Sugar from the West Indies
The Sugar House in Sankt Olsgade in Roskilde was built in 1761 – the dream child of J.J. Holst. He wanted to establish local sugar production based on raw materials from the Danish West Indies. But he needed capital and had not entirely worked out the logistics. In…
Slave riots in the West Indies
In the 1730s, the Danish West Indies consisted of two islands, Saint Thomas and Saint John, where farming was slave-based. The limit was reached when slaves comprised over 80 percent of the population. A new rule was introduced as a deterrent. Rioting would be punishable by execution, while more minor crimes, such as escape and theft, would be punished by branding, mutilation or flogging. In 1733, the islands were hit by hurricanes and droughts. Some slaves tried to escape while others joined forces ready to attack the fort on Saint John. They killed plantation owners and soldiers and seized control for five months. When the plantation owners regained power, sugar production was resumed.
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