This study is offered as an initial exploration of the complex subject of cholera in the nineteenth-century Caribbean. As such, one purpose will be simply to describe the course of the three cholera epidemics that invaded the nineteenth-century Caribbean. Another more complicated aim is to attempt to measure the amount of mortality that the disease inflicted on the peoples of those islands for which data are available. A third purpose is to examine the reasons why the black population of the Caribbean proved far more susceptible to the disease than whites. Finally, an attempt will be made of Puerto Rico and especially Cuba, where the institution of slavery still persisted.
* Research for this study was made possible by a grant from the Joint Committee on Latin American Studies of the Social Science Research Council and the American Council of Learned Societies. I am grateful as well to the Bowling Green Faculty Research Committee for its support of this and other projects over the years.