Ship King David


Ship: King David
Date:   1750
Captain: Holland

Annotation: Prom Old Calabar for St. Kitts, the Africans rose upon the crew near the islands and killed the captain and all the crew, except four sailors, who have carried the ship into Guadeloupe.

Sources:  printed in the Boston Newsletter, 6 September, 1750; also printed in The Boston News-Letter June 21, 1750; the Boston Post-Boy June 25, 1750; Pennsylvania Gazette 5 July 1750; The Maryland Gazette (Bi, 290) (Annapolis) 14 November 1750.

[B]y [sic] who arrived a few Days ago from St. Kitts, we have the follow[ing] [a]ccount that was sent him by Hamilton Montgomery, bolonging to the ship King David of Bristol, bound from the Coast of Guinea, viz.  That on the 8th Day of May last, the Slaves on board the ship arose about five o’clock in the Morning, none of them being in Irons on board—The Insurrection was contrived and begun by 15 that had for a considerable Time been treated with  the same Freedom as the white Men, and a great many of the latter dying, encouraged them in the Design.—As the Chief of these Slaves spoke very good English, he often convers’d with the Captain in his Cabbin, where all the Arms were loaded; -- and consulting with his Comrades, knowing the small Strength of the white Men, they at once flew into the Cabin, and secured the Arms in a few Minutes, kill’d the Captain and five of the People, there putting it out of the Power of the Remainder of the Ship’s Crew to make any Resistance, so that they got down the Hold to save themselves: But the Head of the Negroes call’d to them, and told them, if they would come upon Deck and surrender, he would save all their Lives, which they soon did, except the chief Mate, who remain’d in the Hold some Hours after; but sending down a white Boy to acquaint him if he did not come upon Deck, they would come down and cut him in pieces; he thereupon came up, and they directly put him in Irons, as they had all there others before:  About 8 o’clock the same Evening, they threw over-board nine of the white Men alive with their Irons on:  The chief Mate was also bro’t on the Gunnel to be serv’d in the same Manner; but of the Head Negroes interpos’d and said, Who must take Care of the Ship? And withal declar’d that if they destroy’d him, he would kill the first that attempted it; whereupon they saved his Life—Having let the Ship drive with Wind and Tide for 24 Hours, they at last insisted to have her carried to the Gold Coast, or Callabar, or St. Thomas’s an Isle near the Coast of Guiney; but the Head Negro being a Fellow of more Sense than common, being persuaded there was no possibility of getting there, it was agreed to go where no white Man liv’d; and Desiada was pitch’d upon; which they made on the 14th of May; and at 6 in the Evening the Negroes oblig’d the chief Mate to hoist out the Boat; and they then put two white Men and four Negroes on Board to go for the Isle; and if there were any Whites liv’d there, they were to return and kill the reminder of the Crew.—But as the Relator writes, he afterward heard that they did not reach the Island, and that he heard nothing of them till he got the ship to an Ancho’r] [sic]: Grand-tier Point, in Teage, a French Island, on the 19th.  Where the French upon giving some small Assistance, not so much as venturing their Lives, or any thing like it, charged the Expences to 3000L Currency. ----What further was done with the Ship or the Negroes he does not write.