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Tacky's Rebellion, was the most significant slave rebellion in the Caribbean until the Haitian Revolution in 1790.The leader of the rebellion, Tacky (Takyi), had been a chief before being enslaved. In May, June and July, events were set into motion when  in St. Mary in the early morning of Easter Monday, Tacky, moved inland. He and his forces took over plantations and killed the white plantation owners. Their plan was to overthrow British rule and to establish an African kingdom in Jamaica.  When Tacky was finally killed by a Maroon sharpshooter, the last fighters decided to kill themselves before surrendering to capture. The Rebellion, like many others was then put down quickly and mercilessly.  

Seafarers, Political Consciousness and Afro-Caribbean Identity

Seafarers were in the vanguard of the formation of the international working class.  They had significant advantages that made their presence dangerous to planters who would enslave blacks.  It was thought by planters that these men brought a contagion of ideas and strategies that promoted resistance.  Slaveholders would often complain of the subversive actions of these symbols of Negro Independence, the Negro seamen.

In South Carolina they passed the Negro Seamen's Act which required that free Negro employees must be imprisoned until the vessel should be ready to depart.  If the captain of the vessel declined to pay the expenses the seamen could be deemed an 'absolute slave' and thus summarily sold.

Fort Moultrie, Sullivan’s Island

Charleston, South Carolina, was North America’s main port of entry for countless enslaved Africans, who endured the Middle Passage.  These individuals ended up on plantations and on auction blocks all over the south.  Passengers AND crew members were subjected to strict rules of quarantine and because of this many were quarantined either aboard ship or in pest houses on what we now know as Sullivan’s Island.    About 40 percent of African-Americans living today can trace their ancestral roots to West Africa, through the gates of Sullivan’s Island.

To learn more about the Sullivan’s Island Pest House visit the African Passages Exhibit Online at Fort Moultrie or for a Map of the Sullivan’s Island Pest House visit online.  
Seafarers, the 'Black Atlantic' and the Shaping of Afro-Caribbean Identity

University of the West Indies By Alan Coble

Seaborne Diasporas are central to Caribbean culture, consciousness and identity.  The sea occupies a particularly important place in Afro-Caribbean identity. 

The aggressive mercantilism of the north-western European powers during the seventeenth and eighteenth century fueled the rise of the Atlantic slave trade and the creation of the plantation economy.   Free ports would open to ships of all nations.  Some…such as St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, were swollen by hundreds, sometimes thousands, of 'maritime transients' - seafarers, traders, mercenaries, and adventurers of every type.

Eventually, captains struggling to handle undermanned ships turned to whatever alternative supplies of labor were available in their various ports of call. In the Caribbean much of this labor was black, taken aboard to assist in loading and unloading cargo as ships moved from island to island, or to take the place of crew members who had died or deserted. Experienced `Sailor Negroes' were often hired out by their owners in the Caribbean for this purpose. In addition, many young slaves were taken aboard ships to act as personal servants to ship's officers. 

By Steven Pony Hill

A 'Turk' in Sumter, SC was a person generally considered by the local townsfolk to bear Indian blood, and lived separately geographically and socially from whites and blacks in the area.   The true history of the Turks, which can be verified by historical documentation, is that the majority are of American Indian ancestry from a group of Algonquin and Siouan speaking remnants who gathered at Fort Christianna on the Virginia/North Carolina border. A group of these English speaking, Christianized Indian-White mixed-bloods was living in Halifax, North Carolina at the time of the Revolutionary War, and also maintained a village among the Catawba at the NC/SC border (this village was called TURKEY TOWN). 


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