The Journal of Caribbean History: Volume 53, Issue 1

Article 2
Maroon Emancipationists: Dominica’s Africans and Igbos in the Age of Revolution, 1763–1814

Neil C. Vaz


In the 1760s, a maroon community developed in the island of Dominica’s interior. They sustained themselves independently for more than fifty years. These maroons, however, were universal emancipationists – a nation that attempted to destroy all traces of slavery in their midst. Furthermore, though their existence ran concurrent with the French Revolution, these maroons, for the most part, avoided integration with that movement. They preserved their own independent philosophies, not rooted in European thought, but African, more particularly, Igbo philosophy. The philosophy of Dominica’s maroons was the reason for their endured successes, but was also the leading factor contributing to their eventual demise.