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Great Jamaicans in history

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Re: Great Jamaicans in history

Postby mikesiva » Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:51 am

My final entry...Quao, one of the leaders of the Windward Maroons during and after the First Maroon War.

Once the colonial authorities had secured peace with the Leeward Maroons, they could demand more exacting terms from the Maroons in the eastern end of the island. The militia leaders informed the Windward Maroons that Cudjoe had signed a peace treaty. There was a minor delay when the two British commanders quarrelled over who should actually sign the treaty. After that, Robert Bennett agreed peace terms with Quao, and they signed their own peace treaty in 1740, and after which the commanders and Maroon leaders, ‘cut their fingers, and mixed their blood in a calabash bowl’. The colonial authorities were unable defeat the Windward Maroons in battle, but once they had secured peace with the Leeward Maroons, they knew their eastern counterparts would feel compelled to follow suit.

The Crawford’s Town dissension occurred partly because the white superintendent had usurped the authority of the Maroon officers, and partly because the governors had overridden the 1740 treaty in appointing a more pliant Maroon officer in charge of the Windward Maroon town. Clause 14 of the 1740 treaty named Quao, or Quaw, as the leader of the Windward Maroons, and his successors as Thomboy, Apong, Blackwell and Clash. However, Edward Crawford emerged as the leader of the Maroon town eventually named after him in the 1750s, ahead of the four successors listed in the treaty, even while Quao and Clash were alive. Edward Crawford was the first Maroon leader to take an Anglicized Christian name and surname, and the colonial authorities favoured him, while Quao represented a Maroon faction that wanted to re-establish the authority of the Maroon officers. The fact that the colonial authorities felt strong enough to replace Quao with Crawford shows how weak the Maroon leadership was in Crawford’s Town. They did not try to replace Cudjoe, Accompong or Nanny as the heads of their respective Maroon towns while they lived.

In 1754, supporters of Quao murdered Crawford and burnt a large part of Crawford’s Town in an attempt to retake control of the Maroon town from the white superintendents. Three white men were resident in Crawford’s Town when the uprising occurred, and according to Knowles, Quao’s Maroons ‘had seized on all the Arms, and detained the three White Men, and the well disposed Negroes Prisoners in the Town’. Crawford’s wife escaped and gave a similar account of the dissension to a planter named Colin McKenzie, who was also the commanding militia officer in the parish. Those ‘well disposed Negroes’ were the Crawford Town Maroons who supported the colonial authorities and opposed Quao’s takeover. Governor Knowles sent Lieutenant Ross to bring about a peaceful reconciliation, because he had previously, ‘resided in Crawford Town several years’. However, Quao’s Maroons rejected his overtures, and Ross, a former superintendent, had to leave the town, taking the ‘white men’ who had been imprisoned by the rebels. In the immediate aftermath of the dissension, Quao expelled the white superintendent and his deputies from Crawford’s Town, and re-asserted his authority as a Maroon officer over his fellow Maroons.

Quao’s assertion of Maroon authority ran into opposition not just from a significant number of Maroons in Crawford’s Town, but also from Maroons from neighbouring Windward towns. The Maroon supporters of the murdered Crawford, who made up the majority in that town, allied themselves with the colonial authorities. Ross assembled a force, including ‘some of the Crawford Town Negroes to the Number of twenty three,’ and attacked the Maroon town. With the help of Maroons from New Nanny Town, and those who had already relocated to Scott’s Hall, Ross defeated Quao. His force captured ‘Capt. Quaw, Adago, Mingo and Dansu, the last of whom is mortally wounded, and Bogua, Pompey and Badou were killed and their heads brought in.’ Four of Quao’s other lieutenants escaped, but they later submitted themselves to Knowles, who pardoned them. This revolt represented the last stand by Maroon officers against the increasing authority of the white superintendents, until the Second Maroon War of 1795-6. The planters in the Assembly were concerned about the Crawford’s Town dissension, and passed a law enshrining the authority of the superintendent, to ensure that this problem did not occur again. When Quao attempted to re-assert his authority over his Maroon town, he received significant opposition Maroons from within his own town as well as from other Windward towns, and they allied themselves with the white superintendent.

Taken from my draft PhD....
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Re: Great Jamaicans in history

Postby mikesiva » Sat Oct 06, 2018 5:27 am

One late addition to this list....

James Berry, OBE, Hon FRSL (28 September 1924 – 20 June 2017), was a black Jamaican poet who settled in England in the 1940s. His poetry is notable for using a mixture of standard English and Jamaican Patois. Berry's writing often "explores the relationship between black and white communities and in particular, the excitement and tensions in the evolving relationship of the Caribbean immigrants with Britain and British society from the 1940s onwards". As the editor of two seminal anthologies, Bluefoot Traveller (1976) and News for Babylon (1984), he was in the forefront of championing West Indian/British writing.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Berry_(poet)
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Re: Great Jamaicans in history

Postby mikesiva » Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:45 am

Cubah Cornwallis (died 1848) (often spelled Coubah, Couba, Cooba or Cuba) was a nurse or "doctoress" and Obeah woman who lived in Jamaica during the late 18th and 19th Century. Cubah became so well known for her treatment of the sick that in 1780 when Horatio Nelson, then a captain, fell ill with dysentery during an expedition to Nicaragua, he was taken to her by Admiral Parker, the commander-in-chief of the Royal Naval forces in Jamaica. Later she was entrusted with the treatment of Prince William Henry, later William IV when he was stationed in the West Indies. The Prince was so grateful to Cubah that many years later he told the story to his wife, Queen Adelaide. The Queen was so grateful that she sent Cubah a dress that was so expensive and beautiful that Cubah refused to wear it. She wore the dress only once in 1848 as her funerary gown. According to Jamaican mixed-race campaigner Richard Hill (Jamaica), Nelson too remarked in his correspondence to friends and family how indebted he was to Cubah. Whenever a friend or colleague was despatched to Jamaica he requested that they pass his good wishes to her. Although it is not known when she was born, Cubah must have lived a long life. It is documented that she assisted in Nelson’s recovery in 1780 and was, by then, already an established and respected figure on the island. Her date of death, sixty eight years later, is a testament to her longevity.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cubah_Cornwallis
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Re: Great Jamaicans in history

Postby mikesiva » Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:11 am

Another late entry....

Robert Wedderburn (1762–1835/36?) was a Jamaican-born Unitarian, ultra-radical leader, and anti-slavery advocate in early 19th-century London. His mother, Rosanna, was a slave from Africa, and his father, James Wedderburn, had been born in Scotland, but, following the execution for treason of his father, he and his brother left Britain to seek a new life. James settled in Kingston, making a living first as a doctor and then as a sugar plantation owner. While in Jamaica he had children by several different enslaved women.

Wedderburn sold Rosanna, then five months pregnant with his third child, back to her previous owner. Although born free, Wedderburn was raised in a harsh environment, as his mother was often flogged due to her "violent and rebellious temper". She was eventually re-sold away from her son, who was then raised by his maternal grandmother, a woman known as "Talkee Amy".

To escape the insecurity and abuse of the plantation, Wedderburn signed on with the Royal Navy at the age of 16. On the ships, food and living conditions were horrific, and it was during this time that Wedderburn became increasingly aghast at the violent punishments used by the British both on their ships and in their colonies. He arrived in Britain aged 17 and lived in the district of St Giles, London, among a community of runaway slaves, Jamaican ex-servicemen, and other immigrant minorities including Jews, Lascars and Irish. Known as the "London blackbirds", this ethnically diverse subculture is reported to have been free of the racial discrimination so prevalent elsewhere in this era. However, as people living on the margins, the "blackbirds" often relied on criminal activity in order to survive.

Wedderburn became a journeyman tailor. Unfortunately, the instability of his career made him increasingly susceptible to the effects of a trade recession, inflation and food shortages, and he was soon reduced to part-time mending work on the outskirts of town.

By now married and desperate for money during one of his wife's pregnancies, Wedderburn dabbled in petty theft and kept a bawdy house. In 1786, Wedderburn stopped to listen to a Wesleyan preacher he heard in Seven Dials. Influenced by a mixture of Arminian, millenarian, Calvinist, and Unitarian ideas, he converted to be a Methodist, and soon published a small theological tract called Truth Self Supported: or, a Refutation of Certain Doctrinal Errors Generally Adopted in the Christian Church. Although this work contained no explicit mention of slavery, it does suggest Wedderburn's future path in subversive and radical political action.

Politically influenced by Thomas Spence, Wedderburn was an impassioned speaker and became de facto leader of the Spencean Society in 1817 after the nominal leaders were arrested on suspicion of high treason. Wedderburn published fiery periodicals advocating republican revolution, using violence if necessary, to bring about redistribution of property in Britain and the West Indies. In 1824, he published an anti-slavery book entitled The Horrors of Slavery, printed by William Dugdale.

He also campaigned for freedom of speech. Wedderburn served several prison terms. His last mention in the historical record was in March 1834 when a Home Office informer listed him as present among the congregation at the Theobald’s Road Institute.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_We ... n_(radical)
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