While late 18th and early 19th century British literature for children regaled readers with tales of wild savages of the Pacific islands,2 the inhabitants of the Atlantic islands received a far different description. As the people providing manual labor for the farms of their British colonizers, the non-European Caribbean subjects-predominantly kidnapped West Africans-were a curious mix of wildness and domesticity. Thus, Amelia Opie could write in her “Black Man’s Lament; or, How to Make Sugar” (1826) that the West Indian subject is both passive and dangerous at the same time. While fearful enough to stay enslaved: “Poor Negroes hold a hoe in hand,/ But they [the British] the wicked cart-whip bear”3 (italics in original), the West Indian might break out at anytime: “when with sense of injury prest, I burn with rage!” (“Lament,” 177; spelling in original). A wide range of authors wrote about the image of the West Indian subject in similarly indefinite ways. Through the dual nature of their definition of West Indians, their inability to present West Indians as truly human, and their insistent mediation between child reader and West Indian subject, British authors for children prepared their readers for the potential dangers, and perhaps the impossibility, of controlling the British Empire.