Bussa's rebellion, Barbados

Bussa’s rebellion, Barbados

BARBADOS – april 14, 1816

The largest slave rebellion in Barbadian history took place during the Bussa uprising in April 1816. The rebellion takes its name from the African-born slave, Bussa, who led the rebellion. Bussa, who is reportedly of Igbo origin, is believed to have been born free in West Africa, captured by African traffickers, sold to European slave traders, and taken to Barbados as a slave in the late 18th century, where slavery had been legal since 1661 under the Barbados Slave Code.Although not much is known about him, available records reveal that a slave named “Bussa” served as a ranger on “Bayley’s Plantation” in the parish of Saint Philip. In contrast to the typical slave, Bussa would have had more mobility in this position, which would have made it easier for him to organize the revolt which began on the Bayleys Plantation and spread to other nearby plantations. The Imperial Registry Bill, which would have recorded Slaves in the British colonies, was discussed and rejected by the House of Assembly in November 1815, it was also resented by plantation owners in Barbados, who feared it as a step which might one day lead to Emancipation and the loss of their slave “property”.The Assembly’s rejection of the bill marked the beginning of the insurrection. According to historians, slaves interpreted some of the parliamentary proposals as preparatory to emancipation, and retaliated when emancipation did not take place…..(read more from source below).



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