Demerara was a region in South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

 in what is now Guyana
Guyana , officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, previously the colony of British Guiana, is a sovereign state on the northern coast of South America that is culturally part of the Anglophone Caribbean. Guyana was a former colony of the Dutch and of the British...

 that was colonised by the Dutch in 1611. The British
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 invaded and captured the area in 1796. It was located about the lower courses of the Demerara River
Demerara River
The Demerara River is a river in eastern Guyana that rises in the central rainforests of the country and flows to the north for 346 kilometres until it reaches the Atlantic Ocean. Georgetown, Guyana's largest seaport and capital, is situated on the east bank of the river's mouth. The Demerara's...

, and its main town was Georgetown
Georgetown, Guyana
Georgetown, estimated population 239,227 , is the capital and largest city of Guyana, located in the Demerara-Mahaica region. It is situated on the Atlantic Ocean coast at the mouth of the Demerara River and it was nicknamed 'Garden City of the Caribbean.' Georgetown is located at . The city serves...


Demerara sugar
Natural brown sugar
Natural brown sugar is brown sugar made by partially refining sugar cane extract, whereas most brown sugar is made by adding molasses to fully refined sugar, which may come from sugar beet....

 is so named because originally it came from sugar cane fields in the colony of Demerara.
In 1781 the American revolution induced the Dutch Republic to join with the Bourbon side against the British, a large fleet under Admiral Lord Rodney's
George Brydges Rodney, 1st Baron Rodney
George Brydges Rodney, 1st Baron Rodney, KB was a British naval officer. He is best known for his commands in the American War of Independence, particularly his victory over the French at the Battle of the Saintes in 1782...

 was sent to the West Indies, and after having made some seizures in the Caribbean Islands, a squadron was detached to take possession of the colonies of Essequebo and Demerara, which was accomplished without much difficulty.
In 1782 the French took possession
Recapture of Demerara and Essequibo
The Capture of Demerara and Essequibo was a French military expedition sent in January 1782 as part of the American Revolutionary War. In 1781, the Dutch colonies of Essequibo and Demerara were captured by a British squadron of Admiral Lord Rodney's fleet; the French took possession of these...

 of the whole Dutch settlements compelling Gov. Robert Kinston to surrender.