Honoring All over the world Ladies Big date and you will VI History Day, we’re reflecting three courageous feminine so you’re able to exactly who the new Region owes a beneficial high loans. There is still work to get complete, for this reason we look back to increase desire and you may encouragement from the Virgin Islanders that moved before all of us.
Mary Thomas, known as King Mary, (california. 1848–1905) was one of several frontrunners of the 1878 “Fireburn” work riot, otherwise uprising, to your area off St. Croix.
Mary Thomas are of Antigua and arrived in St. Croix regarding 1860s for taking work with the new plantations inside the the new island. After the 1848 emancipation regarding enslaved Africans on Danish Western Indies, an enthusiastic 1849 work law fixed salaries and labor requirements for all plantation gurus and you may prohibited bargaining having greatest earnings otherwise works criteria. That it produced plantation really works unattractive and many pros opted to go away the brand new plantations plus the countries, to get best standards elsewhere. Government entities responded for the labor scarcity by making they more complicated so you’re able to to possess professionals to depart the hawaiian islands, requiring wellness permits and you can billing charges to possess passports. Whenever wages were to feel discussed on the slide out-of 1878, the fresh workers’ requires were refused, and you may new severe criteria to possess take a trip have been implemented. This sparked the fresh so-entitled Fireburn riots, that happen to be called the largest work riot when you look at the Danish background, and where over fifty ranches was basically burnt.
Because of her part due to the fact a chief into the uprising e become called “King Mary”. The staff selected their as well as 2 most other feminine, “King Agnes” and you may “Queen Matilda”, since “queens” to perform routine and celebratory features in the uprising. Queen Mary are arrested and you can attempted along with other leaders of the labor uprising. On trial of your labor management Thomas are sentenced so you’re able to death having arson and you may looting however, got their unique phrase commuted in order to lifestyle imprisonment, and you may are relocated to Copenhagen and you can placed within Ladies’ Prison, Christianshavn for the 1882, however in 1887 was delivered back to help you Christiansted, St. Croix to help you suffice with the rest of her phrase.
Anna Heegaard remains an interesting figure inside the Virgin Isles background. She actually is credited which have improving conditions into the enslaved African and you may “100 % free Colored” people of Danish Western Indies in the 19th century since the a result of their 20 12 months experience of new islands’ Governor Standard, Peter von Scholten.
Depending on the Encyclopedia regarding Antislavery & Abolition, “Heegard without a doubt swayed the fresh new movement getting court and you will societal equality having totally free black colored anyone regarding the Danish Western Indies.” Heegaard grew up in St. Croix within the January away from 1790 so you’re able to single parents named a “totally free mulatto woman” and you may a Danish Government clerk. She grew up together with her mom and you may half sisters within the Christiansted. Heegard relied on their particular wits and you may charm in order to create liaisons that have St. Croix’s richest and you will powerful dudes, sooner crossing pathways into Governor-General shortly once his coming from inside the 1827. From the that time, she got by herself become a comparatively successful woman.
Heegard and also the Governor-Standard began fulfilling on a regular basis to discuss the fresh predicament of the Totally free Colored population and you can she is said to have aided your ready yourself a listing of personal reforms which he made available to new Danish King, which designated a percentage to review and you beautiful lebanon women may do the newest laws for personal fairness to possess low-whites regarding D.W.I. . Reforms to your “unfree” in the course of time integrated – a managed amount of workday, reduce of corporal punishment, banning out-of public slave deals, a great reprieve to possess expectant mothers, facilities out-of schools and you will houses developments. Von Scholten as well as spent some time working to help you elevator barriers for free black colored and you can colored somebody – establishing them in public areas positions and you can hosting racially incorporated personal services, to include his own dinner people presided more by the Heegard. It existed due to the fact guy and you can spouse for the majority regarding one or two ily into the Denmark, and finally the pair compensated on Bulows Minde Property Home outside of Christiansted.