The Journal of Caribbean History: Volume 50, Issue 1

Article 1
Surviving the Suppression: The Significance of Witnesses’ Testimonies before the Jamaica Royal Commission of 1866

Jenny M. Jemmott


This article assesses the importance of testimonies taken before the Jamaica Royal Commission of 1866 in facilitating significant insights into the challenges faced by ordinary residents of St Thomas in the East prior to and during the events of October 1865. The testimonies illustrate the role of religious affiliation, gender, race and class-based stereotypes in the deadly unfolding of the suppression. A case-study analysis of the experiences conveyed by the testimonies underscores their significance as narratives of commemoration for the many who experienced the state-unleashed terror of October 1865.