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Tacky’s Rebellion: 1760 Slave Uprising in the Caribbean (Jamaica)

Written by Jae Jones

Tacky’s War Rebellion was an uprising of African slaves in Jamaica from May to July 1760. The rebellion was one of the most significant slave uprisings in the Caribbean between the 1733 slave insurrection on St. John and 1791 Haitian Revolution. The leader of the uprising, Tacky (Tacki) was originally from the Ashanti ethnic group in West Africa. He along with Queen Nana planned to overtake Jamaica from the British, and make it a separate Black country. As a slave overseer, Tacky had the opportunity to use some of his skills and knowledge to draw up an effective plain to gain the freedom desired. Tacky and his group decided to wait until Easter Sunday to put their plan in motion.

Tacky’s War Rebellion was an uprising of Black African slaves in Jamaica from May to July 1760. The rebellion was one of the most significant slave uprisings in the Caribbean between the 1733 slave insurrection on St. John and 1791 Haitian Revolution. The leader of the uprising, Tacky (Tacki) was originally from the Ashanti ethnic group in West Africa. He along with Queen Nana planned to overtake Jamaica from the British, and make it a separate Black country. As a slave overseer, Tacky had the opportunity to use some of his skills and knowledge to draw up an effective plain to gain the freedom desired. Tacky and his group decided to wait until Easter Sunday to put their plan in motion.

Before daybreak on Monday, Tacky and his group of followers began their uprising and took over the Frontier and Trinity plantations. During the revolt their masters on the plantation were killed. Pleased with their success, the group continued on the storeroom at Fort Haldane where the weapons used to defend the town of Port Maria were kept. The group killed the storekeeper and stole the weapons needed. They then moved on to overtake the plantations at Heywood Hall. Before the day was over, hundreds of slaves had joined in with Tacky and his followers.

 

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Tacky and his group decided to stop and celebrate their success, but during that time one slave, Esher, slipped away and got word to the militia what was going on. The Obeahmen, (Caribbean Witch Doctor) quickly passed around a powder to protect the men from injury during battle. The claim was if the slaves used the powder they would not be killed.

Soon the militia were on their way to suppress the rebellion. Obeahman was captured, killed, and hung with his mask, ornaments of teeth, and bones visible for all to see. Many of the slaves who now feared being captured returned to their plantations. Tacky and 25 men decided to continue the fight. Tacky was chased by the militia out into the woods. He was shot and head cut off as proof of his capture. His head was then displayed on a pole in Spanish Town until a follower of his took in down in the middle of the night. The rest of Tacky’s followers were found in a cave and had committed suicide to keep from going back into .

Tacky’s rebellion was the first of many to occur during that time.  Soon many rebellions were breaking out over Jamaica. Months later, peace was finally restored but over 60 white people had lost their lives, and as many as 400 Black slaves were killed, including two leaders who were burned alive, and two others who were put in cages at the Kingston Parade until they starved to death.

 

sources:

http://understandingslavery.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=382&Itemid=244

 

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About the author

Jae Jones

Jae Jones has been writing professionally for over 10 years. She holds a degree in Business Administration, and enjoys writing on various topics.

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