This drawing from 1833 shows slaves in Barbados marching through the streets to celebrate their emancipation. Illustration: Hulton Archive/Getty Images. Featured Image
In May the following year, as the slave rebellion was collapsing, St Jan’s governor, Phillip Gardelin, noted in his correspondence that he had learned with surprise that “one of the leaders of the rebellion, Baeffu [sic], whom none of us knew, and whom we assumed to be a man having murdered my son Pieter Krøyer and his Wife, is a woman!”
Gardelin’s surprise at Breffu’s sex is puzzling, since her involvement had been known to the Danish authorities since January 1734 from the testimony of other enslaved people questioned about the rebels. Apparently no one thought it important to provide the Danes with the gender of the leaders. And apparently the Danes did not think it important to ask.