Finding the Spaces Betwixt and Between: GIS of the 1733 St. Jan Slave Rebellion

  • Holly Kathryn NortonEmail author


The 1733 St. Jan Slave Rebellion in the Danish West Indies was an ephemeral event, from an archaeological perspective. Lasting only eight months and diffused across the 52-km2 island, the rebellion lacks a traditional archaeological signature even from battlefield methodologies. However, it is useful to apply archaeological questions to topics that are difficult to approach through dirt and shovel. This paper will discuss the application of spatial history/digital humanities methods to analyze the slave rebellion from multiple temporal vantage points, including social conditions leading up to the rebellion, and how creative uses of spatializing textual data may allow researchers to gain new insights into difficult-to-see past people such as enslaved freedom fighters.


Spatial history Digital humanities GIS Slave rebellion Caribbean St. Jan 



Thanks first and foremost to Alanna Warner and Sarah Platt for organizing the 2017 SHA session Beyond (between, within, through) the Grid: The Contours of Mapping and GIS in Archaeology, and then their subsequent labors on this edited volume. All of the GIS data refresh for this article was accomplished with the tremendous assistance of Holly McKee-Huth, Geographic Information Systems expert at History Colorado. Her knowledge of the theory and architecture behind ArcMAP was invaluable, as were her ideas and insights into GIS applications. I am also indebted to Lindsay Johansson and the reviewers for their comments and suggestions. I especially want to thank Siobhan Hart for suggesting the title of this article. I sincerely hope I have done all the comments justice. All errors, omissions, and erroneous hypotheses are my own.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.History ColoradoDenverUSA

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