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This Day in History – October 10, 1865

Paul Bogle leads a protest march to the Morant Bay courthouse

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On October 11, 1865, Paul Bogle led a successful protest march to the Morant Bay courthouse. He is believed to have been born a free man in Jamaica sometime in the early 1820’s.

He was able to vote during a time period when there were barely more than 100 voters in the parish of St. Thomas. He was a strong supporter of political activist George William Gordon who was a self educated landowner and the son of a slave woman. Gordon encouraged people to protest against and resist the oppressive and unfair conditions that they were forced to live in.

Poverty and injustice in his society motivated Paul Bogle’s protest march to the Morant Bay courthouse on October 11, 1865.

In an extremely violent conflict against complete official strength that came immediately after the march, almost 500 people died and a huge number of people were punished and flogged before peace was reclaimed.

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Bogle was arrested and executed on October 24, 1865; but his powerful demonstration accomplished its goals. It cleared the way for the creation of fair policies in the courts which made possible the social and economic betterment of the people.

Due to his humanitarian efforts, Bogle was awarded the Order of the National Hero in 1969  per the National Honours and Awards Act.

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