“…a ball was to be held in honour of George II’s coronation at Christopher Dunbar’s house in St. John’s, three parties of 350 slaves were to enter the town and kill the plantocracy there gathered. However, the ball was postponed until later to commemorate the King’s birthday, and during this delay a slave named Johnny, became an informer.” (Source)
“…the Prince Klaas/King Court monument designed and built by Sir Reginald Samuel…one of the few sites of public art/sculpture crafted by a native son and …an example of interpretation of moments; how do you capture all a person was and all they are meant to represent in a single moment; the sculpture must hint at character but also give a sense of the larger-than-life-ness that the person is representative of/symbolizes…” (musing on including a stop at the King Court monument as a stop during the 2013 Jhohadli Summer Youth Writing Project’s daily walkabouts)
Thanks to the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda’s Facebook page for reminding us that this week in Antiguan and Barbudan history (October 20th) when “King Court. was brought to the place of execution- Ottos where he was tied by the wrists and ankles on a wheel. He acknowledged all the allegations against him, and at noon he was broken on the wheel and executed. His head was severed and stuck on a pole at the jail door. The body was burned at Ottos pasture. The chief ringleaders were Jack, Ned, Fortune, Tony, Secundi, and Jacko. All were enslaved Africans in trusted positions. The following day, Tomboy and Hercules along with 85 other masterminds were executed, most were burned alive.”
Full disclosure: There remain some who dispute the account of his bravery and some who defend it. Either way, as a national hero of Antigua and Barbuda he has come to symbolize the spirit of defiance that stretches always toward freedom.
Images: top image from the Museum fb page. All other images from the 2013 Jhohadli Summer Youth Writing Project’s visit to the monument.
What more do you think we should be doing as a country to honour King Court? Are we doing enough re the upkeep of the monument in his honour? What about the artistry of Reginald Samuel, also the designer of our national flag…has that been sufficiently lauded? Just questions.
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