Tacky's Monument

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Tacky was a slave of the Kramanti tribe who was transported from West Africa to Frontier Estate, Port Maria. He was the leader of the first important slave revolt in Jamaica.

In the Claude Stuart Park, there stands a monument dedicated to the memory of Tacky. On Easter Monday 1760 Tacky and a band of approximately fifty slaves invaded Fort Haldane, which is now the site of Gray’s Charity, killed the store-keeper and made away with several barrels of gunpowder and other ammunition. Marching down to the beach, they cut off the leaden weights of the fishermen’s nets and fashioned them into bullets. By this time they were joined by other slaves from the surrounding plantations and they embarked upon a mission of destruction. They set fire to the great houses of Heywood Hall and Esher, killing all the ‘whites’ that fell into their hands. After capturing Ballards Valley Estate they paused for celebration. During the celebration, the rebels were surrounded by the militia but managed to fight their way out. After this battle they took to the backwoods. Governor Moore enlisted the aid of the Maroons of Scots Hall in hunting the rebels. After a fierce carnage, the slaves were defeated and Tacky slain by a Maroon bullet. Tacky was beheaded and his head placed on a pole in the town square but during that same night, his followers stole his head away.

Some 400 slaves were killed in combat and another 600 sent off to British Honduras. The slave owners were compensated for the loss of these slaves. Thus ended Tacky’s War of 1760. There was no immediate benefit to the slaves but the torch of freedom had been lit and its light was soon to filter to other parishes, notable St. James and Westmoreland. A school in Gayle, St. Mary was named after Tacky called Tacky Secondary School.

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