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Great Jamaicans in history

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Re: Great Jamaicans in history

Postby mikesiva » Wed Jun 15, 2016 3:32 pm

Here's a controversial Jamaican - Henry Morgan. We know about his pirate career, but here's a snippet about his life after buccaneering:

"Because the sack of Panama violated the 1670 peace treaty between England and Spain, Morgan was arrested and conducted to the Kingdom of England in 1672. He proved he had no knowledge of the treaty. When Spanish and English relations deteriorated, Morgan was knighted in 1674 before returning to Jamaica the following year to take up the post of Lieutenant Governor. By 1681, then-acting governor Morgan had fallen out of favour with King Charles II, who was intent on weakening the semi-autonomous Jamaican Council, and was replaced by long-time political rival Thomas Lynch. He gained considerable weight and a reputation for rowdy drunkenness. In 1683, Morgan was suspended from the Jamaican Council by the machinations of Governor Lynch. Also during this time, an account of Morgan's disreputable exploits was published by Alexandre Exquemelin, who once had been his confidante, probably as a barber-surgeon, in a Dutch volume entitled De Americaensche Zee-Roovers (About the Buccaneers of America). Morgan took steps to discredit the book and successfully brought a libel suit against the book's publishers William Crooke and Thomas Malthus, securing a retraction and damages of two hundred English pounds. The book nonetheless contributed much to Morgan's reputed fame as a bloodthirsty pirate during the time he was in Newport. When Thomas Lynch died in 1684, his friend Christopher Monck was appointed to the governorship and arranged the dismissal of Morgan's suspension from the Jamaican Council in 1688. Morgan's health had steadily declined since 1681. He was diagnosed with "dropsie", but may have contracted tuberculosis in London, and died on 25 August 1688. He is buried in Palisadoes cemetery, which sank beneath the sea after the 1692 earthquake."

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

Postby mikesiva » Fri Jun 17, 2016 3:50 am

'The Karmahaly band under Juan de Serras is a Maroon group that deserves special attention, not only because they have nowhere else been systematically treated, nor because of their great skill in guerrilla warfare, but also because of their particular skill in negotiation and their diplomatic subtlety. From scanty data, Juan de Serras appears to have been a man of extraordinary ability, strongly seated in his leadership position, with a vigorous, disciplined organization based on a hierarchical ordering typical of Maroon communities....He governed his people with consensual authority, recognizing those with particular skills in his group and delegating functions accordingly. Thus some were used as emissaries, the specific qualifications for these delicate positions being tact, finesse, and bilingualism in Spanish and English....By June 1664 their harassment of plantations became so alarming to the planters that Captain Rutter and a party of volunteers were sent out against them, but with no success. By the following year reports of their plundering plantations, killing whites, and taking off slaves reached alarming proportions....About a year and a half after the posture of war we find a Karmahaly black, Domingo Henriques, suing for "peace". This peace overture, however, was nothing more than a ploy to gain time in order to consolidate their position, to select strategically new positions, and to lull the whites into a state of security. The ruse could not have been more successful. The astute Karmahaly chief, Juan de Serras, arranged to have Domingo "captured" by one of the parties sent out against them....The result of de Serras's ingenuity was that the whites were lulled into a state of false security, and as soon as the Maroons found themselves in a secure position, some took the offensive and resumed hostilities just two years after the charter....The activities of Morgan and his Buccaneers, as well as the rounding up and slave of the Spanish blacks and mulattoes, may have had some inhibiting effect on the Maroon bands, whether Karmahaly or others in their mountainous retreats.' Mavis Campbell, "The Maroons of Jamaica 1655-1796: A History of Resistance, Collaboration & Betrayal", pp. 25-34.

So, unlike Juan de Bolas, Cudjoe, and even Nanny, this Maroon leader did not sign any treaty with the British requiring them to hunt runaways on behalf of the colonial authorities. Shouldn't we therefore know more about him?
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Re: Great Jamaicans in history

Postby Gils » Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:47 am

Honored ancestor Leonard P Howell from Crooked River in Clarendon - June 16, 1898 – February 25, 1981. A former Garveyite who went on to establish the Ethiopian Salvation society, he also authored the book " Promise key " for which he was imprisoned for 2 years.

His activism brought him into direct conflict with the plantocracy, the trade unions, established churches, the police as well as colonial authorities, he was allegedly arrested more than 50 and is named by many as the " 1st Rasta " http://lphfoundation.org/
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Re: Great Jamaicans in history

Postby mikesiva » Sun Jun 19, 2016 3:37 am

Of course, I'd forgotten about Howell! He was a major figure in the 1930s....

Here's something on Henry and Greta Fowler:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Fowler_(educator)
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Re: Great Jamaicans in history

Postby mikesiva » Wed Jun 22, 2016 3:50 am

Jamaica's first ever black poet?

"Francis Williams was born around 1700 to John and Dorothy Williams, a free black couple in Jamaica. John Williams had been freed by the will of his former master and within ten years was able to acquire property. As free blacks the Williams family were increasingly in the minority as Jamaica's sugar industry, which relied on the labour of enslaved Africans, grew over the course of the 18th century. Even less common were educated black people. However, John Williams' independent wealth ensured that Francis and his brothers received an education....Contemporary sources report that for several years Francis kept a school in Spanish Town, Jamaica, where he taught reading, writing, Latin and mathematics. However, it is his writing and poetry on which his later reputation is based. The only surviving work by him is a poem in Latin addressed to George Haldane on his assuming the governorship of Jamaica in 1759 (a popular convention). Francis may also have written the words of the song 'Welcome, welcome, brother debtor'."

http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/f ... ck-writer/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Unlike schools such as Wolmers, Mannings, JC, etc, who were only open to poor whites in the early days, Williams's school was for children of colour. I came across a story in the Journals of the Assembly of Jamaica where it was reported that a white man called Williams a "n*gger", and that Williams thumped him for it. Williams was charged, and acquitted. The Assembly then passed a law making it illegal for any person of colour to strike any white person.

More here....

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

Postby mikesiva » Sun Jun 26, 2016 3:43 am

'Thomas Henry MacDermot was born in Clarendon Parish, Jamaica, of Irish ancestry, and spent much of his childhood in Trelawny. He was educated at the Falmouth Academy and at the Church of England Grammar School in Kingston, Jamaica. He was a teacher before taking up journalism, at The Jamaica Post, The Daily Gleaner and the Jamaica Times, of which he was editor for 20 years. He worked to promote Jamaican literature through all of his writing, starting a weekly short story contest in the Jamaica Times in 1899. Notable among the young writers he helped and encouraged are Claude McKay and H. G. de Lisser. In 1903, MacDermot started the All Jamaica Library, a series of novellas and short stories written by Jamaicans about Jamaica that were reasonably priced to encourage local readers. Alongside his work as a journalist, he wrote two novels. The first, Becka’s Buckra Baby, is said to mark the beginning of modern Caribbean writing. MacDermot's poems were not collected into a single volume until 1951. He was posthumously proclaimed Jamaica's first Poet Laureate for the period 1910-33 by the Jamaican branch of the Poetry League. MacDermot retired because of illness in 1922. He died in an English nursing home in 1933, aged 63.'

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

Postby mikesiva » Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:20 am

The late, great Carl Stone, the political pollster who accurately predicted election results in Jamaica from 1976-1993...the British pollsters who've been getting it wrong over the past two years could learn a thing or two from him.
8-)
https://www.jstor.org/stable/166513?seq ... b_contents

Stone used the Michigan method, while British pollsters rely on cheap but unreliable telephone and internet polling. Sometimes, the old ways were the best, as Carl Stone proved.
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Re: Great Jamaicans in history

Postby mikesiva » Fri Jul 08, 2016 6:10 am

"The actor, comedian and broadcaster Charles Hyatt, who has died of lung cancer aged 75, derived his inspiration from the folkways of rural and inner-city Jamaica. And, like the poet and performer Louise Bennett-Coverley (obituary August 1 2006) - he became a cultural symbol of the island. Based in Britain from 1960 to 1974, Hyatt's lusty, ribald, live performances attracted large numbers of his compatriots - not least when he played with Bim & Bam (the Jamaican Morecambe and Wise) on British tours (1969-70) - giving Jamaicans a taste of home. In 1960 a British Council bursary took Hyatt from Kingston, Jamaica to the Theatre Royal, Windsor. He performed regularly at the Oxford Playhouse and the Leicester Phoenix. His TV and film performances began with a BBC Wednesday Play, Fable, and, also in 1965, an appearance in Public Eye and in the film A High Wind in Jamaica. Later television parts included Rainbow City and The Saint, (both 1967). From 1968 to 1971 he narrated (and also wrote) episodes of Jackanory. In 1973 he played Joe, father of Bill Reynolds (Rudolph Walker), in Love Thy Neighbour."

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2007/f ... television
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Re: Great Jamaicans in history

Postby mikesiva » Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:38 am

'Academics, writers and and politicians have paid tribute to one of Britain's leading intellectuals, the sociologist and cultural theorist Stuart Hall, who has died age 82. Known as the "godfather of multiculturalism", Hall had a huge influence on academic, political and cultural debates for over six decades. Jamaican-born Hall was professor of sociology at the Open University from 1979 to 1997, topping off an academic career that began as a research fellow in Britain's first centre for cultural studies, set up by Richard Hoggart at the University of Birmingham in 1964. Hall would later lead the centre and was seen as a key figure in the development of cultural studies as an academic discipline. Martin Bean, vice-chancellor of The Open University said: "He was a committed and influential public intellectual of the new left, who embodied the spirit of what the OU has always stood for: openness, accessibility, a champion for social justice and of the power of education to bring positive change in peoples' lives."'

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2 ... -hall-dies
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Re: Great Jamaicans in history

Postby mikesiva » Tue Jul 19, 2016 3:56 am

'Richard Hill, one of Jamaica's most famous sons, was born at Montego Bay on the first of May, 1795. In 1779 his father, also namel Richard, came to Jamaica from Lincolnshire, where the family had lived for several centuries, and along with a brother settled at Montego Bay. There he became a substantial merchant, and on his death in 1818 left his property in Jamaica to his son and two daughters, Ann and Jane. Hill's mother, who had East Indian as well as Negro blood in her veins, survived her husband many years, her son being constant in his attention to her up to the last. At the early age of five Hill was sent to England to reside with his father's relations then living at Cheshunt, there to remain till his fourteenth year when he was sent to the Elizabethan Grammar School at Horncastle to finish his education. Upon the death of his father in 1818 Hill returned to Jamaica. Although his property came into the possession of his son and two daughters the father's death in some way involved Richard Hill in irksome money obligations which harassed him for many years, and even after he had discharged them left a gloom over his life. His father was a man in advance of his times, hating and deploring the intolerance and the tyranny that grew out of slavery as it then existed in Jamaica. On his death-bed he made his son solemnly pledge himself to devote his energies to the cause of freedom, and never to rest until those civil disabilities, under which the Negroes were laboring, had been entirely removed ; and, further, until slavery itself had received its death-blow....In the year 1826 Hill visited Cuba, the United States and Canada, and then went on to England, landing there in September. In 1827 he was deputed by the organization in Jamaica to use his efforts in England to secure the assistance of the leading members of the Anti-Slavery party. During his stay there he was on terms of close intimacy with Wilberforce, Buxton, Clarkson, Babington, Lushington and Zachary Macaulay, 8 all members of the Anti-Slavery Society, as well as Pringle and other men eminent for their philanthropy and talents and noted for the deep interest they took in all that related to the elevation and welfare of the Negroes of the British West Indian colonies. The petition from the people of color of this island to the House of Commons for the removal of their civil disabilities, was entrusted to Hill, who upon the occasion of presenting it was permitted "within the bar" of the House. On that occasion Canning delivered his last speech a splendid effort in favor of the petitioners. Hill remained several years in England and contributed largely by his pen and his speeches to enlighten the public mind of England as to the real character of West Indian slavery. But the remittances from the "people of color" in Jamaica, never very large, soon became few and far between. So Hill, always independent in every way, even in his friendships and political alliances, maintained himself and his sister, Jane, almost entirely by his contributions, literary and scientific, to several popular newspapers and periodicals....On the third of February, 1834, Hill was appointed one of a number of forty stipendiary magistrates whose duty it was to adjudicate between the former slaveholders and their "apprentices." 6 This appointment he held until the first of January, 1872. In this connection it may be interesting to quote the opinion of Hill expressed by the Rev. James Thome and J. H. Kimball, who in 1838 published for the American Annti-Slavery Society an account of Emancipation in the West Indies: a six months' tour in Antigua, Barbadoes and Jamaica in the year 1837. They say: "We spent nearly a day with Richard Hill, Esq., the secretary of the special magistrates ' departments, of whom we have already spoken. He is a colored gentleman, and in every respect the noblest man, white or black, whom we met in the West Indies. He is highly intelligent and of fine moral feelings. His manners are free and unassuming, and his language in conversation fluent and well chosen. . . . He is at the head of the special magistrates (of whom there are sixty (sic) in this island) and all the correspondence between them and the governor is carried on through him. The station he holds is a very important one, and the business connected with it is of a character and extent that, were he not a man of superior abilities, he could not sustain. He is highly respected by the government in the island and at home, and possesses the esteem of his fellow citizens of all colors. He associates with persons of the highest rank, dining and attending parties at the government house with all the aristocracy of Jamaica. We had the pleasure of spending an evening with him at the solicitor general's. Though an African sun has burnt a deep tinge on him he is truly one of nature's nobleman. His demeanor is such, so dignified, yet so bland and amiable, that no one can help respecting him."'

https://archive.org/stream/jstor-271350 ... 0_djvu.txt
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