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The Berbice Revolt (1763)
Transcript of The Berbice Revolt (1763)
Causes of the Revolt
Courses of the rebellion
Results of the Revolt
Reasons for Failure
Coffy's hesitation on attacking Fort Nassau.
The leaders of the Revolution were divided in their struggle for power which deterred their aim.
The Dutch soldiers were far superior to the rebels.
Betrayal among leaders also led to the failure of this Revolt.
Some slaves were taking revenge because of the ill treatment they received from managers and overseers.
Some slaves wished for permanent freedom from the Dutch and felt that a revolt was the only way to achieve this.
Some slaves received little or no provisions because the planters did not grow enough on the estate and the Berbice Association cut down food imports.
The slaves knew that the whites were weakened as a group (both in size and physically)
The slaves were inspired to start a revolt by a Maroon revolt in Suriname in the year 1762.
The revolution begon on February 23, 1763 at Plantation Magdelenenberg owned by a widow, Madam Vernesobre on the Caje River. The slaves killed the manager and carpenter, burned down the owner's house, and moved on to neighbouring plantations along the Berbice River. Coffy, a housel slave, became the leader and set up headquarters at Plantations Hollandia and Zeelandia. This forced whites to retreat to Fort Nassauand Peerboom.
On March 8, Governor Van Hoogenheim received a shipload of 10 soldiers from a British ship from Suriname and was able to attack for the first time. Van Hoogenheim led the main party of the Berbice River to Plantation Dageraad, but his three attacls were unsucessful.
In April, Coffy an the Governor sought to divide Berbice but in that time the Governor received reinforcements from Gravesande, the Governor of Essequibo.
On May 13, Coffy attacked Dageraad unsuccessfully. Eight whites and 58 slaves were killed. Coffy's deputy Akara deserted him. Division plagued the black forces (slaves). Ultimately, Coffy committed suicide.
1764 March-April, 40 slaves were hanged, 24 broken at the wheel and 24 were burned.
February 23 was changed to Guyanese National Day.
In 1970 when Berbice became a Republic, Coffy was chosen as a National Hero.
The revolt marked the first serious attempt by a large group of enslaved people to win their freedom in Guyana.
This was a slave revolt that happened in British Guyana in 1763.
by: Clayon Levy
The Berbice Revolt (1763)