Trafficking Africans

“Slavery is no more than a state of war between a conqueror with absolute power and the conquered…” (John Locke: 1632-1704)
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Human Trafficking


Human Trafficking

The trafficking of Africans by Europeans began in the 1500s. From the time Africans were enslaved in their motherland, to the time of their arrival in the New World, they sought ways to rebel, to fight back and escape. Continue Reading

Haitian Revolution


Kimathi Toussaint Donkor

On every island and in every province in the Caribbean there were rebellions by enslaved Africans. Some lasted hours, others for several days. In 1763 Berbice (Guiana), Africans led by Cuffe (Kofi), militarily defeated their enslavers and placed a revolutionary government in power for almost a year. But it was the uprising in St Domingue (Haiti) from 1791 that was the most notable. Continue Reading

Barbados Rebellion


Bussa Statue © Mervyn Weir

Since the 1620s, Barbados was a British colony where the enslaved were worked to death to enrich British planters and investors. The Slave Trade Abolition Act of 1807 made illegal the trafficking of Africans. To combat illicit transportation between colonies following this Act, enslavers in the British Colonies were forced by Parliament to keep ‘slave registers’, and they were first introduced in Trinidad in 1812. Continue Reading

Demerara Rebellion


Quamina Street © Mervyn Weir

In 1823, the British Colonial Secretary sent proposals t o the Governor of Demerara asking that the conditions of the slaves be improved (known as the ‘amelioration proposals’). The Court of Policy in Demerara (British Guiana) examined the ‘Proposals’ on 21st July, 1823, and postponed making a decision. Continue Reading




With the passing of the Slavery Abolition Act in 1833, planters anticipated a labour shortage even though the Apprenticeship system had forced former enslaved Africans to continue to provide free labour. Planters in British Guiana began to look overseas to obtain an additional work force. Continue Reading

Compensation for Enslavers


sir edward codrington

In view of the Jamaica uprising of December 1831 / January 1832 and the campaigning of abolitionists, the British government abolished enslavement in most British colonies in 1834. The 1833 Abolition Act gave the enslavers £20 million in compensation; enslaved Africans received nothing. Continue Reading