In Jamaica on August 1, 1838, thousands of ex-slaves who had gathered at town centres and churches in the British Caribbean territory broke into joyous celebrations after hearing the final words of the Emancipation Declaration, affirming their full freedom from slavery. This momentous date represented the abolition of the dehumanising system which had enslaved people of African descent in the British colony for over 150 years.
The Emancipation Act of 1838 was passed by the British Government following a sustained abolition campaign, underscored by bloody slave uprisings in the colonies as well as increased anti-slavery sentiment in the UK.
In the midst of the campaign, which lasted from 1780 until 1838, several individuals distinguished themselves as true anti-slavery champions. These include: