In the eighteenth-century, Jamaica became the wealthiest and the largest slaveholding colony in the British Empire. Local adaptations to British property laws were crucial to this development. Colonists treated enslaved people as movable goods in their inheritance bequests. Buttressed by Jamaican law, this island practice was especially significant for female heirs. Women, who were the customary recipients of personal property, regularly received captive Africans. Handled as fungible, flexible and expensive assets, enslaved people commanded far more value than the movable goods such as livestock, furniture and clothing that women typically inherited. Consequently, free and freed women of European, Euro-African and African descent became critical investors in Jamaica’s slavery regime. Female slaveholders capitalised on their newfound wealth to purchase more captives, thereby bolstering the Atlantic slave trade. Pervasive slaveholding among the island’s female inhabitants altered the relationship between gender and property that underwrote masculine power. Determined to protect their newfound wealth, islanders used a host of legal strategies to preserve married women’s property claims, especially to enslaved people. Women slaveholders preferred to bequeath their captives to other women. These colonial customs enabled families to preserve slavery from one generation to the next along female lines.