Story of The Massacres
In 1674, the Kalinago people on the west of the Island of Dominica were brutally slaughtered by British and French troops. The area in which this happened was later called ‘Massacre’ by the French; because of this massacre which occurred.
Before this Massacre occurred however, The Kalinago people were known to attack many European settlers on different Caribbean islands. They fought against them because the Europeans were claiming and settling on the land which Kalinago used for farming and gathering food. However, the Europeans would always counter-attack and the fate of the Kalinagos would be a grim one. In fact, the massacre in Massacre wasn’t the only one which occurred in Dominica. There was a previous Massacre in the North of Dominica which occurred in 1635. The Kalinagos saw that the French settlement was being an obstruction in their land, and so decided to do something about it. One night they organized a war party, canoed their way across the channel to the site of the French men and attacked the Village. They burned down their houses, and a few Frenchmen were killed. The person in charge of the French settlement was Captain Du Mé, and after this attack, he decided to counter-attack a Kalinago village in the North. The Kalinagos were massacred and burned, and the village was named Anse Du Mé, after this happened.
We see the same pattern happening in the massacre of 1674. It happened after the Kalinagos raided the island of Antigua. Sir William Stapleton, Governor of the Leeward Islands, had long wanted to get rid of the Kalinagos. They were described as warlike Cannibals, by the Europeans who wanted to drive them away from their islands, or at least make them plantation slaves.
Lord Francis Willoughby wanted the Kalinago out of the way; but without any blood being shed. He maintained contact with the Kalinago Chief Indian Warner, and was hoping to use this bond to create a less violent solution for the ‘Carib issue’. However, after the Kalinagos attacked Antigua, Sir William Stapleton saw this as a good enough reason to slaughter them all. He was a Governor of the Leeward Islands at the time; and so, arranged a counter-attack on the Kalinago Indians. Phillip Warner, being governor of Antigua at the time, was placed in command of the attack. Phillip then stabbed his half brother Indian Warner, to commence the attack on the Kalinagos.