July 3rd, Emancipation Day (E-Day) in the US Virgin Islands, is public holiday commemorating abolition of slavery in the Danish West Indies in 1848. E-Day is celebrated in many former colonies on various dates to recognize the abolition of slavery, serfdom, or other forms of servitude.
The Danish West India Company settled on part of the Virgin Islands archipelago, which is now known as the US Virgin Islands, in the 17th century. The trans-Atlantic slave trade to the archipelago began in 1673.
Slaves mainly worked on sugarcane plantations. They were forced to work in difficult conditions and were treated inhumanely. This led to several large revolts, such as the 1733 slave insurrection on Saint John which lasted for 6 months.
In 1835, Peter von Scholten became governor of the islands. He tried to lighten the burden of the slaves by permitting the private ownership and creating schools for them. When a non-violent [sic] slave revolt broke out on the island of Saint Croix in 1848, von Scholten decided to emancipate all slaves.
Slavery on the Danish West Indian Islands was officially abolished on July 3, 1848. The anniversary of this event was declared a public holiday in the US Virgin Islands along with the Fourth of July when slaves in the United States were emancipated.
E-Day is observed in many former European colonies in the Caribbean and areas of the United States on various dates to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved people of African descent. It is also observed in other areas in regard to the abolition of serfdom or other forms of servitude.
Courtesy in part by:
https://anydayguide.com/calendar/2177 and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emancipation_Day
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