Islanders in the Stream (Paperback)

A History of the Bahamian People: Volume One: From Aboriginal Times to the End of Slavery

By Michael Craton, Gail Saunders

University of Georgia Press, 9780820321226, 496pp.

Publication Date: April 1, 1999

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (9/29/2000)

List Price: 35.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


From two leading historians of Bahamian history comes this groundbreaking work on a unique archipelagic nation. Islanders in the Stream is not only the first comprehensive chronicle of the Bahamian people, it is also the first work of its kind and scale for any Caribbean nation. This comprehensive volume details the full, extraordinary history of all the people who have ever inhabited the islands and explains the evolution of a Bahamian national identity within the framework of neighboring territories in similar circumstances.

Divided into three sections, this volume covers the period from aboriginal times to the end of formal slavery in 1838. The first part includes authoritative accounts of Columbus's first landfall in the New World on San Salvador island, his voyage through the Bahamas, and the ensuing disastrous collision of European and native Arawak cultures. Covering the islands' initial settlement, the second section ranges from the initial European incursions and the first English settlements through the lawless era of pirate misrule to Britain's official takeover and development of the colony in the eighteenth century. The third, and largest, section offers a full analysis of Bahamian slave society through the great influx of Empire Loyalists and their slaves at the end of the American Revolution to the purported achievement of full freedom for the slaves in 1838.

This work is both a pioneering social history and a richly illustrated narrative modifying previous Eurocentric interpretations of the islands' early history. Written to appeal to Bahamians as well as all those interested in Caribbean history, Islanders in the Stream looks at the islands and their people in their fullest contexts, constituting not just the most thorough view of Bahamian history to date but a major contribution to Caribbean historiography.

About the Author

Michael Craton (Author) MICHAEL CRATON is a professor of history at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. He is the author of several books, including Empire, Enslavement, and Freedom in the Caribbean and A History of the Bahamas. Gail Saunders (Author) GAIL SAUNDERS is the Archivist of the Bahamas in Nassau; her works include Bahamian Loyalists and Their Slaves and Bahamian Society After Emancipation.

Praise For Islanders in the Stream: A History of the Bahamian People: Volume One: From Aboriginal Times to the End of Slavery

"Unique . . . This work sets a standard for other islanders to aspire to in writing their own histories."--Library Journal

"In ambition, scope, and generous intent, both this book and its companion volume stand out as a special kind of Caribbean history."--American Historical Review

"This is a rich work, with a capacity to illuminate many poorly understood corners of Bahamian history and to tell us much about the wider Caribbean world . . . In achieving their objectives, Craton and Saunders make excellent use of a wide variety of source materials, from archaeology to more traditional documentary materials."--Journal of American History