Carib Indians in the Island of Hairouna as the original Caribs called it or present day St. Vincent; these Carib Indians prevented the European settlements on the Island until the 18th century.

Enslaved Africans no matter if they were shipwrecked on shore, or escaped from nearby islands of Barbados, Grenada, St. Lucia and seeking refuge in St. Vincent. The Enslaved Africans that escaped where known as the Maroons.

Most of the Maroons were probably from the present Senegal, Nigeria, Angola (Ambundu) and Akan people) and Grenada (where there were many slaves from Guineas, Sierra Leone, Nigeria (specifically Igbo), Angolans, Yoruba, Kongo and Ghana). The Bajans and Saint Lucians arrived on the island in pre-1735 dates.

Later, after 1775, most of the slaves who came running from other islands were Saint Lucians and Grenadians. After arriving at the island, they were received by the Caribs, who offered protection, enslaved them and, eventually, mixed with them.

The intermarried between the Caribs and the Africans became known as Garifuna or Black Caribs.

By the 1770s, both Britain and France had made inroads on St. Vincent. In 1772, the native population rebelled. Led by Joseph Chatoyer (Satuye) a Garifuna (Carib) chief

Joseph Chatoyer 7

the First Carib War forced the British to sign a treaty with them — it was the first time Britain had been forced to sign an accord with indigenous people in the Caribbean. By 1795 it became apparent that Britain was not going to keep to the treaty and rose in rebellion.

At this time the Caribs were joined the french radicals that were inspired by the french revolution.In the second Carib War Chatoyer divided the island with another Garifuna (Carib) chief of St. Vincent name Duvalle.

Working his way from coast to coast Chatoyer met up with his french allies in Chateaubelair. The two alliances worked their way to Dorsetshire Hill where they would launch their attack on Kingstown.

March 14, 1795 British soldiers lead by General Ralph Abercromby marched toward Dorsetshire Hill. That night Chatoyer was killed by Major Alexander Leith. Though the rebellion continued until June 1796, Chatoyer’s death led to the desertion of the French supporters and turned the tide of the war.

On March 14, 2002 it was declared that Joseph Chatoyer The chief of the black Caribs (Garifuna) was named the first National Hero of St. Vincent.

Joseph Chatoyer 8

In accordance March 14th has been declared the National Heroes Day as well as a public holiday.

Joseph Chatoyer 9


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