SHARE

Meet Arthur William Hodge: The Slave Owner Who Murdered His Slave For Allowing a Mango Fall From his Tree

Must Read

Queen Nzinga, The African Leader Who Fought Against Slave Trade and European Colonization in the 17th Century

Queen Nzinga was an Angolan leader who ruled during a period of rapid growth in the African slave trade...

BBC 100: These are the 21 Most Inspiring and Influential Women in Africa (2020)

The BBC has revealed its list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2020.

Report: South Africa is the Most Unequal Country in the World

A new report from Oxfam South Africa shows how the average (white, male) CEO takes home as much as 461 black women from the bottom ten percent of earners.
SHARE



Arthur William Hodge was a plantation farmer and notoriously cruel slave owner in the British Virgin Islands, who was hanged in 1811 for the murder of one of his slaves.

Meet Arthur William Hodge: The Slave Owner Who Murdered His Slave for Allowing a Mango fall from his Tree

He was the first and only British slave owner to be executed for the murder of a slave considered his property after he was indicted In 1811, for the murder of Prosper.

During the trial, reports revealed that prosper was not the first of Hodge’s slaves who had been beaten to death.

Evidence was also presented that Hodge caused the deaths of other slaves in his estate, some he whipped to death others he killed by pouring boiling water down their throats.

Meet Arthur William HodgeImage: Source

Evidence was also presented that Hodge was cruel to child slaves, including his own offspring: Bella, a small girl of about 8 years of age, who was his offspring by his slave.

The Crime and Trial

The assaults took place on 2 October 1807, when Hodge flogged his slave prosper for not been able to cough out 6 shillings for a mango he had been tasked with watching which hung on his master’s tree. He was to let nothing happen to the mango. Most of all, Prosper was not to let it fall to the ground. But it did fall and when he couldn’t pay the 6 shillings Hodge demanded for as punishment for letting the mango fall he was whipped by Hodge himself.

Meet Arthur William Hodge: The Slave Owner Who Murdered His Slave

Image: Source

Thirteen days later, on 15 October 1807, Prosper died of his wounds. Hodge was not indicted for three years, until 11 March 1811. He then fled from his estates and was arrested by warrant.

The main evidence given at the trial relating to the death of Prosper was given by Perreen Georges, a free black woman. Below was her testimony:

Related:   Queen Nzinga, The African Leader Who Fought Against Slave Trade and European Colonization in the 17th Century

“I was present when he [Prosper] was laid down and flogged for a mango which dropt off a tree, and which Mr Hodge said he should pay six shillings for; he had not the money and came to borrow it of me, I had no more than three shillings; he said to his master that he had no more money; his master said he would flog him if he did not bring it; he was laid down and held by four negroes, on his face and belly, and flogged with a cartwhip; he was under the last better than an hour; he then got up and was carried up to the hill; and his master said he should be flogged again if he did not bring the other three shillings; he was tied to a tree the next day; and the flogging was repeated; he was licked so long that his head fell back, and he could not bawl out any longer; I supposed he was faint; I then went from the window, as I could not bear to see any more of it.”


During his unsuccessful bail application, Hodge’s counsel argued that “A Negro being property, it was no greater offence for his master to kill him than it would be to kill his dog,” but the court did not accept the submission.

Related:   Queen Nzinga, The African Leader Who Fought Against Slave Trade and European Colonization in the 17th Century

Hodge was pronounced guilty and was hung in front of thousands on may 16, 1811.

Hodge was defiant to the end and held that he was justified in his actions because the whole lot of his slaves were just unruly and insubordinate. Hodge blamed the slaves themselves for running away after they were whipped. He maintained that they caused their own deaths by letting their wounds be exposed.



Uzonna Anele
Anele is a web developer and a Pan-Africanist who believes bad leadership is the only thing keeping Africa from taking its rightful place in the modern world.

1 COMMENT

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to receive email updates

With a subscription profile, you automatically receive updates without having to return to the website and check for changes

Just In

Queen Nzinga, The African Leader Who Fought Against Slave Trade and European Colonization in the 17th Century

Queen Nzinga was an Angolan leader who ruled during a period of rapid growth in the African slave trade...

BBC 100: These are the 21 Most Inspiring and Influential Women in Africa (2020)

The BBC has revealed its list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2020.

Report: South Africa is the Most Unequal Country in the World

A new report from Oxfam South Africa shows how the average (white, male) CEO takes home as much as 461 black women from the bottom ten percent of earners.

Nigeria Listed Among 12 Most Dangerous African Nations for Children – Report

The African nations listed are Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan

Top 10: South Africa and Botswana are the Best Places to be a Woman Entrepreneur in Africa

South Africa, Botswana and Ghana has been ranked as Africa's best place to be a woman entrepreneur, according to a new report released Monday. The...

More Articles Like This