Het Korps Zwarte Jagers in Suriname Collaboratie en Opstand II, Silvia W. de Groot, OSO, Jaargang 8, Nummer 1, Mei 1989.
Subject: [History] The British Rulers vs Revolted Rangers
The Black Rangers were highly thought of. Thus the revolt in 1805 brought fear and confusion among the colonists. At this time Suriname was ruled by a British Governor-General: Brig.General William C. Hughes.
The British has suspected that there was a plan in existence to revolt. The GG 's assumption that the attack would take place as soon as the two officers were at the same military post Oranjebo to kill them was a co-incidence and not as he assumed the time of the revolt.
As soon as the British were aware of the revolt a Major Roepels and troops were sent out to the military posts. These troops consisted of 20 black rangers, 20 men of the 64th Regiment, 20 blacks of the 4th West Indian Regiment. They were re-inforced with a detachment of the 16th Regiment of 30 white and black rangers. When the GG requested more troops his request was turned down.
The British had a suspicion that the Maroons and the revolting Black Rangers collaborated but fortunate the maroons remained quiet. The revolting Black Rangers did have a surprise attack on Armina on 9 Nov 1805 and were beaten off. Later on, it could be confirmed that any fear the revolt would spread across the country did not take place.
The Ndjukas had a pact with the revolting Black Rangers that the Ndjukas would not hand them over. The Bonis were not allowed by the Ndjukas to sign a seperate pact with the rangers. The rangers did perform work for the Ndjukas for food. They also received Ndjuka women.
The British rulers of Suriname established a commission on 14 Feb 1806 to develop a plan to reorganize the Black Rangers and to determine the causes of their revolt. The completed report was submitted to the governor on 29 April 1806.
The reorganization plan of the colonial troops recommended a strength of 400. Four companies of 100 each. Two companies would consist of white riflemen and the remainder two companies of black soldiers.
In January 1806 there were 81 Black Rangers considered excess. 40 of these could be discharged because of age or handicap. The remainder were assigned to units with personnel shortages.
The problem the colony faced at this time was the lack of qualified officers. Each black ranger company was assigned 1 captain, 1st LT, two LTs, 1 vaandrig, 6 sergeants. The blacks highest rank was corporal of which there were 12.
The commission determined that the possible causes of the revolt were the result of: -being unaccostumed to the luxuries of life - many of the things they had been deprived they could now indulge. -after 1799 due to peace the corps had lost its value because of their inactive manner of life. Also they received little attention from their superiors. -between 1795 to 1797 a large group of Boni prisoners was absorbed in the Black Rangers. It was charged that these Boni Black Rangers might have prepared areas and stockpiled provisions in case of an uprising. However this allegation has been disputed by some historians.
It can be concluded that the revolt began with a group of dissatisfied Black Rangers. It started with a few and grew into an organized band with distinct plans to murder and destroy property. The small scale revolt went out of hand and more black rangers became involved in the revolt.
In 1834, there were only 8 left from the 70 revolting black rangers. Most of them died before their 53 birthday. However a couple hundred descendants are still around and are known as Ledimusu or Poligudu African-Surinamese.
Met dank aan Albert Buys
Met dank aan Albert Buys