Were well armed either through their own initiative

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were well armed, either through their own initiative or by being given weapons by the recruiting governments. Two of several examples are worth noting. The first was during the so-called War of Jenkins’ Ear, 1739 48 , between Britain and Spain (which phased into the War of the Austrian Succession).The Spanish government gathered many American runaways into an armed garrison near St Augustine, called Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose, which became a free settlement, with its own priest assigned by the government. Some 200 of the 965 troops that comprised the garrison were Blacks, who received the same pay and rations as the White soldiers. Among the troops in the Spanish counter-assault on Georgia in 1742 was a regiment of Blacks whose commanders were clothed in lace, bore the same rank as the White officers and enjoyed all the privileges attached to their status. The 205 Physical Organization of Maroon Communities
second instance was in 1817 , when some six hundred Seminole Maroons were said to be under strict discipline, drilling and parading under their own offi- cers and initiating new recruits who came to them daily (Mulroy 1993 , 9 10 , 15 ). Mulroy (ibid., 10 ) writes that “[t]he Spaniards allowed Africans to live apart, own arms and property, travel at will, choose their own leaders, organ- ize into military companies under Black officers, and generally control their own destinies”. Weaponry Maroon weapons were usually rather rudimentary by European standards. Although John Stedman portrayed the Suriname Maroon in the late eigh- teenth century as a man holding a rifle aloft, this was not typical of the weaponry that most Maroons in that country or elsewhere possessed. The machete, which they had used to cut cane and with which many of them fled, was their most common weapon of defence, offence and survival. With it they not only made war, but cut through the bushes on their way to safe havens and cleared vegetation to make way for cultivable land. It was thus the most appropriate symbol of their freedom. The Maroons under Felipe of Panama in the mid-sixteenth century are said to have employed innovative methods to make weapons. They made spears and bows of the hardest woods that they could find, and arrows of cane stalks. Their blacksmiths fashioned knives and arrow and spear tips from the collars and chains with which they had fled. They utilized the intestines of monkeys to make cords for their bows (La Guardia 1977 , 78 ). Sometimes they dipped arrowheads in poison to make them more lethal (Landers 2000 a, 40 ). Firearms were, of course, the preferred weapons of offence and defence, 27 but both the contemporary and modern view is that most Maroon commu- nities were desperately short of them, and probably only their leaders pos- sessed them. For instance, in 1603 the insurgents who had formerly worked in the pearl fisheries of Riohacha in Colombia were armed with lances, shields, bows, arrows, knives, machetes, darts and swords (Navarrete 2003 , 59 ). In 1826 the Urubu Maroons of Brazil put up a fierce fight against their

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