Highlanders' sex slave past

Highlanders' sex slave past

The practice of keeping sex slaves by 18th Century plantation owners from the Highlands has been unearthed.

Dr Karley Kehoe, of the Centre for History in Dornoch, has told how she was disturbed by the contents of letters written by slave owners from the Highlands in the 18th Century.

She said one letter recounted owners sexually abusing female slaves on plantations in the West Indies.

She will help stage an exhibition on the correspondence later this year.

The letters were sent by Highland owners to relatives in Inverness.



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Dr Kehoe said researchers at the centre, which is part of the University of the Highlands and Islands, found the evidence of women being used as sex slaves.

She said: "That is particularly disturbing. It is difficult to read things like that.

"One particular letter that was from the 18th Century talks about this relatively graphically.

"It is unusual for the 18th Century to find somebody writing so clearly about what was going on, basically saying that every plantation owner, married or not, had slaves for sexual gratification."

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