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It was June 6, 1730. The time was 4 A.M.
It happened without warning; shadowy black figures moved stealthily across the deck of the vessel, named The Little George. They were tense but moved with swift speed and agility – so much so that the watchmen on shift for the night barely had time to realize what was happening. Suddenly, a cry went up from one of the watchmen as he turned and found himself face-to-face with an African man. The fleeting cry was cut short as a knife was plunged into his chest, and the captive threw him overboard. This was the signal. All over the deck, watchmen found themselves being attacked by enslaved African males whom they thought had been securely chained down below.
Captain George Scott woke up in fright, struggling to understand what was going on. “What in God’s name?” he muttered sleepily. He realized that something was wrong and immediately ran to the door of his cabin. He pushed a heavy table in front of it (it opened inwards) and locked it with his key; he wasn’t going to take any chances. “Just my luck! I wonder who’s to blame for this nonsense”, he muttered to no one in particular.
“Captain! Help us!” That was Job, the cook. The next sound to be heard was him screaming and the water splashing as he was thrown overboard by the revolters.
“Save yourselves, lads, and take back control! We’ll not lose our cargo tonight!”
Captain Scott blocked out the cries and the shouts of his dying and frightened crew. He loaded his guns, took a large swig of his personal stash of rum, and prepared to head out the door to meet his enemies. There were 96 of them, and only 17 of his; the odds did not look good. As he almost reached the table, there was an ear-splitting roar and blinding white light. He flew backward and hit the ground hard. The only thing he could remember was smelling gunpowder…then all went dark.
When he came to, he felt pain all over his body. Moving gingerly, he realized that moving was hard to do. His hands and feet had been bound.
He was lying on the deck in the scorching sun, surrounded by some of his crew. Some were injured; some were dead. As he managed to look about him, he could scarce believe his eyes – these Africans had taken full control of his beloved ship.
“Say, gentlemen,” he tried to bargain, “untie us right now and save yourself the trou- oof!” He recoiled in pain as a bucket hit him in the face. In an unknown tongue, the assailant yelled at him, and the other black people laughed. The deck was full of men, women, and children who had just been chained below the day before. He had been bested on his own vessel. As the realization sank in, Captain George hoped these men would kill him before his own embarrassment did.
Four days later, still tied up and humiliated, the ship pulled into shore at Sierra Leone. Hungry and overjoyed, all 96 captives congratulated each other in the various languages of their tribes and praised their gods that they had made it home. They left the Captain and what remained of his crew on the deck, to the elements and their own devices.
Blessings in abundance!