Paul Bogle

Paul Bogle was born in Jamaica in 1822 in St. Thomas.

He grew up in the village of Stony Gut in St. Thomas which was made up of farmers.

Bogle was a Baptist minister and land owner of which he owned 500 acres of land.

A good friend of his was George William Gordon a big landowner and politician who was very instrumental in Bogle being a Baptist deacon.

The era that Paul Bogle was in the time of slavery being abolished in Jamaica in 1834.

Despite slavery being abolished the power was still held in the hands of the white population.

Although black Jamaicans could vote after the abolishment, most did not vote because of the requirement of reading and writing along with the high fee for voting excluded most of them from being able to vote. Bogle was one of the few that was able to vote.

In 1865 a black Jamaican was charged and found guilty for trespassing along an abandoned plantation.

27 men of the village of Stony Gut freed the person accused of trespassing and arrest warrants was issued for these men for assisting the police and causing riots.

After hearing about event and news Paul Bogle on October 11, 1865 lead a group of about 280 black men and women into the town of Morant Bay. They protested about poverty and injustice that occurs in society. They marched to the courthouse to make their voices heated regarding the arrest warrants of the 27 men.

Unfortunately, they were greeted by military personnel who open fired in the crowd killing about (7) seven of the protesters. This sparked a riot and another 18 people died.

What started as a protest turned out to be a rebellion. This was known as the Morant Bay Rebellion.

2,000 others joined in and the white population feared that the revolt would spread into the rest of Jamaica and the British Governor of Jamaica Edward Eyre sent troops to slowdown and stop the uprising.

By the time the troops came things had already calmed down and it did not stop the authorities from committing massacre of nearly 439 black Jamaicans were killed, 354 arrested and executed later on, and another 600 punishments were carried out, including sentences and flogging. Paul Bogle was one of those arrested and later executed, while his friend and supporter George Gordon, who had very little to do with the uprising, was arrested in Kingston, tried under martial law and hanged on October 23rd.

Paul Bogle was later named a National Hero of Jamaica and his head appeared on the Jamaican $2 note from 1969 until it was phased out in 1989, and on the 10c coin since 1991.

Reference

http://jis.gov.jm/heroes/paul-bogle/

http://www.itzcaribbean.com/caribbean-history/people/paul-bogle/

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