Article Provided By Wayne James
St. Croix: Birthplace of Emancipation in the United States of America
The United States Virgin Islands—the cluster of central-Caribbean islands consisting principally of St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas—is the cradle of Emancipation in the United States of America: Slavery was abolished in the Virgin Islands (then, the Danish West Indies) on July 3, 1848, seventeen (17) years before the 1865 Emancipation on mainland USA and the 1873 abolition of slavery in Puerto Rico. And the 1848 Emancipation in the Virgin Islands was precipitated by rebellion rather than proclamation. As such, the Virgin Islands has served as a Beacon of Freedom across three centuries—from the middle of the 19th century, throughout the 20th century, to present-day.
July 3, 2023, marks the 175th Anniversary of Emancipation in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and celebratory events will extend until July 3, 2024.