Coordinates: The 1733 slave insurrection on St. John in the Danish West Indies (now St. John, United States Virgin Islands) started on November 23, 1733, when 150 African slaves from Akwamu (present-day Ghana) revolted against the owners and managers of the island's plantations. Lasting several months into August 1734, the slave rebellion was one of the earliest and longest slave revolts in the Americas. The Akwamu slaves captured the fort in Coral Bay and took control of most of the island. They intended to resume crop production under their own control and use Africans of other tribes as slave labor.
Planters regained control by the end of May 1734, after the Akwamu were defeated by several hundred better-armed French and Swiss troops sent in April from Martinique, a French colony. Colony militia continued to hunt down maroons and finally declared the rebellion at an end in late August 1734.
|North American slave revolts|
When the Spanish first occupied the West Indies, they used the indigenous people as slave labor but most died as a result of infectious disease, overwork, and war. In the late 17th century, the British, French and Dutch competed for the island after settling it together for a period. The British won out before the Danes claimed Saint John in 1718, but numerous Dutch planters stayed on the island. While some plantations had been started, there was not an adequate supply of laborers among the settlers. Young Danish people could not be persuaded to emigrate to the West Indies in great enough number to provide a reliable source of labor. Attempts to use indentured servants from Danish prisons as plantation workers were not successful. Failure to procure plantation labor from other sources made importing slaves from Africa the main supply of labor on the Danish West Indies islands. Danish ships carried about 85,000 African slaves to the New World from 1660 to 1806.
The Danes embarked in the African slave trade in 1657. By the beginning of the 18th century, the Danish West India and Guinea Company had consolidated their slave operation to the vicinity of Accra (now in Ghana) on the Guinea coast. The Akwamu had conquered the Accra and established dominance on trading routes into the interior. They became the dominant tribe of Akan people in the district of Accra and were known for being "heavy-handed in dealing with the tribes they had conquered," taking captives and selling them as slaves, and keeping numerous women as concubines in various villages. After the Akwamu king died, rival tribes in the area attacked the weakened Akwamu nation, and by 1730 they defeated the people. In retaliation for years of oppression, their enemies sold many Akwamu people into slavery to the Danes; they were transported to plantations in the West Indies, including estates on St. John.
At the time of the 1733 slave rebellion on St. John, hundreds of Akwamu people were among the slave population on St. John. Approximately 150 Akwamu were involved in the insurrection; other African ethnic groups did not support it, and some were loyal to planters.
In 1718 the Danish claimed the island of St. John to develop sugar plantations and crops such as indigo and cotton; there was especially great demand for sugar and prices were high in Europe. Dutch planters were still important on the island. By mid-1733, planters had developed 109 plantations, and slaveholders owned more than 1,000 African slaves on St. John. One-fifth of the plantations were then devoted to sugar; by the end of the century, most would be, and the total slave population would be 2500. In 1733 the population of African slaves on St. John was more than five times as large as that of the European inhabitants: 1087 slaves and 206 whites. Many of St. John's plantations were owned by people residing on St. Thomas. These absentee landowners hired overseers to manage their lands and slaves on St. John. Under these conditions, overseer cruelty flourished. The Danish West India Company provided only six soldiers for the defense of St. John, which supplemented the local white militia.
In 1733, in response to harsh living conditions from drought, a severe hurricane, and crop failure from insect infestation, many slaves in the West Indies, including on St. John, left their plantations to maroon, hiding in the woods. In October 1733, slaves from the Suhm estate on the eastern part of St. John, and from the Company estate and other plantations around the Coral Bay area absconded. The colonial legislature passed the Slave Code of 1733 to try to enforce obedience from slaves. Penalties for disobedience were severe public punishment, including whipping, amputation of limbs, or death by hanging. A large section of the code was intended to prevent slaves from escaping and stop them from conspiring to set up independent communities.
In their homeland many of the Akwamu had been nobles, wealthy merchants or other powerful members of their society. These high ranking Akwamu developed plans to instigate an insurrection, take control of St. John and rule it. They planned to continue the production of sugar and other crops by using Africans of other tribes as slave laborers. An Akwamu chief, King June, a field slave and foreman on the Sødtmann estate, led the rebellion. Other leaders were Kanta, King Bolombo, Prince Aquashie, and Breffu. According to a report by French planter Pierre Pannet, the rebel leaders met regularly at night for some time to develop the plan.
The 1733 slave insurrection started with open acts of rebellion by slaves on November 23, 1733, at the Coral Bay plantation owned by Magistrate Johannes Sødtmann. An hour later, other slaves were admitted into the fort at Coral Bay to deliver wood, a regular event. They had hidden knives in the lots, which they used to kill most of the soldiers at the fort. Soldier John Gabriel escaped to St. Thomas and alerted Danish officials to the revolt. A group of rebels under the leadership of King June stayed at the fort to maintain control; another group took control of the estates in the Coral Bay area after hearing the signal shots from the fort's cannon. The slaves killed many of the whites on these plantations. The rebel slaves moved along to the north shore of the island. In each area, they avoided widespread destruction of property since they intended to take over the estates and resume crop production for their own benefit.
After gaining control of the Suhm, Sødtmann, and Company estates, the rebels spread out over the rest of the island. The Akwamu attacked the Cinnamon Bay Plantation located on the central north shore. Landowners John and Lieven Jansen and a group of loyal slaves resisted the attack, holding off the advancing rebels with gunfire. The Jansens were able to retreat to their waiting boat and escape to Durloe's Plantation. The loyal Jansen slaves also escaped. The rebels looted the Jansen plantation and moved on to confront whites taking refuge at Durloe's plantation. Defenders repelled the slaves' attack at Durloe's, and many planters and their families escaped to St. Thomas, an estimated 5–9 miles (8.0–14.5 km) by sea.
Danish officials appealed for help to French colonists at Martinique, located 324 miles (521 km) away. Two French ships arrived from there at St. John on April 23, 1734, carrying several hundred French and Swiss troops to try to take control from the rebels. With their firepower and troops, by mid-May they had restored planters' rule of the island. The French ships returned to Martinique on June 1, leaving the local militia to track down the remaining rebels, which they did over the next three months.
The slave insurrection was considered ended on August 25, 1734 when Sergeant Øttingen captured the remaining maroon rebels. The loss of life and property from the insurrection caused many St. John landowners to move to St. Croix, a nearby island bought by the Danish from the French in 1733. Four ships carried planters and their families from Charlotte Amalie in August. While they found St. Croix to be a richer land, they had to have their slaves clear jungle before being able to live there readily.
Franz Claasen, a loyal slave of the van Stell family, was deeded the Mary Point Estate for alerting the family to the rebellion and assisting in their escape to St. Thomas. Franz Claasen's land deed was recorded August 20, 1738, by Jacob van Stell, making Claasen the first 'Free Colored' landowner on St. John.
Denmark ended the African slave trade in the Danish West Indies on January 1, 1803, but slavery continued on the islands. When the British emancipated their slaves in the British West Indies in 1838, slaves on St. John began escaping to nearby Tortola and other British islands. On May 24, 1840, eleven slaves from St. John stole a boat and escaped to Tortola during the night. The eight men (Charles Bryan, James Jacob, Adam [alias Cato], Big David, Henry Law, Paulus, John Curay), and three women (Kitty, Polly, and Katurah) were from the Annaberg plantation and ten Leinster Bay estates. Brother Schmitz, the local Moravian missionary, was sent to Tortola by the St. John police to persuade the slaves to return. After meeting with the Tortola officials and the runaway slaves, Schmitz returned to St. John to relay the slaves' resolve to stay away because of abusive treatment by the overseers on the plantations. After planters replaced those overseers, Charles Bryan, his wife Katurah, and James Jacobs returned to work at Leinster Bay. Kitty, Paulus, David, and Adam moved to St. Thomas. Henry Law, Petrus, and Polly stayed on Tortola. John Curry relocated to Trinidad. None of the runaway slaves were punished.
Slaves and free blacks petitioned the colonial government and Denmark to abolish slavery. On July 3, 1848, 114 years after the slave insurrection, enslaved Afro-Caribbeans of St. Croix held a non-violent, mass demonstration seeking abolition of slavery. The Governor-General Peter von Scholten declared emancipation throughout the Danish West Indies.
was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar, the 1733rd year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 733rd year of the 2nd millennium, the 33rd year of the 18th century, and the 4th year of the 1730s decade. As of the start of 1733, the Gregorian calendar was
11 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.Alkayida
Alkayida (also spelt Ashanti Twi: Alkaida), also known as Akayida, is a Ghanaian dance with an emphasis on side to side moves, incorporating upper and body gestures, and encouraging group routines as well as individual competition. Alkayida dance is intensively relaxed, intensively free-form, intensively involves footwork, and incorporates vast arrays of hip-life dance moves. It involves the swaying of the body along with hand and shoulder movements in a certain pattern. According to hiplife artist Guru who had a key role in popularizing the dance, the name of the dance should be written "Akayida"Asante dialect
Ashanti, Asante, or Asante Twi, is spoken by over 2.8 million Ashanti people. Ashanti (or Ashanti Twi) is one of three literary dialects of the Akan language of West Africa, and the prestige dialect of that language. It is spoken in and around Kumasi, the capital of the Ashanti Region of Ghana.
The two dialects of Akuapem and Asante are known as Twi and are in many ways mutually intelligible. There are about 9 million Twi speakers, mainly in Ashanti. Akuapem Twi was the first dialect to be used for Bible translation, and became the prestige dialect as a result.In Ethnologue and ISO 639-3, Asante is analysed as a dialect of Twi. Twi in its turn is a language belonging to the macrolanguage of Akan. In Glottolog, Asante is found as a sub-dialect of Twi, which is in turn classified as a dialect of the Akan language.Asase Ya
Asase Ya (or Asase Yaa, Asaase Yaa, Asaase Afua; is the Earth goddess of fertility of the Ashanti people ethnic group of Ashanti City-State of Ghana. She is also known as Mother Earth or Aberewaa.Asase Yaa is the wife of Nyame the Sky deity, who created the universe. Asase Yaa gave birth to the two children, Bea and Tano. Bea is also named Bia.Asase Yaa is also the mother of Anansi, the trickster, and divine stepmother of the sacred high chiefs.Asase Yaa is very powerful, though no temples are dedicated to her, instead she is worshipped in the agricultural fields of Ashanti City-State.Asase Yaa's favoured Ashanti people are occupationally Ashanti workers in the agricultural fields and planet Jupiter is her symbol.Ashanti Protectorate
Ashanti Protectorate was established 1902 from the Ashanti Confederacy now Ashanti Region. Ghana was formed on March 6, 1957 by the uniting of Ashanti Protectorate, Northern Territories, Gold Coast Crown Colony, and British Mandate of Togoland.Breffu
Breffu was an Akwamu leader of the 1733 slave insurrection on St. John (then known as St. Jan) in Danish West Indies. She committed suicide with 23 other rebels to evade capture as the rebellion weakened in 1734.Emblem of His Majesty the King of Ashanti
The Emblem of His Majesty the King of the Ashanti (or National Emblem of Ashanti) is the national emblem of the Ashanti nation, adopted by the Ashanti King Asantehene Osei Tutu I in 1701, and depicts a Porcupine, which has been the Ashanti national animal since the early-eighteenth century AD.Flag of Ashanti
The National Flag of Ashanti is the national flag of the Ashanti kingdom nation, adopted by Ashanti kingdom nation's Emperor Asantehene Prempeh II in 1935, and is based on the Ashanti absolute monarchy throne the Golden Stool, which has been the Ashanti people's symbol of unity and sunsum (soul) since 1701 the early-eighteenth century AD upon the foundation of the Ashanti Empire.Fontomfrom
Fontomfrom is an Ashanti type of hourglass-shaped drum mostly used by an ensemble of Ashanti people to communicate Ashanti monarchy royal messages in an Ashanti people ethnic group setting. The Fontomfrom ensemble provides music for ceremonies honoring Ashanti chiefs and Ashanti monarchy royal processions. The Fontomfrom is also used to recite proverbs or replicate patterns of speech at most Ashanti monarchy royal gatherings or an Ashanti monarchy royal durbar.GN Bank
GN Bank is an indigenous private Ghanaian owned commercial bank in Ghana. GN Bank is one of the private commercial banks licensed to operate in Ghana. GN Bank has over 260 locations across the 10 regions of Ghana.Golden Stool
The Golden Stool (Ashanti-Twi: Sika dwa; full title, Sika Dwa Kofi "the Golden Stool born on a Friday") is the royal and divine throne of the Ashanti people and the ultimate symbol of power in Asante. According to legend, Okomfo Anokye, High Priest and one of the two chief founders of the Asante Confederacy, caused the stool to descend from the sky and land on the lap of the first Asante king, Osei Tutu. Such seats were traditionally symbolic of a chieftain's leadership, but the Golden Stool is believed to house the spirit of the Asante nation—living, dead and yet to be born.List of hospitals in the Ashanti Region
This is a list of hospitals and health care institutions in the Ashanti Region of Ghana.List of senior high schools in the Ashanti Region
There are more than 80 Senior Secondary schools in Ashanti. Some are;Mary Point Estate
Mary Point Estate is a historic property located on the north coast of Saint John, United States Virgin Islands on Mary's Point. The plantation was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places on May 22, 1978.My Name Is Not Angelica
My Name is Not Angelica is a 1989 young adult novel by Scott O’Dell. This historical fiction takes place during the 1733 slave insurrection on St. John Island, then a colony of Denmark.Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II
Osei Tutu II (born 6 May 1950) is the 16th Asantehene, traditional ruler of the Kingdom of Ashanti in Ghana since 26 April 1999. By name, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is in direct succession to the founder of the Empire of Ashanti, Otumfuo Osei Tutu I.Oware
Oware is an abstract strategy game among the Mancala family of board games (pit and pebble games) played worldwide with slight variations as to the layout of the game, number of players and strategy of play. Its origin is uncertain but it is widely believed to be of Ashanti origin.Played in the Ashanti Region and throughout the Caribbean, Oware and its variants have many names - Ayò, Ayoayo (Yoruba), Awalé (Ivory Coast, Benin), Wari (Mali), Ouri, Ouril or Uril (Cape Verde), Warri (Caribbean), Wali (Dagbani), Adji (Ewe), Nchọ/Ókwè (Igbo), ise (Edo), Awale in (Ga) meaning Spoons in English according to the Ga name for the game, and Endodoi (Maasai). A common name in English is Awari but one of the earliest Western scholars to study the game, Robert Sutherland Rattray, used the name Wari.Tacky's War
Tacky's War, or Tacky's Rebellion, was an uprising of Akan (then referred to as Coromantee) slaves that occurred in Jamaica from May to July 1760. It was the most significant slave rebellion in the Caribbean between the 1733 slave insurrection on St. John and the 1791 Haitian Revolution. According to Professor Trevor Burnard: "In terms of its shock to the imperial system, only the American Revolution surpassed Tacky's War in the eighteenth century."Yen Ara Asaase Ni
"Yɛn Ara Asaase Ni" (English: "This Is Our Own Native Land") is the unofficial national anthem of the Ashanti region in what is now the country of Ghana. It was originally written and composed by Ephraim Amu in 1929, and is sung in the Ashanti language.