The Baptist War also referred to as the Christmas Rebellion in Jamaica during the period of 1831-1832 failed to achieve it primary objective of obtaining freedom to due several contributing factors such as; lack of expertise in warfare, lack of organisation and co-operation among slave groups.
The Baptist war was led by Samuel Sharpe was a known Baptist deacon who was intelligent, literate, ambitious, and also displayed a talent for eloquence and was said to be an excellent orator (Craton 109). The Baptist War was meant to be a peaceful strike in which enslaved blacks would refuse to work on the plantation fields until planters deemed them as free and began to pay them wages for work done. Planter’s attitude also pushed slaves to revolt. Historians noted that planters were in protest when it came to the topic of the abolition of slavery. So much so, that they made inflammatory speeches and publications in newspapers. These actions and attitudes contributed greatly to the slaves agitation and discontent (Reckord 108-125). Also, slaves believed that Thomas Burchell who was a Baptist missionary was bringing back their “free paper ” on a visit to England that he made. When he did not return with the papers, they were angry and said that they were deceived.
What started out as a general strike in the northeast of Jamaica expanded to a full blown rebellion as word of the rebellion reached through the parishes of St. James , Trelawny, St. Elizabeth , Hanover , Westmoreland and even Manchester. On Monday December 27, 1831, rebellion broke out on the Kensington estate in Montego Bay. The outbreak was signalled by beacons made of the cane thrash houses. A rebel military