I have to admit, however, that only one entrant, Wadadli Pen, submitted the right date - 1st August, 1834. So how come you saw all those names go into the paper bag? Well, like I said, I didn't mean for it to be a trick question and I still wanted to reward everyone who took the time out to read up on Caribbean history so Wadadli Pen will get her book but everyone who answered either 1833 or 1838 was entered in the raffle. You see, the British did pass the law in 1833 but emancipation was to become effective on 1st August, 1834, a year later. Of course, as Miki pointed out, most local legislatures opted to create an apprenticeship period of a further four years, until 1838, which was designed, not so much to prepare the former slaves for freedom as to keep them on the estates for a further four years. The planters were very worried and, in most colonies, rightly so, that the former slaves would move off the estates to work on their own lands or to find better paying jobs on other islands.
These issues and more are explored in my upcoming novel, Jessamine, where the impact of the decline of the huge sugar plantations, the exodus of labour from the estates, and the continuing injustices by planters desperate to survive in the new society all conspire to bring an island to its knees.
Another winner today is Vannie Ryanes who became my 25th follower over the weekend. I'd said I'd give a book to my 25th follower so, Vannie, please email your mailing address to eugeniaoneal [at] gmail [dot] com and I'll get that right out to you!