Sam Sharpe Rebellion

Topics: Abolitionism, Montego Bay, Slavery Pages: 3 (1000 words) Published: January 17, 2013
The Sam Sharpe Rebellion: 
Causes of the Rebellion
There are several reasons for the 1831 revolt in Jamaica. One of the main reasons given for the revolt was that the enslaved was led to believe that emancipation was being withheld. In Jamaica reports spread among the slaves that their "free paper" had come from England but their masters were holding them in bondage. It was obvious that the slaves knew roughly what was going on, but they did not know the precise details. Another cause was the activities of the Non-Conformist Missionaries. It was felt that the teachings and preaching of these religious sects, especially the called Baptists, Wesleyan /Methodists and Moravians had the effect of producing in the minds of the slaves a belief that they could not serve both spiritual and temporal masters. St. Matthew 6:24 St. John 8: 36, I Corinthians 7:23, Galatians 3:28 The third and most immediate cause was the flogging of a female slave in the northern part of Jamaica. Her husband was forced to watch the brutal flogging. He struck the whipper. The overseer then ordered him to be arrested, but the other slaves refused. This began the chain of actions. Flogging of a slave

Another cause was the influence of Sam Sharpe, a slave in Montego Bay who was able to urge the slaves to stop working on the plantations by spreading "watch words" called freedom. He could read and write. From his master's newspaper he learnt that emancipation was very near and that wage and labour would come to Jamaica. He spread the news among the slaves. Under the guise of religious group meetings in St. James, he organized a general strike during the Christmas week of 1831. Christmas day in the year of 1831 came on a Saturday. This meant that the slaves had two consecutive days off from work. They were expected to resume working on Monday December 27, 1831. The Christmas holidays provided an excellent opportunity for the slaves to move around between estates and meet under the cover of...
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