MON|24|04 “The spirit of insubordination rules”: Slavery, Abolition and Free People of Colour in the Dutch Bovenwindse Islands of St. Eustatius, Saba and St. Maarten
In 1848 the enslaved people of St. Maarten instilled such fear of rebellion in colonial officials and planters that they unofficially abolished slavery on the island – 15 years before official emancipation in the Dutch territories. That the Haitian Revolution should be remembered and the enslaved people of St. Maarten should be relegated to the obscure footnotes of history isn’t surprising given the relative size and importance of the two islands, the differing levels of violence and the fact that Suriname and Curaçao dominate discussions of slavery in the Dutch Caribbean. Yet the Bovenwindse islands were tightly integrated into trans-imperial networks of slavery, marronage, abolition and emancipation. This talk will re-centre the discussion to include these three oft-forgotten islands.