John Gottliff, a/k/a Moses Gottlieb, General Buddhoe, Bordeaux, was born enslaved on March 19, 1820 at Estate La Grange, a large sugar plantation near Frederiksted, St. Croix in what was then the Danish West Indies.
John Gottliff’s activities on July 3, 1848 & the following days that have been chronicled by many writers. Dr. Svend E. Holsoe has provided the most reliable account, which is based on eyewitness testimonies extracted from official court records and other first-hand accounts. Holsoe shows that Gottliff was one of several persons who stood out among the crowd on July 3rd, but that he did not appear to be directing the action. After July 3rd, instead of joining those seeking revolution or retribution, Gottliff rode around the countryside urging protesters to lay down their weapons, cease looting & property destruction & return to work. Nonetheless, after calm had been restored, he was arrested & imprisoned by the Danes as a ringleader of the insurrection.