The 1918 urban labour riot in Antigua marks a major high-point in the history of the island. As with most historical events, its historical meaning and significance has been interpreted in different ways by various historical commentators. Kiethlyn Smith, in his magisterial history of the Antiguan working people, provides a brief description of the labour dispute that led to the outbreak of strikes and cane burning by urban and rural cane cutters. In his depiction of the urban labour riot, he writes that "a fight broke out between police and the people of Point" and the Antiguan colonial authorities responded by declaring martial law.1
Paget Henry describes the 1918 labour dispute as an "insurrection" in which "workers in St Johns took to the streets and battled with the police and defense force. In the rural areas ... workers from the lodges attacked the plantations, seizing some and burning others."2 In an even more dramatic depiction, Tim Hector, leader of ACLM and editor of the Outlet newspaper, wrote the following about the 1918 unrest:
The peasants and landless labourers in the amazing insurrection of 1918 were not seeking better wages and working conditions. They were seeking the land.3
As the varying depictions suggest, the events of 1918 still stand in need of more detailed study and this paper is a small contribution to our better understanding of the historical course and significance of this historical high-point.
Robert and his younger brother, James "Studiation", Brown, returned to Antigua sometime after the start of World War 1 independently wealthy men. Early in 1916, the brothers purchased commercial property in the capital town St Johns, including a block of buildings, for the sum of £600. Together they established a retail emporium, the 'Bargain House' and thereby became two of the leading black merchants in the island.4 The Brown brothers had apparently become involved in black protest politics while living in New York and soon became engaged in raising the consciousness of the black Antiguan working class. In this mission, they gained external support from an early West Indian radical, the Barbadian black nationalist, 'Professor' Arlington Newton. Newton had been actively making tours up and down the island chain of the Lesser Antilles before the outbreak of World War 1 and had delivered a series of lectures in Antigua in 1913 on his way from St Croix.5
In 1916, Newton created a lodge, the Ulotrichian Universal Union, a branch of which was registered as a friendly society in Barbados on 30 January 1917. Newton was in close contact with the Brown brothers and on his visit to Antigua in May 1916, during which he was arrested and deported as persona non grata, Newton and the Browns established an Antiguan branch of his society which the brothers proceeded to register as the Ulotrichian Universal Union Friendly Society on 2 April 1917.6 Robert Brown held the position of president of the Antiguan society while James held the post of marshall. By the end of 1917, the society claimed a membership of 4,174 members nearly half of whom were fully paid up.7 Its declared objectives were "To raise funds by entrance fees, weekly contributions, fines, levies and investments for paying sick and death benefits." However, the acting governor of the Leeward Islands observed that the society "combined useful work as a Friendly Society with underground instruction of the labourers as to his rights and his downtrodden condition".8 The chief inspector of police accused the Brown brothers and the society's leadership of seeking "to become dictators in the regulation of wages and conditions of labour generally".9
The activities of the Brown brothers, Arlington Newton and the Ulotrichian Universal Union (UUU) were not isolated events but were part of an upsurge of black nationalism and radical labour politics then taking place throughout the British Caribbean. In the neighbouring island of St Kitts, two recent returnees from New York, Joseph Nathan and George Wilkes, along with a black building contractor, Frederick Solomon, formed a trade union, the St Kitts Trades and Labour Union, in 1916. The colonial government immediately responded with the passage of anti-trade union legislation which made the formation of trade unions a criminal offence. The union organisers proceeded to form a friendly society, the Universal Benefit Association (UBA), which, like the UUU in Antigua, was closely allied with "Professor" Arlington Newton.10 The years 1916 to 1919 saw an outbreak of labour unrest in many of the British Caribbean colonies including Hubert Crichlow's 1917 campaign for a general wage increase in British Guiana which culminated in the formation and legal recognition of the British Guiana Labour Union in 1919 as well as the colony wide strikes and popular unrest organised by the radical leaders of the Trinidad Workingmen's Association (TWA) in Trinidad in 1919.The popular unrest in Trinidad ended with mass arrests of striking workers, the deportation of several of the strike leaders and the landing of 350 marines from a British warship temporarily stationed in the island.11
A striking feature of the radical labour leadership in the British Caribbean during this period was that they all displayed a high degree of racial consciousness. By the 1920s, the trade union activities of these labour leaders had begun converging with the formation of local chapters of the UNIA. J.M. Sebastian, the Antiguan teacher who became president of the UBA in 1919, was also the founding chairman of the St Kitts branch of the UNIA. Hubert Crichlow was one of Garvey's leading correspondents in the region. J. Sidney de Bourg, the intellectual guide of the TWA during the labour protests of 1919 and one of the deported leaders, was subsequently elected an executive member of the UNIA, holding the title "Leader of the Negroes of the Western Province of the West Indies and South and Central America", at the 1920 UNIA convention. He soon commenced a series of lecture tours to the Caribbean islands within his provincial jurisdiction including Antigua.
The evolution of the labour movement in Antigua, under the leadership of the Brown brothers, displayed the same pattern as in the rest of the British Caribbean. Although Antigua was not known as a hotbed of racial agitation, the racism of the white ruling class and the oppressive working conditions faced by the black labourers bred a deep racial resentment against "bakkra master" but that resentment was largely kept contained.12 Although open expressions of racial consciousness were rare in the island before World War 1, a significant number of Antiguans had become involved in Pan-Africanist and race conscious activities abroad. When Henry Sylvester Williams of Trinidad pioneered the foundation of the African Association in London in 1897, Rev. H. Mason Joseph of Antigua became the organisation's first president. Another Antiguan, Rev. Farquhar, a missionary to the Isles de Los, delivered an address at the first public meeting of the association on the topic, "The Future of the Race".13 One of the most prominent Antiguans involved in the promotion of black racial consciousness was Dr George Alexander McGuire (1866-1934). A graduate of Mico's Teachers College in Jamaica, he studied theology at the Nisky Theological Seminary in St Thomas, Virgins Island and subsequently joined the clergy of the Moravian church. He migrated to the United States in 1894 and, in 1905, was appointed the first black archdeacon in the Moravian church of the United States. Frustrated at his inability to win official recognition from the church hierarchy for the black congregation that he had established in Boston, he accepted an invitation from Bishop Edward Hutson, the Anglican bishop of Antigua, and returned to the island in 1913 to become the first black dean of the Anglican church there. McGuire was a proponent of industrial education and self-improvement for the black working class of Antigua and his frequent lecture tours speaking on the subject of industrial education attracted huge audiences. McGuire also founded the Antigua School of Domestic Science and Nursing and served on "various committees having as their object the economic improvements of the labourer."14 Information on his consciousness raising activities in the island and his relationship with the Brown brothers during this period is limited. His position as dean of the Anglican church would have imposed severe restrictions on his freedom of operation. But his presence in the island during this critical period undoubtedly served to increase the racial awareness of the black working-class population. McGuire left Antigua abruptly in July 1919 partly in response to the restrictive conditions imposed following the putting down of the labour riot of the previous year but also as a result of increasing pressures from the bishop over his consciousness raising activities. On his return to the United States, McGuire became prominently involved in Garvey's UNIA and was elected chaplain of the body and an executive member at the UNIA's July 1920 convention. McGuire is, perhaps, best known for establishing the African Orthodox Church, an independent black church with its own black catechism.
Another leading pan-Africanist of this period was the Rev. George Auesby Weston (1881-1972) who migrated to the United States in 1905. George Weston worked for over ten years as a seaman on various vessels sailing the Atlantic settling in Boston in 1919 where he joined the Boston UNIA. As a preacher in the Boston AME, he was soon appointed chaplain of the branch. He is recorded as having landed in Antigua in June 1920, as a sailor on one of the Royal Mail Canadian steamers, remaining for a week. During his visit he distributed UNIA literature, sought subscriptions for the Black Star Line, helped to establish a local branch of the UNIA and launched a fund-raising campaign to enable delegates of the Antigua branch to attend the UNIA convention in August of that year. Weston rose through the ranks of the UNIA, becoming president of the New York branch. In 1925, he led a revolt against Garvey insisting on the right of the New York branch to full legal ownership of the impressive Liberty Hall property. This led to a split in the UNIA and Weston was the leading figure in the establishment of a rival body with himself as president-general. Stripped by the US courts of its control of the New York Liberty Hall, the rival UNIA led by Weston soon went into decline and he founded another pan-Africanist organization, the Pioneer Negroes of the World. Weston returned home to Antigua in 1953, residing in the island for an extended period but returning to New York where he died on 16 May 1972.15
The return of the Brown brothers and the founding of the UUU in 1916, however, was the main catalyst for an upsurge in racial consciousness in the island. Commenting on the role of the UUU, Acting Governor T.A.V. Best observed:
To the speeches delivered by some of its members can be traced the awakening of the resentment of the negro against the white man which is the most dangerous feature of the recent history in St Kitts and Antigua.16
The consciousness raising activities of the brothers led Lt. Colonel Edward Bell, the colonial chief of police, to insist that the brothers "must have associated in America with men of their own colour embued with racial hatred of the white man and, perhaps, also with extreme labour movement views of a physical force type." He reported that at public meetings of their society "it is quite usual for extracts from American newspapers giving details of negro lynching cases to be read, and commented on in terms of such a nature as to incite hatred against the white man" He observed that since white lynchings are unknown in the West Indies, it was clear that the "intention is to manufacture a feeling or race hatred." Bell reported that the members of the society engaged in seditious talk in opposition to Britain's role in World War 1 and against the recruitment of West Indians to fight in the service of empire. He also accused the Brown bothers of making remarks in private conversations with members of the UUU that "if the black people hold together they will have their own Governor, a black man and that the black man will own all the estates." The race agitation by the UUU had a dramatic effect on the black Antiguan labouring population for, as the police chief further noted, for several month before the outbreak of the 1918 riot, "threats of what should be done to the white people were commonly heard being used by black men and women of the labouring class"17 PRO, CO 152/359/108353.
The combination of racial and class solidarity should have made the black Antiguan working class an indivisible united force in their confrontation with the white planters and the colonial authorities. But there were slowly emerging delineations in the Antiguan working class that restricted class, if not racial, solidarity. One of the most significant was the slow emergence of a small farming population some of whom owned their own land. The difficult conditions facing sugar cultivation in drought-prone Antigua led to the progressive abandonment of estate land particularly in areas with poor soil. Beginning in the post-emancipation period, marginal estate land was leased to estate labourers for independent cane cultivation, initially on a share basis, but increasingly on a cash basis as the practice of growing sugar cane as a cash crop became more widespread among the labouring population. In a few instances, land was sold to the better-off estate workers but leasing land was the general practice. The opening of the island's first central sugar factory, the Antigua Sugar Factory, in 1905 and the continuous improvement and expansion of the Bendals Sugar Factory, a nineteenth century sugar works, encouraged cane cultivation by cane growers who soon supplied several hundred tons of cane to both factories annually. The introduction of a land settlement scheme by the colonial government at Sawlcott's in 1916 and its subsequent acquisition of several abandoned estates, including Piccadilly, for the purpose of land settlement accelerated the growth of small cane cultivators. By 1919, cane farmers in Antigua were supplying 2733 tons of cane to the Antigua Sugar Factory alone.18
Many small cultivators continued to work as labourers cutting cane for the estates they had leased their plots from. In such cases, their payments from the central sugar factory were collected by the estates and passed on to them. Those small cultivators who owned their own land were paid directly by the estates. Both groups of small cultivators, but particularly the independent proprietors, employed labour at harvest time. The emerging differentiation within the ranks of the Antigua working class increasingly assumed political and social significance. Although the practice adopted by the central sugar factory of paying over the money for cane supplied by lessees of sugar estate land to the estate owner on behalf of the lessee was a constant source of friction, the privilege of leasing estate land, in some cases, created a state of dependency on and a sense of identification with the estate owner. This sense of identification was further heightened when lessees were forced to employ non-family labour. Additionally, independent small proprietors, who were paid directly by the central sugar factory, stood in the same contractual relationship with the factory as the estate owners and could see themselves as sharing a common interest. Even when independent proprietors took full time employment in order to supplement their income, the dictates of cane harvesting also made them employers of labour providing another area of commonality with the estate owners. These emerging sectional differences in the Antigua working class were further exacerbated in 1917 when the Antigua Sugar Factory and the estate owners sought to impose a new method of payment for cutting cane on the Antiguan working class.
Early in 1917 there was a split in the leadership of the UUU and the disaffected leaders left to form a rival friendly society, the Antigua Progressive Union (APU). The disaffected members were primarily rural residents and the new friendly society, headquartered in the rural village of All Saints, saw itself as representing the interests of the rural areas, primarily rural estate workers and small cane cultivators. The new society was described by the acting colonial governor as "confining itself more closely than its parent to purely philanthropic work [and it] provided an outlet for the discussion of the country labourers grievances".19 C.O. Sheppard, the president of the APU, was a clerk at the Antigua Sugar Factory, and its vice president, Isaac Richards, was a self-employed pipe-fitter. Shepperd had purchased land in one of the land settlement schemes introduced in 1916 and 1917 and had become an independent cane farmer.20 In contrast to the leaders of the UUU, C.O. Sheppard and the leadership of the APU adopted a far more conciliatory approach and were willing to enter into direct negotiations with the estate owners. The society identified as its two main aims the equalisation of agricultural wages across the island of Antigua and the revision of the various Contract Acts that regulated employment in the island.21 Inevitably the society was also drawn into the deepening industrial dispute about the most appropriate method of payment for cutting cane.
Up to the 1918 sugar crop the prevailing mode of payment for cut cane was by linear measurement of a hundred feet of a row of canes. This system was straightforward and any dispute over payment could be easily checked by both parties. The advent of the Antigua Sugar Factory (ASF) in 1905 provided an alternative means of payment since the cane provided by the estates was weighed and the planters were paid according to the tonnage of cane supplied. From its establishment, the ASF became the prime advocate of paying labourers according to the tonnage of cane cut rather than by the line and successfully introduced this system on the estates that it owned or were its leading suppliers. It was claimed that, by 1917, up to seventy per cent of estates supplying cane to the ASF were paying for cane cutting by the ton.22 Deep distrust of the planters by estate workers, however, had prevented the full-scale introduction of this system of payment by the ton as workers felt that planters would fiddle with the scales and cheat them out of their wages. One commentator observed that the "fundamental cause [for worker's aversion to cutting by the ton] is that between many managers and labourers there is no kindly feeling. Many managers have utterly failed to gain the confidence of their labourers. The labourers on many estates are suspicious of their employers".23 The pressure for the introduction of a system of payment by the ton increased in 1917 when the recently formed Planters Association, a combination of the leading estate owners in the island, joined with the ASF in their determination to impose the new payment system at the start of the next crop.
The leaders of the APU were drawn directly into the dispute over the method of wage payment when, in October 1917, the society held a religious service in All Saints, presided over by Bishop Edward Hutson, to commemorate their registration as a friendly society. At a public meeting held after the service, the society passed two resolutions calling for the official appointment of a committee to revise the Contract Acts and to investigate the institution of a general scale of wages for cane cutting throughout the island. Although the colonial government subsequently declined to appoint an official committee to revise the Contract Act, the public meeting appointed a "Committee representing the Labourers" with Sheppard as a member representing the APU and under the chairmanship of Bishop Hutson. The committee held hearings and drew up recommendations which were then submitted to the recently formed Planters Association.24 The recommendations arrived at by the committee called for women to receive the same wage rates as men and for the prompt payment of wages by 12 noon on Saturdays. The committee recommended a complicated system of wage payment insisting that payment by the ton be only implemented by estates if the canes cut by each individual cutter could be weighed on the estate on which they were cut. To satisfy the interests of cane cutters and estates it called for the institution of a minimum rate of 1¼d. per line for ratoon canes and 2½d. per line for plant canes as well as the introduction of a complicated sliding scale which combined elements of payment by the ton and by the line (See Appendix 1).25 The Planters Association returned the recommendations accepting them in principle but with the insistence that all wage payment be calculated by the "ton weight of cane cut."26 Although the APU never gave its consent to the conditions imposed by the Planters Association, the planters and the colonial government considered that they had the agreement of the leaders of the cane cutters and, armed with this unsigned, non-negotiable 'wage agreement', the planters and the ASF decided to enforce payment by the ton on all estates at the start of the 1918 crop. While openly deploring the approach adopted by the planters and the ASF, the leaders of the APU apparently made no great effort to agitate against the planters decision. The strike leaders had apparently circulated type written copies of the recommendations made by the "Committee representing the Labourers" among the striking workers many of whom believed that it represented the official agreement. It is not clear if the APU itself was directly involved in circulating the recommendations.27
The conciliatory approach adopted by the leaders of the APU in their dealings with the planters is partly explained by the intermediate class position of its leadership. As independent artisans and mid-level workers, they were more prepared to engage in direct negotiations with their employers. As independent small farmers they were more open to arguments about the potential benefits of payment by the ton, particularly when it came to ensuring that workers did a "fair days work." But Sheppard and the leaders of the APU were not merely class collaborators and Quashie's who were willing to 'sell out' their followers to win the approval of their social betters. The leadership of the APU were unreservedly dedicated to the improvement of the wages and working conditions of estate workers, particularly those on rural estates, and were sworn to secure the reform, if not the abolition, of the repressive Contract Acts that regulated employment relations in the island. Even more, Sheppard was a highly race conscious individual who actively circulated the UNIA's Negro World and other Garveyite publications to members of the APU and interested villagers and was a leading promoter and seller of shares in the Black Star Line.2 Their conciliatory approach to labour relations suggests a greater confidence in the willingness of white employers to negotiate fairly with their workers and a belief, partly due to their intermediary class position, in their abilities to win improvements for workers through the process of collective bargaining. Sheppard's readiness to join an unofficial industrial committee, presided over by the lord bishop of the island, as an unelected spokesman for labour also suggests a certain desire for social respectability which was a marked feature of the Garveyite movement.
The leaders of the APU appear to have underestimated both the level of working-class resentment against the planters and the depth of their opposition to the new system of payment by the ton as well as the determination of the planters and the central sugar factory to implement this new method of payment. At the commencement of the sugar crop in March 1918, the members of Planters Association "bound themselves to the payment by the ton for cane cutting."29 The owners of estates already paying by the ton, almost all members of the Association, came out in public support of this planter combination against the estate workers. Chief Justice Maxwell, who was subsequently called on to lead an inquiry into the dispute over the method of payment, observed that "This provocative action naturally resulted in a counter combination among the Cane Cutters, who, in retaliation, refused to cut anywhere except by the line." The island-wide strike was joined by workers on estates where the tonnage system had already been well established as, in the words of the chief justice, they "cast in their lot with the other labourers whom the planters were endeavouring to coerce" The island-wide strike meant that the "cane crop was not reaped" and there was an "almost absolute stoppage of Sugar Manufacture."30 The strike won its greatest support on estates adjoining the capital town of St Johns but another focal point of the strikes was the rural estates on the central plains in the north-east of the island which were among the leading suppliers of cane to the ASF, mainly Delaps, Sanderson, North Sound and Parham New Works estates.31 There were mass demonstrations in the nearby town of Parham against the conviction of striking workers charged in the magistrate's court for breach of contract under the Masters and Servants Act. Police chief Bell records seeing groups of men armed with heavy sticks and platted wire who had to be disarmed by the police.32 The militant opposition of a significant number of estate workers to the idea of cutting by the ton was further combined with the frustrations many of them had experienced as small cane farmers, particularly those who were lessees on the estates. Ironically, the village of All Saints, the headquarters of the APU, became the focal point for the protest of cane farmers who wanted to be paid directly for the canes that they supplied to the central sugar factory. The acting governor, on his way to an engagement at Nelson's Dockyard, English Harbour, encountered a mass demonstration of cane farmers at the All Saints crossroads. The leader of the protest, Charles Martin of All Saints, was addressing the crowd and, on recognising the governor's party, shouted out that "small farmers must demand their pay from the factory" to the boisterous approval of the gathering. A military guard was sent by the acting governor to obtain Martin's full name and address after which the meeting broke up.33 Although the island-wide labour protests appear to have spread spontaneously there are clear signs of central organization. There was no direct evidence linking the Brown brothers and the leaders of the UUU to the protest but it is clear that supporters of the organization resident in the capital town, St Johns, were leading figures in the island-wide strike and subsequent riot. To guarantee the success of industrial action, the strike was enforced by small parties of men who roamed the island compelling labourers who had started cutting by the ton to join the strike.34 As the planters persisted in their attempts to force the estate workers to accept the new system of payment, the workers resorted to one of their main weapons of industrial protest, cane fires. The most serious and extensive cane fires were deliberately set on estates closest to the capital town, St Johns, and it is from evidence regarding these fires that we get the strongest support for the central planning of the protests. On the evening of March 8th, lance corporal Edwin Thomas, charged that Joseph Collins, George Weston (Western), a cousin of George Auesby Weston who had migrated to the US in 1905, John Furlong and Sonny Price "unlawfully did attempt to induce certain agricultural labourers to refrain from performing their work" at McKinnons estate.35 The manager and overseer at McKinnons swore that when estate labourers endeavoured to put out a cane fire they were stoned by a group of workers led by Weston and Joseph Collins aka "Willie Dean." The overseer of a nearby estate, Joseph Thomas, and some of the estate workers held "Willie Dean" but, the overseer testified "The Crowd was entirely hostile to the labourers and prevented them from working. The crowd rescued "Willie Dean by force from my custody." The manager fired his revolver above the heads of the crowd forcing them to temporarily disperse but they soon resumed stone throwing. George Weston and Joseph Collins were separately charged for preventing estate workers from outing a large fire that had been deliberately set on Gambles estate within a hundred feet of the grounds of Government House, the residence of the governor. The striking feature of these charges was that all of the accused were port-workers. Both Weston and Collins were identified as having never worked as estate labourers. The direct involvement of port-workers as leaders of the striking workers demonstrates not only the extent of support for the island-wide strike among the labouring population but also suggests the role of the UUU, directly or indirectly, in fomenting the unrest for the membership of the society was largely drawn from port-workers.
Despite the widespread support for the strike in the ranks of the Antiguan working class, it seems clear that the participation of the leadership of the APU in indirect negotiations with the Planters Association, and the apparently tacit approval to the introduction of "cutting by the ton" that this action gave, had helped to undermine the level of solidarity within the ranks of the labouring class. For although workers on estates already cutting by the ton had joined in the strike, a significant number of workers continued working on the estates and made themselves available as strike breakers. It was this development that necessitated the enforcement of the strike, very often by urban port-workers. When workers on Ottos estate refused to cut canes damaged by fire, cutters from nearby Millers estate, both owned by John Camacho, a Portuguese businessman and estate owner, agreed to cut the cane. A large crowd gathered to stop the strike breakers who had to be protected by police escort36 (March 1918, PRO, CO 152/358/108353).
But the prevarications of the leaders of the APU are, perhaps, not the single most important explanation for the failure of significant numbers of workers to join the proteSt The real cause can be found in the economic conditions affecting the island since the outbreak of World War 1. The war had led to a significant jump in international sugar prices and in the profits earned by the Antiguan sugar industry.
Partly in response to agitation by the UUU, wages for agricultural labour were also increased. At a meeting called by the acting governor, out of concern for the possibility of labour unrest, the Antigua planters agreed to a 25% general wage increase at the start of the 1917 sugar crop. Average daily wage rates for agricultural labour in the island rose from a range of 10d to 1/- per day in 1915 to 1/- to 1/8 per day by 191737 (Best to Long, 10 January 1917, PRO, CO 152/354). But the economic gains being made by the Antiguan working population were threatened by price inflation as the prices of goods needed by the working people, most of them imported, also increased. C.O. Sheppard, in his testimony to the 1918 commission appointed to inquire into the best method for the payment of wages, observed that, since the start of the war, the average cost of living for the labourers had increased 125%. The price of rice had increased from 2½-3d per pound to 5d per pound while the price of salt fish and flour had increased by about 100%. The price of clothing, he calculated, had increased by 200%.38 These economic pressures were further compounded by the severe drought commencing in 1917 which led to a failure of the small farmers' crop of ground provisions and to growing scarcity and an increase in poverty levels in the island. All workers were not affected equally by these changing economic conditions. Lowly paid workers, particularly those with large families and especially women who had to face the brunt of the upkeep of their children, were hardest hit by the worsening conditions. But, despite the hardship, the post-World War 1 period was one of economic opportunity and some workers, especially young men unencumbered by families, welcomed the higher wage-earning possibilities that were now available. Some independent cane farmers would have also wanted to take advantage of the higher prices for their cane being offered by the central sugar factories and, perhaps, the lower overall cost of labour that the drought conditions temporarily afforded. Although the island-wide strike drew strong support from the labouring population, significant numbers of workers refused to participate and offered their services as strike breakers. An outstanding example of this was Samuel Benjamin, presumably from the Point, who was a port worker and an occasional cane cutter on McKinnon's estate. On hearing the alarm of fire at McKinnon's, he left his home to go to put out the fire at Plum Tree field on the estate. He was one of the labourers who was stoned by the angry crowd led by his fellow porters, George Weston, John Furlong and Joseph Collins. He ran after and seized John Collins but was forced to release him after he was surrounded by the angry crowd. He subsequently gave testimony against Collins and Weston during their court martial.39
The labour protest of 1918 culminated in a riot in the capital city, St Johns, on 9 March. The riot arose out of an attempt by the police to arrest Weston and Collins under regulations passed by the acting governor under the Defence of the Presidency Ordinance on the 7th. Early on the morning of the 9th, two constables entered the working class community of the Point and took Weston and Collins into custody. As the cry went out that Weston had been arrested, the policemen were quickly surrounded by a small but hostile crowd of about thirty persons who demanded to see the warrants for the arrest of their leaders. The police constables retreated releasing Weston and Collins to the crowd. The chief of police, Edward Bell, and the acting magistrate, A. Welby Solomon, then entered the Point to address the angry crowd urging them to allow the arrests to proceed peacefully. The acting magistrate warned the crowd of the dangers that they faced and the injury that could result to their community. The appeals of the authorities had no effect upon the crowd and they departed for the arrest warrants to be drawn up by the acting magistrate. At around 2 p.m. in the afternoon, two constables were again dispatched to execute the warrants. They were quickly surrounded by a crowd of angry stone throwers who forced them to retreat. The chief of police, accompanied by the acting magistrate and an armed detachment of the Antigua Defence Force, entered the Point community. They were met by a fierce fusillade of stones that increased in intensity as the members of the Defence Force got out of their cars. The Riot Act was read by the acting magistrate at around 3.00 p.m. and a series of official and leading individuals, including chief of police Bell and magistrate Welby, attempted to reason with the crowd, which by this time had grown to over 400 persons, urging them to disperse. While some of the women and children retreated to their houses, the majority of the crowd remained throwing stones at the police and the Defence Force. At this point, Weston and Furlong were forcibly arrested and put in police cars which unleashed a furious assault of stones from the crowd led by a "disorderly stone throwing woman." Bell records that the crowd "had settled down to a persistent stoning of the Defence Force and Police - some from the edge of the streets, others from yards and fences." Attempts to disperse the stone throwers proved futile for no sooner "were they dispersed in one place, that they came back in another." Having effected these arrests the police force and the Defence Force slowly retreated up Popeshead street towards the police station " followed up by a howling disorderly mob of men and women numbering many hundreds who rained stones on us from yards, from the streets and [from] on the top of houses." Two bayonet charges were made at the crowd who were pressing forward on the police and Defence Force. When this tactic failed, Bell ordered a cavalry charge on the rioters by the mounted infantry of the Defence Force but the crowd in the streets simply scattered and continued "raining stones" at the charging men and their horses. Acting governor Best, accompanied by the colonial secretary and his private secretary admonished the crowd to disperse but all three men were stoned incessantly by the crowd. Even Bishop Huston of the Anglican church bravely sought to address the crowd urging them to return to their homes but the rioters continued throwing stones "violently over his head." At 6.00 p.m., as night began to fall, with the throwing of missiles and the general behaviour of the crowd becoming even more violent according to police chief Bell, he decided that "if the town was not to be given over that night to a howling mob that may had then become simply savages, that it was [imperative that] I gave the order to fire, instructing the men to fire at certain knots where young men were particularly violent in throwing stones." In the firing two men were killed including John Furlong who had managed to escape police custody and had returned to the thick of the crowd. Local tradition has it that he was easily picked out because he was waving a red bandana over his head, like a red flag, and was deliberately killed by the police. At the time he was killed, he was apparently in the motion of throwing a missile. Seventeen persons were reported to have been wounded in the riot including four women and a young girl (See Appendix 2). Chief of police Bell went to great lengths to highlight the role of women in the riot noting that:
Although some women were hit, none were killed. Women of the disorderly class were most prominent and numerous among the stone throwing rioters as were also young people, some almost children, of both sexes40 (March 1918, PRO, CO 152/358/108353).
The firing on the rioters on the night of March 9th effectively put an end to the strike and the working-class protests. Bell reports that two hours after the firing, a small crowd attacked the Central Telephone Exchange and armed guards had to be placed at both the telephone and telegraph offices. The following night, March 10th, a group of young men and women broke into Samuel Henry's shop and looted most of the contents. According to the police chief, "Threats to burn the town were freely made use of by persons of the rioter class on Saturday night ... and the following day." Armed patrols were dispatched around the town to prevent "any outrage of this nature." The town remained quiet on Monday, March 11th, and by the late evening troops from the Canadian Artillery stationed in St Lucia were landed from a British warship, H.M.S. "Eileen", which remained in the harbour until order was fully restored.41 The intensity of the riot in the town of St Johns was fully revealed in its aftermath when it was seen that for a distance of over a third of a mile from the corner of Wilkinson and St Johns Street, where the arrests of Weston, Collins and Furlong were made, along Popeshead Street and up Newgate Street, as far at the police station, "the streets were literally covered with stones, interspersed with fragments of broken bottles, all thrown by the rioters." The quantity of stones and debris removed from the streets amounted to between two and three tons in weight.42
The Antigua labour protests and the urban riot of 1918 could be depicted and was seen as a race war. Chief Justice Fred Maxwell, chairman of a commission appointed by the acting governor on 5 March 1918 to inquire into what would be a fair wage to be offered to cane cutters during the 1918 sugar crop, provided the following comment on the labour dispute:
Unfortunately, as might have been anticipated, what begun as a labour question developed into a race question. Among those of the Cane Cutters race and condition of life what was conceived to be the oppressive action of the planters excited violent resentment, which culminated in the riot, in St Johns, of the 9th March, 1918.
The labour riot exhibited a clear and visible racial dimension for the rioting workers were black and the armed forces were almost all white. "Papa Sammy", an Antiguan working-man who was alive during these events observed of the riot:
The massas called out the militia and when they come the riot really spread. No longer was it riot between the Point people and the police, now it was between nega and white. The militia and the defence force -except for a few high-coloured police - was white.43
Colonel Edward Bell, the chief of police, was an Irishman and Commander J.T. Dew, the young, recently appointed commander of the Defence Force, was a leading white planter. Most of the members of the volunteer defence force, who were predominantly relied upon to put down the riot, were white planters. The threats from black workers to burn down the town after the quelling of the riot can best be understood in this context.
It is open to speculation that if there were not significant fissures within the leadership of the black working-class in Antigua at this time, and within the working population itself, that the island-wide strike would have been total and would have continued even beyond the putting down of the urban riot. Racial unity and class solidarity would have ensured the fullest possible participation of the black working-class in the labour protests without the recurrent need to police and enforce the strike and intimidate strike-breakers. Ending the labour protests would probably have required prolonged occupation by British troops rather than a few days. Instead the colonial authorities were able to carry out public court-martial proceedings against Weston and Collins within two days of the riot and to publicly try and sentence twenty three of the rioters before a month had elapsed (See Appendix 3). No disturbances of any sort were reported during these trials.
Although racial feeling and class hatred were among the most potent causes of the island-wide strike and the consequent riot, there was one other significant factor that helps to explain the intensity of feeling and the level of solidarity seen among the labouring population during these disturbances. The widespread participation in the unrest was due less to the agitation of working-class activists than to the workers' deep sense of moral outrage at the planter's violation of the norms of "moral economy." During the long droughts and short crops that the island was regularly subjected to as well as during extensive periods of low sugar prices, labourers had accepted reductions in their pay in order to keep the estates operational through hard times. There was, however, a clear expectation on the part of the labourers, and the norms of fairness dictated, that when better weather or higher sugar prices returned, their wages would be increased too. The return of higher sugar prices upon the outbreak of World War 1, and the agitation of both the UUU and the APU, had seen the concession of higher wages during 1916 and 1917. But the 1918 sugar crop had been affected by a severe drought and the crop was much lighter that year. Paying for cane cutting by the ton of cane weighed instead of by the line or area of cane cut meant that the overall pay of cane cutters would be less given the lighter crop. It was the unfairness of this unilateral action, along with the combination of the planters to enforce payment by the ton in the 1918 crop, that provoked moral outrage and resentment in the ranks of the working population. Chief Justice Maxwell, in his report on the issue, noted that the significant profits made by the central sugar factory and the planters since 1915 had decreased the urgency of the introduction of a new method of payment. In the meantime the cost of living had risen significantly and the drought had led to a scarcity of ground provisions in the island. Most significantly, the yield of canes in the 1915, 1916, and 1917 crop had been excellent and "the labourers ... resented the fact that the planters, who had made no attempt during the good years to enforce cutting by weight, took that stand in a year when the crop was light."44 The labourers themselves made this very point in their public protests as C.O. Sheppard observed in his testimony before the commission of inquiry into the method of payment for the 1918 sugar crop. Sheppard testified that:
The discontent among the labourers was caused from the fact of the Planter practically trying to force the people to cut by the ton. The labourers do not like to cut by the ton ... The labourer says the Planters did not ask them to cut by the ton last year when the crop was heavy, that they only asked them to cut this year by the ton because the cane was light. They are suspicious of the Planter.45
The action of the planters must have seemed to the workers as an attempt to unilaterally reduce wages following the higher wages of the preceding year. Long years of frustration and resentment at their treatment by the planters augmented by the race agitation of the leadership of the UUU and, to a lesser extent, the APU, finally erupted into working-class industrial protest, public defiance and riot. But the spark that led to this protest was the workers' feeling of betrayal and moral outrage at the unfair conduct of the planters who sought to impose on them a method of payment which would lead to a reduction in their wages and living standards. The outrage was even greater because this was a period of high profits for the sugar industry and estate workers, and the working population as a whole, were insistent that they ought to have a share in these high profits especially in light of the long years of sacrifice and that they had suffered. The absence of unity among the working-class leadership, and the social differentiations that had begun to appear within the working-class population, helped to undermine the level of class solidarity and unity of purpose in the worker's protest The significant number of workers who actively took part in strikebreaking activities or abstained from participating in the protest reflected the varying impact of and the different responses of the working population to the prevailing economic conditions in the World War 1 period. Higher price inflation and food scarcity caused by drought meant a sharp deterioration in living standards for some workers who had just begun to see economic improvements. For others, particularly the better off and the young and unencumbered, higher wages and the possibility of purchasing land meant an opportunity to lift themselves out of the depressed economic conditions endured by their parents. While the presence of British troops guaranteed the restoration of order, the higher daily wages enjoyed by workers, even under the system of cutting by the ton, went along way to the reestablishment of industrial peace. Notably cutting by the ton was soon established as the agricultural norm in the island of Antigua. The apparent blocking of perceived opportunities for economic improvement was the main contributing factor to the outbreak of labour unrest in Antigua in 1918. But it was the very existence of these economic opportunities that probably helped to defuse what could easily have become a revolutionary situation and prevented the outbreak of a full-scale and lasting insurrection against the plantocracy and the colonial authorities and an even more bloody race war.
"Recommendation for the Regulation of Payment to Cane Cutters"
1. No canes shall be required to be cut by any Labourer at Day's Pay.
2. Women to receive the same rate of wages as men.
3. No canes to be cut by the ton unless the canes of each individual cutter be weighed on the Estate on which they are cut.
RATOON CANES to be cut at the minimum rate of 1¼d per line.
PLANT CANES to be cut at a minimum rate of 2½d per line.
A Sliding Scale for Ratoon Canes above the minimum rate shall be fixed on fields averaging more than 9 tons to the Acre increasing ½d per line for every 5 tons or part thereof above 9 tons.
A Sliding Scale for Plant Canes above the minimum rate shall be fixed on fields averaging more than 14 tons to the Acre increasing ½d per line for 5 tons or part thereof above Fourteen tons.
The minimum rate to be paid at 12 o'clock noon on Saturday.
The Surplus rate to be paid on the following Saturday by 12 o'clock noon on production of Certificate from the Factory of the tonnage per Acre of field cut by each individual cutter.
Tiers to be paid by the Cutters at the rate of 9[d] per day by their respective tiers.
Source: Enclosure: Best to Long, 28 March 1918, PRO, CO 152/358/108353.
Persons killed or wounded in St Johns on Saturday, 9th of March, 1918
|John Furlong||Killed||The Point||Porter||Shot through the Chest|
|James Brown||Killed||The Point||Porter||Shot through the Chest|
|James Richards||Wounded||Newgate Street||Carpenter|
|Norris Daniel||Wounded||Popeshead Street||Labourer|
|Randolph Moitt||Wounded||North Street||Baker|
|Winford Knapp||Wounded||St Georges St||Labourer|
|Olive Hunt||Wounded||The Point||Young Girl|
|Daniel Griffiths||Wounded||St Johns Street||Labourer|
|Mary Daniel||Wounded||Gray's Farm||Huckster|
|Beverly Charles||Wounded||Greenbay||No occupation||Youth|
|Walter Thomas||Wounded||South Street||Labourer|
|Irene Soares||Wounded||Bishopgate St||Huckster|
|Rachel Govi[ea?]||Wounded||New Street||Huckster|
|Edward Christian||Wounded||Long Street||Carpenter|
|Charles Ronan||Wounded||The Point||Waterman|
|Benjamin Pero||Wounded||Pigotts' Village||Labourer|
Source: "Members of riotous mobs wounded in St Johns on Saturday, the 9th of March, 1918" Appendix, Bell to Acting Colonial Secretary, 31 March 1918, enc., Best to Long, 28 March 1918, PRO, CO 152/358/108353.
"Names of Defendants charged with Riot in the City of Saint John[s] on 9th March 1918, tried at the Special Circuit Court held in the Antigua Circuit on 4th. April 1918"
|Name of Accused||Plea||Verdict||Sentence||Date|
|George Robers||Not Guilty||Guilty||2 years Hard Labour (H.L.)||11/4/18|
|Raymond Feracho||Pleaded Guilty||2 years H.L.||4/4/18|
|Benjamin Pero||Not Guilty||Guilty||2½ years H.L.||11/4/18|
|Charles Ronan||Not Guilty||Guilty||3 years H.L.||11/4/18|
|Amanda Christian||Not Guilty||Guilty||2 years 6 moths H.L.||11/4/18|
|John Martin||Not Guilty||Disagreement of Jury||Trial to take place again at Circuit Court on 6/5/18||11/4/18|
|John Feracho||Not Guilty||Guilty||2 years H.L.||11/4/18|
|Morris Destinn||Not Guilty||Guilty||18 months H.L.||11/4/18|
|Maria Gilead||Not Guilty||Not Guilty||Defendant discharged||17/4/18|
|Laurence Moore||Not Guilty||Guilty||2 years H.L.||17/4/18|
|Claire Yorke||Not Guilty||Guilty||2 years H.L.||17/4/18|
|Joseph Edwards||Not Guilty||Not Guilty||Defendant discharged||17/4/18|
|Samuel Pero||Not Guilty||Guilty||2 years H.L.||17/4/18|
|Albert Shadrach||Pleaded Guilty||2 years H.L.||17/4/18|
|Clayton Braithwaite||Not Guilty||Not Guilty||Defendant discharged||17/4/18|
|Charles Williams||Not Guilty||Disagreement of Jury||Nolle Prosequi entered Defendant discharged||30/4/18|
|Daniel Francis||Not Guilty||Guilty||2 years H.L.||30/4/18|
|William Aska||Not Guilty||Guilty||3 years H.L.||30/4/18|
|Joshua Townsend||Not Guilty||Guilty||2 years H.L||30/4/18|
|Isabella Hamilton||Not Guilty||Not Guilty (Majority Verdict 9 to 1) 30/4/18||Defendant discharged||30/4/18|
|Alice Francis||Not Guilty||Guilty||2½ years H.L.||30/4/18|
|Irene De Souza||Not Guilty||Not Guilty (Majority Verdict 8 to 1) 30/4/18||Defendant discharged||30/4/18|
|Beatrice Brown||Nolle Prosequi entered by Acting Attorney General 30/4/18||Defendant discharged||30/4/18|
Sgd. J. Pogson Turner, Chief Registrar, 11/5/1918
Source: Enclosure, Best to Long, 28 March 1918, PRO, CO 152/358/108353.
1Kiethlyn Smith, No Easy Push-o-ver: A History of the Working People of Antigua & Barbuda, 1836-1994 (Scarborough, Ontario: Edan's Publishers, 1994) 29.
2Paget Henry, Peripheral Capitalism and Underdevelopment in Antigua (New Brunswick and Oxford: Transaction Books, 1985) 82.
3ACLM, "Father of Antiguan Liberation" Outlet ,vol. 4, 26 May-9 June, 1977.
4The Brown brothers were alleged to have won their money "playing the numbers" in New York city. Bell to Acting Colonial Secretary, undated confidential report, enc. Best to Long, 28 March 1918, PRO, CO 152/359/108533.
5ACLM, "Father of Antiguan Liberation" Outlet ,vol. 4, 26 May-9 June, 1977.
6Best to Long, 28 March 1918, PRO, CO 152/358/108353; "Saving Banks and Friendly Societies" Barbados Blue Book, 1918-1919; "Saving Banks and Friendly Societies" Leeward Islands Blue Book, 1918-1919.
7Caroline Carmody, "'First among Equals': Antiguan Patterns of Local-Level Leadership" Ph.D diss., New York University, 1978, p. 162.
8Best to Long, 28 March 1918, PRO, CO 152/358/108353.
9Bell to Acting Colonial Secretary, n.d, enc in Best to Long, 28 March 1918, PRO, CO 152/358/108353.
10Glen Richards. "Friendly Societies and Labour Organisation in the Leeward Islands, 1912-1919" in B. Moore and S. Wilmot (eds.) Before and after 1865: Education, Politics and Regionalism in the Caribbean [Kingston, Jamaica: Ian Randle Publications, 1998] pp. 143-144.
11For details of the labour unrest in Trinidad and British Guiana see Brinsley Samaroo, "The Trinidad Workingmen's Association and the Origins of Popular Protest in a Crown Colony" Social and Economic Studies, 21:2 ; Kelvin Singh, Race and Class Struggles in a Colonial State, Trinidad 1917-1945 (Kingston: The Press - University of the West Indies, 1994); Richard Hart, "Origins and development of the working class in the English-speaking Caribbean area, 1897-1937" in Malcolm Cross and Gad Heuman, Labour in the Caribbean: From Emancipation to Independence (London and Basingstoke: Macmillan Publishers Ltd., 1988.
12For an incisive account of the racial feeling of the black Antiguan labourer during this period see Kiethlyn & Fernando Smith, To Shoot Hard Labour: The Life and Times of Samuel Smith, an Antiguan workingman 1877-1982 (Scarborough, Ontario: Edan's Publishers, 1986).
13Marika Sherwood, "Henry Sylvester Williams and the Pan-African Congress, London, 1900" Paper presented at a conference on Caribbean Intellectual Traditions, UWI, Mona Campus, October 31, 1998, p. 8.
14Robert Hill (ed.) The Marcus Garvey and UNIA Papers vol 3 [Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1984] p. 217, n. 5.
15Robert Hill (ed.) The Marcus Garvey and UNIA Papers vol 3 [Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1984] pp. 692-693, n. 3; Robert Hill (ed.) The Marcus Garvey and UNIA Papers vol 4 [Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1985] pp. 968-970; ACLM, "Father of Antiguan Liberation" Outlet ,vol. 4, 26 May-9 June, 1977.
16Best to Long, 28 March 1918, PRO, CO 152/358/108353.
17Bell to Acting Colonial Secretary, n.d. enc. Best to Long, 28 March 1918.
18Antigua Magnet, 26 February 1940.
19Best to Long, 28 March 1918, PRO, CO 152/358/108353.
20Caroline Carmody, "First among Equals" Antiguan Patterns of Local-Level Leadership" Ph.D diss., New York University, 1978, pp. 161-163.
21Best to Long, 28 March 1918, PRO, CO 152/358/108353.
22This statistic is provided by A.P. Cowley, chairman of the islands' Agricultural & Commercial Society and a planter's attorney. However, C.O. Sheppard estimates that the number of estates cutting by the ton was actually 25% of the total. Evidence of A.P. Cowley, chairman of the Agricultural & Commercial Society and attorney of John W. A. Maginley and Messrs Lee Spooner & Co., and of C.O. Sheppard, president of the Antigua Progressive Union, to the Commission of Inquiry into wages and the method of payment for cane cutting, cited in Fred Maxwell, Chief Justice, "Memorandum on Messrs Henckell Dubuisson and Company's two letters to the Undersecretary of State for the Colonies, dated respectively the 6th May and the 4th June 1918; and on Mr. Henzell's letter to the Acting Colonial Secretary, dated 29th July 1918", 28 August 1918, enc. Best to Long, 25 September 1918, PRO, CO 152/360/108353.
23Fred Maxwell, Chief Justice, "Memorandum on Messrs Henckell Dubuisson and Company's two letters to the Undersecretary of State for the Colonies, dated respectively the 6th May and the 4th June 1918; and on Mr. Henzell's letter to the Acting Colonial Secretary, dated 29th July 1918", 28 August 1918, enc. Best to Long, 25 September 1918, PRO, CO 152/360/108353.
24Best to Long, 28 March 1918, PRO, CO 152/358/108353; Evidence of A.P. Cowley, chairman of the Agricultural & Commercial Society and attorney of John W. A. Maginley and Messrs Lee Spooner & Co., to the Commission of Inquiry into wages and the method of payment for cane cutting, cited in Fred Maxwell, Chief Justice, "Memorandum on Messrs Henckell Dubuisson and Company's two letters to the Undersecretary of State for the Colonies, dated respectively the 6th May and the 4th June 1918; and on Mr. Henzell's letter to the Acting Colonial Secretary, dated 29th July 1918", 28 August 1918, enc. Best to Long, 25 September 1918, PRO, CO 152/360/108353.
25"Recommendation for the Regulation of Payment to Cane Cutters" enc. Best to Long, 28 March 1918, PRO, CO 152/358/108353.
26Best to Long, 28 March 1918, PRO, CO 152/358/108353.
27Chief of Police Bell claimed that when he pointed out to protesting demonstrators that the recommendations of the "Committee representing the Labourers" was not an official document and that "a great injury was done to the labourers" by those who sought to pass it off as such, some of those present "in the crowd expressed loudly their agreement with my remarks." Bell to Acting Colonial Secretary, 7 March 1918, enc. Best to Long, 28 March 1918, PRO, CO 152/358/108353.
28Sheppard migrated to New York c. 1925 after being prosecuted for mismanagement of the society's welfare fund and being found not guilty. There he joined both the UNIA and the African Orthodox Church in which he rose to the rank of bishop. Caroline Carmody, "First among Equals" Antiguan Patterns of Local-Level Leadership" Ph.D diss., New York University, 1978, pp. 162-163, pp. 224-225.
29Evidence of A.P. Cowley, chairman of the Agricultural & Commercial Society and attorney of John W. A. Maginley and Messrs Lee Spooner & Co., to the Commission of Inquiry into wages and the method of payment for cane cutting, cited in Fred Maxwell, Chief Justice, "Memorandum on Messrs Henckell Dubuisson and Company's two letters to the Undersecretary of State for the Colonies, dated respectively the 6th May and the 4th June 1918; and on Mr. Henzell's letter to the Acting Colonial Secretary, dated 29th July 1918", 28 August 1918, enc. Best to Long, 25 September 1918, PRO, CO 152/360/108353.
30Fred Maxwell, Chief Justice, "Memorandum on Messrs Henckell Dubuisson and Company's two letters to the Undersecretary of State for the Colonies, dated respectively the 6th May and the 4th June 1918; and on Mr. Henzell's letter to the Acting Colonial Secretary, dated 29th July 1918", 28 August 1918, enc. Best to Long, 25 September 1918, PRO, CO 152/360/108353.
31Kiethlyn & Fernando Smith, To Shoot Hard Labour: The Life and Times of Samuel Smith, an Antiguan workingman 1877-1982 (Scarborough, Ontario: Edan's Publishers, 1986) p. 130.
32Bell to Acting Colonial Secretary, 7 March 1918, enc. Best to Long, 28 March 1918, PRO, CO 152/358/108353.
33After the riot, Charles Martin received information that he was being sought by the police and escaped in a schooner. Kiethlyn & Fernando Smith, To Shoot Hard Labour: The Life and Times of Samuel Smith, an Antiguan workingman 1877-1982 (Scarborough, Ontario: Edan's Publishers, 1986) pp. 130-133).
34Fred Maxwell, Chief Justice, "Memorandum on Messrs Henckell Dubuisson and Company's two letters to the Undersecretary of State for the Colonies, dated respectively the 6th May and the 4th June 1918; and on Mr. Henzell's letter to the Acting Colonial Secretary, dated 29th July 1918", 28 August 1918, enc. Best to Long, 25 September 1918, PRO, CO 152/360/108353.
35Rex v. George Western and Joseph Collins, enc., Best to Long, 28 March 1918, PRO, CO 152/358/108353.
36Bell to Acting Colonial Secretary, 7 March 1918, enc. Best to Long, 28.
37"Average Daily Wage Rates" Leeward Islands Blue Book, 1915-1917, X3.
38Evidence of C.O. Sheppard, president of the Antigua Progressive Union, to the Commission of Inquiry into wages and the method of payment for cane cutting, cited in Fred Maxwell, Chief Justice, "Memorandum on Messrs Henckell Dubuisson and Company's two letters to the Undersecretary of State for the Colonies, dated respectively the 6th May and the 4th June 1918; and on Mr. Henzell's letter to the Acting Colonial Secretary, dated 29th July 1918", 28 August 1918, enc. Best to Long, 25 September 1918, PRO, CO 152/360/108353.
39Benjamin testified that he knew Joseph Collins and that there was no "ill-feeling" between them. Testimony of Samuel Benjamin, Rex v. George Western and Joseph Collins, enc., Best to Long, 28 March 1918, PRO, CO 152/358/108353.
40Bell to Acting Colonial Secretary, 31 March 1918, enc. Best to Long, 28.
41Evidence by Edward Bell, chief of police, before the Coronor's Inquiry into the deaths of John Furlong and James Brown, 10 March 1918, enc. Best to Long, 28 March 1918, PRO, CO 152/358/108353; Bell to Acting Colonial Secretary, 31 March 1918, enc. Best to Long, 28 March 1918, PRO, CO 152/358/108353.
42Bell to Acting Colonial Secretary, 31 March 1918, enc. Best to Long, 28 March 1918, PRO, CO 152/358/108353.
43Kiethlyn & Fernando Smith, To Shoot Hard Labour: The Life and Times of Samuel Smith, an Antiguan workingman 1877-1982 (Scarborough, Ontario: Edan's Publishers, 1986) pp. 131-132.
44Fred Maxwell, Chief Justice, "Memorandum on Messrs Henckell Dubuisson and Company's two letters to the Undersecretary of State for the Colonies, dated respectively the 6th May and the 4th June 1918; and on Mr. Henzell's letter to the Acting Colonial Secretary, dated 29th July 1918", 28 August 1918, enc. Best to Long, 25 September 1918, PRO, CO 152/360/108353.
45Evidence of C.O. Sheppard, president of the Antigua Progressive Union, to the Commission of Inquiry into wages and the method of payment for cane cutting, cited in Fred Maxwell, Chief Justice, "Memorandum on Messrs Henckell Dubuisson and Company's two letters to the Undersecretary of State for the Colonies, dated respectively the 6th May and the 4th June 1918; and on Mr. Henzell's letter to the Acting Colonial Secretary, dated 29th July 1918", 28 August 1918, enc. Best to Long, 25 September 1918, PRO, CO 152/360/108353.
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