Benjamin Darling and the Maroon Society of Malaga Island
October 23, 2008 3:07 PM Subscribe
The story of Benjamin Darling and his descendants begins with a dramatic shipwreck and ends, generations later, in a dark moment of human injustice
Benjamin Darling was the slave, and possibly the son, of a sea captain in the late 1700's. In a dramatic moment of heroism, he saved his master when their ship broke up in a storm. As reward, Darling was freed and given land on Horse Island at the mouth of the New Meadows River in Maine. Darling's tale is told by State Radio in The Story of Benjamin Darling Part 1.
He married and soon, after resettling to nearby Malaga Island around 1794, his family
) became the cornerstone of a small, mixed-race community trying to scratch out a meager existence on the hard-bitten island. Isolated by poverty and the harsh sea, the maroon society of Malaga Island contrasted sharply with the increasing wealth of the town of Phippsburg, fast becoming a summer destination for rich tourists. When the Malagaites reached out to Phippsburg for help in 1912, the town decided to cleanse the island of its inhabitants by force.