|FROM REBECCA TORTELLO'S 'PIECES OF THE PAST' PUBLISHED IN THE GLEANER - SEE LINK BELOW TO READ MORE|
The Road To Freedom
Celebration of Emancipation on August 1, 1838 in the Square of Spanish Town, the then capital of Jamaica. There was a procession of the Baptist Church and Congregation of Spanish Town under the Rev. J.M. Phillips, with about 2,000 school children and their teachers to Government House. Amid tremendous rejoicing, Governor Sir Lionel Smith read the Proclamation of Freedom to the large crowd of about 8,000 people, who had gathered in the Square. The governor's carriage is seen in the foreground. -
Freedom can be said to have arrived in two stages; the first being the early morning of Friday, August 1, 1834. On that day many slaves were said to have walked up hills and climbed trees so as to clearly witness the literal dawning of their freedom. Around the island thousands attended "Divine Services" to give thanks and praise. August 1, 1834, marked the emancipation of all slaves in British colonies but it was a case of freedom with conditions. Although the Abolition Act stated that slavery shall be and is hereby utterly abolished and unlawful, the only slaves truly freed were those not yet born and those under six years of age. All other slaves were to enter a six-year 'apprenticeship' during which they were to be 'apprenticed' to the plantations.
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