The 1733 Slave Revolt that Liberated an Island

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By 1733, the year of the rebellion, slaves constituted a vast majority of the population of the island of St. John, then ruled by the Danish West India and Guinea Company, with slaves greatly outnumbering the whites.

Conditions for slaves were, unsurprisingly, unbearable and in an effort to dissuade slaves from escaping, a serves of very punitive slaves codes were established, with punishments ranging from flogging to amputations and hangings. The situation of slaves on the island was exacerbated by a series of natural disasters that led to the starvation deaths of many.

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