The Role of the Maroons in the 1865 Morant Bay Freedom War

In: International Journal of Public Theology

Abstract

This article considers the role of the Maroons in Jamaican history. Mindful that, today, Jamaica still experiences tension between the descendants of the Maroons and of Paul Bogle, this article examines the historical roots of this tension and suggests that there is scope for healing across both parties. Regardless of the present-day implications of these historical debates, however, the article is essentially an historical investigation that seeks to uncover what actually happened and what were the dominant motivations of the key players.

  • 2)

    Thomas Harvey and William Brewin, Jamaica in 1866 (London: A. W. Bennett, 1867), p. 22.

  • 4)

    Gad Heuman, The Killing Time: The Morant Bay Rebellion in Jamaica (London: Macmillan, 1989), p. xix.

  • 5)

    See Bernard Semmel, ‘The Issue of ‘Race’ in the British Reaction to the Morant Bay Uprising of 1865’, Caribbean Studies, 2:3 (1962), 3–15 at 4.

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  • 9)

    Harvey and Brewin, Jamaica in 1866, pp. 22–3.

  • 10)

    Author unknown, ‘The Baptists in Jamaica’, The Baptist Magazine (1865), 784.

  • 11)

    Henry Bleby, The Reign of Terror: A Narrative of Facts Concerning Ex-Governor Eyre, George William Gordon, and the Jamaica Atrocities (London: W. Nichols, 1868), p. 37.

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  • 12)

    E. B. Underhill, The Tragedy of Morant Bay: A Narrative of the Disturbances in the Island of Jamaica in 1865 (London: Alexander and Shepheard, 1895), p. 135.

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  • 15)

    T. C. Holt, The Problem of Freedom: Race, Labour and Politics in Jamaica and Britain, 1832–1938 (Baltimore: Hopkins University Press, 1992), pp. 296–7.

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  • 16)

    Devon Dick, The Cross and the Machete: Native Baptists of Jamaica—Identity, Mission and Legacy (Kingston, Jamaica: Randle, 2009), pp. 173–84.

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  • 17)

    Ibid., p. 200.

  • 18)

    See Kenneth M. Bilby, True-Born Maroons (Kingston, Jamaica: Randle, 2006), p. 463.

  • 19)

    Carey, The Maroon Story, pp. 575 and 610.

  • 20)

    Joy Lumsden, ‘A Brave and Noble People’, p. 486.

  • 22)

    Alvin O. Thompson, Flight to Freedom: African Runaways and Maroons in the Americas (Kingston, Jamaica: University of West Indies Press, 2006), p. 303.

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  • 23)

    Ibid., p. 296.

  • 24)

    Ibid., pp. 295–7.

  • 26)

    Ibid., p. 26.

  • 27)

    Ibid., p. 47.

  • 28)

    Thompson, Flight to Freedom, p. 307.

  • 29)

    Douglas Hall, In Miserable Slavery: Thomas Thistlewood in Jamaica, 1750–86 (London: Macmillan, 1989), p. 93.

  • 30)

    Thompson, Flight to Freedom, p. 308.

  • 31)

    William Burdett, The Life and Exploits of Three-Finger’d Jack, the Terror of Jamaica (Sommers Town: A. Neil, 1802), pp. 7 and 31.

  • 32)

    Thompson, Flight to Freedom, p. 308.

  • 33)

    Robert Gordon, The Jamaica Church: Why it has Failed (London: publisher not stated, 1867), pp. 12–13.

  • 34)

    Carey, The Maroon Story, p. 571.

  • 36)

    Gardner, A History of Jamaica, p. 477 and Underhill, The Tragedy of Morant Bay, p. 135.

  • 37)

    See Dick, The Cross and the Machete, pp. 194–201.

  • 39)

    Samuel Copland, Black and White: Or, The Jamaica Question (London: William Freeman, 1866), p. 62.

  • 40)

    Bilby, True-Born Maroons, p. 291.

  • 42)

    Copland, Black and White, p. 61.

  • 44)

    Bilby, True-Born Maroons, p. 27.

  • 46)

    Thompson, Flight to Freedom, p. 324.

  • 47)

    Campbell, The Maroons of Jamaica, pp. 129 and 131.

  • 48)

    Patterson, Slavery and Slave Revolts, p. 273.

  • 50)

    Ibid., p. 200.

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