Blog Section

176th anniversary of the abolition of slavery

Jun 3, 2024 | 0 comments

A look back and a look ahead

On May 30, 2024, Saint-Martin celebrated the 176th anniversary of the abolition of slavery. The theme of this year’s event was “Life after Emancipation: The Making of a Country”.

A cultural celebration

The celebrations took place at the “Lady Liberty Monument” at the Agrément traffic circle in Marigot. There was a colorful cultural program with skits, dances, poems and songs. These performances honored the heritage of Freetown and celebrated the cultural cornerstone “Tantan Nez”.

Anniversary in Saint Martin - Freedom for the Slaves

Official speeches

After the cultural part, the official part of the event followed with speeches from various dignitaries of the French government of Saint-Martin. In their speeches, they not only paid tribute to the past struggles for freedom, but also emphasized the ongoing journey towards unity and cultural preservation in Saint-Martin.

Official speeches from Prime Minster

Prime Minister Dr. Luc Mercelina and the Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, Lyndon Lewis, were among the few dignitaries from the Dutch Sint Maarten who were invited as guests to the celebration of the 176th anniversary of the abolition of slavery.


The French abolition of slavery in 1848 was a turning point in the history of Saint-Martin. Although slavery was officially abolished, former slaves continued to face discrimination and disadvantage for many years.

Slaves on the Dutch side of the island protested and threatened to flee to the French side to seek asylum. The local Dutch authorities relented and emancipated the colonies’ slaves. While this decree was respected locally, it was not until 1863 when the Dutch abolished slavery in all of their island colonies that the slaves became legally free.

The way forward

The 176th anniversary of the abolition of slavery was an opportunity to remember the past, celebrate the present and shape the future. The event provided an opportunity to reflect on the challenges and opportunities Saint-Martin faces as it moves towards a united and diverse society.

The way forward and the old times

Lady Liberty

The woman depicted, also known as Lady Liberty, was created by sculptor Theodore Bonev to commemorate the 159th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in Saint Martin. The woman never existed, but she is known here on Saint Martin as a symbol of freedom.

Saint Martin Lady Liberty

Other monuments on the subject

In addition to Lady Liberty, there are other monuments on Saint Martin / Sint Maarten and throughout the Caribbean. Finally, here are a few examples:

Other statues in SXM

If you would like to find out more about the statues of Saint Martin / Sint Maarten read our article:

Our conclusion

Above all, the anniversary of the abolition of slavery is an important day for Saint Martin. It commemorates past horrors and celebrates the freedom and progress achieved since then.
It is a day of awareness for a fairer and more equal future.

Use real advantages with the MOTC Card

Get 10% Exclusive Magic Of The Caribbean Discount during High Season and 20% in summer by presenting your MOTCCard. Mention MOTCC to unlock this special offer when reserving your dream vacation home and present your MOTCCard upon arrival. You do not have your Membership Card yet? Here is how you will get yours: 

Note: Please keep in mind that discount details and participating locations may vary. It is recommended to check with Magic of the Caribbean in advance for the latest information on membership benefits and discounts.   

The easiest way to do this is the MOTCC APP

MOTCC Partners are all carefully vetted and have proven over time to offer splendid service and value. Check out the hotels & car rentals. Excursion providers, restaurants, and jewelers who are part of the extensive list of elite companies participating with Magic of the Caribbean.

To find them all, you can download our free MOTCC APP for Android or Apple operating systems:

Apple Store:

Google Play Store:


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *