1800-1859 | Executions | Jamaica | Slavery

Slaves in Jamaica refuse to work for their British slave masters

27 December 1831 On 27 December 1831, a widespread slave strike occurred in Jamaica, then an integral part of the British Empire. A severe drought during the summer had brought increased hardship for the slave population, which was compounded by the ruthlessness of the plantation owners, who insisted on their legal right to flog both…

1860-1899 | Burning villages | Executions | Flogging | Jamaica

Paul Bogle hung for demanding justice for black Jamaicans

24 October 1865 Today in 1865, Paul Bogle, a Baptist deacon and the leader of a workers revolt in Jamaica known as the Morant Bay Rebellion, was hung by the British. He had demanded justice, equal voting rights and fair treatment for the island’s black population. Bogle’s last words were addressed to the governor Edward…

1500-1799 | Executions | Gibbeting | Jamaica | Slavery

Report from Jamaica – Gibbeted slaves survive four to eight days

18 June 1760 A letter, dated the 18 June 1760, from the British Caribbean territory of Jamaica and subsequently published in newspapers across England, Scotland and Ireland, described, with a grudging respect, the resilience of slaves who ‘are gibbeted alive in terrorem (and)  commonly live from four to eight days, which under the intense heat…

1500-1799 | Jamaica | Slavery | Torture

Slave overseer’s diary notes on a summer of depraved torture

26 May 1756 On 26 May 1756 in Jamaica, plantation overseer Thomas Thistlewood, who was unusual in keeping meticulous notes on the punishments he meted out to the slaves under his care, noted in his diary the depraved punishment given to a hungry slave, Derby, who was seen eating sugar cane.  Thistlewood ordered that he…

1500-1799 | Flogging | Jamaica | Slavery | Torture

Plantation overseer invents revolting punishment for a slave

28 January 1756 We catch a shocking glimpse of some of the sadistic punishments inflicted on slaves through the journals of Thomas Thistlewood, a plantation overseer in the British colony of Jamaica. He held those slaves under his charge in utter contempt. He not only used many of the women for his own sexual gratification…

1860-1899 | Jamaica | Media propaganda | Racism

16 NOVEMBER

THE MORNING HERALD ON THE TREACHERY, CRUELTY AND INGRATITUDE OF JAMAICANS [ 16 November 1865 ] On this day in November 1865, following two days of popular protests and rioting by black Jamaicans the previous month, the Morning Herald warned that ‘we must never cease to mount guard over a stranger race which experience demonstrates is…

1860-1899 | Executions | Jamaica

18 OCTOBER

BRITISH TROOPS BURN DOWN BEIJING’S SUMMER PALACE [ 18 October 1860 ] On 18 October 1860, British troops, who had fought their way into the outskirts of Beijing ten days earlier, set fire to one of the world’s greatest collections of art work and treasure, the legendary Summer Palace, also known as the Garden of…

1860-1899 | Executions | Flogging | Jamaica

17 OCTOBER

THE ROYAL NAVY PUNISHES THE AMERICAN TOWN OF FALMOUTH [ 17 October 1775 ] On 6 October 1775, a squadron of Royal Naval ships, commanded by Captain Henry Mowat, sailed from Boston. Vice Admiral Samuel Graves ordered Mowat to discipline coastal towns deemed sympathetic to the American Revolutionary cause, which earlier that year had erupted…