Indies, owned by the sugar planter and merchant John Pinney whose Bristol home is now the Georgian House Museum in Great George Street. Pero lived in that house for some years and, since a footbridge on the Harbourside was names after him in 1999, his name has become a familiar one in the city. The bridge commemorates, and pays tribute to, all those Africans and West Indians who were enslaved by Bristol's merchants and planters. Pero is a symbol of the millions of men, women and children taken from their homes in Africa to the Americas as a central commodity in the transatlantic slave trade. Their toil in the North American and Caribbean plantations made people like Pinney rich, and by the time Pero came to Bristol in the 1780s, the city had become wealth on the proceeds of the slave trade and plantation slavery. The authors have pieced together the story of Pero's life as a servant in Nevis and in Bristol, and at a time when the black population in England totalled perhaps 15,000, their research throws light on how the eighteenth-century master and black servant relationships worked in practice.
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