The Ordinance of Baptism in Jamaica

Christian missionaries, sent to the Caribbean by European missionary societies, campaigned strenuously for the abolition of slavery. Churches provided places in which the enslaved could plan and campaign as well as pray. Baptist worship, in particular, could also be interwoven with forms of African religious practice, leading to the emergence of distinct religious forms in the Americas. The immersion in the ocean, for example, could enable some Africans to connect baptism with Yemaya, the Yoruba goddess of the ocean, and the mother of all life.

This interweaving of African cultural and religious practices with those of Europe was a key element in the emergence of new religious forms in the Americas. For the enslaved, the Baptists also had the advantage of not being one of the established churches, like the Church of England, which had displayed little desire to advocate abolition, and had, in places, profited from slavery. Baxter, a technically accomplished colour printer, worked for the London Missionary Society from 1837 to 1843.

Object Details

ID: ZBA2699
Collection: Fine art; Special collections
Type: Print
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Baxter, George
Date made: 1842
Exhibition: The Atlantic: Slavery, Trade, Empire; Enslavement and Resistance
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Michael Graham-Stewart Slavery Collection. Acquired with the assistance of the Heritage Lottery Fund
Measurements: Mount: 377 mm x 488 mm;Sheet: 288 mm x 398 mm

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