Andrew Smith (officer)

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Andrew Smith (died c. early 1800s) was a Maroon officer from Cudjoe's Town (Trelawny Town). His brother, Charles Samuels, was also an officer from Trelawny Town, and both officers reported to Colonel Montague James.

Second Maroon War[edit]

As the population of Trelawny Town grew in the second half of the eighteenth century, Andrew Smith set up a satellite village of his own in the rural Westmoreland Parish.[1] When the Second Maroon War broke out between Trelawny Town and the colonial authorities, the militias destroyed Smith's village. As a result, Smith joined the Trelawny Maroons as they fought against the forces of Governor Alexander Lindsay, 6th Earl of Balcarres. When General George Walpole eventually persuaded the Trelawny Maroons to lay down their arms on a promise that they would not be deported, Smith was one of the first to surrender. However, Balcarres exploited a clause in the treaty to claim that most of the Maroons did not surrender in time, and ordered their deportation.[2] Smith was one of a handful of Maroons to have met the deadline, and he was offered the opportunity to remain in Jamaica. However, he was so outraged by the governor's duplicity that he chose to go with the rest of the Trelawny maroons into exile.[3]

While they were in detention, Smith curried favour with the colonial authorities by identifying a number of runaway slaves who had fought on the side of Trelawny Town. When they reached Nova Scotia, Smith was regarded by his fellow Maroons as a traitor. In a letter to his half-brother Samuels from Nova Scotia in 1797, Smith complained that the Maroons hated him and that they wanted to kill him. Walpole reported that Smith did not get on with other Maroon officers such as Leonard Parkinson and James Palmer.[4][5]

Sierra Leone and England[edit]

On the journey to Sierra Leone, Smith joined James in complaining about corruption in the distribution of provisions by another Maroon officer, Major Jarrett. On investigating the proceedings, superintendent George Ross found that James and Smith were correct, and he dismissed John Jarrett from his post.[6]

It appears that Smith was unhappy with his position in Sierra Leone, and he shortly afterwards migrated to England. In 1805, two Maroons from Sierra Leone, John Thorp or Thorpe and Andrew Smith, were recorded as living in Clapham in London, and they had their teenaged sons baptised there.[7] Thorpe became a lawyer, but there is no evidence what happened to Smith, who probably died in England shortly afterwards.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Michael Siva, After the Treaties: A Social, Economic and Demographic History of Maroon Society in Jamaica, 1739-1842, PhD Dissertation (Southampton: Southampton University, 2018), p. 46.
  2. ^ Siva, After the Treaties, pp. 150-1. https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/423482/1/LIBRARY_COPY_After_The_Treaties_Final.pdf
  3. ^ Mavis Campbell, Back to Africa: George Ross and the Maroons (Trenton: Africa World Press, 1993), pp. 5-7.
  4. ^ John Grant, The Maroons in Nova Scotia (Halifax: Formac, 2002), p. 116.
  5. ^ Siva, After the Treaties, pp. 179-180.
  6. ^ Mavis Campbell, Back to Africa, pp. 5-7.
  7. ^ Baptisms in the Parish of Clapham 1805, P95/TRI 1/092 (London Metropolitan Archives).
  8. ^ West, Richard, Back to Africa: A History of Sierra Leone and Liberia (London: Jonathan Cape Ltd, 1970), p. 163.