West Bay Street
Nassau, The Bahamas
Gambier is one of the oldest villages in New Providence, dating back to the early 1800s. It is located nine miles west of Nassau and was established by liberated Africans after the abolition of the slave trade in all British Territories in 1807. Some of the liberated Africans resettled here and left an indelible stamp on the village's unique and intriguing history. Most notable was Elijah Morris who lead the largest slave revolt in the United States history in 1841. A group of 135 enslaved Africans was being transported from Virginia on a ship, the Creole, to be sold in the slave market of New Orleans. After ten days at sea, 19 of the captives, led by Morris, overpowered their guards and took control of the ship. They had planned to sail to Liberia, but with insufficient supplies, Nassau was chosen as the final destination. All the Africans who were not directly involved in the mutiny were liberated and allowed to stay in The Bahamas as free men and women. The 19 involved in the mutiny were initially held, and when Elijah Morris was declared a free man some months later, he settled in Gambier Village. His descendants still reside here and are important members of the local community. They, like their forefathers, are making significant contributions to the lives of the villagers. Today, the approximately 740 inhabitants of Gambier Village are Bahamian-born persons of African descent. Because of its largely youthful population, external cultural influences have impacted the traditional culture of Gambier and caused it to lose its distinctive African origin. However, the UNESCO youth-path Project for The Bahamas was established in 2004 to help preserve its African Heritage and evolving culture among the village's youth. Highlights of a visit to Gambier include: St. Peter's Native Baptist Church established in 1856, The Community Well, Gambier Village School, the Rock Oven and Thatch Roof Huts, the descendants of Elijah Morris, Bush Medicine and Folk Talk. Tours to Gambier Village may be booked by appointment only.