In Journal of a West India Proprietor, Matthew Lewis records his experiences in Jamaica, which he visited after inheriting two sugar plantations from his father. During his visits, he establishes “a new code of laws” that, despite ameliorating the conditions of his slaves, upholds the institution of slavery. In order to convince his readers of the legitimacy of his new regulations, Lewis writes a stilted narrative that endeavors to maintain an appearance of social order. I, however, argue that this semblance of order disintegrates in the account of his sea voyages, which comprise a significant portion of the journal. When we consider that the ocean was figured as a volatile and lawless space in Britain`s geographical imagination during this period, this is no great surprise. Yet I suggest it is such attributes that also enable Lewis to explore issues he is hesitant to discuss in Jamaica. In addition to allowing the rebellious slaves, whom he silences in the island section of the text, to speak more freely, he examines the immorality of institutionalized slavery during his transoceanic voyages, thereby making the sea a site of political freedom. The boundaries Lewis strives (with limited success) to establish between land and the sea, however, collapse after he visits Hordley, resulting in a resounding silence during his final voyage to England.