12 Facts About Slavery in Jamaica That Shaped Its Society


maroons ambusing british

Jamaican Maroons

Adding to the unrest of the island was the existence of the Maroons. These freed Africans retreated to the mountains and developed their own communities in the interior of Jamaica. Led by a brave African woman called Nanny, the Maroons defended their freedom from the British invaders by burning property, killing soldiers and freeing other enslaved Africans. The Maroons fought two wars against the British.


Slave Revolt

Jamaica’s Biggest Uprising

Samuel Sharpe led the largest uprising by enslaved people in 1831. It started out peacefully, with enslaved Africans refusing to work. But things escalated and, in resistance, Africans burnt down houses and warehouses full of sugar cane, causing over 1 million pounds worth of damage. More than 200 plantations in north Jamaica were taken over as more than 20,000 enslaved people seized control of large chunks of land.

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