Lucille Mathurin Mair's doctoral dissertation submitted in October 1974 became the "most sought-after unpublished work among students and scholars of Caribbean history and culture," say editors Hilary Beckles and Verene Shepherd in the introduction to the book "A Historical Study Of Women In Jamaica 1655-1844," the seminal work now transformed from thesis to a published book.
Lucille Mathurin Mair, well-known historian, author, teacher, activist and diplomat, concluded from her extensive research that, "the white woman consumed, the coloured woman served and the black woman laboured." She creatively used less familiar records of estates, family papers and private correspondence of individuals who were involved in slavery to support her thesis.
Part 1 chapters 1 to 3 deal with the Arrivals of White Women, the Arrivals of Black Women and the Growth of the Mulatto group.
Part 2 chapters 4 to 8 focus on the period of plantation construction and mature capitalism and the creation of a racist creole society.
Part 3 postscript, 1834-1844.
Chapter 9 The Beginnings of a Free Society, 1834-1844
Afterword - Recollections into a Journey of a Rebel Past
Appendix population: St. James Parish.
Page 332 to 494 notes, author's bibliography, editors' selected bibliography, index and about the author
In the author's preface written at Mona in 1974 she notes that the "virtual destruction of the indigenous Jamaican people under Spanish occupation made it possible, by the seventeenth century, for English invaders and developers to mould the island's demographic contours in accordance with their economic needs."