Paul Bogle lived at Stony Gut in St. Thomas. He was born before the abolition of slavery, probably between 1815 and 1820. Paul Bogle grew up when slavery was ending. The owners did not want the slaves to be free. They did not want them to own land. The people wanted to own land. They had to grow their food. The land would give them security and independence. Most people in St. Thomas were small farmers and labourers. Paul Bogle was better off than many people. He owned about 500 acres of land. He could read and write. He could also vote. Only 106 people in St. Thomas could vote at this time. When the slaves were made free, most of the rulers tried to keep them down. They made the people pay a lot of taxes, and they punished them badly. They did not give them fair trials in court. They did not think freed slaves should get justice or opportunities. Bogle was a friend of the people he wanted to share their problems and help them and they respected him.
Paul Bogle''s neighbour was George William Gordon. Gordon was a big landowner and a politician, but he cared about poor people. So Paul Bogle voted for him and got other people to do so. Gordon was a Baptist, and so was Paul Bogle. In 1864, Gordon made Paul Bogle a deacon in the Baptist church.