The Fire Burning Queens of the Virgin Islands

Queen Mary, Queen Agnes, Queen Mathilda

Queen Mary, Queen Agnes, Queen Mathilda make up the three queens of the Virgin Islands, then the Danish Virgin Islands where they led revolts urging laborers to freedom.

  1. In 1848, an uprising by enslaved men and women forced the Danish Government to grant them their freedom. However, local slave-owners were displeased and created new laws that essentially kept them enslaved. This prompted the Queens of the Virgin Islands to organize a rebellion years later in 1878.
  2. The rebellion started off as a peaceful protest of inhumane treatment and terrible work conditions. But after fellow laborers were being killed at the hands of Danish soldiers the peaceful protest took a turn.
  3. The laborers attacked the soldiers with heavy stones until they had to barricade themselves in a compound. 
  4. The Queens and the laborers were unsuccessful in breaching the compound where the Danish soldiers hid, so they set fire to nearby homes and business until over half the city of Frederiksted was engulfed in flames. This became the legendary ‘FIREBURN’ revolt.
  5. The Fire Burn revolt destroyed around 900 acres of agricultural land.
  6. Following the rebellion, 12 laborers were given a death sentence and immediately shot, another 34 were sentenced to hard labor. The 3 Queens were sentenced to hard labor for life.
  7. The most notable, Queen Mary, was known for being apart of almost every revolt in St.Croix.
  8. Queen Mathilda joined the rebellions at only 21. She left her three children including 4-month old daughter to burn down the island in the name of freedom.
  9. The Queens were immortalized with their statue standing tall in the city of Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas. One of the main roads in St. Croix is called Queen Mary Highway.

source: atlantablackstarcom ByShamone Nelson

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