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Maroons: In the African American Public History

This library guide will focus on the Maroons during the Atlantic slave trade. This will focus on both the Americas & Caribbean maroons and some legends around them.


Welcome to our library guide on Maroons in African American Public History. This guide offers a journey into the rich and often untold history of the Maroons, communities of resilient Africans who, resisting enslavement, escaped to remote areas in the Americas and Caribbean. Their legacy, a testament to the strength, ingenuity, and enduring spirit of African Americans, provides a unique perspective on the struggle for freedom and self-determination. As you explore this guide, you'll uncover the stories, cultural impact, and historical significance of these remarkable communities, and their enduring influence on African American history and heritage. Let's delve into this fascinating chapter of history and honor the resilience and courage of the Maroons. 

Notable Leaders

  • Notable Leaders: Figures like Nanny of the Maroons in Jamaica and Zumbi dos Palmares in Brazil.

Several notable leaders emerged from the Maroon communities in Jamaica, each playing a crucial role in the resistance against slavery and in the formation of Maroon societies. Some of these leaders include:

  1. Cudjoe (c. 1690 – c. 1764): Often considered the most famous Maroon leader, Cudjoe played a significant role in uniting the Maroon communities in Jamaica. He was a key figure in the First Maroon War against the British and was instrumental in negotiating the 1739 peace treaty with the British, which granted the Maroons autonomy and land in return for their agreement to stop harboring runaway slaves and to help capture other escaped slaves.

  2. Nanny of the Maroons (c. 1686 – c. 1755): Queen Nanny, or Granny Nanny, is a national hero in Jamaica and is best known for her role as a leader of the Windward Maroons. She was a skilled strategist and is credited with helping to free more than 1,000 slaves and for creating a safe haven for escaped slaves in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica. Nanny Town, the community she helped establish, became a symbol of resistance and resilience.

  3. Accompong: Named after the Maroon leader Accompong, who was a brother of Cudjoe, this leader played a significant role in the establishment of the Maroon community in what is now known as Accompong Town. This area was named after him and is still a recognized Maroon settlement today.

  4. Quao: Brother of Cudjoe and Accompong, Quao signed the 1739 peace treaty alongside Cudjoe. He became the leader of the Leeward Maroons after Cudjoe’s death and continued to maintain the independence of the Maroon settlements.

  5. Captain Kojo (Cudjoe): Not to be confused with Cudjoe, Captain Kojo was another important Maroon leader, known for his military skills and leadership during the Second Maroon War in the late 18th century.


G.R. Little Library

Elizabeth City State University