In April 1816, the largest slave revolt in Barbadian history, Bussa’s Rebellion, took place. It was the first of three significant rebellions that eroded public support of slavery, thereby resulting in its abolition in 1834, when more than 80,000 British Empire slaves were emancipated.
After emancipation, labor contracts provided freed slaves with the opportunity to work as indentured servants. Unfortunately, these labor contracts had 12-year terms, as well as ridiculously low wages. Some former slaves were forced to work 45-hour weeks without pay in exchange for sparse accommodations. Also, indentured servants in Barbados were barred from receiving an education.
So, although emancipated, many of these freed slaves were still not free. It wasn’t until 1838, with the passage of the Masters and Servant Act (a.k.a. the Contract Law), that discrimination against people of color was prohibited, and these former enslaved were finally free.
The following post deals with some seriously sad times in humanity’s history.
To help lighten up an otherwise gloomy piece, I have included a bit of British humor for your viewing entertainment.
The Black Death, also known as the Great Plague, was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history.
In October 1347, about a dozen Italian merchant ships returning from the Black Sea, one of the key trade routes to China, docked at the port of Messina, Sicily. Many of sailors aboard these ships were either dead or seriously ill. Although the authorities ordered these ships to leave the harbor immediately, it was already too late. Within days, the disease had spread throughout Sicily and onto the mainland. One eyewitness told this grim tale:
“Realizing what a deadly disaster had come to them, the people quickly drove the Italians from their city. But the disease remained, and soon death was everywhere. Fathers abandoned their sick sons. Lawyers refused to come and make out wills for the dying. Friars and nuns were left to care for the sick, and monasteries and convents were soon deserted, as they were stricken, too. Bodies were left in empty houses, and there was no one to give them a Christian burial.”
Categories: Cole-Marriner Line, Extended Families, Famous Faces and Places, Harwick-Bush Line, Noel-Ardinger Line, Spangler-Kenney Line, Taylor-Thomas Line, Watts-Stark Line
Tags: ancestry, epidemic, European history, family history, family tree, genealogy, lineage, pandemic