Montego Bay. Walking Tour

Begin your tour at Sam Sharpe Square, named after the slave who led the Christmas Rebellion of 1831. In the 18th century, Jamaica was the largest producer of sugar in the world and British plantation owners imported 700,000 slaves from West Africa. Although the slave trade was officially abolished by the British government in 1807, Jamaican plantation owners refused to give up their slaves. Sam Sharpe was an educated slave and a Baptist preacher who lived in Montego Bay. By reading newspapers, he learned about the abolition movement and he spread the word among his fellow slaves. He organized a peaceful strike for the 28th of December, just after the Christmas holiday when he knew that the sugar cane was ready and needed to be cut quickly, but other slaves grew violent and the government sent soldiers to end the rebellion. 300 slaves were executed for their part in the protest, including Sharpe, who was hanged in this square in 1832. Take a look at The Cage' in the northwest corner of the square - a prison built in 1806 for runaway slaves and drunk British sailors. Its bell was rung at 2 pm every afternoon to warn slaves from the country that they had an hour in which to leave the town.

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