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Barrios, Miguel “El Negro”  

Juliet Montero Brito

fugitive slave and leader of an anticolonial rebellion in Venezuela from 1553 to 1556, was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico (Venezuela). He was a slave of Don Pedro Del Barrio, the son of Damián Del Barrio, who had discovered an important gold mine in Segovia de Barquisimeto, Venezuela, and moved his family and slaves from the island of Puerto Rico to Venezuela to establish a slave labor regime in the mines. In 1552 Miguel Barrios was moved to Nueva Segovia de Barquisimeto, at which point he had already earned a reputation as a rebellious and courageous slave, unbreakable in character. In 1553 he struck his master Del Barrio and then fled to the nearby mountains Once there he declared himself free and during the following year under cover of darkness came down from the mountains and convinced many of the other black and indigenous slaves to join ...



Yvette Modestin and Toshi Sakai

(fl. 1540s–1550s) is the most famous of several black liberationist leaders of colonial Panama. By the mid-sixteenth century, thousands of Africans in the isthmus had escaped enslavement and were living free in the forests. Called Cimarrones, from the Taino word sima meaning “flight,” they formed self-governing, African-rooted societies. Bayano was the leader of some 1,200 Cimarrones (Pike, 2007; Araúz, 1997) in the eastern region that extended from the Darien to the Rio Chagres. The earliest references to him appear in the mid-1540s when Spanish colonial authorities warn travelers of the danger of Cimarron ambushes on forest roads.

Details of Bayano’s birth, ethnicity, early life, and path to power are not known, but theories abound. The historian Fernando Romero (1975) speculated that his name may indicate Vai origin one of many ethnic groups from the large area then known as Guinea in West Africa but ...



Alice Knox Eaton

or Cuffee slave insurrectionist was the reported leader of the first major slave rebellion in the American colonies His name means son born on a Friday in the Akan language of Gold Coast Africans The Akan known in the era of the slave trade as Coromantees were reputed to resist enslavement with great bravery and ferocity In the early eighteenth century slavery had become an integral part of the economy of New York City with an active slave market and a regular influx of slave labor from Africa As the slave population grew treatment of slaves became increasingly brutal as British colonists attempted to make slave labor as productive in the North as it was in the South Unlike slaves on southern plantations however slaves in New York City lived in densely populated areas and had many more opportunities to meet with one another and plan organized resistance On the ...



Alonford James Robinson

The life and death of the Jamaican maroon (fugitive slave), Cudjoe, has become a symbol of black resistance in Jamaica. Cudjoe's story as the eighteenth century leader of the Clarendon maroons has also been a contested part of Jamaican history. Early European descriptions painted a caricatured portrait of him, while black recollections portrayed him as a fearless soldier.

Cudjoe was among more than 500 African-born slaves in the Jamaican parish of St. Clarendon who escaped after a violent insurrection in 1690. Cudjoe emerged as leader of a loose confederation of runaway slaves who lived in the Clarendon hills. The Clarendon maroons, led by Cudjoe, organized themselves into small gangs that secretly wandered into white towns to steal food and weapons.

Even though the Clarendon maroons were disunited they became skilled soldiers and expert marksmen Under Cudjoe s leadership they defended their freedom in a series of small skirmishes ...


Washington, Madison  

Zoe Trodd

was born into slavery in central Virginia, and his parentage and precise date of birth are unknown. Washington was the instigator of a slave revolt onboard the U.S. brig Creole in 1841. Very little is known about Washington's life before and after the Creole revolt. Married at the age of twenty, he escaped from slavery in 1839 and reached Canada in 1840 after traveling through either Ohio or New York State. He returned to Virginia to free his wife in 1841 and was helped on his return journey by abolitionists in Rochester. But when he reached Virginia he was recaptured, sold to a slave broker named Thomas McCargo, and placed on the Creole with 134 other slaves.

The ship left the port of Richmond, Virginia, on 25 October 1841 bound for New Orleans Louisiana where the slaves would be sold at auction Also on board were thirteen ...


Washington, Madison  

Sam Hitchmough

Madison Washington escaped from slavery twice. His actions resulted in widespread admiration from abolitionists—including Frederick Douglass, who hailed Washington as a hero—and spawned novellas, pamphlets, and other antislavery literature that contributed to the widening attack on the institution in the early 1840s.

Washington first escaped slavery when he ran away to Canada. Unable to live freely without his enslaved wife, he returned to the South in a bid to rescue her, which ended tragically when she was killed in the attempt and Washington was enslaved once more. Washington is, however, principally remembered for his second escape from slavery. With a cargo of 135 slaves, the American slave brig Creole sailed from Hampton Roads, Virginia, bound for New Orleans in October 1841 with the re enslaved Washington on board In November a group of nineteen slaves led by Washington seized the boat killing one white crewman and forced a ...