Emancipation 2013

Emancipation

Today marks the 175th anniversary of Emancipation when most of those enslaved in the British colonies ceased to be in bondage.

Emancipation, the early Village Movement and Buxton

By Cecilia McAlmont  This is an edited version of a ‘History This Week’ article which first appeared in Stabroek News on July 29, 2010 The Emancipation Act which was passed by the British Parliament in 1833 came after more than four decades of agitation and setbacks by the British Anti-Slavery movement.

The African Village Movement

By Cecilia McAlmont  This is an edited version of a ‘History this Week’ column which first appeared in Stabroek News on August 4, 2011 In British Guiana, the dominant planter class felt that because of the availability of Crown land and abandoned estates, when apprenticeship ended the ex-apprentices would abandon the sugar estates which would lead to a labour shortage, the collapse of the sugar economy and by implication, the end of ‘civilised society.’ To forestall this eventuality, the planters used their control over the political institutions of the colony to put in place measures that would keep the apprentices landless and to restrict the freedom of movement of the soon to be ex-apprentices.

Life in Victoria today

Almost 174 years ago eighty-three men and women who had been freed from slavery paid the price of 30,000 guilders for what was then known as plantation Northbrook, a cotton plantation of about 500 acres, and today that plantation is known as the village of Victoria, fondly referred to as the ‘first village.’ November 7, 1839 will mark 174 years since the men and women who came from five plantations ‒ Ann’s Grove, Dochfour, Enmore, Hope ‒ came together to buy the plantation, and it is recorded that two-thirds of the money was paid right away in coins, delivered in wheelbarrows, some of them still black with mud from