The Demerara Uprising 1823

[ 1823 ]

British sugarcane-plantation owners and Christian missionaries argued over social reform and rights for slave laborers in Demerara, a fertile coastal region in what is now Guyana. In 1823, about 12,000 slaves (many of them kinsfolk) rose up to gain freedom, raiding and seizing plantations. Accused of helping foment the rebellion was a sympathetic missionary, John Smith (d. 1823?), who died in jail awaiting execution. The slaves failed; hundreds of them were wounded or killed, and 33 were summarily tried and executed (only three whites died in the uprising). In 1831 Demrara was united with neighboring Berbice and Essequibo to form the crown colony of British Guiana, and slavery was abolished in all British colonies in 1833.

Related Conflicts

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