The African slaves in greatest demand came from the Gold Coast. There the warlike Ashanti Negroes in the eighteenth century conquered neighboring tribes; thousands of prisoners of war were sold by that tribe to native traders at the great slave market at Mansu. Gold Coast Negroes were Coromantines, or Koromantyns, or Koromantees. They were distinguished above all other slaves by their superior physique, courage, firmness, and impatience of control. Mutinies in the “crossing” and rebellions in the West Indies, particularly in Jamaica, were often started by Coromantines. So menacing were they at one period in Jamaica that the legislature considered laying an extra duty on the importation of “Fantin, Akin, and Ashanti Negroes, and all others commonly called Koromantees.” But in view of that great superiority, the bill was successfully opposed. 15 Bryan Edward’s commentary on the Coromantines is a significant tribute to them: “Even the children brought from the Gold Coast manifest an evident superiority, both in hardiness of frame and vigour of mind, over all the young people of the same age that are imported from other parts of Africa. The like firmness and intrepidity which are distinguishable in adults of this nation, are visible in their boys at an age which might be thought too tender to receive any lasting impression, either from precept or example.
There were 24 Major Slave Revolts in North America
1649- The slave revolt in Barbados of 1649 was an amateur attempt at freedom. This included two plantations, and the trigger was insufficient food. It was quickly subdued with not much damage.
1673- The Tacky revolt in Jamaica was led by people from the Gold Coast (modern-day Ghana) – Akan, Ashanti and Coromanti – who were often at the forefront of slave revolts in Jamaica during the 17th and 18th centuries. About 300 of them revolted in the parish of St Ann in 1673. In the parish of Clarendon 17 years later, 400 Coromanti burned down Sutton’s estate and fled to the hills. In 1745, Akan-born slaves revolted in the south-eastern parish of St Thomas. (Victorious)
1675- On November 24, 1675, the House of Assembly (Barb. Ass. 1675) decided to consider the manumission of Fortuna as a reward for “her eminent service to the good of this country in discovering the intended plotted rebellion of the Negroes.” The “plotted rebellion” that she had brought to the attention of her master involved only African-born male plantation slaves and not Creoles (Atkins 1675; Gr. Newes 1676: 9-11; Cont. of State 1676: 19; Godwyn 1680: 130-131). It apparently had been “hatched by the Cormantee or Gold-Coast Negro’s” who, as Governor Atkins (1675) reported, “are much the greater number [in Barbados] from any one country, and are a warlike and robust people.” Although “Cormantee” Africans were a majority of those implicated and most, if not all, of them were probably Akan speakers — a prominent group in Caribbean slave rebellions from the 17th through the 19th centuries (Schuler 1970a) — while other African-born slaves appear to have been involved as well.
The revolt had been planned for “about three years” and was “cunningly and clandestinely carried, and kept secret, even from the knowledge of their own wife” (Gr. Newes 1676: 9). Slaves from several plantations were involved, although Governor Atkin’s (1675) report that the plot “had spread over most of the plantations” may have been exaggerated to impress the English government with the potential danger of what was felt to be the weakened state of the island’s militia (cf. Gr. Newes 1676: 10—11; Cont. of State 1676: 19). “In the dead time of the night,” the plan called for trumpets…of elephants teeth and gourdes to be sounded on several hills, to give notice of their general rising.” With this signal, which was to be given simultaneously in different locales, the cane fields were to be burned, and the insurrectionists on each plantation were to attack their masters, “cut their throats,” and ultimately kill all of the island’s whites “within a fortnight” (Gr.News 1676: 9-11; Cont. of State 1676: 19).
1678- Opposition faction rejects treaty signed by Brazilian maroon king Ganga Zumba.
1690- There are several rebellions in the 1700s attributed to Coromantees. According to Edward Long, the first rebellion occurred in 1690 when three or four hundred slaves in Clarendon Parish who, after killing a white owner, seized firearms and provisions and killed an overseer at the neighboring plantation. A militia was formed which eventually suppressed the rebellion, hanging the leader. Several of the rebels fled and joined the Maroons. Long also describes the incident where a slave-owner was overpowered by a group of Coromantees who after killing him, cut off his head, and turned his skull into a drinking bowl. In 1739, the leader of Coromantee Maroons named, Cudjoe (Kojo) signed a treaty with the British ensuring the Maroons would be left alone provided they did not help other slave rebellions.
1692- The insurrectionists in Barbados aimed not only “to kill the governor and all the planters,” but also “to destroy the government . . . and to set up a new governor and government of their own” (Brief Rel. 1693). More specifically, “they design’d to have taken up the surnames and offices of the principal planters and men in the island, to have enslaved all the black men and women to them, and to have taken the white women for their wives . . . no imported Negro was to have been admitted to partake of the freedom they intended to gain, till he had been made free by them, who should have been their masters. The old women (both black and white) were to have been their cooks, and servants in other capacities. And they had chosen a governor among themselves.
- 1733 St. John Slave Revolt
(Danish Saint John, Suppressed)
- 1739 Stono Rebellion
(British Province of South Carolina, Suppressed)
- 1741 New York Conspiracy
(Province of New York, Suppressed)
- 1760 Tacky’s War
(British Jamaica, Suppressed)
- 1791 Mina Conspiracy
(Louisiana (New Spain), Suppressed)
- 1795 Pointe Coupée Conspiracy
(Louisiana (New Spain), Suppressed)
- 1791–1804 Haitian Revolution
(French Saint-Domingue, Victorious)
- 1800 Gabriel Prosser
- 1803 Igbo Landing
(St. Simons Island, Georgia, Suppressed)
- 1805 Chatham Manor
- 1815 George Boxley
1816 – Black Seminole rebellion
- 1831 Nat Turner’s rebellion
- 1831–1832 Baptist War
(British Jamaica, Suppressed)
1831- Probably the most significant slave insurrection in the British Virgin Islands occurred in 1831 when a plot was uncovered to kill all of the white males in the Territory and to escape to Haiti (which was at the time the only free black republic in the world) by boat with all of the white females. Although the plot does not appear to have been especially well formulated, it caused widespread panic, and military assistance was drafted in from St. Thomas. A number of the plotters (or accused plotters) were executed.
1832- In Jamaica Samuel Sharpe, an educated slave who was also a Baptist deacon, was the moving spirit behind the attempted general strike that became the Christmas Rebellion. That time of year was less than festive for Jamaica’s enormous slave population, for Saint Nick opened the short window for harvesting the island’s sugar cane. Samuel Sharpe and collaborators had the wit to realize that being depended upon to bring in the cash crop that made life comfortable for their owners put the slaves’ hands upon a potent economic lever. In the last few days of 1831, they pressed it. The “passive resistance” didn’t last long, however and the “strike” transmuted into a rebellion — the cause swiftly taken up by thousands of enslaved Africans around the island who torched crops. Given the small (less than 20) white body count, the “violence” appears to have been directed against the instruments, rather than the perpetrators, of their enslavement. The rebellion was suppressed within days, and over 300 put to death for it (in addition to 200 slave casualties during the pacification itself). Sharpe was the last of those executed. But his revolt is widely thought to have given impetus to the British parliament’s deliberations over the ensuing months that ultimately led to the Slavery Abolition Act (1833). Sharpe, today, is an official national hero of Jamaica. The place in Montego Bay that he hanged is known as Sam Sharpe Square, and his face adorns the currency.
It was the result of an American slave revolt in November 1841 on board the Creole, a ship involved in theUnited States coastwise slave trade. As 128 slaves gained freedom after the rebels ordered the ship sailed to Nassau, it has been termed the “most successful slave revolt in US history”. Two persons died as a result of the revolt, a black slave and a white slave trader.
- 1859 John Brown’s Raid
Incidents of slave revolts, rebellions, resistances and plots, were more numerous in Latin and Central American countries than in the U.S
The conclusion drawn from the Sambo thesis was that Latin Americans manumitted more enslaved Africans than their North American counterpart, and that as a result the slave system was “open” in “that emancipation was within the grasp of the majority of bondsmen.” Whereas, the system in the United States was “close” and there were few opportunities for freedom. Sir Harry Johnston in 1910 originated this notion in The Negro in the New World where he concluded that the slave system of servitude in Spanish America was milder and more benign than the slave system in the United States. Sir Harry Johnston’s thesis was further developed by Frank Tannenbaum, U. B. Phillips, and more recently Stanley Elkins.
Slave revolts were more likely in Latin America because enslaved Africans were not docile, submissive and dehumanized to the point where they failed to rebel against their oppression. He believes that as a result abolition of slavery in Latin America did not require a Civil War as it did in the U.S. But, the fact remains that slavery ended in the US in 1865, and did not end in Cuba until 1886 and in Brazil until 1888 which counters this argument.
Upon arrival in Brazil the various “tribal” groups were not separated as they were in America. More than any single explanation the American policy of selective separation was one of the key reasons why there were fewer slave revolts in the United States.
In other words, the masters in the United States were consciously known to purchase slaves of different nations to forestall rebellion.
1512- In 1512, forty enslaved Africans owned by Christopher Columbus’s son Diego Colon, mounted a rebellion which lasted a few months until the Africans were captured and executed. (Supressed)
1522- One of the most serious slave revolts in Spanish America broke out on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola on December 28, 1522, which is today the Dominican Republic, and led by the Wolof enslaved Africans from Senegal in West Africa. Some forty enslaved Africans, working at the sugar mill on the plantation of the Governor, Admiral Diego Colon (Columbus) Christobal Colon, conspired with other Africans working on nearby plantations. On Christmas night the enslaved Africans attacked, killing at least nine of the whites on nearby plantations. (Victorious)
1525- Santa Marta was the first Colombian town founded by the Spanish. Five years later it was the first town completely destroyed as a result of a slave rebellion. It was rebuilt in 1531, and another slave uprising took place there in 1550. (Victorious)
1527- African and Indian slaves revolted against the Spanish authorities in Puerto Rico, and fought the Spanish authorities. Some Africans escaped and retreated to the mountains, where they resided as maroons with the Taino Indians. (Victorious)
1532- In 1532 the first slave revolt took place in the first slave revolt in Venezuela in the town of Coro. In the town 55 percent of the Coro district were African in origin. (Victorious)
1533- The first recorded slave revolt in Cuba took place at the Jobabo mines. Four enslaved Africans battled a large military force until their death. Four of the of leaders of the rebellion were hung, drawn, and quartered, and their heads were put on stakes.  (Suppressed)
1537- The first slave rebellion occurred in Mexico in 1537. The history of slave revolts in Mexico is tied directly to the rise of silver mines and the cultivation of sugar, which is labor intensive, and increased the demand for enslaved African labor. Mexico City was the focus of the slave revolt, which had the largest concentration of enslaved Africans. In the first slave revolt in Mexico the Africans faced some serious organizational problem in electing a king. The enslaved Africans, acting in conjunction with the Indians of Mexico City and Tlaltelolco, decided to murder all the Spaniards. The rebellion was to begin at midnight on September 24, 1537. However, right before the slave revolt was to take place, one of the Africans revealed the plan to the viceroy. Viceroy Mendoza acted swiftly and ordered the arrest of the king as well as the ringleaders. As a result, the expected revolt never materialized. The Viceroy then enlisted the Indians to track down the other conspirators. Five Africans were captured including one women; they were killed and salted to preserve their bodies, which they prevented to the viceroy. (Surpressed)
1540- On September 1, 1540 Pedro Gilafo was apprehended near the town of Orisco in Coast Rica. He had fled his master and was thought to have been in the company of “war-like Indians” for the previous twenty days. Local officials had him boiled alive. (Supressed)
1545- This period from 1545-48 in Hispaniola (Santo Domingo) is known as the “War of the Negroes.” Bloody battles were fought between Spanish-led forces and cimarones. The most important fugitive, Diego de Campo, had been at large since 1536 and was feared throughout the land. Captured in 1546, he joined the Spaniards and subsequently made short work of the other cimarrones. (Surpressed)
1545-In Columbia in 1545 a group of enslaved Africans escaped from a mine in the present-day department of Popayan. They seized the town of Tofeme, killed twenty whites, and carried off 250 Indian hostages to the mountains. (Surpressed)
1548- Slaves rebelled in the gold mines of Colombia.
1551- In 1551, Viceroy Luis de Velasco had to call out the military to deal with disturbances caused by enslaved Africans. While their masters were at Mass or attending to their business the Negroes went through the pueblos and with their arms killed some Spaniards and wounded some Indians. (Victorious)
1552- Operating from the San Blas Mountains in the isthmus of Panama enslaved Africans attacked Spanish mule trains carrying silver and other goods eastward to Porto Bello. King Bayano, a Muslim Mandinka, who was captured and enslaved in West Africa, led the largest sixteenth-century revolt against the Spanish colonial rule in Panama. He caused problems until he was captured, castrated, and released in 1553. King Bayano was then pardoned, but later continued his rebellious activities. Another group led by Luis de Mozambique and Anton Mandinga, continued to rebel against Spanish authority until Madrid issued a general pardon for Panamanian cimarrones. These rebels and their supporters were settled in two towns, Santiago del Principle (1579) and Santa Cruz de la Real (1582). (Victorious)
1553- In 1553, the first recorded revolt by Africans enslaved by the Spanish colonial authority disrupted a gold rush in Venezuela’s Burla mining region. The uprising was led by Negro Miguel, an African slave who established a maroon colony and who is now recognized as a leader in the historical struggle for racial justice in Venezuela. Following the discovery of gold reserves by Spanish explorer Damián del Barrio on the edges of the Buría River, now in Venezuela’s Yaracuy State, near the city of Nirgua, a gold rush ensued, leading to the founding in 1551 of Real de Minas de San Felipe de Buría, the first miners’ settlement in Venezuela. In its wake, gold miners established the town of El Tocuyo in 1545 as a prospecting center. In 1550, the Spanish crown decided to permit the involuntary transport of the first African slaves to the region to work the mines. By 1552, 80 Africans, including Miguel, his wife, and his children, were forced into slavery in the Real de Minas region. In 1553, Miguel fled the mining operation with his family and other enslaved Africans to the surrounding mountains, from where they planned a nocturnal ambush of colonial guards and miners in Real de Minas.
1582- Cimarrones operating from the San Blas Mountains in the isthmus attacked Spanish mule trains carrying either silver and other goods eastward to Porto Bello, or enslaved Africans and imported wares westward tp Panama City. One group, led by King Ballano, caused serious difficulties until the leader was captured, castrated, and release in 1553. King Ballano then was pardoned, but he later formed another group of raiders that operated successfully until he was recaptured in 1558. Another group was led by Luis de Mozambique and Anton Mandinga, continued to disrupt isthmus traffic until Madrid issued a general pardon for Panamanian cimarrones. These reformed rebels and their supporters were then settled in two towns, Santiago del Principe in 1579 and Santa Cruz de la Real in 1582.
1570- Gaspar Yanga—often simply Yanga or Nyanga [meaning doctor or traditional healer in Bantu languages]—was a leader of a slave rebellion in Mexico during the early period of Spanish colonial rule. Said to be of the Bran people and member of the royal family of Angola or Gabon, Yanga came to be the head of a band of revolting slaves near Veracruz around 1570. Escaping to the difficult terrain of the highlands, he and his people built a small maroon colony, or Palenque. For more than 30 years it grew, partially surviving by capturing caravans bringing goods to Veracruz. However, in 1609 the Spanish colonial government decided to undertake a campaign to regain control of the territory. (Victorious)
Led by the soldier Pedro González de Herrera, the Spanish troops which set out from Puebla in January 1609 numbered around 550, of which perhaps 100 were Spanish regulars and the rest conscripts and adventurers. The maroons facing them were an irregular force of 100 fighters with some type of firearm, and four hundred more with primitive weapons such as stones, machetes, bows and arrows. These maroon troops were led by Francisco de la Matosa, an Angolan. Yanga—who was quite old by this time—decided to employ his troops’ superior knowledge of the terrain to resist the Spaniards, with the goal of causing them enough pain to draw them to the negotiating table.
Upon the approach of the Spanish troops, Yanga sent terms of peace via a captured Spaniard. Essentially, Yanga asked for a treaty akin to those that had settled hostilities between Indians and Spaniards: an area of self-rule, in return for tribute and promises to support the Spanish if they were attacked. In addition, he suggested that this proposed district would return any slaves which might flee to it. This last concession was necessary to soothe the worries of the many slave owners in the region.
The Spaniards refused the terms, and a battle was fought, yielding heavy losses for both sides. The Spaniards advanced into the settlement and burned it. However, the people fled into the surrounding terrain, and the Spaniards could not achieve a conclusive victory. The resulting stalemate lasted years; finally, unable to win definitively, the Spanish agreed to parley. Yanga’s terms were agreed to, with the additional provisos that only Franciscan priests would tend to the people, and that Yanga’s family would be granted the right of rule. In 1618 the treaty was signed and by 1630 the town of San Lorenzo de los Negros de Cerralvo was established. This town, in today’s Veracruz province, remains to this day under the name of Yanga.
1578- In Peru when Francis Drake attacked the city of Lima, the slaves revolted.
1600- Palmares, which eventually became the largest quilombi i.e., community of escaped enslaved Africans founded in Brazil and lasted until 1694.
1612- Thirty-six Africans, including seven women, were publicly hanged in the main plaza of Mexico City for plotting an uprising of enslaved Africans to overthrow Spanish rule in Mexico. (Surpressed)
1608- In 1608, there was an abortive rebellion and military confrontation between the Spaniards and enslaved Africans which occurred in such places as Huascaltepec, Rio Blanco, Alvarado, Zongolica and Cuernavaca. Another revolt in 1608 in Mexico City had been abortive. Some Afro-Mexicans, both free and enslaved, met clandestinely on Christmas Eve in the home of a free mulatto who organized an uprising. About 31 conspirators, 24 males and 7 females, were present. The election of a king and a queen was the first procedural business for the gathering. Martin was crowned king, a slave born in Africa, who belonged to Baltasar Reyes, who just happened to be the wealthiest man in Mexico City. The queen was Melchora, a free black woman. The freedmen involved were shoemakers, servants, butlers, and textile workers. Most of the individuals involved in the plot worked for the viceroy, the archbishop, and the alguacil mayor. (Supressed)
1625- In El Salvador in 1625, there was an attempted slave rebellion which was aborted.
1611- In 1611, a major plan for revolt was caused by the death of a female slave belonging to Luis Moreno de Monroy, of Mexico City. The enslaved Africans in the city charged that her maltreatment caused her death. On the day of her burial, 1500 Afro-Mexicans belonging to the Cofradia de Nuestra Senora took the corpse and marched defiantly through the streets. The crowd carried the body past the royal palace, the Holy Office of the Inquisition, and other public places. Finally, returning the body to the home of Luis Moreno de Monroy, they then issued threats and hurled stones at the building. The leader of the Afro-Mexicans was identified as a ladino slave named Diego, an officer in the aforementioned cofradia. This arrest excited the crowd, who decided to kill the Spaniards and loot their houses. They elected two Angolan slaves, Pablo and his wife Maria, as their king and queen. The rebellion was set for Christmas day, 1611. At that time, four companies of infantry bound for the Philippines arrived in Mexico City, and the conspirators decided to postpone the rebellion, but before the revolt could begin the African elected king (leader) died.
1647- Following an earthquake in Chile, an Afro-Indian rebellion was feared in Santiago, as about 400 Africans united behind one of their number, who claimed to be of African royalty. The Spanish dispersed the Africans and hung their leader.
1695- Slave rebellion and conspiracies in Bahia, Brazil.
1702- Enslaved Africans rebelled against new slave codes in Barbados.
1716- First slave rebellion at Dutch Caribbean colony of Curacao.
1713- In Cuba, enslaved Africans in the copper mines at Jobabo rose up in 1713 and continued to do so sporadically until they were ordered freed in 1798.
1719- Slave conspiracy in Mina Gerais, Brazil.
1726- In Cuba, as an English fleet maneuvered near Havana, enslaved Africans southwest of the city revolted and burned the sugar mills and other buildings owned by the Conde de Casa Bayona. Two companies of mounted militia plus other troops were necessary to subdue the rebels.
1727- A slave revolt took place at the sugar mill Quiebra-Hacha in the West of Havana. Cuba. The uprising took place on the Quiebra-Hacha plantation that was owned by the first Court of Casa Bayona. The Spanish military had to intervene to stop the revolt.
1730- Juan Andresote, a man of mixed African and Indian ancestry, led a revolt against the commercial policies of the Spanish Viceroyalty of New Granada (modern-day Venezuela). He led a rebel coalition consisting of fugitive slaves, free blacks and Indians.
1731- Enslaved Afro-Cubans forced Spanish administrators to work the copper mines of Santiago del Prado, also known as El Cobre on the Island of Cuba before they escaped into the mountains. (Victorious)
1733- 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 African slaves from Akwamu revolted against the owners and managers of the island’s plantations. 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, intending to resume crop production under their own control using other ethnic Africans as slave labor. The revolt ended in mid-1734 when several hundred French and Swiss troops sent from Martinique defeated the Akwamu. In Venezuela in July, a full-scale extermination campaign was executed along the Yaracuy River. Jose Francisco, brother of Andresote, was captured and imprisoned, and Jose Cordero was imprisoned for life. Eight ring leaders (five blacks, one mulatto, and two Indians) were hanged. An unknown number of the fugitive slaves, cimarrones, and free blacks were seized under suspicion and “were killed under the ley de fuga hung or executed by the sword.
1735- In Orizaba and Cordoba, which also lie in the Veracruz region of Mexico, at least five major insurrections were planned and executed among the remaining slave in the eighteenth century.
1736- Antigua, 30 December 1736. Report to Governor Mathew of an enquiry into the Negro conspiracy. The slaves chiefly concerned were those born on the Gold Coast whom we style coromantees, led by Court a slave of Thomas Kerby; and those born in the colonies who we call creoles, led by Tomboy a master carpenter belonging to Thomas Hanson. Court, we are told, was of a considerable family in his own country, brought here at ten years of age, and covertly assumed among his countrymen here the title of king. Both men were well–treated by their masters, Tomboy being allowed to take negro apprentices and make all the profits he could. The other principals were Hercules, Jack, Scipio, Ned, Fortune and Toney, all creoles except Fortune who was either a Creole or brought here as an infant. The most active incendiaries under Court and Tomboy were Secundi and Jacko, both creoles of French parentage and both initiated into the Roman Catholic religion. Their employments were crafts, overseeing and house–service. When and by whom the design was first begun cannot be certainly fixed; probably it was by Court, and we know that it was in agitation about November 1735. The chief measures taken to corrupt our slaves were entertainments of dancing and feasting under color of innocent pretences; those corrupted were bound by oaths. A new government was to be established when the whites were extirpated: Court was flattered by all with being king, but the creoles had privately resolved to settle a commonwealth and make slaves of the coromantees. . . .
The method first proposed for executing the plot was that Tomboy should procure the making of the seats for a great ball to be held on 11 October last, at which all the people of note in the island would be present. He was to contrive laying gunpowder in the house to be fired when the dancing was in progress. Three or four parties of 300–400 slaves were to enter the town and put the whites to the sword; the forts and shipping in the harbor were to be seized. The ball, however, was put off to 30 October, whereupon some conspirators wished to act immediately; but Court persuaded them to defer the action till then. Signs were not wanting of the impending danger, and these led the governor to order an enquiry which led to the discovery of the plot, much owing to the confessions of the various slaves. On the evidence of the facts discovered, the first twelve of the conspirators in the annexed list were executed. Further examination, however, caused us to see that much remained to be done; by various evidences, 35 more enslaved Africans were executed and 42 more, the evidence against them being less full, are recommended for banishment. All those executed or recommended for banishment are known to have taken the oath; this was by drinking a health in liquor with grave dirt and sometimes cock’s blood infused, and sometimes the person swearing laid his hand on a live cock. The general tenor of the oath was to kill the whites. The execution of the first twelve did not break the conspiracy, for at least 50 took the oath on 26 October last after the executions.
1749- In Venezuela Spanish officials discovered a plot involving enslaved Africans in Caracas, other plots on ranches near the city, and fugitive slaves and cimarones living in independent settlements in the mountains. On the feast of St John the Baptist (June 2), the slaves were to rise, murder all the whites, and take over control of the town. Under torture, a slave confessed that another bondman, Manuel Espinoss, was the mastermind behind the rebellion. Several rebels were executed in June 1750, and ten other leaders received heavy lashings, physical mutilations and jail sentences.
1755- In Panama a slave conspiracy was reported by alcalde (chief magistrate) of Porto Bello. Four of the ringleaders were hung, drawn, and quartered.
1756- Slave conspiracy at Minas Gerais, Brazil.
1763- The Berbice Slave Uprising was a slave revolt in Guyana. It began in February 1763 and lasted into 1764. The uprising began on Plantation Magdalene berg on the Canje River in Berbice. The slaves rebelled, protesting harsh and inhumane treatment, and took control of the region. As plantation after plantation fell to the slaves, the European population fled. Eventually only about half of the whites who had lived in the colony remained. Led by Cuffy (known as the national hero of Guyana), the rebels came to number about 3,000 and threatened European control over the Guyanas. The insurgents were defeated with the assistance of troops from neighboring French and British colonies and from Europe.
In 1763-54 in Peru Cimarrones operating in the Carabayllo Valley near Lima made some roads unsafe for public traffic. A large military force lead by Pablo Saenz de Bustamonte, including sixty men from the viceroy’s personal guard, finally crushed the fugitive blacks, executing those considered the most culpable. (Surpressed)
1774- Slave rebellion at French Caribbean colony of Tobago.
1780- Túpac Amaru II was born José Gabriel Condorcanqui in Surimana, Tungasuca, in the province of Cuzco in Peru, and received a Jesuit education at the San Francisco de Borja School, although he maintained a strong identification with the indigenous population. He was a mestizo who claimed to be a direct descendant of the last Inca ruler Túpac Amaru. He had been honored by the Spanish authorities of Peru with the title of Marquis of Oropesa, a position that allowed him some voice and political leverage during Spanish rule. Between 1741 and 1780 Amaru II went into litigation with the Betancur family over the right of succession of the Marquisate of Oropesa and lost the case. In 1760, he married Micaela Bastidas Puyucahua of Afro-Peruvian and indigenous descent. Condorcanqui inherited the caciqueship, or hereditary chiefdom of Tungasuca and Pampamarca from his older brother, governing on behalf of the Spanish governor. Túpac Amaru was executed in Cuzco May 18, 1781 for leading an indigenous uprising in 1780 against the Spanish in Peru. Although unsuccessful, he later became a mythical figure in the Peruvian struggle for independence and indigenous rights movement and an inspiration to a myriad of causes in Peru.
1788- This conspiracy, known in Brazilian history as the Inconfidencia Mineira, took place in Minas Gerais in 1788 to 1789, and involved members of the region’s wealthy and cultured elites, most of them Brazilian-born. It occurred at a time of difficulties in the region’s economy, connected to the decline of its previously opulent gold mining industry, and of resentment toward the Portuguese government for its oppressive system of taxation, especially the onerous tax on gold. However, while the conspiracy began as a protest against the policies of the metropolitan government, it became an anti-colonial movement. Its intellectual authors, many of whom had studied at the Portuguese university of Coimbra or in France, were inspired by the American Revolution and dreamed of following its example by eliminating Portuguese rule, making Minas Gerais independent, and installing therein a republican form of government. Although it was thwarted before being put into operation, the conspiracy is generally considered the first attempt to overthrow the colonial order in Brazil.
1790- Uprisings in the Territory were common, as they were elsewhere in the Caribbean. The first notable uprising in the British Virgin Islands occurred in 1790, and centered on the estates of Isaac Pickering. It was quickly put down, and the ring leaders were executed. The revolt was sparked by the rumor that freedom had been granted to slaves in England, but that the planters were withholding knowledge of it. The same rumor would also later spark subsequent revolts in 1823, 1827 and 1830.
1791- Led by Toussaint L’Ouverture, a self-educated former domestic slave. Like Jean François and Biassou, he initially fought for the Spanish crown in this period. After the British had invaded Saint-Domingue, L’Ouverture decided to fight for the French if they would agree to free all the slaves. Sonthonax had proclaimed an end to slavery on 29 August 1793. L’Ouverture worked with a French general, Étienne Laveaux, to ensure that all slaves would be freed. He brought his forces over to the French side in May 1794 and began to fight for the French Republic. Many enslaved Africans were attracted to Toussaint’s forces. He insisted on discipline and forbade wholesale slaughter.
Under the military leadership of Toussaint, the forces made up mostly of former slaves succeeded in winning concessions from the British and expelling the Spanish forces. In the end, Toussaint essentially restored control of Saint-Dominguez to France. L’Ouverture was very intelligent, organized and well-spoken. Having made himself master of the island, however, Toussaint did not wish to surrender too much power to France. He began to rule the country as an effectively autonomous entity. L’Ouverture overcame a succession of local rivals (including the Commissioner Sonthonax, a French white man who gained support from many Haitians, angering Toussaint; André Rigaud, a free man of color who fought to keep control of the South; and Comte d’Hédouville. Hédouville forced a fatal wedge between Rigaud and Toussaint before he escaped to France.
Toussaint defeated a British expeditionary force in 1798. In addition, he led an invasion of neighboring Santo Domingo (December 1800), and freed the slaves there on January 3, 1801. In 1801, L’Ouverture issued a constitution for Saint-Dominguez which provided for autonomy and decreed that he would be governor-for-life, calling for black autonomy and a sovereign black state. In response, Napoleon Bonaparte dispatched a large expeditionary force of French soldiers and warships to the island, led by Bonaparte’s brother-in-law Charles Le Clerc, to restore French rule. They were under secret instructions to restore slavery, at least in the formerly Spanish-held part of the island. The numerous French soldiers were accompanied by mulatto troops led by Alexandre Pétion and André Rigaud, mulatto leaders who had been defeated by Toussaint three years earlier. During the struggles, some of Toussaint’s closest allies, including Jean-Jacques Dessalines, defected to Le Clerc. L’Ouverture was promised his freedom if he agreed to integrate his remaining troops into the French army. L’Ouverture agreed to this in May 1802. He was later deceived, seized by the French and shipped to France. He died months later in prison at Fort-de-Joux in the Jura region.
Farcel leads slave rebellion in British Dominica.
1793- Slave rebellion in French Caribbean colony of Guadeloupe.
1795- Tula leads slave rebellion in Dutch Caribbean colony of Curacao. Bandabou had between 4,000 and 5,000 inhabitants in 1795, mostly enslaved Africans. Tula had been preparing the insurrection for some weeks. On the morning of August 17, 1795, at the Knip plantation of Caspar Lodewijk van Utrecht at Bandabou, Curaçao, Tula led an uprising of 40 to 50 slaves. The slaves met on the square of the plantation and informed van Utrecht they would no longer work for him. He told them to present their complaints to the lieutenant governor at Fort Amsterdam. They left and went from Knip to Lagun, where they freed 22 enslaved Africans from jail. From Lagun, the rebels went to the sugar plantation of Saint Kruis, where they were joined by more rebels under Bastian Karpata. Tula then led the escaped slaves from farm to farm, freeing more slaves.
The slave owners had now retreated to the city, leaving their plantations unprotected. At the same time, a confederate French slave, Louis Mercier, led another group of freed slaves to Saint Kruis, where he took the commandant, van der Grijp, and ten of his mulattos prisoner. Mercier also attacked Knip, where he freed more slaves and took some weapons. He then rejoined Tula, locating him by following the trail of destruction Tula had left behind. The rebels began a guerrilla campaign, poisoning wells and stealing food. On September 19, Tula and Karpata were betrayed by a slave. They were taken prisoner, and the war was effectively over. (Louis Mercier had already been caught at Knip.) After Tula was captured, he was publicly tortured to death on October 3, 1795, almost seven weeks after the revolt began. Karpata, Louis Mercier and Pedro Wakao were also executed. In addition, many slaves had been massacred in the earlier repression. After the revolt had been crushed the Curaçao government formulated rules that defined the rights of slaves on the island.
At the height of the insurrection, there were probably 1,000 rebels. August 17 is still celebrated in Curaçao to commemorate the beginning of a long fight for freedom. When slavery was finally abolished on the island in 1863, there were fewer than 7,000 slaves. There is a monument to Tula and the rebel slaves on the south coast of Curaçao, near the Holiday Beach Hotel. This is the site where Tula was executed.
1795- On October 15, enslaved Africans in Partido de Aguadilla attempted a revolt. The event was followed by strict measures by the Puerto Rican authorities. In fear of what had happened in Haiti with Toussaint L’Ouverture, Governor Ramon de Castro took preventive measures. Documents held by the Puerto Rican Government indicate that a Haitian agent arrived in Puerto Rico by the name of Chaulette. It was later discovered that Chaulette was part of a widespread slave conspiracy for all the Caribbean where slavery existed. (Suppressed)
On May 10, 12 whites were killed and several haciendas burned to the ground. This caused a large numbers of free blacks, mulattoes, zambos and Indians to join the movement. The surviving whites barricaded themselves in a church, and the zambo forces attacked for two days, failing to capture the city. The militia arrived and put a end to the insurrection. By June 171 persons had been executed, and 20 other blacks and mulattoes, and Indians were also executed.
1795- During Jamaica’s Second Maroon War, Trelawney Maroons were deported to Nova Scotia.
1795- In Argentina enslaved Africans believed that the 1789 Codigo negro had freed them. When in reality it did not reflect the terms of the codigo bondmen in Buenos Aires went on a general strike that was broken up after three days.
1796- In this year, Venezuelan insurrectionary Jose Leonardo Chirino was hanged in Caracas for leading a slave revolt in Spain’s oppressive New World sugar plantations. On May 10, 1795, Chirino – a Zambo of mixed African and Amerindian blood who was himself a free farmer – led an uprising of the Congolese slaves who worked the sugarcane and declared a Republic under the “Law of the French,” with slavery and white privilege abolished. The rebellion’s attempt on Coro itself failed, and it was swiftly put down by the colonial authorities. Though many involved were killed summarily, the Spanish took their time after capturing Chirino in August 1795: only the following year was he transferred to Caracas for execution, after which his body was dismembered and his head set in an iron cage displayed on the road to Coro. For good measure, his family was sold into slavery.
1803- In Uruguay twenty black males, all but a few of them slaves, met secretly and agreed to flee Montevideo. Taking their women children, and possessions, they established an independent settlement on a small island in the River Yi. Attacked by militia forces near the town of Villa de la Concepcion de Minas, the Africans resisted but were all captured and reenslaved.
1804- In Chile enslaved Africans seized a ship (La Prueba) going from Valparaiso to Callao (Peru). They killed 24 of the 36 white passengers and attempted to sail for Africa. On the way they encountered the Perseverance, commanded by a Captain Delano of the United States, who recaptured their vessel. Nine blacks were condemned to death, their heads later being placed on stakes.
1807- Enslaved Africans were planning a revolt that would take place on May 28, during Corpus Christi celebrations. Six days before the revolt would take place they were betrayed by a slave loyal to his master. The master went to the governor who was skeptical about the situation. However, he sent his spies out into the community and he learned that a subversive plan was real and growing stronger as the 28th approached. A day before the rebellion was to take place the governor mounted specific patrols in the city. With its exits and entrances under surveillance, and rural officers on the roads, the house that was the center of the planning was surrounded and searched. After being searched the alleged leaders and captains were taken prisoner. Many weapons were confiscated from the house, such as: four hundred arrows, a bundle of rods to be used as bows, piles of rope, knives, and one shotgun. Rural officers caught three of the ringleaders who had fled earlier that afternoon, and military patrols on rounds caught a few more identified as agents or enticers. The goal of the uprising is believed to have been to capture ships in the harbor and make a massive flight back to Africa.
1812- Jose Antonio was a free Black commander who organized a slave rebellion to overturn slavery in Spanish rule. The 1812 Rebellion was actually a series of rebellions collectively called the Aponte Rebellion. The revolt was one of the largest and important revolts in Cuban history. The revolt erupted at the Penas-Atlas plantation outside of Havana, Cuba. A free black man named Juan Barbier also accompanied Antonio Aponte with the revolts. Juan Barbier was later captured and hung.
In 1812 a conspiracy was discovered in the Puerto Rico capital San Juan Bautista during the Christmas festivities. The rumor was that the Spanish Cortes Extraordinaire slaves to be free. Surrounding areas also heard the same rumor. In Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Santo Domingo enslaved African began to revolt and demanded their freedom until the authorities brought the situations under control.
1814- The rebellion in Brazil overshadowed the previous ones in numbers of participants and violence. Starting on February 28, slave fishermen began to burn down part of the harbor, killing the foreman and most of his family. The rebels proceeded to head to the village of Itapúa. Resistance was met when they were trying to leave to go the next village. Troops from Salvador then encountered a bloody battle with the rebels, which left the rebels with fifty less men. Four of the captured slaves were hanged in public and twelve were deported to Portuguese colonies in Africa.
1816- An African-born enslaved man called Bussa [Akan] led the rebellion on Barbados. Very little is known about him, except that he was a ranger at the Bayley plantation in St. Philip. A ranger was the head officer among the enslaved workers on an estate. He would have to look after boundaries and fences and deal with the day-to-day business arising between the estates. This meant that rangers travelled throughout the area. It is likely that Bussa enjoyed the confidence and respect of both the black community and plantation owners. Bussa planned the uprising with people from the different estates. This included Jackey, the driver at the Simmons estate, King Wiltshire, a carpenter at Bayley’s and Nanny Grigg, a literate domestic at Simmons. The uprising started at Bayley’s estate. It was an attempt by the enslaved people to change the society on Barbados. They believed that Barbados belonged to them and wanted their Freedom from the plantation owners. Bussa commanded about 400 men and women against the troops. These included the West India Regiment, an all-black branch of the British Army. He was killed in battle and his troops continued to fight until they were defeated by superior firepower. One white civilian and one black soldier were killed during the fighting. Compared to this, 50 enslaved people died in battle and 70 were executed in the field. Another 300 were taken to Bridgetown for trial, of which 144 were executed and 132 sent away. In Barbados on the night of Easter Sunday April 14, 1816, a slave revolt erupted that lasted for two days. Prior to the 1816 uprising, the last recorded serious alarm of Barbados’s whites concerning the possibility of an insurrection occurred in late 1701. During the latter half of the 17th century, however, white fears of possible rebellion were common, several serious alarms occurred, and in 1675 and 1692 major insurrectionary plots were discovered before the plans could be realized.
1823- The Demerara rebellion of 1823 was an uprising involving more than 10,000 slaves that took place in the former Crown colony of Demerara-Essequibo (now part of Guyana). The rebellion resulted in the deaths of many slaves; estimates of the toll range from 100 to 250. The rebellion, and especially the death, on death row, of a British parson, had a strong impact on Britain, and on the abolitionists’ movement to emancipate slaves after the slave trade was banned in 1807. After his deportation, Jack Gladstone, leader of one of the slave revolts, helped bring attention to the plight of sugar plantation slaves, accelerating the abolition of slavery. Quamina was declared a national hero, and there are streets and monuments in Guyana dedicated to him in its capital, Georgetown.
1825- In June 1825 the Cuban countryside witnessed a large African-led slave rebellion-a revolt that began a cycle of slave uprisings lasting until the mid-1840s. Unlike previous slave revolts—led by alliances between free people of color and slaves, blacks and mulattoes, Africans and Creoles, and rural and urban populations—only African-born men organized the uprising of 1825. Rebels planned the revolt by using their African languages as a base for organizing Africans on the plantations. The rebels used spears, machetes, and clubs to fight against their enemies. They used tactics familiar in African warfare. The June 1825 revolt was the first African-led rebellion that involved hundred of rebels that came from mixed African ethnic backgrounds. Once the revolt was on the way, some of the leaders dressed themselves in bright and colorful clothing taken from the Whites. The rebels moved from plantation-to-plantation, torching, killing, and beating their drums. From this year onwards, slave uprisings in Cuba underwent a phase of Africanization that concluded only in the mid-1840s with the conspiracy of La Escalera, a large movement organized by free colored men with ample participation of the slave population.
1827- In September of 1827 a slave named Rafael Ganga fought his master with five other slaves. This rebellion became a full blown revolt.
In September of 1832, a group of Lucumis slaves revolted near Havana, Cuba.
1835- The Muslim Slave revolt in 1835 began January 24, 1835 by rebellion organizers, Malês, or Muslim Africans. The revolt took place in the streets of Salvador and lasted for three hours. During that time seventy people were killed and more than five hundred were sentenced to death, imprisoned, whipped or deported. Reis argues that if you bring these numbers into today’s times, with Salvador being 1.5 million, over twelve thousand people would be sentenced to some form of punishment. Within these hearings, Africans spoke out about their rebellion as well as about their cultural, social, religious and domestic lives. The testimonies from court and the oppressors’ descriptions of these Africans that were enslaved brought out “priceless testimonies” of African culture in the Americas.
1843- Slave rebellions in Venezuela and Colombia.
1848- In the British Virgin Islands a major disturbance occurred in the Territory. The causes of the disturbance were several. A revolt of slaves was occurring in St. Croix, which increased the general fervour in the islands, but the free people of Tortola were much more concerned with two other grievances: the appointment of public officials, and the crackdown on smuggling. Although Tortola had sixteen colored public officials, all except one were “foreigners” from outside the Territory. During the period of economic decline, smuggling had been one of the few lucrative sources of employment, and recent laws which imposed stringent financial penalties (with hard labor for non-payment) were unpopular. The anger was directed against the magistrates by the small shop keepers, and they concentrated their attack on the stipendiary magistrate, Isidore Dyett. However, Dyett was popular with the rural population, who respected him for protecting them from unscrupulous planters. The ringleaders of the insurrection had supposed that their attack would lead to a general revolt, but their choice of Dyett as a target robbed them of popular support, and the disturbance eventually fizzled.
St. Croix – Thousands of slaves put their lives on the line 157 years earlier to fight for freedom in a well-planned rebellion that would change the course of history for the Virgin Islands, then known as the Danish West Indies. On July 3, 1848, slaves carefully executed a yearlong plan to demand their freedom on the streets of Frederiksted town – and won. Much of what has been written about Moses “Buddhoe” Gottlieb, the free black who led the 1848 slave rebellion on St. Croix, is shrouded in controversy, but historians agree the Emancipation Proclamation that followed stands as a seminal point in Virgin Islands history. According to historical accounts, the uprising by St. Croix slaves, particularly on the western end of the island, began on the evening of July 2, 1848, with hundreds of slaves assembling outside Fort Frederik, Frederiksted. The slaves declared they would not be working the next day and shouted for their freedom. By the next morning thousands of slaves had gathered. Some 2,000 of them marched into Frederiksted from the northwest and north coast estates, joining others from Ham’s Bluff and other estates along Centerline Road.
According to historical accounts, by 10 a.m. about 8,000 slaves had gathered in front of the fort demanding their freedom. Shortly after 1 p.m. on July 3, a message from the fort commander in Frederiksted reached Gov. Gen. Peter von Scholten. It read: “All the Negroes in this part of the country are in revolt; all over, bells are ringing.” It is not known if the bells and blowing of conch shells signaled for more slaves to gather or if planters were warning others of the uprising. Many West End plantation owners fled their estates for the security of the fort.
During the uprising, there were few reports of violence, thanks to Buddhoe, who stopped the slaves from rioting and kept them focused on obtaining their freedom. Messages were sent from Danish authorities to von Scholten, begging him to come to Frederiksted since it was clear that if the enslaved Africans became hostile, they would burn the town and kill every white person within reach. The enslaved African gave von Scholten a 4 p.m. deadline to liberate them. Realizing that the enslaved Africans were serious and not just venting frustration, he ordered that his horse-driven carriage be made ready and he set sail for Frederiksted. One historical account states that once von Schoolmen arrived in Frederiksted, he immediately went into the fort to be briefed on the events. He looked outside the fort and saw more than 8,000 slaves silently awaiting his decision. Von Schoolmen walked to a commanding post, which is now the clock area, and announced: “Alle unfrie paa de Danske Vestindiske oer ere fra dags dato frigivne” emancipating the slaves.
1853- However, the insurrection of 1853 was a far more serious affair, and would have much graver and more lasting consequences in the Virgin Islands. Arguably it was the single most defining event in the islands’ history. Taxation and economics was also at the root of that disturbance. In March 1853, Robert Hawkins and Joshua Jordan, both Methodist missionaries, petitioned the Assembly to be relieved on taxes. The Assembly rejected the request, and Jordan is said to have replied “we will raise the people against you.” Subsequent meetings fostered the general discontent. Then in June 1853 the legislature enacted a head tax on cattle in the Territory. Injudiciously, the tax was to come into effect on 1 August, the anniversary of emancipation. The burden of the tax would fall most heavily on the rural colored community. There was no violent protest when the Act was passed, and it has been suggested that rioting could have been avoided if the legislature had been more circumspect in enforcing it, although the historical background suggests that insurrection was never far away, and only needed a reason to spark into life.
1879- Afro-Peruvian Slave Revolt on the Hacienda San José, a sugar plantation, which was built in 1868 in El Carmen, Perú, lasted until a rebellion of more than 300 enslaved Afro-Peruvian in 1879. The slave owner was hacked to death by machete-wielding slaves on the principal stair entrance. Descendants of these enslaved Africans slaves still populate the area. (Victorious)
1886- This year marked the end of slavery in Cuba. Under the terms of the Pact of Zanjón, which ended the “The Ten Year War” in 1878, slaves who fought on either side of the war were set free, but those who did not fight had to endure almost another decade of slavery. Two years later the Spanish Cortes approved an abolition law (1880) that provided for an eight-year period of patron to (tutelage) for all slaves liberated according to the law. This only amounted to indentured servitude, as slaves were required to spend those 8 years working for their masters at no charge. On October 7 1886, slavery was finally abolished in Cuba by a royal decree that also made the patron to illegal. At the time of emancipation, most enslaved were employed on plantations, and most free black Cubans were women who lived in the cities.
1888- Brazil abolishes slavery. Brazil had the largest slave population in the world,substantially larger than the United States. Pedro II was a ruler of Portugal. He came to see slavery, despite its economic importance to Brazil as inherently evil. Pedro began a series of measures liberating Brazilian slaves. He was poised to entirely abolish slavery. His measures against slavery met opposition from major landowners and the military, the leadership of which was drawn from the landed elite. The Emperor was on a trip to Europe when his daughter, Princess Isabel serving as regent, issued a decree abolishing slavery (May 13, 1888). A great deal of pressure came from England and recent immigrants to Brazil, who could not compete with slave labor. Princess Isabella’s decree is known as the Golden Law. It was widely praised in Europe. Abolishing slavery was the last major action taken by the Brazilian royal family. Brazil proved to be the last Western Hemisphere country to abolish slavery. Also, important to the abolition of slavery in Brazil was that enslaved Africans simply walked off the plantation in mass actions of self-emancipation.