Morant Bay Rebellion: Conclusion

0 Posted by - September 8, 2019 - Black History

With tensions at a high among Black peasants, anything could bring Jamaica tipping point. In the case of the Morant Bay Rebellion, it was the trial and imprisonment of a Black man in early October 1865. The man went to a sugar plantation that was abandoned for some time. As expected, the Black population were enraged.

THE MORANT BAY REBELLION

One spectator by the name of James Geoghegon caused a disruption in court. A riot broke out after police tried to subdue the man but were unable to do so. As a result, warrants for Geoghegon, religious leader Paul Bogle, and others are issued. Days later, Bogle would lead a march to the courthouse.

A violent exchange occurred with protesters throwing rocks and the police-forces opening fire. When the smoke cleared 25 people on both sides laid dead while the rebellion continued. The Black populaces’ rage against the Jamaican government in St. Thomas Parish wouldn’t meet the heavy-handed response from Governor Eyre with the parish thrown into martial law.

 

THE MANHUNT AND SENTENCES

Because of the damages and arson to houses, there was a heated manhunt was on for Paul Bogle and others. Consequently, the soldiers killed or arrested any Black person they came across. One soldier’s account was that because the rebels weren’t armed for a fight against troops, almost 4400 people were killed and over 350 arrested.

Bogle, his brother William, and supporter George William Gordon are among those arrested. Most of those arrested are either given ridiculously long sentences in prison or subjected to other punishments. They are flogged or—like the Bogles and Gordon—killed without actual trials. Supporters who weren’t directly involved in the riot were arrested and executed as well perhaps using the situation to remove any other dissenting voices.

In Great Britain, Eyre’s response to the rebellion is viewed as extreme by many. Opposite to this stance, others would rest the blame on the Black peasants.

OUTCOME

A committee is established to bring in Governor Eyre for his actions of mass murder one of the well-known names on this side was Charles Darwin. A rival committee was setup which had the likes of Charles Dickens. Eyre is charged twice for murder, he never has to stand trial.

In 1969, Paul Bogle and George William Gordon are declared National Heroes of Jamaica.

REFERENCES
-phttp://www.branchcollective.org/?ps_articles=sarah-winter-on-the-morant-bay-rebellion-in-jamaica-and-the-governor-eyre-george-william-gordon-controversy-1865-70

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