BY: NATASHA GREGG
THE BERBICE SLAVE UPRISING –
Pre-Haitian Revolution, one of the major rebellions against colonial rule occurred in the Dutch colony of Berbice (modern day Guyana) on February 23, 1763. Slaves on Magdaleneberg, a plantation located on the Canje River, revolted against the cruel and inhumane treatment they were subjected to, by torching the plantation house. They then traveled to other plantations, where they organized other slaves to join their fight. Subsequently, a leader by the name of Cuffy, a house slave at another plantation (Lilienburg), emerged and mobilized them into an army. As one plantation after the other fell by the hands of the rebels, the Dutch planters fled and the rebels were able to take control of the region. As the rebellion roared on for the next year, the rebels rapidly increased in size, to approximately 3,000 members. The sheer size of the rebellion threatened European control of the colony and nearby colonies, and caused panic among the colonists. In the spring of 1764, the revolt was squashed when troops from Europe and nearby British and French colonies were deployed into Berbice. Today, Cuffy is known as a National Hero of Guyana.