George William Gordon

George William Gordon ( * around 1820 in Jamaica, † October 23, 1865 in Morant Bay) was a former slave and later politician who was involved in the Morant Bay rebellion. He is revered as a national hero of Jamaica.


Gordon was born a slave, became 1838, when the English colonists officially abolished slavery, his freedom and was landowner and businessman in Jamaica. Gordon was a member of the National Assembly of Jamaica and fell there on by criticism of the colonial policy of Great Britain. He talked to colonial critical contacts, evangelical church circles in the British homeland and founded a Baptist church.

Slavery had been abolished, the former slaves but were still denied civil rights, their living conditions were also in the 1860s still disastrous, since most property was firmly in the hands of the colonial Europeans. There was also a two-year drought, which further aggravated the already miserable conditions. The desolation culminated in Morant Bay rebellion under the leadership of Gordon's fellow Paul Bogle. Gordon was not directly involved in the violence, was considered by many whites but because of his struggle for human dignified living conditions of blacks as their spiritual father. The Morant Bay rebellion was and is sometimes referred to in Jamaica, therefore, also known as " Gordon Riot ". Gordon tried during the uprising, to use his political influence to achieve a peaceful solution, and the colonial administration to move to a concession to medium term to improve the situation of former slaves.

After Governor Edward John Eyre had let bloodily suppressed the uprising, he let Gordon in Kingston, where the proclaimed by Eyre martial law did not apply, detain and bring Morant Bay. He was convicted by a state court to death, and two days later, hanged on 23 October 1865.


Gordon's execution led to an outcry from the liberals of Europe, especially John Stuart Mill was involved in this case, trying to Governor Eyre to prosecute.

Gordon is regarded as one of the pioneers of Jamaican nationalism, 1965, he was declared together with Bogle in a ceremony in Morant Bay a national hero of Jamaica. Roger corn processed the historical figure in his literary drama George William Gordon, in which he draws parallels to Jesus.