#Breaking on the wheel was a harsh and crucial punishment ever given to convicted criminals and rebellious slaves. The punishment was a form of crucifixion, but with different cruel refinements; a prisoner was strapped, spread-eagled, to a large cartwheel that was put axle-first in the earth so that it formed a rotating platform a few feet above the ground. The wheel would then be slowly turned while an executioner crushed the bones of the condemned person’s body, starting with the fingers and toes, slowly working inward.
It was important to the headsman carrying out the punishment to keep the criminal conscious throughout the complete process. When the work was complete, the wheel would be left in a hoisted upright position and fixed in the soil, leaving the victim hanging until they died from internal bleeding or shock; it could take up to hours or days for a person to die. “Breaking” was often done to dangerous criminals, rebellious slaves who plotted and threatened the lives of their masters and the master’s families. One slave who endured “Breaking” was #Prince Klaas; it is believed that Klaas and 87 fellow slaves were planning a revolt to kill over 3,000 whites of Antigua. Antigua had slaves because they needed extra man power (slaves) to help with their sugar cane crop.
Once the planters caught wind of a possible revolt, they had no problem believing that it could occur. Planters in Antigua knew that, in the event of a rising, the slaves’ only hope would be to exterminate the white population and attempt to turn the entire island into a fortress, holding it against the inevitable counterattack. In the eyes of the Antiguan government, Prince Klaas’ planned rebellion was well evidenced. A stream of witnesses testified that the plot existed; Klaas himself, together with his chief lieutenant—a creole (that is, a slave born on the island) known as Tomboy, whose job was to plant the powder—eventually confessed to it.
read more at: http://mikedashhistory.com/2012/12/28/the-crucifixion-of-prince-klaas-antiguas-disputed-slave-rebellion-of-1736/