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23 MAY

BAPTIST DEACON SAMUEL SHARPE HUNG FOR LEADING JAMAICAN SLAVE STRIKE

23 May 1832 – The Jamaican Baptist deacon Samuel Sharpe was hung by the British for leading a slave strike. He was the last of 326 slaves to be executed for the dangerous precedent of refusing to follow orders by not returning to work after their Christmas two day leave.

A Jamaican resident who was held captive by the slaves later reported that Sharpe

“said that he did not wish to take away the life of any person who did not stand between him and his rights; that it was but lately that he had begun to know much of religion but that he knew and I knew as well, that freedom was their right, and freedom they would have…. (and) he said a great deal more, all tending to show that from the religious notions he had imbibed, he conceived that the slaves had a right to be free.”(1)

For more on the Jamaican Slave Revolt see 27 December.

 

Footnotes

1.) The Brighton Gazette, 1 March 1832, p4.

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