The start of the slave insurrection on St. John in what was then the Danish West Indies occurs. The 1733 slave insurrection on St. John in the Danish West Indies, (now St. John, United States Virgin Islands) started on November 23, 1733 when African slaves from Akwamu revolted against the owners and managers of the island’s plantations.
The slave rebellion was one of the earliest and longest slave revolts in the Americas. The Akwamu slaves captured the fort in Coral Bay and took control of most of the island, intending to resume crop production under their own control and use other ethnic Africans as slave labor. The revolt ended in mid-1734 when several hundred French and Swiss troops sent from Martinique defeated the Akwamu.
SLAVE REVOLT ON ST. JOHN: The 1733 slave insurrection started with open acts of rebellion on November 23, 1733 at the Coral Bay plantation owned by Magistrate Johannes Sødtmann. An hour later, slaves were admitted into the fort at Coral Bay to deliver wood. They had hidden knives in the lots, which they used to kill most of the soldiers at the fort. One soldier, John Gabriel, escaped to St. Thomas and alerted the Danish officials.
A group of rebels under the leadership of King June stayed at the fort to maintain control, another group took control of the estates in the Coral Bay area after hearing the signal shots from the fort’s cannon. The slaves killed many of the whites on these plantations. The rebel slaves then moved to the north shore of the island. They avoided widespread destruction of property since they intended to take possession of the estates and resume crop production.
Read more about this slave revolt at:;Daily Black History Facts