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The Maroons of Jamaica

by Mary Allen
(Tamarac, Florida, USA)

I really don't have much of as story to share, but I have a few questions which I think you are in a the unique position to get some answers for, if you would be so very kind.

My father, of blessed memory, used to tell his children wonderful stories. One of his stories was that his father came from the Maroons.

Because my grandfather lived for a period in St. Elizabeth, before moving to Westmoreland, where he conducted his business establishment, in a town called, Lennox Bigwoods, I imagine that the closest Maroons would be those in Accompong. (not sure of the spelling), anyway, my main questions are these: Were the Maroons a tribe in Africa?

Where exactly in Africa did they come from? Are all the maroons in the various parishes connected? That is, are they all from the same place/country in Africa?

I know from history lessons taught in school, how proud they were. How they objected to being slaves. How they created havoc in their quest to regain their freedom, and how eventually they were able to sign a pact/treaty, with the British, and acquire property (and freedom), property, which, I believe they own, tax free, to the present day.

Please my friend, get some information about the origin of the Maroons for me. I'm sure you'll agree, its time for us to retell their story for all young Jamaicans, to learn and appreciate!

Many thanks indeed!

Wellesley's Note

Hi Mary, thanks for asking!
Our history has always been a topic that intrigued me myself.

From my knowledge, the term maroons was simply a term for those who objected to and ran away from the tyranny of slavery and the sugar plantations and settled 'freely' in the hills.

According to Wikipedia, "Maroons were Africans who had escaped from slavery in the Americas and mixed with the indigenous peoples of the Americas, and formed independent settlements. The term can also be applied to their descendants."

Did you get a chance to read my article on the maroons of Jamaica? If not, please click on that link and read it to learn more. Thanks again for asking.

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