D. Hamilton Jackson
|D. Hamilton Jackson|
|Born||September 28, 1884
Estate East Hill, St. Croix, Danish West Indies
|Occupation||Educator, bookkeeper, newspaper editor|
|Known for||Leader of civil rights movement, labor movement|
David Hamilton Jackson (1884-1946) was a United States Virgin Islands civil rights leader. At the time of his birth, the Territory was under the rule of Danish West Indies. Jackson was an important figure in the struggle for increased civil liberties and workers' rights on the islands. He petitioned for freedom of the press, was involved in the territory's labor movement, and, when the Danish West Indies became the U.S. Virgin Islands in 1917, he lobbied for citizenship for the islanders.
Jackson worked as an educator and later a bookkeeper before becoming involved in the politics of the Danish West Indies. He traveled to Denmark and successfully petitioned for the repeal of a 1779 law which prohibited independent newspapers and enforced strict censorship on all publications in the territory. Upon returning home, he established the first free newspaper, The Herald. The date of this event, November 1, is celebrated as an annual public holiday known as "Liberty Day", "D. Hamilton Jackson Day", or "Bull and Bread Day" in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
With the help of Ralph Bough, Jackson organized the first labor union in the Danish West Indies in 1913. He lobbied for the transfer of the islands from Danish control to American control, and after the sale of the islands to the United States in 1917, he led a movement to demand U.S. citizenship for residents of the territory.
A residential community in Christiansted has been named in his honor.