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First Maroon War

The First Maroon War was a conflict between the Jamaican Maroons and the British in Jamaica that reached a climax in 1731.

Contents

  • Background 1
  • The treaty 2
  • Notes 3
  • Works cited 4

Background

In 1655, the British defeated the Spanish colonists and took control of most of Jamaica. Following the flight of the Spanish, the Africans whom they had enslaved joined the

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Among the early historians to mention the Jamaican Maroons and the First Maroon War were the following:

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  • Campbell, Mavis C. (1990), The Maroons of Jamaica, 1655-1796, Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press,  

Works cited

  1. ^ Patterson 1970, pp. 256–258

Notes

A year later, the even more rebellious Windward Maroons of Trelawny Town also agreed to sign a treaty under pressure from both white Jamaicans and the Leeward Maroons, though they were never happy about it. This discontentment with the treaty later led to the Second Maroon War. History of the Accompong (Trelawny Town) Maroon.

The person responsible for the compromise with the British was the Leeward Maroon leader, Cudjoe, a short, almost dwarf-like man who for years fought skillfully and bravely to maintain his people's independence. As he grew older, however, Cudjoe became increasingly disillusioned. He ran into quarrels with his lieutenants and with other Maroon groups. He felt that the only hope for the future was honorable peace with the enemy, which was just what the British were thinking. The 1739 treaty should be seen in this light.

Another provision of the agreement was that the Maroons would serve to protect the island from invaders. The latter was because the Maroons were revered by the British as skilled warriors.

In exchange, they were asked to agree not to harbour new runaway slaves, but rather to help catch them. This last clause in the treaty naturally caused a split between the Maroons and the rest of the black population, although from time to time runaways from the plantations still found their way into Maroon settlements.

In 1739–40, the British government in Jamaica recognized that it could not defeat the Maroons, so they came to an agreement with them instead. The Maroons were to remain in their five main towns (Accompong, Trelawny Town, Moore Town, Scott's Pass, Nanny Town), living under their own rulers and a British supervisor.

The treaty

The Leeward Maroons inhabited "cockpits," caves, or deep ravines that were easily defended, even against troops with superior firepower. Such guerrilla warfare and the use of scouts who blew the abeng (the cow horn, which was used as a trumpet) to warn of approaching British soldiers allowed the Maroons to evade, thwart, frustrate, and defeat the forces of an Empire.

In September 1728, the British sent more troops to Jamaica, changing the balance of power with the Windward Maroons. [1]

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