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Wednesday, 12 December 2012

BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY: SLAVES AND SLAVERY IN JAMAICA :

The British captured Jamaica from the Spanish in 1655, in 1662 their about 400 negro slaves on the Island. As the cultivation of sugar cane was introduced, the number of slaves grew to 9,504 by 1673. The land owners acquired more slaves to do he work on the estates and in 1734 there were 86546 slaves. In 1775 there were 192,787 slaves on the island. In 1807 the African Slave Trade was abolished by Parliament, effective from January 1st 1808. This meant no more slaves could be brought from Africa to the colonies in the British West Indies,but slaves could be transported from one colony to another.

Recognizing that the law was not be adhered  to, the House Of Commons in England passed a Bill in 1815 requiring the registration of slaves and it became effective when it was adopted by the Colonial Legislatures. In 1816 an Act was passed for a more particular return of slaves with more information, effective in June 1817 to keep a stricter check on any movement of the slaves. Returns were made until 1834.
in 1823 the British Government pledged to adopt measures for the Abolition of Slavery in the colonies. The Slaves by this time were agitated about their status as the slave trade had already been abolished in 1824, their was a slave insurrection in Hanover, followed by a widespread insurrection in 1831 in the county of Cornwall.




































In 1833 June, the Governor wrote a Proclamation to the slaves to clarify their status. December 1832 their was a Bill for the Abolition of Slavery and it became effective on August 1st 1834.  At the same time all slaves became apprentices though they remain working with their slave masters. Slaves received their unrestricted freedom on August 1st 1838.