A Moment In History – Tacky’s Easter Rebellion In St Mary

The Tacky Easter Rebellion monument in Port Maria, St Mary

Tacky had been a Coromantee chief in Ghana before being enslaved in Jamaica. In St Mary, he was enslaved on the Frontier Estate, where he was subsequently made foreman. However, he used this position to plan and influence some enslaved people on his estate and neighbouring Trinity Estate to revolt.

On Easter Monday, 1760, Tacky and his warriors went to Port Maria, where they killed the shopkeeper of Fort Haldane, and took gunpowder, muskets and cannon balls. They then went to the plantations killing white people, and by morning light, hundreds more enslaved people had joined them.

Yet, it is said that one of the enslaved from Esher Estate went to inform the militia, who set out to stop the revolt. After the hanging in public of a certain obeahman, the warriors returned to their respective plantations leaving Tacky and only a handful of people to continue the fight.

When the dust had settled, it is said that about 60 whites, and 300-400 enslaved people were killed. However, Tacky’s fate is mired in controversy, however. Some accounts claim he was killed by a Maroon named Davy, while others say he escaped behind a waterfall, and was an inspiration for later revolts.