Schweizer und französische Soldaten schlagen SklavInnenrevolte auf St. John nieder

In 1733 the slaves on St. John revolted against plantation owners and against slavery. The events that lead up to the revolt included the arrival of an elite group of African tribal rulers who preferred death to life as slaves. A summer of natural disasters; including a drought, two hurricanes, insect plaque and the possibility of famine, made life very difficult on St. John's plantations. In September of the same year a harsh slave code was adopted. Finally the slaves on St. John gathered together and on November 23rd, about 14 slaves entered the Fortsberg with cane knives hidden in bundles of wood. They killed 6 out of 7 men in the garrison and took over the fort. Firing one cannon to signal to the other slaves that the revolt had begun.

The seven-month revolt left many Europeans and Africans dead. The recorded population at the time of the revolt was 1295. That was 1087 slaves and 208 freemen. These figures do not include children under twelve or people who worked on company plantations in Coral Bay. The true population therefore was greater than 1295. During the revolt almost a quarter of the island's population was killed. Many slaves killed themselves when they thought the soldiers were going to capture them. Large plantations were destroyed. French and Swiss soldiers from a neighboring island settled the revolt.

[aus einer Website über die Insel St. John von den US Virgin islands]