Attack On Nanny Town
Between 1728 and 1734, Nanny Town and other Maroon settlements were frequently attacked by British forces all of which were repelled and resulted in the retreat of the British. After Nanny’s death (1733), many Maroons of Nanny Town travelled across the island to unite with the Leeward Maroons. In 1734, a Captain Stoddart attacked the remnants of Nanny Town, “situated on one of the highest mountains in the island”, via “the only path” available: “He found it steep, rocky, and difficult, and not wide enough to admit the passage of two persons abreast.” (Edwards vol. 1, page 525)
In addition to the use of the ravine, resembling what Jamaicans call a “cockpit”, Maroons were skilled at disguising themselves as bushes and trees. The Maroons also utilized decoys to trick the foolish British into a surprise attack. This was done by having non-disguised Maroons run out into view of the British and then run in the direction of the fellow Maroons who were disguised. After falling into these ambushes several times, the British had to resort to a scorched earth policy: Captain Stoddart “found the huts in which the negroes were asleep”, and “fired upon them so briskly, that many were slain in their habitations”. (Edwards vol. 1, page 525)
In 1739 the British governor in Jamaica was forced to sign a peace treaty with the Maroons, promising them 2500 acres (10 km²) in two locations. They were to remain in their five main towns Accompong, Trelawny Town, Mountain Top, Scots Hall, Nanny Town, living under their own chief.
Nanny is known as one of the earliest leaders of slave resistance in the Americas, and one of very few women. She is celebrated in Jamaica and abroad.
- The government of Jamaica declared Queen Nanny a National Heroine in 1976. Her portrait graces the $500 Jamaican dollar bill, which is colloquially referred to as a “Nanny”.
- Nanny’s Monument is located in Moore Town, Portland, Jamaica.
- Nannyville Gardens, a residential community located in Kingston, Jamaica was founded in 1977.
- The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition at Yale University uses Nanny’s portrait in its logo. The Center sponsors research and conferences on slavery in the Americas.