Documents from the trials are brutal!!
The trial protocol from the court martial ends with death sentences that were executed immediately. The sentences from the second trial end with death sentences that were later commuted to imprisonment.
These archival documents are not neutral or resulting from a fair trial. They are inscribed in the Danish colonial power, who had the authority over laws, verdicts and enforcement and who did not grant the Danish colonial subjects, the plantation laborers the same legal position as Danish national subjects in Denmark.
The documents are written by Danish administrators in Danish, despite the fact that interrogations were held in English.
The role of Danish administrators was to exercise colonial power and restore the colonial order.
** Notes on translation:
In translation, you always deal with a shift between languages and cultural environments, and in the translation of text from a different time, the shift is deepened. Also, however faithfully one tries to translate, it will always involve an aspect of interpretation.
In the translation of the Fireburn files, the aim has been to keep the historical and cultural tone of the original text.
Eight persons were sentenced to hard labour for life in Copenhagen. Four women came across the Atlantic together with three men from the rebellion. Mary Thomas, Mathilde McBean, Susanna Abraham, ’Bottom Belly’, and Axeline ’Agnes’ Solomon were incarcerated in Christianshavn's Womens Prison. The three men, Joseph Bowell, James Emmanuel Benjamin and Edvard Lewis were taken to Horsens' Penitentiary.
Fireburn was widely discussed and reported in contemporary media as well as on the occassion of Denmark
selling the colony to the US. This is a selection from the period.
The blog is going to be written by scholars, activists, descendants of Fireburn rioters and others engaged in this part of history - stay tuned.
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