|This extract comes from an extraordinary document, the handwritten
account (held by The National Archives) of an unnamed Englishman who
lived mainly in the Caribbean for 20 years, from 1768. The manuscript
is dedicated to William Wilberforce, in recognition of the 'inestimable
benefits' of his efforts to abolish the slave trade, and was
therefore probably written some time after 1807.
The document gives a detailed account of the anonymous author's experiences.
The extract shown here - which relates how a slave leader Cudjoe threatened
an estate overseer - describes the reality of slave resistance in
Tobago, which Britain acquired in 1763.
The events recalled in the manuscript are not dated, but we know from
other sources that this was a period of frequent revolts by the enslaved
in Tobago. The largest uprising was in 1774, when the planters responded
by burning slaves alive or cutting off their arms.
FO 705/108, pp. 53-54 (1770s?)