In the book “Witch of Blackbird Pond”, in this essay referred to as WBP, the protagonist Katherine Tyler, affectionately referred to as Kit, is an orphaned fifteen year old girl who grew up on the tropical island of Barbados where her grandfather had supported her till her current age when he died and left the family debt and affairs in her young and incapable hands. Kit however being a smart child sold their plantation and slaves, and everything but her own clothes to pay off the debt,
"I suppose he was wealthy, once. But he had not been well for a long time. I think for years he was not able to manage the plantation, but no one realized it. He left everything more and more to the overseer, a man named Bryant. Last winter Bryant sold off the whole crop and then disappeared. Probably he sailed back to England on the trading ship. Grandfather couldn't believe it. After that he was never really well. The other plantation owners were his friends. Nobody ever pressed him, but after he died there just seemed to be debts everywhere, wherever I turned."
"Did you pay them?"
"Yes, every one of them. All the land had to be sold, and the house and the slaves, and all the furniture from England. There wasn't anything left, not even enough for my passage. To pay my way on the ship I had to sell my own Negro girl.”
, Kit then bought a ticket to New England so that she could go and live with her unsuspecting Aunt Rachel’s family.
While Kit lived in Barbados she was treated as a queen of olden times was, with all the fashions and all the pretty trinkets she had ever desired. She considered it the happiest time of her life, but she would argue later that it was not but a false joy, because later on in WBP it says,
“Suddenly she was trembling. She snatched at the dream that had comforted her for so long. It was faded and thin, like a letter too often read. She tried to remember how it had felt to stand on the deck of the Dolphin...