Rebels Could Expect to Die


At Christmas 1831, over 20,000 enslaved people rose up in revolt in Jamaica. This order from the British military commander threatens slaves who did not surrender with capture and execution. This promise was fulfilled: more than 500 met their death during or after the rebellion (there were 14 White deaths).The document indicates that rumours of emancipation helped to inspire the rising. The spread of Christianity among the enslaved also played a part. The Black Baptist preacher Sam Sharpe was one of the leaders of the rebellion, and met his death as a result.

CO 137/181 (2 Jan 1832)

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