Resource 10A Jamaica orders rebels to surrender, 1832
This is a notice issued by the government in Jamaica on 2 January 1832 ordering rebellious slaves to surrender. It was posted in public places and read out to crowds by government officials.
Jamaica’s biggest slave revolt broke out immediately after Christmas 1831 and lasted for ten days. About 50,000 slaves took part. The Jamaican government suppressed the rebellion savagely, and troops executed hundreds of suspected rebels. But although defeated, the rebellion actually hastened the end of slavery. It convinced people in Britain that the system was unsustainable; to continue protecting the slave owners would only lead to more expense and more brutality.