Location: Anna Regina, Essequibo Coast
Classification: Commemorative Monument
Period/ Year Built: 1988
Historical Background / Description:
Damon Monument is located at Damon Square in Anna Regina, Essequibo Coast. The monument was built in recognition of the 28-year-old, mulatto domestic servant, Damon, who lived on Plantation Richmond which was owned by Mr. Charles Bean. The structure was designed by Guyanese sculptor Mr. Ivor Thom and was unveiled by Prime Minister Hamilton Green on July 31,1988, to mark the 150th anniversary of Emancipation. It was funded by the Government of Guyana and was referred to as a monument of inspiration to all Guyanese people by Dr. Ptolemy Reid. The statue sits on a giant chair made of bronze and lies on a concrete plinth. The overall weight of the structure is 3,000 kilograms (3 tons) with a total height of 2.7 metres (9 feet).
Mr. Charles Bean was known for his notorious behaviour in the Essequibo colony and his attitude did not change even after apprenticeship was introduced on August 1,1834, to replace slavery. On August 3,1834, Mr. Bean along with other planters went on a shooting spree killing between 30-60 pigs on his Richmond plantation under the claim that the animals were destroying his young sugar cane crops. His actions caused some amount of distress to the livelihood to the servants living on the plantation.
This eventually led to a 10 days’ standoff in the Trinity Church compound between leader, Damon and Mr. Bean. In the end Damon who was addressed as “Captain” along with his other counterparts, Adonis and Chance of Plantation Richmond; Billy of Plantation Exmouth; Fothergill of Plantation La Bell Alliance; Frederick of Plantation Devonshire; and Peter of Plantation Coffee Grove, were later arrested for inciting a riot. Mr. Bean was the owner of most of the plantations.
At the trial, all of the accused pleaded not guilty to the charge of inciting a riot that caused great distress and disturbance. Sentence was passed by Chief Justice Charles Wray to have Damon executed. On October 13,1834, he was executed and his body was hung in front of the newly constructed Public Buildings (Parliament Building) to send a stern message to the other servants.