The British Virgin Islands, part of a volcanic archipelago in the Caribbean, is a British overseas territory comprising 4 main islands and many smaller ones. Tortola is home to the low-key capital, Road Town, and rainforested Sage Mountain National Park. On Virgin Gorda is The Baths, a labyrinth of beachside boulders.
The abolition of slavery occurred on 1 August 1834, and to this day it is celebrated by a three day public holiday on the first Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in August in the British Virgin Islands. The original emancipation proclamation hangs in the High Court. However, the abolition of slavery was not the single event that it is sometimes supposed to have been. Emancipation freed a total of 5,792 slaves in the Territory, but at the time of abolition, there were already a considerable number of free blacks in the Territory, possibly as many as 2,000.
In January 1808, HMS Cerberus seized the American schooner, the Nancy with a cargo of enslaved Senegalese Africans in the Territory's waters; between August 1814 and February 1815 a further four ships' slave cargoes were seized from the Venus, the Manuella, the Atrevido and the Candelaria and a further 1,318 liberated slaves were deposited on Tortola's shores (of whom just over 1,000 survived).
In 1819, a Portuguese slave ship, the Donna Paula, was wrecked upon the reef at Anegada. The ship's crew and 235 slaves were saved from the wreckage. Further Spanish ships, enroute to Puerto Rico were reported wrecked on the reef at Anegada in 1817 and 1824, and their cargos settled on Tortola.
Although many of these former slaves died due to the appalling conditions that they were kept in during the transatlantic crossing, a large number survived, and had children. - Courtesy of wikipedia.org
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