Sam Sharpe Square Montego Bay
Sam Sharpe Square is the centre of the City of Montego Bay Jamaica. The location consists of a cobblestone road way with features a Georgian style fountain.
Next to it is a monument featuring several statutes one in particular of National Hero Sam Sharpe after whom the Square is named.
Beside the fountain is the now civic centre which is a restored version of the Court House at which Sam Sharpe was tried.
At the Square beside the Statues are two small brick buildings. One known as the cage, both were used for holding prisoners and runaway slaves.
Below is the excerpt taken from a sign at the site
The cage dates back to 1806. A belfry was built in 1811.
In about 1823 this was replaced with today's building of bricks and mortar.
The cage was used as an overnight lock up for vagrants, drunks, runaways and plantation slaves who had not left town after the 3 pm warning bell.
Below is an excerpt taken from what is written about National Hero Sam Sharpe, who fought for the abolition of Slavery and was hanged at the said location?
Sam Sharpe was enslaved on both the Croydon Plantation and at a property in Montego Bay in St. James. He was owned by Samuel Sharpe, Esquire, Attorney. He was a man of Exceptional intelligence,* and a Baptist* lay preacher. He believed all men were created in the image of God, were equal, and that therefore slavery was wrong. He preached about the injustices of slavery and read of the work of the abolitionists.
In 1831 Sharpe organized a passive resistance movement against slavery in St. James, Trelawny and Westmoreland by demanding pay for work done. Set to begin during Christmas 1831 the strike turned into an armed rebellion. The uprising was savagely suppressed by the English. Hundreds of enslaved people were caught, tried and executed in Montego Bay Market Place on May 23,1832.
However, the widespread nature and seriousness of the rebellion convinced the British Government that the time had come to end-the enslavement of African people. This took place on August 1, 1834 and therefore*Sam Sharpe had not died in-vain.
Sam Sharpe was buried under the pulpit of the Burchell Baptist Church, here in Montego Bay.
In recognition of his fight for • freedom, Sam Sharpe has been declared one of Jamaica's National Heroes. This monument is dedicated to Sam Sharpe, National Hero, and show him preaching to his people Sam Sharpe (DIED)1832
Modern Sam Sharpe Square
Today Sam Sharpe Square is a tourist attraction, above the fountain in the Christmas season a large artificial Christmas tree is mounted. The site has also been modernized somewhat and features free wi-fi and several electronic billboards.
The civic centre which as mentioned served as the old court house will be featured in a upcoming article. The civic centre now houses an art museum that is that displays several art pieces and has several large pieces dedicated to displaying images of Haile Selassie I who was the Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974 and from about whom the Religion of Rastafarianism is based.