Larry Gragg challenges the prevailing view of the seventeenth-century English planters of Barbados as architects of a social disaster. Most historians have described them as profligate and immoral, as grasping capitalists who exploited their servants and slaves in a quest for quick riches in the cultivation of sugar. Yet, they were more than rapacious entrepreneurs. Like English emigrants to other regions in the empire, sugar planters transplanted many familiar governmental and legal institutions, eagerly started families, abided traditional views about the social order, and resisted compromises in their diet, apparel, and housing, despite their tropical setting. Seldom becoming absentee planters, these Englishmen developed an extraordinary attraction to Barbados, where they saw themselves, as one group of planters explained in a petition, as 'being Englishmen transplanted'.