Group Title: Olasee Davis articles
Title: St. Croix slaves freed themselves
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/CA01300919/00222
 Material Information
Title: St. Croix slaves freed themselves
Physical Description: Archival
Language: English
Creator: Davis, Olasee
Publication Date: July 3, 1998
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: CA01300919
Volume ID: VID00222
Source Institution: University of the Virgin Islands
Holding Location: University of the Virgin Islands
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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The Dely NM FrKly, J*3, 1908


St. Croix slaves freed themselves


As with the namral environmel
being different before and after
emncipetion in 1848, so were the
anhades o the eaolld Aicdams on
St. Coi. St. Croas probably the
only Caribbean island in which
enslaved Africans took their free.
dom. According to historians, in
1522, the first slave revolt in the
Caribbean took place lin spa= ol
shortly aler the tint slaves handed
the bsil.
From that time until emancips-
tlon, there were slave revolts
thoughout e cuibeau. Bat hito-
ry will show that the trnggle for
freeiom by laved Aftm began
an the dherm of Wals At=a ontil
tey landed In the Caribbean, Oa-
teal, South and North America.
Ealaved Africasm we fooled by
their slav owners, who told them
t i were oi to bvn. They
told them dai the had they mese og
Soflow with milk mnd hosey.
Sthe 1730M Hlgene Mated
dthil-ns led the Fewi Nagro Corpe
weperl tedlf .lly gO mganl tomaiot
tsl the members of mimnro never
became a serious threat to the
inalds' -matin d aleiemes
Neverthcus, in spite of the dcter-
mined efforts directed agalont it,
mareragmp cmtioned throughea the
colonel periods, down to the very
The resistance of enslaved
Africs. in the Virg Islands took
saeveni torms. On many ocieions,
slaves on St. Croix seized Dansh
ships at ne ad made their escape to
Oter Caribbean land Is fact, nm-
away slavs from St. Qix known as
maoma who landed fo Puerto Rico,


OlaseeDavis

were promised freedom by the gov-
ernment if they embraced the
Catholicth.
History has it hat Gov. Prer Van
Schollen ordered his army to shoot
down any slave on sea escaping to
other Caribbean islands. However.
the most extreme revolt took place
by eaavs Aflicas in St. oh fom
173310to1734.
The slaves seiaed the island for
couple of m-hs befoe tme Danish
-ornmet took aere Lenx
Honychnebch mentioned that slave
revolt also took place on St Croiz in
1734. 1746 and 1749. Nonetheless.
many slave revolts took place
throughout the Caribbean and Con,
tralAmerica.
*These are some of the slaves
revolt in the Caribbesan. They wer
Cuba in 1820,1843,1846; Honduras
In 1773; Strinam 1730,1750,1757,
1772 OGuysau 1763, 1823, Onada.
1795; St. Vrnent 1797; Puerto Rico,
1523.1820; Tortola, 1790. 1920;
Nevis 1761; Antigua 1701.,1736,
1820; Montaert 1776; udelpe.
1710.1752,1795,1737; Domlnica
1778,1785,1812.
By the 183s emancipaion came
from enslaved Africans In the
Caribbean islands except for slaves
in the Virgin Islss who knheew of
the brthels and si i feaedom and
wanted to know when would they
receive their mancpatloa. However,
the Danishb government was nt will-
ig to give their alaves freedom.


"Frdomn! But not to come all at
once. Rather, all born in bondage
should hmeforth be fee at birth and
t the cod of 12 yeus all sti slaves
were to be fred" stald the Danes.
Some historians wold want us to
blCevo that Gov. Pete von Schofen
was a friend of the eeslaved Africans
in the Virgin Islands. But this is fur-
ther from the truth. Some history
books will even go so far and say
Von Scholtcn was a hero of slaves
because he freed them. You see,
some of us believe such nonsense.
Von Scbolten had no choice but to
free the saves on July 3,1848
Some people say von Scholten's
hands were bford to fe the slaves.
Whether his hands were fOrced or not
he did the 6 thig. Voa Scheltze
was not a snpfd man. He probably
knew that if the slaves didn't let
their freedom on that afternoon of
July 3 1848, it would be the last
slave revolt 0o St. Croix and the

SL. Croix would have g8eo up in
smoke. The eimntaled 8,000 slaves in
Frederastlad would have burned the
island down. Do you think von
Scoh enwould rather risk the cnoe-
my of St. Croix? Of course, Von
Scholen hb a place in history. But it
was the slave that fbed themselves.
On July 3,19981, let five God
thanks for our ancestors asd cootin-
na the struggle for our mental
eManidpeion.
Thin article rierctr te view of
Olasee Dais, a St. Croix ecoloagb
octI, nd wiser wo hasl a mom
of1sience degree M range smange,
eanadsftory ecoloeg.




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