Facts and Documents Connected with the Late Insurrection in Jamaica
The Christmas Rebellion (1831–2) saw the uprising of 60,000 Jamaican slaves, many of them followers of one Baptist preacher. Initially intended only as a peaceful strike, it escalated as estates were burned down and plantation owners killed. This 1832 pamphlet details the violence and persecution directed against nonconformists and missionaries, who were regarded as having been sympathetic towards the revolt. The materials were published by William Knibb, a Baptist minister, who in 1832 was summoned to appear before parliamentary committees investigating the state of the Caribbean colonies. His evidence and the rebellion itself are regarded as having quickened the pace of emancipation in Jamaica. The documents are reissued here with an 1837 narrative by James Williams, a youth who became an apprentice under the system that replaced slavery. He describes how conditions for former slaves were little improved, with many instances of harsh treatment and unjust imprisonment.