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 neighbouring territories in similar circumstances. Divided into three sections, this volume covers the period from aboriginal time 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 18th century. The third, and largest, section offers a full analysis of a 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 social history and an 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.
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 is the Archivist of the Bahamas in Nassau; her works include "Bahamian Loyalists and Their Slaves" and "Bahamian Society After Emancipation."