Maria of Curacao: The Slave Revolt of 1716

1 Posted by - May 6, 2023 - Black History, BLACK WOMEN, SLAVERY

Maria of Curacao was the leader of a slave rebellion in late 1716 Curacao. At the time, the country was a Dutch colony in the Caribbean but saw few major rebellions during the 18th and early 19th century.

It is unknown when and where Maria was born but it is known that as of the early 18th century she worked as a cook for a Dutch West India Company-owned plantation in St. Maria. She plotted her revolt with slaves—particularly those who had just arrived in the Dutch colony.

This could be for a number reasons with the main being that new slaves would be more likely to risk it all in a revolt. This is in contrast of throwing in with slaves who could be complacent with their situation or don’t want to risk an extreme reaction if they fail. This was the Achilles’ heel of Tacky’s War 44 years later.

In the final days of summer 1716, Maria of Curacao started the rebellion on September 15. The amount of planning that went into the revolt is unknown as are Maria’s numbers. What is known is that the rebels killed White staff on the plantation as well as women and children.

Under torture from the Dutch militia, her partner Tromp revealed that Maria ignited the rebellion for revenge. Some time ago, an overseer named Muller killed her husband. It wasn’t long after Tromp spilled details that Maria of Curacao was captured in November 1716. She was put to death by burning on November 9. Her rebellion lasted a little under two months.



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  • […] of the latter category; Curacao was a major shipping nexus for the Dutch slave trade. It’s possible that this meant Maria’s newly-arriving peers were more liable to harbor that cocktail of hope […]