Jamaican Conflict


Jamaican Conflict

As I mentioned in the book, Eyre was accused of being complicit in the mass murder of over 600 Jamaicans when an insurrection was put down by the military under his orders as Governor. Eyre believed that he had performed his duties firmly but fairly, and that the bloodshed that resulted was regrettable but a result of excesses by soldiers, about which he had no knowledge at the time. Jamaicans of all races and persuasions who spoke or wrote contemporaneously overwhelmingly supported Eyre’s prompt and strong measures. Many stated that he had saved the island from widespread massacres or worse.

Some new information and fresh evidence has come to light regarding Eyre’s time in Jamaica that has not yet been dealt with adequately. For example, there are statements made by some Jamaican Maroons and Negroes that confirm there was a plot to plunge the whole of Jamaica into rebellion and to slaughter all who stood in its way. I have seen the deposition made by a Confederate commander of a schooner, Lieutenant Edenborough, that George William Gordon, Eyre’s main protagonist in Jamaica, had approached him to purchase arms shortly before the rebellion started. Perhaps Eyre’s spies were correct, that Gordon was the main instigator of rebellion in Jamaica and that annihilation of all opposition was planned?

A further statement was made by a black American sailor, Thomas Rogers, who passed unnoticed in a pub in Jamaica, but who was appalled by the enthusiastic talk there of impending violent bloody rebellion. “On Christmas day, after the usual dinner hour on the Island, all the white and coloured people were to be murdered.”

Fearing for his life, Rogers slipped away and reported to his captain that they could be overtaken by an island-wide revolution and must sail at once.

Because of these and additional incidents, alongside research supporting Eyre’s claims that he was not informed of atrocities committed by the military during martial law, a well-researched book requiring an author to spend time in Jamaica, in England and perhaps other places needs to be written.